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Posts Tagged ‘Ramble’

A friend was going through a very tough time recently. She put on a brave front and tried to keep it all inside until one day she could take it no more and burst  out with it to me. Clutching the phone so close to the ear that it hurt, I listened going increasingly numb with each passing second. She went on for what seemed like an eternity. I hadn’t uttered a single word through the entire conversation. Well, not really a conversation, more of a monologue. After unloading all that had been clogging her mind and eating into her life for so long, she hung up and I was left still clutching the phone tight to the ear, helplessly wondering if there was something I should have said to make her feel better. Something wise or witty. But well, as it was, I had not known what to say and she had hung up already. I felt stupid, lousy and totally not fit to be an agony aunt. A couple of days later she called back again.

“Hey…” she started, “I just hung up the other day. Didn’t even say bye…”

“Well, I didn’t even talk, for starters, so don’t you worry”

“Yeah, that’s what I called about. Thanks for listening Mi. Honestly. I’m so glad I spoke to you. I’m so glad ‘I’ spoke. For once I wasn’t listening to advice or being judged or getting scolded. I spoke. God knows after how long. Thanks for that. Really.”

I opened my mouth to say something, stopped, opened and closed the mouth two more times like a fish, and closed it shut again. Now was NOT the best time to tell her that I had actually been quiet and listened so much not because I was patient, understanding or sensitive but actually because I didn’t know what to say, how to console or what advice to give. Looks like my ignorance actually paid off and she felt much better after that monologue. Later rewinding that conversation, I understood that whatever she had said was absolutely true. Sometimes all you want is for people to listen to you. Just listen and not judge the situation, judge you, judge everybody around. I’ve felt the most relieved after long monologues with friends, after swearing, bitching and endlessly cribbing about how unfair things were, after dumping out all my angst in all possible ways, but mostly I’ve felt the best when they’ve just Listened. Listened and probably squeezed a hand or given a big hug or whispered a ‘it’s ok, this will pass’ over the phone. But what matters above everything else is that they listened. So maybe the next time someone comes to me with a problem, I’ll not be constructing soothing replies and tactical agony-aunt advice in my mind while pretending to listen to what they’re saying on the outside. Maybe I’ll just shut everything out and simply lend a ear. Because some things are best said when they’re left unsaid.

On a totally unrelated note, I realised that I’m so sentimentally attached to a lot of things in life that I’ve been using some stuff for years and years. Like, while combing today, I just realised that I’ve been using the same wide toothed pink comb for the *gasp* past eight years. I am not kidding. I’ve misplaced that comb many times, felt miserable thinking its lost but have always found it under the bed or below the medicine cabinet. It always comes back to me. And I don’t even feel like I’ve combed my hair if I don’t use THAT particular comb. How weird is that!  Ditto with Jemi, the stuffed pillow JP gifted me on a birthday couple of years ago.  I don’t sleep hugging stuffed toys or pillows (eeks!!), but if I don’t see Jemi propped majestically on the study table as soon as I wake up, as soon as I enter the room and as the last thing before I leave home in the morning, I end up feeling queasy all through the day, until I’ve seen Jemi in her usual place again. I get completely psyched out of I don’t find the particular pair of earphones I’ve been using for the past five years or if  that tattered bag I bought when I started college can’t be found when I look for it. It freaks me out that I’m so attached to these ‘things’. They’re not expensive, they’re not the best but somehow the memories attached to such stuff makes them all the more precious. I guess everybody has some stuff which brings back memories of fun times, of laughter and happiness, of friends and family, whenever they look at it. Maybe an old comb, a favorite dress, an autographed book or an old birthday card. And such things are treasured not for what they are but for what remind you of. Oh, and what do I say,talking and thinking up stuff like this, I freak myself out most of the time!! 😀

*Dedication Update*

This post is dedicated to Kavitha who I think is the only soul in the world who wants to read me and bugs me to death to write. Even if its nonsense. Thanks Kavi 🙂

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I Do Not…

I Do Not “wanna make fraaandsip with you”

I Do Not want free love alerts every day.

I Do Not want to ‘hurry!!!’ to see Namitha in a green top.

I Do Not want to save my tax money. I wish to pay as much tax as possible and help alleviate the poor from their poverty and make sure they get their share of  free colour tv sets, cable connection, one rupee rice and ten rupees pulses. So Bajaj Alliance, Tata Sunlife Insurance, LIC and everybody else, LEAVE ME ALONE.

I Do Not wanted to be reminded 20 times every day of  all those lovely lovely latest new hot songs that I could have set as my caller tune instead of the old Ilayaraaja number that I’m sticking to. Yes, I Do realize that ‘Yen uchchi mandaila surrrrrr’ is a better choice. ‘Puli urumudhu’ still better. I understand I’m outdated. Vodafone, I beg you to kindly bear with me and stop calling me at 7 in the morning and 10 in the night to remind me to change my caller tune. STOP.

While on the topic, I’m going to sue to Vodafone, for breach of privacy. I know your dirty little secret. You have 2 armed detectives follow me and note all my moves 24*7. How else would you know all those intimate details about who the love of my life is, the alphabet with which his name starts, who my best friend is, which business I would be successful in, what my lucky colour is, how I would die, etc etc. And to top it all, you are blackmailing me with all that priceless information and want me to send messages to you, paying 3 bucks for each of those and find out from YOU all the juicy tidbits of MY life. The guts! And just while I was typing out this post my mobile beeped and again, a message from Vodafone.

Easy to get Rs.15 lacs prize. Answer simple questions, win exciting prizes. Q. Tamil Nadu’s classical dance. (X) Bharatnatyam (Y) Salsa. Sms X or Y to 58888. Rs.3/sms

Keep those millions ready. I am definitely sueing.

I Do Not want to know how you hogged like a pig and ended up with dysentery. Or how your wife nags you to death every evening. Or how your punnaaku vyaabaaram is not doing too well. Or why Rinku forged your signature on his report card. On the phone? Talk to the person on the other side of the line. Not to the whole world. Spare us the morbid details.

There are a million other I Do Not’s but listing them down like this pisses me as much as experiencing them. So I’ll exert supreme self control and cut it out. Holy crap! Another message from Vodafone. No kidding!!!

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என்ன கொலகாரியா மாத்தாம விடமாட்டாங்க போல இருக்கே!!

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Cobweb Clearing!

Ok I’m not dead. Dusting off the cobwebs once again like I’ve done many a times before. I wanted to be back with a bang, with some meaningful writing, a story perhaps, but no meaningful writing seems to be coming to me any time in the near future. So I’m back to the kind of writing that requires no meaning or thinking whatsoever. Rambling.

In the past few weeks,

Was admitted into a hospital after a long time. Actually, a very long time. So long that now I don’t even remember being admitted in a hospital before. Not even a vague memory. Amma tells me often that as a child I was admitted into a hospital once at a very critical stage and after 3 days there, I pointed to my tummy and made hand signs asking for food. She says she feels like crying every time she even thinks about that incident. But I have absolutely no memories of this supposedly ‘emotional’ moment and getting to stay in a hospital now was a very exciting and new experience. I actually liked being there for a lot of reasons. For starters, everyone was doting on me like never before. All that extreme paasam made me feel like the thangachi in thangachi paasam movies. People only didn’t stand around me in a circle and sing ‘Azhagaana chinna devadhai’ while patting my head and pinching my cheeks affectionately. Everything else was done. Relatives came visiting every evening in hordes and we had to get chairs from the reception to accommodate everyone. P who usually doesn’t lift a finger at home stayed with me during the nights and was running around with water basins and medicine prescriptions. Dad had become my competitor for the hospital bed by the end of the second day and had to take medicines as well. In fact I wasn’t even dying or had some six-months-to-die kind of sickness. Just the good ol’ routine typhoid which has already struck me some four times and something the entire family is very nonchalant about.  Now I may talk cheeky but I didn’t hate it one bit when it was all happening. I was basking as much as possible under all the hospital light glory. Go away typhoid and stay away, any other sickness! It isn’t time for me to play harps in heaven already. Too many people love me here.

Watched two movies, one of which should go into history as among the best made in the country and the other should never have been made. 40 crores, Mexico, superhero, kokarako dance, pichumani, shriya… there was no end in sight to the miseries that Kanthasamy unleashed on me. I walked into the cinema hall, a full 40 minutes after the movie started wondering if it was really worthwhile going to watch a movie after missing out so much of it. I usually get the kick of having watched a film only if I watch it from the opening credits to the vanakkam at the end. But after the Kanthasamy ordeal I thanked God Almighty and Chennai traffic for having made me miss out on most of the first half. At the end of it, I was left gaping at the screen with a lot of how-could-they questions and a WTH feeling. How I wish they had made a true Superhero film minus all that fake masala! Sigh! And then there was the other one.  Kaminey. What a fantabulous movie! A true blue gangster caper that is raw, edgy, intelligent, dramatic and funny all at once. Jaw dropping screenplay, on-the-streets cinematography, mind blowing music, brilliant is the word. Ok, I’ve run out of adjectives. Vishal Bhardwaj is a rarity in the world of Indian cinema that has come to become melodrama, mindless action and songs in foreign locations. A truly well made movie pulls you into its web. It makes you relate to its characters, laugh with them, cry with them and run with them. That’s what Kaminey made me do. I’m not against the slow paced arty kind of films but give me a completely commercial but rocking Kaminey over them any day. I hate feel good happy endings but this one time I was left praying that neither Guddu nor Charlie (for all his ultra grey shades) should die. And Kanthasamy, well it made me long for the superhero to die or atleast get caught as soon as possible. Mudiyala da samy!

Caught up with a lot of pending reading. The other day I was at Odyssey when I came across a book titled ‘The 50 most influential books in the world’ It seemed to span all genres from fiction to nonfiction to history to science. Bible was on it and so was The theory of Relativity by Einstein. What caught my eye was The Catcher in the Rye by J D Salinger. Having seen this book on almost all ‘best books list’, I decided to find out just what was so influential about it, only to realise after reading that I was now too old to be influenced by it. The book is a slice out of a teenager’s life, how he gets chucked out of a fancy prep school, what he does enroute to going home after being dismissed, his face offs with people whose kinds he isn’t accustomed to coming across in life so far, his love for his sister, and the inherent child inside every human being irrespective of age. Teenage is that period in life when you are so vulnerable but put up a brave front to hide and mask all the bewilderment. From that point of view, this book is a teenager’s bible and it’s written in an abstract disjointed way, much like Holden Caulfield, our teenager in question is actually sitting across the table from you and having a conversation. But at the end of it, I was left wondering, ‘Now how does this INFLUENCE people in any way’. Then the ever nagging inner voice said, ‘Girl, it doesn’t influence people your age. You are way too old for this. Should have read it 6 years back. Too bad you were busy being influenced by Ayn Rand back then’ So there, Catcher in the Rye was another reminder that I was getting too old – for even some serious teenage literature.

Now I’ve reached this stage where to even ramble any more I have to start thinking, which I’m not really inclined to do (unless forced, as always). So I’ll stop here and get back when I really have something to say. Might take real long, who knows!

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A post after long. Assuming that the 750 pages of nonsense I’ve written for my exams won’t go in vain and I’ll clear all of them in style(which  of course would be on-the-border), I’m probably done with exam writing in my life. No more hall tickets, pen pouches, identity cards and question papers. Yayyyyy!!!

I read more Coelho in the past one week than I read Security Analysis and Financial Derivatives for exams. I’ve never been a big fan of Coelho. The Alchemist went way above my head and Eleven Minutes went errr…way below it. But after reading The Winner Stands Alone, I understood that with Coelho it’s never about believable plots or storylines. It’s more about the human psyche and its exploration. The Winner Stands Alone, I believe is the least complicated of his books. There’s not much of ‘the search for hidden meaning’ or counting sheep but still Coelho writes with a great deal of heart and sincerity that it made me wonder of I’d been unnecessarily prejudiced against him. The basic premise of TWSA is almost laughable. *SPOILERS* <Igor, a Russian business tycoon goes to Cannes during the time of the famous Film Festival to win back his wife who has left him for another man, a famous haute couturier. And he chooses to do that by ‘destroying whole worlds’ as he calls them, which in simpler terms means that he goes on a serial killing spree murdering people for no reason and sending text messages to his wife after each killing. There is no real justification for Igor’s action except possibly one – that he is a homicidal psychopath. But the book hardly projects him as one. He is suave, sophisticated, rich, intelligent and yet there’s this bloody murderous streak hidden deep within him. As with every other human being in this world. Some of us manage to keep the psycho within us buried deep inside and the not-so-unfortunate ones unleash themselves upon the world, like Igor. There are various other sub plots too, dealing with the lives of the filthy rich and the dirty famous, their success, their insecurities and the agony behind the botoxed faces and Armani suits.> Coelho peels layer after layer of masks from the faces of his characters until they are all left standing stark naked, blinded by the hidden truths of their own lives. Aha!! After all it is a Paulo Coelho book. There has to be a ‘hidden truth’ somewhere  🙂

Saw Life in a Metro yesterday. Wouldn’t say I was bowled away by it but it was a sensible film which could have had some better writing. The initial portions were really good with the way the characters seemed to be interlinked with each other being brought out beautifully along the narrative. But towards the end the film was utterly predictable and the last portions extremely bollywood-ish. The film simply doesn’t end as well as it started. But what blew me away was one man’s delightful performance. Irrfan Khan. The man is nothing short of an acting superlative and he’s going places now. He’s nuanced his role so finely that I couldn’t possibly put my finger on one thing and say, “There! That’s why this is such a great piece of acting.” It is a great piece of acting only because he doesn’t seem to be acting at any point of time. And the revelation of the movie is Shilpa Shetty whom I thought couldn’t act for nuts. She has given the next best performance after Irrfan as a mentally battered and suppressed housewife with a dominating chauvinistic husband. Konkana was good too but she usually is good and I’ve sort of got used to good acting from her. A superior ensemble cast, sensible storyline and fine performances balance the negative aspects of this film. A better watch!!

For the past few weeks, I’ve been having this desire to do something nice for my parents. Feel like taking mom out for shopping and buy her all that she wants, take her to lunch in fancy restaurants, take dad for a master health check up, spend some quality time with them watching movies, laugh, cry, fight, joke or just be in their presence. I wonder what I was doing all these 23 years when I was in the same house with them day after day, year after year. Probably I was busy reading Ayn Rand or listening to U2 and Linkin Park shut up inside my room. Or I was fighting with them to extend my curfew time or cribbing about how they still treat me like a kid. Or was on the phone or in front of the TV. Guilt and shame eat me up as I write this. It was not like I totally ignored them or didn’t care but I wasn’t too bothered either. I just took it for granted that my parents were there and they would always be. Only when they are away now do I realise how much time I had let go, not being with them when I had the chance. Well, all’s not lost. I hope to make up for the lost time. At least now before it’s too late. Waiting for those precious one or two days I get with them in a month now almost seems like a penace. How things change with life!!

‘Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated.’ said some wise man. In my case, make it two. Miss you Amma, Appa…

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