Sunday, August 22, 2010

Fashionably yours

Not me, that’s for sure. Not that I'm a fashion disaster or a walking catastrophe, I just don’t go crazy with clothes, is all. Nothing wrong with being fashionable, in fact I would encourage it. If you can afford it and are comfortable in it, I don’t care if you wear a beehive, or papier-mâché, or antlers à la Lady Gaga. But the point, ladies and gentlemen, is you should afford it.

Yesterday I went hunting for a pair of shoes for my niece. Found the thing, and since it was still a bit early decided to look for something for myself. Visited a couple of shops, even picked a few items, but being a Saturday there were zillions of people and at the trial room there were at least ten people in front of me. And you know how it is with the fairer sex and trial rooms. A female walks in with an armful of clothes, and everything she tries on has to be inspected and approved by her friend/sister/mother who is waiting outside. And poor you who is waiting for her to finish is so tired of it all that you want to shout “Nothing looks good on you and why in heaven’s name would anyone ever manufacture that atrocious thing in the first place?” and you dump all the stuff you have chosen in the basket they put outside trial rooms, much to the delight of the person behind you who is happy to move forward to try on her hideous selection.

So I ended up buying one scarf for myself because I could try it on right there at the display without anyone raising any disapproving eyebrow. And went to Crossword and there was a sale going on, so bought the latest Dan Brown and two other books and an illustrated Sherlock Holmes for my brother’s kids.

The strange thing with me is, everyday when I look as my dismal wardrobe I would say “I have nothing to wear, must go shopping and buy something nice.” I would then go to the store, look at all the beautiful things that fall within my price range, try them on and my thoughts would run like “Do I need this? I still have that black & white top I have worn only a few times” and again would leave the store empty handed. I see people wearing beautiful things and when I go to the store to buy the same thing somehow it never works out right for me. Maybe the good Lord didn’t intend for me to be the next Jackie O.

Every year when I go home to Aizawl and see the beautifully dressed citizens my dormant fashion sense would wake up and what follows is a mad shopping spree - from the expensive stuff at Millenium Centre to the second hand stuff at Electric Bus Stand. If it is winter I have to buy some warm clothes and wear them once or twice, and that would be the end of it. It would see daylight again only after a year, and by then it would be outdated. This summer I went home and everyone was wearing skirts so I too bought two of them, and I am yet to wear them even as I write this. I want to wear them, I do, I want to look and feel feminine and dainty, but I guess that’s just not me.

The other day as a part of the Independence Day celebrations at work the women were all required to dress up in saris and the men in dhotis, and I dutifully participated, with a lot of help from my friends. Everyone oohed and aahed and it felt nice wearing something different. But it wasn’t long before a friend said “Walk a bit more graceful, why are you stomping as if you are wearing jeans?” Well I guess some of us are just not meant to be fashionistas.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Tutorial - How to wear a scarf on your head

If, like me, you live in the plains, then you would have seen young girls travelling in bikes, in autos, or walking, with their heads completely covered up with scarves. I always wondered how they did it, because I've tried it and always had to readjust the scarf every two seconds because it keeps slipping off my head. A couple of weeks ago a girl friend showed me how to tie it properly and it was very easy, and very simple. Allow me to demonstrate:

Step 1: Take a longish scarf, and place it on your head.

Step 2: Pull it tight over the forehead, and tuck it in behind the ears.

Step 3: Take one end of the scarf, and fold it back so that it covers your face from below the eyes.

Step 4: Tie both ends together at the back of your head.

Now this is how you will look.

Step 5: The other end of the scarf can be used to cover your shoulders, or can be wrapped around the neck.

And voila!! Now you can travel in bikes and autos without having your hair blown in ten different directions. But most importantly it protects you from the sun. You can thank me after you've tried it. Oh, and the anonymity it gives you is surprisingly exhilarating (if that's the word I want).

Monday, August 9, 2010


OMG it’s past four in the morning! I watched eleven episodes of Glee and although I am in no way done (eleven more to go) I gotta sleep now because tomorrow I have to set out and earn my livelihood.

At first I dismissed it as some teenybop thing, a lengthier version of High School Musical (which I haven’t yet seen but Zac Efron is cute). Today I was watching some videos in Youtube and somehow came across the Glee songs, gave them a trial listen, liked it and so I ended up watching eleven straight episodes, taking only a dinner break.

Plotwise, nothing new. American high school kids, football (the American version), cheerleading, teen pregnancy, a school singing group hoping to win some competitions. But what makes it different is the singing. And the songs are familiar. Can’t Fight This Feeling – REO Speedwagon, Single Ladies – Beyonce, Keep Holding On – Avril Lavigne, I’ll Stand By You - The Pretenders, Somebody To Love – Queen, and much much more. It’s a treat for the ears.

Thus, for your listening pleasure here is the cast of Glee singing “Alone” by Heart. Enjoy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Who do you write like?

So, who do you write like, you wannabe novelist? Whose writing do you particularly admire, you closet writer? How many times have you read books and said if this can get published then surely I too can get published? You’ve lost count, haven’t you, you secret book critic?

Look what I found - a program that reads your work and compares it to the work of famous writers. Found it here:
Created by 27-year-old Russian blogger and software developer Dmitry Chestnykh, the site operates with an algorithm similar to a spam detector. The current version is based on the English texts of 50 authors including Agatha Christie, Dan Brown, and H.P. Lovecraft. You paste an extract from your blog or current fiction project into a text box and hit Submit. An instant response gives you the name of an author whose style your submission resembles.”

I know it’s a computer program and in no way could be trusted. I fed it different paragraphs from different blog posts and apparently I write like Charles Dickens, James Joyce and Margaret Mitchell. Ha! I haven’t read any Dickens, I mean a proper one, the only ones I read being illustrated and children’s versions and of course I watched the movies. I know James Joyce and his Ulysses but never even went near it, and other than Gone With The Wind how many Margaret Mitchell books do we know?

Anyway, this is purely for fun, and a little bit of ego feeding.

And, I took the liberty of checking out whose style you resemble. Yeah I actually went to your blogs and selected texts and fed it to the program and look what results it gave me (I know I know I have nothing else to do).

mesjay - Arthur Conan Doyle
illusionaire – Cory Doctorow
diary – Kurt Vonnegut
Calliopia – David Foster Wallace
blackestred – Stephen King
Mosa – George Orwell
kuku - Vladimir Nabokov
Jerusha – Dan Brown
Mimi – James Joyce
OpaHmar –Robert Louis Stevenson

In case you’re not happy with the results, here’s the link, go do it yourself.