June 26, 2006

If only we could apparate.......

Apparate: A spell used by witches and wizards to travel from one place to another instantaneously. This is the term used when the witch or wizard appears. -- Courtesy, Harry Potter glossary

Saturday morning... post brunch... sticky summer... 20min walk to the bus stop... You know how it is... You just wish you could be transported to the spot of desire in the blink of an eye. Thats when I thought of apparation. How it would be if we could apparate from one place to the other. Instantly. My roomie and I were walking to the bus stop and she being almost as Harry Potter frenzied as I, I mentioned this to her. And within seconds.....

These were some of the initial consequences I could think of...
1) Ofcourse all sorts of transportation would be decommisioned - Bus/train/road/air travel wasnt ever required once you could just wish to be someplace and find yourself in it!
2) The economy of the world would crash - Think of it.. It would be enough for any one family to have a single house in one place. Example - If you had a house in India... why would you pay rent here in the US? You could simply apparate from the university to your very own home for tea/a nap/dinner/TV and what not? This is just one of the simple consequences. Think of everything you do/buy on a daily basis and you'll realize the magnitude of things that will get affected.
3) Accidents!! - There would millions of apparation accidents that have to occur with people vanishing all over the place. If the concentration levels aren't so great, it would result in splinching! (Splinching: Injury caused by careless apparation where the wizard/witch leaves behind body parts and are not transported in whole to the destination of choice) With this, we can be rest-assured to find eyes/ears and what not in all sorts of places!
4) Ministry of Magic - It would be ludicrous to suggest that one could apparate without a governing body. Ofcourse a ministry would evolve to help set things right, if not to regulate things from going wrong!

Ok ok... I am sure most of this just flew right over some people's heads.. But those were just the practical consequences I thought of.. Imaginatively there could be a lot lot more! It then occurred to me that with the possibility of apparation, it wasn't right to want to apparate from anywhere-everywhere! So, I thought up some basic guidelines that apparation would have to comply with...
1) Age restriction - Apparation strictly allowed only at the age of 16 - we don't need kids splinching all over the place!
2) Minimum and Maximum distances - Ofcourse this is essential. Think about it... If there were no restrictions, given the lazy bums that people are, they would apparate from the bottom of the stairs to the top! There has to be a minimum of 250 miles distance (~4hr driving distance) and a maximum of say, 3000 miles (I'm guessing india will be in this range.. hehe) from place to place. For everything else, use the fully developed transportation system! Lets not crash the economy more than we should!!
3) Apparation contracts - It would be illogical to suggest that once you reach one place, Rule 2 still applies and you could simply add on the distances by multiple appearances. Thats not only unfair, but stupid as well. Like we have wireless provider contracts (T-Mobile, Verizon, blah blah), there should be apparation contractors with different schemes. Ideally, a person should sign a year's contract for a stupendous amount of money (which would include a training in apparation, and a choice of 5 destinations they would want to apparate from 1 central location they choose)
Example: For me, Central Location(current): Cincinnati, OH
Five Destinations: (1) Chennai, India (Duh!)
(2) New York, NY
(3) Paris, France
(4) Egypt
(5) Australia
Everything else, I can pay n travel!
3) Contract renewal - Every contract needs to be renewed... once again at a stupendous fee.. but you get to choose a different central location and a 5 different destinations (if you want to!)

I could go on and this really set my imagination on fire! So I request whoever reads this to come up with their central location and their 5 destinations... will make interesting revelations about yourself, if I daresay!


June 19, 2006

'Arranged Marriage' goes hi-fi!

Note: The following is written in light vein. I have nothing against the process of arranged marriage. This is just a personal view of the modern transformation of the traditional arranged marriage.

I don't think your parents like it too much if you are single and happy and importantly, a girl at 24 . I mean, they do the best they can to pretend they are really ok with the situation and that they will give you "all the time in the world that you require" to deal with it... But in reality, they aren't ok and at best, "all the time in the world" is about 2 months before the topic is broached again.

I have had my share of 'putting it away', of making thesis the biggest burden that humanity saw, of claiming 'I dont have the time for all this 'nonsense''. I held on to this for quite sometime. My parents were really better off than many others I know. But they weren't really different. I dont know about the other communities, but if you TamBrahm, you are likely to know that 'The Hindu' Matrimony and tamilmatrimony are your sworn enemies with huge listings of all the eligible people in the required caste. Having done the procedure through and through for a close relative, I am very familiar with the 'chevvai doshams', and what nakshatram wont go with what and all other stuff, which I dont know why, people believe in. I guess its just a filter, an excuse to use, a weapon importantly. Instead of blatantly saying that your daughter didnt like their son's looks, you'd rather polishedly say -"Oh, with our astrologer, the horoscopes didnt match". That beats all reason. How.. how can 2 horoscopes produce different results with different astrologers? Where then is the credibility for the process??? Given a choice, I'd avert all this for sure! I mean, PLEASE!

Then comes the unavoidable close relative circle, the people you really like, your mamas-mamis, athais-athimbers, chithis-chitappas (ok u get the picture!) They're all oh-so-great, till you're a girl at 24 and unmarried! Then all you get is - "Eppo settle aaga pore?" - *(@$)&$)@*$_)@*_
If only we knew! Then back to your parents who get after you to create a 'profile' in tammatrimony... For the life of me, I am doing no such thing... This at the moment is a state-of-denial almost. But thats where it will be..

The whole process is just that - a process.. with so much propriety involved... 2 families involved - all their hopes on your 'alliance'. The steps in the process -
1) Email
2) Phone call
3) Webcam chat
4) Meet the boy/girl
5) One day later -- 'Enaku indha payyan/ponnu ok' - (*&^%^&$&_{(*_{)(&(@&

HOW?????????? Most people I know answer that question by the usual - "When your time comes, you will know". Thats sooo not helpful at all. I swear now, that when my 'time' comes and I 'know', I will publicize it to help the helpless like me! Lol!

30 Things I wouldnt trade for...ordered randomly.. EDITED!

1) My family n friends (am sure everyone thinks the same)
2) My picture collection (its huuuuuuuuuuge!!)
3) The smell of mud after the rain (one of the best smells ever!)
4) My dreams (free entertainment every night)
5) My soft toys
6) Chocolate (to die for!)
7) My pink cellphone (nokia 3100 - old now, still girly.. love it!)
8) My mom's sari that I sleep with
9) My dream car
10) My travel exploits (ones that I've done and once I'd die to do)
11) F-R-I-E-N-D-S
12) My Canon
13) Yapping...
14) AR.Rahman's music
15) Tea (Can hardly live without it)
16) Sleeeeeep
17) Shopping
18) Gmail
19) Watches ( I swear by time.. I'll be damned if I have ever been late to ANY place)
20) Cheap poetry (basic stuff kids write when they're like 10.... The basic rhymes!)
21) A walk in the rain
23) Shoes
24) Carnatic music
25) Water with ice
26) The ringtone that tells me who's calling
27) Mangoes'n'apples
28) A long drive (by myself - no sweethearts allowed!)
29) Yahoo! Messenger
30) Gossip!!