Sunday, November 30, 2008
Neeraj has this habit of handing out chocolates to all his juniors back in the Department of Computer Science each time he visits it, which is actually pretty often. Today, all those juniors stopped him and his baaraat when they were about to enter the wedding venue, and asked him for chocolates.
Felt nice to see so many people from our Department in one place after quite a while. I think the turnout was a little better than an actual alumni meet. And lots of people from the office as well, since both the bride and groom work at the same place as me.
Saturday, November 29, 2008
- Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa: This was, quite possibly, a strong contender for the title of The Most Difficult-To-Put-Up-With Movie Of All Time. I went to watch this one with nine or ten friends from my school. This was probably the only time we managed to gather so many of us together in one place, given the fact that a lot of us were studying in different cities all over the country. Sumit really wanted to watch this one, and he recommended a certain movie theatre in Rajouri Garden, which turned out to be full of people who whistled every time Esha Deol appeared on the screen. Even to this day, I taunt him about his "favourite movie hall." But well, this was a time when none of us were making any money and hence couldn't really afford PVRs.
- Devdas: I've often gone out with Aditi, Sumit, Doodlee and the other friends I have from my school for movies that I'd already seen. I think this was the first such. There are a lot of things about this one that all of us remember distinctly. This was the first time I experienced Doodlee's driving, when he was not too confident, but did a pretty good job anyway. This was probably the first time Sumit observed that, when going out with me for a movie, one should prepare for the fact that I am going to sing along with all the songs in my friends' ears. This particular incident was another strong manifestation of the fact that none of us could afford PVRs. We watched this one at a place in Model Town which was a pretty popular hang out for us North Campusites, but not for any of the other three people I watched it with. On this particular day, the screen was in a particularly bad state, because of which, Sumit still says that we watched Makdee and Devdas at the same time!
- Kal Ho Naa Ho: Another of our visits to Sumit's favourite theatre, another movie that I watched with these folks after already having seen it about three and a half times. There is this one amusing bit that I remember very distinctly from this one. When Preity and Saif were talking about what happened when Preity went to confess her feelings to Shah Rukh Khan, and Preity asked Saif, "If I'd known that he was already married, would I have fallen in love with him?" I couldn't really help saying, "Of course!" At which point of time, Doodlee was too busy feeling Preity's hurt to notice whatever was going on around him, but Aditi and Sumit gave me slightly amused looks, at which I kind of launched into an explanation for why I really thought she would have fallen in love with him anyway. A little later, when Preity was talking to her mom, and put forth the same question to her, both Sumit and Aditi looked at me and said, "Of course! Hai na, Dabbo?" (For the uninitiated, that's my nickname from school.)
- Bunty Aur Babli: This one came at a time when my batch mates from my MCA and I were preparing for our placement with a lot of gusto. The first company was supposed to visit our campus in about ten days. But it was my birthday, and I had to celebrate. It was the standard protocol to round up all the school friends who were in town and celebrate with them. As it happened, that year, Aditi was the only one who was around. So we decided to meet up for a movie. So when I went to the box office to get our tickets, the guy at the counter misunderstood the show we wanted to watch, and gave us tickets for one that had already started about fifteen minutes back. Since then, I always make it a point to check my tickets before I accept them, but that day, I did not. We supposedly had about an hour before our movie was supposed to begin, so we went to grab a bite, in the middle of which, I suddenly noticed the time on the tickets, after which, Aditi launched into an argument with the counter guy and then the manager, and did eventually manage to get him to change the time on our tickets, because he kept saying that he couldn't issue new ones. Oh, and the tickets for shows starting before 1 PM were fifty bucks cheaper than the others, so I actually saved a hundred bucks in the ordeal, and wished that there's been more of us to witness the event and to enable me to rob the PVR guys some more. On this particular birthday, almost all my friends called to wish me by the time the movie was over, except Doodlee. He called me at about 8 in the evening, for no apparent reason, and struck up a casual chat. He asked me what I'd been doing that day. I told him I'd gone out for a movie with Aditi. He asked why I'd done that, when I was supposed to have been studying and calling up HR people. I asked him if he knew what the date was. It was at that point that he suddenly remembered what he'd forgotten. Interesting coincidence for him to call me on my birthday, when he did not remember that it was my birthday!
- The Day After Tomorrow: This was the birthday just preceding the one I talked about right before this. That year, almost everybody was in town to celebrate with me, except Aditi. The memorable thing is that, the movie was scheduled to begin at 2:30 PM and Aditi called to wish me at exactly 2:30. What's so special about 2:30? That is the time at which I was born.
- The movie we never watched: There was this time when we'd all just finished our second year of college. Aditi's sister had a few passes to an NIE (Newspapers In Education, a programme run by the Times Of India in various schools all over the country.) film festival. Now her sister did not want to go watch any such movie, so Aditi asked Sumit and me if we wanted to watch one with her. Now this was supposed to be a movie beginning at something like nine in the morning, at the other end of town. We got up really early in the morning, to meet up at a common point near Aditi's place. Aditi arrived more than just a little late at that meeting point. Now we'd just started moving towards our destination when Aditi realised that she'd left the passes in a diary by her bedside! She called home and asked her folks to verify if that was indeed true. Now this happened in a day and age when mobile phones were not too commonplace, so this very act took up a significant amount of time. By then we realised that we'd never be able to make it in time. We ended up spending the day together and having a good time, but never again did we ever let Aditi be in charge of any tickets, movie or otherwise.
With all the radio stations playing patriotic songs over the last couple of days, I noticed that, in recent times, much of the good patriotic music has been composed by A. R. Rahman. Somehow, everyone who makes a decent film about the freedom struggle picks him to do the music. Take The Legend of Bhagat Singh. Lagaan. Mangal Pandey. Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose: The Forgotten Hero. And then there are the movies that are set in the present day, and how relevant our love for our country is in a real-world, present day scenario, like Rang De Basanti and Swades. I somehow feel that, in the music of all these and other films, Rahman has put in a lot of feeling, which makes it touch the hearts of the audience and get the film maker's message across more effectively. Even more so when he sings a little as well. Like in the Aazaadi number. Or Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera. And, of course, not to forget, the legendary, Maa Tujhe Salaam from his album that he created to commemorate India's fiftieth Independence Day. I also liked the creativity expressed in his Jana Gana Mana that he composed for our sixtieth Independence day. I somehow always feel a rush of emotions when I hear him sing these lines:
Mitti ki hai jo khushi
Wo kaise bhulaayega
Tu chaahe jab jaaye
Tu laut ke aayega
Main gaya jahaan bhi
Bas teri yaad thi
Jo mere saath thi
Nobody else can express these sentiments the way he does. Since his debut with Roja in 1992 (which, by the way, also included one of the most beautiful patriotic tracks I have ever come across - Bharat Humko Jaan Se Pyaara Hai), Rahman has come a long way. He does justice to every genre of music, be it soft, romantic numbers, or light, peppy numbers, or stage musicals like Bombay Dreams. He has been everywhere, done everything, and yet, never fails to strike a chord with his audience, never fails to please them, to give them just what they want.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
- Somewhere in the middle of dinner, the realization hit me that I'd already become used to missing Sumit, but now I'd also need to get used to missing Aditi. I know she will not be able to come back to India for at least sixteen months, until her MBA is complete.
- In the middle of the havan, Aditi's mom started to feel a little unwell. She is actually an asthma patient. She had to be taken out into the fresh air and given her inhaler. Aditi was pretty upset about her mom not being able to attend much of the ceremony. I also felt pretty much the same way, especially at the moment when Aditi wore her mangalsutra and sindoor for the first time and her mom wasn't there to see it.
- The day after the wedding, I visited Aditi's parents and sister at their place. Her sister told me that she was impressed by the way I took care of a lot of little things, because she would have lost track of half of them if she'd had to do it. She said, "Aap nahin hote to hamaara kya hota?" I was almost in tears at that instant.
- Aditi told us (the common friends) that her day was more special because we were there.
- We invited Gullu over to Aditi's place just after the mehendi and the sangeet. He was looking totally lost, at a time and place where guys did not really belong. We girls had quite some fun pulling his leg!
- The ladies sang a lovely song at the sangeet. It was set to the tune of Raghupati Raghav Raja Ram and it was about the kind of husband we all want, one who cooks, cleans, and generally does everything around the house!
- Gullu told me he'd also want to order a print of the collage that I made for the wedding gift. He wanted to see it first, to see how many pictures of him it included. Now, when I saw the collage after it was printed, my first reaction was how beautifully it had turned out after the printing and the framing. When Doodlee first saw it, he also said pretty much the same thing and appreciated the effort I'd put in. And Gullu's first reaction? "This includes only three pictures of me, and I am wearing the same shirt in all of them!"
- When we (the saalis) were welcoming the baaraat, we welcomed Sumit with some mithaai which had an insane amount of red chilli powder in them. He cannot handle too much chilli anyway. His face was quite a sight!
- When we were welcoming the baaraat, Sumit's elder jeeju asked why I had suddenly switched sides after dancing in the baaraat. I told him that I was always on Aditi's side, because Sumit never called me or invited me properly. His younger jeeju pitched in with a suggestion to pull out his cellphone and call me, so that I'd be on their side!
- When Sumit was sitting on the stage, waiting for his bride, he spent his time eating kulfi and chewing gum!
- When we were all in the bridal room, Gullu said he'd go downstairs and ask the waiters to send some appetizers upstairs. We thought he was only kidding. But sure enough, the waiter showed up with a platter of paneer tikka, momos (never before have I eaten momos at a wedding!), spring rolls and some other stuff, and announced that the pizza would arrive shortly!
- I ate about one scoop of ice-cream for dessert. In the three or four minutes that I ate it, Sumit's cousin Manish (also a friend, and about the same age as us) passed by me three times, each time, saying, "Bas kar ab!" He wanted to do it a fourth time, but he came just as I was finishing off.
- Sumit's younger jeeju was clicking some pictures. He asked us to pose with his wife (Sumit's sister) in the middle. It seemed as if he was taking a picture of just her. When we asked him what he was focusing on, he told us that he'd spent a month's salary on the jewellery that his wife was wearing, so he was focusing on that!
- When we were supposed to hide our jeeju's shoes, we couldn't find them, so we hid his jeeju's shoes! And then, all of us girls left our own slippers in the bridal room, went downstairs, and came back wearing the slippers of all the ladies, including Sumit's mom, both his sisters, and his massi!
- During the pheras, Sumit had a very interesting expression on his face, from which I could not make out if he was able to understand absolutely everything or absolutely nothing of what the panditji was saying. Surprise, surprise. He understood everything, and repeated it to all of us after we came home.
This is the first in a series of posts that I've planned to write about Aditi and Sumit's wedding. This one is about all the stuff that I experienced for the first time in my life. Here goes:
- This was the first time I went saree shopping. I've worn sarees before, but they were always borrowed from my mom. This occasion was significant enough to demand that I buy one of my own. It's just as well, actually. Earlier on, my mom's blouses used to fit me just fine. After I lost all this weight, I kind of get the feeling that I am wearing a grossly oversized T-shirt.
- Also the first time I actually bothered to buy some decent jewellery for myself. Not my usual junk jewellery that certain colleagues of mine keep making fun of!
- The first time that I actually went ahead and helped someone out with their wedding preparations.
- The first time that I danced in the baaraat and then went ahead and prepared to receive the same baaraat at the wedding venue.
- The first time that I actually spent time making something to gift someone for their wedding.
- The first time I drove to the wedding from the bride's place with the bride (Well, actually, not directly from her place, but via the parlour where we all got dressed. Also the first time I got dressed at a parlour and/or put on any more make-up than lip colour!).
- The first time I drove from the wedding to the groom's place.
- The first time I saw the little ceremonies that happen at the bride's place just before the wedding.
- The first time I saw the little ceremonies that happen at the groom's place just after the wedding.
- The first time I came home at half past six in the morning. This is approximately the time I usually get up on the days when I have to go to work. I took a bath at my usual time, and for a minute or so, thought that, since I had taken my bath at my usual time, I might as well go to work. A little sanity prevailed and I went off to sleep, although only for a couple of hours before rushing back to Sumit's place.
- The first time I blogged about someone's wedding!
"I always knew looking back on my tears would bring me laughter, but I never knew looking back on my laughter would make me cry."
A couple of weeks back, I was looking for my old photographs from my school days and the days afterwards, to put together into a collage to gift Sumit and Aditi for their wedding. Going through all those pictures, trying to select the best ones to put together, was quite an experience. It sent me off into a land of nostalgia, a land of memories, a world with just me, my friends, and my happiest moments. And from time to time, thinking of how happy some of those moments were, brought tears to my eyes. I'm not too sure why that happens. But it always does. When you look back at something that made you really happy, you tend to cry. Your heart and mind are so overwhelmed with emotion that they find no other expression of that emotion. Sometimes that's just what's best suited for you.
PS: I actually wrote this a while back, but scheduled it for publishing later because I didn't want to ruin the surprise gift for the couple.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
There are times when I fight endlessly with my mom. Argue for hours. But there are still so many things I love about her. Her patience. Her dedication towards the home and family. The fact that she has always maintained a fine balance between work and family. The fact that she has always put in her best efforts in bringing us up. The way she occasionally resorts to some pretty clownish antics. The fact that she's always given me just the right amount of freedom, no more and no less than what I need.
Love you mom. Happy birthday!
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Punjab by Karunesh: On Friday, I was in my car with a couple of friends, listening to the radio. They happened to play Lut Jaaon from Karzzz (okay, I don't know how many z's are supposed to go there!). So one of my friends and I started talking about Karunesh's music, the way it always comprises of basically one short set of notes repeated over and over again. That's how it is in Lut Jaaon. That's how it is in Punjab. I felt a very strong, immediate desire to listen to Punjab but I was too close to my destination to be able to hear all of it. I listened to it about a dozen times in the office that day. Later that day, I went out to dinner with Aditi and Sumit. As I was returning home, I played music from my pen drive instead of the radio this time. It was on shuffle, and guess which song it played first? Oh, by the way, it was nearly midnight, so it was nearly the fifteenth of November. And my player randomly choosing to play the song that Ashish has been using as the ring tone on his cellphone (since time immemorial) reminded me to wish him a happy birthday! Not that I would not have remembered otherwise. Just, maybe not exactly at midnight.
Sabka Katega Ram by BodhiTree: This is a song that was once very popular in our Department (The Department of Computer Science at the University of Delhi, where I did my MCA), a while after we'd finished our MCA, but still used to visit from time to time. One of my juniors over there used to play it on his guitar and sing it really well. I think this was one of the first few songs that Neeraj copied to his iRiver and listened to over and over again. This song brings back some sweet memories of the time for me. I'd actually forgotten it for a while, but on Monday, when we were celebrating Ashish's birthday in the office, he sang it to the team. I think Mohit and the others, most of whom had never heard it before, were a little disappointed. But I was immensely pleased. My favourite lines:
What brought us together might remain unspoken.
What held us together might be worn off and broken.
Even if your way was different, as I felt was mine
Now I want our paths to cross, waiting for my time.
Kya hua jo jhooth kaha ki mujhe na tumse pyaar
Maan bhi jaao kat jaayega pyaar mein jeevan yaar
Yakeen by Atif Aslam: Another firm favourite that I'd forgotten for a while. There was this RJ I heard on Friday morning, just a little before Lut Jaaon, who said he was going to play the Club Mix version of Yakeen. He pointed out that it was the Club Mix, not the original, so the listeners may not like it. Well, it is nice, but not as nice as the original. And the original is kind of special to me for reasons mentioned here. So this is another slightly forgotten favourite that I'm rediscovering these days. Favourite lines:
Ab agar tum mile to
Itna yakeen hai
Has denge hum to
Rona nahin hai
Observation: Normally, when I quote lyrics from songs or dialogues from movies, I google (or IMDb) for the exact words. This is the first time I wrote song lyrics from memory, without even trying to look for them somewhere first.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Coming to the point. Today, for the first time in two years, six months and nineteen days, (that's how long I've spent in my cubicle.) I chose to put a cute little kangaroo in my cubicle. This one is a memento Sumit got me from the land of kangaroos. He's totally adorable. Now I will constantly need to be on the lookout to protect him from Akash and the other mischievous people around. And I need a cute name for him. Chaya, any suggestions? Akash, I would be highly obliged if you refrain from making any suggestions here.
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
- When you meet the same people (whom you work with every day) in a different setting, and let your guards down, and they let theirs down, you get to see them for the people that they really are. This is something you don't always get to see otherwise.
- I find it reasonably easy to grow to be friends with someone, to like them, but I find it really difficult to trust someone completely. Only last night I realized that, in the immediate team of around fifty people (which includes only three females, including myself) that I went out with last night, there are only two guys I would trust completely and feel totally safe around. One of them is my boss. The other is my brother in the team, Aman. I am sure that if I actually had an elder brother, he could not have been any more caring.
- For some unexplained reason, I always get a dull ache in my left arm the day after I go bowling. I bowl with my right hand.
- On the day we plan a team outing, and on the day after that, I accomplish nothing at work.
- No prizes for guessing this one. I want to write a book and get it published.
- Vacation on a beach somewhere. A clean, peaceful one.
- Visit France and Italy.
- Have a baby. I'd like a daughter, but that's not really for me to choose. I also like the idea of adopting a little girl.
- Lose the extra weight that still remains to be lost after all this effort!
- Go live somewhere other than Delhi for a significant period of time and see what that's like.
- Learn to cook. Properly!
- Spend a couple of weeks all by myself, in a quiet place, just relaxing, unwinding, listening to my favourite music, rediscovering myself, and writing only for myself.
- Spend a couple of weeks with my closest friends, vacationing in a fun place.
- Tell a guy that I love him. And mean it. And have him say it back. Before that, find such a guy.
It's interesting to note that, if I'd made this list about six months back, it would have been more or less the same list, but prioritized very differently.
So Anuradha got engaged on Sunday. This is the second official engagement among my College friends. We got a sneak preview of the kind of fun that is in store for us when Tanu and Anuradha get married. We told Anurag that we would not let Anuradha go up to the stage unless he stepped down from there and asked for her hand. After much reluctance, he did finally give in.
There were a few very interesting moments when we entered the hall, and the photographers mistook Tanu for the bride! They spent a fair amount of time clicking pictures of "the bride" with her friends and her future mother-in-law. We enjoyed all of it, being in the limelight and having some nice pictures of ourselves clicked.
We discovered that Anuradha is not quite as punctual as Tanu was in arriving for her engagement. We already knew that, of course, but Anuradha surpassed even those expectations a little. We saw Anuradha enter the hall, walking in her trademark style that was employed while walking over from one lecture hall to another in College.
We had a great time, chatting, dancing, clicking pictures, watching the ceremony and trying to figure out the nitty-gritties of how all these things work, and, of course, eating!
We wish Anuradha and Anurag all the happiness they could ever wish for, and more.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
- Going out to watch any random movie, even Kyaa Dil Ne Kahaa or Footpath, ending up having a terrible time in the hall, and yet, making the outing special enough to be memorable after all these years.
- Going to a place like the district park in Paschim Vihar or the Japanese Park in Rohini and spending endless hours, just talking and, sometimes, flying toy airplanes.
- Going shopping in Sarojini Nagar with only ten bucks in cash, making the salesman show us his entire array of garments, and then coolly walking out of his shop.
- Going shopping in Rajouri Garden with credit cards in our pockets, going through any number of showrooms, and spending nothing at all.
- Going shopping in Rajouri Garden with credit cards in our pockets, going through any number of showrooms, and spending large amounts of money and feeling really good about it.
- Going to Pizza Hut and eating only healthy garden salads.
- Planning vacations to the cities in which they are currently working. I can probably still do that, but it will take a lot more planning.
- Sumit's favourite catch phrases like "Bachpan se hi" and "Funny bole to?" and the more recent "No worries."
- Aditi's weird jokes which only Sumit and I get.
- Having someone to go shopping (or window shopping) with whenever I feel the urge to do that.
- Having people around who actually treated me on my birthday and gave me a birthday gift. I will always cherish my birthday 2003 for those memories. I was feeling really low that day and didn't even feel like celebrating. But I'm glad I did. I felt a whole lot better afterwards.
- A ton of other stuff that I can't really put into words and append to this list.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
In case you didn't know, this tag line belongs to Dasvidaniya.
After quite a while I really enjoyed a movie. Maybe because I went out for a movie after quite a while.
The general idea that forms the base of this movie is not really new or unique, but I really liked the way it was presented here. It was absolutely beautiful, the way it shows a dying man's journey towards his death, without getting overly emotional at any point of time. Not to say that it was not sad. It was. In the right parts. To the right extent. But then, it was also amusing in parts. In the right way.
I liked the way Vinay Pathak's character Amar Kaul became a different person all together, once he decided to live his life his way. To the fullest. I think there is a bit of that kind of different person inside all of us, wanting to get out. Once in a while, we do allow that person to get out into the open. But often, we keep her or him bottled up inside ourselves.
Terrific performance by Vinay. He's been very expressive in this film. And ridiculously hilarious performance by Saurabh Shukla. The character of Amar's "mumma" was also portrayed really well by Sarita Joshi. And Rajat Kapoor was obviously great, as always, as was Ranvir Shorey, in spite of the fact that he had only so much screen time.
And here's the icing on the cake. The kind of movie that this is, I'd normally expect that it would basically have some music going in the background, but no real soundtrack to write home about. Like Mithya or Bheja Fry.
Pleasant surprise. Kailash Kher has crafted a bunch of really nice tracks here. Only three, actually, if you don't count remixes and instrumental versions separately. But three really good ones. There's the emotional Alvida, the feel good Muskura, and the really cute, slightly amusing track, Mumma. This one is really adorable when you see Vinay singing it. Okay, lip-syncing to it.
Worth a watch. And a listen too.
As promised here, and revisited here, here are my ramblings on one of my dearest friends.
- Ashish is one of those people who can be completely angelic one moment, and totally devilish the next. One instant he'll tell me something really nice and thoughtful, and the very next instant he'll jab me with a slightly mean comment.
- This is one guy who can give me an instant mood lift by playing me a nice song on his PC. Even if he claims that I somehow managed to hurt his feelings and plays Yakeen by Atif Aslam with an almost realistic indignant expression on his face.
- He has this talent for writing me an email about a buggy feature in our code, or a comment on my blog, at really odd hours in the night, that is thought provoking enough to keep me awake till 3 AM. And the next day he'll give me a genuine, heartfelt discourse on how important it is for me to get a good night's sleep. Oh, and when I'm sleep deprived, (because of him or someone or something else) and feeling totally drowsy in the middle of the workday, I refuse to let myself rely on coffee to wake me up. Ashish has this characteristic way of getting up from his seat, announcing that he's getting some tea for himself and coffee for me, and then proceeding to execute the threat.
- Since time immemorial, we've been talking about how monotonous his clothes are and that I should take him shopping for more interesting stuff. But this guy has the time and inclination to fix bugs from home on a national holiday, but not to shop. Even though I offered to sponsor his new wardrobe!
- Okay, I cannot resist the temptation to write this. He's a terrific singer, but he doesn't really match up to Hemant!
This post was not intended to include genuine, serious appreciation, just some good natured fun. Which is why I choose to stop here. But I will add this here: May you get the best of everything in life, and may the materialization of "the best" always surpass your expectations!
Actual time of writing this post: Saturday, November 15, 2008, 1:55 AM.
Friday, November 14, 2008
William (Played by Hugh): I live in Notting Hill. You live in Beverly Hills. Everyone in the world knows who you are, my mother has trouble remembering my name.
Anna Scott (Played by Julia): I'm also just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.
Runaway Bride: Richard Gere tells Julia Roberts about his idea of a perfect proposal. It goes like this:
Look, I guarantee there'll be tough times. I guarantee that at some point, one or both of us is gonna want to get out of this thing. But I also guarantee that if I don't ask you to be mine, I'll regret it for the rest of my life, because I know, in my heart, you're the only one for me.
Soon afterwards, she goes and proposes to him with those exact words.
I find these words really special, really sweet, because they have this strong sense of practicality coupled with true love. There is a realisation that you love the other person, but being in love doesn't mean that life is going to be forever rosy with some sort of fairytale "happily ever after."
Shrek: I completely adore the part where Princess Fiona has been rescued by Shrek and Donkey, and the three of them are on their way to the kingdom ruled by the ridiculously short king. Fiona gets up early in the morning, finds three eggs, and makes breakfast for the hero who saved her from the dragon and for his noble stead, even though she found both of them totally out of place and annoying at first.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Back in campus, our placement cell had a policy about not telling company A that company B was also scheduled to visit our campus. This holds for all possible combinations of A and B. We did ask our Placement Advisor about the reasons behind it, but never got a definitive answer. At the time when I was one of the Placement Coordinators, I did adhere to the policy but never really believed in it.
Why do we do this sort of thing? What exactly is it that we are afraid of?
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Laaga Chunari Mein Daag: Kunal Kapoor goes to visit Konkona and her sister Rani. He cooks pasta for everyone, and tells Rani that he is a "sunder aur susheel" guy, and can also cook great pasta. And then, out of the blue, he says that he's going to Paris, and he was thinking that he should go to Paris with Konkona after marrying her. She points out that he never even asked her! So he promptly gets down on one knee, sticks a fork into a little bit of broccoli, and holds it up to her and asks her to marry him! We've seen any number of movies where the guy gets down on one knee with a red rose or a diamond ring in his hand. But broccoli on a fork! Just awesome. I think I would prefer that kind of unique idea over a diamond ring any day.
Rang De Basanti: When Madhavan takes Soha and the gang to the ruined monument that he used to visit as a kid, to watch planes fly by, and, over there, holds out a ring to her, and says something to the effect, "If you have a little bit of time, will you be kind enough to spend the rest of your life with me?" It's a very simple, very normal proposal, save for the fact that he chose a ruin over a fancy restaurant or something of that sort. A ruin which held a special meaning for him. That's what makes it so memorable.
Monday, November 10, 2008
It's slightly out of the ordinary, since I've never actually heard of managers getting this sort of appreciation. It seems to be totally different from the time I got one. (I never wrote about that. It happened a month or so before I started blogging.) This felt a little weird, but definitely felt good, because it is most certainly very well deserved. I've mentioned before that I really like my boss.
We had our share of fun by congratulating him over and over again, knowing fully well that he was finding it a little weird too, and didn't entirely enjoy being congratulated. We also got him to take us all out for lunch. Good day for him, good day for us.
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Some very wise person has said, "Don't marry someone you can live with. Marry someone you can't live without."
That, I think, is the only right reason to get married. When you find someone you feel that strongly for, and who also feels the same way for you, then it is time to get married. I don't understand all the social pressure that mounts on all of us with each passing year of our lives. I just don't get it. How can you possibly define a "right age to get married" and trust that everybody should get married at that age? Why should I just marry some random guy just because I'm this old and fairly settled in my career? Even if I was not either of these things, but I'd found the guy I knew I wanted to be with, I would think about it seriously.
Not to say that I don't believe in the institution of arranged marriage. I've seen people find their ideal partners through that route as well. That does happen. But these things take time, patience, and a stroke of luck. People click. That click can come in a few minutes, or it can take years. But that "clicking" is the most essential reason to take a step towards wedded bliss.
Saturday, November 8, 2008
I've known for about six years that Sumit and Aditi were meant to be together. I've known for a few months now that they are getting married on the 23rd of this month. But it never sank in fully until I received the invitation yesterday and made my mom take me out today to buy something to wear for their wedding. This is the very first time in my life that I've actually bought myself a saree. I mean, I've worn sarees before, but they've all been borrowed for an evening (or a day, as they case may have been) from my mom. The salesman asked me if I wanted a really special saree, like what I would wear to a sibling's wedding. I told him that was pretty much as close as he could be to the truth.
I've known Aditi since she was twelve years old. Back then, I thought she was a bit of a weirdo. She probably was, actually. Because she admits it herself! The first couple of years that Aditi and I spent as classmates, we didn't interact too much, and I wasn't too keen on any significant amount of interaction either.
A couple of years later, after our class tenth board exams, we ended up as classmates again, and somehow, this time round, came to be pretty good friends. We worked together on the school magazine, accompanied each other on a school trip (when Adi went trekking all by herself and somehow managed to return barefoot!), and spent some good times together. We applied to NIFT for a diploma course in design together. It's a different matter that she got through and I didn't. I once accompanied her on a "shopping trip" where she went into a women's clothing store and made the salesman turn his entire store inside out, knowing fully well that she had only ten bucks in her pocket.
People say that friendship is like a delicate bone china cup. Once it cracks, you can superglue it back together, but the cracks will still show. I've had huge disagreements and differences with a number of people in my life. But my relationship with Aditi is the only one that has survived such an episode, without any cracks showing, and has infact emerged stronger.
I've known Sumit since he was fifteen. All three of us were classmates then. It's a different story that neither Aditi nor I were significantly close friends with Sumit back then. That happened only after we left school.
The three of us, along with the rest of the gang, have spent some really memorable times together. We've accompanied each other in sitting through some of the most disastrous movies ever made in Bollywood. We've eventually been shopping with each other with a three-digit sum of money or a credit card in our pockets. We've been there for each other, to share the joyous moments and to ease the pain of the sad ones. We've often been geographically far apart, but always close to each other's hearts.
I remember the time in Friends when Joey suddenly realizes that things will no longer be the same after Monica and Chandler get married. That's the kind of realization that hit me today. Things will certainly not be the same after these two get married and move to Melbourne. It's a bit of the same feeling that I had when Sumit first moved to Mysore, or Aditi first moved to Hyderabad.
But hey, we've always been good at keeping in touch across the vast distances, haven't we? There was this time when Sumit was in Bangalore and I was planning to visit him there, although we eventually decided that both of us would visit Shashank in Hyderabad instead. That was the only time in my life that I got on to a plane. To see my dearest friends. And then there was New Year's 2006-07, when I went to Jaipur to spend it with Aditi. So it's decided then. My next vacation destination will certainly be Melbourne.
Wish you two a lifetime full of joy, caring, sharing, giving and receiving (I know I sound like Joey. It's on purpose!), and happiness, with the little surprises that Sumit loves to spring on Aditi every so often (and also on the rest of us, once in a while), and the odd jokes that Aditi keeps cracking!
Love you guys so much!
There are little, happy surprises lurking around everywhere. If only we keep our eyes and ears peeled for them, we'd find a little extra spring in our step every single day.
There is this one line from this song that I really liked for some unexplained reasons:
Dil ko dikhaa dil ki shakal ka koi
It's probably the only line I can remember from this song. These days my memory fails me when it comes to remembering the lyrics of songs that I really like. I think the last time I was able to memorize the complete lyrics of a song was a little over a year ago, with Bol Na Halke Halke.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
- Often, the people who endlessly tease me, pull my leg, poke fun at me, and try to irritate me from time to time are the people I like the best. I don't feel a real connection with anyone who doesn't do this sort of thing. Well, certainly not with a guy who doesn't. It's the good natured teasing that makes me feel close, that makes me feel that I share a bond with the other person. I don't need too much of the serious stuff, the discussions about stuff that is (or seems to be) significant at a given point of time, the confiding in each other, the leaning on each other... as I need of this sort of stuff.
- I know fully well that talking to friends about stuff that bothers me is good, it's going to help me out, but, exactly when I need to talk to my friends the most, and need their support, I tend to hide in a cocoon and not talk to anyone. On the other hand, as all my good friends will tell you, I am a lot more open than the average person about anything and everything that goes on in my life when the circumstances are not too extreme.
- I have this recurring nightmare that, when I finally find a guy who wants to spend the rest of his life with me, and with whom I would love to spend the rest of mine, he buys me the most beautiful ring, and he's down on one knee, and the ring does not fit because my fingers are too fat!
- When someone says something nice about me unexpectedly, I tend to feel more confused than happy. It takes a while for the actual compliment to sink in and make me feel as elated as it should.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Two of my dearest, closest friends are marrying each other on the 23rd of this month. I'll save my original, heartfelt musings until a little closer to or just after the wedding, but right now, guys, I'll quote from Friends: the speech that Rachel makes when she and Phoebe are contending for the position of maid of honour at Monica's wedding.
"I've known them separately and I've known them together and... and to know them as a couple is to know that you are truly in the presence of love."
Love you guys. Wish you two a beautiful life together.
When I started blogging, I used to write primarily on weekends. For the last couple of weeks or so, I've been writing at least one post a day, if not here, then on my private blog. Last night I really wanted to write something and I had a vague idea in my mind, but before that idea could take the shape that it was destined for, a friend of mine called me and we talked for a while. After I hung up the phone, I was feeling too sleepy to think. I had another opportunity in the morning, when Varun (the friend I carpool with) overslept and I had some time to kill while he got ready for work. Somehow the ideas refused to form. I guess I am not a morning person, as far as blogging goes. I can only write code in the morning.
I remember the time I was completely addicted to coffee, and missed my morning cup one day. I had a pretty bad headache that day. I was pretty young then, and did not have the faintest idea how I could make myself some coffee. So after I got back from my school in the afternoon, and my mom got back from hers, she settled in for her afternoon nap, and I desperately needed to do something about the whole thing. So I just went into the kitchen and grabbed myself a spoonful of coffee powder. It was a wee bit more bitter than I'd imagined.
And here's what happened to me today. I had this bottled up restlessness from not being able to write last night, or this morning. And I had a bit of restlessness from a little something at work that I'd been struggling with for a couple of days and not getting anywhere. I did eventually get that thing done today. It seemed almost inconsequential that I finally managed to accomplish this little task that I'd been struggling with all this while.
The instant I got home, I just wanted to sit here and write. But then my laptop ran into some spy ware trouble. Handed it over to the expert and had him fix it. Sat down to write as soon as it was all done. I have yet to go take my evening bath. And my close friends like Sumit and Shashank know how extremely important that is to me. I can give up rajma chawal, chocolate chip muffins, sleep, entertainment, but certainly not either of my daily bath times! Finally. Something else is more important than bathing!
Monday, November 3, 2008
Tujh mein agar pyaas hai
Baarish ka ghar bhi pass hai
Roke tujhe koi kyon bhala
Sang sang tere aakash hai
Tu dhoop hai
Chham se bikhar
Tu hai nadee, o bekhabar
Beh chal kahin
Udd chal kahin
Dil khush jahan
Teri toh manzil hai wahin
I was just thinking about one of my random questions. The one about not being a girly sort of girl. Or at least not appearing so on the outside. Bhatti has actually pointed out the most apparent reason for this. I am a bit of what he describes me to be in his comment on that post. There are not too many guys whom I've met more than once who have not been the target of a punch or two from me, or at least a threat for one. Another friend of mine pointed out, in a different sort of context, before I wrote that post, that I am less reluctant than most girls to express what I actually think of someone. I'm actually adding some of my own thoughts to what he pointed out. I don't hesitate to tell someone that I like them, or that I simply cannot stand them. People may or may not like that. They may or may not like me for it. But I really like myself for that.
You know what? A few months back, I was really insecure about this whole thing about guys not seeing me as a feminine lady. As a matter of fact, there was this one evening when I wept uncontrollably over this and a couple of other insecurities that I have not shared with my blog readers. But I've learnt that life is too short to be unhappy or insecure about yourself. You've got to live it up, every chance you get. And how does it matter what other people think of you? As long as you know what you really are, and like yourself for it, who cares? The instant you are comfortable with yourself, you will be comfortable with everyone and everything around you.
An old friend of mine says this about me: "She's like a caramel chocolate - hard outside, soft inside." (Compelled by habit, I corrected the punctuation here. Nothing else.) The only people I really care about are the friends and family members who can see that soft caramel filling. Those who see just the hard shell outside may choose to form whatever perception they wish. I don't mind. It's a free country. You are entitled to your freedom of thought, speech and expression. And guess what? No matter what I do or who I am, there is absolutely no way I can please everyone on the face of the Earth.
Life is way too precious to waste worrying about what the world perceives you to be. Spend it doing stuff that makes you happy instead. In recent times, I've discovered that just two days out of seven are too few to connect with friends. To blog. To do whatever makes you happy. The more stuff you do for the sole reason that you want to do it, the closer you are to being exactly who you were meant to be.
Sunday, November 2, 2008
I did this for about three and a half years. I started out when I was in the ninth standard. Gave it up for a while when my tenth standard board exams were round the corner. I missed it badly at that time. The teachers told me that I should concentrate on my studies for that "critical" phase. Well, guess what? I have never been the kind of person who actually concentrates on her studies. I used to study the subjects that I liked. The other textbooks I would leaf through when I felt bored of the Mathematics and the English. So I missed writing really badly. And since they wouldn't let me do much for my beloved magazine, I tried my hand at a publicly circulated magazine.
As soon as I was done with the board exams, I went back to it. Soon afterwards, there was a phase when I was the only student editor for the magazine, and I'd become so obsessed with the whole thing that I used to neglect my studies and everything else I could neglect, in favour of working for the magazine full-time. Aditi, who is my best friend today, was the illustrator for the magazine then. She drew a cartoon of me depicting my extreme obsession with the magazine. And we had it published in the very same magazine. I think I'll scan it and put it up here. This was a time when I used to write the editorial, the news reel, and a significant fraction of the articles myself. My biggest problem at that time was that I was basically an introvert, because of which, much as I wanted to, I could not motivate other people into writing articles. So it was mostly Aditi's cartoons and sketches, Shashank's science fiction, (Which, by the way, was a huge pain sometimes. I just could not decipher his handwriting, which, at times, seemed to resemble something written in Telugu or Kannada. And when I could, I had a hard time trying to make sense of whatever it was that he was trying to put forth. But, in the end, it was interesting enough to be worth the effort.) Manu Bangia's random fiction and Jayant's odd, geeky, logic-based articles.
When I was in the twelfth standard, and my board exams were nearing, I'd already made up my mind not to let my teachers make me give it up this time. I was in for a pleasant surprise. My Teacher-In-Charge at that time actually told me that she didn't want me to stop working with the magazine. This is one teacher who never taught me, but is generally the first one I look for whenever I visit my school for Alumni Meets or Fêtes. The other Teacher-In-Charge I had, who first asked me to take this up when I was in the ninth standard, is someone I somehow never happen to see when I go to the school. But she met my mother (who is, by the way, also an English teacher) at a workshop for English teachers last year. She still distinctly remembered me, after all these years.
Sumit, Jayant and some of my other friends from that phase still point out from time to time that I have still not let go of the tendency to correct people's spelling and grammar, which I developed at that time. Sumit certainly has every right to say so. There was a time when I used to keep in touch with him primarily over e-mail, and I used to send his mail back to him, with the spelling and grammar errors corrected and highlighted in red (or pink!).
During those three and a half years, I was completely sure that I wanted, needed, and was destined for a career in creative writing. I wonder why I became any less convinced of that fact somewhere down the line. Well, better late than never for the realization to resurface.
Saturday, May 17, 2008: Random Musings comes into existence.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008: My private blog comes into existence.
Saturday, August 23, 2008: The combined total number of posts on Random Musings and The Personal Stuff adds up to a hundred.
Monday, September 15, 2008: The number of posts on Random Musings goes up to a hundred.
Today: The combined total goes to two hundred posts! I have become so addicted to blogging. I write just because I want to write, because I don't have the kind of peaceful time alone that I need or want in order to write a book, but I want to keep in touch with the writer inside me. So she can churn out something randomly interesting when she does get the time to do so. Perhaps during the shutdown this year.
Here's why I get a kick out of blogging:
- It is, by far, the most constructive, creative and easy-to-keep-up-with leisure activity I have ever been introduced to. There was a time when I used to love painting. I still have one of those hanging on my bedroom wall. I would actually like to resume that too, someday, but it needs a little more dedication, larger chunks of leisure time, art supplies... and it is messy sometimes. You also need a fair amount of clear space, which is difficult to find in our house!
- Sometimes, blogging gives me unexpected insights into the kind of person I really am.
- Sometimes, blogging gives me unexpected insights into the kind of person people think I really am.
- It helps me relax, offload my worries, my anger, my fears. Even if there's something I absolutely cannot share, even with my closest friends, I write it down and that makes me feel so much better.
- When I feel good about something, and I write about it, I feel even better!
- It gives me a sense of achievement that I don't really get from anything else.
- It reminds me of the good old days when I used to write for the school magazine and edit what other people wrote for it. I think I want to write a separate post about this soon.
- It keeps my grey cells on their toes, on the lookout for something to write about. (Okay, I know you can't keep cells on their toes, but you don't have to take everything literally!)
- In the process, I have some fun, and so do some of my friends who actually like reading my ramblings which are of no real consequence to any of them.
There are some significant, some not-so-significant questions that I've asked myself from time to time and haven't been able to answer conclusively. Just felt like sharing these with my friends, to see if any of them have any clues.
- I never share my blog posts with my family. I do, every so often, write about them here, but I never make them read it. I seem to feel more comfortable the way things are, with them not reading it. I wonder why.
- Why am I an engineer? What made me do an MCA in the first place? I mean, it's not an entirely unsuitable area of work for me, but looking back, I can't figure out why picked it, or even if I actually picked it for myself.
- What is it about me that makes most of my close guy friends classify me as not being a "girly" sort of girl? The ones who say this sort of thing about me are mostly the ones I classify as the ones who know me well.
I'll probably add to this list in the future, whenever more stuff like this crops up in my mind.