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Showing posts from March, 2010

Bad Brow Day

I am beginning to feel a bit settled. Made tons of friends, getting calls for jobs, know my way about - hop in an out of buses, trams, trains. I was struggling with the sense of belonging to a place where you hardly saw people outside their beautiful houses and well-manicured lawns, where everything seems so different.
My exciting moments are when I meet people like me struggling to establish an affinity with a new place. We find pleasures in discussing our "missing phase" and reminisce most about foods missed. "The next time I visit India I will eat gol cuppas for one whole week." Or, "I will eat Chinese Indian food to death."
I had a tiff with the master over dinner. I wanted egg curry, he wanted chicken. And like everything else, I linked my arguments to my re-settlement theory. "Don't you realise I am having an urge for my own food?" And he replied, "I wanted us to eat together." But since he does not like egg curry, we could n…

Hinglish

When they say English is a funny language, I would have thought they kept Indians in mind too. I love it that we feel the pulse of the language and interpret it literally and liberally from our mother tongues.
Years back, I remember a cousin from the village who had come to Shillong to study in college. Shillong being the education capital of the northeast and mainly an English-speaking town, he was out to impress us all with his mastery of the language.”The climate is very sweet,” he said on arrival. From humid Silchar to pleasant Shillong, I sensed his relief.
“What is your good name?” I have never thought about the’ good’ in this question except when people started writing and satirising Indian English. And I don’t correct my dad when he still asks my friends their good names. I take it, its our way of being extra courteous.
There are so many sentences like these and off hand I can’t think of all. Perhaps, my memory is like that only. Yes, like that only. What to do no, so many thin…

Ode To Paan

I now understand why people say those who live abroad live by the Gmail and Facebook. You are so cut off from everyone that you do log on for a few hours everyday just to be in virtual touch. More so, if you have not got a job yet. So I now have a G &F habit, almost replacing the paan :)

Funny how when friends ask me if I miss Delhi my prompt reply is "I miss paan". I get ample advices on overcoming or rather coming to terms with this vice I inculated over years of staying in Delhi and being surrounded by paan-wallahs, a few of whom had become my friends too.

Sanj: u missing delhi
me: no paan
Sanj: why don't you grow paan ka pattha at home
me: trying to grow chillies at the moment

****
me: and nowadays i am always wearing my heart on my sleeve. i snapped at laurie one day and i said this is the most vulnerable stage of my life - without a job, without my family, without my PAAN!
scribe: PAN... did i hear it right?
scribe: you are a SPECIAL CASE
me: when gita went to…

Sydney & Back

I have to post about our road trip to Sydney the weekend before last - and before they recede into the background of memories. Long drive, and in a way I was reminded about my countless Delhi-Jaipur trips or Delhi-Pushkar trips. Different experiences but each unique in their own way.
The first thing that you notice here are how good and well-maintained the roads are. And if, some parts of the roads are on repair, you are warned well in advance by sign posts and speed limits which are followed strictly. Was I impressed? Yes, but guess what, I missed the ocassional bumpy rides, the potholes and bullock carts and camels on the way.
Driving to Sdyney via the Hume Highway takes nine hours, and apparently, it is not one of the mosts scenic drives. The breathtaking drive is via the coastal route, which takes longer. I found this one beautiful, nontheless.
For miles on end, I saw cattle, sheep, horses grazing on vast stretches of green, an ocassional pond, small hills and all kinds of trees. We…

'Missing' Phase

I got up at 9 a.m. today after a night of over eating and drinking. I heard distant chatter and thought I was dreaming. But my neighbour Lynn had guests and they were sitting in the garden. Nine is not early in a place where people hit the sack by 10 p.m.. Noises in this generaly quiet suburb make me feel good as I am reminded of my house and neighbourhood in India.
I had my tea and breakfast and watered the plants that seem to be wilting in the already strong morning sun. Then I got down to read some of the old voluminous weekend papers; I get my papers in the evening when Lolo comes back from work. I had finished my cup of tea and Lynn's guests were still there. I got thinking about friends and people I miss.
I had all kinds of friends in India. Ocassionally I would take a walk with Manju my neighbour, who would pour her heart out to me during those walks. It was good to whinge, we agreed. I remembered Yashu and Geeta who I would talk and meet as often as I could over dinner, coff…

My Gastronomical O

My friend Geeta is curious about Lolo's diet. She thinks he is slim and trim and wants to emulate his food habits in her bid to fight the bulge. I tell her he has his juice in the morning or flavoured curd, then wheet-bix and milk or other cereals and a cup of coffee before heading off to work. Then he packs some sandwiches and fruits for lunch and when he gets back home has some of his protein shakes, and then, for dinner it's a whole range of food. His dinners are ceremonial every night. Variety is the spice of his life.

I do like his food habits, which are so varied and, of course, chocolate and ice-cream oriented too, but the spice of my life is chilly. I don't seem to get enough of them here. So I have, on the advice of my former boss and intellectual friend, planted some Thai chillies in my backyard but they are not anywhere close to our 'rajah mirchi' or the king of chillies as befits the name.

Lolo says I must get into healthy eating and include lot more frui…

Death Of Desi

So after 10-day stint at the call centre, I bade my friends an honourable goodbye. I learnt quite a bit but did not enjoy what I was doing. In those ten days, I also realised I would enjoy more being a newspaper delivery girl. At least I would be scanning the headlines before I push the papers through the door.
I am back to the absolute bliss and boredom of doing nothing except read, surf the net, visit and entertain people. I have guests tonight and my culinary skills have never been more appreciated in a decade. In a few days' time I will be on a road trip to Sydney and meeting friends. Ah... 
In the meantime, I have also decided to merge my blogs into one and scrap the new one. Doing nothing also makes you monstrously lazy. The enthusiasm of becoming a desi chick in Melbourne has waned. Besides, I could not bear to see the slow death of my old blog, one I started with some feeling and passion. Oh, but this one will have all my stories in between. From an open book to an open face…