Wednesday, December 29, 2021

2021

 1. What did you do in 2021 that you’d never done before?


Learnt how to drive and got my driver's license. I'm still a terrible driver and literally have miles to go before I sleep, but baby steps darling!

Also adopted a rambunctious dog who continues to drive us up the wall, but is probably one of the best decisions ever taken. :)


2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


 I have zero recollection about resolving to do anything last year. I will absolutely NOT make any resolution for 2022. Existence during apocalypse is all bullshit anyway. 



3. Did anyone close to you give birth?

Yes! Much excitement about second core baby. :)


4. Did anyone close to you die?

Yes.



5. What countries did you visit?

None.  


6. What would you like to have in 2022 that you lacked in 2021?

My own house and a brief respite from this terrible 2021 Mental Health Spiral. 



7. What date from 2021 will remain etched upon your memory?

11th January, because start of the vexing new job. 24th January, because Bhetki came home. 2nd May, because stressful close call with fascist regime. 
1st November, because first core baby. 


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Not having a nervous breakdown every other day.


9. What was your biggest failure?

Not getting the house situation sorted. Not travelling. 


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Working for 12 hours on a shitty keyboard has relegated me to the Carpal Tunnel Forever corner. And of course, mental health stuff went from bad to worse.


11. What was the best thing you bought?

Nothing, really.


12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Mine. And sometimes Bhetki's.


13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

S'


14. Where did most of your money go?

Food and books and Uber. 



15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Going for a quick weekend trip to Digha with friends. This year was strangely devoid of excitement and full of grey, listless drudgery. 


16. What song/album will always remind you of 2020?

Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate - Debe live at Bozar



17.Compared to this time last year, are you:


1. Happier or sadder? Sadder.
2. Thinner or fatter? Fatter.
3. Richer or poorer? Richer.



18. What do you wish you’d done more of?


Travelling. Taking a minute to myself with a book. 


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Work.


20. How will you be spending Christmas?


We woke up late after a rousing Christmas eve and sat around nursing strong cups of coffee. Then we stuffed ourselves full at Manzilat and I took a 3 hour nap in the evening. 'Twas the best day.


21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?


Sadly enough, my boss.


22. Did you fall in love in 2021?


Nope.



23. How many one night stands in this last year?


None.



24. What was your favourite TV programme?

I discovered 'Succession' this year, and life will never be the same. 
'Hospital Playlist Season 2' and Wandavision should also get honourable mentions. I was a Marvel glutton this year.


25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?

Yup.


26. What was the best book(s) you read?


Slowly getting my reading groove back. Agatha Christie ALWAYS comes through. Best new book still remains Yaa Gyasi's 'Transcendent Kingdom'.


27. What was your greatest musical discovery?

Whale in the Pond. 
Ali Farka Toure and Toumani Diabate.


28. What did you want and get?

A new job.



29. What did you want and not get?


To move into the new house. Some contentment. 



30. What were your favourite films of this year?


Spiderman: No Way Home.


31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?


I was 33. Had a good partywithfriends the day before, and spent the morning drinking coffee and shooting the shit with D. Met parents in the afternoon for a biriyani lunch before coming home and having a supernova-sized fight with S. It was a ... mixed sort of day.

32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
 

A little less work. A little more action. 

33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?

Pajamas with ratty t-shirts.


34. What kept you sane?

Cats and dog and books and friends.


35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?


Siddhartha Mukherjee and Neil Gaiman.


36. What political issue stirred you the most?


I ... don't know where to start. Next question please.


37. Who did you miss?

The 'me' I was before 2019.


38. Who was the best new person you met?

T, maybe?!


39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020.

This, too, shall pass.


40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?

"...In the clearing stands a boxer
And a fighter by his trade,
And he carries the reminders
Of every glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame
"I am leaving, I am leaving"
But the fighter still remains, he still remains..."



Sunday, May 09, 2021

Thakur pujo

 In a year of unrelenting, bone deep, breathless grief, I've discovered that  NOTHING hits the spot quite like Robi Thakur. From wild, untamed sadness to the gritty melancholy -- he has a song for everything. I've spent more hours listening to his music in the past one year than I have in my life. As the world burned, his quiet words soothed as nothing else could. Let posterity record that collective Bengali grief always turns towards this man for relief.


https://youtu.be/6K97zuGWXY4


"একক অখন্ড ব্রহ্মান্ড  রাজ্যে,

পরম এক সেই রাজ রাজেন্দ্র রাজে।"



Friday, January 15, 2021

2020

 1. What did you do in 2020 that you’d never done before?


Ahahahaha. AHAHAHA...What can I say. Survived an unprecedented global pandemic and saw our global descent into fascism?  


2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


 No, and no. Resolution, shmesolution. Who has the time when the world is ending?



3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


Yes! First core baby. :) 

4. Did anyone close to you die?


Yes.



5. What countries did you visit?

None.  


6. What would you like to have in 2021 that you lacked in 2020?

An effective vaccine, dear god.



7. What date from 2020 will remain etched upon your memory?

18th March, because that was the day I started working from home, expecting this weird new disease to go away in a couple of months. And well...it's now January and I haven't been back in the office since. And also 29th August, because that's when we came back for good. 


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
  • Not dying.


9. What was your biggest failure?

Fucking up my mental health. 


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yup. Typhoid and fractured ankle and slow descent into madness.

11. What was the best thing you bought?

Rajdhani first class tickets to Kolkata.


12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Mine. And sporadically S'.


13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

EVERYONE'S!


14. Where did most of your money go?

Books and Swiggy. 



15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?


Moving back to Kolkata.


16. What song/album will always remind you of 2020?

Jano kichu mone koro na...

[https://youtu.be/o1v3z2EUgcM]


17.Compared to this time last year, are you:


1. Happier or sadder? Happier.
2. Thinner or fatter? Same.
3. Richer or poorer? Richer.



18. What do you wish you’d done more of?


Walking around Delhi roads when I had the time and opportunity.


19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Work.


20. How will you be spending Christmas?


I spent Christmas drinking coffee with D and then driving around Kolkata with S. It was a good day. 


21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?


Shallow Hollows



22. Did you fall in love in 2020?


Nope.



23. How many one night stands in this last year?


None.



24. What was your favourite TV programme?

This was the year I discovered Korean drama! While the world died around me and I stayed at home for months on end, I wore my mask and watched impossibly good looking people having complicated lovelives and ridiculous problems. My favourites were 'Crash Landing On You', 'Because This is my First Life' and 'Hospital Playlist.' 


25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


Can't remember.

26. What was the best book(s) you read?


One of the most distressing things about this extraordinary year was the fact that it took away my ability to read. I spent hours doomscrolling on my phone or just staring at the ceiling, but couldn't bring myself to finish books. Reading has always been my go-to method to relax, and in a year when I needed it most...I just couldn't. Anyway, all this to say that I didn't read much, but I DID discover Georgette Heyer. Her 'Why Shoot A Butler' was easily the most heartwarming thing I read in a year full of heartbreaks.

27. What was your greatest musical discovery?


Akhilbandhu Ghosh. 

28. What did you want and get?

To quit my super stressful job.



29. What did you want and not get?


Peace.



30. What were your favourite films of this year?


I truly cannot remember a single movie I watched this year. I do recall rewatching 'Asa Jawar Majhe' with S, and being struck by its deliciousness anew. Does that count?

31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?


I was 32. Was just recuperating from a nasty bout of Typhoid, so couldn't eat anything but boiled rice and eggs and idli. But had friends over, fed them good food, and lived a little vicariously. So that was good. This was right before the world shut down,  and thank god for that.


32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
 

A little less 'unprecedented' events please. It sucks to live through history. 


33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2020?

Aha. Ahaha. AHAHAHAHA. I gave away half my wardrobe before the cross-country move, and have solely survived on pajamas for a year.



34. What kept you sane?

Cats. 


35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?


David Tennant. Neil Gaiman. Riz Ahmed.


36. What political issue stirred you the most?


I ... don't know where to start. Next question please.

37. Who did you miss?

EVERY one. EVERY FUCKING ONE. 

38. Who was the best new person you met?

No new person was met. Everyone stayed put in their homes.


39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2020.

This, too, shall pass.


40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?

Aur bhi dukh hai zamane mein, mohabbat ke siva,
Raahatein aur bhi hai, vasl ki rahat ke siva...


Sunday, December 29, 2019

Begone 2019, this year of horror

1. What did you do in 2019 that you’d never done before?

Oh jesus. Nothing, and everything. Does that make sense? Everything seemed old and jaded this year AS WELL AS bewilderingly new and overwhelming. This truly was the year best summed up by the age-old adage of "Well, at least you didn't die..."  
2. Did you keep your New Year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?


 I did, surprisingly. And then I realized that those resolutions were shit in the first place, and keeping them did not make me happy and content after all. So there's that.

Definitely making more resolutions for next year, though. 



3. Did anyone close to you give birth?


Yes! Multiple friends had multiple ickle babies this year! 2019 was full of progeny!


4. Did anyone close to you die?


No, thank god.



5. What countries did you visit?

Vietnam! But that was a continuation of my December 2018 trip -- so it probably does not count. Within India, we went to Gushaini in Himachal for Holi, and then for a surprisingly calming trip to Bangalore in June. There was a kinda awkward, but okay work trip to Nainital in July as well. And of course the obligatory Kolkata and Benares things happened. We're also set to go to Shimla for a quick year-end getaway. Looking back, this year was very VERY low in travel. 


6. What would you like to have in 2020 that you lacked in 2019?

Work-life balance. Oh dear God, some work-life balance would be good.]



7. What date from 2018 will remain etched upon your memory?

7th June, I think. I left a long and dearly held job for newer horizons that day. It was a disorienting time. 


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
  • Changing my job
  • Starting the side thing
  • Not losing my mind completely



9. What was your biggest failure?

Not getting the side thing off and running, like we thought we would. Not sticking to the health resolutions. Really not paying attention to friends and family, and pouring all my energy into work instead. 


10. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Yup. Brain completely melted, taking my mental health with it.
11. What was the best thing you bought?

Tickets to Bangalore, I think.


12. Whose behaviour merited celebration?

Pnuti's.


13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed?

Most of India's.


14. Where did most of your money go?

Flight tickets. Food. Cats. Books. 



15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?


Nothing. Not a single damn thing elicited any sort of overwhelming excitement. It was a shitty, shitty year, Watson.


16. What song/album will always remind you of 2019?

Cold/Mess - Prateek Kuhad



17.Compared to this time last year, are you:


1. Happier or sadder? Sadder.
2. Thinner or fatter? Same.
3. Richer or poorer? Richer, but not happier about it.



18. What do you wish you’d done more of?


Just chilling. Staring at the skies. Walking around the city. Pottering around the house. Essentially, anything that's not work.



19. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Work.


20. How will you be spending Christmas?


I spent Christmas watching a movie, and then drinking spiked hot chocolate with old friends. There was pasta and chicken too. 'Twas a good day.


21. Who did you spend the most time on the phone with?


Office people. (Blergh.)



22. Did you fall in love in 2019?


Nope.



23. How many one night stands in this last year?


None.



24. What was your favourite TV programme?

  • Killing Eve
  • Fleabag
  • Russian Doll
  • Queer Eye Japan
(TV was quite deliciously good this year.)

25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?


Yes.


26. What was the best book(s) you read?


Paul Kalanithi's "When Breath Becomes Air" made me publicly bawl in a metro. So, that was something. I was also introduced to Patrick Rothfuss, who provided my yearly fantasy fix quite satisfactorily.


27. What was your greatest musical discovery?


Prateek Kuhad, I think. Though that was hardly a new discovery. I just listened to him a lot this year. Also, all the old comforting Faiz songs were played on loop.
28. What did you want and get?

The new job.



29. What did you want and not get?


A work-life balance. Peace.



30. What were your favourite films of this year?


Marriage Story was absolutely delicious. I loved Lady Bird too. 


31. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?


Quite disappointing birthday all around. Even the birthday dinner was kinda shit. Hoping this next year is better.


32. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
 

Just figuring out the thing that would provide me the most mental peace.


33. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2019?


Corporate slave, but forgot to comb her hair.
34. What kept you sane?


Books and therapy and cats. 


35. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?


Neil Gaiman, in perpetuity.


36. What political issue stirred you the most?


Oh God, so many. I went to so many protests this year. Marched so many times. This world is going to hell in a handbasket, and I have decided to not go silently into the night. Kashmir was fucked, and so were minorities in India. 
BJP won an overwhelming majority in the Lok Sabha elections. Boris Johnson became UK's PM, and it looks like Brexit is a done deal. But maybe it is true that it is the darkest before dawn. (Fingers crossed).



37. Who did you miss?


My friends, all in one place.



38. Who was the best new person you met?


M, maybe? But the bar is rather low.



39. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2018.

Be careful, for what you wish for might just become true.



40. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year?

I wish I could leave you my love,
But my heart is a mess...