Friday, December 28, 2007

Merry Christmas

I had the loveliest time this Christmas season. It all started off on Wednesday the 20th. I had a three day weekend and my uncle offered to buy me a flight ticket so I could spend the weekend in Hyderabad. Wonderful uncle, no? To make things even better, by Thursday night I finished off the paper I was working on, so I didn’t need to work on the weekend either.

My flight to Hyderabad, which was supposed to take off at 10.30pm finally took off only at 1.30 am! I had been checking the flight timings on the net and the phone so I went to the airport only past midnight, but there were some poor souls who had been sitting in the airport and waiting for their flight from 9.30pm. This is my second flight on JetLite and I must say I’m very disappointed. Both this flight and the earlier one I took, from Delhi to Bangalore, were delayed by over 3 hours. I am willing to forgive this delay - given the fog and the holiday season traffic, all flight are getting delayed – but what really pisses me off is that even for such long delays they don’t bother to call and inform their passengers! Extremely inconsiderate and annoying.

*Ends rant*

So I reached Hyderabad only at 2.30 am Thursday night/ Friday morning and my poor uncle had to wake up in the middle of the night to come and pick me up. But the weekend went off beautifully. I met up with Gundu over coffee at CCD, went shopping with Swetha, watched Taare Zameen Par with Gundu, Swetha and Shruti, and ate pastries at Vacs. I also managed to fit in a visit to Tangering, my favouritest salon in the world. I also spent time at home with the family, and slept a lot and watched a lot of television.

Oh, and the food! The food. Sigh. I hogged on dosas every morning. I had egg cooked the way I like it. I had ‘chamadumpalu’ fry. I had pulao and home made spicy chicken curry. And my aunts’ famous custard. Such joy, I tell you!

So that was a lovely (and inexpensive) weekend. On Monday, JapBoy and I went to M’s place for a Christmas party (I love using these nicks). M has this little terrace in which she put out mats and mattresses, with a coal fire in between to keep us all warm. They had done up the place with fairy lights and a pretty little Christmas tree too. There was wine, good food and interesting people. I had the loveliest time, and was loath to go home – in fact, JapBoy had to drag me out of there.

I had invited friends over for a Christmas lunch, but I woke up late, and then we changed the venue to Nike’s place for various reasons. So I bought the supplies and rushed over there, where Savvy was waiting. She looked quite dubious when she saw that it was all raw materials I had in hand, but she soon rolled up her sleeves and took charge of the Paneer Tikki. Nike cooked the chicken and I cooked the pulao. BJ cut the onions and cried. Muggu helped all of us. And we had a lovely Christmas lunch – though Savvy had to rush and couldn’t taste the fruits of our efforts.

In the evening we went over the Brigade Road, which was all lit up and traffic less. People were walking up and down Brigade Road wearing the Santa caps, and there was a very festive atmosphere in the air. I gawked at the lights and soaked in the atmosphere. I also though of gifting myself shoes I had been longing after for a, uhm, well, long while – but I was on a tight budget and the shopkeeper was not very co-operative so I walked away empty handed. ( I still long for those shoes desperately…New Years is coming up though).

And then we ate ice cream and picked up food and went home and played cards late into the night.

So that was my Christmas - close friends, good food and lots of fun

Monday, December 03, 2007

In the devil's workshop today

I noticed this at a parking lot at my friends’ place - a car which says ‘FKCCI President’ and has an AP registration. Now FKCCI stands for Federation of Karnataka Chambers of Commerce and Industry. The current president is a Mr. S.S. Patil (not a Telugu name), who is the Chairman of a group of industries based out of Gulbarga. So it beats me as to why his car has an AP registration, given that it is a fairly new car, and it is unlikely that he has only recently moved to Karnataka.

Any ideas?

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

You know an ad has made a mark when... a game of word building, to the word 'dog', a 7 year old child responds immediately 'Hutch'!

Hutch, O&M....take a bow (pun intended)!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Oh, that grumpy girl again!

I’m extremely put out right now. First, I haven’t been feeling well at all. I was ill most of July. It was the sickest I’ve ever been in my whole life, and I was in that condition for close to 2 weeks. When I recovered from that, I got some extremely painful mouth ulcers. And when I’m done with that, I now have a bad cold and lots of wheezing. There’s this room in my aunt’s place which usually brings on the wheezing and I stupidly slept there for the last 2 nights so now I have a bad cold and that scary feeling of breathlessness.

The cold started yesterday morning and I thought it would pass. But today, I woke up in the middle of the night because I had difficulty breathing. So I shifted out on the diwan in the living room but it wasn’t much better. So I took medicine and it helped to ease my breathing but I had a fairly restless night and while I’m breathing easier now, I still have a bad cold and the wheeze remains.

To top it all, I’ve been having a long drawn out quarrel with N for the last few days. I don’t like long drawn out quarrels at all – I’m quick to get angry, and I’m equally quick to forgive. But this time, he doesn’t even seem sorry, he has been committing the same (or similar) crime for the last few days without any attempt at appeasing me, he thinks I’m creating a big deal out of nothing, and he thinks HE is the aggrieved party in the quarrel. It’s like I’m speaking in another language because I just can’t get through him at all.

It’s extremely frustrating because if I say anything more, I will be accused of overreacting. But no heed is paid to what I’ve already said, and no effort is made to make up for HIS mistakes. I’m majorly pained, angry, frustrated and fed up – but I’m trying hard not to let the anger show and be atleast normal, if not nice, which also that man doesn’t appreciate – and it is completely draining me out.

So I decided to turn to G for, well, an ear into which I can put out all my troubles in minute detail. Instead he thinks it’s a very silly little quarrel, he all but finds it amusing, he thinks I should adjust (WTF!) and he is more concerned that I learn to eat a sub the right way than about my quarrel. So much for friends! Hmphh. (Though to be fair, I did feel a lot better when I met up with G, for he really empathises and listens and tries to understand).

And then my Mom calls me to ask me why I’m spending so much. Now I am a wild spendthrift but as long as I don’t keep checking my account balance and keeping a tab on my expenses, I can live on happily. But the rare times I check my account to see how much I have already spent that month, a gloom descends on me and I make resolutions of thrift which I’m incapable of sticking too. So I’m already sad that I have been so wildly careless with my wallet the last couple of months, and that I’m quite nearing bankruptcy when my Mom calls me, during work hours, to remind me of the same thing.

But what makes me madder still is that she checked my bank statement (well, she works in the bank and can access my account statement). I SO do not approve of that. In fact, it makes me see red. It’s the only bank I’ve been using all my life, and its now my salary account but I think I’m going to open an account in another bank and transfer funds each month. I don’t need Mom calling me up to check on why and where I’ve been blowing up all the money, my conscience is enough trouble as it is.

Now I’ve moved out of my apartment and am staying at my aunt’s place till I move to Bangalore. Now the advantage of this is that I get to eat good, home cooked food which should boost up my health (I suspect that my recent spate of health issues is simply because of my extremely unhealthy eating habits). I also get to watch TV which does not translate into K serials, like it did in my apartment, and it’s good to go home to people you love (which wasn’t what I felt for my roommates though we mostly got along peacefully) at the end of the day.

But the major downside is that an auto ride from there to office costs 100 bucks one way! It takes well over an hour to reach work in the morning, because of the insane traffic, and I’m now late all the time. And it’s very difficult to get autos on my way home because its so far off and they wont get return fare. I can’t even meet up with friends after work because the later it is, the more difficult it is to get autos.

To top it all, my boss isn’t confirming a date for my move to Bangalore. He had earlier mentioned 10th, though he said he would follow up with the partner in the Bangalore office for a confirmation, so I made all my plans accordingly. Now with 10th being hardly 2-3 days away and no handover of any projects happening, I guess its highly unlikely I will be moving so soon. And the longer I take to move, the more frustrated I will get with the transport issues I am facing right now.

I’m one very grumpy, pained girl right now. I shall now go home and sulk and rant to glory. Gah!.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Life on the Streets

Today, I came across a Blank Noise Project which asked women to share their experiences of street sexual harassment or eve teasing. I read with horror about how so many women faced so many instances of being groped, slid against, fondled, had to put up with lascivious stares and rude comments.

As someone who was born and brought up in a small city, I never had to face much of this. My parents gave me quite a bit of freedom, and from a very young age I was used to walking to school and back home alone or with a friend, after my parents made sure I was given a proper ‘security briefing’ – don’t talk to strangers, don’t accept anything from strangers, don’t walk close to parked cars (this after a child in the neighbourhood was snatched into a waiting car) and such stuff which all children must be aware of.

But beyond that, Vizag was relatively a very safe place, and not just for women and there was a wonderful sense of security which I now realize a lot of teenage girls might missed out on. The first instance of eve teasing I remember was when I was 12. My uncle and I were waiting at the lobby of a cinema theatre for my Dad to join us. As my uncle vaguely looked around, a guy winked and leered at me. I was very startled, for this was the first time I had faced such behaviour. For a moment, I contemplated winking back at him just to give him a shock but decided against it and pretended to ignore it.

I started using a Kinetic when I was 15, as did most of my friends. Many of us were frequently followed, especially if we were coming back from the beach. It didn’t worry us much as the guys would mostly follow us only up to a common point and then take off in the direction of their destination. And we knew that there were dozens of people whose houses we could stop at and complain if the boys got troublesome. So most of us found it either amusing or annoying but never made us feel unsafe.

In fact, I remember 2 guys would follow 2 of my friends on their bike. When they started doing this on a daily basis, one of the girls told her dad. The next day, her dad went to his friend’s place, which was on the route which the girls took. He and his friend waited on the road till the girls came along, followed by the 2 guys. The boys were stopped, help up against the wall, and threatened that their parents and the police would be called up. The boys were made to apologise, give their phone numbers (verified with their ID cards) and sent off with a warning. The poor boys were only 16, just a year older to us, and were completely terrified – but I hope this lesson remains with them and they think a hundred times before they decide to trouble any other girl ever again.

Hyderabad was a different ball game altogether. I went to college in an auto in the morning and when returning, I’d either go by auto and take a bus and then walk home for a kilometer. Also, in the 1st year, none of my friends had their own vehicles so we did end up using public transport a lot. Surprisingly, I’ve never had any unpleasant experiences in buses, though it could be because I usually used the metro liners and absolutely refused to step into a bus unless it was not crowded and I was assured of a seat (otherwise I would be falling all over the place and creating chaos) – I simply ABHOR being in a crowd and hate strangers, even women, touching me.

So while the auto rides and buses were almost never a problem, walking on the road was a problem. I’m perfectly fine with people staring at me – a passing glance or a short stare is fine – but people were staring to the point of making me feel very uncomfortable. I felt uncomfortable just walking on the road because df these stares. And the lewd comments – most of them were mumbled in a way where you know they are talking about you but you don’t know what they are saying. And at that time, I was hopeless at catching innuendo anyway!

So I got stared at, got commented upon, had random men complimenting various parts of my anatomy, and sometimes men following or approaching me. The guys who actually followed and approached were always young and well dressed and they would stop to ask directions or some such vague thing and then move on to asking me my phone number, asking if we could be friends, wasn’t I so-and-so’s sister/friend, haven’t we met somewhere and the like.

Initially, I was very strongly affected by all this. Each incident left me totally shaken. Sadly, I got used to it and learnt to ignore the lewd stares and comments. The guys who followed were politely but firmly (or so I like to think) rebuffed and I would walk away or catch an auto to prevent their following me while I was walking.

One day, after some shopping, a friend and I were walking towards a bus stop. I was wearing cargoes and a longish shirt which covered most of my butt (now that I think of it, it was quite a sartorial mishap but at the time, it didn’t seem so bad – I guess we all have our crosses to bear!). A guy who was passing by stopped near me and said ‘Aise kapde nakko pehno. Achcha nahin lagta’ and walked away. While I do appreciate his sense of fashion, I’m fairly sure it wasn’t his aesthetic sense that was offended. I was too amazed to do anything but splutter – even after all these years, every time I think of the incident, my reaction doesn’t get much better.

So over the 1st 2 years of college, I got used to it, learnt to ignore it and live with it. It stopped bothering me and I took it for granted. That’s just how things were! In our final year, N and I walked to CAT class every alternate evening and back. And almost every time, we had somebody passing lewd comments as we passed by, reaching a hand out from a speeding bike to grope at us (though by then we had learnt to neatly sidestep such hands), stopping the bike till we came close by, following us etc.

But that year, something had changed. I was fed up with 2 years of pretending to be selectively deaf and blind. I had had enough. And I simply could not pretend to ignore anymore. And so, if someone stared, I glared back at them before walking away – I never could stare them down, such men are so creepy. If someone on a passing bike made a comment or tried to get too close, I would yell after them and fling the few pitiful verbal abuses I knew then. Of course, most of the times, the guys on the bikes just sped away but it was a beginning, and it was better than being silent.

N wasn’t much support – she would pull my hand and whisper in my ear not to say anything and pretend to ignore. As a consequence, I was careful – I mostly did my yelling on well lit streets filled with people and a few times even tried yanking hands which tried reaching out to grope at us. In fact, once a bike cut too close to us and then went ahead – if they had hit us, I would have been hurt – I was furious and yelled at the top of my voice at them. The guys stopped and turned back towards us, and that got me a little worried for we couldn’t even run away – but they just came to us and said sorry and left!!!

When we were walking back from class the road wasn’t well lit and mostly deserted so I would fall into ignore mode on that road. But one day, 2 guys on a bike passed a comment at us while we were walking on that road and I yelled back some abuse at them. The guys stopped slightly ahead and waited for us to approach. N was quite scared by then, and very angry at me, and was hissing at me under her breath. It was quite an anti-climax, however, for our conversation went like this:

They: What was it you just said? Why did you say that?
Me: Well, didn’t you say something to us earlier? Why did you say that? I just responded to that.
They: Hey, we didn’t say that to you
Me: Then I wasn’t saying it to you either.

We stared at each other in for a few seconds in frosty silence, then they shrugged and left. N and I were relieved, though I felt fairly foolish at how juvenile our exchange was while I was thinking of myself as quite the heroine!

In my 2 years in Bangalore, I haven’t had a single such experience. I didn’t even get stared at. After being so used to Hyderabad, my first few weeks in Bangalore I actually wondered why I wasn’t getting stared at. I mean, the only criterion you need to fulfill for a bunch of pathetic lewd fuckers to stare at you is that you need to be female. Of course, those 2 years of no eve teasing on the streets in Bangalore is mostly because I lived on campus and went out only occasionally, when I did go out it was almost always with a bunch of others, and we went out mostly to malls, cinemas, clubs and restaurants, in up-market areas where such incidents are less likely to occur than on the road.

But apart from these reasons, Bangalore definitely feels much safer than Hyderabad in this respect. I guess the stares and lewd comments are inevitable in either city. However, I’ve never had such an experience in Bangalore and though I expect I will come across some once I move to the city and start living there, I’m betting my bottom dollar that it wont be as all pervasive as in Hyderabad.

Today, after reading that blog, I realized how immune I have become to such behaviour in this city. While waiting for the auto, I got stared at by almost every guy who passed by me, a few of them passing comments at me, and the same damn thing happened when I got off the auto and was about to enter Eat Street. I realized that I noticed it today only because I was reading the blog – it happens every single day – and it’s not like I ignore or pretend not to notice, I just don’t notice it any more because I’ve become so immune to it.

The worst case of street sexual harassment I ever faced was when one day, at a little before 9pm, I was walking towards the main road from my flat. 3 youngsters on a bike who were on the alley to my flat started following me. I wasn’t too worried really – I kept to the side of the road, kept an eye on them and talked on the phone while walking. They would go ahead and come back, and stare and pass comments and I was annoyed but since it wasn’t a well lit or crowded street (there were very few people on the street), I decided to ignore and continue walking.

And then, just a few metres from the main road, they disappeared. I was relieved, hung up the phone and continued walking. Suddenly, they came up behind me and 2 pairs of hands groped at me – one from behind and one in front. For a split second I was too stunned to react. And then I started hitting out my with both my hands – face, hands, I couldn’t see and didn’t care – I just hit out wildly. I even kicked out my legs but in all that confusion, I didn’t think to raise them and kick them so I ineffectively kicked at their bike.

And I screamed, like a woman possessed. I think they took off the moment the scream reached some volume and the whole thing couldn’t have lasted more than a few seconds, though it seemed like forever to me. I was completely shaken and was close to trembling and crying. I somehow controlled myself and went on my way.

Some weeks later, at about 6.30am, S and I were walking along this road when these same guys started following us around again. This time, I knew what to expect so we stopped by the side and picked up a hand full of stones and stood. Meanwhile, S made a note of their vehicle number while I took out my phone ready to make a call. At that, they disappeared and I have never seen them on these roads in the many months since. I debated over whether to inform the police and lodge a complaint, now that I had the vehicle number but decided I would do it if they appeared on these streets again. They didn’t and the matter rested at that.

Today, when I walk on the road, I’m always wary if I feel a vehicle is coming too close and step even more to the side. I keep glancing over my shoulder all the time. I hate those guys for making me feel so insecure about walking on the road, even the road to my own house. I wonder if I should have reported those guys, but the decision has been made.

And my experiences have been few and far between, and fairly minor, when compared to what many many women I know had to go through, and I’m talking only of street harassment or eve teasing, not even anything beyond. And yet, I feel so violated, so insecure and unsafe.

The Blank Noise blog has some wonderful stories from the women about how they fought back street sexual harassment, in ways small and big. From glaring down lechers, to using a safety pin in public transport to keep groping hands away, to women coming together and beating up and offender, to putting him in jail. There are so many ways in which these brave women have taken steps so that these men think many times before they do such a thing again. In a way, they are war stories.

The stories were also a timely reminder not to take eve-teasing for granted. I don’t need to live with it – I can fight it and make a difference, even if it is only a drop in the ocean. I WILL NOT fear walking down my own street just because I have breasts. For every time I let one of these assholes get away with a dirty stare, a lewd remark or a hasty grope, there will be many more who will suffer the same thing. All it takes is a little bit of courage, the right amount of fury and some foolhardiness.

To those of you reading this blog (leave me to my wishful thinking, I say), the next time you are being eve-teased, don’t ignore it and walk away. React in any way you can, however small it may be. Glare at the lewd starer till he looks away, make an obvious show of jotting down the number of the vehicle that stops waiting for you to approach it (that should be enough to make sure he speeds away), carry a pin with you in a bus to jab at groping hands, create a scene if you can. It will make a difference – maybe the guy will hesitate a little before he reaches out his hand again in the bus as he remembers the safety pin jab, maybe he will think twice before he brushes against some other girl as he remembers the embarrassing scene you created – in some way, it makes a difference.

P.S:- And if you are going to respond saying 'Men face adam-teasing/ street sexual harassment too', I will summarily delete that comment. Yes, I AM autocratic - after all, this is my blog. And I'm so sick and tired of that arguement. I mean, if I talk about the problem of AIDS in Africa, are you going to come up to me and say 'Yes, but people in the US also suffer from AIDS. Why don't you talk about that?'. Dude, it's not an arguement at all, get it?

Thursday, June 21, 2007

The makings of a shirkaholic

This template quite suits me and my blog, methinks. Most pretty. I'm quite delighted with this template and this I will keep for much longer. I've also (kinda) figured out how to play with the fonts and colours, in case I am bored, so I am feeling rather proud of myself as I survey my blog's new and pretty look. I'm not so much into pink for blog colours you know - I like pink but no, not for my blog because it makes me think I should change my writing style, so I'd rather change the colour.

And yeah, finally, managed to add links to other blogs - which has been this blog's lifelong aspiration, I solemnly assure you. No, really. So if you want me to add your blog to your blog roll (ha!! you say?), do let me know. I'll only be most delighted. Though I suspect I'm more likely to have the people I've already added come and tell me to remove their blog from my blogroll. Gah!

Anyway, this was the conversation between a colleague and me sometime before lunch today –

Me: Today is Thursday, no? Hmm…I wish today were not a Thursday.

P: Why? You don’t like Thursdays?

Me: No. It’s just that Thursdays is Aloo Tikki or Paneer Tikka.

P: Paneer Tikka.

Sigh. This is what happens to people when they eat at Subway too often.

I’ve lost all motivation for work these days, and I do hope none of the bosses are reading this, or yours truly is bound to get the pink slip. So I leave everything for the last minute and then submit it hurriedly. I open a document to read it and while I am reading it, turning pages, my mind is elsewhere. I start to write reports but even after an hour, barely half a page is done. And before I know it, its 7pm and I haven’t done anything at all. I feel most guilty and mortified and decide that I will go home and complete it – if I do manage to open my laptop once I’m home, I fall asleep within minutes of doing so (though if I’m reading a book or watching television, I can stay up all night).

And then, I’m so ashamed of myself and so guilt ridden that I wake up bright and early the next morning, determined to work so hard that I’ll finish the entire week’s pending work in this one day. But again and again, it is the same story, day in and day out. And when people all around me are discussing work, drawing complicated diagrams on the board, firing printouts, exchanging important reports on pen drives while I sit and stare blankly at the many, many windows open on my system, my ears go red, my heart beats wildy and I fear they will all find out my dark secret and surely, I will be ostracized, maybe even excommunicated.

After pondering for many days on why I am like this, I have come to the conclusion that I need 2 things – a BREAK and a CHANGE. I’m getting my BREAK soon (and it couldn’t be soon enough) for I’m off to Calcutta this Saturday, where I will join the family to proceed towards Sikkim (bounces around room in joy). My dad says he is already practicing to be his annoying best so that we all heartily regret planning this trip at all and then literally blackmailing him into coming.

As for the CHANGE, I don’t want a change from my job really. Because there is a lot of variety in the project we do so I’m quite happy with my work actually. But I’ve been in Hyderabad for over a year now, and it’s the same old routine and I’m most bored with it. Sure, I have lots and lots of friends here, and its very cheap here and all that jazz but I’d really like to move out and experience life in another city because I’ve only lived in Hyderabad ever since I left home.

Well, yes, I did live in Bangalore too but living on campus in a city is not the same as living in the city. So Bangalore wouldn’t be a bad place to try out. I also loved Mumbai when I went there a couple of months ago, for the weekend. There is SO MUCH to do in that city, and so many people to do it with. So I was vacillating between Bangalore and Mumbai but finally settled on the former.

It took me well over a month to gather the courage to tell my boss that I wanted to move to Bangalore. I tried presenting a strong case for me to move, but I’m sure he thought it was rather immature of me. So he said that he and the Partner in Hyderabad were going to Bangalore and meeting the senior people there for a ‘Discussion on Resources’. Now he is back from The Discussion and I need to gather the courage to go and ask him about the outcome and my fate.

Oh, I will be most broken hearted if I am not to go to Bangalore. Ever since telling my boss that I wanted to move, I’ve been planning out my move to Bangalore. I will stay in a PG so I get to eat atleast one decent meal a day. And I will go for dance classes after work or on weekends – not the ubiquitous salsa, for I have my heart set on learning belly dancing or getting back into the Bharatnatyam groove. And I will enroll for weekend language courses (French/German/ Spanish).

Now if only I could go down and ask my boss.

Monday, June 18, 2007

So much to do, so little time

I don’t know if I mentioned it on my blog before but a few months ago I was working on a Big Life-changing Personal Project, henceforth called BLPP I was quite secretive about it then because I didn’t want anyone to know what I was working on in case it didn’t work out but since it did, I cant quite be stopped from announcing the news from the rooftop.

I have an offer of admission from the London School of Economics and Political Science, no less, to study the MSc Development Management. Mucho awesomeness methinks. See, when I was in college, I thought if I couldn’t make into one of the IIM’s I’d like to study at Oxford or Cambridge. There were 2 major reasons behind this – one was my fascination for England, and especially the aura these universities have, and the other was the almost exotic courses they offer.

So I did get into the IIM’s but I always thought I’d like to attend do course in one of the universities. Now that’s the flashback. Sometime last year, I went through the university websites, almost casually. I did want to study further, preferably something in international relations or development studies, but I had no intention of doing so until I had 2-3 years of work experience behind me. But what started as a casual glance at the websites quickly turned into a deeper interest so I outlined the courses that interested me, my chances of getting into them, course reputation, faculty, future opportunities etc. and finally went ahead and applied.

I applied to M.Sc Global Governance and Diplomacy in Oxford but sadly didn’t get through. I also applied to M.Sc Forced Migration in Oxford but I don’t really want to do the course – I just applied because I could use the same material as the earlier course. So Oxford is ruled out. My only other application was to LSE. I first applied for the M.Sc in Social Policy and Development and got an offer. However, my first interest lay in the M.Sc Development Management course but since it’s a very competitive course, I didn’t think I’d get through and didn’t apply.

However, LSE has this wonderful system where you can change your course after you have an offer. If you don’t get through the new course you opted for, you can always take up your original offer. I was very pleased about this of course, and applied to DevMan and actually got through. I am most most most kicked about this cause Dev Man is a very popular and competitive course – in fact, it is the 3rd course to get filled up and close applications, among the LSE masters courses, after International Relations and Global Politics.

The only nagging worry I have, though, is that I got a mail from Dev Man saying my application has been accepted but I need to decline the SPD offer first in order for them to make an offer. So now it’s been like a month since I declined the SPD offer and haven’t yet received the formal offer letter by post from Dev Man. I’ve mailed them but no response yet so I am kind of worried.
Anyhoo, while my offer is for the September 2007 entry, I won’t be joining this year because I just don’t have the money for it and LSE is VERY expensive. I didn’t apply to scholarships this year for a number of reasons and I don’t really want to take a loan unless I get atleast partial funding, especially since I don’t think I’d be living abroad after the course but coming back to India. So I’m hoping to defer my offer to September 2008 entry, apply more wisely and early to Oxford once again, and give the scholarships my best shot.

I’m also not sure if I want to take a loan and pursue the course if I don’t get any funding. I don’t mind doing it only if I think I’ll live abroad for a year or two after I complete the course. So it all boils down to whether I’m ready to live abroad for 1-2 years after the course, in case I don’t get the scholarship.

So that was the BLPP and once it was successfully completed, I was left feeling pretty aimless on that front for a while now. However, just a few weeks ago, I have started on BLPP 2. It’s taking up as much time and effort as the earlier one and promises to bring about significant changes to my life. This means that every morning I check my mail with sky high expectations for ‘the mail that will change my mail’ but it looks like that mail is going to be a long time coming - not that I really mind because the wait is part of the pleasure.

Anyways, for a number of reasons I need to keep BLPP 2 top secret but am hoping that something will materialize in a month or two. But since I’m an impatient and excitable girl, I can’t really sit around twiddling my thumbs - so I have undertaken another Small Not-so-life-changing Personal Project which shall not have any acronym. I’m going to take part in an essay writing competition with two others. Now I can hear all the sniggering and scoffing, I can, but this is no ordinary essay competition – the prizewinners from last year are all professors, senior guys in think thanks, PhD’s and whatnots – but we are 3 of us who will work on it for the next 3 months and even though we are most unlikely to win anything at all, we will pretend that we have an equally good chance because then it will give us something to do and look forward to.

So that’s how life is right now. There’s lots happening, there’s a lot more in the offing, everything is in a state of flux, I’m reveling in the endless possibilities and the uncertainty of it all. It almost makes up for the utmost rottenness of having to spend summers in Hyderabad AND miss out on munjulu. Dayymnn. But I’m going on a holiday to Darjeeling and Sikkim next week with the family, so all is right with the world – for now.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Truths for Today - Long Rant Post

Warning: Personal rant post which swings from cynical to emotional to clichéd. Proceed further at your own risk.

Some words of wisdom that have been brought home to me today, which I wish to share with others. Do not that I’m not always completely serious.

1. Life sucks, sometimes! It has nothing to do with how you are as a person – it’s always because of your boss, or your family, or your partner or your friends. And since we cannot change anything about them, on those days life sucks accept it. You can try cheering up by eating ice cream, watching a movie, reading a book or talking to your mom. Alternatively, you can make the most of your misery by listening to sad songs, bitching about everyone and writing long rant posts.

2. This is for women only: Men are pigs, all of them, all the time. A good solution could be to see if you are lesbian, I believe that would help. If you’re not, you just have to accept it and move on. Do NOT try and change them for they cannot and will not change. It’s just the way men are so one can’t do anything about it. But please to keep this advice in mind if you are unfortunately falling in love – the man you’re in love with might be handsome, understanding, caring, sensitive, honest, rich, powerful, loyal – but he is a pig, nonetheless.

3. Never let most of your happiness be dependent on one entity. This entity could be work, family, partner, a hobby, money or friends but when you put yourself in a position where a large part of your happiness depends on just one of these entities, you are likely paving your way for future misery. So spread yourself and your passion among all these. You’ll be surprised to see how much you can give and receive from each of these and yet not become vulnerable.

4. Having said the above point, don’t give up on love. I know loving someone more often than not ends up hurting you, more so in the case of romantic love than platonic love. But even if you’re hurt, don’t lose trust and give up on love. Don’t stop loving your work just because you had to do one crappy project recently. Don’t love your family any less just because your parents…well, you know all those awful things parents sometimes do that makes you wish that you were born to another family in some other planet?

5. Remember to live for yourself sometimes. Tell your boss that you don’t want to work on a certain project if you don’t want to. Tell your friends that you will not go shopping with them today because all you want to do is curl up in bed with a book. Tell your partner to hang out with friends or family tonight because you want to meet your old school friend for dinner tonight. And since most times, our parents live for us rather than themselves, encourage them to take time out for themselves once in a while (well, you could buy an SOTC trip to Europe or something for them).

Finally, a secret tip I discovered – as clichéd as it may sound, when you’re unhappy, try doing something for charity. It can brighten your day, even if the happiness is only short lived.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Undergoing a Quarter Life Crisis

So a friend sent us this wikipedia article on the phenomenon called the ‘Quarter Life Crisis’ and at the end of it was a online journal entry on a guy who experiences QLC when he goes to buy a desk at Ikea. Strong funda and brilliant article -

Essentially the QLC is similar to the mid-life crisis – except that it is something that people in their 20’s go through. So it comes with it’s own set of characteristics. But I will also say that right now, QLC is tougher because, as goes this movie dialogue I read somewhere ‘you’re too young and insignificant (and poor, I may add), to buy a sports car and run off with your secretary! Also because it doesn’t have the recognition and acceptance that mid-life crisis has.

But ultimately, it’s tougher because it’s me who is going through this!!

So it’s because of QLC that a lot of us in our 20’s are frustrated with our relationships, with our jobs, with our friends and with our pay packets (oh well, I’ll admit that the frustration with the pay packets is regardless of age). That’s why there is a sense of disappointment, a sense of insecurity, of wanting more, of not knowing what one wants and other such vague ideas and emotions that most 20 year olds go through.

All my life, in school and in college, the next was clear. In school, when a year seemed much much longer than it is now, what I looked forward to in life was simple enough. In pre-kindergarten, I couldn’t wait to get to kindergarten just so I could get a coloured belt with my uniform. In kindergarten, I couldn’t wait to go to the 1st grade to escape my teacher. In 2nd standard, I was desperate to move to the 3rd standard so I could walk home on my own.

And so on it went over the years – each year, there was something to look forward to in the near future. And it made life exciting and wonderful and filled with dreams. In the 10th, we were all deluded into believing that the board results would determine our future so then we spent our entire year looking forward to the rest of our year. In +2, there was college to dream about and look forward to. In college, there was the IIM seat to work towards.

And even in IIMB, which was probably the most carefree and non-ambitious phase of my life, there was the corporate world to look forward to (yes, we did look forward to them – don’t tell me anymore now!). And suddenly, we are in jobs and there isn’t really anything to look forward to. I mean, yeah, there is the monthly pay slip, and the winning of a proposal and the bonus and all but I mean it in the BIG sense – those grand, incredible dreams.

And think of what you’re doing? I mean, I thought I’d become a reasonably well known (okay, fine, world famous) travel writer who earned money for traveling, writing and talking. I imagined my domestic life straight out of a Burlington home shopping catalogue.

I certainly didn’t see myself working on the assessment of the O&M practices of thermal power stations in West Bengal. Or making reports running into hundreds of pages, based on surveys answered by some infrastructure companies. While also managing a laptop with an incurable tendency to get stuck or shut off at the wrong time, an air conditioner which conks off with unfailing regularity, an internet connection which is more down than otherwise and other such hostile working conditions.

And the home? I didn’t dream of an apartment without furniture, a bathroom with faulty drainage, doors without bolts and a maid with an inclination to simply not turn up. So reality is vastly different from what I imagined life @ 23 to be. And yet, I’m happy. Definitely not content and not always satisfied, but mostly happy.

But I’m bewildered – when my life isn’t really close to what I want it to be, why am I happy? Shouldn’t I be striving for more? So people look for job changes, new relationships, and new cities. I decide to apply to some universities to pursue another master’s!

I also fondly indulge in thoughts of going to a gym/aerobics class so I have top-model- with-flat-stomach looks, becoming a director of great movies which no one understands and everyone appreciates, setting up a bookshop and chocolatiere (is that how it is spelt?), so I needn’t do anything but read books and eat chocolates all day. And then work it off later of course. While planning holidays to different destinations worldwide every 2 months.

But the difference this time is that I don’t believe that I’ll actually do most, or some, or even any, of this. These are just idle fantasies, to give me something to look forward to, however unlikely that is. While in our earlier days, we fully expected most of our dreams to be realized. Sighh.

Meanwhile, I will get back to applying for scholarships so that I can actually take up the course!

P.S – And for all those spoilsports who claim that QLC is just something the spoilt and self-indulgent like to imagine, well, so what’s your point?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Of birthdays

I turned 23 yesterday.

Birthdays used to be such a big deal in my childhood and it is very hard to shake off that feeling even now. Since my sisters’ birthday and mine were just 4 days apart, the entire 1-2 weeks before my birthday felt like a run up to some big festival. First came the clothes. Till my 12th birthday, I would wear a ‘pattu langa’ for all my birthday parties. So a few weeks before the birthday, Mom would take out material gifted by an aunt or some relative and ask if I liked it and wanted it stitched.
It was on rare occasions that Mom had to go and buy dress material since there was so much ‘pattu silk’ material gifted over the years to both of us skids on various occasions.
Anyways, since I didn’t have much of a taste in ‘pattu’ silk or its stitching, I went along with whatever Mom suggested. Then came my second dress which was going to be a lovely frock – all lace and satin and velvet. If Mom happened to go to Madras, Bombay or Calcutta or some other big city on work in the month or two before our birthdays, she made sure she got us dresses from there since the variety was so much wider. Sometimes, we had to buy it in Vizag only but that was a trying time for my Mom. I was especially fussy and made sure we toured every single shop in the city and checked out their stuff before I finally liked something enough to buy it.

When we were slightly older, Samee and I would like the same dress and squabble over who was going to buy it. It was unthinkable that we wore the same kind of dress for our birthdays! But then, she had the advantage that her birthday was earlier. I remember a lovely pink creation of lace and satin I wore for my 7th birthday – I think it was one of the most delicate and beautiful pieces of clothing I ever owned. It then cost a grand 400 and all the teachers in school commented on how pretty it was and everyone I knew raved over it and in all it was a very satisfying birthday.

Once the clothes were done, my Mom would take us to a cards store where we could choose to pick up our invitation cards set. Over the next couple of days, Samee and I would make a list of the people we wanted to invite for our birthdays and show it to Mom and she would edit it, usually to add relatives, family friends and neighbours. We were then asked to write the names of the invitees, the birthday date, time and venue and our own names in the invitation cards. It was such fun – and the best part was that we actually set aside 1-2 evening to go all over the neighbourhood and invite everyone.

Next on the list of things to do was the menu. Since I was easily bored and my childhood war cry was ‘Boru Koduthundhi’, my family devised various ways and means to keep me occupied. My aunt hit upon discussing my ‘birthday party menu’ whenever there was a danger of my getting bored. So when we came down to actually deciding on a menu, it was a fairly easy job and though I was made to feel like it was all my decision, I didn’t have much of a say in that matter. Once the menu was decided, Mom would take us to the bakery where we would go through endless photos of cakes while Mom would sigh but wait patiently, then fight because usually we ended up liking the same cake again and finally make a decision.

The next step was shopping for ready to eat stuff on the menu such as chips, sauce etc. And of course, toffees to be distributed in school. My secret ambition was to distribute the small 5 stars or the little mini Diary Milks which came in small boxes and were available only in imported goods stores but my Mom always refused. Then I assumed it was because it was very expensive and we couldn’t afford it so I didn’t mind at all – now I realise it was probably because my Mom was as usual following rules to the book for the school diary instructs parents to make sure children give only ‘token toffees’ (or some such very strange term that only our school could have used). Anyways, I always, every single time, bought a pack of Coffee Bite and a pack of Eclairs.

Then finally D day would arrive. I’d be woken up early in the morning and my aunt would always be the first person to call and wish me. Then I’d have a head bath, eat breakfast, wear my pretty new dress and insist on clipping my hair instead of the usual braids, and if I had stockings to wear, nothing like it and I’d set off to school. During some period before the break, the teacher would ask me to come forward and stand next to her table while the rest of the class stood up and sang ‘Happy Birthday to You’.

When I look back on that moment, over the many years, in different classrooms, with different teachers and with different classmates, I think every single time some 40 odd students in the class stood up to sing to me, I can see myself visibly puffing up. I felt so pretty in my new clothes and shoes and stockings, the teacher was smiling at me, everyone was singing for me with huge grins and everything felt just right and the way it should be. Then I’d hold up the box for the teachers to take the toffees and then distribute it to the whole class – 2 on each table, one of each kind.

Then I’d choose my best friend in the class to accompany me to do the rounds. Now this choosing of a friend always involved a lot of politics. All the girls always wanted to be called to accompany somebody on their birthday and the birthday person could take only one friend. So during the run up to the person’s birthday there would be many reaffirmations of friendship in the hope that one was going to be chosen to accompany the birthday girl. I don’t know why the honour of accompanying the birthday girl was considered a big deal – maybe we considered it an indication that we were the girls best friend and this was important at an age where we counted who had the most friends and maybe it was a public acknowledgement of the girls popularity – it is probably a sampler of the behaviour girls indulging in when a bride is choosing her bridesmaids from her friends!

Since I always had more than one equally close friend, I dreaded having to make the choice on my own birthday. To make things worse, with my birthday being almost at the end of the academic year, I would have been the ‘Chosen One’ for more than one birthday girl and they would be expecting me to return the favour. For almost every single birthday, I would request my teacher if I could take more than one and be refused, resulting in hurting some friend. But I’d quickly get over the guilt by going to the principals and then to each section of the class and the staff rooms to offer chocolates to the teachers and thank them when they inevitably commented on how pretty I looked or how lovely my dress was – we didn’t realise then that they were just being nice so we took the compliments at face value and got totally kicked about it, storing away some specially nice compliments in our memory for future recounting.

Sometimes, the birthday girl would ask the teacher in some other section to ask for her friend in that section to come up and take chocolates and the friend would come with a grin she could hide and an attitude which said ‘Look, I know the birthday girl!’. I bet none of us ever con concentrated in class when it was our birthday or even that of a friend, not that I personally concentrated in class at any other time also. So birthdays were a big, lovely, ego massaging event at school from which I came with an almost empty box of chocolates and great excitement for the party ahead.

But now I will have to rush or I’ll be late for ‘Honeymoom Travels Pvt. Ltd.’ so maybe I’ll follow up on this post some other time. Ciao, dear reader.
P.S: I just noticed that sadly, this post has a hell a lot of tense continuity errors (if there is such a term) and glaring grammatical errors. I am most upset.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Quick Update

The reviews for Salaam-e-Ishq and Parzania will have to wait – I am going to Bangalore this weekend for Unmaad and I am totally and completely thrilled about it. I’ll be meeting up with quite a few people I haven’t seen in a long time so am very much looking forward to it. Abhishek is already on campus so will get to meet after exactly a year for I met him last for Unmaad ’06.

There will be all the shows and pronites and carnival village and informals and loads of other events and all the noise and confusion and chaos. It’s just that its going to be strange to have nothing to do at Unmaad, no walkie to hold and just lounge about the place. But there will be all the bhasad and junta and it’ll be soooooooooooooooooooo much funn!! And of course L^2!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This excitement matches up to how I used to feel when, as a kid, I was about to make a train journey with a big group. Oohhh!!

Well, have a good weekend everybody. I certainly will.

Thursday, February 01, 2007

A post I will regret later for its nonsensical content

The good thing about living in Hyderabad is that it provides me with a very active social life. While I laze away at my aunts’ place during weekends, the city is teeming with friends from school and college so each day I have my hands full after work – movies, eating out, fairs, shopping. Moreover, I do frequent trips to Vizag and Bangalore. Despite these social activities, I’ve managed to get my hands on some very good books last year and read them, of course!

I have relatively laidback roommates who go out, other than to work, about once a week. When they are back from work, the cook dinner and settle down in front of the television and retire to bed early. Since I’m out after work and usually come back home quite late, after dinner outside, my interaction with them has been minimal – in the sense that we are friendly and get along comfortably but we are not friends by any stretch.

Now there are times when no one in my large circle is available because every one is tied up with something and I end up alone at home. Which is perfectly okay by me because I then join my roommates for dinner and read till I turn in. But there are these rare occasions like today – none of my friends were free and my roommate went out for dinner and I had just finished the John Updike novel I was reading so I was alone at home with absolutely nothing to do!!

As if to complete the dire scenario, there was a problem with the Hutch connection today and the line kept getting cut off or simply wouldn’t connect if I tried calling anyone. I read the newspaper, solved a couple of Sudoku puzzles, even watched TV but it was so awfully boring. And why is it that whenever I watch TV, I never get to see ‘Friends’, ‘Joey’, ‘Seinfield’ or any of the dozen or more comedy shows that I would watch!! Instead, every single bloody time I turn on the TV, I am subjected to ‘Desire: Table for Three’.

Speaking of which, that should qualify for the ‘Worst Ever TV Series’. I can’t believe Star World is promoting the damned show so much. The script is uninteresting, the dialogues sound forced, the situations are very contrived and the actors people starring in the show are guilty of the worst display of acting skills in television history.

But I’m digressing – so I was alone at home with no where to go, no one to talk to, nothing to read, nothing to watch, nothing to do and worst of all, nothing to eat either. It just about drove me crazy. And it made me think of how, when I was in school and college, I would talk to my friends on the phone for hours at a stretch.

I mean we’d just call up each other and chat forever, about everything under the sun and then some. But I’ve noticed that these days, we call up each other only to fix up meeting plans or exchange important information. If we do call up each other simply because we haven’t spoken to each other for a while, the conversation rarely lasts longer than 15 minutes. I thought my parents would be happy with this much-awaited change in me but that’s not so because now even they want to talk to me on the phone but I keep hanging up on them quite early on in the conversation.

I wonder if its because the nature of my friendships have changed and become more superficial over the years. Maybe we are just good for meeting up and having a good time together and that’s it. Or maybe I’m reading too much into what could be a general inability to indulge in pointless talk as you grow older. So maybe it’s not just me – maybe this is how most people and most friendships change over the years. Sigh!!

Well, being alone has made me type out a post I find quite boring when I’m reading it myself! But the good thing is that having something to do is actually making me quite sleepy…huh!!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Guru: Not such a Winner!

One overwhelming feeling I had after coming out of the theatre was how tough it was to make a movie spanning an entire life. Usually, the movie revolves around a particular incident or event or a time period but when your movie is about the entire life of an individual, especially one who has done a great deal, it becomes so much tougher to put in all the big moments of his life, put in his relationships, his ideas, his principles – all that make up the fabric of his life into less than 3 hours – that too, making way for songs.

I’d say Guru was a good movie, but not a great movie. Mani Ratnam has a very strong support system in the form of Rajeev Menon and Rahman. Rajeev Menon works pure magic on the screen. The visuals in the ‘Barso Re’ song are simply stunning as are some of the scenes shot in Turkey especially the mosque (or whatever the structure is) that comes in to view against a blue blue sky as Guru enters and exits the country. The colour of the film during Guru’s Turkey stint is exotic and seems quite right for the period and the location.

I could go on about the visuals - the packed, shaky feeling the train scenes give the audience, the filtering light effect at the place where Sherawat’s item number takes place, the Bombay of the 50’s, the way the look and feel of the film changes through colours and tones to reflect the passing years. Speaking of which, post-independence Bombay had trams!! That’s how it is shown in the film and it was such a surprise to me.

Another thing about Mani Ratnam’s movies is the way he blends the music into the movie. It doesn’t mean that he has only situational songs – he does have songs as inserts like ‘Barso Re’ or ‘Ek lo ek muft’- it’s the way the music is so seamlessly blended into the movie that it never comes at the wrong time. Sometimes, there is a song playing in the background and you don’t even notice it because it becomes a part of the scene. While I personally think that’s quite a wonderful way of utilising the music, Rahman’s brilliant scores are best appreciated outside the movie.

I think Mani Ratnam has always managed to get excellent performances from his actors. Abhishek is very good – good enough to let you forget for large stretches of the film that he is actually Abhishek Bacchhan and not Guru. Vidya Balan shines in the limited time she has on screen, Madhavan is quite sufficient for his role but more importantly, he looks very very good…mmm. And Mithun is simply perfect!! This is probably the only movie in which I don’t dislike Aishwarya – she isn’t all dolled up in this one and does not simper or make ‘big big eyes’ expression; in fact, she doesn’t look like Ash doll and she doesn’t revert to her standard stock of expressions which is such a mercy because she is quite decent in this movie.

And each scene is shot with such thought and such care. I especially like the little touches – when Vidya Balan guesses that Aishwarya is pregnant – it was a completely unnecessary scene but its just a little touch which makes you feel more strongly about the characters. (On a side note, it is immediately after Guru and Sujata come back from a trip to the US that we are told Sujata is pregnant – is it a hint about the reason behind the US trip? Or am I reading too much into it?).

But despite all these pluses, Guru (the movie, not the man) does not come out such a winner. I think my biggest source of dissatisfaction with the movie is that while each individual scene is beautifully crafted, the big picture is ignored. For example, I’d have really liked to know what made Guru such a success. There is nothing he has done in Turkey, with the exception of a very quick promotion, which forms a base for us to think that he is an extraordinary young man. Yes, he is quite clearly depicted as a very confident and ambitious young man but there is no substantiation as to what he has done to realise his ambitions

To continue on that point, I’d have preferred the movie to show more of the kind of struggles he went through to come up in life, obstacles he faced and how he overcame them, even if by dishonest and illegal means. It just makes it look too easy as the factory grows from strength to strength through photos. Even the scene where Guru has to meet a Minister and the manager warns him that the minister is an ‘imandaar admi’. And yet, he offers a bribe very subtly and that is it, so easy.

Then the whole quarrel between Abhishek and the Mithun-Madhavan duo is stretched out for too long. In fact, at one point I remember getting quite restless and even looking at my watch and wondering if the movie is going to move along. The fight is too long drawn out, with a pointless emotional scene in a hospital also, a part which could definitely have done with better editing. By this point, the grip of the movie has quite slackened and what’s happening on the screen sadly doesn’t seem so compelling any more.

Despite all this, I think Guru would have come out as an excellent movie if not for the climax, which was what did the movie in. All through the movie, through your hero you are glorifying ambition, the hunger to become big and rich, to do anything to achieve your ambitions. And then, in the last 5 minutes, precisely, you make it sound like your doing some public service to help the country become a bigger power. I’d just like to think that Guru used an emotional angle to win over the jury, an excuse and a covering which he himself didn’t put faith in. But sadly enough, the movie gives no indication that it is so – and therefore, you have an extremely melodramatic and annoying climax involving a long speech.

As if that wasn’t bad enough, the speech itself is quite painful, it doesn’t really make you sit up and take notice. The dialogues in this scene lacked punch and this reflected in Abhishek’s dialogue delivery as well. And the camera revolving around Abhishek is so distracting that at some point I simply stopped listening to the not-so-interesting-anyway speech because I was like ‘what the!! Someone stop the damn camera, or my head will start spinning’.

I guess I’d sum up the movie as being good but disappointing. I am off to Salaam-e-Ishq in 2 hours. While I wouldn’t mind not watching, a friend of mine is desperate to see the movie on the first day and so I am letting myself in for what I suspect will be a soppy, mushy romance though I’ll be more than glad to be proved wrong but when a movie has been hyped and looked forward to the way this has been, its more than likely to not turn out good. It looks like a Indian ‘Love Actually’ but since I didn’t care at all for LA, that doesn’t make a difference.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Happy New Year!!

Oh, I know the New Year wishes come late but a new year is a new year and its okay to wish people a happy new year as long as it’s still January. This was one of my worst New Year’s Eve ever – rivaling the time I was sulking because my parents refused to take us to some concert and slept through the night of the 31st.

This year there was this grand old plan of going to Goa, THE place to be for New Years. First, a couple of friends dropped out because they had issues with a couple who were a part of the group. Then, I almost couldn’t go because of an approaching deadline for a very important personal project. After much dilly-dallying and on again off again, we finally set off, though I felt I was going more as an obligation than because I wanted to go.

The killer was the journey itself. An 18 hour journey by road with a driver who isn’t very good just killed the holiday spirit in all of us. We just couldn’t wait to get out of the car and fall into our beds at the guest house when we reached on 30th night. The only silver lining was that I got to meet GV, Shivani, Mihir, BJ, Savvy, Spunky and Ravi and we had a very nice dinner at Baga beach to celebrate Swetha’s birthday, which was almost ruined coz it was spent in a car.

We spent all of 31st lazing around at Sinquerim beach, couple of water sports and lots of prawns…:p. Anyways, we were all (all = Hyderabad gang + IIMB gang) go clubbing for New Years Eve and we decided to go to Club West End, a new club which sounded good (especially since they were charging 600 bucks per head for unlimited booze).

When we got there, it turned out to be filled with aunties and uncles. And there started the trouble – some of us said it’s a cool looking place with great music and free booze – lets just go ahead and enjoy ourselves, never mind the aunties, uncles and their kids. Some were neutral. And the others, led by a person Who Shall Not Be Named, wanted to go to Club Cabana. I argued that we would get stuck in traffic, Cabana would be way too expensive etc but alas and alack, led by He Who Shall Not Be Named, nobody paid any heed to me.

The IIMB gang sensibly decided to get off midway and spend New Years Eve at Baga beach while we reached Cabana at 11pm past to find out it was way too expensive. We then set out for the beach but thanks to the traffic, we welcomed the New Year in a traffic jam in a car. I was soooo very pissed and hyper disappointed that I yelled at everyone – something to the effect of ‘I told you all so you idiots but none of you listened to me. I’m the only one here capable of some planning and you’ll don’t even have the sense to listen to me and then you all jointly ruin my New Years’. And I left in a huff and went to the guest house, got hung up on the phone by my Mom for being rude to her and slept.

I know – that was atrocious behaviour and I’m a BAD BAD BAD person. But my New Years Eve was ruined, I was upset and disappointed and I’m only human so I do get a kick out of saying ‘I told you so’. But to make my (non-existent) readers forget about what a painful person I actually am, I will follow this up with another post so that this one is forgotten.

Oh, and the 18 hour return journey just added to everyone’s misery. L

I do hope that darned trip is no indication of how the rest of the year is going to be. *Fingers crossed*.