Saturday, November 29, 2008

Here's an old nursery rhyme i was recently reminded of..

Jack Sprat could eat no fat,
His wife could eat no lean
And so betwixt the two of them
They licked the platter clean

Jack ate all the lean,
Joan ate all the fat.
The bone, they picked it clean,
Then gave it to the cat

Jack sprat was a-wheeling,
His wife by the ditch
The barrow turned over,
And in she did pitch.

Says Jack, "She'll be drowned!"
But Joan, did rply,
"I don't think I shall,
For the ditch is quite dry."

Why did I put this here? just because I can..
TWO current thoughts:

1. Why is so difficult to find the line between attacking an expression of an idea, and attacking the person whose idea was expressed in a manner unacceptable to you?
2. It doesn't matter what you want to do with your life. The universe has its own plans for you. So, the smartest (and possibly the only) thing to do, is make contingency plans

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Jeez, that post got looong. But hey, i meant every word in it. So there!
I left work at 4am today. Why? Mumbai's been attacked. AGAIN. I mean, seriously, when will these people learn. U CANNOT keep a Mumbaiya down. Do what you want to them, they always bounce back.
Sadly, though, I think, think time, it may take the city a little longer to bounce back to normal.
News reports streaming in put the official toll at 90 people dead and as many as 900 injured. Then, came the distressing bit about 60 more bodies being found at the Taj, where a number (no one was sure how many exactly) of people had been taken hostage. Which makes me ask, for what? The group that "claimed responsibility" (why do these loonies think this a big deal? U want publicity, take out a freaking ad! Not like they can't afford to...) — the Deccan Mujahideen — sent major newspapers and (I'm assuming) TV channels an email that was psychotic at best, and totally brainless at worst (or should that be the other way around?)
Sure, the name indicates Islamic extremist forces, but does that mean the people behind last night's massacre were Muslims? If I were to start a militant group tomorrow (yea rt!), called my "group" the Saints Herded Into Training as Heroes Effectively Against Depressed Sisters (or, SHITHEADS), and sent out an email saying I was planning on killing all the men to make up for all the years women have been persecuted, who'd take me seriously? At the same time, if I called it Ulibaki Jihad... think that'd make a difference? (apart from the fact that I'd still be a lunatic of the worst kind, I mean) Who'd know the difference?
I know there's a lot of anti Muslim rhetoric doing the rounds... heck, a colleague of mine — senior colleague — no less, thinks as a group, they cause too much havoc and need to be eradicated (for want of a better term) but it really doesn't matter who plans these "terror" attacks, does it? Its innocent (even if they aren't all that innocent, who are we to decide who lives and who doesn't?) civilians. Which is why I called it a massacre. It was planned, and executed to (at least) near perfection, against a group of people who never knew what hit them.
Watching a recap of the whole thing earlier, it struck me that, starting with Leopold's and going on to the Taj, and the other fancy hotels, and the Gateway of India (let's not forget the 2 boats found moored there carrying explosives...), this was beginning to sound like Shantaram gone bad. Does anyone else think that?
Anyway, despite how completely brainless the violence was, one image is stuck in my head, revolting me. (And at one point, every news channel was running this footage in what seemed like a never-ending loop!) Just as reports of two terrorists being killed in an "encounter" — another word I hate, btw — came in, the TV-watching world was shown footage of a corpse being lugged around by a couple of camera-toting guys, obviously from the media... I mean, come on people, is that what we've come down to? Dragging a dead guy around so we can reposition him for a better shot (no pun intended, morons)?
It's not clear if that even was what remained of an alleged terrorist. For all anyone knows, it could have been one of the first hostages to go. Even if it was a terrorist (and maybe I'm weird here), I believe in dignity in death. Especially if there's been no dignity in life.
And, I know, as a country, we're still to get over our colonial mindframe where we love or hate the gora to extremes. Still, was there any logic to looking for folks with an American or a British passport? Or was there a converse logic at play here, which dictated that those with, I dunno, French, Portuguese or even Australian passports should be let off easily? Like I said before, it doesn't make any sense...
Which brings me to an important question: Most of those 'terrorists' were between the ages of 25-30. What makes anyone roughly my age want to go out and slaughter a few dozen people they've probably never met, or were ever likely to meet? Then again, what would make anyone, of any age, want to do that? Maybe I'm a little slow, but I just don't get it.
Of course, as expected, this event has led to a lot of discussion. Especially the fact that two senior anti-terrorism cops were killed. So far, the authorities have been picking up the small fry, the poor, those who are — in all likelihood — the modern equivalents of gun fodder, and patted themselves on the back. This attack wasn't random. It was well-thought out, showing that apart from the obvious — finances — those behind it also had a fair amount of intellectual ability. Where did that come from? Pretty big debut for a group no one's heard of, don't you think?
I mean, its so big a debut, 200 members of the National Security Guard — that's a euphemism for trained killing machines, btw — had to be called in, apart from the Army, the Navy, and a tonne of other people in fancy uniforms. I shudder to think of the bloodbath that's gonna be in tomorrow's news, as a victorious ( and you can bet on that!) team of folks in uniform (nevermind which one, the NSG's involved now...) announce that they absolutely trounced the enemy who will never show their faces in public again. Wanna bet there'll be more dead than taken prisoner?
Think about it. The dead are easier to handle than live prisoners who keep trying to a) escape b) get bail or c) get traded as part of some ransom deal or the other. Don't believe me? Think carefully about who the police arrested... 9 random 'suspects'.
Did I mention, as of 4am, 2 militants had been killed and only 1 hostage 'rescued'? This, when the 'official' death toll had already climbed past 80!
Sure, the elections are still a few months away, but do need to I remind you nice folks that its the same party in power at the Centre and in Maharashtra? And what do you think this gonna do for the party's rep? Not like we don't already know all politicians are hounds baying for each others' blood, is it? Hmm...I can already see the Gujarat chief minister "strongly criticising" the event tomorrow. Bet his speech-writers had a loong nite at work yesterday... and hey, Shush about 2002, okay? HE brought the Nano to the state!!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

I've been told I'm a more-than-decent storyteller... Wonder if that's what kept me out of trouble all those times I escaped punishment as a kid? Maybe, except these stories were called lies then. Now, they called "fiction". It's all just semantics, innit?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Some say this poem was found in a church in the late 15th century, while others say it's a product of the 20th century. Either way, I think it still makes a lot of sense...

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career
however humble;
it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you
to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful.
Strive to be happy.

And since we love this sooo much, Wildcat and I HAD to rework The Desiderata to suit our normal, everyday lingo... But we've put it someplace so safe we're having trouble finding it... Till we do, wait. and trust me when I say it'll be worth you w(h)ile :)
Amoeba and Soulmates

Me: ... realised the similarity between soulmates and amoeba

Over-smart brat: soulmates and amoeba? as in, neither exist?

Me: no they both supposedly can exist thru spirit of course
see, the amoeba thingie's pretty straightforward

Over-smart brat: uh, amoeba cant... they live maybe for an hour

Me: in the beginning, there was one amoeba

Over-smart brat: i see, amoeba as a general concept, not a single specific amoeba

Me: which then split into two.. which then in turn split into four and so on.. so the genetic makeup of the first amoeba continues to exist through u the ages with minor alterations maybe...

Over-smart brat: unless you're accounting for genetic and environmental mutations... depends on the time period you're looking at

Me: too many, n it'd evolve.. but yet, there are amoeba.. ergo.. some strains do not evolve... same thing with soul mates
the one BIG soul started mitosis..
then each of those bits also split.. except, what's called evolution in aoeba is nirvana in souls

Over-smart brat: ooooookay.. lets see, is it, why yes, it IS time for your meds! its meds-o-clock, thats what it is!

The idiot didn't let me get into the actual crux of my theory - that sometimes these leftover strands of amoeba DNA are stronger than soul-mate bits.. the soul bits need to connect and come together sometimes.. . "because they get weak on their own" according to a popular author... Can u imagine what would happen if the amoeba bits would combine in an attempt to form the proto-amoeba? Would that be the end of life as we know it?
And most importantly, why am i even thinking about this? It's past 3 am, and most sane people are asleep by now.. aahh.. there lies the answer.. I just said sane... lol

(Ps. yes, this was an actual conversation between two sober, if sleep-deprived beings — one human, and one gloria)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

"Die, sir? Why, that's the last thing I'll do!"
— Captain Mosey of the good ship Lasagne

Praised be his Noodliness

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I don't like conflict. Especially not in MY life... And I try very hard not to intrude into other people's lives, so I can't figure out why people insist on telling me how to live mine... Unless I've asked for help. In which case, i still reserve the right to ignore all advice and make my own mistakes, so please, world, leave me alone. Thank you very much.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Snippets from the THE party

I've never been very fond of heights... but then, I'd never actually been 'birthday bumped' either. I guess that's what made me go with the flow... which is why i didn't start kicking and screaming when they lifted me off the floor (I'd also never realised how strong these guys were, rt till that point!) and started swinging me around, or when they decided to hoist me onto their shoulders and give me a close up view of my ceiling.. I did, however, start yelling when someone suggested chucking me off the balcony... Think it worked. After all, I'm still here, aren't i? They were nice enough to lower, and not drop, me onto my bed.

It was threatening to become a slightly boring affair once the first round of cake and wine had been served and consumed. Then came the entertainment, courtesy my sister, XHEO, (yes, that's her new name, and I'm spelling it the way she pronounces it.. more or less) and Carpethead.
I mean, what better to break the ice than a skinny 20-yr-old guy in a skirt and a denim bikini bra, rt? How about one straight guy pulling another straight guy's jeans off, only to get his boxers off as well... sorry Jeepus, but as traumatic as it was for you, it WAS funny... and don't worry.. none of us saw anything we shouldn't have!

What's the most important thing while hosting a theme party? Keeping to the theme, of course! And I'm muchas grateful to all my friends who helped me do that... Since it was a Halloween party, we had little ghostlets (thanx chris and brat) dangling from the ceiling, 2D jack-o-lanterns making faces off the walls and bats and ghosts and generally spooky things (thanx XHEO, Jeepus and C-Loafer) to loitering around. Mum even managed to arrange the pieces of choc cake (that I'd baked) into a tower of some sort, and we had bugs and ants and cobwebs coming out of it.. uber cool..

Speaking of cake, since i was too tired/lazy to making the icing, one my brilliant friends decided to "decorate" my face with candle wax.. and i mean the liquid stuff that was still hot! (Thanx a lot, Chillar) So, i walked about with streaks of blue wax all evening.. thankfully i was wearing black and grey, so it didn't look too odd...

BTW, what do u call a witch who uses a feather duster instead of a broom? Travelling light! ok fine.. don't hit me.. even metaphorically :)

While I thought keeping the food to theme was basically a good idea with the witches' fingers and tombstone sandwiches, (special thanx to Brat, XHEO, Carpethead, Jeepus and Shanu for the help on that), I MAY have gotten carried away with the alien pee.. although it was a purely innocuous mix of Sprite and Mountain Dew, the name and the color combined to gross more than a few guests out.
That, and the frozen hands in my freezer!
And before you wonder, no, i haven't gone all Hannibal Lecter on you.. While I'd meant to float a coupla hands in the drinks, they were just gloves filled with colored water, which unfortunately didn't freeze. So, instead of spooky hands, they became gross, yet fun things to play with... One of my colleagues (senior reporter, pl note) sure had fun... I think he may own/have owned a cow... the milking was very believable :D

On the topic of the glove, trust me, you don't want to know where it ended up.. and I'm pretty sure Carpethead wouldn't either. And since he was such a sport about the bra and the mohawk i gave him, i'll leave him alone, for now.
Jeepus, on the other hand, i feel sorry for, but will still let u in on what happened. A friend of his (just figured why they're "chaddi" dosts) decided to try and pull his pants off.. not really such a big deal since Jeepus wears loose jeans and no belt (proof enough on facebook), except that I don't think even Chaddi Dost expected his boxers to come off as well... That led a super-embarrassed Jeepus scurrying for cover (quite literally) and ending up behind the open fridge door...

Apart from cross-dressing and pulling people's pants off, we also had more entertainment. The artiste formerly known as Noodlehead, (now called streedhar, i've been told) clad in a lungi no less, performed a rather convincing cover of the Pearl Jam hit, Jeremy, before moving on to other songs. The birthday girl had left the room "to go out for a walk (involving nicotine)" a lil after this, so no more updates on the live music scene. But brat, XHEO, Nile and carpethead all had turns playing with the guitar, as did the newly aussie-returned Dabooo.

Most guests were relatively new faces at the Sarita Apt parties, seeing how most of the old chain-gang have disapparated or gotten married or both. The old-schoolers included moi (aka Mala/Ms Nariyalpani now), the Rapchick (pirate, who eventually tired of her bandana), XHEO (wanna-be politician or 'political palty), and the C-Loafer. This was a fun party, still pretty different from those back in the old days. There was a little music.. almost no dancing.. and almost EVERYONE helped with sumfinn :P Also, unlike in the past, there was a penalty for those who didn't show up in costume/according to the theme.. Mum painted everyone's faces with food color:D

Actually, my mum did more than just paint other people's faces.. she suddenly appeared out of nowhere with a blood(!)-stained top, mask and hat, wielding a meat cleaver... scared the s**t out a lot of us who weren't expecting it

Still, nothing anyone did can quite compare to the XHEO, who now claims she was never drunk, merely pretending... sure, kiddo.. we believe u! Anyone who was at HER birthday party would know the significance of "we are the champions". Trust me, this was better. WAYYYY better, and o, did i mention, she was wearing a sari? (in an attempt to look like a politician)

The last guest departed at about 5.30 (thanx for helping to finish most of the tombstones Nile), after a ton of fun, and i spent the next 3 hrs cleaning up...But i didn't mind that part one bit!
But since I was woken up in 4 hrs with a hangover, and my wonderfully idiotic friend suggested I use the alcoholic method to get rid of it, MY party eventually ended when i got to work 2 hrs late, pretending to be awake and sober :D

BIG thanx to everyone who showed up.. those of u who didn't/couldn't... wait for next time:D

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Unrelated to expected B'day post:

It's just that I realized something on/around this birthday: Everyone I know has a Saviour complex in some form or the other... we all just wanna save the world.. OK, maybe not, or maybe that's just me...

Now, get back to waiting for my brain to wake up and lose the hangover...

Adam Sandler said (well, sang, but whatever) this about birthdays and the parties that follow

Once a year we celebrate with stupid hats and plastic plates,
the fact that you were able to make another trip around the sun.
And the whole plan gathers round' gifts and laughter do will bound,
we let out a joyful sound and sing that stupid song.
Happy Birthday, now your one year older.
Happy Birthday, your life still isn't over.
Happy Birthday, you did not accomplish much.
But you didn't die this year i guess that's good enough.

So lets drink to your fading health, and hope you don't remind yourself
your chance of finding fame and wealth decrease with every year.
Dose it feel like your doing laps, and eating food and taking naps,
and hoping that some day, perhaps, your life will hold some cheer.

Happy Birthday, what have you done that matters?
Happy Birthday, your starting to get fatter.
Happy Birthday, it's downhill from now on.
Try not to remind yourself your best years are all gone.

If cryogenics were all free then you could live like Walt Disney and live
for all eternity inside a block of ice.
But instead your time is set this is the only life you get,
and though it hasen't ended yet some times you wish it MIGHT!

Happy Birthday, you wish you had more money.
Happy Birthday, your lifes so sad it's funny.
Happy Birthday, how much more can you take?
But your friends are hungry so just cut the stupid cake.

Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday, Dear.....

Stay tuned for what actually happened the night after i turned 25...