Sunday, August 12, 2012

2 Years and Counting

Back again.. and with a good timing too. For some weird reason, here I was, checking this space out when I realized its time for the "2 yrs old professional" post. Yes! It has been two years now. What can I say, I am actually a normal person who can hold a job. (Ok, if you put it that way, it does not sound all that good. But good it is!) As everyone, I have had my share of ups and downs but I still like the work I do and the people I work with. So, yes, good it is. 

Talking of people, it has been great. Even more than the first year. I made some very good friends, whom I'm comfortable socializing with outside of work. Essentially, I was ready to let them into my personal lives. Got a mentor who has been a wonder. Learnt a lot, work, culture, professionalism, politics and more. (Somebody teach me the grammar that I'm so conveniently letting go of) Found my groove and got good at it. Learnt math, stats, finance, management, lean and some more. Worked with different kinds of people, in corporate offices and  manufacturing facilities and at multiple locations too. Saw a bit of the world. Became a lot more independent in a lot of fronts. On the whole, it has been a great one year.

A better analyst and a better person.. and now down under! 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

To This Space, Again..

As always, here I'm, after 7 or so months and finally I seem to have a reasonably better sense of what drives me here. The primary factor being boredom, especially at work when I've no deadlines coming up. That does not essentially mean I don't have tons of work. It just means that I decided to cram it all up into three 20 hour days instead of a sane week. So, being bored I start to search through my reader instead of just the usual news bits when I eat and I come up with quite some writings which reminds me that I've a blog too and I need to fill it up once in a while if I want to reminisce 25 years from now. (Yes, I know, that is quite an assumption. But then, why not!)

Alright now, what was I up to all these months. Ahh, quite a bit, new job requirements, new locations, new people, a lot of hustle and bustle, mayhem, a total topsy turvey and back to the normal life, almost. Me being the, no actually, me not being the person that I used to be, I am going to refrain from explaining every tedious moment of the past few months and stick to some not-so-disturbingly-personal thoughts and ideas. Well, in the  near future.. hopefully.. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

So Do People..

Or may be not. (Yes, I'm going to spell it out, the first half of it was times change) After a sleepless night, about 7 miles of walk and a lot of depressing thoughts, I still have not come to terms with it. I tend to blame myself for everything that went wrong. I'm supposed to blame it all on the jerk and let go. I'm supposed to feel I'm worth too much more. But I just am not able to. May be its a woman thing or its just me. No matter how much I know otherwise.

Whenever I think about it, there is a lot of negativity. I come up with a hundred reasons to feel victimized. But I don't want it to take the better of me. For, the more it gets to me, the more I feel stuck and remember I can not end it. As always, I don't enjoy having enemies less so hating friends. So, as I replied to one of my random emails at work today, I take the high road. (Yes, I'm back to being the cryptic confusing self) Reminds me of one of the discussions I had with my friend. Talk of stock prices led to economics that lead to politics and to that of the middle east and finally ended in what is loosely defined as philosophy. My friend was explaining why he believes in re-birth. No, he is not one of those types. He is an extremely smart, quantitative man but yes my friend and so of course, he talks everything under the sun and yes that is very limiting. Coming back to re-birth, what he said was one of those ideals that is infinitely soothing. If you did not have enough of a life time to reap for all that you did, you of course had to be born again. Be it good or bad, the latter more so. People who are inherently poor, not defined monetarily here, are actually facing it all. Reminded me of what my mom always says, as long as you keep doing good, the universe gives it all back to you. It is so Dharma, but there is so much negativity without me having to add to it. And, at the end of the day, as I always say one can never stoop to certain levels. So, no matter how much it hurts, it is all going to be me.

Talking of all this, reminds me of a comic strip from Tinkle that I read, probably 15years ago. It starts with a man advising someone to believe that 'even this will pass' and the other questioning if he actually believes it. The end goes something like 'yes, I do. I was worried about losing 10 pounds then and now I'm worried about a 20' (Yes, that was funny.. 15years ago). But the crux of it is 'even this will pass' . I would have learnt it through better means had I been more traditionally religious and read Bhagavad Gita. Whatever the means be, this is something that I started to accept. As much as I started believing shit happens. Anyways, the last time I remember thinking even this will pass was when I was in grad school and having house-y issues. (Man! I'm on a roll here, with all the connections!) Those were some of the most depressing times though it affected me less than now. There were mornings when I used to wake up to misery. The one thing, lets go for inanimate here, that kept me going was this song that I used to play over and over. Specifically, this one sentence had so much hold over me that I went on to extremely believe in it.. manadhin neelam edhuvo adhuve vaazhvin neelamada...

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Hikes, Liberty and Randomness

Yet another Tuesday.. don't I start my posts with this way too many times! Given my schedule this day every week, you would not really blame me, I'm sure. Here I'm.. trying to drag on for another 3 hours, before it seems reasonable to take off. So, to how life has been.

The most exciting happening after the hurricane was the hike last weekend. Yes, you are right, that is not me, I really am not this hiking-backpacking-camping person but somehow managed to get entangled in one of those scenarios. So, hiking I did for about 7 miles but in supposedly not first timers friendly site. At least that is what everyone has been telling me for the past 2 days when they learn the reason behind my limp. But it was quite fun, lost a few calories and had some amazing, picture perfect, views. Got me thinking why Indians don't do all these for pleasure and some more deeper thoughts on economy. All roads lead to economy these days, but that's different story altogether. There is pretty much nothing more to report of the actual hiking part, but the journey to and fro and the company I had is sure worth a mention. (No, it is not my yet-another-rendition-of-amazing-people, trust me)

We had about 5 hrs drive and of course all the time during the hike, so the company did matter. Some good conversations, some intellectual ones, some fun, on the whole nice people. The couple(not couple couple but lets just call these two people couple for ease) in my party was way entertaining, a little more so. With all the laughter, blushes, fights, flirting, pda they sure did draw the attention of even the quietest in my party. Talking to the guy at the end of it, I got the explanation that he likes"naughty" girls and she is all of it and there is nothing wrong in flirting even though there are lots of constraints, a boy friend included. If I had to redefine it, I would not really say naughty. It is more of the kiddish/helpless/naive/lost-child thing that a lot of women without any effort bring in. I ended up discussing this with my friend and realized a whole lot of them do(100% with 95% confidence it is :) ) What bothers me more is that men actually seem to love it, want more of it. Gets me wondering.. does that give one a feeling of dependence that they start going for it all head over heels!

I still remember, one of the earliest times I was away from home, interning. Some work, got delayed and it was soon 11 in the night with me struck in some isolated part of the city. I was talking to dad over the phone all the way back. I was pretty scared. That is when dad went with one of his ever useful advices(well.. it was an angry lash, but lets not call it that). When you are helpless and lost, you don't ever show it out. You got to put on a brave face, be very confident and act as if you know what you are doing. Even if you do need help, you do it with ease, with no sign of helplessness and at the end you get everything to work out the way you need it to. Seemed to make a lot of sense then, now and maybe always. Is this not what you do, whatever the scenario be! Acting helpless even when you actually are so makes you an easy target, so what when you are not. Why would you want to act lost? Why would you want to emanate weakness?

Monday, September 5, 2011

Shit Happens..

I know, don't start. You don't title posts in French. Don't you realize? I know euphemisms, I just dint want to use it.

When you meet someone, get to know someone, you inherently try to classify them into buckets. Some are nice, some sweet, some smart and some are just plain jerks. There are very few people who make it to your set of awesome. They have everything you think a person should have. Every facet of their life makes you think they are good at it. I sure have come across quite a few of them in my life. Not perfect essentially, but sure did make into my list of awesome people. It always makes you feel bad when you get to know something went wrong in their lives. I had mine blown off recently, twice.

Two of the most awesome guys I will ever come across. Yes, I am ready to vouch for the future, they are just that awesome. I went to grad school with them, got to know them, hung out a bit, had some laughs, shared personal lives, shared workloads, shared frustrations, shared happiness and then graduated but managed to stay in touch with calls once a blue moon. Somehow just made sure you are still in each other's lives, however hardly. In the past month, it so happened that I met one of them, which triggered thoughts of the other and so I ended up talking to both, catching up on the past 6 odd months of their lives and ripping off few more to come of mine..

Both of them had broken up, their relationships were in shambles.. to the extent that they did not want to ever talk to or of the girls, they never wanted to go back to the same places, they had lost their mutual friends, they had changed their life styles, what used to make them happy makes them sad now, drowning themselves in work, getting into bad personal relationships that affects their professional lives, mood swings and tempers, resurrecting old interests, questioning their new ones, redefining what they believe in, they have pretty much changed their whole identities. I wonder how anybody can do something like this to such awesome people. Though I did know both sides of it, I might be biased. But these are people whom you never want to miss in your lives, especially when they are ready to spend all their life with you.

I felt bad, I almost cried and both of them tried to tell me it was fine, tried to tell me they have gotten out of it, tried to tell me they are back to their normal selves. But you could feel it, normal may be but not their old selves, something was lost. That is when one of them came up with this.. shit happens. (Yes, he was the impacted one and he was trying to be sweet to me, that is how good they are!)

Life is not always all happiness and joy. Everybody wants everything to work out right, we try our best to make it happen, we strive for it, we try to get a control over things, get a control over ourselves. So many times, even when we know things are going wrong, we just are not ready to accept. We try to hold on to it, we try extra hard to make it work, we try to give in, we start feeling guilty, we start blaming ourselves. It starts affecting every sphere of our lives, yet we still cling on to it. Fighting everyday, crying ourselves to sleep, all the emotions, all the trauma, yet we want it. There is some point when you have to realize.. May be it is not worth it. May be it is high time we let go. May be it is high time we accepted it is not worth us. May be the best course of action is it to learn to live. Life never is they-lived-happily-ever-after. Life never is what we want it to be.. Shit Happens...

Monday, August 29, 2011


This post is going to be so incorrigible, blunt and raw but it is going to be here all the same.

Its been 6 days since I thought of writing. Six, that is how long it has been since I came back from NYC. Yes, yes, I went back, for the second time, in less than 2 weeks. Come on, dint I tell you I was romanticizing the trip too much. I thought it would gradually decline but it somehow did not. So, I decided to get some official work done, that which I had been postponing for close to 9 months now. I had to travel and as it was semi-official, I ended up staying with my friend. Yes, the very same. In essence, I made my sentiments go all topsy-turvy and the decline became an exponential increase. Anyways, there I was.. in New York City.. again!

In the past few days, I knew I wanted to write but the what-about has been deforming, rather I have been. If I had to recount my experience, it would be just like last time. Loads of fun, lots of happiness. You know this, from-the-bottom-of-the-heart thing. That is what it was. Add to this some excitement and anxiety due to the impending hurricane and lot of misery for having to leave 2 days earlier than expected, that was my trip.

Now that you know how much I love being there, I decided not to rub it in all over again. There I was and paradise it was, period. What got me thinking was, why I am not the same otherwise. I know there is this factor, that I have to totally attribute to my Prof, my grad school Director who decided we would fit best together and the program. She did an amazingly great job. We are so much in sync, were while we were in school, still are and I'm pretty sure that is not something that would change in the long run. Probably that is all it is, put in together a bunch of like minded people in every sense and they are happy whenever wherever.

But what I also did realize was that I am a different person, in their presence. Not like this weird different or hypocritical different. It is more like, shook the perspectives and ideas that I have held closely for a very long time and brought about a change in the attitude thing. Just to give the mildest of it, I'm not someone who is very happy around people who are consuming alcohol; see I don't say drunk, because my friend drove it to me that in-taking and being drunk are two different things and it pisses one off when you loosely use the term and me instead of arguing and saying whatever be it it is not fine, I accepted it and stopped using the term. Anyways, that is not the point. So, I used to be horrible in that environment, whereas now I am good with people drinking, I am good with going out with people for the very purpose, I am good with staying till 3 in the morning doing it, I am even good with getting back with them and crashing in. Darn it, I actually am great. That is just not it, alcohol, smoke, music, politics, relationships and way too much more. If I start listing out all that I am ready to recognize now, anybody who had known me would be sure that I'm possessed.

Why am I so different around them? Why am I so comfortable with it? Why am I so accommodating? Why do I earn for it so much? Why do I romanticize? Why am I ready to redefine? Why am I ready to alter my whole value system? Why am I ready to be so not me!! Well.. the only realization that dawned on me... at the end of the day... it is all about the people.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Go Big Red!

Finally, a happy happy post, a lil beyond bounds may be. But happy I am and that is what this post is going to be, embarrassingly so. I did not mention that I was going to NYC over the weekend, did I. So, that is where I was, with my fellow grad-schoolers (Yeah, yeah, I know the term does not exist. I also know what I should have typed instead. But lets just not do it ok. I'm sure you could figure it out with all my cheeky mentions anyway) I was so totally excited and lil apprehensive at the same time. These were some of the best of people I have met, all my life, insanely smart and extremely friendly. And, I have not been with them all since graduation. Obviously the excitement took over and to the city I went.

It was going to be 5 of us. The fille who got us all together with her visit. An awesome person who can actually bring any set of random people together. She was back from traveling around the world for a year and she wanted to catch up with her friends. Being the sweet person she is, she flew in from the west to north-east, for the very reason. The next one is another great girl. To give you the context, if you take the most-smartest of the mathematically oriented people in the whole wide world, add in ambitions the height of Everest, never-ending stream of hard work, enthusiasm beyond saturation levels and impossible amounts of friendliness, you get my Class of 2010. And this one was one of our valedictorians. Then comes the guy, well.. not yet, first comes his apartment, the place that I crashed in. When I first mentioned the place to one of my other friends, the conversation went like this "Wow! He lives right in the middle of the world" "Well.. If you lived there, you are the bloody world!". Come on, put it all together! Ok, now comes him. One of those people who have made me wonder what the heck was I doing all my teen life. Smart, successful, sportive, sensible and sensitive, all at the same time. And the last one, well.. if you had meet him, you will totally redefine determination. One of those early friends of mine from grad school, more so because of the Indian-ness, but not the kind of Indian type that I never could accept. A lineage of accomplishments and so totally going to be worth it all.

So, there I was in New York City! The minute I entered the apartment, the very lil of the apprehensions totally vanished. It was like the good old days, if not better. Discussing weather was so not needed, until of course it started raining the 2nd day. Anyways, it was amazing from the first minute. Did a lot of stuff I have always been hesitant to do. Street food, going out at 11, opening up over a hi, posh lounges - witnessing all that it comes with, being so very comfortable around people doing what they do best in such environments, walking 15 blocks in the middle of the night, coming home at 4, coming home with people high on 7 drinks, chatting till 5 when the drinking continues at home, sleeping till 12, silly jokes trying to freshen up, walking through creepy warehouse-y New York streets, going to hidden shady French cafes selling impeccable desserts, Chinese brunches, American politics lunch conversations, loosing sense of direction, admiring awkward buildings, dreaming of 10K-1br condos, fair shares of Macarons, backpacks full of gadgets, walking and nothing-ness in central park, chai chocolates, girls shopping and guy ends up buying, blowing off dinners, non-stop chatter with uncontrollable laughter, decks with views, playing pool rather learning to without any inhibitions, dinner out at 11 - waiting in the bar for an hr discussing Indian caste-ism and sentiments, laughing over smutty conversations in front of desis, taxi rides, crowded pubs, car bombs, enjoying getting drenched in the rain, taking the subway with tipsy people, continuing talks on earlier mentioned lines, NYC subway map boxers, getting freaked by one's drunk conversations, getting totally impressed by other's, Austin Powers, inane amusement, snuggling on Sunday morning talking about Keynes- trillion dollar gap- literal total eclipse of the heart - Alvin Ailey - temples and church services - raw material for cookies and everything else under the sun, ordering in Indian buffet, promising first drinks, giving depressed talks and finally starting back home walking 10 blocks in the rain on the 8th. Bliss!

Its been 2 days and I have not stopped romanticizing the trip yet. Everyone I ever mention any of it to is absolutely baffled and can't believe it was me. I wonder if I would have felt all that I felt sometime ago if this was the kind of weekend I can have, may be even once a month. I ruminate.. I dream.. After it all, just one thought, a sentence from a movie dialogue though totally unrelated, keeps popping into my mind "... vaazhkai epdi vaazhradhunu naa kaatren"