Thursday, May 31, 2012


What-a-day! Went through the whole magazine with a magnifying glass. It's tiring and yet so satisfying to see the magazine coming together. Our rockstar designer Rola has done a fabulous job as always. It was Rola's birthday a few days ago and as always there was cake in the office. I love birthdays. I love singing the birthday song and eating cake although sparingly thanks to the diabetes. I'm so sweet it had to happen as Anshuman said when I informed him of my ailment. He's funny though I couldn't take the comment in the 'right' spirit when he said it. Somehow I couldn't see the compliment.

Teresa the fashion editor is going to work freelance and go back to being the stylist for the editorial shoots. We will get a new fashion and beauty editor. I hope it's someone nice. Claudia and I got her a few going away gifts and Teresa released the water works. I will miss her but I'm sure she be coming by the office often. Well dusk is setting in and Chris Martin the man I'm currently completely in love with sings in his amazing honey voice. Songs spoil us somehow I think. They raise our expectations of love and set us up for disappointments sometimes. I mean who can say 'honey' like Chris? No one. Absolutely no one.

It's been a long, tiring and absolutely satisfying day and I thought it deserves a post as the weekend quietly whispers sweet nothings in my ear. Softly it speaks of bubble baths, massages, lazy walks through rows of shops, being behind the wheel of my car, of a sleeping lazy dog, cups of milky tea and easy companionship. Hello Thursday evening!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

And the morning gets better

So you might be wondering why I'm suddenly so regular on the blog. It's a guilt response for not working on my dream project. No not really. Sometimes I just feel like saying something and the blog is the best space available as I can write any crap and not worry about it. OK I've said that before.

The morning just got better and I'll tell you how. But first of all I feel like making smileys so often on the blog and I literally have to stop my fingers. It's all the chatting lingo that annoys me to no end sometimes. Back to the morning, actually it's already almost 2 in the afternoon and I'm happy happy happy. The reason being a great cup of mocha from Starbucks my absolute fave. The process of going there in itself was pretty funny.

So as those of you who read my blog (exactly one and a half people) know that my car is in the workshop. This Monday Claudia's (assistant editor) car also started sounding like a helicopter and had to be sent to the shop. Teresa (fashion and beauty editor) doesn't have a car and relies on cabs. She is the only person I know who manages to catch a cab on Sheikh Zayed Road where the traffic is speeding at 100 km/hr. So I was hit with the bright idea of having a coffee. So I asked Joe(web editor) if he would take me to Starbucks but he was busy as hell. Then I asked Sam(MD) if she could take me to Starbucks but she was busy as sin but she insisted that I take her car which is actually her mom's car which she borrows on a regular basis. The next logistical problem arose when I remembered that I don't know where the closest Starbucks is so I asked Claudia to drive me there. I thought I would buy her a coffee as a thank you. When we got to Starbucks Claudia said she brought a thermos of coffee from home. What a sweetheart because she decided to drive me anyway.

So I finally got my tall mocha, picked up a tall latte for Teresa and consumed my coffee in about three seconds when I got back to the office. And now I'm happy and my fingers are flying on the keyboard. I love my office and I'm tempted to make three happy smileys but I will resist and I want to write the infamous "LOL" but again I will resist. I am the queen of resistance and caffeine high.


Sometimes mornings can set the mood for the rest of the day. I kept dreaming all this morning. The police were at my friend's house looking for something. I think it was money. She and I had stolen it and I was trying to find places to hide it without letting the two cops find out. The sheer guilt in the dream was overwhelming. The cops turned the house inside out as my friend, her mom and I stood looking helplessly. I felt sick with the apprehension that we would be found out but we never were.  Then I woke up and went back to sleep again. The dream began again and this time the same friend and I were hiding drugs and the police were turning her house upside down and I had the chance to get out. But I didn't. I didn't want my friend to face the music alone. Both of us stood around trying to look like we were unaffected. I was nervous as hell and I knew that if the drugs were found I was in big trouble.

I woke up feeling strangely sad and somehow haven't been able to shake the feeling. My psychotherapist friend would love to analyse the dream and give me advice but I've forbidden her to do that much to her chagrin. I need to listen to some peppy music and change the mood. Coldplay's "Rush of blood to the head" is not helping but I do love the song so it's on repeat and I like it that way. I amaze myself sometimes. I mean how many times can you hear the same song over and over again?

Addictions come in all forms. Some of them are benign and the rest should be cut off like a limb with gangrene before it poisons the whole body.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012


There are two projects that are in incubation stage in my life right now and I'm equally excited about both. I can't talk about either because then it would be premature but I feel serious labor pains sometimes. I just want to share how happy and excited I am about both of them. One will be delivered in October and the other has been incubating for the past five years and is taking longer than an elephant's baby to finish getting ready to be delivered. Both will be like children to me needless to say after all the pregnancy metaphors that have already been used.

This is such an exciting time vis a vis work and dreams and ambition. The thing lacking in me sometimes is the self discipline needed to work on a project that is both personal and needs an amazing amount of creativity even if I say so myself. If I wrote a page everyday I might be able to finish some time next year. A page a day is not really that hard when you think about it but writing a page that can keep me interested is very hard sometimes. Writing is such a fluid process. Sometimes it flows and sometimes all you can do is hit the delete button every five minutes.

The thing is even when you have a skeleton, a definite structure things don't always go your way. People in stories have a habit of walking away from the page, the screen, the keyboard, the pen and finding things that they think are more interesting. No matter how much you try to coax them to walk on the path that you want them to they seem to develop a will of their own and all you can do is succumb to the pressure of imaginary people. It's a difficult process but at the same time it is an amazing process. The sheer fear you feel before you begin again and assign a character to feel a certain emotion, make them take a journey, the people they meet, the people they like, ones they don't like, their history can make them do things you didn't think they were capable of. You scratch your head and ask why did she do that? And a piece of the character's history reveals itself.

The inanimate things have an equal role to play. Sometimes the weather is benign and at other times it pours all over your protagonist and sends a shiver up your spine. It's magical this journey of the imagination. A journey that is born of tiny bits of the real world but mostly is a fantasy that insists on having a life of it's own, it's own unique path. I love it. I'm so damn excited!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Love the morning sun

A couple of months ago I banged the new Pajero into a van at the signal just before I got home. I think the car was about one or two months old. The insurance claim system is a bit complicated so we waited till we had the time to go through the process and a few weeks ago we managed. A few weeks ago at the same signal a Lebanese fellow banged the car from behind. So the point is that the car has been in the workshop for the past week and will remain to be so for the next week as well therefore I have to take a cab everywhere. Anshuman refuses to let me drive his office car for even going to the mall which is five minutes away. I miss listening to music in the car and I miss driving. I miss my car so badly.

The above picture was taken in the cab this morning on my way to work. I love the morning sun especially when you can sit in an air conditioned vehicle with your wayfarers on!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dream or nightmare?

I dream every night. I guess all of us do. Sometimes you have a dream that seems to speak to you. Your mind wants to say something and sometimes if you're lucky you understand the message. However most of the time I can't make sense of what I see. I find it very interesting and I try to analyse it once in while to no avail. Most of the time it's a distinct emotion that I'm left with when I wake.

This morning was no different. I dreamt as always but the dream was very very interesting. I was in the balcony of the highest room on the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. I know it's very mission impossible but hang on, stay with me. Slowly a crane lowers on to the balcony and there is a swing hanging from the hook. I sit on the swing and I'm hanging in mid air seeing the imposing building from an angle that most people would never have seen. I am taken around the building and I'm thrilled to my bones and scared as hell at the same time.

The the crane stops me in mid air. I wait for the crane operator to put me back on the balcony but no. I'm left hanging for the longest time. I grab the ropes of the swing on either side as my hands sweat. All this time I'm thinking to myself that I am strong enough to hold on and not plummet to my death. I wait for what seems like an eternity and the crane moves and deposits me in a very large room which is apparently my new home. I immediately begin to clean and set up the home, moving things around in a way that is pleasing to the eye and practical. Anshuman comes home and begins to help me clear out junk. The home is finally set up and I think to myself,"The trick to not being afraid of heights is to never look down."

Interesting, very interesting. I woke up feeling pretty good and late for work. Dreams I tell you! They're the best.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Serial killers

I've had a dread fascination for serial killers for the longest time. I love watching crime series. I think it's a fascination with death and especially a violent one. Although I'm not such a great fan of the usual action movies I do love historical, mythical, fantasy movies which usually have a lot of blood and gore. I know people who would faint at the sight of blood but I can be pretty tough about it at least when I watch it on the telly or in a cinema hall.

I do ask myself sometimes why this morbid fascination with violent behaviour. I am not sure although I have met a lot of people in fact I should say a lot of women who love trying to get in to the mind of violence. Most of the time one finds that the childhood of the killer has had a great part to play on his psyche. The killer shows no remorse. The thrill of killing becomes a sexual high.

When you think of a serial killer the images of Hannibal Lector and Buffalo Bill immedeately come to mind. One a genius psychologist, the other a cross dressing murderer, both serial killers. Anthony Hopkins won an Oscar for his portrayal of Hannibal Lector and I will never forget the scene where he says,"Clarice..." with sheer ugly desire dripping from the tone of his voice. His voice alone made my hair stand on end. I wasn't that moved by the scene where he is shown eating human flesh and looking crazy. He is more "crazy" in his lucid moments than he seems in his apparently crazy ones.

So that's the image most people have of a serial killer and I admit I did too for the longest time. A slight aberration was the serial killer played by Steve Buscemi in the movie con air. In fact that's where I first heard the names Dahmer, Bundy and Gacy. Then I forgot about them. Until recently when I randomly googled Dahmer, Jeffrey Dahmer.

He was a gruesome killer who murdered 17 men. It's unbelievable and fascinating that someone had it in them to do something like that. So I read more and the details just got worse. He picked up men from gay clubs, brought them home, murdered them then had sex with them until the bodies began to decompose. At times he also ate some of his victims' flesh. Then I saw an interview which he gave to a journalist a little before he was killed by a prison inmate while incarcerated for his crimes. Just reading the story made me want to throw up but my curiosity got the better of me and I watched the video on youtube more than once.

Jeffrey Dahmer was a good looking man with impeccable manners who spoke softly and with total lucidity. He described his crimes with a matter of fact detail. More than anything what fascinated me was the fact that Jeff as his parents called him had a pretty happy childhood other than the time that his parents' marriage began to fall apart. He had a younger brother who turned out to be just fine.

What scares me the most is how normal he was when he spoke. There wasn't a shred of 'crazy' in his demeanour aside from the content of what he was actually saying. So what is it that makes a man who apparently had a normal childhood become a serial killer. I have no answers. Till today Dahmer especially fascinates me. There are many more fascinating killers. People who lived within the society and yet were so cut off from it. The question keeps coming back to me. Why did Dahmer kill? When he was asked the question he simply said it was because he wanted a complete sense of control. When he ate someone's flesh he controlled them completely. There was no way they could get away from him anymore. As if killing a man wasn't enough. He digested his flesh too.

When I excavated Dahmer's life I realised that all of us have a dark aspect. We have negative thoughts. Sometimes we want to hurt people who have hurt us. We may not want to kill them and eat their flesh but sometimes we want to control them. The difference between us and the Dahmers of the world is a conscience. A clear sense of right and wrong. The ability to feel remorse at wrong doing. A moral and ethical sense of responsibility. This is what makes us a civilised society. This is what makes us human beings.

We realise that we cannot control other people. Each person is an individual and must be shown that respect. There is freedom of will for a reason. The aberrations of society teach us that the power of good resides side by side the power of evil. It's a choice we make. Dahmer's brother never killed anyone and was a perfectly normal guy who now lives under a false name thanks to Dahmer's shadow. As long as there is evil there will be good. As long as there are humans there will be a need to control. The point is we have the power to control the need to control. To be good. To believe in love.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Wayfarers in Kuala Lumpur

So I was in Malaysia the whole of last week. Fun it was. Just to record my thoughts about the long due vacation I thought of writing a post. And oh those are my wayfarers. Ever since I heard in that Don Henley song "Wayfarers on Baby" I wanted them and I got them just before going to Kuala Lumpur. So another addition to my 'I'm so vain' album.

Getting back to the point. The lady at the airport asked me," Are you pregnant?" Do they ask everyone or is it just that I have the annoying habit of resting on hand on my belly as though I'm nurturing a non existent baby in making. I asked her,"Nope. Do I look pregnant." The poor woman got embarrassed as the people behind me in the queue started laughing. "Just checking Ma'am" She said and I moved on. Time to start doing crunches I suppose but I've burned so much money at gyms it's just plain sad.

The flight was at 2:30 in the morning and we reached the airport five hours early because neither of us checked the time and for some reason Anshuman thought the flight was at 1 am. So we sat in a bar where I had a cheese omelette and my husband has a few pegs of whiskey. He was happy and I was bored so I walked around the cosmetics counters and wondered why there are so few shades that suit Indian skin. I tried some dark red lipstick and made faces at the mirror till the sales woman started giving me dirty looks. So I asked her for a tissue which she gave me with much disdain for my childish behaviour. Like I care.

This time we decided to take Etihad airlines so we were at the Abu Dhabi airport which has only one store which carries a really limited choice of books. Out of habit I bought one and I think it is the worst book in the history of books. I've forgotten it's name now mercifully. I watched half of a 'Week with Marilyn" and slept before Tuesday I think. The seats were weird and wouldn't go back so had to ask the flight attendant for help after an hour of sitting scrunched up in my seat. The food was forgettable. There were three pieces of watermelon and that was dinner.

The flight was seven hours and that's the longest I've been on an airplane. Finally made it to KL and I was ready to drop. By the way my telecommunication provider sucks. I got a terribly expensive data package just to check the office email and it didn't work. I'm talking to customer service as I type. So they promise to call back and sent me an sms in Arabic with a number which I'm guessing is the complaint number. I digress as I'm known to do.

We got in line at immigration. It was a serpentine line and at the end was one lone immigration officer. I was later told that on Fridays the Malays like to take a long lunch and therefore the lone ranger battling the anaconda. I was tired and crabby and Anshuman was cheerful as always. I don't know how he does it. He's almost always a happy soul. God bless him. After getting through immigration we had to get into a little train of sorts which took about 50 seconds to drop us close to the exit. We stood in line for the taxi and one came. Someone got in with a lot of bags and a kid plus wife. We waited. I sat down on the pavement and held my head in my hands. Another taxi came. A couple with at least eight bags got in and drove off. Anshuman smoked a cigarette and I held my weary head in my hands.

Finally it was our turn. I snoozed on and off in the cab and missed the scenery. KL didn't look at all pretty in my haze of the journey. This was supposed to be a vacation and I had my head in my hands. We reached Shiv and Vanessa's home in a place called Mont Kiara. We had tea and I passed out on the bed. Vanessa had cooked a lovely dinner and it was great to see them along with their three year old Aarav.

The next morning after Anshuman had had his fill of pork sausages we hung around at home and then went to this lovely quaint place called La Bodega. Lunch was some seafood with a generous helping of Sangria. Very relaxing and I began to notice that the city is actually quite nice. It's wonderfully green and surrounded by rolling hills and clods float by so close. I loved it.

I shopped and shopped ofcourse and gambled a bit at Genting Highlands. I won all the shopping money back so felt quite smug. I know when to quit and I think that's the trick. I played the roulette and even though there doesn't seem to be a logic to the numbers there was an old Chinese man sitting next to me who was counting numbers on a piece of paper as he chain smoked. Every once in a while he would bet a little and then go right back to his paper and cigarette. An impossibly old Chinese woman was betting next to me with much gusto and winning.

The drive from the city to Genting is really lovely. There is a Buddhist temple on the way and we stopped by for a while. I prayed to a Buddha idol for the first time. People entered the temple with their shoes on but somehow I had to take off my shoes before I could enter. I put some incense sticks in to a small sandbox. I prayed for everyone's health and happiness and expressed my gratitude for all that has been given to me. It was a peaceful experience.

Sometimes I think prayer is just about being in a state of peace and expressing yourself clearly in your thoughts.

Then the day I was supposed to take the flight back home I was a bit sick and am still a bit sick. Flying for long hours is not something that agrees with me and that's a pity because there's so much more I want to see. So that's it. Now I'm back and it was a joy to welcome Ninna home. As I'm sure I've said many times before she's my best friend.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Crazy night at Alegra

Presenting the Massmedia Publishing gang at Dina's birthday party at Alegra the fab nightclub. This picture was taken when we're all only one drink down. Very soon things would get very crazy and I would be found dancing till the wee hours of the morning. Crrrrazy night! Loved it!

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

live and love forever!

It's been the longest time since I wrote anything on the blog. Yeah I post pictures and say random things related to them but that's not really writing. But then again is writing a blog really writing. I think it is. Certainly it is a space for expression which gives you a certain amount of freedom to say anything you want without worrying too much about what anyone is going to think when they read it. Honestly I've reached a stage where I'm past caring what anyone thinks about what I write or post of my blog. I've made it entirely my own, for my own consumption and not anyone else's. In any case I don't think anyone comes here any more aside from my very loyal sweet friend in far away Bombay. Love her to bits.

So this one's for you Shilpa. My friend through thick and thin. I have sometimes written about people in my life and with the exception of a few "characters" I have loved all of them. The best kind of people I have found are those whose essence lies simply in love. Life and the universe can be particularly hard for these people as life sculpts them with a special chisel and hammer that hurt but when their features and the beautiful lines begin to appear you can clearly see the love with which the artist carved out her work of art.

There are times when you look at the skies and ask, "Why? Why me?". The answer is so simple it almost sounds stupid. "You? Why you? Because you're special." Special people must suffer and yet never lose their essence that is love, kindness and forgiveness. Not just in relation to others but in relation to one's own self. Special people must continue to believe, must move past hurdles, obstacles, negativity, circumstances, strange people and the sheer triumph of finding the true glimpse of life in a small moment is their reward. Not that you have to live life for the rewards. If you can just embrace the vastness of this journey and take a moment while stuck in traffic and look at a lovely face or the way light falls through buildings- it's your reward for having lived without losing your essence.

And that's you Ms Shilpa Raheja. Your essence is love and there is no bigger power in the universe. The rewards may seem small but many universes of life live in very very small moments. So live and love forever!

The pearls

I bought these pearls almost 12 years ago and never wore them. I have no idea why. Wore them to work today for the first time and I'm smiling. Love 'em!