Saturday, February 26, 2011

Remember the guy with the red baseball cap who sat opposite to you while you enjoyed your favorite bbq chicken pizza? I don't think so. Some men aren't conspicuous in a girl's life even if they wear red caps and yellow Tees. When it is a 70 year old one wearing glasses as thick as your arm and a few white wispy stuff adorning his head, it certainly isn't much to look at. But I was looking at you, hard. It took a full minute for me to focus and conclude that you were indeed a girl and you were hot.The short gray hair on the back of my shriveled neck stood up when I saw your ruby red lips as you bit into the medium pan pizza. If an old man is to be judged by what goes on in his mind, I should have been given an electric chair.

As usual, this February also I thought of walking past your house to get a glimpse of you. But my decades old prudence held me back. Some memories are still afresh in the gray matter. Some memories are hard to erase; especially when they involve you. Even if you are pushing 70.

Social networking had been a boon to the super senior lover boys like me in more ways than one. I remember befriending you last February posing as an amateur male underwear model. My facade fell down when my fellow pensioner friend tagged me on our reunion group photograph. Since his eye sight was a notch lower than mine, he tagged the wrong guy. Yet the damage was done. When you removed me from your friends list, I slept broken hearted and forgot to put my dentures in the glass. I woke up with an aching heart, knees, jaw etc and a dry drool measuring approximately 15 cms on the pillow.

Today is February 14th. The day cupid plays tricks with every one who is still in love or searching for love. Baby, I am still love stricken. But I am also stricken by diabetics, blood pressure and a certain illness that makes me change my bed sheets first thing in the morning. But I can't slight that pudgy lil angel who flies around with a bow and arrow. I can't deny the fact the sight of pearly white sinking into a piece of pizza makes me think sinful thoughts. How ever I will never ever bother you again. I will never be an unwanted profile presence even in your virtual world. I am taking my cold heart some where else.

To an old age home, to be precise. It wasn't my choice though. My wife told my son that I have been mis-using the internet connection he provided to see me from his house in California. He saw my profile on facebook and decided that enough was enough. Darling, all my bags are packed and I am ready to go.I am joining my brothers who share a similar fate. I hope to find a fresh meaning in life. I hope to find a pizza parlor there as well. I hope they get customers with pearly teeth ( a full set).And then, one day, I will wear my red cap again.

P.S. Do you know why I am jealous of pizzas? They are held with both hands before those teeth sink in.

Queen's English

That kid was old enough to run around and play. His young mother was with him, doing her surveillance with motherly attention and love. She was talking to him, encouraging him. In their own special language, or that's what I thought; until I was in earshot.

She was talking to him in English. The kid was responding in his own language, like any other kid of his age; a dialect you would understand only if you have spent time with them. However the mother spoke a different one. It was the Queen's English. Perfect in grammar, composition, in that easily place-able Indian accent.

It took only a few seconds of casual observation for me to understand that she was a malayalee. The rubber band in her curly oil stained hair, the soiled salwar,the cheap sandals on her feet and the long, heavy gold chain that adorned a slim neck. It was almost 8 in the morning and the street was already busy. On this by-lane, the mother and son had come to out to play? It didn't look like the perfect time.

The mother was asking the kid to leave his toy car and come back. She kept telling him that they would come later to play. Too young to understand his mother's banter, he went on. The mother didn't really seem to mind. She was more concerned about demonstrating her English language skills. Her furtive glances around seemed to seek the approval of any one who was nearby. She wanted the entire neighborhood to know that she could converse with her lil kid in English. Wasn't it admirable?

I continued walking. Meanwhile the "English speaking" mom had scooped up her kid and had started walking back to their house. I could still hear her talking loud. "Son, we will come back later and play, do not worry". The kid was responding in his mother tongue this time. I felt relieved. You can't mess with some instincts when they are young.

There are many nationalities living nearby with their families. None of the parents speak to their kids in English, even if they all are studying in Anglican schools. Only Indians are more "English" when it comes to casual conversation with even kids. I don't think it was something the British left behind. It is just us Indians pretending to be something we should never be.

We should learn a thing or two from that lil kid. I should have written this piece in Malayalam, to start with.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Mirror mirror...

If I claim that for the average narcissist, Facebook "offers a gateway for hundreds of shallow relationships and emotionally detached communication", a few would even bethink removing me from their "friends list". Such reaction is likely to happen in spite of all my hypocritical glory, I am aware that social networking in general allows me great control over how am I presented to and perceived by other users.

In a survey conducted by a psychologist, young people with narcissistic personality traits were found to parade facebook activity that was distinctly more self-promotional.There was this "pervasive pattern of grandiosity, need for admiration and an exaggerated sense of self-importance."

The survey's results showed "significant positive correlations between narcissism and self-promotional content in the following areas: Main Photo, View Photos, Status Updates and Notes."

Male narcissists were more self-promotional in their "About Me" descriptions, using this section as an opportunity to highlight their intelligence and wit.

Female users with narcissistic tendencies tended to use images in their self-promotion, uploading content that "included revealing, flashy and adorned photos of their physical appearance."

I couldn't help remembering how a few people I had known but not really "known", had been ostentatious and loud on networking sites but timid and shy in real life. Their insecurity grew wings and flapped wildly, perched on a facebook flagpole.

On facebook, even the trivial takes such gargantuan proportions. Why should the rest of the world be vexed with Jane revealing that she is "Out having a coffee with out cream"? Tarzan says he is "swingin again". It is all your fault, girl.

By the way, I have to go now.

"Out driving a tank".

Red, Yellow and Stinky