2012 – Welcome to a year of penance…

…or so they say. I’m crowded by thoughts of the dreadful things that are to happen in this year but all of it seemed to disappear as I lived through year 2011 and moved on to year 2012 along with Shruti (most certainly my better half), Rohit and Shobhita (Shruti’s brother and his wife). There seemed to be nothing but pure unadulterated joy and an almost childish anxiousness to welcome year 2012!

The year 2012 is going to be a historic year as envisioned by many right from the Mayans right down to our modern day scientists and world leaders. A year which is to see human agony like none other. Its not like I’m much of a believer but its always there on the back of my mind that we humans will pay dearly for all the dreadful sins we have committed, are committing and are yet to commit in the year to go by. End of year is what they have foretold and I’m already excited to see 2013 just to prove the masses wrong. As a species we are tolerant and we adapt to changes very quickly therefore, just like the cockroaches I think we will live past what these fortune tellers have predicted and I’m sure we’ll live through it in style.

The year that has gone by has been a rather quiet one for me; considering all the words that haven’t left my fingers and all the times where I wished I could write. Words continue to elude me but I think all of that is about to change mostly because I’ve begun reading again. I’ve started off with easy to read books because I prefer those and I’d like to stick to diction that I could make sense of quickly rather than having to pull out the dictionary and strain myself. It has been a galore of Indian fiction and puppy romances from the IIT’ians. I am surprised with the sheer number of IITians turned writers post the Chetan Bhagat era. Every Engineer who walks out of IIT writes a romantic easy to read novel these days and I think I have liked almost all of them. I have picked up the occasional drabs but those were make-a-do too. Not at all bore or drab, you know? I wonder how these guys find the time to come up with excellent stuff. Kudos to you’ll. Ahhh, I have strayed away.

So the year 2011 can be summarized in the following few sentences:

  1. Moved back to India (Hyderabad) from Dubai. [This deserves a write up in itself!]
  2. Joined TCS – as is hired from du to continue working on the same project from Hyderabad.
  3. Transition from Uncharted 2 to Uncharted 3
  4. Work – PS3 – eat – PS3 – Annoy Shruti – Sleep – Repeat.
  5. My brand new pot belly.

Along with this comes the losses and gains section. I’ll keep this short and easy to understand.

What I have lost:

  1. The truck load of worries I had when I was in Dubai.
  2. Words and the will to write.
  3. Wasted time on a box full of fun.
  4. Friends – quite a few this year actually. I’m not surprised though.
  5. Uncharted 2 – not supported anymore!

What I have gained:

  1. A friend for life. Do I need more?

All that being said; I’m super thrilled right now because I’m the proud owner of a Fossil CH2695 and it nothing less than a work of art. Thats my new years gift from Shruti and I cant stop staring at it every now and then. I always wanted something this cool in a brown and black combo, you know? Darn sweet! Thanks a ton wifey… muah’s!

So, yes, here’s me, the both of us and all of us together welcoming 2012 with open arms. Lets hope the river flows in the best direction possible. Cheers!~

-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

Happy feet!

Ok, now stop wondering about how and why I’ve posted in so quickly. I know thats its within a very short time span and thats not how I’ve been off late. I usually post in light years and I come up with stuff no one wants to read. Come to think of it now, I think I’ve lost my reader base (pfft, if I had any that is!) but then, what the hell, I was genuinely into other stuff, alright? Give the poor guy some air, will you? Anyway, so why all of a sudden and why am I happy? Well, I’m going to India baby! I’m going to MY country and I cannot put into words how jubilant I am. I know that its not more than 3 months since I left the place but its summer here in Dubai and its raining there in India. So… you see why I’m elated, no?

Here’s the thing – I’m going on a short visit and its because something very important has come my way. I will explore the reasons with everyone later but for now, its time for me to leave. Ohh, and yes, this blog is bound to contain bits and pieces of me time and again. I’m sorry Accha. This place is special and I feel like talking. Sometimes you feel like talking to the crowd and you want for all of them to listen to you intently and give you the time you deserve. What better means than a blog? So, I am going to continue writing and I’m sorry but there is little I can do to stop myself from writing here. I’ve been trying hard over the past few months and you dont quite know how suffocated I feel at times. This is my place, you know? I dont quite care if people read and chuckle at my expense. I’m happy if they’re happy. I’m a compassionate human being. Anything for smiles. I’ll be gone from 5th to 9th. To my loved ones – Pray for me.

Finally, my dearest Praandi,

Thanks for the magic! I’m coming…

-Anup

Happy birthday Abhi!

Abhi

I’ve been in a rut for over a month now and I guess I’m experiencing my first ‘Writers Block’ It’s a rut of remaining tucked in. Cuddled up within my warm fuzzy comforter. Ohh yeah, you heard that right. A comforter in Dubai? When it’s burning down on the sands? The carrier AC in my room is broke and it functions at 16 degree celcius. So, yes, its freezing. But thats alright as far as I’m concerned because I can withstand the cold but never the heat. The early morning heat ruins my want for more sleep, the afternoon heat eats up on my apetite (I dig the pun here) and the evening heat kills my want to wander out and ogle at the triple calved escorts roaming the streets of Bur Dubai. I tell you, French women are something else! JHC, what thighs! Tiny trouser kinda thingies, heels that’d make them taller than Prahlad who is six feet two and diamond cut stockings which could make me wanna throw up. Now I’m sure that’s a sight you’d never want to miss cause precisely; at that very second, when you ponder at reasons for them appearing the way they do… you’d find this amazing BMW 7200 slowly pull up to one of them and they’d slid right in. wOOt ehh? Point being, I’m a home-office-bathroom-commode-office-repeat kinda guy right now and I’m blissfully happy.

Coming to why I actually decided to blog; considering my enormous bout of lethargy and its visible side effects, its Mr. Shedge’s birthday! Ohh yes, Abhijit Shedge has turned uhm, XX years old. He’s lived another glorious year still reigning the world and still the creator of the Matrix. The Matrix that we live in. Yes, you got that right. He is that man who knows everything. He knows why you smile, he knows whats going on in your head and he even knows what you’d do tomorrow at 11:00 AM and if he doesn’t, all he needs to do is to look up his chat logs. Abhi’s chat logs are magical, you know? These logs seem to know things he knows plus more. Simply put, he’s amazing. And I’m not even kidding or being sarcastic, if thats what you’ll think this is. This is a clear word picture of one of the most valuable people in my life.

I’m too far away to give him a hug, a gift and loads to laugh about but I thought I’d take up this opportunity to do something I can do – Give him a few days of fame on this blog (yeah, you got that right!) and secondly thank him. Somehow, when it comes to Abhi, however much I say, thank you’s just dont seem to suffice. He’s the kind of guy who’d stick by when you’ve been nothing but an asshole. The kinda guy you’d find at your doorstep… BEFORE YOU CALL FOR HIM! Most importantly, he’s the kind of guy who’d never miss a phone call. That’s life saving, you know? To have people like him in your life is nothing short of a miraculous gift from god. Most people go all their lives without friends like him and I’m happy that he’s been around, from the times when we were nothings. But we were together at it. I’m proud of having outgrown my self-proclaimed poverty of money, sense and maturity along with him. He’s still immature though and his PJ’s are out of this world. Those are jokes that can be digested only by the tall man – Chetan Parik. What strikes me the most is his sense and understanding which suddenly seems to pop out of nowhere when it comes to things outside his circle of comfort. He’ll quickly turn into this calm, well spoken, knowledgeable guy who can connect with everyone around him without an effort! Where we may take months and years to make friends, he takes days. And I can go on about Abhi but then I guess I’d end this cause I just don’t want any spoil sights looking at him.

Abhi, if not 100, may you live a million years more in complete harmony with all your loved ones around and I’m dying to return into that protective circle. I cannot explain how insecure I feel when I’m not around my people; especially you, Muiz and Smikh. This is the best I can do for now – a treat to your eyes. Here’s about you and only you on my blog. Wish you many happy returns of the day. Happy budday to you, hatthi padla pu pu! Thanks for being there brother… from another mother. I’ve always wanted to use that idiom. Neat ehhh?

-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!

Vishuashamsagal*

Mallu’s celebrate their new year on the 14th of April every year and thereby Vishuashamsagal to all you mallu’s out there. I guess I got lucky this time; for I am home this new year and I get a golden opportunity to gorge on all the out of this world kinda mallu dishes that mom would cook up. The menu thus far – Sambar, Mambaya kootan, toran, olan, chakka erisheri and semiya payasam. I guess the mallu’s would relate to the said items more. For the rest, trust me on the fact that its healthy and tasty!

I was in Pune over the last 4 days and its been fun as usual. There’s more to write but I guess I’ll do that later. As of now, I’m waiting for mom to get over with her kitchen related work which is killing her. I did my best to not come in her way but then she’s so huggable. I’ve been stuck to her since the time I came. She’s been annoyed since morning since the milk went bad and she currently has no milk to work with. The payasam needs her love and I’m dying to taste some.

Damn! I’m so bored. I don’t even want to write this… but then, its like I thought I HAD to write. I’m in a weird state of mind. Confused and delirious. I hope I get better. This excitement is killing me and I feel uncomfortably numb!

Happy new year to all you mallu’s!

-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

The last month – year 2008

I’ve been shying away from doing what I think I do best – write and express. Reasons unlimited; but one of the main culprits being my lethargy. Usually, I don’t need to try when I wish to express myself in words. I open up an instance of notepad.exe, place my fingers on the keybee and lo! I’m off. Typing away all the words I never knew off. Actions and emotions seem to flow out of my fingers in perfect sync and harmony, ready to be presented to the data hungry world online. Now I know very well that no one cares about happy times. They want depression, anger, hatred and heavy words. Simple instances of beauty, humility, modesty, friendship and others aren’t relished by the masses and I’m lucky that I write for myself and no one else. I sometimes wonder about journalists and all those who write for the mob. It’d be so difficult to satisfy the masses. I was so excited about the long vacation that I’m living right now that I didn’t feel like writing anything. I just wanted to get out of my flat and come here, Pune. I thought I’d suffer but whats this new feeling all about? I feel super good! Especially since I realize every second that passes by that she is out of my system. M.G road no more brings back old memories. Pune Central does not bring back flashbacks that pull the skin out of me. It all feels new and just like any other city. It feels like… re-incarnation.

Some parts of last month; December that is, it seemed like my life was fast forwarded and some other times it felt like I was living bullet time. I remember being hyper excited about going to Pallakad and attending Ratheesh’s wedding. Duh! and suddenly its two weeks and more past his wedding. I attended all the three weddings and one chilly reception. I’ve traveled a lot and I’ve been sick and coughy these past few days. Pune does that to me. I’ve never managed to adapt to Pune’s climate; even though I’ve lived here all my life. Bangalore seems to suit my health. I hardly fell ill when I was there. Thats like an entire year! I’ve been in Pune for almost two weeks now and I’m sure that I’ve been sick for 8 days out of the 14 odd days. Its alright though cause I spent most of my time with mom and Sneha and they’re super happy that I wasn’t out. Other landmarks achieved in December – Abhi and Muiz are not single anymore. Sigh. Muiz, well, doesn’t matter much to me – him getting married. He didn’t give a fuck about the friends he supposedly has anyway. Shaista is an angel and I’ve known her from the time I’ve known Muiz. She’s been there with us on almost all our important occasions and she’s an awesome woman. Muiz is a lucky dog! God bless the both of them. Hmmm, bless Shaista more though. Muiz is an ass! Abhi and his woman seem like a match made in heaven. I don’t want to jump ahead of my shoes right now but from whatever I have seen, he couldn’t have found a better girl. She’s just as angelic! God bless the both of them too.

I’d want to write more about my stay in Pune but like I said, there wasn’t much that happened except for the weddings and home. I wasn’t relishing the idea of being stuck at home on New Years, but then, I was sick out of my throat, lungs and other important organs so I just couldn’t move. Its then that it dawned upon me that I have bronchitis and I shouldn’t take cold lightly. Yeah, so thats how I spent new years, watching TV and hoping for the best. Other highlights – I met school friends – Rakesh, Nishant and Deepak. I visited burger king for like the first time ever! Seemed like these guys were frequent visitors there. The other thing I noticed was that a girl perched on the rear seat (consider a bike) unavoidably increases your travel time from point A to point B. It took us around 35 minutes to reach a spot in the city which I used to take an hour to accomplish when she was clinging on, talking into my ears. I also met Neha and that was a hell of a lot of fun because she talks a lot and I like people who’d talk without thinking too much. She and me used to chat a lot when we’d be partnered together in school. She hasn’t changed a lot; except for the degrees, added female attitude, beauty and the scarf on her face. Well, yeah, its a Pune thing. Every girl with a bike would have a scarf on her face. Its protection and style in one scarf. Duh! Short notes on my stay in Pune –

– Attended Abhi’s wedding.
– Attended Shaista’s wedding. Muiz, you suck!
– Attended Shaista’s reception. She looked gorgeous on both occasions.
– Managed to complete a lunch arrangement for the creator – Abhi and his wife Bhagyashree. I was glorified by their presence in my house *winks*
– Met a lot of important people; Smikh, Sonu, Vivek, Pramod, Rakesh, Nishant, Deepak, Govind, Neha, Sanket and a few others.
– Spent a lot of quality time at home – Mom and Sneha.
– Presented myself to dad so that he could advice, talk, yell, talk eblish and vent as much as he could! I’m alright if that helps reduce his BP.
– Read a few good books.

So that was the end of year 2008 and yes, I hope for the best in the coming year. Wish you’ll who read here a happy new year. God bless.

-Anup

Clear skies.

Here’s a little something that came into my head out of event horizon:

Clear skies, yet again
A blessing to your eyes
Orange dawn drives me insane.
From within me guzzles;
Warm thoughts of life,
Hope within hopes
Lies within lies,
Wants and desires,
Dreams and pain;
Concealed within hot fires,
All of them so seemingly hidden,
Beyond the horizon;
Some warmth from within the cold.
Chirping birds and humming bees,
Yellow light – mystic and crimson…
Clear skies – blue, orange and white,
Studded with me, me and me!

A clear sky
A clear sky

It was a lovely feeling early today morning. I’m not sure how but like Chetan said yesterday… nature knows that its festive time maybe. Heavy rains lashing the city stopped well before Diwali and has since then shown mercy to the midgets that we are. Living off of whatever is thrown down to us, inconsiderate and nothing but a plague to Gaya and the life she carries within herself. We continue to hurt her and there seems no end. We really are a plethora of erosive parasites and we’re slowly eating her up. But then, she’s ever forgiving and God is loving. I have no other justification to the wonderful people in my life right now and I’m insanely happy. 

Diwali
Diwali

We celebrated Diwali pompously on the 27th; uhm yeah, one full day ahead of when it actually was! But then, it made me very happy cause I have such amazing people in my life and I’d consider myself to be lucky if at least these few people stick by. Ratheesh and Chetan had come over with crackers that we bought for 60% discount (apparently) . We visited the temple and prayed (good guys, aren’t we?) burst some crackers and here’s when me and Chetan got a dose of poisonous fumes and the both of were in neck deep trouble. He ended up uncomfortable, cold and itchy and I was breathless. I couldn’t sleep much because my lungs kept me awake. I just couldn’t breathe when I tried to lie down. Radha aunty was a life saver yesterday morning. I was looking for some medical shop that would be open but none of them were and I decided to ask Radha aunty if she knew of some place. Thats when she gave me an inhaler that she had and I’d say it saved my life. Food and now this! Man, you’re awesome. Speaking of food; we stuffed ourselves with sweets and by day end it kinda got me and Ratheesh into a lot of shit; literally *winks*

Scanner Darkly
Scanner Darkly

I’m compelled to talk about this movie I watched – A Scanner Darkly. Now, this was the first Rick LinkLater movie I watched and I haven’t watched ‘Waking life’ but I’ve heard a lot about it and I need to watch it as soon as this download is over. I’ve become an abuse to the internet, a leecher with no morals cause I don’t like seeding. I download and then stop. Damn! these days, I don’t like the idea of sharing. Anyway, the movie talks about a guy and thereby indicating a world full of drug addicts and the the paranoia, perceptual distortions, and chaos of hallucinogenic overindulgence. Keanu Reaves does an awesome job as per uge’ and I love his style. I’ve loved him in movies like “The Matrix Trilogy” and “Constantine” he’s been amazing in movies like “The Lake House” “A walk in the clouds” and now this. The guy does an amazing job of portraying emotions in a not-so-shahrukhanish style! To the point, clear, concise and stylish. I did watch a few other movies – Contract Killers, A Cinderella Story, Quarantine and a few more but Scanner Darkly was different because of its story line and the animation done to people who actually acted in the movie. Looked creepy, mysterious and thats what made the movie even more gripping. A couple of good things that happened over the weekend – Abhi is back! I’m happy that he is. I got the t-shirt I’ve been wanting since ever – The Division Bell and it totally rocks. Finally, I’m playing Dante – Devil May Cry 3 and so far, its an outstanding game. I can’t explain how awesome it is. Not right now at least cause I’m into it so maybe the next time I’d ramble on about the game! Peace out suckers.

-Anup

My days out.

I’ve had a cyclone of strings to write about and these have kept me unsure about what to write first. I’d think about what to write and then give up. This usually never happened to me because I’d let my fingers flow; not according to what was on my head but mostly what was in my heart. Precisely like what I told Vijay earlier yesterday when he said that the stuff I wrote hid certain parts of me. I’d beg to differ here though because according to me writing was the only activity that got the best out of me. But then, maybe he’s right. Probably, this hideous behaviour is subconscious. I’m not sure about what I’d need to do to be more crystal and then again, whats the point in me trying to change the way I write? That’d just be someone else looking back and asking a different set of questions.

MM
MM

Coming to what happened last week. It was a festive week since it was Dassera and Radha aunty and family had decided to go on an outing. They were unsure about two spots – Innovative film city or Nandi hills. I suggested Nandi cause I think its a lovely place to be plus I’d wanted to get out of the sultry October heat. The weather in Bangalore is kinda weird these days. It rains when you think its going to shine the rest of the day. It rains along with the heat and I love the rainbows. Kuttapi decided to traumatize us because he coaxed us into going to Innovative since he had feedback that the place rocked. Before I talk about the place, I’d like to warn all those people who have even thought of going there somewhere down the line to consider their idea again because its a bad one. The place is the biggest rip-off I’ve ever seen and it was a complete waste of time, energy and money. We were drained by the time we returned; not cause we enjoyed being there but because me and Ravi Uncle had jointly spent around 3,500 Rs and mostly it was for nothing. Like I said, its rip-off and its one of its kind!

Toon
Toon

 The ripping-off begins from the time you enter the place where the entry fee is Rs 50 per person (seems nominal but ends up being quite a lot if you’re in a gang) from here on every room you enter you’d lose purse-weight, an average of Rs 100 ever time. The machinery and technology used belonged to the neantherthal age and it made me mad when I saw the video game arcade. God damn it! Those were the oldest nintendos I had ever seen and I wondered about what the fuck it was that they thought when they decided to get these old age things out for sale. The sad yet funny part of this story though was that they were making a lot of money out of it. People made beelines to all of these rooms which displayed a variety of things, or so to say a charade of lies. There was nothing worthwile inside any of these rooms. Tussads wax museum – huh, what in the name of god was that? I laughed my ass out at some of the statues. Ripleys; we didn’t even bother going in and so did we ignore the dinosaur enclave. The only tolerable part was where we watched the 4D movie and even though it was kinda stone age it still made me giggle. Then the food court, the mind blowing display of foodelicious delights or so they said it was. This was the most miserable place to eat cause it all tasted and smelt like chicken and we were veggies. I ate what I bought but then trust me, the food was distasteful and I had to eat two icecreams after; just to make the taste go away. The mirror maze was another rip-off because they had one of their men inside who used to show us the way; just so that people don’t spend more than 10 minutes inside. This was ironic cause whats the point of a labyrinth when you’d have directions written all over it? The mini-golf was a rip-off from far far away and thus we never ventured in that direction. I laughed my ass out when I reached the so called state of the art go-karting track cause it was a small roadline with weird small cars nearly screeching as they ran with families loaded onto it. And they call this go-karting; way to go, losers! Here on we did not feel like spending a dime more and decided to take off. This left Kuttapi in a fix though because he wanted to go take a dip in the wave pool but it was expensive business. His dad asked him to go take a shower when we reached home. That was funny. Kuttapi wasn’t grumpy though, he just cursed the place along with me. We clicked some pictures to remind ourselves of how much the place sucked and ran for our lives.

F1
F1

Now its not like I love go-karting but the tracks on mysore road called Grips was a lot more fun than this could ever be. I didn’t quite enjoy it as much as the F1 champs Ajay and Rispi neither was I gleefully excited like Chetan was but I was happy to be amongst them and go for a joyride in the small car. I mean, I don’t see the point – why drive a small car when I can roar on an 87 BHP Maruti Swift? Its stupid I thought. Also, go-karting is expensive leisure just as well. Anyhow, the point here is that Innovative film city courtesy Jai (I’m going to kill you when I meet you) and Kuttapi turned to be one of my worst nightmares and these rippers must close it down till the time they complete the work there at least and even after that if they’d really wanna run the place they’d need to build on what they have. Alright, I’m done with my rambling. The thought on my mind right now is – How do we fill the void of someone we loved a lot and lost in the end? Especially when we know that our loss means nothing to them? Grrr, why is it that one glimpse of an old love causes a nostalgic whirlwind which would drown us almost always? How do I get OUT of this once and for all?

-Anup