I am a certified wierdo.

Every one has a quirk or two. Right?

What if I can list 9. I guess some people like to make it large. My quirkiness borders on the periphery of eccentricity. Let me know if you can top this !

Here’s a list of things, and my attempt to provide a reasoning for why I succumb to doing them this way.

  1. I like wearing old and worn out clothes. Also, I  prefer loose and seemingly shabby outfits to smart and well fitted ones. It’s comfort mostly. Even my bed sheets are the ones that have been washed a hundred times, and basically discarded by my sister. A few of my pillows have been with me before my college days. I like clothes which seem like a second skin, and not an alien cover on me.
  2. I have not seen the popular sitcom “friends“, completely.People I know have done it at least three times over. I do find some of the episodes engaging, but I could not mantain a consistent watch like I did with scrubs, OC, How I met your mother or That 70’s show. (Yep, I’m a sitcom buff otherwise).
  3. I need to talk myself into going to a hospital/doctor. It’s not injections that scare me, it’s the phenyl smell. I think I mentally associate that smell with death and suffering. I’m always on the lookout for floral/fruity smelling disinfectants, because it’s that smell I cannot live with.
  4. I do not get super excited to celebrate my birthday at 12’o clock during the night. I feel that’s the time to sleep. But off late I have realised the value of being with friends and people. But really, I’d prefer a party round the next weekend to my Birthday. It’s not related to “you never ask a lady her age” syndrome. I am what I am.
  5. I think there can be no chocolate better than cadbury’s fruit and nut . Yes I have tried the more expensive, and fancier ones, still no go. There are always a couple of F&Ns in fridge. I have been gifted a stack of F&Ns on my birthday once 😀
  6. When I’m listening to music on headphones, and get interrupted by someone who’d like to ask or tell me something. I do this drill of “first putting my music player to pause, and then taking my headphones off to respond“. I just feel that it’s a respect I must pay to the musician. On a related note, I always try to complete a song before stopping.
  7. The music type I listen to keeps on changing alarmingly. There might even be cases where a song that I hated previously, becomes my most played track. Some of the songs on my mp3 player are not even in a language I understand. When it comes to music, I can’t explain. 🙂
  8. I honestly believe that I will not survive if I don’t eat for a day. Some people have such groovy engines for their bodies. Mine is a fuel guzzling (but not a SUV like 🙂 ) old fashioned Ford T. Anyways, it’s better than many out there, but it freaks me out as though how people can go carrying on fasting for days and days. Heck yesterday I realized I eat as much as two similar sized people do.
  9. I thought I knew it all, but now I feel I do not have a clue, about the bigger picture of life. There did come a time when I could look back and say “I’ve got it all figured out”, and be smug about it. Not so much now.  Forget the bigger picture and all, at this very moment, I’d be happy if I could say I know myself through and through. I know I don’t. And I’m not ashamed to admit 🙂

So ….. What do you want to be ?

This is one of those perennial questions, whose answer is ever so changing. When I was a kid, I was asked, countless number of times …. “What would I want to be when I grow up”

Answers, at different points in time, varied from actor, zoo keeper, astronaut, police cop (yes it’s true), mathematician, and so on.

Post school, the same question would pop up in more subtle variations such as “child …. what are the future plans ?” . Looked as though people decided to make it their business, to know what kind of profession I aspired to be in.  Well, I was kind of clear, of what I wanted to become, pretty early in my life, but I got egged here. Thanks to a lot of unsolicited advice. On the lines of… “Why don’t you do MBA?”, “Do further studies … you’ll get a more paying job”.

Anyways, as the universe was conspiring to somehow get me to reveal my plans, my lack of interest in such discussions pushed people off my conversation group, and I was in the bliss full period, where I had assumed I was past the “pesky questions”.

I was so wrong, and the question has sprung forward, from a person I hardly know. Then again, it’s vital he knows. He represents the management of my current employer, or perhaps serves as an interface to the management. I suppose, as a part of implementation of a certain process in the organization I work in, I was assigned a certain role. He casually, after a meeting asked me, if I enjoyed this particular role, or would I rather do a certain other well-defined role here.

This was thought-provoking.

The currently assigned role required me to take certain decisions, and collaborate with my team, plan for weekly release of deliverable to the client, and so on. As a part of the package, I was also required to check the health of team, which I was not too comfortable doing. It did not result in an outburst from me, because the team I was assigned to work with, was sufficiently autonomous. People are talented, responsible, and sufficiently driven. I absolutely cherish the time I spend with them (imp. not with the project, but with this group of people).

However, I also understand that with the nature of work I do, this seemingly goody good fabric of harmony might be shredded apart as and when the employer feels necessary.

The other alternate path would require me to pursue a path of technical island, and explore safe landing spot for others, actively engaged in working for a project. For those who aren’t technical vocabulary challenged … an architect. Let me point it out here, that while I would want to be doing the first role for certain aspects of work and durations of time, I also would define me to be the second option in certain points of times.

So I suppose the career paths for me do not bifurcate into directions A and B. I need to find my trail in the middle. A thing or two I’ve realized after observing myself work  (the introspection in solitude 🙂 syndrome) are as follows:

  • I like to work with a certain amount of ownership of the project. If I get uprooted too often from one project to another (as a technical architect would), I’d probably be driven insane. I mean, this way, I’d be providing a move on to many things, but hardly seeing anything to the end. I guess belonging is something I crave for.
  • I do not aspire to check work of others and drive other people to work. I like it best when people are smart to work with, and encourage mutual discussions, and active role play in division of work. More like collaboration.
  • I like to solve problems. Simple ones, or one that have that aura of mystery around them. I guess it all boils down to my belief …. “Everything happens for a reason”.

Anyways, I suppose whatever I say now will be a snapshot in time, and should be interpreted as that. I’m sure no one wakes up one day and says “I’m gonna be a <so and so> person in an organization.

You can cook, but should you …

I consider myself a rather decent cook. So much so, that I can try out new things, and don’t mind coming up with innovative fillers when the situation demands.

Novice would be a good word to describe me, definitely not in the league of chefs such as my dad,  and those professional people.

Anyways, so for I party I  hosted on my birthday, I pitched in with my idea of “pineapple raita” . For people unfamiliar with the dish, a riata is an indian dish, made by mixing a variety of things (which range from fried crunchies, diced up vegetables to exotic fruits) in curd, and is consumed along with something in the main course, which otherwise might be dry.

So there was this unused pineapple lying in my kitchen, which I thought I’d put to good use, and so I was inspired to dish out the pineapple raita.

There were certain hindrances to what seems like a trivial thing to do, but I was a man with resolve.

One of these days, I'm gonna cut you into little pieces.

I could not cut a pineapple on my own.

I really does not occur to you until you actually get to doing it, but seriously how does one cut a pineapple. It is such a thing with hard and scaly exterior. My knives simply gave up, and even if I forced cut the fruit, I would have wasted a lot of that juicy part. (A pineapple is like hard from the outside, with sort of cylindrical shell which is sweet, and an interior which is more sour than that shell part).

There was no taker for the job.

So, I decided I’ll get the pineapple cut from a professional fruit seller. I was wrong in assuming that just any fruit seller would slice it up for me. For those unaware, the ones who sell pineapple, only sell pineapple. Like fruit specialists. So, I had to find a pineapple seller in gurgaon. Another task.

The pineapple I had, turned out bad.

Luckily, (oh really) I managed to find one, while roaming in a sabzi mandi. But when the guy did get to chopping off my pineapple, it was bad from inside.Like really rotten or something. He showed it to me, and I told him to discard the piece. By now, I was convinced that maybe some unseen force is trying to stop me from having the raita made. But I did not lose any determination. I told the guy to cut up a new pineapple from his stock, and give it to me. I specifically asked him to give a sweet one.

The Raita was a complete disaster.

Towards the end of my party, I decided to sample the raita myself. Unfortunately,  I had already bragged about it before tasting it myself. So the foot in the mouth situation was already imminent. :). I tried it, and I must say it was the worst tasting raita I’ve had in my life. I mean a curd gone sour, because of the over activity of   lactobacillus bacteria probably tastes better.

I’ll analyze the reasons that might have affected my raita in another post. Needless to say, a thorough investigation would be initiated. Results shall be published on a later date in a separate post.

To the people who had to eat it (out of good manners, I’m sure) … Sorry for the bad taste. I’ll make it up to you.

Where you are affects how you are …

I was a believer that where I am had no implications on how I am. I mean, I would say to my boss, that it doesn’t matter where you make me sit, as long as I have the internet connection and power sockets to connect all my gadgets, I would be as productive, if I were  say somewhere else.

For simplicity sake, let us assume that both the places are inside the office premises (Yea it would obviously matter, if I were to sit next to a loud mouth).

Today I realized, that many other things matter, even the view, people in vicinity, and the general atmosphere.

I had a change of seat, and my new desk is in a rather aloof and isolated place as compared to my earlier desk. Also, the new building, where I sit in, has a nice cafe, and lot of other eating options. I generally feel content here. The noise around me is considerably less.

So if I were to give any measures of how it affects me, today I finished most of the work (which was a handful) assigned to me, in a sort of record amount of time.

Also, it did not imply that I had to fore-go my other day-to-day activities, like checking mails, and writing mails, and going out for a walk around lunch time, and generally cribbing about my IT problems to the management. In other words a routine day.

Does it mean that I magically became more productive? If so, was it due the novelty factor of my new found place, or was it plain old lower burden of work. Only time will tell. As of now, I feel happy, and rearing to go, I’ll update this post as soon as I discover more.

I have three possible explanations for this.

  1. My work load today was less, and it only seemed huge.
  2. I was happy due to the new place I was made to shift to, and so it resulted in lots of work being finished.
  3. Since many of my needs were satisfied (hunger, tranquility), my mind was less distracted, and I was in a better off condition to do creative work.

If point number 3 holds out to be true, this might be a very important discovery as far as me and my body is concerned. I’ll keep this post updated.

In a weeks time then…