Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blue is Banned

These days I’m supposed to be wallowing in sadness and self-pity. I’m doing the exact opposite of it. I’ve named myself as the Dictator For Life of The Shamelessly Cheerful Dodos Club and I’m running its daily meetings with anyone who happens to come within a ten kilometre radius of me. It helps me maintain my sanity. It’s thoroughly confusing everyone who is close to me though. It’s at least better than them worrying about me. Still, it’s just so simple to see. Things can go bad but I’ve my panacea(s) - friends, @, movies, peanut butter, crayons, Nutties, The Beatles and Wodehouse. What more can anyone ask for? And it’s not like it can get any worse than it already is. It’ll only get better.


********

This is my condensed version of my very own Sunscreen - a work in progress. (Because customisation is the way to go.) I’m living by it these days.

Go sing your happy song. Wear pyjamas all day. Giggle. Drink coffee. Fill colouring books. Read magazines.

Lie on your bed and listen to old favourites. Let go of the noises in your head.

Relive the memories of happier times. Smoke cigarettes. Hold on to that one moment you always want to cherish. Replay it every time you feel it might slip into the darkness. Pretend that it will last forever. At least inside you.

Be nice. Be funny. Be guilt-free. Be impulsive.

Marvel at how much fun you can be when you are alone.

Banish the Mean Reds.

Love. Don’t hold back. Be a cat for a day. Do nothing but indulge yourself. Sleep the sleep of those who never worry. It is absolutely worth it.

Get drunk and kiss someone just to pass on the flavour.

Be shamelessly cheerful.

Discover a new band. Re-read an old favorite. Buy Nutties. Make yourself laugh.

Be the vanilla in someone’s smoky sky.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Twenty & Holding

According to my memory, which incidentally is pretty much going to the dogs, I’ve always been the kind of person who starts getting excited about their birthday at least 4-5 months before it actually arrives. For my first eighteen birthdays that I celebrated at home, I would usually subject my mother and anyone else foolishly patient enough to put up with this sort of idiocy to a freak monster countdown... “Only fifty three days to go! Are you excited? ARE YOU?!”

And today, here I am. It’s less than twenty four hours away from what I used to herald with as much fervour as the second coming of Christ... and I’m about as thrilled as Marvin the Paranoid Android, and roughly as much fun to talk to. The idea that I am perhaps too old and bored to manufacture the required amount of adrenaline for my birthday this time keeps dancing dangerously in front of my eyes.

That can’t be it though. I don’t feel that old. I still have my innumerable plans of world domination and debauchery like any other self-respecting Young Adult. Also, I’m only turning the big Two One, and will finally be able to do all those things legally that I’ve been doing since forever anyway.

Leaving my teens was happy and exciting and it meant that people would finally take me seriously. However, I didn’t like being twenty despite all the fun and learning and all the people. A week before my 19th birthday, I saw a brilliant exhibition on Samuel Beckett who I was completely unfamiliar with uptil then. It fascinated me so much that I googled and Wiki’ed him, and finally, read his only work that I could find easily in its original version at that place. Being twenty was exactly like reading ‘Waiting for Godot’ again - full of non sequiturs, uneasy silence and existentialist angst. So, I guess I should be delighted about my 21st... but I’m not.

Oh, and my two BFFs (I shall be guillotined for this term, I am sure), probably the two people who I want to be with the most on my happy day, won’t be there. Peter Pan is going on a much-needed vacation with his family who don’t generally see him that often. EmmVee... ah well, she hasn’t visited India in about half a century now.

Despite that worth-weeping-into-my-hanky grief, I suppose it’s not that bad. I mean, after all, it’s my birthday, damnit! It comes only once in 365 long days! And I do have a party plan with another June-born friend.

What is this mysterious miasma then that is smothering my usual birthday cheer?

Tuning in to the same batty channel at the same batty time will be useless. I may never be able to figure out what’s going on and find a cathartic resolution-of-conflict type explanation.

I think I’ll just go and grab my jar of peanut butter, and find my colouring book and my set of Crayola.

Friday, May 15, 2009

(Re)Building Happiness

I had been quite irritable and grumpy due to many reasons recently. The “bestest friend”, EmmVee even offered to send me a jumper similar to the one that she bought a couple of days ago - it has “Today is my grumpy day” written on it along with a surly Care Bear cartoon. Ah well, I might consider that during winters... except that I’ll probably change the text to “I’m pissed. Please get lost and feed yourself to a boa constrictor.” Much more dramatic and my-kind-of-grumpy, really.

Peter Pan, my co-pilot aka my guardian angel, on the other hand, gave a new perspective last night. After nursing his ears which must have shrivelled up, having been subjected to my whine overdose, he helped me get back on happiness and acceptance track and finally said, “Why don’t you kick everything out and spend time doing something which makes you happy? Not satisfied, not useful, not productive... just happy.” So, today, I went ahead and bought a Lego set. I think I had lost my last one in bits and pieces nearly twelve years ago. In the afternoon, I sat down with my new basic Lego and some cool Lego figurines to create a castle because that’s what I wanted.

This is how happy my Friday was:






No picture is complete without a story. Here’s the one for this:

Once upon a time, in a kingdom far far away, The Kingdom of Yellow, there lived a beautiful princess...

During a picnic in the forest, she meets a charming and handsome Knight of the neighbouring Kingdom of Blue and falls in love with him. However, the two kingdoms are against the match, particularly the Kingdom of Yellow because not only are Blue & Yellow like India & Pakistan, but also because the boy in question is a mere knight. That is also one of the reasons the Princess of Yellow loves him since the Knight of Yellow earned his title, unlike the lazy princes she knows who merely inherit everything.

All kinds of opposition doesn’t stop the Knight of Blue from wearing his yellow cape as a sign of true love, riding his horse across the heavily guarded border, and fighting 10,000 soldiers single-handedly just to be with his beloved Princess. Jab pyaar kiya toh darna kya and all that, you know.

Meanwhile, the Princess rebels against her folks by wearing... blue, of course. During his journey through the forest to the castle, the Knight sees wildflowers that the Princess of Yellow adores and he risks his life to pick a bunch of them (also, his Mum always says that it’s not polite to go to somebody’s house empty-handed).

When he crosses the moat on his pure white horse, Chetak (inspiration for the name of another ruler’s horse later on, and eventually, even two-wheeled oddities), he can’t find his babe at the gate. The Princess, who is a big Bollywood fan has locked herself up in the attic because there is no Evil Stepmom to cause such drama. She finally throws open the attic window and calls to her knight.

Since the Knight can’t reach so high on Chetak, he takes the flowers and ties them to his lance. Then, he lifts up the flowers and the Princess of Yellow reaches out to touch them...

Now, I’ve four different endings in mind. It might keep changing depending on my mood which ranges from stupidly happy to cynically grumpy.

1.) She refuses to take the flowers because staying alone in the attic in her melodrama mode over the last few days has made her realise that it was just an infatuation. She has also been watching the new age Bollywood movies and has finally realised that the only man worth falling in love with is Abhay Deol.

2.) After locking herself up in the attic, she had also decided that she might as well refuse meals as this would make her love story even more filmy. So, since she hasn’t eaten for days and she is practically starved, she grabs the flowers and eats them. The Knight laughs, and helps her climb down. They then gallop away into the glorious sunset and rest for the night under the nearest tree waiting for its apples to fall. Meanwhile, a certain English gentleman who’s kipping on the other side of the tree overhears the Princess asking the Knight, “Why did the apple fall, darling?” and the gentleman asks himself, “Why indeed?” The quest for this answer wastes his entire life, and eventually, the lives of generations of high school students.

3.) The King of Yellow sees his daughter lean out of the attic window to take the flowers and is suddenly transported to a time many, many years ago when he had breached another castle to rescue his own princess. The very next day, he gets the Princess and the Knight married in the Yellow Church.

4.) She wrinkles her nose and says, “I wanted only royal purple flowers.”
He says, “But they are purple!”
“No, only one is royal purple, the second is mauve, and the third is violet!”
“But they’re all purple anyway! It’s the same colour.”
“Of course it isn’t! I don’t want the mauve and the violet ones. I only want royal purple.”
“Look, just take the damn flowers for the moment. When we get out of here, I promise I’ll get you a million royal purple flowers, okay?”
Despite his impatient words, she hears the patience in his tone, smiles and says, “I want a billion.”
He laughs, “Alright, a billion then. Now come quickly. This stupid lance is so heavy. Let’s just get out of here.”
And they do.

It really doesn’t matter which ending I pick. The important thing for me is that I am never going to Lego of the happiness seeking fool that lives inside me.

I hope you live happily ever after.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Shades of Blue

Dear BigDudeUpThere/Existence/Superconsciousness/Whosoever cares to listen to a speck like me in the Universe,

I have been working for your organisation for 20 measly years. I am extremely disappointed to bring to your attention that my job role is hardly ever fun and on most days, it breaks me down. Most of your employees are rude, unethical and at times, downright absurd. As if that is not enough, they are also inherently stupid and no matter how much induction and training they go through, they never improve. I would like to know why they have not been laid off yet.

Moreover, your honourably retarted HR department which is ideally all about managing people does nothing but point and laugh at our lives. Oh, and of course, throw the occasional snide remark too. It never registers our complaints or our wishes. I have not been rewarded with a raise in years. I have tried hard to like my job but my job description just isn’t good enough. Also, the working hours are simply inhuman. I would like to have the weekends off, with my poor mind at complete rest. I would also like an occasional holiday, and no, that does not mean being forced to attend loud weddings.

Then, there is the meteorological department that has been completely messed up. Winter played truant and did not come at all to visit us this time. Rain has been missing in action for nearly six months too now. It simply sends it garden-sprinklers kind of third cousins while what I would like is the Real Rain, the Zakir-Hussain-playing-tabla-on-the-roof kind.

On this note, I would like to put forward my appeal to be transferred to some other world - it has been a good learning experience but I need to move on to someplace better now.

Thank you.


PS: This is one of those wicked anonymous letters that you read about in trashy paperback novels.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ctrl + Z

So much has happened in the last two or three weeks, that I haven’t really been able to sit back and think about anything. At the end of nearly every single day, I have whined and wailed to my Hobbes about the uselessness of metaphorical rocketship underpants. I haven’t been able to read. I haven’t been able to write. I haven’t been able to detach myself from the regular goings-on of my life, and present a Philip Larkin-ish view of them - something I was quite good at not very long ago. In fact, I’m not sure I like being detached anymore. I feel like I’m one with my life again... like I’m starting from scratch.

A long and meaningful midnight conversation tonight helped me come to terms with several minor crises in my life - the existence of which I had otherwise been trying to deny. Being optimistic is good, being optimistic is helpful... but I’m not sure I can get by with only optimism. I need to get a grip on myself, and I need to lie back, take a deep breath, and relax. And while I’m at it, I need to go over everything in my head - over and over again, until I'm quite bored.

And... it’s amazing how one random line sums up a lot of feelings sometimes. Two nights ago, I finally had a conversation I really needed to have with someone, albeit online... and while I was sitting there, trying to understand and get some sort of closure, a friend pinged me on GTalk with her views on something else - “Hmmm, yeah... let it be. Shit happens”. Indeed. I need to give her a tight hug the next time I see her.

Meanwhile, I need to make my New Year’s Resolutions list. I had initially decided not to bother but then thought of doing it anyway. After all, if there are no resolutions, what else will I break throughout the year?

Also, I think what I need is a Jeeves kind of pick-me-up. Recommend me an outrageously funny Wodehouse... the make-me-run-around-the-place-laughing-my-head-off style funny.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Two is Company

I think there are some distinct advantages of being a girlie girl - the bath gels, lotions, lip balms, shampoos, conditioners and all have the most gorgeous of names. I am not sure about other girls but I buy a lot of those products just because they sound nice. I have actually gone weak-kneed in stores when I see stuff with names like these written on them:

Acai Berries and Satin
Coco Mango and Pearls
Honeyed Pear and Silk
Tea Tree and Rosemary
Orchid and Coconut Milk
French Lavender and Jade Extracts
Diamond Dust and Champagne

I reckon the trick to naming a pretty product is calling it “______ and ______”. You see, it must be two things, never one.
By the way, I have no idea what the hell “Diamond Dust” is, but can you imagine using it to wash your face? Heavenly.

Oh, and “Tea Tree and Rosemary”... you know, it could be the name of some children’s tale and those could be the names of its lead characters. Wait, it already is...

*

It was a bright summer morning, and Tea Tree decided to visit his friend Rosemary. He walked on past the rosebushes for about half a mile until he reached the huge tree where Rosemary lived. He knocked on the bark but no one appeared. He knocked again and waited a while. Then, his patience ran out.
“Rosy!” he shouted, “Come on out! It’s a lovely day!”


Rosemary peered from the highest branch at Tea Tree in his cowboy boots and his sombrero, and a superb idea came to her mind.
“Tea Tree,” she called to him, “Could you please pick out some wildberries from that bush down the birch path?”


“What are you doing up there? Come downstairs!” he shouted back.

“Get me the wildberries first.”

“Whatever for?” Tea Tree looked up at her impatiently, irritated because he wanted to tell her about the rabbit with red polka dots that he had seen on his way.

“Just do it!” she called.

“First tell me why you need them.”

“Are you getting me the wildberries or not?”

“No.”

“What did you say?” her eyebrows shot up.

“I said, ‘No problem’. I’ll bring you your strawberries,” he mumbled loud enough for her to hear.

“Not strawberries. I want wildberries. Wait, I’ll just toss you a map for the wildberry bush.”

“No, I think I know where it is,” Tea Tree said.

“That’s what you said the last time too... the time you got lost, remember?” Rosemary giggled.

“I am telling you, I know where it is,” he assured her.

“Okay, but still take the map to be safe.”

“I don’t need a map. I can find it on my own.”

“Come on, don’t be stubborn. Here, catch!” she shouted, as she threw him the map.

“I told you I didn’t want a silly map!” he shouted back, ducking.

“Just get the wildberries!”

“Stupid bitch! Go and get them yourself.”

“Stupid bastard! I don’t need your bloody help anyway. I can very well take care of myself.”

“Fine.”

“Fine.”

“Fine!”

“FINE!!”

Morals of the story, kids:
1.) Men never ask for directions.
2.) Women always have the last word.


*

I know many such people.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Toast...

... to today that feels like September.
... to the inconsistent girl who wants change.
... to Adi-Padi, the not-so-big and not-so-bad Wolf for all the nagging and this morning’s inadvertant push.
... to the crap song that I seem to like.
... to the new lifestyle-denoting acronym which isn’t one anymore.
... to the rediscovered Disney colouring book and Crayola.
... to the starred email in my inbox, typed out with a “wonky” keyboard.
... to the “bestest” friend who should be on a gondola at sunset under the Bridge of Sighs right now.
... to the shutterbug who owes me a brew for this.
... to the “full-time friend”, my telepathic co-pilot with the Midnight Phone Call syndrome.
... to 3 o’ clock nights.


I offer no explanation, but I am very kicked.
I’ve wanted to start afresh for a very long time.