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.