Story of a lost journalist

December 30, 2018

My (blog) baby is turning a teenager soon

Filed under: Daily Rot — Cris @ 20:58

For the longest time, I had written at least one post every month. This should be the leanest year for Journalost. Nothing after Jan. Chupree and I did start another blog this year – to write about the books we read. But I shouldn’t have ignored the about-to-be-a-teen blog!

I can actually remember sitting and typing the first blog post. It was my brother Nish’s computer and I began dominating it when he left for the US only months before. I also remember a bet with my friend Qwerty who said that I won’t take the blog to more than ten posts. He was one of the first to say I could write, when we used to exchange long emails – or I sent long emails and he replied in one-liners. He probably brought on the bet so the long outpourings will go to a blog and not on his inbox.

Then was the time to make blogger friends. There were a few regulars in Kerala then – if you visited one, you ended up visiting all the others. Silverine, Mathew, Kochuthresiamma (RIP KT :(), Philip, Dhanya, Usha… There would be comments, discussions, debates. And then Facebook came and destroyed it all. Everyone wrote their blog entries as Facebook posts. People liked opening Facebook but not taking the pains to go open blogs and read boring long posts, much like this one. So we suffered, we lost our readers. We are nearly extinct. Of course, you don’t count the popular celebrity blogs. They are just lucky and talented. No big deal. Non-talent is the new cool. Some day, it would be recognized and then it would be too late. You watch.

There was a time I tried to make an income out of blogs. On the advise of a friend and entrepreneur Anoop John, I began multiple blogs, tried varied topics that would be searched on google and bring me new readers who would then click the google ads I put on my pages and help me make millions. It stopped at 75 dollars which I didn’t get, ‘cause Google back then said you need to make at least a 100 dollars to get it in your address. I fell into journalism and forgot about money making through blogs. It was good while the idle dream lasted – that writing could make me rich.

But I continued writing the blog through the journalism days. It meant something.

A recurring character, imaginary pal Jim, had fans! (Well two fans but someone had famously said number is just an age). I tried to claim I am funny, that I am one of those rare women who could write humour. (Lots of women write humour but claims, like dreams, have no limits).

I also had some recurring themes like trains, narrating in another voice (that of a baby once, and a stomach, and a cockroach too I think). Boy, it was a fun ride. Is, not was. I don’t plan to stop. I just need to remember.

Sigh, my baby is going to be a teenager in February. I can cry.

January 17, 2018

Wake up, don’t wake up

Filed under: Daily Rot — Cris @ 00:38

So there is this family moving to a house that has a tiger living in a hole in front of it. What were they thinking? Of course the tiger straightway kills the dad and the kid. And the mom is left. But the mom appears to forget that she is a widow and should be grieving. Or even that she shouldn’t be living in that house for another second. Instead, she goes ahead and invites her girl gang home. The tiger comes out of the hole again and the women disperse, jumping fences and onto the road. The tiger is behind them too. And when it reaches the city streets, it changes form. It looks human. And when it is human, it can only identify the women of the house through smell. So the women rush to hide in weird places, like refrigerators where they lose the smell. And when they come out, the tiger-man can’t identify them.

Then they all go happily back to the same house. The next time this happens it is only the first woman – that strange widow we spoke of. But there is also a child with her. Together they slip off into the next compound and find a well with magical water. If you immerse yourself in that, the tiger-man would lose your smell again.

Yea, it gets real interesting. But, yeah, I either woke up then or I forgot the rest.

Today’s dream had been about an elevator, that instead of going up and down, moves through the side of the floors that slowly slope up or down when you stand at one end. So you move, watching the entire floor, revolving around it and slowly sloping your way through the upper or lower floors.

December 3, 2016

Darling Details

Filed under: Daily Rot — Cris @ 02:25

Watching the bits of his hair below the helmet, she thought, I am watching this now. Like the back bencher watching the front row head, and the details of it – the worn out ribbons and the threads hanging lose, the number of locks on the plaits, the curvy parting. But this was a bike, and there was a helmet. So it was pretty much that little tuft left to watch. There was once a different tuft, tied into a little pony tail that she was afraid would disappear any minute. And then she wanted to show off that pony tail. She wanted an ex to pass them by and watch her watching the pony tail. She didn’t understand why it was something to show off, but she was sure it would work. It would make the ex regret. Regret what, she didn’t think. Thoughts were halted like that. Where it is comforting. After that it was not fun. Why would people need realities when they had the power to think, to imagine however they wanted things to be. Men to be. They could be there, passing you by, regretting. They could be here, in front of you, wearing ponytails below helmets.

Stepping down, she forgot all she thought. It was now another place, another time. A hand was moving across a table and forgotten coffees. Two last fingers waving two silver rings. Big ones like the ones on a sitcom she watched. There was talking but the fingers and their rings just wouldn’t stop moving. It was beautiful, it was like dancing without having to know the mudras. Details can be so beautiful sometimes. Like that tuft of hair, here was a ring on a finger lifting her spirits downed by grave reasons. Reasons like lost time and wasted life. It was sad she wouldn’t remember the pony tail or the ringed finger when she went to sleep. If only someone could leave a light on and show her a detail in the night. One that wouldn’t scare her. And then the clock ticked and the fan hissed. And she could sleep.

April 7, 2015

i know fashion too, yeah

Filed under: Daily Rot — Cris @ 15:28

Less work or lazy to work.

Sweaty self after a day of no electricity at home.


Three reasons I think has finally brought me to my blog. And a fourth, seeing a girl’s blog where she posts some kind of a dupatta pic and then calls it a fashion blog. Heck, i could do that. I could be fashion maestro. So here’s my tip. You should wear a long long longgggg t shirt, that’s too big for you that you have to tuck in a lot of the sleeve and just about manage to pop your head out. Knee length and really lose. Then you should wear leggings. That’s it. That’s the fashion tip. It is the in thing.

What? It is! It better be! Cause I am wearing it today. You understand? So it is.

July 25, 2014

Talk to me, people

Filed under: Daily Rot — Cris @ 19:37

I have decided I do not like google anymore. And I do not like Facebook anymore. Because I can’t ask my friends anything anymore!

“Hey B, who do you support for world cup?”

“Check my Facebook.”

“Hey C, what is the meaning of this term you said on chat?”

“Check google.”

“Hey A, how was your trip?”

“I have put the photos up online.”

Well yes, google is good when someone tells you something so obvious that everyone else seems to know, and you could secretly google later, without admitting ignorance. And yes google is good, when you are chatting with someone and they talk about something totally alien to you, and you could go and google in a new window, and come back to chat knowing it all. Yes, it has its goods. But the good old on-the-face stuff, I miss, even if it be “Don’t you even know that??” or “Where were you when this was taught at school?” That was good, now they send you off to references, even if it be about their life. I am waiting for “Why would you ask me how are you, didn’t you see my daily morning status?”

Or maybe you will go surprise a friend and say “guess who?” and she will say “wait, let me take your picture and check among my Facebook friends.” And worse, come back saying “Nope you are not there, you better add me first cause I don’t talk to (Facebook) strangers.” No exaggeration here, people have already stopped talking to you cause you didn’t ‘like’ their new profile picture. Or comment about their cover photo.

And remember the times when you had a small party and forgot to invite some friend or another, and could hush it all up later? Nope, not happening anymore cause some blighter would happily post it online and caption it “fun times!” But all this is not my problem, this has been talked about, whined about enough. All I want is for my friends to reply to me when I talk to them, without sending me off to the internet for my answers.

January 13, 2014

Hey matchers, leave us odds alone

Filed under: Daily Rot — Cris @ 01:30

I have heard single people comment about how annoying they find it when friends try to set them up on dates. I never really understood why, because most of the time, I was that ‘annoying friend’. And when I wasn’t, I would happily go bug a friend and ask to fix me up, and be choosy and obstinate and not like anyone. Things were that simple, weren’t it?

Well, no. it is annoying. I had an acquaintance come and chat today. He started by asking if I knew single girls for a friend of his. I said I will pass the word around and let him know. Then he acted like he had a brainwave. “Hey, why not you?” Having been an expert matchmaker for a long time, I knew all the tactics in the book. I was hoping this line wouldn’t come. And had a tough time telling him off. Of course we matchmakers are pushy and don’t give up. So he kept selling his guy, a few of the praises falling on me. But all I could think of was how to run out of this conversation.

I give him a lot of tips. I tell him to leave single people alone unless they come asking you for help. This guy he was selling had made no such hint. Why do people take it into their heads that all the single ones in this world need their help and they have to fix them up? Work only on applications, people. Only when your help is sought.

It may be in the best of interests, but dear matchmakers, I have only one tip for you. Quit.

July 10, 2013

So late in the night

Filed under: Daily Rot — Cris @ 02:55

“What do you do so late in the night?”

This is one question that always bugs me. Yes, it is a perfectly decent thing to ask. But I find myself retorting- why should things be any different because it is late in the night? I do the same things I do in the evening. I don’t think, “Hey it’s 11pm, I better start doing strange things now”. I tell them I stay up late cause I wake up late. I get the number of hours everyone else does, just that my timing is a bit off. But they don’t get the message. They keep asking. “Still, what do you do?” I say what everyone else is doing when they are awake. “But are you reading, are you writing, are you browsing?” No, I climb coconut trees in the night.

I seriously hate this timetable that some morning blighter in the prehistoric times cooked up and got the rest of the world following. Yeah yeah, “it is what nature prescribed, it is how the eco system is designed, can’t you see?” Blah. I cant see. I say there is nothing wrong if someone wants to stay awake in the night and sleep in the day. Absolutely nothing odd about taking a bath at 2am and sipping a cup of hot coffee. Doing the chandranamaskaram in place of the sooryanamaskaram. Yawning at the first sign of dawn and curling under the sheets. Wishing the world a good morning and sweet dreams and going to sleep for a good ten hours, emm, eight hours. I say open the offices at 9pm. Let’s live in the nights, for a change now. Oh bummer, there’s no natural light. And being an energy saver, that’s a huge bummer. Alright alright let’s go back to day work. But do not, I repeat, do not ask me what I do so late in the night. I might just throw a coconut at you.

September 20, 2012

Walkin Walkin Walk

Filed under: Daily Rot — Cris @ 19:09


Kweeki – writer’s honorable electric two-wheeler – writer has heard of honorable ministers, Kweeki’s just as important

Gopalettan, Ammalu Amma and Paramu – lack of evidence of real names has forced the writer to give her own names


Now that Kweeki’s resting, I have taken to walking every day. I dread initially the sun I try to fight with a half broken black umbrella. And I conveniently start whining about the problems of a pedestrian, the same group of people I frown at when I ride Kweeki. It’s like the war between editors and reporters. We are meant to hate each other.

Trivandrum doesn’t seem to think too highly about sidewalks. So us walkers are on the road mostly, along with our lorries and buses and cars and bikes. Good thing about the ones with wheels is they don’t believe in lefts or rights. They also don’t believe pedestrians are living things that can’t be knocked about. So there is a vehicle from behind keeping to the left, and another trying to overtake on the right, there are buses coming from the opposite direction on the left, right and above your head.  It’s fun that way, walking is.

I’ve come to meet some regular folks in my walks. There’s Gopalettan who lies down at the bus stop, sometimes with a plate of rice. I’d like to imagine he is like one of those characters in movies – a philosopher who left all his wealth to choose the life of a vagabond, or in this case a bus stop sleeper. Then there is Ammalu Amma who comes opposite me at the junction. We have a momentary exchange everyday when I smile and she stares. I am pretty sure she works in a bank and is in a hurry to get home and feed Appalu Appan. Last, nearer to my home, comes Paramu, an old fellow, out for his evening walk. Sometimes he’d have friends with him. He has his mundu lifted on one side n held close to his body. He never sees me.

There are also things I meet – a thattukada at a corner I stop in front of everyday, close my eyes and take a deep sniff at. And the leaning slab of Vazhuthacaud that I like to step on and be slid forth to ( I secretly hope they don’t fix it).

And as usual there is the music and the magical synchronization of nature with my tunes. So the leaves move when the music is slow, the yellow butterfly flutters around when it’s faster. Even the black umbrella likes to fly around every now and then, embarrassing the poor writer who tries to hold onto it in the middle of the road.

Oh yes, the walk’s lovely. Maybe I should let Kweeki rest a little longer.

July 10, 2012

Why woman, do you not laugh?

Filed under: Daily Rot,My Musing Moments — Cris @ 02:50

I had some really serious stuff to talk about. No honestly, I did. But I am stuck with this line I hear a lot “You are funny. That’s strange. Women are never funny.” Sense of humor, it seems is one area women are not blessed with. I hate to agree with anything that may suggest a ‘low’ for my species, but reluctantly I have observed it’s rather the real picture. We have a lot of funny women in this world, but lot is not always enough. Women are a serious lot. There is a majority of us that way. I can only think of one reason – Newton’s third law. When one half of the world is busy falling off their chairs rofl-ing (that includes me), there has to be an equal and opposite force staring at them with the tired-sigh expression that reads ‘Neanderthals’.

I know we have a Whoopi Goldberg, a Lisa Kudrow. I know we have an Erma Bombeck, and come local we have a Manorama, maybe occasionally a Sukumari. But look at the ratio – think of a male comedian and you have plenty of names to give, but if a female comedian rolls out on the screen, it actually hits headlines.

Why are people so serious? Why do they seem offended at every little thing, especially an over-cheerful face? They have got to be putting on an act. I have a hunch people are naturally light-hearted. Think of it logically – take a typical example – me. I am natural, and I am light hearted. See a connection?

There are serious men too! Not Manu Joseph’s. The other kind, in white hair and raised brows and a don’t-talk-to-me-I-will-bite face. All pretense! Everyone should find something funny right? Even those tough principals at school, those frowning managers and bosses, those scowling parents, those skeptical friends and partners. You think they never smile, let alone laugh. But catch them at a weak moment, and you will find them peeling off that solemn mask.

(It is close to 3am and I seem to have left this thought unfinished. Oh well.)

May 24, 2012


Filed under: Daily Rot,Diary — Cris @ 01:14

I had seen enough of the instructions. I didn’t look up for that. I looked up to see the gorgeous flight attendant who was demonstrating it. Then I think it’d be good to be an airhostess. You can fly to all places and work with these gorgeous fellows (darn it shortens to GF!). But then flying everyday might mean more risks of being in an air crash. Hmm but then again it might mean being able to use one of those yellow parachutes, like the ones you see in cartoons. Sometimes Jerry would float down holding an umbrella! I let these thoughts drown my dukams – means sangadams – means vishamams – darn I cant think of an English equivalent. Let’s do with miseries.

It’s been rejection season for me, for a long time. I think it starts with TFI rejection last year. Then compere-rejection. Then – there were more I am sure (sentimental tragedy music, someone!) – and now visa. Ye that little stamp on that little passport. Not my little passport though. That came back with me – unstamped, unvisa-ed.

I had no dreams of the USA. Well yea I did include it in my world tour which will happen for my global trip for novel promotion which will happen as soon as my novel is published and everyone fights for more copies. But that USA was just three letters on a green globe, the nights and days of which I have been through with Ted and Barney or Jessie and Michelle or Joey and Chandler… well you get the picture – with sitcom fellas. After an initial indifference to the idea of a family visit to bro’s in Ohio, I began to entertain the idea, step by step, day by day. I began to visualize sitting in my 4-yr-old nephew’s room with the toys we saw on the webcam every Saturday. I thought how grandma and grandson will play in real, when two hours of computer chat had them running entire tours of the country. I thought of running into Ted Mosby in a book store and giggling like an idiot – usual for him, usual for me – unusual together. But when the bespectacled Indian behind the counter asked me two questions – where do I work and what did I study – and drew a red line on my application, the thoughts began to tremble. When he returned my passport and said sorry, they were still trembling, refusing to fall down entirely.

This was not my visa cancelled. This was a summer of love and happiness that six people dreamed of, broken by a ‘Sorry’. Dad and Mom could go. But they wouldn’t. Grandson will have to wait a year or more to see his Saturday playmate. And my bro and Chech, who have been planning this so much in detail, so much ahead, calling day and night, and pushing a lazy sis like me to get things ready…

This is why I demand there should be no borders, no countries. All of the world should be just one place. Let’s call it, emm, well let’s continue calling it The World. Maybe we can allow passports for outer space, to other planets and all you know. Till we know they are friendly out there perhaps.

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