Monday, 27 July 2009

A piece of euphemistic cake

Imagine. You are given a cake right at the beginning. It’s made of many parts. You are told you can have as much as you want. The portions will never diminish, no matter how much you eat. But you will also never know when any of the portion will run out. It will happen, that’s for sure, but you won’t know when or where. So, basically, you either will have a whole piece all the time, or have none of it, all of a sudden.

The cake is free. And you never asked for it in the first place. It was just presented on a palate to you. And you gratefully accepted the offer. And started digging in.

But right on cue, all of a sudden, a part disappears. And you can’t no longer eat that one.

Then you grieve.

Why? You were given a seemingly fair deal. But now you cry over unfinished desserts. Just because you got attached to it, you forgot the arrangement. Not fair.

So, again, why does death affect us humans so much? Not so much our own, but others' around you. Loved ones. Friends. Family. They are the pieces of our lives that we were savouring unabashedly. And what? Hoping they will everlast? That was never the deal. And you knew about it right from the word go.

It isn’t grief unless it’s unexpected.

The moment we begin sleeping with this thought, we will be a happier species. In the knowledge that before the cake was ever served, or even the plate was moulded, we were but little wisps of undifferentiated nothingness.

Unfortunately, we are not wired that way. We make our cakes mobius-strips of human emotions and relationships. So that every crumb becomes a mandatory piece of contentment. Hence making its depravation irreconcilable.

Being such complex moist robots that we are, that sleep is never going to happen. So we will continue anguishing over snatched portions, right up until our own plate is taken away from us. Without comprehending the fact that we can eat our cake, but can never have it.

Tuesday, 7 July 2009

Guilty Pleasures

1. Eating the creamy half of the biscuit (and putting the other half back)
2. Old George Michael songs
3. Govinda-Kadar Khan slapstick
4. Prodigious burping
5. Not tipping at expensive restaurants
6. Eloping from the parking lot before the attendant comes to collect money
7. Very, very late braking while riding
8. Peeling off dried adhesive
9. Trying out expensive perfumes in a mall, and not buying any
10. Dirt cheap T-shirts pulled out from under a pile
11. Ear buds (in the ear)
12. Sneaking a smoke after a heavy family-gathering meal
13. The 'malai' formed on top of tea if left out for too long
14. Hidden scenes that appear after the end credits of a movie
15. B-horror movies with hot chicks who can't act to save their tops
16. Loving a song just for its bass-line
17. Creating fake heated arguments, where the opposition is taking me way too seriously than he/she should
18. Bad advertisements (And not just the "so-bad-that-they-are-good" kind)
19. Looking for familiar faces on Page 3
20. The short-lived bliss following a big sneeze during a bout of blocked nose

Am I the only one?

Thursday, 2 July 2009

Grid Locked

It should have been a cake walk. Sticking those "magic stars" up on the ceiling, that go all radiant in the dark. The michelangeloisation of our room's ceiling was for my year-and-half old daughter, I must add. So I had to basically stick 500 small ones, 300 semi-small ones, and a few more hundred of the big, semi-big ones. All scattered randomly across the sky/ceiling.

Ah. Now we get to the tough part. I was academically trained to be an engineer - a mechanical one at that. So seven years of isometric diagrams, vernier tortures, and more such perpendicular/parallel lines preset with T-squares and Drafters - all kicked in together. And thus fell apart the whole random part of the exercise.

Every next star I stuck was at an inglorious equidistance from the last two ones - involuntarily at congruent angles and in concurrent planes. Irrespective of how hard I tried to be chaotic with the layout - which would have nicely made it naturally "sky" like and all, the bloody thing ended up looking like a fluroscent graph paper with pentagrammed vertices. The one large moon plus one satellite plus one rocket - all provided relief from the infinite symmetry - with a nice little pattern of their own.

Things didn't help that apart from the academic brainwashing, I also have had the privilege of seating next to a few grid-obsessed art directors in my work life. Is it that I've been surrounded by so much methodical symmetry that there's no scope for madness? Scary thought.

But of course, the Golden ratio now made sense. Like Fibonacci, I'm sure God too is an engineer (with a keen eye for art direction). He just made an exception for the sky, that's all. Or did he? I need a telescope. And a vernier calliper.

Post Script: I spent 3 hours on precariously balanced tables to finish my symmetrical masterpiece. And now my daughter is scared of the shiny things in her room. She refuses to let us switch off the lights. I think He's a sardonic engineer.