Thursday, March 15, 2012

I've migrated to Wordpress.
This is my new blog address : http://knatasha.wordpress.com/
Please drop by...free words. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

A Nutsy Love

I promised myself that 2012 was going to be different and I’m going to make it happen.
While the month of January was spent doing a lot of things that I’ve never done before (like walking backwards, speaking in Hindi for a whole day, asking a man out on a date, etc.), the month of February is going to be spent just being nice and overly expressive and mushy, so please bear with me.
Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day and like most people my age, it is the day when the cynic in me comes out to play (read sit-in-a-chair-and-mock-everything-people-younger-to-me-say-or-do). But not this year. This year, I’m going to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Minus a valentine. Minus the sickening Archies-gallery-and-Hallmark products. Minus the skepticism.
It is just going to be a day of appreciation. There are a lot of people in my life who have been exceptionally nice to me and I’ve never taken the time out to let them know how much they mean to me.
That’s going to change.
Tomorrow, all the very lovely people in my life will receive an email/letter from yours truly. Not a lengthy, sappy letter. Just a small note telling them that they are appreciated.
It’s time to give back.
Sadly, I realized that I don’t have mail addresses for all these very nice people. So the element of surprise will be missing because I’m asking them for mail ids. If you read this, and if I know you, and if you’ve been remotely nice to me, please send me your mail address.
The notes are going to be personalized and not copy-pasted.
Make my day. I promise I’ll make yours.
Love.

Monday, January 16, 2012

It ain't easy being 30!


Here I am. 15 days into the new year, 30 years old and none the wiser.

I've received a lot of unheralded advice, and unwanted opinions about my life choices in the last few months. You know the drill. They say I should stop switching jobs, get married, raise a family, look for stability (ugh!) and basically, do what people (especially ladies) my age are expected to do. I'm tired of the questions and I'm extremely annoyed by their total lack of understanding. So instead of ignoring them like I have been for the past couple of years now, I decided I should address their questions (no, they call it concern) in a blog post. I'll try to be as forthright as I can but just in case I get sidelined, please do read between the lines.

Let's break up the problems people have with me in categories and address them, shall we?

1. Career

Yes, I'm a qualified engineer and an MBA and no, I do not have a 7-digit salary per annum and no, it does not look likely very soon. The longest I have managed to stay in a job is umm...9 months (and no, it wasn't what you're thinking and no babies or men were hurt in the process). I switch jobs every few months, it's true. The HR people of every company I work in give me quizzical looks because I walk out of jobs just a few months before appraisal time. My job profiles have changed from client-servicing to marketing to concept development to writing to editing to God-knows-what. But I don't go out looking for jobs armed with my updated CV and butterflies in my stomach.

I simply refuse to stay in a job that offers me no growth opportunities. I refuse to be party to office politics and gossip. I refuse to find a "comfort zone" where I work so that leaving a job becomes a task. I refuse to work in a place where putting in 16 hours of work 5 days a week makes me feel guilty for taking the weekend off. I refuse to lick the floor or my senior's ass. I refuse to let my ass be licked by people who are not senior to me. And, I refuse to close my eyes when the bubble is about to pop.

I work for 2 reasons only. Growth and money. If I'm not growing, I'm not staying. And if you can't afford me, then you can't afford my growth. My CV is more botched up than you can imagine, I know. But what is the point of working 3 years in one company when by working only 6 months in it, you know that there is nothing left to learn there? Now I'm not advocating that everyone should follow suit and change organizations as quickly as I do. And to be honest, I would love to work in a place for years at a stretch. I'm just looking for that perfect place.

2. Singledom

The only people who have the right to question my single status are my family. This right is exclusive and nobody, NOBODY else is allowed to ask me what my plans for marriage are. Basically because I don't have any right now.

I realized a few very unfortunate things recently. I'm not an anti-social person. I have friends of varying ages and backgrounds and it's a pleasure to talk to them so that I can understand their deep-rooted retardedness. I was only kidding about the term "friends" of course. So the unfortunate things I realized were:
  1. Men are more insecure than that tiny little pup you bring in out of the rain.
  2. Four out of the five single men you will meet will say "I am commitment phobic" and then as soon as you give them your phone number, they will break down and tell you how messed up their last relationship was and how they still bear that scar and <I don't know the rest. My brain switches off at that point and my phone suddenly runs out of battery disconnecting the call.
  3. If you stay alone in a place like Delhi, you should accept the fact that every man wants to drop you home. It is advisable that you travel in your own car or in groups to avoid that, unless you want to find refuge in the arms of a random stranger.
  4. You are 30 years old and a single woman in North India? Okay, that just doesn't compute. We will have to reload the data.
  5. Wanted by many, taken by none. Looking for me, honey? You've had your day in the sun. (Meaning: Be paranoid.)
3. Attitude

People have a problem with me because they say I'm too frivolous about things that they are sensitive about. Well, I'm sorry. I have enough problems of my own. Deal with your own shit.
  • I do not care if you have been cheated in love. You should have seen it coming.
  • I do not care if you think my updates on Twitter or Facebook reveal too much about me. It's my life.
  • I do not care if your favorite celeb has had a baby or released a new movie or launched a new perfume.
  • I do not care if you and your parents don't get along. If you want my opinion, it's not going to be in your favor. So don't ask for it.
  • I do not care if you think reading this blog post wasted your time. I'm not Dalai Lama.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Lost


The spark that fizzled out before its time
The jewel that nobody wore because it lost its shine
The night that passed by without any mystery
The moment that was miraculous but didn't quite make history
The blood that spilled without a reason
The chill that was cursed because it wasn't the season
The shoes that never found the right feet
The friends that drifted because there was never enough time to meet
The words that weren't spoken for fear of one
The bruises that didn't heal because you were scared to have fun
The colleague you didn't help because it wasn't your job
The sunshine you missed because it was always too hot
The perfume you didn't wear because it was for special days
The lover you secretly long for since you went your own ways
The souvenir you saved that doesn't amount to much anymore
The journey you didn't make because you were afraid of a closed door

A bit was lost and a lot was gained
Time may have passed but you may have failed.

You are your priority- not mine!



Two sides to a coin. The illusion of weighing the pros and cons. The classical dilemma between rationale and instinct.
The fear of losing something you don’t own. The dread that comes with the possibility of owning something you don’t even want.
Welcome to my mind. Let me take you on a tour through the world I’ve built for myself in the world that you call yours.
Before you begin your journey, there are rules you must abide by.
1)      You may judge.
2)      You may criticize.
3)      You may make fun.
4)      You may be biased.
5)      You may relate.
6)      You may stop reading at any instant of time. This moment qualifies.
7)      You must not question.
8)      You must not debate.
9)      You must not interrupt.
10)   You must not try to gain a residency status in my world.
Let me begin by answering a question that people love to ask- What are the priorities in your life?
Family, career. I don’t have a third priority. Yes, I probably do not have a life according to the rules of your world but this is my world we’re talking about. I believe in the concept of friends just as much as I believe in the concept of the tooth fairy. The purest non-familial love is touch and go. Money is a necessary evil but not worthy of being a priority.
First up, my family.
Satisfaction level: 10 out of 10. They are so perfect I don’t have to think. Touchwood.
I have been writing a lot about marriage lately and so I must clear the doubts that have been consequentially raised.
I love the concept of marriage. I think it’s beautiful that you find someone you want to spend the rest of your life with and then you both make a world together, where there are no secrets and you are never alone and you don’t have a moment to spare for yourself and you have a new set of relatives overnight and you can’t go out for a drive alone because you feel like getting away from everyone and you see that the man you married has put on weight and you are stuck with him and he farts and belches and makes a mess of your bathroom and he wants to have sex every night and suddenly there is someone telling you what color does not suit you and that you would look better with your hair longer and you have to cook for him and you have to socialize with people you detest and suddenly someone is stalking you and he is what they call a husband. EEEEYAAARRRGGGHH!!!
Who am I kidding? I began writing about how nice it would be and I can’t even lie about how horrendous it sounds. As I said, welcome to my mind. This is what I think about getting married.
Current satisfaction level: 9 out of 10. Currently content with the single status.
Next up, my so-called career.
So, yeah. Qualifications: 3 years of electrical engineering, 4 years of computer science engineering, 2 years of MBA with Marketing and Sales as a specialization and an additional year of MBA with Marketing & IT specialization, currently pursuing a long distance course of script writing from London School of Journalism.
Currently working as an Associate Editor of an online tech magazine. Previously dabbled in advertising and digital media.
Perpetually torn between creativity and logic.
Perpetually trying to come up with hare-brained entrepreneurial schemes that bite the dust when I try to work out the business models for each.
Satisfaction level: 4 out of 10. Don’t know what I want or where I belong.               
There aren’t any more priorities. There are wants, but there are no needs.
The mind does not adhere to the norms of convention and the heart does not want to talk about it.
There is this constant nagging sense of insecurity and uncertainty that the mind creates whenever it gets a moment to itself. And that makes me wonder.
·         Do I love what I do?
·         Do I know what I want?
People tell me that I am wise and not a stupid fool. Why doesn’t it feel that way?
Why do people expect me to talk to them when talking irritates me? I don’t mind communication, but I hate phones. You can’t just pick up your phone and dial my number and expect me to be free to talk to you or to reply to your texts. Why is that so difficult to understand?
If I’m sitting in a café and quietly reading a book and drinking my coffee, why do people feel the compulsion to make small talk? Yes, I know the author of the book is good. No, I haven’t read his other books. No, I don’t want to tell you where I work. No, I’m not carrying my business card. And no, I do NOT want to network with a complete stranger. And I know how to put a bloody charger into the wall socket so you do NOT have to assist me. I can pick up the tissue that fell from my table so do NOT help me.
I always thought I was one of the optimists and if there is one thing I can’t stand, it’s cynicism based on whim. But living alone has made me fiercely possessive about my space. Not just at a café but also at work, at home and even on the road.
So you can imagine what happens when the mind starts thinking too much about one person in particular. It obsesses one moment and then it distances itself in the next moment.
So, now that you know about my priorities and know that you are not one of them, feel free to ignore me. You’ll be doing me a favor.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

#ThingsToDo


Since I cannot avoid the “Big 3-0,” I’ve decided to make it the most eventful year of my life. So dear 2012, get ready because my bucket list is ready. It is shallow and selfish, just like me. I don’t yet know how (or maybe I just don’t want to reveal it yet), but this is what I’m going to accomplish in the year 2012. Not resolutions, just reminders:
  1. Move into a new house in Delhi. One that’s bigger, better and feels at least a bit like home. No more living like a hippie.
  2. Begin eating 3 square meals a day. And more importantly, start cooking them.
  3. Get a bloody increase in salary. No more overqualified underpaid business.
  4. Finish the draft of my first book. Since it’s been begun and trashed countless number of times, I at least know what not to do.
  5. Make up my mind whether I want to get married or not. If not, convince the family. If yes, get engaged.
  6. Make a trip to Varkala and Kochi. Kerala is not that far away and not so expensive.
  7. Learn how to swim, Goddamnit. Considering how much I love water, it’s a shame that I don’t know how to swim.
  8. Begin that long distance course from LSJ I’ve been eyeing for so long now.
  9. Invest. Find the will to save enough for a modest investment.
  10. Start an exercise routine and stick to it for more than just a week.
  11. Wake up every morning no later than 7 a.m. Okay, 8 a.m. That’s it.
  12. Find out what the fuck it is that I want to do for the rest of my life. Professionally, that is. And then stick to that. Changing job profiles every six months is suicidal.
Okay, that’s all I can think of right now.  Also, I just remembered I have pending work. More important. I’ll keep updating this list. Suggestions, as always, are always welcome. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Why my life will never become a bestseller


Life has been unusually eventful these past few months. I switched jobs, cities and issues. Lost touch with childhood friends, started avoiding social gatherings, witnessed my kittens being murdered by a mean alley cat, lost interest in movies and my own dreams somewhere along the way. Met a couple of men who wanted to marry me and considered the option in all seriousness. My mind tried to convince me that I’m finally growing up.
It’s been several months since I’ve updated my blog. There are multiple reasons for that. The first is the sheer paucity of time. The second reason is the fact that I now write for a living.
Yes, my dream finally did come true. It all came together somehow. I work as the Associate Editor of an online tech magazine now. The work is good. I get paid for finding fault with people’s grammar and sentence construct now. I get to think. I get to write and learn. It’s wonderful but it does have its moments of doubt.
I met a man who I can imagine spending the rest of my life with. But that has its moments of doubt too. And it’s way too early to say.
The most important thing that happened, though, was that I stopped believing in fairy tales. And I made peace with the fact that there is no such thing as perfect happiness. It’s a flawed concept. Damn I sound grown up!
I think the most important question in life right now is whether I want to get married at all or not. I’m still in two minds about it all. Marriage scares me. Talks of commitment make me want to break out in a cold sweat.
I spend 5 days of my week alone in Delhi and 2 days in Chandigarh with the family. I sometimes feel so torn between the two that feelings of homelessness grip me in their cold embrace.
Detachment from people, in general, has become a way of life. They think I’m too “casual”. They are not wrong. I just don’t see why I should get worked up over every little thing that people say or do. And if I do, I don’t see why I should show it. People should deal with the fact that I’m not an overly-expressive, easily perturbed 20 year old girl anymore.
I just happen to have different priorities. And my first priority is to be happy with myself.
I will not get married if I don't fall hopelessly in love. I just doubt my ability to give or receive love now.
Singledom is not a choice I'm making. It's a calculated decision. I will not ruin my life and somebody else's by getting into something that's irrevocable. 
My fairy tale needs to be rewritten. Since I'm writing my own story here, I will take the liberty to never ever let it become a bestseller. Because bestsellers are what the masses relate to. And I can't even relate to my own life here.

Here is why the story of my life will never become a bestselling work of non-fiction:
  1. As the main protagonist, I suck!
  2. The world is full of princes who turn into frogs the moment you kiss them. It's not a rare occurrence anymore. (I read the fairy tale backwards, the way it was supposed to be.)
  3. I'm way too average to be special.
  4. I have a terrible memory so I'm quite sure that I'm going to miss out on key events.
  5. Bestsellers have a lot of drama, sex and bitchy women in them. My life's drama is restricted to arguments with the landlord, I do not talk about sex because I am not Osho and have no intentions to be and the bitchiest woman in my life is, well, me.
  6. Every story has to have an ending and by the time my book gets published, the ending will have changed twice over.
  7. I'm not delusional about my life being "different" or "worth writing about."
  8. Twitter and Facebook know my life too well. The cat's already out of the bag...and sprawled over the internet.
  9. I'm just 29 years old. I haven't lived enough or seen enough to write about it. And I don't want to be just another Chetan Bhagat. He gets his ass kicked way too much and I don't aspire to be that.
  10. I just don't have the time, man!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU, ADONIS?



I know I know! I promised you I’d keep you updated with my search for my “elusive Prince Charming” and make sure the gossipy fat aunty that lies inside each of you (don’t deny her existence, she has ways of getting back you can’t dream of!) is satiated with enough raunchy details. I know I’ve been neglecting what I was born to do- provide crass literary entertainment at my expense, but really guys, believe it or not, I have a life too, okay? Well, okay, not as happening as yours, but still.
Life has a way of making you feel worried about certain things that you otherwise wouldn’t give a fuck about. Really.
Take for instance, this whole marriage scene. I wasn’t worried about when I would get married. And who I would eventually get married to. And what that would be like. I had just assumed that I would have a “..and she lived happily forever after”. It seemed a natural enough assumption for me. I mean, how else could life possibly treat me? I’m too nice to deserve any less, right?
But just when I was settling into this oh-so-comfortable notion, a new side of the story, hitherto ignored, decides to present itself in neon color.
Let me begin from the start. I can count 5 people, other than family, who have been extremely close to my heart. They’ve been a part of my childhood and/or teenage life and have stuck on because they managed to wriggle their sneaky way in to my shell. I often refer to them as my closest friends.
Now, four out of five of these great friends decide to tell me in January that they are getting married. Number One tied the knot in January. Number Two ties the knot in another 5 days. Number Three does it next month. And Number Four does it the month after that. I wouldn’t at all be surprised if Number Five comes knocking at my door with his wedding card in tow any day now.
And if you haven’t guessed by now, this new development has me freaked out oh-so-completely (especially with Mom reminding me every weekend- ALL your friends are getting married)!
I mean, what about me? I haven’t even been looking! Hell, I don’t even know where to begin looking! I mean it’s not something that I can just decide that I want and go out tomorrow, do a bit of comparative shopping and come back with the best bargain, right? Though I really think if someone would start manufacturing Perfect Men I’d go out and splurge just to even the score.
But for now, I’m stuck in a position that I can’t make much sense out of. Okay, so do I want to get married? Well, yeah, but what’s the rush?
I’m not men-o-phobic and I’m not a feminist. But what’s the hurry? Am I ready? Is my life ready? I want a fairy-tale beginning to my story. Why should I settle for anything less? The idea of staying alone, working all day and coming back to an empty house does not repel me. Mom says it’s only till the time I’m young that I’ll enjoy this state. But it doesn’t sound bad to me. I could travel the world alone. Have a home entertainment system and a stock of 500 DVDs to amuse me when I’m down. Work my ass off and not have to worry about what I have to cook for the family when I get home. I could keep 3 cats and 1 dog as my companions. Hire a cook, a maid and a driver and continue living the life of a princess.
It sounds great, doesn’t it?
Impractical, illogical, but great. I can’t force myself to go out there and fall in love with someone who is ‘marriage-material’, as the girls say. I doubt if I fit into that category. Now, don’t get me wrong. I have enormous respect for the concept of marriage and family. But I will not rush into something because of a reason like the biological clock. I don’t see myself as a baby-popping machine and it just seems like a ridiculous reason to get into a relationship.
But I also have no qualms in admitting that a Constant would do my life some good. God knows I fumble way too much than your average Jane.
I tell anyone that I’m 29 and the first question they ask me is – No marriage plans yet?
And then they try to feign surprise, amusement and distrust by contorting their faces when I say NO.
I’ve never given in to peer pressure. Alcohol, dope, kinky sex, metal, weed…they all passed me by. But the times-they-are-a-changing. I feel the pressure now and it’s not comfortable.
 I would just like to meet the man I would get married to. And I have nothing romantic to say to him. He deserves one tight slap for putting me through this nonsense. And then, maybe, I'll decide if he's marriage-material or not.
Because I deserve nothing but the bestest of the best. And I am not settling for anything halfway. The jigsaw puzzle of life will not be incomplete if it has a missing piece. It'll just not be perfect.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

"Happy" Women's Day?


I’m not a feminist. I feel no sympathy for women who cry when they are insulted by office colleagues, lovers or friends (if that’s what you can call them). I’m not an evangelist for the women’s liberation movement because I don’t believe you can earn respect by yelling till you’re blue in the face (There is a reason why Dolly Bindra is not the perfect candidate for the job). I don’t like women who pine over men who cheated on them and are willing to give them another chance (No, Ekta Kapoor, my Ba will not live to be 500 years old and honestly? Tulsi was an opportunist).
In a lot of ways, I don’t like women.
But then again, I don’t like men that much too.
I hate men who disrespect women and take them for granted. I hate men who think that a woman wearing short clothes is provoking men to misbehave with her. I hate men who stereotype women just because they belong to a particular region (thank you, MTV Roadies, men now think I’m a desperate, loud wannabe just because I belong to Chandigarh) or because they work in a certain industry (so I’m supposed to be all exciting and glamorous because I’m in advertising? Dude. Seriously).
That really doesn’t leave a lot many people for me to like but I usually do, till the second conversation.
Before I forget, Happy Women’s Day.
I hope you found a reason to be happy today because I sure as hell did not.
A DU student was shot in broad daylight in Delhi. Yes, that’s the city I live in.
No, she wasn’t mugged or robbed. She was “just” shot which led the police to the “obvious” conclusion that the culprit was known to the girl and it was probably a case of a “relationship gone wrong.”
Women in this city can’t even have themselves killed without the media and the journalists assassinating their character from thereon.
Be it the Arushi Talwar case, the Jessica Lall case or the road rage case. The victims were all women -women who were conveniently ripped off their dignity after they couldn’t voice their opinions anymore. Because they were dead.
Did Arushi Talwar have an illicit relationship with her servant or her father? Wasn’t Jessica Lall a model who wore provocative clothes and played the waitress at parties where alcohol and drugs were in rampant use? Why was the journo who was killed in the road rage accident driving her car that late at night all alone and did anyone kill her out of spite because of a “relationship gone wrong”?
Does it matter?
I know you need to find the motive for a crime. I know you must walk through a fictitious chain of events to understand what happened. But why is it that the first thought in your head always maligns the woman in question? And why is it that you need to announce your dumbfuck 'obvious' conclusions to everyone on National TV or the internet? Because it is more important that if your conclusion is right, you can say 'I told you so!'??

I’m a 29 year old single woman living in Delhi alone. I’m still scared of strangers. I’m still scared of the dark. I’m still scared of driving back alone late at night unescorted. I can’t just pick up my car keys to go on a long drive alone at night. Someone will jump me before I get to my car. I’m more afraid of the cops than I am of the random stranger walking on the road, even though I’ve never gone against the law (not counting the occasional speed limit I ignore).
If I were to die tomorrow, it would be hard on my family in more ways than one.
I dress fashionably, so I would have probably provoked some man to stab me to death.
The first thing they’ll probably check in the post-mortem report is whether I’ve been raped or not. And if I’m not, they might want to know whether I’m pregnant or not. If not, they’ll romantically link me to every man I’ve communicated with in my life. Of course, blood relations are totally included.
You know why I hate men AND women? Because there really is not much of a discrepancy here. You all would believe what the media leads you to believe.
But I’m not dying that easy, baby.
This would probably be the first time I use Hindi in my blog, but I’d rather make things easier for all those news channels that will sensationalize my death .
Just remember, my last words, whenever I die will be: Bhains ki Aankh!

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Search Begins...


Would it make sense if I said that I’ve always been paranoid but have had no real trust issues? I guess not, but since I’m not exactly known to be a very sensible and coherent woman, do excuse me.
I’ve always been more than just a little scared of your average man on the street. And staying alone in a city like Delhi does not help matters much. I’m scared of cab drivers, policemen, security guards, bosses, colleagues and the trash collector (what do you know, they have something in common after all). But the fear strangely vanishes into thin air if they make conversation with me (sorry, cat-calls at a woman walking on the street does not qualify as a conversation, pervert).
As soon as a man engages me in a chat, no matter how boring or pointless, a very irritating part of me that will definitely get me in trouble someday suddenly decides to see the inherent goodness I believe all human beings bury beneath those sneers.
This leads me to believe that I’m your average bimbette who is clueless about what people are really like (oh come on, you didn’t expect God to give me beauty AND brains, did you?)
Oh by the way, did I tell you that I’m also the worst judge of character you will ever come across? No, really. You need to meet my friends if you don’t believe me. We’re all just a bunch of no-good losers who need to keep hearing those 3 words in repeat mode – You’re the Best! We call it positive reinforcement and we don’t care what you want to call it.
I’m not really in a self-deprecating mood, you know. I’m just very very very scared right now. And I have good reason to be – my family wants me to get married.
I know I’m going to be 30 in another year and a month and I know it’s probably a good idea to take the plunge and I know that a couple of years from now the options will start dwindling. But I also know that I don’t know a thing about what marriage or commitment or all that crap is about.
I mean, if you could get inside my head you’d see I’m not more than 15 years old. My mood swings are totally dependent on the food I eat. My priorities are Mommy and Daddy. My favorite TV show is still Tom & Jerry. My favorite book is Jughead Jones Double Digest. I still think a guy who is amazingly hot can not be a bad man. And I think bad men need to look the part.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I wouldn’t mind getting married. But how can I share my room with somebody? Especially a man! And I haven’t mentioned the scary part yet. All that sex that is bound to happen! I mean how do you say no when you don’t want to do it? And what’s the whole deal with sex anyway? Can’t we just kiss and stuff and be done with it? I have a strong feeling I should not publish this particular post on my blog, for the sake of any “suitable alliances” who might stumble upon it. But they should know what they’re getting into.
And that’s my other beef. What the fuck is it with men who want to know every teensy-weensy detail about your past? I mean, isn’t it good enough that I’m with YOU right now? You probably slept around with half a dozen women and I’m not asking you statistics about your usage and behavior. I don’t want to know why you broke up with whoever you were with. I don’t care how wild she was in bed. And most importantly- I DON’T want to know what endearing names she called you by and how hard it was for you to get over that particular relationship. Shit happens, okay?
I have to say one thing. Men these days are worse than little whiny girls you’ve just snatched their teddy bears from. I’m not a feminist, honest. I love men. Hell, I love them too much to settle down with one.
My best friends are men. But you guys are really all a bunch of whiny, over-sensitive, insecure babies who constantly need someone to pull you through your respective jumbled up affairs. And I’m sorry, but I’m just too sorted to let a man come into my life and mess things up. I’m not up to playing babysitter for a grown up man.
What was I talking about? Oh yeah, the family wants me to get married.
Since I’m not even remotely in love, the only other route that’s left for me to take is either Matrimonial websites/Matrimonial Classifieds/Matrimonial Aunties (pick one).
So Mommy dearest (in cohorts with my elder sister-ditcher!) decided to take matters in her hand and today forwarded me the profiles of two such “suitable” men. She called me at work (really, Mum!) to tell me to check those profiles and see if I think any are to my liking. So I did.
One of them was your typical babu-type man who I can just imagine driving an LML-Vespa scooter to work. He had attached 3 photographs- all taken in different part of the US of A which he had conveniently titled his photographs as (really, mister, a babu-type is a babu-type even when standing in front of the Statue of Liberty). This was enough for me to shake my head in disapproval. Of course, had those pictures been taken in a Las Vegas casino with him surrounded by chips, I might have considered.
The other man in question was undoubtedly nice looking. So I clicked on his biodata (why the fuck do they still call it that?) and I couldn’t find anything I could use as an excuse to say no for. But you know how it is with men like that, right? He probably will scrunch up his nose when the family sends my pictures (which reminds me, I don’t have one decent snap and I’d rather die than get all made up and get one clicked for this particular purpose). So in all probability, he’ll refuse (my ‘biodata’ will probably scare him off as well) and I shall have more time on my hands to rant about men in general.
And if he gives it the green signal too, well, that is where the paranoia I was earlier talking of will kick in.
Since I noticed that not many women write about their search via matrimonial websites, I’ve decided to keep you all updated about how the search goes and the twists and turns an average bimbette’s mind takes while on that route.
You guessed right. I have entirely too much time on my hands. Hey, Boss, give me some work to do!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Growing Young-The Digital Way!

You know how they say life always comes a full circle? I’m beginning to think they knew what they were talking about when they coined that phrase.
And since ‘they’ are usually talking through their respective hats, it brings me to believe that I’m growing old (of course that’s completely untrue, given my incredibly gorgeous reflection in the mirror and the fact that I’m barely 29 years old).
But let’s not wander too far from the topic at hand. Life always comes a full circle. Mostly around the waist.
And now might be a good time to update my blog about my life.
It’s been a month since I started working (again). This time in a digital advertising agency. Initially, I was nervous, skeptical and tried to curb my enthusiasm about it all. I still remember how utterly disappointed my enthusiasm was the last time around. But that’s one thing that refuses to stay in chains for too long. And so here I am hyperventilating about everything that’s remotely related to the digital arm of the advertising business.
This new place I’m working at is very different from the old one. The old one was cold, impersonal, overdosing on protocol and oh-so-corporately-correct. The new one is more now. Sure they follow protocol too. But it ends soon as you punch in your presence at 10 a.m. (a rule all companies all over the world should collectively abolish). The hierarchical structure is flatter, more transparent and every person is accountable for the tasks they handle (of course, that’s the worst thing that can happen to you if you are a slacker). I actually have meetings with the CEO of the company! Me! Can you beat that? I mean I don’t know a thing and there I am sitting across a man who is the founder of the company and answering a question like, “So what do you think about it?” The first time he asked me that I actually felt he was mocking me in a sadistic sort of way. But when the realization that he was serious hit me right between my eyes, I was so taken aback I just sat there like a zombie with my mouth hanging open and nothing coming out. So I just mumbled something in an incoherent manner and weaseled out of the situation. Of course, he knew what was happening because he let an amused smirk slip. But when has any smirk/smile/sneer ever escaped my eyes? Okay, lots of times but this one didn’t.
Anyhow, what I was trying to tell you is that this new place has a great working environment. I know I said that about the last company as well. But this one is better. Seriously.

Okay now an update about my non-professional life.
I’m turning 29 in less than a month, remember? I need to give myself some frantic blog posts in my last month as a 28 year old. You know how they keep saying that age is just a number? They are wrong. If age was just a number, why would it keep incrementing year after year without anyone bothering to do the math? Now don’t give me crap about the math involved when you take the present year and subtract your birth year from it to arrive at the number that’s your age. You know I’m only making a point here so don’t go all Aryabhatta on me.
So anyway, yours truly is turning 29 soon (6th January, if you please). You know who I can’t stand? Stupid 22 year olds who keep whining about how old they are now that they are going be 23 soon. Of course, my whining would probably extract the same emotions from a 50 year old, but 50 is really old, okay?

You know, there are reasons why I’ve not been writing as often as I used to. Firstly, I sort of lost faith in my ability to write even remotely well when I started working in the Marketing Division of a Digital Agency. Especially when I was so gung-ho about making it big as a copywriter. But then when I thought about it, I realized that none of the great writers started off as copywriters. And maybe that’s a rule. You let all the creativity vent up and then pour it all in a great book in one go. I sure don’t want to write tag lines and body copy and win an award for it (Oh who am I kidding?). But I do want to write a book that’ll make people sit up and take notice. And they will. Someday.

The other reason for my prolonged absence from the blog has been my perpetual presence on Twitter. I made my Twitter account sometime early last year but started actively using it just a couple of months ago. It’s so addictive now that it’s scary. But of course, this addiction will soon be replaced by the next big thing. Just like Orkut was replaced by Facebook and Facebook by Twitter (no, not according to statistics, just my personal usage).
I have met (virtually, of course) a whole lot of interesting people on Twitter. It’s a great way for people to interact, network, showcase their wit and generally rant. Though I strongly feel that most of the active Twitter users are single quirky-alones like me, who want company but only at a distance and on our own terms. Unless, of course, you’re a marketer or a bot (and there’s an extremely thin diminishing line separating the two).
I have met people on Twitter who think like me, talk like me but just are not as fabulous as me (this is what we call unashamed self-pimping in Twitter terms).
Retweet is the new copy paste. Follow is the new “You’re awesome” and Unfollow is the new “Shut up, already.” Of course, block is still block and is self-explanatory.
See that little widget on the right hand side of this page just above the “About me” section? Click on that, follow me, and see what the hype is all about.
Yes, that digital agency is not paying me enough to hire people to do my PR for me.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

It's a miracle!



We all have a talent we are proud of. Singing, writing, dancing, art, counselling, loving, sports...they all qualify.
We're all creators of our own masterpiece. And this creation may or may not have a tangible form. A tune, a poem, a winning goal, a child, a feeling...
All it needs is a little passion. A small pulse. A tiny power. A life of its own.
And life is a mystery.
Most of the time, it whizzes past us in a blur. Some days I wake up happy. Some nights I go to bed feeling miserable. But most of the time, I'm somewhere in between the two.
Just like everybody else, I have problems. But I never have to worry about food, water, clothes, a roof over my head or a family to call my own.
Ever since I was a child, I've wanted to witness a miracle.
Like every little girl, I waited for a fairy with translucent wings and a shimmering white dress to touch me with her magic wand. Call it an overdose of Enid Blyton's books in my early years, but I really did believe in pixies and goblins. For a long time, that's all I thought miracles could be made of.
It's strange how the definition of a single word changes at different stages in an individual's life.
When I was a teenager, a miracle no longer meant an encounter with my fairy Godmother who'd turn a pumpkin into a stagecoach for me. When you're 17, a miracle in an average teenage girl's life means making it back home before the curfew time your Dad's set for you. And believe me, Cinderella had nothing to lose in comparison! 
Now that I'm older (not wiser, just older), the parameters of a miracle have changed again.
For a long time, I thought it'd be a miracle if the ideal job offer would come through. But it did. A good job. A good boss. A good workplace. And as soon as it all came together, it ceased being a miracle.
I've never felt that meeting the perfect man would be a miracle. I've met men who've been more than perfect to me. I've met the other kind too, but let's leave that for another time.
My miracles meet fulfillment. And no, I don't aim low at all.
And maybe that's where my talent lies. In recognizing the music around me without being able to play or sing a single note. In appreciating art without being able to tell the colors apart. In appreciating a photograph without  being able to tell the correct position of the lens.
And in loving life, without being able to understand any part of it. And that is my very own miracle.






Monday, October 4, 2010

Cocktail of Sour Grapes & Sweet Dreams

I remember I was in school when I first realized how much the world of advertising fascinated me. The advertisements always interested me more than the daily soaps they were interspersed with (and not the other way around).
I was born and brought up in Chandigarh and while my parents gave me full liberty to choose an academic course after school, my town offered only 4 choices – Medicine, Engineering, Commerce and Arts. I opted for Engineering because it was the “in” thing for students who were considered half-intelligent.
I opted for Electrical Engineering and failed miserably in the third year, after which I started all over again with Computer Science Engineering. I was too stupid to understand that the problem was not with the branch of engineering I had chosen. The problem was engineering itself. But by then, I had taken the failure to heart and in a silly do-or-die mode that surfaces all too often, I decided I would become an engineer even if it took me the rest of my life. Of course, it did take me three plus four, which makes a total of seven years to get a graduation degree.
After a little bit of soul-searching and several days of Google-searching, I realized what I wanted to do was get into Advertising somehow or the other.
To make a long story short, I was disillusioned by a long list of irrelevant trash posted on Google which implied that to make it big in the Advertising industry, one must understand the marketing practices and so I invested a few years to be called an MBA.
When I finally found myself in the midst of Advertising Professionals, I realized I was just an over-qualified idiot in the organization who could have easily started her career 5 years ago.
Six months, countless conversations and three meaningful meetings later, I realized that I was a bigger idiot than I was giving myself credit for - because I was right where I always wanted to be but on the wrong side of the bridge.
Do you know what it feels like when your mind is painting rainbows and your hands are working on statistics that nobody really needs (or reads)?
Well, that is exactly what I felt when I took up a job in Client Servicing. And maybe it is time that I stop being so harsh on myself. Because the advertising industry may be fascinating, glorious and the most under-rated of all, but it is also horribly structured.
It’s like a nest that has been weaved over the years by some very hard working birds, who managed to decorate it with brilliant layouts and commendable content, but who forgot how to pass the art over to their next generation. Now don’t get me wrong. The next generation had ambitious plans and a hitherto unmatched creative spark and it worked harder and better than the birds who laid the foundation of the nest. But they worked so hard, they turned the cozy little nest into a cocoon with a narrow entry.
Every year, hundreds of thousands of people like me who would gladly chuck their MBA and Engineering degrees into a dustbin to work for peanuts as a copywriter enter the market. Every year, we fight to get a chance to get our foot into the door. We take whatever is offered to us. We don’t argue over the remuneration or the job profile. Why? Because it’s hard to get a job in a good ad agency. You have to be recommended. You have to do a course that the students and mentors alike say is pretty useless.  And if you’ve made one wrong turn in your life, you are an overqualified idiot who does not deserve to be in advertising. So what if writing is your passion? So what if you can point out typographical errors to the senior copy writer? So what if you have half a million better ideas than the people who are paid to think of ideas? You are in account management. Your job is to be the mediator between the agency and the client. And if you have any creative urges, you can shove it up or leave.
And so I left.
And then it dawned on me. Maybe I was never going to be taken back in the industry. I cannot prove my creative urges in an interview when the interviewer is more interested in the neckline of my shirt than my words.
It’s been a month since I’ve been unemployed. And some would say that I am over-reacting.
But if you have ever had a burning ambition that turns into water and falls from your eyes, you would understand. And you would agree. 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I don't need a crown to rule
I don't need a gun to duel
It may get tougher to earn my daily bread
But my words will be around long after I'm dead.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Advertising Professionals or Adrenaline Junkies?


Have you ever wondered what drives people to take part in reality shows such as Fear Factor (and its 101 Indianised versions, except of course Roadies on MTV, which really should have been named Wannabes instead)?
Do you honestly believe its only the money? The fame? The beautiful opportunity to eat worms and feel snakes slithering on their bodies?
We all know there is a little something over and above these reasons that sends men and women knocking on the doors of auditions for these shows every year. It's the inexplicable thrill of doing something they've never done before. Of facing a fear that's so deep rooted, it spreads its tentacles like a persistent octopus.
There is a need to face those challenges that actualises itself into a want and takes form of an act that's bone-chilling and often disgusting and gruesome to some viewers.
Sure, people who audition for these shows are required to be physically fit, mentally strong, often abusive to their challengers and a treat to the eyes.
But what of those who don't make the mark and still feel the need to put themselves into death-defying, character abrasive and uncomfortable situations? What becomes of those who can create such situations and get out of them too, all with the conviction of one who requires no provocation to do so.
These people make a career decision that puts them into difficult situations on a daily basis.
They decide to join the Advertising Industry in India.
It starts just the same way that the show works.
We first go for auditions, which the HR people insist on calling interviews to give a more professional feel to the process. Have you noticed that the anchors and judges who sit in on auditions are usually past winners of a similar show? Well, that's the way it works with us too. Our interviewer is usually a more experienced entity of the organization who at one point of time in his or her life was a mere struggler too and was auditioned (or interviewed) by someone senior to him/her. In all probability, he/she has lost sight of how tough it is to get your foot inside the door. And (s)he makes the audition uncomfortable, sneers at your experience/portfolio and yet, makes you an offer (which is probably a fraction of your worth) because (s)he knows just how important it is to the incumbent to get into the Industry. At any level. At any salary. Exactly the same way you see contestants in reality shows who really aspire to be actors/actresses/models and have taken up a B-grade show just to show the producers that they are capable of much more. You'd be surprised at how similar the practise of hiring is. You'd be shocked at how shallow both the Media and Advertising industries are. You'd be disgusted at how couch casting is moulded to fit into a pattern that suits both the industries. You'd be amazed at how joyous an occasion it is when a talented candidate meets an interviewer with a credible reputation and the result is fruitful for both.

Next, comes the moment of truth. The performance pressures are high with people trying to outshine each other and whether you are working in servicing, creative, planning or studio, you feel the ardor, the frustration, the zeal and the frenzy in everyone's disposition.
There is an overpowering urge to rid the system of mediocrity and protocol. And again, that is similar to the shows in which the not-so-competitive candidates, who rely on their contestants' poor performance to sustain themselves, are shunted out first.
Winning a pitch is not very dissimilar to climbing a mountain in record time. While the latter has deadlines of a few seconds in a reality show, the former requires similar team effort to make the correct strategy and creatives and has not very different time frames if you think about it.

We are all walking the tightrope here. And all of us fear the fall. While the channels air such reality shows for higher TRPs, the clients hire the advertsing agencies for better communication which leads to higher revenues.

So the next time you catch someone gushing about the daredevil stunts performed on these shows, tell them you know someone who does it for a living. And if their first guess is that I work in a circus, well, an ad agency is not very different from that either.
Where I belong, we are all going at a breakneck speed towards a bottleneck foyer.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Impulsively Devilish


Have you ever noticed how confusing people can get when they quote something that's been handed down from one generation to the next?
"Think before you speak." I doubt if its humanly possible to do otherwise. Even the most drunk, impetuous, insensitive and careless soul would have to unknowingly perform via the thinking function of the brain before blurting out random words.
Why the presence of a deliberate thought process is required before speaking remains a mystery for me.
In a world that has been poisoned by bitter lies and deceit, would it not make sense if everyone would speak on an impulse?
Sure, it may cause hearts to break and feuds to start much before their time, but wouldn't the realization of truth be a liberating experience?

The Mars-Venus equation would be much simpler to understand. Men keep complaining about how they don't understand women, every chance they get. No woman would ever tell a man every little thought that crosses her mind. I don't think she can and I don't think men would be able to seperate the chaff.
In the span of 2 minutes, women can think of 20 things, I kid you not. And they don't require any provocation to think. But they won't talk about it. If they did, the men would know exactly what not to say to a woman. A man who says just what we want to hear is not welcome either. Who would want to talk to a brain-dead I-live-to-please-you mass of pulchritude? The element of chase that makes an interaction exciting is lost on people like that.
Now, I'm not advocating baring all your cards for everyone to see.
But I am talking about afflicting every passerby with the good old chronic Foot-in-the-Mouth syndrome I've never been able to shake off.
Let's start an epidemic!
Live one day of your life when all that you say is impetuous without caring for the consequences.
The devil must be an impulsive man. And that is probably why he is so misunderstood.
It's the most innocent feeling ever.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Mend the Way?


I travel from point A to point B everyday taking the same route. The road never changes. It never complains. Sometimes, the number of people taking the bottleneck left turn are too many, causing a traffic nightmare. At other times, the turn is sprinkled with speed-o-monsters who make you want to mutter a silent prayer for their safety or a slew of abuses (depending on your mood and the time).
The road bends, breaks, gets flooded, gets dirty, trampled on and spat on. Yet, it never complains. But you and I do. We complain about everything from the potholes to the trash accumulating at the corners. We blame everyone from the government to the illiterate man we see clearing his nose on the road.
Just as sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, the road will be there to take us back home. And that's when we begin taking it for granted.
I haven't lived enough to philosophize yet. But I can't help thinking how similar the road is to our journey of life.
I have had to come home due to ill health. And all I've been doing since then is complain about how the town I work in is responsible for my sickness. The truth is, anyone who tries to survive on toast for 2 straight weeks is bound to get ill.
I complain about how abusive people are at work. The truth is, someone must have done something to provoke the abuse. And even if the provocation was not there, maybe thats how people are. And I cannot be judgemental about them.

There is a possibility that I may not go back to work if I don't get physically fit soon enough.
But I cannot imagine myself working in any other industry. And my town has no scope for advertising.
It may not pay my bills. But it is a lot like a cup of hot coffee on a cold December morning. Because it makes me happy.

So you see, I complain about things that are trivial and those that are not.
But what I forget is that I am responsible for everything that goes wrong or right in my life.
I can eat a proper diet and get stronger. No-one would stop me.
I can go back to work, grow a thicker skin, hurl a few abusive words and get going. No-one would object.
I can take the same road as always from point A to point B, help reduce the debris from the roadside, honk the car horn a little less, stop scowling at the people over-taking me from the wrong direction and reach work in a good mood and on time.
But I will not do any of the above. Just like you won't.

I'll give myself excuses such as "I can't change my life. Or the way people drive."
Or maybe, " Life is unfair. Why does everything happen to me?" (which by the way, is the most common complaint which leads you to conclude that everything happens to everybody).
It's easier being a slob. Isn't it?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Advertising My Mind



I'm definitely way too young to consider mid-life crisis as an option to help untangle the muddled labyrinth of my mind.
But I have to admit that it's got me feeling sad. Sad because I feel lost. I'm trying my best to understand people around me but I've never ever given myself a good reason to trust my instincts.
I like people and I trust them. And that is indubitably my curse.

The world of advertising is full of people who are exciting, new, passionate, intelligent, creative, abusive, predatory, misleading, critical, helpful, admirable and calculative. It's hard to balance the beam and they are suddenly vicious and instantly affectionate within the same conversation. But they are easy to relate to because they are so close to reality that at the end of the day, I end up giving excuses for the nasty man who was rude to me at work while rationalizing the help from a complete stranger.

It has people who feed on humiliating me to get back at me for making a comment that established them as brainless and gutless pieces of office furniture.
It also has people who are celebrities and are yet humble enough to grant me 2 hour long meetings just to get to know what a newcomer in the industry goes through.

I like this world. There are no "Sir"s and "Ma'am"s, save a few who still require their egos to be stoked every now and then. The client servicing people abuse each other and a few minutes later share a plate of Maggi noodles. The planners argue over the best strategy over endless cups of coffee and then trash it after a meeting with the client. The copywriters and art directors fight over layouts and then play chess and step out for a smoke only to come back and resume the fight from scratch again. The studio professionals make faces and roll their eyes when they see the client servicing guys approaching but then sit with them through the night to get artworks released on time.
Like I said, I like this world.
And I know I belong here. I just don't know where I fit in.
My interviewers said they saw great "potential" in me and a spark that was burning bright and they took me on the Client Servicing team.
A gentleman of great repute on the Creative side saw through me and said I'm not cut out for servicing and should consider copywriting instead.
Planners with years of experience to their name said I have a keen analytical mind and should shape my career in a way that would land me in the Planning division.

What I WANT to do is write. But I don't believe I'm good enough. There are a lot more talented people out there.
What I DON'T want to do is stay stuck doing meaningless errands like fetching printouts and scans and making a repository of historical advertisements and stand over people's shoulders chasing deadlines. That's not who I am.
I can sense my brain rotting away. I can feel that "spark" in me fizzling out. I'm fighting to keep it burning. But I'm burning my hands in the process.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Dreaming with Rationale


I’d be lying if I said I’ve had a lot on my mind lately. Things I have been trying to work my way around.


I am no more in that phase of life when incidents, thoughts, people or songs confuse me. I am strangely sorted. I know exactly what I want and I am comfortably numb with the alternative.

Just because I have allowed the co-existence of possibilities, I am willing to succumb to the consequences of each. Probably because there is no possibility I have consciously not thought my way through.

But it makes me wonder. At what point did I switch from being the Delirious Dreamer to the Rational Rebel?

Being the Dreamer was fun, adventurous, irresponsible and it broke my heart and my hopes more times than I could count. But it made me foolishly valiant and strong. I felt unspoilt like the wilderness after a monsoon shower and willed myself to drench my dreams in turbulent waters.

Being the Dreamer, I could do whatever I wanted to and attribute my actions to my eccentricities. Believe you me, the world is more willing to accept a self professed loony than a highly recommended genius.

Now don’t get me wrong. Being Rational has its ups too. So there’s still hope for you logical thinkers.

Logic comes with a safety brace of twisted analysis. You can take a perfectly simple situation and bifurcate it endlessly to arrive at conclusions that best suit your demeanor.

Some would say my sudden change of teams from the Dreamers to the Rationals could be very well explained by my finally acknowledging that I’ve grown up.

I would strongly disagree. With the reason, not with my growing up 

I’d say the move has been selfish. Born out of need and not want. The lovechild of compromise and comfort is bloody well whatever you want to call it, as long as it promises you peace of mind.

I haven’t forgotten my dreams. But I have put new dreams on the hold for now.

I know where I want to be. It’s in two places at the same time.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Crossroads



At the crossroads between new beginnings and farewells, it may be wise to take a step back from reality and consider what you need and not what you want.
The mirror that's been your worst nemesis and best friend at all times needs to be sent on vacation.
Maybe there are things that are better ignored. Like your own opinion of yourself.

I've never let myself be bothered for too long about the warped opinions of others. And I'm willing to admit that my own opinion can be completely twisted, prejudiced and influenced on occasion.

Sure, there will be times when screaming out loud may seem like a vent, but the chains of protocol and decorum may deny you that temporary relief.
I have never felt comfortable sharing my problems with anybody. Ever.
And the times when I might have gone that route, I have regretted it from the bottom of my heart each time.

Finding yourself at crossroads in life is never easy.
But having no direction is much better than having no path.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Modest Start

Life did a complete somersault .
It decided to don a deep sea diver's costume and delve into an ocean full of new and old faces, opportunities and risks to search for the possibility of buried treasure and joy.
In a month's time, the lethargic piece of inactivity my life was thriving on metamorphosed into one where work hours extended till sometimes 16 hours out of 24 and weekends were just another working day of the week.
I am now a part of a bustling beehive where the Queen Bee is inaccessible and I am just a lowly Management Trainee in her reign.

The next phase of my life has officially commenced with my being included in the working class.
A career start at the age of 28 is definitely not what I had thought would happen to me. I had somehow convinced myself that by this age, I'd be well above the professional upheaval everyone faces.

I'm one month old in the Advertising Industry. Each day of the past month, somebody or the other from office has asked me one of the two questions:
  1. Why "advertising?"
  2. This is a thankless job that pays less than peanuts. Why are you here?
I don't have an answer. I don't know why I chose to be in Advertising. I just knew that my engineering degree meant nothing more than a proof of graduation for me.
I was placed with Deutsche AMC after I finished with MBA, but working in a financial institution selling products(read Mutual Funds) I know zilch about is not my cup of tea.

The state of confusion has never left me long enough to enjoy the feeling of stability and maybe there is a reason for that.
I have serious doubts in my ability to enjoy a life which is not riding on a turbulent wave spanning many crests and troughs.
One thing I'm not confused about though- I made the right choice!
It may be too early to say if I "belong" in this industry or not, but yes, so far, I have enjoyed each day of my working life.
I love the work environment, the deadlines looming large, the frequent exasperated conversations with the Studio people, the itching urge to tell the Creative people to speed up their intelectual stimulation process, and the near impossibility of getting free from office by 6 p.m.

One thing I can say I have become adept at in this time is washing utensils. No, that's not what I do in office. That's what I do when I get back home.
I stay with two flatmates and we cook our own food, wash utensils, clean the house, go grocery shopping...Yes, we do it all.
It feels great to know that I am capable of working hard.
That surge of satisfaction when you hit the sack after a hard day's work is not something I'd easily barter.

Happiness may very well be found in your own backyard. But there is greater joy in working for a backyard you can actually call your own.
Score one for good old fashioned hard work!!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

It's MY book!!

I'm not inherently rude. But when people who were meant to be footnotes in my book of life begin behaving like chapters, I have to tear them right off!

Familiar Strangers


stran·ger   /ˈstreɪndʒər/

–noun
.a person with whom one has had no personal acquaintance: He is a perfect stranger to me.

I am a fairly amiable and pleasant person to hang around. I think.
I don't stink, burp aloud, fart, belch or curse randomly in public. What I do in the privacy of my room should be of no concern to anybody.
I dress neatly and do not attract unwarranted attention.
When I walk down a busy market place, men and women do not give me more than the cursory glance. Well, sometimes they do (and I'd attribute that to their having nothing better to do with their time).

I am the stranger you wouldn't miss seeing on the road.
Does that sound weird? You wouldn't miss seeing any stranger, would you now? Unless, of course it is a stranger of the opposite sex who's been making you push your daily schedule so you could catch a glimpse of them.
My relationship with strangers has been kind of confusing from the start.
I have come to acknowledge the fact that all my best friends, infatuations and more have been strangers who I once noticed in the crowd for some reason or the other.
It could be for their voice, their looks, their charm, their being unusually quiet, unusually loud or just plain unusual.
I realize that makes me sound extremely shallow, but I've never been in denial of that.
I have been able to cultivate long-lasting relationships with perfect strangers.
Let me elaborate.
When I was in school, we had a new admission in the 9th standard in almost the middle of the session. She was the spoilt child of an important man in the Punjab Police, who was used to the importance people showered her with. We were in an all-girls convent school so there were no young boys around to complicate matters. I hated her guts but some time later, I realized it was all a cover for her insecurities. She became a close friend and after years of staying perfectly out of touch, I am still the only old classmate she is in touch with. And she'll always have a very special place in my heart and my life, despite all our differences.

When I was in grad college, a perfect stranger had my heart go bumpity-bump every time I'd see him cross the hallway. And I certainly wasn't the only girl who felt that way. After all, college is a time when you discover your hormones are actively engaged in making you say all the wrong things at the wrong time to the right people. But a year later, that good-looking stranger was telling me of secrets he'd never shared with anyone else, only to become my special secret for the next 3 years and my best friend for life!

When I joined the business school that was brave enough to give me admission, for one whole semester I was surrounded by young eager-to-please students who just couldn't manage to involve me in a conversation for more than 5 minutes. In the second sem, when the sections got shuffled, I was placed in one with a guy I had noticed in the first sem only because he'd never look at me. Then, I heard his voice. And it made my spine tingle and my legs melt. Now, he is the one friend I'd trust with my life and who could convince me into commiting the seven sins if he wanted to!

I know that we all start of as strangers. I know some people attract their way into our lives and we choose who we let into our lives.
But it isn't always that easy. Some strangers are a tad more difficult than others.
For me, the difficult strangers are the ones who think like me, talk like me and are just a reflection of an alternate me.
These strangers infuriate me. Because rightfully, they should be predictable and easy to read. But they are not.
I can understand the whole world. Or pretend that I do. I can pass judgements or give up on the ones that I feel are not worth the time and effort.
But every once in a while, a stranger I know nothing about but who is just so much like me comes along and I don't know how to react.
And then I thank all the beautiful strangers who came and knew how to deal with me.
They deserve all the credit for being who they are in my life.
Because I would've been clueless all along.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Matter of Numbers

I turned 28 earlier this year in the month of January.
Being 16 was easier, being 10 even more so.
But 28? That's one hell of a bad number for someone who is unattached by choice and unemployed by chance.
Sure, it might seem like a cakewalk and just another milestone 5 years down the line but that's a horrible way of undermining the current series of upheavals (and thus excitement) in life at this time.
Now that my academic education is (finally) over, the next step naturally is to actively search for suitable employment opportunities. The keyword here is "suitable", please.
Two professional degrees (B.Tech and MBA) later, you tend to be unreasonably confident of your capabilities. Which is perhaps my biggest fault (ok not biggest, but big enough)!
Been travelling to Delhi/NCR back and forth looking for a  job that would appeal to both my wallet and my knowledge. Met some nice people and some oversmart ones in the process.
I remember writing in my previous post that I don't believe the world is either "big" or "bad". Well. life decided to give me a reality check.
And guess what? I stand by what I said earlier.
It's a beautiful, welcoming world out there....you just need to open your eyes and not tread on forbidden land. Hey, that's only fair now, right?
Sure, the job that you want may not fall into your lap right away, but would you appreciate something you didn't work hard for?
I know it sounds like bullshit, but it really isn't. I don't have a job to speak of, so I don't exactly fall into the category of  its-easy-for-them-to-say people.
All I'm saying is you gotta keep the faith. Things will fall into place soon enough, sooner if not later.
I remember my sister once told me that in India, two things that will happen to you regardless of what you are like are 1) a job and 2) a wedding.
May be a bit of an exaggeration but not entirely untrue.
Now the first part made me feel happy. The second part only reminded me that my family expects me to settle down soon enough.
I'm the worst victim of commitment phobia you'll see around.
See, life's great. I wouldn't want to change something I feel I wouldn't be comfortable with.
Sure, love has happened to me. And I have considered possibilities. In all seriousness.
But getting married is not something I can imagine myself doing in the near future.
And that is not entirely a selfish decision you know. My getting married would be almost blasphemous for my would-be-husband (whoever that dear darling man is)!
Maybe that is an excuse I give myself, but my argument remains the same- why must I try and convince myself that I consciously WANT to settle down, when I know that I really don't?
Ah...28! You're a tough one...but I'd hate to see you end. 29 just sounds so much older and closer to (shudder) 30!!