Category Archives: Personal

What have we done?

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Newspapers are full of this, and yet no one seems to mind. There are a bunch of people celebrating, and another bunch lamenting this, however who I am worried about, are those in between. No I am not talking about Karnataka elections, and no I am not talking about RCB losing yet another year, I am not talking about the united front trying to fight the might of Mr Modi, nor the noisy unruly media trying to be senseless about all sensitive issues. I am talking about numerous board exams, and innumerable toppers shining in those exams.

I look at my 5 year old son, and I am worried. I hate the fact that we have bought him into an environment which reminds me of the novel Hunger Games. He is going to be one of the tributes in this dangerous game, and unfortunately this does not have just 2 from each district like the novel, but thousands of young kids cutting each other’s throat in an attempt to win a lottery called survival. He got the taste of it already, as he had to compete with age, religion, caste, money and lineage to make his first score, ‘admission’ into pre-kg. There used to be a time, when money was the biggest evil, the one holding the bight future away from many of the bright kids, and it was thought of, as the most evil thing that mankind has seen. Man, where we wrong.

I remember my father telling me, how an average student he was, and in his own sweet words trying to explain how being average is no longer enough. This was in the early 90s. I did not realise how difficult it would have been for him to expect and request his son to score a seat in the reputed college to make sure I make a decent living in the future. I did not see a big fuss in that, all my father was asking of me, was to make sure I score good enough to get a seat, my aim was much higher, I didnt care about scoring high, I wanted to score high enough to be able to go top school, the school closest to my house so that we don’t need to spend more on my living expenses. How outdated my struggle sounds.

What do I tell my son now?, let alone 10 years later when he is truly going to come to face the first big battle. Above average is going to make you a failure?, 95s are not enough?, your budget in terms of losing is 1 to 3 marks in the grand total and then hoping that all his competition slips a bit and looses 5-6 marks?. Getting marks is just a thing which he can control,  however he should also hope that his dad keeps his job and makes enough money to be able to pay for his college without having to sell his kidney?.

I have never been afraid of competition, infact it has always made me fight harder. The taste of every small win, has egged me on to make a bigger sash in trying to carve a bigger chunk of my share of the cheese. I really want our future generation to be able to breathe, and not really gasp all the time. I want my son to play his way through education, and not really run a marathon through this stampede. I would like him to believe that he is in a race, where he can win with pleasure, if and when he plays straight. I don’t want him to start seeing how this is a race where no one wins, and every one is here to lose.

I hope we abolish this hunger games. We don’t need our children to be tributes, no not in our capitol.

 

 

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Many

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Relationships have always fascinated me, and it appears that they will continue to do so. As a an awkward nerd, I have had years of experience when it comes to fantasising and daydreaming various aspects of a relationship, ranging from the initial meet, to an intimate affair. Years have left me with bits and pieces from my life, which in retrospect have taught me such wonderful aspects of human interaction, which have ended up gracing various relationships in my life.

Being a foodie has left me with some wonderful moments of sharing my favourite food and beverages with people I like. Nothing better than that cup of coffee to bring out those deep thoughts, and nothing like that mug of beer or any other drink to loosen up my restraint with people I have cared about. I have always known within few minutes of these sessions, if it is going to be just food or anything beyond that. It has been fun to revisit many of these sessions with the same people over the years, and see how we have changed.

Books have played important part in many lives including mine. When it comes to people, taste in books have been as unique as their own persona. Over the years, I have shared my taste in books with very few people, and only a handful of those have actively contributed in building my taste in books. They have come from corners of my life, from where, I did not expect any sort of a meaningful contribution. Few of them have stayed in touch with me, and few have just taken off.

For a person who is extremely opinionated about each and everything, people have passionate ideologies and firm philosophy have intrigued me. I may not agree with their thoughts and opinions, but they have held me captivated by their passion. Topics did not matter, be it feminism, Indian mythology, language, technology, or even routine work stuff. I have been blessed with partners who have had a ‘loud’ say when it comes to matter close to their heart, and eventually mine.

Many of my cherished relationships have been with people who are shy and reluctant both physically and mentally.  It has just made the progress slower and more enjoyable. A touch has lasted longer, and the feel has turned into a memory. Strangely many of these permanently etched in my mind, are still lovely to get back to. With time, many of these people have faded away into an oblivion, but these moments of reluctance have remained forever.

A movie I watched recently had an interesting observation that once we get married or fall in love with someone, we put an insane amount of pressure on that one person, to provide all those things which have received from so many different people in our lives. It is completely unfair on them, and practically impossible for any one person to do that. It made me think of what I love about my wife, and what I love about others in my life both past and present.

Acceptance

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Acceptance, why is this so hard?.

Accept, you are stretching way too beyond your limit

Accept, relationships do not run without time

Accept, you are not a super man

Accept, kids don’t develop bonds without you being part of their childhood

Accept, spouse can only be as accommodative as they can

Accept, friendships loose zing, when you have nothing in common.

Accept, even your favourite hobbies don’t stay fun, if you don’t spend time on it

Accept, food does not taste good, if your mind is debugging a work related problem

Accept, slowing down IS an option.

It is out there to see, everyone else is able to see it, and yet, you refuse to accept. Is it the ego?, is it your way of fighting it, or is it just a way of looking away, with a hope that it would magically vanish when you turn back.

How much ever you day dream, going back in time is not an option. Acceptance is the only solution.

Damn you stupid logic!

Why does it feel so long

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I close my eyes and,
I can still feel
the dusky brown skin.

With my eyes open,
I can still feel,
those smooth tanned curves.

With a smile on my face,
I can still feel,
The sensation of you on my lips.

With every breath of air,
I can still feel,
The tingle of your fragrance.

With every passing moment
I can still feel
The freshness of our moist kiss.

I agree, its been just a while,
but,
Why does it feel so long.

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P.S 2012 has been a no coffee/tea year for Rambler..so far. Why this, Why this new year resolution di.

Randomly Random

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  • This weekend I worked on a painful project. I called it mission 50. The idea was to dig into my wardrobe and get rid of 50% of my clothes. My wardrobe had got filled up over years and I used to have an odd feeling, looking at the heaps of clothes. Mission 50 was on my mind for a long time, and Saturday ended up being ‘The’ day. Its amazing how we attach memories to everything, including clothes. I let my wife do the honors and donate many of them. Felt good looking at a half empty wardrobe. No wonder my wife sneaked in couple of her hangers into my space.
  • Only time I miss staying in the US is during Christmas. I miss the sound of carols, and me humming just a line throughout the day “Its the season to be jolly fala lalaa la lalla.”
  • I had a fun vacation with my wife up the hills of kumaon in Uttaranchal. Traveling around Binsar, chakori, kasauni, Ranikhet, was so much fun. Now that we are back, we miss a lot of things
    We really miss the cold climate and the hot soups,
    We miss trying to slip into warm spots left by each other on the bed and then fighting over it.
    We miss the sunrises and sneaking out barefeet into balcony and then running back in with a numb foot.
    We miss the 5 clock sunset, and pitch darkness by 6pm.
  • Vacation reminds me of a quirk. Whats wrong with the hotels up north. I am not sure what is the thought process which goes on, when I order a tea. Do they think I take a bath in the tea?, or order it to drink. When I order a tea, why would they always give me 3 cups in a flask?. Considering my wife does not drink tea, I had a tough time finishing 3 cups twice in the morning. Towards the end of my vacation, I started ordering half a cup of tea. pheew.
  • Have you ever wondering looking at children play. I see kids in the city with their wiis and psps, TV’s and elaborate toys and still bored. I was looking at a couple of kids up in the mountains playing. I was drawn into the object of the game. The object was that, they had picked up two empty bottles and they were hitting a pole with it. After half an hour, they were still doing the same. They had broad smiles on their face, just loved how simpler things can bring happiness to kids.
  • Rambler has been bitten by SciFi bug these days. His kindle is full of Asimov.
  • I got to watch the movie “Dirty Picture” recently. Without getting into my opinion about the movie, let me just quote one of the dialogues which me and my wife thoroughly enjoyed. “Har aadmi ke liye ek aurat hoti hai. Usse bach gaye, toh life ban jayegi “, [ For every man there is an woman, if you escape from her, your life will be set ]. When this came on screen, instantly I looked at my wife, and she had turned towards me too, and we both had a hearty laugh.
  • Finally the Inox has introduced a fruit vendor. Instead of the junk fries, now we have an option of digging into freshly cut fruits.

A leaf that lasts a lifetime

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I remember that day, it was the first day of our ninth grade, and having studied for nine years in the same educational setup, I pretty much knew what to expect. It would be a day when new teachers come in with an effort to make a good first impression, or rather an intimidating one, to make sure the class is under control for the rest of the year. It would be the usual introduction of herself, followed by each of us introducing ourselves with our names. If the teacher happens to be one who has already taught us before, it would be the usual claim of how different this year, her class is going to be, how the bar of intolerance has been lowered making it impossible for us to limbo.

She was our new kannada teacher, taller compared to average south Indian women, confident, and she walked in with a smile. The smile was not one of those, which spread the friendliness, nor was it a forced fake one, which would be followed by establishing the power equation between the students and herself. It was one of those , a tad sarcastic ones which gives you an impression that she knows what she is going to be put up with.

Kannada language is mother tongue to many people in karnataka. Having spoken the language all our life, we expect the command over the language, if there is one subject/language which we are sure of scoring well, it has to be that language. Its extremely difficult to be a teacher who teaches something which all the students are already aware of, its highly likely for the students to ignore the subject, and most importantly its extremely difficult to command their respect for the subject and the teacher.
The new kannada teacher had an unique way of introducing students to her. She started a simple exercise, all we had to do was, stand up with a text, and read the passage without making a mistake, stammer, or wrong pronunciation. The first flaw in the reading would result in the next person continuing.

It was a challenge which all of us thought was a piece of cake, we were sure that the book would never reach beyond two rows.
What followed was a hilarious few minutes, with people stumbling within first few words/sentences.
I had a big ego about my kannada, [In a sort of a way, I still do], when the book came to me, I was with full determination to complete a big passage. I stumbled right after the fourth sentence.

For some reason I have never forgotten this exercise nor the teacher. This ego bursting exercise has kept me on my toes even now. Every time I feel a little over confident I do this exercise with small alteration as per the field, and it has never stopped surprising me.

I don’t know where the teacher is, nor I have any idea if I will get to thank her for this “first” class of hers.

Obsession with the move.

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There are days when I feel like a train,
train on the move,
passing through numerous stations,
few minutes of halt, and then the gallop,
people getting on, and some getting off,
a sense of belonging, short lived.

There are days when I feel like a station,
a station, the common still ground.
Trains loaded with people, come and go
few minutes of commotion, and then the calmness,
people getting off, and some getting on,
a sense of abandonment, short lived.

Makes me wonder,
Why this obsession,
Obsession with the move.