Sunday, August 05, 2001

Diary of a Trivia Hunter

A web horoscope (strangely called, 'Swoon') which 'S…' subscribes to, has warned him not to get carried away with "trivial pursuits". Not being a member of any high-powered committee of FNCCI or NICCI (the favourite monsoon pastime of the Kats business gentry and corporate elite) he didn't understand the difference between trivial and trivia. Confused, as always, he turned to the wife for enlightenment. With a frown as deep as the gorges of Mustang, that cuts furrows on her supple forehead each time she engages in some heavy-duty thinking, N.. jabbed the buttons of the TV remote in her hand. Shuffling channels from HBO to Cinemax to AXN like a pack of tarots - she seemed to search for the divine intervention. Finally fixing her gaze on a studded navel of a lithely swaying mid-riff (that are 'made-to-order' only for MTV) - she delivered her verdict in a sombre under-tone: What else ? - but your disgusting dissertations on the Blog.

With politics and sex being taboo on a family-site (except for those occasional lateral innuendoes) and the more private passions or personal phobias not being the stuff for public portals either, there are very few subjects left for the Blog to discourse upon. And, ever since he has imposed the self-censorship on party gossip, he is at a loss for material, which is beginning to threaten the very existence of the 'Spot' itself. For, what is life in Kats without those parties? We spend most of our evenings either 'waiting' to welcome new friends or bidding adieu to old ones. But, the threat is in more ways than one - for a few hosts are genuinely peeved at not getting a mention of their dos in the Blog - making us feel that we didn't quite earn our dinners. No wonder the consumption of antacids has gone up in the Ghose household. But, if any of you are prematurely rejoicing at the impending demise of this page - please hold your breath. So, from gloating visages to bloating bellies - here we go.

Last night, at the Wanchoos, he was heard holding forth on the virtues of a mildly bulging avoirdupois in middle-aged males. Apparently it improves their marketability. A bulbous middle, apart from sending re-assuring signals of prosperity, also indicates a lack of self-consciousness and ability to give-in unabashedly to the pleasures of the senses, which prospective females find absolutely irresistible. Men with trim figures and tucked in bellies usually suffer from an obnoxious obsession about their own desirability, which is as insufferable as the synthetic fragility of the 'come-hither but touch-me-not' hour-glass bimbettes.

All in all it's been a busy week. The FNCCI elections over - the celebrations have started to roll. We are missing the big 'sarkari' bash at the Soaltee on Monday - but are looking forward to the "Cheroot' company's felicitation of 'Humro' Ravi (the other one) and not to mention that of the Insurance (among many other things) tycoon. And, the arrival of the high-level Indian government delegation last week has only added to the merry atmosphere. The newspapers have also shifted focus, from the monotonous accounts of rising insurgency or the 'already-lost-interst' stories of in-fighting within the ruling party (in less than 2 weeks of its selection of a new leader), to the country's best loved sport after Football and Teakwondo - bashing the 'high-handedness' of the southerly neighbour. Notwithstanding what our saffron-chaddi clad, thirsty-pie from Bishalnagar / Lainchaur may have to say - a lot of water will flow above (or through) the Raisuwal or Rassiyal (?) barrage before we meet at the next cocktails . We only hope yesterday's effigy burning does not take yet another Roshanic hue.

The syndrome of successors taking their own time to come is - perhaps - also symptomatic of the poor tourist turn-out. The hotels and restaurants continue to run empty. Though, last month one saw - a slight pick-up in the arrivals of western tour groups - the 'desis' are nowhere to be seen. Places like Pokhara - a haven of Indian tourists wear a forlorn desrerted look. One only hopes that, the situation will improve before Dassain. But, if the Home Minister's prognosis at the HMA's 2 days ago is anything to go by - then we are in for tough times ahead. With industry already in a bad shape, if tourism too comes a cropper, then what'll be left of the economy - barring Lord P's blessings ?

'S..' is suffering from a little touch of jealousy at discovering N's hitherto untapped media-savvy instincts. Her unique choice of swim-wear has attracted the maximum number of comments from vistors of the Ghosespot. To chill-out, he is taking off again for magical 'Mumbs' tomorrow (sadly, no chance of a dinner at Trishna on this trip). But, this time around he's made sure to leave only on a Sunday - just to keep the wagging tongues at bay.