The reading police are coming for ’em young minds because they know what’s best.
Raja Bose, almost thirteen now, has another showdown with his mother. That’s because he is not as docile, as good a boy as his younger brother Sanjeev.
Raja insists on spending the long summer afternoons reading his story books. His recent favourite is the Famous Five series, stories of two boys and two girls and one big dog and how they solve mysteries during their holidays from boarding school.
Sanjeev, the younger one, is more clever. He covers his comic books as soon as his mom comes near the study table. The book he usually uses is a big, fat one that proves a very useful camouflage because the words in the title always pleases his mother: Mathematics Made Fun Grade 5.
They do have fun. The boys have exams to take, textbooks to study and carpentry projects to finish every week—mostly those stipulated by the school. Sometimes the carpentry projects are so complicated that the maid has to be sent to the local carpenter’s to do the intricate parts for a few hundred rupees. The carpenter is a good-natured young man, just a few years older than the boys themselves.
As I noted yesterday, I’m not feeling particularly clever these days. Or as Americans would say, feeling particularly smart.
This was a source of great discomfort at first. Particularly since I’m here in the States now, where everything is so smart. You have smart phones. You have smart washing machines. You have smart apps for grocery lists. You might even see a smart car parallel park itself far outsmarting you very soon.
All this smartness makes a person feel rather dumb. But feeling dumb was not helping as I was trying to write. I was still the writer-frog staring at the big green leaf-blank page in expectation of the fly-words to come by when a thought struck me.
When everyone else is smart, perhaps the smart thing to aspire to is dumbness.
If household objects were people and they could be psychoanalysed, which object would occupy the prime position as the most attention seeking, the least self-effacing, the loudest, the most narcissistic, the most colourful and preening member of the inanimate world? Continue reading Unusual ways we’re using the TV→
Being from a fairly removed species somewhat alien to Geekdom and the Geek life, I was completely clueless as to how to interact with the Geek species of humans. But having spent more than my share of time in the natural habitats of Geeks for the last few years as a non-Geek, I’ve had the opportunity to closely observe, interact, feed (yes, they like all cuisines!) and even friend a fair number.
This has been hard work but unexpectedly rewarding.
After being indoors several evenings watching countless reruns of TheBig Bang Theory and more than my share of a certain shaggy haired character in the habit of repeating “Oh the aliens did it!” “The aliens did it!” on the History channel (with an especially geeky one of the species), I was very pleasantly surprised to see that Geeks are, in fact, an extremely endearing species who are really very likeable once you get to know them, sort of like a Hippogriff from Harry Potter.Continue reading How to date a Geek→
Since my rather sociological observation on Geek dating habits last week, I realized that a need exists in the world regarding more research on this topic. A brief review of existing literature to augment my (erstwhile) ideas to supplement my first-hand experience observing Geeks in Geekdom, from the disinterested perspective of a non-geek, revealed a misdirected focus in said critical analysis of this highly misunderstood and somewhat neglected species. Moreover, a few brave voices from Geekdom (in the form of comments and other indicators) that were able to rise above the clamour and noise of long preserved stereotypes, on both sides, to reach the Geek researcher’s ivory tower compelled me to think about the following question:
Even if the common woman (oops, didn’t mean that kind of common woman) did reach out to the Geek, how would the Geek, the semi Geek, the uber Geek, and the ultra Geek not manage to chase her away? What pearls of wisdom can I share to bring about mutual intelligibility? Continue reading How to date a non-geek woman: Advice to Geek men→