Sunday, October 21, 2007

House Hunting

Five months in Hyderabad and we are house hunting again. I can't believe it. My flat mate (thats technically not correct as we live in an independent house and not a flat. But house mate sounds way too corny) Amandeep has decided to quit her job and move to Bangalore, to be with her boy friend. She has to go through a lot of protocol in office and the whole deal turns out to be really expensive, but I don't blame her. This city really is depressing. Garima (the other flat mate) has decided to take up the free accomodation available at The Taj, where she works. So that leaves just Tara and myself. The house we live in currently is way too big for us and we have been having a lot of water, rodent and plumbing issues lately. So we decided to move.

We set out yesterday to see some houses. The first one was pretty good. It's a one bedroom place, but Tara and I don't mind sharing a room. The house is big enough for the two of us, has a small balcony, is quite airy and clean as well. The whole deal works out pretty cheap too. But Tara is not quite happy with it as it's a little inside. As in, we won't be living close to the main road. But there are shops and auto stands close by. So I don't think there should be a problem. But we decided to see some more places and not decide on anything in a hurry.

It was a long, tiring day and we were roaming around Banjara Hills, Jubilee Hills and Sri Nagar Colony the whole day until evening. Flats, houses, rooms, shared rooms - we saw it all. I think we really looked lost and homeless, because we were asked by some strangers on the road if we were looking for some place to rent out; and this happened twice. We were desperate enough to take the second stranger's number, who turned out to be a broker and considered some of the options he gave.

We tried raising our budget, although I would find it difficult to shell out so much money. Still no luck. None of the decent apartments are available for two single working women as they assume that we have ulterior intentions of starting a brothel. The brokers tell us that straight on our face with such attitude, as if it's a crime to even consider that as an option. So houses or rooms are our best bet.

Seven hours, four brokers and ten houses later, we are still homeless.

Maybe we should just move into that first house we saw and liked. So what if it's a little far from the main road? There are so many people from both Tara's and my office living close by. There are shops too. The area is safe as well.


We are going to see some more places today. Hope something works out soon.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The Conversation

My computer screen blinks for a microsecond and the display is back. The page has been refreshed.

I see a red envelope on the top left corner and beside it, in parenthesis, the magic number - (1).

I've got mail!

I can't wait. I just have to check my mail. Maybe it's him.
Maybe he has written a poem for me.
Maybe he has finally decided to tell me how he feels about me, things that have been left unsaid.
Maybe he just wants to drop a line, share a moment together through this technological interface, challenging the miles that separate us geographically.
Maybe it's one of those horrible pointless 'Please forward me or you will rot in hell' mails. Sigh.
I decide that I will check anyway.

I hold my breath as I click on the tab. . .

'Dear Citibank Customer, your account balance is ..." I do not care to read any further.

Disappointed, I return to the technological tomfoolery that I do for a living.

[minutes later]

I sign into G talk and search for his name. I stare at the round green blob for a second. I read his status message. I read it again. and again. Once again I stare at the green blob that is shining beside his name. I imagine him at work, staring at some paper as he rubs the back of his neck with his right hand, deep in thought. He shakes his head and combs his hair with his hand. I can almost smell him now. I continue to stare at the green blob. Occasionally I read his name.

Suddenly I hear the sound of a gong. No. That can't be Air Supply playing.

A small box pops up and I see his name on it. He has pinged me. We talk.


Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Love Letters

Finally I got to see some good theatre in Hyderabad. Rage Productions' 'Love letters' was undoubtedly one of the most brilliant performances ever. It's very rarely that all works well in theatre. That very uncertainty is its challenge and beauty. But what I witnessed last Friday was something close to a miracle. The story, told through a series of letters written by two people - Andy and Melissa - was beautifully portrayed by veteran actors Rajit Kapur and Shernaz Patel. It was delightful to watch them bring out their nameless relationship, that grows from juvenile delinquents, to adulthood discovery, to middle aged dependence, and somewhere down the line into an innocent love that conquers the deepest depths and attains the highest heights.

I wonder if such love exists in reality. Are we capable of a love that is so unconditional and real? My grandparents were married to each other for 70 years. Does that mean they were truly in love? Now, I don't want to judge their lives or label their relationship; but I know they were inseparable in a very ethereal, delicate way that I cannot put in words. They continued to care for each other long after youth, passion, romance and all else left them. Maybe it comes out of habit, of having lived together for so many years.

I wonder if I will ever find such effortless comfort in anyone's company; if I'll ever want to spend a lifetime with someone.

I'm way too cynical to even hope for it.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Cynically Yours

Monday morning blues. No. Morning blues. No. Just Blues.

Life has been just plain depressing these days.

What is worse than a depressing book? A depressing book that you cannot put down. Well, what’s worse? A depressing book that you can’t put down, because every word of it is true. A series of events in the past, coupled with all else has sucked all zing out of me. Tara and I have been feeling so low, that our chins touch the ground all the time. There’s nothing to do in this city, and we miss Chennai terribly. This place, the people, work and all else is just dead; and reading The Inheritance of Loss just reassured all my cynical beliefs.

Grief is forever. There's no escape. Things will go wrong, and what you feared the most will happen. Do not try to fight it or change it. You can try to be brave, and attempt to make a life out of mere existence. But that's gratuitous. All you need to do, is to watch helplessly as your dreams go up in smoke, and your life's fantastic imagery becomes incongruously juxtaposed against reality.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

monotonous rants

I am sick of life.

I need the sea.

I want to sit on a wooden armchair and stretch my legs on the stone floor on a rainy evening, with a steaming hot cup of coffee on the table beside me.

I want to smell the earth; that profound olfactory sensation, of wet earth.

I want to love and be loved.

I want to slowly drift into deep, peaceful slumber and dream endlessly into the night.

Who reads this stuff, anyway?