Monday, December 25, 2006

The Common Trip on Riff Cafe

Music analysts,

You might enjoy The Common Trip.


Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The Hunter

I'm amused.

My best tricks? Yes, I do employ them. Sincere and bold? Mostly. Dramatic guestures and being chased down the street? Huh? Maybe I should start looking back.

And I took the test twice just be sure.

Friday, December 15, 2006

How To Wear A Brassiere

I would let the photograph speak for itself but please allow me to draw your attention to Step 4: 'If the flesh around your bust are exposed under your arms, tuck the excess into the cups.'
Tuck the excess? Shouldn't you just get the next size? Or think of losing some weight? You don't tuck the excess; you get something that accomodates the excess, I would think. Especially when Step 3 tells you that it should all fit nice and snug.
As regards Step 2 and 5, I am not sure you really need to lean backwards and forwards to get the damn thing on. And wearing a bra in general isn't that complicated. But maybe that's just me.
And they wonder why most women in the world wear the wrong bra size.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

The Inconvenience Of Street Food

There is something wonderous about being sleep deprived and disoriented, walking through Frankfurt airport, searching for Gate B25. Doors miraculously open, leading you into empty elevators the size of small palace with marble flooring and no buttons to press. Handel's Giulio Cesare lingers in the air while trains magically appear and zip you across to far flung terminals. But most importantly, when you're sitting in the airport lounge, all sophisticated, sipping red wine and eating cheese and crackers with a goodlooking investment banker, you suddenly think distractedly - Mmm.. golgappas would be nice!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Some People Are Better Left Snubbed

What the title says.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


Alfonzo is back in my life, guys. True, I'm not six and skipping around my garden aimlessly in a cotton frock but at this stage in my life, I might as well be. Without sounding dramatic, he always was the still point of my moving world as a child and now as I have to stand in line to get a visa to go home for the winter, I realise I need him around, that's all.

In other news, this was slipped under my door the other night:
"Hot horny housewife is all very well but will she take you to Paris for 3 nights all inclusive for only £99?"

I'll ignore what this might lead you to think of me, but Alfonzo and I went online to check out what this was about. (Now is when you do the same. Go on, don't be shy. There isn't anyone around. Click here. I know you want to.) And we (re)discovered a fascinating and somewhat depressing fact about human nature - Sex sells like nothing else. But you've got to hand it to these guys - brilliant gimmick!

I have a brother. He is doing his phd in another cold cold city which makes London seem tropical. Last weekend a friend of his came into town to do a part of her research on trade unions and we met up over a late Sunday lunch. Inevitably the topic of conversation moved to the recent death of a classmate of theirs.

"Well, this is how I look at it. You've got to have some survival technique if you're doing our phd programme. Most kids do some drugs. Your brother has his girlfriend and I've got my supplements." And with one swig of water, she downed seven pills of different shapes and sizes.

I considered for a moment what my survival technique is. I'm still not sure but for the time being, I have Alfonzo.

Monday, November 20, 2006


Why has orange become such an unexceptional flavour?

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Devious Delectable Dinners

True to what is drilled into my head every day in class (and outside, come to think of it), even food is turning out to be conniving and predatory. It watches you and decides who you are. Then it melts in your mouth while ensuring a perfect atmosphere conspires against you.

In restaurants such as these, the food has a uncanny way of making its way to your table and deciding just how eclectic a spread you deserve. And naturally, there is also a suitably devious mind picking the lotus and lily stir fry over the asparagus and Exo fish for you.

You are seated in the lounge section because luckily the reservation was made exactly a week ago at twelve noon, during the only half an hour window one gets to make them. Because of this, you are now the most gorgeous girl in the world. An angular beam of light falls from above, highlighting your cheekbones, detracting from your slightly bulbous nose. Your diamonds glisten as you throw your lovely head back in laughter. Soft Keith Jarrett swirls the atmosphere around. The stressed waitress obeys like clockwork the rules of this great universe and everything works its way smoothly to the orchid tea at the end when the lights are dimmed further for the arrival of the bill.

And then you fumble giddily for your bag, smile a sweet thank you and walk up two flights of stairs to go back to that cold, cold world that is the city you live in.

But at least you were gifted a delicate box of fine Belgian praline chocolates that will last longer than those two blissful hours.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

What's your Sexy?

A classmate of mine likes one of our professors - a rather brusque, highly opionated and mostly angry woman of forty plus, who teaches culture studies. Her chain smoking tendency is a factor, he says. It also appears that middle aged professors who talk of eating breakfast with their children score high on the Sexy Scale with the girls. Dark jeans add to such appeal. There too is a consensus about dark rimmed glasses and how they intensify the academic image.

Imperfections are big as well. Absentmined pauses are intriguing. Nervour tics are inspiring. Sexy is varied, let me just say.

The fact is that Academic Sexy is different from Regular Sexy. What is acceptable (even encouraging) about the former is intolerable about the latter. Because not specialising in some obscure field of material science disqualifies you from having distasteful quirks and a receding hairline. I myself can willingly endure otherwise ugly V-neck sweaters and an obsessively numerical worldview.

However, the crisis as some of us later discussed, is exposure. How much is enough? Full time professor? Personal tutor? Or simply a guest lecturer? (who you can stalk later perhaps?)

The question is - What's your Sexy?

Thursday, October 26, 2006


You know the lecture is going to be perfect when the professor begins by asking you what Gandhi said about Western civilisation.

"Sound like a good idea."

Sunday, October 22, 2006


This is not The Creature's time in the sun, metaphorically speaking. Wealth and health are fine. But where is the love?, I know she is asking. Her heart is in fragments strewn across the world. I am one.

"Come back and make me whole again." she begs.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Remote Control

What could have possibly prompted anyone to do this?

"2) TV Remote - This has also gone missing. I appeal to whoever has the TV remote to please return it to the large TV room within the next 24 hours (again without prejudice). If this does not happen, when cable TV arrives on Friday, I will have to chain the remote to the wall. This is an obvious inconvenience and rather a sad state of affairs, but if necessary I will ensure it is impossible to take the remote. "

(Excerpt from my Hall Committee's email this morning.)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Strange Cars In Strange Cities

It isn't everyday that you meet an old college friend in a strange city and he says you, "I was just coming down Blackfriars and Batman and Robin asked me whether I'd seen the Batmobile anywhere. So I pointed across the river and they said thank you and walked on... Ok, now how about that overdue coffee?"

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The (Eleventh) Finger

So the Doctor told me this story the other day and since he deems it too irrelevant an anecdote to write about, I shall swoop in and take this one:

It is a regular day in the Emergency Ward at St. John's in Bangalore and the Doctor is tending to an motorcycle accident victim who has just come in. Suddenly he notices some rolled up bloody gauze lying on a table. He goes over and opens it up and finds a finger in it! Panic. He dashes back to the motorcylcle accident victim and checks all his fingers. All there. He runs over to the next bed. 'Show me your hands, show me your hands!' he asks frantically. Hands appear and he counts the fingers... One Two Three Four... Five. One Two Three Four and Five. He rushes to all seven beds. All fingers attached and intact. 'Where did this finger come from?' he asks the doctors, nurses and interns. No one knows.

Later, over the phone, 'What?! Wait... So that means someone was and still is missing a finger somewhere!' I said, shocked. 'Yes, somewhere.. someone.. is missing a pinkie as we speak.' said the Doctor ominously.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Do this. Now!

Go to and click on the exclamation mark after the Yahoo logo.

Thursday, August 31, 2006


"Jail is the government's way of sending you to your room."

- J. Seinfeld

Thursday, August 24, 2006

The Final Justice

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Murakami Boys

There are some boys who think they've walked right out of a Murakami universe. They are a standard lot (if you've read any Murakami), though they do come cloaked in some variety. If you look close enough, you'll find your very own local Toru Okada.

Mine sports a head of curly hair and a scowl. With hands in his pockets, he strolls into the neighbourhood Hello Cafe nonchalantly every day and mulls over an expresso. On weekends I see him tapping his feet to the jazz band that plays in town. It appears that the Girl from Ipanema isn't on the scene yet. And it is unlikely that my Toru thinks What A Wonderful World it is.

He is, predictably, one of two siblings (the older sister being happily married with a child on the way) and not on talking terms with the parents against whom this aging rebellion is waged. I reckon they're suitably unimpressed. He works in advertising and thinks all the world's a sham. His evening meals are often eggs on toast and his shirts are never ironed.

Now, the Toru Okada of Murakamiland is an aspirational figure for many a male facing an internal identity crisis it seems. He is a bit of Holden Caulfield and Meursault and Agastya Sen all at once, of your local hybrid culture. Toru behaves as if there is a seamless link between what he wants to be and what he is. This nihilist alien lives in a transformed magical land where every day happenings tread the line between the known and the unknown. It would, after all, be tragic to be ordinary.

His interest in you is questionable. His curiosity is not always fresh and he claims to have a tendency to get embroiled in absurd situations. What you see is not what you get. The impersonators of Murakami's Toru Okada often add a twist to these basic features. So you might have a flamboyant Okada or one with a poetic lisp. Mine, like I said, has curly hair, wears a scowl and has a dimple I have never seen. I know I will soon have to leave him but I know just as well that another Toru will walk down my corridor or sit next to me in class. And Murakamiland will be here again.

At Hello today Toru gave me a mysterious smile. What I didn't realise is that I crushed him with mine. Because he told me every man is an island.

Monday, August 07, 2006


Carrying eggs is a tricky business. Though if you are about to be hit by a bus, don't think too much about them.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Paresh Maity (2002)

Sunday, July 09, 2006

B.80. I went in search of myself. - Heraclitus

B.95. The waking have one common world, but the sleeping turn aside each into a world of his own.

B.73. A man, when drunk, is led by a beardless lad, tripping, knowing not where he steps, having his soul moist.

B.69. The way up and the way down is one and the same.

B.67. Mortals are immortals and immortals are mortals, the one. Living the others' death and dying the others' life.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Wild Horses

I was there this week because it often feels like the only glimse of the outside world.

Beside me sat a forlorn woman, seemingly spurned. She looked, my friend commented, like a typical Bengali film star of yesteryears. I wondered how many women I know could sit alone like that in a room of curious wandering eyes. When her phone rang, though elated, she picked it up in a composed and dignified fashion but put it down, disappointed. It wasn't Uttam Kumar, I gathered.

Some time ago someone said to someone else, "Wild horses couldn't drag me away..." And the reply, in the spontaneous tone of a lover underestimated came, "I wouldn't let wild horses comes near you!".

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Seeker

She sauntered into the room. Her sly eyes did a survey of the scene. The Who's The Seeker served as the musical backdrop this time.

I've looked under chairs
I've looked under tables
I've tried to find the key
To fifty million fables

The Creature grinned. It was the seed of a mango. She watched it with the precision of an entire pedicure tool set. It sat on a plain white plate, its fibres holding in place delectable pulp, un-smushed. Her plan was one slick maneouvre called Gulp.

Focusing on nowhere
Investigating miles
I'm a seeker
I'm a really desperate man


Three days later. The seed lay on the floor, tragically. The Creature looked at it condescendingly.

I won't get to get what I'm after
Till the day I die.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Mortals Immortal

The Creature lies curled up on the regal burnt orange leather armchair and sighs at the trivial world around. Her eye lashes flutter ever so slightly as her eyes shut magnetically. A mild quiver as she transits. Rise and fall. Rise and fall. Rise. And. Fall. Rise.. And.. Fall.. Her arm falls over the side the chair, limp.

A clumsy shuffle elsewhere. Papers fly around as the elctricity returns.

One eyelash flutters. A live marble appears. Glint.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Carry That Weight


The Beatles don't always sing about Right Now. But on some rare occasions, you will feel your small world quiver and crack and from within a small crevice, you will hear the Beatles walking down Abbey Road, telling you that you're going to 'carry that weight, carry that weight a long time...'

And so it goes.