Wednesday, May 18, 2011


Chat with the Snoog produced this.

Whatever comes we will make do. It is the lesson of life.
You take what you get and you make what you can; you dream of other ingredients and you hope for different results, but it is what it is at the end, and at the end you made what you made.

Leaving Home

Regular listeners to MinCat's babble know that I really do believe that home is where I am. When I was in college I used to confuse people endlessly by saying I'm going home, when I meant I'm going to the hostel. It’s an idea that has always appealed to me anyway, and at that time I was so very far from at home while actually at home.

Hyderabad when I was growing up was not the most varied of places, and it current feeling of cosmopolitanism has a lot to do with the huge numbers of people coming in with the ITES boom. I was a freak child, who spoke, read, thought in, listened to music in and watched movies in English. I asked my parents why they wanted me to do things. I was encouraged to think for myself. I was far from conventionally attractive in my teens, if attractive at all, both inside and out. I didn’t really have any friends! My relationship with my parents was very fraught. Small wonder that any place I felt I had more acceptance was easier to think of as home.

College was a great help, and everywhere I’ve been since, including my return to Hyderabad at the pisspot, I have managed to create a home within myself, where I would retreat whenever I needed. Somewhere in 2009, I acquired the most incredible friends in Hyderabad, and sometimes in 2010, my relationship with my parents reached the wonderful place it is at now. I have an extended family, for want of a better word, of friends who cocoon me in love and hatch outrageous plans to prevent me from leaving the bar, and by extension, the city. Amma puts the a/c on for me, and drives me everywhere. Appa doesn’t say a word about late nights. Every moment of the day was subject to my whims. Suddenly, I have a HOME here.

After my short visit home this weekend, I find myself intensely sad, while of course happy to return to my grownup life. I love my job, and that very fact seems to be keeping my head above water at the moment. Don't get me wrong, I am happy in Delhi, despite how difficult I'm finding it to feel community. I have The Drsgon, but she's leaving soon. Despite all my nesting and friend-making in Delhi, I feel like I am, indeed, leaving home, and going somewhere that is not, in fact, home. I seem to have lost that home inside me, or maybe I’ve just lost the optimism that believed I could always find it there. Perhaps, with all this other family-wanting that’s in my head, I feel that I might actually never have any other home, filled with friends and family, than this one with my parents.

Irrational Optimist

Apologies to Matt Ridley!

There’s a distinct lack of optimism and positive things about this blog these days. I’m sorry. I do think of funny things sometimes, and I do have entertaining moments, but somehow they seem more and more fleeting, despite the steadily-improving level of background stability in my life. Somehow, no matter what is going on in my life, I can’t seem to move very far from the psychedelic elephant in my head.

I have a few other friends who are my age and older, and single. One is a dear friend from college, who, like me, did have a great relationship, but simply could not see the future and broke up with him. Granted, she was 24 at the time, if not younger, but since she is also 29, single and apparently without hope on the horizon, we feel like we are in a similar place.

The one thread that seems to be common to all of us is the disappearance of optimism. Perhaps it is cliché to think of youth as a time of optimism – heck I was so depressed when I was 24 – but I cannot deny that when I was younger, it was easier to believe and believe in people. One made an effort to meet new people, and it didn’t matter too much how they responded. These days I am so reluctant to make the effort, because I simply do not want to waste it unless I can be sure of a positive outcome, that the friendship will be worth it. One friend says he doesn’t even try to meet new people, never mind date them, anymore.

My friend from college says, and I agree, that the problem with trying to date at this point is somehow there have been enough bad experiences to outweigh the good ones, and I don’t even want to flirt anymore because I know, I KNOW, that the guy will not call, or play games, or just be a jerk. (Not saying women don’t so this too.)

KaraokeBoy, at the ripe old age of 23 and a bit, tells me I’m stupid, because everything works out. I’m beginning to think that 23 is the right age to get married, because at 23 you do, actually, in the face of all evidence to the contrary, believe that everything works out. You do believe that you can surmount anything with love. You do believe that people genuinely aren’t just fuckers, and its circumstances that make things turn out the way they do. You do believe in third, fourth, fifth and seven-hundredth chances.

Somehow, I can’t bring myself to believe even I will have a second chance, not just at love, but at a career, or opportunities to do things that excite and fulfill me.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


It's funny. Not a lot of things make me froth at the mouth (oh hush). Bureaucratic stupidity, general stupidity, selfishness - they bug me like hell, but they don't make my innards twist with ire. Lately, though, I've noticed some things that do.

I stumbled upon the blog of someone I know who lives in New York. (Of course we come back to New York.) I don't particularly like or dislike this girl, and she's married to someone I am very fond of.  They lead a highly privileged life - good for them.* The blog is food oriented, mostly restaurant reviews and recipes. She always did love to cook and eat out. It is also, as I find most of these things to be, slightly pretentious, or at least for someone who does not appreciate strange leaves in her food. I read it, and I saw recipes I want to try, and then slowly my tummy began to hurt and I realized that it was twisting in rage. I am so angry. Not with her, not with me, I think mostly with the universe. Why not me, my gut seems to be asking (a variation on the other oft-seen why me theme of this blog).

Maybe it's because I'm still struggling to find community here in Delhi. There's something that might have evoked rage in the past, but only evokes despair these days (ooo I'm getting dramatic!). People are so...L.A. Yeah, that seems like the best word. It is impossible to pin anyone down, and they never can be bothered to make the effort. Not such a big deal you might say, and yes, I do agree, I do have other things to do. I read, I have salsa and tango, I cook - I'm covered. But I do miss people. I just got used to having my friends. I never had in my entire life, until 2009, when suddenly I did. And it would be nice if someone else wanted to see me, made the call, or even showed up when I plan.

The new plan is to not call anyone anymore. I hope it works! There is rage latent in this situation too, because eventually I am going to get very angry with myself, and that implied I will be eating a lot of things I shouldn't and plugging right back into another destructive cycle. Yay me!

But living here does rmeind me of living in New York, when I did these very things - cooking, salsa, tango, wearing coats and sweaters...which makes me mad that it doesn't live up to what I want from it. Or something. Ah I dunno.

*Have I mentioned how much it annoys me that i have to use SPACED HYPHENS instead of unspaced em dashes in blogger? HYPHENS CANNOT BE SPACED my Outer Stickler screams, AT LEAST USE AN EN DASH!!!

Friday, May 06, 2011

The Lord Save Us From Cargoes

Stop press. Someone tell the men of the world that slouching around in pants too big for you, or cargo pants, with a ratty round-neck t-shirt does not a sartorial statement make. The former can in fact induce hysterical laughter.

Seriously though, I do understand the need to be comfortable, but for the love of god! Dress like a grown up! Put on a shirt! yes! with buttons! and no, I said grownup, not lumberjack!

Foolish modern man does not know the pit-pat that the sight of a man in bootcut jeans and a button down shirt can induce in the female heart. Do you know, that if you actually look like you care about your appearance, you're already halfway to getting laid? cos then I now I won't be smelling nothing funky.Take a shower! Invest in subtle aftershave - don't send me home with half my face smelling like you just cos I hugged you hello three hours ago.

But stop there, don't become one of those men who needs an hour to get ready, and whose hair I cannot tousle because 1. It would mean that I needed industrial solvent to get my hands free of product, or 2. it would cause you to snap because I ruined your hairstyle and now you need another hour to set it right.

The New Normal

Chatting the The Bride the other day (of course), I found that we were bemoaning the loss of a certain kind of guy, what we'd call normal, but somehow seems to have become rather rare and, as it were, abnormal.

I was telling her how annoying it is that people in general and men in particular have become so discourteous*. I don't mean that one must live by Emily Post, but it is immensely irritating how no one can be bothered to respond to things anymore. Or tell you that they're running late. Or bother to dress well - by which I don't mean suits: merely taking the effort to dress a little spiffy, shoes, a shirt, not cargoes...

Essentially, what with all this trying to be proactive about life and love and meeting new people, I've been talking to several guys my age - mostly online of course. Now, granted that talking online has it's own set of rules rather removed from those around meeting in person. However, when eventually setting up said meeting in person, why must people be discourteous? I'm comparing chiefly the behavior of two guys. Let's call them Normal and New Normal.

NN and I were talking a LOT online and he was always extremely busy, but would make time to talk. Once we broached the subject of meeting in person, he got even flakier with contact, so much so that the day of said meeting came without my hearing from him. He then breathlessly told me how ill and busy he'd been without mentioning our scheduled meeting, and when I brought it up told me we must catch up soon. What a terrible turn of phrase, calculated to piss me off, since it's one of those meaningless things people say in this day and age.

I promptly ignored him for a few days, and that Sunday he called me and invited me to a gig he had, which I accepted with many caveats, because I had to go dancing before. I finally did go there and meet him, and he was rather different from expected and visibly nervous. The nervousness was cute so I thought heh it's fine, let's let the rudeness go. After more silence he reappeared abruptly and we talked a bit and I said hey do you want to hang out again. He said yes, lets get a drink tonight, I'll be done at 9, so I'll call you and if we're both up for it lets go. Of course I haven't heard from him since.

Regular readers will know I have very little patience with the game, and I do honestly think that the initial premise of He's Just Not That Into You is very true. If a guy likes a girl, he goes for it. This I have seen with all my friends, both male and female, barring possibly BBot. So when, at the beginning, he was making time, he was into me, but now he's not, so he's not. Regardless, the part I object to most of all is the rudeness of not responding to people. Would it kill you to send a text/email saying hey sorry it's late I can't make it? Hey, sorry, I'm sick, can we take a rain check? Hey, I'm madly busy so I'm going to go off the radar for a few weeks. It really wouldn't. So then why be lame and not do it?

N, on the other hand, is much older than NN, and extremely courteous. Our rendezvous also had to be postponed, and the minute he found out I got an email saying I'm very sorry, this is when it will likely be, I will let you know as soon as I can confirm. And the thing is, I can believe him. Long before we were due to meet, he picked a date, and then repeated in another email. He worried about the time we set and told me to pick a place close to me so I wouldn't have trouble getting home, adding that he had a car and could drive me, but wouldn't want me to be uncomfortable since I didn't know him.

I'm not demanding chivalry or claiming women need looking after, but it is simply the courtesy inherent in thinking about the complications something could cause another person that I appreciate. Being on time, for example, or letting people know as soon as you know that you're going to be late, is another example. It means that you're thinking, okay, this is going to inconvenience the other person so let me tell them quickly so they can be inconvenienced the least. If I'm going to take forty minutes, I should say forty minutes, not ten. The number of times I've been left standing on the side of the road because someone refused to tell me accurately how long they would take!

*Oh sweet jesus I'm eighty-five aren't I?