Friday, September 21, 2007

I'm Gonzo. Although I've never seen him in the fur.

Your Score: Gonzo!

You scored 42 Mood and 22 Energy!

You are eccentric and often feel somewhat removed from your peer group. You are loveable and sensitive, but sometimes suffer from bouts of depression and existential angst.

Link: The Muppet Personality Test written by TheLadyEve on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test

When inspiration fails... do silly quizzes and post 'em

Hooray, I'm Donald Duck! He's my favourite guy! :)

You scored as Donald Duck, Your alter ego is Donald Duck! Try as you might, you have a nasty temper that is hard to control. But you try hard to please, and you arn't one to go down without a fight.

Donald Duck




The Beast


Peter Pan








Snow White


Sleeping Beauty


Cruella De Ville


Which Disney Character is your Alter Ego?
created with

Monday, September 17, 2007

Toilet tourism

Since it would seem people (and by that - at the moment - I mean Americans) will queue up/travel to take photos of just about anything, perhaps we will soon be seeing a new variety of guided tours - Toilet Tourism. (Just imagine the guide: "... and this toilet - please dont push, everybody will get a chance to look at it - is where Mr Famous Person made his secret assignations with willing young men until he was caught. For an extra £5, you can actually sit on it." You get the idea...)

There's a business opportunity here which I'm sure some enterprising person can take up and make a clean profit. (As it were. Echooch the pun pliss.)

Idle thoughts

The superstition is that when a black cat crosses your path, it brings you bad luck. But have you ever wondered at what distance the bad luck begins to affect you? That is, how far away does a cat have to be? Two feet? 10 feet? A few hundred feet? Do you even have to SEE the cat crossing your path for the bad luck to start? Or is it enough that a black cat crossed your path at all, whether you see it or not?

Apart from this distinct lack of precision, superstitions also dont reflect our modern lifestyle. For instance, does it matter that you're driving when a black cat runs across the road in front of you? (The cat that ran across the road yesterday certainly was lucky that I was driving in a 30mph zone. Or it could well have turned into a splat.) Why cant superstitions be more precise?

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ban on smoking

The pro:

- Pubs and other public entertainment venues are smoke-free on the inside.

The cons:

- Smokers are encouraged to take their cancer-sticks outside. So they hang around the entrance, smoking there. If you want to enter a pub or restaurant, you have to make your way in through a thick haze of cigarette smoke. Ugh.

- If it's good weather, non-smokers cant sit outside, because naturally all the smokers are congregated there. That way, the ban has definitely worked in their favour. I personally am waiting for winter and cold wet windy days, when us non-smokers can sit inside and be warm and comfortable, and watch the determinedly dimwitted smokers shivering while getting their fix. Yes, I'm looking forward to that allright!


The ban should be amended every so slightly to make it impossible for smokers to light up within 50 yards of the entrance to any building. Shouldnt be THAT difficult, surely?

Earliest memory of perfect happiness

I was in Standard Four, studying in Bunge (pronounced Boon-gay) Primary School in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. On the days that my dad didnt pick me up from school, I used to walk home in the evening. I guess the school wasnt very far away from home (although I'll have to go back one of these years and look at it again from an adult perspective).

One of those evenings turned out absolutely perfect - cool, gently breezy, with rainclouds building up and the footpath shady with all the trees lining the roadside. It was a long straight road and there was nobody else on it. I remember picking up a small leafy branch that had little red berries on it and skipping along singing songs aloud. I didnt even feel the weight of my school bag - at least not in my memory. Of course I didnt know what made me so happy - I just knew I felt light-hearted and content.

A couple of weeks later, after school, one of the girls in my class (we'll call her "S") said she'd show me a new way to get home. She wasnt the nicest of girls usually, and I was a bit dubious about going with her... but I didnt know how to say "No" - and truth to say, I was somewhat afraid of her because she was a bully. Anyway, S led me away from our normal route into the residential streets around the school. A few twists and turns, and I was pretty much lost. (Yep, my inner homing pigeon never hatched. Very likely it got lost too). At that point, S said: "I'm going to leave you here, you'll never get home", and then she ran.

Of course I tried to follow her, but she must have hidden herself because when I turned the corner, she wasnt there. Being the brave, adventurous type of child (not!), I only blubbered a little before trying to wend my way back. Naturally enough nothing was familiar. At some point S materialised again (she must have been following me, watching to see what I would do - the sadistic monster!) and I distinctly remember telling her "I dont like you!" and then marching off without looking back.

Luckily for me I eventually recognised a street as one that I passed on my usual way home - that was a huge relief. Perhaps S was just being meanly mischievious and wouldnt really have left me there and gone home herself - I'll never know. But I'm giving her the benefit of doubt because I'm a nice person.

Anyway, because I was so upset, I tried to make myself happy like I had been that other day. I picked up a branch, skipped a bit and tried to sing happy songs... but it just wasnt the same. For starters, it was a very warm, muggy evening. And then there were no rainclouds, no cooling breeze and I most certainly wasnt happy. I know I was puzzled why it didnt work, why I didnt feel lighthearted again. Eventually I gave up and just walked home. I guess that was the day I realised - although probably not in so many words - that you cant manufacture perfect moments at will. They happen when they happen, and that's it.


I wonder if I can make this a tag - the bit about the earliest memory of perfect happiness, I mean. The few of you who visit this blog, please take it up and do a post about your earliest happy memory, wont you? I would love to read about it. Thanks in advance!

Friday, September 07, 2007

Didnt we already know that?

Children outsmart chimps. Well, thank GOODNESS for that and Praise the Lawd! Now mothers everywhere can breathe easier knowing that their babies are very likely to be cleverer than chimpanzees. The future of humankind is assured.

Resolution for the New Year: I will try to go easy on the sarcasm. But for now.... PAAAAAAAATAAAAAY!

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Are we Indian women growing younger?

Or just putting off growing older? A 40-year-old woman today is not the stately matron of a generation ago, whose life, whether she was working or not, revolved around family and home. There werent many who considered themselves "young" at that age then, and fewer people still who didnt label them "aunty" even if they (the labellers) were in their mid-20s! (I'll come back to that bit later.)

I doubt the 40-year-olds of then (unless they came from a VERY broadminded family - I wouldnt know about that, mine was a typical middle-class Brahmin Iyer family with the outlook typical of such a family) would dream of wearing jeans and shorts and short T-shirts and skirts and anything else going in the world of fashion today. They might have clawed each other over the latest saree designs or salwar fashions, but nothing less decorous would ever be seen on them. Not at "that" age, when they were wives and mothers, possibly of teenage or pre-teen children.

I'm glad that women are staying younger nowadays. The one thing I loved instantly when I moved abroad was that people did not let their age stop them living life as they wanted, rather than be hemmed in by social expectations and morality forced on them by society. Fifty, sixty-plus-year-olds going around holding hands, dating, cheating, divorcing, re-marrying, getting drunk, travelling, determinedly living alone and independently... it was a refreshing change from back home, where turning 40 meant humdrum decorum and respectability, especially in public. Not that decorum or respectability are wrong. That's not what I'm not saying. (I'm also not condoning cheating, drunkenness and other unpleasantness which is as reprehensible in the over-40s as it is in the under-40s.) But to be able to live like you're young, rather than be burdened with middle-age because of family and societal obligations when you're really in your prime - that's desirable, that's required! In fact, I'd expect it. Women have other expectations to live up to, apart from the mother and wife ones.

I'm pleased to see that at least on the surface, things seem to be moving that way in India for your normal everyday women, not just celebrities and the jet-set millionaires/billionaires whose lives and lifestyles are well beyond normality anyway. Perhaps it's because more women are employed and financially independent. Perhaps it's to do with the increasing exposure to the West and its way of life. Whatever the reason, I'm just glad that Indian women are staying younger for longer.

Which brings me to the 20-somethings who address the 30-something women as "aunty". Nothing but nothing makes me see red quicker than this pseudo-humility. And most of the time, it IS pseudo. It's just making oneself feel younger at the expense of the older person. "I'm so young, I'm so immature, I'm so inexperienced, I'm such a child" - these statements get on my nerves! And this sort of behaviour doesnt happen at formal interviews - oh no. Where it happens is in a social environment, usually in front of others, just to impress upon them the much younger age of the so-called "young and immature" person.

I have nothing against children addressing me as aunty and I dont think I have any serious hang-ups about my age either. (Just dont ask me how old I am. Heh). But I'm not impressed at all when adults - and I consider anyone 20 years and above as adult - address comparative strangers as "aunty". "Mrs so and so" would be fine, first-name terms would be even better. Calling your uncle's wife "aunty" is more than fine. But if the addressee is not remotely related to you or known to you since childhood, "aunty" is a not-so-subtle put-down and just downright rude. Embarrassing, too. Not that everybody would agree with this, but it's what I feel.

Ok, rant over. Back to the older generation here in the West (and by West, I mean the UK since that's where I've lived the longest). I'm all for people of all ages living their life to the full... but there's also a limit to wild behaviour from them over-50s. They're meant to have a little more responsibility and wisdom than adolescents and young adults, not rival them in rowdy behaviour or thoughtless violence. I grant you, the older generation are more sinned against than sinning in terms of violence, etc,... but I cant help wishing that the minority of them who dont seem to have the sense they were born with would just grow up a bit! A little decorum and responsibility there wouldnt hurt.

Hm. Looks like I'm asking for an idealised world! I shall lead by example! And if you believe me, I'll be really impressed! That's all! Thank you! (I have the monopoly on exclamation marks!) !!!