A Candid Chat with a Cultured (C)at

Ahead of the week-long celebrations for her upcoming birthday on April 10th, we caught up with Delhi’s Culture Cat, Ms. Snooty in her favorite hangout, The Chair.

Ms. Snooty

In a candid chat over cheese and fish treats, we spoke about her work as a professional Chair-Clawer, her picks for the upcoming elections and recent rumors regarding a new relationship.

Q Team: “If you can’t find her anywhere, just check in The Chair.” That’s a common phrase surrounding your love for this place. Do you think it’s true?

Ms. Snooty: The Chair gives me a sense of ownership. It also allows me to have quick naps when conversations drag on. And then there is the comfort of clawing. What’s not to love?

Q Team: Cats are often not very forthcoming about their age and here you are celebrating your fifth birthday in style.

Ms. Snooty: For one, there is the business of nine lives. Give that to anyone and they’d be dead before they are sorry. As for the celebrations, these are being planned by my special friends. I cannot refuse them the joy of celebrating my presence in their lives.

Q Team: Speaking of special friends, there are quite a few stories doing the rounds about Mr. Randy having been spotted outside your house at odd hours. Care to clear the air on that one?

Ms. Snooty: (Refuses to answer)

Q Team: And then there was the interview with your ex-boyfriend Garfield where he said he had to leave after you called him fat.

Ms. Snooty: I saw a lot of things while I was with him that I should do an expose on, the piles of rotting lasagne, the stench of laziness, (raising her voice) But I never used the F word.

Q Team: On to happier things. We heard you humming a tune when we walked in. What’s on your playlist these days?

Ms. Snooty: It’s ‘Conscious Uncoupling’ by Gwyneth Paltrow.

Q Team: What?! But, that’s not a song!

Ms. Snooty: Darling, it is. She released the single only among a close knit group of her dearest pals. I’m even talking to dear Suzanne (Roshan) to do a cover version for Indian audiences.

Q Team: From music to politics. Who’s getting your vote in the upcoming elections?

Ms. Snooty: (Sighs) I’m not a big fan of the lotus, as a flower. And we’re still getting some data on the Felicide. So not the orange brigade.Then there’s the Ordinary People Party. Sounds more like something dogs will vote for since they’re the four-legged people-pleasers. And lastly, let’s not even consider someone whose election symbol says ‘Talk to the Hand’

Q Team: That’s a wonderful insight into…

(Ms. Snooty is now napping) 

The Interview Ends Here


The Bare-All (B)ucket List. Or simply, “My Birthday is coming, pick a cause to sponsor”. I suggest #2 or #7

These are a few of my favourite things, some of the things I want to do, at some point, before I croak.

1. Read all seven volumes of ‘In Search of Lost Time’.

I’m on the last 100 pages of Volume 3. This one is a slow train, but there’s no rush. It is oh so delightful.

2. Watch Eddie Vedder in concert.

I’ve screamed myself hoarse at The Scorpions, Iron Maiden and Metallica. Eddie Baby Call me soon.

3. Learn to swim.

Okay, in my defence, scuba diving in Havelock has been accomplished. And who cares about the neighbourhood pool. But Robert De Niro swam to safety in Deer Hunter and I feel like I should know how to do it too. Just in case.

4. Finish a Marathon.

Honestly, this one is just so that I can shut the husband and his like. I’d love to throw that in his face the next time he launches the You’re-not-working-out attack. Toddler care and driving in Delhi are legitimate workouts. And fitting into college jeans post baby-pop calls for a celebration. But I think the marathon survivor tee ought to do it.

5. Roll-on-the-floor Laughing.

I have chuckled, grinned, laughed out loud yes, but a floor-roll? Reminds me of a play I was in at kindergarten. It was based on a fairy tale in a Hindi book, the story of a princess who never smiles. Her father, the King, calls people from far and wide to make her smile. Nothing works, not even a monkey dance. And then a man walks in with a pillow disguised as a big belly. The ‘belly’ falls off and the princess laughs and laughs and laughs. I played the princess and I did laugh. So come on world, drop the metaphorical belly so I can show you how I roll.

6. Write a Book.

There are demons in my head, on the road and in the grocery store. They deserve to be heard. And if it can be Wodehouse-funny I’ll kiss my knees. Because they’re saucy and that’s where the books rest on curl-up nights.

7. Visit a new place every year.

This stuff is real. It has worked in the past. May there always be enough cash and whimsy wanderlust to support this cause. Amen.

8. Shake at least some manic depressives out of their sad skins.

Not with fake belly acts but something that lasts; longer than a hookah high, shorter than a lifetime will do.

9. Sky Dive/Bike Ride Tutorials.

Not a stickler for these but if they come my way, hell why not!

10. Kick a Bucket.

Not the metaphorical death sentence. I mean place a bright, big bucket in a field and kick the damn thing. Someone has to do it.


P.S.: See the green badge on the right? I’m participating in the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Read all about it here: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

We’re on Day 2 today with the letter ‘B’ for BucketList. Stay tuned, in April and beyond.


An (A)fternoon of Nasal Orgy

Don’t get me wrong. This is not going to be an exposition on an ancient art of instant gratification. I am instead allowing you to peek into the world of a crazed bibliophile.

This ‘attachment’ that I speak of can sometimes transcend the mere appreciation of words and find the subject allowing her sense of smell to explore what lies not between the lines but between the pages.

This is what happened on a muggy afternoon…

The discoveries made were startling, sometimes unexplained and only rarely predictable.


Don’t you think its only fair that Pearl S. Buck’s ‘The Good Earth’ smelt of rice.

Or that Orhan Pamuk’s ‘Istanbul’ reminded the smeller (if there ever was one) of a land far away, never visited.

But would anyone think that ‘Dog Years’, that chaotically poetic Gunter Grass work that tells of a world gone mad, could smell pleasant.


Or that the two part autobiography of a dictator (Adolf Hitler’s ‘Mein Kampf’) could remind one’s nose of fresh flowers on a spring morning.

(and the irony of it all that I should speak of Grass and Hitler almost in the same breath).

What do you think Franz Kafka’s ‘Diaries’ smelt of? Existential angst? Perhaps that is the best and the only way to describe it.

Diaries of Franz Kafka

And how about Somerset Maugham’s ‘Of Human Bondage’? Well, it smelt sweet, something the author could not have imagined, much less intended.

And what happened when one tried to capture the scent of Jane Austen’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ or Emily Bronte’s ‘Wuthering Heights’?

Nothing. No fresh flowers, wet earth or English summer. In fact, there was no scent at all!

It was most unusual that the smell from the pages of Hermann Hesse’s ‘Steppenwolf’ took one back to the library in a convent not visited for over fifteen years.

Equally interesting was the discovery that Ayn Rand’s ‘The Fountainhead’, the unabashed ode to ‘individualism’, actually smells of ashes.

Finally (deciding to leave many others in the wake), it was time to discover what senses Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ would awaken. It most certainly did not remind one of the scent of bitter almonds. Instead, it was an indescribable smell.

One could not relate it to anything…only fitting, for perhaps it smelt of that indescribable feeling…love.

That an afternoon could have been spent thus is proof of the fact that attachment of this nature is only half explored through the eyes and the mind.

There are countless associations waiting to be made by calling into play other senses…

…but it is only possible if you’re inclined enough to disregard modes of ‘normal’ behaviour.

P.S.: In case you haven’t noticed, I’m participating in the A-to-Z Blogging Challenge. Read all about it here: http://www.a-to-zchallenge.com/

We begin today with the letter ‘A’ for Afternoon. Stay tuned, in April and beyond.