Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Saving the planet Mumbai style

Enjoyed a wierd sort of Earth Hour (8.30 - 9.30 pm, 28th March). Beloved Husband earnestly (and sternly) warned me in the morning that he wanted the refrigerator switched off too. I sighed inwardly- he was exceeding the brief, as always. His burning desire to save the planet makes him a little more attractive and a lot more annoying. But I didn't contest him then with howls of outrage at the prospect of good food gone bad, oh no. Why bother, when ve haf our vays? I knew exactly what would eventually trip him up.
At 8 pm, when I brought the candles out, I heard him sigh wistfully. 'There are two good movies scheduled for 9,' he muttered.
'Well then, you'll have to miss the first half hour, won't you?' I snapped.
'I could always watch TV by candlelight,' was his forceful rejoinder.
'Sure, and I can leave the fridge on too,' I said brightly.
He fought with his consience for a brief moment.
And so he watched TV by candlelight and I left the fridge running.
We did switch off all the lights and fans though. We did our miniscule bit.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Arvind Adiga and my Driver

Sorry about this, but I have to start this post in classic, frequently jeered at Satya Saran mode: 'While I was at a traffic signal...' GAK!!!!
So- while I was at a traffic signal, a vendor shoved at pirated copy of Adiga's White Tiger through the window. I declined to buy it since:
a) Already own it
b) Do not buy pirated books
But, I was inspired to tell Raju, my driver, the story of the novel. He was fascinated!!!! A lengthy and lively debate followed on the moral issues thrown up. Who was more despicable? The driver for murdering his employer or the employer for making him take the rap for his wife's accidental murder of a street child?
Gosh, I really wish this book could be translated into India's regional dialects and sold at a nominal price. Or at least, made into a Bollywood style flick so India's silent majority could see it.
That would be a step in the right direction for social justice!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

An alarming trend

Have been wondering why so many people are dying on planes of late. Every other day the papers solemnly inform us of another death. It could it be the cabin pressure of course or the yucky food, but I have another theory: maybe the mid-flight victims were soulfully humming 'Nearer my god to thee' under their breath.
Moral: Never pray while flying!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

No plans for the future, sigh.

A few days ago I called an old school friend who cheerfully said, 'Hey, I was just about to call you- you'll live a hundred years!'

I shuddered and made her take her words back. Living a hundred years is a goddamn curse, not a blessing! That conversation brought to mind a promise I'd made to myself when I was in my teens:

Plan A was: I would kill myself on my 30th birthday to save myself from the indignities of aging. I briefly contemplated my promise when I boisterously brought my 30th birthday in at a pub and shrugged it off with a 'Naah- not yet. Not sure if they have vodka in heaven, and besides there's so much more to look forward to. Better to go with Plan B.' Um, it turns out that I was wrong about the 'things to look forward to' part!

Plan B: I'd work very, very hard and save money to buy a cottage in Manali with a garden. Then I'd retire from the world and grow things in my garden. Not pretty perfumed flowers, but calming weed. That would be my compensation for suffering from failing eyesight, liver spots, gout, lumbago, arthritis, menopause, housemaid's knee, whatever! But you know what? Plan B doesn't excite me anymore.

The tragedy is, I never had a Plan C as a fall back option. I have absolutely no idea what to do with myself as I grow older and decrepit. Being an alcoholic is silly and boring - unless, of course, an effective hangover cure is discovered. Seeing the world is tedious with all those annoying security checks and terrorist-proof restrictions and even worse, you may die in a strange place and return home in the baggage hold and take your final cruise down the baggage conveyer belt. How sad is that?

Maybe I should learn something new to keep me excited about living. Now if only I could figure out what.

Monday, March 23, 2009

And here's to you, Mr. P Chidambaram- a nation turns its affectionate eyes on you!

I'm getting fonder and fonder of Union Home Minister P Chidambaram as the days go by. Check out this excerpt from an article: 'Taking on Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, who had described the shifting of the IPL out of India as a "national shame", the Home Minister said that most people in India thought that the Gujarat communal riots of 2002 were a national shame.'

Well said!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Rock chicks in Mumbai

Was very excited reading about this all girl Led Zep tribute band called Lez Zep- really wanted to go for their concert in Mumbai (tonight). Backed out nervously, however, when the ad cheerfully announced that Farhan Akhtar will be performing at the same show too! Absolutely cannot suffer him singing again- have a weak heart. Am really annoyed at the way concert organisers have started mixing up artistes and genres. What the hell is that all about? Come on, would you willingly go to a restaurant that serves Chinese, Indian and Continental cuisine?
Damn. Gnashing my teeth. Hope they come to Mumbai again and get an entire show to themselves!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Hail (or heil?) Varun Thackeray!

If the allegations of making nasty communal statements are proved true, it seems that Varun Gandhi has more in common with another political dynasty. Saw a few clips of his speech and almost threw up with disgust. I'm a bit worried about him being barred from a career in politics, though- he may get back to writing poetry full time and my god, is he a lousy poet or is he a lousy poet?

Friday, March 13, 2009

Hey hey, my my, rock n' roll will never die

Rohan's favourite car music: CSN and James Brown, but CSN is his absolute favourite.
His latest trip in life is to cruise around the city (his words, not mine!) while listening to the album his parents own. I accompanied him for a drive today and he was astonished when I hummed and sang along.

'Rock is for boys, not girls,' he admonished me sternly. After I shut him up with a threatening 'Oh yeah? Sez who?' the problems began- he started questioning the lyrics. For example:

'Why is he saying, "We are what we are?"' he scoffed. 'How silly is that? Everybody knows that they are what they are!'

I tried to explain but believe me, it isn't easy to lighten up dark lyrics for a 5 year old. Every song- every single song on that album was analysed in depth. I am now seriously considering writing a children's guide to rock lyrics.

Was relieved to get back home to discover Rehan (Rohan's one-month old sibling) waving his arms and legs in the air while listening to baby jazz on his boom box. The only lyrics were 'Rock with Elmo!' (said in an excited squeaky voice). Nothing to analyse there, whew.

Gosh, am so exhausted after that drive I've decided to skip the gym today. But I have to confess that I'm delighted that Neil Young was right- rock n' roll will never die.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Chicken or paneer?

These are the highlights of menus at dinner parties in this country. And I HATE HATE HATE HATE HATE both with a passion! I'm forced to settle for the crudites and chips (thank god for those standard life-savers and hunger-stavers- or else I'd be reduced to eating paper napkins for sustenance). What's worse is that even a lot of restaurants and pastry shops have followed suit. Heck, what happened to the good old cheese patty is what I want to know? I have scoured all the upmarket joints in the city and have come up with zilch. I hopelessly inspected mid-market pastry shops and finally discovered one (just one, can you believe it?) place that makes cheese patties. And not pure cheese but cheese with corn (ugh) and cheese with mushrooms (passable).
So now with deep resignation I have decided that I must buy an oven and learn how to make good old-fashioned cheese patties for myself. Sigh. It's so difficult to live in these times.