3 Dec 2012

Praying for a Miracle.

It was his hair that I noticed first. 'Lush' isn't a term I associate with describing a guy's hair, but it's the only word I could think of. He flipped the stray bangs off his face, much like Cameron Diaz did in Charlie's Angels. He did it disarmingly. Like he couldn't believe the strands could fall. He brushed them away with a exasperated expulsion of air. I tried not to look amused. It wouldn't bode well to be sitting in the first row during orientation into a new organisation and smile like a possessed woman.

He wasn't prepared with the presentation, he fumbled over the words and repeatedly apologized for his unpreparedness as he was not the focal for that process. Towards the end, he gave an embarrassed smile  that turned my pursed lips into open-mouthed gaping.

I've always had a thing for crooked teeth. Those smiles are so disarmingly cute that I prefer crooked teeth over straight ones. This was a full-frontal attack of the cute-smile variety. Smoothening my expression, I tried to look at the presentation, but kept looking if he'd smile again. In that hour, smack-brand-new to my company, I was crushing on one of the facilitators! At 6'1", he was tall and lanky with a hint of definition in his arms. Long hours of TT practice, I was to know later.

Much to my delight, he was in the same floor as I was. If I craned my neck, I could see the top of the gorgeously lush hair tapping away at the computer. It read right out of a Victorian era novel. I might have snorted in derision if it wasn't me in the protagonist's shoes! Coy looks across the bay, averting my gaze when he is around, temporary speechlessness in his vicinity, goosebumps on my skin when I went by the damn printer conveniently positioned a meter away from him: I could've played the part of a hopeless teenager! My friends inadvertently found this cute. Having seen me as nothing but confident among the species of the other gender, it came as a hilarious revelation that I could be prone to blushing/bouts of tongue-tied'ness followed by mumbling garbage. Yes, I can see how this can be charming. Jeez.

One particularly striking memory was during power cuts.  Each time there is a power cut, there's a brief moment of darkness before the backup generator kicks in. It was in one of those ten odd seconds that I risked a direct glimpse at him and found him staring right back. We were frozen that way under the flickering lights of our computers before the lights came back all too soon and we had to tear our gazes away. He might've known then. I can't say. In the frequent power-cuts that followed, my eyes inevitably found his.

Sometime, during this period, we started to speak to each other. I found out that he was subjected to much sniggering and elbowing by his friends when I was around. He apologized for their behavior and I blushed in response. "Get a grip, woman! This isn't a movie", I chided myself. But the heartbeat found ways to accelerate when he smiled. Or brushed his hair away.

It wasn't all cute-fest, though, it formed a major chunk of it. We spoke of inane things. Music. Books. Career. Philanthropy. He was one of the rare species who took it on himself to beget change by doing. Each Thursday he'd fast and feed the hungry outside Sai Baba temples. He went to the orphanages each week and donated part of his salary every month to the needy. "It's not a dent, but it's a start", he'd say with a glint of determination. His unwavering faith warmed me to my very core. It was around this time my crush started to fade away and was replaced with an easy camaraderie. An anti-climactic stroke painted over my crush and he became a friend. Not a very close one, mind you, but someone that I could walk up to and discuss philanthropy without the armor of cynicism.


After what seemed like ages, my heart was pounding again upon seeing him. Already lanky, he looked even more withered on the CCU bed with tubes running through him. He was unconscious and a ventilator was breathing for him. I noticed the smear of vermilion on his forehead, probably from the Sai Baba temple that he fervently believes in. The heart-monitor was reading his irregular rhythm, confirming what the doctors said - "He is not responding to treatment, we're doing everything we can."

I sat there among his crying friends, staring into empty space. I don't have faith in the kind of Gods he believes in, but I hope with all my heart that he would be okay. 

I write this post to re-tell a story of long-forgotten goosebumps, of a crooked teeth smile and a heart radiating purity. A heart that is faltering. 

I write this as a prayer. A prayer to any faith. To anyone. I close my eyes and pray with absolute conviction that it will be answered. 

Fix his heart. Because there aren't many like his around. 


PostScript: He looked frail in death. His father took it stoically. A glimpse was all I could see of him as they took him away, but it was all I could bear to see. May your soul rest in peace, Sai. 

26 Nov 2012

Enna Idhu!

Hamsaa, is this nyayam for you? You only tell. Haven't we let you study your undergraduate and then your postgraduate that too in a foreign country? Now you're working as...something...in a big corporate. Shouldn't you get married now? Your dad's hair is falling and my hair is becoming grey!

At least tell us if you've someone in your mind. Your heart. Or wherever. Tell me truthfully. Manasa thottu sollu (touch your heart and say). 

If you get engaged this year, I've prayed I'll fast for 2 days, break 11 coconuts. Ennavo. Enna ponno nee (some daughter you are). 

By next year, I want to see you married. By hook or crook (what!). Seriya daan sollaren (I'm telling correct only). Stop your kozhandathanum (childishness) and get married. You are mature now.

When will you get married and when will you have children. Adhu ellam vela velikki pethukanum (you've to give birth at designated times). By 30, all your young looks will go off. You will get wrinkles and your munji muthupoidum (face will wither). You think you will look like this all your life? Of course NOT!

Now only you are putting some color and all in your hair. It will become vella (white) earlier because of that. Where you listen to me. You will put tattoo, you will put color. I've let you do all this. Given so much freedom. Now at least you respect that we're modern family. We've given you so much. Theriyuma, that Geetha is getting married at 22. We are not putting so much compulsions. You're independent, we know.

Still. You try to think from our angle. Don't wait for manmadhan. One prince in vella kudarai (white horse) will not come. Set realistic expectations and you will get decent groom. Give us your reply soon.

Don't forget to look for some matrimony profiles on your own. What your appa selects may not be the chocolate boy (!) that you want. Don't think we're pressurizing. We only want what's good for you. 

1 Nov 2012

The buzzing sound you hear is life whooshing by

Life has gone on the fast lane now. Work is busier than ever, with more and more portfolios dropping in my bag. Each day seems like a whole new project, a whole new set of challenges. My very first ex-manager had told me during an appraisal session: "Hamsini, you can't be happy unless you've your fingers in half a dozen pies." And so it is. I've my fingers in an assortment of pies, so technically I should be satisfied?

Maybe it was the continued restlessness or it was the itch to stop being lazy on weekends, I volunteered. The commitment with volunteering is tremendous - I've sporadically volunteered earlier, have found joy in doing so, but this time, when Make a Difference's Chennai chapter was starting off, I wanted to give more than just my time. I wanted to give my skill, my knowledge and any expertise I could bring to the table. After being recruited to the PR team for Chennai, I'm now involved in fundraising events and activities. It's something else, the energy, the enthusiasm and sheer joy of being with kids and getting to do the fun events.

With my weekend calendar looking fuller than it has ever been, the restless feeling is on a pause. I'm hoping it disappears over time.

13 Oct 2012

Why? Why the hell not!

It's around the time when the people who didn't get married the first time round get married. And the ones who are already married are with kids. It's around the time when the second round of pity stares envelop me. "Why aren't you married?" "Oh, don't worry, you'll find him."

I wasn't able to comprehend earlier what the big deal was if you were unmarried and single at an age when everyone is getting hitched. It's quite simple, really. If you're not in love, not in a committed relationship, how will you get married? But my simplistic thoughts on love and commitment entered a vortex of circumstances. Questioning parents were bad enough, now there are questioning friends. Its not the questions themselves, the pity that follows it, the self-righteous smug all-knowing advice - all are a thorn on my behind.

Suffice to say I'm walking the tightrope of staying the hell away from unwarranted advise and a zen state. 

5 Oct 2012

Words are like muscles. They need to be exercised everyday for them to get stronger.

In that case, I have been shirking the gym for a while. Sure, I write at work, but work is different - more professional.

This space seems very alien to me. More so now that I've cleaned it up than ever before. I read the flurry of blogs on my right and think about the comment spam spree I loved going through. New girl in Toronto, I keep wanting to say stuff on your posts, but end up 'liking' it by clicking on those convenient check-boxes.

I'm just gonna make a smiley face and hope it suffices as a poor season finale. And bring a cliffhanger the next season around.


11 Sep 2012

17 Aug 2012

No answers.

Having mushroom slices on my cheek while falling asleep on pizza boxes is my story lately. Manic - something has caught a hold of me. Home, at the moment, seems like a better place to be.  Here, there's mom's pending assignments to be worked on, long talks with sisters, no pizzas, but crumbling coconut sweets instead.

Friends are crowding me - too many groups, too many places all of them want me to be in, too many things Im supposed to be doing...none of which I really want to do.

I sound so depressing, sheesh. The constancy of it is nagging me. Where's the sunshine I always saw? The light at the end of the tunnel I could pave my way to in absolute darkness? The road I could depend on taking? Is it the place? Or me?

I've no answers...not right now anyway. 

7 Aug 2012

In this moment

Some nights, like this night, are particularly hard. 

24 Jul 2012


I completely missed the deadline to the guest post by the team at 20-something bloggers. Which pisses me off, I was looking forward to it.

But on the bright side, I did catch up with a lot of bloggers over the weekend. Some fodder for my parched-blog and definitely some networking on how blogging has donned many hats and evolved along the way. Geeky stuff, writing tips and some great theme advice!

In the width of a heartbeat, I've gone from need pick-me-ups to life-rant is boring. Talk about 180 degrees. I can't get over the idea of an interesting guest-post, so maybe I'll pickup the same topic (Childhood vacations) and do it on a different timeline.

Calling all of my favorite bloggers - fancy a guest post swap? 

3 Jul 2012

That Awkward Moment

...when you stumble across a long lost ex's wedding pic. And you realize how that pic is furthest from your version of reality since then.

...When a concerned friend pings you to say that the person who broke your heart is shacked up with someone else. And you realize that you wouldn't want to be a part of a family like that.

25 Jun 2012

Love at first sight

There's something to be said about work. My weekends are one haze after another. I do find the time to whine, but I'm entitled to a bit'o drama sometimes. Ok, that's stretching the truth - there's always drama wherever I go.

I did note that my clubbing has increased from once-in-a-while to every-weekend. Doesn't help that being a single gal among the sea of married friends brings on the 'you're single, you should be out having fun' comments which usually leads to more boozy weekends and shot-drinking competitions. Which I usually win. Hell, which I always win. My being single has nothing to do with it.

There's the problem of unwanted attention from creeptastic guys. It's been a while since I relished a good narration of creepy guys in my life, I do seem to attract so many of them. The universe is bitch-slapping me, if someone is still counting (insert a wise remark about Karma).

Coming back to creepy guys, well, you always find some in the workplace. This one, much to my dismay, was cute. When was the last time you saw a cute guy and found that when he opened his mouth, spewed copious amounts of bullshit? I thought as much. You see these guys everyday. Still, in a meeting full of people, such things go unnoticed. A few phone-calls of witty banter later, he admitted to liking me (after some sheepish divulging of engaging in stalker-ish behavior). When my much-coveted answer was "Okay" (which is my usual irritating response to attention which I'm unsure of), he turned to more subtle displays of affection. Holding the door open, inviting me for a coffee (albeit the watery brown liquid that the espresso machine dispenses, but still), telling me I've a lot of reds on my wardrobe that looks good on me and the likes. To say it made me suspicious is an understatement, because, c'mon, who holds the glass doors open while secretly checking out your pics on Facebook? Two coffees in, I had to backtrack several thousand steps back with the first of the several I love yous I had to listen in the following days. Such a waste of the feeling behind those words. "Do you believe in love at first sight? He asked. It was like that for me. I didn't have a choice, I love you." I looked askance and rolled my eye for good measure. 

What followed was a few days of 'trying to get me to understand,' bordering on creepy stalking after which I had to give a stern warning to stay away. I've to say, my stern, no-nonsense tone is getting better because he hasn't bothered me since. Oh, sure, we see each other at work and the occasional common meetings, but nothing about 'true love' since. Have I mentioned, these are 30-somethings? 

Sometimes I wonder if they came out ass-side up. 

29 Apr 2012

Start at the beginning

Crumpled sheets of paper, new files on my laptop, notes on the writing software, bullet points on my phone...I go through titles, paragraphs sometimes whole chapters without settling on one.

Writing is a lonely process. No one tells you about the frustration when you cannot relate to lines that flew out of you just a few days before. No one tells you about the pangs of disappointment when you veto your own ideas. No one tells you about the restlessness that comes from sitting in one place for too long and the deep disquiet that follows it when you get up and leave.

Music sorts few things out, but the thought of baring my soul is a fear yet to be conquered. 'All in good time', my loneliness shouts out to me. It's my new friend - this constant loneliness I reek of.

At work, my role requires me to network, talk and generate ideas anew each time so that the campaigns I work on are fresh. The sudden onstage appearances that have catapulted me from the wallflower status to a firebrand one. With the constant onslaught of people I meet each day; I call out to my loneliness so we can be together. The hunger to be with my own thoughts, the aching need to be alone as I type away furiously, before the thoughts rush out. Unstable and changing - they need to be held gently and then let go.

As I create yet another file in what would now look like a mess on an actual desk, I shut out my thoughts and repeat in a slow monotone - "Start at the beginning, go to the end, and then stop." 

26 Apr 2012

The Other Side

Being in operations was like being amongst the crowd - you're lost in hundreds, maybe thousands. I longed to be on the other side. Cursed the times when I've pinged HR and gotten frustrating non-responses. Stomped my foot when they organized an event that wasn't upto my liking. They're here for us, why don't they listen, I fumed.

Life on the other side - pretty much the same. With over 300 people walking up to you everyday for a "quick question" or a "have a min?" or "I've a query", I'm still stomping my foot and getting frustrated about why people on the other side can't understand. Organizing a multi-crore event was never easy, but being a part of the decision tree is scarier!

The grass is always greener on the other side. Or not. 

21 Mar 2012

Bright and Shiny

There's history and there's past. I'm not sure which cliche to use on this post. I think I'll go with the chapters in a book cliche. The ones that I've closed were a great read, learned some, lost some; but like most things, I'm off to a fresh start.

A good friend once told me "I cannot relate to myself from 3 years ago. Like a snake's skin, I shed and every 3 years I'm a whole new person." I'm not sure about a whole new person, but there's definitely the lingering taste of new things.

Thank you for giving every one of my posts a fresh perspective, so much compassion and absolute support even from many seas away. There's more where this came from, just a whole lot newer - brand spanking new!