Tuesday, November 30, 2010

எனக்கு ஒரு friend வேணடும் [DOT]

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Uncomfortable Nostalgia

   Nostalgia can be chilling. I always thought that it would be a nice feeling to be nostalgic. There are instances that will bring a smile on my face and that feel good lasts for a long time. Most of those instances involved us spending time together ... either in Bangalore or miles away from civilization (usually the latter). Instances like ... watching the first sunrise of the year from the kodachardri peak, eating misaaL pav in a place that is not known on the map, speaking to each other loudly to be audible against the musical backdrop of Unchalli falls, long silences followed by laughter in Raju katte. These are all timeless moments that we spent together ... and will last more than a lifetime. Then there are others. Moments which I wouldn't want to recollect even in my dreams. Most of these instances happened in college ... yes - you know exactly what I am talking about. The times when everyone around me seemed to know what exactly was happening, but I was the only one who didn't. I won't go into details coz that is only going to screw up my mind for the next 2 months. I intend to be happy for the next 2 months atleast!
   It was 2005-06 all over again for me today! I was blissfully unaware of something nice that happened. Apparantly it didn't occur to anyone of them involved that somewhere in the other part of the time zone there exists something similar to a human being called Chetan! Often it is these small things that will manage to wound a person partially. That damned wound will not heal ... but will not show also! It hides beneath making appearances at the wrong times. This time the situations are not the same. This time there isn't a YOU with me. For 2 minutes I completely felt a void in my heart. However I am not going to ponder over it much. Simply put in 2 words - life-u ishtene! At the end of the chess game, irrespective of who won ... all pieces go back into the box. Shake it off, lower expectations and move on. The sad part is ... there ain't no reciprocity anymore. I don't think anyone knows the meaning of reciprocity anymore. No point blaming them ... because no one can be like you! No one can be like you - that'll dismiss the point of you being unique. The "ME" back from 2005 would have reacted in a totally different way. But I am not going to waste my energy pondering about this insignificant thing. But I do write this blog to symbolize something. This blog is a symbol of what life has become without you. End of an Era. I would never have written this blog entry or felt like this had you been with me now. I remember once we were on phone and generally discussing on the topic of what's gonna remain ... the answer was ... me and you. The answer is same even today. Only this time ... you aren't physically present. So only me - to the outside world.
   Time and again verses of this song I listen to are proved right. I try to give examples to myself that attempt to prove the verses otherwise. But I have failed in every such attempt. My biggest loss is today's unfortunate event. I call it an unfortunate event coz that's what it is to me ... it could have been anything. But for me ... its an unfortunate event because it just didn't occur to people! Anyway, just for the record here are the verses from that song

   Koi nahi hai, mera yahan - tere bina!
   veeraan sa hai, saara sama - tere bina
   soone nagar hai, sooni dagar hai
   soone hai manzar, sooni nazar hai
   bin tere... tere bina

mai hoo aur kaali raath hai
bas ek gham hee tho saath hai

ek gehera dukh, tere kaaran
mere mann par aise chaata hai
maidaan pe jaise ek baadal
saaya apna phailaata hai
   wo din bhi kya the!
   jab leke tu aaya tha har khushi
   dil poochta hai
   kya aisa hoga dubaara kabhi ?
   maine dil se kaha 
   iss khab ko bhool ja!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dear Destiny - what did i ever do to you ?

Don't go he said. There's more to it than just you
Go! I said. There is nothing more important than just you
He made his choice clean and clear
Thought about all this that we would fear
Planned things in advance thinking stuff up
He did go back ... for a reason
and the reason is you

Destiny smiled from above
the times then were great
Just when I thought he was out 
You pulled him.

now the times have changed
but the same discussion remains
Don't go I said. There's nothing more to it than you
"I'll go" it said. I can't live with the distance
Come back to us I said. Let's see I've put things in motion he said
Now it is a waiting game for me
Each day gifts me with new questions
Questions for which there are no answers
Thinking about the answers makes me sad

Destiny smiles again this time more wicked than ever
Destiny had the upper hand twice before
It has the upper hand now
I don't have anything against you, dear Destiny
All I ask for is a simple life.
Don't go dear! I said
Come here dear! I said 
Have both questions fallen on deaf ears ?
I can't stop thinking
Can't stop feeling helpless
20 minutes is all I need
I'll put that thought in, which is now oblivious
Is that too much to ask for, my dear Destiny ?

He believed in you so much, dear Destiny
Sometimes I wonder, were you so desparate 
so as to snatch him away from us ?
were you so devoid of love ?
so as to become possesive about him
you took him ... I cannot understand that
but why not put smiles back on my face again ?
why these shady games ? what are you trying tell ?
what did I ever do to you ?

Miss you, Miss you not


  My first thanksgiving weekend in US. I learned that people invite their close circle and put up a nice thanksgiving dinner. And also that people shop till they drop during thanksgiving. Shops open at midnight and almost all of my classmates and university ppl queued up to grab the best deals. Some of them managed to get hold of amazing discounts while they were available. As for me I stayed up all night ... but in my house. Didn't dare to venture out... it was biting cold! (atleast for me) Sometime last week Vijay Raj had invited me over for thanksgiving. I went there on Friday evening. They have some house moms! Its huge! Vijay is a very nice person. I met Guna and Savithri aunty as well. Most of them there were wondering who I was or what was I doing there. Vijay then introduced me to everyone. After all the pleasentaries it was time for retrospection. Each one approacmhed me and asked me how did I know you. I took pride in saying that I was your best friend. These were my exact words: "He is my best friend." (please note no past tense) An elderly woman asked me "So do you miss him ?" I looked at her for a second and thought about the answer. Now what kind of a question was that ? Am I supposed to say YES and fit in the social protocol ? or Am I supposed to say NO... its been 4 months I've moved on! I stood there looking at her and then said "Yes very much." After I came back to Arlington, I got thinking and searching for an answer for the question "Do I miss you ?" 
  June 8th 2008 ... I left for Germany. You came home to say goodbye. July 23rd 2008 ... You left for the US. After I came back from Germany... I didn't miss you. NO. Why ? coz you were always present. I knew all that went on in your life... you knew all that went on in mine. Only difference being we talk on phone rather than on Raju katte. You still made the same influence in my life ... and I did the same in yours. You share your experiences with child like enthusiasm and so did I. I didn't miss you moms ... didn't miss you at all. The times when I missed you were when I called and reached your voicemail box. July 23rd 2010... my last working day at Bosch. The company I stuck with for 4 years (throwing away a fine oppurtunity to join EMC/VMWare) ... I had imagined about that day before. I'll resign, go home and call you ... we can speak about it for hours ... Then I land in the US ... I'll live with you for sometime and then head off to the university. During that time, we would sit and talk for hours ... much like how we used to back in BE. You complain about her and she about you while I sit there and laugh at the sillyness. I make you guys some delicious food. All of us chat with pavan over video and motivate him to come over to the US ... he gives reasons why he shouldn't come over to the US. You show me around NCSU, showing places and recollecting "illi adu maadidvi, alli idu maadidvi." Yes. I miss all that. All I can do now is to create hypothetical conversations and smile. 
  Do I miss you ? best answer is a question: "Do you miss your conscience ?" You are my conscience moms ... How can I ever miss you ? You are always there. When I do something wrong, or think about something that is so un-me ... I hear a voice "beesteeni magane!" Then I take a step back and think again. You have always been my guiding light and always will be. Conscience doesn't have a form ... bullshit! I say conscience is 6 feet tall, has a fair complexion, medium build, hint of tummy, a perfect nose, and hair that can be styled in any direction in seconds (without a comb!) But that form is not talking to me these days. My heart craves to listen to that voice. My heart cries out loud to speak about you to someone. You know the irony moms - I am under specific instructions not to speak about you to someone! That day I completely missed you. No one can talk like that to me! But still considering the gravity of the situation I agreed... Had you been there ... I'd never had to face what I did: I miss you for that. I miss the way you made me feel about the world and myself. I miss the space you gave me in your life even when she came into it. I miss the clarity of thought in you when talking about an issue. I miss the positive thinking in you that made people around you smile and brave even when destiny conspired against your life. I miss the love you show to your special ones. I miss the amount of time and thought you give to better your special ones' lives. I miss the energy you showed towards things that may seem trivial to most people. I miss the bike rides to Shivu during which we had the maximum bonding. I miss the happiness I used to find in small things wnhile you are around. I miss the life that I dreamt about us growing old together. I miss the trips that we would have gone on together. I miss the life in US with you even though I never lived with you in the US. All in all - I miss you moms. I miss you sooo much. As ksham said, I stay frozen on July 12th 2010... nothing has changed for me and nothing will ever. I will never have a best friend and a brother again. Life's just mechanical and goes on ... but the memory remains.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

back to that mode which everyone hate


   Today i lost it completely. Past couple of days, I sunk down and low to such a level that there isn't any lower that I can go. Idella bekitta nange ? Eno gottilla. Those days that I did not want to face ever again came back to me. My mind is now back to 2005-2006-2007. Suddenly, Metallica and other heavy metal music look interesting. Listening to them gives some sort of respite. It doesn't do anything to help me ... but increases the aggression in me. There is this new spark that is converted into a fire by my latest choice of music. "Bring it on... i don't need nothin." That is the attitude now. I seriously didn't want me to end up in a place like this ... by what to do, when all else fails I turn towards aggression for solace. For the first time, I missed calling home. Not because I was exhausted, not because I was sleepy or unwell... but I just didn't want to. I didn't want to speak to nobody. And that is the me I hate so much. No choice moms, absolutely no-choice. I am tired of sitting on this side of the laptop screen, being on this side of the phone, always being on the other side. Screw it! I need some strength on my own and this is how I get it. I picked up this line "solitude is the company of a virtuous few" from a colleague. I thought it sounded cool. Little did I know that its gonna bloody describe my situation in the near future. You would definately despise this aggressive me. You would not even talk to this new me. Can't help it. I have little choice with now you being up there. For my own good ... my mind has spawned this thread. I hate myself for being like this. All the concious attempts that I made to stop this state of mind have gone in vain. I really don't know how things will work out or will they work out at all. 

   By the way, I got a call back from Microsoft... they said we are interested in bringing you on for an onsite interview session. This in my first semester. I am supposed to be happy for it. The old me would be jumping ... coz this is something to be excited about. But the current doesn't even care! I don't know if I am twisted upstairs in my head or this is a natural reaction from me. I know only this... from this moment on, I'll lock myself from all kinds of social activity, with too aggressive messages on facebook ... aggressive reactions to people who are uninitiated to my state and will probably think I am retarted. I don't fuckin care! Live life 24hours at a time. Nothing else even remotely matters. I hate my state of mind ... but i didn't ask for it... i guess it just happened. Is there anything that can douse the flames inside me moms ?? Let me know.

+ Chetu

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Koi Nahi hai

   I got a reply from Microsoft regarding an internship position I applied to about three weeks ago. They want to schedule a phone interview somewhere in 10-ish November. This is my first semester of graduate study and I got a call! I might have got lucky ... or be at the right place at the right time. Who cares... I still got an interview call. If it were to be said in your words - this is one of those "WOW Moment"

   My first year in USA. The place where work on Eclipse is biig. There are these "Demo Camps" organized by the Eclipse Foundation around the world. Its no fancy huge corporate event but a small gathering of Eclipse enthusiasts and developers (max 40 ppl) who talk about what's cool and new with Eclipse. For a techie ... this is better than a huge conference as he/she gets to meet many like minded techies and contacts. Who knows ? these contacts can come of some help when one wants to switch. Imagine what it can do to a graduate student in Computer Science. There is one such Demo Camp organized at RTP by IBM. As soon I read the blog on planeteclipse.org, I jumped up and wrote to the organizer with the topic I want to present. He replied the next day saying I m more than welcome. The topic seems to have some interest as it is just provisioned and accepted at eclipse.org. Yess... I am going to present a brief demo about what one can expect from Sphinx (www.eclipse.org/sphinx) - in RTP on Nov 10th. This has to be a sooper dooper WOW moment for me. One that I am going back home :) ... another because I am going to present something for the first time to a completely different kind of audience. - WOW Moment!!

   All saturday afternoon in my apartment my room-mates were on a looong Skype conference with their friends who are now spread across the globe. I was reminded of our looong conferences and talks back in 2008. I always used to be blasted by you for not having a web-cam set up in my PC! Anyway... my room mates' long Skype session made me nostalgic. It brought a smile on my face ... coz I remembered all the good talks we had. This may not be a WOW moment ... but it's a small fgf moment.

   I am changing universities for Spring 2011... going to UNC Charlotte ... where I already have loved the courses and the program itself. I am so looking forward to it. Although this is not a WOW moment ... its a good step for my career I feel.

   These WOW moments instill confidence, josh and a feeling of well being in one. These moments are supposed to boost one's morale, energy and have a lasting smile (well at least temporarily) But yet, they are doing nothing. I am not at all excited that I am going to Raleigh to present something that I love to a fabulous audience. I am not at all excited that I am changing Universities although I clearly know that it is the right step for my career. I am not at all excited about even telling these to people here. You know, my room-mate gets so much joy in telling the good things that happened to him on a day to his friends. I know this because I listen the same things he tells to different friends. Why don't I have that now ? I want to jump with joy because I'll visit Raleigh again (this time for about 6 days). I want to jump because I'll get to present something to an audience that includes the Executive Director of eclipse.org. But ... instead of excitement and joy... there is emptiness. Which keeps wondering ... where is this part of me that used to be like a child ? the part of me that used to be so happy just by looking at rain! That part of me, moms, now rests in peace with you. The more I want to feel otherwise, I am only proved right. My sentiment is perfectly summarized in this song penned by Javed Akhtar and sung by Shankar Mahadevan. Once moms .... just once ... i want to speak to you... I promise I'll not bugg you... just once say yes.

+ Chetu

Friday, November 5, 2010

Solitude - my new companion


   today is DeepavaLi. Festival of lights they call it! What is it supposed to signify ? What lights ? I have no clue. Somehow I seem least interested in any activity this DeepavaLi. Partly because I am away from any place that I can remotely call home. But also because I am completely blank right now. I forced myself to do something interesting today. As a result, I made some biriyani ... like how Meghana's Koramangala makes it. Turned out quite ok. After that I am pretty much blank again. I went for a really long walk in Arlington. Went beyond the university and into the residential localities of Arlington. Its pretty nice out there. Cute houses with their driveways, some kids playing in front of their houses, trees on the side of the road, walking on dry leaves and making a crush sound each time... all these reminded me of my childhood in Jayanagar. That place looked just as pretty. Twenty years later, little has changed. Even back then I used to go for long walks alone - walking on fallen leaves and taking some kind of pleasure crushing dried up leaves as I walk. I used to look at other kids playing with their bikes and continue to walk on. In the end reach home, eat and sleep. That used to be the routine then... that is the routine now. Quite a boring life isn't it ? I'd like to think so. Then in 2002, you happened to me. As much as an act of destiny or a calling... I was introduced to you. Those 8 years can be called as the most interesting and joyful part of my life. I found out how cool is it to have a friend. How joyful it is to share with someone. The magic when some other person is able to put your thoughts in sentences! Spooky as it sounds, but it is what shows how much friends understand each other and know each other. I can hardly remember any argument we got into (apart from the silly ones where I refused to come to play cricket and you persisted.) All those times I spent with you I did not realize what I was learning. In a constant learning mode, I sometimes even refused to participate in discussions... just so that I get to listen to you talk. Back then I didn't want to speak... now I can't speak even if I want to! How ironic isn't it ... the way life takes you ? In a day there are at least a zillion times that I want to speak to you... a jillion things I want to share with you. So many times I even sit up to call u... and the many times I did, I learned that AT&T has reassigned your phone number to an American woman! You were always a running thread in my mind... more like a conscience. People say, I may not be able to speak to you or hear you - but u are still alive in myself as the wisdom you imparted onto me. I want hold on to that, but the thought of not being able to speak to you, hear from you is very difficult to digest. The times when I am alone at home sitting in front of the laptop doing absolutely nothing is when I feel the vacuum created in my life. Life has become pretty much mechanical now. I live each day as it comes... and look forward to December. December is just a month... it'll come and go after that I am yet to find a hypothetical motivation to look forward to. I am trying real hard to gel in. I am trying real hard to make new friends... but its just not working out. So I stopped trying. I was scared about her because she had to start from scratch... now I find myself in that position. Will I find someone as lovable as you are ? Will I find someone who cares as much as you did ? Will I find someone that knows what I am thinking while I am thinking ? understands the small things that matter to me ? I seriously doubt it. The memories of the moments spent with you around ... from 2002 to 2010 are all I have now. I'll hold on to them... closely... for those are all that I have with me.

- chetu