Monday, June 30, 2008


We tried so hard to create a society that was equal, where there'd be nothing to envy your neighbour. But there's always something to envy. A smile, a friendship, something you don't have and want to appropriate. In this world, even a Soviet one, there will always be rich and poor. Rich in gifts, poor in gifts. Rich in love, poor in love.
- Danilov, Enemy at the gates
After telling that I can join Infosys, when mamma told me that it will just take one year extra for me to 'settle down' in life if I do it, I could clearly see that she understands my fundamental concern. I was glad to hear that she knew why I am being so bothered with the delay in processing of my visa. I received an e-mail from UTD informing me that the fee has been increased which means that it can cost me another 200,000 extra Rupees for the four semesters. I didn't feel any good reading that. But mamma had a solution to it. She seemed to be cool. Then I saw in the university's website that I can defer my admission by one year and that way work for Infosys in the meanwhile till I get the visa; I felt nice. But as mamma said, that it will take one extra year for me, there were several things in my mind and I didn't like it.

Sunday evening when I found some erratic behavior on my computer I turned it off immediately. And when I turned it on it was asking me to insert a bootable device and reboot again. My previous experience told me that my computer's hard-drive had crashed. As if nothing had happened I estimated that it would take me an hour to do run a restoration process and get connected to the Internet again. With no reason, and my mind somewhere else, I lazily disconnected the CD-ROM and pressed the connecting cables of the hard-drive harder onto their sockets. I turned on the machine again and found that everything was in place. It barely affected me.

Saturday evening a few of my friends came over to my house and we were together all night. We started with dinner at a restaurant, then some movies on my computer and finally nehari early morning. We watched 'Euro Trip' and several scenes from 'Troy' and 'The Matrix'. I had seen 'Euro Trip' in parts before. It has some nudity and I was a bit hesitant to watch it. But the movie is hilarious. It's extreme comedy and definitely worth a watch. Friday night I had watched 'Sleepless In Seattle' and a part of 'Enemy At The Gates' yesterday and the rest of it today. 'Sleepless In Seattle' almost got me to crying in the start. I missed some of my friends Saturday night.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The Cost Of Emotional Illitracy

There's an Italian painter, named Carlotti, and he uh, ahem, defined beauty. He said it was the summation of the parts working together in such a way that nothing needed to be added, taken away or altered, and that's you. You're beautiful.
- Cris Johnson, Next

I could delete two more movies and three episodes of 'How I Met Your Mother' today. If I had to rephrase this it would mean that I watched two movies today - 'Transporter 2' and 'Next' and three episodes of the series I mentioned above. The name is too long so, I am not typing it again. It's not one of the cleanest things on TV but when it's on the computer I can safely put on the headphones and watch it even in my parent's presence. Not that they would object if they heard it, I only don't want them to get interested in what I do on the computer. When my father gets interested in something he asks me to put it on a CD. Whenever my mother gets interested in something she sit with me in front of the screen. Both of these are still fine I suppose but I am not in here for a change in the way I live.

The other day she sat beside me when my profile on Facebook was open. In spite of me telling her that she could see it in my absence when my brother is using the computer, she kept coaxing me to let her see my profile. I did let her read a part of it and the moment she started reading the 'favorite quotes' part I scrolled the page down asking her to read the rest with my brother later. But when I scrolled down the page it stopped at the 'Wall' part. There were a couple of messages from a friend who happens to be a girl presently in Saudi Arabia. This was enough for my mother to get excited. She continues to find no difference between what a girlfriend means and what a friend who happens to be a girl means.

She keeps teasing me always. Though obviously, it all depends on her mood. But like most other people, and I strongly believe that others too are like me on this issue, I don't like my conversations with my friends to be read by my parents. But there is something different with me - I have no problem if they read and listen to everything in my absence and never ask me about it and never change their perspectives about it. They are my parents and they do have the rights to know all about me. But because they have grown up, they, I am sure, have forgotten most of what all they had in their minds when they were of my age. I know many times they haven't questioned me when apparently they should have. I could let them see all my accounts and have them seated beside me every time I use my computer provided that they see it the way I feel it. And that, I believe, is not practically possible.

The word that includes these issues is 'generation gap'. It's a phrase to be precise. And it's something I don't always like to hear more on. It's an unfiltered word used by elders to describe what they cannot or perhaps don't want to understand. I really wonder what my parents think of me - what I do know is that they will let me do everything I want to do because they trust the lessons I have taken from them all these years. I remember getting beaten up for many things when I was a kid, being scolded and taught about what all seemed to be trivial to me, and put into detailed discussions - especially by my father - when my perspectives didn't match with his. But unlike many parents I see who don't have their children involved in decisions they make and the problems they face, my parents always kept me informed. Maybe partly because my brother and I were the only ones they had with them almost all the time at home and also because they thought we both must be made responsible sooner.

Or maybe they just didn't think anything about this and simply continued with whatever came to them. Right from the times my parents argued, they had to talk about some relatives, resolve a problem or even fight about something, I was always there. When I was much younger I used to listen. Then I started speaking up. Then I took to the level of becoming opinionated. And now, I am not sure if I am right in doing this, but more or less I feel this is how it has become because almost everything is decided the way I want it to be, I am dictating them what to do. I give the reason, I accept the responsibility and they let me have it my way. I am not forcing them to agree with my maverick opinions; I am only reminding them of what they have taught me.

My relationship with my parents is not like I hear others having with their parents. I am at a lot of distance from my mother. I can never go and hold her hands whenever I want to, I can never go and put my head on her shoulder or kiss her, I can only talk to her. It has always been like this. I used to hug my father a lot until some years back; I used to rest my head on his arms and sleep beside him. I can't do that anymore. Though, of course, with my father it's this way because I have grown older now, with my mother it is always the same. Once in a week she holds my hands when she finds me doing nothing or touches my cheeks - it's only when she feels like. But I feel happy that at least once a week that happens. And there are times I get irritated too when she touches me.

I don't feel any bad about it because it has always been this way. But I like being shown love. I like it when there is a shoulder I can sleep on - I have done that twice - and it was incredible. Once I slept on my cousin brother's shoulder and once on my brother's. I feel great when my father touches me and plays with my ear lobes like he always does with small children. I still don't mind missing them. I would only miss something I have felt enough of it to fall in love with it - in this context. There are imaginations and apart from taking away time they take nothing else - give nothing either. And I still have no idea what's making me write all this. It's just one of those times when I keep typing what sentences some into my mind. I do trust them. They are more real and untouched. And suddenly I see some good number of paragraphs already written!

There is something in me I haven't always liked. It's a part of me; it's a part of my being. Fundamentally I am supposed to control it. It's a kind of emotion that can be enjoyed to the core but must be tamed. I don't want to control it; I want to get rid of it - temporarily. I know that's quite impossible and should it happen it would throw my life out of the track. 'I don't want to control it, I want to get rid of it' is more out of frustration than intention. Or maybe I am just tired because I know it's not going well. But I am happy and thank Allah that some crucial times were held very well decently.

I had two friends at home yesterday in the night and they stayed up till almost 2:30 am. For the last two days I have gone to bed only after Fajar. Yesterday mamma asked me around 4:15 am if I would be awake for more time and I only said “yes”. Today my father told me that it might affect my health. My reply was about the 7 to 8 hours I was sleeping in a day. I am still waiting to hear from the consulate – the three weeks they said have ended. I expect them to contact me in the coming few days. I pray to Allah that I get the visa at the earliest. So many people tell me that they are praying for me. If it is Infosys Allah wants me to join, I pray I remain happy and satisfied with it.

Monday, June 23, 2008

I Used To Be Better

I'm not bad. I'm just drawn that way.
- Jessica Rabbit, Who Framed Roger Rabbit
It's serious irritation to see so much spam in Yahoomail. Until some days back I used to check my mailbox daily and clear all the junk. I always had to delete 8 to 10 messages. And this is just the count of the spam delivered into my inbox - there is always more in the bulk mail folder. Gmail too receives but it goes into the spam's folder - they don't make us look for what is unnecessary and delete it manually. I wonder why a service like Yahoo Mail has no proper protection for it's users. I am not like those who just leave mails unchecked if I don't have to open them. It finds me as disorganized when I keep unread mails for long. But now I have decided that I won't checking my mailbox in Yahoo. It will just be a service I have abandoned using. I already have more than 150 unread there. Gmail seems to be the best. No doubt about Hotmail's crediblity.

I finally took along with five friends for a movie yesterday to a theatre. It was my first since I had watch 'I Am Legend'. My friends had gone for one on Saturday too which I skipped because I wanted to spend time with my cousin. Yesterday too something found me hesitant but I decided it soon. The movie was 'Hulk'. I didn't so particularly liked it but it was entertainment. Around 9:15 pm we went to Eat Street. It was reasonless - we just didn't want to disperse immediately. It's always nice to spend some time together and leave only when we feel that there is nothing more to talk. It was good to sit there in front of Hussain Sagar with three friends without talking anything! Saturday I had watched 'The Sixth Sense' at home. It was very good.

A cousin sister came to meet us yesterday. She arrived from Peoria, Illinois just few days back and had been to her in-laws' place in Guntur. I met her infant daughter for the first time. The thing she knew best was to smile. They were at my house for around an hour and she played all the time. Whenever she saw anybody looking at her she smiled back revealing her small two teeth. Unlike many other kids we see she didn't mind sitting on anybody's lap or going out with anybody other than her mother. It was really pleasing to hear her shout and yell. MashAllah.

Moments before I was leaving for the movie yesterday my mother asked me about the number of friends I was going with. I told her there were six of us. Then she asked me if there were any girls too. I said no. She then asked why I was dressing up. I wanted to argue for a while but found it unnecessary. I have never been out of my house except for nearby places without shoes and belt and I never forget perfume, my watch and combing. It was pointless that my mother asked it. I have taken good care of what I wear for many years now - perhaps since the time I got done with my 10th standard.

I was shaving my beard on Saturday when I thought of trying something new. I didn't shave the part below my lower lip. It now appears like French with no mustache and very little beard below the corners of the lower lip. I am not sure if I am going to keep it for long but my brother seems to be too amused. Keeping any new design on face requires regular shaving and trimming and I am of those who do it only when I am going out. So these days because I don't have any places to visit my beard grows unquestioned. My parents make a lot of fun of me calling me Devdas and failed-lover. I am used to it now. It doesn't hurt anymore.

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Can Sense It. It's Not Easy

What is it you want, Mary? What do you want? You want the moon? Just say the word, and I'll throw a lasso around it and pull it down.
- George Bailey, It's A Wonderful Life
There isn't much that prompted me to write today. I didn't read a book; I didn't watch any movie. I read a lot of sophisticated content on the Internet yesterday- if that can manage to give an 'ununderstandable' explanation of what I read - today I read more of the related but it was rather more elucidated than yesterday's and I watched a comedy show on TV sitting with my father and brother. I have decided that from tomorrow I will give more time to the books and movies I have to finish instead of spending time on the computer listening to only music. The only problem will be that I will miss my friends if they come online in the meanwhile.

I couldn't believe what all they are showing on TV these days. This show named "Comedy Circus" was on a famous Hindi channel and there was a warning scrolling horizontally across the screen at the bottom telling that the show had adult content and children below 18 must watch it under parental guidance. Two things I can tell about this - they do not know what all children of 14 years of age understand these days and, even till 12 midnight it is considered as family time in front of TV at least in the houses of people like me. I know how heavily television channels are being censored these days - even simple bad words are being muted. This show was an antithesis to that.

With a friend today I went to submit my application for the NSR card which Infosys has made it compulsory. We went to the right place at first. When we asked the watchman he asked us to go to some other building on the other side of the street. After searching for a while we called up a friend and took the precise address. The office we had to go to was in the same building whose watchman had made us go somewhere else. And more interestingly, we found flat number 205 at third floor! But talking about Infosys at home is not simple. My mother asked me if we must book tickets to Mysore now; this came at a time when I was looking for the cost of tickets to Dallas Fort Worth Airport and the possible itinerary. I know I am yet to get the visa but I am positive about it. Going to Infy is easy, will have me start earning money, I can spend my own money, but it's something I want to delay. Allah knows what's going to happen. Only time will let me know about it.

My brother returned from my aunt's house today. He had been to some concert in the evening, had enjoyed lots of time with cousins since yesterday afternoon and today he finally decided that it was time to come home. And yes, I think there is something more interesting my brother is doing these days: after putting on the 'spikes' hairstyle, a goatee, playing lots of cricket, table tennis, playing football with the Sudanese, riding almost every bike found on the roads these days, he found a new inclination - snooker. And at nights he is watching Euro 2008 matches. He has already learnt how to stay up till 2 am easily. After he got an assurance that he will get an admission into CSIIT for Bachelor of Architecture for the marks he has scored in NATA he has been enjoying every bit of his time as if somebody has let him off the leash.

My cousin sister who was wholeheartedly preparing for IIT entrance examination couldn't get through the test. Though we all were expecting a lot from her in EAMCET too, we are now very, very happy that she got an admission in VIT for MS integrated five year course in Software Engineering. The only reason to feel sad is that she would be leaving us shortly as her classes start in the first week of July. Even her mother - my aunt - is battling a possible transfer to some other place away from Hyderabad. She had already suffered a lot some years back when she had to make trips to a place named Kamareddy daily. My uncle too has spent a couple of years in Aurangabad away from his family. It's not easy to always get to stay together - stay as the same.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Related Phrases

About 3 million computers get sold every year in China, but people don't pay for the software. Someday they will, though. As long as they are going to steal it, we want them to steal ours. They'll get sort of addicted, and then we'll somehow figure out how to collect sometime in the next decade.
- Bill Gates, Speech at the University of Washington, as reported in "Gates, Buffett a bit bearish" CNET News (2 July 1998)
I remember my father talking about some chocolate yesterday night after he and mamma returned from some shopping. So, today I opened the fridge to check it out. There was nothing there but when I opened the freezer I impetuously uttered "haa" loudly. There was nobody home so nobody heard it. What I found inside was a very big packet of Kit Kat. Though I have seen bigger boxes of chocolate in the fridge before several times this thing was very, very amusing. I am yet to tear-open the pack but I am keeping patience. There is thrill and excitement in the moments I wait to take on such enjoyments. It's called as happiness.

Yesterday after publishing the last post here I began reading some old ones. The one I particularly enjoyed was "Castaway". It was longer than my usual posts and it was satisfying. Though I don't expect most of it to be understood by those who must have read it, I do believe that there are some things very clearly mentioned. I wasn't rambling. There was no redundancy - whenever I write something that might sound unhealthy, I find it quintessential that I provide as many details as possible and be very specific with what all I mean to say. But of course it's majorly for myself that I right, it always feels great to know that somebody is reading. But when somebody ends up misunderstanding it, it aches.

There always has to be something that makes me write. I don't write just for the sake of it. Something has to motivate me, force me or give at least a nimble reason even if it is very trivial. This post is my 450th on the blog and I know that the last 50 have taken a very long time to come. I give the regards to two reasons for this - I had lost a lot of motivation during these days getting myself involved more in movies, music and other activities and I had to give a lot of thinking for everything I wanted to put here. The second reason is more non-trivial that it may appear. At times it gets difficult to predict how a reader might react to what I have written. Not everybody rely on responding, they only react.

We are all prejudiced, we are all biased and we all show favoritism. We might be guided by our ego on several occasions. Doing the right thing when our heart doesn't allow us is tough. It's hard, but it's harder to ignore illogical inclinations when the rightful has to be done nevertheless. If everything had to occur on merit we would have been living in a totally different world today - I would have been a different person, perhaps this blog would have never existed and maybe I would have had very different people as my friends. I am afraid of this kind of world. Perhaps we are all afraid of meritocracy. But we are going fine with how things exist now.

I got a call from my college's junior asking me to send him all the material necessary to publish the next edition of the department's newsletter Communique. I wonder what he is expecting of me. When I worked on my first issue I had nothing with me making me start from the scratch. I decided on the template, I decided the fonts and I fixed the page layouts. I am sure he already has a copy of it. As long as he has nothing from me he can take the liberty to decide things for himself. But when I mail him the details of the templates and the fonts I am sure he will have a problem in adjusting to them.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

That's How I Know It

We despise all reverences and all objects of reverence which are outside the pale of our list of sacred things. And yet, with strange inconsistency, we are shocked when other people despise and defile the things which are holy to us.
- Mark Twain, Following the Equator
I remember those days when my father had decided to close down his business and moved some of the machinery to a new place handing it over to a guy who used to work for him previously. Mamma too had to go to Sangareddy daily for she had been transferred there as the General Manager of District Co-operative Central Bank of Medak. Daily my brother and I had to take care of what had to be cooked in the nights, instruct the maid, take innumerable instructions from mamma on phone, take care of evening tea and snacks, collect drinking water and even some times wait to see our parents' faces late in the night. It was only after 9 pm that mamma used to arrive home.

Then my father took over the management of a school belonging to his friend. Till date I wonder why exactly he did that. I always wondered how it could be to have a mother who stayed home. Mamma always had to worry about her office, the union leaders who troubled her, the hundreds of employees who worked under her who always had problems with every decision made, the targets she had to meet and the responsibilities she had to carry. She had started to hate her cell phone. After several requests made to the Managing Director of the head office, meeting some MLAs and consulting several people she could finally get herself back to Hyderabad. Then some months later my father started working with his brother for the Trust's schools which had been previously managed by some other relatives who had brought a lot of disgrace to the Trust which was supposed to serve the poor around that place.

It was those months when my father had nothing to do which were terrible. Money was not much of an issue but still mamma had decided that we must cut back on expenses. She had made us stop using the car, we stopped going to restaurants, neither were we getting any food from outside, there were plans to purchase some appliances for home and she had dropped those plans. This was just for a very short period - two months I guess - but it left a mark on me. Though it didn't cause any pain, it taught me some very important things which otherwise I wouldn't have ever realized. Because I was always allowed to handle my money I knew how important it is to save. My father always had opposite beliefs - he never saves.

When I got most of our liquid and fixed assets evaluated as a proof of financial worthiness to be shown at the consulate I realized how well my mother has managed to make it so comfortable for my brother and me. She had earned what people don't in the whole of their lifetime. It was mostly because she was taught about delayed gratification by her father and also because she studied commerce and mastered it. Whatever it was, she succeeded in her objective as my mother. My father on the other hand had different priorities for himself but he always managed to give my brother and me the love we couldn't get from our mother because she was not home when we needed her.

Mamma always spent money on home, my brother and me. She didn't leave even a small gap in what all that had to be filled. But when she comes home daily, I greet her with a big smile and all happiness in my heart and she only greets back with no smile on her face, it beats all reasons to my happiness. She has the habit to remain tensed about everything. Whenever she gets frustrated at her office she pours it at home. She shows love only when it is convenient to her, she shows affection only when she feels like - not when I need it. I don't complain for what she is and how she is. I only wonder how it could have been if my parents had remained more appropriate to their roles. It's all how Allah wants it to be and I am pretty satisfied.

From what I hear from my parents there are people who want my father's schools and the Trust which is in his grandmother's name to be sold. The sole purpose of this establishment is social service through educating the poor and the needy at a very low fee. The Trust was started by my father's aunt when she deposited a huge amount in a bank for the Trust to be run. I wonder why there are people who want to defeat this purpose. There are hundreds of poor who bless those who work for these schools and those who have contributed to it in any form. I know its value runs into crores of rupees but that's not what it is meant for. It is meant for charity. It is meant for the Aakhirat of my great grandmother and all those who are involved in the noble cause. I know as long as my uncle is the managing trustee this purpose will be met in the best possible way Allah decides.

The best part of the whole of my family has been our self-dependence and independence from what other relatives had to decide or do. My parents can take decisions without having to contact anybody else - elder or younger in relation. Nobody has to ask for any big favors now. We chose our directions and live our lifestyles and when we meet each other we are all at peace. I have seen other people who are bound by relations and families and commitments to other relatives. Alhamdulillah what I see among my relatives is all perfect. I am glad for all the people I have.

The other day when I was with my friends we had a short talk on those who are problematic with their swollen egos. Today I did absolutely nothing all through the day sitting home wondering what went wrong and this talk struck my mind. I couldn't get to the other end of the answer to why people are bogged up with their egos and create problems with people around them and some times even friends. Alhamdulillah I haven't really experienced anything wrong going on involving me but there are some distasteful patches at some places. There is envy and jealousy which I cannot understand and I might be unable to explain it to anybody even if I get to the other end. Possession of no amount of money, endurance of no amount of pain and neither does any amount of self-love entitles a person to tell that he can stop talking to others or disregard them. What is right is right no matter how difficult it is for a person to behave right.

I have an acquaintance who was rejected F1 visa today. He said there were eight straight rejections before him and he was the 9th. I really had all my heart with him and wanted him to return home successful but it was saddening when I heard the news. I completely agree that Americans have full rights to deny any person entry into their state and I should not complain even if they reject me. What I pity is the seriousness involved in it. I know I didn't feel good when I was put on hold and I also know what I would have felt had I been rejected. I would have rather become more social if things had become too negative. I will always prefer accepting my ignorance than just talking crap to entertain others to grab their attention. I also believe that being normal involves letting others too remain normal - not in stopping them from being how they would be if there was no pressure on them. That is not normal even remotely. And that is how I know it. That is how I conceive of it.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Pouvez-Vous Expliquer?

Jealousy is simply and clearly the fear that you do not have value. Jealousy scans for evidence to prove the point - that others will be preferred and rewarded more than you. There is only one alternative - self-value. If you cannot love yourself, you will not believe that you are loved. You will always think it's a mistake or luck. Take your eyes off others and turn the scanner within. Find the seeds of your jealousy, clear the old voices and experiences. Put all the energy into building your personal and emotional security. Then you will be the one others envy, and you can remember the pain and reach out to them.
- Jennifer James
It gives excitement to do unorthodox things. Saturday, after I reached home around 9:15 pm, with my parents and brother, I went to a bakery near my house to buy burgers. Then we sat in the car at a quite place by the side of a road on our way to Softy Den to have these burgers. After having ice cream we went to my aunt's house nearby. My father hurt his shin while kicking start his two-wheeler last week and he wanted to consult my cousin. My cousin had an off so was at home like as it was last Sunday. I was tired when I finally reached home.

That was the second ice cream of the day for me. Earlier in the day I had met my friends at City Center, had lunch at Bowl - O - China and spent some time at Eat Street where I had my first cone of the day. A few minutes after I reached home from Eat Street a friend picked me up and we went to see off a friend who was leaving for Bangalore. He missed his bus at the starting point and boarded it finally at the stop at Lakdikapul. Just a day before that I had met him thinking that it was possibly the last time for the time-being. It just wasn't the case and we met again on Saturday.

On Sunday I finally woke up at 2 pm hearing my phone ring for the second time. An hour later I was at Eat Street again with two friends. We were there for four hours - we had serious talks, we had some jokes and some discussions. There were no pointless talks for those four hours. By the time I reached home it was 7:40 pm and I started for my aunt's house in Malakpet. It was my uncle's birthday and also some of my distant relatives from Warangal were here on a visit so we had a get-together. I was inexplicably tired and feeling sleepy but I had to drive back home. I was so happy to see no heavy traffic - the last time I had passed by that road in the night it was full of trucks.

Monday morning I met a friend at Masab Tank. Then we went to Apple iStore and Music World before reaching college - he had to buy the VCD of the movie 'Nikah' at Music World. 'Nikah' is the only movie till now we couldn't find on the Internet to download. After spending hardly 30 minutes in the college we went to Sarvi and returned college an hour later. After college it was Jagdish market and then finally back home. He dropped me and left to report at his office. His timings these days are 5 pm to 2 am.

My post till now has been full of facts. It's nice to have such facts to write to please myself knowing that I did something in the last few days. Apart from going to my grandmother's house for sometime there isn't anything I did today. Also I walked almost 5 milometers. And I have no idea what I am going to do tomorrow or the day after or in the days to come. My cousin is here from Kyrgyzstan so maybe I can go meet him. I can also meet a friend who only seems to give late replies to my messages on Facebook but never thinks of coming to my house. And of course I also have to meet a friend who got his F1 visa a few days back. But I might not be doing these tomorrow. A friend had called me today and I will call him back in the morning and ask him to come to my house. There are very, very little chances that he would come.

Friday, June 13, 2008

From The Moment I Could Talk

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me.
- Jim Valvano
It was yet another day of telling a goodbye. My friend who was supposed to leave for Bangalore today is leaving tomorrow so he paid a last minute visit to my residence just sometime back. I was so glad to see him and wanted to make him stay longer. He asked if we could stand outside with the cool breeze and talk mentioning that coming inside would remind him of all the times we enjoyed in my house. I insisted that he came in. He will be joining Accenture at Bangalore on Monday and was a little displeased that he was not being provided with accommodation. Somehow the people at the company had come to know about his sister's presence in the town and asked him to stay with her whereas he has no such plans.

As I do with all my friends almost every time I went down stairs with him to see him off. It seemed like just all the times I walked with him down that way. We stood outside for a while as he left. We hoped that we meet someday for sure. Being in contact is absolutely no problem. I asked him to loose some weight, never put too much heart into girls there in Bangalore and insisted that he continued with studies after a year in Accenture. Then of course there were things I cannot write here for the same reason why I cannot write why I had to tell him the second thing. It was sweet that he came to meet me; it was tasteless when he left.

In the morning I called up a friend informing him that I will be at his house around 1:15 pm. Then I went to sleep. By the time I reached his place it was 1:45 pm and we attended the Juma prayers for 2 pm. Another friend was already there when I reached his place and we had good time laughing and teasing each other. I even had a taste of guitar at his house. One of them came over to my house later and I copied the 2nd and 3rd seasons of 'How I Met Your Mother' from his ipod. I even got that concert by Shahrukh Khan with many cricket players in it which was aired on Sahara One some months back. It's something I was look out for for a long time now.

Thursday, June 12, 2008


I'm sorry my existence is not very noble or sublime.
- Keanu Reeves
The next three paragraphs were written by me around 5:15 pm Thursday. I wanted to write and let some words out badly then. Then power went off; and it kept fluctuating for a lot of time. Then the connection to the Internet was troublesome. Things are somehow fine now. I just finished watching the movie 'A Walk In The Clouds'. I wanted to cry all the while; it was not the movie though. I have been feeling that for many hours now. I know tomorrow will be a new sun and I will be fresh again. As of now it's nice to be connected and I am chatting with a friend - it's always great to do that.

It's never easy on ears and heart to hear about any deaths. I have been hearing quite a few these days but the most bitter came when my brother informed me about my late grandfather's friend's demise today afternoon. He was a neighbor for many decades, a friend of my father too and always a well wisher for our family. He is a distant relative from my maternal aunt's side. He is well known in the locality for all the work he did for the betterment of that place. It's a shocking news to us all and I pray Allah grants peace to his family.

Today was one of those days when you get to hear some discomforting things one by one. It's drizzling outside and I wanted to spend some time doing nothing so, I went upstairs to the terrace. I just looked around, stared down all the four parapet walls, looked at the entrance to the street that has been blocked due to some digging up of the road to lay water pipes and hoped things turn better in the days to come. I wanted to call up a friend and tell him that I love him for what he is. But I suppose this is not the right time to do it. I am waiting to see him.

I spoke to both my parents in the last one hour. I informed my father about the death and by the time I spoke to my mother she already knew about it. Mother said that it was raining heavily at Abids and I hope she arrives home safely. The funeral will be performed after Ishan and I am yet to hear about the place. My brother will be staying at an aunt's place in the night. I was a kind of feeling good about him staying awake late in the nights watching TV or reading something all these days. Tonight I will be alone with my computer. It's not so sad at all; I just need to freshen up myself. I haven't met anybody outside house since Sunday - it's five days now being at home all the time and I need to meet my friends.

So, these were the three paragraphs. My brother stayed home with us and not at aunt's place. Mother reached home a little after 7:15 pm and when father was home a lot later he was fully drenched in water. We didn't go to the funeral as it was still raining. I simply cannot understand what I am feeling right now. It's as if I've lost something but not able to figure it out. Something seems to be incomplete yet nothing relative has changed. One of my friends is leaving for Bangalore tomorrow to start with his job in Accenture and I hope to see him once. I even want to go to another friend's house. I cannot explain how much I have been waiting for Friday to come. Because I will be going out of my house and also meeting some of my close people.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Only One I can Say That To

When you stand before God you cannot say "but I was told by others to do thus" or that "virtue was not convenient at the time." This will not suffice. Remember that.
- King Baldwin IV, Kingdom of Heaven

The other day I was talking about the king Asoka with my father when he told me that history books don't tell us who the king of Kalinga was. I remember reading in school how Asoka after having fought the Battle of Kalinga was moved by the sight of hundreds of soldiers lying dead and then moved on to become a symbol of peace and secularism. He is said to have met some monk, when he took on a journey to salvation, who guided him to become the famous Asoka as we all know. I wonder why our historians didn't formulate anything about the King of Kalinga at that time. Who was the king Asoka fought? Or will the question "did the Battle of Kalinga ever take place?" be a valid argument? This is just a small instance of several missing and unexplained pieces in history as presented to us.

A good example that explains why precisely the history we get to study in our schools is corrupt is one of Aurangzeb. He has been termed as a 'Sunni bigot'. I personally don't know much about him except that he used to write copies of the Holy Quran with his own hands to earn his living. Though he spent excessive money on building monuments and took taxes from non-Muslims, there is no documented proof that he was any bad - only the books say so. I visited Aurangabad several years back and I remember seeing a that had infrastructure built by Aurangzeb for the benefit of his subjects. Those who accept the fictitious details given in our books are no better than those who have written them.

We are told about how beautiful the Taj Mahal is and how well it is a symbol of love. I have never seen it and I find nothing glorious in it that makes me want to see it. Maybe it is the most beautiful of all the monuments on the earth but what I know about it is that it was built by spending millions of Rupees belonging to people and the man who built it had several wives. I don't know what made him do it. What I do know is that love cannot be symbolised. The same books that talk of love also tell us that our ancestors were animals resembling monkeys. It's the theory of evolution. What we are not told is that Einstein himself has said he was not sure of what he has put forth but he believes in it because it enabled him to explain many questions about our existence. Can ever love evolve? No religion supports the theory of evolution. We believe in facts and truths.

We cannot fight every fallacy we see but what we can do is let others know about it at least. Whenever I hear anybody tell that nothing like love exists I am reminded of a verse from the Holy Quran: "And among His Signs is this, that He created for you mates from among yourselves, that ye may dwell in tranquillity with them, and He has put love and mercy between your (hearts): verily in that are Signs for those who reflect." Allah uses the word "love" several times in His book. Allah says He loves us. It's better we all remember what Allah has to tell. It's foolishness to deny what has been put in our hearts. For some it can be inconvenient, for those like me it is the answer.

Apart from a couple of chats, some cleaning, reading of a part of a book and finishing the rest of the part of the movie 'Kingdom of Heaven' there was hardly anything I did today. I was expecting a call from a friend but his off-liners told me that I was forgotten somewhere and so there was no call. That wasn't nice to think about - being forgotten. I am to blame somehow - it's comfortable to put it that way. With no hard feeling I will leave this behind me as there is simply no other option other than quibbling only to loose peace. I am looking ahead for tomorrow, the day after, and the days there off. Nobody can complain about me being excessive about the word 'love'. I will take complains about 'chocolate' just to enjoy it. I can keep that amusement forever - the word 'chocolate'; I must be precise. Somehow I am not comfortable with today's title and also with what I had written in the post 'Awe' dated June 9th, 2008. But what has been written has been written - it will stay undeterred.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008


You can't live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you.
- John Wooden
I had to work through the day today to make it pass. I had my brother home so I was a kind of relaxed with no worries to think about who was coming and going. I even finished the first season of 'How I Met Your Mother' finally after having it kept for a month almost. There are 30 movies on my computer I am yet to watch and most of them are good ones. It's funny how I get lazy when it comes to even entertaining myself. I always tend to have some preference or a mood that guides my behaviour when it comes to passing time. The other morning I went to sleep a little before 4 am with happiness on my face - partly because I had received my joining date at Infosys and I lay on the bed trying to figure out what the other part was about.

I don't intend to join Infosys as long as I am getting the visa but I was worried that I would be called before I get the visa. July 14th is more than a month away so that's a part of my happiness. But after imagining the days to come for a few moments I got into thinking if I could really go ahead with Infosys even if I get the visa. I know this sounds ridiculous and I need to put a cap on my whims. To be frank I find it as the easier way to opt for. I will start getting a salary, I will be a little closer to my parents and I will be with my dearest friends. But I still know what I am going to do and I will do it with a big heart.

I thought it was going to rain heavily yesterday when temperature came down and it started to shower; but it was dry again today. I am hoping to see sky breaking down and pouring. I would go out on the terrace and spend some time with the rain and smell the perfumed earth. The number of trees in the surrounding areas have come down drastically with the major deforestation process carried out by the Indian army when they built several buildings for World Military Games last year. I wonder why the government makes such a hue and cry about forests when one of its own major departments chopped down hundreds of trees to facilitate some gaming festival here. And military men are very bad drivers - they drive their trucks on city roads as if they own them.

Monday, June 9, 2008


Never apologize for showing feeling. When you do so, you apologize for truth.
- Benjamin Disraeli
I didn't know how I was going to spend the rest of my day when I got out of bed in the morning but a discrete short chat with a friend reminded me of the voluminous 'My Videos' folder I have on my computer's hard-drive and the first season of 'How I Met Your Mother' still left to be watched. I watched a few more episodes, listened to some music, slept again in the evening, watched another episode and here I am. There is a friend online I am chatting with right now and he seems to be watching some movie I had once enjoyed and liked a lot. It had Brad Pitt in one of the lead roles and the movie was awesome.

One of the reasons I went to sleep in the evening was disconnection from the Internet apart from a sleepy eye. I am looking at a lot of things around to get big on something seriously. Reading and watching movies are just regular and seldom do I get carried away by even the most intriguing entertainments. I didn't completely forget something too painstaking I had almost a year back. It did actually had got me carried away. I have always had some lovely people around and it can't continue now by any means. But whenever I get to talk to any of my friends it's not at all so bad.

I am almost used to this new way of living now - of having nothing to do, not knowing what exactly the coming month is going to show me and not knowing who are the ones with whom I am going to spend most of my time with a few months from now. I remember when I was in my Intermediate studies and Engineering 1st year both my parents would tell me that I didn't know how to make friends. Once when my uncle had asked me why I never got along with anybody in the college I had replied "the way I don't have my school friends with me now, I might not have the people with whom I could probably get along now in the later part of my life". That was perhaps an answer not expected from an 18 year old. And that was a lame answer. It was like refusing to live because that risked dying.

Saturday night I watched the movie 'The Shawshank Redemption'. The movie was already too serious and touchy and by the time I started logging out of all my accounts to switch off my computer I scrolled my messenger's list to see it all grey. Now, that's not something new but my heart was already in a low and the messenger presented a disheartening sight. I slept and woke up fresh to a Sunday. In the evening I went out to have pizza with my parents and also met my aunt. My cousin had an off at his hospital which gave me a chance to ask him if he had started preparing for his marriage. He said he was too busy these days and was about to start with his second year of DNB.

A couple of weeks back I had installed Yahoo Messenger after having used Pidgin for several months. Today I logged in through Pidgin again and felt that this way I might see more people online! I had got used to Pidgin, I had got used to seeing people online there and it was when college was on; so I felt nice using it again. But I know that's not how it goes. The fact that I say I am almost used to this new living, I have to convert that 'almost' into 'completely' before I move on the something 'extremely' new. I am looking ahead for that though it could be a difficult transition.

I am worried about something that has been going on in my mind for some time now. The biggest problem is that things are going to remain good as long as I keep it in my mind. Maybe some years later I can tell everybody about it with an apology - though it's not at all something to apologise for - explaining them that it was genuine, had to be kept under cover to continue how things were and that we are mature enough to understand what it was and why it could be told only so late. I am sure I won't be condemned then - I will look for a time when most of us are at least committed and have made many friends leaving me behind. That way my words won't come harsh and will be judged trivial.

We are not exactly that people we see the in mirrors. We have our intentions, some meaningless, some too genuine to be explained, we have our desires, we have questions like "why can I not get everything I want to have?", we have answers for those kind of questions, we have our ways to confront reality or at least tell ourselves that we have done it and we have our ways to tell the truth. I never ask "why can I not get everything I want to have?", I wonder how I could get nearly everything I ought to have some times without even knowing I already have it and just realizing it someday. I am sure I will get over this worry I have in me soon inshAllah.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Travelling Is Always An Experience

When you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.
- Nora Ephron, When Harry Met Sally
Relatively, the time I woke up today was a lot early but I took a nap again after 11:30 am. There was another gap in time when I slept in the evening. Perhaps this is the time when I can really start spending time to finish watching all those movies I have on my computer and also finish reading all those books waiting for me. In fact a couple of days back when I was in the train I read a good part of one of those books. I realized that it was a 'good part' when I had stopped reading it. Today afternoon I watched a few episodes of 'How I Met Your Mother'. There are many more to go before I can finish the first season and bring home the second and the third.

I have never liked watching 'Friends' for some reason. It looked vulgar to me always. Somehow 'How I Met Your Mother' seems to be fine and I am enjoying it. The other TV series I watch frequently is 'Simpsons'. The best part of watching any of all these is that I don't have to sit in front of the TV. And not to forget the only 25 minutes each of the episodes take. There are many more I have access to but there isn't much space in my computer for them. Taking time to watch them is another thing. There isn't much to do at home but still I need to take time to watch.

Time is a big clause as always found to be a very critical of the elements many have tried to conquer. We have always had many sayings and quotations getting us awed trying to put some interesting observations on time. But even the wittiest of the sayings prove nothing. Allah has showed us in the Holy Quran the importance of time. The pace of time is what we have always been amused of. It goes slow when we measure it and fast when we ignore it. There have been theories and observations and prophesies. I somehow have to go past the next three weeks of my life waiting.

The last two weeks I have spent have been more amazing than I can describe here. All the while I kept feeling glad that I live in Hyderabad. Chennai was very humid. As long as I was in the hotel room or in the car things were very fine. But the moment I came out I had all moisture on my glasses and sticky sweat all over me. It was terrible to be there without A/C. People there must be used to it - even used to the sticky tap water and sticky hair! And no doubt why the complexion of their skin is dark. The best thing about Chennai was the traffic. People have road sense, they follow rules even in the absence of cops, the roads are wide and flat with potholes a rarity. Another interesting thing about the place was that there is hardly any difference between commercial and residential areas. I found offices and houses in the same localities everywhere. Roads being wide never give traffic any congestion. Chennai or at least the places I have been in Chennai are a lot different than Hyderabad.

Mahabalipuram was too small. There was a temple I saw from a distance and a beach. Maybe there were more places to visit there but we skipped. I wanted to go to some crocodile park but it was closed that day. It was nice to be in Pondicherry on 3rd's evening which was the next day. We reached there after sunset but the climate was no different - it was terribly humid. We walked through Rue De Bussy and nearby streets to reach the beach. We went past a place that only had doctors, hospitals, diagnostic centers and pharmacies all through a kilometer long stretch. There was also a place with houses in antique style with woodwork so heavy that we could smell sandal and various other woods as we walked past them. The houses were built in French style and there were restaurants offering several European menus. The beach wasn't so great.

The beach at Mahabalipuram was the first one I ever saw. I had never seen sea before. Then next it was Marina beach in Chennai. Marina beach somehow reminded me of our famous 'Secret Lake' of Hyderabad - there were too many couples there sitting on the warm sands. I wonder how they could find romantic time sitting in a place so congested, humid and sticky. I am sure they will find 'Secret Lake' a paradise. There is love in every part of the world - whether we like that place or not; whether we like the people there or not.

Tamil Nadu speaks only Tamil. They seem to have some deep hatred towards English and Hindi let alone Urdu. Even when a dog barks it barks in Tamil! They are more fanatic than so perceived fundamentalists. I simply couldn't understand why they are keeping themselves backward at a time when a language like English can catapult them into huge intellectual and economic development. Things are more terrible with the auto rickshaws - they want to take as much money they can, explain things in Tamil and cheat us. Hyderabad is a lot better in many ways. We have people here speaking Hindi, English and Urdu alongside Telugu of course. And we still have meters working with the auto rickshaws.

A major difference while travelling with friends and while with parents is worrying about money. With parents I could go to good restaurants and hardly give a thinking to the cost of food. I could travel in an A/C car and have an A/C room at the hotel. I never had to calculate how much money was being spent. And I could sleep all night in the train with the luxury of cooling there. There are different things that come along when I am with friends and there is no doubt about it. They are simply two different experiences and both are good. There are places around Ooty and Kodaikanal I couldn't have enjoyed much if I had my parents with me instead of friends.

I have also observed that Hyderabad has the best of railway stations among all those I have seen. Hyderabad is in fact very different and can't be compared with any other city - even Chennai or Bangalore. It was pathetic to walk that one and a half kilometer to Kalasipalyam bus stand through those dirty streets of Bangalore. I had never seen such a bad place before. No doubt the other part of the city, which has been well developed in the recent years, was incredible with big buildings and bridges. Just this part of Karnataka seems to be something, the rest is in a terrible state. Even the ghats on the other side of Ooty that lie in Karnataka were sickening.

In general the food in Ooty and Kodaikanal was a bit expensive. That should be obvious because it's expensive to transport things to top of those high hills. An interesting point was that there were no plastic bags in use - they have banned them. Everything is carried in paper bags and in a way it looked nice. But I can't easily imagine that happening here. The problem with food didn't seem much as we were more interested in enjoying the other things. The temperature was less than 15 degrees and it was simply fabulous. We all needed to have our jackets with us at least when there was no sun up. When we were not exactly inside the town and out for sight-seeing we had the company of clouds on many occasions.

The train left us at Coimbatore from where we headed for Kodaikanal first. We found a wonderful driver who could speak English. He had a good comfortable car and he drove perfectly well - couldn't have asked more from him. From Kodaikanal the next day we started for Ooty with plans to stop at Coonoor. We could only spend 30 minutes there and some of my friends were asleep when we stopped at its railway station. We wanted to travel in the Toy Train but couldn't get the chance. After a day's stay in Ooty we left for Bangalore. On the way I had a glimpse of the Mysore Palace when the bus passed though that town. It looked like a castle to me which is supposed to exist only in cartoons.

Near Ooty we went to Dodabeta, the highest peak in Nilgiris, which was over 2,600 meters above sea level. It sounded weird when just a few days later I was in Chennai at sea level - 2.6 kilometers below on the ground from that peak. On our way to Bangalore we went through Mudumalai forest reserve which is supposed to have tigers. I saw a wild elephant and lots of trees. After a tiring walk in Bangalore with our bags we boarded a bus and reached home the next day in the morning. When I reached home I had an almost empty wallet, a tired face, lots of sleep to be slept, paper work for the visa still left and almost two kilograms of chocolate in my bag - no one can miss chocolate when in the Nilgiris.

Almost 25 people were issued visas in front of me, one guy was rejected and my visa was put on hold. And the same day my phone stopped working and there was a lot of problem with the network when I started using a spare phone my brother was carrying. My mother's new phone wasn't charged up fully and so I couldn't use that too. It wasn't so nice sitting there not able to receive any calls. There was a time when I couldn't receive with a reason called 'low balance'. They charge a Rupee per minute for incoming while roaming and there were some calls I had take - I had asked a friend to find out what exactly Section 221(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act was and what a 'pink slip' had to mean.

They are literally distributing visas there. They are asking for some basic documents, asking for finger prints, one or two of the few generally expected questions and that's that. They just want to see the person, make him stand there for a couple of minutes and let him go home happily with a confirmation that he will have his stamped passport in five days. I returned home with a pink slip and a confirmation that I will have to wait for three weeks and then send in my passport to get the stamping done. Some say in 90% of such cases they issue the visa, some say it's just about waiting and Section 221(g) means 'accepted', I have been congratulated by all and some say it means 'accepted but put on hold'.

The Americans there are amazing. One of them was talking in Telugu. That was very impressive of him as he was greeting the elderly people there, asking about them in their native languages and not giving them any trouble by asking for any extra papers. I thought I would get a chance to have a good conversation with one of those people at the counters but they were barely interested in spending more time with anybody. They just wanted to give the visas. In my case they supposedly want to confirm that I am the very person who has applied for it. I assume the problem is because of my surname - the 'surname' field in my passport is completely blank. A guy who was standing there with me said that it might be due to my interests in Information Security - I had taken up that subject as an elective once, done my project in it and MS is supposed to have Information Security as its Major. It could be anything. I only have to wait. I am pleased with all this - I didn't get a rejection Alhamdulillah.

I was too excited to be at the consulate. I wanted to talk to people there, in their language, the way they talk. These white people are very courteous, they know how to smile well, nobody seemed any biased to me. I don't think any person who is planning for a visa interview needs to be worried about anything. Things are as easy as going to a restaurant and having food. The only risk is not keeping enough cash with us - it depends on us. It depends on what Allah wants. I was not asked about my financial worthiness, I was not asked why I wanted to go to America, I was not asked what I would do after finishing my MS. The only thing he asked me while working on his computer was "what do your parents do?"

My parents had already told me that they were not praying that I get the visa. Instead, they said, they were praying that I am always happy. Of course they are right in doing that. I am happy. But there could have been a completely different flavor to this post I have written today. In fact I would have written it yesterday itself when I reached home. They have helped me with everything, spent so much money, gave so much time, I would have only felt better to hear that they were praying for something I wanted. I am glad I went to Pondicherry after getting back from the consulate. I simply didn't know what to do. I could only imagine what I would have done if things were final. Three weeks is not a long time. I remember once thinking what I would ask Allah once I have the visa. In a way Allah has given me more things to ask from Him. It's always nice to have something to ask from Allah. After three weeks I will have to look for more serious things.