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