Saturday, February 28, 2009

One Sure Way

…to ruin a breezy sun-kissed spring morning is to open the local section of your morning paper, and come upon a report about a man who killed his two daughters, hacked their bodies into small pieces, and went on to stew them. This is when suspicious neighbours set the police on him, thus preventing him from proceeding with what I assume was his dinner.
Sheeesh! I can’t believe I pay to read this stuff!

On a happier note, after spending the first half of my birthday in a nervous fever, I finally got my result (ICSI final), and boy did I kick SOME BUTT!!! At last I am a Company Secretary.
Such glad tidings, however, have completely miffed my boss, the Monster, who seems to have been waiting to gloat at my failure, and to affirm his conviction that of course girls have less brains than his pet dog. Having been robbed of this opportunity, he wears a face as black and as sour as jamun, and tells anyone who would listen- “The exams were really much tougher in my time, only the very best got through. These days anybody can make it through CS. Anybody.”
Yeah, well, you can’t have everything…

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there! 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Thumkas at Dusk

My friend Happy has recently had a close encounter of the third kind. At a wedding, he found a eunuch being ostracized by everyone, and being the wonderful human being that he is, Appy not only stood up for the person, but also danced with him on the dance floor. I read about this in his blog, where he refers to the person not as a eunuch but as a transgender (Happy is nothing if not politically correct, although he is not as observant in regard to biological accuracy.)

Albeit on a much more mundane plane, I too had an interesting encounter on my way home from office last Saturday, when a group of four young prostitutes got on my bus. How do I know they were prostitutes? Well, for one thing, that’s exactly what they were calling each other (rand, not prostitute).For another, one of them kept grabbing & lunging at another one’s breasts, amidst raucous laughter and unrepeatable obscenities from the other two, Then there were these glittery bindi-like things they were wearing all over their faces…

In all of my two and a half decades, I’ve never really seen a prostitute up close. I had imagined them, from various literary sources, to look old and weary, half-eaten by diseases and by the wickedness of their world. But these girls were young, quite healthy, and if I ignored the horribly gaudy make-up, two of them were rather pretty. And here I was, sitting in the same bus as them. Boy was I thrilled! My age-old wish had finally come true.

Once I got used to all the noise they were making, I began to notice the reactions of all the other passengers. Two middle aged ladies sat with faces so frosty that I involuntarily drew my jacket up close. The gentlemen too kept their eyes averted, but sneaked a glance or two occasionally. A young office-going girl next to me shrank physically in her seat, trying her best not to attract their attention. The bus driver kept up a lively flirtation with them, smacking them with the back of his hand, and getting thumkas in return. The conductor, however, was not so indulgent. He kept grinding his teeth and threatening to have them thrown off the bus. The offending party, however, was not a bit intimidated. When the conductor demanded they pay their fare, they sang back at him “raat ko ghar aake kiraya le jaaiyo” (Come get your fare from us tonight)
As the bus approached my stop, I got up to go to the door. The girls, standing very near me, obviously thought I was vacating my seat for them. This brought on a volley of loud and happy approvals, “Thanku! Thanku! Thanku!!”, and one of the girls gave me a thumka on the hip, while the others blew kisses at me. I beamed back at them, but I don’t think they could tell (my face was covered and I was wearing shades).

As I walked towards the connecting bus, my head was still whirling. I had been thumka-ed and air-kissed by a bunch of sex workers. Not bad for one day!

Ps- Anik claims they were probably not prostitutes, as prostitutes rarely drew so much attention to themselves in public places. I say that’s exactly what they were, young prostitutes going out to a movie on a Saturday afternoon, showing the world a finger for what it thought of them. You decide and tell me what you think.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!  

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Silent Explosion

This is what Didi and Soumik-da have been up to all winter. I thought I'd share the joyeous fruits of their labour with you.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!  

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A Weekend Full of Cinema

What can be more tedious than to have to come to office after a long looong holiday? The answer to that is- Having to go to gym after a long looong holiday. Anyway the l.l.h. is finally over and Anik is gone and I'm back at my desk, doing the most tedious job of all... answering 15 different variations of the question "What did you guys do?" (We joined the Ram Sene and beat up other couples, especially if they were irritatingly dressed and insisited on speaking bad 'cool' english).

Apart from that, we watched a lot of movies, some of which had been on my wishlist for a long time. The movies were (in the order we watched them in) :

1. Doshor (Rituporno Ghosh) - We couldn't figure out what the director was trying to say, what his message was, and why indeed he made the movie in the first place.The only saving grace was Ritu-di's presentation, which is soothing to the eye, and Konkona's intelligent acting. Otherwise an irritating movie.

2. Dil Kabaddi( Anil Sharma)- This movie has its moments. But the trouble is, if you try to mix a sex comedy with aantlami, the result is generally acidity. Hackneyed plot. Well-worn treatment, sad acting, low grade comedy.
3. The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan)- Appy told me this was one of the scariest movies he has seen( and coming from a gore connoisseur, that’s something) , AND HE IS RIGHT! All its scariness comes from the sheer evilness of the Joker. Hats off to Heath Ledger. Villainy doesn’t get better than this.

4.Amelie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet)-This is the most beautiful movie of the lot. It’s sparkling in beauty and intelligence and laughter. The story is as heartwarming as the cinematography is stunning. A very adorable movie (in Bokom’s words – nongra rokom-er bhalo- dirty good). Thank you Appy for this one.

5.There's Something About Mary-This is a funny movie, but most of the humour is of the toilet variety, loud and crass.The story too is inane. The one thing that stays with you is Cameron Diaz, very young, very fresh, very beautiful. It’s good timepass as long as you don’t try to involve your brain too much.

6.A Wednesday( Neeraj Pandey)- Another let-down. While the story is very un-hackneyed and is told in quite a wrinkle-less manner, the movie as a whole is full of tired clich├ęs. The same honest cop brutal cop inefficient cop routine, the very unreal conversations, and the Commissioner’s conference room which seems to have been taken straight out of a Hollywood movie. As a thriller, it falls way short of brilliant. The only saving grace is Naseer’s and Kher’s acting.
I’m currently reading Maximum City – Bombay Lost and Found, by Suketu Mehta. Hope to post you on that very soon. Till then, take care.

Amritorupa Kanjilal also writes at Rivers I Have Known: Books, Reviews, and More. Please visit her there!  

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Silver Lining

Here in Jaipur, the Divine Army goons have announced their intention to force unmarried couples who are seen together on Valentine's Day to marry on the spot, then and there.

So, to save an ocean of expenses, planning, harassment, anxiety and time, Anik and I have decided to walk hand in hand all over the city on that day, and if we see any ram/shiv/vishnu/ bramha sainiks, we are going to lock lips more violently than dry pigs who suddenly discover mud pies.

I was going to write about Dev D which I loved so completely, but Shubhajit has beaten me to it,and I can't say it better than he can, so please take a look at his review.

Have a safe Valentine people (remember when the only festival which was dangerous enough for people to be wished safety was Diwali?) See you on Tuesday.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

How To Sleep With Someone Else's Wife And Get Away With It.

My friend Sid has an interesting pursuit these days. He is trying to lasso a married acquaintance. The lady in question is thirty, has a six year old child, and her husband lives in Belgium. She became friends with Sid through a professional contact, and gradually it became obvious that she was open to the idea of something a little more than friendship. Man, Sid thought he had really hit the jackpot, but sadly, even after months of going out for dinner and outings together, my buddy has gotten as close to his boudi’s bedroom as Jennifer Aniston has gotten to become Angelina Jolie’s best f.r.i.e.n.d.

What is he doing wrong, Sid asked me, and what can he do to get some action before she hits menopause? So here is my advice to him, and to anyone else who is secretly interested in sleeping with a married lady and not getting in trouble:-

1. Be young and have a good body.

2. Be funny and intelligent. Be good company.

3. Show her that you care for her and are interested in her for who she is, rather than the sex that she might have with you eventually.

4. On the other hand, don’t make her think you are madly in love. This will frighten her because she’ll think you might do anything, even confront her husband.

5. So if she asks “Will you forget me after my husband is back and I can’t see you anymore?” , say “ How can I ever forget you sweetheart? Life will be difficult without you, but I’ll have to go on. I’ll bear even this torture for you.”

6. Don’t boast about any achievements to anybody. I know this is tempting, but remember, your safety and hers lies in total secrecy. Moreover, she’ll trust you better if she knows you won’t tell anybody.

7. Don’t frequent her house. You don’t want the neighbors to get suspicious and talk to her family.

8. Don’t underestimate the kid. Don’t display any affections in front of her. You don’t want her to tell her Daddy over the phone “ Sid uncle kissed me today and he also kissed Mommy” or “ Sid uncle and Mommy played carrom all night and the door was closed”

9. Do NOT fall in love with her no matter what happens. If you fall in love, man you are screwed worse than a highway whore.

10. And last, be prepared for nemesis. One day, you are going to be middle aged and married and your wife is going to run off with a younger man (and maybe with all your savings too). You can’t escape your Karma dude.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Road Rage

This morning Soni ji gives me his phone and asks me if I can make out why it isn't working. The keypad is locked. I unlock it and give it back to him.

Soni ji swerves the auto to a dangerous standstill. " You can fix this in a minute??! And it doesn't cost money?!!!!"

It turns out that every time his keypad gets locked accidentally, Soni ji has to take it to a cellphone mechanic, who keeps it for three hours, makes a show of fiddling on his computer, and bills Soni ji for 300 bucks. Apperantly, this has happened thrice.

Soni ji, moustache quivering with rage, yells in my face, "Uss marammat wale ki to mai marammat karta hun!! Saala mujhe ch*****a banata hai! MUJHE!!"
Long gap, then "Sorry Beta, thanks"

I'm sorry too, Soni ji. It takes a lot of thugs to make up a world. Don't let it get to you.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Anikdotes- Pink Hearts, Red Faces

My boyfriend is coming to Jaipur on the 13th of February to spend a couple of days with me. Now, our recent experience tells me that if you are an average person, your reaction to this would be “Oh my god! He’s coming all this way to spend Valentine’s Day with you!! That is so romantic!!!

Knowing that several of our common and individual friends look into my blog now and then, I’d like to use this space to make a declaration – Anik is NOT visiting me because it is Valentine’s Day. The reason he is coming on that particular day could mean anything- it’s a second Saturday (meaning no office for me); he got a cheap air-ticket on that day (Friday the 13th you see); the week after is my birthday; the week before is our anniversary; its been three months since we’ve met- anything, anything but Valentines Day.

Why is it so important for you to know this? Because ever since he unwittingly booked a flight on that fateful day, Anik’s life has turned into a mortification. You see, Valentine’s Day is totally out of his scheme of things and he would rather turn celibate and abstinent than have it thought of him that he is shallow, silly, nyaka, sissy, materialistic, moronic, and wannabe enough to believe in something as meaningless as Valentine. Anik is NOT a Valentine- believer any more than he is an adulterer or a wife-beater.

(My apologies to all the romantic gooey eyed readers who adore the concept of Valentine’s Day. The above rant is entirely our personal opinion that had to be made public in order to preserve our reputation as mean grumpy cynics)

And while we are at it, happy first, buddy.

Ps- Hasi, please do not post reminiscences of what Anik used to do on Valentine’s days before he met me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Auto Wisdom

Soni ji's pearl of wisdom to me this morning- " Beta dekh, jo light teri kismat me likha hai uspe to tujhe rukna hi parega. Kya light ko kosegi kya khud ko kosegi"

( If a red traffic signal is written in your destiny, you'll have to stop at it, no matter what. You can't blame the signal, and you cant blame yourself)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Word of Warning

I know this is a bit late in the day to tell you this, but here's another reason you might not want to watch Slumdog Millionaire. There is one scene in which the little kid protagonist jumps from a hole into a pool of liquified human shit because he has been locked in the toilet. Then he clambers out covered head to toe in shit and runs through a crowd, smearing everybody with glory. (I would have put up a picture, but mustard yellow is clashing awfully with fuschia.)

The above scene is guaranteed to make you retch at all subsequent meals for a week. However this does not apply to you if you are Pasha, in which case it is probably the most beautiful cinematograpic experience of your life.

On the bright side, this is possibly the first time that third world excrement is going to be worshipped by the US of A (at the Oscars i mean). It's usually the other way around, no?