Thursday, January 19, 2006

Three Conversations and an Encounter (Part 2)

[ Writing this post felt like repeatedly approaching a zone of self-awareness... Something similar to (though they made congress with the limit) the destiny of machines in Hollywood films. Apocalyptic though those visions might be, this article details an interesting difference, between the West's perception (of machines and life), and an imagination from Japan, of the same.

This self-awareness, of a deep bitterness, pervades throughout what follows :-( ]

Sections Two and Three:

After a(nother) long day at a Library, the interminable wait, for a non-taxing way to get home.

These are interesting times. Sadly, I'm not blessed by the powers that be... and, in my world, these are mainly the following:
  1. She who must be named a.k.a. mai maa sarkar. Why the subtle shift from the traditional hindi term? Since we must recognize The Inner Voice. And affirm our unquestioning devotion to the entire clan : lower third class grandfather, the college drop out mother, the barely educated pilot son, the fascist goon, the once upon a time a language student now soon to be sainted for her immeasurable sacrifices desh ki bahu (so the rhetoric goes), the future of the country, a rising star, the hope of the youth. The entire clan AND their unborn.
  2. the department, or
  3. the university grants commission.
Being out of the loop - the way I'd like to think I am - things can get difficult sometimes. Sure, there is (in the words of a thirty year old cynic) "funding" (parental), the world does get cold and lonely, and the roads feel hard underfoot.

Take something as simple as 'getting things done.' Now, an interesting component of 'getting things done' is in how the 'done' is monopolized, obscuring (to normal comprehension) the hidden alliance between 'getting' and 'there'.

There seems to be, from ever since the palanquin was probably invented, the following pattern: While relying on someone else (to operate the palanquin, howda, buggy, horse-drawn carriage, train, tram, car, plane etc etc) ensures not needing to learn the specialized knowledge needed to operate the afore-assumed mode of transport, when this medium is shared with others, delays inevitably occur. Hence, the monopolization of the effort of another (machine, human, animal) can, ideally, significantly reduce the time taken, in getting from point A to B.

Unfortunately, as pointed out earlier, not being in the good graces of the Big Three, the only entity whose effort I can harness is myself. Which leaves two options: Hoofing (a term I was introduced to, by someone who slowed down when I stuck my thumb out) or (in the current physical condition) Huffing and Puffing. Cycling, that is, in case any of you deluded "I tell myself every morning, 'I'll quit at 30' " smokers seem to think blowing smoke-rings was a possibility in teleportation.

</end snarky aside about smokers>


wtf was this post supposed to be about, btw? Sorry, ok. I get carried away sometimes. Additionally, crafting the words that might express all the hazaar ideas I get takes so much effort that the final idea/point seems like a pataaka that went phuss.

This (section of the) post was about two conversations...

Waiting for an slightly empty bus, pacing up and down a ten meter stretch at the Tughlaq Crescent bus-stop, on a cold wintery evening, things looked bleak.

A man standing at this same bus-stop (who stared for a few seconds) suddenly piped up and said, "aap jyotishi hain kya?"


"Kal mein ek aadmi se mila tha jo ekdum aapke jaise dikhne mein tha. Aise hei kapde usne bhi pehne thay. Woh ek jyotish tha."

Heavily outfitted, clad in a thick jacket, a kurta-pyjama ensemble, the essential warm inners, and a muffler; prepared for anything the elements might throw at me, this one comment left me not just speechless, but humour and retort-less.

Half an hour later... half a stinky, crowded, all day office goer's body odor hour later, hopped off the bus, only to run into a guy who stays a few houses away. Temporarily, let's call him HottieGotti. Not because he's hot, or related to a mafioso. But because he thinks he's a dude, and wishes he was a goon.

(HottieGotti) "Hey, how're you?"
(me) "Fine..."
(HottieGotti) "Where are you coming from, at this time?"
(me) "A library."
(HottieGotti) "Yaar, kitna padhega" (I hate that.)
(HottieGotti) "Accha, did you know XYZ?"
(HottieGotti) "He died."
(me) "WTF???"
(HottieGotti) "A few days ago. Drunk driving."
(me) "WTF???"
(HottieGotti) "He deserved it, the idiot. Should've been smarter."
(me) (thinking) "WTF???"

Something's really wrong. These days, I really don't have very much to say...


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