Monday, 31 October 2011

How Would You Like To Be Remembered?

A friend sprang that one up on me unawares. I thought for a moment thinking on the lines of something grand. Something idealistic. And then it hit me.This planet now going to hit the target of 7 billion people soon will not be bothered to remembered puny human soul more or less.

It's such a comforting thought to think you'd be remembered. That your legacy would be passed on. But heavens, is it really? Do the living have that much time for the dead? And if they don't, who'd blame them?

"The boast of heraldry, the pomp of power,
And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike the inevitable hour;
The paths of glory lead but to the grave."

Is it really that important to be remembered? Achilles was ready to die in battle even though he knew his fate beforehand just because he wanted his name to withstand oblivion. What would you want to be remembered by or as? Or who would we want as our mourners?

Is it deeds and works or mere fame and wealth. What eventually is to be our invisible epitaph? 

"Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime
And departing leave behind them
Footsteps on the sands of time..."

How many of us will be immortalised - - - when we don't have a Shakespeare to write sonnets on us.

Let's Be Uncool

Ever wondered who really decided what's cool or uncool? Perhaps. 

Suppose someone were to tell you to forsake your individuality and become like a sheep that just follows its comrades without thinking - - - I'm guessing you won't subscribe to it.

Then why should our evolved and psychologically, cognitively etc etc etc superior species be so into peer pressure or just conforming? Maybe it's easier to go with the flow than dam it?

When bell bottoms were cool, people used to go around with unaccountably long yards of material flapping at their ankles. When anemically thin was cool most of us starved. Then 'Dabaang' and the like brought out this ridiculous fad of placing your sunglasses behind your shirt collar. One question. Is this really cool?

So, next time you pull your jeans real low, or where heels that are uncomfortably steep - do look into the mirror. You might be the clone of every other cool conscious person out there.  

The next new fashion statement? Being uncool. Though being individualistic would suit much better.

On Guys On Facebook Among Another Things

Guys will be guys. Understatement.Plus, it no way excuses their extremely predictable behavior.

One of the best places to be a girl is on Facebook as it guarantees a laugh a day. Why?


"Will you frandship with me?"
"Will you joint my facebook account?"
"Dear, hello... I like pic your"
"Wow, what a good display pic! Let's be friends."

That is just a fair few. Their loads more even funnier even if you do excuse the English.

With no offence to the meagre minority of the male population that doesn't indulge in this behavior, you have to admit that it's all worth a good case study.

It's also really pitiful as it seems the same old lines are played over and over and over again. No innovation. Personally, quite a majority of the female population would be much less aggravated if the line "will you friendship with me" never appears again. Come on, does it really make any sense?

It's the same thing on chat sites. A friend of mine told me one day that she always knew the guy she was chatting with was an Indian if he quoted the 'friendship line' of above or kept calling her 'dear'.

Yes, clearly the uneven sex ratio distribution is showing its psychological as well as social effects.

The Green Eyed Monster

They say we have only one constant companion from cradle to grave and that is ourselves. However, dampening as it may seem, we do have another one too. Guess who? Well, good old Shakespeare called it the 'green eyed monster' and Onida captured it as a mascot. To sum it up in a word - Envy.

Let's not be too hasty however in giving a dog a bad name. Envy ain't always as bed as we think, if used construtively. Perhaps if it leads on to improve oneself then we could be seeing the silver lining in that cloud. Still, the things people do out of envy is as childish as it is nauseating.

Normally the TV adverts give us a nice bird's eye view of what people can do to arouse envy. Thus, we have the paint ads where you paint your house to impress your neighbours, then the TV and fridge ads were the neighbours envy your new gadget... it just goes on and on.

Well, though Onida isn't advertising as much as it used to it seems their tag line is here to stay:

"Neighbour's envy, owner's pride..."

Much Ado About Predictions

My Dad smiling handed me the newspaper this Sunday after gravely announcing that his weeks forecast was predicted to be gloomy. I cringed inwardly wondering what condolences I would have to fake when he surprised me. He happily stated that whenever the stars shed their worst light on his sun-sign things improved for the better!

It brought Paul the FIFA oracle octopus to mind. An incident which always makes me want to laugh when I remember how fans were ready to eat the octopus for selecting their rivals. Perhaps my taste buds differ but I don't find it too palatable to put it mildly.

 Fortune tellers still, find a large audience and being all a matter of belief it's something that can't be put into a neat compartment. Excessive hype however, is quite another thing. A friend once told me how he drank a whole bottle of whiskey just because a fortune teller told him he was too die early! Now, that's the brand of fortune telling that really raises one shackles.

We have sun-sign cups and pendents and key chains... but that is depressing. Who wants to believe that their destiny is written in the stars and unchangeable? When Nature herself is dynamic and ever moving then how can we be so confined when our minds and souls have no limits? Perhaps we too like Jonathan Seagull need to be the makers of our own destinies.

May the stars shine; be they good or bad
But life will go on and still, there is much to be had...

A Sweet A Day Keeps the Doctor in Pay

Almost everyone I know has a sweet tooth in variation of degree. Mine is a sort of sweet detector. See a sweet eat a sweet sort of thing. However, I'm now cured of that.

No it wasn't a diet or piling on kilos that did it. I just happened to see how good the hygiene standards in our beautiful city are.

As I sat outside a shevosad stall there before me I saw sweets being made on the road. And the worst thing? They looked absolutely yum and would look so innocent if gracing the display case of a big sweet shop. BUT, there were flies everywhere.

Yupe. Flies on the mava khadai too. The man just lifts it off the ground(never noticing the flies) and starts cooking it. So, ahem, roasted flies anyone?

Once that's done,another accomplice in cold blood starts smoothing the matter(without washing his hands) and the flies happily jumped around. Then he cut the sweets in diamonds or rolled them up. The flies didn't have to pay a thing for all the free tasting they were doing on the finished product.

I later found out they had received a large order from somewhere and here they sat, at the edge of a road making sweets. After all, they were not going to consume them.

So, here's the irony: you pay for buying the sweets and then you pay the doctor as well. Perhaps the saddest part of this whole thing is every one's perfect indifference to such a state of things. A peda anyone?

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Brand-less Image

Despite our million or billion years of evolution and also the tag we like putting - of being the most superior species of the planet- we can also be the most trivial.

Or is it the mark of the higher species to want to spend a fortune over a pair of shoes or a television you don't like (and let's face it - could be much, much, much cheaper) just because of the brand image.

The most ordinary stuff can be passed off as classy if you add the suitable brand label  to it as you can see which much f the so-called fashion accessories on the online shopping sites. A beaded bracelet or a pair of sunglasses that you'd pick up for less than a hundred from a roadside vendor shoots to upto a hard thousand.

At the end of the day, how many people are going to look at the label on your clothes or hidden in your shoes or on the rim of your glasses? And if they do, does it matter?

Aren't we too becoming like the monkey who sees many humans wearing glasses and thus, decides it's important he does so too? Perhaps, mankind really evolved from the apes.       

Saturday, 29 October 2011

A Price of a Dream...

In life there is no free lunch; as some people oft quote.

It would be terribly depressing to believe it to be true. Anything free attracts us as the advertisers know and thus, most products have something or the other tagging along with it.

It's fine if you have to pay for lunch but what if you have to pay for every ambition or dream you have? That's when things get rough.

Even if we were to believe in Coelho's picture of each individual having a divine mission... still, the things we most strive for are those that are the hardest to realise. And what's there to stop us from abandoning something that gives us pleasure as well as pain? Only ourselves.

It's easier to give up a dream than see it till the end. Unfortunately, we all need to be reminded of this time and again. Maybe that is what Frost meant when he said:

Two roads diverged into a wood and I.
I took the one less travelled by.
And that has made all the difference.

Goodbye to Plastic bags?

It's amusing really how whenever an individual speaks about the importance to save our planet we have fervent denouncement of the humble plastic bag (don't get me wrong, I'm all for the cute paper ones). Still, here we are in 2011 and those bags are out there.

Whats more, now you have to pay to use them. No pun intended; superstores like Big Bazaar (7 Seas Mall) ask you to shell out anywhere between 3 to 5 rupees per bag. Just imagine being loaded down with groceries (you can't take a carry bag in with you) at the cash counter and wondering how you are to haul all those things out. There you have it, profit for them while they can righteously say that 'yes, we are deterring customers from opting for plastic bags'.

Perhaps the whole thing shouldn't be so much about completely stamping out the so called menace than moderation in use. But more important than all this is that people themselves learn to recycle or re-use those bags and not toss them around to litter the streets.

Plastic is here to stay but it's up to each of us to balance the situation. Till then, we'll find stray bags littering Baroda's streets and serving cows as their afternoon meals.

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