Sunday, December 21, 2014

Every Year For her Love

Calanque was not that far away. Around 3 km from the entrance of the park.

This was  my second visit here. Last time I went to the top of cliff to get a 360 degree view. It was exhilarating. So this time I thought of going down to sea side, the actual calanque. It was cold but I knew after 20 minutes of walk, I would be sweating. Through my light sweaters the wind was trying to take cold to my body. So I started to walk fast.

At a distance, I saw an old lady, walking alone. I could see many people but all were either in a group or as couples. This was something strange.  From her posture I assumed she was panting.  I thought she was panting because she could not manage her bag. Thinking of helping her, I stepped up.

Once I was taking strides with her, I started the conversation in my broken French.

Bonjour! belle journée [Hello,lovely day?]
She stopped and looked at me. Then with a smile said "oui" [yes].
Dois-je vous aider avec le sac ? [Should i help you with the bag?]
Non.. Then she said something in French, which I did not understand. So I had to tell the truth.
Je ne sais pas beaucoup de Français [I don't know that much french].
She smiled and told me that "he would have said the same".
Then she told me her story in broken English.

It was her 60th wedding anniversary and every year on this day she used to visit this calanque. He had passed away some 9 years ago. But she still comes. She was 78.

She told me about a great place from where I should see this calanque. Politely she said she cannot come with me to the place else would have definitely taken me there. She insisted I go there before going back.

Hesitantly, I left her behind and moved on.

As I was about to pace up. She called me from behind and told me that it is better to visit this place with my girl friend rather going there alone. I smiled and said I don't have a girl friend. With a naughty smile, she asked me to get one soon. We laughed together.

Then I parted my way. May be will never see her again.

Finally after an hour of trekking I reached the place she told me to visit. And it was amazingly beautiful.

Nobody could "not" fall in love in such place like this [see below].

As I was looking over the horizon, I noticed a couple on the cliff side kissing. The air was full of love and for a second I thought it was infectious.


Friday, December 12, 2014

Welcome to Marseille

And I moved to Marseille.

Quit the job in Bangalore. Packed my backs and left India.
No good byes. No tata.

New job, new people, new language and new air.

Life is a clean state. Now lets see what happens in my second chance.

Pic courtesy: My backyard by me :)

Friday, December 05, 2014

What do you wish for

When you have everything what do you strive for ?
And how do you define everything that you have ?

"In closed realms of my life, a solitude of sea resides,
Not swaying to the winds of tomorrow,
But, maybe, forever lost in void of complacency,
or, maybe, in the glory of an utopian idealism."

Friday, October 31, 2014

Tour de Indonesia

"Indonesia is just like Kerala. Nothing special". My uncle echoed from other end of the phone. He was trying to convince me not to go to Indonesia for a vacation.

Yes, Indonesia is in many ways is similar to Kerala. This may include the climate, the vegetation and the cultural similarity. But one thing makes them different, and very much different are the people.  Indonesians are one of the most courteous people whom I have seen on this planet. Let me give few examples anything and everything done will be replied with a "Teri ma kashi" which means "Thank you" in Bahasa. And also where in the world would you find a shopkeeper who would ask you to bargain with at-most politeness and innocence and that too with a smiling face.

Their language, Bahasa, is not a true language but a creole language. It contains a bit of Malay, Hindi, Sanskrit, Vietnamese, and many others. May be Indonesians picked up all the good customs in these cultures when they borrowed few words from these languages.

The first thing that hits you when you land in Jakarta, the capital of Island of Indonesia or archipelago is the heat. It is supposed to be just another tropical climate destination but you feel its too hot even though when you are coming from hot country. Heat is oppressive. So you have to take refuge in the AC lounges or malls. Luckily my friend's apartment is fully air conditioned.

Even though heat is not that bearable, what makes it soothing or put aside are the shopping centers and food streets of Jakarta. It is a paradise for shopaholics. When I say that you can get almost everything from a  comb to an Audi Q7 in these malls, I am not joking. Yes it is like another Dubai with a nice set of people around you.

Another feat that almost marvels like the shopping centers is the food. Indonesians staple diet is rice based. But unlike Indians they consume a paltry portion of it. The rest of the diet includes Ayems (chicken) of different make with different variety of red meat. What I liked most is Bubur Ayem, which is basically a porridge mixed with vegetables and chicken and spiced up with sambal. Next in line is Nasi Goreng, which is basically Indonesian fried rice spiced up to burn your tongues but so tasty that it gives minute orgasms to your taste buds. An interesting thing you see in traditional Indonesian restaurants is the way food is served. First they keep the rice on the table and then display whatever the kitchen has to offer in small portions. Since everything is displayed just in front of you, it would take a mountain full of will to leave  them untouched. In the end they charge you based on what you have touched. First they would take away every dish from the table you haven't tasted. Thereafter they would count the dishes that you have taken and charge you based on it. I find this a great marketing strategy, one that would actually make you eat as much as anything just because they look so yummy.

One of those days my friend got invited to resto-bar where their band was performing. Jakarta contains many such joints. The band was too good that I ended up giving around 100$ as tip for them. I was not in my sober state to make sound judgment and this conjured me to give it. But still no regrets about that. The band was freaking awesome. We also visited a very expensive pub belonging to five star hotel. And as usual it was loud and crazy. Jakarta is cosmopolitan city with so many expats living for long period of time.You could see Japanese, Chinese, Koreans, Indians and many Dutch over here.

If one wants more of a rustic picture of Indonesia then they should come out of the urban magic that Jakarta can offer. My friend took us to a place called Yogyakarta. It is around 7 hours of train journey. Unlike trains that you find everywhere else Indonesian trains don't have a sleeper facility. But they do offer comfortable push-back seats. However braze yourself up for brightly lighted compartments and no, they do not switch of these lights in the night.

Otherwise known as Jogya, Yogyakarta is tourist hub for heritage places and beaches. One of the most important relic of Buddhism is situated here. Boroboddur is one of those places where you just get awestruck by the sheer size of its gigantic structure. It is an ancient Buddhist temple (8th century BC) which might get destroyed very soon. No it is not any natural catastrophes that is going to wash it away but the newly formed Islamic state has issued a destruction call of this amazing relic. One of the reasons for me to take up this trip was beacause of this threat.

Built on massive molten stones this relic forms pyramid like structure with different levels. There are 5 levels with the topmost level having Buddha stupas enclosed in bell like structure.  Each of the level has to be circumvented in clockwise direction. On completion of each level, you progress into the next level showing the enlightenment process as one goes up in the ladder. Make sure that you carry an umbrella or hat while visiting this temple as the premise is very hot.  Once you exit from the temple, you are swarmed by street vendors selling almost every handicraft you can think of. Compared to Jakarta this place is very inexpensive and people even more warmer.

In the evening we went to near by beach. This was the nearest beach to the town and it is called Parangtritis beach.  The sun set early at these places, so plan your beach outing well. We were late and sun had almost set. Still, it didn't stop us from venturing into the water. The water is pristine and to some extend less salty. Another good thing about this beach is that sand is too grainy and soft. You could walk almost half a kilometer into the sea and still enjoy the waves without being nervous of getting washed away. After the tryst with lofty evening waves,  one can get a warm water from nearby bath houses. They charge a very nominal fee for this. There are plethora of seafood joints here. We experienced an awesome fried fish at one these shacks.

After visiting Prambanan, another Hindu temple, we returned back to Jakarta. Once back in Jakarta, our urban style returned. We went for some electronic shopping at Grand Ambassador mall. I ended up buying Polaroid camera. I think my mom would like it. The next day we boarded our flight back to India.

It was a memorable trip where I  learned one thing  that people can be nice without having something in their mind.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Great Indian Marriage Proposals

I do not wish to marry. At least for now. And I am 31 which is like the upper limit for Indian men to get married. My reasons are many which I do not wish to divulge now.

However, my family expects me to marry and settle down. So they take me to see these brides around my neighborhood. It was like working on constraint optimization problem with constraints being
1. Should be near our town within a radius of 150 km or so
2. Should be holder of professional degree and working
3. Should be not more than 30 years old
4. Most importantly - the horoscope should match

And the objective function is ...I just don't know what. So my dad, mom and granny does rounds of these search and come up with possible fantastic life partners for me. Had the Google guys seen this search process they would have actually added a matrimonial search category on Google home page.

Coming back to topic of this post.

Whatever may be the objective function they had, mine was very simple. Make the candidates reject me at all instances. Here are the few instance of how I did it.

Candidate No:1

As I was new to this bride seeing ceremony. I was invited by the candidates father to have private conversation with her. And so i went for the mission 1. After the customary hello-hi, we talked about for some 45 min. I was sure this lady was going to say yes after this very glib talk. I some how had to turn the table else I though I would be bowled over in the first over itself. And there, she gave me the fountain head I needed. She asked me if I was a savings sort of guy and whether I save a lot. I humbly said that I live in the present and don't have yet bothered about the future. So no savings. I knew this answer would be unacceptable. So strike one, she rejects me.

Candidate No:2

After a minute into conversation, she says that she likes me. I was literally stunned. I had to think fast. And then she too gives her fountain head like the previous one. She says that she wishes to work after the marriage. I say why not. Then she makes this statement - "I got this job after a lot of hard work, will it be easy for me to get a job in Bangalore ?". I start by saying no it depends on your profile and then proceeds with laborious procedure to be followed to get a good job. She rejects me by saying that she can't stress out to get a job in Bangalore:).

Candidate No:3
This was easy. I knew this one was going to reject me after seeing her way of keeping the tea tray (with a thud). She rejects me as expected. I was getting good at this thing.

Candidate No:4
By this time, I got a job offer from abroad. So the people who were looking for such candidates started approaching my parents. This candidate had finished her MBBS and was trying for PG. She had tried once and didn't get through. Our families had met before and were at ease with each other. I thought this would be deal I would finally get slaughtered. So I had to play it safe and play it well.  She told me that she required atleast 4 years time to crack and get her PG. I said I was fine  with that. Then I played my trump card; i said I won't back for say 10 years from Europe. This  put her away. She wanted to be with her parents. Reject it was again.

And the show still continuous.

PS: I know it is not good to waste the time of  both parties. However, my incorrigible parents don't give me any  option other than this. And I say it loud that every person I went to see were beautiful and sensible in their own way. It was just that I was not ready. And still am not ready.

Pic source:

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Leaving again...

Life is all about making the next move. The next leap.
As always I am going to take it without thinking much.
Embracing the uncertainty  of future with open arms.

Let the show begin.

Pic source:

The Week I would Like to Forget!

Sunday: It all started last week when the Monsoon started to lash out in Kerala. I was there at home for the weekend. The exact reason for that was not my love for Kerala but wanted to complete atleast 100 kms on my new Thunderbird 500. So even thought it was overcast with clouds, I decided in my mighty wisdom that I should go out and roam around. Impending rain was not a problem. So I took my new brother and was about to cross the gate that my mom called from behind. "Take a cover for the Phone, its going to rain!". Initially I thought she was yelling at me for going at that odd hour but after sensing the wisdom that her grey hair I stopped the bike and got a plastic cover for the phone. I safely put my S3 Mini inside and started my journey. Soon the rain started lashing out but did I care? No. Because I had a cover on my phone its not going to get wet. And about me? -- I love rain!

After my adventurous ride I reached home and took my phone. Behold the old mighty! My phone was dipped in around 100 ml of water which seeped into the cover that I put over it. I had walked in the rain with the phone in pockets a thousand times but current catastrophe was with the cover on! Only because with my pea size brain, I put open cover into the rain. May be because I took the rain water harvesting concept pretty much seriously.  And then the next fiasco

Tuesday: My friend wanted to visit a temple which is like 75 km from my place, which happens to be a place called Bangalore. We leave early to avoid the beautiful traffic of Bangalore that it is famous for. On the way we pick another friend of ours and start our journey to Navaneeta Krishnan Temple. We visit the temple and take a selfie to convince everybody that we visited the temple and rides back. As soon as we started our journey back, my friend sees a state sponsored silk saree boutique. Both of my friends being from XX chromosomes wants to buy a saree!. So I stop the car but before all these happens I had given my new Phone (a Lumia 620) to my friend to send the selfie that we took to her family. Seeing the sky high price for ordinary not-a-second-look worth saree (starting range Rs.11200), we walk out and continue our journey. After going around 50km I ask my friend for directions and then begins the frenzy searching. My phone is not be seen anywhere inside the big Santro car! Using her highly praised intelligence, my friend says that we must have misplaced the phone in the boutique. To confirm it, she calls the stores after locating it through the god aka google. Even though the shopkeeper had spoken in rural Kannada, my friend says that she is absolutely sure that she understood everything. So we retracts and reaches the same shop once again, only to be handed with a broken Lumia 620. Apparently, they found it from the parking lot and some car had gone over it.

It doesn't stop here!

 Evening I go for shopping with my friends but this time on bike. Since bike don't have the helmet lock, I take my bicycle lock along with it. I put the key to that lock with my bike key bunch. This story will be continued on Thursday.

Wednsday: I get up late and is getting ready for the office. My roommates have already left. Usually they lock the door and go as everybody got their own key. After getting ready, to my horror I realize that I am locked inside with my home key in the car parked down below. I didn't club the car key with my home key and remember keeping it on the dashboard. I keep banging the door for 15 min but nobody comes. Finally it occurs to me that I should go for the help to the same neighbor whom I didnt talk until now. PS: she leaves on my opposite building. I shout from balcony for her and she comes running to see if my house is on fire. Dismayed at seeing my house intact, she ask the reason behind yelling. After understanding my agony, she calls my security to get my key. After waiting for 30 min, security comes and opens my door.


I am all impatient and thinks of buying a new phone. But my internet is damn too slow. I had long suspected that somebody is leeching on to my WiFi. So i decide to put a MAC filter over  the connection. I quickly change some settings on the WiFi router and restart it. And there again my ill luck continued;  none of the devices in my home were able to connect to the router. For some nth physics law it started looping back. So with a sulky face, I waited for the security to open door.

Thursday: Being a somewhat a health conscious guy (read whenever my 30 inch pants gets tight), I make it point to commute on my bicycle. My office is around 5km from my home but with that is not even a distance because I save a lot on my time axis avoiding the you know the fantabulus Bangalore traffic. I carry my bicycle and climb two storey down and leave for office dreaming about the six packs I can get if I do it regularly. After toiling for around 9 hours i come back to parking to take my bicycle. And then I realize that I forgot to take the key for my cycle lock. Yes, the lock was elastic in nature. It doesn't require a key to lock it but like any lock it requires key to unlock it. I had clubbed that ke y with bike key bunch. Crap!

These incidents happened few months ago. Due to graying hairs, I forgot what happened later. But  one thing I remember is that the rest of week were also damn eventful...of course in some unfortunate ways.

Monday, January 20, 2014

My world

Like the flutter of a flag that got swayed in the dying winter wind, I held my dismal face on that window sill.
It was never going to be easy. 
The world of perfect liberty to do the things that you like is immensely boring.
As one puts it, its not the life that seeks the beauty of the world but its the chaos in the life that brings out the beauty of the world.
And for me the beauty vanished, when it became so perfect. 
A calmness, a tranquility that is boundless and existing as far as the perceived infinity.
Dark circles made my eyes eager to close down. But then darkness, was dark in all senses. 
An absolute darkness.
Cast some light and I know I will be alright. For now.
A disturbing silence urges me to move forward. I take my step forward. 
A directionless pursuit of what I don't know.
I open my eyes. 
Hopeful rays slash my hopes. 
The road I see through that window is still empty.
It so far far away. I try to grasp it in my clutches. Failing miserably.

A breeze with a known fragrance tickles my face. 
A smile carves out of my mouth.  
I am alive again.
And the road is no longer lonely. 
I see the little kid in pretty pink frock coming back from her school.

Chaos and the beauty therein is going to begin. Again.