Yes, I know, I have mentioned these before: Those abiding mysteries of life that keep me awake at night. But you know what, I wasn't quite done. So, here's the next edition of what threatens to become a recurring series (don't say you weren't warned!)
Why is it that the moment an 'expert commentator' begins praising a batsman at the crease as he nears a milestone (50, a century, 10,000 runs in Test cricket), the batsman in question gets out? I'm pretty sure you've noticed this as well. In fact, so well-documented is this phenomenon that it even has a name: 'Commentator's curse'. But nobody seems able to explain why this happens. The players on the crease certainly can't hear what's going on in the commentary box. And yet, no sooner have the encomiums started flowing than the batsman starts his trudge back to the pavilion.
Why do shower stalls in hotels only have shampoo bottles placed inside while the bath gel is kept next to the bathtub? Do hoteliers really believe that people first bathe in the tub and then tip-toe across on soapy feet to the shower stall to wash their hair? Did I hear a resounding no? Okay, then, how about you place a shampoo bottle and a bath gel at each location. At the prices you charge, you can certainly afford it.
How on earth does Sridevi look the way she does? The actress, who turns 50 this year, looks younger (not to mention considerably thinner) than she did during her heyday as the reigning superstar of Hindi cinema. Gone are the chubby cheeks and the thunder thighs. Instead we have a slim, svelte woman with miraculously smooth skin with nary a frown line in sight. The actress insists that it's all down to careful eating and regular exercise. I'm sure she is right but I have to say that her appearance in English Vinglish reminded me of that old joke. How can you tell the young actresses apart from the old ones in Hollywood? The young ones have wrinkles.
And while we are talking about 50-ish women who look better with every decade, what is up with Nigella Lawson? If she does indeed eat all the food she twit-pics every day, where do all the calories go? Surely, they can't all be burnt away by her daily treadmill-pounding (wearing only a bra - no, I am not making this up; we are indebted to Lawson herself for this little nugget of information)? So why don't all those doughnuts and fry-ups settle around her waist?
Why is it that the moment you find a perfume that is just you, or even a lipstick that is perfect for your skin tone, the manufacturers decide to discontinue the line? Is this part of some giant conspiracy by cosmetics companies to keep us fickle and uncommitted so that they can benefit from our 'experimentation'?
Why does the traffic lane you choose always move the slowest? Ditto, queues at banks, immigration counters at airports, and the like. And you can be sure that if you decide to ditch the line moving at a snail-like pace for the one that is galloping on ahead, the two will switch personas as soon as you switch sides.
And while we are on traffic, why is it that you always get a red light at every intersection when you are running late? On the days when you have all the time in the world, the lights stay resolutely green, in a classic display of contrariness. If this is something that happens to you as well, here's a little trick that works like a charm for me. On days that I want to speed through, I leave home without my kajal on, telling myself that I will apply it at the first red light. And guess what? The lights stay green throughout my route.
Why do people follow you on Twitter only to berate you for what you tweet? Do they not realise that they can just click on 'unfollow' and never have to hear from you again? And that this is a far less stressful (both for them and you) option than letting loose with a volley of insults and verbal abuse for having failed/annoyed/angered them? It really is a bit like calling up someone you don't know on the phone, only to complain that you don't like the sound of their voice.
Why does the Snickers bar keep shouting 'Eat me' whenever you open the fridge? And is there any way to shut it up?
Why are the mirrors in the changing rooms of all clothing stores so unflattering? Not to mention the nasty neon lighting that makes everyone look even more pasty-faced than usual. Do store owners and managers not realise that they would move more merchandise if buyers could look at themselves in flattering light in a mirror that didn't make their ass look big in everything? (Or is that down to the Snickers bar?)
Why is it that the day you can sleep in late is when you wake up at the crack of dawn (and then can't fall asleep again no matter how hard you try)? And on the days when it is imperative that you get up early, you can barely drag yourself out of bed? Is this your body clock's idea of a joke? And when will it understand that we are not amused?
From HT Brunch, March 17
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