Category Archives: work

Brighthelmstone chronicles

    Preface

It is pretty damp to see how a pattern oriented work life changes the way you look, prioritize and do things
work

For instance, my blogging which has over the years been a pride of mine (not that I got an award or monetary reward for the content in it, but speaking more from a posterity/ cherishing memories’ and thoughts’ point of view) Not that I had no stuff to write oF. I did. But just that I postponed the documenting (notice how I instinctively use “documenting” and not “writing” … work-lingo by-product! Phew ! ) Or alternatively, just thought of it as a pastime that is nice to have, but can be back-seated in the shadow of better things to do! (Not that I have really done anything better though .. )

Anyway sorry for digressing like an aimless dilettante. The idea here is to talk about my Business trip to Brighton in the United Kingdom (UK)

Pier

    Brighthelmstone

If the wonderful ‘reader’ (this can be anyone or just me in the distant future … hmm I am thinking Donnie Darko ish stuff now! Before I digress again, I will park that thought and get back to Brighton) put in so much dedicated effort ūüėõ to actually look it up, you would know that the ancient name of this touristic city is “Brighthelmstone” which I guess, justifies the title, haha ! I just find this name more conducive to sometimes-megalomanics like myself ! (Dont blame me for this! Grew up on RajniKanth )

    I have been here for quite some time

I have been here before in September and October but owing to the same reason as mentioned in the Preface above, I didn’t muster enough enthusiasm to document this (Oh no! Not “Document” again ) . Also, owing to the whole micro-blogging revolution, my updates have been going very well with Twitter and Facebook, but just not with the self-fulfilling openness of writing in your own blog

    Weather

It can get cold here.The Southern English climate is, as anyone might have already guessed, unpredictable. When it rains during a climatic temperature of 3 degree Celcius , it feels like “icicles shot at your face with a machine gun” (Ok! This catchphrase is now officially my most often-used metaphor this month!)

Ice_rain<

I was a person who kept complaining about the heat in India and was not used to temperatures less than 16 degree Celcius (Hyderabadi winter! Yes! Thats all it goes down to) Living here for a brief period has given me a life-long enlightening feeling about seeing the Sun. So when there is Sun here this time of the year, the feeling is of relief, pure and pristine. But of course it does not last long and folks go back to weather-induced-depressive-moods again.

sun and cold

But then of course, humankind has always found means to fight negative mindsets. The highly tentaive depressive mood is perhaps what drives people here to “get a life” rather than give in to “hibernating under your blankets and eating lots of cheese” . People make it a point to socialize more and also do more sport. Party and Get exercise! Now thats what I am talking about … (now by exercise, I dont mean “go all Arnold”, even walking on a Sunday instead of taking a taxi is exercise by my book)

    London

Now talking of weather reminds me of one thing …

    my ordeal on November 10th

! I wanted to go catch the Manchester-Arsenal match ( Dont be impressed! I didnt get tickets, plan was to see it with a friend of mine in a sports bar near London Bridge ) But then North-bound trains from Brighton to London were down due to bad weather . Boy ! Was I peeved …

London

Anyway, I have been to London in October though. Thanks to these two (Akshay and Manasi) I had a fantastic time. God bless them!

AkMa

Hey did I say God ! Its a coincidence ( would not like calling it Providence ) that I saw the fantastic movie “Rush” in England (considering its got a British central character … played by Chris Hemsworth ..yeah! Thor goes F1-driving!)

    The book

Talking of providence reminds me of this book

book

In times like these ( read, all outdoor plans failing due to bad weather …yes! the November 10th ordeal again ! ) , I have been reading this book. The book obviously champions atheism . As tempted to speak of it as I am now, I will save this for another day. Hmm.. do I hear the faithful taking out their chain-saws to judge that post? ūüôā Yes yes ! The time will come …

    Food

Now lets talk of food ..not unlike the rest of England, there is the famous “fish and chips” which I somehow am not a big fan of

fish&chips

I did try it once but was not particularly thrilled about it. Its just fried fish and a bad version of quickly fried potato. Perhaps its notoriety comes from the fact that it is warm fried food that can be instantly made. A sort of quick-fix and filling solution to a hungry stomach in cold English weather ..hmm … fair enough !

Talking of food takes me back to the November 10th ordeal. I had to compensate myself for the frustration of missing hanging out with pals because of no trains due to rains. I got myself a mammoth treat to please myself. Well ! At least one good thing is that you can get everything in a TESCO store from canned alcohol to quick-fix-takeaway food (yes even hot food) By the way, unless you do some sort of responsible recreational calorie burning, do not try this level of junk-snacking at home ūüėõ

food<

(to be continued … )

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2010: That year gone by

The previous year (2010) started with a prophecy which to my loved ones (starting with mom), was the prophecy of all prophecies. Potentially the greatest harbinger of my doom`s eventual finality (lol! What words! I should cut down on the ‘epic fantasy` reading :p)

So no matter how hard I didn`t believe ¬†such jyotish (astrology), it did do some damage, I didnt blog for the first 6 months of 2010. Not ¬†that there is any connection, but my blogger’s block and this astrology shit just happened to be concomitant events.

Anyway … I guess I am still alive and 2010 was one of the best years of my life …a pioneering year for many different things …! So Mr.Astrologer , take your prophecies , round them up real nice and stick it ¬†straight up your monkey a**

x-x-x

Anyway looking back at 2010, it was quite the amusing year.Below I tried to stick to a chronological structure though I did give more priority to the free flow of thought

  1. It truly started with a bang ¬†with me getting myself shifted to the Business Intelligence Unit at my company. Lots of statistics, heavy duty number crunching and an infinitely clanish little team! The kind of combo I would dig into any day ūüôā !
  2. Then came an event that marked the synchronization of identity with the place I live in. My future generations shall know that event ¬†as *me shifting to a flat in Bandra (West)*, the jazziest of Mumbai residential localities by far. With food, drinks, clubs,Joggers’ park, Gold’s gym, and discotheques a¬†breath away, non-busy times promised never to be boring again.
  3. Not to mention travelling with pals on treks around mumbai to Lohagad, Rajmachi, Manikgad et al, incidentally all spiced up by the monsoon rains.
  4. Then came the ¬†main course of 2010. the trip to Europe.¬†Everything from the Louvre’ in Paris to the Wall in Berlin to the crazy coffee shops in Amsterdam to the European Union Parliament ¬†in Strasbourg !For good measure, also throw in a large measure of¬†Curry Wurst, Khus khus,¬†Tartflombay and¬†1 litre beer mugs ! Even¬†raced against an English guy (who by the way was not the stereotypically fat British dumpty) ¬†in Paris for a 10 round race around the Eiffel Tower. ¬† Bumped into Mythalez and Tejo at Amsterdam¬†(all doped in the ¬†jolly good¬†sense of course!)
  5. Then, there was Goa (as usual) where besides the time spent at the beaches oggling at the girls, an appreciable time was spent ¬†biking across 100 km of the North Goa coastline … shirtless !! ūüėõ
  6. Not to mention visiting  Hyderabad a couple of times in 2010 . Even went to the extent of biking drunk on the roads of Hyderabad . Thankfully, I was driving at 10 kmph (haha!) , too slow for anyone to get suspicious or me falling in trouble.
  7. The amount of reading ¬†done in 2010 was a rather amusing observation. ¬†Tried a tad more than lightly to digress away from my stereotypical tendency to stick to the sci fi and¬†epic fantasy genre’. ¬†Did a fair diversification ¬†by ¬†becoming familiar with the linguistic, historical , biographical, autobiographical, social, non-fictional categories too. Of course, never completely lost my loyalty to the¬†epic fantasy and sci-fi genre’ . By the way, the end of 2010 from the books’ perspective sees me searching for Stephen king’s Dark tower series, waiting for Part 2 in the Left Hand of God trilogy¬†and ¬†trying to fully comprehend Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink
  8. Of course I did continue ( like years of yore) , with my controversial theories (for instance, the Black berry bitch) So i did invite everything from ire to appreciation from different quarters. Haha ! There was one queer instance when one particular theory (about nosy relatives on FB) got me under scrutiny in family circles. ¬†But well! how do you become a family legend/cult ¬†without controversy, without rising against sardonic moronisms, against …. oh God! forget it ¬†…..
  9. Running: I should be shot if I dont talk of this. Yes! I did find my intermittently lost passion for running in 2010 …after two years (one more time!! Before I become old and crippled). Out with it came some new self-made techniques and strategies for running races. I guess I am getting into shape and preparing hard for various running events around India. Hope things work out well.

….. Well thats it for now! ¬†2010 was not bad at all . I feel light now that I have put down the important stuff for posterity. There were obviously some bad-ass tales and some tragic ones in 2010 too, like it is for every one! But that set will find its place in the blog’s private part.

Yours truly,

Ghost Runner

The MUMBAIkar saga – Episode 3: The Great Wadala Stride

They walked like men, bracing the fury of the wind, the sharp sting of the rain, the heaviness of their dripping formals, the uncertainty of their last fag’s lifetime in the face of the wet rain and the gothic excitement of facing the walk across rain-hit Wadala …..

This little incident happened on the 14th of June, the day (among many other such days) when  it rained rather heavily in Mumbai.

The water was knee high , troublesome enough for the cabbie to abandon good ol’ ¬†Mr.P and good ol’ Mr.B, colleagues and pals, near the slums ¬†of Wadala.They were on their way back home.

Wadala is  an area towards the west of central Mumbai. This place, mind you all, is among the depressed areas in the city. So obviously there was water, filled with stench, accumulated from the overflowing drainage, the faeces of the slum dwellers et al. There P and B had, in front of their lost eyes, a river of shit

Their only outside chance to cross it was a narrow road divider that was almost submerged in the river of shit ! In the name of Odin (name taken for no obvious reason) , they had to pull off the tight rope-walking routine to cross the river of shit ….

P looked at B and said , “No shit macha !! We ain’t Harry Houdini are we ? “

B gave his usual twisted smile where ¬†only the left side of his lips extends into a smiling posture while the right side doesn’t move a nanometer. It was a half-sided closed grimace which indicated he was about to say something sarcastic.

“Houdini is a m*****-f***** sissy!” He said and they laughed at it, like two thugs who were about to pull off a heist that would make Sean Connery’s Entrapment character , look like an amateur.

Just before they were about to get onto the divider, P again in his usual flashy way, raised his right hand to stroke his hair, “Oops!” he went, “I just realized I dont have my long hair anymore, macha !” This reminded his pal, B , ¬†of the days 3 years ago, in a distant past , when P grew long hair because he wanted to look like Jimi Hendrix. And B felt that P was a guy to stay away from, since he might potentially be gay. Ridiculous those thougths seemed to B now.

Now they were here, in Mumbai, working for the same company, living under the same roof,  going to the same gym and bored at an equal level with life itself.

Anyway, P pulled out his last fag from his sock, something that he was saving for contingencies such as these. In the usual Rajnikanth-inspired style, he started smoking his last drag. And then, they were set for the act …

They walked carefully shaking their hands now and then, to balance themselves. The proverbial last fag of P fell in the river of shit, but that didn’t deter the good ol’ rocker from his objective that moment. They continued to walk, puushing aside many a fat guy who dared to walk in the opposite direction.

By the time they crossed the end of the shit-river, their umbrellas were done for, thanks to the strong wind! But that didn’t discourage the duo. They grabbed a can of beer each, started sipping it (a totally illegal thing to do by the way , drinking and walking on a pedestrian path) and fought the wind that was strong enough to blow away any lesser mortal. The rain pierced their chests like broken glass. The Mumbai manholes were open everywhere, waiting for the passsers-by to get swalloed into their deep dark mouths. The thugs of the slums waited under their ragged-raincoats and hidden knives to attack tired pedestrians and rob them of their cash and courage. The storm clouds grew darker and heavier in the sky that was a homogenous dark blue. B and P walked on ….

x-x-x-x-

Three quarters of a century later, Uncle BKS , an old close friend  of theirs, was narrating this tiny little incident to his great grand kids.

“Did they survive ? ” asked the little son of his 12 th grandchild.

To this, Uncle BKS smiled.

The kids looked at the way he smiled a most peculiar smile. That which was a half-smile that spoke of sarcasm. They further remembered how he hides a last fag in his sock, just in case a cigarette shop is not available nearby.

Before they said anything, BKS smiled and said ..I see you have noticed!Yes! How would I get these habits if they didn’t survive that evening … ūüôā

And so he remembered P & B, and how that day, ….

They walked like men, bracing the fury of the wind, the sharp sting of the rain, the heaviness of their dripping formals, the uncertainty of their last fag’s lifetime in the face of the wet rain and the gothic excitement of facing the walk across rain-hit Wadala …..

The MUMBAIkaraean saga : Prelude

tchu es tres belle

Thats whatI was saying to aleast ¬†half a dozen places (read hangouts) in Mumbai! Well to cut a long story short (which will be a long elaboration in the days to come, now that the runner has got his personal wi-fi ¬†ūüôā )

An in your face mass pychoanalysis of the city, my work and life itself coming up …

~Wifi in my room now , the runner’s back in blogdom …