Saturday, 18 June 2016

Why I Love Books

We Look At Technology As Cavemen Looked At Fire

This is exactly how I look when I sit in front of the new piano. 

I recently bought myself a fancy digital piano. This 'gadget' is fairly different from the lovely little cottage piano I have learned to play since childhood. This one comes with 'n' number of bells and whistles that comes alive with a mere push of a button. I have read the instruction manual over and over again to try and get a grip on this object but I am still yawns away from making any real progress. Everyday I open the lid and look at it in partial awe and partial fear. While laptops, mobile phones and tablets don't scare me, a new genre of gadget completely throws me out.

I can't help but wonder, is this how early men looked at fire when it made an initial appearance in their lives? Perhaps their eyes looked at the 'magic' is shock and awe while their minds looked for ways to control it.

Why Do All Offices Look Like Coffee Shops Now?

As I sit here sipping coffee at Starbucks, I can't help notice a sea of serious faces partially hidden behind laptops. Some have little headphones stuck in their ears - are they listening to music or on a call, I can't say for certain. As more of these coffee shops are becoming 'offices', I notice a number of offices (including ours) are beginning to resemble coffee shops. Is this a manifestation of the new culture of work-life integration

Bollywood Is A Religion

This is a graffiti of an unforgettable scene from a famous Bollywood film on a wall near my house. Passersby would usually pee on this wall. Ever since this grafitti has been painted on the wall, people don't pee here anymore. It has got nothing to do with respect for art. Culturally, we respect our film stars and Bollywood films as much as we respect our gods and our holy texts. Caste, colour, religion, no bar.  

Can I Start My Career Afresh at 40?

I had an interesting conversation with my cousin who has been working in the US as a banker for over a decade now. I was telling her how at 40, I feel this is it. My career can only go that much further from here on. Every day I fear being replaced by younger and smarter people who will do my job at a reasonably lesser pay scale. Especially in our profession which is all about ideas and fresh thinking.

She felt so differently about turning 40. She felt this is a good time to make a career change over and look at one's career afresh if need be. What's stopping anyone from looking at a different career path? Not only in allied fields but start over in a new field.
Is that really possible? Especially here in India?

I don't know what's stopping me. Is it the sense of security that comes with doing what I have done for almost 2 decades or is the Indian corporate mindset not equipped to provide a professional a fresh start?

It is time we heard more stories about people who were advertising professionals previously but are lawyers now post 40. We need more stories of professional photographers who spent the first 20 years of their life in a bank. We need more stories of cross over professionals.

While India is a country of the youth with 50% of our population below 25. Who is thinking about the enormous amount of experience the grey hair brings. How do we capitalise on this and channelise it to corporate India's advantage? 

Single Again But Now With Experience

I am a recent single. After a very long relationship, I suddenly find myself in an unknown territory - one which scary at times, amusing at others. Last time I was single, I was in my twenties and life was a different ball game then. In my twenties, I clearly did not know what I wanted. Anything that sounded remotely smart and looked presentable would do. Romance had a different notion. But at my age, its a tad different. I can spot the invisible red flag from far. Well, experience does make one rich sometimes in life.

Being single again is fun. I can wake up when I want. Go out when I want. Come home when I want. I don't have to live up to anyone's expectations. My weekends are mine as are my evenings. The bathroom seat is never up. The music in my house is always to my taste.  

There are plenty of good things about being single after a long relationship. One of which is the experience that one has gained being with another individual. I choose my word carefully when I say 'individual' - you realise that the boyfriend is a being unto his own. He has his own likes, dislikes , quarks , mood swings, nasty habits etc and whatever happens these things won't change. You can't get into a relationship hoping he will change. No he won't. You can never get another person to change. Being in a relationship teaches you to respect another individual. Respect their privacy. Respect their whims and accept people as they are. 

At forty, you just accept your body the way it is. I no longer feels the need to slim down just to find a man who will hopefully accept me even when I grow fat. If a man does come along, he gets what he sees - fat, bags under eyes, grey hair, creaking joints et al. Trust me its a relief. You only need to work out to stay healthy. Not to stay appealing to the man in your life. If you don't shed a pound, you don't get a panic attack. At my age, most decent people know that human beings come in all sizes and there are no penalty for not being size zero. 

Ok, lets get real. There are also challenges aplenty. The dating scene at forty is a bit of a black hole. Men close to my age are like parking lots  - good ones are taken and the ones available are reserved for mentally challenged / visually impaired. (I don't mean it disparagingly. But since I am neither, these men are clearly not for me.) There are no available singles - close to my age- happy- funny- chilled- non creepy- guys without baggage - kind of people around any longer. There are mostly 'happily' married men looking to dip their nip in any ink and that's a NO  NO in my books. Of course there are now multiple dating apps. I must confess I tried a couple of these apps and they just seemed so wrong. Not sure if its my age or archaic belief in date systems, but to be a thumb swept sexual conquest is not the way I fancy dating men. And since I would not like to date women and can't date the internet, music or books - I am ready to stay single and happy and find humour in the world around me. 

What however sucks is that people around you just assume if you are single, you are available. Hey, no I am not. Just because I don't have to run home to warm up someone's dinner does not mean I have no life. I would rather enjoy my evenings with my pals or read a book or catch up on the latest episode of House Of Cards rather then spending an evening with a mind numbing jack ass trying to get into my pants. At forty, one has enough interests to be keep one engaged, perhaps for a lifetime. What perhaps makes me most attractive is my ability to enjoy my own company and that's a lesson well learnt.

While I trudge along, trying to find my way around in this maze of single hood, the only thing that will keep me going is to forget what hurts and to remember everything being in a relationship has taught me.  

Why did I start this blog?

Every day on this planet is a fascinating mix of moments which are awe inspiring, jaw dropping, moving, teary, hem-haw, meh, blah blah blah. But unfortunately these moments are ephemeral. With so much going on in our lives, we forget a lot more than we ought to. So in this blog I plan to chronicle life's little everydayness. A passing thought, an observation, a moment of pride - whatever catches my fancy.