Friday, October 30, 2009

of bigots and senselessness

Something happened recently that left me miffed enough to get vengeful. I had met a woman recently and heard a whole lot about her from someone very close to me. The setup was a matrimonial match. Someone known to both of them got them together assuming they were well suited for each other to spend the rest of their lives together. Things were going fine. They wined and dined and she dropped enough hints to make him believe there was real interest and it was heading towards something pleasant. He even got her to meet his parents and family to make her comfortable. I know his parents and they are one of the warmest people I have met ever. For him it was clear. She was the one. She was soft spoken, gentle and well mannered. He ignored her frumpy hair and found her childish voice endearing even when she did not ‘get’ most of his jokes. She loved the attention he bestowed and confessed to liking him. I met both of them for an informal dinner assuming we could have a good time. And indeed it was a good time. More than anything, he enjoyed her company and that was evident. She liked him too assuming one doesn’t cuddle up and kiss someone without instigation, if one doesn’t like that someone. He opened his heart to her. His fears, his shortcomings and his modest expectations. To cut the long story short, they were seeing each other and since they met in a matrimonial setup, it was understood that it was heading that way. Sooner or later. But she seemed to have a wild reservation about someone in his distant family because of some past experience. He offered to clear the air. But she wouldn’t let him. So while she hemmed and hawed, he waited patiently for her to say something definitive. And then came the bummer. She told him that though she liked him in a way, his family was not good enough for her. This, from someone whose own mangalorean catholic family isn’t anything that would have impressed the gentry. Her vanity seems to be centered solely around the family her elder sister is married to. A bengali brahmin family. Evidently cultured, well educated and highbrowed. Without batting an eyelid, she told him about the who’s who, who attended her sister’s wedding and how his family would never match up. When he asked how her sister’s in-laws is her family, she ignored the question. At thirty one, she wasn’t a teenager who was still looking at the world with immature personal values. Then she spoke of mismatch in social class. We have all been brought up with certain set of values. One of them was never to dismiss someone because of pseudo social standing. Even more, never to insult someone’s family based on social standing. If one is well brought up and from a ‘cultured’ family, one would never take a dig at someone else’s social background. That is something one never did. Never. I am happy that he has called it a day and told her for what she really was. A bigot confused with her own identity. Evidently, there is very little to love in someone who considers it infra dig to speak in her own tongue and takes pride in not knowing the language of her forefathers. It’s a shame. Really. I have always disliked people who live with such offensive values. In my right mind, I would never share a meal with someone holding this creed nor socialize with them or get them near my children. All I can wish for, is for them to disappear. So I tell my friend, thank your stars. You got saved by a whisker.

being bong

My baby’s growing up. In another step closer to become the quintessential bong boy, he got a new pair of glasses. His very first. A bong gentry is rather naked without his ubiquitous glasses that exclaim his identity even before he spills his name. As bongs have believed for ages – weak eyes are a direct result of a bigger and better nourished brain. And in their endeavour to nourish that prized organ, all bong mothers have for time in memorial, fed (often force fed) their children with fish and particularly fish head that is believed to be the ultimate aphrodisiac of the brain. I did ask my grandmom once about the scientific evidence since to me, fishes did not appear to be particularly smart specially since they got themselves hoodwinked by a dead worm at the end of the fishing rod! I was met with a stoic expression and a sacred spiel about how some things are not apparent in the cosmic scale of things but only experienced. When I still looked sceptical, she cited examples of noted men and women from my predecessors spanning nothing less than ten generations, who went about and ‘ruled’ the world with only the power of their grey cells. And yes, they were all ardent fish eaters who didn’t even leave the bones on the plate to feed the family cat. It is believed that every part of the fish has some specific benefits to the bong physiology which were explained patiently. And fresher the fish better is the efficacy. Then began the lament of how we do not get fish as fresh or as potent as we used to in the earlier generations and therefore the dilution in genetic stock. Dilution to the point that a much-loved granddaughter actually questions the efficacy of our sacred fish? Faced with this kind of conviction, one doesn’t really insist of checking facts and gulps down the biggish piece of fish that has been staring at one for a while. Head, eyes, tail and all. So much so that a bong is nothing minus his ‘phish’ fetish and a bong who doesn’t go orgasmic about his ‘phish’ is promptly ostracized at all community gatherings. It appears if the world was ruled by bongs, we would be trading in ‘phish’ and not bullion. Ask any self respecting bong and he or she will easily tell you the daily market prices of his favourite fish across the country and even across the major US cities. (in dollars of course!). So one lesson for the lesser mortals is to never, I say never, challenge a bong on his ‘phish quotient’. I have heard from confirmed sources that when the tech world first encountered social engineering in form of ‘phishing’, an upright bong gentleman was ready to sue the person responsible for the christening. We would go to any length (and breadth) to protect and fight for the bong pride. Is it not enough that the rest of the country often crinkle their noses while calling bongs ‘phishy’? Do we have to now have to share our identity with fools who are hell bent on making fools of others? But after a heated debate (bongs never fight, they debate – with logic and passion or logical passion or errr passionate logic!) the bong community decided that the right strategy to react to the phishing scams would be by churning out even more bong techies who have infiltrated various parts of the globe in order to bring the guilty to the books and end the menace. This is how the genteel civilized bongs deal with an insult so deeply inflicted to his soul. Just proves how constructive we are. Right?

Saturday, October 24, 2009

the demon

I don’t know anymore what is it that I am feeling. Or if I am feeling anything at all. I have had a reasonably good week. Not worked hard (hell I am not ashamed to admit!) and been out with friends most days of a week than I have ever been earlier. I have a well brought up child and tolerant parents. I should be happy. Ecstatic infact. But I am feeling an emptiness that claws my inners every waking hour. It shakes me awake at night and leaves me with a dull ache in the chest. For most parts I don’t know why. Failure to response to positive stimuli. Is this called reduction of feeling?

Friday, October 23, 2009

day's end

It was mid week. A Wednesday. There were many things about the week that was stressing them both and the two best friends decide to meet up in a long forgotten watering hole. The place has the hypnotic name of ‘Maya’ and she likes sitting next to the huge aquarium where the starfish always seemed to slither closer to her. He reaches early and waits for her to walk down from her place of work. One of the things that make him her best buddy is that he never cribs about waiting. He claims it comes with practice. It has only been a rare occasion that he has had to wait for her. They saunter in, take the elevator that is surprisingly empty and reach the 3rd floor. They didn’t even have to step out of the elevator to realize something was out of place. The floor was eerily dark. As they hesitate to step out a young boy emerges literally from the woodwork and enters through the open elevator door. When asked, he shakes his head indicating that Maya has died an unnatural death and he has no idea if it has moved some place else. She sighs and tells him, all because we didn’t patronize it like before. Back on the street again, they decide to go to 13th Floor, another watering hole not far from their first choice. As they walk down, she tells him how she twisted her ankle while walking down earlier, as she was watching a man with a torch walking on top of the under-construction flyover. He comments that it is so typical of her to do that. Watch unnecessary things and miss the obvious and the immediate. She rolls her eyes. They debate whether to join some other people known only to him, who were gathering at another drinking joint. Somewhere the debate didn’t go far and they entered the elevator and zipped to 13th Floor on the13th floor. They decide to sit outside in the open air deck with city lights twinkling somewhere below. The crescent moon, the burning Venus and chilled beer can spell magic on any mortal. They got talking. No there is no story there. They are both adults at an unfamiliar crossroad in their lives which is clouded with self doubt, dwindling aspiration and myriad mindlessness. He spoke. She listened. No she never stops at listening. She advised. She admonished. With him, her concern always overtakes good sense. He listened, trying to argue feebly. The beer rushed to her head and it was getting late. They decide to call it a day. A friend of hers messaged to let her know she’s in town. She calls back and plans to meet up the next day. He drops her home and takes the long ride back. Another day ends in their city.

Friday, October 02, 2009

after the hills it was the sea...

The devil and the deep blue sea....and not to miss the candooling couple braving the scorching sun!
the frangipani @ Villa Bayoud
Villa Bayoud @ Pondicherry
Villa Bayoud courtyard
A gourmet patisserie
Creepy snake @ Baker Street...but it's harmless dough!
It's a turtle...made of dough again!
Our room @ Villa Bayoud - Legend has it that Mother stayed in the same room when she first came to Pondicherry. This 300 years villa is now a heritage hotel.
Rue Francois Martin - around the corner of the Governor's House
The deserted Beach Road at 7AM

Thursday, October 01, 2009

reliving Coonoor - photo montage....

I wrote about the blue hills here and as pictures paint a thousand words so here goes....

Our destination....

The guesthouse!

The Coonoor valley....

Uncle and Aunty....completely in love with each other!!

The tea garden

Way to the guesthouse....

Is this the end of the world???


The clouds hugging the hills

Evening mist..

Yeah... they left me here...alone and lonely...(sniff!) while I was taking the previous shots!!!

The road that led to near annihilation! Some nincompoop told us this path leads to a graveyard and the rest is history...

This one is for our Mr.Dee is shy! Enquiries welcome :-)

On our way back...the puncture shop...(spot the missing wheel!) and they are shiny alloy's heart breaking to watch them getting mauled!

But you goto learn to say goodbye....