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August 22, 2008

Blah, blah black sheep...

Top questions on my mind, in no particular order:
1. If I come back my to India, what will I do? Will those I've worked for/with, hire me back? What if there are no vacancies?
2. Will I come back to Delhi, elsewhere... will it mean the same headaches with landlords?
3. Will my friends be happy to see me back... or not care?
4. Do I even want to write a book? And if I do, why should I write fiction first? And why can't the blog be a book if at all it's the blog that is making people say, "You should write a book." Why do we need yet-another author? What's so new that I have to say or that someone else will not say if I banish the book from my Scheme of Things?
5. Will my parents be happy to have me back... or will they think I am a 'problem' never to be resolved? The child who never settles down, who can't get a thing right? They've never called me a 'problem'... so why do I think like that?
6. Will I be able to complete the first assingment and hand it on Wednesday, which is supposed to include at least 15 research books and I haven't even started on one...?! Eeesh.
7. Will gol-gappas sell in Melbourne? How about paapri-chaat? It can be called puffed bread with cumin-flavoured yoghurt (add fat-free!) and salad. Why not?

I hate college. I mean, why can't I be the judge of whether I've learnt anything or not? Why should someone else judge it? Shouldn't they be happy taking the fee and shutting up? I HATE assignments. I hate them more than I hated deadlines.

I HATE being MADE to write things.

I hate reading books that are not fiction and that I cannot throw if I don't like the first few chapters or even paragraphs. I HATE Umberto Eco. All these years I did so well avoiding him completely. Now he has come back. The professors call him a "gap in the literature". Not him, but the fact that I haven't read him. For that matter, no one in class has read him, THAT's how popular he is. And I have a suspicion that if it weren't for research students, no one would read him either. Except for my best friend who was reading him when she was 17.

Why doesn't Ma ask me more than "how are you, do you need anything, is everything ok?" Why does she always add, "Don't spoil this, keep him happy." What if I can't? What if I don't want to? What if I want to fight? Why do I have to keep him happy and how/why is she sure that it will be ME who will spoil "it"? I wonder if she understands (? empathises? comprehends?) what motivates me. Or if I understand what motivates her...

I think there was a time when the 'welfare of the kids' motivated her. Now, I am not too sure... and guilty. If that was her motivation, now it's not there and neither is the assurance that this 'kid' is well-fared. I don't know my mother anymore... and perhaps it's the same for her. Isn't growing up supposed to bring one closer to parents? Mother-daughter? Or is it because of me...? Has it happened with any of you? Or is it JUST me? Disfunctional? Black sheep? (brown?)

When in Delhi, Dad used to send me cuttings of interesting newspaper and magazine articles. He highly recommended Bismillah from Nayee Duniyan. Please read him, in Hindi, but brilliant humour. I don't think he can send my writing to anyone. Ma dutifully (lovingly?) maintains the cuttings of my HT columns and says, "I keep them beta, I don't understand them. I never understand anything that you write."

What's the fucking point of writing then?

PS: I want mangsho-bhaat with aloo in it. Or I want shorsher-maach with nebu and begun bhaaja. I don't want to cook it. I want mutton -- GOAT mutton -- lamb is a fraud. (black sheep?) Stupid, fluffy things. I was delighted to find Maggi in the stores and then despondent to realise there's no Masala Maggi. :(
Did I mention I HATE sandwiches?
Can't upload a pic, the Explorer is PMS-ing.


maxine said...

The first problem I see is food.The Indian food and lack of it.(Run GOAT run,somebody is drooling over you)
gol-gappas may not or wont sell in Melbourne.Writing about it might.

The second is missing the people who were around you before.Just people,may not the place.The attention too perhaps.

Mother-daughter?Hmm..I have a loving realtionship with my mom.But if loving includes hugging or even just touching,then it isnt.Maybe..lets say..a peaceful relationship.From being afraid to talk to her, to good talks.Now I call up Mon-Fri and its her who asks me"why are you calling everyday".

I cant read fiction unless recommended by someone I care.And I love sandwiches wooohooo.

Dont spoil this jb,keep Umberto Eco happy.

mad said...

Dude, you're really overthinking this. Heh.

the_d_rulz! said...

I too miss the aloo in the phantha'r mangsho, though in this part of the world it's definitely a dirty sheep (the white ones are only reared I suppose). I counter the aloo bad-feeling by reassuring myself that I'm controlling my carbs intake (he he)!!

Anyway, face it, brave it! I don't think too many places in the world (even within this country) will give you real taste of shorshe! So try and bacon-ise yourself :-)

swati said...

I totally understand the food urgings . how it is to think about food and then kill the desire just by thinking about all the effort it requires , and never gives the roadside dhela taste.

oh , I miss India (my chaat loving country).

P.S. even more when my hubby complains that food sucks ,n he never helps either :(

Eve* aka JB said...

Mad ---> Now that I am satiated on roast lamb, more greens, three different red wines, chocolate cake with strawberries and kiwi fruit as topping (I made!) and enough caffeine that threatens to colour my blood... I can say yes, perhaps. :)

think too much
not much to write
go fart instead

Maxine --- > fucking cheeky, wanting me not to spoil it with umberto. however, dont worry, i quite like umberto, just don't want to read him. too much peace makes me go to sleep. CHAOS. and thanks for the diagnosis shrink, thankgod i dont have to pay you.
Currently i am pondering a VERY serious question and should hopefully blog about it too. not now though, too much food in my stomach. and none of it indian.

D-Rulz ---> hello, never "seen" you here before, but it's always good to read a new name. AND, I dont mind the carb at all. And anyway, aloo here is not even called potato...its "spuds", and the most preferred dish is mashed beyond recognition. It's called, well, mashed spuds.

Swati --> you new too and a big hello. And roadside food tastes REALLY yum in India because of the all the dust and other friendly road-side elements in it. BUT, it tastes divine.

Anonymous said...

Maybe you don't have so many flatterers there who can always say that "JB you write so well!". Don't worry, people like you can find them anywhere. Crap writing or crapped writing will always find fans, be it here or down under. And you are good at it.
But I must admit that your mother is sweet by keeping your HT column. I respect that.
But she will understand if you tell her that you are the next Shobha De of sorts. hahahah

maxine said...

damn..you replied...i thought i can get away with anything these days.

"pondering" reminds me of something :D

the_d_rulz! said...

Hey.. we did "see" each other, but not exactly here! Remember c-box and someone called "D" ?! :)

That's when I used to read, nowadays I've started writing, hence, a blogger ID! :P

Mamma mia! Me a mamma? said...

That was quite a rant, JB. I hope you're feeling better now...

Always keep a favourite read by your bedside table and go to sleep intellectually satiated.

Find food you like. Easier said than done, I know, but try. At least until you can cajole 'maashi' (your mom, obviously...just being a good, respectful bong girl!) to visit you and then get her to cook cartons and cartons of shorshe elish and mangshor jhol and stuff the dabbas into your deep freeze. Enough to last you a couple of months!

Cheers, until then!

Anonymous said...

If you want good Ghar ishtyle Indian food, try Red Pepper (or Green Pepper? I can't quite remember) Its cheap as!! I think its on Bourke Street towards Spring Street. Must warn you though, u'll find staring Indians there as well ;)

Shantanu said...

Ha, ha! I have to agree with the mangsho bhat part. When I moved to the USA for the first time, I had to make do with sheep, but as you have pointed out, that ain't quite mangsho.

Anonymous said...

goat meat - vic market
masala maggi - indian spice stores