Thursday, November 19, 2009

Shut Up and Bounce

Someone once said that if you swing a bawling new-born rapidly from side to side, it will stop crying. But is it just a baby that responds to rhythm and swing? When the baby grows up, it has its first mock punch aimed at those knock-me clowns and gapes in amazement at the Jack-in-the-Box. Multicoloured companions who zoom into vision. Spring back and forth. And make gentle melody as you drop them down the stairs with a “Go Slinky, go!” You can’t blame Jim Carrey. He might have been Ace Ventura – Pet detective, getting late for his investigation. But the Slinky comes first and when it stops on the last step, you really do want to tear your hair off.
Remember how the alphabet books zeroed in on “Y” for “Yo–Yo”? That’s not just English. It’s what we need at a much deeper level. Like your very first pet, at your constant beck and call.
And you know how they say time is the enemy? Well those sombre looking grandfather clocks sure struck gold with the pendulum. Keep looking at it. The oscillations kill time and fill time. So does the metronome with its beats. The hypnosis theorists who often depict the sleep inducing effects of a pendulum are not very far off from the track we are on. And nor was Forrest Gump in his pursuit of Ping Pong. Table Tennis in the Vietnam War Camp. Can anything be more soothing for the nerves? “Never, never take your eye off the ball!”
Some prefer swinging in the playground on the verge of teenage, amidst squeals and giggles. Some prefer a gentle swing on the terrace while cracking a betel nut or reading the newspaper.
And then we swing into the sixties and seventies, lull ourselves into a niche that we created coz we wanted to stop the world and get off. It’s pretty much the way we go. Fast asleep, spectacles askew, a faint smile on the lips, a shawl strewn carelessly and a book in hand. Back and forth, on the rocking chair.

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