Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The truth is out there

So, I'll see you in the real world, yes?  :)


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Socks shall be holy, Souls shall be healed

Somedays Poemhunter really outdoes itself.

The Place Where Socks Go

There's a place where socks go
when the washing is done
and the driers have dried
and the spinners have spun
and it's past eight o'clock
and there's no one about
and the launderette's locked—
then the odd socks come out.
There is hosiery here
of each pattern and hue—
some plain, striped or spotted,
some black, red or blue—
some wom only once,
some so old they have formed
to exactly the shape
of the foot they once warmed—
some were brought back from Sock Shops
in airports in France,
some were hideous presents
from matronly aunts—
but in all their variety
one thing is shared:
to the place where socks go
they will not go pre-paired.
Then the odd socks remaining
are placed in the chest
(They must turn up sometime
now where was that vest...?)
and new socks come at Christmas
and birthdays bring more
and the old lie, alone,
at the back of the drawer.
And maybe, one evening
when memory is low,
they too slip away
to the place where socks go
and in silent reunion,
each one with its pair,
they join in the dance
with the other things there—
the letters unanswered,
the calls not returned,
the promises broken,
the lessons not learned,
the lost afternoons,
the appointments unmade,
the best of intentions,
the debts never paid,
and the friends not kept up
and the others let down—
in the ragbag of conscience
they waltz sadly round,
beyond the respite
of the washing machine,
no amount of detergent
can now get them clean
till that day when all laundry
is washed white as snow,
and everyone's tumbled
and soft soap must go,
when nothing is hidden
but all is revealed
and socks shall be holy
and souls shall be healed.

Godfrey Rust

Monday, January 23, 2012


Its been a long time since I've read a witty, thoughtful quote that did not originate on Twitter. Thanks Shruthi  - for pointing this one out.


"Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I will meet you there." Rumi.

I want to add, "Bring cookies."

Monday, January 16, 2012


A transactional lawyer's ode:

Markups are red
Outlook is blue
I am busy
So are you.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Moustache tales.

Appa is growing his moustache again!

I'd like to believe that my father is the most good-looking, charming person in our family (until I), and the moustache (which I've never seen him without) only added to his charm and general sense of wholesomeness. I could never imagine appa without a moustache, and I didn't know how attached he was to it, till he sat my cousin down, when he started to grow facial hair, to advise him on the merits of having a moustache. :)

And then October 2009 happened and Appa had to shave his moustache. Later, every few weeks I would say to him, "So, are you going to re-grow the moustache?"
It takes the attention off of the bald-head I reasoned, it makes you look evil if you don't have one, I insisted and your face looks angrier, I told him, without the moustache.

He refused stubbornly, every single time. And I let it go after about eight months or so. We have moved to griping about weightier issues.

Today, I saw him on skype after two weeks, and he'd re-grown his moustache. There really isn't a story to spin here, an elegant recorded moment of bereavement humour or even a note of poignant shock for three seconds when I opened that video call window.

I'm just very very happy.

As hard as it has been for me to [.] my mother, it has been infinitely more difficult for my dad to have [.] her. Our struggles in dealing with the events of Oct 2009 are similar, but our contexts are vastly different. I cry when an email from her email id shows up in gmail search results, but he finds old love letters from when they were engaged while spring cleaning. My cupboard in London is thankfully memory-free, but he shares his cupboard space with a set of shelves that used to hold blouses and matching saree petticoats, but now hold bed linen and spare towels. I carry around in my jewellery box a ring that my mother bought for me once, but its well hidden and mostly obscured by crap from Oasis and Topshop. My dad though, glances at the dressing table at home everyday, which still holds a half-empty bottle of perfume (the maid sweetly picking it up, cleaning the table, and placing it in the same place as she has been instructed to do). The mirror has a bindi she stuck on it the last time she was able to walk to the bathroom and shower by herself, but in London, I have no sticker bindis in the shape she used to favour.

And so we struggle, in everyday bits and pieces and we have been getting better, but there are days when I have felt that only I was getting better and my dad, in that house, in that city, in that bedroom and that kitchen, was never able to move on as I have.

Today I am just happy.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Coin flip

In a few months I shall perhaps be seconded from London to another city. However, I shall not be alone, for the office usually has around eight of us go to 'aforementioned another city'. There are detailed information guides for the secondment made available, which dictate all manner of suitable office practice, provide cultural information, urge insurance advice, send us examples of filled-in immigration forms and collate frequently asked questions, and even unvoiced but definitely prevalent thoughts. Generally speaking, I feel like we are in capable hands.

In the matter of apartment choosing however, we are left to our own devices.

Residential accommodation includes the following: 1) A two-bed apartment; 2) A three bed apartment (Apt A); and 3) A three bed apartment (Apt B).

Amongst  the eight of us, we have exchanged 53 pleasant emails , decided who will be flatmates with whom, drawn up two tables (don't you love outlook?), and exchanged polite preferences. While the choice of the flatmates was not contentious (being split along gender lines:  to avoid a girl having to put up with the smell of testosterone, red meat and questionable personal hygiene), and neither was the occupancy of the two bed flat, the remaining two sets of three voiced a preference for Apt A over Apt B.

After further discussion, I was pleased to receive this email from a future flatmate, where she exhibited prodigious drafting skills by stating: From what I can see on Google Maps– both flats seem to be relatively near to each other and the office, but in the interests of fairness (so both groups won't have any regrets) and the avoidance of any possible future conflict (though this is probably very unlikely), I think we should flip a coin and see who fate favours.

Sadly, we did not flip a coin to decide who will flip THE coin, but  the careful solving of social problems through a randomly generated win-loss paradigm makes me very happy.

On the train from a Buddhist temple to Angel, I learnt about the origins of Bose-Einstein statistics, from Sroyon also in the context of coin-flipping, though his explanation (precisely stated) and the little paragraph on Wikipedia left me slightly more puzzled than it should have.  I shall aim to understand it better someday.

I always thought coins had the exact same 'phrase of major importance' inscribed on them and even on their edges), but it appears they do not, atleast, not in the United Kingdom. I made this discovery in the previous six month seat, where the whole group would enthusiastically contribute two pounds to the lottery pool for the Euromillions lottery draw. Evidently, we did not win (for there may have been a hint of this news on bloggy here).  We were not even mildly successful. In fact, we were not successful at all. Still, every two weeks we persevered. (And occasionally we wondered what we would each do if we won 50 million (split between thirty or so people, after taxes, it was a paltry sum of (approximately) 1.2 million and some change per person).

Anyway, the Wikipedia page about the one pound coin occupied me for a rather pleasant half-hour that day and it suddenly came to mind today as I have been thinking about coins.

I shall go home and see if I have a one-pound coin that resembles the description below (so I can hold on to it as my own personal measure of inflation):

2010: Coat of Arms of Belfast
Obverse: Rank-Broadley head, inscription ELIZABETH II D G REG F D 2010, starting below, IRB directly under the bust.
Reverse: Circular Coat of Arms of Belfast, BELFAST above at top, ONE and POUND around each side of the Shield. Small Coats of Arms of the other 3 capital cities of the UK in the intended set along bottom (left to right; Edinburgh, London, Cardiff)
Edge inscription: PRO TANTO QUID RETRIBUAMUS ("For so much, what shall we give in return?" – the Latin motto of Belfast). 

As on 22 December 2011 : a pack containing 14 pieces of sugar-free chewing gum. Or a half-pint of milk and some peanut candy. Or, 158 pieces of the (fighter of flatulence and director of digestion), Hajmola Chulbuli Imli candy (from India).