Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Of The Great Debacle & Other Things

I had always lived with roommates before moving to Calcutta. Through college and my stint in Bombay. And both times I was lucky to have roommates who were from neighboring towns so they would go back home every weekend or at least every other weekend, so I could have the place to myself for at least two days every fortnight. It worked wonderfully well…I would get my space at regular intervals, and would be ready for company again by the time Monday rolled by & it was time for them to return.

At times, I used to think how nice it would be to live alone! To have the entire house to myself all the time, to not have to co-ordinate my shower time with that of my roommate in the mornings (which you can’t avoid in Bombay where you pay a bomb to live in shoebox apartments with one tiny bathroom), to be able to watch whatever program I wished to watch on television, to be able to sleep whenever I wanted to etc.

So when I moved to Calcutta I was all excited about living on my own. I got myself a pretty house with mind-blowingly well ventilated rooms, plenty of sunlight, quiet surroundings, a nice balcony & lots of trees outside my bedroom window!! It helps that the building is new and the house was freshly painted in a happy shade of pink before I moved in!!

However, five months of living alone and I’ve already had enough of it. I’ve realized that I’m not made of stuff that can handle - leave alone enjoy - living alone. I need people around me. I need people to talk to. I need someone home in the evenings.

I have come to believe that people who enjoy living alone and those who don't are inherently very different. They have a totally different set of characteristics. I just can’t fathom how some people can live alone, out of choice. And they seem to have a blast doing it too!!

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On another note, I’m reading Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan’s book ‘You Are Here’. For the uninitiated, she’s the author of the “popular” blog ‘The Compulsive Confessor’, and also writes a column in Mumbai Mirror called ‘Ms Adventures’. Sadly, her adventures are limited to drunken org*s at Zenzi, mishaps with her bra straps, being single, dating a guy, being dumped and being single again.

(Disclaimer : If there are any fans of her blog/column reading this blog, I’m sorry if I am hurting your sentiments, but I’m invoking my Fundamental Right of 'Freedom of Speech' granted to me by the Constitution of India)

Anyway, back to the book…IT IS UTTER CRAP. The material is no different from her blog - s*x, bra straps, being boy crazy, being cheated on, being dumped etc. The language is immature and straight out of high-school! The book is in first person, and though the protagonist is supposed to be a twenty-five year old, she talks like a ten-year old!! Now, I’m not a sucker for ornate, fancy-schmancy language and I’m all for authors who write in a colloquial manner, but I do expect a certain level of maturity in the writing, which is acutely missing in her book.

Which brings me to Ms Reddy Madhavan herself. I think she needs to simply take a break from trying so hard to be perceived as cool & modern. That’s the problem with her – she tries too hard. There are plenty of liberated, emancipated women in India today. One doesn’t need to be talking about one’s s*x life & dusfunctional bra straps on a public forum to be liberated. Being cool, modern & liberated is an attitude, not something brought about through words. Someone needs to tell her that. To me she comes across as someone who is trying desperately to prove a point where there is none to prove, to people who really don’t care!!

The latest update on her blog is that she's single again. Surprise, surprise...I wonder why!! Afterall, don't guys just love it when their girlfriends splash the details of their love lives & stories of how psychotic they were before they met the guy, on the web for the whole world to read!!

Anyway, on to other things…

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Winter is finally approaching in Calcutta! YAY!! All of a sudden, the weather changed yesterday. There was just that slight bit of nip in the air the night before, the morning was cooler than usual, and on my way to work - at around 10am - I noticed that the sun had to make an effort to shine!!

Can’t tell you how excited I am!! I love winters!! Not that I get all excited about sub-zero temperature & all, but I can handle cold much better than I can handle heat. Besides I love the feeling of being warm & fuzzy inside my home when it’s freezing outside! I love the winter sun! And I love wearing sweaters and socks and gloves and woollen caps and scarves and all that jazz when it's cold….what fun!!

8 comments:

saakshi said...

hey i totally agree with you on the book!! i didnt think it was any different from her blog and was SO predictable its not funny!

I picked it up hoping that she might talk about something other than boys, parties, s** etc. but was disappointed :(

Scarlett said...

Even her writing is so ordinary. I picked it up just out of curiosity & b/c it was cheap!! :)

The knife said...

I have had my own room right since I was a kid. was traumatised for the one year i had a room mate in Bombay.
The articles from her are attention seeking, but hey she has got a book out from blogging. So there is hope

Ashwin said...

again - best indian writer = ashok banker. go read the ramayana series already!

Scarlett said...

@The Knife - She WAS actually asked to write a book because someone from the publishing company read her blog. Apparently, they liked it. I'd rather believe they were smart enough to figure that if she wrote a book on the crap that she generally writes, there are enough suckers for it in this country!!

@Ashwin - Why don't you read 'The White Tiger' and tell me how it is? :)

Serendipity said...

Actually, the blog is quite interesting.

Oops, did i say blog? I meant the comments on the blog. The Anon Trolls are super entertaining, and Mucho masala.

Ashwin said...

white tiger? wassat?

Scarlett said...

@Ashwin - Errr...it's the book for which Adiga won the Booker?