Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Quick wink

I love my after breakfast naps and I wish I could take them more often. Actually, I do take them when I am at home and have absolutely nothing urgent  to do.

And you know why I love naps?

a) You can doze off when you want to. That's basically when you are sleepy. Unlike those winks you take because you have to. 

( You know, when you are doing something really important late into the night and you have to stop because you really can't take it anymore and totally need to sleep NOW!)

b) When someone rings you and wakes you up you can always pretend that you were doing something really important which that person interrupted.

Or if the person who wakes you up is present at the place where you were napping and has actually witnessed your closed eyes you can pretend that you were thinking.

That's the best part about naps. You can wake up in a hurry and continue doing what you were before you unceremoniously dozed off. Maybe  more vigorously this time. I once took a five minute nap while writing a paper and when I woke up all the crap that I had studied suddenly came out in better formed sentences!

I don't know about power-naps. I liked napping before the attached that nasty prefix to the word. 

I take quite a few naps while studying sociology. What is it about being bored that makes you drowsy? I also get drowsy on flights. Maybe it's the constant staring at the clouds outside my window?

And my favourite naps? I think you guessed it. It's the mid morning, after breakfast nap that I absolutely love!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Mr. Sengupta and other stuff

When my Nani was ill there were loads of people who wanted to visit her.  Unfortunately just three visitor’s cards per patient were issued by the hospital. Everyone wanted to spend time with her and in this attempt to let everyone visit her immediate family couldn’t spend time with her.

My dad thought of something. Actually he overheard someone talk about the ‘9th floor’. This lady, when asked for the pass by the guard standing at the foot of the stairs simply said “9th floor’ and he let her go. Without a pass. Strange. Even stranger is the fact that the hospital didn’t have a  9th floor. My dad decided to observe more people to see if anyone else did it. They did! Dad figured out that “9th floor’ was a code for V.I. P rooms where the patients’ families didn’t need passes.

He decided to try it. The next day when stopped by a guard he nonchalantly said “9th floor” and the guard let him go. He used this strategy to lead anyone  who wanted to visit my Nani. Problem solved albeit in an unconventional way.

So one day my friend Kaniti and I had to go to Ruby area for some work. When we reached Ruby we realised that it had been futile to come all the way. But we didn’t want to go back so fast after traveling for almost an hour for nothing. Ruby area doesn’t have place we could hang out so I suggested that we enter Ruby Hospital.

We entered the hospital and out of my whim went up to the receptionist and asked her which room a Mr. Sengupta was admitted in. She asked us for a first name. we pretended that we didn’t know. She gave us a few names and we nodded our heads at one of them. We thanked her and went our way, continuing our facade; talking about our sick ‘uncle’. We roamed about a bit and then spotted a waiting area on the other end of the room. We sat down on one of the sofas and started chatting. After about forty minutes we came out of the place and went our way.

Seems pointless? But I do have a point to make. Like what my dad did. A little bit of acting can get you out of a sticky situation. The '9th floor’ incident was only one, my dad has found his way through many a bureaucrat rule (specially in hospitals and emergencies) to get what he needs. Its not trickery nor is it illegal. Just a bit of acting to get through trivial situations. Like not having passes. What is life without a bit of acting thrown in?

The 'Romantic' Hero

Girls are consistently fed the ‘romantic' hero stereotype, starting from the age of three with stories of Cinderella’s Prince Charming relayed to them every night.

And why was he called Prince Charming and not something else? Did all he have was charm? I am guessing that must be the case. All he did was dance with her. No bravado, no sign of intelligence. Seriously, choosing a bride on the basis of her shoe size? But he sure was charming.

And the romantic movies. Look at all the guys Hugh Grant has played. Sweet, caring, charming. RICH. Intelligent, blah, blah blah.

And closer home there is Sharukh Khan flinging his arms wide; with his oh so cute dimpled smile; singing songs that can melt your heart. Running in mustard fields telling you “Main hoon Na”.
Well, obviously our expectations are high and obviously we are disappointed when we take off our tinted glasses and find the real life guy types- the MCP, The slob, The show off, the Brawn without brains etc etc.

And girls have the task of finding a guy she could love, wading through a sea of the guy types. And well, they do find their own Prince “not so charming” and maybe their own knight in “Versace” armour.

Girls have to basically realize that guys will be guys. Some of them will be jerks hiding under the prince charming disguise. Some will turn out to be nice but they still will have guy habits. But that’s why we like them, don’t we? And let’s face it, no all of us like Prince Charming.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The HP craze!

The fifth book came a long time after. The first movie had released by then. And Daniel Radcliffe became one lucky guy- he got to play the famous boy wizard AND got an instant female fan following. I was 12 when the 1st movie came out. A few girls in my class started calling themselves Mrs. Radcliffe.

I remember a memorable incident that took place at that time. We had a senior, a year older. She was a tomboy, had cropped hair and wore specs. One day few of us saw her on the field from our 1st floor classroom window. Bang! She totally looked like Harry Potter.( we thought so then) That did it. One girl developed a crush on her. We all trooped in between classes to catch a glimpse of her. Breaks were spent looking out for her. We even knew her routine! We followed her everywhere. She naturally felt harassed. She told us off, even complained to our teacher. We calmed down for a while. 

One day some of us came up with an idea. They bought a cake on 31st July and told her to cut it! That certainly was the last straw.  She complained to the Headmistress.  No action was taken though. We heaved a sigh of relief. Final exams came soon and we all went up a class.

In the 1st week of the new session ‘she’ arrived. With the Headmistress. To identify her harassers. Oh God! Somehow she didn't  recognize me. Good for me!

Anyway, the craziness had just begun. Over time we HP fans started calling ourselves Hard-core HP fans as we wanted to distinguish ourselves from the HP movie lovers. And the love for everything HP related continues…

P.S – Class 6 being high school we were reshuffled into new houses. When my turn came all I wanted was to be in Red house, the closest I could be to being a Gryffindor. And guess what? I did get chosen for the Red house!

P.S again : I later realised that I was more of a Ravenclaw than A Gryffindor. I am now A Pottermore certified Ravenclaw.  

Growing up with the wizard with specs

I was in class five then. My friend Pratiti told me about a great new book- Harry Potter. She told me I absolutely have to read it! Somehow her excitement intrigued me. When my bhua came for a visit and asked me what I wanted I asked for the first three Harry Potter books. And thus my odyssey began.

“ Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, at number four, Privet Drive, were proud to say they were perfectly normal, thank you very much. “

That’s the first line. I didn’t move my eyes from the pages till I reached the last line. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat. It was frenzy, my first reading of Harry Potter.  

I remember I read through the night and went to school the next day. And I wasn’t even drowsy. That was the level of my excitement. After seventeen chapters and loads of awe filled moments I was hooked!

I couldn’t wait to get back home and read the 2nd book. How intriguing is a name like “chamber of secrets” be? Pretty intriguing.

Soon  had read all three books. My mother promised to buy me the fourth book if I did well in my finals. Best incentive ever!

By then a proper fan club had been formed in our school. India too had discovered the most popular bespectacled boy and the HP craze was all over the news. The Chosen One had arrived.

Its been 11 years and The Boy Who Lived has never bored me. Ever time I re- read the books I discover something new. And the Adrenaline rush I get whenever I talk about HP has not decreased a bit.

I don’t think I will forget the year ever. It was 2001 and I became a Harry Potter fan. For life.