Thursday, July 29, 2010

Boston: Deja Vu

"Engineer, computers, I assooom"

I reply..

"No. Business.

I advise your management on how to make better business decisions. Some times I'm better placed to make not only better, but stronger business decisions. Yeah, they get me all the way from India to do that !!"

All right, you have a nice day too, Mr [Immigration officer, taxi driver, random stranger at JFK]. And I don't know shit about computers.

Listening to Pyar pyar by Apache Indian

Saturday, July 24, 2010

One rainy day in Bombay

After an insanely busy week of travelling across the country, my last vendor visit, planned unexpectedly, brought me to Bombay. Spending my last Friday away from home wasn’t a great idea but then Peepu and I synchronized our work schedules and decided to stay back in Bombay on Friday night and even spend some time with Vani and Nobbie.

Done with the visit by 2:30, Rachana and I decided to hang at a coffee shop at Bandra, catch up on work, send out emails and for most part, chat about everything- once again! Soon Peepu and Vani joined us and we all agreed Hard Rock Café for the evening plan. Rachana was going to turn up with her friends.

We went to Vani’s place and sent our last set of mails. Work was finally done by 11:00 pm- the promise of an evening with Peepu, Vani and Nobbie kept me smiling through.

Hard Rock was great! It wasn’t packed the way it usually is. Between several rounds of beer, their signature (and awfully unhealthy) nachos, occasional dancing, smoke breaks in the rain, we were a happy lot. Somewhere in between Peepu told me he got a good deal at the Grand Maratha and we could in fact stay the night there. That’s where we headed at night.

I don’t remember when I crashed but the next I saw the world was at noon today. Our flight wasn’t until 6:00 pm. The downpour in Bombay made heading back to Vani’s side of town difficult. In stead, we decided to laze around for a bit, and then head out to Bandra.
As I looked out of the window, the weather outside was simply beautiful! Very lazily we got out of bed, showered and checked out.

While waiting for the cab at the hotel, we sat down for coffee too. I ordered my new fave dessert- Panacotta (with Strawberry). Our cab arrived soon. Merely driving around the very green past of town, amidst very slow traffic and heavy showers, we managed to catch up on a tonne of conversation. During this time, we stopped at Aquamarine to buy me a pretty silver necklace. We couldn’t escape the rain! Wearing a white romper in this weather wasn’t the best idea but with Peepu with me, I didn’t care much.

We ate at Café Basilico. This time, the conversations were much louder since the sound of the heavy rain on the make-shift plastic roof overpowered every other sound. During this time, Peepu suggested I consider visiting California instead of NYC in the 4 days between NO and Virginia- yay for the new plan! Oh, and at Basilico, sitting next to us was Amisha Patel! Surprisingly, she is pretty! With no makeup on, and in a casual singlet with slacks, she looked absolutely stunning. P.S: So sad these beautiful people complicate their lives- I don’t like what I read about her anger management issues and family troubles.

Our day in the city ended with lunch- we set off for the airport soon after. Not comfortable with the stares at my hardly modest clothes, I pulled out a shirt to cover myself up. Peepu and I stopped at the book store. He bought, I looked. I picked up coffee from the airport cafe. The new airport is beautiful- the emptiness of it made it feel very private to us.

I’ve put down a lot of detail above. I can’t get enough of this one very rainy day. I got 24 hours with people I love an awful lot. It was easy and breezy. We are going through a turbulent patch on the flight. My hand is in Peepu’s. His nose is buried in his India today. I have music in my ears. Chor Bazaari from Love Aaj Kal- coincidence!!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Do it, Shut it, Forget it?

Following on from my last post, some times I wish i could just do it, shut it and forget it. I'm talking about work.

I have nothing to complain about at work- its busy but its dynamic. And it gives me so much confidence, and exposure that I can't undermine. But it also comes at costs. Like this constant feeling that something needs to be done. The heart thumps like I would imagine a surgeon's would. And I'm not doing anything world changing. I'm only sitting at the Leela, having sent all my mails out, wondering what else needs to be done. I don't think it works this way from everyone. So in case,any of 4-5 readers know of a shrink or self-help group, please send me their number.

In other news, I got signed up for this training, which is considered to be a 'matter of honour' at many offices, but also means I'm now away for a month. I love it but I don't want it always. So in the next few weeks, there's going to be many blog posts (since I trust face book less, and have also been accused of opening my whole life out there)- one for each place I visit.

Here's my itinerary (starting last Saturday:)): Boston-Delhi-Bangalore-Hyderabad-Bangalore (today)-Bombay (12 hours) -Delhi (stopover)-Boston-Caribbean islands (hopeful)- Boston-Houston-New Orleans-New York- Virginia-Delhi-Kovalam -Delhi (final stop!)

My lovely friends, please hope it all goes well and I come back smiling to my world of family, love and plenty of joy.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Up in the air

There’s a strange sense of confidence that is taking over me.

I’m at the Admiral’s club at Chicago, on my way back from Boston, to Delhi. I usually like waddling around the airport but my eyes needed rest. I lost my glasses and my contact lenses can take me only so far. Hence, I’m blurry eyed while lenses soak up some moisture in their little case. Given the life I have come to live, a temporarily limited vision is soothing. For some time, I can’t see too well, the movement around me. Despite the sound, I feel alone, and peaceful. Opportune for writing ;)

The last few months have been very significant for me. I have worked harder than ever, and almost selflessly. My client is in the U.S, so at my peak, I have done three return trips in one month. I have worked 23 hours on more than just a few days. I have seen Peepu less than 3 days this month. All this, with no apparent benefit in sight, but then also no need for benefit. I’m highly self-inspired at this stage, with no clarity on what I want out of future but relentless effort to keep the juices flowing.

I spent some beautiful days in Boston, including some magical weekends of sunshine, heavy reading and conversations with myself. As I spend time alone happily, I inspire myself further, as I increasingly find my own company fantastic. Of course, I have met friends on the way too- like running in to Rahim at Chicago airport, or momentarily re-connecting with an old love through a chance meeting at Brussels, or sharing Wine and calamari with Rachana and Amrita at Newbury street, or just this morning, walking down Cambridge, along the river, again with Amrita. But even in all these, there’s been an increasing amount of connect with my own self too.

And back home, things have been amazing fun. The more we stay apart, the better our times together are. Of course this can’t happen indefinitely but we know it won’t. Earlier this month, when I returned from the States, we spent an fun weekend in Delhi itself- doing nothing but chilling like the old times, running from bar to restaurant chasing chilled beer and coastal food and crappy movies. We spent last weekend (Saturday and Satur-night- since I flew out on Sunday) in Goa. It was with the family this time- with the Parents, Vani and Nobbie. The weather sucked but between the world cup semi-final (remember, I flew out and missed the final), Goan pork sausages and more beer, we were a happy set.

The other thing I have seen a lot of in the last few months is old friends. School friends, flatmates, old love, past flings, mentors and more! It’s brilliant what time can do. It makes me love my life! And for most of it, I want to keep these connections alive because they matter- if not in their old form, definitely in their new form.

I guess this is a safe place to say I’ve reached my equilibrium. I’m, at a comfortable pace, making my goals happen and developing newer targets. I don’t want to touch this any further!

The music is Amelie