August 29, 2010

The curious traveller's guide to circumnavigating the Earth. Or the North Pole. Or living at the North Pole.

What we do when we have better things to do.
Tips and questions:
1. Do you like the cold? Be rest assured, the North Pole is warmer than the South Pole.
2. Does your pee freeze at the North Pole?
3. Will the dal freeze? If yes, then you have a problem. If no, what will you cook it on?
4. Do you know how to make dal? If not, you have to make do with fish and seaweed.
5. If you starve from the lack of dal, Reuben will eat you alive. He has seen Sazayein Kaala Pani and knows where to get good advice.
6. I don't like seaweed.
7. Antarctica is in the south, but it is still cold.
8. If you flattened out the globe from the top, the North Pole would be at the centre and so would the South Pole. Then you could play hopscotch between islands and travel from Russia to Canada.
9. Reuben says we might find a Mc Donalds somewhere. However, he is unsure.
10. We could volunteer as elves at Santa's workshop, he says. Do they have self-heating toilet seats,asks a niggling worm at the back of his mind? Reuben, elves are small, you're too tall. 
11. He'll pull Santa's reindeer. And won't carry his own bag.
12. What after we leave Santa?
13. Maybe they'll have a beauty pageant, to crown the Ice Princess. You win ice.
14. I can drill a hole in the ice and make use of my experience in hydroponics. 
15. Will Reuben fall into a hole I drill? I will be chief hunter-gatherer. That way, Reuben says, when they excavate or thaw our frozen bodies, they will see how women were the providers of sustenance. Note the doubt in his voice, he thinks I'll be such a bad provider and then we will die of starvation.
16. And when I fall into a hole, he will dial 100 and get the Mumbai Police.
17. But does MTNL have towers at the North Pole? 
18. Now that Reuben has eaten seaweed and slept in his igloo, he thinks we should hire a diamond cutter from Surat or Antwerp and cut the glaciers into diamonds - show them the maal in situ, as he puts it. Clearly, he is not one for ecological sustainability. He is so lazy, he won't venture south to sell his fake diamonds. The clients have to come to him.
19. He thinks I lack suspension of disbelief.
20. We will have our own mineral water business. Because glacier water is better than Evian. And if we drink up all the 'glacier ka paani', then we don't have to worry about melting glaciers that will drown us. Makes astute business sense. He never knew he had entrepreneurial qualities. But then, living at the North Pole brings out the best in us, doesn't it?
21. We will have a different address each year.
22. Reuben has heard that reindeer grow algae on their hide in the summer. Now he will go for anything green.
23. The North Pole is nice; however, tomorrow, I will go for a walk. 
24. I will have clairvoyant connections with the Aurora Borealis. Reuben thinks he could die after having seen that. And he gives me permission to eat him after he has seen AB.
25. He says we should take lovers also. I say he will eat them all after the long winter.
26. Reuben is a praying mantis.
27. PETA, where are you? Reuben wants to shave the reindeer and use some wet felting process to realise and release the fashionista in him. Well, what does one wear at the North Pole? Surely not woollens from Sarojini? 
28. Reuben will wear felt.
29. And for once, we'll have a real Christmas tree! But Reuben will cut that up later, to use as fuel.
30. And he will let me teach him Odissi, in our spare time. We will have an ice skating rink too and then we will hybridise the two.
31. Maybe they'll make a film out of our past lives.
32. We will promote tourism. Paradise. Human Population: 2. Have we already eaten the lovers? My, we're sinking to new lows with each step. They'll overthrow our regime before we get there.
33. And supposing we're still alive, we'll write you more notes. No, don't say don't bother.

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