August 16, 2007

phobias i have known

punctophobia- fear that a car tyre has developed a puncture. this usually happens while driving late at night, with nary a pancher repare bhooth in sight. this is a particularly annoying phobia for the other occupants of the car as they are forced to get out, stare at plump tyre and help* change it.

mahiphobia- fears of songs with the word mahi**, mahiya or other variations. i would list the offending songs, but I tremble as i type the words. (retires to another room and gulps down a strawberry smoothie, stiffish). the origin of the phobia can be traced to my fish-eating childhood in hawaii.

incompletophobia- fear of reading books that the author didn't end. austen and her Sanditon, Dickens and his mystery of edwin drood, adams and his doubtful salman, all those "Kafka never completed this work", and the technically-complete-but-but short stories of murakami. very frustrating, though i don't blame the authors for posthumous publication. i blame myself.

parkophobia- the fear of parking underground. partly there's the irrational fear that the building will collapse on top of me, and i'll lie there crushed but alive. and the fairly rational fears that i) i will bump into a pillar while negotiating a cunning turn; and ii) i will forget where the car is parked.

sachypoohobia- fear of watching sachin bat. he might get out any minute! and then what meaning would life hold?

What are the phobias you have known? Comment away..

* not so much helping, as actually doing the thing.

** 25 years of watching hindi films and i have no idea what it means. please, don't tell me.

August 09, 2007


"they'll put anything in a cornish pastry, they will"

is what i thought a crusty old character in agatha christie's "dead man's folly" said.

walking near london's southwark cathedral, past a fish n chips shop, i saw a sign advertising cornish pasties. pasties! not pastries! d'oh!
visions of daphne du maurier's cornwall, pale-faced unhealthy men, hercule poirot and a full stomach swam together before my eyes. mmm, pasty.

diving into the chipper (thump. crash.) i casually asked for cornish pasties. with the slightest emphasis on "stee" and a hint of a question mark in the air. accompanied by a hint of "aw shucks! i'm just a tourist here, so forgive me for getting your quaint pronunciation wrong" visible in the twitching lines of my face.
very complex.

i don't think i flatter myself, when i say that the hirsute man and his 6 brothers running the establishment gauged the situation perfectly. my doubts about the correctness of the term were laid to rest by the matter of fact manner in which they turned away from me, scratched, yawned and perspired.

several minutes passed. i was lulled into a dreamlike state by the heat in the room, the sound of the rain outside and the general feeling of waiting for godot.

"aah, merrie england" i murmured. it had all come together in this defining moment.

a microwaved beef puff with plenty of trans fat. that's the way the pasty crumbles.