Sunday, 4 September 2011

Meanwhile, away from Chennai

September is an awesome month. I feel close to the end (December). Weather is supposed to be better but is really crappy as usual in Chennai. Which means I get more sph (sweat per hour) during my workouts. As we all know, its all about the volume of sweat. Its all about that. & its Teachers Day month, not that it means a helluvalot to me or anything. Despite day job and all. Its just that its nice to think of it. & the monster has some time off later in the month, which is always a bit of a relief due to the hectic mornings we suffer due to school.

I went away meanwhile for a couple of days though, doing non-teaching related things. Meaning, trying to sell coal. It was a closed conference (am getting more and more invitations to these despite loudly yelling about how ineffective these are unless we PLAN it better and stuff like). Mine was the last last last talk in the conference. Which kind of sucks as everyone is keen to leave. I am a big girl now and don't let that affect me. Actually I also don't fret and get nervous about these talks at all, so whatever. Things ran over time so that by the time I finished my spiel, there was hardly any lunch left (the other session had finished on time). I felt a bit bad that I denied food to my audience, but not that bad, really, since the food sucked.

I met lots of people. Since I had been up late reading a novel on Thursday, and my flight on Friday was pretty early, I was pretty tired. So I did not make the usual effort to chat people up. I looked around and felt cold vibes, as a consequence. I knew a couple of guys, talked to them a bit, but my heart was not in it as I was really tired out. I should have complimented the girls at least, the ones passing on the mementoes and so on. The ones who wore such nice salwar kameezes compared to their counterparts in Chennai.

Anyway, I was standing in line for dinner and I saw a knee. Seriously. A knee. I looked up and up and up there was...well...Hagrid. He had shaved and cut his hair and worn a blue shirt. But really, it was Hagrid complete with the Trashcan Lid-Like Hands. He helped himself to about a kilo of biryani and said 'Is this veg?' Strange thing to say, no? I assured him it was. Then he slapped the Lid on his head and said 'Doh! I wanted the chicken' - He didn't actually say Doh! but it was so..Simpson-like..the action.. and yes, of course, he would want the chicken.

Then I met two (or was it three?) people who were so...very...thin. I was talking to one of them, face to face. He turned on his side for something. And boy! I couldn't see him any more. Two-dimensional, you know. It was most disconcerting. I wanted to sit him down at a table and feed him lots of food, preferably the chicken biryani - though I would be loathe to touch that myself, never having touched chicken in my life. There were others also who were indulging in this type of disappearing act. I wondered if it was something in the air (or food) there...till...

I met two almost spherical people. Lets call them Tweedledum and Tweedledee, shall we? Neither of them ate anything. But they talked and talked and talked and hardly stopped for breath. In the early part of the night I was fascinated by the struggle the buttons on the shirts were putting, staying in place, against all odds. Later when it got dark and I couldn't see and I was really tired and the beer was finished (it was tepid, my least favourite flavour), I got worried that they would talk themselves to a heart attack or something. I mean, I don't know for sure that they are more prone than I am, but it looked like buttons, veins, such things could pop, anytime, as they talked.

When I got back to the airport I was fairly hungry. Since the homies were at a wedding, I knew there was curd rice at home and not much else. So I queued up at the chat place. 'Medium Spicy' I declared. A lady was sitting next to me, also travelling alone, I gathered. We both breathed fire over our respective chaats, in unison. Lesson learnt: In Hyderabad, Kenny ought to go with Mild. These guys know how to do spicy. For real. I was reading a Feynman book thing while eating and wondering about how my daughter has the bad habit of reading while eating while all other kids are so bloody awesome about eating. People gave me pitying looks as they passed by, maybe also because by that time, my kameez had sprouted a couple of holes. Seriously, I paid oodles of money for that crap at a boutique and I got something that seems to spontaneously disintegrate. There is a reason why I prefer my button down shirts, they never do that. Na-ah.

I celebrated Onam early by wearing my Mallu off-white sari to my presentation. It was a bit smushy in the final analysis but I wore it with long wooden earrings. Bannu, you would have approved everything except the smushi-ness. Which is a problem with cottons. You have to pay attention as you are wearing it, to ensure that you dont smush it at t=0. Most critical. Lesson learnt. Have I told you I hate it when people refuse to use the mike when they make presentations? Well, I hate it. And I always use the mike, when available, although I know my voice is squeaky coming through it.

Finally, I want to say that I was rewarded for my efforts of the early morning, very well. I was at a resort that claimed two separate places for 'Rain Dance' - What The Fuck is Rain Dance? I kept thinking as I fell asleep. I woke up early (ish) in the morning and decided to find out. I donned my running gear, cursed my gender (its all very satisfying that I can make babies and come up with complicated thoughts on simple life situations but really annoying to deal with having a period every month, I swear), and took off in my nastily dirty vibrams. The rain dance was a disappointment, just looked like a place to get wet in. But there were lots of streams and bridges and lake-like creations with boats moored, and a lawn and lots of swimming pools and slides in the hotel premises. I ran everywhere and then on to the road and there were trucks and I came back and it was still not even an hour but then I saw three kingfishers, one crow pheasant, a beautiful little bulbul and the usual mynahs strutting around, and a bunch of other things that I couldn't identify. Sure, I got looks, honks, and the crow pheasant gave me the most baleful eye (you are so glossy and shiny and beautiful my friend, I told it), and & wished I had company so I could get more adventurous. Oh well, at least I did not snooze through it all.


Choxbox said...

Never a dull moment in your life!

And about reading while eating? Aaaargh. Top reason for fights between child(ren) and me.

dipali said...

I love to read and eat, but only when alone. I have actually progressed to eating my solitary lunch at the computer:( Baggurl, that's me.
You'd look super even all smushed up, Kenny, worry not.