Tuesday, December 28, 2010

the best of 2010

as the year draws to a close, and i spend a bored afternoon reading back my old blog posts, i'm drawn back into the year that was.

some of these posts are stories from my life, the rest of them were just inspired by it.

but i can say one thing for sure, some of them are better than others. in the sense that i'd love you to read them, and hopefully tell me what you think.

so here's my list, in reverse chronological order:

the nonchalance of being alive
my first mp3
feverish thoughts
happy
my big daddy
happy birthday
a night well spent
it's not okay.
the ghost
the perfect person
the loss of a dear one
happy good friday
residual awesomeness

and this one just about spills into 2009, but is about something that affected my 2010 to a large extent:

the indifferent happiness

Saturday, December 25, 2010

merry ?mas

one of the weirdest things i've ever done on christmas, is to try and convince my friend that she shouldn't go for mass, when she was doing her best to make it.

and i wasn't exactly trying reverse psychology on her.

it's strange but true. if you do something without knowing why, you lose the point of it all. what's religion without that deep inner drive to apply someone else's inspiration to your own life? to me, it's nothing.

religion isn't the only way. belief in god isn't the only way. when you choose them, also make sure you choose to understand why.

else it's all just a waste of time.

merry christmas!

ps: she did go for christmas mass :)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

the moment that couldn't be right

yesterday morning, i was heading home by train from my friend's place. surprisingly, bandra station was almost deserted for 8am, with no line for the tickets at all

i headed to the nearest counter, and dug in my pocket for change for the fare.

a beggar sitting below the window begged for a coin or two.

i shrugged him off.

and then dropped a coin, almost into his outstretched palm.

he offered to return it.

i shook my head. he kept it, expressionless.

my initial rationalization (at the moment i agreed to let him keep the coin) was that it was probably his luck or fate that caused me to drop the coin, so he kinda deserved it.

but then i realized that i also felt bad about taking money from a beggar.

as i walked away, i also felt i had been somehow disrespectful towards the beggar. it's one thing to give someone a coin (however misplaced the charity may be, as i believe, when it comes to beggars), but it's another to drop it on the ground and have him pick it up.

it felt as if i grudged the beggar his 1 buck.

i just don't know, i still can't think of anything i could have done, or any way to rationalize my course of action.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

the nonchalance of being alive

I sat in a train after quite a while today. I was on my way to bandra, and i bumped into an old friend at the bus stop (yes, i was also in a bus after a long while...twice today!)

we were both heading in the same direction, and he was already late for work (however "late" a guy standing at a bus stand at 1 pm in bombay could possibly be), so he decided to forego a fast train to give me company on my journey (although I was rather keen on traveling at the footboard of a superfast train myself, he kinda dismissed the thought).

so there I was at borivli station, waiting for the 1:32 semi-fast, with my brother's school classmate's dad (which is how I initially got to know him many years ago, btw). as the train pulled in, old instincts kicked in and we jumped into the still-running train, and caught an almost-window seat in the direction of the breeze. we had almost settled in when the couple sitting at the window seat (in the direction of the breeze, mind you) vacated their seats after a cursory glance under it. seasoned rain travelers that we were, we waited for the guy during next to them to slide toward the window, and when he didn't, we quickly moved there.

we asked the guy there why he didn't want the window seat. he said it was because of an unclaimed black bag under it.

we shrugged and took his rightful place. a window seat was a window seat, even in a barely occupied coach.

a guy took his place opposite us. it was opposite the breeze, but a window seat nevertheless.

we say there in silence, till the announcer made the mandatory but cursory announcement that our safety depended on our vigilance and our identification of unclaimed baggage.

we shrugged it off again.

the guy opposite us didn't.

he reminded us that we were sitting above an unclaimed black bag.

the ensuing discussion (liberally translated from my understanding of street gujju interspersed with marathi and a bit of english) went along the lines that "it's a harmless looking black bag. there's nothing we can do about it. if it happens to be a bomb, we'll just assume our time has come and we've lived our lives". the guy opposite reminded us that people often survive bomb blasts and may end up human vegetables, but we reassured him that we were near enough to the bag to ensure we didn't survive any half-assed bomb attack, however crude it may have been.

I tweeted: "sitting above an unidentified black package in the 1:32 churchgate fast from borivli". nobody seemed to notice.

as the train started moving, we rationalized that "we don't know the day or time of our end anyway".

and that's it.

three 40-50 somethings, and me, a 20-something, admitting to each other that we didn't care.

at kandivali station, my friend nudged the package with his foot and declared that it felt like just cloth.

we discussed bikes and the good old 70s (okay, I'm not that old, but I can imagine). I eventually alighted at bandra. there were no frantic calls from home for another 12 hours ;) so I assume the package was as harmless as my friend assessed.

I will always remember that moment. if not the moment, then the feeling.

when four grown men in very different phases of life agreed there was nothing we really had to lose.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

joke #fail

there's this guy who texts me random forwards, and till a few minutes ago, i didn't know who he was.

i remember one of the weird forwards i got from him:

Guys tmrw Party at Shivaji Park. Every1 invited. Kindly get a candle. Dress code blue or white. Enjoy.


it struck me as weird that someone is inviting me to a "party" at shivaji park. i'd always assumed the park was used for jogging, and political rallies on bad days :D

so in all seriousness, i replied that i may not be able to make it.

that's when he told me it was a joke.

i replied back with a sarcastic "very funny".

turns out it was indeed a joke that i didn't get. the "party" that he alluded to was the annual dalit rally that happens on ambedkar jayanti.

anyway, since it was about 3am, he then texted me asking how come i was still awake.

i told him i was trying to sleep, listening to the doors.

turns out he's never heard of the doors before. he thought i was listening to the doors of my house creaking :|

guess we're both kinda even now.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

the bird that ruined my week.

last weekend was perfect. I rested well on sunday, something that I rarely get the chance to do.

monday morning started well enough. other than the fact that I realized when I reached office that my right palm had a we bit of a brownish, sticky mark.

anyway, I forgot all about it when I entered my floor and was greeted with a box of lindts and two boxes of mithai waiting at the cupboard next to my cubicle.

it all went downhill from there.

something fucked up with my code in production (okay, not exactly *my* code, but something I was kinda responsible for). emergency fix was required. the fix was tricky. and was required asap.

I thought that was why I had lost my appetite for lunch. but then, mom's lovingly packed prawn curry had to be relished. and I did eat it, eventually.

it was a long day at work. by the time I was ready to leave (because my brain had stopped functioning, not because my work was complete), I was feeling weak and extremely nauseous.

I somehow wobbled my bike home (yesh, I was actually feeling unsteady, but it didn't occur to my aforementioned dysfunctional brain that I could leave my bike and take the home drop, which I was officially entitled to), and was off to sleep before the lights were out.

woke up the next day with a terrible stomach upset. worked from home, all the way till 2 am. woke up feeling better, but things deteriorated after breakfast, and it was clear I hadn't recovered fully. another day of working from home.

in the evening, when I took the bike for a spin in the colony, i realized what happened on monday morning:

there was bird crap on my (normally spotless) bike seat.

I checked upward from my usual parking spot. and sure enough, I was 40 feet below a freshly built bird nest.

checked my handle carefully.

there was some brown stuff embedded in the grips.

on closer inspection, it was bird crap.

that's when I remembered the evil twist of fate: I didn't wash my hands before helping myself to the lindts. or the laddoos. or the barfi.

to continue the story, I felt better on thursday, and went to work. but there was so much piled up that I was in office till 2 am.

had a relapse of the upset stomach on friday, despite all precautions. worked from home again.

right now, it's early saturday morning, and I'm still sick.

yesh, that's what fate and a bird just did to me.

Monday, December 06, 2010

the backspace ban experiment

late one night, when i was feeling rather blah, i decided i was tired of correcting my typos.

so i declared the next 24 hours as my "zero correction" day.

everything i typed had to be posted. i was not allowed to rephrase or delete or replace anything i typed.

funny thing is, it looked (and indeed started off) easier than it actually was.

halfway through the day, i just gave up.

yesh, my experiment failed. but i might try again.

anyway, next experiment: 24 hours of only tweeting by retweeting and prepending "+1!" and "-1!".

realistically, i expect it to last 6 hours of tweeting, at max. less if it happens on a weekend and i need to use twitter as anything other than a frivolous pastime.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

the girl in school

this dream is a few weeks old, but I remember it pretty well nevertheless:

I was in school, but it didn't look anything like mine. also, it was co-ed, while mine was not. anyway.

we were in school, but there was no class. also, we weren't wearing uniforms for some reason. and I felt like I was 5 or 6.

a (nameless, faceless) girl from my class wanted to use the loo. I realized I did too. so we walked together.

turns out the school was pretty huge. lots of buildings with plenty of open spaces between them, but petty evenly distributed around the place. also, there were some places where there was no way to go from one building to another, so we had to climb up and down walls, fire escapes, and even a tiled roof. three were some places that were to high to climb up alone, so the girl and I had to help each other. she was always the one to lead the way. I think I was scared of all the climbing.

we finally reached the restrooms. she went to the one for girls.

that's when I realized I wasn't wearing my shoes. and that I felt dirty to use the loo without footwear.

so I just waited outside the girls' loo for her. and I woke up while I was waiting.

survival

mumbai's having epic rain. it's been pouring for the last 48 hours or so, and the commute home was hellish for most people. i took a...