Monday, August 24, 2009


Everyone who's read Shantaram would probably find this redundant, but the Borsalino is this wide-brimmed hat made from very particular furs. Now this piece of art apparently digs quite the hole in your pocket, and there's bound to be fakes. In comes the Borsalino hat test. You roll the hat up into a tube thingy, and make it pass through a wedding ring (for SOME reason). After emerging from the other side, if the hat is not all crumpled and messed up and preferably not broken, bingo, you've gotten yourself a deal. If there's creases, you'd better run back and look for the genius who made some quick bucks outta you.

Now some people happened to realize that this makes for quite a handy metaphor. So "putting someone through a Borsalino test" has come to mean putting someone through quite a bit of mental (and possibly physical) stress and see whether he/she (for all you sexists, I said he/she, inspite of HATING it) "emerges" from it without a sign of being "crumpled" or affected by the stress. Us engineers would like a stress-deformation metaphor, but that would involve talking about "hardness" of the person, and it's best to leave that realm of unending innuendos aside.

So anyway, back to Shantaram. GDR describes himself been put through a Borsalino test by a recent acquaintance, to put it very bluntly. Why all this? I suddenly noticed the constant Borsalino tests we keep pushing each other through, in places more than you'd notice if you give it a little thought.

Of course, the "emerging without being affected" now covers a much wider purview. It all begins with the initial one - to put in a more vernacular fashion - the first impression. It goes on throughout the period of knowing a person, and extends to every human relationship that exists. Barring a few relationships with a teeny amount of people, everyone Borsalinos everyone else. I wish that'd become a valid verb.

I'm not even going to begin about whether it's necessary. I probably would have if halfway through writing that, I wouldn't have lost track of the patterns of the present thought vortex. Just that, right now, I think everyone would be much happier if these tests were slashed a bit.

And, I haven't begun thinking about this in detail. Thankfully, I'm somehow able to control these erstwhile unmanaged thought trains. I'll hold on to this thought for later.

Most will argue that these are a part of life. I just wish they weren't.


Nikita said...

I am Borsalino-ed all the time! Sneef :|

JD said...

Aren't we all! :)

Death On Two Legs said...

Borsalino-ed --> now that would make a cool verb. It even has a ring to it!

JD said...

Hear, hear :)

Prashant Nagpal said...

Why is this post tagged under Heartache?

JD said...

I'll tell you sometime tomorrow :)

Tangled up in blue... said...

The Dark Side of the Moon was my Borsalino moment, JD! *sniffs*

Awesome blog..I blogroll, I'm told its polite to ask first..but what the hell, I like it too much! :D