30 May, 2011

Even if it was for 5 minutes…

Mr.Murphy and I had yet another meeting today, and like all the other times, he won. I’m going to beat him one day….just you wait. (Does a rendition of Eliza Dolittle’s ‘Ooooooo Professor Iggins…just you wait’ ). The car had some trouble today and I ended up riding the Activa to work. Yes, you read that correctly, I rode the ‘Activa’ to work. And guess what…it began to rain on the way back. Yours truly spent about 20 minutes towards the end of his work day cursing the rain and swearing he will never date a girl called Varsha (I’m still trying to figure out how that became part of my cursing and swearing).

The rain weakens and I head out. Same old pot-hole filled roads , now filled with water, all the passing cars decide I’m the best target to splash water on. Normally I’d be fuming by now. But somehow, being in this place after so many months took me back to the old days. Yours truly turns nostalgic in the rain. I remembered a simpler time from about 4 years ago. I was just one among many IT engineers who found himself in that position because he did not know what to make of himself, but it was clear that he wasn’t going to find his true calling being an Engineer, but did it anyway. A time when I did not earn much(and still don’t) and every penny I got that was spent on ice cream or a low budget restaurant was more fun than what I now spend on expensive cocktails. A time when I went to work, finished at a certain hour and went around town for cheap beer and chilly chicken and met friends to discuss the last weekend’s football game. A time when I would never over analyze or even bother as to why I’m still single and the world was music, food and booze…until I met the first one that changed all that. A time when I felt there was so much to conquer and knew what I had to do next, or at least I believed that I knew what I wanted to do next. Inflation was just a word that had no hold on me. It was all so simple then. How did I let it all get so complicated?

Spend all day worrying about how to make yourself a better asset to your company through work, spend all night wondering about how to save money, rising cost of fuel, food, rising cost of bank nterests, credit card bills, future housing and a whole bunch of things that give me grey hair. And somehow, for a short 5 minutes, my brain seemed free of all these blues….me getting drenched in the rain on that darn Activa….an almost care free school-boy like feeling overcame me….my hands knew where the road was, my instinct knew where the cars around me were… the rain seemed almost irrelevant at that point in time…almost Zen like. And it was good… to be free of everything and everyone, even if it was just in my head. Almost like a ' ....and I'm freeeeeeeee....... free fallin' sort of moment!

And then an image of Urmila Matondkar singing ‘Geela geela paani’, from ‘Satya’ popped into my head and life was normal again…stupid god damn rain, stupid god damn car and stupid people driving their stupid cars soaking me. Hello World! You’re a b**ch!!!

PS: Sorry for the tangential trains of thought.... early signs of ADD I guess....also, I figured out how to embed videos from Youtube onto Blogger. I have tried not to over do it...please don't scoff. It's this sort of enthusiasm at discovering new things that made the parental unit believe I was cut out to be an engineer.

24 May, 2011

I know...some where I am evil.

It is the birthday of a dear friend in the US today. I wanted to call him to wish him, and discovered that I am yet to activate ISD calling facility on my cellphone. (Anyone remember trunk calls? Fabulous fun those were). Anyway, I call up my local provider to request them to activate the same so that I could call my friend to wish him. Provider asks me as to which country I wish to call, so that he may inform me of the rates before hand itself.


I tell him, I want to call the US.....he tells me the rate. Then I ask about the rate to Australia (the other country where all ditcher friends have gone), he tells me the rate. This is where the evil in me decides to point its ears up like a dog that had heard something in the distance.

"So, how much to Azerbaijan?"
"Sir it costs...."
"What about Bolivia?"
"Sir it costs...."
"And the rates to Burkina Faso?"
"What sir? where is that?"
"Never mind... what about Sudan?"
"Sir it costs...."
"Are the rates to Laos and Chad the same?"
" Erm...wait sir....let me check."

(Annoying call waiting tune plays)

*Click*" Sir, the prices are different...they cost...."
"And what about Columbia?"
"Sir....is this for official purpose? We have special plan for corporate users who have heavy ISD calls"
" No...I don't do business with the Columbians."
"Anything else I can help with sir?"
(I've gotten bored with myself by this time) "Haan....last place, Canary Islands...how much to call there. We want to set up an office there."
"Sir...where is that place?"
"Leave it man.... Just enable ISD on my phone now."

16 May, 2011

To be a Marked Man...

I’m back from Mumbai where I had attended my cousin’s wedding. Everything seems bleak because thanks to my cousin, we are now about 3 people away from yours truly becoming the next subject of attention of all the relatives for marriage. Nevertheless, thanks to the absence of the 3 before me, guess who was given the spotlight? So kanna, when are you getting married? Next year no? You should lose little weight by then ok?(prods my slightly large tummy).

It’s amazing as to how many people seem more interested in seeing you get married than you are yourself. Most of the relatives were keener than my parents. ‘Do you drink? Do you eat non veg? Why the tattoos? Do you have a girlfriend? Is she tamilian? Are any of the tattoos because of her? What do you do in your spare time? What do you watch on TV? Why do you not sing carnatic music? Do you say Gayatri mantram? Where do you go with friends? Are any of those friend’s girls? Do you have a car? How fast do you drive? What do you think of a live-in relationship? Do you cook? How much does your watch cost? Are you a ‘project manager’ in your company? Why are you not a ‘project manager’ in your company? When are you going to the US? Does your company not send people to the US? Have you any plans of buying land or an apartment this year?’…. it goes on and on and on. What happened to all the aunts who saw me coming a mile away and laid out food on their tables? Why the Gestapo like questions?

Clearly, they were not ‘catching up’. This is what we refer to as ‘Primary market analysis’ where all the aunts get information into some common database (managed by Infosys…where their son/son-in-law is project manager in Chick-a-go, yaamerica) and do a quick correlation when one of their own require certain criteria to be matched when looking for a groom. And they’ve all been using cloud-computing way before anyone knew what it was…their database is always up-to-date with all the relevant patch fixes and never seems to go down.

I am now officially petrified of attending any more weddings where relatives would be present. They have all the information they need; I’m now a wanted man. Very soon, they will begin introducing me to random girls and will begin telling me their qualification and expect me to be floored. Nuh-uh...no way.... this is not happening.(This song has been running in my head for some odd reason) I was saving up for a PS3, but now I plan on moving that money to a the ‘I-need-to-get-to-Cuba’ fund.

PS: Anyone wondering why Cuba? India and the US, the two places in the world with the most tam-brams, diplomatically, don’t talk to Cuba… won’t bother hunting for me there. Mojitos for breakfast, lunch and dinner….

11 May, 2011

The Bottom of the Geek Ladder

I think I’ve more or less confirmed it for myself, and there is not much I can do about it. The problem is far more deep-rooted than what we initially assessed it would be. And this problem will take a lot of work if I am going to undo the effects any time soon. Ladies and Gentlemen, I’m a ‘Comic book Geek’!(Sudden sound of astonishment from the crowd)

It was all revealed when I went to see ‘Thor’ last week. I was explaining to some colleagues the great history behind the Avengers and the Marvel Universe in a little too much detail than what was required. But it’s so simple. Everyone knows that Captain America was the very first Avenger, and according to movie folklore, Tony Stark’s(Iron Man) father was the scientist behind the super soldier serum program that was responsible for making Steve Rogers the tough guy he was. I also spoke of how Bruce Banner aka the Hulk was experimenting with radiation to see how to recreate the super soldier program because Captain America was the last of the super soldiers. However, things went bad with the radiation making the Hulk the one guy you don’t want to tick off. However, the Hulk was a fugitive being tracked by the military, who are the biggest customer for Tony Stark…and I assume you saw the Iron Man movies. While I was quite excited that Hawkeye made a small appearance in Thor, I don’t think the others shared my enthusiasm. And how does Thor fit into all this? Well he’s a Norse God….he can fit into anything. But truth is somewhat close to the movie where Loki, Thor’s half brother, comes to Earth to create havoc, which is when Thor warns Agent Nick Fury of the coming tempest. It turns out all of Earth’s heroes cannot stop the chaos unleashed by Loki and his allies, which is when Thor sort of steps in. To make matters worse, there is an Alien Race called the Skrulls who attack Earth because Earth has the cosmic cube (check post-credit scene of Thor). And that’s how the Avengers sort of come about. Well, that’s in the movie. In the comic book, there are a whole host of other heroes including Wasp, Ant Man, even Spiderman, and Wolverine who have graced the Avengers team. I also had to fill everyone in on the ‘Post credit scenes’ on all the Marvel movies. And this was after forcing everyone to sit right through to the end to ensure we don’t miss the ‘Post-end’ credits of Thor. I missed the same in Iron Man 2 and felt very sorry for myself.

After all that, the question I get,” So where does Batman and this Green Lantern fellow fit into all this?”

Any self-respecting comic book geek fan would know that there is no way Marvel and DC heroes could exist in the same universe. DC has the ‘Justice League’ with Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, The Flash, Hawk girl, The Green Lantern. While the Marvel Universe has ‘The Avengers’…..you see it’s all so simple. All it takes is doing a little bit of reading. (A concept that sort of gets limited to text-books in this country).

It was in that moment, an epiphany occurred. It turns out, even on the long ladder of geeks, I’m not even the ‘I have a great idea for a social media website so I can afford to dress like a homeless person’ sort of geek. I’m not even the ‘I am researching stuff that no common man would care about, but it will help unlock secrets of the universe’ sort of geek. Heck, I’m not even the ‘ I may spend my life pursuing childhood dreams and studying fossils for a living, but I have Rachel Green’ sort of geek…. I’m the comic book guy from the Simpsons.

Yup, I am the comic book guy! I own action figures; I get annoyed when people wonder why you never see Wolverine and Batman together. I get annoyed when people can’t tell the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek….how difficult is it to distinguish Spock from Yoda???? Honestly….sheesh! Of all the geeks in the world, I’ve chosen the lowest form of geek. Sigh! I’m going to own a comic book store one day! This is a dark day in self-evaluation and self realization. Sniff! According to Wikipedia (our best teacher ever) Comic book Guy is defined as “an obese, nerdy and snobby man best known for his eloquence and sarcastic quips” Please do not read the part about ‘Romance’ on that page. It will drive you to tears, as it has done to me.

I need a drink! A strong one! Catch you later!