Skip to main content

Grin and bear it

When people have a work week as torrid as mine, they probably spend Friday evening quaffing back a few cold ones with friends. When people have a social network as empty as mine, they probably spend the same Friday evening parked in front of the telly, making old man Mallya richer by a few shekels. I chose to inflict on myself the dubious pleasure of another 5 hour long commute to Pune.

These journeys are boring at best and intensely frustrating at worst, both scenarios being at the mercy of Bombay's relentless traffic. Trying to doze off and failing miserably, I spend my time wondering why I couldn't be sitting next to an attractive & chatty bird rather than the usual rotund bloke blaring away on the cell phone. Last night, I was handed the golden ticket of strange journeys. Here's how things unfolded.

I was slumped in my seat, morosely pondering on the fact that I've received 6 separate wedding invitations from friends, inviting me to be a part of the joy, jollity and song on various days from November to late January. Matrimonial messages are funny things. Not in the "haha" way, but in the way one tends to view them over time. A couple of years ago, receiving one from a contemporary would leave me feeling happy for the couple and marvelling at how quickly time passes. Now, when all 6 of them are from people younger than me, I can't help but think that my relationship record is like old Mother Hubbard's cupboard - bare. Sure, being thought of as slightly misanthropic is edgy in college and definitely contributed to the solo status, but that was years ago and I'd like to think the grumpiness has toned itself down a bit. And any one of you wanting to quote Darwin, can stay out of this.

So like I was saying, joy to the world. At that point, the passage lights in the bus had been switched off but it wasn't totally dark. This didn't seem to deter the couple sitting in the seats ahead of me, for they began to administer mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to each other with admirable purpose. Paramedics and lifeguards could have learned something, is all I'm saying. And whatever your sentiments on the issue of public displays of affection are, one has to admire the guy's cojones because by the time the bus passed through one of those tunnels, he'd seemingly moved on to 2nd base.

Before you go all judgemental and hastily accuse anyone of voyeurism, I gave the window and the outside world my fullest attention.When my neck began to creak and protest, I closed my eyes, plugged in the earphones and dozed off. I guess the love birds must have eventually run out of callisthenics (or air). When my stop arrived, the pyrotechnics had ceased.

But the universe really is taking the mickey out of me.

Song for the moment: Waiting for the sun - The Doors


Popular posts from this blog

Night Boat

I usually don't write honest pieces. They're true to facts but I tend to lather my emotions and thoughts with a heavy dose of attempted humour or misdirection. This post deserves some raw emotional honesty, though.

Yesterday, 29th August, a Tuesday (or should I say, another Tuesday) was about me making choices. It was raining quite heavily when I left for office, sheeted down the windows of the train throughout the 1-hour journey to Churchgate and kept going with renewed intensity by the time I made it to the entrance, looking verily like something that had drowned in a gutter and lain there a while before being discovered by a cat and dragged in. I made the choice to go to work as I suspected my boss would be there and not because I wanted to go.

I was right about my boss but that cardiac fizz of being right flattened out rather rapidly once I realised, around 11:30 am, that no one else from my team of 20 had bothered to make a similar effort. And, some of these guys live 5 …

Last of my kind

(This post hasn't come out as well as I wanted. But I'm still pissed off, so.)

Why do we have heroes? What is it about someone that triggers a decision to nail our colours to their mast? I don't have a neat answer so what you read from here on is both an explanation and an exploration. In a post-modern world driven by counter-points, certainty is a luxury.

I missed the boat when it came to India's ODI cricket madness. We moved abroad in the late 80s. When I left, my friends and I wanted to be Kapil, Kris or Sunil. When I returned, god was getting comfortable on his heavenly couch and all was right with a world I did not recognise. I had missed Sachin's opening batsman debut against New Zealand, the hullabaloo of the Hero Cup and other notable moments. So, I was interested in cricket, not any particular sportsman. Not even during the '96 World Cup. When India muffed it against Sri Lanka, I hurt for the team, not for a player.

Then came Dravid. And, personally, …

Let her go

Have you noticed how we throw things out a lot more than before? Of course, city-dwellers like us have more, now that disposable incomes are the norm. Does it also allow us to dispose of things so easily? I was the object of much mirth/ridicule at work today because I wanted to get a golf umbrella repaired. One colleague wondered if it was worth the effort, another asked why I did not just buy a different one while others chuckled when they realised neither of these thoughts had occurred to me. I trudged off, wondering if they were right. What exactly was driving me to take the trouble?

I think back to to the 80s and living in my Thatha's (grandpa) house. Today's 'use-and-throw' culture would have shocked him to the core. The man was the epitome of prudence. Since we weren't exactly floating in doubloons, the family followed suit. Thatha wore the same watch for over 50 years. A small umbrella, bought by my mother with her first salary, was well on its way to becom…