p for paradox.

"I'M SIGNIFICANT!!!…screamed the dust speck."

Archive for the month “February, 2012”

that couch at the Barista

Mat is my childhood friend who lives practically at the end of my street back in Country. So while passing by, she would end up ringing the bell and by default we would walk to the Barista less than half a km away. It was like I would know its her, and even before opening the door, I would change into anything else, better or worse than what I was already wearing and cruise out. But this time I got an sms from her to meet there directly as she was coming straight from her office.

So I was waiting at the same couch at the Barista. The couch which was like Forgiveness. Just deserved, not demanded. The same couch where Mat and I would sit for hours and chat or unchat, depending on the mood you see. It was located right under the corner camera which, i do not know till date, even recorded anything in the first place. But we would be like this enthralled audience watching the world navigate from one time zone to another.
As I settled myself at ease, crinkling the paper tissue in my hand, the regular barista behind the counter realises I am waiting for my company. So he gets me the ‘usual’. We sometimes were lucky to be served. In a self-service place? Wow, the little pleasures of life!

It was a normal evening. Various species of couples with the typical three options of expressions.
First, when they are both looking into each others eyes and give a damn to the latte sitting just next to them, demanding the tasty attention, but ignored. Disrespectful, I say.
Second, when they are both looking at totally different things. The guy’s eyeballs taking a detour at the chick behind the counter and the lady’s eyeballs navigating vehemently at a trendy hidesign purse relaxing at the other corner of the cafe. No, the Louis Vuitton types did not really come to that cafe. And well, boring situation I say.
Third, when both of them are looking at the same thing, together. Maybe at the crossword in the newspaper or the malnourished kid polishing shoes outside the Barista. True love, I say.

Anyways, so I get a bit restless now waiting for my true coffee buddy. Its pretty much simple. The foundation of our friendship was the love of coffee (and well, the disastrous attempts at morning jog). But it grew stronger as we mutually started demanding the company of the coffee connoisseur in each of us. Don’t get me wrong. We are ‘just friends’, with our respective love lives in parallel universe, which could be one of the topics of conversation at the couch, only if we were done with our plans of starting our own cafe, or traveling the world or well, trying out that new kebab place.

Waiting in premonition, I look at the watch and realize its been almost 7 minutes past our rendezvous time. So I get impatient enough to call her. Surprise surprise! The message I received from her today was actually a day old. Thanks to the pathetic ‘express yourself’ telecom network, it reached its destination (read me) almost 24 hours late. Mat and I started giggling on the phone as our voices crinkled. And because I had not replied a day before, she had done what I was doing here today.

Exploiting the license to have another cuppa koffie, with oneself.

Encouraged by Three Word Wednesday


tuesday tracking

A regular feature last few weeks was those pangs of composed conversations with friends who are high and those beastly brawls with the inner voice who is, well, a genius. So I guess it was good decision to track one fine random day of my life and do a reality check of  “What’s Up”.  Maybe life isn’t just fine. Made it a point to capture a weekday for the simple reason that a weekend in a place like Amsterdam can give a pseudo wild perspective to life! And with the painting and the squash and the mutton, it gets tough to generally hate life.

So here we are, a random Tuesday.

The first cup of chai in the morning is like the first smile I hear. It could be coffee sometime, but gharwali adrakwali chai. Wow. I swear, it’s a hard one to not love. That’s the reason I get out of the cosy bed anyways.

The drive to office is a joy. I leave home when its dark and reach the parking when the sun is struggling hard to make a point. A patient endeavour to steamroll its rays through the blue bunch of clouds. A sunrise drive. Not a bad day yet is it. And when on a random day, a hopeless change of radio channel can get Bono behind the speakers, you know someone out there in the universe is listening to you. So I shout ‘staring at the sun’ and soon realize office is here. What makes the drive merrier is that all the way, I know where the speed cameras are placed. Blessed!

A huddle meeting with 4 different nationalities thrown in. And the 5th one on the telecon. It’s like Lennon standing in that one corner of the room and telling us to imagine a world with no countries. Yes I miss my desi doods and doodetts. But this is like, funny. Because of so many accents in one room. And its like, learning. Even if it’s just the different ways of greeting each other, cheek to cheek.

Same month, another birthday. Somehow all my people born in february have turned 30 this year! FREAK. The world is getting old and I am still young. The day’s best realisation till now!

Hil just messaged a couple of pics of kids in a bambaiyaa school. One of the kiddos is stretching like a ballerina as the teacher looks away. Cute. I miss my school. I miss Yap and Li.  And Hil. People care for me and I freak out. Stupid.  But then how cool would it be if everyone loved everyone else.

No, don’t know, it would be kind of, confusing.

Its half day through and I am not bored of office. Now that’s a rare one I admit. Maybe because I am getting these moments of scribbling cognitions through the day. And I have some super funny people around. And people wearing Red.

Its been 12 months. Hosted 9 friends already on a holiday. And no, not just for the legal brownies 🙂 Planning at least two more as on date. No, not the brownies, but vacations.   What’s more, I don’t need to think twice about planning a vacation to any of the 26 countries in the neighbourhood. Thanks to that one killer of a stamp! On a roll!

I think I want to stop posting these more-than-just-fine moments of the day here now. Focus on work for life isn’t Santa Claus. I need to work now to plan the next holiday. Both to get rid of work and to get some salary 🙂 But well I think I have kind of made a point here. Half of Tuesday tracking has been good. I think I can afford to be optimistic enough to extrapolate this for the next half day too!

Tuesday may as well be as dazed and confused as ever. But life isn’t just fine. Its pretty darn smiling good 🙂

Just out of a meeting. A pretty senior guy. Good guy. But putting this poster in his room…pretty respectful awesome!

when Wit lost

and he had said once
better a witty fool than a foolish Wit
for what is life without a bit of brains
but words lose all essence when rife,
how about a bit of Humour too, dear life?

and then Grace entered the room
and all the Wit went bonkers
for what sparks this affair will emit
the eyes met after a long wait
what do you have in store for them, dear fate?

will it be the love of their lives
or a crazy crush crushed in a while
for who knows if opposites really attract
and this is the moment when Wit knew
he needed the help of Courage to sail through

so he called out for Courage
but he was busy fighting with Fear
‘what do I do now’ Wit pondered hard
maybe Wisdom could give some advice
‘ços he didn’t want to lose out on Grace twice…

but when he looked around,
Grace had left with Charm
and then Humour, Courage and Wisdom arrived
‘how could you not find us, Dear Wit?’ they said
we all are inside you, we are one perpetual inseparable thread…

:Encouraged by the  Prompt-Wit @ http://www.sundayscribblings.blogspot.in/

ironical identity

How a clear white canvas could starkly trigger my thought process and make me uncomfortable is beyond my apprehension. And how a place which has no testament of my existence can be so deeply engraved in my heart is beyond my consciousness.

Standing with a piece of charcoal waiting to sketch down a still life, I realize the irony of just being. Being everywhere, but there. Where we are now is defined by the circumstances we embraced, sometime. Or maybe someone else did that on our behalf. And that what defined me was that I was born in a town that was sometimes all mine, and sometimes bizarrely unfamiliar. I identified this irony sometime when I was in primary school. I don’t belong to the place I was born in. And, I was not born in the place where I always wanted to belong. Then a few years later I realized that this place I cherish most is the one I have least experience of.  After a while, when I started taking pride in traveling…I discerned that this place I perilously want to be at, is the one place where I refuse to go as a tourist. And now, after so many years the ultimate humor revealed itself – the only language that I dread is the one I think in.

It’s not a matter of lost identity, but just plain irony, which I refuse to be at peace with, even till date. Sometime early in my life I ran away from the obvious just because it was so negative. I didn’t see the exodus, I was lucky. But I didn’t want to hear about it too. It was bitter. So I ran away. For a new identity that would barrage terms such as bold and indifferent and strong from my personality. So no one would know the real me.  But after all these years of balancing my ironical identity, when a simple crisp empty canvas almost clamored explicitly that I paint the Paradise, I felt rather susceptible. Weakly vulnerable.  I felt I was missing the intense sense of belonging to that one place.

This guy in office recently said that ‘you look like one of us…I couldn’t have guessed you are not from europe’. I smiled, but I didn’t know if it was good or bad. Because that moment reminded me of the time when someone my own once said ‘you are an outsider’.

Atleast I know what my next painting will be. Paradise.

just another day

it’s one of those days,
when you thought you were losing it all,
but the dawn came along and hugged you tight
freed from those fears,
spared from those strains
you think its back to feeling loved and light…

but it’s just another day,
with a bit more love
and a bit less care
its been long since that prayer
and I don’t wanna be the drums in the song
I wanna be that music all along…

but it’s just another day
‘what funny years’…
you scribble in your diary
the hope tingles that there is no expiry
and I don’t wanna be the tulips in red
I wanna be that strong vase instead…

but it’s just another day
unhugged yet special
obscure since inception
with an enduring perception
and I don’t wanna be the aged wine next to the cheek
I wanna be that savor..that flavor unique…

yet its just another day
thinking too little
or thinking too much am I?
a white rose,a clover or just a bonsai?
but then I don’t wanna be the cream on top
I wanna be the sweetness in each drop.

Titan whispers…

after quite a while
her wrist has a dial today,
‘Titan’ it says,
is it just her, or all is grey..
she wonders she crawls, she dreams above all
but she know best,
oblivion is Titan’s whisper to her…stay in the moment

she would have been an angel,
or just a kid running all around
looking for a soul in there,
the one she hasn’t yet found..
she smiles she thinks, then again she sinks
but she sees best,
solitude is Titan’s whisper to her…know thyself

as the mind chatters
and shrieks aloud all anxious
she battles for some peace
no wonder nothing in her is conscious..
she shivers she blazes, out at the misty sky she gazes
but she just realized best
silence is Titan’s whisper to her…hear thyself

if this is a phase
she doesn’t know how long it’ll last
her ego if any isn’t stiff about future
just ill at ease for the past
she abides she sustains, hoping all is not in vain
but she senses worst
Titan is a myth, the whisper is hers.

cuppa koffie.

Every morning a new hope dawns upon my caffeine buds. A new ray of optimism, that something rewarding, something pure will run down that machine.

But then, hope is a dangerous thing after all. The vending machine, howsoever jazzy it is in my department, with those oh-so-designer paper cups falling elegantly to a touch screen command – still falls short of expectations. An exciting cuppa koffie at sharp 8 AM is so so imperative to kick start the day. To build up a pier of faith in yourself – that I deserve this!

But no, its a humble morning as always. I agree with the dude who thought expectations are preconceived resentments. I have started focusing on lowering any prospects that might even hint towards hoping for a better koffie from that dark machine. I call it Expectations Evaporation. I think I’l file a patent for this term. Sounds cool.

The most challenging part is that the number of koffies I have per day is directly proportional to the number of meetings. You just pulled a chair to initiate a random process discussion or maybe just took off the cap of the colorful marker to start off with some arbitrary graphs on the white board and you hear the fellow – “koffie? koffie?” Wow! another one? I just had 2 in the last hour. Two half hour meetings you see. But no, I won’t give in. It can’t be rude trying to save your exclusive caffeine tracks from the not-so favorable not-so-java hot beverage!

“Nee, dank u well.” I say

“Soup then?” comes the follow up question.

“Ummm….No, not really.” [A chill runs down my spine thinking of the tomato puree mixed with some sort of milk powder]

“Warme chocolade maybe?”

“Noooo!!” [I miss bournvita]

“Ok, lets start off with the meeting then”

“NO!!..uH, YES, Sure” [Finally]

And a few chitchats till a similar conversation is initiated yet again, an hour later. The stage is different, the characters have changed…but the plot remains the same…

Sometimes I miss the chai wala at the thela outside the G office back home. I mean, I miss that chai. The one he must be still warming in that vessel he washed a decade back. It had its own charm. I think it was circumstantial too. Those moments were synonymous with what I call chimney chats – just vent out, let the smoke out. Can be about work or the boss or the not-so-much-of-a boss, or about love of food. Anything. It doesn’t happen here. Its a different bonding at this place. For instance its my tacit turn now to grab that cost saving cup holder, stroll around the corridoor, peep into each room and ask ‘wilt u drinken?’Wat?’

Its a healthy to-do. Atleast for mingling around. Anyways, here I come Mr. Vending. Nothing is permanent, you will also change, one fine day.

the world is white

What a beautiful day!

There are normal Fridays. Then there are Fridays in Europe.

And then, there are a few Fridays when it snows. For hours.

And you feel like a kid all over again.

At a time when we thought that this year skipped the winter season altogether in the land of frozen canals, the mornings drew a canvas view outside the office window.  The world was white and white. No blacks, no greys, only genuine white.  Unambiguous milky snow. Virgin sheets of tightly hugging vanilla crystals.

One of those moments when I realised that the simplicity of nature is the most humbling experience.  Somehow you cannot cheat with the universe. You can with yourself, but not with nature. This simple act of beauty today made me feel so artificial.  These free falling delicate flakes were so content, so polite, so uncomplicated…it  made me feel fake. There was only one way to let go. Honest emotions. Standing on the Dudok bridge, staring out at the graceful panorama for long, I was smiling to myself. Almost giggling when no one was passing by.  Such happiness. Pure delight. Luckily, there was no one to notice my vagaries. Friday afternoons are already weekends here in office. Its Europe.  And its a culture that I have started to adore. Looking at the happiness quotient in this country, it must mean something for sure.

The drive back was all the more exhilarating. The obligation to drive much slower than usual gave me a beautiful view of snow strips balancing on naked branches of trees. To experience miles and miles of highway bliss . To feel the snow chunks hit the windshield and disintegrate.  And eagerly wait in anticipation for more to come and crumble on the glass. Teary eyed.

Paradise personified in dreams.  I know what I miss now. What I have been missing. It reminds me of a heaven I haven’t experienced.

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