On Marriage, Socrates, and Socrates’ Marriage

Like every normal human being with access to Google, I search everything that comes to my mind. Usually these searches are limited to Arsenal, Arsenal FC, Arsenal Football Club, AFC, Arsenal: the club that invented football and plays with such divine beauty that its blasphemous to share it with another team and shall henceforth “play with itself” (and still shall not win anything)

But lately, my mind is full of deep dark thoughts. Thoughts of human bondage marriage and being yoked together forever companionship. The fact that yours truly has decided to take the final plunge may have something to do with it. Consequently, I spent some considerable time doing what I am expected to do. Search the world wide web for everything nuptial.

This is how a typical web search progresses for me

  1. Google ‘”X”
  2. Read the Wikipedia entry
  3. Google “X + cast”
  4. Shift to YouTube. Search for “X + season n trailer”
  5. Search for “X + full episodes”
  6. Torrent search for “X + complete season (with subtitles)”. Start download.
  7. Oops all drives are full. Frantically search for external hard disk. Realize it is on the other corner of the room. Make space by deleting last season of House MD.
  8. Start House MD marathon

(As you can see, my MO would not work for deep dark thoughts going through my mind.)

While on the topic of Marriage, I found this interesting thought by certain Mr Socrates.

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you’ll become happy; if you get a bad one, you’ll become a philosopher.

– Socrates

Funny chap that fellow. I don’t think he ever had a moment of peace after saying such utter rot. But that made me wonder what kind of wife he had. Consequently, I delved deeper into the abyss of Socrates’ marital life. As it turn out, this Socrates fellow was married to a funny character called Xanthippe and had three kids with her.

Xanthippe, in Greek means a “yellow horse” or a “blonde horse”. Fair enough, her father had a sense of humour. So according to general belief, Socrates’ wife looked like:

Socrates loved bestiality

or worse looked like the most famous blonde horse that ever lived:

Sarah Jessica Parker

Either way, you cant blame the old chap for becoming a Philosopher. Not surprisingly, his views towards marriage were very similar to taming a horse. He once said, (possibly at a pub, pissed drunk, after his football team was relegated from the third league):

It is the example of the rider who wishes to become an expert horseman: “None of your soft-mouthed, docile animals for me,” he says; “the horse for me to own must show some spirit” in the belief, no doubt, if he can manage such an animal, it will be easy enough to deal with every other horse besides. And that is just my case. I wish to deal with human beings, to associate with man in general; hence my choice of wife. I know full well, if I can tolerate her spirit, I can with ease attach myself to every human being else

What a time it was, the ancient Greece. A man can liken a woman to an animal assured of the fact that no bra shall be burnt in response. What a happy blissful time.

Not so blissful was the Socrates household apparently. A well known anecdote about his wife is the one where she was so angry with her husband that she emptied a chamber pot full of water on him. The philosopher then replied: “After thunder comes rain.”

Take that you filthy scumbag

“Take that you filthy scumbag!”

One thing, I have learnt in my 8 years of relationship, comparing your soul mate to a horse (no matter what her name!) does not work well for you, nor do the wise cracks!

If you have any comments, advise, experience about marital bliss and preservation therof, leave a coment, no?

You can share or leave a comment anyway.


Mildred Pierce: What not to do as a parent

Spoiler Alert: Contains reference to plots and sub-plots.

As the title suggests, this is not a review, only a critique of characters. Mark these words, critique of characters, not of the work of James M. Cain or the makers of HBO miniseries. If you have not watched the HBO mini-series yet please take time out to do it. If you do not intend to watch it here is the synopsis.

“Mildred Pierce depicts an overprotective, self-sacrificing mother during the Great Depression who finds herself separated from her husband, opening a restaurant of her own and falling in love with a new man, all the while trying to earn her narcissistic daughter’s love and respect.”

Mildred is the best baker in Glendale CA, inexperienced businessperson, hopeless lover/partner, and a God-awful mother. Her story, essentially, is an emotionally violent journey of a mother-daughter relationship and a study of what not to do in parenting. As the story progresses, one feels this constant urge to slap some sense in to Mildred as she slowly but surely plods along the path of self-destruction and while at it manages to ruin several lives, most importantly the life of aforementioned narcissistic daughter Veda.

If I may deconstruct a parent-child relationship during the child’s formative years, Parents encourage growth in three ways.

1. First and most important: the values they inculcate in the child directly or most often indirectly by being a role model. This includes moral values (Honesty, humility, hard-work, etc.), societal values, sense and extent of right or wrong, etc.
2. Then they try to equip the child with means and tools to realise full potential intellectually or talent wise.
3. Then, and only then, they assist or encourage the child’s ambitions or dreams.

Remember the order of importance: 1. Right values, 2. Means, & 3. Ambition

Mildred somehow had it exactly the opposite. She first encouraged Veda’s ambition, and then tried (and failed) to equip her with means to achieve her full potential while most important ingredient, values, was simply thrown out of the Pierce household. No wonder Veda grew up to become a poisonous, conniving, petulant, pretentious woman (I almost wrote bitch there).

Ironically, the only person to have a measure of Veda in her own simple sense was Moire, Mildred’s other daughter who was supposedly too young and naïve to make a difference. It is best encapsulated in a dialogue where she is talking to her mother about Veda, “You know how she is mother; she likes to pretend.” Instead of correcting Veda’s pretentions Mildred actually changes her life to join her daughter’s web of self-deception.

With the luxury of cinematized hindsight, these observations might seem obvious but ask yourself, have you not seen similar real life parent-child relationship ending in despair for all parties involved?

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Vacancy for Dafts


Required: Idiot, one in number, age no bar, caste no bar, Mallu Manchester United Fan preferred


Doesn’t have that effect, does it? Let me elaborate…


Budding writers face problems that very few people do and low literacy prevalence is not one of them. Low literacy rate among the bloggers, that is.


Writers, who can overcome these hurdles, by learning to read and write, cannot rest at that for they shall have to acquire an editor now. For them acquiring an editor is cool and a very important step in the direction of literary stardom, for the general populace it is necessary that these Wodehouses-in-waiting get an editor each before afflicting the world with their creations.


I, as you notice, am yet to secure the services of a worthy editor.


Since the lack of a worthy editor has not come in the way of our newspapers to be published daily, an occasional blog post from my unchecked self sans a worthy editor will hardly matter. Anyway, a WORTHY editor like anything else, is just a matter of opinion, and as a personal discourse, not one person on the face of the earth is worthy of striking out a letter off my compositions, nay not myself.


This taken care of, we move onto the most difficult part of writing, viz. what should one write about. Politics I comprehend not and melancholic words I can scarcely rhyme. While an established writer can tuck himself in for a contented sleep after passing a write-up about “problems faced by budding writers” for a humor column, and they usually do, an aspirant can only choose a topic, drop it, choose it finally to re-drop it in the end while he waits for a literary brainwave.


Most humorists worth their Salt (NaCl, FCC 6, 6-coordination) overcome this predicament by turning to their wives to search for humor, and the obliging dearest seldom fails. While I have plenty of the former (predicaments), I had none of the later (wives) on the last count. I assure you of my unreserved efforts to the alter the situation, but I can hardly wait for Isha Ambani to turn 18.


Taking stock of the situation, I am left with two alternatives and none too easy.


One, I can indulge in some self-deprecating humor, which some say is the shortest way of taking a dame to bed. By some, I mean the dames themselves. A survey of British women has revealed that men who practice self-deprecating humor have the highest chances of taking a woman to bed. Another survey of the British female-kind revealed that most men who indulge in self-deprecating humor suffer from bad body odor. Neither do I have any chances of making a British woman read my self-deprecating humor nor do I believe that it will work for someone as well endowed with talents as myself, for all good humor, even self-deprecatory, must be rooted in reality.


Two, I can have one screwy blighter of my own who can feature regularly in my journal and spare me the pain of the choosing-dropping-re-choosing-dropping-in-the-end routine. Not that I believe George Bush has stopped being himself, or Vajpayee has lost his touch. One, these people can’t consciously stop themselves from being funny, it comes naturally to them. Two, even if they were to succeed in doing so, I think I they would still have enough farce about themselves to last a few generations.


However, what I have in mind is more intimate, personal stuff. Someone I know personally. You know, my personal punching bag, Mon propre shitpot. Some call it muse, and they come in all shapes and sizes, but most Indian humorists consider them as their close friends and also confer them with a nice mallu name.


This brings us to a discussion that led to development of yet another theory in our college days. The college I mention is probably the oldest and the most famous college in Delhi. The student strength of the college could broadly be divided into three ethnic groups, the Bongs (majority), the Mallus (the rest) and the rest of the rest. In the matter of Bongs, I shall refrain from commenting, but Mallus shall remain close to my heart. Also in certain aspects of the Mallu culture viz. their taxonomy, I consider myself an expert to an extent.

If you notice the last sentence in the previous paragraph ends like “… a nice mallu name.”


Bhaskar Bhushan, a friend of mine and a lover of all things Garhwali, once came up with the rationale behind sinister mallu names; you know, the method to the madness of sorts.


“Guidelines for mallu nomenclature” for the parents are as follows:

1.      The name you intend to confer upon the newborn must not be a monosyllable, lest you let his/her classmates have it too easy. (Joe is not okay)

2.      The name you intend to confer must not contain more than two syllables. (Josie is okay, Joshua is not)

3.      The name must not mean anything. (All hell breaks lose, a mallu child is named.)


 A very educative comment by the man himself should be incorporated at this juncture.

You should have given an example of #3. Jobin is okay, Shaju, Silja, Milja, Febin, Jimol, Boban, Mikmop are all acceptable names.


Rare few deep and meaningful conversations have been reported to take place in mallu households due to these guidelines.


Father: Let us call him Joy, signifying the happiness he brings in our life.

Mother: How selfish! Let us name him Chiru and let the happiness be universal.


So back to the problems of a budding writer, the explanation of the entire setup might have helped you to appreciate the first few lines of the post.


“Required: Idiot, one in number, age no bar, caste no bar, Mallu Manchester United Fan preferred”









Musings from a saturday night: verbatim

Cleaning out my dreams for the usual affair,

I try to hide signs of time you weren’t there.

You sense her smell as our lips meet, something I won’t explain,

You walked out of our dreams midway, now you can’t complain.


I promise I was faithful in every possible way,

See, I do not mind lying if it can make you stay.

You need a reason to doubt, I need one to believe,

Soon as we find one each, its time again for you to leave.


Frustration is such a comfort in my seasons of mistakes,

Separation lingers on while one moment is all it takes.

Wondering why I’m keeping promises, I did not make,

The price I am paying for decisions I did not take.


Wading through broken memories, few questions remain,

They take us through that moment all over again.

I remember calling out, could you not hear my voice?

What else called louder, when you made that choice?


Any resemblance to a person or an event in real life is purely coincidental