Friday, August 29, 2008
In the midst of a hurried shower today, which by the way was interrupted because I had to run out half dressed and dripping wet to open the door for my injured and disgruntled housemate, a brief random memory of riding through Annanagar in Chennai came to mind. Just a simple stray wisp of memory that strangely caused some twisting in my gut. Throughout the day that feeling of slight emptiness lingered in my head. Of the things that I long for most about home, some come to mind more readily than others:
1. Waking up to Amma’s/Dad’s tea in the morning
2. Amma’s cooking (even the mixed vegetable I used to give her hell for)
3. Watching reruns of Mallu movies we’ve watched a hundred times with folks and fighting over which rerun to watch
4. Sharing family gossip while Amma folded clothes
5. Groaning and fussing when Amma would try to trick me into cooking dinner
6. Acting mad around Amma and driving her up the well
7. Putting on “the face” when Dad would feel very talkative and start advising on life
8. Weekend dates and endless 10p per minute calls with Flintstone
9. Spending hot afternoons in Ashwita café quietly on the couch in the cool semi dark room watching Hogan Knows Best and shaking our heads in disbelief
10. Marina, Besant Nagar and Thiruvanmiyur beaches
11. Riding on East Coast Road and hanging on to my oversized helmet for dear life while attempting to have a conversation with Fred
12. All “special” lunches and dinners
13. Cooking for Flintstone
14. Riding through Mylapore when no definite plans were available
15. Taking pictures in all obscure postures in public oblivious to amused onlookers
18. Going to plays
19. Fighting with dear bro over the computer like juvenile fools
I also realized that I’d begun to be a bit of foodie when I left Chennai. Kolkatta Chaat in Spencers and Tibbs frankies appear in tantalising forms in my dreams. Little Italy’s lasagne, The Crown’s sizzling brownie, vegetable biriyani and birthday cake, Mint’s masala papad starter, Diesel’s nachos, Bay Leaf’s Bengali cuisine, Sinful Something and French Loaf’s yummy pastries and cakes, Shri Mithai sweets and savouries….sigh…..I could ramble on but I know I must wait till I come home on a break again.
Until then it’s going to be living like a sardine in a tin can, missing breakfast every day, running past masturbating psychos while screaming, attending lectures half asleep, doing all assignments at 3am on the day of submission, bitching about people, missing Chennai and living off tea and certain mild things.
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Replies were standard. They all thought it was "wrong" ,"galat baat" etc. One MLA said we should be proud that we live in a country where mothers and sisters can walk alone on the roads at nights without fearing for their safety and that if sex education were to be implemented, it would turn the country into an unsafe place. Poor man seems to be suffering some hallucination. I mean, who hasn't heard of how Mumbai, which is supposedly the safest ciy for women, is also becoming rather dicey what with stories of rape and molestation being flashed by the media every now and then. Another gentleman said that considering that students are complaining about teachers who behave inappropriately with them and make sexual advances, if teachers were also made to become "sex gurus", it would ruin educational institutions.
One can't help but wonder why on earth these so called leaders and representatives of common man go through the actual syllabus content before deciding the effect it will have on society. Paranoia about a sex education syllabus thats called "Kamasutra for Kids" (LOL!!!) is much more understandable than just jumping on the mindless bandwagon of going about and calling sex education wrong, evil, immoral and other such cliched adjectives.
According to one MLA, the knowledge has been previously imparted in schools under the name of Adolescent Health Care (or something to that effect). So is it all in the name? I suppose the name could have a lot to do with the extreme reactions. I mean one can't exactly expect leaders who can barely read English to understand content to judge how appropriate or otherwise it is. To them, I suppose sex education would comprise only of how to do it and different "fun postures". Also the gentleman who was aginst "creation of sex gurus" must've imagined that there would be practical classes. What bullshit!
Its high time people started to look around and actually understand where kids get their knowledge from. Would you rather have your child learn about sex from racy shows on TV, hardcore porn on the internet, porn literature, misguided peers, or worse, their own fumbling experiments? Or would you rather prefer that they were made aware of the concept objectively?
I suppose it's rather pointless to expect objectivity in this issue from a country that prides itself on its foolish prejudice. "It's against our culture" apparently. For the people from the land of the Kamasutra to actually go about swearing by immaculate conception and deem any physical contact as immoral and vile is more than a huge truckload of prudishness I must say. And if immaculate conception is the reason why our dear nation is bursting at the seams with the burgeoning population, well it doesn't seem to be doing much good.
To all of you who are ready to find the nearest heavy object and whack me with it for "propagating the cause of immorality", hold your horses for just a minute. I completely agree that the fact that we live in a society necessitates that some amount of censoring is necessary. Nobody's exactly saying we want to hump people in the middle of a busy intersection or teach kids to do it. Just the approach to the entire thing is rather disturbing.
It's not easy to change the mindset of an entire nation but it's high time that people were encouraged to treat the sex education thing from a scientific perspective. It would make a world of difference if children were told about it like the functioning of some machine. If its okay to teach them about how excretion works in the human body, why not approach sex with the same objectivity and also explain to them in detail the risks that come with it? Youngsters need to know about how AIDS, premarital pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases etc ruin lives. They need to be taught about how things could go wrong and end up affecting them physically and emotionally.
I know a lot of people would react to this by asking me if I would want my children to be told about this in future. Yes I most certainly would want them to know. How I choose to tell them and how much I tell them would be entirely upto my discretion but I'm convinced that adolescents will have enhanced strength of conviction to be able to say no when they know the risks and dangers and realize its not so cool after all, rather than hesitate just because mommy said its dirty.
Knowledge never hurt anybody. How it needs to be disseminated is worth debating but to me ignorance in this matter in today's day and age is definitely nothing to be blissful about.
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
Alright here's a quick update for those who'd like it.
I'm now officially unemployed. Now I'm part of an elite club consisting of M and me. For those interested to join, please hand in your resignations at work and contact us and you will be welcome with open arms to the Bored Brainless Bunch. We have a lot of interesting activities like repeatedly saying "so...wassup?", making regular declarations of varying levels of boredom...did mention "so...wassup?" ? Oh and yes if tactless muttheads ask you stuff like "you quit this one too?!?" with face-splitting grins, we will feel your pain and suggest some top-class cuss words you can use next time around.
Watched Juno recently while Fred walked in and out of the room cradling his new wireless router and beaming with something that looked like fatherly pride (software guys, sheesh!). Ellen Page has done a great job of portraying a smart-ass teenager who shoots off her mouth and delivers witticisms like a wise man belting out philosophies. It doesn't go into the normal melodrama that movies with similar storylines would tend to stray into (especially in Bollywood). I think the audiences have had enough of that. This movie treats the topic (teen pregnancy in case you didn know it) with an admirable balance of humour, which is neither crass nor forced, and seriousness. I particularly thought the innocence of young love, as well as the impulsiveness, was very well brought out.
Photowalk becoming something to look forward to every month :-) except that it'll probably fry us all up seeing that Mr Flintstone and I look like frazzled golliwogs after the last one. Thinking about a photoblog of sorts. If it ever materializes, it'll be advertised here first. So watch this space.
Finally finally read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini. Brilliant book. It's the first I've read of Hosseini's.Haven't gotten a chance to lay my hands on The Kite Runner yet. But judging by this one, TKR must've been quite something. TKR is an engaging read despite the fact that potrayal of the state in Afghanistan is terrifyingly realistic.
Other than that, I've been trying to avoid mum because she's all committed to the cause of giving me cooking lessons. Haven't always been successful. My poor family had to endure veggie vindaloo, stew, alo matar, soya curry etc on varying occasions.
My Gwammy is here :-) Very very comforting to have her around somehow. Maybe will elaborate in another post. For now, mum's getting that glint in her eye which means I'd better get outta her sight before she makes me cook something else.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
It's been a longish while since this blog saw anything even remotely resembling a post.As always I have the convenient excuse of "work" to provide when the truth is that I ended up focusing on the mundane-ness of everyday life too much and reached the conclusion that I'm not doing anything worth writing about.
Life has been quite active to say the least.Apart from working in shifts and playing my insignificant part in the endless soap opera of corporate life, I've been doing some financial planning, some relationship building, photography experimenting, mega loitering.....just being the restless person I've become.
My alma mater finally decided to organize our convocation. The invite found its way into my mail box (snail mail) last week.Accompanying the invite was an A4 size paper with do's and dont's printed on both sides.It started with the details like reporting time etc and ran into mind-boggling details like dress code, discipline (no clapping/cheering when students receive their degrees!), blah this blah that.By the time I was done reading, I thought my face would split wide open because of the grin the familiar instructions evoked.Added to that our faculty advisor also sent word through a classmate that we are expected to maintain complete "DISCIPLINE" (don't miss the capitalized emphasis).That consequently became the reason for quite an amusing discussion on an online community.The particular lady in question has this unforgettable way of pretending to be exasperated with her students and saying "Don't give trouble to me,girls!!!".I wonder if we'll ever stop being her "girls". She sure did get quite emotional on our last day in college.
So did all of us, the "girls".There was a lot of howling.Some couldn't imagine working/studying in a new place and the others were anxious as hell because of delay in finalising plans for the future.Looking back now,I think we've all done quite well for ourselves (me excluded) and its a little hard to believe that its been a year already.Was quite pleased to have A remark recently that I haven't changed at all.But thinking about it, I can see how we've all changed in little ways already.
The past year has seen us all trying to gain a foothold on the rocky terrains of adulthood (pardon the cliched usage).In the process, some of us have grown apart.Time certainly tests relationships.Only the strong ones with rock solid foundation and unfailing perseverance survive.That definitely is not easy to find and those who have some of that are pretty darn lucky.
The convocation should be a good time to catch up on news and gossip.A quick recap on fun times in the endless drudgery of being grown-up.After the convocation, we'll all go back to "the big bad world outside" again.Some more of us will lose touch, some will get married, raise families, construct illustrious careers...all of us will learn life's lessons.Only the memories of the three years and the parting tears that came after them will remain unchanged.