October 30, 2008

Dilli's getting nicer.

Delhi seems nicer all of a sudden. I abandoned the paying guest plan (that woman was being quite unreasonable anyway). I now have a bed to sleep on. So what if it's in Tapti, dirty little Tapti, with the big black cat. It's still a bed I can call my own...well, for a few months!

Visual arts midsem next week, need all the divine intervention I can get.

October 26, 2008

Delhi bully

Tomorrow I'm back to the capital of the country. But I'm going to be all resilient and ready to face things...hopefully.

October 22, 2008

The vagaries of being a sentimental idiot

When I enter my past and sift through my thoughts, I keep marvelling at how I've become less of a sentimental idiot as far as some things are concerned. And I'm alarmed at how I continue being a sentimental idiot...the objects and issues change, the idiocy remains.

But, yes, I have managed to rid myself of some of my most nonsensical fantasies. And while they made me feel like the world had come to an end once they collapsed around me or were shattered by others, they've taught me that belief is precious and should not be wasted on anything and everything. I have been robbed of my ability to approach things with a completely open mind and proclaim my love to the world and anyone else who would listen. Now I treat every new thing cautiously, even if I try really hard, I always start with a bit of skepticism.

But it brings me more peace of mind. At least, there is a false sense of insulation that I can believe in, because it is a figment of my imagination. In short, I try to make myself labour under the delusion that I don't care. Not with much success, but I don't know if I would be proud of this success.

October 21, 2008

Ticket kata

I got a train ticket to Delhi...and it's for the 27th. So that means I'll be spending Diwali in a train. But I'm happy about leaving home later...makes me feel almost euphoric!

You are welcome...to do nothing

A howler that came to me as part of an e-mail from IRCTC, the Indian Railway's ambitious online ticketing site, telling me why my work could NOT be done, of course.

"In case of any problem, you are welcome to contact us at 24*7 Hrs. Customer Support at 011-23340000, MON - SAT(10 AM - 6 PM) 011 - 23345500/ 4787/ 4773/ 5800/ 8539/ 8543 , Fax No. 23345900, Chennai Customer Care 044 - 25300000 or mail us at
care@irctc.co.in. We will be glad to help you out in solving any such problem encountered during booking your ticket."

Well, I understand that one number is probably 24*7 and I assure you, having spent some absolutely frustrating minutes trying to get an operator on the phone on railway numbers, that your calls will never be answered.

The best part is, I still don't have tickets to Delhi. The future looks bleak, from where I see it.

October 19, 2008

I want to stay right here...

I just don't want to go back. I'm cooped up at home in Bombay, I've left the house only on five occasions, all to go to the doctor. But I don't want to go back to Delhi.

I've developed this alarming fear of suitcases. The thought of packing makes me break into a sweat. I am absolutely TIRED of packing and unpacking and then packing. I cannot live out of a suitcase anymore. What makes this worse is the underlying knowledge that it's not a two month Orissa adventure but a two year committment that I voluntarily made.

I don't find the time to get out of campus, and now, after one month of not attending class, it's very unlikely I'll find time for ANYTHING other than those books. Visual art is frankly freaking me out. I still haven't got over that failing the drawing exam block. In those classes I feel like a kindergarten tot trying to give the Class 12 exams. Everything flies a mile above my head. No, two miles.

And I know school is great, so I don't want to leave the course and come back. I'm enjoying what I do there. I'm having a ball. But I just cannot stand leaving Bombay. Maybe it's just that I don't have a place to live and that I don't know where I'll go when I go back to Delhi. I hope the PG thing I'm trying to arrange works out. I never thought I would have a househunting story. But now I have some very bitter memories of the whole process. It is just so draining - the fact that you don't know when the roof above your head is going to collapse. Or worse, snatched away.

And I actually thought everything was going so great till I was rudely jolted out of my reverie. In any case, I have to go back in five days, and I hate that. I never knew I'd want to cry for a city. Now I know.

October 14, 2008

Adventures with Delhi doctors

JNU runs this Health Center which magnanimously provides free treatment to its students. Pretty noble for India, I thought. So recently, I fell ill. Ill enough to want to go to the doctor. And since everyone who looked at me asked me - Have you gone to the Health Center, I decided it was worth a dekko.

I went there and realised I did not possess the "booklet", where doctors would chart the trajectory of my ailments. No problem. I paid for an OPD card, at the ominously named "Injection and Dressing Room", where injections are administered by a guy in sleeveless banyan. Now now, I have no prejudice against this naturally air-conditioned form of dress, but he didn't even have six-pack abs...more like a six kg stomach. So after "injection sahab" finished doing whatever he was doing to a girl behind the curtain, she looked quite hapless and thin, may I add, he came to attend to the business of my OPD card.

"Ab tak aapne OPD booklet kyon nahin banvaaya?"
"Health Center aane ka mauka hi nahin mila."

No appreciation shown for my humour, he asked for my ID card, filled the OPD card up and told me where the doctor was. Off I went. Outside the doctor's room, it seemed rather quiet. So I peeked into his chamber and saw he was attending to a patient. I waited, patiently. Very soon, the beleagured patient emerged and it was my turn to go in.

Seeing that Bappi Lahiri meets failed Abba aspirant meets Michael Jackson fruit salad, I knew I was up against something very unpleasant. He barked, "Close the door." I promptly followed orders. Then he made me sit on a really tiny bar stool and asked, "What's wrong with you?"

Me: I've had a fever, headache and stomach upset.
Doc: How do you know you have a fever. Did you check?
Me: No, but I know...
Doc: What do you mean you know. You can't play guessing games with your body.
(Pulls thermometer out of cleansing solution with a flourish and shoves it in my mouth. Turns the clock on the table towards me)
Doc: One and a half minutes.
Me: (Still struggling with thermometer jabbed into mouth) Mmm...hmmm.
(Meanwhile, he returns to a small brochure on Abba. I have nothing against those tall and gorgeous singers, but hellooooo, you're supposed to be working. There is something called a work ethic!)
(Time passes. He removes the thermometer.)
Doc: (Triumphant look covering his face slowly) You don't have a fever. You're completely normal.
Me: No but it keeps coming and going you see.
Doc: (In the tone of a petulant child) But you don't have a fever.
Me: But...
(Interrupts me icily)
Doc: Open your mouth. (Peers in) You have a cold. Stomach upsets can happen when you have the common cold virus.
Me: Ok, if that's what you say...

After two more doctors, two thousand rupees and near heart attack moments, I realised I had typhoid. So much for the common cold virus. I'm beginning to hate Delhi. And fear suitcases.