Friday, September 26, 2008

A Tale Of Three Cities

This is not where my life began. But by virtue of living in this city for close to fifteen years, it has to be the first in the series. I can't even begin to write down all the happy/sad memories of this city.

One thing that leaving this city has taught me is that, it's quite easy to live in the past, to hold on to old friends, good memories. But in a way that blocks new memories from being formed. It's also very easy to completely forget the past and the bad memories, lose touch with people. And how difficult it is to move on, smile while remembering the happy memories and hopefully become all the wiser after the bad ones!

For me, it's a city of lot of firsts and some seconds. First job, first time away from home... Living apart from family and having the freedom to do a hell lot of stuff made me realize a lot of things about myself. Things I took for granted, things I craved for, things that didn't seem so wonderful once I had experienced them, things I had pushed in the backseat of my mind...

Although my tryst with Pune was short, it leaves a whole bunch of memories in my head. Some happy, some sad, some which will turn out to be happy/sad...only Time will tell!

My birthplace and my current home. Almost all my memories of Bombay are linked to childhood. Travelling to Bombay every vacation, bugging mom about how long till we reach Bombay Central, knowing that we are close just by the smell, drinking coffee prepared by my granny stealthily in the kitchen, fighting with my brothers. Somehow, the memories of adulthood have not sinked in.

I think of Bombay as a stopover for my next destination. I feel like I am waiting at the airport(domestic or international...not sure) looking at the schedule. I can see the flights getting delayed, some flights getting cancelled; and am wondering which flight is mine!

P.S: It's not much of a tale, is it? Oh well, I wasn't aiming for the Booker. I had sooo many thoughts in my head for this post, that I couldn't focus. And some things were too personal or too embarrasing or too idiotic to mention here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Answer Me This...

Why did Superman, Batman wear their briefs on the outside of their tights?
Do vampires get AIDS?
If women ran the Pentagon, would missiles and submarines be shaped differently?
Why is it that everyone driving faster than you is considered an idiot and everyone driving slower than you is a moron?
What is a "free" gift? Aren't all gifts free?

These are just few of life's unanswered questions. They may leave you searching for an answer, but you can get away with any kind of reply.And they are better than some of these questions:

Do you know who I am?
I have a very bad memory for faces. I would remember a Brad Pitt or a Hrithik Roshan, but normal people look...well normal. It's quite embarrassing when some of my relatives ask me this question. And when I sheepishly say that I don't remember them, they start by describing our entire family tree which makes me even more flustered.

How would you describe yourself?
This is quite a tricky interview question. If I spoke the truth, the interviewer would think that I am seriously deranged. So, I have to stick to standard responses. And although I know that this question will inevitably be asked in all the interviews, I hate to prepare for it. I belong to the breed of people who would rather not talk about themselves. I can write an essay on myself and my life because at least the reader has the option of not reading it. But I would rather not bore people by my self-obsessed ravings.

When are you getting married?
When you reach a certain age (The age limit varies, if you are in a small town the countdown starts at 18. If you live in a cosmopolitan city and the people around you are open-minded then the age would be probably late twenties.) and are still single, you get this question from a lot of people. Good friends, concerned relatives, nosy neighbours; everybody wants to know the answer. I can only say that if I knew when I was getting married, I would have already changed my status on Orkut and sent them my wedding card. The next time someone asks me this, I will tell them that I am thinking of becoming a lesbian and since same-gender marriage is not allowed in India, I am never going to get married.

When are you going onsite?
If you are in IT, and still in India after 2-3 years of job experience, people automatically start assuming something is wrong with you. Its the equivalent of a guy being in his mid to late twenties and never been involved with any female, then people start assuming that he is gay. The money is definitely good at onsite, and I should have been the first one to queue up for visa coz I am such a big miser (You know the joke about the guy with the Rolex who had his arm cut off and was worrying about his Rolex, I am that kind). But I know that I would end up getting depressed if I have to live alone; and if I am not happy what good is money going to be?

Friday, September 5, 2008

S For Sun, S For Sugar, S For Snake

Anything but S for sex. Because we are Indians, we don't have sex. Foreign forces are to be blamed for the rising population of our country. The stork delivers our kids. Wondering how the stork got the baby? Did it mutate and give birth to a human child? Did it kidnap the baby? Did it find the girl child abandoned in some street, took pity on it and decided to give it to a loving and sensible couple?

But the truth is something else. If anyone has read the personal columns of certain newspapers, then they won't be able to say this with a straight face. Majority of the questions in there are about dimensions or technique or the "forgive me for I have sinned" kinds. It's quite funny at times and sometimes quite shocking. Sometime back a reader posted this query:" Does dandruff cause AIDS?" Wow, and still we oppose sex-education in schools hoping that if we shut our eye to this menace it will simply go away.

Even the classifieds are full of ads advertising massages and escorts [Now you must be wondering what kind of newspapers I read, then I must clarify that we get perfectly respectable newspapers at home. I do not go scouting in dingy streets wearing a disguise in search of these papers :-)]. Some of these ads may be genuine, but you can make out the creepy ones with the pictures of females.

Oh well, none of my business. Actually, I started this post because of some ads which confused me. What exactly is the product here? Is chocolate being used to sell sex? Or sex being used to sell chocolate? Hmmm anyways, I hope that these products were reviewed stringently to check that the rules for hygiene were not being flouted during manufacture.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Mind Your Ps And Qs

I swear I have never heard so many thank-yous, welcome and sorry in my entire life than in the last few months! I am thinking of writing a program which will automatically print out thanks at the end of every sentence in email/chat, or welcome/no problem when someone else types thanks. Just as there are smiley buttons, there should also be thanks, welcome and sorry buttons in chat applications.

It's not that I am a fan of the "No sorry, no thanks in friendship/love" rule. I think that works only in the initial honeymoon period. I have realized that it is as important to be civil to your friends and family as it is with strangers. Too many times I have given excuses for my bad behavior as a personality trait. And too many times I have excused others' bad behavior also for the same reason.

I am a firm believer of not using too many thank-yous, welcome and sorry in my day-to-day routine. I don't understand the logic behind saying these words after every sentence. I would rather not create situations where I end up having to say sorry. Or have to say thank you for small things when I don't mean it. And I would rather that people don't say sorry unless they mean it. Coz, if you hurt me and say sorry later on, I will probably forgive you the first few times. But if you hurt me again and again, then I will just interpret your sorry as "Sorry, I am going to hurt you the next time also." Politeness is a virtue which works best when it is combined with honesty; otherwise it becomes just a formality. Like having to get up and say good-morning when the teacher comes in class. Or having a "Thanks and Regards" or "Sincerely Yours" in one's signature.

But as they say; When in Rome, do as the Romans do. So, I am going to limit my personal opinion to this blog and join the Romans. But, if I have to fake it, then I might as well go the whole hog! I am thinking of sending an email at the end of day which goes like this (Think of all the rest my fingers will get from typing the same words over and over again throughout the day!)

               Thanks for all the help, support that you extended today. Welcome, if I have been of any help to you. Sorry, if I caused any inconvenience or hurt you in any way.


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