Thursday, December 15, 2011

Bruised history

It is mind boggling that the mind actually remembers the dates, incidents and people which it should forget, and on the other hand it forgets the ones to be remembered.

That accident had shaken me up because it was my first one on a busy road, and since then somehow the month of December has been prone to give a lot of unpleasant surprises. Today morning when I was leaving for office and took my bike out of the parking slot the mind warned me that it is Dec 15th. I smiled brushing off the thought and told my mind to shut up. The first turn after getting out of the building, a school rickshaw coming from the opposite direction swerved wildly, and I avoided it in time. Within a minute on the next turn 2 guys came out suddenly (from a building gate), and to avoid hitting them I slowed down and hit the brakes. Wham! After taking two tumbles I was lying on my bike with both hands caught under it. Nursing the few bruises I have got I have been sitting today at home. The pain in the palm not-withstanding it feels a good break solely due to the reason that it has been a hectic phase at the workplace and found time to listen to some good old songs*. How I wish to be more active on the blog and even with stuff to write here, time is always finding a way to elude me. Anyway, you guys please drive safely and stay fit.

*Still humming to yeh shaam mastani and phir wohi raat hai.

P.S.: When I say 'you guys', to whom am I referring to? There are hardly a few who are still active (reading and/or writing). So many blogger friends have disappeared from the scene. I hope that the active ones do not stop writing.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

You must be kidding!

In 1978 a Sanjeev Kumar starrer movie was released by the name Pati Patni Aur Woh, which went on to become a hit. Around 30 years later a same named TV series was born in which Woh – the secretary in the movie was replaced by a baby. The couples in the series were to take care of a baby (someone else’s) as if their own (for a week or month?). That really brought to fore the difficulties couples face while raising a kid, especially when they are not ready to face them. Teachers and parents have the pivotal role in shaping a child’s life so the people who play these roles must be mature enough to handle it. It is not a task which one can put a tick across to mark it done. I was reminded of that TV serial after I spoke to one of my friends.
“Sure I will forward his resume. How is R (his wife)?”
“R has gone to her native place. We are expecting a baby.”
“What? Err… I mean congrats. Sorry, but isn’t it a bit early? You guys are just 25-26.”
“Yeah, I did not want a baby now, but my parents were forcing us to have one soon.”
After hanging up the phone, unfortunately, my (perverted) mind drifted to visualize a scene where he was being forced to have unprotected sex with his wife, with his parents sitting beside commanding “Be good and be quick. We want a baby coming out now. Tick tick 1… tick tick 2…” Sick jokes apart, but seriously, just a year of marriage and being 26 is not a good age to have a baby is what I feel. And how can parents be that forceful to have a grandchild? I am not against my friend having a kid, but I feel he should have had a certain amount of time to enjoy his married life as well. A few days back while surfing TV channels I stopped for a minute on a channel playing Pyar Ke Side Effects. Rahul Bose and his brother-in-law are sitting on a see-saw in that scene and discussing how the former is not ready for marriage, and the latter for parenthood. The latter says he wants to take his wife to Las Vegas and the casinos there, but not with a kid in his arms. What I think is that there should be some time for a couple to get to know each other (even in a love marriage), enjoy each other’s company and see where they stand financially/emotionally/physically before thinking of extending their lineage.

I love kids (provided they are small and cute looking), but I don’t want one in my house as of now. Reading the previous sentence again won’t change the meaning buddy. My close friends almost hate travelling with me (esp. on long journeys in trains) as invariably kids flock around our seats. I am not sure if that is because the kids see me as a joker or something, but from experience they sure enjoy the company. My parents and in-laws are also waiting for the ‘good news’ from our end. I would say I am just lucky though that the topic of having kid(s) came up just twice so far after my marriage. First time my mom had talked about it when we were talking about our neighbour’s little daughter. Mom had then mentioned that I love kids, probably hinting to me and my wife to have our own, when I said I like kids and pets, but only if they belong to someone else. I need not mention that I had to make a quick exit from the scene. When dad had raised it later I had said that I did not want to have a kid for a few reasons, all of which were trampled down by his counter-reasoning. One of my reasons is that I (read we) do not think both, my wife and I, are mature enough to be responsible parents, and I doubt if a time would come when I feel that I have become a responsible adult. About a fortnight back we were having lunch with a couple and eventually the topic of kids came up (they have an adorable little daughter). The guy said that there would never be a time when you would be sure that you have reached the stage to have a kid, it is just that you guys will have to take a plunge taking into consideration your age factor and since every other friend is having a baby. Having a baby due to peer pressure? I haven’t logged into Facebook for a long time now, but I do remember seeing photos of babies posted on albums of many friends from school/college/office. There are four female colleagues on my same floor here who are expecting at the same time; we call it ‘the pregnancy wave’. A few years ago there was a time when all friends were getting married. Now they are gestating at the same time. I do not know how long I would be successful on my stand for no kid, but the thought of taking the plunge does scare me.

P.S.: Why do mothers of kids smile from ear to ear seeing a girl playing with their kid, and probably thinking, “What a great mother this girl will be one day!” While on the other hand if there is a guy in place of the girl, the first reaction is the stare, “Is he a paedophile?”

Monday, August 01, 2011


Rejuvenated is such a pretty word, isn’t it? Every time this word comes across it brings out a bright, happy picture like the ‘happy shirt’, the one with bold blue and white stripes. It is very common (and I am not allowed to have one coz it is a very common pattern), but I have loved that shirt since a very long time. I have this notion that the person who wears it is extremely happy, thus ‘happy shirt’. Anyway, rejuvenated was for the happy feeling I am, or rather was, going through after a nice trip. I was on a two week break which felt shorter than it was. All vacations seem short, don’t they? And it is so very boring to go to work after coming back. Now I wish everyone at work wore the ‘happy shirt’ and felt rejuvenated.
The view from the hotel room in Mussorie.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Face value

I have this peculiar habit of scanning faces, the pretty and the not-so pretty ones too, in public places. Not only looking at the faces, but as to what they are doing, and thinking on what they might be thinking. I assume everyone does that, but instead of generalizing I will say that it is my habit. So at the lunch table in the cafeteria one day when the discussions veered off to how incompetent the project manager is I preferred to look past the table occupants and spotted a face amongst others. I knew I had seen him before somewhere and that too before joining this company, but I was not able to register where. I do boast that I have a good memory of recollecting faces and at the same time I regret that my memory of remembering names is very weak. So I wondered that if I smile at the familiar face either he would recognize me with my name and I would be fumbling remembering his name (which happens most of the times) or I would smile and he would be like why is this guy smiling at me when I don’t know him (which also happens many times). So I did not smile or wave at him, but still was thinking where I had seen that guy. Then while leaving the cafeteria we were about to cross each other and I saw that he was looking at me with a similar where-have-I-seen you look. I smiled weakly and he said, “Sharma?” The face-recollecter narcissist in me poked fun at me again that the guy standing in front not only recognized my face but was also remembering my name. After some small talk we left for our offices. He also was not able to remember where we had met, but later it struck me (by the way he addressed my surname) that we were in the same tuition class 11 years back. Had it been only his voice or full name instead of his face, I don’t think I would have recognized him.

This power of (or dependency on) the face came out strongly in the project I completed recently. We had about 200 team members working from different locations and different companies, over different time zones. Out of these 200 around I had met only 8-10 people who were from the floor opposite to mine. While talking to the remaining ones during the conference calls I used to imagine their faces. I used to associate known faces to these unknown people based on their voices, names, locations and my imagination over the last 10 months. The problem was when the known people used to meet me and I started calling them by the names of the unknown faces since I had mapped their faces to the names I was talking to the entire day. Last week my onshore counterpart sent a few photographs of a party the team there had attended. On the call I asked him where he was standing in the photograph; the picture I had in my head was completely the opposite of him. Now when I talk to him after that day I am not able to co-relate the real face with that voice as I am used to the mental image I had created over these many months. Among the blogger friends I have so far imagined I had told Sayesha that before visiting her travel blog where she had posted her photograph I always thought her to be like the actress Sandhya Mridul. I have still not heard Sayesha’s voice so associating her with the actress is a different story altogether, but even today the first image that comes to my mind when I read her blog is of the actress and then her real face.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tumbling down the rabbit hole

I analyze each passing year, though never reach to/make any decisions to change the flow of anything. I have been too lazy if you want to say so or too much of a believer of destiny that I have let the water find its own course even if there are obstacles that need to be overcome instead of meandering around. Yesterday one of the team members (from another company) sent me an appreciation on completion of the project. He stated that I had maintained a cool head even when there were many issues and he liked the fact that instead of going for escalations I had handled the issues on my own with a good rapport with the whole team. I had replied to him that I was not a person who liked the idea of escalations and preferred the policy that things do go bad, but they turn out to be good eventually. After replying I sat back for a moment and pondered as to this ‘appreciation’ can as well be ‘criticism’ that I had not followed the rules laid out and had not done what all others do, i.e., escalate to the higher management. Well I didn’t, and I am really not sure if it was good or bad. I lost my passport last month and all colleagues have been more stressed on the incident than me. Everyone stills keeps asking me how come I am calm on losing an important document. I am not boasting here because I am not actually that cool headed. I assume I was the cool headed guy say 5-6 years back when friends had nicknamed me chameleon as I could slip superficially into any desired mood, mostly to pull a prank on someone and no one was able to figure out what is going on in my head. Now they do, and I hate it. I don’t like that someone can peep into my mind now, which I had successfully blocked so many years.

I have been observing that I lose my cool more now than the Sudeep who was 5-6 years back. It was not an over the night transformation, but over the years this change has taken place. Earlier when someone used to jump a traffic signal I used to shake my head and call him by a flop actor’s name (most preferred was Uday Chopra). Now when some idiot does the same thing I shout at him stopping only after throwing a few abuses. I seriously think I might end up beating the shit out of someone on the road these days. Sample this incident which happened 2 years ago. I was at a small kiosk outside the company premises for buying a soft drink which a colleague wanted. The vendor handed me over the bottle and I gave him 25 bucks for the bottle priced at 23. I waited for a minute for him to hand me the change, but on asking he refused stating that the price is 25. I showed him the printed price and demanded the 2 rupees which he flatly refused again under the pretext of refrigeration charges. If this had occurred 4 years back I would have convinced myself that the poor fellow needs the small amount more than me. But I was almost short of exchanging blows with him. It was not just the 2 rupees I was fighting for, but the way he was looting everyone. Had it not been the colleague who was waiting for the soft drink, I would have not bought the bottle and even enacted the Dombivli Fast scene in which the lead actor batters the shop facing a similar incident. I don’t remember having any nightmares earlier. I could just pick up someone known/unknown (even the blogger buddies) before closing my eyes and then in the dreams we would be jogging on a hill to reach a fort or be on a safari ride. Now the people in the dreams hurt each other, mentally and physically. I dislike the violence and the gory deaths, even if they are not real.

Like MJ said in the movie, everybody needs help sometimes, Peter, even Spider-Man. I am waiting for help from someone, and it could be you, a divine intervention or it could be me as well. This time I am not going to let the water flow in the direction it wishes to, but will make sure to get it back on the earlier course. I am going to climb out of the rabbit hole and you will love the old Sudeep again. It is a promise.

Monday, May 09, 2011


Last week someone jumped up two places in my top 10 persons to-be-killed list.