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Spec-tacularly mad

I have a weakness for men in spectacles.

Maybe I associate that with intelligence. Maybe its my own Electra Syndrome playing out. But every single man I’ve ever dated has worn spectacles.

Does that mean I only attract men with poor sight? Sheesh…wonders that does to my ego, but I’ll shrug that off, I only said I’m attracted to these men…those who find me attractive may be a different breed altogether (which may explain the disasters in my love life).

Let’s think…were they all near-sighted or far-sighted? Haw…my internal cynic guffaws, they were all self-sighted…with a universe that stopped a few milimeteres from their noses. But seriously…I have no clue. Perhaps I should find out? Let’s see, I could probably compose a mail…

Dearly beloved Ex-

We are gathered here today to celebrate the death of a relationship that never should have been in the first place….errrm….

How are you doing? Are you as annoying as ever or have you managed to land a girl as yet? On second thoughts, don’t answer that.

Do you still wear spectacles? Or did I manage to cure you of whatever sight defects you had then? Or…horror of horrors…have you defected to those bizarre things called contact lenses? Yurrrgggh…I don’t even want to acknowledge you then, stranger.

But wait, come back and tell me…were you short-sighted or long-sighted when we were together? Huh? Huh? Huh?

Only a little nostalgic,
IdeaSmith

Yes, that might get them all started on a drive to mail me to the loony-bin. And then again, my madness never deterred anyone from dating me. (One guy used to introduce me as “This is Ideasmith; she’s mad.”)

I guess the bespectacled ones do like my madness. It’s probably a case of a mad professor and his beautiful alien. 🙂

Gentle

Heard:

Nothing, not even breathing.

Felt:

A very gentle touch.

Thought:

Just because he’s gentle with my body, doesn’t mean he’ll be gentle with my heart.

Did:

Pushed the thought out and rolled over for more.

Good Friends and Bad Books

So I finally finished ‘The secret dreamworld of a shop-a-holic‘. Oh, don’t run away! My taste in books hasn’t turned as sour as my taste in men (highly questionable according to one reliable source). Let’s start with how I come to be in possession of this disastrous book.

Earlier this month, I spotted it while browsing through the bookstores at Heathrow (Oooh…I lurrve how that sounds…like I’m this so-hip globe-trotting exec type or something. Gah, but I’ve already cribbed about how all I saw of London was the airport). What the hell, I decided I’d at least get some shopping done. Cliché queen as ever I bought a Beatles CD and then scouted about for something by a Brit author.

That ought to have been easy I can hear the book-lovers harrumph….I mean think P.G.Wodehouse, Shakespeare, JK Rowling, even Enid Blyton! Ah, well I own all the Harry Potter books (though I could kill to get an autographed edition of the last-and-soon-to-be-released one) Suffice to say I ended up looking at what someone recently discovered as ‘the hottest new chick-book author’. And errrrm…..I remembered that this series came highly recommended by the Best Friend. Guess that was the clincher? So I picked up this book…never mind the pinky-pink flap and the verrrryy gurrrly title.

In a word…DEPRESSING. Different people function differently I suppose but in this month when I’ve been recuperating from stress and trying to collect my scattered wits from too much running around, the last thing I want to hear about is how another maniac is running to disaster. Each chapter, running up the bills had me on the edge of a heart-attack. And then suddenly, abruptly as though the author realized that her predominantly female readers might enjoy melodramatic horror but would need a happy ending….she gave it one! So maniac turns UltraCool, meets man of dreams, has great sex, lands plum job. All’s well and God’s in heaven. Triple Yurrrgggh. I gave up fairy-tales when I was seven.

Remind me again why I subjected myself to this torture…oh yes, the Best Friend. This set me thinking….now how can two people be so close and yet so utterly different? Best Friend and I never agree on clothes, make-up, books, music, movies or even men. Thank goodness for the last one though….no man’s going to have the honour of being fought over by the two of us. But coming back, we don’t seem to have anything at all in common. And yet I can spend hours talking to her and still have enough left over for tomorrow (and beyond!)

So all in all, she’s a fantastic person (albeit with rubbish taste in books….and errm…great taste in best friends!) This reminds me of another incident where we were looking at some guy’s photograph and I said,

Don’t judge him on that alone. A photograph doesn’t always match the real life thing, you know?

She agreed solemnly with

Yes, look at you!

Eh, what? My photographs are great!

Khud ke mooh se khud ki tareef nahin karte…

No seriously, everyone says I’m photogenic!

They have to say that. As your best friend, I’m under no obligation to lie to you!

A corollary to this observation then, I suppose, then is that

You don’t need to have anything in common to have a bond.

Oh but just remember to avoid the other’s recommendations on books!

Ms.Housekeeper

So everyone knows that I’m on a week-long vacation (having sucessfully shouted it out from the rooftops, my blog and down the phone receiver to my less-lucky-and-long-suffering friends). But true to my OCD tendencies I fall back to old habits. Let’s see…

Saturday: I jumped up and down and also moped about having a UK visa stamped on my passport but absolutely no memories of the place (having not ventured out of my conference room at all). Opened my suitcase and started throwing things out in a bid to energize myself to unpack. Then I promptly fell asleep amid the ruins that used to be my bed and was dead to the world for 4 hours. Which of course meant I stayed awake all night, albeit having a long conversation, the kind you remember for a long time to come, as a milestone in a good friendship.

Sunday: Twenty phonecalls, a much-ahead planned meeting and a wake-up call later, I still managed to be late for a movie. But had hajaar fun anyway. And came home to rip open a DVD of Sex and the City Season 1. This by the way is my gift to myself, as a treat for being in London and missing it.

Monday: Yoga. Blogged. Blogged. Blogged. SATC. Yakked. Yakked. Yakked. SATC. Did not sleep at all.

Tuesday: Slept half of the day and woke up feeling bloody guilty. So I turned out my cupboards. Also tried to clean up the mess on bed after Saturday’s aborted unpacking attempt.

And now I discover that I have:

  • Too many clothes
  • A stash of shawls that never get used
  • A micro-mini skirt that I have neither a matching pair of shorts for, nor the guts to wear by themselves
  • Several skirts…more than trousers, actually (!) And I always thought I was a leggings-sort of gal.
  • An office wardrobe that looks more like stuff you’d wear to a picnic, a movie, a party or bed.
  • An office wardrobe with the mandatory grey, blue, white stuff..that just hasn’t been used in a long time.
  • A summer wardrobe big enough that I don’t need to do any shopping.
  • A pink umbrella (!)
  • Stockings, a beret, a hat, a sash and several scarves I don’t remember buying but have seen in the past three spring-cleaning attempts.
  • A pajama set I’ve never used, my college tee-shirt, a slinky lingerie set I remember buying and forgetting about.
  • A tube of sunscreen gel…imagine that!
  • Two extra tubes of each of my favorite liquid lipcolour shades. In original packing, including the plastic seal around.
  • A bowl full of lipsticks of different brands in varying shades of Dusty Rose, Warm Toast, Cinnamon Kiss (translation for men: pinkish-brown)
  • One shelf full of bags, none really appropriate for whatever situation I’m going to find myself in..but all have-to-haves!

Hmph. And to think I pride myself on being neat, organised and efficient with resources. I never thought I’d be a shop-a-holic. Now my cupboards look so neat I don’t want to take any clothes out of them, for fear of messing up the careful arrangements.

On the other hand though, I have some strange habits. When I was a kid and received pocket money, I would tuck away a few coins, a note or two here and there…between shirts, inside a necklace case, behind a book. And then forget about it. It was such a thrill discovering it years later. That’s something I haven’t gotten over. I’m still thrilled to discover a 10-rupee note in my pocket even if my wallet has twenty times that amount.

So likewise, spring-cleaning can be like a treasure hunt in much the same manner…discovering something that you knew about long ago and forgot after that. It’s also, however, heart-wrenching. I hate discarding things….just as you get used to things, they’ve worn out or something….*sob*. In fact, while I’m in the mood for confessions, I think I took up fabric painting as a way to hang onto my old clothes. I’d just paint on them and wear them again so my family couldn’t bug me to discard stuff from my bulging closets. All went well till a classmate hooted, “For gawdssakes buy new clothes!” Hmph, no one appreciates recycling unless as a fashion statement. With a heavy heart, I learnt to let go of my prized painted possessions as well.

Ah well, the odd things you discover about yourself. Continuing this thread (albeit on a cheerier note) I didn’t feel bad about relegating to the ‘to-discard’ pile this time. So while I’m in this mood, out go the too-tight blouse that P once gave me, the satin suit I wore on my 16th birthday and never have worn since then, the frayed jeans, the numerous chudidaars and dupattas long divorced from their kurtas and having waited long enough for a new partner.

The one thing that hasn’t made it to the discard pile in over 10 years is a tee-shirt with a picture of a sunflower right in the center and the words

He loves me!

and

He loves me not!

scrawled at the edges of each petal. It’s a ratty looking thing now but I used to consider it my lucky tee…….for some strange reason I always got asked out by a new guy (often the latest crush) each time I wore it. It isn’t even THAT spectacular looking! But well, some things just are lucky I suppose…..and I’m allowed my bit of silly superstition. I wonder if I need it now though, since my problem seems to be too many men rather than not enough…but well, I’ll hang onto it for a dry spell anyway.

And now I must go and rearrange my shoe cupboard and catalogue my bookshelf. For some reason I’m having more fun on this vacation than I imagine I’d have had touring France (as originally planned). Okay, so I’m a confirmed boring girl-geek.

My best friend’s wedding

My best friend got married last week.

That deserves a post. But I can’t think of anything meaningful to say.

I’ll miss her. She’s not leaving me. But people change after marriage. She won’t. Even if she does, I’ll still love her. Does she know that? She knows everything.

Is she doing the right thing? I so much hope so. Let me not jinx it by thinking of the future.

Has she left me behind? Will we still relate to each other? When will I see her again? Will she forgive me as easily now for not returning her calls? Will she accomodate me as much now that there’s someone who wants much more of her? Needs more of her? I don’t know.

How did this happen all of a sudden? It just did.

Mostly I’m amazed at how calm I feel. I’m numb I suppose?

My best friend's wedding

My best friend got married last week.

That deserves a post. But I can’t think of anything meaningful to say.

I’ll miss her. She’s not leaving me. But people change after marriage. She won’t. Even if she does, I’ll still love her. Does she know that? She knows everything.

Is she doing the right thing? I so much hope so. Let me not jinx it by thinking of the future.

Has she left me behind? Will we still relate to each other? When will I see her again? Will she forgive me as easily now for not returning her calls? Will she accomodate me as much now that there’s someone who wants much more of her? Needs more of her? I don’t know.

How did this happen all of a sudden? It just did.

Mostly I’m amazed at how calm I feel. I’m numb I suppose?

XX Factor secrets

Saxy darrrleeeng has tagged me first thing Monday morning to spill my deep, dark secrets. Now this follows a discussion with a certain ‘friend’ who thinks I’m too open and should learn to mask my emotions. My reply was that people who read my blog knew me anyway so what was the point?

Anyway, perhaps you don’t know me ALL that well. I’m taking this tag up on XXFactor because this post is going to be about my secrets relating to that area of my life I write most about on this blog….MEN!

Five secrets about men in my life:

1. The best friend of my boyfriend was in love with me. My boyfriend would send him over to talk to me for love advice and sometimes to keep me company when he was late. The best friend in question was also a highly intelligent, exceptionally perceptive man and it was a privelege to be his friend even. When he told me that he was in love with me, I said, “I know.” He didn’t ever tell my boyfriend and I didn’t either. But often I think he cared for me much more than my boyfriend did.

2. While I’ve always believed and preached that one should keep one’s personal and professional life apart, one of my boyfriends was indeed a colleague. It wasn’t a bad experience and it certainly wasn’t the reason for my belief. I don’t miss him and I wouldn’t do it again but I’m glad he happened to me anyway.

3. I was deeply attracted to a classmate. Then my best friend saw him and fell head over heels for him. I played Cupid and they were in a relationship for three years after that. I never told her that. Not even the fact that I’d caught him checking me out, when he thought I wasn’t looking, several times, after they started dating.

4. Someone proposed to me 3 years after we broke up and one month before he got engaged to his then-girlfriend. The only reason I didn’t even consider it is because I wouldn’t recycle a boyfriend. I’ve often wondered what life would have been like, if I had.

5. I think I’m deeply loyal to my friends, even more than to the men I date. But I had a brief fling with someone who was a very close friend. When it didn’t go beyond what I wanted, I cut off from him completely, even when he came back to ask me to reconsider. I just didn’t need him anymore.

Incidently, I’m not ashamed of any of these secrets. The reason they are secrets is because the people and emotions involved were all special in ways that can’t be explained in the framework of traditional relationships.

And now, I tag Dreamcatcher, Pensive Lawyer, Arbit Someone, N and Urban Bourbon Ninja. Have fun or at least let me have fun hearing your deep secrets! 😀

Gift shopping

I spent a good three hours last Sunday on a wedding gift. Why, oh, why do people get married? It is such a task getting them wedding gifts. I mean, it is difficult enough trying to buy one person a gift. Now double that number, make it two sets of dislikes, idiosyncrasies, wishes et al. Garnish that with the whole cosy-giggly-apprehensive-“getting hitched & settling down balanced with kissing freedom goodbye/kissing one person for the rest of my life” feeling and what are you left with? A whole list of no-nos when it comes to gifts and practically zilch ideas.

What happens when you put a shop-o-phobic into such a situation? Plenty of wasted time, furious muttering and one insipid post..that’s what happens. I don’t conform to the typical female obsession for shopping. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against new things. I love everything bright and shiny and new. I just wish I could pick them out of thin air and not do the routine of trudging through stores, window-shopping, bargain-hunting, price comparing, trying and the works. Personally I prefer shopping alone. That way no one can talk me out of my penchant for loud colours and weird curios. And by the time someone gets to pass judgement it is too late. My life is my own and all that jazz.

But what to do when shopping for someone else? Make that some-people else. I discarded books, perfumes, music and such things as being too ‘one-person-personal’. Little statuettes of gods and godesses seem to be the order of the day but I can’t bear to propagate religion any more than required. Ah….the ghost of idealism stands in my way, yet again. Should I settle for the bane of every intelligent, creative-thinking person’s existance and gift them shiny stainless steel vessels wrapped in pink paper? Yeaaaarrrrrrghhhh…..I’m not that far gone (but I probably will be soon, at the rate at which people are jumping into matrimony)

Wandering through the lifestyle markets that have become so hip I was struck by the amount of trash that get turned out. I mean, who on earth would use a ‘matted-silver-finish’ dustbin? Or a gilded box with ugly enamel to hold tissues in a car? Probably nobody. But plenty of people still buy them.

While on gift-buying, ever notice how difficult it is to buy birthday/Christmas/Diwali/any occasion gifts? I follow a regular cycle now. I think, I frown, I ‘idea-te’, then I discard all ideas and drop into the nearest bookstore. When it comes down to it, nothing beats a good book for a gift. Yes, I know that not everyone likes reading. But I believe that there is a book for every person, every moment, every mood. All I need to do is find it. Easier said than done. But a tangible, manageable task that….did I mention extremely satisfactory as well?

I once got a bouquet of purple orchids for my birthday. They looked amazing and I got plenty ragged by my friends that night over ‘my new admirer’. Some time later, I dated the same guy and mentioned this to him. He gaped at me and said…”Uh…so?” I said “Well, purple orchids are supposed to mean ‘I await your favors'” To which he coughed and said “I didn’t know that. I barely knew you then and I didn’t know what else to get so I thought of flowers and these were the best looking” *Crash* (the sound of shattered illusions) Oh well, didn’t someone say it is the thought that counts? Ah well, at least someone thought of me, even if the thoughts were different from what I thought.

One of my best gift ideas if I say so myself (yes, I do say so!) was to a friend on her 18th birthday. I didn’t have a big budget and she didn’t have a wide circle of friends who remembered her birthday. So….how to make the lady feel special…was the question. Here’s what she got: A birthday rhyme every hour on the hour, extolling her virtues (and several flaws phrased in mean, witty verses). And after she tolerated my hollering, she got to dip into a guadily wrapped box (plastic covered with tinsel paper) and pull out one thing. Through the day she retreived chocolates, junk jewellery, a cassette, popcorn, a comic book, a stuffed toy and all other kinds of rubbish….she loved it. So yes, I conform to the rules of womanhood (refer to Dr.Gray who says that women go ape over multiple small-value gifts rather than one expensive one)

Ah well…..such moments remind me of what a pleasure it is to give to the people you care for. Of course it is a bit of a pain if the people you care for are male and have no hobbies. Hand me another belt or wallet, please. Yawwwwn…

It is lovely to surprise people though. Sometimes the only thing my gifts get out of people are a laugh. Which is good. What better gift can you give someone than a smile? Lots of things I suppose but I’m not playing Santa Claus.

Don’t even ask what I finally ended up buying for the soon-to-be-weds. Suffice to say, I didn’t give up hunting till I found what I wanted. But this may be the very last time I landed the ‘right gift’. I’m running out of ideas!!!!Stainless steel utensil market, here I come!

A walk back into reality

I kept a diary for 4 years till I transitioned into blogging all my thoughts.
I have still kept those diaries though and once in a while I look through to see what life was like then.
Some exerpts from my last diary that I called ‘A walk back into reality’:

———————————————
5 September 2004

1. I think my boss hates me.
2. Dad is back and in a foul mood.
3. Spoke to J, today and yesterday

No. 3 is the least important or urgent but it is the only positive one, though P won’t agree! He…oh well…is yet another confused, scared of emotions, mooning-over-the-ex guy…so typical of the sort of man I always fall for. Of course he jolly well MAY hurt me and of course I WILL put up with it…but really what can I do?????

Hmph….so much for ‘a walk back into reality’.

I was right in more ways than one.

———————————————
8 September 2004

Got a call from Delhi. Mama needs surgery for an ‘aggressive ulcer’ in his stomach.

Yesterday X said, “People never know what you’ll change into.
If you were to tell me that you were in love with two guys, I’d argue and say you could date 2 guys but only be in love with one.
But deep down, I’d wonder if you weren’t capable of that too.”

Am I that good an actress? Am I that transparent?

Mama died on 20 August 2005. The ‘aggressive ulcer’ turned out to be malignant cancer that escaped his stomach and eventually killed him. If he hadn’t had the surgery we would never have known and without the chemotherapy, he would have spent his last days doing yoga each morning, teaching his daughter history, travelling to work and back with samosas in the evening, watching TV, eating his fill and sleeping soundly. Just like every other day of his life. The treatment extended his life by eight months, spent in and out of hospitals, insurance offices, support groups and finally the crematorium.‘X’ is the ex-boyfriend, ex-love-of-my-life, ex-best friend. If being let down was bad, these words were the final cut. I’ve never been unfaithful or disloyal. Someone who doesn’t realise that after 10 years, doesn’t deserve any part of my life or me.

It was a walk back into reality after all.

The filmi story of my life

‘Kuch kuch hota hai’ was on TV yesterday. One of the early movies that made Karan Johar into a brand name.

I was in college when I saw this movie. Of course I couldn’t say I liked it…it wasn’t cool to admit to liking this sort of popcorn-n-plastic fare! But the truth was that I watched every single rerun of it that ever appeared on the idiot box thereafter. I could really see myself in the story. Not in the incomparably flawless Tina but the rough-n-tumble tomboyish Anjali Sharma.

I lived in jeans and sneakers and short hair. I hung out with the guys and bickered with them for good measure. And yes, my best friend was the alpha male, the cool dude with a roving eye. Like in the movie, life was a crazy, colourful fun ride till abruptly realization dawned about things like love that I’d only watched others jump in and out of.

I didn’t like the movie because of its underlying message that a woman was only loveable when she was all dolled up and feminine. I didn’t want to believe it then…it would have been too scary. But now I think it is true. It happened just the same way.

Unlike the movie, ‘he’ didn’t even notice when I left, let alone try to stop me. He did come back though and much faster. It didn’t take time. It didn’t even take effort. All it took was a different hairstyle and a new attitude, for him to melt into a puddle of open-mouthed admiration.

Some things aren’t simple. Its never easy to forget your first love and its even harder to forget your first heartbreak. He’s around now and he treats me very differently from way back then. I don’t feel that way about him anymore. But I can’t forget that he never felt that way about me. And most of all I can’t forgive the fact that he let go so easily…of me, of all the camaradie and security and comfort that a close friendship brings. When you don’t matter even to your best friend, what is the worth of friendship and love?

I don’t really miss him in the sense of waking up with that gnawing emptiness. There have been others…friends, best friends, co-conspirators, boyfriends, companions. There have been others…who were..just others. There just hasn’t been another him ever.

Life isn’t a Karan Johan movie. Sometimes I almost wish it were, though.

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