Protected: A Saga of Corporate Enslavement

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I just wanted to pop my head in and thank everyone for the wishes on the previous post. I let it hang in there a long time and hogged every belated wish too 🙂

I’ve been gone a fortnight. And a lot has changed in these 15 days. You know how they say some birthdays are truly landmark and you feel the changes soon after? My 27th has been similar. Without being cryptic, I’d like to say that things have gone topsy-turvy at work. I’ve made some decisions which make me brave in the eyes of some people and foolish in the eyes of others – basically just the way I like it 😀 No, I’m not moving into something exciting and new.. not right now anyway. I’m talking about my current job – the one I’ve held on to for 28 months and been miserable about, almost all through. I’ve been driven to a point where I’m really really letting it rip and though it will certainly end with me storming out of this place, I’m very interested in flinging the shit around before I walk out the door – in just my old style.

When you’ve tried being non-controversial for a long time only to see it being considered as your weakness, you can’t be bothered about impressions, anybody’s idea of maturity or “letting it be” once you finally do decide to do the right thing. And I have no doubts that THIS is the right thing.

Wish me luck, and check back here in a few days. I’d probably have a long story to tell 🙂

In Which We Inflict Boredom Upon Thee

I have nothing much to say and yet there’s a bunch of ideas. It’s disturbing that I keep writing posts which jump from one random thought to another. It’s especially disturbing since I’ve submitted my blog for review here. (Yes, I do plan on putting up their review on the blog, however good or bad humbling it turns out to be, but don’t hold your breath).

So my mind flits unabashed till the day they receive that they asked for. Here’s what I have – my garbled thoughts:

  1. After a WHILE of resisting it, I’m realizing that FB birthday wishes are not such a bad thing after all. I held the grudge this long because I think it’s a sweet gesture to earmark a birthday in our mental calendar. In a typical setting of technology automating human effort, one little widget was wiping off the figment of our care for family and friends (not to mention, an exercise in keeping good memory). It also makes people forget about calling or even texting you on your birthday and it’s probably killing Hallmark, but I do realize now that it’s sometimes a thing to look forward to that people you haven’t spoken to in a year or two, will see that one update in the side window and will leave a message without the awkwardness that may come with a phone call. Like your boyfriend from 10 years back. And maybe, the figment of our care got tinier and we should be thankful for what we get.
  2. I have no work at the office. This has more or less been the case since I returned from the vacation. This is NOT a bad thing. I know I risk sounding like someone who wants to get paid for browsing the net all day, but I would hate you if you guilt me for this. Because 1. It almost never happened to me in all of 2 years of working in this place. 2. It’s needed. 3. It’s not my fault.
  3. My brother has been down with jaundice since last week. He’s such an attention freak! My mother, who loves to find something to worry about, is obviously super tense. But she told me this morning that she is very tired. I had this strange feeling you get when someone behaves out-of-character. My mother never says she is tired. It’s making me sad. And I really wish I was in Delhi.
  4. Of all things that one can do to make themselves feel cheerful, my favourite is grocery shopping. I spent a glorious hour at Hypercity on Sunday morning, and cold cuts and cracked pepper cheese made my day better. At the same time, I hate Big Bazaar because of the ugly ‘Buy 4, Get 1 Free!’ humongous packs of everything they stock. When it comes to good things, less is more.
  5. Friday – the husband’s birthday – was spent well. A chocolate cake, an X-box and a new watch made the boy happy. The weather played along, and it rained through the evening. We got a new car too and drove off for a family dinner while trying to figure out the dashboard buttons. Much fun!
  6. As far as my career is concerned, I could well have made a job out of staring at a wall and still managed more “job satisfaction” than I do currently. I should really quit. If there ever was a reason to stay, I can’t seem to find it in my head right now. Mostly because my head is full of reasons why I should not stay and why I should never have stayed.
  7. I seem to be getting the hang of Twitter finally. But s.l.o.w.l.y. Interestingly, I think of it like TV watching. I just read what other people have to say, and I almost never comment or reply. I feel tweeting is like shouting into space. In 140 characters, ofcourse.
  8. Yesterday, I suddenly recalled the incident that happened just before my wedding. We were on the train to Kolkata where the wedding happened, and we met this pesky guy who claimed to know palmistry. Many people from my entourage got giddy with excitement, and I buried my nose even deeper in my book. He, however, politely declined most and said he was not comfortable with saying unpleasant things in public to anyone. I giggled. He then asked to read my palm. And the relatives (who can’t leave anyone alone) did the whole “Haanji, batao batao” thing. I am sure he guessed it from the way I was vehemently trying to dissuade everyone from making me do this, but he spoke at length about my temper. Or the ugliness of it. (So much for not wanting to say unpleasant things.) And he ended it with “Don’t lose temper at your wedding. It won’t be good.” And it really wasn’t pretty. Oh well.
  9. Remember I wrote about my fitness plan hoping you, the readers, would kick my ass if I tried to go the ‘Fat Is In!’ route again? No? So much for blogging and accountability. Anyway, here’s an update. The gymming has been fun-tastic. In the manner of desperate boasting, let me bring to your notice that I went to the gym thrice even while on holiday. Slap me or cheer me! We did that because it helps stay motivated after coming back and not like “What’s the point? I neutralized so much effort in the last week”. Also, it helps hold on to that tiny shred of dignity upon return, when the trainer orders you to squat x 75. The eating is however a whole different story. It involves buffets, chocolate cake and biryanis. Today is the day we do crunches and other ab exercises. Or the day I pray harder.
  10. Like I said, I have no work and that always means more time online. That, for me, means discovering more blogs. Blogging makes me believe I’m so different from and so similar to so many people in the world. It makes me crystallize my own thoughts on things I’d likely never have spent time thinking on my own. I read somewhere that reading on varied abstract topics expands the mind, making it more tolerant and absorbing. I can safely say that reading the blogs I read does that job as well as the books I read.
  11. Speaking of reading, I’ve been trying to organize my reading habit. No buying more books before the ones I have, have been read. No picking up a new book before the one I’m reading is done with. Will you believe me if I say I still haven’t finished reading A Suitable Boy? I love that book but it weighs a ton, and can’t be travelled with. So. But will set that straight soon.
  12. Speaking of being organized, I re-arranged my closet and the book shelf on Saturday. I then also tried to de-tangle the wire-bunch that I had been procrastinating on, for weeks. Gave up. Anyway, this fixing-what-ain’t-broke kind of cleaning I do is like an obsession. Does anyone else here believe folding clothes is strangely calming? What anti-depressants do you recommend?
  13. I really didn’t want to write a long post about a mishmash of things today. And look now! Point no.13! I knew I should have done a tag instead.
  14. Every time I go shopping, I end up buying stuff very similar to what I have. Does it happen to everyone? Like you *think* you know what looks good on you, and you buy a lot of that? Just to break the cycle, I decided to NOT go to the same stores I visit, the last time I went shopping. Guess what? I didn’t like anything. So then I got some silver necklace like the kinds I’ve never worn before. Baby steps.
  15. I crave home-cooked rajma chawal almost everyday. Our very Bengali cook does not know how to buy/ cook “Raujmoh”. Sigh! So that’s one more thing to put on my To-Do-In-Delhi list.
  16. The last two days have been cloudy but it refuses to rain. We’re walking around, looking up at the sky in anticipation. Still, I don’t want to be complaining because folks in Delhi have it worse than us, and also because it’s always heavily cloudy when I’m on my way to work and back. That is anyday better than being in the car when it’s sunny.
  17. My MIL hasn’t been feeling well the last few days. It’s very different seeing her being so down and out. For the last year and a half I’ve known her, I’ve always seen her up and about. Gardening, cooking, cleaning. Sickness in the family pulls me down easiest.
  18. I just remembered I have two C&H books I got from Bangalore to read. And I still haven’t watched Raavan. Is it THAT bad? Okay, if I HATE Bachchan Jr. and can JUST ABOUT tolerate his wife, how bad will it be to watch it just for Mani Ratnam and AR Rahman? Never mind, I know I’ll have to see it to conclude on that.
  19. What is a really good time to run a 5K in, on the treadmill? And what is really lousy? I just want to know so that I can put on the blog how much time I take. Give me numbers, somebody!
  20. I’m off now. Thanks for bearing this. Do tell what’s up with you. As you can see, you can really go all out and not worry about order / significance here 🙂


What you looking around for? Ketchup = my new-fangled witty take on “Catch Up”. Zimble! (Simple!)

That witty and brainy peice of #### apart, here’s waving you salaams from my old rattled desk, peeps!

I’m back. This isn’t a post where you’ll find the pics. Before you yell out your war cry, the pictures are a’-coming. I need some time for that. This post, then, is just a compilation of general patent roobish like the ones you find scattered throughout the archives. Here goes:

Mauritius is a byoootyfulll country (indulge me if you’ve heard that before, pliss). Enough for me to misspell and contort the word ‘beautiful’ for exaggeration, EVEN in the wake of the Red Marker Blogathon. That’s saying a lot! Now where was I? Oh yes! All you see in Mauritius, for long stretches, is sugarcane fields, floating white clouds, thatched rooftops or tall mountains. Mauritians look Indian, and they speak Bhojpuri and French! How cool is that? If you’re visiting from Bombay, your paisa would have been vasooled at this point! No? Then you could head out to one of the beaches. Or stuff your face with fresh fish and seafood. Or go parasailing. Or just vegetate in one of the pool chairs reading a book. I, ladies and gentlemen, did all of the above.

 Am I the only one who feels that our jobs are in our lives so that we can appreciate holidays more? For if I was loafing around in my shorts all day, I don’t think I would gulp down the Mauritian air like oxygen was going out of fashion. Yet, make no mistakes, I mentally drafted colorful and elaborate resignation notes on the flight back.

 In other words, funnn was hadddd!

Just before I left, I saw that Newmumontheblock had presented me with a blog award. I had simply no time to write a post to thank her for that. Plus, one can’t really write a post jumping up and down. Sooo, here it is, now that the awardee’s jumping has subsided (a bit):

Thank you, New Mum! 🙂

But all that aside, I’m back to where I started. My rattled old desk, which is ack-shoo-ally a hotdesk. I’m back to being a consultant, back to giving advice on things I have no business to be advising on because well, I have no business. How elated I am about coming to work may be summed up more eloquently if I just tell you that when I entered the office in my tanned avatar on Friday, the first person I saw was this lady who I notice has acquired a new neck support sort of thing (very very common in our office, everyone’s wearing either this or some sort of a back support thingie) who asked me “Arrey, what happened to you.. so blackkkkk!” How I love being backkkk, or not!

Book read in the meanwhile: Eat Pray Love. I can say that it’s the most readable book ever written about a spiritual journey, for people like you and me. Because if you’re anything like me, the over-the-top technical books on meditation and spirituality keel you and bring out the “sinner” in you 😀 Looking forward to the movie now.

Movies watched: Rajneeti and Robin Hood. Watch for Ranbir Kapoor and Russell Crowe.

What’s up with you? Is it raining where you are? Here, it is! And I simply cannot concentrate on anything right now. The rains! They make Bombay tolerable.. just imagine!

You'll just need to figure out the point yourself

The weekend’s done, and the Monday’s gone too. I have a good feeling about this week. Typically, given my work week and how it leaves me pulling my hair out on Friday evenings, that is a really bold statement to make on a Tuesday morning. Out here, we’ve learnt that sometimes Tuesdays can make up for the lack of crap on Monday in a way that Wednesdays start feeling insecure pretty early and get bitchy before they land. Thursdays don’t miss out on all the fun either, and Fridays don’t quite live up to the expectations we harbor from them. But still, a girl’s gotta take risks sometimes right?

Lots of stuff has been happening this side of your Reader/ Blogger / WordPress window. Not all good, certainly not all bad.

We saw LSD and Rocket Singh – Salesman of the Year last weekend. And I quite liked both. Even though I do not understand the significance of Ranbir Kapoor being a Sikh in the movie at all. It could be just like that, but really, why bother with all the makeup. Maybe, it would have contributed to the curiosity around the time of release but that’s about it. Anyway, the movie is quite well-made with all the actors fitting into their characters effortlessly. I always love movies with a cast of new actors for this reason – they haven’t been stereotyped yet, and the audience doesn’t have a reference point. What I did not like about the movie though is the capacity of the protagonist to keep taking shit. You can always argue that he is shown as a mere grad student in the big corporate jungle, but still, it just got unbearable at a certain point. Why is it suddenly acceptable for movie-makers to portray the newbies and the junior junta as very eager to work but not ask for anything in return, infact being quite welcoming with all the crap being flung about? I think we should nip this evil in the bud before the corporates learn a trick or two from these movies – like they should rate these movies as ‘UM’ i.e. for only sub-managerial position audience 😀

As for LSD, I’d say I was not supposed to like the movie and I went with that expectation. But the movie does make you sit up and notice. It’s an ugly truth, but you can’t help agreeing it’s the truth. The performances (almost all) and the cinematography are extremely real and they come together to tell the story exactly how it’s intended – like you just happened to be there, and seeing what is being shown. Also, Delhi viewers are likely to understand it much more, because the mannerisms and the language of the youth in the movie are all too familiar for us. However, the movie is disturbing in its own way, and doesn’t make for pleasant after-thought. Also: it’s not a movie to be seen with family / someone you’re on the first date with. 😉

In other news, I just noticed that I’ve posted 10 posts this year. Yayyyy!! I know, you’re looking around quizzically, but for me it’s a giant leap. If you haven’t noticed, I wrote all of 7 posts last year. Which means an average of just about 0.5 posts per month! Upped to an average of 4 posts per month this year. In consulting speak, that’s rationalizing your efficiencies and increasing productivity by 8x. It does sound like serious business now, doesn’t it? Keeping fingers crossed – oh wait, how will I blog with crossed fingers? On a serious note though, there’s so much more about which I do wish to write but the blog being public always comes in the way. I have been seriously contemplating an anon blog for a while, but then, I do not want to break away from this dark and comic blog of mine either. And God knows, I can’t write two blogs. I’m much too lazy for that. Oh while we are on the subject of blogs, can someone please give me some tips for dodging these Viagra and Dating adverts? At the moment, I don’t have a pressing need for either.

In yet another snippet of news, I’ve been slogging it in the gym pretty religiously of late (do note that ‘religiously’ is used subjectively and loosely). So far, I’ve been quite happy with going to the gym, panting like a dog, coming back chuffed at my “discipline”, downing a bar of Bourneville, and crying about never losing any weight. Did I mention the role of my trainer here? He has two roles: that of barking orders at me before I pant like a dog and that of taking away my hard-earned cash, somewhere after I down that bar and before I cry about my lack of weight loss. Seriously though, the guy cannot seem to understand WHY this particular client of his does not budge from her current weight, because from the information he has access to, I eat only greens and proteins (he should get one of those LSD cameras fitted in our fridge.. haha). So he did what all smart instructors will do – he has put me on a power workout or something horrendous sounding like that. It began last Friday. Let’s just say I have been missing my legs since. Oh, but NOT my calves, they are right there agonizing over this whole situation, and they let me know that every few minutes. I swore that I’d eat healthy from now on, AND then I went shopping for that kind of stuff. And I came back with awesome herbed cheese cubes and even bigger Bournevilles. It is a vicious cycle. It is.

Aur kya? Haan, almost everyone I’ve met in the last 3 months has asked me that question that I’m supposed to answer very coyly and demurely: How does it feel to be married? I look very blank, as if I’m trying to recall that it has happened. Sometimes I say “Oh, it’s just the same”. But I’ve noticed how it always disappoints the questioner. So now I charge into the situation with “interesting” details like how the family is different, how it’s fun, where we went for the honeymoon, and what I’m learning to cook. That seems to make the cut. Deep down, however, I feel depressed by the whole pressure to “feel” married. Like I am doing something wrong if nothing has changed.

Oh, btw, I finished reading Advaita Kala’s Almost Single. It made for a very good read, and for those into light reading with no real life-changing plots, I highly recommend it. I also picked up Greatbong’s May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss – which is howlarious! I’ll do a detailed review when I’m done though.

Things I Want To Say

1. The sun doesn’t shine out of your ass, sweetheart.

2. Careful with that shriek! Your excitement can be deafening.

3. Wow, you’ve crawled out from under that rock all by yourself. We’re in 2010. The text books you like to quote from, are now ancient scriptures.

4. Oh, I’m so sorry.. did that guy 3 years your junior tell you to f%^&off? How does it feel to be the yell-ee, and not the yeller for once?

5. That crystal ball you pretend to be gazing into, has self-immolated. Have faith, move a finger.

6. To be coherent. Is it asking for too much?

7. The % of tribal men in South Asia who like to dance naked on moonlit nights is not available on any “reliable” sources. Sue me.

8. Getting home before 9 pm on one’s birthday is for sissies. Thanks for helping me build character.

9. No, there’s no better way of showing your appreciation than passing off my work as your own.

10. Ofcourse your hunch is as good as my 10-page long research. Next time, I’ll wait for your glazed look rather than “using” my Sunday.

Days of Our Lives

Q. What sort of people sit in a 6-by-4 room with orange and red walls and horrible airconditioning that causes their fingers to freeze in otherwise summery places, and yet continue to be hard at work with hundreds of spreadsheets and charts?

A. No, not NASA scientists. No, not even brave soldiers. The correct answer eeeeez: Strategy consultants at client site.