Story of a lost journalist

December 31, 2017

Writing badly about bad cooking

Filed under: Diary — Cris @ 17:52

Not exactly a year-ender kind of story. But I was thinking yesterday I should write about cooking and I haven’t written anything in the blog or a diary for a long time. All the writing has been for work that I forgot how I wrote like without a word limit or newspaper guidelines. Not that I am a strict follower of either. See, how I talk about writing on something and then goes on about something entirely different. Yeah, newspapers don’t really like that.

Good thing about blog is you can abruptly come back to topics. You don’t need to find that sentence that would connect two entirely stranger lines. You know, for the flow. So I am going to jump into cooking. Though again I am going to slightly divert by saying I have just discovered Nick Brake and listening to his words, I feel I should be writing like that, words that crawl over from the screen to all your senses.

I bet Nick would have written so neatly about cooking. My version is only about the change in the way I look at it. Today, I watch a video with yummy food and I want to create it, and have it. As a child I wouldn’t go anywhere near a kitchen for fear that I will forever be stranded there because I was a girl and that’s where all girls were supposed to end up in. I am now curious to know how that struck me so young, how I got it in me to question why my dad or Nish, my brother, were not cooking and mom did everything. No one answered it’s because mom liked cooking. “It’s because she was a woman”. But what I didn’t realise then is mom also liked cooking. She is an artist. She draws, paints beautiful pictures. And she cooks, creates beautiful dishes. Why didn’t I connect it like that? This was all way before I knew anything about feminism or equality. My simplistic solution was to be a boy and then not have to do anything. Not because I was lazy, I just couldn’t stand the injustice that I had to do something only because I was a girl.

I regret now that I delayed trying cooking so much. If I had started early, I might have got good at it. By the time I realised I like it, I was mad that such an old me had to find out all about it from scratch. I am thanking four people here – my mom, Kutty Pillai, Chacko and the internet (yes, people). Creating something that I like, that people I like will like. How can it be demeaning? It is much of art, it is entirely art. Like a palate of colours you have little dishes with beautiful ingredients. No one looks at a painting and says, bah that’s lowly work, it’s for women. Only problem is if cooking is forced on someone because that someone is a woman. You do something because you like to do it. When it is because you have to do it, it stops being art. It is forced, it is unpleasurable, it is unfair, it is not even paid like a job you are stuck at.

See, how I messed all that up. Help me, Nick. But then writing is an art too. And I enjoy writing – which doesn’t mean I am good at it. I enjoy cooking, again, not at all because I am good at it. I barely know to put things together – like I said I started late. But when those things I put together make sss-ing sounds and melt in the mouth and squeeze shut the eyes in pure enjoyment, all’s so well. Who cares if I am a woman or a witch?

July 7, 2016

Just another train entry

Filed under: Diary,Train — Cris @ 03:15

July 5, 2016. 18:00 or thereabouts

In the evening Jan Shatabdi to Trivandrum. A trip that’s now routine, more than the wake-up-go-to-work-come-home routine. Well there is the come-home ending here. I’m going home, the thrills of it temporarily marred by the fact that I am on an aisle seat today. That’s right. I, Cris who doesn’t like her last name, am on an aisle seat, after specifically booking a window seat (or probably having messed it up).

What do people on aisle seats do? There is music, there’s a book to read. But none of it seems to mean anything on an aisle seat. It’s really like detention. You are forced to sit in your seat and do nothing. You can always observe, be a happy voyeur of other people’s lives. Like that woman in green blouse is reading a magazine and now opening a box of sweet snacks that look yum from here. There’s the man in the parallel aisle seat grabbing these snacks and disturbing her happy moments with the banana fry – that’s the snack. One I normally dislike but now that I can’t have, feel fondly about. It would be impolite to grab a fry, I suppose. The aisle man seems to get away with it, though.

Would it also be impolite – or considered bad manners – to borrow someone’s pen. I love pencils for daily work but this here goes on record. Of great writings by Cris to be discovered on a future date. That’s another thing I want to write about. How everyone is so obsessed with greatness. I want to write about the ungreats. Yes, I shall be doing that.

But not now, not with this half-eaten chewed-up yellow and black pencil, the kind I wrote with in first grade and have fond memories of. Of writing Thiruvananthapuram on a notebook, and thinking how one word took up an entire line.

Now the song is Tharum Thalirum. I might change it. But it’s an effort to remove this book, dig out the MP3 player from the crowded bag and press Next. So I’ll just think about the Friends episode that I saw yesterday and that comes to mind now ‘cause it has music in it – a mixed tape that Chandler gives Monica. A fake gift that becomes funny with Janice’s voice in it. What was the song now? The way you look tonight. That’s Frank Sinatra, right? I could google, but it involves the same tiresome procedure I mentioned before.

Ok. Next song came. It’s still the background score. Mm mm. ‘I wanna live, I wanna give’. Sounds like Neil Young. Ah ‘Heart of Gold’. These old men singers are really the best. With their deep and moving voice. The other day I was listening to Leonard Cohen sing ‘My oh my’. That begins ‘Wasn’t hard to love you. Didn’t have to try’. You have to know Cohen’s voice to imagine how good that’d sound. And don’t even worry about being cheesy. There’s no cheesy in Cohen’s music. There’s just music. That sounds lame. But let it be till I think of another word. Uh that reminds me of David Walliams. He would write as the writer in between his fiction. I think I want to read that now. So I am going to do that. Song when I leave – ‘Guess I’ll always be a soldier of fortune’.

PS: I might come back

PS2: So that’s the good thing about aisle seats. You write and you write and you write. In really crammed space, the way you’ve not written on a clean desk back home.

February 28, 2015

Kingsman, FB Friend and Rain

Filed under: Diary,Movies/TV — Cris @ 23:43

Kingsman is not the kind of movie I would have wasted a Saturday afternoon for, if it weren’t for that picture of Colin Firth in Google. I really had no idea about the film, never a believer of watching trailers or keeping myself updated that way. (Perhaps it was a bad idea to put this in public about a feature writer, writing on films). But before giving myself a chance to back out and go sleep away my Saturday afternoon, I booked on bookmyshow and got myself a D-25 at New Theatre (that’s a seat no, yeah they do go up to 25 n all, imagine that). A little fella next to me asked me about the theatre and its show timing. And when the movie began we kept exchanging happy one-liners: “So, the Pulp Fiction guy is doing that.”
“But why is he doing that?”

Turned out he was doing that for population control after all. Twaing. Where have I heard that before? Tom Hanks’ face, the Dan Brown set up. Why, Inferno. That crazy man Zobrist something with his crazy plan. Same idea for him too, population control.

Oh but I enjoyed it, Kingsman I mean, classic action comedy. Not that I know anything about action comedies. But if this is what it is, it’s gotta be classic. The kid Eggsy – I loved him as soon as  I heard the name, so PG Wodehousish that. And Colin managed to be Colin. With his big umbrella and black suit and no-smiling face. Come to think of it, there’s a bit of MIB in here too, complete with no-smiling older guy recruiting younger guy into a secret service, nicknames, fancy weapons, and even amnesia inducing gadgets. If you think of MIB sequels, older guy owes younger guy’s dad too! Matthew Vaughn is the Priyadarshan of Hollywood then?

But Colin’s nothing like Tommy Lee Jones. Well, not exactly the most cheerful guy around. Dour, a friend said he is. I suppose I fancy dour then, if they come in the shape of Colin Firth. Or maybe it had to do with Bridget’s voice (Bridget from the Diary), talking about him so and so, once upon a time.

By interval my neighbor asked my Facebook id and here we are, friends. And when the movie ended and I left D-25, it was raining outside. Who would have thought now, with all that summer and all that bloody heat, you would see rain in Trivandrum on a nearly-March evening. I grabbed all of it that came my way, but unfortunately I had brought my bike and not walked like I planned. Even so, some Saturdays just magically turn out to be diary-ish material. A movie, a day with myself, a new acquaintance, and rain.

August 16, 2013

An August Evening

Filed under: Diary,Nature — Cris @ 18:10

My favorite months are July and November. There’s no reason for that. Just like my favorite number is 6. I just like them. But this August evening, I feel good that it is August. I don’t think it’s the season. The rains are a little silent now but I don’t know if they are totally gone. I still feel cold in the nights and at the strike of 10 in the morning. Two times when I have to follow protocol and take baths. That’s when you notice how cold, cold is. Otherwise you just drown under a pile of blankets or clothes, whichever it is you find sprawled on your bed.

I can see the evening becoming twilight through the glass windows at the other side of the office. And the blindening (darn there is no such word but I refuse to auto-correct) sun. Why can’t it always be this way, throughout the day? The sun up there and twilight down here. That way we still have days, just darker and more walker-friendly.

I don’t know what suddenly made August so dear, but I have an idea it is that window I look at to see the changing color of the day. The color that makes me want to jump out of the office and soak in the outdoors, and one that makes me want to drown under that pile of clothes sprawled on my bed.

March 26, 2013

What a girl wants

Filed under: Diary,Personal — Cris @ 15:21

Was one heck of a week. I thought this blog was going to turn into a sort of Mumbai Chronicles, with me recording the progress I make each day, adapting to a new city. But turns out it’s going to be a Trivandrum Journal for a little while longer. See that song above, that about sums it up. Well, not the context, but the feeling. It’s funny how the things you went away for are suddenly the exact same reasons you want to come back for. Namely, the newness. Really, of all the sayings in the world, the grass is always greener on the other side, has got to be the best, no matter how clichéd it is. I went for newness, I got it, and I couldn’t stand it. I yearned for the familiar old life. I threw all away, came back and now can’t help but miss the newness every passing minute. Returning to an old life that you had mentally resigned from is a painful exercise. Really. This is one of those solution-free problems. Simply cause I have no idea what I want anymore. Hmm, maybe this is enlightenment.

March 14, 2013

Between here and there

Filed under: Diary — Cris @ 13:35

On the rare days that I do Yoga (or the tummy-reducing parts of it), I look at a pink shawl hanging from my pink stand every time I rub my double chin in the hope of tucking it in. There are six teddy bears on the right side of my bed. Suddenly I go to hug them all like a man greeting his children when he comes back home after a long break. I look at my bed and call it my bed. I don’t want to leave the pink shawl, or the bears or my bed or even the speck of dust on the roof I see every night as I go to sleep. And I really had to hear a certain clink of bangles from the next room, that would reach my room unannounced and call me mole. This was home.

I come to office and suddenly it is all Bombay talk. I see messages asking about my accomodation there. I picture living alone, coming to the room, doing everything on my own terms. I like this picture a lot. There is a side of me that tells me it would be nothing like I imagine, you are likely to hate it all and hate yourself for bringing this on yourself. But now is not six days later, now is still a time for picturing everything I like my life to be. Six days later, it changes. To reality. And reality happens only in real time. So that’s alright.

There is a me torn somewhere in between. A wannabe explorer in the day, a homesick retard in the night. I am in between day and night. I can’t give up my dream to go out into the world, and I can’t leave everything that means everything to me. There are many logical mes inside the head, telling me this is nothing to rake my brains over. There is always the option to come back if things turn bad. Or not go at all if it’s that sickening. My life really is in my hands so why do I act like a remote-controlled person, forced to act on someone else’s orders? I can decide when to walk, when to talk and when to go from one place to another. But logical me is always brushed off by emotional me. There’s only the tears of knowing not what to do, the pain of moving and not moving, the torture of indecisiveness.

So I write. From me to me. And does it work?
Apart from the satisfaction of being able to express, not really. But it kept my mind off things for a few minutes. The time you take to write about something that worries you is probably the only time you don’t worry about it.

January 1, 2013

Lazy New Year

Filed under: Diary — Cris @ 16:52

Not a great sign, when you feel lazy on New Year’s Day. From having to wake up in the morning, to pushing yourself to go to office,  to remembering punctuality is your new year resolution, to grumbling at the thought of having to move your reluctant mind and body to work. If whatever happens on January 1 would be replicated every day of the year, this is going to be a fun 2013.

But pleasant surprises always cheer you up, however lazy you are. I got a call from someone I had barely talked to a couple of times. It was good to know he took the effort to dial me early morning to wish. I came to the office and my friend presented a pair of earrings, just like that. :-))). More calls came from friends when I was beginning to think all that first-to-wish-on-new-year-eve deal was wearing off with age. Unfortunately my phone had reduced to a 2 rupee balance so I couldn’t send back messages, especially to those who took time to coin special messages, and not forward a collective message.

I miss most, Ros, on every New Year’s Eve. For years, this time of the year meant nothing but the one night I could call my best friend at 12 and not fear parental frowns. And what a race it was, both of us wanting to be the first to call. Tricking each other by keeping the line busy and calling on a different number (her mom’s)… Happy New Year Ros, and everyone I remember and think about on days like these. But for now, I yawn and refuse to complete the thoughts on… (yawn).

October 11, 2012

Crudely Crude

Filed under: Diary — Cris @ 12:53

I am going to write crudely, about this whole crude business. Crude is not in fact the right word, but since all the other words are too crude for me, I will use crude. Which is exactly what I am about to write. There’s been a lot of -shall we say, disapproval -at my reluctance to use ‘crude’ words. I argue it is only that I have a certain way with words, like they do. But that doesn’t win me any brownie points. It appears, not ready to use these words shows immaturity. As apparently even 12 year olds can do that.

I think I am just a victim of changing times. When I was young, we grew up a certain way, with a certain restraint. And I am quite happy this way. Also don’t have a problem accepting the younger folk with their younger ways.

Another ‘change’ I have noticed is the way people, mm, guys approach me. It used to be subtle suggestions of a crush, a humble marriage proposal. There was never any, mm, (crude is hard!) ‘flings’, no ‘friends with benefits’, nothing more than maybe an eye to eye or at best a hand to hand. Time has unfortunately not changed for me, so each time the newer breed of ‘proposals’ come my way, I squirm.

I wonder then if it’s just time or if it’s me. Being single gives a message being available. I wouldn’t however say the changing times have done our guys bad, no. They are quite gentlemanly, never in the slightest exploiting someone at a disadvantage. They only find it hard to believe there are people like me. I have even ended up becoming study material for a curious student of psychology trying to ‘understand’ me!

Well well… there, that was crudely crude :D.

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.

April 22, 2012

I do not like

Filed under: Daily Rot,Diary — Cris @ 16:40
  • To be misunderstood
  • To be refused something I offer out of care (except when it is diary milk silk)
  • When people assume things from a gesture or word without clearing it with you
  • Whenever there is no coffee!
  • Insults
  • Lies and hypocrisies and artificiality (all somehow sounds one and the same)
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