Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sabse Chota
So yesterday evening, I headed to Metro Plaza after an assignment at the ICCR where I watched a stunning wadaiko performance. Something about them reminded me of anime cartoons… the martial arts type stance, the intense expressions, the very hypnotic beats…(unfortunately that’s all I understood of their music and thankfully I didn’t have to write anything beyond a 30 word caption). Down the lane was Metro Plaza, where I was supposed to meet colleagues out shopping.

I wouldn’t buy anything, I planned. And I held off for quite sometime. There was a nice lacy sleeveless top that screamed ‘buy me’, but I looked away. There was a plain black round necked T that, I swear, I needed desperately (it would go with my long sleeveless white tunic, my fab India skirts, on every fat day…) But I decided I needed the money in my wallet more. There were peep toe ballerinas that I decided were far too cute for me. I can’t do cute, I told myself. And then, I fell for a corduroy, calf length A-line skirt in pretty grape. It was languishing behind a lot of hideous mini skirts and was on sale. I had to rescue it. Except that the shop had no trial room. And the waist looked a wee bit big for me. So I tried it over my jeans and T. Fits fine, I thought. "If it fits over my jeans it’ll be loose emni, na ?" I asked my colleagues.
They nodded. "Bhaiya isse chota size nahin hoga ?(Doesn’t this come in a smaller size?"I asked the shopkeeper.
"Yahi sabse chota size hai" he shook his head.
"Haan?! Maine kabhi bhi sabse chota size nahin pehna (Really?! I’ve never worn the smallest size in anything!" (Yes I know the Hindi is wrong, but this is Calcutta). And…well…bought. Sigh. Things I do to feel thin!

P. S. the skirt looks fine if held up with a belt. Without it, it rides dangerously low.

P. P. S Does anyone know an inexpensive tailor who would alter clothes they haven’t made? In Calcutta that is.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

the life and rants of the single, imaginative and (perhaps) desperate

So when he called me to ask if I was coming to watch his show, I shrugged. I thought, ok, cute bassist, already beginning to happen band, is being nice to media person. And then I watch them play, while hiding behind the bar so I can take notes while watching them, without being shoved around by the pub goers, my eardrums bursting because I'm right next to the speakers and I'm a little sad and a little lonely and fall a little in love with their music. It comes easy with self pity, beer and no company. I leave in the middle of their show as it is quarter to twelve and this was a last minute assignment and my poor mum is waiting up for me.

In the car, happy, alone, the wind in my hair, am impressed enough to leave a message saying "Loved your gig. Malini from so and so newspaper". I wake up the next morning and see the reply:"Hey, wanted to meet you. Left?" I almost reply. But decide against it.

Still don't have an interview so I sms the ahem-rather-hot band manager. "Would ****** be free for an interview at 2?" Nope. They're leaving the hotel at 2 since they have a show at an orphanage. Could the interview happen there? Sure, I say. And cringe. Mail my pending story. Get ready to go to work on my only day-off in the week.

I reach the venue, which is a quaint house off the bypass where they are setting up their equipment. And in the space of the interview am charmed in spite of myself. Their wit. Their humour. Their complete lack of snotty attitude. Oh and how they almost made me blush. Almost.

Question: Once the novelty factor wears off do you think your music and songwriting will be strong enough to stand the test of time?"

Vocalist: Yes because the sound remains the same. If today you take a baul or ram leela performer and make him wear a shirt and trousers while performing, what he sings remains the same. If that lady in jeans and kurta does the bharatnatyam, she may not look like a dancer but it will still be bharatnatyam. Even if there was no kajal in your eyes**(or something to that effect) they wont stop being beautiful.

I smile a little unsurely. What is going on, I wonder. What do I do with this sentence? Does it go in my copy? And well, what is a compliment doing in the middle of my interview?!!

Bassist sniggers: You didn't get that.

Vocalist: That was a compliment.

Me (I think I mumbled) : mmm well, I smiled. Sort off.

Vocalist: She got that. She smiled.

I continue valiantly with my interview (difficult to do, if your feeling as foolish).

Interview over, I watch them goof around and practice and realize that my copy would be hopelessly not objective. Just when the gig is about to start a woman lands up. "Where is ***(bassist)? I have his clothes."

"Ota ke ( who's that)?" I ask the photographer. "Bassist er bou (wife)," he answers. My heart sinks. Ok no. Shatters into tiny million pieces. "It's meeting the man of my dreams and then meeting his beautiful wife," Alanis laughed in my head as she sang this, I think. (Ok so not man of my dreams. Not tha-ha-at cute. But you know what I mean? Alanis, gets me.)

Sms to Debo and Sanjukta: I just found out that the bassist who I thought was interested is married. wail!"

Debo: Ahare hugs. Why does it always happen with us?

Me: Sniff. I dunno. He is cuteness!

Sanjukta: Single men are a dying lot....(more stuff I wont blog about)

Me: He's cute and has a dimple and a goatee and spiked hair and geeky glasses. Am a pool of mushy lust.

When the gig begins I see them interact effortlessly with the kids, entertain, crack jokes and dance and continue the show despite ten thousand complaints to lower the volume (madhyamik on, complained the neighbours) and the lights being switched off twice. I decide I'm in like with all of them. The bassist, who's married. The hot band manager, who Gtalk gossip tells me, is not single. And the sweetheart of a curly-haired drummer (who is almost three years younger than me) who grinned at the kids, who danced around him, as he played.

All the men I want are either married, otherwise taken or too young! Such is life. Sigh.