Thursday, November 26, 2009

Funny Bees

The following are utterances that were unintentionally humorous. Besides being erroneous, they offer the mind absurd images. Correcting them would be sinful!

(sharing a recipe) '.... then you chop the onions and smash the potatoes.'

'....add the chopped tomatoes and caspicum.'

'There is a force is There.' (a physics teacher long ago)

'Anu, you became so darky, you were so fairy.' (A North Indian relative.)

(Sitting down at the dining table) 'mmmm .... food! I am ravishing!'

'Bejaavo! Bejaavo!' (the P.E teacher who got locked in the gym. Mallu, of course.)

'I talking. He talking. Why you middle middle talking?' (another P.E teacher from another S.Indian state.)

'Kuch kuch hota hein.' ( My good friend, a Hindi-disabled physics teacher, looking into the eyes of the hindi speaking electrician, trying to explain that something weird happened each time some equipment was switched on)

'I am sure we will have good mammaries that we will go to and go back to.' (from a speech at a seminar)

'Her penis lost.' (from a student's note book.)

'The Nair families of Kerala followed the matriarchal system.' (a goal at my own post)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Gilding Lilies

Liberty is a myth. Rousseau was so right when he said, ‘Man is born free but everywhere he is in chains.’ Women are too.

They have clamoured for liberation the most in recent times. And their struggle has borne fruit too. They are free to walk shoulder to shoulder with men and partake in the same opportunities of employment as well as enjoyment. They don’t have to bow to unnatural social expectations any more..... or so I thought, until a visit to a beauty parlour shook my complacency. Every section of the establishment was full, and ladies were waiting their turn. Ah the torture that they endured has to be seen to be believed. Pouring hot wax on body parts, ripping hair off the skin, cooking the face, gouging out blackheads, squeezing ripe pimples, pulling the hair – ! Besides the women spent hours with their faces or hair painted with chemical cocktails. A killing bill strikes a final blow. It may seem ironical, but I seriously think that the burqua could truly liberate a woman from these social evils, if she took to it of her own accord of course. Sarkozy be da.... be denitrified.

After spending so much time and money and suffering such agony, the women come out pleased and confident that they look like every other woman. Like soldiers in uniform, they all sport straightened hair that looks brittle enough to break, bleached clean-shaven faces and long nails that would be the envy of any rakshasi. Fashions do come and go but the concept of beauty has itself changed beyond recognition. Compare a Ravivarma beauty with a size zero glam golliwog. But perhaps that would be an unfair comparison. What I’m trying to say is that there was a time when a woman’s face was her fortune, today we would probably recognize a starlet by her belly button. Maybe I exaggerate, but I find I myself prefer an underclad Shreya to a clothed one! You cannot blame me for losing my balance – all this while I thought I was firmly rooted in tradition.

Indians had an absurd fixation on fair complexion. Now they've dropped it despite the tireless efforts of fairness cream ads; only to replace it with a height fixation. Won't women ever find happiness in the way they are?

The experience in a hair saloon in China was more pleasant. There young, pretty male attendants (not all Chinese men have protruding teeth!!) did the hair of the women customers and females (not necessarily young or pretty) attended to the male customers’ head. They concluded the session with a shoulder massage and they even cleaned out the ears. In the west beautifying could be disastrous, the result of the treatment is more gruesome than the treatment itself – just look at the botox injected and silicon implanted specimens. And poor poor MJ. Sooner than later these beauty (????) trends will capture the Indian mind no doubt.

Years ago it was rumoured that the consecutive Indian Miss World and Indian Miss Universe was a deliberate strategy to open a market in India for international cosmetic companies. Those words seem prophetic. The girl who sold jasmine garlands in the street corner has shut shop and is now working in – would you guess – a beauty parlour.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Like Some, Like Some Not

I hate those animal shows on TV in which men pounce on each other and pummel for joy. Near naked bodies that look like maida kneaded with rosemilk fill the screen in all their repulsive glory. I am repulsed even by women that wrestle. And I thought women could look graceful doing anything. Come to think of it, there are several positions in which women don’t look graceful.... like a dentist’s chair or the beauty parlour. But I digress. The wrestlers boast and swear while a crazed crowd cheers maniacally. I’ve been told that most of it is mere drama. I am sure many people enjoy the fights, but they don’t appeal to me.

Some reality shows like ‘You’re fired’ (..or is it called The Apprentice?) disturb me, for the competition is nasty and the situations unreal. Viewership shoots up when ill feelings among participants escalate. The show turns into a monster that feeds on candidates’ greed for fame and fortune. There is even a show where a bachelor picks out a bride from a pool of wannabies (who would want to be?). Production companies grow fat on the desperation of the candidates and the morbid curiosity of the spectators.

As for sob operas – the less said the better.

The kitchen is not my favourite place, but I love cookery shows. I can’t explain the penchant; perhaps it is a vicarious delight to watch someone else chop, fry, bake and serve. I do dislike the stupid anchors of some of these shows who ask the chef inane questions and repeat whatever she says and generally yak away needlessly.

Some ads irritate me while others amuse. The docomo ad with a fellow who gets a change of seat on a flight always makes me smile. “I’m taking a shower, I’m riding in traffic..’ is another that I find cute. The boy who eats while working out earnestly and the infant asleep on her dad’s stomach seem true to life. I like the reliance one with Hritik as the pied piper. My most favouritest ads are the ones with babies – I love their plump feet, their tiny pink toes, crooked smiles (with or without teeth.), their wobbly gait…Oh, I just love babies.

The most funny are party song scenes from old movies. You have a room full of people and the jiltee looks daggers at the jilter who has become another’s sajna/ni and sings about toota dil and bewafaa and pyaar ki nashaa – and nobody is the wiser. Never fails to cheer me.