Fairy Tales, Of Sorts

The softest pillows and mattresses in the land. Real golden, soft human hair – no less – made them so. Business flourished and coffers were in demand to hold the coins pouring in. For sure, the odd trouble popped up. No one knew why but once in a while, a stray pillow or a petulant bedding would let its hair down; hair that would snake its way around the sleeper a little too tight. But the coffers would be quickly opened and a generous flow of its contents would burn away all memory of such unfortunate unpleasantness.

No one knew why? Well, not quite – SHE knew but SHE was locked up in HER high tower. And SHE had given up on HER prince. HER prince, now king, had come to rescue HER once but he stayed only to love HER hair more than HER; hair that meant gold.

*****

The fair pretty girl was on the floor. The old, sour-faced woman stood looking down at her, armed – as it seemed – with a broom. The door burst open and the midgets trooped in with loud yells. They took in the scene and saw the desperate plea in the girl’s eyes. Furiously they tore into the old woman. No one saw the look of bewilderment in her eyes. The girl with the snow white skin got up. No one saw the cold gleam that lit her eyes and the chilling smile that slashed her face to open up the cruelty beneath the skin. She shrugged. Oh well! The old hag knew too much. And her sweeping had got too sloppy anyway.

*****

There she was, a beauty laid to sleep in an open casket of ebony and ivory. The light of the crescent moon lent her fair skin the colour of a paler shade of alabaster. The prince stood in rapture awhile. Then he bent low and kissed her on her blood-red lips. Mmm…wet. Wet?!?

She opened her eyes, beautiful dark eyes.

She stepped out of the casket, all grace.

She sank into his neck, one inch fangs.

*****

The king was rich beyond measure, for he was married to a treasure trove that filled his coffers with coins golden as her hair. The king was miserable and lonely. The king knew not the reason. No, not even a block for him to stumble upon and discover why. He walked the long corridors of his castle, head bowed and hands clasped behind his back; a walking Atlas shouldering his vast gloom. One day, he found himself himself by the door of a musty old closet. He walked in. All he found was a mirror. A half-forgotten childhood story wafted into his conscious mind and stirred him to ask haltingly and not without some sheepishness:

“Mirror…er…mirror on the wall
Haha; Who’s the fairest of them all?”

A voice cold as the far hills came rippling out of the glass:

“Who else but you, my Queen!”

The dazed king staggered out of the closet.

 

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Whither Wit?

At the end of an English Premier League football match, the manager of a beleaguered team that has just secured a rare win to postpone what appears to be inevitable relegation is asked: “How does it feel to finally get one under the belt?” The victim of this moronic verbal assault relies placidly “It feels nice” but not before placing an eloquent silence of a few seconds which might well have said “How would you like one below the belt?”.

At the post-match presentation of a cricket match, the presenter asks the Man of the Match “Does the captain support you on the field? How much support do you get from him?”. The bemused player rambles “Yes, yes he encourages me and tells me to ask him if I need any support. I stick to line and length and try to get the batsman out and keep the runs down and I try to save the world in my spare time and when I was a kid, I lost my pet goat to a chappie who later became a TV cricket commentator and presenter…”. I suspect the heartfelt answer would’ve been “Support from the captain? Hell, yeah! Which is why I haven’t played an international game for the last 2 years. Well, here I am – I’m self-made, bitch!”.

The world’s greatest mass event approaches (not the Fukushima nuclear disaster – that’s more related to critical mass). I’m talking the Indian Parliamentary Elections, duh. As the fantasy fiction of political debate gets played out, a question is posed to a motley crew of Prime Ministerial asspirants: “What is your stance on nuclear power? Should we be developing infrastructure for alternative energy sources that are cleaner?” (see, I’m sticking to the theme).

A1: “Rahul is a puppy/pappu (take your pick)”
A2: “Kejriwal is dangerously disruptive and should be put in, erm, a cage”
A3: “Modi is communal”
(At which point, the moderator spontaneously combusts).

Our social and media interactions seem to march to the beat of “DUMB DUMB DUMB DUMB dumb dumb dumb dumb DUMB DUMB”. If the question doesn’t fit the bill, the answer surely will. Twits rule and wit has withered. In the meantime who the hell will answer critical posers like “Who let the dogs out?”. If A2 has his way, surely not Kejriwal.

P.S.: So you think you spotted a spelling mistake in there, huh? Just ass you like it.

Hold on. Really? Why?

We are a bunch of such clingy whiners. We keep bitching and moaning about things that we, however, will not let go of.

For instance, the Grammy awards, or for that matter any award show. A population the size of India, going by the stridency of voices, protests the unfairness, the pathetic quality of nominee selection and the worthlessness of the Grammies and yet a roughly similar sized mass watches the damn thing every year. Refuses to let go, much like that tall lass (a TV actress who plays a part in one of those serials with an unpronounceable 4-letter word – WRFT or BGRD or NCIS, something – as their title) who was clinging on to Dave Grohl. Neither wanted to let go – she, perhaps because a rock star is more famous than a TV actress in a serial with an unpron…oh, I see we’ve already done that; and he, maybe because he’s not quite reached the height (you may have to look at it upside down) of rock stardom like, say, a Mick Jagger. You know, just hold on to whatever you can lay a hand on even if it’s a TV actress with a part in a serial with an unp… See how hard it is to let go of things. Damn! But the Grammies aren’t all that bad. You know, Carrie Underwood flashing and all that, hmmmm?

I can't see anymore! Help!
I can’t see anymore! Help!

And of course, Facebook, or whatever social media dope you are on. Countless (I’m just estimating – I have 7 FB friends and 6 of them bitch about it. FB, not ‘being FB friends with me’…I think…I hope…OMG, could it be…???) zombies like me burn their screens with their unblinking gaze on Facebook pages and tap out endlessly messages of Zuckerberg’s baby sucking them dry but who can’t bring themselves to cut the cord. How else could they stalk their exes, huh? Tell me, tell me. The same exes who will not ‘un’friend their exes just so that they can stalk them in turn, ad infinitum. Wait, I think I mean ad nauseum. Hell no, I can’t afford to move away from keyboard and screen to even throw up. I just might miss the wit and charm of that friend unknown to me outside of Facebook who posts entries from his appointment book (I think, I’m not sure, but I think he works at the mortuary). See?

I think all these things run on the principle of ‘misery loves company’. Which is why my great app idea was stillborn. It was called Quitter.

Stormy Monday

The one thing I miss since I got out of the ‘corporate’ work environment is the deluge of management phrases. Amusing things, those. Delightfully revelatory strings like ‘view from 30,000 feet above’. Lack of oxygen up there surely is an explanation for otherwise inexplicable decisions. My current (heard it from someone who’s still there), maybe even all-time, favourite – ‘carry your own weather’. Ah! that explains the heavy, dark clouds that hover above me. No silver trimmings. The only silver there is on streaks of lightning. God, I feel like Indra, like Thor. But where then is my Vajra, my faithful Mjölnir? Damn, looks like someone stole my thunder.