Sunday, December 23, 2012

Aaj jaane ki zid na karo :)

Urk, so many things to write about!

First off, Sharan, Happy Birthday :D I don't care how late it is. I'm sending you those vibes of awesomeness and imaginary books to make your day. And of course, commiserations on age collectively catching up with us.


I'm back in Bombay and well, I'm so damn happy  :) How rare is that emotion on this rather whiny blog? This time around, I want to see Bombay for the brilliant city that it is. I've realised that being so close to it for most of my life, I've never explored it the way it deserves to be seen. Of course, I want the easy way out here. Idle Christmas wish that someone would take me around and show me their version of the city. Their favorite shop, nooks and crannies that only they know of, spots where they saw celebrities. My knowledge of Bombay is limited to Marine Drive at night.

Things I missed this last year and that hit me this lazy Sunday afternoon:
1. The Sunday Express. I have always loved the Indian Express and they outdo themselves on Sunday. Bliss to read it cover to cover and then start in the Eye.
2. Swampy creek smells from the creek. Yep, even that salty tang can be missed if you've grown up with it.
3. Garlic chicken manchurian. Indo-Chinese, you know not what you have done for my grilled chicken weary heart.
4. Those auto drivers who will not speak a word. No, they will not. Ask, beg, bhaiyaa, Hill road please, and no, they will stare stoically ahead and drive on. When did they decide to dispense with words like this?
5. Cheap footwear in all colors of the rainbow. And every possible non-rainbow fluorescent-y color too.
6. Jobless lounging on the couch. Actually taking a break. Leisure, I really missed you :|


India's other face is terrorizing this time and I'm sure that my rage about recent incidents has been written about by more competent people. I suck at writing about things that are on my mind constantly. But well, I feel terribly angry and helpless and I have to make this stab at writing about it. I hate it when people say stuff about the victim's "optimism to live". WTF is wrong with yall? She's not just going to keel over and die because this happened to her.


Right, lots of disconnected things there.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Cards against Humanity

We got some in the mail today. It is a very funny game to play, especially when you are completely done playing nice :) Like Apples to Apples for the 20 something of today. Download this rightaway :)You'll love it if you never saw the point of Monopoly.
Anyway,this is the annual birthday post for that shining star of humanity, Suchi, who has turned an undiscolosed age again this year. May her hair continue to dazzle us and may Garnier forever burn for losing out on her.
As always, I had an exam chasing me on the 7th and she had work related miseries to deal with. We had a long conversation about books. Same shit, different year.
This time, I upgraded my gift to a Kindle gift card. I've always loved gifting books since you can steal them right back from people for a nice long read without worrying about shelf space.
Ennui, that is the word of the day.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A day like this

They say that into each life, some rain must fall.
This is not rain! It is a torrent of flaming dog poo.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Movie time :)

Once in a while a book will come along and I will attempt to live it. For those intense hours that I'm reading it, I'll be lost. And then everything I see will be through a thin veneer of whatever I've just read. My views change or I discover something about religion, magical realism, Columbia, dancing, thought and so much more. 

Some books just weave words around and I find myself changed by them.
Over the years, three such books have been Yann Martel's Life of Pi (religion, phosphorescence), Rushdie's Midnight's Children (Bombay, grasshopper green chutney, smells) and Cloud Atlas (time is circular, man is a selfish beast). Something about each of these makes them very special to me and well, this post is not about them as books really.

It's about how they are now movies. This phenomena of three much loved books materializing on screen is clearly a higher power telling me that things are going to be fine, because hey, other people love these books too. And these other people are making them come alive for me (and the world) with their own imaginations. Most movies based on books appeal to me because they let me get away from the picture I have of them in my head. They let me see another interpretation of the same thing. How can that be less than exciting? :)

After much thought, I've decided not to go into a long description of what these books are about. Maybe another time. I want to let the previews speak for themselves.

1. Cloud Atlas

2. Life of Pi

3. Midnight's Children

Super excited!! :D


I am coping surprising well with things. Work is an excellent strategy for distracting self. I That and plans to go home for Christmas. Nothing lifts my spirits more than the thought of some unfortunate chickens accompanied with garlic naan and butter waiting for me at the end of a 19 hour flight ordeal. I want Bombay, regular coffee, Natu, Dk and my mom. 

Have you ever tried living completely in the present? I cant remember if I have ever done that. I don't dwell on the past anymore because it depresses me and I don't like thinking about the future because it's fluidity is unsettling  One day at a time. That's all I can do right now.


Inner peace,

Only you have the power to make this blog less whiny. Do your bit for the general reading public.

I miss you,


Sunday, October 14, 2012

On death and dying


Things ended with Derek :| Not a good note, but these things never do. I'm in a state of hypershock, apparently having totally misread the situation for a very long time. It's been two weeks now, and I've been through more emotions that any brain should have to handle. I desperately wish I simply stopped caring, but that doesn't seem to be happening. I need a place to vent and this trusty blog is where I can think a little.
Long conversations with everyone about how/why/what of this very painful ending and it still seems as senseless as before.
I saw 500 days of summer again, I'll take any easy answer right now. I've always seen Summer's point of view so well before. She made so much sense. Till I saw things from Tom's perspective for the first time in my life and man, it sucks.
This is a garbled post, innit? Why are heart's so breakable?
So, I go through life on autopilot now. It's easy in a new place, with new people around. And all that work. But life seems to have lost some it's clarity now.
I'm tentatively getting back to a semblance of normalcy. Prowling coffee shops and libraries, walking on leafy trails with sensible people, talking to Sherin, Joy, Henna, Meher, Hetal, Vee, Dee ( I would be brain dead by now without you guys).
I read Kubler-Ross's theories for some direction. They almost make sense.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Stress tensors

I'm doing a PhD in Chemical Engineering. Why the fuck?
I think this is the most worried I've been in my entire life. More than that one time I got lost at the Vashi fair.
I dont really know all this Math and Fluid Dynamics. It's all happening on auto pilot.
Let us talk about Uzair Jaswal then and how I can float down on his voice and get five precious minutes in the world to myself.
Or about Ashok Banker's Ramayana series whose cheap mythological thrills remind of Mahabharat on TV and Champak on newspaper stands. I absolutely love it :)
Or about decorating walls and living spaces, which I now do endlessly. Isin't that table just perfect for this tiny room?
Who's up for a bit of life swapping? I want one where I can lounge about and discuss these things with giggly people. You can take my differential equations.
For a real post on books look here

Monday, June 18, 2012


That is what I am this summer. I even bought a really expensive mango, harking back to those summer vacations of yore where all my clothes had yellow spots and my face had a mandatory mango heat boil. This limbo between schools means that I have a summer off. School's out. I sometimes say those words to myself on icky hot days where my biggest concerns are which book to pick. I think those two words strung together is the nicest sentence in the language.

After two years of crushing worries in grad school, I spent the first half of this unexpected vacation worrying myself to death about wasted time and a lack of purpose. Maybe I should be working towards a summer project or travelling or well, something. But I'm temporarily sick of work. And the only way I can travel is if someone hires me as pack mule, since being between schools is also a euphemism for unemployment.

Relaxing is hard at this level. Everyone here is a highly motivated graduate student, wishing for more hours in the day to fill with work. Heck, I wasted a whole month just judging myself. If I'm not working shouldn't I focus on fun? Plan trips, invade theme parks, drive forever?

A massive finger to all of that. What I'm doing is various shades of presently enjoying nothing. Working out some transport phenomena problems because I want to, painting, overloading my Kindle so that it crashes and making khana everyday. It's a slow, dreamy life. With tea in the evening, a pool to lounge in and girlfriends who revere Bollywood pulp. I'm happy, anyone would be with this pool :) 

Sharan, my mother, on Skype this week, asked how you are doing and sends her regards. She is a rather random woman too :)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

64 days of summer

Summer's here :) With it comes a weird blend of wanting to just die and gawking at all the butterflies. Watermelon slices are rampant. Shorts too and giant sunglasses. It's time to shed some excess baggage.
What I don't like about Summer here is that it's not immediately followed by a monsoon season. I won't go on and on about the rains. Endlessly romanticizing things has long been a personal weakness.

Saw a couple of movies this week that have both made me think for vastly different reasons:

1. Tiny Furniture
By Lena Dunham and starring as Aura
Is the seemingly pathetic story of a privileged New Yorker whose failure to find employment finds her moving back to her mother's home. Things are a little too real for her as she tries to find her talent and voice while navigating a couple of relationships that made me cringe. Dunham is shocking in how much of herself she puts out there. Physically and artistically. When every woman around me, on the TV, in the bus, while shopping is so perfectly pretty with flippy straight hair, it's unsettling see Aura looking far less than perfect in most frames. I dint really like the movie much. I think it doesn't make itself a very like-able experience, but it certainly measures the unemployment, unfulfillement and deprivation of a new generation.

2. Main Khiladi tu Anari
I love this movie :) That I was forced to watch in parts on Youtube, having no access to those giants of mega bad TV, Star and Sony. I've accepted the fact that being far away from India makes you appreciate all it's pulp fiction vastly more. It's something  only you understand, having being an Indian child in the 90's. This movie has all the early pre-waxed Akshay and Saif hilarity. Haven't laughed so hard in a long time. Why is Bollywood so dumbed down?

Thursday, April 19, 2012


When in doubt, stick to the weather.Humid enough here to see some fish swimming mid air. And stiflingly hot. Apparently, flowers love this maddening dampness because they are positively thriving. I've been stalking JKR now that a new book is in the offing. I like her on so many levels and having personally moved past Harry Potter, I want to see what else she can write. I'm not outraged by how normal and placid this new book seems; these unhurried books have a lot going for them in terms of how much time they spend developing each character. Now that I've stopped worshiping at the alter of Harry, I can read views from the Dark Side without raging. Like this for instance:

What they(the Harry Potter books) lack is any feel for language, character and – crucially for a children’s book – the unexpected weirdness you find in, say, Alice in Wonderland. I’ve always thought that Lewis Carroll and JK Rowling were each other's polar opposites in children’s writing. The Alice books are riddling, disturbing, unexpected and memorable with a relish for language that means you can still recite whole passages from memory years after reading them. Rowling’s magic is logical and plodding (much like her prose: can anyone honestly say they can quote one line?) and the pleasure her stories give is similar to putting together a jigsaw that eventually forms a clear picture.
I almost agree with this. JKR's wonderfully complex world doesn't bog you down and her plotlines so awesomely intricate. But what's the nonsense about quoting lines? I'll quote one word "Always". And plodding? Her language is so alive and snarky. 

New object of affection: China Mieville, for starting his own frickin genre of fiction which I've been waiting all my life to read. I'm reading Kraken right now. The City& The City are next.

We're going to Disney for the weekend. Where I've been promised some severe sensory overload comas. I find myself not caring much for the fireworks or the animatronics and other such blah. I'm going solely for the Monster's Inc ride.

Saturday, March 17, 2012


Is a book by Mary Roach on the science behind sex. And how studying it has been awkward for researches over the decade. As someone whose life has been taken over by scientific pursuits lately, i can understand how research can become consuming and how these brave men and women might have felt.On the subject of Roach herself, I am a devoted fan for life.She is hilarious and methodical and I could read her for days on end.
One of those pleasant interludes in life has just occurred. Where work has let up a little bit leaving space in my frazzled brain for some ruminations on the rain, coffee and the right book. Sometimes, I want to pick everyone who matters to me and have them read what I am presently reading so that we can then discuss the book for hours. I am deeply starved here :|
It's summer here too. The butterflies are out in fluttery droves and girls are walking by in breezy dresses. The sun is bright and everything is distorted with too much colour.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Auditory traffic

Sometimes, I type and erase 20 lines before I can get to the one that I want. Work is getting to be a little too much. And having giving up coffee for Lent(no Lord, please, I cannot do this anymore) I have too many unsettling anxieties.
Work, love, happiness. Sigh, it's difficult to balance all of that.
I think a lot of this disconnect I experience here stems from lethargy. After a long day at work, I can mindlessly solve jigsaw puzzles but not have an actual conversation with the people I love, at home, at my other home, wherever.
This lack of communication is making me slightly batty. I have the soul of an old cat lady.
You other people out there, is your life as happy as it seems on the surface? Is it all shiny and bubbly and organised? Because mine has even lost the appearance of being so. I'm now beginning to think the entire human experience is putting up that cheery front and not letting the cracks show through. I'm a bad human now.


Presently obsessed with David Foster Wallace. Where was this man all my life? He is so hyper-intelligent that it is a mighty struggle to keep up and well, isn't that all I've ever asked for? It's a rush to have to go back and reread sentences after years of speed reading books to understand someone.


Dee Dee bear, thanks so much for that jigsaw. It's the most perfect thing in my life presently :) And I'm sorry I'm such a crappy friend.


Feeling much love and gratitude to the New Yorker. I was starved till you came along in your hallowed glossiness and winding sentences at Library West. On that note, I received the most breathtaking look of pure disgust from the old librarian when I tried to return some long overdue books. I was glad to know someone still cared about things written 20 years ago.


I had kind of a midlife crisis at twenty, which probably doesn’t augur well for my longevity
-David foster Wallace

Monday, February 13, 2012

Manic Pixie

It easier to fall in love with the idea of a person.

I'm struggling with advanced thermo, a thesis and a very disorganized life presently. I would like to rent some mental peace form someone of it's up for grabs. Figured I'll drown my sorrows in work. It's about time.

There are so many things to wish for:
1. A more selfless self.
2. Cheaper books
3. More songs to fall in love with. I heard Gotye's Somebody that I used to know and felt an inexplicable sadness.
4. Summer. I'm done with chilliness and hands so dry that they sting worse than dettol on fresh bike wounds.