Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A question of answers

A great part of a man’s life is spent trying to master the delicate art of answering women’s questions with a straight face so as not to invoke her wrath, laughter, derision,scorn or tears.

The "questions" can be as varied as cloud patterns on alternate days, so nobody has yet got around to writing a “wikihow” on the said topic. Many a gallant attempts have been made, I am told, to try to organize and classify the questions into recognizable formats for which stock answers could be made available. However, such attempts have merely multiplied manifold the nature , timbre, pitch and variety of the queries which might be asked of a man, in “questionable” times !

Take for instance, “ how does my haircut look “ ? An innocent query of the aforesaid variety begs a multitude of responses, depending on who you  are responding to, what time of the day( or night) the said query is posed, the surrounding environment, and countless other factors.

The toughest element of the aforesaid question, in my opinion, would be  to decipher if the said hair has been cut at all. I have been privy to an instance where the hair dresser ( you don’t call them barbers, by the way), was visited by my wife, desirous of a haircut, or at least, such was the stated intent. It took about 30 minutes to determine and agree between them the desired end look. The exercise was conducted with numerous references to some sort of “hair style Menu” , which looked quite  like an encyclopedia to me, sitting as I was ,far away ,at a respectable distance. After what seemed like ages of planning, the hair dresser and his customer seemed to converge on to a common point of view.

The hair dresser then decided to proceed to the execution phase of the said project. He gathered an impressive arsenal of tools – scissors and combs were the only ones I could recognize. They were all tucked away at numerous pockets of his rather impressive apron. And then the action started.

I had now warmed up to the idea that now  serious action was to unfold , and was all ears and eyes. But even before my eyes could adjust their focal lengths , the hairdresser seemed to indulge in an elaborate ritual after which a few, yes, just a few, strands of hair, were cut, following which the instruments were put away ceremoniously ! I seriously thought that this must be a precursor to more action packed wielding of the instruments I alluded to earlier. However, it so turned out that the deed  was indeed over !

I mean, all he did was to trim a wee little bit- I gathered even I could have done that ! My thoughts swirled about trying to understand the nuances of his profession where 3 minutes of actual cutting was preceded by 30 minutes of planning and negotiations. Amidst that swirling cloud of abstract theories  came the question “ How does my haircut look ?” .

“What haircut ?” I blurted out ?” I mean was that really  a haircut ?” Could you not have trusted me to do that myself ?

I soon realized that one should never respond to a lady’s question with a counter question. And never ,ever, with more than  one !

Friday, February 17, 2012

Scissors and Monkey Caps

Life continues to trot along at  merry pace and it has been a while that I have blogged about anything worthwhile. Actually that is the problem- to establish what is really “worthwhile “.In the quest for a big bang, worthwhile story, the small details of life has somehow slipped by.

One reason for abandoning the blogging ship for a while has been the terrifying prospect of being hauled up by uncle Sibal for any impropriety I might dare to create( even inadvertently) , which would hurt the sensibilities of us sensitive folks and in particular the delicate feelings of a certain family who is very important for this country. I am mighty scared of uncle Sibal and his fearsome scissors, and have no intentions of taking on his might and “aadesh” ! Thus I, lay low for a while to escape his wrath !

Meanwhile , life  seems to be working like a well oiled machinery all these months, going about its  business of , well, being life !

The traffic in Gurgaon is still the same. They have made quite a few of the roads one way, which has now dramatically added to the excitement of driving. You now have the added thrill of watching out for folks who still drive the wrong way in these so called one way streets, but now with lights on at high beam, blinkers on and with  horns blaring. Perchance you dare  not give way to these mighty mortals, your vocabulary is generously increased with the latest and most colorful words of admonishment. I suspect most of these folks are in a tearing hurry to reach Anna Hazare’s campaign to fight corruption, and once I realize the nobility of the cause, I meekly step away and give them the right of way !

Winters are giving way to spring and one is now often caught in the mind numbing dilemma of whether to put on your cap or not , and if you are a Bengali, whether to put on your monkey cap or not. The monkey cap as a fashion accessory and winter necessity is kept alive primarily by the denizens of the aforesaid state. You simply cannot miss them- they being prolific travelers and tourists- complete with monkey cap and a muffler ,no matter where they go !

They have started a new FM station here which plays English music and for a change it feels nice now to have a choice .Most other stations feed you a steady dose of Powwa "charaoafied" Cheekni Chameli, heavy breathing Ooo laa laa and the most philosophical Kolaveri Di. Make no mistakes, I simply love these gems, it is only that too much of a good thing is sometimes not so good !