Saturday, December 08, 2012

Exacting Smartness

I texted you,
You Whatsapped back.
I posted on your Wall,
You pinged me on GTalk.
I pinged back on GTalk,
You Vibered me.
I buzzed you on Lync,
You mailed me on Yahoo.
I messaged you on FB,
You shared a post on G+.
I messaged you on Linked In,
You sent a talking parrot on Farmville.

 I invited you to an Outlook meeting,
You invited me to your Picasa album.
I pinned an interest,
You YouTubed yours.
I wrote this blog post
while you Tweeted.

It's time to throw away
this smartphone
and call home.
If you don't answer,
I'll see your light on,
cross the street
and knock on your door.

Monday, September 10, 2012

"Counting Starts Now. 1..2..3.."

The awesome, spectacular, and the extraordinary always happen when you least expect them. I have a knack like nobody else does for missing out on the aforementioned trio but on a recent Sunday evening, that was not the case. Now, most people who know me well also know how I feel about this person-

Elaboration: Long before the jokes were conceived, long before Rajnikanth was made a feeble meme, I had grown to admire him. To this day, no individual's charisma has managed to stir me like this man's screen presence, his absurd confidence (both on and off camera) and that perfect comic timing have. As a Bronte-Vivaldi-lover, I can think of only one basis for such fondness for a person whose on-screen antics mostly border on the crass and the ridiculous: there is something about him.

It was a hurried two-hour notice. Rajnikanth had come down to grace a venue not far away from my residence and I would be able to catch a glimpse of him if I hurried. Everything else was forgotten sooner than a drop table SQL query as I rushed for it. Now, I'm a person who takes her time with everything, be it to walk, devour dessert, or pursue the 9:30 am shuttle. Not that day, no. Fifteen years.

About two hours later, there he was, clad in white, arms folded before an idol while chants echoed all around, strict vigil maintained. He looked around once in a while, probably saw me, probably didn't. Most of you won't get—or will even go ahead to banish—what I felt like standing there. Why him, you ask. There is no answer. Celebrity mania is something I never understood nor was a part of but this was something else..much beyond the autograph-handshake-photograph-Facebook update mania. 

Barely minutes later, it was time for him to leave and surprisingly, I didn't want to be part of the group that wanted to talk to the man whose movies had made me believe in miracles..that every man's life had the faintest hope of being larger than life. Frankly, I have no idea what difference those couple of minutes made to my life but there was an undeniable sense of joy, probably because some sort of a childhood dream came true. At the end of the day, Rajnikanth is an artist I admire and now it seems like this blog post had little basis to be written. This may be one of the few moments in my overly articulate, exceedingly verbal life to cut things short and get back to watching Baba..maybe make it a movie marathon.

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Food Blog

As it turns out, people have always associated me with food and there are no two ways about it. Every meal I tuck into concludes with planning the next one. Every lunch hour begins with coaxing classmates/colleagues to take an early break, stay longer in the cafeteria and make room for dessert. Every tea break is a fancy two+ cup affair with accompaniments. Such fondness, such love I shall never have for anything else and it's er..time to make it official. So there's a dedicated food blog with its own domain and the works which will feature reviews. Product reviews predominantly, but you might end up liking them.

Apologies for blatant personal marketing but do check it out here. Or by clicking on the giant green image on the right scroll-bar which I ensured you wouldn't overlook in a hurry. Any kind of feedback will go appreciated..use the mail address on the 'Contact' page.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Chennai 101

There must be a god, after all. A god who grants wishes selectively, who programs this selection so meticulously that the timing of your wish being granted coincides rather perfectly with that of your nightmare coming to life. Every fumbling fresher to the Indian IT/equivalent industry dreads one thing: a posting email to Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India. Mine was a New Year 2012 gift.

Now, Chennai is a city that has acquired a questionable reputation in recent years, with the aforementioned question not restricted to its sultry climate alone. Techies and other mortals alike paint a picture of an uninhabitable sauna room of a city with apparently no food, water or miscellaneous essentials. There are also some survivors who paint a picture of a cultural haven which happens to be a foodie’s delight. Having spent a few months in the city, I choose to stand between the two pictures, noticeably leaning to the latter.

I stepped into the city in early February which is winter in most parts of the country. Chennai, however, has two seasons: summer and deadly summer. The days were hot and humid while nights were pleasantly humid, making air-conditioned accommodation about as necessary as You’d think such accommodation is easy to find in the heartland of Madras Presidency but wait..chances are your workplace will be on Old Mahabalipuram Road, the IT expressway on the outskirts of the city. Real estate brokers who operate here double as economics gurus, controlling the supply and price of furnished accommodation to bring it just within the reach of the average corporate slave. In short, I found a half-decent place to crash.

Even potential sociopaths require company. The fact that about twenty fraands lived within hopping distance of my residence reduced the agony of relocating to Madras. Observing cultural diversity, studying the thought process of people around and continuing my notes on group dynamics made the average day entertaining. There was little scope for silence as entertainment prevailed and bonding happened. But I tend to diverge. The food..yes. Chennai offers predominantly South Indian, particularly Chettinad food. Some restaurants in the city offer staple dishes that are simple yet extraordinarily delicious while others go out of their way to nurse one’s culinary curiosity. But the best food I had incidentally came from the kitchen of a Gurudwara.

Entertainment in Chennai is plentiful, with proximity to the coastline accounting for a greater part of it. Unlike Bangalore (where I have lived all my life and where entertainment these days seems to restrict itself to shopping, eating or drinking), Chennai tends to amuse one with its beaches, adventure sports destinations and several convenient weekend getaways. So Pondicherry happened and it was amazing. The IIT-campus is a world by itself, with more wildlife sighted on the campus than its junta. Another noteworthy mention is the cinema hall scene in Chennai: ticket prices in multiplexes can go as low as 10 INR and nay, this is no typo. Auto-rickshaws aside, living in this city is probably far less expensive than other metros.

The localites I met in Chennai (including strangers on the road) were largely helpful and genuinely nice, sometimes going out of their way to help. One particularly memorable incident was when an elderly couple escorted us to our destination when they could have merely gestured directions. “It will be difficult for you girls to search at night”, the gentleman said at 7 pm. Language was never a problem as most people seemed to speak fluent English and I managed to churn up broken Tamizh frequently. Yes, the surroundings were very different from what I was used to. Retail, food and hospitality sectors need to spread their wings (especially in the IT area!), water management must be made better and the city could definitely do with multiple commercial centres but the fact remains that it ticks better than most metros. Be it the ten-person-shared-autos, windowless buses, claustrophobia-inducing electric trains or the ‘Anna Cool Bar’s that outnumber Bangalore’s ‘Cake Paradise’s, Chennai has a heart and soul which deserve perpetual ovation.

Three months in Rajniland, if nothing else, will strengthen your endurance and build character like few other ways of living can. I wished to ‘have a blast’ living away from home, my New Year resolution was to make life more entertaining and both have been fulfilled in the most superlative of ways.

Also read:

Gurgaon 101