Saturday, November 29, 2008
We saw a pretty nice Bong movie. "Aamra". Can't remember the last time I was so affected by a movie. After watching it, I wanted to ride out right now for her city, bang on her door, shake her really hard, and shout some logic into her. I know, I know, we all have our right to be stupid, but aint this taking things too far? But I wonder, how stupid do you have to be, to not see something that is so obvious!!! I mean, can't she see that "we" are meant to be together? What does it take to show her this?
I am not sure. Am not sure of anything, right about now... All I know is, there are a million reasons why we can't work out! GB tells me, that I wasn't really into her, but I was in love with myself. Madhu tells me, that what works in childhood, doesn't work at my age no more, and hence there is no future for us. VG pretty much thinks that she is the Devil in Disguise (and not a very thin disguise, for that matter). She herself thinks that even the idea of "us" is as preposterous as it gets.
And yet, everytime I convince myself to get over her, my heart comes back the full circle. In pretty much every woman that I see, I try to find her. In every moment that presents itself, I try to mould it to something that has her in it. In every dream I dream, she is the center of my world.
I know this makes no sense. It makes no sense at all. And yet, my heart doesn't want to accept the truth. I cannot think of a future, without her. I cannot think of a life, in which she isn't an integral part of. Am I being foolish? Am I being stupid? I don't know. I don't care. All I know is, that I am not going to be making the same mistakes of my past, again. I won't. I can't.
Monday, November 10, 2008
The person that came across, judging by the thoughts portrayed, was not someone very nice. Or pleasant. Albeit, lonely. But mean. I wondered, if this is what I had set out to be. If this is the person, on whom all those teachers at AG, Madhu Pintu at home, family and few friends, had believed in. If this is the person, that Rohitesh himself, believed in. I wondered.
I am not sure, how long this round of blues, will last. But I think, at some deeper level, inside of me, I am ready to turn my life around. The best thing about being in the dumps, is the realization, that if you live to tell the tale, the worst is over. When you hit rock bottom, there is only one way to go. And that is, UP.
I guess, this could be the right time, to start some of the things that I have been neglecting, lately. A good way, to keep my mind off all the trash.
1. Attending SKID, daily
2. Cycling to work, daily
3. Prayers, daily
4. Long walks in the park, thrice a week
Yeah. I feel better already. This ship might be damaged, but it is not beyond salvage. I guess, its time to turn it around.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
Today was turning out to be an ordinary day. Dead, dull, boring. As I walked down to the toilet, there was nothing to even bring a smile on my face. Monotonous life. Through which I wade in and out everyday like a zombie. Flashing fake smiles, asking fake questions, showing fake concern, at fake people. This was how I found myself, standing next to this very plain, non-descriptive guy, in one of the stalls.
Now, from my millions of seconds worth of experience, relieving myself in public toilets, I have concluded, that men have a tendency to do either of these two things, while answering to the call of nature. And they do so, with an alarmingly high probability.
(a) lean forward and spit on the stream of jet gushing out (is there a connection between our urinary and salivary glands, or what),
(b) scrunch up all their abdomen muscles, to squeeze out that last remaining drop of toxic water, out of their bodies.
Although both are equally repulsive, what tilts the scale in favour of the latter, is the problem with applying the squeeze in the right Direction. Get it wrong, and you end up in a slightly embarrassing scenario, of having to explain, why you are being so rude, so as to cause a serious emission problem, for people around you!
And that's exactly what happened to this guy, today. I was humming a Scorpions number, staring at this spider on the wall, thinking of happier times, creating false memories. And this guy, standing right next to me, in one of the stalls, suddenly ends up parting wind! For a second, there was silence. I thought I could feel this guy's embarrassment loom like a cloud over us (no pun intended)! The awkward silence was palpable. I stopped my humming. And then slowly turned to look at him.
An average Joe, having an average day, which just got a million times worse! Staring straight down, to avoid any kind of eye contact. Wishing like hell, that he could just disappear in thin air! And at this point, RD swooped down on his misery!
Gave him one of my pet, Koi Baat Nahin, Hota Hai, smiles. Told him, not to worry. We all have our bad days. Even made up a story, about how the same had happened to me once, and I got away with it, by excusing myself in front of those present, for a Slip Of Tongue!
By this time, he was pretty relieved. Was smiling, even. One of those hapless smiles, that I have seen countless times before. Poor fellow, didn't have much of a choice, but to nod on, and grin in agreement. So, I mused philosophically (for his benefit, the musing was done aloud), that life is nothing but a string of embarrassing incidents. And how we must, move on. Never stop, but keep on moving. He mumbled something, about how true it was.
Before walking away, patted his shoulder in a comradely fashion. Slight nodding of the head. Hint of a smile (actually, more like a well disguised smirk)! And turned to leave. I made sure that there was no way he could chase me (unless he wanted to run around with his fly undone), and as a parting shot, quipped that if he had to torment his fellow susu'waalahs, the least he could do, was watch what he eats! And ran the hell out of there, laughing my guts out!
Unfortunately, strategy forbade me to look back, and see the expression on his face!
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Damn, I am pissed! Wanna go spitting venom!
So, Bozo pings last night (the other names that come to mind for him, are too obscene). I was working, I was sleep deprived, I was not in the best of moods, and lets admit it. Bozo aint really one of my best friends. Not even by a long shot. But inspite of this bad chemistry, I do the needful. I feign enthusiasm. I ask the usual questions. The expected, non funny jokes. The whole works, you know. Expecting the conversation to peter out, for lack of things to say.
And then, right out of the blue, Bozo drops one of his trademark bombs. One, he knew, would make me flinch! He asked me about, The Book!
Men express their love for women, in various ways. Some do it with flowers, some with gold and diamonds, some with songs, and some with letters. I did mine, with a short story. Well, that's me after all. A small note was too small, and the whole I need to be heard and understood thing, was running too high. So, I ended up writing a 40 some page long story, to tell her, how I felt about her.
Ofcourse, today when you look back at a lot of things you did in your past, they seem incredibly dumb and silly and stupid. But back then, they were probably the right things to do. And even today, if I could turn back time, and do the whole thing again, I think I won't change it a bit. I'll do it all, just the way I did it, the first time round. And because, whatever I wrote in those pages, was something I really felt, I am not even embarrassed of it. But, it was very, very Personal!
Yes, I might laugh about it. Yes, I might write a blog post with all the ugly details. And yes, I might even dedicate an entire chapter of my autobiography to it. But that doesn't mean, that I will let someone like Bozo ask me about it, dig in for some juicy details! I could so visualize that smirk on his face, the irritating slight nodding of his head, that retarded, lopsided grin, suggesting that its only fair that I give him the details, because he wasn't stingy with his, when his flirtations with Cupid fell flat on its face!
Wait a second, right there! What is going on? Have we gone back to the days of our childhood? The whole, I shared my toffee with you, so now you must share yours with me? Go get a life, Dude. Didn't you know, RD always cheated in those games, as a kid. And this was not acceptable. Not with Bozo. No Sir. Not At All. Some things are just not acceptable.
For all those years, that I had to bear with Bozo, I did it, in the stoic manner, a Bong in Calcutta bears with the heat, the sweat, the pollution, the crowds, the roaches, the flies. What cannot be cured, must be endured. Though, my contempt, my disgust for him, would often surface, I think, given the circumstances, I did a decent job.
But that was out of compulsion. When you live in a tightly knit community of college kids living just outside, its not wise to be too overtly discretionary about your choice of friends. But the same doesn't apply now. I don't have to take that shit anymore. If I don't quite like hanging out with someone, I don't I need to force myself to do it. If I find someone obnoxious, I don't think I should be polite and nice, just to be social.
Anyways, this incident raised a number of more serious questions. The answers to which, can only be found, on further introspection. Will have to wait for another post.
.H called on Wednesday. In a quiet voice, he told me, that Geetu had died. Monday. Hung herself.
And just like that, all of a sudden, Geetika walked out of all our lives. Just like that. No teary eyed good byes. No hollow promises of keeping in touch. No gradual acceptance of an uncertain future. She moved out. Just like that.
There are a million thoughts, running all around, crazy, in my head. To even try and write them down, would be insane. I wouldn't even try. But more than anything else, they will be a disservice to one of the most cheerful and brave persons I have ever come across. How else does one explain her child like excitement when we carried her, (Yes, literally carried her) inside, whenever all of us would go out for dinner! Or, her clicking away to glory, when she was totally covered in bandages with alot of irreparably broken bones!
Brave. Cheerful. Enthusiastic. Fuck-The-World-And-We-Shall-Rule. Creative. Dreamer. Yes, Geetika. These, and much more, are what we will remember you by.
I am glad that I got to spend some time with you. And I cherish those moments. My only regret will be, that I could not be next to you, when you needed a friend. And no matter how hard I try, I cannot change that. But I do hope, that the day we meet again, I will make up for it. I swear, I will.
And though we wish you goodbye, you will remain in our hearts, forever. May you find the peace, you sought all along, my friend. Goodbye Geetika.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Of alot of things that we spoke of, what really got me thinking, was the discussion that we had, on the fatalistic attitude of people. How, some of us really ended up celebrating the pain, the melancholy in our lives! It was true, I admit. And yet, it was sad. It was my second evening there, and like the first, I was vividly visualizing her, through tightly shut eyes, while we were all singing along, to AD's words on Love won and lost and its memories, while Rommel strummed his guitar. And though, the memories hurt, really hurt, I didn't wanna stop. Just didn't wanna stop.
There was solace. There was relief. There was a sense of solidarity in the realization of shared pain. There was a temporary haven, away, far far away from the constant pain inside. There was a gentle warmth, a comforting cocoon, in the company of people from a past not so long ago. A shield from the cold loneliness inside. And there was the faint taste of wild, wild hope. To sweeten the bitterness of reality.
P.S. Got a really good collection of AD songs from Rommel. Next post on the lyrics of a song that really got me.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
My computer's broken, so can't work, can't play, can't LIVE.
My bike's broken, so gotta resort to cycling to work and back.
My cycle's broken, so gotta walk/hitch a ride to work and back.
My peace and calm at home's broken, so I feel miserable, even at home.
My work life's broken, so the best I can do is to bear with it.
My personal life's broken, so there is no peace within.
My finances are broken, so there is no refuge in gormandizing.
My sleep's broken, so I can't run away to my fantasy world.
Pretty much everything I can think of, is broken in my life, as of now. Pretty much everything.
But I guess one of the things that isn't broken, yet, is my Will. My will to wear fate out, and force her to my terms. What isn't broken, is my Dream. My dream to be the man I want to be, to do the things I want to do. What hasn't given in yet, is my Faith. My faith, in the ability of the man in the mirror, to bounce back from the lowest lows, in the worst of the times.
But I wonder, how much longer, will they stand...
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Aajker raate tumi onner hobe,
Bhaabtei jole chokh bhije jaaye.
Eto koshto keno bhalobashai, eto koshto keno bhalobashai...
Tonight you will become someone else's,
And even thinking about this brings tears to my eyes.
Why is there so much of pain in love, why is there so much of pain in love...
Can't explain it, but since then, I can feel this little dark, gloomy corner in my heart. I wonder, how painful it must be, to so helplessly love someone, that you just can't stop. And yet, never ever have it in your destiny, to be with her.
Come to think of it, I guess I know how that feels. A long time back, rushed all the way back from Kolkata to Bangalore, just because the woman I wanted to be with, but was giving advice instead on being with another on New Year's Eve under the mistletoe, was starting to take my advice seriously! (Yeah, I know, I am messed up all right). I remember feeling anxious, helpless, disgusted with myself for being such a coward. But above all, I remember feeling very, very scared.
Sunday, September 28, 2008
The internet connection at home decided to play hide and seek on Saturday, and neither did I have a decent book to keep me distracted, nor a friend to hang out with. So, I got down to tidying up my computer. Moving music and movies around, renaming them, deleting obsolete files, in other words, fussing over details that I had stopped worrying about, as soon as I passed ICSE! And ever since, I have been stuck in this time warp.
Memories, unmade conversations, unshared jokes. A deluge of them. And after a long, long time, a complete absence of unpleasant and sad thoughts. Even I was left wondering.
Tony and RD, writing silly stupid programs in BASIC. Dreaming of becoming the long haired, pizza chomping, beer guzzling, torn-jeans wearing Yahoo employees!
Listening to Eminem at full blast, screaming out his lyrics, hours before each of my board exams.
Curled up in my musty, cobweb shrouded, damp ridden room, next to the window, with the warm, comforting smell of two hundred books emanating from my almirah, reading anything that I could lay my hands on.
The first of many, surprise visits of Madhu and Pintu, while I was enduring the Single Worst year of my life, first year in college.
Hanging out on T's terrace, sipping tea, wondering at her crazy graphology interest, and chatting away our We-Got-Dumped blues.
The wild, wild exploration of dazzling, glittering Laarh Bazar in Hyderabad, with V.
The unending pastry binges with G, while dreaming about a better future, and bitching about the miserable present, simultaneously.
Star gazing with R, atop the Water Tank, at 3 in the morning, taking comfort in each others insecurities and fears.
These and so much, much more. After a long time, a strong yearning, to relive those moments again. To run them on slow-mo this time round, so I could literally feel them, let them caress my mind and soul, on their way out. To be an outsider, watching a happy scene of a play.
Its been three days since I started this post. And in typical RD fashion, my mood's swung between the extremes. Started off as over-the-top happy, and by last night, I was choking on the pain, the void, the misery of being all alone. Lying on my bed, staring up at the street lamp patterns on the fan, had this crazy, sudden feeling, to just throw up. Throw up on all this pain, this loneliness, this suffocation. I want to hold my head in my hands, and cry. Let the tears blur away the harsh reality of it all, and leave a clean beginning to start all over again.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
The place I work for, organized a story writing competition. Its been years since I last participated in one of these. School was the last time. Was too disenchanted with everything, back in college to even find out, if they did stuff like this.
Anyways, thought I'd post my entry here. Not really proud of it though. Think its too disjointed. But posting it here, for your comments, nonetheless. And if your wondering, where the Colonial theme came from, well, inspiration is courtesy, John Master's : Nightrunners of Bengal. ;)
There was a 500 word limit to the story, and I deliberately underlined the lines which connected the pictures. Didn't wanna take any risks, what with my weird writing style! ;(
The smell of wet earth wafted up my nostrils. Though the rain had stopped only a while back, the signs of rejuvenated life in all its glory were already peeping out from the crevices in the soil. The green sprouting grass, the gay flowers, the croaking toads, the hopping sparrows. And in the middle of it all, My Perfect Little World.
Father was mostly away, while I was growing up. Company business. And Mother was busy fussing over her tea parties. And so, my childhood was spent with my two Hindoostani friends. The ayah, Kamla, and the maali, Rambahadur.
Chasing butterflies in our manicured lawn, my golden mane flying in the sweet breeze off the Hoogly, my two brown friends, shouting words of encouragement to their little Gori Memsaab, were like the drops of pure bliss in my otherwise melancholy life.
But as the years flew on by, so did my friends from childhood. Growing up in colonial India, wasn’t the most adventurous of things to do. And the Victorian society wasn’t very liberating either. I was suffocated, I was craving for a breath of fresh air. I was almost dying for it, when Sherman walked into my life.
He was everything I wanted, and more. A charming, spirited young man, who opened up my eyes to the world. We would stroll in the gardens, debating love and philosophy under the clear blue skies, or sit in wonderment of nature aboard the Company Ferry, over the calm Hoogly. But it wasn’t meant to be. Before long, Sherman’s marching orders arrived, and he never came back.
The years withered away, after that. A loveless marriage, an ordinary and predictable life, and finally old age. The only respite from it all, was an adorable daughter, late into the marriage, who kept me alive through the worst of the lows. My Little Blue Robin.
And now, as I lie on my death bed, with life slowly closing its door on me, my eyes frantically search for her. The little girl, has long since grown up to be a fine young lady, living in a far off land, with her own prince charming. But in my eyes, she will forever be my little girl.
As my breathing becomes more laboured, the darkness closes in tighter. I am desperately looking for my little girl. As I am about to give up on the last shreds of hope, I finally see her. Peeping in through a slat on the door. Smiling, mischievous. The darkness all around her, but never encompassing her. Her eyes twinkling, almost inviting. And I breathe in my last. Happy. Finally, Free.
Monday, July 07, 2008
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Saturday, July 05, 2008
God : Arrey Dada, meeting you after 2 years, what? (laughing)
RD : Yes Sir, absolutely. (touching his feet) How have you been?
God : Forget about me, is it the same thing bothering you again, like the last time we met?
RD : (Astonished) Errrr, no, not exactly. Shall we have some coffee?
R : So, you must be wondering, how ungrateful of RD, to come bothering you, after being invisible for 2 odd years?
G : No.
R : No? (hint of amusement)
G : Arrey, I am a simple man, I don't complicate my life by over analyzing things that shouldn't be over analyzed.
R : But still?
G : No. You don't believe me, do you? Well, actually, I guessed what was bothering you.
R : No. No. Its nothing like that. Just a coupla things together, unpleasant things, things that I am not particularly good at handling. A little overwhelmed. That's all. Just wanted to talk to you. You know, how I have always loved being around you and the Dr.
G : (laughs) Yes. I know. But its ok, you take your time. I have the whole evening free. Want to take a stroll?
R : (Staring for a moment) Sure. I would love to.
R : Can I ask you a personal question? You know, you don't really have to answer or something, if you don't want to. Really. Ummm, I wouldn't have asked you, and you know I wouldn't have, but...
G : (laughing) Dada, you haven't changed much.
R : No. I guess not. But I wish I had.
G : (patting my arm) Go on, ask. But I think, I know where this is going.
R : You do?
G : You want to ask me about how I handled my *******?
R : (smiling) I shouldn't have tried. You know me too well.
G : (laughs) Well, nothing like that. I was just trained for a lot of things, as a child.
R : Well, as in, how you handled it emotionally?
G : Lets go sit on that park bench. I hope you don't mind sitting on a park bench, in the evening, with a middle aged man, huh? (smiling)
R : For a chance to chat with you? I wouldn't mind wearing pink negligee and pole dancing, in the park!
G : (Laughing uncontrollably)
G : Do you watch Republic Day, or Independence Day parades?
R : I used to, me and my dad. But not lately.
G : You should.
R : (looking up at the sky, kids playing around) Its so peaceful here. I can almost forget my worries.
G : You can do that, even in the middle of chaos. You don't need a park, and children playing around you.
R : No. I can't. Some of the stuff I can't. Anyways, why were you talking about the parades?
G : Have you seen them release doves on that day?
R : Not actually. But I know what you are talking about. I know they do it. Supposed to signify freedom, liberty and all.
G : There's something for you to learn from that.
R : What exactly?
G : Learn to Let Go, Dada. Learn to let things go.
R : (staring at my toes)
G : You know, if you accept that everything around you is illusory, it won't be so difficult.
R : Then I might as well sit at home, and watch the grass grow na? Everything's illusory anyways.
G : (laughing) Won't that be nice? But I think you should do just that, if you can do it.
R : What do you mean, if you can do it?
G : My bet is, you won't be able to sit, and do nothing.
R : Ok. You win. Your point being?
G : Nothing. I am just stating some random facts to you (staring up at the sky, smiling)
R : Damn! Its gonna start raining now. I think we should get some shade.
G : Yes. We should (getting up)
R : No wait. Wait. Wait. This rain is illusory, I am not really getting drenched, am I? Its all an illusion, right? Lets sit here, and enjoy the sunrise over the Himalayas. Let me change the illusion a little.
G : (laughing hard) Dada, you still have a strong reaction to denial. Come on, lets get some shade (pulling my arm)
G : It takes a lot of courage to let go.
R : You gotta be joking. It takes courage to hang on, inspite of the odds. To believe that things will be alright, somehow, even when no one else thinks so. Not the other way round.
G : No. Your wrong. It takes courage, to really, sincerely believe that things will be ok, even after the worst low, and you don't need to hold on to fantasies to survive. It takes courage to face the truth. It takes courage to accept that something that is gone, is really gone. Gone for good. It takes courage to accept all this, and still move on.
R : Well, you do have a point, but I don't agree with you.
G : (laughing) But Dada, am not asking you to agree with me. Only asking you to believe me.
G : If it was meant to be, it would have worked out, whether you'd tried or not. But if it isn't meant to be, no matter what you do, it wouldn't work out. The only thing you can then do, is move on.
R : You sound like Akshaye Khanna from DCH (smiling)
G : Really? That's a compliment.
R : But you know, its much easier said than done.
G : Well, its as easy as you want it to be. Try it.
G : Have you ever wondered why I am so attached to all the girls, among my students?
R : (smiling) I think I once told you, that it is one thing we both have in common. Remember, I had dedicated a song to you? Elvis Presley - Girl Happy.
G : (laughing loudly) My God, no. You wanna know the real reason?
R : Yes. Sure.
G : (after a couple of moments of silence) Because they remind me of my sister.
R : Oh! Sorry, that was just a joke. How come you never mentioned your sister before?
G : Because she is dead. (continues)
R : My God! I am so sorry. I am so, so, sorry. Sorry. Really Sorry. (stuttering) I mean, I really shouldn't have. Am sorry (holding his shoulder, ashamed of myself)
G : Arrey Dada, relax. Its ok. Not your fault. And I am not bothered, talking about her. I have no bitterness. No grief. What happened was destined to be. I have accepted that. Never let adversity get the better of you. Infact, you should use it, to help you become a better man, a stronger man. Not bitter and complaining. But stronger and forgiving.
R : (no words)
G : If I can overcome something that big, don't you think your problems are trivial in comparision?
R : (whisper) Yes.
G : Stop complicating your life. It is simple. Keep it that way. Its better.
R : And I suppose you will tell me to become a Yogi?
G : Good God No. Why would I?
R : I don't know. All that stuff about letting go and all, doesn't sound like ordinary stuff.
G : Are you telling me you can't do something?
R : No, I am Not. I am only telling you, I don't wanna do something I don't believe in.
G : You don't believe it, or you don't want to believe it?
R : I don't believe it.
G : I think you are just making excuses, because you don't have the courage to do it.
R : You know, when I was a kid, my folks taught me well enough, not to fall for silly challenges. I am not falling for that. Not that stupid, you know.
G : (laughing) If you had been that stupid, I wouldn't have wasted so much time explaining things to you. Would have simply ordered you.
R : I am RD. I can't blindly follow what someone else tells me to. Not even, if its my God.
G : I don't expect you to. You have a strong spirit.
R : (laughing) I wish you had used the word Attitude instead. Spirit sounds like something you'd use for a wild mustang!
G : (laughing) Shouldn't that be a compliment?
R : Maybe.
R : A friend of mine and I are organizing a lunch at my school. Why don't you and the Dr. come over? It will be nice. My kids could do with an idol.
G : Sure. You just let me know when and where.
R : I will. And Thank you so very much for talking to me. I feel better.
G : You do? I thought we didn't agree on anything.
R : If we had, I would have been surprised (smiling)
G : (laughing) Ok. I hope the next time I meet you, you will be in a better state of mind.
R : (smiling) Me too.
G : Dada! (shouting over the traffic, from the other side of the narrow road)
R : Just a moment, Sir (crossing the road, like a maniac)
G : Crossing the road like that, you just proved you are from Kolkata! (smiling)
R : Habbits of a misspent youth, I guess. (smiling)
G : Just wanted to tell you, remember this day and place. Someday, you will be standing right here, and telling me how stupid you were to worry about something so trivial. And we will both have a good laugh then.
R : (laughing uncontrollably) I already feel better and smarter!
Monday, June 30, 2008
Did he spit in the urinal while pissing?
Or sigh audibly, and invoke a God, while leaning forward, resting his head against the tiles, gazing down and playing a sort of billiards with the naphthalene balls in the bowl with his jet of urine as the cue?
The best part of this was, I have actually seen people do both of this! ;) Those of you who have read the very first post of this blog, might remember that it was about my observations, at the men's room. And I can vouch, that people actually do this stuff! ;)
It was like 0245 hrs, on a weekday. I was just about ready to drop dead on my bed, when S pings me. He wants a Hindi song, translated! Am like, WHAT! Its 3 in the bloody morning, and you want a bloody song, to be bloody translated? Can't this wait till bloody morning?
But it turned out, that the lady who S had given his heart away to (without the damsel really being interested in it) had dedicated this song to him, and it was imperative that he know what she wanted to tell him, before he could sleep peacefully! And so, it had to be right then.
Grudgingly, I asked him to forward the song to me. I should have smelt a rat, when I saw the file had no name, just an undecipherable number. But assuming the lady in question, to be one of the family of vulpes vulpes, I hit the download button. And after 3 odd minutes of sleep induced impatience, finally had the song enqueued on WinAmp. What I heard, for the next coupla minutes, had me rolling on the floor! And I am not bullshitting you. I was actually on the floor, rolling, laughing uncontrollably.
I reproduce the first coupla lines here, without any translation. If you can't read Hindi in an English script and understand it, too bad for you. (Note : This was playing, with the background score of a typical T-Series bhakti song)
Na Baans Ki Bansi, Na Sone Ka Sariya, Bas Gaand Mein Danda, Gaand Mein Danda!
P.S. I don't think I need to tell you, what was S's reaction, after I translated that for him! ;)
Phew! Not even the Mad, Mad Hatter could get it so wrong. But then again, RD is a world apart. A genius, if you will. And this is how, I got down to watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding.
A nice, sweet, funny romantic comedy. Thoroughly enjoyable. I think there's something magical about the whole Cinderella story, for us Low Self Esteemed folks. Its like a beacon in the dark, unfriendly, loneliness of this world. A haven, where you can safely hide, and indulge in your fantasies. Tell yourself, again and again and again, that you are not a loser. Your just a Slow Starter. And maybe, maybe, if you are lucky, you'll start to believe it yourself!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
So, it all started when Ms. Na(Iyer) and The N, let me know, that they thought I was a very Emotional kinda guy! I was like, What??? I wouldn't mind an Ass. I wouldn't mind a Jerk. I wouldn't even mind a Loser. Those can all be repackaged as something of a compliment, in a sense that the Complimentor wouldn't even have intended. But think about it. An Emotional Guy? Jeez! I can't think of even a single comback from that!
And so, I decided to go about proving to these two silly women, that RD is NOT an Emotional Person. Don't ask me why it hit so hard, but it did. So I stopped wishing good morning to all and sundry that I meet from 8 in the morning, to well past noon. I substituted a smirk for my smile. The usually flippant compliments that I usually dish out in plenty, were shelved in the back burner. To sum it up, I tried to imitate the more conventional, the more acceptable (though prejudiced) behaviour of the people of my sex.
Now before you go off wondering if I am seriously as loony as I sound, hold on. This was just a joke for me. Been in an emotional roller coaster for a while, and well, nothing better than some role playing, to get the good, ol' RD, back up and about.
But the funny part was, it didn't work. No. No. Let me rephrase that. It couldn't have worked. I had probably got it all mixed up in my head (and why doesn't that surprise me no more?) I wasn't really trying to get rid of the Emotional tag. No. Don't think so. I was trying to get rid of the implications that are brought on, by that word. Yes. That sounds closer to the truth.
You see, in my mind, I have word associations. Some words are good, and some words are bad. And what is the logic behind this classification, you ask me? None. Absolutely None. Nada. Zilch. The classifications are derived from my subconscious. No logic. No sense. Just impulse. And in my mind, Emotional is the same as Weak. And that is classified Bad.
So, there I was, trying to prove to myself that I was a Strong, Angry Young Man (what was I thinking, Amitabh Bachhan???), with not a care in the world. But the irony of it all was, that I was the opposite, the perfect anti Hero, of the guy I was trying to be! I am RD. Which means, that by definition, I am none of those cool things. I am weak, I am old, I can't take nothing seriously, I laugh hysterically when I am under stress, I am the funny guy you love to hang out with when your down and low and then move on when you feel better. I am all these things and more. And somewhere deep down inside, I think I have been running away from it, for quite a while now.
Was thinking about these things, for a major part of Sunday. Spent a lot of time, in that quasi sleepy mode, when you are half aware of everything around you, but not completely. Nice, dreamy, slow state of mind. That's when a lot of stuff goes through my head, and I try and think things through. Didn't help much, but I felt a little better about being me. I still harbour the same insecurities, the same prejudices, the same flawed outlook on life. But in a weird way, it doesn't feel so bad no more!
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
It was with considerable annoyance, that Manish once complained to me, that the primary source of concern for our society was the drastic way in which we have radically changed the criteria for our idols. The learned, the wise, are passe. The savvy, the uber cool are in. And the scariest part of it all, is the fact that the parents, the ever vigilante, the supreme resistors of change in any society, have failed to even notice this slow but complete change in our minds, our attitudes.
So, I didn't find it very surprising, when one day, (and I must admit here that Wonder Boys did have more than a passing influence on my decision) I decided to try and stay with a teacher of mine, and didn't get very agreeable responses from some of the people who I care for, whose support, at times of distress, I rely on. However, it was amusing.
Amusing in a way that I could not even comprehend. While no one really had a strong reason as to why I shouldn't, everyone seemed to be certain, that it wasn't a good idea. When pressed, I got replies that bordered on absurdity. And though I found the whole deal to be vaguely reminiscent of unfound biases and prejudices that people usually harbour, and hence, not to be given much of a second thought to, I couldn't help feeling amused. Feeling very amused.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Now, what convinced me that something wasn't the way it should be, were :
(a) Eating only one square meal a day and not feeling hungry. And though I am known to skip meals often, this is unheard of, even by RD Standards. Only breakfast. And not even feeling it. Not like me. Not like me at all.
(c) No Working. I usually put in a solid coupla hours at work, after I get home. Just keeps me going. The mind numbing Bozocity that I have to bear throughout the day, saps me of my enthusiasm and energy, and I have to rely on my working at home, to rejuvenate myself. And yes, you've guessed it. Haven't been working at all, lately.
(d) Sleeping Early. I did all my sleeping that I could possibly need for a good whole lifetime, in my first, miserable year at college. I had no computer, I had no family, I had no friends. My only refuge then, was sleeping, and sleep I did. Like a drunk. But ever since I got out of there, I don't sleep much. Or atleast, not to the same extent as I used to, for that one year. But day before yesterday, I slept almost 12 hours, at a stretch, and I regularly doze off, in the afternoon as well.
What amuses me is, the fact that I am aware of this all, and yet, I just don't feel like doing anything about it. Absolutely nothing. I know that all I gotta do is just start doing things from my regular routine, force the mind to listen to the will, and it will all be good and fine, before long. But I couldn't.
The other day, woke up really early in the morning, while REM was singing Losing My Religion, and tried very hard to think things through, sort things out. But nothing materialized. I couldn't even get my mind to concentrate. Kept getting distracted. Finally, irritated, I gave up, and went back to sleep.
The whole idea of writing it all down, was to take another shot at it. Maybe, now I will feel humiliated to get things back on track. Maybe, I will feel the need to prove that I am in Control of my life, and get back to being me. Or maybe, it was all a waste of time. Just another outlet for the egotistical, emotionally dependent scumbag me. I don't know.
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Have been listening to this song for like a million times since morning. Just can't get it out of my system. With reason? I don't know. Some food for thought, before I go to bed. Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow, and everything will be magically taken care of!
Tired of sittin' and hatin' and makin' these excuses,
For why you're not around, and feeling so useless,
It seems one thing has been true all along,
You don't really know what you've got 'til it's gone,
Sunday, April 20, 2008
I am not a Rock Pundit, by even a far shot. I only appreciate music, that I like. And I usually, don't like Psychedelia. However, this was the first time, when I could completely relate to the concept of Hallucinatory Rock, that is often associated with the music of the legendary Pink Floyd. While singing along, I had this crazy feeling, that I was drifting along among the clouds, swimming in a vast expanse of void, looking up at the sky, seeing her house, drifting along some more... And all this, without a single drop of alcohol, or a whiff of grass! I was hallucinating all the way to kingdom come, and Loving each and every moment of the ride!
I reproduce the lyrics here, alongwith my translation. Nor are the lyrics completely accurate, nor the translation. But it don't matter to me. This is the way I sing it, so...
Mohiner Ghoraguli - Akaashe Chhoraano Megher Kachha Kachhi
Aakashe Chhoraano, Megher Kaachha Kachhi
Dekha Jaaye Tomader Baari
Chhile Kottha'i Bosha Baadaami Beral Bone Shoonne Maaya Jaal,
Chaayi Ronge Pencha Shei Chokh Teepe Boshe Aachhe Koto Na Bochhor Kal
Kaalo Dorjaa Khule, Baire Tumi Ele
Baaganer Gaachhe Haanshi Chhoraabe Boono Phoole
Shei Baarir Nei Thhikhaana,
Shudhu Ojaana Lal Surkir Poth Shunne Dai Paari
Paakaano Shinrir Pothe Shekhaane Nebe Aashe Chaander Aalo
Kauke Cheno Na Tumi Tomake Chene Na Keu, Shei To Bhaalo
Tumi Gaan Geye, Ghure Phire,
Tomaar Elo Chool Oi Baatashe, Shudhu Orre
Shei Baarir Nei Thhikhaana,
Shudhu Ojaana Lal Surkir Poth Shunne Dai Paari
Akaashe Chhoraano, Megher Kaachha Kachhi
Dekha Jaaye Tomader Baari
Among The Clouds Scattered In The Sky,
I Can See Your House
The Fawn Coloured Cat In The Attic, Weaves A Web Of Illusions In The Void,
The Gray Owl Has Been Sitting With Its Eyes Closed For Years Now
Finally, You Come Out Of The Black Coloured Door,
To Spread Some Laughter And Joy Among The Wild Flowers Of The Garden
But That House Has No Address,
Just An Unknown Dusty Path, Caked In Red Dust, Running Off Into The Void
The Moonlight Comes Down To The Base Of The Winding Stair Case,
You Are A Stranger To This Strange, Strange World
You Walk Around The Garden, Singing
Your Wavy Open Hair, Flies In The Soft Breeze
But That House Has No Address,
Just An Unknown Dusty Path, Caked In Red Dust, Running Off Into The Void
Among The Clouds Scattered In The Sky,
I Can See Your House...
Friday, April 18, 2008
Inspired by the movie, I decided to make my own bucket list. I have stuck it as a Post It on my homepage (iGoogle), and thought about making it public here as well. At the end of my life, whenever that might be, I would atleast have some sort of a yardstick, to measure the futility of it all, I guess... ;)
1. Have a pet dog,
2. Own a Porsche,
3. Go to the Andamans,
4. Have a villa in Pondicherry,
5. Get a tattoo,
6. Grow long hair,
7. Send Madhu Pintu on a World Cruise,
8. Kiss the girl who brings a smile to my face,
9. Go sky diving,
10. Own a Bose Sound System,
11. Swim with the dolphins
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Standing in the bathroom, with a bucket full of cold water. And before we proceed, let me repeat, this is Bangalore, and I am a Bengali! By Genetic DEFINITION, I feel chilled, at the slightest hint of a drop in mercury. And this here, is no exception. But I am one of those crazy maniacs, who tries to get his cheap thrills, as and when he can. So, I move on.
Take a mug of that water. Hold it high against my forehead. The light shimmers off the surface. Orange patterns, on the floor. Slowly tilt it, till a drop hangs from the edge. Suspended animation. My entire body is still, waiting for the sudden rush of cold, that will engulf me soon. I can feel my heart beat a little faster. I can feel the blood rush through my ears. And in that last moment before the water hits me, I am peaking on the Adrenaline rush. The anticipation of the coming cold, is so strong, so intense that a slight involuntary shiver rocks my body!
But as soon as the water hits me, its quits for the Adrenaline Rush. It isn't even half as cold as I had anticipated. Infact, after sweating through the heat outside, its pleasantly refreshing! A complete anti climax to the "Chill Thrill"! But then again, high's were never meant to last too long!
Monday, April 07, 2008
1. Anwar - Dilbar Mera (4:53)
2. Anwar - Javeda Zindagi (8:22)
3. Anwar - Maula Mere Maula (6:04)
4. Apna Sapna Money Money - Paisa Paisa (4:07)
5. Awaarapan - Toh Phir Aao (5:48)
6. Bas Eak Pal - Bas Eak Pal (5:36)
7. Bas Eak Pal - Tere Bin (4:36)
8. Bhool Bhulaiya - Labon Ko (5:43)
9. Bhool Bhulaiya - Mere Dholna (6:47)
10. Black Friday - Bande (7:48)
11. Black Friday - Bharam Bhaap Ke (8:36)
12. BluffMaster - Say Na (3:18)
13. BluffMaster - Right Here, Right Now (3:02)
14. Chak De - Chak De India (4:43)
15. Chak De - Badal Pe Paon Hain (4:05)
16. Chak De - Maula Mere Le Le Meri Jaan (4:48)
17. Delhi Heights - Dilli (5:50)
18. Delhi Heights - Tere Bin (5:22)
19. Delhi Heights - Kitni Der Tak (5:07)
20. Dil Chahta Hai - Dil Chahta Hai (5:10)
21. Dil Chahta Hai - Dil Chahta Hai((Reprise) (4:18)
22. Dil chahta hai - Tanhayee (6:10)
23. Dunia Dilwaalon Ki - Mustafa Mustafa (6:03)
24. Ek Chalis Ki Last Local - Laree Choote (4:02)
25. Gangster - Tu Hi Meri Shab Hai (6:29)
26. Gangster - Bheegi Bheegi (5:44)
27. Honeymoon Travels - Sajnaji Vaari Vaari (3:42)
28. Honeymoon Travels - Halke Halke (5:17)
29. Hum Tum - Hum Tum (3:38)
30. Jhankaar Beats - Ruk Ruk Rukna Hai (3:19)
31. Jhankaar Beats - Tu Hi Dil Hai (6:10)
32. Jhankaar Beats - Humein Tumse Pyaar Kitna (4:23)
33. Jhankaar Beats - Jab Kabhi Chand Na Ho (4:39)
34. Jhankaar Beats - Tera Muskurana (3:54)
35. Jhankaar Beats - Suno Na (6:31)
36. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander - Pehla Nasha (4:52)
37. Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander - Yahan Ke Hum Sikandar (5:26)
38. Kalyug - Adat (5:36)
39. Khosla Ka Ghonsla - Chak De Phhattey (5:46)
40. Khuda Ke Liye - Allah Ho (4:31)
41. Khuda Ke Liye - Bande (3:34)
42. Metro - In Dino (6:41)
43. Metro - O Meri Jaan (5:06)
44. Metro - Rishtey (7:23)
45. Metro - Alvia (Reprise) (5:49)
46. Metro - Baatein Kuchh Ankaheein Si (4:38)
47. Musafir - Ishq Kabhi Kariyo Na (4:30)
48. Musafir - Saaki (5:21)
49. Musafir - Rabba (5:52)
50. Pyaar Ke SideEffects - Pyaar Karke Pachhtaya (4:08)
51. Pyaar Ke SideEffects - Jaane Kya (6:14)
52. Rang De Basanti - Rang De Basanti (6:03)
53. Rang De Basanti - Roobaaroo (4:43)
54. Salaam E Ishq - Ya Rabba (6:56)
55. Taare Zameen Par - Maa (5:12)
56. Taare Zameen Par - Kholo Kholo (5:13)
57. Taare Zameen Par - Taare Zameen Par (7:12)
58. Taare Zameen Par - Mera Jahaan (6:34)
59. The Train - Beete Lamhein (5:01)
60. The Train - Mausam (5:45)
61. Woh Lamhe - Kya Mujhe Pyaar Hai (4:26)
62. Zinda - Yeh Hai Meri Kahaani (5:19)
63. Zinda - Maula (3:46)
Monday, March 31, 2008
A room. A terrace. Dark and raining outside. Tea in a kettle. I FELT the warmth. My favourite chocolate biscuits. I felt a tingle in my tongue. A bright tea cosy. Dim lights. Music, but I couldn't recognise it. Some people I love and care for. Sitting around a sofa. Plump cushions. Thick carpet. Dark furniture around, with hazy details. And surprisingly, no Me, in the whole room.
And then, as always, I snapped out of it. Very sudden. Very abrupt. Infact, the transition was so bad, that for a second or two, I couldn't figure out my bearing! But what struck me most about this little day dreaming episode, was the presence of a very good friend of mine with whom am fighting, in real life. Complicated. But the overall mood is superficial animosity. And yet, I saw her there. Infact, I even vividly remember her idiosyncrasies, while offering tea to someone! In that room. On the terrace. While it was raining outside. Deep, in the world of my dreams.
And it scared me. Is this then, a harbinger of the fast approaching end? Or, is it just another figment of my tired, hyperactive mind? I don't know. But I can't wait to find out.
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Ever since I was a kid, I have loved to be on stage. Loved to hog the limelight. Hogged it all. And Elocution and Debating were the best opportunities that I had. And I took to them, like a fish to water. Over the years, debating somehow took a backseat, but elocuting remained close to my heart.
But its been a good many years, since I last went up to the stage, and recited anything. College was a big nightmare that I mindlessly waded through, and work doesn't seem to be different either. Slowly, even the frequency of my Bathroom Recitations waned. And it slowly but surely passed into my list of Things I Used To Like Doing.
Last evening, I chanced upon a pretty darned good print of The Ladykillers. Amazing movie. Though I admit that I am favourably biased towards Tom Hanks, this movie touched a sweet spot. Something long forgotten. A thing of the past.
As soon as I finished watching the movie, dug up some the best pieces that I have ever come across, and saved, in the hope of reciting them someday! Turned on a dim light near the table (which I had conveniently turned around, to face the mirror), enqued some Vivaldi on Winamp, and got down to work.
The next hour or so, was one of the best that I have had in a long, long time. Fleeting memories of a bygone era caressed me. The knot in my stomach before every elocution, the slight perspiration before going on stage, that last moment of utter panic, and finally, the all enveloping feeling of ecstacy at the end of it all. It was all there. It was ALL there!
But the bug has bitten me for good. Been secretly working on a piece. Have plans of doing a recitation at office. Not sure, if its a receptive audience, but well, what the heck! I just need some people around, to see if I still, got the touch. Will blog on the outcome, if it happens.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
As I was telling GB, this is probably a combination of the weather, the music, and the fact that I am hopelessly stuck with my Baby. This, this, ummmm, this whole philosophical outlook, if I could call it that. But I can't help thinking. Why are pain and loss, so entwined with My Destiny? Sometimes, its tiring. Sometimes, its scary. If I can't do away with them, atleast I wish I was numb to them. The word that comes to mind, is "indifference". Blissfully indifferent, to it all. Just floating. Drifting. Passing by. No crests of pain, or troughs of joy. Just undulating numbness. Ah! I wish...
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
Usually, I have work to do, as soon as I reach home, and blogging takes a back seat. But today, I returned late, and after that mind numbing shit that I have to call work, I wasn't upto anything creative by a far shot. So, I decided to take some time off, and dig a little deeper into some unpleasantness. I know, I won't do it, if I get so much as half a chance to evade it.
Patterns, I think reveal a lot. When a precise solution eludes you, look for patterns. They often guide you to a helpful direction, even if they may not contain the solution itself. And at a sub conscious level, I think that is what I have been doing for the last coupla hours. Looking for patterns. Patterns to my erratic mood swings. Patterns to my weird reaction to human company. Patterns to something unexpected. Patterns to an anomaly.
When I told VG about this post, she told me that I am going crazy. That I am over analysing things. But I beg to disagree. Sometimes, I think a man should spend some time, thinking about his life. Where he is heading, and what might be in store for him, there. And RD doesn't do this, often enough. So, this can't be over analysis. Just can't.
I think one of the things that is a problem, is my inability to
Took a break. Dozed off last night, and I think I have lost the flow. ;(
Monday, March 24, 2008
Fossils - Ekla Ghor
"Ei Ekla Ghor Amaar Desh, Amaar Ekla Thhakaar Obbhesh... Bondhuder bhire'o ekla ekla aami khunje phiri lokkho amaar, paaltaachhe na ei obostha'ta, jodio paalte jaaowa'r dorkar"
Translation : "This lonely room is my Home, Its my habbit to live alone... Even among a crowd of friends, I keep searching for my goal (meaning in life), and the situation just refuses to change, though a change is highly anticipated and needed"
This is what was running through my mind in a rush, blocking everything out, Saturday night. Unexplained. Unexpected. A sudden stampede of a chain of thought, that completely broke down my already fragile emotional state of mind. I went from teeming excitement, to utter depression, in a matter of just a coupla minutes, and the reason still eludes me, even after thinking about it all, for 2 days.
I was with a group of people, who are the closest to what I can call My Friends, the mood was jovial, and everything was good and fun. I personally, wasn't in any particularly foul mood. Was doing decently good with my people skills as well. Heck! These were my friends. I shouldn't even be worried about my skills, interacting with them. But I wasn't taking any chances. I had planned this one through. No glitches. I was going to be nice. I was going to be funny. I was going to be chatty. I will keep myself occupied, and not let my mind run away, chasing some fancy, destructive ideas. Having fun, would be a Bonus! And as I said, I was doing pretty good.
And then suddenly, out of nowhere, I started going down, like a heavy stone in a river. Hurtling full speed, into the depths of depression. Sinking and sinking bad. And I mean, Real Bad. All my thoughts just went zilch in no time, and I started struggling to even get into the conversation happening around me! Gradually, the voices started to fade out, and I was left alone, screaming in my mind. Screaming, SCREAMING, SCREAMING!
I Don't Belong Here. These are a group of strangers, and I don't even know them! Maybe I knew them, in a distant past. Maybe I even liked them, back then. But not now, not here. I don't even want to know them. I feel so, I feel so, so Lonely. I don't deserve this. This is my vaccation, Goddamnit. I should be enjoying it. But I can't. I want to throw up. I want to throw up till there's nothing inside of me. I want to get up, and start running. Keep running, till I drop down. I don't know where to, I don't know how far. I don't wanna know. I don't care. As long as its away from here. Far, far Away.
It had happened before, and it was happening again. Out of nowhere, the question of what the hell I was doing there, at that point of time, with that bunch of people, loomed large, and I had no answer. I mean, ofcourse I was there with my friends. And obviously, I was having a good time. But that hollow creepy feeling won't go away. Nor would the screaming voice. I tried concentrating on the conversation around me, I tried thinking of the pleasant things that had happened to me. I tried them all. Nothing worked.
However, I did manage to overcome the intense desire to run away from it all. I had made a gritty promise to myself, that no matter what happened, I won't run away. I'll face it, whatever it is. I'll stay and fight. The fact, that this was late in the night, in the middle of a jungle, and I had no access to any form of transport, helped keep my resolve. But it was closely fought. I needed a lot of that silly stupid thing that people call will power, to keep myself from doing more harm than I had already done.
Quietly got me into bed, slept it off, and well, was better on Sunday morning. But the bitter aftertaste lingers on. I don't think I can let this pass lightly. Its getting serious. Its getting repetitive. Worst part is, I think I have some clues about the root cause. But its so downright dark and dirty, that I even refuse to think about it. But maybe I should. Maybe I should, real quick.
And till then, my conquest of the man inside, must continue.
Monday, March 17, 2008
"I was 25 at the time, and basically oscillated day to day between thinking "This is the greatest idea ever!" and "This will never work. Who am I to take on Intuit and Microsoft? If this was a good idea, someone would have done it before." It’s very emotional, and I don’t think people ever tell you about that. You see your net worth quickly draining, you have no idea what’s going to happen next, and you’re sitting alone in a room with no help, no resources, just your brain and sheer will-power. When ever I got down, I would listen to "That’s Life" by Frank Sinatra, or think about a Shakespeare quote I liked as a kid: "Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we might oft win, by fearing to attempt." "
Lately, been ripping stuff off others. Think its time for an original post or two. Hmmm...
Monday, March 10, 2008
But its not to be. However, I wonder, if things had turned out the way I had wished them to, maybe this song would have been fitting, to our very weird, very unusual, ummmm, Love?
I've been down, I've been beat,
I've been so tired, that I could not speak.
I've been so lost, that I could not see,
I wanted things, that were out of reach.
Then I found you, and you helped me through,
And you showed me, what to do
And thats why I'm coming back to you...
Like a star, that guides a ship across the ocean.
Thats how your love will take me home back to you.
And if I wish upon that star, someday I'll be where you are.
I know that day is coming soon, ya I'm coming back to you.
You've been alone, but you did not show it,
You've been in pain, but did not know it.
Let me do what I needed to, you were there when I needed you,
Might have let you down, might have messed you round,
But you never changed your point of view.
And thats why I'm coming back to you...
I'm coming back to you.
I'm coming back to you.
I'm coming back to you.
That day is coming soon.
I'm coming back to you.
Friday, February 22, 2008
As always, GV (that's Madhumita's father) and I got into a discussion. And this time round, it was about his move from a smaller pharma company, to a much larger one. He is the head of marketing there, and made the career move, recently. While we were talking about the pros and cons of working at a bigger place, I asked him about his views on "Innovation", wrt the size of a company.
I have always had this belief, that true innovation occurs, only under adverse situations. I mean, why would I bother to rack up my precious brain cells, if I could just use the available resources to follow the crowd? I don't think Apple would have targeted the "Common Man", if they had the time, money and expertise that IBM had, to go after the corporates. I doubt if Google would even exist today, if Yahoo had not rejected their offer to being bought off.
Or look closer home, if you will. Fevicol adverts are higher in the Innovation Quotient, than Pepsi's, though the latter has a much more recognizable "Star Power". Bajaj would have forever remained as the Scooter Company, if the penetration of 100cc bikes hadn't eaten into its market. Adversity always forces people to innovate, or get swallowed into the vast void of "Has Been's".
And I am assuming, that from a layman's perspective, a smaller company will have to face a lot more adversity, in terms of resources. And if it still manages to survive, then they are bound to have a lot more innovation happening there, than at a bigger company. Wait. Am not the only one saying this. Paul Graham speaks on these lines in his essay "Hiring Is Obsolete", "Disruptive technologies are developed by disruptive people. And they either don't work for the big company, or have been outmaneuvered by yes-men and have comparatively little influence"
But GV too had a point. Giving me a specific example, he thinks that from a marketing perspective, a bigger company is a better place for innovation, because he has access to a larger resource base, to implement his ideas. Working on a very limited budget, he could not often do a lot of things that he would have wanted to. With more people and more money, he can even afford to make a few mistakes, while pursuing his creative ideas.
Now, I won't refute GV's argument, but isn't THAT the whole point? Accepted, at a small outfit, you don't have much room to make mistakes. But only when the stakes are high, you are left with no other option, but to claw on forward through the skin of your teeth! All the more reason, to try and think "different". Do the whole "Out Of The Box" jig. Will I really take the trouble to put myself through sleepless nights, bear the brunt of being cursed by my team mates, risk the ire of my boss (read : the person who decides my pay package), and more, if I am not pushed to a corner? I don't think so. I don't think so at all.
I know am putting my neck, way out of line on this, but I stand by my thoughts. Even if size doesn't completely kill innovation, it cripples it to such an extent that it loses its meaning. Ofcourse there are times when you don't have an option but to ramp up on size. But in that case, just don't expect earth shattering, universe denting stuff.
To conclude, a couple of lines from Ayn Rand's Anthem, "The spirit of man will remain alive on this earth. It may sleep, but it will awaken. It may wear chains, but it will break through. And man will go on. Man, Not Men".
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
A heavy bag on my shoulders, and a suitcase in my hands was what I was burdened with. But it was a breeze, compared to the brooding sense of fatality that was overcast on the horizon. Matters far beyond my control, and often, beyond my comprehension, were bothering me. And I was sucking up to it, hook, line, sinker.
Rushing to board the train to Freedom, to Home, to my Haven, I had to stop periodically to put down the luggage, and catch my breath. And it struck me, while I was resting my tired arms at one such pitstop.
The smoke and fumes had added a halo around the ochre orbs of the sodium lamps, unenthusiastically lighting the paths of millions of thankless, ungrateful passersby. The long winter evening, had its mouth wide open, to swallow and extinguish the flickering flame of life from the last rays of the run. The cacaphony of the blaring horns, snarling traffic, vociferous street peddlers, strangely mixed in harmony, to leave an eerie muted ghost of the real menace. And the moon, the full moon no less, gave off a pale, omniscient glow, that enveloped everything around it.
It didn't take my senses longer than a few moments to perceive all this. And before I knew it, a strange, unnamed fear, a fear of the unknown, a fear of the incomprehensible, was upon me.
I quickly picked up my bags, and rushed towards the station. Even when my arms were screaming out in pain, I dared not stop. Didn't dare turn around. Didn't dare slow down either, till I was safely inside the station.
Sitting under the brighter and happier neon cousins of those sinister orbs, which had made me so uncomfortable a couple of minutes back, I breathed a sigh of relief. I was way too early for my train, and so, warmed up to a hard, uninviting seat, on the platform.
After some time, I finally summed up enough courage to steal a glance at the now distant, street lamps. But surprisingly, they were just what they were supposed to be. Sodium Street Lamps! I breathed a sigh of relief. Hah! It was all, merely a figment of my hyper active imagination. After all, the accumulated stress of the last couple of months, was probably taking its toll. Or maybe, though I wouldn't want to admit it, it was the thespian in me, over reacting to a visual trick of nature. It was not surprising, that the Grizzly Bear was given to calling me the "Drama Queen".
My spirits started to soar, as the train drew in to the station. Just like it had over the last six odd years, my heart faithfully skipped a beat at the prospect to being home. The rush to board the train, locating my seat, squeezing past people, while carrying my ten tonne load, I barely managed to sit down on my seat, when the train began to pull out.
I craned my neck, to catch a last glimpse of the street lights, before they disappeared in the dark of the night. The moving train, the running people, the loud whistle, added to a lot of the distraction. But my gaze was fixed. My mouth went dry. I could hear the blood singing in my ears. It was NOT OVER, and no, it was not my hyper active imagination either. In a queer moment of logical triumph, I knew that I was not wrong. In that last fleeting moment, the lamps had just winked at me! And in a simultaneous flash of sudden insight, I knew, they would be waiting, for my return!