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Quid Pro Quo With The Gods

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, May 20, 2017.

  1. Novalis

    Novalis Finest Post Winner

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    I will dig into this Cutting for Stone. My NY subscription has lapsed, not that I was an e-timely reader though I repeatedly aspired to flip through the magazine at daybreak of its release. I would accrue steep consigning a hassle-free weekend for bulk read that never materialized. I gave up!

    I fancy medical humor, the likes of Doctor series of books by Richard Gordon. The humor is vintage, yet enjoyable.

    Current generation, in broad category, the touted humor elicits only dull laughs like Mindy Kaling's "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me" (2011). The book is laureled in all the bestseller stands. It even has some cool metaphors and cliquish allusions, unlike literary allusions, really chic allusions. I read the book to guage how the spirit of comedy not wit is demonstrated in books.

    Every time I read contemporary humor, I retreat into the former-day humor because that vintage style appeals to me more than the stand-up telegenic laughs. But these days every prospering TV comic star has a book deal followed by a Netflix show, which is great but interfering with time-honored humor.
     
  2. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

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    Mindy Kaling does not seem to connect with my brain. This telegenic laugh thing is too quick, and as transient... it does not linger in the mind to replay on one's own speed and enjoy over again. I like children of the diaspora making a name for themselves, and I know that I wouldn't understand what they do to acquire that name. Just happy for them all the same.
     
  3. Novalis

    Novalis Finest Post Winner

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    Moved to ‘Never Mind’.
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2019
  4. Novalis

    Novalis Finest Post Winner

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    My latest indulgence: broccoli and beet salad.
    (Nah! broccoli fry with tomato, and beets glazed in garlic oil and honey)

    upload_2019-9-26_12-8-51.png
     
  5. Novalis

    Novalis Finest Post Winner

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    Cheeniya, have you ever traveled in share auto in Chennai? You must have noticed them plying the thoroughfares in loud festoonry signifying the independence day or the ganesh chathurthi celebrations. I enjoy these share autos in India. Uber is personalized service but nothing like the share auto vivacity on the Indian roads. If you are standing anxious at a bus stop, a large-seater auto might dangerously swerve near you inquiring your destination or a trundling and honking "Burma Bazaar" "Burma Bazaar" to alert your sun-burnt ears. Just dive into the auto, no inquiry on fare as you will be charged a nominal 5-10 rupees for the trip.

    If you are unlucky you might endure a low occupancy seater dampening your outgoing trip to a joyless commute, but if you are lucky then you would be packed like sardines for a festive experience in that exuberantly smelly auto.

    The friendly co-passengers will briefly smile at you. You too should return that toothy smile. The apathetic and hurrying passengers after the jostling around will irritably swear and grumble about the traffic jam blaming some inept politician hardly making any eye contact and flashing their teeth to anyone in the auto. You and I, being those indulgent passengers who are never in any particular hurry to be at any certain place in our travels, are ideal passengers for such transportation and its unforeseen delays and inconceivable lapses.

    Despite the jittery put up with the profanity of the auto-driver at a miscreant who drove smashingly close, that you jerked upwards to hell, winked at satan, and crashed back to ground, these huddled-up autos offer warmth and hobnob. After the sundown, the passengers are mostly vendors and daily wagers affable to talk to returning home with their wares. I am chatty to people who are chatty with me. I am inquired, studying? I nod. I never explain my situation too much: what is this scruffy girl doing in a share auto deftly curled around the basket going nowhere in particular but aimlessly studying the auto. I pretend to never have set my foot outside the city. We talk. I let the basket slide forth as my rugged outfit volunteers to be smeared because it is not like I have plans to step out into a red carpet from the auto. Then we talk some more.

    The jiffy passenger alights, another occupies that warmed seat.

    Before long, I get down, handing ten rupees to the driver. Crossing the road awkwardly tugging at an experienced sleeve or salwar who can discern the momentary gaps in that interminable rush hour traffic, I latch on to that clothing on arm reaching the other side honkful of autos to commence by return journey. In my return trip, though the auto is flavorfully congested with more intoxicating smells, mistaken for some urchin wanting to speed home, the passengers with no coercion from the driver create sparse room for the gadabout in me. My mother thinks I have lost my mind when I recount my experience to her. I think people must eagerly lose their minds to cherish the flights or, in this instance, autos, of fancy in life.

    upload_2019-9-26_14-2-51.png
     
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  6. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

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    I think I may have posted a youtube video of the song-scene from West Side Story in some thread on this forum. That play is a popular one for high school drama clubs to stage for school-day events. All brown-skin'd boys and girls are sought after. Only a terrible singing voice can save one from getting on stage and making a fool of oneself. School teachers and friends can never understand why an indian child of the upper middle class in America can never feel the way a Puertoriqueña does.

    Child being taken by indians to live in the plains of America.

    upload_2019-9-29_8-19-46.png
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2019
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  7. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Despite this question was addressed to Cheeniya, I thought it is interesting to indulge in this conversation. It remains a pipe dream for me to travel by shared auto and subway electric train to just experience the fun of it. I had traveled a lot in the cycle rickshaw when I was a kid in Chennai.

    [​IMG]

    Earlier, there never used to be underground railroad crossings and therefore the life was easier for these cycle rickshaw drivers. After the underground railroad crossings were built, they used to get down and begin running to take the passenger up with the rickshaw.

    Prior to that the hand rickshaws were in use in Chennai where a man used to pull another man or woman.

    [​IMG]

    The famous actor MGR before he became the Chief Minister of Tamilnadu saw the plight of the man pulling other men and women and decided to eliminate this forever and hence distributed cycle rickshaw to all of them from his personal wealth.

    If you carefully observe, the hold the man has make the gravity of the rickshaw managed and at a particular running speed, he used to not feel too much pressure in hand when the passenger is comfortably seated. They generally are bear footed and I used to wonder how they managed the grueling heat of Chennai. what you see behind the passenger seat is a foldable top that he can pull up or put down as needed for rain or shine.

    I have traveled (6 years old at that time) from T. Nagar to West Mambalam in that hand rickshaw and waited for electric trains to pass before crossing the railroad. My mom used to negotiate the asking ride cost from 4 annas to 3 annas to save some cost. We used to go to listen to the discourse of Sri Chandrasekarandra Saraswathi (aka "Paramacharya"). His discourses used to tell us how every living being who is in dire need of food and shelter needs to be helped. What a hypocritical life I led when I was young!

    Fortunately, I am married to a person who is extremely compassionate to those who come into our home to do some handyman's job. We share food, water, coconut water, coffee, tea or whatever they like and they feel extremely happy. I learned so much from my life partner in the last 36 years and still learning.
     
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  8. Amulet

    Amulet Platinum IL'ite

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    This is a mindset in countries where there is a large income and wealth gap. In countries where there is no served-server differential in the dignity of the transaction, there is no need for such feelings.

    Hand pulled rickshaws are still in use in oriental cities (Taipei, Seoul, Tokyo, Shanghai), in tourist locations. The pullers wear Tabi shoes (road gripping toe-separated), and they are mostly stout young guys. And they are cute !

    Cherry blossom viewing in spring season seated in a Rickshaw pulled under all those trees is an enjoyable experience sold by some fancy hotels in Tokyo. A 20 minute ride would cost about US$70. Nara is a city of old Buddhist temples, and lots of wandering deer in the local city parks. A rickshaw ride for about half an hour would cost about US$100. College students who can speak a little English will have to undergo a very serious driving test to get a license to pull one of those Rickshaws. Click link above to watch a 1 min video. Tokyo, Kyoto-Nara, Hakone is the traditional tourist package that foreign tourists take. Rickshaw rides are expensive nostalgia trips, and not the much cheaper taxi rides from point A to point B.

    More rickshaw rides:
     
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2019
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  9. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @Novalis
    Groucho Marx 1435
    Grouches always make people laugh but Marx is the greatest Grouch of them all. Whenever I fee low, I look into some of his quotes and laugh grouchily. Why this man alone is blessed with so much of talents?
    “Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.”
    Can you beat it? And then,
    “From the moment I picked up your book until I put it down, I was convulsed with laughter. Some day I intend reading it.” If that doesn't make one laugh, he may be suffering from lock-jaw.
    When I tell you that grouches are the best comedians, doesn't it remind you of Walter Matthau?
    And that Giovannino Guareschi! I tell you humor is very safe in the hands of grouches!
     
  10. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    @Novalis
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    My dad would always tell me that I had a bird-brain. He would say that a bird had a brain that could hold just half a page of information. Of course, he belonged to the pre-internet days and had no access to Wikipedia. He would be looking at me with pride from above telling his neighbour 'That's my son! See how much he knows.' He would proudly point out how much I knew about the Greek scholars in general and Diogenes of Sinope in particular. How would he know that I am a big zero without Wikipedia?
     

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