Closer to Cloud

Is there even a slightest thought in anyone’s mind on things like how closer friends were when they had an opportunity to wake up on days like Sunday morning and kick the person sleeping next to them just to say it’s time to start yet another bachelor day or wake up with a scream and shout at the stupid flat mate who kept the alarm on his PC connected to big speakers to wake up with the song like “Crazy Train” / “Trooper”. Wasn’t there days when it was so easy to shout from one balcony to the other and ask what time is Friends on start plus today? I am sure every single friend made it a point to say hello and ask what the plan was for that weekend (which was basically just Sunday) and if there was no plan you always made one right there on that phone call to meet and drink or just keep planning till you are board but ultimately end up drinking. There sure was a time when at least once in a week there was exchange of personal emails. And then, there came things like Yahoo groups for common network of friends and then the blogs. Till that time there was exchange of Hi and bye on a regular basis where people opened their emails and typed stuff just to tell a friend Hey bugger, what’s up?
                                                                                                                                                            Now that every communication we do is up above through the cloud and I live in the land of the long white cloud (literally closer), there are too many people in my online network (wanted / unwanted), everything we say is out there in the open for everyone to read and comment, I honestly feel we have lost the real friends whose company we cherished way back, every day! Don’t you?

Interview with a Star!

Well,well,well look what I found, my good old friend is a brand new Star now!!!🙂

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x3g04312qMA&feature=player_embedded

Congratulations, way to go Renster – “Keep up the spirit”!

“Yeah, Yeah, Yeah”

I don’t know why I’ve come here
But I know I’ll never leave
It’s the only place I wanna be yea, yea, yea

I might walk a lil funny but my walk is me
I might stutter when I talk but I say what I see
I don’t agree with every other li’l thing that’s proven
I do a lot of things that I shouldn’t be doin’
I’ll ruin everything you mighta had in mind
I’m a consistent, belligerent, solidified find
Rhinestone freak, suburban star
I ain’t got no money and I got no car
I might make par if it don’t take much
See I don’t ride very far cuz I ride on luck
I stay pretty stuck in a rut like I should
And I do it for the love of everything that’s still good

I’m a long way gone but I ain’t short lived
I got deep deep pockets that leak like a civ
I give 110 throughout the course of a night
And if I don’t go home then I did things right
I’d like to settle down but I ain’t that guy
Cuz everything I ever did I always did on the fly
I like to ride the wave ’til the tide don’t swell
I don’t like cocaine but I like the smell
I dwell in the place you might see unfit
But there ain’t nothin’ you can ever say to make me give a shit
I stay pretty stuck in a rut like I should
And do it for the love of everything that’s still good 

It’s the only place I wanna be yea, yea, yea,
It’s the only place I wanna be yea, yea, yea!

“YES WE CAN”

-Dedicated to the ones who believe in change-

It’s a wonderful feeling to reflect back to where I have come from and what has inspired me so far in life to be what I am today. It’s even more interesting to look forward to what is going to be inspirational in future for me to become what I hope to be.

It’s funny to think about what I am about to get started here. But that’s not going to stop me. Because, in the words of my inspirer “I am all fired up and ready to go”.

Barrack Obama. Yes, he is a skinny man with a funny name as himself and rest of the world acknowledges. It definitely wouldn’t be a paradox if I say I am completely blown and deeply moved listening to his speeches and his simple theories to get a nation lil organised. Yes he is a politician, so what and who cares? For me, it’s the man and his ideas that mattered. The last time or the only times that I have sat and watched an Afro American speak for more than five continuous minutes would have been in some Denzel Washington’s or Samuel Jackson’s movie (not even Dr.Martin Luther King). Honestly, a mental picture of an Afro American (male) in my head is Rap, dope, thugs, guns, flashy costume jewelry, disgusting hair make over, full time swearing and then there is 50 cent and Snoop Dog as the epitome.

I am not doing this because my cousin in the US did not know much about Obama, (Neither did she know anything about Mohandas Karamchand Ghandhi) and certainly not because Robert de Niro and Oprah Winfrey have endorsed their support for Obama. I am doing this because I want to do this.

 

I first heard the name Obama in one of Jay Leno’s show and laughed for the funny name. I really thought he should be a joke to run for president being a black man. But then I got curios and my intention was to find out how he made it this far in the first place. Thanks to the frivolous media and Internet for giving me unlimited access to materials to watch, listen and read everything about this fantastic personality. I was really moved watching his speeches (I have mentioned it earlier I know, this is MY blog remember?).

I am just a regular guy. If he has made the same impact on millions of other regular guys and girls with his straight forward talks, then he should be a genuinely decent person. Wouldn’t he?  A simple man from a small town, with a Howard grade in law, working with local communities, fighting for middle class and standing firm against ridiculous war (I hated US from day 1 for this) and the list goes on. After all he is an African American and we are talking about him making it in the USA for real. As an Indian you can be cynical about this coz I know we are good at it.

But I want you to look at what we are missing out as young citizens who feel good (read show off) to talk to friends or strangers on topics like our favourite bands, movies, celebrities, authors even Chinese food and why not a politician? I can confront it’s only because the word politics strongly rings the bell for mudslinging, dirty game for the elderly and not for the youth. It’s understood because it was given to us that way and it’s still dominated by the same old gangsters at different levels in our government. But this theory can change, Yes this should change. To make it easier, “For the people”, “By the people” and “Of the people” is not hard to understand. is it?

The way I see this Democrat…

He is a visionary with sensible ideas that can work and not just blind optimism.

He is diverse, eloquent and an inspiring speaker.

He has inspired not just the young, but even the leaders of different nations.

His ideas and plans for the future are based on the core vales of humanity.

He thinks, talks, delivers and lives exactly like a leader needed for this century (not just America).

His methods to change the perception of politics in people’s mind are admirable.

His principles that have brought millions of people together is to see the change in all verticals (education, healthcare, innovation, science etc,. ) and not just politics.

Forty thousand people gathered in Berlin not because US took care of Albert Einstein in his dying days though he was a German. They gather to listen to a great speaker who really spoke his mind, the speech was septacular.

In simple terms, the whole Obama concept to me is like some of my favourite Bruce Springsteen songs / lyrics, you have to relate it to yourself to appreciate it.

It’s no surprise when I say I have no clue about Indian politics or our constitution. It’s actually cool to say that in my country. But I am aware of at least the basics now because I was inspired to do so. Barack Obama is seasoned and a practical person for this and the next generation (Universally) not just Viva la blah blah blah USA alone…

Ridiculous ideas in people’s mind that are actually following the US elections is, Indian economy and jobs will be heavily hit because of increased taxes on outsourcing US companies and jobs going away from India. Come on now, grow up people. Don’t you see the obvious at all? India’s dependency on the US will finally be over. Of course most of our boys will come back home (Not a negative tone). The talent / resource are in India and it has always been here, it was just sponsored by the US in some form or the other like the BPO, call centres and onsite jobs. Now, as Indians we will figure out how to make use of our talents, create new jobs, improve our communities and work out ways to move this nation from developing status to a developed nation (sounds dramatic is it? that’s the fact, we just need to put our heart and soul in it and believe “YES WE CAN” just like our fathers before. There is nothing to be paranoid about. If 65% of the America are in middle class and have lost million jobs since the IT boom, then what’s the percentage of middle class in India? (I guess its 100%) I am confident there are millions out there as patriots who feel the same way about my country and where we should be heading as one nation.

The irony is that, this election is not just about America. To me, it’s about the ideas and the systems that support a nation to rise or fall. Somehow it has sparked.

It doesn’t matter if I have not come across with the best proposition to convince you on the Obamaisms, but I am glad that I have shared my thoughts about an inspiring personality and will leave the judgement to you.

For the record, below are the links to some great speeches by him. There are millions out there on You Tube, get started with these if the above made sense to you. Try to replace the word America to India in all his speeches it fits perfect.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe751kMBwms – Yes we can

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMbBuEoEYnk – Patriotism

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q-9ry38AhbU – In Berlin

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrp-v2tHaDo – A more perfect union

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hj1hCDjwG6M – Father’s day

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jjXyqcx-mYY – Music video Yes We Can

 

http://www.barackobama.com/tv/

 

-Vande Matharam

 

 

Me, Myself and My Goofiness…

There has been so many times in this past 2 weeks that I have sat down to write something that will clear my mind and take it out of my system. But I have never found the time and it doesn’t matter now.

But here I am, trying to string words together and also trying to keep it simple.

It all started of with a phone call when my best friend told me that he is planning to come down to India after almost 4 long years. I am sure he would have dreamt about making this call and letting all of know that he is coming for many days now. Though its going to be for a very short time, its sure worth a celebration.

For the kind of person I am who plans even the smallest of things like which side to bite the samosa even before I buy it, I started thinking about his visit and planning for him day in and day out. I enjoyed every single chat, calls, mails from him during this planning because we shrare a history which is the common history cherished by our best of friends in the past 10 years.

Friends have been my first priority in this ten years and I have never ever missed a single opportunity to meet them, be it a week day or a week end. And of course, everyone knows me as the king of Goof ups right from the good old days. To prove the saying right, Yes, I goofed up again.

It was a Friday morning and I came to work early to assign jobs to people who will help me in my plan to receive my friend with few surprises at 1 am in the airport.  

Here’s the plan.

Make a placard that says “Welcome home Rajni kanth “ (So that half the crowd in the airport will assume and be standing behind me to get the glimpse of our short super star.

Buy an old Monk and fix it in a coke cane and give it to him for old time sake.

Buy a plate of chettinadu chicken biriyani from ponnuswamy and keep it ready for the dinner.

Smoke a cigerette right after we stuff the baggage in the car.

Listen to some common tamil songs like Kaka Kaka and Thiruda Thiruda on the way home.

Twist in the tale (end of the day):

9:15 pm: My wiffy calls me and says her folks have arrived in the railway station and the call taxi did not show up to pick them up. (Shiva now already worried about going to goof up)

9:45 pm: I am at the railway station receiving my in laws and doing the Mr.Good son in law thing.

10:45 pm: Dropping them home and serving them water to drink and the phone rings.

The voice is familiar, “Shiva, where are you bugger? I have come out of the airport dude, which side are you in?” I can hear him apologize to the owner of the phone and he says my friend is supposed to pick me up and he is some where around.

It really hit me and I didn’t know what to tell him except “Sorry man, just hang on I’ll be there soon”. There is no way I can shot at him and tell him that I am supposed to meet him by 1 am and not 11 pm. Because I know how it feels to walk out of the airport and realize that you are alone and you don’t have some one to receive you and you don’t have a back up plan either.

I tried to do a 100kmph, but what’s the point when I am 22 km away and it’s Bangalore roads. I cursed myself so much and I knew that I will regret this day for a few months to come.

Though I have apologized a few times that night, I felt really terrible for goofing up on this day the 1st of September 07.

“I am really sorry my friend and I mean it”. Thank you so much for the wonderful time while you were around!!!

   

Colourful culture

I have always found myself admiring my good old Indian traditions, culture, festivals and of course even the superstitious believes that I used to follow in school time. None of these were introduced without a reason and not all of them are meaningless. To convince a crowd and to make them carry these traditions for thousands of years is definitely not a joke. But for me it’s the fun part of my culture that makes more sense.

“Holi”, a festival name that I hear about every year and have seen in a dozen Hindi movies. But I have never been part of one in all these years. Just got lucky this year coz I spent it in Mumbai. What can I say to express my childhood feelings? It’s a different trip and high all together. The trip meant for colours and the high meant for Bhang. The day started with a bucket of colour water on my head straight out of my bed. I can’t even scream “WHAAAAT THE FUUUUCCCCKKKKK” coz they are all my cousins and relatives shouting happyyyyyyyy holiiiiiiiii… I walk outside the room and find all followers of some colour cult or something. Peep outside the balcony I find 100s of them all kids and oldies chucking water and spraying colours on each other and kids in gang, kick all the doors in the appartment and shout paani..paani..paani and the people from inside the hose open the door and splash water on thoses kids and chase them. Just an amazing site it is. Couldn’t stop myself, so got in the groove and was part of the celebration the whole day.

The busy business city is dead throughout the day. Anywhere you turn you can only find unidentified human in crazy colours all over their face walking on the road and running from the water balloon bombs that fall from the sky (Stupid kids from the terrace).  The next best thing is the bhang on the house. I never new drugs come in the form ice creams until that day. A cup of ice cream or a glass of Bhang-dham milk sorry Badham milk will keep you going for the next 12 hours. It’s trippy, just like the Floyd way.

Effects of bhang on me that cracked me up and laughed my wits out:

  1. Bike ride at speed of 10 kmph but the riding style is like a grand prix racer.
  2. Stopped the bike to laugh in middle of a highway and dropped it flat very slowly thinking that my side stand wan on.
  3. Spoke in Hindi (alien language for me) to few hundred people. Wha wha la jawhab…thaliya thaliya
  4. Ate 4 jamuns, 2 kitkats, 1 glass rose milk, 1 black forest and hogged lunch after all these.
  5. Sat in the balcony and listened to a full CD of unknown artists.
  6. Spoke on the phone for 3 minutes and figured out it was a wrong number.
  7. Gave speech on Quantum physics and “Law of attraction”. (I still can’t believe this).

To sum it up, this was one hell of a day. Nope, one heaven of a day that I enjoyed since a very long time ( I would say since my 1999 Diwali ). That’s why I always feel good to say “I love my Colourful Culture”.

Dreams to fly

Such an amazing liner isn’t it? I fall under the category of 5 million or more people who haven’t traveled abroad in my age group. To fly is a passionate dream that crosses my mind day in and day out. I still remember the childhood days when I jumped around screaming in excitement every time I saw a flight in the clear sky or a train crossing my village river. It was not a dream but a confidence at that time that I will travel to the cities and abroad in that monster vehicle when I grow up.

Every third person that I come across these days heave been abroad at least once and its just makes you feel lil unlucky some times. Especially in my case where I have been so close to be flying abroad and the plans got cancelled, makes it even worse. But now I am completely over that feeling because of a stranger. Its amazing how much life can teach you just by mere co-incidences.

Today I went to the passport office to renew my passport which has not seen the visa stamping for the past 5 years and I am not sure how many more years to come. The guy sitting there was in his mid 30’s. We had a decent conversation and after a few laughs on the passport formalities and rules, He said “I have been in this travel industry for the past 16 years and I have completed 12 years in this passport agency. I don’t have a passport of my own yet and I haven’t boarded even the domestic flights till today”. When I expressed my sympathy, he genuinely said he did not regret or feel sad about it. He is happy with what he has achieved in his job and it won’t make a big difference even if he got a chance to fly.  

I was surprised, but convinced with the answer from this stranger. Now I regret a little bit thinking how much time I have wasted just dreaming and forgetting to cherish what I have achieved so far (Which is not big, but still). On my way back from the office I bought tickets for the Aero India 2007 show in black, all for the love of this flying machines.

I guess, it just took 5 long years for me to stop dreaming and start living…

The Greener side of one’s self

Me as a person always searched for a reason behind every single emotions that make you feel extremely happy or sad. A simple example would be the time of celebrations and get together with family / friends. I really enjoy good humor. Be it in a public place or from my best of friends. The point is, when you find time to sit alone or when your thoughts are wandering during a travel, there is a side of me that gets me thinking of all the good times and good laughs that I have had with my loved ones.   

There is a question that floats through in my mind asking “Why can’t each one of us find ways to stay in this state of mind all the time? Why can’t we retain this feeling of high energy and happiness through out the day even when your friends and family are not around? Then suddenly out of no where, all the disturbing thoughts creep in like the pathetic people you put up with in life, horrible office parties, wasted conversations with friend’s friend and the list goes on. But ultimately, things that brings smile on my face every time I think of are those good old times with my best of people and that I believe is the greener side of me that will keep me going. Any one else for that matter…  

Wishing you all a fun filled year ahead !!!

Blog bugsters

It took a very long time for me to be convinced about the idea to start a blog.  I always wanted to know why people blog. Is it because they are
Restless?
They always have something to share?
They can speak about anything and everything?
They have a good network of people who will appreciate their work with words?
They like appreciations from strangers?
They like to wake up with the thought that there will be an interesting comment for the day?

The list goes on, but for me? There was only one article that I wanted to write and i was passionate about it. I am done with it. Now i am stuck. So, I am having this strange feeling to delete this blog for all possible reasons like
I actually don’t have the patience to type.
I can’t be creative with words everyday.
Not more than 10 people know that this blog exist.
I am not sure if there are million others who check this blog regularly but they just don’t bother to comment anything.
I might as well type it in a word document and save it on my desktop instead of maintaining a blog that i myself don’t check often.

You know what, it really doesn’t matter. I am just going to write up at least 2 lines everyday on my blog and keep it going and i guess the topics and comments don’t really matter.
 

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