Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Now, where did I keep my pointy hat?

Today I was nursing an upset tummy with some cumin tea and thinking that I would have quite liked to be a witch- well clear of the inquisition/Manusmriti times, of course. But then I thought a little more, and realised that hey, I am!

Consider the facts:

· Lives alone in a house that is um, unconventional: check.

· Feels uprooted when in an unfamiliar ecosystem: check.

· Has a small but growing list of loyal clients for whom she performs the following services- health and wellness advice, home remedies, love potions, strategy and counselling sessions, fortune telling: check.

· Is paid in kind for said services: check.

· Most clients consult her in the wee hours of the night: check.

· Has a familiar who is independent, but chooses to hang out with her: a slug. Check.

· Attempts to cure or at least soothe most health and beauty troubles with things from her kitchen: check.

· Has next to no processed foods in her pantry: check

· Said pantry is a source of morbid curiosity to most people: check.

· People fall over each other not to be the first to sample her cooking, but are quite eager to be the second person: check.

· She has recipes that include dried animal parts/ things collected from roadsides/ instructions to enter a forest at a specific time: All of these. Check

· Has a strange, non-trend related, but interesting wardrobe: check

· One can hear voices in her house in the middle of the night, but here’s the scary part- if you peek in, there’s no one there!: You bet skype counts as magic. Check.

· Has evidence to prove that all ills can be solved by a mug of tea: check

· Is not referring to Assam Black when she says ‘tea’: check

· Is irresistibly sexy: well, if you insist. Check.

· Has heard of modesty, but will have no truck with the concept: Read this post. done.


Thursday, March 5, 2009

purple sunbird

the red carpet treatment

One is sometimes given that when one does not expect it.
I have been having a rough work week, and today was going to be another tough day. So I dressed to the teeth - in my 'geddout of my way' outfit (red salwar kameez, black heels, hair in a chignon, accessories just so).
I stepped out, and there was a red carpet rolled out on the road. And then another. Till I turned off the road into the colony where my office is, my feet did not touch the tarmac once. At the end of that walk of course, I was grinning and walking a bit taller.
It's not a mystery, of course. I live next to a shop that loans tents, carpets, furniture etc for marriages and other things. Today is the day they decided to air their carpets.
but today of all the days! the multiverse likes me..

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The dudes of Dehradun

are the coolest. Earrings and mohawks, gothic accessories and easy swaggers- they have them all. Occasionally, some of them can be tiresome. On Saturday, when I was walking down Rajpur Road, a chap in red on a redder motorcycle- with the silencer removed- whizzed up and down thrice. He was still doing it when I turned off into another lane. I was irritated at the assault on my ears, and at having to step into the gutter to let him pass, but sad that he didn’t seem to have anything else to do. But I don’t like any of the brash motorcycling guys in D’dun.
The chaps I like are the bus teams. It might surprise those of you who are used to a bus managed by a crew of one, that in D’dun it takes 4 people to run a bus. There is a driver, a chap who collects the fares, a chap who stands at the door and calls in passengers, and one other whose only task as far as I can judge is to lend his snazzy mobile phone for use as a music system. Most of these guys are stylish and cool in a ‘I like to jingle when I walk’ kind of way.
What is nice is that they are uniformly gallant. They will make sure the women have a seat, or atleast, a comfortable place to stand. They address the women as ‘didi’ or ‘madam’ depending on whether they are inclined to flirt a little or not. And what is truly endearing is their shyness. The most goth-inclined of them will blush to his toes if you say ‘thank you so much’ and smile, and die of embarrassment if you catch his gaze sliding rapidly and furtively over your ankles. This is such a refreshing contrast to the ‘I’m entitled to ogle you because you dare to be out of the kitchen’ attitude in the plains!


So I didn’t go to Rajaji after all. I was waiting most of the weekend for a meeting that never happened. After cribbing to a friend about it, I decided to get up and do something. In a modified version of Muir’s leaping over the back fence with a loaf of bread and some tea, I walked out of the door with a wallet and cell phone. Prosaic, no?
I didn’t have a clue where to go, of course. But then I thought I would go to the Malsi deer park. At the least, it would be a nice ride there and back. Well, I went there, but the park occupied me for all of three minutes. The animals depressed me, and i couldn’t walk without tripping over couples seeking a little privacy. Not that I blame them. Like every other person on this crowded globe, been there done that. But I felt decidedly unwanted. And so people, I decided to walk back.
And finally, as I walked on that cool and shady road, especially when there were no vehicles zooming past me, i was truly happy. The distance? Either 9kms or 12 kms depending on which signboard one consults, but flat all the way. For most of the stretch, there is a nice sidewalk. There are interesting buildings, and later, interesting shops. Good. As for rajaji, there is always next time.