Third thoughts

I have a lot of time to think about writing now. I also have a narrow window of emotional availability. Don’t be surprised if I call! Third thoughts is where the rich material is. I’m digging there.
Allow me to illustrate: When I learnt about the samaadhi system as a child, I was fascinated.

1. How admirable that someone could have that kind of determination and dedication.
2. What if (s)he changed her/his mind? What if (s)he started banging on the rock/door (?) and shouting in panic and nobody heard?
3. What if they did hear and didn’t let him/her out to protect the image? What if the invested powers stood guard at the samaadhi for a pre-calculated number of days to make sure the saint did not escape?

From what I know about the world now, the last is more likely to happen. Epiphany about religion. It’s one of the best things I like about my upbringing. We were not brought up in religion. We were aware of a higher power but it’s representative on earth and chosen vessel of manifestation was my mother’s right palm. For an omnipresent god, in charge of all known and unknown creation, he seemed overly concerned with whether I obeyed my mother or kicked my brother.

Some author, I think it was Neil Gaiman, said somewhere that when you have the courage to write out what makes you uncomfortable in your head, that’s when you are close to good material. I paraphrase, but I hope you get what I mean. It’s one of the things I worry about — what will my parents, family and friends say if they know how my mind actually works. How unsentimental it is. How poor in romance. It’s what I ask my writer friends: How do you camouflage the characters?

2013, I’m coming to getcha

So. We’re surrounded by babies and it’s troubling me. In the back of my mind (in my mother’s voice), I always thought I would feel differently about procreating when I reached the other side of 30. Now I’m nearly 33, surrounded by charming children whom I love being mimmie, maushi, aunty and aatyaa to but I don’t feel like having any. I’m starting to panic. And then I realise that I am starting to panic because I didn’t believe I could be right. I am not by biggest supporter.

The only way I can rationalise this is as much as I love food, I never cook. Why fuck up a dish you love and enjoy? Again, I am not winning any brownie points with myself. If I have to be a pleaser, you’d think I could start with myself.

So anyway, 2013. A month in. Just in time for my jayanti. I actually ticked off a lot off my last year’s list without intending to. Turns out if you write something down, you mentally push into the conscious part of your brain. I wonder if anyone else has noticed this. Maybe I should write a book.

So this year, I’m making another set

1. Don’t worry about money
When I intended to become Financially Secure, it’s was not the inflow of money I need to worry about. That is plentiful, as evidenced by the shoe collection. I need to stop worrying about when it’s all going to go away. Or where the next cheque is coming from, in the current circumstances. Deeper still, I have to address my feelings about stuff.
Stuff does not make me happy. When I get stuff, I feel a stab of guilt coupled with a slap of self-loathing. I don’t get the ‘I deserve it’ high, nor the ‘I am worth it’ feeling ; just a little ‘Look what I found’ strut.
I’m not in debt, nor do I shop at the cost of savings. I am actually very good with planning finances. I should allow myself to feel happy about the pretty. And love self flagellation a little less. Which brings us to…

2. Give yourself a break
I have a terribly good memory in a personal context. So I remember every tiny mistake and the smallest of humiliations, and have long scathing talks with myself all day. It’s got to stop. This year, I say sorry, shrug and move on. Unless your child fell on its head on my watch. May I push a human being out of my vagina so that you could drop it on its head? No matter how remorseful I am, no one takes me up on this offer.

3. Let her have a massage
I am sensing a theme here. I think massages are a waste of money. I’m not a salon regular goer. It bores me so much that I even procrastinate depilation. It’s part of my charm. I won’t spend 600 bucks on a massage (which I need because I run and I sit at a desk for long hours; and I like the gentle but firm touch of East Indian girls on my ankles and the conspiratory ambience) but I have no problem springing that amount four tees. No more.

4. Talk to me
A lot of this would go away if I had conversations with myself. Sometimes, I think if I tell someone about my intent (“That’s it, no more sugar for today”), I think it is done. I don’t need to tell others, I need to tell myself. Nicely. I’m going to pretend I am Golden Retriever. I’d never be able to say no to a massage if a Goldie asked.

5. Write for fun
Though I love writing for fun, it is still “content” with an intention. Write when there is no pay per word. You know what that means.

I listen all night for your step on the stair

So, I’ve been doing a lot of fun work. I’m still writing, but I’m also training dogs, taking people shopping, conducting garage sales, and conducting walks for people. I thought I’d enjoy being holed up in my room, getting all hot and bothered as I torture myself like any self-respecting writer.


Specifically, I miss clever people who like chutyapanti. I miss all my gullible co-workers who could be rallied around to order disgusting food. I miss verbal fencing. I miss thinking up things we can get away with slipping into a newspaper (have you noticed how we spin metaphors from an unrelated theme around the context?). I miss building poor puns and towering metaphors. I miss the ever-gushing, polluted river of inside information and baseless gossip. I miss the inspiration of every else’s talent, being able to see all the wheels in their devious minds turn and click. I miss being horribly offensive which you can only be in the safe space created by other horrifically offensive and lowly people in high stress conditions.

I have been going through past posts like a nostalgic pensioner. Did I tell you about the time I had to edit a copy about a man who had to have a glass bottle surgically removed from his anus? Did I tell you that since we couldn’t give out his real name, we considered the moniker Batliwala? I miss the war-cry of PRESS CLUB! I miss Press Club. I miss sitting in Press Club until the waiters changed into lungis and start spreading their bedding around you. I miss walking back from Press Club on empty SoBo roads. I miss the sweet surprise of the bill after three hours of ordering whatever the fuck you want and pre-ordering drinks at Press Club. I miss how all the food vendors knew my name and customisation. I dream of the dosa-wallah slowly smearing his garlic chutney all over himself. I miss asking juniors for sexual favours.

I suppose I can hang out online, but I haven’t been on Instant Messenger since MSN. Back then I creatively (and with telling originality that would lead me to newspapering) called myself God and YOUR DYING MOTHER. Imagine the little box jumping up at the corner of your screen: YOUR DYING MOTHER says: Lunch?

In the last few years, I have been hiding on IM, because they say: Hi! and paste the entire press release before you can hit Block. They also say: and inform you it’s all small caps. The things I have read, one forehead is not enough to bang against desk.

So every other day, I consider applying for a job and then I remember I have to catch a movie at 10 am (morning shows are cheaper and there are less chances of running into people you know. Important when the movie is Twilight: My Secret Shame). And now I know what the weather is outside. The cheques tear me up a little, but can you put a price on freedom? (It’s all relative, but you can. In my case, It’s a good 73 per cent of my last salary).

So it’s fun to have non-writing work which makes me go out and meet other people. But not I have to actively schedule socialising like a normal person. That’s so hard. Everyone is at work. Everyone is also writing or publicising their book. So many ppl ask me whether I’ve quitten to rite a bk r sumthng??? Dude, I don’t even have a blog post in me. Wat bk????

People who work from home, what do you do for company? Add me?

* Sorry, you guys are hyper good professionally but weak-willed. Say mava jalebi three times. How do you feel? Exactly.