Saturday, March 23, 2019

Flamenco Season is Here Again!

Flamenco season is here again.

No, I’m not taking up dance lessons. Nor am I planning to fly to Spain to watch blonde-haired Jesus Cortes in action at the Patio Andaluz in Barcelona.

My life is nowhere near half as exciting.

With temperatures spiking, I have been gearing up for the latest season of the Lizards are Coming. It’s not the latest horror show on Netflix. More like a live performance. The horrid reptiles will be crawling out of the woodwork, in shades of brown, speckled, black and grey. 

Still, if they stayed put on the walls, I could have tolerated them. Thought of them as installation art on my walls. Jamini Roy. Lizard. Bernard Hoyes. You get the drift. But when the damn creatures decide to go all pedestrian, “oooh let’s walk on the floor and all that” -- that’s when the problem starts. One minute, you are walking barefoot to get a drink of water from the kitchen in the middle of the night. Next minute there is a wet ssplishsquidge under your feet. Ughhh. 

The instant Gurgaon started getting warmer, I have been stealing furtive glances all over the place -- at the bathroom walls, behind the electrical appliances and under the beds. Any sign of movement and the frantic foot-tapping and hand-clapping will begin. Instead of castanets, I have armed myself with Hit Spray.

I will do anything to get the damn lizards out of the apartment.

Though while I’m at it, I might as well get myself a red frilly dress and some exotic headgear. Make some money while I do pest control doesn’t seem like a bad idea after all. Oh don’t worry, I will be careful with the Hit Spray. My eyesight is not that bad.

Tap Tap Tap
Spray Spray Spray
Stop right there
Don't you dare say OlĂ©!

Monday, March 4, 2019

Clean-Up Quandary!

I’ve been thinking a lot about death lately. I’m normally not a melancholic person. But I’ve been writing and reading some really dark stuff so there’s been a cloud hanging over me. That aside, some of this ruminating has been triggered off by a curious thing that happened the other day.

A man I knew briefly (we had exchanged a few emails relating to work and were connected on social media) seems to have died a few years ago and I had no clue. His updates and tweets (possibly auto-generated) had continued over the years. How on earth was I to know? A few days back when I was online on a business networking platform, I noticed an update from him on my newsfeed and beside his name, there was a line mentioning that he had passed on. I couldn’t believe it. I zoomed in and read the fine print again. It wasn’t a mistake. He was dead.

Since then, every time I spot a tweet or an automatic newsletter from his handle, I get a jolt. It’s odd when someone who isn’t around anymore sends you a notification. Gives you a turn, doesn’t it?

That’s when I started thinking. We leave the physical world when we breathe our last. What about the digital world? Do we ever leave it? Our profile, auto tweets and other random things we might have set up for business or pleasure go on forever (giving our friends and acquaintances) the jitters every now and then. 

I mean, imagine if I died and you got a reminder from FB to wish me on my birthday? Or got an automatic newsletter from me with the best news of the day. How would that make you feel? Even if you didn’t actually know me, had never ever laid eyes on me and were only a virtual acquaintance. Even then, it would give you quite a shock, wouldn’t it?

With everyone so protective of their privacy, passwords are not casually bandied about either. So my near and dear ones may not have a clue how to set things right. Not that I’d want them to. It would be the equivalent of going through my clothes and books and giving them away. I couldn’t have them go through the trauma of sorting through my digital rubbish.

I haven’t been able to stop thinking about the poor man and I hope wherever he is, he is at peace. I wouldn’t have been able to rest knowing I had left such a mess behind for people to clean. My house is bad enough. 

It’s time I cleaned up my digital act. As Queen had famously NOT sung,

Who wants to live forever?
physically or digitally? 
So better now than never! 
Clean up your act today.