Friday, September 28, 2007

Cooking tuna with cauliflower, listening to Dream Theater, and thinking of the mountains and freedom…

I’m hitting the highways tomorrow with S, and a very good friend of mine SS, along with her husband. The last time I saw SS was at the New Year’s party in 2003. I was working at a BPO in Gurgaon then.

There were two friends with me that night – SS, and the only sardar I’ve ever known who’s thin, mad about Metallica and plays the electric guitar. And we three were pissed off because no booze was served, and to make matters worse the whole crowd was shaking to some shitty indi-pop or remixed numbers.

I had come prepared anyway and had brought a Pepsi bottle filled with rum. There were no spare/empty glasses, and nothing good to mix the rum with. So I filled whatever tiny space was there in the bottle with water. We three then went to the parking lot and shared that bottle of rum on that cold windy December night. Sipping the strong warm rum, and with a million stars above us we talked about our dreams and lovers – old and new.

After that, the night passed in a blur. We three refused to do overtime the next day (January 1) because a holiday had been promised by the management. When the Operations Manager came early morning and asked again who all were not willing to do overtime, we three were the only ones who stood up in our team. We learned later that we were the only three out of the total 800 in that SBU/process. The OM wanted to fire us but when she learned that all three of us were the best performers in our respective teams, she quietly arranged a cab for us and sent us home for the day.

It’s almost 5 years now; I’m going to meet her tomorrow, and we’ll all be going to Munnar (Kerela) in their car. I have burned a few CDs, the thermo flask is cleaned for hot tea/coffee all along the way, and one mineral water bottle has been filled with vodka (I’d have preferred rum but to hide it at the numerous check posts, I need an empty Pepsi or Coke bottle).

I just can’t wait for tomorrow.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Sometimes a “Where are you from?” or “Which place do you belong to?” leaves me speechless. I can however deal with questions that ask me where I was born, where I studied this and that, and the city where I worked and lived at a particular time.

I’m right now in Bangalore but I would prefer Pune any day as far as my working years are concerned. I just need a good job offer to relocate and settle down in that city. But after retirement, Himachal is definitely where I want to be. A small house made mostly of wood and stones, my woman, a big German shepherd, books, music and guitars are all I need for my post-retirement days. Having tea/coffee in the warm sun, breathing the mountain air, reading a good book, long leisurely walks, and guitars and rum in the evening – yeah, that’s what I want and that’s what I’m gonna do when the time comes.

And this means that I’m never going back to that place where I was born, to that place which used to be “my home” once upon a time. It has always been a cause of great concern for my family and relatives as to why I rarely go home during vacations or any holiday break. In 14-15 years, I have gone home 7 times – the longest gap was 7 years.

I have got a million answers for not going home, but it would be a sheer waste of time to say anything about these co-called reasons of mine. The biggest losers have the biggest egos, that’s what I have seen and learnt.

Went inside a church about a month back, for the first time in my life. After all the fascination I had with the whole idea and concept of Christianity during my teenage years, the experience that Sunday was a bit of a disappointment. I love some of the hymns, and the silences in between. I hate it when the people knelt, with hands joined, heads bowed, and knees on the floor.

Why do all religions adopt this unctuous, servile attitude in front of their respective Gods and Goddesses? All the so-called holy books say that God is our father/mother and people don’t kneel or bow down when they talk to their parents. Do they?

Or maybe, people kneel or bow down because they fear God. But why? God listens to you or turns a deaf ear whenever he wants. God protects or kills your loved ones whenever he wants. God rewards or punishes whoever he wants, no matter what we did, do or decide to do. And God will take your life whenever he wishes, and it really doesn’t matter whether you are on your knees or you are walking tall and straight.

God doesn’t just play a six-sided dice; he plays a million-faced dice with you and me, and everyone else. And God makes all the fucking rules.

I'm becoming an atheist, and my belief in the non-existence of God increases with each passing day. The universe is random; you and me, and everything else are just probabilities.