Saturday, April 29, 2006

a design adventure, or, the first post with pictures

I smelt adventure yesterday. As soon as I decided I was going to SJC Road for to purchase a RAM chip. I mean, just saying the works "buy" "I" "alone" "RAM" "no car" got me thinking of a blog tonight at least half a page long. As my loyal readers (hopefully) probably construe, nothing went according to plan.
Firstly, I had no money. No one at home had any money. This always stuns me. Why don't we have large piles of cash lying around the house come a Sunday? I want to know. Dad suggested I draw it from the ATM near the bus stop. I was ready early, so I said yes.
Next, the scooter refused to start. Why? No petrol. However, ready early, remember? Hence, no problem. I walked down the road with all attendant paraphernelia (incidentally, these adventures almost always occur on design days. is it a sign???), caught an auto and made it to the bus stop with a few minutes to spare.
Then, I decided to leave my bag on the bus (lunch bag, lunch bag, thank god only lunch bag) and complete the transactions. Can anyone sing "big mistake" to the tune of Stupid girl by Garbage?
Because of course the ATM was occupied. And of course the gentleman inside took ten whole minutes to find out that the teller machine was out of order. And of course I had to go in and see for myself.
And of course I missed the bus.
What's left to tell? Little spy-thrillerish chasing of the bus: first in a BTS, then in an autorickshaw, while simultaneously conducting frantic messaging to various persons (alright, one person) on the bus. Then, when I started hyperventilating at the waste of money, I got off at the next public bus stop I saw, fuming. I was fully prepared to go to college in the same foul mood and take it out on everyone I saw. The prospect of snapping off the heads of some of my classmates was in the process of being woven into a pleasant daydream, when boom! I met an old school friend I hadn't seen in ages. Now, this is a girl I've known since we were both in kindergarten together; in fact, she loves to tell of this one memorable incident where I pinched her arm for some reason when we were both five (yeah, I was a little spitfire as a kid), while I love to remember this one incident when she was the only one to give me a card for my thirteenth birthday.
I love how life can always turn around and cheer the hell out of you just when your mind is made up to be miserable (thanks to my IG's. and my new family. and my old family.)
After the first catching up (we hadn't talked for ages. more irony, because we both go to the same college) we did - alright, she did - a little networking and wangled a ride for me in a third friend's car.
It was a good morning. M.G. Road pre-mad-rush; stupid chom auto driver who got me all riled up, coming as he did post my "why can't we get along" reaction to the torpedoes; reminiscences of school times and creepy guys; catching up on the current status of friends' love lives; talking about the future. A funny moment was when two of my classmates landed up, one within ten minutes of the other, outside JdP where we were waiting for our ride. Turns out they were hitching too... coincidences, i love.

Here be camels. We were at Anil Kumble circle and they were on the other side of the road. We were moving when I took this picture. I think it is not bad for a motion still.

My design review went off unsatisfactorily, because it turns out that I hadn't given enough thought to the connectivity. Three individual ideas with potential, I was told. No coherence.
After that came the trip to K.R. Market. I'd missed the college bus as I stayed back to discuss a few more thoughts I came up with, so I grabbed the first 222 that came along.

Why did i take this picture? I don't know.

Once I got to Market, I proceeded to the next step in my plan of world domination, viz. the location of an SBI ATM. After dodging buses and other sundry vehicles, I decided to up the ante on the adventure factor and use the underpass for the first time in three years. Which was slightly depressing, because it was clean, well-lit and, tragically, empty.

Except for this guy:

(and the slimy guys blocking the entrance who ogled everything with breasts that moved past them. are you looking for a picture? like hell I'd take a picture of those creeps)

Once I got to Avenue Road, I asked for the nearest ATM. Turns out it was back near Victoria Hospital. After the slightly unnerving experience with aforementioned creeps, I decided to follow the crowd and take my chances on the main road.
Got to Victoria hospital, and asked two policewomen where the nearest ATM was. Promptly and in true Bangalore fashion, they grumbled, "Gothilla". It was past two, and I was hot, hungry, thirsty, tired and broke. I trudged into the hospital campus, hoping for help from more knowledgable persons. Saw the medical students in the midst of their hunger strike, and ran into none other than Shwetal. How, how, how? more coincidence! oh, joy.

Yes! It is indeed Shwetal from CNN-IBN. I know her. I am way cool.
The little bit of white you see is part of my shirt.
The creepy guy in the background is just some random dude who wants his leer captured for all eternity.
I claim no relation.

After a chat and a photo, I finally got the right directions to the ATM. Which wasn't working. So I went home.
So much for my adventure buying RAM.

(On an aside, I finally bought the hard drive today [saturday, apr 29]. Also broke a ribbon on the computer and had to go buy a new one. The inside of a CPU is jolly. The RAM is still in the works and depends entirely on Suman. I also saw a dead bird. It was tragic and beautiful.)

dead bird

the end.
actually posted on Sunday, May 7, 2006; 7:40 AM.

Friday, April 28, 2006

tired and happy

A post about tired and happy. Finally.
I'm tired. I'm happy.
A full day. Spewing done, sleeping awaits. What a perfect way to end a day.

Who would believe this is just minutes behind the previous post? I think hypocrite should have been the one named catharsis. Sure and if they haven't been named each for the other, I declare!
Positively IG moment, love.
On the other hand, it could just be that this is what happens when you just realize your sitemeter registered a hundred today.
Good night, all.


Lately I've begun to feel the pressure that comes with reaching the end of anything that you get into expecting a return on your investment, viz. my architecture course. When I look around at all my erstwhile (*sigh*) classmates and see how far they've gotten in life, I always sense this overbearing and overwhelming shame. I turn around to look at what I've accomplished and I find zilch. I put in so little and get so much. Why can I not put in enough to get more?
The saddest part is the potential I have. I'm not being vain when I say I can do anything I want. Really I'm not. I have found; and have been told; that everything I do, I do well, or not at all. Being a perfectionist is a drag. And I'm not a quitter, just unconcerned.
The greatest obstacle in the way of me achieving my dreams seems to be the fact that I really have no dreams. At least none that are well defined and constant. All I have are vague hopes - obscure daydreams that only tell me that I want to be happy; that I want to be loved. Ambition should be made of sterner stuff. (that man will be quoted till the end of time)
My view in life seems to be one of "Hey, if it doesn't fall into my lap, I probably wouldn't have enjoyed it anyway." I got through most of my school years simply cruising on my retentive powers and attention span. Now suddenly I'm nearing the end of my course, a course that I chose in the face of everything I was ever held to be good at - english and logic and maths and science; the choosing of which confused my classmates, puzzled my teachers and worried my mother. And here I am, realizing that I'm doing exactly the same thing here, and I'm still doing well. I find it so hard to find one thing that I am both good at and love doing. The only thing that comes close is wasting time, and there is neither honour nor glory in that.
How much I admire those who know, right from the start, what they're going to be doing the rest of their life. How much I envy those who choose professions regardless of their personal interests, because it gets them what they want. How badly I want to be able to do something I'm good at, that I love to do, that will teach me something new every day for the rest of my life. How much I wish I could find out what that is.
I'm nearing the point in my life when I'll have to say those four awful, painful words -
My mother was right.

I criticize and correct and analyse, and I still can't fix me.
If I can't, then who will?

Thursday, April 27, 2006

too much king in the head

Four days.
I think this is the longest I've been away since this affair began...

I picked up two of my classmates on my way to college on Tuesday. (Incidentally, they were two of the cool men who'd been witness to my embarrassing escapade of two weeks ago, which meant that I was a little more aware of my driving than usual.) When we finally reached class, I made the mistake of asking one of them to comment on my driving. What he said was, "You need to get rid of the fear that you're gonna hit someone or that someone is gonna hit you." He also said "You need to stop driving as though you can't stand the way everyone else is driving. You can't change people, you know."
Now, in the past, this friend has hit too many nails on the head for me to dismiss his opinion out of hand, much as I would like to. However, in all sincerity, I honestly believed I was a cool road person. Then I remembered my recent need to write a post on my morbid daytime fantasies (can anyone say oxymoron?), and decided to do a self analysis and get rid of a nagging post idea in one fell swoop.

For as long as I can remember (... or wait; i think the oldest distinct memory of this was in the seventh grade, when i was climbing up a ladder to the roof of our house to watch the diwali light show...) I have had an extremely overactive imagination. And this imagination doesn't bring me sparkling castles in the air peopled with charming guests and loving friends. No. This is the kind of imagination that is called fertile because, well, just about anything can grow there. This is the imagination that had me involved in earthquakes at school, invasions by aliens, assaults on the occult (i was reading a lot of king) and, my personal favourite, a long convoluted tale of my transformation into an avenging angel after the brutal murder of my parents (the less said, the better).
Now, it was during the aforementioned climb to the roof that I had my first daytime gore-vision. There I was, going up the ladder in the nearly-pitch darkness, when I suddenly had a very distinct image of myself, first dropping my glasses (i had a power of -7 in those days) so they crashed noisily to the ground, then losing my grip on the ladder, and then ignominiously tumbling down to crack my head open on the marble flooring.
Since then, any time I have found myself in any dangerous or even potentially dangerous situation, my mind seems to take the easy way out in dealing with the fear, by first creating a vivid and realistic (believe me, realistic. i have, till date, flown off flyovers, been the victim of numerous gory vehicular accidents, been impaled, squashed, beaten up, and kidnapped, had savage animals attack me - and all with attendant special effects, both visual and aural) worst case scenario, playing it out in stereophonic glory, and then letting go of the blind terror.
As a matter of fact, I realize that this is the way I deal with almost everything that scares me: imagine the worst. That way, you win both ways.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

chumma things

a. the big f
So, like, check it, yeah?
Today I went over to a friend's place to take photos of their china cabinet (don't ask). On the way home, I saw the person in the backseat of the car in front of me roll down the window, and then, out came a banana peel splat onto the road. Now I know banana peels are bio-degradable. I know this. However, the extreme heat and lack of adequate protection having got to my head, I was suddenly struck by the CRAIZIE. Then, as fate would have it, the car reached the next signal just as it turned red!!! I promptly zoomed ahead to where the peel was lying on the road, and picked it up (no, really). All caution thrown to the winds, I sped the old Kinetic Honda up to the car (as an aside, i wish all my vehicles weren't so old and unprepossessing *sigh*) and knocked on the window.
I managed to say "Aapka kuch...gir gaya" (no, really!!! it was freakin' insane, dude) trying to look as snooty as I possibly could. And this while I was wearing a stupid blue fu-fu (what is the right term?) cap, covered with white stars; and a chunni on top of it. I really know how to pick my moments.
The old guy inside gave me one flabbergasted look, the lights changed to green, and the car drove off, leaving me with a banana peel in my hand. What a waste of a beautifully executed scene, I thought.
Then, I spotted this majorly cute guy across the intersection with a huge insane grin on his face. That cheered me up right away. Majorly cute guy, this post is for you. I can't tell you my full name or where I live or my phone number, but I will tell you that I think you are MAJORLY CUTE. Please ignore my strange attire today and the fact that I was holding a plantain peel in my hand. I have it on excellent authority that I am "gorgeous", "extremely pretty" and "cute".
Knowing my luck, he'll probably turn out to be still in school, or an axe-murderer, or something of that nature.

b. the mensan

so, like, anyway.
i got this message on my orkut scrapbook, right? this dude was all - hey i seen your face. and he don't have no pic or nothing on his profile. so i'm all: this guy is weird. buzz off weirdo. only i didn't say it i just totally ignored him. then, he like does some name dropping, and i'm like hmm, maybe who is he and all. so i did a little checking on his blog (yeah, like, everyone has a blog now dude. like, witness me, yeah?) turns out he's the mensa test coordinator! for bangalore and all this time i was totally bummin' that the results weren't out, and i was like checking the webpage every alternate day and shit and it said "tentative date = April 15" for like a month and here was this guy just a friend away. so i told him: dude, i like totally wrote that test in feb 2006 yeah that's two months ago, didn't know my face was so memorable haha when are the results out already, at least change the date on the site. and he's all oh so you wrote the test huh maybe you should check the website before you scrap *chuckle* such is life. and i'm like what? and went to the website and the date was changed! and i was all: that is like some sweet coincidence there, my friend!
and he was all, like, such is life *chuckle* for like all the posts after that.

*sigh* such is life

from outside the happy circle

Yes, I do realize that it is past midnight, but although I have four major submissions due in the next week, I really needed to post this.
See, whenever I have a huge workload, I tend to spend my time reading things that are completely unrelated to the issues causing the stress.
(i have issues, OK? leave me alone. it's fine, I have a friend who's going to be a neurosurgeon. in the spirit of hipprocratic, lobotomy = end of problems)
Today, I read the Godfather. Also today, I went trolling through blogspot. The staggering number of blogs out there (choose from: blew my mind/ blew my socks off/blew me away/knocked me over/made me feel completely insignificant)
I realize now, that I'm way out of my league here. To think that I actually believed my writing was something special! You see me here flabbergasted! Also taken down a peg, not to mention abashed and humbled.
*heap big sigh*
Maybe in a couple of years, when I get the hang of it.
And I was so happy about the few kind folks who actually read my posts, too.

On the plus side, I learnt some basic html. There's a positive to everything.

Another thought just struck me: I doubt I would have felt very bad if I was in on the entire community feeling everyone seems to have. I mean, everyone knows everyone!! Linked and crosslinked.
I want in.

Saturday, April 22, 2006


what it says

Friday, April 21, 2006

muse on the IGs

Yesterday I cried for a reason I haven’t had to cry for in almost eight years. Funny how easy it is even after all this time. You slip right back into the groove. Waiting, wondering, watching, worrying. Spending free time moaning about your loneliness and how no one understands you. Worrying if friendly overtures from new acquaintances are all fake. Wondering if people you meet already have a mental image of you.
On the plus side, my instincts are spot on, as always. It is something to celebrate, indeed – my being able to read another person’s mood as soon as they get two words out of their mouth (or onto the keyboard) or sometimes even before that. I wonder why they don’t ever admit to it. At least, very few ever do. Is it disconcerting to be read that easily? Who knows. Thanks for the support, Caro-mio. You’re the only one who acknowledges my gift.
And, as in the case of most gifts, it’s more of a curse. Who wants to get the feeling that the person they’re talking to can’t stand to be around them, despises them, is disappointed in them, annoyed with them, angry at them, crazy in love with them? Not me, I can tell you that.
(And don’t think the last is something pleasant. Feeling that someone you have no romantic feeling towards cherishes fonder feelings for you is a very onerous burden)

I find it providential that the day after I (somewhat) address the potential of the average random person to screw with your life and brain, voila! extra-special delivery for me.
I always find it so hard to call someone on their faults as a person, probably because I’m so flawed myself. I have no issues correcting someone’s grammar or spelling or syntax. Language does not reflect your worth as a person, whatever people will lead you to believe. Willingness to change, to correct yourself, to stand up for your beliefs – that determines your worth.

Things are back in perspective.
Between the time I began to type this out and the actual posting of this, things have done a complete about-face. Thanks for all the comments :) guys, and for the letters...

In other news: I missed the college bus this morning (DESIGN REVIEW!!!) Went by BTS, got my dose of "charming camaraderie of the average man" and went from feeling abysmally sorry for myself to the more annoying (but definitely easier on the nerves) state of analysing the universe.
Was saved, therefore, from suffering a fate worse than death - ignominy.
Almost wrote a scathingly sarcastic letter to someone. Yes, it happens.
impulsive = stupid = me
However, my epiphany on the bus, compounded with the depression of learning that my design was not very well thought-out (damn. more work?? *sigh*) managed to drive the sarcasm right out of me. Which is a good thing. Sarcasm is the wrong way to resolve conflicts. It just ends up alienating and chafing, and my particular brand of sarcasm is mighty scathing, too.

Ha ah ha [for those who think it is a mistake, it is not]
more news! Had a li'l bit of ¡adventure! on Wednesday (wednesday? no, thursday) on my way home. Meant to meet up with someone at Bowring Hospital, and landed up at Bowring Institute instead (don't ask). *sigh* again.
On a side note, all my meetings with this guy seem characterized by extremely poor choices in drinking material... NTS: no more chikku juice, ever.
f.y.i. sapota/sapodilla. my dic says it's an american fruit!!!

Also, turns out I topped my class in the last semester examinations. Damnation.
I’m not ready to be a class topper. I barely manage being the class representative, which is a job and a half on its own.
Q. If I'd got this news today instead of last morning, would it have made a difference in my mood? Let us hope not.
i want to post this before midnight.


Prepare harp.
Will I never learn?
Once again, I make the mistake of judging others by myself.
Once again it's back to gossip and slander and a bad name that precedes you wherever you go.
On the whole, I think I preferred it when I was considered an uptight bullying bossy bitch in school to whatever it is that's being said about me out there (wherever that is).
My naïvete in thinking that everyone goes about making friends the same way as I do is, frankly, apalling.

No, everyone doesn't give a person the benefit of the doubt.
Not everyone believes in second chances.
Everyone doesn't always understand you.
Everyone can't tell the difference between the joke and the serious statement.
Everyone talks about people. You are one of a perhaps non-existent minority that thinks that spreading stories about others is wrong; who thinks some things should be figured out before they're aired publicly; who thinks dirty laundry should only refer to fabric.

The tragedy of this is that I've been there, done that; and I still fall into the same hole. The experiences I had in school shaped much of my philosophy as it stands today - my belief in people, my willingness to give everyone a second chance, my reluctance to gossip. Now, once again, I stick my head out there and get it lopped off. Ow. Life wasn't meant to be this hard, was it?
Perhaps eternal optimism is overrated.

P.S. wake up, love. it's morning.

Thursday, April 20, 2006


People can really screw with your head.
Take any random person. I mean anyone.
Someone you know. Someone you don't know. (covering all bases, i am)
Every person in your world has the potential, and capability, to take all that you've figured out about them, and people, and the world in general, and turn it on its head.

Random strangers can make me cry.
(Well, alright, anyone can make me cry. I cry far too easily, in my opinion. But then again, I laugh easily, too, so what would you?)

This is a topic I've wanted to write about for, I don't know, four years. Ever since I joined architecture, in fact. The public transport in this city has given me more to think about than all other factors together.
My (mis)adventures bus-wise have ranged from the comical to the poignant. Here's a list, pell-mell any which way.
  • the time I fell asleep on the bus and landed up in Kengeri.
  • the time I waited twenty minutes for the exact bus that would take me practically to my doorstep, and got a free full body massage and steam room combined for my troubles
  • the time I took the wrong bus(this was in the early days, before I came to know the transit system like - well, let's say, like the back of the hand of my second cousin's wife) and then, finding it had passed the most ideal stop, decided to wait and see where it would end up
  • the time we were asked to go to college on a holiday, and I borrowed money from a woman sitting next to me because I'd forgotten to carry any money, and had to -
  • [this deserves a post all its own i'd forgotten all about it i love you internet watch this spot folks]
  • the times I got up to give place to old ladies, and travelled home standing and glowing with pride
  • the time I got up to give a seat to an old lady and saw it taken by a man, whom I then chewed out, much to my satisfaction
  • all the times I've gotten men to give up their places in the "ladies' section"
  • all the times I haven't
  • the time a mother and daughter got separated across nearly a kilometer because the daughter got off at the stop but the mother couldn't till the next one
  • the time three women sat on a seat for two, and then yelled at everyone around them, and the driver into the bargain, for daring to ask one of them to stand
  • all the times I've taken the buses that only go partway home, and the walking home after
  • the times I've paid for fellow passengers
  • the time a guy tried to rub up against and got my elbow in his chest.
  • all the times that men have sat next to me, and I've travelled in a state of paranoia till they got up
What a concept.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

i need therapy

People missed me.
¡self validation!

I'm in a contemplative mood. Notice I don't say today. This mood only started about an hour ago. I'm not sure it's good for blogging in, maybe I'll just scribble in my diary instead :)

Yesterday saw the end of our ten-day workshop collaboration. It was a mad day and prompted a crazy rant in the middle of the afternoon on one of the computers in the department lab. I regretted it later, so it's considerably edited, but I needed it out there.

In other news, I once more made great plans of blogging last night – the theme being the ever elusive “tired and happy”. However, when I got home at eleven after the complimentary dinner and some very nice farewells, turned out that the server was down. Aaah. And this after receiving veiled threats regarding my windpipe, and promises of new reading material...

We also have a virus on the computer, which has somehow nuked the entire Office, ok just Excel but I need Excel dammittttttttttttt so I'm a bit miffed about that.

Monday, April 17, 2006

must. stop. incessant. blogging...

Yeah, riiiight.
I have absolutely no willpower and even less discipline.
However, I will confine this to
- a scream that begged to be blogged RIGHT THIS INSTANT (actually it's been begging since this morning and i could only hold out this long)
- a li'l titbit that will prove once and for all that I will never win against the universe.

First, the scream

Did you know that someone
found my blog
read it
liked it

yes, it is true
Do you know what this means??? ()()() is what it means.

Now, the titbit
I have three submissions tomorrow. The first is the final presentation of the project we were working on with the Germans, which I'll have to do from scratch because, well, because. (read between the grouse (grouses? grice? (?) or horse)) .
The second is an interior design project that I think I'm getting the hang of, but for which I have, as yet, not put pencil to paper.
The third, and definitely the most important, is my design. As befitting my normal mode of work, I have not looked at my design sheets in ten days. The workshop, you understand. Tomorrow's the review, I'll just go over the sheets tonight. Well, the sheets were nowhere to be found. After turning the house upside down in a space of 35 minutes; recklessly deciding to go out for an icecream as I had no sheets and then rejecting that wise decision; and then storming around the house in a towering, but silent, rage while my poor father checked the insides of both the cars; I decided to come online and waste some time.
Voila! Within ten minutes, I realized my enormous faux pas, called my mother, and retrieved my sheets from where she'd stashed them while in a frenzied fit of cleaning the day before she left for Pondicherry with my sister.
What do you know?? It's all good as usual!!!

The moral(s):
1. When in doubt, blog
2. When in trouble, chill
3. This may not work if you are not me
4. Knowing the IGs, it may not work for me, either
5. See 1.


self analysis the first

I talk too much.
There was a time; a better time, a safer time; when I didn't talk at all. I walked in perpetual fear of ridicule. And because the perpetual fear kept a strict watch on my tongue, I rarely ever said things I regretted. Much.

Now, however, it seems to be a case of constant open mouth, insert foot.
I start to say things, and before I've gotten more than a few words out, I realize that I don't want to finish. Either because the subject matter is too personal, or because I'm not sure that the statement accurately reflects the way I feel, or because I fear that whatever it is I'm about to say might be too inflammatory.
If there is one thing I hate (well, there are lots. which means there's at least one) it is to be wrong. I don't know why. Perhaps it comes with my hating hypocrisy in all forms. If I refuse to tolerate mistakes and ignorance and incompetence in others, there is no way in hell I'm going to tolerate them in myself. Which is another reason why I try never to say anything till I'm absolutely positive about it.

I can tell you I detest bigotry, that I loathe pollution and trash and raping the environment. That I love animals. That I love to read, and sing and write.
These are things I don't anticipate are going to change soon.
I can tell you all about the day I had yesterday. I can quote and paraphrase (and I will be sure to diiferentiate the two, never fear). I can describe in detail everything I remember, and I will only tell you what I remember.

Why is it, though? I have had several theories about this in the past - passion for the truth. desire for clarity. need to be trusted.
If I'm honest with myself, it's probably number 3. I have recently come to the conclusion that almost all my actions are prompted by nothing more than simple self-interest. I want to be comfortable. I want no pain. Frankly, pain terrifies me. I don't mean physical pain; I can (and have) taken torn ligaments and ripped lips (another story, another time). I fear pain of humiliation and ridicule. Pain of loneliness and friendlessness. (is there an official phobia for it? i'm sure there will be)
I'm not naturally gregarious, which means I have to work doubly hard to make friends. Networking, is, frankly, a pain in the arse; pardon my french. This means I never let anyone close enough to be completely free with them. Which means I have to make sure they get exactly what I'm saying, and I mean exactly, every single time I speak. And lately, when my guard is down, I end up opening my mouth at inopportune momentS, beginning to say something and then stopping short with a brusque "never mind" which invariably gets me yelled at.
I AM A COWARDLY CREATURE WHO RUNS FROM CONFLICT AND UNPLEASANTNESS!!! (unless i'm in the right, in which case, and only in that case, I will fight you to the death (or till there is an amicable consencus (yes, i have a thing for these things (parantheses, dummy)))) close brackets!!!

Of course, it may just turn out that I'm psychotically anal and all of this is bull.

Sunday, April 16, 2006

night at café

I did something incredibly, unbelievably, immeasurably stupid today. Never mind that it ended up all good, more or less. It remains a sad and undeniable fact that I end up doing these stupid things all the time.
How did I ever survive this far? I need a permanent watchdog, methinks.
I just agreed to go out, at night, and meet someone in person whom I'd only met online. Set aside the fact that I knew him from school. (Who is to say that he was, indeed, the person he purported to be?)
Naïvete (i need an umlaut here, someone. [never mind, i got one. thank you ms word]) does not even begin to cover this. The very least I can say in my defense is that I chose to meet in a public place - my stupidity apparently stops short of agreeing to meet at a pub (or does it?)
So. There I was at a coffee bar in the middle of the night; alone; having left the house early so that it wouldn't seem suspicious; having misled my poor fond parent into thinking I was meeting a bunch of friends instead of a single acquaintance; and wondering, poor sap that I am, how I'd get home in case he didn't show. The thought of walking back home through the dark streets that first put these pleasant thoughts into my head was not particularly appealing.
Characteristically, the thing that really got my goat was the fact that I hadn't had the forethought to carry pen and paper (I always carry pen and paper when I expect to be waiting, crap crap crappity, yes i like that word don't bug me)
Hence, I was reduced to recording my thoughts by the simple expedient of snagging a napkin from a nearby table and then running in to borrow a pen every time a new thought struck me. I was going to rewrite it all, but I believe I will reduce my work load to simply transcribing (with minor edits).
The first time is the best time...

9:30 pm
How am I so na
ïve? Do tell. I agreed to meet someone in person whom I'd only met online. What was I thinking?? Jesus. Well. Let's see where it goes. Smart move, T.
9:38 pm
Clandestine night-time meetings. Mata Hari sans the seductive SA. Meanwhile, it is fun to see the people who hang out here at this time of the night. There is an actual reunion of sorts going down behind me, and a sizeable number of canoodling couples. Also wonder if they can ALL tell I'm here waiting for a guy. I would. In fact, I'd be all - shit-check-out-that-chick-i'll-bet-she-snuck-out-of-the-house-to-
Damn, damn, damn my innate hate of the hypocritic
[no, not hippocratic. that would have been punny, though] Damn it to hell. Now I'm no better, and never more may I derive satisfaction and amusement from scoffing at lone wolves waiting for their coffee companions, alas.
I think the absolute worst is the fact that not a single waiter has come to take my order. Oh the ignominy of having all and sundry know you won't be ordering till the person you're waiting for gets there...
9:45 pm
Does MD
[on a license plate] actually mean doctor? Who knows. Hmm. This [at this point, i was typing my thoughts onto my phone. partly because i didn't want to go in and ask for the pen again, partly because the napkin was showing signs of wear and tear] isn't as good as pen and paper, but not bad.
I don't feel like a loser waiting here, tho'. Why is that? If I'd been waiting for a known friend. perhaps? In this case, I was very very early, and also not expected. And totally stupid, too. Have I considered how I'm getting home?? It does not get more abysmally stupid than this. And no pen??!!? Unforgivable. Bloody t9. Pen I need a pen. How? I never leave without a pen, dammit.

That's the end of the rambling.
The man made it; I made a complete ass of myself; I got dropped home in style and in time. Another typical day-in-the-life.

How do people survive without a sense of humour? Tell me.
NTS: Musicology

Saturday, April 15, 2006

random, random, random

Took the car out today. Decided to go late.
True to form, my patron supreme beings anticipated my misgivings and disappointed all hopes. In fact, on the way to class, nothing untoward happened (well, aside from the fact that the car stalled on the middle of the flyover when I tried to switch to gas; and I was stranded on high for a minute with passing motorists hurling abuses in my window) and I reached in the proverbial nick of time. (or is it adagial? idiomatic??)
Anyhoo, on the way back, I had three near accidents. What can I say? I attract adventure the way shit draws flies (and yes, the analogy was meant to be distasteful).
The first was when I nearly ran into the path of a passing car while swerving to avoid an autorickshaw which was navigating around a cyclist slap-bang in the middle of Mysore Road (damn all cyclists)
The second when I almost killed myself on the steel bars protruding out the back of a truck because I kept getting some random call from a guy in Bijapur (wtf, but I think it might have been my fault because the keypad was unlocked and who knows what your phone does when left unattended.)
The third was when I actually hit a guy on a scooter right in front of me. My first actual collision! I should be so pleased. Why am I not?
It was an incredibly surreal experience. It had just begun to rain, and I couldn't wait to get home. We stopped at a red light near corporation circle, and when the light turned green, I forged ahead.
Here comes the part that is the most embarassing to relate. I heard a dull scraping sound, saw the guy in front of me (and to my left, ok? i didn't rear-end him) almost falling off his two-wheeler, and I didn't make the connection! In fact, I kept pressing the accelerator, wondering why the car wasn't moving. God. What a fool.
Here's the ironic part: (a story in my life sans irony? never gonna happen)
This was only a near accident because:
- There was no damage done to his vehicle. (which reminds me, i have to go down and check on that poor ol' girl of mine)
- As soon as I finally realized what had happened, I rolled down the window and apologized abjectly. I think the gentleman had not met this means of dealing with accidents, because he didn't stop the traffic and chew me out in front of God and His mother.
When I got home, I discovered that the five coolest (and most chauvinistic) guys in the class had witnessed the entire incident on their way home. Super, super, super.
Whenever I hear the last of it, I will be sure to inform the world in sky-writing.

Meanwhile, why don't we see sky-writing in India? Or Bangalore, at least? Must be because of the skyline.. which reminds me! I saw that incredibly stupid Empire-State lookalike (the UB city site, yes) from the Market flyover. May I say, Ew.
Bangalore's metamorphosis into a global hick wannabe takes a quantum leap forward!

On a side note, I signed up for MySpace for the music scene. BIG mistake. I joined up last night around eleven, and I have already received no fewer than seven friend requests from guys, some of whom have said, and I quote:

no subject
Hello...I am looking for some real good friends.. i think you can be one....if you are interested let me know. just reply whether it is yes or no. i don't mind even if you write no to me..but i expect a big yes. i am waiting for your reply...

hi there
how r u doing?? i saw ur profile, its nice with ur nice pic:-)

hi there...u alright? i must say u look gorgeous...what do u do?

hi dear
hows u ?
i am vinay from mumbai
n wants to do friendship with u
if u dont mind

no subject
hi... how r u??? wanna be friend?? tell me something abt ur self??? myself danish.. doing engineering from manipal.. wat abt u???

WTF!!! and Holy crapalooza. And I thought orkut was bad (Hi, I'm Mayur I live with my mom, dad, grandparents, uncles, aunts, sisters, cousins and don't forget the pet parrot, but I paraphrase)
No more pictures online, I swear. And anyone who dares send me a friggin frandship request can, pardon my french, shove it.

No. I don't wanna be friend. I don't wants to do friendship with you. Go away.

I am gorgeous, though.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

i had the time

I have a new theory.

It seems to me as though I drop into a frenzy of writing only when I actually have the least time to do it, and when it is the most inopportune timing. I have updated my blog without fail almost every night in the past two weeks, in spite of coming home at times ranging from nine thirty to midnight; despite tons of work and countless submissions.
Today? Today is a holiday. Today I had to force myself to the blog.
What does that say about me? Easy. It's the contrary, without the cockle shells.
I developed another theory the morning before last on my method of forming friendships. I proposed a complete scientific study supported b examples and quotes. Naturally, as soon as I had mapped out the outline, I felt no more inclination to actually sit down and actually try typing it out.
The contrariness has spread too far.
Prepare for a really really long blog.

1. dogpal syndrome: developed April 11 2006, Tuesday

2. ooh-shiny syndrome: developed April 11 2006, Tuesday

3. time trouble: developed April 12 2006, Wednesday

4. time trouble part 2: developed April 13 2006, Thursday

5. tom-and-the-contraries syndrome: developed April 13 2006, Thursday

6. charge of the saint bernard: developed April 13 2006, Thursday

Hypotheses: Eh

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

planning and the mice

I ended yesterday feeling tired, but happy. With dreams of getting home in time to write all about it. A good dinner, early to bed.
Alas for all good intentions and the best laid plans (i made my bed and i should let sleeping dogs lie in it, or whatever)

The daily scenario is basically this : work till five, review at five or five thirty. Once all reviews are complete, the entire kit and boodle move en masse in the limited number of vehicles (among which is our regular ride) to the hotel where all the foreign students are put up. From there, two of us and our friend in the car move to his house, from where I drive home on my bike. That's the plan.

The first knot in our plan came from the fact that our regular ride man (let's call him B for future reference) was planning to visit a slum for his case study. It seemed no big deal to my companion and me as we thought we'd catch a couple of buses and be home in an hour or so. Of course, I didn't take into account her sudden desire to play basketball on the hotel court. A whole thirty minutes past our scheduled leaving time, we finally got to a bus stop, where we caught the first bus to the Kempegowda Bus Terminal. Naturally, to keep things interesting as well as up to par with all other similar adventures, we were trapped in a traffic jam as soon as we got off the flyover. A journey that normally takes five or seven minutes took twenty-five.
By the time we got to Majestic, it was eight-thirty, so we decided to take a rickshaw instead of another bus. We got onto the race course road flyover and, as we were hoping for a smooth ride, we were promptly thrust into an entire new series of blocked roads; which turned out to be caused by, what else, one of the million street processions that help to make the Bangalore traffic situation as beautifully exciting and unpredictable as it is.
Meanwhile, I'd decided awhile back that I'd leave my bike at B's house for the night. Hence, I'd called my dad just a few minutes before the first jam, and asked him to meet me at a point on M.G. Road. Suffice it to say, my poor father waited for me in our delightful 800 for over an hour, while my friend and I spent the same amount of time chatting with our auto driver.

This post was supposed to be about the wonderful feeling that is being tired and happy - the feeling you have at the end of a long day of fruitful work (or incredible fun), when all you have to look forward to are deep sleep and sweet dreams. I had reams to say - lots of connections to draw, memories to share, information to give on the new short story [update: it's done!!] I've started, that I've actually decided to post in progress...
I guess it'll have to be next time, the irony gods willing.

Monday, April 10, 2006


I never realized how hard it is to work with people who don't think the way you do.
Why is it so hard to work with people? And when I say work, I don't mean organising and getting jobs done, because that is something I excel at (though I say it that shouldn't). When I say work, I mean design.

Now, it isn't as though I haven't worked with someone on a design before. The first time we had to work on anything as a team at all was away back in second sem , when we were divided into groups to build scaled models of famous museums. Each individual picked an architect whose museum they wanted to work on, and then we paired off acording to our choices. The person I worked with was a girl whom I hadn't really interacted with much upto that time, but we ended up finding loads in common, having an amazing time and developing a really great friendship.
(Let's do dis, Ash!)
So much so, in fact, that when we had an urban design project three semesters later; where the class was divided into teams of two and each team was to design a convention center for the city; we decide to team up again.
That was an experience that I hope I never forget. It included memorable moments such as us getting together to do work and instead spending the whole time discussing Bangalore and Kannadigas and everything under the sun; us spending six hours trying to get our working drawing submissions printed and then rushing to submit them before deadline; me falling ill with a 102 fever the week before final submission.
It was a crazy time.

It was nothing, however, compared to the last two days.

Design is a subject that is more subjective, pun intended, than any other that I've ever studied in my entire life. I didn't realize how important this was until today. I got an inkling yesterday, but today? Today, well, the fact grabbed me by the hair and slammed my face in it.

How is it possible to work with someone whose fundamental method of working is so different from yours that there is nothing in common? How can you reconcile diametrically opposite ideas and themes? How do you maintain a friendship with someone when you've just had a full-blown argument over the shape of your building? How do you work, not only with this, but also with a person who says and does close to nothing?
All very relevant and important questions, to which I have, as yet, no answers.
I've learnt some important lessons about teamwork today though - mainly, that it is hard, tiring and thankless.
Like most lessons, these are probably going to be irrelevant tomorrow.

Saturday, April 8, 2006

delayed fuse

It is a wonderful life. Wonderful. Why? Just. Here is today's post:

No matter what time this is posted, it is, in fact, only just past eleven in the morning on a gloriously sunny Saturday. We just finished our photography class, and I found myself at the proverbial loose end when it came to work to do. I’m on call for the Germany steel symposium, (meaning that I have no idea when, where, or indeed, if, I am to meet the delegates for the proposed site visit) and the network at the college browsing centre is down. I have brought no work to college today, I have nothing to read, and I cannot occupy my time by trying to find out which of my friends is online so I can exchange meaningless typeface. In short, I’m typing this out more as a way to occupy my time than due to any overpowering literary urges.

What really amused me enough to begin this particular post is the attitude of my fellow college mates at this place. They have sunk, one and all, into that state of mind you can reach only when you’ve prepared yourself to do a certain item of work in a specified time and then are broadsided by unexpected circumstances. In other words, they’re basically shooting the moon. When I entered fifteen minutes ago, I noticed a large number of people playing some game or the other. This in itself was rather unusual – the most common thing you see on all the monitors is usually orkut or gmail or google. By the time I’d switched computers three times and seen eleven people doing inanely, insanely pointless things on their computers (including a couple of people who were apparently browsing through the entire hard drive of the systems they were working on – one guy got lucky and actually found some animation of a questionable nature which I, unfortunately, was also privy to) I figured out that there was something wrong with the network. Upon conducting some discreet enquiries, it turned out that everyone here already knew that all important fact. Naturally, they were all under the impression that, if they stuck it out long enough, eventually they’d be able to leave their minesweeper, solitaire or anime porn and get back to the all-important task of messaging bunty or babli or whomever it is that they are giving up their break to contact online. (True love. Ain’t it touching?)

Also worthy of note is the fact that no one told me. I realize that this a recurring theme of my life (witness the incident involving the twelfth member of the steel squad) but it seems amazing to me that all these people are willing to allow some poor unsuspecting sap to wander in and spend anywhere from five minutes to forty five discovering what they could easily have been told as soon as they’d entered the place. Of course, I have to admit that in the half-hour that I’ve been here, I haven’t exactly kept an eye out for any of the saps myself…

The rest of this post needs to be in random thoughts. I’ll end this one with a final scream – I want to check my mail! I want to check my scraps! I want to see if I can find Sanju on gtalk, the bastard! I want to update my bloody blog!

I think that’s the sum total of it. They’re all pretty much interrelated, though. Do one, gotta do the others.

Blogging seems to agree with me.

Friday, April 7, 2006

symposium and slum

Do you want to know about my day? Do say yes.

Today was the first day of a workshop involving students from an architecture school in Munster, Germany. We'd sent eight students from our college to Germany last December for an exchange program, and now there were eight students from Germany here for a week-long workshop on structural steel and high-rise structures.
I found out I was to attend this introductory seminar symposium two days ago, when I was told that I had to sing the invocation song for the same. There were ten other students going, and as the representative of the class, it fell to my lot to arrange for permission, attendance and sundry other items.
Since the symposium was to begin in the afternoon, I decided to attend college as usual, and then move on to the Atria Hotel from there.
Accordingly, therefore, I went to college today fully prepared to discuss my design (yes it's the same one that I was prevented from discussing two days ago. do you think it's a sign of some kind?)
However, by the time I actually got to college, I was immediately whisked away before I could do more than unroll my sheets. When we reached the hotel I was set to work in a long assembly line filling the delegate files with brochures, itinerary, CDs, notepad and pen.
Well, alright. I was just put to work. As I cannot abide incompetence and inefficiency, I helped organise the assembly line. OK? In this way we wasted three whole hours. Following the hours of mind and arse-numbingly dull work, we went out for lunch, where we wasted another hour. When we finally got back, there was - guess what - still more time to be wasted!!! Big surprise.

Then, a mere fifteen minutes past schedule, I sang my invocation and we were underway.
The experience wasn't bad. I met with and talked to some of the German students, I learnt a few things about steel construction, I slept sitting upright throught the end of one of the seminars, I felt indelible shame for my HOD, lecturers and country, and I drank my first whisky (well, 1/4 whisky, topped with 7-up).
Called my dad and got a ride home. All in all a generous day.

What got to me was the contrast to the way I spent yesterday evening. Far from spending the evening with my head lolling onto my shoulders in the air-conditioned banquet hall of a posh hotel, I spent a sizeable part of yesterday driving around Bangalore, and another chunk in a slum.
The slum report will have to wait for another day, though. I think I'm slightly sloshed...

P.S. 1066

Thursday, April 6, 2006

the late ms. me

Two days ago, I decided to drive the car to college for the first time since my driving license had been approved (yes, it is a shame that I didn't get my driving license till I was 21). I picked up a classmate on the way (with his ton and a half of models), and everything worked out fine.
The next day, I decided to go late to college.

Now, I have recently (well, alright, today) come to the conclusion that "T decides to go late to college" always seems to be code for "the universe shall decide to mess with T today".
For instance, there was the time I fell asleep in the auto-rickshaw I'd taken and landed up in National Market instead of K.R. Market, where I'd been headed. Or the time I fell asleep on the bus and landed up at Kengeri Satellite town, having missed my stop five kilometres prior. The time I took an auto which overturned on Airport Road, putting me in the hospital with four stitches in my scalp. The time I left all the sheets I had for submission that day on a public bus.
In fact, it seems almost incredible that I hadn't arrived at this conclusion four semesters ago!

Suffice it to say, I did not realize this particular law of the "Secret Code of the Universe" that morning; and hence I set out from home, in the fourteen-year-old Maruti 800 that I'm allowed to drive, in full confidence that I would be not more than an hour late for my design studio.
Naturally, the car started giving trouble within half an hour of my leaving the house. Instead of immediately reading the signs, heading home and plopping in front of the television, I soldiered on like the trooper I am. And was promptly rewarded by the car stopping dead near the aforementioned K.R. Market (and all savvy Bangaloreans know what a perfect slice of heaven that is). Needless to say, I did not get to college on time, or even get to discuss my design.

{ Which, by the way, I have to work on for tomorrow's class, so I will have to end this rant with another wise observation:
The universe has decided that it is best for me to be on time. Either I have an uneventful, ordered life by doing the same (as I had, incidentally, for the 16 years before I joined architecture) or I find fresh fodder in my multiple adventures on the high road. Which do you think it should be?}

Tuesday, April 4, 2006


Sometimes it seems like the universe has a soft spot for me somewhere in the recesses of its fickle heart. Whenever it seems as though I really can't handle whatever is going on in my life, I get a big ol' reprieve. Either this means I'm cashing in on some cosmic karmic balance I have going on for me somewhere (which is eventually gonna run out), or else this is a trial run for bigger things.
It's like there is someone out there keeping tabs on my stress levels, and whenever I exceed the prescibed dose (which is usually the point at which I say: fuck it, I'm going to sleep) there is a switch flipped, and all my troubles resolve themselves in truly miraculous ways.
They say, as a general rule, that no one is given more than they can handle. I wonder whether that's true, and if it is, whether this is all I can handle.

Of course, there is a distinct possibility that I'm just refining too much on something that is as simple as the fact that I'm the one who's always bent out of shape for no reason, while the rest of the world is just chillin'.

Saturday, April 1, 2006

all fools

I visited the Slum Clearance Board of Bangalore yesterday.
True to form it fulfilled every cliché that has ever been coined about a government office - the very structure of the building screamed incompetent confusing passing the buck!!!
Or maybe it was just me.

I was to meet my classmate at the Kempegowda Bus Terminal at ten in the morning. As befits all my plans, at nine-fortyseven I found myself trapped in a public bus behind an enormous crowd of laughing, dancing, singing people who, as it turns out, were celebrating the release of a new Kannada movie. We finally landed at the terminal thirty minutes later. The trip from the bus stand to the Slum Clearance Board did not fail in its duty to reflect the tone of the morning, being accompanied as it was by sweltering sun, raucous traffic and whistling men, and conducted along a long and dusty underpass.

We finally began our trip into the building proper with an auspicious introductory game of where do i need to go, i want to know. The department we were to visit was to be reached by first travelling up three flights of stairs, then switching buildings to climb another three flights. The only saving grace of the entire tortuous experience was the fact that any person with a reasonably sharp sense of smell would probably be able to navigate the building with relative ease due to the unique aromas emanating from each floor.
When my classmate and I finally reached floor six (stale cigarettes and cloying incense, ladies' lingerie, menswear) we moved, out of breath and exhausted towards the first person we saw - a sweetly smiling gentleman about sixty years old with glasses that magnified his rheumy eyes to gigantic oozing pustules and asked him to direct us to anyone who might be able to give us the information we needed.
This was where we embarked on the next stage of our journey, the runaround. Needless to say, we were shuttled from one office to another, then back again, in a dizzying display of dexterity on the part of every assistant, cleaner and attendant in the office.
Finally growing tired of this engaging pastime, they eventually moved us off to the next block across the campus (which we reached by dint of more maneuvering and further fumbling) where we were introduced to stage three: butter-up. After complimenting, joking with (in my abysmal Kannada) and laughing at the jokes of the three assistants to the three assistant engineers we had been referred to, we managed to wrest some contact information out of them; which then directly turned out to be worse than useless, as all the phones were either switched off or out of order.

In short, it was a really really fun day. I'm going to go again next week. This time I'll take pictures.