Q- Queen

There are many movies that I am a huge sucker for. I watch them over and over again either because I really like a scene or because somebody says the right thing in the movie that makes me just want to sit up and applaud endlessly. Some movies remain with me, long after I have left them not because somebody says all the right things in the end but because sometimes, things have been said so much and so many times that you choose not to say them anymore. She could have told him to go to hell, she could have told him that he caused her many a sleepless nights, she could have told him that she deserves somebody better but all she does is stand there in front of him, rejecting even what should have been said and smiles sheepishly. Madam then hugs him, says ‘thank you’ and leaves. No turning back to show middle finger – no throwing the ring into the air, not even ‘I have to look modern now because I have become independent’ – just plain old moving on. That is Queen for me. Words like ‘Bold’, ‘New age’ and ‘Breakthrough’ seem like adjectives for gadgets and therefore don’t do justice to the mad narrative that is Queen.

I liked that Queen’s return to India was not grand and hence not embellished by skirts or jeans or much else. She left to her honeymoon all by herself, a sad woman in chudidar and returned a happier woman in pretty much the same clothes. The success of the movie for me was when the audience was left baffled during this airport scene. The silence that followed after this scene was cold and cutting, like it knew that it was unwelcome there and it was forced as a result of shock and that it’s cheering-hooting predecessors are all laughing at it menacingly.

Queen surprises you on many levels and these levels have nothing to do with the villain- fiance. All these levels are Queen-related and she aces them with giggles. She doesn’t fall in love in Paris – she falls in love with Paris – she learns how to cross its streets without help, she finds her passion, drives maddeningly through Parisian streets, lives with 3 men in a hostel- has an unromantic relationship with each, lives also; with a woman – no romance there either.

And after all this, she comes back happy and healed. Not changed or revolutionized or baptized into a modern woman. Just happy.

A couple of weeks ago, a status update a friend had posted about some lame ass singer who doesn’t believe in feminism because she thinks global warming is more important (!) had me seething with rage for a week. I retaliated in much the same way – stupid and pointless. She’s a nice person and everything but now I am thinking: movies like Queen are a total waste on her and the kinds simply because they think that feminism hasn’t done anything for them. It’s much more delightful to deal with people who question feminism than with people who are indifferent to it and by extension, themselves.

Never mind. Queen rocks. You should watch it.

P.S: Delayed post, I know. But Q for Queen made perfect sense just now.

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R – Rabbit hole

Seven years old.

It was crowded but the pleasure was all mine. Nobody noticed me. I was surrounded by a hundred people and they were all doing their own thing. Nobody looked my way. It seemed like the perfect time to pull something mad because this thrill of doing something even when people are around has what filled my childhood with stories of getting caught so many times. I felt a mad rush making its way up my stomach. I could have stopped it, I didn’t. Then I was seized by it so I had to do it. I undid my earrings, the ones it took so long to put on in the morning, and I flung it across the hall. I didn’t regret it because I didn’t know why I did it. I still don’t. I knew how much those earrings meant to mother. She repeatedly said that it was gold. Not just to me but to every god damn passerby who bothered to stop. look, exclaim, ask and invite more people to peer at my ear holes and what covered them. But that’s not why I threw it. I felt a mad, almost sadistic pleasure when I threw it. I haven’t thrown earrings after that but I continue to maintain simple pleasures like doing things forbidden and I take extra effort to do it around people.

Does this have anything to do with my pica disorder?

 

S – Sshhh

I don’t like these nights. Everything I type, I want to erase. Everything I think, I want to hide. Every time I read old posts, I want to run. Every time I think about you, I feel ashamed. There is burden in my writing. Effort stands out politely because words here, in this part of the world do not move as freely as they do in yours. They are measured, thought of, erased, rewritten and scratched. They don’t look strung like beads on my paper because they are forced. There is effort and a sensuous flow in your words. Reading it produces orgasms of all kinds. How do you do it? Do you struggle too?

 

T – Travel

This is a special one because there is nothing in the world I love more than traveling. And writing. And tea. But let’s get to that later. My earliest travel experiences are all located deep within my mother’s desire to kidnap us during vacations regardless of college work/assignments/internships. Nothing was ever a good enough excuse to not travel. She was a stubborn woman alright but when it came to vacations or weekends – her enthusiasm to pack and take off with the family was simply villainous. It didn’t have to be vacations all the time, the woman would grab anything – a two day weekend even, to force us into uprooting ourselves from home to some godforsaken place on top of some hill that she ‘discovered’ in ‘Top vacation spots this season’ in Femina magazine.

Before I very humbly start giving credit to this woman who shaped in me a desire to travel, it must be said that back then I dreaded these trips. I would have a ton of school/college work that even if I hadn’t the faintest intention of doing I would still have liked the option of doing. Plus it cut into all my time of sitting at home all day in front of the TV. Also, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about sharing all that space with the family for 6, sometimes 8 hours in the nausea producing ambassador cars. It continues to smell stuffy and guilt-like, these ambassador cars.

The one good thing that seems to have come out of these forced travels is my resistance against travel related sickness. And that I love traveling, so there, two things. Also, traveling now as opposed to then just means time away from home and people and home-people. Just the anticipation of list making and packing makes even bad travel experiences seem worthwhile. I love packing. It makes me feel independent in some really sad way. I like looking for small plastic containers to put shampoos in. I like rolling my clothes instead of folding them because that means more space in the suitcase. Yay. I like that all the money that I need is with me, in my wallet. I feel responsible for myself. I like taking care of myself. I like that I only have to worry about my bags and my things. I like that the seat next to the driver’s seat will always be mine. I like that I can stay out as long as I want without having to worry about curfew and phone calls, I like that I don’t have to look for another person’s toothbrush because I know exactly where mine is, I like that I can stare at bookshops and booze shops and other shops for hours together because I don’t have to worry about anybody else getting bored.

In short, traveling is very liberating because all the time in my day is mine and I can spend this time wearing spaghetti tops and shorts and nobody will so much as glance in my direction. I can eat beef and bacon and drink like a pirate and nobody will ask me questions. Sadly, I have never traveled alone. More sadly, it is not because I can’t.

 

U – Underwear drawer

I have this screwed up theory about people that sometimes their underwear drawers could be more interesting than them. Underwear drawer is historically the most neglected section in the wardrobe. A lot can be said about and found out from a person’s underwear drawer. Sometimes when I am talking to people and I stop paying attention to what they are saying, it is because I have stopped thinking about how often they do it and have started to think about how they treat their underwear drawers. I am fond of this special place that some of us assign to our delicate wears. A polythene bag, a plastic cover, an underwear drawer. I know of cousins back home who treat their delicates with so much love and affection, it’s almost enviable. They wash it with just as much care and enthusiasm as they would wash themselves.

A big bottle of Dettol is dedicated to the delicates. A special clothes-line is discovered to let them hang and dry, after which they are handled with care. Folded and pressed to perfection, they are carried to the underwear drawer and placed inside, according to categories. Everyday use, fancy, dark colored, soft colored, ones with negligible holes, ones with holes in places that would diminish the necessity of even wearing an underwear, special ones because special things happened to you the day you were wearing them so they become lucky underwears, ones with colors that nobody knows, ones that have ugly marks on them which won’t go but you still like it so you keep it.

Sometimes the contents are forced to share space with other delicates like upper body garments because your snotty sister thinks that it is arrogant and selfish of you to want two drawers just to keep ‘crap’.

So they sit there in company until they are next wanted. Sometimes they are mollycoddled into believing that they have just made their owner’s day because they have found the perfect underwear for the perfect formal pants but on most other days they are flung out of their righteous place because it wasn’t what the owner was looking for.

And then tragedies strike when they are washed along with bed sheets and curtains and all manner of colours sit on them. White becomes pink and yellow looks angry for having to share space with spots of blue. They are later put through all kinds of humiliating ordeals – small holes become big and then they are torn for better purposes. Some become wipe cloths for kitchen slabs, some continue to occupy the same pristine underwear drawer until re- found ages later and thrown again, some others are rolled back and preserved for memory’s sake.

But old underwears make for the best stories. We all have that one under wear at home that nobody owns or knows about. But it’s there and nobody throws it away because it could be that cousin’s who came visiting some 2 years ago no?

V – Vanilla

Lo woke up to the tit tat of the old typewriter that had made noise off of its malfunctioning letter P. Humbert Humbert used a lot of P’s. He rammed the letter P into its home, jarring his teeth with frustration. ‘I’m sorry but you have got to appear’ he barked. Lo stood now at his doorway and looked at him with all the pillow face that she carried from her room.

‘You woke me’, she whispered.

Humbert Humbert gave a start and looked at little lo. She was wearing a plain white T shirt and pajamas that were very long. They covered her toes and she kept tugging at them like she wanted them but didn’t want them. The animal in our hero gave a long, soft purr. He approved.

‘I’m sorry, I didn’t realise you were so close, sleeping. I’ll keep it low’, he said. His voice trying every bit he could muster to defy his feelings which were prowling around a little too menacingly towards her pajamas.

‘No-is ok, I’m up now’, she said and turned away. Humbert Humbert continued to look at the white space that Lo left. An almost angelic light sifted around where she had just been leaning. He got up to follow her. An air that was left by her hit his face and he sighed. It smelled of Jasmine and baby powder. He wanted so much to nuzzle his face in her neck, in her hair, in her. He stepped on what appeared to be a soft piece of cloth. He picked it up only to have his face, nose and eyes crave for Lo. They were her pajamas. She had removed them on the top of the stairs and he was now dissolving his face into her smell.

If the night couldn’t possibly give him the desired climax, he would have very much liked to stop at this. Him – holding her pajamas, breathing it, breathing her, imagining what she would be like, leaning over him, in bed. Her hair, in his face. But the thought of seeing her naked knees and the beauteous mass of thighs that lay over it, pushed him into the kitchen.

Lo sat in front of the open refrigerator, naked legs arching over near her chin. Her panties were soft and white and looked like they were doing perfect justice to what lay inside. But he wasn’t bothered about it for now. He just liked looking at her doing what she was doing so beautifully. Her face was crammed inside the refrigerator and she emerged a few seconds later with a box of Vanilla ice cream and a cup of raspberries. Humbert Humbert just watched her, his hands clutching at the deep insides of his pockets. Lo was wedging the raspberries in each of her fingers, dipping them in Vanilla ice cream and just as easily as she had left Humbert Humbert in his room,after changing his life forever, she was plopping the raspberries in her mouth, one by one.

Humbert Humbert was very afraid now because he knew himself too well. He realized that now that he had seen this thing, this creature, this child-woman, he could never let the moment go. Or her.

W – Wicked

Too many things on my mind today.

This post was originally going to be on W – Wanderlust, which was what was on my mind yesterday but too much of life has happened in a day. I have to write about the books that I found and bought yesterday. Also how it was the last day of the book fair and for some strange reason I found myself interested in all the cook books that there were this time, and there were many. I found Book One and Two of Delia’s ‘How to cook’ series, Zadie Smith’s ‘White Teeth’ and some travel books. I am excited about these cook books and I find that almost unnerving because I’ve never felt mad urges like these to see pictures of food and then reproduce it in real life, like step by step, like how that Nigella does it so effortlessly in her shows.

I like eating and watching things being cooked but have never shown actual interest in cooking. I don’t so much as lift a finger at home to do cooking stuff, unless I want to eat potatoes which is when I become a domestic goddess and do all the cleaning and peeling and boiling and butter frying. I do all this because  potatoes are special and I love them! It’s the best PMS food. Also, when you deep fry it with butter, your day just changes.

That. And then something strange happened this afternoon. Around 12:45 pm, just when I was deciding that it’s been a good day so far and that I should shut up and prepare for my next hour which was Additional English, I ‘stumbled’ on an article. Is there a better website than stumble.com? I doubt. That shit is just great. You literally stumble on some great stuff. The article was called, ’14 brilliant pieces of literature you can read in the time it takes to eat lunch’. I read Sandra Cisneros’ ‘Eleven’ and wept. It was beautiful and I took this beauty very seriously because the narration is slow but didn’t take time to open. The story was about an eleven year old girl and a red sweater that she was forced to wear. I haven’t ever read about birthdays being described like that. You know, like even if it is your birthday, you will cry. Sandra Cisneros is a genius. And to narrate a story that beautiful in less than 500 words? So things like these don’t happen that often with me. Usually when I start reading something online, I become a lazy, judgmental bitch so if I am not hooked to it in the first 2 lines, I stop reading. I’m useless like that. But Eleven just took me in. I was child and grown up at once, I saw myself, naked and embarrassed and crying. It’s just 2 pages so when I was done reading, I almost felt helpless. And then I took the worst decision of my life. I wanted my Add. Eng students to read it so I took it to class like some big hero only to watch their boring faces fall on every inch of my body and along with it died my enthusiasm for them and humanity.

I told them to go to hell. I also told them to just watch Pokemon and be stupid. I entered the damn class feeling inspired and happy and left feeling hopeless and spiteful. Bah. So that is W for Wicked because those kids are mean and wicked. Shattering life altering literature like that with their boring faces and all. Pah.