Friday, November 30, 2007

and she says, "dodo"...

have been in a spaced out mood all day. and i am only referring to it as 'spaced out' cause i really have no words to exactly describe it...
nostalgia, sheer joy, the throes of disappointment and disillusionment, some remorse, a tinier bit of anger, a larger portion of optimism, a bit of grit and perseverance, थोडा सा reluctance & hesitation, quite a dash of dry humor and a lot of contemplation
...just some of the emotions that have been brewing up inside of my head thanks to all the brain juices that are being jumbled around and shook up. it was better when i was sick! at least i had the satisfaction of knowing that all that mattered at that point in time was the infectious cold plaguing my body, and not some unknown feeling brought about my my own imagination.

it is a soothing feeling to spend some quality time with my didi before her marriage. the little tasks of day-to-day life have become the ones that bring out the best moments, knowing that pretty soon things are going to be very different and that such times will be hard to spare. it's funny how managing to slightly singe a roti while making rotis can lead to a burst of insane laughter as it reminds us of the time when we were kids and while trying to imitate our mothers in the kitchen we actually managed to burn not just the rotis, but ourselves as well. sheesh, the hiding we got afterwards was worse than the burn!! i'm some what saddened by the realization that soon she is going to get married and move to Mumbai to her own house. but on the brighter side, she won't be there to bully me when i come to Ahmedabad in the future. ;)

something inside of me actually wanted to go to the temple today. it was after a long long time that i was in a temple simply cause i wanted to, and not because i wanted to check out some architecture or intricate stone carving or idols. i actually went to the temple cause i felt like it. and it helped that we had to go to the Gayatri temple in any case to offer the first invitation to the Gods for didi's wedding that goes out as per our tradition. so i went to the temple with Ba and didi. i stayed for the aarti (prayer service) and also managed to astonish myself by recollecting and saying correctly quite a decent bit of the Sanskrit shlokas that formed part of the aarti & ended up sitting at the steps of the temple with Ba while she narrated several 'notes of significance' on the Hindu culture and divinity. ...
i'm glad that i have a family that stresses on the importance of learning about and respecting, if not adhering to, our traditions and culture. it saves me from getting lost in the me lee that is my personally cultivated sense of liberality that says, "to each his/her own". sometimes a lot of individuality spread around by a lot of individuals can bring about a sense of confusion. and i guess that is precisely the reason why we need all this; the religions, our spirituality and our God
...was going through old pictures today. didn't want to or intend to, but ended up doing so. pictures from my days back in school and high school. pictures of people i call friends and whom i love. pictures of people whom i have not met or spoken to in months if not years. and pictures of people whom i don't know when i will meet again. i know that i have the ability and opportunity to go see them and talk to them right before me, but i am incapable of doing so. i love them and i miss them, but i can't reach out to them and let them know about it. this is the way that i am and i know that it is not right. i need to change. i tried to change. but i failed. maybe someday i shall try again, and hopefully that time i shall not fail.
guess mom was right when she said that, "when it comes to you, i have come to the conclusion that, no news is good news."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

exactly the way it is...

i'm dead!

...i want to go back to Baroda...but i also want to spend time with my Ba and didi and the rest of my family. i want my sister to come to India. it's been over a year since i've seen her and i miss her. ok ok, i don't miss her. i just want her to come so that i have someone to pick on and bully. i want my cat! i miss him more than anything else in this world. i also want to play Age of Empires. i hate the Motorola handsets. i can't figure out anything in them. i'm sticking to my good ol' Nokia.

i want to have a decent BBQ!

i'm dead tired. i want to sleep.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

chocolates, genetics, laundry and a box of books...

yay! thanks to the fact that i'm chilling my heels in A'bad, i have been blogging regularly. hurray!! i think that i need to celebrate. "pop goes the last Ferraro Rocher in my mouth along with the rest of box and the other ton of chocolate in the fridge that i have consumed in the last 3 days"...
anyways, there are a few things that i happen to realize every now and then, that manage to freak me out of my own pants! and i seem to have inherited them all. guess that i ended up on the wrong side of the genetic structure when my parents and their DNA's were "playing birds and bees". come on,
dust and pollen allergies from both my grand mothers, a highly sensitive nose from my maternal granny, a 'lazy-bum' attitude from my father's side of the family (as per mom), irresponsible and a self centered mindset from my mom's side of the family (as per dad), a certain something that Freud would call 'anal-retentive' from my grandfather that is all about being unable to get rid of things & hording useless stuff as weird as this empty bottle of Powerade back from my days on the island, being an incorrigible book fiend (from my daddy), obsessive to a point when it comes to cleanliness matters (thanks to mommy), totally hopeless in communicating with friends and family over distance (both mommy and daddy), having a bug stuck up my arse that demands order and structure (from Ba) and plenty more
...i seem to have got it all.

so, mom and mama thought that it was a good idea to call me in the morning all the way from the US simply to say that Ba's cell was out of reach and that i should call her and tell her to come to the living hall to talk as the thick walls of the house at Camp cause interference in the network. i mean, tremendously tech savvy thinking, except for the part where they somehow forgot to consider that i was at my masi's and if the cell at Camp was out of network area, "how in the world was i supposed to call Ba??" eh, i had finally found the flaw in the everything is do-able code that persists in my family, or so i thought. even this flawed order hardly drew an eye blink from masi, as she asked me to call the neighbors and ask them to go over to Ba and tell her to move to a more network accessible part of the house!! what-the-????
there's always a way i tell you.
...i spent most of my morning washing the bed covers and sheets once i made my way down to my Ba's place. she refused to have me manhandle the 10-12 year old washing machine that needs manhandling to function and instead decided that it was a better idea to have me beat and wash the sheets by hand under the running water. when complained to about the extreme amount of labor, all she had to say was, "this is nothing, we washed gaadlas (mattresses) also this way. and what is the use of you being all young and going to the gym if you can't even wash a few bedsheets by hand". hmm, any answers anyone?

the afternoon was spent indulging my orderly bug that was humming inside of my head telling me that my books (i.e. my personal library) needed to be arranged and tallied (despite the fact that i already had an idea about them from my last census sometime back). so i ended up, cleaning, counting and making an inventory of all the books that i had in the cartons at my Ba's house. 3 hours of such labor saw me holding a list that read, "221 books with the names of their respective Authors and Publishers; comparing which to my memory of the previous count, i noticed that Leo Tolstoy's 'War and Peace' and the Great American Heritage Dictionary were missing from the carton." now i need to find them (i hope that i haven't lent them out. i hate lending out my books to people, you never get them back. ever). maybe they are in Baroda. they better be.

i know. i am insane.


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

अबे चड्डी छोड़ ... और लक्ष्मी बम मत फोड़...

it takes a lot to actually confess that you are afraid. but what-the-hell, you put me anywhere near a firecracker that goes *boom/kaboom/bang* and i'd rather exchange places with Pheidippides and run all the way from Marathon to Athens! somethings are better left for others to indulge in, and firecrackers for me are on top of that list. i'm not a pyrophobic, acousticophobic or something of that sort. i mean, i do like the ones that are less noisy, light up and are pretty to watch. i do really!

anyways, yesterday i kind of saw something that i thought i'd never get to see again in this capitalist world. i saw a woman who was walking around my Ba's house peddling utensils. the novel part about her was that she wasn't selling the utensils for money, instead she bartered them for old used clothes...
it really was like a blast from the past observing a form of human ingenuity and exchange that is as old as maybe the time when the first ape-predecessor of humans decided to give the fellow tribe/troop member an apple in return for the orange he/she held.
...(although my bet is that for them it was more likely to be "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours"). anyways, its a wonder that certain things manage to find ways to retain their existentialism in a world where most things are going for a toss. my economic theory trained mind couldn't help spurt out questions such as; how does she even manage to break even bartering old clothes for brand new utensils? what does she do with the old clothes? where does she sell them, if indeed she does sell them?

...and then i realized, this was means of exchange that existed long before Adam Smith, Ricardo and Keynes. and it will continue to last long after we have answered most major economic fundas. after all this just goes on to prove that money is not everything. it's just a means of exchange and it is supposed to facilitate our lives since as specialized producers of commodities we humans cannot provide for all of our needs by ourselves. but that should not make money paramount. after all, one may survive just as well even in the absence of such a medium if there are alternate means...maybe they should teach us more about all this in all the Business Schools!!

in other things, my allergies are acting up again. i have been cleaning the house at Camp and the dust accumulated over the months is enough to kill me. plus the onset of winter has announced itself in the usual 'cough and cold' that has really gelled well with my allergies. being sick, especially with a runny nose and continuous sneezing makes me irritable and crabby on an on-off basis.
in matters of random banter, i like the Surf Exel says, "अगर कुछ अच्छा करने में दाग लगे तो दाग अछे है।" but the part i like best is when the kid tells the other kid "अबे चड्डी छोड़।"

...and Anu didi, for your information (even though its like 15 years since the incident), "it was the cow! really it was. i swear".


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

the brat pack...

there are some things that are replaceable in life, and then there are a some that are simply not. the funny thing is that most often than not amidst the storehouse of life's things, there is no clear way to determine which one is which.

anyways, in more concrete thoughts, last night as i lay in bed alternating my gaze between the pictures on the wall and my Ba (maternal grandmother), it just struck me that time is such a fleeting thing. it only seemed like yesterday when as kids we cousins used to run around the house in Camp (my Ba's house). a bunch of howling, screeching, up-to-no-good team of indefatigable brats, that's what we were
Palak di having lived in US all her life, and the new American kiddy trio of Sachika, Saahil and Sashrik are not accounted for in this bratiness although they manage to hold their own just fine.
it was only yesterday that Ba taught me how to keep time in Gujarati on the grandfather clock in the living room and differentiate between dodh (half past one) and aadhi (half past two) after innumerable attempts, threats and cajoling. it was only yesterday that Ruju didi marshaled her troop of brats and led them up the hill into the ruins of the old castle (that in reality was this old abandoned building on top of a mound of dug up earth). it was only yesterday that Anu didi bullied me into doing whatever she wanted to while playing. only yesterday that we ran to Ba every time we heard the Cotton Candy man's bicycle. only yesterday that there was so much...and today?

well today, Ruju didi is married with a kid (my dearest little Dodo Rushku), Anu didi is getting married this December, Rhythm is studying and applying for her masters in Dental in the US, i am still a student in Baroda, Mithila is on her way to becoming a doctor and Noella is almost done with her schooling in Mauritius. wow! where did time fly?

in the old brat-pack, everyone is either getting married and settling down or busy making their careers. and now today is the onset of a new generation of tiny monsters led by Rushika. there is so much that i look forward to from them. an entire new world of mischievousness is waiting to to discovered.
all this makes me feel old. and i miss the good ol' days. and I'm sure that if there is anyone who feels the passage of time as strongly, then it is my granny. she has seen it all.
but the bottom line is that maybe there is a new bunch of kids in the family with a license to make trouble and create chaos, but they still have a long way to go before they even come anywhere close to us!


Thursday, November 08, 2007

the absolute homebody...

now that my flat mates are gone to their respective families for the holidays the last couple of days seem to have been entwined in a drowsy stupor that has so far obliviated time. i mean, i really have lost the concept of time whatsoever in the sense of a daily discipline that is normally upheld. waking up at 4 or 5 in the evening, reading and watching TV when not sleeping and not stepping out of my house seems to have become the normal thing to do.
holidays tend to allow for such discrepancies.

in other things, when i do manage to gather enough energy to step out of my apartment and get out into the world (in the words of my roommate, "it is not beyond you not to leave the apartment and remain confided for God-knows-how-long. you seriously lack a life when you are having your lazy days.") i have mostly been biking around town with Saad at odd hours. biking along the highway to Vasad for dhabha food, roaming around the city at 2 in the morning looking for tandoori chicken and ending up having a run in with the cops who just want to mooch off on poor students for their Diwali bakshis, etc.

on the Diwali shopping/splurging note there is just the usual book buying spree that i indulged myself sure threw a fit when i showed him the bill that i had put on his credit once i was done filling my shopping cart with books. ;)

and yet i am bored. i drift along the path of indecisiveness that in the end has me doing nothing concrete. i want to restart my gymming. i need to get some paperwork done regarding my license and i need to seriously try and figure out a way to understand my family and try to come up with means to survive them.

i want to take a vacation and go somewhere alone. but the only feasible destination for me remains my apartment. so that's where i shall stay and remain amidst my books and my ashtrays filled with cigarette butts that i managed to puff before i quit.
OK...have almost quit. i am getting there to that stage.