Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Gone to the agon

In ancient Greece, an agon was a contest in which prizes were awarded in any of a number of events, as athletics, drama, music, poetry, and painting. In modern Bangalore, we should adapt this practice to suit the times. The traffic cops can come out with a modern agon: the events being jumping red lights, cutting lanes, spitting, driving on the sidewalk, and then the event at the pinnacle of all other events: honking.
What would the prizes be, at the announcement of a winner? A laurel wreath and a medal? No. Maybe a better one would be to make them be a traffic cop for a day. Imagine this! Whether this does anything for the way traffic functions in the city or not remains to be seen. And of course the contest would have to be an ongoing affair, all year-round.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

A new kind of rehab

It is confirmed. What I had been suspecting and was a lurking fear is now a full-blown fact. Today, Yahoo had on its main page an article devoted to a Web site about lip-balm addiction.
I should have paid attention when my sister rolled her eyes every time I pulled out my tube of life-saving mentholated balm. Of course, it claims to be all-natural and has the wonderful effect of surrounding me with the smell of pure peppermint. (In fact, sometimes when I use it my neighbor asks me if I’ve been slyly popping mints.) Its cheery yellow tube and unassuming name give no clue of the sinister addiction it actually fosters. I am also a purist. I tried out a honey variant of the usual peppermint one, recoiled in horror and immediately decided to stick with the original.
I am doomed. I have no desire to “go cold turkey” as this Web site urges. Why? Why should I deny myself this? And besides, I don’t really have a problem. Not to mention, I have supplies to last until at least mid-2009. Of course I have an obligation to use these up.

Latin, schmatin

Someone used the phrase “ipso facto” the other day in a conversation. I was struck, as I always am, by how appropriate these words would be if used to name a pair of pet goats. Of course, I wasn’t really clear on the meaning, either. These Latin terms tend to throw me on many occasions. I still have to hunt for the meaning of ‘carpe diem’ in the dim recesses of my brain. I barely know what ‘bona fide’ means. In situ? Search me. No wonder I think lovingly of Ipso and Facto, contentedly grazing in the meadow while I make cheese in my alpine cottage. Res ipse locquitor.

Monday, June 11, 2007

I'm moving to Italy

So, get this. Senators in Italy want ice-cream in their cafeteria, in order to improve the quality of life in the Senate. According to a letter they wrote to the building administrators, serving gelato can be considered as serving the needs of people’s daily lives. I like the way these guys think. And that does sound like something you can’t argue with. Fundamentally, gelato can be considered as life-improving. It seems, then, natural that Senators would want to have it in their cafeteria. Please, no one tell our desi parliamentarians about this. They might start agitating for phirni and such-like. Many microphones would be thrown in their struggles.
Speaking of cafeterias, one co-worker asked me the other day what the most loosely-used word in our own cafeteria was. Instinctively, I replied, steel ladle clanging with steel plate while I served myself, “food?” After a short, bitter laugh, he said “Biryani.” Any rice that is non-white is thus classified, while plain rice is termed “White Rice.” Maybe we should campaign for gelato. I can just see the repercussions. Everyone would beat me to death. Their argument would be: We want food first, then gelato!
Related Posts with Thumbnails