I have decided to write today

I am writing for myself, because you know that’s how it should be. What also helps is the fact that this time; my sabbatical might have anyway ensured that I have no readers left. And if you are wondering if this is an underhanded way I’m trying to get you to drop a comment or say hi (or present ma’am), you couldn’t be more correct.

My last post, that was not a book-review, was in January. Today is May. Tomorrow and day after is also May, but then Monday isn’t May, it is June. Why this information is absolutely important is that, it makes me sound less pathetic. June is like half the year has passed, no one will care if it’s the 1st of June, and there is still a month for the half year to happen, they will just be like, ‘Oh My God you wrote when we entered 2015, and now you are writing after a whole half year has passed? What’s wrong with you?’ In case you are wondering ‘they’ are those ardent readers of mine, who just cannot wait for me to post, and check their reader every day to see if I have updated. ‘They’ exist. I think. I hope. I wish.

Yeah, so that is the reason why I am writing in May. Otherwise, quite frankly, May sucks big time, it’s like the worst month, and with summer behaving like no one cares for it so might as well ruin everybody’s lives in this slot that is reserved for it. Though if you are anywhere the south of the Vindhyas, summer is like a permanent feature, except when it isn’t raining. With short teasers of the other seasons that could, but do not exist in this part of the world. But the concept of seasons is so exciting for us folks here that every time the temperature is a single digit number, we go – ‘Ooh winter, let’s get the razaisout. Oh so this is what those people in Delhi must be feeling. So much cold, I’m freezing, let me go buy a winter Coat from Zara.’ The last part is a true story by the way.

Back to writing folks, the detours seem to be unavoidable, so many distractions right? And add it to that I have not done this for a while; I seem to want to fit the entire 4 months I was missing in this one post. Yeah. So a lot has happened between then and now. The most important things, in chronological order would be

My 10 year K reunion at the campus – what a wonderful experience to meet folks after a whole decade, feel old, party, dance like no time has passed, party some more, feel older still, and gossip through the night with a voice that was reduced to a croak by the time it all ended. Oh, and also, feel old.

Then we fell ill – all of us in the family, quite severely, so much that I decided atleast one of us had to have swine flu, but fortunately none of us did. For me, the two days at K just before, pretty much ensured that I took a whole week to get back on my feet.

And then, we moved to Hyderabad -So yes, we are back, to the city which I hated, loved, hated, loved,  got bored of, and finally left with a lot of melodrama, only to realise that I missed it after all, so yes, we are back, and despite the inhuman summer we are being subjected to, it’s been nice. And as I always say, it helps to come at a bad time, because it can only get better from here. What has also changed is that I am back to doing something I had promised, sworn, that I would never, ever do. But fate has this way of messing your big resolutions.

Before I create any more hype, we spent a LOT of money to get a place in an area where all, and I mean it, ALL offices in Hyderabad are. And once we were settled, done it up, we decided to move to Pune. And once we were settled in Pune, we decided to move back. And here, I am in the ONE office, literally, the ONE office, that is not where every, other, office is. Moral of the story, I am back to travelling more than I think any human being should every day. Like before. Like when I used to only whine about it all the time. Like this time. And no, I do not like it. It is making me cry.

It also makes me think about how much you want and resist change at the same time. Change sounds exciting, but it is also painful. Old can get monotonous, boring. New is always fun, but it is also tough to accept. There’s this chaotic transition phase where you wonder why you didn’t leave things the way they were, and then you do something so enjoyable that you answer your own question. So that’s where we are; missing the old, enjoying the new, settling down and getting used to the change. Building a fresh routine; a routine that will hopefully have a tiny, little slot for updating this page more than once in 4 months.

Because I know how much ‘they’ like reading me, and this the least I can do for them. And me.

Peace out

I am a staunch believer in revenge. As in, I think it absolutely makes sense to return the malice or hatred someone doles out to you intentionally. I also believe in Karma, but for an impatient soul like me, waiting for her to strike back at morons who do bad to me, doesn’t cut it. Also, the poor thing has so many people to get back at, I believe in lending her a helping hand and doing the dirty work myself.

I am also very particular about giving back the exact same portions of ‘love’ to the one you’ve received it from. For me, ‘an eye for an eye’ is the concept that rules my actions. And to the additional piece of wisdom doled out by Mahatma Gandhi (or as Sonam Kapoor said – Robert De Niro), I would just say that I would obviously prefer a blind world to one where I am sitting moping in a dark room, while the evil guy who poked my eye is watching a movie and thinking – Thank God for Gandhi. Erm, thanks, but I don’t think so?

Fortunately, for the recipients, life hasn’t given me enough opportunities of physical reciprocation and most of my getting back has been bitter (albeit classy, ok, sometimes not so classy) remarks in response to personal comments that I do not appreciate. Words I wouldn’t utter otherwise, things I wouldn’t say. Things I believe are true but too nasty to mention. Things I do not believe at all but saying them seems right because the person who hurt me deserves them. Sometimes immediately, mostly as an afterthought, because God hasn’t granted me a quick retort system.

But there have been a few cases where I have actually gotten back in action.

One such situation I remember very clearly, more so because my mother does, and quotes it every time she thinks I have rage issues, which I don’t, is from when I was back in the B-school. So our hostel being in Kerala had those sloping, tiled roofs, and on the highest level of each hostel building was the washing area. By which I mean 3 fully automatic front load washing machines were placed in this area (very posh and smart investment I think) and also several clothes lines to dry the almost dry clothes that came out. These 3 machines were to be used by the 40+ students residing in said building.

Anyway, the process we followed was, take your clothes and detergents to the top, load the available washing machine, start it, and then place the empty bucket next to it before leaving. Reason being, the cycle would go on for about 90 minutes, and most of us would put the clothes in before leaving for class. In the meantime, if someone else comes up and the run has completed, by default, they would put the clothes out in the bucket and load theirs. You could dry your set when you were back. All fair.

Back to said day, I had put my clothes for a run first thing in the morning, when all the machines were empty and there were only day old dry clothes on the clothes line and left for class. I returned probably around 4 hours later. Now on a regular day this would mean that assuming someone else walked in to wash their clothes after mine were done, my damp clothes would be in the bucket. But no.

My clothes were on the floor. And they were not damp, they were soaking wet. Which was weird, because as far as I knew you could not unlock the door, until the cycle was complete, till the drying bit. But someone had managed to open the door midway through my wash. Not only that, they had unceremoniously dumped my clothes on the ground instead of in the bucket.

I swear I saw red. I say this because the next few minutes passed quite fast. So I did a quick survey to see that at the moment, the other two machines were occupied and running. Also, the machine I had used was empty. Which meant that the person who emptied the machine had used it (most probably) and had also removed their clothes. Probably.

Which meant said clothes would actually be on the clothes line now. I did not wait to analyse any further, but blindly pulled down all the clothes in a semi dry state off the clothes line and dumped them on the floor which was quite wet. I then took additional pains to crumple them, stomp on them, and only when I felt a bit relieved did I stop to put my clothes back in the machine for a second wash. This time of course I kept time.

I really didn’t bother to find out who did it, or whose clothes I screwed up, or if I was right in my half-baked theories to assume the attacked clothes were actually the right ones. It was more for satisfaction for the moment and it worked amazingly well.

Moral of the story is there is no moral of the story. The thing is, I still think what I did was right. The thing is that if the same thing happened again today, I would do exactly the same thing, perhaps a little better because now I know the situation. The thing is when Zo comes back and tells me someone hit her at school, my first reaction is to ask her if she hit the kid back because God forbid she gets bullied, but I bite it back and ask her if she told the teacher. And when she says she did but the teacher did not say anything (which could be true, or not), I ask her if she hit the kid back anyway.

I wonder if that makes me a bad parent, but honestly, I don’t care if it does. I know, one might think that is wrong, this is what is wrong with the world. But no, as long as we are venting out at the person who caused us pain in the first place, it is justified in my case. Because how much ever Zen you are, what goes in, will somehow come out. Better hit the person it is intended for, than a random by passer. And yes, while I understand that stooping to low levels just because someone else did doesn’t make sense to many, if it hurts me personally, I would rather get it out of my system than bottle it up hoping and wishing that in some manner the universe will fix things for me. It’s just so much faster, and more convenient.

And it’s also the only way I can sleep peacefully at night.

Chaos with (a) K

So last week, during a particularly obvious bout of nothingness, combined with determination to not salvage the situation by actually finding something to do, I decided to read my archives. My own archives, yes, and that too, from almost 10 years ago. Partly driven by the whole ‘Yay, this blog is going to turn 10 soon’ shenanigans I have been indulging in. And partly, by my extremely however prematurely enthusiastic B-school batch mates, who have decided to start planning our 10 year reunion, a whole year in advance.

As many of you might be aware, this blog pretty much started because of the good old B-school days. It was the summer of ’04 (how utterly not musical) and a bunch of us felt the need to share our experience of living through two excruciatingly boring months of summer internships, in different parts of the country, as we counted our days down to the big return to the campus. It was fun. And much necessary. Especially since we all firmly believed that the time at the campus was perhaps the best time of our lives, (Yes, I said that, right in tandem with the lyrics of the song that every drunk person sings to, while reminiscing the past. So shoot me), and this sharing, would relieve us of some the pain that the judaai had brought about.

It did. But once we were back to the God-awesome routine of classes, sleeping weird hours, movies, night canteen, assignments, CP and presentations (not in any order), most of the bunch lost its mojo and sunk back into routine. Some of us, however, trundled on, continued, discovering with each passing day, just how much fun this whole ‘write what you want in your space thing could be’. The focus varied, and mine in particular stuck to journaling all that was happening in life, which at that point, was pretty much everything and anything in and about the Kampus.

And as time passed, I got introduced to more blogs, those outside of the campus, and realized how this could be a vent-out mechanism. I loved how some people shared everything personal, because no one knew them there. Only, in my case, everyone did. Heck, my name was on the url. But most of what I was writing was pretty non-controversial, and more importantly, totally inconsequential. So I wrote on.

Complained about assignments, exams looming over the head, grades, unfair SCon members, mean juniors, annoying PlaceComm, bad movies, mess food, everything under the sun. And in some of the rarest moments, a couple of very, very boring, personal posts about how I really felt (dare you laugh, you shall be cursed by 21 year old self). I mean, like, as boring as it could get. But I also worried others would read it. So I marked them private. Two posts in specific. One which I thought could be misconstrued, misunderstood (or actually understood), and another, where I sounded very depressing, almost K-serial depressing. And private they stayed.

Until last week, when I was reading my archives, and I came across these two posts. And when I read them, I realized just how Blah I sounded, and how it really didn’t matter if anyone read them now. So I decided to ‘un-privatize’ them. I did one, and rushed to my reader to check if they showed as a new post, because all this sorting out aside, I really didn’t want anyone to read how strongly I supported one of two competing groups in class, not because of anything else, but the fact that I sounded downright lame-ass. Especially since I was not very well acquainted with either group (yep, competition apparently, actually, we should say studies in general, did not seem to hold a position in my priority list during the B-school days. The good old B-school days), and I had gone ahead and used some codes for the names (ABC, OQR and such), and here I was vehemently talking about how one group thought they were too cool while they were so not blah blah kill me right now oh the horror earth swallow me please. It didn’t. The post on the reader, I mean. So I went ahead with both posts.

And THEN, the stats showed how many people had visited the pages. The two pages. I just told you of one, trust me, the other one is even more lame-ass. I was like, by chance perhaps. But it didn’t show on reader right? So a whole week later, I was changing my profile picture on FB to this super cool shot The Dude has taken of me, and guess what? There they were. The culprits. Both my stupid 10 year old posts, showing as new updates on ALL my friends profiles. Not on reader, where there were still people who did not know me personally. But on FB. Facebook. Actually, you know what, then would have been the right moment to kill me. I did remove them from the timeline, but the damage was done.

One might question the sanity behind un-privatising something you didn’t want read. To which I will say, there is a difference between making available, and publicizing. If someone found my blog SO interesting that they went digging into frigging old archive and battled through the numerous grammatical errors and the punctuation over-use, they deserve to know why ABC was not as cool as it thought, and why PQR was way better. And also that at a point I was sad without knowing why I was sad which is like life in general you might say but you won’t see me say it very often, especially publically.

Anyhoo, apparently things like that our not in our hands, so be it. People who missed the awesome introspective and opinionated posts while they were being announced, you can always refer to my archives and come across these posts in due time, and feel good that you got to know me so much better.

And people who already caught them, and read them, I am sorry. Truly, deeply sorry.

What a Wonderful World (Wide Web)

Many many years ago, at the dawn of the new millennium, when I was a wee lil student who had just stepped out of the comforts of the home and school into the big bad world, I was introduced to the joys of the Internet. And needless to say, I was hooked. Everything was an adventure. Right from creating a tiny yahoo id with a sad underscore in it, to not wanting to log-in to any chat rooms with it because you never know the person on the other side could be a stalker, to paying 50 bucks (or was it even more?) per hour to just check the wonder that was email, in a shady Internet cafe, with tiny cubicles you could sit couped in while waiting for the mailbox to open, and watching the status bar fill at the rate of one tiny millimeter every 5 minutes. That was when there were dial-up connections. When the broadband era set in, I couldn’t help but envy that cafe guy, who could surf endlessly at his desk, and get paid for keeping a record of who sat where for how long. And here I was, paying 25 bucks an hour for just being able to check my mail and chat. Hmph. But come what may, I treated myself to an hour of net-surfing every Friday without feeling guilty of spending aforementioned time and money, or irritated with the continuous whirring of the ceiling fan which did nothing to cut the Hyderabad heat.

That was then. Luckily, in 3 years time, I had my personal computer, in my very own room, with 24 hours Internet at what I thought was mind-blowing speed. And all of it free (ok, baked in the fees, but I didn’t have an option right?). It was heaven. The hours spent on yahoo, and the movies sent back and forth through the IP messenger. It actually brought along an era of unmatched laziness, the height of it being once when the balcony-mate pinged me to come to her room urgently for a favor, which turned out to be, ‘please switch the fan on, I’m too lazy to get up’. It also was the phase of perennial joblessness, which led to inevitable outcomes like creating mail ids on all possible providers, setting up blogs, and accepting all and every social networking invite that came your way.

Which brings us to the point which triggered this post. I really don’t remember when I created my Facebook account. And I am dead sure that I was not regular on it till like a couple of years ago, probably when people I knew started putting up goodbye messages on Orkut (almost always at least 6 months before they finally did exit, and most of the time, they’re still around) saying they were bored of it and all. Again, my point being I had an account on Facebook, but I would check it like every alternate day at the most. In fact, I think I was more regular on Orkut.

But then, Facebook got real smart. It did what Yahoo messenger did in the year 2004, which made all the jobless souls on campus get glued to it. Remember Text-twist? That was one addictive game, and your scores would be on display on your messenger all the time. Plus, it would show the high scores amongst your friends. And being on campus meant you had 100+ people on your friends list. And that’s all that was needed. People would play that game ALL the time. Heck, we even had an inter hostel competition for it! Oh, and apart from that there were a good number of mind-numbing click-of-mouse games as well. And very often, you would walk into rooms, where you could see a sole individual, sitting still as a rock on the plastic chair in front of the screen, music of choice blaring in the background, and the only thing moving would be the index finger, rhythmically clicking the mouse.

Anyway, back to the point. So Facebook has gotten me logging into my account, multiple times a day now. Something I never did before. At least not with Facebook. Or for that matter, any site in the past 4.5 years that I have been working. It started with Farmville. Lots of people tried it. Some continued, and still do. Some never returned after the first login. Some played for a while before declaring it sucked. Some never tried it, and put up status messages expressing disgust and amusement over why people felt the need to display their achievements on the farm, on the wall. Heh. I tried it, got addicted, had weird conversations with The Dude like ‘ I’ve got to take the 5:30 bus, or my strawberries will wither’, continued playing, lost interest, and now am still playing just for the heck of it. Ok, not really, but I need to buy a Green House for the farm before I retire, but with the pace with which I am going, I don’t know when that would happen. But the cool thing was, just when I started losing interest, and getting bugged with the re-syncing of the server, and the insufficient fuel for my harvester-seeder-tractor, I started playing Cafe world. Which basically has me running a virtual cafe and cooking all kinds of yummy dishes (something I guess I would do only in the virtual world). Just when I thought I wouldn’t bother to lo-gin to facebook to see if my grape crop was ready to be harvested, I’m now doing it to see if my French Onion soup is ready to be served. Sigh. Such is life.

Anyway, point being, I can’t imagine how I would survive without the Internet anymore. Or for that matter, how I survived before it’s existence. On days like this, when I absolutely refuse to do anything worthwhile, but am expected to stay at the workstation all the same, the Internet is more than a lifesaver. Games, blogs, re the perfect fillers for a regular day at work, or for that matter, a day at home even. Thank you ARPA, thank you Berners-Lee, thank you all who made this awesomeness possible.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Caramelised Apples to serve.


Quite some time till I posted my oh-so-personal comments about the movies I watched on Weekends. And somehow, I haven’t visited the video library again. And all my weekends (actually just 3 if them) have been extra busy.

Weekend 1 was spent at Habib’s. Finally, finally, I mustered enough guts to get my hair straightened. And well, the results haven’t been very bad. I have actually managed to get rid of the curls, and frizz, which at K, reminded people of ‘Monica at Barbados’, or a nest, or most creatively, ‘water gushing out of a broken pipe’. And they are supposed to stay that way for 6-8 months, post which I need to decide if I am actually interested in burning a hole in my pocket again L. And I wasn’t allowed to tie up my hair for the next two days, and that is something, which is impossible, so stayed at home, watching loads of TV. (And yeah BTW, *Phbbbt* to people who met me after this and didn’t notice it)

Weekend 2 was probably the most pre-planned weekend ever. The trip to K finally happened. And it was very much worth it. The campus, the view from the campus, the SSG fete, and the party, all brought back amazing memories. Everything actually went on as planned, right from the train journey to Bangalore, the sleeper ride to K, the stay at the hostel, and even the Sumo ride back from K, which actually turned out to be ‘more-than-expected’ comfortable!

 Weekend 3, which was the last weekend, was spent checking out the new house, we might be shifting into (Long story: Pure-veg flat-mate thinks, non-veg flat-mate not sticking to her promise of not bringing non-veg stuff home, and especially, not using any of the common plates and spoons. Non-veg flat-mate feels, that Pure-veg flat-mate is being too unfair, as she does that only when boy-friend is in town, which is like every alternate weekend, so finally, I am moving out with Pure veg flat-mate, as the latter has another friend who will move in to give her company, and I don’t have any more strength to convince either of them. Long story over.) Then, the rest of the time was spent checking out the awesome clearance sales at all the major malls in the city J and watching ‘Rang De Basanti’ buying tickets in black, at 4 times their original cost. No complaints. It was worth it. (Justification being, if I could watch Bunty Babli with tickets in black, RDB is completely acceptable!)

 So, those were the updates from life in general. Client is on a visit to Mexico, so no meetings, no presentations, and no calls. Life simply rocks J!