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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Give me a high five... I turned FIVE !

March 2009. 

I was working at a MNC in Bangalore, as a software programmer. Even so, I was on bench. Bench is defined as that situation in an IT industry, when the organization pays you to stay away from their projects. Like my Mom who was at a point ready to pay me to shut up and stay out of the kitchen. However I got a workstation assigned to me that involves a revolving chair whose ability to revolve was completely baseless as there was no John Abraham sitting in the adjacent cubicle. In fact there was a malnourished guy, who was also so short that he looked like a 7 year old. With such people around we should have opaque cubicles and chairs that do not allow us to look around. The computer assigned to me was prehistoric, and looked like a front load washing machine. The only sites we got to browse were the portals of that very organization which otherwise we wouldn't browse even at gunpoint. Those were orkut days, Mark Zuckerberg was still in college, whatsapp was not conceived yet and Yo Yo Honey Singh was still roaming around with his Bio data and nursery school light music video on Mumbai Locals.

 I was newly married, my husband worked at a firm whose CEO was charged with corruption and sent to jail and future looked completely bleak for them. Global recession was at its peak, some of my friends on bench where I worked were fired without any notice, and my career was basically hanging from the edge of a cliff. We started our wedded life thus, on a ship which hit two icebergs at once.

But then for newly married couples none of this matters. We could drink just water and live in a mediocre house like it was a Beverly Hills mansion as long as we had each other. It was one of those days when I came across some popular humor blogs. Simple everyday events and conversations were so hilariously written. I started going to the archives and read between the lines. Then the thought came to my mind, why not start a blog of my own. Why should mankind be spared from my literary torture? In fact the characters in my family were the rarest of the rare in terms of temporary insanity and other matters. I dint even need to hunt around for topics to write or improvise on existing ones. And hence the blog was born. 

However I was too naive to blog anonymously. Instead I used my real name, email id and photograph. The blog became a topic of conversation and content scrutinized at marriages and baptisms. Many active bloggers of that time quit. There are a few who survived and even found their way into my friend’s list on Facebook. I even won a contest, received complimentary hampers, participated in tags, found some great friends, and somehow the inspiration to write some rubbish or the other continues to this day! I mean my will to torture people just ceases to diminish:-o

The consistency of my blog can be mainly blamed on some loyal readers who liked the stuff I wrote. They never missed to comment. They did not write ‘Hey great post! Mind-blowing! Breathtaking! Nice! Creative! Magical!’ after every post because it wasn't any of those. They shared their thoughts with me rather than indulging in compliments. And they complimented me genuinely when they felt I deserved it. And these are the people who helped sustain this consistent ride, so if you have any problem with the content of this blog, please blame them. Do you see the top 25 culprits on either side? And they inspired me with their own blogs, which were equivalent to reading full-fledged best sellers. They taught me how to be unique in one’s own style.
       Thank You !

And the ones who have always taken pride in my blog, and often been my subject to tease or quote, were my parents and the hubby. They have always been there, and with simple comments and loving gestures, were the pillars of my existence in this journey .Without the hubby’s jokes, or those blunders that happened really frequently, it would have been difficult for me to update so often!

So, my blog turned five and counting! Who would have thought that the outcome of the devil’s workshop on a bench could actually last this long! I hereby take this wonderful opportunity to thank all the people of that company who kept me on bench and on the verge of unemployment for so long, that I woke up and realized that blogs were fun, unlike software codes. I also thank Microsoft Word for your eternal patience, putting up with all my horrible spellings and grammar.

 I am also immensely grateful to all the neon shoes wearing females, who thought that I was some narcissist who overused Microsoft Word, instead of ogling at the pink lipped, gel headed gay boy at the cafeteria. Last but not the least; I thank everyone from the auto driver who dropped me at Dairy circle and charged me half my month’s pay, the neighbor who peeped through my kitchen window, and the stray dogs of Bangalore that ruled the streets, for being unintentional inspirations to various posts of mine that finally adds up to 181!  ( I used a calculator for that one. I have only ten fingers)

I've heard my family casually talk to others about my blog. I must say that nothing can be a bigger reward than realizing that the people I love are proud of me, this being one of the reasons. And it has steered me along for five whole years, with plenty of support from peers on blogger.

It was indeed an amazing journey, because I did not start the blog to win contests, or become famous. Something I started as a time pass has become an extension of me, and it has become a place where I can be honest without getting fired.

Picture courtesy: Google images.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The true colors of Holi.

It’s been an awfully long gap between posts here, and even though no one really noticed, there, I brought it to your notice. I dint update this space for past two weeks because whenever I think of something to write all I can think of is some random rants. 
March is not the best month of the year for me, so far. I also think Holi brings out the true colors of some people.

A colleague who thinks if he says something with a smiling face anything rude will sound sweet, a friend of decades showing her true colors, unexpected hurtful comments and misunderstanding coming from all possible directions, my whatsapp has witnessed it all this month. Suddenly I am that line on the periphery of the dart board, where all the darts eventually land. I suspect that everyone thinks that I am responsible for that missing plane! People, honestly it’s not me, I am praying for its safe arrival too so stop throwing your dirty socks at me.

Long ago when things went wrong I succumbed to my couch with a tub of ice cream watching F.R.I.E.N.D.S episodes back to back. It is still an effective therapy. It makes my problems appear insignificant. My favorite character Phoebe, whose father was in jail, mother committed suicide, twin sister a porn star and no education or a secure job was so happy! None of these issues are applicable to me and I am so grumpy. :-o

I have to refrain from saying a lot of things here, because I am not anonymous. Everyone from my neighbor’s dog to the security at office knows that I blog. So even though I am locally popular as a blogger, this popularity is not really anything to do with the writing, it is more like being scrutinized word by word, line by line and being interrogated inside lifts, grocery bays and parking lots.

So on the whole March is a mess. And there is a missing plane which proved to the whole world that our ‘technology advance’ is limited to face recognition and fingerprint scanning on smartphones. Both of which doesn't work if you wear too much make up or suffer a cut from dicing vegetables. Beyond that, there is just thin air. We are just a race who thinks we are great but a whole jet with 239 people is gone and we are still looking up at the sky, mouths open.

And then some people resort to facebook to make jokes about the missing jet and create cartoons out of them. Is it possible to replace those 239 persons on MH370 with these inappropriate facebook jokers and some others from my hit list? Just asking. Because in that case, we could just stop searching.

Hope you guys had a happy Holi! Mine was colorful too, colors mainly being black and brown. 

Don’t ask.

Image courtesy: Google.                                                                                                                              

Sunday, March 2, 2014

How to cure the 'Lazy Husband' syndrome !

It all started with a TV remote. In the times of Doordarshan or DD-1, there was no need of a remote control and it was somewhat easier to agree with parents. And then there was DD-2, the first ever reason why we disagreed (over the TV). However, when we switched to the 8:00 pm inevitable English News on DD-1, we got up from our chairs and pressed the tab on the right side of the TV monitor and came back to our seat, thus burning about 3 calories. And this was celebrated by Doordarshan by playing the most depressing tune in the history of music as if it was a prelude to the equally depressing people who were about to read it. So the TV never got us addicted to it, thanks to the sad jingles, programs, outrageously fashion retarded cast or the grief stricken anchors none of which changed since Independence.

Later, the TV started swelling and eventually bursting with channels. It also made twice the number of disagreements as there were people in the family. More differences, more rooms, more TVs and lesser compatibility. Earlier all I had to worry about was Mamta Kulkarni or Manisha Koirala who may do the most inappropriate act, at the most crucial time (when parents were around). But now I flip channels completely warned and aware that anyone from Sunny Leone to Dora the explorer may strip at any point of time. It is impossible to watch TV with kids L

Weekend trips to the Electricity, Water and Telephone offices to pay bills, register complaints etc. were replaced by online portals, and now there are apps so that trip is saved. But when we did drive to the office and stood in long queues, we were taught the value of time, money and most importantly patience. As a bonus, few calories were also burnt without our knowledge. Similarly, we don’t need to go to the railway station to book a ticket; it is done by gliding those fingers on the phone. But this website gives us the real feel of actually driving to the railway station on an exhaustingly sultry day. That’s our very own IRCTC. It teaches the internet generation what it is to be in a queue, and wait patiently under the scorching sun until we are given a seat in the Waiting List Number 786. Everyone from our internet generation should book a ticket in IRCTC to learn some moral science.

Trips to the library are completely avoidable as we can read them at our convenience on the tab. In most cities there are facilities to get groceries delivered at our doorsteps so no need to go there either. Pizza is delivered to my couch, and tomorrow it may be delivered to my mouth. Washing machines, dishwashers, blenders and food processors do most of the cleaning and chopping. A lot of work is thus reduced.

We used to set timers on cameras to click family pics, now there are remote controls to do that as well. Movie tickets are available online. At least 95% of bank transactions and school fees are paid online. Clothes and shoe shopping is booming on websites. And I look at the jammed roads and wonder…Where are all these people going?

Basically, the reasons our parents had to get off that chair and do some errands do not exist anymore; which is why we need to work out and eat right. However a certain someone at home has not worked out since last five months. Each day there was a new reason not to do so. I wonder there is some app on iphone which generates ridiculous excuses every day? Otherwise how on earth is it possible to come up with ‘There is a dog on that route which I suspect has rabies?’

It is really tough to inspire people and get them to do something for their own health. And it is tougher to inspire them on a daily basis, as there are lesser inspirational stories than there are excuses.

Here is my million dollar idea for the existing Nike-iphone app that counts calories while walking. Hubby WAS a regular user of this app, when he used to walk, long ago when Atal Behari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister.  This can be upgraded for an additional feature: When the user does not use the app on a certain (lazy) day, the iphone should just shut down until the next day. The ipad should synchronize the same command and shut down as well. Nothing cripples men more than this. And I am sure the fear of the phone shutting down will get the laziest of men run for their lives health. All the ladies who have excuse generating husbands will thank iphone for least I will.

So as I was at my desk thinking of productive ways to get the hubby to exercise, somewhere else in the world, Nike came up with another brilliant idea. Someone designed new running shoes the laces of which will tie on its own. This is the same person that constructed an elevator to his gym.

Spread the word!