Thursday, October 28, 2010

I am a fatalist

I feel like slapping silly people who say things like “I make my own destiny” or “I do not believe in fate”. I have a theory about these kind of people – they either have had it very easy in life and have never had anything denied to them or they are just stubborn and do not want to accept the fact that there is a force bigger than their determination to deny it. I firmly believe in the supernatural powers of lady luck. Those who say that there isn’t such a thing as luck need to just look at the long list of lottery winners across the world. Of course you have to do work towards something (like in case of lotteries, you need to go to the nearest lottery kiosk and buy a ticket) before you can hope and wish and pray for lady luck to smile at you. But of course there are instances where fate delivered something to someone that they did not work for at all. Look at John Doe in the cubicle next to you who bagged an account just because....(fill in the blanks). 

I am not cribbing. That’s not my intention. I just wanted to say it aloud that I am a fatalist. I spend a lot of time with myself and therefore have had a lot of time to think about my life and see the million ways in which it unfolded. I remember the times when I thought my life is about to end, there was just so much grief and it seemed that tomorrow would never come. It got better. I remember missed opportunities that made my heart sink like an anchor to the bottom of the sea; and the days and weeks of gloom. But those missed opportunities made it possible for something else to happen, something that changed my life completely and made me happier than I thought I would ever be. I remember waking up from a slumber on a home bound subway and getting off on a station on impulse, only to find out later that my train was one of the 7 trains that were blown apart by bomb explosions. There are several instances where I thought that something like that could never happen to me – but it happened and in such an unexpected way.

I think by accepting the fact that there is a superior force that makes things happen or stops them from happening gives me something to look forward to. Life becomes a wondrous journey where anything can happen. How exciting! Well, whether or not you accept it, your life is an exciting journey where anything can happen. So just accept it and see the difference. It’s like eating chocolate (or whatever tickles you) without thinking about ‘trans fat, fat, carbohydrates, calories, weight’.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Bakwaas Prem Ki Kooda Kahani

Ever since I arrived in Toronto I had not seen a single movie in a theatre...until yesterday.

We had been planning to go watch a movie for a long time and 2012 was at the top of the list. Then we had a video chat with my brother and sis-in-law and they were both going gaga over "Ajab Prem Ki Gajab Kahani" and how good a comedy it is. Yearning for a good Bollywood movie made me veto 2012 and we all padded ourselves to go watch APKGK in the Woodside Square Cinema (it plays Hindi & Tamil movies regularly).

I did not read any reviews and blindly trusted Raj Kumar Santoshi's name and my family's comments about it.

Two and a half hours later when we came out, we were pissed and angry. Apart from a few scenes, the entire movie is mediocre at best and very very disappointing. I liked the job scene, the pre-shower scene and a few other scenes here and there. In my opinion, the producers should have spend more money roping in a good story and script writer. There was so much potential for mad comedy, but they just left it unutilised (for instance the kidnapping scene-song). The fighting sequence towards the end was a damp squib (though I liked the part were Kaif kept hitting Kapoor) and kept me thinking about the fighting sequence from the movie Hungama and what a great laugh I had while watching it.

I hear the movie is a success in India and all I can say about it is that it is probably the "good karma" of the people involved in the making of this movie, because it is a badly made movie, with poor story and even worse script. Pritam's music is repetitive. I just liked the song with the sufi touch.

There is probably no other movie industry in the world where an actress who can't act to save her life get to play the lead in mainstream cinema. Katrina Kaif makes me angry - she probably is a nice person, but she can't act, she is bad at her job. Problem is the job description of actresses in India more often than not is just to look pretty and deliver a few lines and dance like JLo/Shakira (they wish). Take Fardeen Khan for example - the only reason he is in the movies is because of his web of filmi family connections. I am not ready to believe that he would have gotten a break if he was a Amandeep Chadda from Chandigarh, struggling in Mumbai. Casting assistants would have asked him to leave his portfolio and wait for their call, which would have never been made.

All I can say about these actors and actresses is that they are lucky. Fardeen Khan is lucky, Ameesha Patel is lucky (She is such a bad actress that she deserves a separate post trashing that thing she tries to pass off as acting), Katrina Kaif is lucky, Zayed Khan is lucky, Sunny & Bobby Deol are lucky (Damini, Ghayal & Ghatak were just channelisation of Sunny's histrionics by a cunning director), Sunil Shetty is lucky (I mean how did he manage to sticky is sorry ass to the tinsel town for so long?). Any more names that come to your mind?

I keep hoping for good cinema to come out of India. Luck by Chance was a pleasant surprise. In some instances I am glad these people had connections.

I digressed - so, in my opinion Ajab Prem Ki Gazab Kahani is not a good movie and do not go to watch it with high hopes. Santoshi ji has lost it.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I am back

I didn't realize it has been 2 years since my last post. My own example of "time flies". I remember the day I posted 'I wanna have babies' very well. Much has changed since then. A lot of what I wrote in that post has come true, except the babies part. I still wanna have babies, but I guess it will have to wait. We are in Canada now. The promised land. The land of freedom and opportunities. Living the life I had only imagined about. Well almost the same life. I was made for Canada. At least elementally; I'd chose winter over summer any day. I have still to live through a Canadian winter (burrrr) and people around me seem to take delight in telling me about the -15s and -20s of this winter. I have been in sub-zero temperatures before and I was chilled to my bones, but I'd still pick a dry snowy day above a humid sunny day.

Life is much less complicated here. At least I am not fighting for my life every time I step on to a bus or a train or pushed out of one in a human avalanche. I do not need to be sceptical about every nice person and people don't f*** the peace of your mind just because they don't like to see you satisfied with your life. Above all, I can walk down the road with my partner's hand in my hand and not think about the social police.

I feel good about life and I am back on this forum. Hope to see some old friends here.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

I wanna Have babies

I wanna have babies. I have been getting these sharp tugs somewhere near my heart every time I see a baby, or a kitten or a puppy. There are several small babies in my building and often while leaving for work or coming back from work I come across one or the other in the elevator. The way they look at you, trying to drink you in wholly, eyes wide and sharp; the way they smile mildly when you smile at them and the way they giggle if you try to play peek-a-boo with them.

At work when colleagues discuss their children and how all their weariness is taken away from them by just one glimpse of their children in the evening, I feel those pangs. I am dying to hold a baby. None of my close friends have had babies though some are planning for one this year. My younger brother is getting married in November this year, but they are still too young to have a baby.

My partner & I have discussed surrogate mothers and other such options available to us same sex partners. But we are waiting to reach a station in our lives. My immigration to Canada, my partner's career stability, my career in Canada - there are so many uncertainties in our lives, its just not the right environment or time for having a baby. But, how do I deal with my heart.

I wanna have babies.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Good Design IX - Vero & Marrakesh

I am quite unable to think of anything to write about. Of course there are so many things I can write about, but when I start thinking about them, it just does not happen.

I am showcasing two marvelous products - both suitable for your bathroom but different from each other. One is a contemporary western European design and the other is a reminiscent of the Middle-Eastern heritage.

Vero wall hung toilet is as straight-lined as a toilet made of vitreous china can get. Designed by the German design masters - Seiger Designs for Duravit, Vero is a modern bathroom range. The toilet comes with a soft closing seat & cover and is priced somewhere around 38000 Rs. An essential for a modern apartment.

Marrakesh is a part of the Kohler Artistic Edition range of products. The picture shows the Marrakesh counter-top, the Marrakesh undercounter basin and the Marrakesh Tap. Priced at 300000 upwards, this exquisite piece of art is meant for only select residences.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Breaking up is never easy, I know

It was a promising relationship. For both of us it was a first experience and yet we knew that it will work out fine. We had our ups and downs; personally I had to go through a lot of adjustments. My parents were dead against this relationship. They thought I am being used. My friends were happy for me.

With each passing year our relationship grew stronger. We became one. Everywhere we went, people used to see us as one.

All this while, there were problems and shortcomings from both the sides and both of us were adjusting enough to accommodate the other. Then somewhere along the road dissatisfaction crept in. It continued eroding my faith. I started considering a break up because it was affecting me adversely. I could see my dreams and plans being washed away by the tidal wave of expectations and disappointments. I felt sad. I had given my sweat and blood to this relationship.

I started seeking help elsewhere. I started looking for someone else. I killed all my guilty pangs ruthlessly and continued looking of that perfect someone.

My search was not hidden from others for long. Our’s is a small world and all of us have met each other at some point or the other - directly or in Orkut’s language - connected indirectly through friends. I was approached by someone I had known for as long as I had been in this relationship. Both of us hesitated for a short while, but the more we met , the more we realized that how well we match each other. I was afraid of the consequences. I knew it very well that this is going to be a very messy break up. Arrangements were made so I could move out without any untoward event.

Finally after three years of togetherness I bid goodbye to my last job and joined the new company on 5th July. Fortunately my ex-employer took it nicely and I moved to my new assignment without much of a problem.

Labels: ,

Saturday, March 31, 2007

One Fine Month

It all began with the phone call from Toronto. The owner of our rented accommodation refused to sign a new lease and asked us to find another arrangement as soon as possible. Apparently he found a buyer who was willing to buy his place at the current inflated price. With all the problems we have gone through just because some wealthy investor wanted to make some more money, I hope his place doesn’t fetch him even his cost.

So, we started our search for another place. Just Dial was dialled to and after several runs of “eat-all-you-want-to-eat and then use-our-fat-looser” an irritating fellow came online who was more interested in confirming my e-mail id and telephone number than helping me with my query. We listed the estate agents in our area and began calling them. First thing that we clarified over the phone was that we will not give more than one month’s rent as brokerage.

We were looking for something within our current locality, thanks to all the strings this locality has attached to us - the gym membership, DVD club membership, Broadband internet connection of which another 7 months are left to be consumed, and walking distance to 4 multiplexes and two malls. And after looking at several depressing apartments we found our divine-heavenly-lovely apartment. It is on the fourteenth floor of a tower and the windows open in two directions (South & West). West facing apartment was a condition put in by A. It is always windy and since it is not next to several construction sites like our last apartment, the dust level is also low. We loved it. It just needed several power points and switch boards and some wood-work. We made up our mind and began talking to the owner for a long term lease. We are in India only till mid 2009 and we do not intend to go through another move.

That was the beginning of the ordeal. We paid one month’s rent as token money to the owner and he promised that the painting of the apartment will start soon. We relayed this information to our Canadian landlord and asked for an extension on our stay beyond the leave and license period so that we could move in to an already painted house. The extension was granted and was termed as final.

The owner left town and we came to know about this through a sms which told us that the estate agent is arranging for the painting and fumigation and that we should coordinate with him. We tried. We tried hard. We tried harder, but just couldn’t get through to him. Every time we called his pathetic mobile number (totally without any rhyme or reason...just a jumble of numbers, so difficult to remember) we had to endure Himesh Reshamiya droning in our ear. If I had enough money, I’d pay him to shut up and stay at home and if that would not stop him from torturing people, I’d just buy every record company in the town and then see where would he go and do that thing he thinks is singing. So, the estate agent had done a disappearing act on us.

Bewildered beyond our imaginations, we tried contacting the owner to appraise him of our grave situation. He was in Pune, attending his brother’s marriage. He managed to get hold of the agent over the phone and asked him to do the needful. Several more panicky calls and reshamiya induced tortures later the work was finished. I am not going to start on the quality of work done. We Indians do not take any pride in what we do. A painter doesn’t mind if does a sloppy job as long as he gets his wages; a carpenter would rather make sure that the work goes on and on and on so that he could make more money, fuck the convenience and happiness of the job giver. So, the painting was finished, but the fumigation was not. We had large mirrors that had to be put on the walls in the living room. We wanted to finish all this work before moving in, so we arranged with the broker to be at the apartment when we come with the movers. I went out in the sun and arranged for some movers and a carpenter to dismantle the mirrors from our old apartment and to take it to the new apartment. The broker promised to be there with the keys. We brought the 4 mirrors (each 6 feet by 3 feet) and the wood to the new building. But guess what? Yes you guessed it right. Here’s the detailed version. The broker was not there. His phone switched off. The guards at the new building didn’t allow the mirrors and the wqood to be loaded in the passenger lift. We were asked to wait till five in the evening, when the luggage lift was started. It was four in the afternoon and the movers started making faces. We wanted to take the stuff at least to the 14th floor with the help of the movers and keep it beside the door. Frustrated and totally annoyed with the circumstances, I tried reasoning with the guards. No success. We stood there waiting for the asshole of an agent, but no news. Frantic and angry calls to the owner were of no help. Just when I was almost ready to break down, the movers decided to start their act. They wanted to leave immediately and I kept looking at the clock. Cutting it short, we transported the mirrors to the 14th floor past five and kept them outside our door. That’s when we decided that the agent needs to be taught a lesson.

Our last day to empty the old apartment arrived and we wanted to move. The signing of the agreement had been carried out and the broker was supposed to do the franking and submitting the leave and license copy to the new building society for ratification. Obviously, all this did not happen. Dear broker asked for the brokerage upfront before he did any of this. Frustrated and annoyed beyond our limits, we told him what we thought of him and his sorry ways. Bad thing! Never take a panga with a broker unless you are confident that the owner is on your side. Ours wasn’t.

We had a tug-of-war between egos and the broker’s won. We had to pay him. The society said we can not move unless all the formalities have been carried out and we have been introduced to the general committee on the coming Sunday. If killing was not illegal/unlawful I would have had a handful of deaths on my hand that day. The Chairman of the society took an instant disliking towards us, probably because we spoke our mind and didn’t accept his dictums without a word. Another worldly wisdom, try and avoid confrontation with the society officials and specially the chairperson. After a lot of arguments and pleadings later we were allowed to move in to our new apartment.

It’s almost a week now. The house is almost set. We are still recovering. The internet has still not been shifted because the building manager is on leave and the approval-to-carry-out work application is lying in his office. No internet, no cable and every time we use our surround sound, the guard is at the door - we are living in Mumbai. Our old bai could not start working for us immediately as she did not have a NOC from the society office.

Have we started missing the bureaucracy so much that we are creating similar things in our backyard?

Labels: ,

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fucking 20 Kgs!!!

I have a grudge against all the airlines. If nothing else, they can single handedly end my dress-and-dazzle aspirations.

I am going to Germany. For about 10 days. Colleagues from all over the world will be coming and then there will be tonnes of other visitors from all the 10000 countries across the world. I am supposed to dress in business suits on 5 working days. I am carrying 3 suits, half a dozen shirts and as many neck ties. Additionally I have to pack casual and semi casual clothes for all the social events. These things apart, I have to pack clothes to wear when I am not meeting clients or preening my social skills. Then there are toiletries - deo, perfume, shampoo, conditioner, lense solution, hair remover, after shave lotion, shaving foam, moisturiser and similar stuff. Not to forget undergarments and body warmers; pullovers and jackets - it's fucking cold out there. All was well till I decided to weigh the bag. The free allowance is 20 Kgs and the number on the weighing scale took the life out of me. It was 59. I started cussing and cribbing about the unfair airline regulations. How is one supposed to pack sufficiently for a long trip across the world and at the same time keep it under 20 Kgs?

I started going through the items to see what could be left out, but the difference was so fucking large, it left me almost numb. Just then I realized that the fucking scale is in pounds. Long breathe of relief!

As it turned out I was not all that heavily packed; it was just 26 Kgs. I managed to close the bag at 23 Kgs. Since I am not taking much in my cabin luggage, I will ask the clerk at the check-in counter to let it go. And thanks to this false alarm I got to know that You are supposed to cough up fucking 30 Euros for every additional kilo of excess baggage. Thank god that this is mostly at the discretion of the check-in clerk. I hope there's a pretty girl at the check-in counter and she falls for my smile.


Fat Loss - Not Weight Loss

I was going to name this post 'Date with the Nutritionist' but then I remembered the phrase she kept jabbing at me and couldn't think of a better title for the post.

This Sunday while others were still lazing in their beds, I was up and ready to go and see my nutritionist. Before I begin talking about the date, a little something on my physical state. I have been putting on weight and lately everyone I meet has been telling me so. It's most infuriating when colleagues and clients ask if work load has gone down (when the work load has gone wild, it's fucking me from all sides). I am a natural lazy and gyms just don't help cause my determination is ever faltering. Motivation comes in gulps and spurts when I meet some hot client or any fit random stranger. But my laziness overcomes such paltry hurdles easily. Being in a relationship with a person who adores you and loves you no matter how you look can be detrimental for health - specially individuals who suffer from low self discipline and lack of determination.

So, I joined this new gym...third time in three years and this time I paid for just the first month. The nutritionist called me on Sunday to design my food and to set me on the right path. The first thing that she corrected me about is the fact that we need to loose fat and not weight. Our body weight comprises of -
1) Bones
2) Muscles
3) Muscle organs
4) Blood
5) Water
6) Fat

So, smaller numbers on the weighing scale should result from reduction in fat. A normal/fit human male should have 8 to 12% fat in his body. An athlete usually has 5 to 7% fat. My fat percentage is a staggering 21.5%. Under normal circumstances a news like that would have send me in depression. Anyhow, I gathered my wits and started listening to her with undivided attention.

She made me realize how stupid and moronic I have been so far -

* I have been guzzling cartons of Juice under the impression of replenishing my bodily nutrient requirements.
* I have been gorging on Salamis every morning thinking "it's as good as steamed meat, how fattening can it be?"
* Just because I am eating multi-grain or brown bread, it is okay to eat more than 4 at a time.
* Eating deliciously cooked pulses is enough for my daily protein requirement and it won't harm if I help myself to it more than twice at a time.
* Honey is a safe and healthy option for sugar.

Post Sunday I have evolved as a much aware person. So what if I am still finding more and better reasons for not going to the gym. Now I am eating proper.

No simple carbs like sugar, honey, jaggery & fruit juices. Our body gets more than enough sugar from other sources. We need not take more of it.

Moderate use of complex carbs like grains, fruits, potatoes etc.

Saturated fats not good at all, no matter how good they taste. Butter, ghee, coconut oil and palm oil are the easily identified and freely consumed saturated fats (frozen at room temperature). We consume enough hidden saturated fats through our consumption of sausages, bacon, salami, cakes, cookies, pastries, chocolates and cheese.

Unsaturated fats to be used for cooking. best oils are Olive, Sesame & Mustard.

Our body's daily protein requirement is double the weight of our body in grams. For example if A is 75 Kgs, he requires 150 gms of protein daily. Specially if one is working out.

Eat 5-6 small meals spread throughout the day instead of 2-3 large meals and never miss the breakfast, ideally taken at around 8 in the morning.

I am not as regular with the timings of the meals , but am certainly watching what I am eating. Thus I begin my journey on the long road to slimdom.

Labels: ,

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Bridge to Terabithia

We decided to wake up early on the sunday morning instead of sleeping in so that we could watch the morning show of Bridge to Terabithia without being ripped off. Ninety rupees a ticket is a cool deal. So, there we were ready to immerse ourselves into a fantasy land, full of mysterious creatures and magical beings, Terabithia.

Two hours later we came out of the theatre with a definite grudge against Walt Disney. The promotions were totally misleading. Its clear that I have not read the book nor did I have any inkling about it's plot. I liked the movie, but I was not expecting it to be the way it was. It was like watching Big Fish or Finding Neverland as opposed to Harry Potter or Narnia.

The movie's been made nicely and the young actors have done a superb job. Specially, Bailee Madison as the adorable younger sister May Belle. There's a sad twist towards the end and it leaves you feeling even more betrayed. I guess I would have liked it more if the trailers were made to sell the movie as a genre that it turned out to be as opposed to belonging to the genre of fantasy movies.

Do see the movie, but do not expect a magical kingdom and fairy creatures.


Monday, February 05, 2007

Flashback 1 - Year 1998

1998 - A very significant year in my otherwise non-existent gay life. That is the year when I moved away from my parents and stayed in a hostel. That's the year I had my first brush with internet. That's the year I realized that it is okay to be gay. That's the year I bloomed. A late bloomer but a quick learner and I was already looking for people to meet.

The starry eyed small town guy that I was, I had a very rosy and romantic picture of my gay life in my head. Strangely, till a few months ago I used to spent hours and hours mourning about 'my cursed life'. Internet definitely played a very important role in my life. So, I was talking about the 'romantic' me. After the first few weeks of browsing through various websites, I got down to the business of finding real people. Internet at that time used to cost around 120 Rs per hour in an air conditioned cafe and any where between 60 to 90 Rs in a normal cafe. I used to save up all my pocket money for those pilgrimages. I stopped buying books or music. I stopped watching movies. Those couple of hours spent in cyber cafes were like investments towards a happily married life.

After searching for like ages I found e mail IDs of three guys based in my town. I remember the walk back from the cyber cafe after this little discovery. I was happy at finding some real people in my own town and at the same time I was quite agitated and distressed because I was not able to write to them right away due to lack of time. I was back at work the next day and wrote three lovely and long mails to these three wonderful guys.

Guy one had a very long profile where in he had mentioned that he is 29, a dancer, romantic, and blah and blah and more blah. He sounded like a well placed and settled in life kinda guy.

Guy two was a college goer who was looking for like minded people to hang out with.

Guy three had no information on his profile except for his email id, to which one was supposed to write for responses that would change their life.

The first one to reply was the romantic dancer. His response to my mail was dripping with honey. I was a 19 year old guy who had received a response from another guy, possibly boy-friend material, and the guy seemed to be pretty interesting; more importantly he seemed interested in me. I was like, wow! is this how it is going to begin?

We fixed to meet on the coming Saturday at his home. I was a bit scared about going to his place but my excitement at finally getting to meet another gay human being suppressed whatever inhibitions I had. The left side of my brain submitted meekly to the pressures from my entire body. I convinced myself that a proper conversation can take place only in the comfort and privacy of a house. I kept imagining various situations and how I'd react to his romantic advances. I was already half way in love with him. My prince charming was very tall, about 6,2; broad shouldered and toned, not too buffed up; a wide grin that traveled up to his eyes and lit every thing up; floppish hair that kept falling on his eyes and he would brush them away from time to time; he'd open door and electrify me with his smile and then he'd lift me up in his arms and take me in to his room...where we would sit all day long, sipping coffee and talking about our lives; our child hood, our aspirations, dreams and our expectations from life. I had it all pictured in my head.

The big day came and I spent hours in selecting the clothes to put on. I wanted to dress up and at the same time did not want to give away the fact that I had spent any time on it. I finally managed to put on some clothes and left for his place. It was only after I reached his lane that I started sweating profusely. I couldn't muster enough courage to go up to his gate and press the call bell. Almost 15-20 minutes of fidgeting around and indecision later I managed to press the door bell. My heart of beating so loud I had difficulty listening to anything else. I kept wiping my hands on my trousers. My fluttering heart kept expecting its prince charming to open the door and lift me in his arms ....any moment now. And then the door opened....and I fell from his arms ...on to the floor.

I had not prepared myself for what I saw in front of me. I saw a middle aged guy, probably 35-40, short, almost bald, a pot belly the size of Gujarat, a smile that showed his paan stained uneven teeth and dressed in a beige silk kurta and white chudeedaar pajamas. I couldn't manage to keep the smile on my face, and if I could picture myself at that point of time, I'd look heavily constipated. But he refused to be fazed by the look on my face. He took my hands and lead me inside. I was dizzy and too confused to react. I let him take me to where ever he wanted. By the time I gained some composure I realized we were entering his bedroom and he was babbling about AC not working and blah-di-blah. Then all of the sudden we were sitting side by side on his bed; one of his hands on my thigh and the other massaging my shoulder. I found myself incapable of even making small talk and he definitely didn't want much talking.

I kept telling myself that I should get up and leave. That was not what we were supposed to do. We were supposed to TALK! Where was the fuckin coffeeeeee? And does he not brush his teeth? His breath stinks! and that's when I realized that he was slobbering up and down my cheek and at the same time trying to pull my face towards him.

I finally managed to untangle myself from the 'dancer'. The look on his face was priceless. He looked at me as if I have suddenly grown some horns on my head. I bolted towards the door and was out of it before he could spell "What?"

I had many thoughts, many lessons to file away in my head...

More to follow...

Labels: , , , ,