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Three is the new Teens

March 28, 2010

It’s been ages since I have written any posts on my niece.Primarily because I used to only put up her pictures and wait for you all to go ‘awww’ but then  a good friend lectured me about the pedophiles crawling on the web and killed it for me .

But guess what?That little tyke can now talk and is mouthing some memorable quotes,so the pictures can be replaced with them.Unfortunately,she refuses to come on the phone,so I only get to hear them second-hand from the parents. And trust me,its not as fun.

These 3 are the gems which I picked from my brother-in-laws’s blog. (which he should update more often)

  1. Context – Kanchuki (her mom) is out of town. She tells me “Deuta*, I’m missing Ma”. I tell her, “Deuta is here with you, no?”. She says “Deuta cannot be Ma, and Ma cannot be Deuta”! I’m convinced she’s going to be a philosopher!
  2. She was showing me the nailpolish on her feet for the hundreth time! I was saying “Mm” and “Ya” for all her excitement about her nailpolish. She says “Deuta, you don’t know how to talk, you shouldn’t say “Mm” or “Ya”, you should say “Wow””!!
  3. This one is the worst – last week she tells me – “Deuta, you are such a bore, you dont let me do anything fun”! And she’s not yet 3 :(

* Deuta =Father in Assamese

  1. (This is when I met her recently in Hyderabad)
  2. Chomping away ‘Komolas’ (oranges) in Guwahati.

Red River

March 23, 2010

When we were in our 8th standard, a new girl had joined school.Good Looking,soft spoken,intelligent and an instant hit with the teachers, and by default not too popular with our lot. By ‘our’ I mean the little gang that we had going at that time,the main purpose of which was to take food from the outsiders (read as marwaris),talk only in assamese (more so when the nuns dictated that we were only to speak in English inside the school premises), roll socks down ,roll sleeves up and of course plonk ourselves at the last bench. I say ‘our’ since we clearly lacked individual brains to think on our own-  or maybe peer pressure dictated that we collectively love or hate people and things.

As luck would have it,there was a seating re arrangement as the teachers felt we were getting a tad too comfortable in the last bench , and I was made to seat next to the ‘new girl’. I hoped I donot get that infectious disease that she had of reading books  and solving math problems in between classes (or periods as we called them in our convent school). We did not have much to talk and considering I was never at my seat during free time ,we really made no effort to ‘know’ each other.

We passed out of school and took up different streams in Junior College and gently drifted away. Till two years back we got in touch through Facebook and tentatively we re-introduced ourselves. This time as two individuals me without my ‘gang’ and she relieved of  the burden of carrying the image of the ‘perfect school girl’ (sorry K :P). And guess what?We had so much more in common.Or at least at that time we were at the same phase of our life-bored of our corporate jobs and eager to do something different. Long conversation through which we got to know more about each other’s lives and interests. I don’t know if I came more as a revelation for her or was it the other way round.

And we realized that we both wanted to do something with/for North-East,something we both felt passionately about. For me it had to be something to do with travel and hence GypsyFeet. For her, it was garments and fabrics and weaving and hence Red River.(Assam is the land of Red River and Blue Hills)

They say Assamese women can weave dreams in their looms. If so, then Kakoli and her sister Nilakshi are the perfect dream-traders. They go to the remote areas and track down the dying tribal art forms of North East,reviving them and recreating them to suit modern lifestyles. Curtains, Cushion covers, runners, wallets and bags all with a touch of the North-East.

The  grudge that I had against traditional art forms in North East, is that it always had a crude finish and there were no innovations. The same bags with malfunctioning zips, and dull finish to all handicrafts. Red River trains its weavers well and it shows in the nice finished products.

( I have fallen in love with the colors)
Right now,they retail at  Mother Earth, Bombay Stores under their own brand and supply to Fab India, and to boutiques in and around Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi, and they sell online through their eBay store (http://stores.shop.ebay.in/The-Red-River)

( Bag from the Tai Phake community)

You can browse through their catalog on their Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Red-River/216808472619?ref=ts)

(My personal favorite.I love the bright jazzy cloth beads)

I think now I can figure out what was it about her that made me stay away. Her strive for perfection and need to be the best in everything she does.You see,by then I had already embarked on my journey of cynicism and apathy and my strive for mediocrity which I was to master a few years later.Now,when I am struggling to undo all that I can only hope some of that rubs off on me . Right K? :P

And what do you guys think of the products?

Siam .Sand Surf and Sea..

March 20, 2010

.. is a fatal combination for my delicate skin..The sensible thing to do ,would have been to stick to our original plan of a nice quiet holiday in Kashmir.Butt freezing  cold,where I would bury myself in woollens and sip on kehwua.But then what’s the fun in doing the sensible thing. Instead I spent the last day of my holiday puking my guts out, and sunburns all over my hands- all thanks to the heat.But I am jumping the gun. What happened in between was a hectic week of eating,  a drag show, cheap foot massages, temple visits, a long bus journey , snorkeling and a cruise.

Yes Thailand it was. 8 days and three places -Bangkok,Phuket and Phi-Phi island. In order of our priorities here are a few snap shots from our holiday

1) Food:

So, how do you like your meat?

Smiling at you from the plate?

Tempting you from the stands?

Or,hanging from the ropes?

2)Night Life of Thailand:

The bugger knew I was taking this picture, and nonchalantly placed his hands on the last four letters.

A friend took us to the Simon Lady- Boys’ Cabaret show.We were not allowed to click pictures.But the intrepid journalist that I am (and an Indian too, to hell with all the rules), I took pictures on the sly,hiding the camera under my shawl.All was well, or so I thought, till a flashlight was pointed on my good self.Caught like a deer in headlights, I did what any self-respecting journalist would do.Threw the camera on my partner’s lap and pretended to have nothing to do with either of them. I calculated that since the attendants  were all ladies (or lady boys), my boyfriend had a better chance of pacifying them.

So presenting, exclusive pictures of the night. Remember, you saw it first on Lostonthestreet.

Slow that I am, I kept thinking these are the ladies,of course, and the lady boys will make their grand entry later on.

Presenting Simon (See-Mon).

And now, pictures from backstage:

I am not lady enough to be a lady boy. I do not have such porcelain clear skin or delicate features.

The real fun, though is in the Sleaze Street of Phuket, where I saw prostitutes at work for the first time in my life. Here you can see old Americans making out with girls young enough to be their grand-daughters and young men turning down pretty young Thai ladies. “Sorry its my bed time”,said one exasperated 20 -something American to a Thai lady as she fell all over him,literally.If a 20′s young man on a decadent holiday with his friends refuses get laid by a willing participant, there is definitely a mis-match between demand and supply.

And then there were the other attractions of the night.If you spend the night in Ko Phi Phi island,and you must, donot miss the Thai Boxing, where amateurs and pro fight it out (not with each other).So,if you are drunk senseless and have friends who are ready to take advantage of your inebriated condition, you can sign up for  a bout of Thai Kickboxing.Winner wins a bucket of alcohol and loser takes home a few nasty bruises and a realization of who his true friends are.Yes, I wanted to sign up but the bar seemed to be filled with  healthy East Europeans and Russians,and considering I barely reached upto their knees, better sense prevailed on me.

Fire work s on the beach,literally and figuratively.Ain’t he perfect for a holiday fling? (Note to myself :Next time leave boyfriend in the hotel room)

3) Street Life:

What better way to relax than a foot massage.The best place, according to me, is not inside a salon,but in Khao San road,Bangkok- a relaxed cobbled street lined with huge banyan trees.

The Floating Market,a must-do on the tourist circuit…

where you are sure to bump into annoying tourists as these..

I found these hats very interesting because they are just like our Assamese Jaapis. Not too surprised, since Assam was ruled by the Ahoms,who migrated from Thailand.There are villages in Assam ,like Tai Namphake where the villagers speak a dialect similar to the language in Thailand and still follow the traditional customs and dress code of the great Tai race.


Odd one out..

4) Finally,the famed beaches of Thailand

Aah ha, so crystal clear blue waters do exist.Its no photo shopped at the travel brochures.I saw blue waters in the Pacific coast of Seattle,but it wasn’t this translucent clear water.


To get this view, you have to climb up to the highest point in Phi Phi Island.

Had fun?Don’t even think of going to Thailand now.We went in February and it was hot.

And when the heat gets to you,you might be tempted to do crazy things like ..get braids on your hair.

Happily Unmarried

March 11, 2010

What is it in our book of ethics that make it perfectly acceptable to ask people “when are you getting married” ,but NOT “when are you getting divorced”? See, that’s where we have failed as a society.Asking the wrong questions.Which inevitably leads to heart burn and angst ridden post such as this.If only we would ask  “Why?” to those stuck in a rut because of the holy sanctimony of marriage , the world would indeed be a happy place.

Take it from me. I have shared many a smoke with budding sociologists in JNU, which makes me perfectly eligible to make such wide sweeping observations on “Society: Relevance of the institution of marriage,The decline of “

This is the key chain to our warm and lovely flat in Mumbai.Do drop by..and leave your views on marriage outside.

A career shift.

March 6, 2010

One day you are a plain dressed office goer dragging your dirty shoes to a drab dull office,where the most cheerful person is the guard and the most colorful thing is the red stapler.

And the next thing you know ,you are a ‘professional backpacker’ . (Considering how I am looking, they should have named the article “Packing a Paunch” .har har. Humour is my self defence mechanism.)

Oh well,what next? A sex therapist? A career counselor (how to bungle it)? Your personal critic in case you are feeling too smug about yourself?Smooth conversation filler in a party filled with random people?

P.S.

Love Story

March 5, 2010

“She was dating my friend. My friend dumped her for a model.And I started dating her.”

This was what a friend’s boyfriend announced,in front of his girlfriend, to his colleagues and her friends when he was asked to narrate his ” how-we-metr” story.They have been dating for four years.I could see the look on my friend’s face.Too shocked to react and then she just went quiet for the rest of the evening.

Should I ask my friend to dump this guy.It helps that I donot like this guy too much.But I think that one line showed how they both percieve a relationship.He thinks he took on her as pity case and made her sound like a slut.

So tell me your love story? (this,should under no circumstances be construed as a  ruse to get people to comment.Whatever made you think that way?)


tap tap tap

February 11, 2010

…fingers over the keyboard. Fleeting images of the last 3 months. So many tales to tell yet where do I start?

Its been so long , that now I wonder where to begin.Working in the office with cubicle full of ‘interesting characters’ gave me fodder for my posts. Now what?(Well, I can do a post of some ‘i-am-the-next-columbus’ traveler I keep meeting.And how Mr. Columbus demands rhinos be lined up on his 6.15am to 8.30 am national park safari,because he has to have his Aloo Parathas sharp at  9 am in the morning.

Do I begin with an update post, or just pretend the break never happened. What do i write about?What do you want to read about?

Most importantly, is anyone around? (I am actually pleasantly surprised that a few of you contacted me on Facebook to ask when I am reviving this blog. Since I rarely never check my blog gmail, I just now got to see the mails other readers.Thank you all. No I am not dying.Just decided to take a break from blogging.

And with that let me say Bye. Am off to Thailand.For a week. Yes, a GypsyFeeter needs a personal vacation. And I demanded a touristy holiday, where I can see other tourists, do shopping, stay in nice resorts. I assume all of you must have done a Thailand trip, so any suggestions? Lazing in the beach the whole day is frankly not a tempting offer for me. Neither for my partner,who has already booked us a cycling tour!!.

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