Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Times We Live In

Male Voice: " Good Morning Bangalore! The time is 9:56 a.m. and this is Christopher on Radio City.

(Sound of Girls wooing)

Male Voice: "Thank you Girls. Now, it's a sunny morning, great weather and we have just the right mix of programs for you on Radio City.
Bangalore, if you are stuck in traffic call us and tell us where you are. While you are with us, you can grab some fabulous prizes by taking part in the following poll.
Tell us what the most common form of public waste in Bangalore is.

Is it
A. Household Sewage
B. Litter
C. Vehicle Pollutants or,
D. Industrial waste
Call us and tell us what you think and win LOTS of Exciting prizes"
(Breaks into Ads)

Monday, November 14, 2005

The Common Man

MG Road, Bangalore - yet another weekday

"Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned"

There was the cream Maruti-Omni, the fat lady in her late fourties inside, and the cop running from one door to the other to either get-in or pull the lady out. The lady was agitated and the cop, confused, but furious neverthless.

Then it happened. One of those gems that one loves talking over and over with friends.

The lady slammed the door wide open, the cop took a step back in surprise, the lady hurtled herself forward. Arms flailing, face contorted as of a woman possessed, tounge lashing like a whip taming a wild beast, she confronted the man. After shouting something at the cop, she swore not to follow his command; two-hoots, that what she claimed she cared for the dictum of his ilk. She got back into the vehicle.
As the play had already begun by the time I stepped out of Higgin Bothams I was unaware of what caused all the furore. Carpedium!!

The fellow, regained his bearings all of a sudden and, started running again from one door to the other, this time more confident and sure of his actions. He barked,

"I public servant. You call me...IDIOT!!.. get out woman.
I public servant. IDIOT eh...I show respect because you lady...GET OUT!!!
You call me IDIOT!!...I Public Servant"

The fellow was trembling with rage by now and his face had definitely taken a darker shade. To the woman's credit though, she was still persistent with her barrage. But I thought, the bit that went "I public servant" helped the policeman score a moral point over the lady; I for one thought it made the woman a bit doubtful. But, she was too deep in it to back-off now and tried to hold fort very stoically.

All of a sudden, one puny little man wearing a T-shirt and cap appeared out of nowhere. He had an impish smile on his face. He watched the proceedings for a few seconds and, unnoticed by anyone (I saw this becasue he made the move right in front of me), took his huge video camera and set about covering the circus. He ran with it to the driver's side of the Maruti, stood with the cop in profile and the woman staring straight at the lens.
A large crowd had gathered around the van by now and some 'elderly citizens' were pressing forward towards the policeman. Then, one man, quite bald on top and wearing a thick black spectacle spoke, in a rather conscientious manner,
"Madam, it was your fault. You shouldn't have..."
I decided to take a walk.

Focus...Stiffen...Click...another one for the album.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Reader's Bloc

Vikram Seth released his latest book and I decided to check him out through 'An Equal Music'. After a point I gave-up on the same - the reading got a bit too laborious and I was in no mood for reading about someone in a mid-life crisis. My friends, though, tell me that if one is willing to plough through the same one is rewarded with gems of musical prose and prose on music. Another day, another place (2-3 years on a 1000 page book - just that and nothing else!! Baffles me, the sense of purpose of a writer of fiction. I guess that is a mould one is born into).
I decided it was time to try something light. I decided to read my 2nd Agatha Christie novel. I had read 'And then there were none' (or 10 little niggers) years back and was rather impressed by it then. On a friend's reccomendation, I decided to try 'The Hollow'. I did not get past the 5th chapter.
One thing that I notice, and have thereafter confirmed as a recurring phenomenon in Agatha Christie novels, is the character study that the author ventures into at the start of her novels. For a novel in the 'who-dunnit' genre, character study of about 5-6 characters for about 60-70 pages right at the beginnig of the novel can be rather frustrating.
I moved into the children's section; picked up my first Roald Dahl novel, 'Charlie and the chocolate factory', and thankfully, finished it. Very light and hilarious read and definitely of the children's section. Though, I felt the book ended rather abruptly and a bit too soon. Guess 'Charlie and the Great glass elevator' takes-off from where this left.
Tried reading comedy of Spike Milligan. Did some cursory reading. Found it 'OK' - nothing to spend too much time on though. It's time I tried something concrete in the non-fiction genre - Guns, Germs and Steel,maybe.