Thursday, June 11, 2009

Maybe this is how parents feel. The cousin whose education I have been sponsoring passed the XII board exams with flying colors. I feel proud but I am happier with the fact that the kid is worth spending. Maybe this is not how parents feel.

I wanted him to study computer science engineering; agreed that everyone is doing it and the stream’s become pretty boring but for a kid whose family is poor, the fastest and guaranteed route of getting a job and earning money is to study CSc. Engineering. But I feel the kid somehow sensed the extra responsibility that has been heaped upon me after my brother’s expiry – my nephew’s education. And with everyone back home learning that salaries at my current company have been delayed for the last 2 months, the kid backed out and told me that he would rather study BSc at a college back home in Imphal. As they say, sometimes in life there are just too few options.

As my years of work experience increase, my belief that life in the private sector is not so different from life in the government sector grows stronger everyday. In private companies, transparency no longer exists. Promotions/career growth is wholly dependent on your relation with your immediate boss. The big shots continue to earn huge disproportionate salaries that are not even (1/100)th of the revenues they bring in to the company. Satyam was not the first and the last example. Take Infosys, the company considered to be one of the most ethical & transparent companies by so many people around the world. The company had announced a freeze in hikes for this year for all employees but just about 2-3 months back, whooping oh-my-fucking-god hikes were announced for a group of very senior people. Does it mean that ALL the employees of Infosys were not performing except for these old-fat-greedy asses???

I got so pissed off when I learned that the librarian at my company had been fired a few months back. That poor guy must be earning like 5-6 thousand rupees a month. Let’s even say 10,000. How much has the company’s balance sheet and cash flow statement changed after that guy was fired? How about those dickheads who earn nothing less than 15 lacs a year for handling a single project and managing at the most 10 people? And whoever fired him, I am sure that asshole could have saved the librarian’s job by taking a 1% cut in his/her own salary.

It’s funny how people expect you to change overnight after marriage. Have been doing the washing, cleaning, cooking....ever since I was in my teens. I didn’t allow my elder sis or mom to wash my clothes since I was in standard 7, I observe the same principle with my wife too. We wash our own clothes, we cook and wash the dishes together almost all the time, and we clean our flat together. And then we have all these married friends who are FULLY dependent on cooks and housemaids, and whenever we meet on the weekends they are like, “How do you guys maintain your figures?” And I am like, “Oh it’s easy. We fuck like rabbits!!!” Just kidding:-)

Coming back to the first line in the above para, marriage has indeed changed me. I don’t sleep alone anymore, and I always sleep with my arms around S. I don’t come home from the office to an empty flat anymore; I look forward to seeing S again in the evening, and talking and laughing with her. Dying young is not so romantic anymore. I drink lesser these days, though I will never ever stop drinking for anyone or anything. Same goes for rock music and guitars.

And one more thing I learned after marriage is that when I feel angry, depressed, frustrated, or sad, nothing makes me feel better than holding S in my arms tight without saying a word.

Monday, February 16, 2009

We all live our lives thinking that we are immune, and the bad things that happen to everyone around us will not affect us. We pray to our own personal imaginary gods, and believe that they will take care of us.

For the first time ever since I started working, my current company delayed our salaries for 7 whole days without a single notice or email from the senior management. The mobile bill reimbursements and the food/Sodexho coupons had been stopped 2 months ago. No intimation, no explanation.

S and I have decided to postpone our plan for purchasing an apartment. There’s too much uncertainty floating around.

The black sheep of the family finally left us. No, that’s not exactly right. My 2nd eldest brother died sometime in January, he was around 36 years old. Some cried, while a few others like me weren’t able to shed a tear or feel a thing. All I could feel was this overwhelming pity and disbelief over how one single person could trash all the million opportunities he had and destroyed everything and everyone around him. He fucked everyone’s happiness and just left all the shit behind without ever realizing his follies or repenting for a single minute.

My elder brother in the US and I have decided to take care of his 2 kids. I will take care of the boy while my brother will take care of his elder sister, our niece. I talked to my kid brother too, and told him that he may have to contribute depending on what the cousin I’m currently sponsoring decides to do after his 12 exams.

I don’t know where and when I will ever meet you again my dickhead brother. But let me tell you this, you had it easy bro’ and mom was there all the time to cover for you, and protect you. I will find you and make you pay one day. Make you pay for all the things you did to the people I love.

I have this feeling that we Indians are very closely related to the Koreans. Indian movies usually have the love-triangle while the Koreans have the love-quadrilateral. Every time I see a commercial or romantic Korean movie, I find 4 very confused and righteous people stretching on their loves, honours, sacrifices, and penances forever.

I always tell S that my principles are very different. If I want a woman, I will get her and everything and everyone can go to hell. In fact, S’s last boyfriend (before me!) was sort of a millionaire who has his own company. When I came into the picture, their relationship was not COMPLETELY over, but in about a year’s time she was COMPLETELY mine. I didn’t exactly play the part of a millionaire but I used my credit card a helluva lot!!!

RocknRolla, The Reader, The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, and Taken are absolute delights, don’t miss them.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Last week, I went to office with a small kid. I didn’t see him until the auto-rickshaw stopped by my side. He was this cute looking kid about 3 years old, standing and playing in that small space behind the passenger seat of the auto. The father must have put him there as there was no one home.

What the hell? I got in the auto and told the driver my destination. Midway, the kid suddenly said “Paani!” There was this bottle of water near the driver’s side. I took the bottle, put it to the kid’s lips and made him drink the water. When he was done, he smiled at me and we became instant friends.

Reminds me of the days back home when I was in my teens and I was the neighborhood kids’ favorite teacher. My elder brother was the type who would shout and throw the kids’ books if the kids couldn’t get it the first time. After a few days, they all came to me. I was the patient one who would explain things slowly and repeatedly, if required. I also had this habit of telling them stories from history, mythology, science…and asking questions. I still do with S, after all these years.

Kids always have shared this special bonding with me. One thing that always surprises me is that they never approach me as someone older. It’s more like the way people in the same age group warm up to each other, the way friends do.

About a year back, S and I went to Munnar with a good friend, her hubby and 4 year old daughter. Sometime after the journey started, the kid became my long lost pal – talking to me all the time, laughing at my jokes, pointing out the mountains and the “fountains” (her style of fooling me!) from the car window, and slapping me on the back of my head. My friend called me up a few weeks after the journey and told me that her daughter was still using my words/expression.

I’m the only one in the family with whom my kid brother talks about girls and other “young people” stuff. My teenage nephew whom the whole family considers disobedient and stubborn opens up to me all the time. If he’s hurt or angry, he will call me up and talk to me.

In spite of my strong and repeated refusals to having a kid of our own, S has never ever taken me seriously. She loves the way I interact or bond with kids. So when I talk about my 101 reasons for not having a kid – pollution, population explosion, parking space, dirty politics, the evil nature of people in our generation, our dying world, supporting/sponsoring other needy relatives’ kids….she has this look in her eyes that says – You don’t fool me honey, we will have a kid whenever I want!

A company in the UK paid me 60 GBP for putting up their link on my professional blog. I got another $250 member of the month award for my contributions to a networking site for professionals (in my domain). A few people have started mentioning my blog as their favorite. In the last interview I attended, the two interviewers laughed when I told them my long term career goal is to become someone well known and respected in the field of Analytics/Data Mining. Stupid fucks, people who will spend their whole lives running after bigger salaries and bigger companies.

And no, I’m not going to write about Mumbai.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

There must be some way out of here
Said the joker to the thief
There's too much confusion
I can't get no relief
Business men they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line
know what any of it is worth
- All Along the Watchtower by Bob Dylan

There’s just no way out, all channels of investment have been hit. In spite of what the experts say about the Asian or Indian economy, I have my doubts. Forget the Mutual Funds, the stocks & shares, the PPF, the NSC, the government bonds….I’m seriously thinking of taking out my money from my savings account and keeping it under my pillow.

Had been postponing the cleaning and re-arranging of my tapes for a long long time. 17 GB of MP3s on my PC has made me neglect the tapes. But last weekend, I decided enough was enough. I pulled out the drawers, poured out (literally) all the tapes on the carpet, and rubbed & scrubbed each and every tape cover with a piece of cloth soaked in Colin. Took me more than 3 hours but in the end I got this….

The one-album wonders. Me and my friends used to call all these bands that released amazing out-of-this-world albums but couldn’t follow it up with anything worthwhile afterwards. Every single song in all these albums is GOOD; collector’s item I would definitely say.

Soul Asylum - Grave Dancers Union
Soundgarden – Superunknown
Spin Doctors - Pocket Full of Kryptonite
Third Eye Blind - Third Eye Blind
Blind Melon – Blind Melon
Audioslave – Audioslave
Little Angels – Young Gods
Collective Soul – Collective Soul
Maroon5 – Songs about Jane
Ugly Kid Joe – America’s Least Wanted

The cleaning work also turned up a few gems – Lizzy Borden’s “Deal with the Devil” and Lenny Wolf’s (Kingdom Come) “Too”.

"Most of us go to our graves with our music still inside of us”

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Went to Yercaud on the Aug 15 weekend with S and two of my ex-colleagues. Tamil Nadu just refuses to change - most of the signboards are in Tamil, and the people behind the counters cannot speak either Hindi or English. It's the same old story when I was doing my engineering in Coimbatore eons back. It's no surprise that this state still lags behind in so many areas when compared to the other southern states. In the north, you have Bihar and West Bengal - states with huge natural resources and lots of potential that have repeatedly failed to change or progress much.

Yercaud is a small place, nothing much to see. To be very honest,
the hotel where we stayed was the best place/part of the visit.

In the next 1-2 months, I'm going to have 8000-10,000 extra rupees every month. Kid bro will start getting his monthly stipends at the IMA, and kid sister has finally got a good job in Delhi. And this means I won't be sending them money anymore for the first time in 3-4 years. I'm feeling light, and I'm feeling proud. The cousin whose education I’m sponsoring has also reached the 12th standard; I hope he comes out well in the 2009 board exams.

Am planning to book or buy a flat by spring/summer next year. Need to bring my parents here as soon as possible 'coz the money my elder brother (in Chennai) and I send home every month is never ever enough. My parents can live comfortably on my father's pension but then the losers in the family don't leave them alone.

Lately, the idea of working and living abroad (somewhere in Europe or Canada) is slowly becoming very attractive to me. I was always the lone guy in the gang who said no to working and settling down in another country. But the dirt, corruption, disrespect of everyone and everything; the ethnic, religious, language and economic divide and enmity in every lane of every state in this country leaves me utterly hopeless. You may say that these things are there in a lot of other countries too. But the truth is, it’s an exception out there while it’s a very regular and common affair in our country. Ours is a culture, a way of thinking & living that has been followed, protected, and taught for thousands of years. Another thousand years may not be enough to change or unlearn.

Been 2 years in Bangalore and I'm missing my friends in Delhi. The friends I used to hang out with, the friends who played guitar with me, and the friends with whom I get philosophical every weekend over endless glasses of rum. And yeah, they miss me too. They miss my place (all the rented flats I used to stay alone) which was always the default party venue. They miss my tapes, and my books. They miss my fried chicken and pork which was the staple starter and the "ender" at our parties.

It's raining so much these days. And for a change, it's raining mostly at nights in Bangalore. S and I love the rains; the moment we hear the rains, we will open the window in our bedroom, pull aside the curtains, get back in bed and snuggle happily under the covers.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Listening to AC/DC at full volume, the heavy bass beats and drums, Angus Young’s wizardry on the fretboard, and Bon Scott’s arrogant ‘fuck you’ vocals….pure unadulterated ROCK at its best.

Rock is god, Rock is religion, Rock is ecstasy, Rock rocks, period.

It’s raining, it’s getting dark and I’m in the mood, in the mood for good ol’ rum, straight on the rocks.

Friday, May 16, 2008

The birthday came and went. Except for the tsunami of wishes on Orkut, there was almost none in the real internet-less world. Guess, the middle aged guy has finally arrived in my life and along with it, my Levis went for an upgrade from 28 to 30.

The first time your eyes met. The first date, the first kiss. The first time you see her naked, the first time you fought...

Age has been the best education I’ve ever received. The books and movies say first times' always a disaster, or clumsy at its best. But if you have loved and slept with more than one woman, you’ll know that’s one big lie.

Makes you weak, makes you strong. Makes you stand tall, makes you go down on your knees. Makes you laugh, makes you bleed and cry...

They say love’s about giving. Love’s about understanding each other. Love’s about sacrifice. Love’s about great conversation, and great sex. I say balls to everyone who believes in these. Let me tell you love’s about finding that someone who can take your shit - all your insecurities, all your wacky habits and biased stubborn opinions and attitudes. Love has its moments too. Special, earth-shattering, mind-blowing, worth-everything-in-the-world moments but then don’t hold on to it like your last candy and don’t hope for it every day for the rest of your life.

They say your performance matters, your honesty matters. When you start working, when you have a job, just believe in one simple thing - work smart. There will never be a politics-less company in this whole wide universe. There are no great companies, there are only good managers and good job profiles.

Love and sharing doesn’t make good families if there are lazy egoistical dependent assholes around. Financially independent members make great families. The love and sharing comes naturally after.

Our Hindu way of life has taught me just two things. If you are a happy man, it’s all god’s grace. If you are a dog, it’s karma. And sadly, this stupid, blind belief, this mother-of-all-excuses for everything wrong in this world has spread to all our countrymen.

Don't come closer or I'll have to go
Holding me like gravity are places that pull
If ever there was someone to keep me at home
It would be you...

Everyone I come across in cages they bought
they think of me and my wandering
but I'm never what they thought
got my indignation but I'm pure in all my thoughts
I'm alive...

Guaranteed by Eddie Vedder from the OST of Into the Wild

Saw "Into the Wild" last week. If you have ever dreamed of giving up everything to live the life you have always wanted, you’ll love this movie. As for the soundtrack - nine original and two cover songs performed entirely by Eddie Vedder, the less said the better. I’ve been listening to these songs everyday ever since I downloaded all the 11 songs and 2 bonus tracks.