Sunday, April 29, 2012

Subtle Satire

Nothing gives me a kick as strong as satire does. Simple, short and sweet, and most importantly, to the point. This is why the Bengali movie “Bhooter Bhobishyot” (the future of the past) is my favorite movie currently. Every line is loaded with pun, satire, and double meanings based on contemporary issues. I admit that it is hard to get the reference if you do not understand the language, but try it nevertheless.

I was chatting with my friend and he said something (probably without even realizing it) that was bang on, to the point. Short, beautifully delivered, and not so nice, but dripping with truth. The conversation went like this:

T: When are you visiting me in Boston?
Me: No time. I need to graduate first, find myself a job. 
T: You sound like D
(our common friend who is always thinking four years ahead).
Me: Seriously. For a change, I am thinking of applying for jobs in India as well.
T: eessshhh .... Why do you want to go abroad?

Mostly of you will probably not get why the last line touched a chord somewhere deep down. In case it makes sense, people like me who have made a life in two countries perhaps live with a mistaken sense of identity, torn between the two worlds. Has India become abroad for me? I really hope not.


Sunday, April 01, 2012

Back Calculation

I owe a big thank you to everyone who sent me wishes, emailed me, messaged me, and called me. I was expecting some flowers too, but no hard feelings, really. Nothing has changed much the last few days, but for the fact that I have turned out to be more grumpy and sour than ever. I thought of sharing a few updates with all of you.

1. The doctor asked me to rest and be on medication for the next 2 months. Physiotherapy will start after that. The dollars I will have to shell out of my pocket (even after partial insurance coverage) makes me wish I get well before physiotherapy starts. There is a reason I am not missing popping nine painkillers a day. Yes you heard me right.

2. I could finally afford to watch four movies in a row this Saturday. What else do you do when you are in bed all day? Ek main aur ek tu (thumbs down), Paan Singh Tomar (thumbs up), Midnight in Paris (thumbs down), and Agneepath (thumbs up).

3. I loved Agneepath (my roommate did not). I loved the visuals. I loved the Banyan tree. I loved Hrithik (I am not a big fan of him otherwise). And I loved the music.

4. We did a lot of roommate bonding this weekend. We went for groceries together. She drove me around, helped me with the groceries, and made sure I do not have to lift weights. We spent the entire Saturday chatting and watching movies. She got me medicines, and helped me climb the stairs. Although an illusion, I have been feeling like a princess of late.

5. I have not had to worry about cooking. My friends have visited me and given me food that will last me weeks. Paneer. Chicken. Shrimp. Rajma. Gobi. You just name it.

6. I have started to use my favorite red crutches (bought from Munich) once again. I would not exactly say that I was hoping to use it someday, but well, since all this happened, I thought I might as well get through this with style.

7. My herniated spine came with a flu and a 48 hour sneezing bout for free.

8. My advisor gave me his parking permit for the week. This means I can now drive to school and park on campus.

9. Father said I should move back to India. America is not a place to suffer alone. I have decided to avoid talking to him until my back hurts less and my sanity is restored.

10. Now that I am in bed most of the time I am home, all I do is read and make virtual travel plans. I have already decided to go visit Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, Greece, Spain, and Croatia this year. Such random plans help me cope with my pain.

11. I am terrified I will never be able to run around with my camera, dance, or go hiking and backpacking again. I had a long list- Peru, Bolivia, Mexico, Greece, Croatia, Venezuela, and many more.

12. With all the bed rest, I am finally beginning to get some ideas about my thesis. These ideas are nascent and far from being crystallized. However, I am realizing that the best way to get creative ideas is to lie down in bed all day and do nothing.

13. My sense of humor has gone to the dogs. Whenever I am asked, “What happened?”, I am considering coming up with innovative names for my herniated disc- Brokeback Mountain, Qamariya Lachke Re, Langda Tyagi, and so on.

14. I hope I survive the cross-country flight to Seattle in 2 weeks, given that I have been instructed not to sit at a stretch for more than 30 minutes.

15. The doctor refused to write me a doctor’s letter. She was concerned I might use that letter to my advantage and not finish my assignments on time. I am hardly surprised that she is Indian.

16. I watched Kahaani last week. I am puking out of sheer nostalgia. Oh Calcutta, how I miss thee !

17. I have never missed Zumba more. I think I might wail in pity some more and watch Agneepath again, much to the horror of my roommate.

Thank you everyone for your wishes, free food, advice on losing weight and staying fit, paneer, chicken, and shrimp curry, and for keeping me entertained through my suffering.