Thursday, February 16, 2006

Looking for Comedy in The Real World. (or)
How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the... Well, forget it!

{Note to self: This blog is not any more as anonymous as you thought it would be. Presumably, some influential characters may also be reading these posts and you may get some flak elsewhere. So, be nice.}
Note to readers (inlivenout, you there?):
1. This blog was supposed to be half-topical on mundanity of day-to-day life, which was unfairly ignored as the blogger started musing more and more on obscenely abstract topics like,
a. why cigarettes originally must have been circular in shape;
b. why there lies a considerable amount of vodka in all human beings somewhere down their stomach, in the pancreas or somewhere; and so on.
2. This could also be seen as a sequel to this post, which quite self-indulgently explained the possibility of absence of love in one's life.

In this mundane (now that I haven't used it much till now, the reader will have to bear my using the word time and again from now) existence of ours, it's hard to find and do something exciting on a daily basis. As I was musing on these lines while walking down to my office which is more than 1.5 km from my home, I fancied myself dancing down the roadside, jump up and touch those boisterous tree leaves (who themselves were dancing hard to touch the ground) and sing Idhu Oru PonmAlai Pozhuthu... Loving nature's beauty and all that jazz! But, it was hardly a ponmAlai (for non-tamilians: golden evening). Firstly, it was a morning; and more importantly, it was not remotely close to being golden.
So how else could I pep up this whole thing? I tried something really humane. I thought of smiling at everybody on the road and wishing them good morning (here I must add the indirect inspiration was solely from my visit to U.S. some months ago; my friend used to get all excited as every damn soul wished him a good morning as we start hurriedly from the hotel, everyday to the office). Plan B, I told myself and made a mental note of it so that I could reuse these ideas on some other equally bland day. But the task was hugely difficult considering the number of human specimen I had to handle. It becomes further difficult if I count the huge population of dogs (in and around the Airport Road) in for this monumental mush fest. Moreover, there was this guy curiously watching me, as he walked along (there are a host of human species walking on both directions in the much-dreaded Airport Road), since I half-heartedly tried to touch those leaves with a feeble blink-and-you-better-miss jump as part of Plan A. As I was hoping for a Plan C to introduce itself to me, I arrived at my office. Now that the quest for some morning masala to spice it all up failed miserably, my face got a little grimmer and an aura of seriousness crept in. I am God's own lonely man, I tried real hard to sound philosophical and get a little too heavy on this issue of extreme blandness (possibly an oxymoron), write a film script out of it and become the next Scorsese. Well, at least, Paul Schrader.

When I was a kid, it wasn't like this. I had various exciting stuff (albeit forced) to do on many days I woke up. Like those special days when I actually brushed my teeth. Parents follow curious techniques to regulate their children brushing their teeth. While some kids used to mop up a lot of paste down their mouth, I was never really too keen (not that I hated it; but I forgot usually) on doing this as a daily task. So, my dad used to place some tooth paste on my brush before he buckles up for the task of the morning, that is to wake us (agreed, I was the worst; but it always feels better to include your siblings) up from our deep (and in my case, heavily philosophical) sleep. There were two reasons. One, I should not put his shaving cream and brush my teeth and let some hair grow on my teeth. Two, he wanted to make sure I actually brush. But now, the magic is completely lost because of an everyday-familiarity that I have struck with my toothbrush, for long time now.

In the current state of affairs, it's indeed hard for one to do something exciting on a daily basis. No rip-roaringly funny incidents, No divine interventions, No thrills of somebody secretly following you (and even if so, he/she never carries a gun), no profusely mushy romance. So, there you go. No Wodehouse, No Tarantino, No Hitchcock, not even a Karan Johar, and one usually doesn’t want a David Lynch. For all practical cases, there has been no need for us to be equipped with this thing called EQ, which means people like yours truly have half-lost it. (In fact, I would go a step further and deem the word as ‘unparliamentary’.) Some accept this as a fact, as a mere event. Some, again like yours truly, even romanticize the deadpan quality of the whole thing, and write self-indulgent posts like this.

And quite understandably, the rest of the people, are peeved at this issue to no end. What is surprising is that, in all such cases, the quintessential solution offered is to go get a girl! {That they are not available in the market yet is a very big fact(or).} So, the indomitably spirited rest, like a friend of mine (let's call him Mr. K with a reason), try hard for the various little possibilities on those lines; which brings us to the romantic life of Mr. K.
A very complicated one, actually. He has totally met 7 girls (the exact number changed, that is increased, so as to protect his identity; and also to salvage some pride for the dear friend) in his life; and most of them, at some point or the other, meant a lot (so much that he actually made the greeting cards himself, that he would hand over to them on a host of random occasions ranging from Friendship day to Pillion-riders day) to him.
But yet, Mr. K is an eternal romantic. Each time he boards a bus to his hometown, he contemplates the possibility of some girl sitting next to him; and on some wild days, he even hopes that she will ask for the magazine that he will be going through; in which case, he goes and buys magazines on topics as boring as say, automobiles. (Here the reader should also appreciate his sense of understanding girl-things.) But then, blame it on the Indian society (easiest thing to do, I tell you). An event that is supposed to be of probability 0.5 (being very fair irrespective of various prospects) is pushed down to as low as 0.01 or worse. Incidentally (or due to some divine conspiracy), yours truly has made more than a hundred travels between his hometown and the city where he lives and haven't had the privilege yet. But I digress.
Let's get back to Mr. K. Of course, the one who sits next to him never happens to be a girl. Even if such a thing happens, the girl always manages to find somebody else, another bleeding male, who is more than ready to shift his place next to poor Mr. K. That chivalrous man has his small milestone for the day and is terribly content with it; but Mr. K is not even allowed to exhibit his already diminishing-beyond-recognition flirtatious skills. (After one such incident, the other man sat, made himself comfortable and gleed at Mr. K, happy that his event of the day has finally happened. Mr. K gave back the shortest and rudest of acknowledgements possible.)
Then one fine day, Mr. K gets to read a preview on Chetan Bhagat's new book, One night @ The Call Center. So, the next thing he does is to book his return tickets in a train. (His engineering mind also makes a calculation that probability of a girl sitting among those 6 seats is higher, inspite of all the social conspiracies.) Train journeys are always comfortable and better!, he exclaims to himself with a gleam in his eyes, staring at a bright future. But then, as he found later, trains worked much worse for him. Actually, it was fine to start with; and he thought that Chetan Bhagat was indeed a genius. There was one girl sitting just opposite to him. He silently observed her, praying to his favourite God Hanuman, that she would come and ask him to wake her up when the train reaches her destination. Or something like that. That gave him a bright idea. Voila, he can do the same! He kept back the magazine (which was his Brahmastra) back in his bag and asked her if she can wake him up when the train reaches Bangalore. Alas, it so happened that Bangalore was actually the train's final destination. She just gave him a real odd look for a moment, and told him the same. At this crucial juncture, Mr. K laughed out loud, pretending to have cracked one hell of a joke. But by then, the girl had already drowned herself into a magazine; an automobile magazine at that!
Well, Murphy was staring pretty hard at the poor chap. But not being one who gets dispirited easily, he took out his Brahmastra intending to try the same with a prettier lady who was sitting 2 seats next to him. But blame it on the Indian society again; her father was sitting in between the two. That this father guy took the magazine from him, read the whole of it for a couple of hours, then snored all through the night, and never returned it back, made this story a bigger tragedy.
That was Mr. K, hoping to redeem himself from the blandness of his life, for you. At least he did what the majority of the population ends up doing, albeit adding his own touch to it. But, I have seen other friends doing crazier things, which might server as a follow-up to this already obscenely long post.

End note: Well, I think this post wasn't funny at all (and the readers will agree for sure). But, that's the whole point!

1. Though the author has avoided to mention that Mr. K is a Tamilian in the
fear of repeating a fact, now relegated to a cliché, the essence of that word could be associated with terribly exact precision to Mr. K.
2. Day before yesterday (Feb. 14), the author (not wanting to fret over the specific bland quality the day posessed) was at his equanimous best; and planned to go and watch a movie, “Mixed Doubles”. But the tickets were sold out, for obvious reasons. (As a tangential observation, the author also wonders how dangerously that film could work for a couple, giving them new ideas. But that's for another post.) So, he sits back and writes an unfinished piece which he completes much later, that is today.


  1. Mr K seems to be like Mr Kept back from what you have described.

  2. Am here,SH. Alive and typing!

    Yeah,I agree that the post wasnt 'funny' at all.Actually,it was "very funny"!

    PS: ...Stupidity(crap) around {I just gave a shot at completing the title that you asked me to forget ;-p}

  3. Nilu,
    i know... and i agree.