Monday, November 28, 2011

Punctuating your emotions :P

So, in American English, will emoticons come before the end punctuation or after :~/? Are they part of the sentence? Are they sentences by themselves? :O Wait! Aren’t they like stage directions? Or would they be parenthetical elements?

I mean, something like this is a no-brainer:

When I asked him about it, all he pinged back was “Maybe :).”

This is easy only because the “chat” part is actually only a quote within a sentence. All you have to do is reproduce the original as is. But, what are the rules for writing the original?

If you had to say “Maybe :),” where would you punctuate it?

A. Maybe (:)).
B. Maybe :).
C. Maybe. :)
D. Maybe :)

Or should this not even be a part of your sentence when you chat? I guess this becomes moot when we compare chat with other written material. I mean, I’m sure neither Valmiki nor Homer used emoticons in their epics to convey sarcasm or anything else. But then again, those weren’t really live conversations either.

What do you say? Am I to just shut up and leave chat alone? Are you gonna pelt me for being the SS of the Grammar Police?
Is this one day going to find its way into an actual style guide? ;)

Sunday, October 9, 2011

How to really watch a scary movie...

If you're anything like me when it comes to scary movies, you'll know how tempting it is to watch a scary movie at 2 in the night although you know you are not going to sleep that night, and maybe even several nights that week. Here's what you should do:

  1. Well, since you are going to watch the movie anyway, you might as well find that one corner in the room from where you can see everything else in the room. Its a BAD BAD idea to have blind'll always keep looking back. 
  2. Watch the "story" bits, but when you know that the actual scary stuff is going to be played, channel surf! Make sure you watch the end, tho. Its only the resolution, although twist endings can mess you up. 
  3. Now, go to wikipedia and read up on the story and any references to the really interesting historical/mythological stuff.
  4. Finally, go sleep next to Mom! :)
  5. DO NOT EVER watch scary movies in theatres!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jo wonders

When is avoiding bullshit just common sense and when does it become "running away"?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Journey into the Interior

How long has it been since I had those delicious chills from an idea, from a turn of phrase? It happened again today, when I read a poem by Margaret Atwood.

Journey to the Interior
By Margaret Atwood

There are similarities
I notice: that the hills
which the eyes make flat as a wall, welded
together, open as I move
to let me through; become
endless as prairies; that the trees
grow spindly, have their roots
often in swamps; that this is a poor country;
that a cliff is not known
as rough except by hand, and is
therefore inaccessible. Mostly
that travel is not the easy going
from point to point, a dotted
line on a map, location
plotted on a square surface
but that I move surrounded by a tangle
of branches, a net of air and alternate
light and dark, at all times;
that there are no destinations apart from this.

There are differences
of course: the lack of reliable charts;
more important, the distraction of small details:
your shoe among the brambles under the chair
where it shouldn't be; lucent
white mushrooms and a paring knife
on the kitchen table; a sentence
crossing my path, sodden as a fallen log
I’m sure I passed yesterday
(have I been
walking in circles again?)

but mostly the danger:
many have been here, but only
some have returned safely.

A compass is useless; also
trying to take directions
from the movements of the sun,
which are erratic;
and words here are as pointless
as calling in a vacant wilderness.

Whatever I do I must
keep my head. I know
it is easier for me to lose my way
forever here, than in other landscapes

The specific line? “that there are no destinations apart from this.” When someone else’s words leap out at you and you have that bone deep sense of recognition? That’s what this line did to me. A vague dream that I’d forgotten came back to me in flickering pictures. An uneasy semi-horror-flick, semi-blurry-black-and-white image of a long-forgotten sensation superimposed on my deliberate denial….

I suppose its not particularly profound, but then, well, that’s why this is all so personal. I don’t remember when my “flight” began. I seem to lose myself in that Bermuda Triangle of an adolescence that I vaguely remember in my mind. This, of course, must be left mid-thought.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


OH why oh why did I smell the stale cups in the office pantry? It was like smelling a baby's breath 2 hours after its meal. Grooooooooooooooooooossssssssssss! (Some moron actually named a flower after baby's breath! Jeezus!)

Some impulses are just horrible. You dont know why you get 'em; you just do.
Like that time when I stepped right into the wet, squelchy mud despite everyone telling me to step onto the stone...
Or that time I fed a an egg to a huuuuuuuuuge stinky pig...and it just crunched the entire egg in its cavernous open mouth...
Oh oh! The smell of curd rice that's been in a shut box for a while...
And hearing the next door uncle retch loudly and obnoxiously into his sink early in the morning under the pretense of brushing his teeth, but you know he'z actually bulimic and he'z bringing out day before yesterday's half-digested utthappam.
Or vomit
or the aftertaste and aftersmell of vomit..
and the worst? Having to look at yesterday night's vomit in broad daylight, baking in the hot sun.

I do start my days on wonderful notes! I'm sure I brightened all ya'll's days, lunches and coffee-breaks! :D

Look at that floating grossness! Yumyuck!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Growing up? Overrated!

The past few weeks, I’ve lived a slightly different life. I’ve done things I’ve been longing to do for a while. I’ve met people and experienced things that I’ve been missing for a long time. It was a great high. I remember those highs. I learned quickly that they come, take you on a giddy pleasure trip and then drop you like a sack of potatoes. This time, though, I knew all the while that these few weeks were going to be just that…a fun time. They were not going to be a permanent fixture or even a relatively longish spell in my life. However, this “groundedness” came in real handy when the crash came. I’m pretty much the same. I am not bummed that it is over. A coupla years ago, I would’ve moaned for a MONTH, if not longer. I am back to my lazy, comfortable life. Ironically, I decided that I would come back.

I know what this is: I’m growing up. It’s not as bad as I thought it would be (at least not right this moment), but it definitely is not all that great. I do miss the wonder and the drama. Being calm and zen about shit is no fun at all. Nothing is a novelty now (I really hope I’m kidding myself, tho! :D). I hope you all are going through something similar. Say you are even if you are not! :P

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Yes, even I have an OCD side.

I work with word documents a lot on account of being this really very important content-editor and essay evaluator. Yes, I have to work with very complicated software like MS Word, Notepad, Wordpad and MS Word. Did I mention MS Word?

So, I’ve come to notice a while ago that the way documents come to me can affect my mood a lot. Take justifying text, for example. I am quite obsessive about it. On opening a word doc, I almost automatically drag my mouse to the formatting tool bar, select all text and justify the fuck out of it. There! Finally, the jagged-line-edges on the right have become even. Now, onto the next task.

I hunt for serif fonts quite pointlessly, coz I know I’ve already fixed on one font…Garamond. I hate the Arial font family. Likewise, Times New Roman. To me, it’s quite ugly, actually. Fonts like Helvetica and Impact are anathema to me. UUUUUUUUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH! How aesthetically unattractive. How plain and boring, with lumpy shapes. I like Calibri, Cambria, Century Gothic, Palatino Linotype. Nice, compact, elegant.

Do you see the irony tho?
1. Me. OCDing about how a word doc looks even before I read it.
2. Liking the skinny fonts over the big, bold, simple, no-frills ones.

I wonder what this says about me. For those of you who know me, you KNOW I’m nowhere near either of that. Body image issues? For sure! But isn’t this taking it too far? I guess I’ll do the wondering on my own coz you definitely don’t need THAT image. I’ll just leave you with this:

Do our innermost hypocrites burst out in ridiculous absurdities like this?

PS: I've deliberately chosen a sans serif font here on my blog and yes, very very deliberately chose to leave my text unjustified. I'm rebelling against my own good-girl tendencies

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Blog crazy!

Ever since I started this blog, I've become a little extra-obsessive. I've added all kindsa "bling" to my blog, as one friend put it. I've cajoled and then threatened people to comment and follow it. I've done all but REALLY write. Thank you for putting up with me. I am really happy today coz I've got 14 followers (thanx Yamee!) and I got a hit from effin POLAND, yo! This is fun. Sorry for being soo nuts. I will grow out of it soon, but hopefully, not out of writing. :)

Wondering why I even bothered writing this "post"? Coz I'm just THAT happy and nuts today. :D

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Love Letter

Dear Hyderabad,

I love you. I am IN LOVE with you. I’ve never even bothered denying it. It would’ve been of no use. You are my first love and everyone knows that first loves stick around for always. Why? I don’t know.

Maybe it was because I put up a fierce resistance and you sneaked up on me anyway.

…bookstalls in Abids…bargaining with fruit sellers…
…chatting in hostel rooms…VC rock…
…walks and train stations…discovering the beauty of dying embers…
…cycling on campus in the darkness…piles of clothes, always PILES!...

Maybe it’s because I put you on a pedestal, being a silly small-town girl that I really am inside. Maybe, it’s because I finally found myself only with you. You were so many firsts. You made me a woman and showed me how to be a girl.

…Peacock lake…Music and OD…
…Long walks and exploring new corners…
…hunting for my own place…creepy real estate brokers…
…dark musty holes that I must call “rooms”…
…deserted roads…maddening hunger…curious neighbors...
…the freedom of dirty rooms…discovering the kitchen…
…the delivery boys who became familiar strangers…an overfull toothbrush stand…
…the thrill of a dining table and a full-length mirror…

Maybe it’s the secrets you shared, all those bits of you that make me cry out with joy and wonder, those tastes that…well…take me places :)

…sunrises and more importantly, sunsets—at the lakes, Sunset Peak, at Golconda, while riding on the MMTS, while lost around Begumpet…
…an autoride from Mehdipatnam to campus…and of course, quarrelling with the auto guy…
…Starless skies and cloud-filled nights…moons that go up and down…
…eat street…Birla temple…tank bund…
…Siddiques! And Temptations!!!...HALEEM!...Qubani ka meetha!...Mint, paan and MORE…

Maybe it’s because I finally found something in you that is just me…and yet not. You make me roll my eyes and smile coz you’re just so adorably infuriating, laugh like a maniac coz only you can say those things…make me livid with unspent anger because as much as you consume me, you are a total shithead, sometimes.

…HCU, all of it, every bit of it…even the most mundane details…
Banjara Hills and GVK One…City Centre…
…Ravindra Bharati…Waterfront…Golconda…theatre and theatrics (ha!)…
…Hyderabadi Hindi? Urdu? Telugu?....Best Books…
……Prasadz…the crowd at Prasadz  …Necklace Road…
…the traffic!!…the ogling eyes(?)...the VISIBLE heat …the mind-numbing cold... the stink…

Maybe it’s because whenever I come to you, even today, it feels like I’m coming home.

…autowallahs…Hyderabadi, just Hyderabadi…Biryani…Hussein Sagar…Prasadz…MMTS rides…

I don’t know all the whys, but the maybes always seem to overwhelm me.

I don’t know you, really. I haven’t seen many sides of you, so many places and things that make you YOU. But the pieces of you that I’ve managed to make my own will stay with me for far too long. I know I should not think of returning, but then, I’ve never been much good at “should NOTs.”

With love and nostalgia,

Me at my lone roof

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

My Fav Post of 2010

Here is a re-post yo! My favorite piece of my writing from the year that was...

Those Ugly Beings...

I cant breathe clean...nasty hungry lungs...i suffocate..i'm claustrophobic...i pant and suck in air greedily...don’t close the door…I want in…its my room…I need space…get the fuck out…just leave me alone…just LEAVE ME ALONE…go away go away go the HELLL away…I want to scream…go away go away…love hate beauty ugly fat cold…oh soooooooooo cooldd coooooooooold….frozen…dirty…crawling all over my skin…grease…I hate you I hate you…how dare you…why do you get to say all those things…and why don’t i…I hate you…you talk you think its okay to say whatever u want wherever you want…and must listen and pretend I don’t hear…I see you everywhere you bastard I hate you I hate you…you are ugly ugly ugly…rotten black goo…powerless weasel snivelling…and I must see you everywhere…man man man…everywhere man…the arrogance…you stink of it…don’t go alone don’t go alone…its not safe…I wanna scream and cry and thrash and hurt and skin and tear and claw…

I’m me I’m me I’m ME…leave me be…I want space…I need air…I need space to run and be and breathe and think and laugh and dance and gaze and love…midnight…biking…freedom…wind..cold cold air…waking up the rage…the anger...the thrill...the mad in me…do you want to be raped…oh mi god she is a slut…look at her clothes…rolling eyes...whispers...sleaze...dizziness...cold cooooooooooooldd…hands...warmth...dirtiness...eyes…oh those eyes that are everywhere...watching watching...always watching…smirking…SEEING...wondering…those eyes that I claw out..,claw and poke…and slap and kick and make you SHUT THE HELL UP…forever…just shut up shut up shut up shut up…I don’t wanna hear anymore…my life my life…its MY LIFE…I don’t need anything anyone…stupid…playing games…why why why why completeness accept…my power my beauty my wholeness…always stepping crushing belittling stamping laughing touching groping feeling breaking spoiling stopping waiting scheming playing…dirty dirty dirty…power…I hate you…disappear…soft and sweet and fragrant mystery…shatter…probing, prodding…plane…angles…squares and circles...away away away…don’t meet…don’t meet...judging always judging…façade…cool cool closed scheming façade…that mask covering your ugly thoughts...cut it off...piece by piece…I hate you

Monday, January 3, 2011

Superlative joys

Happy New Year, ya’ll!

Hope you all began your year on a wonderful, jubilant note. Mine was “nice.” I seem to be describing a lot of things in life like that nowadays. I might be running out of adjectives. I am almost tired of “great,” “cool” and “awesome” too. But those are still the ones that pop into my head and slide down to my tongue at those semi-interesting happy occasions in life.

You thinking of going abroad? Nice…or rather, NAAAAAAAAICE! which roughly translates into “Yay! Good for you. I’m moderately excited for you. I will actively listen for about 10 minutes and even ask you relevant questions, but after that I will tune out coz since it’s not immediately relevant to me; I don’t care a whole lot, really, except that if you are really close to me, I’m going to miss you tons…which really sux baaaaad.”

You are doing great at your job / found the most divine dress while shopping / you had an awesome time with your friends / your boyfriend is acting cutely retarded? AWESOME!!
And I really mean it. I really am happy for you. I understand the joy of actually wanting to wake up and go to the office. I know what having that is like and I know what NOT having that was like. I do get the shopping thing, now that I’ve maybe begun to discover the X chromosome in me. And yea…having had some amazing times with my friends, I know exactly how much that can make your day, week, month. The boyfriend thing is iffy, but well…yea, I can be happy for you, genuinely…as long as I’m allowed to be openly bitchy to your face as well. It’s just that there seems to be nothing I can say that can CONTRIBUTE. “AWESOME” is my vigorous verbal nod and sparkle-eye, wide grin with an occasional chuckle thrown in.

If the occasion is not as momentous, I sometimes use “Great,” although, recently, I’ve been using it exclusively to respond to “How u doings (not the Joey ones)/ How are you’s.” On more than one occasion, I’ve noticed that I veer away from the more subdued “good” and just type in “great,” while I’m oscillating between the two. Notice how we’ve all jumped up by one superlative since the MNCs. Good has become great and great—AWESOME! When we feel AWESOME, we need to get creative pronto, or resort to the violent-sounding happiness of THRILLED TO BITS or MIND (FUCKING) BLOWING or what have you.

Perhaps, this year, I must work on my adjectives. That is a GREAT resolution, don’t you think?