26 March 2008

There suck I! (Not necessarily where the bee sucks :)

I was working on my WinDVD capturing pictures from some of my DVDs some nights back. It was a humbling experience, looking at pictures that remind me that yes, I actually do suck, and *BAD*, at certain things :P Things I suck at, things I lack, there are tons of them but two that stand out most on my mind -

One, my aquatic grace and skills - or the lack thereof :) One thing I am absolutely sure of is that no matter how confident I may be on land and air, I am an absolute clown in the water. I float when I try to sink, and sink when I try to float.

I spent a lot of time on the ocean trying to learn how to float. My expert, state-level swimmer friends did everything they could, they taught me all the tricks they knew, like 'You have to create two little islands in the water!' :P Cute but it didn't help. I just got like 10 shades darker.

Despite all this, I paid a lot of good money for a boat to take me out to the middle of the ocean and do scary things in the water. So they took us to the Great Barrier Reef, where my instructors and my guides had to sit and talk with me for quite a while before I could be convinced to jump into the water. It took them about 15 minutes to convince me to snorkel and almost an hour to dive.

I bravely donned my heavy diving gear, with which I could barely walk because it was so heavy, I closed my eyes and jumped into the water, pretty sure I would immediately sink like a stone, and will have to be shamefully rescued, in front of a boat full of people. I floated.

So here I am bravely jumping into the water, that's me with the pink flippers. So far so good - I didn't sink :D
It was only when everyone I dived with had gone under, and I was the only one still floating like a cork, that I started to suspect that something was not quite right.

When I finally did sink, I knew I was only barely underwater so I was still unafraid. I was, however, the only one to keep complaining that she had water in her mask, or had trouble with the regulator, or that her flippers were coming off. Our instructor would start descending, and we'd follow, then I'd stop and signal furiously that there was something wrong, and he'd come back and check my gear. This is a demeaning feeling, knowing that you're being tended to while you just flail around helplessly, makes you feel like an invalid.

Here he is during one of my false alarms.

A little deeper, and here you can see I'm starting to panic a little and floundering. My friends looked like they were floating on air, and I was starting to seriously thrash around already :P My body just refused to move in the direction I wanted it to.
Because I was holding them up, my instructor took my friends down, and left me, in the mercy of the water :( If they made a movie of the things that went through my head that time, it would make a very interesting movie. Lots of blood and gore, giant sharks, giant squids, and giant blood-sucking nematodes. Being left behind, in the middle of an ocean, only a slippery rope for company, unable to swim, jellyfish and burst capillaries and blocked regulators in your head - not the most pleasant thing in the world. He came back for me later, but hanging there waiting....**shudder** I swear I'm scarred for life.

Anyway, somewhere on our way down, my instructor asked me to change my regulator. I violently shook my head 'NO! Don't take my life support out!!' He signaled me to change it again, I kept shaking my head. So he came and took it out of my mouth. Changed it to the other one. But I couldn't breathe anymore. He saw the fear in my eyes and calmed me down. For like 3 seconds.

Then that was it, I freaked and tried to scramble up, he held me down, which resulted in an all-out fist fight, mostly my fist. I was kicking him and scratching madly at him with everything I had, and he had to let me go.

I don't even remember how in the world I got up to the surface, but I did, and in my panic had forgotten all about my oxygen tank and my regulator. My lungs were bursting, and I broke through the surface, felt air (very good!), and gulped (very bad!). The sea water took that chance to gladly surge into my gaping mouth and down my gutless gut.

I was glad to be alive, but I saw the boat, and the people on it, looking at me. A failure. Scaredy cat. And I felt like such a loser that I wanted to just dive right in again. But I was dragged out of the water and made to eat. I'm sure it was good food, but food just doesn't taste good when you've just helped yourself to generous helpings of water from the Coral Sea.

But anyway, the corals were sure pretty.
And if there's a next time, I will just stick to snorkeling.

Now for my second grudge against God, my height. How many times have I heard the word 'tiny' being used to describe me? I'm okay with my height in India, but once you step out of India and on to the land of giants, is when you start to really hate the words 'tiny', 'small', 'petite' and worst of all, 'short'.

I was the only adult on that boat that day that wore kid flippers. None of the adult ones fitted me. Oh, the shame, the agony! My suits hung loose, my instructor thought I should get a better fitting one, but admitted that he couldn't find anything smaller.

Look at my instructor's massive white flippers. Then look at my pink *ugh* tiny ones. I never thought flippers, of ALL things in the world, would ever conspire against me and be objects that cause me shame!
The skydiving trip also found me trying on a whole range of different suits to find one that would make me look good. In vain.
Look at how snugly and nicely my instructor's black suit weaves around his wrist. And look at my red suit, and my sleeves, and I would like to tell you to also look at my wrists, but you simply can't see wrists. However, if I look closely enough, I think I can see the tips of my fingers. And you wear something like that, and jump from a plane, then you'll feel like you've sprouted wings from the way everything flaps so crazily about and around you. I was wearing my jeans, and two full-sleeved T-shirts under that suit. And still I flapped :(

But I'm not complaining. I would if either my general clumsiness in the water, or my height, had stopped me from doing the things I did. But they didn't. And for that, I am grateful. But, I will continue to date only tall men. Some sort of insurance for my kids if I ever decide to get married :-)

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19 March 2008

Aggravated Vocabulary Battery

I am not a fancier of big words, like I've mentioned a sickening amount of times before. For me, communication is all about getting the message across, the best way it can be done. Even if it means using simple, common words and impressing no one.

Don't get me wrong, I agree there are times when pretty words and obscure sentences are not only welcome, but necessary. If you're writing poetry, for example, or a song in some cases, simplicity doesn't always work. In fact, I love poetry so much I think it should always be beautiful, and that it's better to not write one at all if one can't do a good job of it, or write it, but don't publish it or push it in people's faces.

Crap poetry is more painful than a toothache, and the practice of writing them should be vehemently discouraged. In the same way, people who write nursery-rhyme-type songs that rhyme like, well, nursery rhymes should be strongly persuaded to stop writing and take up some other hobby. Like knitting. Or cross-stitch.

This song (courtesy of BW) is a good example of bad song writing. Apologies to all fans, but I think it's an uninteresting, extremely banal song. I, of course, also know that I can't do any better, but that is precisely why I'm not writing any, going around fancying myself a poet or a song writer.

Conversely, simplicity, even though it's hard to go wrong with it, also can be disastrous sometimes. Like this message I got from someone I know, whose identity will not be revealed, which makes it okay to use the person's message as an example here - he said
"dear, no one waste time, in waste thing."

That, to me, is more baffling than
'phenomenological' or 'sesquipedalian septuagenarian.' I needed an interpreter, and who better than the Wise Macavity! Her explanation - "Ah! Profound. So the way I see it, you cannot waste time when you're wasting it on something that's to be wasted, it's like the angst of life, a wasted life. Therefore, what is time, in this spectrum of wasted life? Nothing! Therefore, not wasted."

I think that's a brilliant interpretation. But it's not right to have to need someone to interpret you when you're not even quoting poetry.

Maybe sometimes it's just our fault. For our lack of comprehension and inability to grasp things. Particularly words and sentences. We were googling a certain song writer when a convicted sexual offender from Tennessee by the same name came up in our searches. Which led us to the Tennessee Sexual Offender Registry site
, which, to say the least, was of huge interest to us - looking at the offenders' pictures, wondering about their lives, and what crimes they committed, which in most cases was 'AGGRAVATED SEXUAL BATTERY.'

Macavity was as perplexed as I, we were not quite sure what exactly that felony involved. We deciphered that whatever it was, it involved the offender battering someone, in an aggravated manner, sexually. Which was not really sufficient.

We decided to do a search, and Wiki tells us that "Sexual battery may be defined as non-consensual touching of the intimate parts..." "As successor to the common law crime of mayhem, this is sometimes
subsumed in the definition of aggravated assault."

Our first encounter with the word
subsume. Oh glory! A new challenge! I didn't like the word, because it makes me think of the word 'exhume' and consequently, rotting human flesh. Macavity says it makes her think of Science and academics. But according to Dictionary.com, no rotting flesh or science or academics, subsume simply means "to consider or include (an idea, term, proposition, etc.) as part of a more comprehensive one."

This infuriated Macavity greatly.
"Why cant they just say 'include'? Pompous, and full of themselves! They should be battered, and fried, like pancakes." she said. I agree with her.

Anyway, abandoning the subject of words, and on to sexual battery, if sexual battery means non-consensual touching of the intimate parts, do you realise it happens ALL the time in India? And the people who do it get away scot-free, no police to catch them, no sexual offenders site to put up their pictures on, for the world to see, to shame them?

I know for a fact that most women have had their breasts and butts rubbed, squeezed, pinched, poked at, innumerable times - while walking on the streets, in a crowded bus, or market area. They're everywhere. In all the places I've lived in or known well, the city with the most sexual offenders roaming the streets - Chandigarh, followed by Delhi, followed by Guwahati. Hyderabad is better than most cities I've lived in, but it does have its own ugly offenders.

I'd like to batter and fry them all. Starting with all the sexual offenders, followed by big word users. Then maybe we can go after the politicians next. Keeping in mind to do Mizoram politicians first.

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17 March 2008

Life, Coincidences, & Dancing

Let's start with coincidences. Aren't good coincidences just sweet! I was interviewing a candidate some weeks back, and like I always do, I showed her my ID card so she could take a better look at my name, because I know people often have a hard time catching it when I just go and say 'Hey, I'm Jerusha.'

She said she was familiar with the name because one of her closest friends also has the same name. "But she's from Mizoram" she added. I was a little surprised, and told her that I'm from Mizoram too. "She's a Hmar" she said (pronouncing it correctly too!), and proceeded to explain to me what 'Hmar' means!!! I thought that was my job! :-)

I, in extremely unprofessional, un-interviewer-like behavior, squeaked in astonished glee! Same name, same town, same clan! How's that for coincidence! Well, I suppose I can be forgiven for my momentary lapse of professionalism. After all, how many times does one get to meet someone who knows someone that has the same weird, uncommon, ancient name as you do, from the same little small state as you, belonging to the same clan as you - especially in this big, overcrowded state so far away from home!

I started on the second coincidence I meant to write about, but it looked really stupid written down so I decided to scrap it, guess I'll have to just save that instead for the next dinner conversation.

Anyway, the main purpose of this post is to promote our new videos :P - Video 1 and Video 2 (below). It's a lot of goofy pictures and clips, and I know my mom would be scandalised if she saw :-) First of all, she thinks dancing is for bad girls. But I love dancing, and I really don't see anything wrong with it.

We all work hard during the week, and me and my roomies hardly get to see or talk to each other during the week because of the crazy shifts they do. But on normal, good weekends, we start dancing from the moment we get up to midnight and beyond, with slight changes in the venues where we dance, though the ladies washroom is one of our ultimate favorites any day! And the guys never understand why we take so long in the restroom.. :D

Karaoke nights and making a fool of yourself comes with little rewards sometimes - like these cute alphabet fridge magnets. I won them the other night for one of those Who-does-the-best-job-of-making-a-fool-of-themselves games which I was convinced into playing because the White Mischief people made it sound like I'd win a date with VJ Nikhil..

11 March 2008

Incident Of the Famous Man

"There are grammatical errors even in his silence." - Stanislaw J. Lec

I was in a club with my friends when somebody who I had never seen before in my life walked in. But the rest of the crowd in the club must've seen him before, because heads turned, mouths gaped, jaws dropped in awe, the waiters held their trays in mid-air and whispered among themselves. He took a table and sat, and visibly reveled in the gaping.

The waiters who usually fawn over us ignored us. And we had to wait an extra 10 minutes for everything we ordered, so I finally dragged one waiter to one dark corner, held a knife to his throat and menacingly whispered "Tell me who that rat is that is holding up my drinks? Speak now or forever hold your peace!" I gave him a sinister grin to drive the message home.

Well, I exaggerated. I didn't use a knife, it was a table fork. 'Famous Man's name' - He told me. I had never heard the name before in my life, inasmuchas I had never laid eyes on his wretched form before in my life.

"Who???"

He whispered the guy's name in awed reverence again. I waited for a bell. No ringing whatsoever. So I dug the fork in deeper and demanded him to tell me what or who or when or how exactly he was (something) :D

"He is 'X', world-famous cricketer!" he said. His lips slightly quivered in divine adoration. He looked back at me and I could see his thoughts blinking - "How could you not know, you stupid moron!!?" (I am withholding 'his' name as I am planning to write more things about him - not all very nice. But Cricket fans, nobles, and countrymen, not to worry. He is not from the Indian Cricket team).

Anyway, the thing about me and Cricket is that we have never met each other at all. I don't like it, I don't understand it. If you make me watch a match by myself, I will never know who won or who lost. I think it's a lame game with lame players with unsexy (lame) uniforms (No offense, that's just in my unworthy opinion, and I am no lover of sports in general). And I care nothing for cricket players, no matter how famous they may be. And nothing about the game or the players can penetrate my thick head enough to impress me.

However, one of my friends turned out to be a fan, so he sprang up, and happily skipped and hopped away and abandoned us to join Famous Man at his table, who surprisingly welcomed him with open arms and they were soon immersed in conversation. We also forgot about Famous Man, and went back to our girl talk.

It was when I was talking about the injustice of only important people getting bribed and not us who needs the money more that I suddenly felt a hand on my arm yanking me back and next thing I knew, I was standing at Famous Man's table, face to face, gushing friend introducing me to Famous Man and friend.

'Gentlemen, this is blogger. Blogger, this is Famous Man, have you heard of him before?" I wanted to strangle him right there and then, and to make matters worse, before I could even lie and just say yes, he asked "You watch Cricket? Cricket yada yada..so you know right? You watch Cricket right? right right right?"

I thought about lying, but I didn't want them to start quizzing me about Howzzat and One-days (?) I decided to just be true. So I told them no, I don't really watch cricket. But hello, nice to meet you - shook their hands. They were as stiff and awkward as little boys. Benign, blank, staring eyes, and could hardly get 'Hello' out of their mouths.

Famous Man joined us on the dance floor. He danced like he was blind, didn't make any acknowledgment that there were human beings around him. Not in a rude way. Just in a stupidly hopeless way. He acted like he doesn't hear, and out of the blue, when something in the conversation caught his fancy I suppose, he'd suddenly throw his head back and bray in a laughter, making you jump out of your skin - brays echoing round the room long after he'd stopped braying..laughing I mean.

Anyway, I rejoined the girls the moment I could. Everything was fine - until a little later in the night, and Famous Man probably had had too much to drink, he started puckering up his lips and cupped his hands around his mouth, and blew us kisses (puckered us kisses more like)! Like the way sleazy drunks on the roads do.

At that moment, I was very glad that I was not a Cricket fan, or that I was not a fan of Famous Man. Otherwise, the disappointment would have been too much to handle. I can't imagine Fabio Cannavaro or Michael Ballack to ever do something like that. That's why I like Soccer.

Anyway, this story, like every other should have a moral. So moral of the story is this: Go home and read Alice in Wonderland and forget about the world. We live in Wonderland, if we'd only just remind ourselves. Mean-assed rabbits and mad hatters and grinning Cheshire cats everywhere. But in the end, Wonderland is what we make it to be. And you can get rid of all those crazies with a breath. The trick is in knowing when to close your eyes.

And oh..watch soccer! Safer bet :-)

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07 March 2008

Tagged

I've been tagged by Mac, and this is something I want to take up, but I've thought and thought and can't think of much so I'm going to fly through this, it won't be a work of art :P, funny or witty but at least it will be honest. Anyway, what better chance to stroke the old ego and talk about my all-time favorite subject with a reason than this tag! It's all about me!! :-)

10 things I wish I could say to people right now:

1. I tell myself I don't care what you think, but I still make an effort to make you like me.
2. Don't think you know me "that" well.
3. I feel so dumb sometimes I suffer in silence in the company of all you good, intelligent, fancy-"degree-d", multiple-"degree-d" people.
4. There are about only 5 people I can think of right now whose company I genuinely enjoy.
5. Leave me alone...sometimes.
6. The one thing that scares me most right now is that you'll stop loving me. That something I do or say will drive you away.
7. I enjoy you so much I wish we were in prison together sharing a cell :)
8. I would like you better if you would just stop throwing in those big, fancy words in your sentences.
9. I find it hilarious that just because you don't drink, or because you've never had sex, or because you don't smoke, you think that automatically makes you a better person than the people who does all or either one of those.
10. Stop staring!

9 things about myself:

1. I still cry for my dog I lost when I was in high school.
2. To borrow Nora Ephron's quote - In my sex fantasy, no one ever loves me for my mind. Unfortunately, in real life.....
3. I hate people who sleep too much.
4. A maid accidentally poured boiling water on my left foot when I was not even a year old. I still bear scars, when I was a kid, a nanny told me they were my lucky scars and I have stupidly grown up to really believe that.
4. Poetry, the smell of the earth when it rains, watching someone I love sleeping, the sound of rain on a tin roof, and goodbyes make me cry.
5. Death fascinates me. Almost as much as it terrifies me.
6. There are very few things in life I take seriously.
7. I will not bore most people, unless I do it intentionally.
8. I love white wine, and I hate rap and R&B.
9. "Well it’s time to go home, And I ain't even done with the night."

8 ways to win my heart:

(This one's difficult, I'm not sure myself, but let's see..)

1. Give me flowers. They still work.
2. Match my energy. Don't be sleepy, don't be too tired to go out, do something, sit and talk, whatever. I'm hardly ever too tired to do anything :D (At the same time, it kills me when I know you're tired and sleepy but you make an effort to talk and say things to make me happy).
3. Be on my side when I've had a fight with my mom, a friend, or a colleague. Even if I was wrong.
4. Whisper to me in an exotic language. Preferably, Italian or Persian :D
5. I am in love with The Ninja and buffalax. Make me laugh the way they do.
6. Sketch a picture of me and make me look beautiful :P
7. Let me see you broken, let me save you. There's something so intense about being the one lending the shoulder.
8. Talk with me.

Not in that particular order.

7 things that crosses my mind a lot:

1. God, my faith, heaven, and hell.
2. Joe.
3. Work.
4. Going away. I still have to figure out where 'away' is.
5. My nephew.
6. My mom.
7. My health.

In that order.

6 things I wish I never did:

1. I wish I'd never started that fight with my mom.
2. I wish I hadn't ignored my brother's texts the way I did.
3. I wish I had never used Yahoo messenger!
4.
5.
6.

Can't think of anything. I have more things I wish I'd done than hadn't done!

5 turn offs:

1. Dirty teeth, dirty nails, body odor.
2. Cheap jokes.
3. Over-eagerness. Ignore me a little, that'll make me want to pursue you. (Ceases to apply after an exchange of telephone numbers or email addresses :P)
4. Men who like to talk about their money.
5. Women that don't know how to wear/walk in stilettos.

4 turn ons:

1. Compassion.
2. Good smell. Have you ever been in a lift where you can't see who it is behind you but you can smell him, and he smells so good you want to take him home even without seeing his face? A little ridiculous, but my emotions are ruled by smells.
3. A guy with a musical instrument, preferably the guitar, but anything else will do. Hot. Plain and simple.
4. And of course, a great sense of humor. Clich├ęd, but can't leave that out.

3 things I want to do before I die:

1. See the Northern lights.
2. Spend an entire winter in Alaska, in a log cabin in the woods, and then watch spring come.
3. Base jump.

2 smileys that describe me:

1. :P
2. :D

1 confession:

Losing my dog hurt more than losing my uncle (I know, I'm horrid!)

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03 March 2008

A day in the life of a non-famous person

I'm so out of ideas and the creative genious that usually bubbles over in my head :D Every idea and every enthusiasm and every shred of motivation I have ever possessed has been sucked dry. Dry as a bone. Dry as a bone in a dusty village road in Bihar, for good measure. I'm guessing it's the aliens that did that, I was not sure what they were doing mucking around with my head the last time I was abducted. I will have to bring this up next time I meet them.

So let's see, maybe today I'll pretend I'm famous. And write about stupid, mundane things and pretend people will still be interested in whatever nonsense I come up with. I will write about my typical weekend, I will invent imaginary lovers and illicit affairs, several of them - Dukes and Barons and Prime Ministers and members of the local Panchayat. Or maybe I'll just write about the type of men I find attractive (a man with scissors lodged in his temple and has a bat where the sun don't shine while he's on fire), and what color I paint my toes...

Hmm, what else? What else do celebrities do? Oh, yes, almost forgot - my sessions with my many therapists, how hot my psychiatrist is and my plans of seducing him. And the charities, don't forget the charities. And the trips to war-torn areas, and hold a hammer and cutely perspire (celebrities, I've been told, don't sweat like us common folks) in the sun while you help build schools, homes, or whatever is necessary for raggedy little kids in Kolkata.

I give up. This is, first of all, no fun. Second, I suck at it. Third, there are more than enough celebrities to do all that, I think a pretend-celeb is the last thing the world needs right now.

"True love is giving all you have to someone you know you're going to lose". Ray H Wall

I saw that today and thought it sounded very wise but I couldn't quite fathom its meaning. But I think I have true love. Or have had. Or felt. Or still feel. I'm pretty sure I have something to do with it, so I'm not altogether sucked dry. Bless those deft little alien hands.

I'm glad the weekend is over, it always gives you too much time to think. But this one wasn't bad, we celebrated our new fridge with a bottle of champagne. And we sat with our glasses and talked about our heartaches - an alcoholic parent, an over-controlling parent, the man you love but will never have, an indifferent step-parent....It's not going to take the pain away but I'm glad to be able to sit and talk, and my heart goes out to my friends, and my heart goes out to myself, and I hate it that there's so much pain and heartache and sorrow and general bitterness in this life.

And in the end, I think all everybody needs is to be loved a little better. I think that would just about solve everything.

And we cook, and we give up after everyone cuts themselves. See the extra bulky, very fashionable hanky on one of the hands? That actually required 3 stitches, I got lucky and just ended up with a bandaid. I also got rid (almost successfully) of my new fringes.
Undaunted by mortal wounds and also emboldened by the bubblies, somebody decides somebody wants to dance. So we get dressed and go out. We end up singing 'Sex Bomb' on karaoke. And 'I Will Survive' and I like it because I start believing it when I sing it. And what if the truth is far from it? My world is what I believe it to be. We swiped flowers from the lobby on our way back, which Op very nicely arranged in a wine glass -
Note how the carnations are not on the stalks, the stalks are bereft of flowers or leaves, while the flowers peacefully float directly on the water. Very artistic.

And we go home, and I step in my room to find somebody had left the fan on, which had blown my entire 149 sheets of Latin lessons all over the room. There were prepositions on my bed, verbs and conjunctions under it, it was a very grammatically incorrect mess. I was too tired so I slept with the papers strewn all over.

And yes, Latin. I am teaching myself Latin. I have attempted to learn Spanish and German, signed up for classes, both of which were complete failures. Mostly due to my failure to turn up for lessons. So now I've picked Latin so I can fail more impressively. 'I studied Latin but it was really tough and with work pressure and other social life-related pressure, I had to give it up' I'll say, and won't even be lying. It sounds snazzier than saying I quit my Spanish or German lessons.

And at work, I've always believed my friends to have a higher level of intellect than the average Indian. But sometimes they make me wonder. Passed on a news page about a shooting incident to Shirley, she was quiet for a while as she read, then she said 'four slugs removed? Wow!!!'. Quiet for a bit again. Then rather meekly 'What's a slug Jerusha?' 'A bullet' I said. 'Oh, so that's okay then' she said. I asked her why that was okay, it seemed she'd orginally thought doctors removed live, slimy, crawly slugs from the gun-shot patient's body!

Then on to Sohna - I go excitedly ping her with the news that "Woman loses 180 pounds! 180 pounds!!!" (Note all the exclamation marks) My friend's languid response? "I'm assumin tht's weight? not cash?" It's not like I would use exclamation marks for anything below a thousand pounds. Maybe one for 500 and above, and three exclamation marks would have to involve life-changing amounts.

And that's a day in the life of a non-famous person and her non-famous friends. Well, I think I covered more than a day, but they're all the same anyhow.

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