Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh well

Our parliamentarians have an obsession with rushing to the Well of the House.

Protest against the ruling party? Rush to the Well of the House. Protest against the opposition? Rush to the Well of the House.

Nothing to protest ?

Rush to the Well of the House.

A first-time Member of Parliament once felt thirsty. He rushed to the Well of the House. Somebody told him this wasn’t that sort of a well. So he rushed to the Well of the House in protest.

This set off a row between the two main parties. The two main parties rushed to the Well of the House.

They never just walk there, not even a briskly. No, they rush to the Well of the House.

I know of another first time M.P. who didn’t know the deal. During one of those protests he walked leisurely towards the Well. His party colleagues first ticked him off and then rushed to the Well of the House in rebuke.

When I say obsession I mean obsession.

Consider the case of this very senior M.P.:
- The man was in his constituency and busy with his daughter’s wedding when he learned that the jalebis would be delayed. He was livid. So he flew to Delhi, drove over to Parliament and rushed to the Well of the House. The flight back from Delhi was running several hours late. In protest, our distinguished veteran drove back into the city to rush to the Well of House. By the time he returned home , the wedding party had been thrown completely off gear. His wife gave him a mouthful. In protest against which he insisted on flying back to Delhi to rush to the Well of the house. They had to lock him in.

There are many other such stories and i won't get into those here

Suffice it to say it was all getting too much.

At some point it was decided to do away with the Well of the House altogether.

The Well of the House was destroyed so completely that not a trace remained.

This greatly angered the M.P.’s

So they rushed to the Well of the House.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

The misadventures of Sherlock Holmes – 5

(Readers of the Sherlock Holmes books will have noted how Watson good naturedly puts up with the patronizing that Holmes often subjects him to. Strawberry Fields Occasionally came across this unpublished memoir that paints a hitherto unknown picture. Incidentally this appears to be the last of Watson’s memoirs)

It was a cold and gloomy afternoon.

“Watson, will you be so good as to fetch my case”, said Holmes.

“Fetch it yourself, Holmes. I am busy”, said I cold but civil.

“Ah Watson! I see you have been visiting Prof. Moriarty’s website. Tut , tut. This is hardly becoming of you”, returned Holmes with what he hoped was a kindly tone.
It only irritated me.

“But confound it, Holmes! You could not be more wrong. I have scarcely used the internet these last few days if only you were not too self absorbed to notice. I am tired of your smug sense of superiority. After all, you haven’t solved a case in ages and such little deductive prowess as you may have possessed in some distant past is long spent.

“I am finished with you, Holmes, quite as much as I am with these chronicles. They have ceased to be worth bothering about.
"I fully intend, Sir, to share this assessment with Conan Doyle - with a recommendation, if you must know, that he switch from the crime fiction genre altogether and pursue a style more along the lines of , say , a Woody Allen.”

The effect this ejaculation had upon Holmes was profound.

Shaken he muttered – “Have I lost you now to Manhattan Jewry and the vulgarities of the New World, Watson?”

Then suddenly he was kneeling at my feet: “Oh no Watson! For the love of God, Watson! I shan’t be able to endure not being written about. What good is a fictional character that is not written about ! Oh for pity’s sake! I shall do anything you wish me to do. From this moment on, my good Watson, your wish is my dearest command. Allow me to but serve you all my life!”

“In that case, Holmes”, I replied coolly “you might perhaps clean my pipe for it is in dire need of cleaning.”

He did a very good job of it too. I was particularly impressed with how he subjected the pipe to an examination through his magnifying lens with a view to ensuring that the minutest trace of dirt had been removed.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

The misadventures of Sherlock Holmes - 4

It was a cold and gloomy afternoon. Holmes and I sat by the warm fireplace of our apartment at 221 B Baker Street and watched “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire”. Holmes had had not many cases of late and had begun to spend a lot of time watching TV.

As the show wore on, I began to feel increasingly more appalled at Holmes’ evident lack of any general knowledge of note.

For instance, his answer to “What was Coldplay’s first album?” was “Thriller”.

Or take “Where was Jack the Ripper based?” Holmes’ response to that was – “Under my thumb

“My dear Holmes”, I could not help blurting out, “but frankly this is shocking! Pardon me for asking, dear fellow, but to what level of schooling have you been educated?”

“Only elementary, my dear Watson”, replied Holmes distractedly as he pondered the capital of Papua New Guinea.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The misadventures of Sherlock Holmes - 3

(Readers old enough may recall the case of the Emerald murders and the ripples they caused in the highest , most exalted Diplomatic circles all across Europe in the year 188- . What is not known is the singular role that Holmes played in solving the case. Indeed, the affair was cloaked in such delicate secrecy that many of the principal players themselves were unaware of the fact.)

I recall it was a cold and foggy morning in the summer of 188- and we were at breakfast when a telegram arrived for Holmes. Holmes had been distracted and keeping to himself of late. He was often confined for days on end within his room. At other times he would lie upon the couch gazing vacantly at the ceiling and smoking his pipe. A silent restlessness betrayed his passive demeanor as he frequently enquired after the mail.

A nervous storm was clearly brewing and it was liable to break in any short matter of time. I knew that the precipitation of a fresh case to consume the energies of this remarkable man was imminent.

Little did I know, however, of how significant, grave and fateful a case it would be in deciding the fate of an entire continent

The storm broke with the arrival of the telegram.

Having abandoned all pretence at eating breakfast Holmes hurriedly read through the note. Every word read seemed to add to the weight of its import. A grave and feverish excitement was much in evidence as Holmes leaped to his feet and cried:

“Your bags, my good Watson! Pack your bags at once! For we have such travel to embark upon as brooks no delay. Make haste, my dear Doctor. To Paddington. At once!”

As it happened, I was scheduled to watch a new Quentin Tarantino film that very afternoon; I could not possibly miss it. I had also planned on a tranquil morning of leisure to precede the show and was seized with no great enthusiasm to upset that plan.

“My dear Holmes”, I replied carefully as I speared the excellent bacon “I fear it is not within the orbit of my good fortune to embark upon this journey and partake of the delightful adventures it no doubt has in store for you. I hope that you pardon my absence. I wish you good luck.”

I played no further part in the adventure. Truth be told, I was unable to even follow up. As I recall, a commitment with the Greenpeace movement had taken up much of my time around that period.

And that is why you, dear reader, will not read about the Emerald murders.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

The misadventures of Sherlock Holmes - 2

“Ah Ms Bedford, but this case bestows upon me the most hideous disappointment of having to turn it down” said Holmes.

It was on a cold and foggy afternoon that Ms. Bedford had graced our abode at 221B Baker Street. She had come in with a case that had baffled everybody - that being the case Holmes had just turned down.

“But why Mr. Holmes?” enquired a visibly disappointed Ms. Bedford

“I confess, Madam, that I do not believe I possess such ability as is required to solve it”, said Holmes with what perhaps I alone recognized as a trace of sheepishness.

“Oh Mr. Holmes, I must admit to a feeling of disappointment. I had intended to offer you the consideration of 100,000 sterling pounds for the kind favour of solving this case.” said this beautiful daughter of a wealthy baronet.

Holmes’ eyes lit up.

He said: “Perhaps I can offer a violin rendition of Bach’s Partita in D Minor for a quarter of that sum? Or some Haydn perhaps?”

This offer having drawn a vacant stare from its recipient, Holmes added breathlessly, with a touch of desperation almost: “I shall be glad to throw in a deduction or two as to the state of the weather next week. At no extra cost, of course”

Saturday, July 12, 2008

So whats going on then ?

Who's withdrawing support ? Who's extending support ? Who's considering extending support ?

Umm, who is Support ?

Where lives ? What likes ? When eats ? How sings ?

Why are they withdrawing him and extending him ? And considering extending him ? Have they got his permission ?

It's all very confusing.

My scale of understanding on this whole thing is less than atomic.

It's electronic.

How about a new clear deal ?

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The continuing misadventures of Sherlock Holmes - 1

It was on a cold and foggy afternoon that Mrs. Hudson presented us with the visiting card of a Mr. J.L.Seagull. No sooner had she done so than Mr. Seagull himself rushed into our apartment at 221 B Baker Street in a state of utmost agitation.

“Mr. Sherlock Holmes? I can barely state the despair that has provoked this uninvited visit, Sir but you must understand ….”

“Ah! Let me see now.” Holmes cut in. “ You have lived in India , no doubt in the Khyber where you served for a few stable if undistinguished years. You are currently stationed in London. You own a modest trading establishment and your wife helps with the accounts. I see also that your taste in tobacco runs to Virginia although you are not very particular as regards the make of your pipe.”

“I could not claim these observations to be true, Mr. Holmes”, said a visibly disappointed Mr. Seagull “For I am a bachelor and have lived in Surrey all my life. I am employed as a postal clerk with Living Living Living & Living. As to my taste in tobacco, it runs to nothing if it runs to anything at all, Sir, for I do not smoke.”

“Confound it - not again ! Oh well, I tried . . .”, I heard Holmes mutter under his breath.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Chennai Super Kris

Last night's game. Chennai Super Kings v Rajasthan Royals.

Asnodkar has a swipe at midwicket . No runs.

Kris Srikanth waxes exciteloquent - " You know I like this man Asnodkar. He's not afraid to take risks. This is 20-20. A batsman has to take a few risks , there's just too little time. And if you haven't taken those risks by the 5th of 6th over it may be too late...i'm very impressed with this lad.this is the right time to take a chance and score some quick runs."

Well said . After all the Royals had only 10 wickets in hand to chase down a mammoth 110 at an all too improbable RR of 5.5 per over.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Burning Love (Fish with mine please)

In Punjab , India , a love song on TV recently provoked a woman into burning herself as proof of her love for her husband. Sequence of events :
- Love song on TV
- Wife : “Oh I love you sooo much”
- Husband : “How much ? Show me !”
- Wife pours kerosene on herself and proceeds to set herself aflame

I can well imagine a variation on this – as follows :
- Love song on TV
- Wife : “Oh I love you sooo much”
- Husband : : “How much ? Show me !”
- Wife pours kerosene on her husband and proceeds to set him aflame

The following would be a good middle ground :
- Love song on TV
- Wife : “Oh I love you sooo much”
- Husband : : “How much ? Show me !”
- Wife : "I’ll make you some nice fish curry."
- Wife proceeds to kitchen

Yum !

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It really was his day

It was Valentine’s day.

He woke up that morning and it was from the right side of his bed.

The sun was up. The sky was blue. There were birds chirping. The one bird that had planned on not chirping had quite forgotten the plan.

Valentine hummed a merry tune as he showered.
“I think it’s going to be my day”, thought Valentine .

At breakfast , the eggs were done just right and the coffee was perfect.

Valentine set out for work. He switched on the car radio and lo ! it was playing his favourite song. A black cat was about to cross Valetine’s path but decided against it.
(Black cat : “Heck , I have eight other lives to do it , pal Val. You go right ahead”)

A message from the government was waiting when Valentine arrived at work :
“Dear Valentine , we thought this might be your day. (Signed) The Government ”. Valentine was very pleased.

Another message arrived soon after from the Finance ministry :
“Dear Valentine , we were planning to impose a 40% Day Ownership Tax but ran out of ink. (Signed) The Finance Ministry”. Valentine was very pleased.

Valentine spent a pleasant morning at work. Then his boss gave him the afternoon off
(Boss : “That’s the way this blog post goes , Valentine”)

Valentine spent the afternoon at the movies. There was a promotion on and the popcorn came with a free coke. The coke was chilled to just the right temperature ! A pretty girl went up to Valentine and said : “You’re adorable !” .

She gave him a Hallmark card that said : “ I think it’s your day ”. Valentine was very pleased.

Valentine got home and what should be for dinner but his favourite roast ! Valentine sighed with pleasure. It was with a happy smile on his face that Valentine went to bed for a refreshing night’s sleep. And why not ! Don’t you just wish you’d checked with him before buying that stock ?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

We Are Family (I’ve got Sister Oprah on TV)

Surfing lands you , alas , at Oprah.

Guests on this one are Joseph Simmons a.k.a DJ Run a.k.a Rev Run , ex-vocalist of Run DMC and his family :
-Rev Run : 1 nos.
-Mrs.Rev : 1 nos.
-Daughters : 3 nos.
-Sons : 3 nos.
Numbers enough to make the cast of a Reality show –which apparently they are.

Rev Run raps the good , wholesome and upright rap. Rev Run is now a priest and this sermon on the mounted camera is about Family.

Says Run : “It’s important to realize a family is something you make”.

Oprah -bright eyed , nodding , eager , interested , leaning forward- repeats :
“Uh-huh, a family is something you make”.

“The family that plays together ….” says Oprah in voice over -

- Cue shots of the brood shooting basket in the family yard , swimming at the family pool and bowling on the family outing

“…and prays together…”

- Cut to shot of the family praying under the Reverend’s watchful eyes

“…stays together”

- Cut to the happy and huge Rev family back live at the studio with OW.

Much applause from audience as OW continues

“He’s a doting father….”

- Cue shots of Rev Run at various stages of being doting daddy to the kids Run

“….and an adoring husband”

- Cut to shot of Mr. and Mrs. Rev locked in a tender kiss. .“ I love you” says Mrs. Rev with a dreamy and For-Reality TV look.

Much applause from audience as the screen cuts back to Mr. Rev at the studio

Rev Run : “You gotta schedule the family in and I mean , really schedule…....... in capital letters S…C…H…”

- Cut to me reaching for the remote

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Prosaic musings on poetry

The poet and I are strangers.

Where the poet plumbs the sunken depths of the human condition , I get a plumber to fix the condition of the sink. Where the poet soars to the loftiest heights of the human spirit , I take the nearest elevator to the bar. Where I struggle with common sense , the poet shines with uncommon sensitivity. Where I have mere myopia , the poet has vision. (Not that I could find any even with glasses on)

Any wonder , then , that I just didn’t get Shelly’s ‘Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought’ from To A Skylark ? I have somehow never quite managed to equate sad and sweet without recalling an article I had once read on binge eating apparently brought on by depression. Not when the accompanying visuals could have been a Damien Hirst installation or something out of Naked Lunch.

Or take the line before that “Our sincerest laughter / With some pain is fraught”. This idea is also mirrored in that fabulous Kaifi Azmi ghazal from Arth “Tum itna jo muskura rahe ho / Kya gam hain jisko chhupa rahe ho” . The poignant old Laughter- in-Pain motif.

Funnily enough , I can’t think of too many instances of people laughing in pain. Or of people - not least the superior sex - concealing their pain behind a gleeful smile or three. Quite the contrary. Shorter the joy longer the face about describes the average equation.The missus, for instance , was certainly not flashing me any smiles when I accidentally dropped that electric iron on her foot the other day. My instant and very foolish laughter though turned out to be with much pain fraught.

On a parting note :
How would you describe mystery- genre poems of early 19th century America?
- Edgar Allen Poetry !

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Surely You're Choking Mr Feignman

Books ! Books !! Books !!!

Fact books. Fiction books. Saucy books. Slanderous books. Thin books. Thick books. Titillating books. Topical books. Poetry books. Political books. Racy books. Rich books. Poor books. Stocks books. Booker books. Broker Books. Psycho books. Ponderous books. Light books. Dark books. Frothy books. Frilly books. Fizzy books. Fuzzy books. Philandering books. Polymorphic books. Poster books. Thriller books. Thick skinned books. Hindu books. Naked books. Film books. Hardbound books. Sports books. Travel books. Adrenalin books. Aspirin books. High heeled books. Hard nosed books. Polished books. Silicone books. Bible books. Brit books. Horror books. Holy books. Bit books. Tender books. Tit books. Peep books. Peek books. Piece books. Peace books. Presbyterian books. War books. Evangelist books. Pornographic books. Text books. Graphic books. Hare Krishna books. Paperback books. Upfront books. Sensational books. Secretive books. Nebulous books. Nook books. Cornerstone books. Watershed books. Landmark books. Literary books. Laugh books. Cry books. Lingerie books. Hare Rama books. Critically acclaimed books. Scrip books. Script books. Cretin books. Dangerous books. Subversive books. Jesus books. Synaptic books. Serious books. Pulp fiction books. Fruit books. Juice books. Jacuzzi books. Bodhidharma books. Bodhisattva books. Zen books. Zoroastrian books. Black books. Malcom X books. Gandhi books. Mandela books. Manson books. Black box books. Out of the box books. Tool books. Endomorphic books. Cosmopolitan books. Pain books. Communist books. Zany books. Books books.

The capital of books is books.

I saw a book once.

Books !
Books !! Books !!!