Saturday, October 8, 2011

unexpected



No one saw you coming. Not the horoscopes, not the signs, not even the ravens that hopped across the railtrack, and cocking their heads in mock confusion. You were a bolt out of the blue. A freak act of nature. Your arrival even confounded the stars. They shuffled around their confused positions, like fat ladies being jostled around in a packed bus. The tides shifted guiltily for letting this epiphany pass undetected. Epiphany to me, catastrophe to the rest. 
Ammama looked daggers at the jothsyan for not seeing you coming. He kept shaking his head and muttering, like that would absolve him of any blame. Amma put salt into the payasam instead of sugar. She was distracted and tense as a mouse being watched by a very sadistic cat. And Acha harrumphed ceaselessly like it was stuck in his throat and he just couldn’t dislodge it. But my bones. They knew all along. They expected your arrival. They coaxed my hands into an unwrenched calm. And they stopped my fingers from tussling each other like unlimbed wrestlers. They sweetened the line of my shoulders into a streamline of calm. I had more carriage than a ship in full sail in perfect weather. They released the tension from my very core, oh they did. Like efficient housekeeping, they opened the windows and aired the dank and dark parts of my soul. They tugged ever so gently at the deepest part of me, that I blossomed like a flower in the early morning sun, one sweet petal after the other. I sat with an expectant knowing smile, hands in a perpetual comradely embrace. Auto drivers looked over their shoulders, uneasy about that smile that played at the corners of my mouth. You know what they say about still waters. 
You were trouble from the very beginning. But no one saw you coming. Except my bones. My bones who warned no one. Because unlike my heart, they could never be broken by you. 

Thursday, September 15, 2011

good heavens


Mary and Joseph would have sued the hospital if there were a hospital to sue. If there were a hospital, there would have been an explanation for this. But again, there was no hospital. And yet, here it was. Right in front of their eyes. No explanation in sight. What were they going to tell the shepherds and the angels in execlsis deo and the three kings from orient soon-to-be-disoriented? They were expecting a saviour. Herod wouldn't lift a finger about this, either. He'd just laugh. It was all too embarrassing. Where was the drama? This couldn't, wouldn't, shouldn't do. Every body was expecting a hue and cry. This was just a "Meh". Mary had delivered a baby girl. And there wasn't a nurse for miles around to pin the blame on. No baby exchanged at the crib here. This was definitely the immaculate conception. The Holy Spirit was a tad inebriated that day. This was the only explanation. 

They called her Jis. Jis Joseph. A girl had to have her father's name. No fancy second name and all. She grew up tall. She grew up fair. She grew up strong. She grew up smart. But most of all, she grew up proud. When they slapped her once, she showed the other cheek. When they slapped that as well, she turned their women wombs into barren weights. No progenies for women-beaters. When they tried stoning ol' Maggie, she said "Let the one who's not solicited the services of this worthy woman till date, cast the first stone. And if you lie, your nuts will fall faster and harder than the Rapture hailstones themselves." No stone throwing happened that day. Maggie was very, very hot, you see. Then the Devil tried to tempt her. That didn't go so well, as well. For the devil. She did as good as her male counterpart or should I say, alter ego. The female messiah rocked the gospels just as good as the male did. Maybe even better, cause she had to try twice as hard as the Jewish boy-next-door would have had to. When was the last time the Jewish-girl-next-door have anything to her advantage other than her inheritance. And this is before it become fashionable for Jewish girls to inherit bigass corporations. When she preached in temples, the elders patronized her or her assets or both. When she healed the sick, they asked her if she considered a career in nursing. When the children came to her and she told everyone that the kingdom of the Lord belonged to the young innocents, they smiled indulgently, said "oh, you should have one of your own" and marveled at maternal instinct working in not-so-mysterious ways. And then, they tried to get her married. 

At the wedding of Canna, they thought Mary had brought her super daughter to show her off. Then she went and turned water to wine. Bad move. They got drunk on her wine and accused her of ulterior motives and loose morals. Then on, healing the sick became the work of the devil. When she touched lepers and hung out with tax collectors, the busybodies in the neighborhood told Mary that this was no conduct for a Jewish girl with good upbringing and no decent jewish boy would marry her. When she fed 5000 people with two fish and five loaves of bread, they said she might be a show-off but with economizing like that, would make some worthy man very happy someday. "If only she didn't think she was too good for anyone! Poor Mary, you have no idea what she's going through!" When she crossed her twenty fifth birthday, Mary began to worry about her prospects, messiah or no messiah. Who would marry a messiah? Now, you do realize that a messiah is ten thousand times more intimidating than a quintuple Ph.D holding, drop-dead gorgeous, Beyonce. But like we said, she did good in spite of it all. When they told her, she's got to die for the world's sins, she said "Hell, no!" Of course, she got crucified in the end. That's just the way of the world works. BUt she let them know in no uncertain terms, "I'm NOT dying for you. You're going to get what's coming to you cause you just won't listen." Hitler came along and proved her right. But that's just her death. Let's talk about her life. 

She addressed the original lobbyists and the opinion leaders of the world - the mothers. That revered race in whose wombs grew prejudice, envy, wisdom, love, hate, wickedness, lust, insecurity, need, sacrifice and just about every high and low of the human psyche. Her male counterpart forgot to do that. Her unlike Mary-fame "good news" was terrible news to the heavy matriarchal ego. She let them know that they were in for eternal damnation if they failed to teach their sons to respect women. Not only would they be damned, but they'd be responsible for the damnation of the entire world. Cause let's face it, the world is pretty screwed up a place, mostly because mothers everywhere refuse to let their boys know that they're at best, seed generators in the grand scheme of things and instead, make their precious, precocious little twerps feel like they're god's gift to the rest of the world.

So mothers everywhere, beat the holy crap out of their sons at the slightest hint of disrespect.Sons grew up to be dutiful brothers, loving fathers and respectful husbands. They minded their pleases and thanks yous and their i love yous. And the world was a better place because the women were safe. And they stayed that way, because the men knew that the God of women was one that would take no shit from them. 


There just has to be a god for women. The good ones, the virtuous ones, the disreputable ones, the ones who worked their hands to the bone to bring food to the table, the ones who filed their nails all day, the beautiful ones, the ugly ones, the talented ones, the plain ones, the wallflowers, the single ones, the married ones, the smug ones, the divorced ones, the old maid ones, the stupid ones, the smart ones, the enigmatic ones, the vanilla ones, the blessed ones, the damned ones, the good ones, the bad ones, the frigid ones, the loose ones, the generous ones, the mean ones, the sweet ones, the nasty ones, the venerated ones, the victimized ones. There seemed to be a god for every kind of man. One that watched out for him and proved whatever he did to be the right thing. One that makes him my superior. When will I get my god? 




Thursday, September 1, 2011

stereotypes


They were at it again. The full-bodied Pear, the svelte Banana, the buxom Apple and the smug Hourglass. Discussing the weather, loves, children, music, books, governments and figures over pink martinis. Dissatisfaction was their waiter for the evening and he loomed, servile yet efficient, waiting to refill their glasses at the raise of a shapely eyebrow or a manicured finger whichever the case might have been.
 "So you're on another diet? It working for you?" Banana smiled over the rim of her glass, knowing very well that it applied to them all except her. She could afford to and was rather satisfied with herself for being the only one who didn't have to constantly keep track of the calories. The trifle puddings and the death by chocolates and the yellow jilaebis slid off her.  A cloud passed over Apple's sweet face. But ever so quickly did it pass, that only the observant really would have noticed it. And none of them quite made the cut. Besides they were much too busy thinking of their very own generous curves camouflaged in chiffon, denim, tussar and attitude.
 "Well you know it's no contest really between carbs and calorie watching." Apple giggled like a five-year-old into her martini, making it bubble unsophisticatedly "Besides, pasta makes you a more generous person." "Hmmm..generous from the inside, till it spills right out of your seams, if you know what i mean. I guess some people could live with being fat. I'm certainly not one of those lucky types!", Banana shrugged while reaching out for more low-fat meanness. "Umm yeah, you WOULD look like a great big oak tree ifyou did put on weight!" laughed Apple her light voice sparkling with mirth and tease. Hourglass held up her martini glass and her purple velvet voice turned into silk as she observed, "This glass looks like Apple, no? If she grew edges instead of curves?" "Nasty woman!" Apple giggled throwing her apple seeds at Hourglass.
 Pear hadn't said much ever since she walked in. She smiled abstractedly at the banter, but her mind was clogged halfway in the kitchen sink back home, along with bits of onion peel, orange juice, soap suds, hair, salmonella, cereal and tears. Even her martini tasted of heartache. A break. A nice long hot bubble bath of a break. Would be good. Should do it, must do it. She was always postponing things. Never really getting down to it.
Banana was having a particularly great hair day and she kept turning around to catch her reflection in the glass window blowing kisses at herself while doing the same. "What are you doing?" Pear asked with a voice filled with broken glass. Sharp. Cutting. Bruising. Scattered. Piercing.  "Loving myself," Banana shot back, in a smoothie voice, "You ought to try it. Bread-n-butter. It's good." There was no need to 'figure' things out to love oneself, right?

Thursday, August 4, 2011

letters


Dear mothers, 
Teach your daughters to get angry. To get mad. To stay mad. Teach your daughters to fight. Back. To dislike. To be okay with being disliked. Teach them to think. And think nothing of what others think of them. Teach them hurt. Hurt them like hell. Teach them to be contentious. To be difficult. Teach them to be not-okay. Teach them to scream. Full-lunged, shrill, ear-shattering screams. Teach them to throw a punch. To hit below the belt. To use dividers and compasses and blades imaginatively instead of looking away and praying that it, they, he would go away. To hate. To poison. Teach them to break things. Teach them not to be virginal. Teach them to make mistakes. To walk into walls. Teach her to rage. Teach her to give as good as she got. If not, better. Teach her not, to be afraid. 

Dear mothers, teach your daughters this. For you can’t possibly be sure, without knowing doubt first. If you are, you’re just naive. There’s no virtue in forgiveness without the bloody rage of hurt, anger and disappointment first. In their absence, there is only numb. You can’t really know how wonderful it is to be liked, to be loved, if you don’t know how easy it is to be disliked just because you choose to be yourself . You can’t know the serenity of acceptance without a lost fight. A good one at that. It’d just be acquiescence or worse, cowardice. You can’t be brave without confrontation. Can’t be courageous without wanting to defend first. Virginity isn’t half as important as sanctity. Give her the gift of knowing how special she is. Give her, so that she might cherish it, value it and respect it. Tell her it’s okay to fall. Even if it’s apart. And if she does, hold her together. And maybe, one day, she just might be strong enough to fly. There’s no strength like regained strength, like recovering from hurt. No resurrection without death. No glory in standing tall without being brought to your knees. No safety without being put to the test and passing it. Only complacence. Dear mothers, teach your daughters to love. Without being afraid

Friday, July 22, 2011

on days i hate being indoors

Dannie don't stay indoors.
The clouds are calling
you out to play. 
The flowers and the leaves and 
the wind that teases them -
they need a foursome. 
Dannie, don't stay cooped up
inside those 6 walls. 
The roof and the ceiling 
count as well, silly.
They're walls in your topsy turvy universe. 
Oh my spirit keeps running out
through the crack in the window 
Only to be yanked back 
leashed to my spoilsport body 
that signs registers and 
subjects itself to 8-9 hour exiles.
In what they call the real world.  
 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

how long before you break me?


you said that I was naive, and I thought that I was strong.
I thought, "hey, I can leave, I can leave."
but now I know that I was wrong, 'cause I missed you.    - Stay; Lisa Loeb.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The first time

Note: this song inspired this piece. So it'd be great if you listened to it while you read this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tj72paG_IoM






Not when i was born. There was too much blood, pain and screaming. Mama wished herself anywhere else but splayed legged on the delivery table. I slipped muddy and slick, into a puddle of flesh and gore. The doctor couldn't care less. Mama couldn't care less. Papa would return from work many hours later and know that he had another son. Or maybe he'd be too tired and would want his supper. Aunt Martha would leave him be. He'd know tomorrow then. I wasn't going anywhere and Papa couldn't care less.

Not when I was a cute toddler. Well almost cute. Mamma was always tired. She hadn't wanted me anyway. Her body refused to nourish me. My siblings resented me. They resented that I took up space. They resented that I had to be fed. They resented that I cried and then papa would be mad. They resented that I was so thick, to not know that it was my fault papa was angry all the time.That I just couldn't get it that they didn't give a shit about me. Resented the insistent grimy, dimpled fists I reached out to them, making it difficult for them to pretend that I wasn't there. 

Not when I was a lanky kid at school. The girls laughed at my thinness. They laughed at my pimples. They laughed at the permanent dried flakey trail that snot marked down my philtrum. They laughed at my pants that hung well above my ankles. They laughed when I shyly fished a naked toffee from the depths of my pocket for dear pretty Isabel. Isabel cried. They laughed. Naked toffee, bits of paper and lint, in a sticky coital embrace. Isabel cried hot tears of mortification, cheeks burning with shame. Not ever in school. 

Not in class. The teacher hit me every chance he got. Teacher said i was too ugly, too tall, too poor, too dumb, too insignificant to be of any use to the world. I wasn't allowed on the football team. I was too clumsy to field and I was cockeyed. That made me pretty useless as a batsman. Or so they said. 

Not at the railway station where i worked 45 years of my life. The men thought me queer and the women couldn't tell for sure where I was looking. It made them nervous that I could look brazenly at the roundness of their breasts and they couldn't catch me at it. The passengers never made eye contact. And if they did, they thought I was deliberately looking over their heads. 

Not in my marriage. My wife closed her eyes and her body every time i mounted her. I once got her flowers. She scoffed her most jaded and weary scoff, and threw them out with the rest of the dinner. She complained of a headache later and slept with her back to me. She looked at me with unmasked contempt and she had my children with the same disinterest and detachment as she reared the pigs with. She fell asleep long before I came inside her. And would wake up after I rolled off her, only to carefully wipe herself clean off every trace of me. And then fat, ugly Isabel went back to sleep.


Not as a father. My children were embarrassed about me. They thought me a duffer and a failure of paternity. They feigned respect to avoid eye contact or any kind of contact, for that matter. They imitated my walk and my slouch; they mocked my  talk and they crossed their eyes rudely every time they played house or It. I can't remember what they looked like smiling, or the colour of their eyes, the shape of their teeth or the smell of their hair. Even the dog didn't like me much. 

But not today. Today is different. Today I'm special. Today my wife did her wifely duties with utmost sincerity. Today I'm the loving husband and she, my faithful wife - my deeply feeling wife. Today my children observed the most respectful of silences in my presence. Today I'm the well-wished neighbor - some of them came by with carefully wrapped parcels of food - assuming that had to be my favorite. One even brought a jar of whiskey. I received them in my best suit. Today they all paid attention to me and only me. I was the star. Today my house smells of freshly washed curtains, clean laundry, disinfectant and good cooking. Today my siblings came by and treated my wife like family. Today there are lights in the sitting room and the vases have fresh flowers in them and doilies under. Today I received the priest in my house. Today I'm the valued parishioner. Today my wife wept bitterly for the life we never had. And the cherished moments, I honestly couldn't remember. Today my children kissed my cheeks voluntarily - with tears in their eyes. Nasty Mrs. Toms, sweet Mrs. Michael and dear Miss. May said a rosary each for me. Today snooty Robert from across the road, Peter from the bakery and the old crook Charlie took off their hats in my presence. Today, is the day i died. And for the first time, I feel love.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

sleep








She fell asleep a lot.
She fell asleep during drives.
Long and short.
She fell asleep in between movies.
She fell asleep on his shoulder,
She fell asleep on his lap,
while he traced her dreams in her hair with his fingers.
She fell asleep before dinners
and after them too.
And she fell asleep in his arms.
She fell asleep, and she fell deep.
She should have been very, very worried.
She'd even fallen asleep in between conversations.
But she wasn't. 
For, before he happened to her, 
She stayed awake all white nights long,
dreaming dreams of sleep

Sunday, July 3, 2011

sour puss

To think, he could have been the Cheshire cat.
If only he'd have an attitude adjustment. 



Sunday, June 26, 2011

twinges


You're so easily happy. 
It takes so little
to put that smile on your face.
We're so easily happy
You, me, she, him,
we, us.
So very little.
And yet, we go to sleep
hungry.
Is it fair? 


Friday, June 24, 2011

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Morning genius

I love cooking. But i love being lazy even more. So when ho-hum oats is all I can muster time and energy up for in the morning, we need to get more imaginative. Ladies and gentlemen (do they still call them that?) I give you Oreo Cookies. Oreo cookies have been making the world a better place, so effectively for so long, that they could use Michael Jackson's Heal the World as an effective ad soundtrack. So why would they treat my oatmeal breakfast any differently? 


Oreo cookies are to my breakfast what black stilettos are to the most boring meeting during the most boring afternoon on earth kinda outfit. Instant, unhealthy, glamour. So let's have some instant, unhealthy glamour, please? Crumble and sprinkle generously over the oatmeal for some morning magic. I'm yummy-happy! 

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

OH MY GOD! Slash is a WOMAN!!!


Addicted to love








Your lights are on, but you're not home
Your mind is not your own
Your heart sweats, your body shakes
Another kiss is what it takes
You can't sleep, you can't eat
There's no doubt, you're in deep
Your throat is tight, you can't breathe
Another kiss is all you need

You like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough
You know you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to love

You see the signs, but you can't read
You're runnin' at, a different speed
You heart beats, in double time
Another kiss, and you'll be mine a one track mind
You can't be saved
Oblivion is all you crave
If there's some left for you
You don't mind if you do

You like to think that you're immune to the stuff, oh yeah
It's closer to the truth to say you can't get enough
You know you're gonna have to face it, you're addicted to love

Might as well face it, you're addicted to love
-Robert Palmer 

Monday, June 20, 2011

Love me like you do. Always.






I love silly things. I love quirky things. I love many things. And I love sharing them. Even if you think I'm a little off my rocker!

Friday, May 27, 2011

spooked

Dead-for-many-years-great gran: "My great granddaughter is terrified that she might see a ghost?"
Dead-for-as-many-years-colleague-in-death: "That makes her great? She's great cos she's afraid of seeing a ghost?"
Dead-for-many-years-great gran: "No, you nut, with a brain deader than my 43 year old corpse. I'm talking about my son's granddaughter. That makes her my great granddaughter, like in great is a part of the noun and not an adjective! The silly girl is terrified of seeing a ghost!"
Dead-for-as-many-years-colleague-in-death: "You mean she's seen one? Interesting!"
Dead-for-many-years-great gran: "No. that's the thing. She's not seen one. Well, not yet. Though i have a good mind to reveal myself to her."
Dead-for-as-many-years-colleague-in-death: "I wouldn't recommend that. It's not nice to see a spook flash. I mean, I do find you hot and all, but them living 'uns like a lil skin, bone and flesh..and err...jiggly bits...aaah.. i miss jiggly bits!"
Dead-for-many-years-great gran: "Not like that kind of reveal, you stupid dead bat. Reveal like in show myself to her. So that she would know that it's not a big deal to see a ghost."
Dead-for-as-many-years-colleague-in-death: "But if she hasn't seen a ghost, how does she know she's scared of seeing one? She might like our company, for all she knows. We're darned better than the company she sometimes keeps!"
Dead-for-many-years-great gran: "That's exactly it. The silly child is in the habit of fearing things in advance. And then most of the time, it's never as bad as she thought it would be. Meanwhile she's spent enough sleepless nights, wasted enough time and lost enough hair doing her I'm-so-scared-shitless routine. And then after the event, she's like "Aiye! Only so much? THAT's what I've been scared of all this while?" And then she struts around as if she's swum the English Channel with a handicap and does her Jhansi-ki-Rani-oh-I'm-so-brave act. Happily forgetting that it was all in her head."
Dead-for-as-many-years-colleague-in-death: "Oh that is very silly indeed! But i find her rather amusing, ...errr... I meant intriguing, I swear, I meant intriguing. Tell me more about her and her silly ways. I've forgotten how silly human girls can be. "
Dead-for-many-years-great gran: "You deadbeat jerk, I'm not having this conversation with you to entertain you with the capers of my featherbrain descendant! I'm at a loss what to do about this girl! ARRGH, she makes me so mad. She sets my long-worm-eaten-teeth on its long-worm-eaten edge. When she was little, she used to be terrified of bridges, water, the witch in the well and the monster family under her bed. Now I think her mum ought to be afraid of the boys under her bed!"
Dead-for-as-many-years-colleague-in-death: "REALLY? You're great granddaughter is a racy one? OOOHH"
Dead-for-many-years-great gran: "I WISH. The child who is not-so-much-a-child is commitment-phobic. She gets her hands burnt on nothings and then claims to be scared of the real thing"
Dead-for-as-many-years-colleague-in-death: "She's scared of that also? Let me guess, not tried that either?"
Dead-for-many-years-great gran: "For once you've gotten something right! I wish she would just stop being so afraid and just live for once."




**My greatgranny was supposedly a feisty one. REALLY FEISTY. Apparently she would stop at nothing, and I guess having a silly goose like me for a great granddaughter must make her somersault in her grave, ever so often. I'm not so afraid of seeing a ghost anymore, just like I'm trying to get over my fear of a lot of other things. So here goes everything. :)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

:)



Okay, look here. Look here. LOOK HERE! Tch! SIt now. Sit, sit, SIT! I told you to sit, no? Where you going? Come and sit here. come here, Come here. Come HERE. Beating, for you. You want beating? SIT! Okay, now, look here. CLICK. Oi..don't move so much! Why can't you just sit here!? COME HERE. No, NO, DON'T JUMP ON ME. Shee! You nut. Okay, now you'll sit? Sit, sit, SIT…where's the stick! I'll BEAT YOU! Look here……arrrrgh! No, no don't move. Sit properly. Okay, now stop scratching your balls. Sit still, no? Enough! Stop scratching them, already. EYYYY stop licking them..... Sheee! CLICK! Look here, okay? Shooooo sweet you are. STOOOOOPID FELLOWWWW Don't jump. BEATING FOR YOU! Eeeek stop licking me. Get off me. You're heavy. Sit DOWN. Okay, be good and sit, okay? Awww…so cute you are!! My sweetie pie. Love you so much.**

**Photo sessions with my nutty dog.



Monday, May 9, 2011

looking back

Must these priorities shift so much?
Only for the right decisions
to metamorphose into trivialities?
People, whose features shift
into wallpaper and furniture.
Career that swells with the
nothingness of an empty belly.
Wombs filled with placenta and
regret.
Sleepless nights and cholesterol traffic.
Sleeping around and glorious
dissatisfaction.
Thankless bosses and spouses.
Bodies abused by the light
and weight of ephemeral manna.
Love. Oh, love!
The years, crawling with the
termites of redundancy.
investments turn into rubble.
And rubble into precious things,
we lost along the way.
Living forever, specters in a fist-sized
pound of regret, ebbing within you.
A steady motor, keeping you alive.

Friday, April 29, 2011

reminders

Between lunges. Between laps. Between falls. Between beatings. Between desperation. Between kisses. Between bitter words. Between lip synching. Between pouring your heart out. Between contractions. Between laughing. Between racking sobs. Between skipping a heartbeat. Between losing your mind. Between crumbling to nothing. Between putting the pieces together again. Between breakdowns. Between making love. Between your routine headlong crashes. Between role plays. Between shifting shapes. Between flying. Between sinking. Between sips of coffee. Between gulps. Between scalded tongues and. between getting burnt. Between messes. Between spring cleaning. Between chewing more than you can bite. Between being stifled. Between smothering. Between panic button pushes. Between paranoiac fits. Between adrenaline rushes. Between going blue in the face. Between unforgiveness. Between loss. Between delirium. Between freedom. Between dancing. Between catching up. Between highs. Between lows. Between building. Between wrecks. Between repair. Between fights. Between accusations. Between salvaging. Between salvation. Between damnation. Between thresholds. Between limits. Between being right. Between mistakes. Between scandals. Between humiliation. Between redemption. Between faltering. Between courage. Between losing your way. Between coming back. Between abandonment. Between hesitation. Between haste. Between getting wasted. Between before and afters. Between in-betweens. Between bottoms-ups. Between upside-downs. Between letting go. Between holding on for dear life. Between screaming your lungs out. Between ennui. Between act 1 and act 2. Between the moment you decide to jump off the edge and the moment you actually jump. Between having the time of your life. Between everyday deaths.
Don't forget to breathe.

Friday, April 8, 2011

6 am and There, there by Radiohead!

The Cockroach stuck its ugly non-head head out of its hidey-hole. Feelers going all over the place, sensing. Antennae seeking. Threats and treats. A weird, ugly stealth machine. So redundant it seemed, all this unnecessary care, considering how brazen these ugly things could be. But still, a little precaution never killed anyone, did it? Or maybe it did. The Cockroach thought of another life, with the twingiest twinge of sadness its non-heart heart was capable of feeling. Nostalgia, the colour of pretty blue and silk black stockings. Butterfly wings fluttering in the sun. Flitting in and out - like a thought tossed in the winds of a drugged stupor. Green cough syrup bottles with sleep floating under their screwed-on caps and potential death that slept in sleeping pills. Wake. Wake up. Wake. Whose wake is this? Whose turn was it to wake up? Corpses of sweetness lay in the aftermath of a nuclear disaster. Cockroaches could survive them, apparently. Unnaive. No nectar, thank you. let's feast on some scraps and left-behinds. Sláinte! To health! The Cockroach scanned its precincts with its super-sensory, ultraviolet, ultra-some-more-shit-infra-red goggles definitely ugly compound eyes. "Is this a good time to get out? Will those bastards try to squash me?Again." it was getting rather tiresome, this dodging business. It just couldn't seem to go anywhere without someone or the other trying to stamp it clean out of existence. Green goo and crusted mud on the underside of someone's boots. Enough of that. The Cockroach pulled its ugly non-body body out of its hidey-hole. "Let's get a breath of fresh air, already."



The Cockroach wasn't always ugly. Hell, The Cockroach wasn't always a cockroach to begin with. The Cockroach was once a butterfly. Fragile, tissue paper wings. Kissed by the sun and loved by one. Flitting in and out - like the sweetness of love. Such sweetness, you could mix it in your morning mug of coffee and still have enough left for your black tea. And for many more mornings to come. And put it under your pillow, to have the sweetest of dreams. And then it happened. The wings tore, the body dropped like a petal from the sky. It lay dying. sweetness crumbling into smudged colored dust on the hot pavement. God appeared. A humorless God. but pretty cool, even if He was dressed in fatigues. And blew a shrill whistle in its ear. God gave it a choice. To die a martyr of love, with books written about it, glowing epitaphs and history-creating eulogies - but dead. Or to be reborn. Ugly. i chose to be reborn. as a cockroach. not pretty. But nevertheless, a survivor.

Friday, March 18, 2011

tenets

They told me i should be good. That i should be obedient and that i should never forget to say my prayers. My granny told me that i must love and respect my parents. My daddy told me that I should be humble, for I was much too proud than what could possibly be good for a little girl. The Ten Commandments told me, along with a lot of other musts and must nots, that i shouldn't covet my neighbour's wife or commit adultery. My teachers told me that my pinafore must reach below my knees and my socks should never be rolled down. Text books told me that i must look right, then left and right again before crossing the road; that the fork went in the left hand and the knife in the right; that 10 times 10 made a hundred and don't let nobody tell me any differently.
Mummy told me i should be careful of men thereon, when that blood splotch stained my panties for the very first time. My report card told me that i could do better. Always! And I think I took that to heart. It's followed me like a specter from my childhood. In all my performances. Work, writing, pay checks, boy friends, character, love. All of them have had "Can do better" scrawled all over them in invisible ink.
Society told me I must act like how a girl was expected to act. Catechism told me i must save myself for the man i would marry. Proverbs told that procrastination was NOT the mother of invention and honesty was the best, but unfortunately slow like government policy. The church told me that Jesus was coming and that i must be prepared for the judgement day - lest i be measured and found wanting. So much like school and scary school principals. My boy friend told me that i must not be a troublemaker, that i shouldn't speak my mind, that I should take it lying down, or nobody would like me. my doctor told me that i must have my babies before 35 or there'd be complications. My body told me to panic by 25. My dentist told me i must brush my teeth twice a day. My priest told me that i should say three Hail Marys to absolve me of my sins and my uncontrollable rage.
The law told me that i must part with with my hard earned money to pay for roads that are not there. My uncles and aunts have told me often that i'm a stupid, arrogant girl who had it coming and that I must listen to my parents because they've been through life and that they knew better. Really? Dear mum, dear dad, what did you do when your entire world crumbled? How did you survive being flung to the jagged rocky shore of heart break? How did you survive failure? How did you live through humiliation? The farce of everyday life? Please tell me, cos i haven't a clue. And how did you deal with fear? Have you managed to lock it behind a closed door? How did get past the feeling of wanting to die? How did you deal with your suicidal and homicidal tendencies?
I've been told, advised, warned, ordered a good many things. But no one told me that one thing that ought to have been preached from every pulpit, engraved over every board, taught in every school, hammered into every skull and told to every child sitting on every knee. No one told me the first thing i needed to learn to do, was be true to myself. And that whoever had a problem with that, should be told to go fuck themselves.

spaces

I need more cupboards
i simply must have more cabinets
with secret stashes aplenty
Make them dark, deep and cavernous.
Big enough to store a lion, his family and his secrets.
I need a huge wardrobe - more stowaway spaces.
For safekeeping of things, better lost than found.
A cryptic closet
For all the skeletons i will have
once I'm done here.

illict habits

Munching sugar
in between meals.
Munching sugar
when I ought to stay clean.
Sweetness between my teeth,
after I've brushed them at night.
Ants in my house,
ants in my bed,
ants in the dirty corners in my head.
Those nocturnal dream-parasites,
crawling on the insides of my face, upside down.
As i see you in psychedelic colours.
Cotton-candy pink and boiled-candy orange.
Hot yellow and scalding neon green.
So i sit here munching sugar.
When I really should know better.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Nana Maria's strange day

Nana Maria knew something was amiss that morning. For one thing, she took a leak standing up. At seventy-four, there just wasn't any reason for her to explore new and challenging vistas in taking a piss, for thrills. Second of all, she said, "Holy Fuck!", when she realized that she was taking a piss standing up. Now, she never said Holy Fuck! There was nothing holy about Fuck - which in her mind, was a thoroughly disgusting act that had to be endured to conduct God's holy decree of making more Catholics. "Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth."

So that's how Nana Maria knew that something was amiss. So assured she was about herself, that it didn't even occur to her to be scandalized at herself. You're only scandalized with yourself when you aren't sure about your morals and the ways of your conduct. Which she wasn't. So in Nana Maria's head, this strange turn of events, was exactly that. A turn of events. a sleight of circumstance. It had nothing to do with whim. Something, had altered in the universe. Something vital, like the something vital that had caused other things to behave differently from how they normally would - like the parting of the Red Sea, for instance, or the immaculate conception or the lions uncustomary behavior with the prophet Daniel. The Bible was filled with such events. Manifestations. Yes, Nana Maria believed that this was nothing short of a manifestation. The end of the world had to be near.

Next thing she knew, she was craving for a smoke. Her tongue itched for the coarse taste of tobacco. Oh for one drag, one blissful drag! She felt her lungs heave with want - the distinct pull that twisted your stomach into a knot. The last and only time, she felt like that was before her first child - back when she was still treasured virginal hopes, when she was still in love with her husband, when she was silly. Desire that once, made her clench her insides. Gasping and staggering, like from the impact of a heavy blow. White, hot passion scalding the inner walls of her body. Wasn't she disgusted with herself for that! As penance for such unabashed weakness, she spent the entire afternoon dragging her knees across the cemented floor of the outhouse, one rosary bead after the next. That's how, for the rest of her life, carnal hunger came to be associated with excruciating pain - helping her stick to the narrow path with plenty of success. Until today. Her innards begged for the lusty feel of a cigarette between her lips. Body drawn in, cheeks taut with tension, lungs full, chest caves in and then, like a bow setting an arrow free, the sweet release. Wanton desire tossed inside Nana Maria's body like a ship in a storm while her mind tried its best to rein in this rogue, but potentially catastrophic, situation. Nana Maria had to get to the church before this demon, that seemed to have possessed her, cost her soul.

So to the church she fled, while litanies followed one after the other like ants on parade. Inside her, the craving grew spherical and physical in certainty, till it was heavy as a cold, massive, marble in her stomach. The devil touched the small of her back with icy fingers. Shivers and goose pimples. Bringing to life the huge, cold marble inside her. Unmentionable, involuntary responses from her body. Slowly it uncoiled its serpentine being, till it stretched along the length of her spine. She was certain that her desire was right there in plain sight - there for all to see. On her face, on the surface of her skin, between her nails. The dogs could smell it on her. It attracted flies like an open ripe fruit would.And it made her skin peel with the ignominy. Fear of being judged turned her face a sickly shade of green. Bile in her mouth. The midday sun turned the folds of her skin moist and sweet with sweat. And inside her, her heart skipped beats like a clumsy awkward dancer. She stumbled blindly into the somber half-darkness of the chapel.

The smell of burning candles gave her the comfort of being in one's own turf. Fervently making the sign of the cross, she hoped being in God's house would help quell that unholy feeling that still grew inside her. And yet, the need for a drag jostled in her head among the joyful, sorrowful, luminous and glorious mysteries, like a fat person in a crowded bus. Thankful for the darkness, she cringed with the ache that nearly throbbed inside. Hot. Wet. Alive. And, then, he walked in.

All of twenty-four, lithe, cherub curls and coral ears. Beautiful. Nana Maria took in Brother Peter's beatific countenance with the raptures of an epiphany. His hands, his hair, his mouth, his neck where it disappeared into the collar of his cassock, his ears. This is what it was like to be a dirty, old woman. "I'm a dirty old woman, that's what I am. A filthy hag." Nana Maria blushed for the first time in forty five years. "What's happening to me?"
There was no way Nana Maria would know, or believe even if she did, that her psyche, weary from feeling nothing, had swapped half of itself with that of her husband's. She had no idea that inside her, a mutated androgynous entity had taken form. Nor did she know that her husband at that very moment, was feeling terrible repentance for the very first time, after leching at young Cynthia's tits a million times before, and was as confused as a pygmy in the city about it. "Why suddenly? What happened? Such a sin to God - she's but a child!" All Nana Maria knew was that something was amiss!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

on love. again.

Love takes up space. Large and small. It makes us claustrophobic in cubicles and fills up a large room, like light from a chandelier or even music from a harp. Love is abstract and yet, you can see it. In people's eyes, in ordinary things, in purses, in between sheets, in between fingernails and in between legs. In the folds of their skin, in the folds of their clothes, under train seats and in between sofa cushions. On tops of tables, in photoframes, in dreams, in phone memory cards, in shoeboxes buried in cupboards, in incomplete sentences, in lost and found boxes.

Love takes up space. Solid space. And when it leaves, it leaves behind emptiness - palpable, visible emptiness so thick and so hard and so huge, you wonder, how emptiness could ever get this heavy, in the first place.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

crib, crib, crib

Mummy: Dannie, eat your crow and stop complaining.


Dannie: But mummmmmmmieeeee…do i have to? i hate crow!


Mummy: Stop fussing child and be grateful that it's warm. so many children don't even have that. And you are hardly a child. You're a stupid, unmarried 27 year old.


Dannie: Now, don't bring my age into this.


Mummy: (mockingly) Yes, yes princess! Of course i will bring your age into this. At your age I had two children.


Dannie: (muttering, but not quite soft enough) Ooh some accomplishment, that!


Mummy: What's that? see? This is why you end up like this. With a mouthful of horrible tasting crow. Stubborn, arrogant little hussies like you deserve to eat crow all day. Eat it now.


Dannie: (whiningly) AAI HAY-TE CROW


Mummy: And yes, you have a choice, right? Be thankful you still have the option of eating crow. it's not too late. You can still make amends for your stupidity, idiocy and arrogance. But remember next time you're tempted to do something really dumb, your elders know better. And listen to us! remember how you yourself fell with your face in the mud - all your fault, ketto? If you've learnt your lesson, well and good for you. Sit there quietly and eat it fast, it's getting cold now!


Dannie: (To myself, softly this time) oh geezzz…like crow isn't enough, she has to top it off with gyan and butter it with those godawful I-told-you-so's. Damn you, ex-boyfriend. I hope you fry in eat-crow-all-day-hell. It's your fault i'm being subjected to this. grrrrrr!


Mummy: Well, since you're eating all that crow, you might as well eat your own words. There's a whole lot of them leftover. Eat them fast, before more people get to know about your foolishness. For once your big, fat mouth will be of some use.


Dannie: ( meekly. very, very meekly) yes, mummy.





*** and this is how i feel about being inducted into the great proposal thamasha slash circus. Now i know why people throw in the towel and say "Go ahead, oh great parents, and find me that perfect person who has been evading me all this while. I'll be the dutiful son slash daughter and do as you say. i fall at thy lotus feet." The peace and quiet, as promised in the brochure of dutiful children and arranged marriage, is tempting, i must say. As long as they are busy finding people, they stay occupied enough to stay out of your hair and will quit complaining. Aaah, bliss! So here i am, taking back all my words, and giving the parents the green signal. But ha ha..conditions apply :D

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

one more letter to docomo and i'm done!

dear docomo
It's true, it's only been a few months since we made each other's acquaintance. But as my service provider, I think we should cut to the chase and get to first name basis. Pronto! So I think I'll call you Doc! Like that? Knew you would. Wow, are you feeling this like i am?

Anyway enough of pleasantries. Now that we know each other a little better there are a few things I'd like to tell you. For starters, I DON'T want to wish Barbara Mori a frikkin Happy Birthday at only Rs. 50. OKAY? Have we got that straight? It's not like Ms. Mori is going to see my message and go "Hmm..Dannie reeemembuured (mexican accent, people) my birthday. How thoughtful of her!" Dude, that's some scam, you're running there. How many idiots blew fifty bucks on that stunt, huh? I'm curious about those figures. Okay, moving on. Stop barraging me with messages about sizzling chicks having fun. If I wanted to see one of those, there's something called a mirror, hello!? So stop it with the twenty-five service messages, already? The ratio between real-people messages and docomo messages is depressingly skewed in the latter's favor. KNow what that makes me feel like? Super shitty! And what's with the chick-stuff? Blonde babes doing aerobics, dazzling models in gold swimwear (Oh help, where are my shades), unlimited download of most desired Namitha, mobile wallpaper of south booties, sorry, beauties Mamtha and Aishwariya (BARRRF), FOR CRYING OUT LOUD! You think I'm some kind of dyke? WOMAN here, people! Send me something like beautiful young men playing rugby in bare minimum, and THEN you have my attention. All this chica stuff, not happening! You're barking up the wrong tree. And is Rambo Forever video games the best you can do for me? Now I'm offended. How sexist are you, Doc?

So tell me, who writes your messages? The alliteration…whoa, too much. February fantasy, January jiggling, December ding-ding, November naaansense! You guys more cheesy than a double burst pizza, i say! And you send these messages during workhours. Don't you have any sense of ethics? These are man-hours that people are paying for WORK not for DOWNLOADING PICTURES OF SKIMPILY CLAD WOMEN FOR 30 RUPEES, ONLY!

And you must think me really dumb, no? Expecting me to believe when you tell me that Mr. Arun No-second-name and Mrs. Rani-no-second-name-again has won twenty seven mobiles each and it's my turn to win fifty android phones by answering how people at Docomo think, with a) their butt b) their brain. PUh-leaze! If you think I'm so stupid as to fall for that and part with three rupees to answer that, you are mistaken my friend. Such a dumb Doc you are! I mean, when you bullshit, try and bullshit a little convincingly. Give those people second names. and give those messages a little credibility with the benefit of punctuation ad grammar. Your messages read like this now, "Ms. Leela and Mr. Ramesh have won a mobile, wat u waiting for: Rose is a) Flower b) Alien." Do me a favor, save it! I know, to actually do something about it, i must dial some customer number, which i have no clue of, because you've not done anything useful like sending me THAT, oh no! But even if i dial some number, I'm afraid the CR person might try to force some horrid caller tune down my throat instead of helping me by ACTIVATING my Do no disturb profile. Doc, you must o something about this.
Yours most sincerely
dannie

Sunday, February 6, 2011

the undoing of me

I willed myself to ignore it. And it, in return, willed my eyes not to waver from its disgusting being. But this was me - dannie - who could refuse to acknowledge the existence of anything like it, without the slightest twinge of guilt. I could walk by its types, oblivious to their presence. But no, here i was, visibly disconcerted by it. Something had changed in me, and it made me as twitchy as jerry mouse being eyed by tom. I was entranced. It stuck to my thoughts. It grabbed me by my face and made me look at it like a forceful husband. It was a fingernail running down a glass pane and it wrecked my morning. Me, who was curled up on the sofa with a hot mug of black coffee, going about the business of having a good morning - basking in the mellow sunlight, now stared fixedly and stupidly into space. It was an itch, placed squarely and inconveniently in the middle of my back. And i was in unholy agony with the need to scratch it. A fly in my soup. A needle in my spring mattress. A little black ant in my perfect tide-detergent-white heaven!

Thus ensued the war of wills. Me still in denial (but failing miserably). It still stubbornly following my thoughts like a former lover-turned-stalker. It stared fixedly at me, making me look at it, against my wishes. I look the other way, it crashed a crystal vase inside my head. I directed my thoughts to something else, it overtook me and waylaid me in my getaway, like a cop in a seedy crime thriller. I distracted my self with a sip of coffee, it startled me with a yell. It was uncomfortable. And i was getting jumpy. But no, i refused to budge. And it refused to give up. All the while, it beckoned to me with its index finger, like seductresses do in movies. Wow, it even had well manicured, red fingernails.

Finally, it became too much to take. My resolve broke. I placed my cup on the floor and huffed to the kitchen. Got a rag. And wiped that miserable smudge off my perfect white floor. That stupid thing that had practically ruined my lovely morning coffee. Me, Dannilla, erstwhile reigning queen of unapologetic super messes, who could be blissfully unaware of hanging cobwebs, dust balls that one could go bowling with and colossal messes that could give the colosseum a complex, was getting affected by a tiny little spot on my floor. Oh heaven help. What on earth is going on?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Talking corp, talking crap. Poet-ate-o! Po-tah-toe!

Corporate talk has officially gone COO-COO (that's cuckoo for you uninitiated twerps) All this acronym business has gone out of hand. What is wrong with saying “For your information”? See when you talk business, you mean business. So if you opt to talk business in ambiguous acronyms - you're asking for trouble. Like FYI also expands into Fuck Yourself Immediately or Fuck Yourself Imbecile. Nice! I can just about imagine a nice email to the boss that reads… Dear Sir, FYI here are the figures you requested. See? Told you? There's just too much left to interpretation. Now if I were the boss, I could tell my dear lowlifes (cos that's what you are if you aren't the boss- anything below the boss is a lowlife. Take it from a lowlife) to spell it out. No ambiguity with me. Thank you very much. Not just that, FYI is so incredibly rude. I've only used it when I’m bickering with someone. And whenever anyone mentions FYI in their emails, I'm thinking "God! What did I do to piss you off, NOW?"
The experience of having someone throw abbreviations and acronyms at me, is not unlike searching for one particular song in a 100 GB iPod. Without a search button or a helpful happy doggy pawing the ground. Oh, I’m getting my OSes mixed here. But you know what I’m talking about, don't you? I have to jog my memory to place WTF is he/she talking about. Like when someone asks me "What's the POA?" I used to want to ask back "POA? If I knew what POA is, in the first place, perhaps, I could enlighten you about what THE POA is." But the first rule in the book of corporate rules is Act like you know - don't ask questions. And do it well. So I act. And give vague answers. Or simply act difficult. Which BTW, I don't have to do any acting for, because by nature, I'm difficult. So difficult, I could put it on my CV. But since it’s not like me to brag, I try to be modest about it. But thankfully, now I know what POA is and I see no chance of misplacing my POA. So, yeay for me!
So we were saying - acronyms. Funny how it sounds like paroxysm, no? For some reason, ASAP always made me think of Kiss my Ass. I refuse to think that has anything to do with the inherently difficult person that I am - but with the structure of the two - too much relation going on. Like they're first cousins or something. But it's poetic don't you think. It's almost like a knee jerk reflex. Someone says ASAP to someone else, to which someone else thinks 'Kiss my Ass'. If the someone else is a little politer, 'In your dreams', would be what they'd think. By ASAP somehow awakens the green hulk monster in most of us and the aforementioned someone is treated to an ugly green rear end.
Then you have POVs which sounds like something you'd stuff up people's rearends, if their corporate rearends weren't so stuffy already.
and PFA which sounds like a choice south Indian abuse
and CTR. This one had me look at with my head tilted at several and different degrees. Every time I saw it on my joblist, I'd freak out. CTR? What the hell is CTR. Am I in trouble? Am I in trouble. Mayday. Mayday. Where is the damn papercup? Then i stopped panicking. Cos Client To Revert looks a lot nicer on your jobstat than "this lazy ass hasn't begun work yet!"
and BAU Business As usual, people. The corporate jungle is like a prison movie and we're all just bitches. So let's hear you say bau bau!

and then there are not so common ones which are very, very entertaining if not anything else.

AFLO - Another flipping learning opportunity
AHYOA - Asshole of the Year award. The award which probably holds the world records for its sheer number of contenders. (including yours truly, heh heh)
BEER - This one's just asking for trouble. Imagine this baby popping up in the 72nd slide of a 300-slide PPT? You might as well have a farewell party for your attention span. You've lost your audience. Rush to the "Thank you" slide with the dufus smiley and do your good deed for the day. Sad though, considering how pompous and grand sounding its expansion is in factuality - such promise it had. check out what i found on the net. Behaviour, Effect, Expectation, Results. The headings by which to assess performance of anything, particularly a new initiative. A great discipline when working with a team or delegating another to conduct a review, when it's important to keep the review focused. HA HA HA that's wishful thinking!!

But now for the mother of all stupid corporate acronyms. An acquaintance I made last week. And since I heard it with my own ears, I know it's in circulation among the who's who of the biggies. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you BHAG - pronounced beehag. I'll give you a moment here. I know! I know! It’s a little too much to take. Smarties who have heard of the term before, don't show off. Stop doing your ho-hum routine, already. Okay now, back to our lesson in strange corporate talk. (Geez, imagine how these corp folk would pillowtalk. Ugh!)
Back to BHAG. No, it has nothing to do with that bitch slash hag some of you might call boss. And it's not a term given to the boss-shagger. You have to admit it brings to mind 'shag'. BHAG is a Big Hairy Audacious Goal. WTF, i say!! Why God, why? In this age of degeneration..there is such degeneration. Big Hairy Audacious Goal for crying out loud!! It brings to mind, at least my mind, a viking with bramble bushes for armpits. Why viking? Cos somehow it reminds me of Hagar the Horrible. And it brings to mind many other things. But it certainly doesn't make me think of any Audacious Goal. It makes me think of things too gross to mention. Ewww. To think in these days of political correctness which renders every conversation a potential landmine, it's alright for BHAG to be part of the vision/mission/dishum dishum statements!! Like I said, it's all gone COO-COO!

P.S. My apologies to all of you who will be COOs someday.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

morning blues

Feeling hungry first thing in the morning sucks. First thing, not like in, when you just wake up. Then you can do something about it, like have breakfast - for instance. But feeling hungry well after you've shined your shoes, done with your first round of cribbing and griping about having to go to work and officially begun your day - reconciled to the fact you must earn your daily bread so you're sharpening your pencils to write some piss-in-your-pants-great copy - that sucks. How on earth are you supposed to focus on the aforementioned history creating copy when your stomach is staging its own dharna and non-cooperation movement inside you? It hogs the media space of your attention span. But of course, you're made of sterner stuff. So we steel the nerves and put up resistance. Mental police do the danda and lathi charge and the teargas thingy. And then things start to get dirty. Very dirty.

Hunger takes the guerilla warfare route. And attacks you where you least expect it to - far from the source of trouble. Aaah, very sneaky! But this is guerilla warfare, remember? Expect the unexpected and all that jazz! So while you're sending reinforcements by focusing mental energies to the most obvious place like every other fool government in the history of guerilla warfare has, hunger launches its line of attack elsewhere. Begin grenade attack on the prime fortress where the king and queen and the prime minister are. And you have a fucking headache. Now you're superscrewed. For, now you have two things to focus on, instead of one. The head's not working so good anymore, people! So with this lack of judgment, you make a lot of unwise decisions - like being prompted to try drinking the gook they pass off as coffee in the flask. BAD MOVE! God in heaven, have you felt this pukey before? Now you know what battery acid or Surf Ultra water probably tastes like. Only thing is, this new experience doesn't work well on an empty stomach. AND THIS IS NOT THE RIGHT TIME FOR EXPANDING YOUR HORIZON OF NEW EXPERIENCES. Malayalees the world over call this the "Veyndairunnu" situation. It's your regular SNAFU situation with a good measure of regret.
By now you need your fingers to count all those things you're trying to counter - hunger, headache, pukey-feeling and Veyndairunnu (inclusive of regret). As you might have noticed, work or deadlines or a sense of duty don't even come in the picture. Not that you have any business countering those sentiments at work. Let me make this clear - they don't pay you for that. So you're bereft of any enthusiasm to work and you feel like shit and you've forgotten about history-making copy. And to top it all off, if you're anything like me and have a clinical condition of being distracted, you might as well shut down your system and call it a day. At 11.30 am.