Goodbye Dear T

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Goodbye Dear T—Your Time is Up

Goodbye Dear T. You have been so faithful in the hot summer months and the sticky monsoon season. I love you despite  your shredded looks. I love that bullet hole (or what looks like one) in the front. I love that vent under the arm. I really appreciate the cooling punctures on the back.

I’m afraid your time has not come. Torn blue jeans are all the rage but no one is making a statement about these well worn faithful T’s.

I remember the day you came; you were sparkling white (or was it blue) and crispy. I washed you morning and evening till you had that comfortable feel.

I am afraid your time has come. Now they are coming for you. I told you not to get machine washed. We were so happy with our hand wash in the tub. It was only the damned caustic soda or whatever that cut my hands that I gave in to the machine. Now look at you. You look even older than me. I’ll try to hide you in some corner of my closet; but I’m afraid your number is up. My wife has seen you and she thinks you will be ideal for wiping the car.

Wait! I have an idea. I’ll hide you in the boot under the tyre and we will meet next summer. Bye bye my comfortable T. Cruel harsh winter is coming and replacing you with sweat shirts I’m afraid. Bye bye.

Coffee with my Doppelganger!

IMG-20151002-00692 IMG-20151002-00690Coffee with a Misanthrope

Here is my experience with inviting someone to coffee and writing about it as prescribed by FreeBryd–

FreeBryd advised me to begin thus:–

If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d invite my doppelganger.

Obviously who else can a misanthrope talk to?

Misanthropy – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Misanthropy is the general hatred, distrust or disdain of the human species or human nature. A misanthrope or misanthropist is someone who holds such views …

If we were drinking coffee right now, I’d have my doppelganger sitting opposite me.I have this cap and I have these sunglasses. When I wear them all and sundry start waving to me and wishing me good morning and good evening. Without the cap and sunglasses people are unwilling to even give me the time of day.

My doppelganger now you know wears dark glasses and a cap. He walks reasonably fast. People wave and smile when they see him. I resent him. He is the Superman to my Clark Kent.

Is this a magic cap? Are these charmed sunglasses?

Being a misanthrope I’m uncomfortable with this popular persona outside me. Am I inside him? Or is he inside me and comes out when I wear the cap and sunglasses?

Chatting with Doppy I realize this guy is cool. He does not get angry. He has a composed demeanor. He does not hate. He accepts. He knows what the world is. Populated by both by the guided and the misguided. I can see this cap cools him down.

“You have made a lot of friends with the help of this cap and those stupid sunglasses. Inside you are me. I don’t like your cunning ways!”

Doppy just stares back and smiles. I am going to take off the damned cap and glasses then we’ll see. As I reached for the cap he muttered something. I said, ‘don’t mumble speak louder.’

“People like me because I love them and accept them. You hide from people. You are extremely afraid of your passing days, of relentless ageing, of getting old. We are all frail humans doing stupid things. I accept all those stupid things and say I love you through my glasses.”

I instantly took the cap off. Doppy disappeared. A sneering sunglassed reflection met me in the mirror opposite. The mirror said, ‘Just smile and say hello’ that’s what Doppy does.

I hate getting old I hate being friendly. Once you say, “hello” it starts a damned chain of hellos. Maybe I do not want to say hello the next day. Yes I am grumpy and I want to stay that way. That is my wall. People ask too many questions. You have to tell them everything. This Doppy is getting younger, while I get testy and old. What will happen to all the words I have learned?

The mirror replied with a poem–

“Auch alte worte

Die ich gefunden habe

Meine unvollstandigen

Meine ungesalttigten worte”—Erich Fried


“And all the words

I have found

My incomplete

My unsatisfied words”

“Zerstreuen in alle vier winde

Wenn ich erst tot bin”

“But they’ll scatter them

To the four winds

As soon as I am dead”

“So mushy” I told the mirror and took off the sunglasses.

Getting The Economist

Getting Econo-listed!

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‘The Economist is an upbeat magazine covering all subjects possible on our beautiful Earth,’ I said this to my daughter who had left a copy of this London based magazine on my table. Perhaps she thought it was a hint. Lo and behold fifteen days later there was a glossy copy of The Economist in my mail-box wrapped in a see-through plastic envelope with my name as the addressee.

I was delighted. This really was what I needed. The latest news with an intelligent angle. The magazine they say is targeted at highly educated readers. I felt proud to be highly educated. I imagined the editorial staff toiling away burning the midnight oil for my benefit. I read the magazine from the cover to the last page. I started quoting The Economist to my friends at our evening coffee meetings. I stopped watching television. My wife was intrigued to say the least. She picked up a copy of The Economist and gave it the once over. Anything that could take me away from the TV had to be admired.

Sad to say reading The Economist became an obsession. My work began to suffer. I stopped going to the office because if I did not read the copy of The Economist a new one would arrive in the mailbox while I was only half done. A backlog began to occur. One, two, three, four, five. I had now five pending magazine issues to read. I stayed up late at night. I woke up early. Still my reading lagged behind. I took a sabbatical to finish my backlog. Alas it cannot be done. Either you stay ahead of the information or you will fall far behind.

My wife took pity on me and started handing the arriving copies of the magazine to the local library. Finally I was up to date. I passed by the library and saw a lot of men hunched over their free copies of The Economist. I had to smirk.

Finally I had to say it out loud in an Old Testament way, ‘No I am not highly educated, please God help me.’ Since that day I can look the Economist in the eye and read only stuff that arouses my curiosity. The Economist stares back with its 172 years of printed erudition. It was established in 1843 in London by businessman James Wilson. It has always been a democratic supporter of people fighting unfair laws. It has been a long time opponent of unfair laws on same sex marriages. Its editorial stance has been ably defined thus, it “is not a chronicle of economics.” Rather, it aims “to take part in a severe contest between intelligence, which presses forward, and an unworthy, timid ignorance obstructing our progress”. I can shake it because I have already tried it but this magazine has a dedicated readership of 1.5 million people and it makes a profit. That is no mean thing in today’s Rota of failing magazines. I treat my The Economist with respect but my wife has put an end to our affair. We are now just friends.

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Soundtrack of Life

Background music for real life


Real life does not have background music. That is why sometimes it seems so drab. In the movies even a simple thing like smelling a rose is glorified with an entire orchestra highlighting the moment, the action is slowed down and the heroine’s hair bob like fluffy dark clouds.

Life would be so exciting if it had background music. Imagine a clash of cymbals when you serve that beautiful omelet or sunny side up egg lovingly to your child. A rhapsody while you shave; a symphony while you take a morning walk and a jazz solo when you get a par on the golf course.

Of course a lot of us have iPods with headphones or stereo systems at home to give background music while we work or jog; but I want music every time I sharpen a pencil or write on the laptop. A special serenade when I look at my wife and an oozing Manuel and his Orchestra when we have a family dinner. Of course an overdose of music can be like an opiate which shuts down the mind. It reminds me of the Shakespearean lines from Twelfth Night

‘That strain again, it had a dying fall.

Oh, it came o’er my ear like the sweet sound,

That breathes upon a bank of violets,

Stealing and giving odor. Enough, no more.

‘Tis not so sweet now as it was before.’

I suppose I would be quite satisfied if I heart Radetsky March by Johann Strauss Sr. every time I turn on my laptop–

Don’t Mind Me, I’m Dead

Don’t Mind Me, I’m Dead
Once you have kids and fall into the trap of working from home life becomes a whirlpool. Wait a minute, I just looked it up and the better word for life at home with the kids, food and work is maelstrom. Furniture, blender, kitchen, wailing children, cranky spouse, laptop all swirl like planets in a constellation doing their best to undo an orderly life.
I miss my association with a big organisation. The automatic recognition of you being somebody once you are an important cog in the corporate machine. No Matter, forward soldiers regardless.
I asked my mind what to do about it. It said, ‘ignore.’ Pretend you are dead. It works. I have killed myself existentially. I am but a body lying there the rest of me is floating above deaf to mayhem and disobedience from my kids. My third eye will only intervene when they are about to burn down the house or blow up the television. My spirit descends and blends, rolls, cooks,washes, bakes and serves and then ascends to this platform of Nirvana. I do not expect any good behaviour nor obedience. I take life as it is.

London beheading

English: Photograph of a cleaver. Deutsch: Fot...
English: Photograph of a cleaver. Deutsch: Fotografie eines Hackbeils (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We are the victims of our times. We are target practice for the miracle of information technology. Unconsciously we fill up our mental suitcase with bias and hate instead of love. This unnecessary stuff has packed our brain till it is bursting at the seams. Most of us are able to carry on with our lives though burdened with these anxiety causing bits of information but some lash out like the meat cleaver wielding Londoner.

Once religion was the answer but now it is the reason for world disarray. Our mental suitcase bursts forth in anger and greed at the baggage check in of daily life. It is time to de-clutter and regain our innocence. It is time to travel light. It is time to dance like a butterfly instead of stinging like a bee.