Friday 9 November 2007

Two suns in the sunset

Can I tell you how it feels to have two very deserving heroes at the helm of Indian cricket? It feels wonderful. Not that the Indian selectors have won any of my sympathies after the recent Dravid Debacle, but here it is. By hook, crook and other monsters, two smoking barrels is what we finally have to offer.


Nevermind the argument that Kumble is perhaps past his prime. (Have you met Mr. Ganguly? Senile, bare-chested and proud of it.)Nevermind, even, that it was the Pakistan team that he sent packing at Ferozeshah Kotla in 1999, with that ten-wicket haul that launched a thousand traffic jams at Anil Kumble Circle. Let's just admit that, for a cricketer who did wonders for a team not known at the time for its bowling prowess, and for a man with undeniable leadership skills, the time has come to prove a point.

Which brings me directly to the other man. You know, the one I love.


A classic controlled sensible middle-order batsman, saving the asses and faces of an increasingly Prozac-induced (thanks for that term, Gangs) opening line-up. He does it in the middle, he does it behind the stumps, and in a very 16-year-old-crush way, he does it for me. And all this from a man who made his debut in the Indian side not more than 2.5-3 years back.

Mr. Vengasarkar still has plenty to kick himself about (although I suppose Sharad Pawar will do that for him with a CC to Niranjan Shah), Ganguly should still- more than ever- get over himself and retire gracefully-ish, and the team still has a lot to prove. But with Mr. Kumble heading the Test side, and Mahendra in the sky with diamonds, we've got a good thing going.

Wednesday 31 October 2007

Memorise My Number

Yet another blog. By me. Again.

This blog, here, comprises of my first collection of poems. Go read.

Saturday 27 October 2007

My prodigal sons

You never came back. And now I hate coming home. Everything went wrong after you went away. I'm thinking about you guys all the time. Remember how you ripped apart the plants? Moronboys! Much love.




Bonzo, our nonchalant goose cat


Joey, the biggest scaredy cat ever


The loves of my life- Saab and Bonzo in my favourite family moment

Saturday 20 October 2007

Magical Mister

I can't even begin to imagine what sort of eulogy to write. Barely three days after his brother died, Bonzo did too. Suddenly, in the middle of heated Johnson Market activity, I feel rootless. And I have nothing to say now, that will explain what this loss means to me. In Cooke Town, where I hated my house and my life and everything that I had allowed myself to become, Bonzo was, towards the end, the only thing that I went home to.

When The Saab had moved out, and my deep distaste for my neighbours was becoming evident, this was the Goose that kept me going. For a couple of months, he was all I had, and vice versa. And after three days of looking for him, posters around the neighbourhood, and everyone in the vicinity being unbelieveably helpful, we heard from someone that they had found his body.

I will hate coming back to this house devoid of little chiming bells and loud presumptuous meaows. And I truly hope that The Saab and I learn to remember both cats at their bizarre best, rather than as mental pictures of death.

I promise to write a better eulogy to a cat who no doubt deserves it, when I am better equipped to do so. Till then, I will endeavour to help The Saab, Sushma and myself on whatever road to a semblance of recovery, that we can afford.

Bonzo, you were my main man. And thank God you have the wit and sophistication to understand that fully. God knows, I don't.

Here's a grumpy Bonzo, till I can access all my other pictures.

Love, and more.

Wednesday 17 October 2007

The end of an era

The Saab's farewell post to Inzy made me realise I can't ignore it for much longer. Inzamam ul-Haq, premier Pakistani batsman, captain and reluctant-runner-between-wickets bade his final farewell to Test cricket, at South Africa last Friday. I am sure far more worthy critics than I have many things to say, and I will allow them the honour.

I will, instead, recount my favourite Inzy moment. One that embodies his humility and wristy throwing of caution to the winds, as regards his manner of speech. Screw you, you English pundits, and listen to what I have to say.

After a particularly dogging spell of bad form during the 2003 World Cup, Inzy came gambolling back into form, captaining his side rather successfully, notwithstanding stray controversies. I think the speech I'm referring to was one he made during this time, after Pakistan beat New Zealand at a Test series. But I could be wrong. Inzamam was named Man of the Series, and Ravi Shastri at his debonair best, asked Inzy how it felt to be back in form. Inzy's enormous reply: "Yes, yes.So par I'm not got the pores and sixes. But this time I hawe been succexful." As the Queen's English took a shiner in it's left eye, and Ravi Shastri looked away wistfully into the grammatical distance, Inzy won all my love.

To end, a lovely picture of my hero and body-type style guru. And a tear marking the end of an era. I feel so all alone.



Where have all the flowers gone?

To the Guardian Quick Crossword. That's where.

The Guardian Quick courtesy The Hindu Metro Plus has been my time-filler between home and work for many months now. I used to spend many validating minutes figuring out really easy clues and feeling unbelieveably intelligent. And now? They've gone potty. Over the past fortnight, every second clue has to do with flowers and plants. And I am not (ellipsis) horticultural.

Today for example:
ACROSS
1 Indoor flowering plant (7,6)
8,18 Flower closing in the afternoon (7,5)
9 Large daisy (5)
13,23 Autumnal flower (9)
22 Moorland flower

DOWN
18 See 8
23 See 13

I am assuming '8,18' is 'morning glory'. But that was a single inspired flash of agronomical genius. I was elated. I am aware of 'rose', 'lily', 'lotus' and 'carnation'. That, I'm afraid, is where my knowledge of petal-rearing ends. And don't even get me started on plumage.

I'm waiting another week for this heavy-petal madness to end. If it doesn't, I will go back to Travel-Pastime No. 1: Serenading the Auto Driver.

Monday 15 October 2007

Joey

Our little Joey died yesterday, again, in the jaws of hungry canines. I love dogs passionately, but I love them a little less now. Joey was only six months old- as old as Foucault, the last cat who also died under similar circumstances. I feel very responsible for Joey's death. In retrospect, I could have done a bunch of things that I didn't do. And I feel awful. But Joey is gone. And I am grateful, now, for at least having known him. Here are some pictures of our lovely baby, who loved food and loved women. And a good long snooze on Sushma's stomach. And fish. And his older brother Bonzo. I miss you, Joey.

Images courtesy Preetam Koilpillai.


Friday 12 October 2007

I've been around

Just not around here. I've been watching too many bad cricket matches, been away on a photoshoot and been in Tavern, getting a beer. But mostly, I've been here. Dear.

It's part of a project of some consequence, in the lives of me and a couple of people I'm working with. More later. For now, feel free to read and comment.

Beer, anyone?
Wink.

Tuesday 25 September 2007

Notice

you:
in a place where I can’t see your face
and I never let it get in the way

i:
reassure, reiterate, flailing arms
that if you ask, I am here to stay

Monday 24 September 2007

Sabbah??? Ready???

I can't believe I have to be at work today. I just want to spend the entire day, counting down to the match. This one. It's going to be hilarious, of course, considering an India-Pakistan match is hardly ever about cricket. But I'm going to make it about cricket as much as I can. Okay, maybe I will allow for some melodramatic conversations with The Saab, who is no doubt going to be flapping all over the television screen, just like me.

Sigh.
Life is beautiful.

Wednesday 12 September 2007

Update

Hello.

This is almost a life update thing. In that, I am alive. Also, I don't know what I'm typing. See that's the thing with blogs, you can't use pen and paper. Not that I'd be any the wiser, given a pen and paper situation.

Anyway, this is almost a life update thing, in that I am alive. Entirely made up of antibiotics and nebulisers, but alive. Turns out I have bronchitis and asthma- something that was discovered after hours of not breathing and being taken to a hospital where an amused doctor shoved an oxygen mask in my face and told me so. Like, nyaaaah.

Life changing?
Yes.

My smoking days are over. As are my days of being a mommy to Bonzo and Joey. I have been told that staying alive henceforth will involve getting rid of the cats. I am trying to sound cheerful about it. Fact remains, I am fairly devastated. JP, if you're reading this, please consider taking my babies and giving them a home. Saab, any ideas?

Anyway. More later. Gotta go. Also, if you think nebulisers and oxygen pumps are cool, like I once did, they are not. Hurrah for (erstwhile) lungs.

Bye.

Friday 7 September 2007

An Ostrich flew over the Boomsa's nest

Mad lovely entertaining delirious evening with Sam and others. Too sleepy to write. Check out pictures, y'all.


The house where Boo lives


"Look, Boomsa! A goose's toeses and a Gautam's noses!"


In conversation, but not quite. Sam and Sharmon.


Happy happy joy joy


Mr. Thomas


The legend in my living room. Again. Sharmon.


Euphoric Tina Moo


Samira


Gautam pulls a KD Lang

Thursday 6 September 2007

May you be the father of a thousand ad campaigns

Don't blame me. It's a country-wide thing. As a country, we would be completely socially inept if we didn't have cricket. It brings us together, it keeps us together, it makes us cool. Well, to us.

So last night, India had a 'social-gathering' moment. Cooped up in our respective mid-week living rooms, we discovered love for friends, acquaintances, loved ones, hated ones, family, relatives (/hated ones)...everyone. Here's the man that brought us together:



Robin decided to debut his new learnings in the fine-leg area at this, a crucial match for a side already suffering from sporadic bouts of memory loss as to what they're supposed to be doing on the field in the first place. And boy, are we glad.

Here's another picture of Robin being, err, congratulated by teammate Yuvraj Singh. I'm willing to bet anything that he's grabbing his boob, though.



Nevermind.

Robin Uthappa, thank you for giving us something to talk about last night. And in true Indian style, may you be the father of a thousand ad campaigns. You know it's going to happen to you.

Thursday 23 August 2007

Typical


I am not typical.
I wax eloquent and shave fortnightly,
I weep alone and debate forthrightly.
And when I fall in love,
I do it with the kind of fervour
fit only for alcoholics and religious fanatics.
And that is not typical, because I am neither.

I am not typical.
I shave fortnightly and wax eloquent.
But I would, one day, like to try
to touch lightly upon the topic of your lips
and briefly trace the history of a kiss,
and touch and trace as typically
as anyone who has ever kissed
the unspeakable kiss.

House, warmed

Okay, I swear this is the last time I'm moving. Really. Not again,for a very long time, no. It's not fun. Moving. Not fun. It does things to your muscles, stamina and grammar that are not altogether encouraging.

But here are some pictures of the housewarming party, where, if you look carefully, you can also see glimpses of the house that was warmed.

All images courtesy Sabbah Haji, my ex. Flatmate. I'm straight as hell.


Aashi, DJ, Sharmon the Legend and me


Makhoos, Chits and the Bizarre Mr. Mallapur, with Jimi


Shro, DJ and Sharmon


Jaideep, Venky and their beeyatch, Gautam


Some guys have all the luck


Lovely Shreyashi


Wall, fridge

Friday 10 August 2007

The Prodigal Goose-cat

I have reason to believe that Bonzo is having a relationship. A platonic one, of course, seeing that he has no balls (literally, for all those who are immediately experiencing the throes of kinship), but a relationship nonetheless. He now treats home like a bed and breakfast. Sometimes, it's only breakfast. The night before last, I was up till 6.30 am almost in tears because I thought he'd been run over somewhere, and he showed up for breakafast and a nuzzle.

At least I waited till I was an adult before I allowed my mother the pleasure of having sleepless nights on account of me. Bonzo is pre-pubescent. Children these days.

Here's a recent picture, featuring Bonzo and a new 'friend'. His father Sabbah keeps showering him with gifts. Visitation rights, you know.

Wednesday 8 August 2007

The Silken Web

On 4th August, Saturday, I had myself a little piece of personal history. You know, just in case, for a hitherto inexplicable reason, I become iconic, and people write about me for decades to follow, this day will feature. Take notes, y'all.

The Silken Web, a collection featuring 25 contemporary Indian poets, was launched by Unisun Publications in association with the British Council.

A selection of my poems was published, which is why I was there in the first place. Besides having to be in the intellectually intimidating company of Shashi Deshpande, Teresa Bhattacharya and Girish Karnad among many many others, I had, in a weak moment, agreed to read my poetry. On stage. There was a podium and shit. I hate stages with a passion mitigated only marginally when I'm singing, so it was immensely daunting.

But I ended up having a memorable experience, sharing my first book launch with friends and family. The highlight of my evening was getting to shake Shashi Deshpande's hand and being told that she thoroughly enjoyed my reading.

Piece of history. In my pocket. Here's a picture. I'm pretending to be animated. Podium and shit.



For more information on Unisun Publications and the work they do, go here.

Tuesday 31 July 2007

Bit by bit

I was reminded today, of that feeling associated with young/new romance; that thing we somewhat inaccurately refer to as butterflies in the stomach. I remember that feeling. It's nothing like butterflies in the stomach. It's more like a large chrysanthemum has planted itself on your liver, and now intends to breed a little colony there, till there is a fair-sized bouquet on the aforementioned gland. Probably explains why some people are so bilious when in love.

---

Sharmaji was found dead this morning, in the office. It was horribly unpleasant. Between the cops and the press and the actual task of identifying "the body", I think all of us were drained of mental and physical strength of any sort. Somewhere in all this, I couldn't help but think about how there was no one there to sit by him in his last hours. No one, yet, many hours later, when he was being probed and looked at and identified and photographed. Family was informed, and they showed up by noon.

Meanwhile, people milled around cleaning up, calling other people, cancelling meetings, answering the sneering cops, trying not to admit to themselves who it was that they were actually looking at. The man who, a little over 12 hours ago, stood at the door and waved to them as they left the office for home. No one could or would cry.

---

The point of all this seemingly unconnected rambling, is that it got me thinking about death and loved ones. Just one very simple thought, actually: When I die, I'd like to be in the company of loved ones. And ideally, among these loved ones will be someone who served as a catalyst to that super-multiplying chrysanthemum.

---

Sharmaji, I hope you will ignore the ostensibly heartless boss who wanted us to take meetings and who cracked really really weird jokes about death, ten minutes after. He means well. It's probably one of those bizarre defence mechanism things.

But I hope you know that a lot of people really care. Not so surprising and a little bit sad that we only discovered this while we were slowly piecing together our knowledge of you and yours.

Rest in peace.

---

Tuesday 17 July 2007

I grow old, I grow old, I wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled

Birthday beer and biriyani at Boomsa's. Seventy bottles and fifteen people. Here's the evidence.


On the occasion of its birthday. New, improved and older than ever.


Twisting by the beer


Sharmon shows off his...creation


The legend and the bathroom singer. Sharmon and me.


Bonzo Anand Haji wakes up and decides to join the party


Bonzo and Sandesh exchange top secret information.


Bonzo entertains Devika


DJ makes big eyes at unsuspecting unidentified male. Sigh.


Chitra Raghavan trying to come in the way of an already rocky relationship.


Is there someone else in Sabbah's life? Who is the other woman? Is it Chitra? Is it...


Oh my God! Before my VERY eyes. Sabbah and the other woman, Shro.


Left to right: Saher taking drinks, Rolf talking to Zu, Zu talking to Rolf's beer, me talking to my beer


Left to right: Sandesh, Benny, Tina Moo, Ahmed and his phone

Sunday 8 July 2007

Alien Café

'Tribute' is such a pretentious word. But I suppose its intentions are honest enough. Here's ours. Thousands of diners and drinkers of average coffee and guzzlers of beer, for all the conversations and experiences that we'll probably never remember.


A self-taught lawyer, a lifetime lost in land dispute,
claims the real estate of his corner table,
land locking his captive audience
as he hitches his pants up, punctuating another grand declaration.

A young Alfred Tennyson balances his teacup,
pinky at right angles to his thumb,
waist-coated and suited to the tea,
he stands and bows when introduced to (sneering) women.

Over by the curry-speckled mirror,
in endless conversation about watching birds,
watching women, he emphasizes his passion
for birds, watching a sari slip through the center of his eye.


An afternoon full of lawyers and government officials
leave the café as unchanged,
as the city that stagnated
in their interminable lunch break.

In the center of the hall, like a raucous shopping mall,
ten thousand theatre persons talk and laugh too loudly,
after a night of having had restricted whiskey
and sexual intercourse with everyone else at the table.

Middle aged and by the door, Salvador dreams
about his first famous (unfinished) painting.
Meanwhile, his life is forever in the moment when the clock melts,
when sunflowers bloom, where a smile is made mysterious.


By the kitchen door, he gazes past the murky surface
of his black coffee. When the clock strikes 8.30 this Friday evening,
Cinderella’s coffee will turn into a rum and c,
his solitude, into a checkered tablecloth full of old friends.

A closet singer tries desperately to capture the verbal context
of the twelve-bar blues stretching its fingers from a hidden radio,
amidst cacophonous talk of Dylan (Who Bob? Oui, Bob!)
and how he changed the lives of artists everywhere. We remain the same.

Nearby, the proprietor with a 24x7 smile
(and 45 second turn around time) backs into a waiter,
momentarily misdirecting his mirth
at an ashtray full of college students.


When I die, this table will be mine in love,
that one in a moment of truth, a third lost in deep thought.
A fourth filled with worry, I must leave this city,
I must leave this country, I must
come back here tomorrow and sit at that table,
where I read, where I stared, where I broke up,
that one marking the most I’ve ever laughed,
where I wished you eternal life, where I observed the aquarium,
swearing never to eat a fish.
Where Beethoven roamed in and out of a conversation
initially about Eliot,
Where the painting of the horse looks most
like a shimmer-clad socialite I know.
That table where, if this were school,
we would have all etched our names in the wood,
waiting for some eternal desultory lunch bell that never rings.


Words: Anoopa Anand
Images: Ryan Lobo
Thanks to Ryan Lobo for planting the idea of this poem in my head, last afternoon.

Tuesday 3 July 2007

Picture postcards

I've been gone so long. I feel like I owe you an explanation. But I'm also (mostly) the only person who reads this blog, so I suppose I could take myself out for coffee and do some explaining. Anyway, here's a bunch of unconnected things. I hope your little hearts fill with large dollops of joy.

I permed my hair

Ever since, I've been called Tiger Prabhakaran, Macy Gray, Diana Ross and Jimi Hendrix. I can't say that I mind.

I will eventually have Buns Of Steel

I've started taking lessons in Kalarippayattu. Maybe someday I will truly be walking on air.


I've been revisiting Mr Dahl!

Esio Trot. A mildly creepy story of a man and his mid-life crisis. Actually, no. It's supposed to be a love story. But I really wish Mr. Hoppy hadn't cheated Mrs. Silver into falling in love.


James and the Giant Peach. Yay!


The Twits. Good overcomes evil! At least in the case of the Muggle-Wumps and the Roly Poly Bird. I wish real life could imitate art.

I'm about to read

Maximum City- Suketu Mehta
Long overdue, but it always helps to have a colleague who will buy a book you've been skeptical about, and lend it to you. Thanks, Apoo.


Rant- Chuck Palahniuk
I've read almost everything else this man has written. Except for Fight Club. I'm saving it for after he stops writing. Meanwhile, Rant seems every bit as eerie, bizarre, exciting and altogether nauseating. Whee.


I have grown accustomed to


Amul Masti. Spiced buttermilk. When you are in advertising, unabashed promotion- among many many other things- stops bothering you.

I miss

My friend. Come back, ra.