Sunday, November 1, 2009

To Bee or not to Bee




A tiny bee came in through the open window with a buzz and a grain of sunny yellow pollen on its back. The morning breeze had it landing awfully on to the dining table next to the window. Dazed, it shook its wings, folded them carelessly with one one wing still sticking out at an odd angle. It waddled through the spilled coffee on the table, stepped on to a paper napkin and left a small wet trail on it. I watched it carefully as I nudged my breakfast croissant away from the dazed invader on the napkin. Right next to the golden brown croissant, its black and yellow form was like a chef's quircky idea of a garnish. Its avionics doused with caffeine, wing-hinges out of order, it stopped right next to the lump of bread and did a funny lets-get-the-hell-outta-here dance. But the wings buzzed unsynchronised and sent it spiralling upside down from the napkin to the wooden table top. There it met with an ant who got all curious about this sudden commotion in the morning. The ant had to check what caused all that ruckus. But it didn't seem to have good intentions when it tried to tug a wing tip while the hapless bee was still lying belly up. After a brief tussle, the ant was sent packing to no-where land with a flip of a leg and the bee was back on its feet. And then suddenly, all challenges dealt with, it just took off from the table, circled my head, and went crashing head first into the window pane. In a moment, it was back on the table. Motionless. I suddenly felt like this rich nation watching two smaller countries fighting against each other. I got up. My eyes panned the floor and found another ant who was busy going no where. I picked it up and placed it next to the bee. In no time, the ant got to work. There he was, dragging an object 20 times larger and heavier than its body, over the table. It walked back wards with agility and purpose and in a few seconds it was straining to drag the bee over my croissant. When it almost half way through, I snapped my forefinger, sending the dragged and the dragger flying into the air.

Not on my fukin food.

I truly felt like a big nation now. Invitations are welcome from artists to design a flag for my nation. It should portray the following: "Power, animosity, dominance and dead bees".

Monday, October 12, 2009

Blackberried




I own a Blackberry.

A typical Blackberry day of mine starts at 4 in the morning.There wouldn't be any text messages I haven't read or haven't replied to because I always respond asap no matter what time it hits my device. But I will check it just one more time, just to be sure. At 12 midnight, 2 in the morning, while I am taking an afternoon power nap, I would get up and diligently answer everyone except the frequent adverts on free credit cards and the discount sales at the Armani Exchange. No body is ignored. I try to go back to sleep; but I am awake, looking up at the ceiling, bleary eyed.

I used to meet friends, have a beer, talk about family, work, women. But now conversation is different if the guy I am talking to owns a blackberry. We end up talking Blackberry. We share wicked jokes on the "storm" and the "curve". We exchange insane ring tones and sleazy mms all the time glancing at the others in the pub, wondering if they would all die one day missing all the Blackberry fun. We feel proud that we "have" and they "havent". We feel sorry for them and order another beer.

The story isn't any different in the restaurant. I never order pasta because it would mean using two hands to coax that food down your throat; which means that until I am done eating, my Blackberry would be out of the warmth of my palm,left alone, cold in the air conditioned solitude of the dining room.I would rather suck pasta till I am red in my face.

Official meetings can be slow death if you have a Blackberry on silent mode. Every vibration quickens your pulse rate and pulls you agonizingly through the blackberry-withdrawal-symptoms. My fingers twitch to check those life-saving text messages. My heart yearns to answer that call from a bored friend waiting for a taxi.And once the meeting is over, I pull out my Blackberry and Richard Marx sings "right here waiting for you" right into my soul.

I have recently noticed that my right thumb looks a wee bit larger than the left thumb. There are some parts of my right palm that feel slightly different than before. I feel an occasional fake vibration in my right trouser pocket even when the Black berry isn't there.

I facebook at funerals. I text while making love. I browse when I work, not at work, at home, not at home, when i am breathing.

I do not own a Blackberry. Blackberry owns me.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weight gains




As a kid I dreamt of becoming a crime fighter one day. To be a daring cop When I grew up. The dreaming part was done in all its intensity but I screwed up the growing up part. When I was in my 9th grade, my younger sister was atleast 2 inches taller than me. I over took her only 2 years later. But the growth spurt stopped right there.What ever it took to grow further, I had a short supply of it, by default. I hung from tree branches, drank horlicks, did stretching exercises, dreamt a lot more; but.....the scale froze at 5'6".

The tragedy did't stop there. Soon I found out that my 5' something frame was incapable of putting on weight, no matter how much I ate. I could run my fingers over the mirror reflection of my ribs and still count them accurately.I was a nutritionist's nightmare.

There was no chance of me becoming a cop. They will never have a khaki uniform that will fit me. I might even become the first cop to die of a gun shot recoil.

My best friend Thomas was a big guy for his age. T-shirts always looked good on him while I looked like a coat hanger holding it up while wearing one. I decided to find out what did it take to be like him.

Thomas was aiming a stone carefully at a bunch of ripe mangoes in our neighbour's yard when I presented my first question."Thomas, do I look skinny?"

He took his squinting eyes off the mangoes, looked at me without changing that expression, gave me a look-over and snorted; "You don't look skinny. You ARE skinny".

That answer was not going to help me at all. So I continued in a sterner voice; "Thomas,I want to be fat...like you".

Thomas threw the stone at the mangoes, missed, grunted, looked back at me and said; " I am not fat you lizard, but you are a skeleton and you screwed up my shot!".

I was convinced that Thomas just grew up with out having any clue as to why he is fat and how he could be of some help to someone who was an aspiring fatso. I ate one mango more than Thomas just to irritae him. I ate less for dinner that night.

It was a few more years later that I decided to study karate. I had two objectives behind this venture; 1) gain some respect from the bullies in the high school 2) try and see if I could gain some weight during the process.

The first objective was partially successful; the second was never a possibility; which lead to me to join a gym. I sweated buckets in both the places but never gained a kilo. But soon I found that I had a great effect on people when ever I talked to them, in the Gym.

I couldn't go near the muscled hunks in the Gym. They always pretended that they couldn't see me. One of them would just walk past me, bang his big shoulder into my bony chest, send me flying to a weight rack, look back at me and say "sorry" and would continue to do the same thing th very next day.I hated them.

Then there were the skinny guys just like me and most of the time, slightly better of than me. I saw a smile on their faces and empathy in their eyes. That was the last thing I needed; two skinnies trying to console eachother. There was no positivity in that relationship. I hated them.

Then there the real biggies. The buckets of lard who wore XXL T shirts and formed sweat pools on the Gym floor. I watched them with fascination as they panted, howled, heaved, straining under their own weight. When they took breaks in between, I watched them from the corner of my eyes, like a school kid looking at a beached whale.

I would never forget the day when I talked to one of those guys. He was comepletely gassed out and looked like he could do with some encouragement. I put my hand on his shoulder and said this much; "Look, I was once like you.Just keep going buddy! You can do it. Here, let me show you how to work those glutes".

He was my first fan. I soon started loving going to the Gym because I knew that there would be this group of extra-large extra attentive guys who would listen to every word I uttered and did what I told them to do. Skinny does it at times!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The girl in a car





I was half way across the road when I saw her in a car, passing by, so close. I crossed the otherhalf a lot more slower. Slow enough for One guy to stop his car and give me that universal finger sign. I just smiled, holding my bi cycle, one handed....

Sitting in my class, I stared at the lecturer and noticed that she too had dimples like the girl I saw in the car. I didn't hear a single word said that day but I heard the faint whistle of air as it rushed past an open window, carrying in the smell of the first rain....

Against my habit, next day morning I gave my rusty bicycle a hurried wash and waited at the road side, hoping to catch another glimpse of the girl in a car. It was drizzling. After an hour and a half, I left feeling quite stupid,wet but still hoping...

Badminton with the guys in the evening didn't feel all that nice and I just wanted it to be morning again. I slept late and dreamt of a car that had crept into my porch at night...and woke up in a sweat...It was still raining.

Days passed by and then one day I saw her in my college on the stairs. I coudlnt believe my eyes. My knees wobbled, my heart missed a beat and I suddenly wished if I had my favourite shirt on...

It took months, patience, luck, perseverance, fate, planning, cunning, drama, suspense...and a thriller..but not exactly in the same sequence before we could sit and have a coffee together. Coffee had never tasted sweet like that before...

Time put on spurrs and took flight before I knew that a year had come to its end. It was my last year in college. The last few days...

The stairs were empty and we were alone with each other. There weren't any words but just the dreadful feeling of losing it all soon....and then she leaned over and kissed....

That night i reached home, ran up the door, opened the stairs, said my pajamas and put on my prayers - turned off my bed, tumbled into my light.....God! that first kiss on the stairs!....

I never saw her again. It hurt for a long time. Years later somebody stole my bicycle. Few more years later somebody else stole my heart.. again. And many years later, it happened again..and again...I think I got used to it.

I was half way across the road yestarday when I saw her in a car. But it can't be her. She was driving. She didn't have dimples. She looked old. She looked bored. She looked familiar though. But it can't be her.

I crossed the rest of the road faster and almost walked into a car. The driver honked his horn. I gave him that universal finger sign. He smiled....I didn't.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

target practice


I still do not have a driving license in this country. This gives me that unwanted opportunity of waiting for taxis, some times under a scorching 50 degrees. Under the sun, there is very little thinking you can do...very often the only thing I end up doing is an oath I undertake which goes like.." I am getting that license next week"...It has been 3 three years now.

Under comparatively better conditions for living things to venture out; I have waited for taxis. During those sessions, I stop repeating my oath and look around at the drama that is being played all around.

Everyone does one thing first after they arrive; to check for signs that tell you who arrived first. It could be that guy who is almost in the centre of the road planning to stop the next taxi with his chest. Or it could be that mother with four children who looks daggers at any one who joins the queue. But the one who gets the ride is often somebody else. You could categorize them as the shameless, the arrogant, the fast or some times the lucky.

But if you choose to stand back and watch what happens during those moments when the taxi is still a thought on a every one's mind; theres is plenty for the eye.

The 30 something male in tight T-shirt and denims with cigarettes, mobile/s in hand looks like he was paid by some covert governmental agency to measure every female's arse with that invisible tape he had been provided with. Two school kids play target practice with a pepsi can and the waste bin fixed on the sign board. Every miss spills a few drops on to those who are waiting.
The construction worker who is used to talking over the din of concrete mixers at work; talk loudly to his friend about how the "item" at the dance bar gave him "looks" last night. The father with his teenage daughter looks on wishing he could kill people by merely thinking about them.
The asian couple displays some affection in public and the kids find the target practice sort of uninteresting any more. The beauty queen born with the mobile phone, plugs in the hands free because the device is burning her ears.
The Executive in a suit looks at his fake Rolex for the umpteenth time.

Finally a taxi arrives. The man controlling traffic in the middle of the road jumps on to the pavement to save his life. The kids throw the pepsi can on the road and in a flash grab the door handle. The woman and her kids gets in their way. She shouts, grabs one of the kids' cap and throws it away. While that kid retreats to get his cap, the mother herds her kids into the car.

The beauty queen starts her next life-saving call and the 30-something moves a bit closer to her. There is another guy in the middle of the road ready to risk every thing he has. More mothers with more children are arriving. I take another oath..

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Estranged


There came that time in my life when the pen needed more than words to go...a place where some of you have been to; the crash site of elusive, ephemeral moments. And I asked myself; what happened? How did I get here? What was it about?

Some times something can pick you by the short hairs and fling you around. Some thing called ...I do not know what...

Or maybe I got it all wrong.

You carry around beliefs about yourself that make you feel special, desirable, precious and innately good. After the initial phase where you take care of all those parts of your essential being; you put it down on a shelf for safe keeping. You assume that they have done their duties; a rest is fine.

But others do not rest. After all you were always under their eternal surveillance. They put those sticky yellow post-its on your back. All unawares. You carry them around. Slowly, you become the tag you carry.

Confused,you look around. You see someone else with a similar tag. You smile and then warily sit down for a coffee at a table.

What took you there? Deprivation? Angst? Boredom?

This is the real potent part of it all.

To sit down with your back towards the rest; the post-its on your back saying it aloud; but you go on to sing a song....over a coffee.

You carved out this time from your life for a song or a coffee? Or was it for something you can't explain? What is that dumb excuse?

I know just this much..It isn't mine to command it....let the flow wash me ashore...


When I find out all the reasons
Maybe I'll find another way
Find another day
With all the changing seasons of my life
Maybe I'll get it right next time....(GNR - Estranged)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A bed time story



I must warn you right away that the title can be misleading. My intention is not to give some tips on how to deal with your sleeping problems, if you have any. Such articles are plenty in magazines and on the internet, very often copied from each other. After all, our world is right now so busy copy/pasting like crazy!
So, back to “sleeping disorders”. The issue I have in mind is related to a few people who came visiting me when my family was back in my home country. These “people” weren’t total strangers. They were friends of my uncle. There were five of them. Plus my uncle. Six big men. Six too many...

Human beings can hide a lot of stuff inside themselves. Some of it is actually better left inside always. One good example is what they do when they do not know what they are doing, when they are sleeping. Snoring. Friends, I am not talking about that irritating sound made by a man while he is sleeping. I am talking of a massive onslaught on your eardrums caused by five after-dinner drunk obese men at 12 in the night. Words are woefully inadequate to describe that experience. You can probably talk about it later, if you survive.
That night was the longest night of my life. It was like trying to sleep on top of a spluttering genset; infact 6 gensets on a spluttering world championship. I think at some point in time, my ears were bleeding or I might have been hallucinating. It is just the Almighty's grace that I was not turned into a serial killer of snoring people.

I did some reading once I survived. I had to. You never know, they could come again, right? You must also keep in mind that such a night can be a life changing experience. At least I was happy to remind myself that I was not a woman and one of their wives. So I did this reading to protect myself just incase such a calamity finds its way to my house a second time.

According to health expert and author Mr. James A Penn, “snoring is caused by something that blocks the air passages causing the tissues to vibrate. The back of the mouth is collapsible and the tongue, upper throat, and soft palate, and uvula come together here. During snoring, these 4 parts strike against each other to produce the vibration that we know as snoring”. This information was not helpful. I wanted to know how people can “roar” in their sleep.

That is when I found this information: “The mechanics of snoring are produced in the throat. As air travels down through it, you end up getting vibrations that create the sounds of snoring. What a lot of people don't seem to realize is that their jaw's position will actually lead to the expansion and contraction of the throat. The more room you have for air, the less likely you're going to experience vibration. When people snore, they have their jaw open or at least loose. That causes the constriction. All you have to do close your jaw and snoring will stop”.

That is it! All I need to do is makesure that their jaws are closed. Cut out their air supply. I may have something at home to get this job done. For those of you out there who ever had to go through what I went through and are thinking what I am thinking, here you go….I am willing to share this life-saving gadget with you. Check out the picture above! As I always say; Information saved is a life saved!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Tattoos, sand, stuff


If I sit down and start making a list of things I wanted to do; it would definitely be a pretty long list. But if I ever sit down and make a list of things I once started and never completed, that list would be longer. "Keep this blog alive" would be one item I wouldn't want to see in that second list.

Holy cow! It was in December that I scribbled something on this page!

Why didn't I do something about it? Was it the lack of a topic? Lack of time or a reason to write again? Laziness?

How ever in the last three months I had tried quite a few things; a second attempt at a few other things; but never completed or continued any.

The list of the new accomplishments read like this:
- Started going to the gym after 3 years. (I wonder why...I always seem to lose weight when my intention was to gain a few kilos)
- Started working on my life ambition. Write a movie-script (So much talent in this world is lost for the want of a little courage; wouldn't you agree?)
- Went Dune-bashing. Loved it. Would like to do more next winter. (Though I had a tough time washing the sand out of every hole on my body)
- Added half an inch to my waist line. Didn't want it; but came in handy because this country doesn't sell jeans that fits my sexy waist.
- Got a tattoo (I must be the skinniest guy on earth with a tattoo. Thank God they had small designs)

The list of stuff that I started and stopped were:
- Stopped going to the Gym after 1 month. Didnt gain/lose any weight. Lost 2 months fees that I paid in advance. I must accept a fact; I am genetically incapable of putting on weight; I may have to find another motive to visit the Gym (?)
- Stopped working on my movie script after 3 pages: Writer's block (You've heard that before)
- Get that date to get that UAE driving license: two days leave, two attempts. Result was the same. The counter will close by the time I have finished waiting for 6hours. They said they don't have enough staff. Emirates Driving(me-up-the-wall)Company &*#@*holes....May u all be bit by rabid camels...
- Save some money. I save some, I spend some more. It is like building sand castles on the beach. Wave one; zero castle. What is wrong with me, Mr Robert Kiyosaki?

Shall write more soon; that's very likely. I have this tear jerker on my mind. Kind of a personal experience soaked in sobs and cold fury.
Title: "Trying to sleep in the same room with 6 guys who snore"
Keep watching this space....

The Covariation model