Monday, August 24, 2009

Hokum & Hooey.

I was watching a fairly enjoyable movie and something Chris Rock’s character said really echoed what I think. Something to the effect that “living every day like it’s your last” is a bunch of hokum, because you’ll probably live till you're 80 with all your (definitely regrettable, with that attitude) actions till then.

I mean really, it sounds grand when people say it. Like so many other things people are fond of saying but don’t believe a word of themselves. Apply it to your own life and you’ll know what I mean, if you don’t already.

Take my life. (It’s my blog, so don’t expect me to talk about yours.) If I took it into my head to live tomorrow like it was my last day -- this is what I would do, in all honesty:

Shave my head. Call up a lot of people and be ‘honest’; just like they’ve always been with me (You’re not all that good-looking yourself, and you have an ass the size of Madhya Pradesh, man!). Quit my job. Put on a LOT of make- up, something tight; and go out and blow my life savings on something fun.

Problems will arise the next day, when the sad fact that even though I lived the previous day LIKE it was my last day, it actually wasn’t. I’ll look like a chubby Sinhead O Connor. No one will speak to me. I’ll have no money and no means to recover what I’ve blown on a Paris Hilton style party in every city marathon. As well as a faint chance of a night in the lock up.

So the resultant situation may push me towards making the day my last; but that isn’t what they meant, was it?

Similarly -- “Nothing is impossible”.

A lot of things are impossible.

Boys and Girls, PLEASE, puh-leeaaaase don’t listen to sappy children’s movies or books that have the good-looking and sincere ‘Daddy’ character consoling his offspring, who has just spent a day trying to invent a time-machine, but-just-couldn’t. Boo HOO.

“If you WANT something badly enough, and go after it, Nothing is impossible, darling. And remember Daddy loves you very much.”

Excuse me while I shake my head sadly. What’s the matter with the good looking but sincere Daddy? Doesn’t he know that if what he said were true, the world would be full of flying pigs? Messing up children’s heads with all this nonsense is what drives them to alcoholism and crime anyway, because they’re thinking, “If everything is possible and after all my hard work it still didn’t happen… then how big a loser does that make me???”

At the most one could say:

“If you already have the prodigious ability (tested by several doctors) and patience at 5 years old to build a time machine, and a multi- billion dollar corporation financially backing you on the project; nothing is impossible.”

Kinda different, innit?

And so on, really. “Be yourself”; “It’s the thought that counts”; “It doesn’t matter if you win or lose; what matters is that you TRIED”; "We're ALL winners."

It’s all hooey. Someone hand me a shovel.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Of Straw and Silver Bullets

Speaking of monkeys; I know a psychotic monkey talker.

For people who’ve never met the likes of her; let me tell you 9 hours of not being able to finish any of your sentences, 5 days a week, for 2 years can have a detrimental (stress on mental) effect on your mind.

I carry a bag of straw around so that when I finally go round the bend (which’s a few weeks in the offing) I can have the straw handy to stick into my hair.

It also makes you a humongous bore when you DO get people who will hear you out till the end of your sentences. God help you if they’re the sort who leave a bit of a silence hanging in the air even AFTER you’ve indicated that you’ve finished with a particular train of thought. You stop for a moment or so; baffled by this new situation. Is he going to jump in and cut you off just as you begin talking?

You vacillate for the length of a second…and then decide to risk it and dive in, and the feeling of being able to say what’s on your mind and being listened to is such a relief that the words just keep coming, like the gush of water that has been stoppered up in some dark underground place.
Problem is after you’ve talked yourself dry and are sitting there; spent yet satisfied; an awful thought creeps into your head. You’d gabbed on endlessly, you hadn’t let the other person talk, in your gush of words you’d spilt out many ill considered things which perhaps were private or stupid and needn’t have been said.

You’ve been turned, like a victim from a teen vampire novel, into a psychotic monkey talker yourself!

So that’s what’s happened. When I meet blameless, polite people who listen I turn into a monster. Consider yourself warned.

Also, if any of you has a silver bullet; or a cross bow with a silver arrow – you have my permission to put me down the next time you encounter me.

It’ll be a mercy killing.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hyderabad Part III: The Final Chapter

And then I went to Hyderabad and had a lot of fun and Hyderabadi Biriyani with my friends Maya and Satish; and my Dad, Prithwiraj.
And then I came back to Bangalore.(Phew, that monkey’s off my back at last!)

Monday, August 3, 2009

Hyderabad Part II: Only I can't seem to get to the bit where I'm IN Hyderabad

I’ll give this another shot then.

I packed very little, because I take great pride in travelling light, and then borrow or buy most things when I get to my destination. But I didn’t forget my trusty maroon shawl because I have a great horror of feeling cold, feeling hungry, and needing to visit restrooms on train trips. The shawl wouldn’t be too useful for the latter two (unless in desperate circumstances) but the very knowledge that my big red shawl glowed quietly to itself in my tiny overnight bag made me feel positively toasty.

Of course I had to take out a lot of other things to make space for it: like the lower halves of all my outfits and toothpaste, but it was a minor sacrifice. And I had no use for my shawl because they give you blankets on trains and once I reached Hyd the friends I was visiting rolled over laughing at the sight of it; because well, it was Hyderabad in July.

Anyhow, I get ahead of myself. I asked around at work about how long it might take to get to the railway station from work (distances are stupid in this city) and I got advice ranging from 3 hours to an hour. So me being me, I left 3 hours in advance, and again, as is usual with me, I reached my platform two whole hours before scheduled departure.

I perched myself on a bench under the relatively merciful Bangalore sun and swung my legs as I read my book about teenage vampires. Profound literature is a MUST on long train journeys. The platform was entirely innocent of fellow passengers, so I kept the dogs and several unsavoury characters company until some people started trickling in.

This last paragraph will give you the impression that I serenely passed the time reading my vampire book; but that isn’t entirely true. Every 12 minutes or so: I would root around in my bag for my ticket; inspect it as if for the first time in case I had got something wrong, like the day, or the coach, or the train; and then…affecting a casual attitude, I would carelessly hoist my bags and water bottle over my shoulder and amble over to the train that was still locked up tight. I would then proceed to scan the list of passengers and locate my name; and ensure it hadn’t, by some dark magic, vanished off the page since the last time I checked (viz. 12 minutes ago). Satisfied that it was still there; and telling myself that it was too late in my life for another Ushasi Sen Basu to crop up in the same compartment; I would try the door handle once more and saunter back, relieved for the time being.

This I did for two hours. But despite all this activity I unfortunately managed to finish most of my vampire book; which left me with only a few pages when I finally boarded the train.

(To be Continued...promise to be in Hyderabad by the next post)