Orpheus doesn’t believe I don’t blush.

Actually, I’ve never seen the point of blushing. I mean, I know pink cheeks are supposed to be pretty, but apart from that? Even when I do or say something I didn’t mean to, all I can do is giggle and hope the other person will have the good manners to laugh too. Anything else (like blushing) only makes us both feel even more embarassed!

But I do ‘colour up’ – when I’m angry, when I’m upset – is that a blush? Hmmm.



is all I had on reservations after this, and I’d pretty much decided it was going to stay that way. But Chinmayi has a post that I can’t help linking to – saying everything I want to, and saying it very well. Read it here.

An ad made me want to throw up

One of the most misogynistic promos I’ve ever seen – for Baywatch. You know – the show with all the men and women who are human(?) versions of the Barbie dolls?

The promo goes something like this*: a voice-over says, “You know why Baywatch is such a wonderful show? Because all the pieces have to be in place” or some such crap that sounds like it’s about a detective show. Except the visual to this voice-over is a jumbled-up picture of three women in bikinis, all the parts moving here and there while a man says this in the background, so you can see breasts bursting bikini seams, waists too narrow to be anything but anorexic, and red crotches between tanned legs, all moving as if they’re parts of a Rubik’s cube, till voila! all the ‘pieces’ are in place and you get to see three women wearing red bikinis, the letters on which spell ‘Baywatch’.


*I refuse to watch it again just to get accuracy here!

am back!

I’m back!! Loaded with b’nana chips, which shall be duly delivered either this evening or tomorrow. And also, like the three kings of Orient in the Christmas Carol, laden with spices… or at least, those spice drop thingies MM asked me to bring.

Kerala was beautiful. I wasn’t fated to be alone, I s’pose, ‘coz I discovered an ex-colleague who was able to take time out to sightsee with me. We went to Fort Kochi, where we saw the Chinese fishing nets -apparently this is the only place outside China where they’re used! They’re these huge wooden constructions – a system of weights and pulleys by which huge nets are lowered into the sea and hauled up every few minutes to get a handful of fish. Each net is manned by some four or five people who haul on the ropes, and as the net comes up, one of them runs down to haul in the catch. I went up on one of the nets and they let me haul on the ropes; it was fun till I saw six little catfish wriggling in the bottom of the net!

My habit of running down the back lanes and peeping around corners led to our discovering the Kashi Art Cafe, which has to rank among my ‘best discoveries of all time’*. Beautiful place, lovely food, warm smiles and hospitable people – what a combination!

I also saw the church where Vasco Da Gama was first buried and visited a synagogue – apparently the first in India, but couldn’t go in coz it was closed on Fridays. Then we took a ferry back to the mainland, where we went to a Kathakali performance… more of a demo-lec, actually, with this guy explaining the meaning and history of the dance… I heard a ‘sonorous’ voice for the first time, I think, and such diction he had – wow!

The next day wasn’t so packed – we started off early and went to Alleppy for a boat ride through the famed backwaters of Kerala – this is a must-do on a relaxing holiday! Three hours in a boat, hardly any people to be seen, trees and cottages – beeyoootifuullll!

The Kathakali performance deserves a post of its own – coming soon! As does the Art Cafe. This one, I think, ends here.

*Along with an auto driver named Samosa, but that’s a different story…

Orpheus… and a little break

I’m off soon. To God’s own country, where (one of the perks of the job?) I have to babysit some exam papers. Exam takers too, actually. I was asked to go to Cochin, and gladly agreed. Decided to go a couple of days early and combine work with pleasure. Do a little sightseeing, be a tourist again. Ideas, anyone?

I realise this is actually the first time I’m travelling completely by myself. I mean, the whole trip – not just the journey. Usually, even when I travel by myself, I’m going to a known destination, to meet people I know, and the journey’s made interesting in the safe knowledge of ‘known things’ at the end. Will that change?*

As for things to do in Kochi, I’ve been entrusted with the task of bringing back bottles of spice extract. Apparently sold in Cochin airport only. MM asked FM for them the last time, and he brought back mirchi and jeera. MM’s face was a picture. She had wanted elaichi.

Yeah, all that, just to explain that I’m going to be away for a while. Which most of you knew already!

*And that sort of brings me to Orpheus – unknown destination, unusual trip. Where will you take me?

(not so random) thoughts

Nudes. The word brings to mind the fleshy, buxom women in Rubens‘ paintings, Venus rising from the sea in Botticelli, in Titian’s Venus Anadyomene. And later, the texture of Seurat’s seated nude. And the sketch of a female nude seen from behind – sitting with her legs folded under her… I can’t remember who that’s by!


There’s mehendi on my hands. No, I’m not messing up the keyboard… I went to Shilparamam the other day and ended up with henna-ed hands.

Intricate patterns in red-brown on a pale pink-cream background… it’s fascinating. Remember, P, when we were little girls and used to grind gorintaku akulu (or rather, get someone to grind them for us) so that we could get big blobs of cool green gooey stuff on our palms? Of course you remember, you even remember sitting in the balcony to catch the sun so it would dry! Remember how our wrists hurt from keping the palm straight so those big green circles wouldn’t smudge?

And then, washing it off. Holding our hands under the tap till it was all off, we emerged with the tips of our fingers bright orange and wrinkled, and then ran to get oil to rub in so it would be ‘redder’. Waking up in the morning to the smell of gorintaku – not eucalyptus oil, not whatever perfume the lady at Shilparamam used in that cone – that raw, musty smell like an intensified version of the grass in the rain… Running across the corridor to see whose hands were darker. Arguing over whose hands were darker.

And then it fades. Like mine is fading now. Only then, it took longer. Long after all the colour was gone from our hands, our fingernails would be half red-orange. Remember?