Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Sum of My Farts.

The first time I ever heard Daniel Powter's Bad Day, I was struck by the absolute wrongness of the phrase 'blue sky holiday'; it was an instinctive no-no-no response. I don't want me no blue sky holiday. I think this comes out of the summer afternoons I use to lie spread eagled with my eyes shut on the open-air stage in college, wondering what the fuck I was doing here.

(Free Advice - When you're contemplating existential dilemmas and you're located in a desert, it's probably not the best idea to pick a summer afternoon to do it.)

Kolkata was a nice surprise. I am seduced by the absolute lack of ambition that this city seems to possess. The city stumbles along in a comfortable sort of stupor... warm muggy days coalesce into warm muggy nights coalesce into warm muggy days and time doesn't tick by briskly as much as drip stickily, slowly, like honey; hesitating just a little bit before it goes plop. Everyone always has the time for one more tea, one more conversation, one more pakora. The malls seem to be the only real concession to Modernity (as defined by my beloved Bombay), the rest of the city seems perfectly happy to preserve the Great Colonial Hangover. Not even the malls are MALLS, like the ones in Delhi or Gurgaon. The malls in Kolkata are not as shiny, their displays not as snazzy, their paintwork definitely more on the side of 'grubby' than fresh; even the new ones seem faintly apologetic about their newness. You will note that this is in sharp contrast to the I AM SHINY MALL, HEAR ME ROAR attitude of the Delhi/Gurgaon malls.

One happy discovery I made was that Kolkata is full of sexy smokers. As I have previously described in gratuitous detail, my physical intolerance for cigarette smoke is only matched by my fascination for people who smoke sexily. Somewhere at the beginning of my walk (along Esplanade) I discovered that I was apparently in the middle of the annual meetup of the Sexy Smokers Society, Kolkata Chapter, and for the next twenty odd minutes, I could barely walk straight. Everywhere I turned there was a someone lighting up in an aesthetically pleasing fashion. By the end of my walk I had 1. asthma and 2. whiplash.

And of course, I was DELIGHTED with the Metro, a little bit because of the nice Tagore poetry (translated!) in squiggly text on the walls, but primarily because of the HUNDREDS of weighing machines on the platforms! People who know me know that there are few things I love as much as a weighing machine that has a glass case with shiny glass spinning awesome thingies inside it (you know what I mean), and a slot for coins and another slot that spits out a ticket with your weight in the front and a tactless judgment on your life, on the back. I literally cannot resist these machines, I am helpless in front of them. I only have to look at one and I am a drooling idiot. I have to physically prevent myself from walking over in a hypnotic daze and surrendering all my loose change at its altar. That shit is IRRESISTIBLE.

My most recently obtained ticket has '54.5 kg' on the front and 'Expediency is not an excuse for Falsehood' on the back. I laughed till I cried.

A good friend matter-of-factly refers to my blogposts as 'farts'; there has never been any preliminary or any explanation for this . I am struck anew by the uncanny accuracy of her observation every time I think about it. In any case, I am more than the sum of my blogposts, as of my farts.

I hope.

Which brings us to the last and the most important question - Asterix or Tintin?
(Hint: The correct answer is Asterix. Seriously, what is the appeal of Tintin?)


(PS - To JD and anyone else who cares - I have not forgotten about a follow-up to the last post, it's planned for a later time.)


Swayam said...

:D... If farts could be this eloquent, flatulence is the way to go... :) its been long since i stood on one of those weighing machines, hoping to climb on one real soon..
Anyway malls here in Delhi may roar when they first open but literally cower due to neglect.

Roy said...

If your posts are farts then this is apt:
Surr surri praan gatakam

soin said...

like anil kapoor you giving the wrong hint.and beedi smokers are more sexy.i have seen only one girl smoke a beedi now.endangered species that.almost extinct.anyways friend got bad version of bronchitis just by passive smoking and we never get affected.hes getting kicked.and i was reading your archives during my lab time.try this book-insects are just like you and me except they have wings-or something like one kuzhali manickavel..going by your words you might like

JD said...

Brilliant, as usual. I think I'll laugh everytime i come across a weighing machine now. :P (That shit is IRRESISTIBLE.)

Which is why I say you should do a lot more blogposts before the stupid follow-up thingy; (and i hope this is not twisted considering you likened your blogposts to farts in this very one) *makes colin mochrie's confused face and leaves*

Anonymous said...

The question should be- Astrix or Cacofonix?

Cacofonix all the way!

Anonymous said...

Mmm, never been to Calcutta. Would love to visit the place once.

Spaz Kumari said...

@swayam - you must. it's truly addictive. and about the delhi malls... yes? that's unexpected.

@roy - i'm going to take that as a compliment(?)

@soin - i'll check the book out if i find it.. is there an online link?

@JD - i'm actually surprised more people are not addicted to weighing machines. And now they've introduced machines that give you your BMI (garuda, b'lore). I mean, not just weight! and height! but BMI! and even a random quote! it's like crack. Crack is the right word.

Let's just say i lost a LOT of money there. *blush*

@virus - i think geriatrix kicks ass though. have you LOOKED at his wife? Anyone who can land a chick like that at his age deserves major props.

Kro said...

id agree with the hypnotic effect of 'em weighing machines.
ever wondered why the lights go all blinky-blinky?

hint: subliminal shit

the word verification is: nohypti

If i had a pet housefly I would name it that.

Spaz Kumari said...

@kro - egyptian housefly!

WV - guenfly (!!!!!!!)

ki said...

Tintin. He's cute. His dog is downright adorable and I love Professor Calculus :D

I like the weighing machines that give you the little chits with the movie stars on them :P

sublime ape said...

i think you captured the calcutta essence (life-is-one-long-chai-with-adda) quite precisely.

...AND, bongs go for tintin more than asterix (it's a parent-induced childhood fixation) perhaps because he's more intellectual than the zany, frenetic, roman-bashing gaul.

i personally feel watterson got the perfect mix of intellect-cum-craziness with calvin & hobbes. what say you?

Vedang said...

'Expediency is not an excuse for Falsehood'

That shit is deep!

As regards comics, Asterix beats Tintin any day, but both fall short when compared to Calvin & Hobbes. Also, does anyone read Peanuts? Truly wonderful!

Spaz Kumari said...

@ki - what the... how have i never seen this? movie stars?? and re tintin... well. hmm.

@sublime ape - how is tintin in any way more intellectual than asterix? c&h i'm not including here because i don't think it fits in the discrete-adventure-stories format that tintin and asterix occupy; also i'm perversely pissed off by how EVERYONE likes c&h now because it's the kool thing to do :D but yes, it is brilliant. undeniable.

@vedang - asterix is the chuck norris of comic book awesomeness. :) also, peanuts is bittersweet; very careful metaphors and very interesting messages. It's a lot deeper than the wit-and-go theme asterix has, in any case.

sublime ape said...

Q: how is tintin more intellectual than asterix?
A: have you read castafiore emerald? it's a 1970's european movie in comic form!
...and c&h beats 'em both because watterson manages to convey 62-pages worth of story in 4 panels. hell, he does it with ONE picture (remember the t.rex flying the fighter plane?)