Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Final Episodes

D. is getting married. Somewhere in the first week of February. I am not aware of the exact date. D. never was very good with exact dates. The man possesses the dubious tendency of communicating approximate dates. He once did that with the arrival time of his flight and as a result, drove my habitually nervous father to report him as a missing person to the police. The details are not relevant. For that fact, the astute reader will also discern that this post and this whole blog in general is not exactly dripping relevance. At the end of the day however, hardly anything drips it. The point is that those details are not relevant to this irrelevant post. The bigger point is that D. is getting married.

There is an aura of finality around the whole occasion. D. was the last standing symbol for an era gone by. An era of dirty socks, frustration with the system, drinking binges, aimless wandering, amusing boredom, undying faith in the power of kulfi-falooda, laughing with the rain, late night football matches, the unending search for the perfect tandoori chicken, and possibilities. Those days will now be finally packed and unceremoniously consigned to the recesses of a few rebukes from G. and the dusty corners of some rarely narrated anectodes.

Henceforth, D. and I will probably meet once every few years and update each other of the disappointments which inevitably accompany the arrival of the desired. Apart from that, D. will follow his determined path and I mine. Such is time.

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Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Cellphone Dilemma

The sad news the grapevine unships is that cell phones are not what the doctor ordered for the general sharpening of the brain. Fellow humans have had an inkling for some time now, but now it is nearly official ! So, this is the gist of the hot stuff -- Cell phones tend to fuddle up that grey stuff. Post-cell-phone-conversation, the addled victim does not remember large parts of the conversation. That does not bother me. It generally happens to me very frequently when I am talking G., irrespective of cellphones. What bothers me however, is that one of the additional side-effects is that one cannot find one's way to the refrigerator and the munchies. That is rather alarming I am afraid.

Leaving my petty concerns aside, let us delve into the greater implications. These pathbreaking discoveries might ultimately answer a few burning questions. I finally have a semblance of an explanation for the density of the fellow human being attempting to navigate his car with two legs while his right hand holds the phone and his left gesticulates, explaining the finer points of his repartee. I now realise that it is not his fault. It sadly is a condition. The cellphone has pickled the poor man's upper quarters. As his condition aggravates, he will be seen doing the same on a motorcycle. Cellphone-cuckoo fills a human with the conviction that it is physically possible for a wall, a car, a motorcycle rider and a cellphone user to exist at the same point of space at the same point of time. He eventually will put his conviction to test.

The problem is that the moment you have put the cellphone to your ear, you are doomed. You have instantly started hurtling down a recursive abyss of stupidity. What else otherwise could explain Shahrukh Khan and Kareena Kapoor endorsing Airtel, and yet, the general populace is still offering them their custom and the shop is roping in the doubloons like there is no tomorrow. I was always rather puzzled by this widespread bad taste. Now I know. It is those cell phones at work.

It might also shed some light on the odious match fixing scandal which had made a blotched appearance some time back. Ajay Jadeja would make numerous calls to a particular fan of his ( from his cellphone of course ) during cricket matches. The reason he would do so was that he did not want this fan to call his cellphone and disturb him. The poor fellow was also oblivious of the fact that this fan of his, was quite the captain of the cricket betting industry. We all mistook his yarn and disallowed him for all the boy scout camps. None suspected the cellphone-cuckoo. Had these precious findings been available then, Ajay Jadeja would probably be the captain of the cricket team by now. A promising career beaned by a bulky cellphone I would say. ( Cellphones were bulky at that time. )

My erudite friend AK. however, has had the facts under his wings for some time now. He had chanced upon the knowledge that cellphones spout death rays like there is no tomorrow rather early in his life. Pre-enlightenment, he would sport his nifty nokia in a waist holster. Rather hip. Then somebody unleashed the sad tidings unto him that those death rays just did not soup up the brains, they are equally effective on other parts of the anatomy too. As is the fact with nearly all men, he did value his waist and adjoining areas like no other. He promptly moved his cellphone to the breast pocket of his shirt. The problem now is proximity to the heart. I did flash him the news that a phone in the shirt pocket is not wholesome for the aortas and the tricuspid valves too, and he came back with a nonchalant que sera sera. He is a shining example of a man who puts his waist before his heart I presume. I however, in my benevolent nature, worry for the man a bit. As he has made a priority to keep his waist ready for action, I am concerned that his heart might just fail in action.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Leave us alone !

The witty little lady we call the Marauder's Map in a rather exasparated post has posed the perennial question -- What does one do with the men in their lives ? I in my officious, yet helpful nature have decided to pitch in with a few sizzling tips on behalf of the unfairer sex. So, here goes.
  1. We Jump the Gun: This particular habit emanated from the fact that as soon as the hairy mammoth would make an appearence, we just had to bung that spear at it. The fact that the hairy mammoth would either make a vigorous beeline for the sunset or the spear-chucker directly after it made its appearance, necessiated such rapid action. One will notice that the described scenario leaves very little scope for one to ruminate upon the finer feelings of the hairy mammoth in question. The spear has to be chucked. When we opine, we opine without much thought. Our opinions are very much akin the spear. They cater to the Ensuing Situation. We really do not take into consideration what we had said to whom roughly three years back, or that fact, yesterday or the wider emotional ramifications of the opinion. If what has been unshipped results in the entry of another metaphorical hairy mammoth(HM), we shall attempt to garner another object to bean it with or, die gaping at it.
  2. We Answer Questions: Coming back to the previous (bad) example, when the HM is proceeding in the general direction where one is situated, one does not ponder on what the deeper, finer justifications for which the poor pachyderm is perturbed. One takes Prompt Action. One thinks of a solution. The nature of this prompt action also happens to be the prerogative of the pursued. When posed with a problem, we answer and we opine. We do not nod the sympathetic head and agree with a problem. They are meant to be cracked and not gently agreed upon. We are also very sorry, but we are oblivious of the answer that we are supposed to give. We give the answer we think will bring the biscuit home. There are times(which frequently occur) when these solutions seem to cause undue emotional distress because it does not concur with the predetermined, sensitive, understanding answer. If one has already decided on the solution to the poser, one should not pose it. Ask the question to yourself and please answer it yourself too.
  3. We love you but there are some other things to do Right Now: We love you with heart and soul. We would, without batting an eyelid give up everything we have to see you happy. We however, sadly have other things to do too. There are times when it of prime importance to serve flaming death to the three Overwatch Soldiers around the corner because one has been struggling with this level for the last three days. One is really not interested in how the distant friend of yours has been mean to another distant friend of yours and as a result, through some convoluted reason, the cat has refused her milk once.
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Thursday, December 01, 2005

The 1st of December

I remember, I remember
 The fir trees dark and high; 
I used to think their slender tops 
 Were close against the sky: 
It was a childish ignorance; 
 But now 'tis little joy
To know I'm farther off from heaven 
 Than when I was a boy.
               -T. Hood

The 1st of December was when school closed for the winter vacations. The onerous final exams (The Third Term as we would call it) would meet its painful death on that fortunate day. The exact moment of the demise would be 11:30 AM. After Bro. G. would very carefully explain the winter night sky to a rather uninterested, ungrateful and impatient lot, we would hurriedly collect our pencils, rubbers ( I still call them the politically incorrect rubber because that is what I grew up calling those things which are called erasers these days ) and pinecone battered clipboards and run out into the warm december sunshine. I use the word run very carelessly. That annual phenomenon could be more accurately termed as a mass movement for the great, wide, open spaces. Whereas bland souls like me would employ conventional modes of transport to get going, the more adventurous ones would employ rapid dashes, wildly flailing arms and loud screaming. The stairs would be navigated by sliding down the bright orange balustrade.

We were free for the next 100 days !

I would feel an incredible sense of lightness I remember. I would feel relieved from all burdens. Burdens were not possible anymore. There would be a sense of accomplishment without any palpable victory. As we would chatter down the steps past the old hospital block and past the second field, we were happy.

Old habits die hard. Till today, on the 1st of december, I keep very careful track of time. At about 11:30 AM, I know there are a bunch of unruly boys running out of the exam halls. It still brings a smile on my face.

I however have not felt the same lightness in years and years now.

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