Friday, October 26, 2007

Idiot box

I spent five minutes trying hard to tie my shoelaces into a bow. At 4 years, it should have been easy. After successfully bunching it up into a semblance of a knot, I skipped out to play.

It was an empty playground, my brother Jonathan and I being the only ones there. Looking back now, I remember, it was the time everyone’s favorite programs ran on TV. It was a ‘small wonder’ that we’d find playmates at 4:30 pm. Most children were staring goggle eyed at the idiot box while we fought to juggle roles for ‘It’.
As children, cable TV was the ‘cool tool’. If you didn’t watch Batman and Robin or know all the names from Scooby-Doo, you weren’t qualified to attend group meetings during recess. Instead of playing Catch-n-cook, the girls would team up and chat about My Little Pony and wish they were Penelope Pitstop, while the boys would try just as hard to perform that most torturous of WWF moves—the ‘sharpshooter’. Everyone in class was familiar with the program schedule of Cartoon Network, all 7 days of the week. It made me feel rather inadequate—something that’s remained with me all along. Teachers tried to make classes interesting by relating things we studied to things that came on the tube. For someone whose set was switched on only for the 5-minute news capsule every morning, I was rather stumped. It doesn’t help either when you’re best friend hosts a ‘Power Rangers’ birthday party and you have no idea who they are!
Contributing to ‘kiddie’ conversation was never that hard. What would children talk about, anyhow? No one found it interesting that I had learned how to spell my parents’ names correctly or knew my house number. Who cared about Goldilocks? Who wondered where the Seven Dwarves went after Snow White moved away?

I don’t know many children in my neighbourhood who pretended to go rafting on the mat in their living room. Fishing with grandpa was a three-person affair: Jonathan, grandpa and I. It didn’t matter to my friends that we’d caught the only catfish we ever did. So what? The Flintstones did it with some oversized turtle, and they lived in the Stone Age!

I wasn’t all that alienated from the set, though. We’d always watch a little bit at granddad’s. Although it was restricted to a maximum of half an hour at a stretch, it was enough to help me survive.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Bon voyage! C'est la vie!!

I love hols. It makes you feel like you've been working so hard and you're getting this much needed break, even though all you've had since whenever has been an unnecessary break. And somehow, you like to plan your little vacation so it goes really well but you end up forgetting half the things you need (like your toothbrush) and taking things you would never need (an extra pair of shorts). But that's the fun. You learn to make do with what you have, including and especially your travelling companions!
Packing for days out is the worst headache. You think you're going to be all organised and lay out your clothes in neat little piles. At the end of day one of your break, it's all one messed up pile anyway. Even when you've kept your things in a zip lock bag labelled "Toiletries", you either leave out the new deo and put in the one that's over, or forget to take the bag altogether. Then you curse yourself, but happily skip to the nearest store, just for the pleasure of buying something from the kind old man you never knew. Or maybe just for the heck of spending the money you saved. After all, the circumstance demands it!
Vacations are the worst thing to happen to people trying to lose weight. Try as you might to compensate for the worst kind of gluttony you've indulged in the night before by taking a walk/run/swim, it has to be that you simply can't fit into your clothes anymore. Some say that's the only way of telling someone's actually enjoyed their holiday. I don't know. When you go someplace you've never seen, wouldn't you rather spend time, on your feet, being the true-blue tourist and check out the place, instead of sitting on that ballooning posterior and watching your day float by?
I've never vacationed in the mountains. It's become one of those 'to-do' things that I always say I'll do, but wonder if I'll ever have enough money for. Positively thinking, I should. But then again, that's not all on my 'to-do' list. There's Europe and the Safari, the Andamans/Lakshadweep, South East Asia and Japan, the Outback, hell the world! Maybe I should marry a millionaire and then vacation on the alimony. He wouldn't be able to stand me for very long anyway! There's another addition to my 'to-do' list!! You even have these absolutely ludicrous lists on hols. Now, what's the point in those? Do what you want. No point in being the bitchy boss you left behind.
I wonder what it'd be like to be on a permanent vacation. Come to think of it, it'll be pretty boring. There's nothing to vacation from. No stress to destress from, no post cards to your colleagues saying "Wish you were here" even when you don't, no summer romances, no tension to lay out on the hammock.....Actually, nothing worth taking a break from. You couldn't possibly have the satisfied sigh that can only be expressed when you're completely relaxed. But then again, who am I to talk?!? I ain't even a working stiff!
Still, I loved my summer hols in school. Even when we didn't go anywhere, we still went to the beach, swam in the cold water, played in the hot sun, caught the golden tan, and ate the best sea food ever. When you're stuck at home, go to the beach. Great company makes a fun vacation. Even if you haven't gone off to some exotic destination, you'll still enjoy yourself. I guess that's what vacations are for, anyway!
I'm waiting. Christmas is two months away. I've already started crossing off the days....