Sunday, June 24, 2007

Of Perfection, Uniqueness, and the Funny Bone

The other day, my gmail inbox greeted me with an Alanis Morisette quote: "We'll love you just the way you are if you're perfect." I don't know if that's from a song or an interview, but it is so true. Even when we claim to love someone "unconditionally" (or so we say) we keep cribbing about how messy or indecisive or quiet or boring or lazy or restless or ... … (fill in the blanks yourself) (s)he is.

How many "perfect" people do you know anyway? How many do I know? Hmmm... except for me, none. And even I have issues. I eat too much for a girl. And I insist on changing my mind, my style, my likes, my dislikes, and my favorite TV shows, once every six months. Plus, I still have to find that "perfect" guy to remind me just how "perfect" I am. I'll probably find him one of these days. I'm just waiting for that "perfect" moment.

P.S.: Hoobastank sang: "I'm not a perfect person..." I'm not Hoobastank!

I was watching "Scrubs" last night (I really like the cute nerdy doctor -- Zack), and Zack said (and I'm paraphrasing): Every patient is like a snowflake. Unique.

I think I'd like being a snowflake. It should be interesting to drop off a cloud around Christmas-time. It might be a lot of rip-roaring fun to be packed into (i) a snowball that hits the neighborhood blabberer right in the face, or (ii) the face of a snowman that has a carrot for a nose.

Did you know that dogs might have a sense of humor too? That's according to a Yahoo article. So, if your pooch insists on peeing on your only pair of sneakers just before you go to wear it, and then walks around with an adorably innocent face, BEWARE! That naïve-looking canine of yours might just be doing a mental rolling-on-the-floor-laughing at you!

Moral of the story? Keep your sneakers where your pooch can't reach it!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Movies, Music, and the Mumbai Monsoons

Watched a handful of 5-minute movies on TV today. One was called "The Sunshine Girl". In the movie, a little girl is coloring the sun. But her crayon gets over (I think… was in an attention-fluctuating state of mind just then). So she tries to take the color from the sun. She stretches her hand out of the window, towards the sunny skies. As she draws her hand back in, however, the sun comes in too, seated on her palm. Instantly, the world is plunged into darkness. Her parents panic in the other room: "What is to be done?" A newsflash on TV: "Sun is missing". It isn't missing. It has rolled underneath the little girl's bed. She squeezes her hand in under the bed, reaches for the little sun, drags it out, walks over to the window, places the sun on her palm, and stretches her arm out of the window, into the darkness of the sunless skies. The sun is back in its place. The catastrophe is no more.

There was another one called the "Glass Eye". A man loses his glass eye, and it starts seeing the world in color. Of course, then his dog eats it up, and will probably poop it out the next day. Ughs for that thought, though the movie was rather sweet.

Yet another movie, "The Orchard" showed horror from the perspective of a tree. You might get scared if you are a bougainvillea or something. If you aren't, you'll just have to make do by appreciating the art direction maybe.
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As I was getting home today, I was listening to this really catchy song. It gave me this sudden almost overwhelming urge to get half out of the auto, flay my hands about, and sing at the top of my voice. I would happily have run around a few trees singing myself hoarse for the 30 remaining seconds of the song. Then the music stopped, an annoying RJ began jabbering, and my urge to make a scene vanished into the moisture-filled monsoon air over the flyover on the Eastern Express Highway.
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The rains in Bombay (Mumbai... It's Mumbai!... But Bombay sounds more prose-worthy somehow) are pretty dull. There is hardly ever any sound and light show (Read: "thunder and lightning"). It rains on and off. It is almost as though the people in charge of the monsoon showers tell each other: "There has to be a lot of rain. So let's just cut out the drama and give them some."

However, it is not the lack of drama that makes me hate Mumbai rain. It is the slush on the road. The rain water mixes with the sand and gravel of roads being constructed. Slippery mud gets formed. Toilet-deprived slum kids get rid of last night's dinner on the side of the road where the pavement should have been. And I have to walk through all that, in addition to braving puddle-water-splashing vehicles, to reluctantly get to the jailhouse we all call office.
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Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Do Wannabe Poets Have to Sit With a Thesaurus??

Got an orkut mail from a young Gujju dude who has published 3 poetry books (collections of poetry?). They are listed on Amazon. Pretty cool, huh. As always, envy (I'd love to have a few books by me listed on Amazon), and curiosity (what does he have that I don't have [except the obvious]?) drove me to take a look at his poetry.

The result?

I am fed up of the crap that passes as poetry these days. Okay, I'm no poet. The poems that I try to write occasionally, just end up being too depressing (except for two of them), and that's no fun at all. So, I do have the utmost respect for those who do write poetry – haiku, sonnets, ballads, whatever.

But somehow, I think the whole idea of poetry seems to be lost. Most often it is just tons of decasyllabic words forcibly strung together. This particular poet I think just sat with a thesaurus and emptied it out to make poems. I'm sure that if we took a look at his thesaurus, there would be hundreds of pages that were blank. (The idea of a thesaurus that loses a word each time you take a word from it. Sounds quite magical!)

To get back to the point: Does poetry always have to appear so pseudo-intellectual? Why does it have to be so difficult to understand? What's the difference between poetry and songs? Songs are not at all difficult to follow. Yet they touch our hearts. And when you get down to the basics, poetry is a song too; it just isn't set to music.

Even good old Shakespeare mostly used mite-sized words, as did most of the greatest poets of both past and present.

Who can forget Mr. Frost's haunting lines?
And the woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

If you noticed, only "promises" is trisyllabic and "before" is bisyllabic. So for four lines, with the exception of these two words, Robert Frost used only monosyllables. Need I say more?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Are You in a Horror Story?

Do you ever feel that your life is a horror story waiting to happen? That someday you will be walking under the staircase and the whole ladder and the people and paint cans on it will splatter themselves all over you? That someday the cat that crosses your road will suddenly metamorphose into an enormous King-Kong-like creature waiting to make a sandwich out of you? That someday when you have finally found that lucky horse-shoe, a crazy horse will gallop towards you and make mincemeat of your beautiful face with its hooves? Ever wonder if you are in ghost story of some kind where you are sharing space with dead people? Or worse: ever wonder if you yourself are a ghost, dead as a doornail, but unaware of it? Do you think some crazy Tyrannosaurus Rex will squash you like a bug as soon as it escapes from the Jurassic Park movie? Do you think the next time there is static on your TV that the phone will ring and an eerie long-haired girl will drag you into some spooky well? Have you ever wondered how it would feel if instead of the usual crow excreta, some rain-laden cloud fell on your head (ouch!)? Do you ever wonder about these things? Or is it just me?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Birthday Tomatoes??

Gooey Chocolate Cake! Pineapple Pie Cake! Black Forest Cake! Cake! Cake! And even more cake! Think of birthdays, and the greedier dudes and dudettes among us, pop a thought bubble: "Yumm! Birthday cake!"

But why do we have cakes on birthdays? Why not pie? Why not pudding? Why not pizza or hamburgers or khichdi? (Okay, khichdi sounds really sad in this context... but you get my drift!)

I wonder why such traditions get formed. Birthday cake. Christmas presents. Milk for breakfast and not for lunch.

Well, for this birthday, I didn't have a cake ready at midnight. So what did we cut instead? Pears and tomatoes. They looked pretty. The pears were crunchy. And instead of candles (which were also not close at hand), we put toothpicks on the tomatoes and pears. And trust me, at 12:00 a.m., they did taste pretty yo! Wonder why we stick to the ghisa-pita cake custom then.

I think I wonder too much about things that really don't matter too much. I like having cake on my birthday (though an overkill of icing or marzipan kills my taste buds). And on the birthdays of others. I just have a problem with customs, traditions. Rebellious by nature. That's my problem!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Pirate Frogs

Ancient frogs actually traveled on rafts and ended up reaching the Caribbean. Read that on Yahoo today. Well, the rafts weren't exactly logs of wood tied together. They were natural rafts -- maybe slabs of wood, maybe giant leaves. Well, whatever the case, these frogs of ancient time sat on those natural rafts without thinking of the consequences and sailed away across oceans and continents. It was thanks to these risky, impulsive forefathers of theirs that the modern-day Caribbean frogs are currently living in the beautiful habitat of the Caribbean.

Impulsiveness and spontaneity do have their advantages. Were the frogs that sailed trying to elope? Were they looking for a sea route to Pluto (which is, sadly, no longer a planet)? Were they looking to become big stars in the Rana Tigrina city of dreams? Or were they simply looking for some crazy princess to kiss them and turn them into handsome princes?

Having just watched the third installment of "Pirates of the Caribbean", I can't help wondering: Did any of those frogs actually turn into pirates? Hopping over lily pads with a butterfly wing stuck over one eye? Do you think Captain Jack Sparrow ever had a pet frog of his own? What kind of a treasure chest would a bunch of pirate frogs have anyway? A jar of bugs? And for their flag, would they have an X-ray view of a frog's head?

So many questions that we might never know the answers to. Ain't that a pity?