Monday, January 31, 2005


I wandered about the house silently mouthing the name we had made up for you. I wondered how your pudgy baby arms would feel around my neck. I hugged myself. I have been doing that a lot lately. And smiling. I unwittingly walk into the room we have painted for you. Swirls from ‘Night Sky’. Yes, we want you to adore the same pictures. Listen to Bhimsen Joshi and Nusrat. We have even decided that you have to hear ‘Ode’ in German and not the crass ‘joyful, joyful’. Then I smile as I look at my image reflected in the glass that protected me from the cold January breeze beating down Council Crest. Portland was beautiful in winter, baby, and daddy will take you skiing on Mount Hood or maybe Rainier. Mommy would be waiting at the Lodge, memorizing Scrabble lists (so she could beat daddy at the game once again), until both would return, so tired from playing in the snow, you would sleep in the car on the way back home. I smile again. The word ‘mommy’ was far cry from the swear-a-sentence Armani clad creative director who could quell arguments with just one raised eyebrow. But I did not mind it. I know I am not cut out for diaper smells, or strewn toys, or baby burps or even bawling babies. I have never ever held a baby in my hands before, never wanted to. But you have changed that already. I have willingly stepped out of my stilettos and silk tights into hush puppies and track pants. I will never buy a baby bag with teddy bears and pink elephants but your diapers would be happy in the black Calvin Klein baby tote, I think.

I frown. Why was the phone ringing so much? What had happened to the answering machine?

Ah… the girls had not given up on me yet. We are going shopping, baby! Vee masi and your momma were going shoe hunting at Nordstrom. Maybe we will check the Rack out as well. The difference between Vee masi and momma was that Vee masi bought shoes when she was unhappy, and momma bought shoes just because she could.

The drive is fun, 108 fm is playing Bad Company again. I must remember to take the chunk of clay rolling about the trunk and dump it at the Community College. Mommy is not allowed to sit at the wheel any more. But when you grow up a bit, I shall teach you all about glazes.

Daddy is going to meet me at Powell’s after I’m done shopping. We’ll have cookies and chai and maybe not resist buying one more baby book, and then come home.

I buy three pairs of flatties. How much Vee and I laugh at the change. But I cannot resist that sexy two-toned slingback, so I give in. Maybe I can wear them after you are born…

Powell’s is so crowded I cannot find your daddy. My feet ache, my back aches and I am in the Blue Room, leaning against the bookshelf. Where is your daddy? Suddenly everything seems to recede. Thank god your Daddy materializes. What is he looking at me like that for? Why are so many crowding me? Go away all you people. I am just dazed a bit from shopping, that’s all.

I tell you baby, your daddy is going drive me crazy with his concern. He has left his car in the parking lot and hey he’s driving me to St.Vincents’. Maybe I should just lean back and close my eyes. Why is my back aching so much?

He’s talking to Doctor Arvind on the car phone, does not want to listen to me. I am going to be fine, let’s just go home. Don’t crash the gears; it’s a sports car sweetie, not your Montero.

St.Vincents is cold. My head hurts. The stupid nurse insists I sit on the wheelchair. Really! I am pregnant, not ill. But I feel so tired. I do not wish to argue any more. I feel silly being wheeled around like that. And will someone listen to me? The wheelchair is wet! It’s making my clothes wet. See hon, touch this, it’s wet, isn’t it? Why am I am feeling so tired? Someone will please someone get me off the wet chair? Why are you shouting my name? And why is your hand bloodied? Hell! They made me sit down on a bloodied chair! My white Gap pants will never be the same! Oh Doctor A, there you are! Sorry about all this fuss. What? Just that my back hurts like hell. Huh? Too late? What are we late for?

Thursday, January 20, 2005


wolves are unforgiving,
but never quiet.
come, bay at the erring moon.


shaam dhalte dhalte
hamara bhi kuch loot gayee hai
koi roko use, wah --
raat mein gul ho chali hai.

Monday, January 17, 2005


under orion's shadow
and a waxing moon
fate did sprinkle
a handful of stardust
on you and me last evening.

"give in, give in," said the stars.
but you, determined to be difficult,
let me drown my desires
in the capuccino swirls,
and the last few crumbs
of unholy dark chocolate
sticking to the lazy curves
of a silver spoon called need.


I'm tired, love.
Really really tired.
Tired of the knowing
And my inability of doing.

Tired of caring,
And healing and giving.
Tired of the voices
Seeking shelter in me.

Tired of it all.

Take me away then
Where the stardust
Shall cover my wounds.

Where the peace of the night,
Shall blanket it all.

Where I shall sleep,
And hear voices no more.

Where it wouldn't matter
If Mars found Venus at all.

Where I could curl up
Once again, in your arms,

And would not need to
Wake up again, any more.



1 part tequila
1 part Kahlua

Use a little pipe. Put the mix in a brandy cup. Fire the mix.
When it is burning, suck the mix faster than you can say,"Cucaracha!"


Fire 'n' Ice

1 part tequila
1 part peppermint Schnapps

Pour Schnapps carefully over tequila. Drink it.
At first it is nice and cool...then, fire!


Poor Fish

4-6 centilitres of tequila in a big whiskey glass with a thick bottom.
1 tiny golfish

1. Place fish on the bar table.
2. Empty the contents of the glass in your mouth.
3. Smash the fish with the glass on its way down from your mouth.


Sunday, January 16, 2005

Tequila Sunrise, Really!

I woke up with this terrible need to pee. "oh gawd, I'm turning out to be a real middle aged fart," I thought, rubbing the stubble on my chin and comparing it favorably to the cactus needles that seem to have sprouted all over my tongue.

I peed long. Hands free. My eyes still half closed to the diffused light forcing its way through the bathroom window. I yawned. And then looked down to get a grip on my wilting John Thomas and almost sprayed the bathroom, horrified by what I saw.

There were fifteen goldfish in there, an unflushed offering to the porcelain god.

And I had just peed on them.

I rushed out to the living room, naked, to confirm that number. Yes, there were fifteen goldfish in the pee-bowl, because the aquarium had none.

What had happened here? My head felt as if it had been on ice for a while. And why was a small giggly voice inside my head telling me to jump around? Why was it calling me, "Mowgli"? I shook my naked? Undignified? Sure. But I shrugged my shoulders. What the hell, who was going to see me do anything? Roopa was away for a bloody Feng Shui course!

Feng Shui? Feng fucking Shui?! Flashbulbs exploded in my brain and I held on to the phone for support. Feng Shui? Vaafuckingstu? Yoga? Art of fucking living? Earth Mother Circle? Clan of the fucking Cave Bears?

Last night the bunch of us had formed the Fed Up With Fads group. And Roopa's goldfish were sacrificed for our protest. A few of my heavy bottomed caballitos were sacrificed too. And four of the five bottles of fermented blue cactus juice as well.

Slam one. Some sputtered. It had been a long time since we had done this.

"Every time I turn to speak with Carla, there she is -- twisted up in some weird posture on the floor!"

"Think of all the action in your bedroom, man!"

"I thought the same thing! But Yoga is getting her close to God, not the husband!"

Slam two. Perfect. Like the memory of one's first cigarette.

"Each time I come home, I see her lighting candles for peace or some such shit. The whole house smells of vanilla ice cream or lemonade...I was a spectacle at the meeting today when I walked in smelling of lavender!"

Three. The salt and lime put my tongue on fire.

"Remember how Sudha hated my poster of Frank Zappa in the computer room? She would complain about his she's torn it down and there's a huge picture of Jesus and of the five Sikh Gurus and a couple of sadhus...they all have beards and it doesn't faze her and she's praying to them all! She's even taking Sanskrit lessons to bloody 'understand the deeper meaning' of the religious texts!"

Four down.We salute the Aztecs and Indira Gandhi.

"I used to complain of Preeti being so she's wearing white all the time and smiles all the time and spends all her time with the Art of Living chaps...the whole house feels alien..."

The fifth kills a few more brain cells.

"Someone called my darling Lolo 'fat', and that threw the whole house in disarray. The freezer is empty. We're eating rabbit food or some bizarre combination of six grains and seven greeens or the other way around. The kids are hungry all the time... We've visited McDonalds on the sly, and I hate lying about it to her."

"Gawd, you mean she is not going to make Chicken Kiev any more?"

We need the sixth now. The stories have become scarier.

"Raji has turned vegan. Threw out all my shoes and belts one Sunday morning. Called me the butcher of Bombay!"

Could we go on? How did the stories compare with the rowdy tequila nights at bars talking of body slamming with Jennifer Lopez? The eighth, ninth, and tenth knocked us all out.

I think I heard about Niki's trips to the tarot reader, and Shalu's sudden fascination with the celestial alignment of the stars. I know Deepak was crying over Natasha wandering about the house in a state of silence because she was practising Vipassana. I knew that fourteen goldfish lay dead on the table, and the members of Fed Up With Fads were lying under it.

Now it was my turn. Like others before me, I fished out the last wriggling goldfish by its tail and looked it straight in the eye. With the other hand, downed my shot.

That took me some time, but who was watching the clocks? I dropped the goldfish on the wooden table. It danced about wildly. I raised my arm and brought it down hard on the table, hoping to put the damned fish out of its misery. That's what the others had hoped too with their fish. It wasn't easy. With each attempt I voiced my hate for the Feng Shui that had swallowed my Roopa whole.


Now Roopa tells me that the bandage on my forehead is the result of her discovering five guys asleep in the guest room (smiles plastered on their faces), me on the sofa ("What were you doing naked with those guys around?! Ugh!"), her goldfish in a very stinky bathroom, the next evening.

She had taken one hard look at everything, pronounced me guilty, and had meted out punishment she felt was eminently suited for the crime. She had taken the last bottle of tequila ("It was sitting on the table, laughing at me!" she claimed.), and had smashed it over my head.

This is not a fish story.

(december 14, 2000)