Monday, September 17, 2007

So Long and Thanks for all the Fish

I think I'm done writing here. I find myself writing for an audience that lately is filled with people i know. They quote me in conversation. They write about me in their blogs. It's all quite flattering. And claustrophobia-inducing.

I find myself writing about nothing... or rather, writing about things that matter, but always considering the most palatable presentation. In the process I lose out on my truth. Instead, i come up with shoddy paragraphs that aren't even cathartic. Completely awful, and doesn't augur well for my career as a novelist.

Oh well, those are the breaks.

I hate making final statements, so i'll leave myself a loophole - This may be my home but i need a vacation. Maybe i'll be back. Maybe not.

Till i know, thanks for writing in. It's been great :-)

Sunday, September 16, 2007

The Delhi (dah-lee)

I've always had a love-hate relationship with Delhi... and no, it's not the cliched 'i love to hate' kind of thing either. It's... something else.

I have spent the longest time of my almost-nomadic life in Delhi - a total of 12 years. It's a really long time to spend in a city known for its chauvinistic attitude, unsafe streets, daylight rapes-kidnappings-muggings and where eve-teasing is so rampant as to be almost invisible.

It was when i realised that i was developing a chronic backache from the constant hunching and holding my arms in front of my chest that i decided to run. And oh, i ran. All the way across the country to Pune, the land of black soils and unimaginable freedom (comparitively speaking, ofcourse).

My next tryst with Delhi then began 3-4 years later when i fell in love with a Delhi-boy. It was ironic actually that i had to run away to find someone who was actually already in my friend circle. I hadn't noticed him ever while i was there. Very Alchemist. It was also a reflection of who i would have been had i continued living there - a closed-off person who lived in fear and gave an inch to no-one.

This time however, things were better. Probably because by then public transport was a thing of my past and interaction with the masses was kept to a minimum thanks to boyfriend-bodyguard always being around during the once-in-two-months trips that were undertaken. But what irked was that one needed those separators in place to be comfortable.

Back in Mumbai i would soak up the freedom, the mental space and the comparitive safety, while shaking off the remnants of the Dahlee Dust. When the romantic relationship ended, so did the renewed acquaintance with the city. Good riddance, i felt.

And then recently i found myself back there, now moving mostly between Le Meridien and Karol Bagh. I was there for a work assignment and was quite surprised to see how much Delhi has changed. It's become bigger and populated.. by cars. Coming from a city where one finds people on the streets regardless of the time of day/night, i was a little taken aback at not seeing too many people on the roads even during the day. But i did see a lot of cars. And Cabs.

Maybe it's distance that gives you the kind of objectivity required to reassess a place. Delhi is pretty. Clean air, thanks to stringent controls, lots of greenery and flowers and a comfortable climate. The houses are spacious as are the roads. The lifestyle is laid-back. The food is delicious. But somethings haven't changed. People talk loudly. LOUDLY. Cabbies overcharge and aren't considered safe. And there is a palpable sense of boundaries - of behaviour, clothing, etc - that exists.

The common sentiment is that if all the people from Delhi were vacuumed up and replaced by Bombayites, Delhi would be the most amazing city to live in. But until that happens, Delhi will continue to be the city that makes me glad i call Bombay (potholes, prices not withstanding) home.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Spark

Why is this concept so hard to understand? Women like men who know how to ignite the spark in them. Simple. Over the last couple of days i've been nanny to a few of my male friends' non-relationship problems. Both of them have decided they want to be with a particular girl (different girl for each of them) and the chosen girl ofcourse treats them like... furniture.

Can't say i blame the girl. While i was trying to tell them what they should do to attract attention of their respective scrumpets, I found myself giving up and saying, "I can't imagine you being sexual." Yeowch!! But there it is - THAT is the problem.

For a woman to be sexually attracted and feel sexual requires a man (or a woman, if she's gay). If you don't believe me, imagine being in a single-sex world. Make up companies would collapse, so would aftershave and perfume, etc etc. At this point, probably all the feminists of the world just turned in their graves, but i'm talking sexuality, not the equal rights in the workplace, man helping change diapers kind of stuff. Sexuality, whether we like it or not, is linked to sex, and the desire to mate. Who would want to mate with furniture?

Boy 1 told me, "i don't give 'bhao' to women. Either they talk to me or they can fuck off." And the result of that admirable stance? He's sipping coffee with a platonic female friend, while the Girl is probably having dinner with someone who went that extra distance and got noticed. Boy 2 asks, "What do you mean get noticed? We're friends already." Uh, yeah.. and that's how she treats you, not as someone she'd want to bonk silly.


And then i started wondering about the solution. What would it take to create the proverbial 'spark'. And the answer is - surprise.

The minute you surprise someone, you get their attention. It makes you stand out from the crowd. It's what all pick-up-lines, flowers in the workplace, whipped cream in bed etc is all about - surprise.

- the shy guy who reveals a sardonic sense of humor
- the funny guy who suddenly goes serious
- the 'fuck you, i'm cool' guy who shows sincere concern
- the ugly guy who keeps getting stunning women as visitors (call your friends or hire them, if you must!)
- the weird stamp collector almost-stalker guy...who's just near-sighted.

Or whatever.

The point i'm trying to make is that we as women love to categorize men. Once we have pigeon-holed you, then we can deal with you. It's the men who refuse to fall in with our definitions and keep us off-kilter that annoy us, irritate us and finally... get us.

Stupid, huh? I know. But the truth is, once you get our attention for a long enough period, then we start desiring your exclusive attention. And thus continues the age-old dance.

PS: Maybe the above is a simplistic explanation. But it's definitely a place to start.

I think.