Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Middle of the Intellectual Spectrum

Sometimes I feel it is so important to have highly intellectual people all around you. Even a simple conversation with such folks can be so enchanting and enjoyable.

On the contrary, having to interact with intellectually-challenged folks gets so annoying at times; you have to keep repeating over and over again to make them understand, and it disturbs your own productivity.

At the same time, I wonder how many people with whom I have worked till date have felt annoyed for having to repeat things to me over and over again as I may have sounded as an intellectually-challenged individual!

Well, thats the advantage of being in the middle of the intellectual spectrum of people. You can experience the irritation of being with lower intellects and the wows of being with higher intellects!



Now that my wife has become mad about MAD, for the past few weeks I am the baby sitter for Paavani for roughly 6-8 hours per week. One of the best pastimes is to take her to a park where she sits on the swing for a long time. During our recent ‘swinging’ session, a woman aged mid- to late- forties came with her toddler daughter and placed her on the neighboring swing. 
As I pondered on her age and having a toddler at such an advanced age, I imagined all sorts of issues that she may have gone through to successfully deliver this toddler finally. Subconsciously, for some unknown reason, my mind had placed this toddler as her first born. So it came as a pleasant surprise when I saw a girl in early teen come to the swing and play with her younger sister. 
This made some sense now. But I still wondered why there was almost a decade gap between the sisters and why the parents had not planned it properly. The bored mind keeps wandering I guess, so my mind kept running to find answers. Just then, another girl came near the swing. This girl was older than the toddler but younger than the teenager. Now it all panned out right. “Equi-gapped” three children. 
The effort of bringing up a child in the modern day world is tough mainly because the families are tending to be more nuclear in nature than extended. If the families are extended, then there are more people in the household to take care of, or even be with the infants and the chore of bringing up a child doesn’t seem accentuated as compared to the mother alone (or day cares) attending to the baby as in the case of most nuclear families. With such a scenario, having 3 babies would take a toll on the mother in specific and both parents in general for almost 2-3 decades. With one toddler, it has been years since we went to a movie theater and we have cut down on vacations to a trickle. With a children every once in 3 years, parents have to do so many sacrifices till the children are on their own. Much of prime life would be done with by then!  
I remember telling many folks that I am just drifting along on the River of Life, going where it takes me and making occasional minor adjustments with no major goals or targeted achievements. With one child, this river has suddenly become swift; and it is as if I am river rafting now – barely able to be aboard the raft with waves crashing all over. There is hardly enough time in the day to work, to sleep, to relax, to play. The To-Dos keep growing bigger and bigger. And it will become hectic and hectic, what with the daughter’s extra-curricular classes (yet to enroll!) and school and what-not. I am beginning to feel the middle-aged time-crunch.  
How ironical it sounds. I am in the park on a weekday at dusk swinging my child on the swing and playing with her, and yet I feel I am time-crunched.

The Death Song

This death song is one of the best songs I have ever heard.

It makes me feel how life is both worthless and invaluable at the same time.
It makes me remember those whom I knew and have died.
It makes me immensely sad yet I crave to listen to it over and over again.
For the sake of the departed...

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Evaporation of a hope

Today morning at 5 am, I heard the sound of soft fall of water outside the apartment window on the road. Even at that hour, even though it was a Sunday, I could not lose the opportunity of what could only be rain. I have been in this city (Irvine, CA*) for nearly 5 months, and have hardly seen any rain. I, who like rain so much, am missing the pitter-patter of a downpour and the cool freshness that comes in its wake.

And so, I ran to the window to see if the last few weeks of summer heat finally welcomed the much-needed rain. Alas, the sound was only from a sprinkler outside my apartment balcony. Saddened, I made my way back to the bed with thoughts of Ghanana, ghanana

* City of Irvine belongs to The Irvine Company (a real estate development company) with average annual rainfall of 10-13 inches.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Reading Out

In my eleventh standard, the English teacher asked for volunteers to role-play a drama. Well, not really “role-play” but more of “read-out” the dialog from the book. There were multiple characters in the drama and each volunteer was asked to pick a character. I liked talking in accent and I chose to volunteer too. It was damn fun reading out my part and I enjoyed it thoroughly. In my “vocality” (!), I tried to bring about life and feeling into each sentence and the audience – I was later told - enjoyed it.

Cut to the present. Recently I was asked to read out a 30 page document that my team and I had authored as part of my project to a group of 20 odd senior executives within the stipulated one hour. I had to read out practically each word in the document to obtain the sign-off and approval from all the executives prior to moving ahead with the development and deployment of the software product. It went well and I was appreciated for finishing right on time.

It wasn’t all that fun though but when I was reading it, it brought out memories from that day 17 years ago…

Saturday, August 04, 2012


I saw a spiritual notice recently about how Man nowadays is keenly involved in rat-race and how useless it is to keep garnering the materialistic riches. I wondered if this is really so.

Most folks work to ensure that they can lead a decent lifestyle all the way till their lives’ end despite
(a) the number of offspring that they may plan and expenses incurred till their children are on their own,
(b) 30% - 40% of their lives being led in retirement and
(c) plan for any illnesses that may come their way.
Add to this the nemesis of Inflation and one feels any amount of money that is being earned is less at any point of time.

So, in reality, all that Man is doing is Surviving. Hence, more than it being a race amongst the rats, it is actually a game of mere survival. Right?