Saturday, 13 November 2010

could really use a wish right now

I feel like my life is never going to end. I feel like it is going to end tomorrow. I feel like maybe it has already ended.. or it never began?

This is what happens when I am not swamped with work, sitting in the beautiful industrial area my office is located at, without people around me. And when I hear things about people, things I never expected to heard about people I genuinely like. Things that shock me, make me think, make me re-evaluate every damn thing about myself and the person I've discovered something about.

I don't like finding out I'm wrong. I really don't. Not this way, especially. Not through someone else.

And I'm beginning to loathe the opposite sex. In school I would have probably been voted "most likely to verbally or physically castrate a boy", had it been the sort of school which voted or gave titles to people. But the truth was, I was young [I still am, people say, but I don't feel it] and though I had issues, I had some hope, somewhere. That men [and women] were worth getting to know and fighting for.

Hope. Snigger. Whassat?

Now I think hope is a very distant sentiment. Women are bitchy, insecure and terribly complicated. Men are... I don't know what. Stupid? Uncaring? Insensitive? I've learnt to handle the Complicated, ignore the Bitchy and help the Insecure. I can't do anything about Stupid, Uncaring and Insensitive.

I look at the title of my post. It is a song stuck in my head, which was playing on the radio while I drove to work. And I wonder.. if I *did* have that one wish.. what the hell would I wish for?

I'm tempted to say "indifference".

Friday, 12 November 2010

why I will never bake a cake

Cos’ you just make me feel.. like I’m the only girl in the world.. the only girl that you’ve ever loved..

I was singing and setting the sugar and butter on the kitchen counter while my friend tied her apron, ready to show me how to whip up a great dessert for my to-be-boyfriend. Okay who am I kidding. For myself. The boy wouldn’t last longer than a month anyway – none of them ever did.

“Open the flour,” Anna instructed sternly. This was going to be a looong afternoon, I sighed. “Can we at least listen to some music?” I asked the Nigella Lawson of my life.

“Why? You’re doing a brilliant rendition of red-haired pop stars.” I stuck my tongue out at her. My red hair extensions were something I was proud of, not at all inspired by character-less American pop stars. Though Rihanna’s red hair *was* a little cool, I thought to myself.

Anna grabbed the scissors out of my hands. “I’ll do it myself while you contemplate a witty reply,” she said. I stuck my tongue out at her again and headed to the bedroom to find my iPod.

And then I heard a scream. The loudest, shrillest one I had ever heard outside of scary movies and in real life. My parrot started flapping its wings madly, getting agitated too. Wonderful.

I sped back to the kitchen to find Anna standing as far away from the kitchen counter as possible. Her palms over her mouth and nose.

“What? What happened?”

“She… Je.. Oh my god..” she pointed in the general direction of the kitchen counter.
“Whaat? What is it, woman?!” I shook her.

“The flour packet..” she breathed, so I headed towards it when I saw… when I saw *it*.

A cold, dark bluish human finger. And I screamed and leapt back in to Anna’s arms.
“Oh how useful *you* are!” she huffed, her fear suddenly forgotten.

Someone began knocking on the front door. Not a surprise, given how eerily Anna’s scream would have echoed in the friendly apartment building.

“Wait,” I held her back as she fled towards the door, “What do we tell them?”
She froze and turned back. Her eyes were shooting fire.

“You tell them exactly what happened you imbecile!” Nigella/Anna was spitting now, “This is real life. This is not a reality show or crime show or Dexter or anything like that. We just found a fricking finger in my cake!!”

“Weell.. it’s not cake yet, I mean it’s just…” I trailed off.

Anna went to open the door and I could hear her re-enacting the scene for whomsoever was concerned [or curious] enough to come and check on us.

I sighed and slumped into my grandmother’s rocking chair. It was going to be a loooong day.

Anna was squawking, much like our disturbed parrot Chechi. “Why are they so suspicious?! Why would I plant a finger in my own cake?”

“It’s not a cake, Anna!” I finally shrieked.

She paused while pacing the room and went back to pacing within a few seconds. Not that she had much space. There were cops floating around my home and the place was swarming with “concerned” neighbours because my family was away.

Someone even called them and shouted at them for not being on the next flight home. That’s how they found out what happened. Then they called me and shouted at me. And hopped on the next flight home.

I sighed. It had been six hours and counting since the actual incident occurred. The police were questioning everybody, had almost drawn tape at my kitchen and put a chalk circle around the finger. I couldn’t wait for them to leave.

At the end of it all, nobody had a clue how this had even happened. One neighbor had even called up the flour company and complained, so they were also sending a representative to look into it.

Strangely enough I didn’t even care that a dead man’s finger had been found in a bag of flour, in my house of all places. I just wanted a damn cake.

I sighed and slumped into the rocking chair again.

I had to get it back. It was all I had of him. But how was I going to do it? That stupid girl had screamed like a crazy person and attracted the whole neighbourhood and now it was with the police. I’d never get it back, even if I confessed.

What if I did confess? Would they put me behind bars? Would they burn his finger? Would they do both? Or just throw it away?

I heaved a great sigh as I stroked my cat’s fur. I was a stupid old, woman. As stupid as the young girl whom I thought lacked grey matter.

When my husband of 47 years died, I cut off his ring finger and wanted to preserve it. When my silly neighbor walked in one fine morning, right into my house, asking me for something. I had quickly dumped it in the flour. She did not leave. So I made a big deal out of wanting to close the flour packet, seal it and make it airtight. She helped me, quite innocently and it seemed fine. And then her maid walked in demanding where the flour was. The lady looked sheepishly at me and said, “May I please borrow some flour? Just a cup would do.”

The maid insisted she needed the whole packet and took it with her saying, “I’ll get madam another packet in the afternoon.” Which she did. But I lost my husband’s finger in the process.

I made several attempts to retrieve the packet. But everytime, the silly neighbour’s parrot would start shrieking “zeef, zeef” like it was Russian or something. And now I had no idea what to do. Should I just let it go?

I sniffed and wiped away a tear.But I had to crack a smile. Somewhere in the heavens, I could hear the darned love of my life cackling his over-intelligent Bengali guts out.

Monday, 8 November 2010

on moving on

I'm terrible.

Death is a fact of life. Oui? And everyone must get used to it. Somehow, when people around me have to handle things when people die... I find I am not sympathetic, so much as resigned. I sympathise, yes. In some sort of strange way. I found myself telling a friend today, "Time helps. It's the only thing that does." Erm. Gee, thanks. That's really a mood-booster.

The poor soul sent me a smiley and said thanks.

This is an improved version of me. It used to be, hmm yes, so people die. Deal with it, man. And I would think to myself, life is short, the longer you cry over the inevitable, the less time you'll actually have to live it.

And that cliched thing about the one who has passed on wanting zin** family to stop grieving and get on with their lives.. that is also true. To an extent. It's probably also good that one cries as much as possible for a while so that a) you just get it all out and move towards moving ahead, and b) maybe so that the one who has gone can feel glad [in a weird, narcissistic way] that people won't forget zin** forever.

I can say all this because I've seen several people close to me die, during my childhood and formative years. It affected me, I admit. And still, when/if someone close to me passes away today, I'm sure I would not be able to behave with such rationality.

One can try though. One can certainly try.

**zin: a word made up by author; a gender-neutral pronoun to use instead of him/her.

Note to imagined person reading this: I unofficially vowed never to get into too many personal rant-y/opinion pieces a la a lot of other blogs. Not because I disrespect that, but because I simply dislike talking too much about myself or my own views... but I thought it better to write something [even if personal and insignificant to the existence of most, if not all, people] rather than not write anything at all. Sigh. Some fiction/non-fiction will come soon. I vow!!