Thursday, April 20, 2006


Some of you may feel that an undying horse is being flogged again (borrowed the line from Magnolic) but nevertheless, an interesting conversation going on here.

Saturday, April 15, 2006


She was waiting for him. It had been long since he had passed her way, by visiting or otherwise. Her love had accumulated over time, and was threatening to spill from her eyes. Longing was taking a toll on her. Then he came. Like a wayward son returning home, he came into her folds, and her brimming love broke all restraint and out came the tears, like a torrential deluge, as she welcomed him back.

I reached Mysore today. And three days of overcast clouds rained in all their splendour.

16 hours on the NH-4

Yoo hoo and a bottle of rum...

Harsha was giving high recommendations to Sharma Travels, and I can see now why. Minutes after Harsha and Gokul had lugged my bag into the bus, the bus started, and the powerful AC cooled the whole cabin in minutes. It was already 12 by the time we hit the ghats on the outskirts of Pune, so I guess that may have been the reason he did not play any movie at night. Blankets and bottles given, the lights were dimmed and then put off, and the only thing audible was the slow hum of the AC, which combined with the chilled ambience, put everyone to sleep.

Not me though, cos the seat I got was not fully reclining, and so I was feeling very uncomfortable. The girl next to me was accomodating enough to let me put my legs to the far end of her leg-space, so that I could doze off in a diagonal position, with my head on the window. I remember being awake till 1, because I was continuing a SMS conversation with a birthday gal. Then, fatigue overtook me, and the next thing I knew was daylight on my face through the window. The girl next to me was still asleep, complete with the blanket over her head to prevent the sun. I did the same and slept for another hour or so, before dad called me.

Presently he stopped for breakfast, and for once, it was not a stinky roadside hotel. The places where these KSRTC people stop, you know instantaneously where the toilet is, thanks to the stench emanating from it. Here, however, I had to ask, and to my pleasant surprise, the toilets were clean, the water was clear, and the food, sumptuous. It atleast leaves you with the comforting feeling that you got your money's worth. The place he stopped was a Reliance A-1 Outlet, methinks its Reliance's answer to Club HP "Achcha lagta hai" pit-stops on Pune-Mumbai expressway, with hotels and toilet facilities along with re-fuelling stations.

Lunch was again at a Reliance A-1, 50 kms away from Bangalore. By this time, I had seen Rang De Basanti and Malamaal Weekly. Thank God, I did not watch the latter movie in the theatres. Sucks big-time. This starts where the climax of Hungama ends (with all those people shaking and shouting in a bout of electric discharge). If it were not for the gal next to me, I would have pulled my hair out. During the course of the movie, I learnt that she was from Dombivili in Mumbai, and was working in some small company in Pune, and had got a new job in Cygnus software. Before joining there, she wanted to take a break and was visiting her brother in Bangalore.

Movies and Conversations over, the speakers started churning out FM, and after a long time, I heard the class of Bangalore RJs. Radio Mirchi RJs in Pune suck big time. Then the cleaner came and started announcing the stops in Bangalore, and she got off somewhere near Navrang, and a few more minutes later, me too gathered all my bags and headed home. It had taken fifteen and a half hours from Pune to Bangalore, pretty good enough. Comfortable seats, warm blankets, cool AC and neat stop-overs. Sharma is good, after all.

I will be going to Mysore tomorrow.

And by the way, this post is from my new notebook via a GPRS connection on the cell.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

I'm off...

An old friend's engagement.
One long pending visit to a friend's new house.
One visit to the school, with school-friends.
One drive to the college, and one cutting chai in the canteen.
One meal at the dhaba, just like the old times.
Two re-unions.
Dozens of movies on my new notebook.
Hours of wi-fi internet at Cafe Coffee Day, Kalidasa Road.
Scores of photos on Harsha's Nikon.
a helluva catching up is all I want to do in Mysore.

Yes, I'm off to Mysore, and will be back in Pune on May 02nd. Will keep posting, though.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

That Was The Week That Was

For the long-ishness of the previous post, it is but justified that I take a long break.

Anyway, last Saturday saw Rupa flying to Ipswich, and Rakshith will be flying some time next week.

Had been to Mumbai to see Rupa off, and for what little time I was there, and for what little I saw of the city, I fell in love with it. The power it exudes, the pace at which it moves...makes me shake my head in awe. Not that I dislike Pune, but Mumbai is Mumbai. Pune is incomparable. Its like comparing Mysore to Bangalore. One is a cultural stronghold, the other is the moolah-machine.

More on that in another post. Coming back home, we sacked our maid, and got a new one in her place. The old maid's lethargy had made us so bluntly tolerant, that now, the new one's routine work seems like a luxury.

And since afternoon, I am happy, because work-wise, there is nothing for me to finish before proceeding on leave. So all I did for the later half of the day was read her. I came across the link via desipundit, and I am not getting enough. Do read her stories. They are short, sweet, and leave you with your head tilted, saying "Awww".

And I am a part of Pune Bloggers now.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Love, Marriage and the Arrangements

Last weekend saw one of my friends attending a "groom-showing" ceremony. That's because she would be the bride in the equation. Somehow, this thing of "seeing" a bride/groom intrigues me no end. There is the tingling feeling of whom you may meet, whether the chemistry would be instant, or would fizz out like a half-opened can of beer.

I listened with keen interest as she kept on telling me details of their conversation, just the two of them. It was like the first date, only that this was a kind of family-arranged "blind" date. Breaking the ice, the hesitation, the urge to show your dry humor once the other person drops his/her guard, the deliberate need to make the other person feel comfortable...all this makes you kinda ecstatic. Its also true that you are put off if the other person is not responsive enough, but still...the quest to find a topic on which you can speak on and on, the exchanging of phone numbers, the talking late into nights...seems like a dream, but I have seen many such arranged blind dates flourish and blossom beautifully.

But there is the flip side too. What happens when there is a mismatch? What happens when all the late night talks and tingle were just the initial excitement, where you had this guard on, and after marriage, you drop your guard, to find a different person altogether? Then, you are too late to back out as well, and you resort to compromise. I am not against compromise, nor am I suggesting that relationships be damned at a drop of a hat, without taking the effort to make them work, but there is only so much you can do.

Take for example, what the man of few words says. Three years of bliss, would you want to throw it away. Three years of understanding each other, aligning yourself, and honing yourself, with the objective of spending all your life with the partner of your choice...would you want to throw it away, without making it work? I refrain from advising or suggesting anything to that couple, but I do think that when you feel you have made your choice, when you like a person so much that you want to spend your life with him/her, then caste, creed and all such things don't really matter. And for those to whom it matters, they have to realise that its a conscious decision you have made, and for all you are worth, your decision needs to be respected.

You may give me the argument that in an Indian context, a person marries a family, and not an individual. If you have such close ties with your family, why don't they give your decision the respect it deserves? Why don't they realise that while you searched out your partner, you have thought about them as well. Because for all the times they have been there for you, and made you the man/woman you are, you obviously would see to it that your partner respects and cares for them, along with you.

I am not saying love marriages always work out. All I'm saying is, in love, you can see where it is going. Consider twins. One falls in love, while the other "sees" a boy/girl and gets engaged. Both carry on for three months, getting to know their respective partners. Then, if the first finds that the partner is diametrically opposite to her/his persona, (s)he always has the chance to finish it, and back out with no hard feelings. No strings attached (pun unintended). The other is stuck with his/her polar opposite for life. (I of course, am not implying that things dont work out if the other person is totally opposite. In fact, its a good thing, helps understand each other better)

Here again, you may argue that the second one may have had a fruitful relationship, in spite of all the differences, due to compromises made. Point taken, but there are innumerable examples always. There are love marriages which ended in splitsville. And there are love marriages which worked out beautifully. And there are arranged marriages which worked out beautifully. And there are arranged marriages which were broken in court. And there are love marriages which got the consent of elders and became love-cum-arranged marriages. And there are live-ins. And there are couples who live separately. And extra-maritals. And on and on and on.

Compromises are made everywhere. There are voluntary compromises, which you do, to prevent a relationship going bad . There are frown-on-the-face compromises which you do, to prevent a bad relationship from going worse. There are things you do because your loved one wants you to. Similarly there are things you dont do because your loved one does not want you to. There are women who chuck their job, to look after the child. There are men, who tend the house when the wife is working (Arshad Warsi's is a notable example. He tended his child for two years, without a job, when they felt Maria Goretti's job was more important).

All said and done, things work out if you want them to. And it may take a lot of convincing, and groundwork before commitment. And love marriages give you an excellent platform. I know girls who want to be in a relationship, but are shackled by parental rules. I know girls who have honestly told the family about their plans ahead. Love marriages provide you with a chance to understand each other completely before committing yourself for life. I know for a fact (girls have told me in interesting discussions) that girls are more comfortable going to bed with someone they know, and trust their love and life with, than being undressed by a person they met a week, a month or even three months before.

I am not drawing this discussion to sex without reason. I believe that any relationship founded on sex is not strong enough. What if the guy has some expectations, and the girl, in her apprehensions (she's already naked with a stranger-of-three-months) does not live up to it. Will it not affect their relationship. Is it worth losing a lifetime of sleep over one night of staying awake? Marriage is not just about being good in bed. I believe that sex comes at the culmination of a relationship. The topmost level. The zenith. It gives you complete freedom, and an exulting feeling when your partner is someone whom you love, whom you care for, whom you can trust your life with, for whose happiness you will give up the world.

And this is where arranged marriages tend to falter (Remember, I'm not saying they fail). More often than not, they start with a compromise. And fare for the better or worse.

After a lot of detours and interesting roadblocks (read thought-blocks), I come to the same point where I was. One of my friends attended a "groom-seeing" ceremony last weekend. And both sides have "OK"ed it. The dates have not yet been finalised, but two more people are bidding farewell to their singlehood this season. Happy Married Life. *Raises glass*

Monday, April 03, 2006

Jammy's April Fool Prank

Ouchmytoe is back on its heels, or rather, toes again.

Jammy had put up a prank on April Fools Day, he blocked his own blog site, giving his readers a big shock. Not this one, of course...

He had "replaced Ouchmytoe blog's code with that of Rediffblogs. This was done after I had saved Ouchmytoe's code (both in "my documents" and in the Gmail server). Now my Blog looked like Rediffblog home. But there was something missing "how would I know who got fooled and who didnt" I definitely had to bring in a feature that would allow visitors to leave comments - documented proof that the prank had worked. The presence of this feature wouldn't have worked by itself. I needed to build a story around why I could have been blocked. Which is why I left the first comment - This is such a flimsy reason to block my site. I didn't agree to write for you because you don't pay well...and that was it. I didn't realize you would go to the extent of blocking my site! This is the heights...."

But he left too many loose ends...first of all, he gave everyone a warning two days beforehand that he was planning some prank. And on D-Day, instead of getting redirected to Rediff page, the browser was still showing the ouchmytoe address, and thirdly he had left his hit counter in a remote corner of the page, visible only when scrolled down.

Nevertheless, the prank was a good one, going by the number of horrified comments "You should have shifted to blogspot when you had the time","This is eerie" and all, it had hit the bull's eye.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

Farewell Season

The farewell season seems to have begun. In its fullest form.

Soon after Shan left, Niral left Pune for Bangalore, in preparation for her higher studies abroad. Varun will be leaving Pune on April 7th, again to Bangalore on a transfer from Geometric. Good luck both of you.

Last week, Kavash left the company, and Pune, for Fidelity, Bangalore (yet again). He got a lucrative package, they tell me. Good for him. After Balivada, he is the first one to leave the batch after completion of training, and as it seems, he may just be the start of the exodus. Farewell, mate, and good luck.

Deep bid a farewell of a different kind. To bachelorhood. Last week, Deep and Nupur made it known that they would marry each other on July 12 in Ranchi. Its always a nice feeling to see the twosome, who spent so much time with each other, tie the knot and look together at the future. Happy married life, both of you.

And finally, and most importantly, Ayhay flew to London today. From Friday, all I saw of him was a huffy puffy mass going around from floor to floor getting his paperwork done. Considering that it this was his first flight ever, the whole of Saturday we shopped for him, from underwear to overcoats, until we were dog tired and the bill threatened to run towards the wrong side of five figures.

That makes two in my flat who went to the UK. Must be something with the room. Me shifting to the other room too... :) Anyway, Crazy Frog (because he loves the Ding Ding) will be back on May 27th. Gives me some time to compose a long list...*evil grin*