Things that just continue to evade you

I don’t know about most of you, but there are loads of thing that continue to evade me. As much as I try to catch them, they whizz past me making a whooshing sound. If I were to make a list, even a quarter of it would be longer than ‘War and Peace’. (BTW … Peace is another thing that evades the world today. But that’s a topic for the newspapers of the world to write about)
Ok, coming back to my list.

This picture, that I recently saw in a magazine reminded me of one of those things. Actually it is a skill, and the lack of it gas been reaffirmed over the last couple of weekends – An utterly evident inability to get a coal barbecue going! What would I give to get a roaring BBQ like this one going –

Anything at all.

I have tried every trick in the book, on Weber grill company’s website, every type of coal, lighting fluid, kindling and brand of matchsticks available in every supermarket. Every nook and corner in the garden has been experimented with to shade or expose the grill to or from sun, wind, shadows, birds, bees or pollen in the air. I have even tried changing the chemical composition of the air surrounding my house. But nothing has worked. To get a BBQ dinner ready for 7 in the evening, I have to get started at 9 in the morning. But come dinnertime, there is one pathetic little piece of coal weakly glowing in the corner of the grill while I am caked in soot and surrounded by heaps of meat and veggies beautifully marinated with the choices seasonings and a bunch of friends rumbling stomachs standing around grumbling with empty plates in their hands, staring at me.

After a few hours and many beers, one of them will usually come over and yank the tongs out of my hands. And in less than 10 seconds, there will be a roaring fire and that empty grill top will be groaning under the weight of meat and veggies sizzling away to glory.

When the same thing happened last weekend, I quietly slipped away and tried to hide my face in the latest copy of ‘The New Yorker’ (which for the life of me, I still don’t remember why did I subscribe to). There another picture stared at me. This one ….


In one swift stroke, this brutally swept aside every other item on my list and perched itself right on top.

At first I thought this was a joke. But no, this magical thing really exists. Apparently here’s how it works – You can order a big stack of DVDs, run through them on your expensive HD blu-ray player and 4K TV, and a few hours later, you will emerge a connoisseur of fine art! As simple as that.

Really?

It’s mindboggling that there are organisations that spend their time making stuff like this.  And more importantly people are willing to spend their money on this?

As I continue devote every Sunday evening for the rest of my life trying to get that BBQ going, I will stay happy and content in my ignorance of why does Monalisa’s smirk make it the best painting ever made.

Dylan said “Don’t criticise what you don’t understand.” While I fully agree with this philosophy, I will make an exception for this one. I have bigger fish to fry … or rather, grill.

Have a great spring.

Something has been lost

Dear someone of great importance who has lost something of terrible significance. You will be glad to know that all your recruits are immersed diligently in the search for that IT. And they are earnestly following your three commandments.

  1. Be relentlessly dedicated: Any free time one gets must be devoted to this search. And if one ignores the other things might seem of more importance (like your work, interests or family), the reward maybe higher.
  2. Remain Inconspicuous: One must conduct this search in such a way that no one raises as eyebrow should they discover that you are searching for IT.
  3. Focus the search area: Once must search for the IT in one place and that one place only. If you are found searching elsewhere, you will be out of this race.

Somehow the IT seems to have remained elusive so far, but that should not be a cause of concern to you. Anywhere one looks, everyone can be found immersed in the search.

All over the world, a typical day now roughly looks like this. Millions of people start their day and immediately begin the search. They are at it while walking, waiting for their train or the bus, while travelling, while eating, sitting in their office/home or doing any of the mundane things that life demands. When something or someone interrupts them, they look up with a grudging sigh, give that interruption an evil eye, reluctantly abandon their search to quickly deal with that irritating interruption, and get back to the search. This interruption could be any of these things –their train or bus arriving, which is also filled with people also engaged in the search. Or when someone talks to them or while walking, they bump into someone who is also conducting that search unaware of his or her surrounding. Or when they drop the food they are eating while conducting the search. The list of these interruptions is endless, so I will not bore you with the details.

And that one place that you asked everyone to look for IT, is still the same – those little Glowing Rectangular Screens that you have given to everyone.

But can I ask you why is so hard to find that IT? Inspite of everyone continuously staring into these Glowing Rectangular Screens (which we mere humans call smartphones), this IT has still not been found. Do you think this search will ever be successful?

Maybe you have not really lost anything, and are just fooling us. Maybe this IT was something that was ours all along, which you wanted. And with this search that you deceived us into conducting for you, is nothing else but a way for you to take that IT from us.

I think I now know what this IT is – this is our time, our intelligence and our ability to harness it fruitfully elsewhere. And looks like you have succeeded in your venture.

I hope that we can somehow abandon this search, and take back what rightfully belongs to us. It’s going to be hard, but I know we will.

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‘Pokemon Go’ to be banned in Switzerland!

PokeMon Go

In what will come as a big shock to all the ‘Pokeman Go’ fans in Switzerland, it was announced today that the hugely popular game ‘Pokemon Go’ will be banned in Switzerland as of Sunday 21 Aug 2016. Banning means that ‘Pokemon Go’ will no more be available for download on the app store, all the Pokestops and the captured Pokemons will disappear.

What’s more important is that all the people (especially kids) who have installed ‘Pokemon Go’ on their phones or iPods, must uninstall it before midnight on Sunday. If this is not done, their phone or iPod will turn into a Pokemon and capture them.

There are two reasons why ‘Pokemon Go’ is being banned:

  1. Many kids have entered chocolate factories while hunting for Pokemons and have fallen into the tubs where they are made. And people who buy them in Migros or Coop complain that these Chocolates don’t taste sweet any more, but they taste like children, which they don’t like.
  2. The second and the most important reason is a girl called Ananya Luthra (also called Zuks) has been spending too much time on this game. Nintendo, the company, which makes this game, wants her to spend more time playing with her friends, so they agreed to ban the game.

So, to remind you again – all kids, especially Ananya must uninstall this app immediately after reading this!

Help! Lego has taken over our house

It is indeed strange to be sending over this plea for help into the giant black hole of the WWW (World Wide Web) … but i guess it is worth a shot. This reminds of how in the late 70’s, NASA on one of their many missions to explore the GWU (Great Wide Universe), sent a gold record (LP, vinyl, schalplatter… whatever you want to call it) with music and messages from the people of the earth. The paradox is quite staggering – a civilisation advanced enough to send a mission to outer space but still backward enough to use LPs as a sound storage medium. I am sure that ship was captured by two alien kids 200 light-years away out on their morning stroll, and they used that LP to scrape off space bugs splattered on the windscreen of their infinite-synergetic-drive space scooter.

Anyway, my immediate concern is not the alien kids or the gold LP, but Lego®, yes Lego, those wonderful blocks/connectable shapes that those kindered souls in Denmark create for the kids world over, which is multiplying at this moment in my house using the same infinte-synergetic-drive-multiplication principle.

Let’s start with this …

This flying Lego car is always waiting next to the main door, springing unannounced upon hapless family members (read mum & dad) as they dare to set foot in its kingdom. Once you get past it unhurt, you have to dodge past this desert storm racer/chaser whose only aim in life is turn a corner at a 100 miles an hour and shoot round pellets at you.

At any given point in time there are at least two races going on in different rooms, which have such a huge following that Bernie Ecclestone (the F1 supremo) will gladly give his leftover hair for even a fraction of that fan base. Then there are indescribable contraptions that only a 7 yr old (my son) can understand.

Heck, Lego men have even descended from the sky and are hiding in our christmas tree!

Santa has surely received his hundred page gift catalog by now and is on his way from the north pole with another truckload of their brethren. So if there is anyone out there who has lived through this or knows what these Lego men are upto, drop me a line. And don’t tell my son that I complained about this – for even a greater storm of Lego will be unleashed and your’s truly will be well and truly buried.