Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Karmic Chaos

Observing the behaviour of some of the people around me, I marvel at their ability to do certain things. Things I consider heinous, or at best, unforgivable - with complete nonchalance, a casual flick of the wrist, a flash of eyes, a half-contemptuous turn.

And suddenly wonder: What if my conception of things is entirely, irrevocably wrong? What if I'm the stupid one, unable to comprehend that the path I want to be on can be reached only by going through a thick web of dishonesty?

Worse, what if they're "right"? What if "lying" and "cheating" are in fact "good"? Rather like Calvin's dream of a Santa who gives toys only to naughty kids? What if my karma is upside down, inside out, right-side wrong?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Dogs & Niggers Will Not Be Served

So I went to New York City weekend before last, to meet up with S, who was visiting from London, and some other friends. And after we had eaten our fill at a cozy place down the street, we went to a pub called Uncle Ming's, at 225 Avenue B. And one of their bar-tenders not only refused to serve my friend R, but even gave us his "reason" for the same: "I'm racist, what will you do?"

Not only that, when N argued with him about this incident, he actually called the bouncer to evict N from the premises. Upon which, we all followed N down the stairs behind the bouncer, talking loudly about racial discrimination.

And here's the next twist: there were actually cops standing on the stairs, listening to us tell the bouncer what had happened, hearing the term "racial discrimination" over and over again.

Test question, to see if you know what the world is about: Did the bouncer, on hearing the story, or the cops, on over-hearing the story, ask us to go back inside? Did they apologise? Did they, as a matter of fact, do anything?

If you answered "yes", you're sadly naive. Nobody did anything.

And, eventually, neither did we. Our objective was to make the most of our evening, and our priorities elsewhere. It did leave a bad taste in our mouth though, that hasn't entirely gone away. Perhaps because we let it slide too. Perhaps we should have done something, though I'm not entirely sure what.

Any ideas?

Monday, November 21, 2005

Survival & Insanity in the USA

So recall an earlier post where I'd spoken about not wanting to room with a "ree-ree-ree" flatmate? Well, it appears I don't learn from experience. I decided to share an apartment with her in the US, and well, I sure learnt my lesson, when she almost ran out on me with a full 700 bucks. $, not Rs. Not a funny story, and below this blog's dignity to go into in detail.

That and other things have been sort of occupying the lion's share of mind-space, so things that I meant to write about have not been written about. But coming up soon (I hope) is the survivor's guide to the US - truly, How To Be A Legal Alien (with all due apologies to George Mikes and Sting).

Right now, though, there is just the unutterable delight of having my own space, warm wooden floors, soft lamplight glowing, Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong crooning about the Autumn in New York, and some good books by my side. Life seems to be falling into place again.