When men taste power…

… that’s when they stop being men. 

Last couple of weeks I feel like I have been chained. Something which I consider my baby is being robbed of its identity by a few shitty 2 cents of men in the garb of regulations and order. 

I have no clue what to do. I don’t know how I can improve things. I don’t know how I can fight these maniacs whose life revolves around the little power that they have. 

Shit!

HONOR!!!

My eyes failed me for a second, I say
that my words have been referenced, i say
on a platform so illustrious,
that gods seem propesterous!

Never for a second I imagined that i would be one amomg the billions whose similar sentiment would be acknowledged by a bunch of extraordinaly SUPERIOR BEINGS.

HONOR, and that too when I live and breath in my shallow mediocrity that warrents no existence. An existence that is worthless due to the lack of any talent, originality or gift. Born not as a genuis, a crime that i will pay for all my life.

What a great day is today.

Pictures and Planning

Its a lazy day at work and I am dreaming from buying a bike to go hiking in Oregan. Or maybe Mt Rainer which is the 3-day camp for the 7-summits. Landed at Outside-away which has easily answered most of the questions I had about outdoors.

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Saw the above picture at some hiking page and then follwed to this – Beautiful. The above is Bolivia. Chk out Pic #16 in that collection.

I want to go to peru and in this life time do Kilimanjaro and Mt Kailash. These 3 destinations before 30?!?! Hmm…

I am in love… finally!

1yr and counting and I must say… I am falling in love California. Much to HER consternation I must add.

Its big, it’s got literally everything – food, terrain, the ocean, views and most importantly amazing people! Well, I just had to give some time I guess.

Only let down is the complete lack of friends here… it’s lonely most of the times so driving is the only real friend I seem to have made. But what an awesome place to drive… the road has never disappointed me here. Also, it’s darned expensive to make a life here but hopefully, someday, the rewards may be fitting.

My dad would love it here… only place in the US that I think he will be comfortable spending a little time… hopefully this happens soon!

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BTW, my idea of the state from the album above was so diff… the truth atleast in the bay is quite contrary! I was wrong, for the better for me! 🙂

And she replies…

To this, she replies:

Things guys should know about girls

  1.   Don’t ever lie to us; we always find out.
  2.  We don’t enjoy talking dirty to you as much as you enjoy listening.
  3.  Don’t say you understand when you don’t.
  4.  Girls are pretty, but yours is the Prettiest!
  5.  Saying something sweet might get you off the hook; doing something sweet will always get you off the hook.
  6.  If you talk about having a big Dick; we know you don’t.
  7.  Size does matter, but only to hoes; not girls that want relationships .
  8. We don’t like it when you act like Mr. Big.
  9.  No matter what you say, your ex-girlfriend is a hoe.
  10.  It’s good to be sensitive, sometimes.
  11. If you did something wrong or even if you didn’t, apologize.
  12.  We are self-conscious by nature; we can’t help it.
  13. We are DrAmA queens.
  14.  Don’t ask us to —– ; if you are nice you just might get it.
  15.  Hugs and kisses! must be given at all times.
  16.  We don’t shave our legs everyday so get over it.

Personal Touch here:

  1. Shave; no matter how cool you think your goatee or beard or mustache looks, we hate it.
  2. We are beautiful at all times.
  3. Most importantly: we are always right; so don’t forget it.
Aah, when will you see the light?

The Man’s Rules

Got this from Uday…

Now here are the rules from the male side.

These are our rules! Please note.. these are all numbered ‘1:’ ON PURPOSE!

1: Men are NOT mind readers.

1: Learn to work the toilet seat. You’re a big girl. If it’s up, put it down. We need it up, you need it down. You don’t hear us complaining about you leaving it down.

1: Sunday sports It’s like the full moon or the changing of the tides. Let it be.

1: Crying is blackmail.

1: Ask for what you want. Let us be clear on this one: Subtle hints do not work! Strong hints do not work! Obvious hints do not work! Just say it!

1: Yes and No are perfectly acceptable answers to almost every question.

1: Come to us with a problem only if you want help solving it. That’s what we do. Sympathy is what your girlfriends are for.

1: Anything we said 6 months ago is inadmissible in an argument. In fact, all comments become Null and void after 7 Days.

1: If you think you’re fat, you probably are. Don’t ask us.

1: If something we said can be interpreted two ways and one of the ways makes you sad or angry, we meant the other one

1: You can either ask us to do something Or tell us how you want it done. Not both. If you already know best how to do it, just do it yourself.

1: Whenever possible, Please say whatever you have to say during commercials..

1: Christopher Columbus did NOT need directions and neither do we.

1: ALL men see in only 16 colors, like Windows-97 default settings. Peach, for example, is a fruit, not a color. Pumpkin is also a fruit. We have no idea what mauve is.

1: If it itches, it will be scratched.. We do that.

1: If we ask what is wrong and you say ‘nothing,’ We will act like nothing’s wrong. We know you are lying, but it is just not worth the hassle. If you ask a question you don’t want an answer to, Expect an answer you don’t want to hear.

1: When we have to go somewhere, absolutely anything you wear is fine…Really.

1: Don’t ask us what we’re thinking about, unless you are prepared to discuss such topics as baseball or motor sports

1: You have enough clothes.

1: You have too many shoes.

1: I am in shape. Round IS a shape!

1: Thank you for reading this. Yes, I know, I have to sleep on the couch tonight; But did you know men really don’t mind that? It’s like camping.

2009!

sanfranciscofireworks

Go West to find happiness. Well, there is no more land to the west to go so as the last place in the world where it is the first day of the new year – Welcome 2009!

Just 3 things –

1. I want to be a better son, brother, uncle, friend, boy friend this year. Arghh I am a good guy, I just wish I could loose my attititude a little!

2. Be a little less fake.

3. Make more Money! actually, I want to make more money this year. Actually make a lot of money. It solves a lot of things actually…

I haven’t written an honest word in a long time… maybe write more honestly this year!

Cheers all!

Moral Absolutes for a Proportional Response…

WRITTEN ORIGINALLY FOR AND PUBLISHED AT PASSIONFORCINEMA.COM

Aaron Sorkin, disturbed over 9/11 wrote an episode at the start of the second season of West Wing called Isaac and Ishmael, which basically was a 101 on what terrorism is all about and how it came to permeate all through the free world. It was an instant critique of the thoughts as to the reason and rhyme that people in millions who watched in horror the events that shaped the world as we see it 7yrs. But before that matured writing, in season 1 came an episode called A Proportional Response where tempers running high after innocent lives were lost in the Middle East due to fidayeen attack, the American response was to blow the perpetrators “out of the face of the earth”. Or at least that was the initial thought process.

What has unfolded in Mumbai over the last 3 days is nothing short of War. 20 terrorists entering the country from abroad & paralyzing the entire nation cannot be described in any way short of calling it a full blown attack on the sovereignty of the people. And before we get into the oft apathy riddled pseudo high ground of being spirited in regaining the calm and bouncing back with passion into our daily life, before the op-ed’s hail the spirit of Mumbai and of the Indian’s, before the international community hails praise on the swift action to decode the elements responsible but do nothing with it, before the commentators reading this hail the below response and arcane and childish, I will try to play out a few scenes from West Wing and plead for a proportional response, and atleast with regards to now, consequences be dammed.

In a handful of scenes etched in mind through years of watching AV, one of the most thought provoking is when Martin Sheen as President Bartlett argues with General Fitzwallace, the fictional Joint Chief of US Armed Forces, about what constitutes a proportional response. When the chief lays down a plan to take out 2 under-construction building in a nuclear reactor in Syria and bridge in Gaza, to avenge the death of American Civilians, President Bartlett laughs them out of the room saying that the loss of life is minimal and it’s purely symbolic. Let’s contrast this with what India’s proportional response has been from Dec 2001 to Akshardham to Mumbai Train Blasts to Srinagar crisis to Bangalore blasts. A peace process, a hot line between under-secretaries, and international appeals with a list of 20 names that have been identified as high-value targets. This is not a proportional response, the same like what the joint chief proposed. In the intellectually overdosed cocktail served rooms of opinionists and strategic thinkers, a proportional response is coming out with high head in a conference and being lauded as the keepers of balance and peace so as to not derail the investments of short term by economic super-powers. Like in the West Wing, destroying buildings and bridges, hitting power plants and big industries means indirect contracts to the major oil, construction & security companies, for India it is primevally important a to be seen as a peace loving country with not even a shadow of vengefulness on its image.

The news has just come clean from the captured terrorist that the ops was planned in a neighboring nation, with the help of groups who openly and mockingly want us to see the reason, if we are not talking about carpet bombing, about cleansing a region that we know that is causing havoc, about showering the wrath of god’s force on elements that do not believe in humanity or the just world, then I don’t know what bigger motive we need anymore. The visuals being transmitted on the airways day in and day out speak of one story – a story that we have a nation have failed to stop the harboring of sympathetic feelings of a few of our own people to the ideologies of a few fanatics. But that leaves us no choices anymore to ignore what possible could have been a mistake that has ticked to being a time bomb.

Generalizing the middle class of India is easy. We are non-violent, oft principled who believe in punishing our brethren or the good boy to taming the bully or be opportunistic for benefit. In other words, we believe in Moral Absolutes when facing a lesser evil but chicken out when it comes to laying a siege for lives – even if it’s for the better.

The time now is to talk about healing, about calming the populace, about holding hands and remembering the brave and the dead and in praying for a just tomorrow. The time is now to make some sense of everything that is falling about. The time is now to talk about hope, hope for tomorrow to be better and bright. That hope we all will have to make it right and eliminate all hatred. But at this time lets not forget that all this is not going to be achieved by passive resistance. Yes, it worked of us 60yrs back, maybe we as a nation are failing to understand that the time and situation is different. Maybe the time has come for the disproportional response. Maybe the time is here and now to be stronger in our resolve and be ready to take a few more blows but weed out the menace once and for all.

Yes, this is rage. Yes, this is delusional and yes this is wishful thinking as it is so fanciful to be restrained and sound intelligent. But if this is not a call to action, then let us be ready to face these images and sounds over and over again.

Remember the drive

When I was still back in India, I remember a post by Partha in his now defunct blog where he talked about a drive he took down some winding roads along the mountains by the ocean or some such thing and I always felt once I would start working and have the weekends to kill, I would just DRIVE! Take the time to just go by myself through the winding road and mull on things which were important… or just dream about things that I cannot be.

One sad thing I have come to notice over the last one year is – I haven’t had a chance to do one single exhilarating drive in all this while out of school. When I had no money – all I did was drive on those beautiful New England roads and dreamt of all that I will be when I will be out of school. Now that I am here, the roads seem to have just disappeared.

So now that I want to change that going forward, I have another dilemma brewing… what should I drive in. You see, a Honda Accord is just not what I call – a pleasurable drive. Sure, it saves me a lot of money and allows me to carry a lot of groceries but on those specifically edgy Redwood Forest roads, I just feel like I am in an 18-wheel truck slugging along just trying to stay on the road.

To enjoy a drive, you need the machine… now that I have the insolence to consider the option of what to get to pamper myself, the toy, the splurge to satiate all those desires of breaking the speed barriers, I am oscillating between madness and sheer stupidity.

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A Bike! A chance to live the roadrash nightmares. The madness that it is! Let’s see… And just one more to add to that list some day – Sheer Stupidity maybe – THE M5.

 

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As Jermey puts it…

My best friend, loneliness.

I am alone.

I have been so for a long time of my life. I guess it’s a curse but if I had one faithful friend in the last 23yrs, it’s been loneliness. Be it self imposed or circumstantial, I am now in great awe of its resilience not to ditch me even in the best times of my life.

I have friends… always had. When in my own way I compare myself to loads of others, I can clearly see I have loads of close friends than most. I have carried great friends from School, Inter, Engg and a few that I picked up along the way… a whole lot of them for whom I am ever emotional, ever enthusiastic and ever-uber to please. I love them and I know they do to but one condition that is always been with them is they are never around me… always distant, always doing things that I don’t but never for once away from a phone call… never away from a decent drive.

In school, the best friends I have today were from a diff section. For some reason, a problem with me has been to make friends in a circle that I hang with all the time. They struck with me for 20yrs… a bond strong, both of them, always there… always watching out… but now continents and time zones apart!

Inter was where I probably studied the least yet made the maximum friends for life. We were six, a band with common hatred for authority and submission. We had a jest for movies and cricket and thanks to our combined lenient parents, had the opportunity to live two years in relative bliss. But the moment Engg started, 3 went away together to a different city and two joined a same kind of school. I was alone again…

Engg saw the most turbulent time in my life… I think I just refused to be sane for a long time. I just could not relate with a few and a few that I could truly relate to, may be did not with me. I was childish and stubborn but a few carried me through that phase. Now its continents again… aah, so much do I long for just spending time in silence, just to be back in the warmth of being with people who honestly don’t judge… For so much time I thought they truly did and such a fool I truly was…

And then friends picked at random at places. Org’s, festivals and clubs… just such wonderful, random people who are left with me today… but then with them came the burden of not being geographically close too… its such a pain!

On days of total melancholy in the time in US, when I am so utterly lonely crying out to be with friends and just discovering that I have none at hand and the few acquaintances that I do at every place that I am no longer want to have anything to do with me is a blow that is leaving deep scars as the time is going by. I guess I am at fault and its time I realize so…

The world runs by sweetness, by confirming to accepting what’s popular, not what is smart… to act by possessing degrading humor and flashiness… by sticking to a group with a combined voice and no opinion … they are right, I am wrong… I have failed, I concede.

Being a failure is not so bad for me… but being unwanted, not being cared… not to have someone who cares hurts…

I have done nothing wrong. I have never harmed… I never stole something that is not right fully mine or have ever been selfish… have gone out of the way to look out…

My biggest mistake is to not be sweet about it or flatter others with sugary words… I just am not like that…and it’s a price that I will pay for all my life…

And I have nothing to write about:

Every day morning I have a train journey that spans the better part of hour and on most days, I open up the white word document and just stare at it to only realize, I have nothing to write or do anything to fill it. For a long while I have not been able to finish a paragraph with out wiping all the gibberish for the sole reason that I have nothing to say.

The life is not monotonous anymore. And all the crib about life being all about work and nothing else strangely does not come into mind. The reasons could be far from few ranging from the challenges that work has to offer to the strange feeling of content that stems from realizing your potential. And the monetary benefits don’t hurt either.

There is so much to do. PFC has reached a stage of being a platform that is more unique than anything that Indian Cinema has. The number of possibilities of its diversion into areas far beyond where we started out is overwhelming. The day to day stuff on the site is asking so much and so little am I devoting to it. Then there is actual writing that has never taken off. Couple this with the fact that the avenues that actually interest me have grown substantially to include activities that are far beyond what I ever imagined.

The bay area is uniquely sad for me though I have a feeling that I may be here for a long time or more frighteningly, I may ultimately settle here. Its vast Desi population has its own unique flavor for someone who can’t stand it or can’t stop appreciating about it. Its unique to the point that there is hardly a beat skipped in this area to the roots that you are so accustomed to that the gloom that transcends with it is creepy.

From the start this place let me down. All the hype about this being a city of varied tastes and influences just did not rub on me. NYC for me is much more international and it for one saves everything that is good about America. The food, the transportation, the housing, the people and most importantly the attitude that permeates your life everyday is strangely chilling and the laid back attitude at best is frustrating. And my judgment is based on living in Fremont and not in the city itself which is another bane…

Maybe it is or may be it is not, I am yet to meet a single interesting person outside work in this coast and that for me a barometer of the place so, and maybe I will have a better time ahead. BTW, the drive in the city is fascinating… nothing like I have ever experienced before so on that front, I am glad I have lived here for a bit.

And it never ends…

I walked into the admissions dept the other day and the chick that I thought was cute was there… ready to be pounced on. In the last 7yrs I have been goddamn lucky, have hardly tried and for all I know, never really fell.

I did what i do best… Opened up…

One advantage of having professors as parents is you learn the ropes of public speaking pretty soon… actually, its in blood. Opening up a chick is like eating cake… just swoop it up and lick it off… cheesy? Now I don’t care… I really don’t. The std lines are pretty moronic and I really don’t want to fake and do the routines anymore no matter what comes in front of me. But the moment I am in the situation, the natural ability comes to fore… fuck the resolutions… I become someone else…

The conversation ensued with the usual doses of selective intellect peppered all over… the cliche’s, the self deprecation, the over used intellect combo with retarded kinda attitude… you should see man, after all these yrs… it works, like a charm.

Quickly the leaning posture was evident… she was all into me and I was feeling like shit!

The question that was the clincher for me came through… ” U read a lot?”. The usual play down later… so u write too??? with the eyes all gogging out…

Man… it is amazing how screwed up I can get just for a few mins of fun…

The Game is cruel… the game is addictive but it becomes your skin… u just can’t stop!

Fuck!

Casino Winnings and a speeding ticket.

Somenights!

First time ever I made some dough in a casino playing poker and that is the day god choose to slap me with a speeding ticket. And that too, I wasn’t driving my darling of a car!

Poker is addictive I must add and a statuary warning to all who find it fascinating – STAY AWAY!

$250 fine for speeding when at 3am in the morning, even the most conservative if the drivers drive no less than 80. And I was freaking driving at 80! Like back home, I will take it as a lesson for all those days of 100+ driving.

So long for now… wait up for some jhakaas news!

Dec 14th blues

Thats the day…

I shall finish another chapter in my journey as a student so far…

I may or may not return to school again though the former may indeed happen…

Pack my bags, stuff as much as i can in my poor hatchback and I am going to drive… West, South i donno as yet… but drive I shall…

I will leave a home behind. A home that I made here. Made it despite the fact that i could ever make one…

Amazing ride this has been., the last yr and 2 months… very expensive, very primitive yet very emotional. I got wings yay was the cry… i flew by myself and the pride never hurts…

Dec 14th…

Confused

As the days keep going on, I am amazed at how less I actually know, take seriously or am dead sure of. Justifications about works, interests, passions and life in general are becoming more fact less and torpid as the days go on… “there is just no point” shouts my inside, and I have no clue why.

Have been vegetating for a while now. The levels of domestication have heightened and for some strange reason I am feeling so much at home doing what I am. Writing this is a time off from the monotonous rigors of conformist life that I have adopted for a while now.

Had a reason to smile today and after a long time was beaten at my own game… and I thought there was just one other person who would normally do that to me and still not make me look like a fool…

Planning to move to my own virtual space with a new look and all, or maybe just new space with the old look… Hopefully the move will make to write more often because of the newness or something…

Blasts happened a day back and I really did let off some steam on some old friends who grew up in the same places… but anger is just not sustained, I guess I am/ we are more or less have accepted people dying a part of the routine and are just moving on…

A while back I read this phrase of regional becoming important… just somehow after the blasts in a totally different context, the phrase became more meaningful…

Will write… more… soon…

Westover Test

Almost settled into my new job. Being an IT guy (pseudo I say)all my life, consulting for other industries is refreshing. The amount you have to assimilate about an industry to even think about putting down numbers or making a plan is tremendrous, but know I know whey IT companies hire any engineer or a techie job. What we learn in school is crap… HR was correct, slash the curves with the lines. Go straight.

My job gives me the freedom to travel. This is the end of my second week and have traveled almost the entire New England region, going to places that I never imagined I would. New England is beautiful, Massachusetts and Maine are breath-taking and upstate NY is rich and lush. Getting off freeways to drive on the country roads can be a pain sometimes but country-roads is where the magnificence of this country lies. And GPS, Google maps and GE are designed to hide a lot more than show everything!

Have been slacking on writing these days. Haven’t written what I promised to PFC gang for a week now. The words are just not falling into place.

First day on the sets of Deepti’s new movie tomorrow in Queens. My first ever role and sketch!!! hahaha…

Lost in Kind

I live with Indians. Goto school but now i hardly have classes and the professor I work for is a Chinese so there is no contact there. My car has the same hindi/telugu or the same english rock/pop music that I had back home, I fill gas at unearthly hours so there is no contact.

I shop at nights and prefer drive thru’s for my coffee. The only starbucks I like is deserted 90% of the time. I go to Indian Restaurants because of convenience and Mexican is the maximum I can have thanks to my veggie preferences.

My office is a wonderful place cos I have a world to myself and my interaction with my colleagues is on need-to-need basis. At the site I meet a lot of engineers who finally are American and that’s probably the only place where I meet them.

What I am talking about is sometimes I feel I am not at all in a different country. I am surrounded so much by everything Indian that I have to remind myself that I am in a foreign land.

This happens a lot. After driving for 2hrs listening to telugu music, I get transported to the other world. At a stop sign I finally get a glimpse of another soul and that’s when it hits me… the person in the other car has no clue of the music that’s coming from my side. Its weird.

My boss and I speak a lot about this and I feel the only way out is to totally loose the whole Indian thing, for a while atleast. How else will I learn or experience the ideology here… I can’t afford it yet, but someday… unlearn and relearn all this that this country is made of. Capitalism, Football and Capitalism.

I, MBA from Amrika mama…

There is absolutely no co-relation of certain elements in the world that you feel is a must to make certain things happen.

An example is pursuing higher education in a foreign land. I always felt that there is a certain quality that is a must to be able to face the challenges offered in a distant land, and to be able to cope up with the rigors of a curriculum that is deemed challenging.

But after 9 months and countless encounters with people who constantly amaze me, i have come to the realization that all it takes is a line in the hand, certain planetary positions, a few well placed amulets on certain body parts and some monetary offering to a few desired idols and behold… u shall attain all that you want.

It is the truth.

at least you have some love…

…said my room mate when I was in one of those moods of cursing the whole world of robbing me of everything. “Some Love” he stressed, considering the fact that our lives are all about meager living and making the most of what we have.

Is physical gratification really love? Is it so difficult to draw a line and say that I need LOVE – purest, complete with tears and sacrifice. Can’t love just be selfish but filled with genuine care and concern of the other person?

In my life I have been blessed with a lot of love, friends and girl friends alike. There have been relationships that had no names, no rules and no method of classification but to say – because of the comfort level – as friends. Is it wrong?

Life and times are different at different times. Morality changes its definition… cause and effect combine with reason and motives to transform into a situation wholly new – some personal which are beyond conceivable imagination… does it matter?

wat

I look left and I look right but I just am not looking inside. There is too much inside, too much that is constipated which just is not coming out. And the worst is I have no clue as to how to let it all go…

Should I take a break? Should I go home? Should I have another relationship that I know will fall flat in a couple of months or just go with the flow and take what comes?

Career, parents and passion – I just want to stop balancing all of them…

Coffee and Capuccino

 

Apparently you can order a coffee with extra cream and sugar which is to say that it is a little more indiaized way but you can’t say the same to a cappuccino because there is already skimmed cream and the cream is sweet in any of the Dunkin Donuts!!!

I mean is it crazy or what. Firstly, there is DD in almost all the places that I go which leaves me to drive an extra mile to get to a Starbucks. So when I am desperate for coffee, DD can’t make a strong brewed coffee cos coffee for them is either black or plain milk which sucks.

I mean, can’t i get a strong coffee with that distinct DD flavor with a little more/less cream depending on whether it is a coffee or a cappuccino, just the way I like it.

Man, 6-7 hr drives are tiresome – I need at least good coffee!

Update…

And the caravan of life moves on…

Quite a few changes, some for the best, some very expensive but welcome changes. I have stopped slogging in the last couple of weeks and have discovered the how fun American grad life can get.

Surprisingly I don’t seem to think back nor mull over things. Made new friends, something that I should have done a long time back but the imputes was never there… now it’s the time and it’s a whole new world out there. At least a few old friends are happy…

Newer challenges are coming up, a change to a new place is on cards… don’t want to move so soon…

Never thought I for one could leave all the baggage that I carry and move on so quickly… so a lot of changes for me…

Thanks!

In the abyss I look, I see a picture of myself,

Torn in the past, all stitched up now,

Wounds are healing, slow and all,

But good times are what I fear,

Will they last? Will they all be real?

I am plain happy now, on the edge at times,

But thanks for what is all that I have now,

Please it last for a while, I have never been used it before,

And I ll offer a prayer and say thanks.

Redemption Time!

When I gave my first driver’s license exam in India, I flunked. I flunked in the written exam itself.

The second time, I failed in the driving test. I drove all my friends for the test as most of them never drove on main roads. All of them passed, I flunked. The reason that was given to me was that I, a youngster, am very arrogant and that I would have been driving for a long time illegally and that I would have caused a lot of pain to other motorists, so the RTA officer wanted to teach me a lesson and failed me so that in the future I would obey the law.

9/10 ppl in India get their license just by appearing for the test even if they have had no experience of starting a vehicle let alone drive it. I believe the officers in command like sub-serviant faces who believe that you have to pay respects to all who give you suggestions as to what makes a good driver and what you must and must not do but the actual skill is just not the criteria.

What mattered back home was how you took everyone along, drive to their satisfaction and live upto each individual’s concept of what actual driving on road was. Should not brake hard, never let go of the clutch, don’t skid, blah blah blah… It really used to piss me of that everyone who had never driven on a straight line was an expert and that I was arrogant.

But I guess redemption does happen and how… I passed the test fair and square here on the first attempt when 9/10 desi’s fail it completely. For the first time I was asked questions in the test which made sense and could only be answered if you know how to drive and drive logically without any “influence”. After the test I know why ppl flunck it here, there is know way to by-heart those answers…

The driving test was even better. For the first time there is a complete stranger who has about 50yrs of driving experience asking you logical questions as to how to take a turn and when to brake and stuff… and he gives you a full score. I don’t remember when was the last time I scored full marks but this will go down as the best test I have give for a long time…

Is logical stuff like this why absolute failures like me in India have a chance to prove themselves again here… or is it just that the way of like here is more of show me than tell me.

Driving is one thing that I am really passionate about even though all the people whom I have ever met never EVER appreciate me for it. I am too arrogant for them or its just that my face is too screwed up for most to picture me as a driver.

Bu for now I want to bask in the glory of a DL that was given based on no shit. Yes everyone has it and its no big deal but for someone like me who has been criticized from day 1 of my taking a wheel, from the time I landed in the US where none of my friends believed that driving on the right side needed no extra skill but common sense or being impolite or rubbishing other’s fears on coming with me cos of me not saying yes to all the chatter about skill involved from ppl who have never ever driven a motor-vehicle, it is really a way to say – shut up and let me drive!

First Snowfall…

The times finally here for the first snowfall of this winter. The weather outside is below zero and all the first timers are eagerly waiting for the fall to begin. None of the first timers are sleeping tonight and the mood here is really electric.

I wish sometimes I were a poet or a genius with words who can pen down how a heart fells when waiting for something so beautiful.

I still remember the MasterCard ad where two Africans in their forties run out of the hotel at the sight of the first snow to play like kids… I could be doing that but right now I just want it to come down….

Thank god for a few things that are still new… haven’t waited for anything so desperately for a while now….

Scribbles

5:30 pm, Monday Evening.

Life’s piling up on me. Have 3 exams in as many days. I need GPA to get internships. Americans are good guys, they trust and we fuck up. I want to score now. I want to earn well and stop looking at old pics of my friends and say this guy works there, she is studying here.

The last few weeks have just breezed past. My girl friends pissed with me cos I don’t call her regularly. She’s been there every time I needed her and even now she’s going out of her way to see that she does stuff that brings us closer. All of my friends had a get-together in bangalore last weekend and she made it there and I being a jerk never got around calling her. She’s pissed and there’s nothing that I can do to make things better.

Work’s piling up too. Amazing things are happening all around and I being a silent spectator. PFC is growing amazingly. Anurag’s writing on Satya is like a dream come true. Oz want’s me to get Shekar for PFC and I am failing time and again. I need to get Shekar, he’s belongs on PFC. Also another friend has his script done and I need to get his thing going too. All I need to do is just be a little less lazy and be focused. Not get carried away by American distractions or run after dirt cheap deals.

I need to write too. I had promised myself every week that I ll have my first article on pfc up by the end of week but I haven’t as of now. Writer’s bloc… it’s a joke. I am no writer. Writer’s need discipline. I have none. National Highways are where my mind is set now… passion for speed is consuming me more.

Oz told me that all the guys there are chucking work or working barely to write regularly or improve pfc. I am just giving excuses. I have 3 or 4 hrs that I while away everyday, I can put it to use. Fuck, the above piece took me I hour to write. Gappe maring with who ever walks in. 6:30pm already.

Netflix’s account has been dormant for a while. Haven’t returned a DVD in a while. I haven’t watched a complete movie in a while but I have had the time to see Casino Royale, Umrao Jan and Ssaw 3 in a theatre. Shit movies… and I talked all the while in departed. Missed the good parts in it… never did that before in a good movie…

Balanacing things in life should be easy. A friend gave a lecture y’day as to how I just have 3 things to do here – Study, Work to Live and Be in touch back home. I ll add one more, some passion to do what I need to. It should be easy…

If this is grad life…

Open my eyes stunned that its 6am already. Look out of the window – another horrible cold and damp day.

Shower, Piss, Brush and whatever else simultaneously… heat up the coffee in the mean time but u know it sucks… $1.99 Coffee is what u need to wake u up.

Hit the lab after 15mins of walk. I like to walk, I am alone then… I sing out loud.

Work on the deadline that’s at 12am. Its 7:30am then and curse every RA/TA/GA out there who sends out these assignments at jet speed to make up for what ever he/she went through in their initial sems.

CTRL+C, CTRL+V Rules! I am good at this art….

Hit the class, finish up assignments, studying done – hit the pool. The old man in the lane next to me does 50laps and I tire out after a couple. He smiles at me, utters a word of encouragement and gives up. He knows I am there cos I want to relax, not tire myself out.

I love the coffee that I have at this time. Its black, its strong and the punk girl who serves it up at our “twisted café” never rolls her eyes when I say – large, black, hot and straight up.

Class at 1pm. Snore time now, esp. because of the dimmed out lights. Laptops are fun in class. A Chinese girl watches her anime’s when the lecture is on. Never knew anime’s are so cool.

Hit cafeteria at 2:30pm. I am still surprised that inspite of such a strong desi presence, there are a very few cafeteria desi regulars. Cheese Pizza and Extra Large latte now… am bored of that shit.

Study time, try to finish the assignment due for 12am in the night. Allrite, its just one a day, so if there’s a deadline in the afternoon then there is none in the night.

5pm – Job Starts. Slog. This is the best time I have. My work to earn my living makes me feel like I am absolutely a zilch and that I have to work from the lowest ebb of this world.

Work usually ends at 2 or 3am. Get home. Netflix is a grt thing in America. Watch a movie that all my flat mates curse and hit the sack at 4am.

Days on which I am off is even more tedious. Laundry, Ironing, Sleep to cover for the whole week, study a bit longer and yes- have a little fun. And when I squeeze in all these into a single day, the intervening night was just never there…

If this is grad life… then it ‘s certainly something that I needed!

Insecurities – part one

Cosmetic problems, that’s what I have all the time. For me its always peripheral image that counts a lot and that has been my undoing. Taking a walk here in the evenings along the coast with cold wind on your face and nothing but an mp3 player for company you think all these idiotic perceptions is all but screwed up thinking.

Your ways of life at all cross-roads is just false. You are just there, you really haven’t gone anywhere, it’s just that the perceptions of a cumulated time make the atmosphere either all gloomy or all rosy. For me, it’s gloomy all the time.

Maturity is not all about experience or being infinitely intelligent or knowledgeable. I believe it’s the ability to be discerning about the choices that are before you. And always there are multiple choices. I love to speak back, do the foolish and be a loner. Some play safe and get everything they want but both are right ain’t we.

I justify a lot, a friend told me several times. I justify for the world but I am sure that I doing the wrong and insane but I still do it.

I have made a zillion mistakes, bluffed all the time and cheated all the time but is it all ok when you look at the big picture that I have still retained my sanity.

The people I grew up are all very successful now, now a days they speak a language that I don’t understand and I know I am not a part of the common strand of understanding that is present among all of them. So do I still love the way I am alive…

911 Response

Had my first 911 experience today. Was riding on the bus when a lady in just collapsed after a seizure. I did not understand for a while why no one in bus moved but then we got a bunch of keys to her. Then I called 911 and boy was I impressed.

Exactly abt 90secs later there were sirens all around and the first bunch of fire crew landed. I din’t get it for a second when everyone started applauding when they got onto the bus but I was told that after 9/11 this is a norm.

A few seconds after that there were ambulances, police cars all around and the lady was in the hospital within 5mins… that really was some response. Couldn’t help but wonder how it would be if it was the same back home!!!

Rant : Time

Life in America is all about time. You can probably buy everything with money and have everything in life, but one thing that you can never ever have enough of is time.
Day in day out, the pace of life is the only thing that you need to get adjusted to. People out here have absolutely no time and the chaos that’s around you when you don’t have time to perform basic biological actions for a second time in a day, that’s whn you know you are absolutely out of time.

Happy Independence Day

Its been 10days here in US now and it seems a long time already. Independence day today and the motions of watching of patriotic video’s on Youtube and google are in full flow.

Missing INDIA already and for all the glamour and convenience here there is no place like home.

Haven’t heard so much telugu music in all my life as I have in the last 10days and haven’t appreciated what I had back home as much as I am now.

Its a wonderful country, this America but for all it has and all it stands there is a certain sadness that I feel for this place. Some people are very happy & rich, most are poor and don’t give a shit but something that I understand of this place is that it is a self-destructing country. More on why I feel so later but for now, am taking in the sounds and sights of this place and enjoying every bit of it.

Finally, Starbucks, McDonald’s, Dunkin Donuts, the malls, 50-cent is original 50 Cent band in flesh n so on… all done and over with. Movie halls are small but empty, women are hot especially the latin chicas and the cars are all I ever wanted to see… but they are all wasted now…

Slogging abt 8-9hrs everyday to save up for the next sem fees and in the process of looking out for a car soon… def need one here and am feeling chained without one…

Will post soon abt more in US but for now… In America!

And another rant…

In the whole process of shopping for the impending journey abroad, I went to this new Tommy Hilfiger Showroom that opened in uptown Hyd where I spent about 10mins waiting for a friend to join me. Right opposite the store there is a Eye Hospital that also caters to economically challenged people as it performs a quota of free cataract operations everyday free of cost.

This hospital is popular all over the state and many an old couple come down here with meager savings to regain their sight and most of the times end up staying for a day or to more than they can afford due to the heavy rush at the hospital. One such couple, tired and dusty was standing right beside the store’s parking lot begging for some money so that they could buy tickets to go back to the village they came from. Now Tommy being this ultra expensive place attracts some really affluent people but it was surprising to see the kind of people who were helping them out. Most of the junta helping the couple were not these fat asses getting down from swanky cars but the middle-class and lower middle-class pedestrians who were on the street.

It is when I see such things that my resolve in the concept of democracy or socialism wanes and the communist agenda that I so don’t believe in comes to the core. There is a definite gloom when you see such incidents and then once preoccupied in our own lives, the whole resolve to fight the system goes out of the window but the question keeps dangling before my eyes time and again, truly is there no hope?

We pride ourselves in being the greatest democracy in the world but in the end all we are is just a Republic. We ain’t got no right to take decisions here. We only have the power of the vote to choose the people who will take decisions on our part. So how is democracy in place at all?

There was this phase in my life a couple of years back after getting all hyper after reading some remarkable stuff on Communist Manifesto and how logical it all sounds but in the end, if practiced in today’s economic scenario is India, I doubt it will do any good than the current system in place.

Can we ever come up with a model of governance where the poor find it a little easier to survive without learning or mastering rocket-science? After all the advancement and the talk of India being the next super-power, can infrastructure for the common man be made that much more convenient so that it solves these burdensome problems. Again my frustration lies in the fact that the powers to be know all about the problems and must be having solutions in sight but the implementation, well, that’s the sorry part thanks to the zillion way’s in which we try to divide ourselves.

To the old couple, all I could do was giving them a few pennies. Did they get to their village; I don’t know and at some level even if I would know, I couldn’t care less. Have too much of my own stuff to deal with right now. But shouldn’t there be somebody who should be caring about stuff like this… or is it that all of us are too engrossed in our own lives to care a shit abt some destitute problems?

Gupchup Update

Last couple of days have been hectic and interesting on all fronts.

Did my first official photo shoot with a couple of hot babes for a local newspaper! Don’t know how they will come out and whether or not they will ever get published, but it was an interesting experience. Now I know why all those models get paid so much.

Finally I managed to make up my mind on the Blank Noise Project and have decided not to take it up. The cause is too vague and there is no real result that the group can achieve.

I have taken this up with the founder of the group but I guess I am not intelligent enough to understand the reason why the project is being taken up. It’s only for those highly gifted individuals who see a greater cause in this. I will try to put up more on this in another post.

Hyderabad Community Service may kick start its next project within a fortnight so I am looking forward to it. This time HCS is in for a long haul so will have to see how much we can do.

In the process of writing something on Fanaa but even after a couple of drafts I am not satisfied with the profanities that I want to use to trash it. It should be up by the end of the day at max.

Have tickets for “Da Vinci Code” for the night show tomm but according to a friend of mine at the Times, the movie has been banned in Hyderabad. Just don’t get the logic here when it has been released in the whole of the Christian world. Already the movie has been delayed for two weeks in India because the local producers wanted a Telugu version to be released simultaneously along with the English one. Crazy Shit.

Markets down the whole week and will fall to lower levels. Nothing we can do abt it. Directives are in to sell, sell and sell so that what we will.

Finally, exactly 2 month’s to fly…

Ha Ha Ha

Something that made me laugh out loud. Excerpt from Rediff:

“The other voice, of the pro-quota protestors, is hardly heard at AIIMS.

When a security officer was asked at the entrance, he said, “Pro-quota medical students and teachers come every afternoon. They shout slogans for an hour and then run away. Woh bichaare sharmaate hain. Log dekhne aate hain to dar ke bhag jaate hain.” (The poor chaps are shy. When people come to look at them, they get scared and run).”

Reality, Bites!

PM: Quota issue is CLOSED. People: No, its NOT


That’s what we have to say. The quota issue is not closed as long as justice is not served to the rightful. And in this case it’s the real people who – are loosing out big time – are RIGHT.

I have immense respect for our honorable Prime Minister and I will listen to everything that he will say on this subject because he himself has been an academician for a long time and I believe no one will understand the pain of students more than a professor. But sir, this is unacceptable. Your formula of increasing the seats is in no way going to have an impact of the true hardworking student.


You have only increased the scope of the problem and have in no way tried to solve it. The present trend of leaving the reserved seats empty will continue in premier institutions as long as there is no viable solution or formula implemented where the economically backward do get an admission to such institutions of high caliber and also provide them with financial assistance to afford whatever expenses are incurred.

 

At present we, as a part of Hyderabad Community Service, are working with a group of 100 young girls who are bright and who have been rescued from child labor. There are amazing at studies and if given an opportunity and assistance want to become doctors and engineers. Give them reservation. Give them place in government institutions.

Don’t test their knowledge through problems from Resnick & Haliday, give them a chance through the testing that you believe is right for a student who has studied in the circumstances that they have, and test them on the info that they have access to, and then show me if you face a protest.

Taking this issue in a different light – Is there a much deeper essence to this protest being allowed to drag on from so many days apart from what meets the eye. The possibilities can be many. Is the direction in which the public is taking an active part pre-emptive of things to come in the future?

For the first time in my life (I was still a small kid during the Mandal movement), I have seen democracy live and Kicking. Elections were but a routine, but these protests have sparked of a debate that is making an impact which if not killed due to intimidation and brutal force, this might be the single biggest achievement of a collective India in all its modern history.

If not for its policy or reforms, thanks to this one issue, the PM Manmohan Singh’s government has been successful in raising the level of public debate in this country to such a decibel that from now on, it will be difficult for any unpopular decision of the government, to go by the people without a clear mandate. Hats-off guys, you have just succeeded in waking up a dormant force – the force of public demonstrations against biased policy decisions.

But, the issue apart, it’s amazing to see the support these guys are getting right from their faculty to corporate houses. Apparently they now have a war-chest that can sustain this agitation for some time to come. Again, this is an indication that a true cause will never die because of trivial requirements.

The day the parties died…

A couple of days back a friend from my Engg days was compelled to invite me to his birthday bash at swanky pub in town – compelled because if it were not for a mutual friend of ours, I would have given it a miss and he wouldn’t have cared a shit. So after a particularly pleasurable session at a quiet diner, Atlantean & I made our way to Bottles & Chimney (B&C), the pub in discussion.

B&C started way back in 2001, the same yr I joined my Engg and rose to prominence through a particularly dark incident involving a group of underaged boys & girls who ran up a bill of ten grand that was prominently taken up by the pseudo liberal activists of the city. Nevertheless, this place always managed to get the best looking and the least dressed babes in town out for a wild night and for a while during my college days, this place was a regular destination.

Finally, after I discovered the joys of Coffee and soft music, I kind of lost touch with places like B&C even though I still go there in the afternoons for a quite brunch with old friends. But what I failed to realize is that the nights in Hyderabad have changed dramatically and for a while that night, I felt like a villager coming to grips with a fast paced city.

The first thing I felt when I got a full view of the crowd there was that Gandhiji would have felt proud seeing so many women following in his footsteps of renouncing any extra clothing that covered anything but the barest of essentials. Now, I am used to such environments but that night was something else. And walking in as a stag rendered me even more foolish, as I was probably among a handful to have done so.

The birthday boy as usual was in his elements and his latest female companion’s gross weight was less than her makeup but then after 4 long yrs, I am used to his surprises. But what struck me the most were the people who were at the party.

Hyderabad is usually known for its laid back attitude and takes a lot of pride in its heritage and culture. The city as such is conservative with only a minority of the affluent indulging in compromising activities at public places. Of course everything goes on but it’s mostly hushed and is behind closed doors. But the situation seems to have changed drastically in the last 6months that I have been out of sync with the night life here.

People of all age groups were putting on quite a show to be THE HAPPENEING CROWD and get a picture taken to feature in the next edition on P3. There were cautious glances being cast all around and each one was totally disinterested in the partner at hand. Everyone looked as if they were searching for someone; everyone appeared to be having the same thought in their mind as to whether they were jellying well with the crowd. The act being put up was quite unconvincing as none of the faces conveyed the gay abandon that they portrayed to be feeling. And watching it all from a remote corner was an interesting experience.

Usually I am with a pack that do know how to party and I have been through some really wild nights but this day, thanks to the long day at work and a pleasant evening spent through catching up of old times with a dear friend, the mood to be a part of the brash crowd never materialized. Also the lack of any meaningful women made it all the more boring but I was really jolted by the culture shock. It was like entering a place that was so artificial and manufactured that at some point when a guy made insane gestures in his bewilderment at the knowledge that I was downing a shot of ‘Jack’ – which is apparently the American phrase for an old English drink – I just had to escape from that dungeon.

I don’t know whether it’s me who’s changed or whether I have been overtaken by the changing times but I guess I no longer can do what all those guys were claming to be doing. My host actually referred that this watering hole was his weekly getaway and that Thursday nights were his particular favorites. Now the advent and shady changes that BPO has inflicted on Hyderabad can be discussed in a later post but I believe I can never blow up two grand every week just to be a part of the happening crowd even if it were my money and even though I can afford it.

Personally I have nothing against those men and women who frequent such places but I now I fail to see the point in such melees. There was a time not long ago when I used to crave for such nights on town and used to love the attention and the glitz of night clubs but after the last party I finally believe I have moved on.

Another friend referred that I would be in a place soon where such parties are regular and that I would frequent quite a few and he dismissed my claim that that I would no longer have an interest in such get together’s. Probably true, but I guess most will be to get over the inquisitive phase of a new culture than actually to enjoy and to be a part of them. But in Hyderabad, again, nahh…

Rs.7. 2 Idlis and Sambar

When I was a kid I would always pester my dad to buy me a Masala Dosa instead of Idlis which were the most easily available, hygienic and easily digestible food around. And he, the loving father that he is would always warn me against the effects of oily food on my digestive system and my overall health.

It was not my character pay heed to anything that was told so I continued with my affair for roasted, oily, spicy food until I thought a day that would come when I could not take it anymore.

And the day is here. I am no longer able to eat anything that has oil in it. Not able to digest stuff which is roasted and am not able to carry of a weekend brunch without antacids.

Right now, thanks to our magnanimous management, I get access to the best of the Indian breakfast delicacies and the awesome cuisines for lunch. And that too, subsidized! Also some of my colleagues here have amazing appetites and really love a good meal. But I guess all those days of favoring Masala Dosas and ignoring Idlis have caught up with me.

I believe that idly has decided to come back at me with a vengeance. I guess all those days that it got relegated to the back of the preference pack; it was waiting patiently to see how long I could hold out without finally embracing it with humility. I also believe that idly was plotting this for a while now and finally when I indeed have access to the best of stuff and with pennies in pocket that I can pay by my own; it’s coming out with the final assault.

Recently during a weekend with some pretty hectic activity, I was treated at some of the better joints in town with really teasing appetizers. When it was my turn to pronounce an exotic sounding delicacy, and to my horror, all I could think was those 2 pieces of bland Idlies with a healthy dose of sambar. A few raised eyebrows and looks of consternation later I managed to change it to some decent sounding non-oily stuff but the thought working with a screwed up stomach through the weekend left me a really bitter taste.

So I have finally renounced any thing and everything that oily and will stick for a while with my new white friends to make up for all the time and in the process court them to help me give back my appetite for real Indian food for at least a while before I am rendered inaccessible to all the amazing delicacies that Indian Cuisine offers.