name: that girl in pink
location: Somewhere, India
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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

quickie

hey all!

thanks for all the answers. (especially the hurricane naming thing - who knew there actually was a method to the madness!)

am still not convinced about AB junior's appeal! one of the many unsolved mysteries of my life.

the electrical appliances thing is a good one! we can safely blame that on murphy with all his stupid laws.

i have one more question: hollywood stars get to make out, be naked and pretty much do everything but have sex with their co-stars in movies. why then, do they keep cheating on their partners?

Posted by that girl in pink  | 8:03 PM  |  5 comments  

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Random Ruminations

There are times when one is forced to think. Like when you're sitting in a doctor's waiting room and there are no magazines to flip through. Or when you forget to take a book to the loo and every shampoo label has already been read. Or like in my case, when you're unempolyed; on vacation; and have absolutely nothing better to do. So yeah, I've been thinking and I have some questions.

I want to know:


Hmm...so such are the highly intellectual thoughts that fill my otherwise carefree days. Thoughts I'm sure trouble everyone but work and life probably keep them away from devoting too much time to them.

Anyone got any answers?

Posted by that girl in pink  | 11:10 PM  |  14 comments  

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Delhi Diary II

Delhi is a beautiful city. One the most beautiful in the world. It may not be the most liveable city in the world, but this December as I bask in the sunny afternoons and breathe in the cold night air, I can’t help but fall under its spell.

Is it the broad roads under the wide open sky that make me fall in love with it? A sky still relatively unencroached by steel and glass sky scrapers.

Or maybe it’s the beautiful architecture of all those big houses I swoon over on my way back from Lodhi Garden.
Maybe it’s Lodhi Garden itself, that wide open oasis of natural beauty and peace. A place where the clock stopped decades ago and no one remembered to wind it.

Is it the familiarity of my local market? With its flower shops and restaurants and grumpy store keepers who’ve been selling the same thing for years. And with its one shop that changes its tenant every six months because somehow whatever opens there never seems to take off.

Possibly, it’s the loud punju culture that I feel so at home with. That godawful accent that I understand well and pick up easily when I haggle for junk jewellery at Janpath.

Maybe it’s just the holiday mode I’m in that’s filling me with all this warmth. I don’t, after all, have to contend with traffic jams, nosy neighbours, lecherous qualis drivers and other encumbrances of everyday Delhi life.

But I know, as I sit here by the window and look out on the little girl studying for her exams on the terrace, I know that no dose of reality could fully take away the magic that is Delhi. It may have its flaws, but who doesn’t? There’s just something about Delhi…

Posted by that girl in pink  | 4:44 PM  |  17 comments  

Snapshots of Delhi

Lodhi Tomb

Bridge at Lodhi Garden



Lodhi Garden



My neighbourhood market

Shot of Kotla Mubarakpur

Posted by that girl in pink  | 4:16 PM  |  4 comments  

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Delhi Diary

I hate kids. And today they drove me to tears...

...and it’s all my mom’s fault.

Ok, let me explain. See, my mom and some friends run this school for little kids at one of the friends’ farmhouse, somewhere deep in Haryana, beyond Gurgaon and everything. The students are children of construction workers from around the farmhouse. Now my mom and gang take this school running thing very seriously. The kids have uniforms, school bags, a dedicated teacher…it’s all very Swades inspired and I of course have zero interest in the whole project.

Around 10 this morning though, just as I was enjoying my bed tea and wondering which balcony would be best for some sun soaking, dog stroking and book reading, I hear my mom flapping. (I love being at home, by the way. I get tea in bed. With separate sugar, almonds that have been soaked overnight and biscuits of my choice. I’m telling you, it’s the only way to have your morning tea.)

So anyway, annoyed at my peaceful morning ritual being interrupted, I pottered out to ask what the problem was. Uno, my dog, annoyed at the sudden cessation of his mid-morning biscuits, also angrily walked out behind me and demanded an explanation. Apparently the driver hadn’t turned up and my mom absolutely had to go to the school (It’s called Gyan Shakti) today and there was no way she was going to drive all that way and she just didn’t know what to do!

Well, as I discovered today, heroes are borne out of a lack of ability to keep your mouth shut. There I was; unemployed, with no plans for the day, a nose that just doesn’t stay out of other people’s business and a driver’s license. My fate was sealed.

Two hours later, after traversing past 7 million incomplete flyovers, 3 million property dealer offices and hearing Kajra Re 6 million times on radio we were finally at the Aravalli Farmhouse Resorts something or the other. A gardener with a bandaged ear opened the gate and we entered Gyan Shakti School.

(Funny but absolutely true story about the gardener. Apparently a couple of days back, a friend of his was totally drunk and tottering and when the gardener went to help him, the drunken friend held him really tight and bit his ear off! He actually bit a piece of his ear off. And today the gardener hitched a ride back with us to a nearby doctor, with the bitten piece of ear wrapped in plastic. I know. I’m as stunned as you are. I mean this is really taking the whole influence of 'American culture on Indians thing' a bit too far, don’t you think?)

Ok, getting back to the main story. So we enter the farm house and I’m thinking, not bad at all. It’s kinda rustic and all close to nature and everything. And it’s such a lovely sunny day. While my mom finishes whatever work she has with the kids, maybe I can just laze around and play Su-doku or something. Glare from mom. Ok ok, first I’ll come and see where this great school is and see what these kids are up to.

So I reluctantly follow my mom behind this wall to see what the hullaballo is about. Well, whatever it was, I wasn’t prepared.

Near this covered shed/big hall sort of place are about 40 of the most enthusiastic, most beautiful little kids I have ever seen. Most were dressed in their school uniforms and some were getting their measurements taken by a tailor who’d been called from nearby. All the kids were facing a young lady school teacher who was teaching them something on one of those painting canvas type black boards. As soon as the kids saw my mom approach their faces lit up and I heard the loudest and happiest “Good morning Ma’am” echo through the farm.

These kids were of ages ranging from 6 to about 14 but none had the annoying traits that usually accompany the various age groups. The younger ones were bright eyed and smiley and the older ones respectful, eager and dignified. No child was crying or whining or whispering or being sullen. And when some snacks were passed around for the kids, none of them were pushy or impatient or afraid they might not get their share. They were just happy kids, happy to get their bit at their time and happy to munch on them in the sunny winter afternoon.

As I stood there, transfixed by the glow they were emanating, I started to think. These weren’t like the kids I’m usually subjected to. Kids who have an ‘attitude’ from age three, who remind you of the movie ‘Omen’ and who are usually very easy to be fed up of in less than 15 minutes. These kids actually had some of those mythical qualities people associate with children. Their eyes were actually shining, their smiles actually made you all fuzzy inside and was that…is that what they call ‘innocence’?

So mesmerised was I that I didn’t realise when someone asked the kids to say their morning prayers. It was of course 1:00 in the afternoon and I suspect all this was being done for effect. Well, effect it had. When the kids started singing “Aye Malik, tere bande hum” at the top of their voices, it was too much even for me. My heart filled with a million emotions I’m not sure I can identify and so did my eyes. Luckily, my sun glasses were close at hand and together we avoided what could’ve been a supremely embarrassing scene. (Now there’s an ad for Ray-Ban!)

Going through so many emotions in so little time can be taxing and so I decided to take a deep breath, settle down in a warm spot on the grass and just enjoy the afternoon. And the kids put up quite a show. Little Dinesh made the class recite after tables from 2 to 16. That really impressed me since my own knowledge extends to about 12. Well, if you really push it, I can manage till thirteen fives are sixty five. Beyond that, it’s all quick mental math and now with in built calculators on mobile phones, who even needs that?

I don’t understand why people want super smart kids. And by smart I mean smart-alecky smart. Why do parents boast that their 6 year old is conscious of her figure? Why are dads so happy when they their 10 year old boys talk back to them? That just makes these kids really short adults. And adults, as we all know are fucked up.

Maybe cable TV and city living are a bad idea. Maybe these damn malls and consumerism really are the devil. Maybe it’s time we all moved back to the farms?


Dinesh, the Math Wizard.


Prayer time.

Posted by that girl in pink  | 1:40 AM  |  14 comments  

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Nov 22 - Dec 7

It's been a busy two weeks. Spent mostly travelling. Starting with a fabulous trip to sunny Goa with the girls, an ultra quick stop over at my friend's beautiful apartment in sultry Mumbai, it's now all razais, oranges in the sun and endless cups of tea at wintry Delhi. If there was any justice in the world, I would be a frequent flyer gold card holder at the Cheap-and-Discounted-Apex-Fare Airline.

So much has been seen and done in the past two weeks. In Goa there was the bikini contest, where a guy entered and nearly won, and all the sea food and Bacardi Breezers I devoured (for the record: I usually think Breezers are for sissies and would under normal circumstances never be seen enjoying one, but this was Goa and the Breezers pretty much replaced water so this is never to be held against me, never ever.) and the lovely tan that I got and that bitch about publicly just to get people to notice it. (He he!)

Bombay was spent gushing over my friend's gorgeous new apartment, figuring out a Tata Indicom phone and using all my willpower not to spend my non-existent money.

Delhi till now has pretty much been a battle to look good while trying to stay warm. The more I try, the more I'm convinced the only way to achieve that is to get those Rs. 4,500 boots from Benetton. I do after all, come to Delhi at least once during the winter and for at least 10 days. Is it really unreasonable to want to spend a couple of month's salary on shoes, jackets and accessories? Those colourful mufflers look so cute!! And if I wore those super sexy boots with that Mango skirt, I know Lakme will beg me to participate as a solo act in their next fashion week. Sulk! I hate being poor. I think it might just be worse than being fat. Or maybe fat is worse. I don't know, they both suck equally.
And I'm both. (Hmm. Next blog: my suicide note)


So anyway, through all my exciting escapades (ahem), some things remain routinely mundane. The must-find-job-soon panic rises everyday but is squashed by an optimism that comes from hell knows where! Conversations on what to do for new years eve have started cropping up. (I of course, am more worried about finding something to squeeze into that doesn't make me look like Mrs. Santa Claus.) And there are my fortnightly visits to the bloody beauty salon.

Most people may not know this, but I hate going to salons. Unfortunately the natural shape of my eyebrows belongs perfectly in the movie 'Prem Qaidi' and it's only with some diligent threading that I'm rendered fit for human viewing. So there I was, last Friday, in the least comfortable chair ever designed, bright white halogen lights blazing through closed eyelids, one hand stretching my eyebrow from above, the other applying an equal and opposite force from below. While my poor skin was coming to terms with this paradox, Ms. Grumpy at the salon was busy drowning my eyebrow in a sea of talcum powder. Once sufficiently covered under the snowy mountain, Grumpy adjusted my head with a firm tug and started threading.

Ladies, you know the pain I'm talking about. And men, you'll have no idea right now but one day you'll pay for this. (That's why God invented hernia. That's his way for making up to us for eyebrows, waxing, period & childbirth pains)

As Grumpy plucked my eyebrows, one excrutiating strand at a time, I squirmed and writhed. You will not cry, I chided myself. It's been years now, get used to it. To add to the painful hair removal was the ridiculous chair I was seated on. Made for a 4 foot tall person, I had been adjusted on it with a couple of out of shape cushions hoisted under my neck. As I tried to be brave for all vain women around the world, Grumpy went for a particularly short eyebrow hair. Shorter hair is harder to trap between the thread and so Grumpy decided tough was the only way to go. She abandoned all gentleness and swooped on the hair with the determination of...I don't know, I think she set new examples of determination that day! Even with my eyes closed I could see her, frowning down on my brow, hell bent on winning this war against the little eyebrow hair. All that was going on in my head at the time was Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch, owwwwwwww! Just when all Gods had been called upon, Grumpy suddenly stopped. With an irritated tch, she frowned at me and complained, madam, your hair is so thick!

I mean, is she friggin serious?!??!?

I sit there, in that chair from hell, in a goddman unisex salon of all places, going through this bi-monthly torture, being decent enough not to cry out, smack her on the head, break a few mirrors and run out and that ill-tempered shrew has the nerve to bitch about the quality of my eyebrow hair!

It's my hair, for crying out loud. What can I possibly do about it? Do I have the option of going back and changing parents so I get different genes? Is there a Hair-Thinning lotion available that I'm not aware of? Or do I just shave my eyebrows so Ms. Grumpinson can have the pleasure of drawing on eyebrows of her choice on me?

Enough was enough, I decided. Not only does she suck at her job, she is clearly a whiner and really not much of a team player. She's not getting away with this criticism of my hair. (Feel free to insert your, "Because I'm worth it" joke here.)

As I tersely ordered her to finish my mind started plotting revenge. I'd been screwed by salon girls too many times to let it pass. Somewhere, the downtrodden must rise. Do I complain about her to her boss? Or should I just hold back her tip?

As Grumpy handed over the little mirror to me for inspection, I stared deep into my soul (after quickly making sure the eyebrows were even). Everyone has seen your nice side, I thought, why not show them (and yourself) what you're really made of?

On the side of the mirror I could see Grumpy coming towards me, holding a big glass bottle of rose water and cotton, for that silly eyebrow massage they give you at the end. She started dabbing the cotton with the rose water and just then I swiveled around on the chair (it had finally shown some use, the piece of junk) and casually stretched my leg out, as if contemplating a pedicure.

Cut to: Grumpy falling heavily on the floor, rose water bottle flung on male customer and cotton swabs flying all over the salon. Just as the rose water bottle came crashing down on the floor, so did Grumpy and the fusion sound they produced together was pure magic to my ears.

Aw, be careful now, I said patronizingly and walked all over my enemy towards the billing counter.

I paid, waved and walked out and that day, for the first time I felt how a girl should feel after a visit to the salon, really bloody good.

Posted by that girl in pink  | 2:35 PM  |  8 comments