November 12, 2007 § 10 Comments
I think I may have made a tradition out of writing about my Diwali visits to home, year after year, as many as have been since I commenced with this blog. There’s something mysteriously interesting about this festival that makes me feel powerfully good for that little while: a strange sort of happiness that is to be derived in all the senseless and logical activity involved in celebrating Diwali. This might make me sound somewhat insane, but I like to believe that something randomly exciting happens with me practically every time, this part of the year. Or probably I’m just giving you a pretext on what you’re going to read later on.
I guess the only people who read me today are the ones who’ve honored me with their committal presence for at least a year, or a half, and henceforth decided to stick with my moody publishing for I’m-glad-to-not-know what reasons. Yes, I’m apparently thanking you all. And that’s all for the season’s greetings. I’m sorry for my inability to false praise you all for the time and effort you take out and make respectively, to visit here pretty frequently. Because the truth is I reciprocate your exertion by ensuring I read all your posts with an acceptable time delay of a few days may be. Don’t judge me by the comments I do not leave, as that would mean I’m automatically invited to revisit the concerned post often to read your comments on mine: and honestly, I’m sort of low on man hours these days, online or otherwise.
Anyway, the point of the whole finely expounded last paragraph was that I assume some familiarity on your part of my childhood and growing up. I’m mainly talking about how the Indian Railways are so intimately attached to my kid and teenage and now adult days.
So clearly we’ve now narrowed down to the train journey I took to home for Diwali last week. And the dreamer that I am, I do think of meeting extraordinarily interesting people, by which I mean chiefly women on such travels. More often than not, I end up sleeping 70% of the time thanks to absence of remotely talkative (men) or attractive (women) folks in the limit of my civil reachability. But this time was not to be that sorry. And why? Because, it was Diwali. Auspicious is the keyword here.
For the first hour, I was to have no company at all in an arrangement of cushioned chairs that begged three to be seated. I think that actually is better than having someone dumb and blind to your presence as a fellow seat-man. And then the loneliness bubble burst. Presently enters a young lady in a short red top that I later thought could take some washing, denims and fancy chappals (the kind women must wear when they know they have displayable feet). The next moment I caught her standing on the cushion chair next to me, and holding one huge bag over her head to carefully place it next in the overhead luggage orbit. I could have went on thinking how strong she must be, had I not noticed a little bit of her belly button skin exposed thanks to the major stretchy physical activity she was involved with. I admired her swift movements, and I could have done that more of that again had she in her swiftness not swung around me and left me lost in that noticeable fragrance of hers. I think life was working digitally during those few minutes. Because the next I saw was of a post middle-age man, her father, occupying the chair between me and the dirty red top girl. This sort of thing is always discouraging, because I know I do not have that evil look on my face that shall prompt fathers to shield their daughters from my gaze! Anyway, when I thought honeymoon was over for me, I next observed her virtually directing her Pa to let her in his place. I could have judged her that very moment, but my manly wisdom got the better of me, and I understood both of us were working for the same cause, and as long as that was ensured, I had no reason to make opinions.
But fathers in India as we know are still pretty rigid. A non-rigid ‘no’ is finally a firm and binding disagreement. And daughters in India as we know are still pretty modest. So
I slept off. Because the little family later started with meals and sweets and another meal, without offering me any (ok how diabolical am I?), and Mr. Father made sure his back was turned on me, implying I must not try to catch the girl’s eyes if I was even faintly a self-respecting man.
And there was an endearing apparition when I woke up.
I woke up next to her.
Actually, and obviously, she had switched places and not me. My guess is, Pa must have badly wanted to use the loo after all the eating, and the girl being a smart ass, saw her chance. Whatever, I already liked the way she was thinking.
And how perfect was it then. I had had my share of peaceful rest. And I could effortlessly make a move now.
I did. And I started off with something I’d (in) voluntarily overheard in the conversation between the two. That she was a print journalist won her instant fascination from my being. And she was clearly older to me too. I think I stated this fact in some (probably) offending sense – I said something like ‘you do not seem to take good care of yourself’ type blah. Before you say ‘O dear God’, please believe me I saw fairly dark circles under her eyes, and that led to me to this avoidable conversational guffaw! The damage was done though. And the realization never came during the whole journey. I’m so glad I have a beautiful girlfriend. I could never get anyone else with my despicable heroics!
A woman scorned is a lot of trouble for the cause. I was the tiny cause.
We chatted up a lot after that. And she came across as a modestly fierce woman. Pretty confident too. I liked the way our conversations shaped up: an eclectic mix of issues and facts. I thought we were trying to take each others’ asses, and we managed that in a funny sort of way! And I was keeping happy thinking of having won the psychological warfare over her father, who couldn’t protect her long before falling for my colloquial bait!
I just scrolled up. It was a long one. I think I should stop here. I can’t write too much about her too right. I mean she’s got to have some privacy after all.
On the flip side, she might not have much of that. I managed her email ID. And I’m going to send her the link. And I know she’ll read it.
And friends, we shall see or I shall tell you how was this marginally fictionalized account of the one odd hour we had to us received at the other end.
A last word. Thanks gentlewoman for keeping the good company that day. Hope you slept well after your blabbering neighbor left!
July 14, 2007 § 9 Comments
The toughest part of my life as a blogger (tiny though) is to manufacture titles for posts i wish to produce. At times I believe that in itself is the sole counterproductive reason why I don’t/can’t write much, despite the desire to do it a lot more often than I write/you read. A lot of bloggers apparently use long titles, admitting little snippets of the content of the posts in the title itself. I can’t do that. I really can’t. I’m a concise man. Not with words in general, but everywhere my judgement instructs me for taciturnity. If I (almost) hate long titles, I would firmly believe none of my readers deserve them as well! Though with such stiff chokepoints, I find myself highly incapable of assigning apt titles for the matter I intend to write, because a lot of times I mix the content up subject-wise, or else plan to but can’t because the designated title (short & sweet) indicates a different story! Quite often I guess I’ve ended up screwing up my original ideas – by the time I finish I have a very different text compiled. And it’s not uncommon for me to have actually had to change the title once I finish writing! Damn these blog service providers! Can the title field not be the last attribute to be taken care of on the write-page! Damn!
That, by the way, gave me an idea – I’ll add another category to this blog starting from this post itself: “fuse”! Mix it up!
I have also realized that I might be getting a lot more opinionated than I used to be. I think I was decently pliant for a very long time, receptive to what the world has to say, and often consenting with the proposed wisdom. Not any more. I’m taking stands on matters of all to no importance off late. May be it’s just a (self) confidence building measure – how and why I’m even practicing it, I don’t know. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing. Probably it is as long as I can offer solidarity with what people have to say. I pray hard obstinacy doesn’t meddle with the good relations I have carefully acquired with most men and women I know! I will want maximum supply of goodwill before they set fire to the wood beneath!
And again I might just have finally realized that it’s good to talk to people. As in talk about myself. I’ve been kind of infamous for being a huge introvert in a very non-obvious sense. All those to whom I’m known in person, never actually say it, but dig deep down, and they understand that I’m extremely alien to them! And lately I’ve actually went ahead and told a few pals that I’m hugely misunderstood! But I think eventually it was a good thing back then. My college life I mean. Part of the reason I made great friends is that I was always available to listen. And I loved it too. I think my natural endowments lie with people. Just that I can’t really figure out how to get my real talents suitably recognized/rewarded! But anyway, the point is I’m opening up lately. May be to a very few, or may be just that one woman, but I am. And I like it. I was always the inward-looking self-questioning kind. But the sweep of that exercise was limited to myself for all these years. Robertfrust once told me that it’s good to let your guard down now and then. I think I understand it today. Thanks man.
And in all likelihood, this would be the last I’ll be writing from Bangalore/Bengaluru (official baptism in a week I think). Two months were well spent here. I’m not always kind to people/things/places/events and can be dead critical at times (the stars failed me ..I didn’t ask for Virgo!). But I think I’ll cut it some slack, despite the most harrowing traffic on roads I think I’ll see in my entire life, the ear-wrenching, teeth-clacking sound of Kannada, life stopping dead after 11 PM, and the chill it gave me by the nights! The rest is pretty damn good. A shopper’s paradise. Autos by meter. A lot of good-looking women (ok am sorry about the last critical post on the subject. Yes they exist, if you know the right places). But am still surprised at the terrific gradation we have in terms of female beauty here. There are incredibly well-dressed love-at-first-sight stimulating kind, as also 80’s Bollywood’s horror women lookalikes! Anyway, the weather is just awesome. The movie industry here is plain huge by any standards. Bollywood has always had competition in little dwarfs of vernacular cinema, but South Indian cinema is formidable. I got used to watching TV here (more out of joblessness than choice), and these channels certainly managed to kick me in the shins (not the balls sorry ..even the idea of writing that hurts)! They have their own versions of ‘laughter challenge’, ‘Koffee With Anu’, and not to forget, the steamy movies, which by the way, make me throw up – how can a real fat bulbous woman, fat as in skin popping out from everywhere it can, with her Guinness category bosom, and thunder thighs, and most ugly-fitting inner-wear, sexually turn on anyone! It’s just gross! And are there no good-looking men in this part of the country? Not once, you bet, not once did I see a good on-screen pair on the dozens of alien-language channels (Rajnikanth is not handsome please). A black, thick-mustached, frizzy haired man (actor ..cough-cough), that huge pink tongue sticking out all the time, with a rather angelic (in relativity) woman in minis, and executing a blind-would-ROTFL incredibly funny dance routine, is like a beastly act. A King Kong chiseled out in human form with Naomi Watts! Yuck-yuck!
And my Orkut-demolition continues. I’ve finally managed to exactly half the number of friends, without losing much on the fan front. It looks good now. Nothing Herculean about it anymore. I think I like a stripped profile, while everywhere around me orkut explodes. Just a year back my ex had started the Vh1 community, and she has like a seven thousand members now. I tell you, Orkut’s a phenomenon, and this world’s getting dangerously addicted. I’m trying to break free perhaps. I’d rather get OCD’ed to things more valuable, rich in intellectual content perhaps. Wishful thinking.
And watched Harry Potter & blah-blah and Die Hard 4.0, back to back (multiplex was a brilliant idea). HP was disappointing, nothing really happens (of course not in the book as well, but come on it’s a movie ..make it grand). There’s a very very cute (if you know me, you know I don’t use this word too often ..so when I do, assume the subject is seriously attractive) presence (not Dolores Umbridge of course ..she’s really bad I’m telling you ..at times I too felt like swinging her by the hair, or sentence her to be trampled under an elephant’s feet, or pieced apart in a shredder). Once she appeared, I think I sat through the entire movie anticipating her appearance every now and then. But pigs don’t fly you see. I was watching a children’s movie. My kinky ideas were forbidden for those 140 minutes! And no one kindly tell me Bruce Willis’ age. This man gives me a real complex with his manliness. Sheer testosteron-ic force of masculinity! Ended the day at Pizza Hut, which by the way reminds me – if you’re a woman even remotely interested in me, you should start now with Pizza-making. The ubiquitous idea of the way to a man’s heart etc etc is applicable in my case exclusively with smoking-hot deliciously-soft pizzas. And if you are reading this, I mean you you, then don’t bother: eating is the last thing on my mind when with you!
And now this looks like a fairly long post, and should shut up all you who pick me apart on not writing frequently. Good chance that I won’t be writing for some time now (work, travel, home, love etc etc reasons you see), so every time you come back here and find no new post, I request you to re-read this once again, easy and slow – and you are free to comment if you come across any new idea you would have missed in the last read. (Damn! I can be an annoying narcissist)! And Reeta, my apologies, but I have the tag at the back of my mind.
So long, gentlemen, gentlewomen.
May 19, 2007 § 6 Comments
This year has been good to me, for reasons more than one. I think I could say that the earlier post is a major contribution to the hit-year factor, as I’m probably getting more nutty about it! Anyway, I guess I shouldn’t talk any more of that. My love life [whatever little or more of it is!] is the last thing that’d fancy you! I’m not too sure, but some of you might just have been observant enough to notice in me some change of attitude towards life in general. I wish I had an explanation, but I find myself incapacitated. It would have been easier if I could just say that people change, but inside I think I know that’s probably not it. Hmmm…
Anyway, traveling by Rajdhani trains in this country is so much fun. Firstly, they are fast! Fast by Indian standards! And I’m still that anxious kid who’d stand on the door of the coach while the train’s moving fast enough, or take the window seat wherever possible, and have a faster pulse as the engine pulls and you accelerate! Speed thrills me. A lot. Actually I could say I’ve had some form of surrogate relationship with the railways, considering the kind of time I have spent using its services as a kid, and no plans to draw the curtains on the fancy yet! Secondly, that I was on the one that goes to Bangalore, and hence was populated mostly by South-Indians, didn’t exactly ruin my trip. You don’t have the kind of time to think of the company you are in, if the caterers keep you occupied with food and drinks and snacks and tea and juices and soups like all the time you are awake [they’re courteous enough to wake you up if you are napping and its a meal time]! And I derive a lot of sadistic pleasure in the fact that I feed rather princely on the resources without sparing even like a single penny, unlike a lot many who I know HAVE to eat and drink and steal because they’ve fucking paid for it!
And I really-really like the idea of having adjoining blocks for the two sexes in the hostels of IIM Bangalore! I mean I’m not used to voices and physical presence of women outside my room when am changing my underwear with the door half-closed, or just casually hanging around in minimalist clothing in the wing [you know how guys live right ..blah]! I mean it could be so bloody encouraging for desperados [which like most men are] in such an (s)excitingly progressive schema of cohabitation! And it does give one pretty adventurous ideas, that how he’ll have a pretty girl out of nowhere one day and how he already has a no-sex-ban [on entry or on activity] room to himself, and how finally he’ll be using the condom he’s been carrying in his wallet for what seems like ages now and which has probably lost all its playing-it-safe features in these centuries for latex expiration, and how he’d be respected when he gets back to his people with his I-knocked-someone-there stories! IIT must have devoid us of what is for most people the natural way of life. It feels nice to see young women on the short trips to their rooms after a shower draped in just a towel [yeah, I was fucking blessed that day]! And that’s where all the stargazing stops, because all girls on campus already seem to have boyfriends, and hence you could kill yourself thinking how she must be sleeping with a guy everyday, or multiple times a day, or if she sleeps around then for all you know its multiple-guys-a-day kinda crap!
And it also stops dead thanks to this explosion of dark-skinned, impossibly ugly women on the streets and shops and offices and bus-stops and restaurants! These Kannada ladies have the fattest asses and the thickest lips and the frizziest hair and generously spotted skins and the most nauseating whiffs! IIT does not feel too bad after Bangalore!
And the language barrier! Its hard to believe this place is the IT hub of the nation! The limited conversation I can have with Bangalore’s auto-wallas consists of terms like “Oracle office Lexington Towers”, “meter se”, and “one-and-half-sir, night time sir” [night time at 8 my hairy ass!], and vice-versa! And as much I try, I just can’t make any sense out of the local dialect, unlike Punjabi which again I do not completely understand, but it sounds closer to sanity, and hence the attraction I nurture for the language and the people who speak it and for Punjabis who can speak German but not Punjabi [cuz that’s exotic for a pretty Punjabi package]!
And the traffic and pollution! Whoever brought CNG to Delhi is either dead and hence the concept with him/her, or Bangalore is being ruled by petrol/diesel mafia! Plus these local buses all have the exhaust next to the front right wheel, so they literally blow it down your throat and into your nose if you try to use any other mode of transport to overtake! I’ve already warned Dad of the chances of me coming back with Asthma or TB or allergy to any kind of smoke in two months!
The only saving grace would be the weather. Mornings here make me shiver if I’m not suitably dressed the previous night, and which seems to make no difference to me as I had started sleeping next-to naked back in Delhi, and its too early to get back to clothes if you’d just started the nudist life! There is all the sun that can be in the day, but the idea of sweating is alien, which is such a relief from Delhi’s scorching summers!
Anyway, I actually have nothing against the city or the people, cuz in ways am having fun here. I love my work, and the workplace in particular – the fast internet, the grill-sandwiches in the company cafeteria on the 10th floor, and the booze-parties in IIMB, and I also love the way Bangalore has accepted me! I already feel at home despite like five days here.
But for all I know, ‘she’ could be the reason behind this perpetual gladness. Yeah ..she could pretty well be! And I guess I shouldn’t again talk any more of that!