Friday, Monday and everything in Between.

Harbouring an insomnia plea would be a terrible overstatement. So, that’s out of the picture. It has been a really long weekend considering the fact that Monday was a holiday which is just pure bliss. There is a really lot of information that I’ve processed so, bear with me because this might be longer than the usual dose.

Dose. Yeah, I re-watched ‘Batman Begins’; never ceases to amaze me. Then, my usual bout of sleeplessness saw me hand in hand with a book. ‘The Outcast Queen’; the Mahabaratha is, in my opinion everything that is right and wrong with this wonderful country of mine. Loved the book; nut not divulging into details or reviews. It’s a wonderful feeling to see Karna rise to be a really awesome person. Good reading. That was most of Friday night/Saturday morning.

Come Saturday and I hauled myself to Bessant Nagar beach or Bessy as it is fondly called. Now, if I may quote with some shame, I haven’t been to the beach in the three months that I’ve been in this city. Either way, it was good times. Then there was coffee which put a dent on proceedings. I am a man of simple tastes but one thing that is a deal breaker is the coffee. I might come off as a little arrogant but if you’re a coffee lover, you’ll see the proceeding from my side of the bars. As much as I’ve tried, coffee doesn’t live up to expectations in the ‘Coffee shops’. In my wandering in and around this town, I’ll put down the best coffee haunts I’d frequent.

  1. Ratna Café, Triplicane
  2. Indra Café, Velachery
  3. Any Saravana Bhavan
  4. Hot Chips

There was a secret meeting in one of the coffee shops with ideas pooled in to take over the world but all that is hush hush and me telling you would result in ‘them’ monitoring you. So, ignorance is bliss, kinda.

The evening was a blur. Reading, music, something else. End of Saturday.

Sunday was memorable in a lot of ways. Time spent with family is always time spent in joy. There was Jigarthanda, popcorn. The former a movie and the later a snack. Followed by food, talk fun and now I’m trailing off, really losing my footing over what I planned to say and what I am actually saying. Note to self, “get a Dictaphone or some other recording device”

Monday- tripod for camera- TMNT movie- photography. Thus, weekend over, although I did meet some interesting people. I really need to thing it through before making words appear out of thin air.

But then, we’re all human. (Not sure how this fits into the context)

Well then,

Hanggang Susunod na Oras!

 

The Price of Power

In a dramatic turn of events, Ram Prabakar has erstwhile decided to write all one article that is completely relevant to the title. He would also like to add that in said article, he will be experimenting with addressing himself in the third person.

You’ve read that? Cool, now try reading it again like the reporters from one of the famous news channels in my part of the world. Trust me, it’s hilarious.

Jokes apart, I’m really trying to write something that makes sense with the title.

What is power? I randomly asked half-a-dozen people and I ended up with many answers.

The ability to control everything.

Unlimited money.

234 seats in the house.

Now, that last piece of gold was dropped on me by one of the auto rickshaw drivers that I regularly meet during my commute to the office. He was referring to the Legislative Assembly in my state. He’s an interesting person and I’ll make a post on him once I have enough material.

So, I have this wound up and somewhat stupid explanation of power. We are all free men and I think it’s finally time to let that idea out. Power, I think, is knowledge that can be used to completely turn something over and thereby make a change so impacting that the person or thing will not be able to get back from.

In simpler words, power is the ability to screw things up for somebody and making sure that it stays that way.

It was yet another exciting day at work with the rain coming down on the city and flooding the roads . The office was all fun until the event happened. It was sitting there, right at my desk. Accelerated by the changes that were happening outside the well air-conditioned windows. It was not a regular occurrence and everybody was surprised because, it’s not something that we’d expect every day.

There was no time for niceties and  did what had to be done. I brought by hand down and swatted the mosquito sitting on my desk.

Save your sticks and stones for the comments. What I realised was that, I had control over the life and death of the insect. The afterthought made me ponder over this thing and that and I finally ended up writing this. So, um, I guess, with great power comes great responsibility? I’ll let you figure that out.

Indtil næste gang!

Do Not Try This at Home!

Let me retrace the steps here to the 30 hours which led me to fall on my bed and play dead like a possum and wake up after 12 hours. If you’re thinking of staying up for 30 hours, DON’T! The sleep afterwards is a slice of heaven but I wouldn’t wish it even upon my enemies.

Hour #29

The parking lot is a blur. I walk up to the bike and key the helmet holder correctly. Clearly something is wrong. This is the first time in a whole month that I haven’t mixed up the keys and it coincidentally happens to be during my daredevil stunt. Either way, I take it out of the parking lot and drive back home.

Hour #28

My eyes are rolling. The office party and announcements are just over. My eyes begin rolling whenever I stay still for more than five minutes. The key seems to be moving. So, I play three games of table tennis. Bad idea.

Hour #26

The party is about to get started. The PA system has been testing out with half-hearted versions of ‘New York Nagaram’. It’s blissful and annoying at the same time. I don’t know what to do. My head is rested behind a bean bag as I lay comfortably on the floor, trying not to close my eyes. I don’t want to miss out on the pizza.

Hour #19

“Dude, you have no life, do you?” My team mate makes an interesting observation as she walks past, surprised at my arrival at the office. I do have contradictory proofs that state otherwise but actually mentioning that I have proof kinda makes me look vulnerable so I’m gonna stop at that.

Hour #17

“I’m not gonna sleep. I’ll get ready and go straight to the office. I don’t want to miss the meeting at 3 or the party afterwards.”

“You’re mad, you know that right?”

Hour #15

It’s a bright and sunny day. The school starts in an hour. Seven of us are in the ground, trying to get as much football (soccer) out of the time we have. I’m will hereby refrain from commenting about my footballing abilities. Let’s just say that it’s a beautiful game.

Hour #9 The Moment of Truth.

Football tomorrow?

In!

Hour #31

In hindsight, I should have caught an hour’s sleep before heading out for football. That’s given me content for my blog, so there’s that. So, do not try this at home or at the office. But, if you have one that’s as awesome as mine, then I dare you!

Do sljedećeg puta!

Half Past Two

The idea for the title of this post, I got from a junior of mine. It was half past two and I was shifting gears, riding a bike through the dim populated streets of Chennai. ‘Tis a rare sight to behold, to see Chennai like I do, day after day after day. There was a breeze in the air, the mild kind that gets aggravated only by the speed of the object travelling against it. I was doing a modest 40 Kmph, what with the cost of fuel, I might as well resort full time to public transport (which is also awesome by the way).

There is a dog barking, the police jeep waiting to nab unwary riders and some others like me, travelling to wherever their homes were. This is not a post like ‘The Echo of Crows’; it’s tad different. It’s not about how the city responds; rather a narcissistic account of what went through my mind. My office is about 5km (give or take) from where I live and the commute is predominantly a straight road. There’s maintenance going on that road for about a million years and will continue until the sun burns out. This means that there’s oncoming traffic on the same lane (pain in uncomfortable places during rush hours). On this road, there is a good comfortable stretch of 500 meters of straight uninterrupted road. Every time I get on this road, there is sudden urge; it’s the same feeling as hitting a ball right off the middle of the bat and hearing the sound as the ball takes to orbit. Every day I try to restrain myself but inevitably, the meter goes over to 50, 60, 70 up and until 80kmph before the bifurcation comes to halt me on my way.

Now, I do this every day but what made me write a blog post about this particular day? As I did my daily ritual, I noticed a sound, it went like the blades of a helicopter, a steady one at that as I rode down the road. The collar flaps on my shirt dancing with the wind and making these sounds.

Moral of the story : If you’re flaps make sounds, do not make a blog post about it at 3 in the morning!

P.S It’s my second anniversary.

 

On WordPress.

 

Lament of the Night’s Watch

I would like to state for the record that I was not coerced in any way, mean or form into writing this blogpost. It is written in the archives somewhere that I would come out with a short story. It’s ready and all but I’m waiting for an approval from some specific people before I take it on floors. Thank you for waiting with me.

So, the, uh, not-coerced part. I’ve been out of track for a week or so. I owe it mainly to bike riding in the big city and roaming the streets without purpose. Now, in case I haven’t mentioned it before, I’d like to say that I love travelling. Buses are the preferred means of transport and I receive a lot of stick for it. But, but, it’s a sense of privacy and loneliness that trains don’t offer and those are kinda the things that I look out for. A good chunk of wonderful ideas have hit me from bus windows, not literally though. That being said, bus travel out of the big city is not as merry as I hoped it’d be. I will stand by that statement.

Moving on to the case at hand. It was around last weekend I suppose, around the time of Raksha Bandhan and Aavani Avittam, which is this super cool ritual. I’ve got do a bit more research on it, considering the fact that I’ve been attending it for the past eleven years without knowing the significance. You never say no to best friends. That’s something that I picked up along the way. So, I was in all plans to go to a convocation where I was not going to receive my degree because of the percentage issue but, I was willing to pass on that because of the solemn joy that I would get to see my friends.

Then this happened. My friend calls me up two days prior to departure. I was half awake and only barely functioning. I don’t remember the exact conversation but it boiled down to one simple question,

“Convocation or Jigarthanda?”

Anymore would make this boring and any less would render it senseless. It’s one for the road though.

Until Next Time!

P.S I was supposed to do another language but I’m too lazy as of 0105 hours, so, farewell and may the winds forever favour the brave.

Weekend Round Up

We were picked up by the police. It was hilarious. It revolved around driving on a bike, without the documents. We were stopped for driving triples and one thing lead to another and yeah. That was the weekend, running from one station to another in a state of panic because, not only were we caught it also happened to be a stolen vehicle. I made this up as I typed in the title of the post. Fun, no?

Quick and thoughtful points from the weekend

#1 The Clothes store

Exploration without purpose is discovery. The so called heart of the city was the haunt for the weekend. My faith in the public system keeps getting reinforced over and over again. There was this store offering name-brands at unbelievable prices. The incident was not the store itself but what happened after. It was a day of mild traffic any by mild I mean only two of the ten vehicles on the road would try to kill us. So, we were walking on the footpath and had to cross a road that had a barricade of about five feet long to split right from left. Naturally we look to only one side of the road to cross because of said barricade. Along comes a charming middle aged lady, honking as though the world is deaf. There is a serious expression on her face and the horn seems to reflect that; in as harsh a tone as possible, she yells at us,

“Look at both sides of the road pa”

She proceeds to speed her way across the wrong side of the barrier and switched over to the left side. What a woman! I mean, she broke a bunch of rules and managed to make us look like culprits; actually, I’m not even mad! That’s amazing.

#2 Age, the never ending question.

Sunday, the day of siestas. I was at my aunt’s place for a visit and the topic of age popped out of nowhere. The room had two generations in it. My aunt and uncle, of the generation before mine; she was one of the forerunners of the generation and he was towards the end. The same was for my cousin and me. People are still getting around to the fact that I’m working now, owing to the fact that they’ve known me for a really long time. When the matter of age popped out and my uncle said,

“We’re all getting older” because somebody somebody’s son was getting married and I mustered up my own response,

“You are getting older, we are growing up. There’s a difference”

Yeah, it’s been kinda boring; but thou that hath read through to the end of this post, I salute thee for you are truly your brother’s keeper and the finder of lost children.

Well then,

Wiggle your toe and happy Aadi Perukku!

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