Monday, August 28, 2006

Of mobiles and other instruments

Yesterday's newspapers carried the headlines 'Amsterdam Detainees Return, Tell Their Side of The Story' and similar. While its nice to know that fellow countrymen are back safe and sound, I do wonder whether we missed-out reading between the lines. Since I was neither in Amsterdam nor on the plane, my thoughts are based totally on what the newspapers reported (or perchance 'did not'?). However, if the comments of some of the fellow passengers were correct - that the said group, or some of them anyway, refused to obey the airline stewards' requests to fasten seatbelts and turn off mobile phones; and kept exchanging places - it just me I wonder who thinks this was unacceptable behaviour. Disregarding regulations, talking on mobile phones and generally being loud and discorteous to fellow passengers is not simply infuriatingly irritating but quite simply putting safety on the line. I doubt if this did in fact happen and if travelling on the same plane, whether I would not have complained myself (hmm..ya definitely..think I messed up the grammar in this sentence..).

That reminds me, on my last flight the teenager sitting next to me kept looking back at me with puzzled eyes when he caught me staring menacingly at him fiddling arond with his mobile and got me really irritated when instead of shutting it off he just turned around and attached some handsfree stuff and smugly put on his headphones. On being tapped on the shoulder with 'Shut off your phone if you don't mind' I was equally smugly informed that the 'phone' in fact was an 'mp3' player, and no, he would not turn it off!

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Ladies compartment

Yesterday was Day 1 of resolution: Pay more attention to 'surroundings'. Henceforth I hoped to not walk around in my zombielike trance looking either preoccupied/ not interested/ or simply looking 'through' everything (yes, phrase used by a week old colleague)....and unfortunately so true. No more walking with eyes looking on goings on inside the head as opposed to outside it. So anyway, the idea was to pay more attention to the world 'out there'.

The day getting off to a dodgy start should have given an inkling of things to happen, but at 5.00am I was too sleepy to notice. Getting up at half past four with just about a hour and a half of sleep inside me is never a good thing, especially so for a morning hater like myself. Consoling myself with the thought that I could sleep on the train, I got up, got dressed and was out just as the taxi pulled up. About half way to the station I realised that I in fact did not have my passport with me, and there I was going to get the passport sorted out. T y p i c a l. Taxi did an about turn and by the time I found the damn thing and the taxi rushed back to the station, the train had barely 5 minutes to go.

Safely landing in my compartment and subsequently in my seat, I was looking forward to a quiet five and a half hour journey and perhaps catching up on my sleep. (Oh by the way, have figured out how to read those old newspapers neatly piling up in a corner of the room, - take them on train journeys! Yes, I went through three days worth on my way back...) The seat next to me was occupied by a youngish-senior lady whose husband sat across the aisle and belched loudly every now and then. My turning in the general direction of the couple with a disgusted look every time it happened, didn't have any effect and after the first few times she even looked amused, so I stopped doing that and did my usual 'fuming silently' bit.

The compartment was only about half-full and everyone was in the back half, with the front of the compartment completely empty. A cute guy 'very French looking' sat in the seat in front of the seat in front of me and smiled back when I smiled at him while searching for my seat. Hmm...everything was okay with my world at 6.00am when, not so quietly, around nine (wannabe?) models trooped in. Complete with flowing tresses, 5'10"+ heights and miniscule waists, the ladies literally brought the compartment to a sit-still. A sudden pin-drop silence snugly and not so comfortabley enveloped the half-full compartment, and most gawked while pretending not to, while others gawked without pretence. For God's sake, (cheesy you might think, but I can't resist it->) out of all the compartments in all the bloody trains, they had to walk into mine! F!

Everyone looked while the girls sorted themselves out, stored their luggage and located their seats, all the while chattering away, fully aware of the impact they had had. Each time one of the girls walked down the aisle everyone looked at her in an almost shy manner. To be honest, besides being incredibly thin and tall, some were really quite pretty. Made a mental note to rush for the door as soon as the train stopped at the final destination and stand either waaaaay in front or waaaay behind 'the nine', - There was NO WAY I was going to be seen next to them!

A long sigh later I turned towards the window and looked at not the poetically rolling fields but at a stained blue curtain, something I had to do most of the way as the bloody rings were stuck.

Almost five and a half hours later it was amusing to see most of the half-full compartment rush for the door while the ladies were still sleepily waking up from their slumber. Is it that some of us had the same thot hanh hanh hanh??!

So much for paying attention to the surroundings. I think I shall go back inside my head.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Miracles (ahem...uncut)

Scorching heat, blazing sun
Uncomfortable days
Sleepless nights
Unrelenting for days on end
Everyone hoping
And hoping
And suddenly
There is a rumble
Darkening of the sky
A flash of light
A few drops fall
Flowers unfurl
Faces soften
Cool air
All the uncomfort receeds to the back of the mind

Observing this small miracle
One of the endless miracles of time
Someone murmurs:
'God is so very kind'

Came across this one yellowing page while cleaning the files and files (and piles and piles) of paper in my room; oddly under the 'electricity complaints' section. Well, what can I say, (sigh) twas one of the few attempts at prose in my early teens. I even took the 'poem' to the neighbourhood typist/photocopywallah and paid him a forgotten sum from my pocketmoney (100 Rupee for pocketmoney in those days got you A LOT of stuff) to type this on an A4 size sheet of paper. Clutching these few sheets of paper on my way back home I fancied myself an author with the first manuscript of bigger things to come. Sigh..sadly I grew up!

Sunday, August 06, 2006

This pretzel shell provides a soft, teeth-saving crunch.


As I grow older I've noticed my shopping 'style' undergoing a drastic change. Instead of getting dressed up and spending hours leisurely looking through stuff (clothes, shoes, music, etc. etc.) - as was the norm earlier, I find myself rushing to shops wearing my most easy to take off t-shirt and grabbing things which I think I might like, rushing to the counter and getting outa there asap. The most irritating segment of this time frame is having to wait for what seems like hours outside the changing rooms and then finally when finding one empty, to discover that the size is either too too small (very often) or too big (sometimes) (of the clothes I mean, though it equally goes for the trial rooms), and then the whole putting on-taking off-putting on-taking off routine is somthing I dread. Especially since it is a never-ending process of 'trial and error' - literally. Once I start, I get into this loop of waiting for a vacant trial room: struggling to get the shirt or skirt over my chest or thighs as the case might be: struggling out of the clothes stuck midway: wearing own stuff back: scouting around for a bigger size: waiting for a vacant trial room.... At least I have gotten used to totally ignoring the skinny and annorexic women all around me looking for 'S'mall and 'XS-Extra small' sizes, while I stop the shop assistants and ask them: 'Do you have this in large'. I've also almost perfected this 'whatever stare' for assistants who respond with 'Madam I think you might wanna try an XL'. 'WHATEVER'!

So today's rushed trip got me: 2 kurtas (dark green, and brown), 1 parallel pajama sort of stuff (black), 1 hybrid bween a chunni and a scarf (black, bloody expensive, and I already love it! I plan to cut it and make it into a proper scarf), 2 tops (cream-fawnish, and purple); and 9 bras (yes I know I sort of panicked and went a bit overboard) - in black, black, black, black, light purple, white, cream, cream, maroon. I like the light purple one the bestest.

Then it was the turn for weekly groceries and hence and for sustenance this week I have a choice bween: 1.5 kg mangoes, 5 packets of maggi, 4 packets of random ready-to-eat veggies, 1 jar mixed pickle (for when the veggies run out), 1 jar pasta sauce (a sole jar of a brand called 'Tify' which was hidden way behind all the expensive Pregos. Tify was definitely more interesting), yoghurt and 1 packet of munchies called 'Pretzel Pete' described on the packet as 'All-Natural Pretzel Nuggets filled with creamy smooth peanut butter'. Not sure why I bought this since I don't even like peanut butter. It even has a detailed diagram on the back with arrows pointing to various parts of a nugget with random info - 'This pretzel shell provides a soft, teeth-saving crunch!' <- 'teeth saving crunch' hmmm, 'Creamy realy peanut butter is injected just before baking' <- wow! is that so!, 'Peanut butter nuggets are not overtly salted' <- ooookay.

And then, I bought a black coffee mug which I quite like. And it is now sitting snugly with my Flower Power mug, my London mug, my Purple Ronnie mug, and my free with Dominoes Pizza mug...nice, the family is growing.

Sigh. So, that was what I did most of the day today. Sigh.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Reset the funny bone

Intentions were good I swear..but after 2.5 hours of staring at the pages supplemented with 1 hazelnut cappuccino, 1 chicken salami sandwich, 1 orange brownie, 3 glasses of water, and 1 packet of crisps, - NOTHING, yes nothing, has gone in my head. Must be the high levels of pesticides in the water. HA HA HA HA (hysterical laughter fades away)