Monday, 30 April 2012

Vignettes of Closure

The one stop shop advice, being thrown around circus tents and modern day sheesha haunts is -- Get. Over. It
The clinical meaning of the phrase and its modern day usage are far removed. 
When you're over something- a  bad day, a treacherous friend, a relationship gone sour or a random incident -- it is implicit that the 'Thing' (representative of all of the above hereon) is of no difference to you.

Which could be true.

But, getting over things does not imply that it didn't happen, or register. The impact, the car crash has to happen before the recovery can even begin.

The mere collision of the thing is indicative of it shaping you. Maybe in insidious, sub conscious ways. 
Maybe a dramatic manifestation of 'that Thing has no power over me' and other such banner-waving declarations. 
You're shaped in a stronger mould of who you were, in unknown bits which will make you- the new you in 2014. Even a complete dismissal of the Thing germinates from consideration.

The only way then, to get over something is to ride the wave and dance with tragedy. You figure your best move out of the experience you have had in getting over other past 'Things'. And, as they say, you do what you gotta do. 

So, the question begs itself- Are you an assimilation of the past 'Things' you got over? Or is the 'getting over' a misnomer in itself?

Why is so much strength, fortitude and closure ascribed to this act of 'getting over' ?
Tireless energy is spent to ensure that the 'Thing' is rendered meaningless and inconsequential. 
But, every minute spent getting over it, is acknowledgement of existence. 
It is an acknowledgement of fear. 
That you're scared the Thing  and its impact on you can kick your ass- hence, the need to overpower it.

Wouldn't acceptance be an easier road to freedom?

"Hello, Thing that scares me senseless.

I see you. I will do nothing. 

Your move."

Maybe, it is the not doing anything that will truly mean getting over it. Like a virus, maybe fighting it will eventually make it immune to your antibiotics. 
Maybe, that's what has happened. 
We need a plan always. 
We need to know our next move- it is the only thing that keeps us going.

Make a plan/ Execute/ Get over Thing#3/ Celebrate your empowerment/ Repeat when Thing#4 shows up

Or, here is an alternative scenario -- Lie still. Quietly. 
Let Thing#5 wash over you.
 Let it work, let it try. 
Like a Judo master- don't defend. 
When the storm is over, walk out- without a plan and resume things as they were.

Maybe, I have no idea what I am talking about.

Or, maybe  Amis was right, "The truth is Venus, no one really gets over anything."

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Everything wrong with the world {and other dramatic claims} !

I think it all begins with Pet Peeves.
Adulthood, and who you are.
That’s when personality really develops. Takes its wings, learns to fly, soars- that kind of thing. More than ambition, hopes and dreams—It is minor irritations or the happy lack thereof, which rule our lives. If you don’t know what annoys you, what makes your skin crawl, or what makes you swear under your breath- then you don’t really know yourself, do you?

I consider myself an evolved, intelligent human being. Given this state of being, it is only natural that I have multiple pet peeves.
 According to A.A, acceptance is the first step towards recovery.  This list below, may not serve any purpose other than making me angry and snarky- but hey, that’s when the comebacks really become publishing worthy !

#1 LOL – Apparently, the age of Apocalypse was upon us the day someone sent a message which said “LOL.” 
That really was, the Beginning of the End.

One time, in an effort to dissuade my friend (and you know who you are!) from saying LOL.
 I replied to her texts with “ Haha !”.
Completely sidestepping the derision, she replied “LOL”.
This continued, until I sent her an image of a shirt-less Edward Cullen.

Her next reply was- OMG! He could be mine. LOL. <3. <3.

If the offense stopped there I could live with it. There are twerps who say it, out loud !!
To your face.
They will laugh and then follow it up with LOL. Just in case, you were too stupid to understand what the laughter meant.
 Next, I will be slapping their faces and saying “ S.L.A.P”.
Y'know, just in case the stinging cheek doesn’t quite convey what just happened.

#2. Copy/Paste –The cousin of the LOL-ers. 
These people troll sites, your updates, songs, basically any words put together and then update as their own. With not so much as a polite “ “.

Oh, you wrote- Not all those who wander are lost? You must really be J. R.R Tolkein.
Pl return the money you borrowed from me, and live off your book’s movie rights royalties.

Learn to give credit where credit is due. You don't fool anyone. None of your 500 friends believe you are a Chris Martin quoting, Hemmingway spewing, ardent liberal. You just have an internet connection and a lot of free time.

#3. Chewbacca called, shut your mouth!- Intimacy is beautiful when it is a two way street.
 If I can tell when you’re eating spinach and when it is bruschetta, then I know too much. I don’t want a mental image of what chewed up food looks like, inside your mouth.
Trust me, no Instagram filter can fix that.

I truly believe that the man who coined 'Familiarity breeds contempt' , suffered some painful dinner guests. That stuff, really makes you revisit life.

While writing the above list, I realised this was only the tip of the iceberg.

There are many more to add but I heard someone say LOL and I must now go save the world.

Monday, 9 April 2012

Like a bullet to the brain.

Man invented three great tools of social need-
Fire, The Wheel and the ‘Like’ button on Facebook.

Facebook has changed the way we live- or spend time at work.
Of course, you already knew that. But do you agree? Did you agree, and like what you just read?

It's easy to trace the history of the Like button on Facebook. A lonely programmer was rejected by his online date 2cute2care.
2cute2care found out that the programmer was not really Mr. Zuckerberg, just Mr. Zuck. 
Mr. Zuck, reeling from heart-ache, installed the ‘Like’ button for the world. No more rejection for anyone. Ever.

Little did Zucky (Aside- Mr Zuck should have been shown this sort of affection earlier and maybe this move could’ve been thwarted), know- The ‘like’ button on Facebook is a sociological experiment.
 It's the social media verb for admiration, affection, insecurity, jealousy and sometimes ill-concealed disdain.

Some very interesting trends, observed on news-feeds across the world, are :

1. Hit 'Like' or you're IT  ---  These people will like everything you, or any of their friends, update.
Had a baby? Thought about war? Burped a little ? - LIKE. 

Most of their time, is spent trolling friends' activities and 'liking' as much as they can- it is an assertion of their association with you, sometimes proprietorship and almost always a pee-ing around your account.

Of course, there is always an evil twin- Those who will barely like anything.
They would earlier switch to Timeline, than 'like' too much, too frequently. Tolstoy once said, too much news-feed familiarity breeds contempt.

2. The Ex-factor --- Relationships have evolved/degenerated post Facebook. Not only is it impossible for your ex to disappear; now you have to deal with pictures of their new, duck-faced lovers. This translates as well to current lovers and pictures of their ex-es.

You could always look at the pictures and gag- however, that belies the not caring that you are obviously doing.

From the motel on the High Road, where you live, there is no other option but to 'like' the picture.
Did that signify that you were happy for them? Hardly. It was an affirmation to his 400+ friends that you couldn't care less- even if their babies, would now have webbed feet.

3. Cementing new friendships - You meet a delightful new person you would love to be friends with. 

Step 1- Add them on Facebook.

Step 2 – In olden times, this would ordinarily mean--Going out, getting coffee and sharing common interests (but suggesting that , may make you come across as creepy).

The only sane thing to do-- is discreetly 'like' their activity on facebook- a picture here, a status there. This just helps fill the gap between Meeting 1 and 2.

4. Why you're too cool for school-   What you 'like' is an extension of who you are.
Links to avant -garde exhibitions and sepia toned, Instagram-med photography?
Louis Vuitton, Elle and Suneeta’s Boutique Sale? It's the Cliff Notes version of you, or who you'd like to be.

This is just social commentary. After you're done reading, I want you to knock yourself out silly,
like-ing, the hell out of this.

That's how Zuckerberg would've wanted it.

Monday, 2 April 2012

To, Drinking- Here's a Toast

This is an anthropological review of alcohol- a serious work, which requires your immediate attention (since you’ve read so far- clearly you’re not knee-deep in your Nobel proposal).

Most people I know love a good drink. Heck, I don’t think I know any teetotallers- If that’s you, I bet you’re either a really good looking/intelligent male or just so gosh-darned nice.
Alcohol serves a bigger sociological purpose than being a mere intoxicant. It is the new Marx revolution - All Hail, The Great Social Leveller.
You could try it out tomorrow. Get a group together, your very own motley crew of unlikely bed fellows. Put them in a noisy bar and promise to pick up the tab.

I guarantee there will be stories repeated, common ground found and lost, hollow promises made and a lot of laughter (there’s always a crier in every group, though.)

Some of my favourite memories, and stories-- the ones I still can’t shake off-- start with “that one time, we were drinking.” This, of course, also proves my scientific hypothesis that drinking, in fact, does not kill brain cells. Just obliterates, embarrassing behaviour. It lowers your inhibition and like a true best friend, erases the memory of your idiocy (unless you were silly enough to have it documented on Youtube. Next post on- why the title ‘Best Friends’ is such a misnomer.)

It was drinking that founded and cemented several successful food businesses, around the world. Hung over people worldwide get up the next morning and crawl towards their favourite carb/sugar fest. Thus, was institutionalized- Sunday Brunch. I strongly suspect that Pancakes and maple syrup is a chaser – more on this, four Sundays from now.

Speaking of Sunday brunches, and love? The depth, breadth, madness of love is truly represented in slurred poetry. Texts are sent out and manic calls to old lovers are made (sometimes, long distance). There is a general feeling of bonhomie all around. I’m sure the detractors will tsk-tsk into their espresso shots, but who minds being told that they are still loved/ thought of?
Beauty also lies in the eyes of the Dirty Martini glass-holder. People you would otherwise not rate as attractive come across like lovable Kung-fu panda versions of themselves. Hence, proving- Alcohol helps break social constructs of beauty. I can almost hear Naomi Klein woot-ing in the distance.

Drinking with friends, is like the motivational workshop you never attended- never will your peer group encourage you for anything, so furiously.
Want to write a letter in blood?
 Jump fully clothed into a pool?
 Get a tattoo of a butterfly mouthing, ‘I heart Ryan Gosling’ on your tricep?
You will find support and encouragement every step of the way.

As you grow up, drinking helps you find a part of your identity. Know how to pronounce and have tasted 'Bordeaux', hello, Rich Snob (Pl contact me after reading this- you are paying for my drinks now). Still chug beer with your friends at 40? I could say something cutting to you, but I'm too distracted staring at the belly taking up the third chair on the table. A guy who loves his Bloody Mary's? You're fabulous, and we haven't met before- why?

Business ventures are started (I cannot quote an example, well, because most never took off)and Poems (with bad meter like this) are inspired

To Alcohol,
Through rough times and celebrations,
Through marriage and your friends’ subsequent gestation,
For reflection of what we gain & what we lose,
For being universally my favourite excuse.

What Charles Dickens said at his favourite English pub, “Please Sir, Can I have some more?”