Monday, 31 March 2008
Come religious holidays, and they all show up at our doors, asking for a little 'grease money'. Pass them a note of a denomination any less than or equal to 50 and they start quoting figures that would put most management students to shame. "Inflation, price index, globalisation, weakening Rupee, increasing oil prices leading to increasing prices on everything else, rising prices of blue chip stocks..."
Take my advice, Mr. Chidambaram. Knock off your entire ministry; replace them with these guys. They know more than the past three years worth of Business Todays and Outlooks put together.
Refer the Indiabulls Smart Investor Ad (can't find it on YouTube).
- Jet Black. Designs may include further artwork in black.
- Garfield mugs rule. Actually, put Garfield kicking Odie's ass on practically anything and it becomes uber cool.
- Coffee mugs with one-liners about Coffee as the Most Important Part of Your Day.
- Coffee mugs with one-liners printed on the inside.
- Coffee mugs gifted by special someones.
Actually, the sexiest coffee mug exists on my Facebook Graffiti Wall. The black mug got upstaged 207 days ago today.
Now, repeat after me: "I'm sorry, honey! I don't make the list!"
Sunday, 30 March 2008
Accosted by beggars outside International Terminal. Digital Camera stolen.
Taken for ride by overzealous, friendly, effervescent cabbie. 3 hour ride for five minute journey.
On advice of said cabbie, booked into Grade IV Hotel. Insects found to inhabit mattress.
Trip to major city market centre. Surrounded by streetside vendors. Girlfriend flirted with by ugly, dark men with warts on their faces and characteristic Sallu Bhai hair. One wallet flicked.
Bought beautiful clock with transparent back showing inner workings and Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken engraved on side.
Walked to seafront. Enjoyed beautiful view, sounds of birds and street music (read traffic) mingling poetically with sounds of eve-teasers and lewd stares of obese, 50+ 'gentlemen'.
Arrival at hotel to scrutinise day's purchases reveals beautiful clock with poem on side by 'Ralient Trost'.
Decide, despite experience and better judgement suggesting otherwise, to brave another trip to market centre. Enamoured by man with little drum making monkey dance. Believe this is a religious activity. Pay monkey-trainer Rs. 500 for 'showing them path to enlightenment'.
Attend 'mahasatsang' of little-known Godman. Watch in awe and shock as coconut shell explodes to reveal snake-spirit within. Shout heavily accented slogans in Hindi as snake is beaten to death to kill evil spirit.
Are asked to, and accordingly, deposit large amounts of money towards 'purchasing comforts for the needy' (read little-known Godmen).
Ask for, and gain meeting with, little-known Godman by lubricating pockets of three levels of bouncers. Are asked for, and pay, gurudakshina for being allowed to meet little-known Godman to said individual's personal aide.
During course of personal meeting, are asked to provide sexual favours to little-known Godman. Refuse thereto.
On way out, while being beaten for refusing Great, All-knowing One what is rightfully his, see rubber snake in disciple's bag.
Return to Grade IV hotel much disillusioned. Discover missing eyelash curler and box of protection. Therefore dejectedly postpone lovemaking session with insects.
Discover second missing wallet. Shrug and prepare for bed as it was already empty after day's spending.
Call Concierge-recommended Travel agency for immediate return flights. Make international call home to ask for money to be wired for same.
Make second international call home to ask for additional money to pay for international calls at elevated hotel rates.
Decide to spend day in.
Awake to the feeling of 16 red boils per square inch of skin. Hurriedly rush to nearest medical store to look for preferred brand of lotion. Do not find it.
Hurried packing permits overlooking of additional missing items. One watch, one box tampons. Discover missing pair of sneakers.
Argue with concierge over three out of fifteen overbilled items. Do not notice the rest. Concierge graciously deletes said three items. Believe concierge to be good man, tip him generously, for excellent advice and more or less honest service.
Hurry to airport to discover five minutes left for boarding time due to misprint on schedule provided by concierge-recommended travel agency. Hurriedly catch flight after reproachful looks from airline employees.
'Dude! How was your trip?'
'Oh, dude! It was so awesome, I mean, really, it was, like, out there, man. It was like this spiritual experience, man... I'm feelin' so good man... I can't even tell you how good I'm feelin'... India is like, so f@#$in' awesome, man...'
Excuse the inconvenience,
Thank you and hopefully,
Dip MiracleMop in extended mode into bucket.
Pull back on extension.
Squeeze out extra water.
Return to extended mode and enjoy strain-free cleaning.
Look happy, Goddammit! @#$%!!!
As it turns out, all the energy saved in the 'strain-free' cleaning is spent trying to get the damn thing to drain out excess water. Ergo, either the woman displayed above is Wonder Woman, or the combined twisting force of my mother and me equals Olive Oyl's left pinky.
Saturday, 29 March 2008
Friday, 28 March 2008
- 'So tell me about a time you failed.'
'Well, there was this science project at school; it was on cloning... Yeah, so that kinda went bad. But my second head is a little emotional about it, so I wouldn't get much into it if I were you...'
- 'Wow. I'm sorry, I wasn't listening... By the way, you got some rack, I gotta tell you...'
- 'Your sister is fine. I mean, DAMN!'
- 'Yo mama so ugly...'
- 'Do you have any questions about the company?'
'Yeah, where the Cheetos at? They told me you get free Cheetos here.'
Thursday, 27 March 2008
1. Why didn't you soundproof the mouth if you knew food was going to be in it? I mean, really! It crunches in there!
2. Why, in good God's name, would anyone want to chew with their mouth open? What purpose does it serve? Does it air out the food?
Wednesday, 26 March 2008
Tuesday, 25 March 2008
"Get me fifteen perfect, unchipped chalks of fifteen different colours or I'll reduce your internals"
"Wash my car or I'll screw up your internals"
"Sign over intellectual property rights to that project or you won't get internals"
"Take all four optional subjects or your internals will suffer"
"My ghar ka maali is on leave. Tend to the rose bushes or it will affect your internals"
"Stop breathing or I won't give you internals"
"Make a set of 500-page notes that I can sell under my name or I'll cut your internals"
"Buy an LCD for the college or I'll screw you in internals"
"Massage my legs or I'll do you-know-what to your internals"
"Wax my hairy back or forget about good internals"
And you know what the worst part is? People will do all that shit, just for three more marks.
Afterthought: "Ice my nipples, bitch, or else..."
It all began simply enough. All the old man had apparently done wrong was be in the wrong place at the right time. He’d been minding his own business, seated at the same spot on the low wall he always did. He’d been scraping off the hair on his cheeks. The tiny black and white dots on his face when he gazed upon his replica in the water or on his blade irked him. The only thing he disliked more about it was having to get rid of it. To this day he’d never passed the blade over his face without cutting himself at least twice. Of course that wouldn’t be what he’d tell others. Oh, no. He’d probably been held at swordpoint by a band of blood-thirsty pillagers; no less than twenty of them, too…
And then he’d battled them valiantly and single-handedly, brandishing no more than his little knife. Arax, he called her. How he’d got her was another story. Here, he’d used her to fend them all off without so much as a scratch. All but the last two, who, the cowardly mice of men, lacking in honour, attacked him together, one with broadsword and one battleaxe, and yet they’d only managed to nick him.
He’d regaled many with these tales, and the women held their breaths as he recounted his memories in vivid detail, missing not a line describing the mortal danger he was in. And it had helped more than a few dames find their way to his bower. And they’d all believed him, too, until the day some boys heard the sound of muttered curses from a secluded grove and decided to snoop. And found him kneeling over a bowl of water, mouth and blood both running freely.
What hurt the most was that those stories used to be true. But the memory of that day sprang every time he raked his face. After all, blood makes an excellent reminder. Except this day. He ran his fingers along his cheek, examining its fineness. ‘How’d I get her so sharp this time?’ he thought aloud. ‘You didn’t, old man,’ said a voice next to his ear. He jumped, nearly shouting out in shock. He whirled around, knife at the ready and pointed it straight into the face of… no one. He was alone. He whipped around, looking through the trees. It wasn’t possible. Who could get to the green so quickly from the middle of a clearing? A tree-nymph? No. If it were, back in the day, he would’ve been quicker than it. Mostly, he’d have caught it. Now he was the first to admit he wasn’t that fast anymore, but he would’ve seen it at the very least. He hadn’t slowed down all that much yet.
‘Over here!’ said a voice behind him. He spun, the knife swinging from his fingers before he’d even turned completely to the direction of the voice. The knife cut the air so quickly you could hear the blade whistling. If, of course, you could focus on it in the split second it took to lodge itself firmly near the treeline, five feet above the ground. Embedded in empty air.
Monday, 24 March 2008
Yesterday it meant "You're so cute, but I wish you'd stop doing that. Not really, though, because it makes me feel good."
Today it's "Why do you have to do that? I keep telling you to stop. You should have listened to me before. It's too late now."
Sunday, 23 March 2008
Imagine this gigantic tree trunk. Really, really huge. I mean, this thing is so big that it makes those redwoods you can drive through look like a strand of hair (hang on to that visual, could you? And no, I’m not being a perv. You stop. No you stop. Really! Oh, come off it!). Okay. Got that? Good. Now, for convenience’s sake let’s assume that you’re also sufficiently large (no I don’t mean to say you’re fat. No, I’m not being derisive, you’re positively lovely! What’s that? No, I’m not patronising you… Would you please just let me get on with it? Thank you.) Yes, sufficiently lar… um… big… er… well-propor… gaaah!! So you’re big. Move on. Yes. Big enough so as to view the tree as being normal sized, just for a second.
Now at about normal tree height (considering that you’re now a giant to make Jack’s giant look like a baby ant), there’s this breakout of branches. Now here, there are like millions and millions of about normal sized branches going off in every direction. Most of these branches come straight from that huge, huge, huge trunk itself, but some of them are offshoots of branches themselves, you know what I mean? Just like a normal tree, except that there’s millions of ‘em. Actually [and this is why you can’t possibly fathom (end of the first para, keep up, will you?) how big it is], there is an infinite number of branches, but it’s easier to be taken seriously when you say ‘millions’.
So, yeah. Have you pictured the millions of infinite branches? Good. Come back to normal size now (you really aren’t paying attention, are you?). So on this gigantic tree with the amazingly infinite number of branches (excuse my gesticulation here, I tend to get excited when I get an audience), each branch represents a choice. Now this is the tricky bit to understand. Each branch represents a choice, and every single choice that has ever been made, is being made or will ever be made, is represented by a distinct branch on the Decision Tree. Every last one. It is for this reason that the Decision Tree cannot grow. It exists in the fabric of the universe at its maximum potential. (Pictured alongside is an artist’s impression of the Decision Tree. Just so you know, he got it wrong. Viewing the complete image is recommended for maximum comprehension.)
Till now, this hasn’t involved you. I’m sure you’re wondering why you’ve been asked to make these imaginings of size and proportion. Here’s why. Whenever you make a decision – and it could be anything, anything at all – you’re using the decision tree. And now I’ll tell you exactly how that happens.
Say you’re deciding the colour of the flip-flops (and I don’t mean what two sailors do below deck when they’ve been out at sea for months without so much as seeing a woman) you’re buying (I’m generously reducing the length of this post and your discomfort in reading by not including the Decision Tree process for deciding to buy flip-flops in the first place). This choice is represented, as explained earlier, by a branch on the decision tree (good, I saw you mouthing that! You remember! I’m so touched… Thank you. Really, thank you… *sob* *sniffle* *clears throat*).
Yes, sorry. By a branch on the decision tree, yes. Now, all the choices that you have – say blue, green, black, red… - can be seen as leaves on this branch of the Decision Tree. Now, again, these aren’t leaves as you’re used to picturing them. Picture a strand of hair (aha! You forgot, didn’t you?). A nice long strand of hair. It’s really like one from those shampoo ads (the ones where there’s the woman with the hair flying in the breeze and the man whose face just happens to ‘accidentally’ be where the hair goes, and all that marketing crap). So, yeah. One of those, except that it’s silvery white and thick and you know, cool and looks ghostly and spiritual and stuff, man…
Now, in this case, that translates into every imaginable colour having its own silvery white, hair-like leaf on our branch of the decision tree (yes, fuchsia, teal, lavender, strawberry-pink, lemon-green, puke-yellow are all separate colours). Once you have decided which colour it is that you want your flip-flops to be, in your mind (that is perhaps the single most important phrase in this discourse), in your mind, you have plucked out that leaf (or strand of hair, as you want to look at it) from the branch. Note that this happens IN YOUR MIND ONLY and you are not to go around plucking leaves from trees saying that you are making decisions.
An alternate school of thought talks about each person’s individual decision tree. The idea is the same, it just states that every person has their own decision tree which has on it (in the fashion described above) every decision they will make in the span of their short and (in comparison with the universe at large) inconsequential lives.
I hope you have understood this noble concept. If not, fear not, for I deliver personal sermons, too. My next lecture will describe the Thought Fly and the impact of its discovery on our understanding of telepathy.
Friday, 21 March 2008
‘We need you not. Our mage will lead us.’
‘There is no mage. No shaman. No magical protector. This man would sooner save you than a warrior mage.’
‘But that is him! Our warrior. Undoer of wrong. Defender of good, vanquisher of evil. Brave protector of the true.’
‘Surely you jest. Call him by any name you wish, but this oaf will not be your saviour. He cannot be one of your prophesized heroes. He lives but the meanest existence.’
‘Our prophesized heroes. Not yours anymore, eh? But do you not see? He has suffered the wrath of him who he has never met. He has walked three times around the earth. He carries the world on his shoulders.’
‘He has done nothing of the sort. You are blinded by your faith in the Seer. You think him the wisest man on the earth. Your ‘saviour’ is a slave. Born to a slave. Owned, once and for his lifetime, by my master, your lord. And he has never set foot beyond those walls. The only thing he is worth is the churning of the water mill. He keeps the stream running. And the tattoo you speak of, that was given him by me. With this. Perhaps if you fear the cold metal at the end of the leather ripping out the skin on your back, you would cease this blasphemy and return to your own business.’
‘You have the upper hand today; perhaps the same will not be true tomorrow. Perhaps the day you will challenge the Hooded One to a game for your soul and lose will be the day you will remember me. After all, a beard and rags are all it takes to hide the Seer.
‘Try and catch me; I am no longer here. Your fingers slip through me as if I were a cloud. And there will be the Rain of the Shroud in your soul tonight. And when the blood will not wash of your hands after you raise your first-born in the honour of death, you will know all my words to be true. The clatter of your spear, the sound of your breath as you run in your futility to save him, I have seen them all. Do not think it possible. He is doomed. The blackness is over him already. It amuses me that while he dies, you have been talking to a wall. Or so it will appear to the messenger. Hark! He comes.’
Monday, 10 March 2008
I've been going there often. Quite often. Practically everyday. But I've never been this far in. I mean, really. There are limits. I really should take up acting as a career.
The Day of Reckoning will come. Then we shall see. Who knows, maybe the view from the gutter might just be nice...
Wednesday, 5 March 2008
He collapsed onto a chair, gazing sightlessly at the wall. His lower lip quivered. Nothing else betrayed the turmoil in his mind.
The sun was setting. Lemony yellowish reddish orange. The oak tree next to it made a beautiful setting. The kind that you use as a wallpaper. Or a postcard. It could have been so much better if she were here.
He sat down on a path of particularly green grass. Too green. Unfairly green. He stared at that sunset. She’d have loved it. She’d have set up her easel right there, on that spot under the oak, got out her brushes and paint, her piece of charcoal and sheets. Oh! so many sheets… Once she’d got that pencil in her hand, there really was no stopping her. He’d have sat there, thrown a line into the lake, or read a book, maybe tossed pebbles across the surface. Maybe just laid there watching her. Played her a song, if he’d brought his guitar. Maybe even written her one. His mind wanders. It’s difficult for it not to. After all, this was no ordinary love.
An image swam into his head. He saw how he’d waited for her outside college. Surprised her by showing up unannounced. Told her he was disappointed not to find her in the arms of another… And she’d laughed. Really thrown her head back. Settled in his arms. Reached up to kiss him on the cheek. And whispered in his ear that she was cleverer than that, that she’d left the other one inside. And laughing, arm-in-arm, they’d practically skipped back to the car, leaving everyone who saw them dumbfounded.
How she’d told him one night that she couldn’t sleep. Her nightmares didn’t let her. Memories she didn’t have, but wanted. Those she had, but wanted to forget. How he’d taken her hand in his. Kissed it. How he’d sung to her. Slow and soft. His voice barely more than a whisper. How she’d cried because she’d heard that song and that voice after so long. And how she’d fallen asleep holding his hand. And he’d fallen asleep sitting there on the floor next to her bed.
How he’d once come home well past midnight to find her awake and waiting for him. How she’d kissed him and watched him eat the meal she’d spent all evening making. How she’d fallen asleep at the table fifteen seconds after his first bite. How he’d watched her sleeping for a while and then carried her to bed. How he’d loved that meal so much more than he would have if he’d been home on time.
How when she was in school, she’d come home everyday and spend hours telling him how someone-with-a-smelly-shoe forgot to tie his laces and the girl-with-the-blue-notebook-and-the-pink-pen had cried when she lost her eraser. How even then, she’d sat at the table while he was working, paper and crayon in hand, trying to draw his face. How he’d put up the bunch of squiggles with the arrow next to it saying ‘Daddy’ on the fridge door. How he’d felt like it really did look like him.
How she’d bawled her head off, as he massaged the finger that she’d managed to bang against the table. How he’d tried to kiss away the pain. How pointing out the cat in the yard made her forget it. How the faces he made and his nose tickling her stomach had made her laugh. How good he’d felt when that happened.
How he’d held her close against him and sung to her when she couldn’t sleep. In his deep, bass voice. How the baritone had calmed her heart. The song. The dispeller of darkness and nightmares.
How he’d felt the first time he’d brought her home. Tears welling in his eyes as unbridled joy mingled there with unimaginable grief. The joy that he had her. And the grief that he was bringing home one girl he loved, not both.
How he’d stood there, aghast, unable to move when they told him that they’d tried their best, but that they couldn’t save his wife. How there had been complications. How it wasn’t over yet. How they were still trying to save his daughter.
How he'd collapsed onto a chair, gazing sightlessly at the wall. His lower lip quivering. Nothing else betraying the turmoil in his mind.
An eternity later, a voice from far, far away called out to him. He tried to see where it was coming from. He really did. He tried to push the images away. He just couldn’t. But everything slipped into focus when he heard those two words. “I’m sorry.” Saw the white coat before him. A minute later, the doctor walked away. He sagged. His knees just buckled. He lay on the floor in a heap. A low, primal groan was all he had left to grieve for memories he would never have.
Tuesday, 4 March 2008
Happy Birthday, then. Or Birthmonth, seeing how I don't remember the date I started.
P.S. This post makes it twenty.