Thursday, March 20, 2014

Art Dubai Opening Night

So I had an invite for two to go to the Art Dubai opening night and Ankita and I decided to make an evening of it. We spent some time having a leisurely cup of chai at her place in the company of Pushpita, Sohana and Ahana. The two little munchkins are wearing identical dresses that I picked up for them from Global Village. We did a little selfie shoot and laughed all the way through it. They make me so happy.

I'd been in hibernation mode for the last few days but the laughter, antics and chatter of the two angels was perfect to get me right out of it. When we were going down to the car Sohana saw a Filipina woman sitting alone in the lobby. She ran straight up to her and asked," Are you lost?" The woman was clearly surprised and didn't know what to say. I apologised to her and dragged Sohana by the hand telling her,"She's not lost, she's just waiting for someone." Sohana smiled up at me as though she understood and then ran away in the next instant having forgotten all about it. Bless the short memory of children.

After a bit of confusion at the welcome desk at the venue we began browsing. Ankita found a painting with all her favourite colours and here's the picture. She looks so pretty in this one. The bold colours are an assault on the senses. The best kind of assault possible. I loved this artist's work. So simple and beautiful and therapeutic.

And here's another one from the same artist. This one had all the soothing and uplifting colours that I absolutely loved. I would love to own this one but I'm quite certain it is beyond the capacity of my purse so Ankita took a picture of me with it. Such a peaceful image. Love it.

'Forever these words will live unsteadily' This one spoke to my heart. Yes.

There were a lot of mirrors around and each one so unique. this one has dragonflies which seem to be climbing up on you when you look in the morror. The effect is really quite amazing.

This huge piece completely took my breath away. This is one third of the whole painting. The artist's imagination is indescribable. Monkeys spilling out of a hatchback, a couple kissing completely oblivious to the world, a man in a turban with his camel, a little boy kissing a little girl. It's a bizarre and beautiful painting. And it costs 70,000 USD. Phew! I wonder which lucky, rich bastard is going to own it. Whoever it is I hope he/she loves it as much as I did.

Ankita took this picture through an elephant. Yes there was a metal elephant and it had this tunnel through his heart. Love this one!

The exhibition had a lot of mirrors as I said before and we took pictures in almost all of them. Looks like a lot of post its with curled corners. It reminded me of a course we did at NID called Space, Form and Structure.

And another selfie in a mirror. My husband said,"This is your best selfie. There's no self in it." It gives you the feeling of how our identity is most of the time held together by wires with scars of experience.

And there I am in another artist's creation becoming a part of his vision. I look so far away from myself. I actually felt so far away when I took this picture. Smoke and mirrors. Smoke and mirrors.

And to end this post here's Ahana, Sohana and I so very very very happy!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

That woman

I wasn't going to write anything today you know but then I started messing around with the various filters on my phone and this picture was the result. Looks like someone else right!

The other day my husband was giving me a pep talk about how I deserve so much more from my clients. He went on to say,"You should be the editor of Time magazine but then every issue will have your selfie on the cover page." And then he laughed and I couldn't stop myself from laughing either.

These drawing kind of filters completely change the expression in your eyes. Yeah it looks like someone else. So I'm back to working from home after a complete hiatus of five whole months and I admit I like the freedom it gives me. So wish me luck and send good energies my way!

You know what I'm beginning to like the woman in this picture. She seems like someone I would like to be but probably never will be. So graceful, calm, collected, self assured, proud and incredibly strong. No I will never quite be all of her. May be some of the time I will be some of those things but I'll never be everything. Nonetheless I conclude I like her.

Friday, March 14, 2014


Sometimes you wake up and the sound of the lawnmower greets you. Your music gets diluted. Dry winds push through the yellow and green of the neem tree they just cut. Your fingers hesitate as the music knifes you. You stop and wonder if it's pms. And then you just stop.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

An old letter

I found something I wrote to my friend Shilpa many years ago when we used to live in Bombay. I thought it was an interesting read. So here you go...

Dear Shilpa Darrling ( total ajit style )

Where are you lost in the concrete jungles of Mumbai? One of the animals of mumbai is the shopping mall. I was in one yesterday... inorbit, Malad.

I had plans of watching a movie when hubby said darling wait for me and we will watch the movie together so I had a three hour wait ahead of me.  I walked around the mall.

I saw a skirt which costs 4000 bucks and I kept turning it inside out trying to figure out why. It was in my size and I totally loved it till my eyes went to the price tag and then suddenly the glow that surrounded the clothing item went away. Then the sales woman came upto me probably scared that I might rip or rip off the prescious chiffon article. 'May I help you ?'She said. I asked her 'Why is this skirt for 4000 bucks? ' She said ' Actually it just arrived and moreover it is a signature Satya Paul skirt. We have only one piece.' I felt like telling her ' Well if I was rich and foolish enough to buy it I would probably just sit at home wearing it fearing I might rip it or something if I went out wearing it. So I smiled my most wonderful smile and said ' Thank you so much' You know the saddest part of it is I had exactly 200 bucks in my pocket. I would have felt better if I had the money and then didn't buy the skirt purely because of the principle.

Anyway the worst parts of the evening haven't come yet. After a while I realised that my shoes were biting me very badly. I had bought some heeled shoes after a long time and now I knew exactly why I never buy heels. Finally I took off the damn shoes and walked barefoot. Thankfully most people didn't notice. If it had been Delhi I would have been stared at till I put them back on so for once I was thankful I was in the city of some of the most impersonal preoccupied people. Some of the sales people noticed but smiled gently as if indulging a child.

Most of the time I love sales people and even waiters in restaurants. I love smiling at them because one can see that they don't expect it, it throws them off gaurd and they try to do the best they can. Always works. Almost always. Sometimes they tick me off like this woman in a boutique I walked into with my nimboo paani in hand. The sales woman told me in a hoity toity tone, 'Eatables not allowed ' I stopped and said ' Oh Too bad ' as if it was her loss and I would probably have bought the whole shop with my 200 bucks. What I should have said was something smart like, 'This is a beverage!'Where are wits when you need them?

So then I found the perfect man and the perfect platinum ring. It was plain and shiny and perfect. He was tall, handsome, harried and incompetent. I smiled and asked him to take out the ring. He did and I tried it on. Perfection. I asked the price and he looked even more harried then before because he had lost the price tag while taking out the ring. I asked if they could engrave it with an inscription, they said they could for a price ofcourse. The handsome, incompetent  man found the price tag. 20,000 bucks only and extra for the inscription.

Now I knew why I never go anywhere except to book shops and cafes in shopping malls. I said nothing this time but walked away quickly. The handsome incompetent man just seemed incompetent but the ring was still plain, shiny and perfect.

So I decided to go back to the book shop. It was no fun. I didn't like any book aside from the one with poems of  Pablo Neruda. There was a beautiful story about a woman who read one of his poems and stopped believing in love and later when she met him, he managed to restore her faith. I had recently come across a lot of people, especially married people who didn't believe in love. Anything but love they told me. Anyway to replay the broken record I had 200 bucks and the book with beautiful black and white images and poems cost 800 bucks. So what do you think I did. I wish I could say that I shoplifted. Actually I just walked out.

Next was a store I always go to because it smells so nice. It smells of leather. I suddenly remembered it was a friend's birthday the next day and I came across a very pretty key chain made of leather and fake fur. I figured the thing about key chains is that they get lost in bags so it's important that they feel different to the touch from everything else and fur is perfect. It cost 145 bucks. I was jubiliant. The perfect gift. I asked the salesman to take off the price tag stuck behind it as neatly as possible. He did a wonderful job. I couldn't help saying, ' Very good! Very good! ' He smiled and put it in a really cute tiny cloth bag with a leather string. So happy.

By now I was exhausted and ready to drop so I decided to eat something. I stood outside the elevator and the doors opened to reveal an old friend from school. We had enacted the role of husband and wife on the stage many times back then. He called me his ' professional wife'. We couldn't stand the sight of each other and it showed on stage. He had recently made a film which I saw a couple of days ago. It had a major star in a guest appearance but nearly everything else was disastrous . We hugged and asked each other what we were doing. I said I was shopping and he said he was working on films. He asked me if I liked his film and pat came the reply, " No "

His face fell.' Everyone is entitled to their opinion' he said. We quickly parted ways after my lame attempt at trying to tell him the idea was essentially good. Why was I so blunt? May be because I'm just a blunt person. Although I think it's probably because in the Annual day play I played his wife yet again and I had one dialogue in the entire play. My professional husband jumped from one dialogue to another and I couldn't speak my lines. He apologised later but by then I had already cried buckets. The damage was already done. So I think this was sweet revenge for all those years of animosity and I felt utterly awful. If I ever run into him again I will apologise although the damage is already done.

Oh I just remembered something else. While I cried behind the stage another friend came along and sat with me. He plays the flute beautifully. He said my " professional husband" was a dog. We talked and then he asked me what I wanted to listen to?  I promptly said, " Jungle boy ! "He played and ofcourse the tears vanished. I hope my friend will have someone by his side to tell him " Oh she's a bitch! " and play the flute or whatever for him.

 I took the ride up the elevator which always stops on the first floor for no reason. I ate dal tadka and rice. It felt so good. I love dal rice. Now what I had left was 5 bucks and an hour to kill before I could get into the comfort of a cinema hall and watch Aamir Khan in Mangal Pandey and feel inspired.
 I was dying in the shoes so I sat down outside the theater and I waited. People came. They sat next to me. They left. Some more came. They also left. I took off my shoes. I crossed my legs. I wore my shoes. I uncrossed my legs. I went to the ground floor again. I went outside. I waited on the stairs. I took off my shoes. I pressed my feet. I wore my shoes. I went back up to the multiplex.

Hubby arrived and smiled at me saying that the first half hour of the film was no good anyway he'd been told. I refused to watch the movie late. We ended up watching Iqbal instead. I prepared myself to fall asleep through the film. It was about dreams and ambitions of a boy who has very little aside from his family, some buffaloes and most of all his spirit. I loved the movie. Hubby was moved to tears and I could understand why.

I believe all of us are born with tongs inside us which only we can hear. Once in a while we see something which flicks these tongs and a vibration rises through our bodies and some of us shed tears and some of us clap and some of us jump or dance. I shiver and try not to smile.

We got out during the interval and I told him about the skirt and the ring. He asked me" Do you want the ring? " I looked at him and saw that if I said yes he would buy it for me. I said, ' No! ' I realised that surprisingly I meant it.

Saturday, March 08, 2014

Blissful in Bahrain

The sunset last evening from my balcony took my breath away. I was reminded of a quote which is essentially this- ' Don't despair when your effort is not recognised. The sun puts up a grand show twice a day and few notice it."

My gorgeous Anshuman looking at that gorgeous sunset. I must say all my photography skills come together when I take pictures of him. It helps that he's naturally quite photogenic. If he reads this he will make me say it again and then smile like a five year old pleased as punch.

A picture with a big trophy after almost a decade. The first one was the Cricket World Cup trophy and this one was won by the Porsche Dubai team at the race track here in Bahrain. I look like I personally won it. I like trophies. I won as the Captain of my house on Sports Day in school. Possibly the happiest day of my life. I really should take up a sport.

The shadow selfie on the beach. It was a lovely evening. Children were playing in the sand. The adults were chilling out with their drinks. We walked along the shore for a while. So blissful.

If you look very very carefully you will see me walking away.

Friday, March 07, 2014


So you can't really see much but you get the idea. I was at the Eric Clapton concert last night and it was truly awesome. These days people use the word 'awesome' for just about everything from a pretty dress to the fact that they got out of bed today. To hear Eric Clapton in concert was to understand the true meaning of the word. I know only four songs by Clapton. When I mentioned that to Anshuman he replied,"That's okay baby. It's still three more than most people." Still I felt sorry for me having deprived myself of a brilliant
artist for this long. We were standing at some steps. That's my angel with the halo. I went to the drinks stand to get myself a bottle of water. An old British man with silver hair and a rather handsome face let me get ahead to the counter with a very gallant and gentlemanly gesture. His friend, another silver haired, very tall not so handsome man asked for a beer and was handed a red Budweiser. He said he didn't really like it. The rather handsome fellow said,"Yeah it gives you a bit of a wind." I tried very hard to stop myself from laughing. He immediately apologised. I burst out laughing and said,"It's ok." When I asked how much the water was for I was told it was free. The rather handsome fellow said,"You paid for it in your ticket." I smiled and left.

And then the magic began. Clapton is a God and each and every member of his back up band are a talent to be reckoned with. I danced to each and every song but of course the most special has to be 'Wonderful tonight' because my husband's eyes never left my face as he sang each and every word. It was a very special moment and I will treasure it forever.

This fiftyish woman in front of us wearing a white top with bra straps peeping was quite drunk. She narrowly missed falling down the stairs. She went and got herself another drink. As she passed by us Anshuman said in my ear," You know that woman who just went by patted my back and then patted my butt." I couldn't help but smile at her. SHe put her arm around another woman's husband and the lady was not pleased. She blew kisses at another man who blew her kisses right back. He of course seemed to have come alone. She began dancing with someone next to us and said,"Cheers!" to us. Plastic glasses were hypothetically clinked and I said," I'm not drinking." Another woman walked up to her and told her," You know that man in a suit is truly amazing." I think she must have seen Anshuman serenading me. Yes he is truly amazing. He made me say as much while going home in the car. He's funny that way.

He lost his phone the other day and is still getting used to his new touch Blackberry. I asked him,"How're you doing with your new phone?". "I'm still getting used to it." He replied. So I asked,"Do you like it?" To which he said very seriously,"That's like if you left me and someone else came into my life of course I would still like you better." Yeah he's quite capable of saying things like that. We had a long conversation after this which we will not get into. The concert was memorable and I made myself hoarse going,"WOOHOOOO!!"

And then this morning I woke up at 5:30 to fly to Bahrain. The flight was quite uneventful. Anshuman and I were separated by the aisle. The serving cart kicked me every time I was almost asleep. Bahrain looks a bit like Sharjah from the car window at least. That's the view from the day bed in the balcony of the hotel room. I slept on it for an hour using the lovely cotton robe as a bed sheet and woke up quite refreshed. Now my ass is sunk into the big bed like a knife rests in hot butter as I write this and now I'm going to have a lovely cup of chai. Happy weekend people!

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Stealing roses

So I had to go meet someone in Meena Bazaar. There was no way I was going to drive there and be lost for God knows how long so I decided to rely on cabs. Yes it costs too much but I didn't want to show up late for a work meeting. After the meeting several cab drivers refused to take me home because their shift was coming to an end. Finally a Pathan from Pakistan took pity on me and I got in.

As we were riding along the driver suddenly swerved because another taxi had parked itself in front of us and had neglected to put on the hazard lights. Suddenly my cabby threw his hands up in the air and said,   "Ye bengali sab pagal hote hain! (These Bengalis are all mad)" I couldn't help but laugh at the way he said it. And then he realised that I might be a from Bangladesh too. His reference was obviously the cab drivers who are from Bangladesh. So he said,"Sorry madam aap Bengali to nahin ho ( Sorry madam I hope you're not Bengali.)? I replied in the negative and told him I was from Delhi. So he perked up and said," Madam aap lagte nahin ho. Bengali to chote aur Kaale hote hain. (Madam you don't seem to be. Bengalis are short and black.) He actually raised his pinky to signify 'short'. I wasn't really amazed at his racist attitude but nonetheless I said,"I have a lot of Bengali friends I will tell them that I met someone who thinks they are all mad." He started laughing. I continued," Not all Bengalis are crazy and not all of them are short and dark. I have a lot of friends who are Bengali and quite a few of them are quite intelligent, tall, fair and very pretty." I think all he heard was,"Blah, Blah, Blah, blah." He went on to say," Nahin madam ye pagal hote hain. Bangladesh Pakistan se (in a cricket match) haar gaya to paanch logon ne raat ko khana nahin khaya. (No madam they are all mad. Bangladesh lost a cricket match to Pakistan and five Bengalis didn't have their dinner that night.)" I gave up.

I went to the Emirates Golf club with Anshuman last night. There was a Porsche Club event in progress. Men in dapper suits and women in lovely dresses decked in diamonds were shaking a leg to some excellent seventies and eighties music. I was very tempted to dance too but unfortunately I didn't realise that the dancing was a part of the event until we were ready to leave. Anshuman and I were standing outside the club along with his assistant Preeti when I saw some people walking away with lovely white roses. "Look they got roses! I want some too." I exclaimed. Preeti replied,"Oh they just pulled them out of the flower arrangement at the entrance. You can also take some." I was a bit hesitant but my love for flowers won and I pulled out six lovely white roses, happily walked up to Anshuman and said," I stole roses." He smiled at me fondly. 

Monday, March 03, 2014

The Macan

So I went to the launch of the Porsche Macan last night. I ate too many almonds, chips and desserts, didn't eat the sushi. I'm a little suspicious of Sushi. Sometimes you get lucky and it's delicious and other times I can't bear to swallow it.

Anshuman, some of his colleagues and I went to a beach bar after the launch. It was someone's birthday and we sang the birthday song. The music was lovely but it got so cold that I had to cover myself up with three shawls.

The woman at the next table seemed to be forty percent silicone. I remembered something Jerry Sienfeld said about cleavage,"It's like the sun, you can't help but look and then you instantly have to look away."

Saturday, March 01, 2014

Red Jeep Love

So I was out most of the day and saw this gorgeous red Jeep which belongs to my dear friends Anamika and Kumar. Sometimes I wish I had a Jeep actually I wish a lot of times I had a red monster Jeep. My first car was a Jeep Cherokee and I actually rammed it into a wall once. Both the car and I came away without a scratch. The next car has to be a Jeep!

Though to be fair a Pajero is a pretty great car too and I do love mine but sometimes I get the feeling she doesn't like me. I've had too many accidents in it. On the other hand aside from one all of them have been my fault so I think she has a reason not to like me. Anshuman is reading this and shaking his head because he's convinced this is an entirely silly thought and he's probably right. A car can neither like you nor dislike you. It's a machine without emotions and all that and yet I feel like mine doesn't like me.

I didn't always like big cars. The first car I ever fell in love with was the VW Beetle. I used to dream of owning a Beetle one day but then I started driving the Jeep and my fickle heart changed. I still think a Beetle is darn cute. I remember a friend of mine had bought one for his wife and I was screaming and jumping louder than her. I do love a Ford Mustang too but my husband thinks it's because of the song Mustang Sally. Ok may be it's a little bit true but I really do love the way it looks.

And that's me in front of the sexy red Jeep. Don't you just love it? I do. Sigh...