July 25, 2005

Mindsense

As you can see understand, after looking at the Adsense ads being displayed on my page ("Is Your Life Changing?, Feel Worthless? Hopeless?, Natural Antidepressant, Depression Natural Remedy"), I have come to the conclusion that Google knows me best. Messers Page and Brin are my best friends now. Sob... sob..

Infodorks

Someone needs to tell Infoworld to grow something fairly resembling a brain and get them to understand that companies like Wipro are not just outsourcers. Will they start using the word ‘monopolist’ every time Microsoft is used in a headline, or is it just an outsourcing phobia thing?

July 17, 2005

Free

In all probability this is not really me who is speaking, but a weird concoction of feverish delirium, a swig of expectorant and some mind numbing congestion that is shining through in the words that I write down right now. The past two days have been something of a revelation, not as much as a new one, but something on the lines of further proof and clarity that something is not quite right. All of a sudden I have come around to this stage where I have almost impulsively started looking at almost everyone around me, especially the ones from the past, with the utmost derision. I cannot quite understand it as it is of no fault of theirs, they have not changed, I have, but a voice constantly screams in my head now "I hate them!"

Trust me on this, being the 'tortured soul' holds no attraction for me, but knowing what paths you do not want to take still does not mean that you know which is the path you want to take. I am tired of these expectations of epiphanies, maybe the only epiphany is that in fact there is none and that you have to choose from the available options and be happy too. In all honesty that is nothing short of a sort of death for me. It can't be that impossible to find that tiny little niche in this entire universe for yourself, it can't be that difficult to do your own thing, say "fuck you" to the rest of the world and be happy. The only sour point in that observation that smacks of 'I-think-too-highly-of-myself' is that I have no clue what that niche is.

Moreover, there is this tiny but significant possibility that all this is driven by nothing else but my desire to run constantly afoul of my middle class upbringing. For someone who has spared not a single nice thought for those who have made every aspect of their life a statement, I might also be guilty of the same. I have nothing in common with almost all the people that I meet, work or hang out with and even in the case where there is a lot in common, I have nothing to identify with in either case. It almost always ends up being the case these days that either I end up tuning off midway from a conversation or others do the same when it is I who is doing all the talking. Call it clarity or call it delusion, it does exist and quite clearly too.

All that leaves me brimming with conversations that I want to have. Ones where I don't have to provide solutions, answers or address the umpteenth variation of the parental insecurity that is a constant thorn in your side. I want to sit and not have to talk about movements in Delhi's journalistic circles, I want to have hour-long conversations about the most inanest of things, laugh openly and childishly only like a child can do. I want to feel the high of being in the middle of a dance floor, in a rhythmic conversation with the multi coloured lights, and I don't want to come home, neither here, nor where I was born, only if my moorings and my memories would cut themselves off me and set me free, forever.

July 15, 2005

Retreat

If it were not for the fact that I have not been helping my own cause with more than a fair share of self abuse, I could have blamed a really chaotic work situation, the constantly dull grumpy weather and the relationship scenario for the current downturn in my mood. This is one of those times when the best to do is to lay down your arms, surrender completely to feeling and let it devour you inside out.

I would not like to admit it as much, but I am gradually growing up to be this person who is impatient and someone who looks down on the rest of humanity like they were some lower beings. In short, it looks like I am growing into the finest amalgam of all the people I've disliked in my life. It cannot more ironic than that, can it? I really like to come up with a smart line here, but all I can is that I am truly flabbergasted.

July 12, 2005

Raindrops

Six in the morning, listening to 'Days Go By' by Dirty Vegas and driving back home alone on rain drenched Delhi roads - you can't miss the poignancy of the setting, the splattering sounds that the rain makes on the windshield nor the growing sense of apprehension laced with a faint lining of optimism - it is the prelude to another chapter in my life. After a few more pages would flip by, a new one would begin, full of its own uncertainties, promises and struggles.

Thus begins my lonely battle, first for my sanity, then my life and the direction I should choose for it. Right now, I do not have much in my satchel by means of doled out sympathy, nor do I ask for any; for these have been my decisions, maybe not the best ever if you do not consider my own self-interests as the deciding factor, but I do stand by them and still believe in them. In the end, as it has always been, it has been me who has dragged myself from the depths. It will be the same this time too.

I wonder what do I dread more, the gaping voids that she will be leaving behind in my physical and emotional world after such a long time together or if is the places, like the noisy crowded pub, the walks in the crowded complex, that we have loved so much. Places are all about connections you make with mental pictures and people. There is a memory here, there and around every corner, there is an impulsive reaction for everything that I know or see. It is time now to speak to the shadows again.

That said, I don't have any regrets in it. We have always treaded the paths that we wanted to tread and for two very impulsive people, this is probably the most mature decision we would ever make in our lives. And the funniest thing is that it was not about love or romance, we had precious little of that between us; it was all about companionship. It is that feeling of absolute contentment, walking in a horribly crowded place for extended periods of time, with not a single word exchanged and still completely feel the presence of the other person that I will miss the most.

Where I go from here is an interesting question. There are a zillion things that I need to do and an equal number of friends and other people that I need to get back in touch with. You know, you take the calculated risk of disappearing when you know that what you have right then is very special and very short lived. I need to change a lot of things, including my room, and finally make a move on, but more than anything else I need a vacation. I have not had one of those, at least not a proper one, since 2002.

It is half past seven now and the rain has held off a bit, even while it continues to be deliciously overcast. In a little while the empty roads would have given way to angry, snarling, honking drivers and I would take my place among them, secure in the knowledge that if I can sport that rottweiler snarl I can get away with it and feel quite at home too. Time now to slip away into that state of being awake and asleep at the same time. Good morning and sweet dreams.

July 10, 2005

Incompetent Expert

It just occurred to me that I am really good at advising other people on things that I am a miserable failure at. The list goes something like this: relationships, careers, fashion, drinking, family, logic and sensibility. Funny, no?

July 08, 2005

Bombay

I do not know if it is the rain that kept running away from us when we chased hard to get some of it or if it is the pain of having to return to and wake up in the noisy hyper-aggressive home city that has had me reeling like how someone at the wrong end of an incessant barrage of upper cuts would reel. It could also be nether and just be all personal, maybe I was just not prepared for the life waiting for me back here. In a lot of ways I want the train of life to stop so that I could get off and get back in when I am up to it. Sadly, things do not quite work that way though.

The three days we had in the very humid city near the sea was spent rushing from the guest house at Bandra to the office at Lower Parel and a whole lot of eating in between, which were reminiscent of quite a few gastronomic escapades from the Asterix franchise. From crabs to bombil, we feasted at a range of places across town like Gajali at Phoenix Mills, Jai Hind at Lower Parel, Out of the Blue, Cafe Moshe at Crossword, Bademiya, the exquisitely shady Gokul Permit House and we also did not forget to have the obligatory beer pitcher over chilli beef at Leopold.

In a weird way, the trip was also something of a sort of a 'state of the Indian media' trip. We had gone to the offices of CNBC TV18, DNA and Yahoo! India. As our former editor, the very interesting Vinay Kamat, had commented, Lower Parel has indeed become the Fleet Street of India. And it was such a yucky feeling to be sure of meeting someone you know from Delhi at every other building in that area. If I move to a new city, I want new people there and not the same old crowd. Thanks, but no thanks, I'll settle for the sad, familiar faces in Delhi.

Even though it was hard to convince the Mumbaikaars who were with us, the city itself was so sedate and hell, I could find my way after the Scholarly meeting at Kemp's Corner back to Bandra. Even if it was in a cab, for a directionally challenged person like me, that is some achievement. And yes, the city indeed does not sleep. There were people everywhere and at every time. Even after the very late night stop over at Yahoo! India, we still saw couples, groups of boys, families on the street. While, yesterday, at 11:30 PM, on our way back from the Delhi airport, there was not a single soul in sight.

Of all the places we had been to, DNA was the most disappointing. For all the money they hand out to the staff, the workstations and laptops they were using were el cheapo Zenith machines and the office itself was sadly done up (or should I say half done?), while Yahoo! India was the best without any doubt. Of course, it also helped that they had some of the best office stationery and the little I had heard of our friend there trying his best to deal with a not-so-happy employee added to the positive impression. They really do take care of their people and I guess it shows in the end results too.

In retrospect, the trip did serve to take away a lot of my Bombay phobia and I am now not averse to the idea of moving there someday, but I still like Delhi for its brashness and the aggression. In fact, I can't quite make up mind about which city do I like more, but yeah, the prohibitive cost of having a roof over your head is a total downer. I am still reeling from thinking about the sixty lakh rupee our friend had shelled our for his newly-acquired one BHK digs at Mount Mary. At least in the real estate contest Delhi wins, not just hands, but all limbs down at that too.

July 04, 2005

Irritants

If this is something what a fan following looks like, I really could do with none at all. And there is one more here. Whoever it is that is posting my posts on their blogs as their own please do have some shame and either attribute and link back to me or just stop doing it.

Really, this is so pathetic.

P.S: Thanks to the anonymous commenter who brought the matter to my attention.
Update: Well, maybe not that anonymous. Thanks anyway for the heads up.

Update: Looks like all those blogs have vanished. I really do not know what to make of all of it; hopefully that should be the last of that.

Cliches

Even after the considerable heartache, exhaustion and the eight hour delay caused by a ruptured radiator hose, that in turn led to an over heated engine and a blown gasket, the 200 kilometre a side trip to the Air Force station in Ambala was one of the most beautiful experiences that I have had in a while. National Highway number one, once out of the humid, choking environments of the National Choking Region of Delhi, opens out into a wide 110 kilometre per hour stretch of tarmac punctuated every now and then by crowded little Haryanvi towns that just whizz by you, even at 80 kilometres per hour.

The station itself was a world away from the routine and the faces I'd come to know on a day-to-day basis. Of course, being the weekend, there was no flying happening, which contributed to the wonderful and unfamiliar silence. And for most parts the weather was overcast; during the other times it just rained like it does back home, covering the entire area in a panorama of lush green, which is rare scene in most parts of north India. Where we stayed, the room was quite spacious and nice and there was the constant chirping of birds and our bathroom at one point had a multitude of insects, frogs and leeches in it!

To lean on the much abused cliche, like all good things in life, every journey in life, including the trip, comes to an end at some point or the other. After a wonderful period of over a year of being together, another journey of mine, the relationship I was in, also has come to an end. It has left me a lot of fond memories, some of the best times in my life, it taught me a lot of lessons and in general I have grown a lot more as an individual in it. But I have come to realise that I am getting a bit too old to play both sides of the game anymore. It is wonderful to have that out-of-body experience when it comes to perspective, but I don't think I can play it for much longer.

In any case, tomorrow, to lean on yet another cliche, is a new beginning. I start work at the new place with a totally blank sheet. Sometimes I do wonder if I have bitten more than I can chew. But as my dear friend would gladly vouch for, the fact is that I am never found eating with a bite that is less than a mouthful. There is such a lot to be done in the next few months, while all I want is to go back to that room at the station, curl up with a book or start work on my 'always in progress' first story. When I really want a pause, all I get is even more speed. Bring it on, either way it is hard for me to win, eh?

Continuing on the rat race theme, I'd be racing with my fellow rats down to Mumbai on Wednesday to 'scope out' the task at hand and stick on in the city till sometime on Friday. Last time I came there was in 2002, if I recollect correctly, and between the Express Towers at Marine Drive and the company guest house Colaba, it was a divine existence that was only tempered by my unrealistic phobia of underworld dons jumping out of every corner to threaten me in one form or the other. This time there is no phobia, maybe I just should look forward to it. I do need that break and I do feel like running away. But I need to hold my ground and start patching things up together again, starting yet another journey in the process.