October 09, 2006

On becoming a Socialite

For years one wished to dare to dream,
To beat a different groove.
One wanted to surpass oneself
Yes, one wished to Improve!

One worked one's way through learned Books
For logistic support.
(By "Books", of course, one means those of
The Self-Improvement sort.)

To build spheres of influence
To chicken-soup the soul
One must devise, they all point out,
A monthly Major Goal.

To become highly effective
To meteorically rise
It becomes essential, also, to
Robustly socialize.

One pondered long, one pondered hard
One thought all day and night.
And this month's Major Goal was set:
Become a Socialite.

Soon it seemed we'd bitten off
Much more than we could chew.
For, since the start of October,
We were almost halfway through!

You understand that one now felt
An acute sense of woe.
In these things, one had realised,
One had some way to go.

One tells all one's finest jokes
And folks just stand and stare.
(Just between you and the One,
It's worse when girls are there.)

And so it seemed like spiteful life
Was extracting its toll.
Then last night, one dreamt one had fallen
Down a rabbit-hole.

One dreamt of this caterpillar
Avuncular, and stout.
He asked one what the matter was
The tale came pouring out.

One soon finished telling him
Now one could only plead -
Help us, please, one cried out,
O chain-smoking centipede!

He looked at one with grave concern
(As caterpillars could.)
He'd been nodding all the while
To show he understood.

His brow now furrowed to a frown
He bit his lip; it bled.
He looked the One both up and down,
"It'll take some work", he said.

He went and spoke to friends of his
(As one would later find)
And came back with some points that he thought
One should keep in mind.

He knew this was his big debut
He looked at what he'd wrote.
He popped a vitamin or two
And then cleared his throat.

"Think of witty things to say, boy,
(Hope you're taking notes.)
And take some time out every day
Practise your anecdotes.

"The way you speak might put folks off
(It shouldn't, but it may.)
You'd be well advised to learn to
Speak the Orkut way.

"You must say u when u mean you
And n when you mean and.
N a Yo! when u mean Hello there!
Sounds positively grand.

"And take some tips from Bollywood.
You could choose to cultivate
An AB Junior three-day stubble,
A Salman Khan-ish gait."

And saying thus, the caterpillar
Waved a last goodbye.
(He later grew up to become
A Social Butterfly.)

One woke up, as one contemplated
All he'd deigned to say.
By Jove, we'll heed his kind advice,
Beginning today.

How well this'll work, or how poorly,
We cannot claim to know.
(This is one's Goal for October;
We have three weeks to go.)

At least it helped one write the rhyme
Of which you just partook.
One might now write, if one finds time,
A Self-Improvement Book.