Wednesday, May 13, 2015

For granted when present, conspicuous by absence

Many times we take things and people for granted, only to be reminded of their importance when we do not have these things, people or privileges any more.  There are not a lot of exceptions, other than our parents and pets, and a few close friends.

Sometimes it takes another person's misery to actually notice how lucky we are.

This is just like salt in our food. We are not even aware of it until there is no salt and everything is tasteless.

Unfortunately, each one of us is the salt in someone's life. It is great on one side, because at least there are a few people who can count on us. But it sucks because we are taken for granted.

This great salt analogy was pointed out by one Purnima Gautam when we were talking about a common friend, Mr. Munna. This blog post will be pointed out to Sh. Munna in some time, after the dust has settled :-)

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Wedding Trousseau and Other Short Stories

Ankita from humming words has written a collection of short stories. I read it and found it a great read. It is available on Amazon and on Buy Books. Some thoughts that I experienced while reading it follow.

What does it feel like not having anyone believe you? Or people putting you down just to feel good for themselves? Or someone blaming you for doing something when in fact someone else is to blame? Bad, of course.
... The woman, pleased at his quiet servility, smiled discretely that made the corners of her painted lips move up just a little and basking in the glory of her authority with an air of royalty, reclined slowly. Adjusting the fall of her golden-black silk sari vibrantly contrasting against her soft pink skin, she looked at her son and began, "Look at him! He cannot even imagine eating such wholesome food," and pointed towards the frail boy humbly standing in front of them.
In my experience, tragedy and comedy exist together. Ankita's stories are no exception.
"Then come and get married! Now!! We provide trusted Indian solution for everything: off-beam-haywire hormones, sordid heart attacks, lonely dates, hopeless life, chronic depressions, loose screws, addictions, phobias, manias and even bad karma," they screamed in chorus. "This time-tested panacea comes in attractive package with free home delivery!? added the old, one-eyed punditjee, smiling nastly, who appeared suddenly and the entire brigade leapt towards me ferociously!
There is the question of perfection in life. Rightly so, perfection keeps shifting like a mirage.
Finally, Rahul took a deep breath and began, "See, this dog is lame, one ear is cut but otherwise  it is fine." "Fine? We want a perfect dog, you fool!" cried his sister, flapping the dog's cut marked ear.
Jealousy is a great human feeling, but the feeling of having someone feel jealous of you is even more intense.
"Does she deserve him? No way!" resentful girls were seen whispering to each other. "Swine has struck gold!" another whispered with a frown. However, these nasty remarks, whenever they reached her, were music to the ears.
Some say the opposite of love is not hate, but indifference. I have to agree.
She would pass all the day waiting for him, in anticipation that his return would bring a cheer to her otherwise banal life and the day would come alive but it hardly happened. Most of the messages and calls often went unanswered. 
Desperation, or frustration, or both, can lead one to do really illogical things. Sometimes, because of these very feelings,  it becomes difficult to see who the real villain is.
"What are you supposed to do when you become from your hospital night shift and catch your delinquent wife in bed with a filthy rich bastard? She just kept on blowing money on those darned horses. I loved my kids ... a lot. So, one night I just took the axe and... still people blame me... why me ....," he said somberly and pulled his collar down to show a deep red scar.
Sometimes we ask ourselves why some people even exist. I am not talking about some random medieval king or queen, but innocuous-looking people who will happily give you the time of the day.
"Stock... file... with pictures... I mean the collection," he replied, taken aback with this sudden change. "These are children, not pets or some made-to-order pieces of handicraft," Sir Thomas growled, taking his glasses off. "You are not getting us; we are donating a good sum. Don't we deserve a good choice? Today, your stock is not what we li..." 
Then of course, when it comes to bosses, everybody loves a bit of humour  .
... He sits on a high chair and has a peculiar habit of scanning every staff member from head to toe from behind his gold-rimmed glasses as if he could detect cocaine hidden in someone's tummy more surely than a trained sniffer dog.
Short story collections are like music albums: you really, really like one or two stories. Then there are a few stories everyone likes. Then there are one or two stories that everyone else likes. Pointing favourites might ruin it for you.

I hope the book does really well, and that Ankita goes on to write a lot more books.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Omnious or just Unlucky?

Many times we hear of someone being omnious. Mostly because they underwent some sort of personal tragedy.

This is so prevalent, it almost seems true. Oh, they can't have a child. Must have done some sort of bad things in a previous life. She just sits and stares into the wall, must be some kind of bad luck. 

What I think is that tragedy makes a person bitter or sad or plain negative. Just like being poor for a lot of time will make a person worrisome. Or like being powerful makes a person arrogant. A person who lived in violence in their childhood is more ready to fight in self defense in any situation. Going on with the same line of thought, and since we are all like Pavlov's dogs, we just assume a negative person is inherently negative and therefore in a situation of suffering.

Takes a lot of effort to get past such perceptions.

As with all posts on this blog, this one too is not original. But this time, I think it is not really good to name the person who (for want of a better word )inspired this post. This guy is really happy and in a great situation, so much so that I could not see any kind of bitterness in him. This is how I thought of this post. As with all posts on this blog, I always tell the people who inspire a post about the post, but this time, it saves me a "You write? I guess any stupid person can write" discussion :-)

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

History Repeats Itself... Sometimes Too Soon

Three of us were chatting at the workplace today. Both were seniors and elder to me, and one of them mentioned generation gap.

He was irritated and amused that our generation somehow thinks that his generation is one of idiots. He was even more irritated and amused because he remembered thinking the same about the generation before him. He pointed out that this pattern repeats with every new generation.

So far, so good.

Then he had to review some of my work. Here comes the awkward part.

He pointed out a few mistakes in my work. I was thinking that it was probably because he thought in a different manner. Then I thought he was probably doing it just for the sake it.

Aaaaaaand, then it hit me! My senior was right, both in terms of what he said about generation gap, and what he was saying about my work.

I was thinking the same way just three minutes after hearing of the same thing from the same person I was with. I can probably give a thousand rational explanations for what I thought. But none of them will be true. Not a chance.

Of course, no points for guessing who was irritated and amused now.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

When Things Get Scary

One of the seniors at work gave a bad, bad news today. Not as bad as me getting unemployed, but not a lot far from that.

It looks like a joke at the moment. Or I might be trying to convince myself that it is a joke.

This current experience is proving great for my personal growth. Someone once said live every day as if it is your last. This saying has a new meaning for me from now on.

This also reminds me to not expect too much and to never take anything for granted in life. I need more of such reminders.

Many times in life, the fun is in not knowing. This is different, but feels fun at the same time.