Day 19: Reflections…

…when ugly, are never the mirror’s fault. It is the fault of the “object” and the “light” that reflects off it at a bad angle. But you do need the mirror to show that to you. Unless you choose to never look in the mirror. Is that wise, though?

Looking back at the past and drawing lines to the present…is that a good thing to do? Does reflecting on the past and regretting not acting on a certain intuition then…make it sensible to consider that decision now?

Are intuitions any good, or is it just a fancy term for a comparison at different levels? Are they just bad feelings to brush off with Hope and Faith, or are they things needing serious thought?

How much, what kind and when is it OK to forgive? If you cannot forget, what’s the point in forgiving, when memory serves to rekindle the same feelings many times over? How genuine, then, is that forgiveness…and how fruitful?

How can you weigh the unknown repercussions of your decisions against your future happiness? What if your intuition fails you and you don’t take what could have been the best decision of your life?

How trustworthy can promises be, when tomorrow is a whole new day?

Does anyone know how the scalded cat, that feared even cold water, finally got over its fear? Is fear a good reason to not believe?

In an attempt to stay positive, is it wise to brush the unknown, unexpected and unhappy under the carpet?

How late is too late?

Day 9: Digital Secret Service: The Start-Up No One Ever Told You Of

This has been some year!

Today, all the world was shaken up when Donald Trump became POTUS elect. And if that wasn’t shocking enough, I was further stunned at his speech. President Trump was so not the Candidate Trump. He was saying all the right things. He was actually displaying the ability to use logic, morality, brains and empathy; and he was rather magnanimous in his remarks about his rival, at whom he’d been spewing poison till just a few hours ago.

Yesterday, all of India was shaken up by our Prime Minister’s address to the nation, declaring the end of days for India’s 1000 and 500 currency denominations. It was a radical move, the likes of which have never been seen before. For me, it took quite a while for the news to sink in. I could not believe that it was actually happening! In a country where decisions of graver proportions and expected results are normally discussed, agreed upon, discarded and then brought back to life again — a cycle that would go on for eons before reaching finalty — something like this hit us all out of the blue. And it was absolute reality.

In June 2016, most of the world watched in surprise and shock as the people of Britain voted for a British exit, or Brexit, from the EU in a historic referendum.

And well, in March 2016, I moved to Kuwait. I was shocked and surprised I actually did that. That’s a whole other post.😛

Now, a lot of what’s BIG NEWS are expected; it’s usually a matter of time before it becomes a reality. But even then, the moment that it does happen is usually a surprise and shock (for the ones we hope for seldom happen and the ones we expect to happen usually never happens when it should)!

They’re super secretive. They pop out of the blue. They take your life by storm. They leave you stunned, sometimes excited, sometimes in despair. No one knows about these things.

Except the small team at the Digital Secret Service, a start-up no one knows of yet. Do you know them? Have you ever heard of them before? Ever come across their name or vision or mission or website or ad or anything at all, ever? Do you have any idea about their team size, skills, demographics?

No? Well, neither have I. But I’m sure they exist. I’m convinced there is a team somewhere in this world, who knows of every secret in the world well in advance of it becoming public news. A bunch of highly creative, artistic, digital savvy, versatile, sarcastic (bordering on humorous) and completely jobless people. And their expertise is in preparing and waiting to irresponsibly blast out a multitude of (sometimes rather well-designed / well thought out and elaborately written) jokes, memes, sarcasm-laced quotes, cartoons and all kinds of “easily forwardable” troll-content that take the social media by storm.

Nothing else explains how we received elaborate image- and text jokes about the demonetisation of the 500 and 1000 currency notes yesterday. Even as the PM was addressing the nation, I’d received a dozen of them😛 Same story today, as Trump was winning, and subsequently won.

So jobless, I tell you. So so so so sooooooo jobless! The only thirst they have in life is for “something out of the norm” (intent, flavour and outcomes irrelevant) to happen each day, to push out their magic creations and flood the world of mobile devices.

Yes, some of those are funny, but a lot are in RATHER poor taste. In any case, no considering your work quality, where do you people find all this time!?

In Life. Just be fair.

I’m tired of writing come-back posts. So, don’t count this as one. For, I’m almost sure I’ll go off again.

Blogging, when in a bad state of mind, is not something I do or even want to do. Hehe…too many people may get hurt, shocked, whatever. So I’m not here to explain why I have been hibernating, for the umpteenth time. I just wanted to tell you…

I’m still kind of reeling under the effect of a major insight into what we fondly, angrily, exasperatedly and hopefully call ‘Life’! That no one has any right to judge another person—no matter what that person may have done or said.

I’m not the kind who sees or meets someone, judges them immediately (as being funny, nice, trustworthy, full of attitude, creepy, and so on) and compartmentalise them. I take my time, give them their space and study them well before I decide if I like them, love them, trust them, dislike them, hate them… But yes, over a period, I do end up judging them—as being good or bad. If they do/say something that is so against my principles and what I consider ‘right’, I do judge them. I suppose it is human.

And when I say we should not judge “no matter what that person may have done or said”, I mean it quite literally. Now, if you ask me if we should not judge someone who has committed a heinous crime—such as a murder for instance—well, I still think we shouldn’t. While you may judge someone for a physical murder, you may reach a point in life where you murder someone’s spirits, kill them mentally. As long as you destroy a person, it does not matter how. The end result is the same in both cases.

So yes, whatever whoever does—there is always a reason. The only thing is that their right maybe our wrong. What we cannot fathom, must have come so naturally to them, thanks to a lot of catalysts. Someone hates his parents, someone cuts off her best friend, someone falls out of love, someone cheats on a partner, someone walks out on his marriage, someone takes another person for a ride, someone steals, someone kills… They all have their reasons which we may never even be a million miles close to finding, ever.

So, when we judge someone, I think we need to know that at some point in time, invariably, we will find ourselves in that spot—the spot where that person we judged stood. At that time, our eyes will open wide, something will go smack in the head, make us stop in our tracks, feel our body go limp, sense our jaw drop…and we’ll be like ‘Oh my God…I never thought I’d ever be here /do this /say this…”

But one day, you will. We all will. I did. And I’m still shocked. I did NOT have this in mind, ever. I did not think I’d ever be where I am right now. But the fact is that I am…and I’m really shocked.

I guess the best we can do in life is to be fair—to the ones we love, hate, hurt, respect, bear with… Just be fair. Be fair, but don’t be sacrificial. Give them their chance at life, but not at the cost of yours. Grant them their happiness, but don’t lose yours.

OK, this is a little strange right now. I’m bad at these kinds of talks. So let me just admit I’m shocked, but I’m not sad about it. It could not have been avoided. Really. I did try. Quite many times, in many ways.

God, I’m shocked.😐

the mobile phone and me…

…don’t really get along too well.

I don’t like talking on the phone much…and if you have a problem with that, I’m sorry I can’t help you. Well, perhaps I can (by attending your call), but I don’t plan to :D  I guess I owe many people this explanation (though very few of these people read this blog😀; the other option is to text them all. And they may call back. Uh oh…)

I really am not avoiding you, okay? I’m just avoiding your call. Ouch — no, I’m just avoiding having to talk on the phone. Leave me a text message, leave me an offline chat, leave me a mail. I’ll respond, almost instantly, unless i’m sleeping, or unless the phone is like hidden under the cushion, pushed int here by the naughty lil’ Pumbaa. But if I see an SMS, I WILL respond; I cannot guarantee that about a missed call you leave me😀 I just don’t like the mobile phone much.

thumbitisNot that I hate it or don’t use it. Just that I don’t use it for what it is meant. A mobile phone, for me, is essentially just a replacement for Gmail chat😀 I am a person of few words…I talk very little even face-to-face and I generally prefer “talking” to someone through “chat”or “sms”. And on chat/sms, I can go on for hours together😀

You wont believe it, but I ALWAYS rely on a text message to communicate with someone, before having to actually call that person up. Including emergency situations like being on a busy highway, at the signal, and wondering if we must turn left or right to reach that person’s house😀 And when I’m blasted for being so dumb, I dial the number, press “Call” and instantly stick the phone to Suraj’s ear (or whoever else is driving)!

There is just ONE person (yes, person) with whom I can actually talk non-stop, for hours. And that is Pumbaa😀 Well, he can’t talk back, and one of us has to do that. So, I happily do it😀

There are very few people with whom I can talk non-stop, for hours, on the phone. One of them is Amma. The other is my brother. Then there are a couple of close friends. Recently, after a rather long conversation (if I may call it that), Hobbes asked me if I were “the same girl who hates talking on the phone?”🙄 Well, that did leave me mumbling for a bit.

And I can’t tell you just how many times I’ve got into trouble with Suraj for never picking up his calls. Well, how will I know he’s calling when the phone is (eternally) on silent mode? [Who puts it on silent mode? Uh…I do.] Even before getting married, this was a constant problem. I guess it was the ONLY reason for our quarrels. He would call, I wouldn’t pick up. He’d call 10 more times. Then he would try my mom’s number, but I’d be at the aunt’s place. Then he’d call the aunt’s number — but by then, I’d have run back home (having realised that the phone has been abandoned somewhere, undoubtedly on silent mode, and that Suraj would be trying to get through to me). Finally, he would get through to me and blast me. I would silently hear him out, ask him if he’s done, and then hang up and go my way.

Except with Amma and my brother, I think I switch to listening-mode with most others😀 And happily too. I’m better at listening than talking. Some people make it tough, because most of the ones who matter knows me well enough to continue doing the talking without much expectations😉 Unless I’m completely comfortable with the person on the other side, even being on listening-mode is a pain. So, avoiding calls is the easiest thing to do.

I really don’t know why I talk so little — in general, and on the phone. There is one friend who calls me a chatterbox (really!), but well, I admit that I talk a LOT to him; well, I used to. To others, I think it is mainly because I keep thinking whatever I have to say or talk about will not be of much interest to the listener. Seriously😀 I don’t know why I think so, but I do. I don’t say a lot of things, thinking it won’t be of any interest to that person, only to listen to something very similar coming from the other end😀 And well, by then, whatever I could have said would have become stale ;)Well, I get into one of my PJ moods when some of my brother’s friends call…and I go on yap yapping for hours, till they hang up on me, threatening to kill me next time they see me.🙄

So, basically, for me, a mobile phone is essentially just a replacement for Gmail chat😀 And Winamp! I use it to text, and I use it to listen to my favourite music tracks. That is about it.

My first one was a Sony Ericsson w810i. I bought it because it came with the cutest, tiniest pair of external speakers😉 (which incidentally wasn’t working, and I still have not used!). I loaded all my music into it, and was always plugged to my phone through earphones. An incoming call in the middle of a favourite song would piss me off — and I’d just disconnect the call!😀 Yes, I used to be that bad. I was sooooo attached to that phone that despite being gifted a 160GB iPod, I refused to part with the walkman phone. I did not use the iPod for almost a year! I used this for over 4 years (it looks MIGHTY sad now, considering the number of times it has gone bouncing down the stairs, into rain puddles, on to the road, blah blah!) It served me verrrrry well, though🙂

Finally, Suraj convinced me that I baaadly needed a new phone🙄 I refused to exchange my w810. I would always want it, I said.

I bought the Sony Ericsson Xperia w8. Again, for the music. I HATED the fact that it was touchscreen! Texting someone became an ordeal. I actually began calling people! Bah. And then I got used to the touchpad, and now my phone is back to being a walkman, and a Gmail chat alternative😉 And I like the fact that I can access Gmail chat also on it😀 That’s about the ONLY reason I appreciate a smart phone now. It is quite smart😀 Well, the w810i was smart too, but I wasn’t smart enough those days😉Mobile phone stress relief

Poor thing, Suraj. New phone and all that, but it too has the silent mode thingy in-built! Oh well, I’m still the same, I guess. I still do not pick up calls😀 Living in the same house makes it a little easier for him, I suppose. [And it does not help that he calls to remind me to do the many chores he assigns to me every morning, which I promptly forget😦 Listen, if I forget it, perhaps I really do not want to do those😀 ]

I still remember, how when we went to Coorg over a year back, there was no mobile connectivity at the homestay we stayed at. Was I thrilled! It was a real stress buster. No one called, no one texted, no one could contact me at all. Absolute “Yay” it was!! (Not that I’m always getting calls/text messages, but still) I was at peace, while Suraj freaked out.😀

So why am I blabbering about all this now? Because recently, a couple of old college friends ganged up against me (okay, I’m exaggerating, but it was akin to ganging up alright. Bah!) for not keeping in touch. Well, I’m ALWAYS online — and none of you are! If you’re all always available on phone, why not give me a call? Er er…I mean, send me an sms😀 Anyway, after explaining myself and brilliantly emerging as the innocent angel that I am, I’ve decided to give the single “ring-ring”s in loving remembrance henceforth😀

However, all said and done, I have to say: the mobile phone and me…don’t really get along too well.🙄 And I might even forget about the ring-ring agreement after a while. You are always in my mind, just believe that😀 Was I any different at all when we met last weekend?😀

Edited to add: Yay!! I’m not alone. She may be my soul sister😀 I could easily have written this post!!

Days of disorientation…

…have been on for a long while now and they don’t seem to come to an end! And I don’t like it one bit. One bit!

And unlike others, when I vanish from my blog, nobody cares. Nobody calls up. Mail do not flood my inbox asking me if I’m alright, where I am, why there are no posts… Nothing, none of that. That depresses me. Nobody cares😀😀 :D  Ah well, Scribby did ask. She cares…and I now love her for that!

I missed a lot many of your posts, but most of them, I read. Some I “like”d, some I just read, smiled and closed off. No favouritism there🙂 Just too lazy to “log in to WP to ‘Like'”😉

It’s been almost 2-and-a-half months since I blogged last. Not because I had nothing to blog about — in fact, a lot happened over the last 2 months and 10 days. It’s just that I’d been wallowing in depression and disorientation, I’ve not been able to make myself log in here and crib write about it, or about anything at all, for that matter.

  • Celebrated Onam well, minus the pookkalams like last time. Pumbaa had his first ever Onam Sadya — and drooled all over the place while I made him pose…and slurped and gulped it all down in a jiffy!🙂
    Pumbaa Nayar Thomas' very first Onam Sadya ;)

    Pumbaa Nayar Thomas' very first Onam Sadya😉

    • I quit IBM. I put in my papers early September, and I went into depression. Well, it was my decision, but I had really liked working there. There was something comforting about that place, the team, the work… Learnt a lot, went through a lot, lost some “friends”. Gained some real awesome ones :)  — the only thing I’ll miss so very terribly for a looooooong time! So well, though it was my decision, I do regret it at times. But things did change drastically recently (which may also have fuelled my decision to leave; certain people and their principles did not agree with me, though quitting a company because of that may sound an immature act. Well, you need to be there to know it, so don’t judge me yet😉 ). And for the record, she also quit on the same day :D  And like I told a manager, I referred her there, and when I left, I took her along😉
  • I went on a team trip from office early October, to Pondicherry. Was it awesome!!!🙂 We left on a Friday late night and reached back Sunday night — after having a ton of fun. I loooooooooooooooved the beach time. The bunch of us walked into a private beach on a sizzling afternoon, around 2, and stayed on till about close to 6. It was splendid. And the Sunday morning walk…it was bliss. Thanks for that, Binoy :)  I don’t think I’d have gone on that walk alone — and if you hadn’t come up with that idea, it’d have been a loss! Thanks for the trip too. I owe you a whole post for being such a great friend😉

    The beach was all ours! :)

    The beach was all ours!🙂 -- at Pondicherry

  • Pumbaa turned one (Happy Birthday, Pumbaa!) on October 10. We celebrated his birthday, decorated the house, bought him a load of gifts and made him a special “beef biriyani” birthday cake😀 The grandma painstakingly carved out “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” from carrots, because Pumbaa loves carrots😀 He downed it all. It was pure neglect and sacrilege on my part not to have posted at least that. Paaavam Pumbaa😦 I even posted the pics on FB quite late! Here’s a pic. More here.

    Happy Birthday, Pumbaaaaaaa :)

    Happy Birthday, Pumbaaaaaaa🙂

  • I went for a “Nostalgia Night” at Resource Communications, the one place I had ALWAYS loved working in, and the one place I’d love to work in, any day :)  It was on a Friday night, and I wasn’t sure I’d be able to make it. But I managed to, thanks to Suraj. It was perhaps one of the BEST decisions I’ve taken. It was awesome being back there, meeting all those people, walking around in that awesome place. Thanks for hosting it, Jayadev and Chicku! You people rock!

    After a night of Resource...ful memories!

    After a night of Resource...ful memories!

  • It was my birthday too, recently. Well, no grand gifts this time, but got a FABULOUS cake — of Calvin & Hobbes. It was sooooo superbly done! I wanted a cardigan, so while Suraj took me shopping, the brother, father and mother decked up the terrace, set the cake and balloons and waited for me to come back! It was awesome🙂

    The god-awesome Calvin&Hobbes Cake :)

    The god-awesome Calvin&Hobbes Cake🙂

  • Hate being at home, in a state of indecision and confusion. Hate taking it on others, so trying not to talk about it much. Would love to enjoy it as a vacation, but there’s work keeping me occupied and worries keeping me in a perpetual state of disturbance.
  • Love the weather. Bought a cardigan (finally!) and promptly lost it the very next day at the bank — and didn’t realise it until after 4 days. Bah to me, seriously! Ugh!
  • Want to get back to blogging — like I used to. Wonder what’s stopping me😦
  • The only place I want to go to, to live in, EVER is Goa. There! I’ve said it, put it down in writing. Goa, Goa, Goa. Not Kochi, not anywhere else😦
  • The parents have decided to relocate back to Trivandrum. We’ll miss them :(  They’ll miss Pumbaa :(  Pumbaa’ll miss them😦
  • Vimmuuu relocated to Kochi, and likes it better than Trivandrum. Bah to you, pseudo spidey! I don’t like you anymore😦

Okay! I’m done for now. I wonder when I’ll be back — both, to being myself, and to my blog. Too much time, is sometime, very little! Sigh!

Have the stars come down?

There’s a lovely, mesmerizing, sprawling estate. That’s where she lives, all alone, by herself. This estate has the tallest trees she has ever seen, and they’re all so close together, creating a dense forest-like atmosphere. The sprawling bungalow stands proudly somewhere in the centre of the estate, covered on all sides by these tall tress at a radius of about 100 metres. Within these 100 metres, sway hordes of beautiful flowers, croton plants, and some certain lavendar flower bearing trees.

It’s slowly getting dark outside, and the colours fade away politely to bring in the pitch black of the impending night. She puts away the book she’s reading, gets off her rocking chair and switches on the porch light. The feeble incandescence barely lights up the steps that lead down to the courtyard.

As she gets back to her rocking chair and takes the book in her hands once again, she realises she’s hungry — she hasn’t had a morsel since breakfast. So engrossing has the book been. She drops the book back on the chair and walks in.

The bungalow is a huge one. Most rooms in the bungalow are not used — yet, she opens all the huge, grill-less, open windows very morning, closes them before sunset. Today, however, she’s been caught up in the fast-paced pages of the book. That was a mistake. But it’s too early to realise that.

She walks into the kitchen and stands there for a moment, relishing the cool breeze that floated in uninvited. She fixes herself a nice, warm, yummy dinner. As she inhales the aromas of the various spices, it invigorates her, making her feel ecstatic.

That’s when the power suddenly goes out, leaving her in a kitchen lit only by the low flame of the stove — and as she looks out through the kitchen window, she sees only pitch black. And it looks like the stars have come down. As her eyes adjust to the moonlight, she freezes. For, what glitters like stars are glinting pairs of eyes — of many black panthers making their way stealthily towards the bungalow.

As the blood in her veins slows down its mad rush, she grabs at the windows, swing them close. She runs from room to room, swinging them all shut. And as she goes from the rooms facing east, to west to south, she realises the glittering pairs of eyes are covering the distance quickly, all around. The bungalow is surrounded by them!

As she closes the last but one window and turns to close the last one on the opposite wall, she sees lithe paws springing off the window sill, landing sexily on the room’s granite floor. 16 extended, sharp nails click on the cool granite.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————————

I’m a person of very few dreams. I dream rarely — yes, really RARELY. And when I do have dreams, they’re extremely vivid, of undeniable details…sometimes extremely shocking.

Some are so real, I wonder if I was actually dreaming. there are incidents I’ve believed have really happened, only to later realise it was but a mere fragment of my imagination at work while I’m dozing! And these realizations strike when I discuss those incidents with other people who were with me “then” in the dream, and they look at me blankly, saying “What? When?”.

Of all such dreams, the one that has given me shivers every time is the one with the estate and the bungalow! This is a recurring dream, one I’ve dreamt at least 15 times, and I’m NOT exaggerating! I’ve had the same dream that many times, and it was always the same setting, the same time, the same bungalow, the same glinting eyes *trembles*. And every time, at that same moment, when 16 extended, sharp nails click on the cool granite, I wake up, heart thudding away, super-glad to find that I’m in my safe bed, on the road-side house in far-away Trivandrum or Bangalore (yes, I’ve had this dream while I was in Trivandrum, and after I came over here).

I do hope my dreams don’t come true! Shudder!