Friday, July 30, 2004

My vagueness quotient is 82. Whats yours?

What do I do when people ask me pointed questions about my career or my personal life? I turn on the vagueness button. It is this hyper sensitive little dot that needs very little neural impulse to get it going. The moment somebody looks at me like they want me to pour out my life story, I get all vague and philosophical. Trust me, there is no better way to ward off questions than to become preachy about life. Just say, "hmm...what is life without the difficulties?" or some such yuck statement and you have saved yourself from imminent exposure to an uninvited 'friend'.

Isn't it a wonderful thing to be able to choose what to say to people and what to hold off? Imagine confessing your weaknesses to that confide-in-me face only to discover the next morning that the entire gang is giving you THAT look. Why bother with life stories? I'm here now and gone the next moment. Lets just be fun people in the meantime. So, when I want to show people that I care, I ask them vague questions. Like "whats happening in your life?". Now this gives the other person plenty of room. They can either go open and pour out joys and woes or they can switch on their vagueness button. Either way, I'll figure out how they want it to be.

So the lifestories that I really know are from the people who have decided that they want to tell me. Ofcourse I make sure it is a one way traffic. In through the ears and stashed away in the inner recesses of memory. And the people who turn on the vagueness button? I smile and let them pass. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you I guess.

Whats the deal about life?

So when does life get perfect? When does that moment finally arrive when you can sit back and say "this is precisely where I want to be forever and ever"? I wonder whether the sensation of a perfect moment (thats the moment when you probably close your eyes and say "this is bliss") has more to do with instant gratification of the most dominating sensory need or if it is a moment when you are without your defenses and still liking it. In most cases, those short moments of bliss are moments of immense sensory satisfaction. But what happens next? How does the bliss of the moment prepare you for the stinks of the morrow?

I'd like to think that filling a life with perfect moments that transcend the senses has largely to do with how comfortable you are with yourself. I mean, the company of other people is a great way to be happy but what happens when they decide that you cannot be happy today? Why would you want to give that kind of control to someone else? But unless you take the effort to be your best friend, your own sounding board, your personal counsellor, your personal shrink, can you really know yourself? And unless you know yourself can you ever get comfortable with being you - imperfections et al?

I go through these really high and these really low phases (yeah so does everyone) and I waste an unbelievable amount of time thinking about life and its vagaries. I rely on observational data that I photograph in my head on a daily basis and subject most of my friends to intense analysis that they probably don't suspect is happening in my head [hey, I didn't mean you. I meant my other friends ;)]. During these intensely thoughtful times, I come up with my theories. I like to think that these theories are all right and work every single time. One such recent idea of mine is to savour each moment for what it is, kiss it goodbye and just move on. Sure, the moment was one of the worst fights of your life but then it will pass too. Like every other moment before it and every moment ahead of it, this moment too shall pass. Do you want to remember it with that horrible pang in your tummy or do you want to associate it with something pleasant like the smell of coffee or the breezy caress of the salty air on the seashore?

So whatever you want to call your life, go ahead and label it. Or don't bother with the cerebral stuff. Just eat, drink and be merry. Perfection is perception too. Yours.

Whatever you do, I guess you just need to love yourself a great deal and simply stay precious. There is no one quite like you in the whole wide world. Make sense?

PS: Yes, the above post is extremely pedantic. I have the right to preach on my blog and you cannot stop me :)


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Savour a Flavoured Banana!

Yes, I did say it right in the title. No, I am not joking. This article in the Guardian's Life section does not talk about artificially flavoured bananas. It talks about lesser known varieties that may actually have hints of other fruity flavours. How about a banana that tastes like a strawberry?

English Style Guide

I chanced upon the Guardian Unlimited style guide page this morning. It is an effective aid for people who want to come across as classy in their emails and other forms of written communication. I realized, with a bang, that I use far too many hyphens in words that are not meant to be hyphenated. I would love to blame my steady deterioration of grammar and style on the advent of email and SMS and IM. There is an abbrevation for almost all common words that it seems a real pain to use the actual spelling of the word.
But then, it is nice to have a wake up call sometimes. For those times when abbreviations are shoddy, do brush up your style with this site.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Of Corinthians, Regency Bucks and April Ladies

Regency novels...delightful humor...interesting characterization - these are the elements that I love best in Georgette Heyer's historical novels. She was a woman with a flair for showing the funny side of situations.
She was a profilic writer who produced a new book almost every year since she started writing. She was also the breadwinner for her family for several years and this was the reason that some of her novels are pure romances. My personal favorite is The Grand Sophy. Though I was introduced to Heyer in These Old Shades and its sequel Devil's Cub, which are books that I still enjoy, I thoroughly relished The Grand Sophy. It is a far more sophisticated work than the other two. Several of her works are great reads. Check out the link on the title of this post to be directed to her site.

Whenever I am feeling down, I always pick up a GH and curl up in a couch. A perfect placebo for the down-in-the-dumps times.

Einstein for Beginners

I was at my neighbourhood library last evening on one of my usual visits. I was feeling rather lethargic to pick up a huge tome again so I looked around for a slim volume. Suddenly a comic book like volume caught my eye. It was a funnily illustrated book called 'Einstein for Beginners'. A collaborative effort of Joseph Schwartz & Michael McGuinness, this book presented Einstein's life and work in an easy to understand and remember format. The entire book is filled with cartoon strips and other interesting illustrations that work very well at communicating arcane steps in the process of reaching E=mc^2

I enjoyed reading it so much that I read it from cover to cover in a single sitting.