2008

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Happy New Year, people!

See you all in 2008, and remember, don’t make any resolutions you can’t keep. Or better still, don’t make any resolutions. Period.

Have a good one!

On love

I wrote the following around a year back. I don’t remember what made me write it, but I do sense an undercurrent of frustration (no surprises there!). Maybe the next time I write something out of frutration, I should document the circumstances too!

Nothing new to blog about, so I thought now would be a good time to go into flashback mode and make you suffer some of my earlier posts. You’re welcome!

Looking for love? Or, more precisely, looking for someone to love you? Not found one, yet? Still searching patiently?

No, I’m not starting a dating agency or a marriage bureau. That is not the way to find love, anyway. You can find people, but not love. Two different things.

For all of us who think love can be searched for and found: please think again. When you say you search for love, don’t you realize you’re accepting the fact that you lost it? If you lost it, doesn’t that mean you had it at one point? If you already had it and lost it, what makes you think you’re going to find it now and keep it? If you know how to keep it, then why did you lose it to begin with? Ok, so you lost it, learnt a lesson and now you know how to keep it? But how will one lesson learnt apply to all future prospects of love? Unless ofcourse you intend to love the same person(s) again. Confusing? No? Good. Read on.

You could contradict me saying searching for love doesn’t mean I lost it, maybe I’m searching for the first time! Then how, please, would you know when you find it? Do you even know what you’re looking for? If you do know what love is, if you do know it is love when you find it, then doesn’t that naturally mean you’ve known it before? And so, since you’re looking for it now, doesn’t that mean you lost it previously? Which brings us back to lost love.

Point I’m trying to make? Don’t go around telling the world you’re looking for love. You don’t find love, love will find you if you give it a chance. Love will enter your heart if your heart is capable of loving. Only one who knows to love can know love.

Know that, just like God, love will not enter a dark heart. Love will not enter an unclean heart. You have to love to receive love.

If you’re all riled up and ready to burn down the comment box (because I have a feeling this piece is not one of my timid ones), please count from 100 to 1. In Hindi. And when you’re done, read some of my Calvin and Hobbes posts and go home in peace. Thank you!

The 13th Apostle

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‘Three souls. Two thousand years. One truth.’

…so goes the tag line for Richard and Rachael Heller’s ‘The 13th Apostle’. And trust me, that forms by far the most interesting line in the entire book. That single line right there on the cover.

The short review –

Utterly hopeless, worthless, uninteresting and uninspired work of fiction ever to see the light of day.

The not-so-short review –

Ladies and gentlemen, I’ve officially read the most crappiest novel ever to be written by mankind. The authors (yes, it took two to stage this travesty) claim that if you liked ‘Da Vinci Code’ you’ll like this one too. I beg to differ. If you have read any book by any good English author out there, rest assured you’ll find this horribly boring and cliched and all those things.

This story is another take at misinterpreting the unexplained or unsatisfactorily-proven parts of the life of Jesus Christ (who else!). I’m seriously wondering what it is about Jesus that people find so hard to believe that every budding author out there wants a go at proving he was not what he is made out to be! Seriously people, it’s getting old. Try something newer!

The hero, Gil Pearson, here is a software geek who works for an internet security firm. The concepts of technology are too made up to be believable and if the authors think they can impress people with big words that don’t quite mean anything, well, they’re grossly mistaken. So the hero is pulled into a search for an ancient relic, a scroll, that supposedly contains the gospel written by a 13th Apostle of Christ (for the uninitiated, Christ had 12 Apostles) which, as it is with all fiction these days, didn’t make it to the Bible. And this scroll has information that could devastate Christianity as a faith. Anything new there, folks? Nope!

And since it’s against a religion, there are obviously a whole bunch of bad guys who can’t let the world see the scroll. Add to that a fanatic Muslim group that badly wants people to see this scroll and denounce Christianity. So Gil teams up with an Israeli translator, Sabbie Kraim, and goes on a quest for the hidden scroll. How they find it, what they do with it and what does the scroll actually contain forms the rest of the farce..er..story I mean.

The reason I didn’t like this book at all is because it sounds very very amateurish. The sentence structures, the descriptions, the flow – everything is amateurish. It’s as if they had something called ‘A Guide to writing a book like Da Vinci Code’ and followed it word for word. The storyline is wafer thin and the authors do nothing to reinforce it and carry it along. I started skipping entire pages in between and I assure you, I didn’t miss the story at all. Remember those hyped up movies where a song comes just before the climax scene just for the heck of having a song? Well, most scenes and encounters in this book are like that – they’re there because the authors think the reader would expect that particular exchange there. Which, for me, is against the whole point of writing good fiction. If I read what I expect to read, why would I enjoy the book?! I want to read the unexpected. And this book is definitely not on those lines.

So if you see this book on a bookshelf, do yourself a favor and keep moving!

Then and Now

Other-Me has graciously agreed to let me sneak in a post. I just think Other-Me is a perfect dunce who can’t even write ABCD, leave alone an entire post. I know I’ll pay the price for the previous line, but it’s so totally worth it!

 

When I was a kid…
…I believed that if you ate the seed inside a fruit, a fruit tree would grow out of your ears. I swallowed a jackfruit seed once – my uncle freaked me out completely by describing the consequences.

…I knew nothing about Test Cricket. I remember being confused on which player belonged to which team on the field ‘coz all of them wore white! It never occured to me that one team bats and one team bowls, so the ones with the bat belonged to the other team. Umpires wore black trousers, so I was good there.

…I used to eat pastries like eating any normal cake – with my hand. Come to think of it, there was nothing called pastry – it’s either plum cake or cream cake. And both fit your mouth. Life was simpler.

…I didn’t celebrate Christmas and I didn’t believe in Santa Claus. Santa, for me, was our convent school assistant-headmaster with a fake white beard and a fake big belly who had Cadbury Eclairs in his red sack, which he threw out to us kids after the school’s Christmas celebrations.

…I used to keep a journal of sorts with my favorite stuff in it. Like Steffi Graf winning the Wimbledon, Sridevi (the actress!), Salman Khan (stop snickering, we all had our moments of insanity), etc. And an occasional poem (very stupid sounding poem in hindsight) and I still remember, a recipe for mashed potatoes. I covered the book in colorful gift-wrap paper and put a cellophane cover on top of that. Then I stuck label and wrote a warning on the first page – ‘Do not read’ (pesky sibling, need scary warning).

   

Now…
…I told my cousins (children of the aforementioned uncle) the same story about seeds, trees and trees from ears and freaked them out. You should’ve seen them jump out of their skins when I ‘accidentally’ gave them a jackfruit seed instead of the fruit. Hah!

…I know what happens in Test Cricket. I even know what ‘follow on’ means. But I still cannot identify an LBW case without the graphic that actually shows the ball’s trajectory till it hits the stumps. Then I join my husband in cursing the umpire for not giving an out. It’s all about the cursing, people.

…I eat pastry with a fork, a pastry that’s bigger than my palm. And then I spend the next 2 hours worrying about the calories. And then I eat some more pastry to forget the guilt. Tough life!

…I celebrate Christmas and I still don’t believe in Santa Claus. I believe in my husband!

…I have a blog with my favorite stuff in it. No Steffi Graf or Salman Khan (dear God, no!). Poems (some stupider than before) and no recipes. I use girly headers on the blog and actually expect people to come and read my blog. I think I grew up.
   

The Room (contd.)

Everyone was asleep that night, when I placed the ladder against the house right beneath the broken window. Which broken window, you ask? You know which window. The one in the room, the room where no one goes. There was a chilly wind blowing and I’d left my sweater back on my bed. I thought of my bed and how nice it would be to be in there, between the covers, planning about getting into this room rather than standing in the garden and actually trying to get into the room. I climbed the ladder and reached the window after what seemed like an hour, when really it was only 10 minutes.

Read more

The Room

There’s a room in our house where no one goes. Fairly small, with a heavy wooden door that looks centuries old. Maybe if I looked closely enough I might even find characters from an extinct language, the things archaeologists only find in historic ruins or some such places. It’s a mystery, this room, that no one goes to. There are cobwebs around the huge iron padlock and no one knows where the key is. Not even Grandpa. He doesn’t like talking about the room, it makes him nervous and he starts mumbling something about the weather or the garden. We don’t have a garden, you see.

Read more…

Between me and me

Me: So, you wanted to talk?

Other Me: Well, not particularly..’coz I almost always talk non-stop whether you like it or not!

Me: Hmph. You can say that again.

OM: Well, not particularly..’coz I almost always..

Me: THAT WAS A FIGURE OF SPEECH, YOU ASS!

OM: Heh. Like I didn’t know. Ok, so let’s get to the point. But before that – what’s this new disgusting habit of putting up our ‘conversations’ out in the open? Ever heard of alter-ego self privileges?

Me: I’m trying to inculcate some manners into you. I’m hoping the thought of public embarassment would knock some sense into that fluff-filled brain of yours.

OM: You know, one would imagine so. But let me tell you, public embarassment never quite had an effect on me.

Me: Well, we’ll just have to see that, won’t we? Now, what did you want to talk about? I’m a busy person, get it out with soon, will ya?

OM: You remember how you had to write some landmark post on your blog? And you didn’t find any ideas? And how I totally wrote it for you?

Me: Hold just one moment! I agree I was out of ideas, but you did not write it for me – you just gave me an idea and I did the whole thing myself.

OM: Whatever. So like I was saying, I wrote it for you.. ah ah, don’t say anything and listen to me or this could take another 20 years. You owed me one on that. I wanted to talk about what you’d give me.

Me: Ok, I’m in a good mood so lemme humor you for a bit. I know I’ll regret saying this in about 4 seconds, but what do you want?

OM: I want to be dominant for a day.

Me: WHAT THE..?

OM: Watch it! Remember, no swearing on the blog? The turmeric and the coconuts? Remember?

Me: Ok! Ok! I have to calm down. It’s not like you mean it. ~brief pause~ Right? Please tell me you’re kidding! Please!

OM: I was not kidding.

Me: Was too.

OM: Was too not.

Me: You mean you weren’t.

OM: Really? You wanna play this game now? Now? I’m in, if you are, chum.

Me: Listen, you can’t be serious about this can you? Dominant? You? For an entire day? O dear God!

OM: HEY! It’s not that bad. Try me. You won’t regret it.

Me: You mean I won’t live to regret it. So, what will happen if I say no?

OM: Hmmm. I knew this wouldn’t be easy. If you say no, then I’ll have to talk to the others and probably plan a rebellion of sorts and take over your life after a bloody coup. And rule for life. You can kiss your sorry life goodbye then.

Me: ~nervous laugh~ Now you’re kidding, right?

OM: O you wish, sweetheart. You wish.

Me: But tell me something. Why would you want to be dominant? I mean, the prospect of all perks with none of the responsibilities seems pretty convenient to me, so why would you want a change now?

OM: That’s exactly the point. I want a change. Mujhe change chahiye!

Me: Saying it in Hindi doesn’t make it any better, you senseless git! Nope, can’t do. You can’t be dominant. You’ll just ruin me completely. If I wanted to kill myself I’ll eat sleeping pills, thank you very much. Dominant, it seems. In your dreams, buster!

OM: ~deep sigh~ Why do you always make things so difficult for yourself, hmmm? Ok, let me make you a deal. How about I’ll be dominant only on your blog? Your life isn’t that great a deal anyway. What say?

Me: My blog? Why? Why why why? What did I do to you?! Why are you torturing me like this? Can’t a poor girl have her own blog without having to fight the injustice perpetrated by traitors like you?! Why?! Dear God, why?!!

OM: ~cough~ Drama queen ~cough~

Me: Ok, I’ll agree if you make that ‘one post’ instead of ‘one day’. You can write a guest column. But that’s it. Deal?

OM: ~evil grin~ Oh sure! Just the one post. Deal.

   

And thus one made a deal with oneself to dig one’s own grave and be buried 6 feet under, for all eternity. Good luck with guessing who’s the “one” and who’s the “oneself”. I’m going into hiding after the next post on this blog. There’s no internet and blogging in Timbuktoo, right?