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Sam and Stuttering

February 14, 2012 3 comments

Early morning after prayers and national anthem, students entered their classroom with class teacher escorting them. Sam occupied his favorite corner place on the bench in second last row. Teacher opened attendance register amidst students fluttering pages of their books. The sound of students muttering and whispering went around the class room then gradually slowed down and finally came to silence. It took around 5 minutes for the students to settle in and organize for the day. Sam had started feeling edgy by now. He had been going through this every day with a promise to himself that next day he would overcome this sense of anxiety but consistently failed to keep on his promise. Teacher started reading out the roll call. As she was approaching to his name alphabetically, his heart beat started being heavy and this was visible in the form of small droplets of sweat on his forehead. Sam was moving his lips, without speaking anything as if practicing to answer roll call. His palms were sweating with fingers busy in spinning the only blue ballpoint pen that he had. Probably his best friend Sandeep sitting next to him was noticing all these and like any other day he looked in Sam’s eyes trying to boost his confidence without speaking anything.

And then Sam’s name was called and he tried to answer the roll call with the tumult of his mind. He stuck and couldn’t speak, then closed his eyes and forced hard to move his facial muscles but seemed as if his lips froze and couldn’t move to utter a word. Few students burst out in laughter while a few laughed quietly to self.  After a lot of struggle with himself he somehow managed to say “S” (instead of Yes or Present). The sequence of events starting from teacher reading his roll call to Sam answering would not have lasted for more than 2-3 seconds but these couple of seconds passed as hours for him.

Every day in the school during attendance, he would be anxious about how to answer the roll call. He had to ensure that he should not stutter and avoid his classmates laughing at him. But the story remained more or less same, resulting his confidence level going down to a new low everyday.

Years have passed now; Sam is now working for a multinational company and his work puts his oratory (rather speaking) ability to test everyday, every hour and every second. He has traveled extensively and worked for some of the biggest names in the corporate world. He has managed to look past those disdainful days but is still learning to control his voice and not letting his stuttering bring him down any more. Facing the challenge of stuttering has helped prepare him to meet other challenges in life for sure.

An Year As It Was

January 9, 2011 Leave a comment

Nothing to mention more as most of my earlier posts kept narrating all about how I spent year 2010. It started with a bang, then some ups and downs; wife joined me after maternity leave, I spent some very good time with my family, occasionally my mother-in-law, my sister and my mother joined me and then again my wife left me to stay with my parents. The year ended with my dearest sister’s wedding and myself leaving HSBC to explore other avenues.

All in all a good year ended on positive note and now looking for another gratifying year. A bit painful to stay away from family but I am hopeful to reap rich reward of this sacrifice. Concurrently I had been struggling with my allergic rhinitis problem which aggravated in last few month’s even after undergoing a surgery 3 years ago. When a renowned ENT specialist in Hyderabad declared the one more surgery as the only option and that’s too within 15 days (later came to know he suggests surgery to 95% of his patients), I decided to go the other way which elders had been suggesting for years. I gave my new year’s resolution a yogic twist and today being 9th consecutive day since the start of year 2011 that I have been practicing Yoga. I sincerely hope this would help me to get over this chronic problem (with one surgery experience already in my kitty, I just cannot think of another).

Although I am not a new year’s resolution kinda person as it sets me up for failure, but my evil sinister plan of pounding down alcohol is yet not gone (with some dispensations) and entire credit to be given to the problem I just mentioned above. Now the time to say bye for now as Rajeev is busy in making Litti-Chokha for dinner and I need to pretend to be with him ;). Also today is the time for dispensation I was referring to a while ago 😉

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Missed yet another family function- 1st B'day of my son

November 9, 2010 2 comments

Four friends from same college working for different organizations united after years in the city of Nizams. It wouldn’t have been anything less than bliss, if I was not married. But it is indeed ecstatic to be with them when I am away from my family.

I am obviously missing my family every day and every hour and sometimes even dissapointed by my decision. But this sudden and tricky transition to a bachelor’s (forced) life from a happy married life never had a woe because of the good friends being around. But the day today, has been overshadowed by the sting of mising my son’s first birthday. After missing third consecutive Diwali without wife (still have to open an account to be with wife on Diwali) and parents, and missing many more family functions in past few years, this one was more painful to bear.

I could not do anything other than envisioning the series of events that would have taken place since morning at my home. The day started for Darsh with “Satyanarayan Katha” and ended with an outdoor function. And I held myself waiting till 11:30 night to see some pictures of entire day’s activities. I was experiencing a lot of unrest and mayhem before I got to see the pictures which came to me as soothing and conforting touch.

Wish I was there with everybody, been a part morning prayer, bought Darsh a new set of clothes, chose the best birthday cake for my dude and enjoyed the celebrations at night.

2 years together 24 hours a day

September 24, 2010 12 comments

For the past 2 years, we had almost been with each other for 24 hours of the day. Be it home or office or in transit, everywhere we were together. Starting from breakfast to occasional lunch and then dinner together everyday, now suddenly a hiatus to all. Being in UK without her for the past some time, I was still satisfied as till lunch hour I would be able to catch her on office network. I somehow had a sense of little closeness even while staying so far, that I would be able to talk to her or chat with her whenever I wanted.

Today was her last day in office and I chatted with her last time on sametime. I was so used to being with her 24 hours a day that a mere thought of not finding her sametime status appearing green in office from coming Monday makes me feel disturbed. To add more to worst, she will leave Hyderabad on 27th September in my absence and I would not be even there to see her off. The house we built gradually in close to 3 years of our marriage life would scatter in a moment. My son and wife, both will go to Lucknow to stay away from me.

I remember how we had added every single household item, sometimes taking loan and the other time waiting for next month’s salary. Now everything went on to advertisement portals for sale. Heard several times from elders that sometimes life forces you to take tough decisions but never imagined I would also have to take one such. Never wanting either to put a 9 months old baby in a Crèche or compromise my wife’s career (she was always willing to quit), I pushed her to go to my hometown to explore opportunities and stay there with my parents until baby grows enough to be able to put in a Daycare.

I am trying to be honest here that I never realised the gravity of the decision then, but now it is getting heavier. Being not able to see her in office has agitated me this much that I cannot imagine how would I go and continue in the house without her back in Hyderabad where we both started our life and spent last 3 years. Wish this period to pass in moments.

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That was really funny and awkward..!!!

July 12, 2009 6 comments

A lazy Sunday morning. It was getting very difficult for me to leave the bed as last day was really a hectic one, probably will be using another blog to explain that experience. After a long struggle, I managed to leave my bed at 10:00 AM, landed into drawing room, switched on TV and started running through the channels.  Suddenly I thought of watching a movie and all the oomph returned.  Immediately I opened bookmyshow.com and booked two (I and my wife Pooja) tickets for “Short-Kut”.

Show timing was 12:00 PM, so I rushed to bathroom to be ready on time.  Fortunately after having breakfast we made it to be at the theatre on time. Last movie we had seen was “Kambakht Ishq”, so retrospectively we found Short-Kut a good movie and it was refreshing. 

After movie I and Pooja went to an adjacent shopping mall. We were roaming around and like any other husband; I was trying hard to keep Pooja away of any temptation so that it should not affect my pocket. We headed towards the video games section where, in one corner I saw people playing Golf in front of a TV screen, swinging a virtual golf stick. Somehow I found that very attractive stood there for a while. I was under the impression that Pooja was with me and standing beside me.

I put my right hand on Pooja’s shoulder and tried to express my wish that I wanted to play that game.

I said,” Yaar, its so…..”

She said (loudly),” Hey…!!! Excuse me…”

The girl was immensely shocked on whose shoulder I put my hand. For a moment I was perplexed. I was embarrassed to the core.

I could only say,” Ssss…sorry… I am extremely sorry… I thought….I thought…”

Then I saw Pooja, standing behind that girl, laughing her heart out like anything. People with that girl also started laughing. Pooja’s laugh probably let that girl to calm down, and she threw a little smile without speaking anything, as if she said it’s ok. Pooja came to me; I was feeling like receiving kick in the teeth. She was just unable to control her devil’s laugh. I was still not able to react then thought it was really funny. But for sure I did not want to stand there for a moment more. I held Pooja’s hand and rushed out of that place, got into the car and left immediately.

He.. perhaps me..

What to tell about my super busy days during the last few months, you can easily imagine when I am getting so much time to write these blogs to bore you all. Any ways, new things may look good on the first glimpse. But this statement does not stand true for the protagonist of this story when he landed in a completely new city for his first job. Sometimes, present gives the glimpse of future and same happened with him also. Who knew the frustration built up during his joining period would continue for months after in the job.

First day in the city; they seven people gathered from different cities of India at a hotel accommodation provided by their (would be) company. Everyone was very happy, after all that was not only a new job for them but first job also. That night he curled up into his pillow bed and kept on turning and tossing entire night, sometimes staring at the roof also. This was not because of any nervousness but because of the excitement. Later on, he did not remember when he slept that night but woke up early morning to prepare him for the first day at office.

At scheduled time they all met in the hotel lobby. Could not say about others, but he was definitely on cloud nine. Together they started for office and reached even before the HRs might have reached. However, they were made to sit in the lobby and wait for the concerned HR to come and start their joining process. So many things were going on into the mind of each and everyone, like where they would be placed, what domain they would be allocated to, etc., etc. The wait was stretching and soon restlessness took over them. Every time someone came outside they would think of HR coming towards them to start with. Soon few hours passed and he stepped on to the first step of frustration. It was getting hard for him to sit any more. After three or four hours, someone came and told them to go back to the hotel and come later only when asked on phone. Now as if he wanted to scream. He was finding it difficult to suppress his emotions. After all such a long wait brought no result. He wanted to provide himself a channel to express his feelings out but to no avail. They all returned empty handed. Some went for shopping, some went for fagging. He went to the beach and stayed there for few hours.

Next morning, fresh day starts with new colors to be painted on the canvas of new corporate life. A never ending wait of phone call begins. One day passed, two days passed. Third day they decided to visit the company HRs again. The first day story repeats itself. There was a topsy-turvy ambience. Nothing looked in order. Several days passed like this only. The charm of first job was diminishing somewhere. He had such a harum-scarum days that he felt dampen chances of joining. Without any discussion, inside only, perhaps everyone was reaching an understanding to take some extreme step, might be to resign before joining. That was the only way out, they thought to extinguish their anxiety and anger for the sake of being pleasant. Suddenly one day, they were bestowed with the most coveted. They were called upon and after a long day formality their joining formality concluded. Little over a half month long mental trauma came to an end. Everyone took a sigh of relief.

Wait… Wait… Don’t go away, because, “picture abhi baaki hai”.

Since then to till now, almost seven months passed, he has yet not been able to understand what lies beneath his emotions. Emotions, which are influencing and being influenced by his thoughts in both cognitive and physical forms, seem being suppressed till now. Ab initio, he wished for job, he got it. He wished for a decent start, he got that too. Now what else is chasing him that where he was emotionally few months back during joining has yet not moved a bit? Something unrealized is still spreading its tentacles into the undiscovered corners of his mind. He wants to reach out somewhere, to cherish his dreams and meet his expectations, being guided by unnamed but every time he finds that there is something else beyond that. It’s like a mirage duping him again and again the time he reaches to quench his thirst in search of a reservoir. He does not know where this search will end. Is it that the difference between reality and fantasy has remained undistinguished for him? Shall it take him up or down? That also does not mean one should stop chasing his dreams and allow god to dictate his goals. I am leaving this up to you to answer him. But that is for sure, the agitation in his mind won’t let him rest here as something else is waiting ahead.

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Pranav & I

We glanced at one other like… like… (God knows like what) taking measure of a menacing new rival on the academic battlefield of IIITM. Yet we both knew that we were merely at the beginning of the greatest journey of our lives. This was afternoon 27th July, 2005 when I first met him, who I did not know then, would share one side of the covalent bond while I being the another side.

 After completing the admission formalities (MBA First Year) and hostel allotment procedure, I was about to leave when he came to me, a bit tensed, and asked (though I was expecting he would ask my name, but) if there was any gym in the hostel. I became perplexed, shook my head in unawareness and thought how I could answer him; the institute was very much new to me as it was to him. From there started a never ending saga (beautiful & unforgettable) of an eternally tensed man that I, along with my batch mates, witnessed for two memorable years.

Ohh… I forgot to raise the curtain from one more unique quality of my best pal, which frequently kept us in blues. And that was his daily new love stories coming to the surface that would often land him in severe agony and put us in heavy and heated discussions. I’ll take up the details later on. If I forget this part of his life, then I found him the most similar to me as a person and perhaps that is why I am trying to pen down my experiences and the time I spent with him.

One more extraordinary quality of my brother (as we called each other), I do not know how I skipped, was his alacrity to throw parties. Above that we were so shameless that we could hardly miss any chance to take a party from him, so what if someone was ill or whatever, but missing his party… never. Even if someone missed his party, he could easily get his share some other time. So generous was my brother. You just needed to utter a word “Party”; he had perhaps not learnt to say “No”. This “No” word was nowhere in his lexicon. But there is always some limit to shamelessness. At times when our inner selves shouted over us (generally initiated by our Bulla, pronounce with a smile), we tried to realize him not to waste money on frequent parties. But as usual, he was the synonym of generosity.

 

It would be a remiss if I do not introduce you to one more equally important character of the story, popularly known as “The Sadist”. He was Punjabi brother of the protagonist of this story. Mr. Sadist was also a great personality. If I try to write about him, I am sure I’ll end up with several pages in my kitty. But this story is of someone else and Mr. Sadist tried his level best to anchor the personality of his eddy-teddy Punjabi brother to get best fit in this cunning world. He better knew how much did he succeed in his mission. Well that is why Mr. Sadist becomes an integral and inseparable part of this story. As the story proceeds, I will keep on introducing you the new characters indeed.

 Pranav n I

Now it’s unfair that till now I have not told you the name of our hero, please accept my apologies. Since this story starts from IIITM, so we would take up the name by which he was popularly known in IIITM. I don’t remember when but he was rechristened as “Puddu” in IIITM, but I used to call him “Puds” (pronounce like put). All the above mentioned qualities of my brother were perhaps responsible for this lovely name.

Mr. Sadist was often called as “Pawwa”. He was a great competitor of mine, hold on… hold on… don’t think that we were competitor in academics, but we would compete to get individual parties from Puds. Adding to my woes, I could never succeed against Pawwa (read in anger). Being Punjabi brothers, Puds and Pawwa did share certain qualities like, being eternally tensed and confused, Puds couldn’t smile and being sadist, Pawwa did not smile. So, that used to be a rare occasion of seeing any one of them smiling.

 I shared a beautiful chemistry with Puds. We partnered in almost all the major or minor projects and assignments during the entire course curriculum. Definitely I got the benefit of that. Before the projects or assignments were allotted, Puds would initiate the submission tension, so we were able to complete our work before any one else in the class. Many people (especially my competitor “Pawwa”) tried to break our duo (obviously without any bad intention, just to pull our legs), but we withstood all the rigors of conspiracies and plots. Pawwa always played the role of “Naarad Muni” (remember “Narayana-Narayana” in Ramayana). If at-times I said any thing against Puds in front of Pawwa, he would definitely tell that to Puds and that’s too in my presence. In that case I could not do anything just to stare hard at Pawwa (read again in anger). Actually I feel the reason behind these things was the intense competition between me and Pawwa as mentioned above.

 To purchase any thing we had to go to the city since our campus was situated on the outskirts. When Puds had to go to the city he needed some one to accompany him and that meant a small party for the person going with Puds. And then the two competitors rose again with their respective swords in hand staging a ruffle-scuffle, ultimately Pawwa emerging victorious mostly but sometimes I would also get the consolation victory.

 The story would continue depicting various aspects of Puds life (like love life) at IIITM but for that I need to get “NOCs” from certain would be characters of this story (hope IIITM junta understood). Till then bye …

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