Day #15

This is a part of a mini-series of independent posts, starting here

With worry in her eyes,

‘I haven’t given you permission to leave..’

With duty in his voice,

‘With respect, Your Grace, I don’t need your permission. I am a king (silence). And I came here, knowing that you could have your men behead me or your dragons burn me alive. I put my trust in you – a stranger. Because I knew it was the best chance for my people; for all our people. Now I’m asking you, to trust in a stranger. Because it’s our best chance’

Is this one of the finest love letters of medieval times, or what? (*.*)

Day #14

This is a part of a mini-series of independent posts, starting here

I am prone to strange and fleeting obsessions (oxymoron spotted!) On a trip to Kenya a while back while in a boat safari in Lake Naivasha, I encountered an unlikely one. This big guy:

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Unlikely, indeed. But I was fascinated by the fact our guide whipped out about the hippo being the deadliest killer of humans in Africa; something which I was woefully unaware of. As we neared the hippo harem, our captain looked genuinely concerned. And why not, the hippo does happen to have a bad(ass) rep. What with them carving out humans who disrespectfully cross into their territory. (I wonder what other high-functioning mammalian species tends to do that a lot.) As we crossed the bloat of hippos, the alpha opened up his huge mouth baring his teeth; there was something just awe-inspiring about it! So today, I set out to do some PR on behalf of the not-at-all-gentle giant who most likely doesn’t care about some puny human out to improve the way he is perceived (And that’s what makes him all the more admirable IMO)

Let me start off with their “cute” side: First off, have you ever seen the hippo swim? Probably not, else you wouldn’t be alive & kicking to see this. Of course, you don’t want him chasing you around while he does his daily bit of cardio. Or, have you seen them eating? Or, wiggle-waggle as he runs (better a spectator, than a competitor) Or, seen a baby chase around a full-grown crocodile? Or, just observed a baby sleep?

Makes you wanna go kidnap a baby hippo, doesn’t it? Don’t. Coz a) it’s illegal, b) it will shred you one day, and c) the logistics just don’t work! I’ll explain C in a bit more detail. See, I have thought it through. First, you’ll have to get a huge bathtub, where the hippo would sit in all day peering out like an iceberg. And I mean huge. POTUS knows best.

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Let’s say you are fine with the tub thing, you need to get some grass, man. Like a-few-tonnes-a-day kind of grass. Need to make sure the big guy stays a herbivore eh? Plus, imagine him getting out of his tub and spraying it around every now and then. Ugh. One puppy, please.

Anyways, the guy is still the king of kings. I leave you with proof

Day #13

This is a part of a mini-series of independent posts, starting here

The dusk is visible in the leaping splashes of what used to be still water, but which I am now involved with in a dog-eat-dog race, as I put forth one arm after the other pushing back my enemy. Talk about savoring my first foray into a swimming pool in Hong Kong! I am going to squeeze a few paragraphs out of this –
yes, I am that happy about the whole deal.

Let me start with the pre-swim prep. After doing (unnecessary/obsessive) online research mining reviews on Hong Kong pools, I was a bit skeptical. Most forums would go on about public pools being crowded and so on. I feared a scenario like this:

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But hey, I am really geared up for the whole deal and how bad can the crowd really be? I am a veteran of the Dadar battlefield and have the scars to prove it. Plus, I mean its been almost 2 weeks since I last tasted chlorine; I rather miss it. All I really wanna do now is suit up and jump in. YOLO. (Well technically, not jump in. Since the pool is just 1.4 metres deep…)

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Anywho, desperation and good sense win over, but as I swipe my Octopus and enter the fairly large Kennedy Town Swimming Pool facility, my steps falter, unsure, as if testing the waters. I become conscious of the fact that I am probably the only Indian guy in the whole place at the moment. I begin consciously trying to be as invisible as possible, hoping to blend in, for some reason, with my predominantly Chinese brothers and sisters.

At the gates of the changing rooms, there is an odd sign which says, roughly, “Anyone above the height of 1.35 metres or older than 8 years old won’t be allowed in the changing room of the opposite sex”. It is one of those things which you know, deep down, that there is some backstory to it. One of the two conditions was surely an addendum and my bet is on the latter. There is absolutely no way, after all, that some tiny dude did _not_ misuse it at some point in the past, and prompted the law-makers to rethink things! 😀

Well, as I enter the men’s locker room, my efforts to “blend in” are rendered futile as I come across my first culture-shock. For the sake of civility, I shall not venture into details, but samajhdaar ko ishaara kaafi hai (A gesture is more than enough to the wise). Takes some time for my eyes to adjust to this new darkness. No one on any forum cared to mention this phenomenon, of course. Thanks, internet!

The first couple of laps are nice and slow, as I stop to smell the roses; not really counting the laps anymore, free/frog-styling, soaking in the warm water and the cool breeze, sighing with content after every lap. Boy, have I missed this. The pool is mildly warm and a little crowded, but reality is way better than expectation. After a few relaxing rounds, I get a little competitive with random strangers, setting arbitrary goals for beating them to the finish (always fun!).

I notice something peculiar after some time in the pool. There is a general lack of body hair on everyone! They have as much hair as would a skinned potato (Nothing wrong with it, of course) I feel like Anil Kapoor from the 90’s swimming among the people.

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Yeah, I know – Disturbing. Now you feel my exact mental state for the next few seconds after becoming conscious of the fact!

As my swimming session draws to an end, I have the pleasure to view the sunset from the quiet, open-air pool deck. As the Sun takes in a deep breath for its long dip in the far off depths of the ocean, it brings down the shutters on an almost perfect day…

Day #5

This is a part of a mini-series of independent posts, starting here

Taking a breather from the Russia trip exposition for a day; a bit tied up. This is another thought which crossed my mind recently:

Well, I don’t know how it goes elsewhere, but at least here in Mumbai, male “grooming” (I am being generous here) is waaaaay cheaper than that for females. Don’t get me wrong guys, if you ain’t a miser, you shall have plenty of opportunity to burn your cash on haircuts, but I am the kind of guy who always takes the high (stingy) road.

Females, on the other hand, (I am guessing) allocate more of their capital to “personal care”. So I present to you Exhibit 1. Tell me if you spot the difference!

Exhibit 1

Fun to be a guy here – value for money! Admittedly, the 50 bucks doesn’t really solve that “ugly” problem. *sigh*

The Royal Ramble

How strange it is to look at two people and feel bad. You have nothing to go on, but the illusion of happiness on their part. No underlying asset, just an inflated bubble based solely on the biased, hopeful expectations of the only two investors involved in the seemingly happy illusion.

And how strange to look at this happiness and feel bad, to feel guilt and in times of desperation and momentary lapses of holding it all together – regret and remorse. It is no crime really to be single, yet why do i feel like a criminal? Why do i feel like i am being treated unjustly by society at large and my facebook feed in particular?

Why isn’t it that singledom receive as much adulation as the opposite? Why not pat someone on the back when they explore themselves by looking inside rather than through projecting themselves onto a person and making him/her responsible for helping them out? Why can’t we just form pacts that say “Well, we are sorted. At least sorted enough. I’m willing to work on my issues on my own; could use a hand though. Hope yours is steady and strong. Would you like mine?” and just ……

And why is this so difficult? Why does being in a relationship require so much effort and energy and passion and compassion and love and trust and honesty and courtesy and mannerisms and pretenses and secrets and hatred and tension and fights….. And love….

And yet the moment you are out of one and are convinced that an autogamous relationship is the one for you, the thoughts pop right back up? Aren’t babies smarter than us then? Granted they won’t listen to you when you “tell” them the stove is hot, but once they have had egos shot down by the scalding burns, they learn and they remember; they evolve. So if we still don’t “learn”, and yet somehow we have managed to evolve as a species – despite this clear lack of knowledge transference from HR downstairs to the big guy up top – must there be an answer?

Could it be then that –
a) we are not evolving &
b) we “are” learning.
Examples for (a) abound of course. You see them daily – in offices you work in, in music videos, on TV,  in the streets where you drive, in cars while you cross the road, in your head. Let’s just put that aside for a second and attribute the above tirade to personal experiences and a general bias and superiority complex that a certain someone might have. *ahem*

Assuming, we are *cough* evolving *cough*, we are left with option (b). So what do we really learn then? We learn that we are not compatible with a certain type of person. We learn that it won’t work out with them. We learn (or convince ourselves) that there are many many different varieties out there. “One of them must be my size after all! Lemme try a few.”

And of course, while such go getters go ahead and, well, get (?), lazy rambling writers get nowhere with their philosophies seeing that they are lazy, rambling, pathologically curious, philosophical, mind numbingly recalcitrant, grandiloquently pompous show-offs. Condemned to be extinct – Save a writer, you know what to do.