Friday, October 19, 2007

Cell yourself short: tips for phone usage

[From my Metro Now column]

Back when Hutch was still Hutch and not Vodafone, I was puzzled by the ad featuring the boy and the pug - the one in which the ugly little dog (a stand-in for the cellular operator, one assumes) follows the surly little kid around everywhere, even into a changing room, and the boy's expressions make it obvious that he isn't pleased about this invasion of privacy. What kind of message was this sending out to potential customers, I wondered. (I stopped wondering when I noticed that colleagues in the men’s room frequently talk into their phones while they are communing with the toilet bowl.)

Now Vodafone has billboards featuring the same dog but with a much more sinister expression on its wrinkled face. The one where it sits at the entrance of its kennel, looking malevolently out at us, sends shivers down my spine, especially since the boy is nowhere to be seen. The only reasonable conclusion one can draw is that his half-chewed remains lie in the dark interiors of the kennel, behind the evilly grinning animal.

Moral of the story: eventually, your cellphone will eat you alive.

Not long ago, a sweet-natured acquaintance got concerned that I was too anti-social for my own good. "Here’s a good tip," she said, at which point my attention began to wander, “Go to your cellphone contacts list every day, scroll to a random letter of the alphabet and pick one person whom you haven't spoken to in a while. Dial their number, say hi, chat a little. It’s a nice feeling.”

She must have meant well, but I can’t think of anything I'd be less inclined to do with my time. The world is way too full of people as it is – constantly clamouring for attention, impinging on one's personal space and time, sending emails, Facebook sheep and SMS jokes that one might never be able to (or want to) acknowledge. Why would I willingly add to this clutter, especially since a randomly chosen number from my address book might easily be that of an annoying PR person whose details I forgot to delete back in 2002?

No, I have private cellphone rules of my own, and I’m religious about them in a way I could never be religious about religion. First among these rules is: Ignore three out of every four calls you receive. (If the fourth call is from a PR person, I ignore that as well, and make up the numbers in the next batch.) This might be conscience-pricking at first, but remember that we no longer live in the age of antiquated circular-dial phones, when dialing a number required physical effort and was therefore an act invested with significance. The person who is calling you and whom you are now rebuffing merely had to press a couple of keys on his cellphone, and chances are he doesn't have anything important to say anyway; he's probably doing this because he’s bored, or because a well-meaning idiot friend advised him to scroll through his contacts list and make random calls each day.

There was a recent news item about research showing that there are cases of "ringxiety" among cellphone-addicts who think they hear their phone ringing even when it’s silent. My advice is: be ahead of the curve on this one. When you get a call, don't bother to check your phone; just assume the sound is in your head. That way sanity lies.

Special note here for married couples/generic lovebirds: successfully following the “ignore 3 calls out of 4” rule means that it’s important that you do not give your better half permission to answer your phone. [This is something you should abide by anyway - you're only married to each other, you haven't magically become interchangeable organisms, and it's entirely conceivable that someone might be calling up in the hope of speaking specifically to the person whose phone it is. In such a situation there’s nothing more annoying than to have his wife/her husband answer the phone instead, with a delighted squeal of "Hey, how are you?! Long time! So, what's happening...blah blah blah..." Not sharing cellphones or email passwords is another of the tips for a successful marriage I mentioned in this post.]

Another important cellphone rule: if you call someone back after having missed one of their calls, NEVER start the conversation by apologising profusely and going into a lengthy explanation about why you couldn’t talk to them earlier. It isn’t worth it. Really. All explanations get monotonous, insincere and pointless after a while, and the basic demands of etiquette can just as easily be met by a terse “Sorry about before, was busy. Now let’s see if you have something worth saying.” Anyone who lives in our lunatic world should be able to understand that there’s just no way every call can be attended to immediately. (If they don’t understand this it probably means they live in a tree, in which case they shouldn’t be using cellphones anyway, the radiation is bad for the leaves.)

68 comments:

  1. I am glad I am not the only who thinks that dog looked disgusting. Now that you mention it, the pug does have a sinister look.

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  2. the original hutch pug died....that's a new one. Explains the sinister expression...the old one was so adorable.

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  3. Szerelem: how did it die - not excessive radiation, I hope? (Just wondering innocently)

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  4. lol ... yeah tat doggy was pretty disgusting ...had they put a Labrador instead, i'd have thot it cute.

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  5. Nice Post. I am with you as far as answering cell phones. If someone's call is important, they can leave a message.
    But i find the pug really cute, as long as its on a billboard and not loitering nearby.

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  6. Here's the ad, for your Amreekan readers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdnVsSQHV8o

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  7. Ugly pug?

    Jai!!!!!

    (You hate dogs that much?)

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  8. that was such a cute ad ...u dont like kids or animals is it ?

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  9. Hahahaha...Jai...I read the whole post with my sarcasm glasses on and its fantastic. I am not sure though whether you would use that much sarcasm in an official Metro article.

    I share your dislike for animals. I prefer them in my plate and eventually in my belly, rather than licking my limbs and wanting to be loved and shit like that. Is the new ad on Youtube too? I can't wait to check out the sinister expression of the bi!@#.

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  10. Remarking on what teal said, labradors sell toilet papers. While I am at it, they were selling toilet paper with fruits printed on it.

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  11. *General alert* Was meant to be jokey post. Every sentence need not be taken at face value. Certainly does not indicate blogger's dislike for animals.

    Confused: I don't hate dogs at all, but that won't stop me from calling one ugly (a number of my friends and relatives are freaking ugly too, you know!).

    Anon: oh I'm very fond of most animals. Human kids - no. (Though as long as they stay far away from me I'm willing to allow them to grow.)

    ArSENik: dude, don't put words in my mouth - what's with the "I share your dislike for animals"? On balance I respect animals much more than I do humans. But have to say I'm not completely democratic about this - Brer Rabbit for instance would look best in a stew.

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  12. Manish: thanks, have added the link to the post.

    Neha: I would never buy toilet paper from a Labrador, no matter how cute it looked sitting there at the stall with its wares spread out in front of it.

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  13. lets wait and see J.Wock when u have a kid .. i have a kid baby boy Dhruv and he is my life and more

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  14. Anon: condolences. You didn't think of getting a pug instead?

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  15. Boring, boring, it is very boring.

    Boring, boring, it is very boring.

    Boring, boring, it is very boring.

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  16. "a sweet-natured acquaintance got concerned that I was too anti-social for my own good"

    anti-social - isn't that generally used for someone against society? lobs bombs, etc?

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  17. hey a child is a blessing and BTW when u r old and grey its my child's taxes that will pay u'r pension and other govt freebies .. kids r the future ..people who dont have kids are selfish and self centred

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  18. Don't really understand how a post on the "Hutch pug" gets comments about "kids r the future" :)

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  19. Anon: wow, so you're specifically rearing (or breeding, or whatever the word is) your kid so he can finance my old age? I'm touched. Such unexpected side-benefits blogging can have.

    people who dont have kids are selfish and self centred

    I happily plead guilty to those charges, but here's a hypothetical question for you: if, after all these years of selfless parental love and care, your kid, for whatever reason, shows you the middle finger when he grows up (or even just goes and marries someone you don't approve of), won't you feel a touch miffed about all the selflessness going to waste? Probably not, I know, but just throwing the idea your way. (P.S. Why not put the little tyke in ball and chains now?)

    Toe Knee: it's just that time of year, with commenters lobbying very hard to be included in my year-end comments list. I'll consider the above submissions, but the competition is heavy this year.

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  20. i hope i can give my son enuff indian values even tho i live in canada that he wont show me his middle finger.. i dont care who he marries as long as she's a woman

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  21. btw i do enjoy reading u'r blogs esp the literary reviews .. however we have very diff tastes in movie

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  22. i dont care who he marries as long as she's a woman

    So if he turns out gay (despite the inculcation of "enuff" Indian values), the selfless parenting thing is screwed, right? Anyway, all the best for the future...seriously. You'll need it.

    P.S. I didn't mean the middle-finger bit literally. It was meant to indicate the possibility of his defying your values/moral codes in whatever way, like youngsters all over the world routinely do (in the process producing some very disappointed parents, aghast that all their "selflessness" was wasted).

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  23. Nobody should use animals in ads or feature films. Especially dogs. "101 Dalmatians" led to randoms hordes of the spotty buggers being bought and then abandoned when people discovered they were large, sensitive beasts.
    The Hutch ad has led to hundreds of idiots buying cute little pugs and abandoning them after they realised these things need to be fed and walked.
    Want a cute pug? Go down to your nearest animal shelter and take your pick (they'll throw in a Dalmatian or three as well.)

    I also think it's very selfish and self centred to have children when you can adopt one (spots, podgy, jowly, take your pick) from the nearest orphanage. It's all about trying to perpetrate your DNA - and fact it, the world would be a nicer place if less human DNA was perpetuated
    DD

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  24. What is this childish ranting? Jai, if you jokingly or seriously don't approve of kids , why shove your ideas with a shovel.(Pun intended). No need to become a pontiff in matters which are personal and no need to point out future advantages/disadvantages to parents.

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  25. why shove your ideas with a shovel

    Shwet: I could say exactly the same thing about your comment, no? Also interesting that you don't seem to think of the comment "..people who dont have kids are selfish and self centred" as an example of "becoming a pontiff in matters which are personal".

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  26. Mate, I have not posted the comment as a diktat. I also agree with the 'self centered' part. I only wanted to point out that why would you indulge in the merits and demerits of parenthood? To each one his own is what i abide by in life.

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  27. Shwet: um, I did not write the post (or my counter-comments) as a "diktat" either. Incidentally, "To each one his own" is pretty much what I abide by in life too. But what's your interpretation of this - that no one should (jokingly or otherwise) ever discuss the merits or demerits of anything? Doesn't sound like a very practical way of living your life, unless you're the proverbial hermit on the mountaintop.

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  28. umm, J, i think you meant unsocial, not anti-social. the two words have completely different connotations.

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  29. also...im aghast at DD. is this person some sort of self-styled sanjay gandhi who gets to decide whether people are " fit enough " for their DNA to be perpretated? Or worse...that we all have to do the politically correct thing and adopt... Heil Hitler, here DD comes! Obviously there's no such thing as free will in this world, so random others will get to arbitrate on personal matters such as the right to adopt/ or reproduce...
    DD darling, do us all a HUGE favour and never adopt/ procreate. pretty please? i shudder to think of what your progeny would turn out, with a parent like you.

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  30. "I also think it's very selfish and self centred to have children when you can adopt one (spots, podgy, jowly, take your pick) from the nearest orphanage"......

    wow DD...you really took Jai's innocuous blog entry to a whole new level...so not only do you insult people who may (shudder) want to have their own children (it's not a crime you know, it is LEGAL all over the world, though maybe not in Nazi Germany), you also insult the kids people may want to adopt from orphanages.
    spots, podgy, jowly....which one of these is you, i wonder?

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  31. hey DD parenthood is not abt. propagating genes .. its a wonderful feeling to feel a life develop inside you nad see that life grow into a human being .. it makes you realize whats imp. in life . hope one day u r also blessed to become a parent

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  32. Anon: does it occur to you that maybe DD's comment is (at least a partly tongue-in-cheek) retort to the earlier comment that "people who dont have kids are selfish and self centred"?

    ...random others will get to arbitrate on personal matters such as the right to adopt/ or reproduce...

    Wow. Seems to me like you've taken the comment to a whole new level - it's almost like you really believe DD has the power to arbitrate in these matters. Don't worry, I assure you that in real life he's a very gentle soul who abides by the "live and let live" principle (as I myself do, believe it or not). No practical danger from him. But it's always fun to post such comments and wait for the reactions to come in...

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  33. 'Hermit on the mountaintop'. Anyway Anon is really passionate about his topic. So 'O' ignorant soul 'Jai' accept pitahmah (Anon's) blessings.

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  34. Hmm. Somehow I'd asumed Anonymous was a man. Now it seems s/he enjoys the sensation of babies growing inside him/her.


    I rather like the Hutch pug. I mean, think how terrifying the ads would be if it were a pomeranian.

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  35. "Is this person some sort of self-styled sanjay gandhi who gets to decide whether people are " fit enough " for their DNA to be perpetuated?"

    Well, think of how much nicer the world would have been if Sanjay Gandhi's parents (or grandparents for that matter!) had not perpetuated their DNA.

    Clarification:
    I wrote "I THINK it's very selfish and self-centred to have children."

    It's an OPINION.

    At least as valid an opinion as " I think it's selfish and self-centred not to have children".

    How do you take this and interpret it as me saying I "get to decide" anything?

    Unless of course, you feel that YOUR opinion should let YOU get to decide that everybody must be forced to have children?

    It's LEGAL NOT TO HAVE children, and not to like children, in case you parent-nazis haven't noticed (it was even legal to be childless by choice in Nazi Germany - read your history).

    Grow up - if you wish to be judgmental and express an opinion about people's personal choices, you should be able to stomach a counter-opinion that is just as judgmental about your personal choices.

    Without name-calling, misinterpretation or mis-reading of what has been said.

    I feel sorry for your kids, they are being brought up by very childish, immature and confused parents.

    (That's why I'm SHOUTING, it's sometimes the only way to get through to immature people.)

    But hey, how does the fact that a total stranger thinks you are selfish and self-centred
    affect your right to be selfish and self-centred?

    Go right ahead - have your kids, and sometime in between changing nappies, try and take a course in logic.

    It might help you deal with your kids when they start asking all those awkward questions.

    DD

    Incidentally, I would think you were far less selfish and self-centred if you donated time to working in an orphanage or an animal centre. Whether you had kids or not.
    I do.
    But then that wouldn't give you that warm sensuous feeling of perpetuating your DNA.

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  36. Lagey raho, DD-Bhai! I know this completely defeats the purpose, but after reading your comments I wish people like you would perpetuate their DNA. The world needs it. Unfortunately it's the monkeys who usually end up doing most of the procreating.

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  37. wow.... big egos and all that.
    first of all, ive only written 3 posts..so the one that says, "hey DD parenthood is not abt. propagating genes .. .hope one day u r also blessed to become a parent" IS NOT written by me.

    and DD, your reply to my post just validates my point. also, perhaps you, along with your best bud J, would do me the courtesy of actually READING my mail and not confusing it with what other people have posted earlier.

    but i guess thats too much to ask for. its so much easier (and logical) to rant without thought or pause.

    Sorry for not reading my history DD, but i guess referring to a general fascist ideology of a particular era isnt specific enough for you pedantics.... and in case you do finally bother to read my posts, I've NEVER said that anyone should be forced to have children. In fact i believe that if any adult is even remotely reluctant/ unhappy to bring up a child, he/she shouldn't because parents have the most power to irretrievably ruin a child'd life.

    And believe it or not ( im guessing not), I DONT have children. I dont even like children. but what i hate is people like you who mask their opinions under the guise of "hey look we're so much more intellectually superior to the rest of the breed-happy junta so lets just let one comment, made by one person, lead us to making general offensive remarks about any hapless soul who has kids, whether he/she suscribes to the "children are necessary to perpetuate our breed" theory or not".

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  38. THE ARROGANCE OF THE INTELLECTUAL.

    And dont feel sorry for my kids because i dont have any. and it's not because im selfish. i think everyone is. i dont have kids because i dont want to. plain and simple. but i do not make half-baked, illogical judgments about the rest of the world who do have kids, BASED on one person's comment. I think this is a common fallacy in critical reasoning (or perhaps just plain ol common sense) called a HASTY GENERALIZATION.

    And I dont miss the warm, sensuous feeling of procreating either. but let me hazard a wild, wild guess. perhaps you do?

    one last thing.

    " But hey, how does the fact that a total stranger thinks you are selfish and self-centred
    affect your right to be selfish and self-centred?

    umm, correct me if im wrong, but when exactly did i say that? i think you were the one who made value judgements about people who choose to procreate rather than adopt, not me.

    carry on DD and J, in a world full of suicide bombers, religious fanatics and moral absolutism, the two of you are right up there with Mr. George W. Bush. Hey, if you're not with you, we're aganist you, right?

    and this is my final post. any further posts by anon are not by me.

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  39. Anonymous (the last two - I'm assuming you're the same!): wow, you got "moral absolutism" from my post and DD's two comments? I crown you the Emperor of Creative Extrapolation/Motive-Imputing - these are things anonymous commenters specialise in anyway, but you've taken them to a whole new level. A bit puzzling, considering you seem to know phrases like "hasty generalisations" and "critical reasoning".

    Btw I've learnt from long experience not to take at face value claims such as "I wrote that anonymous comment but not THAT one", but I'll assume you're being honest. Still, it's quite telling that you're so offended by DD's comments while remaining unconcerned about that inane "my kid will pay your govt pension/it's selfish not to have kids" comment that started this whole thing.

    Anyway, this is my final comment here also. Feel free to retort of course, but don't expect any further responses (even if you continue to impute motives/pick on sentences and spin them off into fantasies of your own). If you feel strongly enough about carrying the argument further in a meaningful way (or at least getting an explanation about the tone of this post), use email instead.

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  40. Oh! There are two or maybe more anons - sorry for assuming there was only one - the general tone of hysteria confused me.
    To "Sanjay-Gandhi & childless anon" : My comments about "warm sensual feelings" and "your kids are being brought up by immature parents" was aimed at the anon with "wonderful feelings about life growing within" ,who I still assume is the same anon with a son who will be brought up with "enuff" Indian values to marry a woman.

    " But hey, how does the fact that a total stranger thinks you are selfish and self-centred
    affect your right to be selfish and self-centred?" When did I ever say that?

    No, YOU didn't say that - I did - in response to your comment about "getting to decide" (unless of course, that post involves two different anons.)

    I didn't mask my feelings - I don't like children, I believe it's selfish and self-centred to have children. I said that upfront. People who know me (and I don't hide my identity) have heard me say it in person.

    If you don't have the nerve to do that, but wish to remain "anon" without being confused with other anons, do add a tagline to other comments.

    If you're NOT the anon who thinks its selfish and self-centred to not have children, why on Earth are you hassled?

    I am responding to a value judgment with an equally valid value-judgment. You don't have to subscribe to either.

    How does this translate into moral absolutism? Do tell

    DD

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  41. hi j.wock, DD, the other anon and all other people who dont like kids , i feel sorry for u , thankfully u r a minority and most people love kids .. obviously u have too much time on your hands to write such long posts , maybe u need to be gainfully employed having kids ...if u'r parents thought the same way u wouldnt be here to blog

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  42. Anon who claims to love kids. Actually, you don't love kids in general - you love your own kids.

    What you want is little carbon copies of yourself looking after you in your old age. After filling you with a wonderful feeling of life as they grow inside you.

    Very selfish and self centred!

    Has it occurred to you that we might actually make a living writing long posts and enjoy it more than bringing up kids?

    (For one thing, the sex life tends to be better when it isn't interrupted by nappy changing or burping.)

    As to our parents, how do you know that we weren't accidents (due to bad quality control on Nirodhs)?

    Or that we don't resent being produced as little carbon copies customised to look after Aged Ps?

    Has it occurred to you that your kids might fall into that minority which Jwock and I belong to?

    Or we may not espouse any of the opinions we've expressed and simply enjoy getting your goat?
    :)
    DD

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  43. DD: I approve of the word "espouse" in your last comment. (E-Spouse = being married to the Internet? Which we clearly are. Not just the long-post writers but also the persistent anonymous commenters who somehow manage to find time for this in between the changing nappies/burping.)

    P.S. I'd like to think I'm an accident, unfortunately the parents confirm I was planned. They only sometimes regret it.

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  44. Sorry this is so much fun! I can't stop giggling. Herself (meaning the Invisible Pink Unicorn who is my personal Ist-debi) in her other avatar of La Internet is such a lovely mistress.

    Speaking of which, assume you seen http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q901EP-bk34. Am reliably informed the orange gag is std op procedure becoz it's soft enough not to be dangerous!!

    If he screams loudly and swallows, he won't choke to death, just shit pips for the next few days.

    Thinking of morphing a few faces onto the chappie - can u see Dubya in that pose?

    Wonderful way to intersperse an essay on life-cycle investing. Which is what I'm doing.

    DD

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  45. Not that this is apropos of anything, but just to clarify that DD isn't spotty, pudgy or jowly.

    He is hairy, though.

    DD's non-procreating better half

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  46. looks like people have no work on a weekday .. BTW DD i was wanting to adopt a kid from india but being an NRI it is difficult coz u have to live in India for a year... dont worry abt my sex life .. my son is proof that its rocking .. i'm sorry u feel u were an accident maybe thats made u antisocial and addicted to blogging .. its fashionable to make fun of ordinary people who do the traditional stuff .. anyways gotta get back to my nightly quota of saas bahu soaps :)

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  47. Like I said, this is my work and Jwocks.

    I don't necessarily feel anything about an accident must ask my parents sometime. Nor am I worried about your sexlife - just enjoying putting thoughts in your traditional head that you've obviously never had.

    It's not that tough to adopt an Indian kid if you're NRI. If you like, I'll help you do it.

    DD

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  48. It seems rude to interrupt the flow, but damn, this is a marvelous comment section, Jai.

    I wanted to post a comment, but it ended up too long, and since you've decreed you'd rather not have any more, I spun it into a post on my blog here.

    And ... er ...

    "dont worry abt my sex life .. my son is proof that its rocking .."

    I suddenly need to go off into a corner and giggle madly.

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  49. dd maybe i'll take u up on that offer .. i would like to adopt a girl ... AB ( not amitabh bachan who has kids and is a great rolemodel )but aditya B. i did read u'r blog and can only that obviously u r confused and not ready to be responsible for a child ..
    bv

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  50. and AB i am assuming u r unmarried , once u get married u will have kids coz all women naturally wanna become mothers ..thats why god made them a certain way..thats why J.wock and dd and other naysayers all will also have kids
    bv

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  51. For all the people who think that women are walking cocksheathes/playpens/nurseries: I have news for you fossils. I am a woman. I have absolutely no maternal instinct, which exists solely in the dictionary and in your mutton-choked crania. I see no reason to have my very athletic, thoroughly academic, intellectually satisfying, and UNABASHEDLY SELFISH existence literally and figuratively fucked out of shape by maternity. I see my mother and what my and my brother's arrival did to an intelligent, active woman. If I could turn back time for her, and remove the glint from Daddy's eye and run down his leg while there was still time, believe you me, I would. Instead I have to sit here and respond to the assheaded drivel of antediluvian wanna-be or already-there paters familias.

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  52. Anon who thinks everybody will have children - for all I know I already have grandkids, given that I indulged in a lot of unprotected sex in the 1980s.Thankfully nobody has yet come forward to claim the jaidaad. I've been married 12 years BTW, and we've chosen to have cats instead. Much more fun and much easier to toilet train.
    If you're serious about wanting to adopt, you can email Jwock. He has my contact details.
    Felix I fully sympathise with your desire not to be a baby factory. Go girl!

    DD

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  53. Felix :

    I see no reason to have my very athletic, thoroughly academic, intellectually satisfying, and UNABASHEDLY SELFISH existence literally and figuratively fucked out of shape by maternity. I see my mother and what my and my brother's arrival did to an intelligent, active woman

    So, maternity is non-athletic, unacademic, intellectually unsatisfying, selfless and fucked up. And the result is you ...

    Now I wonder what it would have been like if otherwise. Apropos you.
    ;)

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  54. Also ... in continuation.

    That is what maternity did to your "intelligent, active" mother... Or was it your mother who did that to her maternity?

    Now don't say that she had no choice in the matter ...
    :)

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  55. Last two Anons: with ref. to "And the result is you ...Now I wonder what it would have been like if otherwise. Apropos you", I love it when someone comes up with this sort of "clever" gotcha!-type comment when the original commenter has already covered the possibilities you think you're introducing to the discussion. Do read the second-last sentence of Felix's comments again, and then write on the blackboard a thousand times "I will not write unnecessary comment and end up with egg all over my face."

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  56. Heh!

    I presume we have that random something called IQ ...

    Do read the second-last sentence of Felix's comments again, and then write on the blackboard a thousand times "I will not write unnecessary comment and end up with egg all over my face."

    The "you" in my sentence is not natal Felix but the "athletic, academic, intellectually satisfied and UNABASHEDLY SELFISH" Felix. Do read my comment again, in light of this clarification and with your wise words above. It would help if you carried out the same exercise thyself ...
    :D

    I love it when someone comes up with this sort of "clever" gotcha!-type comment when the original commenter has already covered the possibilities you think you're introducing to the discussion.

    I love it when someone cannot think beyond the possibilities that have already been discussed ...

    Since we have such an obvious handicap in discerning the subtext, the point being made is what would "...." Felix be if her mother's maternity had not been what it has been made out to be.

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  57. Anon: of course, of course. You win. I'm the only one who needs lessons in self-awareness - you're just full of coruscating, corrective insight. *Pat on back* Anyway, glad to see you’re following this comments thread so avidly, weeks after the post was put up – that’s what we selfish types blog for, as you know...

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  58. Not really ... You win! Please.

    I'm the only one who needs lessons in self-awareness

    Read : I do not need any lessons in self-awareness.

    How can I win against that?
    :)

    But seriously, what attracted the attention was your reference on your latest post to this thread. You drew attention and I got here.

    The point that actually caught the eye, apart from what I referred to, is Felix getting all confused in speaking for her mother / herself.

    Does her mother regret her maternity? Did her life get all fucked-up? Does such a choice / life necessarily indicate general fucked-up-ness? Does a lack of athleticism, scholasticism imply lack of intellectual fulfilment? Fuck, does maternity logically imply lack of cerebral orgasmia?

    Does it? Or does Felix merely feel that she cannot handle all that follows maternity? And therefore she takes the lazy ( intellectually, of course ... and {logically, I note there was someone advising on a course on logic} ) way out - justify your own choice in terms of how fucked-up the alternate is? As you make it out to be ... speaking for someone else.

    In which case there really isn't any problem with maternity as such - just a matter of choice in whether you wish to spend the rest of your life wiping your own butt ( which you have to do in any case ) or spend a little while doing that for someone who obviously cannot do that for him/herself.

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  59. And just in case you wish to point out that Felix was responding to the statement that all women naturally want to be mothers, I see no reason for you to not think of the same akin to a statement that all bitches feel protective towards their puppies ( which would be quite natural and justified, {to avoid a common logical fallacy} ). That does not stop something in your nurture expressing itself as your profound distaste for nature, in your nature ( if that is what is taken to be meant by "what I feel" ).

    ... Just taking into account some of the possibilities in your response.
    :)

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  60. by the way, j, someone's been trying to tell you that you used the word "antisocial" wrongly. actually, it was perfectly legit. j's friend, please check http://www.askoxford.com/concise_oed/antisocial?view=uk
    - ags

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  61. Ajitha: thanks. As you know, my gut reaction to being told I'm wrong about anything is "Ha! You poor deluded fool." (To trolls: please start jumping up and down now!)

    P.S. what makes you think that commenter is a friend? I don't even know who he/she/it is.

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  62. Completely off-topic.
    This is with regard to the debate on the desirability of children in this thread.

    I think the fundamental paradox of our times is that the affluent/educated/high-IQ section of our society is increasingly averse to the idea of child-rearing and long-lasting marriages. In contrast, marriage as an institution continues to be robust and birth-rates remain high in rural areas and among the riff-raff of society (presumably people with less education/lower IQ)

    As a result, the losers continue to outbreed the winners when it comes to procreating, thus increasing economic and social inequality and reducing the quality of human capital. That's why I think it is a social obligation of the intellectual elites of our society to have children (and lots of them).

    I know this sounds preachy. But it is something to ponder over. I strongly recommend John Stuart Mill's autobiography in which he describes how much of his success he owes to his most remarkable father. Must-read.

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  63. shrikanth: I get your central point - if you notice, earlier in this thread I posted a comment to my friend DD, expressing regret that intelligent people like him chose not to procreate whereas monkeys are merrily procreating all over the place. But I would narrow down your categorisation of "affluent/educated/high-IQ section of our society" to "staunchly rational, individualist and clear-thinking people whose intelligence doesn't derive so much from formal education as from reading widely, keeping their minds open and constantly questioning everything around them".

    Of course, the "social obligation" bit is Utopian.

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  64. "staunchly rational, individualist and clear-thinking people whose intelligence doesn't derive so much from formal education as from reading widely, keeping their minds open and constantly questioning everything around them"

    that's correct. But a lot of the attributes you mentioned don't come about just like that. A lot depends on both 'nature' and 'nurture'. Good Parenting (and that includes transfer of good genes) plays a major role.

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  65. I made it through ALL the comments and have laughed so hard I can't think straight. :D

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  66. All you people who get wet thinking about having kids....life growing inside me etc etc .... take that brat of yours and shove it up your ass.

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