Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Diwali and its part in my downfall -Part II

(Just in case you missed the earlier post, I was speaking about the dismissive manner in which the missus spoke of single malt whiskeys. And the assault on my valuable collection of books on philosophy)

As you can well imagine, no thinking man can stand slurs to malt whiskies. After racking my brains for a suitable repartee and finding none, I decided to maintain a dignified silence.

"OK," she said, by way of compromise, "I'll let you keep six of these books. They can go into the loft on top of the loo."

As a consequence of this radical rearrangement of philosophical thought in our home, our raddiwallah is now the proud possessor of 'Aristotle's Ethics', 'Plato's Republic', a jolly old book named 'The Great Political Theories' and 'Existential Thought - A Primer'.

I sat there numbed. I had never read any of those books, to tell you the truth, but it was nice to know they were around. I mean, if you wake up in a sweat in the middle of the night realising  you had forgotten a great political theory or two, 'The Great Political Theories' will no longer be around to illuminate you. I mumbled words to this effect.

The missus moved in for the kill.

"Cheer up, Naren.Look at the bright side of this. You are eligible to stand for Parliament now."

"Huh? Hows that?" I asked, leading up to the sucker punch.

"You've just sold your Ethics to the rag-and-bone man!"

"Ha Ha. Very funny. You know, Aristotle was the greatest thinker of the ancient world"

"Aristotle was a moron who believed men had more teeth than women"

"They don't?"

"Shut up and identify five t-shirts that are going out."

And so the day continued. By evening, my cupboard resembled Old Mother Hubbard's.

"It is bare!" I exclaimed in dismay.

But she wasn't really listening. With a cheery "Bare is in, baby", and proceeding to hum "The Bare Necessities" from the Jungle Book, she went on to her own wardrobe, which I bitterly noted she did not de-populate. Women!

"How come your wardrobe doesn't get the treatment?" I wanted to ask her but she shooed me out of the room and continued the proceedings in camera.

The next day we spent all morning and half the afternoon shopping for gifts. Trays, candles, chocolates, that kind of thing.

Why this inconsequential act has to command so much pomp and circumstance is beyond me. It is not as if you gift someone a set of wine glasses and he or she says "Oh my god! Just what I needed! I resolve to love you twice as much as I used to!".

He or she just pries off the little "With Best Compliments From" label and puts one of his or her own to gift to someone else.(This has been proved true with respect to casseroles. There are only three casseroles in the world, all of  which get repacked and re-gifted. Apparently this has been going on since 1902.)

We of course invest the simple act of buying presents with the care and attention of the Pentagon purchasing military hardware. Hmm. Perhaps that's not such a great simile. What I was striving to emphasize was that the six hours or so that we spent in the mall buying stuff that no one wanted could have been reduced to fifteen minutes if it had been left to me.

"I couldn't trust you to buy a flyswatter, Naren", the missus retorted, when I voiced my aforementioned views. "You got your best friend a pressure cooker last year"

"What's wrong with a pressure cooker?" The truth was that we were giving pressure cookers to the workers in my factory and I happened to have a few left over.

"Nothing, except that it is not a chic thing to give. Can you imagine say Shobha De giving Vijay Mallya a pressure cooker?". I had an answer to that. I am not Shobha De and he is by no means Vijay Mallya. But I kept the trap shut, which is the best response when the argument is drifting into uncharted territory.

(The Missus is howling for me to take her voting. Part III coming soon)


Idling in Top Gear said...

"Can you imagine say Shobha De giving Vijay Mallya a pressure cooker?"
Perhaps you could have reminded the missus that Shobha De could theoretically give Dr Mallaya a great many things that are still illegal for you to give another man. :D

PS: I gave away my Ethics and Republic to the local library when I moved. :)

Mariya said...

Got quite a few exasperated stares from colleagues after I fell off my chair, laughing.

Anonymous said...

Point to myself..never read your blog posts at work!! LOL stuff..and I look even more hilarious..just sitting here and laughing all alone!


Mr. K Bodhi said...

Ha ha ha! Ho ho ho!

You have surpassed yourself. I like the waking up in the midnight bit. And the Shoba De.

Siddharth said...

Casseroles in 1902? You meant 1902 BC right?

And those really delicate showpieces. They started from the Jurassic age. Once a T-Rex ate a Veggie-Rex and found the gift it had given to another T-Rex family in Veggie-Rexes cave. One theory says, the T-Rex collapsed and the domino effect actually led to their extinction.

indiegurl said...

you know, i actually really liked plato's republic. quite fun actually. man was mad. but awesome.

also, re your previous post, i thought probability, permutations/combinations and differential calculus were the saving grace of high school math :D

and NO, NOTHING is worse than learning the Income Tax Act!!! Except for environmental law, which, somehow, impossibly, is more boring than the income tax act. Go figure.

narendra shenoy said...

@idling - LOL @ the De-Mallya observation!

@Mariya - :D Though I didn't laugh much when all this was happening

@Saranya - Thanks! But as you laugh, spare a kind thought me!

@Bodhi - :D The pressure cooker episode is based on a true event

@siddharth- LOL @ the armchair paleontology!

@indiegurl - Plato was quite weird. For instance, he believed that all men had to be ambidextrous because it was symmetrical or some such thing. I bet he was on weed.
Just thought of a silly joke, btw. What kind of math do you need to climb the corporate ladder? - Deferential Calculus

SRK said...

I'll gladly come and take your books sirji... please let us know next time your cupboard is being cleaned! I'll even give you a casserole as quid pro quo!

mbjesq said...

The voluntary simplicity movement has never really caught-on as it probably should have. But at least involuntary simplicity is alive-and-well!



Maddy said...

takes a lot of courage to even share the same room as those books..phew I wonder how the Mediterranean people got educated on that stuff after long swigs of wine and grapes and all those nubile women prancing around the beaches..

but then narendra, what made you buy them?

Ravi Matah said...

A superb description of one's pathetic existence with an authoritative companion. lol:) I appreciate the subjective behaviour in an effort to maintain peace at the cost of books as well as t-shirts. Instead of the pressure cooker, Shobha could have presented a Kingfisher's beer to Vijay Mallaya.

Aruna said...

All your posts are simply superb. I start my day reading your blogs, and I am left with a huge smile and sometimes uncontrollable laughter through out the day. I visit your blog daily and hope you keep writing and make people like me happy.