29 Aug 2013

FMS Prompts: # 2...

...the worst movie you ever did see, and why.

Damn, I have to relive it again?

Okay so, three days ago this friend suggested that we watch a Malayalam movie on the laptop instead of our usual Die Hard and Fast and Furious types. Why? Because it would be a ‘refreshing’ change. *insert the hindi G word in full capitals here which I don’t want to type out because I have a strong feeling one of my uncles reads my posts secretly* I don’t usually agree but it has Fahadh Fazal in it, who I think is one of the best actors in Indian cinema (courtesy 22, Female, Kottayam which, incidentally, all of you should watch, get subtitles) AND its a Lal Jose movie (all non-Malayalees, he is one of those we-expect-good-cinema-from-you types).

Turns out, WORST. IDEA. EVER.

We finished the movie only and only because we really wanted to know how the director would manage to wrap up the mess that was Diamond Necklace. Ah, even saying the name out loud is painful. 

Characters just appeared and disappered at will and the story meandered around all over the place (if you could call it a story). NOTHING made sense. I won’t elaborate on the plot and waste both of our times. Should suffice to say I’m cinematically traumatized, even more so than when I watched the Golmaal series, which is saying something. Pointless, pointless, POINTLESS waste of resources the movie was.
 So. Anyone willing to give it a try? I'll send the BR copy across :P

P.S: What’s your worst movie mistake?

28 Aug 2013

FMS Prompts: # 1...

...that thing that happened in high school that pretty much changed your life forever.

I lost a friend.

In Grade 10, she sat next to me. She was a nice person, always smiling, always ready to help. But you know how high school kids can get, I was snooty about how much she talked to boys (trust me, I want to go back and slap myself too). But we still were good friends, we got through our first hurdle in the academic world, board exams, together. And in Grade 11, she shifted to another section but we still had lunch together, all of us. I loved the alu sabzi that her mom used to send with her lunch and she always put a little extra in my dabba while it was being passed around.

I think she had always liked me more than I liked her.

I remember the day clearly,  classes had been cancelled and three of us were sitting there in the last bench and laughing our heads off without any reason. You know, one of those times when you start laughing at ANYTHING and you can’t stop even though your stomach hurts - two straight hours at the end of the day we laughed.

That’s when three other friends came and said that this girl had passed away, nobody knew what happened and why. I sobered up like someone doused me with cold water but I didn’t believe it. I thought someone was playing a big, fat, sick prank. Then her Class In-Charge confirmed the news.

I won’t go into any more detail but to this day none of us know what happened to her, all we know was that she had asthma. I just never saw her after that, like she never existed except in my mind and memories.

The absolute worst part is that I didn’t remember the last time I spoke to her, the last conversation, exchange we had. I still can’t remember.

Her mom came to see us when we passed out of school and it was all I could do not to run away because I kept thinking how she would feel seeing all of us decked up and happy when her daughter wasn’t around.

I remember feeling incredibly guilty for being alive when she wasn’t.

And it subtly changed a 16 year old forever. From then on I have always kept a certain distance from people. I have made but one friend who is super close, everyone else was and is dispensable. I know it doesn’t say much for me as a friend but when I love, I love wholly without restraint, without any kind of self-preservation and if I lose that person, I know I won’t be strong enough to handle the devastation.

It took me a long time to work out why I never made the first move to make friends (because otherwise I am not antisocial and I love to horse around with everyone), I never keep in touch completely, I never put my all into keeping my friends together like everyone my age does. It might not be the lesson I should have learnt but yeah.

Dharani, I will always remember you for that million-watt genuinely happy smile that you were so ready with.


P.S: Sorry about kicking off on a sad note.
P.P.S: Leave your prompt challenge post links in the comments, please.

27 Aug 2013

I really, really...

...want to do this. I have long admired Fat Mum Slim and her innovative ideas, tried the #fmsphotoaday a couple of times (and crashed and burned big time before the week was up) and have been secretly stalking her virtually all over the place.

I am (in)famous for leaving things incomplete - a dozen drafts, short stories, unpenned abstracts, laundry, sentences, ideas, messages, conversations... all hanging in the air like a menacing cloud as proof. This will be my one last shot to get myself to complete something, anything on the blog. I can be a little proud of myself for having the discipline, this way.

So, I'm thinking I'll do one topic a day for however long I can (and hopefully complete all 50 by mid-October-ish). And any of y'all want to do the challenge with me, leave your links below each post and I'll link back up in each post. Starting tomorrow? (This is me giving my OCD for starting things on a Monday or on a 1st a shove in the face.) 

Blogger discipline, here I come.
I think.

22 Aug 2013


I lay crying for a long time. A long, long time. For the first time in years, I felt like a failure. His shirt was drenched through and yet my tears didn’t cease. 

And he spoke not a word.

Amidst my gut-wrenching sobs, I wished he wouldn’t give me any space now, I wished he would do something to cheer me up, to say that I am wrong to think such things, that I ain’t no failure. 

But he spoke not a word.

His comforting presence and the aroma of his woody soap reminded me of all that I had, all that I am. I finally found solace in the fact that even if I had nothing else, I had him. I might be a failure but for now I had him.

And that made up for a lot of things. 

He still spoke not a word. 

My sniffles died down and I cracked a reluctant smile... I’d always been this mercurial in my moods swings. One good cry and I could always put it behind and try to get back on the figurative horse. The darkness ebbed as I found courage in the flimsiness of the proof that showed I was a failure. 

He finally pulled my face to his and forced me to look at him. 
Fresh tears threatened to brim out at the weight of his unrelenting, almost harsh, gaze when he firmly said…

“That is enough. You’re perfect. And you’re mine.”

The problems weren’t solved, the darkness still remained, I was still afraid of the ghosts that haunted me but I knew I was not alone. That someone had faith in me. 

“When everything is made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am”

Lucky are those who have someone that has such unshakeable faith in you, especially in those moments when you doubt yourself.  

P.S: Fiction after a long, long time. Not perfect, not even close. But I’m glad I tried. 
What can I say, the Goo Goo Dolls are inspirational.

19 Aug 2013

Ghosts Of Roommates Past

Ah, a topic I could write a book upon.

Caution: VERY long post ahead. ALL rant. At your own risk.
When I joined college 4 long years ago, I got the best of roommates (though I wouldn't have agreed then), so when I came to Bangalore first, I hoped really hard that I would find roommates who I could be friends with.

How difficult could that be, considering Bangalore is FULL of girls of all shapes, sizes, orientations, ideas, dress sizes and whatnot. Apparently, very difficult.

I shall elucidate (whether you like it or not):

Number 1 was sweet. She is what I am now, friendly and full of helpful advice but prefers to keep her life completely and entirely separate from mine. Not that it is a problem now but when you are a green, green girl fresh out of college, a kind word and a shopping trip would have helped my case. But she was nice and that's all that matters now. And I shall be forever thankful to her for my first Corner House icecream.
Duration: 1 month.

Number 2, I'd rather not talk about her. She was three times my size, from Hyderabad, had very loud opinions about 'mallus' and their 'chaluness', hated fresh air from open windows, liked the television on at high volume at all times of the day including midnight and threatened to crush me under her weight. Oh and she doesn't flush the toilet or throw away her toiler paper.
Duration: 48 hours.

Number 3 was okay. I always thought that she was a bit of cuckoo because she never used to understand what I was trying to tell her, which is surprising considering I speak her language and well, and also because she spends the entire day on Saturday AND Sundays making rice and steaming capsicum in the microwave. She kept to herself and was nice enough to offer me her rice and capsicum. She always told me that I could take anything from her food ration and cosmetics (including a heavenly bubble bath from the UK) as long as I didn't touch her clothes or shoes. I was A-OK with this and offered her the same liberties.
Duration: 2 months.

Number 4 was a mistake me and my big mouth made. I'd rather not say anything here for I fear lurkers. I think my back did hurt her poor, helpless knife though. Tch, tch.
Duration: 1 month.

Number 5 was a local and got me into a hell of a lot of trouble with the landlady, complaining about me in Kannada. This was happening right in front of me and I nodded along thinking she was saying something constructive about something else and she knew full well I didn't follow. At all. I wouldn't have minded if it were not for the fact that all the complaints were made with the intention of taking over my room which was the best in the PG (in terms of space and ventilation).
Duration: 1 week.

And finally, Number 6. Ah, she is a work of art, a piece that belongs in a museum, nonetheless. My biggest error of judgment and I paid for it with 9 months of sheer misery. Right from bullying me into getting a house with her despite not having the finances and having known each other for less than 10 days, she trampled her way through my life in ways I shudder to think of. The sucker that I am, she fed me a story of missing her parents and I fell for it immediately.

Shopping for the perfect kadhai for her to cook paneer in took precedence to my broken heart right in the middle of a messy, drawn out, painful break up. Between this crazie and my 'extremely understanding' ex, my life was truly hell in a cell those days and I shall forgive neither of them that easily, if at all. I remember sitting outside the room, tears flowing down my cheeks in a never ending torrent, heart breaking into a million pieces and throat clogged in the middle of an international call, when she came out of the room and yelled at me for not giving her company for dinner. I also remember being in the middle of a HUGE blowout that involved me, my mother, my ex and a colleague (you don't want to know) and she wanting me to get the internet guys to buy extra wire right then and there. Gave me days when all I wanted was to jump off the terrace parapet.

A few highlights....

1) She insisted that I eat the food that she cooked regardless of whether I wanted to or not. And if I, by chance, eat out with my friends one in a way or skipped food, she used to throw a hissy fit and not a pretty, I-care-about-you one.

2) She never 'let me' go for nightouts with my friends. I tell her I'm going, she says no, you can't, I'm scared to be here by myself.

3) She sits and looks at herself in the mirror for hours on end. After a couple of minutes, it is just plain creepy.

4) She played the most tacky of songs on infinite loop loudly on her laptop all the time. This includes midnight, weekends and any other time I choose to be home.

5) She has about 6 guys salivating after her, each convinced that she is going to marry him. They probably spend all the time, energy and money on ensuring that their princess is happy. I admire her ability to ensure that none of them know about any of the others. This is apart from flirty texts at midnight to the house owner who she has wrapped around her finger.

6) Every chance she gets she makes me take pictures of her, in different poses and clothes. This is every second minute and regardless of what else I am doing. 

7) She is so dirty. The kitchen hasn't been cleaning in atleast six months, the washroom has stains of i-don't-want-to-think-about-it, she doesn't flush properly, she sheds hair like snakes shed skin and every single square inch of the house is covered in it, she hasn't done laundry in the past three months and the laundry bag smells like no girl's clothes should ever smell. The kitchen clothes that she soaked last month, were still floating around in water when I vacated. The house reeks of the five day old bhaaji that she cooked for her puri and left behind. Open. In the cooker.

8) Creme de la creme. She hits people. Including me. And when I tried staving her off, she hit her own head against the wall and the door and threatened to call the police on me for hurting her.

And all this is only tip of the ice berg and I'm not even exagerrating.

The last couple of months, I have been afraid of going home, I leave for office by 8 30 am and get back home by 10 30 pm, spending more than ten hours in the office. I stayed away during the weekends as well, after a point just sitting at The Forum mall for lack of anything better to do. And when I go back, she still makes a face, makes derogatory comments and makes me out to be evil and uncaring.

She makes me wish the last eight months never happened. 

On 15th August 2013, I moved, extremely happily, into a handkerchief sized place with a clean, beautiful washroom (yeah, another OCD), cheerful in the knowledge of not having to go through the trauma of another roommate. I finally get to put out my books without fear of someone tearing them out, put up my fairylights to satisfy a life's ambition and keep the place squeaky clean and smelling of rose incense.

AHHHHHHHHHH. The Sweet Smell of Peace Indeed.

But, after 7 moves in less than 17 months, all these buggers have left me questioning myself, asking myself if I am that difficult to live with.


P.S: I know this is too long a post but it is catharsis, please bear with me.

7 Aug 2013


We all have such collosal egos that need to be stroked and coddled every once in a while.

From gazillion likes on a strategically clicked and masterfully edited Facebook profile picture to carefully crafted tweets that make us and our lives look and sound so much cooler than it actually is to updates and chitchat about how happening we and our lives are - we are so bothered about putting out a good image of ourselves that the lines between what we really are and what we choose to project become blurred.

Making memories have taken backseat to snapping at anyone who questions our cool factor. Saying inappropriate things will get you retweets, cussing out the opposition will let people know you are not to be messed with. Fight with your friends to upload the pictures of the trip to the beach you spent taking pictures to upload, instead of digging your feet in the sand and giving yourself up to the waves.

I have been guilty too, I am not excluding myself out of anything. Varying degrees.
But once in a while, I look at my pictures I took from ten years ago, think back to the person I was then, the things that used to run in my head then and the kind of genuineness that colored every one of my actions. Simple, happy-go-lucky, restless to learn and experiment and with an undying love for books - I was what I want me to be now.

And I wonder where this current version, who judges and classifies people based on their language skills and the amount of books they read, came from.

My compliments are still genuine, my projection of myself is not so much.
But.... what if I let someone in and give them the power to break me with their critical gaze? With their toxic comments?
What if they judge me for my tastes, the way I live, the friends I have, the music I listen to? What if they judge me for being me and I don't match up to the standards they set?

Isn't that what we all are afraid of when we carefully cover reality with Photoshop, sarcasm and well-done make-up. And maybe that's where the 'ego' stems from.