Wednesday, May 20, 2009

We invented impatience

A telecom company is peddling impatience as a virtue. Like we needed it. Ha. Impatience is our birthright. We jump up and yank our baggage before the aircraft lands, neighbour's luggage and head be damned. We honk the life out of vehicles that have had the audacity to stop at traffic signals. We effortlessly step on toes, shoes and even heads to get ahead in a queue. We can't be bothered sticking to the straight and long road, we bribe our way through short cuts. No sir, don't sell us impatience, we invented it.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Child of a lesser God

Durga Das works the tables at the plush Emirates transit lounge in Dubai airport. He mostly encounters human beings at their worst -- in between long hauls or waiting for delayed flights. He realises it's important for him to smile when being yelled at. It's an important weapon to have when you deal with jerks.
Durga left his village in Bihar many moons ago in pursuit of the petro dollar. He tells me he must be the richest man ever from his village. He wishes he could get a better life than to wait tables but for now the Dirhams keep the stove burning back home.
As he offers me another beer with a smile, he analyses transitional humanity to me. White people are largely polite, Arabs are indifferent and Indians are the worst classists, he declares. He is quick to point out that I am all right. Indians are the worst, he seethes, all sugar and honey with even white beggars but so rude to "lesser" Indians. I nod in empathy. Durga walks off to attend to fat white man who has spilt food all over his generous tummy. The smile is back on.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

I hear the wind wail

I am not one for urban legends but it was hard to ignore this one. Over many rounds of Old Monk on a muggy Kerala night, they tell me the tale of this landed family. These regal gents who ruled the little town that I come from, bought an old Taravad (or great house) as part of a distress sale. The owners, once royalty themselves, had fallen on hard times. The house with a million memories was all they had left. They sold it for a square meal or three.
The new buyers acquired the mansion with it's sprawling teak verandahs, rosewood chests and the grief that had seeped into its pores. They say when you buy an ancient house, you buy its sorrows as well.
They tell me that an entire generation fell prey to mysterious ailments. Man after woman was laid to rest on the weeping verandah. It's been years now, the once regal mansion now rests like a fallen angel. As I poke around the sprawling grounds now unkempt and haggard, I spot the poison well they told me about. I swear I can hear the wind wail.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sick IPL Player

The amount of attention Fake IPL Player has been getting indicates how diseased we are. We are flocking to the blog in hordes to lap up all the cheap shots he is taking at his team-mates, team owner, opponents, TV crew and just about anyone who has anything to do with the IPL. Here is a man who is bitching out his mates to the world and we are clapping our hands in glee. How sick are we, really? Perhaps, sicker than him.
Indications are that he is a really clever fake. It's not very difficult to make up stories that can't be verified. The Knight Riders are an easy target. Buchanan is not terribly popular, Ganguly is visibly upset, a celeb like Shah Rukh is always a soft target and they don't seem capable of winning anything.
Worse, he could be what he claims he is -- a disgruntled KKR player. And that would make him sore loser and a very sick man. Because for one, he is not good enough to play and for another hiding in the dark and taking pot shots at his mates is not particularly brave or sportsman like. And cricket, despite its millions, is still a noble game.
PS: I have been guilty of reading the trash he posts as well but not anymore.