The Art of Destroying...

21 February 2010

A rather startling statement was made the other day by an associate of mine with whom I happened to travel: “I wish all the tigers would die!”

This was in reaction to a discussion that centered around the fact that there were only 1500 tigers left in India out of the 40 thousand that existed at the turn of the century. The main cause: poaching.

I turned around and asked her why. To which she answered: “Because I don’t like them. They are man-eaters. They kill other animals.”

This, from a 27 year old came as a surprise to me. But then I surmised…she was not very different from the common person who thought the best way to deal with anything that posed a threat, even in the remotest area of one's mind, was to kill it.

Firstly, her reasoning is faulty. Tigers are predators, meant to kill. Going by this logic, should we exterminate all carnivores in the animal kingdom? Well, then, we must kill ourselves, too. We are the worst threat to earth and everything on it, after all! Secondly, the statement, ‘because I don’t like them…” reeks of extreme self-indulgence. Very human, what!

Must we really think we are the centre of the universe? This thought alone is responsible for our sorry state…even in everyday life.

The end of the road trip left me wondering…what are we? My liking or disliking a thing doesn’t make it right or wrong. Or does it?

Is mankind really that great, having destroyed and survived off that single thought…because I….

The art of destroying is unique to human beings.


Reflections of an Eye...

27 January 2010

Ah! That was one long hiatus!
WHERE was I? For someone who has a rare clue of whether she is coming or going, I know exactly where I was: in a limbo. Yeah, that very indeterminate state writers have taken pains to explain and gagged in the process.

Well, for one, I had an accident. Eye. Before you start imagining a jealous woman having a go at me with bared claws for – ahem!- certain reasons, pause. It was my doing. Those were my claws and that was my cornea I wounded. No, I was not my own scapegoat for a Nazi-esque experiment. I merely put my rather untamed nail bang into the centre of my cornea and busted it. Nearly. My doc cluck-clucked a great deal and  examined me twice a day for nearly a month.

Somewhere between the first and second day of this trouble, I decided to have a jolly good time and make the most of the situation, as they say. I could not see. Of course. Which meant I broke a lot of things about the house. (once or twice on purpose just to check if my mother kept her silence out of concern for me or merely did not notice that there was stuff missing!:D )

On a serious note, I touched base with myself after a long time. Sigh. After the initial embarrassment, we got along pretty well, my self and I. I made a few resolutions, one of them being I’d be gracious and brave even in the most trying times such as these when I could only listen to the TV. Tragic. But I scraped through.

I tuned my radio(now, this, is an exaggeration. No one TUNES radios these days, you only tune in!) and listened to the general riff-raff doling out meaningless stuff most of the time. Well, here are my wise observations of those trying times:

  1. Get to know your house. You only think you know your way around the house. You don’t. Try walking around with your eyes shut tight. Don’t cheat.
  2. You can actually enjoy listening to the TV. You’ll realize you don’t really like all the programmes you watch. Not like the yesteryears where the programmes made sense even without any visuals.
  3. Conversations that take place without the TV set in front of you help you bond.
  4. It IS possible to have a good time sitting at home, doing nothing. When there is nothing to distract your attention away, you are forced to be your own company and get to enjoy it.
  5. Feeling your food and clothes makes you super aware of the fact that you are capable of a hell lot more independence than you give yourself credit for.
  6. You tend to take everything for a lot less granted. Especially your family.

I have at least 10 more observations. But, the windows of my soul need a break.
So, I am going to sign off for now, but not without a potential threat of “There's more to come!”


Revenge of the Shakespeare Hater

25 September 2009

A strange thing happened the other day at a restaurant I was eating out at. Munching at the delicacies laid out, I had kinda ignored the French-fries that came along with the other stuff. A boy-man came up, stood beside me and made a funny argha-ahem noise. When I looked up, he cocked his head at the other end of my table and moved his thumb in a look-there kinda obscene gesture. In turn, I raised both my eyebrows, stopped munching, questioning him with a you-talking-to-me look. (God! Had I done something weird again?) My eyes quickly darted around. Nah, all seemed well. The BM(boy-man) tilted his head and stared at the food. Now, I’ve always prided myself on understanding sign language but this wasn’t anything close. So, I asked BM what the matter was. He looked ruefully at my table, “you gonna eat all that?” Strange q. It took a minute to understand he expected a civilized reply from me. I yes-I-ammm..ed. He said, “well, you have an appetite, huh!” What a moron! Before I could um-hun, he said, “I don’t think you’re gonna be able to eat the FF, too. You’re gonna throw them away and I hate people wasting food when the rest of the population starves.” He made a grab for my precious FF and said, “there, lemme take care of that.” NOT SO FAST, MISTER! Gimme my food back! “hey hey hey!” goes the nincompoop, “what’s a little pack of fries to you?” Unbelievable. He also looked at me as if I was taking HIS food away from him. “Take it back for all I care!” said he. The kids at McD were watching me, the parents looked accusingly at me, too. Saying, “What’s wrong with you, man?” he walked away, leaving me with a torn pack of fries in my hand.

Before I could walk down to the counter and talk to the manager, my 15 year old nephew marched in and led me away. Yeah, 'twas a prank played by a pack of juvenile dolts. This was punishment, you see, for making him memorise entire passages out of Shakespeare’s plays for his exam.

I have forgiven him and his pals.

Of course, not a day goes by when i don't do a little ‘heh-heh-heh jig’ and rub my hands together in sheer, malicious pleasure, for special effects. If only the kiddo knew what’s in store for him around his next exam.


An Ex Chief Minister & Me

11 September 2009

What do you suppose happens to former Chief Ministers of State who are no longer in the good graces of the government?

I’ll tell you. I have one living on the floor below mine.

Now this X was a CM of a large state in India. During her hey day, she minted money, got apartments as gifts every year, had a minstrelsy singing paeans in her honour, a huge gaggle of dour-looking security personnel…the works. I think I must add, all this was in Delhi, which was NOT where she ruled. Our parking lot was hogged by her various cars, the police protection truck(not van) was perpetually parked in the middle of the lane with the cops sitting on chairs, playing cards, passing comments and lewd looks each time a woman/girl passed by. All in all, they had a gala time. My door bell would constantly ring, sometimes at 11 PM, by those who assumed her flat extended up to the last floor, and, if they’d climbed an extra floor by mistake, they may as well ring the bell at the lone flat there and seek entry. Walking down the stairs (there’s no lift, you see) was a task, maneuvering past those hefty, smelly, guards. X was very particular about people leaving their shoes outside the house; so if you went bumbling down the steps coz you’d stepped over a dozen huge shoes in trying to get past, well, it was your headache.

A huge sense of relief came over all the neighbours when a Mr. Nice guy gifted her with a hi-fi flat in another place. Well, this was not meant to be. X was soon ousted from her position (she’d made some rather rebellious and unforgivable comments against the party seniors). Hell! She came back to live in our vicinity again. The scene hasn’t changed much, really, except for the missing police truck.

Sometimes, I pass her by as she walks with a black dog she has recently acquired (an astrologer told her to feed a black dog for good luck). Her 6 guards in navy blue safari suits walk at a distance behind her, giving each other looks as they shift the weight of their heavy rifles from one shoulder to another. Even the common tailor in a little garage shop nearby wonders why the ex-CM of ABC state is living like a queen in New Delhi. She is a nobody, has achieved absolutely nothing. Why should the common man have to pay for her expensive tastes? Why should her security personnel carry her lapdog around for her? Why should she be even provided with security? Nobody in the world wants to harm her- she’s so shunned & unwanted! Why should everyone stop their cars to let hers pass? What makes this 60 year old renovate her house every 6 months at the cost of public money?

As for me, I refuse to acknowledge her presence. If I chance upon her on the stairs, I look down at my toes and admire them till the stout woman with oily hair, clad in a petticoat and a kurta is safely out of my sight.

I don’t know what I can do at a social level; but at a personal one, I ensure she knows she cannot impact me in any way. No matter what she does to catch my attention(yes, this is what she has stooped to now to get a sense of control), I will not fan her ego with any kind of acknowledgment!


I Don't Know What to do Anymore :-(

03 September 2009

I have been extremely clueless for the last one week. You see, I don’t know what to do, anymore.

My motley group of friends and siblings suggested the following, strictly keeping me in mind, as they emphasized:

  1. Become a food taster

  2. Open a clothes store

  3. Rebel at work, scream at the boss, get fired just for kicks

  4. Try gardening without killing the plants and watering the weeds

  5. Learn pottery(the only sensible solution)

  6. Renounce the world, get going to the Himalayas

  7. Get a nose job done

  8. Get another degree

  9. Be different: think negative

  10. Act profound and stare when someone approaches my work desk

  11. Pretend I’m an alien(this shouldn’t be tough, they reckoned)

  12. Get a t’scope, peer without a break into the neighbour’s house

  13. Learn to type with my toes

  14. Develop a complex & hone it (this, they calculated, should keep me occupied for the rest of my life!)

  15. Wear tattered clothes to work & roll up my eyes, nod & sigh when questioned

  16. Transmigrate

  17. Tonsure my head

  18. Ask “But why?” with a poker face each time the super-annoying HR woman asks a question/opens her mouth to speak


Am I overwhelmed or what. With such well-wishers, do I need enemies?


Signs by Zoo Wardens

02 September 2009

Interesting Signs by Zoo Wardens!:-)


On Being Tagged!

22 August 2009

When Kasabian Girl number tagged me, I broke out in cold sweat. At first, I froze and then went into a nervous frenzy. At a particular point, I even contemplated killing my blog altogether! Yeah, that’s how daunting the task seemed to me!

Then, I decided to face it all, what the heck. So here goes nothing.

1. Let’s see now. Err…the beginning of it all…including impossible lists like this one here.

2. That’s how many siblings I have. (And, we’re always warring!)

3. Email ids. I have 3 of them for…just for kicks.

4. This is tough…my multiple selves. (I am a little like Sibyl…she of the 16 (split) personality fame.)

5. The number of bedrooms I’d like to have in my house.

6. This is how many times I munch on food, on an average day! (Drat!)

7. The day I get my salary! Damn! This one’s enormously boring! 7..7…ah! The number of lives I’d like to have before I get liberated!

8. Different kinds of rides I’ve taken: Bullock cart, tricycle, horse cart, cycle rickshaw, scooter, car, airplane, donkey (yes! This, too!)

9. Favourite characters/people, fictional or not: Lawrence Olivier, Shylock (no, Kasabian girl, I ain’t borrowing. He’s my fav, too!), Rhett Butler, Calvin & Hobbes, Sherlock Holmes, Elizabeth Bennet, Iago, Anne of Green Gables, The Cheshire Cat, Bertie Wooster…errr…I think I just exceeded the list.

10. 10 movies I like: Life is Beautiful, Death at a Funeral, Shawshank Redemption, Sound of Music, The King & I, Pride & Prejudice, Mackenna’s Gold, My Fair Lady, The Scarlet Pimpernel(the Anthony Andrews version), Dial M for Murder.

Wait. There’s more. I know it ought to stop at 10.

11: The number of times I have taken a resolution in the last one hour to not go deranged and loony making lists like these! I swear you’ll have to take my pulse to check if I’m alive, such is the vacant, glassy & cold look in my eyes.

Here are some of the other people I’d like to tag(why should I leave them in peace?): Eternally Distracted, Saad, Distant Reflections, Indian Pundit, Jeannie, Arjun, Freelancer, Queen’s Reveries, Rare Sparks, Lorrin, Rohini Prashanth, Sourav, AD, Snapping Panda, kaka.

People, please carry on the tag!

{Psst: K Girl: I really had a good time doing this!:)}


Why is a Boss the Boss?

20 August 2009

I don’t know what to do about my boss!

Of late, I’ve become progressively clueless about how to deal with my boss. You see, of late, she has become increasingly, impossibly, forgetful and difficult to figure out.

Boss, looking at her laptop, furiously typing away: Who the hell approved of this newsletter? It’s outrageously gross!

Me, shifting the shocked eyes from her to the wall: Don’t you remember?

B, spreading her palms heavenwards: Am I supposed to?

Me, diplomatically, failing miserably: Not unless it’s you.

B, smiling: Oh! Change the designer, darling. He’s got no sense of colour or design.

Moi, sighing: Err…ok. (Here, I must mention I'm a poor little writer.)

Now, this kinda stuff happens at least twice a day. Formats are thoroughly approved. Once filled in, they're sent right back. They suddenly make no sense. Eventually, after a frenzy of to and fro, what was dismissed 2 months back will need to be redone to suit the current needs. Can you imagine what kind of time we are wasting? At the end of the day, it ought to be ‘met/not met deadline.’ Maybe someone worked until they went comatose trying to work at night, maybe not. Who cares as long as your targets are spot-on?

She does. She-who-should-not-be-named.

You see, here’s the logic: if you are someone who performs, you’re good to perform in all other fields as well. So, there’s a poor team member who is punished for being bright. If she can write, she can research. If she can research, she may as well find out what the competition is doing. And, while she is at it, she should also find out which PR agency is the best. Here, I am told to pitch in my expertise. I should find a printer. Oh! She forgot, I first need to do a couple designs to show the publisher what goes where. Could we please decide upon a new marketing brochure? She’d like to see it on an urgent basis. And, it slipped out of her mind to tell both of us to hire a new graphic designer. This is too much, I say! Ok, I’ll tell her HR woman to look for new people. “Oh! Heavens, no! The poor HR woman is too busy with other paperwork.” Hadn’t we seen her go dotty already? My colleague and I exchange looks and are both about to say something when she adds, “And make sure this new bloke has common sense. I don’t want another fellow who confuses blue with brown.”


The thing here is this: the logic provided is so complicatedly confusing and convincing at that time, you find yourself staring ahead, certain it’s your job and no one else’s! The most you can muster, then, is a duh-I say-duh-course-yeah! And feel jolly good about being the chosen one.

Later, you can fume or spew fire or froth at your mouth in revolt, but the harm has been done.

I am going to go looking for tutorials on how-to-hedge/hypnotise/fox-your-boss.

Any ideas?


Facebook Status Madness

17 August 2009

A new madness has erupted on the scene: Facebook status updates. (As if the very in short-forms-(ab)use wasn't enough to drive one mad!) Looks like it has taken over the common sense and minds of a lot of people, some of them dear to me, yet others mere acquaintances. Even while holidaying, their status will change on an hourly basis, vividly describing whatever it is they may be doing. A coupla instances: “In Paris, enjoying the most delicious champagne and eating the best sizzlers in the world!” Hmm… well, if I were really enjoying all of that, would I be FB-ing my status thus or just getting soaked in that feeling? Here’s another: “Amazed by the way Italian people build their bathrooms! There are mirrors on the ceiling and placed in a way your lover can see you taking a shower from the bedroom!” Or this one here: “Going to get my son potty-trained. Any suggestions?” (!!! Why would anyone want to put up their son’s toilet-training rituals on FB?) What do you think of this one: “Losing at chequers!” Is it any wonder you’re losing, says me…you’re busy facebook-ing! Another one: “Waiting to soak myself in my fiancé’s parent’s hot water bath tub!” Wow! How exciting!

Come on! I mean there are limits, you know, to what you will put up as your STATUS! On a freaking HOLIDAY, what’s more! It’s as if you’ll gasp, choke, faint or die if you didn’t let it all out on FB.

I have tried and tried and tried some more…and yet, any kind of sensible explanation for all of the above continues to elude me. The only conclusion I can reach to is that it is an obsession. Had such status updates been done by someone unknown to me, I’d have reckoned they were trying to brag and showoff. But, no, this is pure and simple addiction, mania or a compulsion…and, at worst, a need to communicate to anyone out there.

Wonder how Freud would have interpreted this fixation. Would have blamed this, too, on the Oedipal complex, maybe!



08 August 2009

For all youse folks wanting revenge at work, at the cost of whomsoever-you-may-come across :-)

1. Ignore the first five people who say 'good morning' to you.

2. To signal the end of a conversation, clamp your hands over your ears and grimace.

3. While riding in an elevator, gasp dramatically every time the doors open.

4. When in elevator with one other person, tap them on the shoulder and pretend it wasn't you.

5. Finish all your sentences with "In accordance with the prophecy..."

6. Don't use any punctuation.

7. Interrupt your conversation with someone by giving a huge Dejected sigh.

8.Use your highlighter pen on the computer screen.

9. Shout random numbers while someone is counting.

10. Every time you get an email, shout ''email.''


Of Secretaries and Receptionists…

06 August 2009

Have you noticed how receptionists and secretaries have a way of being a really annoying species? Except, of course, to the boss.

I know one who is perpetually on the official phone through the day, gossiping and back-biting about anyone she cares to tittle-tattle about. Low voice, head turned towards the wall, looking serious…you get the picture. You tell her to hang up (partly because everyone around is sick to the bone transferring calls for her) and you get scowls, frowns and intense hate vibes…if looks could kill, you’d be burnt to ashes – and charcoal black ones at that! This one is very clever. You see, she doesn’t know her job. And, so, before anyone can point a finger, she goes on the offensive and reports it all to the boss, giving a real sob story. Wait, there’s more: she seems to be organizing people, giving them a dressing down each time the boss is in the hearing vicinity! What would the honcho think? That the woman is a conscientious, hard worker and the rest of the pack is like rats jumping around when the cat’s gone out.

Groan! The way everyone suffers! The phone is never available, her reports are done by another (tis easier to do them yourself than chase her and ask her to do them), she comes in late and alters the attendance time, calls are connected (if at all) to the wrong person, you want to be connected to so and so and that’s exactly when the person to be called will not take the call or his number would be busy, people calling in are treated like pests (they’ve disturbed her personal call, you see), their phone call is transferred without as much a please-be-on-hold-while-I-transfer-you to them or an xyz-has-called to you…the list is endless! Would you believe she deliberately makes mistakes so you don’t ask her to do the same work again? Oh! You are also asked deeply personal questions, rather nonchalantly in a group that could leave you redder than a beetroot and squirming and writhing in your chair. Worse: if you don’t answer, it’s repeated with a different style. THAT is something she never runs out of. Her love life is extremely happening and I doubt if there is anyone from the cantankerous errands boy to the dull accountant who is unaware of that!

The worst was last week when a manager was rudely told to “shoot me a mail” beforehand if they wanted to be connected on the phone to anyone! I wonder how much bigger this milk and food guzzling organism will become for her boots.

Sigh! The future sure looks bleak…


Customer Apathy

25 July 2009

I so hate it when a customer care guy says, “But no one else seems to have a problem…” Come on, GIMME A BREAK! You mean I’m calling you for cheap thrills? Do I look like I care if no one else seems to be having the same problem? I do!

A small example of a usual phone conversation with my mobile service provider call centre guys. “I haven’t got my phone bill/an alert SMS from you. I don't know how much I owe you. As usual” CCE: “Oh! I am sorry.” Silence.

Tell me, wouldn’t you wonder? So I mutter a care-to-tell-me-the-amount-due. CCE: “I’m sorry for the inconvenience.” Silence. And a bored one.

Time to take charge, I think. “Look here, abc, it doesn’t matter if you are sorry or not. I need to know how much I need to pay!” CCE: “Well, we can make sure you get e-bills in the future, but we can’t do much about the past.” Man! He was daft!! He continues: “You WILL get your bill this time. Trust me.” Like hell I do! I bark at him, which gets me my answer, finally.

Ok…another thing, I haven’t been getting text messages from my friends for the last one week – none at all. Earlier, it’d be one-off, now it’s worse & frequent. CCE: “No? Sorry, but we haven’t heard of this complaint from anyone else.” Silence. A dead one, this time.

Was I wrong if I lost it? So, just because no one has complained to your oh-so-super-screwed company, does that make me a psycho who thrives on giving cc guys calls through the day? Snicker. Not mine. His.

I asked to be connected to his supervisor, complained(read: ranted) and got a whole load of promises. Out of sheer rage, I also lodged a formal complaint against the cc guy, sent a ‘VERY BAD’ as an option answer to the post-cc text message service they have, AND answered all the questions in a negative when I got a call-back from the company, asking about the cc guy. Sounds spiteful, but if this is what you are doled out each time you want a solution, so be it. And, it wasn’t a phone fault. I had my cell checked twice.

I have, since, changed my service provider.

Unfortunately, this one’s worse. I can’t even begin to tell you how dead they sound. Sigh!


Shoe Trouble

20 July 2009

A couple of friends were discussing their annoyance over shoes that just wouldn’t last.


Mine just don’t break! Yeah, I know. It IS a unique problem. Do what I may, my footwear just refuses to allow me to throw it away without feeling guilty. I am rather fed up. And, believe you me, I am not somebody who walks gingerly or carefully. Which is what makes it worse. More often than not, I find myself giving away practically new shoes, which makes my family wince. They have little idea of how old they are and I am so unable to explain my predicament to them! What looks new, is new. Period.

I think the time is right for a second sigh.

A lot many people have wondered at my jam. In fact, a few have even tried to help me out of this pickle. Run on loose gravel. Keep them out in the sun for a couple of days. Soak them in water. Dip my feet in tar. Moonwalk. Right.

As I write this silly little post, I marvel at those who are able to buy new footwear “because the old ones gave way.” What wouldn’t I do to be in their shoes!


Ugh! Somebody Shoot Me!

17 July 2009


Yes. I’m quite exasperated. With educated people who have scant sense of manners. Here are a couple of things I am fed up with:

  1. People sticking to you in a queue.(Holy mother of god!)
  2. People borrowing pens and miscellaneous stationary stuff from your desk without asking.
  3. People peering to see who’s calling when your cell phone rings, or, alternately, answering your calls in your absence.
  4. People leaving their plates or glass behind on the table for someone else to pick up and put into the sink after they leave.
  5. People reaching out across you for something on the table instead of requesting you to pass it to them.(I ask you!)
  6. People making sudden turns on the road without signaling and staring at you as if it's your fault you couldn't read their mind!
  7. QUALIS call centre drivers who think they can shrink their vehicle on the road and drive under this delusion.
  8. People driving in the middle of the road at 30 kmph and not letting you pass.
  9. People who are noisy eaters and talk while chewing food! (YUCK!)
  10. People peering over your shoulder to see what you are reading/doing on the computer.
  11. People barging into a/your room without as much as an ahem (knocking? What’s that?)
  12. People who don’t return borrowed books/CD’s.
  13. People rushing inside a movie hall even though their seats are assigned (Gawd! Why do people do this?)
  14. Men opening their woman’s bag to take whatever out.


People (educated, at that) thinking nothing is wrong with all of the above and wondering why you are making such a row about it!

What annoys you to the point of tearing your hair out, brandishing your teeth, banging your head against the wall, stomping your feet till the earth gives way and such like?


A Discussion on a Small Aspect of Social Hypocrisy

13 July 2009

A rather thought-provoking discussion took place the other day: why are people in India so obsessively crazy about Bollywood stars? A lot many of them don’t know how to behave, are criminals, hypocrites, no-gooders. They get drunk and drive over people, hunt when hunting is banned, carry around unlicensed weapons, beat up women, have little or no moral or social values. Why, then, are there long queues in front of their houses? Why do people listen to them when they campaign for various political leaders? Why do they appeal to people in spite of being rogues? Is it because people love rebels?

Well, why is it that people look down upon prostitutes (their children are denied admission in schools) and adore actresses dressed in hard-to-find-clothes, strutting around doing whatever it is that the movie “demands,” hugging and doing what not with a different “hero” each time? Most of them don’t even know how to act, for crying out loud! What special skill makes them ‘respectable?’ It is a well-known fact (remember those millions of sting operations?) that a lot of wanna-be actresses and top models have been known to be high-end call girls and escorts. What separates them from a regular prostitute? Beauty? Good PR?

Why must people be so hypocritical? What is it that a Salman Khan (he, of the drinking-and-running-over-people-and-beating-his-girlfriends-to-a-pulp fame) of the country will have to offer? How does he become a “hero?”



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