Saturday, September 02, 2006

Football and the bath.

There was a football match in college today. American football. I can't quite place the game of American football in the rubric of the American culture. People who, like walking north poles, swerve away from each other's path with profuse apologies, no sooner than they are within sight of each other, are now seen ramming each other like bulls making love, and this confuses my simple mind. I rather think the game is somehow an escaped vestige of a barbaric past. Observe how i stated the people take recourse to the drastic measure of swerving away when merely within sight. This is because, and i can only conceive that it should be thus, with suns glasses as thick as the ones they use, they cannot see very far. I have never dared to try one of those appendages myself for fear that my bright and cheerful world would turn dark and gloomy. Besides, i also think these sun glasses make people lose identity. When the eyes are missing, the face is half-featuresless. I might just as well be seeing clones! There is so much beauty in the eyes. Have you ever seen a painter paint a face without eyes? I'm sure you haven't, unless of course the painter doesn't know how to draw eyes, and hence happily chooses to categorise his art in that most benevolent of art genres - abstract. I sometimes wonder if this desire to hide the eyes is because of an inferiority complex of sorts. After all, it is a nation without a history and an hence, an identity of its own. But i quickly dismiss the idea, for fear that i might be extracting a kilo of platinum from a grain of sand.

I've noticed that my bathing time has increased a good deal after stepping into this country and its bathtubs. As the water is soft it takes me longer to wash away my sins and i seem to be massaging my horse skin as if i were an Indian queen looking after her white, supple, silken body. Actually, i'm not quite sure i've used the right words. An Indian queen, though at first glance might seem like one with ample time for self-ornamentation, is found, on application of elementary arithmetic, to be quite hard-pressed for time. Say an Indian Princess is one of 200 others of her type married to the king in reign. Also, let us assume that the bathtub is occupied 24*7. In spite of such generous allowance, a princess would get only 1440/200, or a horribly short 7.2 minutes for bathing. Supposing, even, that we helpfully reduce this congestion by making available a half-dozen bathtubs she would still get only about three quarters of an hour. That, i must declare would barely suffice for her to disrobe, and disornament herself. I'm sure no slithering snake even would have time to steel her jewelry and slip it away in some inconspicous tree top on a bird's nest. It is for these reasons i wish to rephrase my earlier sentence. An Egyptian queen might more aptly cradle the meaning of my words. How the queen i conceive of in my mind might ever fit in an Egyptian mileu i cannot quite explain at this juncture. I thus apologise to the Egyptians for placing a foreigner as a queen in their midst. But, more importantly, i apologise to the bathing queen for transporting her to Egypt. Though this might at first seem a laughable matter, the seriousness of the situation might occur to you if you were to imagine yourself slip out of your garments, slip into the shower for a relaxing bath to steel yourself for a hectic day of work, and find yourself stepping out into the sands of Egypt. Having, hopefully appeased everyone, i shall revert to the issue i had set out to address, which is, my extended bathing hours. I blame it on the easy access to warm water at all hours. The water being too cold for my comfort on most months, had there only been water, and a separate heater i'd have to wait 20 minutes for the water to heat. This time would, i'm sure, be sufficient for me to finish dilly-dallying on the crucial matter of my bathing and declare with conviction that the activity could be postponed to another day when the weather was more inclement and the inertia in me lesser. I would thus be saved many a precious minute on more than many a precious day of my precious life. But as things stand, i find myself greatly inconvenienced by luxury. Perhaps, i must be more resolute, and so, like the holy saints of the ganga, I shall fill up my tub with water, and take a few hasty dips, and be done with the ordeal of bathing. Or may be i'll just dispense with the burden of bathing entirely. After all, I find the people of this country quite content to perfume themselves till they leave all people in a certain radius of themselves gasping for breath. Considering i would only produce the same effect in my immediate neighbourhood, it shouldn't perhaps matter what the nature of the system is that produced this effect.