Sunday, December 28, 2008
This is my winter break. Considering I spend all my free time, and considerable chunks of my working time asleep, it is not such a very crazy idea to grasp that my legs/arms/fingers/etc have not sen more exercise than absolOOtely necessary, this vacation. I have spent as MUCH of my time as humanly possible, parked firmly between bedsheet and blanket. I have only bestirred my happily prostrate self to eat, drink, crap and stalk people on facebook. Facebook is most of the time, it's fairly passive, uniformly annoying self, not interrupting my voyeuristic joys except to log me out mysteriously or ask me What Kind of Boyfriend Will I Have?
I am an observant person. I have, through my keen observational skills, noticed the presence of evil on this site. Evil in the form of persons whose lives revolve around getting other people to change their display pictures of the national flag. Or plain black. Or plain white. Or.. strangely, Red Bull (?!).
Now you know me. I have the same fairly spaz pic up on facebook that I have always had. I log in. I stalk harmlessly. I find out what Jaane Tu character I am most like, the type of boyfriend i am going to attract, what kind of car I am, what kind of gun I am, and what That 70s Show character I am like. I log out. (Sometimes I also not log out, but I fail to see the relevance of such in the point I am trying to make.)
I do not form Groups to End Social Evil. I do not Protest Evil Globalisation. And I certainly do not send my friends amusingly breathless messages commanding them to turn ur display photoz black to protest d mumbai teror attcks!!!!!! turn ur dispix white to pray 4 worldd peaceee!!!
I am not NOT cooperating because the connection between my changing my dispic and muslim terrorists dropping dead is non sequitor. I am not NOT cooperating because facebook is a social networking site, and there is nothing more annoying than a social networking site that begins to put on airs.
I am not cooperating because I simply don't want to cooperate.
And that, I think, is as good a reason as any.
Ta, ye faithful. Happy New Year; I wish you all sobriety at midnight.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
However, it was only the Twilight series. I suppose that doesn't count, that's like saying I listen to Contemporary Music and then bursting into Baby One More Time... hmm. I like that song. Fun tune, composed of that delicately balanced combination of sugarcandy and acid reflux that promises to drive you up the wall by staying in your head till kingdom come..
Twilight is a story about an obsessive teen-vampire love thingy. Wallflower teen stalks broody vampire who wants to eat her cos she smells of flowers and other nice-smelling things, but can't because he's sworn off humans. Eventually he decides to address that problem by dating her (don't ask me, I didn't write it.) So then they have a true (and truly obsessive)love characterised by what characterises all true love stories. You know, the usual. The unearthly(unearthly-ly? unearthlily?) beautiful monster and the emo teen girl who pees everytime she sees him. Cos of his Beauty. And how it Overwhelms her. And cos of his Beauty. And cos of..
But seriously, twilight starts off okay, and Stephanie Meyer can pull it together better than some (many) other teenfic writers I've read. And I get that Edward Cullen is supposed to be the unattainable: the beautiful, considerate and delightfully sarky boy with shiny skin and perfect hair. (And bloodsucking, of course. That's hot. That's just how we roll ;D ) It's just that there's only so far you get on the believability scale when pretty much half the novel is taken up in whinily insisting to the reader, in something like the mental voice of that ten year old cousin you secretly want to choke with rubber tubing, that Edward is beautiful, Edward is beautiful, Edward is unearthly, Edward is beautiful. Stephanie Meyer ends up falling from the precarious position of almost-successful-teenfic writer to the depths of the depths: yammering-Edward-groupie. Sad, yesno.
Oh, the rest of the series?
Ok, there's a bunch of werewolves who don't quite like the vampires, but of course they bond over love for poor fangirl here, and the four books (each one a little longer than the last, until the last is the effing Encylopedia Brittanica: Harry Potter Syndrome?) , after a torturous and largely boring journey, culminates in the birth of a bloodsucking fangirl; fruit of the union of guess-who and guess-who-again.
Who, in turn, is pursued by vampires but loved by werewolf and.....well, you get the point. There's Lots of Love. And Unearthly Beauty. And Descriptions of Unearthly Beauty. Long, Detailed, Oh-God-I-Get-It-Already-Please-Stop-Now-Please Descriptions of Unearthly Beauty.
I guess I've outgrown pretty boys with delicately sarky tongues and fabulous hair and Deeply Tortured Souls. Awwww poor me. This must be my coming-of-age moment. :D
It was nice spin anyway. Maybe I'm just pissed cos they chose Robert Pattinson to play Edward.
I'd have gone with Hugh Jackman. :D
Saturday, November 29, 2008
Today is a feel-fat day. I don't have these very often...hell, they don't even bother me too much; being declared medically obese in upper kg kind of takes the edge off these things.;)
I've done my daily quota of blogsurfing and after eight posts on the unmentionable-event-in-bombay (yes. I said bombay. Not mumbai. Deal with it.), and an equal number of posts on proposition 8, I have decided that I shall not be left behind.
Proposition 8: Try all you want, gay people are going to keep having fabulous sex and living together if they want to. *Wave* to Ashim and Nishanth, keep showin' em haters. I know you're having better sex than them ;)
Bombay attacks: this to the newspapers: The 'Spirit of Bombay' thing is getting lamer and more annoying by the second. Give it up, nobody believes it anyway.
I want a nice cheesy pasta, garlic bread and poutine right now. Now. I also realise I have hit the bottom of the pit of coherence and articulation. I am going to toddle off and snuggle into a blanket now. Or two. Three? (What? I grew up in Madras! We don't HAVE winters!!)
Friday, October 17, 2008
*He didn’t say ‘something like that’. I did. It doesn’t matter, the rest is misquoted too anyway. None of you is likely to catch it and I’m too lazy to make the effort. Cheers :-)
**I believe they should be laughed at till death***. More fun.
***I meant that we laugh and they die. You got it, no? No?****
****Yeah I know I should quit the pointless footnotes. Blame the mood and law school…they just make it that much easier :-D
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
on my grill and window sill
When the wind beings the desert in
I'm tired of sand, I cannot win:
I say fuggoff.
When my project is a futile dream
I have a directionless team
Deadlines come and deadlines leave
I whine, and then I fail - I grieve:
I say fuggoff.
When September gets in line,
The sun gets bigger and ups the shine
My clothes are limp, my mind is dead,
I sweat, I tan, my feet are lead
I say fuggoff.
And then I sleep.
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
I know your passing was not easy, but I'm sure you were as spunky as I've always known you to be.
Here's to your rescuing many kittens, eating many puchkas and generally being your chatterbox-type four-foot-eleven brand of fabulousness in heaven (or its midget equivalent) :-)
Monday, September 22, 2008
The first is on Atul Vyas, an Indian who died in the recent train crash in the Los Angeles area of the United States, and the second is on Minal, who was one of the 32 victims of the shootout at Virginia Tech. Both articles are essentially eulogies, by people who did not know them when they were alive.
While the general idea of the posts is as far as I can gather, to remember those who passed away in tragic accidents - the specificities and general tone of the articles I find objectionable.
The article on Atul Vyas, a bright med-school aspirant is essentially the AP article on him supplemented by the blogger's own jarringly disproportionate emotional reaction to those details. For someone who came to know of Atul's existence only after his death, the "my heart turned to mush" reaction is a bit much.
Yes, Atul Vyas was an Indian twenty year old boy who loved waking up late and weird dancing, and was well-loved in general. He was bright and smart and while it is generally acknowledged that his passing was a loss to the world, I believe that as long as we did not know him, this whole "he was an Indian victim, and we are all Indian so, of course, we will all behave like we all knew him in person" reaction is extremely patronising, and by virtue of such, certainly disrespectful to the deceased himself, whose identity was certainly more than the cloyingly cutesy stereotyped-twenty-year old image that is being projected to generate mass emotion in all his "brother Indian expats". Not to mention how annoying this must be for all his friends and family, the people who genuinely knew him and miss him for the person he was.
This farce is taken about a couple hundred steps further in the article on Meenal, who the blogger has adopted as her - wait for it -"Choti Behan". Meenal's love for earrings and icecream have been lovingly culled from, of all things, her orkut profile, and all her scraps have been carefully examined and appropriately sobbed over by the blogger. The whole article has the approach of a hastily researched 'Human Interest' project (1 orkut profile, 1 newspaper article, 3 blogposts) tossed with as much overdramatic breast-beating as discretion will allow.
The only motive appears to be the generation of large-scale sympathy for one of the very few brown victims of the tragedy.
While the general idea of remembrance of people who have passed away in tragedies such as these is no doubt commendable, the whole tone of the article is more than annoying. It is cliched, syrupy and cringe-worthily teary for someone who didn't even know the victim personally. While I would certainly like blogposts written on me I die, I'm damned if I want to be adopted as a "choti behan" and cried for purely because I was Indian and brown. That's just insulting.
Posts of this kind have one main problem, namely the disproportionate focus on the brownness in anything. The tragedy and the other victims are mentioned and then summarily ignored while the blogger labours in his endeavour to "humanise" the sole brown victim for the benefit of the collective tear-glands of the entire expat Indian community. There is nothing that distinguishes the brown victim from the other victims except the brownness. In a world where racial profiling is legitimised and all guys in beards are Osama Bin Laden, this sort of passionately ethnocentric mourning is disturbing. If loss of life has transcended colour and ethnicity, so should remembrance and mourning.
Sympathy is fine, but sympathy dumbed down for the Lowest Common Denominator transcends funny, and cannonballs right into pathetic-land.
The bottomline is - leave the eulogies to the people who are qualified to write them. Anything more is patronising and disrespectful. The only exception to this rule is available to The Hindu, which will inevitably, when you die, inform the world that you have "attained the Lotus Feet of Rama." :-)
But then, that is The Hindu. And really, how can you not love The Hindu. :-)
Friday, September 12, 2008
In any case, I'm pretty sure a cellphone vibrating on a full stomach can cause indigestion too.
1. Why is Sunday morning mess breakfast always aloo paratha or chola bhatura? What is so special about either? I am getting rapidly turned off by both. Not good.
2. I like my (okay, Aloo's ) big Eeyore tee shirt. So what if it looks like a nightshirt. It's a Saturday morning (9am...as far as I am concerned, that is still predawn) and if i want to wear an Eeyore tee shirt to cheer myself up when the University expects me to walk half a kilometre to the acad block to fill in a sudoku grid, I will.
Aside: all of you who don't like Winnie-the-Pooh or don't know who Eeyore is, I hope the Heffalump gets you tonight.
3. There are three people on my google talk list right now who's status messages read "
To all of you: One day I will be rich, and then one day I will be old and rich. And sometime around then I will make a will. And I will not forget that one dark day of my youth, you all quoted Justin Timberlake. And not secretly and furtively, either, but in PUBLIC VIEW. Next you will bead your hair and read Sweet Valley High.
Ok I think I just grossed myself out. ><
4. I don't like rats. I'm sure they don't like me either, but that is neither here nor there. I am indifferent to rats when they remain in their territory (read: Universal Set (Everywhere) less Set (my room) ) and I'm sure they are quite the well-bred charmers on their homeground, but what they are in my territory is UGLY, FAT, NOSE-WIGGLING, BUTT-JIGGLING, TREMBLY FREAKS.
I want them out, and I want them dead. The next bhaiyyaji who benignly watches while the rat is calmly climbing out of my room and I am shitting my pants in fear/annoyance/revulsion/shock (HOW CAN YOU JUST STAND THERE, YOU LOSER BHAIYAJI??!! ) at the same, and informs me that they are "bhagwaan" gets my Agnostic foot up the business end of his God-fearing ass.
5. I am not ever going to any Yahoo or MSN related site again. All they can talk about is fall fashions. I have much to say about fall-fashions too. They consist of worn out floaters, limp dupattas, crumpled, limp cotton, feet so tanned that they are stripy (If you like me, I look like a zebra, and if you don't, I look like a leper.), and the all-pervading odour of perspiration and depression. And damned if I can decide which odour is the worse.
But, you say, these are SUMMER fashions!!
I nod meaningfully.
I think I have made my point. *Smugness*
6. I am suddenly philosophical. I ponder on several deep and fundamental questions but I find no answer.
Will Cute Giggler ever give me marks?
Will 3 spoonfuls of Vanish Shakti O2 burn a hole in my shirt?
Overpriced milky cold coffee or sickly-sweet milky cold coffee? (Yeah we have 2 competing mess caterers...who was the smug b---- who said competition increases product quality?)
I exhaust myself.
I think I will sleep now.
See y'all soon, me homies. Or maybe not. I have a vague feeling that I will sleep right into Sunday evening. Again, this feeling could merely be indigestion. Have I mentioned this before?
PS: Sindhu - I haven't forgotten about your tag. I just dont like the loser pics google is coming up with in the search results. Will post as soon as nice pics are found.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Anyway. I digress.
Okay, so it makes sense to say here that ordinarily I would never blog on something like this, but a decent-sized group of friends has been going through shit in recent times, and some of them have, against their better judgment, decided to compound their unhappiness by asking me for advice (note subtly introduced, classy self deprecation! note, note!! :-D).
But seriously. I am complying not because I love giving advice but because I have a suspicion this will sound (and be) more cogent if I write it down, rather than if I say it. I don't mind giving advice, but I really don't do love advice. I suck at it...so if you find me being insufficiently sensitive/sentimental, live with it. This stuff works fine for me, and should for you too, even if you aren't a paranoid pessimist narcissist.
There are some things that should be obvious to the mushiest of minds, the lowest of intellects, the hopeless-est of romantics, but since you tend to lose sight of the obvious when otherwise amorously occupied, let me state the obvious for you:
The Great and Superior and So-Obvious-that-it-is-Duh! Love Theorem :
Never EVER love anyone more than you love yourself.
All that follows from here is purely corollary. If you're smart, this is all you need to remember.
If you're slow or have recently fallen in love (same difference)...
1. Never assume the best in anyone...always begin with worst-case scenario and move upwards if reason sees fit. Every guy who shows interest in you begins at Level 10 - Psycho/Rapist, and the burden of proof is on him to show he isn't and move upwards. Eventually he should prove himself to be sufficiently normal/entertainingly abnormal for you to date him. Now do so.
2. Never EVER trust blindly. Trust isn't 'just trust'. Trust is all you have. Sacred. It should be won, not gifted. If you trust blindly, you will attract scum, and if you are so starry-eyed as to trust so easily, you deserve it. Stop whining and fix it.
3. You never look for anyone to 'complete' you. You are as complete as you're ever going to be. You merely look for a complement. Preferably, the complement comes looking for you.
4. Don't date anyone you just 'kinda sorta like'. You're going to be 'kinda sorta disillusioned' three breakups into your love-life, give or take one depending on how romantic a person you are.
5. If you are in it for the lust, kindly remind yourself of such every so often, and do not confuse it with love when you eventually break up (which you will). Love and lust are optimally overlapping, but essentially greatly different. One has its roots in the head, and the other....well...a good deal more southwards.
Ooh yes, and if you ever break up: kindly do everyone a favour and DO NOT involve your friends or have them 'intervene' in any manner whatsoever. Your break-up is yours. This is not transnational arbitration. Making it a public free-for-all is not just immature, it is obscene. And will wholly eat up any chance of getting back together, if at all.
If you break up amicably, good for you. Everything'll be the same as always, 'cept you'll have to go dutch. Darn.
Alternatively if he was mean to you, of course, arson is justified. You will need your friends for this... go right ahead. :-D
Sunday, August 17, 2008
My survey, completely objective and wholly in the interest of the Uncle Chipps-eating-fraction-of-the-population (larger than you think, you Lays-eating snob), has led to my being absolutely convinced that someone, somewhere, in Village Channo (Punjab), Ranjangaon (Pune) or Kendua Panchayat (West Bengal) - depending on how far you trust the back flap of an Uncle Chipps packet and your personal regionalistic preferences- is sleeping on their job.
I demand my rights as a consumer. (Sindhu will no doubt elucidate the nature of these rights on her highly lawyerly and intelligent blog, adequately supported/opposed/i'm-not-sure-exactly-what-he-does, by Markiv. You will, no, Sindhu? :-D )
Anyway. Uncle Chipps. Someone call Quality Control and sue their asses. How can I work when my primary nourishment is substandard.
If my mom is reading this: not that this is my nourishment, you understand...that's just to kid with the masses....I drink milk twice a day and also eat fruit. I sleep from 10pm to 6.45am. I also braid my hair to class, and remember to pour the oil film out of the oily dal tadka in the mess before I eat it.
PS: Big Daddy exits stage Left, enter Creepy Giggler. It is to be noted that Creepy Giggler is in a relationship of (sufficient cordiality to reasonably infer) friendship, with Facepack. For this criminal lack of taste/judgment alone she should be beaten across the head, slowly, with a Pollock and Mulla on the Law of Contracts, until she begs for mercy in three languages.
Yes, I have not had much sleep recently. Your point being?
Thursday, August 14, 2008
You cannonball into lots of Ogden Nash and Gustave Flaubert and Vladimir Nabokov, and go to sleep feeling like the aftertaste of a Christmas cake... you know, slightly annoyed and dissatisfied with the raisins and figs, excessively sweet, happy that it is well offset by just a leetle orange peel, citrusy and tart. Heady and sated by all those fumes rising persistently (and deeLISHiously) from that solemn, gigantic mass of deep, dark brown, and amused, of course, by the the discordance...the flippancy of the lone red cherry on top.
I always loved poetry, but then I choose to call very little of what I read poetry (hark all ye who write bad sad verse on their blogs) . Poets are great men, and as is the unfortunate tendency of all great men, their poetry is not consistent. Of course, this is the unfortunate tendency of all humankind itself, but the quirks of the everyman have never interested anyone, have they? ;-)
Neruda is all light and fire and touch and naked emotion, sometimes overtly wistful and sometimes not so much... I always thought his From 20 Poems of Love was very similar to Shakespeare's Sonnet 138, and I still maintain that I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You is as much a fine answer to a question as a title for a poem. :-)
You should read only a little Neruda at a time. Just when you think he is going to get cloying, he pulls back deftly, just a little bit. And after a time, you learn to watch for this... he was good, that man. Sometimes even I, postergirl of Why Bother? am tempted to go learn Spanish, if only for the pleasure of reading Pablo Neruda in the language he thought the thoughts I now read, their edges lost, no doubt, in translation.
And then you move from Neruda to Emily Dickinson, move from summer bonfire to antique crystal, music to mathematics. The contrast is very very entertainingly clear. Economical phrasing, tight meter, and quiet, delicious understatement.
Then, for old times' sake you move to Nabokov...Lolita. Someone once described to me Orhan Pamuk's My Name is Red as a sort of scene within scene thing....the closest work I find to this description is Lolita. While Humbert is the essential snob, and his sharply contemptuous, unwillingly affectionate observations on everything, not least his "darling Dolores, my Lo, Lolita" are fun in a mean sort of way, they only serve to bring out the author's own contemptuous affection for Humbert himself, and somehow everything comes together to generate an almost sympathetic fascination for the trembling paedophile in the reader...an unusual reaction at best, but then the language is so effortlessly evocative that you feel almost obliged to agree with the aging sex offender's opinion. :-D
And Ogden Nash, himself, the cherry to my cake:
An Ode to a Baby
A bit of talcum
Is always walcum.
The case rests. :-D
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
I just HAD to record that my first determined, conscious foray into chick-lit has been absolutely disastrous, and that all existing copies of any book in the Shopaholic series should be pounded up with all the other kinds of garbage and used to generate biogas, in which role they will provide far more entertainment than they do presently, and will be far more tolerable.
The first time I'd heard of the Shopaholic series was when it was described as a second cousin of the other-chick-lit-thing-that-got-plagiarised during the big Kaavya Viswanathan debacle, I think. So I read Opal Mehta when I happened to come across someone who had it, and thought mehh boring shit. But y'all know the big deal chick-lit is, these days, and I thought I wouldn't judge by the one book.
So, full of the happy, warm glow that comes with knowing that I am being fair, reasonable and perfectly amiable , I pick up Shopaholic and Baby from the King's County Library, Bellevue (YOU ROCK......MUAH!!!!!!!) and slowly come to terms with the fact that I have found the one book that I will never read again, even if the all the libraries in the world spontaneously combust and the only three books that are left behind are You Can Be a Winner and Chacha Chaudhary, Hinglish translation.
I mean, lead character Becky Bloomwood is brainless without being entertaining, superficial without being suave, and anNOYINGLY indecisive. She lies at the drop of a special-edition Lagerfeld, but has not one redeeming ounce of wit to save her.
I genuinely don't understand....what is so entertaining about a woman who spends two hundred out of three hundred pages in her book detailing the excruciating details of her inability to make decisions and learn lessons that most of us learn at ten? She's frighteningly stupid and irritatingly childish, so she is 'emotionally giving' and 'childlike', which is why the big, confident business guy wants her? And more criminally, is wanting to have BABIES with her?! I mean, did someone say POLLUTING THE GENE POOL?
One of my friends, a staunch champion of the Shopaholic series brought up this interesting comparison of Becky Bloomwood of O' Hara, pointing out that both are essentially non-intellectual lead characters, yet endearing to readers, in the classic usage of the overly 'human' lead everyone can empathise with. This deserves to be examined.
Firstly, Scarlett O' Hara. While non-intellectual is right, she is not guilty of anything that would be called stupid in a vacuum, in the sense that while her independence,
Becky Bloomwood on the other hand, is called stupid for a reason. Her conflicts are not with society, they are with her Bank Account Manager. Her problems are not with herself, they are with the rest of the world who just doesnt understand that a Miu Miu skirt can be a household item. She wavers indecisively throughout the book, shows an absolute lack of judgment or wit, and shops like her life depends on it.... with someone else's money. This is a woman to be pitied, if you're in the mood for it (I call it the Jesus mood...ya know...Psalm 3:2 : Let thouest tolerate them retards, for the tolerant will inherit the Lindt factory) or exterminated, if you're normal , so that she won't have babies and ruin all chance humankind has to survive...it's called survival of the fittest for a reason, and Becky is about as smart as Birthday Barbie's left toenail. Maybelline nail varnish, please.
I just want to know why this thing sells, that's all. Do you like the Shopaholic? Why?
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Thursday, July 31, 2008
Big Daddy gave us 'homework' yesterday. I wish to God he'd call it an assignment, at the very least. 'Homework' makes me feel uncomfortably like I should be doing it on a four-ruled notebook and hoping for three stars and a smiley...
So anyway, yeah. This homework. I'd forgotten all about it last night, and I woke a little too late for comfort this morning. So what do I do? Do I get to class and:
1. cog it from Miss Goth?
2. cog it from Miss Responsible?
3. cog it from the commentary on contract law that Providence has left on my desk?
4. ignore the whole deal and fall promptly asleep? (not the exception, I assure you)
No. I gird up my loins (figurative, ya perverts) despite the fact that i have no time whatsoever and DO the WHOLE thing myself. Every little bit. How cool is that, eh?
And then i tog up and walk to class in a self-satisfied glow of so-what-if-im-late-i-still-did-his-lousy-homework-HAH.
And what sight meets my smug self when i walk into class five minutes late? Is it:
1. the goggly, slightly insane-looking red-veined stare of Big Daddy, to whom, when demanded, I can demurely submit my homework and pretend that it is no big deal for me to do so and that, as usual, i had actually finished it the previous evening and filed it away in my colour-coded binder in the section called Contracts?
2. the lack of any professor, which may yet be excusable?
NO. It is The Dancer. Who politely asks me for my roll number and gives me attendance. Just like that. No drama. Goddam him.
I mean, I love The Dancer, don't get me wrong, but he pisses me off sometimes. He doesn't even ask for the stupid assignment to give to Big Daddy. I stare at my paper and feel stupid.
I always knew it was a mistake to do homework...i just needed the reminder. Thank you, God.
Potential shut-eye time lost between 6.55am and 7.10am. I better go make up for it.
PS: Hey, Face Pack; i understand you resent your job all you want to do is model for facepack commercials and be someone's modest wife, but even if you so desperately wanted to escape from the packs of out-pass seeking students to flirt with a prof, couldn't you have picked someone better than The Butt ? I mean, I would have loved to find you in flagrante delicto with..say..the Hot One, if he weren't gone (BOO HOO!!) or even flirting harmlessly with The Cute One, but noooo. You pick The Butt...Tremendous Tush, Rump Royale, whatever you want to call him. I must say, there's no accounting for tastes.
PPS: the next time you whine to me just because I laugh outside your room, i am locking you in it. I promise you.
PPPS: You're right. I'm being mean. He doesnt look like a Butt. He's just a curvy man. One large, convex curve.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
This agricultural commune I call my college never ceases to fascinate me...all right, fascinate is a little bit of an exaggeration, but the fact remains that after a full minute of pondering its eccentrities, i am generally ready to go one more minute doing exactly the same, and not too many things or people can claim this privilege.
I am convinced that the whole deal, this let's-drop-a-law-college-into-an-obscure-patch-of-land-surrounded-by-villagers-who-hate-it is some sort of social experiment dreamed up by a giggly, scheming septuagenarian bureaucrat who has been given a thousand sheets of bond paper and two secretaries and embalmed in his dusty windowless room in the back end of a crumbly red-brick building somewhere, just so he doesnt get in the way of his workmates, who no doubt wish to be left alone while they perform their functions as the Managers of Modern India. (Nobody has determined the nature of said functions yet.. what Government servants actually DO as part of their job is suspected to be a State secret, passed only from one bureaucrat's immediate senior to himself, in a midnight pagan ritual of initiation involving fire, incense, chanting, polyester safari suits and many binder pins.)
Anyway. Social experiment. I'm saying social experiment cos i'm posh that way - you may also call it Survivor, slummed-down.
My college is perfectly placed to conduct the kind of survey my Statistics teacher would have approved of. We:
1. are isolated (and i dont mean metaphysically; i mean the OH-MY-GOD-WHERE-IS-THE-REST-OF-INDIA-OH-GOD druggie-rehabilitation centre kinda isolated.)
2. are thinly spread. (500 people, 50 acres. Go figure.)
3. are gasbags. (We tend to a lot of talk and not much else. Blame the weather - this is the desert, after all. Any revolutionary spirit you have will be soon bored into a coma and buried in sand. )
4. are dying for ANYTHING new to happen, ANYTIME. (OMG did you see that guy?? He's wearing flipflops to class! OMG!!)
The only good thing we COULD, upto some time back atleast, make a claim to, was some decent teachers. (Oh what was that about infrastructure? Yeah, yeah, the single room, LAN connection, etc etc.... all that sells before you figure the sand and the pigeons in. To any pigeon who may be reading this: I resent your attachment to my grill. Take yourself and your bodily functions away. Now.)
I liked some of our erstwhile teachers. I really did. The Hot One, the Dead One and the Old One. (I didnt know the rest. I was busy mourning the departure of the Hot One.) But they are gone...the first casualties in the "Great Indian Social Experiment - Lets See How Long Law Students Last!!"
This experiment apparently involves throwing the pick of the refuse pile of the legal teaching fraternity in India in the general direction of Jodhpur, aimed for the Laa College and seeing how we react to them. I hope they're satisfied, I'm reacting already. They're a collective itch I can't quite scratch.
And this is only the beginning...I have only experienced the Big Daddy, The Face Pack, The Imposter and Mister Bengal so far.
My general reaction to all may be recorded as follows:
1. Big Daddy: wary stiffness, unusual politeness, bad homework and a tendency to avoid 'you hab not understood. Meet me in my chAmber.' moments.
2. The Face Pack: many tendencies, all classifiable under 'murderous'.
3. The Imposter: so far, only a sense of desperation, and a hallucination that she will soon go away and The Nice Smiley Tam will come back.
4. Mister Bengal: a new patience at having my name mauled and spat out, Bengali style, and quicker reflexes at avoiding the famous halitosis.
Anyway...Two weeks. Pulse check. I'm alive. HA!
*plays Survivor theme*
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Sometimes, however, I am forced out of passivity and provoked to express my opinion. This is one of those times.
One of my friends who moved to Singapore for higher education, recently began dating an American, and had him Skype with me for a little while. He was intelligent and articulate and we were settling into happy-powwow mode discussing Lolita, when he said "Damn, you're a pretty good bargain for an Indian!"
End of bonhomie.
After explaining to him clearly and slowly, the full extent of his repulsive racist self, and asking him to kindly insert his head up his anal orifice so that no one would be disturbed by him even if he felt like talking, I hung up. I was slightly distraught.
I love being Indian, and I love Indians. I love our food and festivals, and I love my family. I know there's much scope for improvement and I am the first to admit it. But I love us fiercely, for and yet inspite of all our idiosyncrasies. I love our stereotypes and those who pretend to be above them, yet revert to them secretly in the privacy of their homes. I delight in the way we brutally dissect our politicians and yet leave them in office. I love the way we hold Are Indian Women Truly Emancipated? chatshows on Women's Day every year, and reach the same conclusions (No) every year, and wait for next year's debate with the same sense of expectation. I love our creaking, whining, beat-up, almost human public transport, and the evil, evil auto drivers ("Metre-aa?" *shakes head negatively"). I love how we have a festival only for squirting coloured water on each other and getting high.
I love our showbusiness for being flamboyantly, unashamedly unreal, and our parallel cinema for being alternatively hilariously pretentious and shockingly thoughtprovoking. I love the fact that we dress up a bunch of advertising models as a cricket team, and manage to sell the idea to the country. I love how Shahnaz Hussain can put her face on her beauty products and still manage to convince people that they work. I love how we take our Gods off their pedestals, forcefeed them milk, put mobile phones in their hands and iPhones in their fannypacks and then drown them.
I love how exceedingly alive we are, and I love it all.
To anyone who doesnt like Indians: You all, as do everyone, have the right to an opinion. Just don't stick it in my face.
Monday, February 11, 2008
Please do check this page out. Jaded random-webpage-hopper-and-ridicule-er though I may be, I was still stumped by this particular page: ten professionally written love-letters for ten neatly delineated stages in a perfectly formed romance.
Though the idea by itself is repellent, let us give the thing a fair chance; who knows? Fiery passion might yet come through when addressed to an "
Notice, dear reader, that the thoughtful creator has dedicated an entire letter to 'Yearning', at Section 10 and not before. 'Yearning' is apparently just one more phenomenon in an admirably well-regulated series of many, appearing right after 'Pleasant Memories'. (Is it only me or is 'Pleasant Memories' reminiscent of the hilariously mass-produced Season's Greetings cards that all of us receive by the ton, for New Year? The ones with the regulatory snowman/snowflake/Father Time/clay diya/fireworks graphic plus "Season's Greetings" plus "Kindest Compliments of Balaji & Sons Hardware"?)
Where were we, then? Yes, 'Yearning'. God forbid that you, poor lovelorn man (yes, masculinity is assumed here; no woman would be fool enough to use a template for a love letter.) should feel 'Yearning'(Section 10) before 'Excitement' (Section 6), which latter, similarly, must follow right after 'Wholeness'(Section 5). That would upset the entire scheme of things....the object of your affection will be thrown into a state of confusion, and will lose track of events. Your object, dear lovelorn-guy, is obviously to keep it as simple as possible, so that there is not the slightest risk of confusing your woman - who obviously makes Barbie look like Marie Curie - and thus ruin your chances with her.
Also, dear lovelorn-guy, please be careful not to betray the raging passion in your breast; unless read very slowly and very carefully, your letter should possess the same cautious, friendly, slightly fake tone of a commercial advertisement. Like so:
"I can't recall when I had a more pleasant time. Everything felt so natural, and you were very easy to talk to. "
See? Exactly like an approving testimonial for a blender-mixer on the appliance website, if only you replace "you were" with "it was", and "very easy to talk to" with "very easy to use".
This tone of objective appreciation is what you must strive towards, so that the lucky object of your affection feels like a puppydog that has fetched the ball in a sufficiently competent manner. Of course, not being overendowed with brainpower, she, of course, will enjoy this feeling, which will prompt her to continue to the next paragraph, where this gem will hit her square in the eyeball:
" Well, I guess I've said enough for the time being. (Name), have a wonderful (week/day) and, hopefully, I'll see you again real soom. If you get a chance, (write/call) me and tell me your thoughts."
Now isn't that just fabulously charming, almost overwhelmingly irresistible, girls? Concluding with a "have a nice week, hope to see you again"? Perfectly in line with the entire dubious-salesman-with-fixed grin approach. Very endearing.
And finally, the signoff:
"Until I hear from you, take care of yourself.
Isn't it interesting how he assumes he is going to hear from you.