I’ll take boring

As a child … and as a teen even … well lets just say the pre-25 years :), I used to love the thrill of life. The excitement of it all … resigning from the job to give the CAT, not knowing what I am going to do next, walking around in the city with friends … carefree, without a care in the world. The one thing I looked down upon despised, was the normal, routine rote of a life that my folks and all the 40 something’s were following. How boring!! How can one live a life knowing ahead their every move?

I then touched 25. Finished by Post Graduation. Got a job. Welcome to the real world Neo.

With my risk appetite going down every coming year, and with my blood pressure going up, it becomes a necessity to know these things. To follow the simplicity of a routine. No surprises. Give me my daal-roti and I will gladly leave the Chicken Makhanwalla’s of the restaurants. Yeah … I would love having a normal, boring life for once. We as human beings are constantly striving to achieve that normalcy … and so few of us actually manage to achieve it. As Fido Dido would have you believe … Normal is boring .. hey give me boring, and let me be :-)

Then, Now and Will be

Got tagged by Archana, I know this tag is going to make me do a lot of introspection; much needed at that. Tags spread through viral referrals, and I hope that this one spreads out … through me and through my friends (you are going to be tagged!!).

The tag:

Two questions in each category answer them and then tag your friends from the blog-o-sphere. Leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been tagged and you are all set.

Then:

Your oldest memories

  • Getting spanked on my derriere by the nurse … ohhh the blood rushing to my head … for crying out loud!! (he he .. was just kidding :-) )
  • Throwing toys down the 9th floor and watching them disappear as they fell fell fell … from my grandparents flat in Churchgate when I was a toddler
  • The glee when I saw my first horse at the age of 6
  • The achievement I felt when my aunt taught me to draw a horse shortly afterwards … I was addicted to horses after watching the movie Betaab … had seen the movie 3 times in one night!! … for the horse … no I dont mean Amrita Singh :-D
  • Seeing my first computer at the age of 9, it was a 80386 and my mothers brother had forked out one lakh for that machine … shucks … so much for Moore’s Law. Played Prince of Persia for an hour, I was thrilled … decided then and there that I would be a computer engineer :))
  • Owning a XT 8086 with a monochrome display and 640KB of RAM, the machine did not have a hard drive, and I was happy
  • Feeling the pride when my Maths teacher called my parents to commend my papers and explain the empty class notebooks in my 4th standard
  • Feeling an even greater humiliation when I finished last in class during the mid-terms of 9th standard … cable TV is a great evil
  • My first ship cruise to Goa … fresh fish and a choppy sea
  • Standing atop a spiked gate and then the horror I felt when I saw that my new cream chappals had turn blood red … weirdly I do not remember feeling any pain

What were you doing ten years ago?

November 1998, I was a first year engineering student, the first semester was coming to an end; and I was fast learning that I am loving engineering more and more since it does not adhere to the sad mugging pattern of school. I remember going to college, attending tuition, bartering notes, copying assignments, discussing over the phone, the long bus rides along the beach. My engineering college was Fr. Conceicao Rodriguez College of Engineering … it is on bandstand, Bandra and generally a very nice place to hangout if you get over the engineering studies :). I was having a rocking time.

 

Now:

Your first thought in the morning

I should not have stayed up late in the night to finish Brisingr.

If you build a time capsule what would it contain?

Hmmm … good question. It would contain nothing; the present is to be lived … enjoyed … why give the future excess baggage to dig up. (pun intended)

 

Will Be:

This year…

I intend to get married to the love of my life, possibly shift jobs and find a way of means to be near my loved ones. Activities such as blogging, web dev, tweeting, et al are bound to happen!!

What do you see yourself doing 14 years from now?

Why the no. 14?? Well … I would be attending PTA meetings … and planning my retirement as well. Archana, are you up for co-authoring that book?

 

 

Happiness

Was browsing and checking the incoming and outgoing links on my blog, when I came across this thought provoking post. Happiness by Veena where she tries to define this intangible emotion … makes you think na? I tried my best to define it .. but then I realized that to define this, I will have to make a boundary around it and then bring a structure to it (think through this before you rush to comment).

Why then should I bother to put a boundary on something which cannot and should not have any limits?

I have decided to leave the intangibles to the marketing gurus and just define what Happiness means to me –

  • being with my loved ones
  • a new game on a uber-gaming machine
  • ghar ka khana
  • a beautiful piece of code
  • pizza!!
  • a hot steaming cup of coffee/tea early in the morning
  • maggi at 4 am
  • PS3 + 42″ HDTV

Heck, the list will go on for some time. I guess overall, I am a happy person :-D

The joy of achieving

I have a classmate from school. The fellow was brilliant. Is infact … brilliant. After school, we joined the same junior college, and he promptly started gunning for the IITs. He cracked IITJEE the first time around, he also managed to get a decent percentage with the Maharashtra board. God knows how he managed all that, I had a tough time to mug up all the studies. Engineering was a relief, and so was normal working life … MBA was a blast for me. I lost contact with him as the years gone by. The last I had heard was a brief article in the news about him starting his own company which made RSS readers for the blind. I remember thinking like a business person, how is this going to make money!?!

Recently, out of the blue, I get a call from him. For old times sake, we decide to meet. The guy is happily chatting about his business plans and all that. I naturally assumed that he finally found a way to monetize his RSS readers. After 2 hours or so, I realized that this was something else he was talking. Apparently he had closed down his company and was now working full time as a network marketing professional. For the uninitiated, that means he will sell some company’s products directly for a commission, and the people he sells them to can do the same, whereupon all the middle men in the transaction get a decent commission. Incredulously I agreed to attend one such sales pitch … I will not name this person (you know who you are!!), and I certainly wont name the company.

I have been avoiding him ever since. How can you forego your education, your training, your ambitions, your dreams … for money? Where is the joy of achieving in that … did he not feel that when he got into IIT Bombay, Comp. Sci?? Did he not feel that when he started his own company? How do you let go of that addictive feel of achieving … for the sake of money. What a waste.

Pearly whites

How many of us can boast of teeth like these? The ones that razzle and dazzle the onlooker. I certainly cannot!! In fact, back when I was a b-schooler, I had to perform emergency surgery and get one of my wisdom teeth removed .. the reason – it had rotted away due to some infection. Mea culpa. I had not paid enough attention to my pearly whites. Till that point of time, I had not bothered to visit a dentist.

Life has its set of ironies for everyone, my fiance for instance is a dentist :-)

One day I was having a talk with Harshaja about the dental awareness and her work in general. It struck me that the awareness levels of dental health are pretty much low in India. Until and unless its not a major problem or an infection, people do not wish to go to the dentist. A lot of Harshu’s clientele are actors and actresses who want to have that perfect smile (with that glint *ting* sparkle as well). I considered them vain, but in the long run these very people are going to end up having better teeth than moi. Since they are more aware about what a dentist can do, I am blissfully unaware. Did you know for instance, that they can whiten your teeth?? Absolving you of all those cigarettes smoked, coffees/teas drunk … how awesome is that!\

So how many of you do brush their teeth before you hit the sack?

On a funny tone, have you listened to the song from Dr. Alban – Go see the dentist, and he will say open your mouth … :)

Remember the Teacher

I was reading my feeds when I came across –

A Teacher on the Front Line as Faith and Science Clash and Now THERE’s a Teacher

Takes you back to movies like To Sir, with Love, doesn’t it? Just that the students are not half that bad. What often moves or works against the teacher are the preconceived notions of the students. In our lifetimes as students hell bent to finish the term as soon as possible, we sometimes forget the main task at hand – knowledge and learning.

I remember one of my Services Marketing professors in this regard, Prof. Ram Kumar, who was the faculty at IIM-A. In the second lecture, he gave us senior students as quiz, one simple question – “What is services marketing?”

Having finished our preliminary year with a lot of poppycock, we had learned the management mantra and more than eager to try it out. At the end of the quiz, Ram Kumar made us write a textbook definition of the same, 20 times on the back side of the question paper. Honestly, I felt like a school kid. The only thought that was going through all our collective minds was – “This is what they do at IIM-A, huh?” or “All this effort for doing this?”. The rest of the course was awesome, with presentations and assignments which made us think … no, really think. Come out with ideas, collaborate, discuss the merits and demerits of different services, and most importantly, learn to ask the question Why?

At the end of the course, the last session had us sitting in the class, with one minor change. The class’ mike was attached to a mini stereo system. Our disastrous quiz papers were distributed amongst the class … I was staring at my bad handwriting and wondering, what am I to do with this paper? Ram Kumar, then hit the stereo’s play button … and asked us to tear up the quiz sheet where we had expressed our rote learning and throw them in the air. The background music was – Another Brick in the Wall by Pink Floyd.

Tearing up a piece of paper never felt that good.