Saturday, November 27, 2010

What difference a good vocabulary can make

The original poem:

Oh glorious sleep
Why do you elude me so
At times I haven't deserved
You've engulfed me unreservedly

Now I lie with illnesses aplenty
Reaching out for your healing touch
I toss and turn and sigh and puff
Still you elude me, heart and soul

I tried all remedies,
I sung myself a lullaby,
Still you wont be bewitched
To give me some rest

Stop me from thinking
From bemoaning my sore throat
I have to greet the sun,
As it ushers in a new dawn,

Oh sleep, sweet sleep,
Do not elude me so
My tearful eyes plead to you,
Come to me, hold me in you

 With better vocab,

Oh glorious sleep, why you think me so derisive
When in need, I have found you so elusive
Yet when a reward is not seemly
You’ve engulfed me so unreservedly

Now when I am so rife with illness
Your healing touch is next to godliness
With gasps and sighs, I spend the night
You can take away my pain and my blight

I’ve tried all remedies for this malady
Even tried singing myself a lullaby
Yet you just don’t make an appearance
To remain sane, I call thee with deference

Remove this thought and all this dote
This bemoaning won’t cure my sore throat
The sun will usher in a new day within the hour
I have to start afresh and can’t afford to cower

You’re everyone’s desire yet so delusive
Even at this late hour you aren’t suffusive
I beg for you to take me away
To a land where dreams hold sway

So dear reader, which one's better?
I've written the first one. Since I couldn't get it to rhyme, I asked my friend Chinmay to help me out. He's written the second one. The difference makes me want to pick up a dictionary and absorb it like that robot kid from Small Wonder.

p.s. the image shows how I look when I'm sleeping.. Instead of the duck, it's a dog :D

Image courtesy:

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Dealing with boredom...

I used to think it's a curse to be bored. I used to chide myself and yell at myself mentally saying, how can you be bored, when there are so many interesting things to learn? Then I'd open some newspaper website and start concentrating on the day's events. For the past two days though, I've been bored beyond belief and beyond relief. No matter how much I tried to coax myself to study, I just couldn't do it. 

I decided to throw caution to the winds, and do whatever I felt like. I started watching Russell Peters shows on youtube. That guy is hilarious! After watching about 10 video clips, I thought that I was sufficiently entertained. It dawned on me much later that, in the process of entertaining myself, I'd come across quite a lot of new information. While watching his videos, one link led to another and I ended up watching his interview with Riz Khan. It's in two parts and you can see it here and here.

I came to know a lot of things about him and about stand-up comedians in general. Moreover, when he said that religion is something he never jokes about or messes with, I had an "Oh yeah" moment. Till that point, I'd never noticed that when he makes fun of peculiarities of cultures and accents, he never makes any references to a religious peculiarity. It made me think, is he scared? The reason he gave is, religion is a personal thing, and he is nobody to tell which religious habits are peculiar and which aren't.

When we watch stand-up comedians perform, we rarely realize the kind of efforts that go into making up the act. They've to always be prepared to get booed down. Or worse, they've to be prepared for no laughter at all. They're under constant pressure to come up with good jokes. And of course, each comedian is only as good as their last performance. Therefore, I was quite amazed to know that Russell has been at this for more than twenty years now, and is still going strong.

I also felt proud when I saw the vast crowds that came to watch him do his act. That struck me as very unusual. Russell is an Indian of Canadian origin. He has never been to India while growing up. In fact, he came to India for the first time to perform when he gained fame. Therefore, it is quite possible that India or Indians had very little to do with his success. Why do we feel pride for Indians based out of India? Ours has been this sort of rags to riches story, where post Independence we were a poor and developing country, with a very low self-confidence. As Indians started becoming visible in the global spotlight, our self-esteem grew, both individually and as a nation. This practice of collective victory for individual achievement is still continuing, as we take every Indian's success as a measure of every Indian's capability to become successful. Every Indian's victory is a personal victory. If he can, then I can too, irrespective of where he has come from.

So I'm happy that I got bored. It made me realize that everything you do, whether its for work or entertainment, has the potential to change your perspective and teach you something new.

I think I should really get back to work now, or else as Russell Peters says, Soma buddy gonna get hurt real baaad! Lol :D

Image source:

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Diwali!

Here's wishing all my readers a very happy diwali. Of all the festivals, this is one festival that I'm always looking forward to. And, of all festivals, this is the only one which I have no idea how to celebrate. I think this is one festival that is fun before it starts. I've always had great fun shopping for a new salwar kameez, persuading my Mom to buy all possible colours for Rangoli and picking out firecrackers with my brother. Isn't it funny, that I keep wondering when I will wear my new salwar kameez, what I will do with all the Rangoli since my drawing is terrible and firecrackers have become an elusive joy thanks to environmental concerns? 

This diwali, I just about managed to do one out of those three, which was buying a new salwar kameez. Firecrackers have been ditched long ago, and Mom bought all the stuff for Rangoli much before I came to Pune for my Diwali vacations. Another thing that I missed out on was buying an Akashkandil. Dude, this is the big one. Although we don't buy one every year, I would have loved to pick one out this year. I remember the great tussle I had with my Mom when we bought the last one. It was a beautiful blue globe that we both finally agreed upon. This year, Mom has picked up a pretty one made of cane.

My Mom used to tell stories about how as children, she and her sisters would wake up at 4:00 am and take baths while members of the household would burst firecrackers outside. I somehow don't see the point of this exercise, especially since I'm on vacation. Wake up at 4:00, take a bath and then do what? Go back to sleep? I must admit though, it is fun roaming around in Pune during Diwali. All the shops are lit up by strings of lights. The Akashkandil stalls are a sight to behold and I get tempted at every diya stall to spend from my fast-diminishing account. 

Apart from hogging on faraal and meeting relatives, I don't really know how to celebrate Diwali.. Anybody willing to help me?