Part 3

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– Posted on 13th November 2007

Manipal: 2 yrs

  • Love this place… it is divine… beautiful… serene
  • I have already put up a post on Manipal so won’t repeat myself
  • My fav place in the whole world is my room in MIT hostel… Post-placements I would stay in all day, tuck myself in bed with teddy… watch movies online… the window on my left gave me a view of my fav place in Manipal… the window behind me faced the basket-ball court.
  • Life was good then…

Gurgaon: 2 months and 1 week

  • Gurgaon has 2 parts: old gurgaon and new gurgaon
  • Old Gurgaon is a small town…
  • New Gurgaon is “supposed” to be the happening place. All the corporate offices, malls, expensive apartments are here
  • I was staying in a posh place which is surrounded by 4 malls… thats all I did on weekends… hang out at the boring and extremely expensive malls
  • Once you have visited Gurgaon, you will become immune to high prices.
  • Its a hilarious place too… everytime I needed a good laugh…. I visited any eatery, opened the menu… the atrocious prices never failed to amuse me
  • Most of the houses have mercury lamps just like in USA… don’t ask me why. Returning to a house flooded with yellow light is mighty depressing
  • Gurgaon is a superficial place… there is no public transport system (things will improve once Metro is constructed)… everyone owns cars and people are filthy rich
  • It is very, very unsafe… even a guy can get mugged at 9 pm… I swear. It happened to my friend’s colleague.
  • Delhi is just 30 mins away… but getting there is a problem. Cabs are expensive.. public transport sucks (people travelling on top of the buses is a common sight)… Delhi is the rape capital of India. The newspaper is full of crimes committed in the city.
  • Delhi infrastructure is too good… roads are clean and well maintained… Metro is a dream come true for commuters

Chennai: 2 weeks

  • I like this city… don’t ask me why… I can’t think of one good reason
  • Everyone speaks Tamil…
  • Autowalas are the worst in the country
  • Beaches are over-crowded and dirty
  • Weather is hot and humid unless its monsoon
  • Food is strictly South-Indian… even the North Indian food tastes South Indian
  • Don’t even think of getting on a bus… it could be the most dangerous ride of your life

Trichy: one week

  • I did not explore this town much
  • Everyone speaks in Tamil… situation is worse than in Chennai
  • It is famous for some temple… which I did not bother to visit
  • All females dress in sarees or salwar kameez. I realized why… when I donned my jeans before boarding the train… the dirty looks I got from the men were enough to embarrass me

Bangalore: 5 weeks

  • This is my fav place in India… When I was in engg coll, B’glore was “THE” place to be… the pub city of India
  • I like it ‘coz of the weather… no matter how far I had to commute… I was never tired
  • Traffic is bad but I have seen worse
  • Public transport system is fab… the buses are comfortable… “All women buses” ply on some routes
  • One city I would love to settle in

Kolkata: 4 weeks

  • First impression: Over-populated, polluted, congested etc…
  • Last impression: A unique blend of the old and the new, beautiful, over-populated, polluted
  • It took me time to like this city….
  • The city is very, very old… the buildings are dilapidated… and the new buildings have sprung up around them
  • It gets pitch dark at 6 pm…
  • Life is slow… moves at its own pace… don’t even try to change it… you have to slow down to “catch up” with it
  • People are nice… and non-bitchy. Nobody makes your life hell
  • The cab drivers are the smartest in the country… they will take you to the address through the shortest route… and they know all the addresses in town… Most of the cab drivers are Biharis
  • Kolkata is famous for its “Bandhs”… you might wake up one day to a cab bandh or auto bandh or even Kolkata bandh…

Mumbai: as of yet… 13 days

  • Hate this place… it is crowded, polluted, dirty and the weather is horrible… standard of living is pathetic.
  • I have developed a phobia of local trains… I avoid them as much as possible
  • The only good part of Mumbai is the area where I live… the flat is cute, flat-mates are god sent (Thanks A2), area is quite, peaceful, safe… with supermarkets, ATMs, cyber-cafe, gym, autos, library, wine shop, restaurants, CCD… all at walking distance
  • Still have to explore the “cool” places…

– Posted on 2nd November 2007

Me: Hey… I just did the ‘right’ thing… like you suggested
Bacha: Good. You should be proud of yourself
Me: If it is so good… why does it suck? I regret it already
Bacha: Don’t say that. It will feel good

Why does doing the ‘right’ thing feel so horrible? Sigh…

– Posted on 27th December 2002. Yep… friendship has ROI.

I hate to lose friends… it is like ROI (Return on investment)… when you invest so much (time, effort, money, emotions) you do expect a return (at least acquaintance-ship… if not more). Friends part for a lot of reasons and even when the parting seems amicable… there is regret and a little bitterness.

Gal pals part ‘coz of boyfriends and husbands.
I will cite an example: My best friend is married and has a kid. The equation has changed… we have little in common except memories. Our basic nature is miles apart. 3 years back I invited her for my B’day treat. I was leaving for Manipal and wanted to spend the day with only my “best friends”. She insisted on bringing her hubby along… I refused. I barely knew the guy… but there was no option. It was a package deal… he would never agree to let her come alone. I was hurt and disappointed. I wondered if the return that I was getting was worth the investment. “Yes”; my heart screamed. “She is every bit worth it”. I can’t say there have not been any doubts after that… but the bond is as strong as it was 10 years back.

Friendship with guys is much more complicated… the most common reason for the parting is the development of feelings… one person may be feeling emotions the other is not. I don’t understand one thing: How can you be in love with someone who is not in love with you? Isn’t love supposed to be 2-way? Anyway, thats my view.

The reason for writing this post is: A long lost friend replied to my X’mas wishes (none of the other Christian friends did… how Un-Christian of them!!!). His parting words to me 2 months back were: “BB, We are not friends anymore… remember that”. Yes, he was drunk and high… but it hurt. 2 years of friendship and the return is negative.
What a loss!!! What a waste!!!

But then… I don’t believe in giving up. I may part when the return is positive… but definitely not when it is negative… unless the other person succeeds in breaking my spirit (has happened).

– Posted on 26th December 2007. My conversations with Bacha are my fav.

Me: So, finished shopping for the upcoming trip in Jan?

Bacha: Why do I need to shop “for” the trip? I will shop “on” the trip

Me: Sigh… you have to shop “for” the trip so that you have clothes to wear on the trip… and you have to shop “on” the trip so that you have clothes to wear when you return. Its as simple as that

Bacha: But I have clothes to wear “on” the trip

Me: You cannot wear old clothes… c’mon… you have to buy new ones

Bacha: You are crazy…

Me: Nope… I am a shopaholic

– Posted on 24th December 2007. Hahaha… the realities of the corporate world.

Him: We are going to be an employee-centric company from now on

Me: What does that mean in ‘English’?

Him: We will be able to claim the money spent on mineral water bottles when on the field

Me: Wow… thats good news

– Posted on 20th December 2007. Gems from ‘Shantaram’

“It is always a fool’s mistake, Didier once said to me, to be alone with someone you shouldn’t have loved”

“I’m cold inside, Lin. I like people, and I like things, but I don’t love any of them- not even myself- and I don’t really care about them. And, you know, the strange thing is, I don’t really wish that I did care”

– Posted on 20th December 2007. KC and me jabbering online

K.S speaks really good Hindi… and tends to translate English phrases into Hindi. This is how it usually goes:

Him: Main ek gharam aadmi hoon
In English “I am a hot guy”
(This sounded so cheap… I remind him about it everyday)

Me: I am thirsty
Him: Tum pyaasi aurat ho

Him: Main ek naram dil insaan hoon
In English “I am a soft-hearted guy”

Him: Hume aise vanchit mat karo
In English “Don’t trouble me”

Him: Mere jaisa lachaar purush tumhara kya bighad sakta hein… 🙁 chalaak Naari 😛
In English “How can an innocent guy like me harass you… you cunning female”

Him: Sanganakiya duniya mein aapka swagat hein
In English “Welcome to the PC world”

Him: Shuddha Hindi ka prachar aivam prasaar mein hi jan heet hein
In English “The welfare of humans is in propagating Hindi language”

– Posted on 17th December 2007. From ‘Shantaram’

“Honesty can be tested, and loyalty. But there is no test for love. Love goes on forever, once it begins, even if we come to hate the one we love.”

“It’s said that you can never go home again, and it’s true enough, of course. But the opposite is also true. You must go back, and you always go back, and you can never stop going back, no matter how hard you try.”

“You can never tell what people have inside them until you start taking it away, one hope at a time.”

“Lin, a man has to find a good woman, and when he finds her he has to win her love. Then he has to earn her respect. Then he has to cherish her trust. And then he has to, like, go on doing that for as long as they live. Until they both die. That’s what it’s all about. That’s the most important thing in the world. That’s what a man is, yaar. A man is truly a man when he wins the love of a good woman, earns her respect, and keeps her trust. Until you do that, you’re not a man”

“I also agree with Winston Churchill, who once defined a fanatic as someone who won’t change his mind and can’t change the subject”

“But sometimes the worst thing you can do to a woman is to love her.”

– Posted on 12th December 2007. New Year’s resolutions for 2008

Here are my New Year’s prayers:

  • I want to spend 2008 in a place where I understand the language… so I know when an auto-wala is abusing me. I spent 2008 in Gurgaon and Gujarat. Prayers answered
  • Please send a bai home to help Mom (no need to wait till 2008 for this one). I am reaching my guilt tolerance level everytime Mom describes her latest tryst with a new maid.
  • Don’t get me married in 2008… if it absolutely has to be done… I want to wake up one fine morning married without a clue as to how I got there… don’t want to meet a guy, select him, meet his family, get engaged and then married… be it arranged or love. I did NOT get married in 2008.
  • Let me always have people to come back to after work… this one is as important as the bai for Mom. I don’t like having my meals alone. Nope… had meals alone in 2008. 
  • Don’t make me lose any more friends… but make loads of new ones.
  • I don’t want to write reviews of bad, horrible movies on my blog… actually, I don’t want to watch bad, horrible movies
  • Let me always remember that there is more to life than work
  • I want to read more books like ‘Shantaram’
  • Let me blog… no matter where I am located…

– Posted on 12th December 2007. Some more from ‘Shantaram’

“The worst things that people do to us always make us feel ashamed. The worst things that people do always strike at the part of us that wants to love the world. And a tiny part of the shame we feel, when we’re violated, is shame at being human”

“But the past for every one of us is a desert island…. “

And this one is by me… There was a time when I would close my eyes… and discover what I wanted….
Now… I just fall asleep

– Posted on 11th December 2007. KC- Can we please have these discussions all over again? You in 1 room… me in another and we can chat online 😛

  • Sometimes it is not a decision you make… it is not a “Yes” or a “No”… it is destiny happening to you and you have to flow along. You cannot say “Stop” and walk away… it is just life taking its course
  • Every person in your life has a purpose… once the purpose is fulfilled he/she will leave. They will come, teach you something and then leave. That is the only way I can explain the disappearance of some of my friends.
  • If something comes to you at the “right time” it will work out… don’t force something to happen… you are forcing time.
  • To K.S : “We have the same basic nature… the difference is I curb mine and try to be someone I am not… while you don’t curb it… you encourage it. I think thats what they call nurture vs nature”
  • K.S: What are you looking for?

Me: The day I find that out… my life is over. Whats the fun in destination? I love the journey. I wouldn’t mind searching all my life. I don’t know what I am looking for. I am too scared find out… what if I get it?
K.S: You are scared to find what you want? Interesting
Me: Then I will find it… and the search will be over
K.S : ek dum search engine ki aathma katha lagti hai. But there is not just one thing to search for?
Me: At a time, there is only one purpose in life. You cannot have too many of them.

– Posted on 10th December 2007. Not bad.. I was at peace even when 24.5 years

You know you are 24.5 yrs old female… when…

  • The guys are no longer trying to get you laid… but are trying to marry you (Quite a problem if you are a commitment phobic)
  • You realize there will never be a summer vacation again
  • You earn enough to be able to pamper your bro with luxuries
  • You stop cribbing and complaining about men… and learn to accept them as they are
  • You are not insecure anymore
  • You believe “There is only one life”… your excuse for all the impulsive decisions
  • You have figured out how to get what you want from guys without giving them what they want
  • You miss academics
  • You are immune… to feelings, hurt, pain…
  • You can drift along letting destiny take its course… no more decisions to be made
  • You touch wood… ‘coz you are at peace

– Posted on 4th December 2007. Aaah… Bacha… and his perspective

Bacha: How was your day?
Me: Pretty bloody
Bacha: Huh?
Me: I was conducting a retail survey… forgot I am in India and kept walking while writing…. suddenly, I was on the ground (‘The fallen woman’) with my leg in a pothole (or was it a manhole?). Thankfully, there were iron bars on it… so I only hurt myself… would have fallen in it otherwise. Nevertheless, I continued working… returned in the evening to find that the wound had been bleeding all day… so, “pretty bloody”
Bacha: So… you mean… if you would have been skinny you would have fallen in the hole? Your weight actually saved you today? Hahahahahaha…
Me: How terribly funny!!! People who live in glass houses should not throw stones at others

– Posted on 14th January 2007. On leaving Mumbai… and one of my favorite poems written

Leaving Mumbai (day after) is the hardest thing I have had to do in a long time… It is more difficult than:

  • Staying alone in a hotel
  • Traveling all over the country
  • Eating meals alone
  • Shopping alone
  • Drinking alone
  • Wondering who to call at midnight

You get the idea…

Sometimes life takes you by surprise… and when you are leaving you realize how deep the involvement is… sometimes you have it all.

Sigh… The weird part is I made the decision to leave… a decision based on practical considerations… Sometimes you have to choose between your head and your heart. I chose the former.

One of my fav poems seems apt at this moment…

Sweetest Love, I do not go
By John DonneSweetest love, I do not go,
For weariness of thee,
Nor in hope the world can show
A fitter love for me;
But since that I
Must die at last, ’tis best
To use myself in jest
Thus by feign’d deaths to die.

Yester night the sun went hence,
And yet is here today;
He hath no desire nor sense,
Nor half so short a way:
Then fear not me,
But believe that I shall make
Speedier journeys, since I take
More wings and spurs than he.

O how feeble is man’s power,
That if good fortune fall,
Cannot add another hour,
Nor a lost hour recall!
But come bad chance,
And we join to’it our strength,
And we teach it art and length,
Itself o’er us to’advance.

When thou sigh’st, thou sigh’st not wind,
But sigh’st my soul away;
When thou weep’st, unkindly kind,
My life’s blood doth decay.
It cannot be
That thou lov’st me, as thou say’st,
If in thine my life thou waste,
That art the best of me.

Let not thy divining heart
Forethink me any ill;
Destiny may take thy part,
And may thy fears fulfil;
But think that we
Are but turn’d aside to sleep;
They who one another keep
Alive, ne’er parted be.

Sigh… sigh… sigh… sigh.
– Posted on 8th January 2008

Tales from sales

 1) June’07
During induction… all the MTs were introducing themselves to the MD in the conference room
Me: I am BB from a small town Hmt in Gujarat
MD: Hmt? It is our headquarter town. Don’t let the Sales Head hear you call it a “small” town… he will send you to a “small” town for your stint.It is back to upcountry (small/rural) towns after 5 months… feels good. I will be exploring Bawla, Sanand, Deodar, Memdabad, Umred etc. this week.
Hmt seems gigantic in proportion.

2) July’07
I arrive at the guesthouse in B’glore from the cyber cafe at night. All the ASMs, care-taker (CK), boss are celebrating Shash’s b’day. Everyone is watching cricket and having fun. CK serves me dinner since I have to sleep early and leave for work early. Suddenly Mom calls. I leave the dinner table to answer the call… hoping she won’t hear all the noise.

Me: Hi Mom
Mom: Where are you?
Me: Guest house
Mom: What is all the noise?
Me: Umm… boss is here… all ASMs are here… they are watching cricket and celebrating a B’day
Mom: You are alone?
Me: How can I be alone when there are so many people around?
Mom: I mean… are you the only girl there?
Me: Mom, I am always the only girl anywhere

– Posted on 18th February 2008. Life is Gurgaon… not so rosy.
I received a comment from Vijay: “Dude whats up, u dont seem to be urself, nowadays”.
Weird… ‘coz I don’t know this guy and yet he sensed that something is wrong. Is it THAT evident from my blog?
My reply: “I am in Gurgaon… can it get any worse?”
But I am exaggerating… Gurgaon is definitely a sick, horrible place. And guess what… I am looking for a house here… YES… HERE… of all the places in India… HERE. I mean… HERE… the place I have hated the most. Isn’t life funny? Naah… life is sadistic… but I prefer to call it funny. Atleast I can laugh at it.
Winters in Gurgaon is not a funny thing… even when I was wearing 3-4 layers of clothes, tucked underneath 2 blankets with the heater on all night I was cold.Anyway… marriage has become a quick fix solution these days.
In office on Sat morning:
Him: We are going to CCD for coffee… come along
Me: Sorry…. got to rush. Have to meet a broker.. he is supposed to show me some flats
Him: Oh.. ok. Why don’t you and N stay together? Staying alone in Gurgaon won’t be safe
Me: I know… but don’t have another option. N is getting married 3-4 months down the line… I will have to shift out then. I’d rather find something now itself.
Him: Why don’t you get married too? No need to look for a house then.
Me: Lol… umm… hmm… Itni jaldi shaadi? Abhi life mein kiya hi kya hai maine?
Him: Toh kya hua… shaadi kar lo. Life mein kuch toh kar logi.
The solution to all problems when you creep towards 25 is… “marriage”.
Need a house? Get married.
Planning to buy a car? Get married.
Don’t want to live alone? Get married.
Want to switch jobs? Get married.
Want to change locations? Get married.
Like I was telling APC and K.S.
Me: Hey… I have started my marriage fund
APC: Whats that?
Me: Parents and sis have started shopping for my marriage… but they expect me to pay them back for all the shopping so I have started the marriage fund. My friends can contribute to it… in return they don’t have to get me wedding gifts and will get a free dinner/lunch. It is a win win situation for both parties involved.
APC: Trust you to come up with the most insane ideas.

– Posted on 3rd February 2008.
We all wait for the day when we can make our own decisions… there are no parents making the decisions… or teachers or professors or relatives or organizations… I am just wondering if I will ever be able to make the decisions… Or will there always be someone making decisions of my life… what I do, where I do it… and how much I get in return for it?
– Posted on 3rd February 2008. On how I can be a total bitch … but my heart is in the right place.
He insisted on dropping her back to her house. Gurgaon was not safe at any time of the day. He helped her with the bag. She had gone pale suddenly. Her headache was back… and the cough and cold had intensified. She had forgotten to bring her cap… the hood was not sufficient to cover her ears.
Him: Here… wear my cap. It will keep you warm
Her: No… its ok. I will manage.
Him: Arre… seriously. I am not just being chivalrous… I don’t need it. Take it
Her: But I don’t want it
Him: The hood is not warm enough
Her (snapping at him): I said I am fine… I don’t want the cap
Him: Fine… you don’t need to snap at meShe regretted the sharp words as soon as they were out… specially when he had been a perfect gentleman for as long as she had known him.. polite, friendly, chivalrous, caring. And yet… he usually encountered the worst in her. She was ill and feeling quite vulnerable. Illness made her depressed… and weak. She hated to be weak. She didn’t want to depend on him… all she wanted to do was cry ‘coz she hated Gurgaon… she hated to be alone… and yet she couldn’t tell him how she felt. And that made her angry… and he had to bear the brunt of her anger.
For once… she wished… he would read her mind.
But that never happens… does it?
They walked on… him in front… while she tagged behind. He dropped her back… they bid goodbye… each wishing they had reacted differently.

– Posted on 31st March 2008. Faux Pas
Shanks and me on Delhi bhraman in Aug’07. The whirring of the fan within the bus, the heat outside and long distances lulls me to sleep.
Shanks (waking me up): Are you asleep?
Me: Duh!!!Scene 2:
Bacha and me on the bus to Jaipur in Oct’07
Bacha (gazing out of the window): Hey… look camels
Me: Duh!!! Have you never seen a camel?
Bacha: Not for a long time
Bacha falls asleep. Bored and in a mood for pranks… I wake him up
Me: Wake up… look… look… look out of the window
Bacha (drowsy): What?
Me: Look… cooww… mooooo
The dirty look I received was priceless.

Scene 3:
In office.
Her: I stay in ABC towers. It is a 4 bhk flat
Me: Oh.. you have flat mates?
Her (smiling): I live with my husband
Me: What??? You are married? I didn’t know that. I mean… I know you have a dog… but didn’t know about the hubby

– Posted on 23rd March 2008. Nope… I havent surrendered anything. The cupboard is still mine and am trying to gain control of the bed everyday… someday…

Commitment phobic

 Ideally, by now I should know what marriage is about … at the very least, be aware about my expectations from marriage; since the matrimonial pressures began a year back. The other day when K.S and I were discussing marriage I realised I am as clueless as I was a year back.
Marriage is not about saying “Yes… I will marry you” but about being ready to surrender and share yourself… not just yourself but your bed, cupboard, room, house keys… everything. Quite a difficult thing for someone like me since I have never shared my space whether it was my locker in the boarding or my bed and table in grad and post grad. The boundary was clear cut and nobody was allowed to cross it… not even Mom.
In the hostel during 12th my roomie was a cleanliness freak… once she cleaned my messy bed and table… arranged my books and clothes. I freaked out. I told her kindly but firmly; “Thanks a lot for cleaning up the mess… but I prefer to do that. It makes it easier to find my stuff. Next time if you think the place is messy.. let me know… I will clean it”
When I joined TAPMI Mom had come to drop me off… she offered to unpack my bags and organise them. I turned down the offer… I like to do things on my own.Sigh… just realised I will be 25 after 2 months… 25 sounds so responsible.

– Posted on 6th March 2008. Still happens to me.
It is weird how people can appreciate something about you one day…
and detest those very same things about you the next day.
All you can do is continue to Be Yourself… despite others
– Posted on 25th April 2008. Always true. Hatred is a stronger feeling than love.

Nothing binds people faster than hatred… I am not being funny here.

I have seen females bond over break ups with a creep (sometimes over the same creep)…. colleagues bond in their hatred for their bosses or their organizations… students bond in their hatred for a professor… the list is endless.

I know a certain group of people who detested each other for many months… now they are doing everything to help out each other… ‘coz of one common enemy.

I say… stop preaching about love… preach about hatred.

Hatred binds!!!

– Posted on 2nd July 2008. Buying milk in New York

I just visited the supermarket ‘The Food Emporium’ close to home. Bro and I were given a list of items to buy:

1) Whole Milk
2) Heavy Cream
3) Spinach
4) Strawberries
We walked to the refrigerated section looking for milk… we found skimmed milk, non-fat milk, eggnog milk, Vitamin D milk, less fat milk- 39% less fat than whole milk, milk with 69% less fat than whole milk…… but no whole milk. Finally, with some help we located it in the non-refrigerated section.
It reminds me of the time I went shopping for bread at Spencer’s Hyper… there was milk bread, sandwich bread, wheat bread, grain bread etc… I started wondering which bread I can grown up eating.

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