Daffodils and AT&T

Every once in a while, I am in the middle of an eloquent sentence, and just letting the poetic slide from my tongue.You know how it is.

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o’er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,

Silence. I realise there is no reciprocation. It’s as if the other person isn’t there. Okay, I agree that wasn’t me it was old Wordsworth with his silly daffodils, but it could have been me with the ripe troubles of life, like the vast canvas poem I once wrote.

Why? That can’t be right. I mean, that thing that I just said was pretty hot stuff, and the folks I am talking to aren’t that insensitive to my needs of dialogue. I reach for my handkerchief, to wipe away the tears, when I find my call failed.

Call Failed. Try again? The phone looks at me with a touch of innocence.

Well, I can try again, but you should know that hot stuff like daffodils don’t just roll off the same way again. What comes out is a dull, and slightly drooping daffodil, just wilting by the window in the sun. Just imagine what humanity would have lost if Wordsworth had tried calling in the poem to his fiancee to write down immediately before he forgets, and AT&T dropped the call? (One could argue of course that the vast canvas poem was worth being dropped, but that is entirely a matter of perception. )

I have an iphone that I love for all of its features except its signal quality. I thought it was just me till Jon Stewart endorsed my view on his daily show. I have to say that I totally love his jab at AT&T and Apple.
I mean, if you wanna break down someone’s door, why don’t you start with AT&T, for God sakes? They make your amazing phone unusable as a phone! I mean, seriously! How do you drop four calls in a one-mile stretch of the West Side Highway! There’re no buildings around! What, does the open space confuse AT&T’s signal?!

Today, I was sitting and minding my own business when AT&T calls and badgers me about some random thing like plan changes or something, and AT&T drops their own call. HA! And HA! again.


Snow White & Shanta Sakkubai

No. Thanks. I am not nuts yet, but I am quickly pushing those around me there with this song. This is a song that appears first in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs movie by Disney.


This movie was one of Disney’s first movies, and is very like Shantha Sakkubai (an old Tamil movie that appeared around the same time.) Allow me to explain.

Poor Shantha Sakkubai was hurled at us when entertainment options were limited to the state-owned-and-deemed-appropriate era of Doordarshan. I assure nothing else could have made me endure “Jai Panduranga ..” from Shantha Sakkubai.


Shantha Sakkubai’s plight was one of misery, yet she never quailed in her belief of Krishna. Her mother-in-law ill-treated her. What did Shantha Saks. do in return? She just belted out a melody in retaliation. I tried telling Shantha Saks Baby that if she stopped this infernal singing, her mother-in-law might go easy on her. But you know what happens to wise people. I was hushed and bundled off to “play”.

I was jarred to see that Snow White seemed to have followed a similar tactic in her days. The Queen throws her out and has a huntsman set after her. She runs through the forest – horrible beasts coming after her. Pretty thick situation to be in, if you ask me. But, Snow White asks the birds and squirrels what she should do, and they tell her to sing.

No wonder, it is a tradition in South Indian arranged marriages to have the girl sing.

Just whistle while you work.
And cheerfully together we can tidy up the place.

Warm milk

Any coffee lover seeing me order a coffee prefers to shrivel up and die a slow decaffeinated death. I find a size that isn’t even on the charts on the board, and order one smaller than that. As if this embarrassment were not enough, I would stress on the extra milk and 1/2 shot of coffee.

“There ISN’T even a half shot of coffee available!” the husband would say looking embarrassed, and shuffling his feet. Clearly, for a macho coffee lover, it is uncool to be seen in public with a coffee douche. In fact the general consensus on the male coffee lovers club seems to be that bad enough the spouse is a coffee-douche, but is shamelessly admitting it? It could be a blow to any male’s ego.

I now know how a peacock must feel. Going around strutting with all those colorful feathers and generally trumping up the importance of color in life. Even the far off rainbow seems impressed. Then, the female of the species comes along, in a stunning white, and still looks graceful as hell without any of the colors. That must have ticked off the peacock a good deal.

What I am getting at is…The male is proud of taste buds, yada yada yada, female blah-blah.

A few months ago, I decided to make matters worse and cut coffee. ‘I’ll go for Tea’ I announced high-handedly. It wasn’t like I was making a sacrifice. In fact it is documented fact that my brain reacts to tea like a camel spotting an oasis. The welcoming cup in the morning springs on the new day, and the whole day just goes on, basking in the warmth of the morning tea.
When the oracles of stress relief pounced on my ounce of tea in the morning, I decided to let go. “Caffeine is the worst!”, they proclaimed. Reading about caffeine one day, I decided to cut the miserable loner of a cup of tea in the morning and rough it out. I bunged in the Philosophical line “What is life without a few sacrifices?”, and had a warm glass of milk in the morning instead.

I might as well have popped a few sleeping pills. Not one of these folks told me the effects of warm milk on sleepy brain cells. The cells went into a kind of a stupor. I was snoring with my eyes open, and at one point might even have been drooling.

That wouldn’t do. I mean I still have to make a living and snoring droolers don’t make a living. I think I’ll stick to the cuppa tea in the morning and battle the effects of caffeine. Or I may switch to decaffeinated tea and see how that goes.

Tamizh Padam

South Indians are a pretty sordid bunch. Generally, merry-making is scowled upon, and any kind of revelry involving loud laughter is treated with disdain. Stares on such occasions can get a pouncing tiger to stop mid-air, and tuck its tail between its legs and retreat in shame.

Comedy is a joke. If you’d like proof, I would just like to direct your attention to one of two avenues:
1) The evening ‘entertainment’ that clogs up the average Tamil household. Hard hearts weep, children weep because they ask for Tom & Jerry in between and their wishes are not granted. Who has time for a cat chasing a rat when Leela is being beaten up by a goon of a husband, and one’s heart is wringing in sympathy?

2) Or attend a Brahmin wedding. While selecting the marriage, please make sure you pick a wedding where there is at least one oldie who prides him/herself on being pious. It is easy to identify. The pious oldie will have been removed from society and placed on a chair with close proximity to the priest, thereby allowing him to frown on the frivolous pair chatting during the solemn process of getting married. There is no merry-making – you could refresh yourselves with wedding chronicles again here


Not to be outdone, Tamil movies have gone ahead and created a genre that has yet to obtain a classification. One might call it fantasy, but fantasy is enjoyable, and the first paragraph categorically proves one cannot enjoy. There is a doctrine that is liberally preached in Tamilian homes, usually by the aunt who has had her laugh genes snapped off cruelly by the dances of fate. ‘Don’t laugh too much , for one will cry later, if one laughs now.’

Therefore, while watching the “Tamizh Padam” movie, I tried stifling my laughter for a while. I did not want to cry later. I forgot to check the latest psychological journals for ratio.
Do you cry for the same amount of time you laugh?
Do you cry as hard as you laughed?

The movie was a brilliant spoof of Tamil movies, and I must say I haven’t laughed like this in a long while. I have my box of tissues ready.

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