So I’m Jobless now. F-I-N-A-L-L-Y jobless. And making completely sure nothing upsets the status until a week into the New Year.
I haven’t watched Taare Zameen Par, and this time my intense hatred of Aamir Khan and his “different” movies [1947-Earth was F-art masquerading as Art. Dil Chahta Hai was F-art masquerading as SM-art. Fanaa…. nothing different… Dil Se did the same thing ages ago, RDB was a dumbed-down version of a Gaptain movie] that happen once a year has nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with it.
And another reason is the Cold. It reminds me of a Captain Planet episode where it was snowing at the Equator, and it wasn’t the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro. Now I’m waiting for Gaia the Spirit of the Earth (voiced by Whoopi Goldberg) to send me my Magic Ring…. Till then, you can find me snuggled underneath layers of blankets and woolies, waking up only when the sun is pretty high up in the sky. On the odd occasion I did wake up early, I went for a jog around Mini-Forest, and came back all soaked… and great as my luck always is, there was no power to use the hairdryer…. a-ti-shoo!
I can’t seem to WALK in Jayanagar 4th Block anymore… it’s so crowded, it feels like any movement from place to place seems like a result of crowd momentum… something like those birds that fly in formation so that the weaker ones can fly at a good speed even without spending so much energy. Makes it incredibly difficult when you are walking with a framed glass-painting and extra glass sheets for future paintings, more so when they are for your sister who’s holding it against you that you were two minutes late in getting to the book on glass painting that someone else took it.
And WHAT sort of people! Apart from the usuals, like the Laughter Club ajjas, there seem to be a lot of people of the third gender. I’ve lived most of my life getting lost in 4th Block Complex, and the first-ever time I saw an eunuch was on a train stuck somewhere in Gult-land… and now the place is positively swarming with them! And no, they are not the benign sort who stand for elections or cook biryani at Koovagam. Extortionists, that’s what they are. They don’t spare anyone, not even the lads behind the counter of Subway, or KFC, or Domino’s, or even Davangere Benne Dose. Why, I saw three of them, so impeccably dressed that you’ll think they were going to their job at a bank, extort cash from a couple of unsuspecting boys from Vijaya Junior!
I’ve slowly started getting peeved with the rise in prices of books, even Rupa and Penguin cost hell lot these days. So much that I’m willing to download ebooks, or buy stuff pirated, and I don’t mean only one-time reads like Dan Brown or assorted Chick-Lit. I’ve found there’s no point of banning anything, especially not books, coz I find some thousand copies of Satanic Verses on eSnips. And the problem is, that is the ONLY Rushdie book I find free for download online, and occasionally Midnight’s Children or Fury.
So I was at the Strand Book Festival at Chinnaswamy Stadium, and couldn’t for the hell of me find anything I wanted, least of all Rushdie. And there weren’t any assistants in uniforms walking around the aisles. And just as well. The aisles were really narrow and crowded. So much that you couldn’t turn around without upsetting atleast one pile of books… and bending to pick them up only caused others to trip and go flying. I went up to the billing counter, and in my politest voice, I asked the man there, “Do you people here have Shame?”. His double take made me add, “Salman Rushdie.. novel…”.
To add to this, I was with a young cousin of mine, someone who is almost as good as me when it comes to knocking down stacks of books. Apart from that, the normally well-behaved kid can’t keep his hands off books, and has to finger everything. And having a clumsy AND bossy older sister around didn’t in the least help him….. me and him proved to be a lethal combination for people who tripped, who tripped us…. And also for nosy senior citizens. One of them wanted to know what I thought of Kancha Ilaiah, when we both were looking through copies of his latest bit of tripe, and then was surprised I had such strong opinions against him…. and said I was too young. Another asked my geeky bro to not go through the book on Network Security, as it would be a negative influence and make him a spammer. Or worse, someone who spread viruses, a black-hat hacker. Bro muttered something about Linux and hence no viruses, and won a free appointment to install Ubuntu on the old-timer’s antique system.
And so I was pretty frustrated at the end of it all, and when I was paying for the stuff we bought, I saw this young man plunge his hand into the middle of a carton piled high with tiny books that taught the Alphabet, causing a dozen to fall into a pool of dirty stinking water below. “Young man,” I said indignantly, as I picked up the fallen books, “I’m never ever bringing you anywhere again. Never. And if I forget, remind me”. At which point I turned behind and saw that bro was digging into Tintin, nowhere near the counter, and there was a little boy near me, with his face buried in his mother’s saree.
Since this morning, my usual routine of channel surfing (Zapping) has been rudely interrupted by the Gujarat Elections. Yeah, so the BJP was on its way to a two-thirds majority. Surely that is not something extremely surprising, or something that has never happened before, or so interesting that all 40 Indian news channels would stop all news about kids falling into ditches, or the latest Bollywood lyrics which offended animists in East Timor. Or have SRK’s six-pack get less screenspace due to the screen filled with popups about how and where which party was leading. The whole damn day dedicated to discussing Modi? “Rock-star Status”, as some analyst said, is right. I found some site dedicated to Mr. Modi… this one goes too far.. there are even Modi Wallpapers and Screensavers! Great heavens, I don’t think even his fellow Gujarati (from Valsad), Mr. Farrokh Bulsara has such honor.
That apart, it was fun watching Margaret Alva go red in the face, when Rajdeep Sardesai asked her “Modi seems to be incorruptible… isn’t it something you must learn?”. “What do you mean!”, she yelled, and corrected herself with a hurried “I mean… it’s something everyone must learn…”, before she went on to say that Modi appeals to the middle class, and rural areas and tribal areas would have not done well, just before Mr. Sardesai went on to show that Saurashtra, Kutch, and other tribal regions were exactly where BJP had made some big gains, and ousted the sitting Congress MPs.
It’s holiday season now, as we can judge by the large amount of red clothes lined with white fur that we can see all around…. I wonder how it is Down Under, in Oz? Anyway, here’s wishing everyone great holidays, in the words of John Lennon,
So happy Christmas,
And a Happy New Year!
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear.