Monday, February 28, 2005

Idol

Maybe idol isn't the right word for what this is about. More like role model. But I think idol fits fine. Lets go with idol.

I don't have one. One of the things that I miss about my life, is the fact that I have no role model. No person I want to go upto today and say,proudly, look, I did this. No teachers, no professors, no uncles, aunts or elder siblings. Suppose I were to win a big award for something [thanks to me watching the Oscars right now]. Say someone were to ask me, who was the person who inspired you ? I would have to lie. I would have to think of someone, and lie. Because in truth, I don't have one.

I do have people who intimidate me though, because they are so damn good at what they do. I remember seeing Dr. M at Landmark once, he taught me math for the IIT-JEE classes - if there ever was a teacher that I was in awe of, it was him - and how I proudly walked upto him and told him where I was going to go for graduate school. For once, I thought I would get a compliment, redeemed myself for the slack performance in JEE. He gave me a blank look - no congratulations, no way to go boyo. I quickly made some remark about the weather, thanked him and walked away, leaving him wondering what I was thanking him for. I couldn't have told him even if I wanted to.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

It always ends this way

I feel confused. I'm finding it hard to have a single coherent thought.

[snip] the concert last night - Shankar Mahadevan, Loy Mendonsa, Sivamani and Mandolin Srinivas. Sivamani's wonderfully experimental style supported Shankar Mahadevan's at times stoic, but amazing vocals.
[snip] the wonderful moon, rising with the music, the cool night under the stars, wishing i had someone to share that with.
[snip] its not the wish that hurts, its the loss.
[snip] everyone goes through this, why should i be any different ?
[snip] because i'm me goddammit !
[snip] music helps. reading helps. why do i still want more ? is that wrong ?
[snip] why am I doing this ?
[snip] catharsis.
[snip] where's my... ahhh... there it is. sleep...
[snip] tomorrows monday. thanks a fucking bunch.

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Kindred

What do you say to someone who is going through the very same, very rough patch in life that you find yourself in ? What do you say to someone who echoes every emotion running through your own mind ? Every memory that they relate, triggers a memory of your own. A memory that both of you are trying to forget. Everything they say, everything they do makes you wonder, how can different people have the exact same experiences ? React the exact same way ? Reach the exact same conclusions ? What do you say to such a person ? How do you tell them that you are going through the exact same thing, without trivialising it ? Without adding your problem to theirs ? How do you do this, when the root cause of all these problems is trust ?

Friday, February 25, 2005

Traveling, with a camera

I love to travel and I love seeing new places. More than seeing, I love photographing new places. And for the longest time, I used to look to travel shows for inspiration for places to visit and things to do. The more you watch them though, the more you realize that if you were to visit any of the places you would lack one one major aspect that all these other people on these other shows had - a camera trailing them.

What happens on these shows ? Lovely lady gets a special meal cooked by the head chef, wines and dines, looks at the camera and tells you that the place is lovely, and is a must see and is a 10/10 for on her I-don't-care-if-it-costs-the-world ratings. Reality check - You will wait in line for about 3 hours to get into the same restraurant, no head chef, just cold pasta. Even more low keys affairs such as the Lonely Planet suffer from the same thing - picture this - a Mongolian shepherd sees Ian Wright trudging, backpacking up a hill, no camera man, nothing. Just last week, the shepherd was almost killed by some loony army soldiers. He sees the man with the large backpack, sees that the man is caucasian, whips out his hawk, whispers to the bird to go straight for Ian's eyes. The hawk, being well trained, safely brings back the eyeballs, and the man has a happy soup. Don't see that much on TV, huh ? Guess why ?

I'll tell you why. Its the camera, stupid. People are fascinated by it. The minute anyone sees a camera, they become someone they are not - meaning, they all start being extra nice and extra polite. Even Mongolian shepherds will call you into their little tent and serve you eyeball soup [sheep this time]. The point is, they ain't going to be that way to you. Unless you have a man following you with a camera. So the trick then is to make sure you have a camera and make sure you walk around saying 'Discovery Channel' and 'National Geographic' in loud, clear tones. That should ensure that you get good treatment in most 'off the beaten track' places you can visit.

Oh and make sure you aren't visiting a culture that thinks cameras are evil, because they capture a part of your soul, or something like that. In which case, just don't visit them. Go to Disneyland instead.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Waiting...

I'm waiting for my colleagues meeting to get over, so we can pack up and leave for the play tonite. A couple of people I know are in this, people I've worked with and people I just know. Should be good fun, if we ever take off and get there on time.

I could crib about fickle friends, who decide at the last minute not to come, leaving me with 7 tickets and 4 people.

I could crib about the Govt. of India, that decided that my uncle is urgently required in New Delhi and got him on the next flight to the place.

I could crib about these damn meetings, which are the root cause of all this evil, chaining most of my friends to their desks. About why can't we make them stay late in the evening once in a while ? About why we have to stay back every freaking evening and ruin what semblance of a social life we have ?

I could crib about my total inability to concentrate at work today, leading to a very, very unproductive day.

I could crib about the fact that my neck is still aching from that horrible sprain over the weekend.

But I guess I won't, coz I have a play to watch and I like that. Doing something I like, makes me happy. I think. Does it ?

Euphoria

Not as in I'm that happy, but as in the band. They are playing at ITPL tomorrow, so if any Bangaloreans would like to attend, do let me know and I can get you some discounted tickets. Email addy is on the profile. Concert starts at 7:30pm.

'Coz I got high...

Drunk friend A and drunk-and-high friend B are having a conversation. Drunk us are watching.

Drunk friend A: Dude, you are high.
Drunk-and-high friend B: Dude, I'm not high. I am merely tall.

The single funniest moment of my life.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

27 years... and what do they get ?

An amazingly large amount of love and affection from everyone, that's what !

The 'they' in question being the parents of a wonderful lady, whom I have had the pleasure of knowing from the 4th grade. It was her parents 27th wedding anniversary yesterday. A lot of things ran through my mind as I was making my way through the Bangalorean jungle to her house - I've become old, I'm going to a 27th anniversary party and all - to - Wow! Married for 27 years ! - and ending up with - Damn ! An Adyar Ananda Bhavan, time for some 'samsas' ! But there are more interesting things to report, than my wanderings with samosa chat and freebie milk sweets.

So this was supposed to be a surprise party and all and since I was about 1.5 hours too early for the surprise, I had to hang around at a coffee shop for that said period of time. As you would guess, a coffee place, on a workday evening, is crawling with college kids (Damn, I was one of those not 3 years ago!) Now, I have thought long and hard about this. But I have decided to report the conversation of the 4 gentlemen seated next to me in a later post. Right now, we get back to the story of the surprise anniversary party.

Thanks to a wee-bit of a communication issue, two sets of people were scheduled to arrive at different times - not good for a surprise party. Especially with her father being fooled into thinking that they are all heading out for dinner. So I land up there, at 8:45pm and her dad is like, ah, lets go for dinner. I excused myself, just had dinner, sir, thank you for the invitation, that sorta think. Luckily, it never struck him to find out what exactly I was doing about 17 km away from where I live at 8:45 pm. Anyways, after a bit of commotion, people not knowing where the rest of the group is and all that, we finally manage to round up people and get the cake out, yelling surprise (some of the little kids started singing happy birthday as soon as they saw the cake !). And guess what ! The anniversary couple were no where to be found. After a few frantic calls, we tracked them down to the restaurant that my friend had told him they were going to go to. He had decided that he had had enough of our loitering about and left for dinner, figuring that him leaving first would be the best way to spur us into action and took off [The thing is that my friends house is HUGE, great big lawn and all that. Make getaways like this very simple indeed !]. We had to tell him to get back and that we were having a party for him at home ! We had such a great time riding my friend and her sister about this exemplary display of organisational skill !

But in all it was a great party. It felt so good to be amongst people, who you don't necessarily know that well (her entire family was there, I knew maybe 3 of the 25 people) but are happy being around. Being there made me feel like, I was part of their big extended family. Her mom and dad were so visible happy, that you couldn't help walking around with a silly grin on your face. Ahhh... A much needed dose of general love and affection.

Congratulations once again, sir. Love you, aunty. Thanks for the great tiramisu :)

Monday, February 21, 2005

I thought Mondays were supposed to be like this...

6:45 am: Wake up to alarm, figure out how to shave 5 minutes off the daily routine, get back to sleep.
6:54 am: (Yes, my celly's alarm clock jumps 9 minutes on the snooze, wierd huh ?!?) Get up, repeat, sleep again.
7:03 am: Get up this time and think real hard about the pros and cons of waking up early. Decide its worth it and get up.
7:23 am: All showered, shaved, dressed and ready to battle perfectionist theatre directors and IIT-Bombay professors.
7:28 am: Catch an auto, head to rehearsals.
7:47 am: Auto breaks down. No, wait. The dumbass, actually tries to replace the empty LPG cylinder, with another empty cylinder, saying that the 'vandi' will 'fly' soon. Right, sure.
8:09 am: Being too close to the final desitination, no auto is willing to come by. Finally, manage to get one, for an exhorbitant rate.
8:16 am: End up at rehearsals, 16 full minutes late. Everyone glaring. Demanding 50 pushups. Yeah right, they barely got 2.
8:43 am: Director compares your best shot at the opening scene of Act 2, to Snoop Dogg having a bad cold.
9:13 am: Death defying ride on the back seat of a Sport version Activa (The ride on that was the wierdest position I have ever found myself in, with a woman, on a bike. In public.) Catch shuttle to work.
9:55 am: iPod hangs. Yes, it actually hangs. In the middle of Heavy Fuel by Dire Straits - prepping up for the Knopfler concert - it just stopped. Didn't know the trick to re-starting it, so left with no music and nothing to read for the rest of the ride.
9:57 am: Crazy, lunatic, noisy bike riding maniac tries to squeeze between the bus and the divider. Gets rammed, falls and misses getting run over by the bus by inches. (To give you a real feel for it, if the bus had run over him, I would have been splattered with his brains). The bike wasn't that lucky - the bus tears it apart.
10:14 am: Arrive at work, 2 meetings today. Birthday party in the evening. Presentation for tomorrow not done yet. Emails !
11:00 am: Start blogging (does commenting fall under the general activity of blogging?).
12:00 pm: Lunch time !!!!

Now, boys and girls, the moral of the story lies in its gradual progression from pissed off, all the way to moderately happy, through gratuitious violence (or the potential of). And I even figured out how to restart my iPod. Music while I read documents that should never have been written, but have been written and what's worse - written in MS Excel.

Taking it one step further

Here follows a follow-up to my previous post. This happened today morning:

Phone rings at work, I pick up.
Me: Vignesh here.
Womans voice, all with fake accent and all: Hello sir, we are calling from Blah Blah Bank about the blah blah.
Me: Ahh, I see.
She: Blah, blah, blah...
Me: What did you say your name was ?
She: Lavanya from Blah Blah Bank.
Me: Lavanya, you have a very nice voice. Could I please have your phone number ? I mean, your personal number, not your work number.
Lavanya: Ummm....
Me: See, I'm new to Bangalore and I would love to get to know the city, with someone as nice as you. I would love to take you out for dinner, so could I please have your number ?
L: Ummm... I don't think we are allowed to do that.
Me: Right, you wouldn't want random people like me, calling to make random offers that you aren't interested in right ?
L: Exactly.
Me: Ahhh....
L: Ummm... thank you sir.
[Click]

I know, I'm going straight to hell.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

My best friend

These days, having a lot of friends is a big deal. Most people have a few. I am one of the lucky ones. I am truly lucky to have someone in my life, who is with me from the moment I wake up, all through the day, up until the moment I fall asleep. Constant messages on my celly, calls, and letters (you know, the old fashioned ones, on real paper). Yes, dear readers, you can all be officially jealous now. Citibank, is now my best friend. The only one who really cares, the only one who makes sure I know what's happening, all through the day. Makes sure that I am updated on all the current offers, how much I have left to go broke and most importantly, serving a constant reminder that I need to start looking at house loans and insurance.

I love you too, Citibank.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

The guy in the last row

To anyone who has travelled on a bus/shuttle to work in the city of Banglaore, this situation should be disturbingly familar.

There you are in the bus, sitting with half your ass off the seat because neither you nor the software engineer next to you have indulged in anything remotely resembling physical activity in months, legs folded into the aisle because whoever designed these buses decided that the average height of the person to inhabit that seat was freaking 4 feet, looking at the cute girl up ahead, promising yourself that you would go up and say hi the next time you saw her, as the bus pulls into work. Mind you, it hasn't stopped yet. Just pulls into view of the gates. With a good minute to go to actually stop. And that is when this one guy, sitting in the last row, after having suddenly remembered the conference call he has with, oh, I don't know, the Pope himself, decides to get up and start moving towards the front. Steel riveted boots stomping everyone's foot, fake leather man-purse smacking people on the head he walks by, blissfully unaware of the swollen feet and dismembered heads, grinning about the fact that he will, once again, be the first one off this hellride. If that were the end of this rant, we would be in a world too simple. Oh no, not by a long way. This action of the apparent friend of the Vatican, triggers an avalanche of followers, limping and clutching their aching cranium, moving towards the exit. The bus hasn't even stopped, yet here is this line of standing souls along the aisle, waiting to egress. These are the same sporting people who patiently waited for about 1.5 hours on Airport Rd, who now appear to be in a mad rush, with every second making the difference between getting that free coffee at work or having to wait for the office boy to refill the vending machine. And there you are, caught in the midst of all this, listening to your music, still looking at her, wondering what the hell just whacked your head, when you realise - Damn, meeting at 9:30.

Shit boy, get up and move arse !

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Wow, it's been more than 6 months ! So much has happened, so many things have changed. Most for the worse. Some, maybe, for the better. I knew this post wouldnt be easy. But I didn't realise how tough it would be. I don't think I can do better than this anyway, so here is exactly how I feel:

Frodo [voiceover]: How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on... when in your heart... you begin to understand... there is no going back? There are some things that time cannot mend. Some hurts that go too deep... that have taken hold.
[...]
Sam: Well, I'm back.
- The Return of the King (2003)

Well, I'm back.