Monday, March 27, 2017

Socially conscious

I have always been very socially conscious as everyone who has had to shove cotton into his ears when in my vicinity can certify. Why, I can wax eloquent about animal rights, greening of the environment or whatever for hours on end or till someone knocks me out with a scientific blow to my occiput.

The thing, though, is that people do not seem to accept that as a sign of a strong social conscience. Talking nineteen to a dozen about a subject is not enough, apparently, unless you fly business class to exotic locations and do it to a lot of other people who have also traveled in order to do the same to you. Now, THAT is beyond me nor, indeed, am I well-versed in the jargon of the area, so...

(As an aside, I am really vexed with the way jargon spoils everything for me. It is not enough that you SAY the same things that the acknowledged experts say. You need to say it in the same special words that they use to say it or they laugh you out of court if you claim to be an expert. Quite spoils my chances of being considered an expert in anything because my memory is jigged to remember only the concept and not those keywords.)

Given that the talking option was getting me nowhere, the only other possibility was the doing option. Therein lies the nub of the problem. I mean, when I think of having to bestir myself, walking out in the hot sun, actually doing something to clean the environment, or care for stray dogs or whatever...well, you know this enthusiasm for being known to have a social conscience sort of seems rather silly and not worth all that effort.

And, as usual, Social Media came to the rescue. Like take my recent venture at showing my social consciousness. I just posted on Facebook that Cancer was a deadly disease - a priceless piece of information that no doubt upped the information quotient of everyone who saw it - and then went on to say a lot of things about how cancer awareness was important and how my real friends would copy-paste and post this so that all those people in their circles, who thought Cancer was just a nice excuse for claiming Sick Leave, were informed otherwise. There, now, I have raised cancer awareness.

And, of course, I can always sign a few petitions on Change.org asking the Government to be nice to stray dogs and things like that. Nowadays, I am feeling quite noble about how socially conscious I am.

Well, there are always those who would say that, important though all this may be, more is needed from socially conscious people. Greedy pigs, that is what they are, who are never satisfied with what I do for Society!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Miracles

The problem with life is there just are not enough miracles of the right sort. And there are way too many people who will not even allow you to lament about the fact. They will insist on putting in their own opinion about all the miracles that they see in life. Well! What is the freaking advantage of someone else enjoying miracles, anyway, when you do not?

I mean, take all those teeny miracles that I prayed for all through school. First I pray for the very tiny miracle of falling sick on the day of the test, so that I can avoid doodling all over the test note and end up getting whacked by everyone who has a spare minute and the inclination to spend time on the activity. No matter how much I gag, cough and hold my stomach, it does not seem to work. Then, all the way to school, I pray for the slightly larger miracle of the teacher falling sick. One would have thought that THAT would work - considering the number of people who were likely praying for the same thing at the same time - but nope! The last prayer - that somehow my teacher sees some sense in my doodling and passes me - ah, well, even I did not have much hope in that miracle happening. And the adults in my life tell me all about how life is a miracle. MY life certainly did not seem like one to me, let me tell you.

And so it persisted in life. The day you are nursing a headache (Hangover? Quite, but is it really necessary to delve into all those nasty details?) and wishing that the office has a slack day...that is the very day on which all troops are called on parade and asked to work on a war-footing to complete an absolutely urgent project that popped into being the previous night. (How the corporate world loves its military metaphors! Gives you all the high of fighting brave battles without springing a sweat - the clamor if the A/c fails to function has to be heard to be believed.) The one time you make a mini-blooper in your report is the one day your boss is in the mood to dot every 'i' and cross every 't' in your report. The time you want to take off into the mountains for a break is the exact time when your boss has already taken off, leaving you to hold the fort. Praying even for these minor miracles very seldom worked.

And so it went till I quit my job. Nowadays, I hope for the minor miracle of seeing some polite and neutral behavior on Social media...and the net result is that the regular media loses whatever vestiges of politeness and neutrality it retained.

Alas! Miracles never seem to happen...at least not to me.

Monday, March 6, 2017

Mobile mania

I think I will never really get this modern world. True, I never really got the old world either but, at least then, I thought I eventually would. The world these days, though...

Huh? Don't get so dismissive...'Old men and their hankering for the good old days'? If that is what you think this is...

You know, we got so used to things being used for the purpose for which they were made. I mean, like we could use the pencil to scratch our backs, yes, but we sold and bought them mainly on the basis of how they wrote. We would have been surprised if someone brought out a pencil touting how well it serves the purpose of scratching our backs. So...

Yes, you got it. I mean, really, a mobile phone is primarily for talking...oh! All right, you people who are all thumbs can use it for more than that...browsing the Internet, WhatsApp, what-have-you though it seems to me that all you do is the same old gossip using newer and newer ways...but what do I know? But do I see it touted as a communication device?

Not really...it is touted as a camera mainly. They sell it as a camera with a built-in flash, a camera to shoot adventure pics, a camera for taking the clearest pics...

And a very specialized camera...you will not waste its abilities shooting any arbitrary thing that catches your eye...oh, no...you will use it only for one specific purpose...shooting selfies!

Looks to me like the manufacturers are preparing for the day when all other uses of the smartphone fail...there will still be you and the phone, so you CAN shoot selfies still!

I don't know if they have got their ideas right though. Are you guys truly all that obsessed with shooting your own face? Searching endlessly for that one shot which will make your face not look nightmarish?

Or, maybe, they have got you wrong. I mean, these are the guys who also think that the time when you call them up for a service complaint, and are peeved about being put on hold endlessly, is the right time to try and sell you their other services. (Or have you never heard the spiel when on hold)

You really do not get what I am telling, do you? Alas! It is not only that I do not get the modern world...the modern world does not get me, either!

Monday, February 27, 2017

Blank

Ever faced the situation where your mind goes blank? Totally? (There you go again, speaking of that as the permanent state of my mind - IF I have one. Let off on me, will you?) When someone asks you something, you think you ought to know it but you are not even sure that it is on the so-called tip of your tongue? Feels like your hard disk has been corrupted when you do not even have the option of calling for service and take your mind off your problems by listening to inane ads while you are kept on hold.

The first time it happened to me was in an exam. (Where else?) I was used to my mind BEING blank when faced with questions - but those were all when I knew I had no clue about the answer or even what subject the question came from. THIS, though, was a peculiar situation. It was not like your not even raising a query because you knew you did not have the answer. This was like you raise a query and the mind goes into a blank spiral - you know, something like that small bloody blue circle rotating on and on, when you have lost connectivity. It is a very irritating feeling to have your mind do that, most especially when it clicks through with a 'Eureka' and hands you the answer, moments after you have handed over the damn answer sheet and exited the hall.

It, of course, invariably happens to me in interviews. There is something about the expectant or, more often than not, sneering looks of the interviewers that interferes with my data retrieval system. I mean, there really have been times when people have asked, "What's your name?", and my mind is still trying to come up with the right answer, when one of the others loses patience and looks it up in the records before him. Interviewers generally have trick questions, more often than not merely to prove that they know more than the interviewees. They hardly ever had to waste them on me - asking me my name was tricky enough for me. (Well, it really WAS. I mean with this South Indian initial-name combo, it is always tough to remember whether to say C. Suresh, Suresh Chandrasekaran or Chandrasekaran Suresh!)

At long last, I have found one place where it does not happen at all, ever. I mean, of course, on Social media. Here, you can have an opinion almost before an incident even happens. When you can just type in any random thing and put up a status or a comment, you do not even need to bother to TRY data retrieval. So, naturally, there is no question of coming up blank, when you did not go down to search in the first place.

And what a blessing it is. This way, you may never need to even realize that your mind is a blank ALL the time.

No wonder I feel extra-intelligent these days.