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Deceiving looks…

Amazing how people can look so sophisticated and smart and everything, that is until you hear them speak. No joke, I mean try to remember a time when a person you've never spoken to entranced you. However the second you conversed with him you realize that the dude is out there, really out there.

Still don't get it? Picture this scene: This new girl fascinates a kid. He's never spoken to her but he's sure she's smart, intelligent and a whole of other things that he actually isn't. When he speaks to her he finds that all the girl ever wants to talk about are concerning those go-to-bed-wearing-makeup-and-jewelry Indian T.V. serials and the Powerpuff Girls (no, seriously). Get it now? That's better.

This whole get-very-excited-before-actually-knowing-the-person-Syndrome has done me a lot of harm. The sight of a school principle carrying stupid looking, hairy, fluffy dog in her arms really impressed my father so much that he enrolled me into her crappy excuse of a school. The ensuing mayhem is too painful (and embarrassing) to be expressed in words.

This Syndrome not only applies on people but on everything. Take this example for instance. The advertisement for a coaching institute impressed me so that I once again got enrolled there (you're probably wondering what my results are with such dire educational decisions) and guess what? Wait, you already guessed didn't you? Yeah the place sucked.

Then there are these advertisements themselves that work on the basis of this Syndrome. Use enough flashy graphics (i.e. scantily clad girls) and exaggeration and you're sure to bag a few sorry idiots who'll buy the product. It's the marketing master plan of the century (I mean there are enough acne ridden fourteen years olds out there who think that buying Axe's deodorant is going to help them score big and that too only because of the flashy girls in the advert. These idiots don't understand that the girls are paid to coo over a guy they'd rather puke on).

And haven't we all fallen for things that looked enticingly attractive on first sight. It might have been a beautiful dress on display for the girls or a video game with a good-looking cover for the boys. It's only later that we find out don't we? Let's not talk about the whole love at first sight crap. We all know how those things turn out.

There are enough examples out there to fill ten pages (only I can't think of them right now). Take this one for example. I know this guy who saw this other guy who had gotten pierced right above the left eye. Now the guy I'm talking about was so impressed an excited that he immediately got 750 TK and got one ring over his eye too (I found out from a another friend that the dude had almost peed when he'd seen the piercing gun, hehe, guess it isn't all that easy eh chump?). Then his understandably furious father had almost thrown him out of his house. See how deceiving these looks can be?

Then there are idiots who always follow the leader (i.e. do anything that everyone else is doing, regardless if they like it or not). This dude I know wasted a few thousand TK buying a cell phone that he'd seen only to find out that it was worse than the one he'd sold of to buy it. I'm sure there are few examples like these swirling in your head too. Yeah, I also know that most of them are concerning you.

However the most hilarious example I can give you is of yet another friend. This girl was so caught up with how cute a dog was that she'd seen somewhere that she immediately ordered one from abroad wasting a considerable amount of greenbacks. Then she called all of us over to her house to admire the stinky fur ball. We were all there when the dog decided that it didn't like the look of its owner's father. The ensuing madness consisted of a middle-aged man running down the road holding up his 'lungi' while screaming at his daughter's dog (for all you dog lovers out there, I'm sorry, I don't know what breed the dog was).

This is enough for today, later…
By Tareq Adnan

Book Review
In a German Pension

It's been a lazy, languid week for me, filled with sultry afternoons, when the heat makes keeping your eyes open a major effort. Speed reading and page-turning suspense strikes a discordant note when I'm in a mood like this, so I decided to curl up with a classic. One of the newest additions to my collection Katherine Mansfield's In a German Pension seemed to be the perfect choice.

Katherine Mansfield is remembered as the author who revolutionised the 20th Century English short story. Her stories were the first of significance in English to be written without a conventional plot. Supplanting the strictly structured plots of her predecessors in the genre (Edgar Allen Poe, Rudyard Kipling, H G Wells), this New Zealand author concentrated on one moment, a crisis or a turning point, rather than on a sequence of events. The plot is secondary to mood and characters.

In a German Pension is a collection of short stories, principally about the interactions among pension guests in a German spa town; a few represent the lives of the town's permanent residents. It's not so much about the minor ailments that these guests have come to cure; rather, the health complaints form a sort of medium through which the various guests relate to one another.

These stories, originally published in the New Age, a British periodical, were inspired by Mansfield's stay in a Bavarian spa, where her mother sent her in 1909 after a series of flings resulted in an unsuitable marriage and an illegitimate pregnancy. Mansfield went to Germany alone, and miscarried there, probably during the second trimester. The ambiguities surrounding the first-person narrator of several stories suggest that she is a figure for the pregnant, married-in-name-only, Mansfield.

The stories are all absorbing. It's admirable the way the author has derived so many different themes from the same setting. What I particularly liked was her tone of narration; like Jane Austen, Mansfield writes in a way that suggests a shrewdly observant young woman is taking you by the hand, drawing you aside and whispering in your ears with a laugh, 'Look at them; aren't they funny?” A couple of the stories like The Child-who-was-Tired end with a bang that makes you sit up and say 'Whoa! Where did that come from?” Mostly, though, they are a collection of anecdotes that will make you smile a while, so if you're feeling lazy like me and you want something to suit your mood, give this book a try!

By Sabrina F Ahmad


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