Sunday, October 23

Advice for the young at heart

As S pointed out in the comments section of the previous post, its been 2 months since I have written here. Mind you, it is not as if life has been mundane in that period. On the contrary, as I type this, I feel like one of those unfortunate animals that gets caught in washing machines and somehow survives - much lighter, ragged and half-dead.

Being struck by serious illness is never a laughing matter. When I did fall very badly ill in September, I was thankful to have a helpful room mate around. The situation had reached one of those hairy impasses where I was delirious with fever and consequently rather reluctant to get out of bed. Had it not been for A, my roomie, you'd have probably heard all about it in one of those stories that frequently make it to the papers - "Foul smell, neighbours complain, cops break door down, discover..." or something like that. It was touch and go, but a couple of weeks convalescing at home in Pune got the train back on the rails. Only to have it miraculously  derail thanks to the stresses and ornery machinations of work. All pretty exhausting, really.

The dust is finally starting to settle, just as the sights, sounds and buzz of Diwali is upon us. The timing feels especially poignant, since its the festival of lights that signals the dispelling of darkness, the welcoming of prosperity and change and what-have-you. One of the nicer traditions of this festival is that we're expected to buy ourselves new clothing, to be worn on the big day. However, this involves shopping which, to be perfectly honest, is not really a favourite activity for most guys. I like to keep the experience as efficient as a commando operation - identify target, get in, execute and get out, without fuss.

Now correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't we supposed to be in the throes of recession, inflation, massive petrol price hikes and other portents of doom? Then why the hell are there so many cars and bikes ferrying numerous portly ladies and gents to malls and other stores? I would say we should be exercising prudence in general, but seeing the behemoths that pass for people these days sailing around stores squawking for one size larger or stuffing just one more pani-puri down their boa constrictoresque maws... well, its a lost cause. And the prices; Heaven help us. I understand that the Lee's, Levis and other 'brands' have been around for a while. But I'm from a generation that used to pay Rs. 2 for a vada pav and Rs. 400 for stonewashed Newport jeans. So the idea of paying anything between Rs. 1700 - 3000 for a pair of jeans or a shirt, no matter how venerable the name, is just not on for me. As the current Levi advertisement says "Your life is your life." Buying one of their products would make my life theirs. Or a couple of vital organs at the least. Visiting shops and seeing the various malls and the swarming mobs therein, I can see how commercialised it has become; this, the most family-oriented & fuzzily warm festival of them all.   

We went to a place called the Mega Mart, where most of the assistants took the philosophy behind the name to heart and were incredibly rude or blasé, which put me off instantly. I get that its a fuck-all job, with low pay and little to no satisfaction. The hajaar customers are annoyingly Indian. But guy, being sarcastic and haughty isn't doing you or the shop any favours. Naturally, I mentally flipped him the bird and went elsewhere. I haven't bought a pair of jeans in almost 4 years and while I covet a pair of Levis, I'm much happier buying Live-In, which fit better, age well and allow me to get 2 for a price of one of the royal denims, with spare change left over.

As I think back to the past couple of months, weeks and even today, I can't help but hope that the chaos ends soon and some peace, joy and happiness are around the corner. In this day and age, we could all use a generous helping of these.

Happy Diwali all.

Song for the moment: This time tomorrow - The Kinks


Sakshi (Shilpa Ramesh Maiya) said...

loved reading after a long time!
happy diwali to you and your family :)

G said...

Hey! Welcome back, and happy diwali to you too.

Isn't it about time you started posting again?

Gobri said...

Ouch! I feel miserable posting that comment now. Hope you are all better. The tone of the post suggests you are :)
I stand by the comment when you are feeling well though.

G said...

@ Gobri - What 'ouch'? :) Chivvying comments are most welcome, I tell you. Procrastinating is way too easy.

k said...

"I like to keep the experience as efficient as a commando operation - identify target, get in, execute and get out, without fuss." - Well said and it works splendidly for me too!

G said...

@ k - The art of shopping by men distilled and refined for maximum efficiency :)