Saturday, July 29, 2006

Why People Keep Blogs

This post is dedicated to Smithy, who dug up this piece I'd written long ago and took the trouble to save it!Reproduced here with a few minor changes...

I bet if you took a poll on reasons why people keep Blogs, sheer boredom would be in the top Five. The number one reason of course, being vanity, i.e. people actually think their thoughts count. Yeah, right. So, why, is it people keep Blogs? I suppose it would be to pen down what they’re feeling at that particular moment. But really, is what you feel at that moment that important? Is it even real, coz one night you might be writing about the cute lurve of your life who could do no wrong. And a few posts later, he’s the jerk who won’t take a hint, (Unless you’ve impulsively married this loser, and you need to keep reading that one post to remind yourself that the sod once made you feel that way.)

Wow. I had no idea I was this cynical. Hey! That’s why- Its to probe deeper into oneself, to understand yourself better – and its either this or singularly bad poetry. But then, we’re back to my original Q. Why probe? Why prod? Let's not open the can of worms here. I mean, how boring would it get if you knew yourself so well that you’d know your exact reaction to every situation. Surprize yourself I say; sometimes go the extra mile and positively shock yourself! You’d be surprised how good that’ll make you feel – and it serves the same purpose – Its amazing what it does to your vanity – and you save a whole lot more time this way.

However, most people have to get it out of their system. They start out on this writing spree – in search of their literary masterpieces. The one really good book they haven in them. There’s just one hitch – This book they have in them – most of the time its good as long as it stays in. The moment it takes a peek out in the open, it sucks! I think most people would be cured of this bug, however if we forced them to sit down and read what they’ve written.

You’ll have a 50% fallout rate here already cos they can’t read their own writing. That leaves the wilier customer who decided to type out his masterpiece – double spaced. Out of these another 36% will drop out when they see that they haven’t proceeded beyond the first line after 16 tries and several days. That leaves the really nasty 14% of ‘em, who’re what I call ramblers. There are the ones who’ve typed page after page of any thought that has popped into their head.
A solid 75% of this 14% turn out to be long-suffering husbands who have never gotten a word in edgeways with their wives. They include thoughts that jump from the sandy beaches of Hawaii where a story of intrigue is set, to the grocery list the wife dictated over the phone.
About 10% of the 14 then drop out meekly, cos u see they’re used to dropping out meekly. The really resilient 4% are the tough nuts to crack. They’re the ones who’ve decided, I Have An Opinion And I Shall Voice It (And You’d Better Listen To It – Too). Unfortunately dear reader, at this point I must tell you that I head the pack when it comes to the aforementioned 4%!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Travel Travails

I am exhausted. And for the first time in 3 months, Pickwick’s not to blame for it. I am recuperating from my first travel experience alone with Pickwick, and guess what- he was the best thing about the entire affair.
Now there comes a time in every new mother’s life when she has the take the bold step to venture forth with her young ‘un unassisted. Well, suffering from a massive superiority complex, I thought I’d make this landmark occasion more challenging by adding enough luggage to the equation to single-handedly overload the plane. I packed not just my entire wardrobe, but also Pickwick’s along with his odds, ends, toys and bathtub. To top it off the hand baggage (which contained all the rations for self and Pickwick in case of a nuclear holocaust) had to be precariously balanced- one on each shoulder. Remove one, and you would just topple over like the proverbial pin. Thusly armed, I proceed to the check-in counter, leaving Pickwick for one last time in my parents’ care. I was fully confident of getting the royal treatment- on account of being upgraded to business class, thanks to hubby’s frequent flier card, and being the hapless mother of a young papoose.

I was greeted by a stony eyed manager who takes one look at me and decides I’m one on the bourgeois elite and mentally knitted my name into his woolies.
Me (smile wavering slightly at the stony look): Hi… I’ve already tele-checked in. Could you give me some assistance? I’m travelling with an infant…

Stone man: Eh? I’m sorry, but we can’t upgrade you. Your husband not part of the multi-platinum class, so your voucher’s no good.

Me (a bit slow on the uptake): But I have a voucher. I’ve tele-checked in, my ticked, upgrade and seat were confirmed. Now about assistance with my infant…

Stone man: Sorry. Pay the difference if you want to sit up front. Next.

Me: Next?? There’s no one behind me you daft man! I’m the only one in business class, so just upgrade me!!

That last remark didn’t sit to well with the desi Defarge and he ignored me, but I could just picture the knitting needles clicking away at a feverish pace.

Five minutes later, after a frantic phone call to hubby, his irate phone call to the airline, and their livid phone call to stone man
Stone man: yes. You can sit up front. But there’s no upgrade voucher for your infant. He sits in economy.

Me: eh? He’s 3 months old! You can’t just pat him on the head and ask him to proceed up the aisle!

Stone Man: Next!

Another five minutes and frantic, irate and livid phone calls respectively…

Stone Man: Yes. He can sit with you.

Me: No! really? Gee thanks! Now about my luggage…

Stone man: next!

I gave up. I trudged up to my parents, like a wounded but triumphant soldier, to see my parents struggling to keep Pickwick’s volumes down. Pickwick in his finer moments has been known to render unsuspecting salesmen passing by the house temporarily deaf. One minute they’re walking along, merrily whistling a tune, the only thing on their minds being how to outrun the subsequent pet Pom, and the next they’re tottering away in shock trying to make sense on the ringing in their ears. Now at such times, I discovered quite by accident that the only thing that distracts him, is to do a little jig with him (to the latest Himmesh Reshammiya number, preferably)
So imagine my distress when I came across panicky Parents with Pickwick in the ‘Naach Chhamiya’ mood. Of course, having no alternative, I tried to surreptitiously do the cha-cha-cha mumbling ‘oh oh aashiqui’ under my breath at the airport lounge (I distinctly saw a few firings trying to capture this authentic Indian experience on their still cams). Mercifully, by this time Pickwick had calmed down some, and loaded with baggage and Pickwick, I proceeded for my Sec-Check, bidding a final adieu to wailing parents who were too busy to notice, since they were bidding goodbye to squirming Pickwick.

I finally made it in safely onto the plane. The journey from then on was largely uneventful, barring stray incidents like unscreened baggage, threat of offloading and the insistence of a flight purser that I nurse Pickwick during take off and landing. (Pickwick had his own ideas about that last bit). On landing in Mumbai, I was so relieved to touch ground in one piece, I decided not to tempt fate for quite some time, and have never ventured out alone with Pickwick since.