Monday, September 04, 2006


I had forgotten that I live in a city where sudden rain – no, make that sudden torrential rain – can never be ruled out. Its one reason I always, always carry my umbrella with me. (That and the fact that I was once stranded in the rain and had to pay $15 in cab fare for what is actually a two minute walk.) The two weeks I had been back however, were marked by clear blue skies and warm, balmy sunshine.

So, I guess I wasn’t to blame when I decided last Wednesday that carrying an umbrella around was a bit unnecessary. Especially since I was going to the library (a fifteen minute walk from home), it was wonderfully sunny and I was carrying a tiny bag which looked bulky and overstuffed with an umbrella in it.
I walked into the library in sunshine and walked out forty minutes later to be greeted by grey skies, thunder, lightning and yep, torrential rain.
Arggh! I was stranded in the library for half the day. Which, come to think of it, is a great place to be stranded. But still, I had errands to run and couldn’t finish any of my work.

And to think I should’ve learnt from my previous experience of being caught in the rain. Anyway, my umbrella is back in the bag and nothing can make me venture outside without it. Even if rain has not been forecasted for the entire month.


Over dinner a couple of days back, A (new French student in class) and I had the following conversation:
A: So which part of India are you from?
Me: The North. Why?
A: Well….you don’t look very Indian
Me (strong sense of déjà vu): Oh. Let me guess, I look more Moroccan/Algerian/Iranian/Turkish/Spanish right?
A: Yes!
Me: Yeah, well this is like the zillionth time I have had this conversation with a French person.

Oh, what the heck. I am the poster girl for multiculturalism.
The conversation was fun on the whole. We discussed, among other things, the upcoming Presidential elections, Nicolas Sarkozy, Ségolène Royal, Jacques Chirac, Camus (am reading Exile and the Kingdom), last years riots, Zidane, how the World Cup was healing for France and showcased a new Germany, Michel Polnareff and Indochine (the region and the movie).
Sigh, I love the French and I really, really want to go back to Paris!!


It seems that I can not mention Ralph Fiennes’ name without adding, or rather blurting out, “He’s so hot!” It’s often quite embarrassing and I wish I could keep my tongue in check, but I can’t help myself.
I am helping T with some research work this term and was in his office when I saw a DVD of The Constant Gardener lying on the table and dissolved into a fit of gushiness.

“Have you seen it? Isn’t it really good?? Isn’t Ralph Fiennes fabulous in it??? Isn’t he so hot????” I think poor T was a bit taken aback at my enthusiasm. Though he recovered quickly enough to ask “What is it with this guy? I get the same reaction from my fiancée every time she sees his picture!”
I was about to say she has great taste when he mentioned his ‘observation’ that apparently Fiennes appeals only to women over twenty-five. GAH!!! I completely disagree, good taste has nothing to do with age and any attempt to correlate the two is pointless.
Needless to say I am not, repeat not, twenty-five years old!


Andre Agassi ended his 21 year professional career yesterday. It was sad and made me want to cry. Agassi was one of the last remaining sport stars I really admire and who I grew up watching, still playing professionally. And now he has retired as well. He’s such a class act. So much heart, so much life, so much spirit. Love him. And I love that he is with Steffi Graf. They seem so perfect together. He should have and deserves a fabulous post retirement life.

First Zizou, now Agassi. It’s been a sad year for me sports wise.

Talking of Zidane (yes, that was a cheap way to change topics - so headbutt me), he was at the Danone Nations Cup final in Lyon yesterday. He sponsors the tournament and seeing him with the kids was just so adorable. I completely drooled and died. According to the Guardian he has been having a nice quiet life, post the World Cup. Taking his kids to school and watching Madonna’s concert in Paris!

There was also a post match interview yesterday where the interviewer tried to act smart by asking Zidane if fair play was a value he would like to impart to the children?
Zizou’s answer (roughly translated): “Of course, and I am not the only one who promotes it. Children have to learn from things and it forms a part of their education. If this question is referring to my red card, let’s just say that is the past. I hope that these children will never do something like that in their lives. I will say it to them, as I say it to my children, never do that.”
Awww… I just drooled and died - again.


Tabula Rasa said...

umbrella = bengali. you knew that, didn't you?

Szerelem said...

I think I read something about umbrellas and bongs on TMs blog.
But am not Bong. I just don't like being stranded in the rain. And my umbrella isn't black, its red =D

Tabula Rasa said...

ooh red! communism!


GhostOfTomJoad said...

Hell, I think TR stole my thunder...the almost pun (thunder-lightning-rain-umbrella) not intended. But this is the ole Murphy's law kicking in, isn't it? When you least expect it, it happens.

I felt sad to see Zidane go but Agassi? Nah, don't care :-)

Szerelem said...

TR:gasp!! i forgot the red-communist-bengali connection. Drat!! But seriosuly, since when did carrying an umbrella become a point of analysis??!

ghost: it is murphys law!! cos i always think 'let me carry the umbrella just in case' and then think 'Nah not needed', only to be stuck in a downpour!

how can you not like Agassi?? he's adorable!!....mention of Zizou still makes me sad about the WC =(

Tabula Rasa said...

it's not a point of analysis, it's a point of parochial identity...

chandni said...

@tabula rasa: LOL

@Szerelem: When I was in NY people would alomost always stop and talk to me in spanish! our features are quite similar to them....but morocco?

MockTurtle said...

Just got back from a trip to Miami with 12 desis. All the waiters insisted on talking to us in Spanish, until we replied in English. I guess Cubans, like Indians have a population of very diverse color and racial feature.
You really like Agassi? He's a little too vanilla for a sports icon.

Szerelem said...

TR: LOL....well it still doesn’t apply to me....unless you think carrying an umbrella makes me an honorary bong

Chandni: I’ve heard being mistaken as Spanish/Latina is quite common in the US. In Europe I’ve almost always been mistaken for Spanish/Latina/Moroccan/Algerian. It’s not surprising; Andalusia was under the Moors for a very long time, so there’s a lot of intermixture.
I don’t mind being mistaken for Algerian, which is very common in France. But only because when I hear Algerian, my brain snags and thinks Zidane! I’m lame, I know.

MT: you don’t like Agassi?? I remember when he used to be such a rebel on court – long hair, earrings, image is everything and all. I didn’t like him much then. I liked him older, wiser and bald =P

Tabula Rasa said...

oaelcaam to tha claab :-D

GhostOfTomJoad said...

TR: You mean whale-come to the clabh? :-)

Tabula Rasa said...

you punjabis. can't you ever stop parodying our accent?

Szerelem said...

TR: thanks! =P so, I can now pretend to be intellectual and don’t need to apologize for my red umbrella or my obsession with football?
P.S: I loved Calcutta when I visited. It was reason enough for my family to think I had gone mad.

Ghost: Are you hoping for an invite to the honorary bong club as well?

Tabula Rasa said...

you're welcome, but you should remember that this is only probationary. you have yet to declare your undying indignance at the unseemly treatment meted out to sourav (aka dada), and burn an effigy of chappell (drowning an idol of him as mahishasur will also do).

GhostOfTomJoad said...

Szerelem: Nah, I'm okay without a club :-)

TR: Careful what you say, pal...I can have the latest delegation of Punjabis visiting Hong Kong pay you a visit too :-)

Szerelem said...

TR: Sheeesh…..I knew it was too good to last. Am not a big dada fan. Maybe I can apply for membership to the honorary Malayali club. You know, with the communist – umbrella connection and all.
Also beware what you say to ghost. Punjabi tourists are a scary lot =P

Tabula Rasa said...

malayalis do umbrellas? i thought they waterproofed their heads with coconut oil.

Nath said...

That and the fact that I was once stranded in the rain and had to pay $15 in cab fare for what is actually a two minute walk.

Contrary to common belief, dihydrogen monoxide is not actually toxic.

Szerelem said...

TR: I am not sure if malayalis 'do' umbrellas, but they do carry them at all times (the hair oil notwithstanding).

Tabula Rasa said...

my ignorance is embarrassing.

Cyberswami said...

all you have to do is say you love schumacher as well, and your miserable year of sports retirements will be complete.

if you don't then don't worry we'll find you another.

Szerelem said...

Cyberswami: am not a huge racing fan but did enjoy watching Schumacher. His dirty tricks this year put me off completely though. Still, he is brilliant and it is a sad year for sport. Everyone is retiring!!

nitin said...

Everyone is retiring!!

I feel old.