Sunday, December 24, 2006

Will it ever....?

Will it ever happen that my flight to Bangalore is not delayed? Here, I sit, twidling my toes, wondering what to do with myself.

I've been up since six in the morning, even though my flight was at 10.

But we called the airport at 8.. "The scheduled departure for this flight is 12 noon, madam"


And now its delayed by a further 25 minutes...I was to reach Bangalore at 12.30. Now I'll reach at 3.

Why doesn't the world understand that every minute is precious, every second counts, with every delay my heart sinks further...

Well...I suppose I should be grateful the flight's not been cancelled.


Monday, December 18, 2006

Drunken Farewell :D

"So how was your last night in Liverpool?"

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The way it ought to be..

I was lying in bed this morning, listening to jazz, and just looking around the room smiling to myself.

Don't know why. I'm feeling so relaxed. And happy. I haven't felt this relaxed in Liverpool before. Always been so hectic! Nice, but hectic!

I thought of my performance, and how well it went despite my tonsilitus! It was so sweet of Rich and Luis to come despite the fact that both needed to be at the airport that night!
Thought of Luis. He's on his way back to Brazil. Back home to his beautiful home with huge gardens.
Thought of Rich, and how excited he was last night. And his girlfriend Aideen. She landed in Liverpool last night. What a reunion that must've been!!
Thought of how I'm going to be on my way home soon - Sleeping in my bed, cuddling family members(that includes doggies!)
I'm going to be home soon, and I'm going to see everyone so soon!
And I'll be in Bangalore soon, giving and receiving the much needed hugs and kisses and cuddles to and from my baby!

Oh joy!...everything is just the way it should be. :)

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Don't let me down!

Oh Boy...I've got my last two days here at LIPA and my performance in two days, a christmas party tomorrow, and a WILD weekend planned ahead..BUT I'VE FALLEN SICK.

Dammit. I was looking forward to a MAD week with all my friends, out drinking, getting pissed. Now it's just "Tell me when your rehearsal is over, we'll come nurse you back to health" VERY sweet, but not what I had in mind for my last week in liverpool, for the year!!! Hehe.

Why oh why didn't I listen to that doctor 11 years ago, when she said, "I think we should surgically remove your daughter's tonsils." Then I was like - "NOOOOOOOOOOOO" even though I was promised loads of ice cream. Now I'm suffering. Every year! Grrrrr.

When Jo from class got tonsilitus, I was thinking to myself - OH NO. She's got tonsilitus.I've been dancing with her all term. And I just knew it would catch on to me. Tonsilitus seems to love my tonsils. Happens almost every year. Sometimes it happens twice a year. Uffff!!!

Hehehehe. Venting, that's all. I should be fine in a few days. It's the moment I feel like I'm dying. It feels like I'm swallowing a ball of thorns every time I swallow, my neck is sore where the tonsils are...

Oh please please pray that I get better by day after tomorrow. I can hardly stand straight at the moment. And I think you could fry an egg on my forehead.

Monday, December 11, 2006


It's begun!

The christmas concert at LIPA is on friday. Four days away. We're doing 7 pieces. That means 7 costume changes! I've got solos in a contemporary piece, and Bharatanatyam solos in the street dance piece(don't ask!!).

Friday is also the last day of term one!

I'm leaving this lovely, but cold, dark place on Monday! The Simon and Garfunkel song 'Homeward bound' makes me smile from ear to ear at the moment. I'm coming home!!

I can't wait to be home, sleep in my own bed, sit in just a sleeveless shirt all day, feel the sun on my skin, eat baingan ka bharta and chapathis, meet my family, chill with my friends back home! Chonas, American I come! Keep the Kingfishers chilled!

On the 24th, I'm off to Bangalore! Yippeeeee...Simply can't wait. My heart palpitates just thinking of it. Everyone pray that I don't have a heart attack when the plane lands at the Bangalore airport, or some sort of seizure out of trembling with excitement. I'll be laying my eyes on the chompie(haha) after nearly four months! That's 118 days to be exact. It's a long fucking time.

YAY! That's 4 days to the performance, 7 days to get home, and 12 days till I see Ganesh!


Saturday, December 09, 2006

Innocence Revisited

Last night I had dreams about school, about sports week, about picking costumes for my show on friday, and about my childhood. I relived a lot of my past last night in my sleep.

I was running around on my 7th mum was showing everyone a trick where she peeled a banana and it was sliced on the inside. Everyone was in awe. Toto, however, was not impressed. Thinking about it now makes me smile. He never was one to be deluded. Not as a child anyway. There was a lot of innocence in him, despite that.

I dreamt of the time I got my first barbie doll, and was horribly disappointed at not having gotten something else. I dreamt of little Vanya, Toto and me cutting its hair, drawing a moustache on it and making it wear strange clothes. We destroyed it! We even drew all over the barbie's naked body. So innocent. Hahaha. And then we took it with us into the bathtub into which all four of us comfortably fit and splashed around.

I dreamt of Mahi and Radha, my first friends in school. When I woke up, I thought it was strange to have dreamt about Mahi. It was her 21st birthday yesterday.

I dreamt of sports week, and in particular of running the 1500 meter race, and how it felt to run that last lap of the school field. The desperation you feel to reach the finish line. The exhilaration you feel when you realise you nearly broke the school record. The slight bitter pang of disappointment that you didn't. The way the little toddlers looked at you as if you were some god, when really you were only the sports captain of their school house.

And randomly, I dreamt of picking out clothes for my performance on friday. It must've been on my mind even while I slept.

When I woke up, I felt strangely nostalgic. A little low. But then that would be the alcohol, I think. It's normal to feel low when you come down to normalcy from being high the previous night. Isn't it?

I miss Ganesh.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Hmmm...strange bit of news.

Check this out.

  • BBC link

  • I have to say, in defence of the men in my country, that surveys aren't a 100% accurate. And a survey of a thousand men out of a population of over a billion..even if it's accurate, that's a big generalisation.
    All the sexually active Indian women that I know seem to be pretty satisfied. On all accounts - size, girth, technique whatever. I see why the west have so many women of the same social standing, the same opportunities for sexual encounters and the same hopes of true love as us, who've never had orgasms. They only look at "bigger is better". Sheesh.
    On the other hand, I agree with the article when it says smaller condoms should be manufactured worldwide. It's only fair. I mean bras come in all sorts of different sizes, why shouldn't condoms?

    p.s. take this post with a pinch of salt, please!

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    14 Years later..

    Today, 14 years since the Babri Masjid was demolished, news reports say that both the houses of the Parliament are expected to be disrupted. The Left parties plan to boycott the house "condemning the government for its failure to convict the people responsible for the demolition of the Babri Masjid structure."

    The Babri Masjid was said to be constructed by order of the first Mughal Emperor of India, Babar, in Ayodhya in the 16th century. Before the 1940s, the mosque was called Masjid-i Janmasthan .The mosque stood on the Ramkot hill (also called Janamsthan ("birthplace"). It was destroyed by Hindu activists in a riot on December 6, 1992.

    It was alleged that Babar's commander-in-chief Mir Baki destroyed an existing temple at the site, which Hindus believe was the temple built to commemorate the birthplace of Ram. Interestingly the mosque shared a wall with a Ram temple. Although there were several older mosques in the city of Ayodhya, an area with a substantial Muslim population, the Babri Masjid became the largest, due to the importance of the disputed site.

    Although we have a detailed account of the life of Babar in the form of his diary, the pages of the relevant period are missing in the diary. But it is possible that the mosque already existed before Babur, who may only have renovated the building. However, the construction of the mosque must have been between 1194 and 1528.

    Hindu partisan historians say that in the year 1527 the Muslim invader Babar came down from Ferghana in Central Asia and attacked the Hindu King of Chittodgad, Rana Sangrama Singh at Sikri and with the help of cannons and artillery (used in India for the first time) overcame Rana Sangrama Singh and his allies.

    According to the Hindus, after this victory, Babar decided to spread terror among the subjugated Hindu population. Apparently, Mir Baqi built a mosque at the site of the destroyed temple. This was called the Babri Masjid named after King Babar.

    The only remaining question about the site was its status in the period 1192-1528. In 1192 and the subsequent years, practically all the Hindu temples and Buddhist monasteries in North India were demolished by Mohammed Ghori and his Turkish invaders. It is impossible that the medieval temple at the site could have survived until 1528.

    Muslims and Muslim partisan sources claim that neither history nor fact can come to prove the Hindu case as claimed above.

    They claim that it is clear that the allegations, on which, the demands of RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad & Hindu Munnani are based, for laying claim to Babri Masjid are biased against Islam.

    The attack on Babri Masjid on December 6th 1992, was not the only attack. It has been repeatedly attacked by Hindu fanatics in 1934, and again in 1949. Finally on December 6th, 1992 they finally managed to demolish the entire mosque.

    It all seems to me like little children fighting over the truth in a fairy tale, or over pieces of Lego. Except a lot of people have gotten hurt, gotten killed, and terrorised in the unfolding of this trivial immature game of "It's mine!"

    Why? Why was there such a huge fight over it? First of all, it's a matter of interpretation whether it was the birthplace of Ram or not. Besides, there's an Ayodhya in Indonesia as well, as well as in other parts of South East Asia who follow the Ramayana. Who is to say that Ram wasn't born there? And what about the Kamban Ramayana from South India...that has its own differences. It's a STORY. We're fighting over a myth.

    I suppose people could argue that it's easy for me to say that's it's a story because I don't believe in God. I'm not religious and for me, the whole Ramayana is just a beautiful story with colourful and magical characters, that I sometimes depict on stage while doing Bharatanatyam. But I have something to say for people claiming this as well. I've read enough about Ram, played his character enough times on stage, to know what kind of a character he was. Even if Ayodhya, and in particular the
    exact spot of his birth, lay where the Babri Masjid once stood - he would be so ashamed that a beautiful historical structure built years ago was destroyed in his name. He would feel used, and ashamed of his own people.

    And for God's sake...the temple that existed there was destroyed centuries ago. Nothing that anyone does can bring it back. And no one is justifying the destruction of that temple. It's just that it was done by invaders in the 16th century! And for years after that, hindus and muslims co-existed. But suddenly in the 20th century, people started getting fanatical. We now live in the 21st century...has modernity, better education, more resources done nothing for the mentality of people over 4 centuries? So the invaders were petty and stupid, insulting and violent in destroying the temples of India (wasn't
    everyone in that era who were invading places like that?). But is retaliating by stooping to that level, a sign of maturity or of stupidity?

    Can you believe that a building can cause people to become so violent and brutal? People are still only just recovering from the Mumbai riots that followed in 1993. People are still seeking justice, they are still waiting for lost loved ones to return.

    All this for what? The birthplace of a God that may or may not exist? A god that would be ashamed of what was happening anyway?

    It makes no sense to me.

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    Pan's Labyrinth, and mine.

    "Innocence has a power evil cannot imagine"
    I watched this film the other day. It was called Pan's Labyrinth. A film by Guillermo Del Toro, friend and colleague of Alfonso Cuaron, creator of Y Tu Mama Tambien, Pan's Labyrinth was screened at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival.

    It is a spanish film, set in the era of the world wars and Nazism, and in particular, in the time of the Spanish civil war - it was a story of a little girl who attempts to live in fantasy, in order to survive the harshness of reality. The reality is that she doesn't know who her father is, and that her mother is pregnant with the child of a Franco-Nazi Captain. And the reality is what's happening all around her. Violence and brutality of the spanish people at the hands of the right wing 'Franco-ans'. Her fantasy is that she is a princess of the underworld and has to complete three tasks before she can return to her world where she will reign as princess. Reality and fantasy entwine at very significant junctures of the film. The sheer innocence of the girl is a stark contrast to the grotesque brutality of the Captain. And as the film proceeds, the death of innocence and the triumph of evil seem more and more apparent. The end...while I don't want to give away too much, because I really really think it's a film worth watching, is bittersweet.

    But it devastated me. For days I sat up thinking about the film. I think I saw something of me, in that film. The film spoke to me. Reality was so harsh and so real. I became acutely aware of the number of times I've been told that I live in a world that isnt real. That I live in a happy place where things happen in a way that they don't, in reality. That I live in a world much much less cruel than it really is. And that sometimes I deny reality because in my world, it isnt like that. It's true...I do live in a world that is, in some ways, far from reality.

    But reality is reality isn't it...And I do realise that for brief moments like Ofelia in the film does - that reality is different from her fantasy world, but even as she lies beside the labyrinth, bleeding...her thoughts are of being reunited with her father, the king of the underworld, because she has spilled the blood of an innocent(herself) in the labyrinth..which was the final task before she can be accepted as the Princess again.

    I thought about how my world is different from reality. There are some differences that make me afraid. A lot of reality makes me lose faith in a lot of things. And perhaps that's why I hide from it. Accepting those bits of reality means forcing myself to be someone I'm not comfortable being.

    I thought of what I thought of friendship, and what friendship really is today. I think friendship goes deeper than facebooks and orkuts(sorry to keep harping on that point), I think friendship goes beyond the "good times". But here I stand, facebook acquaintance to many, wondering what it takes to be a friend in the only way I know how to be, and in the only way other people don't. How am I to fix this disruption of the mundane equillibrium? Should I change? Or should I expect the world to change? The latter seems too much to ask, but the former seems like an injustice to myself and to who I have fought to be, for years now.

    I thought of how easily people give up on eachother in the real world. And me, silly me, I still will not. Despite everything. I don't believe in giving up on people. And yet reality triumphs over my world again. Because when I let myself open the doors of denial, and actually look out, I know that sometimes giving up is all you can do. But I can't bring myself to do the same. And it hurts. But no one is to blame for that. Not the person who I refused to give up on, not the other people who warned me to give up. I am to blame. Because I do eventually close those doors of denial upon reality.

    Watching the film moved me, but it scared me. As I shed tears, grabbed the nearest person's arm when something sudden happened, closed my eyes tight when there was too much blood, and jumped out of my skin at other times...I was still just an audience. A spectator. But as soon as the film ended, a panic started oozing into my gut. By the time I came out of the cinema hall, I was completely panic-striken. The word I used then, was "Depression". I was depressed!!

    And it is only over the next few days, as I pondered and reflected upon the film, that I realised why.

    Saturday, December 02, 2006

    Being alone

    Living alone, travelling alone, sleeping eating and walking alone - all this puts life into a completely different and new perspective.

    I feel like I've grown a lot older in these three months, but I also realised that when it comes to certain things, I'm not as 'old' as I think I am. I feel older than I am, and at the same time, I feel younger. Its the most stark and blatant paradox at this crossroad of my life.

    I've learnt things about myself I didn't know before, I've also reaffirmed things I did know. I've instilled deeper faith into many of my 'beliefs'. I've made mistakes and learnt from them. I've also made mistakes and not learnt from them.

    When you feel the sense of being alone so acutely, you value the people you love and care for, even more. You also realise that because they aren't alone, they don't value you in quite the same way.

    The best thing about being alone is the amount of time you get to yourself. The endless hours spent in self-reflection, in mind-wanderings, in philosophical and rhetorical questions, in quests to seek answers, in finding your own answers.

    The worst part of being alone is being so acutely aware of it.

    Being alone makes you more vulnerable, more susceptible to hurt, trickery, loneliness (although loneliness neednt have to be something you experience only when you're alone)...the slightest hurt seems immense. If you're ill, the slighest fever feels like you're dying.

    But being alone also makes you stronger, then. You know you have no one to nurse that hurt or that illness, and that you have to stand back up on your own feet again, by yourself.

    Confusing eh? It's a labyrinth of contradictions. Well, all of the above does make it a bit flexuous to be alone..I like it, and I loathe it.

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    High on Vodka

    Vanya and me in a swimming pool in Delhi, summer of 1990.
    No, no...not the alcohol. I'm talking about my soft-cheeked, insanely funny, beautiful little sister. Vanya Vodka.

    By some miraculous stroke of luck, she was able to come and visit me for a few days. My father got invited to Norway to give a talk. And I guess they wanted him pretty badly, because my mother and Vanya travelled with him, for free.

    Us, lazing around in Kerela, December 2004.
    After three long months, I met my mum and sister. The family was reunited in Vanya's birthplace Oxford, last weekend. We celebrated my father's birthday on sunday and then Vanya came with me to Liverpool, while my parents travelled to Norway.
    Vanya and me, holding hands in the sea, June 2005
    Oh boy! Was she a sight for sore eyes! I don't think I've talked as much in these three months, as I have this week! We had so much to talk about, so much to laugh about. We laughed to the point of tears, sitting in the middle of a crowded pub...we talked for hours and hours about endless things.

    Sharing a secret on the London Underground, May 2006.
    And I spoilt her silly! Chinese meals, Pizzas, a movie in a cinema hall (a luxury I usually can't afford), posters, Beatles stickers, yummy snacks - I'm totally broke now, but I don't care! It was completely worth it!

    Her coming here has made me so much stronger to deal with the coming remaining days of term, on my own.
    In Hawaii, June 2005
    When she was here, I didn't care that the sun didn't rise until 8.15 in the morning and set before 4 in the evening. I didn't care that the chinese meal cost 18 pounds and that a south park poster cost 3.99! I didn't care that my flatmates were being stupid or that I had an acting assessment that I would fail if I didn't practice this week!

    We didn't do anything SPECIAL, but seeing her after that long was very,very special.

    Love you Vannu! Miss you already! :(
    At home, the day of my departure to Liverpool, September 200
    But aha...see you in 18 days! :)