Category Archives: Living it out

What you see is what you get.

Why?

Social Issues are something that trouble most of us. We read about so many things that happen almost every other day around us. How many of us are actually in a place where we can do something about it? Not many, right? This was troubling me from the last few weeks but unable to do anything about it since the ‘society’ doesn’t allow us to voice our concerns. So, we write about it. At least, in this way, it will reach the ears of someone, and maybe someone will do something about it.

There is a boy who is living opposite my house and he’s just three or four years old. He’s mischievous just like most boys his age. Well, his misfortune is that there’s nothing he can do about it. So, his parents’, knowing fully well that corporal punishment may affect the child; instead opt for a time out. Now, most of us may not know what a time out is. It is a discipline method for setting boundaries to your child. Read more about time outs and other effective methods here.

Getting back to the little boy; his parents’ definition of a time out is putting him out in the balcony for hours together. The little child’s cries of plea fall to deaf ears as the parents’ believe this is the most effective form of punishment for this child. Little do they know that the cries of this child pierces through the entire building and the neighbors wonder, what kind of cruel punishment is being meted out for this poor soul. This is done a few times in the day by the way and sometimes even at night.

Our calls to the watchman and the parent’s themselves are of no use as the parents’ are least bothered about the effect it is having on the child. This kind of behavior from the parents’ would only make the child more aggressive growing up. Looking at this horrifying spectacle does break my heart at times. Though being the terror of my family, my parents’ never took it upon themselves to hand out such punishments for my naughtiness. They would tell me what is right and wrong and whenever I fell into a pit, I would remember their words.

Unfortunately, our society is such that if we call or complain to the police, the whole neighborhood would be upon us in an instant stating that this is a matter of the house and that we should not interfere in other people’s matter. More so is the worry that should we say something openly, a ritual may be performed on us for bad luck. I don’t believe that such things exist, but my mother does and so, I can only write about it. Hopefully, I won’t have to hide this for long because somebody will step up and say that ‘enough is enough’.

For more articles on Social Issues, do check out the articles written by fellow bloggers Anupam Patra and Nabanita Dhar.

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Bring back the Rock!

When I was growing up, I was lucky to be inducted into a proper school of learning in Music. My dad would often say, ‘It’s just not enough to have book knowledge, but you must have a whole round development as well’. That being said, my training started with rummaging through some of the old cassettes that dad kept of Bee Gees, Led Zeppelin, Eagles, Deep Purple and the like. I used to listen to the tapes, try to learn the music and understand the meaning of the lyrics.

Pretty soon, I was quite confident about my knowledge in a few bands and I decided to broaden my horizon by going a little deeper into the 60’s, the era of Beatles. Although, I must admit that rock music has always been my passion from the beginning, my dad taught me to never disregard other forms of music just because they don’t cater to your taste. You must feel the music and understand what it’s telling you rather than say ‘Oh whatever’!

Here’s a small collection of my favorite mixture of rock anthems which I have loved (and continue to love) listening to:

1. The song that we still want to hear every time we’re in a pub or at a friend’s place. It’s one of the songs many new bands want to imitate because it’s got the right vibe to it. This is my most favorite because of my guitar idol – Jimmy Page. This is Stairway to Heaven.

2. The song that inspired many a gang to run amok at parties and start headbanging. One of the easiest songs to imitate on the guitar and piano because of it’s fluid music; though the voice, none can replace the magical Ian Gillian. This is Smoke on the water

3. Deep Purple made two songs that made the ‘Machine Head‘ album a hit almost immediately post release. This is another of the famous one’s that’s been performed even to this day – Highway Star. This is a video of a 1972 concert and they’re introducing this song for the first time.

4. Another of my favorite band is Pink Floyd. Known for their versatility, this band really knows how to make music. Their songs have such deep meanings and are always a pleasure to listen to. This is Comfortably Numb. I have not put the original version but a concert version because their concerts have always been breathtaking and well conducted.

5. Last on my list would be, of course a Beatles song without any doubt. You can’t just overwrite these guys. They had it all – money, fame and glory and while still battling with youth. This is Love me do.

Hope you enjoy this 😀

 

A Whole New Look at Shopping

I’ve been writing on and off on my consumer review blog at Mouthshut for about eight years now. What started as a very small unit has now grown into a big family with a lot of users commenting on how they found a certain product. The honesty in the reviews is helping us users to make a better informed decision before buying a certain product. Thanks to the rise of the Internet era, a lot many things can be done online, the most recent of which is the craze for shopping online.

Here’s a review of what I had written on Online Shopping and the effect it has on us as a whole. I’m sure most of you will agree too with my points. Feel free to comment.

Note: The below is a slightly modified reproduction of the post in Mouthshut.

I remember the times when we used to start Antakshari with the song,

– Baite Baite Kya Kare, Karna Hai Kuch Kaam, Shuru Kare Antakshari, Leke Prabhu Ka Naam.

You must be wondering why I have highlighted those two words, Antakshari and Prabhu? It is because now, we have changed that song to,

– Baite Baite Kya Kare, Karna Hai Kuch Kaam, Shuru Kare Shopping, Leke Online Ka Naam.

Image Courtesy – Group Solus

Gone are the days when we used to wait for our fathers to come back home from a hard day’s work and take us out shopping. We used to enjoy these times because for most of us, it was a break from school, from homework, housework or any other work. Along with shopping, there was a chance of probably going to a mela where the popcorn is always butterly delicious and where there is no age bar for going on the ferris wheel. But, you know what? All that has been taken away with the advent of online shopping. Now, sitting at your desk, you can order anything and everything under the sun. From bags to shoes, from goggles to watches, from shirts to socks. Whatever you want.

The online experience doesn’t stop at that. It keeps evolving as and when the numbers go up showing that it can respond to your requirements. Some of the stores now have a new shopping style which lets the consumer stand outside the shop and via the use of a touch screen, look at the various designs and collections that the store has. With imaging sensors, the touch screen puts an image of you on the screen so it looks like you’re actually trying the product without actually wearing it. If it doesn’t look good you can replace it. 🙂 Last, but not the least, once you’re done with the selection, just input your shipping address and swipe your credit card and voila, the items are delivered to you in a day or two. No more waiting for trial rooms to get free, looking at various designs and thinking if it will look good on you. Everything is done with a swipe of your fingers.

But that is just a small thing when you have so many other online stores. In the latest spew of online shopping experiences, we have ebay, flipkart, snapdeal, myntra, jabong and various others that keep coming up every other day promising the user a remarkable experience of a whole new level of shopping experience. Some of them even have a points / credits system for joining up. BTW – That’s how I got hooked onto one of it. 🙂

Great! So now that we have basically understood the gist of what online shopping is about, let’s dive into some of the respective pros and cons.

PROS:

– Easily accessible at the touch of a finger or a click of the mouse.
– Variety of colors, designs and trends to choose from.
– Can purchase anything from A – Z.
– Items delivered right to your door step without charging the consumer (some sites)
– Handy return policy (some sites)

CONS:

– Consumer tends to buy more than what is required or needed.
– Credit card companies are benefited immensely by online shopping while giving heart attacks to the consumers at the end of the month.
– Intangible. As in, you can’t touch or feel the actual product(s) until after it is delivered.
– Same or better deal on other site(s) which makes the consumer confused as to which site he / she should order from.
– Unhelpful customer care executives (for certain inquiries)

So what do we have then? Well, for me, the biggest con that I would say is that you lose out on a great shopping experience with your family, where the entertainment is to go out to a nearby mall, do a little window shopping, go into a few shops, try some clothes on, spray some perfumes on yourself or try on some watches and maybe catch a movie too afterwards. However, you do get some really good deals on online stores that you would not get in a store if you went and purchased the product yourself. Sadly, there are two sides to this story and the coin is standing just in the middle.

As for me, my first shopping experience online made me buy a pair of sneakers for which I got a good discount too. The packaging that it came in did look a little old but I was happy when I saw that the manufacturing date was hardly six months ago. Still, I wear those sneakers proudly and I don’t have any regrets in buying it online. It can be an addiction for those who are / show a compulsive behavior to buying things online. So, “Buyers Beware”

Hopefully, you’ll will have a good shopping experience and see that there’s nothing wrong in indulging in this at times but you shouldn’t lose out on the actual shopping because that’s where the most fun lies.

Cheers!

My Life as a Paying Guest

November 2008:

I’ve been living in Bangalore for the last eight years now and it has been a whirlwind of a journey. I came to Bangalore as a raw student fresh from senior school with dreams and aspirations of making it big in this wonderful city. Little did I realize at the time that I was entering a maze of what would seem like an eternity. Being a fresher to almost everything, I thought I would adjust quite well to my life of independence; however I was not left free for long.

My uncle decided that he would move in to take care of me so I would have a home to come back to and food on the table when I was hungry. I stayed with my uncle for the three years of my college life. We had our ups and downs but we got through just fine. After a while, mom and dad decided to buy a place in Mangalore, hence uncle decided to move there to take care of the flat and this is where I begin my foray into the paying guest world.

Stage 1: Finding the place

It was a cold winter’s day and I was wandering on the lonely roads of Indiranagar. I fell in love with this place from the very first instance. I knew that this was where I wanted to stay. I located a broker like so many of us do and entrusted him the job of finding a nice place so I could move in and start my life as an independent young Financial Accountant for Hewlett-Packard.

The broker had taken me to a couple of shabby places. They always show the worst first before displaying their prize collection. I had seen this house a couple of times and I had always wondered how nice it would be to live in a house like this. Somehow, I never pictured this to be a PG. In we walk with our arms outstretched reveling in the splendid creation standing before us.

As I walk in, I’m amused by the irony of how big it looks outside compared to the size inside. True to most Bangalorean owners, maximum space was utilized here making the place look like it can hold a lot more people. Well, I wasn’t concerned with that. My main concern was to have a nice proper lighting, clean water and access to hot water. Along with that, I got a TV in my room, 24 hours hot water, fridge and a trendy washing machine. No looking at any more places. This was going to be my home for the unforeseen future. I discussed the rent with the owner and though I did consider it high at that point, I did not want to leave Indiranagar. So I paid the requisite amount and started making arrangements to move in.

Stage 2: Moving in

Moving into a new place was the least of my worries. Packing; now there’s the problem. It’s not easy to pack an entire 3 year set of clothes in two bags. It takes a lot of patience; something which guys don’t have. We never like to see the work getting done and then enjoying the fruits of it. No, we like to enjoy before, during and after the work is done, which is why we never finish anything on time. Try asking a guy to get paint the fence or mow the lawn. He’s going to start his tantrums as soon as he hears the word ‘work’ or ‘task’. Once he puts his mind to it though, you can expect a masterpiece. In my case, it wasn’t an art but the sheer willpower to pack clothes neatly in one bag and then going through the whole rigmarole of unpacking was becoming a big pain. I chose to do it nevertheless.

It took me almost an entire day to pack all my clothes, my utilities and other stuff which I’m not going to bore you with. With a nice chilled beer in my hand, I called up the owner of the PG and told him that I would be moving in tomorrow. I was all happy and with that, I called it a night. Moving from one place to another was never a problem for me. I was in touch with a very enterprising person by the name of Imtiaz who had organized the movement of my personal effects from time to time. Helpful as always, he said he would send his men straight away to help me move my things to the new place. A steel cupboard, a study table, two big bags of clothes, my guitars and my trusty steed – read motorbike, moved into our new home. This was the beginning of some beautiful memories, I thought as I stepped into the house and my room.

Stage 3: Meet the Roomies

‘What’s up dude?’ You know you’re in a boy’s PG when the people greet you with a ‘What’s up.’ What a nice way to start your first conversation. I can’t imagine an opening to a conversation these days between kids and youth alike that don’t start with ‘What’s up.’ ‘Well,’ I go, ‘My name is Sheldon. What’s yours?’ ‘My name is Vedant’ replied Mr. ‘What’s up.’ That was my first friend in the PG. As I start unpacking and loading the clothes into my cupboard, I see that there’s another bed vacant right next to me. I was going to share it with two strangers. Hmmm! I’ve always had a room of my own since I can remember and here I am sharing a room with strangers. I had heard stuff like PG’s were the worst place to stay. Rumors used to float around about the constant abuse of drugs, drinking and pornography – not necessarily in that order. I chose to keep my cool and see for myself what it was like. I was a mama’s boy without any doubt, but my dad had made me self-sufficient and rely on my instincts, traits I still admit I’ve picked it up quite well from daddy dearest. This PG did not house any smart alecs so I was pretty satisfied that I had picked up a proper place.

It’s 10PM now and I’m wondering what to do. It’s my first night at the PG and you can’t sleep. There’s always a nagging thought at the back of your mind that something nasty’s going to happen to you, but it wasn’t the case. I had an amazing sleep that night and woke up fresh on a Saturday, something that had not happened in a long time. I got up and brushed my teeth, took a shower and combed my hair for the very first time in my new home. I felt good.

As soon as I step out of the shower, four monkeys – literally come howling into the room shouting “breakfast.” They see me standing there gaping at their outburst, say their hi – hello’s and continue their circus antics. I walk out of the room obviously surprised by their behavior and was walking out to get some breakfast myself when Changu, Mangu, Pinku and Dinku invited me over to have breakfast with them. I flatly refused stating that I had to get some work done and hobbled away from the scene as fast as I could. After a wonderful breakfast, I came back home and see the four monkeys playing a game of cards – Bluff.  It took me awhile to get used to the terminology but I understood what they were doing and it was fun watching them tear each other apart when it came to a wrong bluff. I took out a nice book to read and was quite engrossed in it when Changu wanted to get more acquainted. He started asking me a whole lot of questions and the rest followed suit. I didn’t want to sound rude after my morning behavior so I just played along and answered each question of theirs patiently. As the day went by, we got to know each other pretty well. The fact that we were from two ends of India didn’t bother us at all. When it comes down it, whether you’re an Idli or a Roti lover, you’re an Indian and that’s the connection that people share.

Stage 4: Encounter with the Drunk Owner

Life is like a barrel of whisky,

The more it matures, the finer it gets,

And the faster you drink it in the hope of enjoying it better,

Everything becomes so much more easier.

–          Sheldon Coelho

We’ve all heard the rumors and the tales but when the door starts banging at 1 AM on a cold Sunday morning, you know, the ghost of your drunken past is back. Or, it could just be your landlord. Either ways, it’s better to run and hide than face the evil outside. I was used to drunken friends, but drunken landlords? Now, that’s a face you don’t want to see at that point of time in the night (especially when you’re drunk yourself) but then there are times when you just have to do it.

A few times, I had the misfortune of coming face to face with him while he was at his best – should be pretty self-explanatory. So, I developed a very effective method of not engaging him for long. I practiced my long drawn haggard look in front of the mirror several times before finally deciding to use it on him and it worked like a miracle J. The moment my owner saw me in that state, he just couldn’t bear to talk to me lest I collapse right there in front of him. Over time, he stopped disturbing the rest of the inmates and eventually decided to stop his activities – the cause of that is something else, but I believe it was a life changer for him.

Stage 5: The Neighbors

“Love thy neighbor” is what we hear from our parents growing up. And love them was all we could do because adjacent to our PG was a Ladies PG. The evenings were lit with conversations of who was the most beautiful that walked out of those gates. Some of the boys pretended to have conversations with them whenever they got a chance but a look from the owner of the Ladies PG had our boys running a mile away. Slowly a rumor floated around that the girls were not that interesting in the first place and soon, our boys drifted away into new-found passions and interests, the more recent of which, IPL. Naturally, our conversations, animated as they were about who would win, would take a break when the cheerleaders came on and in a unified show of strength, we’d have our eyes glued to the telly as a sign of respect to the skillful cheerleaders.

Stage 6: Festivities

We Indians love our culture and our heritage so much that even though we may stay a hundred miles away from home, the festivities bring in us a sense of togetherness and belonging. The festivities in our PG brought together people from different faiths, religions and ethnicity. We used to celebrate festivals like Holi, Eid, Diwali and Christmas like one big family. There was never a dull moment for either of us during these festivals and the thought that we were all away from our families during these events never bothered us. We enjoyed ourselves to the maximum sometimes even staying up till late in the night talking about the fun-filled stories these festivities brought with them.

Stage 7: Moving out

When you reach this part of your stay in a PG, that is, if the journey has been fun, the moving out can be a very bitter end to an otherwise beautiful period. When I wanted to move out, I felt like a bride was leaving her mother’s home after marriage. There was no crying, yet sadness filled my heart as I was now embarking on new ventures and I could not stay in this PG if I had to fulfill them. Some of the boys helped in carrying my bags down and spoke to me through the process, giving hi-fives, wishing good luck for the future and also a lot of “we’re going to miss you” faces. We spoke of never losing touch with the other inmates and promising to write back whenever we got the chance to do so.

September 2010:

I was staying in this PG for almost two years before I had finally decided to move out to a place closer to my office. It was going to be with a bunch of guys which I didn’t know again, but this was a house and not a PG. There were a lot many things different that were going to happen and a lot more experiences to talk about. Whenever I pass by Indiranagar, I still go and have a look at the old PG and remember all the crazy times spent over there and wish that I could rewind the clock and do it all over again.

Sometimes, it’s easier living in the past than dreaming about the future…

Disclaimer – The views and opinions written in this article are not only the author’s but also his PG Mates. Being their spokesperson, the author has willingly decided to stand in the firing line for writing about their choice memoirs. Should you have any concern with the authenticity of these events, please leave them with your local psychiatrist. 

Christmas at Home – A Treat for the Soul

It’s that time of the year again when we rise up and sing at the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. The gathering of all the 50 members of your family in that small two bedroom apartment of yours where you think its just not enough to house more. Yes, it sounds like Christmas.

While most people celebrate Christmas with family, I decided to do something different. I spent a night of fun, frolic and basically drinking with a bunch of friends that I grew up with in Bangalore and boy oh boy, was it good. The amount of planning and preparation that went into this small, yet grand affair took a toll on all of us and we were very satisfied when everyone left the house in good spirits to wish their loved ones at home and basically go to sleep so they could enjoy the rest of the celebrations for that day.

My story is a little more different than the rest mentioned above. I was drunk almighty and I had slept for 48 hours straight. No inkling of time and date at all. When I got up, I realized that I had just spent this Christmas in the worst possible fashion ever. I had forgotten my own family and most of my friends were worried sick about where I was since I wasn’t answering any of their calls.

So I took a little breather and allowed my thoughts to flow freely. Remember when parents ask their kids about what gifts they would be requesting from Santa this year? Well, I had a flashback of when I was small and my dad asking me, ‘Son, have you been a good boy this year?’ And I would go, ‘Yes daddy, I’ve been really good’ – basically lying from the top of my head. I would see that Santa left something nice for me under the Christmas tree and then I felt sorry that I had lied to Santa and still got something from him.

Coming back to the present day; I remembered those very same words that my father used a very long time ago and I thought to myself, Have I been good this year? I haven’t spoken to my family in a long time, I haven’t been the most responsible person when it came to doing any kind of work, and I haven’t been the best friend. All these things were eating my head and I just couldn’t stop but wonder why on earth I am living this farcical life. I wanted to amend things straight away so I called up one of my best friends and told him that ‘Dude, I’m off to Mangalore for New Year and I’m sorry we won’t be catching up on 31st night because I’m missing my family a lot.’ He was all sweet and kind and he said ‘Definitely bro, family comes first and I’m happy that you’ll be with your family at this time’.

Well, now to get the details in order. First I get in touch with my neighbor and tell him that I’m coming to Mangalore to give my uncle and everyone there a nice surprise and would require a return ticket from Mangalore to Bangalore so I can reach back on 4th morning for work. He says ‘No problem Sheldon, I’ll get that arranged for you in no time’ and bang, in half an hour he’s got my ticket ready. Second, I had to convince my team mates at office that I will be leaving a day in advance so I had to get all my work cleared off in time. Third, getting a ticket to Mangalore as this would be a rush season and everybody’s going home at the same time. My ticket booking agent is a genius. He shifted a few seats from here and there and ensured that I would get a ticket on the same bus that I wanted on the same day at the time that I usually traveled on.

So now that I have finally reached Mangalore, I begin to realize what a wonderful feeling I’m having since I got here. This feeling of calm and peaceful serenity is exuding all around me. As I sit and await the arrival of lunch, the delicious aroma is tickling my senses and I see that this is what I’ve been missing all along – it’s the sweet taste of purity. I’m finally at home and it’s “a treat for the soul indeed.”

P.S – In case you’re wondering why I’m writing about Christmas in the month of April, I’d like you’ll to know that this was a long lost article which I managed to retrieve from an old hard disk. Yay!

Another long day at the office

Who among you hasn’t heard of the famous phrases that everyone keeps repeating almost every time?

–          It’s been a long day at the office mate

–          Oh! My day just got worse

–          I’m shit out of luck today. It just doesn’t seem to get over, does it?

Almost all of us who work hard or hardly keep repeating these lines to remind ourselves how our day could not get crappier. It’s easy for people to say though,

–          Prioritize your work

–          I need this to be done now. This is more important than what you’re doing

–          I feel you’re not living up to your potential

What does the higher management actually ever want? Is it a nice cushy job while someone does all the hard work or a devil may care attitude because you know that someone out there is making your name look good? If you have ever watched the movie ‘Karthik calling Karthik’ – which is a Hindi movie by the way, starring Farhan Akthar and Deepika Padukone, you’d understand perfectly what I’m trying to say. Karthik was considered a nut by everyone. All the work used to be dumped at his desk because he was the “Man for the Job”. Being a soft spoken guy, he could hardly say no.

What was more important is that Karthik had no friends. The girl who he’s in love with at the office, to whom he’s been trying to share his feelings with but in the end just saving all the emails as drafts, never actually sending them, didn’t even care to battle an eyelid at him. All of a sudden, he starts getting mysterious phone calls from a person named Karthik at 5 AM who happens to know every intimate detail that Karthik possesses. He says “I’m here to help you”. Karthik starts trusting his judgment and his life turns into a rainbow overnight.

This was Karthik’s sub-conscious mind talking to him and his alter ego turns Karthik into something totally different than what the original could never have dreamt of becoming. But not all of us suffer from Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD). Not all of us can fight a losing battle with the one hope that a last strike may win the war for us. This is the fate we must all share for the sake of the continuity of the business; to keep the clients happy. That’s all what matters.

So do you know what I would do? My mind goes blank trying to think of words to say.

The only hope I have now – Get beaten down, but live to fight another day. If patience is mother of all f***ups, then success is definitely her son. My advice to you, in the words of Jack Black from the movie ‘School of Rock’ – “Stick it to the Man”.

Cheers

P.S – For the rest of you who can’t “Stick it to the Man”, happy job hunting…

Monday Blah!

Remember Aladdin and his magic lamp? Well, I ain’t an Aladdin but I do have a roommate who we fondly call Jasmine; but more about the magic lamp. History states that, Aladdin rubbed his magic lamp and out whooshed a genie who granted Aladdin three wishes of his choice. I didn’t have to rub a lamp but I did have my three wishes granted yesterday through some magical stroke of luck.

It was 3 AM and I was travelling back home on the bus and somehow, I just couldn’t get any sleep. I was wondering what was disturbing me and it was two things. One, my roommates had again done some nonsense and I was going to find out what only when I got home. Two, I was going to lose a close friend. Surprising to say the least, I got back home to see my bags all packed and neatly arranged next to the door. It seemed like we were ready for a quick exit should the situation ever arise. Hmmm and why was all I could muster at that moment.

Two, I lost my close friend to the unfortunate enemy called “distance”. The funny part about that is, I didn’t wish for it to happen. I had this nagging thought in my mind that the distance factor would create some trouble surely sooner or later. It was too soon to predict, honestly. That being said, the friend and I are still keeping in touch.

Three, as if the day could not get any worse, when I left for work, I realized that I did not have the ID card with me. I went back home and searched desperately for it. No luck. So, I left home and pondered on how I’m going to get into my office without an ID card. As luck wasn’t on my side yesterday, no one was in the office, which in turn means no one to identify me, which means, I can’t get to work. This is something that’s happening at 7 AM by the way.

After calling, yelling and heckling a few of the people, my manager finally got them to grant me a temporary access for the day, which as I suspected it, did not start working immediately. My day could not start any better – 7.40 AM.

So, I reach my workstation and I switch my desktop on happy to see it for another week when I realize that my drawer key has all the important documents which I need for my work. The drawer key was attached to the ID card, the location of which is currently unknown. Alright, where are you Mr Locksmith? I looked at the time on the workstation – 7.50 AM. Too early for anyone to come and get it opened. What do I do? Get home and start searching for the badge? Yes, I could not see any other alternative at that moment.

10.15 AM – I had been rummaging through the rubble with determination for the last two hours, only to be disappointed that my badge was not where it was supposed to be at. Ok, time to call the locksmith and get the drawer opened anyhow.

11.00 AM – I enter the office not realizing that I hadn’t changed / showered since I reached home at half past 6. I’ve been running around too pissed with so much nonsense happening since morning that I didn’t realize that I was wearing a tee that said “Recovering Quoteaholic”. Hmmm, again at that thought which made me smile for the first time.

11.28 AM – A call from a dear old friend cheered me up. I was literally doing pirouettes while we talked. This person’s always the ego booster, a mood enhancer and a darling for me. Thank you.

7.40 PM – Twelve hours since I started working and I get this funny thought in my head that my access card was going to get revoked at the stroke of midnight much like Cinderella’s chariot turning into a pumpkin. I laugh to myself that this can’t happen and go out for a cup of coffee.

12.05 AM – It happened just like I had imagined. I was wondering if my thoughts were being converted to wishes somehow. So here I am, stuck all alone in a big office with no security around, awaiting rescue. So once again after calling, yelling and heckling a few of the people, I got someone to come rescue me. Freedom never felt so good at half past 12 in the morning.

12.20 AM – reach home and roommates are ready to get out for dinner. They unceremoniously dump me back on the bike and off we go.

3.00 AM – landed home finally. I’ve been awake for 24 hours exactly. 3 thoughts converted to three wishes which brought about a lot of mess, madness and unnecessary heckling today.

Let’s hope Tuesday starts off well…

House Hunting

Why is searching for a house so hard? You like a place, you book it, you move into it, renovate it to suit your style, mood, influence whatever you call it. But why is it so hard? When it comes to booking a house, why do we take 3 steps forward and 5 steps back?
Why can’t we just go 3 steps forward and leave it right there?

The problem with us is that, when we see a place, we envision ourselves sitting, talking, entertaining, sleeping; basically spending each moment of our sleeping or waking hours in a place like this. When we stop to think of things like these, we are not thinking of a house; we’re thinking of a home. And we know that “Home is where the heart is”.

So then why is it so hard to find a place like this which we can make it as our own? The reason is because it’s hard to appease someone easily. The thought process that goes into one’s head when we think of moving out of a place where we’ve done so many things, played, partied, fought with each other basically leaves a mark on us that’s so strong that it’s literally imprinted in our minds, our thoughts, our feelings that we try and hope to reciprocate it in a new place.

Well, we’re currently looking out for a place right now and we have seen places I can’t even begin to describe over here. The one house that bowled us over and which would probably
bowl you over too is unattainable but also gave us such an invitation that we just couldn’t stop gushing over it.

6 houses down and we still think of that house when we see a new place. It’s become the benchmark of all the houses here. We’re getting that place because that’s not a house; that’s a home and you know how the saying goes, Home is where the heart is

Saturday Night Out

Ok! So, this wasn’t a regular Saturday you meet up with the boys, have a drink at one of the many pubs in the city and have a roar of a time driving around to some unknown destination only to come back home and pass out. No, this was a crazy night out riddled with adventures. Why? Since it involved a little of drinking (after all, one can’t forget the drinking), one bike, 3 people and adrenaline pushing you to the limit.

It all began with a phone call…

Roommate 1: Hello Sheldon?

Me: Yes dude?

Roommate 1: Macha (a word signifying brother), my friends are coming over from across the border and we are going to have a party at our place.

Me: OK. So what does this have to do with me?

Roommate 1: I need you to tell Roommate 2 to get his girlfriend out of the house by the time they come.

Me: What? Why do you need the girlfriend out of the place?

Roommate 1: No dude, you don’t understand. I’ve had problems with this from the beginning and I’ve told him many times not to get her home. He doesn’t seem to heed my requests anymore.

Me: Ok dude. I’ll try talking to him. How many people are coming by the way?

Roommate 1: Seven.

Me: Seven? What the hell mate?

Roommate 1: Yeah. They’re going to be staying here as well, so you guys need to find something to do tonight since I don’t think you’d be comfortable around these people.

Roommate 1: Hmmm. Alright then. Let me talk to Roommate 2 and let you know ASAP.

All the while, Roommate 2 is listening to this conversation with his girlfriend sitting next to him and wondering what the hell is happening.

Roommate 2: What’s up Jaan (Word that signifies loved one – used for both guys and girls)?

Me: Nothing much. Our roommate is hosting a party out here with seven of his pals and he needs you to get the girlfriend out of here.

Roommate 2: No way.

Me: Yes. That’s what he wants and he’s said it plain and clear that he wants this to be done immediately.

Roommate 2: What’s his problem?

Me: I don’t think he has a problem with you Jaan. He just has a problem with her. I don’t think he likes you bringing her here.

Meanwhile, the girl’s attention perks up and she puts in her contribution to the situation.

Girlfriend: This is a sad scene.

Me: I understand. But right now, I need you both to leave the place so he can have his party.

Girlfriend: What are you going to do then?

Me: I haven’t thought about that yet.

Roommate 2: Let’s get out then. You’re not doing anything here anyways. So I don’t see why you can’t come out with us.

Me: Hmmm. Good plan. Alright then, what do we do / where do we go?

Roommate 2: Let’s get to a resort.

The time on the clock when we were discussing this was showing 9.30 PM

Me: Now? What the hell do we do at a resort at this time of the night?

Roommate 2: Well, we can have a ball of a time drinking, dancing and partying the night away basically.

Me: Sounds good, but I don’t see any resort that’s near our place and moreover, we have one bike. How the hell do we get to this place with the three of us on bike, out on a Saturday night and a horde of cops at various checkpoints?

Roommate 2: That, you don’t worry. Getting to the place is my concern. You just tell me what we’re going to drink and where we’re going to be staying.

I pause to think for a while. The offer sounded good. I did not want to stay at home with
seven unknown guys and I sure as hell did not want to know what kind of party
seven unknown guys would be having.

Me: OK. Let’s chalk up a plan to see what we can do. Obviously we can’t get to a resort at this point of time since it’s late to do anything. Let’s get to a hotel / a guesthouse and we can take it from there, alright? First, let’s get something to eat. Anyone up for Chinese?

Roommate 2 and girlfriend are both excited by the change of events and are having an
animated discussion about the list of hotels that we could go to without having
to spend too much for a room. This is when I start thinking. Ooh, I wish I had
a girlfriend at this time. We could have had so much fun tonight. The time on
the clock reads ten. The timeframe is getting shorter. We need to do something
fast. I can think about the girlfriend that I could have enjoyed with at another time.

So, the three of us get out for a meal. There’s a slight drizzle as we’re walking and I’m thinking about how we’re going to manage if the rain continues like this or becomes worse. The dinner was a boring affair. Apart from the starters – soup and momos
(dumplings), the main course sucked. We left the place quickly unable to savour
the dinner. On the way back home, we’re talking about the usual nonsense that
guys talk when a girl is around – ex girlfriends, commitment issues, parents; you
know the drill.

We get back home and we start calling up a few select places in the city which we knew were affordable and hospitable. No luck. It seems that on the night we do decide to book a place in one of the many hotels that the city offers us, no rooms are available. I smile at our rotten luck. The seven unknown guys are having a nice drink at a popular bar (read Hard Rock Café) and we’re sitting out here mulling over our stupid situation.

That’s when an idea springs to my head. Usually, I have this knack of thinking at the right things at the wrong time. This time, I knew the situation could not have been more befitting. I called up my friend’s cousin who was in charge of a beautiful guesthouse Sujata Guest House. This was a small yet aesthetically designed guesthouse with modern amenities such as your microwave oven, toaster, water heater and an air conditioner to boot.

Now, all we need is the booze. How do we get to a place which is filled with cops patrolling each and every main road? The plan was to get the booze and scoot to the guest house without encountering any non-friendlies. So, we rode into the night with a heart full of hope that the night would not be a wasted effort. We took the by lanes and the shortcuts and the up and down roads. We took more time than what it would take for a normal person to reach the place where we were staying. But we did not waver. We stuck to our plan and we kept pushing forward even though we knew the danger that lied ahead.

Two guys on a bike in the middle of the night is dangerous enough anyways. We were two guys and a girl, kinky, yet fun.

 So there we were, three friends, happy campers as you can call us, enjoying the night away, drinking, laughing, talking and dancing. The old stories came up and new ones were created but what happened that night was fun all through. I’ve realized that as life goes on,
you meet new people every day and the moments that you spend with them are
cherished in your heart.

The next morning we came back the same way we left the previous night; three on a bike. This time, the world watched us go by as we proudly rode all the way home in bright daylight like newly crowned champions. The rest of the day was spent in recovering the lost energy of the previous night. So, in order to be fair to the spirit of the weekend, we ate, slept, got up, ate again, slept again, got up, had a few drinks, ate and then slept again.

This was some Saturday. This was some weekend.

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