Saturday, August 18, 2007

Branded blunder

A guide on how NOT to spend a mighty two grand INR, written when flared jeans made women go weak in the knee.

For most of us non-earning students who need to to survive on a monthly allowance for 'material comfort', two thousand INR is a reasonably big amount. We alone know the labour it consumes to save up the dough by thrift expenditure, cutting back on junk food, entertainment and other bare necessities to acquire a grand possession which our guardians refuse to sponsor. Hear then, my tale of woe with a warm heart and be sure to learn what I did. *sniff*

It all started off with my cousin telling me how happy she was in her 10 year old jeans which she had been wearing atleast twice a week from her college days and are still in perfect condition. Cutting short her chatter on plans of making it family heirloom, I inquired the brand. Levi's, she answered. Levi Strauss. I was politely disappointed, as I rarely do find right-fitting jeans and Lee was the sole brand my loyalty lay in, having invested on a lovely new pair the previous week. I was however tempted to possess (by her description) a snug, never wearing pair of denim clothing and decided on Levi's.

Then began the grueling, for Mum flatly refused to sponsor the novelty, her argument being most of my clothes never came out of their closet hiding and that I already owned too much denim anyway. Without losing heart, I began saving up moolah, saying no to unsponsored junk and being my best at home for good bucks. At the end of several weeks, I had a slightly smaller waistline and more importantly, two grand!

The prospect of shopping for a dream pair of jeans lifted my post exam-results gloom and Mum was glad to accompany me to the store, provided I stayed shut while she invested two hours on selecting a saree. Vokay then, off we went to Brigade's Levi Square. While Mum amused herself seeing the well arranged mannequins, I told the cheeky store girl what I wanted. 'Grey, light-flare and no elephant eared kinds please', I smiled. She was obviously too dumb for the joke, I guessed, as she rummaged around, suggesting me to go for skinny jeans (or whatever it sounded like, sickly clothing that clings to your legs) which were apparently the next fashion trend. 'Try straight fit ma'am, more formal look'. Are you right in the head, girl? Are jeans even supposed to be formal? Finally she pulled it out, a possible ugly duckling, grey (thankfully not faded) but much to my displeasure, highly flared, elephant ear sorts I dreaded. Mum was pleased though as it stirred memories of 'bell bottoms' in her college days and asked me to try it on while she recollected what colours she had owned.

Trial woes. The 'regular waist' didn't even come up to my waist and forced dieting had put me between two sizes. It was nearly revolting, sliding down at the waist and flapping at the bottom. Mummeee. I look like a pheelaawar pot! Minutes later however, I was trying to hide my displeasure and buying it with grit teeth because I didn't want the trouble I took to earn it go waste, plus it carried some offer and with my dextrous skills at the sewing machine, I could be able to make it beyond passable. Well, a week later I finally decided it could not be put to perfection. Gave up rebelling and agreed to wear it the way it was.

That day I learnt that something should never be settled for if its simply not right. That day I learnt that decisions should not be pressured upon but reasoned with. That day I learnt to give an ear to what Mum says, think on it for seconds atleast instead of flat rejection and then act because grownups get it right most of the time.

Finally, a few things I want to sort out with Levi Strauss & co.

Not every denim loving woman is a fashionista. Most of us are sensible mortals and still take jeans as comfort wear which we can leisure in. What do you have for us? Nothing! If key comfort is replaced by overpriced, hip revealing, clingy, flappy stuff, the brand will soon cease to exist because we pay you for quality. Keep a section with proper waisted, well fitting trousers and with sensible store people around else I may be forced to change my career path to teach you a thing or two.

PS: Dearest cousin, the next time you think something is good, please get it for me. :)

Friday, August 10, 2007

Who we are and what we do.

Tears (quite literally) in Bangalore following the sad demise of the historical MG Road boluevard and an 80-something year old building which housed the equally ancient photoshop GK Vale and Lakeview ice cream parlour. Another instance of a fragment of history, of time itself being amputated to welcome its modern counterpart. This time, the underground Metro.

Why tears, you ask? Alas, any heart would stir at an ambush, more so because it involves a century old green showcase dismantled. Because it is a quiet rendezvous invaded. Because it brings back memories, happy ones. Tear would then be little tribute to something as revered as a cherished memory, that lost love, the sole ambient light, dying melody. A farewell note.
Desperation. Frustration.

Who are we and what are we doing? Why are we treating inanimate-yet-truly-alive structures worse than parents being thrown in old age homes? Is it because some faceless visionary thought loss makes the heart grow fonder, that loss teaches us values? That, I gather, is the philosophical pretext debating with the anthropological pretext of modernization to obtain a reason to destroy; a debate which will not find a judge for eternity, both being lost causes. Philosophy does not teach mankind. It only makes visionaries. And destroys.

Why do we even create captions like 'live and let live' if adopting them was out of question before their creation? We are blinded hypocrites and happily so. This is probably the only conclusion drawn from the want of a subway station precisely under century old green boulevards (no, replanting trees elsewhere cannot replace the original), antique buildings and not a few walkable yards away. If non-livings are shown such 'mercy', one can only imagine the value life carries and what it would fetch in times to come..

The old man is dead. He will not return. Others are dying. We cannot save them. Many more will die. We will not take trouble saving them but indulge with grandeur on their graves.

May our dreams of evolving into another US or UK rest in peace.

(note the sarcasm)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Orkut's tale

You must have come across this blog through the aforementioned socializing site, thus enabling its author to casually place you in the ranks of blog hunters on Orkut, the activity being among the few eventful things that struggle to keep the site's 'charm' (I kid you) alive these days. Presenting, then, a brief piece exclusively on the long list of Orkut's messed up things and more importantly, people.

First things first. Orkut's beginning to stink. With a senior citizenish air, I'd narrate to you about times two years ago when joining Orkut was possible through invites alone. With less than 20% of today's populace, it housed a haven for intellectual discussions, interactions between activity partners, friends and purposeful communities. Long before the site's nobility was starting to be admired happened a choking population explosion! Every Tom, Dick and Bihari who got wind of the site's existence had begun Orkutting on competition, delightfully hopeful of the profile feature titled Dating (women) and their female counterparts pooh-poohing at the supposedly kewlest online gather. Thanks to their active 'participation' in thumping numbers, Orkut's server suffered from an incurable Multiple Disability Disorder.

Then came the uber-kewlies, (more popular as Fraandship Scrappers with the average Orkut woman) who chose to stay warm and cozy within the boundaries of intellectual nothingness, SMS lingo and the sole approach line 'hiiiiiiiiii wnt 2 b frnd wid u plzzz', gleeful as long as they came across enough female profiles to try their luck, a motto the author wonders is adapted from the countless Brazilians on the site. With their signature style, desperate manner and approach, they take due responsibility for most fumes and irritability on the site. Soon, other genres were born. The spamming losers, fake profile lunatics, sex starved maniacs and their female counterparts (swearing removed in final edit, after debating). More degradation of the site's purpose.

That leaves out the normal populace who cherish the true spirit of Orkutting - catching up with friends, finding long lost ones, seeking true activity partners, participating in intellectual and evolved community discussions, conversing in 'understandable lingo' if not the Queen's English and more often than not cribbing about Orkut's lost demeanour. They keep the site's purpose alive with their effortless ability to outshine the rotten eggs in all manner, a feat that deserves standing ovation on the hour. Although this section seems to grow smaller in number by the day the author's assurance stands that it will not be wiped out, for a lone harp's note imparts bliss to all heaven, masking hell's despair (yes, highly philosophical indeed :P).

PS: Edited 14 times.

PS 2: Didn't want to repeat this after most definitions. So here it is, triggered to reach out to the needy and deserving: