Sunday, July 24, 2011

This can't be right

I observed myself walking through the lanes of this life
Had flowers in one hand and in the other had a knife
Because people are of two kinds
One has to do justice, cannot be the same to both the kinds
So here I saw myself meeting all these people
Obviously demonstrating two different behavior with the two different categories
Was handing over flowers to people I hated
And was hurting people I loved
Smiling at people I hated
And screaming at the people I love..

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Final Destination

I am going mad. Heard about the Patalpani tragedy in the news and honestly did not pay any attention to it. News and newspapers are full of accident reports everyday. Later on facebook i saw some people posting the accident video on their walls. I was not keen to watch that either. Especially after witnessing the aftermaths of an accident on Hosur Road flyover just a week back, I was in no mood to see anything distressing like that. And then finally a colleague forwarded that footage on my office mail. Not only did he send the video, he came running and asked me to play it even before i realized i had a mail from him. And then i played it. It was about a 2 minutes video and it is one of the most disturbing thing that i have ever seen. First time played on mute. Then played again this time with volume. Played again to see what was the level of water when they all noticed it and why didn't they run when everyone else did. Then again to see where exactly were they positioned that they could not escape. Each time thinking and wondering if they hadn't done this, if they hadn't done that, and i went on watching the video again and again at least ten times. Before leaving the office that evening, i decided to watch it again as this video was not leaving my head. I wanted to flush it out of my mind so i called an old friend and chatted for a long time, which actually took me away from this story.

After coming back home, when i retired to bed, I found myself thinking about those people. If they would have just sat where they were and waited for help, if they would have ran faster, if they hadn't held to each other.. but finally these permutations and combinations were not going to help. It has already happened. And the result is out there. Unnerving. Were there chances that anyone survived? I hadn't followed the news as such. And then i started googling. To find more videos, longer ones. Some other people talking about what happened. Analysis on how water level rose so much in a matter of few seconds. How people could have rescued them had it not been so quick. Found that the boys survived. Felt a little better but reading the insensitive comments from people was driving me nuts. So many experts being cynical about their actions. Lets be serious, no one wants to die. Think about it, water rose past the danger level in absolutely no time. And all the people who remained stuck belonged to the same family. It didn't take a minute from when it started. Does it not make one believe destiny is all powerful. This came nowhere and finished people of one family alone. I kept my laptop aside and tried to sleep. But then the video kept playing in my head and made me restless. I went back into the internet to explore more. And then slowly I consumed all the information available, and if that wasn't enough, I looked up their facebook profiles also. Now i know their faces, age, from where they did their schooling, what others thought of them, et al.

Idle mind is a devil's workshop. I had no reason to go out and explore all about them, but i did. I shouldn't have done that. It has made me more restless now. I will spend my day wandering today and will not give myself a chance to sit at home alone until I am over this. 

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Trying to stop confusing God

There are just too many locks to be unlocked today. The moment I start thinking about it, I start feeling a little smothered. By instinct I always try to avoid facing unpleasantness around me. If ignoring can resolve issues, I ignore. If avoiding can keep me happy I avoid. And every time mind wanders towards these little storages of discomfort, I finally call out to God. I tell God there is nothing you do not know. Why are you doing this to me? Please help me. Please pull me out of this situation. And then if it still doesn’t get better, I again go back to avoiding and ignoring. A small thought goes out towards God also again, "why aren’t you helping me when you are know it all?? Aren't you omnipotent? Please bring everything to order. Please give me some peace and happiness."

My cousin and I were sitting and chatting over a cup of tea on a Sunday morning when she started telling me about the book she is reading these days. Eat, Pray and Love. This name was not alien to me. I knew they have come out with a movie on this book that has Julia Roberts playing the protagonist. I also know while the book received rave reviews, the response to the movie was mild. So I asked her how was she liking the book. She was enjoying the book immensely she told. She went on to tell me some small anecdotes from the book and there was one in particular that caught my attention. Author says, in not these words though, that some of us have a tendency to pray to God without specifically stating what we want. We tend to believe that God knows everything and he will know what we want too. But the truth is until we have a clarity on what exactly we want, God also does not know. We have to be clear in our thoughts and clear in our ask. Google also knows everything, but we need to know what we want information on. We need to provide the search text.

I was sitting wondering this is exactly what I expect from God. No wonder nothing seems to be moving. So I am consciously bringing about this change in the way I pray. Since I do not pray every day so I am not expecting God to change things overnight. But I am certain that now I will get myself heard :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Lovely 90s

Listening to Tere Bin Jeena Nahi.. the Bali Brahmbhatt song from the 90s that featured Bikram Saluja and Anupama Varma. Remember loving that song, because of the good looks, the romance in the song, and the song by itself sans all these factors also. I love the 90s. I can listen to 90s forever without getting bored. In my opinion that was the best decade of Indi-pop. The moment I think of Indi-pop, my mind races to lush green Ho Gayee Hai Mohabbat Tumse, the so romantic dooba dooba rehta hoon, the happy happy dhoom pichuk dhoom, Atul Agnihotri charming in his light denim shirt in Oova Oova, super looker Milind Soman coming out of the box in Made in India, Jas Arora and Malaika Arora (in her lavender lehenga) dancing to Gur Naal Ishq Mitha, Zulfi Syed in a yellow sweater in Shankar Mahadevan's tere khayaalon se..,  the fashion shows favorite Pari Hoon Main, Anamika singing and dancing in Kahin karta hoga, Stereo Nation crooning O Baby!.., Asha Bhonsle's Jaanam Samjha Karo, the dashing Salil Ankola and very pretty Aditi Govatrikar in Kabhi to nazar milao.. and this list is endless. Those were the days of indi-pop! 

And then there were some great music shows on MTV. MTV Select at 4 with Nikhil Chinappa was followed by MTV Most Wanted with Shenaz Treasurywalla. I tried my best not to miss these shows for anything. On the other channels also were some great countdown shows. Philips Top Ten, Ek se badh kar ek, BPL Oye! 

Playing the 90s collection on my iPod now, cherishing the memories, and screaming in my head - Once more! 

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Dhobi waat!

Conversation with the son of a Dhobi who works somewhere close to my apartment. I had told the apartment security guard about my requirement of a dhobi-with-a-quick-turnaround-time. He found one. So this dhobi sent his son to collect my dirty laundry. 

Me: How much do you charge?
Little boy: Friday
Me: Hmm.. ok.. Wednesday?
Little boy: Wednesday.. Appa mdfdfnhenrg perleljrin knksdsdorer phone ljsldlngrtr.
Me: ok friday is fine. But charges? I tried to explain by tossing an imaginary coin in air a few times. 
Little boy: blank stare 
Me: Ok no problem. But get these on Friday ok.
Little boy: Haan friday. Appa mdfdfnhenrg perleljrin knksdsdorer phone ljsldlngrtr.

This was three weeks back. I do not know where my bed sheets are. And the next worry is when / if I get those back, what amount of my life will I have to sign off to cover the charges. I never phoned Appa. The security guy has assured me he will trace him. "He is a trusted guy and he would have perhaps gone to his village due to some emergency or something", is what I have been told. 

Sigh.. waiting! woh subah kabhi to aayegi.. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

'ts all downhill from here :)

Alright so have entered the new decade and it is not as bad as i imagined it to be. My face hasn't wrinkled suddenly, I am not grumpier, and not wiser either. My teeth are intact, i lost three teeth in the early twenties though. I have not lost appetite for junk or speed or rock music. So perhaps it is actually not that bad. Friends were gentler than i imagined. I was wicked when some of them touched 30. I am surprised as I am grateful. :)

So guess i am geared for this decade which i have a feeling is going to turn out well. And if it does not go all that good, i will come back and shred this post. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Through the years..

How nice it feels going through some old conversations and email threads. [See I have already started talking about old emails and conversations, looks like I am way over hand written letters. And by the way I am a big fan of handwritten letters. Just that I am selfish about this. I want to get those letters, but I don’t write those any more.] So coming back to the old email threads and conversations. There is so much nostalgia hidden in them. I absolutely loved reading some of those. Some crazy banter with some friends, some then-philosophical ones that actually sound so funny now, and some silly gossip with the girls’ brigade. 
And was intrigued by some too. What intrigued me was how equations do not remain the same between people. How relationships change over the years. Some grow and some thin down, and some just add some flavor - you like it sometimes, you do not mind some times, and you give up on some too. And I also realize there is no trigger that changes these equations. It is we who change as individuals and that makes all the difference. Reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, from Fountainhead:
You know how people long to be eternal. But they die with every day that passes. When you meet them, they’re not what you met last. In any given hour, they kill some part of themselves. They change, they deny, they contradict–and they call it growth. At the end there’s nothing left, nothing unrevered or unbetrayed; as if there had never been any entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and out on an unformed mass.”
Heavy? Perhaps. But so true. And today I just knew I am one of those people this quote is talking about. The funny part of reading the old chains today was not the things others wrote to me, but what I wrote. It feels like it was someone else talking. Humor that I can no longer relate to, analogies that I cant believe came out of my head while I know they did, and then the flow of words – looks like someone else was living my life before and was a very different person than me. This person was not bad – but was definitely a lot younger, sometimes silly, some times a little crazy, a lot more affectionate and fun.. very different. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

500 miles

This time i was listening to the 500 miles away song - how much i love this song. And then thoughts started following the rhythm of this song. here is a chunk, best way to read this is hum it to the tune of Lord i'm five hundred miles away from home (Peter Paul and Mary)

There are questions in my head
Still there’s song in my heart
This didn’t go any right this way..
You walked in I walked out
I walked in you walked out
This didn’t go any right this way..
Fair winds clear sea
Green lights blue sky
Wish you all things right each day..
Anchors drawn daggers not
It may yeah it may not
Bud I’m five hundred miles away from home..

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Life and its WASE

Coming back to Bangalore after two years, it is taking some effort to fit back in. All the nooks and corners of the Electronic City office is full of memories of friends. The roll numbers on the cafeteria table take me back to our exam days. I could almost picture everybody. All had some distinct characteristics during exam times. Some images are bolder in my memory than others. I dedicate this post to WASE exam times. 

Shrestha would refuse to switch off the lights at home, and would sleep on her books almost since a month into the exams. I would swing my hand between her eyes and her books and she would not know a thing, but the moment I would reach the switch tip-toeing my way through, she would miraculously get up and scream. And then I would come back to sleep in the most well-lit place in the world, and in less than a minute she would sell all her horses too.

Akhi would be dialing her SOS numbers a week before the exam, for notes, xerox copies, status update on others' coverage. 

Sandy and Shrestha would be sitting in the Lucent work station on the mornings of the exams, frantically reading - Shrestha's revision, and sandy's first look into the books. Akhi and Shweta would be giving them company in the work station. Sandy would be collecting printouts in parallel and Akhi will be asking her to make two copies, realizing these precious notes are missing. :) 

Vishal would be surrounded by girls between 6 and 11 pm everyday on the last 15 days. Invited envious looks from other 6 of the famous silent 7. He would finally turn up for the exam in his blue and white plaid shirt - his lucky shirt - and i also think he had a blue and white lucky reynolds pen. :) 

Kapil, would have been preparing stapled print-outs and xerox copies of notes for all his worthless friends. I was part of this elite list. He would study very hard too in the last 7 days. i fail to understand how he scored so well in his papers with completely illegible handwriting. Benefit of doubt I guess. :)

Tarun would have slept his days through and would go with selective studying - his selections always worked. :)

Jose, the coolest customer of all. No frantic moments, no group studies till the last minute, always the first one to close studies (can you believe it), he would be prepared with the indexes even. :)

Abhishek relied I think on his knowledge most of the times and hence did not study as much as others. No wonder his answer for a digital electronics multiplication for 7 and 3 was - simple! 7x3 = 21 :D (Wonder what the teacher was thinking before putting this question in a Masters examination paper.) :) :)

Noops would often end up sharing the study room with me, and we would curse ourselves for not studying a thing after gossiping through the night. :) 

Dhaani would always enter the examination hall with a white face as if she had just seen a ghost. And on the other side, Nikki would look in control of everything. :)

Varun was Shrestha's brother in exam preps I am told. In Kapil's words - jitna shrestha roti hai ki padhaai nahi hui utna hi hamara vijji bhi rota hai :)

Prity would walk-in almost expressionless, her brows just a little skewed. :)   

It was, by the way, always comforting to see Devesh during exam times who, you could sense, would be sitting ram-bharose (god's mercy). :)

Once settled and invigilators walk in, you would see people moving their necks and rotating their head in all directions to be able to pass on the best wishes to all who mattered - completely knowing these wishes only could take them and their friends through. 

There is no one in Bangalore EC any more. Sandy left two weeks back. She was the last one to leave. Though we hardly met each other - may be once a week or something, but the thought that she was there was very comforting. I am missing you Sandy, shift back asap.

And all you others settled abroad forever, enough! Come back now!

Errata only for VJ :)