Upside Down

In an episode of The Big Bang Theory, Howard is asked to throw the first pitch at a baseball game. Woefully incompetent at anything remotely related to sports, he turns to taking lessons from Bernadette and Raj. When he has doubts about his ability to throw even that one ball, he calls his colleague with whom he went to space and asks him if he should do this.

Mike (on Skype): Hey, Froot Loops, what’s up?
Howard: Hey, Mike. Listen, NASA asked me to throw out the first pitch at an Angels game. You got any advice?
Mike: Yeah. Don’t do it. What else you up to?
Howard: Why shouldn’t I do it?
Mike: There’s no upside. If you do well, no one cares. And if you screw up, you’re an idiot on YouTube forever.

I’ve been turning those three words, “There’s no upside” in my head over and over. And it came to me yesterday ringing in my ears after I had done something immeasurably daft. “There’s no upside.” It’s also the kind of thing N would say if she were around. But that’s bloody solid – to gauge the upside of doing something. Anything. I don’t know when I am ever going to be someone who measures what she does. What’s with all the frittering away of actions?

IMG_20160407_113100772-01-01Speaking about frittering away. The other day, out of sheer lack of motivation to do anything constructive, I saw the movie, Kapoor and Sons. Because: Fawad Afzal Khan. While it wasn’t as terrible as I expected it to be, I got the feeling that once they’d built up the premise and when the conflicts had come to the fore, they rushed through to the end. This coming from a movie that was centred around the disagreements and conflicts in families. It is such a darned thing to do – to build a story and then wrap it up so carelessly. Tch, tch rather. However, a proverbial tip of the hat to Fawad Khan and Ratna Pathak Shah. They did some splendid acting in there carrying the entire movie effortlessly. Also, I discovered this really lovely song, which I may not have otherwise heard. What makes it so special is the context that runs around the family members who have disagreed and yet, haven’t left.

Speaking of conflict, I recently finished reading a memoir by Anne Lamott. Of course, the memoir is centred on writing and the process right from the shitty drafts to publishing, but the title says it’s also got life advice, too. I would have to agree. Bird by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life was sent to me by a dear friend who always contributes to my reading in exquisite ways. To take on from recently influenced parlance, there’s an upside. In the memoir, among other things, Anne has written these words (or quoted, can’t remember which), “When lost in the forest, let the horse find the way home.” There’s a horse. A forest. And wisdom. I don’t know what’s not to like about this piece of advice. Someday I would like to have it carved on a wooden plaque and have it put up in my house.

Speaking of beautiful things. Did I write about the floor to ceiling diaphanous golden curtains at the Tanishq store in Vashi? Did I? And did I mention that the ceiling is 2 floors high?

Speaking of incomplete thoughts, I started reading Em and the Big Hoom and gave it to AT (previously referred to as Girl Who Reads Menus). Then, I started The Girl on the Train and put it back in my drawer. Then, I started reading Wild, and since I could picture the movie in my head with every sequence, I stopped. Maybe I’ve read too much and my mind got tired, who knows? So now, I’ve picked up Bossypants by Tina Fey. She’s funny. Hee. Hee. I can recall her from the show that used to air on TV long ago. Of course, I haven’t kept up since, or I would have known the name of the show. (I know. I know. It’s 30 Rock, AR reminded me.)

Speaking of books, I had seen a TED talk about the woman who read one book from each country in the world in one year. I was reading her blog over the weekend and it’s just fantastic. It’s called A Year of Reading the World. I don’t know how she procured and read 196 books, blogged about it, and lived to tell the tale. But I would love to read some of those books. This year, so far, I’ve read one from Iran, Chile, Pakistan, Germany, India, and then there’s American and British. Maybe I should get a map and pin it up somewhere. Although ‘where’ is a million-dollar question, as it was pointed out to me today, tumne toh ek paise ki jagah nahi chodi hai.

Fair point. (Wo bhi hai.)

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