Monday, February 27, 2017

La La Lift

"What ho!" I said
"What ho!" said Motty.
"What ho! What ho!"
"What ho! What ho! What ho!"
After that it seemed rather difficult to go on with the conversation.
- P.G.Wodehouse, My Man Jeeves

So okay. Today was the big Oscars fiasco when they mistakenly announced La La Land instead of Moonlight as Best Picture. With Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty at the helm there, it was quite a case of Bonnie and Clyde stealing the show !  

But hey,big deal. These things happen. (For example, there's the Miss Universe screw up in 2015)  

It can get so much worse.

Like when your world turns upside down in a moment - or at least between the beginning and the ending of a sentence.

You're in a lift. Another guy walks in. There are several things you could do. Keeping quiet is not only about the best but also something you'd normally do anyway. However, in this unpredictable and deterministic world that is so devoid of freewill, unseen forces propel you towards epic brain failure and you go  "Hey Long time ! New look, I see?"

Before realizing you've never met this guy before.

The good part is that you reach your floor before he can go beyond a well disguised " Oh good thanks and how have you been?" The bad part is realizing that he works in your building and you'll be seeing him around a fair bit. 

What Faye Dunawaye must have felt would be a walk in the park in comparison. The perils of living in La La Land ! 

Monday, February 20, 2017

On Minding My Ps and Eating my Qs

I'm unsure if the name  'Ptolemy'
Is said intact with the 'p'.
Takes a mental toll on me
That's just my psychology.

Happily  'Psychology'  is no mess
It's clearly said with an 's' ! 
Also clear are 'Pluto' , 'Plural', 'Penal' and 'Polly'
But what sets the clock back - by golly ! - 
Are words like 'Psephology'  and 'Psyche'
Which always arouse a 'Christ !' or a  'Crickey !'

Also I'll surely stand in queue
If they ever teach a class on 'q' : 
A confused letter that you can say
Either with  a 'Q' or with  a 'K'
The name Qantas and the word Quill
Can't be told - behold ! -
From the name Kansas and the word Kill

But what is a really smooth sail 
Is : Don't bother with 'Quail'.
I am glad  to state
That it's on my plate
Plate - the P intact and cool
Now that my mouth is full.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

All Spaced Out (If It Ain't Broke It Ain't Me)

As usual the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) quietly went about doing a stellar job. This time it was launching 104 satellites in orbit from one single rocket mission. 104 ! Staggering achievement, what stars these guys are ! 

Now a rocket ejecting 104 little satellites is compelling visual imagery. You can just picture these several many little eggs hatching in rapid succession from out of a rocket belly in the blackness of space. Rather reminds you of those periods when life launches a million problems  at you all at the same time. "What! You have only ten problems?! Here's a hundred more - BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG !"

Sigh, if only it ever worked the other way. You know, if only life launched a hundred big sums of money at you. "Here's your first million dollars. Next 99 coming up in a hour." But of course that doesn't happen does it. Your bank balance is a vacuum that'd make outer space look like a wind tunnel. Getting rich would be rocket science if only it were a bit easier.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Phony Valentine

It was Valentine's day.

Valentine woke up and checked his phone. The "Happy You Day" messages in it made Valentine quite happy indeed. Valentine spent some time with his phone before getting ready for work which he did while staring at his phone. Then he left for work and,because he was driving, he didn't stare at his phone except only occasionally. That's not all that rare - I once saw a man who was not staring at his phone. Not for around five minutes anyway. 

The security guard in the office building looked up from his phone to wish Valentine on his special day. In the lift , people nodded at him without looking away from their phones - nodded at Valentine that is, not the security guard who was not in the lift and whose day it was not anyway !

At the office Val's colleagues who were all on their phones sent him You Day messages. Valentine's boss looked up from his phone to wish Valentine and to say that he - Valentine that is, not the boss- could take the day off. Valentine's boss , who didn't take the day off, then went back to staring at his phone.

Valentine treated himself to a movie on his phone. And he did so over a nice  meal which he ordered on his phone. It took a bit longer than usual as the delivery man had an accident while staring at his phone when he bumped into a man who was also staring at his phone -  his own phone , that is , not the delivery man's. It was clearly not their day.

Valentine went to bed very pleased at how splendidly the day had turned out. It would wouldn't it , it was his own day after all ! Then Valentine spent some time with his phone - who knows, perhaps reading the older Valentine posts on this silly blog ? He found them here and so can you.

Although, sorry, the day is still not yours. It's Valentine's. 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Reinventing the Wheel

History is written by the winners - or, at any rate, by the winners of elections.

There is apparently a history revisionist project of sorts under way in India.The latest episode is the overturning of the entire outcome of a historical battle.The guy you thought had lost ? Guess what, turns out he'd actually won ! (Read here)

For all the criticism against it, I think revisionism is a good thing. Quite apart from the inventiveness and creativity it fosters, it must be such fun ! Who invented the wheel? Who invented the steam engine ? Who discovered Antarctica? Who discovered a sense of humour? Who won this war? Who won that battle? Who built this monument? Who destroyed that one? 

The answer to all of them is,why,anybody you care to name ! Who could prove she didn't ? 

Always reassuring to know you can change the past. "It's never too late to have a happy childhood" wrote Tom Robbins. I was going to say something original but,hey, why reinvent the wheel.