Monday, November 07, 2011

Smoking sweet

Why is it that every boy tries to act like a man to look stronger, by mimicking some adult habits like pretending to hold a cigarette and puff up imaginary smoke by curling his lips and tilting his head upwards. I know because I've done that a lot, not because I wanted to feel like a man but because it felt so cool !! The heroes in movies and advertisements puff up smoke, then go and do awesome things like kicking villain's ass or impressing a girl with their macho. I tried to feel that awesomeness too, but using fake cigarettes.
Amongst my fake cigarettes, my favorite one was 'pencil'. Yes, I always had a pencil with me in my pencil-box, and of different sizes. It was always available. Sometimes I used to eat off some wood at the end of the pencil, sometimes the lead. And holding the pencil between my index and middle finger, and slowly, easily exhaling air pretending it to be loaded with nicotine made me feel all tension leaving my mind. Now I know it was the 'slow exhalation' step in 'deep breathing' exercise which is famously used in Yoga and relaxation techniques.
I also used Phantom 'sweet cigarettes' which I'm sure some of you who lived their childhood in the 1990s would know about. Now this was basically white peppermint with red color at one of its tip to show the burning part of cigarette. And if we split it in two equal halves, there was always an argument on who'd get the one with the red color at the tip.
And the most unusual one, which you may find awkward, the lolipop! At least on the outside, it looks a little like cigarette!
The best season to test out the fake cigarettes is Winters, especially early mornings. While going to school my friends and I used to compete as to how much fog a person could exhale. That macho feeling amidst the shivers... what fun !!

Friday, November 04, 2011

Shop Phobia

With all the careful planning and confidence I decided to jump into this thing called Shopping, alone! Even after many failed attempts to do some shopping for my parents and my sister, I still didn't learn, that shopping is not my thing! But like a brave soldier, I left office early, reached Shilparamam, and marched confidently towards the gate when the security or some guy motioned me towards the ticket counter, which was on the right side.
Once inside, I didn't know where to go. Walking few steps from the gate towards left side and there's this market of handicrafts, clothes, pearls and other jewelry, woodwork, and many things that I don't know the name of. Basically a shopping haven for women. And I, a guy standing somewhere there, looking around and totally drowning in my confusion as to, why did I come here!

Since I was there I decide to take a casual stroll. Understandably, shopkeepers, the vigilant ones, were giving me some kind of look but it wasn't a pleasant one! Maybe they were tired or just plain bored! With 2K in cash with me, I was trying to figure out as to where to invest this money. I saw some people at some shops being attended to and looking at few samples of sarees, dress materials and dresses. Some were looking at the woodworks and the handicrafts. I saw them and wondered as to how they figure out what to buy. I go for shopping at the last moment when I "need" something. So don't really know how to think like a shopper. If my mother was with me, all I had to do was pay the final amount after all the bargaining and negotiations. Disheartened, distraught, dejected, and not disillusioned anymore I walked back towards the exit.

On my way, one guy invited me to his shop. I didn't go. Then this other guy invited me. I didn't go but he persisted! He asked me to take a seat, and started explaining me about Pashmina, the real Vs. less real ones, and told me some really interesting physical as well as geological facts about it. In spite of his enthusiasm and impressive knowledge, I didn't feel like buying Pashmina. I guess my mood was off and already set that I would never do shopping alone especially if its not for me. But that guy was a good salesman. If you happen to visit Shilparamam, you may want to check out his shop, "Ladakhi Arts".

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Electricity Cut

The recent electricity cuts in Hyderabad has been creating quite a havoc in many people's lives. I am a victim too. With a lot of expectations, I switch on my laptop which has almost zero battery backup, put on my favorite playlist and start getting ready for the day, except that after few minutes, i.e., at 10 AM, there is no electricity and my laptop is on a standby mode. I sigh, shut the lid and play those songs in my head instead!
Worse happens when electricity cut happens at night, especially during sleep hours. The swarm of mosquitoes, somehow seem to be waiting at some corner of the room, waiting for electricity cut to leave me vulnerable without the Good Knight! They seem to attack even more mercilessly than before. And they force me to fight back too and spill blood, most of it being my blood, from their bodies.
But all is not lost. Because it is the absence that makes us realize the importance of that thing. Besides, these electricity cuts can really boost health of our people, especially kids who won't be able to play X-box type games or computer games, or watch TV, not for very long anyways! Moreover, being in the dark, using torch or candlelights to resume one's daily work can be quite exciting, an unexpected uninvited change from the same monotonous life with blinking tubelights and boring bulb lights.
In my childhood, my friends and I used to play Dark Room where the seeker has to find everybody else in the dark room. This game can now be played as Dark House or Dark Building in case of electricity cuts.
If you haven't tried Dialogue in the Dark, I'm sure you must have got enough experience of it by now as you might have sat and eaten your dinner in darkness. But if you haven't, do try. Its quite an interesting experience and you may enjoy using our other senses to fill in for your visual sense. One of my friends shared her experience and reading that I'm definitely trying it out during next electricity cut.