Saturday, September 20, 2008

Radar Love

On a boring night I was browsing through profiles in search of something interesting and I bumped across a blog which had a rather interesting post.

Here is how it went

1. Put your iPod (or other source of music) on shuffle mode.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. You must write the name of the song no matter what.
No cheating!

1. “If someone says ‘Is this okay?’, you say?”
Girls just wanna have fun-Cyndi Lauper

2. “What would best describe your personality?”
Smell like teen spirit - Nirvana

3. “What do you like in a guy/girl?”
Tears in Heaven - Eric Clapton

4. “How do you feel today?”
Lets make a night - Bryan Adams

5. “What is your life’s purpose?”
Maneater - Nelly Furtado

6. “What is your motto?”
Saturday Night - Whigfield

7. “What do your friends think of you?”
Se A Vide E (Go Girl)- Petshop boys

8. “What do you think of your parents?”
Wild Child - Enya

9. “What do you think about very often?”
Eagle - Abba

10. “What is 2+2?”
Cowboy and the lady - John Denver

11. “What do you think of your best friend?”
Crazy - Gnarls Barkley

12. “What do you think of the person you like?”
Like a Virgin - Madonna

13. “What is your life story?”
Soldier of Fortune - Deep Purple

14. “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikini - Brian Hylan

15. “What do you think when you see the person you like?”
I wonder - Abba

16. “What do your parents think of you?”
I'm not like everybody else - The Kinks

17. “What will you dance to at your wedding?”
Wheel of fortune - Ace of Base

18. “What will they play at your funeral?”
Lady Midnight - Leonard Cohen

19. “What is your hobby/interest?”
Imagine - John Lennon

20. “What is your biggest secret?”
Uptown girl - Billy Joel (LOL. I only just mentioned to my roomie about this personable girl who lives uptown)

“What do you think of your friends?”
Smell of rock - Enigma

22. “What should you post this as?”
Radar Love - Golden Earing

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Sunday, January 06, 2008

Table Tennis

“love all”, resounded the room.

We stood face to face across the table. Something was wrong. Something was always wrong, but this time it felt really wrong. I quickly turned my gaze privileging my eye with the beauty reflected on the window.

A few minutes later, the water in my eyes focused my gaze off her reflection and sailed me into the past.


Wintry nights are hard. Actuated by restrained love. The cold biting night embraced me hard when I saw you chain the love monster that I had instilled in you. I could see a love restrained.

“love - one”

With the last bit of strength in me, I let go of my letter in your care. “Win her I would”, I said to myself as I trudged back a loser.

“Take another shot of courage…” ran the Eagles lyrics in my mind.

“one – all”

Weeks sailed by and the magic of love withstood the inclement weather and was beginning to blossom. You were so carefree. I was part of your happiness! The jokes, the long hours of silence staring at the mares frolic. All was bliss. But in your absence I was insecure. Afraid of the future. Our future. Fear besieged me and pushed me to do things I never imagined I would be doing. Work which I thought would please you. Please us.

Time flew.

“seven - one”

The bad old winter was approaching. The same fretful place where I left you with the care of my letter began looking gloomier by the day. The place felt colder every time I walked by.

“Wonderful!! You are getting married! Why are you sad. You should be Haa-py”, I said.

“seven - all”

But you read my inner discomfort. “Of course I am sad!” I cried back. “I wanted to win you. Once my work is achieved I’d meet your folks and court you. I am sad because I have failed. Time has failed me. You have failed me. Please don’t leave me alone here. Everyone is teasing me. Please”

“seven – point”

My optimism grew two fold. I wanted to win. I needed to win. I was scared. Fear of failure made be believe I could achieve the impossible. I had a goal. It was crystal clear. You were bigger in my inner eye. I worked hard. I prayed even harder.
When you want something with the bottom of you heart, the whole world conspires to help you achieve it. Divine Intervention it is called. You laughed when I spoke to you of it. But I still had faith.

“eight - point”

…. you lead me to a corner. The feeling was not good. You then twirled with a mixture of happiness and sorrow. I did not understand the expression until I noticed the left hand stretched out. On the fair hand, neatly placed by some lucky man was a ring.

“eight – game!”

What a wonderful smash to end the game. I am amazed by the way you smash. I completely lost sight of the ball.

“But the years went by and the rock just died
Suzie went and left us for some foreign guy”

my mind sang.

A ring unlocking the fortunes for one, sealing the fate of a lonely fighter.
A ring binding two souls, drifting apart two spirits.
A ring …

“What did I do wrong?”, echoed my inner mind. Hence began the introspection. WHy? Why? why?....
Maybe I should have played more carefully. I should have served better.

…. how can someone sow the seeds of love and chop it almost instantaneously? How could I have been fighting for a cause that was lost even before I started.

“eight- twenty three”

Was I cheated? No! You never told me your feelings. It was always I who made the first move. You are a lovely person and I misread your actions.

“eight – twenty five”

But then all those actions are not done to just anybody! You did feel for me in the same way as I did towards you! You bloody did!

“eight – twenty six”

“Move on with your life. I have moved on. I am very happy and you should be too”. It was so easy for you to say.

“move on. I have moved on ….”

How can I explain to you that when you have shaped your life to achieve something, something which you really desire with the truest of convictions, failing to achieve that is the biggest setback in life. And it is by far most difficult trying to “move on”
I only hope you achieve whatever you set your heart on lest you should suffer the pain of “moving on”.

“eight – thirty one”

Was I cheated ? Now I am alone with thoughts and my stupidity. Everyone is laughing. How could I be so helpless?

Why didn’t I make things work? Why didn’t it happen?

“eight – thirty five”

My thoughts are so opposite yours. “It is all fate and your fate is bad. We were never meant to be together”, you spat out, while I held on to the letter you returned.
The smudge from my tear when I wrote it was still visible. You had taken good care of the letter. The ink dissolved in my sweaty palms.

The lines were changed.

“we have to make things work out. We write our own destinies”, I retorted.

“If things don’t work out between you and your husband, don’t blame it on fate and accept it. You need to work towards making things normal”, was the only advice I could give to her.

“eight – thirty nine”


“What are you still playing for??? The game was over long back at twenty one. You are only losing more miserably”, she shouted from across the table.

“huh”, I said coming back to my senses.

“I beat you”, she shouted with joy. “I beat you hollow!” and threw the racket in the air.
“Maybe next time you can try harder”, she laughed out.

“haha. Yea.”

“I am a bad loser”, I said, still shocked at the miserable defeat. “and I don’t have the courage to play with you again. You are a wonderful player”

She left doing the silly carefree dance that she always does, as I gazed out of the window staring into the hazy darkness; my present getting entwined with my past, leaving the cold evening mist tease me.

Friday, March 02, 2007


“Shalabh tu bhi ja raha hai?”(Shalabh, are you also going?), enquired my manager as I was staring in disbelief out of my window, trying my level best to divert my mind from what transpired behind me. I sit at the flag end of my floor overlooked by a huge window. And behind me were 3-4 guys changing– the process which usually begins with one taking off their clothes and then hopefully ending with them adorning some other set– from their office wear into their fitness session wear. Now what perplexed me was why change from their office wear to fitness wear when there was hardly any difference between the two, and even more baffling was why on earth did they choose to do all their shenanigans near my commodious cubicle. Why ?

Still wearing a surprised look I answered “Nahi”(No).

“Ok, we shall close your EPA then”

Ten minutes later I trudged behind her towards the conference room wherein we were supposed to meet my other manager, which was kind of like a “Surprise!” as I thought only this manager, the one with whom I marched along, was going to do my EPA. And yes I have two managers, lady managers, stop feeling J now.

EPA stands for Employee Performance Assessment and Development(its not called EPAD because some wisecrack HR realized it would then blatantly suggest Employee Performance Assessment and Doom). In my case it probably is Early Performance Assessment and Development since I just recently joined.

Two ladies seated in front of me.
I, seated in front two ladies, in a closed room.
“Was I looking prim?”
“Did I smell nice?”
“Was is suffering from halitosis?”, were a few of the three patent thoughts that raced around in my mind. I mean, its not like I find myself seated in front of two powerful ladies, who aren’t bitching about each other, if I may add, in a closed room every other day, and I don’t think such hap is ever going to besiege me in the near future, so its pretty understandable that I wanted to be at my prime.

“How are things?” , asked one
Immediately I was at ease. For the first time the female made the first move!
“Fineeee”, I burst out with a huge smile and a strong gush of breath that disproved Newtons’ third law as I didn’t move an inch. One of my doubts was killed as they welcomed my “finee” with a smile. By breath was fine! Ahhhh

Then she continued with her corporate diplomatic talk, I hate it when girls get all diplomatic and stuff, and worse yet, she even used the word diplomatic while her fingers quoted it!

Finally the bell rang. It was the other lady’s chance to speak. I just love this form of dating.
She just nodded and probably due to the nod a couple of “goods” slipped out and looked towards the other lady to take over. I almost let out a cry and then she realized she had to mention another point.

“The testing and delivery also was good”.
Yea! Now you’re talking. I spent my whole bloody Valentine with the stupid switch in some forlorn frigid corner of the lab, monkey testing some silly feature which I had to roll out soon. And it better be commended even though it might fail later.

Finally the two ladies begged leave of me and while departing they leaned forward and looked me right in the eye, while my eyes flitted from one lady’s eye to another, as they tried to scare me by telling me tales of how big and critical the work I am doing is, and scare me they did.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Spam to poetry

I got a poetry spam in my inbox yesterday(The first 2 verses). I liked the way it began and couldn't resist from adding by bit

The room was dark,
The room was drear,
And all I could feel
Was a rush of fear.

The shades were down,
And it was hard to see,
But I could hear her heart beat,
And it comforted me.

The wind was cold,
The wind was sere,
She asked me to sing,
As I searched for her ring.

Her eyes were blue,
Her brows were black,
I slipped the ring,
Without a sting.

She smiled and she smiled,
And fell on her knees,
To pick up her keys,
That she dropped with a sneeze.

She kissed me left,
She kissed me right,
While hugging me tight,
For I was her knight.

She gave me a pie,
And smiled me goodbye,
”You’re the best ring maker” said she
And it comforted me.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Hanging out

Falling from heights being my most prominent dream, today’s dream was an aberration I would welcome anytime. I dreamt of a girl. A girl with such enthralling beauty that it’s worth beginning my post with her mention. I have no idea who she was but all I know is that she was wearing a white top and a maroon dupatta and a denim that graced her long legs. Her shoulder length black hair neatly parted from the centre and hid her ears as she smiled and walked with her head inclined to one side. This simple dream was more than enough for me to replay her walk for an additional ninety minutes of sleep. Her beauty is ineffable partly due to the fact that it all seems hazy to me and partly because I am inept at describing her. It was the best way to begin my day today. And it is said, early morning dreams come true. I got my fingers crossed.

Soon I found myself chauffeuring a few friends to the other side of town. One friend had decided to spend her Sunday in our autumn company or rather wanted to show her folks how she audaciously puts up with us goons each and everyday at work or probably the inner machinations of her mind suggested we’d altruistically bring her some gifts which unfortunately or fortunately only one person realized and got a box of sweets which we promptly finished.

The colony was wow! I was immediately taken back to my childhood. The open space, the huge flats, the seclusion, the flora, the feral mongrels, the sprawling lawns, everything was like my ex-colony. Was it another dream? I don’t mind sleeping more.

After a heavy lunch we embarked on the task to watch Kabul Express-Bollywood’s attempt to encash on the Taliban story. I was expecting a lot from it as I had heard good reviews of it from reliable sources, I dare say. Also I love Afghans. Their faces have so much depth. The hardship, the agony, the pain, all so beautifully expressed in their scarred faces. Another reason for me to look forward to the flick.

It sucked donkey balls, OK. It was horrendous. And the weird oblique view I had on the screen filled me with more malaise. I should have changed me stupid seat. It was a bland movie without a single poignant scene; one that is expected from such a movie. The flick can be compared to Behind enemy lines TWO. Yea. I bet you haven’t heard of it let alone seen it. That good the flick was. Behind enemy lines 2 was better than Kabul Express because it got over even before it began. Kinda reminding me of Douglas Adam’s comment “I love deadlines. I love the wooosh sound they make when they go by”

Nevertheless, as long as you have good company along, even the dullest of moments can turn into gold. So after the crappy flick we headed down to explore the campus but soon realized there was nothing there other than a straight road leading to the exit. Finally, abiding by the traditions of colony kids after playing Frisbee and badminton and some friendly bantering we retired to our hovels.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

How sycophantic are we

How sycophantic are we

Innate in me is a feeling of rancor towards sycophants. One of my quotidian goals is to spot people with no integrity of their own. One who will be your buddy in arms and forsake you the next. I have come across numerous such mongrels during the last ten years and I am still amazed at how selfish and inconsiderate can one be.

Worst, first you are treated as a pariah and then when by some quirk of fate, people realize you are good at something and then they all vie to be your “close” friends. I remember in school, after the exams we used to have a week or so of no teaching and we used to bring board games and other paraphernalia and kill time. Then chess was a rave. I wasn’t the most sought after person in class; as kids we tend to lick the behind of only the first ranker or the best batsmen. That was about to change. It was a few minutes before the lunch break where I got a chance to play a game of chess against the, let me say, prominent personality of class. Wow! No one cared a damn, other than me. I was petrified. The game was punctuated by the lunch bell and resumed at two in the afternoon. It was almost time to leave and the game wasn’t over yet. And I looked around to find a parliament of owls with curious eyes and some boisterous laughter on my queen being a half bitten eraser. Ten minutes after school was let off yours truly won. A few seconds after that I was the most popular guy. Any queries related to chess, any challenges, any moderation, any coaching, all through me. A few days later I realized human nature.

Another such encounter was in college. People usually think I am a dumb guy on first encounter and the opinion usually lasts for long. I don’t fret much over it as I believe in the cliché “it takes one to know one”. Only can a discerning artist relate to another. It was during our campus placements when the real sycophants came out into the open. An MNC known for its email had visited campus. Everyone wanted in. Other than me. I had already gotten into the company that is into the work I like and wasn’t keen on shifting. But just for kicks, I wanted to write the test and attend the interview to distend my knowledge. On the day of the test I walked into the audi unprepared and fell out of place seeing everyone doing last minute preparations. I was one of the twenty out of some big number to clear the written. Late in the evening I walk into the interview room like a ragamuffin. An hour or so later I was among the 4 short listed for the next round. I sure was ecstatic. I wasn’t prepared and getting to the last four was bliss. Of course, I didn’t make it as fortune favors the prepared. But the next day people who hadn’t uttered a word to me spoke to me like they knew me for years. One guy even began calling me! How low can one get.

What about the day in office where I was standing in line to get some popcorn behind the head of our BU who is a foreigner named David. People who passed by were staring in awe at him. They were smiling in a very sly way. The looks that they and the popcorn lady gave was like God himself had come down to get some popcorn. It was plain preposterous.

Its amazing how we always want to hang out with the coolest person, how we always want to be nice with the pretty girl or the handsome man, how we promptly offer our seat to pretty lass while letting the old man struggle to stand or how we always find time to help the foreigner.

Best describing our rotten nature, is as one described the relation between the sheep to their shepherd “They will stick to me as long as I can find them greener pastures”

Friday, January 19, 2007

Happy New Year

Year Two Thousand and Seven began in a not so interesting way when you look back and see all the excitement a new year has brought to me. Most notably the four years of engineering, wherein the probability of having an external exam on 1st or 2nd January was point nine up to five decimal places. So my new years were mostly fraught with excitement, nervousness and a sudden impetuous for February.

This time nothing of that sort. It was a slow day and as most my team members and other employees were on an extended vacation the place was cold, both literally and figuratively. The floor was eerie and the goldenish soporific lights brought nothing but ennui.

Although I don't crave for forlorn surroundings, I kind of enjoyed it this time. I could do anything I wanted. I could keep my legs on the desk, I could sing loud, I could look at web pages on LEGO and stuffed toys without being scorned at or the best part, with the exiguous presence of people around it felt like I was solely responsible for all the work being done around.

But this feeling, like all feelings are, was ephemeral. To add irritation was the omnipresent apathetic "Happy New Year" followed by "How was your vacation?"Everyone where you go, everyone you meet, you ears are impinged with these two phrases and all spoken with competing indifference.It’s like when you have a stone in your hand you involuntarily through it."Happy New Year" became that stone which was thrown the moment you see someone; one that has only content but no warmth.

I was standing beside the water cooler when one person wished the other "Happy New Year" to which this person replied "Yea, Happy to you too". I tried my best to control my laughter which resulted in a weird sounding hiccup."Happy to you to”? What does that mean? Probably he too was frustrated by the unmeaningful statements he had received all day long. I recall on my birthday when all were busy pouncing on the sweets, one wisecrack wished me "happy" and pounced on the sweets, leaving me to fill "Birthday".

Its disheartening to see most of us just say things because the occasion demands it. Shouldn’t we say things with conviction else just don't say them. But I guess since we are in a "professional" environment we have to put up fronts.

Happy New Year to you too.