Archive for the ‘Nostalgia’ Category

Photographs and their Value degeneration

I love photographs, especially old photographs where I was a little toddler, handled by different uncles and aunts, grandpas and grandmas and of course parents in different poses and backgrounds. As is the case with most of us, I too have a huge album of photographs consisting of the entire family – father’s side, mother’s side – probably from the time my mother and father were kids. The favorites are the ones with my cousins with almost all of them with crazy poses – the one where I am eagerly looking to eat the cake, while my similar-aged cousin of 8 was trying to celebrate his birthday, the one in the fields of my village where I had put on my uncle’s sunglasses with almost nothing but a short on, the one where three cousins of mine were fighting with each other as to who should play the car race and many many more. I am sure everyone has his/her own set of photographs and lovely memories.

Each photograph had a story. Even the very old faded ones, torn ones of the 1950s and 1960s had a story. These stories connected to another set of stories and and them to another and this whole series made for a very interesting conversation, and given the time, the discussions would go on for a long long time. Some of these photographs also had counter-stories – one uncle would have one story connected to one photograph and an aunt would have a conflicting story with the same photograph. And therein, ensues a debate which is even more fun and battle-lines are drawn for a discussion which could cover an entire evening. During the good ol’ days, a family photograph meant an event which covered the entire evening. We had to get dressed up very neatly, some elder would seek appointment with the photographer and we all went, the entire family walking down the street to the photographer’s shop. It was an event everyone looked forward to, a merry event – and considering the cameras of those days, you always had the photographer grumbling – aahh, little this side, little that side, don’t tilt your head to the left, lift your head up, ahh..smile and then a click. Everyone waited for three days for the photographer to deliver the photograph with bated breath and then would converge to discuss the pros and cons of the photograph, interspersed frequently by how bad the photography was and promises by anyone and everyone that the next photographer should be a better one.

I look at the recent photographs too – the ones before the digicams became widely prevalent and we all had to expend probably 250 bucks to get a film roll and then get it washed (as they used to call it). Every photograph taken was precious and there were very few and far in between. The ones of Intermediate and Engineering immediately come to mind – and even today, when friends meet up, the discussions about some of the photographs go on and on – from ‘how in the world did I wear such a dress for such an important occasion?’ to ‘how stupid was that’ – but more often than not, feel happy about some memories which remained.

In the current scenario, where everyone with a digital camera thinks himself as an expert in photography (not to mention his favorite hobby as photography), the value of photography probably might have gone up but the value attached to those photographs has drastically dwindled. An age where digicams are inexpensive, the photographs taken are reviewed immediately and the cost attached to each photograph is next to zero – the photographs in itself have lost most of their significance. The number of photographs taken has multiplied, while the importance of each photograph has probably been divided by infinity.

The number of photographs taken for any trip of 3 days is close to 400 (I along with my friends were guilty of this!). It goes into our hard drive after one, probably two looks and then….bham! I have no clue when we would open the folder containing these photographs again. 400 photographs – that probably would be the number of photographs taken in a marriage function in the old days – each photograph carefully treasured in an album, the album in itself covered in some cloth and each time the album was taken out, it was a moment of occasion, of stories and counter-stories again. Not so now. I am also saddened at the state of younger toddlers today. They would have no means to hear some stories and scenarios connected to their photographs – the number of photographs would have been so many in number, he would just see them as a movie – no narratives, no chronicles, plain old one threaded seamless movie (to quote an example again, my colleague has 200 photographs of his 2-week old daughter – I rest my case!). With handycams too within the reach of most of the population, the children of today needn’t even connect the digital photographs – it is in a movie format alright!!

Poor young toddlers of today – they would never know what value a half-torn photograph holds neither will they know how valuable a family photograph is. Probably, they don’t have time for all such things in this uber-competitive world….Really??

Time Flies!!

As I sit in Dubai airport musing about the heavy shopping that is going on and various announcements being repeated, I am amused as to how fast time flies! It was 3 months back, that I sat in this airport before I flew to UK and today, that event seemed like yesterday. Time usually flies and before you realize, the moments would have passed. And when you have fun day in day out – well, time just zips!!

It’s been an eventful 3 months in UK. Learnt a lot of things – both personal and professional. My cooking skills have dramatically improved, learnt ice-skating, my badminton is much better than before, visited quite a few places (you can find all the pics at http://picasaweb.google.com/dkirand), learnt different types of trekking but much more than all of this is the fact that I made some great friends – each with his own individualities and quirks, but great fun all the same. And to top it, I had my best friends out there in UK which made the trip all the more memorable.

I need not reiterate how a fun crowd can ease off whatever pressure you are under, and the crowd at my place was exactly that. JT with his one-liners and MTV loveline, JK with his amazing skill at map-reading and directions, VS with his god-enthu for Rajni and Tamil movies and VA with his culinary skills (one of the best I have tasted) and fun-loving nature. Couple this with the fact that I was also spending time with my best friends – I was having the time of my life!!

3 months and it passed like a moment. It’s already been more than 4 years since Engineering and as I was chatting with my friend, it seems yesterday. I guess the same feeling pervades across every one of us. Nostalgic, yes but then as one of my friends frequently used to say ‘This too shall pass!’ – we always have something better to look forward to everyday and currently I just see a hectic one week ahead of me :).

P.S –
1) I am currently addicted to ‘Everybody Loves Raymond’ and ‘Two and Half Men’, thanks to the past three months. I have no idea how will I cope without these serials everyday!! (I assume that Star World in India doesn’t telecast these sitcoms).

2) Was just wondering as I peeped out of the window of the plane – I saw huge thick clouds just before the plane descended and when the plane landed, I just saw a clear sky above. Now I understand why the top management always has a clouded view of the details below them and vice-versa :).

3) Wrote this post in a real hurry coz I know that once I land in India, I would possibly lose this strange feeling and secondly, am getting late to catch my flight!! Grammatical and Spelling mistakes – my Apologies :).

Cherished Conversations!!

This post has been pending since long. The initial draft was around 2 months ago…but then in the melee of situations, it has been delayed. Apologies.
There are moments in life when you pause and reflect, reflect on situations you want to live through again, given a chance. As mentioned in my previous posts, situations typically are filled with conversations – verbal and non-verbal. Although every conversation is important, there are some conversations which are very dear to your heart. It took me long walks in silence
and a lot of introspection to come up with five conversations which I would want to live through again, relive them irrespective of the situation. Quantifaction is a necessary evil because of some constraints (like space, time, my patience and well..your patience :))…so here we go, a post to cherish for myself (not necessarily in any order) –
1) Conversation with K at Andheri Railway station at around 9 in the night – We were chatting off to glory about family, career, friends etc etc in the midst of peak Mumbai traffic, unmindful of the frenzied atmosphere around. It was a talk interspersed with lot of noise around which included the innumerable local trains, vendors and the public. I guess we ended up talking for a couple of hours because by the time we came out for dinner – all restaurants were closing down for the day. We slept eating little dinner but having had the satisfaction of talking your heart out.
2) Conversation with D at Malgudi – Lunch – Now, this is some fun discussing it. We just didnt have any idea of the time or the people around. We went to Malgudi because I insisted on having a good Andhra meal and decent ambience. We went there in a very sober manner and the moment we started having a conversation over lunch, we started laughing – for just about everything and anything. The waiter gave us a surprised (or was it astonished??) look but we cared less. If people had objectively judged us, we were insane – it was just one laughing riot. It was a typical case where you talked everything and anything, content being immaterial but your stomach aches because you laughed your lungs out. We happened to meet many times after that
again, but never again was it so much fun, frolic and laughter.
3) Conversation with R, P and C at R’s place – This happened way back in Engineering (way back..am I that old now??..yeah..it was kindaa 6 years back) when we were to do our first technical paper submission. ‘I and R’ and ‘C and P’ were to do a paper. We met at R’s place and till 12 in the night, everything was going as per schedule – we were working very seriously on the paper. Then came the tragic mistake – C acccidentally fell asleep (This was inspite of paper presentation the next day). Very normal, we were very tired working throughout the day and it was but natural to fall asleep (I can’t stop my laughter as I write this right now!!). But then P had different ideas – he took a pillow and a blanket, woke up C and asked him to sleep COMFORTABLY. Now this was it – I and R burst out into laughter and probably kept laughing throughout the night (we incidentally did not sleep through the night due to the presenation) because C got up (recovering from the sarcastic shock he got :D), went into the verandah and practised entire night – I and R laughed our lungs out – and whenever we happen to meet
(either of us), that incident pops out and again we burst into fits of laughter.
4) Conversations with C at lakeside – Now these are conversations where you meet the other person and even if silence prevails for the entire time, you can just walk away and feel that you have had the best conversation. Not sure whether it was the ambience of the lakeside (waterbodies usually tickle my philosophical bent :-)) or the person – conversations ranged
from the usual banter to very serious topics – but everytime you have a conversation, you feel better. Guess I would call this a cherished time than a cherished conversation as we had innumerable number of conversations, each one better than the previous one. The content of conversations ranged from daily mundane affairs to serious decision making and the fact that the pattern of thought was similar made these conversations all the more worthwhile.
5) Conversation with T, J and D at Pilani – Another laugh riot, this time at a place completely foreign to us. T was in ‘form’ and J was adding fuel to the fire. We had a silent dinner (and very little) and initially thought to spend some time together before we crash to sleep. What started as a banter of imitations of professors in our college led to humor par excellence. Each one of us were bursting with tears at the end of it, which was at 4 in the morning 🙂
As can be deduced, essentially almost all of these conversations are less about content and more about the relation, the sync (frequency match – language of P :)) and things you can relate – which makes each relation stronger and better. As someone said, people may go to different places, time may take them away from you but what remains are converstaions and memories that would remain for the rest of your lifetime – to bring a smile to your face whenever you are down, to make you laugh better when you are happy and make the journey of life as memorable as it can be!

Memories…

How often do you come across something accidentally, a book or a piece of paper you had totally forgotten about, a long lost friend whom you can recognise by face but can’t recollect his/her name, a childhood photograph which you never really cared to have a serious look then or the little dress you had worn when you were born – and makes you totally happy no matter which situation/mood you are in!!

Two days back, something very similar happened to me. I was in the most irritable mood possible, a situation wherein I had no patience to deal with anything or anyone. I was just plain fussy, for reasons unknown. In such a desperate situation, I was looking for something in my suitcase and as usual, when you are looking for something desperately, it usually eludes you. However, accidentally, I did stumble across the scrap book of my MBA(nothing very flashy, a very small and a plain spiral pad) – filled in prominently by many of my seniors I admire and respect. The ‘Lines for Me’ section is the best of them all. One from my wing leader(he has been inspirational in everyway) said – ‘Know Goal, Reach Goal’. A simple, four-worded statement, but then it hit me like a bullet considering the situation I was in. Another one said, ‘Good, Better, Best – Never let it rest. Till the Good becomes Better and Better the Best’. A lovely line, striving for perfection all the time. Another one said ‘ Live and Let Live’ – I should say, pretty good view of life ;). ‘Be HONEST with…yourself atleast’, ‘Be the way you are, that will take you places’ – some of them written in jest, some of them written with a heavy heart but all of them having a profound influence. I would be extremely delighted to get back to those days – but then as one of my senior wrote ‘We meet to create memories, we part to cherish them’. A true ending to what was one of my best phases in my life – and back to the present, the irritable situation just vanished(as mysteriously as it had come about) by just reliving those memories!!

LAST BLOG from B-School

My last blog from B-school. My B-school days are coming to an end in another 12 days and that’s it…however there are some exams to write and hence I do not know when I would write my blog again, but surely it wouldn’t be before I complete my exams. We went on trekking today. We thought of going to a mango grove on the other side of a mountain, however due to some miscalculation, we ended up at a coconut-mango grove…which we enjoyed thoroughly. And that sums up my days in the B-school.

Looking back, it’s been one huge ride for me over the last 2 yrs. After the dejection of losing out on the CAT, I got through this school with some effort. I was not sure of the place and the environment and how I would go about handling it. I was a completely opposite personality to what the place demanded. However, the passion of doing a MBA just pushed me through the first few days. And boy! After that, it was just Masti, MASti and MASTI.

Apart from the academic rigor and the usual B-school stuff, I went through a rapid as well as a steep learning curve on all the aspects of life – people, cultural, sports and just about everything. I learnt to handle 30 people to complete projects on time, first as a junior and then as the head of the dept., learnt finer aspects of script writing and acting (although I am still bad at both, considering the standards of this place), learnt Table tennis, painting and of course blogging apart from other mundu aspects.

I also found my ideals down here. An ideal speaker, an ideal computer genius as well as hacker (oops!), a financial wizard, master artists, fantastic actors, terrific sports players…u name it and they are in this place. Down the line, any day I need any sort of motivation I can think of these guys and I would know what to do. Such is the talent, such is the brotherhood of this place.

I feel very sad at this point of time that I have to leave so early. Because without doubt, these have been the best two years in my life, two years where I can look back and confidently say that I have learnt something.

I am reminded of my signature in my mail…something which I strongly believe in.


Perfection is the Goal.

GOD tolerates Excellence.

Recently, I came across this quote which complements the above, which explains why I have to move on.

Advance and never halt, for advancing is perfection. Advance and do not fear the thorns in the path, for they draw only corrupt blood – Khalil Gibran.

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times” said Charles Dickens. I couldn’t fathom how do two situations co-exist for quite a long time, but I think I have the answer right here, right now. It was the best of times, for surely I have enjoyed my stay and moving toward my goal, it’s also the worst of times since I am leaving the place I love so much.

Last but not the least, I would like to put the whole experience in three lines – “The woods are lovely, dark and deep/But I have promises to keep/And miles to go before I sleep…”

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