Friday, 30 March 2007

THE NEXT TIME AROUND

This one's all about the reincarnation theory. Or maybe my lack of faith in it. Sometimes, I wonder if there's anything to even mull about here. Truth to tell, I'm sceptical almost all of the time, because I don't see how it matters! Lemme explain...

They say that you need to be 'good' in this birth, the current cycle of life and death you're going through. When you ask why, the most common (and miffed) response is that 'so you reap the benefits in your next life'. Huh? Come again?

To counter that, I'd put forth my view: First, let's assume this whole reincarnation theory to be true. I'm not gonna be around then (the way I am now), to know or understand that when 'X' happens to me today (this is the next birth talking), it's all due to my deeds / actions / thoughts that were part of my life in the previous birth! How, then, does it matter how I am today?

Agreed, it counts if you believe that you're gonna reap the rewards / make things miserable for yourself, right here, right now - or okay, maybe ten years hence, but in this very life cycle! How can my karma today dictate my so-called next life?

Monday, 19 March 2007

NEW YEAR

Okay, so it's New Year's again... What?! I mean, it sure isn't the first of January! But anyways - this is something I'm not sure I'm ever gonna get. How can a New Year come back in, right bang smack in the month of March / April, just when you've finally settled in with January?

Time I learnt to read more than the English calendar.

Tuesday, 13 March 2007

TRAIN TRAVAILS

Convenient, on time (well, almost always), brilliantly networked... And you still can't sell me the local trains. For each of the pros above, you have the cons: your nose shoved into your neighbour's face (if nowhere else that's more gross), or you're jostling for space - and that's only to keep one foot on the ground, since the other one is being stomped by somebody else already.

To add to the chaos, the train pulls into the station (not that you can figure out which one it is, since your vantage point is not one to sing about) and what appears to be half the continent rushes in. And the other half rushes out, almost taking your bag, scarf and sanity along with it. Ouch.

Vendors. Ah, now things get interesting. From hair accessories to stationery, you'll find all you've ever wanted to purchase, but couldn't care less to take the time out to pick up! Bargain, of course (it's in the blood), but whatever the price, you can rest assured it's a steal. Introduce a PYT (Pretty Young Thing for the uninitiated) with her dainty little nose in the air. Now, she can't buy something - what if the uppity neighbourhood platinum blonde whom she's trying so hard to be sees her, even on the off chance? - outright. Hence, you'll notice a furtive glance being cast in both directions, before she reaches out a freshly manicured hand to examine a hair clip.

Beggars (who earn more than most of us do annually) romp in, blissfully unmindful of the stony looks and turned up noses, and sing (read: screech) at the top of their lungs. Whew, what power. They earn their buck from those people who want them out of the compartment, right that very minute. What better way than to part with a shiny new coin?

As your stop arrives, you'll be pulled along with the mass of humanity, and have no need to make the effort to get off. But oh, do make sure your sandal hasn't been left behind.

Saturday, 10 March 2007

SOME PICTURES TO SHARE...



The great outdoors... A mindboggling display of colour.
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THAT CRICKET LOOK

For the enthusiast, this might be akin to a horror movie - how can someone dislike (note: 'hate' being too strong a word) those cricket matches on television? For someone not so enthusiastic about cricket (me! me!) - I can see heads nod in full agreement (read: sympathy) already.

If you stop and take a moment out to think, you'd wonder what's with men (who can, sometimes, be sensible) - they go all starry-eyed and drown mesmerized in the television screen... It's with almost the same passion as being in the throes of first love, if not more. It's the kind of look not even given to the women in their lives. Reserved specially for the game, it shrieks 'love at every sight'. Always. The love story just doesn't end.

The word seasonality doesn't apply here. On second thoughts, it does: if you're talking about the increasing hysteria around what is popularly termed as 'Cricket Season'. (If you ask me, there isn't a time of the year that doesn't fall under that category - reruns of some godforsaken matches that took place even before you were born count.)

Right now, though, the title belongs to the World Cup. From a schedule lovingly put up in the house, and plans being made to watch the game with the boys, from where I see it, it's gonna be sheer unadultrated torture until the madness dies down.

But... does it ever?

FIRST DAY, FIRST SHOW

There's this tiny kick associated with watching a movie the first day, first show. Not that you go back and do much about it: no reviews dashed off on to a Web site or an SMS sent to your favourite newspaper, it's just that oh-I've-seen-it-what-about-you thing.

Sounds especially good when you're discussing the weekend's latest release over lunch at work, or at a coffee bar evening with friends. Still more fun - dissing the star cast (more so when the hero / heroine looks good enough to eat, depending on which way you swing) and conjuring up the smallest flaws... Dunno about alcohol, but this can create a buzz more satisfying than chocolate.

Go figure!



Thursday, 8 March 2007

MARRIAGE GAMES

Wanted bride: Smart, homely, good looking, fair, minimum graduate, willing to live in joint family, should be willing to adjust.

Reads like a grocery list. All for the cattle fair, oops, marriage market.

Sunday, 4 March 2007

WHAT'S IN A NOSE?

Apparently it's the epitome of perfection. Of perfect noses, that is. But does it really matter what Cleopatra's nose looked like? Whether she really had poker straight, jet black hair falling in this smooth curtain down her back?

Or do we go with the new findings that show up Cleo's supposedly true colours, or rather, her looks: the hooked nose, less-than-perfect features...?

Painted onto papyrus, gleaming gold and vegetable dye, the figment (is it?) of somebody's imagination comes vividly to life. Best untouched, undiscovered, let romance rule!

Here's to you, Cleo!

GOOD-BYES

She sat by the window, watching the sun go down, inch by beautiful inch. A pallette of warm colours streaked the sky: golden yellow, crimson, fiery orange... No two seconds were the same. A lone tear glistening down her cheek, she didn't take any of this in. Listlessly dropping the knitting in her lap, she rocked herself back and forth in her favourite rocking chair. The one he'd gifted her, chosen so painstakingly, knowing she's always wanted one.

He always knew what she'd be thinking, and by now had learnt to anticipate her every move. The both of them were a support system for each other, and reading the other's mind wasn't much of a task.

No wonder then, she defended herself, she'd been so reluctant to see him go. Wondering when he'd return. After all, traversing halfway across the globe put in an immeasurable distance between them, for the first time in their lives. He was her soul, her reason for living.

It's only for a while, he'd consoled her. A posting from work, and before she'd even know it, he'd be back with her, he promised. Right by her side, watching her knit, the needles clicking away tirelessly as she created a cable knit sweater for him.

He'd insisted she didn't come down to the airport, seeing him off at home itself was an ordeal for her. One more last hug, the nth good-bye, and he was gone. Out of her life for what seemed to be an infinite period.

Ansh, her son. All she could do was wait.

COMMERCIAL BREAKS (AND TELEVISION SHOWS)

I've decided that these are the best parts of any television show. (Err...okay, so there may be a couple of exceptions to that. Three, at max.)

You derive more entertainment (and information) from a commercial, rather than those inane soaps, where the mother-in-law (MIL, to the uninitiated) is scheming against her DIL (no prizes for guessing that one now!), while her MIL is out plotting against her. To add to this mêlée is the neighbourhood baddie who has the hots for her daughter and is going all out to ensure that his attempt at kidnapping her is successful, while the nerd from across the road injures himself while attempting to foil that very same bid... *whew* Pause for breath. Figure if you turn on the TV set some six-odd months later, it'd all look the same. At the most, you can expect a generation leap of some twenty years. Of course, the storyboard doesn't change.

To put things into perspective: You have one auntie from a daily soap, fake eyelashes et al. Also a potted plant. IQ level's significantly higher in the case of the latter.

As for the commercials, they teach you to bargain at your local greengrocer's, invest for your future, dream of a new car (and hope that you have a rich uncle in the Bahamas), zap up some astonishingly succulent looking, ready to cook in a jiffy meal for the famished family... all in a span of a total of 120 seconds, all told.

Bring 'em on! At least they don't insult my intelligence.


HIC!

Will get right back soon!

COLOURS OF LIFE

Well, so what if they get under your nails? Leave your skin with a (healthier?!) than usual warm fuschia glow? So what if your scalp's screaming vermillion? It's once in a calendar year, anyway!

On the beach, a riot of people. Not literally; it's myriad individuals ingesting sea water (tainted with scores of other unmentionables) and tossing fistfuls of colour at each other... Intrepid small-time photographers, "Madam, ek photo ka tees rupiah. Sauh ke chaar." (Ma'am, one photograph for thirty rupees. Four for a hundred.) woo you, to score one over the other guy jostling for space. And your okay.

Obscure news channels from across the globe (yes, really!) plying their camera and related equipment, snatching sound bytes from an ever-willing audience, to later treat their viewers to "Holi, the Indian Festival of Colours", drawled for the benefit of the camera, lurk around.

Intrepid street, oops, beach vendors hawking their ware: samosas (triangles of pastry filled with spicy potato and fried golden brown), ice-gola (a ball of ice dipped in sorbet, to be slurped up noisily), idlis (steamed lentil cakes)... all this, of course, garnished with grains of sand. The variety is seemingly endless, and it's up to your insides to get tough and survive.

Cops and the life guards work in tandem, ensure there's no unruly incident and the resultant chaos, and warn people away from the water once the tide starts to rise.

Families (kids of the single-digit age group in tow), couples (oblivious to most other things around them), carloads of friends out to have a good time - you'll find all sorts have a rollicking day out on the beach.

In other parts, you'll find people guzzling bhaang. But that's another story. Another post.