Life as we know it (or we think we do)

My new workplace has this interesting concept, where they lower the temperature on the floor to near-freezing, whenever our western counterparts come in. I wrote about when it happened the last time and here I am writing about it again. And before you go ‘Pshaw! Get some new stuff to say already lady!’ I will warn you, that smart folks would not look at this as repetition and understand, that reiteration means emphasis.

Anyhow, I have a new theory around it. Maybe, the idea isn’t the assumption that the westerners prefer colder work environments. Maybe it’s just that since they have come from frozen zones of the planet at this time of the year, the folks just want to ensure that they don’t enviously hate us as we scamper around in our sleeveless tops and skirts without leggings, and so, they freeze the place. I mean, it’s either that, or that we have this uncanny need to project our Bhartiya Sabhyata to the outsiders, and the only they can make the women dress modestly is by scaring them with threats of hypothermia.Maybe. Because, I have to tell you, it’s working. And after spending the morning almost being roasted to death by the Hyderabad sun, in my summery, white sleeveless shirt, I am now dressed like a freaking Eskimo, to avoid being frozen to death instead.

Which brings me to the Hyderabad sun, which is currently in its element, bringing forth the bitchiness like never before. Where ‘never before’ is actually an incorrect phrase because the Hyderabad sun is always this horrible, except for this one month starting in late December when it takes a break to sort of refuel and re-attack with the same viciousness. In short, its back and how. The mornings, thankfully aren’t as bad yet, and one can actually still manage to sit in the balcony for a good 15 minutes. It also helps that the Balcony faces west. Which is perfect for someone who will never have the pleasure of being in the balcony during the evenings, to actually feel the sun because that’s how life works in this industry.

This industry also means travel that I mentioned in the last post. I will be visiting Dubai for the first time, because I have only seen in while taking off and landing in the past. Dubai is the best transit airport, with its maze of Duty free stalls you can spend hours looking through. It is also where we restock on the good alcohol (cue to the spammy trolls consistently sharing links of how alcohol ruins life, you are welcome) and chocolates. Dubai is also the first foreign airport I visited  the first time I traveled abroad (London, Circa 2007), and marveled at how it looked like a posh railway station because (I kid you not) there were folks sleeping on the floor amidst the ruckus. So, I will have just 4 days I will spend there, all working, and so I doubt I will have time to do the mandatory touristy gawking, though I think I will make time to see the Burj because I have a thing for the biggest/tallest/first/last kind of hyped stuff. And atleast step into that famous Dubai shopping mall because I owe to my shopaholic self, though my middle class self will ensure I will not spend a rupee (or Dirham).

Other than that, and general pondering over life’s little mysteries, also a common phenomena some people call a midlife crisis, things are the same. As we grow older, things we ruminate about undergo a major paradigm shift. And if you have been blogging for as long as I have, it just takes a glance at the older posts to confirm this. What else explains  whole posts about how much Placecomm sucks and how the juniors are being a pain? When all I think about now (assuming thoughts do turn into blog posts, and you don’t get distracted while posting and talk about the traffic instead) is what I am doing with my life and more importantly is this what I should be doing with my life and how do I ensure I do what I really want in life because you only live once or Zindagi na milegi dobara Oh My God Zoya Akhtar movies really do make so much sense.

But unfortunately, life doesn’t. Which is why I need to get back to doing what I am meant to be doing instead of spending time talking about things that matter more. Like the temperature on my floor; which by the way – still as annoying as before.

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So what happened was

The last week was spent back home with the parents. With The Dude far away in the US, this seemed to perfect thing to do. One, it would knock off some bit of the sulking and complaining that has commenced since he left. And two, who wouldn’t want a week with no work, customised food menu, childhood memories, old books, photographs, long chit-chat sessions with the parents over free-flowing chai, and uninhibited hours of sleep. What we wouldn’t want, and would rather not get into, are the associated aspects of post-vacation depression, change in the weighing scale results (dislclosed to a very closed group – namely my Gtalk list), and a cold, thanks to the change in weather, by which I mean, Meerut was deliciously cold, and Hyderabad is roasting me alive, and the combination chose not to suit moi.

 
Yep. So the parents decided to choose the very week I was visiting (after 6 long months!) to get the house redone. Redone being rennovating the kitchen, and building a long due store room at the back of the house. Now this store room I have been dreaming of since school, because of the basic reason that it would mean so much stuff could be dumped in it, making way way for so much new stuff. Which could be dumped in it when it got old, making way for yet another set of new stuff. Ok, it’s not like the store would be a black hole to swallow all the stuff, but it would be helpful nonetheless. But no one listened to me back then. And now, 9 years after I first left home, they do this. When I am not even there to scatter my stuff around. Anyway, I am happy because this will mean my mom won’t call me for a while to ask me when I was taking my Enid Blyton collection from there. As if.
 
Yeah, so there was a lot of ‘Thak-Thak, Thok-Thok’ most of the time. And ya, the kitchen was in the other bedroom. And there was cement everywhere, And I was not allowed to wander around in my shorts (sheesh!). And If Mom reads this, she will blame me for making her feel all guilty. So I’ll stop.
 
So, now that I am gone, Mom is busy shifting the stuff around. And guess what she finds. An old diary of Yours truly. Now this isn’t the kind of secret diary one would hope to find, and expect to excavate deep dark secrets of the owner. This was the Diary dating back to 1993, and belonging to a 10 year old, who believed in, well, quite a few things.
 
Like, she wrote poetry. Poetry with rhyming words. Sequence of the words be damned, the last word of each sentence had to rhyme with that of the next. And it did. Ofcourse, some exceptions were made. Like, hmmm, think mermaid (gasp!!). And marmalade (ok, I am gagging now). And think raindrops falling with cuckoos calling (?!).See, she didn’t have a phone then, so calling was more like any noise I guess. But cuckoos? Really? But you have to give it to her for the creativity. At 10. And hello, the grammar was perfect. Even then. There are a  few more embarassments from much earlier (read a book of rhymes for ‘kids’ written by a 7 year old). So. And she wrote letters. Condemning cruelty to animals. The Kind soul. Only, she wrote it to, guess who. Ahem, to the animals themselves And also elaborated her stance that till they stood up for themselves, things wouldn’t change for them. Nice girl, this. So very kind.
 
And then I asked Mom to stop reading any further. Reading to me and to herself as well. See these things need to be treasured, and read at leisure, not rushed through over phone. Also, she was laughing way too much. And I am not sure that was a humorous poem she was reading.
 
Otherwise I have been busy off late. Lots of work, lots of meetings. Don’t think that’s big? Then beat this. I reach work by 8:55! Wow! Now that’s something eh? I don’t even wake up by that time in general, and now , I travel for an hour and reach work by that time. Ooh, the world looks quite pretty at 6 I must say. Been a while since I saw it at that time. And then I work till 7! Ah, Niravana! Professional Nirvana this is! Anyway, for all the hard work we’re putting in, we are off to a team dinner now. To a nice place, and thank goodness for the new office’s location, we’re not off to Krishna Bar and Restaurant this time. So yay.
 
I’m off then. Tired sorta. And nothing more to write about either. So I am off. For my dinner. Ta.

So..

I am hoping it rains tomorrow.

Not a regular drizzle, where the sun is half tempted to tear the clouds apart and shine once again in all its glory. Not rains accompanied by the crazy, strong wind, which bends the scrawnier trees, and satisfies itself with blowing the dry leaves off the stronger ones, makes the other wise pleasant droplets of water sting the passers by like bullets and makes them run for shelter, all the while threatening to blow the clouds away, and not let the rains last.

I want the monotonous rain. The dull ominous grey clouds in the sky, so dark, that if you look out; it feels like it’s still five in the morning. And drops that fall straight to the ground; big drops, which fall at a constant pace, steadily drenching the ground, filling the low lying areas with water. Creating puddles which cannot dry; because the sun can’t find the tiniest gap in the clouds to make its way to the earth. Because, there is absolutely no wind, not even a slight breeze. Because, even if a drop does decide to evaporate, there are a hundred others falling right into its place, even before it’s fully gone. 

Rain which can be heard all the time, with no other sound to break the rhythm. Perhaps disturbed once in a while by a loud thunder, which booms, echoes, and then fades into the background, once again making way for the sound of persistent rainfall. I want that kind of rain.

Rain, which anyone would look at and say, that’s made the day so gloomy, when will it stop? Rain which mothers look at, and decide the kids should probably not go to school today, because it doesn’t seem like it’s going to stop anytime soon. Rain, which makes people leaving for work feel really sorry for themselves. Rain which makes you feel like stopping everything else, getting back under the covers and sleeping the whole day. Rain which leaves damp patches on the ceiling because the water on the terrace won’t dry up. Rain which makes you switch on the lights at home even at 2 in the afternoon.

I will not go to work. I will stay in my home shorts. I will switch off all the lights. I will put all my favorite songs on the On-the-go playlist on my Ipod, and connect it to the music system, and play it on loop. I will make me a cup of hot chai, with lots of ginger. I will pick up a packet of onion crisps. I will pick up Sophie Kinsella’s Undomestic Goddess which I am yet to begin. And I will sit in the balcony, sip my tea, munch on the crisps, and read. And if anyone from work calls, I will tell them it is raining too heavily for me to come, and I am sure it’s not stopping anytime soon. And then, I will switch the cell off.

Like I said, I am hoping it rains tomorrow. Just like that.

Tales from Tokyo

So, we are back from the much awaited, anticipated, and of course awesome vacation. The fact that it was something we won, and didn’t really have to pay for, just added to the awesomeness. 

Tokyo is a perfect metropolis, where everything is big and grand, organized, controlled, neat and just right. The city boasts of sky scrapers and zigzagging flyovers everywhere and very much reminds you of Canary Wharf in London. The tour guide is forever showing you the ‘tallest buildings’, ‘ biggest towers’, ‘most expensive real estate’, ‘maximum number of electronic stores’, which is what defines Tokyo. Explanation enough.

Living in Shinjuku, which has the maximum skyscrapers in the city is helpful, especially when you decide to venture out on your own to explore the place. You can always spot the tip of ‘that building which looks like it has ribbons criss-crossing it all over’ and then try and make your way to it. Also, if you can’t, you can safely assume you’re lost and need help.

Japanese people are very polite. And talk non-stop. They go on and on and on, knowing very well that the person in front has no clue about what they are talking. But they will smile, and bow, and speak and all you can do is smile back. Helplessly.

And oh, they are very honest too. This one old lady came searching for us all the way in a huge mall to return change we forgot to collect. And that was one yen. 

Visiting Tokyo helps if you lag in the height department. You might be wearing flats the whole time and yet always be taller than the crowd. Very good experience. 

The tube stations are in no way like the ones in London, they are more like huge shopping centres, where you have trains passing by now and then. Malls are omnipresent, and all are exactly the same, but still they are there, after every quarter of a kilometer.

Sushi
is not as exotic as it sounds. In fact, it has this extremely annoying flavor which will refuse to go once you have tried it, and for some reason all eating places in Japan will smell of it. Oh ya, they will put make sweet potato sushi too. Imagine fish flavored sweet potato. Ugh.

Sake
is ok. I personally thought it was like vodka, only smoother. The Dude didn’t like it one bit and finds it medicinal.

It is NOT ok to have perfect weather everyday of the vacation, and then rain like crazy on the day we are supposed to visit Disneyland. And it doesn’t help when the Hotel manager apologizes for it as if it’s his fault while handing us two giant umbrellas he is sure we will need.

But it does help that the rush is much lesser, and we get to try out every attraction in the place without having to stand in queues. Also, it does help that the rain stops after a couple of hours and leaves behind a heavenly breeze.

High-speed roller-coasters make me scream. And I feel like it is all over and this is the way things were supposed to end for me. But once I am done, I have a feeling of accomplishment which lasts for quite some time and makes up for everything else.

Air India sucks, big time. The flights never take off on time, always have some ‘technical issue’ which needs to be fixed , which by the way makes it even worse for someone like me who believes that something as huge as an airplane is not meant to leave ground in the first place. The airhostesses don’t serve, they throw food at you. The chairs are old and creaky. There is no entertainment except for ‘pot-pourri’ playing on a projection screen right in the front, which by the way has songs from Raja Hindustani playing. The headphones are horrible. They don’t have the food you ask for. In short, I am never flying Air India again. 

People on the flight might actually prefer watching ‘Welcome’ over ‘Enchanted’ and the movie will be very unfairly stopped, and changed. Oh, but they serve unlimited drinks, and the best brands in beer, so The Dude says it makes up for everything else.

It doesn’t help that after the awesome weather in Tokyo, I am subjected to Hyderabad, which by the way, is an oven. And I am getting roasted. You know the kind of heat when you say, ‘It’s been this way for a week now, it’s definitely raining in a couple of days’, that kind, only it has lasted for over a month and it refuses to rain.

That’s about it. That by the way is my version of a travelogue. I might try pictures, but only if LJ doesn’t act funny. For now, I will get back to my post vacation depression, and probably start planning our next trip. That always cheers me up.

Randomest ramble ever

I simply have to write. See, whenever I don’t blog for a while, I end up blaming lack of interesting enough things in life for it. But right now, there are so many things I would like to record and remember (that’s what I blog for right?), that I have to write. Whatsoever. So here we go!

We won! And I caught ONLY the last over of the match. Why you ask? Well, because all the seniors at work conveniently dumped their jobs on the insignificant few at us, and disappeared. Where you ask (or don’t, I am telling you anyways)? To a nearby place to watch the WHOLE match. Talk about unfair. Hmph. Well, no complaints, because watching the last over, standing on my toes, and peeping into the neighboring floor (they have a TV on the work-floor for heaven’s sake! Two in fact! Talk about unfair. Hmph – repeat) and then cursing the tall guy in front, and then stomping away after the six, and then getting back anyways, because, well you couldn’t afford to see how it went after all, then standing with the mouth wide open as the ball went into the air, and then jumping and screaming like a banshee when Sreesanth took the catch, and then telling everyone on the way back that we won ( of course they already knew) and so and so forth, can be equally, if not more, fun. (Phew, that wins the longest sentence award: D). So, I am not really complaining.

Saturday was night out with The Dude, and I was all for some serious partying, when I found out that the place was invaded with Cricket freaks. So I spent the next 10 minutes grumbling about how the evening was ruined, and the hour and a half after that, enjoying what I think will be my favorites match ever. I haven’t had more fun watching a match, and of course, we beat the so called best!

Sunday night was Indian Idol Grand Finale, and I am depressed even now thinking about it. All I can say is I am glad I didn’t sit through the entire 3 hours of pain, for the most ridiculous judgment in the history of mankind (ok, I am exaggerating, but it was horrid. Pah! No more audience poll based silly, stupid, biased shows!)

And of course, the Sunday evening drive to one really pretty place. The Shamirpet Lake was much above my expectations, and the weather did an awesome job projecting it even better. I am so going there again!

Oh ya, I made cake. Choco-walnut cake. And guess what, it actually tasted good (I wanted to say awesome, but I don’t want smart comments about ‘self-appraisal’, ‘poor souls who had to eat it’ etc). Fact is, I burnt the sample ( see, so smart of me, I know my limitations, and hence get proactive (!!?)), but the final version was awesome! There. I said it.

Ok that was a fairly long ramble, and I myself tend to avoid blog posts which are little too long, but couldn’t help it, long week I had. But I will stop now. So till then, oh, ok, wait. Last thing. Tuesday, I did this cool ‘work from home’ thing, which was nice, as in lazy nice, but I realized I eat twice as much if I am at home. Yikes! So that’s not happening again. Ok, that’s about it. Till then, Ciao!

P.S. Lime wire rocks! The past few days, I have …. Ok nothing, I said I would stop. So I will. Tada.

Another long visit home, has left me somewhat depressed about getting back here. But, all good things must come to an end, and so did the holiday. So, I am back in my cubicle, trying to somehow, respond to, or atleast read, or actually at least click each mail, so that a read message is sent across to the sender.

 

Delhi was cold. And so Meerut was colder. Not really the Foggy, misty, you-cant-get-out-of-the-blanket cold, but colder than Hyderbad is at this time, or even will be by December, and definitely colder than K ever was. I have so totally lost touch with winter in general (and please, Hyderabad/Calicut winters don’t count. At all.)

 

So, about the cold. It was obvious. Right from when I landed in Delhi. And I was so not prepared for it, that I started my sneeze bout right away L. It over now, but the effects remain. So now I am sitting with a blocked nose, and horribly sore throat, and no voice. The croak that one hears everytime I try to speak cannot be termed as my voice. No No. *nodding vehemently*. It is too big an insult.

 

Having washed my hands off cooking everyday (we now have a cook, who hasn’t been cooking for the past few days, cos we haven’t refilled the groceries stock.), it’s back to my Maggi for brunch Maggi for dinner routine. Which is not that bad, as all my taste buds have stopped functioning, and maggi is probably the best thing for a cold. And Soup maggi’s even better.

 

So, all I wish for now is that I am better by the time we leave for Goa. (I am sure I have mentioned that before!!). And I am so glad, that I finally get to go there! J(and keeping in mind that it is an office-sponsored trip, the arrangements are A-W-E-S-O-M-E!!). Couldn’t have asked for more. And then there is this trip planned for the campus hires… (Hey! We do work here! Yeah, me too!)

 

Anyways, that seems to be enough updates for today. Rest, when I don’t need to go cough-type-cough-cough-type. Till then, Ciao!

Rain, rain, go away
(Seriously dude! Too much of anything is bad)
Come again another day.
(Well, that’s your call, but I need a break for atleast a week)
Little Johnny wants to play
(Or rather, I want to ‘not mop’ the floor for a few days)
Rain, rain, go to Spain,
(Or wherever you want to, just go!!)
Never show your face again!
(Wont say that, cause that would mean no 24*7 water, damn!)

Now some gyan about how the (actual) rhyme originated:

“The origin of the lyrics to “Rain rain go away” are said to date back to the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1533-1603), one of the English Tudor monarchs. During this period of English history there was constant rivalry between Spain and England culminating in the launch of the Spanish Armada in 1588. The Spanish Armada consisted of many Spanish galleons and was sent to invade England. The Armada was led by Duke of Medina Sedonia and the fleet numbered over 130 ships. The English fleet, under Admiral Lord Howard, totalled 34 small Navy vessels and 163 armed merchant ships. But the great Spanish Armada was defeated. Only 65 Spanish galleons and just 10,000 men returned to Spain. The attempt failed, not only because of the swift nature of the smaller English ships but also by the stormy weather, which scattered the Armada fleet. Hence the origin of the “Rain rain go away” Nursery rhyme.”
Courtesy: http://www.rhymes.org.uk/rain_rain_go_away.htm

Not that it mattered, but thought I would include it anyways. Damn, I hate these rains!