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Posts Tagged ‘life’

I’m currently in Delhi, on a book “promotion tour” (God, I’ve alway wanted to say that!) and am having a total blast. My publishers publicity person is the nicest girl around, who, in spite of being some eleven months pregnant, is looking after me grandly. She is being so solicitous that I feel like a rock star…well, except for the good stuff like drugs and alcohol 🙂

The first launch went off well. Everybody kept telling me I’m looking hot, so, come to think of it, it went off great. The venue was nice and cosy with a fine view of the monuments of Lutyen’s Delhi. The Park Hotel had gone out of their way to cater for the event and had prepared a delicious array of sumptuous snacks and finger foods. A special mention to Anushree Banrejee and Urvashi Malik of the Park Hotel for handling the event with such enthusiasm.

Then, yesterday the whole day was spent talking to media. It was a packed day, tiring as hell and as much fun! The highlight of the day was me in my halter neck dress bringing the traffic at Parliament Street to a complete halt. I’m not joking. The dress which doesn’t garner a second glance from my bhaji wala in Bombay wreaked complete havoc in babu Delhi. It was hilarious!

And now I have to leave. Some more interviews lined up, plus have to prepare for tomorrow’s launch at Gurgaon. I’ll blog about everything a little later when I have more time. Ciao!

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Australian Open is over and so are my days of vegetating in front of the telly. *sigh* No more excuses. Now I have my butt down to work. I make a half-heated move to slide my butt off the bed. Okay, but before I go, I really should figure out what else happened while I was away. So I randomly switch channels and discover:

A) Man U won their match against Arsenal 3-1. I try to get excited but find I’m unable to care. I do follow the Premier League but only because several friends are football fanatics (read Manchester United) and it is impossible to have a conversation with them unless you know who’s where in the premier league points table. In fact, I currently support Chelsea only to piss them off. Chelsea vs ManU should be cracker. Meanwhile I’m more curious about the Russian Billionaire and owner of Chelsea. I wonder if wasshisname is on his yacht with a bevy of models. But since the boat comes with an anti-paparazzi photo shield, there’s no way anyone is gonna find out is there? BTW, there’s Abramovich owning Chelsea, Usmanov part owning Arsenal…what’s with Russian billionaires owning English FCs?

B) There’s some furore going on over some BT Brinjals. Everyone is screaming at a beleaguered Jairam Ramesh and I ask myself if I want to find out what fuss is about. The answer is an emphatic no. I mean I do like the occasional baingan bharta but not enough to try and make sense of the din. I move on.

C) A nine year old girl has been raped in Goa. Hold on there’s something that puzzles me. As I listen further, I find the girl is Russian. And suddenly it’s all very clear. Ah, so that’s how she escaped the first eight years and nine months unscathed.

D) The stock market is down but not enough to interest me. Yet.

E) Some Nooria Yusuf or Haveli chick went on a demolition derby after consuming…hold on, one can of beer??!!!! Come on, you can lie better than that. I am the worst drinker around and get buzzed when I’m merely down half a glass, but even I can’t get drunk enough to ram a taxi and run over traffic constables on one can of beer. Pop a date rape drug and pretend amnesia. When you ‘come to’ say someone spiked your drink while you were looking elsewhere. Shout rape and become the victim instead. Deflect suspicion from your homicidal jaunt.

*Sigh* Time to get a move on. Truly. But hey, what’s that? I’ve got a message from a friend. It’s Margaritas in the afternoon today. I guess work can wait another day.

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As I was posting the link yesterday, I got thinking about the stories I’ve been asked to comment on in recent times.

  1. Do women prefer cold cash to hot sex? My reply: Of course. It’s a no brainer.
  2. Are men better at writing sex than women? Do women get soppy, and bring too much emotion into, writing about what is primarily a physical act? My reply: Men write porn, women write erotica. Depends on what you prefer. (Can’t find the link)
  3. ‘Do Bad girls go places?’ or is it just a smart phrase? My Reply: D-uh! (Can’t find the link)
  4. Then of course the piece de resistance, the futuristic story I was asked to write about a scenario where women rule the world and men are their sex slaves.

Then I got thinking about search terms that people employ to, and successfully, to arrive at my blog: Smita Jain sex (easily tops the list), kinky sex India, hot naked teens, hot lesbian fuck videos (don’t know where that came from), middle aged aunty sex (DEFINITELY don’t know where that came from), sex.com (okay, that I can understand).

WTF?! Going by this one would think I’ve written a Jonathan Black! Guys, it’s only chicklit. All right, all right, so I do have some sex in my books, but it’s only max two-three scenes. Okay, okay, so it’s four-five scenes, but still. It’s hardly enough to bestow upon me the title of expert. Or is it?

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It’s been slow going on most fronts – the cover design (we’re taking all suggestions into account and taking our time over it, too), the third novel and the social scene. Which means I have a lot of time on my hands. Which means I’m looking for ways to fill that time, preferably by engaging in mindless activities. Like watching TV. Alas, that isn’t to be.

A friend of mine told me an interesting statistic. He said that that since the advent of the set top box, the number of hours people spend in watching TV had gone up dramatically. Well, duh! With 232 channels (if you live in Bombay you don’t have to subscribe to individual channels or bouquets. You pretty much get everything.) it stands to reason you’d spend at least a couple of hours surfing. So that straightway adds to your TV viewing time.

Apparently it isn’t so. According to him, people are actually watching more. Because they have more to watch. This made me wonder, what exactly are people watching? ’Cos I have a set top box with and I still can’t find anything to watch!

You see, the first problem with so many channels is incessant surfing. I can’t stick to one channel in case I’m missing out on something much more fun elsewhere. Like on Australia Network or Deustche News or Russia Today. Makes me kinda wish they’d given a Chinese Channel too while they were at it.

Anyway, coming back to the point about missing out exciting stuff, turns out, I’m not. When I first got it and saw what all was on offer I was mighty thrilled. I had two BBC entertainment channels! Wow, at last, I would be able to watch all those understated British comedies. Well, there aren’t many of those. Unless you want to see re-runs of Fawlty Towers and ’Allo ’Allo. P.S.: You can watch all the Weakest Link you want.

Then there are all these channels like MM2 and Mnet and Show Series and Show Comedy and keep advertising about all these great shows – Jay Leno, Jon Stewart, Ladies No. 1 detective agency etc – but I haven’t yet figured out the time or the channel. I can’t figure out who or what Orbit Showtime is. Is it a bouquet of channels or just the one? Are Super Comedy and Show Comedy a part of Orbit Showtime? If so, which channel is what show on? It is too confusing (yeah, I know I’m slow). It’s easier to go back to Star World.

Also, there are no extra movie channels. At least not ones showing movies I want to watch. The one thing I can’t complain about is not getting enough sport. With some 15 sports channels I have the sporting universe pretty much covered (I especially like watching poker on Zee Sports. Awe.Some.). And then there these encrypted Data Channels whose purpose defeats my limited intellect.

At last we come to the point of this post. And the point is, that my life hasn’t changed at all post STB. I think I’m going to have to watch my nails grow for entertainment.

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Okay, so I’m ranting a lot these days. I have problems with the slum dwellers, I have problems with the middle-class, I have problems with the elite rich. I find myself quite alienated by everyone and everything. Now, I was never like this. So, out of curiosity I rang up a psych friend of mine and told her about this.

A momentary pause, and then she asks, “Do you have headaches and other body pains?” And I’m like, what kind of a question is that? Who doesn’t occasionally have headaches and body pains, especially when one is getting on in years? I reply in the affirmative.

“Distortion or loss of subjective time?”

Duh. I’m a writer. Once I start writing, I lose track of when I’m supposed to brush.

“Depersonalization?  Derealisation? Amnesia? Depression?” she asks, rapid fire.

Huh? I don’t even know what the first two terms mean. But I recognise my life-long companion, depression. So, yet again, I reply in the affirmative, albeit a little cautiously. I’m wondering where she is going with all these questions.

“Auditory hallucinations?” she asks.

“That’s it! What’s with all these questions? What is going on?”

A sharp in-drawn breath. Silence.

“Tell me already.  I’m having a panic attack!”

“Did you say panic attack?” she asks, anxiously.

“Y…yes,” I stammer, fearing the worst.

“Smita, I think you’re suffering from a….”

Brain tumour, brain tumour, brain tumour.

“… dissociative disorder.”

“Wait, did you say dissociative disorder?”

“Yes, what did you think?”

Gulp. “Never mind. Is it serious?” I’m beginning to enjoy this. Brian tumour may not be a walk in the park but a psych disorder? How cool is that? I can’t tell you how I’ve longed for these writer type afflictions, just to lend my life and writing a certain gravitas.

Of course, I’ve often fantasised about having a serious addiction. Like cocaine or something. But I’ve never seriously contemplated it. I’m sure I couldn’t afford it. And then where would I be? On the streets or in the slums, most likely, where admittedly, a lot of poverty-stricken writers and painters lived, but which, as you know from my last post, I’m not keen on doing.

In my mind I’m already a schizoid, writing under two, maybe more personalities. And what comes out is hailed as a cult classic like the Alexandria Quartet or something. I’m busy plotting my new multiple viewpoint novel when she interrupts my fantasies.

“Depends on what kind of a disorder we’re dealing with,” she replies breezily. “In your case I think it’s just urban stress. A lot of people experience this from time to time.”

Great. So I’m just normal. Where’s the cool in that?

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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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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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