Dec 31, 2014


I still remember that day. One of my friends had started a blog, and showed me the link.

I was intrigued at first. What is a blog, I asked.

It's like a diary, except that it is on the web, and you can share it with people, and they can read what you have written. And if they like it, they can leave comments on it.

But why would I want people to read my diary? Isn't a diary something personal?

Arey dude. Itna sawaal mat karo. If you want to create one, this is the link. Baaki, tumhare upar hai.

I said, hmm, sounds interesting. Let me think over it.

And that was that. I didn't start a blog that day. After all, I am a proud member of the Procrastinators' Club. The only club which would have me as a member, and I wanted to be part of.


And then, my fancy b-school (We are the best, at least in Andheri West) sent me to sell vegetables. Grown by farmers. To big retail chains directly. We gave it a fancy title. It read "Income Generation Programme for a Self Help Group of Women through Marketing of Farm Fresh Vegetables."

The idea was to magically eliminate the evil middleman called the local mandi wholesaler, get better prices for the farmers, assure quality supply for the retail chains, get sensitized about the plight of poor farmers of the country, apply management wisdom and combine western efficiency with eastern ethos to wipe out poverty, find a cure for cancer and bring about world peace. There could have been more, but I think I got the key points in.

And thus, I landed up in Hosur. Which is a town about 40-50 km from Bangalore. With a friend who taught me how to be chilled out in life. Thanks mate.

If you have never been to Hosur, don't worry, you haven't missed a thing in your life. It is not a particularly dreary place, but let's just say, it is not the first place to go to when you want to have any kind of fun. And we were put up in a hotel (lodge?) which had a room so small that it makes my current house look like Buck-fucking-ham Palace. Sorry for the cuss word. Thinking about that crappy room makes me a bit emotional. Even after all these years.

The room had a TV. Which sometimes worked. We were usually done with our 'duties' for the day by 5.30 pm. And that was on days when we worked 'full day'. Most days, we would visit a farmer, hear out his story, go back to the office, eat an awesome lunch, and then sit around typing a diary about what we had done during the day. That diary writing helped me hone my fiction writing skills. Not that it has improved much, but you know, it could have been worse. We did come up with a fantastically written report at the end of it all, printed in bond white paper, bound in black cover with gold embossed letters for the title (remember? "Income Generation Programme... blah blah blah... Vegetables"). That report is probably still lying in some corner of the college archives.

Coming back to the story, after some evenings of walking around the market, playing AoE on the laptop and exhausting the stock of movies we were watching, there came a day when I was bored. Extremely Bored.

And so, sitting in a nondescript cyber cafe in a godforsaken place called Hosur, after checking my email, and plotting to teach my juniors a lesson they'll remember for the rest of their lives (we can't talk about it... I have taken the Oath!), I decided to start a blog.

This blog.

And wrote a first post, that when I read it today, makes me cringe.

And then I wrote another. The same day.

Did I mention I was Extremely Bored?


Little did I know that day, that almost eight and a half years later, I would still be writing crappy posts.

Three hundred of them!

300! This is Fart-a! Slow motion scene of me sitting on a chair, grimacing, flexing my six-pack abs and typing. Blood spurts in artistic way. Heads get severed in high definition. I simply shrug. And snarl. And keep typing.

And keep typing.

And keep typing...

And keep typing...

Dec 13, 2014

Learning to have fun...

I have been attending too many training programs lately. What with my employer deciding to become a bank, and suddenly realizing that the people need to be trained for that. I guess it's safe to say that I don't particularly love training programs, unless I'm the one giving the gyaan. 

I have attended 2 weddings and an engagement in the past 3 weeks. What with my cousins, and my friends, and come to think of it, everybody in my social circle, deciding to 'settle down', and suddenly realizing that people need to be married for that. I guess it's safe to say that I love weddings, as long as someone else is getting married. 

I love the way a well thought out, carefully planned, and painstakingly scheduled training program mysteriously descends into chaos, with meandering questions which have no relevance being answered with jargon filled cliches which don't address the point. 

I love the way the utter chaos of dozens of relatives, squabbling and cribbing and gossiping and whining, magically transforms into a picture-perfect, ever-smiling, 'happy family' look on the day of the wedding. 

I keep observing, and struggle to understand, how well-educated professionals, seemingly focused on the training, with mobiles phones switched off, laptops unplugged, struggle to remember a single thing about it just days after the training.

I keep observing, and struggle to understand, how confessedly not-so-smart people, distracted by a thousand different tasks, manage to retain a lasting memory of how well the function went, like who was wearing what (in case of the maamis), and how the payasam was too watery (in case of the mamas), many years after the event.

I am constantly surprised at the way the HR folks think they can make the training programs 'fun', usually by compelling a bunch of super-drowsy folks to stand up, laugh out loud, shake their leg, raise their arms and do other such random stuff, which the otherwise cheerful attendees do with great reluctance, making them look awkward.

I am constantly surprised at the way wedding functions have now metamorphosed into 'fun' events involving a bunch of super-drowsy folks performing choreographed dances, where they stand up, laugh out loud, shake their leg, raise their arms, and do other such random stuff, which the otherwise grumpy old folks do with great enthusiasm, making them look awkward.

And sometimes I wonder, whether the best way to learn is when you don't realize you are learning, and whether the best way to have fun is when no one is telling you to have fun.