Thursday, December 28, 2006
As is most often the case, we keep having get-togethers. It was the same before he went to India and it is the same after he came back to US. Except that now, his wife is also in our get-togethers and since she does not know most of us, she does the decent thing of being silent all through the get-together. And if the get-together is in the colleague’s house, she has to get tea, snacks and clean up the table while we sit around and chat.
So, basically for my colleague, there was absolutely no change in the life style. It was just the same. Before and after marriage.
But from the wife’s perspective, it is such a huge change in lifestyle. She has to sit dumb with a bunch of male people whom she hardly knows, and act as if she is comfortable while actually she is not, hearing discussions on sports and gossip on other colleagues whom she doesn’t even know. And on top of this, she has to cater to her husband’s and his friends’ needs. I guess a much similar scenario holds for a bride who goes to her in-law’s house and accepts the aged groom’s parents as her own parents.
How would it be for me to sit for over two hours with a score of my wife’s female colleagues, and serve them drinks and snacks, and act comfortable despite the female conversation on the colour of dress, the make-up and soap-operas? How would it be for me to leave my home lifestyle and start living in my wife’s house with her parents day in and day out?
Arent wives seem to be on the wrong side of partiality? Something doesn’t seem to be right here.
And yet, wives carry out the tasks expected of them with pride and happiness. The sacrifice in itself radiates like purity.
Woman, I respect thy.
There is this feeling of ‘Been there; Done that.’
People approach me to ask about places I have been to, and I have been to most places in US.
People approach me to ask about official things, which are almost at the click of my fingers due to my experience.
I feel most people around me are like kids.
I have no commitments.
I have nothing specific to look forward to.
I have pretty much arranged myself a comfortable monthly annuity without even having to work.
I am happy.
It is time to appreciate and pursue the finer qualities of life.
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
A short man walking into the arena filled with a hundred thousand people, receiving a standing ovation speaks about the ratio of the achievers and admirers.
But to be that achiever, one has to sacrifice so much the otherwise normal admirer would have had had easily through the course of life.
To have the guts to traverse on the road less traveled by.
A simple life such as reading books, watching great movies, hanging out with friends, lazy gossip, chatting, surfing will all be replaced by constant dedication towards the one and only goal in life.
And once that goal is attained, once that standing ovation is attained, the question that comes to the mind is, “Would I have been better off appreciating the casual things in life, or am I better off having a dedicated and sacrificed and satisfied life of having achieved something?”
Appreciation or Satisfaction.
Admirer or Achiever.
It is perhaps for such situations as these that the phrase ‘Mere Mortal’ has been coined.
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wake-Up call. A sleepy voice.
“I am starting now.” “Five minutes pleeeeease.”
“Good Morning!” “Good Morning!”
8.45 AM to 9.00 AM:
Discussion on yesterday night’s and today morning’s conf call.
“Have a nice day!” “You too!”
Sometime between 9.05 AM and 12.00 PM:
“Shall we?” “Come down.”
12.00 PM to 12.10 PM:
Discussion on offshore updates and office happenings.
12.10 PM to 12.40 PM:
Lunch. Maury Show.
12.40 PM to 12.50 PM:
Re-living Maury Show scenes, adding more humour.
Sometime between 12.50 PM and 5.00 PM:
“What time?” “6.”
“??” “5 mins.”
6.10 PM to 6.20 PM:
Discussion on how the day was. Who said what.
6.30 PM to 7.00 PM:
Lovely coffee with assortments. Saat Phere.
7.00 PM to 8.00 PM:
General discussion. Heart-filling. Same snaps. Same songs.
8.00 PM to 9.00 PM:
Washing dishes. Helping in cooking. Getting snubbed.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
Love between a mother and her sons.
Love between husband and his mistress.
Love between a wife and her brother-in-law.
Love between a husband and his colleague.
Love between the colleague and her husband.
Love between father and his daughter.
Love between brothers.
Love between friends.
Love between a master and his dog.
Love for money.
Love for popularity.
Love’s a bitch.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Driving, I have always felt, is like an orchestra. The driver is an orchestrator and the drive is the musical performance. The passengers are the audience. Figuratively speaking, you are actually playing upon the emotions and the feelings of the audience. Frankly speaking, you have their lives in your hand. And at the end of the performance, the orchestrator should have the satisfaction of a nice standing ovation.
There are many finer points to driving that are so subtle to notice for the common eye to take notice. The start. Avoiding the jerks when braking. Going over the humps. Treating co-drivers. Following a car. The talent to know the boundaries of speed. Going in a curve at over 90 mph. The knowledge of one’s coordinates, and more importantly tracking other car movements. Parking the car between 2 closely spaced cars with finesse. The control. The concentration. The overall temperament and composure. The final stop.
An uncle of mine has a crisp knack that makes you want to imitate. The way he sits, the way he holds the steering wheel, the way he turns it, changing gear, the general etiquette while driving, the music in his lips – it’s a treat to watch him drive! And the comfort factor that nothing is going to happen.
I have seen some people drive where the passengers are numb with fear, holding onto whatever possible for dear life and ruing sitting in the car. The fright shows in their eyes and they are looking hither and thither to see where you will get hit. Perhaps the driver might think its great to drive fast and its thrilling to drive recklessly but if there is no control, and if the audience loses faith in you, you are a bad performer.
The other day I sat with a friend of mine who is learning to drive car. Its truly one of the scariest things to do. Perhaps a trainer will not feel this because he might have brake pedal at the passenger side too but a normal layman has to live on wit’s end to suffice the journey with a new driver. It would seem so simple and easy but yet the learner finds it so tough to turn, so easy to go over the curb, to cross into other lanes. It will seem like rocket science to them but it will make the seasoned drivers think ‘Is it really so difficult?’
Driving is relaxing if you have a nice vehicle, a nice road and very few traffic with multiple lanes. I had one such experience when I drove from Pittsburgh to Detroit. It was a straight road with 3 lanes and speed limit of 70 mph. It was a nice Mercedes Benz car and a superb road. I put the car on cruise control, went onto the middle lane, relaxed the leather seat and drove comfortably for over 3 hours in the almost non existent traffic without even bothering to check the rear view or the side view mirrors. It was one of the most memorable drives for me. Music would have been a topping but unfortunately I had none.
And then there was this other day when I was going way way over the speed limit for over an hour. I crossed 100 mph and was so alert all the time, looking out for cops, steering clear of slow moving vehicles and handling the car excellently well. And then I got caught! After that it was always way below the speed limit. The mind slept off, and nerves were no longer on edge and it was fascinating to know how much thrill the mind gets just by being illegal!
There have been many more memorable drives for me. The overnight drive to Pittsburgh from Boston in heavy snow. The drive back from Keywest to Miami with its innumerous ocean bridges and a sudden downpour which made visibility zero. The road trip from Boston to Chicago and back to Boston, especially my last stretch at dawn in which, just to fight off sleep after a sleepless night, I set a target of covering 150 miles ridded with New York state police in 120 minutes, but lost with 5 miles to spare. The 45 km drive in a towed car in Bangalore which needed enormous amount of concentration to ensure that the rope was neither taut nor loose by controlling only the brake pedal, and also maneuvering the turns.
Whenever I speak about driving, I always remember Mithun driving 40 miles, just like that, on a state road at 1 am on a Saturday night with me and Ash. It was one of the craziest things we have done! “Just for a drive.” When I first heard this phrase in a soap opera, it didn’t make much sense then but it sure does now. After a long day, a long nice drive is all one needs to get rid of the frustration. Its like relaxation, in spite of all the concentration, and its amazing how it boosts the morale!
Just like music…
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Like when we are in school or college, when its nearing the term time, and we are about to enter the study holidays, the mind will already be set for study holidays even though its still term time. Similarly, when we were nearing study holidays end and entering into exams mode, the mind is already set to exam mode even though its still study holidays. And when we are nearing the last exam, the mind is already set to holidays.
And when we are still in seventh semester, the mind is set for projects in eighth semester. When we are nearing the end of college, the mind will be set for next few months of unemployment, job-hunting and even a job. All, even when we are still in college.
Its like making up and shaping one’s mind beforehand and getting used to the future environ. Like anticipating what is next. It reminds me of the Math chapter of limits where that expression signifies “limit x tending to y.” Its pretty natural and a common human tendency but yet at the same time its fascinating the way the mind works.
And it happens at every stage of life and in every department of life. A doctor when winding up his surgery, a batsman when there is one run to win, a priest performing last stages of pooja, a waiter serving the last plate for the day, a night-shift policeman at the break of dawn, the New year’s eve, a teacher teaching the last chapter, a pregnant woman in the ninth month, an engaged girl living the life of a wife, a person who has got a visa to US and, of course, people like me with a ticket to Bangalore in my hands! I might be in US, but my mind is already living in Bangalore, and in India!
The mind tends to move onto the next phase of life automatically and while there might be a slight bit of relaxation, there will also be a sense of happy livurity when the mind starts living the future in the present.
Of course, there are many adages that say live life for present and not to worry about future or past. But then, those adages go hand-in-hand only where ‘worry’ is associated. Its fine as long as one wishes to pre-live the future happiness!
However, unfortunate though it may be, adages might say what they say, but the human mind has a way of its own. Be it happiness or sadness, it lives the future in present. And there is nothing that can be done about it. And the anticipation of the curtain coming down is worse that the actual scene of curtain coming down, figuratively speaking.
There have been 3 movies which come to my mind which bear testimony to the above statement. The Green Mile, Downfall and Dead Man Walking. In all of the above, there is a character depicted who knows when and how he will die. And this thought of death, the pure anticipation, kills more than the actual act of Death in itself. The thought that ‘This is the end; these are the last few hours of my life’, the clock ticking away to 12 o’ clock, the last few glances, the farewell, the last wish, the last words, the last thought all become so insignificant, and resemble zombic actions because, in reality, the mind has already started livuring death and eternity.
LIV-ing in the fut-URE.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
What a sad state of affairs it is, when one tries to compare. Here, I could see posh people everywhere, neatly dressed, well-behaved, absolutely no trash anywhere on the premises, nothing thrown into the river, rest rooms so clean, restaurants so well maintained, attractive girls walking around comfortably, facilities to the tourists, lights to the falls at night time, etc. It was all so picture perfect. Like as if there is nothing else better that can be done.
And then there was Jog. Trash strewn everywhere, beverage cans and food wastes thrown to the river, no defined rest room as such, the traveler’s lodge seeming to be in tatters. And then there were different strata of people – dignified middle class people comparatively well behaved and appreciating the nature. And then there were below poverty public acting weirdly in river, bare footed, spitting on the road, and gaping at good-looking gals, whistling, passing comments and basically making the gals feel uncomfortable.
For the major part of my life, I thought this is the way life is lived and this is how it is everywhere in India. Dirt, population, filth, uncultured behavior, and nothing called neatness. And then I joined Infosys. The campus was stunning and I was awe-struck. Even after four years, when I look at the architecture, the campus, I keep staring. Simply because everything is so nice and pleasing and a feeling that this is how it should be everywhere. It was the same set of people, but within a campus kept neat and tidy 24 hrs a day by a wonderful housekeeping staff who gain a standing ovation from every single Infoscion in each of the award ceremonies within Infosys.
There was a huge population within the campus too. There is always dirt, filth but it was all so well managed. Everyone behaves so well and cultured. Agreed, some attractive gals still are gaped at within the campus and made to feel uncomfortable, but yet, it is the same set of people and it was all so different inside. Like entering into a new world altogether. Nobody is taught to behave well, nobody is taught to be courteous and yet everyone falls into the pattern of the neat-running-system all by themselves. And life suddenly seems to be nice and tidy and comfortable.
And then I came to US. Imagine my thought process. Not a single person will ever refrain from comparing about the traffic in US and traffic in India and I am no exception. Imagine this for instance. There is a single lane of traffic and all vehicles are stopped for the red signal. The road slightly widens for a right only lane and there is no oncoming traffic. Put this same setting in India. What will happen? The vehicles not going right will come onto the right lane, just to fill up the space and be as close to the start as possible while the vehicles genuinely wanting to go right will be stuck. The yellow line will have no significance and vehicles will jam up the road in such a way that the oncoming traffic will have no way to pass through too. It will be the same situation on the other side of the traffic signal too. And when the signal becomes green, it will be a two-lane traffic facing another two-lane traffic in a single lane road. Deadlock.
To continue the story further. Suppose a cop comes and confronts a vehicle which has crossed the yellow line. What will be the reaction of the driver? He will smile sheep-facedly at the cop and say “Er…Please sir, please sir, just this once.” Men without dignity and honour. It will be the same situation every time. Two-wheelers going on pedestrian sidewalks and honking at them to give way. Isnt traffic manners such a simple thing to follow? If everyone follows it, wouldn’t life be so ever so simple?
I fail to understand who is to be blamed. Who is at fault?
Is it the Government? For not planning ahead? For not having enough rest-rooms in and around the city and maintaining them? For not having enough trash cans in and around the city? For having corrupt officials who stop the flow of funds to support a city and its people? For not having enough officials to mend the people’s barbaric ways?
Is it the people? For not knowing how to behave? For not having simple manners? For not being courteous? For not following the system?
Is it the population? For having exponentially exploded way way out of seams for the city to control and handle?
Is it lack of money? Lack of money with people? “I don’t have money for the fuel sir. So I put kerosene to auto.” Hence the sound and pollution. Lack of money with Government? “Enough funds have been allocated to the improvement of the city but we are unable to track where the money went.” It is just a vicious circle.
Is it the way we all are brought up? There is so much respect here for children. Even when at fault, they are called sternly as ‘Young Man, can you be a good child and stop beating your friend?’, ‘Little Man, be careful with that stick. We don’t want you to hit your sister accidentally with it, would we?’ What would happen to a young kid in India handling a stick dangerously. PHATTAK! He will be slapped and the stick will be taken away from him. What will happen to a young gal in India when she is walking dangerously on the edge of the footpath? She will be dragged to the sidewalk unceremoniously and asked to stop being a pest. “Be careful, Young Lady. We don’t want you to get hurt” is how they are treated in US.
When things so simple and nice and easy in US, why is it so ugly and dirty and tough in India? How can the situation ever improve? Will it ever improve?
I used to read in novels how ill people, ill kids in foreign countries were sent to mountainous regions, or places with cleaner air in valleys so that they have a healthy life and can breathe fresh air. I realized, I never had a persistent cold or cough since I came to US an year and half ago, and when I was in India for a month, I had all sorts of breathing problems. Isnt life all about having a cleaner air to breath? Pollution is alarmingly increasing in India.
I realized one thing. When man is put into a nice and neat environment, as per the principle of regelation, he gels himself and adapts to the situation of being nice and neat. When man is put into a dirty and ugly environment, as per the principle of regelation, he gels himself and adapts to the situation of being just like other fellow men. And hence, a situation of nice and neat continues to nice and neat whereas a situation of ugly and dirty just becomes uglier and dirtier.
So, consider overnight, when everyone is sleeping, if the whole city is made beautiful and great, like a film setting, will things change? Will it change the mind set of people?
It may. People might atleast throw trash in trash cans. It may not. People might continue to spit on roads.
Anyway. Am leaving US and off to Bangalore on Dec 30th. And guess what?
I am looking forward to it.
Friday, December 08, 2006
If say, A was MIP to B, and B was MIP to C, and C was MIP to D, and so on, would the gift even matter?
On a more personal note, there are many people high up in the chart, but who is the most important person to me in this world?
More importantly, is there anyone at all who considers me as the most important person in this world?!
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Four years of Employment.
Almost two years in USA.
A feeling of ‘Been there, done that!’
An Apartment in the name of self.
Monthly Rent as a constant source of income.
No more loans to clear.
No more the need to work.
Hurray! Its time to Retire!
Monday, December 04, 2006
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Human man can endure a lot more than what we perceive. The unfortunate couple mentioned above lasted in the ocean for 24 hrs, bobbing up and down in the tide, with no food, no water, cold, thunder, rain, dark and most importantly, sharks. The movie Rabbit-proof fence describes the true story of a young Australian aborigine girl who trudges almost 1500 miles to go back to home. Twice. From the cruel government who separated mothers and their half-black half-white children. Walking 1500 miles in the hot sun as fugitives.
And then there are people who just never quit. Whatever the odds. Men of Honor portrays one such true character who makes into the US Navy’s Master Diver role after umpteen attempts by his trainer to fail him. Just because he was black.
Hotel Rwanda. A hotel manager saves 1200 people from a city riot. Schindler's List. Over 1100 Jews saved by Oscar Schindler. Patch Adams. Inspiring story of Hunter “Patch” Adams who uses unorthodox methods of curing people against the strictly academic world of Medicine. Cinderella Man. James Braddock fights poverty and saves his family through pugilism. Walk the Line. A son proves his father wrong after continually put down as a loser, and rises from a street seller to a famous singer, and fights addictive drugs to win the heart of his love. The Sea Inside. The movie of a quadriplegic. Cidade de deus. An intersecting movie of Rio-de-Janeiro’s underworld heighbourhood in the eyes of a photographer. October Sky. The son of a coal miner in a coal mining town makes rocket science as his passion and overcomes his ever-resistant father's attitude to ultimately join NASA.
A respectful bow to the true heroes...
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Moves as how the chain moves.
Smiles if the chain makes it smile.
Falls if the chain makes it fall.
Entertainment to audience.
Makes the audience cry.
Makes the audience smile.
Makes the audience applaud.
Who is the applaud for?
Is it for the puppeteer?
Is it for the chain?
Is it for the puppet?
Does it even matter?
Does it matter to the puppeteer?
Does the chain have emotions?
Does the puppet have emotions?
Remains a fascination…
A puppet on a chain…
Thursday, November 23, 2006
Scared now about Dec Christmas and Jan Martin Luther long weekends. Havent planned anything and the thought of not doing anything and spending all 3 days at home is scary. Hopefully I wouldn’t be here by Feb long weekend. Speaking of long weekends, it’s a nice concept. Holidays are scheduled in such a way that it leads to a long weekend. Encourages tourism. Encourages families to have get-togethers.
Saw Glory. Wonderful movie. The colored people are in the army but are not in the ‘Fighting squad’ and they want to fight. Felt like software engineers wanting to code, to be in development but are put in maintenance projects! A scene in it made me wonder how would it be to know that you are going to die. You look around you. The ocean, the birds, the waves, the soldiers. Never to see parents again, wife, kids. You are in early thirties. Fit and fine. For the sake of freedom. To rush ahead and face the bullets. To die a warrior’s death. Home they brought her warrior dead.
Chatted with Janani after a long time. Felt nice. Infact woke up early for the scheduled chat. Usual topic came about one’s looks. ‘Have I become fat?’ ‘Put on’ is more of a decent word she used. Probably healthier life style. Clean air. Simple two words but yet powerful, I felt. Isnt it all that Man should fight for? Clean air. Pure water. Electricity.
I read about chaotic traffic in Bangalore. Awesome start in the blog. “Water rushing past logs in a boulevard”. A comment to this says “In US, water is scared to enter the boulevard!” I saw some videos too about traffic in India. After 1.5 yrs in US, its scary. Yeah, it feels as if I am talking like grown and brought up in US, but the environment conditions the mind. Couple of months in India, and you can find me overtaking from left too.
I wonder if when one blogs one’s thoughts, one repeats? If I have said something before, wouldn’t I repeat it again if I feel strongly about it. Perhaps one does. Big deal. I noticed that I am mentioning my friend’s names in this blog. Something I wasn’t doing before.
The thing that made me laugh out loud today: Friends episode when Chandler describes a game of listing out all US states within 6 minutes. Joey calls out triumphantly within 6 minutes and says "I got it! I got all 56 states!" Boy that was funny!
Was seeing Seinfeld yesterday. It is an episode which has invented many catchy words, phrases. One such word is 'Friends-in-law'! When Jerry is not around, George and Elaine are like friends-in-law! They dont have anything to talk about left to themselves. The situation is uncomfortable. Hence the 'in-laws'! That uncomfortable situation. Jerry is the connecting person between the two! I have faced such situations so many times too! Felt so right!
Well alright. Time to hit the sack.
Monday, November 20, 2006
Saturday, November 18, 2006
Joined LKG (Lower Kinder Garten) - Good Shepherd School : 1984
Finished Seventh Standard - Good Shepherd School : 1993
Finished Tenth Standard - Bangalore High School : 1996
Finished Pre-University - Vijaya Main College : 1998
Finished Engineering - Dr. Ambedkar Institute of Technology : 2002
Joined Infosys Technologies Limited : Nov 18th 2002
Today : Nov 18th 2006
Monday, November 13, 2006
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
I entered the last dwara – as one might say – where his Highness resides. The room was filled with about 20 people. Scattered around. Some in meditation. Some chanting slokas silently. Some just sitting. Some standing in front of the sanctum sanctorum. Just like any other temple.
I took a few steps towards the sanctum sanctorum and I could see Lord Venkateswara’s idol, adorned magnificently, as always. A slight smile, which somehow assures and says ‘Everything is going to be alright.’ I then did what people usually do in temples. Basically spent some time with Him. And shared the necessities.
Perhaps I had very high expectations, or my expectations matched with the same sense of satisfaction one gets when one visits the shrine at Tirumala (as the temple at Pittsburgh and the temple at Tirumala are managed by the same TTD authorites), that, I must admit, I felt quite disappointed after the visit. Both times. What was it that was lacking? The Idol by itself was beautiful. The decoration was wonderful. Holy feeling all around. Slokas in the background. Few people chanting bhajans. The sacredness and sanctity of the sanctum sanctorum.
My mind investigated back to the moments spent in Tirumala after one enters the last dwara. There will be like two hundred people ahead, with very little space. Squashed amidst people all around. People’s breath, sweat and stink crams one up. People elbowing, pushing, cursing. A human wave, slowly but surely nudging forward. Like 8 lanes merging to a single lane within few feet.
Some are chanting deliriously. Some are cursing the authorities for improper people management. Some are shouting slokas at top of their voice. Some are singing in praise of Him. Some are nudging ahead, caring nought for others, and in hurry to meet Him. Some are carrying kids on their shoulders, asking them to crane up and get the first glimpse of Him and clasp hands and pray.
Atmosphere is feverish. At that point of time, after 3-4 hours standing in the queue, after 2-3 hrs locked up in rooms, with legs aching, hunger playing tantrum in the tummy, feeling swamped, everyone has just one aim, one achievement in mind. Especially because the end of the queue is near. To see Lord Venkateshwara.
And, I realized with a bang, after decades of belonging to the clan of cursing-authorities-for-improper-people-management, that that is what makes visit to Tirumala so gratifying and satisfying. It’s that damn crowd! Its that challenge. Its that aim. Its that same human instinct of wanting to achieve something. That crave for success. And, in this case, success is just to see Him. To seek His blessings. The long hours of wait conditions the mind and channelised towards God. For Freedom. From all the difficulties. Per se.
And hence the satisfaction.
Tuesday, November 07, 2006
Before Sunset. A Beautiful Sequel. The whole movie is about two people talking to one another. Such a simple topic to make a film about. Two People Talking to One Another. Amazing conversation, amazing topics, amazing choice of words and beautiful narration.
Flavors. Another of those Indians-in-US movie. Set of characters, ranging from housewives to parents, unemployed to busybees, love affairs to marriages, east coast to west coast, all intertwined somehow to make one jolly movie with US as a setting. Makes one laugh at oneself.
Gods Must be crazy – I and II. Very simple but very humorous. Absolutely no violence, but yet reference to it being just around the corner. World looked at from the eyes of Uncivilized People, mocking at Man With Money. How simple life actually is, and how complicated Man has made it.
I realise I am tending towards Too Many Caps…. Its just too much influence from my Current Novel - Roy’s The God of Small Things. It has a Language of its Own.
Saturday, November 04, 2006
Lack of love when senile.
Lack of time when in job.
Loads of time when retired.
Devouring of the Feast with strong morals.
The crushed tasteless rice for the denture.
The constant traveling.
The difficulty to walk.
It all evens out in the end.
Wednesday, November 01, 2006
Lying down on the bed to go to sleep.
Comes this sinking feeling.
And a gasping suffocation.
Hands and arms flailing.
And a huge, huge boulder on top.
Crushed below due to its sheer weight.
Into the body of water.
Going down and down.
Loses the consciousness.
Drifts thankfully to slumber.
Sunday, October 29, 2006
There have been many instances of such occurrences wherein a person being single for an excessive amount of time, will start liking being alone and enjoying the freedom and independence of oneself that a marriage will then start looking like more like a constriction what with all the sacrifices and adjusting that is very rightly needed for the wedlock to sustain.
The love for oneself exceeds to an extent that one can be happy with the bare minimum of re-telecasted shows on television, a nice cozy novel, endless music, some good movies, cooking at times and above all, obsessed with work. With just these, there arises no necessity for any responsibility towards any other human being, and one is satisfied to live life for oneself.
Its also comprehensible, hence, that when the occasion arises for a social gathering, wherein, understandably, the hall is filled with couples, such single people are odd men out and would therefore tend to avoid the mere attendance, much satisfied within the safety of one’s abode. Call it staying within the tortoise’s shell, but its better than answering a hundred people why you are not coupled up. Does a lot to ebb one’s confidence.
But then, as informed earlier, sooner or later, parents start pushing for ‘completion of responsibility’. And it is then that marriage will become more of a ‘task’ than a celebration of the union of two people.
Thursday, October 26, 2006
To a far, far place.
Where no one knows me.
Bring down the cobwebs.
Walk away from the graves.
Tear down the dirty clothing.
Abandon the possessions.
Have a refreshing bath in the Holy Water.
Die and be born again.
To a new and refreshing arena.
Where all is clean and neat again.
Filled with innocence.
And lots of happiness.
Tuesday, October 24, 2006
Reached office on time. Felt dirty. Unshaven and unbathed. But things went smooth first half. Time dragged on. Almost like the lull before the storm. Pizza for lunch. Yummy.
Clock strikes 2. As part of install verification, I await for a file on a specific folder as an output of a job. Nope. 2.01 pm. Nope. Heart beat increases. 2.02 pm. Heart beat increases even more. The clock strikes like a deadly time bomb. I knew something had gone wrong. First beads of sweat and panic. Faintly feeling.
I rush to a prod box to get logs of the job. Sure enough, it had failed. Logs have insufficient explanation. I ping someone else to provide more logs. And then, at 2.10 pm, the truth is out there. Mistake in the code. Its laughing at me, mocking at me. A series of ‘Oh My God’ comes out of my lips and I let my head fall on my hands and I stay like that for the shock to pass.
Cubicle mates offer help, try to soften the blow. ‘Want anything from Starbucks?’ So sweet. But no thanks. Things are to be done. Escalations. I shoot out a mail, succinctly describing the issue, the cause and the resolution.
Word spreads fast. Within minutes, I am asked on phone with senior management explaining the situation. People all over are pulled in to explain the protocol of a production incident and its fix. Quick meeting. Ten powerful people have ten different things to say.
It was 3 pm within minutes. Amazing how time flies at times of crisis. A hundred dependent jobs were waiting for my job to finish. A hundred people waiting to see how their jobs work. Tension was palpable. The meeting decided who has to do what.
Code fix had to go within 5 pm. Impact analysis and a thorough test needed to be done to ensure that no other wrong code exists. Help was taken all around to ensure things got done. Many VPs were paged at 4 pm on a Friday to approve tickets and ensure code push to production ASAP. ‘ASAP’ couldn’t have been better realized than today.
Code fixed, tested and checked for any more loop holes while bevy of senior people standing behind my neck to ensure I don’t screw it up again. Code pushed to prod and all set by 5. Job is made to run again at 5.15 pm. Time is 5.13 pm.
Never had I looked at time like this before. Never had I this feeling of time clicking away to another bomb. Had I defused all wires? Were there anymore? 5.16 pm. Job started. No file on folder yet. 5.17 pm. No file on folder yet. I swallowed. Ten pair of eyes were staring at the status of the job, and we knew a hundred others were waiting on the phone for our job to complete. Atlast, we could see the file on the folder!
A big sigh. Another failure, and I would have shot myself. Huge relief. Congratulations all around. Not a word of blame. Not an iota of ‘you-screwed-it-up’ thought. Everything was like team work. A big ‘Thank you’ from all for having got it fixed. Imagine that! I screw it up and I get thanks for fixing it! Wow.
Post mortem analysis and more install verifications led to completion of day’s tasks at 9 pm. It had been a long day. A day to forget. It was a sad day. But it was good that the issue was resolved, and I could have a good night’s sleep. It was an irony that amidst the thousands of complicated things that were thought out during development of the job, the job failed at one of the silliest points. Damn.
I came out of the office to get hit by chilly wind. My car is all that is there in the parking lot. I revved up the engine and started my way back to home. Thousand things were in my mind.
How do things work in other professions? A doctor doesn’t have dev int, rel int and acceptance testing before he goes to commence his operation. An engineer doesn’t have dev int, rel int and acceptance testing before thousands of gallons of water hit the dam or hundreds of vehicles go on a bridge.
I mean, work has to be 100% perfect, else its not going to be the right world to stay in. And for work to be 100% perfect, one has to be brilliant, truly brilliant to think about all possible scenarios and be absolutely infallible. A hundred jobs went live today, and it was humiliation to see just my job fail. All hundred were better than me. Says a lot about my brilliance, or the lack of it.
Am I in the right profession? Do I even fit in here? If I am more experienced, would such incidents never occur? I mean, man is not infallible, so I cannot say, with time, I would not do any mistakes. The incident just showed how truly insignificant I am in front of thousands and thousands of people who have done so much to this world, and I couldn’t even get a small, simple thing working. Jeez!
Mistakes in my profession can be fixed in next install, and the max harm that was caused is a wait time for a number of people. However, mistakes in professions like doctors and engineers cause lives to be lost. How can one live if such a thing occurs? Scene in Raju ban Gaya Gentleman props upto the mind.
The mind kept gnawing at such thoughts till I reached home. I wanted to pour out my anguish over myself to someone, but alas, there was no one at home. No one to talk to when I desperately needed one. Tummy rumbled, but there was no food. 10 pm on a bad, bad day, I set out with the yucky frozen parathas. Thank God, next day was a weekend.
I hit the sack and lay there, a defeated man. Cuddled up and tried to sleep with a sad shake of head.
Monday, October 23, 2006
The story goes as follows. One of the famous types of warfare during Mahabharat is Chakravyuha, wherein, the enemy, in hundreds, form a big circular formation and the objective of the other party is to single-handedly penetrate this circle and get out of it successfully, by fielding off the barrage of arrows that is targeted at self and at the same time, be on the attacking mode.
This being a not-so-easy task, as a man even of lower intellect can quickly deduce, needs a trick, as is so common in warfare, to come out successfully and wish to see one’s own arms and limbs in the way it was prior to the adventure. And such a trick was known only to Lord Krishna and Arjuna.
The tale becomes slightly interesting now. Krishna, by way of conversation, is imparting the knowledge of entering this impenetrable Chakravyuha to Subhadra, when Abhimanyu, still an unborn child in S’s womb, hears about it, and kids being what they are, total grasping power and what-not, remembers it for lifetime. However, Subhadra, apparently is too bored to hear about the whole story and dozes off in the middle and Krishna is forced to stop in the middle.
Ages later, when the Good is fighting the Bad, the Bad challenge the Chakravyuha warfare to the Good. Good accept the challenge as they have Krishna and Arjuna who can break the Big Circle. However, the Bad forms – by way of another trick of warfare - a diversion so that Krishna and Arjuna are not in the scene at the time of Chakravyuha. That leaves only with Abhimanyu amongst the Good to take up the challenge.
Enabled only with the knowledge of penetrating the circle but not coming out successfully, Abhimanyu fights valiantly and single handedly, and is able to break the formation but, alas, goes down in the end, fighting.
Somehow, this concept of Chakravyuha and the tale of Abhimanyu is fascinating to me. The former encapsulates the point of a person facing difficulties from three sixty degrees. And the latter encapsulates grasping capacity of an unborn and how mortal a human being is without Knowledge.
Now I wish I knew the trick too…!
Quick update about the bare essentials. More for myself to know what-happened-this-day-twenty-five-years-ago when I check upon this blog - if it still exists in its current state, art and technology - a quarter of century later, with magnifying lens for my underrated eyes and a walking stick at my side.
Wonderful time spent with parents. For the first time felt responsibility for home and office. In Bangalore, it was taken for granted that state of affairs in the house was handled by dad and me just worried about office. But, here, I felt morally responsible for the doings and undoings of parents. An obligation to go back to home early and keep them occupied, show them places and spend time with them. Something which was always taken for granted when I was in Bangalore. Jeez! This is how its going to be when I become married!!
As a proud son – I would be lying if I say I am not proud of myself – I ensured they had a nice time here. Showed them all places I had charted out and pre-planned, and as in most cases, the plan always gets executed to perfection. From apt-booking to receiving-them-at-airport, from flight-booking-to-and-fro-Niagara to package-tour-to-Washington-and-New York, from local-sightseeing to friends’-dinner-visits, from fall-foliage-at-new Hampshire to my-cubicle-in-office, from trip-to-Pittsburgh to dropping-them-off-to-Brother’s-place-in-Detroit, everything went as smooth as it could. It would be unfair to say parents were not emotional at the time of my departure from Detroit.
And then, alas, back to usual routine. If you can imagine a kid being given a chocolate, and after a while, the chocolate is taken away, then I was that kid. Gone were the days of no-cooking, no-dish-washing, yummy-evening-and morning-snacks, bathroom-all-for-myself, hot-lunch-awaiting-at-noon-time!
Now all that is left is a daily call of ‘Wassup?’ while my bro enjoys the luxury.
Wednesday, September 13, 2006
Monday, September 11, 2006
It wasnt that I was bored to death and was waiting to leave at 5. It wasnt that I was jam packed with work and forced myself to leave at 5. Things went coolly and calmly, in a soothing manner and in its on pace. Jobs got done without issues and it felt great to have had an efficient and productive day!
Time and again, I find myself grousing to the Almighty for the lack of such-and-such a thing. What I fail to realise is that when such-and-such a thing is actually bestowed upon me, sometime later, my grouses would have shifted to some other object of desire and the whole fact of the original wish having been bestowed is lost in translation, and the feeling of 'You-dont-do-anything-to-me' remains topmost against the Doer of Everything!
Time to bow and say a heartfelt : Thanks!
Sunday, September 10, 2006
As on any day, mind muddling conversations and thoughts always get processed. Heard about one more colleague having quit the company. Its now so common that you are looked at queerly if you do not quit at onsite...I am often now being asked the same question I ask myself : What are you doing?
There was a talk of how lonesome I am getting these days. People quitting. People moving out. People getting married. Not enough guys to hang out with these days. Its common now to go to a gathering where I will be the odd man out. All would either be paired or engaged or married, and topic would undoubtedly be about their exciting future. Again, I am often being asked the same question I ask myself : What are you doing?
Saturday, September 09, 2006
Just finished writing a nice mail to a good friend of mine. It had been quite some time since I had wrote to him. It had a lot of 'advice' poured in good measure than the talk of general health. It somehow feels good to give advice. Whether its taken or not is upto the recipient, but one feels good after giving advice. Its like having done something good! I hope the mail helps him...
Spoke to another of my junior who has come to US to do her MS. I am terribly proud of her. I have a high respect, in general, for those who pursue higher studies. Perhaps its because I didnt do it myself. I keep pushing people whomsoever is thinking about it, to go ahead and just do it. Do what I say but dont do what I do!
Chatting with anyone at this age of mine inevitably will bring up the topic of marriage. I might have used the same usual sentences with hundreds of friends. Perhaps I should save a template and keep copy pasting!
Just came to know that a fellow colleague quit. There is always a tinge of sadness when someone quits. But then again, its for their own good. The future will definitely have good things to offer if they pursue their true ambitions. My sincere wishes for a wonderful life ahead.
Couple of days ago, I saw Water. A depressing movie, like The sea inside. But very touching and poignant. Makes me feel I am so lucky.
Once in a while, a lesser known, offtype movie catches my attention, and I end up seeing all through, and at the end, it will leave me with a smile and satisfaction of having seen it. Son-in-law, Racing stripes, Something that Lord made, Patch Adams, Fever pitch, Lost in Translation, The girl next door, On the line are some examples. And today I happened to see Big Girls dont cry...they get even. As informed in IMDB, this movie is best enjoyed on a lazy day!
Perhaps it wasnt all that bad a day...it was just another lazy weekend! Will sign-off with a cliche from the Big girls... :
"Have fun and enjoy! Dont torture yourself...Life will take care of it!"
Thursday, September 07, 2006
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
There are some things which are implied even when left untold.
Nothing can be done nor will things change, but it provides the warmth to just be told.
Touched deep inside an emotional chord.
I was happy all day till I heard it...Well, I am sorry too.
Tuesday, September 05, 2006
..Princess got engaged to Prince Charming! The Lochinvar of her life has finally swept her off her feet! God bless the couple!
..I am reading The diary of a young girl - Anne Frank. Pretty depressing to think about the life innocent people had to lead during World war. Couldnt help thinking about this when I saw multitude of families enjoying the Sun and beach, playing with kids and having a gala time at Lake Tahoe. An improbable thought back then I suppose.
..I quite liked the significance of the dots prior to the sentence, using as bullets. But I have a painful story about it. However, I recently liked the usage of hiphen too. Perhaps in my next blog! The bullets generated in the blog editor somehow was not all that appealing.
..Parents coming to US next Wednesday. Looking forward to it. Have this unique thought that I have to now balance life between work at office and family at home with parents. Something that I had never done before in my life. Back in Bangalore, I came back home from office whenever I wanted to. I kinda feel the responsibility now. Is this how its going to be after marriage?
..I saw a small cute little kid playing, with her school bag on her shoulders, running behind butterflies, and jumping up and down the garden, and her mom waiting on the curb for the school bus, with one hand having the lunch box, and an eye on the daughter. Such a pretty sight! Two decades later, the kid will be in the same position as the mom, with the same responsibility I was talking about above.
..People who leave comments on blogs usually are responded by the author with a reciprocatory comment. I prefer to mail back to the person who comments. Offlate, some kindly viewers are leaving anonymous comments, and some who have their own blogsites but no immediate email IDs to respond. I have to admit I get frustrated when I cannot respond back. Boohoo.
..I got a forward today which, in essence, said, as has so many of them, 'The way you look at the world, the world looks back at you'. It made me wonder.
..I was just chatting with a friend of mine. She has come to US for MS. She is my junior, and we had a great rapport when we were both in college during engineering. I have had some of the best conversations with her. Today's chat started off with 'Hey hi. Hows you doing?' 'Good. And you?' 'Good.' A break of 5 mins and nothing happened. Funny. Thats all there was to say. Look what time and distance does to relationships. We didnt have enough time in college bus to talk in its winding one hour to and fro college trips day in and day out all year through, and here we are, 6 yrs later, with hardly anything to talk but general health.
..I read a beautiful blog today. As informed in one of my previous posts, its one of the amazing things to experience.
..I usually dont like to give links in my blogs, as it will make the reader lose his continuity. But at times, I am forced. Like this one. One of the best I have ever read. Some people really write well.
..Reading the phrase 'perverse pleasure' in the above-linked-blog made my mind think about writing a blog full of perverse pleasures. But I refrained myself from doing so. No particular reason.
..Felt good writing this. Like unwinding myself. Was I inspired (see untitled)? Perhaps...
..Time to sleep. Tata. Speaking of Tata, its strange so many of us adults have stopped using this usually-first-ever-learned word of the human life span. When I say it, many people smile. Perhaps at my innocence, or perhaps of their reminiscence of childhood. Its still a great word to me. I really like it. Tata, again.
Thursday, August 31, 2006
Tough thing about this boundary is that it keeps fluctuating. At times, the area of 'what one can do' is bigger than the area of 'what one ought not to do', and the very next day, what was once an acceptable thing is now no longer acceptable.
The latter offset my balance, and I came crashing down to Apni Aukaad.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Working for very popular company.
Good rise in career and pay.
Visited most of US.
Yet, a feeling of emptiness.
The haunting question : "What am I doing in Life?"
The answer always is : "I don't know."
What a wasted day...
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Fast forward to the current era. Me, being a humble devotee of Lord Ganesh, whom I have always thought of in highest regards, and a very good friend of Moon (as described in my 100 steps blog), to whom all my day's problems are poured upon and a very close confidant, I cannot take sides. Really. I need both of them. Equally!
However, nor do I want to suffer! And so, I do not want to see Moon on Ganesh Chaturthi, thereby me tending to be the 'law"-abiding citizen! Call it superstition, call it myth, call it foolishness, but I do not want to go against Lord Ganesh on His day.
But then, it so happens that on all Ganesh Chaturthis, the sky is always crystal clear. When I make my way towards the temple just when the dusk is setting, as always, I look at the sky and admire the natural beauty of sky-blue-mixed-with-orange hue and the pattern of the clouds, and it always just so happens that Moon is there, smiling at me. I smile back. Then it hits me that this is not the day to be smiling at Moon! But, by then, its too late! Alas, the year, for the next 365 days, is destined to be - I wouldnt say "full of suffering", but - "difficult". This event has occurred every year for as long as I can remember.
But did not occur in 2006!
Sunday, August 27, 2006
A magnified observation of this scene in Life's broader terms speaks of a number of things:
- Of the cliche : So near, yet so far.
- Of the cliche : There's many a slip between the cup and the lip.
- Of the effort of running towards the train, going in vain.
- Of the No-it-cant-be-happening look on your face.
- Of the desperate attempt to open the door which just doesnt budge.
- Of the futile effort of running beside the train hoping it would stop and doors would open.
- Of the painful thought of opportunity slipping away from fingers.
- Of the embarassment of having not been on time.
- Of people inside the train staring at you helplessly.
- Of some others smilingly as if you were Scapegoat-of-the-Day.
- Of the feeling of being drenched in a bucketful of ice cold water of Failure.
- Of the feeling that the Almighty is rolling on floor with laughter, pointing at you.
- Of what a fool you have made of yourself.
- Of the despondency that hits you when you realise that actually you lost against Time.
- Of the emptiness one feels when the train goes out of sight.
Life has a lousy sense of timing.
Saturday, August 26, 2006
It is even more fun when its meant to be a surprise!
The moment you get up, you think about things charted out, hoping everything falls in place, and you feel a glow within you.
Every other pressing thing is pushed to the back of mind.
It shall definitely be worth it in one's life to do things entirely for some one else.
It will make you feel as one belonging to the Elite Club of Nature's Noblest!
You are bursting out with curiosity to see how happy it will make the other person at the end of the day.
But I guess I just suck at it.
At the end of the day, all it amounted to was just a sad shake of head.
Sunday, August 20, 2006
The feeling of no longer being needed and the feeling of having lost the importance that one cherished, is one such source which causes a state of depression. There is a moment in everyone's life that he or she is no longer needed. This has been depicted in many forms of audio-visual treats and real-life scenarios.
- Father of the Bride, in which the father hates to let go of his daughter as he refuses to believe that she is old enough to get married and move on in life.
- The episode of Everybody loves Raymond in which Debra feels the loss of her kids' love to her when they get attached to the baby-sitter.
- The feeling that a mother gets when her daughter-in-law replaces her role of taking care of her son.
- Parents who give their heart and soul for their kids but when the same kid grows up, the parents are made to feel that they are no longer needed.
- The crowd no longer needs a player who doesnt perform upto his expectations.
Oranges have a thick outer layer. It is peeled off to reveal pouches filled with yummy detoxifying juice placed in a circular ball-like shape. If one prefers to eat oranges, one can eat the pouches as a whole, but if one wishes to make an orange juice, one has to squeeze the pouches. Once the juice is squeezed out of the pouches, they are thrown to the trash. At the end of the day, thats all what the pouch remains.
Used and squeezed and drained out and in trash.
Nevertheless, it strengthens my argument, if argument is indeed the word, that with strangers, one opens out and one finds one's true self!
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
As a kid, whenever I used to visit the grands' place, the ADW was one of the look-fwd-to activities of the day. After a nice and sumptuous dinner of granny's specialty, we cousins used to run out of the house, and stride up and down the street multiple times, keeping pace with the granddad. While the grand old man was busy occupied in his own thoughts, we kids used to babble nineteen to the dozen and cause enough ruckus in the street for heads to pop out from windows and curse the noise-makers!
Over the next few years of childhood (when not staying with grands), I lost this habit. Gradually my mom instilled in me the discipline of 'atleast 100 steps after dinner' for proper digestion. This caught onto me, and then began another of my odyssies till date!
The favorite place in my house is the terrace. So, what better place to walk after dinner than the terrace! I go round and round, definitely more than 100 steps), soliloqui-ing about topics currently on my mind, admiring the Orion and other constellations. Pacing up and down brings with it such clarity of thought that I used to go to the terrace with a heavy heart, soul filled with sadness of the day, and come down back to the house, a changed man, with a much lighter heart, owing to the break down of the problems into smaller chunks of issues and self-resolved temporary solutions and consolations! At times, the monologues were amazing and I wish I had a recorder to track how fascinating one can think when one is walking. But alas, the sparkling thoughts remain with me, undiscovered, till it withers away.
Digression. There are certain things that fascinate me; things that make me gape in awe. And in almost all of my ADWs on the terrace, I used to see two such things every night. The moon is one.
Many great things have been written by great poets about Moon. It is one of the most fascinating things I have ever seen in my life! The shining white ball on a Full moon's day is a view to cherish. It is something for which we have to thank God for having given us eyes! Often, I keep staring at it for hours together and never get bored!
The second is Wright brother's invention. As most planes have to pass over our home before landing on or after taking off from the Bangalore Airport runway, there are almost 10-15 flights exercising this activity between 9.30 pm and 10 pm. Since I hadnt sat in any airplane for as long as I can remember, it remained a dream for me to sit in one of them and experience the flight. Its different now, 2 years later, when I have flown enough in airplanes to have got bored of it. But, back then, whenever I saw an airplane during my ADW, I used to stare and long for my journey in what I call 'an engineering marvel.' [This dream finally came true on March 6th 2005 when I flew from Bangalore to Chennai, en route to Boston via London. It confirmed my belief. It is indeed an engineering marvel!] Ironically, it was when I was having this ADW when I heard about the planes crashing WTC in USA.
Coming back to the topic, now, in my US apt, all I have been doing after dinner, since 1.5 yrs, is walk from one end of the room till the other end, swinging a cricket bat to keep me occupied, till I get claustrophobic. Winter wont allow you to go out of the house. There is no terrace. I do not prefer to go walking on the roads, at night, all by myself. But, last night, I did walk out on the road for the first time in US. After a heavy dinner, with the cell's earphone plugged, I roamed around the apartment complex, chatting with a friend of mine, who has recently come to US.
It felt great to walk...
It felt great to see those multitude of planes again...
It felt great to see the beautiful Moon and the constellations again...
It is the small things in Life that gives immense pleasure....
Yesterday, I lied to a friend of mine. I rarely lie. I hate lies. I hate people who lie. Circumstances make you lie. If I get to know the circumstances, I might not hate the person. Its strange what circumstances can do to a man. Its strange how it can change a man. But, then again, I guess thats Life.
But then, I am not a good liar. I choke when I lie. My demeanour changes considerably. I will not be able to make eye-contact. Its more like God violently shaking me. No, you dont need a lie-detector to see through me. Yet, I lied. And during all such rare occasions when I lie, I feel like a creep and remorse almost makes jump from a building.
I went to the rest room. I looked at myself in the mirror. Whenever I need to contemplate, I stand before a mirror. Feels like some third party looking at me and shaking head in disgust. Call it ego, call it swabhimana, a part of me was fighting me to stick with the lie. Swabhimana prefers a jump from a building rather than surrender to crime committed. But majority of me said "Come clean."
One of life's biggest reliefs is confession. A very tough thing to do, for a person who has ego. To accept defeat. To bow down and feel naked and shameful. Yet, its a cleansing act. Like taking bath and getting rid of dirt.
There can be only one feeling at the end of a nice, warm bath.
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Chess is one of my favourite games. 'Favourite' and 'Good at it' are two sides of the coin for me! And yet, I like it a lot. Whenever I play, I try hard not to make the wrong moves. I keep track of the opposition's pawns and make sure none of my pawns get devoured. It is a very strategic game, and hey, I like the word 'strategy' too!
It was on one such occasion, way back in mid 1990s, when I was playing this wonderful game with one of my best friends, who happens to be very good at it, that I lost, in spite of me putting in all my concentrated powers, and not making a single wrong move. At the end of the match, I frankly asked him which of my moves was wrong. He smiled at me and agreed that I had not done a single wrong move. And yet, there lies the charm of chess, he explained, if the opposition's moves are better than your moves, you still end up losing. You do not have to make mistakes to lose.
For many characters in the aforementioned movie, this statement holds good. As a matter of fact, this wisdom, I reflected over the next few years, is applicable even for the general day-to-day life. One does not necessarily make mistakes and end up in an uncomfortable situation. One is forced by the powers-that-be and the roll-of-dice to end up pushed against the limits of the cul-de-sac and there is just nowhere-to-go, but suffer and hope fervently :
"This, too, will pass."
Monday, August 14, 2006
And all you can do is, just shake your head slowly, wish the person good luck silently in your mind, and hope the person shall be happy in Life. And then you move on....
Sunday, August 13, 2006
For days together, she was my only friend in the 'Friends' list and I gradually learnt about the scraps, communities, network of friends and other orkuttisms. And then started the avalanche! Day in and day out, I started finding long-lost friends, long-lost touch cousins, juniors, seniors, colleagues of previous projects, people who had left the company and a host of others. Multitude of friends started adding me and vice versa. People's profiles looked interesting and amusing. 'Orkutting' became the 'In' thing and a major time pass!
It was not just the finding-of-lost-friends that was fascinating. The knowledge of the location of each friend almost always brought on an element of surprise that varied from oh-that-was-expected to what-the-#&*%!! From Seoul to San Francisco, from Sydney to Singapore, from Toronto to Tokyo, from Paris to Pune, from Dubai to Detroit, from Montreal to Mangalore, from Boston to Bangalore, from Texas to UK, I feel as if I know people all over the world!
And to think, at one point of time, I had sat with each one of them under the same roof, and had no inkling whatsoever where each will land up! Apart from Africa and South America, the network of friends has grown to almost all parts of the world, and the feeling is somehow one that of pride. It somehow feels nice to know that, India being the way it was, invaded and colonialised a century ago, we have made our presence felt all over the globe.
And thanks to Orkut, World looks like just one big happy family!
Sunday, August 06, 2006
The reason why I started blogs is plainly because I fall in that category of people who write diaries. Have been writing diaries since almost 10 yrs now. There were occasions, when something like a big rock falls over my head and I stop writing altogether, because the despondency is too much to log entries. Almost like no words to describe.
Something like this happened in April of 2005 and I stopped writing altogether. It was about the time when web-logs were becoming popular gradually. Finally, after pushing myself to register and see how it goes, I started off with Kaliedoscope.
Unlike a diary, where everything and anything can be written, the bare facts cannot be written in my web-log. For, although this was true as an outlet of emotions, it was also there for everyone to see. Hence, the blogs should be in such a way as to track what I was going through and at the same time not reveal all. This led to hugely complicated metaphors, of Da Vinci style encryption, of a thought which comes to the mind which clearly relates to what I feel towards the world's treatment towards me, and in general, the climate of the happenings scribed in a way so as to say 'Its not always what it seems.'
Coming back to the pensive topic, well, I guess I fall into the category of people who feel like writing when they are feeling down. There are some blogs which are outright hilarious, and a treat to read. Not so mine, and I have no regrets! I would gladly settle down for a sentence for a day, if it comes to that, like that Carrie character in Sex and the city.
There are occasions when one feels offset by the current scenario that one is facing. People with determined goals often do not find themselves in quandaries as these. With aim in life, and goals set aside, few things that come in between will be easily brushed aside. Its people without this aim in life, who start asking "Whats the purpose of my life?" and start feeling the going getting tough.
Compare this to half a century ago to similar aged people, and the answer would be 'Need to live'. With world war and fight against colonialism raging through every nook and corner, the main purpose of life is to just plainly live. Compare it to the era of Great Depression, purpose of life was to just get a job. A very touchy movie being Cinderella Man. Makes your heart cry out. And come back to the era of fat paychecks and onsite assignments and and jobs overseas and enough-food-to-throw, with nothing practically to worry about, and yet, pensiveness does not stop. Watch Swades!
But then again, comparisons are bad things. One should not compare the current era to a century back. It sort of serves no purpose. At remote areas of this world, there are still such people.
Money and food and richness of life always does not necessarily keep the worries at bay. One needs the good company of like-minded people to share, to enjoy, to bask in the glory of sunlight. One of the amazing movies that capture this is in the legend Dr Raj Kumar's Doorada Betta (1973) in its famour song 'Preethine Aa Dyavru' where the catchline is 'Hasivinallu habbane (celebration even in hunger)'.
And it is when this good company starts gradually making its absence felt that pensiveness starts.
Tuesday, August 01, 2006
The accuser being the source of accusation. Accuser himself commiting acts worthy of accusation but remaining unaccused. The mocking satisfaction on accuser's face for accusing. Selective amnesia of one's own similar acts. Yet, I lay silent.
The past. The joyfulness shared. The strength of the friendship. The admiration for one another. The mutual necessity. The constant gossip. The sacrifices. The trust. The 'Always-there' security. Hence, I lay silent.
The future. The ensuing disparity. The mar on the friendship chart. The unending fights. Insolvable status quo. The unwanted regelation. The resultant cul-de-sac. The hatredness. The lack of respect. After all, how long will it last? Hence, I lay silent.
Sunday, July 30, 2006
Then I came to US and watched English movies every other day, and the admiration of Hollywood grew. I made a list of 'Great Movies Seen'! I read reviews and ordered DVDs, making the best use of libraries! Occasionally, with a few desi friends prodding along, I used to go to some Bollywood Hits for a change. The 'Keep-your-brains-outside-theatre' phenomenon, I realised, works very well! And I felt, thats how its intended for and thats how it shoud be!
Perhaps it was the monotony of the realism, of being shown who we are and why we are and what really goes in Life. Perhaps its the colourfulness that is splashed all over big budget Indian movies. Perhaps its the dearth of Bollywood movies that I had seen. Whatever may be the reason, but suffice it to say that, after 1.5 yrs in US, I started perceiving Bollywood movies in a totally different light.
I realised that, although realistic, fast-paced movies are good, equally good are the movies which are not so realistic. A movie, at the end of the day, should be something that an audience comes to see and enjoy all three hours, and should leave the cinema hall with a smile on the lips. It is a time when people should stop thinking who they are and what they are doing in Life. Infact, one should just stop thinking and go to movies!! For, the truth is always bitter, and a movie is, after all, an entertainment to take your mind out of the rigmaroles of day to day life.
It should portray of a Hero who is invariably handsome, quick witted and well to do; a Hero-ine who is exceptionally beautiful, who leads the dance sequences and with lots of charm; the colourful song and dance between the two flirts; the falling in love; the differences, be it with parents or with themselves; the ultimate conquering of the inevitable and the holy union of the two. This, taking as a whole, will be pretty much a Bollywood movie. There will always be a side story going in parallel which will be equally interesting and sort of keeps the audience wanting for more, like a humourous character, or a silly character, or a supporting role, or the undertone of career. Be that as it may, these movies will be a sure-fire success. Very few have been highly successful in movies with a story-line other than the aforementioned one.
For a person seeing such audio-visual treats away from the metro where the story-line is based, the movie appeals to one. He can relate himself to being what the Hero is, for that is what movies do. It provides a larger-than-life persona for the characters enacting those roles and the audience wants to be the hero (or the hero-ine). He is not rich enough, but he entertains the idea of being opulent. He suddenly finds himself backing the character playing leading roles to win over what apparently is the Evils of the World. And since, invariably, the Good wins over the Bad, the Cinema Halls finds itself bidding adieu to people with smiling faces. After all, all is well that ends well.
But then, going to the core of a movie making process, one hardly questions nor fathoms what goes on behind the camera. Lets consider, for example, the title song of the movie Salaam Namasthe. [The idea behind this blog is due to the 5-min sequence of this title song, and hence the example!] Agreed, that the theme of this movie is not original and is taken from Nine Months. All the same, it needs, a musician, a lyricist, a choreographer, a cinematographer, the fashion designer, the make-up man; scores of actors and actresses, the two main leading roles, the director, and many many more, to perform their respective duties, not just to perfection, but to be highly creative and with an integration of extreme harmony amongst one another that matches with any other skilled Engineering design.
The musicians should compose a lyrical, swining music; the lyrics should match with the atmosphere of the movie; the cinematographer should capture the beauty of the nature; the choreographer should invent steps not just to match with the music but to try to start off a new genre in itself; the fashion designer to come up with trendy clothes for each of the sequence that lets out the oomph factor; the make-up man to make faces always look good; the multitude of side-roles involving low-paid dancers to work in synchrony with a smile on their face, despite the problems at home, and the two heavily paid lead roles, making it all look like they are the best.
At the end of it, its just five minutes, give or take a few. All for entertainment of the masses. To give a cheer on the lips. To make one forget one's miseries. To make one dance with the music. And its worth every minute of it!
Kudos to the Movie Makers!
Monday, July 24, 2006
I came out of the house onto the porch of my Apartment building and sat on the steps and rested my back to the wall. It was a comfortable enough position in the given circumstances. There was a slight drizzle and atmosphere was misty. I looked at the facing road on both sides. There was nobody. Just cars and trees. I remembered the road in my hometown in Bangalore and how it would be always filled with lively kids playing and shouting and fighting. Here, there was nothing.
As it happens when there is nothing in the environment to which the mind can be directed to, the thoughts take over. I realised, meditatively, that to others, I always seemed successful. Anyone looking at me would think about my unblemished academic record, the subsequent recruitment in apparently one of the most prestigious companies of India and then the travel to apparently one of the most magnificient countries in the world. But to me, somehow, all this meant nothing.
I must have sat there for hours together, just gazing out at the rain and hearing its strangely comforting pitter-patter. I knew that instead of me handling the situation, the situation was handling me and as always, I was just going with the flow. I was like a passer-by looking at my own life going by, aimlessly and without any purpose, filled with emptiness and nothingness.
There seemed nothing to do and nothing to look forward to.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
It starts out well enough. Invariably, the start will be the climb up on a slope. It curves to the right and then to the left, building up the momentum and the altitude. The view expands and its a treat to watch.
The speed is manageable and things are great. The stomach doesnt rumble and the heart does not stop for fear. It rather leaps in excitement and everyone has a big smile accompanied by the usual leg-pulling camaraderie.
The altitude increases further as it goes on another newer lap. The view is even more breathtaking. The feeling all round is that its worth it. Never better. There is a desperate feeling of it never wanting to stop.
Even higher. You feel like you are on top of the world. Like flying on a magic carpet. It hovers there, on top, so that people can feel the essence of it, the magnificience of it and breath the clean beautiful air. People shout out "A-w-e-s-o-m-e!"
And then comes the steep fall, within the flash of a second, back to the starting point.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Meeting a stranger is sometimes like meeting a psychology doctor whose main intention is to open out your thoughts and make you relaxed so as to dig into the core problem. Only difference being that when you are on a date, the partner is not really digging into you but just allowing you to be you.
Just being ourselves in itself opens up a space of comfortability which makes the proceedings much easier and the sense of being together that much more wanting. All, assuming, of course, that you happen to like certain things in the other person and there is very less to crib about.
Its usually the face that matters a lot. It need not be beautiful or handsome, although that will surely help! But its sufficient even if its soothing and understanding and with an omnipresent smile. That will work just as well.
It wasnt meant to be a date. I was introduced to her by a friend of mine. We were perfect strangers. She had a very pleasant face with a graceful and flowing voice and an ever twinkle in her eyes. An infectious smile with an aura of goodness enveloping her.
Within a few hours, there was a solid bonding between the two of us and it was as if we had known each other for years together. Since we were practically strangers, there was no expectations and all we had to be was just be ourselves. You start liking the beautiful you!
We knew we had to part ways within a few hours and we knew we shall never meet again in life. Perhaps this added onto it. Hand-in-hand we roamed for hours together, dined together and talked and talked. We went window shopping, we sat on the streets and gazed at the multitude of people and gossiped. We went to a coffee shop and chatted for 2 hours!
Finally, it was time to go. Since the farewell was expected from the start, there was no disappointment. False promises were made to keep in touch, but both of us knew it wouldnt be that way! With just a simple 'Bye' and with the same infectious smile, we parted. Years later, I still think about that day and I still cannot believe it.
Its a day that I can never forget and is etched in my memory. It remains one of the best days of my life....