it is said that happiness is nothing but a state of mind. I am not wise enough to comment on such things or to argue on philosophy but from whatever I have seen in my life, I don’t think I become happy with cheeriness or merriment around me. There are very few times when I felt happy because everyone else around me was singing and dancing in joy. People go nuts on Holi but I never really felt that way, at least because of surroundings. On the other hand, sadness is definitely a state of mind. You feel so sad at times for no apparent reason and no matter how hard you try, you just can’t get over that feeling. I might be sounding depressed or pessimist here but I am sure everyone of us must have felt that way at one point or another.

2 days ago, around 11 PM, I was trying to finish off some work when my bother called. The very seeing of his name on phone made me a little uncomfortable coz he is a typical 9_PM_IN_BED_9.05_PM_ASLEEP_9.10_PM_DREAMING guy. I picked up the phone somewhat nervously, hoping all is well. Mr. M passed away, he said. I felt a sudden depressing chill inside. We talked for few minutes before disconnecting and then I tried to focus back on work… but well.. just couldn’t. I am usually a very level headed guy, not often on and off emotional roller-coasters but at that time, I don't know what got into me and all I could do was think…

I didn't know Mr. M personally. In fact I had never even met or seen him. He was my dad’s friend from his walking club. After my dad shifted here, he was a little depressed and alone, missing his friends and our old home in Bikaner. Mr. M and some other guys from his age group formed a small club and they used to sit and chat in mornings and evenings. Talking about this and that, sharing experiences of life, treatments, challenges with new age phones and laptops and what not. I knew Mr. M from my dad’s stories of this club. He was a widower with kids settled abroad and him trying to find happiness and company with friends like dad. Day before he passed away Mr. M, Dad and some other friends went to Jaipur Literature Festival and he was having good time eating street food and all… and the next day it was over… just like that…

He used to live alone in the next building to us. In evening he felt some uneasiness and called his brother. In around 15 minutes when he (brother) came, the door was latched. He somehow managed to open the door and by the time got in, Mr. M was no more.

I am at loss for words to describe how I felt when I heard this whole incident. I mean, the guy had the whole family, kids, grand kids, brothers and everyone.. but when the time came, he took his last breath all alone. No near ones or even a stranger in sight. 4 walls and nothing else.. People say that your whole life flashes through your eyes in such times. What Mr. M would have seen at that time.. his young age, job, marriage, kids, grand kids and yet no one in sight. What pain.. what anguish.. what loneliness.. what emptiness he must have felt at that time. It took just 15 minutes may be but what he might have suffered and gone through in those 15 minutes. What he might have felt at that time. He might have felt thirsty but no one to pass a glass of water. May be he had some medicines from prescription but no one to pass those medicines.. May be this was destiny and this is how he was supposed to go but this is just not fair. Any human being doesn't deserve this. Live life for others.. work like a dog, save to make your kids’ future, to settle them, get them married, buy a house and then die alone in that house. With nothing but emptiness!

It has been 2 days but I am still not able to get past this feeling. if this is why we humans live.. this is why we have kids.. work.. savings… so that we can come to an end like this?

RIP Mr. M and may the good lord comfort your family!

The bitter truth...

You read about such things all the time but you don’t realize how depressing this can be until it happens to you. You see people around, fighting with same sentiments but you don’t comprehend the horror at that time. Though it is the eternal truth, bound to happen but somehow we tend to believe that we might be an exception.

I had a similar reassuring feeling about myself. In fact I was not even thinking about it. And then… one day… it was there. Just like that. I so couldn’t frigging believe that it has happened to me. I mean, come on! It can’t be real!! It is not the time but oh well… if only… if only someone else thought the same way! I suddenly felt bitter in mouth, uttered some chosen profanities but it was there. Whether or not I liked it, this was the truth.

People told me not to do anything otherwise it is gonna strike back with double force but if only.. if only I was such a good listener. I decided to take matters in my hands and thought everything is good for now. As a matter of fact, it was good for few days and then today, the inevitable happened. It was back. Yeah, with double force! I guess it is time to admit and swallow the bitter truth.

So here I am folks… with two shiny grey hair!!

Do I hear mumblings that what is the fuss about it?

True! If it was on head, I would have been pretty cool about it but the place those bastards chose to make their playground! Back of my right ear. This is just urghh.. so creepy. I find myself touching my ear 10 times a day and well.. let us just say, it is not a nice feeling.

For whatever it is worth for, there is a brighter side, or so I have been told. The other day I was talking to someone and he said that hair behind the ear means wealth… a shit load actually. Well, I better be diving in a big ass pool stuffed with $ like Uncle Scrooge pretty soon otherwise it feels more like “ed” instead “ge” in that uncle’s name!


No wonder!

On my office desk, I have a large external monitor connected to my laptop. Thanks to MS Window’s extended desktop feature, it doesn’t duplicate my laptop’s screen and instead lets me decide which of the apps will be opened on which screen. So basically I can keep working on my laptop screen while the other monitor may or may not show any windows at all.

So one day, this smartass fellow came to my office. He is this really annoying guy but I somehow need to tolerate him for reasons better not revealed here… for one, that will change the direction of the story and second, I still want him to believe that I don’t, for the lack of a better word, dislike him that much.

Okay, coming back to the story. Recently when I changed my laptop, it came with a “VAIO” wallpaper which shows nothing but a gray logo on jet black screen. Thus if there are no open programs on second monitor, it just shows the wallpaper. The intellect of intellectuals asks.. hey, how did you get this logo painted on the monitor? Is it spray paint? Plus, don’t you find it irritating and distracting when you actually want to use this monitor?  It took me a second to realize that he is thinking that I got this logo painted on the monitor itself to boast off or show some kind of fanboyism to Sony, but when I did, I was actually dumbfounded.

You might think, how innocent! It is not that big of deal… but well, it is… The gentleman in question is an engineering degree holder in nothing less but computer science… claims to be among the toppers in class and after that… yes, hold your breath… went to IIM.

Not so innocent question.. right? It’s stupid and to be more precise, awful. Dude, as a computer engineer you are supposed to know at least this little something called wallpapers.

To be honest, I long back stopped thinking about the country’s future, coz well, it ain’t that  bright… but this!! I guess Mr.Sibal and their stooges don’t need to try that hard, coz the whole lot of this new generation is with them in the mission.


Yet another Debacle!

Technology is not really the strong suit for the people where we live in. We usually joke that Bikaner gets something after 7-8 years of the general launch and that too, when we are being fairly optimist. I always used to think, things are changing for good but oh dear lord.. are they! I learnt the latest lesson in a rather harsh way but well, nothing new about it. And of course, any learning is good learning so what the heck!

A few days back, a client of ours sent us a Blu-ray player for a project we are doing for him. I was by chance in the local video store next day to check on some titles and I casually enquired if they had something on Blu-ray?

The guy simply stared at me. Starting from face and then slowly moving the gaze from top to down with a puzzled look as if judging his response or trying to find the right expression.

This is odd, I thought, I am not asking for some classified material! Guess he didn’t really get it so I tried to make it easier for him and repeated the request slowly.. B L U R A Y? do you have something on it?

He still maintained this creepy look on his face, looked around and then a very low tone.. you need Blue films? You should not ask for it like this in public.

Suddenly everyone around was staring at me…

(Those who are not from India, must be wondering, so well, Blue Film is what they call softcore porn here)

Shit! I said in disgust. Forget it... and marched out of the library leaving the innocent guy wondering what he did wrong!

Later that day, I was talking to the client who sent this Blu-ray and telling him the experience.

S – You know the BR we sent is 3D.
Me – Yeah, so
S – Nah, just that, I don’t think I would like to watch porn in 3D
Me – haha.. why.. have you ever tried it? You won’t know till you try it!
S – No. Can’t say I have.. I would be just too worried, what is coming at my face!
Me – Oh Gross! Lets leave it at that.
S – Agreed!


Aiyo Jaya Nagaraa…

Okay, if you are still with me, I take you have nothing better to do in your life or at least in the present moment. This also concludes that your reading it further won’t make any collateral damage to country’s progress per se. So here goes!

So my dear jobless friends! These stupid lines are played to you in slowest possible pace by those ludicrous machine voices whenever you try to book a cab in Bangalore. Oh I get it its important, but dude.. if someone is booking a cab 5 times a day, don’t you think there should be at least an option to skip this crapola and move on with the actual business? Whatever happened to the commonsense?

Anyway, so last week when I was in Bangalore, I booked a cab with these smart Meru people to be picked up from Hotel SFO where I was meeting a friend. I didn’t know the exact location and I told them its Jaya Nagar or JP Nagar. I have no clue how they did it but within 5 minutes a cab was there. The guy even called me that he is waiting outside (though my number was STD for him). Quite impressive! Huh? Err.. not so fast, coz that’s what I did wrong…

The very next day, I was in SFO once again to meet the same friend. With the pleasant experience day before, I called Meru again. Guy confirmed the booking - Yes, Mr. Gupta, Hotel SFO, JP Nagar. (I think they picked it from last night or whatever)

In 10 minutes or so, there is a missed call on my cell. I don’t usually call back to these asinine missed callers but some instinct tells me that its my cab driver so I decide to call.

Me – Yes,
The guy other side – Saar, this is Satya from Meru. Where is your hotel?
Me – Well… I don’t know.
Satya – Saar! is it Jaya Nagar or JP Nagar?
Me – I wish I could help you my friend but I really don’t know… Why don’t you ask your call center? They sent someone last night as well.
Satya – You told them its JP Nagar
Me – No, I told them its either JP Nagar or Jaya Nagar. That too yesterday! Today your smartass call center guy said its JP Nagar
Satya – So saar, its Jaya Nagar or JP Nagar?
Me – I don’t think you are listening buddy but let me try again.. I  D O N T  K N O W
Satya – But saar….
Me – Oh Come on? Why don’t you get it? How do I know where the hell it is! I am a stranger in this city.. You speak to your call center and figure that out.
Satya – Jaya Nag…
Me – Oh crap.. hang on a tick. Let me take your call center on line

So I call their office and yes, I go through trauma of listening to that 72 seconds crap and then they connect me with a representative. Don’t worry Mr. Gupta.. it will be arranged. I will speak to the driver.

Another 5 minutes. Missed call again... I call back

Satya – Saar, this is Satya! Is it Jaya Nagar or JP Nagar
Me – Are you insane? I just spoke to your call center and the guy said its all arranged.
Satya – But Saar its Jaya Nagar or…

By that time, my patience is running out. My friend (who’s from US and has never seen this kind of crazy lot in past) is laughing his lungs off.

Me – Dude! I don’t know.. and I don’t care.. you figure it out.. If you can, all good. If you can’t.. even better.. Cancel the damn booking but just don’t call me again.

Another 2 minutes, missed call again.. OMG! This is not happening to me.. left with no choices.. I dial again to their call center and yes, go through the damn recorded voice and by the time an agent responds, I am ready to explode. So I describe the situation to him with various colorful adjectives and then finally after 30 minutes or so cab arrives.

End of trauma you will think.. but nope! I reach back to my hotel and Mr. Satya tells me that I will have to pay 50 bucks as convenience charge coz it was beyond regular 35 minutes and thus as per rules (Yes, go to start of post once again)

Me - Are you insane! What is it with you guys? If this is how you guys get your kicks in Bangalore? Screwing around with the innocent passengers?
Satya – Grinning.. but Saar

I swear I could totally bang his head to the hood but my gut told me its not a wise thing to do, especially when you are not on home turf.. so well..

You will think. I must be done with Meru by then… but nope! What do I do with my kind, sympathetic and generous heart!! It must be one bad day and one crazy driver I thought and in an impulse booked a cab again for airport transfer…

to be continued….

In the meantime, advise to Meru – GPS! Ever heard of that?

PS – I see that I left my last post with "to be continued" and its after almost 2 years that I am back on blog. So yeah.. I do understand my words are not very credible but this time the story will be continued ;)


Beware! Bozos on the loose
Have you ever noticed how many jerks are rambling open in this world who should have never actually been allowed to come out of the primary schools. They will look like our regular next door guy but with a catch, and that is, they never actually came across the basics of a civilized society. They wander open in streets threatening to humanity and can be found everywhere without putting in any major efforts. If you ask me, now when they are already out and probably too old for schools, only other suitable place that comes to mind is perhaps a zoo.

The subjects here can be divided in several categories and as it will not be possible to cover them all in a single post, I will start with a generic category which is usually found on roads. You don’t really need to hunt for them, count 1, 2, and hey presto! There they are… honking with all their might. No left, no right, no rules, no regulations, just honk honk honk. To quench my never ending thirst for erudition, I decided to interview some serious gamers in the field with just one question, why do people honk! So here we go…

Subject 1 – 20 something, nicely trimmed goatee, wearing a leather jacket, pierced ear, expensive shades and even expensive bike

Style uncle style! Gotta noticed by chicks, aap nai samjhoge baba, tez gadi chalane padta hai, ladki log ko impress karna padta hai (you won’t understand old bag, need to drive fast, need to impress the gals)

Subject 2 – in his middle age, accelerating an old Bajaj Chetak like doing 120 miles per hour but actually standing still on a red signal, finger firmly glued to horn button.

Puzzled.. am I? heh heh!!

Subject 3 – from some nearby village, in a Mahindra Utility overloaded with grain bags, milk cans and 2 buffalos. Wearing Pagdi, dhoti and kurta (Turban and traditional Indian dress)

Tanne ke? Mhari gadi, mhara horan, tanne ke panchayant hon laag ri hai? Aur ib side main ho le, varna mar mara javega (None of your bloody business. My car, my horn, who are you to ask? And BTW, stay out of the way or will be flattened here only.)

Subject 4 – a truck driver on highway, no traffic but still screaming with the pressure horn.

Gadi ke peeche dekho saab (look at the back of truck sir)

In colorful letters it had written -

Hum bhi banna chahte the sangeetkar, par duniya luta baithe
Kismat kuch aise palti, lorry chala baithe

(wanted to be a musician but lost everything, life took a steep turn and ended up as a truck driver)

Bus saab is liye ye horn se he music baja baja ke khush ho lete hai (so sir, I try to please myself by playing some music with this horn)

Then suddenly some loud folk music echoed in the air, I tried to figure out where it was coming from and saw a camel-cart on the far end of road. As it came nearer I asked the villager riding on it. Hey what’s wrong, why this loud music?

kya kare saab, hamari gadi main horn nai hai na, to bus ye gana baje ke he khush ho lete hai.

(What to do sir, no horn in my camel-cart so trying to please myself by this music only)

To be contd..
(with a different category of bozos next time)

Till then, keep honking…


Happy _______ Blah blah blah…
Okay fellas, so it is Holi, and by the grace of all those messaging aficionados, my cell inbox is full once again with all those colorful, loving, emotional and heartily good wishes. Now I really appreciate that and I mean it, but there is a small problem, literally insignificant, and that is, I don’t know the names of more than half of these well-wishers. I know am sounding discourteous as usual but can’t help it and I need to ask this one question – WHY DON’T YOU GUYS WRITE YOUR NAME IN THE END OF MESSAGE? Do you think just because you have my number in your phonebook, I will also have your number stored? And hey, let us get this straight. I don’t have any misconception about myself so let us not fake it. I know, most of you have my number stored only coz either you are too lazy to manage and clean up the phone book or you simply don’t know that cell phones also have a delete contact option. So willingly or unwillingly, on every occasion, which India has in tons, you simply select all and send the so called best wishes. You guys have no clue, what a herculean task it is for someone like me who don’t have a phonebook at all. However, today, to make an exception, I decided to dig through my old phonebook backups and guess what I found – Among others, I also got best wishes from -
  • Someone who literally threatened me in our last meeting with words “dekhna aap”, (You will see), which was around 7 years back.
  • In-charge of banquet hall in our wedding.
  • Some corrupt embezzling officer to whom I spoke once for an order (in my previous business) and the deal didn’t materialize coz apart from money, he asked for some xxx CDs (internet was not that common those days). Again some 6 years back.
  • An old crook customer who didn’t pay the final invoice and stopped picking up phones, replying to messages and ended up in bad debts.
Then there is a guy who never stays in touch otherwise but will always send a message on festivals. As obvious, I don’t bother to reply so after 4 days he will call personally to tell me, yaar maheep, bade aadmi ho gaye ho, message ka reply bhi nai karte? (Maheep, you have become a big-shot or what, you don’t even reply to my messages?). Urgh.. come on buddy, get a life. The same fellow, met me once after marriage and greeted with – “Yaar shadi main bulaya he nai? Bulate to kuch dekar he jate!! (Hey, you dint invite me in your wedding, If nothing, I would have given some gift). Now what could I say.. so.. wateve!!

Anyways, I have this special festive offer for all you guys, instead of sending a message next time, please call me and I will tell you how to delete a contact from your phonebook. Muft, muft, muft!! (Free, free, free!!)