29 August, 2010

A lot to say….starting off with an apology

This has been a very intense week, not only in terms of the amount of work but in terms of soul searching, re-prioritizing and mini wake-up calls. So this is going to be a long one (not very many haha moments, but a lot of Ah-ha moments) So here goes:

1. Dear friends, I’m sorry I sold my soul….will try to reclaim it.

Yesterday, I missed the first birthday of my friend’s baby. He is the first kid in our group of friends so it definitely calls for some celebration. And why did I miss it? It was because I was at our 21st Anniversary celebrations of the office. I’m sure I may have been excused from the birthday, but am sure friends present would have thought that I have become this total arrogant (worse than before) MBA bitch who has all of a sudden become pricey and acts as though his time is more important than giving it to people whom he should be giving the first priority in my life. Dear Friends, I’m sorry. Believe me, I am not being arrogant or not giving you guys importance. I unfortunately find myself with my fingers in too many pies and I am for all practical purposes trying to justify the career choice I have made and I want to do it well so bad that that I am finding this juggling bit a little tough. “ All good work is being rewarded with more work” is apparently happening to me and I am trying to find some stable footing. Please bear with me until then. It will take me some time to curb my enthusiasm. I like to be the best at whatever I do and I want to do everything.

I want to be the guy who is this combination of the corporate killer attitude of Gordan Gecko, simplicity of Forrest Gump, the poetry of Jim Morrison and a whole bunch of other people. And it is tough for me. So please bear with me until I figure out who I really want to be…hopefully it will be me. So I am really sorry for missing the birthday celebrations kiddo, but I was there, just not physically! Don’t start referring to me as that uncle who never shows up and only sends other friends with gifts. I am not like that, I’m just a little confused right now.

2. What about brand Nikhilesh?

I don’t want to sound like a whiner, but I think I have taken on more than I can chew at work. And I am sure the boss is pushing me in a good way to see how far I can go. And I am sure he gave me a job post-MBA again knowing that I was someone he could trust enough to get work done. So I really don’t think the weight he has placed on my shoulders is too much. It all adds up to the ‘corporate-avatar’ of me. But then a couple of days ago, I woke up (metaphorically) and went, “Whoa!!! What happened to me?”. I have been working the last 4 weekends (and enjoying it) at the cost of my friends, family and hobbies. I even got annoyed with a friend for rescheduling our meeting time as it did not disagree with my schedule (see how I refer to ‘hanging out’ as ‘meeting time’). I love reading and I’ve bought a ton of books at home and I’ve not read them because I come home and I’m reading up on some ROI model or some ‘work’ thing. I’ve not played Counter strike or Quake 3 in the last 3 weeks. I finally managed to change strings on the guitar and bedroom jam once…once! What the fark? I am supposed to be trying out on this side career as a guitar player….and I jammed once!?!?!? Blasphemous! I’ve stopped going to the gym, and this week it showed on the waist. Why am I missing gym? It is because I’m reading late into the night and am too zapped to wake up in the morning to find time for the gym. And all this ties up to point 1 of me being pricey. I’ve lost myself somewhere in this mess.

I’ve read about burn-out and a whole bunch of articles on ways I can use technology, and maybe even my company can use to reduce wasteful time in meetings at work and how one needs to draw lines between work and personal life. What personal life? My point exactly….I’ve always been so busy doing things, that I’ve just not found the time to develop the ‘talent’ for a personal life thanks to the fact that I want to do everything in the world has not made matters easy. I think I need to step back and take a look at Nikhilesh who is very much part of Gen Y and not Gen X with old style ethics of work, play and party.

3. Acknowledging the pain

I recently downloaded the Rockstar INXS series to sort of help me get in the groove of playing guitar all over again. One of the episodes was where the potential band members had to write songs of their own and perform. This one girl wrote a song which turned out to be pretty alright. After the performance when INXS asked he what was the inspiration for the song, she replies “ I wrote it thanks to my ex-boyfriend whom I totally loved and he cheated on me with another female singer. And thanks to that I wanted to become a singer because I thought it would help me get back with him” And when the band asked if she had anything to say to him, she replied” Thank you!”.

This little bit set me thinking of a lot of people I know, and probably you all have in your life too. People who’ve tried so hard to become something else or run away from love lost (most of the time your first love) that you end up becoming this new person who is stronger and sometimes better, even if the journey is otherwise tumultuous. And we still want to strangle that person for what they did to us and would love to see them endure the same pain that we went through. But at the end of it all I guess what does not kill you makes you stronger. And for those of us who’ve come out the other side knowing we are stronger and better people, I think we owe a little bit to these first loves who pushed over the edge. I am not saying it is a good thing but I guess it is that silver lining over the dark cloud. So here’s my confession (because I am confident the person concerned does not read my blog or even knows I have one):

‘” Hey! I’d like to thank you for being that person in my life who I liked for no explainable reason! I still hate what you made me go through and I don’t want to ever be that person in any girl’s life again. And thanks to you, I now fear all women and the mere thought of having a relationship. But that served me well as it saved me a lot of time for studying for my CAT exams and a lot of money that helped me through college. And now I’m a half-decent corporate sell out who fills his spare time with work. Yaay! It is also thanks to you that I learnt the beauty of love songs without which no singer-song writer type person is complete. And it is this bit of music that was introduced into my life that makes me love a whole bunch of songs as songs. For example, I would have never understood the beauty of a song like Black by Pearl Jam and a whole bunch of other songs! I’m stronger….a whole lot wiser too. Thank you for sending me down the dark alley, the trip was totally worth it. So thanks!”

27 August, 2010

The Fat Patch

I think it is high time you treat fat people with the same sympathy with which you’d treat a disabled person. No my friends, I am not being a heartless human who is looking for benefits and claiming that I am some oppressed class. But the truth is, that’s how fat people are treated. Think of all the fat kids you have made fun of in school, and the same juvenile behavior continues into adulthood, you’ve never allowed them to play sports, even if they would have made the best goalkeeper ever. You always picked them last to be in the school play, even though they acted better than that hotshot fellow who was sort of the Robert Pattinson of school (looked decent, but had no acting sense…if he goofed up, he’d flash one of those smiles that made the brain dead girls…a vast majority of them, sigh). You’d probably not even invite the fat kid on outings because oh, he might get stuck in the water slide and he’ll need one entire seat in the car to himself…and he might finish all the food. And I am sure our larger women have a whole other set of issues as well.

Anyway, when you wont allow us to lead normal lives merely because of the way we are ‘physically’ why don’t you create a quota for us and give us benefits. Considering the emotional baggage we have to carry and smile through all the taunting and mocking, we obviously need to have some sort of benefit over you supposedly perfect looking twits who will lose all your looks the day you hit 35 and then go in for plastic surgery which will go horribly wrong and then you’d spend the rest of your days looking at old school photos and wondering where it all went wrong. Karma is a bitch baby!

Leaving the emotional issues for my session with a psychiatrist (will need one someday), I was thinking, for those of us larger folks who are still somehow affected by the taunting, can someone come up with a fat –patch? The idea is simple. You’ve heard of a nicotine patch for all those who try to wean themselves off the cigarette by wearing it. The patch slowly infuses nicotine into the skin and helps reduce cravings. For us weak-hearted folks, why not create a patch that infuse….mayonnaise, or barbeque sauce into the bloodstream rather have us gorge on that burger. It could come in different flavours.…tandoori chicken would be my favourite. Maybe chocolate flavor for the ladies. No one ever thinks of that. The point is to take care of those temporary cravings. So why not create a fat-patch?

BTW, you never make fun of smokers for being weak-willed do you? But you have no issues mocking the fat guy for being weak-willed when it comes to food. Talk about being cynical! With smokers, you at best stop at the ‘chimney’ joke…but with fat people, you seem to have an entire barrage of jokes; most of which we’ve heard at least a hundred times before….do you skinny idiots pass it on from generation to generation? Was there this one skinny caveman who made drawings of a Woolly Mammoth on his cave wall, pointed to and fro between the painting and his large wife and laughed and set the precedence for all fat people jokes?. Aren’t smokers and bingers on the same plane? They suffer from a lack of will power and can’t control it until regularly serviced. God damn cynics! Bah!

24 August, 2010

My Facebook account : for some eyes only

Dear Relative\s,

This letter is to my many dear relatives whom I so dearly adore and love with the purest of heart. You are some of the nicest people on the face of the earth, and I am indeed fortunate to have been blessed with such relatives. They say you can choose your friends but not your relatives, but I don’t believe I would choose anyone else. But all said and done, I am sorry but I will not accept your ‘Friend’ request on Facebook.

As the name suggests, it is a ‘friend’ request and not a ‘relative’ request. Hence please spam the facebook administrators to create a ‘relative’ request with relevant policies and then we may think of adding you to the fray. But as things stand, I do not wish that you see pictures of me in the company of….erm…liquor and other blasphemous vices like non veg and women. You may not find many women or any women though, but I do not wish to give you any sort of wrong idea even if there are any. I have seen the torture some other lady friends have gone through with their facebook profiles with relatives for wearing a spaghetti top and holding an apple martini in their hands. Not that any of my pics have me wearing a spaghetti top or holding an apple martini in my hand. I also do not wish that you view pictures of my tattoos, the people I hang out with and the places I hang out and get all judgmental and ask questions like “ Dai…you looked ill in that photo…the one where you’re lying on the beach in some funny liquid Did you have an upset stomach!” or “ Dai….what is that you are drinking? Apple juice aaaa?”

Relatives of mine, I really love you all, but I honestly don’t want you getting updates on my status which are pretty random and really are ‘spur of the moment’ sort of things with no real basis. An update like ‘Interested in the hot consultant chick from E&Y’ can cause many problems and misunderstandings. Please note that the above thing did not happen…god promise…pinky swear! I have no intentions that you guys call mum and ask her in a funny fashion “ Yenna di…boy is in love aaa? MBA fellow sooooper ponnu pudcharkaan!” (That was tamil which meant I caught a good fish….. understand *wink wink). I also do not wish that you misinterpret any comments from a woman on my album which says ‘looking good’ (This surely is not there) and believe she is hitting on me and then call me up to give me a lecture about the evils of women and how I must focus on my career.

Please stop sending me ‘friend’ requests. (Dad….this goes for you too…I know you read this blog!) I have nothing to hide as such and I lead a very simple yet almost full life! And I do not wish to complicate it by you good folks misunderstanding and misinterpreting stuff on my profile. Let’s be cordial at family meets and avoid any embarrassing questions or misconceptions about yours truly.

Yours Truly,
Nikhilesh “I hope you read my blog” Murthy


19 August, 2010

Random Broadway musical micro-break down

Lately, thanks to the Bangalore traffic and sudden random changes in my responsibilities at work ,a lot of which falls into my lap when I am rudely awoken from day dreaming at long winding jargon-drivel…I meant jargon-driven meetings when someone takes my name. Anyway, I’ve been having these micro-breakdowns which last for about 10 seconds where you do something totally random just to get the heebie-jeebies out of your system.

Take yesterday for example, as I approached the office, I was welcomed with one of those awesome traffic jams that take 45 minutes to cover 2 kilometers (Americans….please convert to ‘miles’) and seeing the traffic I suddenly got excited lifted my hands off the bike and sang out loud (from Annie) “the sun will come out tomorrow….tomorrow….tooooooomoooooroooooooow” and began clapping. And that was it. I think I frightened away the girl on the scooty next to my vehicle. She stared at me for about ten seconds as though she was waiting for my head to explode or something and then rode away. Not even a cute smile which is indicative of her thinking “ haha…watte cute retard!”.

The day progresses fairly uneventfully at work until suddenly at 3:30 PM, I get this urge to do a medley from Chicago. I go to the pantry where no one is there, do a quick 10-15 second dance and song medley of ‘we both reached for the gun’ ‘all that jazz’ and ‘mister cellophane’…full dance n all. And that was it, I was fine. Imagine me singing

'I'm gonna rouge my knees
And roll my stockings down
And All That Jazz.’

I would have made a very good Catherine Zeta Jones….hey! New break away career choice – lead in a broadway musical!!! I can see it now…. ‘Overweight phantom of the Opera’ ‘ The Sound of Mucus’ ‘ Less miserable’….

I’m honestly a little worried. Is that part of my brain that filters out insanity undergoing some sort of trauma? Well, I can use that as an excuse for the last 20 odd years. Maybe I just need a holiday? Or maybe I just need to eat a really killer steak and all will be well. Anyone else have these random breakdowns?Oh wait, this morning I woke up (awesome no? I woke up…most people do something else) and while brushing my teeth started my own rendition of Figaro’s Aria from the Barber of Seville….awesome no? My day has not even begun and I’m already breaking down…maybe I had a dream about work and ppts or something equally boring.

04 August, 2010

Random free birthday cake

I was at UB city this evening, despite a horrid neck sprain that does not allow me to turn my head to the right. Why this dedication? Well, a good friend was leaving for foreign shores for the all important ticket to owning a blackberry and all those shiny little upper management things, called the Yem-Bee-Yay. This was a sort of going away party, and it was at UB city…do you know what that means? Dude! UB City…awesome up-market high society babes who think I am invisible….awesome! Let the gawking and drooling begin!

The shallowness aside, dinner was pretty good. But that’s not the high point of the evening. While waiting for some more folks to join us, I was enthralling the audience at the table with my drivel of an opinion about something like ‘couples who perpetually give one another running commentary about what they are doing over the phone (PS: Wanted to blog about this…but feel it may drive away any potential female stalkers from this blog )’ when we were interrupted by this skinny dude who asks,” Excuse me Sir…but can you please join my friend and I for birthday celebration. We have a cake” Ignoring the fact that he made fun of my age by calling me sir, and excusing him because he said there was cake, I (we) obliged.

So we move to this table to see this youngling of a girl sitting there looking very amused. This dude then tells us that they are both engineering students and they wanted some people to help cut the cake on her birthday. Suddenly panic overcomes me. What if this is one of those MTV bakra type shows? Even worse, what if it is a local channel and all the auto drivers tune in to see me drool over cake? Or some cheap survey to prove ‘Fat people will fall for anything if it involves food’. I look around for cameras or a Cyrus Broacha in the corner somewhere. The cake appears. Birthday girl is told to make a wish before she blows out the candle…to which she clasps her hands and says a little prayer ( I was almost going to ask her which verse of the Bhagvad Gita she was reciting, but refrained as there was free cake being given) Girl cuts the cake, lovingly feeds it to her ‘boyfriend’ and cuts the rest of the cake up for us.

One thing I’ve noticed is the difference in the way guys and gals cut cake. Girls always cut it in small symmetric pieces, ideal for pulling out into a plate while guys always cut these large unshapely chunks which are meant to be grabbed in the messiest manner possible.

Anyway, no bakra, nothing. I am still unsure as to why we were invited for that small cake cutting thing. Normally I fret and down a couple of vodkas if ever invited to any of these ‘couple’ type things. Don’t ask….therapist is trying to figure that one out. But this time I must say I felt sort of nice, and that’s not only because of the free cake. I sort of felt like one of those people who help these young couples elope type. At the end of it they were kids, and I am sure the poor boy had a tough few weeks saving up to take this girl out to this fancy dinner and buy her like a ton of gifts.(PS: This is not because of the sentimental bit or anything…..I saw many shopping bags, so ran some random accounting in my head and believe he paid a bomb…let’s hope this one sticks, or else the dude made one really bad investment) So sort of felt happy to be a part of it, and that’s the part that still confuses me – when one takes a girl out, on her birthday, to the fancy UB city locale, why did you invite some folks like me just to cut the cake, sing happy birthday in my Frank Sinatra(Ahem) like voice, and that’s about it? Very puzzling….but then a lot of things about ‘couples’ puzzle me. The inquisitor in me seems to be stronger than the foodie whose being all “Dude!!!! Free cake da….you got to have it and eat it too! Let it be”!

Anyway, thank you crazy young engineering couple for giving us free cake and a happy birthday to you girl! Dude, I will pray for you sincerely!