25 June 2007

Paper Plates

Since time long forgotten, the staple snacks for an attendee in any Indian party/gathering is a Samosa, a small piece of cake with part of a yellow flower or half a pink alphabet, some mixture, potato chips heaped over all this, and a plastic glass (the kind that rickshaw-pullers drink out of in wine shops) with half-cold and stale Pepsi/Coke, Fanta/Mirinda or Sprite/7up. All this, obviously with the exception of the plastic glass, they stuff onto a really flimsy-looking paper plate which is on the brink of collapse under strain.

This easily has to be the most disgusting food-assortment you can possibly put together on a plate. The samosa, standing high like a mountain, drips oil, the cake, deciding to be the Leaning Tower of Pisa, leans at an angle of 5.5 degrees, while a few of it's fragments are smeared all over the plate, and the mixture runs freely when the plate is held in hand, a few of them sticking onto the cake as and when detained during it's expeditions. But the worst thing about this assortment has to be the chips, which, when heaped all over the plate, get stuck to and pierce through the cake, and you have to pick them out of the cake in order to eat them. Eating chips covered with a bit of cake can be one of the most depressing things you can do to yourself.

But more depressing it is for the paper plate, which, even before the party, probably nurtures an inferiority complex because of the cheap paper it is made of and the kind of wussy floral patterns it has on it. The poor thing not only has to deal with it's inner demons and a shattered self-respect, but also with an oil-dripping samosa, a cake which smears parts of itself all over the place, mixture running helter-skelter like mad children, and chips which jump onto all the other three like soldiers storming a hideout of unsuspecting terrorists, or like one of those annoying school classmates who still surprise you, 20 years after school, with a 'Boo!'

It is therefore no wonder that the paper plate is always nerve-wrecked, on the verge of a breakdown, and when it's resistance finally breaks, it dies a gory death, destroying not only itself but also it's tormentors.

I probably sound crazy when I say this, but paper plates remind me of the students, the 'misfits', who, unable to take it anymore, take a gun to school, massacre everyone before turning the gun upon themselves.

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