Friday, April 25, 2008

A Wedding and a Holiday

I'm off to Kerala and Bangalore tomorrow for a week and won't be blogging until I'm back. It's going to be part wedding (in the family) and part holiday.

I'm not really looking forward to the wedding bit. Technically, my uncle is getting married but he's more like a cousin, just a couple years older. He's a really nice guy and we get on well, and honestly, that's why I'm going for it. But I find family weddings a bit intimidating for the following reasons:
1. Lots of people. I don't like crowds. Nor do I fancy having people's asses on my shoulder when I'm seated on a chair trying to balance a plateful of food in one hand and eat with the other.

2. Lots of people who know you, but you don't know them. Primarily because you were crapping in your diapers when they saw you last.

3. Aforementioned people coming up to you with wide smile and asking if you remember them. Having to respond with fake smile. Painful.

4. Middle-aged women (or older) shiftily looking at you and evaluating you because you are now at a "marriageable age". Whatever that means.

5. People asking you when you're getting married. Having to respond with fake smile, again.

6. Having to dress up in ridiculous outfits in the oppressive heat resulting in sweat patches all over you making you look like you've stepped out of a workout, which incidentally I would prefer.

7. The mother of all pains, a bad shehnai player at the wedding. It makes you want to weep.

Thus, it is with great trepidation that I pack my bags and embark on this journey. I'm counting on the Kumarakom holiday and Bangalore to be the saving graces. Nonetheless, I shall face my challenges (and randomly smiling relatives) with courage.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Running Without Music

I don't particularly enjoy listening to music on my outdoor runs because I worry about pulling the headphone wires out while I run. It's a distraction I can do without when I'm trying desperately to finish a 10 km run.

After reading this article, I now know why. Apparently, I have an associated concentration style. :) I love these little words that researchers come up with!

Hungry to Learn

Off late, I've been getting this crazy urge to study, to learn, to read new stuff. I'm not quite sure what to do with it. Will wait and see if it stays.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Even This Will Pass Away

I always remember this poem during highs and lows of life. Not in a cynical way, but as an objective acceptance of the ways of the world. For your reading pleasure, Even This Will Pass Away written by Theodore Tilten.

Once in Persia reigned a king,
Who upon a signet ring
Carved a maxim strange and wise,
When held before his eyes,
Gave him counsel at a glance,
Fit for every change and chance:
Solemn words, and these were they:

Trains, of camel through the sand
Brought him gems from Samarcand;
Fleets of galleys over the seas
Brought him pearls to rival these,
But he counted little gain,
Treasures of the mine or main;
'What is wealth?' the king would say

'Mid the pleasures of his court
At the zenith of their sport,
When the palms of all his guests
Burned with clapping at his jests,
Seated midst the figs and wine,
Said the king: 'Ah, friends of mine,'
Pleasure comes but not to stay,

Woman, fairest ever seen
Was the bride he crowned as queen,
Pillowed on the marriage-bed
Whispering to his soul, he said
"Though no monarch ever pressed
Fairer bosom to his breast,
Mortal flesh is only clay!

Fighting on the furious field,
Once a javelin pierced his shield,
Soldiers with a loud lament
Bore him bleeding to his tortured side,
'Pain is hard to bear," he cried,
But with patience, day by day,

Towering in a public square
Forty cubits in the air,
And the king disguised, unknown,
Gazed upon his sculptured name,
And he pondered, "What is fame?'
Fame is but a slow decay!

Struck with palsy, sore and old,
Waiting at the gates of gold,
Said he with his dying breath
'Life is done, but what is Death?"
Then as answer to the king
Fell a sunbeam on his ring;
Showing by a heavenly ray,

- Theodore Tilten

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Sunday Morning

with Maroon 5. Drivin' slow on Sunday mornin'...

Running #11

Yesterday's Run:
Distance: 10 km
Time: 56 min 26 sec

Long, tiring, hot and very sweaty even though it was indoors.

Almost didn't go to the gym yesterday morning. Just wasn't feeling up to it when I woke up. Dragged myself there but I'm glad I did the run eventually. Totally worth it. One of those bitter-coated sugar pills.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Goa '07 - Part 1

I don't remember blogging about my Goa trip of October 2007 so I'm going to try and remember parts of it in 3 phases. Why 3 phases? We spent 9 days there.

The first three days were at this place called Anjuna Villa. (Yes, it was near Anjuna beach.)

Phase 1 features two of my school buddies and me. We reach Anjuna Villa around 11 am. Settle into the room. And before I can say 'What are we doing...', out come the rizzlas, the maal and roaches and they're smoking their first Goa joint. I hadn't tried smoking a joint before then, and for the first time, I agreed to experiment when they offered it to me. I think they were as surprised as I was when I took them up on the offer. It's one of those spur of the moment decisions you make in life. And I wouldn't regret it. I stayed stoned for 8 out of the 9 days.

Phase 1 Routine:

1. Wake-n-Bake: Translated, smoke a joint as soon as you wake up. That would be around 8.30 or 9 am usually.

2. Head to the beach, jump into the sea, swim and float for hours until you realise you're super hungry.

3. Wade out of the water, flop on a recliner at a shack on the beach and order eggs, omlettes, french toast and chocolate milkshake. Probably our biggest meal of the day.

4. Another joint with beer as we looked out onto the ocean. I have no words to describe what I felt. Peace would be the best word, maybe. Sand, the beautiful sea, the sound of the waves crashing onto the rocks... bliss.

5. Head back into the sea and swim/float for another hour or two. Time passes really fast when you're baked.

6. Lunch @ Munches. Multiple helpings of hummus and pita. Really yummy, slurpy juices. We missed the grape juice though. Apparently it's very good.

7. Oh man!!! How could I forget?!?! We rode everywhere on our Honda Activas. Wussy? Maybe. But I don't fancy bikes. Riding around Goa on those things was a rush. I want to buy an Activa for myself, but it wouldn't be the same in Mumbai. I think I'll just save that Activa feeling for Goa.

8. Move to another beach, swim more, evening snack, bake.

9. Go to Curlies on Anjuna. Pick a table up front where we can see the sea. Drink King's beer. Bake yet again and sit for hours as we watched the sun set, the beautiful purply orange haze in the sky, kids playing on the beach, good music and, of course, the sound of the sea. Bliss out again.

10. Grab a bite at Curlies or Munches (not Munchies as one of my friends insisted on calling it!!!), back to Anjuna Villa, hot shower and sleep like a baby.

11. Sometimes go out for a night bike ride to Baga. (and get busted by cops for not having licences once)

All this X 3 days. The beaches changed. Morjim, Anjuna, Vagator (Chota and Bada).

That's pretty much how phase 1 of Goa '07 went. It changed my life. I don't quite know how, but it did. For the better.

P.S. Before you think I'm a pothead, which may not be such a bad thing, I am not. Goa was the first time I tried smoking it (I don't even smoke) and I don't know if I'll ever do it again. But you know what they say, never say never.

Running #10

Today's Stats:
Distance: 8 km
Time: 43 min 47 secs

Indoor. Flat-out. Tiring, but good tiring.

I haven't been able to break the 43.30 barrier for a while and with all this humidity and heat, it seems unlikely it will happen in the next 3 months. That's okay. I shall pound away on the streets and in the gym.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Song for the Day

Bleeding Love by Leona Lewis. I love the rhythm. It makes me want to bounce!

Apparently it's mainstream commercial music. But that's okay. I never claimed to be cool.

I also just finished reading 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time'. Very interesting, funny, disturbing and I have to confess, there are moments when I wanted to whack Christopher Boone on the head. I felt the worst for his Father. Certainly worth a read.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


I had the time to sneak a peek at the Hindustan Times this morning and I chanced upon an article about how FMCG companies are reducing the contents of biscuit, food and detergent weights to keep prices the same. They're just trying to lull us consumers into thinking that things are the same. It's unbelievable.

And I'm not talking about shady little outfits that have their workshops in some random slum and employ child labourers. These are supposed to be, ahem, 'well-respected' organisations. Hindustan Unilever, Britannia and Nestle to name a few.

Maybe somebody should take the CEOs of these companies with their families to an amusement park, charge them an entry fee and then tell them they won't be able to go on the big roller-coaster because it's not included in the entry fee only once they enter the park. Maybe then will they understand how subversive, deceitful and unfair their 'strategies' are.

Companies call them grammage adjustments. I call it cheating. You're trying to con your consumers into thinking that prices haven't gone up. You're trying to sell less at the same price without letting me know.

Click here to read the article.

Running #9

Yesterday's Stats:
Distance: 8 km
Time: 45 min 37 secs

Outdoor, humid, energy-sapping, tiring.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Endorphin Junkie/Climaxing Professionally

Endorphin Junkie
I think that's what I am. I've realised, over time, that running and exercise are essential for me to stay in a healthy state of mind. When I don't go to the gym or step out for a run AND it isn't a Sunday, I'm a pretty cranky person.

I've tried various stimulants over time, but there isn't anything that comes close to a good workout. When I think about the time I weighed 92 kgs, it seems like another life.


Climaxing Professionally
For the first time in several months, I've worked on a really fun project at work. For all of 2.5 days.

I'd liken my experience on the project to an orgasmic climax. You do a lot of work (in the professional context, mostly uninspiring), for those few moments of pleasure.

Yes, I am happy to declare that I've professionally climaxed.

Sunday, April 06, 2008

Vodafone Sucks

Yeah, I've finally and officially switched my mobile telecom service provider for several reasons.

1. Vodafone networks are as efficient as my former 83-year-old domestic help. The only difference was her heart was willing but the body wasn't. Vodafone, on the other hand, are a bunch of hapless wankers with no metaphorical 'heart' or 'body'. To put it into perspective, I can't even make calls from my bedroom because of their pathetic network in Mumbai.

2. My cell phone bills have nearly doubled over the past three or four months because they decided to unceremoniously discontinue an old SMS package which gave me text messages at 30p. They now charge me Rs.1 per SMS as a result. Hence the inflated phone bill. When I asked for a plan with better SMS rates, they politely asked me to fuck off by telling me to switch to a prepaid connection. That was the last nail in the coffin.

3. I had to call their helpline (111 or 98200 98200) about 9 times to actually make myself audible because their crap-all network made everything sound like a badly skipping CD. When I finally did get through to a Relationship Officer, the dipshit tried to sell me a prepaid plan again. I had to tell him, about thrice, that I was no longer interested in a 'relationship' with Vodafone and instead of telling me about ways to stay with Vodafone, he should just tell me about the procedure to deactivate this mockery of a mobile phone connection.

To cut a long story short, I've now moved to BPL Mobile. 200 free calls and text messages for 200 bucks. 50p per SMS (National), 50p for a local call, Rs.1 for STD calls and, take a deep breath, lifetime free caller line identification service. (That saves the 75 bucks/month I spend on the service with Vodafone, bastards.)

Vodafone sucks. And really, pretty much anything is better than them. Long live market forces! :)

Now to let everybody know my new, easier to remember cell phone number.... MUUAAAHHHAHAHAAHHAHA!!!

Running #8

Today's Stats:
Distance: 10 km
Timing: 55 min 5 secs

Indoor, slower, controlled, relaxing.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Exactly one year ago...

... I walked into my current employer's office for the second 'first time'. (It's my second stint here.)
... I was happy to be single again.
... I was happy to be back where I work.
... I wouldn't have run the half-marathon in 2 hours.
... I was a different person. But not too much. I think.
... I was SO out of touch with good, new music.
... I was determined to go to Bangalore for the Aerosmith gig. (What a trip!)

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Running #7

Today's Stats:
Distance: 8 km
Time: 43 min 45 secs

Very satisfying, much better weather and a strong finish.