Sunday, October 27, 2013


It is when I listen to George Benson while cutting tomatoes, frying onions and learning how to fold tortillas from a YouTube video in an empty house that I feel like I am in a space where nobody can touch me.

After three days of PMSing and feeling hopeful, sad, relieved and heartbroken all at the same time I spent a blissful Sunday evening cooking. 

I usually have three ways of dealing with stress - taking a shower, walking and cleaning. Showering works particularly when I'm angry - I feel the water running down from my hair to my toes takes away stored thoughts and emotions and preps me to start afresh. Toss in a strong, violent shower gel and that'll keep me going for weeks. 

Walking, of course, is a form of meditation in itself. There are few things I like more than the mindless movement of my legs, one after another, in a continuous, lulling motion. In Vellore, my walks were my manna - my secret escapades into paddy fields and places undiscovered. I walked in rubber chappals and old clothes that had were torn and dotted with holes from thorn bushes I'd inadvertently walk into. In a city, I do the city thing - walk briskly in big shoes with my ipod plugged into my ears with the volume on ridiculous levels. Inside the joggers' park, there are usually too many people walking in a limited space -- too  many calves in a blur in front of me -- some salwar-clad, some plump, some hairy, some toned and muscular. Too many ambling groups of people blocking the path, so I have to clear my throat loudly so that they move and give me space to proceed. So I find it easier to walk outside the park, where I encounter the daily dogs and uncles and aunties, with an exchange of friendly waves and nods spreading the much-needed morning warmth. 

And then sometimes I clean. Re-arranging books, scrubbing the carpet, washing clothes, all with loud music on makes me feel like I'm ridding the world of some of its sins. I clean with a vengeance. I clean like the PM's coming to visit. I iron my shirts keeping symmetry in mind. Oh cleaning is something I do rarely, but when I do it, I go all out.  And so at least once in ten days I put my mind, body and soul into bringing law and order into my otherwise chaotic universe. What a joy it can be.

Cooking is the new activity I've taken to recently. Today, after a particularly irritating day and a terrible backache, I walked to Ratnadeep (a store where I can spend hours and hours picking veggies and breads). After spending a considerable amount of time looking celery sticks, different brands of canned corn, hunting for extra black kohl (so I can step into my goth look next week), and wondering what Jockey undies are doing next to the utensils section, I walked out in a daze. At home, I arranged my ingredients in the kitchen with a sort of reverence, plugged in George Benson with the volume on neighbours-are-gonna-call levels, and set about spraying my pan with olive oil and sauteing my veggies. I dumped - no, I placed the tortillas on a microwave plate and meanwhile, looked at a hundred videos of how to fold tortillas. Having got it right the first time, I took photos of the second time and sent it to various people expectantly. Maybe I overdid it and sent too many pics because nobody replied. 

But who cares? I cooked. I de-stressed. I Grooved to Georgie. It was an evening bloody well spent. And now to tuck into the tortilla-frankie-burrito-creations with mother and watch Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani on TV.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


​When you really want someplace else, here is shoved right into your face. ​

Thursday, October 17, 2013


I've known some songs forever and ever but I've never bothered to listen to their lyrics properly. Once in a while, the words of a song will suddenly make themselves heard. Here are some lyrics that spoke to me of late.

1. Oo, loneliness will blind you
In between the wrong and the right 

-One of these nights, Eagles 

I always sang it as: 

Oo, loneliness will find you
In between the wrong and the right 

which I think makes more sense to me. I think both hold true.

2. More wisdom.

I guess every form of refuge has its price

 -Lyin' eyes, Eagles

3. This one has to be the one I worked hardest at "by-hearting" and singing along with when I was in school. And only now I realise what they're saying. Super funky lyrics. The rest of the song is pretty awesome too.

...And I am taken to a place where
Your crystal mind and
Magenta feelings take up shelter
In the base of my spine... 

-I want you, Savage Garden 

4. The next one is bloody corny, yet so romantic. One of their best songs. 

I am the man
who loves you inside and out
backwards and forwards with
my heart hanging out

-Love you inside out, Bee Gees

5. Kickass song, and what an intro.

Oh what a feeling I get when Im with you
You take my heart into everything you do  

- Bad love, Eric Clapton 
6. A reminder, no matter how cliched, we all need. Probably one of the catchiest, best sing-along choruses ever.

So tonight gotta leave that nine to five upon the shelf
And just enjoy yourself
Groove, let the madness in the music get to you
Life ain't so bad at all

- Off the wall, MJ

7. A reminder of a different kind.

We're looooooost in the middle of a hopeless world

-Children of the Moon, Alan Parsons Project

8. I like how disco music has quite brilliant lyrics if only you stop to listen to it. 

Now you've got yours
What about me? 

-What about me, Chic

To keep in touch
All you need is love and music
To keep you satisfied please use it

-We got music, Incognito 

It's really all in the way they're sung.