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My kindred spirit,
We are but galactic pawns
In Cause and Effect.

You have me, I have you
On the same side
In this battle to claim
Peace and horizons
As our charted territory.

Our dreams are summer palaces.

I have you, you have me
As we watch a new sunrise
From the vantage of arms,
Yours and mine,
Entwined destiny, supine,
Opens her eyes and our hopes
In dimensions we don't yet
Know we can dream of.

My kindred spirit,
We are but blips, puppets
Who find solace in knowing
That we are not alone. 


So hi.
Officially my first blog post after the city change.
Have been wanting to post for a while, but owing to shortage of me-time, inner chime and good outer  clime, the post remained a to-be-post.

Am in the land of the Balle Balle if I were to pander to the only cliche that quite a few south Indians know about Haryana. I had to tell my grandmom that NO, Punjab and Haryana are two different states and NO, people don't always keep dancing with a turban on their heads in the midst of bright yellow mustard fields shouting KUDIYE! MUNDE! OYE! OYE! *Thank you Bollywood, thank you SO much for reinforcing such stuff in innocent people's heads.*

I had to break a few brick-solid stereotypes here too. NO, Madrasi is NOT a caste, language or community, and WE DON'T EAT CURD RICE 24/7. There are Keralites from Kerala, Tamilians from Tamil Nadu, Kannadigas from Karnataka, and so on. Well, you CAN be a Tamilian from Karnataka or some nice mix like that, but let's look at breaking the aforementioned very basic bricks before we move on to the Stereotype Wall.

Ah. The Stereotype Wall. Presenting just one SMALL segment, for you to hit your head (and other things, really your choice) against when you want to break something that needs breaking.

So basicaLy myseLf Tanya a Madrasi with very unMadrasi name my mother wanted to name me something like the Lakshmi, Veena, Nandini, Ananya but I started the baby version of ayyoooo and she maybe understood I oLways dress like I'm going to a dance performance or a tembLe these biiig beautifuL earrings and that nice biiig bindi on my fourhead oh I Loooove mehndi it's not just my hands that have them but shooshoo ayyooooo don't ask me embarrassing koschans yennyway I cannot understand youvar Hindi at aLL let's move to diskasshan of my fayyyyvourate thayir saadham with the pikkLs oh wait you poovar North Indian north of the Vindhyachalams you don't know what thayir saadham is I pitty you like anything by the name of my lord God Tirupathi Swami who I visit all the time yanyway all our men always have ash on their fourhead so devout I say it is curd rice with the pikkLs wait I can't STAND this north india food paneer paneer aLoo aLoo gobi gobi why you eat the only rottis it's just a chapathi no we eat only rice we don't eat chapathi unless we go to north india listen why you no wear bindi any of you ayyyayyyyooooo not the vegetable bindi the dot bindi you write on your forehead ayyayyoooooooooooooooooooo

Gold Digger much?

This is something I've been meaning to write about for a while... Somehow didn't find the push to do it so far. Thanks to some deeEEEEp 'introspection' on various seashores over the past week, I finally have willing words. What is it about beaches and me that gets me all thinky and inspirationy? I honestly have NO idea, but let's just say that I've found the love of my life (yes, KAPU BEACH!!) and start the damn post already, shall we :P ? 
Critical danger warning - long post. I mean it.

It all started with me meeting Vandhana.

Till then, I was happy with MY idea of the whole concept of Right Guy. Methought, we'll meet, greet, love, repeat, and finally get married regardless of the parent variables, because why? What was right for me per se should be good to go for my parents too. I never gave even a rat's fart to what he might be earning (as long as he had a job and was at it), his eating (and drinking) habits, and the whole caste/community issue.

But then I met the Monster Chick disguised as a beguiling young co-21-year old placement coordinator and near immediately made her my Soul Sister. Then before I knew, KABOOMWHAM change happened. Over the course of a few months, I went from my prior anything_goes_one_condition_apply level for Right Guy to a much more complicated state of thinking that I honestly don't know if I have to thank her for or throw a stinky shoe at her for.
Of course, I haven't gotten (and hope I never will get) to the Tambrahms_ONLY_everyone_else_go_ self_combust_I'll_never_marry_you stage of thinking.

She is SO typical new-age khichdi Tambrahm, that I was bound to learn so much from her. And her AMMAzing mom. Meenakshi aunty, I still think you are two hundred times more fun and full of life than your daughter, regardless of how many times she'll kick me for saying that.
On the way back from her house the first time, VanD told me something I completely credit to this whole destabilization, apart from an overdose of PETA videos and a sustained shot at veganism. I asked her, "What would your mom think about ** and me if we were to decide to get married some day?" and she told me, "My mom would be disappointed." *km long KABOOMWHAM fuse ignited*

I've loved her mom more and more from the time I met her, and have somehow come to believe that someday, I'd need her approval if I were to do something major. My parents might love me in their own loony way, but don't seem to give a hoot about any of my doings unless it's something that impacts their standing/sitting in society (like I'd ever be a typical looseu poNNu and knock them off their high pedestal :/). I guess all that while, I was deeply craving for that one person/more than one person who actually valued me for who I am, listened to me while not cursing their life/other people, spoke actual sense while not shouting at me/giving weird looks, and who I could safely listen to like I would have listened to my mom & dad had they been...different.

Post the happy CAT percentile, there was a short span of time when my parents actually took fantastic care of me, and it left me hankering for more. I finally felt like 'their own daughter', and in just a few weeks, I'd gone from being Stage Uno AKA 'my life, my rules, my decisions, non existing god damn the rest, I don't care!!' to Stage Harmony AKA 'my life which is governed by my parents, my rules which are actually their rules but I don't mind they love me, unknown god damn the rest, I mostly don't care!!'. *km long KABOOMWHAM fuse past the halfway mark* Somehow even after this temporary vocal "We LOVE you!" phase of theirs got over, I didn't revert to Stage Uno. It had left its indelible mark in my stupid psyche. Stage Harmony became the confused Stage Hybrid - 'my life, mostly my rules but I don't know, I can't call myself an atheist anymore but I don't know, AAAARRRGH I don't know whom to damn.'
Damn. What has this got to do with Right Guy you wonder? Read on.

Two of the girls I'm very close to got engaged around the time I penned this down (one the very day before, the other, two months ago). Let's call them Meow & Raka for convenient privacy.
Meow is my age, Raka is my cousin. Both met their spouses-to-be through family, with family by their side they had their first conversations with Right Guy Henceforth Decreed, and said yes soon enough to a happy marriage in the later half of 2014. They are very, very happy so far with their choices, and looking at the happiness on the faces of their family makes me wonder if that is the glue that will further fill the void I have with my own Pa-Ma. Maybe some approval from them for this me will arrive if I do like they do, in the form of a smile, or a pat on the head, or a hug... Yeah I know it sounds loony and like a self-pity rant, and soon enough my mind arrived at a compromise suitable enough for me, while not stabbing through the 'happy glowing family' vision which I was addicted to, having experienced it once...

So, to pander to Stage Hybrid and get the express approval of Meenakshi aunty, my most pet Tambrahm, Right Guy shall have the following attributes - simply listing them, the numbers aren't an order of priority... -
1. Foremost, he shall be an older, practicing vegetarian teetotaller.
2. He shall have the at_least_minimum approval from my family for me to give the go_ahead_sweep_me_away signal. Else, go jump, Guy. You no be Right Guy. *I hate you Stage Hybrid. I HATE YOU.*
3. He shall be more educated than me (in terms of quality, mostly). Regardless of looks and their eternal spot at the higher altitudes of my Right Guy checklist, he shall be waved away if he is from a weaker line WRT this line. (this is the MOST confusing aspect so far. What if he's doing well enough despite me having a better pedigree/degree?)
4. He shall not be pudgy or prone to paunchiness.
5. He shall NOT be an MCP.
6. He should be humane and learn to respect me, because I'm humane and will want to respect him.
7. Should definitely be earning more than me. (Have heard way too many horror stories of emasculated men.)
8. Must not hate pets or be shit-scared of dogs. (Anyone who knows that I love canines more than I can ever love humans knows what I'm talking about.)

So here's the end of this epic post.
The end.

Move me.

You are the inner brightness
Of a thousand suns.
You are the motive power
Of a thousand seas…

I give you a name,
I give you a form,
And worship you in
Shrines unknown to
The rest of mankind.

You, oh Formless One,
One that needs no name
Being the name of Everything and Everyone,
You discard like trifles
The name and form I so
Lovingly cloak you in…

You shrug your vast shoulders
Of Life, with detached disappointment,
Guiding my teary sight and weary hands
To higher aims, higher sight…

You are the Muse of all Muses.

You are Ambition.

Why would I want to call you
Anything else?

The self rump-kicker.

This isn't meant to be an angsty post.

It's just a wondering winding about the society we live in. The society that kicks its own backside every time it tries to kick into line one of its denizens. Because this society is made of you and me as much as it is made of the rest of your community.

When you curse the kind of setup you're in, that it's hindering your freedom, remember that YOU gave it the right to mess around with your free spirit like it was mere trifles. You are equally responsible for sexist curfews, for being more covered up than you would like to be, for getting hitched at an age when you would have liked to do anything but settle down.

You secretly smiled, initially aghast but quick to smother it up, when your parent became the enforcers of the code of conduct the 'society' deemed fit for someone you knew who had enough courage to speak up and say that there was a man she loved and wanted to marry. Do you know how she felt when she was treated like a woman of the night for doing what is so fundamentally human as to fall in love?

You teetered between speaking up for your happiness and being scat-scared for your sanity at home when your sanity was going haywire anyway.

You learnt that the man you love is a puppet of this very society, stepping back for good at the very instant that he had to take the most important step.

It's extremely lonely to be a free spirit when the statistically significant fraction of the world seems to exist in the shackles of the unseen diktats of a ghastly society. Why don't they realise that the society is THEM?

Avenue Road and other deoxymorons.

I live in a beautiful city.

The aura of Bangalore, the most definitive showcase of a city with growth pangs, lies in places like these - the noveau riche coexist with strays and bovines in localities that are still rooted in an old world ethos. My housemaid, who lives a few roads away from here, owns a touch screen phone but can't read the English in it. The corner tent fruit seller in the nearby market has a young son who studies in an English medium school and "knows all about his abba's business, big red bikes, and these haggling women."

Just the other day, after winding up a major entrance exam, I was hit by a moment of minor but heart stopping panic - this day, next year, what if I'm in some godforsaken faraway place and want to come to Bangalore to road-roam, but can't because I'm neck deep in work or books ?

I decided to indulge in this deep rooted city love, much like the rehearsal of the rehearsal of the victory lap around the city that I keep fantasising about, and took a pretty concussed long route all the way from Hosur Road to Banashankari, just so I could pass through a long stretch of Bangalore, feeling the afternoon air on my face, headphones blaring my favourite tunes away...

This reverie of mine on various BMTC buses through those three odd hours hardly costed my INR 55, all tickets totalled, also counting the cost of local oily chips packet. 

It wasn't very helpful when one of those buses came to a complete standstill in a much Sandalwoodised locality called Kalasipalyam - the place was stinking of pee, stale beedi smoke and rotting vegetables, but my eyes were feasting on the sights of a balmy Bangalore afternoon in the heart of the city... Vegetable peddlers, darshinis doing roaring business during the lunch time, street eats, stray dogs, toddlers, people going about their work, some "aunty" in night clothes hanging up washed clothes on her balcony, cheap electronics (that sometimes last quite long) selling faster than the neighbouring mound of colourful clothes, women chewing paan, selling flowers all along the sidewalk that has quite some life threatening loose slabs, people on two wheelers deftly avoiding the cow in the centre of the road that was content just standing there and staring at the world go by, pot-bellied policemen doing slightly better than the cow....

The perks of being single.

1. You can keep your hair (especially the 'removable' hair) any way you want. For guys, it means Mr.Mohawk Mania or Cap'n Long Blackbeard is perfectly okay. For girls - well, you can keep your moustache (and the rest) until you get bored of the Jungle Book look. Nobody will pull a face at you.

2. Your mobile currency lasts a freaking_long_exhilarating_but_depressing while. When else can you recharge for INR 100/- and expect it to last a whole month?

3. You can afford to sport Michelin tyres if staying slim is bleh to you.

4. You can holiday ALONE. ANYWHERE you want. It's ALL your choice - location, hotels, shopping, sight seeing, et al. Trust me, I'm doing that the MOMENT I'm financially self reliant. It's supposed to be a liberating experience, among other happy things. Just can't wait!

5. You can snigger at fighting couples in the park. You'd find that a LITTLE difficult if you aren't single.

6. You can dress up the way you want without feeling guilty. No thoughts of "Aww let me wear pink today too. It's okay to wear pink five days in a row. My love LOOOOVES pink." GAH.

7. You have so much more free time, even on a daily basis. You  can invest in YOU - hobbies, pets, sky diving, loafing around in holey sweats licking ice cream off your fingers with no plans of having a bath until you finish Pride and Prejudice - WOW. Well I actually don't recommend the last bit, but it's really subjective. I prefer Atlas Shrugged.

8.Not having the ultimate monster chick Vandhana as your girlfriend.


To be continued as the insights keep flashing.