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Elephant memory

Do you know how captive elephants are trained to not run away? They have these 15-20 kilo heavy chains around their legs. Now you would wonder why an elephant which weighs tonnes could possibly feel constrained by a chain weighing a few kilos?
Of course there is a backstory.
When the elephants are small, the trainers tie these chains around their legs/or to a peg. When the baby elephant tries to run away the chain pulls it back. It even cuts the baby elephants legs sometimes further causing hurt. Soon enough the baby elephant gets conditioned that it can’t escape as long as the chain exists.
This baby elephant can grow upto a multi tonne giant as an adult but in its mind the 15kg chain is a barrier it can’t overcome.

Many days of the year I am that elephant resigned to the memories of failure. Except I know the chains can be broken but am too consumed by my memories of feeling inadequate.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2014 in life, rant

 

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The next decade

The Twenties were magical.
I had the potential to grow up to be anyone I wanted. I could have been a housewife, I could have been a statesman, I could have been a film star. Maybe not the last one. Or I could continue on the path to achieve the gold standard of Indian middle class ( of the 90s-00s definitely)- an engineer and an MBA. Twenties were filled with possibilities and the real opportunity to take risk with minimal consequences.
Metabolism. I could polish off buffet dinners followed by buffet desserts and my pants would be no wiser. Gym? That’s were Arnold Schwarzenegger would go.
Skin care routine. Hahahaha.
Tight tee with a slogan/quote..jeans..kohl and bring on the boys. I actually used to find things to wear at Linking Road and Sarojini and Megamarts of the world. Shoppers stop was for high end wear meant for interviews.
Knockoff drinks, party all night and wake up like it’s another bright sunny day in paradise.
Twenties for also a shit storm.
Remember the potential I talked about? Can you imagine the confusion. Imagine selecting a college out nowhere which offered a BTech over any snobs wet dream-Stephens. Imagine slugging it in mock CATs and mock GD-PIs. Yup that was my early twenties. And the job interviews. Perfecting those “perfect” answers.
And boys. Too much attention but none meeting the specs of your dream man. (There is a reason he is a dream man, he is available only in your dreams). The clash of indian sanskaars with your hormones. Not being sure if you are dating the right person. Hiding this person from your parents because OMG-our-child-never-thinks-about-sex. Getting burnt and realising you are apparently made of sterner stuff.
And the cheap shopping? Ohh that’s because you were perpetually broke. When your living off 3K a month it’s often a tough choice between food and fun. (Ohh no wonder the clothes always fit)
Your first job and feeling like a royal dunce. Going from being a student to managing a bunch of people who expect you to show them the path. Path what path, your drowning in responsibilities you never knew existed.

So where were we? Yeah the next decade beckons. 30 was the way beyond. Old age. Over the hill. But guess what, I kinda earned it. I lived a good twenties. I had my share if traditional fun and if my definition of fun now means a two hour afternoon nap then I think I kinda deserve it.
And hopefully the next decade will bring a new set of milestones and adventures.

 

 

 
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Posted by on December 15, 2013 in life, nostalgia

 

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Regrets

I feel bad about about writing. Even worse when I think that growing up I used to think of this as my true love. I had hoped to learn english literature and make a career out of writing. But real life won over dreams and this became a pet hobby. There have been periods I have written regularly on this blog and elsewhere. Sometimes the periods of productivity when I couldn’t seem to contain my thoughts and they needed to be written down and shared, usually when I was emotional. Happiness doesn’t really drive me to writing.
English was never my native tongue and I think it showed in my teen prose with use of words I could hardly pronounce. It still remains a second language and I still stumble and can’t speak as eloquently as I wish I could. I write better than I speak because I get the time to form my sentences.
Often when I see and read Indian writing available I do think of what could have been. I read blogs, successful ones with lots of page views and I know I can do better, that I have more interesting things to say but then I slack out.
All my professional life including student life I have played to the gallery so to speak. Tried to be the book definition of successful. Like fish getting judged on its ability to climb a tree. Sometimes I wonder if I am being ungrateful , of asking too much, to seek joy from what I do, to leave a legacy.
Sometimes I don’t write because I feel this was my chance at coming closest to being great and I was too scared to seize it. All or nothing seems so much better paper.
I am not the greatest writer but with rose tinted nostalgic glasses I think I could have been a good one if I had tried.

Damn, why does writing about writing become a self pitying guilt trip for me?

 
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Posted by on December 13, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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The 90s Child

I read this brilliant article by Rashmi Bansal( who for the records I have been reading from 2005, and has passively played a role in motivating me to get my PG) and it was really the things I have been grappling with that she had put out there.

I grew up middle class and pretty much in genteel poverty(really cant find any other words to describe it). I went to an expensive private school but I can count the number of times we ate out as a family on the fingers of my hand. New dresses, electronic gadgets were a luxury I saw on my classmates with “business background”. I remember going to a friend s birthday party and gaping at a bar inside the house and mindblowingly she even had her own room and closet. I think I died a little the next time she came over to my 2 room apartment. But if there was something I could leave the rich kids behind it was cracking our educational system. I had a good memory and there was no question paper which was too tough. So there was just one mantra at home- study and make something of yourself. For me somewhere it meant aspiring to that lifestyle that I saw around me but couldn’t live. I was the middle class 90s child hanging onto dear life in a bus looking at the new Maruti Zen driving next to me.

So I powered through the right degrees and pretty much live the life I aspired to. I remember getting an allowance of 3K most of my engineering life from which I paid rent, utilities, food and fun. A good pair of footwear from Aldo costs more than that today and I have a cupboard full of them.

So now what? the business class has obviously moved on to bigger, shinier material comforts and I am in a pretty comfortable space myself. What is the mantra I should live by? What should I aspire for? A bigger pay check, some sort of self actualisation? When I have kids I still want them to realise the good ol “money doesn’t grow on trees”, make something of yourself etc but how will that message ever land when I also want them to go to the best ( read expensive ) private school around, holiday wherever they feel like, mall trip every other weekend and bow down to the goddess of consumerism by gifting them an iPhone when they are 2.

And what do I grow upto be?

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2013 in life

 

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Finish Line

It has been so long since I have seen this dashboard vis a vis the multiple work related dashboards I see everyday. Have to say I had to reset my password and stumble along a bit till I got here.

This post comes after a year. In fact more than that. Not that I got any crazed blog followers begging me out of my retirement but today I was reading this woman’s blog- she was funny and she was real and for a moment she reminded me of me or rather how I perceive my writing to be. And I realized how long it has been that I have not written a complete paragraph.

It was a mixed bag this year. 2011 was very good, so I set myself some ambitious growth targets in my personal and professional space-took some risks and I wish I could say I came out with flying colors but I didn’t. I succeeded in some, learnt some hard lessons, regretted some decisions, and thanked God for the good in life. In my mind I am reviewing 2012 in a loop and thinking what could make 2013 defining for me in a good way.

I was in a slump in this last quarter- you know where you doubt yourself every step and like a self fulfilling prophecy your doubts result in mis-steps. It would have been positively comic if it werent happening to me.

And in the midst of this I decided to run a 10K. Like every year I had taken the usual-get-fitter-lose-weight New Years Resolution and like a good manager I wanted it defined. So 2012-Run a 10K became the one liner in my mind.

To put things in perspective I dont like to run (or any other physical activity which involves elevated heartbeat and any sort of hand-eye coordination) and it doesnt do anything for me physically or mentally. My body doesnt change (I fuel up more than I need ) and mentally I picture myself having a cardiac arrest or dying of boredom.

Once or twice a week I run 3.5 kms on the treadmill. Yes, I wanted to follow a training schedule. Yes I have a year long gym membership. And yes I did zilch about preparing myself.

And there I was at the Bangalore Midnight Marathon with my iPhone playing my workout-playlist. I wanted to turn back and run home instead-because I knew, I just knew there was no way I would hit the finish line. That 2 hours would be up-they would close the trail and they would find me crawling somewhere. Or maybe I would just give up.

I was convinced I could not do it. I would fail. In front of all these people.

The race started. Some people ran ahead, some fell behind. I was there in between somewhere and as familiar music played in my earphones I started to run. 35 minutes later with couple of walking breaks in between I was still running. And I had finished 5kms.

This was more than I have ever run in one stretch or one day. But there were people who were running their second lap and there were people behind me. So many people behind me. And suddenly I wanted to finish this. Finish this race. My mind saw the finish line and my body just obeyed. I was reduced to brisk walking/trot/bursts of running by the time I finished 7 but I now knew I could push the 3 remaining Kms out.

And I did. It took me a goddamn 90 minutes which doesn’t stand any test of endurance/strength/stamina/speed but I walked over that 10K finish line.

For many people this would be a physical victory- of pushing their body. But for me it was doing something that my rational-realistic brain said I couldn’t-I wasnt good enough for.(Wonderful adventures with my self esteem await you in archives through the link).There wasn’t triumphant background music at my finish line. I didn’t burst into tears. My perception of life and myself didn’t change over night. But it was a small victory for my self worth.

Of course now I have to run a 10K under 60 minutes to prove my worth. To myself.

 
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Posted by on December 26, 2012 in life

 

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The Domestic Ungoddess

It has been so long since I have updated this blog that even the spam comments have stopped ,not to mention the wordpress dashboard has undergone a complete overhaul.

Ohh well.

I got married.

Yup-someone agreed to marry me. What can I say-miracles do happen.

Of course he is the-most-amazing-man-walk-on-earth and maybe now I can also post awww inspiring posts. But let me just make it clear-today is not that day.

Today is the day I tell you about the things they don’t teach you at Harvard.

1) If the wedding card says “Arrival of baraat: 8PM”, You should leave for bridal makeup at 7.30, so that you are back by 10 by which time the baraat would actually arrive. Do NOT get ready by 6PM taking into consideration Delhi’s traffic or any other factors like you are a South Indian and ignorant that North India works on a different time zone.

2) 20 sleepless, 7kg lehenga lugging hours later still smile for every single photo and REMEMBER YOUR BEST PHOTO ANGLE. You will get over the lack of sleep but ugly marriage pics live forever.

3) Prepare for that moment when after the 20 sleepless hours, and after unclipping the 200 pins on your hair bun you take a bath and come out to the room to see a saree kept ready for you to wear. There are 20 relatives waiting to judge you outside. Spending you life searching for that perfect Levis isn’t going to help you then but prodigious memory of the 2 times you did wear saree would.And yes suddenly that petticoat will seem longer than needed and peep out from the bottom.

4) Getting up at 10AM the next day and heading straight for breakfast may not reflect too well on your upbringing but will kill whatever little expectations are there out of you.

5) When it comes to cooking be honest- Maggi is your signature dish.

6) While filling forms hold back the habit and tick on married and Mrs.

7) Expect shoes, used towels, clothes anywhere and everywhere. Attitude that let it lie there till he learns to pick up after himself will not help because if you have sudden house guests you cant explain away those towels

8) Your new best friend is you maid/cook. Do half the work yourself to ease the burden on her. Offer free spa service once a month. DO WHATEVER NEEDED to retain her.

9) Yes hard day at work. Sympathies, however the tea will not make itself.

10) Personal time? Huh?

I know for someone who loathes domestic work and would rather roll in filth than move a finger I am shocked at my own transformation into I cant sleep because I know there is curry stain on my table. But then they say marriage is full of surprises-don’t they?

PS: that’s my photo, so thieving publications you better not steal it!

 
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Posted by on December 31, 2011 in life

 

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And to kick off

this attempt at blogging lets first re-plug an old post which captured my feelings on World Cup of any sort. How it deprives the mind and soul of that essential ingredient for growth and success also called the TV or the idiot box. (Yes all of life’s mysteries can be explained through the antics of the girls who participate in Splitsvilla and Nirwana must feel like watching Emotional Atyachaar all day)

So last Sunday I went to watch that match (yes the one which everyone and their social networking site timeline has an opinion about) between India and England (mostly at the insistence of AB). It was a mini miracle we got the tickets. And then we stood in the line for one freaking hour to find we have moved a grand total of 10 steps. This will not do we decided  and began to take corrective action any honorable cricket fan will do-slip in with a large family. We were now 10 steps from the gate 🙂

 

Spotted the end of the line? congratulations, you have successfully spotted where we were standing

Well you know what they say about karma being a bitch and all.

True story.

I had a point and shoot camera in my bag which I managed to sneak through the main gate. (I mean comon first match in stadium, couple of nice pics to banta hain) but supervigilant police force caught it at checkpoint no 2. No amount of begging pleading worked and we were forced to return to our car to keep back the camera. All advantages of jumping the queue were lost then and there.

Anyhow we reached the pavilion H of Chinnaswamy stadium and deposited ourself on a nice cool set of seat-good view, shaded from the afternoon sun. This at 12PM for the 2.30 match.Slowly we realised how the sun travels from East to West in the sky and how we were sitting in its path and how for the next 6 hours we will be with the players on the field not just in spirit but in sweating as well.

This ones a houseful! A slowly baking in your own skin houseful!

However have to say watching a match in a stadium is different experience altogether. And yes one more “Sachin is God” will have me tearing my hair but no other player gets the kind of reception he does. if he so much as looks at the crowd (he was fielding near our stands) the crowd goes into a frenzy. But overall the crowd was much better behaved than I expected. And it is great fun to make Mexican waves!

 

Century for master blaster! (3mpx camera main itna hi milega)

Of course India proceeded to make a mess of the last 10 overs and we were forced to watch  a very long Strauss innings thanks to the Indian bowling “attack” but when Zaheer downed a couple of wickets the crowd was back on its feet. The energy in the stadium was unbelievable. This is called home advantage. Every dot ball was cheered and every run up was roared for. Though most supporters were disappointed we couldnt defend such a huge total the nail biting finish was just too good for non-regular like me.

 

The night lights

So have this one odd experiance made me a cricket buff? I ll think over it as I go through my Dexter marathon.

 

Proof that God stood few meters from me

 
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Posted by on March 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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