Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Answering The Greatest Questions Of Our Time, And A Few Others

For a long time now, it has been an intriguing question. It has perplexed us, yes even me. It leads us to no concrete answers, but instead jumbles us in vines growing ever more complex. It is a maze with seemingly no end, with no way out, only intertwining paths and ever-growing dimensions. It is vast, uncharted, mostly unused, and perhaps absolutely maddening to most of you.

I am speaking, of course, of myself.

It is said by one and all, that mankind's only true journey in existence, is to find himself (and even herself, seeing our more politically correct times). The real journey we make is that which takes us within our own selves, deep into our minds and our thoughts and our recesses, as we find our true identity. To shape our destiny, to achieve our goals, we must know who we were. It is time I undertook such a journey. This is my humble attempt, to unravel the enigma that is my humble self.

But how to do so, you ask? How to undertake such a mighty task? Are you equal to it? What will your route be? How will you know where to proceed? And I, with iron hand, fling aside your doubts and perpetual hesitations, and say - Shush you! Allow me to complete...

I have pondered on it a great deal. What could take me deep within my soul? And then impartially interpret the findings from the tales that lie therein? Whom could I approach? Who would be take on this gigantic responsibility without showing concern for his own sanity and the loved ones? I thought over this long and steadily. Then I got my answer. I found one such. Join us as we explore this unknown paradise, or dark evil cavern (we shall find out soon). Come and let us see for ourselves what answers I have to the great questions that hang around, about me.

You Are 26% Evil
A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

So thats your most popular question dealt? Are you happy now? I was actually hoping for a bit more. It is crucial to developing the machiavellian mind I have in mind for my mind. Anyway, the general mass may clear now. The seriously curious proceed to the other big-fish emotion.

How You Are In Love
You take a while to fall in love with someone. Trust takes time.
You give and take equally in relationships.
You tend to get very attached when you're with someone. You want to see your love all the time.
You love your partner unconditionally and don't try to make them change.
You stay in love for a long time, even if you aren't loved back. When you fall, you fall hard.

Well, I dont know, you know? Unconditionally? Very attached? Me? Hmm...But the oracle must speak sooth. So, it must be.

Moving on to my most prized possession, aside from the iPod (still in the evil clutches of the man known only as RepairGuy) and Excalibur (my trusted and efficient badminton racquet) and my navy blue RBK t-shirt, my mind. My, what I call, intellect. Let us see if 'tis true what I think of myself.

You Are 82% Tortured Genius
You totally fit the profile of a tortured genius. You're uniquely brilliant - and completely misunderstood.Not like you really want anyone to understand you anyway. You're pretty happy being an island.

And the winner is? Me!! *ascends to podium to give speech* Aiieee! Now do you see, you worthless pygmies you, who tried to stop me, Colossus, from bestriding around? I call for you to see who I eej! 82% Tortured Genius! F-ing brilliant! Watch now and shake, with fear and awe, in your socks!

What else am I, though, eh? Exploring about a bit, we find...

Your Porn Star Name Is...
Rodney Rammer

Umm...we shall ignore this one, shall we? I dont quite agree with being Rodney. And I dont want to think about the Rammer part too much.

So, moving on. To better things. I, despite all plastic humility, cannot help but admit to my chick-magnetism. I speak not of that unfortunate incident which occurred on a visit to a farm-house long ago, as a strapping young innocent lad. We wont go there. In a search to find the oh-nishant-you-naughty-boy-you-to-whom-I-find-myself-inextricably-intensely-attracted-and-whom-I'm-certainly-not-letting-go-of-anytime-soon-or-ever-if-I-can-help-it-but-then-you-would-be-cool-suave-and-as-untameable-as-any-007 part of my self, I found myself faced with a sea of biting, twisting, and searing questions. I hope I have sufficiently described the painful and deep nature of the questions. Insert adjectives 'agonizing', 'excruciating', 'mind-numbing', 'incapacitating', and 'gut-wrenching' as well, if need be. One does want to sort of even the balance, and not have it look like a complete joyride.

You Can Make 79% of Your Crushes Fall in Love With You
Your seduction skills are practically legendary. You know how to close the deal.Just don't let someone you're really into get the better of you!As long as you keep up your end of the flirting game, you'll get the prize at the end.

*shrugs shoulders with broad grin* Now what to say really? I guess I just am like this. Cant really be helped, can it? I do most humbly apologize to those who have been so mortally wounded by my legendary seduction skills. As I said, I cant help it. I just know how to close the deal. *smirk and then quick swipe to that naughty, alluring smile sort of expression you know so well*

Quick now! The depths of the mind, I find, are quite deep. The mind houses myriad answers to innumerable questions. And it really is a wonder the kind of answers one runs into by and by. This is one, I have always wanted to know, since I was this high. *holds palm up to a certain height you cant see because you're only reading*

Your Famous Movie Kiss is from Cruel Intentions
"I'm the only girl you can't have, and it kills you."

Ohh. Umm...err...never mind this one too, eh? Shall we move on really quickly? *gulp*

Am I as evasive as a crossword clue, just out of grasp? Am I addictive as coffee, or chocolate, or well, whatever you're addicted to? What am I as addictive as? And how?

Your Personality Is Like Heroin
You're capable of the highest highs and the lowest lows.Addicted to feeling good, you'll do almost anything to avoid pain.People seek you out, even though you can be quite moody. They're hooked on you!

As the best way to terminate this probe into my mind, of which it seems I knew quite little, I thought to answer the two questions that trouble us all. At one point or another in our lives, if be we so profound, we ask ourselves these, and we pause and look up at the sky/false ceiling and we wonder what the truth is and why the world is so mysterious and our lives so dark, and why we can know the exact size of a quark in an atom at the other end of a galaxy but not know a thing so simple about ourselves, and then we wonder how some sentences just never end while some thoughts that never should, get terminated so abruptly by the merest distractions of reality. We lose these questions, and we lose the memory of their loss. And we go on in life, wondering what it was that we find missing. Where lies that hole in my picture of myself? Now I answer them. And I hope to complete that portrait. And I hope its a beautiful one.

You Are a Bloody Mary
You're a fairly serious drinker, who's experimented a lot with different drinks.You're a drunk, but a stable drunk. You don't ever let your drinking get out of control.

Your Vampire Name Is...
Baron of Persia

My mind reeling with my many discoveries, I take leave to rest awhile. A drowsy numbness demands attention.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Whats Patriotism About?

There is something very badly messed up in this country.

A fast opening, freer economy is building up our metros. We have better, more lavish showrooms, larger and larger malls, larger brand-names. And I feel like we’re getting somewhere. Maybe we’re getting better ourselves. Our India shines. Or atleast its glimmering at the edges.

But there’s a very strange and ominous flip-side. Not poverty or the rural classes and their troubles with everyday life. This is one which has crept up on us, catching us unawares as I browsed, hooked onto my iPod, through bookstores and walking through malls. It has floated in through the window as you watched tv shows beamed directly from the US, on a flat-screen television on EMI, in a room set up with tasteful, imported furniture.

Insane, corrupt, and good-for-nothing politicians screen shows and movies on television. Objectionable scenes are deleted and the so-called improper words are silenced, so as to not affect our tender minds and sway us to misdeeds. Indian TV shows, the ones that pass unedited, are unanimously all the same filth. Each one excruciatingly painful to my mindset and my mentality. They run year after year. I don’t know one person who really cares about them.

A woman gets attacked in a busy Kolkata street, and not one person moves to help her. I thought we here were better. But every place seems to get colder and drawn into its own self, as it ‘progresses’.

In other states, people in power ban schoolboys from shaking hands with schoolgirls. Its all to stop us from indulging in evils and curb our immoral behavioural tendencies. And I thought the purpose of co-ed schools was to enable healthier, more mature relations with growing boys and girls. Laws such as these get passed, and other people recommend it for under-grad colleges as well, to prevent basically any chances of anything whatsoever happening. I wonder if its all a joke, and if The Onion has taken over running the world.

We cant allow an industry to establish itself in our state, developing a revolutionary new car, because it will take away farm land. The fact that underdeveloped farmland instead of thriving industry is whats keeping people poor, is not a consideration. Or maybe it is, for don’t we get most of our blind votes from these illiterate masses?

The premier colleges of the nation are to implement majority quotas for minority students, lowering their standards. What happens? We go abroad, and then stay there. People do come back of course, and do good things. But I think that will stop someday. We stand by, watching them at it, our hands tied by backward regulations and stop-gap situation rules.

Solutions are stopped by religious sentiment, by political interests, and infernal things like Mamata Banerjee and Sushma Swaraj.

I feel swept away in a tide of capitalistic brilliance. Mukesh Ambani becomes a trillionaire, and I feel great for the country. Its a good thing, as any economist would tell you. McDonalds finally comes to Kolkata, and I feel hip. Coffee places and hangouts sprout up on every road. Auto-rickshaws start running on gas, and I feel like maybe we are moving ahead. Import duties on electronics goods fall, and I see fruit-vendors slinging cell-phones around their necks. My net connection stays with me, even as we drive up around the mountains of North Bengal on vacation. Every evening, we upload our snaps onto the virtual platform offered by my laptop, and we feel we’re so much better than we were. The real truth, of what is happening to my country, just passes from under us. The facts sneak past one by one, slowly and in camouflage.

I was watching a movie, Masti (starring like you care who), and most of the dialogues were snipped off and silenced. And I felt insulted. I read the papers, and found out about those schools in Madhya Pradesh, and the political lobbying for yet another puppet to be called President. I felt degraded. Banks, offering wonderful loans on low interest rates, employ thugs to get the money back by blackmail and kidnapping. What really is safe huh? Meanwhile, Zee News talks about men and women getting equal pay at Wimbledon this year. And we "Yay!!" for gender equality.

Something is very messed up in this country.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Things Happen

I went roaming about the metropolis today. You learn a great many things, I realize, just roaming about gathering experiences here and there. Yup. No shit. You grow wiser and everything. Here, in itsy-bitsy, suggestively profound and making-you-wish-your-life-held-such-vivid-experiences-ish form, is exactly what I've learnt (using bullets today, for I find I dont usually use that and its so not fair to its grammarian inventor). And I'm bunging in a few other points observed around of late.

  • Shopping is fun only when you already know exactly what you're going to buy. And you really really want it. I went to sift through electric guitars today at Braganza's. Actually a friend of mine wanted to purchase one, and I strolled along as guide, philosopher and friend. Casually ignoring what he bought or didnt, I played an expensive as anything Ibanez. He seemed quite satisfied with his purchase. I am most definitely pleased myself to have been in such esteemed company as 20,000+ ka guitars.

  • Do NOT wear red and go to Oxford. Unless you really are working at the store. I made the fatal mistake today. Apparently, it doesnt matter what you're doing. As long as you're in red, you're inevitably going to be confused with the store-staff. My first encounter was while I was reading a book on a couch. Reading as I lounged on a couch! Does anything about this suggest staff? Do all singularly impressive people in such positions give off strange reassuring vibes of "service with a smile"? I looked up at the person, and just shrugged, raising my eyebrows at him rather strongly. He apologized and scampered off.
    Then as I walking about, picking out random books, and browsing through the pages, a woman asked me where the books on architecture were. So its quite normal for bookstore staff to spend their time flipping through pages every now and then, I suppose. This time I humoured her mistaken judgment, by smiling broadly with a Im-going-to-wait-until-you-realize-you-just-made-poo-poo-missy look on my face, until she slapped herself and walked off shaking her head.
    [Note: I really should keep a list of witty and/or sarcastic quotes for use on such occasions. Its not good to be so short-changed for quick words at such golden opportunities when its others doing embarrassing things. I should have atleast had the sense to show the woman around and then casually dropping in that I'm just a customer. Maybe she'll be mighty impressed by my show of Indian hospitality and wit and general impressiveness and bequeath unto me half her kingdom. Its possible, its possible. She could even have a beautiful, single daughter lined up for lots of money in the will.]

  • Barista's takeaway coffee is never very good. And they give you this rather unbecoming, large straw too which just does not go with it. Shall stick to CCD henceforth.

  • After a period of over a year, I had lunch at Bar-B-Q. *pauses so as to let the depth of the statement sink in* Not counting the lunch I had there three days ago. Same goes for the BBQ Special soup. It was exactly as I had thought it would be. A most relishing experience, which I shall ne'er forget, nor stop informing people about in great detail and with greater enthusiasm. Who knows when I shall next receive a bowlful, eh? The place also still has the same aristocratic two people standing at the top of the stairs, to usher people in with smiles and butler-like sangfroid.

  • With clockwork regularity, I find television and news provide me with pointers as to how the world has gone off its collective nut. I havent been in proximity to television for about 6 months, since I dont see any at college. And now, all I see everywhere is soap operas involving lots of glycerine, lots of double, triple and poly takes, sepia tinting, red or yellow hues periodically engulfing the screen in slow motion form, and the same damn wretched excuse of a storyline. Everywhere! Even on the few Bengali channels I skimmed past! Indian television isnt worth a 10 rupee note torn in half and then used as toilet paper.
    Speaking, disgustingly enough (and my associative thinking here is even more disgusting), of toilet paper, which leads to toilet usage, which leads to frequent toilet usage, which leads to causes, which leads to over eating, which leads to fat people, which leads to really really fat people, there's another reality show I noticed. Sunil Shetty doles out the garbage. Its called "Biggest Loser Jeetega", and its about fat people out to lose weight. With a vengeance. It really hooks you on you know. I was watching this end-week weight check episode, when the people see who lost how much. One woman burst into tears, she was so scared. I would have told her she should be happy there's a weighing machine thats willing to take her on, and be positive about things, but then Sunil Shetty has his way. He flexed some muscles in her direction, gave reassuring soothing words of encouragement in his tender and soft voice, and soon enough she allowed a truck to tow her towards the machine. I am being a bit too mean here. And Blue team was winning over Red team. Here's the thing. They made the guys take off their shirts before weighing in. So you get a good nice look at their ungainly 125+ kilo bodies. In Before and After snaps. This was only for the guys mind you. Not the women involved of course, because that would be mocking and insulting, typical of our male chauvinistic piggy society. Of course. Anyway, that wasnt all that filled up our screen. We had gripping statistics too. Consider, Blue team had percentage weight loss of 1.71% compared to Red teams 1.58%! Daayyaaamn! Red team ended up having to chuck one contestant out. Everyone cried; the very people who voted her out. They'd all become great gymming-buddies or something I suppose. A Scorpio came to carry the losing contestant away from the isolated weight-loss camp. I am being very mean.
    Elsewhere in the world, Monty Panesar is actually making a difference to the world of cricket! He contributed in England's series-clinching victory. They actually couldnt have done it without him!

  • Today I read the first few pages of the following books and indiscriminately discarded each one - The Inheritance of Loss, My Name Is Red, and A House For Mr. Biswas. Each one by a celebrated author and each a bestseller. I wonder if this indicates to some sort of illness in me. I found myself, however, returning over and over to the humor section and taking turns to drool at The Blandings Omnibus and The Complete Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister. Both of which are extremely desireable, as well as a tad expensive. Notice how I subtly inform you of my surprise gift choices. (Also included: iPhone, Led Zep concert videos, and Carmen Electra) I shall pretend I never said anything. You may take credit for having thought of the gift yourself. I will coo appropriately enough about your thoughtfulness and great insight into twisted minds and generosity.

Sigh. I'm so full with all this wisdom and gaining worldly knowledge, my head acheth. I shall sleep.

As an excuse to start this aadaan-pradaan of gifts, I present to you this. Look.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I Was Right All Along!

I knew it! I knew it! Where is my history teacher who mocked me so? Quell free and radically brilliant, bordering on genius, thought will you? Answer me now!

Answer me in the face of this!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Episode 2 : Why Hillstations Rock

If you say you are my good friend, or if I have even just known you for a long time now (long time being anything more than 3 hours), at one point or another in our vivid, all-encompassing conversations sometime, you have asked me to shut up already for heaven's sake. Or practised throwing used chewing gum, or paperballs, or matchsticks, or anything of suitable dimension in past my rapidly expanding and contracting jaw muscles. Well, something of that order atleast. Its a natural truth. There is no going around it. I like to ramble. Just the way I see I'm doing right now.
I have long, flowery descriptions lined up to garland this place Gangtok with. I would throw hymns of honour at its every step, drape it with a coat of tribute, encase its beautiful feet with shoes made of paeans and odes, hire local models, dress them up as angels to play lovely escorts and generally sprinkle the air around it with poetry and praise. But I wont this time. I shall instead liberally scatter pictures (each worth approx. one thousand words according to trusted sources). Being unstoppable means I shall put in a few words, and share a few thoughts here and there, so keep that in mind.

We went to see a flower show first up. The entrance, and the nice guard sort of guy.


Another flower. (dont tell me you expect biological names)

little kids herded goats and random cattle as we stopped for lunch while sightseeing

the monastery of the golden stupa

unidentified rotating things you see at monasteries

These things I have a question about. What and why are they? Now once we had climbed upto this particular monastery and I'd seen these things surrounding the whole stupa enclosure in a square grid, was when I first asked myself this question. It has to be some sort of practical joke. In their infinite wisdom and close to nirvana consciousness level, why would Buddhist monks make round rotating things along monastery walls. My theory: to get their kicks by laughing at wonderstruck tourists. Any normal sightseeing tourist would become curious at the sight of strange things such as these near a monastery. What would he do, seeing the axis and the cylinder? Obviously he'd give it a twirl. A fun thing to do in the otherwise quiet and serene atmosphere of a monastery, the rage caught on. And thus, the monks got their laughs. Good luck it brings you if all rotate without the first stopping, they say. So what does that do? You dont calmly twirl one and end it there. Instead you run around trying to get 'em all as fast as you can. I want good luck and a happy peaceful life! More laughs they have. I noticed some of the littler monk-trainees smiling as my father enthusiastically brisk-walked about twirling them all, and I understood. I eyed them keenly, my eyes narrowed like an eagle's, and moved away from the things. They didnt fool me.

distant lands and gathering grey clouds (not entirely clear) seen from our cable-car ride over gangtok

i stand atop the boulder i so valiantly conquered. persistent sidekick brother alongside in red.

thousands of feet below us, the teesta river. we rafted over it the next morning.

post-rafting the next morning. alas, cameras arent safe aboard rafts. the teesta we traversed, here.

Rafting was definitely the best time I had at Gangtok. It was enroute to Darjeeling the next morning, and knowing we covered part of the journey by river feels serious-traveller-ish. We took the "safer" raft route, for unknown reasons. It had its share of ups and downs but was relatively moderate as compared to the route they didnt take us on. No sooner had we strapped on the life-jackets and settled ourselves on the raft, than it started to rain heavily. We went along a wide turbulent river, with grey clouds above, the river spraying water up on us, the grey clouds spraying rain down on us; Nature has never so comprehensibly soaked me before. But what an experience! We rafted along the Teesta, surrounded by huge mountains on either side, and a blending of blue water and green water ahead of us, as we reached the Teesta-Rangeet confluence midway. The rougher parts were perilously adventurous as our raft climbed and fell with the waves attacking us incessantly. Towards the end, our local raft guy allowed us to jump into the water and swim ashore if we so wanted. My brother and I, we're idiots. We jumped. Straight into water only slightly above ice level in temperature. Trying to swim in the life-jacket, to the shore only 20 feet away, I felt ridiculous. But never mind! It was fun! And I'm trying the rougher part next time I go.

through rain and through billowing wind, we reach darjeeling and the sterling resort (below)

Darjeeling has changed. The mall looks different, and a lot more organized. There are two developed tourist areas around waterfalls too, which we visited. Both were so infernally stuffed with tourists, however, that the fun of it wore off a bit. I didnt take too many more snaps.

me, the fun of it having worn off a bit

gangamaya falls tourist place. im not showing much of it because there are far too many tourists loitering about

It was in early childhood that I had last holidayed at a hill station. And so I didnt see all that I could see this time on, with adult eyes. Its a most wonderful place. Sikkim is too beautiful for words. It wasnt too heavily crowded with tourists, the weather was most pleasing, and the natural beauty of the hillside was breathtaking. Happiness is what you feel when you go there. And it comes from all sources. Wherever I looked and saw locals, they were smiling. I saw no anger, I saw no resentment, or frustration. I saw a happy and hardworking lot of people, managing meagre lives in a way quite extraordinary to an ordinary metropolitan resident (my mother was repeatedly amazed at how the people carried on daily activities having to ascend and descend the mountainside for every little thing they needed).

Its a fantastic vacation spot. A wonderful journey. I just hope there are fewer tourists next time I go. I cannot stand the crying, drooling, wrapped up and rapidly vibrating little children. Or most of their mothers. I cannot stand other tourists. Period. Oh, and go to Sikkim please. For your sake really. Dont miss. Now period.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! *slow motion head shake*

Life, I find, is a bit of a bitch. It shows us wonders, and joys and happiness aplenty. It lets us taste its sweet nectar, revel carefree with joy in its beautiful gardens of...well, lovely things. But we see not how all this is merely an illusion. We accept it as it is, for it appears so beautiful and so exactly like that thing we've been looking around for. And so we are fooled, duped, circumnavigated, befuddled and made idiots of. It gives us a comfortable couch to spread out on, a warm rug for our feet, and settles us on it snugly. And we loosen up, we relax and we give in. Thats when it reveals itself as aforementioned word.


It bares its claws, waggles its fangs (aah yes i know not many bitches have fangs per se, but try and get with the feel will you?), and snatches the rug from beneath our feet. It pokes us here and it scars us there. Life, a blissful bed of roses, turns into a field of destruction and of death. Volcanoes replace the rose-beds and deep fissures appear where cobbled paths were. The sky turns black and blue, and storm clouds gang up. It mothers us pretty bad.

I know this for a fact. I'm living the life that is akin to hell, right now as we speak. But how do I tell you of the pain that has been inflicted upon me? How will you understand the depth of it? How can I begin to express it to you, so you know my suffering? When all hope is lost, and the foundations of our lives are shaken and torn down, in which direction do we turn? How do we stand, and face our troubles? On what do we stand, metaphorically? Do we abandon ship? Do we pray? Do we kill a few kittens to see if that works? Oh! My heart is heavy, and a drowsy numbness pains my fingers. Aaah! I fall.

*heavy thud*

*but not that heavy also, coz he is in decent shape, and not chubby-wubby like in past times, so...*

*moderately heavy-sounding light thud*













Imaginary Pretty Nurse (Following the reasoning that she's imaginary, she might as well be pretty with it. Dont you think?) : What C&B is hopelessly hovering around, but finding increasingly difficult to express, is the recent succumbing to unknown sickness of his beloved, treasured and most loved iPod (dark, sexy, therapeutic, and arch-supporter at all times - all 2gb of it). It appears to be behaving erratically, and running short of strength, stamina and battery power in the space of a few minutes. The cause of dysfunctional behaviour is as yet unknown and reports are still pending. I wont lie to you. Its bad. Very bad. We are not at all very hopeful about this. All good wishes and condolences, in the form of monetary currency of high value and/or hugs, are in urgent demand. Comply, oh kind souls! *and she runs away, sobbing uncontrollably*

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Blogger is acting uppish. Refuses to upload my snaps! Ridiculous, I say! But just because it may be slightly possible that this is because of the fog surrounding our cottage (@Darjeeling), I shall not take action. Letting them be.

Will send wholesomely wonderful write-up asap.

Friday, June 08, 2007

On Holiday : Episode I : Stomachs Of Steel

Its a nice place, Gangtok. Smooth, well-paved roads. Clean, occasionally rain-washed buildings and streets. And there is just so much of green, its exhausting to just try and catch it all in one glance. The people smile and seem always helpful. Everyone, including locals, seems to be on holiday.

The problem is that its just really tough to get here. A part of the way is nice. Long stretches of smooth road. Like this one. Its a horribly irritating drive uphill though, round and round the curves of the mountain. It jolted my stomach, and caused much turmoil in the intestines. We even had to stop midway, so the family could retch together. Our first joint activity on this holiday. I wasnt part of it. In spirit perhaps, but not in action. I steeled myself, and turned up the volume on the iPod. (Its so loyal. It always helps.) While we were having our retching break, some locals watched us from above in some cottage and passed smirks. I shook my fist at them, and they flexed some huge biceps in return. I raised an eyebrow, gave them the look. The steely coldness of my eyes, the narrowing of my pupils as I locked them in my vision, and the mighty stature of my colossal figure worked. I scared 'em off. They mumbled to each other in localese, and backed off hurriedly, nearly tripping on the stones and all. I let them go. This time.
We moved on.

Oh, on another unrelated side-matter, a wee bit of this post might be just the minutest bit of ever so microscopically extrapolated fiction. Its required as part of the narrative. And you probably wont notice, its so close to reality. Anyway. Back to it.
After a couple of more time offs, during the journey, we began to feel more comfortable with it. We ogled at the great big mountains across us. The neighboring mountains, so to say. In between ran a most beautiful river. The Teesta I believe. Its long, wide and luxuriously snaky, if you understand that. An interesting thing to note is how you are continually travelling along the Teesta, while going to Gangtok, no matter how high you go, or how much you turn.

Bang in the middle of that picture is a sort of white-sandy beach. I wanted to go down there somehow. Could see locals wandering about. It looked beautiful. And they had rafting too. Thats the little speck of a boat next to the beach.

Now, if you're not looking at the river, and you're not looking ahead of you, you can choose to either look towards the mountain or crane your neck to look behind. But that would be just stupid. So after five minutes I gave that up and looked towards the face of this mountain we were creeping up. The green shrubs and little trees and all are there. And in between, you have these crazily funny slogans or warnings or quotations of a ridiculous kind, intended to ensure safe driving. One says - If you drive like hell, you will get there. Another - Drive slow. Okay, so thats not very great. But here's the classic one liner designed to get every driver's attention - Be gentle on my curves.
So, time passed and we reached Gangtok. It was night-time, around 8 o'clock. The place was hustly and bustly. Quite active and everything. Soon enough, we even reached our hotel. I dont know if this is a quality of all sloping-side hotels, but its the first time I've had to climb down three flights of stairs to reach the first floor rooms allotted to us. (Quite an interesting concept. We even drove past this house, which had subsequent floors built below, with the car parked above on their terrace, so to say.)

A further floor below ours, was the dining place. It called itself a restaurant-cum-lounge-cum-bar that practically every other hut in Gangtok seems to proclaim. So we went there for dinner. And it seemed a good place with satisfying ambience and what not. And so we took our tables and we sat. One of the waiters seemed to think that was cause for celebration, and suddenly the music system came on at mid-full blast. Here's the itchy bit.

Can you, in your delusional glory, conjure up a dinner scene for yourselves, after a long and arduous journey across state, and over the course of an entire day's travel? Let me give you a picture. You travel by air, and you travel by road, just so you can get away from your metropolis life. You arrive at a mountainous destination, with a distinct culture of its own. You see around you people of a different race, speaking a different language, living such a completely different form of life-style, and you begin to feel you're on a real holiday. You feel like you've broken off your city shackles, and left it all behind. And this happens.

He switched on the music, pumped up the volume, and we were at once drowned in Himesh Reshammiya. I didnt know what to say. I expected something instrumental. I wanted something local and interesting. And they threw this, this revolting hideous and grotesque abuse of music that I'd been suffering for so long, right at me. I dont want this to be a bash-up of Mr. Reshammiya. I'm not saying we should kill him. But we need some sure-fire, concrete way to get him to stop. I'm not saying we should harm him or kidnap his loved ones. Thats wrong. But someone needs to kidnap his near and dear ones and hold them at ransom, unless he promises to jump off a very steep cliff and end it all. His last nasal shriek to death shall be permitted, in view of his altruistic contribution to all humanity.

But none of this stuff really happens. We can only dream, and hope that the songs will end. So we did. Dinner ended, and we scrambled upstairs to our room, shut the door, and locked it too. Then, as a safety measure, we switched on the tv to watch something else. Something, anything, preferably loud and happy.
The first day ended.

Coming Up Next: We roam about and see things.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

In...And Out Again

You would have thought that if a decent, law-abiding, god-scaring chap such as myself arrived home from college monstrosities, he would stay there awhile. Take a breather, or replenish his spirit and senses, so to say. But not quite.

I arrived last night, trudging in as the clock chimed 7:30 (and if it didnt chime, because it wasnt a 7 or an 8, it atleast slithered to the 7:30 spot), after a 4-hour long struggle with my non-cooperative intestines and raging ear-drums, on Flight S2-308. Entertainment onboard comprised Scott Adams' Way of The Weasel (most insightful), the first LOTR movie (which I couldnt much hear despite headphones, thanks to damn aircraft engines) and a most enthusiastic conversationalist in air-steward's clothing.

To the point. To the point. Plans for a relaxing first few days have been, it seems, quite confirmedly dashed off by a sinister, evil, almost machiavellian scheme of my parents to spirit me away to see Gangtok (and surrounding regions, no doubt). I say this because I love exotic and gorgeously scenic places. But I dont enjoy travelling upto them. And certainly not after an overnight bus journey and a flight (four freakin' hours) to enter the old home, in the first place! They say they wouldnt dream of holidaying without me and I ought to go with them, for when did we last have our own family vacation, haan? Understandable. I'm like that. Oh, and yeah, its been a while since our last holiday.

So off I go again. Flight leaves in about three hours. Will come back in 4 days to appropriately reminisce on the past semester, and discuss plans for this helluva long vacation (all suggestions most welcome). And, if I still feel keen on it after running through my ethereally-captured-in-time smirks and disinterested gazes into endless space, I'll show you some snaps from the mountain land.

Tra la, amigas. Sayonara, mon ami and all that.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


I saw Pirates of The Caribbean: At World's End yesterday! I saw it at Adlabs actually. The other thing is part of the title. But of course you know!

And you shall always remember this day, as the day you almost caught Captain Jack Sparrow.

So we shall.

As for the reviewers of the movie. For the crime of attempting to kick dirt at this masterpiece, and even having the audacity to compare it to vile Spiderman 3, you are sentenced to the plank. Gentlemen, take a walk!

Friday, June 01, 2007

I Was Wondering Why I Do This. So...

Ho hum...We havent gotten together in a bit you know. Been busy with fleeting life and escaping goals. Its nice we met today. We can take a breather. So...lets talk. Whats up? How's your life? What do you like to do? Tell me your stories, tell me your dreams (the nice ones), tell me of your adventures and your escapades. Describe, with great enthusiam and greater beauty, what you had at yesterday's lunch. Elaborate on your theories about UFO sightings and why the US gets all the fun in it. Speak of your shoes and ships and sealing wax, and tell me what you were doing at the mall last week. Look at your own land, through another's eyes. Think back, and recall that poetry of lost childhood. What did you last do, to outrage the public and have your loved ones shrink back in horror? When did you last explore yourself, and find sensational truths? So you went to Rome and you toured Vegas. When did you last see a sunrise? Went somewhere, suddenly and impulsively? When did you last plan to kill someone innocent and pure *the comment section*? Lets talk about that stuff.

Come. Let us talk frivolous. For we see around us, and we see the men walk grim-faced to work. They speak of share-prices, they speak of government policies, and they talk of things alien to me. We see the women forever tensed by life's incidents. They speak of relationships, and they speak of troubles unceasing. We see the children, locked in animated virtual combat, a look of utmost concentration in their eyes, their facial muscles drawn out taut and their jaws set firmly. They dont speak to us anymore. Not of childish things.

There is enough depression, there is enough crying. There are enough people dying, and enough wanting to. There is enough greed, and there is enough corruption. There is enough complexity and more than enough of it unnecessary. Lets skip it. There is enough of it all, without us having to discuss it too.

Lets sit over a drink. Pick yours. Yes, its okay if its just a juice. I think I'll have a fresh lime myself. And lets rest back in our cosy couches. And let us muse. Let us ponder, but not too deeply. Think, but not too hard. Enquire, but only so that we can move on without an answer. Let us speak of anything. Thats a difficult topic. Let us speak of anything, that does not matter. Anything that wont change anything. Anything that wont effect a million lives, or a million bank-balances. As we relax our muscles, and unwind our mind, let us think of these little things.

We dont usually see those little things. We dont usually take care to note their existence. They will but come and go and come and go, endlessly. So lets talk about that right now. Lets order another round of drinks. Adventurous this time? Aaah...I think, I'll go for a cranberry juice! I've always disliked it.

So, you were saying. The point of it all? For we must step out soon enough. And then we blend in with the rest. We struggle the same, and we fight the same every day. Perhaps these little moments of colour we observe now, will stay in our memories. And we can come back to them every now and then.

But enough for now. See you later, whenever you're in the mood.