yawn …. 2012, a new dawn

It’s a new year. I agree, seems a little late to be mentioning that :). But what the heck? I had been a sort of blogging slumber and I guess it’s time to get up, open the windows and take a look out for what the world is up to.

For the record, I’ve never been such a big fan of dates, and for me every single day has the capacity to be the new demarkation between something that can change.

Anyways, I’d like to draw upon on what 2011 has been for me.

Change of address

2011 was a landmark year for me as far as I’m personally concerned. It started me with me moving out from my native place (parents’ home) in Gurgaon to come to a wonderful city … Hyderabad. True, it was a significant decision on which I had meditated a lot, and got equally large quantities of advice from my “well wishers”. There were a few factors which helped me decide in favour of coming here ūüôā . Now that I reflect back, I’m so glad I did. It might not be applicable for everyone I know of, but I have my reasons.

Improvement in my sporting quotient.

The fact that this year I indulged more in many form of games, right from good old swimming, to tennis, and some cycling, and even yoga. I feel fitter and healthier than ever. I have put on some decent amount of weight (by no means like fat, but i do not look underweight anymore).

Learnt to play guitar

I got my first real six string,

bought it from a shop in here.

played it till my fingers got sore,

this is the high of the year.

This was something, I had always fantasized about doing, and now i can say I am quite comfortable doing it.

Made some great new friends, bonded with a many of the old ones.

This one is also a really significant take from the past year. Always good to meet new and interesting people. Even more significant is that old folks care to hang about. Thank almighty for this good fortune.

Amongst the other significant interesting things, that shaped up the past year

  • Discovered Hyderabadi¬†Biryani : Was never a major fan, but now, it’s safe to say that I’m hooked on to¬†the great taste.
  • Did a rather longish road trip, from Delhi to Hyderabd : Saw the beauty in Indian roads.
  • Improved on my home making abilities. Those skills were¬†getting rusty when I was at home with parents.
  • Bought my first¬†house.
  • Got the ownership of my first car.
  • Travelled far more than previous few years put together.
  • Got pampered by my awesome cook, Durga Aunty.

2012 Logon_Preview

Needless to say, I’m a little starry eyed now. I did not know any of this in 2010. Same applies to what I know about 2012. Apart from a certain doomsday prediction, life might turn out even smoother.

Maybe, this year I’ll have a fawn colored lab I’ve always wanted.

Maybe this year I’ll meet my dream girl, or realise¬†she’s¬†who.

Maybe I’ll find a Man Friday, I dream of Jeeves too.

Who knows ? what 2012 has in store for me. Here’s wishing everyone, a very happy new year!

Coincidence ?

Two unrelated situations, yet I took note of them on the same day.

One

There is this local department store, in my locality. It’s run as an outlet of a popular chain of departmental stores in Hyderabad, called “More”. I go there to get top ups for my kitchen and household consumables, which I stock up on a less frequent basis from Ratandeep, D-Mart, or hypercity.

Anyways, I’m invariably there every couple of days (think milk, bread, and eggs), so it’s not as though I’m remarking here about some random, isolated cases. I’m a regular there.

Some months back I saw a old man there. He has a very fair complexion and freckles on his face. Whatever hair exist on his head, are snow white in color. So is his moustache. Ever since then, I have started to see him with such a regularity that I almost look out for him when I go to the store. I go at random times. Early mornings, late mornings, some evenings, other night times. I go there, and he’s there, or he comes nicely strolling by.

I’ve observed him for quite some time now, and we haven’t spoken or even smiled at each other, for that matter. But we are (well, for the lack of a better word) comfortable around each other. He doesn’t linger around. Picks up his stuff quickly, and pushes off, quite unlike some people who are very slow and also make small talk with the people around.Like the way I do.

He dresses in track pants, and a collared T-shirt on most of the days. He moves with a certain swiftness and accuracy that compels me to make a guess about his lifestyle and background. I think he’s from armed forces background. I could of course be wrong, but I don’t see that kind of fitness, agility and poise in civilians of his age.

He’s a early riser, and I guess he runs/does long walks also.

He does not ever carry a re-useable bag to the store, despite the initiative by the store management to penalize the use of plastic bags for the betterment of the environment. Although I try to reuse my cloth bags, but he’s always there to ask for a plastic bag.

Whenever I go there, and he’s not already … I need to just look out for some minutes, and sure enough he comes strolling in. The coincidence is amazingly freakish. It has changed from being remarkable to eerie to just being funny now.

I think his is the face I’ve most often seen in my society.

Maybe, some day I’ll get to know him.

Two

I had wondered what I’ll do with one Bull Audio speaker that was working fine in my car. The pair had sounded great when it vibrated in my car, and cost me some good deal too. It was difficult decision to have a cheap Sony Explod as a replacement for that pair. I had also tried to sell it off to the car shop I bought the other set from but to no avail. So, these speakers came to Hyderabad with me (thanks to the road trip), I took them out from my car trunk (they were just occupying space there), and put them in my house. For some months they just occupied my closet space, and I’d just look at them and wonder … maybe one day, the defunct one will magically heal itself, and I’ll put them back in my car.

My home theater, a Logitech Zx-5500 had it’s center satellite speaker busted. Maybe too high a volume played by me, or maybe it had been dropped from it’s table. I opened the stand and got out the speaker, but it just wouldn’t play. So, I ruled out the possibility of a bad connection.

Although music was decent (only stereo configurations worked), the Dolby dts and Dolby digital movis had the vocal channel missing. It sounded horrible.

So it occurred to me, to use that one functional bull audio speaker, and hack it into my home theater. With a few tweaks, it was up, and sounded much more awesome that the existing scenario.

Wow, my home theater is a Frankenstein now :).

————————

I was generally thinking back . Every thing or a person has some role to play . An important role, which only he/she can justify. I suppose that is what they call as destiny. Lines like he was destined to do so and so…

We seek that out from the trying to filter out noise of our regular day-to-day lives.

Some of us find it. Some of us don’t.

I am my destiny’s Frankenstein!

Since when?

It seems we have become so hooked up to worldly charms, that at times when I look at my and my peers life I feel a little taken aback.

We have become such big time consumers, that the joy of been producing(creating) something has been lost. No body cares much about it these days anyways.

Where is the creativity…..

We all strive for those big moments and special occasions,

we forget the simple pleasures like playing crazy in the mud, and flying kites and playing marbles.

Where is the leisure……

We judge people right from the onset, how one talks and how one walks,

Where has the hanging out with someone, irrespective of the differences.

Is innocence dead……

 

We are so defined been selling liners that we have tuned our lives to follow them like the rats followed a certain Mr. Pied Piper.

  • Since when did friday become a reason to thank God?
  • Since when did retail become equal to therapy?
  • Since when did the phone become a fashion statement?
  • Since when did the car become man who’s made a comeback?
  • Since when did having fun become equivalent to being frivolous in spending?
  • Are diamonds really a girl’s best friends?
  • Must the kids have a PSx, and a xbox in order to be in the game?
  • Since when did the moment on Karaoke culture become so cool?
  • A gift for someone you love, is chocolate/jewellery/electronics¬† now, not time ….

 

I admit to being guilty on many of these accounts, and more such as,

Having more movies than I can watch, and more music than I can possibly listen to.

Being spoilt for choices on what I can eat, and end up eating trash.

Being entertained all the time, with computer, internet, and mobile phones. There’s lesser of moments when I am with myself.

….

 

I don’t like where this is going, but it felt real good to blow this off.

writing can be fun too! ūüôā

 

I’m a cow bwaaay!

This post contains another recoding. My favorite western song. ūüôā

I’ve been wanting to play this one ever since I started to strum. however, I could do it only now.

The funny thing is that this particular song is more vocal heavy, and I am still not all that comfortable singing (yet!) . Anyways, I had a go at it, and the output is here for you to listen. Like it or trash it, for the record …. I have put it up. It’s quite an effort.

One more thing off my to do list. ūüôā

———————–

(Country Roads, by John Denver . Acoustic cover by me, rhythm and vocals)

 

My two hot flatmates.

Friends back at home have repeatedly wanted to see pictures of my guitar.Here they are (yes folks, I have two) , and aren’t they hot ? Presenting for the very first time……..

TADA

The small handy guitar I use to catch newer tunes
babe

This is the first guitar I’ve ever played on. It’s a cut shaped concert guitar. Even now, many a songs I cannot play on my other guitar come easily to me on this. Babe’s a gift from a friend of mine from college.

The guitar with the deep sound.
pluto

Pluto is the guitar I fell in love with despite the fact that there were Yamahas and Fenders around it at the music shop. After playing all those guitars, somehow the sound of this hottie appealed to me the most, and I got her home ūüėČ

 

harmony
both

Don’t they co-exist in such nice harmony. If only life were like that!

Warning : This post shall not be held responsible if your monitor screen burns out due to the sheer hotness. You have been warned!!

Peace out.

Meaning of all this.

After having a rather hectic day for the first day of the week, I decided to just doze off, because I felt my body was incapable of doing anything more. It was around 2 am, and my day consisted of a few nicely intertwined physical and mental activities.

Amongst troubleshooting a tricky problem at work, I had done an hour of power yoga (I think it’s the only form my teacher likes), some more work, and a 2 set game of tennis, which went down 6-2, 7-7 (and refused to finish from there on). It lasted for about 1 hour, and was preceded by half an hour of warm up knocks. Eventually, it was the time that was a constraint. I had to go over to a surprise¬†birthday party of a friend, and my partner had some errands to run before 12:00 AM. it had already turned 11 PM.

For me, the round of activities continued. The surprise was very nicely anticipated by the¬†birthday boy, and there was some Glenfiddich¬†(wow, what a word) at his house. This somehow lifts up the spirits of many a people I know. For me, a biryani¬†from bawarchi did a similar job. So, we got recharged and started a sort of dance party if you can call it that. ūüôā

End result : I was tired and I slept off like a log.

Next morning, I got up late, and did not feel like driving, or biking. Somehow I feel both are taxing.

I decided on taking an auto to work, and almost instantly dozed off. When I reached, the auto driver tried to get some chai-pani extras from me, but I remained firm and paid only the amount we had negotiated. He left off with a face that reflected grumpiness.

After walking into my office for nearly half the distance to my work place, I realised I had left my laptop, and lunch box in the auto. I had no recollection of the number plate, or anything . I was too sleepy to observe.

At work, I realised that there was nothing much I could do about it. I went on into a meeting like nothing had happened.

Being from Delhi, I guess I’m conditioned to not seeing the face of things, once lost.I’m certian had I left a laptop in Delhi cab/auto, it would have been pawned (maybe even changed two hands) in the small shop in Nehru Place.

After the meeting got over, I mentioned the happenings to a¬†friend, who literally exclaimed “Why are you even in office?” . “Go look for it” . Before I even realised what was happening, I had a bike key in my hand, with a RC and Registration papers. The only thing lacking …. was a plan of action. Where was I supposed to go? Who was I supposed to talk to?

“Go tell police…..”, “Go talk to other autowallas in the nearby stand…..”, “Talk to the security guard of the office…..”. were the ideas I was given by people around me.

Then something concrete came up. I chanced on the fact that the autowallas who wait outside Malaysian township are regular folks out there, and there were indeed a few faces I could recollect from the previous time I took a ride. Maybe I could find this auto guy waiting there. That would be a real lucky break. Basing it on that possibility I headed back home.

I rode on, and somehow had the urge to slow down near every auto walla, and have a sneak in to maybe run into the same fellow who dropped me in the morning.

I also enumerated the things of importance inside the laptop. I mean cost of the machine aside, there were photos, music and recordings in it. I cringed at the thought because I remembered the condition of friends who lost data and irreplaceable personal stuff.

When I reached the place, immediately stopped in front of the other auto guys standing there in a queue. I told one of the guys my story, and they told me they remember seeing me in the morning, and know the fellow who drove me. Heck, they even had his cell phone number.

I was back in business. Big time.

They immediately called the other guy, and asked him to come over. Meanwhile, we engaged in some small talk, where they told me in typical Hyderabadi lingo “Bhai, itni¬†der kai ko kari¬†aane¬†me, koi passengera¬†peeche¬†se utha¬†leta¬†to humko¬†nakko¬†milta naa” .

I got them back (both tiffin and laptop). safe and sound. I thought I could have been more proactive and swift in reaching out.

————————————

Life keeps on giving you signs, like an aura on a life form. Yesterday I got a very good vibe from it.

It kind of reinstated some of my beliefs.

  • Life does offer second chance. (you need to be there to take it)
  • I am lucky. (plain old lucky!)
  • Goodness is still not a lost cause.
  • I like Hyderabad (Can you say this about the city you live in?)

It also motivated me to very actively :

  1. Get all my data in one place and have a redundant copy of what I deem worth it.
  2. Not sleep at wrong places.
  3. If I have an idea, I should act on it. With some urgency.

Now this is trippy stuff.

So, I had been laying low for some time. Am back . Not with the proverbial bang, but a melody. Yup, a melody. All created and recorded at home.

Now I have been an admirer of great music ever since I can remember. Somehow, the urge to dissect and sample a song by bits had never occurred to me. Neither had there been any inclination to play any musical instrument. I did secretly wish to play guitar, drums and flute.

Now if I look retrospectively, I have had many a chances to learn how to play guitar. Needless to say, I squandered most of them. ūüôā

Walk down the memory lane.

  1. I was in class sixth. Mom was a teacher in school, and dad had a guitar. She decided to put the two together to see if anything happens. So, she asked a guitar teacher in school to come and teach me. But there was a glitch, which acted like a spanner in the otherwise “smooth as an engine plan by mom“. The guitar teacher would come at 6:00¬† PM, i.e the time to play. Now i felt that was not a fair trade. Play time vs. guitar learn time. So to get the best of both the worlds, I convinced my younger sister to take lessons form the Guitar sir, and teach me later in the evening. That was when the scheme went out for a toss. I had to play outside with friends ūüôā
  2. In college, I was thoroughly impressed by the musical abilities of some of my class mates. Also, give a guitar to any school kid in Sikkim, and he’d probably put the other (read outsiders) kids to shame. It seems, they are born with some guitar playing abilities. Let’s not digress. I saw a certain Mr. SB, Banra, Panne, Mr. PS, Mr. KR, Mr. UR amongst the others. I was thoroughly impressed.
  3. I asked Panne to borrow his guitar at the exam time. He did not play during very close to the exam days, and I err… did not study all the time :). So I would get like a week around the exam dates, when I’d get Panne’s guitar and try to strike up the musician in me. But no. Not of any consequence. I gave up, again.
  4. I was flatmates with a person when I stayed in Noida. He had a guitar, and played some times. My other flatmate had a guitar too, and I saw this as a golden opportunity to  get in the groove. I started looking up the net, and getting to play. Only went up to getting to finger a few simple chords. Then those lessons got slashed as I decided to move back to gurgaon. I still did not have a guitar.
  5. I would repeatedly pester my friend , Mr. SB to sell me his old guitar, or accompany me to a music shop to by one for me. I still had no guitar picking talent. Some how, he fell in love with his old guitar which he did try to sell to me. I mean I got all the mail with that guitar striking various poses. I did not react proactively for some reason, and he withdrew the offer later. Some things, I guess are just not meant to be

<Snip>

I came to hyderabad 6 months ago. Ain’t I old ? Some things happened that lead me into giving it a shot for yet another time.

The push consisted of (and how it actually happened).

  1. I moved to a new house, and would play loud music in the morning.My next door  neighbor overheard my song selection. He somehow deduced that I like guitar. He is himself a guitarist from his college days. He decided to teach me. My problem was, I did not have a guitar. He is Mr. R, and is one of my guitar teachers
  2. Amongst some of the people I met here, a friend from college had a guitar. I told him to teach me as well. He said that he did not play anymore, and told me to take the guitar if I wish to. Mr. RK, I heard a mental click. Finally, I had a guitar. Thanks. Big Time. This was about 4 months ago.

4 months ago, I decided to give guitar playing another shot. Somehow during that time I got to listen to Telugu Music. I was impressed yet again. There was a student in me which was trying to get up. It was certainly not something I was home at doing, but I blogged about getting out out from the “comfort zone“.

I certainly wanted to practice what I preached (or blogged).

So, in an attempt to get out from my comfort zone, I decided to try to learn how to play guitar. Made a mental promise with self that I’ll hang in there for 2 months, and see how things go from there.

(Patience, by G’n’R . Acoustic cover by me, rhythm and vocals)

Now there are some things I can do with a guitar, and some which I can’t. I needed a lot of patience, and I still do. One thing is for sure, I’m a student for life. ūüôā

PS : I’m a lousy singer

But y?

Needless to point out, that I am not a very well travelled person¬† (OK, relatively speaking, but my benchmark is that I’ve not been to as many cities as how old I am)

This is a list of cities/towns in India I have visited. I tried to come up with one word that I associated with the particular place. It’s certainly not a random word that tries to fit the bill. Those who have travelled with me, will realize the word I use is very apt.

  • Dharamshala¬† – hilly.
  • Hyderabad – breezy.
  • Bombay – busy.
  • Delhi – happy.
  • Gangtok – beauty.
  • Jaipur – blurry.
  • Dhanaulti – chilly/starry.
  • Kolkata – lazy/sultry.
  • Bengaluru – rainy.
  • MP – greenry.
  • Rajasthan – dry.
  • Lucknow – gastronomy.
  • Kanpur – milky.
  • Patna – empty.
  • Chandigarh –¬† cleanly.
  • Ludhiana – messy.
  • Shimla – monkey.
  • Mussorie – patty.
  • Siliguri – racy.
  • Manali – windy.
  • Agra – sunny.
  • Darjeling – pretty.
  • Guwahati – crzy.