Friday, December 04, 2009

Never say never

I have never been a girly-girl, or cursi as my dear friend R would say. I wear skirts, and dangling earrings, but I'm not "put together"; I don't do "outfits"; I just throw stuff together, check to see it doesn't clash horribly, wiggle to see if I'm comfy, and am out the door. I also never do anything much with my hair - I manage to comb it once every three days. Sometimes less. I usually yank it back into a ponytail, scraped tight because I hate wisps.

But no, I have suddenly caught myself becoming one of those girls!

It all started with BBot telling me I should part my hair on the side. Then he moved on to ohhh don't tie it up you look so pretty, followed by stealing of hair bands. Then I found a haircutter (much like a woodcutter?) who gave me bangs. And another one who gave me MORE, and shorter, bangs. Which are pretty and all, but when I wash my hair and it's doing it's curly-wavy thing, it's a horror.

So, from a girl who washes her hair, grabs a hair tie and scrapes it back into a ponytail or a bun, I have become a girl who washes her hair, blow dries and irons the front, and then ties back the wet hair in the usual bun, with bangs framing my face.

I have also started dressing "together"! A lot has to do with acquiring trendy clothes that FIT, and getting over some body issues, but put the two together and look! I'm a whole other person!

I also used to say, that once I acquired a SigOth, I would not be one of those people who stops hanging out with her friends, and spends all her time home with boy, or hanging out with other couples.


Fat chance.

Whod'a thunk it?

Thursday, December 03, 2009


(aside) I have the workout tingles again!

This morning, in the shower, I found myself humming. What! you cry, the HORROR! HUMMING! in the SHOWER!!
Yes, yes, pipe down, it's perfectly normal, I know.
However, I only ever hum in the shower when I'm very serene and content. Which, in the light of the the events of October and November, is surprising!

The Roommate left for greener pastures in March this year, and since OOF found himself homeless, it made a lot of sense for him to move in. Which he did. To the horror of pretty much everyone who has known us a long time. Ah how right they were =) I'll spare you all the details, but after six months of happy happy joy joy love love, it all kinda exploded, and it turned out that little, if any at all, had changed from our earlier relationship. Well, with the exception of my being in love with him, thereby rendering my doormatness even less justified. And us being considerably older, and therefore even less justification for childish behaviour on both sides. But he's gone now, back to Mommy thank the lord, and I'm left alone in my beloved flat.

At first I was horribly sad. There were at least two episodes of sobbing. Then, I was tense, because he was around and I just wanted closure! Put two passive aggressive drama queens in a complicated situation and you bet there's a ton of drama! After he left, I was relieved, intensely so - until I was livid at his parting behaviour, which really should not have surprised me in the least, since I have always quietly accepted his unacceptable behaviour and neither called him on it nor made him deal with the consequences, so why shouldn't he expect that I clean up his trash after he moves out?

I got past the anger, at myself for thinking he could change and caring so much that he do so, with some serious cuddles from the BBot, and settled down to unease. I was just jittery in my own house. I didn't want to be there alone. Some of this might have to do with reading the Twilight Saga (STOP at book 3 people!), but I was seriously unsettled by my extreme reluctance to be in my own home! I mean, I LOVE being home!

This past weekend, Momma sternly told me to be a grown up and stay in my own house, which I did. And all week I've been joyously coming home to curl up in bed at 10pm, and partake of my own, very scintillating thank you very much, company. This morning was wonderful - getting out of my toasty bed into the cold winter air, going to the gym and coming back, making tea with the kitchen windows open, and lounging on the couch in my OWN mess. I find that, even though I've always been the kind of person who likes company - someone else somewhere doing their own thing - I am equally happy on my own.

Now, if I could only find a maid...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Zindagi ke do ghante Kurbaan.

And I'll never get them back either.

On friday, the boyfriend (also known as BBot), for reasons not even known by him anymore, went into a frenzy of excitement, because Kurbaan was out on Friday. "PLEASEPLEASEPLEASECANWEGOSEEIT???" he said, and so, against my better judgement I booked us tickets for a show on Sunday.

Unfortunately, my very favourite laugh-till-you-split movie review site had one up on saturday, and since we all know MinCat has no self control, I read it. It was all downhill from there.

I will refrain from commenting on the incredible facts of the movie, the cop shooting, the MTA subway that really looks nothing like the subway, the patheticness of Kareena clinging to Saif at the end, etc. But I cannot let the stereotypes go.

Essentially, according to this movie, if you are Muslim, and either wear a beard or a hijab, you're a terrorist.


In a multireligious, already tense society, full of people who think movies are real, and people who go and see the movies only because so-and-so is in it, the potential for danger is insane. Isn't there enough prejudice and violence in the world today without gratuitously adding to it? Seriously, considering the long and illustrious Muslim heritage of the male lead, and his education and general intelligence, how on EARTH did he let it happen?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


I was reading the paper the other day, (before you get the wrong idea, it was because I was bored and at the Air India office), and I read something in the op-ed column of the TOI about us having too much choice. It's a theme that's been running in my head too, because, of course, it's time for MinCat's biennial life crisis.

I'm much happier in Hyderabad than I've been anywhere else, yes even in New York. I acquired a wonderful group of friends, places to go, music I like, had two fabulous flatmates (though one did go down the toilet, and some might say I should have expected it. Heck even I say that), and wonder of all wonders, found a boy willing to date me (after much coaxing, drama, patience etc.). The job doesn't suck too much either, apart from the usual brown nosing desi manager stuff. I'm right by the rents, talk many times a day, see them every weekend. It's lovely.

And yet I'm discontent.


Sometimes I think it's because I really am meant for something strange and quirky, like teaching languages in foreign countries. Sometimes I think I'm too lazy to put my back into it and chip away at the difficulties of other, more conventional, careers until I have something I can hold on to. Sometimes I think I AM happy, just convinced that, with the myriad of choices out there, there's something "better".

Which led me to wonder if maybe that's our malaise; even if we get what we wanted, our discontent grows because of all the things we are told we can have - whether or not we really can have them.


I’m reading the first book in the series, and am quite impressed by the humour and the general refusal to be twee. But mostly I’m soppy and gooey over the lil’ teenage romance. The last time I’ve absolutely-HAD-TO-keep-reading-even-though-I-was-scared was Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s The Shadow of the Wind. The story there was bewitching and complex and totally enthralled me. I sat up till 4am, in the middle of my bed, fearfully looking up every so often just waiting for Julián Carax to swoop in and attack me with knife or fire. The second I was done, I leapt up, dragged a mattress into my parents’ room and slept on the floor. Last night, in the middle of Twilight, I was curled in a ball, cuddling my best man, Apollo, close, with my back to the wall. Then I gave up and went to sleep to go the gym this morning. But I was reading all the way to work.

Of course I’m wondering why it’s having this effect on me. Kudos to Stephanie Meyer, but it really isn’t “dreamy prose” or scintillating or anything much more than teen litt with vampires. And one of those wildly hyperbolic love stories.

That’s just it, right there.
Hyperbolic love.
Teenage love.
Where the other person is your EVERYTHING – best friend, lover, soulmate; where all you need to be around each other; where you can’t imagine anything without them and every second apart is terrible agony; where other people are annoying distractions; where the only possible timeline is “forever”.

It’s a kind of love I have never experienced.

Compare this to adult love, cynical love, with your defences always up somewhere; with a back-up plan, and “let’s see how it goes”; with not letting the other person know how much they mean to you so you can be left with a shred of self-respect and another of dignity should anything go wrong… it’s a long list. And it has its advantages, I’m not denying that. But maybe the reason I am drawn to this book like Bella is to Edward is because I’m living vicariously: I’ll never have a shot at feeling that first hand.

Monday, October 26, 2009

In which I am too reliable.

Did anyone ever think they could be TOO reliable? I never did.

I know it drives me crazy when people don't answer their phones, and then don't call back; or make plans and then don't come through and don't let me know, etc. My family is very trust-based and so on, so growing up I've always done what I wanted - as long as I let them know where I was and when I'd be home. Course now I don't live with them, but I usually go by on weekends, and then they need me to sign stuff and so on, so again I always let them know when I'll be there, and let them know if I'm delayed.

I also always answer the phone - or call back soon. My phone is only off when on a place. (Yes, I'm an addict.)

This Sunday, I was due to go home and sign something at 930am. I fell asleep with my phone, on low battery, in another room, and thus missed my alarm, missed their frantic calls, and eventually the phone died. I woke up at noon and promptly called just in time to stop the search parties. The SigOth, who was contacted in a disturbing manner (Appa called his dad's office and got his dad's cellphone number, so SigOth was treated to the joyous event of having his father say, SigOth, MinCat's dad wants to talk to you), also panicked. Neither he nor Appa has the numbers of most of my friends and so began the mad calling to find someone's number. They even called The Roommate in another city!!!

Everyone was relieved, if with slightly shortened lives when I woke up and called and slunk home to marinate in guilt.

So does that mean I'm TOO reliable? Because if people think that only Terrible Things can keep me from keeping appointments and answering my phone, clearly the bar is insanely high.
Or does that mean I wasn't reliable enough, and I should have given Appa all the numbers of all my friends - though in this case it would only have spread the panic.
All in all it was an eventful weekend. For many people.
My poor SigOth. The double whammy heartattack of "he's calling my dad to tell him to keep me away from him innocent lil' daughter" and "MinCat's missing" can't have been nice on a Sunday morning.

I must, however, waggle my hand in the air to point out gently, to SigOth, that he NEVER answers his phone! And every time it happens, I have a mild heart attack, especially when I've called him five times in five hours, and have heard nothing back. So maybe we all just like to panic?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Great "Dearth of Good Men" Debate

All usual disclaimers apply. Please remember I'm trying to make a theory about relationships, and no-one is evil, no not even MEN. Please remember I'm drawing on personal experience, the experience of people close enough to me to discuss this stuff, and those I have had the chance to observe. This is a small sample set and I am fully aware of this. (Of course, this entire post is coloured by what I’m going through right now, with my, for want of a better word, relationship. So if there is any particular man (hah) to whom you think I am referring, it's not you, it's him.)

A conversation with a male friend over lunch yesterday sparked of a raging fury of debate. While discussing relationships, or our lack thereof, a friend said it’s a pity there’s such a dearth of good men, men with whom one could go out. From there we ended up with the male friend articulating his understanding of the dynamics based on his observations and experience over the years. In highly simplified terms:
  1. Men need novelty, and, post the hormonal honeymoon stage of a relationship, begin to be bored by the woman with whom they are.
  2. Men always feel an implied teleological pressure from women, towards marriage, no matter what stage the relationship is at, or what they’ve decided or what level of commitment has been articulated. (This led to some debate about social and emotional pressure etc, which is another post.)
These two factors combine to push the relationship into a crisis, out of which there are only two exits – compromise to commitment, or part ways.

After the hour of furious discussion I proceeded to continue the subject with The Bride.

I began by stating that novelty is nonsense – just a bunch of ridiculous clichés that men like to wave about to excuse their inability to take responsibility for their behavior and their emotions, and the consequences of both for their relationships. But she convinced me that novelty is not a strange desire at all – many women want it too, several women I know are comfortable with open relationships and so on. The problem, according to her, is that men want the novelty – permutations and combinations of people and positions, possibly from too much porn – along with the stability of having an intelligent (but not as intelligent as them) comforting woman waiting at home, which is extremely unfair to the woman with whom they decide to be pseudo-stable. Of course they might only have consented to the pseudo-stability because of #2 in the male case, but I don’t know many men who are okay with open relationships where the women exercise their right to er roam.

Fair enough; everyone wants what they want, and is entitled to trying to get it. The aspect that bothers me here is that most of the people I know act as if this as something to which men are entitled, and any woman with them, in collaboration with the universe, has to ensure they get it. It being whatever it is they want. There’s an incredible amount of pressure on women to accommodate men. Most often, when a woman has a complaint about a man around another man or around other women the immediate reaction is, but he’s a guy, they think differently what to do…

The Bride then raised the point that there’s pressure on men to accommodate us as well - men don't want to sit around talking about your day every evening or whatever, yet there is pressure on them to do that in a relationship. This is true. However, it’s not because the women necessarily want to know everything about the office – frankly it’s boring after a point. But the reason I listen when he unloads is because it is a way for us to connect, because we both spend a considerable part of the day apart, and when we’re together we’re tired, we have social things to do, mundane things to do etc, and talking about my day and listening to him talk about his is a way for me to be connected to his life and vice versa. Why do this, one might ask? Because, you have to take an interest in this person’s life, simply because it is their life, and since you care about them, by extension you care about their life.

The fact is, when you care about someone and are in a relationship, then you both have to give a little. And, while both of your giving must be acknowledged, neither of you has the right to resent that giving, or deserves a medal for doing it, because by doing it you’re keeping the relationship alive, and each person benefits in some self-centred (by which I mean centred on themself) way.

Some men make the case that they DO give, and it’s never appreciated.* I don’t know how true this is – I’m pretty sure I’ve made every effort to acknowledge effort myself, and I’ve only seen one, maybe two, relationships where the woman does that. The Bride said that, to some extent, the way most modern relationships are conceived and presented, there’s a lot of cuddly stuff and emotional chat which goes on endlessly, which probably comes naturally in the beginning, but is hard for men to sustain. Yet, most women expect it to be kept up. Again, I’m not entirely sure I agree that (a) everyone buys into that conceptual definition of a relationship – quite the opposite in my observation, (b) the relationship doesn’t find its own rhythm once the honeymoon is over, which has some sort of optimal level of both, or (c) the men don’t like it. However, even if I did accept that, I’d have to raise the other big stumbling block – the fact that as time goes on most women’s sex drives decline and yet they are expected to continue to keep men happy. My point is, there’s something someone’s forcing themselves to do at either end.

It’s a relationship – you have to make an effort. It won’t work like magic – that would be the hormonal period. Perhaps the Dearth of Good Men is better articulated as the Dearth of Men Willing to Make an Effort.

Which brings us to the question: What is Effort?

Everyone accepts, perhaps reluctantly or with protest, that men and women are different in their means of communication; they don’t think the same way; they want different things and express themselves differently. There are fundamental things that are just different. However, when you care about someone and you have a divide, something that hinders communication, and you know it exists, and you have something important to convey, you make an effort to step out of your comfort zone and either understand like the other person, or communicate like the other person. You might not succeed, but the effort makes a difference. It doesn’t have to be every time, or entirely one person’s effort in the relationship, but overall, there has to be effort on both sides.

I find men are much more reluctant to make the effort than women are, but then again, women who get used to the effort cease to notice it.

The Bride then jumped in and said that I was assuming here that if there's some crucial issue, the solution is to communicate, which is the female solution. The male solution is to bury the issue or their head in the sand, and it actually works very well among men. So, instead of expecting them to communicate, what if we decided to step over to their side and bury? But then, our solution works very well between women, so how come men don’t say, yaar we have to communicate, it’s the female solution it works among women, and it’s just how they are? Because, she pointed out (which never occurred to me) actually that's what happens 90 percent of the time. Ninety percent of the time it’s taken for granted that communication is the right way, and men are forced to do it.

But what happens when we bury the big issues? I mean, there’s a REASON why it eventually comes down to communication. Also, burying is a form of communication too, it communicates that the person doesn’t want to acknowledge/address/deal with the issue.

Which brings us to the conclusion that: maybe there's some crucial male perspective that we're missing.


* Personally, I don’t know a guy who doesn’t do something unexpected and then hop up and down saying “See! See! Looky what I did! Gimme cookie!!” But people say women have a natural tendency to emphasise when they fail and not the ten times they were there, which, again, I have only seen in those two relationships I mentioned before. I’d say there’s plenty of acknowledgement when things are done, and I know for sure that I do it.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Zen and the art of midnight blogging

A very wise sage I know told me yesterday that I should write. Because I'm emotional and confused, frustrated, and hurt and very lost. What do I do, tell me! I begged him. And he said, write. Because you can't do anything about this. Because it is your talent and your grace. Because it makes me happy to read it.

And you know, barring that post below, he's right. Writing helps me, it always has. I've wondered a lot of the past year if I made the right decision making this a non-personal space. But then, reading Namaste, I realised it is possible to be personal and not at the same time, and the craft of writing is no worse off for having been executed in the articulation of something personal.

So let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time, my best beloved, in a jungle far away or near, depending on where you live, there lived a clan of monkeys. Now these monkeys were like most monkeys: tails, limbs, teeth, fur, all correct and accounted for. But something made them different. They would leap and dance from branch to branch, crossing tossing jumping hooting whilring around in a flurry of partners - no one knew what would happen from one moment to the next. Most of the other clans shook their heads in bewilderment, and very rarely, once in a blue moon, a monkey gasped in awe and shyly asked if they could join the clan. Because they could see that what the monkey clan was doing was not the mad dance of a dervish, but a ballet.

When babies were born into the Ballet clan, they grew up being tossed from aunt to uncle, tree to tree, and they marvelled at how exhilarating it all was. Wheeeee I'm so glad I'm a monkey! they thought. But then, the day would come when they would have to meet other monkeys. They would leap and reach to be caught, only to crash through the branches to the forest floor. They would whirl and twirl and spin and grin, only to find all the other monkeys had drawn away in horror. Slowly, the baby monkeys learned a lesson - not everyone can dance the monkey ballet. This was the power of the clan - only they could understand that intricate dance. But this was also the curse of the clan, for they had to endure incredible hardship when they began to seek mates. Some of them learnt to forget the dance. Luckier, some found monkeys who could see the ballet and not be lost. Luckier still were those who found one who not just saw it, but appreciated it. But the rarest and luckiest of all, were those who found ones who could dance it.

to be continued...

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


I am so angry right now, I'm talking about it here, when I know I shouldn't. But I have GOT TO GET THIS OUT.

Acrosticus, questioning the generalizations here is not a good idea, not for a week or so anyway. And no, it isn't one in particular, which is what amazes me.

What the FUCK is it with men? No, boys, because clearly they are all in some goo-goo world where they're fifteen and it's cool to think of every woman you don't want to have sex with as your mother. Yay, I have an MBA and the universe owes me everything I've ever wanted. Grow the fuck up. Seriously.

Your think you are entitled to some playstation version of adult life where wooo you get points for going to some college or school, doesn't mean shit if you don't have the responsibility to wake up and go to work, or make an effort to talk to people you don't know, or take the time to organise the details of things instead of producing an idea and expecting someone else to do the work.

You think that because someone puts up with your shit time and again, and always forgives you, they will keep doing so.


Not even pathetic, needy, desperate for approval, and will do anything to make people like me MinCat.

Eventually, it will come around and bite you in the ass. You might lose the only person you could talk to in your city. You might end up with piles of dirty clothes. You might find yourself never seeing some people you liked to see. You might find that suddenly, gasp, plans do not revolve around you, where you are willing to go, and who you are willing to see.

You might find yourself, in short, in the real world.

And I'm done enabling your SIMS world.

Seriously, grow the fuck up.
Or go back to your mommy. I'm not her.

Monday, July 06, 2009

I'm done.

I've changed my mind.

I think you should just go away, because I don't need you, and I don't want you to stay, so the next time you come around my way, forget it you selfish child, the door's closed.

I won't be your doormat anymore.

Saturday, July 04, 2009


Tonight I can write the saddest lines... 

Naw. Not even if I tried REALLY hard.

Tonight I realised I'm home. No, really. This city has always pulled me back to it, in some bizarre, cruel, twisted joke (yes yes many adjectives = bad writing I know), only it turned out to be truly life-altering. I don't think I could be the person I was in March 2008 again, and I think that's not a bad thing at all.

I found a home tonight. And rediscovered another one.

The bar we often go to on Friday nights, usually crammed to bursting point with our friends and their friends and their friends, ad nauseum. As a corollary, the people who the bar stand for. I walked in, and sat down; grinned at the bartender and said no, I'm not drinking tonight, I'm driving. I ate my momos and giggled with PK, swung by to say hello to the DJ (my current musical HERO), and it hit me that whenever I walk in, I'm home. It doesn't matter how mad I was before that, how crappy my day/week/month has been, it doesn't matter who's there or who's not - I'm home. I'm lost in the warmth that lingers in your sheets on a cold winter morning. You know, that whiff of perfume from the last time someone slept over, the wrinkles on the sheet and the fantastic shapes in the quilt. It just makes me smile. Something rushes through me and pushes at me, whispering "THIS place".

And then I drove home, to the parental house. I swung by the turns and pulled up on the driveway. I got out of the car, and the breeze brushed past me. The house twinkled at me greyly, and the moon turned the clouds to jewels. The gate creaked open, and after the appropriate wiggle, the door opened. The wind though the house covered me with the jasmine that my mother planted under my window, and over my first dog's grave. I smiled. The feeling rushed through me again and murmured "THIS place".

Yes, indeed, THIS place.

Rag Doll

I turn, once again, to the delectable Mr. Levine.
You are not what you seem, you are a mystery to me, sometimes I just wanna scream.
Of course, I should follow that with:
I think you should just go away cause, there's no necessity for you to stay and, next time you come around my way, forget it baby, I'm not comin in.
Instead of which I have (no longer Mr. Levine):
Some people live with the fear of a touch, and the anger of having been a fool. I know you don't wanna hear what I say. I know you're gonna keep turning away. But I've been there and if I can survive, I can keep you alive: I'm not above going through it again. You know you only hurt yourself out of spite; I guess you'd rather be a loner tonight. That's your decision. 
Thankfully though, I don't have:
I'm not above being cool for a while; if you're cruel to me I'll understand.
Though I guess I did.

Funnily though, I always thought I'd be on the other end of that one. Must have happened when I wasn't looking!

However, there is so much I have learned from you, you wonderful, wonderful, unexpected boy, things about me that I really did need to know to keep the future together. And there is so much you can learn from me, only you don't really want to. Can't help you there. I wonder, did I do that too? Was there someone desprately calling out to me and tossing me lifebelts when I thought I was whirling in my pool of loneliness? I don't think so, but if someone was, I'm sorry. I'll keep better watch next time. Hopefully there will be no next time!

It makes me sad though, more than everything else, because there is so much you can be if only you'd let go. Then again, one thing I've always hated is people trying to make me the best they think I can be, which might have nothing in common with the best I want to be, or just plain who I want to be.

However, there's a fine line between accomodating someone and enabling them and their effect on your life. I'm teetering right now, but I got my OOF and Pnjubbi Kudi yanking very hard to stabilize. Thank you for reminding me OOF, that I'm a kitteh, not a puppy. 

Life is a very strange thing. So I shall let my darling Adam sum it up for me.
But I cannot forget, refuse to regret, so glad that I met you.
But no further.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Thirteen reasons why I am a Cat

  1. If you rub me just right, I purr.
  2. I have lethal claws, just ask OOF.
  3. I love milk.
  4. I shed a lot and get hairballs
  5. I have been known to talk in meows.
  6. I have been called meow by two separate, and disparate even, people.
  7. I like to lie around and stretch.
  8. I tend to gravitate to the position of the least potential energy.
  9. I'm a good heat source when it's cold.
  10. I like to lie on people.
  11. My attention is easily distracted by bobbing things.
  12. I can't lick my elbow, but I'm disturbingly flexible.
  13. I'm wildly curious, about everyone and everything no matter how remote from me. This also puts me in the category of endangered species with extinction imminent ;)

Friday, June 19, 2009


Clearly I should re-read old blogs more. It has certainly help ease the writer's block. One thing I started doing back in 2005 was write a series of posts called thirteen. It was a list of thirteen posts which were lists of thirteen somethings.

1. things i hate about me
2. things that scare me
3. things i love about my life right now
4. things i love about driving
5. things i love about India
6. songs that i have no defences against
7. reasons why food rules
8. things that make me purr
9. reasons why im a cat
10. books that ill never forget
11. people who changed me
12. things noone knows about me
13. things i will do before im 30

I did some of them, and re-reading them I realised how much I've changed about certain things and how little I've changed about others! (Punctuation!) So here's a modified thirteen series. Which will appear in no particular order. Heh.
  1. Things that scare me
  2. Reasons why I'm a cat
  3. Books I will never forget
  4. People who have changed me
  5. Things I've done I never thought I would
  6. Reasons why food rules
  7. Things I love about my life right now
  8. Things that make me purr
  9. Songs I have no defences against
  10. Things I might concede are less than perfect about me ;)
  11. Things I love about India
  12. Things I love about New York
  13. Things that have never happened to me, but I wish would

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Things I wanted to do before I turned thirty

As the birthday approaches (no I'm not turning thirty, but am turning three years away from it), I found an old post form a very old blog.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

  1. see the following in concert: Dave Matthews Band (check), Santana, Mana (almost, sob), The Wallflowers (meh), U2, Coldplay (not anymore), the Goo Goo Dolls (woevah), Euphoria (could live without), Live (nope). possibly more.
    I would like to see: Juanes and March Anthony though.

  2. visit Hispanoamerica, most especially Peru and Chile.
    Oh no not anymore. Now it's Colombia, the DR, and Venezuela! And I did manage to go to Mexico, so check.

  3. go to Norway.
    Good lord, WHY? Now Amsterdam...Though actually would do Norway at some point for the fjords.

  4. live in Canada.
    Still would, but it's shunted down the list, below many other places, perhaps not as cold, but def more cool. hee.

  5. walk through snowfall. [oh shut up]

  6. learn to play the guitar properly.
    Hm.... might happen

  7. sing in public.
    Check. Every Thursday I'm in Hyderabad.

  8. taken trains all over India.
    Well....still have the east and west to do, but I think I've got it covered. However, I think I meant it along the lines of a trip. So maybe not. But doable.

  9. see Kashmir, or Jammu atleast.
    Still on the list. Ladakh - so close, yet so far.

  10. have two daughters and a son. adopt most prob.
    This one we shall pretend we have not seen even because the worms oh the resultant worms from that ginormous can...

  11. take a cruise, hopefully mediterranean or caribbean.
    Still on the list. Maybe 30th birthday eh?

  12. be slightly famous for photography. teensy bit even. little published.
    Well....did get that photo in the UK Times...and there might be developments coming up...

  13. read the complete works of mario vargas llosa, pablo neruda and manuel puig in spanish.
    Ahhh the enthu. Could still try. Maybe shoot for one book each.

  14. read, write and speak italian, portuguese, spanish, french, german, russian, tamil, gujarati and kiswahili.
    Man I was enthu.

  15. have a degree in art history.
    Still possible, but moving towards development economics. Eeesh.

  16. be paid for theatre work.
    Can keep dreaming =)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Hey sista, go sista, soul sista, flow sista

The Bride's post the other day has inspired my own little paean.

One Friday, after a fairly brutal session at the gym that Wednesday, and an exhausting and eventually frustrating day, I came home to pass out on the couch. I was so very tired. All I wanted to do was sleep. My arms hurt, especially my triceps. I hadn't been able to lift my arms all day, couldn't tie or untie my hair, couldn't hold my phone, etc. And it being a very important day at work, I'd had tor un around, lift things, coordinate etc anyway. Suddenly my arms began to spasm and they hurt so much I couldn't find a comfortable position and I just lay there and started to cry out oh sheer helplessness.

Once OOF soothed me out of it, and I had the energy to try and do something I didn't know where to find out what to do. So I called my sister, all the way in the USA. To ask her if I should hot or cold foment it. 

What! you might say, gentle reader, is this not a time for frugality and the avoidance of unnecessary ISD calls? 

Somewhere between 2006 and 2008, I became addicted to my sister. I have known her for going on 27 years, and boy oh BOY did we have sibling issues! All the aunts and uncles would spoil me and ignore her, and my mum would ignore me to combat that. She always did exceedingly well in class (top of the bunch right through), and was Head Girl etc. For a long time I was referred to as (mincat's)'s sister. 

Spoilt brat that I was, I hated it. But she was also my big sister. I used to go skulk outside her class during breaks for the first 2 years of school. I always wanted to do the things she did and wear the things she wore. (Well...except for that wedge cut...) There was no greater mystery than what she did with her big gang of friends in high school (and recently I have begun to discover what some of those things were and they STILL evoke excitement).

Then she went to college and I went to high school and we couldn't even be around each other mroe than 2 days without humongous fights erupting. I felt it was unfair that just because she wasn't living at home she got to get away with stuff that I would be reprimanded for doing or saying. 

Then she moved off to the US for her PhD and I went away to college too. My parents freaked out when I told em I had a drink (they still get far more hyper than the situation merits, but they stillo don't react when she does). I came back for post grad. They still freaked out about everything, such as coming home after 11pm. I remember my sister, in high school, being allowed to go to the only club in town, far out, with a friend driving our car. I barely ever talked to her during all this time.

Then I moved to the US. Just before that, I managed to deal with some of these issues and understand parental perspectives on a highly unpredictable erratic child, who could do so much but would simply toss it away for no reason what so ever. How could they not freak out. I figured that my sister, for all our friction, was still my sister! And she understood the madness that went into the formation of MinCat more than anyone else. And so began the building of this relationship I can't imagine how i managed without. Calls once in 2 days becamse calls twice a day, plus hour or two-hour long yaks on weekend free minutes. Every so often I'd fly out to the West Coast to see her. We talked about boys, and drank together. I became able to take her advice without criticism. 

But it was only when I came back, and no longer had those daily chats that I realised just how important she is to me. I'm so happy we got past the nonsense years! Today there is nothing major I will do without asking for her opinion, even if I don't do what she tells me. And there is no more shame in admitting that I was wrong and she was right. As recent events indicate.

I love you Scoo!

Trophy Girls

It's interesting how people react to stereotypes about looks and attractivness. OOF, for example, gets very defensive while talking to me about what makes a woman attractive, because he just happens to like that more conventional type of girl. I, on the other hand, tend to refuse to credit someone with being attracted to me, even when they say they are, because I seem to buy into that stereotype too.

However, I've noticed that there seems to be a pattern with the boys I know, that tends to seek trophy women. Until they reach a certain degree of maturity I've seen that these boys will be completely into a non-conventionally attractive girl, with all those things that make for a good relationship, but they won't take it that far for fear of ridicule by their peers - because the girl isn't a trophy that the other boys will covet.

Perhaps I'm not as objective as I could be on the subject, since I am patently not a trophy girl, and have felt that sting so many times. But it's a thought, isn't it?

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Writer's block

I have four, yes four posts in the drafts that I really want to write, but I simply can't.

I have a HUGE boil of emotion that needs catharsis and I don't think the block will go till the boil does.

On the way home today, I found the perfect way to begin to drain that boil. And then I forgot it. So if anyone's left, and anyone wants to hear more, hang around a bit I'll be back. Just need to wait for the scalpel to come back.

Friday, May 08, 2009


I woke up this morning and I was so tired I don't know how I made it to the gym. I crawled out of bed and went there; I did my strength training, but when I got on the treadmill I was suddenly so tired I couldn't do a thing. And so I have stayed.

I wonder where it's coming from, this bone-deep exhaustion. I've been sleeping well, eating well and generally living well. My life is full: of people, places, food, energy, laughter, friends, variety. 

But I'm tired.
I'm tired of how everything is so complicated. And no, please do not tell me we complicate our own lives, because I'm talking about complicated on a very basic level. There are steps 1,2,3, and you follow them, it is that simple. But when I do, I find it is, in fact, wildly complicated.

Working hard towards good goals is equally pointless, because they only seem to get fainter and farther away. 

Taking care of myself, and other people, has become too much to deal with. I don't want to think anymore. I'd like to regress a bit and be the irresponsible one. I want to have the meltdown, instead of wrapping it up tightly and locking it away to let it out in tiny bits once it's calmed down. I want to be the receiver of plans and reaching out. I want to disappear for a week. Or a month. Run away to a little house in the mountains where all I have to do is read, sleep, stare into space and eat food that magically appears.

Instead of which I shall return to that word document that's already running late.

Friday, March 06, 2009


Regulars might remember a rant that happened when thie space was going through a Serious Phase.

Looky what the economist has to say this week.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Earworm oh earworm, won't you please leave me alone?

Fell in love with a boy
I fell in love once and almost completely
He's in love with the world
And sometimes these feelings can be so misleading
He turns and says, "Are you alright?"
Oh, I must be fine cause my heart's still beating
Come and kiss me by the riverside,
Sarah says it's cool, she don't consider it cheating
Oooh ooh ooh [x4]
Red hair with a curl
Mellow roll for the flavor and the eyes were peepin
Can't keep away from the boy
The two sides of my brain need to have a meeting
Can't think of anything to do
My left brain knows all of love is fleeting
He's just lookin for somethin new
I said it once before but it bears repeating

The Cream of Indian Journalism

Well, it IS the Times so I supposed it's more like the skim milk, but still. In an online article, which doesn't need to fill inches, and was about two pages long as well, I found:

Pakistani authorities were providing helicopters to evacuate the Sri Lankan
team, which announced they would return home immediately.

Sri Lanka is to immediately pull its national cricket team out of Pakistan
following the gun attack, Sri Lanka cricket chief Duleep Mendis said.

"We are providing helicopters to evacuate the team from the ground to an
air base from where they will leave," Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab
province of which Lahore is the capital, told reporters.


Well mommy is obviously the cure for everything! The trousers aren't bothering me anymore.

I went to a farewell for some of my Colombian friends, here on work for a company called Omnilife, and they talked a lot about dreams and goals. Make a list they said, make a list of what you want most, and ask yourself two questions: Why do you want this? How can you get it?

The world is full of people they said, and there are many around you who can help you achieve your goals, just as you can help them achieve theirs. No matter what you do, if you don't really try, you've got no hope. And sometimes, it's not easy to keep track of your goals and your progress unless you have help.

Now MinCat's biggest goal has been, for a few years, to be healthier. And lose weight. Because, face it, diabetes and heart failure aren't fun, no matter how much fun cake and potatoes might be. Being thinner is a lot more fun than being teased by your friends because you can't keep up with them climbing stairs. And let's not forget the clothes... :D

So, if you'd like to help me do this, keep tabs on me here.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The wrong leg

It's March! Already! In 3 months, I will be 27! I've never wanted to get younger, and I still don't, but for the very first time I'm reluctant for days to go by, because the faster they do, the faster I'll be 27. And the faster I'll be 27, the faster I'll be 30, which, while it is something I look forward to, also reminds me gloomily of how very likely it is that I'll have to invoke the back-up plan for my life. Well, it's a good plan, but it's a back up plan, so I don't really want to do it. Implicit in the back up plan is the belief that one will never have to use it, and implicit in using it is one's failure at the original plan.

I have always prided myself on never wanting to go back and redo things, even if they were horrid, because well, I quite like me and I wouldn't be me if things hadn't happened exactly the way they did. These days, however, I often feel like I want to go back to being six and do it all over again, and differently this time.

I feel like I'm in a different life, it's familiar but so wierd; and I should be somewhere else. Fellow Pratchettphiles will understand that I mean I am in the wrong leg of the Trousers of Time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Rules of Play

And we will stick to them, ok?

#0 Don't Panic
#1 Don't Analyse
#2 Don't initiate contact
#3 Potatoes once a week!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The tree outside my winda

Is so beautiful. If I were marginally less lazy I'd get up and do y'all a picture of it this morning, a hazy smudge of bright green pierced by pinpoints of morning light, and crossed by the occasional branch.

I'm going to miss that tree.

For now, here's an old photo. When the leaves were red.

Ok another time cos it's a RAW image and I have to convert and blah blah blah. But it's pretty!

Monday, February 16, 2009

I'm scared

that this is it.
As good as it gets.
And not in a quirky, heartwarming Jack Nicholson movie kind of way.

Sometimes I'm so scared I get cold, so cold I shiver. And my ears start ringing, and I feel like the universe is getting bigger. Alarmingly bigger. I have to focus very hard on unclenching my teeth and pushing my lungs past the clasps cutting into them.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

The world's oldest lesson in history...

OOF told me, most graciously, last night at dinner, that I could fall in love with the current crush.

Eh??? you say? My reaction exactly.

Apparently I'm not heading towards neurotic depression this time, so it's ok. Nevermind that no male in history has caused me more neurotic depression than OOF himself, I can see his point, cos things being the way they are he's going to have to pat my back and hand me tissues through most of it.

I suppose what he meant to say was that this time I'm pretty much in control. Well, that's how I choose to interpret it anyway!

I wonder why though. Could it be that of all the legions of men I have had crushes on, and the few I have been in love with, this is the first time I am convinced, for no logical reason whatsoever, that he likes me too? Could it be that I've finally hit upon a lovely delusional defence mechanism to avoid dealing with rejection, i.e. "knowing" he likes me, but waiting for him to make a move? Could it be that I've learnt, through trial and much error, how to hold back and not commit too much emotion to someone until I am given good reason? Or could it be that I've found that people come and go, lust comes and goes, and love comes and goes; there's not much you can do about any of it except keep swimming?

The funny thing though, is that I think of it as a lesson to be learned; only, if I look closely, it's a different story every time. So really, it's more like the world's newest lesson in history...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Of people and types

I have always averred, to Appa's amusement, that I am a morning person.

Now his laughter is provoked by two things. Firstly, he believes that after 5am, it is afternoon. Therefore, by waking up by 8am most days, I am not waking up in the morning. Secondly, he finds it incredibly entertaining that we, as a generation, like to use phrases such as I am "blank" person.

But I digress.

The reason I aver the above (I'm just tripping on the alliteration today ain't I?) is because whenever I wake up, I'm happy. It doesn't matter what time of day, when I open my eyes, I smile. It might not be joy and ecstasy, but it's definitely contentment. And it lasts past the tea-making-and-drinking-ritual, for about two hours, after which life can begin to get me down. This is why I HATE pre-tea confrontation or sulks. It is also why I am so totally at a loss on those occasions that I wake up sad.

I just don't know what to do.

I can handle depression; I can control my more irrational fears and desires, even if I need to let em take over for a bit; I can deal with anger and I can cope with pretty much anything life throws at me.

But when I wake up, like this morning, with tears in my eyes, for no reason, all I can do is let them trickle forlornly down my face and concentrate on not letting my nose run.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Late-night Nonsense

You know, it feels like a helluva lot more than just 20 days since I posted.

I present to you, courtesy of the delectable Adam Levine, my head this evening.

Tap on my window knock on my door
I want to make you feel beautiful
I know I tend to get so insecure
It doesn't matter anymore

It's not always rainbows and butterflies
It's compromise that moves us along, yeah
My heart is full and my door's always open
You can come anytime you want

I don't mind spending everyday
Out on your corner in the pouring rain
Look for the girl with the broken smile
Ask her if she wants to stay awhile
And she will be loved

I know I don't know you
But I want you so bad
Everyone has a secret
But can they keep it
Oh No they can't

Sunday morning rain is falling
Steal some covers share some skin
Clouds are shrouding us in moments unforgettable
You twist to fit the mold that I am in
But things just get so crazy living life gets hard to do
And I would gladly hit the road get up and go if I knew
That someday it would lead me back to you

The thing is, whatever my various faults (argumentative, loud, always right, tends to say painful things), I do think I am a nice person. I try to do the best I can to make people's lives easier; I find it very hard to say no or ask for favours; I don't mind adapting to other people's lives and crises; etc. But lately I'm beginning to wonder if I'm too nice.

I think I should adopt the motto: You want nice? You better fucking earn it.

The Dragon says that's a bad reaction, because I'm going to end up changing who I am, and not even the bits I don't like (low self-esteem, can't say no to potatoes or cake), for someone else. That's a bit below the belt cos it's gyaan I've been throwing at her for a while now.

But then I wonder, maybe I should put a clause on it. Kind of like baseball, three strikes and you're out. I do try. But then I tend to really like people, and when they are jerks, it hurts me, but it's worth it for the people they are and how they enrich my life. Or so I tell myself. There's a tipping point though. You let me down once, I'll let it go. You let me down twice, I'll be wary but I'll let it go if I like you. You let me down thrice, you're out.

Lately I've been trying to live by some rules.

1. Calm down. Rant all week to sympathetic person (only once to OOF or you'll have more ranting to do... :D), never mind how long it takes, but don't talk about it to concerned person till you've calmed down.

2. Make sure you articulate what upset you, and while doing that don't forget to present your understanding of the other person's side. That'll get you over it, never mind what they say or don't.

They've been working well.

I'm going to add another one, stick to the ones you know.

And remember, there are no signs.

Just Mel Gibson.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Snh Snh Snh

Hee hee hee. How true. Both!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

It was a very good year

For travel:
Four countries in three months. Two actually, cos I only left India at the end of January. Going to Mexico is the best decision I took in the year and a half I lived in New York, and I'm beginning to think that coming back was the second-best one. The stopover at Hong Kong was loverly, not the least because of the opportunity to heavily rebond with The Bride, and actually meet her husband the (in?)famous V. (Different from the V here at Chez MinCat.) And let us not go into how many nights I've spent on the bloody Charminar Express in the second half of the year.

My resolution: Write it up, all the travel of 2007 and 2008. Travel in my own country now, even if *some* people are too indolent, spoilt or silly to come with me. I have been in foreign countries as a solitary woman travelling, more power to me in Mexico because I could pass for a local, why should I balk at travel in my own country, where I AM a local?

For people:
The highlight of the year was was the return of OOF. I can't stop grinning when I think about it, I have to pinch myself periodically to believe it. Notable events include living with The Roommate; meeting CFS and all his friends, especially ahem Disco Dancer (sorry sorry but could there BE a better euphemism?); walking upto Colombian Girl in the gym and letting her, her husband and all the other mad people I've met because of her chance bathroom encounters into my life; Other Colombian Girl, whom I will have to visit in Bogota one of these years; V, who has surprised and touched me by growing up so much.

I'm sorry I had to leave the Newyorkers behind, but they're still floating around in cyberspace :)

I wish I could have avoided losing two of my old and dear friends in the city, but it coudn't be helped - these things are two-way!

My resolution: Stay open, more good has come of it than harm, ridiculously more good.

The life:
There was heartbreak at leaving New York, and plenty of self-doubt. But now, sitting on the yellow couch in my little flat, with the sun shining through the red and green leaves of the badam tree, with Juanes on the iHome, writing this and planning tomorrow's parental lunch, with the events of the past weeks playing in my head I cannot but think it was a very good decision indeed.

My resolution: Keep going this way, apparently life gives me fabulous lemons! After all, with lemons you can make caipirinhas!

The career:
Well, I can't say I have one of those, but I think I'm making slow progress to reaching a happy state. My career is cultivating people, and I seem to be doing quite well at that! The cooking goes on in leaps and bounds, and this whole conventional career thing isn't too bad. Spanish continues apace, though I really should praactice writing a bit more.

My resolution: Keep at it, one of these days I'll find my opening.

It was a very bad year for peace of mind! But then, as Stumbling on Happiness puts it, you best remember the last bits of any experience, and the last bits of 2008 were fabulous :) So nevermind the life angst that hit so hard and so often, nevermind the frustration with jobs and boys: it was a hard year, but it wasn't a bad year.

We officially declare 2009 the year of no boy stress and no job stress!

One Drunken Night

(THAT, ladies and germs, is a teaser.)

Last weekend, at about 1am on Sunday, OOF and V were expounding on the subject of MinCat, her true inner self, and what men want from women. No, really. There was a lot of whisky.

According to V, I am all tough on the outside, but deep down I'm just waiting for a white knight to sweep me up onto his horse and ride off into the sunset. Ahem.

According to OOF, that's all very well, but two weeks later I'm going to refuse to believe that white knight and start making him jump through hoops.

Which brings us to how to hook men. Apparently, they like to be challenged. But, as any Strong Independent Woman knows, that's a crock of shit. Challenge a man by being his equal and he will either think of you as a guy or a ballbusting bitch. Ah, OOF interjects, it's not enough to be challenging, women must be playful while they do it.


Sometimes I want to line the whole species up and smack it upside the head with a large, blunt instrument.

Now, not to belittle your sage advice, OOF, it's probably spot on, but why oh why are we, as a generation, so idiotically obsessed with creating these structures of conformity in relationships that entangle us so much that eventually we forget what we want or like from a person and train ourselves to think in some warped stereotype: women must be so to get men's attention, and men must want women who are so to get their attention, and so on ad nauseum.

Honestly, I like having arguments as much as anyone (ok, ok more than most people), but even so, if someone challenges me all the time, as many men seem to think is mandatory too, I get very bored, very fast, and tune out. Similarly, I can play games and be hot and cold and throw tantrums to have people do things my way - but what's the point really. Imagine how exhausting it would be to keep doing that.

Because, you see, the flaw in these theories of inter-gender interaction is simply this: they assume that at some point, one can drop the charade and be oneself; the make up and push up can come off and one can return to comfy pjs on the couch. Unfortunately, we're all so well trained to expect the framework that when it is dropped we decide we must seek it out somewhere else, somewhere new. "There's no excitement anymore."

It's a bit like that Calvin strip where Hobbes comments on his attention span, or lack thereof, and he says: If it cant be distilled into 45 seconds then I don't want to know about it. If behaviour does not follow the prescribed patterns then we cannot assimilate it, or react to it.