Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Close encounter

Today I was propositioned to (grammar check). For the first time in my life.

It happened like this. I had been to Jay's place last evening to work on our project (about which the less said the better), since we had our review this morning. After having decided on whatever we had to decide on (yes, we're gonna get screwed), I left around 11:20 p.m. The night was beautiful. Sultry and humid, as always, but when one is riding one's bike at a reasonably high speed, the resulting wind blowing on one's face feels heavenly.

Anyways, there I was, bowling along as happily as one can bowl along when worried to death about having another three hours of work before hitting the sack. At a slummish area near my house, I had to stop to allow three cows, two dogs and what I think was a chicken (it was a little dark at that spot; it might have been a plastic bag and not a chicken) to cross the road. And that's when I noticed a woman standing at the side of the road.

I couldn't see much of her, except that she was wearing a sari. And then, before my disbelieving eyes, she shifted the pallu of her sari provocatively. When I was still semi-reeling from this, she said, "Yennenga, venuma?" (which translates roughly to "Yo dude, want some?"). I was kinda shocked, to tell the truth. Kinda stunned. I stared at her for a couple of seconds, and she said, "Yennenga, vareengala?" ("You coming?") She took one step towards me, and I accelerated the hell out of there (the road having been cleared of all lifeforms by then).

Even now, almost 24 hours after the incident, I don't know what to make of it...

Life has certainly been anything but boring, of late!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

A blog is visited, a long book read,
And memories of lost days resurrected.

I must admit I have hardly visited this blog over the period of the last 20-odd days. Some bright readers (an oxymoron, perhaps, if you're reading my blog. One of my fav dialogues in the kickass Stallone movie Oscar is "You're both an ox and a moron!" That cracks me up every time... but I digress, as I am wont to do. That sounds kinda cool huh? 'Wont to do...' Anyways, I shall now plead guilty to double digression and get on with things...).

Some bright readers might point out that not all of the last 20 days have been odd in a numerical sense. A large percentage (roughly 50%) have been decidedly even. But since that little bit of mathematical trivia is of no particular interest to me, I shall just ignore those readers (no, please, don't leave yet!) and get on with things. Which, I notice, I've said for the second time. Such is life.

Well, I've been busy with one thing and other. Primarily just the one thing - IIM interviews and stuff - but a decent proportion of other things. And I have therefore not been able to reply to the comments that you, dear reader, have left at various posts. Or, if you haven't left one, you ought to have. So please do not shake your head as if to say, "Hah! This self-absorbed freak is not worthy of our time and comments if he does not deign to reply to them" and stop commenting. I really appreciate your feedback. And the fact that you increase my blog's hit count, so I can boast about it.


My more discerning readers (I'm using the word a lot, for some obscure reason...) would have instantly awakened to the fact that the title of the blog is in verse. And in case you're thinking of a sad joke like "AC's going from bad to verse!", I'd like to say "Hah! I beat you to it!".

The reason for the rhyme? I've just finished reading Vikram Seth's 'A Suitable Boy', a very very long novel. A birdie, unfortunately not a chick, tells me it's the longest Indian novel ever. I'm not surprised. It's huge, approximately 1480 pages. I've read his 'The Golden Gate' before this - that's a novel entirely in verse - and found it smashingly brilliant.

A Suitable Boy is not in verse, though. And it's actually quite beautiful on the whole, although it does drag at certain parts. Over the eight days that it took me to finish reading it, I was introduced to a host of characters (some eccentric, some pure evil, some a great deal of fun and some instantly lovable), a very interesting view of the Indian society in the 1950s (caste, religion and all), and Indian politics just a few years after Independence. This sprawling saga involves four families - the Mehras, the Kapoors, the Chatterjis and the Khans - and their domestic crises in the backdrop of the historical and social events of the era. It's like an old-fashioned soap opera, and typifies Indians pretty nicely... There is a sweeping grandeur to the book that one does not quite realise until one has finished the book, so skilfully have the different threads and subplots been dealt with.

In the book, there is a family called the Chatterjis, and all members of this slightly weird but very lovable clan have a predilection for verse. One of the daughters, Kakoli aka Kuku, breaks out into some very funny poetry throughout the book, and that's what led to the title rhyming.

I loved the book, and I suggest
You read it too; it's by far the best
Novel I've read in a very long while.
It'll make one laugh, cry, think, smile.

I can't rhyme for nuts - almond or cashew,
So I end this part of this blogpost at last... Whew!


Over the past month or three, slam books have made their appearance in class and are being passed around faster than leaked examination papers. A slam book, for those not in the know of things, is usually a normal notebook (though sometimes a preprinted one) in which people fill up their views on you, general musings to fill up the pages (if they don't know you well enough), their contact info and, in most cases, life with you. By you, I don't mean you (dear reader), obviously, but the person who owns the book. I realise I have a pretty irritating writing style, kinda twisted and convoluted and meandering... but I shove it in your face and proudly say - Hah! I don't really know what that is meant to convey, but I hope it conveys it all the same.

Back to slam books. I don't know what's so 'slam' about them, but I'll leave that discussion to another post or another life. (Note to self: try to make sense)

Anyways, the sight of all these slam books and people excitedly scribbling all over them brought back fond memories of my days at school. I dug up my slam books from the 10th and 12th standards and spent a beautiful couple of hours reliving some of the best years of my life. The warmth, love and innocent friendship and affection that leapt out of every entry in the books moved to tears. Really. Some, in particular, brought back nostalgia in full force, all guns blazing and all that.

Sample this - Who is going to lend me his shoulder for me to lean against and shed tears? Who is going to pat me on my back and say 'well done'? Who is going to wish me a Happy New Year in the middle of April?

The last bit is, of course, a reference to my infamous eccentricity and lunacy, which has grown luxuriantly in the fertile grounds of an Anna University education.

And this one - You are exasperating, irritating, calculating, agitating, maddening and infuriating - and a shameless flirt to boot. But all the same, it's been exciting being with you. We've had a great deal of fun. I'm gonna miss you, man. (Sniff)

Long letters on life, girls, exams, music, drumming (read banging on the desk like a madman), girls, elections (to the post of School Pupil Leader in my school), burping (I used to do it just to annoy the girls), weight reduction, dumb charades, girls, balloons (I really don't know why), Tirupati, old crushes and new ones, mothers-in-law, quizzing, birdwatching... ah, those were the days...