Archive for January, 2008|Monthly archive page

C in wonderland!

Random personal rambling. Go away!!

We share a special relationship, C and I.

It all began in the second year of Engineering, way back in the year 2000. We were this enthusiastic bunch of people who were gung-ho about the IEEE student organization in the college – more so, because it gave us an official reason to bunk classes. C and I were from different classes, and although we would meet and talk – I never imagined that she would fit anywhere in my scheme of friends. It was a typical acquaintance-friendship which you kind of assumed would eventually taper off after Engineering.

However, it wasn’t until the year 2002, when C and I were in this group of paper-presenters to BITS-PILANI that I really got to know her quite. The entire trip was one rollicking fun (I don’t remember laughing as much in this trip along with the trip I made to REC Warangal prior to this one till date). The comfort level with this entire group grew tremendously, along with understanding C with her quirks and habits. As I knew her back then, she was a bright girl, too lazy to study but very enthusiastic to learn – and that impression holds till date 😛 (yeah, probably make that tooo lazy for today!)

Then came CAT preparations – we were put up at one center to write the mocks. C, I along with one common friend used to chit-chat about everything under the sun, but CAT. The entire group of test takers in the room (other than us) used to look down on us (probably even smirk, and call us names) – but insensitive as we were (and are) to the world’s views, we happily ignored them and probably continued to chat even more vigorously.

Life did take us to different destinations for the next two years after Engineering – but we met again in Mumbai. This time, she was at IIT and I was put up in an apartment very close to IIT. This effectively entailed that we meet every other day – take a walk down the beautiful, winding IIT campus (I used to hate those walks, she used to love them), sit on a bench just beside the lake and talk philosophy (for eg., what is the purpose of life? etc (scary, no?)), eat out in almost all the restaurants in and around IIT, dinner at The Taj on whim (was my little dream to have dinner at Taj and she pushed it to reality) among many other million things. During this period, we got to know each other very well (most of the time, eye-contact was enough to guess what was on the other’s mind) – I thought I was absolutely crazy with some of my thought processes and hence very unique; I was totally surprised to find a crazier reflection of mine in her J

In the course of time – which was last year and on this date (January 24th), she got married to a handsome young man P. It’s been one year since – and this one year went in a blink, hopefully has been brilliant for both of you. I had this good fortune (actually, they had the good fortune to host me ;)) to camp at their place for dinner for almost 3 months (I know, I know – shameless; tell me something I don’t know!), where I got to know P much better – you guys make for a fantastic couple and I wish you a happy married life for many many years to come.

The dinner at Taj, birthday on Marine drive, sumptuous dinner many a time, being there for me when I most needed you and many more things in life – you’ve made things with this friendship I never thought were possible. For the risk of sounding childish, let me just say that there are only few ‘true’ best friends – and you just top the list!

C- I also want you to know that our lives will continue to change in the years to come, like it has these last few years. People will come in and go out of our lives, and we will continue to forgive, forget and move on, trying desperately to seek the happiness that we believe is ours. And though I hope not, there may even come a time when you and I may go on for years without as much a single thought about each other very deeply.

If that does happen, I hope all this comes back to us someday. Many, many years later, when we’re old and unwanted, staring into the starlit sky sitting on a bench across a lake –

I want you think of me then and
let your eyes swell up a little
and if your pride permits
maybe even shed a tear

for all the memories we have shared,
good, bad and the ugly
for you C
A Thousand times over!

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Love you forever!

She was distraught.

Everything was wonderful two years ago. They had met through a common friend and the chemistry was instantaneous. Both of them loved similar books, movies and cuisines. They had long phone chats, often late into the night. The occasional touch turned into a hug and then a kiss. He loved and adored her.

She loved him with all his heart. She cared for him and not an hour passed where she wouldn’t think of him. She felt very secure in his arms. The days in office passed off in a jiffy and both were eager to await the night – day after day, talking to each other throughout, unmindful of food or sleep.

One year hence, things slowly began to fall apart. He had changed jobs and his new job took him to different countries each month. They were no longer spending as much time together. She could not reconcile to the fact that some nights would pass without speaking to him. However, he called, and called often. He told her about the new experiences in different countries, the ugly and the beautiful and how he wished she was with him. He would bring gifts for her from each country he visited. Happiness knew no bounds when they saw each other at the airport each time. They were very much in love.

Love, however, has a tendency to fade – or that is what they say. One year since he changed jobs, she observed, much to her chagrin that he had also changed. She wondered why the look for her in his eyes was so different, the warmth in his voice missing and the tenderness of his touch vanishing. She couldn’t take the drastic changes that had happened in this relationship – she was totally distraught.

She couldn’t believe what she was going through. He made lame excuses whenever she wanted to meet him. Phone calls turned from often to periodic to seldom. He had hardly spared time for her over the past 6 months. She felt like a nobody. Sometime back, she had asked him ‘Are you going around with someone else?’. The question had freaked him. He shot back ‘Are you insane? What makes you think so?’. She couldn’t bring herself to doubt him. Yet, he seemed so distant. She loved him – like no other, very deeply and passionately. She came back from office everyday and read the long and lovely letters he had written to her, emails and SMSes he had sent her – crying late into the night over them. Every word, every feeling resonated in her mind before she went off to sleep, only to be troubled by nightmares of him leaving her. She hadn’t slept properly for months now.

Deep depression, mental collapse – she had heard these terms in various books. Now, she was experiencing it. She missed him, when alone as well in the crowd. She also feared whether she was going paranoid about him. Maybe he was too busy with his work. Maybe good times will be back again. Or…she shuddered to think – have I lost him forever??

Today, she had called him. She desperately wanted to meet him at her house. He readily agreed – not only to meet her, but have a candle-lit dinner too. She was on cloud nine. Again, everything seemed rosy and the air was brimming with life. She cleaned her house, her room, scented the whole house with the freshener he had got for her from Australia. She dressed in her best clothes and awaited him to knock the door.

As expected, he knocked the door at 6′ o clock. There he stood, with the same innocent smile and a twinkle in his eye that she had seen two years back. She was overjoyed. She hugged him and invited him into the house. She closed the door and hugged him again, whispering softly in his ears ‘You are mine, my love, forever mine’.

She was ecstatic. He was on her lap. She was rocking him like a cradle – to and fro, singing the songs he loved. He was staring intently at her large, round eyes – seemingly lost forever. She loved that look – his stare with his deep eyes into her. The smile on his face looked so calm and peaceful, but the only question he seemed to ask non-verbally was ‘Why?’ She smiled back at him and said ‘Now, I will love you forever’ – and smugly smiled at the blood-stained knife with which she had stabbed him to death.

Importance of ‘The’ Moment!

It was a beautiful Saturday evening at the Marina beach in Chennai. It was the month of December, winter across India but only slightly warm in Chennai – a very pleasant weather for the Madrasis. Moonlight just about dancing away on the waves and the sweet smell of hot jalebis helped along by a gentle breeze made for a great evening on the beach.

Vijay had already reached the beach. He was in what was supposedly his best dress – a cream color T-shirt and blue jeans. He was pacing up and down the beach waiting for the arrival of his two friends. Today was going to be special.

Sandhya was frantically trying out different dresses at her home – a black top with a plunging neckline and faded blue jeans, a white top with a red skirt, light blue salwar kameez with slight embroidery along with different combinations of sandals. She had very little time left to get out of the house and go to the beach. She finally decided on the light blue salwaar kameez with brown sandals – wore them, winked at herself in the mirror for looking so pretty and rushed out of the house.

Anil was memorizing his lines since morning. He had waited for this day for long – a day where he was going to propose to the girl he loved for two years – albeit secretly. He repeated his lines over and over – in the bathroom, at breakfast, lunch and just about any freetime he could make up for. He did not want this special moment to go astray. He had bought a new shirt and jeans for this very special day – and in her favorite colors. He rushed out of home that evening, not wanting to be late. When his mother asked him as to where he was going, he replied ‘Meeting sandhya and vijay. And ma, expect a surprise visit today’! It was a surprise for his best friend too. He kickstarted his bike and rushed towards the beach.

It was a bad week for Selliah. His business of selling roses at the beach was drastically dwindling. He barely had money to spare a square meal a day for his family. Today, he couldn’t make any sale since morning – which meant that his family had to go hungry. That very thought sent shivers down his spine. He had beaten his wife after drinking alcohol the last night and was feeling terrible about it since morning. He never had to face such a financial crisis and his wife’s one look in the morning said it all. He was determined to make a sale – but as the evening wore on, the probability of making a sale was diminishing considerably and with it, his hopes too started sinking.

Harish had walked over 5km from his home thoroughly frustrated with his life. He had a very good job, excellent money and yet he was not happy. He had the money and iPhone but no close friends to call, he had the looks and eligibility – yet he was single. He had dated many girls, many of whom were interested in him but he was not. He was interested in a girl but didn’t know how to ask her out. Disturbed, he set out for a stroll but it turned out to be a long walk. He had reached the beach and decided he would spend some time peacefully counting the number of waves that hit the beach.

Sandhya hurriedly went to the spot they usually met up. Vijay was already there, pacing up and down the place with a chewing gum in his mouth. He seemed to be in deep thought, very unlike Vijay, Sandhya thought. Sandhya called out to Vijay ‘Hey dude! How are you doing?’ Vijay was pleasantly surprised to see Sandhya on time rather than being late as usual. He had thoughts of discussing something with Anil before Sandhya came up. That was not to be. He replied back ‘Hey hi! Did the Sun rise from the West today? You are bang on time’. Sandhya replied ‘Yup, I like surprises!’

Anil was racing through the traffic, turning his bike in geometrically impossible angles, riding his bike on the footpath if needed and checking out the shortest path possible to the beach. He wanted to desperately meet and discuss with Vijay before Sandhya showed up. He cursed all the way through the traffic as to how the IT sector had destroyed the sanctity and peacefulness of the good ol’ Madras. He finally reached the beach and parked his bike.

As the moon rose in its height, Selliah’s hopes sunk abysmally lower. How could he face his family if he couldn’t support them with atleast a square meal? What if tomorrow also goes like this? Should he change his profession? If yes, then to what? Why has Chennai gone so heartless? Has the city forsaken his family? With these thoughts in mind, he was passing by where Vijay and Sandhya were talking.

Harish was thoroughly displeased with himself. Having been to the beach, he expected the waves to calm him down. Somewhere deep down, he felt unappreciated, uncared for – and he also thought the world had gone to dogs. Noone cared for anyone anymore, Noone loved anyone – nothing was pure and everything was a farce. With these debilitating thoughts, he turned to his right where a guy and girl were talking and laughing.

Anil entered the beach and could see Vijay and Sandhya in the distance. He too was pleasantly surprised to see Sandhya arrive much before him. Chances of discussing the all-important thing with his best friend Vijay was now close to zero. He thought ‘Ah! What the heck? I’ll surprise him too’!

Waves were hurtling down to the shore. The gentle breeze and moonlit night were perfect for the occasion. Vijay grabbed the entire bunch of roses from Selliah’s hand, went down on one knee, looked directly into Sandhya’s eyes and said ‘It’s been two years since I wanted to tell you this. It’s been two long years of friendship – over hundreds of cups of coffee and ice-cream, two years of feelings stubbornly suppressed but today had to be it. I loved you for so long and today is the day I ask you, Will you marry me?’ Vijay was trembling terribly. His hands were all-wobbly holding the roses and now he understood why men went down on a knee (their legs would have been trembling too!) before proposing. He stared into Sandhya’s eyes and waited for an answer.

This moment froze.

Selliah thought – ‘Ah! God finally had mercy on me. Someone has indeed taken the roses and he will pay up too. What luck! This city has not forsaken me. The goddess has not abandoned me and my family. My family will have a hearty meal today. I will not have any further worry for a week now. The whole bunch of roses got sold in just one shot and without any effort – what luck and blessing! God, bless this guy who bought my roses for he saved a family from near disaster’.

Harish looked at the proposal. He smiled. He was just thinking of the devious world and how the world had lost ‘love’ and here – he saw the innocence of love. The rapidity and surprise with which the guy pulled off the proposal indeed deserved applause. Harish finally had an answer to all his questions, his fears and doubts. He also knew how he was going to ask the girl he liked out. This was the incident that had made him walk for 5km – and it was well worth it. Now, he was waiting with bated breath for the moment to unfold.

Anil spotted the proposal incident from afar – a distance from where neither Sandhya nor Vijay could make out his position in the moonlit darkness. He froze with shock for that moment. He just couldn’t believe what he was seeing right in front of his eyes. He was pleading with himself to wake up from the dream – but that was not to be. His legs went weak, his mind numb and the gift he carried for Sandhya just rolled over into the water. He crashed onto the sand and sobbed.

Sandhya was shocked. She had not expected this proposal even in her wildest of dreams. Vijay was one of her best friends and that was how she thought he felt too. The evening was planned so well – Anil, Vijay and herself would meet at the beach, have icecreams standing in the water among the waves and then head to the nearest Saravana bhavan to hog some delicious idli-sambar. Post that, a movie and it would have been a weekend well spent. When she realized what Vijay had done – she didn’t know how to react. The sincerity in Vijay’s eyes told her that it was not a prank. How should she react? She couldn’t even spot Anil for help. ‘Where is this Anil when I desperately needed help? He must have been fooling around in some traffic with his bike stunts. What do I tell Vijay now? Immediate acceptance is out of question, while rejection would break Vijay’s heart. What do I do?’

She said – ‘Give me some time to think about this’ and left for Anil’s place, trying to reach Anil on his mobile phone immediately.

One moment – five different emotions. Who said Life was simple?

P.S –

1) Came across this blog – Letter to an Ex – http://shallowthoughts00.blogspot.com/2008/01/dear-ex.html

If I ever write a letter to my Ex(es), it would just be a copy, paste from this 😛 . Just brilliant writing!

 

 

 

 

The Depravity of Orkut

I was shocked the other day when my 14 year old cousin scrapped me – ‘Wassup?’ on Orkut. Firstly, I didn’t have a clue that he was on Orkut. Secondly, what was this ‘wassup?’ language? Have school kids forgotten the good old English language? An age where we lamented the death of letter–writing with the advent of email seems to have passed us by long ago. We probably have to start lamenting about the death of email and advent of scraps in our life! When did I last receive a personal email from one of my friends or relatives? (Oh no! I am not talking about mass mailing). It was quite a while, actually. What I receive in plenty nowadays are scraps. I reply to their scrap by email and they scrap me back with a reply – what do I call such people – pea-brained cretins??

Orkut, I am told, is only a tiny fraction of the social networking market (MySpace and Facebook being the leading monsters in this space). With every passing day, I get numerous requests to join hundred other social networking websites. LinkedIn, Jaxtr etc etc. Mass marketing + Social networking seems to be a great idea, oh yes! Brilliant idea – but stop SPAMMING me with your wretched and pitiable mass mailing ideas.

My intentions might be mistaken here. I am all for social networking sites – the logical output of what Internet was meant to be. All that ‘old friends’ meet’, ‘accidentally met long-lost teachers’, ‘met my soulmate’, ‘made great friends of friends’ friends’ – I completely agree with all that. There are some times when such good talk has to be said and there are others when all this crap has to be shunted out into a black hole! Being politically correct might demand saying ‘Orkut has its own advantages and disadvantages – sifting out the good from bad is what is required’, ‘There are so many communities on Orkut that would help improve the quality of life’ – but being politically correct is not correct at all, it is just a farce. And community improving quality of life? – are we talking of ‘I love Himesh Reshammiya’ community here?

We live in times where opening a browser entails two simultaneous things – opening up a social networking site in one tab and email in another. ‘Addiction’ is a strong word to use – but I would go a step further – being active on Orkut seems more like a religion nowadays – I guess actual religion gets lesser amount of attention and time than Orkut. Status on the Internet is not about money nowadays – it is more to do with the most number of scraps, most number of communities, videos, number of friends and testimonials. Gathering these have become close-to-maniac activity (and with these testimonials – even more funny – I scratch your back, you scratch mine) – A sense of pure play exhibitionism constipating delusional grandeur!!! As Orkut progresses further, we have hacks (which let anyone with a certain script scrap everyone in their friend list – and yes, customized with the friends’ name too) – script in itself being very simple (simple because a non-computer buff like me could understand it – and could have customized it if I wanted to) – I wonder what advanced hacks would do in a few months!!

Having said this, there is a funny side to Orkut too – funny because the very people who were the lifeline of Orkut have made this possible and the variations in this category border on infinity. The testosterone pumping males – absolute strangers – scrapping females (irrespective of whether the female’s profile pic is visible or not – when guys pump something, all they need – is a name) of the strangest scraps possible with the worst spellings even the illiterate would be ashamed of. Some samples –

Hi…I am lukin for good fraanship with you. Will you be frands with me?

(What did they expect? A wholehearted yes of being frands…err..friends?)

Hello! I am Amit Sharma.

(What response does this guy expect from the girl? Oh..you had me at Hello!??? (a.k.a Jerry Maguire??)

u r so butiful. I wanna make freindship with you.

(You have already made your intentions clear, you fool! And what’s with that subtle misspelling of friendship? Orkut provides you with a online spell-checker nowadays, you know!)

Hi!

(I like this guy. Very succinct and to the point. Intentions very clear – simplicity is the best policy. The girl is most likely to ask ‘Who in the world taught you communication skills?’ rather than doubting his intentions)

One interesting answer I heard from one of my friends (very logical indeed on hindsight!) with regards to communities he had signed up for on Orkut (he had signed up for I love Linkin Park, Bertrand Russell’s fans, Online Chess forums, Business Quiz forum, Hindi Melodies from the ‘70s, etc., etc., counting to around 20). On questioning him with respect to a newfound interest in absolutely alien topics like these, he replied ‘Dude, nowadays, girls search on Orkut first before they talk to you. So better get the profile straight – scraps, videos, rigged testimonials and fake communities. That way, you have made a perfect first impression – needless to say, first impression is always the best impression’!! I couldn’t agree more and I sadly gape at the power Orkut wields over the population aged 6-60!!

P.S –

1) Thankfully, Orkut has brought in certain security features very recently where you can lock scrapbooks, photographs and videos to be visible only to a few select friends. Previously, your online life was out in the open to the entire world (barring a few, who religiously deleted all their scraps regularly)

2) And people –  I believe scrapping gives you different varieties of vicarious pleasure, but please – for Internet’s sake – Email me!!!

Update: This article was published in Desicritics.org. Link here

Search Engine Terms and my Blog!

There are search engine terms and there are search engine terms which lead to your blog. WordPress has a neat way of representing clicks, search engine terms etc. that lead readers to your blog. Now, I would not have complained if terms like ‘brilliant writer’, ‘awesome posts’ lead to my blog. However, over a period of time, I have realised that I am known for something else on the blogosphere – and not necessarily what I write. Herein, I give a glimpse of the ’embalming’ search engine terms that lead to my blog –

1) Hindi Non-veg stories – Now, what in the world did I write on my blogs for the search engine to direct someone to my blog using this phrase? Hindi? My limited knowledge tells me that I write my blogs in English and my spoken hindi is actually not hindi at all but a distorted form of hindi known only to the chosen few. Non-veg – I only wish I could write (human mind is a bubble of ideas – if you get the hint), but I restrained uncontrollably. And yet, this search engine accuses my blog of ‘A’ category – I protest but I don’t know where and how to!!. (In fact, as I write – my friend informs me that someone searched for ‘Labrador Porn’ and the reader was directed to his blog. Uh!).

2) Tips for arranged marriage – I get more of this ‘marriage’ stuff directing readers to my blog. ‘Tips for arranged marriage’, ‘cynical marriage’, ‘arranged marriage gone sour’, ‘successful love marriage’…you get the drift, right? As much as you readers have loved the humor of such blogs (and I have enjoyed writing them), ‘Tips and Tricks’ is taking things a little too far 🙂 (As they say, and I have never understood ‘they’ as usual – There are no shortcuts to success! 🙂 ). ‘Tips for arranged marriage’…hmm…gives me an idea of starting a marriage counseling firm. You advise, they listen, you get paid, they get thrashed – how simple is that?! 😉

It’s a different matter that KS and JB have accused me of being slightly cynical on certain topics, especially this one – and have vowed to inform this first thing to my future wifey wherever she might be.
Message to future wifey: You know what they say right! Lies, Damned Lies and Kiran’s friends statements about him!!
Message to KS and JB: Hey, I am not cynical ya! I am only optimistically challenged! 😉

3) Relationships and Conversations – See my point of marriage counseling?! I told you that I was good at it 🙂 There is more to it than meets the eye – or something like that. Never understood what that meant again, but it is, I am told a very profound statement to make. Actually, it should be more like relationships, friendships, courtships and many other ships which have sunk already or are barely afloat and conversations 🙂 . This one search term is slightly relevant though, to be honest.

4) Rationing – Rationing? Here I thought, I was trying to decipher some of the deepest human emotions(Rational vs Rationalizing) and the search engine term says ‘rationing’?? As if, I was writing from Serbia where even the bread crump and peppermint are rationed or Zimbabwe where even freedom of speech is rationed?? Profundity has been mistaken as Triviality (or maybe it’s true? 🙂 )

P.S –

1) I digress but what’s up with these New Year resolutions? A randomn date which would make you resolute? Funny, sometimes!

2) Latest joke heard during some corporate training on SAP in a X company (am told the company is in Delhi)

Trainer – So, what do you think is the difference between PERL, PYTHON and AJAX?
Trainee from Bihar – Sir, Gaali mat do sir, abhi bol de raha hu!!!
Trainer – Ok, so do you know anything about ABAP programming?
Trainee from Bihar – Abbey, abhi baap pe kyun jaa raha hai be???

😛

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