May 31, 2012

I wonder if we can bond over our short hair

It's been more than two month since Amma stopped coming to our house. When my mum asked Prakashi, her daughter-in-law, she said Amma has now, after more than 100 years, started to lose her memory. Really fast. They have cut her hair short because she cant't take care of it anymore. I want to visit Amma and I fear she too won't recognize me.


May 29, 2012

On days like today

I doubt my work and wonder if I'm in the right place.

May 28, 2012

If you forget me

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land. 

-- Pablo Neruda

May 27, 2012

Walling Music

A song shared by a friend. A movie we're looking forward to - Gangs of Wasseypur

May 25, 2012

After watching my film

My friend said I laugh like my Bade Papa
Thank you for saying that. You don't know what you've done :)

May 22, 2012

To our silliness that travels with us

I was in Goa. It was Sunday. Kiki Bakshi and I were hungry. We decided to go eat a full english breakfast somewhere. So we set out on our hired red scooter. Name - 'Pleasure'. Kiki in front (and helmet to control mad hair). Me at the back (careful not to hurt already sprained foot). We got to some place, ate some Ham and cheese, Kiki ordered some bad papaya lassi and we were done. yeah, so much for english breakfast.

'Ab Kya Karein?'
'Chaltein hain'
'Kahan Jaogi?
"Kahin Bhi. We can go to the interiors of Goa. Find a jungle perhaps. We can get lost also. We have a lot of petrol in the scooter basically!'

So Kiki and I rode. We rode on a really sunny Sunday. Without sunscreen. Kept riding with the logic that if the beach was on our right, we had to keep going left. Into the interiors. We had plans to get lost. But how does one get lost when parallel roads and road signs all bring you back to the highway! We rode into dead ends of small hamlets, we rode up a steep road into a private property, got caught and were sent back. We rode behind a foreign cyclist who rode really really fast. We were determined to lose our selves on the road. And perhaps find something - a beautiful riverlet somewhere, a jungle with animal sounds, the controversial coal mines. Something! Anything!

We were getting desperate and I was getting bored. I cursed my broken foot. Lost interest in checking myself out the rear view mirror and complained about my tight bra. To console ourselves we stopped at an unimpressive river body, chatted with an old Konkani aunty, made stupid hand gestures to ask if there were snakes in the field, crossed a fisherman, slipped a little, laughed a little and sat in the sun. Harsh May sun. But feet dipped in muddy water felt good.

Then we were off again, we crossed another village, rode into a ferry with our scooter which dropped us to the village across the river. Suddenly we knew nothing about the place, or the road or the people or anything. We were no where close to the highway. We didn't use the 'go left' logic anymore. Our real adventure was about to begin. We drove past small villages, smaller lanes, crossing daring pink-yellow Goan houses, with men sitting outside on concrete chairs and women peering through small windows.

Then we drove past ghost villages.Not a single car, scooter or cycle on the road. Not a single pair of walking legs. Absolutely deserted. Although the place looked gorgeous. We were driving deep into it. Our narrow long road split the vast yellow landscape into two - spread out far and wide on either sides. Wind blew in our hair and ears. Suddenly Kiki decided to stop our scooter under an orange Gulmohar tree. I was relieved. We had been riding for hours. The tight bra finally came out, cold water splashed from a bottle to our faces and two cigarettes lit up as we sat down on the side of the road. After a while stood up to check myself out in the side mirror, wind dried hair looked perfect with orange gulmohar reflecting in the back. I looked on either side to check something. Not a soul. And then we did what we were dying to do in a secluded place like this.

We played Gustavo Santaolalla on Kiki's phone!

(Please play the following video to enjoy the music as you read)

Yes we played Gustavo Santaolalla! Reclining on our scooter that stood still on the narrow stretched road we looked to one side exploring the depths of the distance afar. We lived the moment. Allowed ourselves to feel the glamour of standing in the middle of yellow fields with a beautiful sun and a sky blue sky with strokes of pretty white clouds. The music played on and we soaked it all in - our silly little motorcycle diaries moment happened right there.

When we looked to each other - we burst out laughing. Uncontrollably. We laughed so hard. It was really some kind of madness. And my favourite so far!

Its Kiki's birthday today. So here's to you kiki - to our silliness that travels with us.
Happy Birthday.
I love you

(Now you can watch the rest of the video! or read this)

May 20, 2012


She sat in her bedroom soaking in the silence of the night. Soaking in the only time when people don't scream from the outside, when doors can remain shut and faces always in her face sleep away in oblivion. The only time in the house when no one talks, only fingers type and music plays from a laptop where the battery doesn't last. As the ink pen demands to write, the nip softly scraps on the surface of an old diary, letters permute to make sense to literate eyes. The lamp in the corner shines confidently, leaving water patterns on the wall, a silent click somewhere, eyes look to the fan which readjusts with heaviness and continues to fan. Effort-fully.

The tone of the room changes, music stops, the pen continues but words feel pressurized. From somewhere, guilt starts to crawl in. Something from the past just came alive. The stomach growls, spasms erupt in pain and relax. Back asks for a change of posture, muscles contract, wait to ease, eyes drop, fingers hurt for a lack of practice and she realizes all her body has done - is complain.

To conclude, let me share this medal with Franca

Franca Rame, my companion in life and in art who you, members of the Academy, acknowledge in your motivation of the prize as actress and author; who has had a hand in many of the texts of our theatre.


Without her at my side, where she has been for a lifetime, I would never have accomplished the work you have seen fit to honour. Together we've staged and recited thousands of performances, in theatres, occupied factories, at university sit-ins, even in deconsecrated churches, in prisons and city parks, in sunshine and pouring rain, always together. We've had to endure abuse, assaults by the police, insults from the right-thinking, and violence. And it is Franca who has had to suffer the most atrocious aggression. She has had to pay more dearly than any one of us, with her neck and limb in the balance, for the solidarity with the humble and the beaten that has been our premise.


The day it was announced that I was to be awarded the Nobel Prize I found myself in front of the theatre on Via di Porta Romana in Milan where Franca, together with Giorgio Albertazzi, was performing The Devil with Tits. Suddenly I was surrounded by a throng of reporters, photographers and camera-wielding TV-crews. A passing tram stopped, unexpectedly, the driver stepped out to greet me, then all the passengers stepped out too, they applauded me, and everyone wanted to shake my hand and congratulate me ... when at a certain point they all stopped in their tracks and, as with a single voice, shouted "Where's Franca?". They began to holler "Francaaa" until, after a little while, she appeared. Discombobulated and moved to tears, she came down to embrace me.

At that moment, as if out of nowhere, a band appeared, playing nothing but wind instruments and drums. It was made up of kids from all parts of the city and, as it happened, they were playing together for the first time. They struck up "Porta Romana bella, Porta Romana" in samba beat. I've never heard anything played so out of tune, but it was the most beautiful music Franca and I had ever heard.
Believe me, this prize belongs to both of us.

--  Dario Fo (excerpt from his Nobel prize lecture)

May 14, 2012

From 2008

Keep myself busy to let my mind off you
Keep myself mindlessly free
and busy my thought with you

My 90 years old friend

Name: Colonel Puran Chand Sethi
Born: 1922
Place: Dera Ismail Khan, North West Frontier Province, Pakistan
Trivia: I just attended his 90th birthday party!

May 12, 2012

The US Visa form

What is your purpose of trip to the U.S (please select your visa type)

1. Foreign government official
2. Temporary business pleasure visitor
3. Treaty trader or investor
4. Fiance(e) or spouse of a U.S. citizen
5. Academic or language student
6. Alien with extraordinary ability
7. Alien in transit
8. Internationally recognized alien
9. Other

May 08, 2012

Sea Crush

Definition: A crush on someone. A crush you haven't had in a long long time. It happens next to the sea. Quite and happy. Sometimes sounds like the waves. Nothing needs to be done. Or said. It has to be soaked in. You're allowed to have it when you're 25.

I have a Sea Crush at the moment. And it feels soo good!