Unsatisfied by Oxford and Britannica’s efforts to educate us, I take it upon myself to delve into the depths of English literature and define some of the words that we use every day. Hopefully one day long after I get a Pulitzer, they would remember this post as the one that shook the very foundations of those institutions that built the language.
Nero chala Oxford: Part One
Apple – That damned object which could choose no other head but Isaac Newton’s to fall upon, leading to a plethora of theories about an unseen force that serve no other purpose but trouble every ninth-grader studying physics in the world. If only it had fallen on me, I would have eaten it.
Ball – That most magnificent of human inventions, ranks right up there with the wheel and the commode. Big or small, it has been the greatest entertainment provider whether in the giant stadium of Wembley, or the most ravaged village in Sudan, Africa.
Cat – A useless animal whose coolness stems from the fact that it can perch at small heights and look unfazed and thoroughly bored by a furiously agitated barking canine standing right below. Reproduces at a remarkable rate in Mica.
Dog – The most noble being in the world, it is the only organism that both understands as well as practices selfless love. Is made to look stupid when its incessant pouring of vitriolic anger is ‘looked down upon’ by its arch-rival, the cat.
England – A country absolutely bereft of brilliance but so adept at Marketing that they have had you convinced that Andy Flintoff, David Beckham, The Spice Girls and Lords Stadium are the pristine best in their categories. Agatha Christie is their redemption.
Fickle – A six letter word and character trait that manifests itself pronouncedly all over India whenever the Indian team loses. Or wins.
Ghosts – Their reputation was left in tatters with the arrival of Casper. Received a further walloping when the makers of ‘Aahat’ tried to felicitate them on screen.
Harry Potter – In the ‘Da Vinci Code’, Langdon’s editor reads his script and is astounded by the finds. He believes it will make more waves than the greatest best seller of all time. “Bible?”, Langdon asks. “Harry Potter” is the reply. Period.
India - There is much about the Indian gene that could be derided - we are lazy, corrupt, largely insensitive to womankind, and racist. But we sure produce bloody good batsmen.
Jat – A breed of organisms that knows no fear, no care, no authority, and sometimes no sense.
K – My favourite letter in the alphabet set. Also Ekta Kapoor’s. For altogether different reasons.
Love – When the whole world collapses, and there is Armageddon, they will remember it as the planet of the apes that went down to the dogs. And for how much he loved her.
Mandira Bedi – A revolutionary, who stood for womankind’s entry into a sports chamber hogged forever by men. After her entry, even women started agreeing that their kind had no business there.
Nero – Played the fiddle when Rome was burning. A CD burning software. A writer. Cute.
Ouagadougou – The capital of Burkina Faso. Has crippled the tongue and larynx of every single person who tried to pronounce the word, including the nation’s president.
Photoshop – A tool that makes every layman a ‘brilliant’, ‘awesome’, ‘fantastic’ photographer
Quotes – A very powerful tool to exercise wit and charm. Rendered Mark Twain and Bernard Shaw immortal.
Ryan Giggs – The greatest son Wales gave birth to, and the son England never had but always desired.
Santa Claus – A very nice man, who really should have visited Hindu, Muslim and Sikh houses too, not just Christian. We, the other religions, have kids too, you know.
Twitter – An expression box which clearly suggests that women love to rant, and men love to 'follow' them.
UDRS – World’s answer to India’s bullish, big-brother attitude in cricket. Under the rule, every batsman plumb lbw to an Indian bowler, has walked 2.5 metres down the wicket, and is therefore not out. Ian, ring a Bell?
Vivacious – the most pleasant word to describe a person who is so full of life as to endear himself to most people he interacts with and be wanted around, by virtue of manner, smile and charm.
Wit – An innocuous character trait that nobody puts as a ‘strength’ in their CV for an interview, but arguably the greatest weapon to have at your disposal at all times. Including that interview.
X – Mark Twain refused to define any words beginning with X, and I have a similar revulsion for the poor alphabet.
Yorker – The first word Lasith Malinga gurgled as a baby, right before he crawled three yards and threw his dirty nappy right into his father’s toes. Second was ‘ooowzat’ and third ‘amma’.
Zephyr – Seated across to Harsha Bhogle in the commentary box in Australia, Terry Jenner once remarked of the weather, "This is not a wind, just a zephyr." The reply speaks volumes of Bhogle’s acumen, and left me as a huge fan, nay, loyalist.
"Zephyr. What a nice word for Scrabble, it has only one vowel and is worth 23 points."