Friday, July 8, 2011

Strange new developments of the self

While re-reading my last post during a period of unintended self speculation at an unearthly hour last night, I realised that during the 3 weeks I spent at home I did not listen to any music. ANY music, not even on my Ipod. This is the surprising part and not the strange. The strange bit is that I did not even miss it nor did I realise it missing. So much so that it did not even occur to me while making a list of regular faffable things I did during my vacation.

This can't be happening. Something is very wrong and I have no idea what.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Blah Blah Blah & A Delhi Story

Back in a rain soaked Kolkata after 3 months is beginning to seem therapeutic for my mostly blank mind. With nothing much to do but eat, read, swim and sleep countless hours is definitely my present version of the good life. And the good life brings all sorts of urges back to the fore. Ok that doesn't sound right. But its my blog and I'm rarely right so..

I was thinking of Delhi all day, and how at the end of each working day I'd come home to find something or the other out of place. Be it a busted electric line or garbage that hasn't been cleared or no water or, worst of all, a non-functional AC. The last one's a death sentence man. Trust me. Even so Delhi has grown on me, so much so that I know presently Delhi is where I wish to find myself. Calcutta is more of a spa treatment undertaken to pamper oneself. And one does need pampering after surviving Delhi and its weather.

The city and its weather work together hand in hand to drain the life force out of the working man. There is no chi flowing through the people of Delhi. It all gets sapped out by 3pm latest. I for one often resort to lying on the floor infront of the AC just to get some semblance of energy back into me so that I can make the effort to get out again to find dinner. Hence blogging definitely goes for a toss.

But there is another side to Delhi. And that is its people. I know, especially being an ex-pat Bong in the capital, the general notion of Dilliwallahs is that of being rude and uncouth and (if you ask a Bengali Bhadrolok) uncivilised. While I personally do not give credence to any of the aforesaid, it may be admitted that the populace of Delhi are certainly more aggressive than those in most other parts of the country. It is evident from my own boss who has subjected me to the kind of abuse in 3 months that I have not experienced in 25 years on this planet!

However, in Delhi and in the same aforesaid office I also came across this gentleman called Shivkumar or Shivkumarji as I call him. Shivkumarji has been my boss's munshi (clerk) for 8 years and had been his father's clerk for 2 years before that. He hails from a Brahmin family in Western Uttar Pradesh and had come to Delhi 13 years back, then a 24 year old man with a young wife and a baby girl tagging along for they were his responsibility. Shivkumarji wasn't literate so there were no office jobs he could land. However, he had experience farming as a boy and was able to find work as a gardener at Ms. Renuka Chowdhury's (presently an elected Member of Parliament) house in Delhi. Ms. Chowdhury's gardens are still tended by Shivkumarji, whose 13 years of faithful service has been rewarded with a place to stay within Ms. Chowdhury's premises itself. But being a gardener is not enough to feed 3 mouths, especially in a city with a cost of living index as high as New Delhi. And since Shivkumarji's arrival the costs have only gone up. So Shivkumarji juggled jobs. He would tend to the gardens early in the morning, then go out and deliver newspapers, then work odd jobs at various stores and eventually also substitute for another to run a photocopy machine at Patiala House. It was here that he was introduced to the legal profession. He met clerks who had come to Delhi from diverse parts of the country, and made friends and even learnt to read in bits and pieces. Sufficient to recognize particular names of advocates on the daily cause lists and matter numbers on the display boards.

My boss's father, whom I admire greatly, is an extremely docile and learned gentleman. He speaks normally in what sounds like a loudish whisper. Shivkumarji through his new found friends and contacts heard of an opening at the aforesaid counsel's office as a peon, and the same was a lucrative offer for him at the said time. Hence he shifted from the photocopy machine at Patiala House to being a peon at a Supreme Court Advocate-on-Record's office. This brought him some extra money and some extra time to spend with his family. Unfortunately within 2 years of his joining his boss's health started deteriorating to the extent of him abandoning his practice to his foul mouthed and short tempered only child (my boss). The father's erstwhile court clerk refusing to work under such a poor specimen of the humankind, his son had no choice but to accept Shivkumarji as a clerk for by then the resourceful Shivkumarji had pretty much mastered basic English letters and numbers, sufficient for him to check the daily lists and boards required to assist an Advocate. His sweet and polite demeanor further lent him a good rapport with most people at the Section offices and Registry of the Supreme Court making him invaluable to any Advocate-on-Record.

Thus Shivkumarji quit delivering newspapers and working odd jobs at grocery stores and photocopy machines for the relatively stable position as an Advocate's peon and then found himself promoted to the position of a clerk under the said Advocate's son. He continues to live and work on Ms. Chowdhury's gardens every morning, and he further delivers cause lists to various offices in the evening after my boss leaves. His earnings, though modest by the ever increasing Delhi living standards, are presently sufficient for him further provide a stable and loving home for his wife, send his daughter to school and induct his 4 year old younger girl (who was born in Delhi) to Montessori as well.

There was this one day when I had to rush to attend to an Arbitration proceeding in the morning and I did not have the time to grab breakfast. Shivkumarji accompanied me that day for I did not know the relevant former judge's house and I could not afford to be late. After the said arbitration, upon hearing that I was hungry, Shivkumarji emotionally blackmailed me to come to his house and provided me with the most hearty breakfast I have had in my 3 months in Delhi. So much so that I chose to skip lunch later in the day.

I like reading fantasy novels and history books to know of great people and their heroic deeds. But 3 months of working and living alone in Delhi has taught me to perceive heroism in a new light. Shivkumarji has been many things (life's forced him to get versatile); namely a gardener, a shopkeeper's assistant, an illiterate peon, a semi-literate clerk and an occasional delivery man. But most of all, he's a good man and an urban hero.

In Delhi I found work alongside a man I really look upto.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Revival vide Hotness

When ze words fail, hotness prevails!

What can I say, urge or no urge, I had selfishly and completely forgotten that apart from my mumblings and mutterings and what not, this space was also host to random hotness of the female kind of my species. And although there has been no urge to write (and thats all there is to it, believe it or not!!) there still is the urge to fall for Hotties! Thank God!!

In fact its the latter that has kept me going through the toughest and the most boring times of my life. Hence dear audience forgive me for my selfishness in thinking that my words were all this space was good for. Nossir! It wasn't, as Ms. Priyanka aptly points out in her comment to my last post. There still is the Hottie of the Month! So in abeyance of her wisdom and in a desperate attempt to keep this space alive despite my vocabular stagnation, this space shall breathe to the extent of the Hottie of the Month. At the very least.

So without any further delay and mumbling, here's our Hottie for this month.

Eva Huang Shengyi

Remember the Ice cream girl from Kung-fu Hustle ?? (Greatest Film EVER!!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

I guess I owe an apology to anyone and everyone who has visited this space since the last post and actually believed that this was a break. I had believed so myself. But I'm sorry, this space does seem dead. Comatose at the very least. The tragic bit, if any, is that it died for no particular reason whatsoever. I liked this space and I wanted to keep it going irrespective of how bland and mumblinglike it was. Its just that its not happening anymore. There is no urge to write. Which is ironic considering the level of activity in my life right now. I probably have more to say now than I did just about couple of months back. But the will is gone!

Such is life I suppose. Cheers!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Break Ke Baad

This space is not dead. Not yet anyway.
I had been looking forward to 2011. The year was to begin with me unemployed and devoid of a plan. The funny thing about being unemployed is that you suddenly find a lot on your plate that interests you, and none of it is something you HAVE to do!
All the things you had been planning and all the others that come up in time, which you wouldn't have been able to do were you bound to an office for more that 10 hours a day. Also whatever it is you do, seems to be infused with a new manner of intensity. Sort of like living with a vengeance. Cleansing 18 months of existential stagnation in 6 short weeks.

Can be one hell of a ride! With the right research of course, a sprinkling of luck and always a little help from your friends.

Now I'm on the otherside but the ride ain't over yet. In fact I reckon its just about warming up. This year shall now see me experience the life of a Junior Advocate at the Supreme Court of India, amongst other things. I shift to New Delhi in a week's time. Have to find a home, start work, buy a goddamn gown again (we wear a slightly different one at the Calcutta High Court) and get used to a brand new city.
To much to do yet. Too much to think of and take care of. So I ended up watching movies till late in the night. Shanghai. Found a couple of pearls therein. Firstly, "the heart is never neutral". One of the many thoughts meandering through John Cusack's head as he tries to unravel the mystery behind his friend's death and decipher the truth sugar coated in Mistress Lan Ting's cunning beauty. The film, besides being watchworthy, casts our Hottie of the Month as Ms. Anna Lan Ting (No I haven't seen Memoirs of a Geisha).

Gong Li (Picture from here)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Its all happening, its all happening!!! ... Band Aid voices screaming in my head (think Almost Famous).

2 Days to my departure from this office and I already feel the blood coursing in my veins. The time to fall off the map, the time to not dread the coming of the morning but to rush towards it with outstretched arms, the time to grow younger than you were and the time to be free.

Almost there. Almost.

Soon I'll be lugging 7-8 kilos in a beat up faithful rucksack up a mountain keeping pace with a couple of old timers. Only to be sleeping on state transport buses and inside sleeping bags with a tent for shelter and the night sky for company. And finally back to being able to do whatever the fuck you want, whenever the fuck you want.

Atleast for a little while.

Free (Now all I need is my Wild Indian Woman!!)

However, it shall do me good to see through these last 48 hours appropriately. Too many things to clear with too many bleddy depts. Also one must leave with one's boss's blessings in my profession. Which is really my top concern now since I have been given work today, which I ought to do extra well, and would too if only it wasn't for this nagging drowsiness. Which again is my bad I suppose. Stayed up till 2:30 am watching Heat. What can a man do when you put Al Pacino and Robert DiNero against each other with their abundance of style, guns and ammo? To top that you put in a long haired, blonde, hitman/junkie played by Val Kilmer, you're really conspiring to keep your regular run of the mill working man up all night.

Man, I'd love to be a gangster.

"We Jazz June, we die soon"

I've always been attracted to breaking the rules. Not because the rules are good or bad or right or wrong. But simply because they are there. Don't get me wrong. I'm not prescribing a lifestyle choice here or advocating anything for that matter. Just that it feels good breaking them rules. Always has you know. Its a good feeling that never lets you down. Like a tried and tested high.

However, Neil McCauley (Robert Di Nero) was too smart. Even for Vincent Hanna (Al Pacino). A career criminal was he, and with honour. Until she came along.

Eady (Amy Brenneman) when Neil (Robert Di Nero) sees her for the first time in Heat
Picture from here

The kinda lady you'd leave it all behind for (but thats assuming you've had had a life to leave behind in the first place). There's freedom there too I suspect. That makes Amy Brenneman our Hottie of the Month.


Monday, December 20, 2010

Had the craziest weekend in the longest time. One of the oldest friends was in town, and well we had ourselves a boy's night out. Stag as the good old times of school when the wimmen would look at us and smile benignly with a look that unmistakably revealed their innate desire to tousle our hair and squeeze our cheeks. Yea I felt like a goddamn kid then but nowadays they simply look the other way. I'm thinking being a kid and cute was better than being an inebriated adult and a potential rapist. Anyway we were saved from our blushes outside a nightclub when a bunch of Irish women decided that they not only wanted to enter with us, but they also wanted to party with us the rest of the night. All I had said was, "I love U2 man, please could you get us inside??" Also for the first time in my life was I hailed as a "gentleman" along with my friend (often repeatedly) by the same aforesaid Irishwomen. Yeah take that all ye who look away. Take that I say!

Also belated happy birthday old friend. You know who you are. I don't think they'll have blogs where you are but there's really no other way I can say this to you now, is there. For the record, I did actually go out and raise a toast to you, so you'd better do the same for me up there.

To DVR who is a million miles away ..