Apr 30, 2009

Out at office

When I went to the GB Sunday meet a couple of week’s back, I talked about how easy it is for me to be out at my present workplace. When I applied for this job as an academic editor, I had sent in my CV which had the link to my blog. Obviously, had gone through it and a few bosses have even commented on it. That really made me comfortable. It felt like liberation—from the perceptibly homophobic milieu of a municipal hospital—and I felt happy. During the first week itself, a colleague of mine came out to each other. He is out to everyone and hence I expected a similar response to me. What do people talk about when they have their lunches and snacks together anyway, I thought?

Not personal lives! It was naïve from my side to have even expected that to have happened. Yesterday, I came out to another colleague. It was coincidental and happened over a joke on the messenger installed in the LAN. Later on, in the evening, as I was sipping my freshly brewed heavenly filter-coffee, I had a conversation with her. I explained to her that I thought that everyone knew citing the aforementioned reasoning. She told me that I don’t look like one. Oh yeah, I don’t look faggy, I know that. I have a beard, I don’t look scrawny, I don’t have a gym-toned body, and have no effeminate features. The list could go on. I don’t know if I should feel glad about being a non-stereotypical gay person or feel sad about acknowledging the social norm of stereotyping gays.

I still think that a few more are aware that I’m gay. If they don’t they will come to know soon. Either through word-of-mouth or through the soft-toy that sits atop my monitor—a pink cub bear wearing a muffler! That’s some statement!

Apr 29, 2009

Things that I learned

Things that I learned from the wedding reception that I attended yesterday.

- Don't ever attend parties where you won't have a reason to be.

- Don't expect 2 month old colleagues to replace your friends.

- Don't go to a party on a dry day.

- Don't miss doing something that you love for something that you dislike, which you are forced to do.

- Learn to say no. Firmly, but politely.

- Don't attend parties to beat away your blues. Talk to friends instead.

Apr 28, 2009

Unplanned wedding

It's my CEO's wedding today. I had almost forgotten about it until a colleague of mind came to work dressed in a suit. I started noticing that colleagues were bringing in changes and stuff. I could eavesdrop on conversations about what one should look like/what one should get as a present etc during the phases of silence between songs on my mp3 player.

I was sure that I wouldn't go. There were many reasons. I don't know this guy, I don't have company, I can't afford a present, my depression etc. I and the two senior colleagues sitting on either side of me were trying to decide on attending the function. Sometime in the morning I got the icing of an excuse - Rob had planned for a rehearsal with Noise Market.

I kept working on and on. The HR team even arranged for a group chat to make sure that none of the office could excuse themeselves out. I was confident. I had typed 'Totally, nailed it!' as a response to the question 'Have you all made plans?'. And then came the face -off.

I am, as is obvious, very bad at saying 'no'. A senior came and talked to me as to why I shouldn't bunk. All my excuses seemed to go up in smoke. I gave in meekly. Soon I was on the phone calling for rescheduling the rehearsal. It was a big mess. I hate cancelling plans due to personal reasons.

Now, as I wait for a bus to take me to the railway station, I feel like a Congress candidate. I'm dressed in white kurta pyjama, and am heading to a dinner to binge on food and get drunk. Hope it comes off well. Anything to break this jinx of depressive evenings!

Apr 27, 2009

The most expensive gym in India

Yesterday, as I lay on my bed lazily watching the action from IPL-2, I realized that I there is no way that I can contort my body to make me look thin. The flab, amorously referred to as the love handles on the sides, was too obvious. I must have put about an inch of fat around my waist in the last year or so. My jeans have become uncomfortably tight.

It's ageing, malnutrition and a lack of exercize. I hate it. I don't want to look like my Dadr my uncles. All seem to have had 'A+'s in a corpulence course or something. I don't want that. Besides, I am tall and lanky. I'd look absurd with a tummy.

Despite my finances, I want to somehow get back into shape. As a preliminary step, I googled for nearby gyms. I found a few hits. After all, I was living in an area sprinkled with posh housing colonies. But one of the hits really sparked my interest, hope and curiosity. It was a new gym which had opened recently atop the big shopping mall next to my building.

I looked up its website. It said the largest gym in India with the best facilities and stuff. It had a spa, yoga classes, hair clinics etc. I knew it would be expensive but wanted to make sure I couldn't afford it. After a cusrsory call, I walked into this monstrosity yesterday evening.

A cheery young lady interviewed me and took me around the gigantic gym. During this, she had asked what my estimate was regarding the pricing. I said I can't afford anything above a 1000 Rs per month. I should have known better when she started giggling.

When she showed me the rates I was astounded. 1, 50, 000 Rs per year!! Whoa! There went my pipe dream!

Apr 24, 2009

Dress code

In the last few months, I have dressed up in a similar fashion for my gigs. I haven't blogged about it yet, I think. Well, it's an addition of a hat (cowboy/fedora) and a tie on a shirt/trouser combo.

It's a gimmick. But it makes me feel different. As is evident, rock music has always been associated with style and dressing. Any musical concert transcends the realm of music to invade that of a stage performance. It's rehearsed, there is a stage with props (guitars, amps etc.) and the characters sometimes have scripted lines. So why miss out on the dressing part? Why not separate yourself from the crowd?

Dressing up is always nice, I feel. Shopping for it is even better. I had a few semi-formal shirts and trousers (back from the hospital days). I spent meagerly for the hats and the ties and that's it. I have a look. I'll let you judge it when I put in a few recent pics of mine. Soon, I promise.

IPL 2

People have been rubbishing the season 2 of IPL for many reasons. Most of them stem from the little known fact they themselves are rubbish. The zing of the crowd is not there, matches are not exciting, lesser boundaries hit and all that.

It's been a week since the tournament began and I've been following all the matches either online (at work, while travelling etc.) or on tv (at home, gigs etc.). I don't see their point. The pitches have been unpredictable and so has been the weather.

Sure, the teams took about a couple of matches to acclimatise. But it's much better than the feather beds on offer on the subcontinent. Fidel Edwards could bounce Dada, Warney could bamboozle whom not, and Viiru could smack a punch.

The matches have surely more interesting than last year. Apart from the strategy breaks that have been introduced, Modi and co. have done it again! Bravo!

Apr 18, 2009

The importance of not being idle

Time is so precious. Every minute that I spend awake needs to be planned. Work takes the largest share and so, managing time at work becomes even more important. No newspapers, no movies, no actual entertainment. No personal life, no friends, no dates. Every e-mail that I need to reply becomes another entry in the daunting to-do list.

Travel to work and back needs to be planned. The earlier you reach work, the lesser you spend on a bus. You could save 10 minutes on some days. Once you reach work, systematic and strategic execution of different tasks ensues. A coffee-break or a pee-break could be planned. You could choose to have lunch alone (and not with colleagues) in the pantry while brewing coffee, thereby saving about 10 more minutes.

A bus ride could serve as time to check your e-mails and reply to the ones which don't need research or meticulous atrticulation. You could even cramp in those mundane FB rounds! Every opportunity that you get to walk doubles up as a 'catching-up' phone call.

Where does all this time saved go? Its wasted by computer crashes, internet outages, delayed/postponed meetings, reheasals and inexplicable indolence of people. It makes me sad and angry. After all,time is so precious.

Apr 16, 2009

Vote Unvote

Today, my vote will not be casted. My voter's registration is in Kerala. The last Lok Sabha election was held when I was still there. I realized that Kerala was going to the polls tomorrow during a conversation with my Mom yesterday.

I asked her how I could change it to Mumbai. She wasn't sure and suggested that there were ads for voter registration in the media regularly. In retrospect, I remember the jaago re series of ads. But I never thought that I'd need to re-register.

I guess I was lazy to act. Hopefully, by the time the next election comes around, I'll be able to vote. Anybody knows about postal votes?

Apr 13, 2009

Independent

i got independent at work this Monday. That means that I can plan my workday according to my requirements. That's some relief! The last month saw me miss just about everything in my social calendar. Not only that, I struggled to pay my bills, run errands etc.

I don't have net banking activated yet. It's stupid and retro, I know. This week, I hope to carefully plan each working day to finish all the pending tasks I have lined up. Let's see how it works out.us

Apr 12, 2009

The photoshoot

We managed to get the photoshoot done. Thanks to a colleague from my new office, who woke up at a ghastly 7 AM in the morning just for that. 'Noise Market' hung out at a the beach at Marve and my friend kept on clicking. I just got to see a few of them and some of them look really good. I hope I can provide a link as soon as they are uploaded.

Speaking about photos, I was alarmed to see the following picture at Cricinfo.com.


A glance by those who are interested in Indian cricket would wonder why they don't recognize any face among the players. Look no further. You aren't staring at Team India. It's Team Afghanistan!

Yes dear friends. This is team India.


And this is the team England jersey. Also, the Team India's older jersey is in the frame.

When I first saw the promos for the new jersey for Team India, I wasn't sure. When I saw it in action in New Zealand in the limited over versions of the game, I liked it a lot. Now I'm suspicious.

Who copied it from who? More importantly, what's the real point in having colour jerseys is many teams are difficult to distinguish between each other? Finally, why does our team look like team Afghanistan?

Apr 11, 2009

Looking for photographic ideas

So, we need to take a few pictures of a rock band with the elements. It has to look cool, yet not cliched. It has to look spunky, but not corny. What is the ideal setting? Would you pose with your guitars and stuff, look at random angles and stuff and that's it?

Give me some ideas, please.

Apr 7, 2009

Microcosm of India

At work yesterday evening, I was informed that I had a new assignment with a close deadline in hours. I had to write something creative on India in a weekly newsletter that our company sends to our clients. It was weird. To work on a new piece at such a short notice. Since I had already been blogging about BEST buses, it was appropriate of me to write about our beloved trains. This is what I came up with.

CONTENT DELETED

Apr 3, 2009

The incredible BEST buses

I have heard and read a lot of negative stuff about the BEST buses. Stories about how careless BEST drivers are, how people get run under them and how they never seem to stop at the stops published in newspapers and weblogs regularly. Even I have had rough deals with the 'red' buses during my 4 years of stay in Mumbai. But in the last year or so, I have had the chance to closely scrutinize the BEST experience.

I can't believe it! They are fast, they are punctual and they are brutally efficient. Not just the buses. Everything about the BEST bus system is! Their amazing frequency, the way they make their way across difficult stretches of the road with specialized BEST bus-only one-ways, the every-half-a-kilometer-3-seconds-only stops, the organized queues at bus stops, the elderly (and only they) can enter from the front entrance, etc.

Even the bus conductors are chillingly efficient. They hardly take 3 minutes to vend tickets to the 'optimally boarded' bus. They have separate compartments in their purses for all the possible options of coins that they would need, and giving back the change is done in a fraction of a second. The list could go on.

I take just 20 - 25 minutes in the mornings to travel on one to my work place. That becomes 15 if I manage to beat the rush hour. I almost always get a seat and sometimes I get the luxury of using the entire two-person seat. Thanks to this luxury, I can read my newspaper and e-mails through the journey.

Believe it or not, both buses and trains are more comfortable than being in a rickshaw sputtering along a crowded arterial road stopping virtually every second. Get this clear - I'm not an Earth-hour activist. I'm just suggesting that mass public transport, and in my case, the BEST bus system, is far better and efficient than any other form of conveyance. Try it. You won't regret.

Apr 1, 2009

The 'the' story

I think I have got myself lost in the 'definite article' conundrum. A bane for most non-native English speakers/users, the problem is by far the most difficult one that I face at work. I spent about 3 hours extra at work trying to understand why the 'the' should be used and why it shouldn't. This 'the' business is extremely taxing. Hell, people at work told me that I looked tired; I had gotten to the office about an hour early and stayed back three hours longer that my job needs me to.

The tiredness must have been because didn't get a good night's sleep. Something hurtful was churning inside, something that I've been very secretive about, on this blog at least. The other reason might have been the 'oily face the untrimmed beard' phenomenon. I had forgotten to carry my facewash after using it in the morning. Tonight's quota of sleep wouldn't manage to wipe off the couple of years from my face before I show up at work tomorrow. I spent a couple of hours dabbling with the guitar, trying to sing some Dave Matthews songs. Well, I did an admirable job with one song.

That, though, leaves me with a 20-something list of stuff to work on starting tomorrow morning. Those include talking to the just-wed Ray, planning a few evenings with people (which I would have to eventually cancel, I guess) and figuring out some dafty tricks on Excel (or Google spreadsheet) to make a nice, wealth-management spreadsheet. It sure looks like I'll need one for at least a couple of decades or so. Judging by what one of my work-colleagues had to say after reading my hand, I might as well think of investing my non-existent savings.

The amateur palmist had nonchalantly commented 'Kris, you are going to have an arranged marriage!'

You know your life sucks when...

Scenario 3
  • You have to make excuses like 'I eat healthy!' and 'I despise junk food!' when your colleagues are ordering from McDonald's
  • You have to ask 'What's the cheapest thing on the menu?' regularly
  • Your daily budget for food is so low that you have to skip meals to adhere to it
  • Your refrigerator promotes the growth of fungi food items
  • You avoid rickshaws even if you could save an hour in travel
  • You walk four kilometers at 12 midnight after a long day just to save 6 rupees
  • You plan to meet people during evenings on weekdays and every evening you ring people up to cancel plans
  • You haven't watched Slumdog Millionaire 2 months after its release
  • You have 3 days of unread newspapers in your backpack
:(

You know your life sucks when...

Scenario 2
  • You need to buy a couple of mugs, a pen stand and a small pillow cushion for use at work place
  • You pick up lovely stuff at Landmark, only to put them back on the racks in front of the salesman because of their price
  • You have to explain to the salesman 'I'm not carrying cash, you see.'
  • You wander off to the perfume section and find the same perfume that you had so fondly sent to the love of your life, which never got to him
  • You ask for its price and walk away without making eye contact with the lady at the counter
  • You go down to Archie's gallery, to find even better, but still unaffordable mugs
  • You end up pushing and shoving inside the smelly Big Bazaar to buy your stuff for under 300 Rs.
:(