Saturday, March 29, 2014

The World This Week

A woman in faded saree sweeps the floor of a hotel where hundreds come to eat every morning. As she works, she thinks of her children and their school fees and the price of rice and their house that is falling apart.

The waiter almost trips over her broom, a curse rises to his lips, but he refrains from uttering it.

The customer blames the waiter for bringing him tea instead of coffee and turns to his wife to discuss the EMI on their house and other rising expenses.

The wife thinks of the little she has saved for medical emergencies and wonders if she should burrow into it. She looks at the woman with the broom and smiles. The sweeper looks again, not certain if the smile was meant for her, and struggles to coax a smile out.

In the conference room, an engineer demonstrates the path-breaking new product he is launching. He has invested in a number of people and organizations; he is aware that the world is observing his actions keenly. A great many things could ride on his wave of success.

The employee waits for a reply - at the very least an acknowledgement - from his Boss.

The cab driver waits in the sun for his passenger, then waits for the traffic to move at rush hour, then drops his passenger and waits for the next call.

A man loses his job of twenty years because his company decides to close down their operations in that region.

A mother yells at her son for not studying for his exams. She fears she is not trying hard enough to make him learn. She fears if he does not fare well, it would be her fault.

A teacher takes a deep breath, closes her eyes and takes the plunge into the unknown, risking everything she has built in ten years.

The writer continues to write and to wait for a reply from any of the agents or publishers she has queried.

Grandchildren look forward to a summer vacation with their grandparents.

March prepares to march out of sight.

The haunting rumble of an airplane every night at the same time brings back painful memories of a vanished aircraft.

Meanwhile in the North East, a doctor battles cough at the inauguration of a clinic that takes him one step closer to his dream of bringing relief to the suffering millions of his country.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

"Good night, MH370"

Unable to get over the 'unusual, informal' last words from the cockpit of the lost Malaysian airline, MH370: "All right, Goodnight".

Will we ever know what had happened?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

What goes around, comes around

March has sneaked in on me again. 
It was as though there was a cloud over my memory, and when I suddenly opened my eyes, it is today, less than a week to go before the month is over. 

March is at the edge of the cliff, leaning forward, ready to topple over.

Why do I go through this every year? Because I want to remember.
I cannot let the day pass without a Hello. 

Rightly do they say that what goes around, comes around. I think there is someone at the other side of the "round" to nudge things back our way. Perhaps it is their way of saying, they remember too. Perhaps it is just a curt nod of the head and a thinning of the lips to acknowledge us. 

If you know what I am talking about, I apologize for any thoughts this may trigger. 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Getting recorded

Every action of mine,
every word I utter,
every emotion I display,
every song I sing,
every oath that escapes my lips,
is getting recorded
In real time-
In my son's mind.

A few years down the line
Some of them,
stronger than the others,
sharper than the rest,
intense, powerful moments,
of fun and laughter
or pain and cries
would be what he remembers of me.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Relative Age Syndrome

So you think it is terrible that a toddler calls you Uncle/Aunt when you are only twenty years old?

Wait till you're in your soon-to-bid-farewell-to-thirties, and a young man, thick moustache and six pack and good looks and all, going out to work in the morning, says Good Morning Auntie. (Or Uncle, as the case may be.)

Your covert ogle frozen in mid-act, you barely manage to blink and croak, "Hi".

I am just saying. Things could be worse.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

30 minutes on Facebook

The day is going to be hectic. Let me begin it by going through my Friends' updates on Facebook. That'll make me happy. 

30 minutes spent on Facebook:

News link shared by a "Friend". Read the title. Can't read more. Like.

34 Photos of a Friend and family vacationing in a beautiful place I will never visit in my life. Damn. Some people have everything. Like.

Philosophical update from a Friend. Read. Didn't understand. Must be something very very profound or clever. Worth a Like.

Profile update of a Friend who updates profile three times a week. Not again! Self-absorbed. Self-something. Boring! It's time I updated my profile picture. Comment: You look cute.

Status update from a Friend who has a million Friends on Facebook. He has updated three minutes ago, and there are already 247 Likes and 30 comments. Miniature celebrity. He could do without my Like or comment. Though I should admit, what he says does make sense. Ugh. 

Political mud slinging from this party to that. Nice. Pass.

Hilarious update from a Friend. Chuckle, chuckle. Clever guy. Like.

Fanatical religious update. Why did I make this person my 'Friend' on Facebook, again? Can't remember. Pass.

Blog from a Friend who blogs twice a week. There she goes again. Who does she think she is? I had Liked her post last week. I will skip this time.

Big discussion going on about the upcoming elections and the top parties. Eeek. I hate politics. I hate these people who taint my wall with politics. Scroll down.

Suggested Post. Facebook, please. You know everything about me. Don't you know I can't stand advertisements?

Someone has published a book or made a movie or done something creative. Damn, Damn. I am here too, God. Have you forgotten? Like, dammit. Like. Like. Like.

Friend has posted picture of his daughter winning an award. Cute kid. Brilliant. Like. Wish there was a better word than 'Like'. 'Delighted', perhaps. Or 'Excited'. Or even, 'Proud of You'?

'Friend' whom I barely remember bought a new car. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Great news. Who cares?

Fanatic Friend has posted something offensive again. Get a life, dammit.

Scattered a few comments here and there, I hope I got them all at the right places: Beautiful. Wow. Cute. Thank you. Welcome. All the Best. Really? Great Job.

Damn. Why does everyone have such exciting lives, while I just sit here hitting Likes, Waiting?

Let me go post some brilliantly stupid, philosophical nonsense. Hah. Type, type, delete, type, edit, type.

Hit by a wave of depression.
Close Window.
Let me get back to my @#$%# work.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Tongue-tied !

Flashback... 1991 or thereabouts.

A group of youngsters was split into five teams, and the teams were given unique names. Each day, one team would be quiz masters, quizzing the rest of us. I did not expect to know any of the answers anyway, there were many spectacularly bright others in my team. So I just sat there, listening. More like not listening, and dreaming.

All of a sudden, the words 'Tachyons' and 'George Sudarshan' burst into my conscience. One of them was the question posed by the quiz master and the other, as I knew so well, was the knee-jerk response from my brain.

I jumped up from reverie and looked around at the others. Not a single hand was raised. Everyone was looking at one another.

What should I have done? Raised my hand and uttered the magic answer that no one else knew. The perfect path to instant stardom. It would have altered many things that day if I had found my tongue. But in true filmy comedy style, my heart beating the hell out of me, I sat numb, my tongue frozen, my hands tied to my side, wondering if I had heard the question right, if my answer was wrong, if someone would laugh at me.

A few seconds passed, the question went unanswered, the quizmaster moved on to the next, and my moment of glory died before it was born. But my heart continued to beat the living daylights out of me for the next few hours, at my missed chance...
... and for the next twenty years or so, whenever the scene returned to mind, I would raise my hand, rise and whisper the magic words before the eyes of the admiring audience, as I should have done that day.

Read up on George Sudarshan here. I had heard of him, thanks to my Science enthusiast father.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Wow Me, Wow You

A few days ago, I did an experiment. Some of my blogger friends would know what I am talking about, and some of them might even have noticed and said to themselves, "Oh, now she too has taken the wheel and headed out to the race track."

The fact is that I wanted to know how the "race" worked: and I found out that it was exactly as I had imagined it. Let's just say that a lot of back-scratching (but no back-stabbing) was involved to get my momentary "success". But it was not easy, no sir. I did not do anything illegal or wrong, but if you ask me if it was the right thing to do, I would hesitate a bit, and I would not be able to give a single word answer.

Since I am not going to explain what it all is, let me compare it with something very familiar: Facebook, where we all hang out.

Someone recently asked me if it was the "Facebook etiquette" to comment on all posts and photos and say "Wow, this is great" or ""Wow, so cute" or "Wow, you look wonderful" etc. I answered that the more you Wow someone, the more Wows you get back. Which translates to an illusion of rise in one's self-worth. (Besides, you really don't want anyone from your past to pop up and post some old foolish story on your wall and ruin your name in front of your more recent friends who think you are amazing. So the Wow is your way of saying, hey I am Wow-ing you and not ruining your name, so you better Wow me back and be decent on my timeline.)
I told you there was politics everywhere.

It is an unwritten, unspoken code. Wow me, I wow you back.

And thus, I proved - elsewhere, with respect to my blog - that the Wow-back theory works; it was not easy, it took hours of my time (did you know dishonesty and bribery are time-consuming?) and my hand began to hurt with all the mouse-clicking, but it did work pretty much. But sorry to say, it brought no happiness.