Monday, November 06, 2006

"Enigma"tic Night

Sometimes, time forces you to be the biggest hypocrite in the world. Your "self" preaches you good old ethics, you tend to think otherwise.

It was just like any other weekend. We decided to stop-by to have a couple of drinks at a pub after a few hours of frenzy shopping at Marathalli.



Koramangala's "Enigma" served us much more than alcohol on this eventful evening. For the usual "me" - the table opposite to a teenage couple was a complete paisa-wasool. Forty five minutes of the passionate "show" was reason enough to feel more than contented compared to the small bill. They were drinking... the hugs and kisses followed. Combining that with the scene created near the loo - all created an atmosphere enough like a movie.

The ethical "worm" inside pestered me with digressive thoughts. Is this India? Their actions were proofs enough that they are going to end up between the sheets. An unmarried couple barely in their teens, drinking their brains out and smooching at 11 in a pub - where's the culture?

And above all is my hypocrisy! I can preach the closest of my friends for 5 hours that this is wrong. And yet, I enjoyed the "show". A part of me would sing along - "Koi maalamaal hai, koi tanghaal hai..." and another would still lament - "Dekh teri duniyaa ki haalat kya ho gayi bhagwaan, kitna badal gaya..."




Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Don't you wanna fly!!



Ever thought of flying like a bird and get lost far far away? The pic is copied from a newspaper article. Its poignancy left me immersed in thoughts for hours!

Friday, September 22, 2006

So near, and yet so far





Your eyes -
Those pair of dreams
Those glitters of life
Those depths defying oceans
Those exuberant blinks
Those fluttering lids
Those mischievous glances
Your eyes.

Your lips -
Those dry-crisp ashes
Those loquacious wet streams
Those impeccable petals
That infectious smile
Those longing watery pinks
Those immortalised springs
Your lips.

Your hairs -
Those clouds of hope
Those flowing rivers
Those moonless nights
Those "colourful" blacks
Those dense tousles
Those dangling inspirations
Your hairs.

Your face -
That serenity of heavens
That radiance of moon
That calmness of lakes
That beauty of roses
That incessant chatter
That shyness of leaves
Your face.

You-
That perfection of the Master
The defiance of times
The epitome of love
The 'falling' for many
The 'rising' for a few
Ah! You're the twinkling star,
So near, and yet so far!




Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Love, BC... what the hell??



he : oye?

me : .......

he : pichhle 36 minute se dekh raha hoon, kya soch kar chawanni muskaan diye jaa rahe ho?

me : chup be! la remote la, ghatiyaa channel hai ye!

he : *** ke baare mein soch rahe the na?

me : dimaag kharaab ho gaya hai tera! dekh khaana ban gaya ki nahin.

he : ho gaya hai tujhe...

me : karoge bakwaas? sab kuchh to bata rakha hai tumhen uske baare mein, phir kaise aisa soch sakte ho? paagal ho gaye ho tum...

he : wo sab mat sikhaao. tum to gaye!!

me : hadd ho yaar! sab pata hai phir bhi liye jaa rahe ho!

he : ek hafte se kah rahe ho padhaai band hai, office jaldi jaate ho late se aate ho, yahaan se dinner ke turant baad kat lete ho... tum to gaye!!

me : hadd badtameez ho! phokat mein sar khaa rahe ho! badlo channel phataak se.

he : meri salaah maano. doosri naukri dhoondh lo, bekaar mein wahaan...

Saturday, September 02, 2006

SPEED

A 10th grade Physics book says that human body can feel only acceleration and not velocity. My experience dares to contradict. Cruising at 110 Kmph at 2:30 hrs midnight wasn't just any other adventure. It was an experience of a lifetime. I felt velocity and not only acceleration.


The 150 Km odd stretch of Mysore-Bangalore highway is not just a pitch road; it's a runway - and driving on it at the wee hours of night is like flying in the star-studded sky. Two seemingly infinite streaks of yellow stars on the sides and one streak of red stars at the centre - radium indicators gleaming with light - complete the magnificent sensation of a heavenly abode. After a non-stop 80 Kms in the fulminating winds, my pillion companion couldn't resist asking me for his share of ecstasy. It was around 4 am when we stopped at a CCD outlet. A warm cup of coffee in such a cold night together with a free view of some beautiful girls were reasons enough to take a half an hour break. The remaining miles to the heritage city were covered effortlesslly sitting back and watching the space-time fly-by. After a few hours of get-together with friends at Mysore, we set out for our journey back to Bangalore. Time flew by on the roads but the memories would stay along...




Friday, September 01, 2006

Searching solace in solitude

Dissatisfaction is one trait ingrained in humans. Its strange how a man craves for solitude (calling it "some space") when surrounded by people, but seeks company when left alone. Happiness seems to be an alien species on a non-understandable planet called life. Various identification-attempts of the species serve as alibis for various sections of people who tend to explain it differently. Happiness in solitude is often related with an abstract attainment - given the name eternity or divinity by certain sects. Happiness in normal life is mostly identified with the surroundings. A man is "happy" if things and people around him are. The previous sect would reject this perspective as "temporary" or "worldly".



Whichever school of thought you subscribe to, remaining happy is a mammoth task. Whichever excuse you provide yourself as a reason for being happy, on a wider perspective of heart and truth, everything boils down as artificial. A peaceful mind and a contented heart constitute that elusive combination which every man craves for. Only the rarest of mankind actually achieve it.




Thursday, August 17, 2006

Living in Fools' Paradise

Here comes today's actual post. Its going to be rather long, but owing to negligible readership of my blogs, I feel I should continue with my typewriting skills without bothering much about your patience level. I regret if you have been forcefully directed here, but if you chose to, or came across this accidentally, its your luck. Recently I happened to read a TOI article about how a majority of bloggers revolve around the 'I, me, myself' syndrome in their posts rather than writing about general things. Without commenting much on it, I would just say that I am a die-hard democrat, and I usually go with the majority.

The City

Things have changed quite a lot since the previous post. I am in this Indian city called Bangalore which makes sure that every engineer being churned out of the Techy-machines throughout the country-span spends a part of his/her youth here. Managers use the term differently; for the layman called me, I would still say I am 'Bangalored' by IBM.



The city is small enough, end-to-end cross-drive wouldn't be of more than 25 Kms, and the excessive population (believe me, there are more engineers here compared to the number of street dogs) leaves the roads choked like North-Indian colony drains. Leaving aside the offices of MNCs in a few areas, there is nothing high-tech about the city as perceived by we poor North-Indians who just go by the usual media-manufactured oomph about Indian Silicon Valley. Here too, the traffic-policmen use hand signals when the RGY signals are out of order and leave you for a hundred bucks if you are caught flouting a traffic rule. The number of vehicles jamming the roads and consequently filling the air with as much fumes as the old engines can, betrays Bangalore's already waning claim of being a Garden City.

Once while sitting outside Riviera Food Court in my office premises in one of those rare times of partial solitude enjoying the weather (which happens to be the only great thing about this place), I had this thought of how this city is being plundered by people outside India who are bosses for the thousands of lesser-mortals working their brains-out in all these high rise buildings around me - IBM, Microsoft, Dell, Yahoo.... I am working (however little I may be) for this US client called AT & T, and similarly everyone around me for somebody or the other far across the border. They give it a beautiful name - "outsourcing", paying us in the range 15-20k. What are we supposed to do? Spend that in McDonalds' or Domino's or just in buying drinking water - a cash-back scheme of these multinationals because there is only a little fortune which you are actually spending on indigenous products or services. There was a hoarding near Koramangala signal which I read. A pretty girl saying - "Shouldn't the customer queues be reduced through automated processing?" and a caption below proudly announcing - "Hindustan Service Centre made it possible". It was about TESCO HSC. I have been in a TESCO store at Prague, they have truly unique sales ideas and they are proclaiming that many of these ideas are generated here in India. Then why aren't there any TESCO stores in India? We people are presumed to be cheap labourers. There seems to be a basic flaw somewhere amidst all this existing system, something which is the root cause of this "virtual bran-drain". Sometimes, it seems like that particular section of political activists is doing correct opposing entry of foreign firms, goods or services in the country, however criticised it is.

Professionalism, et al...

It feels good moving-in in your own rented flat, driving your own bike, sending your own money to your sister on Rakhi. It is nice being independent - yet is seems lonely out here. With only a small circle of friends in the city and a handful in office, life isn't the same it used to be. 'Professional life is going to be hard' is what seniors had told, and its only getting harder. There is a complete 'team' in office, but they are mere 'resources' - flesh and blood on skeletons, lifeless machines just working in shifts - cluck-tic-cluck-tic-cluck-tic... First of every month should apparently be the best time, when your salary is credited to your account. However, with it comes hell lot of responsibilities - pay flat rent, bike loan EMI, phone bills, this that... hell lot of everything about which I never used to bother about.

There were two experiences worth mentioning. First was when I visited a restaurant called T.G.I.F. on a senior's treat. The menu card with figures in the right column much more prominent than the alphabets on the left, people all around, drinking and enjoying; the place seemed to be mocking my status and my self. A question subconsciously settled in some corner of my mind - would I ever be able to visit this place with friends without bothering about my debit-card balance?

The second one was more thought-provoking. Sitting in this restaurant called "Firangi Paani" at The Forum, a deep thought stirred my mind. Here I am, sitting in the most exotic place I've ever seen - interiors decorated magnanimously with the "British" theme, people spending profusely to have a nice time. And there sits a beggar on the street just outside - spreading his hands infront of everybody; hunger and thirst being the only prominent enunciations of his mute eyes. I am a disbeliever of God, but is this what the master thought of? And the million-dollar question bounces back to me, unanswered since it first originated in my mind at school-level, what is it that I can do to reduce this disparity even by a minuscle.

Life

Finally justifying the title of this post towards the end. This office is a fool's paradise. The kind of work I am doing doesn't require a first class with distinction engineering qualification. Filling up data in forms and checking whether the form is responding correctly requires a sixth-grade child's effort. And yet, it is hectic and inherently boring. Anyway, I guess, its worthless bickering about all this.


Personally, I am dying to listen to some quality music. Without my comp, three-fourth of me is already dormant. Local FMs rarely diversify from regular Hindi-English concurrent worthless hip-hops to let me pacify a little with gazal, sufi, hindi classic or soft english numbers; can't even remember when I last played Madhushala. Reading is the next thing which has been marred by this job. Couldn't even finish one book since I have joined. Bangalore has one very good thing - pirated copies of excellent literature are available at every nook and corner at dirt cheap prices. I couldn't resist myself buying 5-6 titles till date but sadly am still stuck with the first one I started.

Good food is the next thing on the unavailable list.



For a person who never compromised on quality fooding, eating outside daily is a menace; that too when you are craving for a food of your choice. A subtle breakfast about a week ago at a friend's place (which she had cooked herself) seemed to be the only "food" I've had in Bangalore. I guess, I would soon start off with cooking on my own.

Loss of my cellphone has struck me at the worst place - I don't have my 350 people phonebook anymore. Remaining in contact with friends used to be my lifeline and it seems impossible to get back to everybody after this. Got a couple of good friends at office but the one with whom I used to hang around the most is leaving. It seems there won't be much charm left in office as well.

In all, life is giving me enough reasons to feel all fed-up. My own laughter seems to be artificial to me - as if I am making futile attempts to live by "looking" for reasons to be happy. I am still flowing as I used to, but its not as seamless as it was; it is all manufactured. Its not my pessimism speaking, its me; or probably I have already been engulfed by it. My creativity is being lost, my soul is becoming hollow, my "self" is dying. I badly need a rediscovery - of someone called "me".




I NEED A BREEEAAAAAAK!!! (July 1, 2006)

This was written around 50 days ago. I never got time (or rather, solace) to complete it or at least just post it. Finally today, I guess, its best to puke it on this page, rather than throwing it off...



Finally, I have joined IBM India Ltd. at Pune. And the effects are evident. Getting time (or rather taking out time) for blogging has come after more than an entire month. Life has been all messy since I have been at this place. Getting training so that you can effectively work at the end of the hierarchy chain in your company (in IT industry they call it Application Programmers analogous to what manufacturing industries call shop-floor labourers) requires motivation, dedication, innovation, passion and all blah-blah as spat out by MBAs hired by the company specifically for employee orientation purposes. In a matrix organisation like this, you work for two such blah-blah guys, one known as the Project Manager who would assign you the task called "project" (so that you don't get time to blog or live) and the other known as the People Manager who makes sure that you are always on a "high" - in their parlance, you are "motivated". The second guy has another important responsibility, to make sure that you do not try to jump to a higher level and keep on changing your position at the lowest chain itself - the action being called "expanding your skill-set" - so that the company can suck out enough from you before you decide to finally quit.



Many more things have been difficult. I am living at a friend's place and the travel time from here makes sure that I leave home at 7 in the morning and come back not before 10 in the night. The rains are incessant and a penniless pocket takes care that rather than thinking about a raincoat or something, I should first think about daily restaurant bills and travel costs and remain contended in being slightly drenched on a regular basis. The city as my friends say is "expensive" - I have experienced that only through market food and travel. I was looking for a flat to move in to ease-off my friend's burden (which, I guess, he prefers not to disclose in front of me) and as soon as I became ready to settle, they say that you are to be relocated to Bangalore. Due to "heavy business volumes", they require immediate deployment of "resources".


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Dilemma?

I always considered myself to be one of those "organised" guys around. Clear about life, goals and all those seemingly abstract terms one can encounter in self-help books. But then, life isn't so easy always.

What when it comes to the self? Something happened twelve days ago. And it's pestering me till date. I consoled myself - Not deciding something is a decision in itself. And one of my friends pointed out - Hah! That's what is known as "indecision"! On one end, there's something called heart, on the other, the thing called mind. The same age old contentious topic - love - seems to be coagulating my otherwise wonderfully going on life...

I guess there are only two ways to end this dichotomy. A few hours of perfect solitude - I am craving for which being at home; or some quality time with a wonderful friend - oh I suddenly miss ISM so much!




Tuesday, May 16, 2006

A "different" experience

"Life is a compromise between what you want to do, what your experience tells you to do, and what your inner self lets you do."




How does it feel to be rebuked by a girl? Bad... How about when you know the thing you are doing would lead to it and you still do it? Let's say - indifferent... I was in a situation, can't say that to be typical, but yes, different from all my past experiences.

Female brain works in myriad ways. In my circle, a discussion goes on many a times in which we unanimously agree on a few things which females just can't do : they can never be good at maths, they can never be good at driving, they can never understand logic! There are positive sides as well. As far as I consider, a female brain has larger areas allocated for emotions and love. Its interconnection with the heart is stronger than with other parts of the brain itself. In essence, it can teach you "life".

I have learnt many different aspects of life from my female friends. This experience was a similar one. Try doing something which makes a guy happy and he would say - "What's the matter with you?" Do that with girls and they would be in seventh heaven. In my case, it gives me a personal satisfaction when I can be the cause of somebody's happiness.

Can't write the details owing to the sanctity of this space, but it was a mixed experience : now I have got a person on this earth I would be ashamed to walk past. But I have also added to my friend list one more person in whose life I was able to add some happy moments. Compromise? I guess that's all I am about!


Sunday, May 14, 2006

Aankhon mein namee, hansi labon par...

It's all over. A degree called engineering, much vaunted about, but actually a pile of nonsense, is finally accomplished. The only part which was great about it was this place. Four years - the best days of my life; great friends - who made the life "best"; and our share of happiness residing together - it's impossible to mix up the ingredients again in whatever proportion and recreate the magic. Alas! Moments can only be cherished, they can never be replicated.



People have started leaving now. Each one to some strange unknown world as it seems. Doesn't matter whether or not they give me a destination address together with a contact number, it appears to be granted that they are "gone". I would be - as people say - "remain in contact", but technology can't bridge hearts - it can only try somehow mending the connection.

Today I bid farewell to the "first shipment" - Sanjiv and Thakur. Seemed like somebody snatched away a piece of my heart.

"Kambakht aankhen dagaa de gayee, warnaa dil to hamaaraa bhi mazboot tha..."

Couldn't stop tears. It sounds strange - as every other truth in this world - crying because a friend is leaving. At times, actions defy logic. Things just happen - viscerally, somberly - there is no explanation to it. All you have to show are emotions, nostalgia... and... "heart". Trying to laugh when I couldn't, trying to talk when I couldn't, it was even impossible to stare directly at their faces. I wonder how the guy called me became so weak.

I don't know what's still binding me with ISM. A part of my heart has no strength left to bid good-byes to more people; another part wants to devour the last moments - cherish every fraction of the seconds left at this place.




Sunday, April 23, 2006

Farewell

This is what I had quoted from Illusions (Richard Bach) in the farewell invitation I had prepared for the outgoing batch of 2005:


          Don’t be
         dismayed at good-byes.
   A farewell is necessary before
you can meet
       again.

                And meeting
              again, after moments or
                  lifetimes, is certain for
                  those who are
                friends.


It was easy to write at that time, it was difficult to face it “now” – the final nail in the coffin; stamping you officially out of this place which has been much more than just home for the four best years of your life. My odyssey at ISM had to come to an end – every good thing ends sooner or later – I would also be wrong in saying that I wasn’t prepared for it; yet, any amount of preparation always seems less when you actually confront it. The day comes, leaving you flabbergasted, shaking you from inside – wake up; you are about to be thrown into the mayhem outside, enough of the cocoon of hostel life – look how bitter and dirty the world outside can be.

The ceremony was great. Clad in my only black cotton trousers and a white shirt borrowed from a junior, festooned with a garland, drinking early and then dancing with the band they had arranged for, I thoroughly enjoyed the “informal” ragging and then the introductory sessions at Opal. I was overjoyed with the sudden downpour starting around midnight, exactly the time at which I was out for party-hopping – attending the two other farewell parties arranged in different hostels on the same day – giving myself a good excuse to drench when Chandra and Kundan accompanying me weren’t much interested in the idea. After this wonderful drenching-in-the-midnight-when-drunk experience, drank some more, danced some more, got everything above waist torn to tatters, ate a bit around 4:30 a.m. and then called off my day with a 5:30 a.m. RD session.

Its afternoon now. My muddy trousers are hanging in my room besides the torn shirt. The soaked up leather shoes haven’t dried yet. The socks are strewn on the floor. Everything says that yesterday night has ended. The mind knows its not going to come back. The adventure is up, the only reminiscences being the few pictures stored on my system. Yet a part of my heart wants to stay here “forever”.




Tuesday, April 18, 2006

PJs

After numerous senti blogs, getting back to my "natural" stuff. Inspired by the daily one hour postprandial PJ session at RD each night; taking liberty to assume myself to be one amongst the greatest PJ'ers;, here is what I can "manufacture" to be written immediately :

What is this?
a question mark...

What sucks the most?
tongue...

To "fall" in love (From an old movie): Chalo dildaar chalo, chaand ke paar chalo...
and I say moon's acceleration due to gravity is one-sixth of earth... you would "fall" with lesser velocity and it's better on earth...

You are sitting in a room with a pretty girl with no one in the house...
and you say : Kyaa aap mere saath coffee peene chalengi?

You tell a married girl that she is looking beautiful...
and you are making her April Fool...

It says : Shoot for the moon and you will atleast land up among the stars!
and I say : Why should I be disposed, I am not a nuclear waste!

A hotel room has glass doors... a couple is staying up in the night...
and you watch through the keyhole!

A dwarf wants to suicide...
and he jumps from the sidewalk on to the road...

You tell me to show a woman who can drive well...
and I show you a crooked No Parking board...



Saturday, April 15, 2006

Drenching in the rain





Rain rain where thou art
Bless the earth before it shatters apart

This unrepentant sun and this sultry sky
Gnawing my heart wherever I lie

My dry lips and my thirsty mind
And pains and agonies of all kind

My hands which could never learn to pray
And my heart which has only one thing to say

That its eternal hope sees that elusive light
That one speck among the existing plight

Move on where your dreams take you
Who says they don’t come true?

Treading forward on this thorny path
Whatever be the fury or the wrath

For, there awaits my dream, my soul
O rain! Drench me and make me ‘whole’.



Friday, April 14, 2006

Potpourri

Long time no blogging. Coming back after two months with a pessimistic note. What has been going on in my mind in the past few weeks is hinted by the following informations glanced upon here and there :

Two people in a small Himalayan village exhumed a dead body and then consumed it after cutting its head. They were "tantriks" who believed that consumption of a dead body would give them supernatural powers.

A woman delivered a baby in a lavatory bowl while answering to nature's call. The head of the baby was stuck in the hole of the bowl and by the time some fire brigade personnel broke the bowl and rushed the baby to the hospital, it was dead.

Around 50 people - whose charred bodies with a terrible stench were kept on ice slabs for claims - were engulfed in a fire which ran through three air-conditioned pandals of an exhibition in a city named Meerut.

In parts of Pakistan and Afghanistan, people have a callous carnival in which they cheer on attack dogs mauling at a defenselessly tethered bear in an arena for the bear baiting bloodsport. In parts of India, little bear cubs are blinded and neutered and then dragooned into dancing with thick ropes driven into their sensitive muzzles pierced with hot iron rods and other merciless multiple mutilations.

And finally, the protagonist Winston Smith of my present novel 1984 (George Orwell) is being tortured by electric shocks and blood thirsty rodents attacking on his face in the Ministry of Love of Oceania.

Bon Jovi's "Is it you and me or just this world we live in?" comes to my mind almost instantly. And then follows "Gonna take a miracle to save us this time"! Amidst all this potpourri of "strange" thoughts, I could reach to just one conclusion - the world is a dirty place and all our present actions are knowingly or unknowingly directed towards finding clean spots here itself, isn't it?



Saturday, February 11, 2006

Concept of God

William F. Buckley, Jr, founder of the National Review magazine says - "It is intellectually easier to credit a divine intelligence than to submit dumbly to felicitous congeries about nature."

Is that the reason why some people believe and some don't on the existence of a supreme power? For a few, it might qualify as a nice excuse to actually run away from the rhetoric counter-point used in such debates - "Hey, look at the stars and tell me how these arrangements could have existed without anything?" For any tangible object in this world, this camp would point to the inspiration towards its making rather than the creation itself. Beethoven's compositions, Leonardo's masterpieces... do all these exist because something else exists which inspired the physical being towards extraordinary works? I disagree.

I am not being solipsistic. There is much more beyond the self. But why should we move beyond the world? The scriptures state that the Reality is beyond the ken of the senses and the mind. Then why bother about it? There is enough one can do within the realm of 'senses and mind' and within this world itself. The problem starts when you try to define Reality. For some, it is God in a definite form or shape, for me, it is what we live in.

Chanting verses like the Gayatri Mantra and contemplating on the Absolute with meditations, wouldn't that have been a waste of time for Beethoven and Leonardo da Vinci? I am not a hard core nihilist. Religious rituals and practices are merely different means of one's share of solitude. But, exaggeragte that into a necessary and only path to achieve oneness with the Supreme, and you are moving away from yourself. You lost the very purpose of solitude.

This I believe : There is no need of a God for my present existence on this planet.



Thursday, February 09, 2006

Rang De Basanti




It says - A Generation Awakens... And it tries the best shot.

In this contemporary rendering of the legendary story of Bhagat Singh, director Rakeysh Omprakash Mehra passes on the message to the young generation brilliantly and almost effortlessly. In an unusual but highly effective format, the scenes shift from historical to contemporary settings flawlessly and it's easy to assimilate the smooth transitions. A.R. Rahman's music with Prasoon Joshi's lyrics create a magical effect.

With its great script, the movie keeps the audience spellbound. The imagination, however, becomes too much in the latter half of the movie when, in protest of Ajay's flight accident, the five young men shoot the defence minister and then broadcast their feelings on the radio.

The movie poses a problem - of the nation gnawed by politicians. But, leaves it at that without giving a solution. It fills the youth with enthusiasm, with aggression, with devotion, but stops at that. Swades, on the other hand, was more realistic with a direct message.

P.S. One particular line which I found more than impressive : "College de gate de is taraff, hum life ko nachaatte hain... to dujji taraf life humko nachaatti hai... dhim lak lak dhim dhim lak lak!!"




Sunday, February 05, 2006

Back again

It's been four whole months since I scribbled this space. I am personally convinced that this is my longest stretch of an open display of procrastination. Many events crossed by, many a times I actually got down to writing, but then...

Life has taken a U-turn I guess. CAT, XAT this that... all passed away, and now I am waiting for the 90 day countdown after which I'll be out of this place. New year passed without any resolutions or fanfare. Did nothing in the winter vacations as well; except yes, a few good books. Am feeling too lousy to write about them though.