Saturday, April 29, 2006

resurrected roaches

There is a new companion in my life.

Two days ago, I stepped on a cockroach in my bathroom. She gave a flat kind of crack and yellow-green paste came out of the sides of her abdomen. After a few minutes, she started twitching feebly, so I left her and got on with my life.
The next day, in the morning, she was gone. I though nothing of it until I found her in the corner, on her back, legs curled up. She sensed me looking at her, and twitched her legs and waved her antennae. I ignored her again.
Tonight, she was still on her back... but, now on the other side of the room. When I switched on the light, there were some smaller 'roaches around her, and they scurried off. What did you think... they were giving her get-well-soon cards? The intestinal loops and solidifying paste she had been dragging around the last 48 hours were gone. They had been eating her alive, in the dark.

A cockroach lives 2 years, a human seventy. A human will die without water in three days. This is around 0.0117% of his life. By that logic, a cockroach should die in 2.06 hours without water. This one has been twitching happily for close to 72 hours now.

Great. The assorted ecology of my apartment can now be expanded to include an undead cockroach.

I shall call her Mallika.

scents and sensibility

it's incredible what a vivid - and emotionally powerful - trigger, a smell is.
Every time my roommate lights a cigarette, it's not that first sting just in your nose that goes up into your sinuses in a warm rush... it reminds me so much of being a child.
Summer evenings in a dark verandah in a series of huge, rambling colonial bungalows all over UP. Purple sky, stars just coming out. Breeze. Peace. Security. No worries.
These used to be the times when my dad would usually be back and be sitting outside with the evening chai... and usually this would be the first time in the day I'd smell it. This was before the job, before hostels, before college, before tutions, before even a bicycle-equipped friend circle. Most of the time between when I was old enough to walk and old enough to be allowed out of the house on my own - this was a defining smell, a scent that said my dad's home... later we'd sit and chat. And I'm always going to remember this smell with him, and my wanting to be like him.
I don't get this memory when I actually take the first drag, or even when I light up myself - that has a whole other set of associations. Teens. Adventure and guilt. Breaking rules. It happens only when someone else around me lights up - especially with a wood match.

I can quit smoking. I can't quit wanting to smoke. Right uptil when I actually do.

Thursday, April 27, 2006


I stood up today and as usual, someone tried to cut my head off.
What is it about being good at something that automatically makes people assume you're trying to be better and go after you with a chainsaw? Yaar, I'm being me. I'm not interested in being faster / smarter / stronger than you. I don't give a rat's ass about you. But somehow not being treated to rodent posteriors makes people all excitable and competitive.
These days, I tend to zone out at work... I don't know if it's the result of my vascular system finally getting back on line, or the awla snacks, or the weather, or incipient nervous breakdowns, or what; Life has become a videogame again, and I'm on a winning streak. Have started losing all sense of time... it's nice. Last I felt like this was during my 12th boards, when tunnel vision made life so much less complicated.
As long as I know where I'm going, that is.
2 days ago, I crossed a break point. I just stood back and thought, there really isn't much point struggling with this; I'm going to get jacked by something out of my list of 127 things to do before 9 PM, so might as well let it be #1. Since then, I've been surfing along the catastrophe curve and nothing's happening. Unless I stick my neck out, like today morning. Nah. It's more fun this way.


Thursday, April 13, 2006


I'm on another health trip again. It's been close to 60 hours now, and I've slipped back only once.
Everything they say is true. The world is sharper. Louder. Brighter. Tastes better, smells... more, this being Bombay. But I have this undercurrent of restless manic jittery energy all the time... any more and it'll be twitchy.
I'm walking everywhere, and it doesn't matter how hot it gets. I arrive in office every morning dripping sweat. I arrive home every evening bathed in it. I'm sleeping earlier. The dreams haven't started yet, but it's a matter of time. In a couple of days my bodyclock will readjust and I can throw away the alarm clock.
Although I say this every time, this might actually be it. I've found something stronger. 12 years' conditioning for responding to feelings of satiety, stress, pleasure, relaxation, boredom, intoxication with a cigarette is being beat.
And sorry, I'm not saying what it is... you have to find your angels yourself.
The post-food periods are the worst, though. I actaully progress to twitchiness for a quarter-hour around then.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

is an extramarital affair a sin?

One of you, dear readers, will have already read this... please excuse

self-denial to oneself the pleasures of life, whether food, or mood-altering substances, or the pleasures of the flesh.

how do you define virtue?
something you do for the good of all society around you, that develops into a set of societal norms. Cleanliness was a virtue because your fleas couldn't spread the Black Death. Fidelity is a virtue because you can't spread HIV.
But substance abuse? A virtue because you don't rob and murder to finance your habit? A slight stretch... so many other things that you can do the same to finance... but playing the stockmarket isn't a sin. Nor is choosing Gleddenfich over Mera No. 1.
Or having an affair. Whether you hurt others (or even just one person) is not a given. But do you by extension, by example, hurt society? Only according to the accepted norms... and how relevant are they? If you encourage by example everyone to sleep around, are you also indirectly leading to the demise of the human race via STD epidemics?

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Telecaller: Sir aap postpaid use karte ho ya prepaid?
Me: Madam aap postpaid hain ya prepaid?
Telecaller: Sir aap jo chaho ge... agar aap chaho prepaid to hum prepaid bhi hain, aur agar postpaid chahte hain to postpaid bhi hain.
Me: hmmm...

wonder what she was selling...