Posted in Of Funnies

Of Allergies

close up photo of laying cat
 Photo by Min An on

I have a f***ed up immune system. Yeah, the snot’s so high up my face, I can’t be bothered with writing a classier opening sentence. I’ve come again for my, what has been for a while, monthly self-pity party. A smashing rant for a starter, whining for the main course, and I can’t be bothered with dessert because, you know what, happy things are lies. Cupcakes are con-artists.

I had to go to the florist today. I don’t know if I’m allergic to pollen, but I thought that getting white chrysanthemums with some small fuchsia-coloured-but-not-fuchsia flowers besides the ones I had been sent to get would cheer me up. My eyes were red and watering throughout when I was buying them and my b*tch of a nose refused to follow up on its promise of a sneeze, making the florist think I was already upset over Valentine’s Day.

And okay, it’s not totally my nose’s fault. I don’t take care of myself. I don’t exercise, get enough nutrients or sleep or sun, and often I drop out of civilization. But, to be fair, civilization consists of dust mites and poisonous gases, and all the jobs are in the city (not that most of them want me, no matter the location) and its just a vicious cycle that’s much bigger than me. Things are so bad that, get this, I live in a tropical country and my skin is allergic to heat. I get heat rashes no doctor has ever been able to diagnose and they hang around until it’s winter again. Yeah, summer is ice-cream for you guys, but for me, its getting rashes and the flu from eating too much ice-cream.

I don’t need to dig deep into my soul to find the reason for my misery. It’s right there sandwiched between my face cheeks.

I’ve had this all my life, you know. Long before life embittered me. I have my survival kit – inhaler, anti-histamine tablets, vitamins, hot beverages, vaporub, nasal spray, tissues as well as re-usable tissues i.e. handkerchiefs, anti-bacterial cream, chocolate because chocolate makes everything better, 60s music and three video subscription services. I also have self-compassion like this evening when I’ve given myself permission to not feel guilty about not getting any work done. But, I’ve spent thirty years of my life like this, frequently finding myself unable to breathe and I wish I was speaking metaphorically. I’ve spoken to doctors, legitimate ones given by how much they charge, who ask me to move to the mountains.

I was born in the foothills of the Himalayas, b*tches,* with a picture-postcard view of them from my balcony. My nose was still f***ed up.

I feel a need to change my life. Just for the sake of my nose. If there are any such utopias on this planet with clean air, good immigration policy if outside India, and jobs for English postgraduates, please let me know. For now, I’m going to make myself a mug of Horlicks. I’ve also got Classics by my most-played-band-that-germinated-in-the-21st-century She & Him playing on the bluetooth speaker. Their cover of Dusty Springfield’s “Stay Awhile” beckons me.

How do you deal with allergies? Getting a stronger immune system? Does moving to the mountains really help?

*Not like my nose kind of b*tch. This is an affectionate form of b*tch.

Posted in Of Psyche

Real Time Ramble: Catching Up


I’m feeling disturbed researching cults all day for a writing project so I thought, what better time to catch up with my WordPress community? Okay, that is about the lamest, most awkward line I’ve ever opened with here, but the mind works in mysterious ways. If being disturbed is the emotion that spurs me to come and say “hello” on WP for the first time in 2019, so be it. I’m considerably frightened at the moment, how are y’all doin’?

I only wrote thirty posts last year. Compared to a hundred approximately the year before, and with an all-time high of about three hundred in 2015, you can assume I’ve fallen out of love with WordPress. It doesn’t do for me what it used to, and if it weren’t for stephen1001’s weekly music quiz, I wouldn’t have had much use for the WordPress app on my phone at all. I feel slight paranoia in admitting this, but the good people at WordPress are not a cult, and will not hopefully object to my unpleasant honesty. However.

I don’t think I have fallen out of love with WordPress. Or this particular blog.

Nor do I believe it can’t do what it used to do for me.

I don’t think I’ve ever given the potential of having such an online writing community a fair shot. Even in my heydays here. I haven’t done the work, explored all avenues and resources in which this could work for me. Even when I put it on my resume, because that is the sort of thing people do if they have a solid thing going, I could sense my heightened insecurity when talking about it. It wasn’t the medium. It was my writing itself.

Yeah, but that’s not catching up, is it? C’mon Amrita, where’s the part where you relate to us yet another incident when you have your foot in your mouth? That’s why we tune in, you know, to see our favourite joke, for you are it. There’s this way English teachers talk about Shakespeare – there are the tragedies, there are the comedies, some of them are tragicomedies, and by the way, the history plays are tragedies too. And while I do believe that there are some tragedies from which we can elicit no humour, the best comedy is always rooted in the tragic. If pain wasn’t involved, you just wouldn’t laugh at the banana skin slipper.

I’m not saying I’ve lost my sense of humour about myself and so haven’t dropped by. When people were reflecting on their year in December, I did not want to look back even a couple of days because that last month itself was so wretched. And I mean staying under your blanket and not just for the cold kind of wretched. And I couldn’t feel that sense of “re-make/re-model” people feel at the beginning of a new year. I was buried under work for one thing, and it felt like good stress because I didn’t want to think.

And now that I’ve depressed you enough (always deflecting after asking for just enough sympathy, eh?) you might still say, decent human being that you are, well, what do you want to do, Amrita? What will the blog be in 2019? I don’t know. Despite my Zen approach to life, I am a bit of a planner. List-maker. Expector. Strategist. I could do a good job of managing things, as long as it did not involve myself. With myself, it’s almost a comfort I don’t know, for being a realist doesn’t help.

I could plan and list and strategize. Or I could drop by on a whim, which is what I did in 2017. I’m sure I could have new, exciting things to talk about. To question and explore. I believe in curiosity. In questioning. I believe there is no one and nothing whose validity you cannot question. I think more about my toothache than my spirit, and the former probably has more influence on my thoughts and feelings than the latter. Certainty, complacency and stagnancy are the things I fear. There’s a virtue in being fickle, in picking up and absorbing things and moving on once it no longer works for me. Because, it protects me from potentially enforcing ideas on others as a way to not question them myself. For whatever brings a sense of security must be good, isn’t it so?

And yet, change, the ability to discard whatever doesn’t work is the hardest thing to do in the world. Moving house, changing jobs, leaving partners scare you, because you have to consider the possibility that though it may not work for you at the moment, it might be worse if you change. We’re told to hope for the best, but as realists, we have to accept that it is likely to get worse. You are living your future, and it isn’t as ideal as you thought it would be. What guarantees it won’t be so for the future that is to come?

And there is no gaurantee. Of anything. It might all be a hoax, or worse, it might all be true. Here’s to exploring some of those things in the next eleven months and seven days.

In the famous words of Joey Tribbiani, how you doin’?

Posted in Of Writingly

In Defense of Writing


Reading maketh a full man; conference a ready man; and writing an exact man. – Francis Bacon, ‘Of Studies’

I feel very, very old writing this. Like my soul is from the 1920s, but somehow it was transported into this lump of homo sapien, without any violent transmigratory process. The advantage of feeling this old inside, however, is that I can afford not to care. I can stand my ground, even if it is in my own head, and not buckle to current beliefs. Continue reading “In Defense of Writing”

Posted in Of Musicals

Of Having A Music Identity Crisis

Bob Dylan and The Beatles : Obviously Photoshopped

I am feeling strange talking about this. It’s like going to the doctor about a weird ailment in a part of the body no one talks about, other than in the context of a joke to encourage adult camaraderie. You can say what you like about the pimples on my face, but we can’t ever refer to….

Now, just to be clear, I don’t actually have anything going on, covert or not, that needs a doctor’s appointment. I do have a tooth issue going on for months, but who has ever felt shame talking about their teeth? No, what I am going through, and it must have been about a year (strangely, coinciding with the duration of my tooth issue), is a music identity crisis. I can’t decide what I want to listen to.

Yes, I can’t decide what I want to listen to. Continue reading “Of Having A Music Identity Crisis”

Posted in Of Writingly

Real Time Ramble: Writing and Creating


I attended a writing workshop after a long, long time yesterday. I haven’t spoken favourably about them in the past, but that has more to do with the way I am than the way writing classes are generally conducted. I was relieved that I wasn’t asked the question, “Why do you want to write?” But, that was probably because of lack of time. Instead, we focused on writing itself. Not a how-to-write, but a more direct – write.

I panicked. I haven’t written much this year. I think it has to do with the fact that I’m getting older and I equate that with being more mature and how-I-hate-that-compound-word grown-up, which translates into the writing world as “write a book, you idiot.” That is it. I haven’t written much at all in 2018 because I’ve only wanted to write a book. Continue reading “Real Time Ramble: Writing and Creating”

Posted in Of Culturel

Of Rating Things

food plate restaurant eating
Photo by Tookapic on

I just ordered (and ate) some fish and chips. I am Bengali, and so, as far as stereotypes go, I expect my deep-fried fish to be as good as Mitra Cafe’s or Apanjan’s. I know it cannot be as good, when it is not from either of those establishments, or from a Bengali eatery at all, for that matter. But, I can’t help it if my standards are high – the fish should be that fresh, that flavourful, that truly melt-in-the-mouth. There aren’t many things that can live up to advert-speak, but if you’ve already tasted heaven, you know you won’t be rating mere earthly morsels as highly.

But, I shall have to rate it. I ordered it on a food app, and my statistical dilemmas have already begun. Continue reading “Of Rating Things”

Posted in Of Philosophy

For All Those Who Think They’re Stupid



This is a manifesto/confession I wrote in my first year of college whilst studying English literature. My natural response when it comes to reading old diaries is to cringe, but I pretty much feel the same now, as I did then. I was reading The Golden Notebook by Doris Lessing last night, where she writes,

Why is their interpretation of the word critic always to find fault?…That valuable person who understands what you are doing, what you are aiming for, Continue reading “For All Those Who Think They’re Stupid”