Saturday, October 15, 2011

long long time

It's been forever it seems, or as usual Medusa is hyperbolic. If one carefully and patiently looks through this blog's archives, there will definitely be longer periods of silence and even longer absences. But as medusa is neither patient nor careful, she will just let her hyperbole be, and wonder, whether, in blog-world, silences and absences can be differentiated between?

However, as usual, that is not the point. The point is, after a recent trip to Shillong and Cherapunji, Medusa returned to a boiling Calcutta with an obsessive desire to live (and in extension- to work) in a place like this:

Ok, not exactly down a winding road covered on all sides with tall pines (for that matter, while passing by this road Medusa didn't even know that these were pines trees), but in a hilly-ish place, that's cool/cold, close enough to civilization to offer uninterrupted high speed internet access and medical shops, slightly far away from bus stops etc. to make walking mandatory, and on the outskirts of a city filled with restaurants and shops.

Why, you ask? Its been a recurrent fancy for a while now, but having spent a few days in a hilly place for the first time in her life, she is smitten by the quiet, the possibilities of exploration and long walks, the climate, and yes, the promises of ever elusive work! With no other temptation in sight, she will have to work, won't she?

Sunday, June 05, 2011

The Taking of a College

Now, the hellhole where Medusa works, was the last bastion of the CPM, at the heart of the Industrial Wasteland. Industrial Wasteland had long been lost to them, the Loksabha seat, the other colleges and the shramik bhavan. The one who used to rule this place was now not even allowed to stand in the assembly elections, and good for him! Because even the formidable NS who stood for CPM lost.
Anyway, that is just background baloney. What continued to be interesting was that despite the entire area more or less having turned, or made to turn TMC, the ruling union at the hellhole continued to be SFI, which everyone knows is just yet another name for CPM. Every year before the admissions and before the elections (a selection actually) there were muted noises about how "this time TMCP is going to come to college", but nothing happened. At the admissions all the students who managed to pay the union got in, paying their college fees and SFI membership fee (for three years) at the same time, during the elections no one other than the "party" approved candidates filled in nomination forms, and there was a due celebration for them having won "uncontested", yet again.
but day before yesterday, it changed.

Medusa was trying to beat the heat by seeking shelter in one of the science departments: they are scientific so they have AC. They heard some muffled slogans from a distance, and ventured out in the heat to investigate. Medusa is not so nosy, but slogans in a college deserted due to vacations and exams, were something that just begged to be found out. What she found out was the following:
There were about fifty men holding TMC flags, and loitering around the Principal's office. They were NOT students, they had possibly never been students. They were big burly men, ill at ease inside the college, but taking their time to let the office staff know that all this vacation and all is bull shit. the college must be open at all times, after all it is their money that the staff is being paid on.
While the strongmen guarded the outside, the Principal was closeted inside with the few who were actually students of the college, or of some college. They were placing their demands: and what were their demands? That they be given the same privileges that SFI had been given all this time.
Now this might sound strange, but it is not. All these years, beyond the first twenty people admitted in a class, all the rest of the students have come through the SFI office located conveniently outside. They have regularly asked for the admission form prices to be hiked: so that their share of that money increases- who cares for those who will actually buy the forms? Attendance in classes is not necessary, neither is pass marks in any of the exams. What was necessary was presence in the CPM rallies and donation to the fund. If this be the mode of politics in an institution- the students's union acting as yet another organ of a very well oiled machine: cogs of which are the Principal who belongs to the same union whose sister organ is the union that the teachers belong to, which falls under the same banner that the office staff organize themselves under- and all cowering under the might of the mighty Bikash Bhavan where hopes and spirits are crushed and demands annihilated (unless you know someone strong enough in the party)- and where politics is reduced to lobbying for transfer/ selling the seat to the highest bidder, what else can a new party, trying to make its mark even hope to achieve? Their members are the same, their field of operation is the same, their imagination of what a student's union could/ should do, continues to be the same. The names have changed, and the flags have been swapped, but the structures retain their internal logic where the government and the various allied "political" organisations ensure co-dependence by killing off all possibilities of politics.

What will happen now is: the two groups will fight each other for who should control more seats during the admission, who will more successfully foil the others' attempts at filing nominations at the elections, who will bring more people to their rallies (actually, its unlikely the SFIs will have any rally to go to!), who will bring burlier individuals to beat up rival students and who will organise the saraswati pujo. Obviously, no one will talk about the fact that the girl students have to go to loos that has not had running water in three years, or that there is no drinking water in the college, or that there should to be new courses introduced or that there ought to be remedial classes for the weak and backward students.

And more and more of them will continue to drop out because they got a job at the factory across the highroad, or they got married.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

what do fucking fitness advice columnists know?

Now, everyone knows that Medusa is addicted to women's magazines, and she justifies her daily devouring them in the name of archival research.
what everyone might not know is, medusa also believes in them. every trick that will make one lose weight, or make one's skin glow or turn the frizzy mess on her head into soft and alluring curls, medusa believes. the emphasis in the previous sentence however, is on the word "trick". anything that requires hard work or repetition, medusa steers clear of. after all, reiteration has produced gender, medusa can't possibly take on something as powerful as that! what attracts her are the quick fixes, and easy DIYs.
so, there was this piece in the magazine today, called "climbing workout". which basically promises that climbing up and down stairs is the best form of workout one can have, and that running up the stairs can make one lose 1000 cal in an hour!
medusa quickly did some mental math and lured by the promises of a non-bulging belly, forgot all her pledges to the fat pride movement (fat pride is only present in capitalist countries after all- she told herself, us below poverty line losers have to deal with other more "real" stuff) and put on her walking shoes.
yes she does have them, two pairs, and walking music too.
having thus prepared herslef she climbed 54 steps down, and climbed 54 up, and 54 down again and then 54 up again.
and then she came indoors and lay on the floor panting for dear life.
what do these fucking advice columnists know? do they know that it is impossible to run up stairs, and that to do so for one full hour is bloody unimaginable. and that it is better to cuddle up to a person with some flab, that the stick thin insects that must be dying from a lack of calories in their systems.
fat pride, here we come!

Friday, January 21, 2011

trendsetter medusa!

Did y0u, dear readers know, how well versed Medusa is in the fashions of the years to come? in fact, so well advanced she is in matters of fashion-to-be, that during the moments of trendsetting, her fellows consider her to be a mad hatter, a kind of a modern day mohamed-bin-tughlaq, visionary, yet misunderstood.
anyway, to prove that medusa is not bullshitting as usual, she will present her case point by point.

Point one: The curious case of the pants with their crotch at their knees

Everyone knows what Medusa is talking about, because everyone has either owned/ worn/ or at least seen someone wear them- they are Harem pants!

But when in the 11th std., in the year 1998-99, Medusa used to wear a pair of black and white striped ones to college, her pater and her sister used to cringe at the mere sight of it, begging her to change into something more suitable, and not quite baggy. being the visionary that she is, medusa never obliged, and ten years down the line, the same sister is now begging for Harem pants!

does medusa gloat? no she doesn't, because her revolutionary vision
doesn't stop with this single instance!

Point two: The case of the black nail polish!

When in college, Medusa and the one who taught her to smoke, discovered the joys of black nail polish- and how did the revolutionary left-leaning intellectuals inhabiting the canteen make fun of them? reared on safe browns and pale pinks, black was beyond their imaginary, it destabilized the norms of beauty and desirablity- and what more proof of the historicity of such norms, than the fact that black nail polish is now, a decade later, flaunted by the sexiest heroines ever?

Point three: CHICK LIT!

So, while in M Phil, she had to explain to the omniscient supervisor of hers what chick lit meant, and how there was an Indian version of it that she was interested in looking at.

Now in her Ph D, everyone is either working on it, has read one or the other, and in some cases, is even writing it! Didn't Medusa know that angst over love, fat and shopping will eventually bring in even those with the unbearable lightness of being?

So, what do the above mentioned three things prove?
Not merely that Medusa is ahead of her time, but that for their own good, the people of the world should recognize her as such, not simply to boost her ego, but also to prepare themselves for the years and fashion to come.

Hot tip for the next decade: waist chain!

slight nagging thought brought on by the statistician: the gap between medusa's pioneering acts of fashion and when the rest of the world finally catches up with her seems to be decreasing. form 13 years to 10, and in the case of chick lit- only 3. if this continues, will medusa one day follow fashion trends and not set them?