Tuesday, November 28, 2006

I am unsure of what I intended to say but here is another blog…

I read a blog last night where a friend had mentioned The Three Investigators and in that instant, all the vivid images that my mind had formed all those years back about the Junkyard, their secret hideout and their ghost-to-ghost hook up. It is unbelievable but I can almost recall every moment of the adventures of the three of them- Jupe, Pete and Bob, the way Mr. Hitchcock had described them. I must say, although I have read quite a lot of influential books in these past few years since having exhausted The Three Investigators, a few books could even come close to recreating the wonderful world created by Alfred Hitchcock. I would still prefer reading Footprints Under the Window to say The Fountainhead. I guess somewhere along the way, I forgot to grow up.
Yes, that must explain it. I started rather early into music with Boyzone and Aqua and The Backstreet Boys. Although my friends have long since gotten over the boybands, I am still stuck in that moment. I had not noticed this till yesterday but given a choice, my playlists still contain all their songs and I am still crooning their songs over and over again. Yes, I do like the others too but I haven’t gotten over the music that they gave me in my teenage years. Weird huh?
Then I got down to some soul searching and tried to recall all those years and what I was back then. I still remember those days when I cycled to school every morning and longed to get on the basketball court and then get back home and get back to playing cricket with the guys. Ah! Those were the days. One of my favourite games was and still remains, Hide-n-Seek! I was pretty darned good at it too. Six times out of ten I could jump out and give the “denner” a “dhappa” and in the process often was the first one to be sought but heck, I have always believed- Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Never in my childhood do I remember being driven by a desire to win. I enjoyed myself more in the way I played the game than I ever could when I was a winner. Winning always sucked because if I won I could not savour the game. I hate playing with intensity. It takes the fun out of a game. If you have nothing but victory on your mind, you cannot enjoy the game when it is in progress because at all times you pressure yourself to go ahead and try to win! Winning was an accident for me. If it happened it was fine but as far as possible I would rather end up second best or third best. Those were my favourite positions!
Damn, I never got over those childhood ways. I still harbour no intentions of winning anything. All through life, I have always loved the journey and the destination has hardly ever mattered to me. Think about it, the way you get somewhere is more fun than actually reaching somewhere. Some of the worst destinations have been the most fun because of the way I got there! e.g. the journey back home to Ludhiana could have not been termed more than a drab because had it not been for my folks, I could not find a single reason to make the journey. I had nothing to look forward to in Ludhiana with no friends and absolutely no hope of finding any in the short spanse of a couple of weeks. (Of course, at other times in life, two weeks in the most obscure of places have been entirely pleasing but lets not bring that up.) The reason I always looked forward to going back after every semester was the journey. Maybe I was cursed but for whatever the reason, I had not managed to travel once with a confirmed ticket and was always wait-listed or at times, with a third class ticket. The journey was always fun though, perhaps it had something to do with the wonderful circle of friends but for whatever the reason, the two days of traveling in the train were more fun than actually getting to Ludhiana! The JOURNEY, not the DESTINATION.
I never did grow up to be a mature young man. I still act on impulses and not logic. Logic after all, is so boring! I cannot imagine my life had I acted on logic and not impulse. Imagine that! I might have been a successful young computer engineer with a steady job and a fat paycheck! Yuck! I would have missed out on all the long drives to the most exotic locales, I would have missed out the fun to be had getting in trouble with all the teachers and other staff members. Heck, I would not have had all the wonderful memories for my book. Seriously, think about it. How many would actually be able to have a book about their lives filled with such anecdotes as to hold a readers fancy from cover to cover? I mean really, Bill Clinton as a president or as an impeached president? Who would pass the opportunity of being entertained by the life of Mr. Clinton after he walked into the Oval Office and set about messing with the officials? Wow, theres another term to gauge if your life has been worth living. Funny how insignificance can be interesting!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Life is so Complicated

Ever had that feeling that everything in your life seems to bog you down? No matter what you try to do, you always seem to be ending up at the wrong end of the stick. That everyone seems rooted against you? That somehow, you just weren’t meant to enjoy the finer joys of life? That whatever you try, the situation spirals out of control and you are struggling to keep up with the pace, leave alone regain control? Well, I haven’t.
So why am I writing this piece you ask? Well, for starters to try to help some people understand life better. I know I am among the dumber people to have walked the face of the Earth but I also hold the distinction of being among the happiest people on the face of this planet (touchwood!) as of today. Here is my secret.
Life is great; you really do not need to read into everything that happens. I know so many people who complicate matters by reading too much into situations and people when there is absolutely no need for it. For example, you meet someone new, are almost blown over by his or her persona, and would love to take things to the next level. At this point of time though, you begin having second thoughts and try to read into the person’s actions and words. The whole baggage then comes tumbling out to ruin something good that you might have eventually shared. I know so many people who seem to have been through some real bad relationships and then when they find someone new, they carry on the bad experiences into this one too… now how stupid is that?
Yes, my detractors would say that the bad experiences have given them a fair insight into the way people behave and so they would like to translate these into lessons learnt so as not to have any more trouble in the future. Dumbasses. Why do you look at the bad experiences you have had? For the moment that you did share a relationship, you shared something special. Something made you feel warm inside and left you with your feet off the ground. It was something that made you feel that all the troubles in the world would melt away should you be in the company of that person. Fine, eventually things did turn sour but that was as much your fault as the other person’s. People, who refuse to accept this fact, trust me; will never smile without a frown in their smiles. It was something that Bikram Choudhuri in his blog (http://daunplugged.blogspot.com if you are interested read the article WHY MOVE ON?) has brought out beautifully. Indeed, why move on? Did you not like it when you were in the relationship? Why not look at the positives and do exactly that to make the next relationship work better?
Another thing most people fail to understand. Your first love cannot be torn away from you. It will always remain an integral part of your life until death do you part. (First love in my books, is defined as that first relationship you shared when you interacted with the person opposite you and you shared more than just a relationship. It is feeling when you imagined yourself doing some of the craziest things on the planet, like eloping, introducing them to your family and worse, telling them your stupid dreams of flying like superman! First love is not that person you had your first crush on and worshipped from a distance, that’s just plain stupidity!) Your first love dictates what you will look for in your future relationships, your first love replaces your image of the ideal mate that you imagined since first reaching puberty. Accept it. Your ideal mate will not be miss-goody-two-shoes with a perfect bod and a perfect smile, not Mr. Right with the chivalry of a gentleman and the biceps of a Greek god. On the contrary, all the flaws that your first love had will be the qualities that will endear you most and hence will be reason for the failure of your future relationships. Unless you have fully understood and accepted these facts, you will always find life ever so complicated.
Everyone has flaws and should you keep looking for that one person with the least flaws all the time, you would always end up looking at the flaws and not the qualities that make them stand out in the crowd. You have your flaws too you know and no matter how much you deny it, unless you are an alien, your biggest flaw will be jealousy. Heck, even I am jealous of my friends (my jealousy tends to the fact that you have that chocolate in your hand and I don’t! but not beyond that. I lack a competitive edge and an ambition, which are essential to lead a social life. Hence, I suppose I have ended up as the outcaste that I am but that is another blog!) Accept their flaws (unless of course they are they are addicted to dope or are psychopaths! Subject of course to the fact that you despise those qualities and if you don’t they really wouldn’t be flaws now would they?) and you will find it easier to accept the person. In fact, what makes people worth knowing are their flaws not their merits! For example, could you imagine being friends with someone who was always polite, always funny and always opened the door for you? Heck, it would be so irritating to not be able to pick a fight, to not be able to have an argument with. That would be like talking to a robot who always agreed with you. Heck, can you imagine Bikram Snehi without his quirks and the irritating knack of always acting on impulse? No.
Life is not complicated. Life is simple. Smile, live it to the fullest and don’t retract into a shell. I have been through more in my four years of engineering than most people have gone through in a lifetime. None of my experiences, not the fate of my relationship, nothing in my life has ever left me with a bad taste in the mouth. In fact, looking back at all of those experiences enriches my life to the extent that I would love to write a book on it. That’s another story though…

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

The Insignificance of my Existence

Just today, I was watching TV as usual and I came across an interesting thought. I was watching Oprah (yeah laugh about it but it stands…) and she narrated an incident where when she had just started working and had the opportunity of meeting a childhood idol in Mr. Neil Diamond (who apparently is quite a rage in Uncle Sam’s country but that’s not the point here) Now back then she wasn’t quite the talk-show celebrity she is now and was quite piqued about the fact that she came face to face with the man whose tunes she hummed almost all the time. Obviously daunted by his presence, she met him in his dressing room and followed him around with a plate of shrimps. Although he was polite the first two times, he got cheesed off on the third and told her to stop. Thirty years later, she had him over for a talk and she narrated the incident. I dunno if he was being honest or just plain polite but he said he remembered a girl who followed him around his dressing room offering shrimps but didn’t quite recall it being Oprah. Obviously right? I mean if he is as famous as they acclaimed him to be, he must encounter odd balls like her every other day. It wouldn’t be odd for him to forget the incident.
That of course got me thinking. I must be a schmuck to all the people who have met me in my insignificant speck of a life. I have done nothing extraordinary unlike Mr. Diamond (who is such a huge celebrity and today was the first time I heard his name! Imagine the chances that he ever hears my name. Not just in his lifetime but mine too!!!) So why would anyone kindle memories of me? It was supposed to be one of those defining moments that people seem to have when they suddenly wake up and realize their life isn’t going anywhere and then strive hard to make a name for themselves. Its called the American Dream, I think. So, did it happen to me?
Well if you have to ask me that question, you really don’t know me do you? It didn’t make a difference to me at all. I was more intrigued in trying to explore all possibilities of why people suddenly awoke to realize they were such insignificant specks all of a sudden? The answer is quite simple though. They harbor ambitions that are deeply rooted in dreams and one day they wake up to realize that the dream could be true if only they bother to make an effort. Kudos to all the hundreds among us billions who wake up to that dream and attempt at accomplishing them.
The others? They never wake up. In fact, most do not even realize where their potential lies and what they could achieve. They are so caught up in the drudgery of their weary lives they soon stop dreaming. It is sad but to all the people who are reading this blog, you too are caught up in that miserable fold of life. I know most are doing jobs but barring one guy, the others are just filling up the time that they have been allotted in this life. Pretty soon, you will be married and then responsibilities and obligations will ensure you never dream again. Life sucks, I know.What about me? I derive my happiness not from big houses and fast cars; I derive happiness from some rather abstract ideas. My happiness is not around me; it’s within me, in my hyperactive brain. That of course, is my biggest downfall. I lack ambition. I am satisfied. Life could have been a lot different but I wouldn’t allow for it. So here I am, writing dumb blogs and messing with minds. Just another insignificant life entwined in your significant lives. If you remember me 30 years down the line, trust me, your existence has proved to be as insignificant as mine!!! Enjoy the rest of your day!!!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

What I am Thinking When I First Meet You

A lot of my friends find me aloof and assume I am too full of myself when they first meet me (I really wonder what makes them change their mind later cause they pretty much hit the nail on the head the very first time!!!) I really didn’t wanna explain how my mind works but what the heck, I am facing a writers block (not that I assume I qualify as one but then I don’t know any other term to define a lack of ideas so…) and I really want to start writing to get over it now that a big headache is off my shoulders!!! Well anyway, heres trying to explain what I am doing in the first few meetings when you see me seemingly aloof and burdened by the troubles of the world (like that’s ever going to happen right?)
The first time I see someone (I mean with my eyes, not on a date or something. Heck, come to think of it I haven’t had my first one yet! There’s another future blog!) I try to assess the person in front of me and categorize them into three basic categories-

INTERESTING- Trust me, you don’t want to fall into this category because basically I think you are a moron and am almost looking for a reason to kick your sorry behind! These people are a lot unlike me and love to blabber no end on topics where they are better served in silence. I have learnt this the hard way and by now firmly believe you learn a lot more by listening than you do by talking (hence that airy look about me!) basically in the first five minutes or so, I have already seen behind that cloak they put up and pretty much know whether I want to meet you the next time in this lifetime or not. Falling in this category does not necessarily mean that I am not going to befriend you, on the contrary, I would be real good friends with you just to be around when you are making a fool of yourself! Hehe, I know I am sinister!

INTRIGUING- these are the people I find worth probing into because they have a certain mystery about them and more often than not, their lives are as big a mystery as mine (I know its not possible but they come close) I simply love these people because in the first time that I meet them, I am trying to establish a connection in our schedule to see where I can meet them the next time. They are the most pleasant conversationists and in time, I bring them into my inner circle of friends. These are the people I confide in very easily and talk to for hours on end eventually. However, these are the very people who think I am an airhead in the first time I have met them. So technically speaking, I create a mountain for myself to climb over if I wish to get closer to them. Stupid I know but it is imperative else a great connection cannot be established.

INTELLIGENT- These are the creatures I simply adore. They are smart, know what they want and generally do not perceive me to be an airhead. Although these are the ones I would love to surround myself with, there is generally little or no common ground between us to establish a connection. Ironic I know.

So there. That’s what I am thinking the first time I meet you. I try to form a first impression about the people I meet and have seldom been wrong about the first judgement that I have passed on an individuals existence. So if you met me in the last few days and found me keeping aloof you know why.
But there is no particular category that would define a requisite for becoming good friends. I tell you this because three of the people I hold closest to me were classified in the three different categories. It is only the roles I play with them that are different- to one I am a guide, a counselor. To another, I am the patient always looking for guidance and counseling. To the third, just the best conversationist he ever met.

Friday, November 03, 2006


My tryst with driving around town began perhaps when I was five. Of course back then I rode not drove but nonetheless I think I would trace my wanderlust ways back to those days in my childhood. I can remember just one toy from my childhood and it was the tricycle that I had gotten for one of my birthdays. Back in those days, we lived in a part of town where water was a luxury that was afforded only if you woke up in the dead of night and collected it from one of the water tankers that arrived with water. I remember that often I rode alongside my parents as they filled up one can after the other to ensure water for atleast the next two or three days. It was the most enjoyable part of my childhood. actually, one of the enjoyable moments of my childhood. for some reason I was always looking to ride as fast as I could to try and beat my parents to whatever the destination. I cannot remember if I ever succeeded but to me, the journey has somehow always been more important than the destination. Don’t ask!
A few years later, my best friend (that means you saurabh) bought a new bicycle and I was pretty mad to find out that his transport was faster than mine. Nonetheless, I had to wait to get my claim to fame. In the meantime, I learned how to ride a bicycle with much difficulty. I admit it. I was not a natural to riding a bicycle and learned my lessons the hard way. Anyone who has known me long will vouch for it knowing the number of times they have seen me bandaged on my knee or my elbow. Even when I bought my bicycle (it was a BSA-SLR and I was really fond of it!) it was a couple of feet taller than me, I mean literally! I rode that thing with my legs passing through the triangular frame. And of course, I rode at breakneck speeds. It was around this time that I often took my bicycle and would be off for hours on the countryside in the vast expanse of farms that were located a short distance away.
Soon, I had grown over the machine and was looking for a faster mode of transport. I was too darned young to get a license so I had to settle for a geared bicycle. If I was driving fast earlier, I was breaking the legal speed barrier on my two spoked wheels! Yes I did have some great falls on this bike. Some of the scars I carry have ensured that I never forget those days. It was on this (my TOP-GEAR) that I really explored a lot of my part of town. I could always find a reason to get away on a long ride to nowhere for no particular reason.
Then I progressed to motorized travel and got myself a motorcycle. Unfortunately I wasn’t old enough to drive a geared vehicle and I had to settle for the LUNA! It was roughly 19 years old when I first laid my hand son it, I was 16 at the time! It was an antique in the truest sense of the word. My god did I raise eyebrows wherever I went. Soon enough, I was driving it faster than most people dared to drive their motorcycles! I would like to point out here that despite the fact that I drove my Luna for over two years like a LUNA-tic (pun intended) I did not have a single accident! Pretty surprising considering my track record with all the other things I have managed to drive. Soon enough I got on my bad ass bike and was driving all over town and becoming a pain in the ass for more than just one or two people. In my four years of engineering, I have clocked over 70,000 kilometers and four recorded accidents. That despite the fact that I lived in the college hostel barely a 100m from my class-room… the tales I have to tell of all my adventures, unfortunately, they are better chronicled in word-of-mouth so I suppose you would never see ‘em land here anytime soon!!!