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!!!