Thursday, October 08, 2009

What are you hollering about?

We don't like it at all when we are the victim of it. Yet, overtly or covertly, we all do it. The minuscule minority that doesnt, wants to do it.

Bitching. We are all guilty of it.

We bitch about our teachers and bosses for those snide remarks and all the rotten jokes we are forced to laugh at. We critisize our friends for being too talkative, too naughty, too naive, too boring or too promiscuous. We laugh at strangers for their poor sartorial sense, bloated figures or less than appropriate mannerisms. We scoff at the government for the bad roads and expensive goods.

Whether out of genuine frustration or to have a cheap laugh with friends, we bitch about someone or the other everyday. multiple times. We even bitch about bitching!

Has bitching always been hardwired into our DNA or is it more of a modern phenomenon? Central to bitching is the need to complain. Do we complain more than our parents and ancestors did? Has the relative opulence of our childhoods led us to be more bitching-prone?

The gripes could also be a by-product of the universal aspiration to be 'ahead in the game'. It is about the survival of the fittest after all. An inherent hatred towards people better off than us is kind of inevitable. However noble we are, jealousy is in our blood. Blame the programmer.

Is bitching a necessary evil in some sense? Do the complains and the fine whines represent a desire for a better state? or the recognition of some missing element? Would you rather not bitch about within close circles than vent your anger in a more destructive way?

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


I had forgotten about an early meeting scheduled at office the other day and was running late. Had to take a cab intstead of the Mass Rapid Transit. While the traffic flow was mostly smooth throughout, there was a brief jam near a fly-over which acts as kinda bottleneck during the rush hour. Being from India and having lived in Bombay, this brief speed breaker to the 90kmph cruise hardly perturbed me. To my amusement however, the cab driver was visibly irritated. A tad angry even. He was cursing away to glory. The reckless drivers, the shoddy infrastructure and of course the Govt of Singapore. I never mock at my country. India is truly a great nation with remarkable know the story. But as a benevolent human being it was my responsibility to spare my cab driver any further misery. When I told him that traffic jams in India actually force you to a complete halt at times and that the stretch we expected to cover in 30 mins in spite of the jam could take one close to 90 minutes in Bombay, he almost jumped on his seat. Even after my earnest efforts, I am not sure if he was convinced I was telling the truth. At least he did not sulk as much for the rest of the journey.
Different countries. Different benchmarks.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


people often say that in spite of their failures, if given the chance, they would like to be reborn as themselves and live their life all over again. exactly the same way as they have. that's supposed to be a hep thing to say. but i find it drab. ok. so you have led a very exciting life so far. you have fallen and fallen again. but picked yourself up each time and walked even faster. not a moment of your life has been dull. but why do you want to have the same experience you have already had? why not try something new? life is short they say. too short for the innumerable permutations of fate that could potentially be sprung upon us. what is, is just a small sample of what could be. if given a chance to be born again wouldn't you like to soak in life a little more? experience what it is like to belong to another country, another race, another profession or even the other gender?

Wednesday, June 25, 2008


We are still lovers and you know it. Everyday in our musings, in our silent contemplations, we meet and hold hands. Things have changed of course. Or have they? We talk on the phone without speaking a word. We chat endlessly without typing more than letter or two. The simmering passion, the silent desire just wont let us be. I know I have wronged you. I am everything you lost and you wont forgive me. We are still lovers and you wont forgive me.

picture abhi baaki hai dost. 'The End' accha hi hoga

singapore is a nice place to be in. very organized and systematic. one of the very few developed countries in asia. its asia's own land of dreams. our very own US of A. while this might augur well for my career in future, I would nevertheless miss india. in being too organized this place is also very predictable. it takes the charm out of life. different from a place like bombay. where each day brings with it newer challenges. from travelling in the local train to braving the july rains. to see people battle against all odds and live on, inspires even the laziest of persons to get moving. bombay is a city with a pulse. singapore, on the other hand, is plastic and staid. even the weather here remains the same throughout the year. imagine a place without seasons!! no summer or winter or spring! every thing has a flip side. so i ll take the package. but yes, ll always miss india. the familiar sights, sounds and smells. even the dirt and the filth. and of course ghar ka khana and street cuisine. miss the mutton stew and the tandoori kebab.
adjusting to the infrastructure and the system here is pretty easy. everything is user friendly and lucidly explained. there is even a website maintained by the government which provides you the exact location of any address you provide. GPS enables you to provide the exact route to any destination. internet is really fast. broadband is a norm. every place is air conditioned. home, office, taxis, metro, shopping centres. it's pretty comfortable. so that way adjusting is not dificult. of course i miss all of you. with time i ll develop a social circle. but still i ll miss you.

when i was a boy, still learning to be a man, I wished I could live the life of my dreams with the person I love, doing a job I covet in a place I like. I dont know if i have achieved any of these or ll ever achieve them all. I have gained so much and lost so much more in the past few years that i have stopped keeping count. but with my limited experience i know thats how life goes on. we have places, we have people, we have wonderful bondings, but everything has its time. its important to learn from them all and move on. thanks to my parents and some special friends, i have learnt to go through the labyrinthe of life and yet enjoy the 'artwork' on the walls.

Monday, June 23, 2008

things that were...

this is long overdue.

i still vividly remember my first day at ximb. had moved in the night prior. woke up to a lovely morning the next day. the premonition of a new experience. the promise of a new future. an exhilerating chapter of my life was about to begin. i knew my room neighbours were already there. as i was standing on the corridor outside my room soaking in the morning, just about to light a cigarette. i saw this queer looking person. still not fully awake. expressionless face. " hey you smoke. lend me a light". the first words spoken between two persons who would have a world to talk about in the next two years. this was Saby.

i returned from lunch to find the-guy-i-shared-a-smoke-with unpacking and getting his room in order. i had a cursory glance at another person who clearly did not belong to our block. i had no inkling of the meaning these two people would bring about in my life in the months to come.

october brought with it the first long holidays at ximb. the north east trip in the winter of 2006 was short but seducing. i didnt miss home during the seven days i spent at Saby's place at guwahati. the infatuation with the quaint mountains, the sparkling streams and the mighty brahmaputra was instantaneous. i knew i had to return. foreplay was not enough. i needed to go all the way.
time went by and the romance of the north east became a distant memory. meanwhile life went on. personal turmoil brought along with it some degree of self realization. the freshmen were welcomed with aplomb the next year. new relationships were forged and some old bridges broken. workload increased. second year was serious business. but then Xpressions came along and brought with it a wave of euphoria. the JLTs of course were unforgettable. soon enough placement season beckoned and the preoccupation with our career took precedence over everything. we slogged and we celebrated.
everyday brought joys. everyday brought tears. an eventful fortnight later everyone was placed. some were happy and some were not. but the relief was palpable. after five terms of struggles and trials sixth term was a breeze.
the ordeal over, we geared up for maxinations. spirits ran high. tempers flew. fierce competition ensued with events culminating in a poetic justice. C Block won. no tangible reward. no resume value. just a shield. and the experinece of a lifetime.
the convocation ceremony came and went. we were officially proclaimed MBAs. confirmed mercenaries. finally it all ended. end of a journey. end of a chapter. a few great tunes. a few discordant notes. but a symphony nevertheless.
north east was beckoning. i had to be back. the promise had to be kept.
the trip was planned long back. we had waited. hearts pregnant with expectation. as we saw group after group go for trip after trip. in retrospect, it was worth the wait. down to every second. the twelve days i spent there were without parallel. we trekked through unknown paths, got drenched in cherrapunji, sang hymns in the tranquil rumtek, rode on yaks, walked on frozen lakes and went 14000 feet up into the lap of himalayas. it was freezing to the bones. senews revolted. each breath was a struggle as we climbed hills and ran through the snow. But there was pervading peace. like i had never felt before. for a few moments i sensed liberation. in the true sense. a perfect sunrise at tiger hills, spectacular sights of tea gardens and the breathtaking kaziranga completed the dream. elephants and rhinos are always a spectacular sight. seeing them at the zoos, calm and stately, is one thing. watching a rhino charge at you from close quarters or hundreds of wild elephants frolicking in gay abandon is quite another. i have not been to kashmir. this was heaven for me.
it was time to say goodbye. to a great support and trusted confidant. as i was riding the autorickshaw to the airport, the memories of the last two years came rushing back. in a sweeping tide. the first beer. the night long assignments. the cricket tournaments. getting drunk and getting stoned. the philosophies and the bitching. the four of us and the unforgettable moments. bike rides. sleeping on the highways. midnight escapades. standing by each other. through thick and through thin. blood, soil, tears and sweat.
i had fallen out with Saby. we had not spoken a word to each other the last day. yet there were no apologies. just an embrace. we both knew everything was forgiven. that is why we are best friends.

i wonder now. will these days ever return? it is perhaps better to remember the things that were than brood over things that aren't.