Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Dressed to kill

I read about under dressing for weddings, in this post. Well, I have done just the opposite. The other day, we had to see Dad off at the Hazrat Nizamuddin station, Delhi. We had ambitiously planned to attend a wedding reception after seeing off Dad. Not wanting to attract any attention at such a place as a railway station, I wore a black Mysore crepe with a quiet embroidered blouse, and took some light jewelry in the purse, so as to wear it later—and was ready when R came home. That in itself was a feat considering I had to get dinner ready for kids and f-i-l, and also pack some dinner for Dad.(Though the train was catered, you never can take a chance with diabetics.) Then R said the sari was not ok for a wedding reception. I was so thrilled to get an opinion that I changed into a brighter, grander Kanjeevaram sari, against my better judgment. Also changed the jewelry in the purse. Usually, when I ask for an opinion, all I get is”Hmm, OK!” And this time, I hadn’t even asked!
Old Murphy wrote all those laws expressly for me, of course. Because the day Dad was leaving was also the day half of Delhi decided to get married, it seems. So though we left in good time, we got held up in humungous jams. Tension was mounting. As it is, Dad belongs to the “reach-the-station-an-hour-before-departure” school of thought. We hadn’t known about the weddings, and another thing we didn’t factor in was that Dad would need a lot of time to make it to the platform, what with negotiating the overbridge and all. When we realized that, and got clear of the jams, R really stepped on it. So we managed to make it with a little time to spare, even.
You can imagine me running after the coolie in high heels and a Kanjeevaram! And clutching the purse for dear life! Ugh, the platform was dirty---I hiked up the sari to above the ankles, and bunched up the pallu too. The sari went to the drycleaners the next day! Anyway, after the train left, R didn’t feel up to going for the reception, neither did I. We headed back home. The traffic was even more on the return trip, and we wouldn’t have reached before 11pm, so we stopped en route and had a sandwich at Subway. I had got strange looks at the station, which were nothing compared to the polite glances which came my way at the restaurant---it had the multiplex crowd, and some people who seemed to have walked in for a snack, in track pants and baggy tees. Aaaargh! Never again!
Multitasking is all very well, and something to be proud of, but not to this extent!

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Blogaholics Anonymous

Help, I’m turning into a blogaholic! Yesterday, dinner got delayed because I couldn’t resist surfing the blogs---I thought it would be just for ten minutes, while the cooker cooled down, but the ten minutes turned into forty before I realized it! Of course the kids were not complaining, but elderly people need their meals on time. I plead guilty!

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Way to go, Draupadi!

I missed the actual news item, but saw a comment on it in, of all places, the Economic Times. It seems a drunk husband staked his wife for Rs. 5000 in a card game and lost her. In the Kundapura Kedarpur village in Dhampur tehsil of UP’s Bijnore district, a drunken Ram Singh lost his money, then his ring and watch. Then he staked his wife a la Yudhishthira and lost her too. The winner went to Ram Singh’s house to claim the wife, and this is where the story diverges from the Mahabharata. Instead of submitting in floods of tears, the woman picked up a faggot and beat up the winner with it. That man went running to the police station. Anyway, the loser borrowed the 5000 from somewhere and paid off the winner, but when he reached home, his wife was waiting for him and gave him a sound thrashing. She stopped only when he begged forgiveness and promised never to gamble again ever.
Good going!
Random Thought: Why is it that when a man hits a woman it is serious, but when a woman hits a man it is hilarious?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Purdah hai purdah

This is the blogsphere, a planet of cyberspace---we are faceless identities, choosing to be known only by our thoughts and opinions. There may be speculation about what sort of person the blogger is, but let that not cloud the planet with unnecessary complications—God knows our real lives are complicated enough!
Furious debates on topics---yes
Bickering and personal insults—no-no
However, the larger issue is: our tendency in general, to associate one kind of beauty with another. That tendency is only human-----and it is a direct result of the imaginative chip in our brain circuits.
Literature and cinema are full of this kind of lively imagination. There was a V.Shantaram movie in which Sandhya is secretly a radio singer going by the name of Kokila (nightingale/ koel). Her everyday avatar is that of an ugly servant in a big household. (The ugliness is symbolized by a liberal coating of boot polish on her face! That topic is another subject by itself—why is melanin equated with ugliness?) The younger son of the house listens to her songs on the radio, and paints a wonderful picture of her and falls in love with her. She sees the painting and is loath to reveal herself, because she doesn’t want to rudely awaken him from his dreams. Another Shantaram movie, “Navrang” had a similar theme----the poet’s muse is a beautiful woman---it is actually his wife but neither of them realizes it and the wife is tormented by the thought of the poet being totally enslaved by the muse. The husband is disgusted by the ordinary, normal persona of the wife and has no time for her. And of course the much-celebrated-and-ridiculed Satyam Shivam Sundaram, where the hero assumes the heroine is beautiful because her voice is.
In the legend of Udayana and Vasavadatta (read your Amar Chitra Kathas!), Princess Vasavadatta’s father arranges for her to learn a special musical mantra from King Udayana, to charm elephants. Since Udayana is his enemy and he doesn’t want his daughter falling for the enemy, he arranges for a curtain between them, telling Udayana that his student is an old hunchback woman, and telling Vasavadatta that her teacher is a leper. However during the course of a lesson, the princess keeps making mistakes, which provokes the wrath of the royal guru. He reprimands her, and calls her a hunchback. She retaliates by calling him a leper, they part the curtains in anger, and of course the expected happens.
While such a premise is interesting material for literary purposes, all of us would do well to steer clear of such filmi speculations in real-or-blog-life!