Mind

Showcasing My Friends-6

(For the sixth post in this series, for which I have interviewed people I am close to, I emailed Uma Shankar Pandey a set of questions. His responses have been reproduced here. I hope that you would like the idea and enjoy the conversation. The series is to be continued with other friends as and when possible. Sincere thanks to all readers who commented on and appreciated the earlier posts).

viewerUma Shankar Pandey is my newly found friend on the blogosphere. What initially attracted me to his blog was a kind of poetic prose that is so characteristic of whatever he writes- short stories, reminiscences or book reviews. I find him to be an avid reader, a fiercely attentive writer who has all the concern possible for details and above all a very gentle and endearing individual, interacting with whom can be a real source of joy and inspiration. The vocabulary he employs in his expression is rich and classical to the core, to say the least. In this interview, I plan to dig slightly deeper into the person that Uma is. He says on his blog page that he is a “A banker by profession and a writer by confession” and that he shoots when “…the sordid pursuit of livelihood condones such indulgence”. A minute more with some of his lines that linger in my head each time his blog comes to mind should be in order here.

Reviewing a book he says about the author:  “She is a quiet writer of the human disquiet”. Describing in fascinating terms one of his childhood visits to a temple in the city of Varanasi, he writes : “There was no priest in sight and we had to deal with the Goddess without the luxury of a bailiff.” Goes Uma at another point in one of his short stories: “A month passed and the April suddenly started getting intolerably hot and stuffy. I fell to my old habit of pulling out a mattress on the terrace, fixing up a mosquito net on sticks and sleeping under the open sky. The nights were hot to start with but once past the midnight, the wind would pick up thick with the fragrance of night jasmine.” For more of the lovely stuff he writes please do visit uspandey.com. I promise you would not be disappointed!

With that glimpse into the world of his words and musings, on to him directly!

————–

 

Personal Concerns- Benaras to start with- I wanted to know of your take on the charm and mystique that this ancient city is sort of emblematic of.

Uma Shankar Pandey- I have conflicting memories of Banaras.

Ganges River, Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India.

 We used to live in a house on the riverbank. I remember peals of bells, many, many of them, ringing, every morning and evening. Then I remember a boat ride where I almost drowned. It was a serene evening and the wind was picking up. People had started scrambling into the boat and I tried to make it on my own and slipped into the river. I was retrieved quickly and someone took off my trousers. I believe I was embarrassed but I was quickly enraptured as the boat pulled into the river, merrily swaying to and fro. Soon, all that stretched out from the boat was rippling water. Ghat after ghat slid past and the chanting grew louder. Beating of drums and cymbals grew and faded as we closed in on temples and then moved away. The women in the boat started singing.

 

I grew up with the perennial awareness of the huge river in which I could drown and on which stood a distant bridge. And all the meandering lanes invariably led to temples milling with people murmuring with half-shut eyes and bowing and falling flat in front of idols. I was more conscious of monkeys gliding across ledges and rooftops than the cows with menacing horns. What hounded my thoughts often though were the human shapes being carried away on bamboo stretchers, the quartets ushering those chanting dully. As a child, I soon learnt what it meant when a group of grim looking men from our paternal village stood at our doors, refusing to come in, demanding to see our father urgently. Draped in shrouds shining red and orange, someone surely awaited the final fire at a ghat nearby. The river of life was filling me with shivers for life.

 

People visited us when they wanted to take a holy dip in Ganges too.  I was told about Kal Bhairava, an incarnation of Shiva who in a fit of anger had severed one of the heads of Brahma and the head had clung to him and accompanied him everywhere. The skull dropped off his hand only when he visited Kashi, or Banaras as it was known then. It is the legacy of deliverance that prompts the sinners among Hindus, and who isn’t a sinner among Hindus, to trudge their way to the holy city by the river ever so often to drop their baggage of misdeeds. And the Ganges has remained a mute witness, a perennial cleanser of the physical and mental excretions of the sinners.

 

Those are the thoughts that sweep my mind when I think of Banaras. Death, because that is what humans fear but actually succumb to; deprivation, because that is why humans pray but to no avail; hope, because that is what humans pray for and their success may vary; delusion, because that is how humans pray and there really isn’t anything out there.

 

PC- During one of my conversations with you, I got to know about your unfinished Ph.D at Lucknow University. I was interested in knowing more about your research. 

USP- My guide, Prof R N Srivastava, had a mysterious brush with T. S. Eliot. He’d get dreamy talking about it, breaking into a vicious American accent. He had a book gifted to him by the towering litterateur and he cherished it like his life. During my stay in Lucknow University as a student he had taken a liking to me and would trust me immensely and that is why I was once lent the very same book which I went on to possess for an unduly long period. I was never truly forgiven for the sin.

Professor Srivastava was a man of honour and a man of words who clung to what he professed come hail or high water. He was kind enough to take me under his fold and suggested ‘Comic Apocalyptic Fiction with Special Reference to Joseph Heller, Thomas Pynchon and John Barth’ as a topic for the doctoral thesis. Of all those names, Joseph Heller’s masterpiece Catch 22 readily rings a bell to many. I was done with reading Heller and had started writing my critical interpretations. Prof Srivastava, however, wanted me to consult certain tomes even before I put my pen to the paper. I, on the other hand, feared reading other’s works about the genre may perchance sneak in a bias in me or worse, nip my original ideas in the bud. I was afraid I’d be overwhelmed. I did express my apprehension to the professor but he would not budge. It was not that I was adamant or I was sworn not to check out the works my guide wanted me to, much as I was in awe of him anyway. But, it being American Literature, the British Council Library at Lucknow would yield nearly nothing on those authors. The other libraries in Lucknow claimed never to have heard of those, whatsoever.  It was the early 1990s and Internet was not yet born to us. My only option was to go to Central Institute of English and Foreign Languages (CIEFL), Hyderabad., down south. It was a long way off, Hyderabad, two nights away, not earth shattering but a deterrent nonetheless. That, I was a Research Assistant associated with a critical project at IIM Lucknow didn’t help matters much. Eventually, the impasse became insurmountable.


PC- How do the profession of banking and the urge to read, write and blog go together? Since when do you blog?

USP- My earlier job at Indian Institute of Management Lucknow was contractual in nature. I was fervently looking out for teaching positions in Lucknow University and its associated colleges. Unfortunately, it was a complex system being controlled by non-transparent machinery. I am not sure when, if ever I would have ended up in the coveted vocation. Meanwhile, the sordid saga of livelihood started gaining the upper hand with each passing day. Calls for cracking the commonly held recruitment tests started getting shrill. Even Professor Srivastava opined that I should be able to sail through competitions such as those for probationary officers for banks. I did write a few of them and cleared a couple of them and joined my present employer in 1994. For many years after that I was a rolling stone, moving from one branch of the bank to the other, forgetting everything about writing. But I did put up a ‘Homepage’ in 1999, when ‘TCP/IP’ Internet connections became common. Prior to that, I had been trying my luck with publications like Pioneer, TOI, Gentleman, Dharmyug and Saptahik Hindustan. But once my own website was up, I started posting sporadic works there. I started dabbling with ‘Blogger’ circa 2004. I have preserved my first post, ‘Soliloquy’ at uspandey.net. I have been writing intermittently on my current blog One Grain Amongst the Storm at uspandey.com since 2007.


PC- Who are your favorite authors? Any specific novel that you wish to talk about?

USP- It is impossible to have just one favourite author. Some of the authors I love to read are as under:

Shakespeare
Thomas Hardy
Emily Bronte
D H Lawrence
Ernest Hemingway
Mikhail Bulgakov
Boris Pasternak
Joseph Brodsky
Anita Desai
Shashi Deshpande
Arundhati Roy
Rohinton Mistry
Vikram Seth
Manju Kapur
Phanishwar Nath Renu
Janice Pariat
Jeet Thayil

And many more! Hamlet, Jude the Obscure, Wuthering Heights, A Farewell to Arms, Doctor Zhivago, Fire on the Mountain, God of Small Things, Small Remedies, The Immigrant, Boats on Land, Narcopolis are some of my favourite books.

PC- Is communalism ( I am referring to Hindu Muslim animosity/ events of violent conflict in particular) in Uttar Pradesh entirely a political problem?

USP- It is a complex problem. It is impossible to singularly pinpoint at an agent that is at the vortex of the persisting hurricane. I am afraid the seeds of discord may have been sown way back in our history.  I do not intend to invoke the communally subversive strategies of many a Muslim ruler of this land, nor do I wish to invoke the ghost of Jinnah, who have been redeemed by none less than the top faces of a party with a prominently ‘saffron’ bias. What I do believe in is that alarmingly low level of poverty and the resultant illiteracy in people constitute a fertile ground for superstitions and excitable emotions. It is the avarice for power that propels the communal, religious and political leaders to perpetuate the status quo of the preacher and the preached. Enlightenment will mean an adverse shift in power in favour of the populace.  I find the holy altar of so-called secularism more alarming than the bogey of communalism. These pseudo-intellectuals tend to impose themselves where they are not only not needed but are wholly unwelcome too.  They are like the bad conscience that kept egging Adam to eat the forbidden fruit. The underlying equations are overwhelmingly common to both Kandhar and Uttar Pradesh.


PC- Tell us something about your plans regarding the upcoming book?

USP- All I can say is that it is a recurring old dream that grips me off and on with varying force.

PC- I have discussed this with you once. What according to you is the strength of the stream of consciousness style of writing?

USP- The Stream of consciousness mimics the human mind at work. Emotions like pain, anguish, love, hate, sorrow and joy have contextual rather than chronological existence. The fabric of memories is woven of people, places, objects, suffering and happiness, free of temporality. It is one of the most effective tools to explore the psychological landscape of characters and render a meaningful structure to the whole as well.


PC- Favorite film/ song of all time?

USP- I cannot have a favourite film/song for ever. Yet, my favourite singers are Mukesh, Ghulam Ali, Paul Simon and Norah Jones. Some of the best films I have enjoyed and still think highly of them are following:


Enter T
he Dragon (I was a child then, but then still!)

Gone With the Wind

Casablanca

Star Wars

Terminator II

Ben Hur

An Officer and a Gentleman

All Quiet on the Western Front

Ghost

Gladiator

The Ghost and the Darkness

Forrest Gump

Bazar

Saransh

Parinda

Dor

Welcome to Sajjanpur

Khosla ka Ghosla

Well, that is just an indicative list!


PC- A scene from a Shakespearean play that you love. What makes it worth a mention here?

USP- It is from Macbeth’s soliloquy (Act V Scene V)

She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.

Well, the bard has said it all. We are but a small cog in the big scheme of things. Overarching ambition? Greatness? Where am I headed to? ‘Quis hic locus, quae regio, quae mundi plaga?’

—–

At the end of the interview, Uma also sent me in writing this added small gift- a short note about Personal Concerns. Just made my day!

USP

Your blog

“I have recently started reading your blog and am often stung by the breathtaking evocativeness and sensitivity of your posts. I have read ‘Sleepy Men’ several time over and am mesmerized anew every time.  I wish the best to your muse and I’d love to see your art blooming into a valley of flowers. That said, I’d like you to write oftener.

Yours truly,

Umashankar Pandey”

 ——-

(All comments and suggestions about the format and the presentation of the interview would be deeply appreciated. Friends who wish to be included in this series, please let me know. It would be lovely to have you here on my blog. Cheers!)

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Showcasing My Friends-5

(For the fifth post in this series, for which I have interviewed people I am close to, I emailed Sharmishtha a set of questions. Her responses have been reproduced here. I hope that you would like the idea and enjoy the conversation. The series is to be continued with other friends as and when possible. Sincere thanks to all readers who commented on and appreciated the earlier posts).

Three posts ago, I wrote a few things about the person Sharmishtha Basu is- an artist, a nice friend and above all an active blogger who is not just regular but also remarkably consistent with regard to the quality of her posts. I hope this interview serves as a little window and brings us face to face with some of the unnoticed aspects of the person behind the lovely colors that she employs to illustrate the rhymes of her delicate words.

—-

Personal Concerns- To start with, I would like to ask you something about your blogs and your experiences with WordPress?

Sharmishtha BasuAs you already know, I am obsessed with writing. I started with Mydomainpvt, so I could use my blog in Intent.com properly, the posts of WordPress can be copied in intent without any editing. Then intent.com shifted to Facebook and I concentrated on WordPress. Two of my earlier blogging experiences- with MSN ( a mixed experience) and Blogspot (horrible) initially made me a bit skeptic about WordPress. Now I feel that WordPress is the place every writer who loves to write and wants genuine readership should be in. It’s an amazing site, the more I compliment WordPress the little it shall be. I have found the very best people of the world both at intent.com and here. I just love the readers and writers at WordPress. They are amazing.

PC- For you, how is Haiku special as a form of poetry?

SB Haiku is the form that unleashes the dreamer in me fully. I love writing Haiku because its main concept is to capture nature, being a great lover of mother earth I really love to play with this form, trying my best to capture mother earth’s beauty in every way I can.

PC- You have lived both in Delhi and Kolkata. In what ways do you find the two experiences different?

SB-I love Kolkata because of its people. It’s the best place for a single woman to live in. Delhi is the scariest place in India I believe. Even when I left Delhi at the age of sixteen, I could feel the scariness of that place. The worst part is that one had to be cautious about family men, neighbours – something which fortunately is still absent in Kolkata. Most probably because Bengali men respect their wives…. Ha ha. They don’t want to get spanked by their wives for eve teasing. Kolkata is full of warm people who let others live in peace.

PC- How many languages do you know? and which of them are you the most comfortable with?

SBBengali, Hindi and English. I am equally comfortable in Hindi and Bengali. I love Bengali the most because it’s a very sweet language. It really sounds sweet to the ears. I have heard a lot of languages, some of them with a little bit of understanding and some without any understanding at all. Bengali really sounds sweet to my ears more than most of the languages, and a lot of my non bengali friends say the same. My English is not bad I believe.

PC- Sharmishtha is a nice sounding name. What does it mean ? Do you also have a nick name?

SB– Sharmishtha means extremely lucky- which I am. My self-given pet name is Trisha.

PC- Who is/are your favorite poets? Any particular poem that you would like to share with us?Kuakata, Bangladesh. Tomb of Kazi Nazrul Islam...

SB-My favourite most poet is Rabindranath Tagore, then comes Kazi Nazrul Islam, Wordsworth, Frost, Shakespeare (I love his sonnets). Its tough for me to look for one poem, song, movie etc. but one that touches me very deeply is Tagore’s Jethay Thaake Sabar adham (where the poorest of poorest dwells)

Your feet dwells

Where the lowest of the low dwells

In the lowest place of all

With Those without anything at all

When I lower my head at your feet

It stops somewhere midway

It cant reach the place

That lowest of low place

Where your feet dwells

My arrogance cant reach you

Down there where you dwell

Like the poorest of poor

Amongst the poorest of poor

I seek your company

Sitting on my pile of wealth

Surrounded by loved ones

But my heart never reaches

Down there where you dwell

Amongst those without anyone

Amongst those without anything.

PC-Any memory from school/college that strikes you as special ?

SB- I was a student at Burdwan Raj College, two of my fondest memories of that college are that of our history teacher Alok Chakraborty- India really needs such teachers, and the five girl gang we had formed- me and Nilanjana, Rimita, Shampa and Swagata. We used to have so much fun. I graduated in 1995 and my combinations were Economics, Political Science and History. Well, Alok Chakrabarti confirmed my firm belief that even the rowdiest students respect the sincere teacher. Quite a handful of the students were older than him, yet the moment he walked inside the class it fell silent and his students almost never missed his class. He was not just an amazing teacher but he gave us suggestions that worked so well. 

Well, we used to spend a lot of time together, I used to visit Swagata at her house regularly, and Rimita, Nilanjana and me went to the same tutor. It was girlish fun mostly, both Rimita and Nilanjana had boyfriends and we had to lie to their parents 🙂

One day Nilanjana did not come, we went to her house to ask how she was and to give her the notes of that day. Her mother opened the door and was shocked to know that Nilanjana had not been to the classes…because as she knew it, Nilanjana had gone for the tuitions. It took a lot for us to convince her that actually it was us who had bunked the classes and were looking for her notes. We used to go out together, and Nilanjana was the one with tight purse strings, always trying to convince us not to spend 🙂

PC- Censorship on the Internet has become an issue around which there are so many opinions. What do you think?

SB- I am absolutely against it. The websites may keep an eye on their content but not the governments. I believe they are scared for the way truth is spread through the internet and the manner in which it has resulted in the collapse of so many corrupt governments.

PC- What have you been reading these days?
SB- Recently I was reading Reader’s Digest, this magazine has been in our home since 1949, way before my birth. My father was its regular subscriber. Heaven only knows as to when did I start reading it. After 1985 I started reading them all, from the start till the end. It is amazing, but now it seems to be slowly disappearing, mostly because it’s not trying to glamorize itself, I hope it doesn’t and I also wish that it gets back its readership once again. My favourite section in the same was that of the real life drama, it was an amazing section, that was so spirit lifting- to know how brave human beings can be. Apart from that I love its various humour sections which have one thing in common- they are not vulgar and really funny.
PC- I wanted to know about one of your favorite films.

SB- I have favorite films and the films that move me the most. There are too many in the ‘favorite’ section starting from all Jurassic Park movies, The Lord of the Ring, some horror films, some thrillers and quite a number of Bengali movies.

The movies that moved me the most are fewer. I am afraid I will not watch most of these movies again. Schindler’s List, Shawshank Redemption, Dead Man Walking, To Kill a Mocking Bird, Edward Scissorhands, My Fair Lady, Twelve Angry Men, Hirok Rajar Deshe, Sound of Music- I can watch these any day anytime.

PC-Please share with us a song of your choice. I would like to know what makes it stand apart?

SB-The same song that I added as a poem above- its lyrics; it’s amazing in Bengali, it touches your soul in its deepest place and moves it, asks you whether you have such humility?

PC-Do you consider yourself a good cook? Which are your most favorite Bengali recipes?
 

SB- I am a horrible cook, I cook a lot and have been into full fledged cooking since the age of sixteen…a thing really uncommon for Bengali girls fortunately to juggle between cooking and studies, my expertise is some day to day Bengali cookings such as the poshto (poppy seed paste) and jhol (mixed vegetable curry)- just two out of many others. 

(All comments and suggestions about the format and the presentation of the interview would be deeply appreciated. Friends who wish to be included in this series, please let me know. It would be lovely to have you here on my blog. Cheers!)

Heart

Stale Meat

It was really nice of Tuhina Ganguly to have sent me this poem she wrote for my blog. She is a dear friend – very cordial and humble. In my opinion these words of hers bespeak of a tension between acute aphasia on the one hand and easy volubility on the other- predicaments encountered invariably on so many occasions in life.  I quite enjoyed reading it. Hope to hear from you what you feel!

STALE MEAT

“You must wrest

my words from me

As if tugging

at a fisherman’s hook

lodged in the centre of my throat

Pull at it

as you would

a foetus the wrong way around

Blood gushes forth

gurgling like a tiny stream

splattering across your chest

hot and humid

but they are only words

my words against your chest

pulling out your hair

in tufts

No! Don’t scream

they are only words

running amok, piling high

crushing you under them

my words

my words

my words

my words, rotten

my words, fresh

my words, strawberry ice cream

my words, metal against fire

my words, salt, pepper, red, blue

my words, for you

my words, my life, my last breath

my death, my redemption

and the smell of stale meat

burning at my pyre, my words

those too”

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A Gift

Sharmishtha Basu is a very dear friend, a valued fellow blogger and an extremely accomplished poet and artist. It was extremely nice of her to share one of her lovely works specially for my site. I have always enjoyed visiting her blogs and looking at the marvelous images she creates using words and the paint brush. I have requested Sharmishtha to be a part of my Showcasing My Friends series and she has most kindly agreed. I am quite excited about that interview with her and hope to post it very soon. Meanwhile, the following work of her in my opinion speaks volumes about the creative acumen and the talent she is.

Dear Sharmishtha, here is a very big “thank you” from your friend in Delhi!

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Tiny Teeth

A mole comes calling on a rat that waits impatiently saying to himself “a minute more and I hop on the next train and leave the city”. Gulping down his tears and nibbling at the shreds of a five-year old memory, he waits and minutes slither away like cream. The time  comes. Jumping out of her taxi, the mole embraces me from a distance of meters. The rodents feel at pace with the universe. Sun continues its westward trip and both see it dying of curiosity. Sun! you shall miss all that is to follow. Red its face gets and soon it sets. Just like the moon that wishes to stay around longer so that it could witness the much talked about frolic of the matinée.  Hehe! you will always miss it moonu!

Abusive they turn and try slapping each other. Only to end up as miniatures of well fed kittens that chase and bite each other after a sumptuous suckle. They race against the world. Having thrown most of their contempt at each other, lightened claws enter a market. Not enough money clipped in their little beaks that they could throw away in the lake of recluse that both forcibly and happily swim each day, each moment.  Hunger directs the two to joints where taste is on show. Stories of each other and of others they know of intertwine the chews and the chilly sighs. Food over, next item to be hunted. The plates are picked up, the rat still eyeing the sauce that he could not lick away. “People I tell you and their manners. Why are they so intrusive all the time?”. The rat is taken around like a kid coming to a country fair for the first time. Designs, henna, dresses, utensils and faces. All around them. Two nibblers forget all the world and choose to explore it afresh once again. So much discovery on cold nights in the past and adding up to nil. Rubbing shoulders against the other they walk. A walking ethnography that they do not wish to ever write. Forgetting at times their special distance, they hold hands. The rat sniffs sweat and tries getting closer. The mole pushes him away and delivers a smile that kills.

A stall they choose and take rest. Rat mishandles all the heat of the tea and spills it over the market. The alarmed mole offers her own. The rat refuses. And yet does want to snatch her cup and sip it all. “Why should she be sipping when I am not?”

Beings part. Take opposite routes. Call each other to confirm their trains. The rat comes home to a dirty bed sheet that he throws away. Spreads the green and the saffron and the room resounds with the cries of chicken that Afghani dishes are made of. The windows open to a view of lotus ponds and the wardrobe just begins to reek of roses. The rat infused with a delicate energy runs around hysterically on his computer keyboard. ‘Tik tok kit kot’ the keys go clapping. Scattered words stream away. Wish they reach you O Mole! The rat thinks of the very first fruit that would be slaughtered on the chopper that you bought today. Let me know that Mole!

Dear Molu, can you do something for me? Yes yes! once again.

Please tell your friend life something. She should learn something from rodents. They just nibble it all away and never complain. We will take her along the next time if she wants to! What do you think mole? Should we invite the sulky sun and the moon when we go out next? Send a scribble. I will wait.

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Five Of My Most Annoying Habits

Aren’t we unique as humans in being able to irritate and annoy our fellow beings? Well. Let’s think of the other beings residing this planet. Won’t you quickly conclude that none of them can accomplish the task as perfectly as we do. Almost on an everyday basis, we grab all the opportunities to hone this prized skill. How ardent a follower of the idiom “Practice makes a man perfect” all of us seem to be.

Don’t be scared though. I am just an average performer. Not a greatly annoying person, I think. Some others I know are definitely way ahead and can be called chart busters. In spite of this semi correct self assessment of my self, I do at times suffer from a feeling of being wronged. Let me take you through a quick detour of my skill set. On a personal level, I am sure that the top slot can very well be mine. One impediment in the path of my celebrity hood is that I have not garnered enough public attention so far. The day I succeed in having  that, the top slot can very well be mine.

Anyway, for the time being you be the judge. Let me know if I am the one who has what it takes to win the race? Would be nice to have a sincere thought from you about this.Any suggestions about how to be a chart buster are most welcome. I would seriously include that in my ‘to do’ list.

1. In the Driver’s Seat-

Is he still listening?

Be it a friendly conversation, a debate or an online chat, if you have committed the misdemeanor of pinging me, please beware. At times it might happen that for every ten words you speak or type, I respond with thirty from my side. Unless strongly rebuked or politely pointed to, I can go on till the point you either run away saying “Ok..we will meet again” or walk away quietly saying “Gotta go…see you!!”. In fact, I have seen some panting and heaving a sigh of relief once they have walked a certain distance after the torture.

2. Majnu’s Dress-

Don't you find me "ewww" here?

I know so well about dressing correctly for an occasion. Have been to a missionary school which was extremely particular about our uniform, the tie and the polished shoes. I used to be perfectly dressed all the time and was never reprimanded for it. Once out of school, I never looked back. I choose all the nonsense for my clothes. Looking at myself, I have realized very well that I am a failure in as far as inculcating a proper dressing sense is concerned. I have actually done wonders at some parties and formal functions. I also know that I have traversed a path from where I can’t go back unless I attend some stupid capsule course that combines body language/ personality development classes. The best part – I am often the best dressed when I spend the entire day alone in my room. Can you beat this?

3. Plans that never work-

On a trip with the nicest friends anyone can have. They always take me along!

My friends (some of them definitely know it so well) I think are done with me about this. None of the plans I ever make were to succeed if I was the one to execute them. I have gone for trips, movies and local excursions with friends and most of them begin with a typical scene where all of them curse me for being late, being unsure, being over/under prepared, being stupid or better still being ill-dressed!

4. Been there done that

Oh...Interesting!

I have not been anywhere and have not done anything. Yet I listen to people and friends with that obviously fake expression on my face. So much so that the narrator often is left thoroughly sorry to have raised a matter for conversation with me. I cannot recall any story that any of my ‘not so close’ friends have narrated to me. I have paid sincere attention to….well… hardly any of them. When it comes to the smallest detail of any vague thing that I have done or an absolutely meager feat that I have achieved, I act too smart and make friends listen to it all.

5. Taste-

They are the "best"...Mind It!

Artists I love, authors I have read, songs I listen to, films I have seen, stories I know of are the best ones. Period..Everything else that has not made it to my list is mediocre. Quick to judge, write off (and depending on the closeness with the friend) quick to make fun of is my trait. I sparingly do this, but when I do so, I really can do so. Thanks to my friends who have always ignored this madness I am so capable of unleashing.  It is a hard-earned expertise and had to make to the top five.

Well there are a few more. I hope this should suffice for the day. Before you begin to abhor this loud and proud exhibition, I should say “its OK…its a part of being human”.

What about yourself do you find annoying ??

😛