That sentiment is a lot stronger for me in today’s times of a pandemic that spreads by touching any of the open holes on a human’s face. I’m tensed anytime I’m to touch my own face these days, especially if I don’t have a hand wash or sanitizer around. I hate this crazy, fucking virus.
You can stop eating particular meat or can boil & reboil the water before drinking it. You can kill all the mosquitos around or have yourself bathed in repellant. But how the fuck do you not touch your own face? That’s like asking your kid to not put herself in harm’s way – she invariably will.
Anyway, with the bottled up frustration out of the way, my dislike for shopping for deodorant isn’t new. So much so that it’s no longer just a harmless dislike, it’s a feeling of extreme hate. How the hell do you decide if a deodorant is good or not? I don’t know how it’s done at other places, but here in India, trying out a fragrance from a tester pack is pretty common while shopping for a deodorant. Everybody does it. Everybody apparent can do it. Except me. I never learned how to keep the fragrances separate. Once I’ve tried two, everything smells the same to my picky nose – you might as well make me smell the water and still get a comment from me after that.
The way-out for me earlier was that I would only try a couple and select one from those. I can’t say it always works – I end up choosing one that smells the worst. Too strong or too mild or yuck. These are the only reactions I get from my family. I haven’t let that affect me until now – I have managed to convince myself that no one likes how the other smells. As long as I’m happy with how I smell – or there’s a complete lack of any form of smell for that matter – I was fine. So I bought whatever smelled best for me or didn’t smell at all from the two I tried.
This trial for fragrances is out of the picture in the pandemic times. There just are too many logistical problems.
What’s the other way then? You can for once judge a book by its cover or title, but there’s no way one can judge a deodorant by its canister. I mean all fucking look the same. You can’t select one because its nozzle opens up funny or the shape of the container is “different”. The content isn’t.
And what’s with naming the fragrances? Dark Temptation, Sea Drift, Thunder Bolt, Regal Burst, Voyage. When every fragrance could be named as simply as “strong”, “mild” and “mildest”, fact that marketing would spend so much time and money to come up with these names makes no sense to me. How am I supposed to select between Dark Temptation and Gold Temptation?
And the money that marketing spends on the advertisement for men’s deodorant must absolutely go down the drain. The only message they aim to deliver apparently is put this on and be a magnet for girls? Or be sensual? Or be “irresistible”? On the other hand, how can you even advertise for fragrance? The only thing you can say is it smells good.
Or simply strong, mild or mildest. I’m telling you, it is simple to solve this problem. Just use those names.
Anyway, I went shopping for deodorant today again. Looking at me struggling, toying around with all black canisters, the store owner pulled all the options away, kept one in front of me and said, “you will love this, sir, trust me”. That won’t have done it, but then he added, “you will click a picture of this and come again next time asking for this one”.
Once I returned home with that deodorant, I minutely stared at my reflection in the mirror, wondering what in the way I dressed gave that store owner the feeling that I can’t read English.
I recently went through an experience that put my rational mind under a scanner. After a tiring session of shopping for clothes, I stood in the queue to pay for the stuff that my family had finally decided to buy. I always hate the process of selecting clothes in the shopping malls – more so when my family’s doing it than me. I just can’t fathom the sheer number of parameters my wife, my daughter and my sister together can cobble up while deciding a piece of cloth to be selected (to be frank, rejected seems to be more apt). Anyway, it is a battle that I have lost many occasions over years – so moving on.
The billing process that follows isn’t painless either. I am always bombarded with so many questions.
“Do you have membership? Why not? There are no many benefits like blah.. blah.. Why won’t you become a member?” “Which card do you have? Why don’t you pay this way rather than that?” “Would you need a shopping bag? 1 Large? Or 2 medium?”
It’s an unending sequence of dreadful moments till I leave the shopping mall. But this time it ended in slightly different manner. I was offered an offer which am convinced now must have been part of some psychological study. The lady behind the billing counter explained it to me somewhat like this (emphasis her and mine).
“Sir, you made a purchase worth a specific, nontrivial amount, so you stand a chance to win an assured gift. This is not a lucky draw, you will win some gift1 for sure. All you have to do is pay a significant amount. That will make you eligible (wasn’t I already?) for this assured gift. And the cost of the cheapest assured gift is twice as higher than the price you pay (how can I verify). So, of course, I should include that, right?”
So, in short, it is pay (over and above what you have already paid for the shopping) to win assuredly? Like what you would do in a casino – but with some surety angle? Why not just have an aisle full of assured gift cards? Why link it to billing? I couldn’t help but think it had to do with the fact that my abilities to think rationally are depleted due to the exhaustion from the decisions made earlier during shopping. And my mind is at my most vulnerable state.
With the pressure from the people queued behind me growing, I nervously said yes. But within seconds, pushed by the pressure from my rational mind, I said no. I wasn’t ready to undergo the scrutiny of my thoughts.
The gifts included bedrolls, luggages, some OLED television set, bikes and even car.↩
Since I arrived in Sydney, this question has been discussed and fought and betted over so many times among we friends. I mean the moment a clearcut-non-firangi girl is spotted, the next question that pops out is “Is she Indian?”.
The reason is simple. Everyone wants to be on top of his face reading skills. ‘I see them and I identify them’ is what most would want to boast about. No specific take away expected, just a self-satisfaction. And anyone and everyone is ready to bet a coffee or a lunch or a dinner for proving his reign over the so-called skill.
Now gone are the days when it was assumed that if someone bets, he must be right. So no one agrees with other, rather he too bets along. Thus these bets always end up being unverified “my-word-to-his” bets.
But that no way reduces the fun in such bets. The theories each side has to defend his view are just innovative, patentable always. Every single aspect, the way she talks, walks, stands, puts on makeup or does hair, is used as basis. You see basics have to be strong every time.
However today was different. Another such case was spotted and a bet initiated. This time however both were determined to prove he is right. And decided they will go enquire and sort this out once and for all.
Now imagine a situation, when a couple of guys with a bearded attire, resembling a “just-woke-up-hungry-ready-to-pounce” looks, walk to a simple unknown girl and query “Are you Indian?”. Both have the “I-would-win” hope filled looks in their eyes.
What can a girl respond in such situation other than a straight “no”. I guess she would negate anything these guys say or ask including “Are you a girl?”. Well that didn’t solve the bet. In came the defence, “The way she said no straight away? She has to be Indian”.
So for me the bet remained unresolved though I commended their courage to carry this attire with such confidence in front of an unknown unidentified girl. The question still remained, “Is she Indian?”
PS: Girls from china, japan, taiwan, malaysia etc are out of discussion here. I don’t want to sound any way racist, but I will just say we all name them under one category and move along. They would be having there own internal discussion about their origins the moment they spot one.
PPS: Such discussions happen even in India when the skill move to a state level, i,e read a face and guess the state.
The beasts called elevators end up pissing me off every single time. I had rambled about these dumb asses earlier here. Go grab a bite.
If you have read that post, you will know that the ramblings mentioned earlier were particularly about those ill-chipped lifts of that underdeveloped guest house. But now I am convinced these shameless creatures are programmed to torture their inmates.
I mean think about it. What are the decisions these lifeless steel rooms have to make.. (Inspiration)
- Where do the people want to go?
- Where they are and where each floor is?
- What strategy they need to make so that they are cursed the least?
First decision is pretty simple. We make that decision for you, you bugger. You see those glowing numbers on the number pads we keep on pressing one after other? Yeah that is where we want to go. As quick as possible.
Second decision has a whole lot of mechanics behind it. I mean there are some shafts and then there are some holes on some vertical tapes and then there is some counting involved. I would surely like to go in details, but I don’t want to. So I won’t. Visit that inspiration link you see above.
However the part that puzzles me the most is the strategy because that’s when these supposed-to-be angels stop being ones and enter the devil’s land. Now these buggers have to strategise where to go, when to go and how to go. And I absolutely feel that they are not wired to do so. I mean how else can you explain the simplest of the things these dudes screw up.
How many times have you waited for an elevator to scroll right from 50 meters below basement up to the 14th floor when his other buddy is resting right at the 15th floor? Do they have some gentlemen’s agreement where one simply says “Can’t you see sucker I have just finished carrying 6 fat asses up and down thrice between just 2 floors. I am tired now and you can for sure handle these dumbos”.
How many times have you jailed yourself in a jam packed elevator as it drools itself down the shaft stopping and opening at each floor. If you are outside, those seemingly endless few seconds you spend when you apply all your permutation skills to see if you can possibly fit in any of the available gaps inside before giving up are just killing.
There are many other plights of these long travels between floors. But you see the point is the where, when and how part has to be strategised properly.
I will pen down the requirements for you. An elevator, for minimum, has to
- follow quickest path to you and quickest path to where you desire to go.
- open only if it can intake any of the fat asses, close and start the journey as soon as everyone hops on.
- understand when some mischievous fatty calls it, but does not want to hop on.
- not kill my mobile signal.
- close the doors faster so people get less chance to stop the elevator and say the meaningless “S” word again.
These are just a few suggestions that can make this floor travel not a sucking experience after all.
PS: On an unrelated note, why the hell does every single elevator has to have mirrors? Who wrote this unwritten law first? It just gives me one more chance for not letting the elevator know where I want to go and follow a journey to a floor undesired with this lifeless but life sucking beast.
You know that time when you just back out of a thing which might have saved you some bucks? It happens to me a lot, but this particular week gave me a double blow.
First incident was when i did not back out when i should, though debatable, have. I trolled along the darling harbor idling my time out just because i did not have any other place to go. Out of no dire need, i felt this itch to go to the public telephone booth and, well, do nothing.
I picked up the handset and there began my efforts to place a call. I don’t know why but this bud was heavily reluctant to let me do so. I gave up, placed the dial back and put my hand to get the coin back. In the open mouthed telephone lied another $2 coin with my $1 coin.
Fuzzy that my mind always is, there began a mahabharat between my ethical and non-ethical brain cells. Should i or should not pick this $2 up which does not belong to me? I don’t remember for how long i stayed near the booth but last thing i remember i had extra $2 in my pocket. Debatable if i should have picked the coin, but i did.
Fast forwarding 2 hours later. My idling location shifted to a mall where after about an hour i decided i have crossed my idling quota for the week.
I came out with my iPod plugged in and whistled along the road towards train station and somehow felt everything was pretty bright around me. I knew i had a train in another 15 mins which i should not miss as there was no other train for another 90minutes. My eyes burnt and my subconscious mind was aching for something. And there it dawn on me why everything was indeed bright.
Next thing i remember i was running towards the mall to find my goggles worth way more than $2 i had picked up earlier. Whole time during my run to the mall i was thinking was that $2 really worth all this pain of losing costly goggles and missing train.
Final blow, however, was about to come. I reached the mall, found a sensible looking pretty lady and asked if they have found any goggles. She looked more optimistic than what I was. She ambled inside putting me on hold. After some time, she came out and said something which ignited my fuzzy brain cells again.
She said they have found one goggles, but they were ladies and if I think mine were, well, ladies goggles, she will get them from the security. Now I did not want to make complete fool of myself in front to pretty looking and sounding girl by saying I wear ladies goggles. But i did not want to not make any try too.
I thought for sometime what to do and then putting my manly pride ahead, I remember I mumbled something and came out. Whole time afterwards, i was soothing myself by thinking this.