Friday, September 16, 2011

Yet Another Open Letter!

Unlike this lady Shahana, who wrote an Open Letter to a Delhi Boy, I cannot dare to write on behalf of others. And this blog’s purpose is not to criticize this deeply disturbed lady (there are others doing the same job fabulously, for example: MadMomma, who I think has done her ‘community’s’ image a favour after the damage inflicted by the racist, Ms. Shahana) but her blogpost has divided the ‘www’ into a north and a south, and all this drama raging on blog-o-sphere has managed to topple my personal apple cart. But it is the apple I like to call: ‘Bengali born and bred in Delhi’ that has suffered the worst bruises.

To hell with the South Indians of the South and the North Indians of the North!

I’m a Bengali, born and brought up in the capital city by Bengali parents who’ve spent a greater part of their lives in this city and are currently in mourning (though they won’t admit it) for having to relocate to the motherland, Kolkata. I was born to a fair mother, a brownish father and voila: I look like Complan and I tan purple in summer. I was reared on a very suspect diet of all that was considered healthy in the north and the east and this beauteous mix contributed to a rather healthy (halthy as some well meaning Aunties call it) constitution which is still very much in evidence (the diet also impacted the nature of my appetite such that it leans towards voracious). I can give any South Indians a run for their money in terms of intelligence and I lag behind plenty of highly intelligent North Indians in the same department (OH THE HORROR!!!) And you know what, my Punjabi or UP-ite friends (of the fairer skin and svelte bodies) didn’t make fun of me. Or rag me. Or bully me. And to clarify, I may have a hand full and if I stretch it, maybe two handfuls of Bengali friends while the rest are ‘North Indians’ and a couple of the very best I know are south Indians (fortunately they are unlike Ms. Shahana’s ilk).

And thus I feel left out in this regional debate. I feel marginalized because I don’t come from the North-South extremes of the country (although Delhi is hardly extreme north). This brings me back to the issue of my private woes for not being considered Delhi-ite enough by these uninformed, narrow minded and ever defensive immigrants! What am I? An alien?

It also makes me wonder do other people, hailing from different regional backgrounds, who’ve grown up in Delhi or have constructed a life in Delhi not feel the same way about the city as I do, so they not develop some sort of affinity to the city? Do they not resent the fact that Delhi is characterized purely as a North Indian strong-hold (I admit there are more of them) and mis-characterized as a stronghold of North Indian miscreants?

I cannot write in defence of any Delhi Boy, some of them will have to do it for themselves if they so wish. But about Delhi girls she writes that they are obsessed with designer duds, weight, beauty and kowtow to their husband’s will. The worst part is, according to her (and I do feel resentful towards other bloggers writing for and against) I don’t even qualify to feel offence, since Delhi girls are obviously Punjabi! Oh, and, I like money, I like SUVs, I would love to be able to buy designer shoes (may never be able to fit in their clothes) and I consider Butter Chicken a staple.

Does that make us Bengalis, Kashmiris, Tamils, Keralites, Assamese, Gujaratis, Biharis, Maharashtrians etc societal glitches?

All this bile expunged for systems in the name of homogeneity (regional, cultural, linguistic etc) disturb me. Very much so.

But now I will have some boiled tea, curse Indians in general for not knowing how to brew tea and then forget about all this as I face another day at LSR. Despite Ms. Shahana’s views, LSR isn’t a figment of peoples’ imagination. Neither is St. Stephens Collge. We actually exist. We are very real. And no, our brothers aren’t homicidal and our parents aren’t suffering from brain damage.

Lastly, I would some day like to be able to re-write this blogpost using ‘we’ in place of a lot of the ‘I’s, but I’ll desisted for now for lack of proof!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Commonwealth Games 2010 New Delhi

"Bus stop, wet day, she's there, I say  Please share my umbrella . Bus stop, bus goes, she stays, love grows  Under my umbrella   All that summer we enjoyed it  Wind and rain and shine  That umbrella, we employed it  By August, she was mine."
-The Hollies



Answer- Photo-opportunity!!!!!

PS- I'd have added a few more possible adjectives, but it messed up my ability to rhyme. So I took 'advantage' of poetic 'licence' and budgeted my verbosity. 

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Dangling Conversation

Yes, we speak of things that matter, 
With words that must be said, 
"Can analysis be worthwhile?" 
"Is the theater really dead?" 
And how the room is softly faded 
And I only kiss your shadow, 
I cannot feel your hand, 
You're a stranger now unto me 
Lost in the dangling conversation. 
And the superficial sighs, 
In the borders of our lives.


Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dust-Land Should Never be Cleaned.

Yes, the decision has been made.

It was a brilliant moment. The moment in which I made the decision that is. It’s ironic that it takes so many more moments to actually explain that one moment. I would like to reiterate my deep appreciation for the sheer volume of work that neurons perform in a moment, whereas I use more than my legitimate share of moments to do a fragment of a neuron’s workload.

But coming back to the decision, I will devote half an hour’s worth moments to its description.

Being a photocopier at the CIA is off the cards. As are:
(a) A pastry chef (world renowned, no less)
(b) Traffic police (I used to hold the view that it’d help me absorb the ‘feel’ of the city while standing at a crossroad, my arms akimbo)
(c) A crocodile
(d) Semi Solid (I don’t want to be as irrelevant as a ghost, just with some of the benefits)
(e) A gondolier (Not an option since the oar might just be taller when held upright than I am)
(f) Famous
(f) Rich
(f) A moody, grumpy, hunchbacked brilliant gardener.
(g) The heir of Gryffindor
(g) A politician (I’m way too lazy to work hard at selling my soul. Not to mention, I don’t want to)

I am going to be the creator of a self sufficient unit, dependant on others only for the land and the cash flow. All right, let me rephrase that, I’ll be the creator of an isolated unit that sustains me!

The house must be built of honey coloured stones of indeterminable age. Better still, stones salvaged from some sight of historical significance by shady convict labourers, one of whom was wrongly accused of a crime he never committed. I will of course get him legal presentation and have his name cleared in a landmark judgement; he’ll walk free into the setting sun, his hat sitting jauntily on his head, smoking that one cigar that the rest of the crew would have pooled in money to buy for him. What can I say he’ll be a man of quirky tastes. And maybe, I’ll be half in love with him. His freedom will of course put the building of my house behind schedule, but we’ll manage somehow, fuelled with beer smuggled from the border. It doesn’t have to be smuggled; I just said that for the thrill of it.

During this time, I’ll live in the dilapidated outhouse. It’ll mean an existence plagued by fear of being waylaid by a snake or a spider, but what’s life without a little adventure. It’s not like I’m going to offer to help someone with their tax returns in which case, there would be plenty of cause for prayers.

The house will be surrounded with ancient, gnarled trees that I’ll have rescued and replanted before they were sawed down to make cricket bats. There’ll be several acres of lavender fields to the south, white lilies to the north, red tulips to the east and a vineyard to the west (more cash inflow!) (although I'm not entirely sure if the same soil could sustain these crops). These will of course be worked on by phantom-ish figures that look like they belong to the past. I’ll have to worry about being stabbed in the back with an unwashed and rusty gardening tool that one of them might hide under the voluminous cloaks they’ll wear even in the summer, until a fateful day when they’d save me from a band of robbers after sprigs of my prized lavender for a lavender creme brulee they planned on making to celebrate St. Someone’s Day. That night I’ll sit with those phantom-ish figures around a blue fire drinking moonshine (that we confiscated from the robbers) and then dance around it singing, “Voulez Vous”.

I’ll sit in this brainchild of mine and make a fortune writing historical fiction about the local weathermen. And about bankers {to mollify the banking community} when I’m falling short on paying the EMI for that Bugatti Veyron 16.4 that I’ll never drive because the roads are too narrow to hold the car. After finally coughing up that offending instalment, I’ll cycle back home (narrow roads remember!) and eat a dinner of hot soup and cold garlic bread.

As far as dusting is concerned, it’s a moot point. There’s no such thing as dust. It’s actually gold-dust I tell you. It just adds a glow to things, softens colours, distracts you from life’s miseries when it makes you cough during a pity party etc etc etc. Besides, dusting in the dustland would just put an end to all these pleasant meanerings.

At the end of the day, I’ll stumble up to my room, thrash about in the bed till its messy enough for my satisfaction and each limb is comfortably crooked. Then, I’ll go to sleep dreaming about how my life ‘could have been’ had I not made this momentous decision because maybe, just maybe, the described life only looks good on the new LED screens, when the colour settings are just right.