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Sunday, July 30, 2006

Lights, sound and some love please! 

This post is a result of a conversation I had outside a movie theatre this weekend. The topic in question was the various kinds of lovers that flock to the movies. Now come on, we all agree that there's something very love-ly abt the movies. Just go outside a movie theatre and look at the phenomenal number of couplings that come out. Tall, short, old, bold, feeling cold - you'll get every variety. Each one of them has a story and this post identifies some of the key characters of some of these stories.

* The abt to date couples: Every relationship that I've known of, has involved a movie date before things finalized. Always. Coz as I said, there's something magical abt the movies and love. When the lights go off and the hands rub against each other while trying to get the last few flakes of pop corn, there's something very romantic that is triggered. The gentle whisper of "How are you liking the movie?" or "What? What did she just say?" just adds to the mood. Not to forget that movies often have kisses (or as my sister likes to say - tak taks) which make both parties go into their little "what if" dream sequences. Bottom line, every would be couple goes to the movies and they can be identified by the time at which they show up. They are there 60 minutes before the movie begins. They buy their tickets in advance and stand next to some railing (every movie theatre has a railing) and exchange sweet smiles. She repeatedly keeps asking him when the show will start and he offers her popcorn, soda and all things less expensive that'll impress her. How chweeet.

* The dated for too long couples: These are just the opposite of the previous variety. These are couples who've hung out for way too long without going to the next level. They are not close enough to spend Friday nights in the bed and at the same time the romance lacks the charm of the initial days when he would take her to the best restaurants. The guy and the girl know that they HAVE to do something on the Friday night and they both agree to the movie plan. However, both parties are reluctant to spend too much time together, lest it brings up important and controversial questions like "Where do you see us going?". So they decide to go the movies instead. They can be identified because in this phase both parties land up separately. If the movie begins at 8 - he lands up at 7.50. He uses the ten minutes to buy popcorn and still appear chivalrous. She arrives at 7.55. They smile, watch the movie, exchange the customary "How did you like it", "I though this was better than ..." etc. and then they both head back home. Mechanical romance at its best.

* The "Go get a room couples": If the nouveau lovers arrive an hour before the movies begin and group two just make it on time, there's a third variety that always arrive five minutes after the movie begins. They are the couples who can't keep their hands off each other. They are the couples who are all over each other. They are the couples who have popcorn, soda and each other's tongues for refreshment. Clearly they could not get a room for themselves and did not want to spend the extra bucks for a hotel. So they land up late for a movie and enter the theatre after everyone else. They don't care for the movie. They normally choose movies that nobody would like in the first place, just to ensure that they are not bothered. They even leave ten minutes before the movie ends. I've watched many lousy movies that were rated PG but the show going on at the back was anything but that and have nothing but gratitude towards these lovers who make many a boring movie interesting for us by their sounds and visual effects.

* Take out your single best friend couple (+). This group is not just a couple but comprises of a couple and either the guy or the girl's best friend who's still single. Things were all fine when the two best friends were both single and they would come for movies together. Now one of them is dating and hardly meets the other one. So they all land up for the movie together for the obligatory "for old time sake". The guy tells his girl friend, "I've asked Raj to join us. I haven't met him in a month. I hope you don't mind." The girl does mind but she agrees. The three land up for the movie together. Poor Raj always gets the corner seat next to his best friend and is left out of all the lovey dovey coochie cooing.

* The "endearing long term couple": There are several other groups that can be mentioned but I'll end with my personal favorite - the "been together for years but still young at heart" couple. Every time I visit the movies I see a middle-aged or old couple who are completely blind to everyone else and are there for the movies just to enjoy some good old times. The are always smiling. They take time to choose their movies. Sometimes they even ask the guy in the ticket counter for advice, "Is the Woody Allen movie any good? No? What abt the one with the five dogs? Darling, which one do you want to watch?" I love this group but what is more important is that they love each other a lot more.

Wooohooo to the movies.

P.S. Sometimes posts that you write come back to bite you. I recently bought this and though I'm totally in love with the baby - this post is biting me hard :D

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Sunday, July 23, 2006

Languages I don't speak 

The venue was a downtown Mountain View restaurant; three beautiful women and two men nobody cared for were waiting for their food. It happened then ... One of the girls nodded her head slightly to the side and raised both her eyebrows. One of the eye balls did a quick sideways move. The other girl brought her chin close to her neck and closed her eyes in unison. Then both the girls smiled. The first girl then went on to do some more eye rolling with the second girl nodding her head and raising only one eye brow. I watched in awe - a conversation was taking place right below my nose (actually it was more like in front of my nose) and I had no clue whatsoever. I have studied cryptography and encryption but here were two women using a form of communication that kept me completely clueless. Later, next day, I was told that the conversation between the two women went something like this:

A: What's the deal with this guy?
B: Shhhhh!
A: No seriously! Are you interested?
B: Shhhh! I'll tell you later.
A: Ha ha!

Amazing. A few eye movements, well planned eye brow raises and opportune giggles and so many words were conveyed. French, German, Spannish and now this language ... the list of languages that I don't speak seems to be ever increasing. However, this was what I like to call a Social Language. One that no school teaches - one that people just learn. Very similar to the Nouveau Lover's Language.

Seriously! Haven't you seen new lovers exchange jumbled mumbles which no one else can hear or decipher but still they manage to bring a smile on both their faces. A lot of times they even turn their heads in opposite directions. The guy might even cover his lips with his fingers, gently moving the fingers to let out enough whispers. You can see small movements of his lips hinting at the words being spoken. "Hmmmm! Phishh whisshhh. Hmmm nnaaaaa beautiful," you hear. You could vouch that no other words were spoken and the girl still smiled like she was given a day's worth of free shopping money. Sometimes there will be a few elbow pushes and below the table footsie steps to assist the whispers. I've tried doing similar things when I was in love many eons back, when I tried to smile and whisper too. "You ate too much. I'm not paying for both of us. Now shell out some money," I've tried whispering. I even tried the whole elbow thing to get hold of her purse. Somehow the girl in question refused to understand what I said. To add salt to the injury she even moved her bag to the other side. And then when I tried to call her later she played hard to get by not answering my calls. And finally to teach me a lesson she married another guy. Aaaarghh! Another language that I do not speak.

And these are just two of the several social languages that I've failed to comprehend. Another classic one is the whole garbling thing adults do with children. All I hear is "Guju buju Hooochoo Poochooo. Ujee baba. Coochie Coochie." The kid smiles and glees and blows out spit bubbles and everybody is happy. I am always surprised by this. If kids anyway don't speak the language, how does it matter what gibberish I say. So I might as well just speak in English and make funny faces - right? Why is it that important to make all the funny sounds accompanying those faces. Why can't I just say "Oh you fat baby pooping all day. I hate the way you keep me up all night ..." Why can't people say that? Why do they have to make funny sounds?

So many things that I do not understand. Hmmmmm!

On an unrelated note and adding on to the previous post, this office conversation merits a mention.

P and I were playing foosball (we are both very good at it) and one of the guys was broken. Another friend mentioned that he will spread the word that a white 5 ft 11 guy and Indian guy broke the player. All of us smiled. "You know what the newspapers will say, right?" I told P. "What?" he asked. "The Five Eleven guy and Seven Eleven guy breaks foosball players." Aaaaarghh! Double Aaaaargh!

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Monday, July 17, 2006

Moi is back! 

OK! Sorry for being suddenly away for a while. Was busy and occupied (in a good way) - the combination is quite entertaining I gathered. Have tons of things lined up in my mind that I want to write abt but that'll have to wait for just a little bit more. For now I leave you with three lunch time conversations that I had in the past few days.

Conversation Uno

Me (to office mate T) - So what's a good sushi place?
T - There's a sushi joint in Pittsburgh that's really good. They actually ship the fish from Japan.
Me - That's plain stupid.
T - Why?
Me: Coz fish can swim. They could have just asked the fish to swim by themselves and saved money on shipping.
T - Aaaaaaarghhhhh!
Me - Talking abt fish and seas - fish swim in the oceans that have salty water - so why do we still add salt to fish - they should be naturally salty - right?
T - Aaaaaaarghhhhh!

Conversation Deux (between T and me again)

Me - Newton was a great thinker. If it wasn't for him high school physics would have been sooo much simpler.
T - Seriously! What kind of a man sits below a tree, gets an apple and wonders why the apple fell down. If I was sitting below the tree, I'd be like "Whooa. Free food!"
Me - Right! I'd be shaking the tree for more apples.
T - Seriously!
Me - Come to think of it, sitting below an apple tree is quite risky - what if the apple fell on my head??

So what would you do if you got a free apple?

Conversation Three

A: Wow! How many naans do you have for lunch?
Me: You know what I like abt naans?
A: What?
Me: When they are over, I have naan of them left.

*This particular joke has given rise to a series of jokes at work - including the likes of "his name is NAANdy", "look at Sagnik eat a baNAANa" etc. It's just a matter of time before naan jokes achieve the glory and fame touched by Knock Knock jokes!! And then I will just refuse to recognize you people!*

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

headLINES returns (so what?) 

Many many years ago, before I was touched by my father and he was touched by an alien (or in other words, before my superhero days) I use to be an amateur cartoonist. Those days, like the ownership of the plant the man had planted, are his-tree. Some kind readers asked me to go back to that hobby and I tried. The result is for all to see and generously criticize. So here we go.



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