Thursday, August 30, 2012

Same Pinch

I take the company bus to work every day. Well every day that I wake up on time that is; otherwise I have to request one of the senior managers who live around to give me a lift in their car to which they comply. My stop is at a Domino’s near my house where I catch the bus from. The other day I got up particularly early and instead of spending time in the bath tub or sleeping I got ready, made myself some green tea and left early so that I could wait at the stop and catch a read.

So there was a group of kids nearby standing outside their school (on the way to my stop) and since I didn’t have my ear phones on as I usually do I could hear what they were talking as I passed. One of them ended up doing a ‘same pinch’ to the other. To those of you unaware of it, this is what you do when someone has something same as you do or does something same. Should you call dibs on it, you can pinch the other person and say ‘Same pinch’. Kids in my time used to do that often. I was in one of my better moods and the following conversation came to my mind and I thought that I should you know, give it a shot.

Me: Hi, How are you?
She: Fine, you?
Me: So far so good. Do you have a boy friend?
She: Umm.... No, why do you ask?
Me: Neither do I... Same Pinch (in a voice of glee)

Now I have spoken of this to only two of my female friends, both on chat, and they both LOLed at it. This could be however for the fact that we were on chat, and they were probably staring at the screen with a wonder as to why they haven’t gone offline or invisible yet. Or maybe they just share my sense of humor. I gather it’s that and that in person they wouldn’t beat the crap out of me.
On the way to work in the bus, I could think of two other ways how this conversation could lead to

Me: Do you have a boy friend?
She: No, why do you ask?
Me: Neither do I... Same Pinch (in a voice of glee)
She: Ah... Do you have a girl friend?
Me: No, Same pinch?
She: No, but now you know why you don’t

And the other one:

Me: Do you have a boy friend?
She: Umm.... No, why do you ask?
Me: Neither do I... Same Pinch (in a voice of glee)
She: ... Do you have a girl friend?
Me: No
Together: SAME PINCH

Sunday, August 26, 2012

I dream of death

Everyone dreams, and some dreams are more memorable than other. I dream loads and some of the most wonderful stuff (though not of genies, not yet that is).  While there are dreams that are older and more memorable, I will however share with you one that I had today in the morning as it one of the few dreams that I was able to do things in; a lucid dream of sorts as I could talk and move as I pleased in some cases.

I was sitting in Landmark that is close to my place in Baroda. I was comfortably seated on a couch and reading a book I had just purchased while a cup of coffee lay on the table. Now I know that this landmark doesn’t have a coffee joint in it anymore, but hey it’s a dream and I didn’t want to nitpick on free coffee. I notice this man walk past by me towards the washroom. I couldn’t help but think that I had seen him a couple of times before. He was wearing a fedora hat and that is a rare thing, in India for the least. So the dream me tries to remember, and has an image of him walking by my mom’s house while I stood outside in the veranda talking to a neighbour. After he comes out of the washroom I go and ask him if we have met before since he seems familiar to me. The man nods and says that he is the angel of death and that we have met a couple of times before.

“Huh, angel of death? What are you doing in a book store then?”
“Doing my job, taking people off my list to see that they die.”
“Is it now, you must show me how it works then.” And he stared at me for a moment as if I had told something that he couldn’t understand.

For future reference if you’re in my dream, and if I tell you to show me how something works, you will show me how it works. You’re in my dream, and well that is how I dream. I will extend the same courtesy to you should I ever come in to your dreams. Although I don’t know how it works if you dream of me. Would I be lucid too? But you know I lose all memory of it once you wake. Anyway, moving on...

“Ok, I have names in my book as part of a list that I must ensure die.”
“So how do you do that?”
“I strike their name of, and think of a way they must die and they die.”
“Oh, like that anime Death note I saw on Animax?”
“Manga too, they pretty much got the concept right.”
“Teach me, how it is done.”
“See that woman over there? Her name is Radha Varma. Now this is her name on my list, and I strike it off. Now I want her to buy a DVD for her grand kids and watch it with them over a good meal. When she sleeps she must think that it is just some indigestion, but it will be a heart attack instead.”
And then there was a montage of us going around take people off his list. So while we were sitting in a place and I was going through his book, I saw my name on a page with an ellipse around it.
“Tell me, why my name is written here like that. What does it mean?”
“A circled name means that I was supposed to knock off the person, but didn’t”
 “So why did you let me go that time.”
“Six times in all, I had orders from up top that told me not to do so.”
“Like a close shave you mean? But I don’t remember six instances like that.”
“Only two, others were orders. A word of advice, you really need to start working out.”
“Dude, what the hell?”

And then he smiled and I woke up from my dream. It was around 0830 in the morning because I check for my mobile and spectacles when I get up. I called for mom and she was in the other room sweeping. So I told her that I dreamt of a ‘Yamdoot’ (the closest Hindi translation of an angel of death I could think of) and that he was told to let me off six times so far, and that he asked me to work out. She looks at me (probably thinking why of all possible kids, she had to get me) and tells me that I will listen to a Yamdoot, but not her. I had a sassy reply ready but seeing the broom in her hand, I did not push my luck for a seventh time.

Now I wonder if I can write my training as angel of death on my CV. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I have a higher purpose in my few visits than to meet you. It is the journey itself that is more exhilarating than the end destination.  Time becomes flexible in my travels to meet you as I think of the time we have spent together. Not the conversations we had, but how they make me feel & how I hope they would make you.

People say that love is blind, and that when in love people don’t see other things. I never could understand it, and it never happens to me. I become conscious of everything around me. Of the wind that blows across my face as I sit near the window of the train and how I remember you adjusting the windswept bronze hair away from your eyes. Of the road on which the car runs and our drives on it while your body jerked when there were potholes while your bosom which reminds me of parabola and its equations jiggles on such roads. Of the bread that you ate, and how your lips spread into a smile of delight after they contorted themselves on it while you nibbled on the bread in glee.

My face betrays the high that I feel when I see your face for the first time on our meets. It makes me think of how obvious I become and wonder if you notice it. I like to notice things when we meet. The motion of your lips, the force with which you grip the spoon while you eat, the angle your legs make, and the curves of your body. How the expressions in your eyes change when I say something that makes you laugh, how you grip the handle of the door when you want to open it and clench your fingers about it. Gentle, yet determined. As if the door becomes an extension of yourself when you touch it, and there is no effort that you are applying to open it more than the effort you would take to move a step ahead yourself.

I like it when you start describing about what you do at work. How you can get lost in explaining something because of how much enjoyed being part of it. Part of creating something, of discovering something that was till yesterday unknown to us and how you unravelled it. The joy of being good at it, and not being sorry but passionate about it because it is what you want to do and how you want to do and that no other reason would suffice. Makes me think of how I feel like after a particularly tiring and productive day at work gets done. That I would want to be with you and talk to you about it. I wouldn’t want to teleport to your side to do that, no it would be too quick. I had this idea once that I would have something like Tony Stark’s armour as part of my case, which I would wear and fly up to meet you. Or maybe a blue lantern ring, that I could use to fly so that I can even feel the wind blow across my face while I fly to meet you.

One of these days I would like to take up one such trip to meet you, and then not meet you at all. I would just enjoy the journey and go to one of the places we would have, and sit all alone and amused at the possibilities the moment presented. I could continue sitting there, and over a cup of coffee write something like I am writing right now, or maybe through a stroke of chance you would come in and see me and call me stupid for not telling you that I had come.

I think of the moments just before leaving you. Of how I wish that time actually were that flexible, and I could hold on to that moment when we both embrace the finality of it, that we would both have to leave. I gather that since neither of us have such a control over time, we continue to appreciate such moments.
I. You.  

Friday, August 17, 2012


I was not born in to a poor family, but yet I know what it feels like to be poor, and rich. Well it depends upon on what time of the month you’re talking of.

I was never brought up in poverty, it’s just that things were either worth spending on, or not. So if something was needed it was bought, otherwise it was not thought of. The family consists of only mom and me, and back then she was the only earning in the family. Some time before college started she resigned from her job. It was a combination of the commute, work issues and her ailing health that lead to the decision. Besides, she had put in enough money in savings to put me through college. So it seemed like a sensible decision. Now that we look back, it still is. Even in college there was this certificate course I took up for learning Pro/E (which now that I think didn’t teach me any more than what a friend who knows how to use it), but I remember talking to mum about it and saying that it would add ‘weight’ to my resume (Sigh, pity) and the next day she asked me how much it was worth and gave that much to me and told me to pay the fees with it if I was interested in doing it. Similarly when it became necessary for me to purchase a laptop, she bought me one. Although I do remember, for the lack of a better word, nagging her for a new phone shortly after college started. I ended up purchasing a Nokia N72, a good phone, but a bad way of acquiring it.

So after I got my interview cleared and before job started, I thought that when salary starts coming in I should divide it in five parts. One part would be my own allowance and I spend it how I want without answering anyone. Second part would be an allowance for mom and likewise no questions asked on what she does with it. Third part would be for the expenses of the house and fourth would be saved up for something like a future education or a car or a house, whatever would catch my fancy. The fifth would go towards an emergency fund for those unforeseen times. If you look at it, the so called planning makes sense. It started out well, before as the use of past tense suggests, it went to nothingness. I have touched on this before, but soon I developed more expensive tastes and lesser inhibition. So my love for coffee would find me making daily visits to Barista for multiple cups of coffee (oh and they make some great coffee), cheese burst pizzas, gym to burn off the pizza and so on. Soon it developed in to a habit, and month ends would be accompanied by a decreasing availability of funds.

Sometime last year I got in the inevitable discussion of finances, and seeing my state of things and some of the poor decisions I had taken she asked questions that I could not properly answer as to where all that money really went. It was of course a not so neat discussion (forgive my use of the euphemism). Of course some time afterwards, better sense prevailed and I religiously siphon off money every month for saving. Sometimes it is not as much as I would like it, not as much as mom would want it, but then again I am now ‘richer’ than I was a year ago.

My so called improved habits are however a result of deliberate and conscious decisions. Some of them every day. Do I still want to go and have loads of coffee, pick up every book, movie and game that has my fancy? At the back of my mind I do, and it is a decision with the thought that “No, that money must be saved for something else. Something larger”