Sunday, December 20, 2009

From Medusa to Bantu

Medusa had hair like this, or so she used to believe. so she started a blog and called herself medusa, and started intermittently caring for for her curly hair, doing weird stuff like hot oil/ hot towel treatment, deep conditioning and such stuff.
but there was the fact that Kaatib (at likes her hair shorter, and there is always much much less hassle with shorter hair: no need to comb, or tie or do various things that will hide her fast receding hairline. so come summer, when her hair grows till her shoulders, medusa cuts it off.
but little did medusa know that soon she will have to join the great workforce comprising of suburban men in the heart of the industrial wasteland. it is not enough that every time she comes out to the corridor itsy-bitsy students look at her as if they are witnessing an alien invasion in their idyllic hometown. medusa knew that short hair/ curly long hair- both have this effect on unsuspecting by standers in places that are not the institute or the heart of megacity. but she also hoped that her colleagues who claim to be men of the world will not be hit by the shortness of it. even though they were hit, they did take it with significant good grace, having nicknamed her Bantu and claimed that her head looks more or less like this:

Sunday, November 15, 2009

london nightmare

Such a clichéd title for a review of a film called “London Dreams”. But medusa could not think of anything more apt, something that would convey the exact sense of hopelessness and terror at having spent 200/- on a film that failed to entertain, enliven, let alone engage.

Medusa had not watched a Salman Khan film in five years or so, and London Dreams proved that such abstinence was in good measure. He is like a baboon imitating human gestures, filling the screen with energy, but little else. He looks old, wears gross clothes and has horrible hair. All of which is fine, but acting?

London Dreams is the name of the band that Ajay Devgan builds, to fulfill his childhood dream of playing at the Wembley Stadium. In this process he loses family and friends, grows up alone on the streets of London, controls his love for pretty groupie Asin and whips his sexual desire into submission in a very Opus Dei manner.

And when the dream seems within his grasp, brings from home childhood mate Salman, who is a rake and a talented one. Salman proceeds to become a better and more famous singer, faster at winning Asin’s love and the press’s adulation!! Obviously hard working Devgan gets upset, and with help from oh-so-hot guitarist Ranvir sets to ruin Salman….

The story moves way too fast to keep track of anything that’s happening, everything is on the surface level for the viewer to pick an d choose from. Medusa is not one to dwell over the lack of realism, like why don’t they ever eat, or how did young Devgan grow up to the middle aged rocker without a visa or any money, or when did the passage from India to England become so smooth, or exactly how naïve are Asin’s parents?

But the real problems with the film lie in the way the tiny story stretches itself over 2 hours and 45 minutes, needing to fill the gaps with music, how a film about music and passion has poor songs, worse composition, and how introspection is achieved only during lashes of the belt. Even Asin looks drawn out and sickly, with too much eye make up. Half the events move too fast for the viewer to keep pace with, but do not manage to retain her attention.

The good thing about the film was the two side kicks, Aditya and Ranvir, and medusa will watch this film again to gaze at Aditya’s hair and wish it were hers.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Maggot Infestation

there are hundreds of creepy crawly maggots around the toilets and the laundry room in medusa's hostel. the maggots were first spotted on friday, and so far, everyday their number has been increasing. medusa has been thinking of changing her name to maggot-killer extraodinaire.
leaving apart the nausea that accompanies reptilic things, these maggots pose a serious health problem, as an extensive google search showed that they can cause infection to humans.
the response from the admninistration and the students have been as follows:

1) we will ask the electricians to put brighter lights in the toilets. (yet to happen).
2) you have lived with it for so long, what's a few more days?
3) they are coming from sundari (the hostel dog). truly, irrespective of sundari's girth, if she had to produce the number of maggots that medusa kills, she's would have rotted and disintegrated by now.
4) it's the rains.
5) I will call the plumber.
6) some students suggested an external exterminator. till then, let us wait.

for once, medusa is glad she will be leaving this place soon.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


If wishes were horses....
Medusa doesn't know this end.
What she does know, however, is that she wishes for a food blog. especially after a daily diet of TFP and Piko, she also wants to do the kind of service to the world of gluttons/ food aficionados that these wonderful women do day after day.
But, medusa lacks two very important things:
1) A camera
2) Nice looking food to take photos of.
However, when Medusa goes to her favourite restaurant in hyderabad, and eats her favourite food she borrows crumbs' phone and takes a photo.
Her favourite food at this restaurant is pepper chicken, and it looks like this

Saturday, September 19, 2009

more retail therapy

therapy for what? for the unaccountable stress cause by male company from the industrial wasteland, the loneliness of not having any pretext to venture outdoors, no one to meet, nothing to do, constant nags from pater and mater, and endless plates of fatty food from the kitchen.

so as part of therapy, stuff that medusa has bought in the last three days is as follows:
1) brought home and paid for salwar kameez from the tailors'
2) face wash
3) jute pouches for kids at hyd
4) a t shirt for fari's brother
5) a poster for the president
6) earphones for self and sister
7) pouch to keep contact lenses in
8) new contact lenses
9) new pair of specs
10) bottle of contact lens solution
11) deo
12) t shirts for self
13) decorative slippers for vijueyes
14) note book for new faculty at univ
15) leather pouch for ex-neighbour
16) wooden thing with lid for married friend
17) steel rings for self and sister
18) shirt for pater
19) sarees for mater and governess
20) small combination lock

a pretty exhaustive list isn't it? something happens to the bengalis during the festive season. they do not only shop, they also shop everywhere at the same time, the stretch between park Street and Esplanade becomes filled with people. predominant are lean young men and women, trying to bargain with t shirt, jewelry, bags, stuffed toys, under-wear and what not vendors. the book stalls are less crowded around (since none of these are stalls, only planks on the footpath, or a piece of cloth, they can never be crowded per se), but they also charge the maximum price.

looking like some kind of freak with extremely short hair that sticks to the scalp, doesn't at all help in the bargaining process. the shopkeepers take medusa for a dud (its interesting how more and more people seem to be doing so), and undoubtedly ask for higher prices. her rapid chattering in hindi and bengali do not help the situation, and medusa inevitably jostles with the throng with the nagging suspicion that everyone got a better deal than her.

that doesn't stop her from shopping though.

Friday, September 18, 2009


medusa repeats, MEN!!!!
You can not do without them, but the very fact of having to do with them is so very troublesome and headache inducing.
and this "doing" has nothing whatsoever to do with THE DOING.
anyway, medusa got paid on Wednesday, and that being the last day at work, for a good forty days to come, everyone was in a hurry to leave. Medusa chose to leave with the men, and boy, did she make a mistake.
they changed the route at the last moment, and being outvoted 4 to 1, she could not do anything about it. and then they proceeded to be absolutely charming while she was all set to hate their guts. and then they dragged her over half of south bengal in a journey that lasted five hours, and at the end of it all, medusa was drained, ready to not repeat any of it ever again.
like she said already, men!!! (makes pukey face and shudders).

Saturday, September 12, 2009

retail therapy

medusa has nothing to do at calcutta. no one to meet, nothing to look forward to.
so she does all the family's shopping, and then some more.
these are the things she bought today, which involved several hours of uninterrupted walking through very very very very crowded streets. nobody beats the bengalis during the festive season, they are out in force, ready to beat you to the next bargain, making travel by any means impossible. this is the reason medusa had to walk for two and a half hours to reach home (with a few shopping breaks in between).
anyway, the things are:
1. two very expensive, but nice, hair cuts, from jawed habib's. for sister and self. medusa's attendant was a nice delhitite called hassan, while the sister's attendant did not speak.
2. fancy shiny pumps for sister
3. fridge magnets for home
4. earrings
5. gift for birthday person day after tomorrow
6. nose pin for medusa which she can't wear
7. a pen
8. pair of floaters for the sister
9. shirt for cousin
10. shirt for fari
11. jasmine green tea and apple/mint jam
12. jute bag
13. ointment for skin
14. hair oil
15. a chicken roll for sustenance
16. vests for the father
17. handmade soaps for the sister and friends
18. walnut face scrub for medusa
19. jholas for friends and the sister and medusa
20. bottle of water for sustenance

all in all, it was a good day's shopping, if only medusa had some of her salary still left.

Friday, September 11, 2009

more from the industrial wasteland

yesterday medusa went to the nearby big market with seven of her colleagues/ neighbours. needless to say, they are all male, and very very reluctant to make conversation/ hang out with medusa.
a lifetime with four other people in two cramped rooms, and then six years in a filled beyond capacity hostel with very very friendly neighbours, has made medusa averse to any kind of solitude. and this place is brimming with solitude, at the department, in the corridors, at the canteen, where not. the moments between classes (and they are too long to be called moments) and after them, the endless mornings and the very very long evenings, trapped inside one's room, medusa becomes desperate.
and so she very kindly favours them with her glorious companionship. but she forgets, they are many, while she is one, and they have each other, and could do very well without some unwanted female company, especially one that is not petite with long hair.
(seriously, what is it with long hair and men? why can't they have long hair on themselves?)
soon they will send out disclaimers stating that they do not endure her out of their own volition, but are forced into submission.
but last night was nice, the trip to and from the market, and then the gala feast they prepared and then very graciously invited her to.
here's to friendships of boredom, till they blossom into something more meaningful.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

posting from the heart of an industrial wasteland

medusa thanks the powers that be for this amazing technological intervention called wireless internet.
now, sitting in middle of this industrial wasteland, medusa does not have to only look out into NH41 and smell the cloying, decaying, asphyxiating toxins emanating from the sugar factory next door. when she looks outside her window, she does not only see rows upon rows of lorries standing motionless on the highroad, mud coloured red with the iron dust flying everywhere, people stealing from the motionless trucks, bribed policemen guarding them, and a portico littted with cow dung and other essential features of rural life.
instead, she can pretend to live in manhattan and eat bentos, watch reruns of "how i met your mother" and blog about her once again meaningless life.
oh for the joys of technology.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009


medusa had to go to work tomorrow, even though she was not supposed to, coz some technicalities had to be attended to.
then Kb messaged and told her she can NOT come, and "oh, the difference to me".
Medusa kept the phone down, jumped up and down in joy, raced through the two rooms and tried to do a little tap dance.
the joy of not having to get up early.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


what our responsible lecturer/researcher has been up to lately.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

new life

its been a month since medusa stopped being a full-time student and made the transition into part-time student/ full-time teacher hood.

ewwww!!!! the very thought of it makes her want to throw up.

thankfully in the last two weeks, she has gone to college exactly four days, long live highly paid and poorly managed government service. but the very very long distance that she has to travel (three and a half hours each way) make up for the ridiculously great amount she is being paid.

but is it worth it? does she really want to give up the pretenses of intellectualism, spend hours chatting with like minded and equally jobless individuals, and actually become responsible for the production of knowledge in innocent minds?

the more she thinks about this, the more scary it seems.

more on the trials of medusa in this far away land, tomorrow.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

the hostel that was

the hostel that is

Monday, March 02, 2009


these may not look like much, but these are indeed the most comfrtable pairs of shoes that medusa has ever worn, or owned.
when younger, medusa heard/ read stories about children being bribed with promises and gifts so that they fare better at school etc. thank goodness medusa's parents never tried such tactics, not that it would have mattered, or that anything could have shaken the procastinator inside her.
however, at this ripe old age of 27, medusa seems to have arrived at her childhood and prenthood.
she bought herself these somewhat expensive shoes with the express intention of bribing herself to take care of her feet and otherwise ageing skin and body.
needless to say, she failed.

Monday, February 23, 2009

salad days

when one puts on ten kilos in a year, and has to to lose atleast twenty, one eats salad.
in this pic:
purple cabbage, lettuce, parsley, chilli, tomato and carrot.
missing: the usual cucumber and onions.
yes, this is what medusa tries to eat, every day, as one fourth of her lunch/ dinner, while constantly craving this:

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I'm Marianne Dashwood

and i am also supposed to have a wondeful singing voice.

medusa took the quize called "Which Austen Heroine are you?", and you know which one she is. this is what being marianne dashwood means: You are impulsive, romantic, impatient, and perhaps a bit too brutally honest. You enjoy romantic poetry and novels, and play the pianoforte beautifully. To boot, your singing voice is captivating. You feel deeply, and love passionately.

medusa could almost puke!

anyway, if you still want to take the quiz, here is where to go:

I am Marianne Dashwood!

Take the Quiz here!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes

But it's home to me and I walk alone.....

"Boulevard of broken dreams" by Green Day is most definitley not one of medusa's favourite songs, it is not even a song that she likes. but today evening when medusa was walking on the terrace, covering less and less space in each round, somehow the song crept on her mind, aided by slow moving old old numbers on fever 104fm.

she was thinking of hyderabad and missing it immensely, not only for the people and for the lack of her own room, but also for the wide and long uninhabited stretches on walkable ways, covered on all sides with green green trees and shrubs and what not.

having grown up in the middle of a city, with only potted plants (frequently dying due to lack of water due to inattention), medusa almost lost her head in the university and in the adjoining one. trees trees everywhere, grass and leaves too.

trees that you can climb, and touch and what not.

having lived and walked through them for five years now, medusa does feel very very suffocated in the tiny flat at home, with only a roof top to go to for some respite. back at campus, when the going gets too tough or too boring, medusa canlways sneak away and if not generally chill out by herself.

come to think of it, these walks are the only times medusa does not feel the need for company, very very surprising given medusa's absolute dislike of being alone.

so, can medusa show these walks as a valid reason to postpone real life and to continue living on campus?