> Since my last post on the subject, I've gone actively in search of the Sunday morning. And, I'm happy to tell you guys that it does exist. No one person in particular, at the moment, but potential abounds, and that's better than nothing. Man, I love dating. I know I said I hated it, but woman is a fickle creature, and there's something about the thrill of a text message in the wee hours, or a Facebook friend request, or just thinking about something you said to the other person and it making you smile. I'm steeling myself against inevitable heartbreak, because there is always heartbreak at the end of these things, and trying to just enjoy the moment. I'm not much of an Enjoy The Moment kinda gal, but hey, it's a useful skill to have. I don't know if it's the yoga I've been doing, or the company I've been keeping, but I have never felt so confident in my ENTIRE LIFE. It's brilliant. I think the only thing that kept me from enjoying dating-dating in the past, when you're not sure, and no one is your "boyfriend", is that I used to keep fast forwarding, reaching the point of no return vis a vis expectations, and then there is always disappointment. Potential is good, it keeps my stomach a-flutter and my evenings interesting. I'm allowing myself to admit that I don't have the answers; maybe no one does, but it doesn't mean I can't have fun.
>In all this, I had a minor epiphany the other day. I've actually forgotten JC's face. I'm sure if I tried hard enough, I could conjure it up, but he is no longer the person I think about with wistful longing, suddenly recalling an expression that would bring me, in the midst of a crowded party, almost to tears. "We almost had it all", yeah, but, we didn't. And I guess my healing process is complete.
>Reclaiming Delhi like the Brits did Bandra, I've been eM Fancypants this last weekend, swishing about to trendy art openings and even trendier night clubs. Shalom is still going strong, did you know? They have one floor which is smoking, always a comfort to me, and is always packed on the weekends. Wonderfully serendipitous weekend as well, when I turned up at Shalom and found my "gang" from college all there, all happy, and we hadn't managed to get it together and hang out for so long, all four of us were just lost in the wonder of it all. "We're all here!" we kept saying, there were hugs and exclamations, and it was nice. The night prior, I went to a club I hadn't even heard about before*, something called Circa 1193 (Circa to regulars) and there too, I bumped into a bunch of random people. I don't know if Delhi nightlife is the nightlife for me, to be honest, but it was nice to get out of my comfort zone for a bit. Staggered home after SEVEN glasses of red wine and TEQUILA, oh god, why do I ever drink tequila? Why is it always such a good idea at two in the morning? And the next day, of course, I paid the price, but it was still quite nice to be drunk in a place where the music was loud and my heels reduced my feet to numb blobs. Nothing like that to make you feel young and stupid again , even though I'm pretty sure I prefer being old and wise.
*ever since I've moved to Delhi, weekends have been all house party all the time, so it's what I've gotten used to. Small gatherings, usually BYOB, and usually the same people. It means heels are optional, and there's always a couch for me to sit on, and always a cab just a phone call away. Clubs, for this older Confessor, have ceased to be a thing, unless I'm in Bombay. Then, all bets are off.
> This has also been a week of goodbyes, BB has departed for another hemisphere, and even though we're no longer in the same city, we were online usually at the same time, so we managed to keep an all day long chat session going. Now that we're in different time zones, however, I'm lucky I have my insomnia to keep me awake while she's up and about too. We've also committed to a Skype date every now and then, so yes, goodbyes aren't as painful as they used to be. It's a small world, and everything is just a plane trip away.
> I've just found out another dear friend ties the knot in November, bringing the grand total for weddings in that month up to THREE, and none being weddings I can skip. The universe has aligned magically though, because none of the dates are clashing. I foresee a month long hangover in November and mehendi hands probably all the way till January.
> Since moving to Delhi, I had to restructure and reshape my social circle a little bit, and a lot of it was starting from scratch. But now, I'm happy to announce, I've finally got the "new friends" bit sorted and organised and I have GIRL FRIENDS, you guys! Thanks to growing up here, I don't lack for good, close, girlfriends, but making new ones is always tough, so I'm happy that I found a few I really like, and meet regularly. Also, at parties, I'm the girl who flirts with other girls, and exchanges numbers and arranges to meet within the week, and it's awesome, it really is. Boys may come and boys may go, but a good support system (much like a bra) is forever. It's odd though, because if you put me in a room with a mixed group of strangers, I'd probably get along better with the boys, but when it comes to close friendships, I usually prefer the company of women.
15 August 2011
When you write for a living as opposed to "just writing", suddenly, everything is seen in terms of cash. How much money could I be making for a short story that just came to me one night, the characters already forming, like the opposite of ghosts in my head, transparent people growing more opaque? Presently, I fetch about Rs 5 a word, on average, more if I'm lucky, and I try to never let it go lower. This is a good rate for a freelance writer in India, given that every second person I meet wants to be a freelancer themselves, and most newspapers offer you Rs 2. You have to make it worth your while, otherwise it shows in your writing. A hurried piece is unsatisfactory, even if you consider yourself a fairly good writer, even if the readers of that paper may have never read your stuff before, you know it's not your finest.
But it's hard to stay fine when it's what you do for cash. I think (and this may not be a great metaphor, but it's the only one I can come up with at the moment that seems to fit) of a prostitute. That's intimate stuff, and it's being put out there for money. Much like a freelance writer. Do you imagine the prostitute always performs well? Or are there hit or miss days for them as well, days when they make love with passion and energy and days when they scrape by with just a well done hand job? I know, writing wise, I have hand job days--my work is swift, it gets you to the end, it's not unsatisfactory. But it's not the orgasm the reader could have had.
Freelance work is most days a whole lotta nothing. There are days I spend watching mindless TV, going back to bed and reading after the maid has gone for the day and can't judge me, texting friends as early as I can (not before 4, because you don't want to look like you have nothing to do, not after 5, because they'll have already made plans for the evening) to see if they want to meet later that day. Killing time. I may as well be a murderer, like the Mad Hatter said to Alice. There is no genius burning, nothing like I imagine the old days of writers to be, a lot of writing in an attic and then an evening pint with other writer friends. And the funny thing is, if you count all the extra (meaning: non-book related) work I have, and the amount of Twitter/Facebook/blog stuff I do, I'm writing more than I have in my entire life. It's just not "work" writing. Not "career" writing either. It's just... writing.
They don't tell you about the not glamorous days. I met a boy at the IIM I was at recently, and he said to me, shiny eyed, "Tell me about your life! I watch Californication, is your life like that?" I laughed and said that was like asking a surgeon whether their life was like Grey's Anatomy, but even friends, random people I meet say, "Oh, your life looks so exciting!" And I feel the need to wave my cigarette holder about, kiss people on the cheek, weave flowers through my hair, compulsively write in my little Moleskine at parties, be the kind of writer that people who want to be writers try to be. Horn rimmed glasses and all. Throw about a good mango/seduction metaphor. Talk about my perfect writer-y life, in the perfect writer-y flat with the perfect writer-y cat. When in reality, some days, I wake up to uninspiration. Some days, I am longing for the sound of someone else's voice inside my head. Some days I think I'll never be able to write again, that every word that leaves my fingertips sounds hackneyed and trite. Some days, my perfect writer-y cat greets me with a perfect poop in the middle of the living room floor.
They don't tell you how lonely it's going to be. That being a writer means long hours, thankless wages and no distractions. That there's no such thing as "no distractions". Very rare meetings. No colleagues. The fact that you lose all social skills after a while because you no longer know how to talk to people. Irritability that lasts for days. Insomnia. Days when you feel completely and utterly worthless because all you are, all your self worth is tied into how well you can write and you haven't written a sentence in two weeks. Days when you kind of hate that everyone is moving on with their lives on to bigger better things and you're still stuck with a job that will never pay you as much as your MBA friends are getting. Days when the Project Of Your Life that you're working on, your new baby, has to be described to someone who asks "what do you do?" quite innocently at a party and as the words leave your mouth and they look even slightly skeptical, you're suddenly thrown into doubt, "OH MY GOD, WHAT AM I DOING?"
To know that you're doing what you've wanted to do since you were a little girl, so convinced were you that you would some day be a Writer that no one was actually surprised except you when you became one, is the most wonderful feeling. But still. Some days are better than others. Some weeks are better than others. You do what you love and you do what you can.