Saturday, February 13, 2010

My struggles with self-expression

I am determined  to finish this post and publish it.

I've been starting and abandoning posts these last few days on the grounds that they sounded stupid and the frustration is growing. I feel like Ram Gopal Verma except that Ram Gopal Verma finishes his movies. Even if it means finishing off his audience. There I go again, writing complete rot.

Anyway, I said so to the missus (about my growing frustration with being unable to write any posts). She patted me on the head reassuringly and told me what the old Hebrew wise man told his king.

"The wise man told the king "Gam Zeh Yaavor"", the missus told me. "It means "This too shall pass"". What context this was said in I have no clue. Possibly the king was constipated and struggling with a particularly unyielding lump. But what the missus was telling me was that I mustn't worry, just keep typing whatever came into my head without thinking.

"If you can do that while speaking, what is the problem typing?"

"You mean, I'm funny when I speak?"

"Er, no, I meant your ability to speak without thinking"

This aforementioned ability is an old skill acquired at business school where I spent two miserable years saying absolute drivel to the accompaniment of a slide projector.

"But I want it to  be funny. I want people to laugh!" I lamented.

"Sweetness", she said in her gentlest voice, "you are funniest when you're not trying"

I eh-what-what-ed.

"You remember the other day when  we were dining at Akhil's place?" she asked. Said Akhil being one of my oldest friends.

"What abut it?"

"Well Akhil was telling this anecdote about someone telling him he looked like Shashi Kapoor. Which he does, by the way. And you said someone told you look like Richard Gere"


"Don't you remember how much we laughed. Akhil nearly had tears in his eyes. Sweetness, light of my life, I have seen Richard Gere and I have seen you. There are many differences"

"That was derisive laughter, which furthermore stems from a deep envy because I do look like Richard Gere from certain angles. I want my posts to make people laugh because of the humour"

The missus shrugged in a manner suggesting helplessness. Lost, I turned on my laptop and here I am, like Tristram Shandy, writing about what I am doing,  in the forlorn hope that something in it will turn out to be funny.

Part of the problem stems from my promise to the missus not to write groaners. This robs me of several thousand words a week but the missus tells me that if I do write them, I could face the following action

a) Being hit on the head with a blunt instrument
b) Extra 30 minutes cardio in the gym
c) Divorce
d) All of the above.

Consider for example, my interesting discovery about Tony Blair, former PM of Britain who for some reason always looks to me like an oily character. I'm probably wrong - I'm sure he's Abe Lincoln himself - but Tony has always looked like someone who would sell his wife.

And sure enough, it turned out that he had on one occassion, borrowed heavily from a shady financier, for funding his political ambitions. The said financier insisted on some kind of security for the advance and lacking anything significant in the nature of mortgageable assets, Tony suggested he leave his wife with the financier for the pendency of the loan, to which the financier agreed.

When his friends asked him how he had managed to raise so much cash, he replied that he was merely echoing the words of General Henry Munro who fought the French in 1778, laid seige to one of their Indian outposts and wrested control from them.

"What do you mean?" asked one of Tony's friends, who for the hundredth time wished Tony would use fewer words.

"I have Pawned Cherie"

But I desist from writing things like this  firstly because it is just the kind of thing that will lead the missus to use option 'a' above and secondly because I've already done a Pondicherry joke and to make another one so soon would just be declaring to my discerning audience that I have the imagination of a vegetable.

Still, I've managed to publish this which technically means that I have overcome my writer's block. I hope I find my funny bone soon. Assuming I ever had one.


i_r_squared said...

Your missus is wise.

You do not look like Richard Gere. You look like Lalit Modi.

Idling in Top Gear said...

I dunno what Mrs. S is talking about. You do look a lot like Richard Gere. Richard Gere is the IPL Commissioner, right? :D

And congrats on finding your funny bone again.

maxdavinci said...

ah the wise man with two berries, black ones i.e!

Wewake said...

"Possibly the king was constipated and struggling with a particularly unyielding lump."

gauri said...

My favorite quote by Franz Kafka: "Wer sucht, findet nicht. Wer nicht sucht, wird gefunden."

[He] who searches, does not find. [He] who does not search, will be found.

Anything on your blog is a pleasure to read, funny or otherwise. Stop looking for your funny bone. It will find you.


Deepak G said...

hehe lemme kno wr tat funny bone is i wl break it...too good dude

Praveen G K said...

Was wondering how come there was nothing for a long time from you. Good to see you back in action, and may you be as witty and f(p)unny as ever.

I know you must be busy as hell now, what with IPL3 coming :P

Siddharth said...

Welcome back Naren Sir. This too shall pass LOL!

Nice to read :)

Pitu said...

As someone who has tolerated many, many C grade movies due to my Richard Gere love (currently have 'Power' and 'No Mercy' at home), I assure you, you look nothing like Him.

But you're funny, which I'm sure is a secret consolation to the wife ;)

Ashutosh Parashar said...

You definitely are funny. The knack of saying tings in a funny way, when in company of friends is with many. But being funny also in writing, that's rare. And you have got it.
So please keep blogging.

narendra shenoy said...

@i_r_squared - I am not L.K.Modi for the following reasons
1. I don't have 2 blackberries
2. Even if I did, I'd never send e-mails to myself.

@idling - Aaarrrghhh! Refer to reply to shri @i_r_squared above.

@max - Aaaaarrrghhh! Refer to reply to shri @i_r_squared and shri @idling above.

@wewake - Thanks!

@gauri - Thanks!

@deepak - Thanks!

@praveen - Aaaarghhh! Refer to reply to shri @i_r_squared shri @idling and shri @max above.

@siddharth - Thanks!

@pitu - Thanks! Yhe wife mostly groans at my jokes, but every once in a whhile I merit a 1000 watt stunner smile.

Ashutosh - Thanks!

Magnus said...

Nice post. Gollum wantss preciousssss.... Groaner precioussssss.......

le embrouille blogueur said...

"It will passs" which later was used in a Hindi song ...."aati nahi" with wannabe actor Sanjay Kapoor !! I think all of the above is pretty harsh though I have to agree with Mrs.S. You do not need to try. You are funny -"nature" Ali.

Maddy said...

wow - she calls you 'sweetness'....wagera wagera???I think all those 'forin' trips & dining out are working man, keep at it.

Raj Jayaram said...

I got introduced to your blog a couple of months ago and really like your style of writing. I am only a rookie blogger, so I don't know if I am qualified to give suggestions. But when you refer repeatedly to writer's block, I wonder why you constrain yourself to writing funny stuff. You write so well that I think people will enjoy reading your blog anyway. I know I would.

Vanilla Fierce! said...

"I have pawned cherie."

You genius!

chutney said...

Oops. That was me, actually. The sister cannot appreciate high levels of humour.

Most unfortunate.

Dr. K Bodhi :D said...

@ir^2: Man! I was wondering if it is polite to point this out.

@naren: Dude. I often meet some pretentious people ( like that Gauri (kidding) ) who are like "I read Kafka, Tolstoy, Toblerone and Hersheys". And then to sound smart I reply "I read Shenoy." And follow it up with a smug "What you don't know Shenoy? Clearly you have poor literary tastes."

:D I have been silently reading all your groaners and immensely enjoying it :)

Raju said...

My dedic unto thee:

They were never "in" until you came-a-groaning.

Preeti said...

Oh the bone is there! dont even bother looking for it :)

sumit Das said...

Try rewinding back to the time when you assumed that you looked like Richard Gere. You might be reminded of ur funny bone,if not find it.:D

.....Was just joking.If you are sure that you lost ur funny bone,then going by this post, you must be having one, two, three..many of them and probably have lost one, which makes no difference anyway.

Potato Curry said...

Enjoyed the post!

btw q -- does the missus really use ' Sweetness' and 'light of my life'... I'm seriously trying to imagine it! :D

ps : please post more often, groaners or not! :)


Juggler said...

Finally a post! The missus seems to be extremely empathetic :-)

Deepak Gopalakrishnan said...

I read this, two minutes after I came up with this:

The universe works in funny ways.

Scattered Thoughts... said...


mentalie said...

you are so much funnier than richard gere, dammit! but i'm with the misus on the groaners.

Ivan Yaru said...

Whatte post, I say! Poop joke, Tristram Shandy and the domestic domination reference.. A touch of beer, and we're all a little Bud Weiser! :-P

Rajesh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rajesh said...

Very nice and interesting.

Save our Tigers

Anonymous said...

Dont listen to all these "grown-ups" about groaners. Write away I say. Create another blog (on Tumblr or posterous) just dedicated to these masterpieces.

leonidas said...

This post when you havent found ur funny bone??? Well I think u meant funny "bones" coz this sure did have me in splits. Great stuff as usual!

liberalcynic said...

writer's block sucks man...good for you that you've climbed out...of course I think people like me more when I'm blocked ;)

Ne said...

I know what you mean! I was on this weird writers block for a few months and now I'm back in action(or so I think!), I missed the Madras(refuse to say Chennai) blogging scene! =)