Saturday, December 6, 2008

Creating happiness

When I set my sights on the idea of working, I estimated that I would do something I love doing with my heart and soul. I'd be doing the kinda work that gives me a satisfactory glow. creating something that makes other people smile or perhaps, get thoughtful and find perspective.

I have known people who drudge through life as though they have no aim. It's quite possible that they do not, yet I wonder why the sight of a merry bunch of children makes them wince instead of smile. Sudden spates of rain from clear blue skies draw their curses, not sighs. Romance is but, a waste of time. Like zombies they flit, pausing only to critise.

How did they come to be this way? What's their story, what made them sway? Is it possible that they were naturally meant to be this way? Cold hearted, icy cool, nothing affects them as they trample through life as though it were hay.

At times I wish to shake them out of it; others I fear it'd rub off on me. Some days, while at work, I wonder why it affects me, why does it matter so much? My life is mine, and isn't that enough?! The thought's much too shallow, I'm not all about me. Being light hearted and happy has a lot to do with the bouyancy of those with me. I may or may not choose my company, but my behaviour will reflect in their interaction with me.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Noise and the city

Wake up in the morning to the milkman's doorbell, start your day with children squealing in their school buses. Lunch heralds busy street corners, bustling with 'fast food' vendors. Ice cream vendors are out n' about at 3, just as school's over; a sure reminder to get some tea.

Late evening and twilight bring on peak hour traffic: autos that drill like mosquitoes, an array of octaves represent the car horns. The public buses make weird noises, almost like grunting and heaving under the weight of it's people.

Towards late night, cars that pump music and glitzy, fancy lights take over the street. Young people tumble outta these, flitting through clubs to jump and scream. It's the wild side of the night's dream.

Two streets away rag pickers lay out their sheets. It's been a long, hard day on the beat. Food is scarce; items to salvage, even more so. Money's been split, after much heave-ho with the signal chief; leaving just enough for some 'charitable' person's palayadu.

It's now midnight, the dust settles. Trucks thunder by, striking dead startled birds and star-crossed mice. Sand is parted with, many times even sleep, as these monsters wind their way through, kicking up dust like children with water in a puddle.

The spell has broken: the sun lights the city. Prayers resound in the pure morning air. You hear the sigh as the city wakes up, getting back on it's feet, slowly whirring up to full blast.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Of luck and dreams

At first I wanted a big desk, to emphasize that growth. now, it would seem smaller is better.

There was a time when I believed that everyone in Bombay knew my family; that their houses, scattered in and around the south, were landmarks. Today I understand hired taxis and drivers.

I did not realise how much I loved reading, until I spent nearly 6 months without a book due to work.

Often I dream, big dreams and much later do I find it's value. Today I dream of buying a house. Tomorrow, I hope it will be three.

Luck doesn't have a chance with out hard work, they say. Dream with open eyes.

Friday, October 24, 2008

man on the brink

Everyday I see him sitting, perched on his bit of the world.
Gazing out at the open sky, holding conversations with God.

A dazed look he carries, for all the world, as though he were in lunacy.
Someone knows his secret, why he must carry on this way.

On a rainy Madras day, he was waiting in vain.
Standing and sleeping is not a trait oft found.

The most Important Question, which one is it?
The answer to this query teased him, alluding no gain.

Falling into the crannies of his brain, wracking the system set,
searched and searched did he, through self and memories.

Never an answer good enough, nor a search satisfactory.
"Which is the most Important Question?", ask he of He.

And yet he waits for an answer, gazing at the manifold sky,
whenced perch on his rock, holding conversations with Me.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What if life were a constant holiday!

Sometimes I really feel like I'm 'going' under. As though every minute, every situation, the very next second drags me deeper. It can get to a boringly low point. Like when I haven't danced in two months, or gone sailing or simply curled up in a corner for hours together, just reading a book or two.

That's when a holiday comes in handy, refreshes and awakens what got buried under layers of boredom and frustration. let go, unwind, these are familiar terms; but I restrict them to weekends, where 1 and a half days is all you get to your self.

Holidays are where I really LIVE! a new place, a new perspective, a deep joy in knowing that this is MY time.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

People watcher!

Use the same route three days in a row, the fourth you know you're being watched.

You wouldn't know it, but you mark somebody's time and ease another's eyes. You walk, head averted, not caring for anyone else. But you're being watched; an opinion's being formed. One day you'll find that people know you well by sight and take the freedom of coming up and having a chat, like you were their long lost friend.

A boy was waiting at a theatre, waiting for his group to show up. Tall, fair and well-built he was, drawing the glances of those milling around. a tap on the shoulder, he turns, looking around. A middle-aged lady stands her ground. "Are you a northie, son?" she asks. He nods in the affirmative, finding the question queer, trying to break away. Again the same question is posed, tying down weight on the both the asker and the answerer. "what's your name, son?". He replies hesistantly. She promptly asks for his number.'This is getting really weird' he thinks to himself and asks her "Why?". "Oh, my daughter seems to like you, so I'd come over to ask." The young man was stunned and couldn't find it in him to reply!

Another girl was waiting for her regular transport, as she'd been doing for the past 2 months or so. She was fair-skinned and an attractive sight, geared in power suits most of the time. That day, her transport did not show up, leading her to look for an alternative. A man walks up,"I believe we're heading in the same direction, why don't we share a taxi?". The girl's surprised, she never really noticed this man before and wonders how many more 'know' her. She accepts the ride, he refuses to go dutch. Although chivalry hasn't died, the girls vows never again to ride with this man.

You're being watched and you don't even know it. Your appearance gives someone reassurance and to another, some mental notification. Yet you walk like you're the only one. You're being watched and you don't even know it.

Clarification: These are real incidences.
"To go dutch" is to split the bill

Monday, July 14, 2008

a starry-eyed life

Have you ever heard dreams, yearnings and a strain for a celeb-style life, all at one point, from one source?

I have, I'm sure you have too. Call the help-line of any service, or listen to the average guy trying to impress the girl he wants, even the way the guy who irons your clothes answers his cell phone (yea, that's a whole other topic!) with a hello that's quite 'far-away' from his usual self.

One aspect that comes out sharply is that a new lifestyle is taking over. At first dignity was something that emanated from one's self. Now it radiates rom the clothes, mannerisms and possesions that self-respect clings on to, in some cases, hides behind.

Technology, radically different cultures and a rapidly localising world have drilled themselves into the starry eyes of many,pulling sand castles from the clouds and bringing continents to their feet. Any thing's posible in a monied world, here, even credit rolls free, with card companies harassing people into accepting cards(literally).

It's difficult to maintain perspective in a world where promses are like lollipop dreams, sweet and succlent, but going pop! on reaching out. It's tough to remember that while 15,000 may not be much in inflatonary markets, it is definitely much more than one with the same qualications earned for the same job, not less than 5 years ago.

Sometimes I get starry eyed too, then i measure the distance, it's a bit far for now. Better wait a while and do as this blogger once heard, "Spend on luxuries from the excesses of your wealth"

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

back flash - dark ages

Recently, I've been experiencing throw backs to the Age Without Power. In my city, we've been experiencing a severe diesel shortage. The supply of electricity too, has become undependable, unlike before.

Rows of vehicles empty out what fuel is available. Men fight over that last pint, weary from waiting, itching to fight. Once diesel is guzzled, petrol begins to run high and dry. Strikes by the fuel vending companies do not help either.

It's tough but pinchingly true that we have become technology dependent. Technology runs on hardware; hardware feeds on electricity. Electricity, unfortunately, is not consistent. Refrigerators, music systems, mobile phones, computers, television, fans, even basic hot water, require electricity.

We'll be damned if this city does not recover. There is a glimmer of hope, but we need to wait until it becomes a merely a story once told.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just 50k

A car, a house, a trip around the world, some more saving, some toiling and more to splurge...Just 50K and seeing stars. It's not easy to stay grounded when so little can take you so far.

It's a wonder that my peers know anything at all about investment. If it weren't for the many mutual funds advertisements, many probably would never have considered saving for later in life.

The share market is the latest buzz word amongst the more 'intellectual' types. It's sort of become like Apple; at first you did not want it 'cause it was not easy to understand (like Windows), though that hasn't changed, Apple's cool quotient has gone up. It's now like a coveted item to be upheld by those who want to be different, yet safe; a contradiction in itself.

50k in real estate, another 'haute' investment favourite, will get the average city person nowhere. Even 12 kilometres away from any Metro's out-skirts, land prices are not fixed for one with a wallet so small.

50K at home can really spruce up the house. Alternatively, your wardrobe could undergo a life-changing sweep. A traditionalist would buy a lump-sum of gold and store it away or, at best, piggy-bank it for a rainy day.

Either way, it's just 50K... :D

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

effort and waste

Watch her everyday, toiling away, sweating for 2 and a half hours each morning. The pressure cooker, milk and rotis on the tava add colour to my picture. They are, after all, her protagonists. It all comes down to the first morsel; simply got to be perfect.

The salt, where's the damn salt?! Get outta my way, there's enough tension without you hanging around and watching like you got marbles for eyes. There, now you disturbed me and I'm running late. Papa'll be out any minute and he'll want his breakfast. Go, clear the table. Are you ready? Don't be late for work baba, how can you do this? Hun, you're out? Just taste the vegetable and tell me what it's like. But you always say it's fantastic. More salt? Do I need to add mirchi? and the Dal? Hmpf! Always fine fine.

Messing up was never her strong point, but repetitiveness has always been.