For those who’d like to tune in, the new place is http://coolantz.com/blog.
For those who’d like to tune in, the new place is http://coolantz.com/blog.
For those who haven’t read Yaaraan da tashan – part I’ve reached Gurgaon earlier than expected, thanks to my lucky day.
New Delhi 23’rd March.
I got up early. Early enough to catch mom before she left for school. I wanted to have breakfast with parents. She asked me about my plans for the day, and she said “Do you seriously think you’ll do that, all of those items in your todo list?”. Also, between our various general talks she would come up with “Why bother driving all the way to Hyderabad. Let’s just contact some packers and movers? I’ll foot the expenses. You stay nice at home for some days“, “should I take a day off ? I could help you with your task list“. I wish I hadn’t gone to Delhi right in the middle of week. OK, I had taken off, but people at home were generally busy. She longed to be with me.
Usually, my dad would have been up at the same time, and been up to some exercise and yoga, but I suppose he decided to sleep till late. I get a call from him, and in a sleepy voice he tells “Usually, it’s your sister‘s duty. Today, since you are here, you go drop off mom to school“. I was like sure, no problems. My mom said “Why don’t you play some music in your music system. We find it too difficult to use, so we only watch TV“. This was the cue I was so desperately waiting for. I had recently discovered some awesome songs, and promptly fired up leopard. Leopard is tiger‘s replacement. Tiger is the name of my media centre machine. Generally, the music I find is also well appreciated by my folks. This time was no different, and they quite enjoyed the morning blast. Later, when I drove mom to school, and was talking about things in general, she said “When your sister drives me off to school, she’s usually half asleep, and just stares at the road. Never talks“.
So, after I got back from mom’s school, I was just roaming around the house. Shops and places were not open as yet, for me to go head on with my todo list. I spoke to some people who were up. Mr. SR, Mr. SD joked around in the morning. SD would be meeting me for a bit in the evening. SR stays at an end of NCR diametrically opposite of where I do. We made some tentative plans to meet in the evening in some central location. If he and I could find time. Damn the middle of the week? what joy?
The birds do chirp here and the flowers bloom!!
Well, after lounging around for a while, I got dressed, and first stop was to be at RTO office, Haryana. I went in, and was stumped to see that government officials had decided to take an off that day, and office was deserted, and there was this group of Haryanvi kids, cursing around, for they would need to wait another day to get their license. I joined them and mouthed out some profanities :). This is the raw, uncivilised and extremely passionate group. This was like a time freeze moment for me. Never gonna see this in Hyderabad :).
Any ways, I had to do what I had to do. Paid of an agent to get my paper work done, gave impression of my car chassis number, and other documents he wanted. He was gracious enough to have it sent to me, once my NOC is done. When he asked me what’ll I do till then, I told him “Drive my car telling I’m a tourist“. I left for other work. Time it took me to get this done, and negotiating a decent rate – 2 hours.
After doing this NOC thing, I decided to blast my stereo, to see if the speakers sound good. Although my sister said that the music system is the best, I had to check it off myself. There was a problem. Just what I was afraid of. The left channel to my amp was sounding like a damp squib. Crap. Utter crap! I took it to one of those big show rooms, and I was squarely told, that some capacitor had been damaged, repair or the guy suggested “saaar buy a new amp“. I knew the stuff, so I was aware I was being bullshitted to. Yep, I was back in Delhi! He took one hour, inspecting and fiddling with various knobs and wires, and I had a lunch with team people from Nagarro. I was famished too, so I called them up, and told them “Guys I’m coming over. Be ready”
I reached my old workplace, in decent time, and it was interesting. The guard bhai just smiled at me, and let me in without asking for an ID. I told him that I’m an outsider, and hung out with him for a while till the people came down. Mr. RJ and Mr. PY were sitting at their usual place outside the office ….. Pappu bhaiya’s dhaba. Meeting them was so exciting. Mr. T and Miss PAGS walked out as though there was enough time in the world to even sleep and go. I booed them from behind and got some spring in the step. Mr. AA was going to join us in Mainland china itself. Just one person missing, I asked T where the hell Mr. X is ? I called him and off we went to Mainland China.
Lunch and mocktails later, I parted ways with Nagarro folks. They left, I stayed back, cause I had to meet with a couple of people form ARSD. Mr. S called me, and immediately came to where I was. We sat and chatted inside a cafe near Mainland China. Mr. RT was supposed to join, and he messaged multiple times about how he was stuck in a meeting and will be out in just 5 mins :). Dude, we did not meet, but it’s the thought that counts, and I appreciate that you cared to at least plan to join. Mr. AM said he’ll catch up at dinner time!
So it was close to 5PM in the evening, and I had stuck of 3 things off my list, but had gotten aware of the fact that Dhanno was croaking, and I had to drive here for some time non stop. She’d cry. I suddenly thought of this place where the scale was smaller, but people were talented, and competition was cut throat. I had him look at my audio gear. First he was awed. He said “yeh kahan se liya hai?” I told him. I explained and showed him the problem. He immediately cross connected my good speaker to all the channels of my amp, to determine that my amp is fine, and fixed one speaker up after some sand papering and interesting tape work. Now we were talking engineer to engineer. So I was 3 speakers up now, and with just front left not working. This took time of an hour, and I started to get edgy. I called Mr. SD and told him I’d be running a bit late. He said he was running a bit late, so it was OK.
Now I took off my check list, and cut off visiting the optician in Delhi. You think I had time? Consequently, meeting SR was out as well.
So we had a problem with one of my 6inch non component giving out just out of fatigue I guess. The guy at the shop said he could not give me some thing equal to bull audio, but gave me some cheap Sony explod, and promised he’d tune them to make them sound good. He was already in my good books, so I told him to do it, and do it in half an hour. And boy did he. He came through, got another fella, both of them doing different things in my car. After a while they gave me an audition. Not the same stamina as Bull, but they had more jingle, and they were composite with tweeters on them. So now, my car has effectively 8 speakers, haha.
SD called and said he’s on way. I was too, so we met on way, and drove back to my place. He was riding the most majestic punto (belongs to Mr. CS, who was at the time, in bangkok). It had the bass tube that could make the seats move! literally. I got home at about 7PM, with most things on my list checked off, and just partying with friends remaining. So I told my parents, just chill sit and talk with me friends will come over, and we’ll order food.
There were some things that were left undone, but hey, I’m no Oriya!
Friends who visited
My day transformed from Fresh morning to hectic afternoon to relaxing evening! The friends did turn up. In the middle of week. After work. Ain’t I lucky!!!
So, it was a fine day that I had decided to fly back to Delhi to get on with the road trip. X and T’s tickets had been confirmed for the coming weekend, so all that was left unto me was to land back, climb on my car and drive back. So lame, right ?
Hyderabad, 22’nd March
I had a pleasant day, full of surprises on the day I was going to fly out. I got a (rather unexpected) ride to work on “Blink”. Blink’s another car (friend’s), which is real pretty and it’s of the most awesome shade of blue you could ever lay eyes on. I told my friend about my grand road trip plans, and how it all transpired. The thing about Blink is that when you are in it, you never find any traffic. At least it’s been the case with me so far. So, no traffic, I quickly reached work. Friend wished me luck and continued.
So I was thinking, today seems lucky! And it was still far from over. In fact, it was only beginning. Half an hour into work and me and my distracted state, I get a call from an unknown number. Now these day time calls from random numbers give me the jitters because I was spammed like hell, back in Delhi. So much So that I was forced to turn of my SMS tone. (Friends hated me for that). I used to get like 50 smss a day. “Was this another beginning of a similar spiral?” I thought to myself.
Anyways, I answered and had to strain to hear a heavy accented voice on the other side. The caller informed me that my has been pre-poned by a good 2 hours (do you believe that?). This situation might have been a dampener for people who had a “touch and go” schedule. Not me though. I was elated. I called home and told them I’d be joining for dinner.
There were no snags/delays, and I had the most comfortable flight back home (otherwise, I hate flying). I made a check list of things I had to do, in a day so that I could start on the drive back.
My Check List
That was a small list of things I aspired to do in Delhi, in exactly one day. Holy Cow! If today has been lucky, I would want the luck to continue shining on me for the following day, if I were to complete half of these things I’ve mentioned here.
So I reached home in decent time, had home cooked food after ages, spoke to mom, dad and sis after ages. Pretty soon, I felt sleepy, and dozed off to a nice peaceful sleep. I needed that to replenish myself for what seemed like a mammoth day!
So, almost everyone I talk to about my road trip plans has a similar line of responding . It starts with an exclamatory wow! and settles into more introspective “What?, Why?, and How?” . Also, there are people who go like “Hey … you’ll break your car/back/face“. One of the very interesting questions I got asked was “What will you do about the heat?“. A very interesting remark that’s gotten stuck in “That must have been the biggest risk you’ve ever taken in life“. Of course people tell you things. When they care.
My reasons for deciding to do it.
Any ways, it is certainly not a trip people take on an extended weekend. The distance is pretty steep, and I have no idea of the state of roads as of now. One thing I do know is I haven’t been doing any sort of major travelling since the past two years. I do feel the time to take a break and go for a hike. I believe this is a right time as I do not have that much on my plate. Touch the wood :)
My car has not had many chances to be taken on a longish ride so far. All it has done is “stop … go”, while I’ve travelled during the day time (to work, mostly). It’s just so crowded here in Delhi. On some occasional nights, when we got to go out to some party, or something, it did get a chance to flex it’s muscles, and purr along happily. Overall, it has been a rather staid life for her. Took me to office, at times, my sister to work, and then back to home. For this very reason, I am kind of detached to my car. I do rave about cleo from time to time, because I have history with it. Hope the feelings develop for Dhanno after this ride. Hope Dhanno enjoys this dash! (Dhanno is the name of my car)
Friends agreed to accompany. Now I would have never even dreamt of doing this alone. More than being scared of the daunting distance, I think I’ll simply get bored to death. Who in their right minds would do such a distance alone? Either they’d be really passionate about their rides, or must have some justifiable reason to do so. As of now, I cannot possibly conjure up a reason to do this alone. But when Mr. X and Mr. T decided to tag along, this was also checked off. (Mr. X has in fact done distances up to tune of insanity, but I suspect he likes driving in general) .
Apprehensions aside, my relocation has presented me with a very interesting opportunity to do this. I’d never go to visit someone for that big a distance (on road, that is). Now I do not think I would ever step into some of the states I’ll get a chance to go into. I do not have reasons, do I? So getting to see interiors of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh was a turn on. I’m so short on travelling experience it’s not even funny. Even girls laugh at me at times.
All of the points, might seem pretty irrelevant and tiny if considered separately, but together give me a formidable reason (least for me) to drive Dhanno from New Delhi to Hyderabad.
The story shall continue. Stay tuned….
I’m running through a set of emotions that seem contradictory. Yet, I can safely assert that I feel each one of them. Here, in hyderabad (or should we say Malaysian Township), holi had come a day earlier. I had a good time, and went out for a bit.
Now, its late evening, and as I was about to eat, I saw a friend’s (Yes, we had built a badminton court with bare hands) recently put up photos on face book. It was electrifying to see, because he’s my next to next door neighbour, so the faces on those pictures were familiar, H block DLF City, really upped the tempo this time, there was a Dhol walla, and lot’s of people I do not know as well. The feeling also left me feeling hollow, as I’ve played Holi with those people, for as many years as my memories take me to.
Amongst the other photos was also one, which somewhat stood out as far as I am concerned. He had clicked a photo inside my home. My dad was in the frame, though I wonder where mom was? I swear, the hair on the arms stood up. Goosebumps :) . Later that photo made me cringe :(. I miss H block. I miss parents, I miss home, I miss relatives, I miss friends.
Holi is a real pleasure, when it’s celebrated with family and friends. To all my friends (at home or away, A very happy holi to you).
And the real kicker is, when I was with them/at home, I took it all for granted. Now that I can’t have them, I appreciate their value.
Miss you seriously.
I’m super excited. That’s probably an understatement to describe how I’m feeling.
It all started with a very vague idea. Back when I was in Delhi and planning to relocate to Hyderabad, a rather adventure freak of a person (referred to from now as Mr. X) suggested “Dude, let me drive your car over till Hyderabad, I’d love it”. I was at that point concerned with loads of other things, so I said “Yea sure”. I guess the inception of this particular idea happened at that very moment.
<Snip to present>
So I’ve been in Hyderabad for almost a month now, and continue to travel around like a tourist (although, I know my way around to a certain extent), and have no vehicle here on me.I like the roads here, nice slopes and great curves (pun to be excused). Traffic at times seems a little daunting (read : office rushes). I’ve seen worse though. Hey I’m from Gurgaon, what do you expect ?
<Snip to past>
There was this other person back in Delhi, (referred to from now on as Mr. T).
X, T and me knew each other from work. We all joined (my earlier company) at the same time, right at the beginning of 2009. Different backgrounds, but strung together by fate. X and I became friends instantly, we would often hang out after work. T had joined right from college, and he seemed smart (and charming). In fact, I did not get a chance to properly interact with T till early 2010. X had left by then, trying out hands at what he loved the most, “designing, conceptualizing, and trying”. So I knew T, and I knew X, but T and X were unaware of each other’s existence.
So, as destiny had the grand plan, T and I got a chance to work in the same Project, from early on in 2010. He had been with the project ever since, and I was taken in as a mid way replacement for a resource who had decided to quit. T and me were naturally drawn to each other, as we had a few common interests. We loved eating, and had this zeal for technology. We also loved our music, but somehow the tastes in that context were mutually exclusive. Come to think of it, we also had a generation gap ;). Any how, we worked on this staggering project, with a client who was pretty demanding. Net result : we had to up our game, and work as a team. The project was fun, and we had our shares of highs and lows. As a result, I got to know T better. He’s a bright chap, who’s also a good-hearted person. At the time I left the company T and I had an awkward moment. We never said our goodbyes.
Towards the end of this particular project (I think, at the beginning of last quarter of 2010), X decided that he’d had enough of independent working, and once you get used to a steady income every month, the period of draughts seem worse as compared to withdrawal symptoms of cocaine addiction. He came back to the organisation he had left, albeit in a different role. He called up, and we met immediately. X and T got to meet each other and realise how different they are. There was a mutual feeling of “detest” (yeah that’s a very apt word). Circumstances ensued to tolerate each other a little more, and they did give each other a fair chance. Consequently, they got friends with each other.
<Snip to present>
So, I called T one fine day, and started to whine to him about missing my mobility, i.e my car back in Delhi. He understood my predicament, and said he’d be keen to drive my car on this road trip. He was a little apprehensive though. X was always interested. He’s done a few in the past, but this one would be his biggest one yet.
It’s going to be X, T, C on a road trip. A rather grand road trip, from Delhi to Hyderabad.
Very recently, I went to attend a friend’s wedding celebrations. It was really very nice, and I had a great time. Met up with old friends. Saw some of them (even the person who’s do it was), after ages. Another reason why the events were such a success, because they had been immaculately planned for, and when you pay that kind of detail to any thing/activity, you’re bound to rock.
Well among the fun and the laughter there were stellar dance performances by the friends and family.
The bride looked as stunning as one can be. She had put in a lot of effort too for her dance solo. It must have come to her as a bit of disappointment, that the sound system “karma” decided to play with her plans. It croaked, and it was enough to throw a nut in the fine running engine, that her dance otherwise seemed to be. It was a heart wrenching moment for us in the crowd. Her performance, from the bit I did manage to see was like “poetry in motion”.
Well, the technical hurdle was soon overcome, and I’m sure there might have been some butterflies in tummy when she was lauded to do it again. Before long, the brave spirited girl was back up on the stage, and she did manage to deliver exactly as it had been planned and rehearsed. It was her day, of course! She did rock.
So any ways, now I’m sure the memories of this incident must have etched something somewhere, for everyone who had witnessed it. Now that I think of it, I feel it made the day all the more special, and I guess this friend of mine would have a funny tale to tell her future grandchildren :)
It’s amazing how something, that for a confining moment might seem to be the last thing you’d want to happen, but it does anyway.
What’s even more remarkable here, that in thoughts of that moment, where so much emotion had been involved, so much feeling (detest/fear) goes through that it does become “your moment” later on whenever your thoughts drift to it.
It’s one of those days. I find it extremely difficult to sleep. My mind’s distracted and confused. I think about the new year, and in the year gone by ….
I’m definitely not hungry, or too full.
I’m not sad, nor elated, neither angry, but amused
I do not have any idea, nor am I stuck.
The music plays in background, as rhymes get struck
Of things that I yearn of, I don’t have a track!
I feel that I have gone, or am I back?
If I had a wish, granted to come true
will I go back in time, or will I get a clue?
I’ve spoken my heart out, yet I have much more to say,
The child’s smile, and his naughty ways
His unfaltering focus, his wavering mind
gives me hope, makes the world seem kind.
I feel vulnerable, but pretend to be secure!
I laugh at myself, when I thought I was sure.
I’m a boy, I am a man
I think, therefore … I am.
Dedicated to all people, who have written in the past, and for some reason, now (work, mostly) are too busy to share the joy I (and I’m sure others) experience when I read their blogs. People, who haven’t blogged from over a month. Miss you.
Sometimes, it seems that the ones who coined clichés must have had the foresight of a fiendishly clever being, yet in possession of angel like wisdom.
Often at the moment such pearls strike you in a way, that might leave you with a taste bittersweet, and you wonder if it’s your conscience projected across time. Tonight, as I think about the year that has whizzed past me, I wonder as to what I am ? (Yea … I do hear the sound it makes akin to a rushing deadline)
I’m shrouded by so many questions, and uncertainties, yet I feel that I know myself better. It was just the same, the last year, and the year before that. Looking back, it never ceases to amaze me and somehow, every year out trumps the year before that.
We all make plans for our lives.
What do you decide ? and how it’ll happen? hah. All you can do is show intent. The outcome of anything you try to do depends on such a huge number of factors, that if I try to include everything in an equation and try to understand its probability of happening, I’m sure the thing blows out of the confines of mathematics, and pretty well enters the realm of some magic type subject.
I suppose you must have, at some point claimed … “Eureka. This his what I plan”, and “such and such are those steps which I must take to attain that goal“.
Now if you zoom back up from the picture and re-consider what you consider as defining moments. How many, are results of your neat and well thought plan, followed by action sequences.
I’m not saying that life is totally random and out of control happenings. But it certainly is something that happens while we’re busy making plans.
Sure, same as always, this year I have:
Yet, when I try to see the larger picture, to say if things have gone according to the plan, this revelation dawns:
Man Proposes and God Disposes is incomplete. It is more like Man Proposes, God analyzes, raises one eyebrow, (do you smell, what the God is cooking) makes some random sequence and hands it off to you! You oblige with gratitude.
Really, if I were to look back, and see if things have gone according to plan, I can only wonder “How the hell did I manage to get here”.
It is surprisingly good. Like a breath of fresh air. I claim to have grown :). There are things I can do, and there are things I can’t. All I can say is … Do make plans. Show Intent ! (It makes you animate), but also accept that it might not turn out exactly as you dream of it.
Wacky happenings (some to tune, some out of it) is what is called Life.
Today onwards, I’m starting of with a new category in my blog, “artist of the month”.
What is it?
As I live each day of my life, I feel some moments tend to become more joyous than others, and the impact sticks around for some time, before I get awestruck by something else which catches my fancy. Usually, they are creative people, who envision something beautiful, and then they go a step further and manage to share it with the rest of the world.
To imagine something beautiful, and then managing to share it with the rest of the world is what leaves me dumbfounded.
Without further distractions, and digressions, let me point out the artist that makes me go “weak in my knees” :). I got to hear the music from last.fm. The, composer : Mark Lasar. Although I had not heard of the composer earlier, The album in particular struck a really powerful chord with me.
The music was thoroughly “relaxed” feel to it. Like someone, who’s not going anywhere, but is happy being where he/she is. Just let it play in as ambient sounds in my room. It really eases me out. Although labeled as Techno / New Age, the music has a lot of instruments, like a tasteful jazz piece.
I have only heard one of the albums here … “Karma”. Do give it a try. Let me know if anyone finds it interesting.