Maybe it’s just that life unfolds in patterns.
And that the people who are better and more intuitive at pattern recognition go through more of “heck… I’ve been here, done this, before..”.
Oh, and to the lady who was wearing a black-and-white cotton salwar-kameez and on her Scooty at the Silk Board junction today… WERE you my long-lost pal Shakti? Well, whoever you were, just one look at you unlocked a cupboardful of memories. And resulted in half-a-dozen phonecalls to long-forgotten friends. Thanks!
PS: Ha-a-ve you listened to this song called Zindagi by this band called Friday The Thirteenth? I have. Thirty times yesterday.
Man, I really need to visit Planet M. Either that or NITK’s LAN.
For the past six months, I’ve been having a strange problem.
So I use GMail for all my emailing. Like a lot of other folks. I interact with a lot of people I don’t add on to my chat list. Like a lot of other folks.
But GMail seems to be singling me out to change my chat settings – Arbitrarily, my settings change from ‘Only allow people that I’ve explicitly approved to chat with me and see when I’m online.’ to ‘Automatically allow people I communicate with often to chat with me and see when I’m online.’.
I switch back to ‘only allow….’, only to see arbitPersonI’veExchangedMailsWith added on to my chat list.
And I switch back….. the cycle continues.
While it does inconvenience and embarrass me quite a bit, that goes on the backburner compared to my tearing my hair out on just WHY this happens to me.
I seem darned helpless here. I’ve raised this issue on the gmail mailing list, but to no avail. No one else I know seems to be facing this problem.
Do you face this problem? Does anyone you know face this problem? Are you working on GMail or closely monitoring it that you know why this happens, or how to deal with this?
Please please please let me know.
And do pass this link around far and wide such that it ends up catching the attention of someone who can help me with this.
The past four years have given my granny ample grounds to curse my college for making me waif-thin. And many other grannies too. We were an underfed bunch in the GB, for whom pickle was staple food, and the only reason any of us would be found near a blood donation camp was for transfusions.
Okay, it isn’t as bad as I make it out to be. But take it for granted there were a good bunch of people who, after being well-fed on simple, good food for eighteen years, were made to come in contact with mess food, and depend on it for survival. And the results were apparent within months. A lot of us lost weight like anything, suffered hairfall, and a few even started passing out and suffered deficiencies.
The thing is, we weren’t used to going out for every meal. And when we did, it wasn’t wholesome simple food. It took time to strike the right balance between swallowing cupfuls of dal consoling ourselves with the thought of all the protein, and pigging it out in Mangalore.
Obvious fallout – we were all on a see-food diet.
People generally associate girls with dieting and “do I look fat in this?”, but phrases and fads like those were unheard of in NITK Girls Block. Sure, there were the occasional few who refused chocolate, but those were an aberration – more on this later. We indulged whenever we could.
Like the mandatory pizza outings after a week of nightouts… where we’d have large pizzas with double cheese toppings and even cheesier conversations. (Poonam, I miss those bigtime). And innumerable meals at Cherry Square which all ended with Some Like It Hot for dessert.
(Actually, this phase made me a connoisseur-of-sorts. So what if we didn’t have good food to eat, that didn’t stop us from reading up about sturgeon caviar, kim-chi, gazpacho, exquisite pastries, you name it. At this point, I should mention my neighbor Pubali who was well-known for her collection of food pictures. I feel proud to have contributed and for still continuing to contribute in my own modest way to her massive collection.)
Girls in general don’t have monstrous appetites, and me most of all. I’ve always been picked on by family members for my picky eating habits, and I’ve always shared the table with people who look at my plate and say “Hmm… no wonder you are so small”, and comments like “Cya… make sure to eat well” have been staple diet for me.
After S’kal, my appetite has greatly improved, mainly due to sharing the table with what my grandmother would call people with healthy appetites. Peer pressure makes me indulge. And I’m not complaining… I don’t have to contend with overcooked vegetables and oily preparations anymore.
Hence, when my social circle expanded to include people from different walks of life, it is taking me a lot of time to come to terms with PEOPLE WITH PICKIER EATING HABITS THAN ME!!!!
I never thought that was possible. To start with, I used to dine with people who took second, third and fourth helpings of everything, giving me a complex about the single helpings on my plate. And then, others joined us. When we’d be halfway through rumaali rotis with dal makhani, people with their bowl of fruit salad and glass of carrot juice would join us. We’d just think that was their idea of a starter, but they’d leave the table by the time we’d moved on to kashmiri pulav. And they’d never come back!
Maybe they were lunching elsewhere… “Do you eat lunch outside?”, I proceeded to clear my doubts. They said they didn’t. Maybe they’d come back for a real lunch later when the crowds thin… nope, I was wrong there. That bowl of salad that would be part of a snack for me was their lunch.
And there were others who fasted one day a week not for religious reasons, but to stay slim.
I recall this incident when a friend of mine approached this task with determination in finalYear and lost such a lot of weight, so much that considerable difficulty was encountered in draping a saree for the Ring Ceremony.
These fruit-lovers might worry about fitting into their jeans; after the previous example quoted, I think the only worry I should probably have is fitting into a saree.
I’ve never known people who would voluntarily give up food like that. But, oh, well, different people have different food habits. If I don’t have a problem with Koreans who have very rare steaks and dog meat, or with Manipuris who apparently eat crow-meat, or Assamese friends and their bamboo delicacies, or folks close to the Chinese border with a love for mice and grasshopper snacks, I shouldn’t have a problem with fruit-eaters. After all, my eating habits would too be strange to a lot of people… like someone from the cowbelt asked me, “How can you eat curd and rice mixed?”.
…. is what Mr. Shivraj Patil had to say about the Delhi Blasts.
And he also appealed for calm. And praised the resilience of people of the country.
I agree, losing your head in such a situation is not the best thing to do. But how long should it be business as usual for the average Indian? Should he keep going about his work in spite of all the people he knows suddenly turning into ex-people? What is being done to check this situation where all of us have to live in fear?
Millions die of hunger and disease… why am I bothering about these twenty people dying? It’s because they die not because they are denied facilities or jobs, but very very very basic security. Preventable deaths.
We’ll send out mails saying we are resilient… they’ll continue blasting us into pieces. Reminds me of that knight in Monty Python And The Holy Grail who keeps yelling out challenges even though his limbs are hacked apart and his head severed.
And why am I blaming the government now? It’s because terrorists attack us because they can. C’mon… You cheat me once, shame on you. You cheat me twice, shame on me…. just how many countries have witnessed encores upon encores of terrorist acts?
There are some things in life you dread. There are some things which become imminent as time passes. Then there are lost chances. And inadequately-taken ones. And then there are glimmers of hope.
Sometimes when it’s all or nothing, you have to be prepared for an ‘all-for-nothing’ eventuality.
Things don’t strike you as and when they happen… it’s only on subsequent reflection that reality, or more often than not, perceived reality hits you hard.
Sometimes ‘this too shall pass’ is what sustains you. ‘Wait and watch’ is what makes you await new tomorows.
I think I reflect too much these days, and write too many unclear posts. But then, I can’t get clearer than this – I don’t want to commit to paper what I hope is a fleeting situation, and make it more real than it is.
After all, it’s simply stop-gap.
Just came back from my second Pt. Hariprasad Chaurasia Concert.
Distaste for the way this concert was being organized was ringing in the back of my head through out. I feel SPICMACAY ones would give it a run for its money anyday. Here are a few things.
- The stage: Almost always, SPICMACAY stage is set simply (Aesthetically pleasing, to put it in Dr. Kiran Seth’s words). The eye in the background. Slightly raised stage with plain white covering. The flower decorated lamp, burning in the side. (This one had red covering, and too many mismatched flowers in the background).
- Emcee: The construction of the script is crisp. Traces the music background of each artist, awards won, and the like. The same is done for the people who accompany. All the instruments are treated equal to the the “main” one. The rhythm can be felt. (This one had a very badly written one, with an elaborate flowery redundant description of how great the artist is. Introduction to the accompanying artist being, The person sitting to the right/left is XYZ rather that The person playing the Tabla/Pakhawaj is).
- The audience: “Flash Photography is strictly prohibited”, All the spurts of bright lights can be really distracting. I also like the unsaid rule of not clapping during the concert. I observe that people clap during the crescendo of the artists performance and hence miss hearing most part of it.
- Others: You do not have a video of the so-called life history of the artist being promoted just before concert, which leaves you wondering, whether that was at all about the artist, or how bad a little kid feels when the mother dies.
SPICMACAY concerts have other really interesting things coming attached with them. The ease with which you can interact/ approach the artist, whether in the NITK Guest house or occasional walks to the beach, and come to know how down to earth each one really is. The chance to ask questions that you always wanted to and never got the chance. Workshops by the artists, and of course the chance to miss mess food for yummy guest house food.
SPICMACAY concerts really do surrender the dias to the artist and the artform.
On the brighter side, here, the maestro played as beautifully as ever. And I also got to listen to an old music-classmate of mine playing alongside, with yet another demonstration of the great old art of putting taal with the folded leg!!!
Godwin’s Law: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”
Priya’s Indian adaptation: “As any public debate rages on, the probability of a comparison involving the Taliban approaches one.“
Any instance of the government even slightly showing muscle in matters that involve personal law or society at large, and there you go! You start encountering phrases like “Talibanization of Indian Society”.
Nowhere else has it been this pronounced as it is in the rebel yell against the 11:30 PM deadline in Bangalore. Bangalore Times, which has embraced this cause as its own, has daily columns by local celebrities (which it has created itself over the past few years, for use in situations like these) which scream again and again about how brutal the administration is.
No big deal… there are whiners always.
But what struck me is that no one, not a single soul has gone about this issue in a sensible way. Any wannabe party-goer immediately denounces the whole deal as Taliban. No one takes the point of view of the police, or the government. And worse, they treat this like it’s a decision of the City Police… why isn’t anyone seeing that they merely implement the law, not frame it! If they really did have an issue, they should stop conducting toothless campaigns like these (which only serve to tarnish the name of the city police… for doing their duty) and take the matter up in court.
The problem with this sort of approach is that the real issues are lost in the din. Has anyone bothered to check if there is a real reason behind the implementation of this law? No, I don’t mean the one that says the authorities love to Talibanize the city. Possibly the one that says that most of the dancing that goes on is done for money… I mean the bar girls. Flesh trade forms a major portion of the earnings of the seedier joints. And these also serve as hubs of extortion… you get the idea.
And then you have cases of drunken driving.
Now how is a short-staffed force supposed to deal with this? Especially since most of the owners of seedy joints are well-connected. And so are the drunk drivers. No, don’t say education is the answer… how many drunk drivers are illiterate? How many drunk people actually hail an autorickshaw to go home? Booking them hasn’t been effective so far.
There might have been a Justice For Jessica campaign, and Nanda might have been finally convicted, but who knows how many Jessicas have gone unnoticed? Can there be a media campaign for each victim of drunken misbehaviour? And is each campaign guaranteed to work? Is a media campaign the only way of ensuring justice?
if the answer to the last one is yes, it’s a very sad day indeed for the country. The Mafia-ization of India will be complete.
So… well… I’m not arguing drinking is evil. There are people who think drinking rocks, and yet another sizeable population which doesn’t quite agree. And the former group imposing their point of view on the latter is as good an example of Talibanization as the other way around.
So now how do the authorities strike a balance? I suppose “Greater good to the greatest number of people” is a common-enough heuristic to use. And an outright ban seems to give the authorities some teeth to deal with the hubs of flesh trade.
And I suppose not being able to drink in a public place after 11:30 PM is a small price to pay when you compare it to the number of girls being dragged away from their home villages and being sold. Surely the party-goers of Bangalore can afford to make a small sacrifice for this greater good?
PS: There are so many points being made in favour of bar girls, bar dancing, and legalizing prostitution. Now before you even think of saying something on those lines, give this a thought. Prostitution is legal in Germany. Sehr gut, these BgT celebrities will say, showing off what they learnt last Saturday at Max Mueller Bhavan. But then, when Angelika Hannehmann files for unemployment benefits due to an IT industry slowdown, the folks there will say, why do we need to pay you unemployment benefits? You can quite easily earn money! Prostitution is too a profession!
Sometimes I take decisions without as much as a thought, and act upon them, with even less.
Sometimes I think and think and think some more, mull over the various options, brood over the upsides and downsides of each, and am still unable to come to a decision.
The lethal combination of the two makes my life the way it is.
No, this is not a rave or a rant. I’m merely being matter-of-fact here.
PS: Title refers to the first Tamil soap opera I was addicted to. A total masterpiece from K Balachander, which gave a colossal boost to Prakash Raj, made sure Geetha faded out gracefully, and was a nice line on Ramesh Arvind’s CV… and moved the rest of us to laughter, tears and a whole gamut of emotions before Radhika Sarathkumar had even had an epiphany about Radaan.