A strange phone call compelled me to write this out. This evening, a friend called me up to figure out plans for the weekend. Now generally, you wouldn’t mistake this guy for an idiot. That is until he cut me off mid-sentence and said, “Oye! Aaj Michael Jackson mara tha, ek saal pehle. Chal lets do a few moments of silence yaar.” And then he didn’t talk for a minute. Or so I presumed, because I hung up at the 10-second mark. Turns out I was right. The guy called back exactly a minute later and said, “Abbe itna bhi nahi kar sakta kya yaar!”
note to self: remove from Facebook list
I’ve never quite understood the point behind standing motionlessly silent for “a moment” at the mention of a dead person. I can understand it as a social convention to be followed at funerals but not when some guy on a podium requests an audience to observe silence for someone who died ten years ago. For someone they don’t genuinely care about with the ridiculous pretext that silence brings peace to the departed’s soul. Let’s assume for the sake of argument that a ten-year old omnipresent floating soul glides over us at all times, restless from all the noise emanating from the living world. A sort of paranormal Grendel-like entity. And to soothe this ghostly presence we allow it just a “few moments” of silence? Before going to back to being the loud, obnoxious race that we are? Pointless no?
But seriously, I know I don’t, but how many of us actually say a prayer or remember the person, if it is for someone personally insignificant. Here are a few things that go through my head during:
- I wonder what everyone else is thinking.
- Why am I swaying? I can’t seem to stand perfectly still.
- How much longer will this last?
- What’s that smell?
- Popular ad jingles and wondering if people can hear me humming them.
- One, two, three, four…
- Someone stuff a fist in that crying baby’s mouth.
- Uh oh. *sneeze* Awwwwkwward.
And then of course, there is the dreaded Giggle Loop
WARNING: To know of the Giggle Loop is to become part of the Giggle Loop
When I die, throw me a grand funeral with hired dancers and chicken tikka. Every forthcoming anniversary, say cheers to my name and get wasted. My flash-sideways version will join you for the binge.