Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Pondering Pointlessly

An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. We all have heard that a million times, especially from our parents, more especially if you were as lazy as yours truly. Like how the “best bad massage award” would be called ‘The Monica” (you don’t watch F.R.I.E.N.D.S? You should!), the “laziest person award” would be (and should be) called “The Sandhya”. I can visualize my mom nodding her head twice faster at this. That is me. The best thing to do, for me, is just sit and laze around and stare at the ceiling. Or may be read a book or watch a movie – but those things are to be done only when I am really really bored of well… staring at the ceiling.

And when I don’t have any book to read or movie to watch, and am still bored after my tiring stint at staring at the ceiling, like anyone else, I think. No, don’t laugh. I do have the necessary apparatus up inside my head and believe it or not, it is in perfectly good, working condition. And if you had read about my Analytical Mind, you would know how it works. I mean, how good it works.

A gazillion thoughts within seconds all inter-connected (or so I think) in some peculiar way which is totally back-traceable. No? Lost me somewhere in the middle. It happens. It happens to me, for crying out loud. There is so much I think about – should I have a cup of coffee now or half an hour later? Gosh, the weather is so good; I should ask paati to make bajji or bonda. This Paulo Coelho book is so boring; I have to finish this one soon and start “Atlas Shrugged”. I should never have left Chennai; I feel so cold and lost here. Wow Chennai, what a city! Those were the best days of my life – beach, Blur, Inox, Wipro, bajji at the beach… Hmmm, bajji… “Paati, sooda bajji pottu thaayen.”

You get the drift. From a casual coffee thought to bored to remorse to memories to well, coffee (and bajji) again – all within seconds of each other. These thoughts make me. And now I am sure you don’t find me lazy given the amount of thinking (?!) I do. Tell my mom so!!! Meanwhile, I am going to think about New Year and how ridiculous these ‘New Year Resolutions’ are. HAPPY NEW YEAR, folks!!! :)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My first...

She felt suffocated. As if she was stuck in a dark room without any doors and windows; as if the sky was closing in on her; she couldn’t breathe. In fact, she couldn’t do anything without his permission. His – her husband’s. It has been just 2 months since they had gotten married. Everyone from her married cousins to her friends had told that her that the first couple of months after wedding were the most romantic ones. Whenever she thought of that, she laughed at herself for being so na├»ve and believing in what they had said. Either God has been cruel to her or they had all lied to her. She also knew it could be worse – it was not like her husband was a drunkard and beat her up each evening or raped her or her mother-in-law was constantly finding faults with her or they were torturing her with dowry demands. She knew that a lot of women went through that every day.

Her case was different – she was suppressed. She wasn’t allowed to go to work; according to her husband, a man who makes his wife work is incompetent. It always left her burning red with anger because her mother was a working woman and her husband was indirectly pointing it out that her father was incompetent. And it was not like he hated her or treated her with contempt; that would have been so much better. He was indifferent to her.

“Will you be late from work?”

“Don’t know.”

“Hmmm, I was wondering if you could come early and we could go to the beach.”

He just shrugged. She didn’t know what to make of it – his silence. What was she supposed to think if he answered her questions with a shrug?

“Can you buy me a book while coming back? I get really bored at home.”

This time, nothing – not even a glance at her direction. He simply got up and left to fetch himself some water. That was the end of the conversation, if you could call it that. He wouldn’t even ask her to get him some water; he just avoided any interaction as much as possible.

He didn’t complain if the food she made was bad and neither did he appreciate if it was good. He didn’t notice it if she wore a new dress; he didn’t speak to her unless it was utterly necessary. He was not rude to her; he didn’t respond to her with anything more than a nod or shake of his head or a word or two at the maximum; and he definitely never smiled at her. That was what left her astounded – how can anyone, all of 27years of age, forget smiling? He didn’t seem to have any friends – none visited them. Was he like that only towards her? Was there something wrong with her? Was he in love with some other girl and was forced by his parents to marry her? How happy her life was before two months? It all seemed so long ago.

She had just finished her engineering degree and was waiting for her call letter to come. There were rumors that the MNC in which she was placed from her university’s placement drive was not honoring the offers it had extended, citing the recession as reason. She had always been a sincere student although not as hard-working. Her parents were both working and had always encouraged her to ask questions and to disagree with them. She was smart and they were supportive and she thought there was nothing more that she could ask from them – they had educated her well, they had always been there for her when she needed them, they had never forced their wishes on her and her dad treated her like a princess. She had, as a result, grown up to be an independent thinker and mature for her age and to her friends, she was the rational one always knowing right from wrong.

It was when she was reading the newspaper that morning (during those endless months that she waited for her company to ‘call’ her) and her parents were getting ready to go to their offices that her father came to her and said, “Chinnu” – that was what her dad called her – “I have to talk to you about something important. There is this guy…” And when her dad finished telling her about the guy who was well-educated, tall, handsome, from a good family, in a nice job, she didn’t feel anything - except that she was a little too young to get married – she was, after all, barely 22. She was in a currently boring but soon-to-be-exciting phase of her life. She had her dreams – of working in an MNC, getting used to the corporate culture, being financially independent and making new friends. But now her dad wanted her to get married? It was so out of the blue. She had never thought her parents would do this. It was not that she was in love with someone; she could have and would have certainly told her parents if that was the case. She could have plainly told her parents that she wasn’t interested in getting married right now, that she is too young and not mature or responsible enough to handle a family. But she didn’t do that either because she was curious. She wanted to know how it would be to live with a guy she didn’t know at all, how they would become friends, share the house-hold chores and fall in love. That apart, she also knew that her parents were very impressed with the guy’s ‘profile’ and to put them off is something she didn’t want to do.

Now sitting in the sofa in her in-laws’ place, sipping coffee, she thought of how life had changed. At her parents’ it was always fun. She loved the independence she had there, particularly the freedom of speech part that rendered her a hopelessly talkative girl specializing in arguing and debating. She could do what she liked to do – watch TV, read books, and laze around – whenever she wanted. On weekends, the three of them would go to movies or the beach or temples and had dinner outside. All the while she would keep talking, asking questions, suggesting movies, or arguing on some topic.

She knew perfectly that things wouldn’t be the same at her in-laws’, but she didn’t think it would be this different. This house was as silent and boring as it could get. Her in-laws talked rarely. Some days a ‘Good Morning’ and a ‘Good Night’ was all the conversation she had with her mother-in-law. The entire family was indifferent to each other. They just didn’t care how the others felt on a particular day. Her husband, the one who was supposed to make it easy for her to gel with his family, was the most aloof of the lot. Whatever she did, whatever she said, didn’t matter to him. And she was not supposed to leave the house unnecessarily (‘unnecessarily’ included her visits to her friends’ houses, just a walk down the road, to the temple and of course, to her parents’), she was not supposed to apply for jobs – after all, he was the man of the house and didn’t want her to work – he either had ego issues or felt insecure about the fact that she would be working with other guys (of her own age) – she would never know, she was not supposed to wear makeup (this, she was okay with – she was never interested in makeup anyway, but she now had that overwhelming urge to wear makeup just to show him that she didn’t care, but suppressed it because she felt too tired and weak to protest and also because she didn’t exactly know how to), she was not provided with the books she wanted to read which was the worst possible punishment of all (she could not remember of a day at her parents’ that she didn’t catch up on reading before going to bed), she was not allowed to watch TV much, she didn’t have a cell phone to contact her parents (even if she had one, her husband wouldn’t pay the bill) – all she could do was sit down in a corner with her thoughts. Thankfully, they hadn’t found a way to stop her from thinking. It was at moments like these that she felt suffocated.

Then the telephone rang. She ran to it to pick it up. She was reminded of the time at her parents’ when they had first gotten their telephone. She used to run up to it and pick it up. Now she was running to pick it up because it would give her a break from her seemingly never-ending stint at ‘sitting idle’.

The caller-id said it was from her husband’s cell phone. She was surprised. Her husband never called during the day. He didn’t have anything to talk to her in person, for crying out loud, and he certainly wouldn’t call.

“Hello.”

“Hello.” It was not her husband’s voice.

“Yes, who is this?”

“Madam, do you know someone called Mr.Sathya?”

“Yes. I am his wife. Who is speaking?” Wife. A word she has grown to hate over the past couple of months.

“I am very sorry, ma’am. I have bad news. Your husband met with an accident and I am afraid he is no more. They have taken the body to the G.H. for post-mortem. Could you please come here at once?”

She didn’t know how to react. She knew she should be devastated to have lost her husband within two months of marriage. But she felt at peace, relieved and guilty at the same time. She didn’t cry; she couldn’t bring herself to. Instead of being shattered and not knowing what to do or cry hysterically, she thought – she had gotten so used to just thinking that she couldn’t do anything more than that. This time she thought about her future. She may, after all, get a chance to go back to her parents’, join her MNC that might call her very soon, study further, fall in love and live life the way she wanted to. She felt guilty at her disability to cry. She had to cry now – no, not for herself, not for venting out her grief – there was no grief at all, but for the world – the world that might question her marriage if she didn’t cry, the world that has the freedom of speech that was denied to her, the world fearing which her mom and dad had gotten her married much before it was due, the world that had prying eyes that only found faults with others.

She cried. But inside, she was smiling convinced that she deserved it.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Vote for me!!!

Hi,

This blog has been nominated for the 'Best Personal Indiblog of the year' by Indibloggies .

If you think this blog deserves the award, please vote at http://multivote.sparklit.com/web_poll.spark/21900 - the blog is titled 'The ha ha called lyf..." (that is how my blog was named earlier)...

To vote, you have to enter your email address in the textbox provided and then go to your inbox and click on the link in the mail that you would get from 'CONFIRM VOTE'.

Thanks!!!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Fell in Love - Part 2

It is the one place on earth that is close to my heart. It is a place that has seen it all – my happiness, my craziness, my sorrows, my confusions, my stupidity, my anguish, my fears, my adventures, everything. It is the place where I was born and brought up, the place that has taught me to be talkative, a place that has offered my solace when I was depressed, and confidence when I was confused. Coimbatore. I know I have written so many posts about MY city but still I can’t help but write more as I find myself loving it more and more by the day.

  • It is a place which is surrounded by mountains and is a treat to watch during the rainy season. And when it rains, it doesn’t rain like it does in Chennai where in November and December somebody from upstairs is pouring down buckets and buckets of water for over 3 days continuously resulting in flooding - rain water + sewage water + urine + spit mucous (ewwww). In Coimbatore, it drizzles ever so lightly, not even enough to get you wet. When it does rain heavily, it doesn’t last for more than 2hours, 4 at max. And some summer showers bring in small pieces of ice which we used to collect in jugs as children.
  • It is a place where people are so warm and friendly and treat you with respect. Oh and the language – it is so sweet to hear. No wonder I am a lot more talkative when at Coimbatore. I just talk so that the other person would respond in that wonderful slang and I would keep listening. I am just used to addressing my Amma in singular (without the ‘nga’ in after each verb, or in cases after each word), I address my neighbors with full respect – so it is not “Illa, aunty”; it is “Illeenga, aunty”. Otherwise, it is considered rude.
  • The city is a paradise to trekkers. It is at the foothills of the Western Ghats, what did you expect? There are a lot of different treks for trekkers of different stamina and skill.
  • The water in the city is among the tastiest in the world. The Siruvani river flows through the forests where a lot of Amla trees exist and since the water touches the roots of these trees while flowing, it tastes super-good. I have seen the water flowing in small streams and it is so pure that you can see the sand and pebbles underneath it very clearly. And that water tasted great.
  • The people of this city have unique, unmatchable sarcastic streak. The ‘Coimbatore Kusumbu’ and my talkative nature have combined together a lot of times and made me speak and gotten me into trouble big time. But I am proud of my kusumbu!!! :-)

All these reasons apart, Coimbatore is so good for me because it is HOME to me. That is what it is – HOME :-)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

After-hours... ;-)

What is deal with people who like to sit around at office long after they have reached the minimum number of hours required at work and completed all their pending work? Beats me. This guy I know works in a shift that lasts till 10pm and he ‘prefers’ (actually is fond of) sitting at his desk until after 11pm as opposed to the other (normal) people try to get the hell out of office sooner than possible. I am sure most of you have come across such specimens in your teams/acquaintance-circles. Why would anyone sit at office without any work to complete even after their 9.5hrs/day is over? The reasons I hear the most and my reactions to them are:

1. I get bored at home. We stay far away from our families and it just gets boring at home.
  • Really? What about taking up some hobby? I mean, there are so many great books to be read, so many interesting movies to be watched. You could learn to play some music instrument; you could join a gym/yoga class. You could actually clean your room.
  • But then, hey, the guy I am talking about is someone who hasn’t heard/read anything beyond Telugu – and I have nothing against Telugu. I consider Telugu to be one of the sweetest sounding languages. And the fact that the guy is not well-read or well-informed is more the reason why he should start reading at least now. Better late than never, right?
2. At office I get free internet. At home, I don’t.
  • You stay at office so you can watch utterly stupid videos on youtube for free? Or checking out your own Shaadi.com profile (coz trust me, no one else will, if you continue to stay glued to your computer).
  • What about going home and getting freshened up and heading out for a walk? Believe me when I say the world has more things to teach you than the world wide web.
  • Hell, go to a bar with your friends!
3. Hey, I get free unlimited coffee here.
  • Huh? Haven’t you heard of ‘Nair Tea Shop’ which is there in every gali of every city in the world? (I love Nair Tea Shops – they are the best!!!) It is an understatement to say that I think you are pathetic enough not to spend Rs.5/- (or less, depending on the size of the shop) and rather prefer staying at office to drink free chai!
  • The company pays you well enough to buy a chai/coffee for yourself, I am sure!
4. I want to read a Telugu e-newspaper.
  • Hmmmm, errrr, hmmm… What were you doing since morning? Don’t tell me you worked the entire 9.5hrs and had no time at all for reading a newspaper.
  • Unnoda kadamai unarchikku oru alave illaya da?
5. What the hell is your problem? It’s my wish to stay as long as I want. Who are you to ask me to leave?
  • Oooooh okay, dude! Chill… It is not my problem. If it is anybody’s, it is yours. Remain the pathetic guy that doesn’t have a life outside of office!
  • I pity the one you are going to get married to, though.
6. I like to stay late at office.
  • Well, you got me. I have nothing to say about this. If staying late at work is what your heart desires (yuck), then so be it.
  • That is one statement that makes Sandhya go mute! You have achieved it, big boy!!!

So people, just make sure you are not the guy in question. I have nothing against people staying back at office after work hours if situation demands it or if there is any pending work to be completed. But otherwise, is it really necessary for you to remain at office and not have time for your family and friends and pets?

Have any of your friends told you genuine/whacky reasons as to why they stay late at work?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Anjana - my twin soul...

I am sure everyone has their tough times and everyone cries – no, I am not talking about guys/girls who are cowards enough to say, “I never cry”. What is the deal with people that want others to believe that they don’t cry in any situation? Anyways, I am a normal person and yes, I do cry when I am sad. So, as all of you know, I have been quite down and depressed for the last one month or so – ever since I left Chennai. I have been trying to lift myself up, make new friends and stuff and to be honest I don’t feel all that lonely or pathetic now! Yes, there are those small periods of time when I still feel lonely and left out. It was at one such time that my best friend Anjana called me.

Anjana

If God decided to make a rough draft of me before making the better and more sophisticated me - sorry, Anju, I had to tell this. It is my blog, after all ;-) - it would have to be Anju. She is less than a year older than me. So, that means she’s 17. Yes, don’t ask any questions. I met Anju at my Wipro office in Chennai. She was leaving a project and I was replacing her and she was supposed to give ‘KT’ (Knowledge Transfer) to me and until then I hadn’t known KT meant sipping coffee and chatting away whatever time we got to spend at work and sometimes bunking office and going to movies or going to my home and watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S. Sigh… Those were the best days of my life! I mean it.

She was my twin soul. Both of us liked to watch same kind of movies, both of us liked to read books, both of us thought only dumb ones work like donkeys while the smart ones just sneak out and avoid work and still get paid the same amount of money, both of us were lazy, both of us were vegetarians, both of us liked the same kind of guys – well, I know most of you think that two girls can never be as close friends as two guys and I had the same opinion as well (I admit to that. Blame it on my college) – until I met her. She was my other half, she was my mentor, she was my friend and she got as confused as me at times and let me sort it out for her.

Our KT sessions came to an end as she left Wipro with an offer to work at Singapore. We still kept in touch through phone and internet. It was during one of my most difficult times (yesterday) that she called me and we spoke for about an hour and a half – excuse me, we are girls, talkative ones at that! At the end of it - after we had discussed which movies should be watched, which guys were hot and what business we should start once we get bored of our IT jobs - I felt so light (no, it has nothing to do with my weight. If that were the case, I’d feel light eternally) – my depression, my hatred for life, my loneliness, my self-pity – everything vanished. It was as if we were back at Wipro office, sipping coffee and talking about everything and nothing – just like one of our KT sessions. I miss you, Anju! I miss you so much!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Shades of gray...

Being surrounded by students at my place of stay has had a wonderful effect on me. Not only am I feeling much younger than I used to, but also “imparting wisdom” (now, don’t give me that who-told-you-you-are-wise? look) to the young, energetic minds. I can still remember around 2 months ago, when I was still at Chennai, I called my mom one fine day and started crying like something terrible had happened (My mom didn’t think it was that bad. But, what do parents know?) What had actually happened was, I was getting ready to go to office and was tying up my hair and found this one gray hair on my head. Just one, but that was enough to get me started. I cried nonstop for 2 hours and bunked office that day because I had a terrible headache (the same head that contained the gray hair.) Not funny, right? I didn’t think it was either!

All my friends advised me not to pluck it out because it will make the rest of the hair go gray too. And I just followed their advice. Why I am saying all this is because today I spotted the same gray hair and boy has it grown or what! (The nice black ones never grow and keep falling, but this one grows like there is no tomorrow. Sigh!!!) It’s longer and shinier than ever. It looks so good on me that me is thinking if me should color a streak of my hair silver. This idea is not without reason. For years, people have referred to me as “kutty”, “the little one”, “chhoti” and what not. Even my younger sister's friends didn't think they should call me "akka" or "didi". There have been innumerable times when I have been denied the respect my age truly deserves. (Don't smirk!!!) There have been times when I would be traveling in a train and my co-passengers would invariably ask the question, “What are you studying?” No, not even “What are you doing?” It has to be “What are you studying?” always. And this gray hair would make me look mature and people won’t be asking me what I am studying, at least. Also, I have been a great fan of Mrs. Indira Gandhi and her gray hair that I feel if I get more gray hair, I’d cut my hair short and style myself like her. Day by day, I am actually becoming proud of my only silver hair!

I have to thank the people who commented on my previous posts giving me the much needed courage and strength to hang on because times have changed and I am actually enjoying every minute here. From cutting my finger accidentally while cutting carrots to roaming around to going on late night walks and chatting endlessly in to the night, I am having the time of my life. No, it is still not as good as life at Chennai, it may never be as good. But I am satisfied – with the chillness, with the students nearby, with the fools around, with my gray hair – I am content and it may not be too late before I say I am happy and mean it and get my crazy self back.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

A Request :-)

After reading my earlier post about how things are new and exciting and boring at the same time and getting a earful from a lot of friends, I decided to take it easy and chill and not worry too much and now I am kind of in a stable "this-too-shall-pass" state, which is good for me and everyone who reads this blog because in the recent past I have hardly ever written anything that wasn’t categorized under “rants” (no, not by me, duh… by the readers). Well, I totally understand that part and I decided I shouldn’t be doing it any more. Aaaah, I can see you guys nodding!

So moving on to the brighter side of things I am doing everything I can to keep myself occupied with something or the other – catching up on a few books I have always wanted to read, watching a few movies. But there is a shhumaall problem. No, don’t say, “No, not again!” The problem is really small. Trust me! The movies I have been watching and the books I have been reading come to an end. There is a huge demand for books. As for movies, I have already asked my friends nearby to deposit their hard-disks to me ASAP.

This post is hence categorized under “requests” (by me, this time). If any of you have a good collection of e-books (English/Tamil) please send it to my personal mail ID which is there in the FB link. :-)

Thanks!!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

I'm rambling again!

Here I am – in a new place, waiting for newer challenges that life is waiting to throw at me! As I had already mentioned, I am in a new phase of my life – one that is exciting, educative, fun, boring and at times outright mocking. I am now a mixed bag of emotions. One minute I am really happy and confident and have that ‘Come what may’ attitude, another I am all lonely and frightened, another I am just okay with life and tell it ‘Take me wherever you want to’ and another I simply give up and say ‘I am fed up, I can’t put up with this anymore.’ I hope that is enough reason why I kept away from writing anything here. I just did not want to spread my moody bullshit on you. (I am an angel, aren’t I?)

Now that I have made my state of mind clear (more so to me than to you), I feel very light and confident about taking up the challenge that lies ahead of me. It is not like I have lost anything permanently, not like I have lost my confidence in myself, not like I forgot how to talk (oh, I know how you wish I stop talking :-D), not like there is any big tragedy in my life – what I have got now (or rather what I haven’t got) is nothing close to being called ‘tragic’, hell, it doesn’t make it to ‘sad’. In fact I am currently in a place that a lot of people I know would envy.

My mom told me yesterday that everyone goes through tough times, everyone has to. It is not like one chooses to take the tough way (no one goes, “Hey Mr.Problem, you and me, outside”), bad time just imposes itself on us and no matter how strong or weak we are, we have to face it. There is no escaping fate. She went on to say, when you are facing any kind of hardship, always think that all this struggling will bear sweet fruits (oh, I like neither sweets nor fruits and she was talking about sweet fruits! Amma!!!) . This is what she tells me now, but earlier when I was a student, she always encouraged me to do my job (study) and not to worry about the results. When a wise adult makes such contradictory statements, what do children like me do? I have to ask her for an explanation.

One thing I am sure of is that I will bounce out of this mood swings and bounce back real fast and strong. I have high hopes on myself and the people I love and more than ever on God. Alright, now I am sounding like a priest, but don’t run away :-P
A lot of friends are asking why I chose this path when the path I was treading on earlier was perfectly smooth and more importantly, I was happy treading on the path. Why did I have to choose something that I knew would be tough; would test me; would not be something I like to do? My answer is simple – I just wanted to try this out. I can’t comment on how hard or easy a task is until I get myself involved in it. It would be like commenting on how bad Idli and Vada is in the canteen without ever ordering it (bad example? I know. But we all know whatever we order at the office cafeteria is just the opposite of ‘yummy’, don’t we?) I wanted to try this new task despite knowing it is going to be tough on me. But now that I have started involving in it, I don’t see why it I thought it was difficult at the first place!

I guess I have poured out everything I had accumulated in my head in the past couple of weeks and have (as always) confused you with my nonsense! Bear with me (as always, again). :-D

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

A lil' delay

Hi people,

I know it has been quite some time since I have updated this area. :-(

I have been very busy in the past couple of weeks and there has been changes everywhere around me. But hey, I am enjoying it and I am happy where I am now. As I always say, whatever life offers me, I have just one thing to say in reply: "Bring it on!" And that too with the broadest of smiles (alright, I can hear you murmuring that I need to close my mouth now)

I will update this blog as soon as everything is back to normal and my life lets me slow down a little bit.

Until then, chao! :-)

Friday, October 23, 2009

Miss me, won't you?

You would miss me. Miss me big time. I am sure!

Wouldn’t you miss me when you over-sleep and reach work late because you don’t have me waking you up every morning?
Wouldn’t you miss me when you walk through the same roads we walked on everyday without my hands to hold?
Wouldn’t all those small road-side tea/juice shops remind you of the times we had coffees when it was raining?
Wouldn’t you miss me when you have no one to talk to or when you are alone at home?
Wouldn’t you miss me whenever you see the stray dogs I used to pat when we went on our late night walks?
Wouldn’t you miss me when you go to the beach?
Wouldn’t the Baba Mandir remind you of me?
Wouldn’t you miss all the heated arguments we have about everything and nothing in the world?
Wouldn’t you miss holding me and saying ‘Good Night’ every night before going to sleep?
Wouldn’t you miss shouting at me asking me to get inside the house to stop me from getting drenched in the Chennai rain?
Wouldn’t you miss having hot lunch prepared by me?
Wouldn’t you miss sending me off at and picking me up from Central station once in a month?
Wouldn’t you miss me when you see people walking hand-in-hand anywhere?
Wouldn’t you miss all the good and not-so-good times we have shared?

Please don’t let me go because I sure should not ask you to come with me where I am going.

I know you would miss me like crazy. Please do NOT move on. No, I can never grant you freedom and I can never let you move on.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Love Hurts

It is my last couple of weeks in Chennai now and I am growing increasingly paranoiac with each passing day. That I have fallen in love with this dusty, sweaty, over-polluted, hot and humid city is no secret to you all. And the more I write about how nice the city is the angrier few of the readers (especially those who hail from the North Indian states and don’t want to be called ‘Northie’) get. So I shall refrain from writing out my love for this great city and go back to writing what I know about – manager bashing, may be. But hey, I did that in my previous post and there is only so much I could crib about a bad manager when I know there are worse.

A couple of days back I was talking to this friend from my school days and as we were talking about life and career and stuff, I told him how much I hate this freaking IT job and how I am not tech-savvy and how awkward it feels when I am supposed to pretend to be an expert at something that I don’t know head or tail of. And then he asked me what my passion in life is. I was tempted to say, “My passion in life is to eat, sleep, read, write and shop – in that order. If anyone is going to pay me to do any of these, then that is the kind of profession I am looking at.” But he was not the kind who would appreciate my pathetic jokes. In the end I said something and he went on to give a lecture about how ‘passion’ is something that ‘doesn’t let you sleep’ and how it ‘keeps you charged’ all the time. After an hour or so of lecture, he hung up. But I had started thinking – is there anything I am really passionate about? Something that I keep thinking of all the time? Something that I want to do for the rest of my life? Something that is not eating, sleeping, reading, writing or shopping? After a couple of hours of thought, I gave up. May be I am not old enough to have a passion as yet. Well, who am I kidding? I should have a passion by now; I should be on my way to excel in it. Although I am so not Sidharth Mehra from ‘Wake Up Sid’ who lives life carefree, happy to be spending his father’s hard-earned money, I don’t think I am any better than him in realizing my potential or at least in knowing what I want to do with the rest of my life. Anyways, I am not going to write about finding my passion either.

By the way, the big fat ticket inspector from the MTC (to know more about this character read this) has made it a habit to harass everyone from school children to construction workers. I see him almost everyday sitting on his bike with his entourage of ticket checkers who I am very sure receive a part each of the “collection” and what am I doing there? Well, just standing and watching and writing about it on my blog. Sigh…

Well, finally what I want to say is: I love Chennai. Yes, despite such foul-language speaking MTC ticket checkers and even worse auto-walahs and the dirty beaches. I love this city and it kills me every time I think I have to move away.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Enna koduma sir idhu...

The last two weeks have been most eventful. And I’m a lot wiser now. Really. Not buying it?

I have interacted more with managers in the last two weeks than I have in the last two years and learnt how to talk to them – the choice of words in an email, the tone of your voice in a telephonic conversation, to be persuasive in a subtle way – I am well on my way to become a manager myself. :-P But then God help those who become my subordinates! :-P

It is so funny when you go and stand in front of your manager and tell him,

Me: I just came to remind you that I’d be on leave next week.
Manager: Which days, Sandhya?
Me: Hmmm, three days and the other two weekdays are holidays.
Manager: What? The whole of next week?
Me: No, just three days.
Manager: But you won’t be at office throughout the next week?
Me: (Silly fellow, isn’t that obvious?) Hmmm, yes. I’m planning to go to my hometown, you see.
Manager: Why didn’t you inform me earlier?
Me: Actually, I did. I informed you three weeks back that I need three days leave and you actually approved the leaves.
Manager: I did?

It’s so funny when managers try to think hard, you know? The look on his face made me think that he badly wanted to answer nature’s call, but somehow nature wasn’t calling him as often as it has to. :-P And needless to say I was controlling my laughter and had to rush out of the ODC to a nearby conference room to laugh it off.

And then I headed to Coimbatore – to spend an awesome week there with Amma and Gaya and Paatti. As usual, the city was at its enchanting best - not very hot, not very cold, chilly wind and the slight drizzle and the magnificent hills surrounding the city - they are all still there. The city is just soooooooo beautiful. Since it was Navrathri time, we had visitors during all evenings to see the Golu. My cousin Nithya had come with her two daughters, aged 4 and 2 to see the Golu and the elder one – Harsha – sang devotional songs so beautifully (with actions) as her teacher (who was also my teacher when I was in school) and I couldn’t stop moving my hands in action just like her (although I stayed away from singing along for good).

For years, it has been me who stayed back while the others said ‘bye’ and left and come November I would be the one taking off – away from Chennai, away from my work, away from a lot of great friends I have made here, away from the beaches, away from my extremely patient roomies, away from a great team at work, just away from life as I have known it for 2 years now. And I do hope everything goes on well post my ‘bye bye’ from a city I have grown to love.

But of course, ‘Lighter Side…’ will still be alive and I will continue to post here – all the details about where life takes me and what it offers. And yeah, I will be available on Orkut, FaceBook, Twitter, etc. So, I don’t really think I would be missing the gang of friends I have made in the cyber world. :-)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Bad, Bad World...

I knew I said I wasn’t going to fill up this space for some time – I didn’t know why exactly I said that, I just felt I had lost it in me to write anything beyond boring official mails; but now I am back and have quite a few incidents in the past couple of weeks that have made me think and respect life and disrespect and loathe few people and to start writing again. I went through the recent posts in my blog and found that I have been doing nothing but cribbing and getting senti (I know it sucks…) for a while now and vowed to go easy on the cribbing part but I have now found that it is almost impossible for me not to complain and crib – don’t blame me, the world is so bad. You know that already, don’t you?

Well, last week was a tough one. I had problems with my friend, team mate and a lot of people on the road (If you are thinking, “who doesn’t?” Welcome to the club!) Now, without indulging into the causes of each of these tiffs, I would only write about the after-effects of these, thereby denying you the chance to judge me! (I am smart, you see ;-) )

I had a problem in respecting a friend of mine for a mean thing he did and therefore walked out on my group of friends while we were hanging out. It was already 9pm in the night and without thinking twice, I walked to the beach (Thiruvanmiyur beach, at that) and sat alone to think about what I did and whether it was worth the being-alone-late-night-at-unsafe-beach after all. I sat alone and watched the people there – a bunch of guys playing volley ball under the flood lights, a little girl sitting with her mother and playing in the sand, a girlfriend punching her boyfriend playfully and smiling, 3 girls talking and giggling, a father holding his little girl’s finger and walking, a husband walking with his pregnant wife – no one was alone. Wait, there was a dog there – he seemed to have no company, just like me! :-) I smiled at him thinking I am not the only lonely living thing there. Then the dog’s friend dog came and they both walked off together too. That day, I learnt to hide my feelings. I thought I’d never say this, but it would stand you in good stead if you learned to hide your emotions and sugar-coat your words and be the (sickeningly) ‘sweet’ person that everyone likes.

As if to reiterate it, I had a tiff with my team mate (I have got to remain confidential about this one, but what the heck…) who accused me of ‘manipulating’ him and urged me ‘not to play games’ with him and it was at that moment that I realized that my only mistake was that I had been cordial to the extent of being friendly towards him. Had I been not as warm and as friendly, his words wouldn’t probably have had the kind of effect on me as they actually did.

More than these two incidents, I had a never-before experience – I saw (from close quarters) an MTC ticket inspector grabbing a 13-14 year old guy’s wallet from his pocket and taking the money out of it after the boy and his friend threw the bus ticket after buying it. The little guy started crying and the following conversation took place:

Big Fat Ticket Inspector (BFTI): Give me your mother/father’s cell number.
Little guy gave the phone number and it was apparently switched off.
BFTI: (In a mocking tone) Enna thambi, the phone is switched off.
Little guy: Sir, my parents must be on the plane. They are coming back from Hyderabad today evening. That’s why…
BFTI: Flight-laya??? He he… Romba vevarama irukkaye... Give me your house key and go (and put his hands into the guy’s pocket and took out his house key).
Little guy: (Crying even more) Sir sir, sorry sir. Please give the house key sir.
BFTI: But you traveled without a ticket (like it was a gruesome crime). How much money do you have? Aaahh, look at this! You have a 50 rupee note in your wallet.
Little guy: Sir, that is all I have. I have to eat from outside. Please, sir.
BFTI: Are you going to eat for 50 rupees?
What the hell… Agreed, what the guys did (albeit playfully) was wrong, but does it justify the inspector’s act? What were even worse were his humiliatingly mocking tone and his words. I didn’t know what to do. I felt so bad for the young kid – now he would never have any respect for ticket inspectors (he would have fear, alright; but not respect) Will the Government officials stop misusing power? What should a common man do to stop getting ridiculed and mocked at? How do we show our protest? Before you answer that, would we all come forward and stand together and protest against such officials? So many questions to ask; nobody to answer.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Taking a break!

I never thought I would say this, but I am taking a break from blogging for a while. I just don't know why, but I will be gone for a while!

Cheers!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Kandaramanickam!!!

Well, I came back from Kandaramanickam after attending Nitsy’s wedding and what a wedding it was!!! I mean wooooooow…. I have rarely been to a wedding that is not a typical Tamil Brahmin affair and if I had been to one, I don’t seem to remember it that well. This one was just out of the world. Although the wedding lasted for a much lesser time period than a Tamil Brahmin wedding, the rituals were just as interesting and meaningful (now do not come back asking what is the significance of the ‘Oonjal’ thing that we have in our weddings. I seriously don’t know. If you know, you could write it in the comments section).

The wedding rituals started with a ‘Nitchayadhartham’ – the official engagement ceremony on Sunday. That day, they also did this ritual where in they bring few small, tender branches of a banyan tree and tie it to a very long pole and fix it to the ground. I asked a relative of Nitsy’s what the significance of that is. She said, “These branches would be removed after the wedding gets over and would be planted in a different place. And the saplings would start growing there. It is similar to our girl – she is being taken from a big family and given to another place, to a new family. When she goes there, she would be a part of the new place and grow there and help their family to grow, just the way the saplings do!” I was amazed by the amount of thought their ancestors have put into the ritual (Now, somebody please tell me the significance of our ‘Oonjal’ ritual).



The next day was the day of wedding. Early morning, Nitsy had gottena red ribbon and a yellow rope tied around a piece of turmeric – together called a “Kaapu” on her hand. Unlike our weddings, “Maapillai Azhaippu” (inviting the bride groom and his family) happens on the day of the wedding. Once the groom came, he was also made to tie the “Kaapu” in his hand. This “Kaapu” is supposed to be removed after the knot is tied around her neck and she becomes a part of his family (again, unlike in our marriages, Nitsy is allowed to eat well even when she has the kaapu ties. Our brides are poor things; they don’t get anything to eat until well after 2pm – main reason why I am NOT going to get married!). After this, the guy ties the knot around her neck and in a matter of less than half an hour, she is the groom’s wife and from that point onwards she is bound by the rules and regulations of her in-laws and they would take all her decisions for her.





I can’t forget how they all cried – Nitsy, her mom, dad, sister, grandma, grandpa, Kavi, Divya – when she was leaving home, to be officially inducted into the bridegroom’s house (Another reason why don’t want to get married). It was so painful to watch her go.

More than all the rituals and the colorful dresses and the warm people and even warmer climate, one thing I enjoyed the most was the food. I had authentic Chettinad food for 2 days. For a person who gets hungry once in every 2 hours, the place was heaven. Whenever I met anyone, the first question they would ask is, “Saaptiya?” If you thought I’d shamelessly have told, “Not yet” and went for “pandhi” after “pandhi” of pure bliss, you are wrong. I had two “close” friends (close pannama vida maataanga) – Yals and Kavi who were always beside me reminding me, “Sandy, control…” And now, a full meal at our office cafeteria isn’t enough to fill my stomach!!! God, what is with me?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Alvida, Nitsy!

Come Monday and my roomie and one of my best friends will be a married lady. Feels like yesterday when we attended Engineering counseling at Amrita on the same day, same time slot, joined the same course, sat in the same (last) bench for four years, studied together for every semester, saw movies together, shared books and study materials, got placed in the same company, left Coimbatore on the same day, stayed in the same hostel for 6 months, moved to a 2BHK together and lived in the same house for almost 2 years. She has always been there to cheer me up, to wake me up from sleep and force me to have dinner, to offer a shoulder to cry on, to be an older sister I never had – all this despite the fact that I yak nonstop and she is patience and silence personified. I know all this is already written in the testimonials she has received. But I didn’t want to write this there – because I am not writing this for her, I am writing this for myself.

Tomorrow night I am leaving Chennai for Karaikudi - a small town in Southern Tamil Nadu - and from there to a small village around 20kms away. I know the place is going to be enchanting given the active monsoon at this time of the year and I will be meeting my best pals from college there, but still I feel like a part of my life is being torn off me to be given to another fantastically lucky person. Although there is some consolation that she would continue to live in Chennai and would continue to work in the same office as me, I feel like I am losing someone whose preciousness I was fool enough not to appreciate when she was with me.

To my dearest Nitsy,

Thank you for being there for me whenever I needed a friend – you have done everything from being a class mate (who made extra-ordinarily detailed notes) to a teacher (with too much patience) to a sister (who has truck loads of love to give away) to an amazing friend. You are simply the best of us all! I wish you a super-happy and successful married life. Take good care of yourself and your husband ;-) I love you so much!!!

To everyone else: Sorry I got a little too senti; but the thought that she is getting married is too overwhelming to control. I had to vent it out and as usual, this is my way of doing that.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

When the going gets tough

It has been a hectic day at work with my on-site folks demanding to know the status of tickets that are pending with me, and at the same time my offshore manager asking me to work on creating a knowledge base loading me with technical jargons like cloud computing, knowledge base (yeah, right!), Drupal and a bunch of other stuff that most certainly did not sound English. At the end of half an hour of hearing such words, he goes on to clearly mention that my on-site manager should not come back complaining that project activity is getting spoilt because of this internal work. The next few days are sure going to be tighter than the t-shirt that few of the girls at work wear.

Now, to those of you who ask what I do apart from cribbing about work – I don’t do anything much, I say. Effect of watching Quick Gun Murugan, you see. I thought the movie would be out and out funny – instead it turned out to be a very loud, repetitive affair, although there are a few funny moments; like the one scene where Mango Dolly (Rambha) says she failed to win a beauty contest, QGM responds, “It is not IAS. You can try again.” And if you consider that funny, God save you!



My room mate V came back from California after an 8 week stay there and told me the storyline (or the lack of it) of Bruno. Well, to most conservative girls (I know nobody is going to accept I am either conservative or a girl, sigh!) the movie sounded sick and she said she couldn’t understand why people were ROFL for such cheap comedy. She told more about how she saw so many people kissing in public – let me tell you that this was the same person who changes the channel during a kissing scene in any movie. Well, what can I say? Time changes, people change…

Good news from work – we have finally gotten our porcelain cups back at the pantry and done away with the paper cups that were brought in last month, in a bid to avoid the spread of swine flu. I wonder if swine flu is really gone (or is in its receding phase) or we all think it’s gone because the media is not creating frenzy over it these days. If latter is the case, haven’t we all become puppets in the hands of the media?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Of God, world and everything in between

I was just sitting at office this afternoon with nothing to do (as usual) when my team mate called me to his desk and showed me a few photographs of a yet to be released movie – ‘2012’. It is about how the world is going to end in 2012, which is what has been unanimously accepted by all religions and has been predicted by the Mayan calendar (that is what the mail claims; I am not sure how much of a fact that is) – the stills were amazing. Please find a few pics below from the mail I received. Click on them to view them bigger and better. Now I don’t want the world to end so soon. I want to live for another 100 years (minimum)…










It was then that my team mate started telling me about Islam (he himself is a practicing Muslim and therefore I trust his words on whatever he quoted from the Koran), Christianity, Jesus, Moses and Jews and a lot of other things. Then he started telling about how idol worship is wrong and how you should worship the creator and not what got created by Him, while referring to Hindus worshipping idols and the Sun god and cows and snakes and explained how illogical it is. Whatever he told was totally convincing, although a part of me failed to agree to it – blame it on my Tam-Brahm upbringing. I like my Pullaiyar and Murugan and Krishna.

I believe in ‘Anbe Sivam’ – Love is God. I told him that my idea of God is very simple – whoever helps you when you are distressed is your God at that point of time. Example, to a man who has not eaten anything in 4 days, a plate full of food is God; it is as simple as that (according to me, of course). Am I an atheist? I don’t think so; it is not as if I don’t believe in God.

I don’t even know why I am writing this. I just felt like it. How many of us are religious? How many of us are spiritual, but not religious? How many of us are not spiritual at all? How far have we gone with our idea of God? Is there someone sitting above us and laughing and crying over our silly and disgusting actions? Is there someone who created us? Are we all just mere evolved scientific creatures? Is the world going to end? Is God going to destroy the world? Is nature going to give us a taste of our own medicine by bringing on some serious destruction? There are so many questions in my mind and I just had to vent it all out. Please feel free to write in your thoughts on possible answers to these questions in the ‘Comments’ section.

Monday, August 24, 2009

From Sivakamiyin Sabatham to Calvin and Hobbes

All was fine during the last week and the weekend. I read ‘Sivakamiyin Sabatham’ and finished it and became crazy. What a plot! What characters! I pity the non-Tamil folks for missing one of the best books ever written. I became crazy because I could live each of those characters starting from Mahendra Pallavar to Paranjothi to Sivakami to Maamallar to Gundodharan! Didn’t Gundodharan remind you of Aazhwarkkadiyan?

I had gone to Coimbatore for the weekend, spent a blissful (read: lazy) couple of days, participated in the Ganesh Chathurthi Pooja, ate kozhakattai (modaks), sundal – all of which mom fed me while I was happily sitting and watching TV. I didn’t have to move a thing around! Now, that is what I call life! I couldn’t go for the procession because going for the procession meant I’d miss my train back to Chennai (which I would have done whole-heartedly, but Amma wouldn’t let me). So I had to come to Chennai, away from Amma (sounds senti? I know…), Gaya and Paati, away from the pollution-free atmosphere, away from affectionate neighbors, away from Siruvani water (Gosh, haven’t I written about all these earlier?) – In short, I felt as if I had been thrown out of a protective shell, all alone and vulnerable, into the cruel world that has even more cruel managers (no, not my immediate manager, but the big shot snob who is… well, a big shot).

Back at work in the afternoon shift (which is when work is a little more hectic) I somehow found time to remind my manager about a request pending with him for approval. That **** calls me up and says he is not my manager and he hasn’t interacted with me and all sorts of crap. He was the one that did my appraisal 2 months back. WTF!!! The worst part was the way he talked – humiliating me and almost accusing me for the “crime” I committed. Agreed he is a visionary, agreed he has served the organization for over 10 years, agreed he is intelligent and all that, is he a good manager? Doesn’t half of your managing ability lie in the way you communicate and your choice of words? Perhaps he was pissed off at someone else for some other reason, but does that give him the rights to talk to me the way he did?

All I have got to tell him is, “Thambi, I know where you live.” :-|

And yeah, any stories on your managers are welcome at the comments section. After all, we all have each other to cry to. Poor managers don’t even have friends to rant to.

I’m now reading Calvin and Hobbes – and rolling on the ground laughing – in a bid to forget silly managers!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Swine-flu alert: Wash your eyes before and after reading this!

It has been an awesome week and an even more awesome weekend. The week, as it is, was awesome not because I achieved something great at work or anything, just that I didn’t mess up anything big time.

My week goes something like this – Monday and Tuesday – I think and re-think about how I spent the weekend gone by, what I shopped for or what movie I saw or where I roamed around or what I ate and think about blogging about it. Wednesday – I start making plans for the next weekend; after all it is now only 3 days away. Thursday and Friday – I work hard to implement the plans – calling up friends, convincing them, booking tickets, arranging accommodation (if need be)… Phew!!! God, I wish I were as organized in my work!

Throughout last week, I had an additional fear too – the fear of the flu. Agreed it is a pandemic, agreed it is fatal, and agreed it is tough to control the spread of the virus in a country like India where it is crowded everywhere – but the media didn’t have to blow it up so much. For 5 days all I could hear, see and read was swine-flu related deaths. If I didn’t open any newspaper’s website (just to stay from all the swine-flu news), my super-intelligent friends would send me mails after mails telling me how many times I should wash my hand everyday and how I should use a tissue paper while sneezing/coughing (!!!) like I didn’t know that already! And what is with all these masks? My office had made it mandatory for the cafeteria folks to put on masks. On Friday, I was munching on a sandwich early in the morning and choked on it and started coughing to relieve myself. A member of the cleaning staff asked me to put on a mask while coughing. I just choked on some food, for crying out loud!!! What the hell… As Vadivel would say “Nalla kelapparaingayya beedhiya”…

For the weekend, I and 3 of my friends had gone to Yelagiri hills - a not very-well-known hill station in Vellore district – about 4 hours drive from Chennai/Bangalore, not as spectacularly high as Ooty or Kodaikanal, not as many places to see, but it is the nearest getaway for people who love being in the hills. The best part was the trekking trip on Sunday. It was an 8km (up and down) trek to a temple on top of a hill and offers a nice view of the villages and farms downhill. The worst part of it was the steps – whoever asked people to build steps (with slippery rocks) all the way to the temple! It made the trek very boring – it was as if I was climbing the steps to Marudamalai temple. But yeah, it also made me realize how unfit I have become. For the amount of trekking I used to do when I was in Coimbatore, this one should have been a walk in the park for me. But sadly I was panting barely half a kilometer into the forest. One person I am sure who would have actually had it easy would be my Paati (grandma). At 87, she is still the most energetic and active person I have seen! Touchwood (I don’t know why my hand went to touch my head almost involuntarily when I said touchwood!)

After the trip, I had to bunk office yesterday to think and re-think about the weekend and today I am blogging about it. So my work for the day is done! This week, I don’t have to plan for the next weekend because I am going to Coimbatore. So the plan is just to eat and sleep – during the rest of the week and the coming weekend. Until then, chao!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

What the heck...

I really need a break – a break from work and this away-from-family life. I want to go to Coimbatore and live a lazy life for one month. I just don’t want to think about work or anything related to it for one whole month. But after one month, I want to come back – to this same project, in the same company. Is it possible?

I want to leave my job, go to a small hill station and start working there (the job description does not matter) and live there in a tiny house with a fire place. That is it. I want to be away from all this pollution, tension, stress, heat, sweat and all the bad things that are in the city. As much as I love this fab city and the city life and the friends I have made here, I want peace of mind. Everyday when I get ready to go to work, I feel like I am getting ready for some kind of cruel rat-race that has no finishing point. I feel like I am being forced to run the race whilst I prefer sitting at home and watching TV – well, who doesn’t prefer that to work, you may ask. But shouldn’t we all be doing what we like to do? Shouldn’t we all enjoy what we are doing instead of cursing our managers for dumping us with work? If we were ‘passionate’ about the field we are working on (Oh my God, I wish I’d at least like my job) we wouldn’t be cribbing and cursing, would we?

How many of us are stuck in the wrong job – any job that you don’t like to do is a wrong job with respect to you. I am sure I am. I know I have already cribbed about this in my earlier posts, but hey, my manager just gave me another bunch of issues to resolve and I am still stuck at my stupid ol’ job. I promise, once I move out of this job and start doing what my heart desires, I’d stop writing such boring posts. Until then, you could find a job that suits me best (only if you have already read my earlier posts and know which field I belong to).

I know it has been really boring for you to read – it was just as boring for me to type it out, but I had to vent it out to someone and I chose you! ;-)

PS: Written in a very confused state of mind

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Smooth sailing!

It was on Thursday last week when I was traveling to work by a share-auto from Thiruvanmiyur to Sholinganallur (which is about 12 kms) that I started thinking about how we completely fail to notice the simple things that would make us smile. Whether we are too held up with work or we are too busy getting played around by life or we are just plain lazy or we are just the kind that takes things for granted – I am not sure. But it has got to be one of these – different reasons on different days, perhaps.

This is why I thought like that: The share-auto driver anna (Tamil for brother) was a man in his late thirties (or so he looked), tall, with a big, round belly, curly unkempt hair that had started graying, looked like he hadn’t shaved his face for nearly a week – he was very cheerful (whether it was just on that particular day or if he was like that on all days, I don’t know). As usual, I had the headset of my music player plugged to my ears and was listening to Khabali hai khabali. The auto driver started playing some song loudly on his own music system (!!) and I removed the headset and had no choice but to listen to “Pethu eduthava dhaan ennaiyum thathu koduthuputta” (an old sober Tamil song) which was like the perfect opposite to what I wanted to hear. But anyways, what followed it was simply too good. He started singing along and even started swaying his (huge) body around in his seat. I was amazed by how little he cared about what the others would think of him and prayed to God to give me an attitude like that. He was simply happy and singing and dancing – I mean, I am sure he has his share of problems, but still he found happiness in such trivial things.

Then I started noticing small things that gave me joy – a couple of young dogs playfully fighting with each other over a rubber ball, the bright yellow flowers that have bloomed just to make the place more colorful, a group of school boys who’s shoes had so much dust deposited on them even before they reached school, a cow feeding her calf, school teachers walking with a wooden scale hidden in between the pages of their books, an IT guy carrying “Ponniyin Selvan” to office, a father buying a kulfi for his son – so many things that make both the involved and the onlooker happy; but still we don’t notice these things.

Life is beautiful and beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder and what you see is what makes you. Please do take a moment to appreciate these simple, small (maybe even silly, to a few) and joyous things around. Keep Smiling!

By the way, I saw ‘Love Aaj Kal’ and found that the movie doesn’t make you root for Jai-Meera the way we rooted for Geet-Aditya. The Veer-Harleen track seemed to have more life than the Jai-Meera track and I feel Deepika can’t act to save her lives (wasn’t she better in OSO, although it was her debut?) The Brazilian model who has played young Harleen breathed more life into her character than Deepika (that too without any dialogues, just with her eyes and expressions). And one more time I hear an older man in the movie tell the hero to “Go and get her” /”Follow your heart” I am going to go on a hunger strike!

All in all, it was a nice week!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Mahabalipuram

I have a bad news… I have to shift my work location from one office at Sholinganallur to another one (well, at Sholinganallur)… But I soooo don’t want to shift. This office is close to the bus/auto stand than the other one and I have just made some really good friends with the pantry/cleaning staff. Another shift, another routine of making new friends, another new system and desk – it is going to be tough. But as most of you are going to say, “Change is the essence of life”; anything and everything has to change some day or the other. I am someone who is open to change and pretty adaptive; but I prefer staying in one place to keep shifting like a nomad – specially to a place which is less accessible from the main road.

In other news, I, Sabal and Rejith had gone to Mahabalipuram last Sunday afternoon and had a whale of a time there. The pictures are up on my Orkut/FB profile. Do check them out if you have the time and patience! And after seeing the pictures, I am sure you would admit that I am stuck in a wrong job and ‘Modeling’ (not the modeling in IT terms) is what I should be doing. ;-) For people who disagree, I would like to inform you that you are eligible for the quota for the visually-challenged.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Of Hari Sadu and the rest of us...

2 years of working in the IT industry has taught me a lot of things, besides writing really confusing emails, even more confusing self-appraisals (which I like to call self-aapu), where to keep my mouth shut (yes, I do that sometimes) and some stuff like that. But more than all these, I have learnt to observe people – you do not have much choice when you are on bench for almost a year before you get your first ever project. But hey, I am not complaining. I, in fact, liked the observing part so much so that I wish I was on bench and there was no recession ;-)

There are different types of people in the IT world. There are a few similarities – they all have the dog band (company ID card) around their necks, they all wear formal clothes (although a lot of them look funny in them), they all are good at staring at their computer screens (work or no work) and they all are in the process of losing their sense of humor (if you didn’t at least smile to yourself until this point of the post, I bet you are a part of the great Indian IT field).

And yet, there are so many different kinds of IT professionals.

The “Visionaries”: These are the ones that always think, feel and breathe their projects. You can usually find them sitting at their desk with their heads so close to the computer screen that you think he/she has a romantic affair with the monitor. At the cafeteria, they tend to sit alone, have lunch (while replying to business emails through their blackberries/laptops) and leave - all without attracting much attention from anyone nearby. Chances are these people were toppers in their colleges. Chances are they are already/soon-to-become project managers, who expect/would expect their subordinates to be like them too. They are well on their ways to become “Hari Sadu”s (for people who don’t know Hari Sadu, you are already becoming one. So please watch more TV and catch the naukri.com advertisement or at least google ‘Hari Sadu ad’)

The “Friends”:
These are the people who like to spend time with their friends so much so that that is probably the only reason they come to office. They do complete their work on time and efficiently so (although they seem to hardly do any work from the outside), but would rather hang out with friends after work hours than romance their computer screens like the Hari Sadu’s. They are very good team players and make friends with everyone around them very easily. At the cafeteria, these people make the largest group, taking a lunch break of over 2 hours and a tea break of 45mins (twice a day). Chances are these people were the most popular guys/girls in their college. And there are lesser chances of them becoming project managers; although they could consider taking up a job at the Human Resources.

The “Snails”: These are the kind of people who are extremely hard-working and sincere in their efforts. In fact, they work as if the company’s profit depends on just what they do, but are not fast/ efficient enough in their work. They also, like the Visionaries spend very little time at the cafeteria and slog for long hours and still end up working during the weekends. They were probably not very bright students in their colleges either. Neither do they make good team players as their speed slows down the team. Tough luck, people!

The “Kids”: The freshers. They are just out of college; they think their managers are “cool” people (oh puhleeeze); they think their company is the best (oh puhleeeze, again); they are hyper-active and enthusiastic; they are generally found lunching/taking a break with their college-mates (who are still in the same location) and sending Good Morning, Good Afternoon and Good Evening and other equally dumb forward mails and make complete use of the internal email portal. They are forever online on the internal communicator and have at least 3-4 chat windows open – in short, they are still kids and think IT life is actually like how they show it in the movies. They have a long way to go before their eyes open up to face reality.

The “Players”: These are the ones who are eternally on the bench. Your truly was a part of this group until April 2008. But then, I had to start working (big sigh…) Anyways, the only things that interest this group are blogging, surfing the net pointlessly and downloading small flash games (remember Copter, Bow and Arrow, Beat Him, Sudoku and the rest). I can hear a lot of you saying that this is exactly what I still do at work, but hey I am in a project now and there are no complaints on me (really, ask my PM)…

I am sure there is the whole “Others” category – people who don’t fit into any of these or are a part of more than one category. But this has been a long post already and I should probably save my words for a next one.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Update

It has been a really long time since I wrote something in this space. It was simply because nothing was “happening” in my life. I simply had nothing to tell the world because I have been away – away from this world, at heaven. Yes, I had taken a week-long break from work to be with my family at a time when they needed me by their side. Also got to meet Yals and Shivasu – we hung out at a place Ammar had suggested (Man, Am I getting in touch with my college mates or what!!!)

Coimbatore was a beauty. She is still the same laid back, small, enchanting city but is getting closer and closer to heart with each passing day and I miss her so much now (Love and distance between yourself and your beloved is always inversely proportional). The hills surrounding the city, the sweet Siruvani water, the friendly people (my regular auto-driver anna asked me to eat well and take care of myself after he dropped me at the Railway Station) – huh, I just can’t get enough of it. But hey, I am back to Chennai and guess what, Chennai has gotten herself a nice weather too – not too hot, not much rain and plenty of wind – Chennai has never been this perfect!

As for work, it is going great guns (I don’t know if I have the rights to say this after being absent for a week while my team mate had to manage all the work alone), but work is going rather well. My last night at Chennai before I went to Coimbatore was spent at the hospital – yours truly was down with “Acute Gastroenteritis”/ gotten food poisoning or something – which meant 2 days of Rasam saadham and Thayir saadham even when I was at Coimbatore.

My house at Chennai has only 3 of us living there now (A got transferred to Hyderabad) and will not return and we are confused as to whether we should shift to a PG Accommodation or to a cheaper, smaller house or to add more roomies in the same house. As they say, time will tell and I hope it does soon…

Monday, July 6, 2009

Shop shop shop...

It is not until you are at work, with nothing much to do (apart from staring at the monitor for endless hours and tweeting and reading 5 newspapers everyday) that you tend to remember that it has been quite some time since you last updated your blog. So here I am, in the morning shift, half-asleep (which accounts for all the junk I write, I write only junk, but whatever) and hungry and frustrated (about not having anything to do).

My last post about how my friends were all going to moving away and the need to find another apartment has started becoming reality. One of them has traveled to California for a 3 month assignment (which may get extended) there. Before we know, a couple others would be married and my life isn’t moving an inch forward (in either direction)… People who follow me on twitter/on my gtalk list/on orkut/on facebook must have noticed the weird status messages hinting upon some serious, irrevocable depression.

It was mainly due to the feeling that my life is standing still and I have nothing that is a wee bit challenging or exciting about it. I wake up, get ready, come to work, and sit through the day (without much to do) go back home, eat, and sleep. Seriously, how long can you go on like this? There is a whole lot of time I spend thinking what I should do next – as in which newspaper to read first, when to go for a tea break, what to tweet – I mean, if you don’t have anything to share what do you blog/tweet about?

I should say I am feeling much better now. Last week, I was so de-motivated by the whole I-have-nothing-worthwhile-to-do feeling that I didn’t even cut my nails. I know it sounds like a really bad excuse to be dirty and disgusting, but you have to be there to know how it feels. A couple of days of "intense" shopping with my friend (who went on-site) and a whole lot of assuring and supportive words from friends kept me going. And by weekend, a new set of clothes and a pair of shoes that I shopped for got be back on track.

Shopping works even when words, hugs and kindness fail!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Bye bye, people!

No,I am not closing this blog down!

Everything around me is changing. The surroundings, the people, the weather (which has become a little pleasant in the past couple of days), the relationships I share, everything!




All was fine until June 24th (Wednesday) night. On 25th morning, my roomie announces that her marriage is fixed and the date ahs been finalized and the date is less than 2 months away from now. First shock! That same afternoon, another one of my roomies mails us that she has to report at California on Monday (29th) and she has to stay there for 2-3 months. Another one of my roomies says she might get transferred to Bangalore. That same night, the cute-guy-next-door says he has got a super offer from some company in Singapore and he’d move there in a month’s time! What the heck! Why the heck is all of this happening too soon? Why haven’t we been given some time to cherish the million memories we have?

It has been close to 2 years for us in that house and we have had so many nice experiences being there right from our owner who can’t hear to Brinda’s lip-smacking food to dirty paan-spitting neighbors to cute-guy to learning Bengali from the newly-wed girl next door, it has been an amazing ride. And it is getting over!

We all knew we had to part some day; that all the fun would finally come to an end one day when all of us have to go chasing our careers/married lives. We knew it right when we became roomies. But now that it is happening, it seems so hard to digest. And before we know, there will be farewell hugs and we would not be roomies anymore. God, I hate the thought of it.

P.S: My mom has finally permitted me to stay alone. When all my friends leave me (that sounds so senti, I know), I would have to find another (affordable) house for myself and stay there. It would be a new experience and I don’t know whether I would enjoy it or feel awfully lonely, but I want to give it a try. We will see that works out. So, finding an affordable house in the same area is a mighty task and I have to indulge in that routine for some time before I find a suitable house. I know this paragraph is a little too long to be a P.S. but bear with me because I feel really whiny and depressed now!

P.P.S: MJ passed away. Isn't there anything that can go right in my life??? (the way Ross whines in F.R.I.E.N.D.S.)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Nocturnal? Not me!

Last week I had to work in my first ever night shift and I was as nervous and excited as my friend when she was ponnu paathufied - the traditional “seeing the bride” ceremony before a marriage where the groom’s immediate family (of at least 30 people) visit the bride’s house and ask the bride to do everything from sing to dance to even code a bug-free Java program (God, I am never going to get married) to climb Mt.Everest (That, I may be able to achieve). Anyway, I had a longish weekend from Friday evening to Monday night. And finally, as with all weekends, Monday (night) too came too early.

And I was at office sharp at 8:30pm, waiting for my first ‘ticket’ (To know what this ticket means, read: ITMARK me!) with all the curiosity of a little pup in a new home. And then work started flowing my way and never stopped until it was 6am the next morning. It was as if I was bowling the best I could, but I had an in-form Jayasuriya batting; with my captain shouting (swear words, obviously, duh...) at me at regular intervals. Talking of which I am thinking of the Indian Cricket Team’s performance (or rather the lack of it) at the ICC T20 WC, which I shouldn’t be unless I can afford my posts to contain really objectionable words.

2 nights passed by without any major hitches and on the 3rd night, it was a little less hectic and I was a little more hungry than usual. At around 2-ish in the night, my stomach started making these strange noises, not unlike Barkha Dutt does on her shows. Also, I realized it was as empty as her head. I then understood what they meant when they said “Empty vessels make more noise.” However, I was prepared for such ‘situations’ and had bought a bag of Potato Chips (I could actually use a lot of calories, you know) for the night and started munching on it like I’ve never seen food before. I felt quite full at around 3-ish (actually, the chips packet had become empty) and I headed to the pantry to have some tea. On the way to the pantry, I was startled by a hyper-active frog and almost fell down (which was so not funny!). Apart from the frog thing, there was nothing much eventful that night.

The next morning, I slept till 10:30am and then got up to have breakfast (No sir! No matter what, I never skip food) only to find my stomach turning and twisting and before I could know, I was puking all over the place (quite disgusting, yes!). But still, I went ahead and had some curd rice and was about to take a bath when I heard the water pipe farting big time; there was no water in the tank and there was no power to switch the motor on – which also meant no sleep during the afternoon. We (I, the cute-guy-next-door, his roomie, another neighbor) did everything we could from bringing an electrician to calling up the EB folks and nothing worked (I could actually understand how helpless Dhoni felt during the WC matches).

That night, again I was at office at 8pm and called up my PM, who has been extra-ordinarily kind and gracious and supportive (I hope he reads this before writing appraisal comments) and told him (actually, reminded him) about India and power cuts and took leave for the rest of the week and bunked night shift. Now I am back in the day-shifts and am sleeping through the day at work (which is not very unusual), but unable to sleep during nights (and that is killing me). And I feel so bad for my BPO friends. May God give them the strength and courage to go through with it. :-)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Fell in love!

Something is wrong with my net connection at home. I have Reliance NetConnect using a USB modem and it has not been working since last week. Now, that is what has been keeping me from blogging (much to the relief of readers). This morning, I called up the customer care and they said something about a credit limit. Ridiculous concept – they give you a USB modem, tell you that you can download/upload up to 2.5GB and that your monthly bill would be 850+taxes (unless you go beyond 2.5GB of usage) and then your internet doesn’t work (even after you have paid your bills well before the due date) and they say, your credit limit is only 500 bucks and you can’t use more than that. What the heck!!!

I had gone to my home town (Coimbatore) for two consecutive weekends (some thing that I rarely do for fear of tiredness throughout the following week). The first weekend of June, I landed at Coimbatore North railway station at 6:30am and it was drizzling ever so slightly – a drizzle that could wake you up from sleep, but not make you wet, a drizzle that is like the droplets of water that hit you on your face when you are walking beside a waterfall. In the distance, I could see all the hills surrounding the city – the hills and the drizzle and the fresh, unpolluted air and the serene city (so far away from the rush and madness of Chennai) and was interrupted by, “Enga ammini pogonum?” – a burly auto-driver who, for some reason, reminded me of Teddy Bear and I fell in love with my home town all over again. The people here are, by far, the most respectful of the lot. Even fathers address their sons with respect – eg., instead of “Enga da pora?” (Where are you going?), they ask, “Engainga thambi poreenga?” The majesty of the hills (the elephant hill right behind my college, the Western Ghats where we used to go for summer camps/treks), finding virgin streams of delicious nectar (siruvani water), taking bath in small waterfalls which requires quite a few kilometers of walk into the forest and the amount of greenery (there are two institutions that keep the city green – The Tamil Nadu Agricultural University and The Forest College campus) both within the city limits! All these (combined with the piping hot Chennai during the following week) seduced me into going there for the second consecutive weekend.

During the second weekend (yesterday and the day before), there was no slight, cool drizzle, in fact, the sun was out and although it couldn’t be called hot, it was warm outside and we (myself, my sis, and a couple of my coolest cousins) could roam around the city. We went to the zoo (I know what you are thinking right about now) and then to Pizza Hut – initially we decided to order pizza from home, but I decided against it because of this. :-) Anyways, we had pizza and fun and quite a bit of yelling from my mom who had cooked lunch for all of us and all the food had to go waste! :-)

Here I am back at Chennai and all the heat it offers. I guess the next weekend is going to be a visit to Pondicherry (with friends) or Kumbakonam to a few temples.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Happy Birthday!

I know I wrote a post just yesterday. But I had to write another one now to tell this...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, RAFA...



Here is wishing u success in the next 5 French Open tournaments!!! You are a champion and will always remain one! :-)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

ITMARK Me

The past weekend was one that made me extremely happy – a weekend filled with hugs and kisses from my family – mom, sister, cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents – it made me very happy to meet so many relatives after a long time. I had a great time – cousins pulling my legs, talking about everything from movies to cricket to hot gossips! It was the perfect weekend…

When everything is going great guns in my life, there were a few moments which made me go “What’s wrong with me?” All such moments were because of my work place practices. It amazed me to know how much it has changed the real Me.

Things to prove I am an ITMARK (IT equivalent of AGMARK) software engineer.

1. I was at the ‘Sadabhishekam’ of my grandparents and there was so much smoke coming from the homa-gundam; I started wondering why the smoke-detectors work only during fire evacuation drills.
2. The other day, when I returned home from work, instead of inserting the key into the key-hole and turning it, I reached for my ID card to swipe it to open the door and wondered where the swipe machine went.
3. I stay far away from my mom and always talk to her over phone. Now she is in Chennai and for calling out to her when she was in the kitchen, I shouted “hello amma” instead of “amma”.
4. I write “Pls do let me know if there are further concerns” in personal mails.
5. My idea of flirting has become, “Which technology did you say you are working on?” (No wonder the cute guy next door runs like crazy in the opposite direction when he sees me walking towards him)
6. I am in a Production Support project wherein we resolve any ‘ticket’ raised by the user when they face any issue with the data in the database/in the application. It made me nervous when my friend said, “I have ‘tickets’ for the concert”. I started thinking about how to resolve it.
7. My roomie was looking for one of her DVDs and asked all of us to search for it and I said, “I’ll google it right away” without thinking. I was glared at by all of them.

God help me!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Aaarrrggghhhhh...

I caught a severe cold from my friend and have been making strange noises (read: like a frog during mating season) for almost a week now and no amount of milk with turmeric powder and pepper has made it any better. I have become the butt of so many jokes that my room mates are planning to publish a collection of such instances.

The house I stay in is a big one divided into 6 portions – 3 in the ground floor, 2 in the first floor and 1 in the 2nd floor. I and my friends live in the ground floor. One of the other houses in the ground floor is occupied by 6 Telugu-speaking guys (hereafter referred to as the “guys”) and the other ground floor house has a Bengali husband and wife (21 yr old girl, just married, can speak only Bengali, no English, butler Hindi). The house owner stays in one of the first floor portions. The motor switch is inside the owner’s house and my owner aunty has a big problem with her hearing (she has a hearing-aid, but I have never seen her using it).

Now, our house and the guys’ house are separated by only a thin wall and we can hear whatever they are singing (which is not very pleasant to hear, trust me). During the IPL, they were staunch supporters of the Deccan Chargers while we were supporting Chennai Super Kings. On the day of the first semi-final – between the Deccan Chargers and the Delhi Daredevils (in which Gilchrist showed no mercy on any of the DD bowlers), I had a chat with one of the guys. He was obviously very happy about Gilchrist’s form and told me DC will win the cup. I was super confident about Dhoni and Co. that I told him, “No way, CSK are gonna win. Last time we came so close. This time we are not leaving without the cup.” Sigh!!!! We didn’t even make it to the Finals. The next day (after Chennai lost to Bangalore) when we met again, he gave me a sarcastic smirk. I should have been furious, but I didn’t coz, let’s face it, the guy was cute!!! ;-)

My room mate is travelling to the U.S. for a couple of months and we wanted to make her feel how much we were going to miss her, so we decided to treat her and let her pay the bill (ok, I can hear that “idhellam oru pozhappah?”)… We decided to keep it simple (month-end, you see) and agreed upon ordering pizza. I was given the task of calling up Pizza Hut and placing the order.

Pizza Hut Guy (PHG): Hello, Pizza Hut. I am Nixon, how can I help you?
Me: Hello! I am Sandhya. I am calling from Tiruvanmiyur. I wanna order pizza for four people.
PHG: Could you please repeat your name again?
Me: He can’t even get my name right. OMG, how am I gonna tell him what Pizza, what toppings and everything? I am Sandhya.
PHG: Ms. Sandhya, can you please give the phone to someone else (veetla periyavanga yaaru kittayavudhu phone-ah kudu paappa)
Me: ?!??!??!?

:-( :-( :-(

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Happy days are here again...

After getting a bit too senti during the last week, which included my reluctant travel from Coimbatore to Chennai and my home-sickness and the gazillion questions I asked myself and you and a lot of physical tiredness, I am happy to be back to my normal self again and write a post – trying to be funny as usual.

While at home, I spent a lot of my time watching the TV series “Full House” in full swing on my laptop (got the DVDs of seasons 6, 7 and 8 from a friend of my sister’s). I had not watched Season 7 or 8 before and it was very nice to watch it and relive those days when I used to come home running from school to catch the episode of “Full House” on Zee Studio. It was still as funny, but I thought there was quite some time spent over imparting gyaan to either of the family members in the show.

After a tired and dull week, I was happy to start off my Monday with a bang – quite literally – when I banged my head on the door early in the morning when I was still half-asleep. I wanted to make it to office early as I had quite a few things to catch up on. I got ready for office and caught a share auto and reached office in record time while listening to Dev D’s songs all the while. Must say Amit Trivedi has rocked the album. Apart from Dev D, I have also been listening to “Khalbali” from RDB a lot of times; I feel it gives me the strength to struggle throughout the day with a lot of people-who-claim-to-know-everything.

Reading Archer’s latest “Paths of Glory” at office and by the looks of it I guess not many people at my office approve of it – no, not the book, but the fact that I am reading during office hours.

Yesterday, the news of Prabakaran’s death created panic all over Tamil Nadu and we were advised to leave as early as possible to avoid any mishaps (if any occurred). I called up the Primary at onsite and was advised to leave as personal safety comes before anything else. Whatever happened to our beloved leaders (who write letters to the Prime Minister when it is regarding Sri Lankan issue, but travel all the way to New Delhi when it comes to getting ministries for their kith and kin) – I feel cheated and disgusted coz. of the reaction (or rather the lack of it) from TN politicians.

Finally, yesterday Kolkata Knight Riders managed to defeat Chennai Super Kings and what a match it was! Kolkata deserved a win, but they could’ve defeated any other team. But it was a great match and I cheered for KKR although I am a CSK fan.

Have been bunking music class for almost a month now. Got to kill my laziness and wake up early from tomorrow and make it to the class (which is really a long shot)

It has been a pretty long post already. I sign-off now (so that all of you can breathe a sigh of relief that it is all over).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Confused...



Lot of times, the people who you think loved you the most prove by their actions that their priorities are different, with you being in the lowest rung of their priority ladder. They cry out from rooftops that they love you, would do anything to keep you happy and promise you the universe, but when it comes to the part where they “act” upon these, they are shaky. They try to convince you that they have something else that needs attention; if that doesn’t work out, they say, “You would understand my position if you really loved me” – thereby putting the blame on you; if that doesn’t work out, they try giving you the silent treatment. But in my case, it was entirely different. There is this person who was born around 4 years after me, laughed and cried with Harry Potter more than she did with us and never really cared about the family she was a part of.

Putting all that in the back burner, I have just come back to office after a week and a half and there is so much more to catch up on and to continue from where I left it. My inbox was flooded with 2500 mails (90% of which were unwanted mails that needed nothing more than shift+del). The leave I took has made me feel a lot detached to everyone; made me see everything from a distance; analyze people and events without any sense of belonging; to be nonchalant and most of all, not loving anyone.

Lately, I have had so many thoughts and every time I sit and think about something, I tell to myself that I'd capture the thought-train and post it on my blog; but later when I sit to write a post, words fail me. I forget what I had thought or what triggered the thoughts. I have always been proud of my ability to remember events and dates and numbers with extra-ordinary ease and now this!!! Eppidi irundha naan ippidi aayiten...

I know this post has become a lot senti and many people who know me/read my blog regularly might me wondering what is wrong with me or if I have gone nuts (I know most of you think that already!) or if something tragic has happened to me. I really don’t know what is wrong with me people. If you know, please let me know in the comments section.