Now being published as a novel. Click the picture to find out more:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Shut it, please?

The other day, I was in an elevator with a lady. She was listening to dont-mess-with-me headphones – the ones which look suspiciously similar to the ones that were used to communicate with aliens in the early science fiction movies. This was before they discovered telepathy and video-conferences.

I think headphones are a wonderful invention. It allows you to carry your own personal brand of ambience around. No need to worry about anything around you. No danger of being forced to engage in inane social small talks. In fact, no need to think about the futility of inane social small talks either. In a way, you are carrying your own world around with you. It is literally wrapped around your head.

Sometimes, this world spills out of your head. It is not pleasant, especially if that world consists of Justin Bieber. It can become utterly obscene if Justin Bieber inadvertently bursts into a just-need-somebody-to-love through your mouth. The best part is that you may not even be aware that you are breaking into a hum at dangerously audible decibel levels. It can be embarrassing in much the same manner as it would be if someone were to release an incriminating tape of yours on the internet without your knowledge.

This lady in the elevator did exactly that. No, she didn’t release an incriminating tape – Not that I am aware of at least; but she started to sing Justin Bieber aloud in a manner which would put anybody to shame, including Justin Bieber. In an alternate world, Justin Bieber, actually did hear her singing and immediately decided never to sing again, thereby making for a better world. In the present world, however, I was confined in this elevator for a full minute listening to her recital. This experience now tops my list of most forgettable experiences. It required a lot of deliberation on my part to grant this the #1 status as it faced stiff competition from #2 on that very list (turning thirty). In the end, I eliminated turning-thirty from the list since I have already forgotten if that event ever happened. Already forgotten, it couldn’t possibly be ‘forgettable’. Minor but important technicality.

When my colleague reported to me a similar excess he experienced in office, I was so moved that I contemplated turning into a superhero that will rid the world of such ignorant and untalented singers. I designed a logo, made a costume out of curtains, frills and empty detergent boxes and was just thinking about inventing the usual gizmos, the utility belt and the likes, when the inspiration dawned upon me. So I decided instead to use this space to write some techniques that can help you in dealing with such atrocities in the most humane manner possible. These techniques don’t involve any binding/ gagging or pulling out of nails; not even any odd kick to the skull. Here you go:

Break into a version of a dance involving some karate chops and pulling your hair. When the culprit looks at you with admonishment in his/ her eyes, simply say – you provide the score, I do the choreography.

Tap on the shoulder and compliment the lovely voice s/he has. Also suggest lining up for Americal Idol auditions.

Proceed to give him/her a CPR. Ignore all protests. Call an ambulance. Destroy the CCTV and leave before the ambulance turns up.

Step in close to the person. Take out your ultra small foldable pair of scissors. In a swift undetectable motion, cut the cord. Abort if it is a Bluetooth.

Entangle the cord into some fixture to allow for a slow-motion tripping of the culprit. Lend a helping hand and mention what a health hazard the headphones are.

Write a fictitious report with the headline – Headphones discovered to be the prime cause of brain tumors. Carry a print with you at all times. Pretend to read it while keeping it in full visibility of the unsuspecting hummer. Ensure font size and colors are attractive and readable.

If nothing works, take this opportunity to swear at the person in vernacular. This emotional outlet will keep you sane for the next six hours. Find another culprit in the mean time to fuel your addiction.


Anonymous said...

well...after a long wait...we see the return of the great writer.

this piece is amazing...amazing coz it made me realise for the first time that how big a nuisance can i be to others...i mean i love to sing...with or without headphones doesn't matter.

Anshul said...

"Abort if it is a bluetooth" - haha, classic!

Anonymous said...

Beta : Seriously...???...i think the problem is with your tolerance and patience level and not with the was just a minute and besides it requires lot of guts to sing in an elevator ( even though you dont have the voice to back it up) how much can you overevaluate and exaggerate an issue to come up with that list...Too much!

Anoy - please...! are no nuisance to others... be who you are and do what you like ! ...For sure singing a little loud is no crime... worst case scenario-it can be little amusing.

SB said...

Anon 2 - You're being judgmental here. Coming up with such a list takes some talent. Please lighten up and get some sense of humor.

Beta - I know this is none of my business but the comment was too harsh so I had to speak up. Sorry about that.

Beta said...

Thanks. Its all harmless fun really :-)

SB said...

Are you on a summer vacation :)

Paritosh Anand said...

I've been following your blog for some quite sometime:)
This was an extremely hilarious post and that ambulance solution gave me a fit of giggles !!

Beta said...

Thanks for the loyalty, Paritosh. Glad you liked this post. See you around.