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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Grid and bear it

What power failures and oestrus cycles have taught me

Where's all the juice to power this gonna come from?
Two striking things happened in the last week. One, India experienced the world’s biggest power failure with the collapse of the northern and eastern grids; and two, the beloved dawgess, Kuro, all of eight months old, went into heat. Yup, both events were equally monumental for me. The first left me stranded at Chhattarpur metro station while it was pissing down rain outside, and the second has driven me to read everything I can find on our best chums’ chums*. Both occurrences have given me a Dafaq Chopraesque insight into my own personality.

Like, when faced with the absolutely hopeless, I look for ways to enjoy myself. The long hour at the metro station waiting for services to resume was spent tweeting about waiting for services to resume with occasional paeans about a peacock shrieking in a nearby tree. The fellow had a magnificent tail that hung halfway down the length of the lightning-blasted neem on which he was perched. The monsoon is supposed to make peahens amorous but despite his iridescent plumage and insistent cries, this guy wasn’t getting much joy. There is such a thing as trying too hard I suppose, and all the desirable peahens were probably fed up with his neediness. I mean, seriously, dude, (my sons have ensured I now talk like a pubescent male well versed in transplanted Americanisms) which sane chicklet’s gonna give you the time of day if you keep yelling, “Look at me, I’m so saxy!”? Anyway, the engine driver, a real life Bombardier babe, said she knew as much as we did about why services were suspended, so the crowd filed unhappily out of the station. I was wondering if I should walk back to Gurgaon, a distance of about 10km, flag down a mercenary rickshawala, or squeeze into a bus and allow myself to be sexually assaulted on the way to work, when a reporter from Aaj Tak thrust a mike into my face.

Kyon ho raha hai yeh? Aapko kya dikat hua hai?” he asked with the outraged urgency patented by television journalists. I briefly considered breaking into tears for the camera but remembered, just in time, that my eyeliner wasn’t waterproof. Should I talk about how I thought India’s power problem was only going to get bigger, that there was no hope, that we are going to decimate all our forests, eviscerate the earth for coal, render our indigenous populations homeless and blast the tigers, elephants, leopards, lions, all the fantastic creatures that roam the increasingly narrow green corridors of this land, out of existence, that our consumerist lifestyle was going to fuck us? Nah, the guy was looking for an exciting sound byte, not pages from some ecofeminist’s tome.

Kyon ho raha hai yeh?” the mike-thruster asked again, sounding a trifle querulous now. I mumble something so unremarkable even I don’t remember it and flee down the road to Gudgava. Taking special care to avoid piss puddles, rubbish heaps and lonely men wanking in the bushes, I come upon a bakery with a fancy Italian name – it must be the Sonia influence – and treat myself to a walnut pie and a cappuccino. By the time I’m done, the metro seems to be back on track, though an autowala with the face of Hindi film rapist tried very hard to convince me it wasn’t.
La magnifique pmsing dogess
To cut through all the blah, I got home to find the dogess looking wan and pale – a feat considering she’s deep black, but she pulls it off – and depressive. Hrmph, transference, I maintain until I discover the stained doggie bed. Ah, it’s true, dogs have menstrual mood swings too. Kuro and I look set to share a periodically-unhappy-happy future where we reel off lines from Plath and Rich together, before the Brufen kicks in. Ok, maybe not Kuro. She’s too young to abuse painkillers. Anyway, I now embark on morning walks with a stick to beat the shit out of males – the canine variety, though sticks strictly don’t differentiate between species -- who will, every doggy site assures me, inevitably step out of line. The mystery of why Simba-from-the-twentieth-floor was attempting to leap into our balcony, on the floor below, finally sorted. I’ve also spent many hours reading everything I can about dogs in heat.

What’s Kuro’s opinion on her oestrus cycle and the tripping northern grid? When you can’t control things, just savour the most delicious-stinky chewy you can find. Not much different, that, from me devouring walnut cake.

*1980s Mumbai schoolgirl slang for a menstrual period. Not sure of its origins or if it’s still in use.