Monday, June 30, 2008
10 Things I've Realized.
- “Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.”
- “There is no point in growing up if you can’t be child at times.”
- Smile is the best attire you can have.
- People come and go in your life. Only the best and the worthy stay forever.
- Don’t trust anyone more than yourself.
- Two things a relationship thrives on are understanding and trust. Love and affection are secondary.
- You cannot have everything in life. Sometimes you have to give up the second best for the best. And what is “best” various from person to person.
- Nothing in life is permanent. You will have to change your outlook, attitude and dreams as life changes for the better.
- Compromises are mutual. One sided compromises are called sacrifice.
- The sooner you learn to “get on with life” the faster you would succeed.
9 Things I'm Glad About.
- My family who have been with me throughout my good and bad time.
- My fiancée whose care and affection I value the most in life.
- My friends with whom I had most of the best time of my life.
- My teammates with whom I feel like so much at ease.
- My home, my bike and my car.
- My smile which a lot of people have mentioned as infectious.
- That we are still together after all those that had been happening with me.
- I got an Engineering seat before the fees hike and managed to clear Engineering in the first attempt.
- I am still alive.
8 Things I Badly Wanna Do.
- Spend some time together with my fiancée. Somewhere far. A quite, calm and peaceful place.
- Start living together. The reality is that it’s not gonna happen any time soon.
- “Someone” be more understanding.
- My days to get more loving and peaceful.
- Get out of the financial mess I am in.
- Give my parents something to be proud of.
- Take a healthy diet and bring some work-out into my daily routine.
- Want it to not to rain on the morning of August 21st, 2008.
7 Things I Often Tell Myself.
- You are the best.
- She is the one.
- “Everything is gonna be ok”
- Give the world all the happiness you possibly can. Suffer yourself in solitude.
- Control your temper. (Control Bhagawathy)
- Do good. Forgive mistakes out of ignorance. Vengeance is sin. Retribution is virtue. Say “Sorry” only if you really mean it.
- Life is not all about money. Love, happiness, respect, relationships and friendships value a lot more than money.
6 People I Wanna Thank.
- Mom (for her love)
- Dad (for his care)
- Brother (for his affection)
- Her (for her trust & support)
- My friends (for all the good time I have had with them)
- My sisterly friend, Nimi (for her guidance)
5 Things I Believe In.
- Myself. My strength, courage, intuition and determination.
- There is only one happiness in life, love and to be loved. Being loved matters more than loving.
- There are things beyond the explanation of logic and science.
- Life changes for the better.
- Life remains the same before and after marriage. (at least for me it will)
4 Things I Have Lost.
- Faith in God.
- My pet Appu. He was very much a part of the family.
- A few good friends because of some silly misunderstanding.
- My college days.
- I am not happy as I seem to be.
- I was not sick, still took a sick leave yesterday, June 30th, 2008.
- I have made a lot of Security violation at my work place.
- Will not make a promise that I am sure I cannot keep.
- Always keep Promise 1.
1 That's Exclusively Yours.
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Pirates of Alappuzha – The Dead Man’s Party
Sameer: “It’s beautiful”
Akash: “You know what! Humme hal sal kum se kum ek hafte ke liye Goa aana chahiye”
Sameer: “Definitely. Right Sid?”
This is our second get together in a house boat (though my first) in two years. We the Desperadoz have decided to come for a get-together once a year at some place and spend a few good days sharing all the old and new good things and memories in other’s lives. Alappuzha is not meant to be what Goa is in DCH but it happened so because we had to cut out a few other places because of reasons like unfavorable weather and lack of finance. We changed the idea of boarding from Kumarakom because we get to see a lots more backwater area if we board from Alappuzha.
Since I am going to be a dead man (it means some one who is marrying, death of bachelorhood) soon I decided to give away my Bachelor’s party as well. I know it too early to give a way one but I guess this is the time I could get the maximum participation. Panackal and Jackie were missing from the last event but Vineeth, Thaks and I were the fresh blood coming in. We had been planning the event for two months and finally the big day arrived. Six of us (Anand, Divaku, Thaks, Naru, PKPP and I) would be traveling to Alappuzha and the rest of the team (Pattu, Kiru, Vineeth, Kakka, Thottu and Dinku) coming down from Bangalore would be joining us at Alappuzha.
The alarm should have woken me up a fifteen minutes later by a bad dream took over the job at 4:00 a.m. in the morning. Phew! No a good start huh! It’s ok! After my regular “hey baby, I am up” call, I got washed, got a cup of tea and packed up a few last minute utilities. By pick up was at 5:15 a.m. from Pattom junction. Thaks was already waiting at Pattom when I got there a minute before the appointed time. I gave Naru a call and he asked for 10 min to show. Unusually early for my friends. I filled my pockets for the trip meanwhile right across the road. As the clock ticked 5:30 a.m. our transport had arrived. Anand, PKPP, Divaku and Naru had already made themselves comfortable in the 14-seater Tempo Traveler. 14-seater for just 6 guys to travel? Just show-off! Thaks and I settled in.
Seems the previous night was too short for all of us. Not much said and done in the first hour. Everybody snuggled in the comforts of their seats. I was the first to speak. I needed a tea badly. We pulled aside the Traveler to a tea-stall and had tea around 7:00 a.m. Thaks was still asleep. We soon as we got on road again I pulled out my collection of music CDs and very soon we all were hearing some good music. I tried to find a mid-way between the various tastes of music we share and I was able to pull of the trick. Baby had already started on her trip as well.
Everyone were back in their seats except for PKPP who seems to be making a road-map to Alappuzha by taking photographs of all the big and small landmark along the road, and Thaks snored along. The Bangalore guys called once in while to keep us informed of their progress. We got to Alappuzha around 8:30 a.m. and helped ourselves to breakfast of Appam and egg curry from a hotel. The hot coffee that followed tasted so good. The Bangloreans were waiting for us in a close by location. We picked them up and soon it was all “aliya- machu-hugs-smiles-back pats”. Our boating agent’s place was close by. We got there around 9:30 a.m. and it was waiting time. We were a little early to the place and our boat would be ready only by 10:30 a.m. We settled the boating bill and were planning on the drinks and extras. The Bangloreans had already brought with them a couple of Johnnie Walker Red Label Scotch whisky and Smirnoff Orange Twist vodka. A dozen beers, couple of 2l Cokes, a 2l Miranda and few “touchings” joined in. At 10:30 a.m. we were at the docks. A few snaps at the waterfront and hand shakes with the crew (a skipper and a couple of cooks) we all got inside the “Golden River 2”.
The boat’s interior wasn’t a surprise for me because I had seen lots of snapshots and description about it from my friends who were lucky to be on board it the last time. It was a not-very-expensive type houseboat (a kettuvallom, the traditional rice boat turned houseboat) made mostly of bamboo and wood. The whole of the interior had wooden finish. A hall that held a couple of settees, a dinning table with 6 chairs, a shelf that held a TV and a DVD player and seats on the both the edges of the boat. A passage from the hall leads you right to the other end of the boat where we have kitchen and you have 3 attached bedrooms with double coats on the side of the passage. Just as the boat got of the dock we all were quick in getting into one of the rooms and change to our home-wears. The beers and drinks went into the ice box.
All of us sat back and relaxed and took a good look at the vast expanse of the Punnamada Lake which is more like a river basin but it is a fresh water lake. We saw the past paddy and coconut groves, mangroves, along fresh water canals and rivers that debouch into Punnamada Lake. As you coast and wander about lake, you get to see fishermen going home and small sailboats. There are a few very-low-cost human settlements on the banks were you can women involved in the daily chores and little children enjoying game of ball and bath. Big and small carpets of Water Hyacinth flow besides. Flock of ducks swims around and sedge of cranes fly across the sky. Backwaters are not blue in color. The waters are green or black in color and in some places you do get the stink of stagnated water. But once you set in to the deepest place, all you get to see is Water, house boats and blue sky. All of us enjoyed the serene greenery and quite surroundings.
What is backwater? Usually in all places water flows forward. Place where water flows backward are known as backwater. Slapstick!
Drinks time! Applause, hurray, claps went as I open the first beer of my party. We just open one as an appetizer but it just triggered the chain reaction. Another beer followed and soon the first of the Red Label was opened. The initial kick settled in and we had started our Party around 1 p.m. The boat docked at one of the island to get some toddy. As everyone were engrossed in photography and getting Toddy my eyes didn’t fail to notice the fresh Karimeen being fried in the hotel’s kitchen. Anand, Naru, PKPP and I helped ourselves into a couple hot and tasty fried Karimeen. We also got ourselves some Kappa and Konju-curry for the evening snacks. Back in the boat and off we went. The Toddy bottles that got in with us were gulped down in a matter of minutes. Then the first wicket fell. A bit of over confidence caused Thottu badly. We sailed for another half an hour and stopped over at another uninhabited island for lunch. They server us rice, Karimeen (again) fry, sambar, cabbage, pickle, some other fixed vegetable curry and Beans Mezhukkupuratti. After everyone had their full slowly settled into a short slumber.
It was 4 p.m. before everyone came to life again. We finished the first bottle of Red Label and couple of more beer. The motors of the boat come to life and pushed us through. It started raining and some of the guys took a bath in the rain while a few other started fishing, thanks to the hooks and cockroaches (live and warped in a plastic bag, yuck!). The fishing expedition was on for the whole 22 hours we were in the boat and we didn’t even get a single fish. Changed the bait from cockroaches, rice and earthworms and still no luck. PKPP started his “Nancy Drew – Hardy Boy” story and one should see the excitement in the audience’s eyes. Amazing concentration. Naru and I are working on a story board based on the lines of PKPP’s “Nancy Drew” event. Them we stopped at yet another island and brought some prawns (each one as big as your arm) and also some snacks to eat. Music was playing in the background, goals after goals, jokes here and there, futile fishing attempts, photograph, a few calls to family and girl friends, fun fights, whiskey and beer and it was 6 p.m. Our boat headed to its mooring point in one of the islands.
As you’re near the banks of the island you could see the paddy fields spread over acres and the plantain and coconut trees on the outer edges in the fading day light. A few cows were grazing and we also could see few human settlements a far. The coconut trees played host to numerous weaver bird nest which were causing a deafening cacophony. More whiskey and beer went down with the Kappa and Konchu curry we had with us. As the light faded around so did my memory. A headache was building inside and I knew that we little more of drinks could go in. All of us were in various states of drunkenness. I needed to get well for the Vodka coming up for it had been brought especially for Dinku and me. Half a bottle of Mirinda and an entire bottle of Vodka! I just couldn’t think of the ominous time ahead.
As the Vodka made its entry around 7:30 a.m. the DJ night had begun. Some woke me up from the settee and pulled me into the ad hoc dance floor. I remember making a cameo in “Deewangi Deewangi” and also dancing topless in “Dard-e-Disco”, both from OSO. I took double large Vodka with some Mirinda. Unfortunately some ash blew me off the track. I didn’t throw up but my stomach was going berserk. Add to it some personnel problem caught up with me and I was in no mood to carry on the party. I took leave a moved into my bed. Party moved ahead full swing even without me. Someone woke me up to have dinner of chappati, rice, vendakya mezhukkupuratti and prawns (the one we brought) fry. I managed to nibble through a single chappati and vendakya but was not in a physical state to have the prawns even though I really wanted to. I remember attending a call from my colleague and making a call to baby later in the night. My memories fade out there. Sometime in the night I woke up to find PKPP hugged onto me and fast asleep.
The first rays of the sun woke me up. I got up to check on my friends and found all of them fast asleep in various postures in various parts of the boat. I made my way to front end of the boat by the controls to enjoy the countryside morning. It was a cool and clam sight out there. Soon PKPP and Kiru joined me updated me of the wonderful night they had partying. I was a silent listener. The wonderful night had gone up to 2 a.m. in the morning. One after the other everyone woke up and the crew server us some wonderful tea, the first non alcoholic beverage in over 20 hours. We just had another 3 or 4 hours for ourselves. All got busy packing and getting ready. We were served some piping hot Duck curry and appam. It was raining heavily outside and we guys attacked the breakfast like hungry wolves.
A quarter before 9 out boat started back to the waterfront. It was just 15 minutes away from the place we had moored. No one wanted to return. No one wanted the good time to end. All of us were cursing the next working day. But there was little we could do. As very soon we were at the waterfront. A few foreigners offer temporary relief but deep inside we all were disappointed that the day had ended. We took one last snap of the “12 Pirates of Alappuzha”, thanks to my manager who had showed up at the waterfront to pick some of his relatives. The Bangloreans were to be dropped at the railway station for their train was from Ernakulam at 5:30 p.m. Alappuzha beach is ring across the railway station. We had some last minute fun in the drizzle at the beach and dropped the Bangloreans at the station and gave them an emotional farewell. We all wondered who the next dead man would be.
What next? Back to six of us! Some of us wanted to go to Karimpumkala Toddy Shop in Pallam, Kottayam while the rest wanted to go home. Majority wins and off to Pallam we went. Karimpumkala is a famous Toddy shop and is renowned for the fresh seafood concoctions from the nearby Vembanadu Lake as well as the fresh toddy from the swaying coconut palms. 11:30 a.m. was too early for lunch especially because we had a heavy breakfast but the stupendous taste and smell of the food made us hungry again. To add to it the staff there were so friendly and well mannered. Kappa, appam, nadan chicken curry, Karimeen polichattu, kada fry and crab roast was simply mouthwatering. To add to the list we took parcels as well.
Back in bus we all fell asleep. MC road acted its role of “inconvenience causer” to perfection. We stopped for coffee at Venjaramoodu and in minutes Thaks and I were dropped off at Pattom, the place were all this had begun. I felt so sad waving bye to rest of the gang. I wonder when and where the next trip to be. But I would be waiting. All of them said a hundred times that I would be a doubtful starter for the next get together. I know I be proving them all wrong.
Note: Photos will be added to this post as soon as I get them.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
A Short Story
I know many of you have gone though this old story of mine many-a-time. I am just reposting the story because my life seems close to the fictional character Karthik I created two years ago. Call it foresight or coincidence. Your choice!
Meenakshi was a successful television journalist for a popular channel in Mumbai. Love happened to her very unexpectedly. She was 25, and marriage was nowhere on her agenda for at least the next three to four years. On a rainy evening of June she got a call from home. Her father wanted her to be home quickly. He had a bad news to break. Her mom was diagnosed with a severe illness. Life suddenly came to a standstill, as her father, sister and she coped with the fear of losing a loved one.
On one of those painful days, he father asked her to consider marriage 'for mom's sake'. "It would be nice if mother could attend at least one of your weddings and see at least one of her daughters settled before she succumbs to her illness," he reasoned. He then suggested that Meenakshi register herself with any matrimonial web site. She wasn’t prepared for marriage. She had just reached the best phase of her career. However, not having the heart to disappoint her parents, she did register her profile.
Being a journalist, she was so sure that it would be tough to find a life partner who could cope with her erratic hours, high stress lifestyle, and the like. Would he be able to give her the freedom required to grow professionally?
In her online profile, she mentioned exactly what she looked for in a partner. It read: "My profession requires me to travel to all sorts of places in tough conditions. Odd timings are a work hazard. But I love my job and the challenges it poses, which is why I want someone who understands what journalism is all about. He should be broad-minded, educated and a self-made man. He must carve his own niche in life and his wife must be his equal." All her friends commented: "No man in his right mind would ever respond to your profile!"
Well, so be it. There were some inquiries but nothing remotely exciting. One day she received an e-mail from a chap called Karthik. He was in search of a partner for his friend. But, when he stumbled across my profile, having found it unusual and bold, it immediately perked his interested and he decided to write to her -- for himself. For this, he had to pay up and register with the matrimonial web site.
In his first e-mail he clearly mentioned, "I am not interested in marriage. But I could not resist writing to you. I would definitely like to get to know you better."
His honesty touched Meenakshi. She got to know that he had passed out of IIT-Chennai and was working as a software engineer at a popular MNC in
The thought of marriage was scary but with Karthik, Meenakshi was ready to give it a shot. She spoke on the phone and he decided to come visit her the next weekend.
Meenakshi confided in her father about Karthik. She told him that he was coming to meet her but she wanted their first meeting to be just them, without any involvement from parent’s; the latter would only add to the pressure. Her father agreed.
The night before his flight to Mumbai she wondered what would happen if things worked out. Who would relocate to a
They finally arrived at a solution: if they liked each other and decided to marry, then they both would give themselves two months -- during this time they would both look for a job in the other city. Whoever gets a better offer would make the move. If things did not work out within two months, they would part ways.
They had not exchanged photographs so she didn't even know what he looked like. They met and Karthik turned out to be tall, dark and handsome with a great sense of humor – a killer combination. Yes, they liked each other in person too. But they decide to stick to the two-month deadline and not be hasty.
Nonetheless, Meenakshi convinced Karthik to meet her parents. Her mom post her operation was recuperating at home in a nightgown with tubes coming out of her sides, amidst visiting relatives. In-between all this chaos, Karthik met her family. There were no formalities; no trays of tea and sweets and no dressed up relatives. He felt very much at home.
The next day, she went to see Karthik off at the airport. He gave Meenakshi a DVD of a movie called “Love Actually”. Handing it over he said, "I want you and my DVD back in
Finally Karthik agreed to make the move because he wanted to be with her and see her happy. That's when Meenakshi realized that with him next to her, her career would never take a backseat. They tied the knot. She took a job transfer and moved to
Back in Action
This post is making history.
I am going into the Guinness books with this post.
Longest Gap between two Blog posts.
When: No blogs since December, 22nd, 2007.
Well back myself. I hope I don’t go into hibernation again.
I have a thousand thoughts in mind waiting to be put down to paper (blog in the e-world). Many sweet thoughts, movie scripts, poems, day-to-day wonderful experiences and what not. What to do, a terrible case of writer’s block.
So what’s new in my life?
The twist in the tail was that I had withdrawn my resignation papers with just over a week to go before being relieved.
Just over 70 days for my marriage. The preparations are in full swing. We managed to get the house painted before the monsoon. A little touch still pending, but its ok. I have made a lot of changes in my old room. The old single coat has given way to a brand new double coat. A shelf has been build into the walls to keep my stuffs. The hardest part was getting things back into place after the painters left. Phew! Hard work!
Dresses, jewellery and lots of other work pending. I shall keep you guys posted.
Then I am going to get the invitation cards today. I don’t plan to spend heavily on it but it will be cute. Miu and dad are coming with me too.
I am really looking forward to the Bachelor’s Party on 21st and 22nd. I have managed to get a few off-days swapped to make myself available for it. I certainly loved to have an increased number of participants but still we will make it a big affair.