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!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009


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?