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Archive for July, 2009

One small step towards the 31, one large leap towards mortality.  I’m in the grip of an acute case of loseritis. For those unfamiliar with Smitaspeak, it means fear of not having done anything noteworthy.

My friends have suggested various methods to beat the affliction. One idea was throwing a lavish party at Polly Esther. Let’s see, my close friends aggregate 80 in number. *shrug* I’m popular, what can I say? At 1500 a head, that should comfortably set me back by 120,000. *Sarcastic* So, not having done anything noteworthy and broke. Wow, that’s gonna get me out of my funk!

And Anu, skydiving? *look askance* Seriously?

Then, yesterday, my best friend hit upon the winning idea. The only thing to do when you have an attack of the blues. A great haircut.

So we go to this hairdresser everyone’s raving about. He greets us nicely, feels my hair, calls it dry and stringy, suggests some wildly expensive Wella hair care products and settles me in the high chair. So far so good. Then, as he’s cutting my hair, his hand brushes past my…well, let’s just say a part of my upper anatomy. At first I think it’s an accident, but then it happens again…and again…*eyes widen in shock* And I’m like, whao! what’s happening? Is he…groping me?

It seems like it but I can’t be sure, you understand? For one, aren’t all male hairdressers gay? And two, it could be an accident. An accident like the one with Uncle Naidu when I was twelve. And with Uncle Siwach when I was sixteen, but what the heck.

So I’m sitting there in the high chair and I figure I have two choices. I can walk out now with my dignity intact. Or, I can walk out after fifteen minutes with a great haircut. While I’m mulling this over, he pulls the bangs down my face and against my, well, upper anatomy to test the evenness.

As he’s doing so, he presses his hands down very purposefully against, you know. And I go, well, that does it. I can’t walk out now. I can feel my bangs are uneven. I mean, sexual harassment is serious. It can scar you for life. But the scars are internal. A bad haircut is there for everyone to see.

On the bright side, I look great with my new haircut and I got hit upon by my hairdresser. I still got it.

*beatific smile*

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It’s weird how Sach ka Saamna has created such furore amongst our MPs. Apparently, the I&B Ministry has issued a notice to Star Plus, demanding the closure of the reality show. What has got our netas’ knickers in a knot is a small time actor confessing to having sex with a prostitute while his daughter sat in the room. Well, of course it did. Prostitution is illegal in India and such shows only encourage people to break the law.

(Bet they’re thinking they weren’t so hard on sex-ed in schools now, eh?)

Besides, it gives them another headache. Prostitution is like homosexuality. A giant elephant in the room no one wants to acknowledge. It’s like before the repealing of section 377, we had a host of gays admitting to being homosexuals, but not practising homosexuals. How stupid is that? It’s like me saying I’m ambidextrous but doctor, don’t cut off my right hand as I’m not a practising southpaw?

Then someone says to me, “How you know is if the thought of doing it with the same sex excites you.” Okay, so I’ve often fantasised about doing it with Raveena Tandon and Shilpa Shetty. That doesn’t make me Akshay Kumar, does it?

In another incident, some journos asked Shruti Haasan to comment on how her dad would react upon seeing her in a bikini. And she said, “Dad’s changed my diapers, why would he mind seeing me in a bikini?” How stupid is that? What is she saying? That she’s been toilet trained since then and is not likely to poop in her panties? And that, should she poop, panties are so much easier to change than diapers?

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Indiaplaza is one of the biggest online stores, including for books. They started the Golden Quill awards for fiction last year. This year, they’ve added non-fiction as well. Apart from the Jury prize, they also have a Reader’s Choice award. How this works is, the publishers submit a 1000-word extract from each title they submit. These extracts are put up on the Indiaplaza website, and readers can vote for the book they think is the best.

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I was worried. Rati was back too. I guess I should have seen this coming when Trisha came back. It wasn’t Trisha who worried me, but Rati. She was tightly wound and tended to be paranoid and suspicious. Trisha was really not a problem. She was high-spirited and playful and easy to live with.

Although, as Rati would no doubt say, and I would have to agree, she did have a tendency to overdo things, especially things that make you cringe the morning after, which in itself was cause for shame, if not concern. And, as doubtless Trisha would argue, and I would again have to agree, Rati was impotent. For all her paranoia, Rati was curiously impotent, unwilling to take action. Her usual reaction was to shut herself up. At least, Trisha had more gumption than Rati.

All the same, it was rather tedious having them around. As I sat mulling over my options, the doorbell buzzed.

“Don’t open the door! See who it is first,” Rati said.

See what I mean? I mean who could it be? A murdering maid? Actually in Bombay one could never tell, so maybe I was being too hasty in judging her.

Rati broke into my thoughts. “Who is it?”

“I didn’t check, but I think it might be Raoul,” I said.

“Oh goody! Let him in and let the party begin,” Trisha said.

“Why? Didn’t you tell him it was over? What does he want now?” Rati said.

“What do you think he wants?”

“Trisha’s a slut. Don’t let him in. Before you know it, he’ll have seduced you back to where you were.”

“What’s so objectionable about going back to bed?”

My head was starting to throb. “Guys, guys, if we all have to live here, can’t we all just try to get along?”

“Don’t tell me. She’s the psycho,” Trisha said.

“At least this time she’s working with me. Not against me,” I said.

“Just because she isn’t telling you to blow your brains out? She makes you paranoid.”

“I keep her alert. It’s a dangerous world out there.”

“If she lets him in she might end up having sex. Yeah, I see the danger.”

“Don’t listen to her. You can’t afford to relax.”

“Now you know why you haven’t been having orgasms.”

“Shut up! Both of you. It was just the mailman,” I said.

Really, it didn’t seem like I had many options. I got up and strode across to the bedroom. I reached for the vial on the table by my bedside.

 “Wait! What are you doing? Trisha, stop her. She’s going to kill us.”

“I hate to agree with her, but she’s right. Don’t do it!”

“We’re not the enemy. Prozac is,” they both cried.

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I am travelling these days. I just got back from one and am getting ready to go on another. From now on, I’ll be on holiday for two weeks every month. I’ll be going to Delhi, Himachal, Europe and Uttarakhand between now and September. And maybe, just maybe, I might manage to sneak in a weekend visit to Goa.

As you can see, my calendar is pretty packed. So I’ll be blogging infrequently. The thing is, when I’m on holiday, I don’t read newspapers. And the last thing on my mind is waxing on the golden rules of writing. Therefore, the only thing I can write is travelogues. And no one reads them. And why should they? They are booorrrrinnngggg.

Pico Iyer, I’m not. Not only do I not have his facility and versatility with words, I’m not even as adventurous.

One, I’m vegetarian, so most local cuisine is out of my palate purview. And who wants to read about how much more succulent cauliflower is in Himachal vis-à-vis in Bombay?

Two, I’ve reached that age when I’m not inclined to slum it out anymore. I fly to a place and check into a decent hotel. So I can’t write about the visual delights along the scenic route to a particular place. I will be driving in Europe, though. And I’m not sure there will be that much to write about that. Driving in Europe is hardly as eventful, or as death-defying, as it is in India. I mean what am I going to write? How novel and exciting filling one’s gas tank oneself is? It is exciting, though. Almost like learning how to tie one’s shoelaces.

Three, people are generally courteous, so there’s no drama there.

And then everything is orderly. Trains come and go when they’re supposed to, and from where they are supposed to. Taxis are generally clean and reliable. They’ll go where you want to go and their meters are accurate. Pavements are actually available to walk on.

As I said, booorrriiinnngggg!

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