Friday, November 30, 2012

God of All Things

There was a book I was reading. Can't remember the name. I think the author was Tharoor. Somewhere, he talks about his brief period of atheism. The kind that "comes with the discovery of rationality and goes with an acknowledgement of its limitations". And in those two lines, he summed up my faith in God and disbelief in religions. His lines summed up that one moment when logic fails; when you turn away and close your eyes in a silent prayer, and think no one is watching.

We are not rational. No one is. I think that when someone walks away or dies, it physically hurts where the heart is. Logic says that's just an organ that pumps blood. But its never a stomach ache or a headache you know. I think ma's assuring hand on my head every other minute when I have a temperature, cures me. Not the crocin, but her touch. I think love makes you look better. It really does. Not skin care products or other paraphernalia. But good old twinkle-in-your-eyes smile-for-no-reason love. I think that sometimes when you do close your eyes and have that conversation with God, I don't know if someone listens or not. But strange as it is, sometimes things do get better. Like I said, there are limitations to rationality.

That brief period of atheism; I remember it too. Growing up in a God fearing extremely religious family, atheism is akin to sin. I used to question everything. You know how kids are. Why is the sky blue? Why do you pray to objects with no life? Why are there different Gods? And so on. Patience is a virtue that if parents were not blessed with, I don't think children like me would have survived beyond their teens.

As we grow up, we define our own rules. Create our own beliefs. I did too. I don't believe in the god of wars, annihilation and rapes. I don't think there is a divine soul watching over the world; a world which is capable of all this. Some days back read about a daughter getting raped by a father and brother. If someone was watching over all of us, the tales would've been different. But I do have faith. Not in a statue or in any holy script. I don't know who listens when I pray for those five minutes every day. But I believe that when I do pray, it makes me feel better in spite of all that is going wrong around us. Every time. There is nothing rational about that. Maybe God is just your belief that you will get through your darkest days. Your conscience when you go wrong. That small voice in your head that sometimes tells you what to do. When ma said I will find my own religion, maybe this is what she meant. 

Saturday, November 03, 2012

Step by Step

A day when I woke up at 5. Yes, morning 5. The single most toughest thing is that one step from the bed to a more vertical position. After that, it keeps getting easier. Every step and a part of you wakes up a little more. By the time, it comes down to tying your shoes, you think to yourself - Hell! This is easy! What's the big deal about waking up early anyway! Don't let that thought fool you though. The next morning when the alarm blares, you would hate it just as much. You got to just make it to the tying your shoes bit. 

There is a group called Chennai Runners here. Led by a friend who is a running enthusiast. When you are a newbie, running in packs like wolves makes sense. And, so the waking up at 5 happened today. It was a 6km run (well, call it a feeble jog in my case) with a pattern of 4 minutes of running and 1 minute of walking. On a treadmill, running for 20 minutes at a stretch is accomplished fairly easily. And you think, bleh running on a treadmill..running on the roads. Po-tah-to Po-tay-to! You couldn't be more wrong. 

So, the first four minutes were a breeze. Then, the leader of the pack showed the sign - 5-4-3-2-1 slow down and take a breather. Then the next 4 minutes happened and the next and so on. And my unfit self started to complain. You start slowing down. Thinking that what were you thinking! Cursing myself for being my lazy self for such a long time. Trying to catch my breath. But, the thing about being human is you get to try. You get to do the stuff you think you can't do. So, at the point when you are close to giving up, instead of giving up, you start trying harder. The music beats take over. One step at a time. You see the white line on the side of the road whizzing by, and that's all you think of. You learn to zone out every other thought in your head. It might be killing you on the outside; but in your head, it is a peaceful feeling. The 40 minutes today were well spent. Its a long road ahead, and well, today was a good start.

I finally finished the Starbucks book 'Pour Your Heart Into It'. Howard Schultz has written a gem. I generally avoid the autobiographies, but this one had me hooked. From a coffee beans selling store to selling coffee by the cup to millions, that's how far Mr. Schultz got Starbucks. The man's passion and vision is infectious. Makes you want to build something. Makes you want to be sincere and put 200 percent in whatever it is you are doing. Page after page, he writes from his heart. Of the good days and the bad days. And the great days. Must read is my verdict. While we are talking about books, you should check this out - A library with a brilliant collection; they deliver books at home and the rental charges are minimal. I still like to buy books (its my favourite kind of shopping!) and stock them up. But of late, I have run out of shelves. And the huge collection here keeps me happy! :)

Oh did I mention that we have a travel wall now. I call it the Wander Wall. Pics of all the places that we have been to. Done up in a colourful quirky manner. Makes the living room more livable. And lovable. Almost half way through Saturday now. Going to fix myself a cup of coffee. The weather is still beautiful. Love these lazy weekends with good weather, a book and my partner in crime. Don't know when Chennai became so home-like. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Starbucks and all the Queues!

There is a crow on my balcony railing today. Wet and hair all spiked up. Its been raining all night and the morning is the sort when schools call a rainy day off. Sandy has hit NY and Chennai is apparently going to do a mini replication of it. A cyclone has been predicted. Last a cyclone came to town, I was the idiot standing on Besant Nagar beach trying to welcome it. Adults and common sense - it is a little rare I tell you!

Ma and baba's whirlwind trip started and came to an end in the blink of an eye. Sad, really. And you know how I keep saying that my work is the epitome of work-life balance. Well, for those few days I had so much to do, that it could almost add up to a year's work! So, there we were in Pondicherry like one big happy family. And I was working from the hotel. And then, there we were in Auroville getting our inner peace on. While I was losing my sanity because there was no network and I was trying to work from Auroville! I don't think another parents visit to this town is going to happen in the near future.

The pics I was talking about
Oh I managed to go to the new Starbucks in Mumbai last week. Imagine my dedication. I hadn't slept for two days straight; was working like clockwork. My work got over on Saturday morning and then I badgered some dear friends (only the dear kind would have obliged :P) to take me there. Judge me if you will, but am not the star struck kid for all US brands. Just that, the white chocolate mocha at Starbucks really makes me go all warm and gooey inside. So, we reached there at 1 in the afternoon, and there was this long queue outside. Once we got past that queue, we went inside to join the ordering queue. Just my luck that they did not have what I wanted. So, I settled for a vanilla latte. Then, the turn for the billing queue. Phew! By that time, I gave up and went table hunting(there is also a pick up your drink queue!). It is a pretty huge space, with three sitting areas. Beautifully done, more in a Taj hotel fashion. Woodwork, coffee beans and the best part was these photographs - of people in regular places holding on to a Starbucks cup. Pretty novel idea, I thought. We did manage a seat and the coffee was good. Not awe inspiring good, but just good. Our verdict was it would be a nice place to sit and read, if only the crowd frenzy goes down. Standing in four different queues is just too much effort!

I am thinking Hampi for the Diwali weekend. Only road journeys are affordable that weekend. Flights are so expensive; its almost ridiculous. Days like these, I feel like thrashing whoever came up with that Mastercard ad. Overpriced flight tickets - 20000, pointless shopping induced by pointless ads - 10000 etc etc and moments with the family - Priceless! Yes, the moments are priceless, but I'd rather have a few thousands in my darned account! On a different note, some of the ads nowadays are quite heartwarming. Cadbury, Tanishq, Coke and even ICICI Lombard! That song in the Lombard ad makes me smile every time. :) Brands like Samsung and their uncle aunty ads should really take a lesson or two.

Well, that's all I had to say. Atleast for today. My two cents for the day. Its a very empty house without the people you love. Just bricks and walls. And the moment of realisation always comes after the goodbyes. 

Saturday, October 20, 2012

But it rained..

You know, when it stops raining in the entire country, suddenly the skies turn grey in Chennai and it pours like there's no tomorrow. It is called the retreating monsoons. And no matter how many years you have been in this city, that first torrential downpour leaves you pleasantly surprised. Makes you fall in love with the city. I call these months the magic months. The months when all prejudices about the city wash away. When instead of hot humid weather, there is a cool wind and a spring in your step. When every weekend is a vacation, where evenings are spent walking on the beach and eating fish at those small sea side stalls.

It is a Sunday rainy morning today. Am sitting in the balcony and figuring out how much of work is involved in getting my place spic and span. Ma and baba are reaching tonight, which gives me all of 10 hours to do my bit. Holding on to my steaming cup of coffee, inertia is almost overwhelming. Because on a day like today, all you'd want to do is read your book in your favourite corner of the house while some magic elf keeps serving cups after cups of coffee along with some extremely unhealthy drool-worthy side dish!

Yesterday was spent in Saravana stores. If you don't know yet, this is an absolutely huge supermarket that could give Walmart a run for its money. They say the only thing you can't buy here are your relatives! :P Now, shopping here requires a fair amount of resilience and survival instincts. The crowd is maddening and while you nicely pick something you like, there might be two other people pulling at it. Our shopping list included mops, umbrella, study table, oven, floor mats,saris etc etc. By the end of the day, we had bought so much that one more packet, and one of us would have had to take a rickshaw back! So you get it right? We have bought all of these homely things in anticipation of the parents' visit and now we need to put it all in place. Sigh!

Really looking forward to the next few days. There is Durga pujo and a lot of eating involved. That too with few of my favourite people in the whole wide world. Throw in a bit of Pondicherry too. And ma's birthday! And then, there is this rain. Incessant, grey but happiness inducing. My place might not become cleaner by tonight. What I do know is it will be more home-like and warmer. Like I keep saying, a place's worth is always measured by the people who are in it! :)

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Bedtime Stories

Listening to this really old song from the movie Ghar - Aapki aankhon mein. Beautiful song. One of my favorites. Takes me back to the times when ma used to put me to sleep by singing. Hazy pleasant memories. A bedtime story and a song I would always insist on. There was this huge pink book of bedtime stories (which I read and re-read till I was 15 I think!) that I could never get enough of. So, tiny little me would lie on ma's stomach, stay wide awake till the end of the story and then drift off to ma's singing. My favorite and probably ma's too, was 'Do naina aur ek kahani'. It was so easy back then to be content and happy. Baba's scooter's horn had me squealing with joy and running to the gate with maniacal speed. Then there was beating dada at mindgames ( well, I couldn't beat him up so I had to be more devious). And the Golden icecream wala's call on a blazing June afternoon. The tears were easy too but they didn't mean a thing. A flash memory that forgets all that is bad and lights up with a smile a moment later.

Some days, in this grown up's world, all I wish for is that one night with ma where all you could think of is whether today's story would have a giant who owns a magnificent palace in a dark dark forest. All I wish for is that one chime of a doorberll and when you open the door, baba's right there smiling, in his safari suit with his customary briefcase. Or the times when dada and I would wait for everyone to sleep in the house. Then, like two burglars who are up to no good, we would enter the TV room, where dada would put on a football or a cricket match and I would keep a watch. And he would painstakingly explain a penalty shootout and I would listen on with awe. It was simple being happy. They say you lose simplicity when you grow up. Ironical, really. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Writing Again

You know Murphy, right? That wise guy who said when you are having a bad day, it will keep getting worse. That what can go wrong, will go wrong. On that very day. Today, it looks like Murphy is having a field day. Woke up with a fever and a cold that makes me sneeze 5 times at one go. Had to go to an office 20 kms away. And how! Took an auto. Then a bus. Then snoozed in the bus. Got off at the wrong stop. Took a bus back to where I wanted to go. Yes, I am all about public transport. :) I feel like a lost lamb at work today. Most things don't make sense and don't know when the day will end.

I haven't written much this year. Well, I like to be a private person at times. In a world of incessant status updates, privacy has fast become a luxury. Its been a year of a lot of travel, good times, mistakes and some tough decisions. Someone very dear said that follow your heart. It might not seem like the easiest thing to do, but that is still the only way to live right. Anyway, that's as philosophical I can get on a Monday at 7 pm while I am sitting in office.

That's what I wrote last week. Sitting at the Mumbai airport now. 6am and I am as fresh as a bread straight out of the oven! :) I think I know food similes for everything. Easier to relate to them you know. My supposed work trip turned out to be an all expenses paid trip to do nothing. Work got pushed to next week and there I was, in my favorite city with an entire evening to myself. Needless to say, the evening was well spent. My point being that Murphy can go screw himself. Sometimes Lady Luck beats him fair and square. As a true blue feminist, I am always on the lady's side! :)

I watch Crime Patrol nowadays. There don't you go 'unfriend' me on Facebook. So this one is a set of real life stories of crime in India and how the police resolved it. Immediate repercussion of watching this series is useless paranoia. Like yesterday, I was alone in a guesthouse with only the housekeeper for company. And the door was one of those, with no manual latch. So, one can easily get in with a key. I swear I kept thinking that the housekeeper is going to break in anytime! Note to myself - stop watching stuff which makes my Bengali self more scared. Any which way, we beat the rest of the world when it comes to being afraid!

Parents are a funny lot. Couple of weeks back, I was having a tough conversation with my set. And I had prepped myself for days before this conversation. Braced myself for the anger and wrath. And then, when I did talk to them, they didn't get mad. They just understood. Stood by me. And you know what's funny and terrible at the same time - that you feel worse because they understood. Anger one can stand. Its always love that is tougher to deal with.

Oh this year work got better. Again, sheer luck. Realized how big an inertia we have against change! There was this opportunity staring at me. Literally, in my face. And I was dilly-dallying with it. For no good reason. What I was doing was literally sucking the happiness out of my life! Yet, I was mulling over this new thing. Sometimes, we are just daft, right! But, I did make that change. And I like my work now. Quite a few shades better than what it was.

Time to board.  The whiteboard says BLOG. And blog I shall. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Mike the Durable

So, one can't think of interesting things to write about very often. Until and unless, you lead a celebrity's life with fans tearing their clothes off for you and writing letters for you. With their own freakin' blood! Yeah I am a little dramatic and stereotyped. All at the same time. :P

Anyway, so sometimes you got to just find interesting things to read. Today's find was Michael Malloy or Mike the Durable. Here's the Wiki link for the uninitiated.

Not an enjoyable read I know. But, still amazing right? To summarize, you'll die when you are meant to. Not even antifreeze will kill you (is it supposed to kill?). Also, there is no quality control in humans. Just when you thought they stooped the lowest, someone dutifully shows a new low.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Bong Woes

Dear Bengali gene of mine,

That I was born with you, it is fine
But then, you taught me that true love is equal to feesh
So, I fell for oh-so-lip-smackin’ ileesh
Why you no tell me such obsession is akin to crime!
Like a forlorn distraught lover, every day I pine
Oh dear Bengali gene of mine

That you give my clan two left feet, it is fine
But, then you induce an immense love for dancing,
On the dance floor, oh how we dazzle and shine
As people watch in horror and we are prancing
Why you no tell us that is Zulu dance from the ancient time!
Oh dear Bengali gene of mine

That you give us curves, that is fine
But then, you did not tell us that between healthy and fat
There is a bhery thin line!
The line of cakes, ice creams and roshogullas
That we have been taught to devour since the beginning of time
Why you no make us skinny like Heidi Klum, you swine!
Oh dear Bengali gene of mine

That you gave us long complex names, it is fine
But then, you butcher everyone's name, is that not a crime!
Why you no qualms in calling 'Saikat' as 'Shoikot'
Poor Saikat, he would have died
And then turned in his grave a thousand times!
Bhaalo naam and daak naam - you draw the line
Then you call us Bubai, Papai, Tukai and other such names divine
Eeesh! Ekdom ee jaaa taaa - I protest and whine
Oh dear Bengali gene of mine

That you give us loving parents, it is fine
But then, you trigger a worldwide alert everytime I sneeze
Is that not a scary sign!
Aaha re aamaar shona Bubai - they say
As we mentally cry out, a sneeze is bhery bhery benign!
Why you no play cool atleast sometime!
Oh dear Bengali gene of mine

Footnote: This has been written with the utmost love for my clan. :) Please don't take it personally!

For your reference:
Ileesh - A type of fish we would kill for and might break into tears every time we think of it.
Roshogulla - Round white spongy spheres of heaven. A dessert a Bengali child learns to eat before he can speak/walk/live.
Bhery - How we say Very
Bhalo Naam - The long proper name.
Daak Naam - The weird small name aka nickname

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Old old old!

Once upon a time there was this imp of a girl, all of 5 feet with chubby cheeks and an unfailing enthusiasm to do all things eccentric and mad. The problem with these once upon a time anecdotes are that they are really old stories. The unfailing enthusiasm for all things unreasonable is still there. So are the chubby cheeks by the way! What I can't do anymore are night outs!

So, yesterday evening was spent in customary Friday fashion with some dear friends. There was something in the air yesterday. We had our you-can -see-all-my-teeth-because-I-am-very-drunk grin right after one beer (I kid you not!) and well, by the time the evening came to a sort of a closure, we were making plans at an alarming frequency. So, here's what happened. Sunshine was going to Bangalore that night and instead of dropping her to the bus stop, we thought it would be pretty neat to just go drop her to Bangalore! Easy, huh? We called up a friend and borrowed her car. The assigned driver for the night was sober, so don't judge us for being one of those rich brats with too much money and no common sense. Ofcourse, the part about us being rich is just to add some humor. I am soon going to author a version of 'Rich dad Poor dad' and I'll call it 'Rich dads of the World - Adopt me!' Anyway, so we picked up the car (which my friend had blessed with a super audio system a week back!) and off we went to Bangalore.

Its 330 kms from Chennai to Bangalore and we started at 12. The enthusiasm I was talking about earlier in the post had me singing in a very sing-like-no-one's listening fashion. All nighter road trip...wooohoo! As the clock ticked and the distance went down excruciatingly slowly, age caught up. Gave our chauffeur a back pain. Gave Sunshine a warm-ball-of-fur stance as she stretched out like a cat in the back. Gave me droopy eyes and the jerky motion that one gets when you try to stay awake but the mind thinks otherwise. I remember good old college days where nights were spent on bikes zipping through Marine Drive with the Mumbai police right behind us. Okay..I make it sound cooler than it actually was. That was one night, we were on bikes at Marine Drive and Mumbai police caught us thrice to tell us what they thought of young boys and girls who were up to no good at this time of the night! But what I was trying to say was back then, we didn't start dying a slow death by the time it was 5 in the morning. In those days at 5 am, we would have an opportune Maggi and katte pe chai moment. Sometimes tea at Lonavla. Sometimes we would just go watch the sunrise. But it was never 'Why God...why me! Why did you take my bed away from me!'. So you get more all nighters for me. Am sure I'll forget this by tomorrow, but right now droopy eyes is all resolve!

You know what's super difficult. To apologise. To see someone in the eye and say 'I am sorry. I am an ass. But I can't exactly figure what to do with your absence in my good and bad times. I can't be better if you give up already. Your quirks which used to make life laugh worthy. The food you cooked, and I always took advantage of. Your faith in the little things I did. I can't figure what to do without all of that and so much more. So I really am sorry. I'd do 50 situps if that made you feel better. Or drop by at odd hours just to say hey!' Its tough you know to say all this. You have these conversations in your head about all that you'll say, and then you stutter. Because when you're that dear, it is that tough. The drunk plan to do an all nighter was just an excuse. For a smile and a hug. Next time I'll manage more than 'Hey! How've you been' in an idiotic nonchalant manner. What I do know is next time I'll just take the sleeper bus.

Friday, March 16, 2012


Doctors say that the heart stops working due to many reasons - faulty heart valves, a lifestyle gone bad, heart defects etc. etc. That's not true. Yesterday, a kid's heart stopped working. It gave up and just stopped pumping blood. It wasn't a flaw with the heart's valves. It was a human flaw. When a two year old has three heart attacks, its not a medical failure. In the fight between innocence and unimaginable cruelty, innocence failed yesterday.

The heart is not a weak organ. It is probably the strongest of all the organs. When someone dear goes away from your life, you don't get a headache. There's an ache somewhere around your heart. It chokes you in a way that medical science can't define. And this heart of yours learns to accept that ache and move on. Allows you to be happy again. The strength of your heart is defined only in the toughest circumstances. There is an assurance in the rhythmic heart beats; a stability when change pulls the rug from under your feet. So, I don't think the heart gives up just like that. But yesterday, it did give up, for someone who wasn't even given a chance to build a defense against all the odds stacked up against her.

Don't know when the world became this unfair a place. What kind of people smash a child's head and put her through such unspeakable horrors. Many women I know have faced some or the other form of abuse, be it in a bus or on the road or even at home. But, as we grew up, we learned to defend ourselves. We lost innocence as we learned lessons in life. We learned not to trust everyone. In that lack of trust, we found caution. We found the confidence to survive and fight back. But, she was a two year old. She had no defense. No family. Yesterday, innocence died a sad death and humanity failed on every count. That heart that stopped yesterday was probably the strongest that ever existed. It survived for 56 days. For 56 days, that heart held on to life tenaciously, in a body bruised beyond recognition.

That you are stuck in a job that is boring. That you don't earn enough money. That your wife cheated on you. That inflation is on a rise and the railway budget should be rolled back. We just never learn to look beyond our life and its small problems. And then, on an odd Friday, you read an article and it jolts your conscience. She had no name till she was admitted to the hospital. They called her Falak which means 'the sky'. If she had lived, she would have grown up to be that idol you look up to for courage, when your own fails. But she didn't live. She gave up on a world where law doesn't punish the wrong and innocence is sold for pocket change. Yesterday, Falak's heart stopped and left in its wake, a lesson for all of us. The lesson was simple. To be human.

I hope there is a better world beyond this one full of avarice and cruelty. As Tagore aptly said, where the mind is without fear and the head is held high. I hope Falak's soul finds that heaven of freedom.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Small joys on a Monday

Its a Monday. I am at my zombiest best. Slept in the car on my way to work (No, I wasn't driving!). I think I slept a little while walking towards my building too. If you know me well enough, you would be well aware that I can sleep anywhere, anytime and anyhow! Now, in my company, options to kill time are minimal. Firewalls are used to suck the happiness out of you. Even good old Gmail is on quota time. Can you believe that! So, by the time you write 'Hey! you know who's getting married next...' and then you start listing the long list of people who've made your single life miserable by plunging into this social menace, the quota time of 10 minutes run out. So, you refresh the page to get the next quota time slot, and more often than not, you forget to save the long mail you typed. So, you give up and just type in a one liner 'Hey! what's up! Nothing much at my end.' mail out of sheer frustration. See, now you know why I don't send long mails anymore. To make my defense rock solid, my laptop breathed its last five odd months back.

So, to get back to the small joys. For cheap thrills today, I typed in and pressed enter. And it opened! It actually opened! For restricted IT networks, facebook is like office porn I guess. Its frowned upon and blocked with a vengeance. I woke up from my partial slumber, sent celebratory pings to 10 odd people and started browsing/ snooping through random people's profiles. Overall general knowledge has increased markedly within an hour. News for today -
  • Kahaani is a good/awesome/must watch movie (I agree)
  • People actually celebrated holi with colours (come to Chennai and you would know why that is a big deal. I was in office, sending happy holi pings to colleagues. Sigh!)
  • More marriages and anniversaries happened. Profile pictures have lost individuality and names have become longer.
  • Guess what I did this weekend updates. Boo. I was at home with a broken down AC. Hmmppff! Don't want to know! :P
  • Half a dozen of those pics with what you think I do and my dog thinks I do and Obama thinks I do. Who came up with that!
In short, good entertainment. S (short for Sunshine. Duh.) actually has work. No time for long meaningful conversations about what we want to be when we grow up. So, we converse through smileys.

Me: :( (Bored)
S: :) (I know. I have work. Don't disturb)
Me: :-/ (That's a difficult one to decipher. So, what's up? Are you bored too?)
S: :-| (Stop talking. Now.)
Me: :) (Aah you're bored too. Good good. More later!)
S: #@*%$

Enough on this blog. Am going to make hay while the sun shines, and go update the travel blog. Don't know why it always gets the step child treatment.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Sunday Mornings

I love F.R.I.E.N.D.S. They cheer me up in a way nothing and no one else can! Just saw an episode where Phoebe and Joey are playing chess. And phoebe picks up this horse piece or whatever it is called and does a full round of the chessboard with it. Then says, 'Chess!'. And Joey goes 'Good move!' :D. Absolute genius!

Watched Descendants this weekend. I have never really got the point of making depressing movies. Life's not a bed of roses, and when even the fictitious movies are not cheery (which they can choose to be!), it doesn't really make sense. But, I make an exception for this movie. Can't place my finger on it, but there was something really nice about the way the movie was made. A dysfunctional family dealing with death. There's a scene where Clooney hears from his daughter that his dying wife was cheating on him and he just starts running. The way he stumbles out and just runs blindly, it was brilliant. The best scenes sometimes are the ones without a dialogue. This one is a definite one time watch.

Also, am back to reading Mother Pious Lady. Twice, gave away the book to dear ones. This time I intend to finish it! Santosh Desai has written a gem!

Friday, March 02, 2012

Today’s Dilemma

You know you’re leading a boring life when your day’s dilemma is whether you should eat Dosa (again!) for lunch or eat the North Indian lunch, which by the way is not even human, leave alone belonging to any part of India! I am pretty sure I’ll go with the latter. Don’t even ask me why. 

Writing cured my toothache. Or, so I’d like to believe. :D It’s hurting less today. I think the key reason is that it is a Friday. Now, on Fridays, the body’s reaction to everything is different. Say if the boss struts up to me and says meeting at 9:30 pm tonight; instead of immediately taking a Jet Li stance, I’d just smile and think ‘Inner Peace and two days of furniture-like existence coming up! Yayy!’. Or if the boss says ‘you left yesterday at 5:57 pm, which makes you short of 9 hours by all of six and a half minutes’; instead of writing a long mail on how I spent those 6.5 minutes constructively by thinking of increasing the team’s productivity while sitting in the loo, I’d just say I’ll do overtime on Monday. I’ll throw in half a minute more for good measure. Mondays suck anyway! :D So, you get my point right. Fridays are just so full of cheer and happy thoughts!

I need to make some real to-do lists. Not the Task list on my Outlook which reads
  • Make an excel sheet to track value added activities
  • Make resume to find another equally thought-invoking job
  • Complete the e-learning ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’
It’s a horrid list, the Outlook one. What I need to make is a real list with really important things to do. Like brush twice a day and floss. Finish the book I left midway a month back (Have you read books by Murakami? Not good if you’re depressed!). Write letters, not emails. Whatever happened to snail mail, I keep wondering. In school, I had this pen friend. No, not an imaginary friend! A real pen friend. World seemed so simple back then. We used to write these long long letters to each other about the agony that life was. Too much homework, TV shows, cute boys, crushes. I think paragraphs after paragraphs were written when these said crushes would one day turn to look our way for a micro second and then smile for another millisecond. These letters made me live and relive someone else’s happiness and sorrows vicariously. They were a concrete proof of someone’s existence, something I could hold on to. Now, when I look around, the world has become one big social network, at its anti-social best! We don’t call friends when they have a baby; we ‘like’ their status! Few months back, someone put up a status saying she has turned from being in a relationship to being single. Then, someone else went ahead and liked that status! I can’t figure whether to be appalled or to be amused. Friends don’t call anymore; they drop one-liners or write on your Wall. I can write a book on how much I hate these social networking sites. Anyway, I will save that for an angry day.

Getting back to my task list and adding on to it. Make up to this one friend who I think has almost given up on me. Write those music CDs I promised some dear people. Fix my latest travel plan (psssstt..its a secret….white sand beaches + a type of cuisine = my next vacation! Go figure!). Get my parents a long due anniversary present! Wash shoe-laces. I don’t think I have ever washed them! They don’t look so white anymore. Ponder over growing older and wiser (this is the birthday month after all). Fix the broken sink (marked with a red flag!). So on and so forth. 

On a different note, is ‘The Artist’ that good? Last I heard such rave reviews of a movie, I went to the theater and slept in the first twenty minutes. Twice! I can’t tell you the name of that movie, because people always give me the ‘Oh dear! There must be something seriously wrong with her’ look. I can’t give you scope to judge me, that too on my own blog! But seriously, is the movie that good? 

By the way, I dealt with the lunch dilemma with a hidden third option – chicken biryani. :) I think life is all about these hidden third options. The ones that are not in-your-face, but lurk somewhere behind. The engineer who chose to become a writer. The banker who gave up all the money to train kids in sports. The MBA grad who decided to travel and call ‘Everyday a Sunday’. True stories all of those. They all took that hidden option. Maybe, that’s where your happiness lies. Probably, mine too.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Tooth Ache and Other Maladies

Its 2:59 pm on a Thursday. My tooth ache or lack-of-a-tooth ache was supposed to go away as of Monday 7:01 pm or somewhere around that time. So, with well justified rage, from Tuesday onwards I ate everything that was not advised by the doctor. Thinking what the ain’t going away anyway! To keep myself away from all the feesh! Eeeeeesh! Rebellion and nonchalance at my age does not add up well. It just adds up to a nagging ache, which makes me not want to concentrate on all the world-changing  society-altering work that my job is right now. And if you did not spot the sarcasm in this, delete me from your Facebook (or however people un-friend others nowadays)!

While my own life has become a joke of sorts, Sunshine suggested today that I should write funny. Not thoughtful and depressing. Realized one doesn’t have to write ‘how do you put an elephant in a fridge’ jokes (you’ve heard that one, haven’t you?) to make people laugh. Just write about your own skewed life and half the comments would read ‘Oh! So hilarious!’. But I haven’t started writing with the intent to make you laugh. Instead, I found these two authors who have never failed to make me laugh. David Sedaris and Bill Bryson. Pick their books up next time you’re in the dumps. No, I won’t say it’ll get you LOLing because THAT is not even a WORD! I hate these new-fangled abbreviations! LOL..LMFAO…ROFLOL…thu! Some days back a colleague wished a friend with ‘MMHROTD’! Sounded like an abuse straight from the land of my grandfathers! These books will just make you laugh till your sides ache, that’s all I wanted to say.

Today, I wanted to search for something amply significant. Opened Google and typed in ‘how to’. Then forgot, what had to go in front of the how to. The joy that Google is, it always has handy auto-suggestions ready. The first few things suggested were How to Kiss, How to reduce belly and How to get pregnant. Now suggestion 1 and 2 I am in agreement with. The art of kissing is lost on most of humanity and don’t even get me started on the belly bit. I think I have been pregnant for 4 years now. There’s no sign of a baby and no end to this pregnancy! But the third suggestion – that had me laughing. Right in the middle of the afternoon, while sitting with colleagues who were worried about the snorting-cum-choking noises I was emanating. Are there two ways of doing this?! Well, I didn’t go ahead with any of the auto suggestions. The people sitting around me don’t think much of my sincere hard-working ways anyway. Don’t think they would have appreciated this. :D

Of late, I have been looking for an avocation. And I am trying to be innovative. Like small kids are. Have you ever heard a two year old say I want to be an engineer. Then, to add pointless value to my career (or that’s what I’d like to think), I want to do an MBA from Yai-Yai-Yum or god forbid Yai-Yai-Pee-Yum! And then trade all my time for more money than I can count. Then, I’ll sit at my desk and dream about vacations with all this money, while I work ALL the time. Okay, now I am getting carried away, but you get the gist of it, right? Kids don’t do that! They think of flying planes. Of wearing their underpants on their trousers and becoming superheroes. I knew a kid who wanted to be a dog walker and a zoo keeper, just because he loved puppies. Growing up has a devastating effect on our creativity. So, I have been reasoning with myself about what can truly keep me happy. When I do get somewhere, I’ll let you know. And since I have done the engineering + yum-bee-yae route, be sure the well-treaded path I won’t be looking at. 

Its 4 pm. The toothache is still there. My work is still pending. I have spent another day in office with minimal brain usage. I am saving it up for the time when ISRO asks me to design rockets. Or when some kid asks me ‘if t-o sounds like too, why isn’t g-o goo!’. Really, no one has an answer to that one! :D Btw, post some poor jokes, will you? I have plans of pissing off Sunshine with an overdose of humor. :P

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Partial Truth

There is a bit of love in hatred. A bit of warmth in a cold shoulder. When you looked at me and said everything will be alright, there was a tinge of worry. A barely noticeable nervous twitch in your confidence. A bit of wrath in a calm smile. A small grudge in true love. You wavered a little, when you were my rock solid support. You skipped a note when you sang. Needless to say, the song was beautiful. The love, life altering. Some sanity in fear, and some insanity in boredom. A bit of hope in despair. Shades of the past in the future. The impulse to look back while you are moving on. There was a hint of a smile when you cried. A trace of a tear when you lit up the room with your smile. That's how life is. Always the partial truth. Maybe you are not supposed to look for perfection. Maybe all you need to do is look for these bits of happiness when you're sad. Maybe life is supposed to be knit with these bits and pieces. Good and bad. Maybe the truth is not all you look for. Maybe, all that you're looking for is that life altering love, albeit with a little bit of aversion.