Friday, July 24, 2009

Coming to town

Getting used to life in Chennai is so difficult when I think of what I am missing. Another BANDH!!! Yoo hoo! Kolkata knows how to enjoy its bandh days.

This morning I had a fight with my husband about the "Kolkata attitude". He has to say that Kolkatans dont have any aggressiveness. They will stand in line in all their wide eyed stupidity while the world goes by into the entrance. (BTW, I thought that was the Lucknowi "pehle aap" theory.)

I replied- do you know where most freedom fighters on our country came from? West Bengal, maaan! Revoltution is in our blood.
"Bhenge dao, guriye dao"... just look at the Maoists.
We are the Argumentative Bengali who can also follow a call to war, are we not? Case in point, Netaji!
We are the born non conformists. Whatever the rule says, we would do the opposite. We love our food, and our adda, we love our Victoria Memorial, and we love to hate Victoria and all the gora-s who helped build it. We still cry buckets of tears for our partition, and we still shout ourselves hoarse at the ghoti-bangal debates.

What Kolkata Attitude!!! OK we love our bandh afternoon naps, and we love to do nothing but talk politics and football all day, but pack us into an overcrowded sweaty bus on the way to work and see how our fighting instincts blossom and bloom. Put us in line for a train ticket and watch if anyone wants to come in between. We can stand for our rights just as much as the next non Kolkatan can, so help me God!

And Im coming back to Cal for my much awaited visit. Short one this time but cant wait to have phuchka and Ma-yer haater luchi - aalur dom again!!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Chennai- 99% perspiration, 1% inspiration

Im super excited about creating a new Chennai blog which will be very partial towards Besant Nagar. There is hardly any source of info on this part of the world on the net. I mean apart from the cursory two liners on temples and stuff, and google maps. What about the cool place on the beach where you get childrens clothes within Rs 150. Or the little restaurant which has chocolate filled chocolate doughnuts (yes man, its heaven in your mouth), cheese smothered fries with cilly flakes. Oh god, Ive got my mouth watering already.

I found a great lending library which is pretty affordable and with very friendly people. In my hunt for libraries I ended driving km after km yesterday with little success, I could not locate 2 Sardar Patel Road. Also, I found an old place which is overflowing with thrillers and the Goergette Meyer types, not what I read. It advertised itself as Airconditioned. But I almost melted in there.

And Fab India near the beach has these wonderful single cane chairs for Rs 800. Im sure they actually cost Rs 250 somewhere else, but someone please tell me where that is, and Ill go there.

All this and more, in my Chennai blog. Coming soon!

Somehow, feel the absolute urge to say how great a morning I had today, but thats all I am allowed. BTW, great morning reminds me, there is a Ayush (Unilever's) center here where you get full body massage at Rs 750, head/ foot massage at Rs 350. Tried their full body thingy, it felt completely relaxing, though did nothing for my chronic lower back pain. Will have to try their foot and head next month. As of this moment, I am broke in the bank and very very high on the happi-meter.

Its a beautiful world.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

O Esha. E ki bidombona.

Esha says I dont write anymore. I am suffering from a non-writers block. Outside this room is a boiling cauldron than is Chennai. Inside this room is a pleasant 25 degrees which induces me to sleep. And the brat who I call my daughter, goes to school for 3 hrs in the morning, which is all the time in the day I have to wash, clean, work, write, read, rest, and eat my days meal till dinner time.

Yesterday night, finally, after weeks, I felt I could write once again. That pain which makes my hand itch, not with Harry Potteresque magic, but with my own story, of love and losing, of pain and betrayal. Yeah, my life is a Shakesperan tragi comedy. Only, I am THE FOOL. And no comedy has a happy ending for the Fool, as any student of literature would know.
Yesterday I learnt some things.
1. When Chennai has a power cut, you will boil, singe, roast, burn... all at once.
2. Love is just another four letter word, and the others at least are real.
3. All that I can count on in this world was in this little room last night.
4. When someone agrees to marry me, (me, as in, you-got-no-idea-what-kinda-bitch me), he has worn a noose willingly for life. It takes guts to do that knid of thing, man. I should be grateful to this guy.
5. Hope is a bitch. You get that knife and plunge it deep into her heart or else she will kill you. When you finally get rid of her, you can breathe easy. Dead hope is actually such a release, like a huge weight being lifted from my shoulders.
6. My daughters weight increases exponentially with the minutes I am holding her and walking.
7. Fever can get you a bit of rest from duties of hearth and home.
Even seven. Devils number. One of my favourites. Ill stop there.

Let me tell you a story of a girl who was almost an inspiration to me until she fell from that pedestal for ever. She is almost my age, a bit foolish. She ran away from home and married without completing her college degree at a very young age. Then she ended up having kids, with a workaholic husband, so basically lonely and starving for attention, in the thankless job called motherhood.
Then she did something to redeem herself. She fell in love. Childhood sweethearts who had a slight misunderstanding and ego issues, blah blah, the usual... so they had gone their separate ways. Then they met again, quite by chance and love, unfulfilled at the tender age of 15, blossomed again, this time mature, without ego, and with certainty.
She left her husband, went off with the kids to her parents house. When I first heard of her she was trying to support herself and her kids, at her parents house, but at best ignored, at worst abused, by them at every turn... but steadfast in her will to be with this love of her life.
I admired her then. She had the guts to do something I never could. I wished I could have that foolish impetuousness, the acting-without-thinking guts, the unbending love which makes you want to be together NO MATTER WHAT.
And then years passed, two-three. Her children grew to a schooling age. Where was the money to give them the education that we would like our children to have. Not just one, but two kids. Children are a factor which mothers cant work without. It is the greatest constant in our lives. Every mothers life would be quite quite different in it were not for her kids.
Oh well, there is a happy ending to every story, depending on the angle you look at it. And this one says that she went back to her husband. Some said its the wisest thing she did. Some said she should have done this at the very beginning. For me, it was an end of a fairy tale. Romeo-Juliet turned on its head.

Amar golpoti phurolo.