Monday, July 29, 2013

Growing old and its part in my downfall

I was having a conversation with a friend the other day and we were discussing how our children are all changing so rapidly.

"I suppose we're all growing up", I remarked, for I have the gift for making wise sounding remarks. There is an art to this, let me tell you. You say the most apparent and obvious thing but you say it in a grave, reflective sort of way. Do it right and in no time, your friends are nudging their acquaintances and whispering "don't look now but there's a wise person". But I digress.

Coming back to what I was saying, on the day in question, I think my voice was not the required octave lower, for the friend, instead of gazing upon me in awe, like the followers of a minor prophet when he reveals a cosmic secret, snapped back in an irritated manner "THEY are growing up - WE are growing older" and I realized, as I have been suspecting whenever these days I attempt to spring up a flight of stairs or figure out the answer to a crossword clue, the chap was right.

I'm not afraid of growing old, of course. It is what happens at the end of that process that scares me. But when I mention this to the missus, I get a sharp rebuke about the state of my health and an exasperated "Why aren't you going to the gym? Why are you eating like you were a member of the species Sus Scrofa Domesticus? And, speaking of which, why are you eating so many members of the species Sus Scrofa Domesticus?"

"The gym trainers laugh at me"

"Only when you do sit ups. But I'll speak to them. They're not supposed to do that" said the missus and mumbled something that sounded like "regardless of how funny it looks" but she refused to repeat it

"And", she continued, "please stop eating and drinking so much"

"I don't drink too much"

"You don't? How do you explain, then, that Vijay Mallya is still solvent?"

So with great regret, I hereby declare that I shall be ceasing consumption of alcohol except, of course,on ceremonial or celebratory occasions, but not exceeding 4 times in a calendar month, until further notice, and that members of the species Sus Scrofa Domesticus may roam the earth free of fear from this day on.

And if you have read a sadder bit of news that this here post of mine, I defy you to show me.

Monday, July 1, 2013

In which I meet Ramesh Srivats, ask him a religious question and get an answer

As religious questions go, it must be said that mine was a genuinely tricky one. It's not one of the usual "Is there a God?" or "Is there life after death" types which can be answered, not withstanding the fact that entire followings have been established on their strength, by a simple 'yes' or 'no' without having to ascribe any reasons to it.

The question was asked of me by one of the lads - I forget which one- many years ago.

"Annie", said the lad "if you eat non veg on a proper, non veg eating day like say Sunday, in which case there is no sin, and a piece of say chicken gets stuck in your teeth. If you pick your teeth on a veg eating day like Monday, dislodge that piece, and eat it, is that a sin?". I remember the missus sending off the lad with a flea in his ear for trolling his hapless parent but the question lurked around in the recesses of my mind, for I remain a deeply spiritual man and existential questions such as these do not disappear from it by mere banishment.

And yesterday, purely by accident, I managed to bump into Ramesh Srivats who is a fount of wisdom on all matters temporal and spiritual, and one I have consulted over various vexatious questions ("If you black out while drinking, does your soul temporarily exit your body and reside with the stars?" and "If you black out while drinking, and you make a wish just before passing out, does it come true?" are two that come to mind) and asked it of him.

He pondered for a while and asked me a counter question.

"If you eat nonveg on a Sunday, get chicken stuck in your teeth, pick it on Monday and eat it, but cross the international dateline in the meantime so that it is still Sunday where you are, but Monday in the place where you had originally eaten the chicken, is it a sin? Answer that, my lad, and you will know all"

I experienced a feeling of bliss enveloping me. I was no closer to the Truth, but now I had a question to keep my mind focused and away from the distractions of the material world