Of Plastic Films and Profound Realizations

The other day, I found myself sitting at a back-ish row in an ecology class at my engineering college on brand new furniture that my college had procured. As the professor, clicking her leather shoes as she walked around the class, droned about how environmental education was all about creating responsible citizens, I once again found myself doing something else. Reading “The best of O’Henry”.

Behold the laddy as he scrambles through the pages of that good ol’ bathroom TV, he would have written.

The overwhelmingly boring atmosphere eventually managed to snuff out O’Henry’s words, which, for the record, put up a valiant fight despite being more than a hundred years old. I soon found myself switching focus from the bathroom TV to the plastic film wrapped around the furniture in front of me. Like all other plastic films, it was screaming “TEAR ME OFF”.

So I did exactly that, my fingers reaching for the plastic, tugging at it, making it thinner than a size zero plastic sheet model (If they have them in the plastic sheet world) as I smugly watched it become a victim of its own stretch-ability, its agony while rending prolonged. Then I grabbed what had become the bereaved, new end of the film and did the same. And I wound down till I reached the last bit of plastic film, that had half its remaining length wrapped around the foot of the chair and the other half peeking out quite elegantly, just long enough to tempt; yet just short enough to not have its attachment to the chair questioned by every gust of air that the windows may allow to pass.

My boredom eventually led to the invasion of the classroom by irresistibly cute plastic-film jellyfish that floated all around, holding everyone in a spell.

Plastic it was, looking more alive than anything or anyone else in the room. And when it landed on someone, it gave just as much joy as would a butterfly on the brightest day of spring. And when someone gently blew it away, giving it wind beneath its wings, it would float away with abandon, glimmering in the light, not caring if it would land on the tip of the needle of a compass or on the palm of an admirer.

Time froze. Or flew. I’m really not sure. But what I do know is that we didn’t hear of how many years it would take to decompose, or just how toxic it was to animals. We heard of the beauty of everything, all the myriad manifestations of the stuff of our planet. And we well and truly appreciated it.

It had taken plastic film to kill hypocrisy in an environment class. Hardly ironic, if you think hard enough.

There are few things as pleasurable in the universe to a human being as destroying/vandalizing/tearing/ruining without consequences. Tearing off plastic films is the mother of all “gasm”s. But that is quite beside the point, don’t you think?

Indian Railways Chronicles #1

I spent a good part of the last Sunday in a train, making good use of my alone-time by connecting to Facebook, drooling and frowning in such quick succession that the people around me almost saw it fit to pack me off to the hospital, thinking I was having a fit. In my defence, I was only trying to stay sane in a strange and dangerous world where being disconnected, isolated, expressionless and tranquil, even for the briefest of intervals, is positively maddening. Even more so if you’re in a train full of people who you’ve not stalked even on Facebook.

The prospect of a hospital where I would be hooked up to IV fluids, not other people’s private lives was so terrifying that it made me take the drastic step of opening a book and reading it. It happened to be “Shit My Dad Says” by Justin Halpern (God bless him, having a dad like that) and was proving to be quite a herculean task. At this point, a middle aged man having an adolescent French beard caught me off guard when he walked up to me and talked to me. He wanted to exchange his seat with mine, because apparently, I was sitting opposite to his wife. I rose to the occasion by managing to splutter “Fine, okay. No issues.” I figured migrating from the midst of one set of strangers to another would not make a difference to someone who was trying to read a book. Soon however, “Shit Which My Dad” says started becoming more and more unlike the shit my dad actually said, and in a moment of weakness, I looked up to see the man who wanted to be with his wife, only to find both of them sitting opposite to each other, eyes glued not to each other, but to their iPad’s.

I spent pretty much the rest of the journey wondering if there was something about marriage that I quite didn’t get.

Trite and Prejudice

I had no plans of writing this blog post. Sure, I had a text box open on this website for a prolonged duration with precisely zero words typed out, but it was never supposed to materialize into what you are reading now.

Until my cursor cursed me.

You heard that right. No, wait, I heard that right. First.

So my halpess cursor, which seems to have acquired anthropomorphic characteristics almost overnight, decided that it(he) has had enough. The poor guy, I realize, has been blinking away all his life, with faith and loyalty that would put the most dependant of Labrador Retrievers to shame. He (he tells me he’s a he) has put up, rather stayed alongside, with all the trite that I have typed out over the years. So today morning, when I opened a text box with entirely non-productive intentions, I would have stayed true to them, if not for this sudden barrage of expletives that seemed to come out of nowhere. Always the connoisseur of expletives and all things unrefined, I looked around with pleasant expectation, not entirely ruling out the materialization of Samuel L. Jackson himself. This is pretty much how it went:

“Listen here, you slimy little wannabe writer shithead.”

*Looks around*

“Are you *ucking dumb you little dipshit? Look at me. I’m your *ucking cursor.”

Me: “I know that sir, from this effete display. Being the fine gentleman that you are, could you please show yourself?”

“*uck you, you blind and dumb and wannabe little shit. You’re looking at me.”

Me: “Wha-”

“I’m blinking at you right now you gongoozling muck snipe.”

Me: “Umm, Despite how ridiculous this sounds, are you, by any chance, the, um, cursor?”

“Damn right I am. And if you’re not writing shit, I’m going to do it. And surprise! I can press buttons.”

Deal with it.

Serendipity

Once upon a time was written a poem,

With a cliched beginning and improper grammar;

With no rhyme sequence and no proper order

On absurdity did it border.

 

Written was a poem once upon a time,

With a beginning cliched and grammar improper,

Thank god, the poet thought,

I can now find words that rhyme with time.

 

What do I do next? He thought and thought,

About what it was that he sought

“What can I make of this?”

Pondered he, when he realized that “this” rhymes with “bliss”.

 

But is a rhyme sequence all that a poem is about?

Could there be more to a verse, oh could there be more?

This question did torment him, and he was all at sea when he cried out loud

“Serendipity, I love thee”; the truth had washed him ashore.

 

This is what it is about, he told the reader,

His eyes dancing in ecstasy, he knew he held sway;

He started speaking when the skies were azure

And he didn’t stop till the day became night and the night became day.

 

“A poem, oh, what can I say, I am at a loss myself

Tis’ what you get when you string words, those little stars

Not as words, but as beautiful little pieces,

Whose sum far exceeds the parts.”

 

He then continued his spell, and to them he went on to tell

That “Words can be more real than reality itself,

More magnificent than magnificence itself,

And more alive than life itself, and that, my friends

Is the story every poem tells.”

 

Spellbound, charmed and transfixed they were for long,

Upon hearing his wonderful song,

Then said a young boy “But what do you get out of this, my dear bard?”

His eyes twinkled,and he said,  “My dear boy, poetry is its own reward.”

The Dramatic Universe

This is what happens when an unstoppable hyperbole meets an immovable understatement. A mildly interesting sentence which aspires to only do one thing: to restore the balance of the universe.

One side effect of reading too much sci-fi is that you can’t think straight unless you’ve got your “brainwave linearity up-scaling  Multivac powered metaphysical helmet” on, and I can already see the immense potential this sentence has to disturb the balance of the universe, triggered undoubtedly by the reader wondering if this sentence reeks of Sci-Fi, in which case it should appear either straight or contorted depending upon the reader’s inclination to believe in the existence of the metaphysical entity named earlier it this sentence, which in turn leads to

AN INFINITE INVERSE SPACE-TIME WARP AND THE END OF THE UNIVERSE BECAUSE OF THE RECURSIVE PARADOX YOUR BESLUBBERING MOTELY-MINDED NUT-HOOK-Y MIND JUST ENCOUNTERED.

GREAT. THANKS TO YOUR BESLUBBERING MOTELY-MINDED NUT-HOOK-Y SELF, THE UNIVERSE IS RAPIDLY COLLAPSING INTO AN

INFINITESIMALLY SMALL

CLOUD OF IMPLAUSIBILITY.

TrueGif

*Vision dims*

*Breath slows down, not in a good way*

*For a change, cannot hear distant screams of horror or see teary-eyed apparitions of loved ones.*

*It is time. Said time.*

*Papers fly around in a spiral and eventually out of sight when the curtains fly apart and the window-glass shatters, because that’s what they like to do. The patent obviousness of the fact that A4 sized sheets have conciousness collides devastatingly with the ostensible presence of human intelligence and powers of observation* *Heavier things start to move, but not arbitrarily. The universe preserves protocol, even if it is collapsing. The table lamp rattles first, then falls down breaking the bulb. The paperweight goes next, followed by the desktop whose usually inextricably intertwined wires magically align themselves to the will of the universe and let the keyboard fly at the monitor, shattering it. At this point, the universe pauses and thinks if it is making it’s fetish for shattering glass obvious, but shrugs and continues anyway because it is self destructing anyway. Yay! The movies got this part right, atleast.* *People start getting tugged towards an arbitrary point in the universe. The universe, a great lover of drama, lends numerous metallic poles to numerous people to cling on to, temporarily making them the windsocks of their suction runways. The author believes that the universe’s predilection for drama is also the reason for the existence of the human race, which would in turn suggest that the universe’s indulgence is what brought about it’s impending ruin*

BTW, this is a windsock: Windsock *I feel the pull now. But I’m fat and boring and the opposite of photogenic, so I don’t get a metallic pole. I accelerate. Its a blur now. I can barely feel any part of myself. THUD. I wake up to see a 16 feet version of my (former?) self. But I am not dead. And all around me are objects that the universe had swallowed. The bubble glass paperweight looks like a test tube now, but the bubbles are still there, as still as ever.*

Back in my desk , I complete the story.

This is the part where I tell you how I saved the universe from imploding.

It choked on me and spat me out, as the implosion had originated from a human who was a product of my imagination.

Not anymore, because you’ve read this now. It is all a little confusing at first, but you’ll come around, trust me.

I guess the universe, being the great lover of drama that it is, played out another one.

Only this time, it was EPIC.

P.S: This is what happens when an unacceptable writer meets an impossible story. A blog post.

Gibberish

I once wrote with great anger,

Four verses, no longer,

Of total nonsense and gibberish,

Not knowing that they would come to flourish.

 

Here they are,

Read them through,

But be warned, you,

That they’re going to leave behind a scar.

 

“I know not what to say,

I know not, try as I may.

For the song that I have to sing,

Will turn beggars into kings.”

 

I never could have imagined,

That those four verses I wrote with chagrin,

Would one day become what I would call,

My favourite-est of them all.

 

Poems are funny, poets even more so,

For they bounce and waggle and glow,

And wiggle and gurgle and flow,

Without beginning or end, without having anywhere to go.

 

Poems are deep, limericks are not,

Say the connoisseurs with all the swagger they’ve got.

Kind sires, I disagree, and I am suspicious

That your arguments are entirely specious.

 

 

There it is, I’ve done my best,

To weave a story, albeit in jest,

With words in sequence, thoughts in disarray,

To rest this poem I lay.