Saturday, 25 July 2009

How about this one to beat the recession?

I was stumbling upon the internet on a lazy Saturday morning and i noticed this thing about a campaign in USA called the "Recession 101".

It was a little common sense on the Billboard. Those were a few i liked.

Thursday, 23 July 2009

On Humour

I came across this quiz called "What type of Humor is yours" on Facebook and i found it pretty interesting. It was more like those common IQ tests which are famous for asking you a bunch of really unrelated questions and in the end giving a result, apparently derived from your answering pattern. This one interested me though, for the result said that my humor falls into the category of "Humor by Exaggeration".

Talking of humor, i really can't stop myself from mentioning about the nuances in PG Wodehouse' writings. That in my opinion is real humor. I call it so just because i see it covering all types and variations including- "Turn of Phrase", "Pun", "Exaggeration", "Understatement", "Irony", "Sarcasm" and "Satire". What remains to be addressed is the way each person reacts to these types of humor. It is a common observation that some people are aroused when a joke comes in the form of sarcasm and some others may like a simple turn of phrase.

When I see that humor can be classified, defined, debated and discussed, I immediately relate to how we encounter many of these instances day in and day out. Philosophy and medicine have not stopped short of recommendations relating to smile, laughter,fun and happiness as therapeutic catalysts. I appreciate the "Slapstick" form of humor specifically. It takes a chunk of inborn talent for one to be good at slap sticks. I have had a couple of friends whose colloquial discussions include a plethora of these.

These are some points that one could consider when trying to be humorous on any given occasion.

To be funny, the humour should be said in a spirit of fun.
2.Humour should be unannounced and told with a straight face (you don't want to laugh before your audience does).
3.The humour will die if you fumble over words or stumble during the punch line.
4.In public speaking, as it is with conversation, the telling of humour should be effortless and natural.
5.To be effective in public speaking the humour should be relevant to the points being made. It is woven into the fabric of the speech.

“Turn up the heat,” said John coldly- no matter what, 'is' a joke. But it depends on the timing of the sentence delivery. You may see how bad it looks when i have quoted it here (disastrously out of context).

To wind up, I confess boldly that I am in the middle of a small exercise to improve my hilariousness and hence the post--which I am sure is itself a huge "Slapstick" to the readers. Hope someone out there likes to read about humor.

Let the reader live in peace......Amen!!!!

Wednesday, 15 July 2009

For a Change

The idea of writing a book review on the blog has always fascinated me and rightly so, I haven't hidden that little fantasy of mine for there have been quite a few of them in the past. There have been awfully long ones on History, Humor, Literature and what not.

S0, for a change, I have decided to cut the crap and write a few (really only a few) sensible lines on what i think of the two books i have read recently.

A Prefect's Uncle-P.G.Wodehouse

This was the Second book that came from this genius after an outstanding "The Pothunters".The school time story touching upon cricket, stolen money and an embarrassing uncle hits heights of humor many a time in the course of its hundred and fifty odd pages. This one is more of a progress since the first novel for him and the inimitable turn of phrases that he employs (the trademark Wodehouse perfections) are there in this book already.

The Small Bachelor-P.G.Wodehouse

Wodehouse captures an era that probably never was but many of us wish it had. He does one of his best jobs, capturing Twenties' New York at a roar in this neatly done up farce. Just like reading a screwball comedy, laughs come often and out loud! The Small Bachelor is not to be missed by any true aficionado of P.G. Wodehouse

Monday, 6 July 2009

Downtown Tadipatri !!!!~!!!!

The merits and demerits of the "Life at the Country Side" is an age-old topic and i have come to discuss the same in this space. And here I am, back from a first-hand country side Experience. This post is dedicated to my visit to a small township on a hillock near downtown "Tadipatri" where i spent my blissful weekend. Tadipatri is a small town located en route to Chennai from Hyderabad and it is worth mentioning that it boasts of UltraTech's largest Cement Plant in Asia.

To start with, i concede to the fact that "Life downtown" is always a better bet than the one which involves the hustles and the hullabaloo of the metro. As part of the "clan" at college which threw tantrums at villages and village dwellers from down south, I have been actively involved in mocking at the way civilizations have, by far, neglected those people, who we are at this point, debating about.

My weekend involved a really splendid outing to my best friend's sweet home near Tadipatri. Nature was at its best and the gated community had loads to offer when I did my first sightseeing around the township on Saturday. The greenery and the peaceful community that inhabited this township, was so new to me for I have more or less grown up in a city, brought up with all the mall culture and other typical metro offerings.

I would like to introduce the four characters in this post who would be henceforth referred to as "
Sir TPJ"(Daddy), "Rchie"(Sissy), "Chota Don"(Friend) and "Aunt Bliss"(Mommy). To talk of Sir TPJ, it would be a gross understatement if i just say he is a revered gentleman who commands a respectable position at this Township which nurtures a group of little over 1000 people from various parts of the country. Aunt Bliss is a wonderful cook and she loves cooking " elaborate four course meals" "three times a day". Fresh vegetables for lunch and dinner came from nearby gardens and the delicacies straight from Aunt Bliss' kitchen are worth mentioning. Rchie is the sweet sis who is currently enjoying her summer holidays back home and Chota Don is waiting to join college for his post graduate studies.

The wonderful weekend involved the fantastic walk down the park, delicious food served at regular intervals throughout the day, Malayalam movie on Asianet, UNO Card games, badminton outing, late night wodehouse humor, hot career discussions, dinner time family chit chats, Channel V Music hits, evening time lychee treats, endless football story times and lastly, the marathon Wimbledon final to finish it off. That final was one of the best tennis matches that i have been witness to, till date. A-Rod was at his career best only to lose out to the damned luck (courtesy: Fedex's "Black Magic") at the end of the day. The 5 hour finale bade good bye to me along with this cute family of four who took up the task of entertaining me for the weekend.
Needless to say they did a fantastic job out of it and i would fail miserably if i miss out on mentioning the elegant Urbana "Tie and Handkerchief set" which was my parting gift.

This post is purely a tribute to the place and people that made my weekend downtown so remarkable. When it all turns nostalgic later one day, and i go back to turn the pages of my life fervently, these two pages would without doubt be a "highlighted couple" that would keep me entrenched in emotions for ages to come.

P.S: Uploaded a few snaps

Wednesday, 1 July 2009

Book Review: A Case of Exploding Mangoes

Fiction Based on Assassination is an interesting topic in the modern era which is pregnant with instances of terrorism and genocide. Mohammed Hanif's first book takes this subject and the novel is a plot about men plotting to murder other men. The timing with which the book has been published could not have been better for when it rolled out, General Musharraf was busy fighting Islamic Terrorism and NATO Forces were monotonously dealing with the mights of Taliban. Pakistan remains something of a mystery for most people in North America, occasionally gaining notoriety for acts of violence against women, political assassinations, and insinuations about its ties with the Taliban and the insurgency in Afghanistan. The author hails from Pakistan and in his first work has decided to touch upon the history of his own nation.

On 17 August 1988, a plane carrying General Zia ul-Haq, the military ruler of Pakistan since 1977 and America's staunchest ally in the first Afghan war, went down in flames, killing everybody on board. Zia was accompanied by some of his senior generals, the US ambassador to Pakistan and the head of the US military aid mission to Pakistan, all of whom died. There was no real investigation and no culprit was ever identified or, at any rate, announced. The novel gives an account of all the plotters who were involved in the mysterious death of the First Citizen of Pakistan (then). The style of writing forces one to brand this a "war novel" but the contents make it one with a mixture that includes Religion, Terrorism, Sex, Violence, Humor and Politics.

General Zia's death threat has been daunting since its outbreak about a year before the real demise. The protagonist, Colonel Shigri in this "so called fiction" is one of the plotters who works ardently to sketch a revenge against the Army General for the death of his father who used to serve the army too. The novel exposes a number of plain facts which are yet untold in the context of detentions and tortures suffered by victims jailed by men in uniform --be it any army in the world.

Apart from this revengeful plot by Ali Shigri, Pakistan's number Two, General Akhtar is trying his luck with another plot aiming at the same end result. The name of the book would go unjustified if i don't mention the plot by the "Secretary General of the Mango Farmers Association of Pakistan". The book unintentionally ends up explaining the birth of the modern terms-"jihad" and "mujahideen". In the end one goes back to square one for the climax keeps the reader at bay and the controversy behind the mysterious death of the General remains as it was.

If one doesn't mind sporadic attacks on religious sentiments, this book is a good one for the way things build up to the D-Day when General Zia boards the Pak One for the last time in his life. But given the fact that this book is a product homogeneously from Pakistan, the religious zeal in Hanif is understandable. Mockery on India, Indians, Indian Army, Indira Gandhi, Nehru, Hindus, Christians, Jews and what not is to be digested while one reads through this fabulous account of the Assassination of General Zia Ul Haq, the then President of Pakistan.