Tag Archives: kurt vonnegut

A Lot of Salt

22 Jan

…isn’t good for you. But sometimes you need it for the chips.

Shit has hit the fan. India lost to Australia in a cricket match, we Indians believe we could’ve won had it been us – you and I – playing at the pitch. Skipper Dhoni has been getting a good washing ever since. Nadal is out of the Aussie Open. (What’s with all things Australian?). Then there’s the Almighty, the God who chose to hand-pick David Bowie, Glenn Frey, and Alan Rickman just like that, like picking ‘gems’ from a candy box. Looks like He’s planning a show up there. He’s taking away the music and the entertainment, and leaving us with the sounds of bombs and violence and massacres. Even the crash at the bourses has been a foud lucking one.

And we have been left to survive with intelligentsia, few of who have been shitting bricks after the Ashley Madison hack. Sometimes I think we deserve these hacks. Why? Because it’s possible that our passwords aren’t clever enough. According to some data, the most common passwords being used today remain 1234, 123456, 12345678… the wonderful series of numerals in exactly the same original order we learnt at age two. It’s unbelievable. The second most popular password is ‘password’. Oh, same same! Clever! But we’ve got to hand it to those geniuses, who planned to adopt way more complicated shit – ‘passw0rd’ (with a zero). Wow, alpha-numeric! Who would’ve thought of that? Bill, maybe? Nah, Bill is a smart bloke, Bill knows better than that, Bill doesn’t keep hack-able passwords. Do you know Bill? No? Ok, never mind Bill. Do you know Billy from Ilium? Be_Like_Bill_meme1 Billy from Ilium features in Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse 5’. No, don’t know him, either? Ok, never mind Billy from Ilium.

Mum’s really worried that I’m reading a book titled ‘Slaughterhouse 5’. She constantly asks me what it’s about. I keep telling her that I’ve just begun reading it, and up to now, it’s about the Dresden massacre. And that the book is actually quite funny. She asked me what Slaughterhouse 1 to 4 were about. I had to leave the conversation at that, although the question is a very valid one especially if it comes from someone you call ‘Mum’. You don’t mess with Mum.

There’s this interesting part in ‘Slaughterhouse…’ where Kurt alludes to the Gideon Bible and picks the part about Lot and his wife, who turns into a pillar of salt. Do you know that one? Ok, so Lot tells his wife not to look back at the destruction that has taken place – the uprooting of cities and all that, but like all wives, she obviously does what she is told not to do – she looks back, and then turns into a pillar of salt. Apparently, the message here is quite deep. People aren’t supposed to look back. But I’ve been doing that for a few days now – looking back and into all my previous writing – cleaning it all up – polishing it, refurbishing it, dusting off the particles, primping it up with panache and plumes. It’s funny how what you were once so convinced about comes across as a putrid piece of work now. Well, I may turn into a useless pillar of salt, I know. But then there are at least those few who prefer their chips ‘classicly salted’. So not all useless, eh, Mr. Lot?