Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Running Late - The only kind of running I'm good at

So I thought I could run. I mean not run away from all the work that I have. I can do that. I'm doing it right now. But I actually thought I could run. So when there was a 5k marathon, and people all around the place were registering for it, I thought why not? I started practicing three months early, I downloaded Runkeeper,  I strolled on the treadmill, I frolicked in Lalbagh. I mean I really tried hard. I even bought a pair of running shorts.

It all started one crazy day when I had too much on my plate and whatever people said to me was going over the head. Does it happen to you? I think so. I can understand the mindset of people who read my posts. We are all the same. Confused, bored to death, and having attention deficit disorders. So anyway, where was I? Yeah, crazy day. So on this crazy day, somebody says to me. Hey..there's a 5K marathon..Everyone's going. Why don't you come? I do this thing where I involuntarily nod when I am not listening and people keep talking. I did just that. OVER! It was too late. My name was registered. And then bam! I couldn't do nothing about it. So I thought I'd practice. That's when I downloaded Runkeeper. You should download it too. It's a good app. I mean if you actually run. If you are like me, it just drains out your battery and you don't realise until you are stuck in the rain and can't call anyone to come pick you up. Yeah, this is what I went through.

Anyway I did all I could. I put all my heart into practicing. Heart, yes. Head, yes. Legs, No. Big Bum. Hell no. But still, I tried. I ran at a pace that would put any Kenyan to shame. I mean, fat kenyans. I told myself, I'm only like seven times slower than Usain Bolt. That's a good thing right?

The fateful day arrived and my name was called. Not my name exactly, they just blew the whistle. I
exaggerate things, so bear with me. With my head and butt in two opposite trajectories, I started running. My slightly overweight friend(I'm being polite here) with whom I had made an agreement to walk with me started running. Backstabbed! Still, I held my head high. Everyone overtook me. I was not disappointed. I was thinking of the hare and tortoise story. Didn't we learn Slow and steady wins the race? Apparently not.

So I ran. I ran like the wind. There was no wind. I ran and I ran, and I was breathless. I was tired. I was close to a heartburn. And yet, I didn't give up. I had read about runner's spirit somewhere. Is this what it is, I thought. I was glad. I was ecstatic. My whole body was pleading me to give up, but my mind said otherwise.  I turned around like Milkha did in Olympics to see where I was. And there I was, a measly hundred metre away from the line. I couldn't give up now. I was only 4900 metres away. That's when I realised. I said to myself. It was enlightenment. I told myself. Fuck the rest. I am going to walk.

And then it was glorious. I walked in the 5K run which seemed like a marathon to me

Only two people behind me.

One asthmatic aunty. Whoever said diseases are bad for one's morale. She sure boosted mine.
Another babe in a velvet jacket. Thank god for the jacket, she kept me company.

That's when I decided that running 'late' for things is the only running I'm good at.

Photo credits: http://www.ithoughttheysaidrum.com/category/training/

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

To write or not to write?


I shudder at the thought of having to type a few words these days.

The high point of this whole quarter's writing has been an official mail I composed late yesterday night. That is when I realized my writing has gone from manageable to garbage-disposable. In a paragraph of six sentences, I must have used the word 'Just' just sixteen times which was okay until I realised that I used 'Basically' twice in a seven word sentence. So basically, it was a wake up call in the midst of sleep-reading the crap I had written. (Wait. Did I do that again?) It made me realise what I was missing. The frantic finger-hops on the keyboard, the hurried reading, the publishing and republishing of the blog just because of twenty spelling errors, thirty unnecessary commas and countless omissions of prepositions and conjunctions. The crazy cycle has been missed.



Its not like I was not trying. I did. I swear. I have at least five unpublished drafts. Okay, I agree two of them are blank, and one of them is akin to a digital signal. But still, I tried. I even published a few spam comments, so that I'd be inspired by their relentless encouragement. There was one that said, "Hey I loved your informative post. I was wondering if you'd like to buy bathroom accessories since your writing clearly reflects the lack of their existence in your life". Now, I do admit I sometimes skip a bath or two over the weekends but humiliating me publicly, it was just too unbearable. I had to do some snooping and before you go jumping all over the place pinching your nose, let me tell clarify  this was under a post I had written eliciting the finer nuances of 'Jab Tak Hai Jaan' and I had put up a Shahrukh Khan image. ( Even I didn't know about his bathing habits till then, Shocking, isn't it? ) Now do you know why the comment sprung up? I think that ought to put you in your place. So anyway, there was  not much enthusiasm forthcoming due to such insanely relevant comments. I didn't know what to do, I still don't.

Then I thought that maybe this is what they call 'A Writer's Block', and I'd read for a while, but between stealing temple junk and running away from vampire-like monsters, I couldn't spare much time. I didn't even read the newspaper. I neither knew that there was a massive flood that happened in Bangladesh, nor about the Maoist attack on some politicians. Now don't start brandishing me if I know that Srinivasan guy is not quitting BCCI. Its just that I get Times Of India at home. You see it screams out all the news that's worthy of being made into a Bollywood movie in the near future while holding back all the other unwanted stuff. It screams, trust me, and there's also some shrill cat-weeping like background music that accompanies it.  It seems they are following what is called a 'Ram Gopal Varma' news model. Anyway, it is unrelated to my writing which was what I was writing about.

This not-writing thing. It is really driving me crazy. I do shudder at the thought of typing a few words these days. Or maybe it is just the AC. Who knows?


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Hell, Thy name is Whitefield

Once on a bright, sunny, jobless afternoon in  my erstwhile place of vocation, a young boy filled with posthumous enthusiasm told me something that I'll never forget. With a look of betrayal in his eyes and defeat in his voice, he told me, "You know? When I attended this job interview in Delhi, They told me the office was located in Whitefield, Bangalore. Suddenly, this song started playing in my head, Fields of Gold.  At that moment, I knew I had to be here. Do you know that song?" He asked me. I just nodded faintly remembering the Sting song was loaded in the wrong format in music player, the one that never played. "Anyway,", he continued, "I had a vision of this wonderful place with European facades and a lot of greenery. Do you know what I think now?" I knew. I had been thinking the same thing since I had landed there two whole years before he came. I looked at him, patted his back and asked him to kindly shut the fuck up and eat his lunch.


As human beings, we have this eternal urge to be stupid. We think we can do anything and we are heroes and things happen for a reason. I read somewhere that the reason most things happen is because we are so incorrigibly stupid. Imagine the catastrophe if this were true. Guess what, it is. Ask anyone who travels to Whitefield. Because, there is no reason on Earth that would compel a sane, "almost living" being to make this choice. And yet, we choose it. And we cry and cry and cry.

We cry a little when we look out into the vast expanse of the road. Except that it is not a road, but the rooftops of all the contraptions that were made to move. We just cry a little then. We cry some more when an overweight, insensitive buttock wants to make our right thigh its resting place. And then, slowly one little teardrop starts drifting from the left eye when the bus driver wants to play the latest melodious song that Uppi dada has danced to. Don't get me wrong. We are strong. We just cry a little when things like this happen. And some insufferable hours later, thanks to the one of the greatest revolutions of all times, the Earth's rotation, and Indian labor laws, we are "free" to go home. Only some of us, mind you. Anyway, with hope in our eyes and a sprint in our steps, we drag ourselves to the bus, and then...then, the same things that happened in the morning, they happen all over again with the addition of a throbbing headache.Still, we stay strong. Because we believe in Kelly Clarkson when she says what doesn't kill us makes us stronger, even though we know its killing us, a little. By the way, we play that song on our player, just to drown out Uppi dada's song. That's how the headache started in the first place. Both the songs, I mean.

And finally, we reach home. Almost at the same time when the earth is contemplating another rotation. We try to sleep and we have dreams, dreams that are a contrived combination of weekend movies and idle hallucinations, We dream of our Managers as Gabbars, and somewhere their faint spineless voices whispering.. "yaha se pachas  pachas kos door Bangalore me jab Software Engineer raat ko rota hai to maa kahti hai beta soja ..soja nahi to subah ho jayega, phir se whitefield jana hoga" and thats when we cry a river, just like Justin Timberlake asked us to.

Oh you people, you laugh. You heartless, soulless people. You laugh like Mogambo whilst I sit here on my cushionless seat, and pushbackless headrest, massage my knee, and pretend to sleep.

Yours (Almost) Dead-ly,
A Sad Little Software Engineer

PS: This post is dedicated to my friend Priya. Even though she is not a software engineer, she is of the kind that pretends to protect them. What a joke, I tell her.
To my brother Karthik and his stomach that has increased its circumference by atleast 10 cm in the past year.
And also to all my friends, who cry with them.
And to me for, once upon a time I was one of them too.




Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Office and a little Blah

I'm totally totally dazed. Its three in the afternoon and all I can do is stare at the screen expecting it to explode anytime. If that happens, I'll call it the most eventful workday in almost 290 days now. Don't ask me what I did 290 days ago, I'm pretty sure I was sitting in front of another computer screen waiting for it to turn into a genie or something.

It amazes me how I can do this every single day. Just sit, and do something which in the entire scheme of the universe is just a bloody waste of energy. What do I do? Some idealists may say, I'm helping a business understand their shortcomings. Let me tell you one thing, the only shorts or comings I know are the ones that can never be used in the same sentence. So much for helping others! Its all just a scam. All I know is that, I have a laptop and an unblocked internet connection, and yet, I cease to be amazed by this intriguing web of interlinked shit. Maybe I'm growing old, who knows? or maybe I just need a holiday.

You know? Even holidays in between weeks are spoiled by this mind numbing everyday romp. When I do take a rare off day, I keep thinking what should I do when I don't have a computer screen to stare at? Has it ever happened to you or is it just me? So, I stare at the TV. I'm also used to just nodding my head at every airbag that talks to me, and I follow the same principle at home. My mother is not amused when I don't turn off the stove like I agreed to. If I had a penny for all the things I'd done after nodding my head to, I'd have like 3 pennies, so its not my fault.

I know I haven't been updating my blog from a long time now, and I'll tell you precisely why. One guy I was talking to last week told me that he will never change his profile picture on facebook, as it had got 200 odd likes, and he's scared that his new picture wont get any. Maybe, that's why even I'm not writing. Some social acceptance phobia or something, who knows? I know this has nothing to do with what I was talking about, but I'm dazed, I already told.

Speaking of Facebook, I have an amazing 3G connection on my phone. Idea. I pay for 3g, It shows 2G symbol on screen, and I get half G speed. Truly an amazing Idea. So anyway, I'm now staring at the mobile screen right now, waiting for some inane pic to load. Incredibly busy. So go now.















Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Of Rapes, New Year Resolutions and My Behavior

Last year was for experimentation. What did I experiment with? That's so last year. I forgot.

Well, this year, I'm thinking I'll keep it for working on my behavior and changing my life according to the whims of our politicians' kin, near and far. I have been hearing a lot of sensible advice coming in from stalwarts like the President's son himself, I think I need to pay some heed. I mean, after all, its the sons of Presidents, grandsons of MPs, maid servants of MLAs, and well whaddaya know sometimes, the politicians themselves who are the knowledge banks of this country. Anyway, I have decided I'm gonna listen to them.

Like all other intelligent people in this country, I came to the conclusion that it was the woman's fault. How dare she go sauntering out in the middle of the night when she was supposed to be holed up in her house, preferably hidden inside a cupboard, locked safely and the key hidden under her father/husband/driver's pillow. I have heard from responsible sources, that that's the safest place to hide all your things. Instead of that, she goes strutting around town. How dare she? I, for one, have emptied a cupboard in my house, Ala Harry Potter.

On the other hand, I read something about babies being molested. Well, lets just say, we'll get drawers under the cupboards.

So, then I got thinking what if I wanted to go out? Like, for indispensable reasons like say, some male member of my family urgently needs a laxative, I mean I can't ignore him, can I? I got thinking, and I called up the recently formed, "Society for the safety of women, painted/dented/plastered/tattooed/untattooed/cow worshipping....." Actually, the name took up half my telephone directory. For all those who don't know what a telephone directory means, It's the book that gets you the highest amount of money from your Raddiwala. For other explanations, try googling. Anyway, I called them up, and this is the conversation I had with them,

"Hello, is this the "Society for the safety of painted/plastered...""

"Actually, we like to call ourselves The Sissies"

"But that doesn't make sense"

"We are not here to make sense, we are here to safeguard"

"Okay..Listen I have a problem. One of the male members of my family has come down with a bad case of tummy telebellies. So I need to go out and buy some gelusil, can you please tell me the dress code?"

"Oh my god! Okay okay, the safety of males is our utmost priority. Wear a 20 yard saree"

"What? How shall I wear it?"

"Ask Mummy"

"But my Mummy wears a 6 yard saree!"

"Not your Mummy, silly! The Egyptian Mummy"

He hung up laughing. I think it was Austin Powers who answered the call.

So, I tied up my 20 yard saree after taking a crash course on "Fashion tips from Cleopatra's Corpse", and went jumping towards the medical shop. Are you picturing the sack race now? You'd better. It was 12 'o clock in the night, and I didn't have a male counterpart with me. Yet, I felt confident, I had listened to every insanely sensible soul in the country, even though I couldn't follow much of what Arnab Goswami was yelling, but still, there was a quiet confidence in me. The air was peaceful, the environment eerie, and in the horizon, I could predictably see a gang of rapists. I wanted to say hi to them, since you know there's nothing to provoke them anymore. I used my own amazing brain and gave some extra touches, wore my grandfather's MGR glasses on so that they won't be aroused by my eyes. They looked right out of a B-grade Bollywood movie, I just hopped on past. They were wickedly laughing, and suddenly they stopped. It was all silent again, the air was peaceful, the environment eerie, and in the horizon, I think I could hear somebody scream, "Bhooth! Bhooth!!" and then they all ran away. Well, so their advice does work, doesn't it? Lets all wear our Bandaid Mummy Sarees and pretend to be Bhooths to escape rape, molestation, eve-teasing, clear vision, and suntanning. What an ingenious idea! That ought to teach 'em a lesson.

Anyway, this story just took away from my original topic. My plans for the New Year. Like I said, this year I'm just gonna work on my behavior. Looks like, its working.

And my dog's diarrhoea? it can just wait.

DISCLAIMER:  Some may think I'm poking fun at one of the most heinous crimes in the recent past, some may think that I'm poking fun at all the misogynistic politicians of this country. Well, all I can say is if you are smart enough, you'll know which one is right.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Kab Tak Hai Jaan?

So people have raved and ranted about Jab tak hai Jaan. They watched, some laughed, some cried, some laughed hysterically at their own plight while some cried hard in despair. And I was the one who sat between them and was trying to teleport the hour hand on my watch. Can you blame me? I was sitting in the second row and looking at Shahrukh Khan's god-knows-when-you-last-brushed-me teeth staring down right at me. It was a tobacco stained nightmare.




Anyway don't ask me what happened in the beginning because I was deliberately ten minutes late to the theatre. Excuse me, if I thought that snacking was a better option than watching Shahrukh show off his first name on his army tag. So I take my overpriced popcorn and strut into the hall. Apparently it doesn't seem like I missed much, and also, I didn't catch much after that what with my constant involuntary eye rolling. I think I saw the ceiling more than the movie. All I remember in the first half is Shahrukh Khan aka Samar, give   guitar lessons without using his left hand. Chords?? Who the f needs them? I'm Shahrukh, I'm 25 and I can do anything! London, London, Dhandhan. Anyway the song sounded a lot like "Bulla ki Jaana" and before I could scream bloody plagiarism, my mummy reminded me that this song was also sung by Rabbi Shergill, Okay, so should I forgive him for that? She said ya, and went on to explain that "If Yash Chopra can mash up his own movies and come up with this Kayam Churn of a movie called Jab tak hai Jaan which not only took his Jaan and is in the process of taking ours, what is Rabbi's mistake? Bulla, Challa whatever! Shut up and Listen", she commanded. I wailed but then suddenly I saw Katrina (Meera, is it?) and Samar make a saudha of a lifetime, He'd teach her to sing Punjabi songs and she'd teach him english and I was suddenly engrossed in the suspense of a lifetime, Will they actually teach each other anything? will they discover wild secrets and try to blackmail each other? will they, wont they? After a half an hour of unwanted engagement ceremonies to royally forgotten Rogers, 50 yr birthday parties to 60 yr old Anupam Khers, suddenly planted bike rides to eloped mommy's and drunkard fat ass step daddy's house (Did anyone notice Kirron Kher's voice conveniently change to Neetu Kapoor's facade? Strange) while all the time listening to my mommy's comment, "Where's roger? Why isn't she going out with him? Roger Roger Roger!" in full hindi serial style. (I'm pretty sure even Roger's mother wasn't worried about Roger as much as my mother was ) After all this, I learn that all this bloody thing was a flash back and now this Samar is in the army and there is another character-in-hot-pants waiting to chew my brains out, Anushka Sharma as Yuck-heera. (I told you I missed the first part, go read Taran Adarsh's review if you are interested in the story. BTW, does anyone know how much Bollywood pays him to write all that crap?)

I think around this time, interval happened. Or was it later? My mind's just gone blank. I think its retrograde amnesia. I think its stuck at exactly ten minutes before watching that movie. Maybe I should ask somebody to pretend like the movie never happened. May be if I see my mother's face, that may trigger my memory.. Nah, I just saw her. Hey wait, there's a laptop in front of me, that reminds me of the screen, and voila! that reminds me of the movie, exactly the same way in which a backpack on a train reminded Samar with his unheralded X-ray vision to tell us the exact details of the bomb inside. Man, I remember everything now. If only, I had a male Katrina Kaif waiting for me.(If you are waiting for me and you look like Hritik Roshan, leave a comment below and wink, wink!) Okay, so this Meera is waiting for him, but before that, did I mention that there is a sugar-overdosed Akeera who goes to the Army to make a documentary about the "Man who cannot die, but can bore others to death" and get this, while the guy, Samar is busy deactivating the bomb upon which her lame documentary is based, she listens to the Ipod pointing her camera at some hillbillies who've come on the sets just to make it look fuller. Yeah, now I remember everything. She then sings some songs in her chaddies with her newly found Army buddies and makes a Discovery channel director cry after seeing this sorry ass documentary (I think she was worried about the future of the channel)
 and finally we get to know that the only reason she was in the movie, apart from obvious perks like enlightening us about the ingenious ways of Samar, the bombman+electrician
(Sorry, electronics genius!), was to make him come to London for a senseless reason so that he meets with the fateful accident which MAY (I'm stressing on may) make the movie come to an end. Apparently, not! Here comes another half an hour of kindergarten kisses, primary school love scenes and sad excuse of a Samar's kitchen. So, after going through all this and getting banged on the head by a tortured toddler in the backseat, I expect the story/drama/saga/charade  nothingness to be over in London, but No! this is a Yash Chopra movie, We have lots of money to spare and lots of taxes of evade so lets go back to Ladakh/Leh/wherever they have enough time to come up with a minimum of two ready-to-diffuse-bombs-for-Samar per day. So finally, this Katrina she comes to her senses, realises that people have to be sent home atleast now, and she heads to this bomb place and the bomb guy Samar retires and I doubt if they live happily ever after. I mean, with so many people cursing, I really don't know. Anyway, I ran out of the theatre as fast as I could.

By the way, did I mention the protagonist of this movie? Its Sir Jesus. Why? Go and watch. I shouldn't be the only sufferer

WARNING: You may get a serious case of Inferiority complex after listening to the achievements of the characters. Just remember that you were dumb enough to pay almost 200 bucks to watch this movie, that ought to make you feel worse! Wait, I think that came out wrong.


Tuesday, November 13, 2012

The Remote Control Wars

I haven't been writing this blog for a long time now. Whenever I start to write, I feel like I have lost my mojo. But of late, I have started thinking that I never had any to begin with, so why fear?

As I sit amidst intolerable high pitched cracker sounds, I cannot help but write about our favorite pastime in this festive season. You guessed it right, watching TV. Not crackers. Whenever a clueless soul like me is thrown the Top 1 ice-breaker/awkward situation filler question, "What are your hobbies?", right from preschool interviews to psychiatric sessions for sadists, the only answer we can come up with is, "Watching TV", followed by a lengthy pause, before adding some non-existent uber cool sounding antic like piano, or playwriting or skiing or cooking (Usually it means that we watch TV shows based on these things). It is one of the purest forms of entertainment where physically you are where you want to be, lying dead on the huge sofa, but mentally in the farthest corners of the world, some incomprehensible places like the sets of a vampish house of a faceless, relationless, meaningless family of more than hundred people spanning at least five generations headed by a deathless Baa, or some, more understandable like the congruous belly of a blue whale.

Watching TV, though always has been the ultimate giver of joy, comes with its own set of obstacles, just like those that keep Yash Chopra's lovers apart. Things like idiotic relatives, untimely powercuts, useless examinations, and most importantly, irritating siblings always will try and separate us, me and the TV. Is it the same with you? When we were younger, my brother and I never watched the same programs. Thankfully, my parents were prudent enough to get cable TV since its inception (We felt cricket commentary is better than drab dinner conversations), so there was always the tussle between Star TV and MTV, before that MTV and cartoon network and so on. When I first started watching Roadies/Friends/even Full house, my brother used to call out to my mother and complain that I'm watching some "BAD" things on TV. Now whenever he watches the same shows, I just laugh at him while he ignores me royally. But we had our rules, the remote belonged to the person who takes it first immediately after coming back from school, and it belongs to them until the point when they put it down, even accidentally. Such stringent clauses had made me carry the remote to unsightly places ranging from my neighborhood grocery shop, to the toilet.

And I'm pretty sure we were not the only psycho siblings to behave that way. I had a friend who did not have a remote control, instead they had another creative system. They had placed a chair in front of the TV. Whoever sits on the chair first, gets to control the TV and the rest are doomed to watch whatever the power hungry chairperson is watching. Wicked, it was.

Today, as I sat next to my brother while watching one of our two TVs, I was reminded of how we used to fight all the time for such silly things. Nowadays, we usually watch the same channel, and today the remote was in his hand. Everything was peaceful till the time he tried to change the channel during the ad break, I commanded him not to. You see, the remote was with me before I went to get a glass of water. We have revised the rules these days, and hence, the remote still belonged to me. Some things don't change, no matter how many TVs you buy or how many cellphones you fiddle with while NOT watching it or how old you grow.

Happy Diwali Everyone! Hope this Diwali brings you enough entertainment programs to keep you hooked! :)




PS: And ya, please keep the noise down, I'm trying to watch something here.