30.12.13

I'M GOING HOME TOMORROW!
AND IT'S THE END OF THE YEAR!
AND A NEW YEAR IS GOING TO START!
AND A NEW YEAR IS ALWAYS AWESOME BECAUSE THERE HASN'T BEEN TIME FOR BAD STUFF TO HAPPEN YET!
(Unless my plane is engulfed in fiery flames which is just going to suck.)

Oh wait, I'm being positive and happy and jolly these days.

Here is something positive and happy and jolly for you:

http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/cutest-things-that-happened-this-year?bffb

Happy New Year. Don't fuck it up. But if you must, do it with flair. :)

27.12.13

A long-winded documentation of my first Christmas away from home.

7.30 am. Wake up and realize it's Christmas Day. Think of Bridget Jones' Diary - "Woke up to the usual adult disappointment of having no Christmas presents at the foot of my bed" or some such thing. Empathize heartily - not for the first time - with Bridget. Spend a few precious moments remembering past Christmases and revel in feeling sorry for myself. And then the feeling dawns on me: my first Christmas alone in my own home. It's a Moment and Moments, as opposed to moments, must not be wasted.

7.40 am. Put on some Christmas music and fix myself a cup of coffee. Look at coffee. Look at rum bottle next to coffee. Hey, it's Christmas! Pour a generous helping of rum into coffee. Take a sip. Look at honey. Add some honey. Then more rum to balance it out. Doesn't taste much like coffee anymore.

7.50 am. Stand on balcony with my rum coffee and take obnoxious 'selfie' to send my mother with the immortal caption 'Merry Christmas'. Enjoy the warm sun and feel glad to be alive and all that jazz. On a more serious note, it's a very beautiful day and I decided to walk to my brother's house when I go over for lunch. It'll take me an hour but what the heck. I'm that kind of person now. I spontaneously go on long walks.

8.30 am. Smoke a leftover joint and watch Big Bang Theory. Laugh uproariously.

8.35 am. Push ups to Deck the Halls. Fa la la la la.

8.36 am. Crawl into bed. Push ups have exhausted me. Decide to call my father. There's no way in hell my mother will be awake right now.

8.40 am. Father also asleep. Evidently went through too much vodka last night. Feel smug and self-satisfied because I am not hungover. Followed by a fleeting stab of disappointment. Instead have long conversation with PM. She always cheers me up.

9.00 am. Nap time. It's been a long morning.

9.45 am. Nap interrupted by mother who wishes me Happy Christmas. Comments that I appear to have lost a lot of weight going by the photo I sent her. More smugness and self-satisfaction follow. Not knowing how to cook apparently has its advantages.

10.30 am. Pack presents. This is no mean feat. Presents for SIL, Rita Mom, CK, Lana and Tiny. No wrapping paper left over for my brother which is okay because I haven't picked up his present yet.

10.45 am. Consider doing the dishes and sweeping home before my departure. But it's Christmas. So no. Have shower instead. Examine naked self in mirror. Decide that I would totally sleep with myself and self-esteem for the day is established.

11.30 am. Finally leave house. No time to walk to my brother's. Suspect my subconscious made me delay for this precise reason. Father finally calls. Speak to him, regaling him with the merry tale of my Christmas morning. Damn autowallah takes the opportunity to add an extra kilometer to the journey.

11.45 am. Beautiful day. Morning Has Broken is the first song to play on my shuffle. (I should explain here that I have a game where when I leave the house in the morning, it's going to be a good day if I get a nice line up of songs. If Morning plays, it's going to be a great day. And today, it was the first song to play. Universe on my side.)

11.50 am. Stop at Spencer's. Buy peanut butter and Nutella for my brother. Momentarily consider keeping the Nutella for myself and giving him peanut butter only, but the generous, selfless spirit traditionally associated with Christmas prevails.

12.30 pm. Reach my brother's. Hugs all around. Dogs don't seem to notice that I don't live there anymore. Or they don't really care. As long as they're fed, they're happy. Find a festive sort of spirit prevailing the house, mostly because of the tree, the delicious smell of pork wafting from the kitchen, and because I carry the Christmas spirit with me wherever I go. Feeling cemented when Rita Mom begins pouring wine into the trifle, and SIL mixes some vodka with jelly for jello shots later.

2.00 pm. LUNCH. Most excellent because I'd forgotten to eat breakfast and all the various intoxicants consumed by this point were making me feel a little light headed. The menu for lunch: pork vindaloo, pasta, bread, rounded off by the delicious wine soaked trifle. The four of us - brother, SIL, Rita Mom and myself - gather around the table. Conversation is limited. We all believe in eating first and talking not much. Dogs beg for food. Dogs get food. Rita Mom a little upset that my brother insists on feeding them some pork. Brother retorts that Rita Mom just wants the pork to herself. Rita Mom doesn't deny this. I suggest opening the Christmas presents.

2.30 pm. Christmas presents exchanged. Brother feeling ever so slightly guilty because he hasn't got me anything. He covers this up by saying he gave me a rent-free house to live in for four months. I beatifically agree, pointing out that I haven't reproached him at all. (I know how to handle him so well now, haha.) I know he will make it up to me at some point and he does.

3.00 pm. I have pork, pasta, trifle, wine and weed spilling out of my ears. Time for a nap.

3.30 pm. Difficult to nap with the damn dogs playing Leap Frog over me. Yes, I am the Frog.

5.00 pm. Skype various family members. They all look happy. I don't grudge them their happiness because - I realize with a start - I am happy too.

6.00 pm. Two of my brother's friends drop in. So does a doctor because my brother has a congested chest and Rita Mom is paranoid. While my brother talks to the doctor, I entertain the friends. One friend is forced to go out with SIL to pick up medicine. I'm not sure what to do with the other one so I get him stoned. Delightful.

8.00 pm. Everyone has gone home. I should too but there are those damn dishes waiting for me. I decide to stay the night. Also, my brother does - as I knew he would - something nice for me in the spirit of Christmas. He orders me a Corner House sundae. It is delightful and decadent. It has brownies and ice cream and whipped cream and hot fudge and peanuts. I begin to eat.

8.05 pm. I stop eating because I notice I've finished half the sundae in five minutes. I put the rest away in the fridge. I'll eat it tomorrow, I tell myself. I don't want to give myself a stomachache. I feel proud of this sign of mature adulthood.

8.15 pm. Damn mature adulthood. I finish the rest of the sundae.

8.45 pm. Agony. I'm dying. I stagger into my brother's room. He warns me that he will not be taking me to hospital at 3 in the morning. SIL gives me some disgusting tablets to chew. Death begins to look just slightly further away. Although I always carry it with me as we all do.

9.15 pm. SIL tells me delightful story about how my brother's friend - Hitesh - didn't realize we weren't 'full' siblings. Hitesh apparently thought I was Rita Mom's daughter. Upon SIL informing him that my brother and I share one parent - as opposed to most people sharing two - he was rather taken aback. We all have a good laugh about this.

9.30 pm. I round off a delightful day with a couple more joints and some more Christmas music. And then I stagger to my bed and prepare to fall asleep. Christmas Day has come to an end. Before I drift off, I feel  grateful to my brother and SIL and Rita Mom and the dogs for bringing so much love into my life.

9.40 pm. Stumble to the bathroom. The pills are doing their job. And how.

9.50 pm. Emerge, feeling five kilos lighter. Okay, now the day is done. And it has been unexpectedly wonderful. Because, in a way, I am home for Christmas.

Alright, not really. But whatever. At least I didn't fall out of a car this time.

Merry Christmas, folks. :)





With my rum on Christmas morning. Please take special note of the wording on my mug. 
A self-explanatory photo.


Rita Mom making the delicious trifle.

Family.




23.12.13

The Annual Re-cap.


1. What did you do in 2013 that you'd never done before?

SO MANY THINGS.

- Moved cities because of work.
- Lived in two different cities (not bad).
- Got my first real, official, contract-signed, business card provided job.
- A 'boy' cut. I thought my nose would look bigger. It doesn't. Ha.
- Got myself a sister-in-law. And a brother-in-law. Well, my brother got them for me, but whatever.
- Figured out what I want to do with my life. (For now.)
- Got my own flat and began living alone. And this includes an entire subset of things-I've-never-done-before: cleaned bathrooms and rooms on a daily basis, cooked (I use the term loosely) for myself on a daily basis, haggled over pieces of fruit, etc.
- Learned how to cook. Sort of. It's still a work-in-progress.
- Stopped wearing men's clothing. Mostly.
- Learned to appreciate sushi, sashimi and prawns. Sort of.
- Many, many more things that I can't even begin to remember so ha.


2. Did you keep your new year's resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

If I remember correctly, I vowed to never be as drunkenly stupid as I was last Christmas. And to be graceful under pressure. I have been drunkenly stupid, but not that drunk and stupid. And I think I've managed being graceful under pressure. Sort of. If snapping and snarling and being volatile count. 


3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Nope.


4. Did anyone close to you die?

No, thank goodness.


5. What countries did you visit?

None :( But there have been so many new things happening throughout the year, it hasn't bothered me as much as it usually would have. 


6. What would you like to have in 2014 that you lacked in 2013?

Money, money, money. 
Pill. 
And a little more self-familiarity. 


7. What date from 2013 will remain etched upon your memory and why?

I will always remember this year, different parts of this year, because it brought so many changes. My stint with Aleph was a big experience. So was moving to Bangalore. And my brother's wedding which changed the course of my life, sort of. And for love. The good, the bad and the ugly of it. 


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Pretty much achieving whatever I wanted to achieve.


9. What was your biggest failure?

There is something, but my blog is not the place for it. 


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nope.
NO INJURIES. A WHOLE YEAR WITHOUT INJURIES.
This has to be some kind of record. 

11. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

I can think of lots of people - including yours truly.


12. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Mine. But only sometimes. 


13. Where did most of your money go?

Cigarettes. Alcohol. Autos. 
I wonder if this will ever change. 


14. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Working in Delhi. And then moving to Bangalore. And whenever I got to see Pill. 


15. What song will always remind you of 2013?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWRsgZuwf_8 

Er, in a more positive way.
It's complicated.


16. Compared to this time last year, are you happier or sadder?

Happier. 


17. What do you wish you'd done more of?

Nothing comes to mind. (That's a good sign, right?)



18. What do you wish you'd done less of?

It would have been nice if I'd been less of a selfish brat. I'm working on it. 



19. How will you be spending Christmas?

For the first time in my life, away from my mother. No trees this year, no presents. So I'm not sure yet. I'll probably blog about it eventually.


20. Did you fall in love in 2013?

No. I've loved someone a lot longer than that. *Obligatory cringe* 


21. How many one night stands?

...


22. What was your favourite TV programme?

Mad Men, probably. 


23. What was the best book you read?

The Art of War. Hahahahahaah. 


24. What was your greatest musical discovery?

http://8tracks.com/


25. What did you want and get?

Pretty much everything I asked for.


26. What did you want and not get?

Nothing.


27. What was your favourite film of this year?

Um, um, um. Can't think of one.


28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

I turned 22. Had the usual big birthday party and left for a new life the day after, nursing a massive hangover. 


29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?

Not getting hangovers.


30. What kept you sane?

I don't think anything, or anyone, did this year. But I managed just fine on my own. Progress! 


31. Who was the worst new person you met?

Have I met anyone particularly horrible? No, I don't think so.



32. Who was the best new person you met?

One of the things I treasure most about this year is the people I've met, and known, and grown to love. (Or at least felt strong fondness for.) A list:

1. SIL. By far and away the most important.
2. Mikhil, who has eagerly awaited mention on this blog (because he's the only one apart from my father who reads it) and here it is. But no, Mikhil, you don't get a nickname. E-mail Buddy/ Gmail Friend just don't cut it. And I've forgotten what OGG stands for.
3. Harshita
4. PK
5. BIL
6. The Undoable One
7. Pradipta
8. Jayatri's Boyfriend (Technically I met him last year, once, but we got to know each other this year and now that he's left Bangalore, I've lost my favourite drinking buddy )

...These are the people who became, in some way, important to me. But there are other people whose paths I stumbled across who have also proved to be a delight (as far as I know them, who knows what lurks beneath the surface.)


33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learnt in 2013.

Probably that I'm never ever going to achieve inner peace because I am not the inner peace kind of person so I should just give up and focus on other, more useful things like finding surefire cures for hangovers. 


34. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.

No. 



17.12.13

15.12.13

I'm moving into my own flat today.

MY OWN FLAT.

I will be living alone for the first time in my life. I think I might actually be a grown up now.

Could there be a better way to end a year than by precipitating a new beginning?

6.12.13

A Rant.

So I was having a conversation with SIL last night and she was telling me about the days when she was young and wild and free. Her life has been far more colourful than mine. But there was one incident she told me about that seriously disturbed me because it's the perfect instance of how fucked up this country is in many ways.

She was at this nightclub. There was a rave going on. Police busted them. Loads of people were arrested. Fair enough.

What wasn't fair is the story behind it.

And no, I'm not even referring to the usual police brutality and pathetic, regressive mentality that accompanies so-called law enforcement although I'm going to come to that soon.

Apparently, the police had originally busted another place. And they caught a guy who is a cousin of the Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan. Because he - the cousin - was scared of the scandal, he told the police that if they turned a blind eye towards this particular bust, he would take them to another place. So he did. Right to the nightclub SIL was at.

Just think about that for a second.

Does it surprise you?

If you're an Indian, it probably doesn't. That, more than anything else, highlights just how disgusting and untrustworthy our law enforcement system is. And how, to us, it's just something we live with.

To get back to SIL. She didn't get arrested because she wasn't even in the club just then, but her brother did, and she accompanied them to the station. It could have ended there. But what happened was that the police called the media in order to focus public attention on this particular bust - further removing the dickhead cousin from any sort of mess. The media shoved their cameras into people's faces as they were getting into police vans, shoving them right through the little windows with the bars on them.

(SIL was caught on camera. She was played on loop on Bombay television for a month. She also went and screamed at the dickhead cousin and told him that he was disgusting, but unfortunately that wasn't taped.)

And at one point, she started glaring at a cop who was speaking extremely rudely to another reveller.

"What are you staring at?" The cop said. "Lower your eyes."

"I don't have to lower my eyes," said SIL. "I'm entitled to stare if I want."

"Who taught you how to do these things. It's bad enough that men are doing it, but you're a woman. Don't you have modesty? Shame?"

I think at this point SIL was dragged away by a friend before she actually attacked the cop.

But it's a scary story. Police are supposed to protect people, but protection does not mean oppression. Of course they were free to bust the place, but it's their motives for doing so that is so disturbing. It is their blatant corruption, their manipulation of the media, their attitude towards women, that is so terrifying.

Recall their attitude towards the protesters in Delhi University when Narendra Modi went to Shri Ram College of Commerce.

http://kafila.org/2013/02/08/bhag-modi-bhag-run-modi-runeyewitness-accounts-from-the-protest-against-narendra-modi-at-delhi-university/

We are supposed to be the world's biggest democracy. Secular. Free speech. All of it. We advertise it, oh so proudly. We stuff it down the throats of our children. We sit, smug, in our own little self-contained world.

Morality is a word we like to throw around a lot. But our interpretation of what is moral, as a nation, is extremely sad. It needs to change.

But as long as we're smug, self-righteous hypocrites, it won't. And let's face it, we've been that way for centuries now. Three cheers for beloved, revered tradition.


29.11.13

The Thing About Siblings.

My family, er, layout is a little complicated compared to most families. I grew up as an only child, but I had a half-brother, and my half-brother had a half-brother who also sort of felt like my brother, except I never really saw them. They lived in Muscat, and later moved to New York. I'd speak to my brother's brother, who, fuck it, is my brother, on birthdays. My brother and I were more in touch, but off and on. We'd go through phases where we talked a lot, and then we didn't talk, and then we'd talk a lot again.

It was a strange kind of set-up, but because it was the only thing I'd ever known, I never thought of it as strange. But then, I started growing up, and I'd meet people, and inevitably, I would be asked the question - "Do you have any siblings?"

My god. The horror. It was always the one question I dreaded. I never knew the answer.

I felt like an only child because I grew up as an only child. But I did have a brother. And my brother had a brother. But that was just such a long story. So my options were this:

1) I am an only child.

2) I have a brother.

3) I have two brothers.

4) I cannot answer your question.

I usually just mixed up options 1-3. And I was always fair. If I told someone I was an only child, I'd tell the next person that I had a brother, and the person after that would hear about two brothers, and then I'd go back to being an only child again.

See what I mean? Horror-ful.


But they both moved back to India when I was a teenager, and I got to know them better then. And now that I'm living with my brother - for the first time in my life - I finally know what it's like to really really have a sibling.

THEY REALLY REALLY DRIVE YOU CRAZY.

But I'm in an unfair position. I'm eight years younger, physically weaker, and dependent on the aforementioned brother for a roof over my head. What does this mean? It means I have no power.

And let me tell you people something: having no power sucks. IT SUCKS. IT SUCKETH. My brother is very aware of this and is determined to take advantage of it. We're eerily alike. If I'd have been in his position, I'd have done the same. But I'm not. Therefore the suckage.

He makes up songs about me. They are all variations of this line: "Trishi-fishy is a loser." And the tune he uses is the Spice Girls' Wannabe which I tried turning into a weapon. I failed. And what bugs me is this: he's not being witty. He's being stupid. But whatever he's doing is working, because I have no response. Do I make up a song about him and sing it? But that's just being a copycat. Do I ignore him? Ignoring him is so sad, it's like I'm not sharp enough to come up with a good comeback.

(I fear I'm not sharp enough to come up with a good comeback. It's like that song strips me of what wit I like to think I have.)

Physical violence, I only use now and then, when he really pisses me off. But even that only serves to highlight my weakness because he's 6 foot tall and weighs a lot more than I do. He basically just wraps his arms around me and lifts me off the ground while I kick ineffectually at the air. Or he bends my wrist back until I start shouting: a shout that carries with it heart-rendering tones of rage, pain and humiliation.

Unfortunately my brother doesn't have a heart to, er, render.

We get on each other's nerves occasionally. He objects to the fact that I hang my towel over his towel, that I don't squeeze toothpaste from the bottom (apparently this is a crime worthy of hell), and that I'm lazy and undisciplined, and that I'm spoiled and flighty, and that...the list goes on.

I mostly object to the fact that I'm not in a position to object to anything.

But the thing about siblings is, I guess, they keep it real. Even more than parents do. And my brother is a particular fan of keeping it real.

"Trisha, you're an extremely fucked up person."

I launch into a huge speech demonstrating my lack of fucked up-ness.

"Shut up. Don't make excuses. Never make excuses."

Alright, I said. I won't make excuses. But what do you think I should do about it?

"Stop talking."

And then he passes me a joint and we settle down to watch Buffy with SIL. And it's in those moments, when I'm sitting between my brother and sister watching vampires get annihilated, with three dogs leaping around us trying to eat each other, and my stepmother popping her head into the room to rant about some sort of social injustice, and the tree over the balcony rustling its leaves to add to the commotion...it's in those moments that I feel safe and loved and happy. It's in those moments that I really, really appreciate having a sibling. Especially one like my brother.

And there I sit, bathed in fraternal love.

Until the off-tune strains of 'Trishi-fishy is a loser' start up again.

26.11.13

Your sense of self is torn. You realized, a few years ago, that you have certain instincts that most people - even yourself - see as forbidden. Worse, bad. Bad enough to be close to evil. And you make excuses.

Certain parts of human nature shouldn't be suppressed.

This is who I am.

It's because of a deep issue that lies in the twisted trail that is my past and it's inadvertently messed me up. 

It's ruined me.

And you like being ruined. It makes comfort and security seem dull. It makes you feel wild and reckless and free. You think it's the instinct, the close-to-evil instinct, that you should be fighting against, but really, that's what you're fighting for. Because you feel it defines you somehow. And everyone loves definitions.

I'm not going to be a definition anymore.
I'm not going to be ruined anymore either.









15.11.13

Today, Pooja the receptionist, asked me when I'd officially start as a full-time employee. She needed to know so she could 'add me to the system'. (Yikes.)

I didn't know. So I checked my appointment letter (which has been carefully placed in a safe, secure place - ha, that rhymed, did you notice?) and realized the momentous event would occur on Monday. And that meant that today - today - was my last day as an intern. And not just an intern for Temple, oh no. Probably, it's the last time I'll ever be an intern. Ever. Because, now that I've had a proper, full time job, why on earth would I go back to being an intern or a trainee? It could happen, of course. If life doesn't do what I tell it, or want it, to do. But let's not go there right now.

Anyway, this is also the last day I'm going to be able to take a day off, or take a half day, without anything getting cut from my pay.

I came to this realisation over a delicious Bloody Mary in a jam jar (long story) with my colleague, Harshita. And I realized I needed to celebrate it in some way.

So this is what I'm going to do. I'm going to switch off my computer at 4 pm, hours earlier than usual, walk out of this office, go to the wine shop near home, pick up a bottle of extremely cheap vodka, and celebrate my beginning as an underpaid copywriter. And Harshita will fake a tooth-ache so I don't have to celebrate alone.

And mourn the fact that for years on end, I will never be able to take a half-day, without it making a dent in my salary.

But then again, I do get business cards.

Life, you baffling temptress. 

13.11.13

I'm trying to do that thing where I appreciate life deeply, live it to the fullest, treat it as a wonderful gift, etc.

Interesting things that happened today:

1. I signed my first ever job contract and have ceased to be an intern/trainee. My formal title is Creative Consultant which sounds extremely kick ass. I guess it's one of those things where you begin to actually work, get shitty pay, be a cog in the machine, and it's all happy and wonderful because you're an official creative consultant, damn it, who's signed a tangible contract with a thick black pen.

2. This should go with the previous point, but it's too important not to have a point to itself. I'm getting business cards. In my name. That will have Trisha Dutt, Creative Consultant (unless they get bitchy and put Junior Copywriter) on it. I will get drunk and hand the cards out to hipster-looking people I meet at parties. Oh, what fun. What bliss. So what if I'm a cog, I'm a cog with business cards, baby.

3. I went out to lunch with some colleagues. We were at this bar called Peco's, and a hijra entered and went to the bartender and held out her (his?) hand and the bartender put some cash in it and then the hijra walked out again, hips swaying triumphantly.

4. I spent more than a couple of hours walking around with my fly undone.

5. I had a long conversation with the office accountant about life and stuff, and he said, very wisely at one point, "Life takes time." Ain't that the truth.

6. I saw a man with a handlebar moustache. And a man teaching his toddler son how to ride a bicycle. And a middle-aged lady who was walking down the road, suddenly stopped, bent down, picked up a long tree branch, and started walking again, with a swagger this time, holding it aloft as if it were Anduril itself. That was really nice actually. A really nice thing to see.



Yes, yes, this has been a good exercise. This will go down in memory as an average day, and I am especially glad to have discovered the many surprises and delights an average day can bring. (Although it works the other way around too.) But I think I would be gladder if I could take a half day, ignore my deadlines, go home, get very stoned, and watch Buffy for the rest of the day.

But I won't. Because I really need to live up to those business cards. I'll act up if I'm referred to as Junior Copywriter on them though. So it's a win-win situation as usual. 

8.11.13

A Guide for Budding Copywriters: How Not to Write a Kick-Ass Headline.

I remember, before I plunged into advertising, boasting about how good at it I'd be because I enjoy lying so much. I was wrong - the point of it is not to lie well; the point of it is to find something, whether a feature or an angle, that is true, and painstakingly build on that.

There are other things I've learnt too. Unfortunately, the ability to write an awesome, mind-boggling outstanding headline is not one of them. (Yet.) But I am an optimist...in this specific context. And so, taking inspiration from Edison, I comfort myself with the thought that, while I have not mastered a single technique for producing a good headline, I have learnt many ways which do not produce a good headline.

And yes, that is progress.

Here are a few that I'd like to share.


1. Obsessively googling things such as "How to think of a brilliant headline", "How to think of a brilliant headline in ten minutes" and "Can stupid people make themselves smarter".

2. Making a word tree, with random words connected to your brief linked to each other. A lot of useless advice on the internet told me to do this, but the end result was my scribbling monkeys around the page.

3. Smoking an unhealthy number of cigarettes and pacing up and down the entire office, glaring at the art people.

4. Setting self into a state of relaxation by sitting on a bench in a quiet courtyard with the wind blowing through the trees. It won't make you think of a headline. It will make you think of Goa.

5. Meeting friends at a bar, getting intoxicated, and attempting to find inspiration by bouncing ideas off said friends. It will not lead to inspiration. It will lead to a humiliating confession about how you one day want to have two secretaries called #1 and #2, and adopt a Chinese baby called Michiko after you turn forty.

6. Attempting to rhyme (unless absolutely called for.) For instance, "It's time to walk the line during Lakme Fashion Time". I would like to clarify that Lakme is not a client, I'm not completely sure Lakme Fashion Time actually exists, it just sounds vaguely familiar, and I would choke on my own spit and pass out in the bathroom never to wake again before showing anyone a line like that. Although worse ones have popped up in my head. That's the way the wind blows.

7. Boasting about the company or the product. Unfortunately, this is something that I've been asked to do occasionally. "Try and make the client sound good in the headline, they will probably approve that." Yeah, the client probably will approve that, because they have no fucking clue what makes for a decent ad, but the point isn't to butter up the client so they'll approve the headline. The point is to generate attention, interest and sales, and the only way to do that is to focus on what potential consumers need.

8. Attempting to pass off something vague as a headline because it sounds good. People aren't stupid, man. Okay, they are, but thinking of them as stupid doesn't help. I always think of what David Ogilvy said here, and imagine people I know - my mother, perhaps, or a friend, or even an acquaintance depending on context - reading the ad. Yeah, so it's very easy to be vague, and convenient, but though vagueness often makes for a nice-to-read headline, you'll promptly forget  what it says about ten minutes later, even though you've written it. Which obviously defeats the purpose.

...

I actually can't think of anything else. Mostly because now that I've started writing this, all that comes to mind are tips on how-to-write-good-headlines. So obviously knowing what not to do, helps you stumble your way towards what you should do.

But I won't pretend to advise you on that.

Why?

See point 1.

28.10.13

18.10.13

22.30

It's 10.30 on a Friday night.

I'm still at work.

There is beer and pot floating around though. Lots of beer and lots of pot.

But it's 10.30. On a Friday night.

And I have work tomorrow.

And I like having a blog that lets you complain to the public (yo, Dad!) with minimal effort. 

5.10.13

The Chase

One of the most ancient rules governing the man-woman relationship is the rule of the chase. Man expresses interest in woman. Woman feigns ignorance. Man persists. Woman evidently gives in. Man and Woman live happily ever after...until the divorce papers are drawn up. Another (more commonly occurring) variation to this ending is: Man moves on to new hunting grounds.

I mean, even my own mother has warned me about the Chase. 

"Don't just hop into bed with men. Kiss as many as you want, that's fine. But if you give in before a meaningful relationship is formed..."

They'll lose interest, is what she didn't say. 

We always see it from the point of view of the men. But what about women? 

I can only speak for myself here, but I find it very difficult to be interested in someone who is chasing me. Min has often accused me of being a man in female form and I'm starting to think she was right. I am only attracted to men who play hard to get. 

If two men asked me out on a date, and say they were both relatively nice people, but one of them definitely liked me, and I had no clue what the other felt, I would choose the second guy. And then probably drink too much on the date, bitch a lot about birds, and never see him again. But that's not the point.

The point is women like to chase too. And why not? It's a lot of fun. But because we're expected to be chased, and because we're all so trapped by the fear of appearing desperate, it maybe needs to be done subtly. Subtlety is also a requirement when you're shy. 

I am not shy after too many drinks. I remember once when I was attempting to flirt with the Undoable One, I proceeded to express my interest by plonking myself on his lap. It is not a move I would recommend. Neither would I recommend what I did during the many months I spent chasing Pill. Unfortunately (for you), I cannot document them on this blog. Pill gave in eventually, but it was touch and go there for a while. 

Anyway, it is for precisely this reason that if you are going to chase someone (and I applaud you for it, fellow female), you should do it properly. Don't be a red-neck hunter wielding a gun and bellowing. Be a ninja. Be quiet. Stealthy. Deadly. 

I have not experimented with all the following moves. Only some of them. The rest are drawn from my friends' experiences and my own intellect and logic. 


1. Don't be interested or disinterested. 

If the target is saying something that you obviously need to pay attention to, pay attention. It's rude not to. If the target is not telling a long and involved joke, or discussing his problems at work, or not addressing you directly, than don't pay attention. (Well, pretend not to. But eavesdrop. The information may come in handy later.) 

2. If you're laughing at something the target is saying, laugh normally.

Unfortunately this is where I have trouble. My laugh is sort of loud and weird anyway, but when I'm in the vicinity of someone I have a massive crush on, it takes on whole new proportions. It tends to have this maniacal tinge to it. Maniacal tinges are not attractive. If, like me, you're incapable of laughing normally, just smile widely. Or smile with your eyes. Or open your mouth but on no account let any sound come out so it's interpreted as silent laughter. Or (Mawii's advice) just go for the mysterious and enigmatic route.

3. Forget about 'subtle' touching. Don't touch.

Targets are actually not complete fools. They do know when a girl is hitting on them. Many girls (yours truly included) pull the I touched you accidentally move. Don't do this. It's painfully obvious. Instead, stand next to the target, stand very close (but not enough to invade the target's personal space) and not touch. What will hopefully be created is sexual tension (although that should already be there). Sexual tension is good. I've tried this move twice, I think, and it worked both times. Bada bing, bada boom.

4. A balance between talking and not talking is required.

Now this is where I fail miserably. I either stop talking completely (once it got so bad I had to leave the room) or I am incapable of shutting up. I just spew from my mouth whatever comes into my head. And unfortunately, if  I'm around someone I have a crush on, whatever comes into my head is usually spectacularly stupid. The one friend I have who manages a nice balance is Min. Although her voice gets screechier than usual. Haha.


5. Resist the urge to 'share'.


Ok, this is a personal opinion. It's just that when I'm with a guy who starts talking about his emotions, or how difficult his life is, or how he was psychologically tortured by a parent growing up - I find it hard to take that person seriously. So, in turn, I would never get emotional with someone I'm conversing with. I have taken a random poll and I find that most people agree with me. It's not easy to be attracted to someone who's weeping on your shoulder about a dead pet after knowing them only for a week or so. (The person, not the pet.) And if you're always sharing, it means the target doesn't really have to make any effort to get to know you. This makes the target lazy. A lazy target is a boring target.


I think that's all I can think of for now.


When I started writing this post, I intended to make it flippant. You know, something like - "Do not sexy-dance in front of the target because it's probably far from sexy". Or, "Do not try twirling a lock of hair around your finger and then get your finger accidentally stuck in it". I speak from experience, much to my dismay and regret.

Having said that, I admire girls who go out there with their gloves off. It should be okay for women to chase, dammit. 

But re-reading this post, I have realized - if you hate being obvious for whatever reason - how good, how real, how helpful this advice really is. And  living with my brother is rubbing off on me. He is always making up rules about the Man-Woman relationship. But his are dumb rules. I don't know how he ended up married. Mine are not. Seriously. I just read through this again and I wish I had a crush on someone right now so I could follow this. Man. I am overcome by my own wisdom. I'm also quite stoned. So I will go now. 

3.10.13

Then and Now.

So I currently have some time to kill at work because I'm waiting for my designer (my designer, HAH!) to finish working on whatever needs to be worked on. Facebook is blocked at work. One of the consequences of this is that I am now addicted to the news. But I'm so addicted to it even the news can't keep up with me. So today I turned to blogs. Including my own. Mine amuses me more actually. Yes, that's right. I said it. I laugh out loud while reading my old blog posts and congratulate myself on my own hilarity.

Anyway, I came across this post. I wrote it in February, 2009. That's four and a half years ago. That's a really long time. I can't believe it's been that long since I was eighteen. I...

....

Sorry, I had a meltdown there for a moment. It's over now. Anyway, because I am bored, I decided to go through this list that I made, all those years ago, to see if it still stands. The commentary that Present Day Trisha is making is in italics. Like this.




25 random things about me which I didnt want to put up on facebook because it felt too lame.

Not that this isn't.

Even at eighteen - when I was more of a moron than I am now - I refrained from posting this on Facebook. I won't lie, I'm quite impressed by this.

1. My favourite colour is green.

Still is. This is probably the only thing that has stayed constant in my life. One of my earliest memories is being made fun of in nursery school because green was a 'boy' colour. Idiocy starts young. 

2. I hate seafood. Including prawn, shrimp and crabs. When I see fish served in a fish like form- you know, with the staring eyes and the tail and the open jaw and the smell, I feel like throwing up. If it's in close proximity then I actually need to dash to the loo.

Still true. I do try to make an effort now though. I can eat sushi now. I might occasionally try some boneless non-fishy fish, or a piece of prawn. But by and large, I still tend to avoid seafood like the plague.  

3. I have a funny sort of anger. Sometimes cold and in control, other times a sort of delirious red hot rage.

I'm not sure if this is true or not. It takes a lot to make me angry.The delirious red hot rage thing only happens if I'm fighting with my mother. 

4. My favourite period of history is Tudor England. Or to be more accurate, the Tudors. I also like reading about the Mughals. I seem to be drawn to dysfunctional royalty.

Haha. Still true. 

5. I can go to sleep at will.

I have lost this ability with age unfortunately. Or maybe it's because of my years in Delhi - a hot, stuffy room co-occupied by mosquitoes and red ants were forces even I couldn't overcome. And once you lose the power, you lose the power.

6. Food makes me emotional.

I don't know what the hell this means. I think my mother told me that once because I started crying when that bloody Varun ate my french fries. They were MY french fries. I ordered them. And waited for them. And HE ate them. I was only six years old, but I think it's okay to cry if someone does that to you even at twenty.

But I don't think I get emotional about food anymore. My brother keeps eating mine and I really don't care. Pity. 

7. Crying people disturb me.

Yup. People really need to restrict the places they choose to have excessive displays of unnecessary emotion in. 

8. I'm not really arrogant, I'm shy.

Arrogant? Shy? I don't think I'm either anymore. I am occasionally awkward if I'm feeling uncomfortable in a social situation, but I like to think of it as an endearing sort of awkwardness. Yeah. Endearing. 

9. I do have stuck up snob like tendencies though.

I'm sure I do, but this has definitely lessened over the years. And I might say something snobby to Mawii about something, and have a laugh over it, but I'll never mean it. 

10. I could never form a lasting relationship with a boy who doesn't read.

FALSE, FALSE, FALSE. I would like to crack a book/bed joke here, but I'll refrain. But seriously. I know at least a couple of witty, intelligent, marvellous people who don't enjoy reading. 

11. If I hadn't been born in January, I would have liked to be born in September- solely because of Louise MacNiece.

I guess. I don't really care anymore. That makes me a bit sad. 

12. I think people who always go on about how their life revolves around music are lying. Most of them.

People have stopped saying this. I think maybe this is the sort of thing people say in school. There are obviously other things to talk about as you grow older. 

13. I'm extremely possessive about my friends.

This point is completely alien to me now, I don't know what I meant when I wrote it. I'm not possessive about people. 

14. I'm scared of birds, especially crows.

Haha. Till the day I die. But I'm a fairer person now - I hate all birds equally. 

15. I love- really really really love- my family.

I suppose this is true.

16. I always thought Harry Potter was kind of sexy.

YEESH. WHAT WAS I THINKING?

17. Give me a sea and I'm happy.

Yeah :)

18. I like being drunk. Wine is my favourite way to get there.

Haha. This made me think of drinking cheap wine with Mawii at the PG. It still holds.

19. I judge people by the way they type.

Nope. Okay, maybe a little. I'm more flexible now. I don't want to scream if someone types your instead of you're, and I myself have started ttyl-ing people. Bt sumthing lik dis wud gv me a headake. 

20. Planes terrify me- especially takeoff.

Haha, my blog will testify to this.

21. Sometimes I lie awake and imagine the death of someone close to me and just by imagining it, I start crying.

I still do, but I no longer cry. Have I grown more heartless with time? Or less wimpy?

22. I'm a very morbid person.

Yup. And it's extremely entertaining. 

23. But I have an extremely happy life. Just plain and simple happy.

Yeah, I don't know if "life" can be happy. I guess you (in this case, I) can be happy. And happiness comes and goes. And - ok, I'll stop here, because I really don't want to write a goddamn post-within-a-post, but though I don't think this point is completely true, I do believe I have it good compared to most lives.

24. I want curly hair.

I really don't give a shit anymore. 

25. My favourite smell in the world is the one you get when you sniff the air just before it's about to rain.

And now that I live in Bangalore, I get to smell it quite a lot. :)

30.9.13

I have a dream.

Even before I moved to Bangalore, my brother had been entertaining me with stories of his go-karting experiences.

"We went go-karting in the rain and now I have fever." He boasted to me over the phone one day, while I was still living in Delhi. "The fever doesn't matter. I had so much fun. It's twice as difficult in the rain. I beat everyone as usual."

(The fever turned out to be dengue and my self-proclaimed Manly Man relative was hospitalised.)

The first weekend after my arrival, he went go-karting with all his friends. I was invited too, of course (or maybe there's no 'of course' about it), but for a reason that is too complicated for this blog post, I couldn't go. My brother returned, groaning with pain, and looking extremely happy. He regaled a sulky me with tall tales of how he once again whooped everyone's arse and took special pains to describe the sheer intensity of the awesomeness that is go-karting. He rounded it off by telling me that it was going to be a very, very long time before anyone went go-karting again.

But then, last Thursday, when I got home from work, he asked me whether I'd like to go go-karting on Saturday morning.

"It'll just be you and me." He warned. "And we'll leave early. By eight thirty, nine."

Excitement doesn't even begin to cut it. I was ecstatic. I'd never been go-karting before - "How do you reach the age of 22 without having go-karted?" asked a friend of mine at one point - but I knew I'd be good at it. I'd be a natural. I had an undiscovered talent burning inside my body. I am uncertain about nearly everything in life, including life, but I was not uncertain about this.

We left on Saturday at 10.30. Just my brother and I. He rolled two joints before leaving the house. One to smoke on the way there, one to smoke on the way back. After an intense (on my part) discussion with SIL (who hates go-karting and refused to accompany us), I decided not to smoke up. This is because I am completely useless when I'm stoned. I can't move, I can barely think. Not the ideal conditions for leaving my brother choking on my dust.

It took us an hour to get there. The place was on the Bangalore-Mysore road. It's called Grips Gokarting (and Bowling, but who cares about that?).

Here are some photos, including a google view (so you can appreciate the bends), of the track.









See the bend marked out with the red circle? That bend was my downfall. I'll come to it later. 

We went to the lady at the counter and paid for six rounds on the 12 Something. To enlighten my reader(s) (hi, Dad!), there are different go-karts that have different levels of power. 6 is the lowest, there's a 10, and I think 12 was the highest. It's not measured by Something (S), obviously, but I can't remember what the units were. I was put into my go-kart, told not to touch the engine at the back unless I wanted to come away with second degree burns, and I fastened a potentially lice infested helmet on my head. Was I ready? Oh yes I was. 

I took the first lap slowly, trying to familiarise myself with the track. I took the second lap a bit faster, and the third, even faster. My brother was out-lapping me shamelessly by this point. He continued to do so. By the time I finished my sixth and drew up, shamefaced, he was standing in the pit stop, looking incredibly smug.

"I'm finding the car really hard to control." I said. "It's really heavy. The wheel. And stuff. It's too heavy."

"Loser." But for the next six rounds, we got the 10-S. 

This was even worse. It was much lighter than the 12, and I could go faster, but my god, I just didn't stop crashing. That hair-pin bend (see third photo) was extremely difficult for me to take. Unless I was driving slowly, I couldn't make the corner without crashing into something. And I refused to drive slowly. 

"Take it slow," advised one of the men. "It's only your first time. You're going too fast around the corners."

So occasionally I tried taking it slow, but then my brother would flash by, and he'd have the audacity to look over his shoulder at me, yes, actually look back, while driving extremely fast, and flash me a toothy grin. At which point, I would lose my cool, scream something insulting, and put my foot down on the accelerator. I'd start off well, which gave me confidence but then it would go downhill from there. This is how my thought process went:

Aha, this time I've got it, look at the way I took the last turn, a little faster, ok, come on, move your ass the other way (note: while taking a corner, you need to shift your body in the opposite direction), come on, faster, faster, fasterfasterfaster, FASTER,  oh shit, oh wait, oh nooooo. NOOOOOO. 

...

Ow. 


"You've been here many times," the man who lifted me out of one particularly bad crash said sternly to my brother who was doubled up with laughter. "This is only her first time. She'll learn."

You could tell my brother didn't think so. 

"Come on. I'm good for a beginner." I insisted at one point. Okay, many points. Throughout the day. And the days that followed. 

"Trish, for a beginner...you suck."

We must have done more than 30 laps, alternating between the 10 S and the 12 S, and then muscled our way in to join a few other people for a race. Well, my brother did. I think he'd just gotten bored overlapping me by this point and wanted some challenge. 

I was coming second only to him for a couple of laps until I crashed into the hair pin bend again. And there I stayed until someone noticed and came to help me out while a bunch of strange, badly-dressed men zoomed past me. It was highly irritating.

I was slightly cheered up by the fact that the person who helped me noted the steering wheel on my go-kart was defective. There was something wrong with the spring, making it especially hard for me to turn.

I repeated this over and over again to my brother on the long drive home. He was too busy making up songs about how much my driving sucked to really pay attention. So I gave up (the after effects of the joint we'd smoked helped my agitated mind - the death of a dream is always difficult to come to terms with) and contented myself with watching my brother suffer from road rage before we were halfway back to town. 

I proudly displayed my bruises to SIL, attempting to show her the gusto with which I drove, until my brother came in and spoilt it all, implying the injuries were marks, not of my indomitable spirit, but of my general incompetence. 

Wait, did I say this was the death of a dream?

I was wrong. It's just the beginning. 

One day, before I die, I will master the art of go-karting and KICK MY BROTHER'S BACKSIDE. I WILL LEAVE HIM CHOKING ON MY DUST. BEGGING FOR MERCY. WEEPING TEARS OF DESPAIR. PLEADING WITH ME TO JUST LET HIM WIN ONCE SO HE CAN FEEL LIKE A MANLY MAN AGAIN.

And until that day comes, I'll just sneak his car out at nights or something.