Thursday, July 30, 2009


Every ever so often I subject myself to what I call “morbid introspection” by which I basically evaluate various aspects of my life, find myself wanting in most departments and mope around with a sense of doom and foreboding which lasts until something more exciting than feeling sorry for myself sparks my imagination! They say this is a cycle and it happens to the best (or worst) of us but sometimes this is one cycle I cannot seem to get off and then the only way to cure myself is by taking an irreverent look at things.
So prepare to be bored…for this is therapy…my way!
WORK: Ah, that’s something. When I have it. In our profession they say sincerity and hard work…that’s the key and work begets work, blah blah blah. But sadly that’s not all you need. In a very male dominated workplace like the Calcutta High Court, unfortunately, if you’re a woman, it is not enough to be an exciting combination of beauty, brains and legal acumen…. You also have to have the three essential qualities of being able to lick ass, kick ass and eat shit (sadly, I lack two!)…of course in addition a little doe eyed adulation helps as does bending over backwards. But, as anyone who knows me knows I have neither the eyes nor the constitution for either. So there I am… work is limited. Limited to what I can do with no compromises and no pretensions and guess what, it suits me just fine!
FAMILY: Having never really learned the fine art of tactful diplomacy, it comes as quite a surprise (specially to me) that I am quite well adjusted in my marital home. Probably my live and let live policy serves me well. There’s the nuclear aspect of my two girls and husband and then there’s the larger picture with parents and family members some slightly extended and some not….. some that I would gladly extend myself for and some I would not. In my girls I have been able to instill a somewhat inconsistent sense of discipline which I less than deserve and I often multi task as “maid” “driver” “cook” “tutor” as and when the situation demands. Although my husband and I are friends (which makes the whole marriage shindig worthwhile), disciplining him has never been easy. ‘Uneasy twitches the hand that wields the whip’…and even I fall in line when I hear the crack! My parents-in-law are absolute sweethearts and I believe they are happiest when they spoil me so I consider it my bounden duty to give them ample opportunity to do so! I have no hesitation when I say they are like my own parents and I have never seen them as “in-laws”. The rest of the family (and we all live together more or less), are an indelible integral part of this multicolored tapestry that constitutes my life. And amid all the tears, the heartaches, the bitching, the hypocrisy, the sorrows and joys we have shared, there is genuine love and affection. Who could ask for more?
HOME: Home, they say, is where the heart is. If that be true then my home is somewhere in the hills watching the full moon rise above the darkened valleys…or watching the sun set over a glittering golden ocean. Every ever so often I have to slap my heart and drag it back to reality so I can answer more relevant questions pertaining to the life cycle of a frog or the unitary method……(frogs lay their eggs in a jelly like substance under water…who the hell cares when the baby moon is beckoning from between the rhododendrons?) Ah. But such is life!!!!
FRIENDS: Old or new, my friends keep me alive. When I’m sad or lonely or just my own crabby self, they are the ones that that come to my rescue. Always. Even the ones I rarely meet or speak to or just email an occasional dumb forward to, each of them have helped me be where I am and who I am today….so if you don’t like me you know who to blame!
SOCIAL LIFE: There’s a lot of that, sometimes too much. There’s the formal (Sari, bindi, smile in place kind) and then there’s the informal (jeans, t, you don’t HAVE to smile kind)….guess which ones I prefer! The BLC (Bar Library Club for the uninitiated) loves to have its formal dos. Some with spice (mouse = mice, spouse = spice…see how logical we are!) and some without. Though I cannot say all the spice we get is very exciting, sometimes the spiceless parties are dreadfully boring. The older men get drunker than they would have had their wives been around and you have them surrounded by sycophants running around to get them another drink and then you have these jackasses that think they are God’s gift to women when in fact they are God’s little joke on women! Formal family social functions of course are usually tedious affairs where I resolutely decide to talk less and smile more but end up doing the exact opposite…(sigh) as always! One fool proof way to handle parties is to get quietly drunk….it helps put things in perspective!!!!
IN BETWEEN: When I’m not working or role playing or grimacing my way through yet another social gathering, I like to chill. For me that means anything that strikes my fancy which could range from writing rubbish such as this to playing trio on the net to chatting to painting to watching the clouds float by….. When I can, I go and get myself some exercise…after all one must look after ones health! Once in a rare while this means 20 laps in the club pool. Most other days it means lying in bed and thinking myself thin….oh the power of thought!
TO SUM UP: Ideally I would like to get onto a big bike and keep driving. Never look back. I’d ditch my cell somewhere on the way and take each day as it came. Only I too know that that is not to be. Not anymore. I have two pairs of little eyes that still believe every word I say and that, my friend, as of now, is the greatest high of all…. So that vagabond part of me that sleeps under the stars can wait a while longer…..maybe, just maybe, someday I may join it!
For now, I am content.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Randomly random rantings

Guess I was predestined to be a mediocre lawyer...ever since I can remember I have wanted to do law. I remember long drawn out arguments and tantrums with my dad who did not want me to be a lawyer (he was betting on an engineer....whatever, I would've sucked at that too!!!)and I remember faking his signature on the Class XI form so I could do arts and not science.....anyway, I got my wish... (I'm leaving out the detective, pilot,train driver, journalist and aeronautical engineer bits as they were temporary phases...)and here I am!Thought I'd change the world, thought I'd at least sit for the civil service exams and THEN change the world...but then I got sucked up into this whirling vortex called life and here I am, slightly dazed, 15 years down the line. There's this song by Anjan Dutt "koto kichu hobar chilo je...koto kichu bolar chilo re..." (there's so much I had to do, so much that's been left unsaid) which I feel was actually written for me. I know these feelings are neither new nor original, and if you weigh my professional life with my family life, I feel I am blessed, but every now and then theres this voice in my head which is evil and noisy and clatters around like a bat in a closed room at night and it relelntlessly asks me what I am doing....and I often wake up wondering in the darkness... IS THIS IT?
Would so love to end this prattling with stories of blazing success but I'm too comfortable being who and what I am do actually DO anything about it...except maybe quietly rant about it once in a while. As Richard Bach or someone like him would say, obviously I choose to be this way. So am I being contradictory and contrarily confusing...or do these words just sound like mutterings from a mad house? Whatever. I'm here to share a I wrote when I left the profession in 1999 to have my first my usual tragic style I thought I was leaving forever...

Calcutta High Court, Bar Library Club.

It wasn’t easy, I still recall
the first day within these walls
wide-eyed and a little afraid
to this old room I made my way,
courtroom to courtroom I would roam
thinking, jubilant, I am home!
It’s what I wanted, little did I know,
a few short years and I’d have to go.
I’ll miss this place, I’ll miss you
More, but deep down inside I too
Know: it’s for the best and while
I still can I’ll bow out with a smile…
Truth to say I just hid a tear
because everything here is so dear
to me now. Here’s where I learnt to love
more than I thought I was capable of.
Here too I have heard and seen
gloom and poverty and learnt to feel.
So many times I have wondered why
but then again just wandered by,
skipped, tripped down the stairs
( do you know there’s a hundred there?)
I care for this place, haunted by men
alive and dead converging again.
Time has no beginning nor an end
and I feel aeons ago it was just the same,
the same laments filled its walls,
the same jubilation lit the halls
and if there are thoughts its only this:
here’s where I lived. This is what I’ll miss.

I returned to the profession after two lovely daughters (they DO make everything else worthwhile!)late in 2001. There were the usual teething problems of leaving home with two small kids around but somehow we they grow up I'm getting used to knitting their homework and exams and extra-curricular activities into the fabric of my own preofessional work and filial duties...I'm learning a lot of patience (a continuous process, I wasn't born with much of that...) and I think we are getting maybe I can one day dream myself back to exactly where I want to be....