Friday, April 29, 2011


Everything's fine today, that is our illusion.
- Voltaire
Using my new table and chair reminds me of my time in front of the computer back in India. Only that the table back there was too big and the chair just plastic. I got these new ones from Ikea back in March for under $150 but spent four hours assembling them and a shoe-rack. I took pictures of it out of the pride and sense of accomplishment I had after making many pieces one. I went to Ikea just to get a shoe-rack but a table that found resting my hand on it made me feel that it was made for me. It had two drawers and a shelf that made me imagine my stuff fitting in them. I just had to spent some time looking for a matching chair.

After some very busy weeks of work I have been given an unusual rest. I am probably too new to even call it unusual but I was expecting a lot of work coming up that would have me visiting cities east and south of Dallas. I spent a few days doing that as well but right now it's nothing much but waste of time. It's been nice until now helping me learn new work almost every day. I have worked with people from various countries including the US but India. It's no surprise why most of us Indians don't like jobs like these - we cannot sacrifice our mornings and evenings easily, we are afraid of places with fewer or no people around and we think working in the field hurts our ego. Alhamdulillah I came over all this - money has that effect.

I had been thinking of updating this blog for a few days nearly everyday but couldn't even manage to get to think of writing - updating was the only thing in my mind. I always have things to say but not the willingness to say it. Meeting new people, making new friends and learning newer ways can always have unexpected reactions from those who like you the way you have been for years. I am not saying I have adopted newer ways that I am aware of. Or perhaps I am really not aware of the newness - I have many new perspectives though. Though I am fond of sharing my opinions often, I am going to hold back today.

I met a distant relative today who also is now a close friend of mine. We had some hookah and later went to play golf. Few months back we both were offered work inside Ericsson and he went ahead. I asked if wearing formal clothing to work everyday bothers him. To my surprise he replied in negative - not because he has made himself comfortable with them, but because he doesn't bother with the dress code Ericsson has set for it's employees. He told me about his boss and a few more people who don't care about the guideline. He added saying only desi people are always formally dressed. My friend is of Indian origin but he was born here. This makes me realize I haven't worn anything formal in last two months; I guess my dress socks is the only thing.

My voice sounds like my father's and it really makes me feel good about it. Like everybody, I think my voice is funny whenever somebody records it and plays it to me. It's my face that puts me to silence. I don't have a problem with it; I am very happy with how Allah has made me; I have lived with it for over 24 years and have come to love it; I would not take anything else in return. I resemble my mother. My mother resembles my grandfather. Even my mother's brother resembles my grandfather. Every time I shave my beard and look in the mirror I see my maternal grandfather. He left us forever four years ago.

That night his friend was there to give visit when he came to know about the death. I moved the white cloth away from my grandfather's face. He stood there staring at his friend for a few minutes with tears in his eyes and he left. When I was pulling back the cloth it touched my grandfather's beard making a soft rubbing sound. It still rings in my ears. My skin on my face is like his. Probably even my color is like his. My face is like his. I love him. I miss him. It makes it worse for me every time I see him in the mirror. It's not that I want anything to change. I am even used to it now. It just gets uncomfortable.

I am glad I resemble my mother. I would be glad even if I resembled my father though. I look a lot like my maternal uncle too. I always pray for him. It hurts me to think of how he is doing now. He spent 14 years away from his family working in Saudi Arabia visiting once a year. He came back only to fight keeping his children with him. He stays with my grandmother and does his best to take care of her. I know how much he wants his wife and children to come back to him. It ruined his health. He just wants to have his mother and his family in his house. I cannot bear to see him suffer.

My living is a result of many people who came before me, people who have supported me and continue to hold me up. I cannot deny even a small favor any person has done onto me. It's just those who have left me I cannot payback sufficiently. I am sure I am not the only one with these kinds of things in mind. I know other things are going to take over me sooner or later. We all forget everything some day. But when you see people in the mirror, it puts you into thinking.

I had a shawarma in the evening, then a good dinner at midnight and I am hungry back again. I have been talking to my roommate-friend all this time writing not more than a sentence at once. I never get tired of talking as long as it's always on something different. I have a new friend these days I can talk anything with and I spend more time trying to irritate her than anything else. It's all online though. My head hurts and my stomach craves for food. There are people who love the face I have and I can only love them back.