Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Fancy That!

Yesterday I went to Fancy. You know, the shopping complex (?!) in Kidderpore. I went there because I had bought a Play Station a few months back, and the lense had got spoilt. It had been lying at home for all these months, and I thought I should do something about it.

If anyone, in their fit of madness has played on a Sony Play Station, you would know why it was so important to me.

So anyway, I land up there and the inevitable happens. I get completely boggled by the gizmos around me. I almost bought myself an mp3 player, but I stopped myself just in time when I remembered that if I did buy it, I would have no money for the rest of the month.

The people at fancy have a strategy. A pretty advanced strategy if I may add. I have enumerated them below so that it can remind me next time when I go and so that it may give you an idea of the real shit that goes on.

The come hither look:

The come hither look is the one which is the most common. Most shopkeepers adopt this strategy. They do nothing and say even less. However, it is impossible to pass by their shop without stopping. Imagine a golden retriever with a “I am so sad, pet me” expression. That, multiplied by hundred is exactly what they have. One feels pity. One does not need to by blue sunglasses or electric pink shoes with blue polka dots. But one must. One must out of sheer pity.

The dance and shout strategy

This, if not perfected can cause disaster. One must have practiced this all his life to lure a customer into his lair. What the shopkeeper does is he sort of prances about and shouts at the top of his lungs. His whole life needs to be dedicated to this because he cannot smoke, has to exercise regularly and he probably talked with marbles in his mouth as a kid. And all of that just so that he could shout and enunciate the varied commodities and services his shop offers.
You are walking down a lane of shops when suddenly out of the woodwork, out jumps this person waving his arms about like an actor rehearsing for Macbeth. What is one to do? You cannot avoid him. His oration is too great for that. You cannot walk past him. His presence is slightly on the over-bearing side. So you do what everyone does. You go to his lair and buy his stuff.

Come, I shall help you strategy

This strategy is perhaps the most difficult. It needs psychology, tactic and immense patience. Not many can do it, and the ones who can cannot do it very well. Very few have actually perfected it.
This strategy is something like this: You go to a shop selling music stuff. You want to buy a CD (just for argument’s sake) You can see that he has lots of them. But he says that he does not. But he says that he will surely look around with you for the CD that you are looking for.
He takes you around the complex. You visit more than thirty shops, and by some bizarre coincidence, the CD is not there. Finally, when you are about to fall dead, he leads you back into his shop and announces that he in fact has the CD, but the price for it is Rs 500, when you knew it was actually 30. You really cannot look around any further. The sun has set and your home beckons to you. SO you fish out 500 and buy something which is tremendously over-priced and which you could get for 50 in the next shop.

Hahaha. I am not fooled. I didn’t buy ANYTHING yesterday.

On the different note, Suchi threatened to yank my Converse sneakers off. Raka looked like she had murdered someone or was going to murder someone. Ragini brought these weird biscuits which had three sides. Anc has changed his nick to Death of an Anc. Arunobho is in love again, and he eats like he has not eaten in thirty years. JU has begun to get interesting again.

Srin is having a birthday party on Friday.

Thought of the Day

Hmmm... H.E. Bates must have had a enlightening childhood... being called "MASTER BATES" all the time.

Friday, January 13, 2006

callousness of college-goers? i think not.

walk into any calcutta college campus, and what is the one thing that you are absolutely certain to be greeted by? yes, hold your breath for it - litter! you are also sure to meet students, yes - but it's very unlikely that they'll greet you. so if that was your answer, i am not at all sorry to say that you're wrong. but the incipient hostility of the average calcutta college student is a different matter altogether - specialist, in fact - so we shall leave well alone.
anyway. i shall pontificate further based on personal experience on a certain
eminent campus, and generalise about the rest. and since i admit i am generalising, you are welcome (with open arms, no less) to disagree with whatever i am about to say.
eminent campus that i talk about, has many, many bins all across it. now, it is true that they may sometimes be tucked away into rather discreet corners - we wouldn't want to look shabby with random bins strewn here and there, would we? - but still, it is impossible to walk across campus for five minutes without seeing a bin. and yet, everywhere that you go, you meet litter. especially, in close proximity to the said bins.
it is this last incident that i want to draw your attention to - litter near and around bins. in fact, oftentimes, it is a circle of litter that defines the perimeter of the bin. one of the greatest quiz questions of all times, that nobody ever asks because everybody knows the answer to it, is
where are you most likely to find an empty bin? and yes, the answer is, indeed, right next to where all the garbage is.
remarkable as it is, why does this happen? you may ask. and i shall explain to you - you, who have been pushed into a state of sheer witlessness and supplication by this inscrutably mysterious phenomenon!
that's what it is. a simple ten letter word. and the reason behind this enigmatic occurence. yes, i understand you are not convinced, but please let me explicate further.
you see, the average calcutta young man has been brought up in an atmosphere of deep,
deep repression. they have spent their childhood and adolescence in a society where the three letter word beginning with s and ending in x, and with a vowel (which is not a, i, o or u) pinioned in between, is cloaked in an air and a layer of deepest dirt and slimiest sleaze. and therefore, engaging in something with such obvious sexual connotations as putting litter in a bin (taking something. then putting it into something else. get it?), and that too, in broad daylight, and in public, is just...vile. i mean, consciously of course, they know that there's nothing wrong with sex. but all those years and years of picking up on subliminal messages imparted by moralistic grandmothers, pompous principals, and others of the ilk - it's bound to have some kind of an impact on the subconscious of these young men, isn't it?
they try. they are acutely conscious of the evils of not thinking about the environment and ecology. but it's not in their hands. it's ingrained. repression shrouds their psyche. still, they really, really do try - which is why they get so close to the bins. logic and consciousness impels them on towards the bins, and they take what they have to trash, and prepare for the final act. but the harsh voice of thamma shrieking aei bablu, tumi ki korchho? somewhere in the deep recesses of the brain intervenes, and the little bit of trash flutters helplessly down to the ground, just outside the bin. and with red ears, shamefacedly, they retreat.
and if the bold young men have it this bad, can you even begin to imagine the tragedy of the demure young woman? i mean, think about it. public opinion has it that girls are even more repressed than boys. can you then, with a clear conscience, ever expect them to publicly engage in an act that is so terribly masturbatory?
i rest my case.

disclaimer: my sincerest apologies to all who actually do use dustbins. you are clearly not repressed.


Wednesday, January 11, 2006

And Now…

Hugs and kisses galore to Neelini, Ugh 3, who will shortly become Neelini, Oxon. So, since you are going to St.Hilda’s and we aren’t, we decided to knock our heads together and think of what we want you to bring back for us. Take a deep breath –

1. A piece of the Quad (we don’t care which Quad, as long as it’s the Quad. Hell’s bells, we don’t even know what the Quad is, but we’ve heard of it and we know it’s there, so no funny business),
2. the stone slab on which Wordsworth was sick (or is that Cambridge?),
3. a boat,
4. a policeman’s helmet,
5. an Oxford Blue (preferably tall, buxom and female),
6. a dictionary,
7. a head porter,
8. an uninhibited desire to invite all (and in particular the prettier ones) your fellow Hildans?/ Hildites?/ Hilfigers? home for the holidays.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

love, logistics and psychoanalysis!



[from Foucault's Pendulum, Umberto Eco.]

[the excerpts were originally part of this post on my blog.]

Sunday, January 01, 2006



Click here to go directly to the New Blab
(You no longer need an only need to register on the New Blab)

Just incase you're wondering WHY?!?!?!


The Ancient scriptures tell us that...In the End...Man makes a Mess.
And this usually upsets the Gods.

So, Man left the Mess behind and moved to greener pastures.
(Honestly, it does look greener under the magnifying glass!)

Unfortunately, he found that it had already been occupied.
Even still, he tried to conquer the land.

However...on closer inspection, he found it to be an even Bigger Mess.
So he was forced to look elsewhere.

The answer loomed upon the horizon!

...and he hired a proffessional to lead him there.

As always...there were those who refused to budge.

Things soon turned ugly for them.

The Gods made an example of one of them.
68,000 stared on in horror.

So...right at The End...everyone made the journey to Paradise.
( Even though they had to work harder! )

And some took their dogs along.

There were places to go...things to see. It was a whole new experience.

And now they're calling you to join them at a place they call home...

Click here to go to the new Blab.
(You no longer need an need to register on the New Blab)