Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Sixth in the City

So the coo is sitting at home on a state holiday and realizing it’s been over a month since she blogged. And since it almost feels like I have a whole day with nothing to do, I must talk about anything and everything that has happened this past month. So whether you like it or not, a lot of inane information is about to come meandering your way.

So post the last post, I started off by begging my boss to give me the weekend off after a hectic release week in Chennai and headed home to Bangalore. 2 measly days, but it felt like heaven. And a four month old baby that is my adorable nephew is pure unadulterated therapy. Chicken soup for my weary corporate soullessness. I spent hours just staring at him sleep or looking at every finger and toe, every vein, his birthmark, the way his legs curved, the folds of his plump little arms, babinski feathered the soles of his feet and watched with wonder how his toes curled inside in perfect reflex-tion.

Bangalore simply isn’t the place I grew up in. Five years has turned the city on its head. It was boiling hot in August. I remember going to college as early as five years ago wearing a sweatshirt and muffler, with cotton in my ears because it used to be windy and cold as hell, and this is May-June, we’re talking about. Summer only meant the bizarre feeling of feeling burnt if exposed to the sun directly and strangely cold if you stood in the shade. Winter of course was divine. The sun would bathe you one second making your ears feel gratifyingly warm and the next second a chill breeze would pass by giving you goosebumps that never melted till the sun came out of the clouds again.

What I miss most about Bangalore is definitely the music. My 500 cassette strong music collection that a lot of people growing up in school were envious of dosent really exist anymore, but the music and lyrics are etched pretty permanently in my head. Whether it was waking up to the Beatles singing ‘here comes the sun’ on our stereo or listening to my dad singing about the night they drove old Dixie down as he strummed his rhythm guitar in the evenings, music was always an integral part of my life, mostly a discovery, sometimes to show off to cute band boys, and sometimes to drown out parental bickering in a soon to be broken home. As I got older and wouldn’t get up in time for college I was subjected to Audioslave blaring into my ears at 8 am by my mother. She didn’t really like Audioslave, but she liked that it was loud and clear! She gave me a life and showed me how to live!! Heh heh. Nowadays, it’s almost scary how little I listen to. Songs at clubs and lounges. Songs that auto-rickshaws play. Album songs of my company’s films. Yeah that pretty much covers it. Music is suddenly an effort. Like polite conversation.

Three childhood friends also went out for dinner to Kosmo-Village on Cunningham road. The very Cunningham road, named after Major Cunningham, the knieving glutton (well, not really but ‘cunningham’?!, really these brits are crazy), that housed my favourite Java City, currently relocated to Museum Inn road, and who can forget Casa Picola, the nouveau riche Italian do of the very upwardly mobile bangalorean of the early 2000’s. Now it has a smattering of really hip joints, Fresco’s (of dessert fame), Infinitea (of er Tea fame) and of course Kosmo Village, that reminded me a lot of Olive in Bombay, though ten times the size. S, N and I ate a quiet dinner. We didn’t really have much to say to each other. I told them that I wouldn’t be coming to Bangalore anymore for a very long time, after all family is moving abroad and all that. They digested the news quietly. N talked about maybe moving to America with her boyfriend while he did his MBA, but not too thrilled with the idea because she hated the US. S talked about not being able to find a suitable boy. I asked her to open her mind to the internet to search for a possible someone and she gave me a strange look, with a tinge of disgust that I thankfully couldn’t see properly because of our fast dying table tealight.

When I got back that week, N came online and said that S and her were planning a trip to Bombay for us to be together during Diwali. I was touched and sad. We’ve never been an affectionately expressive trio. We’ve known each other since we were in Nursery and somehow always taken each other for granted. We’re not even the sort of friends that keep in touch very regularly. But there’s always been a sense of subliminal commitment to each other. A tie that childhood binded for us. And I knew they’d sensed our times together were seemingly drawing to a close, proximity wise atleast. We were moving countries, some were getting married, things would never be the same, however clichéd that may sound.

Back in Bombay, the highlight has been my flatmate P’s trip to NY and LA. I think I was more excited than she was. She was gone for all of a week and when she came back we stayed up till 5 in the morning talking and coming to the conclusion that there is a life out there that we aren’t living. And that as both our sixth years in the city draw close, we couldn’t believe we were saying this, but we’ve tired of the city.

Of course, moving away is easier said than done. Its at times like these that you wish you listened your parents and became a doctor/engineer/lawyer/banker because suddenly you realize that though you may be good at what you do, what you do isn’t really a universally applicable skill. I can’t imagine where I should start looking for work, and in which country pray? And will what I do here be of equal if not more weightage in another country? Maybe the film production executive of India is like the tea bringer/ in-house secretary of LA? Or perhaps the on set catering curry queen of London? 

Needless to say, it’s a decision that must be taken. Six years is a long commitment (though poorly if you consider that I’ve said many times that ill devote an eternity here). But the restlessness that’s been burgeoning in me isn’t something I can ignore for long. So go away I must. Suggestions are welcome. Media industry and all that. Please don’t come up with porn and suchlike. I’m an appreciative viewer and a bad participant. Also no perennially snow covered cities as after Manali trip this year, I realize I don’t co-operate well with the white stuff. There. That’s it then. Oh and this blogs url will change init?


MUS said...

"Its at times like these that you wish you listened your parents and became a doctor/engineer/lawyer/banker because suddenly you realize that though you may be good at what you do, what you do isn’t really a universally applicable skill."

One of those lines that start moistening your eyes because you've experienced the same profound irony as the one who wrote it. Hats off!

Mister Crowley said...

If it's any consolation, Coo-ster, ain't that easy for us lawyers to move shop, skill-set or no skill-set :)

Move to Daahlee :P (Yes, I can see that heavy vase being aimed towards my head)

ray said...

Hi ,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘MERDE’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)


Anonymous said...

I left bombay 2 months ago...moved to delhi...move to US...kinda miss bombay...crazy energy there in that place...still, onwards

Anonymous said...

hey coo! your publicist, aka sister, directed me to your digital ditties. you're a fantastic writer. maybe you could print them off and bind them into a novel?
Have an idea (probably not the best or last). Howz about setting up a 3 way blog. you in bombay, me in london and my friend, j in shanghai. we blog together. about the same stuff (or maybe 'themes'!) but from our respective corners of the www. could be an interesting cross cultural experiment. or just the same crap, tripled. obviosuly j knows nothing about this yet. haven't asked her.
feel free to say yeay, or neay. either way, i'll keep reading! best from c (the ex shanghai pal of your publicist. cryptic eh!)

Anonymous said...

haha i love the memory you evoked of mums blaring music in the mornings to wake you up! sooo true!

Anonymous said...

so far, no one has actually answered your question (save for a 'novel' idea by C!): alternative career options people! alternative cities to live in, people!


El said...

I lived in and loved Bangalore, and have never gobe back..but what you say has been echoed by so many, about how it's changed etc etc, and for me too, that city represents music, the first time I really heard and loved it, remember Radio City? When they played the good shit and not just bollywood..

I also think you're underestimating yourself alot, film production executive does not mean chai walla, to be honest, your job gives you the kind of flexibilty and creative outlets that one dreams of..go work with a filmmaker..shoot all over the globe..or is that easier said than done? or am I not grasping what it is you actually do? either way, make the cut, take a break - and go do something adventurous, cause if you don't now, you never will...

Coo said...

@ mus - danks danks

@crowley - dalli might be in the reckoning yee lad

@ray - cool site. um still not getting how to add oneself though

@anon 1 - yeah i know, ill miss this bleeding place like hell as well!

@anon 2 - C! how are thee! have mailed yee! (she cried with glee)

@anon 3 - yeah, funnily i preferred the subrapathams at 5 am though?!

@anon 4 - danks akka, only u are my back watcher person type

@ el - thanks for the advice, read ur comment at a time when i was thinking wtf, how can i venture out and live in some strange city and all, but you're right, i think it'll be worth a shot!

verbivore said...

hey i dunno if im too late to post a comment! If uve already shifted and if uve already started ur work. But lemme tell you "media" is today as respected a field, with as opportunies as are there in the so called "doctor, engineer," Be happy that u followed ur heart and hence better skilled at ur profession! Imagine the plight if doctors dreamed whole day of scripts & camera angles & films! U have the flair! Ul make it anywhere ..anytime!

Anonymous said...

I'm telling you, do what your heart tells you to do. You are in the unique position of controlling your own destiny, minus husband kids, dogs, cats etc. Once these get factored in, consider your chances of following your heart halved or really nonexistant (depending on how stubborn you are). Might I say that you are experienced enough to team up with someone in the business in the U.S. and go from there. Or you could enroll as a student in the U.S. and create masterpeices as part of your study and in no time you'll have offers to work on projects. You will have the professional experience which will be an advantage. If you don't like it, you could always move back to beloved Bengaluru or another place. You have the chance to move out of your comfort zone to see what else is out there. You have nothing to lose, just give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

Moving somewhere is virtually impossible; there is a veritable army of "media" people all around the globe who just want to move to London/LA/New York. Enrolling in Masters degree is best option; alternatively, finding and seducing Indian born phoren raised launda into shotgun marriage resulting in visa and script for movie also is not a bad idea.

M said...

I've been reading you for a while, and felt this post was due, It'll sound stilted but there is no other way of putting it, none of us really go anywhere, skipping jobs or a career or location wont help at all, you need to quit your job and start writing fulltime and never expect anything beyond it, just enjoy the process of writing, remember that line from taxi driver? when travis comes over to betsy and says "I think you are a lonely person...i see all these phones and things lying on your desk and they mean nothing...", what you are essentially doing is just hanging in the middle, you avoided the trappings of a professional education/career coz some vague idea of personal freedom always took priority, but there was always this fear to let go too, some of us will never come to terms with the artificial conventions of work and love, i present you this poem, hope you like,

La vida Loca said...

Doctor/engineer/universally applicable skil???? **derisive snort
I am a dentist w/ my own sad story to live w/.
Moving I donno....grass being greener on the other side? I moved countries,neighborhoods and states in that order and no friends...maybe u r more outgoing than I am?

Arjun said...

i left bombay a bit more than a year ago. Am in chennai, and while i enjoy change and love chennai and all that, bombay is still bombay. I miss it like crazy and think you will too! Don't leave.

but if you insist, move to calcutta. I know it sounds uninteresting, but its a great city, its crowded and yet unbelievably chilled out. It also has the most amount of holidays EVER!! People strike ALL the time and you get many days off.
Interestingly, on one such strike, my friend walked 5 KM (no cabs) from his house to his favourite bar 'Someplace Else', and it was open! he sat there alone, drinking beer and eating bacon wrapped prawns. and most importantly, its a cheap city to live in.
OH btw, in Cal, bars and clubs stay open till 5 a.m., legally!