Sunday, May 14, 2006

The Great Gamble(r)

I would like to think that I am an inveterate gambler.

But I hate gambling. I think it's wasteful, and tempting, and wrong, and an adam's-appley type activity. I never went to those slot machines. I never tried my hand at the computer poker games. I never got addicted to card games (except for a brief passage of time when I was 5 - but I was too young to bet it all). I never liked casinos, and their flashy neon signboards. Ofcourse it helped that gambling is illegal in most parts of Bombay. In Mumbai, its now allowed in select areas that are taxed a gazillion percent.

Yes, I hate gambling. I'm using the word 'hate' here. I do not like twists of fate, and I do not like roulette, and I do not like Blackjack. And I do not like Slot Machines. And I do not like Horsing Around. Especially in a three piece suit in the middle of April on a scorcher, amidst really cute women who are supressing a smile as I drippingly stroll by, desperately trying to loook nonchalant as I place my minimum bet.

I also do not understand newspaper listings of horses, and I cannot understand how odds are placed, and how much I would win if I placed my bet on a short animal and if I placed it on a long one. I suppose the longer one had the edge if it came to a photo finish. If only.

I simply do not like the fact that my life could be changed by the simple rolling of a dice. Or the placing of a bet.

But I tempt life everyday. I cross the road in the face of speeding cars without a care in the world... I climb mountains for fun. I run on treadmills and I push weights. I shave myself looking in the mirror, and I step out of my house, and I wake up from sleep, and I brush my teeth and I wear my clothes, and I predict my future, in the expectation of living my immediate future exactly the way I plan it.

Now, If you are like me, playing a slot machine is something you wouldnt lay odds on.
But crossing the road is something you could lay odds on, and most probably come out a winner. But not always. Since it is common knowledge that crossing the road kills more people every year than terrorists, air crashes, and predatory second wives put together, I would say you're taking a bold step with your life.

And remember, when you gamble, you are betting your money. When you cross the road, you are betting your life against a few stolen moments to add to your seemingly relevant and hectic day.

And it is a one in a million chance that you could wake up and be surprised by an earthquake. Or that you could walk out your house and be struck by lightning. Or you could slip onto a road and be run over. Or you could meet someone seemingly special and end up counting the days that you have spent lamenting your fate when you're 40. Or you could get stuck in the life and die of suffocation. Or you could have an accident and be run off the road by a madman. Or you could be caught in a fight and sustain injuries. You could get caught in a hailstorm in May in Mumbai and be pelted to death. You could catch a cold, contract pneumonia and die.
Nature has many queer and wierd ways of killing you off.

Ofcourse none of this could happen. Life could go on as planned and it could stretch into tomorrow and the next week and the next month. Ofcourse it could happen too. You could also live a 100 years through 3 world wars and the bombing of berlin and live to tell the tale.

But I gamble. Every day. And I tempt fate. And I use the greatest prize of all to play with. My insignificant life.


1 comment:

Manish Ganguly said...

good stuff...I will be back.
Best wishes