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"To expect the unexpected shows a thoroughly modern intellect." - Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Confessions of a WhatsApper

As I was introspecting on this li’l app, called WhatsApp, I felt that its relation/impact on our lives is quite similar to that of a marriage!
It may be love at first sight for many and maybe an arranged/forced marriage for many more.

In the beginning you are shy of WhatsApp. You want to be a part of it, yet apprehensive about it! All your friends have it.....so you have to too! You have decided to give this relation a try; you decide to be a silent observer, to decide whether this new app in your life deserves your attention.

You are awed by the speed of the replies and responses - the quality and quantity of matter being circulated astound you! You play your coy new-comer part with hesitant rare and restrained forwards.

Suddenly it’s your birthday, and you are overwhelmed by a jaw-dropping response from all kinds of acquaintances wishing you a happy birthday - all day long! Cakes and bouquets abound, vying to seek your attention! People have also started appreciating your profile pic. That's when it hits you! You are in love with this app!

Now that it’s clear, that you are in love, you go all out wooing it. Regular selfies become a must and profile pic updating a pressing need! You read and forward all uploads on WA to the right and relevant groups or persons! To add value and derive more response to your forwards, you undertake intensive research on the net, scrolling through forward-worthy jokes and articles. Fun, trivia, information, education - all under one roof. You even manage to pull it off as a useful communication tool by creating office WA groups! Your thoughtful forwards sometime elucidate prompt responses which thrill you, while a lack of it, depresses you.....but not for long.....your young love is not so feeble that it can’t pull you out of such trifling trials. You are now addicted to this app and you decide to commit yourself to it wholly.

You are an established WhatsApper now and like in any marriage once you have impressed your partner enough to make him/her yours for life, gradually, things fall into routine.

The relation shows signs of depleting sheen. Symptoms include reduced urgency to send forwards. You don’t feel the desperation to deduce answers to all the quizzes that come your way! The early morning flowers and inspirational messages are becoming a drag! Your profile pic is the first indicator - you have stopped uploading regular selfies, they are replaced by other family members/friends, inanimate objects, quotes.....etc......complacency replaces the earlier urgency!

The next phase is rather sad when the very same app that had you so enamored and in the grip of its palm, can no longer hold your interest! Instead you now find the jokes and forwards boring and repetitive. The profile pictures of your contacts seem so artificial and made up! You are disgusted with this app, but have to put up with for social reasons. Your contributions have dwindled from a steady flow to a feeble trickle! You slowly start disassociating yourself from it! You block certain groups/persons, leave groups, then you block out your last seen, distancing yourself from any responses - generally making yourself invisible and unavailable.

This phase is very uncomfortable and most-likely a masochistic one! You find a lot of time on your hands now that you don’t have to read through all the Santa Banta jokes. You are very happy that the travails of clicking the perfect selfie to upload as your DP are a part of your immature past! You have time to reflect that life without WhatsApp is good for your professional output.

Days, months pass by in WhatsApp-free existence - you are practically invisible to the world. You now contemplate an entire life ahead of you living as a social outcast, unaware of the latest gossip, political coups; God knows whatever new happenings in your limited circle of acquaintances! You are becoming an ignoramus and you don’t like it! What to do.....you wonder.......simple.....you lay aside any qualms and decide to ping the WhatsApp group/contact that least offends you!

Thankfully, a commitment for life doesn’t let go of you so easily! People and society rallies around you to get together the estranged partners. Your reach out (cry for help), doesn’t go un-noticed. You are reinstated in the groups you quit, people start taking active interest in your day to day happenings, your profile pic and forwards are responded to with a lot of enthusiasm and emoticonism! Society demands commitment and encourages quitters to re-commitment through re-enlistment!

Suddenly it dawns on you; you have been given a second chance with your relationship, to rekindle the romance and charisma that lured you in the beginning! You are back in the groove, thirsting for newer jokes and interesting facts. What is the point of your new hairdo and outfit, if it’s not seen and liked via your DP. All your small triumphs and manifold defeats seem respectively, bigger or smaller when you share them!

You also know that newer versions will tempt you over the years, but you will take that in your stride. These social networking platforms WhatsApp, hike, we chat, twitter etc. are just Avatars of the original progenitor Facebook!
Woo one...love all! Yes, you realize, this is truly your partner for life.....there for you through laughter and tears.....to cheer, inspire, educate, warn, and feel loved and wanted for life!!

Copyright © 2015 KALA RAVI

Wednesday, 25 March 2015


Courtesy: Internet
In tight, smart homes, cooped up in tall towers, sighing for a view of the clear sky and a breath of fresh air. The saga of every city-dweller, has now become even more pitiable…thanks to the day by day, ever-increasing population of our once friendly neighborhood - feathered friends - the pigeons! Concretization has ousted them from their roosts and they have taken roots in our roosts!

Gone are those days, when I would step out to the balcony of my flat to enjoy a leisurely cuppa, enjoy my solitude with an unhindered view of a patch of blue and green!

With the slow increase in the pigeon fraternity, my first sacrifice was that of my well-tended babies, my balcony-beauties, my potted plants. They were helpless victims to the torture of pigeon pecking and droppings. One can’t believe the endless scuffles which they get into and apparently enjoy with a cushioning of potted foliage. They mercilessly ravaged these defenseless victims till I decided to surrender. I consecrated the sorry remains of my flourishing garden to garbage disposal (sigh, sob!)

Next came my clothing line, which was another favorite perching-cum-pottying abode for the pigeons.Try hard as I may, the stains left on the clothes by their droppings were eternal. Necessity being the mother of invention, I tried to invent some "pigeon-proof cloth-drying contraptions" which basically comprised of covering the clothes with a layer of polythene sheet. But as you may have guessed, it failed miserably…the clothes didn't dry, plus the plastic was torn to shreds within a couple of days. So the clothing line moved in-house, which I now tried to drape as aesthetically as is possible with an odd assortment of clothes in multicolor and myriad shapes.

Whenever I was at home, I would leave the windows open for some cross-ventilation, but not anymore. My friends, the pigeons had decided to expand their domain and so flew in with nonchalance and regally perched themselves on the fans, curtain rods, tube lights etc. and left marked reminders…to say, we came, we saw, and we, well did it! But very often, these chaps, like Quassim (Ali Baba’s brother), forgot the way out, even when it was glaringly apparent! This led to their frantic fluttering and crashing over innumerable items in an attempt to flee the scene. You can imagine the nasty shock I got, when I encountered one of these guys clattering and clashing when I got back home one late evening…boy! It blew the daylights off me! Not to mention the cleaning that followed after the miscreant was escorted out by the watchman.

The clattering and cacophony of these birds can be quite disruptive to a contemplative mind or to one trying to relax. The decibels of decency are far stretched, in the events of their furious love-making or fight sessions….I've not ventured to find the difference between the two! I strangely almost long for the gentle chirp of the timid sparrow or even the crude rasp of a good ol’ crow. 

When I sat by an open window, the titillating smells of cooking from the floors below, inspired me to delve into my kitchen and create something appetizing. Well, now the window ledges of all the flats are covered with the paybacks of these birds and the odor is, well, to put it mildly…nose-assailing!

I've had enough of this nonsense, I decided, no more cleaning up after these feather-brains now on wards or picking out the feathers from the pasta. I went to the nearby hardware and selected from a wide range of pigeon-proof nets and got the same fixed up in all my windows and balcony. This is my life, and I finally had my grip on it. The windows and the balcony were now free from the avian attacks and my hopes of reviving my garden aloft. The clothes were happily fluttering on the clothesline, with their glory restored.

I've learned to overlook the clusters of feathers they surreptitiously smuggle in through the mesh. I've stopped closing windows behind me, though I can still hear the angry abuses hurled by the exiled ones. I plug into my i-pod when the chorus on the ledge becomes overwhelming. I've also learned to control my olfactory center, no inhaling very deeply when you’re near the windows.

In short, I've conquered my feathery foes! See no pigeons, hear no pigeons, smell no pigeons! I'm blissfully sipping my cuppa in my balcony (nearly fully restored), enjoying my new-found freedom from my aerial tormentors, gazing at the sky through the net and grill, a loud noise from the street below…a cycle tire punctured!

Courtesy: Internet

The noise sets off a large flock of pigeons flying across the sky, circling around and then settling back to their perches in peace. I wonder, there they are...flying free in the open sky, while here I am cooped up in my house wired in with grills and nets to keep my valuables and sanity intact!!


Courtesy: Internet
                      Check this out:  
Article in Mumbai Mirror     

 Available online https://pothi.com/pothi/book/various-writers-ezine-june-2016-issue

Copyright © 2015 KALA RAVI