Stepping Aside..

When I was a kid, I thought that by the time I am 22, I would be knowing what I would like to be in life. By the time I am 24, I would be starting a career, dignified, graceful, fleshy, matured and with one kid and a dotting husband.

Now that I am 24, I do not feel as I thought I would be feeling at 24. I still donot know what exactly I want to do in life – Ok, I want to be a writer at sometime in future, but it is not what I am gonna do in seven months from now. And I really don’t know how to go about it.

At times it scares me. I came to XLRI so that I can find out what I would like to do, to have more choices in life. I thought my seniors or professors had all answers – they certainly had all answers to my questions – but now, I feel that they are also living out the answers to their questions, but anyways, how can they know what I would be happy with? Will I ever have children of my own? Will I enjoy what I do everyday in my life? Will I get a good job? Will I be successful in my life? Am I asking for too much out of life?

All these questions psyche me out. So I decide not to think of them. Which doesn’t really help, as I am being different nowadays the process of change speeding up unnaturally, and I want to know who I am. And as I am too afraid to ask myself, fearing I would not find the answers, I turn to other people to define me.

Which leaves me totally confused and depressed.

I cannot really do anything about it. I have been talking to a few friends, people with whom you can really talk of these things and who listens and offers you grounded perspectives. Like they said, I am stepping aside, letting the flow past me and sitting on the bank under a shady tree. I can do without too many people around me, I was never the popular type.

A friend google talked me today so that he can just sit with me and spend some time. We talked about inane things, and that too not much. But it was nice in a totally underrated way, and it felt good that people actually seeked me out to talk to aise hi.


A wish, a prayer, a hope

My dear friend....

You asked me today, what your chances are with your man. You looked at the here & now, with happiness and joy in your eyes, and at the future with fear and trepidation. You want to get married to him, raise his kids, and live life in love. And you wonder whether it would happen or not.

I wish like anything, more than my happiness, that you two end up together, giving each other more and more happiness and contentment. I am glad that your man is a man of honor, someone who is realistic and caring, and beyond the usual male chauvinistic tendencies. I am relieved that he has a mind of his own and is not afraid what he feels towards you.

My friend, I wish you both the very best. May you both remain the best of friends and the deepest of lovers. May your love and friendship sustain each other. May you both enrich each other’s life, not just with yourselves, but also with the people who love and care for each of you.


Class Notes

Just back from a class. Here is what I observed about my classmates - a translation of what has been there on their faces.

Except for me, Mintu & MatHur, everyone else will not be named.

--Duh? The point being.. ?
--Why... me???
--zzzzzzz..... swasamendri tapikkirene [ song Uyirin Uyire frm Kakka kakka].... zzzzzz....
--What is my takeaway from this class??? Where is my takeaway from this class??
--Wow!!! So much CP!!! [CP - class participation which doesnot improve the collective intelligence of the class ]
--Class, do not screw up the game [ we had to design business games for an assessment center ] I designed.. be professional.
--sleep - CP - sleep
--My! I love being an executive!!!
--Karmanye vadikarastye na bhaleshu kadachana...
--This is like getting your teeth pulled out without anesthesia....
-- I hate Big Picture. Just tell me what I am to do.
-- Mommy! :(
-- Wow!! I am learning sooo much...
--Don't tell me you guys believe in all this gas...
-- Mintu : Awww!!! Wowwwww!!! [ subconcious thought - Aint I a cho cute kid??? I need my mommy... >:)< ]
-- Okay... cool... okay...
--You non creative people.. I hate this class...
--How can people develop so much gas?????? Well, whatever..... as long as I get my grades...
-- I wish I wasn't here... but now that I AM here...
--MatHur : I want to sleep.. play NFS... anything but this... [ in a zombie state]
-- Yay! I am doing ACP [ arbit CP] with Sir!!
--Me: I am so depressed that my life is ebbing away in this stupid fuck of pointless classes when I could have slept... Wait, why don't I blog about this or write a story?? ?
--Awww.. I can't call up my boyfriend... I miss him.. poor baby... No, no, I will listen to the class... aww...
--Bunch of kids, really. This wont do in real life.

XLers, care to try out whom all it was abt?

Others, doesnt this happen in your class/workplace?? If not tell us the secret!!


Yeah yeah.. I am fine.

The path of self discovery begins in front of your comp and ends at a blog post.

So here goes:

I am more tough than I think.

I prefer an outright No to a veiled one.

I am an egoist. [Ayn Rand, be proud of me! :) ]
I still don't know what I want to be. But I know that I want to be what I want to be.

I still don't know the answer to the question "Why me??" . I have got a lot of replies, but then, they are all about some stranger. I make You feel inferior? Ha ha. Good one. But I thank you for the compliment though.

I suppress grief - till I get a chest pain or breathlessness.

I work the best when I am hurt and lonely.

Anger, pain, abandonment, cynism etc. motivate me.

I have this 'thing' for violence. I would love to join a 'Fight Club' where you can release all your pent up emotions in physical violence.

I do know how to spend time with myself.

I love my company a lot.

I take risks, without knowing that they are perceived so by most people. For me, they are the most obvious choices of life.

I value my friends, but I value courage and honesty more.

I am sleepy right now.

And I'm gonna sleep :)


On the dock

I was called Poison Ivy by a friend back in the place where I was working. The reason was that I lashed out - literally - and clawed when people tried to bug me too much. All my friends has my claw marks on their arms as a memory of my friendship.

I am also the kind of person who give it all out for a relationship and when it doesn't cut out well, cut off everything and go underground. Many a good friends have tried in that KillBill-istic period to maintain the friendship, and I have stupidly, sadly, said no to them all. But I guess I could not have agreed to have them close, have them near, reminding me of what was once there and missing now.

However, I eventually tend to get over 'stuff' and then miss the friendship. I wish there could be the kind of good/fun/intellectual friends that I used to have in them.

I think I am more like a people collector, adding people to my repertoire for their particular characteristics.

Why am I thinking about all this now??

Because I miss my friends whom I chose to ditch when they acted out their human weaknesses thinking that as their friend, I would forgive them.

I didn't.

Because they thought I was strong enough to mean what I said.

I wasn't.

Now, when I am in a role reversal, how well I understand, how well I know. But here, I am going to anchor to the port, wait for the storm to get over, and then start my journey.

For this is not a trading ship, but a voyager ship. I am more interested in the journey than the eventual porting at a coast or the wreck that might happen.

Let the storm brew over and out. I am walking around this port city, taking in the sounds and smells and having a good time with my band of merry women, singing songs and enjoying the good life.


Harebrained Creatures...

Other than that, I do not find any reason as to why men feel that women are a mystery.

The basic courtesy taught by your parents are all that most women want. When men are very good in their manners when they are at home with their mothers and in a corporate environment with their lady boss or Angelina Jolie, I wonder at their dumbhead attitude which is all entrenched in their interpersonal relationships with us.

I haven't told you about Idot, right? He is the summ total of men's stupidity, of those times when men I really think were intelligent act stupid. I will be using him as a common pseudonym for all the men in my life when they goof up.

The other day, we were sitting in his room and talking about this hot junior babe. Idot, like the rest of the senior batch, has developed a crush on her. He had the competitive advantage that she was in his committee, and this opened an avenue of interpersonal interactions for him.

"I am going to be active in pursuing this one" He told me, eyes shining.

I picturised Idot and the girl in Cafe Coffee Day. "Don't ask her out in such a hurry. Begin by offering help in her studies. Then after 2-3 weeks casually ask her out." I offered.

"Pagal hai kya?? I am not being so active... What I meant was, I will be following her around everywhere... "

"Following a girl around??? You psycho, you will psyche her out acting like one!!!"

"Don't girls like being followed?? "

"Well, all the girls whom I know - including me - who had guys trailing their every move thought that they were perverts. And some even filed a police complaint. "

Just one example. I have an assignment to submit, and am off!


err.. ahem.. :">

Some of you have been good friends some time back, mere acquaintances now...
Or you might be someone with whom I would like to strike up a friendship,
And still feeling awkward about taking that first step...
Some of you I have never met, some of you I haven't met for years, some I meet every day....

Some of you have been just familiar faces, but have now become good friends - or is still in the process :)
You might be that kind of friends who are now more like family
My support systems, my anchors to reality and purpose,
My fun generators, my partners in crime
My confidants, people who confide in me
People who can light up my day by just being around
People who live life to the fullest and make an example of how to live it...
People who are an inspiration...

People whom I ask for advice, people whom I give advice to
People whom I pamper, people who pamper me
People who dig my bad side, people who nurture my good side
Crushes turned friends, friends turned crushes, friends, crushes...
Rivals turned friends, friends turned rivals and rivals turned enemies...

But, all said and done, it is you who have made a difference in my life,
Opened my eyes to the endless possibilities of living
And my life would not have been the same without each one of you...
Thanks for playing a part - central, cameo, knowingly, unknowingly...
But nevertheless, significant...

Let me celebrate you.



And when it rains...

Rain has given us...

Meghamalhar.. the music of the rains, the dusky beauty of the sky like a husky voice...

An excuse to go back to our childhood... playing with the rain and dreaming of paper boats and rain coats...

Listen to classical miusic - karnatic, hindustani, sufi, western... the music rains upon you and soak your soul...

Warm cozy beds and good sleep... to curl up and dream.. to feel the warmth of earth's womb...

A renewing accquiantance with solitude... nothing beats sitting alone and watching the stormn accompany the rainto the sky, like a shy bride to the wedding fire...

An enduring love affair with the luxury of warm coffee and good books...

Here's to the rain!


Addendum to the previous post

And the pervert that I am, I feel proud & is grimly satisfied of the fact that I cut out that much from my heart and carved it into a nice blog post - the one below.

Is the only difference between creative beings and lunatics this fact - that the former embraces life knowing fully well the risks, and get beaten up and broken down, hurt, so that they can create something out of the pain, while the latter does it involuntarily?

Or are creative people lunatics who know how to channel their creativity? Are people like me Writebots to whom every feeling, every experiance, every relationship a premise for a good story or poem?

Professor, you should be proud of me as a student.. :)

And tonight, I am crying...

... Crying as a sentimental fool, for the two dead fish that my friends had, because one of them had to watch the other die.

... Crying for a life long lost, as the realization that my childhood and its magic is history hit me, and as those people whom I looked upto and believed always would be there, are dying, like fallen flowers.

... Crying in fear and desperation, as I feel lonely without people around me and feel too proud to ask for company, and not wanting to be rejected, I again withdraw to my shell...

... Crying in exasperation, as my friend Amelie promised something, chided a skeptical me for not trusting, and went off blissfully with other plans... And now, I do not trust to that extent, any more...

... Crying nostalgically, as I miss the monsoon in my native land, and the only link that connects me to it is the book "Chasing the Monsoon" and the Jampot rains.

... Crying in desperation, as my friend had her birthday today and I didn't even get her a card, let alone a present and missed her cake cutting in the mess...

... Crying in shame, because the child in me points an accusing finger everyday and reminds me that I am not what I could have been, would have been, should have been.

... Crying in helplessness, as I saw the one person in campus, who might have understood and experienced all my dark moods and sides and who would have made a good friend, but as of now a person about whom I will be writing " It was not nice not knowing you" in the yearbook, and seeing him too looking back, but never spoke a real word with each other, never ever swapped war stories, and now one more day gone, one more day wasted, by not knowing him.

I am crying for everything I should have done but didn't, should have forged but neglected, should have upheld but thrown away.

I wish I see better dreams.


Rants.. Raves..

The worst thing about blogging is the lack of privacy, and the fact that people who generally matter in your life take a stand on what you blog/not blog. Now that my mother has sniffed out my old blog, I am shut shop there.

Why I do not want my family to read/comment on my blog:

My blog is me unedited. In front of the family, you invariably has to tone down a lot. I want atleast one place to be myself without fearing sensure from parents or peers. Thanks mom, for spoiling it for me.

My parents do not understand my world. Sad, but true. Sadder is the fact that they donot understand the fact that they cannot understand my world.

Making partial judgement on issues which one have not witnessed or have any knowledge about sucks big time. No exceptions.

I would have been ok with my mom reading my blog, but not telling me that she is reading my blog and commenting on what has been written here so that I could have continued this self talk. I blog not for my parents to see. This is as intrusive as some arbit person opening your bathroom door when you are taking a bath.

Guess I need some more EI group sessions... :)

Goodbye old blog.. .I loved you... and I will always miss you.. .

Inspired - by the raven who barks

It has been a while since I had gone to a person's blog, much less read one back to back. A series of arbit reactions - or should I call them being driftwooded through life? - led me to the blog of a bloke who left a comment in my previous posts.

Knowing that he is from my friendly neighbourhood school piqued my curiosity. So did the obvious indications that he is aware of the canine species. So did the fact that he looks like one of the juniors in my committee - may be a relative?

So, on the night of a cultural show for juniors, ignoring the frayed nerves of my batchmates, stubbonly forgetting about the readings and quiz the next day - hey, when else to take a break than the time the entire world wants a piece of you ? - I methodically went through the blog, line by line, angst by angst, went through three years of his life.

Did I say angst? In his blog was the recurring theme of sadness, of loss, and yet, a sense of equanimity in the face of all. In that was a call for help, and the hand that was stretched out for help had it's talons ready to kill anyone who dared to venture near.

Finding such a common thread through the blog, atleast through his better posts, set me thinking. I went back to my blogs, to find what was my recurring emotion. I was able, to find a thread running through these posts. And in my poetry blog too, the emotions are of the same hue, of the same tone.

I thought about the times when the few bloggers I like to revist blog. All of their good posts are connected by a common emotion. And the emotions are mostly dark, and some are positively depressing.

Is it that our blogs allow us to express a part of us that, according to us is less than perfect? A part, due to exposure to those who love us, will be a burden on our loved ones? A part which may make us more sentimental - and weak, my friend, is the corollary of that emotion according to us the society - or more mad?

In our blogs, we are free to be what we want to be. We can cry out for help, as I have done many a times, and was once pulled out of a very toxic relationship - toxic like a psychedelic drug, sold with the statutory warning on the cover and giving you all the highs you need, but when withdrawn, leaves you a snivelling wreck - by a doctor who was in Canada - whom I am never going to meet .

I can tell my friends what I may have difficulties in admitting in real world. I can be retrospective as much as I want. When I convert my life into a size 12 font, I learn perspective, and looking back, I know that I will be unscathed, yet again, ready to enjoy life.

As for those people whom I meet only via a URL, I am free to redefine myself. I do not have to put on perfume or dress up, I do not have to pout or sniff, or even scream. I wait here, secure in the knowledge that they will eventually drop in, take their share of my life from this common pool, and if inclined, will leave something of theirs back.

20050729 - His fav word is Moron...

People come in all types. Sometimes if you are particularly unlucky, people like Mat-Hur end up being in your life.

Mat-Hur's like a nice cocaine addiction. Being with him has its kicks - oh, you should listen when he is arguing; dissecting facts and making sense out of nonsense. A strong ally to have on your side during all the case taking times, a person who enjoys the beauty of good food and better ambiance, someone who is a closet poet who has an amazingly sensitive side to his works...

But tell this to anyone, or even to me; and chances are that you will not escape unscathed. For this is the guy who is the epitome of all the characteristics which have made mothers, sisters, girlfriends and the rest of the female populace go "Boys!! [ sigh ] " over the history of mankind.

To state my case :

What do you call a guy who blindfolds you as part of a class exercise and take you bang on to a metal pole and make you bang your head against it, just to see if you will sense your way out??

And when that happens, looks more sheepish than a sheep and give a cho chweet embarrassed smile that melt your heart so much that you instantaneously forgives him?

What about a guy who systemically tries to meddle in the love life - or the lack of it - in his friends life?

And that too when those friends are of the dragon type who can scorch you with their words; but in MAt-Hur's case, they just roll their eyes and smile apologetically at one another - apologizing for the ditzy nature of Mat-Hur.

MatHur is a saga, the stories doesn't end. Watch this space for more 'Chronicles of Mat-Hur', or how the 'Empire Strikes Back' at him...

20050727 - The Group, the Prof, the buzzer and the room with the view

I am involved in a community project now. It seems that the entire universe is conspiring to take me out of my relationship phobia. When I came to XLRI, the only prayer that I had was that I should never fall in love here. I did not want my heart to get broken and then withdraw into a hard shell, turning bitter and disillusioned.

Then, I got to meet some really nice people. Good friends ready to hold hands, give a hug, lend ears and play agony uncles. Not exactly friends - well, you know what I mean - who are incredibily kind and help me to slow down and take it easy. Teachers who perceive your needs and allow you to signup for courses midway, and hold your hand and take you out of depression. Gal pals who are fantabulously non judgemental, good fun to be with and to share the past hurts, who hug you and help you leave all hurts in the past.

For a long, long time, I was afraid of love and loving other people. I tended to weight it out -how much will I get back, how long will it last, what will be my emotional investment...

Guess what? Having a protective shield across you really helps. I needed people around me, and there were souls who saw that they need to be there and refused to go away and stayed put, people to whom I am extremely grateful. Friends who egg you on to go smooch life on the lips in front of everyone, not fearing rejection .

I am ready to love myself and others; without calculating the margins involved in the transactions.

I am back to what I have been. What I would like to be.

And I thank you all for that.

20050721 - Mintu

Mintu is a sweet kid, all of 24 years and a goofy smile. A group project and an obsessive prof conspired to bring us together, and now a days, I spend more time in Mintu's room than in mine.

The advantages are many. His room overlooks green, green and more green; while mine looks out to the bathroom of next wing. The room is always cool, and enterprising neighbors always will have something to drink. He is very laidback and calm, the perfect antidote for my frayed nerves when the 11th hour panic wrt submissions set in.

He is also a person with whom you can discuss jeans, songs - he has a fundoo collection -, dogs - he hates them, unlike me - life, books, Harry Potter, Uma Turman, Johnny Depp - no Mintu, Matt Damon is NOT gay! - , movies, and what not. He is free therapy, a tranquilizer without side effects. He is also my Hindi tutor, explaining the songs verbatim when Begum Aktar and Gulam Ali bare their souls from the speakers.

Its also fun to just look at Mintu, just for the sake of it, so that the sweet thing that he is start feeling a bit uncomfortable. Then you cannot but help smile when he dissects whatever you have been thinking about - and then decided against advising him - accurately and give you earnest assurances about when and how he is going to do it or not do it.

On these days of summer heat, Mintu is like a cool pool, surrounded by shady trees and full of clear water and gold fishes.

20050629 My Values

A result of having to study ethics.. here goes why these are big with me. Feel free to comment on them.

Truthful to myself: I need to know what I do and why I do it. This single value is the cornerstone for the rest of them.

Freedom: I believe in freedom – to grow as an individual, to think, to explore your abilities. And I believe in others enjoying them too.

Dignity: I expect myself to maintain my dignity. I do not believe in degrading myself or others based on their cast, sexual orientation, gender & economic level.

Acceptance: I believe in acceptance of different POVs even if I donot believe in them.

Faith: In myself and others

Flexibility: For me, it is acceptance in action. And making martinis out of lemons.

Forgiveness: I believe in forgiving others and myself of things done and not done – and moving on.

Responsibility: I am responsible for my actions – good, and most importantly, bad.

Looking at this list, I am struck by the strong streak of individualism that runs through them. More important than love, more important than family...

For I believe that unless you believe in yourself, nobody else can. And unless the individual units are strong, the society crumbles.

Making this list and comparing it with that of other people have let me learn a lot about myself.

So, what are your values?

20050619 War of Words

I have been touring like a minister during election time. Relatives, family friends, friends - you name it, I have been to it.

Generally, most of the visits are boring, barring those where I get to talk with youngsters. Else the talk usually goes like this:

Host(H) : Tea?

Me (M) : Nope. Also no coffee or milk please.

H : Milk, then? ( rushes to the kitchen without waiting for an answer)

M : Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!! ( runs behind her)

Her duty as a hostess supposedly done, they talk with my parents, and the next nanosecond, I grab a book/magazine/newspaper/ticket foil - ok, may be NOT a ticket foil - and start reading.

Another headache is the " isn't she getting married? " game. I grit my teeth and bare my fangs which they mistake as a shy ( WTF?? ) smile and proudly proclaim it to my delighted mom, while I chant voodoo spells to make that person a deaf-mute.

This evidently makes my mom make another go for my marriage.

MoM: Shall I start looking for a guy?

Me: No.
MoM: I will get you a nice guy who doesn't drink or smoke... Or go to pubs or discos or parties...... a nice sweet boy and who is ready to settle in Kerala.

Me: No way!! ( WTF?? She is planning to get my SUCH a guy?? A nincompoop?? And Who want to settle in Kerala in the midst of 1000 people who want to tell me how to lead my life and make sure that I do it?? )

MoM: ( to dad ) Seee!!! She has stopped listening to us!!!!

Me : I am going to run away. It seems you guys are tired of me [ thanks to all the mega serials for the following dialogue ] Seems like I'm a burden to you guys.... Sniff!!

Dad : ( to MoM) Stop bugging her... She is mature enough to decide when she should marry. ( To me, so that Mom wont feel that he is siding with me) And YOU start listening to your MOM!!! You have to get married sometime you know....

Me: (meekly) Yes dad... I will dad... ( changes the TV channel)

Mom & me start the remote control war. Which I tactfully end by moving to Animal Planet or Tom & Jerry show - which we both like. The net few hours are spend oohing and aahing the dogs, cats, parakeets, leopards, tigers, fish, monkeys and horses, or laughing at Tom & Jerry; with fond reminiscences of our eight ex- official pets.

The problem with me and my mom is that we are too much like each other in our stubbornness. Mom thinks that she knows the best, I think that I do a better job at it. She is tenacious ( which helped that daughter of a 4th standard educated coolie to be a Bank Manager ) and so am I. She is talkative, and so am I, but to a lesser extent - I am my dad's kid too, I need my share of silence.

I cannot stand my mom most of the times - and she has told me too many times that she prefer the 3 year old cute baby I was to this boisterous young woman that I am to take it as a joke anymore - and she too feels the same. But we both have this fierce love for each other too. The moment someone doesn't sing my paeans my mom hisses at them like a mother cobra protecting her eggs, and the moment someone slights my mom I bare my fangs like a hungry lioness ready for the kill.

I have never answered her question to her face, but yes mom, I love you in my own special way.

And no, this doesn't mean that I will start listening to you from now on.

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