Archive for introspection

one year closer to life

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on 28th May, 2008 by kal

it’s been a year. not one of those crazy years in college or school where days were for seeking out air-conditioning and nights were meant for discovery. enough.

and i think the overbearing conclusion of this year is that i have sold my soul. a part of me clings on desperately to the Barbarian, but the spirit knows that his days are numbered. m & a were my oars while i rowed through the currents of reflection, and much is now clear to me. and it’s okay. it’s all okay. for now.

you see, i don’t do anything i particularly love. no, let me rephrase that; i don’t do anything i’m particularly passionate about. oh, i enjoy my work in parts, especially the parts where i get to lecture captive audiences on the finer (or focal) points of communicating, or cultural sensitivity. but that makes me little more than a glorified parrot. but that’s not the point of this ramble.

listening to the album undermind by phish. just through a few songs right now, but it’s shaping up well.

i want to write about how much i love you
i want to write about how much i have changed, or how i think i have changed in this last year. i don’t know if it has anything to do with you, and i don’t want to second-guess myself, my environment, and countless other influencial factors responsible for these changes, so i want to stay clear of causal statements.
i want to express how much i miss you, in a way which is beautiful, memorable, and pleasing to readers, without being corny or cheesy. and definitely without being unoriginal or plagiarist.
i want to write about how i’m okay being who i am. how i’m looking forward to building this future with you. how being with you, and being happy with you means more to me than being in a job that i like, or being in a company that i like. i want to do what’s best for us, because the time i spend with you is not necessarily the same time i spend doing things to make us, our families happy.

i want to write about how i’m beginning to love my parents all over again. how it burns me up that my father still has to work. about how weak i am to not be able to stand by his side and help him with what is possibly his last attempt at building a future for his children, for me. about how i want my parents to spend the rest of their lives without worrying about us, or their parents, or their siblings, or anything. about how this all gnaws at me inside, and how it’s something i haven’t sorted out yet. someday i will.

and someday i will write it all as well. but not today.

Chasing pills called Alan Parson’s Project with a drink called Franz Ferdinand

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 18th February, 2008 by kal

Do you have a bunch of witty answers for those most-commonly asked questions? I know I do. After I moved here a lot of people asked me what I thought of the place. And after a little while, a couple of weeks of getting acquainted, I figured a good way to describe it would be: “It’s like Delhi with fewer cows.”

It’s all the better if these wise-guy ones tell a person exactly what they want to know. Now many of you have a pretty fair idea about what Hyderagood is really like.

Which really brings me to the most-commonly-asked-question-that-pisses-me-off-the-most: “Where are you from?”

Now don’t be fooled by this seemingly innocuous question. This isn’t a question that’s asking where all you have lived, or been in life. For many Indians it helps peg you. Its answer provides a strong context to the tendencies you exhibit, and predicts the ones you are going to exhibit. Of course, it could also mean that you discuss the commonalities, should that be the case. This way you reinforce cultural stereotypes that have been built over time. “Oh, so you’re from Delhi… dude TC is a awesome place…”, or “Where in Bombay? Bandra? ALL RIGHT!… which college? XAVIERS?! ME TOO! WOW! WHAT ARE THE ODDS!”

Cut to the scene where the Delhi-ite meets the Bombaywala (or wali… wali is better, because the first thought that crosses her mind when she meets somebody “from Delhi” is “rapist”… or “slut”):

Male (from Delhi): So where you from?
Femme (from Bombay): Bombay.
M: Oh, I see. *Delhi chicks are hotter man*
F: What do you see?
M: Eh?
F: What do you see? *Is this guy dumb or what*
M: Nothing… whaaat?
F: Nevermind… You said you ‘Oh, I see’, but whateverrrr *loserrrr*
M: Oh that. Nothing, nothing… I thought I’d seen you in Delhi sometime.
F: *Delhi! No wonder. Rapist. And what a cheesy line! Best storm off now before he gets fresh*

*Exuent*

Okay fine, that wasn’t quite how it happened. I did get the girl, and now we’re happy together, but it’s worth trying to piss her off about the Delhi-Bombay thing every once in a while, she’s so cute when she’s miffed.

But anyway… coming back the painful interrogative…

When somebody says where he or she is from, a whole bunch of things happen to us Indians.

Delhi Male – Must be rich. Doesn’t know the reality of life. Dad’s business. No cares in the world. Hasn’t had it hard for a single day in his life. Disrespectful of women. Good to know in a fight, should have gunda & political contacts.

Delhi Female – Possibly poor sense of taste/style/fashion. Needs to look in the mirror. Possibly not very independent. Gets chauffered everywhere, home by 11pm. Alternatively, the other extreme: rebelious, colourful, slut.

…really, I could go on, but don’t believe me: try it for yourselves, the next time you meet anybody new. Or just think about Bihar, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Bengal, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Bombay, Marus… and those images these words conjure up are what we use as support in this world of shortcuts.

So what’s got me so pissed? The fact that I can’t seem to answer this question without people’s minds going into overdrive, or them really needing to ask me a lot more questions.

*Ting*

Person X: So where are you from?
Me: Delhi
X: Raped anybody yet?

*Ting!*

X: So where are you from?
Me: I grew up in China
X: How come you aren’t chinky?

*Ting!*

X: Where are you from?
Me: Moon
X: What’s that?
Me: That’s my school. I spent 12 years locked up in a building with only one window on each floor.
X: Oh THAT school! Hey, so could you gimme a loan?

*Ting-ting-ting!*

X: Where are you from?
Me: I’m a North-Indian mongrel.

*So now I’m a mangy mutt. Great. Ting!*

Me: I’m a North-Indian mixed-bred

*Great going, Tommy. Ting!*

Me: I don’t know.
X: WHAT?

*Ting!*

X: Well?
Me: So my mom’s mom is from Jharkhand, and my dad’s dad is from Haryana, while the two surviving grandparents are..
X: Zzzzz….

*Ting!*

The worst part of it all is that every new person I meet, without frikking fail, will ask me where I’m from, because they can’t make an educated guess from my name…

On resisting temptation

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on 13th November, 2007 by kal

Wanna guess which is the worst seat on the plane? No… not the one next to the loo. Nope, not a middle seat, which is claustaphobic without the benefit of a window… nope, not even the seat bang in the middle of 4 couples with 3 infants each…

It’s an emergency exit seat.

Not just ANY emergency exit seat. It’s the one RIGHT next to the exit.

So its got a lot more leg room, you say, right? It’s the best seat in the plane, right? Wrong. True, your legs have a little more space to sprawl, and your knees aren’t constantly rubbing against the guys next to you (because you never – as a rule – NEVER get lucky enough to sit next to a hot chick on a plane), but there are many other perils of that seat.

For one it doesn’t recline. That’s pretty bugging if you ask me. And what’s the point of more leg room if your back has to be all upright anyway? To add to that, you don’t have an armrest on the side of the exit. Yup. No armrest. Check it out the next time you’re sitting there. And obviously the fat guy sitting next to you has taken up all of the other armrest.

What’s worse is that the seat in front of you doesn’t have a table that falls down in front. So you have to wake up Fat Guy so that he can get his Fat Arm of the armrest so you can get your table out when the food comes. Then Fat Guy eats so fast, and promptly falls back asleep so you have to wake him up again when Nice Lady With Too Much Makeup comes back for the trays. Now I wouldn’t have minded making Nice Lady wait a while, but on this particular flight, I was fortunate enough to have Clean-shaved Neanderthal Male With Frown waiting on me.

So all of this is but natural, and not in the least bit relevant to the seat, and well, not so unbearable; and you’re right. I haven’t come to the best part yet.

You can’t keep your hand luggage under the seat in front of you – it has to go in the overhead compartment. So I didn’t have the pleasure of switching between music and literature on this journey. Unless I wanted to get up, wake up Fat Guy and the chap sitting next to him a couple of times in order to switch between White Stripes and Bill Bryson.

Not the best part.

The window next to this seat is a little square in the door the size of my palm, supposedly to see whether or not its safe to get out of the emergency exit in the case of a catastrophy. So, no pretty lights, no painted oceans, nothing by the way of aesthetic comfort during take-off and landing to compensate for being in a metal box whizzing through the air on the collective prayers of first-time travelers.

Nope, still not the best part.

The best part is that a nervous, jumpy, impulsive human being like me had to spend the entire flight sitting next to a door —- wait for it —- marked “Pull”.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on 1st November, 2007 by kal

lacking passion; lazy; gluttonous; punctuating, punctuated, interrupted; self-centred; self-indulgent; self-fish;
shell fish
honest; proud
desire for acceptable, conflicting need to be unique
pseudo random
why am i writing this? why am i writing this? i should delete it, right? maybe now? maybe at the end. you (who’s voice is this now?) know you’re not going to. do i? am i not? i’ve done it before. maybe this time won’t be so different.
mistakes, mistaken, mistake maker; spineless
sleepy & sleepless; paradoxial (dictionary says paradoxical); poetic license.
who’s going to read this? would you want somebody to read this?
a writer, a scholar, a teacher, a dreamer, a wishful thinker; frustration; impatience; no backspacing now; too late, i’ve gone too far
nonsense, gain some sense! some experience! work, read, work, learn, cope, respect, low profile, tact, diplomacy, push, stretch, aspire…
wake, groan, grouch, grumble, sleep, cheat-sleep, groangrouchgrumble, shower-brush-pee, dry, clothes, milk, rush, work, lunch, work, meet, smoke, grumble, work, laugh, play, snack, work, when-we-going home, work, facebook, faff, home, dominos, tv, sleep…
dream of bombay, alcohol, foreign country, monetary donation is the extent of me doing my part for a better world, a better life for kids dying on the street
forgetful. amnesiac. longterm effect, i believe, who knows? maybe i was always this way. maybe not. maybe i have no idea who i am.

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