Paper Power !!

As a society, we are master innovators. And we can teach a thing or two to the world about recycling. Newspapers used as a a duster, impromptu seat cover, bed sheet etc is common place.

This gent has the newspaper folded in to his back pocket. Please desist from interpreting it as some kind of symbolic placement making a statement on the quality of current day journalism : By placing it in the rear !

No. No. Our newspapers kick ass.

Really ! Just try reading one. Any one !

This gent is all set to unfold his newspaper as soon as he gets to a bus station, lay it out on dusty seat in the bus shelter and sit down. And because his rear isn’t going to take a whole lot of paper, he can exercise choice to continue reading other sections of the newspaper which are not obscured by his rear.

Like global parliamentary proceedings. And going by what transpires in the parliaments of the world, increase his ‘general’ vocabulary and better understand techniques of martial arts!

Actually, the list around innovations with newspapers is endless. I invite you, dear reader, to share your experiences as well !! Well, tissue paper shortages are well chronicled. So lets not go there.

Kavi’s Musings had commissioned a research on ‘top of the mind supplementary use of the newspapers’. This was an in-person impromptu research conducted on very heavy recyclers. And here are the results.

Top areas of newspaper recycle are :

a. ‘Garbage Collection tray’ lining

b. Wrapping of take aways in restaurants & making of paper plates

c. Making a statement to the neighbours on recycling ( Goes well with a Greenpeace T-shirt)

d. Making a statement to the neighbours & colleagues ( Carrying Business newspapers in your hand. And bringing them back home. Without reading)

f. Floor mat on trains when you travel long distance without a confirmed ticket

g. To be put to use on / by children for a multiple set of uses. ( Art from Waste,Sketching, Erasing, Tearing up to kill boredom etc )

h. To be used as a fly swatter on flies & other pests. Used for the same purpose on irritating, irresponsible, ‘Humvee’ riding husbands !

The survey respondents were told that the results to this survey was to be kept completely confidential. Any resemblance to any person, real, digital, living or dead is purely, well, almost co-incidental !

So, go ahead. Please feel free to share. What else can people do with their newspaper !?!

Music. Not to the Ear !

The evolution of technology has brought about a revolution in the way we live our lives. Examples galore. Post offices, Greeting cards, Diskettes, Video Casette Players ( VCRs / VCPs ) etc.

Add to that list : Simple Ring tones !

Over the past couple of months, i have been privy to some rather strange ring tones. Mobile phones these days, come with de riguer features of being able to create / download your own ringtones ! And sometimes people use it so very well, that you want to grab their mobiles and throw it in the Mumbai flood !

Sample these :

a. We are in the middle of Dasavatharam, the now popular Tamizh movie. Time is in the vicinity of midnight. A mobile goes of. Not the usual ring, ring…. But ‘Kausalya Suprabatham…’ Loud and clear ! The guy picked up the phone and spoke. ( I seriously think it was an ardent kamal fan waking up people). That aside, you get the point.
Suprabatham for ring tone !

b. ‘Excuse me boss. You have a text message’. Says a message tone. For some reason, the junior most keeps getting this message, essentially so in the company of the senior most. In the loudest volume possible. That could be hidden agenda there too !

Babies wail. Movie stars croon. Dogs bark. Buses Honk. Elephants trumpet. Politicians Howl. Singers talk. Cows chomp. Friends chatter. Micheal Jackson says ‘Dangerous’. Football fans singing. Geese cackling. And other unexplainable ‘sounds’.

Imagine such strange noises emanating from deep down. I mean trouser pockets. In the middle of a conversation. Or worse, a presentation to a potential client. Imagine you standing there and finishing with a flourish, ‘Gentlemen, this is the most innovative product of this century. when do we get the cheque ?’ And there goes a ring tone. Of dogs barking or cows chomping. Or worse, a song like ‘ You cant touch this’ !

While ring tones help distinguish yourself, these take things too far. Especially if you bring them to the conference table !! And especially so if you set them to go off at the highest volume !

Many years ago, a colleague played a prank on another, who we shall call John. John had left his phone unattended. This colleague picked up John’s phone and barked into the phone.

‘” John, pick up your fu***** phone.”
‘” John, pick up your fu***** phone.”

He then proceeded to set it up as a ring tone and left the phone where it was. John came back to the cafetaria and in a pre-planned quiet moment, a call landed on Johns mobile which promptly translated to

‘John pick up the fu***** phone’ !

Momentary perplexity confounded John. It took longer for him to realise that it was his phone after all. And an eternity for him to understand what hit him ! Well, well, well…those were times.

I drew inspiration to write this after reading about a new ringtone that adults cant hear. Only children can !!! Its just above adults listening frequency. Read it here ! They call it the Mosquito Ring tone !

The world is moving to a strange tune. And i am not sure if it is music. Especially to the ear !

“A dead giveaway”

I was on a flight from Delhi when i read the Hindustan Times and its editorial page. This piece was interesting enough for me to do a cut and paste job. So am keying this in. Courtesy, HT.
“The dead usualy throw up more interesting points for debate than the living. Take the ongoing quible about whether Mahatma Gandhi’s dying words uttered after being shot by Nathuram Godse were ‘Ram, Ram’ – as recorder by the FIR registered after the assassination or ‘Hey Ram’ as made iconic and cast in stone at Rajghat.
It is a fact that sometimes, a public figure’s last words are tweaked or cooked up to fit the popular image of the person. It would have been rather banal, for insance, if Bapu had uttered a single ‘Oh!” or no word at all when he died. But that would have hardly satisfied us.
Can you imagine Humphrey Bogart not having said, “I should have never switched from scotch to martinis,” on his deathbed ? Or the ironic, Byronic last lines of Lord Buron not being, “Now i shall go to sleep. Goodnight”?
There have been official disappointments though. Winston Churchill was expected to make a herioc ‘blood, sweat and tears’ kind of last speech before going into a coma that would find him resting Adolf Hitler nine days later. But Churchill said, “I am bored with it all,” a punk credo that would have suited Sex Pistols’ Sid Vicious much better.
Some dying lines are downright boring. Charles Darwin should have come up with something more evolutionary instead of teh slightly maudlin: “I am not the least afraid to die.” Far better – dying up to expectations – was Oscar Wilde: “Either that wallpaper goes, or i do”
Considering that not too many people are always taking notes and cross checking even when a famous person posps it, its rather remarkable thatt we have so many last lines to savour. As for Gandhiji, we are puttin gour bets on ‘hey Ram’. Why change something that works?”