Monday, April 19, 2010

Bidding goodbye to Bangalore!

I never wanted to write this particular post, but since I have named this blog 'Records in a Journal', I felt that memories/events of significance that deserve to be recorded should indeed be. This post is intensely emotional, so it might not be very coherent!

Bangalore - There are so many things that I have come to love about this place, I don't even want to think about what I would be losing a few days from now. From July 2007 till date, this city has shaped my life, I have partook of some of my life's greatest joys and most memorable experiences here.  Now that I have to bid goodbye to this wonderful city and all that I associate with it, my eyes well up with tears...

A lot of things changed when I moved from the suburbs of Chennai to Bangalore. My personality suddenly took wings and learnt to soar and fly. I simply didn't bother anymore, didn't shudder, didn't hesitate, didn't care about anything that had been a mental stumble anymore. I explored life like I had never done earlier. I learnt that life is about the quality of experiences a person chooses to indulge himself in and nothing more. This might seem an abnormal simplification but that is how I feel. The time at my disposal during the weekends and after work, I chose to channel it towards this objective, to experience richly. 

I would like to make this post, a record of certain memories - the picture that emerges is a nice little collage of a few years of life lived to the hilt. In no particular order, here they go -

So many people have been wonderful to me, made me their friend, cared for me, wanted me to do well and wished me well. If not for them, these years would have been a drag and a bore. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have been blessed so lavishly. A huge credit for all the happy memories goes out to them.

If I make a record of the things that I'd miss, it would not end, so I wouldn't attempt it. I would just like to believe that only the first innings of my life @ Bangalore is coming to an end. I wish that the second innings is longer and equally rewarding in all aspects. To the parks and streets of Bangalore, my goodbye until hopefully, destiny permitting, our paths cross again...

To all my friends here reading this, we shall stay in touch. The world is a small place and it can only get smaller! As tears of joy well up, adieu!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Friendship - Some evergreen memories

12.40 PM on a warm and sunny day in the academic year 1996-97 - Four guys run out of their classes in the first floor of an imposing building onto the huge ground towards a shady tree some 100 meters away. In stainless steel lunch boxes, their mothers have packed lunch, they proceed to open the boxes hurriedly as crows monitor from above perched on the branches of the tree. As they eat, they discuss the maths and geography scores, how the geography teacher skips huge chunks from the text book and lulls the students into deep slumber, how the maths teacher makes sure that each student grasps the concepts...they discuss the fortunes of the Indian cricket team and the latest stationary store that has opened in the vicinity!

Early morning, Year 2001, the 10th standard results have just come out - two friends meet their tuition teacher near the town's lone mosque. She has just cleaned the house front and as she emerges outside, two little cats also come out and perch in their usual spots to see what is going on. The teacher monitors the marks and as is inevitable, she has some pleasant surprises and some crude shocks in store. 

3.55 PM on a pleasantly breezy day, year 2003 - two friends walk out from the school, imitating their maths teacher and singing paeans to the biology teacher's astonishing ability to hold the students in a trance. Their speed increases with every step they take, navigating the busy Shanmugham street to catch the 4.05 local. Once in the train, they look forward to the din and noise, as people thirsty for water and revel in every moment of the motion. As trees and houses rush by, they have no clue where they'll land up in life. Yet, there is no apprehension, only thoughts about the unit test next morning and the girl in the next compartment whose glimpse they'll catch when the train stops next.

12.15 PM, a terribly sunny day, year 2005, at the park near the Golden jubilee block - two guys are seen with their backs to the block, huddled together as they discuss the opinion pages of THE HINDU and compare it with that of the Deccan chronicle. They have neither completed the lab assignment due later in the afternoon nor do they worry about the angry stares they get from the teachers as they step late into the class, making an act of heavy panting for effect. As they walk back from the Veg mess, the sunlight filtering through the lofty branches of the trees alongside the road, catches a beautiful girl and brightens her expression. She is melancholic, but her features do a splendid job at hiding it...

7 PM, marina beach, year 2007 - The last semester is in progress. A group of friends have decided to discuss the weighty aspects of life. But when they start talking, they discuss about each other's crushes and wean out stories of romance and wooing. With a resolve to stay in touch, come what may, they watch the rush of waves teasing the shore, never ceasing and resolute in their ebb and flow. Time flees by and before they realize its too late, they rush back to catch the last of the buses!

Midnight, year 2008 is about to dawn - A group has decided to unwind from work away from the humdrum of the city in faraway Coorg. They dance to the beats of the latest blockbuster 'Jab we Met' even as they thank their stars for being part of a wonderful team that knows how to celebrate successes! The revelry continues well into the new year in the hope that the times can only get better...

7 PM, India Coffee House, Bangalore - Some friends are gathered at this relic from the past relishing the taste of the vegetable cutlet and the bread toast. They discuss mundane things, never once thinking that they are grown-ups now. They come out, click numerous pictures, take a walk on brigade road, ogle at beauties walking by and go their different ways...

It is memories like this, that make life happier, funnier and memorable. Without companions by your side who share your concerns and understand your thoughts and intentions, life is but a drag. With the hope of soaking in many more evergreen memories, I end this post.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

How to spot an egotist?

I recently completed reading Preeti Shenoy's  '34 Bubblegums and Candies'. It was a delightful read, for lack of a better word. To take incidents that on a first glance appear insignificant and to juxtapose on them, insight and a novel perspective - that is the achievement of  the book and kudos to Preeti. Coming to a chapter that I particularly liked, titled 'Radiators and Drains', referring broadly to people who "leave you feeling really good about yourself" and to people who "leave you feeling inadequate in a way that cannot be described", in that order, I thought that egotists should squarely fall in the second category of Drains. Not only do their inflated opinions of themselves leave others feeling inadequate about themselves, it also leads to an estrangement of sorts from the possibility of deep and meaningful friendship.

It is self-evident that egotists are not even moderately receptive. Listening as a virtue plays a large role in sustaining any relationship. When a person who can't stomach a character that remotely threatens his ego, it is wise to leave him to his own self. This post is all about spotting such people and to the readers, a suggestion - Stay away from them like they have the plague!

If a person 

  • can't put himself in other's shoes to empathize
  • views a challenge to his stand as an affront to his authority
  • puts people down in public and revels in delight at the achievement
  • uses people to achieve his own ends 
  • always makes sure that his voice in any discussion is the loudest
  • can't sincerely appreciate anybody who might pose him a challenge in the future
  • takes every opportunity to laugh 'at' others
then, you have a really bad specimen of the category before you. They can be a real source of pain, irritation and frustration. No amount of reasoning will ever make them see sense. I end this post by saying that I am happy to have many radiators surrounding me.