Wednesday, November 24, 2004

The "Excuse me! Kindly Adjust" Syndrome

12.15 PM.
Lunch time. It’s already 15 minutes past the usual gong but then Divya was caught in a frame of reference which was barred for me. You know there are two kinds of people – ones who spend their lives in meetings and others who spend their lives waiting for people who are spending their lives in meetings. I belonged to the latter. Damn! Double damn!

12.25 PM.
The queue would have put any self-respecting Anaconda to shame with its long, winding nature but then that is what is in store for people who dare rebuke The Lunch Gong! After an excruciating 10 minutes we finally managed to find two seats in the first floor of the FC and were happily eating our way through our lunch when the girl seated in the adjacent seat spoke. “That’s okay. We’ll pull up a chair and adjust. You sit here.” I looked around us and I could swear there was no empty chair right next to me. Unless of course, the girl was a seer who could predict the future and was able to see how we would leave the table in the next 15 minutes or so. Or better still, maybe he was a non-Muggle and with a gentle wave of his wand would draw a cushioned armchair to rest. I looked at him and much to my disappointment, I saw no wand. Just as I was munching my food and wondering how the gentleman-with-plate-in-hand is going to conjure up a seat between me and the other girl, I heard him speak. Darn these speeches, ain’t a damsel allowed to daydream during lunch in peace? “Excuse me! Could you please move and adjust a little”. Thus spake the man-with-plate-in-hand (there was nothing gentle about him anymore now that he had unveiled his intentions) with a smile.

Did anyone tell you that I am the cousin of Xena, the Warrior princess, twice removed? No? Good, coz I am not. But rest assured I can turn into a fire-breathing dragon when smiling people ask me to move my chair so they can squeeze their bulk into a non-existent space. I mean I do agree we are just dots in the cosmos but dots do vary in size and we are not all Big Picture people. And the place next to me could have sat just one thing – A Stick. Trust me, he wasn’t one.

I took a good few seconds (That is a relatively long time for us techies) to stand and give him an once-over. Dammit! NO lightning! Not even a burn mark on his shirt. Why aren’t people scorched by the sarcasm in my eyes anymore? Either I must be losing my touch or they don’t know such things exist! I’d rather believe in the latter.

My ordeal wasn’t over. After a lot of chair pushing and giggling (There was more of the latter than the former), the man was finally seated next to me. Against my wishes. I abandoned plans of returning to my dream and waited for the customary interruption. One. Two…Ten minutes. Silence. For all the ‘adjusting’ I did, there wasn’t a single Thank you. Tut! Tut!

This is just one of the many experiences I have had at our office cafeteria. Makes me wonder if I am really that attractive that people feel the need to sit next to me or is it just one of those quirky things they do – bug an innocent damsel minding her own goddamn business. Since this is my article, I think I’ll settle for the former this time!

Do you feel this is a highly egoistical perspective of a techie with nothing to do? Well, if you do I have just this to say “Excuse me. Kindly adjust!”

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

No Comments

In the past one week I must have discarded around 5 odd posts as unpalatable material…not that this one looks like it is going to be a masterpiece…But then it’s been too long and too silent so I finally decided to take action. To hell with finding that gem of a prose to post, I shall just go ahead with what I come up now.

Though I have not been really updating my blog, I have been busy blog-hopping around and the myriad prose that I came across must have numbed me coz suddenly I was more interested in reading than writing. And then it happened…I was struck by this wonderful realization. (Nope…I was not in a bath so there weren’t Archimedes acts in the offing). Anyway I was just wondering what would happen if all of us just kept on writing. Who would read them stuff – funny articles, not-so-funny-but-i-insist-you-try-to-laugh stories, crappy opinions, and crappier opinions on opinions? Just imagine! Reams and reams, okay fine, let me re-phrase, websites and blogs of vowels and consonants with no one to read! Now that would be tragedy.

So how do we balance this ratio? Come to think of it, why read at all? Why should an exasperated graduate-to-be struggling with his mid term assignment in small town Davis read some hogwash written by an equally exasperated software engineer trying to debug a session bean not written by her in big town Chennai? Well, he should when the above mentioned software engineer is his best friend *Grin*

Jokes apart (this phrase does make me grin for reasons unsaid) I guess it does make me feel nice when I read a good piece of prose/poetry but then I am ecstatic when I find a note of commendation from someone I have never met and most probably would never meet in this life time…kind of makes me realize am not just a dot in this cosmos but a recognized dot in the cosmos…the power of a simple phrase.

So here I am raising a toast to that wonderful clan of web nomads who find enough time not just to view the flora of my verbal desert but also take pains to water it…at times.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Of lifetimes lost in time spans...

To quote a perspective from Rathish’ blog “ makes a world of difference when you look at what you have gained - a timespan that's worth a lifetime.” I agree.

This is not some bitter article in memory of a-love-that-could-have-been-mine nor is it one of those teary-eyed mushy letters about love's labours lost. In fact this is nothing now but maybe it would amount to something soon and eventually this would be everything I believe in. Hard to speculate now so I wouldn’t trespass into those grey areas.

Why do we talk about ‘a love lost’? How does one manage to lose love? Does that mean love is something that can be quantified, measured, treasured and in some cases lost? Can it be seen? Is that why we say we lost it, when we don’t see it anymore?
How? Why? Aah! the complex connotations to a simple word that moves the world.


I don’t know about the rest of the world but I, for one haven’t lost love. Somehow, I never felt an urge to tie the two together. (I mean, love and lost). It is just one permutation/combination that didn’t click. How would that disprove the others? Does this mean, I sit in one place and run around the trees with mon amour in my dreams? Of course not, there is more to life and love than the few measly interpretations we choose to hold true.

I have been told time and again to let go and not to hold on…neither to people nor to their memories when they are gone. Easier said than done. You do move on in life…not leaving behind a love but carrying it. And no, it is not an unopened package, lying in some dark corner of your mind. ‘Unrequited love’, ‘Lost love’, ‘Broken heart’ –use any expression you want but to me it all means just one thing. Love exists in your life.

But what do you do with that truckload of anger, resentment, disappointment, you-name-it-I-feel-it-emotion on seeing a wise education sponsored dream termed as wild and buried alive under social commitments?

You could do a rain-dance like the witch doctor in next door South America and hope the ensuing downpour buries you along with all that darn pain. Or you could sit in your little corner and count the scars you have (or the broken hearts in your trail, as the case may be) and forget to Live, while you are crunching those inconsequential numbers. Or better still, pour it all in a blog and try to clog the bandwidth, like yours truly just did.

At the end of it (Damn the *#@%ing pun) do you know what aches the most? – That my lifetime didn’t last for that time span…

Monday, November 08, 2004

pit pit patter...splutter.stop.

7:25 A.M. I clutched my lunch bag and tried to run as gracefully as it was ‘kumarily’ possible on a wet road trying to catch up with that Giant of a bus designed to get me to office on time…Darn it! I missed in spite of a sprint worthy of an Olympic laurel. Just when I puckered my lips to sulk, I saw the Auto driver wave at me and offering to do a chase fit of a Bond movie…seconds later I am seated in the first seat of the bus, very much out of breath but happier for the fact that I am out of breath ‘inside’ the bus rather than ‘outside'…

But all this (mis)adventure couldn’t dampen my spirits…not on a day when I had the most wonderful wake-up call of my life…It’s not often that you wake up to the sound of raindrops doing a tap dance on your window pane and you get up to see the whole world immersed in a sublime hue of yellow that gives it an almost warm and furry feeling…as if you have been cuddled in your sleep by your loving Teddy Bear.

Rains bring out the best in me (and the worst in Chennai roads)…I tried to lean back comfortably. The seat would not budge. I gave up the struggle and diverted my attention to the world outside. I did want to add ‘zipping by’, but then let’s face truth, with all the craters waiting hidden underneath a big pool of slush and water, the only way I could have gone faster is if I decided to get down from the bus and walk.
Let’s forget all this. The crux of the matter is it was finally pouring cats and dogs in Chennai after a hiatus of a few or more years and instead of welcoming the rains I found the world cursing and griping their way to work.

Tears from above? Maybe but in my case it is more like manna from the heavens. I still remember that day in July, 2002(It could have been August too. My memory doth fail me at times). I had just come back from a 4 –year paid vacation sponsored by my parents in the sands of a forgotten desert. And it rained. The next moment I was in the terrace waltzing with my invisible partner in the rain. Aah…the simple joys of life. Why do we always miss the tree for the woods?

And today it was raining and all I could see was an angry mass doing it’s best to survive against all odds. Maybe the Rain God heard their unspoken feelings…unseen, unknown and unheard, he pulled the strings. Curtains. I looked out. The puddles were still there and so were the angry people…but there was a difference. The anger had now been diverted to the non-existent infrastructure and not the downpour. It had stopped raining.

Suddenly I don’t feel so happy. The morning's wake-up call seems like a leaf out of a glorious past. My rains have gone away. Will they come another day?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

the dead end...

You know it’s not your day when you log in to your X mail accounts and find that there is not a single mail pining for you…not even a mail from your Boss screaming at you for not updating him on the project front. I know for a fact that my update mail is sitting happily in his inbox and he would just Shift+ Del it as trash and wait for my ISD call. Makes you wonder why one goes gaga over Internet.

Anything worth doing is worth delaying…that’s the philosophy for the day on my white board and I am still breaking my head on what to write here… I mean it’s all nice and cool to say “hey dude I got my own blog and blah…” but then what do I write in it?
I am sure the one who lands up at this page (even if it is by some freak chance) is not really interested in knowing if I am as jubilant as Bush or if I feel that the Indian cricket team needs to go into retirement. So why did I go to all this pain of creating my own blog. Beats me!

But then that is not the reason behind this whole exercise…i mean there are days when I have to write to somehow give voice to the anger welling up in me and then there are those euphoric moods when there are so many happy emotions having a fencing competition in my mind, that I need to sort them out before they kill each other…and there are days like today – Silent. Empty. Most of the time it is this silence I try to wipe away with those little squiggles running amuck …

However I forgot one other reason, by far the most important one on why I need to write…I need to see my name in print! Someone once said Power is the best known aphrodisiac but I feel Fame is equally good if not better. The very thought that a hundred netizens (Well there’s no harm in being optimistic) would read my piece and relate to it is a wonderful feeling…Now don’t get me wrong! I am not writing to change the world, or move the mountains but I am writing coz I am selfish…it is more to do with the perpendicular pronoun than anything else.

Looks like I am stuck at a dead end and unless I know which brick to tap for a magical world to open in front my eyes, I am cornered. Till that magical moment unfurls…