Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Best way to beat boredom

I felt bored, again.
I switched on the computer, typed some words on Google search and a deadly headline flashed across: “Study proves boredom can lead to death.”
As reported in the Wall Street Journal, “Researchers have discovered that boredom can be fatal. Boredom has serious consequences for health and productivity,” the report mentioned.
Scared, I shut the computer.
The only way to beat boredom is to be active, I told myself.  
First, I needed coffee.
I lit up the gas stove and mounted a milk pot. My mobile buzzed.
“Would you like to upgrade your bank facilities?” a sweet voice posed an unexciting question.
She would not leave. After three minutes, I banged the phone, but the milk had spilled.
What more pleasure than taking a shower and humming all the way, I told myself.
Hardly had I applied soap all over, the doorbell rang.
It was the laundry boy.
The room had become all wet and I escaped slipping on the floor.
When I was wondering what next to beat boredom, the phone buzzed again.
This time it was my wife.
Then began our heated argument.
Several minutes later, I realised I had killed boredom, thanks to my wife.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Teachers’ day out

When a friend declared on social media that she was bored, the usual humdrum ideas flowed from others: Watch a movie, exercise, sleep, listen to music, colour your nails, count money, dance…
The ideas added to her boredom.
She put on her sports shoes, went for a walk, accidentally met her old friends and had a gala time visiting a coffee shop with them.
Beating boredom means different things to different people.
When a retired Indian politician was asked how he passed time, he shot back: “Why should I pass time? It will pass by itself.”
Teachers of a Dubai school complained that they were bored of routine and were taken on a fun trip to the desert by the management.
For a change, the teachers turned children and had fun.
The organisers lined up prizes.
“Anyone on high heels can collect a prize.”
No one expected anyone to visit a desert picnic on high heels. Surprisingly, an elderly teacher grabbed the prize.
The organisers posed another tough challenge.
“Anyone who has the photograph of her mother-in-law in her wallet can pick up a prize.”
There was pin-drop silence.
Lo and behold. A teacher stepped forward, presented her MIL’s photo and grabbed the prize.
Visibly, there were many envious faces around.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Pun fun

After an argument, my friend told me, “You are all bark and no bite.”
I instantly pulled his hand, bit him and said, “I do not just bark. I bite too.”
“You fool, don’t you understand idioms? I meant you are aggressive but do not have the guts to fight,” he shouted.
“Oh, really?” I clenched my fist.
He took to his heels yelling, “You will hit me and escape punishment under insanity clause.”
Using idioms with someone who does not know much English can indeed make one look like an idiot.
I often remember how a government servant who refused to help my dad reacted angrily when my dad murmured, “Beggars can't be choosers.”
“Do not dare call me a beggar,” he had reacted.
Journalists also find it hard to convince some readers when using “pun” in headlines that make a joke exploiting different meanings of a word.
My sub-editor colleague gave a good headline, “Maid for each other,” for a report on housemaids and their bosses. Next morning, there was a phone call from a reader, “There is a spelling error.”
Heard this media joke: When a dwarf escapes from prison, what headline will suit?
“Short man at large.”