Thursday, August 18, 2005


The Milk in its cream-red carton and the two Curds in their cups live in the door shelves of the refrigerator. They’re often visited by an assortment of Juices on weekends, and a bottle of Tahini is an honorary resident at the moment. The bottles of Water camp here every once in a while, ostensibly to keep a watch on the oft-dissenting occupants, but they far outnumber the residents and end up intensifying the strife.

Space, you see, is the main problem in the door shelves. And the army of Bottles does not seem to realize that.

(prompted by Writers Digest)

morality, morality

"...sexuality that is "good", "normal" and "natural" should ideally be heterosexual, marital, monogamous, reproductive, and non-commercial. It should be coupled, relational, within the same generation, and occur at home. It should not involve pornography, fetish objects, sex toys of any sort, or roles other than male and female."

"Any sex that violates these rules is "bad", "abnormal", or "unnatural". Bad sex may be homosexual, unmarried, promiscuous, non-procreative, or commercial. It may be masturbatory or take place at orgies, may be casual, may cross generational lines, and may take place in "public", or at least in the bushes or in the baths. It may involve the use of pornography, fetish objects, sex toys, or unusual roles."

- Gayle Rubin, in Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality

Once I'd known this by heart. The other day, at a Voices Against 377 meeting, I was struck afresh by how each of these norms of acceptable sexuality are bundled together.

Getting married? Very good, very good.
Sex for money? Very bad, very bad.

It's hard work

The thing about political choices is they present themselves every step of your life. There's no permission to let up or retire; you have to keep negotiating them through life.

Because you're not, after all, the only star in your universe. You can't make your choices in abstract or in a void - say "I'm A, B and C" and believe it to suffice forever. Each choice is to be made within a context, with a set of external factors to contend with - social norms/prejudices, families, work.

Sometimes the battle seems almost not worth it because you yourself don't know what's at stake; what would happen if you surrender. Only a vague reluctance to fit into the system.

Saturday, August 13, 2005


Cats drunk with sleep stumbling in the house.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Is Harry Potter Still a Nice Jewish Boy?

Found some really funny Potter links on the Guardian. Read what happened at Accio!, the Potter convention,The Half Blood Prince digested, and, the best of all, alternative accounts of Dumbledore's death. My favorites are in the style of Helen Fielding, Sappho, Alexander McCall Smith and Roald Dahl's BFG (by Lousie Emma Rouse, 9!) - but I have to admit, I've yet gone through less than half the page.

This is the North East

Returned from a four-day trip to Guwahati. The TRI Continental Film Festival was traveling to the North East.

(Over whisky and rum)
Me: I have this confusion. Should I, shouldn't I talk of the "North east"?
B: It is a rather meaningless term. There is so much strife and ignorance in this region.
B proceeds to give me a thrifty overview of these problems. She is part of the North East Network.

Another evening. I've run into N, a friend of a friend, at the film festival, and she invites me to hang out with her and a few friends. We're at L's house, and L's bar is also stocked with rum and whisky. I'm not keen to repeat the rum-with-water experience and we go down to get some beer.

N tells me she couldn't stand watered rum or whisky either, but then she returned to Assam after a decade and her cousins said: What kind of a tribal are you? You need to sweeten your drink before drinking it? Finally, a few weeks back, when as usual there was nothing on offer except whisky, her resistance wore off and she now guzzles it as well as a veteran.

I was supposed to have gone to Shillong for screenings on the 5th. The program got postponed. The Khasi Students' Union had agitated about something or the other and the govt. declared a six o'clock curfew. I was told people would be scared to come for a festival even during the afternoon.

There has been an economic blockade in Manipur since June 19. Over 50 days now. Imagine the shortages people had to face: food, medicines, all essential goods and commodities.

The IAF finally airlifted supplies on the 6th of August. I had no knowledge about it till the 4th when B told me about it. I might have missed it in our Dilli newspapers - I checked with the lover, a more consistent reader of news; he hadn't seen it either.

The Guwahati newspapers were carrying each development on the front page. The national media seems to have picked the story up now, after the Centre's involvement.

To be continued...

chacun a son gout

So I've finally read the sixth Harry Potter. In less than 24 hours, exactly like everyone else. Potterphilia made it so easy to give up daily life for a day.

And it was a good read. Rowling seemed to lapse in a few places, but the fan in me wasn't disappointed. Perhaps, says the lover, we're more undiscriminating than most!