Wednesday, June 08, 2005
This time, I went to Goa on the first of June. One thing I will recommend to readers – do not go to Goa in the summer if you do not want to end up as an extra in one of them generic Hollywood Zulu movies. But that’s not why I didn’t enjoy myself.
I went to Mumbai first, where my family had booked a bus to take us all to Goa. Till we left Mumbai, things were completely messed up. There were four scheduled pick-ups, and only one of those was done properly. The others involved disrupted traffic, frantic phone calls, and a lot of bad language. The driver’s temper was pulled to the edge, and at one point I felt like jumping out of the window, because that would give me a better chance of surviving.
But as Python once said, “One total catastrophe like this is just the beginning.” The wedding itself was a dismal affair. A total and complete fuck-up. I could describe why and how, but you wouldn’t be interested. I know that disasters are usually sickeningly fascinating to watch and to read, but this particular disaster was of a rare kind peculiar to my family – a completely uninteresting and dull disaster. The wedding was actually enjoyed by the groom’s family, but only because we managed to hide the mismanagement from them.
I hate Hindu weddings for many reasons, one of them being the fact that everything ‘has to’ be done by the bride’s family. And our family is so orthodox that they wouldn’t think of changing this. In fact, when my sister got married, I was going to boycott the wedding to make a statement against the practice, but I didn’t because it had been my sister who had requested the large-scale wedding – her husband had wanted a registered marriage. Another reason I hate Hindu marriages is that the persons who enjoy it the least are the bride and groom, who it is supposed to be for.
Anyway, like I predicted, I had no one to have any kind of fun with. I met one mildly interesting girl about my age, but that was just an hour before we had to leave, so that was no go.
Still, the trip wasn’t a complete wash-out. While going to Goa, I couldn’t read in the bus because the lights had been turned out (it was a night trip), but then I noticed the people sitting on the seats across the aisle from me. One of them was the groom’s cousin. He was about 30, and he was rather short and the only word to describe him would be ‘pretty’, and he was a rather pleasant chap. But he was not what I noticed – it was his daughter, sitting next to him. She was five years old, very bright, and really, really, really, really, really cute. Her name was Rajalakshmi, and you’d think this was one of those mindless names which would get her teased throughout school, but it fitted her surprisingly well. And she had a wonderfully weird smile which not only revealed all her teeth, but also most of her gums. I talked to her for a half hour or so (in English – she didn't know Marathi and I can’t speak Konkani, which, by the way, is technically my native tongue, but only technically), and then we had a very entertaining and thought-provoking contest of making horrible-looking faces at each other, which I obviously won, for reasons my friends will gladly explain to you. She then turned to the girl sitting behind me, one of my cousin’s friends, and they had a momentous discussion on South Indian food, which was very entertaining to listen to.
On the return journey, I spent most of the time looking out of the window, and I rediscovered my old passion – daydreaming and fantasising. I spent a lot of time imagining a tiny monster truck braving the terrain alongside the road and following us determinedly – silly, I know, but very entertaining. And then, I simply thought, and to my surprise, I filled both sides of an old envelope I found in my bag with obscure writing, half of which I cannot now read, because it was written in a moving bus. But many of the ideas I wrote are surprisingly usable, and I have decided that from now on I will be spending as much time as possible getting bored, because that makes my mind work the most – something I knew long ago, but was afraid to confirm, because of the attendant boredom. I even coined a phrase – ‘Disciplined boredom helps creativity’.
I don’t suffer weather changes very well, and right now, I’ve come down with a fever and a cold. I don’t mind the cold, but the fever is incapacitating. I also had a headache, but I got a rather good story idea lying in bed trying to sleep, and I always find that ideas cure headaches very efficiently. So now, I’m not going to write anything more – I’m going to watch Mansfield Park for a while and then go to sleep.