Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Good old Reader’s Digest from my granddad's '50s-60s collection used to have a section on humour – amongst others – titled ‘Pardon, your slip is showing’. I don't think they have that section any more. And anyhow, it would no longer be relevant under the same title. The correct remark to make in today’s 21st century of strange dressing would be ‘Pardon, your slip is showing, but perhaps that’s intentional given your remarkably fancy straps!’

Too many clothes seen on the street today are designed to show a bit of what’s inside. Like a watermelon-wala strategically displays a slice of his fine juicy red wares tantalizing the passerby with a promise of what lies ‘inside’. Similarly just too many articles of clothing today are designed such that they cannot stay balanced on the shoulder (or the hip), and just have to display some of the equally well designed underneath. I’m never sure of what is the acceptable correct reaction to such observations. Is one supposed to guiltily swing one’s glance away or is one supposed to drink in the entire panorama? Why the guilt, given that this is certainly not voyeuristic. Voyeurism has limited gratification if one has to expend no efforts to achieve titillation. Then again, if one is expected to keep stoic and casual, then how does one concentrate on the social exchange with such distractions literally staring in the face? Tough choice!

Another of those questions I’ve always been wanting to ask is – when women wear T-shirts with stuff written on them, is one supposed to read or not? Being a man of detail and being reasonably lettered, I have a natural tendency to linger on the text and drink in the wisdom. Some of the more profound statements warrant a second and third reading. But before you rush to judge me, I do that even when I’m reading the morning newspaper! Some cartoon strips are stirring enough to necessitate a second scan over. How then do I assure the arbitrary conclusion-jumper that my interest lies solely in the import of the transcript, and not on the canvas it’s painted on? And how do I convince the wearer of such wisdom, that my reading may not be necessarily speedy and/or sometimes the text font is cryptic and requires intense effort? My intent is noble while my eyesight may not be what it used to be. Me staring at you in the socially non-stareable region(s), with brows furrowed, teeth biting the lower lip, and the general tone of stiff concentration, is just me giving in to my most primitive need… grasping of education.

Given that there have been substantial episodes of misunderstandings in my life on account of the above, I’m now practicing reading from the corner of my eyes. I play the memory game where I attempt to recollect and reconstruct items on a tray after just a quick scan. Not much luck at it, I'm afraid! I’m also learning to concentrate on a particular point, and read 6-8 inches lower. And I’m trying to live with the constant headache of attempting this!!

Does anyone have any suggestions? Any that don’t end with getting a tight slap?


  1. Padho - aaram se padho -- koi kuch objection kare - to is blog ka address de do.... we will certify your noble intentions ..

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. i can understand ur plight coz i suffer the same way. imagine an obviously over-the-hill aunty staring at a beefy youngster. maybe my look of concentration is translated as a look of 'wanting' or 'longing' from a frustrated, much married woman whose husband doesn't have time for her...if u get any suggestions, do fwd them to me as well

  4. drink it in. and its smart guys like you that take it to the next level..also try not to be insulting even when you are wont to..

  5. Seeing how thirsty you are for knowledge, good thing you haven't come across any shirts with its message written in Braille!

    Enjoyed reading your post Suri...

  6. Hi Mukul
    well written-Amit Suri
    I've just read your blog today and its good

    Well... solutions?...maybe one of them could be a little angrez style (if you know the person) 'Gosh thats very distinctive -may I have a read please' and before you've finished this sentence you have already read it!

  7. Now I know the genesis of these injuries that keep coming to you.
    There is no shortcut to learning my friend. Its only Concentration and Hard work.
    Liked Aditya's comment on Braille :)


  8. Dude - get back to blogging! you have a great gift! Yuo can be the next chetan bhagat.
    -Vijay ( Friend from your past)..