Sunday, December 11, 2011

Gorai Beach

As a west coast boy, I always wondered what it would be like to witness sunrise at a sea. I was always ready to compromise my morning sleep, but I just didn't get the chance to travel to the eastern coast of the country. Lately, I found this beautiful beach in Mumbai and since then it has been a routine to spend every Saturday evening there. 

One can't forget this symbolic golden dome like structure that comes enroute to the beach. It was erected by the Essel World authorities to make a mark on Mumbai's map. And yes, you have to take a ferry from Borivali to cross a hundred meters or so patch of creek. Else, next available option is to travel all the way 30 kms by roadway. Auto-rickshaws and buses are available from the ferry point to get to the beach.
The best thing about Gorai beach is that the water is really shallow and calm. And when people are aimlessly walking on the beach, it creates illusion of walking on the water. Another thing is, people with not so brave hearts can also enjoy the sea. (Most of my friends would fall under this category.) During low tides, you could actually walk and touch those little fishing boats resting on the shore.
It seems to be just the perfect place to go footloose. Most of the people bring their vehicles to the beach for a nice run and ultimately end up getting stuck in the sand. It's been a number of times, me and my friends have helped the drivers to get their cars out of the mud. But I guess it's worth it. May be, even I would like to do that stupidity when I get a car on my own.
Most people would enjoy the sea from a distance without getting themselves wet. I have no respect for those kind of people. (This is my argument when my friends laugh out loud, at me whenever I can't resist my urge to take a swim in the oceans.)
Apart from all these jokes, the beach gets its real beauty in night. Believe me when I say, I even swam in those shallow waters, under the moonlight. Drifting like a wooden log, facing that dark grey sky, on those lazy waves covered in a shiny white blanket of moonlight. Indeed, an experience of a lifetime!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Way By The Sea

Marine drive may be the first place that pops up in most people's minds when they talk about Mumbai. May be that's how we are fed images of the place through Bollywood cinemas. A beautiful curve, blinding lights, tall buildings, classical horse-buggies and a Gucci showroom that boasts of its royalty. I hate those skyscrapers, they make me feel how small I am. But it's good in a way, you know that you have new heights to climb. Motivational stuff!
For most Mumbaikars, it's the sea that lures them. I am no exception. We used to spend hours watching that calm, sleepy sea at warm nights. I won't exaggerate it to level of a spiritual gateway, but all of a sudden, you have all the time in the world to yourself. The world starts moving in slow motion. You achieve what they call it as solitude! It gets really buggy when you are deep in your thoughts about life and other such heavy matters and then a Chaiwala comes and tries to sell you some tea  and cigarettes. Or the eunuchs disturbing a 'busy' couple, trying to earn a buck. Or a rare roar of a distant mighty motorcycle. 

This road is just the perfect place for some burn down. If you are lucky enough, you might even get to witness a street race. It all can be associated with the glamour in the city.
Those rock there always reminded me of my chemistry teacher. She once taught us what a CH4 molecule looks like and its resemblance these rocks. 

On a completely different note of memory, I used to laugh my ass off seeing those helpless tiny crabs walking on and falling from those rock structures. Never felt pity for them, but she did. Told me. Life is full of struggle. In the city. Of blinding lights. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


We Ain't Rats

I see all these people around me, so engrossed in their work lives, trying to give their more than cent percent to the organization, trying to impress their bosses, trying to bag the piece of cheese. Most of the people wouldn't find anything wrong with it. Neither did I, until I realized that this rat-race is going to consume me ultimately. The question is, is this what you are born to do? Sitting in a chair and doing books, managing accounts, giving support to some alien software? I wouldn't dare to ask this question to my colleagues, 'what is your ultimate aim in life?' And if I did, I am sure I would get answers like, nothing; to die one day in piece; to be a man of no regrets; etc. The biggest fools are those who actually argue with you about they being right. Oh god, please. Give them a life!

I had decided not to bother about this stuff anymore. I mean its their life and I can't liberate (or whatever is the right word) everyone I see. But, watching my friends do the same thing, makes me lose my mind. I wish I could slap them and tell to stop. And thus W.A.R.

The system is a trap. They lure you for all those corporate awards and promotions, make you work so hard so that THEY can enjoy a good show, even without letting you know why. Tell me how it's different from a rat-race, all rats running behind the cheese. Every god damned initiative taken by the company to make you feel good, let me tell you, is a trap. If someone benefits, it's the company. And that's why HR guys are the most hated people in the company.

The funny thing is one doesn't really need anything to break out of the trap. All it takes is mere realization. So declare a W.A.R. and save yourself.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Girl At My Office

It was getting more awkward each day. Friend, colleague, life partner? Saying 'Good morning' to her always popped the question in my mind. And I couldn't really decide for myself. I wanted to get close to her, simultaneously maintaining workplace boundaries. I had read in books that love at workplace is a bad, bad idea!

Next Monday, some admin guy came to my desk and said that they are shifting my desk to a new position. They shifted it right next to her. Now I didn't have to peek above that stupid desk-divider-wall. I was happy with this change. We even got a shared office-telephone. It happened once that I was busy reading some shit on (apparently that's the only decent website which is not yet blocked by our office authorities), and the phone rang for 10 seconds or so. I knew it wasn't for me as it's just been a month since I joined the organization and nobody really called me. That irritating, good for nothing telephone was now getting to my nerves. I had to pick it up. The person on the other side asked for a random name, I don't really remember now. I got so irritated that, without even letting the other guy finish his sentence, I announced, 'No. She's not here.' I knew, the call was meant to be for her, and so did she. After 15 minutes of dead silence, she asked, 'Do you know my name? It's Amy.' Awesome! Now I knew her name. (The point here being, she didn't say, hey hi there, I am Amy. Instead she said it the other way, in a kind of bossier way. In later days, I found her more friendly than bossy.) 

I didn't have anyone to talk to, except her as I was the new guy in the organization. I hated it. Adjusting to a new place, when people around you were not so friendly, rather supportive. Its like everyone I  came across in the cages they bought. Though it was killing me inside, I didn't let it get it on my mind. It was someone's birthday in my bay (that's what they call it), and everyone was going to canteen to celebrate it. I wasn't. 'Hey, it's Mounil's birthday. Why don't ya join us. It'll be fun', Amy said to me  . It was relieving and I felt happy that someone noticed, knew I was there in their bay too.

Days passed and we were talking more often than ever. I must have misunderstood this part, but still took the next step. Asking a girl out for coffee. It was the evening tea/coffee time so I asked as casually as I could, as if it was just out of the boredom. 'Do you wanna grab some coffee in canteen?'. Canteen? Mistake! She said she would love to but she was busy.  I figured out it was just a big, fat NO said a very non-offensive way. Doesn't matter, I said to myself.

Though I doubted if she is committed to someone else, I really never cared about it. (I believe in a perfectly competitive world.) From initial experience with her, I had made a perception about her being jolly and stuff. But it turned me off to see her not take part in team games, which were usually held on Friday. May be as a part of their Feel-Good initiative by the HR.

We talked about other people in the company, movies, shopping, hangout places, music, books. Making an eye contact with her is what I used to love. I pined for her. Things were good if not great. She even gave me her cell number without me asking for it. Big achievement, as I see it. I was getting a bit serious now. Next day, she invited me to have breakfast with her. I declined, making a lame excuse.

The following Monday brought a bad news. Team-wise relocation was taking place and they were going to shift her desk. I begged her to stay at her current desk itself, but there wasn't much she could do about it. I was just praying if the admin guys just forgot to move her desk. She seemed resilient about this change.

Small talks had become rare now. But the final nail in the coffin was yet to be hit. Yesterday, I saw her with a guy from our office only. She saw that I saw her. Our eyes met. Though it left my heart to pieces, I managed to give her half a smile. It was pretty sure from their comfort level that they were going out. Like a slap in my face. It was coming back to me, all those pieces of the memories. Suddenly, I hated her, I don't know why. May be it's like that, if the girl you like is with someone else, you curse her for no substantial reason.

Now I had no reason to that bloody office. But my friends somehow kept me going. I still see her sometimes. An awkward eye contact! But always, either of us quickly turn eyes and pretend nothing happened. Feels like, Ouch! That hurt!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Experiencing Chennai

     It's been two weeks since I moved to Chennai. This phase of "exploring city" is more like a new marriage. You are enthusiastic and open to new ideas. I have been roaming in prominent parts of the city, trying to absorb as much as I could. The city seems good. Big and beautiful, blessed with a long coastline. Some of my friends would completely disagree saying that, it's a shitty place. I mean, if you have this pre-determined notion in  mind about a place, howsoever beautiful a place might be, it's gonna look shitty to you. And I don't blame them, it's just human nature.

Chennai Central

     Chennai is more like Russia. They don't speak English (or Hindi for that matter), taxis are a scam, and they talk of communism all the time. The people have helping nature nonetheless. A few days ago, I had to go Marina beach and I was asking a passerby for directions. He didn't understand Hindi or English. He might have just picked the word 'Marina' and figured that I wanted to go there. And of course he know that I don't know Tamil, still he is explaining me in Tamil. I mean it's not his fault or I am not undervaluing his help or anything like that. I was just staring at him while he was talking. He was talking with so much dedication, so much efforts that I had to nod my head in approval, as if I understood every single word. After ten steps, I asked someone, who could speak Hindi, for helping me out. One more incident. I was going to my place in Kazhipattur by bus and I pronounced it as what it sounds. And then this bus-conductor tells me its Kaipattur not Kazhipattur, making me repeat till I get it right.

     The language barrier. For the first time in my life, I felt diversity as an issue. Imagine entire India speaking the same language, there would have been no IPL. Jokes apart, we really need to think over this "issue".

     Till now, I had this thought that only Ahmadabad is something that could be called as the city of malls. But Chennai is giving it tough competition. Spencer's and Express Avenue are really something (And perhaps the only places to spot some hot chicks). One shouldn't miss them on his Chennai trip. Four floors of pure awe each. Marina beach, Basy beach, Broken Bridge are some other places to see. I had heard a lot about Marina Beach but when I witnessed for myself, it was just another beach full of people.

     I am still exploring new places in Chennai. The thing I noticed about myself and my friend Madhu is that we wouldn't go to certain kind of places, howsoever good they are. Like museums or zoos or art galleries. Turns out, we are missing something in our lives.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Running Away!

In continuation with: Escape!

     Wisdom had struck him like lightening. He did not feel like carrying the burden of  this restlessness anymore, that would have been cheating himself. For many days afterwards he tried to drag himself to his boring routine of life, for the sake of his lovely wife, for the sake of his corporation. But it wasn't the same anymore, the food wasn't tasty, beer wasn't intoxicating, sex wasn't desirable. Anymore. He know that it was eating him from inside. Like a bird trying so hard to break out of the cage, not caring if it would all fall apart. 

     Nikhil gave it all a second thought, calculating all other possibilities, like explaining it all to his wife or his close friend, but each time it rendered him disappointed as he felt they would never understand him. The more he tried to avoid that thought, more it kept popping in his mind. He just needed some time to figure it out all.

     And one ordinary day, it did happen. He ran like a fugitive. Threw away his mobile phone, burned down all the cash, gave his blazer to a beggar who needed it more than him. He held his wedding ring in his hand to throw it off, looked at it for a second, and then put it back. His righteousness told him to keep it as it would remind him of his loved one and the fact that he has to come back one day. He walked his way to the railway station and decided to aboard the first train out of here, irrespective of where it took him, leaving his beloved ones in despair. Gathering himself in the general compartment to save himself from the cold. It was all so new for him and he was open to this new world. Excited. Pumping up adrenaline through his blood.

To be continued...

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