Brightest before the end – 100 Word Flash Fiction

Once again it’s TGIF and it’s time for weekly fiction. I usually blog on topics that reflect hope, happiness and optimism. For Friday Fiction I attempt to explore the other side of the coin, because it’s fiction and I hope it remains one. Here’s an ugly truth that I hope we never have to face.

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Peaceful protest gets bit louder as the moment of reality approaches. A banner reads No Nukes. Cops busy keeping the crowd at bay while officials ensuring journalists from across covers best of the event, especially when half the country is under poverty. Locals gathered curious to comprehend how this will change their lives.  With sun setting in the background they see a ray of hope in a huge glow of fire that lit up the mountains. A thunderous echo follows which silences the protestors. They see the dark night waiting behind the glow. Yes candle is brightest before the end.

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Want more Friday Flash Fiction? Madison Wood’s blog

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Technology Driving Us …Where?

Image credit: Google Images

We find ourselves gifted living in technology era. Couple of centuries ago Industrial revolution changed course of people’s lives. We are in the midst of a digital revolution. A revolution history will remember as a change agent that transformed us as a society – the way we communicate, socialize & express ourselves.

Over the weekend I was attending a diner at a family gathering. I met my teenage cousin after a long time and started conversing with him, just a casual chat about high-school life and his interests. No matter what the questions were his responses were simple and abbreviated; no facial expressions at all. I felt almost as if the words were coming out of a programmed robot. I know he’s not a rude or arrogant kid; his stoned face during conversation in that festive environment was bit unusual for my expectation. With all the time at hand and idle brain desperately seeking a job I cooked up a small experiment on human emotions and drafted him as a subject. I befriended him on the face book & went to the other room & started chatting with him. To my amazement, I saw that kid more expressive & better responsive to my emotion-soaked questions and statements. Of course here he was freely using the digital emotions called emoticons to express him. He seemed to be a complete different person on online chat than in person conversations. This kid is a lone child of his career oriented parents, raised by “electronics”.  With parents pursuing professional career, this kid spent most of his childhood amidst electronics. At home & to some extent even at day care. Laptop taught him letters, numbers & rhymes, tablet read him the stories & iPod lullabied him to sleep. For most part electronics replaced humans in raising him, and obviously his grooming lacked the emotional touch that humans would have incorporated. I think this what the kid was missing. Human emotions, something he was not exposed to, to a larger extent.

So is this a new epidemic EDS (Emotions deficiency Syndrome) in making that could plague our society and eradicate something that has been an integral part of our existence; our Emotional expressions. Even the simplest forms of animals express their emotions in one way or the other. We humans as a species have evolved more successfully in last millennium than any other living species. During the course of evolution we changed our lives drastically & stopped doing things that were part of our living rendering some of our body functions be just a vestigial. We discovered fire & learned to cook our food and now we no longer can digest raw food. Early humans were natural runners. We have developed means to transport ourselves, defend & protect ourselves to an extent that running is almost extinct from our day to day life. We no longer are a natural runner by behavior; we train ourselves to be a runner. So could we be at a verge of an evolving species again? The way we communicate & express over social media using emoticons, will emotions be extinct from our natural lives and we’ll have to train ourselves to be emotional.

Image Credit: Microsoft Clipart

I remember when video games started to become popular, parents across the globe raised a concern that technology is making our kids couch potato. Technology came up with an answer to the problem it created. Nintendo came with a toy Wii that dragged kids out of their couch and made them stretch & jump. It doesn’t replace the active life, but still a reasonable alternative over being a couch warmer. Soon other game makers followed the lead. So once again will technology have an answer for EDS? We are getting closer & closer in artificially imitating the life. We created Mr. Watson that can beat hands down the most knowledgeable quickest thinkers & responders of our time. We are creating artificial organs, human parts are implanted successfully, and genes are being engineered to alter the species as a whole. May be one day we might develop an emotion-rich gadget that will fill in the emotional void within us created by the technology. Until that happens, I may have an intermediate solution inspired by natural turned trained runner.  Every year along with annual physical examination, we must also under go emotional examination. If we are diagnosed with an Emotion deficiency syndrome, we are then referred to specialized centers.  Trained professionals will train us how to be expressive with emotions. There they’ll teach how to laugh out loud on a hilarious joke rather than “roflmao”

Kids are the future of the society, civilization. They say it takes a village to raise a kid. The era we are living in is shaped by people who were raised by a village. Today’s kids are raised by the social media which has a global reach. There better be a fantastic future ahead of us. I am highly optimistic. Are you?

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Trip to Grandpa’s – 100 Word Flash Fiction

A picture is worth 1000 words & to sum it up in 100 words of fiction is a Friday fun I have embarked on. Madison Woods inspires with a new photo every week; Susie Thank you for drafting me in.

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Image Credit: Madison Woods (Friday Fiction)

Impatiently waiting at the security line I was fidgeting both mind & body. This is the very precise reason I choose a train over plane for a two hour journey. It’s just a routine protocol was the rant by officials somehow didn’t sound convincing. Running late for my much needed hot cup of tea, I rested my grudge for some other day, clutched my grungy backpack and shrugged off towards the platform. Conductor making a last minute check on the passenger list, I hear a kid murmur why is it so complicated to go to Grandpa’s house? Frazzled I ponder…

 ~~~~~

You can find the inspirer and the instigator here …

http://madisonwoods.wordpress.com/flash-fiction/first-contact/

http://susielindau.com/2012/01/27/just-another-day-100-word-flash-fiction/

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Discriminating Oscars Categories

Image credit : oscars.org vis wikipedia

Oscars nominations were announced earlier today. One category that still stands out amongst the others is the Acting category. That’s the only category we still have gender segregation at Oscars. Even in the age of equality, men are still considered inferior to women when it comes to acting. Agreed women are natural actors (no pun intended), but men has come long way in learning and developing the art. We have earned equality in all other fields. There is no separate category like best writress or best Directress, but for sure best actress in lead and supporting role. The later one bothers me the most. Even being supportive we are not at par with women.

One would argue that, in a given movie there is only one writer, (all right for minds seeking political correctness, one script written by one or more writers.) There’s one director directing the film but there are different actors playing the roles and hence a separate category. Well if that’s the case why not have a category of Child & Senior Citizen too! That’s a different skill and maturity level. But no everything has to be looked as Black & White; Man and Woman. Do you see my point here? Do you see the foul play here creating a separate category – only for women! I understand acting is complicated art. It’s not just about how you act or play, it also involves, your screen presence, your persona, your glamor it’s the whole package.

Men have come a long way to compete with women in appearance. From a medieval savagery to a metrosexual man, guys has almost adapted his gender counterpart’s life style including grooming, shopping, closet space, grinning (typical Man laughs out loud), shaving body parts that even the creator never thought would ever happen. Apart from few hygiene products you’ll see a metrosexual man using almost every thing from women’s drawer. Even after this men are still not an acting material at par with women.

Men's attempt to earn Acting equality

Even these efforts didn't earn Men enough acting recognition to be at par with women! Image credit imdb.com

I think a category that truly deserves to be segregated based on gender is makeup artist category. We need two separate categories, best makeup on male and best makeup on female. Come on face it, beautifying a woman is like putting together flowers & create a bouquet out of it. The thing itself is beautiful; all you are doing is just enhancing the glory of it. That’s what makeup does to women. No special skills of makeup artist are involved there.  Well beautifying Man is like carving out something from a raw stone, a hard labor with chisel & hammer and not only that you also need artistic sense. Not all chisel strokes on stone creates an aesthetically appealing image.

Fifty years ago one guy addressed the humanity and said I have a dream; many heard that in person & never thought the dream will come true during their lifespan; results of last general election saw that dream come true. Today from this blog post I declare, I have a dream to be treated equally in the female dominated world. And I hope I live long enough to see that one day. Even a day when I don’t have to worry about consequences of toilet seat left up would be worth living. Until then let’s watch the Superbowl where men violently battle out on field while women glamorously cheer them from the sidelines; something like a medieval dog fight!

(Women may find some stuff flattering on this post here. My wife reads my blog too. I hope to be greeted with some exotic dinner this evening. Hunger supersedes Honesty, taste-buds triumphs over truth; enough said. She ignores italics assuming it a fine print. So one of the days if you see entire post in italics don’t be surprised, you already know the reason.)

Posted in Lighter Side, My Two Cents | Tagged , , | 17 Comments

Lens or Lass – 100 Word Flash Fiction

A co-blogger Susie is on a wild ride to fill in big shoes. In support of her cause here’s is my feeble attempt to compile a fiction in hundred words using the following photo prompt.

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Awed by the intriguing interior, I was grasping the details using all my available senses at full capacity. Overwhelmed by the extravagance of the architectural marvel, my senses signaled overload warning; pulled out SLR to absorb further details. Lens zoomed to seize details captured a gorgeous amidst the splendid. Eyes peaked out of lens to imbibe nature’s dazzling creation. A fumble saw lens jumped out of half open bag and rolled off to a distance. Damsel made her way towards the exit; brain signaled towards lens, heart pumped harder to push feet towards exit. Mind in scuffle lens or lass?

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Please visit the inspirer Susie Lindau and check out the real action of 100 word flash fiction!

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Seeking Shaving Sense

Every morning I start my day with a familiar mundane chore at the bathroom vanity. I see myself gently mowing my facial turf as a daily ritual. Every razor stroke seems to reveal a natural being buried behind the aberrant layer of spiny growth over past 24 hours. The daily phenomenon often puts my brain – the closest thing around the action into a delirium state and sends my confused intelligence into a rational debate; is this really a natural thing to do or are we going against the nature to speak the truth? If nature has gifted us fluffy follicles, surely there must be a reason behind it. Are we indulging into an unnatural act by irradiating it from the face of our body?

We remove hair, we clip nails, we figured keratinized growth is gratuitous for our urbane evolved kind and is worth getting rid of it. However we still make an exception in nails and hair over the head. We don’t remove them completely. We found ways to make them aesthetically appealing. Even a benign epidermal cellular growth biologically known as mole, has been linguistically applauded as a beauty spot. People who lack one go for an artificial one to add an ornamental value to the face. It’s also not that we abhor furry feeling, we love fur apparel, and we adore furry & feathery pets. We tend to appreciate one thing in others while scowl upon the same within us. In fact we fright the absence of hair on head while frown the presence of same elsewhere on the body. Doesn’t it sound like a double standard? Why did we evolve our aesthetic sense so complex? It’s not that we shave to render our skin’s natural splendor; if that’s the case we won’t adorn it back with tan or tattoo! Given all the intelligence and creativity we still have failed to incorporate our body hair into beauty a package.

We talk about hair eradication and there is a whole another group desperate to grow some on their barren scalp. I hear there’s lot of research going on to make that arid area fertile again. Can we just steal a page from the “best failed experiment” of that research? I guess that would be the answer to liberate ourselves from the daily chore of body mowing.

Image Credit loldwell.com

I clearly know the reasons behind my shaving. I look at women, the supreme being of my species, nature’s finest creation, so prolific that at times even nature itself fails to comprehend the complexity of its very own composition. Superiority of female of my species fascinates me. Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I can’t match toe to toe and brow to brow, the sheer domination my species mate holds over me. Amongst the apparent differences between male and female, visible under normal civilized conditions, facial hair is the only one I can bridge with relative ease.  I shave (only face) as an earnest compliment to my glamorously superior counterpart. Well some chaps go beyond shave to imitate chicks, but I draw a line; I can’t date dudes. Not that anything is wrong with that, just not my cup of tea.

Image Credit: Google Images

Humans are not born with facial hairs. I guess its nature’s way to ensure that male of the species gets an equal opportunity of nourishment and growth under female domination. Boys don’t earn their facial fur until they are at least teen. That’s when the anatomical asymmetry between the two genders start to emerge out, so nature said what the heck, let there be hair. When male is rewarded with mane, their counterpart are blessed with a potent chemical arsenal – hormones. Hair and hormones emerge around the same period in human development. From that point onwards genders of the same species begin to look at each other differently; the scuffle between pelage and pink commences. I see a definite connection between hair and hormones, Period. I have strong reasons to believe male facial fuzz invokes a rage in female, triggers their cellular processing unit to produce that perilous compound called hormones, a substance known to invisibly destroy men mentally and completely. I decided to diminish the distinctive feature deemed responsible for the destruction of my desired peace. I shave to minimize that third party chemical impact on my system.

I shave to imitate my intimate
I shave to secure my serenity

That’s my divulgence for shaving. What’s yours?
Hairy as it may sound, share your stories to smoothness and silken the waxed thoughts around this clandestine rugged ritual.

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Couch – Husband’s Companion in Crisis.

House supremo hollers from the kitchen, what’s on TV?
Swiping my fingers on the screen I proclaimed the truth DUST!

English: Hella Jongerius (Dutch, born 1963): P...

Image via Wikipedia

Reality bites and truth hurts; have heard that a lot, experienced it first hand for the first time. As repercussions of my honest utterance of a single word response, I ended up eating Chinese leftover from takeout meal day before and had to settle on a couch for the remainder of the night.  That wasn’t the end of my unearned ordeal. An innocent expression of unembellished truth earned me an unduly assignment and an objective. An assignment to buy a new duster and an objective to use it every single day as a pre-qualifier for evening meal as well as an entry to the bedroom.

Down in the mouth I settled on the couch, my companion for the night. I started to explore the couch after all we were tied in for the long haul. Stretching myself on the couch I recalled the day we were shopping for the same. A good friend of mine (five years senior to me in terms of marriage license), insisted me on spending some extra dough and buy a couch that converts into a comfortable bed. I argued about the return on investment and he convinced me saying that you will thank me for this one day. And I sure thanked him that day. When we bought the current house the same guy made me spend thousand extra bucks dismantling the dog house left by prior owner. I thanked him again for that foresighted action. Convertible couch was the second best invention after beer made exclusively for husbands. Love of my life may have dejected me for the night, but husband’s two best comforting buddies were with me. Sitting on the couch with beer in hand, I thought that wisdom of my friend helped me salvage my night, let me collect the wisdom out of this mess that might probably help salvage the moment of future husbands. I summed it up all into two simple guiding principles,
1) Never stay within the reachable distance of TV. There’s a reason they made remote
2) Husbands are exempted form the commandment “Thou shall not lie” (Husbands nine lies was conceived after this)

Image credit: Google Images

In the world of skepticism I know some would argue, “why Couch is only Husbands companion and not Man’s companion. What’s the difference? Man too settles on couch!” Well the difference is one settling in there as the best available resort for time being, other resort to it in absence of immediate settling options. Allow me to elaborate this with a better convincing example. Two guys a drifter and a dweller stranded at an airport, dweller with a confirmed ticket while the drifter on a thrift travel plan holding a stand by ticket. Dweller is stranded because of inclement weather conditions at his destination, the drifter impatiently awaiting to get a confirmation on any available flight. Dweller is in the unfortunate situation by circumstances beyond his control, drifter is in the situation by choice (or a lack of one). Dweller is already checked in, relaxing in lounge and has no rush to end up in a rogue conditions. He’s happily enjoying his tranquil moments and will wait until flights to his destination resumes. Drifter loaded with luggage is desperate to check in and unload himself to a gratifying relief. Burdened and bored drifter might take a frantic action to rent a car and drive by himself to another destination. Marital status does make big difference on habits and behavior in creatures of same species, at least the male gender.

For all the wannabe hubbies out there, one simple advice the day you order that wedding band, consider investing in a convertible couch. Go for one with built-in cup holder and little storage. It will pay off in the long run.

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Balancing Life’s Portfolio

Every year-end I review my portfolios and re-balance them if needed. I evaluate the year for growth or loss; financially as well as on a personal aspect and plan accordingly for the forthcoming year; keep up the growth or compensate for the loss whatever applies for the coming year. Financial review is apparent. The thought of reviewing a year on personal aspect is drawn by the life experiences of two of my uncles; my lawyer uncle and my teacher uncle. Both now retired after leading a successful career, well success is a subjective term. Lawyer uncle is a flamboyant personality, makes his presence feel amongst the crowd and hardly anyone can escape his charisma. Teacher Uncle takes life in stride, minimalist at material things, wealthy with wisdom and generous in distributing his wealth, the wealth he is rich at. Personality genes from the same pool can mutate so radically in same generation is beyond my realm of understanding. May be this is the trait which is acquired and not inherited; a motivational fact for me to adapt my lifestyle to the pages lived by my inspiration.

Lawyer Uncle flourished his career as a criminal defense lawyer. Within few years of his career he earned a reputation of a redeemer in criminal defense world. His Machiavellian skills to twist fiction into facts were exemplary and unprecedented. He was envied amongst his peers for his success and his ability to shatter any prosecution at his own will. I remember one of his much media publicized case where he successfully defended a murder trial. His sharp arguments, devious witness cross-examination and capitalizing on legal loopholes forced the jury to acquit the defender. The judge in the closing remark of his verdict said, “Judgments here are made by ears and not by eyes. The case would have been judged differently in a court where eyes are allowed to play a role. Unfortunately this is the system we have built and we must abide by it.” Lawyer uncle gladly accepted that remark as a trophy and treasured it as one of his many pride possession throughout his career. His approach towards his profession did not allow him to make friends. If you have money he is your savior from any sticky situation you may be in. If you don’t have enough for his hefty fees his secretary will show other options available outside his office. “Money talks” was the simplest form of business motto his office followed. By retirement he amassed enough wealth to buy any worldly riches one can imagine.

Teacher uncle nourished a teaching career educating high-school kids. He took teaching as an art of imparting knowledge. His modest lifestyle didn’t offer much room for money or material things. He’d love to spend time beyond school hours coaching students on how to succeed as a student as well as a person. He developed this unique skill of lending a hand of friendship to almost anyone he met and would gladly share his wealth of wisdom. He’ll proactively reach out to underprivileged to explain them the importance of education and will also motivate & help them to achieve one. He’ll consider the final exams his very own test; test of his teaching ability during the year. He derived the deepest contentment from the good grades of his graduating students. Many of his inspired students pursued higher education to become a doctor, engineer or a scientist. He retired with a modest pension enough to keep him busy with what he enjoys the most, sharing wisdom.

As a kid I always liked the company of my lawyer uncle mainly because I received some of my most expensive gifts from him. I admired his attitude that anything you say and believe is true as long as you have ability to present it in context.  I didn’t have any qualms with my teacher uncle as long as he doesn’t attempt sharing his wealth. Knowing me he would always try to wrap his wisdom around a tale. I would enjoy his fun stories to an absolute delight, conveniently filtering the wisdom part. For my High school graduation, my lawyer uncle gave me a cool gadget, a trend of the time and a gold plated pen. My Teacher uncle gave me a hand made book of wisdom titled – “wisdom to be a man”. And he also associated a wisdom to lawyer uncle’s gift gold plated pen, He said, the gold pen in your pen holds the key to your future, with this you can write your golden future.  I have already confessed in one of my earlier posts that wisdom analyzing cells in my brain developed at a much later stage. I hurriedly looked through the pages of wisdom diary seeking for a solution on drinking without being caught, didn’t find a mention so closed it and put it away incomplete sounding book that did not have a mention of the basic idea of becoming a Man – the booze. And I got busy exploring the gadget.

Both of my uncles are now retired & I am busy in managing my life & career. Teacher uncle, almost every day he’ll find one of his students paying him a visit to express gratitude for the role my uncle played in shaping their career. His retired days are filled with such moment of pride, relived everyday. His successful students will bring expensive presents along with their words of gratitude, and uncle would gladly & respectfully decline the material things insisting his students to donate them to the needy ones. I turn he will still give precious gems from his never emptying Perl basket of wisdom.  Lawyer uncle spends most of his retired life. Along with his mansion, he also has a ranch, three vacation homes and a luxury yacht. After my aunt lost a cancer battle he still lives a solitude life. The person who talked everyone to silence in a courtroom is now silently looking for someone who can talk his solitude. When he goes to public places to be amongst people he is often greeted by frown faces. He largely finds him self as a people repellent. He throws lavish parties to attract people, often to see them gathered to socialize for their own petty agenda. His experienced eyes can read through the fake faces wearing synthetic smiles.

Thinking about both of them now, I don’t say either of them is completely wrong or correct. They both are correct in their own sense. But there is something in them or in me that made me admire them differently during the course of my life. During my early age I liked lawyer uncle more; at current I admire teacher uncle the most. I am uncertain about my future state of life mainly around retirement. My hobbies can’t survive on a modest pension in my retired life; extrovert chatty person like me can’t afford solitude for an extended period of time. I want best of both the worlds, but not one at the cost of the other. I want gratification in present and in future, I want my nieces and nephews to equally like me now and later. Moments of my pride possession should not be confined to one segment of my life but rather should span all across. To achieve that I decided to steal a page from each of my uncle’s life and re-write one that can satisfy my needs, a page that has plan for present and future, a plan that includes making money as well as friends. At the year end I review my balance sheet to see what I have gained and what I have lost. We all know about monitory gains & losses. Competitive world we live & the corporate world we work in takes toll on relationship. We often end up burning more bridges than we build them. Changing priorities often lead to losing some valuable connections. 2011 financially ended in negative, however even in this year of recession I ended up positive on my other portfolio by gaining more friends. If you have read this through with appreciation, I guess I have started my 2012 on a plus side. Wish you all a very successful 2012, financially as well as emotionally.

Posted in Random Thoughts | Tagged , , , | 12 Comments

A Priceless Gift and Holiday Spirit

Image courtesy myonepreciouslife.wordpress.com

Holidays are around; it’s a giving & sharing season. Everyone’s busy trying to make that final dash at the mall in order to complete the holiday list. Some people take huge efforts to find that perfect gift for their loved ones. I saw a post from a co-blogger that posed a question is there a perfect gift?

Not sure about others but one gift that I received as a kid is still fresh in my memory, even a thought of that moment spurs an upbeat feeling in me. I went to a catholic school for my elementary education.  I celebrated my first Christmas in kindergarten. Our school used to put up a tree for holidays and little celebration. Prayer, few carol, an inspirational speech by a senior teacher and kids would wait the moment of the day, receiving a gift from Santa. School would usually get three or four different varieties of popular gifts of the season. Santa would pick a random gift; wrapping would hint boy or girl gift. That year it was a blue car, a stuffed snowman, a bamboo-flute and couple of other girl things. I wanted the flute. My eyes were glued to the pile of gift boxes & in no time noticed that the long boxes, the one that had flute in it were disappearing fast. Whoever piled the boxes did a lousy job in placing all long boxes on top. I started praying, both the. One that was taught at school, other learned at home. A kid just back from Santa announced no more flutes left. I should have flipped the coin for prayers. Two different prayers may have confused the staff up there. “Never lose hope” were words still echoing in my mind from the speech delivered by that gentleman few minutes ago. I was clinging to those words like a creeper vine.

When my name was called my eyes were desperately seeking that lean long box. Santa wished me Merry Christmas & handed me a big box. In response lips that were supposed to stretch wide with a smile dropped down to a puppy face. My eyes were now glued to the tree which had couple on them as ornaments – my desire of the day. Teacher standing near by maneuvered my shoulder hinting me to go and take a seat. My eyes still glued in desperation to the tree. My obvious body babylanguage didn’t go unnoticed with Santa. Letting out his Ho Ho Ho one more time he spread his arms & I gravitated into the hug. He carried me and asked, what’s the matter Son? I pointed towards the tree, he took a step near the tree & I plucked the slender box. Clutched in my tiny fist the box did a charm, my face lit up brighter than the tree and lip corners rushed to greet ears.  Santa let out a loud laugh, with a kiss on my forehead he put me down. Ecstatic, I jumped my way back to the seat.

I celebrated four more Christmas in that school, received numerous presents in my life on Christmas, Diwali & Birthday. None came close to the gift that I received that day. Santa was probably an hourly paid professional as I think of it now. I was one amongst the hundred kids out there & he could have just handed any box & waited for the next kid. Instead he did something different. He saw that little kid’s face in murk, and made that extra effort to convert that gloom into glee. That flute was probably worth five bucks, may be lasted for about two years but the sweet memory associated with that gift is tattooed permanently in my mind – priceless. The gift from material stand point was just an ordinary gift; however it had an association of kind gesture, a gesture that read a down face and brought a smile to it. The gesture adds preciousness to the gift.  I have read some where, “You are not wealthy until you have something that money can’t buy.”  I think the best gift someone can give is a priceless gift that makes a person “wealthy”.

Image courtesy susielindau.com

  Holidays are all about spirits. It’s about getting into the spirit for the holidays. It’s about celebrating the festival with spirit along with your friends and family. Remembering the lost ones and loved ones who are not near, knowing that they are always with you in spirits. It’s the time to show some spirit for the under-privileged. No matter how tough the year has been so far, festivities are meant to keep your spirits high. I personally like being high on spirits during holidays. Secret Santa at company and my eyes are looking for that long packet, the 750ml long packet. I guess the spirited kid in me is still alive; same choice just a different taste!! It’s all about the spirits.

Feel free to share about your spirits this Holidays.
And finally if this Holiday Spirit rambling has put anyone out of spirits, blame it on Susie  & Stephanie . Susie incited me to write a post on Holiday spirit here  &  Stephanie’s post on perfect holiday gift spur random thoughts in my mind about one precious gift. As a tribute to the inspiration derived to compile this post, I have stolen images from both the posts & pasted it here.

Hope you all have Happy Holidays.

Posted in Random Thoughts | Tagged | 18 Comments

Husbands have nine lies

Toughest question under testing times…

 Husbands are not pathological liars. They get trained to lie in order to survive the wedlock wilderness. Nine lies in husband’s survival kit to battle the sticky situation they will invariably get in. The number nine is not a made-up number. Extensive research has been done at local bars on Men’s brain; before & after the influence of marriage. Thinkers and drinkers have positively concluded that nine is the maximum number of lies a married male brain can handle successfully. Any attempt beyond nine is a recipe of disaster. The two digits complicates the things.

 To be honest I wouldn’t call them a lie…It’s not a lie if perpetrated in self defense; defending your peace of mind & harmony of home. It’s not a lie if it’s committed to save some aggravation on your significant other’s part. Instead of calling them a lie, I would like to classify them as Savior Statements.

Before we explore the world of Husband’s nine lies or as we should say Savior Statements… let me first acknowledge the assistance of all my conjugally blessed friends who contributed some of the wisdom shared here. This also serves as a good reference for the new recruits into the matrimony club or nuptial aspiring bachelors out there. This may sound a horror story to yet to be ringed blokes, but hey you don’t stop surfing due to fear of sharks! There are dangers out there surviving as a husband, but again every profession is associated with an occupational hazard, being married is not an exception. Call it a marital hazard. You know how they coined the two terms Martial & Marital; wonder if there is a reason behind the uncanny resemblance of the words.

What takes precedence? Me or baseball? Honey of course you – that should be the parroted response. Juggling two priorities does not mean one is lesser important. In this case it is though. Remember, only husbands undergo the priority test

How do I look? Healthy! Always a safe bet. You can’t get in trouble there. I tempt to put a thought to the questioning body here …– “To carry & nurse a child, nature lends you extra pounds. Nature is generous & never asks it back even after the purpose is met. You are no longer required to carry it around you; there are easy options available to shed it off. Just don’t blame husband’s eyes for that.”

Is this dress good? Yes should be the prompt answer. For your satisfaction you may complete the sentence in mind, may not be on you though, without sending out any subtle clues through expression or gestures.

Promise me you’ll love me equally even when my hormones are at imbalance. I promise. I’ll convince my hormones to be considerate when your hormones are on overtime.

My mom is visiting us… Really!! Heart already missed a beat and still a smiley face should say — I am so excited!! Condition your brain to translate this Mom visiting statement internally to “your favorite team won the championship”. This will help you let out far better excitement – a need of the moment.

Am I old? Ten out of Ten times she’ll ask you this question in front of a mirror. Grab a wet tissue & start wiping the mirror. The intent here should be to make the mirror hazy not clear. Talk to yourself loud enough for her to hear … this mirror is getting old, needs to be changed. You know her birthday, she knows her birthday, the answer is obvious, just leave it unspoken

You think I have gained weight? Remember this is a trick question. Be prepared for a follow-up assault of dreaded questions. Weight is a tangible quality, so be cunningly creative & a diplomatic deceit.
First response casual Nah… And get involved with something else. Congratulations if your ordeal ends here, you are a master sham.
Fury of follow-up questions begins…
Q. But my clothes don’t fit any more …
A. The quality of clothing is decreasing every day. They lose structure & shrink after couple of wear.
Q. But the scale shows few extra pounds!!
A. Oh come-on that scale is already two years old. Their accuracy doesn’t last beyond a year. See even the warranty sticker says one year limited.
Q. You are not lying, aren’t you?
A. Remember your elementary school day confidence you showed when you said doggy ate my homework. Multiply it by ten and with that say …Look at me, you think I am lying, look into my eyes, you think they can ever lie to you?

Experienced husbands foresee the questions coming & they take proactive actions to evade them. Keep your radar on high alert, as soon as you see the first sign of a brewing question make a move & vanish from the vicinity of the question. When caught in a dire situation the best escape strategy proven over time is a proposal of a shopping trip. A time tested tactic that attenuates the ugly consequences of a response gone bad.

Some quick standard responses should be on tip of your tongue. Even a second delay & the responses are deemed as “hesitant yes” aka “NO” – an attempt of resentment, a highly frown upon behavior. You may argue, but I have a brain too, am I not entitled for a single two second thought? Not on these questions if peace of mind is your priority. Make a choice peace of mind or thinking brain. Again if your mind is not in peace, it won’t be able to think anyways. Peace of mind is prerequisite for thinking, so try to give that a priority.

Two dates you can’t afford to forget; her birthday & your anniversary to her. Carve out that special area in your brain & permanently glue them there. If all the easy access memory cells are occupied by sports statistics, beer brands & names of car models, ditch out the blood group and store those important dates there. In case of an emergency blood group can be determined in minutes, but forgetting one of the important dates has much detrimental consequences. The damage is severe & often takes years to repair. If you think registering two dates is too much to handle for your brain, get married either on her birthday or on Independence Day of the country you are in. If you chose the later, you will relish that day as no other day on calendar. Your whole nation will be celebrating the day with you, in a different context though.

So far we have discussed seven SSSs (Standard Savior Statements), the mandatory ones for all husbands. Almost every husband will invariably leverage these to save their moment. You also have flexibility of two more floater lies. Save them as your precious assets for those “must lie” situations or a special need moment. You might be lucky to get away with one or two SSSc, circumstances depending. If your significant other is a yoga teacher, it might offer you a luxury of couple of extra lies at your disposal. Again remember nine is the limit. You can’t exceed that number.

When I met Neema, amongst the list of things we differed, spicy savory was on top. Fried spicy savory is my taste buds best buddy while she can’t stand those tasty tongue tantalizers. During our courtship days she posed me with a challenging question, what do I love more her or spicy savory? Bearing in mind that response could have a long term consequences, I carefully crafted my answer. I said, “Honey you are sweet as nectar and nothing precedes you. However you know that rainbow is not made of one color, music is made of multiple notes. Life comes in all shades & flavor, little sweet, little sour, little spicy. It’s the savory that will make me appreciate sweet more than anything else.” My sneaky rambling not only earned me her for life; flattered, she developed taste & skill for tasty treats. Gathered all the recipes from around & even developed some of her own, her sole intent here to like the the things that I enjoyed the most.  Last week she was diagnosed with a medical condition of throat that gets aggravated with oily & spicy food. She’s advised to abstain from consuming those taste health hazards while she is undergoing treatment and may be for rest of her life.

Husband's sweet reward for a lie!

Saturday morning my daily web-surfing was interrupted by a familiar smell of greasy delights.  Odor trail led me to the kitchen to find Neema busy preparing fried food of my fond. I reached behind her to turn off the stove. She turned around with a surprised look and I said honey, I think I’ve had too much of savory in life, little break won’t be a bad idea. Steam cooked food is a healthy alternative anyways. She tossed her head in question, to which I uttered “sweetheart I am serious, not lying”; a response quiet familiar to her ear. The questioning eyes turned into a loving gaze, with smiley lips & drizzly eyes she grabbed me into a tight hug, pushed me against the counter-top and planted a passionate kiss. Cuddled in her warm embrace I make a mental note, there goes yet another lie …

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