My mother is sitting in the next room and reading out next year's horoscopes from a Bangla Magazine. Apparently, she will fall ill Sometime in the course of 365 days (would you believe it?!) and her children-especially the first-born- will have trouble concentrating on studies. Well I'm not complaining. Hopefully I will do something productive in my distracted haze-- like catch up on movies-criminal-to-not-have-seen, go cycling somewhere I've never been, stop rhyming unintentionally and actually write something meaty.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
'Meaty' reminds me, I had one of the most Satisfying Christmas dinners of my life this 24th. At a place called KK's Fusion in Swabhumi. I don't know if they're always as good as we found it, but yesterday they were on TOP of their game- from the soup, to the Turkey in Blackberry Sauce to chocolate pancakes stuffed with ice-cream. The way I ate yesterday was verging on obscene, but hell, it's the 21st century. We have no standards. We is bad. We is cool. We is bold and beautifool. (What, I never said I'd stop rhyming intentionally. That was intentional, yes.)
And I don't care if I become fat. Fat is a social stereotype. Fat is in the eyes of the beholder. Fat is as fat does. Wait, fat isn't even derogatory so why am I trying to disprove its existence?
Indulge me, this is my Birth Month. I'm glad I was born a December Baby. Although my parents didn't ask me whether I was up to braving a turbulent and tainted world, they made some good decisions. This is a time when everything sparkles in the sunlight- be it a defunct Daisy Duck Clock by my computer, or coconut trees across the road. 'Coconut trees?', you think... wiggle an eyebrow if you're into dramatics. But wonder no further my friend, I'm not in Hawaii or Goa. This is just a pretty part of Salt Lake. Ignore the fact that beyond the slender, graceful Cocos nucifera lies a putrid canal- referred to expressively as 'Keshtopurer Khaal'. And remember, there are advantages to living in a place far away from everyone you like.
Another cool thing about December is-why pretend?- gifts. My Grandma is Mother Christmas. Roly-poly, twinkly-eyed, each wrinkle radiating the vibrance and warmth of laugh lines- aar ke hobe? Dida hasn't been very mobile for almost a year a now. But she has this amazing network of people who'll act as her scouts with the enthusiasm of little boys at role-playing computer games. And every year, I'll find her sitting on the bed, with a stuffed jhola on her lap and a smile of serene anticipation on her face. One can almost hear a soft voice whispering 'just for you' and 'look what I've got' from all corners.
That smile of hers would paint an empty card with Christmas Colours.
Of course, I have the good luck of knowing Mrs. Claus jr. too. Anumita Das. Among the things she gave me for my birthday this time, one was a selection of Neruda- in English AND the original. You know what? I will learn Spanish. I could never make 'No Ammonia' sound orgasmic like Penelope Cruz does in the Loreal Ad. But I WILL be a professor of Literature and read out Neruda in the original to my class. And everybody will go- 'Duuuuude, that was hot!'
Ok, don't run away. Indulgence. Birth Month. Remember?
But you know, I think I Could teach for a living, at least for a few years.
I was teaching my chauffeur's daughter English that day, and it was tough because her school has done NOTHING in preparing the foundation. They expect her to TRANSLATE and make sentences when they don't give her practice in spelling-dictation. She has no idea about how to string together words with prepositions. It was a challenge, trying to make her grasp the basic concepts. Without slipping into jargon or getting pulled along by the tide of technicalities sweeping through my brain. But I REALLY enjoyed it! There's something so fulfilling about watching comprehension dawn on a previously blank face, and detecting a glint of pride where uncertainty used to rule. I'm going to catch hold of her as regularly as possible, whether she likes it or not.
An entirely different but equally challenging experience was teaching one of Eliot's obscure poems to my 14 yr-old brother. Eliot, class 9, you heard it. How doth the little Council improve its shining status. How can a teacher explain open-ended Spiritual Conflict to a class already trained in wringing 'messages' out of literature? These things make me want to do something revolutionary. Pardon the fantastical choice of word.
Anyway, since it is MerryChristmas and nearly HappyNewYear, I will end on a suitable note.
Snatches of the past week----
Certain relatives of mine are so much fun when high. Think of someone poring over a menu card and going- 'Pork Steak. Palk Strait. Pork Steak. Palk Strait.' She also said- 'Ei size-zero Santa. Where is your bhuri?' to this man in Santa Costume. Admittedly, he wasn't as rotund as they used to make 'em.
And I'm still not over Carol Night in DI. HIP-HOP to a REMIXED Christmas Carol.
'Lala dhik chik. Your Christmas Tree's Delicious.' In addition, there were references to grinding topless which I don't remember word for word. I Had to choose between righteous anger and hysterical laugher. I go for the 2nd, what about you?
Posted by Anushka at 7:39 PM