Sunday, October 24, 2004

All my relatives have finally left. Weekends are just so weird without my dad . I'm getting a little scared for my mother now. What will she do for the rest of he life? Will things ever come back to normal?

Friday, October 22, 2004

Blessed 3 day weekend, now I get to recover from all the hectic work which I'm not doing at the office. Much to the delight of all my readers, I have decided to update my blog.

Last week, my family was invited to dinner at my cousins place. My cousin is a model, and a fairly well known one. That makes her radically different from the engineers, managers and scientists who populate my family(God forbid, I'm an electrical engineer by qualification and a software engineer by profession...what went wrong?? I was supposed to become a truck driver and run over people with smaller vehicles...).

Thus while the rest of the young women in the family are either quietly studying or married, my cousin walks the ramp, her pictures are splashed across magazines and giant billboards across the city show her looking meditatively into the distance while wearing lots of jewellery.

Now comes the uncomfortable part.Magazines these days wont take your picture if you are swathed in cloth. Her profession requires her to show some skin in order to promote herself. Hence magazines often carry pictures of her in compromising attire. This tends to rub against the finer sensibilities of the senior members of the family.

Her pictures are decried by the senior citizens, her lifestyle criticized behind her back when they meet at family gatherings. "Cant believe she's doing this!" or " What is the youth coming to! " or " Kali Yuga started the moment women began revealing themselves in public! " are statements vehemently and often made.

My cousin however seems oblivious to the criticism generously heaped upon her choice of profession. She leads her life the way she wants to and makes a lot of money in the process. She makes no attempt to keep a low profile when aged relatives visit. She wears and does she wants. Not for her the salwar kameez and the docile manner, she is the master of her choices.

Thus Prashant and I found ourselves in a precarious position when we visited. She was wearing something which complimented her very fine figure and we found it rather difficult to take our eyes off her. With our mothers and grandmothers watching our every move, we had to tread a fine line. How to take in as much of her as we could while appearing entirely disinterested? It took a lot of effort on our parts to look at her and not let our eyes widen , jaws drop, drool onto the carpet and pretend this was just an ordinary family get together.

As time progressed I realised that the two of us were not behaving normally. Usually we would slouch, talk as loudly as we could, laugh noisily, mix hindi, english and tamil slang to suit our conversation and basically behave as boors. In front of my cousin, we sat with our backs straight, spoke the queens english and tried to appear as refined as possible. Nonchalant charm was frequently attempted. Each word was articulated and pronounced perfectly. What made us behave so peculiarly? Why couldnt we just be ourselves?

My cousin then casually dropped a magazine into my lap and said " Dinesh, here are the pics from my latest photo shoot. What do you think of them?". In front of me were pictures of cousin scantily clad in diaphanous material and on either side sat a mother and a grandmother. Difficult indeed. I smiled guiltily at my mother and tried to casually flip through the pages, repressing the urge to tear the pages and stuff them into my pocket for later perusal. My mother and grandmother stared stonily at the pictures and then glared at me. What could I do?

Inspite of the flak that she draws from the more conservative memebers of the family, there's no denying that everyone is fascinated by the life she leads. Her life has that glamour element which is missing from our own lives. Nobody wants to take a picture of me in my underwear, I'm only a software engineer. TV channels dont want to know what I think of the most happening places in the city. Magazines dont want me to give relationship advice and I am certainly not consulted on the latest fashion accessories.

Thus we pretend to dislike her lifestyle but secretly wish we could have a little bit of glamour in our own lives. When we are with her, we pretend to be fully acquainted with aspects out of our reach. Discos, pubs, movie stars..oh been there, done that..nothing special there.

Then we come back home and say " That girl is going the wrong way! " but I dont think we mean it. Perhaps we say it out of compulsion, fearing that the other person might think we actually approve of my cousin.

I wonder how things will be 10 years from now when perhaps my cousin would be a little too old to model. What then? Will the galmour and the attention go away? or will she continue to be the darling of the local press? How will our impression of her change then? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

I'm feeling slightly directionless at the moment. I dont know when C will give me the joining date and there's no real work for me as yet at P. I seem to have a lot of free time on my hands. I really dont know what to do with myself.

The bodybuilder said that he'd written a poem on me and how the 4 of us had bonded so well in the last 2 weeks. However he'd forgotten to bring it and he didnt remember the lines.Nevertheless, he assured me it was a fantastic poem. I believed him.

My project mates are pretty eccentric but they are really nice guys at heart. I'm going to miss them.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

My apologies for this much delayed update. I have discovered working for a living is bloody tiring, even if it only means staring at a computer for 10 hours at a stretch. When I get back home,I only want to crash into bed.

I suppose I havent gotten used to the idea of working for long hours, I keep wanting to go home when I'm at work :P.

My project members are just as wierd as the ones I had when I was in college. One is a perennial optimist, its actually quite annoying . The whole positive outlook seems quite put on at times.

The other is a professional bodybuilder, he's bloody huge!At 104 kilos he's one massive hulk! He's pretty good natured though and we have plenty of fun pulling his leg.(perhaps I should say quadriceps)

The 3'rd is best described as a hysterical chicken when upset. I cant think of a more fitting term (term given by the bodybuilder).

Inspite of each ones eccentricities (God knows what they think of me), we have a LOT of fun.We do a teeny weeny bit of learning and a lot of squabbling :P.

Now comes the surprise, I got into C!!!!!! I attended the interview on the 5'th. I had to take leave from work. I said something about a function at home (paid leave, so technically P paid me to go to C).

The C building was well...perhaps the most modern and intimidating construction I have ever come across in my life. It was HUGE! I felt so insignificant there. Just the lobby was like a football field. This coupled with superb interior designing and fabulous lighting..well who
wouldnt want to show everyone where he worked?

My interview was good, I knew I'd get through. I suppose that extra bit of confidence I was able to project was because I already had a job in hand. I knew I'd made a good impression on the interviewer 5 minutes into the interview. It was a pretty long interview, slightly more than an hour. I came out quite pleased with myself. I got the confirmation email on friday.

I'm happy because everything went according to reason. I did the interview well and got the job. Not so for my previous interviews. For Barry, I did it pretty well but didnt get through. For P I thought I had done horribly but they gave me the job! I didnt even feel I deserved the job in P. If I was the interviewer, I wouldnt have hired myself.

So I'm pretty pleased with myself now, just wish my father was here. He would have been bloody happy.

Now comes the tricky part, leaving P. The damn bond is going to cause some problems! Have to tread carefully.