Thursday, October 30, 2014

China's One Time For All

It's amazing how many visitors I get from China. Thank you. I wonder what exactly are they reading here that could excite them enough to come back and read some more. Maybe visitors here are from Hong Kong or Taiwan or maybe not. I've been to Hong Kong and even stared wistfully at the boat that would have taken me to China. Thank God, I was duly warned by friends of taking such a step: you'll never come back from there; they'll make mince meat out of you; they'll hang you by your toes. Well hanging by the toes is done in India and other places as well, so that would have hardly been unusual. From a distance, China seemed alright; everything does, even husbands, children, marriages!

Anyway, I've been checking about China's one solo uno time zone. Why, is all I ask? The country is as vast as the United States or maybe more, so why have one time zone only? It's got to do with that twerp Mao Zing Zing who made a mess of the country as any good old Communist is likely to do anyway. Beijing goes to work at 8 am and west China has to do the same before crack of dawn, somewhere around 3 am! Only the Hui and Uygurs ignore Beijing and maybe some obdurate travelers who are senile anyway. 

But apparently, Mao was the one who decided one-time-zone-one-united-country! Was that the reason? No economics here just pure political power, something China or rather its politicians are adept at, hardly different from Indian or Pakistanis or Americans or Iraqis or whoever. Just a little note here: not too many succeeded in killing millions and millions like Mao did. Exhausted with all the killing, Mao finally died only to have his wife or concubine and her gang of four get busy with more power. Commies and their penchant for ruthless power! Other than that, Mao Zing Zing didn't do anything; he didn't even brush his teeth! His teeth were black! If he liked bathing, he would have done it but Mao preferred farting! Such are the despicable ways of Dictators.

All said and done, Commies have stuck to their issue of unity for China through One Time Zone For All; people may rot and die for decades but they must remain united! Tiny little specks of countries like Hong Kong and Taiwan have been irritating big guns in China for a while but hopefully calls of freedom will wear the Chinese down. Once free, people find it hard to give it up. That is the most nasty thing about freedom. But the best thing is that people never tire trying to be free. They may not see the process winding its way around but stark reminders of what is possible - can never be ignored. The American Declaration of Independence declares loud and clear Life, Liberty and Pursuit of Happiness for all; what could be better than this.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Traversing Blues Trail 61 to Clarksdale in Mississippi

A sleepy little town, bohemian as it can get without any unnecessary attachments, Clarksdale's corners and streets are full of graffiti. It was a place devoid of too many humans, businesses and other extras that cities carry. Many claim that Clarksdale, Mississippi is the birthplace of blues. Many Blues Musicians started here and traveled up north to Chicago etc to seek their fortunes. Since then it has been home to famous blues musicians like Muddy Waters and Son House and Blues festivals and gatherings for people from around the world.

Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club

 Ground Zero Blues Club covered in Graffiti

Clarksdale's eating places and bars like one owned by Hollywood actor Morgan Freeman, have everything rich, fried and filling. Ground Zero Blues Club even had its ceiling full of graffiti and apparently Shaquillle O Neal's shoes were hiding from the heat of southern cooking. Clarksdale's blocks are dotted with plenty of Blues tucked in its rickety spaces; this is what Clarksdale is; it is one of those historic dots on the Blues Trail, the road that took many Blues artists from the south to the north where the music evolved from a blue hue to one of  burgeoning business. 

In Clarksdale, you'll find plenty stories from current generations descended from Blues artists and musicians. Riverside Hotel, somewhat a dark, sun-less place with its curtains down but nonetheless was full of life and beds where Bessie Smith and  Duke Ellington had slept while en route to other places. We found succor in hanging outside the hotel on metal benches with its owner Zee; here passing musicians like RazorBlade stopped, chatted and gave us their philosophy of life plus sold us some CDs; the CD-buying-business was repeated throughout the trip.

RazorBlade and Me
Barry, Zee, Me
Zee is perhaps the best of hosts a hotel can provide; we shared jokes and guffawed till it was time to leave. This is also the place where Herman the Hermit lived and took my husband for a visit to the great Mississippi River; we now have mud from the big river which we can easily pass off as exotic chocolate from some unknown lands. 

While in search of Blues, we found Clint Eastwood looming large on the wall of the city along with many others sans guns. 

Clint Eastwood and I in Clarksdale, Mississippi

Wall Paintings in Clarksdale
Wall Paintings in Clarksdale
I thought we had lost our minds and way when we arrived at a desolate area known as Shack Up Inn. With the darkness of the night, no lights and absolutely miserable looking conditions of the place, I was ready to entertain some ghosts. This was supposed to be sharecroppers' shacks during America's slave era. We were going to stay the night here, in shacks complete with sheets of tin as ceiling and black and white photographs of people from the 18th century, tissue paper stuck in holes in walls, other knick knacks stuck wherever prior visitors thought was good, and of course graffiti. We were kicked out after one night because a horde of Norwegians had booked the entire place for their Blues' Show the next day in Clarksdale.

Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale (we stayed in this shack)
With Lightnin' Malcolm, Musician, in Shack Up Inn
Thanks to Big Malcolm or Lightnin Malcolm, who jumped in our Jeep and thus became our first unofficial guide; big man brought us to Red's, a small dark and red place with some loud Blues. Big Malcolm is a Blues musician and we ended up buying his CD plus got some pictures and signatures with him. Stan Street, an artist and musician from NY did a performance while we drank beer and bought some art while hanging around his chic art gallery; Deaks played his harmonica while we bought his CD; Steve Kolbus, the effervescent Salesman, who seemed to be everywhere, talked us into buying some of his CDs as well! All in all, we from up North got thoroughly played into buying plenty of music, one way or another. 

An exhilarating performance was given by Watermelon Slim; this Blues artist clearly outdid all rock performers despite having a few teeth; we bought more CDs. From ones who didn't sell us anything were crazies like Herman, Custard Pie and beautiful Marge.

Clarksdale tricked us; it only looked sleepy!

Shack Up Inn in Clarksdale
Steve the Salesman/Musician
Private Session by Artist/Musician Stan Street, Gallery Ham Bone
OPEN sign is a joke: in search of food, exhausted
Iconic Crossroads of Highway 61 and 49
Crossroads of Highway 61 and 49
Iconic Crossroads sign of Highway 61 and 49, is what made my sis-in-law finally become overwhelmed with emotion. This is the site where allegedly Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil! We got thoroughly sold ourselves and promised to return there, again, sometime in life, when the Aussies come back for another trip to America.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Coalition of Willing, God Willing Or Not!

(Musings on Obama getting a coalition ready with Arab nations, to fight ISIS. It will work for a while and then it will be time for another coalition to fight another terrorist another day.)

Getting a coalition of a few Arab nations is perhaps the biggest achievement for Obama presidency and John Kerry; six Arab nations are on board! However, something doesn't smell right here. ISIS is merely the front for Sunni declaration of war on the world, willingly helped by no other than their Sunni brothers spread out in Arab land. Incidentally holy war has been declared on all groups practicing Islam under any other banner but Sunni. Is it possible to give with one hand and snatch with the other? And what exactly is holy about killing and beheading people? Apparently, this is a new definition of holy! Plus Obama just declared that ISIS was not really Islamic! What? ISIS said they were 100% Muslims! Just when the world had begun to believe ISIS! But then, what does ISIS know, they're barbarians; Obama should know; he just enjoyed a good round of golf!

Most probably, it will result in total confusion for ISIS. First there will be bombs falling on their heads and beards; secondly, they will wonder what's going on in those Saudi tents. Didn't those same Saudis send billions of petri-dollars along with plenty of blessings for taking over the infidel world with swords, sabers and scythes? Hasn't' ISIS given a stellar performance? Then what could have gone wrong? Why is Big Bro Saud so upset? What is driving them to take up arms against their own wayward brothers? Perhaps, big Sunni brothers are getting pissed off with ISIS for wandering off course, getting self-sufficient in funds from stealing, taxing, threatening and of course Iraqi oil. Arab nations do not like this, at all; no brother, this will not work!

Or maybe ISIS' sheer brutality is upsetting the delicate balance of zeal and religion. ISIS in Iraq being merely a camel's fart away from different kingdoms, is certainly making rest of Arabs very uneasy! Saudis like to pamper themselves; more than that, they don't want to be reminded they're pampering themselves; after all, they've made themselves upholders of all kinds of tenets like Wahhabism and what not and ISIS brand is not, strictly speaking, Wahhabism! ISIS has made its point and so Saudis and other fat cats from Qatar and Kuwait have decided, ISIS needs to scale back its activities; they are unreliable, have their own flag and are head-happy; no Saudi head can dream of getting itself separated; other heads can roll but not theirs. It's one thing to believe in the 7th century but it's totally different to actually behave as if it is the 7th century! What was ISIS thinking?

Saturday, August 30, 2014

My Sister-In-Law is Coming!

This has been in planning, not for days or months but years. Finally my Sis-in-Law has decided to take the plunge from the other side of the world to this side. This is not merely a lateral movement; it is a movement across hemispheres; not just East-West but North-South as well. Sis-In-Law will be traveling up North and West. Civilizations have been born, somewhere in north-south direction, upheavals have occurred and what not. She'll be bringing Vegemite with her! This is something that only Aussies understand and it's best left to them. Apparently it is well understood by my husband and hence a couple of jars will arrive as well. Aussie band, Men At Work must have loved it; they immortalized it in a song; trust those pesky artists to sing about Vegemites and chunder! Indian 'Karela' comes closest to the awful nature of Vegemite; for me, bitter the better. 

Men At Work: Down Under; You Tube

Sis-in-law's pending plans have made our quiet presence, fully known to authorities, Australian and American, the latter not very efficient at detecting anyone's entry, leave alone people operating as terrorists and their regular entries and exits; that has been left to the amount of bombs they explode and people they kill, just like Tsarnaev brothers who went back and forth between Boston and Chechnya. Not one American scratched his head; the Russians did but then who is going to listen to them; they seem to do things in the coldest way, not enough to excite American passion even about direct terrorist threats which were snuffed quickly under the weight of politically incorrect nonsense. Not the Russians; they don't suffer from PC illness and they do things because they can!

Anyway, my Sis-in-Law has given me sufficient assurances that they will pick up after them, knowing my angst for kids' penchant of leaving things as they are; if they are lying, leave them there to be picked up by mother, which would be me. As long as there is chaos, people remain occupied and bereft of trouble, something terrorists and sympathizers need to develop full time. Sis-In-Law is also ready to venture on the right side of the road after driving for decades on the left! A few hoots and horns might be heard on an otherwise fairly quiet system of driving on American roads; she and Australian friend are free to travel by themselves; I'll watch from the window! Moving on the right side is a welcome change politically, considering progression in age and wisdom; time to shove those ideals in the closet and get on with real world.

Sis-in-Law is coming with an Australian friend. I'm not sure if I can follow Australian accents too well; maybe I'll just put those men to work! Perhaps I will just pretend and smile and agree to everything, maybe do the quintessential Indian nod, saying yes and no and maybe, all at once. Who knows what those damn Indians are nodding about anyway? There will be a cacophony of sounds: Hindi, Urdu, Bengali, American English, Australian English and Hinglish. There will be partnering: Bengali with Bengali, Hindi with Hindi, English for all, whether understood or not. Some Australian cuisines will be brought to the kitchen and of course the notorious fish eating habits of Bengalis will be revived. My sis-in-law will also resuscitate sluggish American economy with her plans of shopping and all! Hola Sis!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Ding Ding Ding: We Have A Winner!

Some pesky teenagers
Party was in full swing; strobe lights were in place; alcohol had been lined up, weed was everywhere. Teenagers and 20 somethings had assembled; calls and texts had been placed for the venue. All ingredients for a successful outcome were in place or so it seems for all gatherings done by the youth of America and the world at large! Unfortunately, things for teenagers usually have a weird outcome or basically only one outcome: trouble. No matter what they do, where they go, young people always have a tail. Nonetheless, recklessness, and foolhardiness combined with a laissez faire attitude - is what drives the young to places and to depths that no one has been able to reach. It's the brain, it's the hormones, it's the age, it's immaturity, it's maddening. Deadly combination of an individualistic streak combined with group mentality, is what compels the young to complete distraction. 

At the party, things were just fine and everyone was slowly descending into the inevitable state of inebriation when honorable DJ of the party decided things were not loud enough simply because nothing was vibrating and nothing was falling. Besides there was too much visibility! Smoke machine and Fogger were brought out; no party could be compete without a thorough soaking in fog and smoke, whether from the machine or lungs (that would eventually burn out and start smoking). Well, smoke machine came on, spun its magic and loads of curly smoke and fog filled the room and house. Now the party could actually begin to feel like an authentic one.

Smoke Monsters
In the swirling lights, smoke monsters looked beautiful and kids were mesmerized not so much by the smoke but their own ability to pull off another successful coup, just out of reach of adults. Who knows where the adults were and who knows whether they knew the outcome of prolonged absences from their abodes. Let's just say, everything was under control, nothing was on fire and this was merely a case of smoke without fire.

Smoke Alarm doing its job
Assembled kids forgot about smoke alarms. As smoke reached every corner of the room, however fake, it still managed to excite the smoke alarms. They started off real loud and refused to stop; their batteries must have been changed recently. Anyway, the sound shattered the party and before the party-ers could have done anything, another light and sound show began to form outside the party house. Fire trucks and police cars had deposited themselves outside the party house. Some irate neighbor, probably a cranky old man or woman or just some party pooper, had called the cops. These damn kids. Cops were upset that fun could not be had with music and other good stuff,was a smoke machine really essential, they wondered aloud as they got ready to barge into the house.

Most main doorways and windows of the culprit house were blocked by burly policemen but other hidden doors and windows were discovered by kids. More than half escaped; in fact so many tumbled out of the house that they caused utter confusion among cops. When some brave police trudged upstairs, the young ones slipped by with such speed, there was not a blur remaining. Some girls screamed so loud and for so long, that it drowned genuine bawling from other heart broken kids; these ones just crumpled in various corners and moaned loudly. One policewoman silenced everyone as she went around with a breathalyzer. As numbers on the breathalyzer went crazy, the party was declared officially closed. The triumphant policewomen declared gleefully, Ding ding, ding, we have a winner! The lucky winner had opened his mouth wide and breathed out numbers of .15! Incidentally, the number also considered the unofficial pass out limit (legal limit of BAC hanging on dearly to .08). Phew, that was a substantial win indeed!


Saturday, July 26, 2014

My Father the Warrior: Remembering Him and His Battles With Ghosts!

Peace: Joyce Singha
For many years, my father suffered from a ‘ghost problem’. When he first told me about the nightly battles he'd been having with various creatures, I shuddered, laughed, and quickly shuddered again lest those creatures came upon me as well. Such is the fear of ghosts in the Indian culture! This is what my dad told me. He said those guys wanted to sit on top of his head and did so; he said they were pinching him, he said they were blowing air on him, he said they whistled at him, he also said they were pushing him from his bed. I was shocked that any creature could be so rude as to push a man from his own bed. My Dad threw different things at the creatures: shoes, slippers, pillows, spoons, sticks, mud, water, anything he could lay his hands on.
Nonetheless, it all amounted to a lot of activity so I asked my dad to be less dramatic and a little more reasonable. My Dad said that when they bared their teeth, he had enough and that is the time he whipped out his Bible and whacked the life out of them. Then he did his favorite thing, which is to let out choice curses in Hindi. Believe me, some of the curse words in Hindi can be very scary. On a side note, when my dad used profanity, it was not gentle at all; he could really grind it out good.
It seems with the Bible in one hand, a shoe in the other, and a mouth full of curses my father was successful in scaring those creatures, for a while. Most likely they retreated for a while. My Dad also saw a Maulvi (Muslim priest) who wrote few powerful stanzas on bits of paper, which my father stuck all over his house. Unfortunately, in the ensuing weeks, bits of paper and my father’s curses were not potent enough to keep wily creatures away; they were back to torment my father. I requested my father see his doctor before the situation got completely out of hand.
Dad duly headed for his PCP who happens to be a benign Jewish fellow complete with cap, keys, and threads; jingle-jangle of Doctor’s keys usually informed of his arrival. In the monthly or weekly meetings, my father and doctor usually discussed various political situations and rarely my father’s troubles, which fortunately had remained unchanged and hence no need of changing of the guard. Kind Doctor diagnosed my father’s battles with ghosts as sleep disorder/ anxiety/ depression, and recommended anti-depressants, which my dad refused to take just in case they interfered with his heart medicines. Then the doctor suggested maybe he should see a psychiatrist at which my dad went completely ballistic. When the doctor seemed exasperated, my dad came to his rescue and said he would get some priests to wipe out those night creatures! Medicine and juju somehow never went together.
As rescue-from-ghosts mission began, the group comprised of two priests, one designated priest and another one for added support, my Mum, my Mum's two friends, Dad, Dad's friend, and me. The idea was to present a very formidable group just in case any of those creatures were hiding under the carpet or in the walls or something. The priest soaked the house with holy water and read numerous Bible chapters to banish the creatures to depths of hell. The group lead by the priest made a few rounds of the house making sure all bases had been covered. My father was satisfied, slept peacefully for a few days till a few days later when his troubles started again.

I decided to take matters in my hand, fished out my Homeopathic books and read all the troubling symptoms. Voila I had the right remedy for Dad. He was given Stramonium. Dad became well, slept well and even gave advice to all and sundry about how to tackle ghosts! My Dad also told me about a certain distant relative who had regular sessions of boxing with some local nocturnal creatures as well! My mind began to whirr and I thought could this thing run in the family? Could God be so unkind as to allow generations to be troubled by these restless creatures? Should I get ready with some shoes and slippers? Or should I just keep some Stramonium nearby for myself? May my father rest in peace and those creatures as well; he was a true warrior, fought with ghosts and all.

Notes: Author is a Homeopath; Stramonium is a Homeopathic remedy to ease the mind among other things.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Little Dress And Big Problems

I doubted we were ever going to get summer this year despite all the warnings about global warnings. It has been a litany of cold; long, drawn out winters, hardly any spring and barely a few days of simmering heat. What was I going to do with my short dresses and shorts? So far, my husband had not panicked about my short shorts (I don't know what else they could be if not short). He's used to that. What a husband! But he did become alarmed about a dress I was going to wear for a party. Basically, the length of the dress caused the alarm; it was not like the Duchess of England's knee high length dresses. Being petite, I cannot wear and should not wear long dresses. I would disappear completely so the only solution to this height problem would be to give the world an impression of height with a short dress. Yes, it's important the world sees women preferably with some added height.

Along with the dress, I had to contend with additional heels as well. I don't know if the dress was bought for the heels or heels were bought for the dress. Basically both had to go together, one without the other would not have done it. If I did not wear this dress on this particular day, an opportune moment would have slipped by, my friends would have left for Texas and I would have been left with a dress and heels still waiting to be outed. 

Anyway this is how it all played out between the little dress, little ol' me and husband:

Husband: Is that what you are going to wear?
Me: Yes, what's the problem?
Husband: Oh nothing, only ...
Me: Yes?
Husband: How will you sit?
Me: Primary reaction, no words - open mouth, wide eyes, hands on hips
        Secondary reaction, no words, mouth still open, hands holding head
Husband: You can't sit down!
Me: Should I just hang around the door?
Husband: Do whatever you want.

I don't know if my husband realized that this was going to be a small party where people sat, stood and sipped. I doubt any people would have been lying around on the floor with drinks or kabobs in their hands; it's not possible to interact in that state! Did my husband think that if I stood, everybody else would stand up and stare? Or did he expect that as soon as I sat down everybody else would go one step further and immediately fall to the ground and that's when the viewing would change! He was worried I might forget I had a dress and for no apparent reason would end up doing somersaults. He worried immensely about me in a little dress. So his solution: Do Not Sit!

But sit I did. Standing is the worst position for me. I invariably look for a place to settle in including the floor. With a dress on, floor was not a possibility. We are talking about eye level conversation here; we are talking about little dresses riding up a bit but hands being able to pull it down to a discreet level; we are talking about decent people sitting and having a conversation; we are talking about women having the freedom to wear shorts and dresses without having their throats slit and being accused of infidelity by the moral police; we are talking about husbands going cuckoo over sitting and standing in innocent-little-not-quite-white-dresses!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Prisoner Exchange: Obama Style

There is a new order in the world for conducting prisoner exchange; it's called Obama Style. Obama just conducted one for Bowe Bergdahl for the terrible Taliban five, very dangerous terrorists held in Gitmo for years. As reports continue to emerge, Bowe Bergdahl is not the man Obama made him out to be much like Obama is not the man, America thought he was or was going to be. Bergdahl is a deserter who in earlier times would have been shot dead according to protocol. Not in Obama Times where deserters are honored, exchanged, brought home, their homecoming celebrated in the Rose Bowl of America's White House. In this brave new world, deserters get honored while soldiers who put their lives on the line are dissed by White House spokespeople like Marie Harf, a woman who may have never seen what war is, much like Gwyneth Paltrow, both women lucky to enjoy the privileges of living in a world made free by the sacrifice of soldiers, most of them honorable men and women.  

Now, America has effectively set a precedent of how to get your soldiers back, no questions asked. Whether people like Bergdahl collaborated with the enemy is regardless in this new enterprise. The country is 17 Trillion in debt but Obama also considered paying up to 5 million dollars to get Bergdahl back. The Taliban must have scoffed at the paltry amount. Obama obviously hadn't seen free flowing money from the Saudis for jihad! Anyway, Obama has begun to move the country in a direction of easy give and take and new definition of what honorable service is. It's this non-recognition of honor that lets Obama ignore a genuine and honorable Marine, holed up in Mexico for some weird reason. However, Marine Tahmooressi can be brought back from Mexico by exchanging any number of drug cartel members in USA or other criminals eating away taxpayers money, right here in the USA.  Surely, Mexico would be delighted at the offer, more so if a few millions are dangled as well. Currently, Cartel members/Gang members are being fed and provided with attorneys and lawyers (working feverishly for the rights of criminal offenders) and when things go their way, which happens many times, criminals and drug cartels are allowed to stay on in the country as well; their families get the invite as well. All this could be achieved with Obama's prisoner exchange program.

There are other exchanges that can be done by Obama while he still has 2 more years remaining in office, good enough time to wreck some more damage to the country, make a mockery of protecting Americans, reduce terrorism to some euphemistic noble words and actions, and still claim victory! There are many ambitious terrorists sitting pretty in Gitmo and others jailed in America's high security prisons. Obama needs to move quick before his 2 years are over. There are killers, all kinds, with steel claws, pirate gear, ZZ Top style bearded men, angry men, hate spewing men, all declaring death and destruction to non-Muslims in Satanic lands especially where Christianity is still present. No, Al-Qaeda is NOT on the run and neither are its myriad affiliates! Obama can easily exchange these people with Americans rotting in foreign lands. It is truly an amazing opportunity for a full scale prisoner exchange. A quick release of hardened criminals and terrorists as per Obama's liberally chaotic world, would be wonderful especially if it is done without knowledge of Congress and American people.

In Obama Land of Lies, Deception and Dementia, there is no war on terrorists. In fact, there are no terrorists and if there are, they have legitimate grievances which Obama administration will do everything in its power to rectify; after all America needs to be cut down to size. Obama has been made president of America to redress America's wrongs and set it right with the world in every which way possible! With his prisoner exchange program, Obama will re-set world order to a state of utopia, extend the olive branch to all intent on destroying the free world. Obama's Style of exchange will bring peace, prosperity and goodwill among all. This is Obama Style and unfortunately many Americans upheld it as well. This is what Liberals and Democrats wanted to see in Obama; this is what Obama wanted to do since he donned the presidential cape and quickly mistook it for a King's cape and crown. And just as he goes about his presidential business with complete disregard for laws and the constitution, he continues to become more and more enamored with his useless ideas. Long Live King Obama, cry his loyal subjects!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Grandma's Pet Bird

Over eating and obesity are human frailties; it's not supposed to happen to birds and animals but I suppose in some places it does. So here was Grandma with her pet bird who had been a pet for many years and didn't know any other existence. Nonetheless, even Grandmas need a break every now and then, so off this Grandma went leaving behind her pet bird to be taken care of by none other than her favorite 20 year old Grandson. Lo and behold, Grandson became attached to the bird and gave the bird freedom of every kind, the kinds that only wild creatures can imagine. 

When Grandson and company drank, Bird hung around the glasses and bottles and bottle caps. When Grandson played ball in the house, Bird witnessed the wreckage; when Grandson slept, Bird slept as well and naturally when Grandson smoked pot, the bird sat longingly around as well. As things played out in Grandma's absence, Grandson invited a few friends to say hullo to the Bird and experience some whiffs of pot as well. I don't know if all assembled smoked but Grandson certainly did. Weed washes everything in the humane light and so everybody was let in for a mellow evening unlike evenings of carnage that usually and invariably accompany alcohol. 

So pet Bird sat around with the boys; when they smoked, the Bird did too. Well, Bird didn't really pick up a pipe and all that, only sniffed and inhaled the good stuff. As lovely fumes of weed gently wafted down the room, they flowed from the pipe and directly filled little Bird's lungs. Heavenly pot  lifted Bird's worries about Grandma as Bird felt her wings soar around the room. Good stuff, that weed! Before long, Bird was thoroughly soaked with weed. Like many politicians, Bird too did not inhale! Second hand smoke from weed and pot was the culprit, which those pesky Liberals never warned you about; in fact they wanted to make those freedoms available to all without discrimination.

Transformation quickly occurred  as Bird become a one-time-pot-head and soon turned into a glutton as well. A free bird, not in its cage, happily hanging around pot smoking grandsons, is bound to get into trouble. So, high on weed and wind beneath its wings, off went the bird to find its food and find in plenty it did. That big 10 pound bird food was all hers.
Pet Bird went for it 
 forgot to blink 
   forgot to drink; 
    to the surprise of all
 ate it, got bloated
   turned into a ball

Bird ate so much that it became incapacitated and passed out very close to Grandson who thought Bird was just tired and needed some sleep. Grandson threw my son's jacket over the bird for some peace and quiet and let Bird rest all night. There the Bird lay, all night, without moving, without breathing.

Now, Grandson has to answer Grandma what happened to her pet Bird. My son has to wipe down his jacket with warm water, lemon and some vinegar because this jacket cannot be washed or dry cleaned. Grandson's friends will speculate as to why was Grandson so sad; after all it was just a bird and maybe Grandson had a soft heart and worried about other things besides weed. All friends will have to collectively figure out what to do with the dead bird, whether to cremate it or bury it before Grandma gets back from her vacation. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

NBA Basketball of Punks and Dunks

Soccer or Football is the world's most popular sport but surely American Basketball is equally popular with its towering men and their knee length shorts, certainly not designed for men under 6 feet; anything under this number easily qualifies for a dwarf on the field.  Regular people sometimes feel a sense of relief when they see some players hovering around their normal height but that is very rare and soon people feel sorry to see such 'tiny' players having to make do in a court of giants. Then too, the 'tiny' ones seem to be specially adept at moving the ball swiftly, especially through the legs of the bigger players. Big players like Shaquille O'Neal made it an art form to fall and remain fallen till most of both teams regardless of rivalry, helped him stand up again. 

It's the sheer beauty of flight and an equal ferocity of beastly play that sets American basketball apart from any other in the world. Two to three feet off the ground is the least a fan can get to see, which in itself is a fanciful flight perfected by none other than the world's most famous athlete, the great Michael Jordan. Hang time came to be affiliated with Jordan because he seemed to stay in the air for an unholy and unbelievably long time. Nonetheless the Jordan era was also one of full time punks like Dennis Rodman and those pesky Detroit Pistons who played basketball like a series of wrestling matches. For lack of anything else to do, Rodman now keeps company with ruthless dictators and killers like Kim Jong-Un and then wonders in his pretty pink scarf why the world is so upset and subsequently has on-air meltdowns as well!

Unfortunately, like other things in America, NBA too has come under the knife of political correctness where a good old hard foul has been elevated to choices of flagrant 1 and 2 and of course off court theatrics! It's a wonder PC thought police hasn't yet objected to all the garbage talk and thoughts by players especially with the heavy handed dealing of Donald Sterling, owner of NBA Team LA Clippers! Somehow Clippers thought of protesting by throwing their jerseys down but still continuing to be on Sterling's pay roll of millions of dollars; taking Sterling's tainted money was ok!  Head butting, poke in the eye, goring another player are no longer tolerated. Subsequently, fans can no longer see a basketball brawl, so to speak. Half of the pleasure in watching international soccer games lay in watching droves of traveling half-crazed fans across borders who insist on having their own matches of fists, slurs and horns in the stands. 
Michael Jordan's Hang Time

Still, NBA attracts new blood each year hungry for the ring and title but of course the average age of an NBA champion is 27 years! There is Russell Westbrook with his blazing guns and of course the freight train Lebron James but none come close to being punks.  To stop Lebron James is to do it at the peril of your life and so when he comes down thundering towards the basket, it's best to move out of the way and pretend to tie your shoe laces. Everybody would understand those shoe laces were never undone! When Tiago tried to dunk on Lebron, well the sheer audacity of it went viral because the Spaniard never went anywhere. It's one thing to move out of the way but it's another to dare do it on Lebron!

NBA still has some passion, bits of controlled anger, some frustration, but plenty of beauty in the beasts of play. It's fascinating to see the ball sail down the net with a sweet swish, one smooth action, no crutch of the board is seen as in European basketball and so when it happens to be a rare air ball, one collective gasp from the crowd becomes a unique sound. But nothing to beat the absolute awesomeness of NBA basketball when players go for their dunks. Which brings me to the quintessential nature of American NBA dunks.  This beauty is truly a beast. The ball gets slammed down with such savagery that it is a miracle the ball survives as well as the net and of course the board as well. This art of slamming the ball through the net has yet to be mastered by other nations.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Drink Drank Drunk: Joys and Perils

You Tube: Compilation of Drunk People

Nothing is funnier than seeing drunkards talk or walk because they can’t do either. They open their mouth, they tip over. Was it the weight of the words? They raise their hand, they tip over, they raise their leg to walk, the leg crumbles under them. They sing and dance and accept all kinds of dares even to their heads, which are mush anyway. They insist on riding bikes without wheels or with the wheel turned around permanently; they go round and round till they can do it no more; they fold over with the bike over them or under, the bike does not care and they are too drunk to care either.  They can crawl through the tightest spots, slide through barbed wires or slide on to barbs; squeeze throats, their own or others and then wonder what their hands were doing around throats; they choke themselves, punch their own faces, and do other such foolish stuff.

People have been warned: do not drink and walk but that’s what precisely drunk men and women like to do. People have been warned, do not drink and drive but that’s another human frailty. People have been warned, do not drink but who listens. If there is anyone who cannot walk, it’s the ones who’ve been drinking all day and all night long. Suddenly they remember they need to get home and so their foray into getting-home-by-themselves begins! They start off by walking backwards and graduate to doing it diagonally; they stumble on the dark road and the road leads them back to where they began. What happened to the road? They tumble through a house, whose house is that anyway? They find their way to the door and are surprised by the door opening on them; they fall outside the house just near the door; that’s where they crumple and lie until further notice.

They were the bravest people when they started off just before they consumed that alcohol, loads of it. Then they got caught into accepting challenges, fancy ones too. They jumped off stairways, balconies, across ditches, into walls; they threw themselves into doors, windows, tables, bicycles, cars, anything that was standing or moving. Nothing is safe from a drunken man hurtling towards them. They can do everything and they are fiercely independent. It’s that evil alcohol that made them do things they were adamantly opposed to. Hollywood needs to hire drunkards for all their stunts, even though those successful stunts would have only been one-time affairs. Mostly it is men who are a sight to watch as long as those men are not related to you; then it’s not funny. The entire world thinks drunkards have a problem except the drunkards themselves. For them, it’s the world that has a problem or maybe the bottle has a problem!

Monday, March 31, 2014

Frenzy of Heavy Metal Music

If there's anything that can drive people in a state of frenzy then it has to be headache-inducing-head-banging-Metal. If you're going for the kill, this is the music that one must hear. Not only will it explode the enemy's head, it will pretty much cause an explosion of your own head as well. In case, you ever had a chance to see live Metal Show, you'll see on stage, the machoest of macho men, the alpha males, the kind every girl dreams of till her ear drums are ready to give up all pretense of sound. Lead guitarists and Bass guitarists, each occupy between three to four feet of horizontal space with their leg-spread, six feet of vertical height, with an additional few feet above to allow for leaping, jumping and landing on stage or off onto the heads or into arms of frenzied fans. Girls wait for such immense weights to fall on them; boys and men don't mind it either; after all Metal is the rite of passage!

So what is Metal? It is as generally described as thick, massive sound characterized by highly amplified distortion and loudness beyond loud. Heavy Metal performance styles are often associated with ultra masculinity, aggression and machismo! Urban Dictionary describes it as a type of music characterized by a cacophonous wall of sound and accelerated tempo achieved through distorted electric guitars playing fast-paced riffs, with the driving drumbeat often utilizing hypersonic double bass rhythms. Other sub genres besides Heavy metal are Death Metal, Thrash Metal, Drone Metal, Post Metal, Sludge Metal, Speed Metal, Glam Metal and other choice Metals.

There is no voice like that of Heavy Metal. If Satan enjoyed or played music, he would do it the Metal way. For music, there is rumble followed by thunder and finally by doom. Yes, it's those Metal Guys belting out sounds straight from the belly of the beast. Those vocal cords have to be made of steel! Drums are hit with all possible might, guitars are played with a vengeance, words or something sounding like words are spat out to the tune of thunder. Leaping, jumping, sliding, clawing, racing on stage on one leg with long wavy hair, clanking chains, smashing heads, shattering drums, and generally breaking things are part and parcel of a Metal Show.

It is difficult to say who feeds off whose energy and madness. Metalheads are just as senile as their heroes, the Metal Men. Just in case, Metal Bands see any signs of dissipating energy in the lunatic world also known as 'crowds', pyrotechnics are there to provide all necessary fire and heat. Smoke bellows out from all corners of the stage and entire bands look ready to explode. The crowd responds, creates a space called the mosh-pit and in that pit they descend like zombies; their participation restricted to pushing, shoving, spitting, flinging themselves, spinning heads, falling, getting trampled, screaming and doing the same again and again. These are pits where youngsters, teenagers, and senile adults  allow themselves to get crushed, mashed and packed into unrecognizable forms.

Nothing but black is worn on stage by Metal Bands; black jackets, black shirts, black shorts, black pants, black bandanas, black socks, black boots and thick black kohl laden eyes and make-up. If they never wore anything, that would suffice as well on account of their bodies being covered in tattoos. Guys without deadly black glasses or big buckle belts or long tongues would be a disgrace to Metal. Chains, steel, multiple rings, nose rings, belly piercings, tattoos, skull heads, snakes, dragons, swords, guns, fierce looking beasts, all stick to Metal like magnets.

This Metal melts metal and human skulls simultaneously. As blinding green lights and red lights explode, Metal Concerts transform into furious sounds and mounds of forms swaying in unison with the inevitable hand gesture of the forefinger and little pinky thrust into darkness.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Is Michelle Obama Selling ObamaCare in China?

Nobody seems to be buying ObamaCare in America, so could selling ObamaCare to the Chinese be one of Michelle Obama's reasons for the China Trip? Flotus is not there for political reasons but maybe she should have. Did it not occur to her that selling ObamaCare with a different name like JiabaoCare would garner more support? With the change in name would come Made in China label along with drastically reduced costs much like other Made in China products? Regarding culture, what exchange could occur between Americans and Chinese where both cultures are poles apart and never the twain shall ever meet? So why exactly is Michelle traveling to China with a large entourage? Expenses for Michelle's China Trip as reported by media watchdogs are costing the country's taxpayers some hefty millions. Obamas' earlier trip to Africa cost the taxpayers a few millions as well! All the country got in return was a Selfie of Obama with the UK PM and Danish PM Helle Thorning-Shcimdt. Michelle is known to spend money freely and lavishly on her other vacations as well. Maybe Michelle could try getting one American, a job, via Chinese connections. White House Pastry Chef was recently let go by Michelle because he refused to replace eggs, butter and cream with some fruit fluff foo. This would be great considering there aren't many jobs available in America these days.

One good thing that could come out of Michelle's China Trip would be a push for new dress designs and hairdos for her fans who follow her keen sense of clothes, hair and other control issues. Michelle is in China with her mother and two daughters, the latter well behaved while the Mother slightly out of control. Mrs Robinson, Michelle Obama's mother has been heard barking orders to the Chinese hotel staff. Imagine misbehaving in a country which is hosting your trip. Unbelievable bad manners even for the Chinese who are not exactly known for good manners or kindness. Maybe the Chinese could convince Mrs Robinson to bark her orders for Barack Obama to shoo out Dalai Lama next time the exiled Tibetan leader visited America (Dalai Lama has been living in India since the 1960s). The Chinese are not very tolerant of dissent and neither are the Obamas, so maybe this trip could be an important point of meeting between the wife-of-one-leader-who-is-no-longer-regarded-as-leader of the world and the wife-of-another-leader-who-is-trying-hard-to-be-the-leader of the world with stiff competition from wife of the Russian leader, Vladimir Putin.

Somebody said that earlier presidents had done the same thing as in sending their wives and children on 'cultural visits' but what this person forgot was that 17 trillion debt amassed under Obama by far surpassed all combined presidents' spending and vacations and what not. Best thing would have been to scrap the visit and use the money to pay down some debt, not that it would have made any difference in Liberal thinking of spending money as long as it was not theirs! Well so far, Michelle Obama has proven that correct and her mother is there to encourage her. What are mothers for?As most Obamas' policies have fallen flat, Michelle could try selling her health diets to the Chinese who supposedly have developed a penchant for American pizzas and hamburgers and are fast traveling on the obesity trail. Incidentally Michelle Obama's health foods for schools in America resulted in school kids going hungry and schools losing business, so this program may have been scrapped for good. The bottom line is, no amount of cultural exchanges between the Obamas and Jiabaos are going to make a dent in relations; it's all about who doles out the cash to whom and how much, something Obamas sorely lack in understanding because under their auspices, America has been essentially sold to China!

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Obama and Putin Discuss Crimea on Phone

Probable conversation between President Obama and President Putin:

Obama:   What's that about Crimea?
Putin:      What?
Obama:   Let me warn you!
Putin:      About what?
Obama:   There will be economic sanctions!
Putin:      From you?
Obama:   There will be consequences!
Putin:       For who?
Obama:    I'm getting ready to put my foot down.
Putin:       Where?
Obama:    On the table and take immediate action!
Putin:       Oh damn!
Obama:    I'll get Europe to back me!
Putin:       Who's that?
Obama:    Stay out of Crimea!
Putin:       It's Russian business as usual.
Obama:    Leave Crimea alone.
Putin:       Oh that!
Obama:    Don't play with me!
Putin:       Yeah, I'm real scared of America!
Obama:    Are you?
Putin:       Nah! Just for a laugh, I even got my Parliament to say yes! It's all legal!
Obama:    What about people of Crimea!
Putin:       Anything else before I settle my troops there?
Obama:    I'm warning you again!
Putin:       FU!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Living With Creatures In Our Attic

This entire winter, we've lived with some animals or creatures in our attic. It's not as if they were paying us, it was more like free loader stuff, the kind that America's president actively promotes. In fact, theses creatures have had more fun this winter than we have had. I've heard all kinds of sounds, of pleasure, I should say: rolling, jumping, pitter patter, running, falling and even scratching. I can only imagine some heavy rollers being used to ride on, perhaps some swings may have been attached to the walls of the attic or maybe a hot bath or two were in the offing.  Maybe the creatures were even smoking cigarettes after a good bout of pleasure! Who knows what was up with all these strange sounds that were clearly beyond the grasp of mere mortals trying to live their own lives!

I did what I was forced to do, by my husband, called the Village of Skokie. Yes, it's called the Village because as most other things in America, Americans like to do things the 'other' way. In fact, it's a suburb but also manages to house loads of trees, birds, animals and wildlife like deer, skunks, raccoons, chipmunks and others. Questions from the Village were asked: what kind of sounds, at what time were the sounds, where exactly were the sounds coming from? By the time I answered all the questions, I had become discombobulated and wondered if I imagined the sounds! Nonetheless, remedies were offered: go up in the attic, dip rags in ammonia, wrap moth balls in sheer stockings and throw them in the attic. My husband quickly ruled himself out of going in the attic, I shuddered at the thought and our two boys quickly ran away to the gym.

An important question remained: how on earth did these creatures get in our attic? My husband thought the creatures had used trees to hop, skip and jump on the roof. But how did they get in through the roof? As the temperatures have been quite frigid this winter, we were loathe to go outside and up on the roof to check this. Even if we got ourselves to be brave, we would have likely become part of the snow spectacle as snowmen and snow women with real red noses instead of carrots. We were not going to allow ourselves to be part of senseless global warming teams heading to Antarctica to find some melting snow and getting stuck in their own experiments! A self damning experience to say the least! Anyway we rather have creatures sleep in our attic than freeze ourselves in sub zero temperatures in a sea of snow!

We decided that as these creatures were mainly active in the day, they were most likely squirrels. There was no money trail so we just had to go around the house many times to look for possible holes in walls, windows, doors etc. We looked up at the chimney to be a possible suspect but that was capped with mesh, so that was out. Anyway the chimney would be a long process even for squirrels. They would have to climb down the chimney braving all the hot air, avoid getting singed, get to the basement and when all was quiet, quickly run up the stairs, take a tour of the house and find the best way of getting up back to the attic! Even for squirrels, this seemed a waste of time. So the chimney option was quickly abandoned and left for Santa Claus to pursue. 

Finally we found the holes, rather saw them by chance after much staring and blinking at the house. There were two of them, approximately 5 inches in diameter in the front of the house, looking all lonely and scratched up. This is just like life I thought, seeing and not seeing! Anyway, we're going to leave the holes alone for the time, let the squirrels be till the thawing season comes around and then go after those holes with a vengeance. But first, we are going to make a racket through the attic door, maybe have the vacuum cleaner on for long minutes, throw ammonia soaked rags and nylon wrapped moth balls; perhaps have loud rap music full of curse words or even head busting metal rock; wait for the squirrels to depart from the attic, find their own house; then we are going to climb or lean against the vertical plane, get dizzy, experience some vertigo and finally fix those damn holes.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Harley Davidson to Moto Guzzi and Men Who Love Both

It’s happening again just like the flu virus which goes around and comes back to infect many men and also my husband. Spring and Summer may not be here yet but the motorcycle season for my husband is here albeit with a difference. My husband is ready to give up his beloved Harley Davidson for the newest Italian buxom known as Moto Guzzi. Mind you, this is no flakey looking bike. It's big, heavy, black. Italians have figured out America's penchant for all things big. Why not, America is a big country with miles and miles of roads to be ridden and traveled. Italians have won over America and the way they did it was by quietly slithering into the name game. It was done through the good old art of flattery; naming their Italian creation by the name of CaliforniaNothing but the golden state for Bikers where Riders are found all year round, with or without shirts, where Liberal values roast and bake in the Sun and people look tanned all year round. 

So, now, because Moto Guzzi happens to be European, videos in all kinds of speeds and languages are being watched. So far, my husband has forced me to watch videos in French, Italian, Greek, German, Finnish, Portuguese, Spanish and other languages unknown to me. He has watched videos with riders going in slow motion, riding into the Sun, riding with the Sun behind them, riding into the mountains, emerging from the mountains; Moto Guzzi on straight roads as well on curvy and treacherous paths, roads merging into riders, lethal looking bike goggles, maddening head-banging-metal trying to keep up with the sheer beauty of the black beast of Moto Guzzi and finally riders-bikes-roads all merging into one entity. Some videos focussed only on Moto Guzzi's engine, others on its calipers, some on its headlight and one video where the camera did not move even for a second from the rider's head and Moto Guzzi's handles while behind them, everything did! 

My husband has sat without blinking looking at many Moto Guzzis and specifically the California 1400, going round and round, moving at dizzying angles, getting loving washes by owners, getting polished over and over again, listening to its sounds, reading slobbering comments by other Moto Guzzi lovers, not batting an eyelid with all the glowing French, Finnish, Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and Italian accounts of the joys of staring at a Moto Guzzi or merely standing in its shadow or the ultimate of riding a Moto Guzzi. He has also watched other motorcycle maniacs declaring a change in their love from Harley to Moto Guzzi without a hint of guilt. The British actor Evan McGregor played his part in planting my ride, my pride right on top and thus furthering the cause of Moto Guzzi. This is the guy who definitely knows what a ride is; he has ridden on all kinds of Moto Guzzis around the world, many times, has complete sets of travel videos, films and documentaries to prove it and his own faithful twitter followers. I am now wondering, what markets, Harley Davidson, my husband's first love, will have to find. China and Japan come to mind; after all, China owns America and Japanese like anything American. Or maybe North Korea could come to America's aid with its new friend, the ever effervescent Dennis Rodman.

Some More Links: 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

I am what I yam: Those Stubborn Principles

I am what I yam: Those Stubborn Principles: There is one thing that does not change in the world and then there is another thing that does not change as well; to combine both, it wou...

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Stubborn Principles and Bechara Bhala Aadmi

There is one thing that does not change in the world and then there is another thing that does not change as well; to combine both, it would have to be a man of unremitting principles. A principled person stands on a ground that is so solid that nothing can dislodge him. It's not that he is not surrounded by people working hard to dislodge him. In fact, some around may work their entire lives trying to displace people of principles. That is their mission and sometimes they succeed, at other times it's mission impossible. Nonetheless in India and other cultures, a principled man, a man without malice in his heart, is regarded as an object of ridicule, euphemistically known as Bechara Bhala Aadmi and loosely translated as the pitiful good man!

Apparently, goodness hovers in the realm of pity and ones that stick to their morals are quickly rendered as pitiful beings! The world has forgotten the close proximity of pity and piety; goodness is to be honored and good men to be seriously considered heroes for their simplicity of thought and deed. Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication, said Leonardo De Vinci and if the most complex concepts cannot be reduced to simple ones, they deserve to go away quietly. Wise is the man who avoids complicating simple truths and principles. No wonder people are terrified of the principled man; he is what they would be if they could.

Om by Joyce

Could a principled man be akin to a mule, the kind of animal that digs in its heels? Mules are common animals in India and many times are seen standing in the middle of the road, just sniffing air. Nearby the owner is seen going crazy trying to make the animal move. Nothing helps. He is wondering whether to leave the animal there and carry all that load himself and subsequently sink under the weight or take a stick to the animal. Only if he could find the right kind of stick, the kind just appropriate for the occasion. Maybe he could check with society's morality police, the kinds seen in repressive societies. Surely they will have an answer for the size of the stick, its length and breadth, that some cultures and religions encourage to keep their women in check! If women could be kept in check, why not a mule!

Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines principle as a moral rule or belief that helps you know what is right and wrong. Principle is something a person believes in, something that is dear to him, a concept  he is willing to die for.  The truth he holds, is what embodies him. Herein lies a problem; one man's truth may not be another man's truth. Yes, many have successfully argued many facets of truth but truth is truth and viewing it from different angles will not add any more colors to it. Only lies and untruth have as many facets as possible and that too is in a constant state of flux. A principled being perhaps sees things in a clearer light, so clear there are no shades of gray. Is that what makes the principled man so obdurate? Why is it important for some to ruffle a good man, to see him shed his beliefs? Is it a flaw, the inability to sway with the winds of change? Does a principled man's beliefs  mark him an object of pity or is he ultimately the one pitying those who pity him?