Word of the Week #145:

Quagmire

‘No’ means ‘no’.

We’ve been hearing that a lot; perhaps more often and more loudly over the past few years.

But is that really true? Does ‘no’ always mean ‘no’? Does ‘yes’ always mean ‘yes’?

You know, humans aren’t the most honest of beings. We are trained to lie and deceive, to blend in and hide our true feelings and desires in order to survive in this world.

Think about it. Try to remember the times when you would attend a birthday party as a kid. Remember how you would be offered an extra piece of cake, and when you took you it your parents would glare and frown at you.

If you were at all smart, you would understand exactly what it meant: “The next time someone offers you more cake, you better decline, you little critter.”

Makes sense, right? After all, nobody wants their kid to be branded as a glutton.

So, the next time you are at a party and someone asks if you want more cake, what do you say? Well, there have been many, many times when I said ‘no’.

Did I mean ‘no’? Occasionally, yeah. If the cake is bad, I’m not interested in seconds… But if the cake is soft and moist and just the right amount of sweet, why would I not want more? Then why would I still say ‘no’?

Well, in some cases, ‘no’ might not mean ‘no’.

It might mean ‘yes, I do, but I cannot.’
Or ‘not right now.’
Or ‘Yes, but I am just too full.’
Or ‘I do, but I am on a diet.’
Or ‘Yes, but I have to fast before my colonoscopy.’
Or ‘Yes, but that amount of chocolate will kill me.’
Or ‘Yes, but I don’t want it from you; who knows where those hands have been.’
Or simply ‘Nah, I don’t do chocolate. Cheesecake only.’

Regardless, that is far from an invitation to come and try to stuff that piece of cake into my mouth. Try that and you’re going to got killed, boy. DO NOT test me.

No matter what was meant or why, when you hear ‘no’, you better take it as a ‘no’.

To paraphrase a beloved poem from my childhood,

Their’s not to make reply,
Their’s not to reason why,
Their’s but to get the hell out of my face.

Consent. It’s a piece of cake.

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Word of the Week #144:

Quantum

So, another year has passed by us.

On occasions like these, it is customary to take a moment to look back at the key events of  the year. Luckily, I managed to outsource that task to an engineer in Bangalore…

Boy, am I going to get smacked for that… Eh, moving on.

You see, when we do do these kinds of things, we tend to focus too much on events that are merely stepping stones that lead us to more stepping stones.

You might think getting that new job, or a major promotion, made the year special, but did it, really? Sure, it may lead to something else that is special, but is it special in and of itself?

I don’t know; to me, it is not the big events that make my life special. It is the little things, things that are almost impossible to substantiate, but are substantial nonetheless.

Things like the smile on someone’s face when they taste the food you cooked, or the quiver in their voice when you get them something they really need but refuse to buy for themselves, or the shimmer in their eyes when you tell them how they make you feel.

The little things… 

“Some moments are nice, some are nicer, some are even worth writing about.”
― Charles Bukowski

Word of the Week #125:

Amour

Ah, love.

Everyone loves love, right?

Isn’t this what we grew up watching in our movies? A young couple, hopelessly in love, who battle against all odds and either end up living happily ever after or die trying.

The formula is quite old. Romeo and Juliet was written over 400 years ago. Considering this, it is quite surprising that the story is not considered outdated.

Why?

Because our society still does not seem to understand that personal relationship should be just that: Personal.

Instead, it becomes a referendum for the entire country. Not just your close family and friends, everyone from your teachers to priests to gynaecologists feels the need to weigh in.

Of course, none of this concerns you when your parents have your back. But when they don’t? When they cannot accept the fact that their children are capable to making decisions for themselves?

That is how we end up with 251 reported cases of honour killings in one year. The key word here being ‘reported‘. Who knows how many of them slip under the radar because, well, dead men tell no tales.

I would generally go on to elaborate the widespread chilling effect this has on women in general but Kavita Krishnan already did a great job at it, in her article for Al Jazeera.

For now, let us look at something interesting.

Our Constitution gives us the right to freedom of speech and expression, which should enable us to express our feelings for whoever we happen to love, and any person who tries to stop us will face the wrath of our legal system, right? Right?

Actually, quite wrong…

You see, there is a catch. Just half a dozen lines later, the Constitution also states that the State can “impose reasonable restrictions” in the interest of “decency or morality“.

34% of our Members of Parliament had pending criminal cases when they last got elected, 21% being charged with serious crimes.

These are the people who get to “impose reasonable restrictions” on us in the interest of “decency or morality“.

After all, nothing says freedom like having your voices muffled by thugs.

Romeo and Juliet must be rolling in their graves.

Word of the Week #97:

Critter

Do you like dogs?
Most people do, right?
Dogs are nice and cute and warm and loving.

Like, just look at this guy…

Look at him! Such a good boy!

How can someone not love him?

See, Miyu loves him…

So, looks like Little Luka has a date this Valentine’s, and I don’t.

Let us take a moment till that sinks in…

Anyway, what was the point I was going to make? Yeah.

Meeting someone new, and not sure what you think of them? Just talk to them about pets. If they make a face, you know they are not worth your time.

I guess I could give you an elaborate reason to support my hypothesis, but do you really need one? It is just the truth, you know.

Search your heart, you know it to be true.