The Bad Bad Day

It was a bad bad day. It was a not very feel-good day. You’ve probably experienced one of those before. I have too. No matter how many times you’ve had it, it is one experience that I hope we never get used to.

So where was I? Yes, bad day. What was so bad about it, you ask? Oh nothing. Nothing in particular. Just a day where you mess up a lot of things you could’ve not. You know, work things. Nothing major, just….things. I’m not being very eloquent, am I?

So what do you do when you have such days?  Seriously? The old me would’ve headed to the kitchen, made a cup of coffee, shouted a bit at amma and sat in a corner reading a good book. The new me, on the other hand, deals with such days by heading home, switching on the laptop and going through an entire season of FRIENDS/The Big Bang Theory/How I Met Your Mother/Mentalist/…., you get the gist. Effective, you’d think.

Nah.

So that’s what this post is about. (Yes, there is a purpose to this, you-snarky-person-who-is-grinning-as-you-read-this). This post is a celebration. For what, you ask? Celebration of an aberration. An anomaly. A deviation from the well-treaded path. This post is a hurray to the old-turned-new-turned-old me who is dealing with a bad, bad day by crawling in bed with a cup of coffee and a fascinating book and ending up writing a short post about it, that, in retrospect, doesn’t make much sense.

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Live From Bangalore

That tangy smell of coriander being sautéed…I’ve always associated that with the feeling of being at home. For there is little that says “Welcome home” like having your nostrils burned by the smell of spices. So here I am, another day, another place and yet, very much at home. Only this time, it’s my sister pottering around the kitchen, trying to whip up something edible from a mass of greens and pulses. Every time I look at her, I get this kinda maternal vibe…a sense of pride as if she is what she is because I am who I am. Does that make sense?

So here I am. New day, new place. The same old sense of excitement. But this time, there are no nerves. Bangalore seems as much home as Thrissur. Now how is that? I don’t know the language, the people… and considering the fact that I’m one of the most geographically challenged people existing on the face of earth, I’m pretty sure that I wouldn’t know any of the places too. And yet, my mind is at ease. There is something about Bangalore that welcomes you right in. It seems to have a place for you, whoever you are. And somehow, I have this gut feeling that life here isn’t gonna have as many peaks and ditches as life at Gandhinagar. Let’s see…

Meanwhile, I’d appreciate it if those of you who knows Bangalore like the back of your hand or knows someone who knows someone who knows Bangalore like the back of their hand lemme know about what to do at the so-called happening city of India. Good eateries (‘coz after all, food comes first), good music, fun places to hang out (which are, preferably, rather easy on the pocket)…anything and everything about the place. So do drop me a message with suggestions, wokay?

More on life here later. Go…have fun!

Aligning the present-day-you with the ‘dream-you’

Of late, there is this one thing that has been bugging me. Relentlessly. It is always there in the back of my mind, this thought that I’m trudging through today so that I can live tomorrow.

Just close your eyes and think for a moment. In college, our aim was to get a job. ASAP. We sailed through the college days, had the time of our lives, downed a couple of celebratory Cokes when we got placed and waited for our lives to begin. Awesome job, money in the pocket, independence – life set ho gaya.

And then we started to work. Now here, some of us got the jackpot. Some of us knew exactly what we wanted and worked for it. Hard. But most of us didn’t. We were not clueless, no sire. We had/have a pretty good idea of what it is that we want to do. Or be. For instance, we know that we want to earn a fat paycheck every year (How many of you will admit it, that is a discussion for another day). We know that we want to be respected. We know that our parents should be proud of us, that we should be able to provide for them if need be. But how? We don’t really know. And we don’t want to either.

And why should we think about it actively? So far, everything has gone pretty well for us. Everyone told us to study regularly. We didn’t. We mugged up some stuff day before the exams, slept for 2-3 hours and contrary to our parents’ prediction, were able to recollect quite well during exams. We got pretty good grades and without toiling too much, got into reasonably good companies with a reasonably good pay-packet. This ain’t the first time that we’ve been told how important it is to plan your future. And it’s definitely not going to be the last.

These are some of the thoughts that have been swirling through my mind for the past few weeks. Disturbingly recurring thoughts. You see, I have a pattern. Every morning I get up, go off to work, survive through it and look forward to the evenings when I’ll finally get to do some ‘quality work’. Now the evenings, of course, rush off in the blink of an eye and before I know it, a new day has dawned. Every single day at work, when confronted with something that is beyond my immediate understanding, I vow to myself “Today I’ll go and try and get to the bottom of this.” And then I remind myself that I’m not here to stay. This job is just one of the many, many steps I have to climb so that one day, I can drink from the ‘Dragon Well’ upon which my life will miraculously be perfect.

My life was starting to piss me off.

Today, I had a very interesting session at work. The speaker, a wonderfully articulate JNU-bred business skill specialist shared some thought-provoking ideas. To be fair, there was nothing new in what he spoke. It was just something that had come to me at the right time in the right mood. He told us that ‘goals are dreams with a deadline’. Goals are tangible, not abstract – they are not something that you want to do at some point of your life. Also, there should be certain expectations behind your goal, something that you expect to gain once you attain that goal. He went on to ask a few of my colleagues about their goals. Not one could articulate what she/he wanted to be. And those who tried were stumped when he asked them what they expect to gain out of it.

Now this got me thinking. And once I started to think, I couldn’t wait to get home to try sketching out my path in life. And, as is apparent, I couldn’t. As sure as I am of what my future should be like, I couldn’t translate it to a piece of paper to lend a bit of clarity to it.

Which is why I’m bugging you with this long-drawn solipsism. Plus, there is something that I’d like you to do. Sit down in front of your lap or take a paper and jot down what you want to be few years down the lane. And then, jot down how what you are doing now is helping you get there. I recognize how unlike my usual self this particular post is, but please, just go with me on this one. And yes, I buy your argument that every single thing in life can’t (and shouldn’t) be planned. I agree with you. I’m not telling you to prepare a chart for life. I’m just requesting you to make an attempt to align present-day-you with the ‘dream-you’.

Sleep on it. When you wake up, you’ll realize that you’ve peeled off another layer of the mystery that is you.

Live from Gujarat

Hey!

Long time huh? It has been for me. You see, I’ve gone through some monumental changes in life in the past few days. I’ve moved from home to Gandhinagar, Ahmedabad for work. It has been a bit of a change – one that I expected to be much more challenging than it has turned out to be so far. Initially, hidden in my proclamations of delight at living in North India, I was rather sceptical about staying away from home for the first time in my entire life. In fact, the first two days were a bit hard, especially yesterday. Not in a I-wanna-meet-my-amma way, but in a oh-my-god-what-the-hell-am-I-gonna-do-if-I-can’t-manage-to-stay-away-from-home-without-getting-depressed kinda panic. But somehow, magically, all was resolved after an evening walk around our neighbourhood. You see, now that is one of the many things I’ve come to love about this place. Since there are quite a few and I have a history of being a non-sequencer, I’ll just list out those to ya all. Ready?

  1. The best – and by that I mean BEST – thing about living in Gandhinagar is the fact that you can roam about at night (till 9.00 – haven’t been out beyond that though our curfew time is 10.00 pm) with minimal worries. There’ll be multitudes of people out on the road, men and women, at all times. There is also a Police Station about 10 metres from where we live, so that gives an extra sense of security.
  2. The second best thing is the weather. It is perfect at the moment – not too cold that I’ll have to use a sweater nor too hot. Esp at night, though I’ve been warned that it is about to change with the advent of summer.
  3. The people – truly one of the best things. There are people from Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal…my roommates hail from Orissa and Gujarat respectively. Am revelling in the diversity – in terms of language, customs, looks, accents…its beautiful!
  4. The chance to hone my Hindi. I always knew I could handle Hindi but it’s only after I came here that I realised that I was proficient enough to actually have conversations in Hindi with native Hindi speakers and get away with it!

That’s all I can think of at the moment. The only problem…well, I wouldn’t define it as a problem as such…so, let me rephrase that. The only slight hiccup is the food. South Indian food is not available as much as is needed and what little of it is available is way too expensive for day-to-day consumption. North Indian food that is available at the canteen is nothing like the authentic North Indian food, but hey, one can’t have everything, right?

All in all, enjoying the first week at Gandhinagar. For sure.