Story of a lost journalist

April 29, 2008

Manic Monday

Filed under: Just talking — Cris @ 03:15

Seems every time I go out, there is something odd or unpleasant waiting for me out there. Perhaps it’s a sign – to get out of home and enjoy the wild world outside. I get the wildness but I miss the enjoyment part.

Today Amma (Mother) and I went out to do a few to-dos. And yes, I finally got that picture taken. My attempts to cover my cheekbones with hair went in vain. They stood projecting all over my cheeks and I got christened to Ms Fat Face. The studio did a good job covering all my pimples and old age marks (old age starts in twenties when your skin sags like somebody just bombed all the bones out of your face) with some Photoshop help – maybe a lot of Photoshop help.

Now the mishap. We were in the heart of the city at 7 p.m. and we couldn’t find a single auto rickshaw. I suggested walking – am not good with kilometers, lets say it would have been a 40-minute walk to my home. My Mom vetoed it. So we walked first leftwards towards a busier junction. This happened to be in the opposite direction of my house. We found humans all around us jumping into auto rickshaws and riding happily. Somehow when it came to us, the rickshaw was either packed, or free but not willing to go (they show the unwillingness by turning their head away sharply registering a don’t-look-at-me-I-don’t-like-it expression). Some just never saw us, a few decide to stop running for the day when they see us (we probably looked like epitomes of early retirement), some decide to press buttons on their mobile phones that looked like an attempt to avoid prospective passengers’ eyes. Maybe I should empathize with these people. I guess they hate their job after all. And I always thought riding all around the city, watching the world and its events happily, and getting paid for it was like a dream job. Too bad my driving skills are on a vacation – for 50 years. Come seventies, and I will be at my best!

I seem to have written an epic on auto rickshaws. Well I personally like these vehicles. They are so open and friendly looking, you’d almost feel they have a face that stretched backwards and a bald head that grew hair on rainy days, when the shutters fall down from top.

After a long wait at this new busy junction, my brain bulbs were beginning to illuminate. “We will find the bus stop”. With the help of another auto rickshaw driver who couldn’t take us (he was apparently waiting for other passengers), we discovered the bus stop (already discovered by many no-auto-finders). It meant going all the way back to where we started from and beyond that. Telling Amma that we already walked the distance to our home with all this auto-hunt didn’t seem to lift her spirits up. Somewhere in between, a guy put his head out from an auto rickshaw and asked “Didn’t you go yet?” I don’t know who he is, but if I recognize him again, I will throw him 16000 kilometers up in the space.

And finally we got our bus. It was a nice friendly bus. I always had a thing for buses – especially bus rides after 6. They bring into the bus the smell and taste of all the beauty of the evening. Unless of course it’s so packed with your nose blocked by someone’s humongous set of bags that you have lost all sense of smell or taste!

Well that’s all. We reached home and I was my happy self again. Watching the photos of Ms Fat Face gave me a momentary lapse of happy emotions but the memory of all that walking and the bus ride brought back my cheery self. Another add-on was meeting my old drill teacher from school on the way. She looked older and tired and told me about her legs having trouble. I felt sad and happy and remembered a few scenes back in school, a few lines we used to associate with her as her typical lines. I felt a guilty conscience coming out of my mind and doing a stupid dance in front of me. I kicked it off and said I was a stupid kid back then what did I know. Meeting her and talking to her for a couple of minutes and hearing that old voice which rang clearly in my memory was, well, was not to be drowned in midst of all the auto and bus tales. That’s it then. I oughta sleep now.

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April 27, 2008

Musing on my days!

Filed under: My Musing Moments — Cris @ 07:33

Foreword: After seeing the last comment I got, I should take a vacation from blog writing for a little while! But well here I am, 7:30 AM, up and awake with a new entry.

People keep asking me what I do all day now I am jobless and home. I don’t have any one typical day to give. Each day has nothing in common with another. I’ve always found it hard to answer that question. I ask it myself – what do I do all day? Every moment I feel so occupied doing something, but end of day all those moments does not give me a single item to be added to “My deeds for the day”. I’m glad on days I attend a marriage or go for a movie cause then I have a solid answer to give. I know. The aim of my life was not to give solid answers to what-you-do-all-day. But I believe it’s important I knew!

A friend of mine recently asked me what my hobbies were and I was listing an infinite list of strange hobbies. I started with the normal ones and went onto less common ones. Ok here was my exact reply (thanks to chat logs) “well I read, I like to draw a bit, I like listening and singing along to music when there is no audience, I like talking to the mirror, I like lying down on bed and imagining giving speeches for the whole world to hear. There are too many to list”. This was after I said writing was more than a hobby. I admitted spending a lot of time on each and my friend replied “So must be kinda short of time. Now I know exactly why u quit”

That’s when I realized that I was listing out my daily deeds when he asked for my hobbies. So I was doing things I like doing all the time; things people keep aside for free-from-work time. So I should be happy; if your hobbies became the stuff you did all day, what more can you ask for? Sigh, a job!

Spending time with your hobbies doesn’t become so enjoyable unless you have a job to return to later, or better, unless it was your job! It is neither for me now.

I wish somebody paid me for sleeping 17 hours on Monday and 3 hours on Tuesday, for writing all the crazy thoughts that cross my mind on my blog, for eating when I remember I have a life running inside my body and it doesn’t run unless you feed it, for those imaginations I spend hours on. But nobody does. So at the end of each day of doing things I love, it’s still a huge cloud of unhappiness that waits for me to go sleep with. Sigh! Pessimistic tone to start a day with! So adding another line – to wake up next day (or night as it is) to new hopes, new thoughts, new ideas and to sleep in peace at the end of it. No wonder someone said life was a cycle. You wake up to sleep and you sleep to wake up!

April 26, 2008

The break-up

Filed under: Jim and Me Conversations — Cris @ 03:10

I was trying to come up with a story today. My fancy pal Jim was trying to help me. At least that’s what I thought he was built for!

“Daniel was a boy who lived in D. That’s my first line Jim”

“What’s D?”

“Name of the city he lived in”

“That’s a short name”

“I will expand it later dummy. So my second line… He picked up gooseberries and planted… errr… mud trees”

“Mud trees?”

“Err yea. They… they grow in mud”

“Oh yea! I bet he also planted some plastic trees and later cut them all down for porcelain trees!”

“Alright I blew it. What do I do? I am losing my story writing skills!”

“So? You lost something you never had”

“You cruel imbecile!”

“Yes Cris”

“I am never talking to you in a billion years”

“Yes Cris”

“After I finish this story that is”

“Of course Cris”

“Don’t act smart! You know how long a billion years is?”

“It’s a million with 3 extra zeroes”

“I… well it could be. But do you know how long that means I am not going to talk to you”

“Yea 17 hours”

“What? Where did 17 come from?”

“That’s how long you will sleep for the night before you wake up and say ‘Jim I hate mornings’ and I tell you ‘Cris its 4 pm’”

 I guess everyone has figured it out by now. I didn’t actually wait for a billion years to talk to Jim again. But he was wrong. I woke up 5 hours after turning in and said ‘Jim don’t you love waking up at 4’. Turned out he didn’t.

April 25, 2008

Another bad evening.

Filed under: Just talking — Cris @ 20:12

Today’s sticky stories. Not much.

I went to take a photo taken (of self) in a local studio. I was sleeping prior to it and when I woke up my hair made a 7-inch border around my face. It looked like 1001 worms had just grown thick over my head and were expanding their horizon. I took one look at the mirror and felt it was perfect. I really did. No sarcasm there. But then I knew I could not use the photos that looked like that anywhere except by the side of my bed – for self-admiration. So I went to ruin my perfect hairdo – I combed it. The worms were gone and it was just some wavy hair staying silently around my head. They looked so dull and dead. But the worst thing it did was it uncovered some of the cheekbones my lovely worms had hidden for me before. My face was huger than a really plump pumpkin that grew up in the fattest corner of the fat-pumpkin colony. Seriously I thought it grew by the minute!

I went to the studio and made an attempt to cover some of those extra cheekbones with my now-totally-dull hair. I looked like a perfect zombie. The studio man asked me to choose from his computer – zombie1 or zombie2? I was devastated. Seeing your own face and wishing it just crumbled into a 1000 million pieces is not a pleasant feeling. I said zombie none “Can I come tomorrow please?”

The studio man sympathized with me. He must be having the same want-to-smash-the-face effect from the picture. It probably hurt his photographic instincts to have that thing on the camera. “Sure”, he smiled.

I went out of the studio with a broken heart. I had to go to other places with this head on top of me before I reached my home. There was nowhere to hide it. My Mom was with me. She didn’t seem to mind. But that’s how Mothers are. They love their child whether it had a face or not.

Next stop was a shoe store. The shopkeeper telling me 10 times that all shoes were big for me cause my feet were too small lifted my spirits a little. Maybe small feet compensated for big heads. I must be balanced after all.

After that it was a super market. When we got out I had 2 giant packets on either hand and I was supposed to wait while my Mom went to another shop. Resting the packets on a neat looking scooter seemed like a good idea at the moment. I was amusing myself imagining what it would be like if the owner turned up and saw two gigantic packets that stood where he used to sit on happy no-packet-on-seat days. Five minutes later a lady and a little girl came towards the scooter and smiled at me. I was a friendly soul. And these people must like my face with all its extra cheekbones. I smiled back brilliantly. Then the lady produced a key. I was continuing to smile brilliantly trying to figure out why the key seemed important. She proceeded to take the scooter handle in her hands and then the bulbs around my head started working – they turned on. “Oh! Sorry”, I tried to smile and moved the packets (which hopefully didn’t have a hole that threw things on neat scooters). The little girl suppressed a laugh.

Few more stops and I was home. Yesterday I had pinged someone in my messenger and I was pinged back “I am in a meeting”. I made a rule that jobless people should not ping first before they are pinged; a newer version of “Don’t speak until you are spoken to”. Today I forgot that rule and pinged someone else. “I am in a meeting”, came the same response. I wonder if they have an automatic message set to be sent when they detect a pop-up window from Lady Jobless.

It turned out to be one bad evening. I lost all faith in my face, all faith in my behavior-outside-supermarkets, all faith in being a welcome messenger window. What a day!

Crushes, marriages

Filed under: Jim and Me Conversations — Cris @ 01:50
Tags: , ,

My fancy pal Mr Jim and I were watching a movie the other day. Richard Gere was chasing Bruce Willis on a railway track. As always Jim had a question for me.

“Why don’t they take their guns out?”

As always, I had an explanation.

“I guess they like each other”

Jim looked satisfied. I was thinking, about Bruce Willis.

“You know Jim I might marry Bruce Willis”

“Cris you just said Jim Carrey yesterday. Cant you give a guy a week?”

“Jim boy when I say I have a crush on Mr Good Looking, my sensory powers translate it to I married Mr GL”

“Is there any good in that?”

“Yeah we have established a relationship you see!”

“I repeat. What’s the good in that?”

“I will tell you what’s good about it Jim boy. When I go to a place and see a house he owns I’d say ‘He’s giving this one to me'”

“That makes some sense”

“It does. So every other street I walk on, I will have another house waiting to be mine”

“Cool! So you get a crush when you know a guy is rich?”

“Of course not! You don’t marry a guy for his money. You marry him for his long hair, clean eyes and cause he lets you in the front door when his Mom’s still there”

“Attractive. So money doesn’t matter”

“It does for divorces”

“You divorce someone when he is penniless”

“That’s inhuman Jim! But you don’t divorce someone when he is growin money trees in his backyard cause he ran out of space in his front garden”

“Amazing Cris! You happen to know any female fancy pals in the neighborhood?”

“Let’s look around Jim boy”

“I want her to be sensible, hate her real-life pal and make fun of him”

“Jim you won’t find another one like you around!”

“I know; that’s why I remain a fancy pal. I am too good to be real”

I didn’t say anything. I decided that when it came to creating fancy pals who thought the world about you, I was a total failure. Jim seemed to think the inferno about me.

April 24, 2008

Early morning rambling

Filed under: Just talking — Cris @ 05:43

Its 5:30 in the morning and I am sitting here in front of my computer with an empty jar of jam next to me (the same jam I was trying to stay away from a couple of blog entries before – today Devil Cris won the battle).

I cannot remember what time I went to sleep last night. I had an annoying sudoku puzzle held on to my hands and I was trying to figure out why I couldn’t fit a 6 in a box. I was also trying to come up with a children’s story. I was told before that my writings would be perfect for children. I wasn’t sure if I agreed with that. I, for one, enjoy my writing you know. It can’t be just kids-only stuff.

But what would a kid like to read? When I was 10, I remember being fascinated by a book that had a couple of kids flying in a chair. Children should like fantasy and mystery. But what if today’s 10 year olds are different? Maybe they like technical. I remember preferring Johnny Bravo when my techie-cousin went for Johny Quest (funnily, both Johnnys wore blue jeans, black t-shirt and had bright yellow hair).

Comics should be a unanimous kiddies-choice now! I forgot! Kids never like being referred kiddies. Rephrasing that, comics should be a unanimous youthful-choice now.

We got the newspaper here now. There is always a column or two in the editorial sheet besides the editorial. Imagination is a good gift to have. Cause right about now I can imagine Paul Krugman growing long black curly hair, turning thinner, younger, pimply, Indianish and finally morphed into a weird and careless looking woman in black. The economy/political writing turns into a piece of pathetic humor. And the title now says “Ms Cris’s corner” (Crissie Corner will not be considered! Kids and I share a few same sentiments after all).

April 23, 2008

Attitudes

Filed under: life,My Musing Moments — Cris @ 00:42
Tags: ,

I was discussing with a friend about the West and the East and how we are all really just humans of the same world. So my friend was telling me the good things he had observed there in the West (he is staying in US now). One of them was about how everyone in the street or any place you go to is always nice to you; they smile and greet you whether you know them or not. I remembered telling the same thing to Amma (my mother) after a little ATM-incident we had today evening.

Amma and I had gone and stood outside an ATM counter and waited for our turn to go in. There were a couple of people ahead of us and in a few minutes we were just outside the door with a small queue behind us. A middle-aged lady walked suddenly from the street and barged her way into the room. I was on a call but I hung up, and feeling angry at this unstopped interference told her to please follow the queue. She gave her sweetest about-to-lie smile and said “Oh I was here before”. I let her go in and Amma said she saw the lady walking from the distant road down the street. I said “Its ok we can’t fight her now”.

She put her head out and asked me, her tone a trifle short of barking, how to insert the card. I told her which way it should go in and ‘bang’, she slammed the door on my face. Forget thanks, there was no attempt to smile or even remove the frown that had replaced her smile now. I felt sure she had an inborn talent when it came to scowls and frowns. In a few seconds she got out and walked away. I suppose she didn’t get the card in and seemed to believe the whole world had done something to stop her from her card-insertion activities.

More things came up as my friend talked about people in cars stopping for pedestrians to cross roads there while I remembered an auto rickshaw driver I happened to ride with, pressing the accelerator hard as he saw a girl trying to cross a busy road. This was, when we were waiting for the green signal in a traffic jam.

I know if we brought up more topics – of marriages, of divorces, of attachments and commitments, we might have different stories to talk of. But these everyday attitudes in life are really so important, all the good things in the long run we might project to our credit is belittled. Consideration and respect are qualities every human being should give another; it’s not a family-reserved or elders-only thing.

April 22, 2008

Sticky Cris sticky Cris, what are they feeding you!

Filed under: Just talking,Personal — Cris @ 01:31
Tags: ,

After the bank-visit day I thought I was free from embarrassing moments for a long time. I forgot I was one born for sticky situations! Cut out for it. If they didn’t come to me, I went in search of them.

I was sitting sadly as the clock went past midnight. I just had a spoon of mixed fruit jam and wanted to have more. Angel Cris said “No there is just enough for breakfast tomorrow! Don’t be selfish” and Devil Cris said “Go lavish babe! Lick the jar out!” I hated it when Angel Cris wins over Devil Cris and today was one such day. Devil Cris is always so much more fun!

So here I was trying to forget the red color of that sweet jelly thing (I wont mention the j-word for self-control maintenance reasons). I saw a recently made contact online in my messenger and decided to divert myself to a few pleasantries. All I knew about this person was he worked where I did before I got jobless and I somehow had assumed he was a junior of mine. I was an SE by designation and the just senior position was called a PA in my work-place. This person was working hard it seemed to me and I offered in way of consolation, “Don’t worry it wont be so hard once you become a PA and above”. I was going to elaborate on lazy PAs who never worked and yawned all day. This was always the line juniors use with regard to seniors in any office. But most people with a little sense would never use a line about the subject to the subject.

It turned out I was talking to a PA. And a senior PA in that. Leave it to me to land into these situations so perfectly. Well it did one good thing. It took my mind off jams… oh darn I had to think of that again! Now we are back to square one with the additional memory of a conversation I could have done without! What a beautiful night!

April 19, 2008

A movie trip

Filed under: Just talking,Movies/TV — Cris @ 18:37
Tags:

Another day another mishap! This time it was a movie which became another. We are talking mutation you know. I wish I could tell there is some serious scientific explanation behind all this. There isn’t.

A friend of mine and I were planning a movie outing for some time and finally made it today. We wanted to see Kraazy4 but that stopped running here after the first 3 or 4 days it seems. Our next pick was U, Me Aur Hum. My friend reached there first and booked the tickets for us. We climbed to the third floor and waited there happily with other prospective audience. Suddenly everyone started climbing down. My friend and I thought for a minute. Fast thinkers that we are, she said “What they do, we do”. I felt that was a wise idea, why didn’t I think of it. We followed them. I told my friend don’t worry this will add up as exercise and they are doing it cause we still had 20 minutes for the show to start. She said she hoped I was right. I wasn’t.

“Satellite problem. Hindi movie is not running today”, the guy at the counter told us. Satellite problem??? “Must be something special Ajay Devgan came up with”, my wise friend said. It was refund or watch-another-movie. We chose a Tamil movie. Nepali, it was called. My friend said she already forgot the name 10 minutes after we started watching it. I told her its better we forget it forever. As it started she asked me “will it be good” and I said “of course, there is Jasmine in it”. I have always proved bad with movie reviews so I will not proceed to do that. I end up giving the whole story out. All I can tell is I wouldn’t tell a movie is good cause Jasmine is there in it anymore.

So that’s the movie mutation story. Hindi movie turned Tamil, Ajay Devgan became Bharath and Kajol turned to Jasmine. That last part I like. I like Jasmine. And there were a few things good about the trip. There was good popcorn, good “Maa” and I like walking on those red-carpeted slopes they have in place of stairs. And there was a fourth good thing, for which I can go through any number of mutating movies. There was Pugs. That’s my friend. I wouldn’t dare tell her about this number of mutating movies though. She didn’t take the first one too well.

April 18, 2008

Musing on… friends I guess

Filed under: My Musing Moments — Cris @ 21:47
Tags: ,

Today I got an email from a friend about leaving the company I used to work for. I had no need to panic over it, cause we had already stopped being everyday-hangout friends months ago. But when you get farewell emails, one or 2 scenes always pass through your mind. And I was thinking of me and her playing bomb-the-city with a huge crowd once. The 2 of us got bombed a number of times but we resumed moving about in the crowd without anyone noticing us. We didn’t become winners of course but we simply laughed doing it. Another scene that crossed my mind was the 2 of us climbing stairs for lunch. One of us had to rebuke when the other wanted to use the lift. “Healthy afternoon exercise”, we used to call it and pant worse than dogs when we reach the top.

I don’t know why everyday, nothing-special-about-it moments should come to memory when you think like that. I couldn’t think of any sentimental touchy scenes, any tears, any secret confiding, any emotions, except, a few silly laughs over nothing.

That’s always the case I suppose. When one of my best friends left for US, the day we actually felt a strain was when I saw her off to a train – I knew I wouldn’t see her again before she flew off. I wasn’t feeling sad as I thought I will as we drove. The moments I felt a pang were, when all of us got into a car from her house. She looked back from the car saying something about hoping she didn’t forget anything. I felt there was more than that there. I went inside the train for a little and then came down. Emotions were in the air. But I don’t like using words to describe them. They are best left as emotions in the air. Maybe if I go back to the station and stood where I did that day and look at a bench or a tree I could feel the same things. The bench and the tree which saw and felt the whole thing, would still be there. And that’s something nice to think of, in a sad way.

I had no flashes of past scenes that day. I don’t know why. And if I will want to look back, I have no idea which scene will pop up from memory. Each time it’s something different and totally insignificant, devoid of any emotions or feelings. Now as I think, I could see her in her uniform in a pony tail, the way she looked in 9th grade, holding a tennis racket to her face, in broad daylight; totally plain, usual day with nothing special about it.

I have no clue when people feel these flashes of the past. I have no clue when people feel they are separating for a long time. I wonder if there is ever any one moment for it. A long time passes before one day, nothing in particular would remind you of someone, and when you realize you have completely lost that someone to time and space. It’s easy to get back to that person in a second mostly. But sometimes you just don’t. You feel happier worrying about a lost friendship than trying to seek it again. I don’t know if it’s silly saying that.

Well it seems most of the things I am talking about here are things I don’t know about. So why don’t I just do these musings in my mind and remain happy never knowing things!

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