Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Scratching the itch

Don't get all excited. This is only about scratching of the head. It makes a statement. Well, probably any scratching makes a statement...forgot to have a bath?

Coming back to itchiness on the head, first of all, when my scalp itches, it is too close to my brain I suppose and so, the urge to scratch it is immense. Also, I cannot hide my head under a piece of clothing (like other unmentionable, itchy parts of the body) and in the guise of adjusting the cloth, furtively scratch away to glory. I cannot wait for the itch to go away since as I have already said, the brain's signal is very strong.

Moreover, any chance of NOT scratching an itch and instead making friction address the itch is non existent, unless I rub my head against the wall or worse, against another head (eeks). For instance, if I had an itch on my wrist, I could easily rub it against my clothed thigh or something, with the friction taking care of the itch. Perhaps embroidery and other embellishments on the cloth will enhance the 'frictioning'!

But the head? It stands out. And UP. So, no choice but to go up there.

What it signals to the other party could be any one of the following: -
1. I have dandruff
2. I have lice
3. I have a sweaty scalp
Heyyy. Don't judge. All this can happen to you too!
4. I want money
5. I want a favour
6. I am going crazy (very likely!)
6. I have not washed my hair in a while (at least a week) --heyyy. It does n't happen, OK?)
7. It's one of my bad habits. (Now, this we can believe -- quite like nose digging)
8. I am THINKING (... yeah, right!)

So, you see, head scratching is not just a simple action as it is too noticeable! And the reaction is almost always the same -- an Ugh expression followed by nervous observation. Even if you masked it, your eyes would show that you are on the look out.

Now, c'mon, it's not just me. I was being polite and going 'I, me, my itch'. I too give the masked ugh expression from time to time. Not that I am tolerant about other scatchings. Except maybe the back. I mean how can you help it if your back itches? (I bet you can help it by bathing regularly!)

This post is causing some amount of itchiness now, so I shall stop here with this sori story!

Gyan No. 5

Religious Fanatics -- Are they happily insane or insanely happy?


This whole class business makes me very uncomfortable. Should a person's money-status determine how high or low in class he is? Is that finally....IT?

Poor people supposedly form the lower class or worse, as some people put it -- 'Low class', then lower middle class (whazzat?), middle class (Ok, much mentioned and branded), upper middle class (you know those who are really middle class with a bit more money, but not enough money to get into the HIGH class bracket) and...high class (too much money and all that). Then there are probably kings and queens (the whole born-with-a-golden-spoon business)...

Have I missed any classes out?


We must divide. Always. Religions, nations, colours, castes, races, communities, sub-communities even, languages, sexual preferences...and so on. (Please tell me there are n't any more).

What's with all the division?

Does n't 'United we stand, divided we fall' mean anything? Or is that only within the divisions?

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Slam, wham, no thank you sir / mom / dad!

Yesterday afternoon, the lady who does the domestic chores at home did not show up for work. Today, when she came in, I asked her what happened. She said her husband was (a) drunk and (B) sitting outside his mother's house (with whom they don't even get along)

So, she had asked him why he was not at their own home. He simply got up and thrashed her so hard, she fell to the ground. Then, by-standers and her mother in law (!) intervened and the assault stopped.

This is not new in this world. Wife-beating (in most cases, it IS the wife who receives -- the weaker sex and all that) is supposed to be 'quite normal' and not restricted to certain sections of society.

What amazes me is the tolerance of the women at the receiving end and people around. How come there are no rage murders by the wife -- when she is assaulted, loses it and finishes her husband off for good? I am sure there are a few such cases but only a few. Amazing that there are so many many women out there who think it is ok to be hit. Even educated ones!

Of course, that brings us to the uncomfortable topic of violence in general.
Anyways...sticking with the heading 'domestic violence', even whacking kids is domestic violence, right? But then how about the old saying ' spare the rod and spoil the child'? Does that mean that kids can be whacked now and then in order to discipline them? Is that OK?

Perhaps one of the first things we should be taught in school and the same reinforced in college, is that we should not hit anybody at all. Period. No raising of hand. I really don't remember having learned such a lesson, but perhaps it is much more relevant today with flying tempers, stressful lives, nuclear families and terribly intelligent and aware children?

Such a thin line between a whack and a wham. Such a thin line between irritation and rage. Such a thin line between sanity and insanity. And such a thin line between verbal assault and physical abuse.

Gyan No. 4

In today's world, nothing lasts...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Goofy Grin Vs Stupid Look

Goofy Grin:
At home yesterday, along comes a guy from the bank to pick up a cheque for deposit into my account. A seemingly boring and routine errand for him, and a necessary one for me. I open the door and am taken aback at the open smile he gives me. Now, I am aware that I don't react very well when I am taken aback. So, I tried smiling back in what I hoped was in a perfunctory way. I asked him his name, who sent him, etc. as part of an identification-check process that perhaps was not terribly necessary. Paranoia in full swing as usual!

Wonder of wonders, as he answered, he continued to smile and me, I have never been known to control my smiles, grins ...or indeed giggles and guffaws. I just grinned back. Quite disarming the chap was. But me, I was beginning to feel plain goofy and I knew I looked it. It was a meaningless smile, you know. And for NOTHING. But I could not help it. Amazing what a smile can do! I tried hard to finish the conversation as this mutual grinning was getting ridiculous or perhaps I had found a person quite as mad as I am! When I finally closed the door, I kicked myself (mentally of course, since physically kicking oneself needs a high degree of agility, am sure) for my goofy behaviour.

Now, this is not to be construed as flirting. It's just that I experienced SUCH an infectious smile after so long that I thought it worth blogging about!

Stupid Look:

The gym is a great place for stupid looks. Probably, this is unique to India? Hmmm. Whether I lose any weight or not, I manage to notice and experience weird things at the gym. Kind of keeps the interest and enthusiasm up! Furtive looks and sidelong glances are also quite common at the gym...and not just by ME, thank you very much.

The same day as the goofy grin, I went to gym and as I was working out, a guy I had never seen before finished his workout on the treadmill in front of me and turned and looked me straight in the eye. I have had quite a few strange experiences at the gym especially with the opposite sex so I was not about to honour him with one of my smiles, leave alone goofy grins. I just looked back and he looked quite expectant for a second -- like he thought I would smile. My earlier goofy grin flashed through my mind and I decided I could not afford to have my carefully maintained not-so-friendly 'gym image' ruptured and so, I quickly turned away. That split second in time just BEFORE a smile, has the face set into an expectant, curious expression which frankly looks less cool than it sounds. Quite stupid really. So, the stupid look. His, I mean.;)

A penny for my expressions, I say.

Sadly even I am not willing to spare the penny!;)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Two worlds and foodie thoughts.

The two worlds I refer to are food and fitness.

These two worlds go together IFF the food is healthy and by healthy, I mean low fat and perhaps taste-free! But my current experience of these two worlds under one roof happens as I try to 'frequent' a gym located in a posh office building with a Food Court almost adjacent to it. The options for food in that food court are by Planet Yumm and yum the choices certainly are...Noodle House (Chinese), KFC (Fried Chicken, basically), Palimar (Indian vegetarian), Qwiky's (coffee and snacks place), Sam's Kitchen (biryanis, etc.), Pathankot (Parathas), Pizza Corner and as a saving grace, Subway. I am not even sure if this is the right list nor am I sure whether there are more eateries inside the Food Court, because, I have not yet set foot in it! This is not to say I don't gaze longingly at it or kick myself for not throwing caution to the winds (as I am prone to doing often!) and just GET it out of my system, eating at this food court.

It's not as if I don't eat out. But, this proximity kills me what with the gym being situated right next door to the Food Court and all. Got me thinking I need to blog about it and feel less GRR.

Both these worlds are good. Here's what stares me in the face all the time...

1. Good facilities at the gym, good options at the Food Court.

2. You can buzz in and out of the gym anytime including during odd hours, you can do the same at the Food Court.

3. You can enjoy the ambience at the gym, and so also at the Food Court!

4. You can experience some of the best equipment at the gym, you can savour some of the best delicacies at the Food Court.

5. You can get aches and pains after visiting the gym, and so also after the Food Court.

6. You can pour out the stuff at the gym, you can pour in the stuff at the Food Court.


6. You can burn calories at the gym and earn calories at the Fooc Court.

Ok, ok, it goes downhill from there I know. THIS is why I have steered clear of it. The thought of burning all those calories and then 'earning' them back a mere stone's throw away is too much for even me to bear. So, this is what I have decided...when I finally cave in to my deep, dark desire that haunts me during every gym visit, I will strut in to the Food Court, pack up some food and leave with it...Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaa. Yes, so THEN, when the calorie-earning begins, I will be far away from the gym and it will be like I have visited any other eatery. Hah.

It's a different matter that the end result will not change. Not relevant to this post, you see.

Until then, everyday, I think to myself...Soooo near and yet soooo far.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bad moods

This ought to sum up the bad mood situation but I have more to usual.
Poster 1:
"Nothing helps a bad mood like spreading it around".

Years ago, I picked up a poster with these wordings on it and really enjoyed it. Now, I realise how true it is. And not in a good way. The bad mood hits, you snap, perhaps you snap at the person who gave you the bad mood and then ...also at others who did not! Then those others get into their own bad moods and then, I guess they pass it on. Maybe after it reaches the 3rd or 4th person on the path, your own bad mood is quite on its way out. Kind of interesting and...can make you feel satisfied if only for a minute and feel quite quite small. Regret takes over sooner or later. Sigggghh.
Personal pearls of wisdom??!

Poster 2:
"I might as well exercise. I am in a bad mood anyway."

This poster too I picked up many years ago. Quite funny I thought, since I was not into exercising at alll then. Now that I am far more aware of exercise and its wonders (Hrrrrrrrrrumph!), I am not as full of 'josh' about this clever poster. Still, for a lazy, the thought of getting off his or her butt and getting to exercise is probably enough for a bad mood to set in. The exertion and all that good stuff! BUT, I can definitely say that exercise does help a bad mood cos, after all that pounding (feet) and huffing (breath), there is not much energy left for a bad mood. No wonder, exercise is also a cure for depression.
Argh. Don't I sound preachy?! WEll, as long as it's common knowledge that I don't all the time practise what I preach;), I won't be made out to be a holier-than-thou character -- the type I sincerely dislike! On second thoughts, I suppose I am more the eviller-than-thou types...

Poster No. 3:
Oh and speaking of posters, there is one I love even today....the one where Garfield stands on a weighing machine and goes"Liar!" at it.
That is still so great! Unfortunately, the one thing that has changed about this poster is that I have finally realised that the weighing machine does not, in fact, lie. Sooo sad, no? Worse, it is also quite unforgiving. Crafty thing, really and a serious bad mood-causer!

More posters coming up...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

My First Solo

One thing I will never tire of talking about is my romance with flying. I can't say I don't harbour hopes of ever flying again...but of course, right now, I don't have anything to do with flying except as an occasional passenger. Sigh.

One of 'those times' I will always cherish is when I learned to fly a small airplane. Cessna 172, single engine, propellor driven.

It was October 13th and a 1995. Yesterday was October 13th and brought up this memory. But that October 13th was special. It was also Friday, the 13th! I knew it but did not want dwell on the horrors it bespoke*, because my flying instructor Joel Rogers finally said to me that day, "Ok, Su, I think you are ready for it." I was quite ready -- for the previous few hours of flying, I had felt an impatience. I directed this to my instructor (whom I quite respected -- read: was afraid of -- although we were almost the same age!) and fiinallly, he got the vibes / confidence.

So, he signed me off, wished me luck (looked nervous, he did). I was later told by a friend there at the flying school in West Virginia that he was certainly nervous as hell and even said once: "I can't look" and walked away. Well, in Charleston, WV, there were very few students at the flying school. And, I was the only foreign one and perhaps a bit more exotic than the average foreigner! (Naane sollikiren / even if I say so myself!)

As an Indian student, I was supposedly given the most 'stable and mature' of the 3 available instructors who were all in their early twenties and trying to make it as commercial pilots by building up flying time and experience by teaching flying.

So I jauntily walked up to the airplane. Took my time (as my paranoid, usual self) with the pre-flight inspection of the aircraft, perhaps slightly delaying the actual flying on purpose! Just some nerves and all, mind you. Finally, I taxied out, and took off down the runway.

Taking off is always easy, it's the landing that's tough! SO much like life, eh?;)

A first solo, I think, usually consists of the student pilot on his or her own handling the airplane and doing 3 takeoffs and landings, going around the airport to do so. Now, the airport I was training at was on top of two mountains. Two mountain tops were cut off and the area flattened, to make the airport and obviously, there were many up and down drafts of air that could buffet the small airplane about a bit etc. Yeah, baby, 'Almost heaven, West Virginia', indeed!Of course I was not THIS wise on my first solo and after the first take off, coming in to land, I started singing Dum Maro Dum, giggling feverishly. I still remember how idiotic I felt...and how exhilarated. My second take off was ok too, but during the landing, I was a bit 'off'.

The runway has lights that guide the airplanes but they also indicate whether the pilot is making his or her descent within safe and permissible limits. The easy-to-remember code for the two pairs of lights on either side of the runway was...
White over white = too high (need to descend faster / sharper)
Red over white = You are all right (maintain that descent and you will probably land OK and stay alive!)
Red over Red = You're dead. (nothing more needs to be said!)

So, on my second landing approach, I saw red over red. (This was probably when my instructor turned away feeling queasy!) Trying not to think about crashing into the mountain side and ending up dead, I increased power to get up higher and then landed sharper. My third take off and landing were far as memory serves me!

It felt so good. It just did. It still does, I think. Unforgettable.

After all, what's life if not for memories?

*p.s. Have always wanted to use the word 'bespoke';)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Life's all about ultimatums

Ultimatums follow us from babyhood to 'deathhood'!

If you don't eat your food, you can't play with your favourite toy.
If you don't drink your milk, you cannot watch your favourite TV show.
If you don't finish your homework, you cannot chat with your friend over the phone.
If you don't come out of your room when guests come, you will not have a room.
If you don't study well and get good grades, you will not get that birthday present.
If you don't come back home by 10 pm, you are grounded for a month.
If you don't get a job soon, people will label you a loafer.
If you don't get married soon, people will label you a spinster / bachelor. (Now, why does 'bachelor' sound so much more cool than 'spinster?' Or is there a better word these days?)
If you don't have a baby soon, you have a problem.
If you don't admit your child into a 'good' school, you are a careless parent.
If you don't get your 'kids' married early, you are not a responsible parent.
If you don't babysit your grandchildren, you are not a good grandparent.

If you...
then you...

Where does it end?

Oh, and there are more...
If you don't exercise and diet, you may get some terrible disease.
If you drink and smoke, you will die young.

Now, don't even think that you can do good for the sake of doing good. Noooo. You have to do it so you are not perceived as BAD. Cool, no?

Observation: If you are given an ultimatum...the job will be done!

Inference1: Adi Odhai udhavaraa maadhiri annan thambi udhava maatanga. (Whacks and kicks help shape a person better than even your own siblings' support!(??)
Inference2: We are not just God fearing, we are MUCH fearing. Or are they branches of the same tree?
Inference 3: If you want someone to 'be good', you have to threaten him BE good...or else.
Inference 4: Nobody is free from ultimatums...???

If I don't make another inference...

nothing will happen. Therefore, I will NOT make it.


Monday, October 06, 2008

What I REALLY wannabe and oughtabe...

1. Less paranoid
2. More happy
3. More funny
4. Less fussy
5. More loving
6. More patient
7. More physically active
8. More positive
9. Less fat -- eeks this comes everywhere and then...goes nowhere!!
10. More strong -- mentally and emotionally
11. Less snappy
12. More quiet
13. More caring
14. Less in-charge
15. More 'musical'
16. Less curious about vetti things!

Oh dear. This seems more difficult than my wannabe list!;)