Apr 25, 2010

A wallet that made me realize why my childhood was hell

Two days back, I got robbed. I was on a BEST bus on my way from work to the gym. I had two bags with me – the regular backpack strapped up against my back and the gym bag on my shoulder. Because I have a tendency to misplace my wallet, I had made sure that I put it in my backpack after drawing enough money from it for the ride.

It was a crowded bus and I jostled my way to the already-crowded area just behind the driver's set. I positioned myself comfortably after depositing my gym bag in a corner, and started tending to my e-mail and FaceBook. Retrospectively, I recall that there was a young man standing adjacent to me struggling for the same space that I had been occupying.

I remember that he had shifted his position briefly, for a minute or so, during the journey. That must have been to unzip my backpack and steal my wallet. As soon as I got into the gym and started undressing, I checked my bag and realized that I had been robbed. I, thanks to my psycho-pharmaceutical cocktail, did not panic. Instead, I started worrying, and started thinking of myself as a bad person.

I came back home in a very self-flaggellatory mood, but had the presence of mind to cancel all my cards. Vinokur tried to give me advice and encouragement. But I know him too well, and am comfortable enough, to not take any definitive action against my impending implosion. After a few minutes of chatting, I left him alone to pursue things that he enjoys even more – things that bring him consistent pleasure – things unlike me.

One of the first things that I did, as a punishment to myself, was to inform my date – the special person that I have been blogging about, and I'm going to title him M – that I'm canceling the date for the next day evening. He called me immediately, and tried to comfort me, but wasn't able to do much good. I insisted that we should cancel the
date.

The next day (yesterday) morning, I sent M a message telling him that I wasn't feeling better and that we are not meeting in the evening. Then I reached my office and things started to change. People, with whom I was not totally comfortable with, started talking about how often such robbery occurs and started making me feel more comfortable about the reparative process that needed to ensue. That cheered me up. I immediately sent M a message about the turnaround and suggested that we might still meet in the evening.

During the day, I went to one of the banks that I had an account in and started the process to get a new debit card. I drew some money and bought myself a new wallet – a physical entity in my life that reminded me that things weren't all that bad and that I'm not a bad person.

At 5.30 pm, I got a call from a person who had found my wallet in the drain near my gym. He asked me to meet up at a certain place in half an hour. I went there in a rickshaw and met this guy. I got my wallet back – everything intact but the money, including the change. I was so happy to get my license, PAN card, and my medical registration ID – three things that would have taken months to renew/replenish.

To celebrate, I decided to skip the gym and meet M early. I was relieved and feeling much better. We went to dinner at a restaurant called Sheesha. Over cherry/mint-flavored sheesha/hukka, we had a wonderful conversation about the entire incident and why it had triggered such a heavy negative feeling toward me. And then we stumbled on the truth – my childhood!

Practically every day in the tender-age period, I was subjected to things like 'Kris, you aren't a good person!', 'You deserve to be punished!’, 'All the bad things that happen to you is because of the bad things that you do, because you didn't respect elders and God!', 'Kris, look at your cousins. See how good and obeying they are? See how they pray and go to temples. If you don't do all this, you will be a bad person all through your life'. This and more such stuff. Everyday. Every conversation.

This was the reason why I had started hating my home. This was the reason why I was a wreck, an introvert, an angry, obstinate child. This was the reason why I had no friends until I broke out of the shackles in med school after interacting with patients, who talked to me and respected me, who were proud of me. This was the reason I'm scarred for life.

Vinokur's childhood was scarred by his father. M's childhood was similar to Vinokur's, but probably less severe in intensity. I am scarred similar to Vinokur, but my scars are hypertrophying with every passing day, I think. And the psycho-pharmaceuticals aren't helping that much.

Apr 21, 2010

Middle age reality

Is being in your middle age supposed to be like this? It seems to be a time when all you seemingly do in your life is worry, and when everything you do seems like a chore. Those fun things — going to a movie, reading a book, catching up with friends, taking photos and sharing them — everything becomes tasks that you wished you didn’t have to do. Even hobbies — especially if you have made them into an unfulfilling unforgiving profession — aren’t enjoyable.

Probably, it is a phase of life where the amount of hope dwindles, and the amount of expectation, from your friends, society, and you yourself, overwhelms you. In addition, it’s when you tend to make lists of things to do and tasks to accomplish and check a majority of the items off because of lack of time and money. You also would wish to overcome insurmountable barriers because you see others achieving them with ease.

Your life seems stuck at a place which is unpleasant to you, yet not unbearable, and you do things to please others — others who you care for, or who you don’t, who are often at a much happier place in life. You see childish foolish folks around you everywhere you look, who seem to be happy, much too happy for what they deserve, and you wish for a moment as to why you couldn’t be so innocent and naïve.

To add to this, almost everything that you end up doing had to be done because if you don’t, something bad will happen as a consequence to you and to others, who often, almost coincidentally, seem to forget life is not a one way street. Everything seems to be stuck at an unfortunate point in your life, and its easy to find fault every relationship that you have had — be it friend, family, lover, and those with the other people in your head.

Even if I had a time machine, I probably can’t use it to good effect — I hate my past, I dislike my present, and I’m scared about my future.

Apr 17, 2010

Pink

Pink is everywhere. My mobile handest's case, a woman who's travelling in the same railway coach, my lover's cheeks when he blushes, the new construction coming up at Santa Cruz station, a series of advertisement hoardings at Bandra - everything's pink. Yet people make fun of pink. It's a girly color. It's a faggy color. It's eeks.

But why? Aerosmith wrote a song about it. I love that song, and everything about the song is brute and androgen inspired. And it was not mean to be ironic, I'm sure. Yet, people around me, most of them, make fun of my mobile handset case. I didn't have a choice to select from - all the store had was pink. They want something unsimilar to a barbie doll on the mobile.

My first choice wouldn't have been pink. Not because I expect such negative reaction from everyone, but it's not my most favorite color. For my handset, black/grey would have been the best choice - blue is my all-time favorite color. Yet, I'm okay with the pink rubber case. It's sturdy and it's comfortable. It gives me good access to all the keys, and actually goes with my theme on the phone, which is actually pink!

To date, I haven't studied why my phone theme is in pink. The first reason that comes up is the fact that it offers the best possible contrast to menus and makes my phone work smoothly. The same reason why the case is pink too. Why can't people just assume that it's comfortable for me and let me be me? Why can't they stop being ashamed of me if I'm using pink?

Apr 16, 2010

My future

I had a longish e-mail coversation with May today. We were catching up after a long time - it took a while to reach a state of comfort where we could both open up and be comfortable.

At that point, she asked me - 'So, what's your plan'? I pretended to ignore the question, and replied to her about how editing and music are serving me good, if not well. In her reply, she poked it in further. Deep inside. 'No, I was talking about Orthopedics'. In addition, she'd asked for forgivance for being nagging.

I knew it all along. My future, to her, and to most of my old friends, just means Orthopedics. Nothing more. Most of them are not to be blamed of course - that's how we (including me) were brought up - in a society where education and career was given more priority before life, happiness, and satisfaction.

Some of my newer friends - some of them with the pure intention of hurting me, I suppose (well, then they aren't really friends, aye?) - have also asked me and have made fun of my non-advancement in my medical career. Some have even suggested that I was never good enough, and that is the reason that I chose to chicken out, and that's why I can never get back in it again.

What's my view-point? I know for a certainty that I'm good enough. It's just that I find music and academic editing, in this cocktail that I'm being served at this point in my life, serve me well. They keep me happy and satisfied, and give me enough time and freedom to enjoy life.

Really, that is the reason why I'm hesitant to jump back. It's not that I'm worried about me being good enough - but, I'm not sure if I'll again find the balance in my life if I did. Don't you (all) understand? Or do you still want to nag me?

Apr 12, 2010

Back to the movies

I have started watching movies again – for the fun of watching them, and not for serving the social necessity of hanging out with friends. I probably have never liked watching movies with friends. Well, except Ray perhaps – but, Ray and I had a special chemistry which set us apart from anyone else. Coming to think of it, even Ray used to like going to the movies alone, more often than not exploring the realms of cruising. I’m digressing…

I watched three movies over the last week or so. “Clash of the Titans” was horrible as a movie – but movies aren’t meant to always titillate our “cinema” sense. It served as an educational medium that lent its hand to me and dragged me into the world of Greek mythology. Movies like this help me put faces to Greek Gods and other characters and would definitely help me in understanding the intricate web of stories that Greek mythology comprises.


Then came “Date Night” over the weekend. It was really funny with sexual innuendos and stuff. Steve Carrell and Tina Fey are masters in their art, and Tina Fey is a master in imitating the now infamous Sara Palin. The plot was not all that riveting, but the characters had enough eccentricity to keep the movie entertaining all throughout. Plus the vignettes from my dream city, the Big Apple, helped to make the movie not forgettable, if not memorable.

Having done two, almost at leisure, I needed to see something more substantial. I was surprised to find “The Hurt Locker” listed on the newspaper when I was searching for something interesting. Three years back, when “Brokeback Mountain”, “Syriana,” and “Crash” were competing against each other at the Oscars, I made it a point to watch all these before the Oscars were announced. This time, however, I was in my “I can’t watch no movie because they are pricey” mode – pricey is because you go with other people who want the whole movie “experience,” with pop-corn and stuff like that.

Thanks the previous two movies, I went to this movie, alone, on a weeknight. The movie hall had about 30 other people – amazing how people pile up to watch bullcrap like “Prince” and other stuff. “The Hurt Locker” is an amazing movie just because it opened my eyes up to what’s happening in the world outside of my countries borders. It’s incredible how we are so infatuated with our own lives and forget what’s happening in a country near you – how people and families from other countries are affected by acts of craziness of certain minority of people, be it the protagonist or not.

This has been a rewarding experience to me – especially as a movie admirer, and as a seeker for inspiration from everything that I come across. It finally liberated me from the social locker that I had hid myself in – to make me believe that I can’t enjoy movies just because they are expensive. They aren’t, especially if you pick the right shows and the cheapest of tickets, and more importantly, if you are alone and can enjoy it all by yourself.

Apr 10, 2010

Gym at last

For the last year or so, I have had the desire to start going to a gym again - again, because, during a brief stint of 3 months or so two years back, when all of us from Shor Bazaar were deluded enough to believe that we could all quit our livelihoods to chase our musical dream, we had all joined a gym and gone there for a month or so, and I had lingered on for a couple of more months. All through out this “plump” phase of my life, I had longed to re-start something healthy, something that would get rid of my ever-growing love handles and paunch.

One of the three reasons that I was intimidated was – two reasons are based on the lack of adequate dispensable income – is that I thought I could not stick to a diet that you are expected to follow once you start working out in a gym. The other reason, of course, was the expenses associated with joining the gym. The third of course was the doubt as to whether I could find enough time and motivation to go there regularly – as regular are almost daily.

So, last month, a lot of money came in – guess what, through music! Yes, both Shor Bazaar and Cirkles are increasing my dispensable income enough for me to think about gym, a new phone, iPod etc – and I decided that enough was enough. Impulsively, almost instantly, I decided to join a gym. On the first day of deciding, I was supposed to check out a couple of gym in the locality. This, of course, barring the one which is right next to my apartment building, on top of the supermarket, which happens to be the biggest (and apparently the most expensive) gym in Asia.

After work, I went to check out the first gym, which is about 10 minutes from my apartment. My budget was around 10 K for an annual membership. In less than 10 minutes, I signed up for the gym after a guided tour and a fantastic package deal offer. I signed up on fourth of April and I have had a really wonderful time at least until now. If anything, I am sticking to the diet in the most practicable way – that should help me restore some health to my ageing body.

It is ironic that I started this new “health” trip almost as soon as I started to have my own mini-bar, the pleasures of which are less available to me now, by choice. But then, this is all of longevity and health, and being a doctor I think I need to portray an image of health and wellness. Yes, here’s to a year of physical activity and healthy eating, the after effect of which will hopefully be a less flabby, more muscular body!

Apr 2, 2010

Why teenagers should be quarantined until middle age

So, yesterday I was at a posh club downtown to watch my friend's band Airport' perform - (I was at Zenzi Mills for all you bitchy Mumbai-ites). They were supposed to start at 9.30 pm. I, like a turd of bullcrap, thought that they would start on time. I mean, which band starts on time anyway - excepting Shoonyas perhaps, but we play at cheapass pubs which have strict time regulations etc.

As I walk in 15 minutes early, I meet my friends (aka the members of the performing band) who are just coming back from their apartment wearing nice fashionable clothes, with gelled hair and the just-got-out-of-the-shower look. Mind you, I'm wearing out-of-fashion boring cheap jeans and a Levi's faded black tee shirt, and slippers, and I look as tired as an old hooker. I exchange my pleasantries with my friends and we all walk in the pub.

We reach the first tier - the place where the gig will happen - and my friends start tuning their guitars and stuff. I look around and I see a group adolescents looking at me expectantly. WTF? How the fuck does a relatively new and upcoming, albeit talented, band have such a desirable fan base - a bunch of idiotic teenage wannabes who groove to silly disco music, wasting their parents' hard-earned blood turned into testicular sweat/intermammary cleft sweat money!

Then, my friends leave for the outside to catch up with their pre-requisite body nicotine levels while I, like a fool, stay back to play with my PDA. And then I realize - there's a fucking b'day party going on! The teenagers are doing mindless shit - like having a competition to decide who falls down to the floor while all of them start spinning around like tops! Jesus Fucking Christ! Give me a break!

I can't fucking believe my loser-of-the-millenium luck man. What am I?

Apr 1, 2010

Time to break the silence

So many things to write about, but so little time. That's the story of my life. In a nutshell, however, I can catalog it here. Here goes...


  • I'm back to being up and down. I'm going through a change of medications (antidepressants/antipsychotics/mood stabilizers etc.), perhaps I'll soon reach a stable baseline.
  • Twitter is back into my life. I'm tweeting more than ever. If you are a horny gay male bird wanting to mate with me, follow me or my alter-ego Krishna.
  • I'm watching plays and hanging out with friends more often.
  • I've finally started having my own mini bar at home. I have started out with whisky (Royal Stag), vodka (Sminnoff classic) and beer (Kingfisher Blue). If you are hunky enough, funny enough, or hung enough, please saunter into my apartment after informing me - you might just have the quiet drink of your life.
  • I have decided to not move out of my present apartment. That, ufortunately will happen next year. Or so it seems now.
  • I'm planning to join a gym! Yeah, I need to get my waist from the present 31 to past 29!
  • I've planning to buy an iPod. I want a gigantic storage space for music/videos/movies. iPod Classic?
  • I'm making plans to upgrade (in the next 6 months or so) my existing phone (Sony Ericsson P1i) into something even better! I am looking for QWERTY smartphones preferably with huge touch screens preferably on the Android platform. The options that I'm currently considering are as follows: