Monday, July 20, 2009

Life’s Little lessons

So I have this young friend of mine who has very recently started working ( ulp, that “young” sounded so prophetically absurd :P, 4 years of working in the industry and you develop that cynical, superficial superior attitude of been everywhere done everything, when you are still at the same old level :P, ), and we keep interacting over the new professional life this friend is getting attuned to. And having just gotten back to working after a Yeambeah hiatus of a year, it is interesting to note buddy’s experiences and relate them to where I as well as some of my other friends were about 5 years ago. Trying to gain a footing into an as yet unfamiliar world, each day a new myth being broken and newer ones being formed, to be broken again the next day. And I guess all of us do go through the same stuff and the new ones ( this poor friend of mine :-s) find themselves being given a lot of gyaan by the so called been there done that souls around (yours truly :-s).

But the point of my post is not this. Just the other day, my friend talked about her first what she called a “small” achievement at office. Some activity that she was given responsibility of and she had executed and was happy about. And I somewhere sensed an almost childlike innocent glee in that one moment which led me to make this statement “life is all about those small victories........ and they all accumulate into "life is good" finally”

And then later I realized “ wah betelaaal, tune to ek dum super duper philosopher baat bol di, tu kahan tha ab tak, mere Socrates ki paanchveen santaan”.:D

The whole thing did get me thinking actually. When was the last time in my last company that I had felt happy. I always had found myself cribbing and complaining about a lot of things just like I guess most of us, and failed to appreciate our own small small achievements. That first well drafted email to the boss, which elicited a good response, or the first well made slide no 3 for the boss’s presentation, or a first successful follow up with a vendor. Small, insignificant perhaps, but well victories for sure. And how many times do we end up just glossing over them, in search for that really really big achievement that would get us that hugggeee promotion or salary jump of whatever. Result? We keep feeling underutilized, underachieved, frustrated and what not. And the result, we end up not liking whatever we were doing, even if we were really doing it well, and make our lives even more miserable.

Now wait, what the hell are you talking about chaos? Are you trying to scuttle ambition? You think its wrong to go for the BIG thing in life? What kind of a dolt are you?

Naah, nothing like that. I am not even hinting at ambition. God knows I have huge ambitions in life that I am working towards, and you very soon will see me at that CII awards function taking the best top honcho of the year award ( abe punter, I am trying to bribe the jury right now, sshsshh). But this has got no relation to ambitions and the like. Not even close. All I am saying, even as you work towards that great president of the biggest I bank ( errr I seem to have a thing or two for them don’t I) career, do take time out to appreciate your smaller achievements and enjoy them if only for a moment. Trust me, no one else would pat your back for these small things, they are really small, really insignificant for everyone around. But whoever stopped you from patting your own back once in awhile. Or telling some good friend of yours who you know would appreciate it, and hearing him / her applaud you for it. Its that feel good factor which would give you a high.

It wont do much, but it’ll perhaps make you like what you are doing well enough to want to excel in that. And actually do.

Sometimes i think its actually good to get that child out in you and let him or her enjoy those small small things in life even it relates to work. The child is always supreme and works best i guess. In fact this reminds me, just today a freind of mine commented on this old photo from college and asked " Bacche Chaos kahan hai tu"??.......and i actually wanted to say " sir, main to idhar hi hoon"......coudlnt truly say that though. :/

This is a post and a note for my own self. And I know you would find a lot of self help books perhaps mentioning the same old thing and this is perhaps an old wine in a new bottle story. :P. but well I liked that thought and wanted to blog about it.

And I think I owe my friend for this “sochful” post. Thanks buddy. Cheers to you :).

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Hail Thy Maid!!!

Jusht Imagineeee!!!
He, (proudly welcoming her to his one room bachelor's abode) " Welcome dear, its been so long, and this is your first time to my place"
She....looks around... "speechless"
He...(showing off his room)..."see i arranged for candlelight dinner for the two" ....shows two half moth eaten candles trying to stay alive and harmless on a broken table strewn with papers and uncle chips wrappers and what not.
She... "still speechless"
He...looking deep into her eyes and at his sweetest and romantic best "yaar, tumhein to ek mahina ho gaya na in your new job, am so happy blah blah... so what do you plan to gift me from new salary, bolo bolo tell"
She...looks coyly down at her fingers....."naaa, i wont tell you it’s a surprise"
He ....even more romantically " nahin nahin batao na, kya laake doge mujhe"
She...." accha theek hai suno, with my first salary...........ILL GET A DAMN MAID ARRANGED TO CLEAN UP YOUR FREAKIN ROOM.......SHEESH".
He............gaya romance paani mein..... :((

Well face it dude, we boys are plain helpless when it comes to looking after our homes or whatever you may call them ( sensitive females generally get a heart attack when we call our abodes ...“homes”). Nahin hota bhai humse. When youve been brought up by doting mothers and loving sisters (ahem, i am being politically correct i know), who go ga ga on the fact "mera beta / mera bhaiya kitni padhai karta hai, bechara kitna mehnati hain" you dont just learn the ways of keeping a bed clean, what the proper place of a Lays Chips wrapper is, so on. You just are used to having things in their place, all the time.

That is till the time you are not alone. Tab bhaiya aate daal chawal ke bhaav ke saath pata chalta hai the need for a good clean room and how difficult it is to do it all by yourself.

But my dear, never fear, the maid is here. Yupp boss I am telling you this, God made Mother…….and then he made the Maid …ok sad comparison. But you get my point.

So just the other day I was having this conversation with my friend who has just started working and is soon to shift to her own place, and she was lamenting about getting into the groove of looking after her house, aata daal chawal etc etc. And then she quipped "Tum ladke log to maids and all ka kaafi dhyaan shyaan rakhte ho na...unhein sir pe chada ke rakhte ho...unke bina to tumhara kucch kaam hi na chale, right"

And i couldnt help but agree with her. Call it need, necessity, selfishness or just plain old helplessness, but the “didis”, the “ammas” and the “bais” are as important a part of our hereto shabby bachelor lives as the air we breathe…….err zyaada romantic ho gaya kya?

But let me tell you about myself. In my 4 years of working at Mumbai and close to two months here, I have had a total of 6 maids who I have employed……..Abe Punter, don’t roll your eyes….. I am not Shiney Ahuja who scares the wits out of people……just that do baar had to shift place in Mumbai and here also in kolkata to nayee jagah, nayee maid, wah sunil babu, badiya hai!!!

Anyways so as I was saying, touchwood all the maids i employed were very good and helpful and well almost motherly to us poor baba log. They always seem to have that sympathy corner for “ bechare baba log, inko joote ke laces bhi baandhne nahin aate, yeh kya ghar saaf rakhenge”. So as the “poor” baba log look on in barely concealed glee, the helpful maid goes about making sure things are spick and span in the house, the utensils are kept in their proper places in the kitchen, and the cooker does not sleep on the baba’s bed, the garbage finds its way to the truck outside and does not become a compost pit for economical methane gas production.

And so we do like to keep them happy. Never argue on the salary, always address them as “didi” or “amma” or “baiji”, ask mom to get some clothes and sarees whenever she comes visiting and so on.
I think we babalog also score a point with the baby log of our age. For us “ignorance is bliss”. We never knew what worked best, we never shall. So as long as the house is even a shade neater than it was when we were alone……Hail Thy Maid………:P.
Unlike the baby log who usually would go…"Bai, tumne jo kal kadhai ko dhoya tha, usmein abhi bhi teen din pehle ki daal chipki hai”…….and so on……basically Baby Log make tough customers…..and Baba Log don’t…….so maids louuuve Baba Log……..

Anyways enough of this baba log and baby log and bai log….....bole to I might just get censored by people in this age of Shiney Ahuja……..but as I like to say always……Hail Thy Maid.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Whose Fault Is It Anyway?

Story 1

Atul had known Saavi for four years now. Same undergrad, same branch, same class – and well the dubious honor of being ragged by the same bunch of seniors on day 1 ( a novelty in itself, since they never allowed girls to be ragged by senior boys and vice versa, but then there was something different here). No wonder they hit it off together from day one. From sharing the so called post ragging trauma – which actually included laughing their guts out at all the nonsensical activities they were made to do by seniors (no, those weren’t the days of a Supreme court ban on an activity that was considered a must for breaking the ice), to forming a gang of crazy 8 that would romp the by lanes of the institute for next 4 years, to partners in crime in numerous episodes that a normal undergrad life in hostels would witness, they had done it all. Best friends, always sharing the little ups and downs of life as it came, supporting each other and so on.


Last day of college. The atmosphere was sombre and heavy as friends got ready to bid their last adieu. Even in those hazaar “ill miss you, stay in touch, give me your email ( oh yes this was still the time, when internet had not become a lifeline, and orkut facebook were non existent)”, they all knew somewhere things would change. Everyone would get busy and soon have no time.

Those same thoughts permeated his conscience as he walked up to her. “Now or never”, said he to himself. He had waited for long. Many a times his courage failed him, but still he never gave up trying. And today, well, it had to be different.

Saavi was standing near the Nescafe – an outlet that a year back had marked the demise of the good old Satkaar cafĂ© with its 2:00 am dosage of idlis, dosas, maggi, chai and every would be engineers’ daily dose of sutta. “ghosh why are all these thoughts of bhaiya coming into my mind right now”, wailed Atul as he walked upto her.

And she noticed it. She had always been the one with that unsettling sixth sense. She would guess your innermost thoughts before you even said something. “gosh not today, not today please else ill fail again”, cried Atul to himself, as he went and stood upto her.

“What is it, Atul? Ki hoya? Kaun mar gaya”, said Saavi, in her trademark bindaas style. She had always been so, and how many times had she asked this question to an equally hilarious response from Atul. Not today though. And she knew too, her eyes showed that.

“I need to talk to you Saavi, kucch baat karni hai”, said Atul. “ care for a chai at Bhatiajis”.
“ummm, ok, chal bidu”, Saavi chirped, albeit with a well hidden sense of foreboding…….
And they walked away.

Half an hour later, a visibly distraught Atul came back to the hostel and started packing. His train was for tomorrow, he had deliberately kept the reservation a day later. But he now had to leave, just leave.

Later that night, on the first floor of Sarojini Bhawan, Saavi cried. For the first time in a long while. “ how did he ever think I was in love with him? Why did he fall in love? We always were best friends, but just that, did I ever give him any other indication? So what if I shared every moment of every thing that happened here, and so what if he did the same with me? That’s what friends are for always, aren’t they? Cant just a boy and a girl just be the best of friends? Why did he take it this way? And all this time this is what he thought? Hypocrite…….nothing but a hypocrite!!!!”… Saavi’s famed sixth sense had failed her own self. And she knew she would never meet Atul again. Never.

Story 2

Four years in IT can be a very long time. And if its just one company that you have been in, it sure seems to feel like eternity. In the parlance of the famed product life cycle, end of four years its likely that you are in the declining phase of your first charm to that life as an IT professional in one of the top names in the industry – even if it hired in truckloads from your campus. But somehow, that still was not the case with Priya. She loved her job, her assignments, the challenges. It had a lot to do with the team she had been in past two years, the project that happened to be one of the most prestigious. And…… Atul!!!

She had met him on the first day in office, which incidentally was his completion of two years at the same place. And, the two hit it off together. Even though he was her project senior in the team, he never made her feel so. He had been responsible for instilling an absolute college like culture in the workplace, making it fun to work and she saw that from the word go. An absolute chilled out dude whom you only saw angry when his Pizza Hut Pizza was delayed by ten mins, he seemed to have the ability to take even the most serious deadlines calmly. And he had a way to pep up his most down in the dump colleagues with that smiling and witty comment or a warm pep up talk. Priya herself could not remember how many times she had broken down out of stress in front of him, only to be pepped up after talking to him for about ten mins at most.

Outside office, the two friends were inseparable. Always together with their gang of five, be it the Friday night pub-hopping (silly given the fact that both were teetotallers), or the Sunday evening theatre, or the Saturday beach romps oogling at girls and hunks respectively. They shared almost every moment of their lives, their ups and downs, the cheery ones, the sad ones, the crushes and the misses. And all this, with a way that never set any tongues wagging anywhere in office or outside. And yet, she always knew from day one, always had that feeling.

Today was her two year anniversary. She had completed two years in office, and as had become the trademark Atul tradition, there was a get together thrown for the same ( typical Atul, who had this knack of coming up with ideas to celebrate every moment in life). The venue had to be again one of those oft visited pubs, straight after office ( sheesh, another day of lost income for the poor pub owner, how he hated this crowd that never so much as touched a drop in his place). And well, she had decided too. She had to tell him now. “Bohat ho gaya boss!!!”, said she to herself, “yeh aajkal ke ladke, chivalry naam ki to cheez hi nahin hai koi, I think ill have to pop the question now uff!!!”. She had made her decision.

It was about 10:00 pm. They had been at the pub for two hours now. Singing, dancing, eating loads of the special cake that Atul had ordered, cracking jokes and all. Since tomorrow was office, the party had been kept at a slightly early time. And well, the energy levels seemed to be slowly coming down. Even a cool gang has to cool it off after sometime bhai.

With her mind set, Priya had been looking to find time to tell him now, something she had expected him to do really. She saw him standing by the pub, cracking jokes with the pub-owner, away from the rest. This was her chance. She walked up to him, a little nervous, a little too girly for her own self. “Oh damn you Atul, ill kill you for making me do this” , said she to herself.

He saw her walking up to him and asked, in his trademark style “Oye hoye soniye!!! Ki hoya, kaun mareya paiya hai!!! Abe aaj to tera din hai? Ais tarah moonh kyun banaya si??”. Sheesh. Didn’t he always seem to read minds. What was with him, thought Priya.

“Umm Atul!! I wanted to talk to you”, piped Priya.
“Haan to bolo yaar, kya hua? Everything alright”, said Atul, suddenly a little serious. He had noticed the look on her face.
“oh ya ya everything fine, I just …..can we take a walk outside”, she said, inspite of herself.
“Sure buddy, chalo,”. With that he walked alongside her to the door.

One hour later, the party got over. Everyone said their byes and left. Atul dropped Priya home. He still was silent. He looked at her one more time, as she left the car.

Later that night, priya cried like a baby. “Why, oh why? How could he be so insensitive? After all that sharing of every moment, of every up and every down, how could he just say we are good friends? He never saw this did he, does he not have a heart? Everything he did, was just as a friend, a bloody goddamn friend? No hes not a friend, hes a hypocrite, a damn hypocrite that’s all”…..with that she cried herself to sleep.

Two days later. Atul left the company.

Postscript – the two Atul’s are different. I just liked the name so kept it same.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

To Them - from School

The main aur meri tanhayee times in progress currently have given me a lot of time to reminisce and think about a lot of things, remember and relive a lot of moments ( ya ya, i am a baccha of the past, ) and in all that there are some people, who have stood out. My closest coterie of buddies so to speak. theve been with me through times thick and thin, have laughed out the loudest with me, listened to the craziest of cribs at the darkest of times for me, in short been a part of my existence. ab doston hoon to main bahut emosional, but somethings cannot really be described. What can be done is to talk about this coterie of mine, that i keep closest to my heart.
People, i present to thee, the bravest and strongest and amazing souls to have ever walked on this planet in a zillion years ( they braved me dude!!!). And i start from school days.

Tapori Gang
1. Don Bhai - Class 9th. First day first period. i enter a class consisting of students from all the 8 sections of my erstwhile class 8th. Most of them we had hardly interacted ( inter section politics u see- we were not to have freinds outside our sections). And i see this man in the last row. With a dark stubble, a prominent moustache and looks that then were deadly. and was i taken aback. Yaar yeh to pucca don hai. isse panga nahin leke ka - pitai ho jaayegi. Ulp!!!. I dont think i ever spoke to him for first three months, mostly out of fear. And then when i did, well itna galat to kabhi einstein apni theory of relativity mein nahin hua hoga. For M was anything but what i had thought. One of the bestest souls around, sharafat ki moorti, the greatest musician i know till date and one of my bestest freinds to date. Weve been through so many things together - from santoshi maa's hilariously stupid skits for which he had to always compose the one song "jan jan ko jagana hai, dhara ko swarg banana hai", to cribs about JEE and the others, to college time reunions to our always under planning trip to Goa. I just love this man. aajkal yeh duniya ko naye naye fashion ke kapde pehnane mein busy ho gaye hain ( maane retail business mein hain), isliye apne chaddi doston se baat nahin kar paate. but he rocks for sure.

2. Mozarts twin - Tall, lanky, with fingers that could do magic - be it the spinning cricket ball or any instrument - musical and scientific. An amazing knack of finding his way into the ladies changing room on pretext of finding his own bag during annual functions ( yeah, mahashay ko itne joote kabhi jeevan mein nahin pade honge, jitne us din)..... he discovered the way to gobble up food from lunchboxes in the last row even as teachers taught us kinematics and calculus - and the world was never the same again. Another partner in crime as we trudged daily to our coaching classes not knowing what lay ahead. And one of my always cheerful always smiling freinds ready for some good fun any time. But boss isse zyaada debate nahin karne kaa - you can neva beat him on that. We once fought for 3 hours at the loudest pitch of our voices....on one of the silliest topics at 'Don Bhai's" place, and i think Don's young sister suffered a mental shock that day. poor thing had an exam the next day. :-s. the result of the debate. Abe doston mein kaise haar or jeet. :-s. Vaise aajkal yeh compooter abhiyantriki mein ek naya revolution laane pe kaam kar rahe hain. :).

3. Mr Cool with a capital K - Banda yeh bindaas hai. I swear. A freind once quipped about him " Yaar is munde ko kyun humne school mein raakhi baandhi thi, he definitely was not the raakhi type material".... hamare group ka mascot. You run a 5 Ton tanker over him, and hell get up and say - wanna play ball? Always the one to enjoy a good life and never ever fretting over anything that strikes him. i mean we all have at one point cribbed about life - boss, job, relationship etc etc. Not him. Hamesha chilled out rehne vaala. There have been times when i have been down and have called him and have just generally spoken to him about nothing in particular. and yet after that i have felt good. talk about positive energy. Aajkal yeh apne naye naye yembeah ke dwaara duniya bhar mein consulting tabahi macha rahe hain. :-s

4. Moti - I know ill get mauled by her for calling her this, but i just cant help it. :-s. a terror in school and Mozart's twin will vouch for that ( iske terrorism ke kisse bacche 6th class mein padhte hain). Ladkiyon ki gangleader no 1. and then times changed, we went our different ways. yet the one person i have been most in touch with throughout. from college, to mumbai to ISB to now. Shared all our good times and bad, so much so that one time, i was thought to be her proxy boypheerand and she my proxy girlpheerand. The initial one year at mumbai would have been a nightmare for me if she werent there. weve roamed across nooks and corners of the city - from nariman point to bandstand ( me oogling at skimpily clad females, she oogling at bare chested males :-s), romped the malls, gone on guilt trips that made princess ask us to melt in guilt when she was in pune and so on. Ive shared all my ups and downs with her and looked to her for all sorts of advice, and she has done the same to me. and we carry on, the bestest chaddi buddies that ever walked. Now, A proud mother of a bratty 8 month old who i swear will grow up to be like her, she plans to fly away to the US with her hubby, but not before she comes down here. Oye, aaja chup chaap, nahin to maar khaayegi. :D.

5. Princess - Sigh.....i look at her and bite my tongue .......mue kis nazar se tujhe se 12th mein yeh shaant swabhav ki lageen theen, jo tumne inhe autograph book mein yeh padvi di thi :/. I mean shaant and her are like two poles north and south :-s. Dekho bhai duniya mein do tareeke ke log hain - ek woh joh princess ke haathon hazaar dhamki kha chuke hain, aur ek woh jo nahin khaa chuke hain. Jo khaa chuke hain woh jaante hain ki hum kya keh rahe hain. This powerhouse of my buddy surely packs a punch with her antics and crazy ideas. She invented the idea of threatning and cajoling her friends to take her along with them on their respective honeymoons!!!!......and well main kya hi bolon. and yeah you would almost agree, what with that innocent dimpled smile and doe eyed look on her face ( innocent,.....sheesh). She will call you up all the way from pune, listen to what all fun you had which she missed, and then make you feel you should drown in guilt. She will compete with you on "who can write the longest and lengthiest email on the crappiest topic on earth". And then, my second agony aunt after moti, she would be there to listen to all your rants, and always there to give well thought advice, as long as its not past 11:00 pm ( arre madam ki beauty sleep nahin disturb karne ka, the only 4:00 am buddy who is fast asleep at 11:00 pm). My cutest best buddy who again has been through with me all these years, she complete this tapori bunch of five from school that i have.

Love them all very very much and heres to them and to us all. Hail Taporigiri. :-s

Monday, June 15, 2009

Humpty Dumpty

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
humpty dumpty had a great fall.

Dunno why i suddenly have this nursery rhyme playing in my mouth over and over again. But i need to kinda reword things here

Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall,
humpty dumpty had a great fall,
broken humpty put his blame on the wall,
dumpty did not see what it was for all,
did he not try the balancing act,
realising not where was the fat,
he should have been wiser for sure should have been dumpty,
and seen his head was all but empty,
thanks to thee the fall was not bad,
but humpty is a little sad,
pray for humpty that he may,
rise again and not bow in dismay.
for humpty dumpty is to climb another wall,
and again go through it all and fall,
coz humpty dumpty sat on a wall,
humpty dumpty had a great fall.