Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Bitch-brand pontification.

Actually Bitch-brand, Soapbox-style pontification, but hehe, it never does well to advertise one's weaknesses, does it... and I have a terrible weakness for alliteration! :-D

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

Just kidding.

I think.



Sunday, August 17, 2008

Chipps, Conspiracy, Creepy Giggler.

Uncle Chipps (plain salted kind) are getting thicker!! Not one or two, gentlemen, but packs and packs! And packs and packs and packs!

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

I also...

...take the liberty to do some renaming. Mister Bengal shall henceforth be known as Paablik Internacional Low. Thenkyewkindly.

When we read..

What happens when you get online one evening, completely prepared to subject yourself to the assault of whatever irrelevant manure law school wishes to throw at you at the moment, but you end up reading Pablo Neruda and Emily Dickinson?

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

Becky Bloomwood strangles herself with her Denny and George scarf...

...and DIES.

I wish.

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, crude forthright mind and tendency to marry frequently may have been against societal norms, the woman was not vacant between the ears. She was honest, clever and a survivor.

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

Of the night.

Of colder air
and sparkling dust
in a streetlight cone
sharply alone
against the lonely
tired street
bereft of hurrying
daytime feet.

Darkness now; the sun is
a fading memory, a kiss
from a childhood lover, gone
where all memories belong..


I love the night. :-)