Friday, May 30, 2008

Singing Out of Tune

All thoughts about making posts here come when I am supposed to be working. The fact that my work these few days almost completely consists of preparing a sector report does not help. It's not as interesting as finding firms to invest in, pitching to, and for, them, which I had been doing till now.

Anyway, I read a couple of blog-posts during lunch, which were pretty interesting. One was a post by a blogger who's a regular here, but whose posts I don't get time to read regularly. The post itself was interesting, but the comments equally so. We all - I, that blogger, people who read these posts, all of us - are so alike in so many ways. It's a depressing thought.

The other post was by a friend, who I suppose drops by once in a while. It brought back this thought I had a few months back -

Even though I am not particularly verbal, or verbose, about my thoughts and feelings (unlike the impression that this blog might give), there are some friends whom I get a little too expressive with. I sort of misuse their friendship and patience by saying stuff I would not to anyone normally. Very often after a few pints of beer. There have been times, with a very small number of friends, where I have said too much, almost without any restraint. And this candidness hasn't been reciprocated in equal measure.
And I have felt cheated. And I have accused them of not being 'good' friends. Accused them of not feeling enough. Of being selfish. A lot more.

But a few months back, talking to one such friend, who had seen me through such bouts of madness, I realized that it's me who is selfish on these occasions. My friends do feel. Think. Analyze. But don't necessarily say it out loud. Or even put down into long long mails, which I am notorious for. It's actually more diffcult to feel something strongly and not take the easy way out of shooting off a long mail or using some strong words under the pretense of being drunk. And a lot more mature as well. My friends are amazing people.

They would not be my friends otherwise.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Such is Life

A year back:
- I was working in a bank, with work I hadn't been completely prepared for
- I was staying alone, and more or less enjoying it
- I had just started to get the hang of a new city
- The Gujjars were protesting in Delhi, and creating a nuisance
- Noida had just witnessed a gruesome murder case

- I am working in a bank, with work I hadn't been completely prepared for
- I am staying alone, and more or less enjoying it
- I have just started to get the hang of a new city
- The Gujjars are protesting in Delhi, and creating a nuisance
- Noida has just witnessed a gruesome murder case

Some things never change.
(I wrote this post in 2 minutes - I am sure there a lot of things from last year repeating themselves now, even if we ignore things like Indian TV reaching abysmal lows that won't change for a long time)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Bengaluru Diary - Part 2

Everyday when I get up, I feel a little more happy for having chosen to stay here, instead of Mumbai. The weather, in general, is great in Bangalore, but the mornings are especially great. I woke up at 6am this Sunday, to wake up one of the two friends, who were sleeping over at my flat, and standing in the balcony felt heavenly. Not too cold, not too warm, breezy. And to think I would have been sweating by the time I got to the wash-basin every morning in Mumbai. Taking an auto to work, unless the traffic is too heavy, which it rarely is at 8:30 in the morning, also feels good. And it's been raining very often these days. Which does make the traffic congestion more bothersome in this city, but does wonders to the temperatures. I have begun to envy my friends who grew up in this place.

A number of people I know crib about the growing problems of this place, but memories from Kolkata are too fresh in my mind. The only issue, and it's not a very small one as I realize every weekend, is that I am desperately in need of a social life. People from work are great, but after spending almost 12 hours with them for five days, I am sure they would want me to get my own life for two remaining days. But, am taking steps to remedy that.

There are several other things that I like about Bangalore. The fact that good food is so cheap. There are these amazing places called darshinis, where you can have really delicious idli-vada, with filter-coffee (and I am realizing now what all the fuss about it is for) from early morning to late evening. I don't eat there too often, but I am still spending surprisingly low on food every day.

There are other good things that come with living alone and not having to worry about money, which I might be associating with the city, but well, this is the place I have started working at, and this will be the place that will hold as special a meaning for me as Delhi would, for the rest of my life. Just as Mumbai will remain special for my parents.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Eats Shoots, Leaves and Lots of chicken

I found this. Now only if I had someone as willing to experiment with food with me as some of my friends in Kolkata, my life would be perfect.

I also bought the Times Food Guide a few weeks back, but it's been fairly wasted, except for getting the phone number of a few restaurants easily, and no where as useful as it had been in Delhi, where I spent the last few months trying out a lot of really nice places.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Naught Tension

After my parents left last week, it took me some time to get used to being all alone after coming home from work. There's way too much space for one person.

But I'm glad that, in a fairly short time, not only have I got used to the flat, but also settled down well enough in my job to manage getting all the office work done along with gradually resuming my relationship with books and movies. Have seen two movies in the last two days, apart from reading about 100 pages of a book. Nice, no?

The book is Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, who continues to impress with his peculiar turn of phrases. There are far too many examples to be able to pick one or two. And halfway through the very interestingly structured novel, I still have no clue how it is going to shape up.

The two movies I have seen have been very different experiences though. I finally forced myself to watch Tashan day before yesterday. I normally do not rely on other people's opinion of a movie while making my movie-watching plans, or forming my own judgment. In fact, I have seen that a lot of movies, especially Hindi ones, which get panned across the board by all and sundry, actually turn out to be not so bad. Cases in point - Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna, Jhoom Barabar Jhoom and, well, RGV Ki Aag. There were several redeeming features to these movies. Which cannot be said for Tashan unfortunately. Except maybe that Kareena Kapoor looks really hot.

The other movie I saw was last night after getting a recommendation from Beatzo's blog. And I watched it the way I have hoped to watch one for a long time during my student life. My own room, my own TV (connected to my own laptop in this case), my own beanbag, and my own pop-corn. I just need my own home theatre now, which, as an article in ET showed today, is quite affordable.

Anyway, the movie was Haute Tension, a French thriller, sort of in the same league as The Hills Have Eyes or Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but very unlike them too. I didn't exactly like the movie. There's a huge hole in the plot for one. But also because I somehow, for the first time, did not enjoy all the gore. Did not see the point in it. I mean, I found it interesting enough to be glued to my seat the whole duration of the movie and didn't get bored or too put off, but found it a very cheap effort at providing thrills. I hope I haven't lost interest in such movies because I really used to have a lot of fun watching them. I am going to watch Wolf Creek, the other recommendation at his blog, this weekend. Hopefully, it'll be more enjoyable.

There's a very interesting discussion going on at Beatzo's blog on the issue of 'gorno' btw, and am waiting for his reply.

And this one's my 100th post on this blog.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Breeding Contempt

My relationship with my parents is very weird. Or maybe not that weird, considering that I know quite a few others with similar relationships. For most of my life, both of them have been working, so I have grown used to spending most of my time in the house alone and meeting them for brief points of time in the morning and evening. And, of course, not even that much communication for the last so many years, when contact has mainly been limited to phone calls and occasional visits home. Family outings, which used to be very frequent in school, have become once in two years or so occasions, because it's difficult to get all four of us at home at the same time.

I love them a lot, but get really irritated with them very fast. My mom speaks too much, my dad almost zilch, and I hate the two extremes. Every single visit home, in a matter of two-three days, becomes painful, because I start being rude to them and avoiding them, missing the freedom to sleep and wake up late and doing everything as I please at the hostel. And in our present home, it is very easy for four people to live comfortably without having to see each other. I know the reason my mom asks so many questions or calls me every other day for no particular reason, or bugs me for million things is because she loves me. Maybe, now that she isn't working, she also has the time to think about it and feel guilty at some level for not having been able to give me as much time as she should have when I was in school. But, realizing all that does not make it easier to bear all this concern.

Which does not keep me from calling her, or my dad, when I am in a soup, or down and out, and need help or someone to talk to. I remember a couple of years back, I had just come back from the railway station after seeing a friend off, and was feeling really really sad because I didn't know if I would meet the person again and whether I would make good friends after that. Though the answer's been yes to both doubts, I was not very sure of it that evening, and walking around in the campus alone, I called up my mom. One of the very few occasions when I called her up without some work, and she was quite surprised, but sensed that I needed to talk as well.

I am a bad son, I know.

The funny thing is that in recent times, or rather in the last 2-3 years, I have realized that this kind of behavior is not altogether uncommon in other relationships also. I get similarly irritated and behave rudely at times with some of my closest friends and cousins when they show more concern than I am comfortable with.

What is even more funny is that I shower more than a fair share of attention on some of my very close friends as well. And feel bad when they misinterpret my concern for an attempt to intrude into their privacy. These friends, I am sure, love me as much as I love them, but most of us are more comfortable with sanitized relationships when these feelings are not spoken of explicitly or displayed with high frequency. We want close friends, relatives to be there when we need them, but otherwise let us be.

We are funny people.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Mr Gambhir

I am hardly the person to pass a comment related to cricket, or a cricket player for that matter, but who will stop me? Based on my limited viewing of the IPL, Gautam Gambhir comes across as one of those tens of morons I have known in my life who have the utmost faith in working hard. Such people do everything the right way, but never actually use their brains. They are extremely capable, but still settle for a very mediocre existence, while people far less capable achieve a lot more because they are smart, lucky or have contacts.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Apeksha, Upeksha

There was a serial called Upanyaas from about 15 years back that had a statement which talked about the two. I don't remember clearly but I think it starred Uttara Baokar, Parikshit Sahni and Surekha Sikri. Can be wrong on all three counts though. But I am sure about the statement. I had marvelled at its beauty even then. The more you have of the former, the more you have of the latter. I don't know why this thought came to me now.

Weekends are rather boring and if I got to sleep late on weekdays I wouldn't mind doing away with weekends altogether. There's only so much of reading and TV watching one can do. And about the only thing worth watching on TV right now is the IPL. I am, as will a good part of India, going to miss it once it gets over and Rajasthan Royals take home the trophy. I have lived at so many places in the last few years that apart from Chennai Super Kings, Kings XI Punjab and Deccan Chargers I can root for any of the other teams.

Indian ads are getting really dumb. The only recent one that I really like is the Vodafone one. I saw the entire thing for the first time today. I think I am falling in love with that dog.

Two other ads that aren't exactly great, but I still find them funny are the Havell's Bijli ad and Crabtree's ads, especially the one with the bride, who switches between crying and being cheerful.

Most plans for the weekend have gone kaput. Mahaquizzer is being organized tomorrow, but without company I don't feel enthusiastic enough to go and participate in a written quiz.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Fully furnished

My place is completely furnished now. Or at least as furnished as I want it to be for some time. It's also got a bit crowded. I had grown used to living a life with minimal comforts - only a refrigerator, a TV, a geyser, a rice cooker and a couple of laptops. Three laptops actually.

My parents are visiting for a few days. Which would account for the sudden appearance of furniture and other stuff at my flat. They spent the entire weekens shopping for stuff I didn't even realize a house needed. They are liking Bangalore too, though I wish they would experiment more with food so that I could take them to some nice places.

Took them to MTR on Sunday. Had the foresight to book the previous day and we didn't have to wait to get a table. The crowd is unbelievable and it was nice walking past everyone waiting in a line for over an hour smirking at their lack of foresight. The food is worth all the trouble though. Extremely rich and very delicious. One place you should not miss if you visit Bangalore.

Right now I am having lunch at office while my parents are sight-seeing in the city. I wish I could bunk office as easily as I could bunk classes. And yeah, I know I can take a day off, but sight-seeing is not the best reason to take a day off from a job I have been at for just about a month.

The coming weekend should be quite busy with a few interesting things planned up. Though the fact that my best friend who's sitting at home doing nothing of consequence not very far from Bangalore is not coming for the weekend dampens things a bit. Without company I might just decide to spend the entire weekend home.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Things look farther than they are...

I was starting to write another post about the pubs I went to since my last post, stuff I bought, or saw, or cooked, but I read this post at Atish's blog that talks about a rear-view mirror to look back at one's life, and I think I did just that.

Exactly a month since I left home. Left it one more time. My life's been quite a roller-coaster, at least for someone who loves being at one place so much, and the last one month has been another one like that. At every point in my life when I am about to leave one comfortable environment and move into a new one, I have been scared like hell. Groped for something to hold time still. Have learnt that it never works. You only end up holding yourself back while everyone else moves on. So, I do get scared now, but maybe less so. And of course, there are some dear friends, who always help me out.

It is quite staggering to look back at every point one has been through. Places I have spent important moments at, and which will never be visited again. People those moments were spent with, and who will never be met again. I have often thought about people who spend their entire lives at one place, with the same set of people, almost like an automaton. Would life be better that way?

Moving on is not always that great because you probably get no where ahead and keep getting far from things you left behind.

Things were not helped by the second blog-post I read for the day - at The Delhi Walla blog. It's by this Pakistani author, who writes about old Delhi. I have lived at one very interesting city for two years, am living in another now. But, Delhi was like the proverbial first love. I don't think I would even want to settle down in Delhi, or stay in for a long time, but I'll always keep coming back there.

And yeah, fun at work, good food, books and everything else that makes the present worth being in continue.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Several acquisitions

Have solved food and boredom issues now, and hence a lot more settled since my last post. Have discovered the miracle of ITC and MTR's ready-to-heat meals. I don't know why I didn't try them out, even though I knew of their existence, in Singapore or even in Kolkata. Will try out almost all items in due time, as well as move on to slightly more complex culinary territories, involving oil, spices, vegetables, chicken and all that jazz.

Got a broadband connection, which is not as fast as I thought broadband would be, but serves my purpose as well as downloading stuff is concerned. Will have my Tata Sky connection in a day or so. Bought a bean-bag yesterday. In essence, I am all set to cut down on the little socialising I had started after coming here.


Now, I wrote that 4-5 days back, and saved on my desktop intending to complete the same day, but forgot. A lot more has happened since then.

Did expriment with cooking slightly complicated stuff. And did pretty well.

And my Airtel broadband has already developed issues.

And I got Tata Sky. IPL is fantastic time-pass, and many of the guys who are sitting doing nothing at home waiting for joining must be thanking it.

And I already mentioned the huge bean-bag, which is amazingly comfortable. A lazyboy will take some time to come in though - too expensive.

And bought 9 books from Blossom, at the total cost of what probably got me 2 books a year back in Singapore. If only I had waited to come to Bangalore to buy those books.

Having your own flat is too luxurious for someone who has been living in chicken-coops for a long long time. I have found no use for one of my rooms.

Though, I am impressed, as of now, by how clean my flat is. Much much cleaner than my room in college. My mom will be surprised.

Template Designed by Douglas Bowman - Updated to Beta by: Blogger Team
Modified for 3-Column Layout by Hoctro