Friday 20 May 2011

The unique language and world of bloggers

Listening me talk the other day, my non-blogger friend was just amazed with disbelief. What?!?!? Your blogger friend's birthday and to say that you haven't even met him/her. Well, all I could do was give my sweetest smile and say: "You won't understand, until you're blogging." Well, today there seems to be a divide between bloggers and non-bloggers. We bloggers have created a quasi-world where our language is filled with blogs, bloggers, posts, facebook groups, etc., which the non-blogging world views with part amusement and part disbelief. The world of bloggers and blogs can be comprehended only by those who either are bloggers or sympathetic towards blogging.

The steady growth of this blogging community is almost like the real community and despite the fact that most of us haven't met or even talked, the friendship quotient is mutual and agreeable. Sharing of joys, anger, frustrations, paranoia and other feelings comes without any iota of second thought. The comfort zone from the virtual to the real world is also something that a non-blogger cannot understand. When I told my friend that one of my blogger friends called me on my birthday and we ended up chatting for one hour (which is 1 a. m. in the morning), drew loaded stares.

Hearing my tales of blogging and bloggers who are my friends, my non-blogging friend has come to terms with the fact that this is indeed a fantastic relationship where without having seen and talked to, the comfort levels are quite relaxed and happy. Blogging also has the unique power to bring in people from various parts of the world and when they get into contact, it is not them alone but also their country, culture, family and unique tales.

Leaving out one or two untoward incidents, this world has enabled me to blossom in many hitherto unknown aspects of myself. I am indebted to all my blogger buddies. You rock my world!

Now this is a rather heartfelt post which I'm sure many will also share. Do you feel the same about blogging and having blogger friends?

Image: Internet

Monday 16 May 2011

Wondering about names for the nth time

Do you know the famous poet, activist and diplomat Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto? Chances are that you might not know him. The name does not ring a bell. Do you know Pablo Neruda? Well, ofcourse. Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto was Pablo Neruda. The name was chosen Pablo (since it was a simple name and also belonged to Picasso) and Neruda (after the famous Czech writer Jan Neruda). Well, Pablo Neruda chose his own name!

Long time ago when I was growing up and  also around the time  I was revelling in my teens, names were carefully chosen by parents. Apart from the whole identity cliches, there are also other tags that have become synonymous with names. The names were believed to carve out destinies and mould an individual. If parents wanted their children to have leadership qualities, the chose names such as Alexander or Napoleon and if they wanted their children to become scientists, names such as Issac/Kepler or Radhakrishnan were chosen. There was a belief that the names will determine the character of the individual in concern. There were small bits of stories attached to names. Almost everyone knew the meanings behind their names and thus were able to rattle off name-histories without batting an eyelid. And above all people loved listening to personal histories behind names.

But sadly, or perhaps for the better, the whole concept of name-history is slowly being wiped off. Gen-X is not quite aware of the meaning of their names. Some of the names sound quite bizarre and almost downright incredulous (like the one in the image). The question: "Your name sounds nice, what does it mean?" draws blank looks as if I had asked them something completely stupid or senseless. Well, I might be a bit of a romantic when I talk of the past and the attitudes of the past but you must agree with me that name-histories are quite interesting.

Well, reader are you happy with your name or have you chosen to change it like Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto did? Do you know the meaning/history behind your name?

Image: Internet

Other NAME posts by me:

1. Dropping names and playing wise

2. Pausing to hear your stories

3. Mumbo jumbo of changing names

4. Roommate

5. Mamma calls me Joe

6. The big hype over retaining the maiden name or taking the husband's name after marriage

Wednesday 11 May 2011

Give an inch and they'll happily take a yard! Phew!

These people are quite ubiquitious, especially at homes! You might also have come across these kind of people. They are present everywhere. Sometimes when one is browsing pictures in the camera, a particular picture catches your attention and you are unable to hide your enthusiasm. You call out to the immediate person next to you: "Look at this picture. Lovely, isn't it?" The person next to you also cannot hide the curiosity and glances at the picture. Well, you wait for the camera mobile to be returned. But No. The person flips through the next picture and the next. You start getting a bit impatient. "I gave the mobile so that you can see that particular picture, not everything." A sheepish smile but the mobile is still not returned.

This happens with newspapers as well. You innocently give the paper to the person sitting next to you to read one tiny tid-bit of news that is quite funny/amusing or relevant. The person not only reads that particular news item but takes the privelege of reading other news items as well. Then you think: "I should not have given the paper." Too late.

Food! It happens all the time. An innocent request: "Can I take a bite?" Oh yes, you can. You realise later that one bite is nearly half of the entire food item. Icecreams, burgers, fruit juices are the usual suspects.

Some people just don't do what is expected of them. They have to walk that extra mile in grabbing a yard. Give them an inch and they will happily usurp a yard. Well, the ways of the world!

Do you grab a yard when allowed only an inch? I do sometimes (only sometimes, not always). Human foibles, afterall.

Image: Internet

Monday 9 May 2011

When twin emotions accost you back-to-back

Sometimes it so happens that two extreme emotions seize you the very same day making you wonder whether happiness or sorrow should be the signing off emotion. I find this very strange. Sometimes a friend would call up in an otherwise very happy day and give some news which would unsettle you. The news would be a harbinger of guilt as you find that rejoicing has to momentarily pause before the friend is consoled. Crossroads, I say.

Many a times I have seen friends go through this phase and so have I. After the twin news, the mind just weighs and one settles down with an emotionless state and wonders about both the different emotions which occurred back to back.

I find that when one is accosted like that, the best way is to let go of any strong feeling that might lead to heaviness; Heaviness of being happy when another friend is in a not-so-happy state of mind.

I guess exposure to media has made us immune in some way as we are faced with different kinds of news items that anger, surprise, hurt and make us happy. I wonder about kids. They seem to be so very oblivious of emotions, that they can switch over quite easily.

Reader, what is best when the situation is such that twin emotions accost you back-to-back? Just BE or sway?

Image: Internet

Wednesday 4 May 2011

Easy in the head but in reality . . . don't ask

Have you ever noticed how easily one can rise the pitch of our voices in the head but in reality it is absolutely next to impossible. Many a times, I have to admit that I have been naive enough to get the notion that if it is easy in the head, it can be done easily. And boy, how wrong was I! I imagine singing perfectly well in soprano while in reality I am an alto. In my head, I reach the high pitch without any strain and voila, in reality, I completely mess it all up. I am and will be an alto, I reckon.

This happens even with a picture of how the food will appear before it is cooked. I try to imagine a taste and appearance based on my head's preconceived notion but in reality the taste will be way different from what I had thought it would be. Probably, I guess this is the main reason that few studies conducted on romantic relationships, some months ago, proved. Women (maybe men too) imagine that their love life will be exactly like those shown on romantic movies but find that reality is a different ball-game altogether.

While it is easy to imagine and arrive at a picture perfect recipe/tune or any such thing, the real comes as a surprise. But I learnt my lesson quite some time ago and so I don't much trust my head's picture. I have to see it and then think: I am not so bad, after all. 

So, does your mind also give you tantalising pictures that sometimes are different from the real?

Image: Internet

Monday 2 May 2011

The Author's work OR his/her life

 Now this is an old debate. I am only rekindling this topic as I find that it constantly niggles me.

Many times we tend to read an author for the wonderful world she/he creates and along with their usage of words, ideas, expressions also colour our perceptions. But what happens when we read something in the tabloids about the personal life of that particular author? Do we like the work less or could we read the remaining works of that author without allowing the tabloids to influence our judgment?

These thoughts started stirring my mind when the issue of golfer Tiger Woods and author/publisher David Davidar started filling the pages of the newspapers. I enjoyed the game of Woods and reading a novel by Davidar. I still like them for their works. But when news of their various dalliances hit the stands, I was a bit perturbed. I wonder why? I never knew them personally nor did  bother to know about their lives before reading their books but why do I feel a bit unsettled when the papers reported on them? Probably reading their works, I have tuned myself to think that they are as wonderful as the yarn they spin.

Presently I am reading a book called Bookless in Baghdad by Shashi Tharoor, the charming politician and prolific author and journalist. The book in concern is a collection of Tharoor's essays about reading, writing, writers and other interesting aspects of life and literature. Reading the book, I am growing to like the man and his candid style of writing but at the back of my mind I can't stop thinking of his recent marriage (his third) to a Dubai socialite. I brush the thought aside and justify that the personal is something that I should not be concerned with when I am absorbed in his writing. But it seems a tad difficult to separate.

This brings me to the all too cliched saying, "No one is perfect" but as public figures, do people expect their lives to be exemplary? Does the whole package matter: the works as well as the personal life? Can people not see Tiger Woods just for his golf and not for his personal life? Why do we become so involved? Why is the morality within us always itch when we read of the dalliances of authors and sports persons we admire and cherish?

Well, I suppose I will still read Davidar's works and watch Woods' game but I also cannot forget that they 'did' something that was not taken kindly by most of the people.

Now I want to know what you think of this topic? Personal Life? Work? Talent?


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