Monday, October 26, 2009

My life has no clarity which is why I have no stories to tell. The frames are now all slightly awry and we are thick into the messy process of imposing structure, albeit temporary, albeit arbitrary. Which is why I have no stories to tell.

Instead, I will throw at you random bits of information and song, in no specific order of meaning or intent.

A. How to dress like an intellectual

-- Whimsy, whimsy and more whimsy. Whatever you do, dress carefully so as not to match.
-- Oversized/ Quirky glasses
-- A scarf is quite essential
-- Shop at thrift stores
-- Watch your footwear (for women and for men)
-- Carefully tousled, never perfect hair; the whiter, the nicer
-- Moleskine notebook where you scrawl notes most meaningless
-- Anachronism (shoulder pads, boleros*, Bata Quo Vadis**)

When all else fails, copy these and these (and yes, it's true, we can't afford them, but gape and get by)

* are those in fashion now?
** Thank you Vidie

B. Today I have gotten through the day on:

1 no. stupid song

P.S Can you spot Zubisco? When I was ten, I wanted to be named Zubisco.

1 no. most meaningful song

1 no. Item song (Fabulous fabulous movie)

Speaking of sound and voice and all the good stuff, Lotte Hoek was in Austin this afternoon and did a talk on the Bangladeshi film industry; most fun.

C. I would like to play Word Twist; ping me here or on facebook if you are game. I must warn you; I'm fairly good at it. Am awful at Scrabble, so I will refuse all invitations to play.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quiz Time

Life, I have realized, is full of things we want to know. Many questions, if you will. Also doubts, queries, puzzles. Maybe conundrums and predicaments. All of them need answers. And for reasons of either time, wisdom or plain impossibility, not all of them are answered or solved when we want them to be. Even worse, they are often answered but not in the ways we want. In all cases, dissastisfaction is more often than not, guaranteed.

Sometimes it helps to realize the joy of asking and avoid postponing pleasure to the point of resolution.

Another ploy I have recently developed is to break my questions down into chota, medium and bada (Much like bada bhai, medium bhai and chota bhai of Kaizad Gustad's doomed 'Boom' fame)

Here are some samples:

Big or Bada: These are questions that everybody from the Buddha to Rakhi Sawant ponder at some point of time in their lives. They have no answers in recognizable linguistic form, are often only the symptoms of other disheartening answers and are questions we seek recourse to when philosophy is our only refuge. Or alcohol. Or moonshine.

(a) What is the meaning of life?
(b) What is our duty to the world?
(c) Am I real?
(d) Is there a higher power?
(e) Is everything transitory?
Medium or medium: These are questions that plague me regularly. (They are also questions that I can afford given the basic food and shelter security I enjoy; class position, education and all the sociological jazz). They bother me, inspire hate in the business of living without knowing, and make me stay in bed an extra two hours once every twenty days.

(a) Is this the work that I am supposed to be doing?
(b) What would be a good place to live?
(c) Is it good to lead a bourgeois life?
(d) Will I ever be able to handle suburbia?
(e) How will I deal with growing old?
Little or Chota: These are the questions I love the most. They niggle, nag, plead, cajole, beg and in totality, keep me interested in living this daily trudge and joy we call life. They are the nuts and bolts, the icing and the marzipan rose, and the only ways to stay attached to this life mine. They are about things that enter and leave my body and the sheer, heady, physicality of it. These, I can touch and they most certainly demand and receive answers. Super quickly too.

(a) Do I want rotis or rice for dinner?
(d) Did I lock the door or not? Did I turn off the gas?
(c) Can you see the pimple at the corner of my cheek?
(d) Will the cat in the cafe come and sit on my lap?
(e) Can I hold my yawn until the speaker has finished answering my question? (Yes, he is looking straight at me)

What are your questions?