Acquired Taste: Psychology 101

Its all about acquired taste. What is an “acquired taste”? It means getting habituated with an unknown thing. Here things could stand for a type of food, like an Indian eating “Durian” or an European eating “lychee or jackfruit”, a Bengali having “idly” or Kannadigas having “chholar dal”, a British having “postor bora” or an Indian having “liver pate” or “cow tongue”. Or a Bengali having Nagaland “dog n cat” and a Nagaland having “Tel koi”.

If it is a smell it will be like getting used to heady Gardenia, dry fish curry, long time partner’s socks or horny hubba hubba scent of his armpits, or a fallen family start to live in a slum and get used to the open drain with its blue black glossy sludge and a dead puppy in it. Or in a govt. hospital sharing a room with a fellow patient with a gangrene foot – the soon to be amputee.

Acquired taste in the matter of tactile arena is a boss or a colleague who is the kindest gentlest soul on earth never forgets to put his hand on your back, just over the bra strap the hand lingers a few seconds more, but as he is the kindest gentlest soul on earth you acquire taste in his touch. A man calls you a saggy breasted ugly bald smelly woman, but you have no option but still to be honored with his touch on your ugly face, saggy breast. But your baldy head goes on crying during a fever for a motherly touch.

Getting used to hearing and liking it is also very simple. If one has his house on a busy road, initial irritation will soon convert into a “not even noticing anymore” acceptance and banality. Give him a quiet home in the meadow, he will now complain about absence of familiar honking cars.

Acquired taste in seeing is quite similar to smell. One feels comfortable with the sight of his or her baby’s poop in the diaper, or a baby on a dirty cloth lying on a pavement with boiling rice on a open fire just 2 feet away from her, or the overflowing bin at the cross of the road, or dendrite sniffing toddlers and teenagers at the railway station.

Yes, everybody acquires taste. But here i’m not trying to make it a propaganda, agenda, pamphlet to raise awareness. No, man, no. Who the hell am I to do that? My point is this particular phrase, “acquired taste” is an yardstick for intellectuality. And also the moment you say its an acquired taste, it makes you a superior being, people also secretly thinks you are a snob, but the slight elitist patronizing tone if the phrase makes people want to join the group. If I tell somebody “I don’t think you are gonna like it, its an acquired taste”, without a fail, I know they are gonna tell me after few weeks “its awesome, I’m liking it”. It is because if you do not have an acquired taste, you are not intellectual enough. For example, I use Moroccan oil, i first saw its ad on Vogue, there was something about the photo, i just fell in love with it. And i promised to myself Moroccan oil. There is something about the smell, the dark brown bottle, the very name Morocco make me feel very happy. When after a sad day i take a shower, i wash my hair and then i sit in front of my dressing table and i pump this thick heady very unusually scented Moroccan oil on my palm and apply it to my hair, instantly my mood gets uplifted, i feel like a princess in her boudoir, very luxuriant. I told somebody about the oil, and she smelled it, i distinctly remember her nose crinkled. I knew people will generally not gonna like the smell. I was embarrassed, and said i guess its sort of like an acquired taste, it takes times to like it. Few months later i came to know she is loving it, this the best thing in the world, and oh the smell!

So if you need to make somebody like anything that you know they are going to dislike it, just say “I guess its an acquired taste”. This phrase has an appeal that make people like it. Psychology 101.

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The Lipstick is better than the song

Fifth Harmony’s “I’m worth it” is a fabulous awesome song, nobody can stop ‘self from dancing to it. I love it. I show it to people and to people who don’t even like these types frivolous light music videos, they were left open mouthed so wide that they almost drooled. Was that a sign of lust or a sign of fatigue for keeping their mouth open for a long time, who knows! There is something about the video, the colour scheme, the super confident sensuous movements, there is definitely something unique about it.

But, I have a huge I mean HUGE problem with the song. See if somebody has to say “give it to me I’m worth it”, isn’t it sad? It is not like the L’Oreal ad where women are pampering themselves with good expensive things and saying to the world “I’m worth it!”  in that ad they are saying, I deserve this luxurious vibrant coloured lipstick, do not dare to judge me, “I’m worth it”. I know these types songs are not meant for deep thinking, they are only for grooves and moves, but just that one line bothers me and I cannot shake off a feeling of unjust and humiliation. My advice is if you need to remind somebody you are worth it, so they would give you things you deserve, no matter what is the thing, leave that place immediately, go somewhere where you don’t need to remind anybody anything. They know.

Dead Joker – More a Story of Life than a Murder Mystery

Anne Holt.jpgDead Joker by Anne Holt was published in 1999, but it was translated in English by Anne Bruce in 2015. This is one Hanne Wilhelmsen book that shook me gravely, and the reason is not the murder mystery of the story, but Hanne’s own life, to be precise her partner Cecile’s life, again to be precise – her death.

The mystery is like this, chief public prosecutor’s wife is murdered, he is found in the room with the dead wife, she was killed with a souvenir like Samurai sword. When Hanne is struggling to solve the mystery, a journalist is also killed. During the investigation Hanne told herself this case will be solved in 3 weeks and on March 29, 1999 at 3 o’clock she realised the deadline she gave herself was up that day. But it was only 3 o’clock! That evening Hanne and Cecile would go to Karen Borg and Hakon’s house to stay. Hakon’s son Hans Wilhelm, named after Hanne would tell her there was secret. And soon Hanne would ride that secret alone late in the evening, a Yamaha Diversion 900cc. While riding lost in thought she would come across a country road with mailboxes, there was a particular name that would attract her mind, Eivind Torsvik. It was a name from Billy T’s report, the ear less writer/murderer. She would meet him, and yes, he is the one who would give the ultimate clue to Hanne to solve these bizarre murders. So in a way Hanne was right!

In the midst of all these Cecile was dying. She had cancer and she told that to Hanne the day before her operation. Now why she told her then and not early, why a life partner missed the fact that one of them is ebbing away? Enters conjugal life that has been lived long.

Hanne always had her demons. She kept her being a lesbian a secret for a long time from his colleagues, she kept her Cecile a secret, she is someone who experienced neglect, lovelessness, exclusion from her family, and that didn’t make her a strong rebel who couldn’t care less, the problem is she cared, and that is why over the 20 years of their conjugal life only a feast full people from her life came across Cecile. But Cecile wanted recognition of love, the appreciation from her partner that she is glad to have her in her life. But what Hanne gave Cecile was a name plate with their initial HW & CV. Hanne was scared that if people saw their names-2 girls’ names on the door they will know Hanne and Cecile a couple. Hanne couldn’t bear that. Or was it that Hanne didn’t love Cecile enough to give her the recognition, the status of her life partner! Because last time what my romantic googly misty eyes read somewhere, “love conquers all”. When one day Hanne was coming back home, Cecile was still in hospital after the surgery, recovering, Hanne seeing their incomplete declaration of love as HW & CV on the door realised how much it hurt Cecile! So only when the other half is dying another half realises her worth? When everything is super good, A-Ok, she is happy and smiling, why cant you love her then? Why to get the love and care and the recognition one has to die always?

Evil Under the Sun vs Triangle at Rhodes

Agatha Christie’s Evil Under the Sun and Triangle at Rhodes are eerily similar. A feeling of deja vu will bound to happen, either one is reading or watching. Evil Under the Sun has two movie adaptation, in one Poirot is portrayed by Peter Ustinov in 1982 and in the other Poirot is, who else, David Suchet in 2001. Evil Under the Sun is a full length mystery and Triangle at Rhodes is a short story and it was in the collection of Murder in the Mews. In Evil under the Sun Arlena Marshall is visiting this seaside hotel Jolly Rogers in Smuggler’s Island on the coast Devon and Cornwall. She is there with her husband Kenneth Marshall and a teenage stepdaughter Linda who loathes her. Arlena is self aware beautiful lady who never shy away from the company of the opposite sex. So, here in the island she is enticed by this man Patrick Redfern. Patrick is holidaying with his awkward wife Christine who cannot even bathe or go out in the sun without getting terrible sun burns.

So Arlena is dead and everybody’s alibi is ready and there were suspects too. When you are reading it you will suspect Arlena’s husband Kenneth Marshall, a jealous frustrated husband. Also the presence of his former fiancee Rosamund Darnley is going to make you suspicious. Did Kenneth Marshall killed Arlena out of jealousy or to be with his ex? Or the presence of his ex made him realise how he so not deserve his present wife? And just here comes the plot of Triangle at Rhodes. In Triangle at Rhodes Valentine Chantry/Arlena is attracted to Douglas Gold. Marjorie Gold/Christine is his awkward wife. Tony Chantry/Kenneth is the unfortunate jealous husband. In Triangle at Rhodes there is no Rosamund Darnley, not blatantly overtly! It was revealed that it was Tony Chantry who killed his wife Valentine, and he was having an affair with Marjorie. So yes Marjorie is loosely a Rosamund. Poirot says there is a Triangle at Rhodes alright, but it was not the obvious one! Fun fact, if two married man woman get involved with each other is it right to call it a “triangle”? Isn’t it always a quadruple? But obviously here who is concerned about right and wrong!

I tried my extreme best not to totally give away both plots, I just sacrificed one and the short!

Why the author crafted two stories so similar, because when one weaves a murder mystery there are suspects, and the author already has everybody’s backstory. So in one story she decides to go with one murderer, but she cannot help but thinking if someone else from all the characters present in the story was the murderer, what motive and method would she have given him/her then? That is how Evil Under the Sun and Triangle at Rhodes are created.

In Evil Under the Sun Poirot so famously says the beach reminds him of the morgue in Paris, the reclining sunbathers are like meat on butcher’s slab. And how it came true! Here so accurately and wisely he said that men were not attracted to Arlena but she was attracted to them. But the thing is whether the man is attracted to or just simply attracts the woman, the end is the suffering of the left wife and the husband. But there again Agatha Christie surprised the obvious and left us flabbergasted.

Agatha Christie is so good in portraying the adultery, the unfaithfulness, is it because once she was the sad shareholder of a triangle herself? Who cares, she got her husband Mr. Max Mallowan as the winning prize. When I was young my mother used to tell me do you know how much her husband used to love her? That is why she could have written so much and so good, she had her peace of mind. What I didn’t know then is Mr. Max Mallowan was her second husband through whom she found true love. I guess to be an author you need to experience everything.

It All Happened 1222 mts. Above Sea

IMG_20170624_130759 I first discovered Norwegian crime thriller writer Anne Holt in our hometown’s newly opened book store. It was in the only shopping complex of the town. On one greater half of the building there was this chain super market sprawled in 4 floors, it first introduced to us the idea of having cups, cloths, cosmetics, cucumber to bread, bed, broccoli, briefs under one roof. Till then saw these only in Hollywood movies. So no doubt we felt very proud, important, and successful.  On the other half of that building were individual shops and restaurants and a chain multiplex (the proud smirk lingered long after the end titles).

To ward off boredom, I went first to the super market, then lazily roamed the other half with the intention of catching a movie at 5.30. One day I suddenly came across this new bookshop. With all the happiness in the world I entered. On the rack found two books that I never heard of,  the first was “Buried Prey” and the 2nd one was “1222”. Through “Buried Prey” John Sandford introduced himself to me, and obviously he was honoured to meet such an avid, dedicated perusalist who he knew at first meeting going to read the entire Prey series within few months. And “1222” opened a Scandinavian country to me. Before that my peek into Scandinavia was through “Girl with a Dragon Tattoo”.

The very name “1222” drew me to it and just after reading the blurb, I felt like shouting,  “where was this book, this author all this time”! It was like you were just roaming in the forest and accidentally found El Dorado!  I knew then and there I am seriously going to love everything Anne Holt has ever written. To use a hackneyed expression, it was love at first sight.

The detective of Anne Holt is Hanne Wilhelmsen. The story opens with Hanne travelling by train from Oslo to Bergen to consult a doctor for her quadriplegia. How she became quadriplegic? Read “Beyond the Truth”. In this story Hanne is already in wheelchair. The train with its 269 passengers collide with the snow wall in front of a tunnel at the foot of The mountain Finsenut near the beatific lake Finseven and the utter confusion and chaos follow. Nearby town people come to the rescue. The extreme weather goes with the whole lot into a nearby hotel sans the driver, the only fatality of the accident. At least that is what seems initially but soon other deaths/murders follow suit. Now imagine the scene, a hotel where 269 passengers are staying, every exit is blocked by accumulated snow and outside world is totally cut off by a horrific brutal blizzard country hasn’t seen for years.

In that closed place deaths start to occur amidst the array of ridiculously diverse people coming from all the echelons of society. Now here is our Hanne, egged with her own personal problems both emotional and physical, using the capabilities of her original, ultimate comfortable identity of a brilliant detective.

While going through the book everyone will find similarities with Agatha Christie’s “Mousetrap”. Even Anne Holt herself mention it in “1222”. The thing is every crime writer will eventually give an Agatha Christie allusion in their books, sometimes overt and sometimes subtle, it is really hard not to! But I find the similarities with the “Murder on the Orient Express” too. That sudden halt due to snow reminds me of Poirot’s journey from Istanbul to London by Orient Express, when at night the train was stopped near Vinkovci in Slavonia due to a snowdrift. So “1222” is like a tribute to Agatha Christie. And every crime writer find solace in doing so.

I read, re-read “1222”, because it was the first Holt I found. And I love Hanne Wilhelmsen. I am following her life for a considerable time and she intrigues me. She doesn’t fit any norm of the society, no it is not because she is a lesbian (for the blockheads it is explained), it is just that she is on surface level rude, arrogant, sometimes even it seems she is so just for the sake of it. But no, she uses it to shield herself. But she is surrounded by people who always see past her armour, and know she is a great human being. They love her. She is surrounded by intelligent compassionate people. It is not always the case with everybody. Here Holt has given a glimpse of her personal life. Hanne has a partner Nefis and a daughter Ida and a house keeper Mary. Now if you want to know how she met Nefis, how she acquired Mary, why Hanne has this sadness that creates a fog around her, who is Hakon, Billy T, how Hanne end up in wheelchair, hit the bookstore, or hit your computer, whatever! Just read.

INTELLECTUAL THEFT in Greek, In English COPYCAT

Why I don’t like it when someone copies me? I guess nobody likes it. But why? I did some soul searching and realized that not only that I do not like it, I feel enraged. I feel so strong about it that once I stopped wearing my favourite sweater after seeing a stranger wearing it.  I thought there has to be some deep rooted reason for this. I delved deep into my psyche. And voila! Found it. Once I saw these movies, “Single White Female” and “Talented Mr. Ripley”. Anybody who has seen these movies will understand how, creepy it is, being copied. And it becomes creepier when the person who is copying you is otherwise friendly with you, close to you. You can’t even point this out to that person out of modesty and fear of causing harm to the relationship.
I love Christie’s Poirot and Ms. Marple. I told the story of “Nemesis” to someone, just four – five sentences. So after few days, I was hanging out with few people and one of them asked me which Agatha Christie book he should read first, I was about to answer, but before I could say anything, suddenly  that person jumped and grabbed the opportunity and said, you should read “Nemesis”, its good. That is the first time I came across the occurrence of the term irritating copycat. After that I started keeping a watchful eye on things I said and them being stolen and used as thieves’ own. Maybe it is harsh to use these words in this otherwise silly simple context but that is how much strongly I feel about this.  I will give some more examples to clarify my exasperation. I swear by midnight snacks. I don’t sleep before four, so I need some sort of food even after dinner. I made a bad habit of making sandwiches at night. I used to take two slices of bread, two slices of cheese, a poached egg, few slices of cucumber, tomato and onion and made this heavenly (and heavy) sandwich at night, time is very integral to make this sandwich, the main ingredients of this sandwich are insomnia and mid night. It has to be made after 1 o’clock at night and only by psychotic bibliophile insomniacs. Once I took few photos and showed them to some people, making fun of my gluttony. After few days I came across a photo of a sandwich, exactly like mine! Actually this is what bugs me, somebody is copying from a person and then taking all the credit, sometimes that copycat may have a better plate or a better camera, (who cares!) Similarly once I took a photo of a tea cup, my shades, my purse lying casually on a table. It was a spontaneous photo, and probably that’s why it came out so good, because spontaneous over-flow of any feelings is always good. I posted that photograph on facebook. After few months saw a friend posting something similar. But more ‘likes’ cannot make an idea or a spontaneous perception of someone else’s yours, right? This is very childish to put so much thought to something so teenageish and trivial. So if we change the sandwich to a short story, or a plot of a 500 paged novel? Will it be so trivial then? What to do when after a boyfriend gives his girl a stemmed rose or few lilies or a bunch of orchids on different occasion and at the end of the month a friend post a photo of entire flower shop on her dining table – with those same lilies, roses and orchids – ruining the aesthetic subtlety altogether? Should one feel sorry for the girl! Just a memory flash – remember that scene from “Mona Lisa Smile”, where Betty (Kirsten Dunst) will go on insulting her friend Giselle (Maggie Gyllenhal) for being a philandering, promiscuous on the verge of becoming a whore? But Giselle will not mind but rather hugs Betty because she knows the true reason of Betty’s unhappiness. Hmmm. So suppose one likes to have cross body bags, but stops carrying it like that for a while, in the meantime others start, so now if that person goes back to her old habit, others think she is copying. Nobody can clear the situation, because if you put these in words, they sound silly. What to do when someone copies your way of talking, your certain choices of words, your habit that makes you, you? So many times it happened to me when I expressed my views, shared them with people, and later found out those people xeroxing my said words on those given topics to a hoard of listeners. And the painful shocking part is they pretend they come up with all those opinions on their own. They do not say, “I heard my friend saying this, and I totally agree with her”. Watching an advertisement, I told someone “see this is an intelligent ad”, few days later I heard her pointing out the ad and saying, “see, this is an intelligent ad”, and I am right there, man! Can’t you see me, you moron! Again it sounds silly when put it like this, but now imagine instead of a line, a habit, a way of your talking, it was your new scientific invention for which you have applied for a patent and someone else take your research papers and publish them and get a patent and the praise? Make a cup of tea, and think!
Please be bothered with a P.S. – I do not stop wearing my favorite sweater anymore. No point in depriving yourself of a good thing. Hold your ground, always.
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“Practical Magic” to make Practical Life Magical

I love magic. No, stage magic or magic shows dose not interest me. I love real magic, actual miraculous magic. There is always a visual side to magic. One must watch it in front of her happening and only then she could fathom the unreality of magical incident actually happening before her eyes. One can always read about magical happenings, but magic is in actuality goes with the phrase “to see is to believe”. And I believe in magic.
First magic in everyday banal life I saw happening was in “Matilda”. It just fascinated me, that ability to move stuff from a distance.  Here I should mention it beforehand that “Poltergeist” will not make it here today. The magic I am talking about here is in the sense it only brings pure joy, love and hope that anything is possible and the world is a beautiful place and you will be happy. So after “Matilda” and my pre-teen years, I saw “Practical Magic”. I was dumbfounded by hope and happiness. The movie has everything that can go right with a magic movie. It is about a witch family in a small town. Two little girls are raised by their aunts who are all witches. The two sisters are very close. They have magical powers. They will grow up to be Sally played by Sandra Bullock and Gillian played by Nicole Kidman. Gillian was always a bit of a rebel and she would go away but Sally will stay and fall in love with a guy and get married, hence one of my favorite song by Faith Hill, “This kiss, this kiss, this impossible kiss”. But there is a twist; there was a curse on this witch family cast by one of their ancestors. The curse was if a woman from this family ever loves a man, he would die. So after few years of happy marital bliss, Sally’s husband would die, being true to the curse. Here just when her husband was about to die, Sally would hear a deathwatch beetle making an ominous sound suggesting the death approaching. Sally would move back to her aunts with her two daughters. She decides her daughters would never practice magic. What happens then? Will Sally find love again? What will happen to rebel Gillian? Will the curse be broken? One can watch the movie to find these out. But I will watch it for its dreamy soft poetic magic. There are two particulars scenes that I like the most, when those white rose petals will fly into the moon from Sally’s diary, and how Sally’s spoon goes on stirring itself in the cup. I used to spin my spoon in the cup rapidly and suddenly leave it to see it stirring on its own. Oh, how desperately I needed and still need some magical powers. And that is why I like superhero movies, Avengers, Craft (this movie belongs to the same time period, I think. So now when I see Robin Tunny in The Mentalist, I feel nostalgic. It is the same with Aidan Quinn when I see him in Elementary, because I know him from Practical Magic), X-Men, my Wolverine (I love him), Harry Potter, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, seriously I am asking where to find them? Tell me, because if they exist, then magic has to exist, right?

F.R.I.E.N.D.S

Today something very silly happened. We couldn’t remember the name of the shop Ross and Rachel buying things from for their flats and hiding it from Phoebe. Somehow I was sure it started with a “p”, because few words were coming to my mind, poppadum, potpourri, and pompadour. It was like resting at the tip of your tongue but refusing to walk to your lips. Then with an exasperation I googled it. It was Pottery-Barn, it was Pottery-Barn, it was Pottery-Barn! Ross bought an apothecary table which was meant to be used as a coffee table. Rachel bought the same one while she was living with Phoebe. Now Phoebe was an idealistic, she hated all those chain stores where things were not unique; not one of a kind; everybody could have the same furniture. She liked a story behind a furniture, a history that would make it special. So, when Rachel bought the apothecary table she told Phoebe it is from the “yore”. So for Phoebe the CD drawers became old medicine drawers, and she still could smell the herbs. So yes, I remembered the name. What a relief! People may ask why you were so worked up if you couldn’t remember a name of a shop from some TV show. If seriously you are asking that, then you don’t exist in my world. Once upon a time I lived for f.r.i.e.n.d.s. It shaped me to some extent. I was an 80’s baby, and in my late-teens I watched f.r.i.e.n.d.s. Recently I came to know that if you are a fan of f.r.i.e.n.d.s. then you are supposed to be old. Millennials don’t know about f.r.i.e.n.d.s. it is not totally true. I know a few millennials who watched friends in 2015 for the first time and fell head over heels in love with it. Thank God for those continuous regular re-runs. By the time you reach season 7, you would start to want to watch the early episodes. At least that happens to me. And I am continuing to watch f.r.i.e.n.d.s. for last 15 years. I am in a loop and I don’t find anything sad or bad about it. So by now obviously I know almost all the lines and friends that is why I was all worked up for not being able to remember the shop’s name. The relationship between me and f.r.i.e.n.d.s. is I need to know that once a day in some TV channel or other there is f.r.i.e.n.d.s., if it is not I would lose my balance. When I am sad or restless my friends or family switches on the TV and ask me to watch f.r.i.e.n.d.s. and almost immediately I feel good.

There is a very common question that people ask f.r.i.e.n.d.s. fans and that is which f.r.i.e.n.d.s. character are you? All girls would like to be Rachel. Who doesn’t want that famous Rachel haircut, those cute short skirts, that red & black check PJs, Ross’s crush upon themselves since 9th grade! But even though I am no different, deep down I know I am an out and out Monica. I am caring, responsible, argumentative (a soft synonym for quarrelsome) and loud. So I have my Chandler with me in reality. He also makes all the mistakes Chandler makes, but only I know how many times I have dodged a bullet in our relationship by forgiving him because I know in the same situation Monica would have forgiven Chandler!

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Galway – J.M. Synge to Ed Sheeran

With the Shape of You, i have started to listened to Ed Sheeran. It happens to me all the time, I hear there is a singer who is taking the world by storm. I don’t pay any attention and in the mean time that singer gets all the awards and accolades and becomes a household name. And then one day comes Shape of You and I start to listen. I liked the song solely for the purpose of dancing. It will make anybody dance, and the lyrics are cute, “…last night you were in my room, and now my bed sheets smell like you”. There are so many Shape of You dance video on youtube, even Indian classical dances like Odissi and Katthak, it is just unthinkable. Okay I get it, it is called “viral”, right?

So just few days ago when I just finished practising some moves to Shape of You, I came across Galway Girl, ” played the fiddle in an Irish band”, best lyrics so far by Ed Sheeran and the music is that happy melancholic Irish folk tune which takes you long back to some forgotten “mind palace” that you so desperately want to capture, but cannot. It stars Saoirse Ronan. I saw her first in Hanna. Good movie. Different. I have a soft spot for Eric Bana after Hulk and Munich. This Saoirse Ronan is Irish and always annoyed that nobody pronounces her name correctly. She sometime come across as a rude young girl, but I am also very particular about my name, so if I judge her, it will be seer hypocrisy! Didn’t see her Brooklyn, but mean to. So the song Galway Girl, really really loved it. Made me so nostalgic. Riders to the Sea came to my mind right away. Riders to the Sea by J.M. Synge, the Irish playwright. We had it in our graduation syllabus. I believe I was a different person before reading Riders to the Sea. I think everybody changes after reading Riders to the Sea. It had a great impact on me. Maurya and her true premonitions, Nora and Cathleen as the Greek chorus, and how Bartley is going to go to Galway fare to sell horses. The gloom, the doom, the cold, the death, the grey horse, they engulfed me for a considerable time. There was a map of Ireland in the beginning of the book. So yes, I know Galway, I will always remember Galway. But what Ed Sheeran’s song can do is to lighten my thoughts about Galway because to me Galway is a place where people want to go but always die in the process.

A Tribute to OCD and Not 59

Hercule Poirot likes things in a certain way, he prefers square things, even his toasts, I mean each and every piece of bread and also his eggs have to be of same size, eggs!! Can you believe it! He is a firm believer of formal attire, and he sticks to that even when he is going to a rough country walk or to the desert. He even once told Hastings to part his hair in the middle. His love for symmetry is unthinkably praiseworthy; to be precise like that needs real passion for nuances. Now if we start talking about his moustache and its very particular up keeping then may I well need to start an epic. So let’s drop that matter now.

Another detective like Poirot is off course Adrian Monk. He likes thing square, he counts his steps, likes things to be arranged from 1 to 10, not 5 after 8. When there is three flowers in three separate vases, and one of them is shorter than the other two, he cannot decide whether to put the shorter one in the middle or to put it after bigger ones in a descending order. He is a sever germophobe, he puts his used napkins when he has flue in a zip-lock bag, and then put it in another zip-lock bag, and then put all those zip-lock bags in a big zip-lock bag.

Now comes Jack Nicholson in “As Good As It Gets”. Here in this movie his character again counts steps, brings his own forks to his regular restaurant where he likes to be served only by this particular waitress, Helen Hunt. He uses soaps just one time, and then for second wash at that same time uses another new soap and then throw them away.

Monica from f.r.i.e.n.d.s. this maternal friend of Joey, Chandler, Rachel, Ross, Phoebe is an OCDian on the verge of being irritating but even then you cannot stop loving her. Every furniture in her room has their specific place. The border of the carpet should be aligned with the couch; the phone pen should be in its correct allotted place. Hundreds of freeze magnets are there and if one is moved, she will know, yes, she will know as she herself allotted their places. Today let’s not go into the details of her being a control freak, I am not writing a novel here. Someday, someday!

Everybody has their own set of problems. But the problem is now every problem has a name, not only that, a scientific name. A person likes things in a certain way, if it is not in that particular way, it bothers her. Now this way of a person is called OCD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, in plain colloquial language “creature of habit”, one can also call it loyalty, let’s call it loyalty, who’s stopping me! In this way you will know that if an OCDian commits to something, there is a chance he or she will not waver. Now how much one loses her sanity, temper, and calmness when her habits are disrupted, to what intensity, that is the question. Sometimes they become irritating and sometimes scary. Most of the OCDians are clean freak. I am not so clean freak, but I like things in a certain way (obviously!) that would probably seem very trivial or silly to others. And when they are not in that certain way, irritation, anger and weirdness hit me. Okay, so here it goes, I do not like any number that ends with 9, for example, 19, 29, 39, 49, 59 and so on. I know the reason for this, see, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 give a sense of completeness, there is no undone thing, it so proper, neat. But when I face the number 19, I feel like why not go a little bit more and close with 20! Why leave something on 19, when 20, a good round neat proper number is right there! I specifically have some serious issues with 59. The logic is just few numbers ago I came across 50, so neat, an exact half of 100, everything is so proper, clean, clear-cut. And then we go 9 more and stops at 59! WHY?? Then the whole beautiful journey from 1 to 50 just goes astray. I like the number 69, it has its own symmetry, the yin yang and its fun. I do not have that much problem with 9, I do not know why, maybe because in itself it stands for something, like holy trinity, maybe because it is a set of 3! But if something being counted from 1 and abruptly stops at 9, yeah, then it will bug me.

If somebody is giving me a foot massage, and tugging my toes, I would like my left foot, toes to be tugged in the same order as my right foot toes, preferably starting with the big toe.

So bed sheets, if it has flowers on it, I would like those printed flowers toward the head of the bed, stems or leaves toward the foot. Why are you frowning? It is the only normal thing to do. Oh, you don’t think it’s normal? Okay, but I have Harold Pinter on my side, who asked the most apt question, “Normal? What’s normal?” Now let’s brew a cup of tea and ponder over the absurdity of existence!