Sunday, November 23, 2008

Budget Spa

Consider that feeling of utter relaxation you get when you visit a spa and have all your worldly cares whisked away for a few gorgeous hours. Or the sensations of pure peace and sanctity that come with the ambience and dead silence that a spa affords. Now consider the possibility of having all that stress-free bliss for free. Yes you heard me. FREE. No breaking the bank to feel good.

What if I told you that there is such a thing as the ‘spa experience’ that doesn’t cost a cent? What if I also told you that it’s just two minutes (or less) away from where you’re seated right now?

Didn’t think there’d ever be such a thing eh? Hah, I say.

Ladies and Gentlegerms, I give to you my very own domestic version of the ultimate relaxation hotspot (CUE DRUMROLL)– The Bathroom.

La toilette, to be precise and posh if you must.

Oh for heaven’s sake stop gasping like an asphyxiating chicken. What, you don’t think the toilet could ever measure up to the luxuries of the spa? You’re such a snob.

I, for one, proudly maintain that no spa in the world can give me a better feeling than my loo does. The absolute silence of no other presence in the room other than yourself and your thoughts, the sheer privacy and fact that no one will dare disturb you while you’re in there are just the surface of the spa-features that a solid toilet offers. And then there’s the release…

I dare you to tell me that the act of peeing or pooing doesn’t give you a sense of utopian satisfaction. Especially when you’ve had a particularly busy day with little time for visiting the john, and therefore have had to hold up for a whole. It doesn’t matter, really, whether you have day-old urine fermenting in your bladder or whether it’s a sudden urge that’s developed… the fabulous feeling of letting it go in the comfort of a secluded little toilet can match no other. I swear I could write a poem about it.

I usually like to take care of my physical business and then instead of rushing out like so many others do, I sit and dwell. Dwell in the serenity and privacy. Dwell in the few stolen moments I have to only myself, where I know I am safe from eyes or ears for as long as I like while I just steep myself in the meditational calm of it all. Of course I’d flush first, given that poo smell is anything but aromatherapy, unless you’re into that kind of thing. Sometimes if I feel like an extra bit of self-TLC I’ll sniff at a bar of soap that’s conveniently resting by the sink or spritz some jasmine air freshener around. Instant transcendence.

I know quite a few acquaintances in the ad industry who swear by the toilet when it comes to their work. No, I did not mean it as a witty metaphor to explain how shitty creative ideas can be, although come to think of it, I could have. But not right now. I meant the toilet being our best friend during brainstorming. It’s either to do with the fact that most of us are generally on our way to early mental retardation, or we’ve just hit on a secret that no one else knows about. I kid you not…some of my best ideas come when I’m sitting on the throne. I don’t know why that is… I’m guessing it’s the total, utter calm of the place that allows my thoughts to focus rather than stray to a number of distractions like how many paperclips I have in my desk drawer.

Ask anyone I work with who knows me well enough. LD can give you a clue about that. She knows that when she sees me whizzing past her towards the office loo, I’ll usually come out having had an epiphany in there. She’s usually the first person to hear my bathroom brainwaves, and she’ll tell you they’re good. Sometimes bordering on genius. And all because I took the time to pee on it.

I would go on, but I won’t, seeing as how I’m sure I’ve aroused your curiosity about this remarkable concept. I would suggest you give it a try, when you next feel stressed out with life and just need to give yourself a break – no pun intended. Go… find yourself a commoded cubicle. Close the door and in doing so, everything else out. Sit in it. Close your eyes. Let go. Breaaaathe. In no time you’ll forget you ever had a headache, or pain wherever else. You’ll smile. You will find yourself.
The best thing is… you didn’t have to open your wallet for the experience.

I need to take your leave now. I have a spa appointment. Await a happier me.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


So, this is a project I'm doing in partnership with the boyfwend, who's been sweet enough to pamper my whims. Why not give it a go?

Or visit this website.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

So Have I.

Here, I also have done things, ah. Just because nobody officially asked me to share, doesn't mean I'm not going to.

Cue trumpet fanfare.

Have I ever...

  • Eaten shit. I was too small to know, but I did. It was mine, which I suppose makes it slightly more justifiable. I am told that I looked fairly pleased too.
  • Had a pet monkey. By the name of 'Kiri', thanks to her albino persona i.e. fully white fur. (Not captured or ever caged, please note. She turned up one day and ended up sticking around till she died of old but satisfied age) She hated my guts coz I got tasty treats and all she had were the same old fruits. She'd wait for mum to leave the room before stealing my food and pulling my hair on her way back to unreachable heights with her loot.
  • Had the flesh of my back bitten off by my (then small) brother and had that followed by the flesh on my foot being chomped off by his pet deranged demon dog ten years later. Both times because I changed the channel while sibling was watching TV. We're a one-of-a-kind family.
  • Written letters to the tooth fairy and Santa, begging for enough money to help me rule the world, and flying powder to escape the hands of the CID and my parents.
  • Had my leotard rip and expose my (then wrinkle-free) ass to the audience while performing on public stage.
  • Had the zip of a very tight skirt rip open and expose my thonged bottom as I bent down to pick up a fallen phone card in the middle of Pettah, and then had the same thing happen as I demonstrated the incident to my colleagues back in the office lunchroom. Much mirth was shared, except by me. Both at Pettah and in office.
  • Got piss drunk at a company cocktail and told the Chairman of a large conglomerate that I love him and I'm sleepy, whilst clinging onto his coat sleeve.
  • Farted loud and long in front of a Chairman of a large bank in the middle of photographing him for the bank's Annual Report. To smartly cover it up, I looked out of a nearby window at the Colombo harbour and serenely said " Oh look... ships." The only other person in the room was the photographer who managed, in between shaking himself and his tripod in fits of laughter, to capture the Chairman's facial reaction to my flatulence.
  • Had the two previous incidents happen with two brothers who happened to be the Chairmen in question. It must have been the luck of their family.
  • Farted loud and long in the middle of an intimate moment with my boyfriend. My innards are the stuff of legends, I tell you.
  • Been dumped and left on a roadside, crying my heart out and then having hailed a trishaw to take me home, wailed and aired my grievances to the poor trishaw guy without telling him where home was. We rode around the streets of Colombo for quite some time, with me bawling piteously and asking Trishaw Dude why all men are scum, and poor TD looking perplexed at not being able to get a word in edgewise and ask for venue instructions or what 'scum' was.
  • Performed a comic impersonation of my grandmother's celebrity neighbour outside my grandparents house, only to realize that my family was not laughing at my fine display of talent and wit, but at the fact that the neighbour was actually standing right behind me with a stony expression on her face. Ahem.
  • Haughtily delivered an hour-long presentation, showing off my business sense to a board of leering men who I presumed were chauvinists and thought I was not up to the task, only to sit down snootily at the end of the presentation and have a Director shyly lean over and inform me that my trouser zip was down through the entire thing.
  • Not been able to control my bladder and peed in the middle of performance on public stage and had little rivulets of urine run merrily down my stockinged legs. But apparently nobody had seen it, so SHHHH...
  • Found a bunch of boys throwing stones at a poor little calf who was tied to a fence, and stoned the boys back until their mothers came out to scream at me. I, of course, did the ladylike thing and screamed back and threw stones at them too. And then ran away from an approaching police officer.
  • Fallen into an 8-foot manhole in the night during a power-cut, not been discovered for a while till I waved my credit card in the air (or the street above me, as the case would seem), been hauled out by some passing trishaw men and needed 12 stitches to sew back my exposed chin and jaw that I hit on the way down the hole.
  • Had a bad allergic reaction to some food during a wedding, been rushed to the Durdens ER and been drunk enough to hit on the doctor while he injected me with medication and then thrown up on him.
  • Had a talking cat. She'd say 'aiyyo', 'aney', 'no', 'me' and 'mummy'.
  • Had too many 'have I ever' stories to put down here. But I have to do the considerate thing and stop for the sake of preserving my readership and my good name.... if I have one left.
If you haven't already been a part of this, then I tag YOU.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Nevah Evah

I’ve tagged myself. Pathetic, yes, but Lady D was feeling magnanimous and diplomatic, so she went and put up an ‘open tag ‘ policy, so here goes.

I have never :

Told my parents I love them without squirming in embarrassment and wanting to heave afterwards. It’s also pretty darn strange AND comforting to know I’m not the only one on the blogosphere to have never done this.

Had surgery, which I find highly unfair because I think lying on bed for weeks and having people wait on you and bring you flowers is kinda cool.

Maintained my calm at an animal’s death. I can outdo Shakespearean tragedy with my wails and weeps when it happens.

Been really, truly, couldn’t-wish-for-more happy. Bloody elusive bugger, this Joy fellow….

Thought I was normal. Or even close to it.

Been able to figure out which one of my many faces and personas is the real me. And my loved ones think THEY’RE confused…

Stuck to one thing. I think that has something to do with the previous point.

Found my true passion. I envy those who know what they were meant to do and go on to make it the career of a lifetime. I haven’t quite clinched that one yet….

Done drugs. But maybe that’s because I’m naturally quite high.

Believed in the governments of Sri Lanka.

Mastered the art of keeping my mouth shut. You probably already know this. It’s a painful experience.

Liked my neck. It looks like the kind you find on a plucked chicken, all wrinkly and thin. You didn’t need to know this.

Cheated on or dumped anyone. Wait… no… there was that one time that I broke off with my first boyfriend when I was 14 coz he tried to kiss me and I thought that was sick. Does that count?

Gone through a week without a dramatic event worth telling my future grandchildren about. If I have future grandchildren.

Eaten dragon-fruit. But I’m tempted.

Been able to control my bladder at the most inconvenient times.

Been able to tread water. You should see me…. like a drowning rat, huffing and puffing to keep my head above water without sinking like the Titanic.

Understood women.

Okay, okay. I’ll stop before you change sites. Jeez.
I am tagging The Doc and Gutterflower. And anyone else who wants to give it a go.

A Friendly Blog

I haven’t been blogging for a while. I suppose you’ve noticed. Or am I just not that important enough… sniff?

Anyhoos, hallo hallo. Been some time no? Sorry child. I have been so busy no meya…. with the show and all. (Sound of Music… did you watch it? You didn’t? Bastard.) Now that it’s over, I am suffering the most heinous case of withdrawal syndrome. Didn’t think I would, given that the whole experience involved…dare I say it… children. But I have to admit they grew on me. Shockingly. As did the wonderfully quirky bunch of girls I had the pleasure of sharing a dressing room with. Aiyo I miss the excited babble and drama in that room, men. I’ve never been in a production that has had this much unity and camaraderie across the entire cast… there’s always been the ‘clique’ factor happening… until now. It was quite nice to get along with everyone for a change and have nothing but laughs with each other. Look ma, I made new friends.

Which brings me to the post of the day. The Pal Factor. And this one's gonna be long, so brace yourselves darlings.

Everybody and their next door neighbour has one. Big ones, small ones, clingy ones, weird ones, ones who live to please you, ones you live to please… what’s life without a friend? They know you at your very worst and they still believe in you.

Me…. I’ve never been one for having many friends. Never did. In school I was always the odd nut job who skulked around in the recesses of a classroom while the others compared boyfriends and nail polish colours. I didn’t see the point, and preferred the company of my multiple personalities to the superficial ninny-talk I often eavesdropped into. I still can’t do the socialite thing and smooch every face I see and bump hips like I see it done around me. I’m not into that kind of friendship… the shallow variety that competes for the best outfit and shrieks ‘hey gurlfriend’ one second and ‘bitch’ the next. I prefer the brand of friend that I can share whatever silly notion of the day I have with, and the kind that I can not see for a decade and still be able to pick up where we left off without any signs of awkwardness. I like the kind of people who don’t balk when I speak my mind, and who appreciate me for who I am. Obviously, that means I don’t have that big a bunch of homies. Just a choice few, each more eccentric than the other, but who I’d happily give my life for should they ever need me. I can count them with my ten fingers, but each of them makes up for a whole army of people. I'm dedicating this post to the human pals in my life. The four-legged ones deserve an entire post to themselves, which I will save for later.

I’ve learnt along the way by clique-watching that a true friend is a rare thing to find. Everyone bonds for reasons beyond just liking each other’s personalities and the value they add to yours. Think about it… if you were to lose your job, you house, your family and be sent to jail, which one of your ‘friends’ would come bail you out or even come visit? Would YOU go visit a chum who’s been convicted of murder? It’s tough innit… suddenly the person we thought was good for us and complimented our social status no longer plays by the same rules, and is automatically a good candidate for the almighty boot. More often than not we tend to keep friends for more convenient purposes, such as getting something out of them. Don’t ‘tsk’ at me… you know you do it too. We’re all quite excited to have the odd contact in our lives that we go out of our way to get close to, just because later on, should we ever need their pull, we play the ‘connections’ trump card. If they can be of no help or emotional support to us, then they’re not worth our time, and they belong to the ‘acquaintance’ category and not the friend one. I hate that.

Honestly. It feels like I’m taking advantage of someone and for that reason even when I do need help, I don’t like asking my friends for it. Not that they wouldn’t come rushing to my aid if I ever called for it, but I usually like to take the hard route and call up general suppliers off the yellow pages and follow the rules instead of use someone I know and care for. It’s not pride or anything, so don’t get me wrong. I appreciate help just as much as the beggar on the street does when you give him your wallet, but I don’t like requesting it from people I call my friends, unless it comes voluntarily. I have the same issues with family too. Lord knows my family is pretty much like the mafia – everybody is someone and the connections I have could humble a politician, but I categorically refuse to ever go to them for assistance on things I should be doing myself. Call it obstinacy, but I just don’t, can’t and won’t go to the people I care about for anything more than their company.

And what company it is. The tiny bunch of people I am honoured to call my true pals are individually some of the craziest, most intriguing people you could ever meet, with life-stories that could inspire the next Harry Potter collection. They’re scattered all over the place, so there’re very few times in an year that we do meet each other, but when we do…. boy oh boy… All it takes is a coffee and a chair and I end up having the time of my life.

It’s not always fun and games either. There’s something inexplicably amazing about the emotional connections you feel with true friends, that can propel you sky high when you feel at your lowest. It’s a nice feeling… to know someone truly cares and you don’t have to feel obligated in return. I’ve had the luck of experiencing it first hand, when I bawled my brains out over a break-up to a male friend I’m especially fond of, and within minutes an entire troupe of guy buddies had arrived from far and wide on his call just to hold my hand and watch me cry. They even drove me around town endlessly with no venue goal until I’d calmed down enough to go home and rest. These are the very friends who now live all over the world and who I know I’ll get a call at 3 am from if I so much as change my FaceBook status message, just to find out what’s up. That sort of attention and concern is rather nice, to say the least.

I have another extension to that bunch, who is my sounding board at any given time. The intellectual genius that she is (and I know she’s reading this because she said she likes my blog. :P), she always makes me feel like I make splendid sense, even when I know I don’t. She’s heard the worst confessions and shared the most horrible thoughts back, and we still manage to understand each other and giggle over it. To her special magic I add another two females who make it their duty to speak their minds, no matter how harsh the opinion. They won’t so much as blink between tongue lashings when they feel I am deserving of it. Only true friends would be that honest and not make me hate them for it.

Then there’s my retarded group of compatriots from the old office. A more united, crazier, lovelier bunch I have yet to meet. We knew nothing about each other when we first met, and it’s only been a couple of years at most but it seems like a lifetime… like we were there at each other’s birth. Granted, they’re closer to each other than they are to me since I was their ‘boss’, but it didn’t stop us from sharing the wildest times with each other and laughing together till we peed. So much so that I have become oddly, even possessively, fond of that crowd… almost feeling maternal and responsible for their lives. I need to see them happy, or I feel I’ve failed them. Even with the age differences, designation differences and professional relationships, I know I’d swim the seven seas for them and they for me should the time come. I managed to bring one of them over to the current office too (and I know SHE’S reading this as well. ;))… if I hadn’t I’d have died by now in the doldrums of the present office culture. I do enjoy the opportunity to often articulate the most horrible thoughts out to her and have her do the same, and not be judged for it. It’s a nice thing to know someone has your back through thick and thin. Even though you’re a first class weirdo.

Last but never the least there is the ultimate top spot in the friend’s list – the best friend. The usual norm is to have a bestie who’s been with you from the school ages and who’s giggled with you over sharing knickers and handbags. I do have one or two of those (close friends from school, not mutual panties and bags), but I took them out of the best friend section some time ago. Not that they’re not the coolest girls around and the comfort factor with them is glorious, ESPECIALLY when we giggle over common undies, but the definition of a TRUE best friend has changed drastically as of late. It’s an entirely different thing altogether from the usual close friend. It’s a mate you share more than common interests and war stories with, or even a history for that matter. To me, a best friend has become someone you just cannot imagine life without, and someone who’s become such an integral part of your life that without that person, you feel incomplete and useless. Someone you can feel elated about simply breathing at.

As my luck may have it, the one person I now do class as my best friend also happens to be the guy I date. I don’t know if that complicates things because if one fails, then the other surely will too. I know, I know… true love and friendship are both unconditional, but you have to accept the fact that one affects the other, however much you deny it. He has seen me at my very worst, and allowed himself to be used and taken for granted when any other man would have told me to go fly that kite that ol’ uncle Charlie built.… and he has held my hand through it all without flinching. He knows me at times that I don’t know myself and can read my thoughts long before I think them. In the few years I’ve known him he has willingly become my rock, my comfort zone, my punching bag, my comic relief, my point of pleasure, both my cause for nightmare as well as my dream and my hope.

I’m so gooey today. But that’s what friends do to you. Real friends.

And there it is, if you’ve managed to read this far. A snapshot of the nutters I am proud to call my one constant and link to sanity in this disastrous world we live in.

Friends are such a good thing, no?