Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Alcohol - the ultimate solvent

Mrs. Geeta Ramachandran, my chemistry teacher, taught me that alcohol is one of the best existing solvents. For people like me who did not pay much attention in school, it is a liquid substance capable of dissolving other substances. Due to its acidic or basic (could be either like water) properties, it reacts with almost everything resulting in the dissolution of the item in contact. The element that comes in contact is most tangible, with the exception of gases. This, I thought, was the ultimate truth until I discovered the wonderful properties of ethanol - the most commonly used form of alcohol and not surprisingly, an industrial solvent.

Well, here is one thing they don’t teach in chemistry classes. Reactions you don’t find amidst racks of chemicals and test tubes in well-equipped laboratories. Apart from all things tangible and intangible, there is one more thing that dissolves in alcohol and disappears without a trace. It is called sorrow. And this is one dissolution that produces a pleasant reaction. Not because of the production of nitrous oxide a.k.a. laughing gas. Not simply because it eradicates sorrow. But because you know there is a way around. Even if it’s an eventual killer. Even if just for a while. There is a way around.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


To dreams I wake up screaming while to nightmares I smile,
lions graze in my backyard and lambs roar in the wild.
Beginnings await my arrival while destinations I leave behind,
honey burns in my veins while poison feels surprisingly kind.

Their songs my eyes see while my ears listen to them paint,
the murderer I embrace, but mercilessly scythe down the saint.
The moon lights my noon while the sun warms my night,
darkness opens my vision but I am blinded by the light.

For captivity I fight while from freedom I flee,
wounds give me pleasure but with pampering I bleed.
With pens my words vanish while erasers ink them to life,
I pray to lord for war while peace I put to knife.

I slice through the maze while I get lost on the streets,
am I just confused or am I just confused?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Advertising. WTF?

Unlike in the metros, advertising still works in mysterious ways for my folks and the likes back in Kerala. My dad hates it when I introduce myself as a copywriter to his friends. He prefers ‘advertising executive’. Like that sounds any better. But can’t blame him completely, can I? I remember telling one of my friends, a science graduate, about me being a copywriter. “That must involve a lot of reading. Considering the amount of law books you have to mug up.” said he, almost breaking into tears. A small ‘copyrighting’ versus ‘copywriting’ crisis.

The hilarious case of Smiju T K, a fellow art director, is even funnier. He was at an aunt’s place, an old lady, to bid farewell before boarding the bus to Bangalore. As the answer to a query about the nature of his job, poor Smiju avoided the term art director conveniently. He was well aware of the layers of explanation and an in-depth seminar on advertising he would have had to conduct to explain the term. Instead, he translated advertising into its Malayalam counterpart. The lady held his hand. Her eye wrestled back a tear drop. “Be careful while painting those hoardings. Those ladders can be real tricky you know.” To everyone else who wanted to know his profession since then, he was a carpenter. By the virtue of lesser risk involved I suppose.


Beep, beep! My friend sitting across the table at the bar picks up his phone. It’s an SMS. His eyes bulge and are on the verge of falling down from their sockets as his eyes take in line after line. Without a word, he passes the phone to me. It read, “Brother’s engagement over. Wedding on the 16th. Luv sis.” Before you WTF(use as a verb) the aforesaid, you have to realize that the brother mentioned in the text message, is his brother. Not a co-brother, but his own in every sense of the word. Born of the same mother, and arguably the same father. The sender of the message, 'sis', is his own sister. Under the same conditions as the brother. Have marriages become a thing of trivial importance? Or is it the relationships? I do not know.