Being funny

“Being funny is being awake to the atrocities of normalcy.”

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Pitter-patter Rain Drops..

Bob Marley once said,

“Some people feel the rain, others just get wet.”

There are just two kinds of people in the world – ones who like rains and the ones who hate it. I religiously stick to the first category. I have noticed that usually the people of creative or artistic inclination love the rain, and those involved in the big-bad-corporate-world tend to despise it.

Those who love rain wait anxiously for this season to come. For some inexplicable reason, the rain connects us to our inner voice. It brings out the poetry, music, art, creativity, philosophy, literature, romance, and love, that lies buried deep within us. Based solely on my exposure to daily soaps and Hindi movies, I used to think that rainy season is romantic because of the drenched ladies, shared umbrellas, and a genuine reason for being stuck in an isolated place. Classic.

I still believe that is a romantic season; not because of the above mentioned reasons, but because it gives each one of us pause for a minute, look around and to look within.

For me, rain is the purest form of mother-nature. A shower of blessings upon the world. Each rain drop is a gift to earth from heaven. It takes away the dust and pollution, refreshes the air and breathes life into the earth. It makes the land fertile for us to grow food, replenishes the water resources, vitamins, minerals, amid so many other things –provides all that is needed to keep us alive.

It touches one and all. I don’t believe anyone can actually spend a rainy season without feeling a single drop of rain. It reminds us the insignificance of man in front of the powerful nature. No matter how high or big your buildings are, you cannot escape from it. Rain is when nature dominates the concrete jungles. It doesn’t judge you, or discriminate you. It covers one and all in its eternal beauty.

And yet, there are those who hate this season vehemently. However, these people will never accept it. I don’t mind rain, but I just hate the mud and getting wet. Duh!

They see how rain complicates their life. The slippery roads with multiplying potholes, affects these people in their (already dreadful) commuting between work and home. Many a times they have to spend the entire day wearing wet clothes, shoes and socks; and the chilling central AC doesn’t help either. Their offices are breeding zones of viral fever. (Don’t expect to get a leave when the entire office is coughing!) I guess the HR would be better-off by hiring a part time doctor for the entire office on a weekly basis.

There are also people whose views on rain changes as they take on new responsibilities. Like every mother perceives rain as an occupational hazard (or maybe domestic hazard!).

Moms hate rains. Period. Dirty muddy clothes daily, viral fever, wet shoes, bags, books and phones, broken/lost umbrellas (somehow they all break, if I don’t lose them first), that awful smell of damp clothes, everyone walking into the house leaving a trail of water and soil on the floor, confusion to use a blanket or to switch on the fan, spoilage of food kept without an air tight box, fungus clinging on everything, sky rocketing vegetable prices, seepage in walls, and overflowing drainage (admit it, we no longer know if it is rain water or not!!); regular power cuts, ample accidents, slippery surfaces, and swarms of mosquitoes.

And to top it all, everyone wants to be served with hot maggi or tea and/or pakode! Lovely!

I really don’t blame them for cursing rains.

Maybe, we should try to find humor in such uncontrollable situations. Yes. Rains can be pretty comic. It stops raining exactly when you decide to leave the house; the intense decision making on whether to carry a raincoat/umbrella or not; the day you don’t wear a raincoat is the day it starts pouring when you are just a kilometer away from your house. There is some fun in rushing to the nearest tree or shop seeking shelter from the pelting rain; standing with dozens of strangers closely packed and staring enviously at the cars rushing past. You can’t even pretend to be busy on your phone because it is safely covered in two polythenes and tucked away in the bottom of your bag.

Those who wear their raincoats aren’t happy either. The rain somehow finds a way to soak your clothes in the most inappropriate places embarrassing you thoroughly in a morning meeting. So they have brought raincoats in the form of a shirt and pant to be worn over your clothes. Nice invention. I love it when I see executives take off their pants (raincoat ones) as they enter the office premises. What a comic striptease! And it is hilarious watching them putting the pants on in the evening. There is another struggle to squeeze your bag along with yourself into the raincoat.

The after rain effect isn’t good either. Everyone riding a two-wheeler is in a zest to wiggle through the traffic; legs raised in front to avoid spoiling clothes from the splatter of the muddy waters. Trust me; it is a unique sight to watch! But not a very helpful idea. They have to also avoid the bikes going right in front of them. The water from their back-wheel aims straight at your shirt – right across the button line. God knows what mudguards are for! Then again, they say, daag acche hote hai. My mom and my washing machine don’t agree!!

Oh, by the way, if you think driving a car is the solution, you couldn’t be more wrong. The people with similar idea are still stuck in traffic! There is no escape (and no possible U-turns). The rain will touch your life one way or another. So find the ‘tragedy me comedy’ and make peace with it. You have no choice. Keep loving the rain and relish it.

Because no matter what, every year the rain brings a refreshing clam to life — a joy and serendipity that brings the world alive. The pitter patter of rain drops becomes the music that Mother Nature sings

Embrace it the way it embraces you..

Pimpled Life

‘Bad time in life’ or ‘bura wakt’, is like a Pimple; occurs without warning, it is painful, makes everything in life ugly, and nothing works on it.

Best part?
It gradually goes away on its own.

Worst part?
If you mess with it, it will leave a dark spot forever in your life!

Don’t worry. Bad times and pimples give surprise visits to everyone. You are not alone in your troubles. Give it time, and it is sure to go away.. 😀

−the philosopher in me

Smile..

Smile, a simple word that conveys so much emotion you feel overwhelmed every time it is repeated. Essentially, a smile means an expression of peace and happiness, a simple upward curve of lips. Used in so many occasions, it can completely change feelings. So powerful and yet so simple, a smile is not restricted or abolished nor condemned by anyone anywhere. Can anything else even come close to this?
We often come across so many instances where a smile becomes a memory. No one teaches a child how to smile. It comes to them on its own. A smile on an infant’s face brings so much joy to the parents; it means the world to them. Parents spend their life struggling just to keep a smile on the face of their children. Children in return spend their childhood trying to give back a smile to their parents. Anything to make them proud. A smile contains all the love between a parent and a child. The smile of your child when they win a race, when they make something for you, when the get married, or simply when they take their first few steps. The smile of parents at your graduation, at your performance of being a tree in a play, at the time you sing a poem.
You can give a smile to a stranger, a passerby, your crush, anyone. Smile is the beginning of all relationships, and the beginning of happiness. When you imagine yourself in the future, you always see yourself smiling and content. The people around you in your future are also smiling.
Smile is expressing bliss. Smile is acknowledgement, greeting, acceptance and most importantly, smile denotes gratitude. We all hear people asking you to smile and each time we take it lightly. We don’t give it the importance it deserves in our lives. For some reason, a smile when you wake up makes you look forward to the day positively. Take a day in your life and put a smile to it. You wake up smiling (imagine the nice girl in TV commercials who wake up looking fresh and smiling). Look at yourself in the mirror and smile back. You look great, always! Take a walk in a nearby park, or just sit and watch around your neighborhood. Acknowledge the people of your community. The uproariously laughing group of oldies, the limitless energy of kids on swings and slides, the parents who patiently teach their child to ride a bicycle, the dog-walkers struggling ineffectively to keep their dogs on the track, the jogger girl/guy, whose physique drives the crowd to the park each morning, the gossiping aunties, the retired colonel with a proud graying moustache, the grandma who feels nothing weird about walking wearing sari with sneakers, and the potbellied uncle who always stretches inappropriately. The sights used to disgust you or seem insignificant earlier, but when you see how each has become a part of your day, it brings a smile to your face. Smile through the day and see the difference.
Smile to the stranger in the bus, smile to beggar on the road, smile at the pall bearer that passes by, smile to the watchman at the door. Smile at the receptionist and you will be rewarded with heartfelt smile (all others just receive a practiced stretch of colored lips). Smile when you see the CEO or even the peon. Your smile will neither diminish your status, nor cost you anything but it may be invaluable to someone else; it may be the highlight of someone else’s day. So smile.. Smile with your eyes. Because no other wrinkles look as good as smiling lines on your face.

Complicated India

Are you one of those lovely aspiring Indian who spends hours stuck on the internet trying to keep up with the pace of the world? No? Well, I am!

It is so difficult for me to make sense of the constant uproar of the running world. Running, yes, that is how I picture everyone’s life. And I am lagging way behind. Not the last, no. I still consider myself better than those people who have no care of the world and those who have given up on running in this life. I imagine I am somewhere in the middle. When I make the effort, I just reach above average and no more. Maybe I have inferiority complex.. huh!! (I’ll ponder over that later.)

Anyways, I am here talking about my race in life. I am an Indian. A really proud Indian. and so, like all other 20 something Indians, my life is a mess! You would have heard the words −− India is a diverse country. (Read Stuck In a Rut for my views on cliche)

Diverse, the word truly surmises India. It changes from one house to the other. I have traveled all over India but never abroad. I have read books written all over the world, I am aware of the world population outside India. But I have never experienced it first hand. The truth is, I am scared to be disappointed. The history, music, culture, language, cuisine, attitude, habits, religion, spiritualism, etc − everything is so different yet uncomplicated. From my point of view, Italy is pizza, pasta, Italian language, Rome, Venice, Da Vinci, cheese, art, great lovers, narrow lanes and waterways. Asked to write an essay on Italy, I’d probably have a difficult time coming up with 1000 words (and I am a verbose person).

But when it comes to India, I could write 10,000 words on just one city!

I am not offended when foreigners perceive India as slums, poverty, BPOs, mythology,  spicy food, intelligence, over populated places, crazy music, sarees, bollywood.. I wish this was not the case, but I can understand why this perception has stuck to us despite our constant efforts to uplift the image. I theory is they needed to form some image in their minds about the country, so when they asked people who had been to India to describe it, that person could only recount these terms because they were the only common thing all over the country.

Everyone experiences these things in every part of India. But other than these, everything else is so different in each 100 kms of the country. Language, food, dance, attire, weather, schools, children, education, history, culture and so on. The list is endless. No one can even imagine to document it all, then how can we expect them to be remembered? The foreigners, most probably, just remembered the commonality all over the country.Slums, poverty, BPOs, mythology,  spicy food, intelligence, over populated places, crazy music, sarees, bollywood; these are all not only common everywhere in India, they are things that leave a lasting impression on mind. So, I can’t blame the world for having such perception of our country. How can they learn any more when there is no way for us to change their view.

Our literature has also been mostly about poverty, helplessness, anger, hunger, unemployment, depression. It was powerful literature, no doubt about that. But the theme was always sad. Even in our mythologies.

I think it was because we have been struggling through these emotions for a long period of time. Unlike america, India was never the dreamland. It has always been struggling, suffering, trying to overcome the depression. It has constantly been developing.

Developing. Yes that is another word that describes the essence of our country. We are trying hard to develop. Maybe that is what this rat race is all about; this marathon to develop and grow. India is a developing country.

A diverse, developing, complicated country.

 

Stuck in a rut!

Whenever a person defined his/her situation using one of the many cliches, my usual response would be to ignore the exaggeration of the cliche and focus on the emotion the person wants to express (which is usually in no relation to the said cliche!).

Time and again we come across people expressing their feelings in weird ways. Elephant in the room, stuck in a rut, life falling apart, knot in the pit of your stomach, breath knocked out of your lungs,band on your chest, heart ache, broken heart, it will crush you, shattered thoughts, etc.. Over time, I have understood the underlying sentiment of these chain of words, but never can I hear one without visualizing it literally, and that always presents a comic notion!

I am blunt and direct, and that is how I like others to be with me, which is why I have a tendency to take everything at its face value. So when someone says that ‘lets address the elephant in the room’, I can’t help but picture an elephant standing right there in the room. My imagination is usually in a ghost form, but it is always there none the less. So, before I recall whatever the huge unspoken topic that is being referred to, I look around for the elephant’s spirit with which I am supposed to discuss the awkward matter. Usually, people tend to be naturally excited about secrets, suspicions, gossips, basically any juicy tit−bit that concerns someone other than themselves (I am a self−proclaimed psychologist with superior understanding of human nature!); so when such a cliche is spoken, it instantly spikes everyone’s attention to learn the reaction of the involved parties. On the other hand, my first instinct to look for the elephant’s spirit instead seems comical, at best!

Over the time, with my inexplicable maturity and understanding, I have learnt not to question the use of  these cliches. From personal experience, I can assure you that these aren’t exaggerated. A person ‘going through hell’ or a really difficult phase of life (imagination: the person in a chariot going across a place full of fire and demons); literallyexperiences everything falling apart in their life (I imagined it like petals on a blooming flower or all skins of a banana falling off at once!).

No matter how funnily I imagine it, the speaker’s pain is heartfelt and crushing. So now I know, while I can’t help my wild imagination, I must smile inwardly and be sympathetic to the speaker’s feelings at the same time. It is something like watching someone fall down awkwardly, you feel sorry for the person but you have no control over the laughter erupting within you.

I don’t know whether other people also feel this way about such cliches, I haven’t shared this with anyone to be able to compare thoughts. Although, I do believe that a person’s sense of humor and creativity of mind will play a huge role in how they perceive the situation. Whatever the case might be, I am just glad that I can find silent pleasures in the comical situations arising from taking these sayings too literally. People actually involved in the said cliche will probably never share my happiness, but I hope others also enjoy these moments secretly. Remember, it is necessary to be discreet. Nobody would like you looking around for broken pieces of their hearts or elephants. ;−)

Thoughts That Matter

Often I come across some comments, quotes and jokes that deserve to be remembered and cherished for their depth, poetry or just witty humor. But I tend to forget them soon enough. These one−liners are clever and deep in meaning.

The kind of sentences that bring a half grin across your face and a mischievous twinkle to your eyes; that have the capacity to instantly lift your mood and feel a deep connection with the writer’s emotions.

I hope you enjoy the blog. Your feedback, comments, criticisms and even your own contributions to the collection would be much appreciated. Do keep coming back for more.
Disclaimer: I always forget who said what or where did I read something from. But the writers and creators of such wonderful lines deserve a mention. However, most of the time it is difficult to determine their original source. Hence, I’ll mention the source from where I have acquired them. I endeavor to do so for each post.
My apologies to anyone if I misquote or omit to mention your name for any of your work. (But if you have written them, I’m sure your sense of humour is too good and you wont take offense!).

Vegetables Salad with Pasta

Came across some great healthy veggies and finally decided to give them a shot. Turned out to be a quite deliciously healthy meal. Check it out for yourself.

Ingredients:

  • Macroni or any type of pasta
  • Cauliflower
  • Broccoli
  • Carrot
  • Bell peppers (red, yellow, green)
  • Baby corn
  • Lettuce/coriander/spring onion
  • French beans
  • Paneer/chicken
  • Peas
  • Onion
  • Potato
  • Tomato
  • Crushed garlic- 1 clove
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Mixed herbs
  • Chilli flakes
  • Extra virgin Olive oil

Method:

  • Wash all vegetables and cut into ½ inch cubes
  • Boil water in a large saucepan. Add some salt and olive oil. Cook the spaghetti and remove, do not drain the water
  • Place the salty water in the saucepan and add potato cubes. Cook till slightly tender.  Remove and keep aside
  • Similarly, cook Cauliflower, carrot, broccoli, peas, French beans
  • Take another saucepan and heat little olive oil. Cook the paneer/tofu/chicken  and remove
  • In some olive oil, add crushed garlic till brown.  Add all the cooked vegetables, cauliflower, broccoli, potato, tomato, peas, onion, bell peppers, French beans and baby corn. Stir fry till vegetables are 80% cooked.
  • Add salt, pepper, mixed herbs and chili flakes and toss
  • Add paneer, pasta, toss and cook for 5 min
  • Remove from heat and add torn lettuce and toss

 

  • Serve hot with spring onions as garnish