Saturday, May 31, 2008

A Season of Farewells...

Its that time of the year again when I write a slightly melancholy post about people leaving Bangalore.

When I was hunting for a job in 2006 one of the criteria I was looking for was to try to move to Bangalore. I had heard so much about the place and the entire area was positively teeming with people I know. At that time PS had been living here and was pushing me to come here so we could become flatmates and then have a great time exploring all the pubs in the city, bike rides to nearby areas (That didn't quite culminate. Except one halfway to Shivasamudram [ I think it was this place, I seem to have forgotten.] Even though this trip was cut short half way - er because we forgot to do any research and realised halfway through that the bloody place was 160 km away and not 80 as we'd thought), house parties at the legendary 294 (AKs house).

I duly came to Bangalore and since then I've done all those things and have had an absolutely great time. Add to it the arrival of RB an year and a half back. Now RB and I were more like acquaintences in DCE but ever since he came here we became pretty good friends. Add to it the fact that he loves to drive and is a teetotaller put him in the league of best friend ever :). We went on a huge number of trips though I don't really remember the first one we went on. But quite a few memorable ones - Chennai-Pondicherry, Goa 1 & 2, Yercaud 1& 2, bheemeshwari etc etc. But this isn't about those trips.

RB is leaving on the 4th for Delhi where he's taking up a new job. So thats the first farewell thats coming up.

I will not make this a sad scrapbook type post because I have been warned against that by one of the few people who reads this blog.

The second is my ex-boss at work. I don't write about my work on this blog but it was really good to work with him. We became pretty good friends, played tennis together and hung out quite a bit. He's going to the US tomorrow morning and though we had a very boisterous farewell party for him I would definitely miss working with him.

So there you are two more people are leaving Bangalore in the near future. And it does make me think a bit.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Writer's block 2...

So I open this blogger window and stare at the screen with a glassy stare. Screwing up my eyes I tentatively press a few keys but have to give up with a grimace.


I've suffered from writer's block in my year of blogging before but am still just as far away from the solution as I was then. Do I press a random set of keys to just get over the inertia? Do I open a news website and try to generate opinions about any article? (Incidently I did open and scanned through the site.

Between the Jaipur terror related stories, IPL stories, US election stories and Indian political parties blaming each other for everything under the sun there are a few links to popular articles. So in all these earthshaking headline events which ones have generated the most traffic? "Top sex mishaps revealed!". Yes, this is the most viewed article of the day. And yes, people have also decided that this important article needs to be sent to as many people as possible and so is also the most emailed article of the day. Go figure! [And no I haven't read it. Oh, who am I kidding? I'm also going to read it after I finish this post]), Do I ask around for topics and then try to write witty insightful post?

All this is just way too much effort. There are days when I sit infront of the laptop for 10 minutes and I have a brilliant sparkling witty insightful awesome post (FINE, maybe not all of them together but you're here to read so i'm assuming you like what you see here). Effortless.

And then there are days like today where i'm struggling to find ideas. I contemplated writing about all the night haunts that I go to since college - In Delhi: Greenpark Barista - no money to actually buy anything, Transport nagar - paranthe, Jawaharlal Nehru University - Tefla's cold cofee, Tanku's and Laxman's - paranthe wale infront of IIFT, comesum - desperate with hunger;

In Bangalore: Nandi hills, Royal Orchid midnight buffet.

And then I started thinking that no, it won't be funny enough, people won't read it, would not link to it. Fortunately I snapped out of it. I reminded myself that I write, paint, read for myself. Not to show people (reading comes in because some people read so they can discuss intellectual sounding books. Oh, oh and this reminds me of a guy I knew.

Start digression 1:

{As you all know the coming of the next batch is very high point on a single guys minds in B-school. A new batch means good looking girls who are naive and don't really know what a slacker idiot you actually are. Thus giving you a chance to ensnare them in your web of deceit and date them. Also there are all these late night meetings to integrate the two batches together. Sort of like socials or minor ragging sessions. So the guy I knew used to wake up in the afternoon (slacker - remember?)and start learning songs. Every evening he would shave, take a shower and then go to these socials

Start Sub-digression:

Ironically called Personality Development Program (PDP)- whoever came up with this name must've been an A-grade hypocritical moron. Just call it ragging. Atleast everyone knows where they stand. Incidently these sessions were supposed to 'help' the junior batch deal with the 'fast paced and frentic' lifestyles they were to lead at the Business school. These were supposed to help you learn how to stay up all night and still manage to go to class the next day.

I never slept before sunrise in my entire final semester of engineering. I could probably teach the seniors a thing or two about staying awake at night!).

Stop Sub-digression

He would sing the song he had learnt in the afternoon to serenade any girl who would show the slightest bit of interest. Unfortunately for the sane people in the batch this lame ploy actually worked and since then a number of people could be seen walking around the hostel corridors muttering "Sweet child o'mine o o o ooooo sweet child o'mine..." under their breath! So my point is that people even sing for other people.

Stop Digression 1.

I really empathize with journalists now. What do they do when struck by writer's block with a deadline fast approaching?

Monday, May 12, 2008

Dear Rahul Dravid...

Yesterday at RBs hopelessly expensive birthday party someone said this to me:

" Teri haalat waisi hai jaise Rahul Dravid ki Indian Premier League mein!" -

"You're as out of place as Rahul Dravid in the Indian Premier League"

(Very loose translation and loses all punch that the hindi version has. To fully appreciate this, go to school and learn hindi. Come back here and enjoy the line. Ok?)

When people start using your name while making such comparisons, its high time you get some advice about what you should do. And who could Rahul turn to if not the most awesome brain this side of the Indian ocean (er..that would be me)

So responding to his anguished plea I wrote him a letter. And I wouldn't be too much an object of your adoration if I did not put up my correspondence with the rich and famous here (I've done it before: )

Dear Rahul (Jammy),

Thank you for your letter. I am doing quite well but will obviously refrain from asking you the corresponding question. Your condition is quite palpable here.

You've certainly managed to get yourself in quite a jam in this Twenty twenty format of cricket. And this is not the kind of jam that gets you endorsement dollars. This is the one that pretty much hits at the base of a decade long reputation earned through blood and sweat and mindnumbingly boring hours spent tapping the ball back to the bowler.

You're obviously quite out of your depth in this format where strike rate is the paramount statistic and average is laughed at. Add to that the love you've shown to all your fellow 20-20 (and even one day) rejects by taking them in your team. I mean seriously, what were you thinking? Any team which opens their batting with Wasim Jaffer and you in a short slam-bang format is pretty much doomed from the very onset. Add to that jaded players, weak fielders and slow fast bowlers (!) and you have the perfect recipe for being at the sheer bottom of the table where you find yourself right now.

I'll be frank with you here Rahul, your captaincy itself has been so lacking that I am forced to show you Shane Warne's captaincy in this tournament as an example. He started the tournament as a rank outsider with no big names (at that time) in his team. But he's never showed a sag in his shoulders. In impossible situations he looks like he hasn't even considered that his side may lose. To think so is blasphemous to him while you seem to be looking over your shoulder for upcoming and imaginary disaster all the time even when your team has its nose ahead.

Rahul, do us all a favour. Do yourself a favour and get out of this format. Some players are good for tests and some for short games. Please don't leave it for so long that the 'Wall's' fans remember not the gritty innings and the classic cover drives and picturesque flicks but the jaded and struggling slogger holding back tears in presentation ceremony after presentation ceremony while making piteous excuses.

Rahul, please step back graciously.



Tuesday, May 6, 2008

What Happens in Goa, Stays in Goa :) ...


So I just got back from a vacation in Goa on Sunday night. So why am I writing this on Tuesday? I got back from GOA! You've got to give me some time to recover!

So first things first, with the sun shining bright and that beautiful red coloured number signifying 1st of May approaching on the calendar we decided that it had been way too long since the last road trip (that would be Yercaud, when Snehashish got voted out on Roadies. [ Yes, we're still obsessed with Roadies. What a show! I tell you, what brilliant twists and turns. Did you see last Saturday's show, the one where Ankita won the bike? - well actually even I didn't see it on Saturday on account of being flat on my back trying to do a fully-clothed Vitruvian man on Arambol beach in Goa. But I fear I'm getting ahead of my story...])

So RB,PS and another chap called CI (alias Armani, Indo etc.) found themselves with me in RBs car hurtling on the road to Tumkur on Wednesday evening enroute to the land of sun, sand, cheap liquor and pretty foreigners.

After a stopover at a dinghy with a capital 'D' lodge at Tumkur we continued along the route through Shimoga, Honnaver, Karwar till we finally reached Goa. It was a good drive, nearly 700 km, which RB did in pretty good time. The only issue was that the nice rock anthems cd I had specifically bought for the trip was left behind in my car. So it was back to the same cds that we've been playing through most of my trips in RBs car.

For a change, in fact for the first time on any of our road trips, we had bookings in a resort there. It had a very inviting swimming pool and I decided to give up my aversion to water and enter in. Through cajoling and threats I finally managed to float for the first time in my life. And it was FUN!! We spent a long time in the pool getting rid of the fatigue of a long drive before we became our rakish selves to burn the dancefloors at the nightclubs.

Somehow this plan got shelved (work with me here please. Vast tracts of memory are just empty when I look back and try to recollect. But then again, this is Goa i'm talking about so its understandable) and we found ourselves sitting under the beautiful night sky in a beach shack on Baga beach. We tried some exotic foods but these were generally quite bad. Of course as Chet said - they just don't have food here like in his UK! Of course we made a lot of fun of this coming from someone who's stayed in UK for just 2 years. But he took it in good spirits - but come to think of it anyone buying and then actually wearing an electric blue hawaian shirt like he did would, by definition, have a high threshold for being the butt of jokes (snigger). To compensate for the food debacle we embarked with gusto upon the liquid nourishment available at the shack. Of course these canned elixirs are never bad and we chugged back a few just to get the foul food taste out of our mouths. And of course after that the momentum just built up!

When the sun streamed in through the window in our suite next morning we realised that the first evening in Goa was over. This was also the time when AB, old batchmate from DCE was arriving in Goa from Mumbai. We went to pick him up from the bus stop and it was really great to see him after so many years. Lemme see, i last bumped into him in NITIE when I was staying there for my summer internship project in 2004.

After that an extended pool session was followed by another long beach shack session though we went easy on the liquids. Came to the hotel and just crashed. AB wasn't feeling too well (He'd come all the way to Goa from Mumbai) and all of us just slept.

Saturday is a bit hazy :)

I know we went to Aguada Jail, Fort Aguada and ended up in Arambol beach which was touted to be the only white sand beach in all of Goa.I wouldn't call it white sand but atleast there were no throngs and throngs of people as in Calangute or Baga beach. A nice and enjoyable afternoon. The evening was a whole different ball game. This is where I ended up playing the clothed Vitruvian man that I referred to earlier. I'm not saying anything more here. For those who want details, call me and beg. Maybe I'll tell you all :)

Sunday was the long drive back with the only really notable thing happening that after struggling with a few CDs we finally managed to get a cd which had songs from Tashan which, for some inexplicable reason, I really REALLY wanted to listen to on the drive back. So I was happy :)

A good trip, and probably one of the last ones I go on with RB because he may be moving out of Bangalore soon :(

But maybe we'll go on more trips with our base being closer home. Not in the near future, but maybe in some time :). Hope floats!