Musebox 31 – Year ending 2014

photo(1)The year is about to end and here’s wishing a grand good bye to 2014. As usual I am a day too late to come up with updates and no I am not here to give excuses because the year has been an excellent one considering that me and my partner in crime; Shruti have had our little devil grow into this beautiful little ball of joy that makes us laugh and cry at the same time. No, I’m not kidding about this. We never knew that a small little thing like her could hold us hostage. Ohh and tears! I am sure she can contract for water if she wanted to cause tears just flow so naturally and easily at her will. All this apart we have been blissfully lucky to have her with us and there isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t thank god for giving her to us. She’s the prettiest thing we have seen and she is and will be forever – the queen of our heart.

This year has zoomed through at the speed of light. Work has been hectic and as I explained above we have had someone who just sucks every desire in us to look at anything else but her and hell no, I say that with absolutely no remorse. Though there are times when it seems too much for us to take; one smile and it all goes away. More than me its her, Shruti, the mother – the life-giver. Here is where you as a man see how inconsequential you are. All you contribute towards that life seems so minuscule when you observe from so close as to what a mother gives to get you to be where you are. In the end all you end up wishing is not for your offspring to love, respect or be there for you. All you wish for is for that child to know her mothers worth and be there for her – forever because you would never have had the power to move a limb if it weren’t for her. So here’s saluting all the millions of mothers out there. What you do is never truly recognized and it is in one of these very weak moments where us men tend to say – hey, thank you. Thank you for everything.

Work has been killer this entire year and no its not because I’m doing a lot of things. Its this one project which has clung on to me like tar to road. Its so sticky that it just won’t let go and I’m sure that even when it supposedly gets over I’d have stains and I’ll still be stuck in one way or the other to the road and I’ll have tons of people drive all over me. See the reference there? I’ve made way for people to commute and I know that I’ll get stuck on that very way. I tried to be Euphemistic there but no, I just can’t get it sound any less grim. The fuckin’ project is such that the management doesn’t give a fuck, the users don’t give two fucks and it seems like its just the Project team that see how important it is. Meh, important you ask? Fuck that – we are scrubs who work for nothing more than money. There is no respect and I’ve been living like this for far too long but then its Ka-ching you know? However much you earn the lesser it seems. God damn it, stop being such a sucker for pity Anup. Tell them about all the real life awesomeness that you’re missing out on just cause you’d rather sit in front of the thing-that-shows-you-whats-not-real instead of picking up that kid and going to the garden. Smell that fresh air, you know? Ahhh, let me get to that in small simple pointers.

  • I live a dream most people can only dream of – I swear to god!
  • I don’t seem to see all the good that my life has studded all over the place.
  • My wife loves me too god damn much for my own good. I am 97 kgs and counting.
  • Weight loss is a journey that we both embark on every single day and fail at it twice on the same day at the least.
  • …continuing – we are like spiders. We never give up!
  • I live in a country where me and my family can be out on the street at any given point in time and not fear for our safety.
  • I drive a car that I could only have dreamed of; elsewhere.
  • I can jog a couple of miles if I still wanted to. Hope I see the good in this.
  • I got a total of 46 paid days off this year – WTF?

So yes, the above should stand testimony to the fact that I need to live each and every moment of life rather than cribbing about how much it could have been better. Of course it can be made better but no one else except me can work towards it because god knows and I do too that nature has given me everything that I need, I have all the tools to ensure that I grow old well. How I utilize this is left unto me and if I fail at it I have no one but me to blame. For now though, I seem to get crowded by thoughts and heavy words like “responsibilities” which is something every middle aged man goes through and these struggles are something you wade through to ensure that you see that sense of purposed which drives our lives. I am still running circles though with Shruti and Krisha right in the middle. They seem to bear up with my stupid bouts of anger, idiosyncrasies that I myself don’t understand and yes finally – all the luggage that I seem to carry. Ohh God, help me just shed the weight and feel light cause that’s what I want to feel. But then again, here we have another year of achievements and I am sure that I’ll win if I have these guys by my side. That’s it for now I guess.

<3 my lovelies. I know I talk a lot and don’t do much but I will try to get better. Hope you have faith in me and remember – patience is key with me!

-Anup

Bi-yearly catch up!

What is up you guys? This is me, myself and I welcoming you to a brand new year. I know that I’ve been gone for a while now and this place is so dead right now. I come here ever so often hoping to get motivated by words that seemed to come to me so easily but this just doesn’t seem to be working for me and writing/blogging rather seems to be a thing of the past. No one blogs anymore says Shruti. Who even blogs? Type up text you mean? Seriously? Who has the time to read through walls of text? My manager calls me up each time he reads my emails and asks me to give him a two line summary in order to even “consider” my concern. That is how much people hate text. We have been taken by the vlog storm and youtube is the way to go. I have a youtube channel and all the jazzy social media crap but it can never do to me what walls of text does. I know that most of the people who used to come here would probably never come around hoping to see new stuff because 6 months is too long a time and in any case – I literally blog bi-yearly, so its no biggie!

There is a lot to catch up on and I am sure that I can come up with pages and pages of data and still not be done with it. However, the wife has dozed off already and I am so darn sleepy! This is just a post to try and follow what she told me – write a line or two a day and see where it takes you. So here I am; making an effort to write not for anyone else but just to get me closer to what I used to love doing and a certain part of me who still thinks that the thing I am best at is words, text, expressions and walls of text. In my case, love those walls as I always seem to get through them quite easily.

Here’s wishing anyone who graces by a happy and prosperous year 2013 and I hope for the best to come to you and your family. I seem to be doing well where I am. I am getting plumper by the day and I am worried about my health. I should be able to catch up over time but I really need to give it my full sooner than later. Shruti is bored but is doing extremely well and she is the strongest ray of hope in my life. There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t fight with her. Sometimes, I just annoy her to see her get mad at me, its funny I tell you but that’s what I love about us we fight without too many egos!

A lot more to tell you’ll but I’ll leave that for future. For now, I hope to just about hit the final period here and go to bed. This won’t get published until I do that cause its almost 3:00 AM here and I had a tough day at work. I’m almost sleeping on my keyboard.

Cheers you guys! I missed you’ll.

-Anup

Updates

Writing here and writing anywhere else for that matter has become near to impossible owing to the colossal changes happening in my life. I’m making a structural change too and I’m pretty excited about it. The infrastructure in Mr. Menons life is going to be sharpened with new overdrives, sidewalks and boulevards being made. I’ve been negligent and there have been days when I’ve stared for hours at my word file with no productive content. It’s no writers block, I feel. It’s more to do with the fact that my life is going to change drastically from Sunday the 20th of September and I spend my time these days pondering upon the implications of such a change. Therefore, it was bound to happen! These questions in my mind were bound to reach this virtual journal. There are a few other updates to include as well. Guess it’s been some time since I posted an update. What if people want to know about me and about things happening to me? Or maybe they already know but want to read anyway. Abhi is one of them. The ever knowing guy, he likes to read about things he already knows. So, here goes…

Anup in Dubai:
From my previous write-ups; I’m sure it’s evident that I’m not a big fan of Dubai and about how much I miss my motherland, Pune especially. I miss Pune a lot and I don’t know why. I was happy when I was in Bangalore and never actually wanted to go back to Pune even though it had all my peeps. But then, these days I miss Pune profusely and all my love for the Marathi language keeps ogling out. Probably because I thought Pune had all these memories that I despised and the ghosts of my past that I kept running away from. Point to note though; the answer to all those fears were also in Pune. Most, if not all, of my friends are in Pune. Or let me put it this way – people who really love me are in Pune and I think I’ve wanted to go back ever since I went to Bangalore but then things happened and I’m not too proud about it. Every time Ajay or Chetan mentioned about going back to Pune it’d burn me a bit because uhm, these people were the only people I had in Bangalore and I did not want them to leave. So I secretly thought about reaching Pune before they did because for sure, I know that one fine day, that’s where they’ll be! There is something about Maharashtra and its people that I agree was non-existent in Bangalore. Now this is probably because of my love for the language Marathi, which in its ‘rudra’ form can get real nasty. Why this now? Well, I like Marathi movies courtesy Abhijit A. Shedge. I watched “Aga bai Arechya” again yesterday after listening to a couple of its songs. Namely, “Man Udhaana Vaaryachi” and “Malhaar Vaari” Those songs touch me where Malayalam just can’t! I am a Malayali but then, I’ve been in Maharashtra for over 24 years and therefore I belong to it. Jai Maharashtra!

Dubai has been very rewarding thus far and I feel thankful to god for having given me this opportunity. I have earned a few to-be friends. As in, people I like and people who seem to like me and people I think will be my friends. Maybe, somewhere down the line. I’m not quite sure. I’m crazy like that. Being friends with people isn’t an easy thing for me to do. Friendship isn’t the mere hi-hello’s right? It’s more than that? I’ve had a roomie here for over 3 months now and the very fact that I’m still with him suggests that he’s alright. Even though he seems to talk a lot for his age, you know? He’s a young kid who has gained a lot at a plum age and therefore his adrenaline pumps every time he talks to the elders (us) and he feels proud about where he is now. And he must! I don’t see a problem with that. The problem is with words that seem to bother people. I’m pretty alright because I give it right back but then, he needs to be careful. Apart from him there are a few people at work I talk to and things seem to be flowing alright for now. I do not want a lot of changes for now because what I’d need here on is stability. I can’t afford a lot of mistakes or misfortunes and I’m heavily relying on mom and her prayers! The work culture in Dubai is something which I’m not used to. It worries me sometimes but there is little I can do about it. We have two sections (or more) of people here; two sections that I know of, the full time employees and the contractors or consultants so to say. Nuff said, FTEs have HR and the consultants don’t and of course there is this huge discrepancy in the money they earn for uhm, pretty much the same kinda work being done. It’s very common for people to be exploited here and you have to be careful when you sign up. This is something I have known from word of mouth and from personal experience. I guess it’s alright to talk about it since I’m not taking names. Add to that, sometimes, you really got to cut back on your ego to survive here. Keep your dignity alive but well, yes; lose out on your ego if you want to keep hanging on! Its tax free money for love’s sake! Apart from all this, Dubai is hot and exercising isn’t a possibility right now. This adds to me physically and I’m worried. I promise to do something about it when I return and I will post in with updates on that – WITHOUT FAIL! That’s that about being Anup in Dubai.

Professionally speaking:
I’ve landed on a goldmine! Alright now this bit is for those who know and understand my line of work. I’m sure it’ll be full of technical jargons the others might not care. The thing about me professionally is that I need a drive to work to my full potential and do well. An iota of motivation does wonders for me and I manage to amaze myself always. I was hired as a “Systems Administrator” or a “Microsoft Consultant” as on my offer letter. Now this is a very ambiguous title and it means that people like me who are specialty centric need to start working hard. I’ve been working on the Active Directory part of Microsoft Servers and that’s how it’s been for over 4 years! Now suddenly, I’m expected to know bits of almost all the Microsoft technologies available and this has evidently taken its toll on me. I currently am responsible for technologies like ISA, Citrix, Print services, User provisioning (Hell yeah!) and double it up since we have two such environments to take care of. Microsoft HMC also comes under us and that’s a complex thing right there for you. I also manage to interact a lot with the Incident/Problem/Change Management team and I am deeply involved with the day to day operations of a 3500 strong company. This involves a lot of procedures and paper work since the people here are very signature driven. Approvals are not online and you have to walk up to people, discuss changes, explain why it’s needed and then get them to sign. Its old school but very effective, I guess. I also get to interact a lot with the network operations and firewall management teams here thereby increasing my understanding of the way things work when it comes to systems security and infrastructure management from a security standpoint.

Simply put, there is a humongous amount of data that I’m currently gobbling in and that’s adding on to my pot belly! My head has always been big and it has been crowded since ever.  I have an information leak leading into my stomach; me thinks! More importantly, I work under a very able person who is my TL and I take him as my mentor in this field as of now. The guy is a genius when it comes to systems design, integration and troubleshooting. This was thoroughly unexpected. I’m not impressed so soon with anybody but this guy is different. I work part time as his PA and I don’t feel weird about it at all because of all the data that I get from him otherwise. He has given me a lot of opportunities already and trusts me with our systems. So yes, professionally I’m content and happy. I am expanding my horizons and soon, I’ll learn it all. I’d probably never be a visionary like my TL is but I’d sure pick up a few things from him which will help me grow and evolve into something more than a Systems Engineer. I’d slowly want to move towards the architectural line. I’d try and get into Customization and implementation sometime soon and be parts of projects. Once I have a few successful projects in my kitty I could move towards being what I want to end up as – A technical architect. I’d be frank here; I do not want to be a people manager. It’s not my best forte. I have issues with telling people what to do and what not to do. It’s not about lack of leadership skills. It’s just that I prefer doing my own stuff rather than depending on people for my success. You know how it is? I’d like to be as technically involved with my work as possible. Easier said than done, resting and settling down after reaching a particular post isn’t what we humans are made for. So, I don’t quite know. Things might change as I grow older. At least I hope they do. Cause all of my folks want to be “Managers” one fine day! I guess that’s final destination for all of us, right? In one way or the other, we humans want to be someone else’s boss! That’s how we prove ourselves our own worth. Heh, the gods must have been crazy to make creatures of our kind!

On the personal front:
Now here’s the real turn of events. A few months ago, the only thing I was worried about is if I still have leftovers in my newly bought fridge. I’d then buy some bread and eat it on my arrival from work. This was my biggest worry mind you! And out of nowhere *POOF* magic! She walks in. A comment here and a comment there, a smile here and a giggle there, some chats and many words! She changed it all and whispered all my problems away. It’s difficult to explain what she means to me now because we’re just starting it off and things have just sped by!

So, I asked her if she’d marry me. She hesitated a bit before which she said that she was dying to *winks* Bah, girls and all their dramas! Things have moved smooth and quick thereafter since the both of us put it across to our folks at home and got it all fixed up. I met her last month and yes, I’m getting engaged day after tomorrow – the 20th of September. It all seems like an unreal dream right now and I’m sure that everyone wouldn’t understand how anxious I am but I’m even more sure that she’s the one and yes, she’s going to be the heroine of this story. Here’s thanking chapter 26 of my life for letting her in and here’s thanking the internet and all the other environmental variables for bringing her to me! Well that’s it from my side for now. I have a flight to board in approximately 8 hours. I’m flying to Cochin and back during the Ramadan period. I wouldn’t be using a single day of approved leaves because we have a company declared leave of absence for the next 5 days! Peace out.

-Anup

Dubai

DubaiYou know what’s good about working on a Sunday? Nothing. I’m at work today and it makes me sad when I notice that its Sunday. I’m habituated to a non-working Sunday. Like I’ve mentioned before; I love the Rajni song – “Aaj Sunday hai… aaj Sunday hai… <pause> to din mein daaru peene ka day hai…” I mean, it’s not like I get drunk. Huh, barely even. I’m tired of the high I get out of canned Mango juice which is so sweet that it gives you a sugary high. I’ve added “Joos” by “Insert undecipherable Arabic here” company (which makes the most amazing canned Mango syrup I have ever tasted) into my daily diet. Sorry for complicating that statement but I had to put it across like this for optimum delivery of my current experience.

I apologize for the lack of new words here. I’ll justify my absence on the basis of my new found luck in Dubai. As I mentioned, in my previous post; here I am in Dubai working for one of the two telecom giants in this part of the world. I do not wish to correct my previous post and therefore, I’d like to use this space to thank Muiz for enlightening me to the fact that Dubai is not a country. So here I am in Dubai city and in the UAE. So why haven’t I been posting here? Considering that these are the most jubilant days of my life… allegedly. I’m used to babbling to the many ghosts who visit this blog. They are all just a figment of my imagination. But then, I don’t know how I feel right now. I’m supposed to be happy and elated but all I feel is a mixture of happy-sad moments where I crave to be back in my flat in Bangalore, my home and the comfort of my soft quill and the not so soft bed. I sometimes crave for my car and for the tea that my regular chay-wala made for me. Most annoyingly, I miss my family. I never missed them all this much when I was in Bangalore and I wonder why it is that I miss them all the more now. On that note, gather around. Pep talk – It costs me less than 1000 dhs for flight tickets to India and back. How neat is that? Alright, so I’ll keep the bullshit aside for now and come to the point. Why didn’t I write?

  • No original content.
  • Lethargy.
  • I was genuinely busy upto the 10th of this month.
  • I’m bored of myself and almost everyone else.
  • I suck.
  • Youtube wouldn’t work on my laptop ;(
  • Get lost now! Sup with you jobless people reading this crap?

For now and for this specific post; I’m not going to get into details. I will, however, provide minutes for the events that transpired over the last month. Whatever happened; happened after the 14th of April. A very auspicious day for us mallu’s!  It was Vishu and I was resting after a heavy meal. Point to note that I had attended quick interview rounds from XYZ Company 2 days before but I wasn’t expecting much because I always thought that good things never happened to me.

  • Call from the HR of XYZ Company with the offer letter.
  • Job location mentioned – Dubai, UAE.
  • Compensation – out of this world when compared with what I get now.
  • Joining date – ASAP; approximate date 5th of May.
  • Return to Bangalore.
  • Resignation at HP and ongoing problems with shortfall in notice period.
  • No hope and no use in trying to convince a manager who is bound by “policies” <yes sarcasm>
  • Accepted the offer and promised to join on the 5th.
  • Packed up my stuff and sent it to my new house in Kerala.
  • Said good bye to almost all the important people in Bangalore.
  • Drove down to Kerala, solo. It was one hellova ride.
  • Attended a huge family get together for the Pooja of my new house there.
  • Around 30 people turned up for the Pooja and over 120 people turned up for the lunch thereafter. Notice the discrepancy?
  • Spent some quality time with my family as the heat and humidity teamed up in a combined effort to torture us.
  • Finally went to Aathirapilly waterfalls and it was breathtaking.
  • Throughout this while, it was amazing that I couldn’t quite establish a decent dialogue with dad. I hate myself for that.
  • The ticket and Visa arrived on the 1st after a lot of anxious waiting.
  • Packing up thereafter did not take more than a couple of hours.
  • Bid farewell to my folks and luckily, this time, mom did not cry. She was calm and composed. This worried me because she is someone who cries each time I say good bye. I guess we did not have much time at the airport. Probably that’s why.
  • The airport roughed me up with a bill for 4500 /- Rs after having removed most of my books, shoes and blankets and the bag containing it. Extra luggage. Did you know that the maximum weight allowed in case of International flights is 20 kgs? YES!! That’s exactly what is charged in our national flights. Fly Emirates sucked like that. But then, I enjoyed the fact that they had a tv built in to the back of their seats which facilitated an easy passage of time. Plus, complimentary breakfast of “Kadala curry and Upma” damn that combination!
  • I could smell the barren land as I stepped out of the flight and felt the heat, the real heat for the first time!
  • Suddenly Kerala seemed like Mt. Abu to me.
  • I rushed into the waiting A/C buses and I’ve been indoors ever since.
  • I am currently living at the company guest house which is a 3BHK flat at a plush location in Dubai. Burjman, Bur Dubai to be exact.
  • I cannot afford to like this place cause uhm, well… I cannot afford the kinda rent they demand in this part of town.
  • I’d need to find a place by the end of this month and I’m clueless right now.
  • The transportation system out here is good in spite of all the traffic jams. Its luxurious and seems inexpensive when compared to what’s being given.
  • We have nothing less than Toyota Camry’s running as taxi’s. I’ve always wanted to ride in one of those and well, that’s that.
  • Current debacle and ongoing debate with myself and Mr. Prahlad Singh, my only respite amongst all the new people around me.
  • He’s a new person too, but then; clicks with some people instantly, doesn’t it?
  • We’ve decided to look for a house together and I’m crawling my way towards settling down.
  • I’ve begun exploring Dubai. From within the walls and cool rooms mind you! This is the time when the Middle East lights up its pyre.
  • I managed to be inside the worlds largest mall and I did see the worlds only (self acclaimed) 7 start hotel and yes, the worlds largest building, the Burj Dubai. I went nuts as I witnessed these awesome structures and I’m at awe for the wonders man can build.
  • Over and above all this, work, which is the reason I came here has been good and very enriching thus far.
  • I hope to get my hands dirty with technologies like Clustering/ISA/SMS/MOM/ILM2 and HMC.
  • People who do not understand technology might want to ignore that. But for those who do know – you’ll know thats a handful!

That’s just about it for now. There is more to discuss but I guess I’ll keep that for later. I’m sure that things will go back to where it was. I will write more regularly and yes; I do hope to travel. Finally, it’s too early for this but I do miss my land and its killing me that I’ll miss out on the wet smell of fresh mud. I will miss the yearly rains and I’d sweat it out here in the Middle East where summer has just begun. To all my people – I miss you’ll!

Pristine

The other day I decided to take a walk. A walk of shame down the rickety rather boulder studded gully next to Radha aunty’s house. I’ve always taken pride in the fact that I’ve managed to earn both money and respect amongst the people who crowd my life. Now I understand that it is because of the enormous luck that I have had aiding me and of course mom’s constant prayers to the boss above. Well, I consider all of them to be equally powerful – luck, mom and god that is. I’ve managed to absorb a lot of data when I was with Convergys and I did consider myself to be technically sound or uhm, technically competent if  you may, for modesty reasons. One of the prime reasons I was successful was because of the want to prove myself to my family, the society and her. For which, I studied, I followed up and I discussed technically challenging conundrums with my peers and was someone who was quickly motivated by challenges. I’d get to the task of eating up on problems and boiling down to conclusions and answers in no time. I was fairly confident of resolving any and every issue that came my way by means of communicating with my colleagues, my seniors and then google. The walk of shame came when I started feeling technically handicapped of late and I feel sorry for myself since I am someone who could have easily accumulated more information than all these liabilities and loan I have pressing down on my like a ceaseless guilt which would hamper your growth and insight.

Anyway, the walk of shame came to and end all of a sudden and to my utter surprise I see her! It was like a strong flicker of sunlight on a day covered by a bicentennial celebration of darkness. It was like a whiff of cold wind on a sultry thursday afternoon full of deadlines that devour your very want to live. It was like a… uhm… no more cause I’d taint that moment. All I’d say that it was magical. Like a drizzle when I wish for it. Sorry, couldn’t stop myself there. I love drizzles, did I ever mention that? I’m madly in love with the rains and I wait for the rainy season ever year and then wish for it to be gone when it turns into a menace. Especially cause I’m more of an indoorsy person and because I’d let a good book take me off to a fantasy land rather than be driven by a senseless rage and urge to spend more. Which is also something I used to do when I thought I was in love. Going back…

Her! I had just cut into this smaller lane out of the badly feet-raped little track which led out of Radha aunty’s place. I guess thats where she lived. She stepped out of her house squealing and giggling. She stood at the door for a while with one feet still inside the house and the other feat rearing her to run out and scream some more. She looked into my eyes and flashed a million watt smile. It was the brightest one I had ever seen and I stood there adoring her innocent face. A breeze caught her attention as it played with a tiny plait of her hair and she stared in the direction of the wind as if requesting it to stop tickling her. Her eyes shined brightly as she gave me a mischievous grin. I smiled at her and stood there, just to see what she’d do next. She sent out a shrill cry cause she couldn’t cross the threshold of her house since there was this high plank which did not allow her to cross over. Here is where I noticed a firm hand grasp her by both her armpits and softly drop her outside and into the verandah. Mom had done what she was supposed to and the little princess in her tattered but clean pink dress went on a dance run, squealing and running with sense of freedom which made me envious of her. She looked beautiful. She was worryless, unperturbed and did not care about who I was. She ran over and stared up at me. I bent down and set her hair right. I noticed her mom observing me and I smiled at her. She had seen me before I think and didn’t say much. I stood there and watched her play. The little bundle of joy. I’d wish to see her everyday but unfortunately for all of us, we grow and so do all our worries.

Its a life altering process; change that is. You wish for change but you are not prepared for it. Aging is a change. Its an unstopable, irreversible, most unavoidable change of them all and I’ve been trying to come to terms with the changes my life has seen over the past year and a half. Here’s another change or a new opportunity if you may which has come my way and I’ve decided to grab it, arms wide open. I’m not sure if I’m right or wrong and I’m freaking out right now but then, there is little I can do. I’ve always been someone who has looked forward for changes and challenges. I’ve been raring to get into some work which appeals to the more intelligent side of my brain and I seem to have a break at something which seems to be awesome! News, from the looks of it and from what I have in hand right now, I’ll be moving out of where I am into a new world very soon. I’d talk about where, when, why and all of that part later. For now, all I need to find out is about how my life would change from the 4th of May. Its been a very difficult decision and I’m looking forward to what has come my way. Will get back with details later. I might be missing for a bit but I’ll get back as soon as I can.

-Anup

The case of the disappearing roach.

I’m fairly certain about a recent revelation which has come through to me from my most recent stand offs with the tiny, dangerous; crawling carriers of disease and death – insects! No. I’m not doing that which I always do – exaggerate. I’m pretty horrified right now because I was in a mood for re-runs and trust me, I’m mad like that! I went on a massive movie troll spread across almost all the genres I could possibly think of and have. Did I tell you’ll that I have around 500 GB worth movies neatly arranged like a library would? I have them classified and organized in folders like – Sci-Fi, Thrillers, Horror, Animation, Crime, Drama, Fantasy, Mystery and Regional. So when I talk about a re-run, it’s usually coherent to the classics and those that we’d all love age-sex-caste-language no bar! That’s a new one I invented a few seconds back. I began with Harry potter, went on to the Matrix and then to Aliens. So you’d probably have guessed that my weekend was full of gore, bloodshed and otherwise violently powerful naked men and women who can do things you and I can’t!! Defines me, doesn’t it?

Anyway, the point here being, somewhere amongst the saga of sadness that my life is, as of now, it’s also a plethora of fears and confusion overflowing with anxiety. So much so that it drives me crazy sometimes. Cause here is where I suddenly discovered that I’m Entomophobic. I have an incessant fear of insects – crawly, creepy, buzzy or otherwise sticky and gross. Simply put, I’d rather die than be touched by a bee. I hate bees! And I certainly am not fond of ants. Mostly because they seem to love the food I love. Yes, I have a sweet tooth. Pretty much the reason why I’m stuck at 84 kgs! Hmmm, or is it 86 now? Arghh! I must do something about the distance I’m covering by virtue of the mass around me.

joe-s-appartment-photo1I noticed this repulsion when I was watching Joe’s apartment and I watched those disgusting brown creepy crawlies do the jiggle. It was undoubtedly one of the funniest movies I’ve watched but I got so grossed out by it that I decided to switch to Aliens which as you’ll might know had giant roaches. I think this is a more recent development. I’ve watched these movies before and I’ve loved them. But then, I think I’m just pissed at all those ants; those 8 shaped whiskerous doormats who never give up. I mean, it’s true that they inspire me. They are perseverant and they don’t give a fuck about how big I am. They’re bold and wouldn’t think twice before sipping off the tea that I’m drinking or basking in the glory of all the crumbs I drop. I’m quite pissed about how they invade my privacy. My bed is my place; I really can’t stand them there. So after repeated attempts at finger-kicking, squishing and tormenting, I’ve finally given up and thereby given birth to this fear. The fear is most brutal as I climb into my bed after a tiring day. I spend around 20 minutes dusting and re-tucking my sheets in. Uncovering my pillow and checking for stray ants. Ears are sensitive organs, you know? Thousands of rupees spent on room-fresheners and insect repellers. Ok, now that was me exaggerating. I’ll settle for hundreds. So, yes, hundreds spent on keeping these pests away – but they continue to delve and thrive in my fear. Good for them. I recently spotted a genuinely large 6 legged spider weaving a poisonous web near my geyser. I had to beg my maid servant to get it out of my sight. She graciously agreed to play squish squash with it as I observed with glee! Heartless, I know, but then; arachnids scare the shit out of me, which is ironical because I’ve been constipated for the past 3 days after deciding to eat some titbits the maid servant cooked up.

Roaches. I’m sure these are the most tolerant, dirty, shameless, ugly and otherwise repulsive creatures EVER! They’ve lived before us and I’m sure that they’ll turn into the dominant species once we’re wiped out. Either by an Armageddon bought down upon us by god or by uhm, well, World War III? Personally, I’d prefer falling rocks of fire and lightening. That’d be a more celestially beautiful method of destruction. I sincerely hope it isn’t some sort of a plague. Considering the increase in the amount of pests around me, I’m preparing for the worst. Here’s where it suddenly hits me that I’ve strayed off topic and this is precisely why I’ve laid the book to rest for now. I don’t want myself running all over it and making mincemeat of all the hard work I’ve put in for over the past year and more.

So I saw this huge roach perched menacingly atop my wooden treasure full of clothes I dearly love. I froze for a second; aghast at the size of the winged blattodea. It sat there unperturbed and I thought it was staring at me and this aggravated me. I wanted it dead. I ran to the kitchen as fast as I could and grabbed the broom which is a perfect weapon of destruction when it comes to these defiant little creatures. They just refuse to die, if you might have observed. You squash them all you might – they have no blood and they seem to sustain almost all your blows. But I had made up my mind and I wasn’t going to let this one slip away. I raced back and found it awaiting its death. I smiled as I approached it, weapon raised and ready to strike. It flinched a bit as it felt the whoosh of the broom but it didn’t budge. WHACK!! The broom did land on it and I swear to god that it did. There was no way in hell it could have gotten out of that massive onslaught. I kept the broom stuck to my cupboard hoping to let it suffer for a while before it finally falls dead. I then slowly let the broom slid off and hoped to find a dead bloodless body. Here’s where I lost track of time and stood there, lost in thought. There was no sign of it. It vanished. Into thin-fucking-air! I desperately searched the entire room. The contents of my cupboard got transferred to the hall (where it is, to this date!) I then moved my bed over to the hall, my computer, my table, the buckets and the cups. I evacuated the entire room and the hunt lasted for several traumatizing minutes. All my efforts were in vain; a futile attempt at getting closer to a creature so smart that it’d demand your respect. I bow to thee, Ohh brown winged menace. But I promise, the next time I see you staring at me… well, you know what I’ll do to you! Pfft.

In other news, I’m going to be travelling a lot this month and like I’ve mentioned before, I love roadtrips and long bus rides are relished. I’m going to Pune on the 9th and I’d be there up to the 14th. I got an extra day’s leave since its Vishu; the mallu new year and mom was adamant on keeping me home that day. This vacation, courtesy Good Friday and Easter that’s coming up and the British clients I work for have graciously agreed to give us all 4 days of peace. I can’t begin to express how thankful and appreciative I am. Much needed break. Add to that, my new house is ready. At Kerala this time; his final house, dad laments and I’m sure that there’d be no more. We have a Puja scheduled for the 30th of this month and I’m hoping to drive down to Kerala again. It’s going to be fun cause this time I’d be doing it alone. That’s about it. No further updates. Peace out.

-Anup

Got time?

No timeI’m so full. I just had one of those heavy dinners after a really heavy evening snack which was still being ruled over by a malignant lunch full of rice and eggs. Darn! Wasn’t I supposed to be dieting? Ohh yeah, how did it slip off my mind? I’m me. I give up, I procrastinate, I’m afraid and I lose; every time. I had managed to cut down on the excess flab I had by running hard and by consuming only that; which my body needs and not what my tongue and heart craves. I guess that was a temporary gush of zeal and vigour which has died out over the course of the last few months and I’ve been hogging like a pig. The only difference being me, the fat pig that I am – I eat packed, more cleaner food products and you wont spot me roaming the dumpster gorging on whatever shit is available. Its not like I make a pig of myself all the time but I never lose an opportunity. Like today, I told myself, “Hey! Chetan is coming over, so its alright. Lets have Chinese.” So I did. I nearly choked myself trying to finish up all the Shezwan Chowmein and I now feel like my stomach’s going to explode spewing half-digested noodles all over the place. Hmmm, come to think of it now, it’ll be a rather filthy way to die. I think Abhi is right, I am a foodie and there’s no stopping me. I suck.

LifeI actually began this royal ramble in an attempt to find answers to the question – Are we really busy? I’ve had friends and family turn into absolute strangers just because they did not have time.  They “scrap” me on orkut and thats all that there is left between me and a couple of friends who meant the world to me. People who seemed like stones in cement, they are scratchy and annoying, but they make the whole structure that is my life more stable. Its another story that I don’t bother scrapping them cause for me, thats the way I communicate with people I care less about. You wouldn’t want your life to be like its displayed on the right, would you? Time; is it really that expensive? I have my calculation here: Sleep – 8 hrs. I’ve been very liberal with this activity because I’m trying to catch up on a lot of lost sleep. Repeat – love sucks. I remember there being nights where I’d spend the entire night just waiting for a call or a message from her. What the fuck did I think I was doing? Ok, I’m back after that short break. That wasn’t me, just an alter-personality. He thought he was in love and all that junk, you know? Excuse him please. So, yeah, 8 hrs of sleep, 8 hrs of work (Yeah, I’m particular about this. No more-No less) 2 hrs of travel time and this includes commutation to and from work and other travels that I commit to on a daily basis. Like walking to the bathroom, going to the chai-tapri nearby and stand there sipping on tea for a few minutes, lost in sleep and shit in my eyes. I hate that icky thing in my eyes when I wake up. I wonder where that comes from. I really don’t need a scientific answer to that. Most organic lubricants are disgusting. I’ve covered 18 hrs. Lets see, what next? I’ll award 2 hrs for unavoidably involuntary but pleasurably voluntary activities like thinking hard whilst taking a dump, a long warm water shower (when it isn’t as burny as it is these days) where I’d stand like one of those heroes in action movies who’d thrust their palms into the wall and let the water hit their naked back. Stand there forever as if trying to tackle a world problem. Brushing my teeth, flossing and admiring them. I still have 4 hours left! Thats like 8,64,000 seconds. Yup, I did the math. Sheldon and Miz Beverly Hofstadter have inspired me to calculate, wherever possible.

I then thought about how it’d be different for all the people feigning a busy schedule. What could possibly change in their calendar which makes them busier and thereby glorify my joblessness in the pathetic excuse for a life that I live. Or vice-versa maybe? I’m not sure whats better these days. I suppose and assume from whatever I see around me, that being busy is a trait of a more successful being. 4 HOURS is what I get more each and every day and I’m sure I make efforts at trying to keep in touch with people. I talk to people who’d want to talk to me. I send out emails; sometimes to random strangers who I know will never reply. I chat up, call, text and do everything that I can to let people know that I’m still around. And this, I do everyday. Now, this may not include people like Abhi in it cause with him, I don’t need to. He’s that awesome. He’d make that call and unto now, he’s made those calls without fail. I’ve been inconsiderate to him in more ways than one over the course of time but I’m sure he understands and I’ve been emphatically successful at emotionally challenging him. Which, of course is where he’d fall weak and give in. He’s a bundle of joy! Hmmm, more on him later. For now, my words go out for those millions of people who don’t find time. I’ve got a small story to tell you’ll. I hope you’ve read this before, but if you haven’t, then here’s for you:

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.So the professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes”. The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.”Now,” said the professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognise that this jar represents your life.The golf balls are the important things – family, your loved one, your children, your God and your friends, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your career, your money, bank accounts, your house, and your car.The sand is everything else-the small stuff. “If you put the sand into the jar first,” he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. If you put pebbles first there is no room for the golf-balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small things, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Play with your children. Take time to get medical check-ups. Take your partner out to dinner. Spend more time with your loved ones. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. There will always be time to earn that extra dollar.” Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

This goes out to all of my friends who’d never return an sms or who would never bother messaging online just because they dont want to be the ones making the efforts. This goes out for all of those people who should be humbled by their existence in this beautiful truffle cake where all they need to do is to chew and lick. Its delicious and all you need to do is reach out. Well, lets not talk about recession and the possibility of it turning into a deep depression; for now, ok? Lets just concentrate on that cake. Yes, the truffle. Make time, talk to yourself and adore yourself once in a while. Its perfectly alright. Call up your loved ones whenever you can – you always have time to make a call or drop a message. You know that, don’t you? You’re never busy to share love. Read a book even if you dont read my blog, pfft. My recommendations – You are here, Of course I love you, Anything for you ma’am; those should be a good start. Simple, lucid writing is easily relished, I feel. This goes out to all those inconsiderate people who ignore their friends just cause they have new ones. For all those insensitive slaves of time who think that it’ll always be green on their side. Take 10 minutes out, will you? This goes out for ME.

-Anup

In my humble opinion.

Opinions are like assholes, everyone has one. Every asshole is just as stinky as every other from where you and I are. In fact, I’d go on to say, “I don’t care about what you think!” but that’d just be me; exaggerating my aggravated ego which seems to grow on me as each day passes. I don’t like the part where people annoy me. It just seems to make me very vulnerable. I seem to make it very obvious to friends and everyday passerby’s that you’d be able to crack me up just by telling me that I’m wrong. Its that way for most of us, but I’d want to be like Chetan in this case. Strong… so much so that you just can’t move him. Your feeble attempts at getting him out of his comfortable stance will fall on deaf ears. Your opinions and thoughts will be filtered out and he’ll take only what he wants to hear. He’d appear to be the most calm and composed person ever; pretending to listen to you but there’d be a ton of other more important things (for him) going on in his head. I’d want to be like that, but then, somehow I hate it when people try to impose their likes, opinions and ideas on me. I don’t do that to anyone. I delve in my own hole and I seem to be able to make myself happy without having to try too hard. Somehow, I have no complexes and I don’t need to put people down to boost my ego. I can do that by just living!

So you like this and I like that. Did I tell you to like that? Then why do you expect me to like this? Did I say this was bad and that was better? Did I even ask you about this? Did I ask you to like that? I wonder why some people seem to have this compulsive need to bestow their opinions down onto you, like they are the masters of this universe and what they think and know should be universally accepted. Your opinion is just as stinky as mine so why don’t you savor your pudding and let me enjoy mine? Hell no! With some people this just won’t work. They are incorrigible and they think the world of themselves. I really don’t want to be bitching like this on a blog that no one reads but then I wasn’t sure about any other place to vent. And guess the funny part? Most of these self obsessive parasites of originality are amongst your circle of family and friends and there is nothing you can do to escape their wrath! God dammit people; don’t you’ll get the simple point here? To what dogma’s do all minds agree? See my point, please… I LIKE THIS AND NOT THAT period

Moving on to something more interesting – my drive down to Kerala is all planned and I can’t wait anymore. I’ve been waiting for a chance to unwind (mostly within myself) and uhm, enjoy some nature maybe, get some photography done, be with family and go on a long drive. This trip gives me all that I wanted and more. I got my baby serviced and she’s sparkling clean now. The engineer at Mandovi explained the functioning of the A/C and also told me that it was but obvious for it to get so dusty inside when I had the front filter button turned off. I got it cleaned and polished inside, oil and water change, gear tested, brakes tested and overall the guy thought my car was doing very well. No problems whatsoever with the engine, clutch or the alignment. All’s good – so fuck you! Yeah you who thinks I don’t drive right *winks* Not to forget, I witnessed a not-so-funny incident in Forum the other day. I was staring at this couple as I rose onto the second floor via the elevator which seemed to be slower than ever. This was perhaps the cutest couple I had seen that day and I was about to do my usual thing where I’d look at them, smile and whisper a ‘bless you!’ but here is where things went wrong. Both of them were cuddled up peering into the crowd below and I thought they were smiling. They were standing next to each other arm to arm and the girl seemed to be playing with his hair. Out of nowhere the guy (using his elbow) back punches the girl on her nose sending her back in agony almost cursing aloud. And my face goes from the “God bless you’ll look” to the “Dude? What the fuck?” look and he notices me and 4 other guys on the other side staring at him. Here (realizing that we saw that) the girl suddenly starts laughing and tickling him. He; still shocked to notice us noticing him tries to play along but looks miserably darned and the both of them fizzle out of there. Man that was weird. I had a bitter feeling in my mind for the entire evening. What’s wrong with people?

In other news; my workshop on creating writing comes to an end on Saturday the 8th and I’m very satisfied with its outcome. An awesome teacher, a few good people to have known and some rock solid information. We’re having this session come party thing on Saturday and that’d be it. I must continue writing on my book. It is a very difficult process they say and it’d take more than just will to see your words end with someone’s smile, laughter or tears. I assume it’d feel like suspended animation; total bliss! Anyhoo, I’m hoping to write more once after I’m done with the whole thing in December and a couple of other things on my mind. I’m hoping to continue work on it in January. I saw the movie – Body of Lies and I’d strongly recommend it. Everything about that movie rocks, so I won’t talk much about it. Just watch it! That’s just about it. I might not be able to write anything before I leave on Sunday. So I guess I’ll see you guys after I return and yes, I will make notes and provide a complete travel-log when I return. Ohh and I’d like to end with something I wrote in class in the last session:

I peered into the strange cloud above my head,
As if trying to steal a sneak peak into whats inside.
Strange; cause it had no silver lining…
Just another wet cloud above my bed.
Love has been like that for me,
The most broken gift that it could ever be.

The cloud never thunders and bursts,
It just seems to hang on choking me as it does…
Clusters of love from you that turned to dust.
The cloud is full of questions and I drift…
Is it me or him that she loves?
God damn this strange cloud of love;
Can’t you just rain it down on me and stop being up above?

-Anup

Abhi’s engagement!

Well, here it is! The big man is finally tied up to a tree thats rooted to an eternal damnation in hell. Sometimes I think; how can someone as magnificent as him ever be tied up? Then I remember and I acknowledge the power of aphrodite! She can have anything and everything she wants. The power of WOMAN, hail for thou.

So, yeah, thats the deal. Abhijit got engaged on the 28th’s and I witnessed it along with his many many friends who were very few according to him because he could not invite them all. That would probably highlight the fact that he has tens of thousands of friends or so he likes to illustrate his popularity. We can keep it like that cause Mr. Shedge is a popular guy. His to-be-wife though, from whatever appeared of her seems like a quiet, shy maharashtrian girl who’d make awesome wife. That of course is my initial hypothesis. The story is yet to unfold.

Grown up us!
Grown up us!

The engagement was grand. I actually expected something different but was pleasantly surprised to see that it was pompous and very well managed. I loved some part of the food and I must say that the mung ka halwa was outstanding. I wanted to have more but then I did not want my blazer to go tight on me! Haha, funny story that! I got myself a new blazer and a pair of woodland shoes for his engagement. Feel good factor added to it. I felt awesome overall. Being there with him on an important day. Sharing those moments with his friends and family. Quite an honour O’ creator of the matrix! We now have an oracle in our midst and we must bow to her. Her name is Bhagyashree and she’s a sweet girl with an adorable smile *touch wood* Almost everyone important attended the ceremony. Namely, the Bangalore gang – Me, Ajay and Chetan and then we had close friends from CVG – Rashmi, Smikh, Anoop and then the others of his batch. So overall, the whole function was a grand success.

Nothing special apart from this happened except for my sister getting herself a laptop which is a cool thing cause now I can talk to her online once in a while and that’d surely help me, you know? I returned early the next morning with Ajay and Chetan; back to Bangalore. They cursed Bangalore throughout the way and well, I’ve made up my mind now – people would have tons of opinions and they have their own choices and likings. I am no one to change it and I should not comment when they vent out their frustration. If they hate this place, they do! Should that bother me? No. So, I must shut up when stuff like that happens again. I really shouldn’t care. So I’m back and I’m sick! What I need now is rest and I’m happy that I’m getting it.

To end this, I have something to say to my former paramour. Listen to me carefully girl! Now I’m not sure you’d read off this page cause from whatever it is that I know of you, I know you’d not return to any aspects of my life. But somehow, I felt like typing this in here, just in case you read. So, I had to tell you just one simple thing. Keep the fuck off our lives! Did you hear me or should I repeat? Ohhh, I nearly forgot, you don’t have a mother tongue. Hindi mein bolu? To fir theek hai, waise bhi bol deta hu – Mujhse aur mere dosth logon se door reh. Here, I mean, keep your mouth shut about any of us. Cause we don’t talk about you. So, here’s a fair chance for you to shut the fuck up and sit uptight. The next time I hear you bad mouthing any of my friends and trust me, things reach us… I’d bust the bubble you’ve made for yourself without thinking twice. And yes, thats a warning. The next time, I won’t save your ass! I’d let those concerned to deal with you and your ignorance. I repeat – it’d be best for you if you just forget us. Live and let live. I expect no further comments from you about someone else’s sexual orientation. Not that your opinions matter, but then you bad mouth again and I’m going to deal with it myself. So, SHUT THE FUCK UP when it comes to us, kapiche?

-Anup

To the yearly rains – I miss you.

I finally convinced myself to shake off the rust that had crept onto my fingers over the last 3 odd weeks. I wasn’t trying to keep myself from writing; but just my usual bouts which did not allow me to hit the keys. Until now that is. I’ve wanted to write ever since I started experiencing power problems! Well, I’m human and every human being has a hole in his heart. We’d always want to talk about whats missing and whats not right. We’d always crib about what makes us uncomfortable and most of us are so used to comfort and leisure that the smallest nano-ounce of discomfort would trigger off a chain reaction which would then force us to ogle out a list of other related woes.

In my case, its the rains! Where the fuck are the clouds? Seriously Zeus; I know you’re a tyrannical god and you rule no hearts. But unfortunately, you rule the skies and you’re the rain god! Where are the rains? If you’re a god, you’d know how the rain makes us humans feel. Especially downright romantics such as myself. I know, I sound like a girl in pink – but do you care? Consider me to be one of those numerous nincompoops you need to provide the rains to. For various reasons, I’d say. We creatures here on earth need water for each and everything.  Our very existence depends on it. Its nearing the end of July and I don’t see it raining anywhere. I mean, what the hell are you waiting for? Give us your fury! Let it rain.

Simply put, the rainy season has arrived with little or no rain clouds and I’m worried about how we’d be able to survive if it continues like this. I need it to rain just like all of us. I wish to see a greener earth. I wish for there to be plenty of food next year. I hope that rain brings us more resources to suck on. The most important one in our case, electricity. Unlike the super powers, we here in developing countries still depend on water for most of our power related needs. So if there’s an upsurge in the demand of electricity, which I’m sure there is; and if its preceded by a monsoon with shortage of water, it’d turn out of to be an irony you can’t laugh at. The situation here in Bangalore is grim. There is no power for almost 3-4 hours a day. Also, what annoys me is the part where they do not declare the power cuts. Why can’t we be more civilized? Like Kerala maybe? There, they have been minimizing power usage since times immortal. 30 minutes of blackout everyday is something thats told to everyone and something thats followed religiously. No one minds it. Out here and over the last 2 weeks; we face power outages every 3-4 hours for like 30-40 minutes and it rips my patience off.

Finally, the main reason I miss the rains. I miss its beauty. I miss the drizzle and I miss the warmth it carries along with all its shivers. Its life I feel and its beautiful. The smell of rain on dry soil… mmm; one fragrance that man couldn’t capture yet. I miss the fragrance too. Its hardly rained! What the hell is going on? I just want it to rain. Apart from this everything is in place and I’m on top of the world. I haven’t been hitting the gym for over 2 weeks. Mostly because I thought my body needed some rest. I’ve kept the dieting tempo up though and have kept away from any fattening food. I’ll hit the gym pretty soon. There are other stories to talk about, but then, those worry me, so I won’t talk about it. Abhi, Muiz, Smikh and everyone else close to me is in line for beginning a new life with someone special. I feel that I’d be left alone. Not that I’m so full of people right now, but then I can at least think about these people now. A few months down the line, I’d be a loner for good. But then, what the fuck? I’ll deal with it too. My apathy towards loneliness keeps on increasing. Being alone doesn’t scare me anymore. Heh.

-Anup