name: that girl in pink
location: Somewhere, India
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Monday, November 21, 2005

an idea to change your life

It is widely believed that one of the keys to a successful life is to set up goals for yourself. Friends’ Phoebe Buffay had a list of goals, which included among others, having the perfect kiss and meeting Portuguese people. There’s a movie called “10 things to do before you turn 30”. I haven’t seen it but I do have a contribution to the list. One I recommend highly for anyone, at any age. It’s simpler than climbing Mount Everest, although almost as nerve racking. It’ll change your perspective of some of the most mundane things of life and on the whole, it’s rather fun.
I suggest unemployment.

We may not realise this but most of us have been constantly busy with something or the other pretty much since the age of 3. With all respect to the “childhood is the best time of your life” view holders, we all know that school was no child’s play. Every summer vacation came with holiday homework and preparation for the next year. Having barely heaved a sigh of relief at finishing our board exams, it was time for us to start jostling our way into colleges. CAT, RAT, GMAT followed that and before we knew it we were eating tasteless catered food at our workplaces, while partaking in office gossip. It’s been a busy ride and stopping isn’t a thought that occurs to most people. I confess, being out of work wasn’t exactly a lifelong dream of mine either. But having stumbled into this blissful, shall we say, experience I feel compelled to urge everyone to take a shot at it.

Now enjoying unemployment is kinda like taking to caviar. It’s an acquired taste. (And also very expensive, but then all good things are.) The first week is rather hellish. You are so used to constantly running, and running late, that waking up to nothingness will be very disconcerting. At this time, I guarantee you, there will nothing to watch on TV, nothing interesting to read around the house and the electricity will go off for at least 4 hours at a stretch. You will pick up the phone to reconnect with old friends now that you have the time but guess what? They’re still busy and will have to call you back please! After half heartedly organising your socks drawer you’ll decide to catch up on all those lost zzzs and fall asleep. When you wake up, it’ll be dark outside and you’ll find yourself still in your pyjamas; unbathed and disoriented. Your friends will finally call you back and tell you about the crazy day they had at work and in return you’ll tell them about today’s Oprah. As you hang up the phone, a deep depression will start enveloping your heart and you’ll find your hand reaching out for that head hunter’s card.

STOP! These are just early obstacles designed to test if you’re strong enough to be an ‘unemployed person’. Like I said, it’s not all a bed of roses but if you survive the first week I promise, it will get better.

The feeling of joy starts creeping around the first weekend of your jobless life. Around Sunday evening, you’ll hear your friends saying no to another drink, instead groaning and moaning about the upcoming Monday. Hmm…you’ll think to yourself, what do I have lined up for Monday morning? Ah yes, I was going to organise my t-shirts by colour. And the deadline on that is…September 2010.
Yeah, I think I will have another drink. And maybe after that catch a late movie on TV. But I won’t make it too late. I must, after all get that very important job of washing my hair done tomorrow. Open planner. Things to do - Monday: Switch geyser on.

As your second week of wastefulness unfolds you’ll find yourself settling into a happy routine. Wake up around noon, potter around house, check mail, shower (or not. Unemployed life is very lenient when it comes to hygiene.) and step out for a bit of something.

In the past one week I have done things that a job just would not have afforded me time for.

I started with a refreshing facial. Oops, I’ve mentioned that already. Well, let’s just leave it at, I started with an interesting visit to the salon.

After that I caught a play. An Agatha Christie murder mystery it was, enacted rather amateurishly but at least something culturally driven in my otherwise shallow life.

I read Lolita by Vladimir Nabakov, a book so beautifully written that I felt too humbled for a long time to even write my little blog.

I went for a kalaripayattu dance class. That’s a beautiful but very vigorous style of Kerela martial arts. You don’t just stretch your body to crazy limits but also learn to smilingly lose all your dignity as professional dancers cartwheel around you (who’re learning how to kick one foot above the ground).

I went to see ‘Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire’. A thoroughly enjoyable film, which is apparently partially inspired by Bollywood! Watch out for the cutie who plays Cedric Diggory and a really creepy, really awesome Voldemort. Personally, I think ‘Prisoner of Azkaban’ is the best of the Harry Potter films, but this one was really good as well.

Through all this, I’ve played lots of Su-doku, tended to my plants, made a scrap book of my Pondicherry pictures, checked out a new night club, been to party that got raided by cops, caught up with some old girlfriends and forgotten a really really good friend’s birthday (NM: Happy Belated Birthday! Please forgive me for not calling. Believe me when I tell you I had totally lost track of time. Sorry :-( )

Now for any of you have even slightly bought into the great unemployed life concept, I do have some words of caution. As lovely as it is, it does come with an expiry date. I suggest you give it three weeks top. Either that or make sure you never check your bank balance. Cuz when you do, a sense of panic will start setting in. And you’ll start coming up with bizarre money making schemes in case you never get a job. So before I have to start putting any of these crazy ideas into practice, if you know of anyone who needs an advertising copywriter with 4 and something years of work ex, ask them to get in touch. Please.

Posted by that girl in pink  | 7:39 PM  |  11 comments  

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Bachao!!!!!!!!!!!!

I've downloaded the google bar, the msn and the yahoo bar! But those damn pop ups do not stop!!!! Everytime I settle down in my chair to read something on the net, up pops an offer for a loan, some new software or some ugly cow persuading me to marry her. I'm not a lesbian, I'm not unmarried and I'm not fucking interested so go away!!

And today when I was on my blog, trying to read the one lone comment I got (thanks V!), suddenly, the stupid pop-up blocker leapt into action and I had to press ctrl to read a comment on my own blog! Does the internet now have a sense of humour? Is it funny to see me curse out loud everytime I'm online?

Screw anti-terrorism laws, I need a really swift and really strict anti pop up law.

Anyone who lost their way on the great web highway and reached here and knows of a solution to the pop-up menace, please help me.

I'll download anything (as long as it doesn't cost me anything) and if it works you will be amply rewarded (as long as it doesn't cost me anything).

Please help.

Posted by that girl in pink  | 10:52 PM  |  7 comments  

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Pondicherry Post

Last weekend, being a long one (and me being unemployed), we took a trip to Pondicherry. Lovely city, very warm people, over hyped ashrams, fabulous drive and an over all great experience. There was however one terribly odd thing about the city. Most hotels in the French quarters, while beautifully decorated, have this strange quirk about bathrooms with openings into the bedroom. Some bathrooms simply have no doors (just a gaping rectangular hole where the door should be), other have windows which cannot be shut, some have those half swing doors you see in a doctors clinic and then some have these holes cut out all over the wall dividing the bedroom and bathroom.

Finding this most peculiar, I decided to investigate. So one evening I had a chat with some locals (Mr. Smirnoff and Ms. Lime Cordial) and finally managed to get the story. Below is a report that might shed some light on the mystery of the “Door less bathrooms of Pondicherry.”



It was sometime in the 1600s when the French decided to set base at Pondicherry. Seeing that it would be a long voyage to India they decided to carry with them everything they could possibly need in this strange and unknown land. Fair enough, since the option of later calling mom and asking her to please courier “my black sling backs” wasn’t really there. So the ships were loaded. With high French beds, exotic cooking herbs, perfumes, powders, wigs, yards of fabric, riding boots, French windows, architects, sculptors, painters, stencils of French accent marks, pretty much everything most of us would like to take on a trip, if only it wasn’t for that damn 30 kg thing airlines limit us with.

Well prepared and in the high spirits that always warrant the invasion of a new land, the French set sail for the sultry shores of Pondicherry. After a long and interesting journey with some well deserved shopping breaks at Sri Lanka, they finally set foot on Pondicherry. Within days, development work began; existing villages were torn down and the locals were quickly designated to bearer and punkah swinging capacities.

It was while the new French buildings were coming up that a young engineer noticed something odd. Amongst all the material they had carried with them, one item was alarmingly low in numbers. The doors. Someone had grossly miscalculated the number of doors that would be required to make a complete house. L’enquirie commission was set up and it was found to be a case of miscommunication. You see, the French word for door is “porte” and when the orders were being placed, the supplies in-charge heard it as “potty”. Having once served in the ‘Light Brigade’, he decided it wasn’t his to reason why, but to simply do and so he packed half the number of “portes” and double the number of “potties”.

(This incident also explains the existence of the bidet. Since they were saddled with twice the number of commodes they could use, the French decided each bathroom should have two commodes, one to do your business in and the other solely for cleaning up.)

So anyway, here they were, in a new land with half the number of required doors and a lot of building work in progress. The French intelligentsia put their heads together to figure a way out of his door-less quandary. And suddenly, “A-ha!” said Pierre Dumefucke, “I have got it! Let’s not put any doors on our bathrooms!”

It’s perfectly logical,” he continued, “The bedroom is where we carry out our amorous activities and the kitchen needs a door to protect our top secret recipes. The study has to have a door to prevent the illiterate Indians from reading our plans in French. That only leaves the bathroom!”

I see, I see,” concurred Jaques Stupide, “I see your point. Besides, what happens in a bathroom that requires privacy anyway? We bathe twice a year and our other activities provide such sweet sound. A gurgling brook, a child throwing pebbles into the brook. I’m sure it’ll all be very pleasant to hear for the person in the bedroom outside.

Oui oui!” exclaimed Philippe P’Brain, “and do not give any thought to the smells that might emit from a door less bathroom. After all, what is the French perfume industry for?”

At this, they all laughed happily, clinked their glasses of wine together and the verdict was passed.

“All French houses will be made without bathroom doors.”
By order of the Pondicherry-French planning committee.

(Some French claim that this is the origin behind the open-door policy but that is yet to be validated.)

In 1954, the French handed Pondicherry back to the Indian government. While bidding farewell to his beloved Pondicherry the teary eyed French governor took the head of the Indian union aside and asked a promise of him, “for old times sake.” (Like when we ruled over you and treated as slaves…good days!)

Promise me, you will continue the tradition of the open bathrooms in Pondicherry. So that every time some one goes to take le crap he gets constipation due to embarrassment and his friend outside is forced to stuff his ears and nose with cotton. Let open defecating be the legacy the French leave behind in India.”

Sob.

“Au Revoir!”

Posted by that girl in pink  | 11:53 AM  |  10 comments