Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Downpour


I see the drops falling down,
first touching my chin, then kissing the ground.

The world around has lost its hues,
it is all gray with dull shades of blue.

Can’t see too far with the vision blurred,
but closing my eyes leaves my soul stirred.

The birds have stopped singing their song,
maybe they are waiting for the sun to come along!

But nothing is what may meet the eye,
you were saying hello, when you meant goodbye.

Some may find these lines, a trifle sad,
but in a place like this, rain isn’t too bad!

This release introduces clarity,
it helps clean up the dusty familiarity.

Suddenly you see that beautiful green of trees,
you didn’t notice them under the brown-gray sheath.

The carpet of road on which you ran,
has had holes exposed across its span.

I’ll let it fall till my eyes go sore,
while I soak myself in this downpour.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Absolutely Fantabulously Exaggerated!!


Have you wondered how the meanings, or rather perceived meanings of many words have changed?! I have disappointed many people by telling them that they look or did  - “good”. Good does not seem to have enough goodness in it. Everything today needs to be in the superlative.  “Awesome“, “fantastic”, “stupendous” are the new “good”. Even excellent is no better than “better”.  In fact “excellent” has been ranked just a tad above “good”.  “Nice” is the new way of saying “bad” or “worse”. Someone I know ranked it even lower than a smirk. 
What is happening to the world around us, or is it just me? Why isn’t “good” – good enough? A  rhyme recited by an enthusiastic kid to the bored house guest, just has to been a dramatic – “wow! ” followed by an “amazing”!  ……… Really?! You get amazed by a kid singing a 4 line , 16 word poem? A beautiful handbag is “awe” inspiring for you(awesome!!)?  Walking on moon is not the only “stupendous” feat  achieved by mankind;  meeting a project deadline, entering the lift just as the door is about to close or buying a dress at 75% discount are all worthy of being described by the same adjective.

A smiley, representing a smile is not enough for a decent joke, it has to be commended by a “rofl” -  which is the short form of  - “Rolling on the floor laughing. ...........Really? How many times have you really laughed that way? Compare it with how many times you have typed “ROFL” in feedback to someone’s funny quip. I have witnessed the use of this acronym in a face to face conversation, but nobody was actually rolling on the floor. Although, as a witness I did have a feeling to roll on the floor moping over death of the “appropriate use of language”. If that was not all, someone felt that the current set of adjectives were not doing justice to the “beauty of nails” or the “slickness of an electronic device”, so they decided to prepend “super” to words like “awesome” that they believe are quiet mild in their meaning. So behold, we now have to hear stuff like - “super-cool”, “super-smart”, “super-amazing”. If “lucky” wasn’t able to get the point across, then “super”/”damn”-lucky” will ensure that you know about the good, er.. pardon me.. - absolutely fantastic fortune of the subject.  

I can't help wondering why meanings of words have suffered such steep inflation? Maybe we want to bridge the gap between the "actual" and "expected" realities.

So,  if you are as clueless as I am in this new world of exaggerations, here is a tip – When asked for an opinion, nod your head vigorously and precede your feedback with a long – “oooooooooooooooh”, followed by a “wow”, follow that with your (absolutely )positive opinion. If you do that, you my friend,  would have escaped an awkward social moment - unscathed! 
Isn’t that nice?! Or should I say – “Isn’t that Freaking Amazing…????!!!!!”

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Away from the Barbie World!


My daughter is a senior toddler and despite my best attempts against it, she has been exposed to toys of the likes of the Barbie doll. Be it television commercials selling Barbie and her high heel shoes with sparkling dresses, be it the numerous animation shows for children where Barbie and her likes are the main protagonists, I find her a part of my living room almost every single day. If it’s not  television, then it is Barbie merchandise in the markets or on another child’s body. She is on sharpeners, pencils, dresses, school bags,  water bottles, sun glasses, shoes and sandals , even on moisturizing lotion bottles, As time goes by I find it more and more difficult to save my daughter from Barbie and the burdensome influence she brings with herself.
  
So are you one of those who after reading so far are thinking think what is wrong with me and why I grudge a pretty, petite, plastic doll with goody-goody image.
Even if one were to look at Barbie as merely a toy and nothing else, I find many things wrong with her, starting with:
·         She is a little child’s doll but has an adult body.  Now why would you want a toy to introduce the concept of breasts to a child, that too as young as that? I have thought about it from all aspects and I don’t see a single merit in it though there are numerous and grave demerits.   
·         To top it, she is very well endowed in chest area and has a really tiny waist, her legs are endless and her hair are golden and perfectly styled. Have you seen a little girl like that? Have you seen a real woman like that?  If Barbie were a real girl/woman, she would be 5ft 9 inches tall, with her vital stats being 36”-18”-33” and she would weigh close to 50 kg(~110 pounds)*(check reference below). So, in other words, if Barbie were a real girl, she would be termed anorexic and would be taken to hospital for both physical and phsycological treatment. I don’t want my daughter idolizing something that stands for vanity before sanity.
·         Her skin complexion and her hair color and texture is so different from the kind of people around us in India. I almost find the doll racial, asking people to accept a very old and outdated concept of beauty that too imported from a foreign world.
·         She wears make up and high heels and other accessories on all ocassions. Come to think of it, a girl with a body like that, why on the world does she need three tones of eye-shadow, with eyeliner and lipstick. She always wears high heels, even when she is “Doctor Barbie”.  So what is it really telling the lil girl playing with it, that enhancing your looks is going to remain your constant goal and  make up is  going to be an everyday essential commodity when you grow up.
·         I see her solving very trivial and stereotypical problems – like inviting friends to tea party,  baking buns, freeing mermaids,  giving makeup/grooming tips, making fashionable dresses(yes! gimme a break!), being a pop star or being a victim protagonist of a fairy tale, where some evil character is making life hell for the docile Barbie in Victorian dresses, whose highest point of achievement in life is getting married to the prince who once got manipulated by that evil character. If Barbie was doing other things, like architecting fancy buildings,  building a  car engine, going on a space mission,  doing classical dance or raising a large family single handedly, etc..  she would be the kind of role model that I’d like for my child.
·         Barbie promotes gender stereotyping to the hilt: Everything about her is pink, starting from her skin tone, her lipstick, her shoes, her bags, her dresses, her sun shades, her accessories. If htat was not enough, all the merchandize with Barbie even mentioned on it is bound to have something pink about it, even Barbie roller-skates are pink. Now, there is nothing wrong with pink, it is a very soothing color, but when did it start becoming the banner color for all things ‘girlie’? DO we even need a banner color? Barbie’s friend Ken has blue wardrobe and besides his tanned body and golden hiar, you find that he stands for things blue. But color is just a small little thing,  her gender stereotypic encompasses marriage as the ultimate victory for girls, solving tea party logistics issues as serious and grave problems instead of teaching children about caring for their environment or contributing in building a new world.  
·         My biggest and severest problem with Barbie is that she seems to say that irrespective of who you are, what you do, how important you actions are, the most important thing about you is your appearance. If you are perfectly groomed,  you life will eventually be fine.  Even if you are going to save lives as a doctor in an hospital, you need to “Look” perfect while doing that! For me Barbie is the goddess of superficial!

I don’t know how many months or years before my little girl puts her foot down and demands that she possess a Barbie like every other girl she knows. I wish I could explain and make her understand why she deserves so much more than a Barbie, but maybe I am asking for too much, too soon.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

The Little Enigma

She came, she saw and conquered us all,

never mind the crayon frescos all over the walls.

Some days she is the “super-hero” dressed in pink,

saving the world while sipping her strawberry drink.

So girly, yet drawn more to action than fluff,

Chotta bheem and Transformers are her favorite stuff.

“Bank maasi modder podder dick pock” is the monster in her tales,

Drinking milk fast, kills it always.

The ice-cream is a wonderful invention you see,

not only it tastes good, but kills germs in the tummy for free.

She fancies books with pictures and text,

the airplane security card does the job best.

Her friends must be tired of her incessant instructions,

But li’l girls wear makeup only on school functions.

When she grows up, her mom and dad will shrink,

she will then take care of us like babies, she thinks.

A pink helicopter will be her ride to work,

2 days of work and 5 days of holidays, as perks.

Her birthday every year must have a new theme,

10 is a big number in age, to her it seems.

How can time fly as fast as this?

Born just yesterday and already four, she is!

Friday, February 3, 2012

I dream of….

A guy once told me that Adobe was his dream company. I didn’t understand it then and I still am having trouble understanding what he meant by that. Did he mean that getting into Adobe is such a difficult task that getting there in reality is ruled out for him, or did he mean that he actually dreamt of Adobe? Why? Why would you dream of a corporate house?

So the smug me was all judgmental about this mere mortal and his cheap dreams till I came face to face with reality. Every day I heard(and still do hear) phrases like dream-job, dream-car, dream-house, dream hair, dream man, dream girlfriend(no, not wife), so on and so forth? Probably there are terms like - dream lipstick, dream sofa, dream phone, dream television, dream toys or dream moustache that are in circulation and haven’t reached my ears yet!

All this time I had been considering dreams so sacred and far beyond that I forgot their true meaning. Maybe they are meant to be the carrots hanging at the end of the stick. Difficult to achieve goals, yet not totally unachievable. Just the kind of things that come true if you work hard enough. They are certainly better than my dreams in this sense, cause my kind of dreams never come true, they remain just that – dreams.

So now the state is that when someone talks about their dream of becoming CEO of a company, I don’t snigger. Do I understand such a dream – hell no! But do I judge the dreamer – well, not always J