The ’30 under 30′ list!

At one point or the other, do we not all want to be in some kind of list? List of students who move on to the next class in school. List of students who got into the prestigious college. List of people who can buy land in Mars. List of people who survived an accident. List of people who would make it through one more day. Endless lists of endless things. Endless feats. 30 under 30, 40 under 40, 50 under 50… but why? Lists give you a sense of accomplishment. Ticking every item, striking off each accomplishment – a list is a definitive way of measuring success at a personal level. Impersonal lists may or may not be definitive, but they still are a means to see how far you have reached.

Sometimes I wonder how cool would it be to be actually featured in some ’20 under 20′ or ’30 under 30′ list. It would feel super amazing I suppose. 20 under 20 is gone and 30 under 30 is also slowly slipping away. Never mind though. 40s and 50s are right there intact. Okay, now it sounds very weird. It’s almost like I believe there has been any such actual accomplishment in life. To clear things up, that wasn’t quite the intention of this intro. I am only trying to put my thoughts about lists and their relevance in our lives.

You and I – we all have lists. From grocery to daily to-dos – the list of lists is endless. Do you often wonder how these lists take control of our lives? Marking things on it and striking them off are so satisfying, aren’t they? The feeling of accomplishment of something. And it is all that we all live for. Some mental lists, some paper lists, some unwritten lists – reminders on the things to chase for. It is fascinating how aimless one feels without a list of action items. What happens to free will and thinking on the feet? Oh well, they do exist. But almost always enveloped by a big picture of some bucket list or to- do.

There were times in life when I had more than 3 to-do planners. With groups and folders and RAG status and what not. I still have some of those kind. But all of them are for work. I’m too scared to keep one for myself these days. It just feels like a blaring proclamation of my failure to strike things off them. Or some such weird thought. And lost in that fear and uncertainty, I guess I’m just missing out on some really fulfilling moment of life. Exactly like so many other moments in life.

P. S. This is a writing I’ve been working on for some months now. With many interruptions and excuses, I managed to delay this forever to be published. Ironically, this one strikes one thing off my ‘not-written- down’ list – write away with an endless expanse of ocean outside the window! Last word written exactly in time before my last day with this view – oddly satisfying!

12 lines on despair

Minutes, hours, days, eternity.
The heart that bleeds,
And the thoughts that whirl,
Take so long to heal,
And resurrect to life.
And yet again, here I am,
Despair in vain, I brood.
For not having done it already.
Succumbing to pressure,
I yield. I give up. I give in.
For I don’t realize,
That ever so often, it takes
An eternity and more, for
The heart that bleeds,
And the thoughts that whirl,
To heal and make peace.

P.S. Lesson learnt. Never let someone dare to write on your blog! It fails so miserable. Like this.

The lone tear!

As I pat myself to sleep,

As time seeps through the night,

The shadows remain unwavered. 

Unaware of time, unaware of space. 

The shadows of the past, the moments 

The ones of the bliss, the ones of remorse.

As I pat myself into sleep,

She asks, “Why do you shake your feet?”,

And she says, “Patting yourself to sleep?!”. 

As I pat myself to sleep, 

Through the sleeplessness of the night,

Through the restlessness of the mind,

Through the shadows of the past,

The bliss, the remorse, the sleep,

The lone tear slips away to the night,

As my feet tremble, so does the soul! 


The much delayed post. Has been a month since life has taken a significant turn. In the impact of the ‘significance’, or for some lame reason, I have not written in a while. A long while. I used to think that I would never again be able to write. Often, I saw my blog dying and me staying by, powerless. And it hurt. I wanted to write. I always have wanted to. I still want to. This is the one thing I feel good about. The one thing that makes me feel that I could do much better. The one thing that I would never regret. But as life takes me forward, and time shrinks, it scares me that I no longer am going to be the same. The carefree passionate liberal soul. I might never again make it that way. For I am in pursuit of new ways!

Great ideas and noble thoughts are unwritten! 

A day to remember

People. Wonderful beings. Lately, I haven’t been able to write about anything at all. Not a time constraint. Mostly, a people constraint. It has been a really long time since I had new people in my life. People whom you’d recognize as makers of memories for a lifetime. For some while now, I have been interacting with the same set of people. Family. Friends. Colleagues. And the circle repeats. In other words, I feel stagnant. Life feels stagnant. Like, nothing is ever going to change from what it is now, or what it was a few months ago. A few months, I can see my life being right there. Stagnant.
Don’t confuse me to be depressed. I am happy in life. I am happy with my life. That’s right about my problem. Most people’s, factually. Complacency. The lack of reason to go beyond the comfort zone. Mind you, lack of reason, not lack of courage. If this is my happy zone, why would I even move a finger to change this, let alone break out of my comfort zone! That’s a great question to be thrown at every motivational evangelist!
Hoping to get an answer to the question, that soothes my soul, I am living on. And there comes the thought of revisiting the people of my life, who have been there, always through the complacency, the disappointment and the mere existence. In shorter words, I thought of visiting some family, who’d be glad to welcome me. Who else, but the grand parents! I always wonder, why are grandparents so attached to the grandkids? And vice versa. Why is it that, the middle layer is often ignored? Parents are not significant by design, to the whole structure of this bond!
The whole idea was to just pay a quick visit, and spoil their lunch with my kitchen experiments. Simple agenda – roughly am hour’s business. But when has punctuality ever worked there! I stayed a comfy three hours, and rejoiced my time there, till it was time for their routine afternoon nap. Surprises come in the form of ‘semiya payasam’ and ‘paanakam’, while I thought thatha would be too old to be around in the kitchen! Not to forget, the impeccable memory of patti, listing down the songs she had asked for last time. She was planning to ‘remind’ me, lest I forget to take the disk with me! And I thought they were 80 and old and weak!
The honest criticism on the cooking was the cherry on the cake! I was taken aback by their bluntness! Come on, grandparents are expected to say ‘Wow!’ whatever you cook/dance/sing/draw/say or even think! You are the apple of their eyes, but criticized. How fair, duh! Adding to the endless surprises was this one huge article in the newspaper that was related to the company I work for. That stumped me. I know he knows where I work. But I quite didn’t expect him to relate it to me everytime he saw my company’s name.
Topping it all, the one sentence she called out to him, ‘Aval kuzhanthayakkum. Neengale pannungo ..’
Being complacent with life.

The story begins…

As usual, rushing through the traffic, hoping to make it to office in time. A perfect normal day, all worries pinned to getting a comfy parking lot, and nothing beyond. Passing through the security checks, there I was, scanning through the tightly packed parking area. The well trained security personnel gestured me to the end of the lane, where there were some scattered slots available. And I maneuver into one of the slot, cynical if that was the best available. Would the rain drench my two wheeler? Is it exposed to the Sun? Would it become difficult to get it out in the evening? Too many parameters to evaluate you know! Why couldn’t the security personnel come down all the way and help me pick up the best slot! I didn’t want him to park it for me, but just gently calmly point at the direction that I should drive through. See, that’s the catch! I am a self-sufficient self-reliant self-*, provided someone tells me left, right, up or down! *bulb lit up, bells rang*
And then I realized that is how much I have become wired to take orders, and stop thinking. I am a high performer when given directions, but would cry like a lost kid if you tell me to do it myself. Take orders. Don’t think! Hasn’t that been my motto? That morning changed my life!
*applause* *more applause*
That’s gonna be the opening lines of my speech, as I retread my road to success! *lost in applause inside my head*

Thirikural – 561

thakkaangu naatith thalaichchellaa vaNNaththaal
oththaangu oRuppadhu vaendhu
He is a king who having equitably examined (any injustice which has been brought to his notice), suitably punishes it, so that it may not be again committed.

Happy Women’s day!

I am not a feminist. Actually, I am an anti-feminist. Before you judge, look at the words again. I am against the concept of feminism but not against women. Hence the title! So why would I preach a day for women if I am not so much into a gender based distinction! Year after year, I have made it a point to wish my mom on Women’s day. Reasons are plenty. One, she is the first woman of my life. Second, she’s the greatest woman I have known. Third, she’s my mom and for that simple reason, I will go on to make another hundred reasons! But today, I met another woman. And I saw myself offering my hand to wish her a very happy women’s day.
She’s no big achiever. No celebrity. No wonder woman. She was just a representative of a zillion homemaker plus working woman combo. She travels a close to 200km distance – almost 4 hours – every single day. Both ways – losing of her day in train! She goes back to a husband and two little kids. Starts yet another day with the cooking and packing, and on to the train journey again. The office hours and the routine hustle bustle follows. A typical day of an average Indian middle class woman. No big deal there! What makes her special there, is that simple smile she won’t let go of. It all started when I struck a random conversation with a co-passenger in my compartment. Being pretty good at getting people to talk, I got so much of data from her daily routine. But not for once did she mention that she’s tired. Or that it’s taking a toll on her health, her relationship with her family, or her life itself, for that matter. The f***ing train was late by almost an hour! I was lamenting despite the fact that I had no schedule affected. But yet, not for once did I hear a word of despair or frustration from her! Not even a swearing under the breath! And now, that’s not what is common with every average Indian middle class woman’s routine!
Women whine. All the women I know whine. Or at least, almost all the women. They whine to strangers. To people who have nothing in common with them, except for that particular moment of whining that they share. I have known very few women who don’t. My mom – the first. And a few others I fail to mention here. And finally, today this woman. I realized I didn’t ask her name only as she bid bye and got down at her station. Some women are too special! And for them, goes this day! To all the great women who have gone beyond being a mere gender division!
Funnily, even the book vendor in the train put in his tiny but graceful effort to appeal to the women of the world (train to be precise)! Tips for being the ideal wife/mother/daughter/sister! 60 easy tips for life! *ironic*


Is it that I am concerned about something? Is someone else concerned about something? It’s such a huge concern! I guess I am concerned about all the concerns about me and all those who are concerned about me! Why can’t people just stop caring and being concerned! It’s so much to handle, especially for someone who has little concern about oneself! I’m suffocated by all the care and compassion! Almost making me feel like I am dying in some time now!
Can people fake concern? I know quite a lot who can fake almost anything. So maybe this is also possible. But honestly, I don’t think it’s faking. And that adds to my concern! Yesterday when I wrote about people poking nose into others’ business, I had some specific people in mind. And today when I talk about care and concern, it’s more or less the same set of people in my mind! Maybe I am so disturbed about it that I want to shoo people away! Or maybe, I think it’s pointless to lament about things you have no control of! Or maybe, it’s just that the concern suddenly makes me insecure! When did I start confessing about my insecurities!
That evening when I was getting out of office on my two wheeler, he insisted I turn the headlights on. It was not dark yet, but he insisted, as I might not notice it on the way. Who was he? A security guard, paid by the company, definitely NOT for ensuring if I turn my lights on or off! Why did he care to say that then? I don’t remember seeing him before that or after that. Why didn’t he be there this evening also! Why couldn’t have he been concerned about my headlights again! This is probably why I like to shoo people away from care and concerns. It’s pretty much addictive! You get so obsessed that you can’t live devoid of it! Callousness is the concern!

How much is too less?

The other day, I had a conversation with a friend of mine, who was cursed by the One Plus One wrath (no offense to the die-hard fans, but they didn’t live upto the expectations set!). He was desperate to get rid of it and when Flipkart offered a decent ‘8k exchange policy’, he gladly grabbed it, and is now living a happily ever after (hopefully!) with his Moto X Style. Hardly an year since its purchase? I guess. Definitely not more than an year, and for 22k spent, its just 8k that has been returned! So, where did the 14k vanish? Let me stop you right there, before you smirk at me inside your brains and before you spill that ‘wonderful wisdom’, that it’s a mobile phone lady! A used one, at that! And the price just drops as you blink! Whoa, stop right there, again. Because, I can see it as much as you can.
Let’s look at something else now. I had another conversation with another friend of mine. This guy was pretty unperturbed by the old kid’s bicycle that rusts by the backyard, of his otherwise well kept house. When asked, he said there’s hardly anything that he would gain monetarily by disposing it, and hence he chose to keep it. Turns out that, a neighbour was interested in the cycle, wanted it for a relative living elsewhere. Of course, there was no talk about money, and the cycle is soon to depart to some other rusty corner. He added, it was bought for 4.5k (or was it 2.5k? I remember being around when it was bought) but it would hardly fall under Rs.500 worth of scrap.
After the two conversations, one thought that’s bothering me is, ‘How much is too less?’. While one person thought hardly an year of usage of the phone is worth the 14k, why isn’t the other satisfied with the 4k worth experience with the bicycle? Doesn’t your experience with a product adds to the worth of it? Why doesn’t the priceless moments with the bicycle count? On the other hand, why is that money’s value diminishing on contrast with its worth? Where do we draw the line on our spending? Well, I don’t have a final line of thought or a concluding note to this. I am as confused as I was. How much, exactly, is too less?