Monday, January 25, 2010

Little Abnormality, All the Attention and Back to Square ONE

Warning: Big post, Little Content! (matter wise and satisfaction wise) :P

Monday, 18th January 2010

I woke up, as usual, cursing myself about missing the gym yet again. The usual routine followed: consoling myself while brushing my teeth, "Tomorrow I'll make it".
I realized that I have to shave and it followed. While the razor was doing its job almost around the right ear, it hurt and as a reflex I touched it.
"Heat Boils? Pimples?", my mind scanned the various options, as my fingers felt the small, round patch of many minute boils.
I got to work and the busy schedule kept me from even thinking about what I saw in the morning. The day went by. Except for applying some nivea in the evening, I did not make a big deal about my face.

Tuesday, 19th January 2010

I met Sphinx, who had missed the morning flight from Chennai and blessed us with his "darshan". When I removed my helmet after picking him up for lunch, "What the hell is that on your face?" was his reaction.
Back in office, I waved to Ananth and asked his suggestion on meeting a skin specialist in Chennai. However, the thought of seeing a doctor in Chennai was uncomfortable because the month has already been quite expensive and I didn't have money to crap.
Finally, in the evening, during a meeting, I decided I'll leave to Cbe that night to meet my doctor because a bump on that side of my head started to hurt, Bad.

Wednesday, 20th January 2010

I was sitting at Dr. Prakash's clinic, going through the flyers put up about the off-shop (a shop to buy and sell your stuff), a venture he has recently started, in the basement of his clinic. When the token machine said, "Token No. 3", I went in.
There he was, as always, clean, grand, classy and like a King! I showed that added bit of charm on my face, for which I had been running a lot of what-it-could-have-been since Monday.
As if you saw a cat and say "
Its a cat"; he said, "Herpes". Apparently, it is not as kinky as it sounds, it is sort of a great grand daughter of chicken pox, that comes to take revenge, for, our body defeated its ancestors.
I learned that it would try its best for 7-10 days by which, it should vote to succumb to the greater good - medication. He prescribed a couple of tablets and a pain killer and I went back home deciding to return to Chennai the same night.
Dad was unhappy though. He started by suggesting, "Why don't you be here till Sunday and rest?". I dismissed that idea and stayed put on returning the same night. By afternoon, my dad succeeded in convincing me that staying for one more day wouldn't hurt.
However, that ruled out my planned weekend visit to Bangalore and I made a mental note to cancel the train tickets I had booked.
Later that evening, my sister was threatening me that she would give me other marks on my face to remember, if I did not buy a rice cooker (so that I could at least cook curd rice at home). I asked her to cancel my tickets to Bangalore.

Thursday, 21st January 2010

I woke up a bit later than usual and after a really long time, someone came to me and gave me my morning FILTER coffee, hot and tasty with all the aroma and the layer of foam on the top. I was so excited by it - I didn't see the days of great attention coming.
By the time, I finished my coffee, breakfast came by. After breakfast, I got ready and came out dressed, when dad handed me a glass of buttermilk. I immediately made my decision, "Daddy! I'll leave on Sunday only. Let's book the tickets."
So, after booking my tickets to Chennai, and looking up 0n a couple of places to get invitation cards printed, we reached my aunt's place for lunch.
Once I reached, she checked on my scars, which were in their peak. It felt so great that my aunt had banned any oily stuff and spice (including pickles) for anyone in the house just because I shouldn't have oil or spice. It's simply amazing to get all that attention.
Later that evening, I sat down with my aunt, charting out the invites list for the double wedding in April.

Friday, 22nd January 2010

By today, word had been spread, so, other than the occasional inquiry of my well being, my mobile was lazy, the whole time.
Watermelon, oranges, buttermilk and tender coconut water were those that came in search of me, at regular intervals. I kept resting till evening re-reading "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows".
We did a bit of where-to-shop-for-the-weddings research in the evening and came back home, when I had to answer a couple of calls from people who thought I'd be catching a train to Bangalore by then.

Saturday, 23rd January 2010

I went for another checkup to Dr.Prakash. He certified that I was absolutely fine to take off to Chennai and casually told that one of those scars would leave a permanent mark.
We came back home, to another day with oranges, watermelons, butter milk and some attention (not as strong as the last couple of days).
I knew the attention was still there, when, I was about to wash my plate after lunch and Dad told me to leave it for him to wash. If it was a Tamil soap, I would have kept the plate, wiped a single tear running down from my eye and moved on. :P

Sunday, 24th January 2010

I woke up in the morning and as I was brushing my teeth, Dad asked if he should make coffee and I said yes. After coffee, when I mentioned breakfast, he said, "No breakfast today", casually checking on my scars. "Attention fading?", I thought.
I went to Ramesh mess and got aapam for both of us. Another day just went by. Lunch at aunt's house. Asianet showed Ravanaprabhu movie in the evening and I was lucky enough to catch one of my favorite songs in the movie before I left to catch my bus.
As I was speeding back to Chennai, my mind went back, over all the attention I enjoyed for the past 5 days. It was so cool to have been the center of attraction (though I'd love for the reason to have been I've made a scientific discovery).
I don't think I enjoyed that feeling for a long time enough, as I fell asleep soon. That's ok. I'll have that feeling for the next few days!

Monday, 25th January 2010

I rang the bell to my matchbox apartment. My sleepy roommate opened the door for me and went back to his bed.
I entered the house to a pile of clothes on the chair in the hall, a stinky kitchen with vessels used for the past 5 days still in the sink, a mess all around, lots and lots of mosquitoes and a great deal of cleaning up to do. Well, That's back to square one!

1) My scars are ok now. So, the system is up and running! I have a permanent mark though, let see if it works as a charm for whatever!
2) My Indiblogger rank went up from 63 to 71 last week. :)
3) I don't think I'd be able to make it to Bangalore as of now! :(
4) Apologies for this long post, full of crap! I enjoyed writing it though! Nice flashback! :) :) :)

Friday, January 15, 2010

Centuries ago, Centuries later

Centuries ago, there lived a couple called Sorimbe and Avipaa, by the banks of the Ganges. They made a living out of the agriculture in the piece of land they had. Though, it was a hand-to-mouth kind of life, they lived contented and tried to save as much money they could. They were hard-working, truthful, helpful to the neighbors, thankful to whatever they had and fearful of God!

God was taking his yearly census of good, bad and ugly (appraisal); he noticed the good nature (kiss ass) in Sorimbe and Avipaa and decided to give them outstanding. So, he appeared in front of them and blessed them with good health, ample wealth and a donkey. As an appreciation for their addition in devotion, he broke the convention and gave them a promotion (Sorry for the TR mode); he told them to wish for a boon (performance appreciation). Avipaa, first thanked God for all that He had given them till now (feedback) and added that they wanted to have a child so that they can bestow all the care and love; God blessed them with a baby girl. He told them to name the girl as Nellaranma and the donkey as Hatalizethuhu.

With the health and wealth, Sorimbe expanded his farm (not farmville) and did the bread winning, meanwhile, Avipaa took care of Nellaranma and Hatalizethuhu. Soon, they prospered good enough that their farm grew to such an extent that they hired workers from the nearby villages. Eventually, there were no homes in the surrounding villages, that did not have earnings from Sorimbe's farm. Even Avipaa did an excellent job of bringing up Nellaranma to a beautiful young lady. Also, Hatalizethuhu was well-trained to help in the farm, for Sorimbe's transport to the market and other household work.

As their status grew, Avipaa only became more innocent and humble, whereas Sorimbe was becoming rude, selfish, lazy and greedy. He was treating the workers very badly by being a miser in giving them their wages, getting them to work so impractically hard and not considering their feelings. He had become so money-minded that he even got Hatalizethuhu to work thrice harder than before. When Avipaa noticed something and asked about it, Sorimbe used to lie and the innocent she is, believed it all.

One day, Avipaa reminded Sorimbe that it was high time that they got Nellaranma married. She suggested that he go and talk to the landlord of the nearby village, whose son seemed to a perfect match for her. Sorimbe was definitely not in a mood to get his lazy ass up and do the job. So, everyday, he gave Avipaa some reason or the other to keep pushing it away. Finally, one day, when Avipaa pressed so much, he replied that it was the month of Margazhi and it is bad to proceed with any good deeds till it got over. Months later, Nellaranma's marriage got fixed and when asked about the date for the marriage, Sorimbe, who did not want to start working soon for his daughter's marriage, said, performing marriages in the month of Aadi is not good omen.

The marriage happened, days passed by, Sorimbe(Somberi) kept becoming lazier, Avipaa(Apaavi) kept believing Sorimbe's stories, Nellaranma (Nallaneram) got married and went off to another place and Hatalizethuhu (Thalaiezhuthu) kept working harder but sincerely, though at some point it realized that it was God who predestined its life.

Centuries later, people still believe that Marriage (a fantastic thing) has to be put away during Aadi (July15th - August 15th). Infact, if you go through the checklist, man, its tiring (not to fix a date, just to read the checklist once). I was amazed at the fact that the registrar office is not busy at all during Margazhi (Dec15th - Jan15th) because its not good to buy houses during that time, or for that matter its even inauspicious to start working for the most auspicious things. People don't buy houses that has the gate straight opposite to a street or opening (they call it Moola Kuthu in Tamil). If you tell me that some drunken lorry driver is gonna come and gate crash, then probably it is a valid reason. These are just three weird things. Yet, there are so many million rules in this society. I just broke one rule today! :)

I just believe, there is no good time to do anything bad and no bad time to do anything good. What say? :P

Glossary (:P)

Somberi - Lazy
Apaavi - Innocent
Nallaneram - Good Time
Thalaiezhuthu - Fate

1) I saw the eclipse today for the first time in my life. It was so beautiful. Please get over the myth (if applicable) that its inauspicious to see the sun/moon during an eclipse. Of course, looking at it directly is not good for the eye. Use coolers or an x-ray film and look at it the next time. Its awesome! :)
2) This would be one of the bed-time stories for my kids, in future.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Dog, Me and My work

It was a fine evening. I was just back to my desk after a small discussion. Unusually, Ananth pinged asking if we wanted to go to the cafeteria. Either he was so hungry or he has started taking gym seriously again, that, he doesn't want to go there on an empty stomach. (Dude, if you are reading and smiling, welcome). Swetha and myself went to his cubicle; he suggested we go to the tea shop downstairs, which actually made me happy because the cafeteria is sadly getting tasteless by the day.

The elevator opened out to the ground floor and we walked outside the building. Nithya and Reshu were sitting by the lawn. We greeted them and headed to the shop, which is a hand cart type and closed in a way to form a counter. Ananth had mentioned that they were here and, we thought, perhaps, waiting for Janith and Nithin to bring something. I could see Janith devouring on a bajji look alike and Nithin searching for something in the big plate of Bajjis, Bondas, Samosas and other unhealthy but damn tasty stuff ("snacks"). I was surprised to see Molaga bajji and pulled it out of Janith's hand - natural instinct! Soon, Reshu and Nithya realized that our presence rules out food reaching them and were sensible enough to join us in the tea shop.

The big plate of all the snacks was being emptied rapidly, one item at a time. The molaga bajjis were too good. As we were relishing the snacks, a stray dog, kept circling around us, wagging his tail, with its tongue almost fully out. I'm sure that if he could speak, he would have definitely asked us to share whatever possible. At first, we neglected him, though I felt a small pinch of guilt and I noticed it on others' faces as well. Nithya went all "Awwww" like.

Recently, I learnt from someone that we shouldn't serve salt to dogs (most likely false, I believe) and I looked into the shop to see if there was anything to give him. The buns attracted attention and I pulled out one (natural instinct, again, :P) and put it near the dog.

He went near the bun and smelled it. As you can guess, and only to make me feel humiliated (I KNEW IT), he discarded the bun and kept looking at us. Yes, there was heavy laughter following that. I even noticed a couple of people other than us, laughing. I was so pissed that he insulted me and my bun, so, I looked away and the others just neglected him. He kept staring at us for a while, then went back to the bun and smelled it again, as if giving due consideration. This repeated a couple of times and finally, he started eating the bun. Well, had no choice.

Having eaten the bun, he came back to us and continued looking. Well, for an arrogant dog that rejected food, he had a nice appetite and relatively less self control. Reshu tried to shoo it away, we moved a bit and nothing was good enough for it to leave.

It was looking away from me and in an attempt to crack a PJ, I said, "Well, I'll get you one more bun, only if you would come to my desk and run that script assigned to me".

Instantly, it just turned its head towards me, shrugged slightly and walked away.

Realizations are indeed unbearable! :(

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Minutes of Meetings (MoM)

There is no such fun like a meeting where you play a responsible part and a set of dummies report to you and look upon you as the sole savior. You keep giving them instructions and learnings from your side. You see enthusiastic faces beaming at you (Beamer), a couple of them constantly suggesting ideas (Suggester), some of them making notes interestingly (Noter) and some even constantly sipping from their water bottles (Sipper) to keep alive and afresh. Except for the one round the corner, who has been keeping silence (Silencer) since the start of the meeting, you are happy with all the dummies sitting around you. You don't get enough of such meetings, do you? Finally, you decide to end this session of the meeting. The group disperses.

Once outside, the dummies get into a discussion.

Beamer: Hey Suggester! Looks like you have a complete idea of what is going on. I did the mistake of beaming in the beginning, I had to carry that on till the end.

Suggester: Are you kidding me? I just had to get words out of my mouth to keep from falling asleep. I guess Noter would share with us all he took down.

Noter: Well, if looking at a weird, hairy guy with muscles sketched out of a ball pen, I'm ready to share it right away. Well, Sipper had come prepared with a water bottle and all. We'll see what he has to say?

Sipper: Each time I sipped some water, I wanted to keep it in my mouth without swallowing, so that I stayed awake. It always works for me, but today, I fell asleep every time and kept swallowing. I have to rush to the restroom now. Before that, the only one left is the Silencer.

Silencer: All the time, I was cursing the guy who dragged me into this project. He promised me that there would be something that I had worked on before.

And you go to your equal and say, "I never knew the people would be so attentive. I need to actually prepare next time."
There are a lot of mannerisms and one-liners that constitute the body language understanding in a meeting.

1) If you have a list of tasks to be completed within a specific date and your manager says he'll give you a wishlist, it means, he is going to convince you that all the tasks are to be done.

2) Starting with "I want to know exactly" and ending with "approximately what I want you people to find out" implies, one has no idea about what has to be done.

3) "Lets take it offline" - a polished way to say, "Will you stop the crap?"

4) "Well, I was wondering about it too. We have to look into that", is a reply that most often (kinda always) means, "Woh! You caught me there dumbo!"

5) Turning the mobile to the silent mode - Meeting starts.
Turning the mobile back to loud mode - Meeting is too long, hoping to get a call and take a break.

6) "I'm done with this, any comments from your side?", is the statement that every dummy waits for so that one can give that gracious smile, a quick thanks and rush to the rest room.

PS: 1) This is just a right-to-left or left-to-right ear post. Don't think too much about it. Personally, I "love" meetings.
2) My B'day wishes to the Mozart of Madras. God Bless Him and He Bless us with his Music. Long Live Rahman! :)

Saturday, January 02, 2010

The Moon ride

A fun filled end to 2009, I should say. Overlooking half a dozen people who left us behind, the family has something to look forward to in 2010, which will see two wedlocks and thats good to keep us going for a long time. Further, I'm a would-be uncle to two kids (twins) from April '10. Brushing aside all mourning and sadness, we danced to the fastest tunes possible on New year's eve. New year in Cbe was back with a bang.

After all the celebration, some real estate research, routine work and a very special catching up, I got into for what I'm going to demand season tickets in future - ABT travels (Coimbatore/Chennai). The bus was not as good as always; the seat was smaller, space between the front seat lesser and so on. I was definitely not comfortable. The AC hadn't started to bite me yet, it was pleasant than it would be when I get up in the morning. Known for the perfect timing, the bus started sharp half past nine.

I did not have my headsets, which ruled out listening to songs. Hence, I decided to catch up with some old friends and started calling one by one. After a couple of calls, that lasted altogether for half hour, my dad couldn't take anymore (sitting next to a person catching up on the PJs cracked in college is not as easy as it sounds). When I hung up on the second call, he asked, "Do you need my mp3 player?" and I accepted it with gratitude.

I plugged in the headsets and tried to tune in Radio Mirchi or any other FM channel, but none of them had anything that I wanted, so I switched to my Dad's Harris Jeyraj collection and sank into the comfort of my pushback. As I rested my head, I was looking straight out of the black, transparent, sealed window, right up to the sky.

The moon, white with distorted black marks, a diameter of 5-8 cms (from my view) was travelling with me. I couldn't appreciate it at first, well, I would say, except for a couple of times in the past, never have I. I was reminded of a movie where a guy says that he looks at the moon when he missed someone and he could see that person there. At that time, I thought, well, the script writer had tried to break the laws of video conferencing. :P

I was just looking at it with my mind all blank, eyes open to the occasional texting. It was literally following the bus, well, it could have actually been inside the bus as a co-traveler. I kept looking at it, and it slowly started to sink in what a beautiful sight it was. A small ball of light kept me company, like a ray of hope amidst pitch silence. The player went into playing "Azhiyilae" from Dhaam Dhoom. The plucking sound in the background and the soothing vocals blended with the scene. It was definitely romantic and I had agreement on that.

I played the song over and over again and kept staring out. At times, it would go out of the sight, as the bus followed the highway and I would have to either adjust the curtains or wait for the bus to come back on track. This happened for a long time and I never knew I fell asleep, until around 4AM when I woke up and found my mobile still on my lap and a void where my companion shone bright till I remembered.

Oh fellow traveler!
I see in you,
Maybe what I missed.
Or what I may have now.
For time should say,
What I would retain?

Hope is all I carry,
Worries are all put to bury!
The silence, the light,
The happiness, the love.
Tonight's moon ride,
Would stay forever with pride!

Once again, Happy New year everyone! Lets together wish for the coming true of all that one hopes for and that one goes places in 2010.