Thursday, November 10, 2011

From here to eternity

Masked, unmasked
Blemished, unblemished
Baggaged, unbaggaged
Guarded, unguarded
Hysterical, sane
Always been the 2 of you
From here to eternity...

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Reality vs Dreams


All of us – tomboys-drama queens, low maintenance-high maintenance, good girls-rebels had our ‘perfect guy’ dreams. Most of us did not ever make such lists, these lists are very subliminal, made through trial and error during teenage and early twenties and maybe now when we are in our mid-twenties, the sacred list is more or less frozen (or maybe I’ll look at this 10 years from now and say, 25 year olds are so smug. Little did she know!)
So without much ado and armed with a sample set of preferences from my girlfriends, let’s define this elusive, ever-changing list shall we?

At 13
·         Resembles ________ (fill in the blanks with nick carter/Justin timberlake/ronan keating etc)
·         Likes to dance at mixed parties (unlike other boys his age who think they are ‘too cool’ for dancing)
·         Knows all the Backstreet Boys songs by heart
·         Very popular in school but thinks I am the cutest girl in the class
·         Makes me laugh
·         Remembers birthdays and most importantly Valentine’s Day!!

At 17
·         Resembles _______ (kurt cobain/eddie vedder/jim Morrison etc)
·         Not only does he know all of Nirvana by heart, but can play an instrument (preferably the guitar) and if he’s in a band, he’s golden
·         Long hair, facial hair is preferable – the scruffier, the more bad boy the look, the better
·         Girls throw themselves at him but only I rock his world
·         Makes me laugh
·         Has read more than 1 book in his life besides jim morrison’s biography

At 21
·         At this point, he does not need to resemble anyone, but tall, dark and handsome does help
·         Trips on Pink Floyd, Led Zep, The Beatles (must think Waters>Gilmour, John>Paul)
·         Can hold lengthy discourses on the auteurs and whether the simpsons is a better show than south park in the same breath
·         Has read a lot of Kafka, Hemingway, Orwell but his favourite books are Tolkein, Pratchett and Asimov
·         Makes me laugh

At 25
And herein lies the change, the big leap. Suddenly the list as you know it is dissolved and you realise that it’s all about the je ne sais quoi…that certain something that he has that you love. Yes, he is good looking, witty and sarcastic and reads/listens to/watches everything you love or respect but that’s not why. It’s so much more, it’s an indefinable quality and then you tear away all your lists and realise that hey, for once, reality does trump dreams.


Monday, September 5, 2011

Maximum City


I have a strange fondness for Bombay. I lived there for all of 1 year, and that 1 year was probably the most confusing of my life. But when I landed in Bombay a few months ago after a gap of 1 year, this strong wave of nostalgia hit me. In the black and yellow taxi, from airport to parel, that feeling kept getting stronger. The roads, the buildings, the smells, heck even the taxi drivers – everything was so familiar and strangely so mine
And then it struck me, this love for Bombay, where it came from…Bombay was where I think I finally became an adult. Delhi had always been home, with the comfortable cushioning of family, friends and familiarity…Ahmedabad, where I met so many like minded people and had 2 years of unabashed fun was more like a community…Bangalore too was easier, because 11 of us started our careers together, lived together and became each other’s support systems so quickly. But Bombay was where I was truly alone. It should not have been so; my boyfriend lived in the city. But things started disintegrating fast between us. I lived alone for the first time in my life. And it was not pleasant; I remember working till 9 every night, spending an hour in the gym after that just to tire myself out so that I would pass out from sheer exhaustion every night. I remember living from weekend to weekend, during the weekdays my friends and I didn’t usually meet – we lived too far away and it was our first year of work, so much to prove! So it was during weekends that we’d actually chill and party and suddenly those weekends became like us rising out of the water to grab a few desperate breaths before going under again.
It was where I got my heart broken (clich├ęd but true) for the first time in my life. And I want to tell you that I was strong and that I held my head high. But I wasn’t. I was a wreck. But I had this 1 wonderful friend, an unexpected friend who somehow made me forget the mess a little.
Bombay was all about new things, things that Delhi Tanvi would have never dreamt of, and no I am not talking about all that…but more about just being…a day at Colaba, just by myself…walking along Carter Road, observing people…talking to the Sales staff at stores for hours and actually building a rapport with them! Imagine hoity-toity me! Hardly, I think all traces of snobbery were left behind in Bombay…their problems became my problems, and I don’t think I’d ever felt so involved in so many people’s lives. My colleagues tell me they still ask about me (it’s been 1.5 years since I left Bombay) and it’s such a heady, beautiful feeling…to have made a mark on these people!
Bombay to go– never-ending nights…chatty cabbies…navigating ways and wonderful discoveries…kind strangers and random conversations…neediness and heartbreaks…unexpected friends…conversations that made me forget the worst, cigarette breaks …hot gym instructors and first love for watches…new people skills and wee bit more street smarts………………………………. learning how to be by myself, be alone…and for that I will always love Bombay.  If Delhi is the love of my life, then Bombay is that 1 intense fling, the one that you can never quite forget and which makes you wonder ‘what if…’ from time to time…
Someday, I’ll tell you about Delhi, the true love of my life. But it won’t be the Delhi you know; it’ll be Tanvi’s Delhi. And that requires toooo many pages!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Once a fat girl…


She used to be fat. Not grotesquely so, just plain fat. She remembered parties, of her enthusiasm and dread. Of looking in the mirror at her svelte friends getting ready and telling herself that the day she lost weight she’d be better than all of them. Look at those large dark eyes and brows, and that chiselled nose…and those cheeks would surely be cheekbones when she lost weight wouldn’t they? And that indent in her waist would be deeper and everyone would notice it…till then she had her dreams, her books, her music and her acidic tongue to keep the insults at bay…
And then one day she was thin. She didn’t really know how it happened, but there were collarbones and cheekbones and pelvic bones…and all she did was run…nothing crash about it, nothing she did to get the attention of that dreamy teenage boy, the stuff that all young adult fiction is made of…she just ran a lot, she had always wanted to…one day she allowed herself to, setting her inhibitions aside and then she felt free…she just kept running…
In retrospect, she looked better than she thought she would…she wasn’t athletic, but she was nicely curvy…her legs weren’t willowy, but they were strong and defined…her face was chiselled and striking…did she gain the much vaunted confidence?
She got a lot of attention, people she’d known all her life suddenly did not recognise her, men looked at her twice, women looked at her askance, became a little cautious around her…and she revelled in it…suddenly she could experiment with her looks, wear what she wanted, dance the coquette routine…
Being good looking and thin was her drug…she ignored everything else in that quest…when her peers were studying hard to reach their dream colleges and b-schools she was trying to lose that elusive 1 inch to fit into that gorgeous dress…her natural gumption carried her thru 3 yrs of college, but where once she could shut everyone in the room with her intelligence and knowledge, now she could only do so with her looks and superficial charm…
Every iota of her being was involved in how to be the best looking in a room, any room…and the sad part of it was that she wasn’t…she was a good looking girl…stunning on a given day, and regular on another…she wasn’t beautiful…she knew that, she thought she accepted it, but clearly she didn’t…
Her entire self-worth was based on how people perceived her looks…if X didn’t compliment her, she’d be down, not knowing why…but if Y said she wasn’t anything special she’d be in a funk for days, knowing why, but not wanting to do anything about it…
Her friends and boyfriends grew cautious around her…they couldn’t compliment another, without her asking them to draw comparisons…conversations began well, but disintegrated into ‘on a scale of 1 to 10 how good looking do you think I am?’…and god forbid if anyone said she’d gained weight! Ceaseless interrogation…self-pity…crash diets would inevitably follow…
It’s sad really…to chronicle her journey thus far…what followed? Did she let the fat girl with all her insecurities die? Did she find herself, the real her? Or did she perish in her quest for physical beauty?
Well that is a story for another day, another state of mind…I’ll keep you posted…

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Natural born killer

An excerpt from the short story I am writing (which may never see the light of day, knowing my restless ways) -


She waited for exactly 2 seconds after his last breath, 2 costly seconds as the alarm could be raised anytime. But this was the one concession she allowed herself, the one time where she forgot her usual sterile efficiency - the fruits of her effort. Because she wasn’t just an assassin, she was a killer. The satisfaction of a kill – that was her release. She didn’t know what that made her, or what made her like that, and she didn’t care. They couldn’t make a movie on her, movies gave justifications. A horrific act witnessed as a child, mum didn’t love you enough, your daddy raped you – not her life. Her past was nondescript. She was a natural born killer.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Friends and Lovers - Part 1

Dance Tanvi, dance like no one's watching...Can't fight the moonlight...

7 am outside PVR. Under the stairs. On a school day. 'How useless are you Tanvi? Now hold the cigarette, inhale. Yea.....no no...stop coughing woman. You're just not made for smoking. Chuck it'

'Alright ladies, its the 3 of us, game of 21. Whoever loses treats the other 2'. Every afternoon. Class 12. Basketball court. Business Studies class.

'Do you think I am pretty?' 'Yes' 'But do you think I am hot?' 'I don't see you like that Tanvi'

The key is inside the car. We are outside. The umbrella's turned inside out. We are in white spaghettis. It's raining.

Yes, let's go to Big Chill. Though I have to warn you, I am rather Red today.

We cannot do this. What will she say?

Wait...you can't wear that dress! Wear the blue one...Hold on, I'll get Poddy on Conference...
Saturday evening con calls, before every party...
No Way! He did NOT say that? Oooo, did you see that chic? The one who was totally hitting on....Hold on, I'll get Neha on conference....
Sunday afternoon con calls, after every party....

Tanvi can you teach me systems?
But I'll flunk policy if I do
And I'll flunk systems if you don't
Alright let's do systems

Sim Cats and Idlis. Every Monday and Wednesday.
Mock Cats and Bhel. Every Tuesday and Thursday.


Avi, let's do Z....zeitgeist, zephyr, zionism...now you string a sentence with these 3, so that I can remember...

...But you're only 20

You'll always be my girl from ipanema

Hi...We have 3 hours before our interview, you wanna head to American Diner to kill time?

Friday, January 7, 2011

Noir Dreams

Befitting to start the blog with this post...

My fascination with film noir began long before I could fully comprehend the subtle layers, the lighting and the composition, the subtly sinister atmosphere, the cynicism and the thrumming sexual undertone. I was all of 12 when I first saw The Big Sleep, and I fell in love with Philip Marlowe and Vivian Rutledge. To me they personified the private eye with an acid tongue and the dame with secrets. Everything - the black and white visuals, the tightly wound narrative, the brilliant denouement and even the jaunty angles of their hats - thrilled me to my core. To this day, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall are up there on the pedestal for me which no other actor can touch.

As I grew older, these movies started unraveling their layers for my eyes. Double Indemnity revealed itself to be about sexual obsession and confused betrayals rather than just trying and failing to pull off the perfect crime, Gaslight turned out to be about the extent that greed can push you to destroy another's life, Sunset Boulevard was an actress's slow descent into fanstasy, madness and utter, impotent desperation. It was no longer about the femme fatale and the anti hero in a crisply unfolding whodunnit, It was about about the darker, more potent side of human nature portrayed so well at a time when MGM was producing technicolor candy floss extravaganzas by the score.

Maybe I should have specified this earlier, I am no expert of the genre, nor a film critic (which I am sure is amply clear by now), to me these movies were about a great escape. Yes, I know, escape from the big bad world to a murkier, macabre landscape hardly sounds like escape. But escape it was, to a place where men and women gave in to their desires (whether good or bad) without moralising, where endings were not always happy, where the lines between good and bad were blurred or non-existent. 

Noir Dreams....I see some episodes of my life in noir. Walking back at night alone, a chance meeting with an acquaintance who always made me uneasy for undefinable reasons, on the ledge of a terrace drinking with friends, at a dimly lit bar waiting for someone and so many other ineffable, undefinable moments .

I think I've started the blog with an ominous tone, but as the name suggests,  I intend to be extremely capricious, so expect my next post to be in an entirely different tangent and as cacophonous as this one:-)

In the meantime, dream some noir dreams with me.Watch A Touch of Evil, The Postman Always Rings Twice, Gilda, The Maltese Falcon, Dial M for Murder, Strangers on a Train, The Lady from Shanghai and lose yourself in the low key lighting, the edge-of-the-seat plots, the femme fatales in their tilted hats and feel the deep seated thrill of it all.


Much Love