Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Puzzling Thoughts

Whoever said that Variety is the spice of life should be made to shop in a supermarket. Having to choose from an aisle-long range of products will send him scurrying to erase those misleading words. Spice of life, indeed!

Gone are the days when you could pick up the favourite moisturizer or tried and tested toothpaste or familiar cereal. Now you stand in front of the shelves agonizing over Dove Fresh, Dove Body Silk, Dove Extra Dry, Dove Deep moisturizer, Dove Energy Glow, Dove Pro Age… When all I want is my ordinary Dove moisturizer, which has apparently become extinct. Choosing a cereal is pure torture for you’ve got to calculate the ratio and proportion of ingredients, price, weight, nutrients, in Low Fat, Low Cal, No fat, No Cal, Hi Fibre, Bran, Fruit and Nut avatars. Mental sums were never my forte.

Indecision is me when faced with a choice. And invariably, I regret it once the decision is made. Like the other day at a coffee outlet, the Philipino waitress at the counter gave a string of options in an accent I couldn’t comprehend and even if I did, wouldn’t have known what they were. So when she stopped to take a breath at the third recitation, I said that I wanted that. ‘That’ turned out to be Latte Vanilla something and it turned out to be milk with vanilla flavour yyyukkk! It wasn’t even cold and I HATE MILK.

I wonder how people choose mobiles from the sea of brands and varieties. Fortunately I don’t need to choose mine. Aamir Khan sells only Samsung. Besides my mobile needs to telephone or message people. It doesn’t have to sing or calculate for me. Youngsters, I find know every feature, price, pixel and byte of every gadget. One can only imagine their dilemma.

If the market muddles one so, think what life has to offer. Choose your destiny, Your decision today decides your life tomorrow these are the mantras one hears often. No flowing along where life takes you. Every turning point adds to the burden of choosing, always leaving regret of what might have been. Frost wrote a poem on it.

For my mother education was an escape from an early marriage – she could study till she failed. Her parents, I suspect, were eager for that so they could get her married. My mother studied desperately for obvious reasons. In my time too a girl was expected to graduate and then marry. Post graduation and a career were post marriage; provided all agreed. A marriage to a suitable boy found by the elders. Their criteria were family background, job and tolerable looks. The couple were then left to discover differences or similarity in tastes, interests, opinions, attitudes etc. And if one got a Latte Vanilla the girl simply got accustomed to the flavour, added some ice and even cherished the richness of the milk and the texture of the cream.

Today’s girls have so many options that seem more attractive than (drab) matrimony.
So when they do settle down, do they have to choose among all the features available on the candidates and zero in on the ‘right’ one. And then do they expect the person to function faultlessly? (It could be a Latte Vanilla situation) Is it as practical as that or is there something more romantic like chemistry or physics? I presume that men have a worse time making a choice (considering the range of lovely girls that is wider than the range of boys – men are all the same, aren’t they?). But in terms of happiness with their choice they must have more satisfaction – because females are so good …….or is it because males are easy to please?

I can't decide

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Tears - 1

The plant grows and grows.
Untame, rebellious.
The Man with his strings
Gathers wayward limbs,

Clumsy, he bunches
The happy young branches
That shoot off and stray,
That can’t grow his way.

The string goes round
the protest of escaped fronds.
He tucks each leaf under
Within bounds of his order.

Tears for the Man, he’s done his duty
Ne’er a thought that wildness holds beauty.
Tears for his hands torn; they bleed,
From the angry thorns of his own seed.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Peel, wash, cut, chop,
Slice, dice, rinse, drop (oops)
Open, close, search, find (yyess)
Scrape, add, mix, grind…

Simmer boil cook shake,
Look smell feel taste (mmmmm?????)
Season splutter pour fry,
Cool store pat dry…

Wash clean wipe drain,
Sharpen open squeeze strain…

Peel wash cut some more
Slice dice till hands get sore
Open replace, don’t forget
Or you’ll waste time when you cook next….

Simmer boil cook wait
Speed up! you are getting late!
Spilltread eeek slip
Crashbang broken glass!
The kitchen floor is now a mess.
Faster! Faster! Don’t be slow…

Look, It’s gone half past six
Don’t succumb to hysterics.
The bus will come in ten minutes!
Must doll up in three minutes…

Dash and grab the blasted thing
Greet, smile “Oh thank you,
And HAPPY VISHU to you too!” (pant pant…..)

Written last Vishu after keeping the Kani, and (surprising myself by)preparing a sadya of FOURTEEN items.... on a working day.....single handed!!

I did learn from that mistake.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Utter Disaster

My Cambridge English Pronunciation Dictionary tells me that the Gan in Gandhi and rhymes with the Gan in Gander.And so the 'correct' pronunciation is Gan-dee! The same goes for Ganesh too, only worse:it is supposed to be Ganish. I wonder why we Indians don't correct the foreigners.If their tongues can manoeuvre tortures like Alzheimer's or even February, they shouldn't find Gandhi a challenge. But we have let them call Sachin Sash in and condoned the mistake for ages. I've always known that grave dangers lay in store. And my fears were confirmed when at the Oscars Danny Boyle thanked Weak Ass 'Sroop for penning Q and A!! I did not watch the movie but have heard that the man has done enough damage to the name of India.

And we mock the poor Mallu who calls the Pope 'Pop' - at least he makes some sense. Come to think of it, while an Englishman knows only English, a North Indian knows English and Hindi. A South Indian Tamilian knows English Hindi and Tamil and a Mallu knows English, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam (if not more languages). No wonder we roak.