Sunday, July 29, 2007

Of awe and laughter!

Rummaging through a file of pictures that I had taken on a serendipitous trip through the northern Himalayas and then standing that reminiscing alongside an article I came across the National Geographic on how mountains come to be, the latter put in place the dynamics/mechanics of the former, of that which had caught the attention of my camera. The aesthetics, my short-hand for what I think got me glued to the mountains, was a delightful experience worth lodging into timeless memory. The mechanics, my short hand for the causal scrutiny of the aesthetics, explain the how-s, when-s and why-s but for some reason sobered off the sense of amazement that had initially enraptured me. Some ‘things-as-they-are’ flavored by their contexts in time and space are best appreciated as and how they hit one’s immediate perceptions. As an afterthought, I recall a friend who thought that the words of that much-sung hymn, “O Lord My God” were intentional. Hum it along as you are reminded,
O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made
I see the stars

Did you catch that! This friend thought that on considering creation and just the wonder of it, he saw stars…in both their literal and metaphorical sense. O that un-problematized sense of awe and wonder at creation!

On a totally different though connected tangent, meet Le Petomane-the Flatulist, an actual performer during the Moulin Rouge’s heydays I’m told. Sitting more like a fish-out-of-water among theatre buffs watching the production of “Can-Can” I was rather tickled on observing that among the moments that got the more uproarious response was Le Petomane’s solo. As a ‘Fartist’ (which was how he was introduced), he had a cup to his bum-hole that amplified his syncopated farts to the tune being played by the orchestra. Even as I write, I smile and I wonder why? Freud’s patent suggestion was a repression of the olfactory senses by the domination of the visual as homo-sapiens started walking erect. But notice that a private fart is never funny. It becomes funny only when it’s let out in public space. Flatullent humor must be social but before I dissect the dynamics any further, I want to preserve my instinct to laugh when one is let off.
Ps: I must acknowledge a certain blogger's constant nudging encouragement in getting this out.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Verbalised Orality!

Here's a thought. Mahatma Gandhi, as you know, walked barefoot most of the time, which produced and impressive set of calluses on his feet. He also ate very little which made him rather frail and with his odd diet, he suffered from bad breath. This made him..."super callused fragile mystic hexed by halitosis"

In case you havent watched Mary Poppins, here's a forwarded piece i received on the trivial pursuits in the politics of language.

European English
The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.
As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improve ment and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English". In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy. The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.
In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where! more komplikated changes are possible. Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling. Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.
By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".
During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensi bl riten styl. Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru. Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Lost in Translation.

One cannot but be helpless though passive indulgers of the barrage of messages that scream at us when on the road between Aizawl and Lengpui. It's like the BRO/Pushpak marks its exploits by raising a hindleg at every turn. Dogs! Are we to be constantly reminded of the imposed indebtedness on our part? For the record, roads have helped us move on and definitely an occasional warning or two rather than at every third turn maybe helpful.

Crossing the Tlawng bridge, I noticed the first signboard said 'Isua ni se' (dont know if it's still there) and wondered what purpose it was envisioned to serve and does serve. Does it tell the visitor landing in from Calcutta what to expect or does it remind the returning Mizo of what may have been 'left behind' in the recent transitions made through the airport? Come to think of it, does the fact that the sign is in Mizo say anything of who the message is intended for and more importantly, how does one unpack that message in light of the situation we return to from the brief flight?

This particular 'stele' in the pic hit my humerus and i couldnt resist the opportunity to strike my humble and gratuitous pose with it. I wonder if it is still there but frankly, it seemed more like a hideous expendable.

Ps: personally, BRO needs a more efficient translator.