From smack-bang in the middle of the bell curve

Archive for May, 2006|Monthly archive page

take cover!

In blah on May 28, 2006 at 11:27 am

combination of whirring engines…exploding shrapnel…screaming voices…crunching metal…my first whiff of a net cafe in this city. Just wouldn’t be at my sizzling best while posting from this with the gaming going on on the neighboring machines.
house-search been on for most days of the week so far, will look to finalize one in the next coupla days. then there’s the painful task of furnishing the place, think i just sank lower on the depression scale at the thought of that activity. it really should be mandated by law to have more fully furnished apartments available in any city.
am in what seems to be the popular tween hangout, called e-square…being a sunday, there are no tickets available, hence settled into some aimless surfing, didn’t think i’d miss being the lifeless log i was for over a month.
will do more justice to the first week experience in the city at a later date…hopefully from the comfort of ‘home’…
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grabbed by the BuLLS

In life on May 20, 2006 at 7:13 am

“Sir, you have a bad smile” Well, that’s settled then, the aforementioned judgement coming down as a guillotine on any hopes I might’ve harbored of dazzling my way into people’s hearts via Close Up commercials. The veracity of the statement really cannot be questioned considering it came from that most unquestionable of authorities, the photographer at the local studio. No, I wasn’t getting my portfolio done, wouldn’t want the unsuspecting readers of this post to lose their lives because of shortness of breath caused by uncontrolled laughter and injuries sustained by crashing into furniture and other more immovable objects while rolling around on the floor, all in the process of considering the prospect of me in a portfolio.
This was the a passport job, with some, hold your breath, ID and stamp-sized photos thrown in. Settling onto the rather uncomfortable wooden plank, the chap straightened my tie, made micro adjustments to the angle of my neck and head as if calibrating a laser-guided missile, stepped back, asked for that smile and about a million flashbulbs went off. He then looked into the lcd screen of his digital SLR and all his bonhomie vanished just like all his hopes of winning the IPA seemed to have. I, therefore, don’t blame him for glaring at me while saying the above words. Quick reload and click so as not to prolong the farce and we were done.

In other news, made my first foray into the stock market and then watched with some incredulity as the biggest ever intra-day drop in history occurred. It doesn’t take too many divination skills to figure out that wasn’t a good omen 🙂 Packing seems to be high on the agenda these days and it gets tougher to procrastinate when you’re being persistently asked whether I intend to take that orange polka-dotted shirt or the sequin trousers…ok, maybe i exaggerate. Ok, granted that all the actual fetching and laundering and folding and laying in the suitcase is being taken care of by mom, but leaning back and pointing at different articles can also be rather enervating. Packing…the one time when my meager possessions seem to suddenly turn so frikkin’ voluminous!

Last potential post from ‘da Bomb’ city for a while, have heard rumors that there are internet hubs in the nethers outside Pune, unsubstantiated albeit. Will know soon enough…

You’re beautiful

In Uncategorized on May 18, 2006 at 2:09 pm

My life is brilliant.
My love is pure.
I saw an angel.
Of that I’m sure.
She smiled at me on the subway.
She was with another man.
But I won’t lose no sleep on that,
‘Cause I’ve got a plan.

You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.
You’re beautiful, it’s true.
I saw you face in a crowded place,
And I don’t know what to do,
‘Cause I’ll never be with you.

Yeah, she caught my eye,
As we walked on by.
She could see from my face that I was,
F***ing high,
And I don’t think that I’ll see her again,
But we shared a moment that will last till the end.

You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.
You’re beautiful, it’s true.
I saw you face in a crowded place,
And I don’t know what to do,
‘Cause I’ll never be with you.
You’re beautiful. You’re beautiful.
You’re beautiful, it’s true.
There must be an angel with a smile on her face,
When she thought up that I should be with you.
But it’s time to face the truth,
I will never be with you.

p.s: James Blunt…Back to Bedlam

Whirr…cough…splutter….

In blah, life on May 15, 2006 at 8:08 pm

Less than a week to go before I get back to being a productive member of society, don’t look at me, that’s how the economics textbook defines people who apply their ‘skills’ that result in some output. Decided its time to do an inventory of sorts to see what I’d ‘learnt’ and what I need to get done (or started depending on complexity). Took care of the shopping for business formals bit weeks ago, so my to-do now comprises of:

  1. Stop sleeping till 10 in the morning and go to bed at earthly hours. The ISB timezone is far south, stop sharing sleeping habits with nocturnal species…now!
  2. Expand my horizons. There are other things to do besides eat, watch the tube, surf and similar such pointless activities.
  3. Find a mirror. Resembling a log while being fed your favorite food incessantly does nothing for how you fill your clothes. Hit the gym!
  4. No, my cell phone did not suddenly become heavier in the Bbay climate. Hit the gym!
  5. There are other forms of resting your form besides slouching or lolling on the couch/sofa/bed. Practise sitting in a chair in a posture that atleast vaguely resembles that of biped vertebrates. Do this in a phased manner so as not to shock the system
  6. Practise paying attention for longer than 45 seconds at a time. The fact that I flipped between four TV channels and 3 websites while writing this post should be enough motivation.

A Nickelback video completely broke the train of thought…will add more as and when I think of ’em…time to restart that engine…that’s for sure…

Simplicity

In life on May 11, 2006 at 9:59 pm

There’s this file on my desktop…electronic of course. Been there for a few months now…ever since some kindred soul put it on the vastness of the lan folder at ISB. Meant a lot to me then, which is not very surprising, considering it was much sought after. Am guessing that thing must’ve replicated itself onto atleast 70% of the machines connected. Came across as I was ‘spring cleaning’ my desktop since the virtual clutter got to the point where I could only see part of Laetitia’s left armpit as my desktop wallpaper. You’d guess this kind of interest would be evinced only by a media file of some sort…more so a video file (naah the darn filter software ensure none of the good stuff survived)…

but this…the sepia tint…the close up of the worn piano keys…camera panning over the guitar staff…the background score starting up with each respective instrument…the dials on the sythesizer (pretending to know whats in a recording studio)…the long-haired dudes taking their position behind the customary ribbed steel microphones…the pause in the music…faisal: ye hai meri kahani…very deliberate…khamosh zindagaaniii…very unhurried…sannaata keh raha haikyon zulm seh raha hai…bilal joins in as backup…ek daastan puraani…still all the time in the world…tanhaai ki zubaani…almost a whisper…har zakhm khil raha hai…kuch mujhse keh raha hai…increase in tempo…chubte kaante yaadon ke…daaman se chunta hoon…

Can think of atleast one other post already dedicated to this song…maybe it was more than a song then…who the hell knows. Right now…2.47am…its only about the brilliant simplicity of those words…bas ye meri kahaani…and they’re just that…brilliantly simple..as it just finished playing for the fourth time now….

Melchizedek’s Urim & Thummim

In Book Review on May 6, 2006 at 9:57 am

Finally read the book that’s been touted as a ‘publishing phenomenon’ by many. Its apparent, that the beauty of it lies in its simplicity, but at the same time, there seem to so many different messages sprinkled liberally in the parable. Im fairly certain that my fairly rudimentary mind missed more than it registered as I read through The Alchemist but for the first time, couldnt resist the impulse to actually write about the bits that stuck…maybe for reinforcement at a later time. Most are common-sensical platitudes, and yet, so often forgotten. (the comments are wholly personal…kinda like notes on the margin of a textbook)

The world is huge and inexhaustible; We dont realize that were walking a new route everyday. Occupied by our search for food and water, we miss the fields that are new and the changing of the seasons.

Its the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

Its the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.

When someone sees the same people everyday, they wind up being part of that persons life. And then they want that person to change. If someone isnt what others want them to be, the others become angry. Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own. – familiarity breeds contempt or is this more sinister

The worlds greatest lie: At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of whats happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate.

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you achieve it. – am gonna need proof to buy this one…

To realize ones destiny is a persons only real obligation BUT In the long run what people think about shepherds and bakers becomes more important to them than their own destinies. – unbelievably accurate

If you start out by promising what you dont even have yet, you will lose your desire to work toward getting it.

He had to choose between something he was accustomed to and something he wanted to have. – bullseye!

Its because people fail to recognize the good things that happen in their lives everyday that the sun rises.

The secret of happiness: See all the marvels in the world and never forget the drops of oil on the spoon. – youd think itd be easier than that…

I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does. – root cause of every bigoted feeling ever?

On being cheated by his guide in Tangier – I’m going to become bitter and distrustful of people because one person betrayed me. Im going to hate those who’ve found their treasure because I never found mine. And I’m going to hold on to what little I have , because I’m too insignificant to conquer the world. – right about the time I fell in love this book…maybe its the none-too-subtle use of sarcasm?

And then the comeback – He had to choose between thinking of himself as the poor victim of a thief and an adventurer in quest of his treasure. – amazing how much depends on what goes on inside our heads

You can sense whether a person is near or far from his destiny, just by looking at them. This candy merchant is not making candy so that later he can travel or marry a shopkeepers daughter. He’s doing it because thats what he wants to do. – amen to what I sincerely hope to be able to remain trueto…wouldnt wanna expand to chocolate though…

I’m afraid that if my dream is realized, I’ll have no reason to go onliving – and hence the need for distinct and several dreams…

I don’t want to change anything because I don’t know how to deal withchange. Im used to the way I am – a weak argument against the muchmore lethal what if… for certain people reading this…think of this question being asked of you…right this moment…be honest to yourself as you answer…

Making a decision is only the beginning of things. When someone makes a decision, he’s really diving into a strong current that will carry him to places he had never dreamed of when he first made the decision. – and yet, we have five and ten year life plans…

Alchemy101: When you want something with all your heart, thats when you are closest to the soul of the world. Its always a positive force.

The caravan guide: I don’t live in either my past or my future. I’m interested only in the present. If you can concentrate always on the present, you’ll be a happy man and life will be a party for you, a grand festival because life is the moment, you’re living right now. – feeling even better about all the time spent at the isb parties 🙂

The language that everyone on earth is capable of understanding…something that exerts the same (considerable) force whenever two pairs of eyes meet…love – sappy? Yeah well…sue me…liked some other bits on this topic…
Fatima: If I am really a part of your dream, you’ll come back one day
Santiago’s confusion as he’s unable to separate the concept of love from possession
– has anybody yet?

If what one finds is made of pure matter, it will never spoil. And one can always come back. If what you had found was only a moment of light, like the explosion of a star, you would find nothing on your return. – but what about the dread of finding complete darkness on your return…?

On the futility of worry: If good things are coming, they will be a pleasant surprise. If bad things are, and, you know in advance, you will suffer greatly before they even occur – hear hear

It’s not what enters mens mouths that evil. Its what comes out of their mouths that is. – for all those consider alcohol intake a sin

People are afraid to pursue their most important dreams, because they feel that they dont deserve them, or that they’ll be unable to achieve them.

Why don’t peoples hearts tell them to continue to follow their dreams?
Because that’s what makes a heart suffer most, and hearts dont like to suffer. – and also so not to make other hearts suffer however momentarily?

Every search begins with beginners luck. And ends with the victor being severely tested.

Your eyes show the strength of your soul. – My personal favorite

And finally…the delightfully refreshing closing paragraph…

The wind began to blow again. It was the levanter, the wind that came from Africa. It didnt bring with it the smell of the desert, nor the threat of Moorish invasion. Instead, it brought the scent of a perfume he knew well, and the touch of a kiss-a kiss that came from far away, slowly, slowly, until it rested on his lips. The boy smiled.

flashback: manipal

In life on May 4, 2006 at 11:57 am

Plans to spend a day at a resort about 5 hours away were scuppered by non-availability of rooms owing to the long-weekend. Plan B then was to go to the one true campus town in India, Manipal. So, setout P, A, P, L and I For those who’ve not been there, the city is essentially one big campus with several different colleges offering courses in anything under the sun. We reached post-lunch to do some go-carting…bowling etc before heading off for a drive around the town. Even dropped in at the campus temple where L reminisced about his two trips a year. Dawdled over coffee and leafed through pamphlets of Axeland promos…the most blatant sexist advertising I’ve ever come across. Those who’ve seen the ads on tv, there was a map of axeland with locations like ‘Bikini Point’ and ‘Mt. Me’. Also, flying Axeair guarantees “stewardesses who take it off as the plane takes off”…and product catalogues about ‘Stay-wet t-shirts’…lol…hilarious…

Then a couple of hours at the ‘world-famous in Manipal’ Sunset Point followed by some pub-hopping…

Flashback

In life on May 2, 2006 at 7:52 pm

Four days…15 months of my life relived. Visited the office where I received my first ever paycheck. I suppose its one of those things that’ll always stay with you, that feeling when you see the ‘fruits of your labour’ in your bank account statement for the very first time. I guess some people might recall theirs with distaste, but, I like, most, am rather fond of Infosys Mangalore or MInfy as it is referred to by insiders. In the context of the ubiquitous world of software development, most people think of misprints and typos when they see Mangalore instead of the B city. This one though is Infy’s first development centers (DC) outside blore. Enough with the trivia…but it was a special feeling to see the office which was still under construction when our batch of trainees moved in early 2001 (after 3 months of training in the far-less-imposing old office in the ‘Star of Bombay’ complex). Looking at the office building flash by as the bus entered the city in the early morning hours, I could so easily recall the excitement of moving into those spanking new cubicles with the then state-of-the-art compaq machines. The gym, rec centre, landscaping etc were only completed in the subsequent months before NRN formally inagurated the DC.

Disembarked at Saibeen complex…the hep hangout place pre-mall and multiplex days where had P pick me up and we went to his ‘penthouse’ apartment…the days of 3-4 20-odd year olds in 2-3 BHK apartments seem to be long gone 🙂 Had a good view of the city and while the weather was familiarly balmy, the hundreds of coconut trees swaying to the breeze surely beat the view in the concrete jungle.

Was a working day for the employed, so napped for a couple of hours and joined the others at office for lunch. The instant visitors photo ID i was handed at security said 2 things; i was exactly that..a visitor and that this place now had the security of a nuclear research facility. Even though I was only allowed until the lobby, P & A made calls and I met a whole lot of project-mates, roomies, bosses (the ‘ex’ is implied). Got ribbed about the weight I’d apparently put on in the last 2-3 odd years, of course i claimed it was all muscle 😉 But apart from the 15 odd familiar faces, there were a lot of completely different folk milling about with the everpresent ID card dangling out of various pockets. Guess you can put down the sense of ownership to nostalgia..but this felt…well…familiar…

Will take a couple more posts to do justice to the trip…more later…

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