What’s Going On?
Dear Whoever Jinxed Me,
I am not amused. The whole point of me saying I’m twiddling my thumbs is not to rejig circumstances so that I don’t even have time to consider the spelling of twiddle, let alone indulge in any such activity. Somewhere along the way, my hours of freedom have withered and died like the potted plants that I valiantly and unsuccessfully attempt to grow. This is not cool. I was quite liking the idea of having little to do and lots of time to while away. I’d started making elaborate, ambitious plans about how I was going to write, blog, eat healthy, rule the world… that sort of thing. And now, out of the blue, I’m flapping about like a chicken with no head but with a to-do list that’s the length of Ulysses and about as comprehensible.
Like I said, not cool.
Someone said to me the other day, “You haven’t been blogging of late.” I admit, I felt quite chuffed that they’d noticed. Looking both apologetic and triumphant, I said that I’d been swamped with work.
“If I tell you about my depression, will you blog about it?”
“Because I’m not a cow. That’s a horrible thing to do.”
“Well, that depends on how you write it, doesn’t it?”
“You should be more personal in your blog. Like, write about yourself, your feelings, that sort of stuff. It would clear the air.”
“You, people around you, friends, stuff.”
I tentatively asked if everything was ok. This someone smiled wide, nodded, knocked back the drink they were staring at for most of this time and asked if I’d watched Skyfall. I have a feeling I thoroughly mishandled that situation.
On a happier note, I’ve made a few friends at work, which is nice. One of them has three uncles whose names are Firstly, Secondly, Thirdly. True story.
In other news, prostitution has popped up in conversation of late. Someone told me the other day that in Ahmedabad, brothels are regular 2 to 3-bedroom apartments in perfectly respectable residential complexes. The “husbands” are the pimps and the “wife” is the, well, the critical component that gives a brothel its distinctive identity. Except the person who was telling mistimed doing the double quotes sign with their fingers and consequently, when said it, it seemed the husband is the “pimp” and the wife is the “whore”. Speaking of whores, if you are a lower middle-class, Bangladeshi woman and you want to come to India (because you’ve fallen for they hype that you’ll have a better life here), apparently it helps if you’re a “brothel quality woman”, according to a Bengali social worker who made this statement without even a twinge of a smile. And what are the criteria for “brothel quality”? Nice eyes, accentless Bengali and the ability to smile sweetly while talking. I was informed that the usual modus operandi is that these ladies spend two years working as prostitutes and then end up working as domestic help outside Bengal. More often than not, they change their names at this point. I was rather intrigued by the idea that the unmistakably Muslim name was fine for prostitution but when it came to working as a maid, the name should be either more ambiguous or distinctly Hindu-sounding. The social worker didn’t find anything curious about this. “But you see, Muslims have a long tradition of being excellent courtesans so it is fine to have Muslim names in brothels. Remember Pakeezah?” said the social worker, referring to a weepy Bollywood film from 1972 about a tawaif. That’s the kind of logic that would have Aristotle down on his knees, weeping.
And now I’m going to go. Because tomorrow, not only do I have to go to work, I have to do work too. Hmph.