Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Airplane Woes and Wisdom

Two friends of mine who met in an airplane got married the other day. They sat next to each other on their flight home and over one and a half hours of bad turbulence, crappy airplane food and cramped seats, they fell in love…

They found love in an airplane. All I ever find is a dead cockroach inside the inflight magazines. From the moment I sit down in aircraft, I have all my fingers and toes crossed as I silently will the universe to replicate in my life, any cute airplane scene from any cute romcom. Everytime I spot someone who wouldn’t fit the role of my version of Harry Burns (When Harry met Sally) or Luc Tessiyer (French Kiss) or Karan Kapoor (Hum Tum) or Jack Harper (from the book Can You Keep a Secret) walking towards the seat next to mine, I send them telepathic messages.

"Do Not Sit here, Do Not Stop Walking, Do Not Stop, Do Not Slam Your Stupid Luggage Against my Feet. Do Not Sit Down. Do Not....oh screw it!

Here is a list of people who almost always sit next to me in an airplane:

Weird men with terrible breath, weird men who can’t keep their hands to themselves, uncles who treat the flight like an open bar, mommies with super cranky babies, kids who think its funny to spill their stupid drink on my bag, people with ultra tiny bladders who makes me get up for the nth time so that they can go to the bathroom, people who don't make me get up to go to the bathroom so that they can trample on my toes or make me stare at their bum as they squirm past me, terrified first-timers who poke you everytime they need help to take off or put on their seatbelts, and people who thinks I enjoy spending my travel time filling forms, not just theirs but their whole damn family’s. Ahh, the joy!

And what’s the deal with airhostesses? I mean I have nothing against them, but aren’t they a little overrated? I have only travelled with two different airlines and all the airhostesses on those planes never fails to remind me of every Hindi teacher I’ve had in school. I don’t know if it’s the saree or the bun or the too-bright lipstick. And they never like me! Neither can they ever hear me.  Just like my Hindi teachers!
Once when asked if I prefer vegetarian or non-vegetarian food, my reply was a little too feeble. I have a pretty low voice. And while flying, my ears almost always gets clogged and I speak extra low because I’m not sure if I’m being too loud and I don’t wanna seem like an idiot. And the airhostess lady got all mad at me. “Speak a little louder child, Open your mouth and speak loudly. I can’t hear anything.”
Exaaaactly like my Hindi teachers. And everyone around me looked up and stared. It made my chin quiver a little. :-( 

Another time when I was a little kid, I saw a boy a couple of seats away play with this cool toy. They used to give away tiny free toys back then.(Not sure if they still do) So I went up to the airhostess and asked her for my toy. She smiled and nodded and gave me a blanket.
A blanket.
Which FYI, I didn’t even get to keep.

The thing I like the most about flights is that I can catch up on my reading without any interruptions, unless you’re sitting next to a talker. In which case, you can just plug in your earphones and pretend to sleep. I can’t sleep on a plane. I’ve tried but everytime I get even close to falling asleep, the person behind me needs to get up so they yank my seat back with all the strength they can muster to pull themselves up. Sometimes they manage to pull out a coupla strands of my hair in the process.
People who’s never travelled by air seem to think its always a big deal. I remember one of my little cousins ask me if I’d met God up there on the way to India. When the truth is, some of the flights that I’ve been on has been no better than the public buses here in India. Firstly the turbulence, the shaking and bumping is almost like travelling on a pothole-filled road during monsoon.This one time, it shook so bad, someone's luggage fell on my head. And I did the whole "ha-ha now wasn't that funny, it fell on my head, ha-ha. I don't care really, I'm too cool to care" as i held back my urge to shove the stupid bag and its owner out through the emergency exit.

Secondly, don’t evvvvvver sit next to the bathroom if you can help it, unless you have a blocked nose. Its like the minute the seat-belt sign is off, people queue up outside the bathroom, until its time to sit down again.
Some people just don’t seem to understand the seatbelt on sign. Or the no talking on your cellphone rule. I’m too scared to even switch on my phone long enough to put it on flight mode in case I cause the plane to blow up or something.
And as soon as the plane hits the ground, its absolute chaos! People start talking on their phones in the top of their voices. And people who are nowhere close to the door starts standing up and pulling out their luggage in such a hurry, you’d half expect them to open a secret door somewhere and jump out of the craft. But no, but they take their stuff and hurry out to the front, when the door isn’t even open and give everyone a “ha-ha-I’m-first” look of triumph. Dude… you’re lame.

 Well, thats it about airplanes. I haven't been on one for quite sometime. When I do, I'll let you guys know if its gotten any better. Until there, fly safe!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Movie Mysteries

I read this in a blog recently :

All henchmen in movies attack only one at a time (i.e henchman number 5 waits for henchman number 4 to get his ass kicked and only then will he attack the hero.)?

Its something I've pondered over for the longest time. Seriously, what do those henchmen do when the fellow who went in first is getting beat up? Try to figure out a punching pattern or something? And the hero delivers like one blow and they're all like there on the floor immovable. I mean, one blow? You're a henchman, for God's sake... I bet your employers had given you a bit more credit when they took you in for the job. And why do the women involved always stand around and do nothing? They could flee for their lives but no they just stand there and look squeamish. And in some bizarre scenarios, they clap and cheer. And thus cheer-girls where invented.

Anyway, this made me think of all the queries that often cross my mind while watching movies. Now, I know most of the stuff in this list doesn't happen in movies nowadays.

Wind in your Hair 
I don't question why the wind almost always blows only on the heroine's face, even if she's in the bathroom. But why do they bother with the wind at all? I mean, your hair definitely does not look better when its flying around all over the place especially after stylists spend a lot of hours painstakingly setting it in the exact right position. On the rare occasions that I do get my hair set, I get a crick in my neck trying not to move my head about too much so as to spoil the effect. And what happens if the wind blows in the opposite direction? You'll know this if you've got longish hair. Its the most annoying feeling in the world when hair falls all over your eyes and gets in your mouth.  I'd like to see atleast one heroine try and look all glamorous when that happens.

Talk to the Wall
You know those scenes when two people are having a conversation and one person suddenly gets up while talking, turns away to the sea or the road or the wall and continue talking. I mean who does that in real life? If someone got up in the middle of a conversation and walked away still talking, I'd be like "Wha...Where you going? What's over there?". And also I'd go "What?" a billion times because I wouldn't be able to hear properly. 

Do you suppose these are men he went to school with?
Dream Sequence 
I think dream sequences are awesome. Where they go into song and dance in a dream. In all those wild outfits. But its one thing to dream about you and your man shaking booties. But do you also dream up the extras in the background and their ghastly outfits? Is that why their outfits are always way worse than the heroine's? Because you don't get enough time to dream up a proper outfit? And how does one dream up their faces? I used to have these sorta dreams when I was younger and everyone's faces used to be blurred..including the leading man's. And also there'd be no music. If there was music in my dreams, I'd be winning Grammys by now.

No Smoking Please
Why do they show the smoking is injurious message at the beginning of the movie? People aren't gonna remember it by the time the actual scene which shows smoking comes on screen. Impressionable kids aren't exactly gonna think "Omg, I bet I'd look cooler than SRK if I light a ciggy like that, but oh-oh I can't because they told me smoking is injurious at the beginning of the movie." Its just like why they bother putting up the statutory warning in cig boxes. Ciggy-buyers aren't gonna suddenly read that and go "EGAAAAD.... its WHAT to health?? Why'd nobody tell me?!"

umm, ok so maybe there are exceptions!
Runny Mess
When the hero, heroine whoever cries in movies, why is it that only their eyes water? When I cry, water comes out of my eyes and nose and mouth and I also get a huge urge to pee. And you never never neverrr look that good while crying. Trust me, I've looked in the mirror while crying. I've written bout this in another post. Craptacular you'll look. 

Imagine opening the door to the milkman like this!
Dress Up Day
This happens more or less in Hindi tele-serials. Where all the members of the family get up in the morning and put on clothes that normal human beings wear to other people's weddings or even their own weddings. I don't really follow any Hindi serial. So I wonder. What do they wear for actual social events? How much dressier can they get? I'd like to do that sometime though. Get up and wear a glittery saree or a fully-worked lehenga and walk about the house and do normal mundane stuff like watch tv or feed the dog or wash dishes. I can only imagine the look on my mom and dad's faces if I did that. hehe. I think everyone should do that! Just for the sake of it! What you got to lose anyway?

I can't think of more right now. But I'm sure there are many many more. If you think of any, do comment bout it. 
And don't get me wrong. I adore movies. In spite of all the flaws and corny-ness and illogical activity. In fact around 70% of my knowledge I gained from movies. Its these unreasonable things that makes the movies all the more Awesome sometimes, right? I mean who wants to see the reality where the hero cries like a pretty little girl after the first punch someone lays on him. Or the heroine choking on her own hair everytime it flies into her mouth. So flaws or no flaws, keep em movies coming.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

So Yesterday

A couple of days ago "What I miss the most" was trending on Twitter. And I went on tweeting-rage that day. Here are a few things that I Miss the Most.

VHS Tapes - The excitement while going to the video rental store. The search for the perfect Thrusday evening movie(I grew up in the Middle East, where the weekend used to be on Friday). The squeal of happiness when you find that the one that you've been waiting for is in today. The restlessness as you pop it into the player and listen to the whir as it rewinds. Winding the tape with a pencil when the player gets stuck. Sticking the magnetic tape with cellotape when it breaks due to overuse (my Alladin tape)

Getting my hair cut in the barber shop - They do a neat job and they do not bug you with unwanted advice. They do not tell you how a clean-up could solve all your problems in life. They do not tell you obvious things about yourself ("hey, you're graying. hey, you have pimples, hey, you have crap hair") And they do that cool thing with an electric razor on the back of your head. Awesome it is.

Dungarees -  I wore dungarees to school on my 14th birthday. I looked like a complete idiot. But dungarees were undeniably cool during those days. Not to mention comfortable.

Highlighter pens - I used this pen a lot, mostly to show people who bothered to look through my books that I've read all this. Though I really wouldn't have. I like how it would brighten up the pages of my boring Chemistry or Physics book.

My bunk bed - I bagged the top bunk before my sister could. I broke the bed in a couple months and had to share bottom bunk with sister. :(

White Ink bubbles - My desk at school used to be filled with white ink bubbles. If you haven't tried making white ink bubbles, you should. There is something very soothing about it.  Not sure if it had anything to do with its smells.

Bicycles - I don't understand why people don't ride cycles too much after they've grown up. I mean you don't need a license to drive it. And its way better exercise than sitting on a scooty or a bike. And how can you ever feel sad when you're riding a cycle?

The way Barbie smells - Go to a shop. Pick up a Barbie. Smell her. She smells heavenly. Try not to get thrown out of the shop in case people think you're a pervert.

The Titanic Craze - All the boys were sporting the Jack Dawson hairstyle. The girls all had fake 10 Dhs version of the Blue Diamond. And everyone around the corner was going "I'm the king of the world" and doing the classic Titanic pose. I had a Titanic phonebook, a Titanic t-shirt, a Titanic notebook and a box of clipping of anything related to Leonardo DiCaprio. It was nice to be manically obsessed with something.

Enid Bylton books - This I miss the most. I had this huuuuuge collection of Enid Bylton books which I used to read over and over again. Fairy tales, mysteries, school stories...had them all. I remember going to book fairs and coming home with tonnes of books. And just gobbling up the words all night long. I'd finish reading all the books by morning. How I longed to grow up and write books just like she did. My dad sold all my books when I was away at college. So now I don't have even a single book to mark my childhood. Someday I hope to buy them all again. If not for my child, then for myself. Those books, they were the most magical things of my childhood days.

Photo albums - No, not the ones on Facebook or Picasa. The real actual ones. The ones that you pile around when your friends come to visit. And the ones from which some guy who has a crush on you flicks a pic or two when you're not looking. The plastic ones that the studio gives with the developed photos and the negatives. They almost always have a real corny pic on the cover. I miss the feel of an album. I miss putting pics in frames and on pin boards.

Pen-pals - I never had one. But my sister did. And it was so cool. Getting an actual letter from a person living in a weird exotic country far away (okay, so maybe her pen-pal lived in the street next to ours or something, but still) I did have quite a few online-pals. Back before Facebook and Twitter was around to spoil all the mystery one could evoke about themselves. Long, long emails. I think my first email friend was a 14 year old Australian girl called Amber. Sure, "Amber" could also have been a 44 year old Indian uncle with a hairy chest and a vest with holes in it. Still, the not-knowing was splendid enough. At one phase of my life, I had more online friends than real-life friends. Now I have more imaginary friends than real-life friends.

Ink pens - The whole process of filling ink into the pen the night before school, after you're done "keeping your timetable" (that's arranging your books according to the periods the next day. Cos a bunch of jumbled out of order books would mean absolute chaos.) I couldn't figure out how to do it for the longest time. My sister had to show me. But that feeling of accomplishment when I finally nailed it! Awesome. I also miss ink cartridges, the ones with a tiny silver ball in it. Me and whole bunch of girls in school had a collection of those tiny silver balls. I also had a broken pencil points collection. Now I collect tweets. :-/

Old phones - The one with the holes that you have to stick a finger in and twirl. I used to love twirling all the numbers starting from 0 upto 9, for no apparent reason. I love the tiny ringy sound it makes. I miss the heaviness of the receiver. *sigh*

I can hear a lot of my younger readers going, wow, you are like super ultra old aren't you? (You know who you are, don't you) Yes, yes I'm old and ancient and whatever. But hey, I'm still here aren't I? So in a sense I get the best of both worlds. And also, while you write a post 15 years from now about the good ol' days of Facebook and Ipads, my great grandkids will come and tell you that you're old. So there. :P
I could go on and on and on. Don't get me wrong. I'm not like stuck in the past or anything. I'm cool with all the new things too. But just sometimes, I wish I could sneak back into the past, just for a day or two, and wallow in the simplicity of things and come back and update my Facebook status about it. :)

Tell me, what are the things that you miss the most?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Tree of Wisdom

So it was one of those ordinary days when I hadn't done anything out-of-the-ordinary. Just sitting on my behind, whiling away time, wondering if tomorrow will be any different. Since it was an exceptionally breezy day, I took a walk in the yard around my house. My niece joins me and soon we were this happy duo sitting on a stone, singing nursery rhymes and pointing out funny looking clouds. My mom and sister were trying to pick ripe guavas from the guava tree nearby.
Now since the day my hormones acted up, I knew that my being the tallest in the family is going to bring me absolutely no good in future. It didn't. It brought me a slouch. It brought me the embarrassment of being the only head sticking out above the others in family portraits. It gave me the rare privilege of being called up in case a "thotti"(a stick used to pick fruits and stuff from trees) was unavailable. So I had to put an end to my perfect evening setting and prance around the guava tree trying to reach the ones on the higher branches. Then, I don't know if it was my sister or my mom, whoever it is who has been secretly plotting a revenge scheme for the past few days (probably for finishing all the chocolate biscuits in the house. In my defense, that extra few inches of height always makes me a little extra bit hungry always), figured that if I could climb up a little, I'd have better reach to the riper guavas. Okay first of all, the last time I climbed a tree was some 20 million years ago. And secondly, I was wearing a skirt, which is definitely not tree-climbing friendly. And thirdly, the tree was infested with huge red ants. In any case, mom and sister persuaded me. And also because my niece was looking on in awe. So in an attempt to impress a 3 year old, I mount up the first branch.
It wasn't too bad. I soon had both my legs off the ground.
Good start.
The trick is to find the right branches to grab on to so as to pull yourself higher. A little shaky but progressing well. I put my feet up on a higher branch and slipped slight. That's when I yelled at the top of my voice "Oh my god, I'm going to die!"
My audience who up until then were shouting up directions burst into laughter. Not very encouraging when I'm engaging in a life-or-death activity here. Anyhow, I proceed higher and with an occasional ant in my mouth and branch poking my ear, I picked my first guava. I waited for an applause. I got none. 
Instead my mom hoisted up a stick and told me to pick one on the edgier branches. Seriously, did she think I was training to be a trapezes artist? More shakiness. I managed to pull down a few more guavas. After a couple of minutes of them shouting up simply un-do-able instructions and me shrieking that I was Definitely going to die now, we decided it was enough. Mom told me to slide down a branch like Tarzan does in that cartoon. I looked at it and well, it certainly did look pretty slide-y. Nope, no way, I'm not out of my mind. I'm not a 2D character. I tried to move slowly but steadily.
Suddenly I have no idea what happen. It was a blur of green and WHAM! I was on the ground floor sitting pillions on the lowest branch. My leg hurt like it was broken into a billion pieces. I bet it was. I let out a yelp. I was helped out of the branch. I am so never climbing bloody trees again in my life. I wanted to keep a straight face in front of my niece. I wasn't very successful. I howled and cried and made faces and cringed and soon lay in bed like an invalid. Okay so maybe the leg wasn't broken. Wasn't sprained even. I mean, I took such a great fall, it could have atleast sprained a little. All I had was a few measly scratches on my left ankle and a tiny cut on my foot. Blah.
But being the drama queen that I am, I moaned and groaned and cringed whenever someone even looked at it. The last time I got to put up such a moan-fest was in college when I hurt my finger with a razor while searching for a razor in my bag. It was a bit bloodier then. Cried buckets. My roommates came up with the biggest cloth band-aid possible. Called my folks at home and cried and exaggerated and all. And just like they did  today, they laughed at me then too. I live with a bunch of hyenas. And I remember holding it up and waving it at every random person who walked by me. A few were quite offended I think because it was my middle finger that I had hurt.
Anyhow, back to now. As I sat there looking at my injured foot, I kept thinking how on earth do little kids do it? Get hurt like this on a regular basis. Because it really did sting. How on earth did I  do it when I was younger? Maybe your pain hormones or whatever grows as your grow older. Oh well, it isn't every day you fall from a tree and hurt your foot. Not when your 26 atleast. So I hobbled all the way over to the computer balancing on my niece's shoulder (who was, by the way the only one who is treating me like the injured soul that I am) and blogged about it.  Even as I was falling the second thought (the first was of course that I'm going to die now.) was that this would make a great tweet/status message/blog post. That doesn't make me pathetic, does it? Well, a little I guess. My last words before death would probably be Somebody..please...take...a..picture...and...post it...on...FB..... :-/
My mom told me that this fall was probably God's way of telling me I'm too old for this shit now. He's probably sitting up there with His head in His hands going "How many times do we have to go through this?"
Um.. whoops?