The Cure.

One afternoon, when I was in Bangalore, my brother got a text from the Doable One - sorry, the Un-doable One.

"He has the Hump Day Blues," my brother said to me.

I choked.

"The Hump Day Blues?" I demanded, mentally changing the Un-doable One to the Un-doable-Under-Any-Circumstances-Including-if-the-World-Ended-and-We-Were-the-Last-Two-People-Left-on-Earth-One.

"Don't you know about the Hump Day Blues?"


It soon transpired that what my brother meant was the Mid-Week Blues. I really don't know where the humping bit comes in, and I didn't press too hard.

The Mid-Week Blues I could relate to.

I've been suffering the Mid-Week Blues. Except I feel it on Monday, continuously till Friday, and it usually extends to Saturday and Sunday as well.

Yeah, I need to re-evaluate my life, but that can happen later.

Anyway, my blues reached a peak today - they changed to a deep, morose shade of indigo.

My colleague, Pradipta, sensed this and dragged me outside this evening for a cigarette.

"Why do you look more depressed than usual?" She asked.

"Oh," I said. "You know,"

The nice thing about Pradipta is she always knows.

"Don't worry," she said kindly, and I waited for her to say something positive and encouraging, something that would make me see a ray of light at the end of the long, dark tunnel that I am trudging through.

She took a deep drag of her cigarette and said, "Life only gets worse. Don't feel depressed now, because this is as good as it's going to get. It's all going to go downhill from here."

Thank you, Pradipta.

Nain was slightly more helpful. I got a text from her as I was leaving work, and the text said: Why have you been in such an awful mood today?

I did not know why, so I replied saying: I don't know. In an attempt to reassure her, I added that I'd be more cheerful the next day. (A lie, but special friends like Nain need lies sometimes so they worry less.)

Nain proved that she was an extra-special friend by promising me that she would bring me some weed to alleviate my misery. This did cheer me up a bit.

But I still had all night to get through.

Trisha, I said to myself. You can either just be miserable and go home and read something depressing and be even more miserable, or you can take matters into your own hands, and celebrate your un-rational misery.

So I bought myself extra cigarettes and some Thai Green Curry for dinner and a bottle of vodka and I came home, feeling a little more cheerful.

I have no clue where the Thai Green Curry is - I fear I may have left it in the auto - but I don't particularly care because I am on my third vodka and I am listening to an 8track playlist called 60 Years of Pop, and I am reading Adrian Mole.

And this is the cure, people.

It is vodka, music and Adrian Mole.

I will be depressed again - hell, I make a habit of being depressed - but I am cheered by the fact that I know how to enjoy being depressed. It takes a while to get there, but you too can do it. Just remember: vodka, music, and Adrian Mole (and cigarettes, if you're a smoker.)

Learning to laugh at your own ridiculous misery, and to turn it into something that can make a pleasant evening, is an Art, and Art, unless you're Oscar Wilde (who is dead anyway), must never be sneered at.


This isn't bad, this is fine. This is getting occasional fulfillment from work, this is meeting close friends for a drink after, this is slow and lazy Sunday afternoons, this is feeling giddy after a joint, this is writing a sentence that is somewhere close to perfect, this is long, languorous conversation, and finding a moment of laughter with strangers, this is being sweaty and satiated, and weighed down by a solid, silent emptiness.

There has got to be more to life than this.  



I went to Bangalore last week to visit my brother and SIL. I had a wonderful time, but I blew all my money on the plane tickets, as well as beer, and I returned to Delhi absolutely broke.

(On a side note, Bangalore was fabulous and I want to live there. The weather is nice, the people are laid-back, it has one of the greatest book shops I've ever been to, and it's full of bars and the bars are full of beer. If anyone knows about writing or editing jobs available in Bangalore, please get in touch.)

Anyway, I had one thousand rupees left in my bank account, after paying rent. My brother is lending me money temporarily, but that money hasn't come in yet, so I was forced, the past few days, to be Very Careful.

There are standard things I spend money on: food, transport, books, alcohol and cigarettes.

I bought about six books in Bangalore, so I can live without buying books for a couple of weeks. Goodbye, books.

Food. I don't need food right now. It's summer in Delhi. I get breakfast and dinner at home, and I can live on fruit for lunch. This will also help me button my jeans without an unattractive roll of flab hanging out. Goodbye, food.

Now we come to the crux of the matter. Transport. I am lazy. I am bloody lazy except when I'm drunk, and first thing in the morning. Then I am like a bloody rabbit, ready to hop, make merry, and do, er, other rabbity things.

But it turns out there are some things more important to me. Like smoking and the means to go out and get a drink (or two or three or...) on the weekend.

When I left work on Wednesday, I looked into my wallet and realized that I could either buy a pack of cigarettes, or spend sixty rupees on an auto home. The cigarettes won. Also, I vaguely remembered that the distance between office and home is seven kilometers. I assumed that would take me about forty-five minutes to get home on foot. Oh, how wrong I was.

It was quite a painful walk. I was holding my laptop, and this made my arms ache, so I transferred it to my bag. But my bag is one of those swing bags, and I was wearing it slung across my chest, and the laptop kept banging against my thigh. And I was wearing thin sandals, not conducive to walking long distances. And I'd forgotten my earphones so I had no music.

But I did it. And towards the end, I even picked up energy, and I felt happier, lighter, like I could take on the world. It was a fantastic feeling. I wasn't even daunted by the fact that I'd walked into the house at seven thirty, when I'd left office just after six. And I'd saved sixty rupees, and if I did the same thing tomorrow, that would nearly add up to a full pack of cigarettes.

(At this point, I'm trying not to weep for the days when a pack cost 88 rupees.)

I was so prepared on Thursday. I had my backpack on, and my laptop in my backpack, and I was wearing sneakers. I had my earphones and a playlist set up on my phone.

I left office at six and started walking. It's quite a nice walk actually, in parts. The roads are broad, if not quiet, and lined with trees, many of which are the sort with low branches - the leaves brush against your face as you walk under them. The pavements are, for the most part wide, and even though it is extremely hot, by six o'clock the sun has gone down a bit, so it doesn't hit the top of your head the way it does in the afternoon.

At the second crossing, I crossed in the company of a herd of cows, but let's not go there.

Anyway, I was about halfway home, when two girls selling flower garlands accosted me.

"I have no money," I said feebly.

"No, no. You have money." They said.

"No, I don't." I tried walking past them, but they linked hands and blocked my way.

"I HAVE NO MONEY!" I said fiercely, trying to intimidate them. They were not intimidated. They smiled sweetly at me, refusing to let me pass.

"Here, look." I turned out my pockets, hoping they wouldn't notice my rucksack where my (admittedly empty) wallet was.

They didn't, but this was because their gaze was fixed on something else.

"You have a lighter." Said one of the girls - Rukmini, I think her name was - accusingly.

"Yes," I said, my mouth drying up, the way it always does when my mother begins an anti-smoking lecture.

"You smoke?"

"Yes." I said, trying to sound unconcerned.


I searched in vain for a good reason, and failing to come up with one, I muttered, with as much dignity as I could muster, something about it being a free world.

This failed to impress them.

At that moment, however, a youth on a motorcycle stopped by the side of the road, and asked me if these girls were bothering me.

"It's fine," I said, but he started shouting at them anyway.

"Look," I said to him, "thank you very much, but it's absolutely fine. They weren't bothering me." He nodded, zoomed off, and I began running down the road, trying to get away from the girls. They ran past me, and blocked my way again.

"I have no money!" I said, for what was probably the fifth time. I was beginning to feel desperate. "If I had money, do you think I'd be walking in this heat? I'd be in an auto."

"Are you from Japan? You look Japanese and you can't speak Hindi at all."

I couldn't believe this was happening.


"That's okay," said Rukmini, unexpectedly. "Here, take this." And she tore off a bit of garland and handed it to me. The other girl - whose name I can't remember - did the same.

I was speechless.

"I told you," I said, after a moment of staring blankly at them. "I can't pay for this."

"That's alright. I like you. Keep it. It's a present."

I'm not easily touched, but that touched me. All I'd done was tell them I had no money, and shoved cigarette lighters in their faces, and here they were giving me free flowers.

"Thank you," I said finally, as they tied the garland around my wrist.

"You can pay us next time."

"If I have money, then I won't be walking next time."

"That's also okay. This is a present."

We exchanged names and shook hands and they asked if they could listen to the music through my earphones. I gave it to them. Dylan was playing. For some reason they found him incredibly hilarious.

"Don't you like it?" I said, a bit sadly.

They hastened to assure me that they thought he was very good, and we parted on excellent terms.

Later that night, after soaking my blistered feet in a bucket of salt water, I took the garland off my wrist and wished that I could wear it again the next day. It was a shame, I thought, that flowers don't live longer. But then of course, they wouldn't be so precious.


No one wants to listen to my problems so I'm posting them on this blog because I can.

1. I've been living out of a duffel bag for the past four weeks, and will continue to do so for another two weeks. I'm lazy about laundry which means I'm down to my last clean pair of underwear, which means I will have to wash my underwear when I get home from work which I don't want to do. Or I could go commando starting tomorrow.

2. I went commando up top today. And I was sitting outside my office, next to a garden, smoking a cigarette alone because the two friends I have in office didn't show up. Some damn fool gardener tried watering the flowers, and sent the hose at me. I got completely drenched and it was extremely obvious that I was not wearing a bra so I spent the next two hours sitting extra low at my desk, so no one could see my chest, and I think I've sprained my wrist.

3. I've been staying with Mawii for five days, and I already can't button my jeans because her mother is a really, really good cook, and I have no self control.

4. I was telling Pill about my problems, and his only response was to send me a link to an app that helps you track your diet.

5. I'm sick of tigers. I have tigers spilling out of my ears. I have to continue to work on this tiger project for the next month, at which point I'm pretty sure I'm going to try to get hold of a gun and go to Corbett and shoot what tigers are left there.
  Okay, no.
  Well, maybe.

6. I think I know what I want to do with my career - i.e. publishing, and being the next David Davidar - but I don't know how to go about it. I've spoken to many people about ways to go about it, and their advice is absolutely useless.

7. All I really want to do is just finish this stint and take three months off, or maybe six months, or maybe a year, and go split my time between my brother in Bangalore, my father in Shantiniketan, and maybe BIL in Manali, and also maybe go to England, but I know none of this is going to happen because the thought of even taking time off, and not working relentlessly towards the next goal, makes my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth and my heart start beating unnaturally fast.

8. Going by the above, it would seem that I am a focused, driven workaholic, but I'm not. I just convince myself I am, but all I really want to do is lie in bed stoned with a large pizza.

9. If I do lie in bed stoned with a large pizza, I'll get really fat, and then I'll be depressed.

10. Actually, I'm already depressed. But at least I can wear shorts and be depressed because I have nice legs. Yes, I have nice legs. But I won't if I eat pizza all day. And I want pizza.

11. Also, I used to write Harry Potter fan fiction. It's always been a big secret, but I don't care, it's out there. I. Used. To. Write. Harry. Potter. Fan. Fiction.
Fine, I still do.
Okay, I'm a little ashamed.
This isn't really a problem, but since I've obviously temporarily lost my mind, I might as well throw it in there.

12. I haven't plucked my eyebrows in six weeks and I think they're growing on my eyelids now. I'm too scared to go and pluck them because the last time I did, I'd waited four weeks, and I burst into tears and the lady at the beauty parlour thought I was a sissy.

13. I am a sissy. I'm scared of birds, cockroaches, rats, bats, planes, and my mother. And I'm scared of eating meat-on-the-bone.

14. I'm also worried about nuclear war, but no one else seems to be and they all think I'm a moron. And I'm worried that American spelling is going to take over the world. And I'm worried that terrorists are going to continue to bomb us, and the government will use "safety" as an excuse to make more ridiculous laws that are senseless and invade privacy. And I'm worried that Narendra Modi is going to be Prime Minister, and I'm worried that people I count as friends think he should be Prime Minister.

15. But mostly I'm worried about the fact that I'm definitely fatter than I was two weeks ago, and also that the next time I have sex is going to be never.

16. I'm also worried that I'm a ditz and an airhead, but not as worried about this as I am about #15 which just depresses me more.

17. While typing this, I randomly started thinking of my brother, and realised we've reached a stage of life where he is more stable than I am. And he has a jeep and I don't. He's won. HE'S WON.
But then again, he did get gout at the age of 29.

18. I'm going to go and play Minesweeper now. Here's another confession, just to add to the genuine misery that is hanging over my head like a thick black cloud, and sitting in the pit of my stomach like a slimy, heavy stone: I have never, in my entire life, ever won a game of Minesweeper.

Ok, then.

And my friend Jahnavi says I don't share my feelings enough with people. Hah.


My brother got married. Part 2.

By the time I was picked up by my brother and his friends to go to Lonavala, it was 9. I had so much energy by then, I'd spent the past hour leaping around the house, drinking incredible amounts of coffee, being like, tonight's going to be a good night, yeeeah.

I hate that song by the way. I'm sure I've said this somewhere before, but when I first moved to Delhi, and had no friends, that song would be playing everywhere. Everywhere. Tonight's going to be a good night. And it was never a good night. That song is a lie.

The car ride was okay. I felt sort of sick, and I think everyone was afraid I was going to throw up. But  solved the problem by falling asleep.

When we were close to Lonavla, we stopped at some petrol pump station that also had loads of shops and things, and I met my brother's oldest, closest friend, Best Friend #1, whom I've heard a lot about. My brother once wrote this really embarrassing blog post about how he wanted me to get together with Best Friend #1 and I'd replied with some comment about how I wasn't interested in his balding, middle-aged friends. Best Friend #1 wasn't middle aged, or balding (he was bald) but he was also very nice, even though I don't think we're going to get together anytime soon, sorry, Zaev, you're still going to have to deal with me hooking up with people you know absolutely nothing about and spending the rest of your life being concerned about my welfare. Anyway, I travelled the rest of the way with him, and another close friend of his, whom I warmed to instantly, because she spent the first fifteen minutes talking about what a moron my brother was which I found highly entertaining.

Then we missed the turning to Lonavla, and I was less entertained. It was already midnight by this point, and past my bedtime, but just as I started feeling grumpy, we reached the house we were going to be staying at.

I had a momentary fit of anxiety when I stepped out of the car and saw about twenty people, none of whom I knew. Spent the first half-hour glued to my brother's side, but then I was fed absinthe and things got pretty good after that.

I really don't know what I got up to most of the night. I know there was drinking involved, and I was talking to a lot of people. Had a nice conversation with BIL where I informed him that I was coming to visit, and he didn't look horrified, and I remember getting on with SIL very well, until she ended up passing out - not from drink, because she was sick.

And then, towards the end, I started talking to Brother's Best Friend #2 whom I now, for some reason, think of as the Doable One. I don't remember what we talked about, or even if we did much talking. I remember that he didn't make fun of my music (unlike some other people hovering around). And that I harmlessly flirted with him and probably made an ass of myself because that is what I do when I get drunk and flirt with people. And then I fell asleep. Don't know how I got to bed; must have been quite an effort.

You know, I really wanted to document this entire weekend, but now that I'm writing about it, I realized that I basically just spent it smoking and drinking. It wasn't forgettable, not at all, but still. I won't be able to write about it properly, the way it should be written about. Here are a few points though:

1. I became so fond of SIL that I just booked a ticket to Bangalore so I can go visit them in a couple of weeks and get to know her better. Also, my brother doesn't know this, I intend on stealing his jeep and taking it for a spin. I'm going to ask him nicely whether I can drive it, but I know he will refuse to let me because it's his way of displaying power and authority to his little sister. I will rebel, however, and I will sneak that damn jeep out and drive it around Bangalore. And even if he finds out, what's he going to do? There's nothing he can do except lecture me on my irresponsibility, youth and foolishness, and that's old hat now.

2. I'm also really happy my brother got married. When I first heard, I was a bit sceptical. I was like, what is he thinking, has he totally lost the plot? But after meeting SIL and BIL and their family, I have come to honestly believe that this is one of the best decisions my brother has ever made. There was this moment, just before I left for the airport, when I was sitting in SIL's house, and talking to her and her parents, with my brother mooching around, and I heard him call his father-in-law 'dad' and at that moment, I just felt so happy for him. Marriages don't necessarily last forever, they hardly ever do, and this may not, but my brother's found himself a second family, one that is more steady, more selfless than our own, and I don't think anyone deserves something like that more than my brother does.

3. The last time I spoke to my brother, he told me that he's okay if I ever hook up with the Doable One because he knows the Doable One so well, him being my brother's best friend. And then he droned on and on about that unsuspecting soul, telling me all sorts of unwanted information about him. At that point, though I hadn't really thought about it, I would have said that I wouldn't have minded, er, flirting a bit more with the Doable One, should I ever happen to see him again. As soon as my brother gave me his blessing though, the Doable One seemed less doable. In fact, he is no longer doable. He is now the Un-doable One. I don't know whether my brother is a moron who knows nothing about how girls' minds work (or at least my mind), or whether he is extremely smart, and knew what my reaction was going to be and so gave me his blessing, hoping to achieve exactly this. Hm.

4. Bombay is a very pretty city. I have heard from people that it's not, that parts of it are terrible, but I didn't see much, and what I saw was quite wonderful. The sun was hot, but there was always a sharp breeze, the sort that cuts through your skin. There are areas of the city with winding streets, lined by trees that bend overhead, creating an arch for sunlight to filter in. The houses are in different styles. I saw the red tiled roofs that reminded me of my grandfather's old home in Spain, and I saw houses that looked like Tudor cottages, and stately colonial mansions, and houses that were just an amalgamation of goodness knows what, an attractive and colourful and delightful mess. And always with you is the smell of the sea, and behind it, under it, once you've pushed back the heavy curtain of voices and traffic, its sound: a placid, eternal grumble.

5. I wish I could have done more justice to that weekend in this blog. But I can't, so I haven't really bothered trying. It was a once-in-a-lifetime kind of deal, and it was very special, and it made me realize how much I love my family, especially my brother.