Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hum Log

After months of assidiously avoiding any and all references to Aishwarya Rai on the blogosphere, I was finally tricked into reading the latest about the Rai Bacchanalia by this post over at Amardeep's (is nowhere safe). Apparently, Ms. Rai, demonstrating a marked inability to tell wood from the trees has been going around betrothing herself to the local flora [1]. The Ent in me is horrified. Inflicting cruelty on movie star's sons is one thing, torturing genuine life forms is something else. Trees may not be able to talk, but they aren't dumb, you know [2].

Resisting the urge to make jokes about how trees are peepul too, or to conjure up visions of Ms. Rai and a tree running around Mr. Bacchan, or to point out that with her thespian talents and his personality the happy couple will probably be breeding dining tables before they've been married a year ("Darling, I think it's time we talked about having a second sofa, don't you?"), let me say only that I'm intrigued by the particularly unflattering view of the Fates that this bizarre practice (which I, obviously, had never heard of before) seems to imply. I mean think about it. There's this dread and awesome force that governs the universe, turns the planets in their courses, scatters the stars like so many pistachio shells, and yet apparently it can't tell the difference between a man and a tree. Here's the fate that governs all things and not only does it fall for the first trick in the book, but (given that this is apparently a traditional rite) continues to do so time and time again, for centuries. Not very bright, this evil fate.

It makes you wonder how gullible the forces of the supernatural really are. Will they believe just about anything? Can you fob Death off by telling him "My soul's in the mail". Can you avert the watery grave by saying "Don't call me - I'll call you". If disaster stares you in the face, does it help to shout "Look! Behind you!" Is dodging misfortune as simple as giving it a fake e-mail address?

Is this why the Gods get happy when you offer them prasaad, and don't notice that two minutes later you're snacking away on it yourself? Is this why one tiny black mark, easily washed away with diluted soap solution is enough to ensure that malign forces don't notice how beautiful the baby is? Who would have thought it? The Evil Eye - with perspicacity of Lois Lane.

Personally, I think we don't use trees as proxies anywhere near enough. Think about the possibilities. Don't want your son to wreck your car when he's learning to drive? Get him to practice on a tree instead (oh wait, is that why traffic in Delhi is the way it is?). Hate having to break in a new secretary? Install a shy little cedar outside your office and bawl it out when it doesn't take dictation properly. Want to invade a country but are worried what people will say when thousands of your soldiers get killed and there's no end in sight? Just plant a bunch of trees in the desert and when they wither away for lack of water describe it as an "intelligence failure". And why bother with stem cell research when you can make path breaking medical discoveries with saplings?

Me, I'm off to ask that thornless honey locust outside the library if he's willing to be my advisor.

Notes:

[1] Okay, okay, I realise I'm probably the last person on the planet to learn of this.

[2] I have to say that being married to a family of trees would probably be fascinating:

"No, no, this box really is a family heirloom. That's no ordinary sandalwood, it's Shankar Mama"

"Packed? Why, of course my trunk is packed."

"That's my cousin Percy. He's, you know, that way. I mean, he's into wood peckers."

"Don't be silly, Marge, of course she's not a natural blonde"

"So he says to me, 'Take a bough' and I say..."

"The trouble with this younger generation is that they've lost touch with their roots"

"I don't like that Harold much. Nasty, sly, deciduous kind of creature he is."

"No, no, I've put that all behind me now. I'm turning over 12,689 new leaves."

"Yes, that's right. We're all so proud. It's a real feather in his nest"

"'You're my prisoner now, Captain' said Long John Silver Tree, 'and begads you'll be planking the walk before the day is through'".

18 comments:

MockTurtle said...

"I thought you were marrying a nice Red Ash, but it turns out she's some Bollywood Bimbo?"
"Can't help it, mom. I always get wood when she's around."
"You're just like your father. Always thinking with your nuts!"

Revealed said...

LOL! And what does the honey locust have to say? (To quote you back at you-a nasty habit- Trees aren't dumb y'know! Hah! Hoist by your own petard and all that)

@MT: You're just like your father. Always thinking with your nuts! Heh!!!

Anonymous said...

abhishek: "Here I am, trying to sow my seeds, and you had to go marry a tree..."

km said...

ROFL (and another ROFL at MT's comment) :D

But I wonder if she's up for a treesome?

//Awful Woody Woodpecker jokes threaten to take over the commentspace, but refrainance shall be observed.

Anonymous said...

ash: "But,but..abhi! I will always pine for you!"

Anonymous said...

[continuing from my earlier 2 posts...yes, yes..I am jobless today]

Abhi:"So..that thing with the Cactus tree...?

Ash: "Oh! Forget about it! He was such a prick!"

The Man Who Wasnt There said...

"Well to be honest I really thought it was just Abhishek acting and he was also rooted to the spot...."

"It's just quid pro quo. Eons ago we probably came down it so it's time we went up it again!"

"Well my dad always wanted me to marry into military and with this and that General Sherman seemed ideal..."

"Well lets face it I was always barking up the wrong tree..."

"Well it just that I could choose from a variety of rings..."

"..also rubber came complimentary..."

"Well it turned really green when it heard about the engagement..."

"Actually it is doing it's Phd...a thesis on the sins of photo or something..."

ok ok..it's way late into the night and I am terribly sleepy so most of it is "dead wood" but hey It is effort that counts....and most of the obvious ones were already taken :P

The Man Who Wasnt There said...

Abhi : "So your marriage with the crotons didnt really last long eh?"
Aish: "Never mind! he was just for show anyway!"

Abhi : " You gold digger !! did you have to go and marry the money plant??"

Aish: " Admittedly he is creeping all over me..."

*inspired by Anon :D But anon's are pretty good;)

venkat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chevalier said...

OH god. Well, people have called Aishwarya Rai a wooden actress, even if she's poplar.
And maybe she just wanted someone with more rings. Aishwarya may not be a big nature lover, but she loves her fir.
And where do you think they'll go on their honeymoon? Maple the beech?
I do agree, the whole affair is kind of shady.

Cheshire Cat said...

To mock tradition comes easily to the young. The day will come when a tree will light your fire...

Fate is comprehensive, but it cannot change itself.

Tabula Rasa said...

@chevalier: i couldn't believe i was reading through nine whole comments after that post and *nothing* about wooden acting. thank you for stepping in when it mattered.

@falstaff: footnote 2 was brilliant. but it *is* a little worrying when the post becomes the justification for the footnote, no?

Ph said...

Such clever people! One is overjoyed.

Anonymous said...

@chevalier: It was missed because it was too obvious:D Making a joke about her wooden acting is worse than flogging a dead horse...:p
@Tabula Rasa : Who really cares if the footnote justifies the post ? Mutatis mutandis. All that it matters was had fun reading it and the comments ofcourse .

Falstaff might have his own take...

-TMWWT

Chevalier said...

@TMWWT: Agree it was obvious, but I couldn't dare miss the woods for the trees, could I?

Tabula Rasa said...

@chevalier, tmwwt: well, trees are wood and woods are trees and ash is wood and ash is a tree, so it's all in the family anyway.

The_Girl_From_Ipanema said...

lol!! @ footnote 2 and at the comments

Arvind said...

terrific post.