Chennai to Madras

Chennai_Madras

Two posts in two days; someone seems to be racking up the words. It’s almost two months since I moved to a new city and job. In all these two months, I haven’t explored the city as ideally as I had planned to. Frequent visits home and the sheer joy of sleeping in on the weekends made me overlook a vibrant opportunity that lay around, literally waiting for me to pick it up.

The image in the side was something that I came across in the near past when I was browsing the internet at 3 am for no particular reason. I did not see the relevance or significance of the image back then; but now that Chennai has opened its doors to me, I’ve seen glimpses of what it means to be in a city with divided souls. That is pretty much what the post is going to be about, my inroads into Chennai and Madras.

Chennai

The malls, the high roads and a typically brand conscious populace. I’m only barely scratching the surface and I mean no offence to anybody, but that is the vision of Chennai that I have as of now. Two malls over the weekend and that was all that I observed. We were just window shopping although I did pick up a Manchester United kit, so there’s that. Looking through all those stores leaves me with a couple of questions that I’d rather not voice to the world. There is no hustle and bustle; just people in their cars, moving from one signal to another; the men on their bikes with their girlfriends, the happy couple celebrating their day-off. There’s feeling in all of it, yes, but not the kind that people like me are accustomed to. We stepped out of the mall and had a brilliantly conceived idea, but that takes place in Madras, so, hang on a second……..

Madras

The plan was to go to ‘Ratna Café’. Now, y’all might have heard of it in very many ways, but I came across the term for the first time in a Tamil-Noir movie, “Quarter Cutting” (which is essentially a measure of drink which is one large and one small together). Standard hotel procedure dictates that the idly be placed on the plate with the sambaar in a small vessel provided separately or with the plate. Here the service was one of a kind; the idly was on the plate and the waiter just poured the sambaar over it and lo and behold, I had a two idlies floating over a lake of sambaar. I’m putting it down on the top five best sambaars I’ve ever tasted; it’s a close battle with Salem’s very own Sri Krishna.

Dinner was a pleasant affair; we then proceeded to walk through Triplicane, an area abuzz with folks shopping for Ramzan. It lived to be a bazaar street true to its name and it was then that I realized that I had stepped from Chennai into Madras. The old man with the flowers shop in the street corner; the waiter at the hotel who knows how to treat their customers, the gentlemen on the footpath who came out of his way when we asked him for directions and the buildings, all these are the signatures of some of things that won’t change with time. It’s something that should be preserved and cherished, for now and forever.

Thank you Chennai for welcoming me and thank you Madras for revealing yourself.

Well then,

后会有期!

The Echo of Crows

The words I am putting down, I made up whist on the way back home from work; the non-essential detail being that I was listening to ‘Swans of Saraswati’ by Agam which is totally awesome. The whole ‘peace-in-the-night’ thingy was discussed in length over the last couple of posts. The following are the humble words of the guy who works the graveyard shift.

This blog post is more or less the result of a practical experiment. Disclaimer : No animals and/or humans were harmed while conducting this experiment. Clarification – it’s not one of those ‘social experiments’ that keep happening in my part of the world; no, this involves one individual and one individual only.

Tradition dictates that I begin explaining about the title around this part of the post and that’s exactly what I’m going to do. To, everybody who has seen the Tamizh movie ‘Ramana’, imagine the empty railway station at the end of the movie. For others, I’ll paint a mental picture – an empty railway station at 4 45 in the morning. The only living souls in the station are me, the dog that lays as asleep as possible and a couple of crows that are cawing about. Now, I’ve been in that place a lot of times when it has been empty; but this was different. The din of the city beside me would always accompany the sound that made it through to my ears across the sound of the music in my ears; but that was not the case. The only audible external sound was that of the crows cawing about. It was a relief to hear the train rumbling over the tracks.

I was walking back home and it was around then that ‘Swans of Saraswati’ popped up on my shuffle. This was around 5 in the morning. I was about twenty feet from my place when I witnessed it; an old couple were on their daily dose of walking. I’ve never seen them before but there was this surge of ‘together till the end’ going on my mind. This might have been partly due to the fact that I go to sleep when my part of the world wakes; but hey, it’s not every day that I get to see a couple like this.

I should probably start sending out my daily good morning message then.

P.S  There is hope for everybody who goes looking.

Well then,

Fins a la pròxima!

And So It Begins!

I shoot people (and sometimes landscapes). Found this one online and ended up framing it; the caption now proudly sits on my desk at work. I do get the occasional stare but there’s people who appreciate the humour in it; good going for me I suppose. There’s also an awesome picture of Heath Ledger’s Joker that sits by the side. Things are looking up for me.

Let me divulge into the matter at hand. If you do happen to notice the time at which this post was made, it should be above and beyond doubt that I’m burning midnight oil; and that’s running out fast (my jokes are bad). I kinda work the graveyard shift. Although it beats me why it’s called that; the hours are meh, the atmosphere is peaceful and there’s always the off-chance that I run into The Batman.

I’m sure that there’s more to come but let me begin with it here. These are going to be the perks of the men who work when the world sleeps (debatable).

I share a house with four other people. It’s been two whole days since I’ve spoken to them. We live in the same place, at different times. That was the first thing that I happened to notice.

The night is always peaceful. That should be the second thing and there’s not much elaboration required on that I suppose. 

I’ve had to learn the hard way that the public system does not favour the graveyard shift. 

My first meal of the day was at 1pm. That’s kinda bad I think. I don’t know; requires attention.

There is a lot more where this came from and I might end up becoming a midnight blogger after all.  Not that I’m was active during the day though, just a matter of saying.

On top of that, this is kinda the life I dreamed of living so, kudos to that. 

Well then,

Do sljedeći put!

P.S Somebody did figure out what the line at the end of the post means!

 

In Memorian.

There’s no reason to announce it to the world. It’s a letter of what I would like to tell him if he were here. Those of you who chance to read it, I appreciate your silence.

To you, Abz,

It’s been a long time. Really long. Three years. Time moves fast buddy. Here we are, all of QC has graduated. Couple of them are still back in college, five years courses, that you’ll know. You would have graduated with us. Started a job maybe or on the wait for a call letter. You were light at the end of the tunnel when I stepped into class on the first day of my second year. All the people in that room have become good friends to me since, but on that day, you were the only friendly face. To that, I’ll always be thankful.

I’ll be short and quiet here; just want to put down two things that you did for me that will always stay with me forever and ever.

Cricket. I was mixed up with my game. Blind hitting the ball this way and that. Never was half as good as I assumed I was. That was when you arrived. By-running for me in every match. It was always you that  stood by my side and kept whispering, “Be patient. Watch the ball” and that to me was a load of good. The thought still lingers every time that I step to bat.

The other and very important thing that I owe you is my writing. It one evening at the SPS mess that we were sitting down with that awful lunch that you suggested that I start writing a story about Naga and his sad, funny fate; that was my beginning. When I look back now, that which you said was the trigger for all the writing that I had inside me. I truly wish that you were here to see me write.

We wish you were still with us for a lot more reasons. I always remember you as the guy who got along with people effortlessly. Stay with us forever.

Truly Indebted to you,

AVS

Picking the Pieces.

I know I know, it’s been forever since a new post arrived. So, I’m gonna put down what I did during the week that went by. What is stability? Been pondering about that for some time now after all that has come and gone. Is it financial? By that, making more money than needs to be spent? If so, what is that limit. Or is stability about peace of mind? Just being happy and not giving two thoughts about it. My zen preaching for the day is done :P. Anybody wanting to challenge me on that? No? Well then, going once, going twice, gone.

To the affairs at hand now. There is a place that has been second home in a matter of ways. The ideas of being away from it play out once or twice but only when it ceases to be in the spectrum do we realize that it was another way of life. I left that association hanging by a thread last Monday when I procured part of my certificates from college. The fact that I have a job is only still sinking in. But there you have it folks, another year gone. Just like that.

College was a fun affair. It was a reunion of sorts and I ended up meeting all the people who I hoped would show up. Funny thing though; coincidentally, it was the start of term for the first year students (freshman year it is, I believe in other parts of the world) so, there we(me and a certain other person) sat next to a parent who was eagerly awaiting the return of their ward from their first tryst into college. It was a warm feeling.

For as long as my batch was in college, we had a special dislike towards wearing our ID cards; we kinda functioned on an ‘Ask and it shall be given to you’ basis. So, I was walking up the steps to my department building and one of the student volunteers(the ones in place to guide gullible freshmen and women) “Are you a first year?”

In reply I said, “Nope, 2014 passout” It hit me in about five minutes after I said that to him. In the days to come, in the eyes of the institution, I’m just gonna be another five digit number.

It was cloudy by the time we got out of college and in all greatness, there was a suggestion made by me that we should board the least crowded bus which ended up in severe rain drenching.

In other ways, coffee still rules, the earth goes around the sun and I’m awesome as always.

পরবর্তী সময় পর্যন্ত!

Two First Times!

I should have made this post two days ago. Yes I am that lazy. Blessings come in disguise though. Two days ago, I would have made a post about something that happened to me for the first time. Now I have two. I just read this back and this may be one of the most clear introductions to any of my blog posts; hooray to me!

The first one happened over the weekend. Friday nights as of now are relatively boring and I was whiling at the office, a little before leaving, thinking of ways to waste my weekend. Madness hits every once in a while and it did so on that particular friday night. I looked up at my college buddy/colleague and asked him,

“Machi saturday Mahabali puram polama?”

It’s a world famous tourist spot on the East Coast in India and his answer was an instant yes! 

Now there was a plan. Then came the execution. The idea was to start as early as 4 in the morning and get back and hit the bed by 9 am. Another one of our colleagues was hell bent on us not waking up that early to get to the place. By now, you’ve pretty much figured out that we did go and come back as planned. We rode on bikes for a stretch of 50 km; the first first time was the bike ride.

Any bike enthusiast in my part of the world will know that a Royal Enfield Classic 350cc is the dream. I drove the dream for 50 km. The surge, the traditional and all too familiar sound and the goosebumps that coursed through me were all surreal. After the hour long drive, I still could not believe that the drive had actually happened. Ecstatic. Happy. Blown away. Not saying more than that.

Onto the second first time. What is being truly independent? No, I’m not taking about going guns blazing to liberate the ones bound by shackles, material or otherwise. Independence is being able to be self-sufficient and lead a sustainable lifestyle. The starting point for that would be money. It does not rule the world but it get us through a normal day. 

If you might look to post that I made about a month back about a certain startup that I had started working for, the natural question would be, “What comes once a month?” The salary. It did. And, I’m gonna keep telling my self that I’ve started being independent. Wishful thinking? We’ll wait it out. 

Until then, I’ve ridden a Bullet and received my first salary. *Self High Five*.

An embarrassing confession that it took me two months to get though “Assassin’s Creed Liberations HD”. 

Да наступнага разу!

The Rainy Day

There are only so much chances given before the lesson sinks in. It comes in various means and forms but there is one lesson that finds its way into the palette of life at various points and infuses some truth into us. The lesson in point being, “The way is for you to explore”. It’s not a really good idea to wait for change; things don’t work that way. Everything is happening at the moment for the good or for the worse. In the words of Donna as said to Louis, “It’s bullshit to wait for the pretty girl to call”.

It’s a good practice this, ranting about something totally unrelated before getting into making sense about the title.

As you all probably know, this post that I’m making involves a rainy day. It was a special kind of rainy day which comes along every once in a while and manages to twist things up. Fallen trees, flooded roads, lush greenery, a full lake and so stretched on the portfolio of this rain. Walking along the roads was a scare, driving on it was a nightmare. Dear Mr.Murphy has already said what I’m only going to reinforce; when there is scope, there is opportunity.

I was driving on the muddy, flooded roads on the rainy day. The rain was not too friendly with my windshield. The roads though were a little sympathetic with my tyres. It was a good coasting through the roads that were motor friendly on any other day; but neat roads don’t make awesome drivers so I was setting new standards for myself on that day. 

There was a narrow road; the traffic had begun clogging up. Ya, another thing about the rain; it makes my ever so peaceful town clog with traffic. I had to wait at the same traffic signal TWICE!! There were people, there was a car coming on the other side and there was this single man in all whites walking to my left. It was a blind spot. As I drove past him, at the blind spot, I heard a soft thud. I immediately assumed the worst and tried to get myself the hell out of there and raced forward; the traffic red was a 90 seconds to signal my doom. I frantically began checking my wallet for enough money to pay him off. There is a nature that has been passed down through my DNA; we tend to extrapolate available information to always arrive at the worst case scenario.

The calculative portion of my brain was working the math; the other side was looking all around to make sure that the crowd did not gather around me at the signal. As I sat, windows raised and sweating, there was another soft thud. I was absolutely certain that the car was not moving. When I  looked up to check the time on the signal, there was the thud again; this time I got to see what it was.

Remember that the windshield was being punished by the rain; the defender that I had called upon for protection was the cause of the thud.

Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you the Wiper. Windshield Wiper. Not Oberyn.

Hurrengo urtera arte!

This is NOT the End!

Prior Warning : This is a football article.

This is probably the millionth post on the internet that is yet another review of the so called ‘death’ of spanish football.

I promise to try and make this one a little different. 

Before we get into the thick of things, let’s make one thing clear; this is certainly not the end for Spain; not in the long run.  

Admittedly, they do play a brand of football that is at times boring to watch. But what seems as boring is usually a controlled and precise manner of the game that takes the highest levels of practice. Hell, I confess that I dozed off during the final of 2010 during extra time (owing largely to the shift in the time zone that breaks the sleep patterns of Indians for a month). 

Has tiki-taka been taken down? Well, once again, the warning signs were always there and I think I made a post about it during the 7-0 drubbing of Barca by Bayern during last season’s champions league where Bayern went on to lift the title. I’ve always maintained that those were the warning bells and that Tiki-Taka needed some reinvention because clearly, teams were finding a way around. Of course, the words of a lone blogger are not going to carry over halfway across the world to the ears of Pep or any other person who is responsible. Then the 5-0 drubbing of Bayern happened at the hands of Real Madrid who went on to lift the La Decima and incidentally, it was Pep, the forerunner of tiki-taka of the modern era who was at the helm at Bayern. Coincidence? I don’t know. The teams that served the drubbing were of a fast paced and counter-on-the-go type of teams; that’s something to ponder over as well. 

Now, the case of Spain. It was just yesterday that I was going through a mental scenario of what would happen if Chile beat Spain; but of course that was not going to happen, they’re defending champions. Anybody get reminded of Chelsea crashing out of the group stages in the champions league year before last? There is an unsaid rule that keeps making the rounds every once in a while. When you’ve won it, you’re no longer the underdog; get my drift? Spain set the stage with euro 2008 and warned of their arrival. It was controlled and it was neat. They weren’t high flyers. The put their heads down and worked very hard to put the days of non-achieving behind them. The result? Single handed domination for six straight years and they ended up with two Euro’s and the Grand Prize.

Maybe they got bored of winning? There are a lot of variables in play and it would be better to consider that Chile were better before writing Spain away. After all, as Spain might have learnt it, the underdogs are seldom respected. Aye, they’ve been missing David Villa as well.

So, as it stands, we’re going to have a new champion come July and the victor will have truly deserved it.

P.S : The author was an erstwhile supporter of Spain until the 2012 Euro following which he has turned to support Belgium. They are a dark horse in the race and certainly have the talent to rattle the cages. 

So,

Növbəti dəfə qədər!

P.P.S I’m truly waiting for somebody to figure out what that stuff at the end means.

  

Hell Yeah! We can cook; and other things!

Every man should learn to cook and every woman should learn to drive.

  – Praveen (Dude who bunks with me)

Oh yes! For the first time in a very long time, I have been able to come up with a title for a blog post that has a lot of significance to the content that I’m about to cook up. Yeah, so, hooray to me! Ah!, the annals of men and women describe the struggles of wars fought, kingdoms taken, epics written and other such monumental activities; that is all well and fine.

It’s been two weeks since my fourth major lifestyle change. This has brought me to rethink some of history’s defining moments. In conclusion, none of them(the annals) have a solid account on just how things go through when setting up a new home. It is just referred to in passing. 

To make sense of this, I’m gonna paraphrase something that I read on reddit.com; it will involve extending your imagination a teeny bit. Ready? Okay, to those who know about David Moyes, skip to the the next sentence and move on to the next one. To those who don’t; he was erstwhile manager of Manchester United football club; he was the one who succeeded SAF and failed through mistakes of his own and of those around him. Now, sixty years into the future when Hogwarts is open to the general public, David Moyes will just be that guy who failed. He will not be among the pantheon of greats who lead Manchester United to winning everything under the sun. He will be someone who could not match SAF’s legacy. In all due respect, that’s not the case is it? He is someone who struggled and tried and fought through with his own principles. The charts will go something like this,

SAF – 1986-2013

David Moyes – 2013-2014

LVG – 2014- Whatever time it takes to win the treble and ten years after that.

Which in truth is no justice to David Moyes.

The lifestyle change being that we cooked our own lunch, dinner and breakfast, in that order. It was messy, a little squishy and ended up with us having zen like patience but it happened finally. Goodbye to hotel food, hopefully. That brings us to what the title means. If there’s any clarifications on what it means to set things up, feel free to ping me or mail me and I will rant it out to you. :p  

Referring to the quote at the beginning, it was one made with a sense of fun and equal seriousness. Seriously, learn to drive and learn to cook! It will do the world a truck load of good if people like you and me were independent as hell. 

So, I guess we’re officially bachelors now and strangely, every time I think of that word, the movie Mozhi comes to my mind. Wonder what that is all about.  

On the side of ‘other things’, there’s not a jolly much that I have to talk about, its only this, that and yadda yadda yadda.

P.S By joining the Dark Side, Anankin literally brought balance to the Force. 

The promised short story is still under construction. 

That’s about it then,

Մինչեւ հաջորդ անգամ!

The Way things Are

Some people live by principles; some others live without them. These two are fine when it comes to matters of everyday life under the sun. The dangerous ones are those who pretend to live with principles. That was the thought for the blogpost. It really has little to do with what follows. The thing here is this; it’s always a danger to have a pin-point pitch. We would and on a daily basis, we pitch for different things on a wider margin. The target might stay fixed but the routes need some variety for after all, what is life without a little variety?

As I have announced to the world through my various social media channels, I am currently employed by a successful and exciting startup. Who we are and what we do, is left for you to figure out from my media platforms. Go on, just click on my facebook tab and break the suspense.

The day in quote, the 12th of June 2014 to be specific was a day of varieties. 

Instance #1

The nature of the job and the way things should work from my side was shown to me today. I fumbled a lot but hey, we become what we are by learning to pick ourselves up when we fall. All the batman references notwithstanding, the door was opened and a dialogue that my sister so often repeats, was yet again reinforced to me – ‘The first time occurs only once’. 

Instance #2

The company had very recently achieved something monumental. It was a big woohoo for everybody present. If you can figure out who employs me, you should be able to figure out what the deal is. The CEO had a lot of words for us; inspirational stuff it was. There have been moments of clarity for me along the way in a lot of things and this will certainly go down as one of them. The aftermath of the talk was a party; well, duh, obviously there was a party. There were varieties of pizza and desserts as well. Can you see the connection now? Variety of instances on the same day with variety of consumables in one of the instances. Dream within a dream? Inception? No? Okay, moving on. 

Instance #3

There is a one man army on the team that I work in; he is too modest to call himself that. Anyway, there was a sit-down with him on a first hand experience of what the nature of the job would actually be. Yet another moment of clarity. The realisation has since settled in; this is not college anymore. It’s the real world where real things happen and those things happen for a reason. It’s easy to get caught up in the swirl of things and go where the wind goes; but the case with most things is that, if it’s easy, something is almost always wrong. Clarity is standing at the eye of the storm and getting a total perspective on how things work. The real world has responsibilities, roles, expectations and other such terms that are enforced subtly on a daily basis. Work is metamorphosis; that is the simplest way to put it.

P.S This article sounds too serious. One last minor information; I have officially seen everything happen. What they are is again a suspense because it is really not at my discretion to say it out to the world. 

TL;DR Life it what we make of it. (Yes! I know of reddit’s existence!)

Well,

Deri herën tjetër!