Snickers – Don’t we all love it?

I have been quite obsessed with this Snickers commercial lately. And I don’t just mean I’ve been watching it over and over again. I’ve been sending this link to just about anyone I know, posting it up on social media and talking about it to anyone who’d listen.

It’s Mr Bean! I mean, who can resist him? I’d totally get Snickers now!

Introvert/extrovert

A software engineer, an advertising student, a kindergarten teacher, a communications executive, a researcher in physics and I. We came from all nationalities and our ages ranged from the early twenties to the early fifties. What an incongruous sight.

I joined this small group of strangers I found online in an arts meet-up group for dinner a few days back. Now most people would not find that strange in the least. Unless you’re socially anxious and introverted most of the time.

That’s me. Put me in a room full of strangers and my knees tremble. I feel an inexplicable urge to run. My mind blanks out and I cannot even remember how to introduce myself beyond the “Hi, I’m Meera” stage. My eyes bulge and my mouth gapes until I look like I’m mimicking a goldfish.

In any case, one of my New Year resolutions for 2013 was to get over that. As all resolutions go, I never did it. Sure, I met new people through friends. It wasn’t that bad, since I could rely on my friends to act as a buffer of sorts. I reconnected with old friends that I hadn’t met in years, but they didn’t count since they weren’t completely strangers.

But then came the turning point. In 2014, I found a group of art enthusiasts online and in a moment of daring, RSPVed to a dinner they were organising. The regret came instantly, but along with it came a small thrill of knowing that I was on my way to fulfill that 2013 resolution.

The day came, and ten minutes before I was supposed to meet them, I was loitering suspiciously outside the restaurant we were having dinner at. My heart was pounding and I was considering ditching the plan altogether (really, what was I thinking?!). I took a deep breath, tweeted, and was off, stumbling into the wrong floor and was being greeted enthusiastically by a group of people holding a farewell party for an unknown person. After five lines of conversation, we realised I wasn’t there for the farewell and I left, mortified. In desperation, I asked the restaurant staff for the table that was booked by the organiser of my gathering and was directed to it (don’t ask why it didn’t occur to me to do this first). I cannot describe the relief I felt at finally meeting her and hitting the point of no return.

Having sat through the dinner, I think I can safely say that I will soon be able to cross that resolution off my list. It isn’t hard to get over something once you put your mind to it. Especially when you tell yourself that having done it once, successfully, you can always do it again.

A revamp and a new lease of life?

This blog has been dead for quite long, which is probably why no one would have noticed that it has undergone a major overhaul. An overhaul that took me two days of flip-flopping between designs and a few hours of the ‘what-to-add-in-what-to-delete’ dilemma.

The blog’s now up and running and the blogger’s ready to go. I aim to post at least once a month – ambitious considering that I’ve so far managed 9 posts in 2 years.

Will I succeed in keeping up with this? As long as there are gems like this Sennheiser commercial around, I think I’ve got things to blog about. (Good god! What were they thinking?!)

Bathroom Mirror

The water flowing from the tap seemed a little strange. Shimmery, although it was dark in the bathroom. I didn’t turn on the lights. There was this inner radiance you get when there’s a light inside a room made of translucent glass. Only this was water.

I put my hand under the stream and it was warm. But it was a cold night. I needed to know more, but I couldn’t do that by just looking. I had to do something. So I drank the water.

It felt like I just ingested peppermint-infused oil. Really disgusting – I closed my eyes and tried to keep that vomit inside. (Yeah, that sounds more disgusting than ever, but it was either that, or cleaning up the mess I made.) Anyway, when I opened my eyes, I was no longer standing by the sink. I was standing behind the sink.

Which is technically impossible, because the sink was welded to a wall. I must have been in the wall. Then I realised that I existed only from waist up. I had no legs – I couldn’t feel them, and I couldn’t see them. In fact, I couldn’t see anything at all, apart from the bathroom in front of me. There was blackness where my legs should have been, blackness behind me, around me. Everywhere.

I reached out and touched the air in front of me. To my surprise, I felt a cool resistance, like glass. I couldn’t see it though. I remembered there was a mirror on the wall above the sink. I must be in the mirror, then.

That made sense. After all, my surroundings would have been a reflection of the bathroom, so they wouldn’t really exist as tangible objects. And whatever existed below my waist were never reflected by the mirror anyway. I never saw my legs through the mirror, so they never existed in the world of the mirror. Actually nothing existed in the world of the mirror.

That was when I understood my own existence. I didn’t need a philosopher to explain it to me.

The Tale of Two Lovers – An Erotic Novel with a Twist

I found myself with some free time yesterday, and used it to read this one novel I’d been wanting to read for some time – The Tale of Two Lovers by Aeneas Sylvius Piccolomini (full story available here). As the title of this post says, it’s an erotic novel. Not a genre I read, I dislike erotic novels. But this one I was interested in because the author (believe it or not) later goes on to become Pope Pius II. An erotic novel by a would-be pope. Hmm.

I can’t say there was anything particularly interesting about that novel, apart from the author. A lot less sex than what you’d get from books from the 21st century, which would disappoint hardcore fans of erotic novels. But even that I personally found was too much. I’m not prude, but I feel that when sex becomes the focus of any story (be it a novel, a film or a play) just to spice it up, it cheapens the story and obscures any merit that the plot might have. Sadly the 21st century is teeming with such books – take authors like Sandra Brown and Julie Garwood. (I’m only familiar with them because they were the favourites of curious young teenagers during my days. I’ll bet they’re reading E. L. James nowadays.)

I’ve got nothing against the plot of The Tale of Two Lovers. It’s a story of passionate love, which can be classy (take Heathcliff and Catherine in Wuthering Heights). Only this story wasn’t because Lucretia and Euryalus were one-dimensional sex-obsessed characters. But then again, I’m no expert on erotic novels, so maybe that’s the point of it all?

The novel was still worth a read though. Primarily because it gave me a huge ‘aha’ moment: POPES DO HAVE LIVES BEFORE THEY BECOME POPES!

But it did nothing to change my perception of erotic novels. If anything, it kind of reinforced my dislike for them.

It’s raining…

…cats and dogs.

Does anyone else feel strange saying that? I’ve never seen any kind of animal fall from the sky, although the source of all knowledge (i.e. Wikipedia) says there have been showers of fish, frogs and worms in the 21st century. No cats and dogs though, so I guess the idiom would be just as valid if I said it’s raining cows and pigs.

But that’s still ancient history. Raining animals, pffft. Future generations of Homo sapiens are definitely going to laugh at us. It’s about time we updated our idioms. How about raining iPhones?

I WAS HERE

Convocation is over. At last. I’ve officially left a crazy world behind. A world where a degree is nothing special, because everyone gets a degree. A world where people worry about distinguishing themselves with honours, and further obsess over the class of honours they receive.

Yeah, I’ve spent four years of my life in that world. I’ve left behind the real world, where people hold dead-end jobs and struggle to feed themselves, where a degree is actually an accomplishment. Now I’ve got to get in touch with that world again. I’ve got to look for a future where I can actually make a change in the real world, instead of living under the delusion of elitism. My greatest dream is to leave everything behind and just explore that world. I want to live doing something I love, instead of getting a job because everyone expects me to.

Unless I turn out to be one of the lucky few who can live on passion than money, that dream will remain just a dream.

I’m no cynic, just a realist.

I WAS HERE

I WAS HERE
Early in the morning,
The still silence merged
with a hint of trepidation.

I WAS HERE
In an auditorium,
Ice-cold and impregnated
by the anticipation of hundreds.

I WAS HERE
Under glaring lights,
A thousand eyes watched
my progress across the stage.

I WAS HERE
Amidst the din of accomplishment,
My fingers clasped
around my future.

I WAS HERE
In the late morning,
My eyes lost
among blue-robed people like me.

I WAS HERE
Home again,
Looking back at what once was
And wondering what will be.