Socks


Not the cat….

You know this, already. No cats allowed at SloWord. This one is dedicated to actual socks, the things you wear on your feet. Like this one.20160620_183944.jpg

Contrary to what you may be thinking, I am perfectly sane. Socks are mysterious creatures. They are prone to a half-life without the means of radioactivity. They are excellent at camouflage, merging into the texture of life without any provocation. And they do that with only half of a pair, which is a wond’rous feat. All other animals have to either disappear 100% or not at all. Socks are the only creatures on this planet that can lose exactly half of themselves. There is no point in looking for the other half, believe you me. When a sock half goes amok, it goes AWOL for good.

Socks are an essential, but much maligned and much neglected component of our daily lives. People blame socks for many of the ills in our society, such as body odor, poor elasticity and an over-dependence on function over aestheticism. With this article, I shall give socks the place they deserve in society. By the time this goes viral, socks will have been raised to the level they deserve, somewhere between marmalade on toast and purple floppy hats.20161116_090218.jpg

See, socks are important, that’s why we have so many idioms that are built around socks. To quote Brave Sir Launcelot, socks are “right for my um, ah,  idiom”. One bright and regular correspondent remarked that there is an idiom for every idiot. It may well be that she was calling me an idiot. I haven’t had time to investigate that yet. In any case, the fact is that socks feature in many idiotic idioms, for all idioms are somewhat idiotic. {Digression Alert: What does “handsome is as handsome does?” mean??? The grammar just does not work for me. Nounifying an adjective is even worse in my book than verbifying a noun. Remind me to let the Peeved Punjabi rant about these horrendously horrifying verbal and grammatical monstrosities created by otherwise bright MBAs. And yes, I do know that I just made up shit like nounifying and verbifying… It was meant ironically. }

So then let’s look at these idiomatic idiocies using the idiom of socks. I mean, what else do you have to do? You’re here, because you don’t have anything better to do, don’t you? So here we go then.

Keep your socks on.

It could well be that you are a prudent and calm person, at peace with your neighbors and colleagues at work and you wish them well. You, therefore, keep your socks on, and keep your socks, too, calm and boring. Like these boring, all grey socks.img-20160426-wa0050.jpeg

Yaaaawwwwn.

Maybe, you let yourself go once in a while and you indulge your wilder side and slip into something like this next one, or the first two sober-tending-to-rebellion ones.

img-20161015-wa0012.jpeg

Pull your socks up!

You’ve heard this saying, right? It’s meant to pep you up. It’s a multi-vitamin of sorts. It’s a threat and encouragment rolled into one. This demonstrates broad appeal and versatility. Rather like this example.20160826_073329.jpg

When you put these on, you will get going. Your socks will be pulled up, man! Actually, these are pretty long socks, going well up my shin, so they are pulled up quite normally. Slip into these socks when you have that big presentation to make and you will slay ’em. How can they possibly resist the strength, the sheer magnetism,  the brilliant reflection of blues emanating from your feet? The correct answer is, they cannot. These socks exude uncompromising power. If they don’t keel over and curl into a fetal position at this, you know you have a tough crowd to deal with and you better initiate Plan B. (Plan B is also known as “Bamboozle with Bullshit”. Thus, Plan B. See? Now you know. You’re welcome.)

Put a sock in it!

I know, you’ve often felt like saying it when you read this blog. I wish, you’ve said to yourself, when you’ve been busy reading my recipes, that he would get on and get to the recip
e already! Which proves one thing. You talk to yourself, just as I do. Which, by the way, apparently makes you a genius. I wrote an article about that once. Read it here. See how reading SloWord makes you feel better? No self-help and motivational book can bring you the peace SloWord can. No Deepak can bring you the light this next pair of socks can.

( Ask a Hindi speaking friend about that last sentence. It’s brilliant, really. Not because I wrote it, which I did, and therefore, it is, but because it’s cross-lingual in it’s flamboyance. Also, look up “modesty” in the dictionary.)

20161204_185754.jpgThis beauty of a pair that will make your pulse rate pulsate. Feast your eyes on it. Savour the richness of the contrasts. Orange, blazing bright, overshadowing the bright blue. One glance at these little beauties and they’ll be putty in your hands. Though why anyone would want that greasy putty in their hands, I have no idea.

Sock it to me!

Without further ado.img-20160828-wa0002.jpeg

If that didn’t sock it to ya, you’re probably the type that chews broken bottles for breakfast. These are bombastic, bright, brilliant, bright, colorful and bright. In short, they’re bright. In pink shorts and these socks, you will make a statement. “Look at me”, you will effectively scream, nay, shriek. But, pause and think, when you do look at them, the world becomes brighter and isn’t a brighter world what we all desire? Countless saints, sadhus and meditative specialists have sought a world that was devoid of darkness and have tried to inflict their teachings on to you. Many of them have made millions of dollars in the process. I may be onto something here…..

Knock your socks off.

Now we’re getting into the really top of the line stuff, not for the faint of heart. Readers discretion advised. Readers with sensitive eyes are advised to use sunglasses, or look through photonegative paper. I’m not quite sure where you would find such paper nowadays. I suppose you could try looking at it through the viewfinder or preview screen of your digital camera.

(SloWord, its writer, its writer’s family and descendants are not liable for any retinal damage, nervous tics and disorders or any medical conditions arising out of the viewing of such imagery as may be found here. Proceed with caution.)

img-20160827-wa0000.jpeg

img-20161016-wa0005.jpegPaired with navy blue sneakers with lime green accents, these really bring out the, uh, er, hmm, aah. Well. You come up with something…

I suggest a stiff drink to calm your nerves.

All socks portrayed here are the property of the writer and no socks were harmed in the photographic process.

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The Second Annual Birthmonth Festival


As you may remember, most of you very carefully and diligently ignored the First Annual Birthmonth Festival. Now here is your chance to do so again. Yes, there is a difference. The last time around your indifference lasted a whole month. This time around, given that the world’s collective attention span is shorter than Trump’s fingers, I’ve decided that you get a week ( or 3 – well, maybe 4 ) to celebrate this August moment.

August, the month of hot summer days and cooling summer nights. August, the month of early leaves on the ground. August, the month of the last few school-free days. August, the month that should have been October ( don’t get it? Send me an email. See Contact Page for email form.) August, the month of Mother Teresa, who I met a couple of times. August, the month of days on the deck. August, the month of waiting for the advent of cool autumn. August, the start of the month of the Virgin. August, the end of the month of the Lion. August, the month in which I was born straddling The Lion and The Virgin. I’m told the earth itself shuddered the day after I was born. Possibly, the shock of it all was too much for Ma Earth.

I don't think it was my birthday... but what the hell, I thought
I don’t think it was my birthday… but what the hell, I thought

26th, next Friday is the day when a few decades earlier a child was born to a family meek and mild. Wait! No! I mean, yes a child was born, but not into a meek and mild family. We saw it in action during the recent wedding. Not mild. Not meek. I wouldn’t have it any other way. I suppose family is the friends we didn’t choose.

I must have chosen my mother wisely, for she was born the same day I was. This does not mean that she and I were born on the exact same day. I mean, we were born on the same annual day but were separated by 39 years. By which I mean she was born 39 years before I was. I was born on her birthday as a birthday present, I suppose. In fact, my first first words on appearing out into the world were “Happy birthday, mum!”. I remember, cake was served too, with a dollop of Haywards Gripe Water for me in addition.

It was many years ago, so my famed memory may be failing me. So maybe, it didn’t quite happen that way. In any case, the fact of the matter is, I was born. You knew that already, because you are reading this. I must have written this, so I am alive. To be alive now, I must have been born then. At least, that part is clear.

So here we are then. I’m here. You are there. I know I am here. Do I know you are there? Possibly, you are. You can prove it to me. Right in! I mean, write in! This is the part where the rite of writing can be performed even as you exercise your right of writing. Tell me about you, tell me stories, made up or real, about me. About me and you. About you.

Go ahead. Get ahead of the crowds. Apply early. Get your stories in. The first 500 stories will win spots number 1-500! Don’t wait! Do it now.

Contest open while blog lasts. See blog for details. There are no details. May cause nausea, fatigue, drowsiness. Especially, drowsiness. Also, headaches, bloating and excessive uncontrollable yawning. Do not forget to wish The SloMan, the PeevedPunjabi and LeggieLefty too. Unclejee too, though, we fear Unclejee is in a coma and not expected to recover.

Little Red Writer – 1


DSC_310901
A cute doggie to draw the readers in….

One day, Little Red Writer decided to write poetry. Now, poetry is very hard to do. Little Red Writer was little and unschooled. He had some words in his bag and he wanted to show his words to his granny, Facebook. Little Red Writer knew that poetry has rules. These are to be followed and sometimes broken. LRW, as he was called by his dog, knew just enough rules to think he could hack it.

LRW knew that poetry often uses metre. A metre in poetry is not the same as a beam of light in some laboratory in Europe. Metre is a measure of sounds in a line. There are names given to the poetry that follows different metres. LRW did not know all these. LRW was uneducated. LRW had not read much poetry. Poetry also uses rhymes. Rhymes are words used to end a line to make similar sounds. For example, June and Moon are rhymes. LRW knew rhymes.

Most importantly, Little Red Writer knew that poetry expressed feelings. He had often written letters to Granny Facebook. He had felt things. He had told Granny F everything he felt. What he felt most often was a sense of wonder. Gran was a very social being. She always had people over, partying and yelling and taking pictures and posting cat videos and puppies and posters about the importance of gods and goddesses with big butts and lots of cleavage and ministers and tv hosts and communist propaganda and faith. Granny F also had salons where poets and poetesses of all strengths, convictions, skills and ideas met and denigrated each other’s poetry.

Poetry, Little Red Writer learned, was a big thing for Granny F. Poetry produced many likers, a type of wonderful insect that tickled every pore of the poet, thrilling him/her as they drilled deep into his/her very core. The Little Red Writer also wanted to feel these lovely creatures and so he resolved to write his own poetry and mail them to Granny Facebook.

Little did Little Red Writer know that he knew very little. He little knew that to attract those little insects, Likers, he had to write words that meant little but gave much. So he put on his thinking cap, the one with the yellow tassels, the colour clashing beautifully with the scarlet of the cap itself. His white hair, poking through under the brim of the cap, his glasses aligned on his well-manicured nose, he set to work.

Granny Facebook is still waiting for the poetry that Little Red Writer is trying to write. The word on the street is that Little Red W is not really trying. Rumours abound that he has been busy planning weddings instead of writing. There are those who are rejoicing at the thought of a blog less clogged with poetry. These people are known cat-fanciers, however, and cannot be trusted to understand the Power of Poetry. There are some, a rare breed of dog-lovers, okra-eaters, lotus-worshippers and yoga practitioners, who do expect a bit of verse at regular intervals.

For them, unfortunately, the wait continues. The Little Red Writer has no poetry to offer. Granny F has given up waiting, even stopped clicking her teeth in frustration.

Granny F is waiting for poetry no more.
Little Red Writer is back being a bore.
He has no poetry to offer.
But a few words from his coffer,
no gore or sweaty pore, just tales of yore.

Evil Eyed Cherry


A pair of cherries from the same stalk. Prunus...
A pair of cherries from the same stalk. Prunus avium ‘Stella’. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The other day I bought some cherries. Sunday, it was, yes, I remember well. I bought the cherries home and washed them and ate them and they were good. I also had occasion to visit a Bengali sweet shop and The Good Lady bought some kaancha chena. Literally translated it means “raw cottage cheese”. With some sugar added it is a traditional Bengali sweet.

Now, you know, I live in Canada, right? Right. So cherries in summer is not unusual. The other thing is. Unusual, I mean. I like cherries. I wish someone would pit them for me, but until they invent unpitted cherries, I’ll have to make do with these. Unpitted cherries will probably be GMO labelled, anyway, so I guess I’d better just enjoy these. Not that these cherries are completely blameless. I mean, not the cherries, but the cherry growers. How can an inanimate object have the attribute of blame associated with it?

Ok, I think I hear the vegetarians clamouring that cherries are not inanimate objects. But then, if they’re not we can blame them, right? No? Hmm, well, anyway, moving on. I like blueberries too, and kiwi is ok, too. Strawberries, yes, bananas, too. Even raspberries are ok, but no blackberries for me. That gritty feeling is not very pleasant. A ripe papaya liberally sprinkled with salt, pepper and lime juice is pretty  good. Try not to judge! At least try it before you wrinkle your nose.. Of course, mangoes win hands down as the king of fruits. Unfortunately, I live in Canada, so the delicious mango varieties of my past life are but a fast receding memory.

What has all this to do with Evil Eyes, Cherries and an Angel’s Kiss in Spring? Nothing. First of all, it’s summer, full blown, not spring. Angels, winged or otherwise, I have never met, so they can’t possibly be handing out kisses to all and sundry. Ah, but you see, that sweet raw cottage cheese we talked about earlier? Yes, that thing, it enters the story at this point. We bought some and I reminded people that even though I lived where I did ( Canada, in case you missed it ), I still had access to kaancha chhena. Their reply was basically “pffttt!”. I reminded them also that I was eating lovely cherries. This, for some reason, gave rise to a cold and odd reception. Clearly, they must have had something on their mind, because their speech became odd and slurry. I prudently decided to leave them alone to get over their ailment.

You may further be aware that I work. Yes, I know, you find it hard to fathom, but apply your mind. Some people do have to earn a living. No, it does not matter what I actually do. Many people have asked me that and to explain what I do would not be very interesting to you, unless you had severe insomnia and wished to find a cure, dear God, give me a cure! Suffice it say that work consists of waking up at ungodly hours and donning a suit. Trains, commuter trains, are involved. Focus on the suit and tie. Yes, the tie. Next recall, that I did not tell you that on Monday mornings I have to attend a session at 8:15am. On a Monday. This Monday morning, I was running late, so I put on my jacket, forgot about the tie and left for work.

I was wearing a freshly laundered white shirt. I wear a freshly laundered shirt ever day. I’m quirky like that. So there we have it at long last, the scene is set.

Characters:

Me, dressed in pristine white dress shirt, no tie.

Cherries, in a ziplock bag.

Work. With a very important meeting in the afternoon, after lunch ( for which I had to walk in the glare of the hot sun for 15 minutes, one way. )

Sandwich dressed in aluminium foil.

As the sun blazes away outside, I am observed, chewing contentedly through the sandwich. I work at the laptop as I eat. Soon the sandwich is done and I pull the bag of cherries closer and with my left hand pick one cherrie and bite into it. Nibbling around the outside, I delicately put the pit in a bowl created by the aluminium foil. With two cherries left, the Evil Eye strikes.

Those people who had gone off surly at the thought of kaancha chhena and cherries, must have been busy lighting incense sticks and pushing red hot skewers into plastic models of cherries and I. For with one cherry left in the bag, I bit into the last but one and it exploded into a splatter of purple juice all over the front of my pristine white, freshly laundered white shirt. White, except for large splotches of purple covering an area of 5-6 inches in the middle of my chest.

I went for the meeting in the afternoon. I wore the purple splotches as a badge of honour.

I wonder what the people I met, for the first time in my life, thought about it.

We’ll never know.

I hope.

On the positive side…. I wasn’t wearing a tie. 🙂

Practically Witty


Almost summer morning
Almost summer evening

I wrote this poem for no reason
For it’s really just the season.
This poem is quite small
and it’s very stupid and all.
Tubetops, when they put these on
you also get those bare knees on.

You know this is really quite silly
For I’m writing stuff willy nilly.
You may exclaim “Oh Lord!”
“He really is so odd!”
It’s not because of the terrain hilly
Or a preponderance of rose and lily.

In fact there is no Grace
Rose, Lily, or April in lace
So you can perish the thought
that my silliness is ill begot.
No, It’s the life and it’s pace
that makes me go red in the face.

It’s a wonder this poem got wrote.
For the 7:20am train has my vote
Now you’re here, come, say your piece
For comments here attract no fees.
Do it while sitting in your boat
or sipping wine with table d’hote.

You may think it is a real pity
believe this is practically witty
but don’t you from commenting shirk
on this blog, for you know it is a perk.
The poem such as it is is a little nitty,
a tad gritty, maybe witty, but mostly shitty.

Shameless Flamboyance!


I didn’t see it coming. It was all coming along so well. It came as a bit of shock actually. But let me back track a bit and provide some backing track to the song of my life over the  past few months.

Not quite sure what this represents, but it's made of glass....
Not quite sure what this represents, but it’s made of glass….

I used to write this blog fairly regularly. When I first started it was with the belief that I’d soon get the hang of it. As you know, I tried different styles. I had the ponderous, third person of the SloMan pondering the pond we call life. He observed the specimens in the pond and pondered on the meaning of it all. He was the first.

Then I came along as myself, writing some rather nostalgic pieces. I even inflicted poetry on the unsuspecting public. Often, I fooled them into visiting by attaching a cute kitten to the piece. Once enticed, they read the poems. Some poems actually were commended. A couple were shared on social media. A fellow blogger actually reblogged one of them on his blog. Such exciting stuff! And all that from poetry! Can you imagine the ferrous quality of the situation? ( Irony.., Iron, Fe, Ferrous .. if not chemically inclined). That was a high point. Also a low point, because I’d rather someone ( could be anyone, really, anyone at all, would you please? ) shared some of my scintillating pieces of prose. Some of them are prosaic, some are inclined to talk about my proboscis, my professional life ( or lack thereof ), none were profane, but some did talk of programming, some about my productivity struggles, some simply prolonged the post for no reason at all. Some probed the profound truths and one talked about probiotics. I’ve talked about the progress I’ve made in my goals ( none, whatsoever, thank you for your concern.) Hell, LeggieLefty has also talked about the Proteas. Quite simply, then, I have been proactive in procuring for you the best prose that my head can provide. As you can see, I have a certain proclivity or propensity towards proudly proceeding to provoke a prolonged probe into the problems facing us.

By “us”, I mean “me”. I just attended a seminar where I was told that the most important person is the room was “you”, but he pointed his finger at me. Now, before you protest ( no, I’m starting that thing again.. we’re done! I am, seriously done with that – what’s that? you prohibit me? ) Ok, well, here is the thing then, I found that I was too poetic and too ah – I don’t know, “sensitive”, maybe, in my writing? Well, we can’t have that! I can’t be seen to be “sensitive”. I’m a middle-aged, red-blooded, Punjabi male, for god’s sake! It would not be right for my idiom! Besides, there were so many things that bugged me and I needed a rant or two to every once in a while. Thus, the PeevedPunjabi, was procreated ( oops ! soooorry ..).

I’m not going to talk about LeggieLefty. LeggieLefty moons about thinking and dreaming about cricket, but his writing style is a good mix of styles. That’s me, I said. Of course, I needed proof so I looked in the mirror and I confirmed that it was indeed me. LeggieLefty looks so much like me, it’s uncanny! I checked with the PeevedPunjabi and the SloMan and would you believe it! They all could pass for me, without the benefit of dark glasses, fake Assyrian moustaches or a hair makeover! How weird is that? Identical quads, with the same glasses and identical moles, facial hair and eyebrows!

Now, the sad bits. The last few months haven’t been good to me. Business has been quite bad. All the prospective clients have proceeded to turn to dust. I haven’t been able to get any signatures on the dotted line. Things are bleak. I came close once or twice, real close, but no cigar. In protest, I proceeded to work on my writing with results that I have reported elsewhere. As they Bongs say “Jahgey! Boi ta to lekha holo!” Shall I translate? Jahgey is an exclamation that loosely means “whatever”. Boi is a book. In a singular lack of qualification, boi also means movie. Lekha is written. You get the picture…. ( At least the book got written, if still befuddled. ) Now, on the Bong need to qualify. Bongs qualify most nouns. You’re not just going to the “beach”, you’re going to the “sea beach”. A longer discussion of this phenomenon will be held over until a later post. Don’t whine! I gotta have something in reserve!

To make matters worse, the coffee machine has gone away for servicing. It’s going to be away for two whole weeks! I have to either use the Italian percolator or the French Press, which is more work than lazy ass me is usually inclined to do. When feeling really lazy, like today, and down in the dumps, I’ve even resorted to instant. Now if that isn’t plumbing the depths of coffee-snob hell I don’t know what is.

Then a certain Facebook friend, rashly promised to read the blog AND write some comments. After a delay of a day or two, during which I naturally had to prod her a few times, she read a couple of the articles here. Her prognosis?

First impressions: Funny. Interesting. Runs the gamut from self deprecating humor to shameless flamboyance. Anything but dull….makes for great reading on the long commute to and from work

Shameless flamboyance! She also labelled me a “drama queen”. But wait, there’s more!

Today, while brushing my teeth I saw it….

A tiny strand, a single tendril of hair tending towards the left of my face. On the slope of my nose.

Death, where is thy sting!

The Second Irregular SloWord Awards


OK, 2015 has now been consigned to history. 2016 shall prove historic, too. For the US, which means, of course, the World. In 2016, I expect either a pant-wearing lady President ( I’m getting the vapours just thinking about it…) or another republican chump, this time one without a name called Bush, but with hair like a groomed bush and a name like Trump.

Enough of the light-hearted political banter, guaranteed to make you squirm. On with the award show. Today, Continue reading “The Second Irregular SloWord Awards”

5 Great Passages


From CMOG, Corning, NY. Layers upon layers - that's life....
From CMOG, Corning, NY. Layers upon layers – that’s life….

Well, 2015 is almost over and it is time to take a look back. I decided to dig through and collect some quotes. The best of the best. From this blog, of course. Didn’t you know? I’m modest to a fault. It’s probably my greatest virtue, modesty is. uh… one other thing… I may not restrict myself to 5. After all, this is such a great blog, full of the wittiest writing ever written in my basement. ( See “modesty”, above. ). So here we are. First the quote, then some plug.. uh background information. Continue reading “5 Great Passages”

Why I don’t shop at the GAP anymore


English: GAP's new corporate logo
English: GAP’s new corporate logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The header says it. I won’t. I don’t. Not anymore.

My first ever pair of blue jeans were from GAP. In the late 70’s these were flared jeans of the requisite blue denim. As a penniless ( or paisaless ) teenager I’ve had my fashion challenges. Some of these have been documented, notably in the story Continue reading “Why I don’t shop at the GAP anymore”

Roti Shapes and the Brain


Deutsch: Chapati / Roti / Indisches Fladenbrot
Deutsch: Chapati / Roti / Indisches Fladenbrot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So the question asked is this “Do round rotis taste better than non-round ones?”.

And that is an interesting, very interesting, question. It brings to the fore many concepts that we possibly take for granted, but perhaps should review more often. So let’s take a look at the question and break it down.

First, we consider the definition of “roti”. Does this include Continue reading “Roti Shapes and the Brain”