Sunday, January 21, 2007

Never realized how much my life has changed, until this weekend.

Woke up at 4am on Saturday morning to see off S at the airport. The taxi finally came after a 1000 repeated instructions. These guys never fail to amaze me. 99 times out of 100, they won’t know a street or a landmark, and to think they are taxi drivers who are supposed to know a city inside-out.

The charm of Airports/Railway/Bus Stations; they always remind me of call centers, hospitals and police stations. They never sleep, they never stop, they are never boring, and you can think of a 1000 stories at these places 'coz everybody who comes here, has a story to tell.

The security has been tightened because of Republic Day and visitors are no longer allowed inside the airport. S went inside, all alone with the entire luggage. Wanted to be with her so much but as it wasn’t possible, I waited till the departure of her flight. So I walked all around the airport, watching the crowd and their little stories, and the faint glow of the early dawn sky.

Once she was on the plane, I made my way back home. Ever since I came to Bangalore, we have always been together on the weekends. So when I reached home, there was this silence so thick that I could hardly breathe. Left to myself, I hardly make a noise. Once, during a particular phase of my life, I went on for 3 days without uttering a single word.

In the evening a very good friend in Chennai called me up. He was living alone as he had relocated from Delhi because of his new job. His wife and little daughter are still in Delhi. And he said, “R, tell me one thing. How the hell do you manage to stay alone for so many years?”

I have been living alone for about 4 years and people have always asked me that question. This time, I didn’t say, “I don’t know” like I always used to. This time I told him that I understand.

S and I, we fell in love on Christmas Eve, about a year back. We began meeting regularly on weekends only after I came to Bangalore in May, 2006. Before that, it was a very difficult and expensive thing as we were thousands of miles apart.

There’s still two more weeks to go before she comes back; I have spent just one weekend without her and it feels like a whole year. I can say a million things about her but there’s just one thing I would like to say tonight.

She has painted my world and I never ever wanna change it.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Independence. Living on your own. Survival. Easy to say but for a lot of people, it’ll remain next to impossible; the hardest thing in this world.

It’s not related to your place of birth, your parents’ income, your circle of friends, or the story of your life. You, you only can take a decision on how you want to live your life. Being financially independent is not the only thing; there are a lot of other important things too.

I started washing my own clothes back home when I was in the 11-12 age range. Never knew why, but it sometimes offended my mom and elder sister. I could understand a bit about mom though; when a woman’s just known as a housewife because she doesn’t work or bring in the money, she is usually judged by the amount of housework she does.

I left home for my studies before I turned 16. And since then, I’ve lived with friends in hostels and rented 2-room /3-room flats. The first time, I didn’t know a thing about cooking; I was even scared of it. All I did in the first few months was helped the more experienced guys, by cutting the vegetables or cleaning the utensils.

I’ve been cooking since then, for 10 years or so now, and I know almost everything now, except for the fancy stuff like cakes and the other things you get at restaurants. And my approach to cooking has nothing to do with recipes or measurements. To me, cooking is all about sight, smell and taste.

People don’t have to become a chef just because they live away from their homes but they don’t have to be totally ignorant either. Or totally dependent on someone for that matter. So many people I know don’t even know how to make tea. They hire these cooks to buy the vegetables, cook and serve them, and wash the dirty utensils afterwards.

Then there’s another set of people to sweep and clean their rooms, and another to wash and iron their clothes. I get a lot of answers and excuses but it basically boils down to “I don’t know and I don’t have the time to learn” or a very simple and defensive, “Who’s got time?” And I wonder, and I wonder…I sweep and clean my room, wash and iron my clothes, buy vegetables, clean, cut and cook them, and wash the utensils after breakfast/lunch/dinner everyday. Sometimes, I have even sewn a tear or two in my clothes.

And I have been doing all this while I was a student, a customer care executive, a team leader, a project manager, an assistant manager…I have been doing all this work while I was working in the UK shift, US shift and the regular 9-6 shifts. And in between, I have also managed to find time to do the things I love.

Living with parents also doesn’t mean that people should get lost whenever they step outside the gate. In the bigger cities, I always find the migrants know a million things more about the city than the people who had lived there all their lives.

And it makes my blood boil whenever I see people treat their domestic help like dirt. And I wanna kill when they are just students who hire all these people with their parents’ money.

Last week, I met a friend’s friends – a couple in their early 30’s. They have a kid who has just learned to walk. The house was not big but it was not clean at all, the man and wife are both fat, the husband works, the wife doesn’t, and she was saying, “We have just hired a maid; she’ll be coming from next week.”

Oh dear Lord!!! One year down the line, I’m sure they will be spending money on a gym or some “Fuck The Rich and Lazy” diet.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Thought it was going to be a very quiet New Year’s Eve but it turned out to be a surprise. Was damn sure that it was just gonna be me and my girl, S. Had been cribbing a lot to her that she doesn’t know anyone worth meeting on the weekends, for a couple of drinks and interesting conversation.

But then an old friend of hers came from Hyd, and we all went to another friend’s place for the night. Someone mentioned the guitar and we took it from my place. It was a very nice group, and I had a great time though I learned the next day from S that I talked a lot of shit during the night. She and 3 others girls were the only sober ones in the group, and she remembered everything I talked about!!!

I realized too, afterwards, that I finished a whole lot of Vodka all alone – double the amount I used to normally drink on the weekends when I was in Delhi. The Vodka must have really got into my head as I had cut down heavily on drinks ever since I came to Bangalore. NEED to be VERY CAREFUL in the future.

When it rains, it pours. Not so quite, the fucking floods came along too in my case. Had been doing some freelancing work for the past 3 months or so, and then within a span of 2 weeks a total of 5 offers came - one each from Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi, Bangalore, and the last one from Malaysia. The Delhi offer was a huge temptation, the highest pay package and the promise of onsite trainings but the JD was a list of all the stuff that I am very familiar with, and I wanted to do and learn something new. Finally, after a lot of thought and headache, I accepted the offer from the company in Bangalore.

Watched Babel at PVR, one hell of a good movie. At home, on my PC, I’ve been watching movies almost every night. Some memorable ones include American History X, Don Juan de Marco, Fargo, Gia, Goodfellas, Henry – Portrait of a Serial Killer, House of Sand and Fog, It Happened One Night, Kalifornia, Leon, Love Song for Bobby Long, Midnight Cowboy, Of Love and Shadows, Once Upon a Time in America, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, Miami Blues, Revenge, Seven Years in Tibet, The Machinist, The Deer Hunter, What’s Eating Gilbert Grape…

Been listening to Killswitch Engage’s “The End of Heartache.” The whole album is just BEAUTIFUL!!!