Saturday, August 25, 2007

Life truly is a B**ch

I for one should be the last person to say that B-school life is strenuous and the cause of grey hair causing stress (hair loss causing stress even?). To be fair even someone like me has been able to manage the assignments, quizzes (both surprise as well as well in advance informed types), mid themes, end themes, presentations and everything else that has been thrown at us and managed to stand tall at the end of it fairly unscathed. But there are times when everything just kind of builds and grows to the extent where you yearn for a break, an escape from the claustrophobic walls that have surrounded you while you were apparently looking elsewhere, a simple getaway from the madness called life.

For some solace lies in music. An evening to yourself spent drowning in your favourite artiste offers a simple pleasure that is really difficult to describe. Lying down with the electricity meter having to tick away only due to a fan and contemplating life with nobody for company is often the perfect prescription that unfortunately no doctor can prescribe. Under the assumption that one has the appropriate music for accompaniment that is.

For others a simple stroll will do the same if not more. I don’t really know if it’s about being able to connect with nature or if it’s the spent calories that give you a subconscious sense of relief or if it’s just that the walk lets you be on your own giving you the opportunity to be the observer and thereby watch everyone else caught up in their own little worlds.

While the above 2 have been successful to varying degrees (the fact that I’ve not really had to unwind has therefore not put the above to the proper test, what can I say life’s been good to me) I feel that nothing compares to the simple pleasure of sprawling on a beach on a cloudy day. How does one begin to explain the true extent of the soothing effect that the sound of waves unrelentingly lapping the shore has on a weary soul? Of course the right company has been so far an untyped essential of this. Having them run around chasing a football successfully attempting stunts that will never ever be executed on the football field and smiling to yourself knowing this secret is safe with you is absolutely priceless. Being smart would mean waiting till they have sufficiently exhausted themselves and then getting up off your lazy arse and running circles around them executing some neat flicks, fakes and classic one touch football that would have made any Arsenal player proud. Or at least attempting to do so ….. And when everyone’s too tired to play David Beckham any more they will eventually sit down, sip beer, talk about irrelevant stuff, pull each other’s leg while you grab a cap, make sure the sun isn’t hitting your face and go back to sprawling with a grin and the knowledge that life’s a bitch. Except on the beach.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tumour in your humour

It was in Robbie Williams’ much listened to song Supreme that he sang a line (that could’ve & should’ve been just another line in just another popular song) that has caused me to contemplate rather unnecessarily for prolonged periods of time on what humour is. Maybe Robbie never intended for just 1 line from the whole song to be food for thought for someone who is jobless in some classes and doesn’t want to waste his time day dreaming about people, places and/or things limited only by his boundaryless imagination. Or maybe he did. One can’t say. But debating on that is entirely pointless. More importantly, the line in question…..

“Yeah are you questioning your size?
Is there a tumour in your humour,
Are there bags under your eyes? “

If for some weird reason you still haven’t figured out which of the 3 lines is the reason for me to ditch my favoured state of brain deadness to ponder on humour, it’s the italicized one. So how exactly does one define funny? Do funny jokes have to be clean jokes? Why do a lot of guys like jokes that are slightly dirty? Do girls like jokes that are borderline dirty? (Am in the dark on that one) Why do people always laugh at whatever joke a particular person cracks even if they are funny or not? Why do poor jokes have to be called pj’s? Why cant we call them something else? Why do some people have a terrible sense of humour? (what I like to call - tumour in your humour) There are 100s of unanswered humour related questions that I have.

I’ve only got 7 more months left in my course to complete free thinking about such things without a worry in the world. And I don’t suppose that I will get an answer to any of them but I am keeping an open mind to possible revelations. Probably wont run down the street naked and all shouting Eureka Eureka but the thought of it is ….. Anyways until then I probably will keep coming up with crackers (as I like to look at them with my humour tinted & tainted eyes) (crackers being an ambiguous term) like the ones below. Enjoy !

What the annoyed pet shop owner shouted at the intelligent bird that kept imitating his style of talking and whatever he said ……. “ Stop parrot-phrasing me !”

What one sea animal told his star fish friend as he went to find the loo? ……. I need to crab

What happens if you piss off your FAS (probably Faculty Associated for Student, basically a faculty mentor in my institute) ? ….. It becomes a case of the FAS and the furious

What one sandwich told the other sanwich after cracking a really really terrible joke ? ........ No bun intended

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Its fake !

“You still watch wrestling??????” accompanied by incredulous looks followed by laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation is something that I’ve encountered heaven knows how many times over the years. And of course the standard follow up that’s something of a Robin to the Batman that is You sill watch wrestling – You know its fake, don’t you?

My friends and family will vouch for the fact that my memory is one of the lousiest ones around. But I do very distinctly remember watching all amazed as Star TV came into my life sometime in late 1992. The first channel I watched was BBC and a short while later I stumbled onto wrestling. It was a show that was immediately after Summerslam 1992 if I am not mistaken with the host talking about the match between Bret “The Hitman” Hart & his real life brother-in-law “The British Bulldog” Davey Boy Smith. And I was hooked.

Over the years I’ve watched wrestling and in particular the WWF (now WWE) grow as an industry, watched the metamorphosis from a family oriented style in the late 80’s and early 90’s to a more edgy product aimed at a younger audience. During the boom years of wrestling in India almost every school going kid had a collection of wrestling stickers, wrestling postcards (which couldn’t be mailed anywhere anyways) and wrestling trump cards. Oh the endless hours spent playing trump cards …… Nowadays I cant even find a quarter of my collection of stuff that I had during that time. School kids even went to the extent of picking a wrestler that most suited his personality as his own character. Local TV channels would invariably show old wrestling tapes from the late 80’s that were great to watch.

I guess that’s what attracted me to it in the first place – the characters. Bret “The Hitman” Hart, Chris Jericho & Ric Flair are my favourite wrestlers not just in terms of their in ring prowess and ability but in the very characters they portray week in and week out. Bret Hart built his career as a typical good guy but his evolution into a bad guy due to the frustration he was feeling during his feud with the then upcoming Stone Cold Steve Austin is one of the most brilliant & believable pieces of scriptwriting that the WWF has done. Chris Jericho in his WCW days was so cocky but fans knew he could more than back it up with his in ring skills and was thus very popular. “The Nature Boy” Ric Flair, in my view the greatest wrestler I have ever seen in the squared circle (he is still actively wrestling full matches at an age of 58), can entertain like none other. The 16 time World Champion is legendary as the ‘Dirtiest player in the game’ and his trademark moves have enthralled fans over the years.

Storylines are a major driving force between why wrestling is still close to my heart. The formula is simple enough – Good guy vs Bad Guy. Crowd cheers good guy and dislikes bad guy. But the evolution of wrestling fans over the years has meant that there is no more black and white in terms of characters. Steve Austin is one example that springs to mind, despite being the bad guy fans took to his anti establishment attitude. John Cena at the other end who is being pushed by the WWE as the next Hulk Hogan just could not win over the fans cause a very large number of them viewed him as being not deserving enough to hold the title. Just goes to show you cant take your customers for granted. But I digress. Stories like the Austin Hitman feud mentioned earlier, the long simmering feud between The Hitman & “The Heart Break Kid” Shawn Michaels, the feud between “The Macho Man” Randy Savage & Hulk Hogan where Macho Man felt that Hulk Hogan was showing too much attention to Miss Elizabeth, Randy Savage’s wife are but a few examples.

And wrestling is all about the moments that capture it brilliantly as well. Probably the most watched and famous scene is of Hulk Hogan power slamming Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania III. Other memorable memories include
· Shawn Michaels ‘skinning the cat’ (bringing himself into the ring over the ropes while hanging from the top rope by lifting his legs above him and rolling backwards over the top rope) while the British Bulldog celebrates thinking that he has won the Royal Rumble and then proceeding to throw the British Bulldog over the top rope and win it.
· Hulk Hogan walk down to the ring while all the wrestlers are down and proceed to leg drop the good guys much to the shock of wrestling fans all over the world and join the bad guys Kevin Nash (Diesel) & Scott Hall (Razor Ramon) in setting up the New World Order (NWO) thereby ending his decades as the quintessential American hero.
· Jeff Hardy hang haplessly from the ring holding the belts suspended 15 feet above the ring while the ladder he used to climb it was removed from under him and Edge then proceeding to spear him from another bigger ladder.
· Speaking of Edge how could I not mention both his instances of cashing in the Money In The Bank to win the title. battered and bloodied John Cena in the first case won the Elimination Chamber much to the dismay of the majority of the crowd. Edge then proceeded to devilishly cash in his MITB with spears to the champion causing the crowd to go crazy.
· Who can ever forget the crazy moment when Mankind (aka Cactus Jack aka Mick Foley) was thrown off the top of the Hell In the Cell by the merciless Undertaker onto the commentators table. Truly a ‘Holy Shit’ moment.
Chris Jericho finally agreeing to face the unstoppable Bill Goldberg after being a thorn in his side for months and then having Gillberg (a parody of Goldberg) come out to hand held sparklers instead of the usual pyrotechnics.
The list is virtually endless and for all the naysayers out there I would only like to say this. It isn’t fake – the action in the ring is real and dangerous and the athletes put their bodies on the line every time they step into the ring. The chair shots are from real metal chairs and the tables used aren’t made of paper. Besides how do you fake barbed wire anyways? The characters are amazingly deep with traits we see in people around us and the story lines fascinating. What else do you want?