Saturday, April 28, 2007


My head hurts as I write this post.

I'm a 27 year old, unmarried, Indian girl, with zero decent relationships under my belt.

For Indian society, I am already above marriageable age, and I better get my act together, or I will stay a 'spinster' (God how I hate that word).

"Darling, who will marry you when you are 30?" I often hear my mum saying to me. "By that age, all the good men are taken, and you will be left with divorcees, widowers or people who everybody else has rejected."


I understand my mum's concerns. She believes that there is a 'time' for everything. A time to get married, a time to enjoy your marriage, a time to have children, etc etc. And when you start missing that 'time', things start falling out of place.

I do have respect for the arranged marriage scene and I have seen it work across most of my family.

A cousin of mine once explained the concept to some Spanish friends in a wonderful way: "Western people first fall in love, get married, and then worry about all the problems they have to worry about (families getting along, finances, future, life plans etc). In India, we do it the other way around. First we clarify all the foreseeable problems, then we get married, then we fall in love."

It has been proven that 'arranged' marriages have a significantly higher success rate than 'love' marriages (as we call them in India) - for the way they get the problems out of the way first.

So even though my parents are amazingly supportive and have always respected my decisions, they keep sprinkling 'suitable bachelor' information into our conversations, and showing my astrology charts to guru's in India.

As for me, irrespective of how many times my heart has been bruised, I still believe in falling in love. If I ever choose to get married, I would like it to be for love, rather than for the sake of getting married so as to not grow old alone (or whatever the reason is for an arranged marriage.)

Having said all of that, marriage is out of the picture for me at the moment.

I'm all over the place, with so many dreams, so many aspirations, so much happening around me - why would I want to get married right now? My life would take a serious hault and then a serious diversion that I am really not prepared for.

But when you marry for love - you are willing to put all those things on the line, because that what love does. (Well, that's what I'm told anyway :)

On the other hand, though I repel the thought of having an arranged marriage, I also realise how I always seem to to attract disastrous men in my life who have done me no good.

At 27, you'd think I'd have atleast one relationship that I could talk about fondly. Nope. Each one has been more messed-up than the other.

So, while all my friends (literally, ALL of them) have found love and are happily married, and putting my relationship-life in context, I sometimes wonder if I will ever have a guy in my life more than a few months (let alone to marry!). And that's all I'd like at the moment, you know?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Out in the open

Those of you who have been reading my blog for a while, will be familiar with the fear I have had of sub-continent men in Spain.

When it comes to men, in general, I haven't been the best with the whole 'live-and-learn' analogy; but in this particular context, I have been queen.

Passing off successfully as a South-American has kept me a good arms distance from my Pakistani, Bangladeshi cyber-café/vegetable-shop buddies in Madrid.

Until yesterday.

"Excuse-me madam, are you from India?" said the Pakistani owner of the Internet café around the corner from my house.

I waited a good 2-minutes before deciding how to answer this question, and incapable of lying, I said yes.

"NO FUCKING WAY" was the reaction I got. (Que coño dices!)

See, you need to keep in context that I have been frequenting this Pakistani-brotherhood-cyber-café for over 3-months now. It's the best one close to me, so I decided not to be anal about the birthplace of it's owners.

"Wow", he continues, still in state of utter bewilderment. "Do you speak Hindi?"

"Yes, of course I do," I replied sheepishly.

"So you have been eavesdropping on our conversations for three months!?" he says, thankfully with a smile.

I smiled back.

"So come to my house one day, I live just down the road," he continued, to which I almost replied "why the fuck would I want to do that?", before he said "meet my family, have tea with my wife, she gets lonely".


"I have been here for 14-years; we hardly meet people from our muluk. We would be delighted to have you around."

That was nice ay. Very straightforward and warm without the slightest tinge of threat.

So when I walked in today, of course instead of the Pakistani Uncle with kids, were his two young single Pakistani nephews. As if they knew I would be passing by!

"Namasteji! you are from India," one of them says in Urdu.

"Yes," I say, as neutrally as I could without sounding rude but being clear I don't have time for a chat.

Of course, that vibe wasn't picked up on, and the next thing I know is that he has pulled up a chair and is sitting next to me. Great.

Anyway, 5-minutes into the chat I think he got the hint. But he wasn't being a pain. He was just curious.

Overall I got a good vibe. Maybe one day I will take them up on the offer of passing by their house, perhaps not for tea, but definitely for the home made biryani!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Profundizando en español

Hace mucho que no escribo en español. Voy a intentarlo hoy - me apetece. Y disculpame por todos mis errores!

El ultimo año cuando estuvé trabajando en Dubai, repentamente tenía un sentimiento muy fuerte, o podemos decir (?), me dí cuenta como un golpe, que un día voy a morir.Y sabiendo eso piensé: quiero vivir como estoy viviendo ahora?

El próximo día, dejé mi trabajo. Dentro de un mes estaba en Valencia, y ahora estoy en Madrid. Viviendo. Por primera vez en mi vida estoy viviendo de verdad. Disfrutando. Por primera vez, mi vida tiene nada que ver con mañana, con dinero, con estabilidad, con futuro. Todo es para hoy. Bueno, mas o menos.

Esté pensamiento me toca siempre cuando veo una viejecita en el supermercado buscando su cambio para pagar por su manzanas. Y pienso, debo vivir exactamente como quiero ahora - porque cuando estoy así - no podrá.

Creo que hoy en día, vivo bastante bien: hago lo que quiero, como quiero, cuando quiero. Un lujo que no permite a todos.

Leí un articulo muy bonito hoy en El País Semana: El Sentido De Morir .

(si que puedo ser profunda aveces!)

Empieza diciendo "Todo el mundo sabe que un día morirá, pero casi nadie se lo cree..." y tuvé que seguir leyendo.

Me ha gustado mucho porque siempre había tenido una manera de ser deprimido por el sentido de morir.

Claro, no queremos morir, tampoco queremos ser viejos - porque significa que el momento de morir esta cerca.

Pero, esté articulo reverte esté sentimiento diciendo - morir es que da sentido a nuestra vida.

Como sería horroroso una vida sin final, porque nadie puede escapar a la insoportable levedad del ser. A decir, si no tuvieramos que morir, no intentaríamos a vivir.

También dicen cosas como:
'Vivimos esta vida com si llevásemos otra en la maleta' (Hemingway)..

'El vida no es un ensayo, así que no la desperdician'.

Y mas cosas que nos ponemos a poner nuestra vida en perspectivo. obvio que no tengo nada especial a decir, ni que puedo bien en español, pero quería escribir algo de esté asunto - EN ESPAÑOL - y me importa un pimiento si esté post es tonto y no tiene sentido. A lo mejor estoy en un animo de reflejar, y pensar. Esta bien porque es raro :)

Y os dejo aqui..

Vipassana in Madrid

His voice gave me goosebumps. Goosebumps that quickly turned into shivers. I felt momentarily dizzy a few times too. Perhaps these are my reactions from meditating after 3-years. Reactions that I suppose are way to raw to be called sensations.

Found a Vipassana group here - they meditate together in an herbolaria every Sunday morning for two hours. I couldn't handle two hours, but enjoyed the first hour. Felt a few random sensations, but most of the time I was trying to calm my agitated mind. Managed not to look at my watch more than twice - which is quite an achievement.

It was interesting to see the sort of people who turned up. All much older. All Spanish. All swept away by what they are experiencing with this meditation. All happy. Some searching for themselves, but generally happy. Vipassana does that. Gives you a refuge which promises to protect you, come what may. Seems like the programme is a rage in Spain - with spots in Barcelona totally booked out.

As I walked home, felt very light-headed. Also felt home. Big smile on my face. Must continue going. Must continue practising.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Thought for the day

"Angels fly because they take themselves lightly" - Arianna Huffington

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Blatant Self-Promotion

For those who aren't tuning into the most productive writing I am doing at the moment - check out my latest at Gridskipper.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Garbage Treasures

Life as an English teacher doesn't leave you much spending money after you've paid your bills. So when you spot something you like, abandoned in the trash, you take it.

Yesterday we picked up this sofa chair from the trash round the corner.

4am walking back from a great night out with a friend visiting from Valencia, we spotted it and thanks to numerous cañas in my system, I didn't think twice about whether to take it or not.

So here we were, in the middle of the night, two half-drunk chicas carrying a sofa chair home. I say that with full pride as I officially join the club of garbage scavengers. Yes, that sounds cheap and pathetic, but as long as I'm not scavenging for food, I think my dignity is intact.

And just for the record, it's the most comfortable thing I have in my room after my bed, and it doesn't smell.

If you pay a bit of attention to the chair, you will see some bird-drawings laid out. These are pieces of art we found hanging on various trees in the barrio of Lavapies. And they're pretty damn neat.

I'm yet to put up the bird paintings, but all-in-all, I'm quite kicked about my new possessions. They have added new dimension to my room.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Los Vagos Vagabundos

So these Vagos Vagabundos (lazy beggars) always make me smile when I pass them on my way to work. There are normally 3 of them, who sit on the road and ask for money for beer, wine, a hangover, pot, cocaine, travel and the Internet.

They say, 'we're honest and we make you smile - isn't that reason enough to give us a buck?'

They travel around Spain, and have actually generated a decent amount of press, thanks to their novel approach.

Turns out they are engineers, who just think this is a more enjoyable way of earning money. And they have a full-fledged website! check them out at

Monday, April 09, 2007

Marvellous Martinez

Oh My God. Can this guy move or can he move. Frankie Martinez, king of salsa and afro-cuban rythems, was in Madrid yesterday for a performance.

He has control over muscles in our body we do not know exist. He could probably isolate all of them if he wanted to. He hears beats in a rhythem that will remain ultra-sonic to us, and his interpretation of the music with the command he has over his body is just mind-boggling.

I have been dancing, in some form, since I was 5. I have watched a lot of great dance shows in my adult life, have been to 4 salsa congresses, scrutinised every video of Michael Jackson, but have not seen anyone move the way he does.

In fact his whole troupe was pretty fantastic.

The screw-up with watching such fantastic dancing, is that it makes you want to quit. *sigh*

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Moods and the Madrid Salsa Congress

So I went last week to pick up a complete pass for the congress, and guess what!? SOLD OUT!

Since when did salsa congresses start getting sold-out? that too the advance dancers category!? Anyway, thank goodness the organisers chose a big enough place for the fiestas and tickets have been available at the door.

Went last night, danced my toes off till 7am. No skin left on the top of them, and the rest of my feet are blistered. Anyway, was a super night. Met a whole bunch of people from Valencia - all the guys I danced with for the 6 months that I was there. For the first time ever we hugged like we were long lost friends, and finally figured out each others names.

I woke-up today at 3pm (with disgust), but all psyched about going dancing again tonight. Studied, ate, showered, blow-dried my hair, wrote a bit, withdrew money, came home to get changed and ...poof... I don't feel like going any more.

What sort of a and random mood kick is that!?

Today is going to be an overpacked night - perhaps that's what it is. Or maybe it's because I'm Aquarian, fuck knows. Oh well, there's always tomorrow, which I don't want to miss because Frankie Martinez is going to perform!

My flatmate has rented out Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, which sounds like a good plan for the night. So the popcorn comes out and my pyjamas get back on.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Pangs of nostalgia

One of my students is an Account Executive. Yes. She belongs to the world I was part of less than a year ago.

When I walk into the Advertising Agency she works for, it gives me pangs of nostalgia. I feel a rush of excitement and sickness, both at the same time.

The Creative Department, the 'Brainstorm Room', the Conference Room, the kitchen brewing coffee and fridge stacked with Coca Cola. The smell of 'suits' and their expensive perfume, the offices displaying their best ad campaigns, the creative team dressed in ripped jeans and blue hair chilling out, smoking. Everything brings back a fast train of memories beautiful as well as brutal.

When I walk into the agency, I almost miss it for a second and think, bills were easy to pay when I was working in the communications industry. But the thought really only lasts for a second.

I do wonder though if I will ever be drawn back into the corporate closet. I truly hope not.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Oh and...

This is what else I have been reading today: Julia Allison

Busy being unproductive

How many times have you woken up, nice and early on a Sunday morning, made your 'list of things to do' and sat down on your computer with full zest to start doing them.

Come 10pm, you realise you have done nothing.

Other than reading blogs, celebrity gossip and watching YouTube, of course. Not to mention hogging the junk food stored in the cupboard that you promised yourself not to touch. Actually, I did step out to buy the 5 Euro Independent on Sunday newspaper, but I haven't read it yet.

Goodness, how evil is the spirit of the World Wide Web to be able to steal so much of your time. I hate days like this, so I thought I'd blog - just so I can add it to my list of things to do, and cross it off.

Lately, I have also been getting a bit wired-up about the fact that I have way too many things to do, the long-term outcomes of which are incomprehensible at the moment, but they are just cool to get done (Madrid in a nutshell!). So, I'm back in the vicious circle of planning to do loads of things, and not doing any of them properly or completely. Yaay.

It's ok. All is not lost. Perhaps it's got something to do with today being April Fool's Day.

Anyhoo. Life is too short and tomorrow is a new day.
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