Better Half or the Better One?

They call it the better half, they call it the significant half. I have a problem with it. I'm not a half, neither is it. "It" - because, it can be a she or a he. I don't want to offend anyone. Now, if it is also offensive, then it better not be.

I haven't lived with anyone ever, but since the unforeseen catastrophe of colliding planets, I have been asked to live with my other one. The other one, as we know comes from Mars, and I come from Venus, apparently, but I feel like the other way around.

The other one exhibits some special characterstics, which have not been seen other other ones, like cleanliness. He is fanatic about it. I, being from a planet, that no one visits, am not so bothered about it. But the other one, Yes, oh my god! Anticipating those god foresaken visitors from Earth, who never come, wants everything to be spick and span.

The other one is also particular about time. Wants to go to the daily dungeon of destruction, on time. Me, on the other hand, work on a lazy evaluation process. Will not move until it is absolutely necassary.

The other one is also a little OCD, I'm ADD.

Its strange how species from different planets, are made to stay together. But come to think of it, do species of the same planet, get along? What if both are OCD? They will fight about the color of their curtains, the whole day.  What if both are ADD? Before you know it, they'll be living in a garbage dump.

Anyway, coming back to the other one and I. We have a plebiscite. While performing mundane duties of self-nourishment, we have a line of control. The other one and I do not interfere in each other's culinary chemistry experiments. The other one is a perfectionist, every time, his  experiments give same results - a deterministic approach, but I on the other hand, is always a probabilistic specimen - sometimes, ones, sometimes zeros, but mostly in between. The other one, also never says no to any experiment of mine, though I have to admit, I do disrupt his activities when I have a dislike.

The other one and I, have one thing in common. Adventure.He likes doing it. I just like word.
Before the planets collided, I told him the same, but the other one misunderstood, and look where we are.

Living with the other one, has taught me a lot about the other planet's culture, However, Its probably
the other one who seems to have learnt a lot more than I. The other one has to, if the other one, wants peace.

Be Indian, Do Western

Since the last time I wrote, there have been significant changes in my life. Like I have started preferring any font other than blogger default, I have acquired significant taste in UI design which was making me hate how this blog looked so I changed it, and also, I got married.

Anyway, my rant today will have nothing to do with any of those topics (Boy! Am I loving this font!) I am breaking my blog-fast due to an immensely important event that happened recently.

Yesterday, I went to the mall. Yes, the same place where every Bangalorean goes to brush, bathe, eat, shit, and sleep every weekend. Since, we are on this topic, let me show you through this illustration below, the conversation that happens in every IT ridden household lying within 50km of Bangalore's radius. Can anyone actually point out to me where Bangalore's center lies? I hear its called Whitefield nowadays.

If you're wondering, I did pick up this meme-skill when I went on the Blog-fast. Thank you.

Anyway, my point of contention today is none of the above. When I was there, someone called. No not any of my f(r)iends, I have none left. It was nature. 

Since it was a sunday, and as pointed earlier, every one out of one and a half bangaloreans were there (The halves were left at home, with either moms or MILs), a huge queue had resulted in the holy abode. The call was stern, and being an Indian, my primary instinct was to jugaadify myself to the front. Of course, being un-talented also falls into the equation, and I could get no further. 

I peeped amidst the heaving bellies, and the heavy bottoms to find light at the end of the tunnel. There were seemingly four doors at the end of the queue which no one wanted to enter. It was a pre-republic day miracle. I rushed to the front to see what's happening, and there in bold letters, it was written, the two words that makes any modest appetite-d Indian lady's every bone, back and bladder shudder -  INDIAN STYLE

No one, I mean no one wanted to enter it, but I did. Women looked at me like "Mein baith ke tatti nahi karti" was engraved on my forehead. It was brutal. Once I completed my duties, I ran from the judging stares and resumed my thoughts.  

Why wouldn't people want to go there? WHY?

There can be 3 reasons:
  • They are westerners disguised as Indians
  • They are struck by an osteoarthritis epidemic (Apparently, even teens were affected)
  • They watched the Govt. of India sponsored's video on open defecation 
I go with the third option. Yes, like everything else that's happening, it's definitely the government's fault. Look at the ad (0:22 to 0:24) where a guy who definitely looks IT, defecating by SQUATTING abominably. Of course, we shouldn't do that. We promote Swacch Bharath, so we'll SIT and Shit.

My god! What have I done? So un-patriotic of me. I used the Indian style. Please accept this public apology.

Happy Republic Day! Be Indian, Do Western.

On a completely unrelated side note: Here's a health tip -

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:

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?

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.

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.

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.