Thirty And Me

Keep Calm Turning 30

At precisely 42 seconds past 5.30 PM this evening (on Aug 20, 2014) the Earth will complete it’s thirtieth revolution around the Sun with me on it. I have spent the past four hours reading about what it means to people when they exit their twenties.

Turning 30 is supposed to be a big deal, an achievement of sorts, having survived tsunamis, earthquakes, riots, murderers, diseases, ninja assassins and of course, traffic. It is also supposed to signify the fact that I’ve officially a grown up and cannot rely on my youthful ignorance as an excuse when I screw up. I am supposed to be responsible, financially and emotionally stable, be able to hold down a job for more than three months and not throw boogers at passersby. I am not supposed to scratch my balls in public and have random fits of paranoia causing me to run down the road naked, dodging invisible aliens. I am supposed to be mature enough to realize the difference between right and wrong, morals and immorality, black, white and grey, and most importantly, coffee and tea.

I am supposed to start leading a healthier lifestyle – no more smoking, no more drinking binges and definitely no more weed. I am supposed to drink lots of water and work out regularly to ensure that my first heart attack happens only three decades from now.

I am supposed to be a strong pillar of support for my parents, be able to provide a good quality of life for my wife and be a responsible role model for my younger brother. I am supposed to be mentally strong to deal with the real world and I am not supposed to get depressed with the fact that I am growing old and am one year closer to death.

When I look back on the things I’ve done during the past three decades, I am surprised at the level of ignorance, insensitivity and intolerable cruelty that I have exhibited at times. I am also surprised at some of the intelligent decisions I’ve taken, something I was not sure I was capable of.

I’ve alienated people, I’ve infuriated those who love me and I’ve driven others to murderous rage. I can think of people who would put a bullet through me right now given the chance. I can think of people who would walk past me on the street and pretend to not recognize me. I can think of people who would smile at me and stab me in the back with the metaphorical knife when I turn around. But I can also think of people who would love me unconditionally and take me in as a part of their family. I can think of hundreds of people who would still acknowledge my existence without any animosity.

In a world filled with hate and anger, where people are being slaughtered each minute, the fact that one insignificant boy in Bangalore has grown up and turned thirty should not make a difference. But when I look at the journey I’ve been through to get here, I am overwhelmed. I am moved to tears at the kind of experiences I’ve had – the good, the bad and the ugly ones.

We all have fantastic experiences in our lives every day. Each moment of joy we experience means so much to us that it’s hard to imagine hordes of such people being killed. Millions of dreams and hopes being crushed every single minute by people pursuing theirs. I ask myself if it’s all worth it. Is it worth having a really ‘happy’ birthday when there is so much grief all around us. Or maybe, these tiny sparks of happiness keep the world turning.

We are all allowed meaningless rants straight from the heart, once a year. Today is my turn. As I see the clock inch closer and closer to the hallowed hour, I am filled with a little hope about hope.

Image Courtesy: keepcalm-o-matic.co.uk

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The Day I Turned Ninety

Saturday, November 26, 2011 will always remain etched in my memory as a historic occasion, a day to remember and revere as I try to live out the remainder of my days painfully. I aged dramatically that day and it reminded me of The Last Crusade, where the bad guy drinks from the wrong cup and turns into an aged, shriveled skeleton in a matter of seconds.

It was a really bad decision to play a professional cricket match with no practice.

I used to play a lot of cricket as a kid. Played for the school and college teams and garnered a bit of pro experience here and there. I wasn’t a great cricketer, but I wasn’t too bad either. I could hold my own against the real professionals. But, its been an awfully long time since I’ve played competitive, professional cricket, and I’ve been woefully out of touch and practice. I have put on a few extra kilos around the middle and I don’t move as quickly as I used to. I had completely forgotten what a grueling ordeal it is to be out on a cricket field on a hot and humid day for six hours.

As I started with my warm-up stretches in the morning, I wondered whether the exercises had become tougher over the past few years. I soon realized that my body was resisting it after being accustomed to comfortable couches and soft beds. I forced myself to finish the work-out and to my horror, found out that the match had already started, that my team was batting first and that I was to bat at Number 3. For those who are uninitiated into the sport of cricket, if you’re third in the batting order, then you go out to bat as soon as the first wicket falls.

I padded up in a hurry, went out to bat when the first wicket fell and was clean bowled first ball. I didn’t seem to notice the ball zooming past my bat and my sluggish head was still trying to decide what to do about it, while I made the long walk back to the pavilion.

When it was our turn to field, I shuttled from one end of the field to the other after each over and by the time we were halfway through, I was ready to drop dead. I prayed for a natural disaster to disrupt the match, I prayed for the opposition to knock off the runs quickly and I prayed for an excuse that would allow me to get off the field with a feigned ‘injury’.

By the end of the day, after we had lost spectacularly, my feet were beyond pain and I had to remove my shoes and carry them with me as I hopped painfully into a cab to come back home. My entire body was one big bruise. I ached in places I didn’t know could ache. Muscles that I didn’t know I had, hurt each time I did something trivial. It was painful for me to spray deodorant on myself because my finger hurt when I squeezed the can.

The whole of yesterday was spent in recuperating at home, in bed, with timely cups of hot tea.

Saturday, November 26, 2011. The day I stopped being twenty-eight.

The day I turned ninety.

Maturity At Midnight

It’s 10:01 in the night, on August 19, 2011.

In a little less than two hours, I will hope to attain certain levels of mental and emotional maturity. In vain, as I’m sure it will turn out to be. I’m nearing the end of my twenty-sixth year as a son, a brother, a friend, a lover, an enemy, an employee, an employer, a writer, a blogger, an asshole and a jolly, fat man. It’s not something that I’m particularly happy about, turning a year older, but to quote another jolly, fat man, “When you stop running and bend down to smell the roses, the terrific rip you hear is the seam of your trousers tearing away your modesty.”

I feel like I mooned the entire world for these years.

It’s 10:12 now, and I’m staring out the window into the inky night, picturing the leaden sky, when a light turns on in my neighbor’s backyard. The housewife next door comes out with some wet clothes and starts hanging them out to dry. I quickly look away, because she’s so ugly that I’m afraid that if I stare at her long enough, I’ll die. I hear the fan whine as it goes through the motions, countless times a minute. I hear a ping and I see a reminder icon flashing on my desktop tray, warning me of the various people I need to pay off. My phone vibrates next to me and I see an official email about a meeting we were supposed to have today. I sit and stare at the blank text box and wonder what to write.

How do I express what I’m feeling right now. It’s been such a fantastic journey with ups and downs, trials and tribulations, rights and wrongs, fights and friendships, love and hate, greed and generosity, intelligence and utter stupidity. I don’t think I can make it all up even if I wanted to. If I were given an opportunity to undo just one thing in my life so far, I wouldn’t do it. I would make the same mistakes again, I would have the same experiences again and I wouldn’t regret one second of it.

I have made some fabulous friends along the way and I have made some venomous enemies too. I have loved and lost and am yet hopeful. I have lived in sheer happiness and I have been depressed beyond measure. I have written and I have tried to. I have no regrets.

It has taken me a little less than two hours to write these four hundred words. It’s midnight.

I am 27.

Image Courtesy: Isilmetriel

Encyclopedia Of The Eternally Lazy

People like me who are eternally lazy need a ready-to-use encyclopedia, something that is easy to use, easily indexed, heavily archived and doesn’t involve moving more muscles than required. Google Search beautifully fits into this category, so much that a whole meme is based on Google Images. Apar tagged me to do this a long time ago, and very subtly, she reminded me that it’s still pending.

The objective is to type the answers to all these questions in a Google Image Search field and pick an image from the first page of hits. Quite an interesting assignment – it’s very misleading in it’s simplicity. 🙂

Here goes:

1. The age you will be on your next birthday…

25!
25!

2. A place you would like to travel to…

the dark side of the moon!
The dark side of the moon!

3. Your favorite place…

toilet humor
The Loo...

4. Your favorite food…

anything edible
Anything Edible!

5. Your favorite pet…

hot dogs
Dogs!

6. Your favorite color combination…

any color that blends in
Any thing that blends in!

7. Your favorite piece of clothing…

hiking boots
Shoes!

8. Your favorite TV show…

small wonder
Small Wonder!

9. First name of your significant other…

crazy
Crazy...

10. The town in which you live…

bangalore
Bangalore

11. Your first job…

Anal-yst!
Programmer 'Anal'yst!

12. Your dream job…

relaxation therapist
Sleep Therapist!

13. A bad habit you have…

rationalizing alcohol consumption
Rationalizing Alcohol Consumption!

14. Your worst fear…

i will never have her back
... is that I will never have her back!

15. What would you like to do before you die?

Grow Old...
Grow Old...

I hereby kill this tag right here…