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Phew! I made this batch just in time. Procrastination, the story of my life. A movie I saw says that it satisfies the need for drama in ones life. I have got to say that I have got more than my share of that kind of drama. Had it not been for the generosity of strangers, I would have had my inebriated rear tossed out of the train, found myself stranded in a strange suburb and worst of all, been beerless on a Friday evening. The summary, I am ****** and I am an incorrigible procrastinator! I hope there is hope.
Look at the irony, folks who need rain are deprived of it and I get soaked while walking to work. For me the idea of romantic rain doesn't extend beyond the alliteration. Call me unimaginative but rain for me is cold. I have often had the food and farmer argument thrown at me, but if they need rain, they should get all they want. But spare
the soak! I don't feel very forgiving after having wet my leather loafers. They didn't cost me much but I liked them. Anyways, I will sleep now and dream of warm sunny days.
'Oh my god, not again!', I think as I try hard to stifle my exasperation. There are things that are so obvious that there is no delight, no vindication in stating them. To state them is to insult my intelligence and to set the bar very low for yourself. I am peeved now. But now I let go of my irritation, I make peace with you and admonish myself for my vanity. Sounds very zen and is very effective! Look, I am back to being my old chatty self, looking forward to another long, or not so long, conversation
M : "I wonder if they have a veggie mango salad. It sure does look good".
Z : "What was it, a 'wedgie' salad? Are you sure you want one?"
M : "Alright! A 'V'eggie salad! You know I am trying. I am an Indian, I grew up without the distinction between a 'V' and 'We'. They are both the same to me"
Z (giggling, still can't get over the 'Wedgie' visual) : "I am sure they would love to give you one"
M : "Boy you must have been a school bully or must have been horribly bullied to have turned out this way!"
"I will have another Marzen", I said mentally thanking T for having joined us. It gave me an opportunity to have another. "I have got to say, there is something about this beverage that is beyond the usual.", I gushed.
G says, "Bullshit! You are selling us a bunch of bullshit. Why don't you just say that you like it and you are having it because you like it. You don't have to justify doing what you like with some psychobabble.", he said. "I suppose I don't", I murmur. "I am just an everyday Joe who enjoys the occasional Bud."
I was waiting to step off when I saw her, as she wiped her tear. She looked sad, almost bored. The boredom that comes with accepting pain as one's wont. It was her boredom, her mute acceptance that hurt more than her tear. Being a person who tries hard to change his life for better, I just couldn't accept her apathy towards herself. But I stifled my urge to ask her if she was fine as she looked like a woman who would ask me to mind my business. After all, her tear could have been because she yawned hard.
The recent slew of comic book and graphic novel movie adaptations made me wonder if we could appreciate the movie if we didn't have the comic book context, if the movies are piggybacking the success of the book. This question was partly answered when I saw the 'Watchmen'. I am still confused about what story was. Maybe there was a deeper meaning I totally missed. But if I missed it, I am quite certain many others did as well. Had it not been for the company I would have cut my losses and walked out right after my first yawn.
M: "Wasn't bad, was a good movie.", I said. "Showed the shallow, fickle nature of power. The amount of ass kissing needed."
S: "It takes an especially cold bastard"
M: "...or a bitch"
S: (continuing) : "or a bitch, to pander and kiss ass and at the flick of a switch turn into a heartless bully"
M: "That, along with the convenient tear faucet has been a female specialty for millennia. What is so different now?"
S: "..difference is that it has been too long and hard a struggle for us to have some fellating bitch make us all look bad!"
"Quite impressive", I said walking away from the meeting, "His talent to say exactly what the other wants to hear".
"If only you possessed the skill as well, you wouldn't have had to sleep on the couch as much.", G quipped.
possessed the skill to shut your mouth, you wouldn't get your teeth punched in!". G, all defensive, "Hey, take it easy buddy. I was just saying that tact has its benefits, it keeps you out of trouble".
"From the look of it, you seem to reserve your tack for the bosses and the wives", I grunted.
"Ouch!", I exclaim, a little muted as I was underwater though it didn't hurt any lesser. "Should be called a fucking 'ball flop' not a 'belly flop'"
"Common, the kids I teach belly flop all the time. And I swear I think some of them actually like it!", she says.
"You see..", I gasp, "...there is the difference. After puberty we men discover a new respect for motion below our waists and we like to do all we can to keep it functional. I don't suppose women understand that."
"Stop being such a pussy!", she says as she swims away.
"It is Gaeilge not gaelic", he said mildly offended. "Gaeilge is how we call it and so should everybody else". I didn't mean to offend anybody but I knew just what he was talking about. We have all seen simplification, anglicization of traditional names of tribes, languages, things that are a part of a distinct identity.
I am not advocating everybody say things the way we do (I certainly don't, I have a multisyllabled tongue twister for my last name), but the effort would be nice.
"So how is it said again?", I asked as I took my pad out.
M (as we hugged): "It has been ages since we have met"
E: "A very long time indeed"
M (Trying hard to stifle my smile): "But I am not going to say it"
E (puzzled): "You are not going to say what?"
M: "I said I am not going to say it"
M (finally relenting): "Alright, promise not to physically assault me"
E (with a little exasperation): "Don't be absurd! I am not going to assault you"
M (with a mock sigh, followed by a smile): "I think you have put on a little weight, just a tiny little bit..."
"I suppose I had one too many...", passed the last coherent thought through my mind as I heaved again. I should remember to thank my buddies who put an end to my binge and dumped my rear in a cab. I am trying hard to look at the bright side. It is like experiencing a beer bulimia. At least the calories wouldn't show up on me.
I retched again. Those probably were the fries I gorged on, garlic fries with beer is almost a ritual for me. It has a sanctity that evolves from habit, a habit hard to break
Books and movies have always held an attraction for me, now add clothes to that list. I am getting more vain and superficial, but it comes with the territory when you are where the beautiful people are. What colors go with each other, if one fabric suits the other one, whether the style seems too trite, when these are the questions that overwhelm you, you know it is time to step back. And choose comfort and utility over chic and style. Alright, I have got to go now. It is terrifying, I haven't yet decided what I am wearing tomorrow!
"Yesss!", I mentally pumped my fists as I got a cab. It is tricky pumping fists while flagging a cab in my current state.
"Yesss!", as I boarded the train. Before long I slip into a stupor.
"Yesss!", a fist pump as I woke up just in time to disembark at my stop.
"Yesss!", another fist pump as I walked to my car.
"Yesss!", as I parked the car and walked to my apt. But I feel a little queasy.
"No...", as I heaved. "Five wins and a loss"
"No...", as I heaved again, "well… five wins and two losses"
"Echo is not a bad car..", E paused , "...but it doesn't look very good. I understand it's better on mileage, but I will lose all respect for somebody who drives an echo!".
Now a rational male, conscious of his financial limitations would want something easy on gas and reasonable looking. But the thought of losing one's male peers' 'respect' was too daunting. "But..", he murmured, "..I am only checking the car out".
"But you might like it and even buy it!".
As we got up to leave he said, "Let me call and tell her that I wouldn't be coming...".
"Should I have some juice? Let me ask S if he could get me some". I am doing it again, referring to myself both in the first and the third person. No, it isn't my grammar that needs fixing, it is my health.
I am down with a fever, delirious, trying hard to retain my sanity. I can feel my tenuous hold weaken as I doubt my ability to make it through the week. Am i going to die here, die alone?
It isn't the terror of death, it is the terror of dying uncared for. Such a painful waste..
Sometimes the city feels like a brimming pot of lecherous debauchery. Not that there is anything remotely undesirable about it. Often compared with the hedonist Rome, it is believed that this pursuit of extreme gratification signals 'the end'.
A few consider 'the end' to be the demise of an empire and a few hope for divine interference, expecting a volcano doing a Pompeii on us, or was an earthquake the preferred medium of retribution? But since we are all dying lepers and headed to hell anyways, how about we make good use of the time remaining and live it up
"I have a real urge to read a cheap thriller", I declared. I
to read more serious literature but I really
to read a page turner. I love the feel of a cheap paperback, the rough texture of the pages and if it is used and dog-eared, even better!
For the longest time I have had the desire to read 'Moby Dick'. I must have bought over four copies of the book as I applied myself to the task, but never went past the first 100 pages. A Tom Clancy, on the other hand, was never such a struggle!
"You know... i was like.. that is wrong man.. you know", he rambled. "Very articulate", I thought, "you must be a real whiz with women". I find nothing more painful that to witness educated (I expect), mature (hopefully), adult (physically) individuals adopt preteen behavior and speech patterns. I suppose it makes them feel youthful but they end up looking pre-pubescent.
With the emphasis modern education places on language, its use and expression of human thought, I fail to understand some people's fascination with primordial speech patterns. Enough said, I run the risk of being thought of an overeducated linguistic snob.
Providing professional feedback is walking a minefield. For me it always begins with appeasing people, keeping them happy, but there are two problems with that. First, there isn't enough going around to satisfy everybody, thankfully I am not the arbitrer of that. But what bothers me more is being irrelevant. Flattery is effective but is very myopic.
Relevance for me is the change my presence brings to my environment. Positive reinforcement is important but so is moderately blunt feedback. Feedback sandwich neither lets the subject savor positive feedback nor drive home the shortcomings. We can be effective without being abrasive!
I wonder if this current deluge of information in this age is a good thing after all. Never in our history have we had sort of content available this easily. Again, is that a good thing? It certainly beats having to walk down to the nearest library. It is also connects us with people we probably wouldn't have ever met again.
I wonder, because it also offers us so many more distractions and the painful awareness of what we don't have feeding the desperate pining for what we can't have. We flit endlessly increasing our familiarity with no real understanding
“Never play a ‘strictly dominated’ game!”. I’ve never been much for games, always got ‘strictly dominated’. He means a ‘Game’ in the ‘Game Theory’ sense. I stifle a yawn as I wonder if there is a point to his slow pace.
On the ‘Law and Order’ I watch cops question a couple of suspects. I exclaim, “This is a strictly dominated game, don’t participate!” The suspects unfortunately didn’t benefit from my education.
“You can either move or take a pay cut here”. If you think I am playing this strictly dominated game you have got something else coming. “I quit!”
“I want him on my side!”, I said to myself. “ I want S on my side too!”. I question my motivation, am I doing this because I want something out of them.
No! I like doing it. People, their lives, their stories… I live vicariously through them. I couldn’t spend ten minutes with them if it was work. It has to be a pleasure (and I mean it) for me to spend a few of hours with them.
That doesn’t change the fact that I want them on my side when I need them. Does that make me insincere?
If I focus hard, I can hear a waterfall. I pray that it would never end. I don’t know if I am approaching the end. But the terror of the piece ending grips me! I wish I could have it play forever. The music seems to feel my fear. It picks up. But knowing better, I know there isn’t a point. The end has to catch up.
But its struggle is beautiful. I realize that is what beauty is after all. It is a struggle, an attempt to fight a losing battle. It is courage when faced with certain defeat.
With his eyes tightly shut, little fists closed and the occasional twitch, he looked untroubled. As they looked at him peacefully sleeping in the incubator, they thought about how hard they struggled to have him
K could see something sticking out of her baby’s fist. It didn’t seem right. “Nurse! Something is wrong here. I can see something in the child’s hand.”
As they took the child out of the incubator and pried open the tiny, delicate fist, they saw a note with a small word scribbled on it. “it seems he knows what he wants to be called.”
"Happy Ugadi!". It is the Telugu New Year, it is special though not the biggest thing on our calendar. It reminded me of something which occurred a few years ago…
"It is 'vishu' today".
"It is 'wish-you' today? What's that?", I said wondering if that was the latest 'special day' fad where folks go around randomly wishing each other
"It is my new year!", she bristled.
"Yes of course, how could I forget", I said apologetically
As if the birthdays, anniversaries, international women's and men's days were not sufficient, now I have to remember each culture's New Years as well!
After three showers I still have some color on my brow. Despite their having been organic and safe for skin, water and sweat mixed with the color makes it hard to remove.
I played ‘holi’, after years, yesterday. It started out as a religious observance with a fun component, but now I, and most others, know it as being only about smearing each other with powdered color. All in good fun!
“It was all worth the inconvenience”, I think as I scrub my brow harder, trying to get the remaining color off, “I don’t get to look rainbow-colored very often.”
“Damn! I didn’t see that coming”, as I lose to the computer sixth time in a row. I am learning ‘Go’ and ‘Capture Go’, an easier and shorter version, seemed to be a good way to start.
“It doesn’t hurt as much, losing to the computer“, I think as I start the seventh game. But after such a losing streak, at a game which initially seemed deceptively simple, you wonder if you are hardwired to suck at it.
But then just as I am about to rationalize my handicap and give up, the screen reads,
"Hmm.. That isn't true ", I think disapprovingly as I read what I have penned down. I like to write, but sometimes I feel dishonesty creep into my writing. It is almost like putting down something I don't feel, like I write because I think it sounds nice.
Everything we create has a bit of us in it and if it doesn't, it isn't honest. It is something we never experienced. It never connects with anybody. Not even ourselves. There will always be some lingering guilt, a sense of detachment, like we are claiming credit for something that isn’t ours!
One never forgets the moment we stopped fearing water. It has been a long journey. I think when you accept water is when it accepts you. It is a friend only when you treat it like one. I remember the first time I dived, I was young, foolish, full of disrespect for what I knew very little about. I felt that like I would die and in my desperate attempts to surface, I pushed myself further down.
But today, when I jumped in, I experienced no fear, just calm. And no triumph, because all I did was make a friend!
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