Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Khaki tales

It’s been a loooong time and I am so relieved to be back here. Post a heavy meal, spirits are soaring and the mood is just right to blog away to my heart’s content.

A lot has happened since my last post, but the most pressing thing on my mind concerns the auto drivers of Bangalore. I deposit half my salary into my house rent, and the rest into the khaki pockets of this smart brigade. Just the thought of them raises mixed emotions. All of them seems to have passed through some finishing school, where the phrases “20 rupees extra”,” 100 rupees hoga” have been imprinted on their subconscious mind. Credit goes to them for having transformed me from a mild-mannered polite girl to a street-smart, belligerent person. Honestly, I had not realized the extent of this change until my dear mom happened to visit me in Bangalore, and an ensuing auto ride brought out my well-developed fighting skills, leaving her open-mouthed and shocked beyond words.
A few years ago, such an altercation with any person, let alone a stranger would have spoiled my mood and my day. But now I am amazed at how quickly I can transform from a hostile persona to one exuding charm as soon as the khaki has vanished. Ah, the magic of Bangalore.

But again, if it had not been for them, how would I have zipped around Bangalore, getting my things done on time. I am not the least ashamed to say that I WILL NOT drive on the streets of Bangalore. Tempt me with double the money I pay off to my driver brethren, and I will still resist. I look on with envy and admiration as those who put their lives at stake on the teeming roads every day swerve and skid and just about miraculously manage to not collide with others of their tribe and pedestrians for whom the terms footpath and road make no difference.
Thinking in this context, I must admit that the presence of auto drivers do away with a lot of discomfort, especially the one you experience at the prospects of clambering onto a BMTC bus. And they too are humans, as my mom points out. They too have dreams and ambitions, though maybe not as outrageous as mine. They have kids to send to school, unlike me. Thy have families to take care of, again unlike me. So, they too have a right to my money, as much as I do? Hey, that’s socialism, which I don’t subscribe to. And while I am not sure whether these auto drivers hold a socialist view or not, they definitely have an eye on the supposedly cash-strapped pockets of those working in the tall IT firms, which they fondly call “the Glass Houses”. If only they knew how much cash was actually left to strap to my pockets…

One day, when I become a billionaire, I vow to give every auto driver 20 rupees more than the meter fare. But till that day, I vow to keep fighting for the sake of the few rupee notes I cling onto.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Random rants

I am sick of writing politically correct posts. A big full stop to all inspiring, insipid stuff. Not that I have really done that much. But, desperately feel like raving and ranting. Boredom is killing my life.
There's a marriage today in the night(ok, that's tonight in short). A senior colleague. And mind of moin is all split up into sections over whether to go; go and stay till late nite; go and run back after ensuring my visibility; or not to go at all. So, much for decision making. Girls are all gonna be dressed up in saris, God, I hate saris. Hope my good old bottle-green salwar holds its own. Not that I care if it does'nt. No offence meant. Just that I am not the kind of frills-laces-parties kind. Put me into a robust faded cotton salwar anyday, and I could'nt be in a more comportable place anywhere in the world. OK, I dunno what colour bottle-green is supposed to be, but it sounded good and anyway, my salwar does belong to the green family.

The night will be spent at deep's PG, coz my PG walli is gonna lock me out after ten in the nite. OK, dont gape, Its not impossible to get in after that auspicious moment, but its a mighty headache. And I would rather go and crash in deeps's PG which is just two buildings down the road opp ICICI ATM, two shops down the road opp swadishta aahar, one building from my PG. Fine, for those of you with a poor grasp of Bangalore's geography, its quite near my PG, so its convenient for me to wake up at any time in the morn and make a dash to my own sweet little PG.

And thankfully, I dont have to work tomorrow, but gonna go and do my bit for the social service organisation that I volunteered for. It's only till 12 in the afternoon, and then gonna make a dash to an as-yet-undecided restaurant for the farewell party for three of my colleagues.
Poor busy little me.

Talking about social service, I managed to teach a bunch of eager kids in a telugu medium school two saturdays back. The intelligent kiddies knew English, so I was spared the task of taking a crash course in Telugu. But cant shake off the feeling that my efforts are not actually changing the world.

Yesterday was my school friend's sister's engagement and my college friend's birthday. Did not attend the former and did not remember the latter. How thoughtful of me.

Just listened to a song, from apne, that goes something like "got to hit the bull's eye'. Good one. Maybe, ppl with indepth knowledge of music might like to differ, but I enjoyed it, and listened to it three times, before my head started throbbing.

The marriage today will take care of my dinner. I have been popping in and out of canteens and eat-outs that accept my sodexho passes every night, trying to get something edible home. All this is kind of new to me, coz I was cocooned till now in one of those all-providing PG's where they cook your food, wash your clothes and clean your room every day. So why did I jump the fence? Coz, you dont get the kind of "lone-girl-against-the whole-world" kind of thrill that I get now. OK, on a more serious note, such PGs tend to pamper you, but then they consider it their privilege to cram you into a room occupied by threee or four other girls too. Not bad. You can't have the cake and eat it too. But from my point of view, if you are living, you might as well live comfortably. Even if it means having canteen food three times a day, 30 days a months. But i guess, my woes will come to an end, when I switch to the dhabawallah who brings food for my roommate. Till now, I have only surveyed the food from a distance, but my roomie is seriously tempting me to try it. Might as well do it. That reminds me about my new-found dietary habits.
OK, this blog is becoming too long.I will keep that for the next one.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Girl in Red

Hi!! A new blog with a darker shade of red splashed all over, just because, I dont have the patience to dig up my gray cells holding those passwords and usernames. Those puzzled by what I am talking of , please take a glance at for a better picture.

So, all said and reasoned out about why I have shifted to a new blog, let me assure or rather warn, that red still dominates my life, and of course, my blog.

The other day, browsing through a magazine, a picture caught my eye and made my glance stay. Of course, not to mention, there was a deep crimson shade involved, but that alone was not the reason for my attention to stay put. There was something oddly out of place, an inspiring, unconventional feel to the picture. A young girl, dressed in bright red western outfit in a confidence exuding posture, looked out from the frame, surrounded by four definitely official-looking men booted and tuxedoed. The lovely face and the power dressing smacked of an apparel ad, but strangely, this one picture was real, one that described her as the head of a newly set up finanacial venture in India. A refreshing femininity amid the cliched male faces that populate the pages of a hard-core business magazine.

Intrigued, I read further and the few lines that pertained to her significance revealed her name. One with a distinct Keralite flavour. Hailing from this southern most state of India, I was puzzled. It's not every day, you get to see girls from my home state in such ground-breaking features.

Research ensued the next day, and my guess proved right, she was indeed a Keralite, but all amazement vanished, when she turned out to be a second-generation Indian American, whose parents had migrated to the land of dreams decades ago. Born and brought up in the land of liberation, she was blissfully ignorant of the bonds that would have been imposed on her, had her parents chosen the "safer" option of bringing her up in her native place. Safer in terms of culture, freedom, and morality. Safety and convention that dictates the age a girl should be safely bonded in marriage, of course, for her own good. Safety that frowns upon girls retuning home from work after evening hours. Safety that restrains a girl from seeking greener pastures in her career after she has crossed the achievement threshold (read a job) , again dictated by society.

I could not help wondering what would have been scenario if this enterprising young girl had indeed grown up in local environs, instead of passing through international economic schools.
Probably, armed with a engineering degree (approved definitely by society), she would have been clad in the power dress of india , the sari and displayed a marriage ring or a sintoor on her forehead to pacify the orthodox mindsets. Or maybe, the picture would have been the same, provided she had commendable guts to stray from mindless obedience.

Whatever may have been, I admire the numerous brave women in our country, who struggle day and night against the ropes that tie their arms and shatter the glass ceilings, stonger than wrought iron and still make their way to the top, whether clad in saris or frocks. They deserve respect and a standing round of applause . And as for the girl in red, lets wish her all the best as she embarks on a new journey in an as yet unencountered terrain, India.