Introspection Day

Turning a year older is not much fun if you start thinking about how old you are and how much more you could’ve done in the years past. I realized this the hard way yesterday, when I turned 24 and I realized that I am trudging along on the long road of life and there’re no detours in sight. Just before sleeping yesterday, I was talking to a dear friend of mine over the phone (she stays in Chattisgarh) and we were discussing random stuff and all of a sudden, it hit me that I am not really where I wanted to be at this point in life.

It’s been a pessimistic week for me so far, with too much work to do and too little time to do it in, and yesterday in particular was such a terribly hectic day that it was only when people smeared my face with some yummy chocolate cake that I forced myself to relax a bit and smile.

Most of the questions that people tend to ask themselves in such a mood as I am in, are kindaΒ clichΓ©d and would be on the lines of, “Where is my life headed?” and “Why am I here?”

But my questions went one step higher and I began questioning my attitude to life, my decisions in the past, my plans for the next few years and in general, the direction I am looking at, and to my surprise, I realized that I had answers to none of them! πŸ˜€

I guess this happens to everyone of us, and the best way to get over it is to ignore it and get on with life. I decided to face this head-on and I have challenged myself to find the answers soon! All this thought process took approximately forty-seven seconds and I slept soon after. I had this strong urge to share this with all of you, just to vent it all out. Sorry! πŸ˜€

Oh, by the way, I called up Vodafone customer care yesterday and this conversation with the customer care executive is absolute gold. It went thus:

Me: Hi, my international calling is barred for some reason.

Vodafone Jerk: Hi sir, thank you for calling Vodafone.

Me: Yeah, yeah, my international calling has stopped.

Vodafone Jerk: I will definitely look into that problem sir. First could you please tell me your 10-digit mobile phone number and your full name?

Me: My number is xxxxx-xxxxx and my name is Nikhil Kumar.

Vodafone Jerk: Hi Mr. Kumar, Vodafone wishes you a very happy birthday!

Me (Pleasantly surprised): Why, thank you. That’s sweet of you.

Vodafone Jerk: You’re welcome sir. Now, you said your international calling has been barred?

Me: Yes!

Vodafone Jerk: Ok sir, but first, I need to confirm a few details about your account for security reasons.

Me: Sigh, ok go ahead.

Vodafone Jerk: Mr. Kumar, can you please confirm your date of birth?

———–

Cheers! πŸ˜€

Image Courtesy: Munplblog.wordpress.com

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Aaargh!!

The past 48 hours have been terrible, to say the least! I am so frikkin frustrated! I am going to take it all out here, venting the steam, ranting and raving about the little injustices of life and the fact that a simple moment of calm can be so elusive! Aaargh! I am so full of shit ..er… er… I mean, I am so full of anger!

Monday started as usual, with the blues and my suicidal mood. I woke up groggily at around 8, reluctantly took a shower, which, unfortunately, woke me up, thus ruining my mood further. I snapped at everyone in the office and was in a lousy mood for most of the day. A long day in the office and at nine in the night, when I reached home, I was in a worst mood of my life. I attributed it to my weekend exploits and the consequent hangover! πŸ˜€

Tuesday was slightly better to start off, and got worse as the day wore on. A long, long drive to meet a client, who lived on another planet for all the trouble, and then the drive back in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a stifling, hot day ensured that my mood would be no better than the previous day.

I started pulling my hair out at around 2 in the afternoon, when for the tenth time, the power failed and the computers shut down in the office. At 2.30, when I had around twenty strands of hair on my head, my computer crashed: “Boot Sector Fail” screamed the monitor at me and shut itself down, never to boot again. In my head, I smashed the screen of the computer, smashed the whole computer into tiny pieces, set fire to it and danced around the make-shift bonfire butt naked, singing a native African tribal war song, and then pee’d on the fire. But in reality, I just sat there in front of the computer with a strange smile on my face and humming the African war song softly. My colleagues thought I was nuts. πŸ˜€

Then, when I went to smoke, I realized I didn’t have any matches. I walked across the street to buy a box of matches, only to realize that I had left my wallet back at my workplace. I mooched a light of some other loser who was smoking nearby, and went back to the office, and realized that the power had failed again and the AC was not working. I caught a glance of myself in the mirror and the hair on my head looked so promising and pull-able. My fingers itched! πŸ˜€

When I finally gave up and left for the day, my long drive back home became longer because the battery in my phone died and I had no music to listen to. The one hour drive from my office to my house became unbearable as the traffic was unnaturally pathetic. Oh, that’s not the end of it. If the day had ended thus, I’d have been happier! I was twenty minutes from my home when the skies opened up with all their fury and drenched me to the bone. The only thing I really hate about riding a bike in heavy rains is the small, irritating puddle of water that accumulates in my underwear, making my squirm in anger! Aaargh!!

I slept as soon as my head hit the pillow and woke up at 4 in the morning today. Great! Add insomnia to the list of disasters! My life sucks, doesn’t it! πŸ˜€

Letter to Cupid :)

Dear Asshole Cupid,

When you first met me, you chose a lovely, red, pointy arrow and shot it right through my heart. I bled and bled but you didn’t really care. You moved on to your next victim, impaling everyone you met! I so hate you for pulling that arrow out forcefully and hurting me more! When you did that to me, you not only ensured that two lives would never be the same again, but you also made sure that I can never be affected by your childish charms and sharp arrows again!

Just because you’re a child with wings and you carry around a bow and arrow, you think you can play around with people’s lives and emotions and feelings? Who gave you that right, you idiot child? Just because you are written about in books and sung about in stupid love songs, you think that you are the ultimate puppet master, making your victims dance to your tunes? You’re nothing but a spoiled brat, you hear me? Your curly, blonde hair, your red and rosy cheeks and those brilliant blue (apparently) innocent eyes may fool others but not me! I think I know what you’re planning for me!

You want me to take the tried and tested path of begging for your arrow to be impaled again in my heart, drinking myself silly in filthy places and in my stupor, calling out for that cardiac pain again and stabbing myself with chemicals in the hope of seeing your bright wings again – think again, asshole Cupid! I am not going to give you that pleasure. I am well and truly in control of my emotions and for all I care, you can take those arrows of yours and thrust it up your ass. I don’t really care how you do it, but given a chance, I’d do it for you myself! I dare you to come before me again, as you did last time! Stand before me like a man and face me!

Oh, I forgot – you’re a child! πŸ˜€

So, here’s what I really had to say to you, Cupid. Drop Dead! πŸ˜€

Yours sincerely,
Nikhil

Second Chances

β€œFriendship marks a life even more deeply than love. Love risks degenerating into obsession, friendship is never anything but sharing.”

– Elie Wiesel,
American Author,
Nobel Peace Prize 1986

One of the greatest attributes of life is its ability to deny us what we really want and give us what we really need. His life has been a constant game of badly-played chess, with every move as unplanned and sometimes, as stupid as it can get. Talking about friends and how they helped him reconstruct a broken foundation takes him back three years – a time when he almost convinced himself that he was a burden to everyone around him and decided that there wasn’t anything else that he could offer to the world. His time here was up, and he had to make a quick exit – to end his life and escape to that blissful afterworld where there’re no more complaints, no more angry glances, no more walking into a room filled with people who stop in mid-sentence and look at him as though he’s an unwanted piece of garbage, no more hints and subtle suggestions about him being a loser – and he chose the tried and tested path of a blade to the wrist in a bathroom alone at night.

It was in his second year of undergrad that he found out he was really a loser. The faculty treated him with disdain as if they were teaching him only because they were forced to, and his classmates never even acknowledged his presence, let alone talk to him. What was the point to all this, he thought. Why am I here? I don’t belong here because I am not wanted.

The situation at home wasn’t any different as his parents never really had the time to sit with him and talk about anything. There was a big pile of unopened progress reports on the refrigerator, and every day he looked at them in the hope that at least one of them would be opened. His grades were good but not great, and he just wanted his parents to know about the time he got a 25 on 25 in math or the time when he cleared the physics term paper. He wasn’t asking for a pat on the back and he wasn’t asking for a present in return. All he wanted was for them to smile at him occasionally, or at least look at him. He returned every day to an empty house and an emptier home. His time was up.

The person who helped him get through his hurdles – Aziz – died on May 4th, 2006 in Bangalore, India, after being diagnosed with a malignant type of blood cancer. He held his hand in the hospital on the third and told him that he’s going to live in San Jose, California, and that he owed his life to Aziz, because if it weren’t for him, there would have been no second chances.

This post is in memory of Aziz Muhammed, who celebrates his 2-year death anniversary today – a fact I was reminded of by an email from San Jose this morning, an email that gave me the permission to write these words and make his story known to the world. I had had only one cup of tea with Aziz, three years ago, and at that time, Chuckie, who was with me, said, “Life has so many things to show us and teach us and it will, only if we give it a chance to do so.”Β  Aziz smiled and made me smell the hot steam rising from the cup of tea. I dismissed him as a junkie at that time.

Now, I always smell my tea before drinking it.

One Tight Slap!

Indian cricket has always been colorful – the glam, the girls, the money, the fans, the poor performances and finally, the controversies. Cricket was known to be a gentleman’s game, and over the years, has become more a Man’s Game. The match-fixing controversies that plagued Indian cricket is still reverberating in the heads of all the die-hard followers of the game. Just when the dust seemed to have settled, the Einsteins at the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) agreed to the ridiculous Indian Premier League (IPL), and killed what was left of Indian Cricket’s hope.

All right, I know the saying: If you can’t beat them, join them! Fine, I agree, I live in a cricket crazy country and I’m somewhat of a die-hard fan myself. So, I went ahead and watched a few matches in the IPL. And when I was thinking that it probably is not a bad idea to have players from all over the world, mixing with each other, playing with each other, sharing their experience and thoughts and ideas, the idiot-child Harbhajan Singh throws every ounce of shame out the window and slaps Sreesanth in the middle of the ground!!

Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t players on the same team supposed to at least pretend to like each other? Say and do whatever you want to them in the dressing rooms, but not on the field, in the open, in the era of long tom cameras and satellites that can see every hair on your neck! I was shocked and disgusted by the incident! In a country like mine, where cricket is not just a sport but a religion, players acting in such an indignant manner is unacceptable. Suspending Harbhajan was perhaps the best thing to do.

He has always been an idiot-child, getting into unwanted troubles and being more verbal than sportive. I think its time the BCCI woke up to the ground realities happening around them and stop concentrating on those sexy cheerleaders – Indian Cricket is dying, and the players are getting more and more self-centered everyday. Idiot-child is barely 24 and already a millionaire thrice over, so what can we expect? Keep him in check or throw him out!

I want Indian Cricket to be revived! Enough glamor, enough showing off wealth. Let’s play some cricket, and for once, play it in the spirit of the game.

Tagged!!

I’ve been tagged by Bina! Here goes: (gulp)

Last movie seen in a theatre:
National Treasure Book of Secrets, Stamford, Massachusetts. The movie sucked big time. More than my money, I wish I could have my time back!! πŸ˜€

What book are you reading?
For the tenth time, The Bourne Supremacy!! πŸ˜€

Favourite board game:
Chess!!! Anytime, Anywhere… Ten bucks says I can beat you blindfolded! πŸ˜€

Favorite magazine:
Cosmopo… oops, I mean, PC World! πŸ™‚

Favorite smells:
Freshly-brewed coffee and the rain-soaked ground… πŸ™‚

Favorite sound:
Shru’s sweet sweet voice… Nothing comes close to it! πŸ™‚

Worst feeling in the world:
Waking up at 6 am on Monday morning! 😦

What is the first thing you think of when you wake up?
Yippee…!! It’s going to be a lovely day! (Except Monday mornings, when I’m homicidal!! Lol… )

Favorite fast food place:
Road-side gobi noodles guy!! πŸ˜€

Future child’s name:
Poor thing!! πŸ˜€

Finish this statement, β€œIf I had a lot of money I’d…”
Be in the Bahamas with Shru! πŸ˜€

Do you drive fast?

First gear: fast.
Second gear: wow, look at him!
Third gear: Road-hog!!
Fourth gear: Grease lightning!
Overdrive: E = mc
2

Do you sleep with a stuffed animal?
I’m not a pervert!! πŸ˜€

Storms – Cool or Scary?
Scary… Very scary!

Do you eat the stems on broccoli?
Love ’em! πŸ˜€

If you could dye your hair any color, what would be your choice?
Chocolate πŸ˜‰

Name all the different cities/towns you have lived in:
Bangalore, Hubli, Dharwad, Dandeli, New York.

Favorite sports to watch:
Cricket!!!

One nice thing about the person who sent this to you:
Potentially good sutta partner!! πŸ˜€

What’s under your bed?
My deepest, darkest secret – a newspaper dated August 20, 1984!! πŸ˜€

Would you like to be born as yourself again?
I wouldn’t mind! πŸ˜€

Morning person or night owl?
Twilight zombie…

Over easy or sunny side up?
Scrambled, with a dash of cheese! πŸ˜€

Favourite place to relax:
Gokarna!! I want to be buried there! πŸ˜€

Favourite pie:
3.141567346464323….. πŸ˜€

Favourite ice cream flavor:
Chocolate!!! πŸ˜€

You pass this tag to:
Shuz, Fruity, Shiwuz, Mariacristina, Suda

Of all the people you tagged this to, who’s most likely to respond first?
Shuz… πŸ™‚

Tiny Steps

I’ve been meaning to write this post for quite some time now, but never really got the chance. Now, I have the time, the motivation and the inclination to actually sit and write it down.

It’s a Friday afternoon and a lazy one at office. Not much of activity in the PR world on a weekend, and most of the work is to be pushed to the next week. So, I sit back in my plush chair, look up at the air-conditioned ceiling and think back at how to start this post.

This is actually an ode, a tribute to a friend of mine who’s been more than just a friend and never more. I call her Chucks, affectionately naming her after the haunted doll in a series of horror movies called Child’s Play. Chuckie’s in Sydney now, and has been for the past year and a half, studying to become a researcher in cancer genetics. Yeah, I know, she’s got big goals.

Actually, this is not an ode to Chucks, but rather a message of hope and strength that she desperately needs right now. She’s never been one to lose hope and direction in life, but quite recently, she shocked me when she said that she had lost them both. A self-deprecating journey can be disastrous and I know this first hand, when a lot of things didn’t fall in place for me at one point of time, and I fell into so deep a hole that it took me almost a year to recover. Chucks played a vital role in my recovery, and ever since, I’ve looked upon her as more of a mentor than a very good friend. it’s now been five years to the day since I’ve known her. April 18, 2002. πŸ™‚

When a mentor loses confidence, then it’s up to the disciple to take over the mantle and guide the mentor out of the looming abyss. Things happen in life that can’t be avoided. We all go through a phase when we start questioning our judgments and our decisions, and whenever possible, we must be strong enough to back ourselves up. Realizing that we are of sound mind and sound body can help a lot.

Have faith, Chucks. Never lose faith. Believe in yourself and you’ll do amazing things. I am sure of that. I know you and I know your abilities and I’m sure somewhere deep down, you do too. Hope and faith are all the ammunition you’ve got to fight depression and bad tides. I urge you to use it.

Nostalgia can go a long way in your recovery. Remember how you cured me, Chucks. Remember the medicines you gave me – nostalgia, hope and faith. I hope you remember, because if you don’t, then I’d have to come all the way to Sydney now. πŸ˜€

I wish you all the very best in your life, Chucks. You’ve got a long and fruitful life ahead of you, and please don’t lose track of your original goals and plans. I’m here for you; we’re all here for you, Chucks. We want you to succeed and I want you to fulfill your promises you made me before you left.

Proceed in tiny steps, Chucks.

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Dear Readers: I apologize if this blog wasn’t really the ideal forum for posting this message to Chucks, but I had to do it. After what she’s done for me, I feel this is the least I could do. I would be grateful if you could leave behind your wishes and good will for my dear Chucks, and hope that she can get over her troubles and depressions and return home victorious! Thanks! I owe you all! πŸ™‚

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