Saturday, August 28, 2010

Now that she is a year older and wiser....

Ok, I know, my Dissertation told you all that I won't be posting any more for a bit. But, it is my friend's birthday today and even my Dissertation understands that while my relationship with it is very important to me (in spite of it's misgivings,) I have to spend some time today writing about my best friend's birthday.

Anyhoo, today, is one of The Celestial Goddesses's birthday!! And so, this post is dedicated to Moon, one of that particular species of human beings, for whom it is a wonder every year they make it to their birthdays without any major accidents/ plastered limbs/ broken hearts/ marriages and marriage proposals/ slit wrists and basically, generally in one piece. So, kudos to Moon having survived another year and thus, making it to being 22 with mostly all major body parts in one piece and in their right places!! :P HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO YOU!!!! :D

I know this last year has been particularly difficult for you, with Sun and me being so far away and then having to say other good-byes and also dealing with a lot of other issues. But, hey, you now know what kind of stuff you are made of. I suppose now you can take on anything that life throws at you, right? :) This year has made you a little stronger, a little wiser (of course, there is a lot to be desired but meh! :P) and a little more prudent and judicious in everything that you do. At the same time, this was a year of great achievements for you. Writing a book is no small feat and you proved that you have the sort of discipline it takes to take on such a project. And as usual, there were the regular academic achievements, which I suppose is not so uncommon for you. Besides, working in R-fucking-B.I. is HUGE!! :D I'm so proud of you and of being your friend. I know someday, people will all be like, O.M.G. You know MOON?!! And I'll be like, meh! She's just human, as far as I know! But, inside, I'll be glowing and my heart'll be bursting with glee! :D You were born for great things, darling. And, so far, you've been proving it relentlessly. You go, girl! We all love you so much! :D May God bless you, fulfil all your dreams and well, and keep you alive and in one piece! ;) :P

And, of course, I owe you a Star-special birthday cake. :P It goes without saying! :D Until then, here is a small gift. A little something that we all love but I know you haven't really heard in sometime. And omg, look at 3:50 and 6:25!! Sigh! :P

See why we love each other?!! :P Have a great day! And now, stop crying already, you silly emotional woman! :P Lots and lots of love!

*Picture courtesey: Google

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An Open Letter

Dear Star,

Do you remember me, Star? Do you? I, your beloved Dissertation?!! Do you remember the good times we have had in the past? When you frequented library to read more about me in spite of having to do more reading, researching and writing about other modules and essays? When you made a commitment to love me more than any other of your academic interests for the longest period of time? Was all of that a lie, a joke for you?

Do you remember how happy both of us were when our relationship was approved by the various tutors. And do you remember, when we went to meet our supervisor, we both were so impressed by him, we both wanted to have babies with him? Do you remember how we laughed together at our silly fan-girly type behaviour once his awe had worn off and he was nothing more than a really good teacher and supervisor? Do you remember how both of us persevered and brought about my make-over so that I look fantastic and so that all the other supervisors and examiners like me enough to keep me in the privileged "Distinction Dissertations" section of the library?

Do you remember the absolutely brilliant time we had while working on the conference where both you and I were much appreciated and then our relationship was seen as something that was meant to be. Star, we were meant to be together! We are like made for each other! Why then, have you been behaving so aloof and cold in the last month or so? Why have you been neglecting me to the point that I feel unloved and unattractive? Is it something I've done? Does something about me not please you anymore? Or is there someone else? I mean, I've always put up with minor distractions and digressions of yours. Your little watching films now and then, facebooking, talking to friends and *gasp* I even put up with it when you gave more attention to your Bollywood module than me! But, in the last month, I've been feeling completely disconnected with you. We have had serious communication problems!

Please come back to me, Star! I didn't think anyone could love me as much as you do. Please don't do anything more that will make me seriously doubt it and regret our relationship. I know you've been chasing the popular culture and chick lit things for sometime now. Don't think I'm not aware of your secret little crush. But, think about it. We have one and a half weeks only left to be with each other and enjoy each other's company. Then, you can go back to your watching films, planning trips and even to the chick lit if you want (sniff.) But, please try to make these one and a half weeks worth it! Let's not part on any bitter note. Let's make more beautiful memories and cherish them forever. I don't want to be separated from you even for one second in the next week and a half!

Yours lovingly,

PS: Star might be away for the next few days. If she posts anything new, be sure to remind her that she is doing so at the risk of neglecting me and eventually, may be, even losing me.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Raksha Bandhan Trivia and Assorted Memories

Today is a very important day in the Hindu calendar. It's the Shravana Pournima, which means the full moon day of the most auspicious month in the Hindu calendar - Shravana. Don't ask me why it's auspicious. It just is! :P Anyway, what this day means to ME is that the festival of Raksha Bandhan falls on this day. Raksha Bandhan is the festival celebrating the bond between brothers and sisters. So, naturally, I'm missing my two brothers a lot!! (To note: "brothers" means cousins. I don't have any bothers or sisters. But, back home, all cousins, even the far removed fourth, fifth or cousins by marriage cousins are brothers and sisters. We are like that relationships-wise. :P) Of course, I don't tie rakhi (a sacred thread that the sister ties on the brother's wrist praying for his long life) to all those hundreds of extended-family "brothers." But, both my first cousins are very very close to me and I tie them both rakhis.

Now, I generally miss home sometimes. You know, regular homesickness. And then, I'm all like yea but dude! I'm in England only for this year and then I'm ok again. But during festivals, this homesickness is multiplied 10 times and refuses to go away! I miss the colour, the noise, the fragrance of the festivities, the feel of cheer vibrating and tangible in the air, the activity in every household and the general feeling of goodwill everywhere around you. Of course, it doesn't help that India has so fucking many festivals that I feel this way at least once a month! :P Anyway, I decided instead of wallowing, I'll do something constructive today. And generally, my idea of "constructive in order to get rid of the depression" is cooking an Indian sweet. So, I decided to experiment and make some jalebis today. And, well, they taste alright but they look really weird since I didn't have the instrument which makes them fall in a perfect spiral. So, not a total failure! :P

But, today's constructive includes blogging about Raksha Bandhan. It is one of my most favourite festivals. (the others being Holi and Diwali, of course! :P) According to the legend, Goddess Yamuna (It's the name of a sacred river in India. She is also one of the manifestations of the female power in mythology.) tied a sacred thread around her brother, the God of Death, Yama's wrist and prayed for his immortality. He became immortal and in return promised to protect his sister. He proclaimed that whoever gets this sacred thread tied around their wrists by their sisters on this day will become immortal. And thus, began this festival. There are some other stories surrounding this festivals as well. But this was the one I was told in my childhood.

However, the most famous story told about Raksha Bandhan is the one from the 15th Century. Rani Karnavati, the Queen of Chittor sends a rakhi to the Mughal Emperor Humayun to seek protection against another Sultan (a minor Mughal King) who was going to invade Chittor. The Emperor was so touched by this gesture that without thinking about the Hindu-Muslim divide, he went ahead to save Rani Karnavati and Chittor from invasion, leaving behind a battle that he was leading. So, it is the emotion of erasing the rampant communism currently prevalent in India, which makes this festival extra special for me.

One of the best things about Raksha Bandhan is the colour that the cities take on due to the stalls which crop up all over the place, full of different kinds of rakhis - right from the ones that cost 3 rupees to the ones that cost 100 rupees. Just like the Christmas lights and decorations, the Diwali rangolis and lanterns, the Holi colours, pichkaris and water balloons and the Eid late night food joints advertise the advent of each of the festivals and spread the festival merriment. One of my favourite Raksha Bandhan memories is when I was 11. That was the year, my younger cousin, the baby of our family was born and he was like a month or so old. Also, that year Raksha Bandhan was on 15th August, the Independence Day. And so, the auspicious day also being occasion-ful, our family decided to have his naming ceremony that day as well. I remember he was dressed up in a ridiculous red and white stripe thing with a baby cap on and he looked like a very chubby baby girl. I was so proud that day, being the eldest sister and all! Then, my aunt and I, both performed the naming ceremony together. I was literally bursting with excitement that day! And a few years ago, I and my other cousin, who is only 5 years younger to me, really started bonding a lot. Since that time, Raksha Bandhan means a lot more to me since I really value my relationship with him a lot more now than I used to before. As of this year, no such nostalgic, fond memory. But I do have a joke. :P Kyra and I were talking on phone and I was telling her how much I miss the festivities and all. And she said, "Yea, why don't you ask someone and tie them a rakhi? Jerome is cute! You could go ask him!" Now, it's common for us to "adopt" a brother or a sister. In fact, in schools, when everybody was being an asshole and linking you with the ugly boy/ the irritating sneezer, you would to use Raksha Bandhan as a shield and tie that boy the rakhi, "adopting" him as your brother just to shut everybody up. Anyway the same thing happens in the legend of Rani Karnavati and Emperor Humayun, no? But what I didn't get was why would I want a cute boy who is unrelated to me adopt me as a SISTER?!! Heh, sometimes Kyra likes being funny! :P

*Pictures courtsey Google.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Cocktails are my cuppa tea! (heh!) :P

Remember that day when I told you I make the best Mojitos in the world? Make that the best goddamn cocktails in the world! (ever wondered why are they called cock-tails?!! heh!) There is something incredible sexy about mixing the various sinful liquids and then giving them that chic look. Isn't that why the bartenders get hit on so often?

I can tell you, I feel extremely sexy and in an odd way, empowered when I am mixing spirits. Another cool fact: When you confidently walk into a shop and ask for serious booze, nobody questions your age! :P Hehe, cool, no? I remember the first time I bought alcohol here, (I was trying to buy some cider! Hardly qualifies for alcohol! :P) I was asked for a proof of age and my student ID card didn't have my date of birth on it. (It beats me why wouldn't they put DOB on an ID! It seems such an important detail!) So, I had to go back to my flat and bring back another form of identification! And anyway, since I look all small and too young for my age, I am always ID-ed everywhere. But last time I walked in the store and asked for a big bottle of rum and yesterday, I went in and asked for triple sec/ cointreau and both times I wasn't asked to produce a proof of age! Oh, and all this was in different stores, just in case you are thinking that maybe it's because the people there know me by now. :P Though I'm sure if I went to just one place, they'd place me in the category of an alcoholic! :P Hee.

Anyway, so, once every week, all of us house-mates meet for dinner. There is a great international atmosphere and various cuisines on the table. In fact, I think all of us bond most over food talk! :P And I had volunteered to cook this week. I cooked that particular species of typically Indian food - "Indian Chinese." :D It is very different from Chinese food and I think the closest thing that would come to it would be the cheap South Asian Chinese joints in the UK. It tastes awesome and I'll put up the recipes sometime soon on the food blog. Well, since I don't know what alcohol goes the best with any kind of Indian food, I decided I'll just make some cocktails. (ahem, very original excuse, you have to agree! :P) I just wanted to feel all sexy! :P And as soon as I thought of "sexy," I knew I'd make the Sex and the City signature drink - the Cosmopolitan. And boy, did it look all pretty in pink! :P :D See, see!! :D I even frosted the glasses and made them look all professional cocktail types! Yay! I feel all proud and awesome! :D Now, if only my poor, neglected dissertation went as well as my alcohol exploits! Sigh! :P

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Devil wears a Gujrati Sari

Ufff, all the things you have to do for money! Why is it that money really does make the world go around, however much some people might want to argue with that?? :( I have started working at this restaurant since a month. And I've actually worked only 4 days there. The woman who owns the restaurant never tells me when to come. I call her about 3 times before she tells me when to come next. Moreover, it pays like shit and the working conditions are worse than the pay. But still, I'll work there. Because it pays me SOMETHING. I'll put up with work I'm not particularly fond of, put up with people I'm not particularly fond of and accept money that definitely does NOT do justice to the amount of work there is. Because something is better than nothing.

Besides, NOWHERE else in this country did I get a job, not even in restaurants or department stores, because I do not have any "UK experience." I mean, come on, it's there on my CV. I came to this country less than a year ago! How do you expect me to get experience if you don't give me a job to begin with?!! Besides, I used to be a teacher for THREE years in Mumbai. Mumbai, which I think is even better than London. (I know some people might not agree on that one. But well, I think we should agree to disagree. I don't deny that I'm biased towards Mumbai because it is, after all, my birthplace and the place where I lived the first 20 years of my life.) Anyhow. Surely it's not like we teach savage lingo there. And if they are worried about my language, that's on my CV too. I speak 6 languages and am an English Literature Graduate who got through a very reputed English university for her Masters. I mean, doesn't all this say SOMETHING for me? Plus, I was even ready to volunteer because obviously I'd have to get used to the National Curriculum and other systems in place here. But noooooooooooo. So, I had to apply for restaurants, bars and department stores kind of jobs. There, I was too qualified and totally experience-less. Again, it's not common in India for students to have part-time jobs like this. But, I'm a smart person and learning this would not be difficult at all. But they have too many people who apparently have learnt how to use a till when they were in their mother's wombs. So, who the fuck would care about training us international student types? But this would be a whole different post - how this country is so UNwelcoming, with many other examples apart from unavailability of jobs (because that is something not just international students but everybody is facing in general.) :/

Anyhow, going back to this place where I "work." Everything is so disorganised! I must also mention at this point that I worked in this same restaurant for 2 days before. But, after 2 days, the owner told me that she has too many people on her staff and can't really afford one more. Wow, wonder how she didn't know that less than a week ago when she hired me! I went back there because it's the only place where I'm earning something. But, it still doesn't make it any better! Last time I worked was last Monday. I kept calling her and she was never available. A few days ago, one of my colleagues informed me that my name is on the rota for working on Friday. So, I dressed up in the formal trousers and formal shoes that I hate and basically dressed up as a plastic doll to look all professional and pretty for the customers and went in to work. The owner, as usual, was not there. She is mostly away on trips or chilling at home. Only to be told that I was actually a standby and so, wasn't needed. I should go back home. I will be called if needed. WTF?

Now, I don't have a problem with being a stand-by and not working for 2 weeks at a stretch (well, I have less problem with that than I have with spending money on bus fares to get there and coming back without having earned anything at all.) But doing that was TOTALLY unacceptable. Also, another BIG (literally BIG) problem that I have with this place is an OLD, FAT, Gujrati lady, whom we call maasi and who is the head chef of the restaurant. Now this is the woman I talk about when I say "The Devil wears a Gujrati Sari." She is such a power-tripper! She likes exercising her fake authority over all of us when the owner of the Restaurant (let's call her Thin) is not there. Which, like I told you, is most of the times. Like today, when she said, "It's our system. Even if your name is on the rota, you should come only when we call you." WHAT BULLSHIT! So, you are the one who opens the restaurant and then, make phone calls to everyone saying you have to come in for work? And everyone else is sitting at the edge of their chairs, waiting for you to call, not making any plans for their evenings just in case you call? Do I look like an idiot to you? What makes you think I'll buy that load of crap?

Apart from just plain bullshitting, she also screams at everyone. A LOT. It's her way of showing that she is greater than you. I'm sure she's never heard of the concept that you have to give respect to earn respect. I may be less than half her age. But it doesn't in any way give her the right to scream her lungs out at me. And for no reason too, except that I am new and might get easily scared. Well, too bad for her that I am so thick skinned that I totally don't care about her. And I think I can afford to not care about her because I don't really care that much about the job or the money. I'm just doing it for the experience and so that I don't feel totally useless and like a loser, having spent lakhs of rupees (no wait, lakhs of education loan rupees) on coming here for a year. However, THAT is my choice and I don't regret it one single bit. Like I've told before, England is like a close, close friend. A few unpleasant experiences *so* don't define how I feel about it. If only it had better weather though! ;)

Which reminds me, it was raining cats, dogs, horses and zebras when I was coming back from work and so, decided to stop for a drink. Anyway, I was upset about the whole work thing and needed a drink. ;) So, I went in a bar and ordered a cocktail. Then, I just sat there, feeling the warmth of my drink curling around in my stomach and watching the rain. Even though I was right in the middle of the city and this would have been waaaaay more romantic if I was in the countryside, it was still quite nice. :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Noooze!! :D

::jumps up and down screaming:: NOOOZE, I HAVE NOOOOZE!!! :D

Ok, toning that down a bit, Fellas, I have NEWS. Notice the capital NEWS?? Shall I tell, tell? Ok, here goes, ::takes a deep breath:: I. Am. Going. To. Meet. AAMIR KHAN!!! Gotcha! :D Tis true, tis true! He is going to be in a city near my city to promote Peepli and the National Media Museum there is selling tickets to go and see Aamir Khan talk to a Bollywood professor and researcher from Manchester (He is a really big name in the Academics too, if anybody has heard of Rajinder Dudrah.) There will be time for question and answer later too! And, I and *some of* (ahem, you know, I'm talking to you) my other friends from our Bollywood class have booked tickets too. So, come 22nd September and wheeeeeeeeeee!!!! I'm going to see Aamir Khan with my own almost naked (coz I'll have my glasses on) eyes! :D For 20 years, when I lived in Mumbai, I didn't see a SINGLE actor/ actress. I've sighted minor celebrities like Band of Boys or Neena Gupta (does anyone even remember them?) at college festivals. But never a real celebrity sighting. And I don't even consider myself as someone who'd swoon over a celebrity sighting. I mean, they too will bleed when pricked, right? But, I think if I ever see Hritik Roshan, (maybe Shahid Kapoor, I'm not so sure), Madhuri Dixit or Amitabh Bacchan, I'll probably have the same reaction I've been having about Aamir Khan. Maybe a bit more for Hritik Roshan and a bit less for everyone else.

Dude, Aamir Khan!! I'd NEVER expected this to happen! I do truly, genuinely think he's an excellent artist. Every film of his, from Andaz Apna Apna to 3 Idiots has something awesome going on for it. Ok, maybe not so much the 90's films like Ishq, Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahi, Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak etc. But that's because the films in the 80's and the 90's were like that. Besides, he was so new. And even these films, I know, are enjoyed by a LOT of people. I do happen to know some Ishq and QSQT fans. I'm sorry to say, I'm not one of those. But anyway, his later films from Ghulam and Sarfarosh to 3 Idiots - all of them rocked (with the possible exception of Mangal Pandey! :P) Rang De Basanti and Taare Zameer Par make me cry every single time I watch them. And I even wrote a whole paper on Lagaan for my Bollywood essay assignment, I love his work so much! And of course, he has flawless marketing schemes. That man reeeallllllly knows how to market his stuff. So much talent! I'm really lucky to have this chance of actually seeing this man in flesh and blood and hear him talk about intelligent Bollywood stuff. Yaaay! :D This is all because I came to this university and met all these awesome Academics and generally, did a lot of networking. I do absolutely love this uni. :D

Ok, in other big news, I have booked my tickets to go home!!!! :D I'll be in Mumbai in exactly 2 months time! :D I can't wait for 20th October to come and take me home, baby!! :D (June, does that make you happy? :P)

*Pictures courtsey Google.

Of Alcoholics and Drinking Games

S and her Italian Lover-boy (lets call him, ummmm, oh, I know! M for Mafia! We could've kept calling him Italian Loverboy but M is just easier and also funnier. It's funny because he's SO not like Mafia. He's all gentle and caring and goofy types. But because S's father and brothers have not met him, they just assume the worst and bring out all stereotypes. Hee.) just came back from their holidays a few days ago and guess what they brought back from Italy for our house-mates? A bottle of Lemoncino! That sweet, warm, citrus-ey alcohol which will become your undoing because you will not know when to stop. As you see, I talk from experience here. :P

So, last night, after dinner, S and I  both had a bit of it and while she was being intelligent and sipping it, I decided to do a shot. For a moment there, I was totally disoriented and again found myself sitting in M's living room a few months ago and playing drinking games and having much of that dangerous liquid! It was one of the best house parties I've had in England. We were all being very adult about it and letting everyone have whatever they wanted and nobody was forced to shots or anything. Did you just say boring? Nonononono, not boring. It's called being adult abbavibba. Well, we had fun anyway. So, yea, it doesn't matter. And I think except for one of our friends, the rest of us got very drunk. Now see, when I get drunk, I get very chummy-chummy with M. Generally, in all sobriety I and M keep taking snipes at each other. He just keeps pulling my leg and annoying me. So, I retaliate. (Yes, ::nod solemnly:: it's always he who starts it. :P) If anybody so much as dares to even whisper the word 'jealous', I'll block them from reading my blog. Honest. Alright, now that we have cleared that out, where was I? Oh, yea, so, but when he gets drunk, he just sits quietly in a corner. Ok, not so quietly and not so much in a corner. But, he doesn't try to annoy me. And since I'm all happy and giggly and am also not being bothered, I get all chummy-chummy with M. That day, I defended him against some accusations. I forget what but I bet it was something silly seeing as we were all pissed. And so, everyone was rather amused by my chummy-ness. But, then, when we woke up the next day (News flash: Lemoncino doesn't give me as bad a hangover as wine and vodka do! YAY!)  I immediately cleared up all the misunderstandings about the previous evening and everyone was amused again. It was just the booze talking, said she in a matter-of-fact voice. Sigh, no one seems to take me seriously. I wonder why! :P Also, I was the cheater on the table that night! As in, I did all my shots (or sips of coke and vodka :P) but whenever I picked up a card that had something I didn't want to perform, I'd just mix it back in the pile of cards and pick another one! :P Hee. I love being myself and I also love all my friends and oh, I probably might love vodka more that I love my friends when I'm having it but I'm not sure.

Another time I had great fun playing drinking games was with Kyra, Sara and JD. (As, everyone who reads this blog knows! :P) I'm sorry for mentioning it so many times and not elaborating. Here's my apology, in the form of a whole paragraph! :P :D Ta da!!!! So, I made mojitos (Aside: I make the world's BEST mojitos. Ok, maybe not the world's best. But they are pretty damn good. Pssssst. My secret: FRESH mint and lime. The freshness of your mojitos will help them take on the world. you can see, I'm in the hyperbole mood today! :P Ok, Aside over.) And then, we all played never have I ever and many secrets were revealed. :D I think everyone should play never have I ever at least once in their lives. Because you know, once you play it, you'll want to play it again and again and again, sometimes to get people very very drunk and sometimes, to know everyone's secrets. ;) Being evil is fun, ain't it? :P As far as drinking games go, this is the best one. Really. So, basically, we all drank mojitos, wine and rum and coke and smoked pot. And when we were all out of alcohol but too lazy to go out and buy more, but we were still not done with the game, we just ate the mint leaves from our mojitos instead of taking shots. Hmmm, I don't really remember being that drunk. Maybe I was wrong! :P And then, we also made Gulab Jamuns when we were all high and listened to Emotional Attyachar and Jumma Chumma De De. Fun, fun!! No? :D

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Confessions of the Shopaholic

I went shopping yesterday!!!!! :D

I shouldn't have. I have a dissertation to write. And money to save. But I was meeting Effy and Grace again yesterday. And last time too before Effy moved to The Big City. So, when Effy asked me to go shopping with her, I couldn't refuse, you know!! And I swear I wasn't going to shop. Honestly. But then we went into the shops and oh! Final Clearance before they re-stock their shelves with the new season items! All these awesome summer things on sale! And since I'm going back to Mumbai, I'll have plenty of occasions to wear them! ::trails off realising she is not making much of an impression trying to justify her shopping sprees::

Well, anyway then. Under your judging stares, I'll tell you all about the awesome things I bought! First and the best thing I bought, a black blazer jacket, which looks like it has been tailored to fit me! And feels like silk! You know, it like GLIDES with me! Where will I ever wear it, you ask me? Well, I know at the moment I have a shitty restaurant job and when I go back, I'm looking to work in the teaching sector. Where there is definitely no use or need for a blazer. But, it was only for 5 pounds. And it makes me feel all professional, independent woman. So, I'll figure out a way to wear it. Just cheer for it along with me! Oh, New Awesome Blazer Jacket, you rock! :D

Next, from the same store, I bought.......TA DA! Cute lingerie!!! This store has like the cheapest lingerie possible! And oh, so cute!!!! Yesterday, I got a satin one with polka dots, ribbon and lace. ::eyes shining:: What more do you want?!! Of course, it has been SO fucking long since anyone other than me actually saw me in my lingerie, I'm beginning to feel re-virginised. Hmph. Another worthless piece of way too much information about me that you probably don't care about: before I came to England, I used to wear very old-lady type, plain cotton black/ white lingerie. And here, whenever I used to go shopping with S, my Yankee, she'd always pick up cute lingerie and as a means of justification, have the oh-its-so-cute-and-cheap-why-not-buy-it? face. And well, I used to be all like, but I don't wear that kind of thing, what's the point? Now, of course, I don't remember when I jumped sides but I totally blame her for my switching sides AND becoming addicted to it. :P What's more, she says she is proud of it and takes full responsibility for my addiction! :P Hee. But yeah, as soon as I go home and my parents see this novelty in my laundry, my dad will subtly nudge my mum and point at it and then, my mum would come to me and ask me where did it come from andI'll have to patiently explain that it's not because of the influence of firangi pani or because I was getting any action (Hey, at least I wouldn't be lying THIS time around! :P) but because I like wearing it for myself blah di blah blah. Not that she would believe me but because it's an unpleasant and almost a taboo conversation to have, she'd give me grief over why did I waste money buying things I didn't need etc etc. Yes mother, I hear ya! :P

Anyhooooo, apart from that, I bought comfortable dhoti style harem pants and a kaftan-type black-and-white top, both of which look great on me! :D Yay, shopping! :D Oh, and then, I went to do some grocery shopping and repeatedly found myself in front of the chocolates section. I swear I had absolutely NO idea how I would reach there and ALWAYS pull my cart away into the vegetables and healthy snack option sections. But, somehow, SOMEHOW, I always ended up there. So, only, but ONLY to stop that jinx, I bought a packet of Reese's Peanut Butter Cups!!!!! :D :D :D Oh, S, being all American about it, says that the British PB cups are not the same. But what the heck, I don't care! :P I finished the whole packet the moment I reached home! ::makes orgasmic noises:: They were SO good, even the memory of it makes me weak in the knees! Who needs a man if a chocolate can do that to you, right?!! ;) :P

PS: I added the new music gadget to the blog. If it annoys anyone, please shout out and I'll remove it. If you like it and want some of your favourites to play sometime, I believe that can be arranged too! ;)

Monday, August 16, 2010

Dear Christopher Nolan, will you marry me?

Finally!!! I FINALLY saw Inception last night with one of my house-mates. It was playing at a picture house near our house and he invited me to go along with him. It was a lucky coincidence that he knew. I never really check the schedule.

(Caution: I'm going to turn into a very fan-girly, squealy type person for the next few lines, like, rest of the post. :P Oh, and there may be some spoilers, in case you still haven't watched the film and want to keep the mystery going for you. You have been warned on both accounts.)

Inception is such a mind-blowing film!!! What a concept! Science in general but Physics in particular has been one subject totally and completely out of the realms of my understanding. It has always, always, always eluded me. And THEN, when you see someone not just having these fabulous ideas but also laying it out in terms that people like you can understand and appreciate, you are just left gasping for air. Just like you are when you see Leonardo DiCaprio in the serious, guilt-ridden husband and father act. *Sigh* Not to mention all the other good-looking guys having their serious scientist thing going on for them.

But, for once, for once, I was not really drooling over the good looking men. And I generally am not a big fan of action or sci-fi. But STILL, I was drooling over the concept and the execution of the concept of this film. Oh, at this point, I should probably tell you that I have this thing for Postmodernism. I really think whoever came up with the whole thing about multiple truths and questioned how real is our reality and how can one person's truth be everyone's truth was bloody brilliant. So, this film was like the Citizen Kane of the 21st century for me, you know? (Really. I'm even writing my dissertation about Postmodernism and Postcolonialism and all these -ism's. It's fun. Honestly.) Speaking of which, since I not only went to see the film but also went for shopping today and then am writing about it all now, my poor Dissertation [notice the capital "D" :(] has suffered a lot of negligence. Especially since I and my friends decided we'll all finish at least 50% of it by this Friday, I'm really beginning to regret these two little diversions. But heh. Inception is fucking awesome! And it's idea is even more awesome! Wonder who planted that in Nolan's mind! :P Hee. For all those who haven't seen the film, it's an inside joke. :P (Well, not really, if you have read the reviews! :P But what the heck! :P)

But, even when I say all of these fantastic things about the film, I have to confess, I was left most dissatisfied with the end. Blame it on Bollywood for having spoilt me. But, I did want a rosy, all is well kind of end. I hated the fact that he leaves one dream only to live in another one. Or...does he? I know it's again the same concept - of questioning what was real. Did Cobb really come out of the dream? Was he suspended in the limbo but created an alternate reality for himself? Was the top just about to settle down indicating that he did finally get his redemption? Or, was the whole fucking thing just a dream? Who knows? In fact, if we'd known, it'd probably have taken away from the impact and we'll would've been like, "Oh, how cliched!" So like I said before, it's bloody brilliant as it is. But I would've slept better if I had known. I wouldn't have kept tossing and turning to establish what would be the best possibility.

All said and done, I think it was too good a film to be criticized for what seem to be my notions of satisfaction. If you guys have still not watched it, just go and I promise you'll be sitting on the edge of your seats for 2 hours and biting your nails, it's that good! :D

*Pictures courtsey Google.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Tonight's gonna be a good good night!!

Subtitled: The night I realised how much I'll be leaving behind when I leave this city

Last night, I went for Effy (short for Efficient)'s birthday party with a bunch of other friends, all from the uni - Kyra, Sara and JD and Grace. It was good meeting Effy and Grace after long, long time, what with no more actual classes but just working on individual dissertations. Though I've met Kyra, Sara and JD more often lately (remember that night of drinking games I mentioned in the earlier post?!! :P), it is obviously always fun to hang out with them. So, last night was a fun girl's night out without even having planned it! :)

But, Effy is moving to The Big City next week and so, it was not only her birthday party but also a sort-of farewell party for her! She was one of the first people to whom I'll have to say goodbye after this year of wonderful friendships and beautiful experiences. She just returned from her visit to her parents' home in Nigeria and was telling us all Funny Stories from Africa! Hehe!! :P I've always known her as a very no-nonsense sort of person when it comes to work and a totally opposite, crazy fun-loving person when she lets go of herself. I wish I could have that balance in my life. Both, she and her partner, Jerry are at that point in their lives where they know exactly where they stand and exactly what they are going to do next. Except for any surprises of course. :P Like the one they got when they went to Nigeria. Funny story (number 1. But, unfortunately, that's the only one I remember!! :P) When they were with Effy's parents in Nigeria, the parents arranged a little "introduction ceremony" for the relatives and neighbours to meet Jerry. And got them married. Yes, you heard right. MARRIED. It was really funny when she was telling us the story about how she "sort-of got married!" Her parents asked her if they were planning to get married or anything and like always, Effy dilly-dallied telling them that she didn't believe in marriage blah blah. So, her parents said that because they had to answer the relatives and the neighbours about her marital status (and the lack thereof) she'll have to participate in this introduction ceremony so that everyone can meet Jerry. And, that was how Effy got married, with only half a knowledge of what was really happening!! Hehe. Oh oh, and when she (by chance) dressed up in the only African dress she had, her mum exclaimed, "Thank God you have something African!!" Hehe, mums are the same everywhere!! However, the ceremony was very beautiful and even Effy was touched by it all. So, we all had an "awwwwww" moment and toasted to her and Jerry's lovely (and organised - I'm not letting go of that one! :P) life! ::again has the "awww" face::

Apart from that, we were all harassing Kyra about leaving THE SAME DAY as we hand in our dissertations, not even giving us a chance to say a proper goodbye! :( But JD, our friend, under the influence of JD, the whiskey, was a lot more vocal about it! :P Sara and I mostly just watched amusedly, when JD announced her affections for Kyra a few times too often!! And then, on our way back home, ranted about how capitalism destroys the world! JD, she's a special one!! Hehe! Finally, when it was just Grace and I, walking back home, we again talked about how we wished we had tried to bond with all of the other people in our course and how there were so many things we could learn from everyone, ending the evening on a very philosophical note.

Sigh, how I am going to miss being with all these people!! All the drinking and gossiping and dancing!! I know I can do all these things back home with my friends as well (well, maybe not the drinking bit as much! :P) But still, this year has been such an important year for my personal growth and I do feel nostalgic about leaving this country. I'm very excited about going home, since home is home and nothing, definitely not this cold country can replace Mumbai. But, in a way, England is like a close, close friend to Mumbai's being family. Like I was telling Grace while walking back home, I want to take all my friends, fold them and pack them up in my suitcase, take them home with me and keep them with me forever. ::makes a poor puppy dog pout face::

Whoever said life was about moving on was right but dude, honestly, easier said than done!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Free Booze (Music :P)!!!

Since we, here at Bookshelf, promised you all a party and free booze, we must fulfil that promise or else people will think we're a lousy party-thrower! (I mean, people probably might think that anyway, but meh! Might as well have fun trying to party than not try at all! :P) Sooooooooooo, welcome to our new place!! :D Hope you enjoy yourselves! :)

Here's a collection-of sorts of some famous Bollywood sharabi-type songs! The best one in the history of Bollywood has to be this:

Mungda has got such a sexy groove in it, any party with daaru and this song has to rock! ;)

Another one of my favourites, featuring the delectable Shabbir Ahluwalia and other not-so-delectable-regularly-but-quite-mouth-watering-in-this-one men:

Oh, I hate to admit this but it definitely seems like there is something about bad boys that attract women! Never did I like Tushar Kapoor except in this film. He generally looks so humdrum, like you know, daft, insipid and listless! But in this one, quite good, even though not Oh-My-God-he's-so-hot good. Hmmm, food for thought: maybe I have been single for so long because I get bored easily and only a smuggler or a murder can give me the excitement that I look for in my life and relationships! ::shudder:: 

Oh, this is a party and we should let go of scary thoughts and focus on some bad music but good drunken dancing! Thus, two more videos:

(Alright, since I'm having problems uploading the other video, here's the link for it!)

And since it is about drinking, I think Devdas should definitely figure in this post. Even though he was a complete loser and that film doesn't have any shake-your-booty type music, I think you can dance for at least a minute or two to this song. Oh, and Madhuri Dixit is *SO* pretty!!! There are a few women for whom I might consider changing my sexuality (but that is a topic which deserves a whole post for itself!) and Madhuri Dixit, especially when she is dancing, is definitely one of them!

And since we talked about Devdas, I HAVE to mention DevD. Otherwise there would be no sense left in this world! Btw, DevD is also, along with Om Shanti Om, the best man-made invention (that is correct, man-made invention) ever! And, in this song, just look at Abhay Deol, looking all seksi seksi while chugging his alcohol as if it is juice! Ah, what poetry is that frame! And the best part of the song is Paro, dancing in happy knowledge that she wasn't meant to be with that loser. One of my friends, Sara, happily pointed out the bewildered expression on Paro's husband's face and said, "Dude, when we get married, our husbands will look at us with exactly the same expressions!" Hee, fun, no?!! But so true! Incidentally, that was the day we were playing drinking games and revealing a lot of secrets to each other!! But again, THAT day definitely deserves a whole post (or maybe, even two) of its own! 

Did you see the brilliance in that?!! Man, I can live Dev D ANYTIME!!!! Now, that's a collection of (mostly) ghaat Bollywood songs I can dance on when I'm drunk!! :D Ok, so, just as a parting shot, here (video uploading problems again) are a few songs by a band called The Booze (an excellent band really!!) Hope you enjoy it! :) 

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bas, Yunhi (Just like that!) ;)

I realised, I've been writing too many "justifications" lately and decided to relax a bit...So, here goes: Random things about me which you probably didn't need to know but now will since you're reading this...bas yunhi!

  1. I've recently updated my food blog and now, it looks all cool and professional chef-types blog! Yay, I rock! :P
  2. I have also, FINALLY, mastered the art of eating with chopsticks!! :D I POLISHED off my Thai fried rice yesterday, down to the LAST grain of rice, with my chopsticks! Yay again!! 
  3. I started following a few new blogs and realised we have awesome bloggers in the world! Especially, June and Vampire Doc here. Hehe, very funny! Go, read! 
  4. My house ALWAYS smells of catpoo and fish! :/ I don't think our landlady eats anything other than fish. And even though I'm friends with the cats, it's impossible to go into the kitchen without scrunching up your nose because of the fish and catpoo smell! Hmph. Oh well, hardly 3 more months more to stay in this house before I go back home, baby!! :D
  5. I've been using the expression "Home, baby!!" way too many times for it to be considered normal! BUT, in my defence, I'd be going back home and back to my beloved Mumbai after 13 VERY long months! So, I'm allowed some over-excitement. :P
  6. For sometime now, I've been thinking of changing my blog name to something funkier. Any suggestions?
  7. I HEART BOLLYWOOD!!! :D I've never seen anything more brilliant than Om Shanti Om in my life!! (Take that bewildered and aghast look off your face and stop judging me. ::pause:: Now.) I have a special relationship with Bollywood, where I love to hate it and hate to love it! (S, my lovely Yankee friend, tells me that if you purely love Bollywood, then there is something seriously wrong with you. The only way you can love Bollywood is by hating it. And I think she has pretty much nailed my relationship with Bollywood. Does that make any sense to you? Because I think it's perfect!) Oh, and this should come as #1. I don't know how I didn't put it before frivolous things like catpoo and fish smells! 
  8. I'm just doing this list because I read somewhere that lists have come back in fashion in Blogworld. Hmm, which makes me wonder because I'm generally not the sort of person who follows fashion. Comfort is more my style.
  9. I don't like being kissed in the morning without having brushed my (and him, his) teeth. 
  10. I would very much like to write fiction except that I'm VERY creatively challenged! :( But, because I have made this promise to the sacred God of chick lit and to myself, I WILL write THAT one book at least at some point of time in my life. 
  11. A boy I have a little crush on said he likes the way I write!! :D :D :D Now, I write the way I think and talk. So, if he likes the way I write, it means he must like the way I talk! Which means, he'd want to talk to me more and thus, hang out with me more! Oooh, finally, some excitement in my life after MANY months of being single! ;)
  12. I totally made the last one up but I wish it were true! *sigh* :P
Ok, since I wrote about non-worry like and very cool things, I feel awesome right now! :D Happy blogging, world! 

Lying is the most fun a girl can have without taking her clothes off!

Cool song, btw! Check it out! :)

But, I want to write this post on a more serious note. No, no, please don't go away!!! Come on, I promise I won't bore you. (in a small voice: too much) Ok, so, if all of you have abandoned me, then I'll just go ahead and talk to myself! ::pouts::

According to an article in Forbes, lying is good for you. "Hell, yeah!!" is what I say. Here's what they say:

If I told you lying was good for you, you probably wouldn’t believe me. But trust me--I’m not lying.
Simply put, we lie because it works. When we do it well, we get what we want.
We lie to avoid awkwardness or punishment. We lie to maintain relationships and please others. And, of course, most of all we lie to please ourselves. Whether we’re embellishing our credentials or strengthening our stories, we often tell untruths to make ourselves appear and feel better.

You know where I lie the most? To my parents. They think I'm their goody two-shoes daughter, who even though a bit rebellious, is essentially chaste. No alcohol, no nicotine, no grass, no sex. And I lie. To keep those beliefs intact. I used to lie because I was scared of them, scared of punishment. Now, I lie because I'm afraid of hurting them. They are just very conservative Indian parents scared for me. (Hell, they don't even let me wear sleeveless T-shirts or Bermuda shorts!) And since I'm an only child, and a girl to top that, they are naturally a bit too protective of me. I completely understand them. But, honestly, I can't stop BEING the way I am because they don't approve. Does that make me a horrible, horrible person? Actually, no it does not. But, the conditioning that we receive ever since we are 3 seconds old always plants that guilt in me. Just the other day, my parents were trying to video-chat with me and I had a massive hangover. So, I lied and told them that I was busy. Small deception compared to the fact that they don't even know I drink. But, I felt lousy about lying to them. I guess we all feel lousy when we lie to parents. But, do you have another option that will not break my parents' hearts AND let me live my life?

Besides, it's not like I have any addictions. Social drinker. And I've smoked and smoked up about twice in my life. Don't plan on changing that statistic for a long time anyway. You know, all in the right company, people I trust. And never in a place or to the extent that I wouldn't know or wouldn't be able to go back home safely. I agree mishaps can still happen. But mishaps can happen even when I'm perfectly sane and sober. I don't see the harm in a little bit of fun. Especially, if it happens less than once a month. So, I don't think I should be judged for that. Not that I care if anyone else judges me. The only people I care about are my parents. The problem is that my parents care if others judge me (because, ultimately, they'll be judging them by judging my upbringing.) So, since a=b and b=c, a=c and I have to take utmost care that nobody who knows my parents would know about my life. And oh, this is so tiring! (That is also the reason why blogging helps me a lot! Sigh, catharsis!)

Damn it, why is life so complicated! It'd be *SO* much easier if I didn't have this alternative life hidden away from my parents! But nooooooooooooooo! All that sanskar mumbojumbo and all! It won't matter then that I have had brilliant scores all throughout my education, won't matter that I respect people, won't matter that I still have enough humanity in me to want to help lesser-privileged people, won't matter that I mind my own buisness and don't judge people for being who they are, won't matter that I am a good human being. All that will matter is that I let them down by not following every single thing that they ever said to me.

Again, damn it. I sound like my parents chain me down to traditions or something. They don't! They are wonderful parents and more liberal than a lot of people's parents I know! But, I guess my personality clashes with a LOT of their values! It's like I live on the north pole and they live on the equator. We just don't get each other's concerns. Impossible to wrap our heads around something so other-worldly! Sigh, what does one do?

Oh, and see, I got so carried away! This was supposed to be a post on lying, not a justification of my relationship with my parents! Well, anyway, I hate the situation. But, for the time being at least, I can't even imagine telling them the truth. Maybe sometime in the future, when they trust my judgements more... Until then, lying and dishonesty are my friends.

PS: Incidentally, if you happen to know my parents (or worse, fall in the category of people who are not supposed to know this part of my life but somehow have not only found my blog but also figured out who I am,) I'd appreciate if a) you don't judge my parents for umm, what I've turned out to be and b) not mention this particular part of my life to them.

Ok, peace out!

*Pictures courtsey Google.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Chaat chats...and more food things! :P

I've been having massive cravings for chaat in the last few days. You can get almost ANYTHING Indian here, where I live. This city is full of south Asians, mind you, FULL of them! But, chaat a la Mumbai?? Uh huh. No luck there! :( There are some places, where they sell these ready-made packed chaat things. These can go, compete for the World's Worst Chaat Award. 

Anyway, what's the point of eating CHAAT from BOXES?!! Chaat can only be savoured, like REALLY savoured, when you stand in front of the street vendor holding out your small pani-puri bowl and he keeps serving you until you are finally tired of eating and also astonished to find out that you just ate 4 (yes, FOUR) plates i.e. 24 puris!!! Chaat tastes the best when you are sitting on the sand on Chowpatty (no matter how dirty it is supposed to be) and watching the activity around you - innumerable little children playing and screaming around, people selling little toys, light thingamajiks and balloons, the butta-walah, the chana chor garam walah, the small girl force-selling flowers to young couples whispering sweet-nothings into each others' ears, expensive cars zooming past on the adjoining Marine Drive. And chaat tastes the best when you know it is going to be followed by absolutely delicious Malai Falooda Kulfi, right there on Chowpatty! *drool drool* 

Mumbai is the Food Heaven of India. [Even though my sweet ex-flatmate, Ruhi would immediately knock me down on that one and insist that NOTHING can compare to Calcutta when it comes to food. As would my other friends, Sharmila and Misty.] I still maintain that Mumbai is the Food Heaven of India. Come to Mama Star (that's me, you silly billies!! :P) for planning your food night around Mumbai! ;)

So, lets see, Chowpatty is obviously a hot favourite with me. Other favourite (late night) street food place I DIG is this pav-bhaji guy in Haji Ali. He starts his buisness at around 9 pm and stays there late into the night. He generally stands close enough to the Haji Ali juice centre. So, pav bhaji at his thela followed by a Ganga Jamuna (For all those who don't know, Ganga Jamuna is that typically Indian thing, which includes orange and sweet lime freshly squeezed juice) or a Sitaphal smoothie at the Haji Ali juice centre and you feel like you have died and gone to Heaven!! Third on the list of favourites would be cheese schezwan frankie from this small place called Krishna Dairy near King's Circle. Ask all the Ruia, Poddar and Khalsa college people and they'll tell you where to find it. That frankie, really, is to die for! Everytime I went to my cousin, Udu's place, I'd eat it. And I went to Udu's place a whole lot more than courtsey calls for! :P Next in line would be the place that I used to frequent with CPV. You know, it was like, "our place" for food whenever we were in Bandra. It was this south Indian food thela outside Elco market in Bandra. And, they make the world's BEST Cheese Dosa. You all lucky people who are in Mumbai ought to try it out!! Another great and cheap place is Canon pav bhaji place right outside the CST railway station. But, the food here is relatively spicier than other places. I and Moon often ate here during our second year of college and then drank a glass of buttermilk to top off the pav bhaji. Ah, what bliss! :) 

And then, there are other times, when you have some money in your pocket, baby!! ;) For those special occasions, my absolute favourite is 5 Spice, opposite the Reserve Bank building in Fort. Best bloody chinese in the world!!! And what's more, you get an awesome ambience to go with your food too!! Advice from the expert: try the teriyaki noodles. If you don't make a single orgasmic noise after eating that, clearly something is wrong with your tastebuds! :P Another great place (and this is the place you'd have to eat chaat if you can't stomach street food) is Kailash Parbat, also in Fort. I have gone here so many times with my Alliance Francaise friends, I've lost count of it! In fact, if I remember clearly, CPV and my first "official" date started here with all the AF friends and then, culminated at our favourite place, Marine Drive (two of us alone, if you are wondering! :P) 

For the dessert-y type things, you MUST try malai gola at a couple of gola walahs near Five Gardens. Gola with cream and falooda on a sultry summer evening and dude, you're all ready to groove!! Then, there is a very small ice-cream shop bang opposite Ambassador in Churchgate called Rustom's Ice-cream. Ice-cream sandwiches - all of their flavours are *SO* good!! And their lychee slushie is *VERY* recommended as well! ;) And then, when you have some good moolah, Theobroma in Colaba is the way to go! Sigh, Mumbai! You pretty, pretty, lovely thing! I'll be back hugging your air and gorging on your delightful food in just 3 more months!! ::goes, does a little jig and comes back::

I'm hungry now! And I want chaat so badly! :( Time for some strawberry smoothie, baby! The only thing that can make any pangs go away. At least momentarily! :P 

PS: You all are welcome to add your favourite food places, favourite dishes and favourite food experiences! :) Do tell me more!

*Pictures courtesy: Google images

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Oh Torture, thy name is Hangover!!!


That's my headache, which has been threatening to kill me ALL day long today!! Isn't hangover just supposed to last for some time and then go away when you take measures like drink lime juice, eat greasy food, take an aspirin and sleep well? Well, apparently, not all hangovers go away so easily. How else would I learn my lesson? Never again will I drink because I'm angry or upset. I was fine with just being a social drinker. I won't turn into Devdas' female colleague.

But honestly, why did I get the world's worst hangover after just 3 glasses of wine, I will never understand! Maybe, like Sun told me, it is because I might have had the "special vintage wine from the region of Migrainia." Now, if only they wrote out warnings on the labels, "Beware! Migraine Wine ahead" at least naive people like me would know what NOT to buy. Hmph. So, basically, I just wasted my whole day today, sleeping off my hangover and not even getting much better.

The only "work" I did in the whole day today was publish recipes for the cake and the brownies that I had baked yesterday on my other blog. (Oooh, they were yummy! Recipes can be found here and here. But, unfortunately, I wasn't sober enough to appreciate them well enough yesterday. And, today, I find out that my house mates had finished ALL of both yesterday!!) Well, I'll look at the positive side and think what a big compliment that is, instead of cribbing about not even having a chance to properly enjoy my own baked goods. I guess, this is a part of the "lesson" I needed to learn. Oh Providence, lesson learnt! I'll never again drink to drown my sorrows (that sounds so dramatic!! Hehe, I should be renamed as Drama Queen! :P) and I'll never again be so drunk that I can't appreciate food! There. Now, please take away this horrible headache!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

When I write my book....

So, I've finally decided the direction that my life is going to take in the next few years. No, I'm not challenging the Gods, because we all know that if I do that, I'll be doomed. We've all read Greek mythology at some point or the other, haven't we? But, I'm BESEECHING the Gods to listen to my pleas and make this happen for me! Simply because I'm so confused that it took me ages and several headaches to come up with this "final" plan for myself. And, I'm publishing it on the internet, just so that it seems more concrete and so that I don't back out of this one to run amock between 5 other possible plans. Again.

Right. So, I'm going to go home in October, work for a year and then, come back here in October 2011 for my PhD. And, I'll be doing my PhD in Popular Culture. Chick lit and chick flicks, to be precise. I know, I know, it sounds fantastic and all! :D It sounds the same to me and to a few people from various universities, whom I'd emailed my research ideas. So, fingers crossed, my funding application will be accepted and I'll start my research next year! :D That's my fabulous plan for the next 4-5 years.

The hitch: I love chick lit!!! What's the problem, you ask? The problem, my dear readers, is that I am an ENGLISH LITERATURE student. So, my job is to analyse and criticise. Make no mistake, it can be positive criticism. But, popular culture rarely lends itself to positive critical debates. There is going to be a lot of bad blood between me and my favourite kind of fiction for the 3-4 years. I'll be condemning the stereotypes, disapproving it's impact on naive readers, denouncing its high-handedness in dealing with the subaltern and attacking its typical, non-literary style of writing. ::weeps:: What's worse, I might even start believing some of all this to be true!! I've always maintained that you should not write dissertations or thesis on something that you love passionately. That's why I'd never "study" Harry Potter or any other children's fiction that I grew up with. But, you can only go so far with something that you DON'T love. So, when it came to a commitment of 3-4 years, I HAD to choose something that I love so that it'll sustain me for that long.

That being said, I hereby, make a solemn promise to the genre of chick lit, that when I come out of the whole PhD thing, I will definitely write a popular fiction, chick lit book. And, my book WILL have ALL the stereotypes in it: Single city girl, living in either Mumbai or London, working either in publishing or as a free-lance writer, shoe and bag fetishes, 2-3 close girlfriends and boy shopping with them, at least one gay best friend, nicotine addiction, alcohol silliness and hangover stories, at least one weed experience and making fool of yourself, probably at a beach or a pool party, looking for a needle in the haystack of alcoholics, workaholics, commitment phobics, people with girlfriends or wives, misogynists, megalomaniacs, chauvinists, emotional fuckwits or freeloaders and perverts, and because I'm me, a dysfunctional (not in the sense of broken, but just very conservative and scandalized by their daughter) Indian family. There, now that I've made that promise to chick lit (and to myself,) I feel like a huge weight has lifted from my shoulders. :) Yay for Chick lit! :D And all of you, who love me, please pray that this plan does work out for me! Please!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I'm "fat" and I'm loving it!

No, this is not a disparaging post on McDonald's and obesity.

It's about me. I'm telling the world that I'm "fat" and loving it! Ok, ok. Those of you who know me might probably be ready to jump up on me and say "You are not fat!!!!! Bloody hell, you are tiny!!!" I agree. I'm tiny. And I certainly don't qualify to be called "fat". Actually, that word has so many politically incorrect connotations that nobody should be called "fat". Healthy, overweight, plump, obese even. But not fat.

So, then, the question arises, what the hell am I writing about? Well, I'm writing about my aunt, my uncle, my other aunt, my other uncle, my cousin, my other cousin, my parents even and a whole lot of other aunts and uncles and cousins from my large, super-extended (stretched out like a rubber band) Gujrati family, all gasping at how much weight I have put on in the last few months, ever since I came to the UK! I bet a lot of them must be thinking (and probably even saying out loud) that if this continues, it'll be difficult to find a good groom for me. This must stop!! I must excercise, work out, join a gym, eat a fruits-only diet, stop eating out, maybe just come back to India where I will generally feel less hungry because it's not as cold. Yes, right. Thank you all for your invaluable advice. What would I have ever done without you all?!!

Btw, may I point out to you all that I have put on a couple kilos of weight, my waist has gone from 26 to 28 and now, my figure doesn't look like a Barbie doll, I-would-fall-down-if-I-were-a-real-woman but rather, a little bit more proportioned. And most importantly, that I'm happy with it? I don't understand why a woman's beauty is associated with being thin!! I understand that I'm very short - just 5 feet tall, in fact and therefore, if I get too bloated up, I'll look like a balloon (which, btw, is not always necessarily bad!) But, I think I have a fine figure right now. The important thing is that I'm healthy - neither underweight and anorexic nor overweight and obese. That is what should be important. But, not to my nosy, interfering relatives all over Mumbai. They want me (and every other girl in the family) to be like one of those skinny model-types because that's the only concept of "beauty" they'd understand. Fair, flawless skin, skinny build and you never have to worry about the girl's marriage! *tight lipped smile you give people when you don't agree with them but CAN'T disagree with either because it's "not polite" to argue with elders* Gah. I just wish they'd leave me alone!

How do you uproot this absolutely stupid obsession with looks and a certain body-type? Especially for women. With men, everybody acknowledges that certain body-types are hot and preferred. But, if a man doesn't have that, at least he is not plagued by the WHOLE WORLD about how it'll hamper his future prospects. I don't know how many generations it'd take for my family to realise that! Moreover, media, with it's fascination for younger, thinner, fairer women doesn't help either. Don't my aunts and uncles remember how they used to drool over Asha Parekh in their youth? Probably still do. But if any girl from our family has the same body type, she'll immediately be relegated as "fat." And I'm not even going to start on the whole be-beautiful-and-thin-for-guys-to-like-you-for-marriage-because-marriage-is-everything-in-your-life crap.

Sigh. *shakes head in resignation and says "bade log, bade log"* :P