Friday, December 04, 2009

Marley and me

Actually speaking, although this book was highly popular, the subject itself was nothing extra-ordinary. In fact, it was quite disappointing. I mean, my dog Sandy has done far more write-worthy stuff than Marley and I am sure I am not the only dog-owner to think this way. So why was this book popular?

I guess it was because of the open, unrestrained eulogising of the man-dog relationship and the man's best-friend concept.

I did laugh and cry with the book (as I suppose I do with many books!), but the movie was quite a let down. As usual, movies cannot live up to books and the beauty of words, and the pictures they create in your mind. The absolute beauty of books and reading them is, you as a reader, are as responsible for enjoying books as the authors are for penning them. But the movie has to do the entertaining all by itself!

In 'Marley and me', it did not really. But as a tribute to dogs and my own Lab Sandy, I did laugh and cry a bit.

But give me 'An Incredible Journey' any day again. If you are a dog/animal-lover and have not watched it yet (from the late seventies or early eighties I think), now is a good time.

Giggling when you shouldn't

This whole giggling business is said to be reserved for girls, but I don't think so. I do personally know a few guys -- quite manly ones, who join in the giggling fits. Only perhaps, they may not really 'giggle' but indulge in much chuckling. No-control is the key point.

My big sister and I spent much of our fun-childhood times giggling at the silliest, funniest things or at most inappropriate moments but, over the years, having become ahem, mature and all (what IS mature anyway?), we have cut down quite a bit on the inappropriate giggling save for two horribly inappropriate moments which I am about to share.

Recently, at an engagement of a family-friend's daughter, my akka (er, I NEVER call her that cos she has prohibited me from doing so) and I were sitting close to each other. We were chatting fairly normally about this and that through the evening. Then came the formal announcement of the engagement over the loudspeaker. At this point I should mention that our friends are of a different faith and so, we were / are not very familiar with the religious rituals associated with an engagement of theirs. The moment was solemn and after some words about the engagement ceremonies underway, the male voice resonating over the loudspeaker broke into what was a clearly religious chant -- because the voice began reciting some holy words-like stuff. For a while I concentrated on being quiet and listened in all earnestness -- for what reason I now don't know. I mean, I do not know the language, I am not at all the serious or silent types, and I am also not highly religious with respect to my religion leave alone other people's.

I started to try to be good (which I clearly cannot be!) and listen, and this was clearly a big mistake. The words and the way in which they were uttered began to sound terribly, horribly funny. To my horror, bubbling up inside me despite my best attempts to stop it, was a mammoth giggling fit. I thought I should do something to distract myself (second mistake) and so, I looked up only to see my sister looking like a stuffed chicken, all hunched up at the table. Her face was pink and her cheeks began to expaand. Sure signs of the same crazy blood running in both of us and we both gave in simultaneously to the giggling outburst, although we were pretty silent about. But neither of us is anywhere close to petite (HRUMPH) or inconspicuous, and am shamefully sure many people noticed our faux pas. The more we thought about how inappropriate it was, the more we had to giggle ...until she got up and ran out to go to the bathroom for some -- ANY respite, from the giggling. I also got up and followed suit. I could not BEAR to look anybody in the eye. The voice meanwhile continued. The moment we entered the Ladies, we were able to pull ourselves together but only got back to the hall when we were sure we were 'normal' again.

If you think THIS is inappropriate, check the next one out.

The next incident was more than a decade ago. And just to prove that we are not horrible horrible people who giggle at OTHER people as such or without a care for other people's feelings, this incident deserves a mention here. At this point, I have got to say that giggling is NOT something you can always control. Maybe some people can, just the way they can control their urine for extraordinarily long periods. Yes, giggling falls under the same category.

Anyway, this was some SERIOUS business. At least the other giggling fit was at a happy occasion. This was at my father's funeral! Needless to say, we -- my sister, my mother and I, were simply shattered. My dad was an exceptional father and family man. Did I say exceptional? I meant EXCEPTIONAL. Wonderful. Stellar. Therefore it followed that we were heartbroken and sobbing -- my sister and I, sitting just next to his body, er, him. This went on for a bit. Then came...the crow. Yup, you read right. A crow sitting outside the silent, mourning house, cawed loudly just then and not just loudly. He cawed out of pitch repeatedly and it really was ridiculous. Never before then nor after, have I heard one caw that way!! We both spontaneously broke into giggles and immediately shushed ourselves...with 'how inappropriate!' murmured between us only to shrug and tell each other later that our Dad wouldn't really have minded(!!). Laughing is a good thing. Even if at a funeral. Shocking, but...our Dad, so don't judge.;)

The point of this post? To explain away our guilt brought on by our improper conduct caused by a bodily function that cannot be controlled sometimes...for some people anyway.


Guess then, this too has to be labelled 'Absolutely Vetti'.

Note: Not that we are problem-free people who run around town giggling like maniacs! These are giggling 'fits' termed so for a reason.

Argh. Enough Said Teesu!

Newsreaders or Actors?

When I was young, there were a few regulars on few channels, who would read the news on TV. They were pretty poker faced and barely managed a funny grimace-like little expression by way of a smile at the beginning and end of the news session, with 'Namastes' / 'Vanakkams'. Throughout the news reading, they were most conscientious, barely stuttered or mixed words up, and were basically, classy readers with near-perfect diction and seemed to treat their jobs as newsreaders in the most matter-of-fact, objective way possible. They seemed credible if lacking in a sense of humour.

The first one to change the newsreading business in India, was Prannoy Roy it seems (to me), with his 'The world this week' (I THINK that's what it was). He had a sensible face bordering on 'quite' handsome although with a rather weak voice, but with all this, he still seemed more interesting than the average newsreader. He was different as he seemed to FEEL some of the news he was bringing to us and 'his news' was also interesting.

However, today, you see it all on news channels. Newsreaders themselves are a great source of entertainment. There are even downright comedian-ish newsreaders now. On a more annoying note, some try very hard to please. Pseudo to the core. There are those who pretend to care when actually, all they very obviously care about is delivering hot news and staying ahead of their competitor channels. Many stammer, blabber and interrupt people they ought not to be interrupting. Sure they all have their work cut out for them, probably by their bosses, but I can crib as a viewer, right?Then, there is much eye-rolling and serious-face putting and worse, the long-suffering expression as if the world rested upon his or her shoulders.Hmmm.

Basically, I do so miss the older newsreaders who delivered news as news minus drama which, by the way, was saved for the other programmes. When newstime came, it was time to sit down and catch up on the happenings and so, everybody would drop what they were doing and assemble together to listen with interest.

Now, yes, we get 'nimit to nimit' news which can be useful, but it may well include which bigwig relieved himself where and how many vegetables actress-size-zero ate in one day. Huh, there is news all the time and it includes much rubbish and repeats and so, you need patience to get to 'actual news'.

Generation is gapping I sayyy!