Dec 28, 2011

Craigie, I will miss you!

A couple of weeks back, over drinks with Joe and me, my best friend Craigie announced that he’s going to leave India and go back to the US. I wasn’t really able to sink the news in, or to have realistic estimation of how much this is going to affect my life.

Quite honestly, I still haven’t really come to terms with it. But I guess, with the abominable visa situations between the two countries, there was no other option for him. I wish him the best of luck with his life and in his search for love (which, I think he might have found just before he left India).

Tonight, he left India. In the memory of the fantastic times that I have spent with him over the years, here’s a beautiful picture of him that recently came up on Facebook. Craigie – I love you! And I will miss you!

Dec 14, 2011

Crazy. Cool. Scary.

Six days into his first visit to Mumbai, Joe made plans to go out on his own to explore the city. Not just on a cab or a rickshaw – he had plans to travel by the overcrowded suburban railway network. Mind you, he can’t speak/understand Hindi, and people can barely understand when he says things like ‘Andheri Station’.

When I left him at the apartment for work, I didn’t know how the hours were going to pass by. What if he would get lost? What if something would happen to him? What if someone swindles him?

Of course, he had a mobile phone with him and we kept in touch by SMS. Incredibly enough, the few lessons that I had given him in getting a rickshaw, deciding which train to take, and getting into the first-class compartment were enough for him to get around by himself.

I breathed a sigh of relief when I read the text message ‘Honey, I’m back home and safe. I had a wonderful day out in the city’ at around 5 pm.

I can’t explain how proud I was. My baby had done the almost impossible! I gave him a big fat hug and a long kiss when he greeted me at the door when I came back home from work. He deserved it!

Dec 13, 2011

It was showing on my face

When I got back to work after the long weekend, happiness was apparently evident on my face. Everyone was asking me questions about how Joe was, how things were etc. Of course, I had a lot of work, and I couldn’t explain everything to them. But still, I’m sure they understood that I was very happy.

Yes, I’m happy. Very happy.

Dec 11, 2011

The first weekend

So, we sink right in to each other, literally. No major issues apart from the fact that I’m rather overwhelmed by the kindness and affection, which I have longed for so long. I had taken an off on Friday to make this a three-day weekend.

So, we do South Mumbai Friday, visiting all the usual destinations and settling for a late lunch at LĂ©opold's. I was amazed to know that Joe wasn’t aware of the terror attacks on the city three years back. I tried to give him some background as to why the Indian public might not really dig the idea of a white person photographing their city (thanks to David Headley and Slumdog Millionaire). Then, we met my best friend Craigie and had a fun night out at a bar, where as usual, Craigie made the waiters blush with his antics. We also learned how Chicken Lollipops are made.

On Saturday, we do the essential American grocery shopping at Hypercity in the morning, again with the ever resourceful Craigie, settle to stay in for the rest of the afternoon, and go out for a romantic candle-lit dinner in the evening, where Joe tastes authentic Indian cuisine for the first time. Not bad, I thought. I realize that he’s not the kind to like extremely spicy/hot food.

On Sunday, it was newspapers + coffee + breakfast in the morning, followed by Joe’s first experience of watching a cricket match – the India v WI ODI. It went rather well, I thought. Joe showed some interest in understanding cricket, but like a typical American, was clueless about it in the first place. The most memorable part of the day was smoked cheese over crackers along with beer.

By the way, Joe is a fantastic cook and he loves cooking for me. He’s not as much of a drinker as I am but joins in. He also doesn’t hate cricket and loves hanging out. Things look good so far.

Dec 10, 2011

Americanization complete

Joe brought me the following cool things to make me more Americanized.

  • An uber-cool hip flask to carry my alcohol in. Now, I can be fashionable while sipping my cheap, blended, Indian scotch.
  • A New Orleans Saints jacket, which is a tad bigger and thicker than what I had hoped for. Although I’m not much into American football, this will give me added ‘weight’ about getting to know ‘real’ America.
  • A bottle of Jim Beam bourbon, which I’m going to save as much as I can, so that I can savor it for a long period. How much ever I might like sipping whiskey neat, Joe makes a fantastic cock-tail with it, with 7-up and cherries.

Dec 9, 2011

Joe arrives

I must have grown more mature, more cautious, and more realistic. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to do what I did yesterday. Joe arrived after a 24-h flight to the Mumbai airport. The flight was delayed and I hadn’t heard from him from Delhi.

Yet, I didn’t panic. My heart was not in my mouth. In fact, I kept a pretty calm head, probably distracted by the highlights of Sehwag’s fastest double century still being shown on television screens at the airport terminal that the flight was supposed to arrive at.

After an hour delay, I finally saw him going through the process of collecting his luggage and taking a loo break. He was obviously unaware that I could see him through the glass. He looked just like he looked on Skype. And finally when he walked out and saw me, I was greeted by a smile of honest satisfaction of having accomplished something improbable.

Yes, it was just over 10 weeks since we had met (September 26). It was crazy of us to meet so soon for so long (6 weeks). But going by the way the first supposedly-anxious moments went by, I think this will turn out to be an enjoyable experience.

Oh by the way, he’s by far the only interesting person that I have dated/seen/had a relationship with who’s almost as tall as me. That makes me happy in an desi way.

Dec 8, 2011

Kapil Sibal – are you nuts?

Read this and this to get an idea about what Mr. Sibal has been talking about. And then read the brilliant article about the same issue here.

On one hand, Mr. Sibal is saying that he doesn’t want to impede freedom of speech and on the other, he believes that social media websites should screen user content and delete what is ‘offensive’, according to what the Government tells them.

Really, who’s to decide what’s offensive and what’s not? Such things are subjective and I think Sibal threating to censor postings of users itself is ‘offensive’ to the free-thinking public. So…

Don’t you think we are heading closer and closer to the situations in China and/or North Korea if this is implemented?

I want to end this with a gem of a tweet from Sidin Vadukut - @sidin: Kapil Sibal is an idiot. RT while this is still legal.

Dec 7, 2011

Should you be practicing right now?

If you are a musician (and even if you aren’t), you should follow this flow chart. Thanks to my dear friend Mike Perry who shared this on Facebook.

I hope this inspires all of us to practice more.

Dec 6, 2011

iPhone 4S: apple fanaticism or true technological masterpiece?

I had a conversation with Vinokur, my ex boyfriend. During the whole duration of the conversation, he told me how impressive iPhone 4S actually is. He said that it’s just the right size, ergonomical, user friendly, intuitive, beautiful, and just a must-buy gadget.

He even contrasted it with Motorola Razr, which he used for a few weeks after he lost his iPhone 3 and before iPhone 4S was available commercially. He thought was the Razr was a piece of trash and Android was not even close to competing with iPhone and iStore for apps.

I was left wondering whether all this is true. I trust his judgment almost blindly, but I think he might be a little biased. After all, he upgrades his iMac every time a better model releases and has a few iPods and a Macbook. As my friend put it, “Seems like a severe case of Apple Fanboy, currently incurable.”

I need to buy a new phone soon. Despite the fact that I love physical QWERTY keypads, I am considering to buy a full touch-screen phone just because all the good, new models don’t have such a keypad. So, I’m still considering the iPhone 4S as an option in spite of its enormous price tag.

Dec 5, 2011

Depeche Mode – Walking in My Shoes

Few artists have inspired me more in recent times than Depeche Mode. I’m going to plug in a few songs of theirs as and when I am inspired to do so. Today, I’m going to present to you the brilliant ‘Walking In My Shoes.’
I would tell you about the things
They put me through.
The pain I've been subjected to.
But the Lord himself would blush.
The countless feasts laid at my feet,
Forbidden fruits for me to eat.
But I think your pulse would start to rush.
Now I'm not looking for absolution,
Forgiveness for the things I do.
But before you come to any conclusions -
Try walking in my shoes,
Try walking in my shoes.
You'll stumble in my footsteps,
Keep the same appointments I kept.
If you try walking in my shoes.
If you try walking in my shoes.
Morality would frown upon,
Decency look down upon.
The scapegoat fate's made of me.
But I promise now, my judge and jurors,
My intentions couldn't have been purer.
My case is easy to see.
I'm not looking for a clearer conscience,
Peace of mind after what I've been through.
And before we talk of any repentance -
Try walking in my shoes.
Try walking in my shoes.
You'll stumble in my footsteps,
Keep the same appointments I kept.
If you try walking in my shoes.
If you try walking in my shoes.
Try walking in my shoes.
Now I'm not looking for absolution,
Forgiveness for the things I do.
But before you come to any conclusions -
Try walking in my shoes.
Try walking in my shoes.
You'll stumble in my footsteps,
Keep the same appointments I kept.
If you try walking in my shoes.
Try walking in my shoes.
If you try walking in my shoes.
Try walking in my shoes.

I believe this song has a religious background and although I don’t really endorse that, it’s virtually exactly what I want to say to the people who insist that I have wronged in my life path. So before you make any judgments, try walking in my shoes. I’ll smile when you stumble.

Dec 4, 2011

Hallelujah, freedom after all!

This post might be offensive to many. May be most. But I don’t mean it that way. I’m being honest about what I feel. I feel liberated as if the heaviest burden has been lifted off my shoulders. Of course, this is related to my previous post titled ‘If you have lived alone for a long time, stay that way’.

So, my parents left for home this morning. And I’m really happy that they did. No offense to them. My apartment is tiny and we really don’t get along well. They were fabulous during their stay and although I did my best to cope with the situation, I didn’t do much with them. In fact, I tried to avoid them as much as possible. That’s the honest truth.

I believe my Mom enjoyed her stay in Mumbai than my Dad and she’s already making plans to come back and have her knees operated in Mumbai. But before she can, I need to make sure that I have a big enough apartment where I can get my own private space so that I don’t feel claustrophobic again.

Mom and Dad – I love you as much as I possibly can. But really, we need(ed) more room to make this work.

Dec 3, 2011

Bobby, the Beautiful

One of my best friends – let me rephrase that – my best friend in Mumbai - has this hilarious idea of a YouTube show centered around a character called ‘Bobby, the Beautiful.’ During our hangout in the last few weeks, he’s been telling me a lot about his ideas for the show. I am really excited about this.

I can’t tell you any more details other than the fact that show, if and when it takes off, will be hilarious. If you know who I’m talking about, please encourage him to get started!

Dec 2, 2011

Dysfunctional families

I’m sure everyone thinks that they belong to a dysfunctional family. I believe that more dysfunctional relationships exist in families than elsewhere. The more I think of it, the more I believe that this might be true.

Think about it. In any other relationship, people are brought together because they are interested in something that is common to them. The key word here is ‘interested.’ In families, people are together because of ‘relations’ and most probably, they have nothing in common except for this ‘relation’.

Relationships need this commonality of interest to flourish. That’s why friendships stay - if you work on them - whereas familial relationships bite the dust. This is true in my case. I don’t have any truly ‘healthy’ relationship with any of my family members.

What’s your opinion?

Dec 1, 2011

Social media updates and work

Read this first.

So, people get fired if they state something negative about their work environment. Workplaces are also penning in clauses in the contract to avoid defamation by their employees. But doesn’t this go both ways?

What if an employee wants to say something good about the employer? If that can be allowed, then the opposite should also be allowed.

In my own case, I use humor and sarcasm in every aspect of my social life. Once, I was warned to not repeat some clever sarcastic wordplay because my ‘then’ manager thought that it was inappropriate.

So, I’m confused.