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Post Mortem

In my heart of hearts, this post should be in Tamil. But I cannot write or read the language. Bitter is the taste of losing a link to my own mother-tongue and yet it is a flavour I have become accustomed to. There is no yearning for a culture from which I am largely alienated. Still, there are days, moments, when I wish the chasm was not so wide. Today is one of those. Recently, Krish Ashok made a point that I found interesting - our hankering to eat food made by our mothers and grandmothers effectively tied them to the kitchen. Now, while the mothership didn't let the kitchen define her, my Pati kind of did. And, with all due respect to Mr. Krish, I like to think that it was her realm, not her prison. Pati, the sweetest, most kindhearted person I knew, gave short shrift to those who wandered into her domain, wanting to "help". While this meant that what I ate was superlative, it also ensured that none of us could pay close attention to how she cooked. The end result is
Recent posts

Reflections

Exactly a year ago today, I entered my office and found harried security guards handing out sanitiser and taking everyone's temperatures. Later that day, we were asked to pack up our stuff and work from home. Having arrived from Pune just that morning, my back was sore enough for a natural disinclination to return there immediately which, in hindsight, wasn't the smartest move. What happened on the following Saturday is covered here . So, what's a year of working from home been like? Different. Chunks of the day lived in a daze, efforts plateauing and feelings riding a pendulum from rage to surrender. At home, work having a compartmentalised existence is a luxury. It's like that old Smirnoff Ad line - Life is happening. Where are you? At my desk, flagellating myself for shekels of course. People walk in during meeting calls, errands that could wait till weekends now demand urgent action on weekdays, one is more aware of our elders ageing, and all too often, the questio

Shot through the heart

As I write this, Munawar Faruqui has spent 3 weeks in jail for a joke he did not make. Meanwhile, Virat Kohli has spent 3 weeks at home, basking in the glow of a series of victories he wasn't part of. To me at least, there's something strangely tragic about the times we live in. Since I like my freedom, this is not a post about India's kangaroo courts. Instead it is about kangaroos who courted disaster by underestimating the character of this Indian cricket team. Can't blame the Aussies though, because many of us did too. As mentioned in the previous post, there is a traumatised section of the Indian population, roughly spanning the ages of 60 to 35, which still cannot fathom just WTF happened and HTF the Test team won at the Gabba on Tuesday. Like the delicious pain of a loose tooth, I revisit the first half of January 19 over and over in my mind and yet scarcely believe it happened. How fiercely my heart thumped when we were just 3 runs away. It was akin to the uncons

Let's stick together

As India prepare to take on Australia at the fearsome Gabba, you'd have to be a serial optimist bordering on delusional to believe the visitors have a koala in a wildfire's chance of winning the game and the series. It's one of today's best (not in terms of class, mind) Test teams versus a gutted out shell of an XI; a hodgepodge of the walking wounded who really ought to be led by Florence Nightingale rather than the eminently dignified Ajinkya Rahane. An Aussie pace attack to dream of in comparison to an Indian one suffering a collective nightmare. It'll take much more than what the team had in Sydney to come out of the last Test with a positive result and I don't know if we have any more to give.   And, speaking of which, what a Test that was! That we drew in Sydney, against tremendous odds and broken body parts, is a stellar achievement in itself; a draw that felt like a victory. The batting was ugly but hey, so was the behaviour of the Aussies. Fuck that lot

Lost in Yesterday

You meet many people in the advertising industry. Smart, crazy, rude, lazy, ambitious, clueless... it takes all kinds of folks to make the ads that you skip. The rarest are the genuinely nice ones, the men and women who smile in the face of unreasonable deadlines, threadbare resources, client changes, long hours and low pay.   The nicest person I ever had the privilege of working with died in a hospital bed on Wednesday. He was wheeled into the OT for an operation to clear 3 blocks in his heart. He survived the procedure, regained consciousness and met his near and dear ones. Then, he suffered a sudden heart attack and met his maker. Life was not gracious to this devout man of faith. It did not allow him to grow old, nor grant him the chance to see his kids grow up. It made him live in poverty, suffer a number of cruel personal challenges and watched impassively as he worked backbreaking hours in a thankless job in an ungrateful industry.  Death did not shake his hand in the OT. No, it

Ride into the sun

A funny thing happened to me today. Not in the 'ROFL' way of course. If you want some of that, check out this David Squires cartoon in the Guardian. Jordan Henderson's expression is so perfectly 'WTF', it cracks me up. I could use a few laughs right now and anything at Liverpool's expense is warmly welcome. No, this 'funny' was more in keeping with the world-view that I've become accustomed to seeing. No rosy tinted glasses here. This morning, a soon to be ex-colleague texted with the exciting (for her) news that she'd resigned. Her song had a familiar tune. She had joined the agency with stars in her eyes, only to have them go supernova and collapse within a year, put off as she was by the meaningless effort, politics and lack of purpose. We'd got talking a handful of months before the lock-down and I encouraged her to take advantage of youth and pursue more interesting dreams. This, she had done. As seems to be the tiresome fashion these d

Hiatus

When I started writing here in 2007, it was to journal my experiences. Moving abroad for further studies, it now feels like every day delivered a fresh discovery or epiphany. From bedbugs to roommates, cooking to washing up, finding a job to coursework, those were interesting times, rich in material. On slow days, there were a shed-load of opinions to hold forth on. I was in my early 20s after all. Life has taken many strange twists and turns since that first post. The strangest of them all is the diversion called COVID-19. Whether it remains a one-way road with occasional shoulders remains to be seen. Being remarkably resourceful apes, we cope as best we can. The virus does not seem to be our asteroid, but there's no way to know for sure.  In any case, experiences or adventures, pleasant or otherwise, were always thin on my ground. Now, they are practically extinct which means this blog is gasping for air. Never one for erudite arguments, well-constructed write-ups, literature &am