Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Book in your Face?

I had been hit by the writers' block recently. (the only time I can call myself a writer is when this ailment strikes..) The mundane, gut wrenchingly boring, salary-paying part of my life took possession of all my creative juices, which resulted in complete hibernation of the blog.

Till the instant that a friend of a friend commented on a comment that a friend had made about a friend of a friend....  Gosh ! now even I don't know what I wanted to say..(see what I mean about the creativity being compromised here)

It all began with a very detailed account of how people get stared at for being different; in this particular case, a Foreigner, a 'white' gentleman in the land of coconuts. And other kinds of nuts too, if you were to believe Swami Vivekanada....

Well, anyway, this article very vividly created images of dropping jaws and bulging eyes when a light skinned person walks about a city used to seeing such visions only in 'touristy' destinations. That caused a very imaginative woman (yes, you heard that right - a woman again!) to bring out the fine distinction between the forgivable, astonished, prolonged gaze called stare, and the less adulated, blatant focus on areas, that warrant a resounding impact of palm and cheek.

But that is another story. What brings me back to the keyboard from my writers block is something else - what exactly is the definition of a friend? Has the definition changed, from the hugely popular sitcom-inspired meaning of the word, to a totally different level, with the arrival of the virtual equivalent of the college cafeteria?

Isn't Facebook much like the college cafeteria? Gossip, comments and counter comments, note-passing (oh yeah! that happens too), mild-to-serious flirting, checking out the latest trends..... We did it in the cafeteria, and we have now discovered we can be seventeen-till-i-die atleast on Facebook!

Coming back to friends - a dapper young nephew (who refuses to have me as a 'friend' in FB) has over 500 friends on FB, some of whose second names he doesn't know! An animated conversation over his favourite beverage (not tea, I can assure you!!) allowed his older relations (me included) decipher how he knew so many people in this planet (now, this is where I cross my fingers and pray that FB has not extended its reach into outer space). The beverage induced courage that this bright-as-a-penny new adult exhibited gave me insights into how FB has changed the way our brain functions.

Action on FB : "You have new friend requests"
Reaction : Whoa! I must be adonis' first cousin...... (accompanied by a chest swell and irritating smirk difficult to wipe off)

Action on FB : "You have been tagged on photo"
Reaction : I am a rockstar! My photo propagated my me is ok.... but someone ELSE doin' it is AWESOME..... (accompanied by the above said chest swell, followed by accumulation of hot gas in head)

Action on FB : "No new notifications"
Reaction: OMG ! This is awful! No one seems to know I exist... I MUST write something controversial today, and make SURE people reply! Hey! or better still.... let me just change my profile pic into the one where i am in my swim suit!!! THAT will teach them to ignore me!

Action : "ABC is now friends with XYZ"
Reaction : Cute girl! ABC seems to be getting more than his share of attention. Let me just visit his page and check out if any of his 'friends' want to be my 'friends' - that way I can maintain my lead in number of friends!

Reaction of reaction (this one, I couldn't let go) : Hey! THIS guy has more girl 'friends' than me .... let me just add HIM as a friend - then i can get to see who HIS friends are - and maybe I'll get lucky!

Action : Many comments on photos / updates of other 'friends'
Reaction : How the hell do they get so many people to reply to their posts? I mean just check out how silly the posts are! Some of them don't even use cool words like OMG, LOL, ROFL, WTF (i meant 'why-the-face' what did you think it was?) ... and still they seem to get comments!! I know - let me just copy some dude's nasty one liner which sounds like a foreign language on to my update!!

Small wonder then, when we sit back the end of day, and think how many people we would like to laugh with, or more importantly, cry with........Our looooooong list dwindles down to one or two - if we are lucky, that is!! A beautiful word with so much depth in its meaning gets reduced to a mockery of one of the most profound, most logical and most comfortable of all relations! Shouldn't we continue to, as the saying goes, choose them wisely? 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


What do we usually do when we want to run away and shove our heads into a hole in the ground, much like an ostrich? We find ourselves a sanctum sanctorum we call our conscience, the place where we can be honest with ourselves, introspect the details of our lives, or dissect the micro-expressions of our reactions (got that word from a highly impressive serial called "Lie to me" - more on that later).....

......OR we dig into that sinful bowl of gooey chocolate ice cream with whipped cream!!

Well, that works well too, if you are a kill-me-by-putting-me-on-a-diet person. But there are other options too....

- Talk to girlfriends : This is strictly for the womenfolk, for where men are concerned, this option becomes highly dangerous, leading to misunderstandings, fights, break ups or sex - all of which have consequences (!!??). But for women, girlfriends are exactly that - girly women friends, who can talk till eternity and help you feel as though you are just one of a kind; so grin and bear it, baby. A true girlfriend will listen, shake her head in empathy, tell you how SHE has the SAME problem, and bind you in sisterhood. You may not have a solution to the problem at hand - but who cares? You come out feeling like a brand new penny.

- Take a walk : I mean, literally. Take a walk, at the same speed you would, if you had to beat up that slimy @#!%X#$%! responsible for your agony (note here: if you don't have anyone but yourself to blame, this methodology will give you serious, and I mean SERIOUS depression - so stay clear, and hit the Ice cream bucket immediately). After a few minutes (or seconds, depending on your definition of exercise and physical fitness) you will be so out of breath, you will feel good just thinking about the number of calories you burnt in that rage-walk......

- Talk yo your dog : No - a cat will not do. It HAS to be a dog. A cat will give you the same look your the shrink gave you when you told him you were having serious ice cream binges. A dog, on the other hand, will give you some tail wagging welcome, and lick your hands like you were made of liquorice.... and you feel wanted all at once! Also, the dog will give you a serious ear when you discuss the problem with the new b****h in the neighbourhood (so what if he doesn't know we are talking about a real person, and not his love interest)....

- Watch a video : Let me clarify - watch a movie that will make you sob like a toddler in playschool... and then take a good look at yourself in the mirror. One of two things guaranteed - you will either faint in fear at the image in the mirror, or you will ROFL looking at your image - again, depending on your misconceptions about yourself. This, is a twisted way, takes your attention off the problem.

- Eat like a pig : Scientists say when in a nervous situation, people ate much faster than otherwise. That proves the connection between the brain and the tongue... so go fill up the fridge with the stuff heaven is made of. For all you know, once you are done with all the eating you just might get the entry to heaven much faster than you imagined.....

- Find someone to blame : Let me be more specific.... find someone to blame AND spend a good amount of your waking time for the next couple of days bitching about that person. Of course, here you would need the dog or the friend mentioned earlier.

LAST, but with unexplainable side effects

- Down a couple : A couple of smalls, or larges, or patialas - or what the heck a few bottles if you please.... results varying from stupidity to amnesia have all been witnessed. The after-effects, (lovingly called hangovers by the ones who have attained black belt in this feat) however, depend entirely on your destiny.

Now.... please go ahead and choose your poison.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Wishes .............

Dear Mom,

I know you would have forgotten its Mothers Day tomorrow. And I wanted to wish you before my sister wished you (in case you didn't know, yeah we still fight over who was your favourite!). Well, I thought I'd give you a grand gift this Mother's Day (I wanted to make up for having been the main character in almost ALL of your nightmares!!).... I am going to tell you stuff I should have, when talking to you was a much simpler proposition. So here goes ......

  • I like it when you hum in the kitchen - I try humming those very songs
  • I like it when you get angry with me for having left my stuff lying around. Of course, I don't Like it as much when MY daughter does the same thing, and leaves stuff around (strange, huh??)
  • I like it when you hover around me at lunch, telling me how good the bitter gourd is for me
  • I like it when we fight over the remote; or the volume of the TV
  • I like it when you are at the door, waiting to yell at me for being late
  • I like it when you pick up the phone and start talking to me without waiting to see who's at the other end - and you are ALWAYS right
  • I like it when you eat the funny shaped rotis i make, so that I don't shy away from making them again (you were the only one who ate them)
  • I like it when you listen to my phone calls on the extension
  • I like it when you play detective, and discover all my mischief
  • I like it when you come to check on me in the middle of the night
  • I like how you tie up your hair into a careless bun at home
  • I like to watch you dress up for an outing
There are so many more things; but most of all, I like it when you laugh..............

Laugh a lot mom ..... thats when you look the best. We miss you. Happy mother's day!