Literature, Unsorted

The Story Format

A few days ago I got a mail from a stranger, saying that every year at flipkart, certain people randomly select users to give surprise birthday gifts to.

*waits for you to read that again and figure out the subtler implications*
*assumes you figured it out*

Indeed B-)
I can almost hear the question marks and the exclamations popping in your head like bubblewrap. I sense that you want to swear at me. And I’m not one to approve of such behaviour on a general basis, but I’ll make  an exception this one time. Because if flipkart decided to give you free gifts on your birthday, I’m sure I’d swear my mouth off too. So carry on with the foul-word screaming in your head for a bit, and come back when you’re done so you can hear the rest of The Story.

Anyway, I got a mail from someone at flipkart and I thought at first that it couldn’t possibly be true and there must be some sort of catch somewhere, like maybe the email was fake and had nothing to do with flipkart at all. And then I thought of all the stuff I’ve been told recently about Social Engineering and clever hackers. So I did my research. I scrolled up to the top of my email and clicked on ‘show details’. I was convinced. But I called C and D to be safe, and told them the whole impossible awesome story. I told them that the email id said and doesn’t that mean it’s a genuine email and this is the luckiest day of my life. They said yes you bitch and I replied to the email and messaged Si-who-has-been-using-flipkart-for-ages to tell him all about how I’m a random lucky user getting a surprise birthday gift and he isn’t. Si got out of his house and cycled 40 kms to console himself. I then proceeded to tell the flipkart guy about all the things I sorely needed for my very survival. And then I waited for my surprise package to arrive.

Now I expected that they’d send me a couple of novels and one comic. I was kicked about it. But yesterday, while I was in Pune, my mom called and said that a Giant parcel had just arrived from flipkart and it was too giant to be just a few novels. I waited for ages for my sister’s interview to end and for her friend to come pick us up and for his car to reach Bombay. I had tea every time we stopped. (And then when my sister passed me her Spearmint mint spray, I sprayed it into my mouth and wondered why it tasted like soap. At which point they told me that the spray was actually room freshener and not mint. So I spent a major part of the journey rinsing my mouth and spitting out of the window. Which would have been okay if it was a taxi or a random little car. But it wasn’t. It was a Skoda. I was spitting out of a Skoda, which is just wrong, because right up until I sprayed the room freshener into my mouth, I was feeling rich and classy and glam, like how I imagined people who sit in the backs of Skodas  would feel. This isn’t related to the story I’m telling, of course, but it’s a fun story too so I thought I’ll slip it in anyway)

Anyhow. I got home and opened up the package and guess what, Zonk. I got the Complete Calvin & Hobbes. The Collector’s Edition. Three hardbound books in a cardboard case that I can’t even manage to lift without extra effort. It has an introduction by Watterson himself and sketches and strips from his schooldays. It’s beautiful. And I couldn’t have ever bought it for myself. I suppose I can strike Calvin & Hobbes off permanently from all my lists now, because I have it all! And I know I’m breaking my rule about exclamations, but this story really deserves some.

There’s two things that are seriously awesome about this whole thing. One’s all the free books and the big birthday surprise of course. Here’s the other cooler thing-

I have a theory that in general, our lives are made up of a series of incidents that are alright to live through, but not rare enough or strange enough to really talk about. Things happen to us. But they aren’t usually stories that we can tell and hope that other people might want to hear..Most of us tell them anyway. And of course people listen. But I think that when they listen, it’s because they care about us. Or maybe because we  told it well. Perhaps we added a few things to the story, or embellished a detail or two. It’s like making a caricature: you take something that sort of sticks out anyway and exaggerate the crap out of it. It doesn’t matter that you’re not being too accurate, because every one knows the difference between a lie and a good story.

What’s really rare, though, is when something happens to you, and it’s already in a story format, and it’s just waiting to be told to everyone you can think of. And all the while that it’s happening you know that this is the stuff that movies are made of. And you feel like a character in a book. In my case, it’s probably a book that Santa Claus wrote. Because there’s things that happen to you on a regular day, and then there’s things like these.

The Universe must be a benevolent thing after all, if so much awesomeness comes my way in spite of all the swearing I’ve subjected it to in cyberspace. Or maybe it’s not much of a Reader Of Blogs. Either way, I quit cribbing at it today. For a week at least.

Thank you, Tapas :)

Ps: It isn’t over yet. I just got another package, with the Nick Cave that was on my list in it. Turns out there still one package left :D I just messaged Si again and I have reason to believe he’s locked up in his room right now, sticking pins in a voodoo doll labelled ‘Kitu’.


Your’s blessedly,


3 thoughts on “The Story Format

  1. Pingback: 2010 in review « Ink

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