lalita larking

An obsession with cryptic crosswords. Everything else falls in place.

Location: Kolkata, India

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Non amo te

"Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere - quare; Hoc tantum possum dicere, non amo te."

Relax. This is not a Latin lesson blog. It is just that translating the above extempore saved satirist Tom Brown from getting expelled.

It's a well-known little poem.

I do not love thee, Doctor Fell,
The reason why, I cannot tell;
This I know, and know full well,
I do not love thee, Doctor Fell.

We all experience instant and inexplicable dislikes at sometime or other: of people, perhaps food, or a city, a fad or a figure of speech. I have my share of things I dislike without any real or rational reason. I am sure you do, too.

Why does this happen? Is it some unconscious reading of body language? Is it pheromones? Is it some gut level instinct?

It's not just a question of 'first impressions', which might explain the instant dislike we take to people or sights or voices over the phone. There'd been instances in chat-rooms, when I'd form a violent dislike of one person, even if he or she hadn't addressed a single remark to me. How can someone sitting and typing half a world away raise my hackles and why?

But it happens. I fervently dislike a lot of things.

Madhuri Dixit's beaming smile, for instance. I swear I won't be able to recognise the woman if she wasn't grinning that face-splitting smile. Beauty products endorsed by her are advertised on sandwich boards on lampposts. I can't ride down Rash Behari Avenue without encountering her. And every time I see her pearly whites, I grit mine.

Aishwarya Rai: I tell you, this isn’t plain womanly envy for after all and good grief, the child is almost young enough to be my daughter. But I can't stand her wooden face. Granted, I haven't seen a single film that she (let's settle for worked), worked in. I just can't stand her face. The only time she brought me cheer was when I saw a picture of her with an imbecilic rictus of a grin and a 'what would be tubby by today's standards' midriff, gyrating for some dance item.

I dislike the 'press one to continue in English' kind of interactive voice response services, too. They expect you punch in either your recharge coupon number, which is a zillion digits long, or your credit card number. Why can't they have humans answer? Goodness knows there are enough bright people looking for a job, any job.

Listening to recorded voices recite back the number I punched in and figuring out that I may have got one digit wrong, and then to start all over again. That is something I dislike violently. If ever there is going to be a shooting squad assembled to execute the generators of half-witted ideas like having recordings replace human interaction when people call for help, I'd sign up; I'd even pay for my lessons and practice times on the range.

The inane Blind Date column in Times of India and the tired cliches the young people are reported to have exchanged. That really gets my teeth gnashing. Why can't they record the real conversations and reproduce them with the usual ums and ers that intersperse real chats?

People you have just met standing too close, invading your space? They might be nice and harmless, but my hackles rise.

A gallery owner lost a chance to make a sale to me because he kept coming too close to me in his eagerness to push a painting. I didn't realise it then, of course. It was only later, when I pondered why I walked out without buying that I realised that I felt pressurised. My discomfort and his pushiness combined to lose him that sale.

People who cheerfully grab your mobile and tell you "Hey, you have six missed calls and a coupla messages," and proceed to read them? I can't stand them, and that is all I am going to say about it. I don't want your monitors exploding, which they will, believe me, if I start.

Opinionated and vain twerps who veer off the topic and wax pedantic in discussions? Let's not go there, either. I can feel my blood pressure rising.

Of course, the 'I can't stand' litany varies from person to person. What's your pet hate? Do tell.



Anonymous Ash said...

Goodness gracious. What brought that on? Ms. Congeniality spouting vitriol?

My pet hate, by the way, is people who call and then ask who is speaking, instead of announcing themselves.

5:37 pm  
Blogger Raj said...

My,my. Dr. Larking Lalita turned into Ms.Ranting Ranjita.

Don't you hate my annoying alliterations?

6:41 pm  
Anonymous Rajesh said...

Well, well well. Missus Em has a boiling point. Yeah, what set off this rant Lali? Why not tell us about it?

10:12 pm  
Anonymous Rajesh said...

I hate family folk saying things like Ooh, he's grown so much, he's taller than so and so.

Just for record. :-)

10:30 pm  
Blogger Rimi said...

I likes it!

People who crowd my space, people who grab my phone, Aishwarya Rai's fakeness (she IS pretty, though. In a dead fish sort of expressionless way) - dito, ditto.

What else? Gotto think. I'm extremely mild in my likes and dislikes. Oh, got it. Forceful argumentative people. The sort to whom 'let's agree to differ' is alien-speak.

10:35 pm  
Anonymous priya said...

we seem to share dislikes.
i, for some [irrational] reason, can't tolerate those who take to blogging coz it'll help them in the analytical writing section in GRE. What makes it worse, half my college falls into that description.
and i just HATE people who use their keyboard like a mobile keypad and type sms lingo... i mean, why say fyne for fine?

10:58 pm  
Blogger db said...

Several things that tick me off .. one of the most common ones, encountered unfailingly at weddings and social gatherings ..... Its a phenomenon that occurs as unfailingly as the Halley's comet ..every wedding I attend .. some unfamiliar face would approach me and say ..."Enna orrmai irukko ? En peru XYZ mama / mami ... Naan pandu orukka unga aathuku vandhurukken ...Nee chinna kozhandhai-a irundhai appo" .... (Roughly translated from Tamil, it means ... "Do you remember me? ... I am uncle / aunt Xyz .. I've visited your house once .. you were a small baby then") ....

I'd like to thumb my nose at such inane comments .. however, decency / politeness & courtesy to elders make me just grin like an idiot, and thinking to myself, " How dumb a question is that ? The answer lies in the question itself .. If i was a li'l baby then, how am I supposed to recognize you now ?" ...

Newayz .. good bloggin .. keep it up !

Cheerio !!

1:04 am  
Blogger Speech is Golden said...

Pet hates:

Invading personal space: Yes!
Automatic voice response: Oh yes!
Bad English: Yup!
SMS Lingo: Definitely

Unnecessary extravagance (showing-off): Yup! Top of the list

Aishwarya Rai's clothes-hanger-smile: Oh! No! Definitely not.

8:45 am  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Ash- Yes! "Hello, who is speaking?" they say; when they should be saying "Hello, this is so and so."

Raj- Nah. I love alliterations, especially when it's Raj perpetrating them. :-)

Rajesh- Oh yes. "Goodness, how you have grown," is something all of us have gritted our teeth and put up with.

Rimi- Yeah. "Let's agree to differ" just sets them off, trying a different tack to get you to see their view and admit that you were abjectly wrong.

10:56 am  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Priya- I hear you, girl. lazy typing and SMS lingo, let's not go there. But to blog for GRE? This is a strange reason. I am intrigued. Please elaborate.

POD- *grin* Family! The cross we all bear.

Ram- So you like Rai? Well, each to his own, I say.

Showing off. Yes!

11:01 am  
Anonymous priya said...

well, it's like this. most of those im talking about are those who've never read a novel in their lives, let alone write anything. GRE poses a challenge in the form of analytical writing and verbal section. so they go through word lists, start cramming Manorama Yearbooks, and flood blogosphere with extremely bad writing, which they hope will improve their analytical writing skills, as there are many critics who'll tell them where exactly they have to improve.

11:57 am  
Anonymous prakash said...

I cant stand that female's voice in railways stations who keeps chanting yatrion krupya dhyan dijiye, mumbai se dilli jaane wali gaadi, platform number char se.... blah blah, non stop, that too when i'm locked in the waiting hall for hours together..

12:07 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Priya-...flood blogosphere with extremely bad writing, which they hope will improve their analytical writing skills, as there are many critics who'll tell them where exactly they have to improve.

Wonderful. What delicious irony.

Prakash- Oh. I forgot that one. Airport tannoys are equally bad.

12:34 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hate people who jump queues with the I am in a hurry, do you mind excuse. Hello, we are all in a hurry and have other things to do too.

Lovely blog. No two topics alike. You keep me guessing where you will go next.


Secret admirer.

4:15 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Anon- Oi Secret admirer, come out of the closet, willya? At least give me a pseudonym to address you with.

Yeah, I know all about this claiming places in a queue. "Hey, I am before you," and they will go off to do other things and come to claim their place ahead of you. They finish their business and the counter closes for tea-break or something like that. Sigh.

9:06 pm  
Anonymous Sunbeamz said...

About the personal space crowding, you should stand in a line in non-ac places. I invariably get a paunchy woman leaning against my back, making my sweaty top stick (yechhh) or straps of my heavy bag cut my shoulder. How I keep my elbows in check!
Talking of elbows, people in crowded seating fiddling with their bag and digging their elbow in my side...
Sigh! But it feels good to rant about these things :)

4:55 pm  
Blogger Lalita Mukherjea said...

Sunbeamz- Yup, it feels good to rant about these things. People crowd you as though that will make the queue move any faster! And elbows, let's not go there. :D

6:05 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hate, Matilda?? Rather a strong reaction, dont you think?? I may have mild dislikes for a lot of things but would not go as far a hating anything....

Aishwarya? Yeah..kind of artificial..Kareena's going the same way....Dont wanna say anything on Madhuri. She is history.Period.

2:35 pm  

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