Sunday, May 29, 2005

While cleaning out my cupboard today, I discovered a folded, dirty and torn set of papers held together weakly by a single staple. I unfolded it, dusted it and squinted at the title:

"Diaper Dilemma"

Ah memories :-)

It was the first play I ever wrote, my first attempt at humour. I think I wrote it in the 11'th standard. It was about an Indian company unable to penentrate the diaper market due to heavy competition from Multinationals. How the management of the company attempt to promote their product formed the basis of the play.

While the jokes seem a little childish to me now, I remember how it made the audience roar with laughter. The six of us who enacted the play had zero acting experience. I for one had no directing experience. On the day of the play, we were yet to memorize our lines. Yet we pulled it off. I think it was one of the proudest moments of my life in school. I got a little more recognition after that. I was no longer DD, son of PD(My mom is a teacher in my school and a rather popular one) but a recognizable entity by myself.

So excuse me now while I go find a suitable file to hold my virgin attempt at humour .

Sunday, May 22, 2005

We got ourselves a couple of AC's a few weeks back. While I'm still gloating over the reality of cool afternoons in May, my mother has mixed feelings over this particular purchase.

For one thing, we survived 19 years of blazing heat and dripping sweat without really bothering too much about it. We lived in Chennai and we stoicly accepted the fact that that there was nothing we could do about the weather. Also we led a very middle class existence and an air conditioner was thought of as a needless luxury. Rich people had em. Rich people were weak creatures who couldn't endure the weather.

I dont remember being acutely aware of the heat as I was growing up as a kid. I've lost count of the number of cricket matches which started at 11:00 AM and ended at 3:00 PM. I thought nothing of running up to the crease barefoot and hurling the ball over and over again ,shouting, screaming, swearing and laughing in temperatures in excess of 40'C.

I sweated contentedly through school and college, never realising that one day I would have such a big problem with the weather. I guess I never knew employment would weaken me.

For starters, working in an IT company ensures that you are completely cutoff from the real world. Your environment consists of cubicles, computers, artificial lighting, artificial plants and most important :air conditioning.

Air conditioning has led to my downfall. Now I dislike the five minute walk from the bus to the office in the morning and absolutely dread the two minute walk from my cubicle to the canteen during the lunch break. I walk out of the office and the heat engulfs me. I feel like I'm walking in an oven.

I spend five days out of the seven hiding inside my office.So now I'm extra sensitive to the heat. Thus the weekends are extra hard to bear at home.

I lodged several firm complaints against the temperature at home and goaded my mother into buying Air conditioners. She grudgingly accepted and we had a 1 ton AC installed in my room and a 1.5 ton AC in the TV room.

Now I find I've become a prisoner of my own room. I cant open the door and walk out into the real world. I'd rather spend the weekend within the four walls of my room than go out and get a social life.

My mom's not entirely sure of how to adjust to our new comfort. If I close the door to my room, she'll complain that I'm ignoring her and living in my own world. If I leave the door open with the AC on, she'll accuse me of wasting power.

"We got along ok before " she rues.

With the AC on, I can do the one thing I never did before : Cover myself with a bedsheet and sleep.Nothing can be more blissful than that. If I attempted the same in Chennai without the AC, it would be a sure shot way of commiting suicide.

I dont know if I can survive the summer without air conditioning anymore. But I'm willing to pay the price to snuggle in my blanket and snore blissfully through the night.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

We all have roles to play in our lives. We play the role of a son, a spouse, an employee, a friend ,a on and so forth.

I entered into a new role about a year and a half back. It was new, it was exciting and not to mention, very scary. As time went on, I got more and more used to that particular role. It became part of who I was, it helped me define myself. I threw myself into it and enjoyed every bit of it.

Now suddenly, I've been requested not to play that role. Came as a bit of shock to me. Things change apparently and there's no need for it anymore.

Now I'm left asking myself who I really am and what I'm supposed to do with my life. I've spent the last year and a half looking at everything from my role's point of view. It served as a kind of reference. Now that its no longer needed, I find myself panicing at times.

I do know that I'll get my nerves in order soon. I'll start looking at life from a fresh perspective and things will be ok again. I guess I just need some time.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Have you ever had two opppsing thoughts running simultaneously in your head?

Thought one says " You cant let things drift! Unless you do something, everything you've ever known will vanish and you'll be a sorry spectator!"

Thought two says " Relax dude, you wont get anywhere by forcing things, stuff like this takes just be patient. You just have to accept the fact that you cant change certain things."

Its like having a mad man's conviction and a voice of sanity at the same time. I dont know which is which.

I've been strongly influenced by each thought at different times, thrusting forward, withdrawing, thrusting forward, withdrawing over and over again for the last two weeks. Its exhausting.

Thinking is a bad thing to do.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

I decided to mourn today. After careful thought and considerable planning, I decided upon the following plan of action.

12:30 AM to 6:00 AM :- Toss and turn restlessly in bed.

6:30 AM to 8:30 AM :- Stare gloomily at the Java certification book.

9:00 AM to 10: AM :- Drown in self pity as I work out my Biceps and Triceps

11:00 AM :- Consume paltry lunch to indicate my loss of interest in food.

1:00 PM :- Sit in the corner of the room and ponder on the ups and downs of life.

1:30 PM :- Attempt an afternoon nap to make up for last nights lack of sleep. Should dream haunting dreams.

4:00 PM :- Drag myself to my friends house and demand a sympathetic ear.

7:00 PM :- Get kicked out of friends house for excessive weeping and for sudden uncalled for emotional outbursts.

8:00 PM :- Paltry dinner again. Should go for the worn and emaciated look.

9:00 PM:- Go online, find chat rooms so that people from Latvia, Peru and Angola can enlighten themselves of my current state of depression.

10 PM :- Fall into an exhausted sleep and dream haunting dreams again.

But there's life for you. For in my meticulously planned out schedule I forgot to include the sudden intrusion of my cousin's bratty children. Aged 4 and 1, they pretty much trampled all over my carefully laid out plans.

My afternoon nap was difficult because I'd pretty much snored through the night and my brain didnt see the point in lying down. As I screwed my eyes shut in at attempt to fool my brain, I became aware that something very heavy was sitting on my chest. My eyes fluttered open and lo and behold, there it was, the painful nephew sitting majestically on my chest.

"Anna.Computer game Anna..please " he leaned forward and whispered desperately into my ear.

I pushed him off and dusted myself. If its one thing I learnt, its that all demands have to met immediately OR ELSE.....

I really dont have too many games on my comp but the nephew dosent care. He'll play Need for Speed just to ram into the cops and get arrested.

" I want the grey car this time" he'll say. Ok, grey it is then.

" No blue" Blue then.

" I like red "

" The car's not moving"

" I want ice cream "

" Oooh cell phone"

As I struggle to meet his demands, the 1 year old calls piteously for me over and over again. I run over to her. She looks up and smiles angelically.

"Aai poiten"....... Kiddy talk for "I dropped a load in my diaper".

I lift her and appraise the situation from arms length. Yep, its aai alright. Not my problem. I call her mother and escape.

I hunt desperately for a room where I can sit alone, examine my wounds and suffer deeply. No luck, the 1 year old is back, this time swinging a badminton racket in either hand. We spend about 10 minutes mechanically exchanging rackets, a game which fills her with wonderous delight.

The 4 year old finds the shuttle cock by this time.

" ANNA COCK COCK COCK " he screams. I blush and turn scarlet with embarrassment.

He hands his sister over the cock and sits back to watch us play.

"BOWL " yells the sister. She flings the shuttle cock up and swings powerfully with the racket carefully missing the target and neatly demolishing my crotch. I keel over and gasp much to the amusement of the 4 year old.

How can I mourn in peace if I am constantly being terrorised by my nephew and niece? The afternoon was pretty much ruined. I've lost all motivation after that.

I guess I just have to take it up again at work tommorow.
Its been a bit of a roller coaster emotionally this week. I finally got my engineering degree. The University of Madras claims I'm a BE First Class Engineer. Honest, I even have a bit of paper which says so.

The ceremony as such was a bit of a drag. We were supposed to have a minister to hand us our degrees but he couldnt make it in the last minute. Instead we had a bishop who got carried away at the pulpit and started preaching vehemently. I cringed inwardly with every cliched statement. It was the first time my mother was visiting my college and she had to see this spectacle.

To top it of we had to wear canary yellow robes. There's nothing worse than sitting in a hall with four hundred other people at 11:00 AM in the morning sweating and steaming under synthetic ceremonial wear. The music they played was hilarious, it sounded like the background music from a Tom and Jerry cartoon. 10 minutes into the ceremony I became convinced I was sitting in a circus.

So I'm finally an engineer. Its what my father always wanted. Its such shame he wasnt there to see me get my degree.

There have been tumultous events occuring in my personal life. Something deeply significant to me has been wiped out in a flash. I'm not sure how to cope. I oscillate wildly between love, hate, anger, sadness, relief and confusion. There are so many questions clamouring for an explanation but the answers bewilder me. I either cant believe them or accept them. I've been fighting desperately to get back what I had but the harder I try, the further it slips away.Its exhausting.

I need some time off.