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.
I was at a huge social gathering this weekend where women were dressed in their choicest attire and men were at their blustering best. There was a lot of noise and a lot of good food deftly travelling on huge trays weaving between the crowds miraculously avoiding dunking someone in a bucketful of gravy.
A million children of all ages swished around the great hall and the stairwells and the tent and the garden like schools of fish about to arrange themselves into different colourful formations, engulfing each old shape into a new one as their direction changed, like the groups of fish in Finding Nemo.
The process of work seemed rather curious. It was a great big library in a great big school in a great big country where escalators went up and down a very spacious, gigantic room with a ceiling at least three floors high.
It was called, predictably, the library.
Therefore, most people seemed to be there for the wireless internet.
Some seemed to be waiting there for their next classes looking over printed course packs they’d obtained from a copy store nearby.
Some were concentrated on updating their locations on Facebook.
In my wanderings through various cities and university towns, I encountered a strange creature called the writer (and its close cousin, the critic). I was told that it is an endangered species. The world does not need it much any more having advanced to higher levels of the human condition thanks to the blessings of technological advancement.
Now that the governments of the world are only nurturing STEM’s– Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics–to pave the way to the future, no one quite knows what to do with these writers–these fruits of civilization.
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→