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Satire

If only there was an easier way of explaining, I wouldn’t have been making up stories.

My mother tried teaching me all possible practical methods of dealing with the society while putting me at a safe distance from most of her own secrets. Most probably, I grew up knowing nothing and doubting everything. This, infact, isn’t one of those lazy Brontë sister stories where a girl dreamt of secured life while having written about feminine freedom. Every character in their books, got married, had strange children or died of tuberculosis. It sounds pretty ironic to me. I almost had a laugh but it died when I started thinking about how clueless I was. I did have a laugh. Maybe it was all in my head. I don’t know. But something seriously went wrong.  It wasn’t one of my intentions. If only, there was an easier way of explaining. Maybe I thought for a moment I could pull off a Brontë joke pretty well. Or maybe my mother was right about everything she ever spoke of. She did manage to make me think over my uncertainty. Infact, I have been infamously called a dreamer throughout my life. If you ask my mother, it wouldn’t make me sad if she doesn’t agree with it. At the least, I’ll be glad about my uprightness on having accepted certain facts about myself based on social norms. Like we all do. Accepting society as they speak about us. Letting people judge us without them having the slightest idea about our personal lives; letting people talk, listening to them and sometimes making guilty decisions against our own conscience. Lets not lie. We all do these petty mistakes but there isn’t enough time for blaming anyone anyways. Why put so much effort on people? I mean, people in general and more precisely the kinds who love the Brontë sisters or the kinds who would feed every kinds of food to every street dog in the community for the welfare of society and other strange health related issues. I am socially incapable of understanding dog issues at times. Don’t ask me why, I wouldn’t answer you because I don’t like to lie and I personally have nothing against dogs. I assure you with all my honesty, I adore them as much as I love resisting myself from posting dog videos on people’s wall post. If only there was an easier way of explaining, I wouldn’t have mentioned dogs.

My mother once told me, I shouldn’t dream too high. If I may recall possible heights of her dreams and combine it with mine, all of our above average dreams would still seem unrealistic to her. Infact, she fits well in all of Brontë’s novels but I don’t feel the need to get married, having strange kids or dying of tuberculosis. If only there was an easier way of explaining, I wouldn’t have mentioned Brontë.

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The Irony in my life. The last book I gifted my ex boyfriend before I left him was called Never Let Me Go.

Part 1.

We met through friends. I had met him before but I pretended not recognizing him. He did not recognize me but he did know a little about me. Some random things like how I talk in monosyllables. It was one of the usual gatherings at strangers. They were smoking up. I was watching them roll. He did not know how to use the paper. I was clueless. I was with strangers for the only reason that they were about to offer me some food. So much for the love of food, you know. And I played my part well. Sitting at one corner pretending to listen to people and not saying a single word. He was probably the nicest person in the room, I assumed, because he offered me the joint, which I denied and then he said hi. I told him we had before. He wasn’t sure about that. I described how his room was, how his mother looked and how he looked four years back. He was convinced that we had met before but he was still unsure. I was glad my memory wasn’t a failure.

He dropped us home. He offered me a hug and I gave him a handshake. Formality. Clean shit. I don’t like hugs. He did not like awkward formality. He didn’t take the handshake. I remembered him for his awkward denial. He remembered me for my awkward handshake. End of the conversation. We never exchanged numbers.

Part 2.

We met again at different places by mere coincidences. Sometimes while I would be checking out clothing stores and commenting over bad garment detailing. Most of the times he would be trying to finish unfinished books sitting in the bookstore. He would join us most of the times and he seemed excited learning about fabrics. I found out knowledge made him happy. It wasn’t the clothes. I fed him the fashion knowledge. He understood my point. It wasn’t the clothes and he wasn’t against homosexuals. Something about that made me happy. I finally started talking. He fed me literary knowledge. He was an English student who sincerely loved Helena Bonham Carter and our conversations never ended. We exchanged numbers. He later thanked me. I wasn’t sure why but I thanked him too. He was an honest man.

Part 3.

We met with friends. We ate at strangers’ dinner invitations. We walked at the park with dogs. We had dog conversations. We slept on park benches. We made fun of people on the streets. I stole his father’s shirt. We shared secrets. We made fun of each other. We made fun of the dogs. I made fun of his songwriting. We shared headphones. We sneaked in strangers’ houses just to watch movies. Everything was about movies. Everything was about books. Everything was music. We discussed songs. He understood the kinds I listened to. I never understood the kinds he liked. I sang once on repeated request. He denied singing. He was a paid vocalist but I have never heard him sing. He never sang even after repeated requests.

We were friends who never talked over phone. We were good friends. We never posed together for a photograph.

Part 4.

It’s been more a year now. He disappeared completely after I left him. Left no trace. My stalking skills never really worked. I eventually stopped thinking about it after I realized I am better off alone with no responsibilities to tie myself with. There is an utter peace in letting people go at the right time for the right reasons before you start hating them for the wrong reasons. Memories seem more precious when they are only the happier ones. It was a nice memory and it was lovely meeting him.

Part 5.

I am grateful to him for introducing me to this song.

I used to sketch a lot when I was younger. School days mostly. My first story book was made of handwritten pages torn out of old notebooks and hand-illustrated sketches with pages stapled in the middle. It had stories about magic potion and bullied ugly girls because I thought I was one apparently. I was 7years old pale girl and I was skinnier than a dying old man.

A lot of things happened and I never really stopped sketching but I got more into study books and I thought I would either end up becoming a crime investigator officer or a UFO researcher or an ethical hacker. The nerd in me died a bit after I joined college and its now buried under fashion magazines. Long gone, I finally bought new sketchbooks and new pens and I am gonna scribble down everything and anything.

This is summertime madness, my ugly new sketch and I currently struggle to put on a tee when I stay alone because summer is 46 degrees in Delhi.

summertime madness2

 

June 2. 8:48PM. Song on repeat. On the sea. Beach House.

Another day of retrospection and the simplest things exist in the most complicated forms. Reality is never simple. It can knock you off at any point from anywhere. Like a punch-up at the your wedding. Quite close, indeed. Then you have the very tiring process of sitting, thinking, getting up and hitting back the same way the world cracked you up. Sounds easy in words.

Worse cases are for people who are bit unlucky than the rest. Boy! You’ll always be knocked off your stable mind, well, that’s the secrets of the ruling planets. Science it looks like but it isn’t so. Sounds easy in words.

Even more worse cases, there might or might be friends and relatives to hold you stand back. This is the best chance to judge people. Not everybody stays and the world takes a little turn. Sounds easy in words.

Worst case, when you got none. That’s when you got absolutely no choice. Either you live or die. Many chose death. Sounds easy in words.

We’d have been dead by now if dreams never existed. But they do. You don’t need to know where, when, how. But they just do. This is why we are alive and each dream form a subconscious imaginary life. Normally the other life is way ahead of us; maybe that’s why we chase them, maybe that’s why we chase dreams. Reality is going to always hold you back and make you question if dreams exist. Trust me, it does. But just make sure, you have enough time before you die.

June 2. 10:02 PM. Overkilled the song.

(An article about how hard I try at times to describe a happy loner.)

Nobody in this world really wants to be alone. It’s just that someday someone realizes that it’s better to be alone. It’s optional, like all other things. How people would opt for oranges instead of bananas and hardcover copies instead of paperbacks. Whatever that fits in the bag that you carry. You know, what I mean.

Besides, I am just some somebody who likes to live in my head, where I do everything that I want to. Not that I would do everything in reality but I guess it’s just easier, you know, living-in-the-head thing. It sorts out things on its own and presents to me the optional options. So I had two choices. Choose people or being alone. Choosing someone sounds simpler but trust me, its not. As a matter of fact, it gets worse when you know someone too well. It’s like you got nothing else left in this world to do; too many stories, presumptions, garbage and no space for the thoughts to wander around your mind. Besides, you need to give people time, energy and other terms of physics and also take it back from them if you can or want, which obviously depends on you. I need to probably sit in a café over tea and have a chat with somebody who has exactly the opposite observations. The ones who get excited when they read ‘sharing is caring’. You know, what I mean.

Besides besides, people who have so many misconceptions about me just because I am quiet, shy or a bit strange as they call me, in my head I am everything you don’t know about. You know, what I mean.

Written by Sridip Sural from Discreet Voices
Those nursery rhymes are still domiciled somewhere in our memory. Hanging by the edge of their tiny finger nails, they refuse to let go. All of us joined in unison when the teacher sang “London Bridge is falling down” without a care in the world as to what it meant or why it was written. Just sang along, following the teacher’s lead. We all have to agree that the tunes were catchy. But sadly most of the teachers made us sing those rhymes in a pretty morose “here.. just learn it by heart.. will ya???” fashion.


It’s kind of surprising to know that most of these rhymes were written between 13th to 18th century and they are still in existence. What’s more surprising is that most of these rhymes not only had hidden meanings but also referred to some political event or disaster. Like “Jack & Jill”. The origin of the poem is in France. Whom we call Jack is actually King Louis XVI and Jill is Queen Marie Antoinette. King Louis XVI was beheaded (lost his crown) first, and then Queen Marie Antoinette came tumbling after during the Reign of Terror in 1793.


Then there is “London Bridge is falling down”. It supposedly tells about the fall of Anne Boleyn. Boleyn was accused of adultery and incest and was ultimately executed for treason. “Humpty Dumpty” is about huge cannon which couldn’t be fixed once it fell. Don’t you find it weird that Humpty Dumpty looked like a giant egg? Nowhere in the rhyme does it tell that he looked like one. But, here we are, singing about an overgrown egg, sitting on a wall for reasons best known only to him and then dies in mysterious circumstances. If you notice properly, in most of the pictures the wall is not more than 8 feet high. Just a mere fall would not be enough to crack an egg that big. Plus he had two hands and legs to cushion his fall. Unless he fell like this:






So was Humpty Dumpty murdered? Or did he commit suicide? Guess, we will never know.


Would have definitely changed the ending.


Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall,
All the King’s Horses and all the King’s men
Couldn’t put Humpty together again.
So they made a huge omelette,
And had it with bread,
So that people in the country knew,
He didn’t die in vain.


“Baa Baa Black Sheep”, our timeless racist rhyme, also had political undertones. No.. it’s not about slavery. It is thought to be a political satire on the export tax imposed in Britain in 1275 under the rule of King Edward I. Forget about its origin, somehow people still consider the poem to be very racist. So they went about changing it. Two private nurseries in Oxfordshire in 2006 altered the song to “Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep”. Rainbow Sheep??? Just hope this doesn’t turn out to be an anthem for the cough syrup drinking, glue sniffing youth we have nowadays. It has all the elements to be a dope classic.. the colour, the talking with animals and the “bags full of wool”. If you refer to the original version of the rhyme, the last line was ”who cries down the lane”, which can be a possible reference to cold turkey.


I have to admit though, that am fascinated by “Ring around the Rosie”. This rhyme tells about the Great Plague of London in 1665. If you haven’t heard of the rhyme before, here is how it goes:


Ring around the rosy,
A pocketful of posies,
“Ashes, Ashes”
We all fall down!


The symptoms of bubonic plague included a rosy red ring-shaped rash, which inspired the first line. People carried pockets full of fresh herbs or “posies” since they believed that the disease was carried by bad smell.  The “ashes, ashes” line refers to the cremation of the bodies of those who died from the plague.


I was wondering if such rhymes can originate in this day and age. There have been many events which can be cocooned by a rhyme. What I really want to see is a nursery rhyme originating in India. We even had an age when we could have done that. Like when the British ruled. Or when Indira Gandhi declared emergency. What if you had a chance now? What would you cover? Godhra Riots? Bhopal Gas Tragedy? 2G Scam?


It’s leaking, it’s oozing,
The worker is snoring,
All the people who went to sleep,
Smelled something that hit them deep,
And they couldn’t wake up in the morning.


P.S. Here is my favorite nursery rhyme:


A wise old owl lived in an oak,
The more he saw the less he spoke,
The less he spoke the more he heard,
Why can’t we all be like that wise old bird?

There’s this word which got really famous.

“Short Term Memory Lost” and also known as STML by a the techies.

No matter what the consequences are, it seems even the most illiterate Indian people have had ‘short term memory lost’ lately.

Very much predictably, everyone in India got it the same time when ‘Ghajini’ had one.

STML for hanging the keys on the wall and searching for it all the house- office goers

STML for keeping the water tap open- maids

STML for burning the milk on stove- housewives

STML for not completing the homework- hardcore students

STML for forgetting the name of her boyfriend- teen girls

STML for not flushing the toilets- anyone and anywhere

STML for not remembering people’s faces- social networking geeks

STML for not mending the footpath ka potholes- government

STML for locking a roommate inside the room- a friend of mine!

STML in India is now happening! Either India is suffering or gaining more knowledge or learning to make more excuses….. We, the people of India, still know the Indians very well.

P.S

(On air)

At the end of the interview…

The Radio Jockey: “Sir, would you please say a famous line from any of your movies for our listeners?”

Aamir:”I don’t remember exactly….. Short Term Memory Lost you see.” (And he laughs).

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