Tuesday, June 29, 2010

a typical love story

she saw too much. he saw too little. she read too much. He was illiterate. she was heavy. He was light. She spoke too much. he was quiet enough to hear it all. She liked her eggs cooked. He liked them sunny side up. She smiled a lot. He was too awestruck by her to put his lips together. She was strong. He was stronger. She was in love. he was in love. They were in love. There wasn't anything they couldn't work out. And yet, they didn't.

from toilet to toimust

Ideally HR policy should begin in the potty. That doesn't go onto to say that I’m propagating that it should all be shit, but just the pivotal role loos play in optimum productivity and ergonomics. Consider this. You got the deadliest kind of deadline looming ahead and you got a bitch of a full bladder going on? Which one will you attend to first? Call of duty vs. call of nature. It’s no contest, really! And unanswered calls of nature have an annoying, not to mention uncomfortable, persistent-recently-ex-girlfriendesque, mind-dominating way of reminding you that you need to answer sooner than later, if terribly embarrassing circumstances should be avoided. "32 missed calls? What the hell!!" The only thing worse than being stalked by a psycho-ex is being stalked by a psycho bladder. More so, cos you and the bladder are inseparable. Any attempts would require some serious zen-shit and the telekinesis kind of power of channeling your concentration. Moving things move by looking at it is child's play when compared to taming the aforementioned psycho bladder.

Working requires sitting, sitting means putting pressure on your already under-pressure bladder, putting pressure on your under-pressure bladder means you think of very little else except the need for relief. But the loo is a living, infection-rampaging nightmare which has to be avoided at all costs. So you avoid it at company cost, choosing to hop around like a ballerina and talk in a strange, almost fanatical high pitch (the air conditioner is NOT helping) than work. If it's the monsoons, you're damned. And what's up with the waterfall screensaver, huh? Thus you do little else till the angel of mercy, read the ayah, comes with her resolute bucket and mop to do the humanitarian act of cleaning the loo.

Since the peeing process is by nature, a little undemocratic, the least we can do is a separate His and Hers, if you please? Natural selection didn't quite play fair. His and Hers is a wonderful idea. Let's adopt it more often. Also women have this "condition" called the period! Spare a thought, will you? It's easier to do something about that than global warming or something. Being out of circulation for an twelve weeks out of fifty-two weeks is bad enough. And makes us want to scream, pull our hair out and string the concerned HR person by their thumbs. Cos an indiscriminate EVERYONE gets 15 days of paid leave. Not even a little condition's apply star that provides for the erratic ways of the female reproduction system. Even the pacific ocean equivalent of cramps is casually and callously written off as casual leave. Insult to injury. All it takes to make life a little bit fair is a dustbin in the toilet, so that we are spared the embarrassment of carrying suspicious dead giveaway parcels furtively in and out of the loo. Not to mention, it also takes care of those weirdos who are in the compulsive habit of leaving behind "souvenirs". All things said and done, good loos make good workforce. It makes us more productivity to not have alarm bells going "I need to pee. I need to pee" in our heads. Before the almighty bladder, CEOs, clients, husbands, wives, the CIA, the prime minister, potential pinkslips, global hunger, Hugh Jackman, etc. all take a backseat. Good, proper, functioning loos can indeed make the world a better place. For you and for me and the entire human race.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

ole

(to be read after abandoning the teeniest weeniest bit of sense)

Whoa! What was that?” Lt. Mazzorb had been traversing rather monotonously through the fifth galaxy in the all new Fzzterdanlyt 2.0 when this sudden turbulence at zero gravity disrupted the course of their ship knocking both him and Capt. Bezzzoff right off their feet. "Oh that," Capt. Bezzzoff said rubbing his head, "must have been a goal." "A goal?" Lt. Mazzorb was beginning to find his co-vigilante rather annoying. The creature was all of 475 million gazos which was approximately 5 human years against his 325 million gazos of being around in the universe and the old Ennuitling believed him to some kind of know-it-all and the patronizing tone he used just then wasn't something the Lieutenant liked altogether. There had been reports of errant asteroid and they were doing their bit to protect the Beegblob intergalactic neighbourhood, when this wave of kinetic energy blasted past them. The stars only knew what or where such a powerful blast originated from. There were rumours of the cosmos beginning to implode within itself and this senile Capt. Bezzzowa shrugs it off as a goal, like one even knew what a goal was!!

"You're too young to even have been born then. Most of us Ennuitlings don't live long enough to remember one to the next." It wasn't often Capt. Bezzzoff got a chance to rub his seniority in his arrogant Lieutenant's face. "So what is this, Capt. Bezzzoff? Some kind of bipolar disorder of erratic magnetic fields? Or is it some kind of anti-gravitational pressure belt activity? It was rather strong. To knock a sturdy vehicle like Fzzterdanlyt 2.0 off its course and cause such an impact, it must be something to worry about." And worried is what Lt. Mazzorb sounded. "Nah! It's nothing." Capt. Bezzzoff said, settling back into his artificial-gravity lounge shelf. "Why are you so lax about this Captain?" Lt. Mazzorb was going purple in the face, a certain sign he was livid. Capt. Bezzzoff looked at him quizzically, "Surely you do know it's the world cup down there on planet Earth?" "I'm sorry?" Lt. Mazzorb looked more stumped than ever and a stumped-looking Ennuitling isn't an endearing sight. "The FIFA World Cup? Surely you've heard of it? Though you're much too young to have been born during the last one. It's a pity I won't be around for yet another one. It happens every 340 million gazos or so. Very special time, you see!" "Why's that?" Lt. Mazzorb wasn't sure if the captain was feeding him a whole lot of intergalactic waste but it was very interesting. "You did notice all this effervescence in the universe haven't you? The stars are ten times more luminous than normal. Yesterday we recorded an all-time high in luminosity. And there's been a lot more nebulous activity recently. Not to mention the high energy levels uncommon to this side of the universe" "You mean to tell me all this is attributed to some activity going on in that strange blue planet filled with a bunch of weaklings?" "Those bunch of weaklings are the only ones capable of the most powerful energy that exists. It's called happiness. Humans are the only living beings that can generate and are the only known sources of this powerful energy that even black holes cannot destroy or absorb. It often enters space in measured quantities and floats around like stellar dust in the cosmos. But during the world cup, powerful surges of happiness come like a tidal shockwaves from various points of the world. They all converge together and BOOM, catapult into space. What we just experienced was precisely that." "This happiness phenomenon ought to be studied." Lt. Mazzorb had his disapproving voice on, like happiness was this errant, irresponsible space gangster who had to be brought to book before it ransacked self-respecting space travellers. "Oh it's been attempted. More times than we care to count. You have to understand what this means to the human race. The entire human race which can't arrive at a consensus about anything right from how to cook eggs to nuclear policy suddenly finds some kind of strange brotherhood in football. Football by the way, is the reason for all this fuss. Let me explain how this works. It's very simple. Two teams, one spherical duo-coloured object called the ball, two goal posts and the entire human race. A goal post is allotted to each team and the entire game is about scoring points by overcoming obstacles and hitting the ball right into the goal post. And when they do that it's called a goal. Leading to delirious celebration. You have to understand the enormity of post-goal consequence. Imagine several thousand billion people standing up in unison, roaring with joy in unison, howling - sometimes with joy, sometimes in sheer pain, bellowing their celebration or their devastation. It's a whole lot of energy, proactive, reactive and counteractive, generated by one single circumstance and it defies every theory of relativity ever written. It's known that when football penalties are delivered, there have been more recorded cases of heart attack then any other individual cause. Depressive energy like that can cause some serious damage up here with its aggravated gravitational pull, shift the moon's position and cause hurricanes down there. There are more massive energy fields out here in outerspace. But human beings with their complex chemistries and reactivities, not to mention their capacity for happiness can wreck havoc with their unrestrained excitement. Our universe is just too small for its impact. There is this thing they do call the Mexican wave. That's some crazy intergalactic shit cos it's so combined in its purpose, it buzzes with teeming almost-alive potential energy. It has to be seen to be believed. These humans come up with such ways to celebrate that can sometimes mess around with the elements themselves. Anyway this Mexican wave thing, it's consequence is an insane slinky of a shockwave traversing right across the universe, thanks to the earth being round. For the briefest fraction of a nanosecond, every molecule in its path has its atom density messed with and becomes wobbly. We don't notice cos it happens one atom at a time. So by the time an atom experiences this phenomenon, the previous one has already recovered from it. But that's how it is." "But captain," Lt. Mazzorb interrupted, "Why do these humans follow this football thing at all? Don't they have countries that are segmented?" "The players, my dear lieutenant, are demigods. They are messiahs themselves. Zeus very own bloodline. This game can turn atheists into desperate believers and the prayer-generated energies churned out during this time, is unbelievable to say in the least. So all I can say is prepare for assualt during the next few weeks."


Disclaimer: many laws of physics were harmed during the making of this piece. The writer takes no responsibility, culpability or be accepting any teaching posts at Harvard. About football, my sincere apologies for my limited knowledge.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

mellow drama

do you want to talk forever
i spell the rules out, i dont say a word
the boy who made me feel most alive
was the one who left me for dead
flowers and dreams laid before feet
why didn’t someone tell me love was
just a mating call, answered.
making somebody else's story, ours.
we're everybody and it happened to us.
Theirs as much as ours. them, we. us, them. common unfriends.
when our backs were turned, someone rewrote the rules
we believed there was nothing there
and yet, we didnt know there was so much to lose
we smile at each other the smile of strangers
memories overlap each other in a violent skirmish
jostling for space. it was good. it was bad.
bad riddance. good rubbish.
would you find the scraps we stowed away
behind work schedules, dark stairways, underneath pillows
pressed between books and in secret hidey holes in each others' hearts
dirty little secrets - orange and sugary like boiled candy,
too sweet to suck. too sweet to spit out.
personal jokes, giggles and laughter
spiraling like drain water. i watch helplessly.
songs unsung and folded kisses.
traces of each other stuck to skin, clothes
in our cupboards and unwelcome dreams of intimacy
make believe postcards of places we have never been?
pieces of you and me that without the other
will never be complete.
denied out of existence.
we smile at each other the smile of strangers
pretending not to care.
pretending it was never there.

Friday, June 11, 2010

relevance

Technology is so advanced. One, two, three and voila! Right from cooking an egg to building an entire city. Press a few buttons and you're done for the day. The 7-day creation process looks like the outcome of bizarre super computer. Human effort is almost redundant. Judgement, so dispensable. The inbuilt chip will take care of it all for you. "Will that be all, sir? Very good, sir." "Apply. Cancel." Technology, such a diligent acolyte! Such a humble and reliable servant. Figure out the user's manual and you're king of everything. Life by instructions. Life by numbers. Life unmarred by sensibilities.
Take shaving for instance, such hard work, you could kill yourself from the strain. Thus electric razors. Battery operated and handy - the criteria for a perfect world. On. Off. And maybe a remote control to go with it? A remote control. That epitome of all of God's good graces, His name be praised. "Celebrate His loving mercy for he has given us the REMOTE CONTROL!" A case of constipated faith, honey? Check your TV guide for the next prayer session, to be followed by mass. Technology can save your soul! The evangelist raises his hands in conviction and faith and exaltation and melodrama. Hallelujah everybody. God's on TV!
Straight hair can now become curly and curly hair can become straight. Old women can become young and young women can become smaller, larger, taller, svelter, rounder; why, young women can become young men! Consequence is a just a matter of short cut keys. Cntrl A, Cntrl C, Cntrl V and then the penultimate choice; Cntrl S vs. Cntrl Z. Save or undo. Vibrators dispel loneliness and microwaves fill in for out-of-town wives and mothers. Up and down buttons. Warmer, cooler. Forwards, backwards. Higher, lower. Life's simpler.
Nobody needs to remember birthdays anymore. A little pop- up calendar reminds you that your dad's/mom's/wife's/husband's/son's/daughter's/dog's birthday is around the corner. "Leave your wish after the beep." They've even taken care of the surprise. Why fear when ebay is here!? Ebay has everything.

You don't have to take the trouble. There're a ka-zillion gadgets out there to do that for you. The time you'd waste in queues, you can now get your job done in a blinky, get your groceries, watch a movie (downloaded, of course) and still have enough time to spare for checking your emails or whatever happens to be on your priority list widget. Now would your postman come by every five minutes, just cos you suffer from an insatiable need for communication? Or would your newspaper man come by delivering updates, by the second minute?

Now let's talk about the amazing invention called the phone. It can make anything, right from dinner to booty and an ambulance to a blessing, appear. A regular magician. Or a super powerful wand. Take it anyway you want. This whole everything at your fingertips shibboleth never had it this good. And apparently, since punching buttons was taxing...we're all touchy-feely now. Touchscreens. Now it's actually, literally, perversely keeping in touch! Coming to think of it, old 'chit' must be feeling rather left out with his counterpart 'chat' being the only one savvy enough for these technologically-driven times. But even chat must feel violated with "Voice" being force-fitted to itself like an extra appendage. Twenty years ago it went without saying that the verb chat warranted the participation of voice. No voice, No chat! And now, this forced reinvention to suit the needs of the times cannot be without some amount of resentment.
Chats, voice chats, web cameras, second life, farmville, social networking, virtual pets, Wikipedia, blogs, emails, itunes, photoshop, livejasmin.com (which I believe is the porn site not the tearoom), youtube, piracy, ipods, kinky toys esp those disgusting inflatable dolls with their mouths open in a ghastly gasp, laptops, cubicles, intercoms, TV, microwaves, playstations, automatic teller machines, assembly lines, robotized-what-the-hell-talking sex dolls (?) and what not. Everything designed to reduce human interpersonal contact. Everything designed to bring us together while driving us apart. (Why talk when you can chat or text? Duh?!) Everything designed to keep us happy. Everything to help us deal with the unendurable heaviness of being. Everything to compensate for what we don't have. Everything to make it easier. Everything to make the nights a little warmer - loneliness is a fidgety bedfellow with terribly chilly feet. So many things designed to put a little inconvenient something called relationships out of business. Let's uncomplicate!

And yet, despite all this progress there's nothing till-date that successfully simulates or duplicates the warmth of a human hug or a kiss. Something so ridiculously simple, you'd think they'd have figured a mechanical, battery-operated substitute ages ago. Love, anybody?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

the bathroom mirror monologue

If us bathroom mirrors could talk, we'd be such terrible telltales. Such awful sneaks. Snitches. "She touches herself." "He wears his wife's clothes." "He talks for 10 minutes in the voice of Spongebob square pants. Everyday. Practising. Plans on trying out for a talent show. You’d think at 55 he’d have more sense!" "Mr. CEO is terrified of creepy crawlies and screams like a girl at the sight of one" “The priest hums ‘Like a Virgin’ while he shaves, makes moany sounds occasionally!” “That’s nothing. The other priest reads Playboy on the potty” "She might be the hottest girl in school and all, but her oral hygiene sucks. Bad breath as terrible as satan.""She hides alcohol in the flush tank. Swings" "He eats boogers. Blurgh!" "He pisses into his wife's shampoo." "She's in love with her son's best friend. They've been here and done thaaat." "Her t**s.... one hundred percent NOT REAL. One day it was like ho-hum and then barely later, it's glory! Glory!" “He fancies his best friend’s girl” “He’s having an affair.” “About Brangelina…ha ha wouldn’t you like to know!” “You’ll never guess who stayed the night at the chief minister’s place” We'd be the darling of the paparazzi. You think our worthy brother couldn't see right through old Adolf's plans everytime he carefully primped those bushy parallel lines on his philtrum with his toilet scissors as a young adult? But like I said, we can't talk. We're privy to army secrets, scandals, state secrets, orientation secrets, torrid love affairs, basically, forgive the pun, steamy secrets. We know the truth about the existence of aliens. I'm not telling you anything, oh no!! But I'm telling you, even those people you call Men in Black, they look into bathroom mirrors. And we know a Man in Black from a purple-faced large headed chrome yellow dribbling 6-footer. And we can tell a Halloween costume when we see it, thank you very much. We know which starlets take a piss standing up. Ha ha... aren't you dying to know our secrets, now? But most importantly, we know who loves you and who doesn't. What you see is never, ever what you get.

Big secrets. Small secrets. Smashing secrets. Blah secrets. Predictable-as-a-cheesy-romance secrets. Terrible secrets. Not-so-terrible secrets. Personal secrets. Scary secrets. Sweet secrets. "He asked her out finally. She just told me. They're going to be so happy together." Now, call me sappy, but I love secrets like that. I love it when they brush together in front of me, jostling for space, illict giggling, knowing they have no business being in front of the same bathroom mirror. "Her husband takes her make up off for her sometimes...awww ain't that sweet" "He's so in love with her. He even smiles when he brushes his teeth." I love it when small children choose to pray in front of me “Dear God, please make me beautiful” Then there are snide secrets. "You should see her without makeup. HORRIBLE. And she's supposed to be this hotshot actress. Sorry hon, but no photoshop available here." We even know who is standing behind you, watching you even when you can't see them. You know what I'm talking about, right?
"The boss cries in the loo as well. Just like everybody else." "She doesn't want this baby. And he's so excited. He doesn't even know it’s not his" "She stains her daughter inlaw's clothes on purpose and ruins them for spite." "She considers slitting her wrists everyday and changes her mind everytime her husband calls her to bed""He wanks thinking of his secretary's husband. And his wife has absolutely no clue!" “She lost her virginity..again. God, men are so stupid” “He beats his wife” ““He’s sleeping with his ex”. “So is she.” “Whoa! This is getting messy”.” “She’s bulimic.” It's practically amusing how people are so uninhibited in front of us. Hell, even nuns have no qualms about dropping their clothes in front of us. Practiced speeches. Nobel Prize slash booker prize slash Grammy slash academy award slash national award slash Miss India acceptance speeches. Rock concerts with shampoo bottles for mikes. Parliamentary addresses. Don't even get me started on the shutter-happy narcissists who can't get enough of taking their own pictures in front of us. Proposals. "Will you marry me? Tch...Will you please, please marry me? ...uh uh...I can't live without you. So marry me?" And the inevitable HUGE Sigh! So many dreams..all laid before us.

Happy Bathroom mirrors, unhappy bathroom mirrors, content bathroom mirrors, disgruntled bathroom mirrors, suicidal bathroom mirrors, pervy bathroom mirrors, holier-than-thou bathroom mirrors. It’s just very well we don't socialize that much. And that we can't speak.

Here's the deal. Some of us see pretty much the whole of a person's life. We're like more or less, a permanent fixture. A long term relationship of sorts. Right from when we can just about see the tops of their heads (soft curls and porcupiney straight) to when you can just about make eye contact if they stand on precarious tips of toes, necks outstretched like curious ostriches, then you see a cute little nose, then a smile, then a neck, till they're tall enough that we see the tops of their heads as they double over in grief in front of our eyes. Breaks our glassy hearts! In many ways, we're the true reflection of who you really are. We ARE who you are. Your strengths, your weaknesses, your happiness, your sadness, you dreams, your worries, your insecurities, your true beauty, your heartbreaks. We see it all. Lipstick and kisses. Aftershave and nicked necks. Tight underwear and cellulite. Sweethearts and bitter tears. Concealer and camouflage. Being taken for granted and being cherished. Frustration and prayers. Sometimes a little too much that desired. Like leaning over and bursting pimples in our faces (for the record, I hate that) and checking for breast cancer (don't do that in front of us, please. It's scary!!) It’s sometimes sad to watch some of you become such clich├ęs of disaster. And it is wonderful when you redeem yourself. Most of you are a lot cooler when you're naked. If only you'd take the time to look yourself in the eye.



It’s very well we don’t speak. It's a good thing we don't go to town about it. It's a good thing we can't tell on you.Things are bad enough with most of you going around with your heart gaily swinging from your sleeve.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Tigress

I’m dangerous they say. In zoology textbooks and encyclopedias they call me an apex predator and flesh-eating. I’m called fierce. A hunter. A threat. Merciless. Dangerous. Wikipedia confirms me to be the largest and possibly the most lethal in the family. .
Feral. Cunning. Calculative. With an acute survival instinct. Territorial. Powerful. All gone to rust.

A lazy tub of lard. I don’t need to fight for my place on the food chain. I’m fed. Cooked, processed food. I don’t even have to use my teeth. My claws have gone blunt with complacence. Fatted. I've forgotten the smell of blood, and how it coursed my veins with adrenaline. That hunger I used to know when i preyed. The rush of being my own again. Of being answerable to no one but myself. Of knowing freedom, of being in charge. Of being the one calling the shots. Of not having to retract. A change in environment. That’s all it took. To reduce me to this. It's an easy life. Yes it is. Take a girl out of her habitat for long enough, and she's lost on her own turf. Unsteady. Senile. Stupid. Insecure. Ridiculous. Suddenly I'm approachable. He has the nerve to reach out his audacious hand and stroke my neck. And i respond. The shame. The fall from grace. This is my compromise. My compromising position. I'm safe here. But at his mercy.

Respected. Feared. Revered. Now I purr and nuzzle. Playful. And played with. For the sake of a little protection, how much of myself was I willing to trade? For shelter, I have traded my battles, my wounds, my victories. I have surrendered them all. "Just as long as you will take care of me." To be cared for, was that so infinitely important? To yield instead putting up a fight. Unforgiving. And now I'm taken for granted. I was made to be solitary, have my space respected. Now i roll over and let them tickle my tummy. I used to be called wild. Beautiful. Unattainable. Goddess. Worshiped. I lick his hands with gratitude. They take liberties with me now. This leash is almost a comfort. It means security. Of not having to be afraid, a coward's comfort.

I'm dangerous they say. But I wouldn't know. Out here, I’m just tame.


**(as thought by a tigress in captivity)

Friday, June 4, 2010

doors

I know I just walked through one of them. A doorway. An exit. A vestibule into another existence. The start of another chapter. A change of events that separated this second from the last, wedging its demarcation vividly like a thin red line on a map. An evolution of sorts on an unconscious level. A fragment of soul, falling away. A snake shedding its skin. Slow and viscousy movements. Seconds, microseconds, nanoseconds, seconds halved, quartered, segmented by the hundredth. Dead skin and dust shaken off. Without too much exertion on my behalf. Escorted almost. A sense of loss overpowered by a gradual wave of giddy happiness of having regained myself, breaking over me in slow motion. So slow that I almost don't recognize it. I feel nothing of it till the water rose to my waist. Closure, perhaps? I'm almost afraid to hope. That maybe, I have put it behind me.
We walk through these doors often.These exits in the time and space of what we call growth. Like an extra inch taller - another higher marking on the wall. Like the first spot of blood which becomes a monthly ritual. The cracked voice that begins with the sound of a chair being dragged and deepens into bass and maturity. Puberty. A childhood left behind. A car license, A voter's id. The threshold of adulthood. Milestones. Legally allowed to get laid. Legally allowed to get sloshed and wasted. Legally accountable for your actions. The driver's seat is finally yours. To crash or to get somewhere is entirely up to my discretion.
Another dent in the clay that would fashion the being you are. Physical and subtle.
Somewhere an equation has changed. The balance tilted, shifting the earth off its axis and exercising its own laws of gravity. Priorities pulled off their pedestals and shelves. "Things are different now." Contentment lies beneath the debris of broken redundant would-haves and should-haves.Altering of circumstances that need straightening out. Without knowing, I had walked through a doorway. As surely as someone walked over my grave. A trapdoor opened somewhere, a part of me fallen through, smashed into a million pieces, never to be whole again. A first time. A last time. I know I have changed.

Nothing would ever be the same again. The point of no return. Exit. The end of the tunnel and into the light. Or maybe even vice versa. Curtains.