Monday, August 30, 2010


To behave like a girl
To be emotional
To be logical
To think

To appreciate my talent
To follow fashion
To lose weight
To be nice

To always follow self control
To not be controlling
To be independent
To need someone

To care about what people think
To live up to expectations
To be normal
To fit in.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Puppeteer - Part 3

She looked at him. She saw the glint in his eyes.
The glint of a puppeteer, a child, a madman.
She tried to dissuade him, but he just sneered at her. “You know I can handle it.”
But he wasn’t in control. It was intriguing, fascinating, disturbing.
He continued to play around with the strings, trying complicated new knots, swimming through them, pulling at them, trapping himself, finally emerging tired and worn out. But always fascinated, yearning to go back for more.
It intrigued him. It scared her.
She thought he’d stop after the first time. The second. Finally, the third. She could see him wearing himself out, he let go of all his other strings, slowly weaving a web around himself, feeding on himself, over and over.
And that’s when he offered her his hand. A hand with a promise. A promise to pull her out of her world, to show her beauty as she had never experienced, yet always known to exist, to explore, to understand, to be herself.
She clenched her fists, her hands trembling with anticipation. She looked at the world she had left behind. The puppets were dancing around and making merry, unaware of the strings, pulling at them and mocking at their jerky movements. She could see the strings, she held them in her hands, playfully twitching, waiting for her touch.
Intrigue doesn’t begin to describe what he felt when he saw her expression. The first thing he noticed was the glint in her eyes, the glint he had come to love and respect. But there was something else. He reached out to her, and saw her step back. He approached her cautiously, circling around her, one cautious step at a time. He tried, more than once, to attach a thin translucent string to her, to pull her in, into his new world. But the strings wouldn’t hold…they never did.
She turned around and dropped the strings in her hand. She merged into the crowd of puppets, without so much as a glance in his direction. She could pretend, she could be herself again. A puppet, a puppeteer, a master of her will. Three worlds merged by one heartbreaking journey.
He heard the last of his translucent string snap.
And he smiled.


Monday, August 09, 2010

The Puppeteer - Part 2

The Puppeteer didn’t scare her, as he sometimes did the other puppets. He didn’t amaze and fascinate her like the others. They all loved him and danced around him. He repulsed her with his charm, his wit, his power. She tried walking away, and that’s when he offered her his hand. A with a promise. A promise to pull her out of her world, to show her beauty as she had never experienced, yet always known to exist, to explore, to understand, to be herself.

Suddenly she felt herself drawn to him, not because he willed her, but because she willed herself. She would sit with him and talk for hours. She observed him, she learnt from him. She began to see the translucent strings on everyone around her. She learnt to appreciate the beauty of emotions, or the lack thereof. She let herself into his world, and dreamt of their worlds ahead. She began to understand why she was different from the other puppets. 

She was never meant to be a puppet.

Soon they became inseparable. Growing and feeding on each others thoughts and emotions. Something about them scared all the other puppets around them. They warned her of the changes, of the path she seemed to be taking, but she was already too far away to hear them. 

With the Puppeteer there were no boundaries. Every day meant pushing the limits, learning more, understanding more, experimenting more. It was a competition. It was a feast. They paraded their puppets around, and the puppets smiled up at them, in adoration and awe. The translucent web of strings, invisible to their innocent eyes.

Neither dared play around with the others strings, not worried about entrapment, fearing the ensuing catastrophe.

And one day, the Puppeteer decided to push his limits even farther.

“What would happen”, he wondered aloud, “if I try attaching these strings to myself?”

And he smiled.

The Puppeteer - Part 1

This world is divided into two kinds of people: the puppets, and the puppeteers.
People don’t always formally belong to either of the categories, often they spend their lives blending in and out at convenience. They spend their lives not even being aware of it.
There was a puppet once. She was rather happy being a puppet. She had a lovely life, a lot of puppet friends, she laughed, and loved and played. But, there were times, when she had these tendencies…not very becoming of a puppet, you see. She liked playing around with her emotions, experimenting with them, pushing them, seeing what would happen. She realized that somewhere, somehow she was different. Different from all the other puppets around her. She would observe the other puppets, she’d understand them, and she’ll soon discover exactly what made them happy, and what peeved them. She would revel in her ability to predict their moods, their thoughts, and sometimes, just sometimes she would allow herself the luxury of prodding and poking them, just slightly, just out of curiosity, just to see what would happen.
But she was scared. She wasn’t sure why she had such thoughts, and what the other puppets would think. So she kept quiet and hid. She kept her thoughts to herself, and contained them.
That’s when he found her.
The Puppeteer.
Intrigue doesn’t begin to describe what he felt when he first saw her. The first thing he noticed was the glint in her eyes, so very uncharacteristic of puppets. He approached her cautiously, circling around her, one cautious step at a time. He tried, more than once, to attach a thin translucent string to her, to pull her in, to be one of his puppets, but the string wouldn’t hold. As each string would snap, he’d smile. He knew he’d been right about the glint.
He knew he had found a puppeteer, in guise.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Maid in India

What a perfect way to wake up every morning… the melodious voice, the gentle nudge, the glowing face.. the romantic notion of the aaya in every Ruskin Bond story that I grew up on…. NOT!

In this quaint little city of Mumbai, my room-mate and I cower under our blankets every night, terrified of what might await us the following morning.

For every morning, the door of our small damp room is kicked open with a bang that resounds throughout the bungalow, and thus enters a woman who has sent many a wrestler scurrying away with their tails between their legs. Her palloo is tucked away somewhere on her frame, I dare not peek out from under my blanket to actually figure out where…her muscular legs partly revealed from under her fisherwoman type sari…her face contorted into an expression of pure loathing and rage. And I swear to God I have seen what I truly believe to be smoke coming out from her nostrils at times.

Some facts about our maid:

She comes from a lost land unknown to man. No one in the entire house, the neighbourhood, and I suspect even this city has any idea what language she speaks. Its not Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Bhojpuri or even Bengali. It is absolutely impossible to understand what she says. So everyone gave up listening to her a long time ago. That of course didn’t deter her from screaming even more in her sacred language.

She has magical powers. No really, she does. She manages to make clothes that go into the laundry clean, come out dirty. Oooh, she even manages to make all my underwear magically disappear. And some do come back, torn. Hmm. I think she’s still perfecting that part of her act.

She has visions. One day, she suddenly realized that the best way of drying our clothes was to hang them out on the terrace, while it was still raining. She put herself in danger, got drenched in the downpour, but came back a valiant hero, finally solving the dilemma of drying space that us mere mortals had been struggling with for days.

She has follow up visions. When the mere mortals fail to understand the brilliance of her initial visions, they tend to wake up to wet clothes drying on top of themselves.

She’s an expert in magical maths. She expects her salary to magically increase my 33.33% every month. Then she lets out a blood curdling scream and stomps her feet, promptly causing the ceiling in the next room to collapse, when the mere mortals fail to understand her enchanting calculations. 

She is adamant. She fails to understand when she’s fired, and promptly turns up again the next morning. The mere mortals are of course too scared to make her understand.

So every night, my roomie and I climb into bed, curl up into tiny balls under our blankets, and tremble with fear as we anticipate the Return of Godzilla.

Please note: This blog does NOT exaggerate. I DO firmly believe it was her stomping which led to the ceiling collapse.