Monday, November 26, 2007

Who you gonna call?

And I'm back in the waiting room again. This particular hospital smells of phenyl and mothballs. The smell might have something to do with the 4pm visiting time - evening cleaning hour. Either that or it's my jacket which I've pulled out after 9 months of being stuffed. The receptionist is pretty. They must be pretty for a reason. The hospital temple (yeah it's kinda mandatory) houses a grinning Lord Krishna and a gleeful Radha draped on his arm. They both have Marwari features. They are carved out of marble. Hmmmm.......

So there are Bongs and Gujjus and Sindhis and Biharis and Oriyas all rushing into a Maru hospital. Maybe not the Sindhis. They are a class apart. They outdo the Marus too. Loads of stereotypes. Loads of differences. Something you'd see everyday in real life. Something you wouldn't think thrice about if you were in front of a PC (or a Laptop/Mac/Macbook/PDA/Cellphone). The internet has its own share of friends (frandz?) and stereotypes. So here's a tribute to those millions who make being online everyday worthwhile.

And free from hospital smells too..

The Agony Aunt - She's your best friend. It's a bit one sided though. You don't think twice about buzzing her and engulfing her with your tale of woe. If you're more of a beast, you engulf her with your tail of whoa! The knocking on her chat handle and spewing all venom is a (self imposed) given. The knocking her up you can't imagine. She's the shoulder you lean upon, disagree with, and can't do without. Over a period of time she is known to ask you to go to bed if you are up late.

The Agony Uncle - The male version of the aunt. Not necessarily married to her. In fact, this is highly undesirable. The agony uncles have a wild side of their own. You come to agony uncles for advice on friends, love, matters of the heart, matters of the fart - if you are close enough emotionally and far apart geographically. Agony uncles write out excellent reality checks. You lose your bounce a bit, but that's what he is good for. Their sentences are liberally interspersed with profanities which walk the range between mildly creative to boss-abuseworthy. They generally hate their day jobs.

The Sighnature - This is probably you. Even agony auntcles turn into sighnatures. Every other sentence is marked with a mental sigh. Your job isn't good enough, your parents are stifling, your significant other is a bother, your siblings are successful and you probably haven't gotten laid yet. Sighnaturists have dark circles (under their eyes) and puffy cheeks.

The EMA - This is the Extra Marital Affair. Enough said? Not really. They know you inside out. No pun intended. This is mostly your doing since you choose to regale your EMA with the nitty gritties of everyday life. While the agony couple gets the bad parts, your EMA gets all the highlights of the day. EMAs have tremendous control over your mood being able to make you happy in an instant or Sighnaturist in another. Known to be emotional and fond of ascribing animal names to mundane issues. Hugging emoticons, anybody?

The Emotivator - You've been smiley bombed. A chat window will pop up at any point of the day with a smiley. Oh grin, wink, smile, stick your tongue out, cry, thpbbbbt - the emotivator is guaranteed to cheer you up. That's probably because they have an emoticon for every mood. They also motivate you to hit the ~x( keys on your instant messenger if you are busy. They motivate you to learn creative new ways of expressing yourself. Social networking sites have received numerous complaints from the emotivators about not having enough emotiis. Known to cause potentially embarrassing situations with the kiss smiley. Especially if you are at work.

The Exclaim Artist - WTF!! Generally female, the exclaim artist *hold your breath* exclaims! The shift and 1 keys are overused! Very useful for sharing gossip! Equally useful for spreading rumours! Doesn't like being spoken about! LOL! A bit shifty too!!!!111

The LOLita - the grandmother of internet lingo, the LOLita laughs his/her/its way in and out of any position. You can judge the funniness of your statement by the capitalization, exclamation marks and delay in appearance of next chat. This may be due to slow reactions or a wonky internet connection too, but LOLitas have a very cheerful disposition. A word of warning though - most of them appear to be dumb blondes. Most of them are.

The CaPiTalISt - Yeah teenagers. Not only is it difficult to understand what you are reading, but after you have attained your diploma in hieroglyphics it turns out that the message wasn't meant for you in the first place. OpsSS SoRReeY seNt 2 dA WrngPerSN bY MisTKK LOL! Teenage girls usually type this way. Some middle aged men exhibit this trait too.

The Hmmbug - Usually always busy, the Hmmbug will politely hear you out and forget about your existence. Note the use of exactly two M's in the hmm. If unusually moved or free, you might elicit a Mmmmm. Curiosity and excitement is represented by a Hmm? and Hmm! respectively. A Capitalist will never chat with a Hmmbug. ReAlLyY!

The Blogged Nose - Ah yes! The blogger spends time by roaming blogspots around IP addresses. This is a good person to chat with. Life turns into a Shakesperean drama with the computer a stage and us doing our bits. Pun intended. You glean a lot of knowledge, come across different points of view. You also decide that your own vocabulary skills are inadequate and contemplate various means of ending your life. You are also strongly influenced to download obscure softwares, blogroll random people and quote their writings in parties. (And as a blogger buddy pointed out: software ka plural, is software.) See what I mean by vocabullying?

The Techie - Smart, full of enthusiasm and your guru for troubleshooting. Gives fast solutions to any and all problems. The one drawback is you can never get them online for more than 5 minutes. The other drawback is you can't understand their rapid-action techtips. Never ask the techie his/her salary. You might end up with permanent greenback damage or a badly messed up computer. Usually possesses a 12th dimensional sense of humour.

The Bathroom Humorist - You'll talk shit with this one. And feel just as refreshed after you are done. Don't wash your hands off this one in a hurry. His/her one-liners earn you brownie points during chats. Either that or it's no donut for you. Things take a turd for the better if your face is flushed. Enjoy your afternoons taking pot-shots at each other. Go on a date if you can. You'll be exclaiming "goodness gaseous me!" in no time.

The Inslut - A glutton for punishment. The Inslut loves making off topic remarks. Any comebacks get hastily deleted. Return comebacks are targeted at your background, upbringing and length of nasal hair. Insluts think many things are overrated. They are best handled by Pwndits.

The Pwndit - Brash, rude and has an opinion about everything. Could be your long lost brother/sister/other at some Kumbh Mela. Could also be your boss in disguise. The pwndit has good command over the queen's language. You might find your head shoved up your rear entry just to get to know yourself from deep within. Making an ass of yourself is inevitable. Chances are you are viewing your own after your head has been twisted around and jammed into place.

The Mystery Cat - Lurks in cavities. You'll never find out what this person really knows. His/ her name, location, even sex is hard to find. Hell, you won't even know it exists until it makes itself visible to you. Unless you are a lurker.

The Lurker - The lurker knows almost everything about you. You also end up knowing a lot about the Lurker because he/she cannot keep his/her trap shut. A lurker buddy will find out whatever you ask. The cons involve emotional blackmail because they fall really badly for tricks and privacy attempts.

The Sex Kitten - Puns intended to stun, the Sex Kitten has an amorous reference in humour. You'll never get to bed with her, but the chat is quite stimulating. Your ROFL might be a ROBL and you'll realize that your nursery rhymes were actually attempts at perverting your innocent minds. Don't get too hooked to the Sex Kitten. The chance to unhook will, alas, be out of reach you C.

The Envirowmentalist - Frustrated species. You need them to understand how lucky you really are. If you see one, run/ignore/block/permanently invisible like hell! Identifying strains are questions about Man's purpose and existence, responsibilities and how your near and dear ones are. They normally don't have a Danger sign written on their forehead. If you are searching for one it was nice knowing you.

The Librarunian - Library knowledge about all things Linda Goodman. Has a psychic connection with all things unbalanced. Offers solid advice, is modest and talks a bit too much. Talks a lot actually. Calls at weird hours. Will hear you out patiently and recommend patent advice. Known to be Harry Potter fanatics.

The Dock - Quack quack! This particular one echoes even in valleys. Tremendously accident prone and a potential donour to the Smithsonian, the good doctor believes in an eye for an eye and a tooth for a foot. You'll find the doc in the hospital. Being studied. Well grounded, the doc is usually in the dock too, staying close to his/her roots.

The Best Friend - He/ she is always around. A phone call away, this person knows your nickname when you were three. They know why you don't like being teased about something. They will stay online for hours just to give you a wake up call at 5am. You feel uneasy if the best friend isn't online. Sometimes, it's a group of friends who collectively becomes a single best friend. Be it calling to ask how your father is or to bash a sighnaturist, they are just there. And when you pronounce a sentence, you have their word.

There are more.. some less said the better. Some for whom you can't say enough. And some are alphabets in an online existence proving just how crazy the damned gods are. Now who sculpted that maru Krishna I wonder.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Frenetic filosophy and foam

Life doesn't have an orchestra playing in the background. If it did, every event would have resembled the movies. Life doesn't have action replays either. If it did, we would've relived very many moments a la soap operas.
Life is fired upon us point blank. Life is one day at a time.

Life stops. Randomly.

Suppose you were on your way to a bookstore. You'd just gotten off the subway. Let's say the map was something like this:
Subway > Hospital > Mall > Bookstore

We need a setting, say, dusk. There aren't many people in this set. Only you, a few cabbies idling their Sunday dusk away, and a guy lying on the road. For dramatic effect, he's having a fit, there's foam frothing from his mouth. And he's convulsing just outside the hospital gates.

Let's now say that you've spotted this chap. No one else has seen him. You run to the cabbies. You ask them for help in carrying him to the hospital. Smart world-wise people that they are, they ask you to bring a stretcher from the hospital. Naturally, you rush in. Then what? Then you spot an ambulance and two attendants. You ask them for their empty stretcher and assistance, right? What do you do when they tell you that they don't have any? You look at them in disbelief, don't you?

But you need to do something. There's a foamy chap writhing in the dust. So you rush into the hospital. You see two burly guards massaging their bellies. You ask them for help. They're from the police, they are meant to help. But they politely tell you that it's not their job to pick up people from the street. You scream at them for increasing their fat bellies perhaps? Maybe you shout at their callousness. But there's a man outside in the grip of a seizure.

So you rush in to the emergency ward. There are three doctors filling prescriptions. A few patients paying bills. You're excited. You're angry. You're stammering. You ask the doctor to please send two boys with stretchers. You're expecting help. You get a polite refusal. It's a
Sunday evening after all. People have more important things to do other than saving lives. They need to increase their wallets, don't they? The doctors are here to do their job. You know, the saving lives bit. You might have had the orchestra playing high beats and a rapid violin piece at this point. But this is life. There's no music. It's just you screaming your lungs out asking for life savers to save lives. You are not pleasant to hear. You are screeching like a banshee.

This means you rush outside again. You need help to bring this chap in. He looks like he's having an epileptic fit. Yes, his limbs are rigid and shaking and the froth is flowing fast. You convince one of those previous cabbies to help you save a life. The both of you hoist the chap up. You are supporting his spine and cradling his head. The froth dribbles over your shirt. The cabbie holds his legs. You two jog into the emergency ward. Remember the ambulance attendants and guards? They are looking bemusedly at you. But you don't care. You need to get this chap to the doctors so that they can save his life.

But the doctors are earning money. They grunt at you to set the patient down in a corner. You do that. Then you ask them to conduct their miracles. You pant at them. There's not much breath left in your lungs. Of course, you're sounding like a dog now. Who listens to dogs? Not doctors, oh no.... they've got money to make, prescriptions to fill. Who wants to attend to a dusty, dirty ragamuffin having a fit on the road. He probably won't have any money. Let him be.

You're also a hot-headed idiot prone to violent anger. You want to see some action. You scream at the doctors to stop and come do something. All you get is a young intern who wags his stethoscope in your face and asks you what's wrong with the bloke. You yell at him for being an idiot. You have another intern. A female who tells you that they have handled far worse cases than an ordinary epileptic patient. Now remember, these are just doctors. You shouldn't be angry with them. They're just supposed to make money while saving lives. The female intern receives an earful from you along the lines of being a pathetic show of idiocy. The male is standing stock still, unsure of what to do. He probably has never had a stranger from the street tell him he's incompetent and inhuman for not saving lives. He saves lives on a daily basis. How dare you tell him that he's a sick fag who doesn't have basic humanity and ethics?

That's when the politerefusal doctor brings his toolkit out. Toolkit? That's supposed to be a first aid box. Just ignore the rust. Yes, he wipes the foam away. The patient has stopped convulsing. Maybe he's dead. You didn't notice. You were too busy yelling. Oh, the interns have started reanimating his hands. The female is massaging his feet. The male is checking the blood pressure. Someone grabs your shoulder and requests you to stop yelling. You rudely inform him that as long as doctors refuse to save lives and policemen refuse to take risks you will keep raving. Everyone is looking at you. Maybe it's you who need help. Is there an insane asylum nearby? No... people are just money mad. There's no asylum for that. Everyone's got this disease.

You stumble out. It's become darker. The cabbie just drives off, away from the whole scene. There's a drama unfolding inside the emergency room. You hope that the chap makes it. He didn't look more than 25 when you lifted him off the dirt.

The orchestra stopped playing long ago. The only sound I heard was my heart thumping as I walked to the bookstore.