Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Words & Me

There is this person who always told me how she loves my words more than me. She has always maintained it. Never changed her stand. I tried persuading her all throughout. Catherine is one stubborn yet sincere reader of my irrelevant work. But each time she says that she loves my words more than me, I honestly feel jealous of my words. I felt I need to crosscheck with Aditya to find if I deserved some attention just like my words. He also declined to oblige my contribution to my words. I felt disowned. It was almost getting proved that my words were actually better than me. It was obvious on my part to feel restless and not so happy.

I felt what should I be doing to be liked by people. It was hard to find a reason. It was equally difficult to find a better alternative to the 'words' either. In Marketing terminology, I almost went on to sell myself. It was of no use. I was falling behind in the race to my own words. My words were going ahead each time I wrote. I decided to write things that won't please the readers. I wrote about incidents that presented the ugly realities of the world. I penned down stories that would disturb an average reader. I often tried to stir the stereotyped sensibilities we are conditioned to.

In the process of all such efforts, I found myself far behind in the race. So behind that, I realized I will never be able to win it. My words took the limelight. It is not that I didn't like the limelight, but I never disliked it. I knew I will always remain a shadow to my words. My words no more were an extension to my definition, they eclipsed my identity altogether. I started analyzing what am I writing, I dissected them to the core. I said to myself I cannot write anything more extreme than this.

I found out I was only writing Truth.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

An Old Tomorrow

I am not able to blog. Blog regularly. This used to be "my space". A space where I used to vent, shout & seek peace. I still want to do that. But I am not able to write. My reading habit too, is on a decline. I was doing so many thing when I was busy, now I am not able to do half of it with double the time in my hand. I am not able to meet my evenings, the ones which used to energise me. I am not able to sprint hundred yards to catch my next destination. Are things slow around? Yes they are, they will be. I was ready for this transition, but was not ready for people becoming unknown entities. May be I thought I am getting into a more real world, only to realise artificially has made its way deep into my old place. People have turned into something that I am not able to comprehend. My nights are stretching into oblivion.

Are these my complaints? Am I unhappy? Who defines 'unhappiness' index? And what makes us 'happy' in real terms? I try to look at things in 'larger perspective'. But here the 'perspective' itself is missing. I feel I am hanging in the interstellar medium after being sent to that world by Christopher Nolan. Now what frightens me is that will I be able to come back to the real world, because there is no coming back from the fifth dimension.

An 'old' tomorrow is coming nearer. Hope, dear heart. That's what is left.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

We're All In This Cycle

Emotionally, I am not that strong. I do not claim to be as well. But just when I do not want a particular phase of my life to turn emotional, it does. Then what! Complete screw up (I'm refraining from using extreme words here). Men and the theory of them not breaking down, they being super strong while getting emotionally trapped is all but myths. I am not only referring to me here, but discovered many such folks around who sulk alone while boasting of big things in public. In my research, it is the men who are most alone, they are the ones who need a company more than their female counterparts contrary to the common perception. Then why this facade in the outside?

Life is how you define it. But then it also has its own tricks up its sleeves. You better be prepared for it. I never was and when I realised it, I realised it tough way. I struggled to meet people, I started searching for companions, I felt alone than ever before. Nostalgia is what I live in, but this sort of melancholy has never set in my days. I drive for miles while in a state of inertia, unaware of people around. I stop at traffic signals because I see a red light, I fear that colour. Then I move on again, into a state of limbo. I always search myself, as I feel that way I can keep reinventing. But in this phase of my life, I am losing myself. 

If I will say I need a companion, that would raise eyebrows. But how can I say that's the truth. I am searching all my old friends, running after them and shouting their names. They are just walking away. I am not finding my closed ones near me. It is a feeling of not being wanted, anymore. But I am still the same person. These all things can be my hallucinations because these being true will be unbearable.

Okay, so what's going on guys! I know the Football fans must be having withdrawal symptoms, it happens. Just 4 more years guys. A lot of top news editors have been leaving their current assignments, but the news is breaking everyday. Just like it was yesterday, a lady who won a medal for her nation at an international event is selling paan at a shop where she is subjected to public humiliation. They are just not accounted for, we have to 'break' such news.

We get emotional so easily for things we are concerned for. For us melting of an Ice Cream is a priority (and it should be, we are spending for it) than what will happen to earth in 30 years from now. But then there are so many things, who cares. And what shall we achieve! So let's think of of how to survive another day in office tomorrow, what new things to buy and how to make my family see a better day. In the process, let the society reach a stage where it will stink. We give a damn to the awareness towards women safety, instead tell our daughters to come home early & not wear 'specific' kind of attire. Let all confine ourselves into our four walls.

I am emotionally weak. I have been strong, have pulled myself up few times. But now I need support. Atleast, for this phase of my life. I know the future requires me to be strong. I am giving the proof of my past to it. Accept my past as my certificate. But can I get some help for my present.

Ignore these rants, let's have some chicken kassa, it is an East Indian special. Because food is what keeps us happy. Let's eat our way into happiness and oblivion.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Of Newsletter & Governance

(Image Courtesy : Blog at Wordpress)
When I sit down to write, few times I have some abstract thought recollected from a local train or a auto ride or may be a second day of full moon. But rest of the times, it is just blank. The feeling of a blank mind does have two good reasons to drive me: it challenges my creative reservoir and it makes me feel like a no one. The second feeling is quite scary, more on that some other time.

I received a copy of the newsletter from a bank that my father served for 35 years. And immediately glanced (almost proof-read it) at it thanks to my joblessness these days. And I was taken aback by the sheer amount of casual attitude towards a publication that represents a public sector bank. The layout was haywire, the editing was plain absent, the photographs are photo-shopped and looking artificial. I immediately remembered the two Newsletters that my team & I edited in my last organization. We used to take 3 different perspectives on the content and used to have 2 additional layers of content ready for each section. Or for that matter the magazines during my college days, the seriousness was sky high. Because, we always felt that once it is published, it will represent us, our skills. For us, so much was at stake. But then these days, the newsletters/magazines and such publications are of least priority for any organization; as for them it is only a waste of money. So we used to position this exercise as a brand building (and sometimes revenue generating) mediums to get the necessary approvals. There is this saying that to handle jerks, you need to behave like one. And shamelessness is just one of the many attributes I learned during my Corporate journey.

When I stepped into the state where was born and (almost) raised up, the ruling government came into power for the fourth consecutive term. They have been enjoying the severe collapse of administration of Congress for decades and large-scale corruption the state has witnessed for years. In last 15 years of their ruling, lifestyles have become better than before. But not the number of Corporates has increased barring a few, industrialization has not increased as per the national average and so on. So from where the lifestyles have gone up! The last decade and a half saw the highest exodus of graduates and postgraduates leaving the state and going outside to find a job. They have been doing well which benefits their family back home. And indirectly, the state is taking the credit for the same. Otherwise sample this: the traffic rules have become so stringent that PCR vans are chasing people having a smoke in the roadside but not able to control chain-snatchers who are doing their job efficiently everyday. The new road constructions are being done under the supervision of some visionary engineers who are making some of the worst designed & planned flyovers and road expansions. Private hospitals (read large clinics) have mushroomed like anything, but the government healthcare has remained stagnant since a decade. So where is the difference! 

And I am busy having mutton roganjosh and fried prawns. People everywhere lack a basic civic sense in this country, with stains of paan in the new Mumbai Metro within days of its inauguration or helping a person who met with an accident and lying on the road crying for help. We are just too concerned with our lives and its betterment. Or in the Football World Cup. And if we feel like speaking out, we take up the Facebook, or Twitter (for additional intellects). Or listen to Arnab at 9 PM. Yes, he does compensate our craving for noise. And life goes on.

(The article was first published at Soulscribers)

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Last Days at The Maximum City

3rd March, 2014
So here I start today, noting down my countdown. It was like a voyage on a spaceship. You get pretty nervous while getting aboard, then you reach a land you have never been. And when you get back, you know you may never be able to get back there ever. I plan to write more as days will progress, but I will write that one defining feeling which will always summarize my stay in this city:
When I was preparing to come to this city, I was not so happy and it became unbearable when I had to. And the first few months were so very difficult. I thought I can never survive. But little did I realize that a day will come when I will feel equally bad (or may be more than that) when I leave this city to go to my birthplace. That’s how insane & addictive this city can be.
21st March, 2014
I have not been able to write down anything since 2 weeks or so on my thoughts. But there has not been a single day without thinking about it. Each day brings in millions of thoughts scattered over the last 8 years in this city. As I am now heading towards my evening cup of coffee in the cafeteria, I am thinking how much I will miss these exciting 10-minute discussions on almost all the topics in the world.
37 days to go
It rained this evening. Nothing so special, but 45 days before the scheduled arrival, this is not any other rain. It came for something. May be someone. In my 9 years stay in this city, it never rained before or after the monsoons. Mumbai’s monsoon is quite time-bound like the city itself. But it made a special appearance this evening, it stayed for not too long, but it made its presence felt. Just like the too-true-to-believe-romantic stories that end too soon. And the smell of the wet soil during these first showers is beyond any words. I do not have much time left here, I sometimes feel like dying, at least a part of my soul will die when I leave this insane place. So, I feel all these are making a trip to meet me – these rains, my friends and some rare moments. Otherwise, why would it rain in 9 years in April? Did it come unannounced to meet me?
But I am not finding any reasons. Nostalgia is taking over. Melancholy is becoming permanent since last few weeks. But I am not finding reasons; I just want to live these days. These rains, the smell of the wet soil. Mumbai.
35 days to go
Well, I have never thought that this would become difficult. But since last night, I am just worried what shall I tell my boss as the reason for leaving! And how shall I say it. What are the right ways, what are the things that I should avoid? Is there actually a right way! I preach people during their induction and orientation program on how to be loyal to company and when is the right time to leave. But I, myself, finding it difficult to stumble upon that right time and the right way.
It is lunch time now, yet I am not sure when to tell him. He’s busy since morning. So am I. But I do not want to linger it further. And once I tell, it is not going to easy either. The one month of notice period is going to be very weird. I know it pretty well as I have dealt it with people who reported under me. It is never easy to let go of people. Your own people. But we all leave, at one point or the other. And that is the only constant.
32 Days to go
Now that my close circle in the office knows about it, the whole feeling is pretty different. Even after my repeated reminders, the topic of my departure during the coffee & lunch breaks keep coming up. The more I avoid, the more I hear about it.
21 Days to go
In last few weeks, I have started talking in reverse order. My second last haircut in Mumbai, fourth last grocery shopping at Hypercity, my 2nd last probable visit to Marine Drive & so on. This keeps me engrossed with my calculations, but makes me sad all the more. I have been going through tremendous amount of emotional turmoil in last couple of months. And my emotional state is hanging in balance.
16 days to go
Continuing my above hangover, today was the last full moon I witnessed. The sky was clear enough. The moon was in its full flow with the brightest energy. It was telling me the story of Mumbai, the energy. May be it was telling me not to get tired.
Selling belongings which you used for certain amount of time is not easy. I am doing it with few belongings these days. Each object which can not speak, must have seen & heard so many stories. I do not feel great being apart from them. But then carrying them along is not practical.
14 days to go
People staying outside this city often consider me as someone who spends his weekends with quite some noise. But barring may be 1 or 2, no one knows how I spend them. Let me pull the curtains off it. Out of my last 4 weekends before I leave Mumbai, a city known for its nightlife, I already spent 2 alone. And today, the second last Sunday here in the city, I went to a mall nearby and had lunch all by myself. Yup, just the "me" in a food court of a mall.
I got 2 bonus hours with my brother tonight. Missed that yesterday. I'm counting them.
5 days to go
A few stuff has been sent back to hometown. These shifting bases are hectic. I just do not like it. I preach how change is the only constant in life, yet I do not like my own personal life to change much. I am finicky to the extent of not moving my pillow an inch, and if I find that I know there is someone else who has used it. Yes, that’s how I am.
Thanks to the tiring days in office, travel & home, my melancholic mood is not setting in. Good for a person who likes to live in nostalgia.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Arrogance of Clarity

I have often been accused of being arrogant.

Quite frankly, I never thought that about myself. But the ‘perceptions’ of people around you, about you, can be intimidating enough to feed into your personality, more than what you can imagine. During my graduation, most of my fellow batch mates thought that I am arrogant for I opted for an Honors subject, which was niche, and different from other typical subjects, in more than one way. Some even thought I didn’t want to mingle around. To me it was a simple decision, as I didn't think that I was a fit in the Science stream, so I opted for the Arts & Humanities – subject of particular interest being ‘English literature’. MBA was no different. Some thought that I stay aloof because I am ‘Arrogant’, whereas I had been taking my time to adjust myself in a different city, around different people, and in a different culture as such. Eventually as time passed, I became comfortable and even created a small world for myself with a selected bunch of friends. Now when I look back, I think I spent more time in discovering myself during my MBA days, instead of spending time with other souls around that I didn't know well.

That was a choice that I made.

I think I don’t like changes - even though I somewhere know that the ‘change’ is the only constant, an eventuality. I have always preferred to stay around people that I know. I love the patterns of my life, and am immersed in the rules I set for myself. I start missing my home, my bed when I’m away - become claustrophobic around the unfamiliar. But that definitely doesn't mean that I haven’t been adaptive. Today, I am in a profession that revolves around handling people, and I have continued to do this for the last 6 years, fairly well too. I could start a conversation had I wanted, but I like to keep it sugar-free. I may not be ‘that-interesting-guy’ you meet in a pub or at a mall, but I think I am a good enough company!

Yes, I am an introvert. But I like it that way.

In a nutshell, some of these attributes possibly could have contributed to the perception people tend to make about me. Well, they may not be entirely wrong. May be I was arrogant. May be I am now too. I avoid by sitting in a corner, those terribly boring social gatherings, where nothing but superficiality rules in clich├ęd conversations. And if I’m led to accept this allegation in any case, then I will accept it.
I was always sure of what I was doing; and will be doing. Whenever I have done any wrongful act, I have accepted it downright. Hence, I never felt like explaining my actions to those who do not matter or for that matter, questioning anyone’s perception about me.

And oh yes by the way, I call it the arrogance of being precise always, ‘Arrogance of Clarity’.

(This post of mine was initially published at Soulscribe)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

What Up!

It feels good to be back here after 3 months. But it feels terrible not to have a specific topic to write. So, I will not force myself to come up with something artificial. And these days, the weather in Mumbai is so beautifully natural that I am trying not to do anything artificial throughout the day ;) It's cold, there are drizzles and there are cold windy evenings. What else one can ask for in a city known for its humidity levels. Last few weeks have been the best when it comes to my sleep, such weather provides quality sleeping and I am just not complaining.

I have been doing so many things in last couple of months, both personally and professionally, that I am not able to keep a track of my priorities. But then, who all can I keep happy. So I am just moving from one day to the other keeping myself afloat. Spendings have shot up in recent months without any changes in the salary, that leaves me on the brink of being declared a bankrupt. But I like the idea, I want to be declared as one, it makes life all the more interesting.

I have not been able to update my blog, which is painful, and I have not been watching any movies, which is equally dreadful for a movie-maniac like me. I do not know, but this whole drama of work is just not going anywhere. These days, I sometimes feel like drowning myself in the cup of coffee in the office but then refrain for the sake of those nonsensical conversations that follows along with it which is the most interesting part during day.

Am I tired of my work or profile? No and yes. Both. I love my work, but feel saddened when I feel I am kind of married to it (when I count the number of hours I spend with it). And so many 'thankless' tasks I do. The other night I googled potassium cyanide and researched as if a thesis is due to be submitted. Before that I was reading Poonam Pandey & Mallika Sherawat's new histrionics. Yes, my curiosity has no boundaries. I just go on a voyage when I surf, I read from one pole to the other and I find almost everything interesting & amusing. I really get amazed at the confidence with which Sonakshi Sinha talks about her movies and the importance of her roles or Sajid Khan judges reality shows. I like the expressions of Kirron Kher in India's Got Talent. I mean really! If she can not see half of the acts because they are scary and she hides herself behind her 'pallu', then why the hell she is judging it in the first place.

Well, let's cut the crap here. You all just stay happy. Avoid watching India play Cricket, watch some Hockey & know its rules. And do not even dare to watch or read politics, it has gone from worse to God-knows-where. Spend some money on yourself. Happiness is a very subjective thing. I will not trying defining it. So just be happy and do whatever you want to do (yes, that's what Salman says) because I am no one to advise.