…people bustling…trees rustling…

Archive for May, 2010

Tastelessly below the Belt.

Pink Floyd predicted Facebook’s popularity. They also made a movie on the Wall. They also stated that children needed no education and that everyone would be a ‘prick’ on the wall. Facebook’s sarcastic patrons were dormant in the classroom because of website filters installed by authorities. It is noticeable, however, no teachers are on Facebook, leaving the kids alone. In some cases though, teachers hurt their students by deriding them over carefully camouflaged issues. This is widely rumoured to be because of psychopathic spouses who keep a tab on the teachers and take strict punitive action if they are found the least bit accommodating. The canteen franchisee, however, is angelic. He allows the kids to eat any amounts of pudding (‘pudding’ is ‘dessert’ in Britain) irrespective of the meat.

Kids in schools are a species in themselves. They interbreed. Literally. Their gene pool is as isolated as is sporadic as a seventy year old grandmother on Facebook. Except, they are not kids in school. They don’t want arms around them (unless it is one of their own species, when they want more than just arms around them). They don’t need drugs to calm them (OK, Pink Floyd got this one wrong). As long as they don’t see the writing on the wall, which apprises them of what the school is all about, they don’t think they need anything at all. “Pricks on the wall”, they say.

Let’s get back to Facebook. I did after four days of exile. My intention was to keep off Facebook for a few days just to stop responding to requests and wall posts and statuses. It was meant to be a clean-up process. It was moderately successful. Now I am a new and improved Facebook user. I don’t like it. Facebook is just too annoying these days. There are too many things to like. There are too many people who like too many things. I don’t remember liking so many things when I was a seasoned user. Although I did use applications, I don’t think I was a prick on the walls. I only attracted attention through statuses. And I quoted quotes with credits. Occasional comment-wars were fun. So was Mafia Wars for the duration of an end-semester exam. But there aren’t any of those anymore. There is too little direct talking. There are flooded walls. There are too many photos. And there is at least one person cribbing about all of it. Thankfully, Facebook is no more the first page he opens after clicking on the Chrome quick launch button.

I think the only thing about the Udit Narayan song ‘Papa Kehte Hain..’ that makes these kids like it is the line, ‘koi engineer ka kaam karega..’ You know what ‘Papa’ actually wants to say? He’s flown across the ocean and left ‘beta’ behind. All he’s left him is a memory of himself. A snapshot in the family album. What else? Just another brick. (Daddy’s not on Facebook. No wall messages.) Poor lad. He stood there, the laddy, signed up on Facebook. And he grew up and went to school.

Yes I know. I have an exam. I’ll go now. No, I did not go to Facebook after posting this. I didn’t go to the asylum either. May be some other song, some place else, will make as much sense. And some other person, some place else, will put it forth in a better way.

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I have a typewriter at home. An electronic typewriter with memory for 16 characters. It is a neat, compact machine, makes as much noise as my keyboard and printer on the computer make and is just about as useful as an iPad without Internet connection. If there was a way to use that typewriter with WordPress, with its font and print-hick-ups, I’d use it.

There is something to this device that makes me want to type. To match the speed of typing with the speed of thinking and then looking at those statements on paper, simultaneously. I used to type essays and poems out of English coursebooks in school. I hardly ever used the memory. It was a simple algorithm. Read a line. Type it out without looking at the display or the paper. And it signalled end of lines, reset itself.

I never reached a point in skill where I could think on my own and type.  And all the typing was never practice. I never got better at typing. I never got a chance to match speed of thought and punching keys. I never had the elegance of typing in perfect rhythm. It was always discordant punches on keys that did their best to abate the noise. The same applies to thought, more or less.

All the interest in typing was in an age where I had wanted to become an ‘office goer’. When my idea of an office was a room with a big desk and a computer placed on it at an angle towards a corner. Large windows overlooking a busy street and a big wooden door with automatic door-closer. My idea of office work was typing and writing. It was too simple to not like. But it had to fade away. The notion of such a simple state of affairs evaporated gradually. At around the same time, I learnt that a typist, or a clerk was an ‘average’ person with average salary and average respect. When I learnt respect meant more than being courteous and not talking back to elders.

Many factors like television and ‘studies’ took a significant amount of time away from the day. English was not a very scoring subject. So, instead of typing like I liked, I practised maths. I grew away from having fun on that machine. It was like a fad. A fad that I think only I followed. I never missed my typewriter. There was no guilt of quitting what I liked. Once in a while when I remember I had one of those, I dig it up from wherever it is, find a half working cartridge and type a few words. The paper gets stuck, the ink dries up and so does the enthusiasm I appear to fake. I wonder if I had other such things I liked. I seem to find faults in everything. I don’t think I’ll like anything enough to remember after a few years. That might be a nice, easy thing.

By the time you read this, I’ll have found my typewriter, or found out that it has been given away to someone. The funny part is that I watched two movies today and finished reading a book. One of the movies, Croupier, is 7.2 on IMDb. It was nice. Nice to see some total stranger from South Africa trying to come up with something to write in his book that people might want to read. It was also nice to see Jean Claude Van Damme trying to police time-travel and then getting his wife back by altering the past. My city, however, was not the lead character in the Beach Boy. Therefore, a notorious Parsi and his boyhood were not appealing enough to be all read in a single day.


Me Again.

I was thinking why I don’t like certain things most other people love. Oh yes. Most other people love not thinking. So that is one example right there. However, this is not about people. It is about me. I don’t like things most other people love. I am trying to come up with reasons. I don’t seem to have any. I make up new ones every time someone wants to know. I don’t like listening to reasons either. I have learned to listen to them. Just to give reason givers a fair chance.

I don’t like movies. I don’t know why. Some movies are right masterpieces. Kill Bill, for example. But I don’t like movies in general. It can be because many people like movies (yes, that can be a reason). It can also be because I get bored staring at a screen full of people and their dogs trying to deliver a message. I may not like movies because they try to go beyond entertainment. They want to prove their brilliance, of which there is no argument about. They also want to spread a good message and value-educate. I don’t like movies. Most movies are not real. I have a mental block about things that are made to sell and make money. You don’t sell emotions. It is wrong.

I don’t like reading. By reading, I mean reading entire books. Novels, prose collections and the likes. No, this has nothing to do with selling emotions or making money. I don’t like books for the sheer lack of interest in people. People whom I don’t know. People who don’t influence my life. If reading provides entertainment, I don’t mind it. But I cannot sit with a book having four hundred pages for eighteen hours and feel good about it for having finished it. For one, I cannot finish a book this way. My mind is too fickle to do such things. I cannot read fast enough. I cannot read fast at all. I do not comprehend things well enough. I need more than one attempts to understand anything I read. Yes I know, all these problems arise because I don’t read. But I don’t like reading. I am not going to read just so that I get better at these things. I have tried to do that. I have failed.

I don’t like book shops either. I found out recently. It is called ignorance. The act of not knowing and not wanting to know about things in a book shop is called ignorance. It is also called narrow mindedness. But I still don’t want to know what books are written by what people. As I said, If it is entertaining, I’ll read. If it isn’t, I won’t. My appreciation of a book by it’s cover will last a few seconds. And I will not read just because someone great has written it. No wait, I will not read. Unless a great review makes me read it. Or there are pictures I can colour in. Yes I know. Even the most bucolic mother-in-law has more open minded thoughts. I’d be happier in a cosmetic shop than a book shop.

I don’t like to hang out. I like individuals. Some of them, anyway. I don’t like to go anywhere just because a group of people is going there. I do go sometimes because nicer people ask me to. I’d rather go to an impromptu birthday treat instead of a group event where the birthday has passed  four months afore. Sometimes, I don’t like either. That makes me non-social. And not so strangely enough, I like non-social. It is, however, difficult when I want people to be nice to me and I cannot have moral expectations from them. I’ll have to learn to live.

I don’t like knowing that all of these thoughts are going to be thrown back at me when I make the slightest attempt at changing any of them. I don’t intentionally not like them. I don’t intend to be different. I am not different. I just like very few things.