2011: Acknowledgements & Year In Review

2011 Year in ReviewIt’s been a long-drawn battle with time, and I finally won. A crappy year ends and a hopeful, new one begins. There were so many instances in 2011 when I thought that things couldn’t get worse, and each time I was proven wrong. I have laughed, cried, fought, patched up, been cheated, cheated myself, been lied to, lied myself and finally, searched for the eternal peace which has seemed just barely out of reach for so long. The past year has had occasions of absolute bliss and considerable misery for me, and I will very glad to end this year on a good note, with friends, lovely strangers and a lot of well-earned alcohol.

2011 began for me on a fairly good note, with a job offer at a promising firm. Just a couple of months down the line, I realized my mistake and it was too late to rectify it. The company turned out to be a nightmarish hell-hole managed by lesser mortals and run by an insect. After being sucked dry, my will to go forth and survive took over and I quit the garage (yeah, it was a communications firm being run out of a garage) and started managing my own firm, which had been neglected so far.

I did that for a few months and made some absolutely lovely friends in the process. Here’s a shout out to Satish and everyone at Design Esthetics. A couple of more months saw me take up scuba diving as a pseudo profession. But, as luck may have it, the dive center for whom I was doing the marketing, was run by another insect who turned out to be a bastard of the highest order who cheated all his employees out of their hard-earned money and respect. It’s only sweet justice that his business is ruined and he has nowhere left to run. Oh, I’m waiting to see the asshole’s face in the papers when he gets arrested for fraud.

Things got really interesting after that, and I reached a point where I had to dip into my savings for the first time in five years, just to survive. A year-long courting ritual with a well-known and respected multinational communications firm finally reached fruition and I made the decision to move to Mumbai, tentatively at first, to check out the playing field. It was a decision that I have not regretted and I’m pretty sure I won’t regret for a few more years.

On the personal front, things couldn’t get more strange than they did in 2011. I had a lot of illusions shattered this year when the woman I was in love with turned out to be nothing more than that – an illusion. I made a few bad decisions, I agree, but when two people love each other, they are capable of both pain and pleasure. I realized that money plays a vital role in deciding how long you can love someone. So, on a fateful day in November this year, I lost someone very close to me and made me wonder if she ever was capable of loving someone for who they are and not how much their wallets can carry.

Just when I thought I’d give up hope on 2011 being a good year, I rediscovered what it was to fall in love with someone totally unexpected. A fresh feeling of puppy love, evolving into lust and desire and at this point of time, to a steady state of mutual understanding, trust and faith, made me a believer again. Here’s a warm bear hug to the woman I’m in love with – the hottest mallu chick in the world. Yeah, I’m dating a mallu, and if anyone’s got a problem with that, you can pick a number, get in line and kiss my ass when your number’s called.

If I were to send one message to 2011 and all it’s incidents and people, all it’s merry and misery, it would be this: Good riddance to bad rubbish.I can’t wait to enter the new year. I’m ever the optimist, cautiously pessimistic and according to my girlfriend, annoyingly pragmatic.

All the people who have made my 2011 bearable: Rohit Nayak, for his constant support and encouragement; Pavan Attavar, for making sure I never got drunk alone; Mum & Dad, for their support through financial famines; Satish, for his trust and belief in my limited abilities; Nargis Namazi, for making the transition to Mumbai that much more easy; Sagar Pandey, for his warmth, generosity, hospitality and for allowing me to use his PS3; Mark Monteiro, for ensuring that I didn’t kill the asshole dive center owner by replacing the air in his tank with rat poison; Mahesh Bajaj, my newest friend who took the leap of faith and is hopefully in a better state of mind after Gokarna; Renuka Balachandran and Niveditha Singh, who made my days in the godforsaken garage bearable; Nitin Kumar and Pooja Rao, for their steady supply of sex scandals, movies, television shows and porn; Gitanjali More, for making sure that I got my steady supply of interesting conversations; and finally, a very special mention of my new-found sister, Aishwarya, without whose support and love, I would not have been able to settle into Mumbai.

My love to you all and I hope 2012 will be a fantastic year for all of you.

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The Great Banana Run! :)

ba~nan~a

[buh-nan-uh]

noun

1. a tropical plant of the genus Musa, certain species of which are cultivated for their nutritious fruit.
2. the fruit, esp. that of M. paradisiaca, with yellow or reddish rind.

the Great Banana RunOne of the more fascinating aspects of being cooped up in a room that stinks worse than a ten-year-old freshly dug-up coffin is the ease with which we can find blackened banana skins in the most unexpected places. I found seventeen last night.

My brother doesn’t clean his room. Ever. I think the last time the room faced the business end of a broom and a mop was when it was built, more than a thousand years ago. We exchanged rooms for the night as he said he had to prepare for an exam and needed the computer all night. My guess is as good as yours – I found three porn sites in the internet history later. But anyway, I don’t want to digress into a 19-year-old’s late night exploits.

Entering his room is akin to stepping out of civilization and entering a neanderthal realm of sabre-tooth tigers, mammoths, man-eating men and rotting food. I stepped into a half-eaten box of ice cream lying on the floor, as soon as I entered the room. This should’ve warned me what to expect, but I blissfully ignored it and crept in to the bed. It was unusually warm and cozy.

Unfortunately, the warmth was due to the fact that the bed was partly drenched with fresh coffee, and I hadn’t noticed it in the darkness. I changed the sheets and crept in again, and realized that the pillow seemed to emanate a strange smell, that distinctly reminded me of the frog dissections I used to do in school. And there it was, under the pillow, nestled snugly, the first of the blackened banana skins.

I realized that I can’t sleep unless I was satisfied that nothing else was hidden in the bed. I stripped the bed of all sheets and turned over the mattress, and immediately, cursed myself for doing so. In the midst of a couple of cockroach corpses and old newspapers and new porn magazines, I found sixteen more banana skins.

I spent the night in the living room, on the couch – safer and a lot wiser.

PS: I got a pounding from the creep this morning for destroying the chaotic sanctity of his room. A great start to the day.

Moto!!!

I got my old phone back!! Yippeeeeeee!!

Ok, I got carried away. I apologize. When I went to New York a year ago, I left my lovely sleek camera-less Moto flip phone with my younger brother for safekeeping. Of course, I should have known better. He disposed of my SIM card and got a new Airtel number and started using it. I expected this, obviously, having lived with the jerk for nineteen years. But what I didn’t expect was his resistance in giving the phone back to me! I hounded him for four weeks and finally, after a lot of blood and sweat, I got my baby back! Here’s what transpired:

Week 1: I asked him nicely. “Please give me my phone back.” He refused and ran out the room.

Week 2: I tried bribing him. “I’ll give you a hundred bucks if I can have my phone back!” He scoffed and said, “I’ll give you two hundred to drop the subject!”

Week 3: I tried stealing it. He had left it home and gone to college. I exchanged SIM cards and tried to start the phone, only to realize the jerk has activated a security code! Bah!

Week 4: I tried wrestling it from him. My neck is still weak from the choke hold he applied for ten minutes as I passed out.

Week 5: I emotionally blackmailed him. I promised to buy him a brand new drum kit if he gives the phone back to me.  He relented after bargaining for an hour – one drum kit, one carton of chocolate ice cream and a brand new Moto flip phone next month. I looked at my phone, resting in his hand, being held hostage. I never negotiate with terrorists, but my lovely phone had been through enough. I couldn’t bear to see it tortured anymore. I agreed to the jerk’s demands and said yes.

Now, I’m broke, he has a new drum kit and I have my phone back! All in all, a very satisfying deal.

Oh, and I forgot to mention, today’s his nineteenth birthday. Happy birthday, terrorist! 😀