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The Weakest Link

It was some kind of whacko experiment a few retarded kids started in order to make it to the Guinness Book of World Records trying to involve clueless kids of the world. The dreaded chain mail. If you say you hadnít received one of those, Iíd say- please be regular on those prescription memory capsules from now on.

I distinctly remember getting it from a sadistic friend when I was in 5th grade. I donít remember the exact words in the letter (note to self- increase memory capsule dosage), but I do remember promises of 7 colorful postcards and featuring in the GBWR if same mail is sent to seven other suckers. I had to send one postcard to this one person whose address was at the top. In my letter, I would have to knock off that kidís address and insert mine below the six others. Those were the days of snail mail, postmen, the necessity to have a legible handwriting and loads of free time. I painstakingly wrote the same crap 7 times in my best handwriting possible.

I even sent a lovely postcard to the random guy in question (hardest part of all). It was a snap shot of the grave of Tipu Sultanís relatives. Of all the postcards I had collected from my various trips, I was willing to part with that one.

In an ideal world, I should have got seven amazing postcards from around the world to add to my amazing collection. In the same perfect world, I should have got a thank-you postcard from the guy who now knows that Tipu Sultan and his relatives passed away. In the world I had envisioned, my name should have been in the Guinness Book of World Records.

Instead, what happened was this- I used up 25 sheets of paper (I had to trash many as I made eraser holes in some and went crooked in some others), Rs.4.25 worth of stamps, one postcard, much of my childhood time (when I could have fought with my brother, broken some china, scraped my knee) and my innocence turned into skepticism. I sat on the doorstep everyday after the cut off period of 3 months waiting for a single postcard, but all that arrived was another letter asking me to go through the torture once again. I tore the letter, stomped and spat on it before shedding tears.

After many years, people tried similar tricks with emails. They cursed me with amoebic dysentery and promised me that I would die with plague if I broke the chain. I did. I still stand in front of microwave while cooking, talk on cell phone till my eardrums get ruined in static, drink coke till my teeth rot, eat margarine and sleep on cotton sheets. I live on the edge and I am counting my days.

Lately I have been bombarded with polite emails asking me to answer personal intimate questions like favorite color and such. Such blatant infringement on my privacy has me checking out everyone elseís dumb answers, chuckling at the joblessness of it all, and completely ignoring to respond with trivia of my life. Now no one would know whether I like my popcorn buttered or not. Such an enigma I am.

These emails are actually harmless, obligation-free and donít throw curses at you. But they come with disclaimers such as- Please forward this to 7 others. It is so much fun to know about your friends. In other words it means- Donít be such an unenthusiastic snobish partypooper who canít take out 45 minutes from project deadline schedule. If you donít partake in this mind-blowing questionnaire, you will be bitched about and considered rude. Heck, I might even stop talking to you!

And now I can see a similar drama unfolding in the blogworld. Sadly, Patrix doesnít ask me to send a book to some blogger or threaten to convert me into a silver fish if I donít comply. I say Ďsadlyí coz, I now have no reason to crib. I canít even feign ignorance as he emailed me to make sure I look at it. Darn! In spite of the traumatic experience in childhood, Iíll take a stab at this before stabbing myself. After all itís about books and silly childlike behavior. Plus this rant has taken me more time than if I had just been nice and answered those nerdy questions in the first place.

Here goes-
Total books I own- What!? Excuse me!? Now you want me to count ALL the books I have? This is more sadistic than the popcorn question, especially when I donít even have that many books to show-off.

Last book I bought- The Poisonwood Bible Ė by Barbara Kingsolver

Last book I read- The Highway Capacity ManualÖhave it open right now. Trying to be less of a smart aleck, I recently read the The Kite Runner- Khaled Hosseini

Books that mean a lot to me (five at least)- ermmÖJeez!
Other than all your check books that mean so much to me, I will try to name whatever comes to my mind for now.
1. Calvin and Hobbes Ė Bill Watterson
2. Freedom at Midnight - Larry Collins, Dominique Lapierre
3. Classic Hikes of the World- Peter Potterfield
4. Passage to India- EM Foster
5. Kane and Abel- Jeffrey Archer
6. Lovely Bones- Alice Seabold
7. Into Thin Air- Jon Krakauer
8. God of Small Things- Arundathi Roy
9. The Lost Horizon- James Hilton
10. Collected Short Stories- Roald Dahl
11. The Fountainhead- Ayn Rand
12. Amar Chitra Katha - ?
13. Allen and Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book- Allen and Mike
14. Man Eater of Malgudi- R.K. Narayan

There! That list comprises of all the books I have read in this life and in my previous life.

Books that should be thrown out-
1. An Obedient Father- by some Indian guy. One word to summarize the book- YIKES!
2. The Shipping News- Annie Proulx. I hate books that make the English language difficult to comprehend. Books that make you feel small.
3. Anything Oscar Wilde- Too much philosophy for simple me.
4. Any self help book, starting with - Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus. Gimme a break, I donít even listen to my mom.
5. The complete Kamasutra- Alain Daniťlou (not his fault; he just translated it). Puke! Elephant sweat?
6. A Suitable Boy- Vikram Seth (It takes up too much shelf space)

It goes to show how much time I waste on random books because they are on sale.

People I ought to tag as revenge-
Nah! Iím sure you all are much more well-read and will make my life miserable by naming books I havenít even heard of. So Iíll hold off on giving you that pleasure. But I'd really like to know what books you plan to throw. Send them over to me... I desperately need more books to come up with a decent number to gloat over.

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