A Little Twist Betwixt

Beyond the Obvious

Since when did independent-minded  become synonymous with unhinged?

Or, generally clueless?

A red flag should go up the moment someone chooses to describe him/herself as independent-minded. It’s a good indication that they do not know what they are talking about.

IQ Test

So, some curious experiences with some self-certified ‘bright’ people of late have made me realise that it is in my interest to not take their claims at face value. Saves me from disappointment and them from embarrassing themselves.

Given the context, I think a good way to suss out their ability to think – independently, and with depth – is to just ask them if something is truly complex or merely complicated.

If they respond by saying that am playing with words or it’s just semantics, then one knows – for sure – that they have never really dealt with anything tricky in their lives, that they likely cannot think to save their own lives. A probable extension of this line of inference is that they have never had an original thought in their little addlepated heads thus far.

A similar test would be to discuss the difference between what is simple and what is simplistic, though this has its limitations.

EQ Test?

So, we were having chai at this fancy tea-room somewhere the other day. There were a bunch of fresh kittens playing around with their mom-cat at the entrance. We took care not to step upon them while going in.

A while later, the kittens got into the tea-room. The doorman starting making a noise to shoo them out and made as if to hit them. He stamped his foot near them and picked up a stick. Initially alarmed, I held back from intervening. I decided to watch.

The person I was with, however, felt outraged enough to walk up to the guy and haul him up for hitting the kittens. Which he decidedly did not do. Which I doubt he would – in public view, in such a place – likely frequented by the likes of our outraged warrior.

So the warrior gets back – with a look of disappointment at me for my lack of activism and outrage – and lets off a mouthful on the behaviour of the doorman. I could not help but repress a bemused smile.

Outrage i.e. getting your pretty knickers in a twist, is the public pleasure of our times. And it is the ultimate form of self-validation. Sadly though, very few people take the bother of looking deeper to see if there is more to it than meets the eye.

Consider this:

Apart from what I mentioned about the predominantly outrage-friendly clientele of that place, it was obvious that the cats kind of lived there. In fact, they may have been encouraged to hang around the place because it is the perfect thing to attract the hip chai-sipping crowd – those not averse to cats, that is.

If so be the case, then it follows, naturally, that the doorman (unless he was new that evening) had his own equation with said felines. Which implies that the whole shouting at them and threatening noises with his stick were part of his routine song-and-dance with them. Probably designed/evolved to keep the non-cat-loving customers happy.

Which means that the whole reaction from my companion was an exercise in premature ejaculation.

Post Haste

One thing I have learnt in this near half-century of my life – and learnt it very well, I must assert.

Take your time over judging someone else (and/or their life): What is your criterion for determining that you have got both – what is necessary and what is sufficient?

Get that right. First.

Equality? Equity?

Why Gender Equality Stalled?

I tend to have a bit of fun with avowed ‘feminists’ (and ‘red-pillers’ alike) about what they so fervently identify with. Usually follows the line of – ‘WTF you on about? What does that even mean?’

The problem with ideology is that it is rather abstract. And that, is the primary reason why people end up taking positions that could get extreme, when their assumptions are challenged. ‘Operationalising’ ideology is never the easiest of mental activities.

Identifying with a recommended set of attitudes (or thought, for that matter) is one thing. Figuring out how it works at the level of -‘Why should I be the one to take out the trash? Or change the diaper?’ – is another altogether.

So, what one finds, when speaking to some of these kinds, is the usual – you can see that they just don’t get it.

Imagination – as a feature set – seems sadly deficient (or, if I were to be kind, rare) amongst the human species.

I’ll leave you to think about the two words in the title of this post.

Would we like our children to have an attitude that treats the genders as equal? As a sort of ‘fixed’ point-of-view (think ‘static’)? Like a rule to apply?

Or would you like them to have a mindset that looks at what is equitable? A bit more ‘alive’ and dynamic. Would you not agree?

So, what is YOUR soundtrack?

Ever mused about the soundtrack to your life? I do. At times.

I’d like these guys to do it for me…

I was looking back to see if you were looking back at me to see me looking back at you.

Secret Sauce

Hitting the mid-forties shortly. Am asked, quite frequently of late – how is it that I retain the waist (and general spryness) of when I was a young adult. Special diet? Loads of exercise? Some potent potion? Pills?

Depression helps. Seriously. Well, not really. I am given to understand that depression, largely, makes people eat more. Get fat, that is. Works the other way around for me.

I kind of end up calculating the time and effort involved in sourcing and chewing said nutrition versus what it might provide me – the quantum that gets sourced and chewed, that is. Usually, I end up determining that it is not worth it.

Do I feel hungry? Wait, child. …

So that is part of the ‘explanation’ in any case. A regimen of anti-psychotics coupled with mood stabilizers does tend to make you put on weight. Thirteen years? I should be fat.

Do I not ‘like’ food?

I do, as a matter of fact. Just that, over a period of time, I have gravitated towards eating what my body demands. And more importantly, when it demands. I just pay heed.

It misses protein. I find myself craving for a dash of something that would give that. It wants some fat? I gorge on ghee. Well, not really ‘gorge’. But yeah. You get the drift. It wants fruit. I eat fruit.

So, I am a vegetarian. Of sorts, in any case. Dairy is fine. As are eggs. Don’t like the idea of killing animals for food. So that’s off my table. Though I do tend to allow myself to think of what I would like to eat if I were to eat that. Usually my thoughts tend to gravitate to the food porn I see on reddit – a T-bone Steak (medium rare) does have a certain appeal. It looks substantial. And neat i.e. non-messy.

Fussy eater? YES! But I generally manage to find something palatable – just about any where. So this is not a major issue in any case.

What is OFF the table?

Oils, in general. Fried stuff, except some savouries once in a while. Cravings, you see.

I do not like to eat sweets. Do I not like sweets? I do. Just that, given a choice between something sweet and something sour/spicy hot, I would, inevitably, choose the latter. But I get my kicks from ultra-sweetened chai and coffee. Sugar Rush? Sure. Pure.

No masalas, if I can opt against them. No gravies either. Flip-flop between rice and wheat. Don’t care if it is maida or atta.

Veggies? VERY fussy here. Long list of ‘cannot eat’. But nearly all greens are in. Trip on sprouts. All kinds.

How much do you eat?

Just enough. Seriously. I do not recall the last time I ate to reach a state of rubbing my hand over my belly (very Indian) and telling the host/-ess that, I could not think of food again.

I guess I like to leave a bit of space in there, when I finish eating. Does not make me drowsy or lose alertness. I don’t like it when food takes the edge off your head.

I, for the past four months or so, have been averaging about a single meal a day. With about 3 mugs (yes, 500 ml each) of chai. And about 5 mugs of coffee at work. (Chai  at work sucks).

Do I feel unhealthy? You tell me…

A full blood pathology work-up a month and half back. All markers at median. Including lipids. Triglycerides are a bit up (need to eliminate alcohol totally – getting there).

8% below IBW (Ideal Body Weight). Hit IBW about a couple of years back. Waist expanded by about 6 inches. A solid bout of depression got me losing 14 kilos in a bit over a fortnight. Have held this since then.

I have not exercised in, like, 16 years now. Not since I had my first MI.

BMI of 21.7.

DO NOT follow this regimen. The point, in case you missed it, is quite simply this – let your body tell you what it needs. It tells you what it wants. Which is fine. But listen to what it needs.

I don’t feel as dumb as I feel when I am well-fed.

Bon Apetit!



That’s a bad word of sorts. Or so I get from a good number of people I speak to.

I wonder if they actually took the pain of figuring out how something like this were to be crafted.

Here’s some old-timers laying it out for you…

Stoned Immaculate

I don’t quite subscribe to the notion of a ‘best’ or ‘most favorite’ song or piece of music as such. That said, a question from a friend some time back made me think a bit about whether I had something that I do not mind listening to over and over again – day in, day out.

If this were to be a criterion to respond to the question, then it becomes rather easy for me. There is such a piece of music.

The genius of its composition becomes evident when you see it broken down …

Pipe DreamA recurring fantasy is being able to do what Javi Cordovilla accomplishes in the second video above. To this piece of music. I think I would be ready to die with that done.

A Good Pen …

… is hard to replace. I would resolutely refuse to recommend anything that is not a fountain pen. But this, from around twenty years back, was a great writer.

WhatsApp Image 2016-12-04 at 08.35.55.jpeg

Apparently, I am not the only one that feels thus.

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