Monday, October 29, 2007

Hooked! Line & Sinker

After 28-odd years (yes, 28. No. I DO NOT lie. And Yes, I DO LOOK older in my photos. I'm not getting older. I'm aging gracefully) of my life on this earth, I have finally realised what I have been missing. This is quite apart from missing the bhel and the samosas and the paani puris and the Golas... *sigh* I digress. As is often the case when we talk about food.

Pause for a brief moment where I imagine the taste of the above bursting in my tongue.

Well, last night I had the pleasure of watching a Broadway musical. OK, OK- you can stop with the shocked noises. I haven't been to one despite having resided in London for six months. I will lay the blame for the same squarely on the shoulders of a certain baa-lamb who refused to shell out what he terms as 'a criminal amount of money' to watch people cavorting about in tights and singing. He claims that sort of thing looks better in the movies. So last night when BL's (Baa-lamb, dearies) colleague asked if we would like tickets to a musical, BL snorted at the suggestion of his ever being caught dead watching that kind of stuff, but graciously offered to babysit Pickwick while I indulged in my long cherished dream.
I reached well in advance (despite having climbed the 293 steps of Covent Garden Station Coz I was too impatient to wait for the lift- a decision that showed my general fitness levels in abysmal light). A little too well in advance- they were still cleaning out the steps when I arrived, I think. I generally hung around soaking in the atmosphere. Also soaked in a whole lotta second-hand cigarette smoke, directed two lost tourists very helpfully in the wrong direction, and grabbed every free leaflet available to read up on the musical and London's theater guide. Just when people were giving me funny looks as assessing if I was a serial stalker, my date showed up.
We promptly collected our ticket and got seated in the front rows (very good seats). Oh- did I mention I was there to watch Chicago? No? Doesn't matter. It could have been Posh's life on stage, and I would have still enjoyed myself. Still, love the songs, can sing along with most of them, and totally flipped for the movie, so the play was a good choice.
Needless to say the Play did not disappoint. I was a bit deflated with Kelly Osbourne's performance as 'Mama Morton' (after all, Queen Latifah, is a act to follow), I believed she sang, but the rest performed(huge difference). And what a performance it was! The only time I took my eye off stage was to grab a couple of spoonfuls of the hazelnut and fresh cream ice cream (very good. Daylight robbery prices, but Very Good.), and to briefly apologise to the poor chap whose foot I was squashing in my excitement, as I tried to tap along with the performers on stage (I would have clapped, but hands were otherwise occupied with the aforementioned ice cream).
At the end of the play, I clapped, hooted and whistled like a crazed Rajnikant fan at the first show of his movie. And I wasn't alone. More than half the audience was on their feet, showing their appreciation for the awesome spectacle that entertained us for about 2 ½ hours. The lobby as we poured out was something else- we had a lot of people singing their favourite ditties from the musical, the odd snatches of tunes being whistled, and short of throwing their arms of one another and offering to buy you a drink at the local pub, the general air of bonhomie was something else.
Although it was close to midnight, trains were running to full capacity, and I got home with my head still full of the musical and a silly grin plastered to my face.
I now know why the say the stage is an addiction. I 'm hooked. And they'll try to make me got to rehab and I'll say No. No. NO!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Size 12

Back home, I always felt, I was, um… how do I put it… a tad outsized for Indian clothes. It was never felt more than during a stroll down Linking road, where shopkeepers spotting an easy target for daylight robbery would very politely invite me to buy their stuff. Didn’t matter what it was. Skirts, shoes, tops, jeans… anything. On spotting something I liked (I’m not that hard to please, I generally like most things that are in a passable shape and as long as it isn’t ‘either-I’m-a-film-star-who-wants-to-be-noticed-or-I’ve-walked-out-of-a-balaji-soap’ loud), I would ask for it in my size. That’s when they’d finally appraise my size (all this while the lure of easy money having blinded them), half-heartedly rummage in the back and then shake their head sorrowfully and say, ‘ aapke size mein nahin milega’ Hmm… road block. Undeterred, I would ask, ‘toh phir mere size mein kya hai?’ scratching his head at this daunting challenge, he will point me to a man’s shirt/ shoe and say- ‘yeh milega.’ Gee, thanks! I feel special.
Which was the reason when I moved to this country, I though finally, shopping should be a breeze. I mean, I know I lie somewhere between size 10 and size 12 (does NOT mean I’m a size 11. it means that sometimes I fit into a size 10, and sometimes 12.) and considering that size 12 is though to be the average size for most women here, how hard can it get? I’m finally average!
So imaging my surprise the other day when I open to newspapers the other day to find a hue and cry being made about some pop start chappie using models of size 12 and above in his music video and extolling the virtue of ‘big’ girls’. Eh? Size 12 is now big? So what average? Size 8 is thin (It is. You have to be miniscule to fit into size 8), so is the new average size 10? But what if you’re size 12? Will you now walk into a store for the plus sizes? And does that make size 14 fat?? I decided to find out for myself.
So I march into a popular clothing store and demand to see the size 12 cardigans. ‘erm, sorry, but they don’t seem to be here.’ Says the helpful shop assistant. ‘no shit, sherlock!’ was what I thought, but ‘ well, could you locate some for me?’ was what I asked. After about 4 minutes of asking the shop manager and a couple of other people who seemed to be wandering around aimlessly, she informs me ‘ah! Yes. We’ve run out of those. Sorry.’ And then walks away beaming, confident that she has done well, already moving on to her next hapless victim. She, poor thing, has no idea that this has increased my conundrum. I now know that size 12 is very very average, seeing that they have run out of all things in that size. But that now means that everything I like will first get sold out in size 12, thus, I’m back to square 1. i.e. me minus clothes I like.
As for shoes… apparently, I just have large feet for a woman. I have to accept that and stop blaming the countries I live in. I am currently on the lookout for ultra-feminine men’s shoes. Anyone know where the gay men shop?