September 1st, 2008

boy with dog

Child Free Zones

There are many things that I see and hear that irk me no end, and being the non-confrontational skinny guy that I am, I choose to rant about it by posting it on LJ.

Plus I'd rather not get my "Meh" t-shirt or my "Security" t-shirt torn in any fracas that ensues from a retaliation to my righteous moral indignation.

I've ranted about virtually everything I can survey, including announcements at the airport loud enough to wake the dead, about cell phones and people who stand way too close to you when you are in a que.

This recent TOI article which put Madman on the front page has sought opinions from a bunch of people who've been strongly vocal about being all for child free zones in the country, and are willing to cough up some money to ensure some peace of mind. This particular set of posts makes for interesting reading, if this topic has caught your fancy.

I want to go watch Wall-E in the theatres shortly, but I am scared of going because of the noisy irritating kids, their noisier and more irritating parents, that will kill the movie for me. Sundays, in particular, are a bad time to hang out at a mall, which, by itself is a bad place to hang out in, in the first place.

Also, the presence of pesky badly behaved children on flights is is probably a reason why all international flights serve free alcohol, so that people that want to can drink up and crash. (Funny how using the word crash on a plane makes people cringe. It is one of the best ways of unfriending the person(s) sitting next to you.) In the absence of said free alcohol, twelve hour flights would be agonizingly painful, since the presence of kids guarantees a lack of absolute silence at all times, except during turbulence (which is quite fun to experience in retrospect).

An interesting incident that took place yesterday further fuelled me to write this post. I had been to Big Bazaar to buy chocolates to satiate my urge to gorge on sweets, which has lasted for more than a fortnight now, and alarmingly so. The chocolates counter was closed as a result of which, I picked up the next best thing, Hide and Seek Milano biscuits, and was standing in queue patiently, when some random kid who must've been four or five years old just walked past me, walked back towards me when she spotted the biscuit packet in my hand, and held into it and tugged it.

The shop was closing, and I had been sleeping all day and needed my sugar fix, and there was no way I was going to let a badly behaved kid snatch the pack from me. I did what I thought Wolverine would do in such a situation, I bared my teeth and growled at her in a menacing way, and since I hadn't combed my hair after having woken up and was dressed in my favourite pair of horribly torn jeans, I could've passed off as a junkie who's food shouldn't be messed with.

The growl made the kid run for cover, and she hid behind her Mum and was taking a peek at me occasionally when she thought I wasn't looking. The guy standing behind me in queue, who was standing too close initially saw the incident from up close, and then respectfully stepped back some distance when I went ahead to the check-out counter.

Growling and baring one's teeth works. I'm sure if I had been even remotely badly behaved like said kid, my Dad would've given me a roundhouse kick. Thankfully, such instances were few and far between.

BTW, I vote in favour of child-free zones.
boy with dog

Notes about Nothing - Work Anniversaries

Its official now, I've spent more time outside college than I did within it. Not that I attended too many classes and all that, but I guess I've been a Corporate Ho longer than I was an undergrad student. Four years have passed since I graduated from being a dorky engineering graduate to a dorky engineer who had to earn his living.

This officially earmarks the longest voluntary relationship I have ever had in my life. Either party could've broken up at will, but both of us have weathered many storms together and have stuck on, for some reasons best known only to the both of us, while most other reasons for aforesaid situation remain significantly inexplicable.

This NaN is going to focus on the memories I have had of September 1st over the past five years, and for sure, it has been quite interesting in more ways than I could have previously imagined.


2004: First day of work. I was unwell, and I had worn a light green full sleeve shirt my sister had got me as a present. She had overestimated my shoulder width, my height and my girth and in the process purchased a shirt that was two sizes too big for me. I wore it nevertheless, because I thought it was important. My cousin, who's house I was at on the first day I was in Bangalore, dropped me to the office and I walked in through the doors into the room where we had our induction at 0859, one minute before proceedings began.

For the first ever time in my life, I fell asleep in something akin to a class, because the person who was giving us the corporate presentation could as well have been spraying valium through an atomizer four inches away from my nostrils. In addition to my acute somnolence, I had also been, as I had mentioned previously, unwell, and the medicine that I'd been prescribed had given me a light tremor in my right hand, and for one of the first ever times in my life, I was scared as hell about whether I'd ever be normal again.

The doctor's reassurance about it being a reaction to some expectorant tablet did nothing to remedy the situation, and it was only after I got better and I was able to write properly did I heave a huge sigh of relief.

I had been to the office a fortnight prior to my joining date, on 18th August to hunt for accommodation that was close to where I had to work. Seeing the amount of dirt, dust, traffic and the accompanying madness and mayhem was too much of a shock for me, given that Mysore was diametrically opposite insofar as the state of affairs on the roads were concerned.

Three days after the entire rigmarole began, I had called my Mum up and told her that I wanted to quit and open a grocery store in Mysore, or teach in my college and I've had constantly recurring thoughts of quitting work ever since, but the idea has been mulled over so much that its now relegated to that part of me that tends to over-romanticize trivial situations and circumstances.

Its been four years, and, as is quite evident, I still haven't quit.


2005: I was not doing too well at work, being torn apart between travelling to Mysore on weekends and attempting to work away on the weekdays, while trying to see if I could get a life outside of work, but failing to do so miserably. Whatever remenants of quizzing I had once thrived on in college had now been reduced to nothing, and things didn't seem to be going well.

Music, which was such an important part of my life, had also been relegated to oblivion.

In the last week of August 2005, I contracted bronchopneumonia, and as a consequence spent the first anniversary of my starting life as a working professional in bed with a fever of 104 F, getting more pale and gaunt by the minute, but sleeping like a baby and feeling happy about not having to work during that time.

Not the best of times, but not the worst of times either.


2006: Oslo. My second visit there in three months. Awesome place, awesomer experiences overall, and with a trip to Copenhagen under my belt, I was having all the fun I could in the available time. Work was also fun because it was challenging and hectic, and I didn't really bother much about anything else apart from calling family on occasion and telling them how I was having a blast all over the place.

On the morning of September 1st, I saw two mails - one of them said I had my august salary credited to my account, and another one congratulated me for two years of work in my company. I said Meh to both, as I had said to some other formerly important stuff at the very start of the trip and continued to work, without those two mails bothering me much until a few days ago when I took a lazy stroll down memory lane.

In retrospect, that second trip changed my life for the better in more ways than I'd have imagined it would.


2007: It was three years of loyal service to le company, and for some strange reason, it was supposed to be a monumental occasion, given the attrition rates in the industry. I had put NED by that time to want to stay and celebrate at the office, so I instead took a few days off and chilled out at home instead, growing my beard, combing my hair, trying to figure out the best way to remove knots and having my respect for women go up tenfold because of how they were able to manage their long hair all their lives without wanting to stick their heads in a lawn-mower and be rid of it all.

Nevertheless, this was quite a tame and incredibly lazy time for me, and this anniversary passed on without much ado either.


2008: So far, I've put one post up on my LJ abusing badly behaved kids, been working away as usual, had a good lunch and am about to go watch Rock On with the band. Nothing out of the blue, just another day at work with the usual stuff taking precedence over anniversaries that don't really amount to much.

Even if I end up going home after work and just crashing after watching some arbit stuff on TV, I know that I'll have had fun simlpy because I've reached a stage where I don't give a damn about too many things, and am in a controlled free-fall mode.


I still get goosebumps when I recall Jeff Daniels' voice in the last episode of The Wonder Years - growing up does happen in a heartbeat, but sometimes, that ain't such a bad thing either. The important thing is to protect one's balls to make the most of what you can when you can.