Friday, January 20, 2012

The Lil Coward

I'm supposed to be studying right now. Ha.

But today I realized that after 8 months of living in Pittsburgh, I haven't blogged about anything substantial.

So here goes:

My First and Only Crush at CMU (aka The Lil Coward)

The first time I saw Him, it was during Negotiations class in the summer semester. I instantly knew that He was different.

By the end of our first group discussion, He made me laugh so hard that I had tears in my eyes.

I liked Him. A lot.

I dropped the class after the first week though. Why? Because I thought I couldn't handle it. The class, I mean. :)

I thought I wouldn't see Him again. But I did, two weeks later at the bus-stop.

I was running to catch my uni bus at the bus-stop. And because Kismet wanted a chuckle, I was wearing a pair of Horrible Magic Jeans.

You know, those jeans that seemed to fit you snug but the moment you think about increasing your pace, they magically start to fall off, no matter what belt you wear. Unfortunately, all my pairs of jeans belong to that category.

So there I was, oblivious to everything except the moving bus, ignoring all known traffic rules of the road, running with one arm hitched around a hip to hold onto the Magic jeans and thus Ms Modesty. No sign of Ms Dignity though. She left the moment I saw the bus.

Anyway, I saw Him standing at the same bus stop that I was trying so desperately to get to. So I stopped for a split second. He was watching me and He was smiling. Uh oh. That's so not a good sign.

I thought to myself: 'Hold on. Maybe I should forget about the bus and instead take this chance to talk to Him. At least get Him to know my name.'

But being the Lil Coward I was, I didn't do that. Instead, I got into the bus (which I managed to catch after all). The bus moved along and soon, He was left behind.

This is not the end, though.

In the fall semester, He and I took IT Business Leadership together.

He always sat ahead of me. Which I did not mind at all.

I found out that He had a YouTube channel. So I stalked His channel a sufficient amount of time.

And listened to every word He spoke in class.

Sometimes, I would find Him walking ahead of/behind me when we got out of class.

So, did I ever speak to Him? No. The Lil Coward inside wouldn't let me.

Now I don't think that He is the greatest person who ever lived anymore. He is just an ex-classmate of mine.

But He'll also always be that cute guy I liked at CMU; the one who saw me running, holding onto my Magic Jeans. :)


Don't ask. Maybe this is my first and only post of 2012. Maybe there are more to come.

All I know is that it's too beautiful outside to not write about it.

I'm at the Hunt Library Cafe. Snuggled right next to the window. A cup of hot chocolate at my side. Soft music in the background.

It's snowing and let me tell you, the view is breath-taking. Everything is dusted with what seems like a soft coat of fine icing sugar.

I could sit here for ages.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Resistance is [Truly] Futile

I went to the beauty salon the other day to get my eyebrows done.

Since this was an American salon, I was going to have my eyebrows waxed for the first time in my life.

"How would you like your eyebrows?", the lady asks.

"Mine are quite thick. So I'd like them a bit thinner," I reply.

"Got it", the lady says.

10 minutes later, my eyebrows look like this:

My sis now calls me Spock.

Damn you, Supercuts, damn you.

So what now? Well, live long and prosper. :|

Friday, June 24, 2011

It's That Special Time of the Year

Come June and I think about: term exams, summer and of course, my birthday!

Like everybody else, I've always loved my birthday. When I was young and since we had to wear uniforms to school, I treasured the day when I got to wear 'color dress', choose that special 'friend' and go around distributing chocolates. My birthdays were spent with family then. I'd cut some cake with friends/relatives and then we'd have a grand dinner afterward.

Then there was the first time I celebrated my birthday without my family: I was 19 (during my first year of college). Even though I was feeling really blue, my friends cheered me up and we celebrated it with a lot of pomp so that I didn't miss my folks too much.

Now I fondly think of all those surprise parties I had in the past. A particular one stands out: I going with Reena to ChicKing at Cochin, expecting to meet a new friend, and getting a party instead. The funny part was that when my friends jumped out from behind the counters and started singing, I thought they were singing for Reena. I didn't get it that they were in fact singing for me. :D

My 23rd birthday was the weirdest of them all. That day, I was irritated because my sister chose an Aerosmith concert over me (ok, maybe I'd do the same) and my friends was ignoring me the whole day. So I organized a dinner with my then-new colleagues. But during dinner, my friends surprised me by showing up. Yes, I fell for the oldest trick in the book. :| Anywho, they presented me with a diamond pendant. I still wear that pendant to this day. :)

The day before I turned 24, I was feeling a bit lonely in Bangalore because my sister-cum-roommie was away living in Tokyo for a long time and my best friend had just left the city for her higher studies. I had finished moving into a new apartment. I was tired and unhappy. A lil bit of self pity was thrown in as well. Anyways, I had just got into bed when at 11:50 pm, I got a call from Saneef.

'Hey. Come on downstairs and meet me at the front gate', Saneef said.

'What? Now?' I asked.

'Yeah. Come downstairs now.'

So I was like, Ok. He wants to wish me before heading home for the night.

When I got out to see him, he said, 'Ok, get into the car. We're going someplace.'

'You're kidding, right?'

'No. Just get in. We're going to Trissul (the guys' hangout place). It will be fun.'

So I did, thinking that I was going to my friends' place for my birthday. I was already feeling touched when Saneef suddenly stopped the car in front of the Leela Palace.

'We're here', he said.

I was shocked. 'You're joking, right? I'm in my PJs!'

Now, folks, we're not talking about any normal set of PJs. We're talking about a piece of rag that I have been clinging onto since the age of 14. No matter how much my friends, sister and even my mom coaxed me, I could never throw that damn thing away. And I went to the Leela in that rag.

But I quickly overcame my embarrassment when I saw my friends. Oh my, I was felt so special! My friends, along with my best friend who came back to Bangalore only for my birthday, gathered around to sing 'Happy Birthday'. It was a wonderful start to a wonderful day, and I loved my friends more than ever for that.

Last year, I had 3 birthday parties: one with my college mates, one with my sister and room mates and another one with my close friends from work. The ones with my colleagues was hilarious. I, as usual, least expected it, and we went to Kyra, the dining+live theater lounge. I can't go too much into the details right now, but let's just say that I have never laughed so hard... and neither have my friends. :) The other parties were also a lot of fun. Can you imagine me with 3 birthday cakes? I was in heaven. :D

This year, I spent my birthday in Pittsburgh. Unfortunately, I had a major assignment to finish so I couldn't properly relax. But I thank my new room mates that they tried to make it a special day anyway. :)

Well, more news later.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

(Almost) Change Of Heart

One word: OMG.

I joined the MISM graduate program at CMU 2 weeks ago.

Me on 16th May, 2011: 'I know that the 1 year program will be tough. But I'm Supa Woman. Of course, I can handle it.'

Me on 27th May, 2011: 'Ok, I have re-think this. Can I do this? For real?'

Folks, I'm not Supa Woman. And that's something I'm taking very hard. :'(

It's the beginning of a long weekend (on account of Memorial Day), and all my hopes of taking it easy for at least 1 day has been dashed. Why? Because of the mountain load of assignments. Even Professional Writing is difficult for me. :(

Did I make a mistake? Should I not have left Bangalore? Maybe not, considering my sister and my friends. But otherwise, definitely yes. I got all that I could from the city. There was nothing else for me.

Yeah, this 1 year's going to be difficult. Lots of sleepless nights and even more hard work. But hopefully, 2 years from now, I'm going to look back and say: 'It was worth it.'

More posts on my life and the city of Pittsburgh to come soon... ie whenever I get time! :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

From Here to There

For the past 3 weeks, I have been relying on autos to get me around in the morning.

I have to haggle like crazy at 6 am in the morning to get to the gym (as a result of which I'd be in a bad mood for an hour) and then once again at 8am, I have to bargain again to get to the office.

Today was another usual day. I thought that the routine would repeat itself. I got into an auto. 'CMH Road', I told the driver. He nodded and started his engine. 'That's a first', I thought to myself. Usually, I have to coax autoriskhaw drivers into driving me the 3 odd kms.

After a short while, the meter started counting really quickly. I instantly thought, So that's why he's willing to take me to CMH road without any extra fare. The meter is rigged.

When the auto finally stopped, the meter read Rs 33. I waited for the driver's demand since the new meter rates have started being implemented. The driver turned around and said to me, 'Pay me Rs 35.'

I was surprised. That's it?

He saw me hesitate and said, 'This is not my autorikshaw. My friend drives it. He's rigged the meter and then demands extra fare from his customers. By the old rates, it's only Rs 27 to get here. I know that.'

I was kind of shell shocked to hear a rick driver openly admit that people of his trade rig meters and extort money.

Anyways, I found out that I was Re 1 short. 'Do you have change if I give you Rs 10 extra?' I asked him.

He: 'Give me whatever you have. That's enough for me.'

I was even more stunned. I told him, 'Thankyou, Bhaiya. Thanks a lot.'

An honest guy who stuck by his principles, in the heart of Bangalore.

After I was done with gym, I got into my second auto ride of the day. This driver demanded Rs 20 extra (we settled for Rs 10) and cursed me whenever his vehicle hit a pothole.

The usual.

Whatay contrast, don't you think?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Jam... and Not the Strawberry Kind

I've been living in India since the age of 18. I came to Bangalore when I was 23. The thing that used to infuriate me 8 years ago and that still infuriates me is: cutting lines.

People fail to understand the concept of 'queues'. When they see a queue, what goes through their heads are: 'Cannot understand order. Must disintegrate and create chaos. Chaaarrggee!!'

At my office, we need to x-ray our bags when we leave the premises. Obviously at peak hours, there's bound to be a long line of people waiting to get through. There is this unbelievably annoying woman who, in spite of being sufficiently educated (I remember having learnt about queues in Social Civic classes during the 2nd grade), comes reasonably late, looks at the long queue ahead of herself, cuts in at the front and places her bag in the x-ray machine. Obviously, she is undeniably the queen of the world. I have seen her in action only once, though my colleague tells me it's a regular practice.

Over the weekend, I went grocery shopping at the local mall. Big mistake. Saturday night at the mall is a horrible sight to behold: people at their worst, trying to run over the others who may stand in the way of their trolleys.

I was at the vegetable counter, trying to get my items priced. His Highness was clearly behind me in line, but placed his veggies on the counter before I could. The A/C was off. I was hot and sweaty and quickly reached my breaking point. I promptly shoved his veggies to the side and put mine in. Glares were exchanged but life went sweatily on.

The express counter is supposed to be for 10 items or less, and can be paid in cash only. Of course, nobody really bothers. So I, the idiot, stood in line with my 5 items, while people with overflowing trolleys stood ahead of me. Of course, most of them just had to pay by card. If the cashier tried to explain that cards were not accepted, the customers made a fuss. So really, the 'Express' counter was clearly anything but.

A lady with ice-cream cartons tried to cut in front of me. I, taking advantage of my wide body, wouldn't give her an inch to slide by. The result? She took her place behind me and shoved the cold ice-cream boxes against my back. Puurr-fect.

Another shining example of people's total disregard of maintaining rules is the auto rikshaw driver. He won't go where you want to go. And if he does take you there, he swindles you so that you can't go anywhere else. The public transportation law states something, but clearly he is above it all.

I have to admit that when I came to Bangalore for the first time, I was pretty passive and docile with strangers. I held onto my traits as staunchly and as long as I could.

I'm not the same anymore. And you can't be the same, either. It's not Bangalore that's the problem. I guess every other city has it's demerits. And if you need to survive, you need to adapt.

I only wish that it were good changes that we were taking in. Instead, more often than not, we get to see the ruthless side of others and they of us.