Friday, July 29, 2011

When my Sister visits...

No, we don't lock horns. In fact, I'm just too happy to get rid of them for a week, two weeks, two months, two years - whatever my sister Jackie chooses. Yes, she tells me but she adds so many destinations to her itinerary that by the time I finally grasp it, she is eager to get back to her original place. I tell her be like the Indians, ring the bell or better just walk in because you happened to be in the neighborhood. She does not believe in traveling light. Her visit means countless bags and suitcases and more bags and suitcases. I won't be surprised if some day I saw a house parked outside just as an after thought to the bags and my sister's arrival. My mind goes into an endless debate of Nurture vs Nature. I quickly move from horror to resignation and then quietly slink into a state of discombobulation. 

How could my sister be so different from me? Did we not grow up in the same household? Did we not eat the same foods and breathe the same air? She leaves nothing to chance. There is no concept of let it be. She is akin to the shark. If she doesn't keep moving she might dissipate. I believe in doing nothing. What I am trying to figure out is how did she develop this love of the kitchen and cooking? I follow the police advice when they get a distress call - avoid the kitchen; it has lethal weapons. For me, the place is dangerous as well till my sister arrives. She attacks it, reduces it to mush, readies it for consumption. I hear my husband and children sigh with relief. I also detect loud rumblings of awe from them. No more will they starve. I sigh.

Jackie knows exactly what she's doing. The kitchen knows it too. It better do. If it were not my home she were visiting, I would be forbidden from it too. Somehow Jackie condescends to let me linger there, just near the sink, just within reach to pass her the ingredients so she can whip up the magic. I am just a souffle or as the French put it Sous Chef. Those French need their own script. Anyway, between loads of heavenly aromas, stories are exchanged, tears are shed; Jackie has a tendency to dissolve into real and imagined childhood tales of having been mistreated - by her sibling, her aunts and uncles, nuns, the world in general. After we go over the mistreatment and cruelty, she regretfully takes off a few from the list. Her husband gets worried, the dark mood may shift to the kitchen and he may collapse with hunger or inattention. 

It's a good time. For brief moments I am no longer in charge; I like it. I feel the same when my Mum is around; something tells Jackie and my Mum there is a desperate need for them in the kitchen and elsewhere. They are survivors and they see the miserable lot around them survive as well. Heaven forbid if on their watch, anyone decides to take a break from surviving! Is there any thing to eat - is a phrase of the past; it's almost as if the phrase never existed. I feel less than a ghost; at least ghosts have a purpose; I have none. Somebody I know found loads of intentions and purposes while in Timbaktu. Perhaps I should head there. There is no paucity of finding things there. Things are always there. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Einstein's Theory Up for Grabs.

If Einstein were alive, his theory of gravity would be put thoroughly to test by those low-ridin-jeans-and-shorts worn by teenagers and specifically by American teenagers. Sagging is believed to have been started by men serving time in US prisons where belts are prohibited. The style was quickly picked up by hip-hop artists and since then became a symbol of rebellion without cause in a land of limitless freedom! In the sagging world, jeans and shorts are worn so low that it is a preposterous phenomenon representing gravity or no gravity. In the sagging world, jeans and shorts are worn so low that I'm absolutely amazed how they manage to stay up especially around the lower butt area. Considering the relatively hazardous nature of those low lying jeans - underwear comes to occupy a very important position. No longer are men's and boys' underwear a nugatory issue; the under becomes the over in the topsy turvy world of fashion. In fact, any underwear that threatens to remain under will not do. Thus those good old white Calvin Kleins or Fruit of the Loom commonly called tighty-whities or tidy-whities become an absolute taboo. Underpants in fact have to be specifically boxers; must be checkered and screaming loud. Green or purple is highly desirable. Not to be left behind, girls are into the game as well with pinks, yellows, and oranges.

Considering the gravity of the situation,Einstein could've come up with a formula but as the greatest scientist of the century is not around, I came up with my own, after careful deliberations, observations, and calculations. Something must give way and for any change to occur and as change must occur from time to time for survival to survive, the boring must give way to the exciting. After burning the midnight lamp and giving myself some fantastic headaches for which I have strange proclivities, I finally came up with a decent answer. The way those teenagers kept their low riders perched below their butts was by transforming their walk and talk. As far as the talk was concerned - it mostly focused on changing the good old tenses - where you at, where you, you is where, I is here, do she, he do, etc. Regarding the walk, well that gets performed with the legs spread out at by least a foot or more; in short, sagging requires teenagers to waddle. Gone are the days when the mark of a good pair of jeans was seen by how the human butt got transformed!

So, as the purpose of jeans gets defeated day by day, they've now come to have a mind of their own. Unlike the last remaining miserable communist places, jeans are free to travel anywhere they feel like. Sometimes the jeans go way down under and beyond the shoes. So if you see a pair of jeans walking by themselves, you would know there is a teenager somewhere inside them. Cops of course love this fashion; makes it easier for them to pursue culprits at a leisurely pace. They can even have a donut and coffee on a hot pursuit. During such escapades, teenagers forget all conjoining theories of speed and momentum. The faster they run, the better chance the low riding jeans have of falling off completely. Still it'svery rare that teenagers get caught. When facing extreme danger, their flight instinct takes over the sagging fashion; they pick up those jeans and make a mad dash. Even Gazelles look puzzled and question the nature of things. 

Nonetheless, teenagers thrive in chaos and when they discover their own creation ready to swallow them, they lose all hope and descend further into the sagging world of jeans. Trotting horizontally and pretending to talk nonchalantly on their cell phones, they feel a sense of doom with cops right around the corner. Sagging jeans present them with a great dilemma; if they pulled them off, it would be admitting defeat; if they pulled them up, they would fall in the eyes of their peers. As speed adds to the predicament of descending jeans, teenagers begin the getaway by increasing the distance between their legs and feet. The unfortunate jeans decide they can no longer serve the purpose of attire or fashion and slump to the ground defeated. When teenagers sense danger they can put Olympic athletes to shame. Cops walking or cruising provide the perfect impetus. Sagging jeans are quickly abandoned, acceleration is adopted for which the under-rated boxers serve mighty well, and off the teenagers go like missiles in search of another fashion or freedom.