fuck love

a blog on 'life' and other popular four letter words...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Join the queue....:)

This is a prize winning speech delivered for the 2010 Humorous Speech Competition. This speech was again made at a Toast Masters Cub in Bangalore recently. Besides lookin fat and perpetually drunk and not having many people laughing at my jokes here, this speech won the Area level contest last November (Of course, there was more preparation then :))

Suggest you see the video before going through the post below.



What do women want?

They want Affection.

A lotta Admiration, Devotion, and Dedication .

Commitment, Conversation, Communication, Chocolate.

Candle Lit Dinners,

Sweet, Sweet, Nothings,

Tender Love and ...


And what do men want?



Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus; they are NOT supposed to combine.

But they do; and this combination is called ...Marriage!

Now before marriage, when a man holds a woman's hand, it is called...love; after marriage, it is called self defense.

Now in India, there is a special type of marriage...it is called Arranged Marriage; it is a marriage which is well, 'fixed' - a 'fixed' marriage. Think of it - a 'fixed' marriage? If you put the word 'fixed' before another commonly used term, 'cricket match', it becomes 'fixed cricket match'. A fixed cricket match? And we as a nation, has got a problem with any cricket match which is fixed. But we have absolutely no problem with a marriage which is similarly 'fixed'!!!

"Fixed Cricket Match!!! Ajay Jadeja!! Azharuddin!!!", What did we do with them? We banned them for life!!!

"Fixed Arranged Marriage!!! Boy and Girl!!!", What did we do with them?
We celebrate!!!

Balle! Balle!

Now I'm that stage of getting married and I'm not getting a lot of good feedback about marriage. From various sources. I'll start with the Internet:

If you go to the net and type, "Advantages of Marriage", even Google gets confused....

If you tell people that you're married, they sympathize with you.....
You don't believe me? In any organization, it is the married people who can leave early, the unmarried folks are expected to work all night. I asked my boss why this is so and he told me, "They're married: they're already suffering. You won't understand...."

Now as a part of this arranged marriage loop, even I too have met some women. And I've noticed that nobody talks during these meetings; everybody communicates only with their eyes. Last month, me and my parents went to met this lady and we were sitting in the living room of her house, waiting for her. Eventually she came with the traditional tray of tea, coffee, sweets biscuits, but she doesn't look at me. She coyly hides her face behind her hands and peeps (see attached video). My mom sits opposite to me and she doesn't say anything either but she looks at me and gives me a knowing look, implying that the girl is good. My sister sits next to me and she doesn't say anything but she alternatively looks at herself and to the girl ; she's thinking to herself, "Is my sari better or is her sari better?". My dad sits on the corner and he doesn't say anything but he's looking all around- he's measuring them; he's thinking to himself, "They have one clock- I have two clocks. They have 2 curtains - I have 4 curtains"...... And after all this drama, we drive back home, some 250 kilometers away, and in the evening, the girl's father calls us up and says, "Sorry, horoscopes don't match!!!" After all this drama!!!

The point I'm trying to make is that I'm in the pursuit of getting married but the various messages that I get from various sources seem to tell me that marriage is a bad idea, whether its the internet, my boss, my own experiences. Even my married friends tell me not to get married. In fact, I have this friend, who's a very close friend of mine, and he's been married for a very long while now, and I really don't think he's very happy with his marriage. I mean, before marriage, he was this tall, strong and established guy; after marriage, his establishment fell down. Before marriage he was six-pack, baby, six-pack..after marriage, he became family pack.... And he was telling me this story...He lives in Indiranagar and one day, he goes to MG Road and he sees his huge crowd of people, some 200-300 people walking forward, and at the very front, they're carrying two boxes. Now my friend gets all curious and he thinks its some VIP or something, and he goes to the crowd, joins the crowd, some 200-300 people, he walks with the crowd and goes to the very front where they're carrying the two boxes and asks the man in front, "Excuse me, hi, what's with the boxes?"

And the man says, "It's my wife. She died."
And my friend says, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that. How did it happen?"
And the man says, "Well, she was trying to feed the dog, and the dog bit her, and she died."
And my friend says, "Oh, I'm so sorry to hear that! "

Now my friend sees the other box and he's curious again. He asks the man again, "Don't mind me asking, but what's with the other box?"
And the man says, "Its my mother-in-law. She tried to save my wife from the dog, but the dog bit her also and she also died."

Now my friend starts thinking. And after a lot of careful thought, he asked the man, "Can I borrow the dog?"

And the man said, pointing backwards, "Sure, join the queue."


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Return of the King

Once upon a time, he said, “I’ll be back”.

And he did. And how.

And then he left. Supposedly for good. And a million fans around the world despaired. Ten years later, these million fans grew up. And then he said again, “I’ll be back”.

I don’t know about the millions but I know I am excited. For a second, it took me back to those days when as a kid, I used to follow each and every movie of this man. I remember the huge poster of his that adorned my bedroom wall. I remember fighting with my parents for the TV remote so that I could watch the latest movie of his at the expense of my mom's 'saas bahu' serials. I remember always being inspired by his story: he was an Austrian malnourished kid, and to avoid being bullied by bigger kids, he got into body building. He later went on to become the strongest man in the Universe. Thrice. Then he headed over to Hollywood with broken English and a name that was too long to be displayed on the billboards. People told him he had no chance in movies and to shut shop and go back home. And then the Terminator was born; Action movies were never the same after that. He later went on to become the greatest action movie star in the world. Then he quit movies and all that jazz to become the governor of California. However whenever there came a movie with him in a small role, I used to call all my old friends, now all grown up, and talk about the good ol days. And we all became kids again talking about Commando, Predator, Running Man, Total Recall and the like. The last such movie I remember doing this was The Expendables (Of course, Stallone and Schwarzenegger in the same frame was worth the ticket!)

In his absence, action got redefined; action became slick n stylish (a la 300), action got high tech, with CG and FX (Transformers), action became superheroic (Iron Man, X Men…) taking the place of good ol’ old fashioned brawn. But somehow robots and super heroes just didn’t give action its soul. They are all good movies, but they aren’t the action that he represented; the type that satisfied very kid’s fantasy where one man could single handedly bash up all the bad guys with his bare hands. Today’s action movies are just clever amalgamations of good graphics, good visuals or good scripts. We so badly needed the last action hero.

And last week, he said that he’ll be back. And it looks like that he will be. He said in an earlier interview that is looking at three different scripts, including “With Wings as Eagles,” where he would play a WWII German soldier who disobeys orders and rescues prisoners of war.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is back where he belongs.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Bangkok Terrible!!!! :)

Oh, by the way, bachelors go to Thailand for exactly what you think they’re going for. They say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas but what happens in Thailand, never happened. J

Some time back, a whole lot of us went to Thailand. And understandably, it raised a lot of eyebrows within our immediate social circles. Since it was an official tour, our parents were afraid that we’d mix business with pleasure. J Even today, we get questions with a wink, “So how was it?”, which we reciprocate with an equally suggestive wink, “Not bad at all!” J

Someone once said, ”Go to Heaven for the view and to Hell, for the company”. We clearly did not have a purpose for the trip but I must say, we got what we were looking for J . Thailand, in my opinion, is perfect for a holiday: It’s beautiful, very cost effective, very safe, with friendly people and for the shopaholic, Thailand offers some really mean bargains. Also, Bangalore is well connected to Thailand - there’s a daily 1230 AM flight to and a 1130 PM flight back from Bangkok- so you can leave after dinner and be back before breakfast J .Visa is on arrival, which is a fairly simple process, and it’s very easy going about in Bangkok via bus, taxi and the metro (superlike!). Our trip consisted of two days in Bangkok and two days in Pattaya and the highlights were the beach, shopping and the night life.

Now I’m a beach person - I simply love the beach. There’s nothing that gives me more pleasure than to sit on an easy chair, kick up my naked feet on a stool and laze around by reading a book looking at the sun setting into the sea. Never in my life had I seen the ocean so blue set against the sun shining so bright and the sand running so smoothly between my toes. The sun covers you in a cozy warmth and you can feel the warm waves caress your feet as you lie by the shore. And add a cold chilled beer to tickle your taste buds and it is an experience that is nothing short of heaven. Also for the adventure seeker, there are various options like para gliding, speed boating and underwater walks (see pic). And there is an inexplicable thrill of walking by the beach; as I walked by the waves, my mind was filled with various random thoughts about me, my life and many other grandiose thoughts. It was so soothing and relaxing and all you see around are people who are just happy and having fun: children building sand castles, couples holding hands, friends having fun: no wonder this place is known as ‘the land of the smiles’ . J

On bargain shopping in Thailand, consider that the Thai currency, the baht, is comparable to the Indian rupee in purchasing power (1 Bhat = 1.5 Indian rupee, the last time I checked). Most of the bargains can be found in the night markets or the streets of Bangkok; however if you don’t want to walk around a lot, you could find a lot of stuff at the huge shopping mall called MBK. The beauty of MBK is that you have everything under one roof though is slightly over priced. In our case, since we all had a heavy late lunch, we all decided to take a long walk and we all walked away from the MBK mall, with no particular destination in mind, guided towards all the lights and sounds and on the way, we found many street shops that we realized were put up only in the evenings; it was here that we got some amazing bargains on cotton clothes, souvenirs and knick knacks. We just kept walking and whenever we got tired, we’d take the sky train and go the opposite direction and then start walking again in some other random direction. Finally when we were sufficiently lost, sufficiently tired and had sufficiently shopped , we took a cab back to our hotel. Thailand is known for jewels and rare stones, but make sure you buy it from the authorized jewelers. Also recommended for the buying list is clothes. And some heavy duty bargaining. You have got to bargain here big time! An interesting suggestion which a successful shopaholic passed on to me was to always smile when bargaining with the shopkeepers; it almost always works in reducing the prices!!

Thailand is known for its night life (Ya baby ya!!! J). You have pubs and bars that are open till the wee hours of the morning. In fact, the day starts in the evening there. In Pattaya, the night life is centered around a mile long stretch called the Walking Street. Vehicles are banned here and all you do here is, well, just walk J . On this little stretch of road, you have hotels, shops, bars, pubs but what really makes it truly amazing is that, in this street, you see people from all over the world – Indians, Europeans, Americans, Japanese, Arabs…you name it, they’re there. My friends and I used to play this game where we tried to guess which country people were by observing their mannerisms. What makes things even more interesting is also that there are a lot of women who entice you into buying them a drink at the nearby bar. A lady dragged my friend to the nearby bar and he had to buy her drinks, but it’s all done so playfully that it’s all in good fun and humor. The thai food is delicious though I’m a big fan of the American cheeseburger and cold beer. The people are very warm and friendly and you are almost always usually welcomed with their greeting known as “Sawadee”, the thai equivalent of the Namaste. Almost everyone speaks English so we had no problems in communication. We had a ball of a night and reached back to our hotel room at 5 in the morning.

They say that no one realizes how beautiful a trip was until he comes home and rests his head on his old, familiar pillow. On reaching home, our minds, hearts and souls were filled with the sights, sounds and smells of that marvelous beach city, Thailand. The purpose of our trip was nothing and we were more than happy with it.

The trip to Bangkok was 'terrible' as even after we've left the place, the place hasn't left us...memories of that amazing place still lingers and haunts us even today. I stand testimony to how great that place is: I have been going to Thailand every October for the last three years now. Amazing Thailand.

Waiting for October.


If you liked this post, please vote/promote me at :


Hell, vote for me even if you didn't like it. :)

This post is contending for

Cleartrip "My Purpose" Contest

and It is also contending for Indiblogger contest. Here is the link:


Rock On!!!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I proposed to her 13 times and she said 'No' all the 13 times.

Opposite attract.

And it is this attraction that is the breeding ground for a very powerful type of electric chemistry. Neha and I are the perfect examples of staunch opposites. We studied together and while she was the teacher’s pet, the same teacher treated me like some lost pet. While she was the Maths topper, I was the undisputed champion of flunking not just Maths, but all the other subjects too (My unbroken record of scoring ‘zero-outta hundred’ for all six semester tests still remains unbroken). While she was the lady everybody wanted to date, I just wanted to date everybody (Gender rules applied!). While she was the college fashionista, my aversion to water and shaving didn’t really help my score on the style quotient. And yet, we somehow connected; there existed a magical chemistry between the two of us. We both hail from God’s own country and whenever we talked in our highly polished convent educated English, our version of the Queen’s language somehow had a faint un-kingly mallu accent, which we both laughed off together many a times. We were always part of different friend groups but we used to find each other in our crowd of friends and always tried to sit next to each other as much as possible for the group eating sessions and the weekend movies with all the friends. We realized that we both liked exactly 3 ice cubes for our vodka and quirkily, both of us loved mayonnaise with our grilled chicken. We loved the same TV shows and hated the same movies. Inspite of all our glaring differences, we had a lot of things in common.

But she never said Yes to me. For 13 times.

And I never took No for an answer. For 13 times.

But after all the times she said ‘No’, she used to greet me with her beautiful broad smile the next day and warmly console me saying “at least, we’re good friends”. And then after a while, I’d propose to her again. And she’d reject me again. And she’ll console me again with her lovely smile the next day. And this went on again and so forth. But with each rejection, we got more and more close. And slowly, we had become inseparable.

Like all good things in life, college came to an end. And while she got placed in Bangalore, I had to relocate to Amsterdam for three years. She had to go to her new office almost as soon as we finished college while I had about 2 months before leaving the country. I decided to be in Bangalore for the two months rather than going home to Kerala so that I could be with her before my three year stint in Amsterdam. I also wanted to propose to her one last time before being separated from her for what then seemed like eternity.

As college got over, we needed to move out of the college hostel and she needed to get a new place to stay. I stayed at my relatives place in Indiranagar. I helped Neha with getting a nice house near her new office, I helped her with buying the furniture, I helped her with getting the gas connection and I helped her with looking into the details of her rent agreement and I made sure I got her her favorite red, red roses every now and then. I helped her cos she gave me that beautiful broad smile of hers more often. I helped her cos I felt happy helping her. I helped her cos I simply wanted to. I helped her cos I was in love. During the day when she went to her office in Koramangala, I used to wait at my relatives place in Indiranagar and in the evening at 6:30, I used to meet up with her and spent time with her till about 10:30 after which I caught the last bus back to Indiranagar. This routine went for the most of the two months. But I still hadn’t proposed to her for the 14th time. Also I did feel that she was expecting me to propose to her before leaving the country. So a week before my flight to Amsterdam, I went home to Kerala to bid adieu to my loved ones there and decided to come back to Bangalore a day earlier. Neha was expecting me a day later so I thought I’d surprise her. I was going to propose to Neha for the 14th and final time. I was nervous but I knew that 14 would be my lucky number.

I reached Bangalore at 6 in the evening and as soon as I reached, I bought a huge bunch of big red roses, the type she liked, and headed straight to her house. I was carrying the huge bunch of roses which covered almost half my body. I gave a big smile to the many, many amused onlookers. As I reached her house, I could hear my heart pounding against my chest. I was really nervous but I knew that everything would turn out well. I stood at her front door and I rehearsed my lines again for the umpteenth time. As I was taking a deep breath, I noticed that her front door was open and I could hear noises from inside the house. She must be making evening tea or something, I thought to myself. As I passed through the partially open door, I walked into her living room. The room was still dark but I could see light from her bed room across the hall. Suddenly I felt that something was amiss. Something was not right. I slowly walked towards the lit up bedroom. And then I heard Neha saying something. There was somebody else with her in her bedroom!!! As I slowly walked towards the brightly lit room, I slowly started to see clothes which were scattered untidily all around the bed. And then, what I saw next froze me in my footsteps.

Neha was in the arms of a man in red, I still don’t remember what he wore but I knew it was distinctly red. They both stood by the bed and he was standing facing towards me and she had her head rested against his chest. He had his arms around her and I think I saw a smile on her face, which was largely covered in his embrace. It was a fire-freeze moment for me: when multiple sets of strong opposing emotions were running frantically against each other in my mind. I wanted to yell out but I could not find my voice. I wanted to lunge the huge bunch of roses, the ones she liked, at him but I could not even move. I was angry, agitated and was screaming wildly inside my mind and yet I did not make a sound. A violent and dirty sense of hatred for the man in red passed through me which was opposed by a deep feeling of love for the one who was in his arms. I could feel blood rushing furiously into my face, tears building up in my eyes, I couldn’t breathe properly and felt that I would choke but I neither cried nor whimpered. I wanted to run far, far away but I also wanted to stay back and ask her how she could do what she was doing then. I did none of the above. I just stood there frozen with a heavy floral bunch in my hand looking at the love of my life in the arms of another man.

She slowly opened her eyes to see me standing right behind her and I saw her smile fade. As her eyes met with mine, I regained my composure and I stormed out of her house in a violent rage that shook off most of the petals off the roses and I marched away in utter disgust. The last I heard was her calling out my name behind me. I suddenly started running in some random direction and kept running. A flood of tears clouded my sight but I still kept running aimlessly. An hour or two later, I found myself sitting under a tree, humiliated, exhausted and dejected.

A week later I left the country with my heavily broken heart.

Three years later, I realized that three years in a foreign country is a really long period of time. I realized that three years is enough time to understand words like loneliness, friends, family and forgiveness. Since mobiles or internet hadn’t become big then, my only contact with home was the weekly ISD calls. I realized that I wanted to come back home as soon as possible. I realized that I was missing the Indianness in my life. I realized that I was missing my life in India. I also realized that I was still madly in love with Neha. But nobody I knew had any idea where she was. There were also rumors that she was about to get married. Three years later, I also learnt that the man in red who I saw her hugging that day was her younger brother Montu. I realized that I had to do something with my life and I had do it fast. But I didn’t know what to do.

Today, 11 years after that fire-freeze moment, I’m back here in India. I have two beautiful children, Neil and Nikila, and the man in red is today, my brother-in-law.

I proposed to her 13 times and she said No all the 13 times.

She never said Yes to me. For 13 times.

But I never took No for an answer. for 13 times.

She later told me that she said Yes to me for the 14th time not because of any ever blasting love but because she simply got fed up of saying ‘no’ and that she hoped that, at least a ‘Yes’ would shut me up.

Liar she is.



Have you ever had a similar fire-freeze moment - an unforgettably magical moment when you felt two strongly opposite emotions? Love/Hate? Elation/Sadness? Anger/Sympathy? The desire to move forward yet run away at the same time?

From one soul to another...

What is it to be a child again?

It must be about still believing in loveliness, still believing in love, still believing that the angels and fairies reach out to whisper in our ears, still believing in beauty and peace in the heart and soul. It’s about still having the spirit, cleansed by baptism, still intact and untainted within us. And it’s about innocence and about purity.

I once told a friend that the soul is the purest and most beautiful thing in the world; and we keep picking up grudges and bitterness along the course of life and stain our souls. Children still have that purity we were born with, still intact in their souls. Our show at Makkala Jagriti was indeed special. It was the day we denim clad urban cowboy souls made a difference to a lives of a lot of little souls. It was when the show was judged not by ticket sales or sold-out signs but by pure enthusiasm, heartfelt appreciation and innocent admiration. It was when we discovered the true power of theatre; of reaching out and connecting. From the stage to outside it. From one soul to another.

My one thought was when we asked the children what they wanted to be when they grew up. Some said doctor, some engineer, some actor….. One day, they might just become that; or may become something better. The thing is we might just never know. We might just never meet these little guys again. But what we do know is that for that one day, we were all together in that room and we truly and really connected. And I don’t think either of us will forget that in a hurry.

The most distinct thought in my mind was Neeraj asking a child (Suleiman Khan) what he wanted to do and Suleiman said that he wanted to be an actor, a hero and Neeraj put a cape around his neck and did a Superman. I think it brought the house down. Now Neeraj and I have one thing in common : Kannada language doesn’t know us so we place Kannada up there with Greek, Latin and Malayalam (Score: Raj-1, Neeraj-0; I know mallu! J). But without knowing Kannada (or vice versa), I think Neeraj did a great job. And of course, the other actors were brilliant their unique ways; the other guys from the heart-touching club (actors) being Tanvi, Abhijit, Chetan, Sudharshan, Vishal and the MC Ashish. We volunteers were lucky to have experienced anything like the act these guys put up that day. Kudos to Madhu, Nandhini, Ranji, Sumit and Gopi for making all this happen.

They say that the remainder of a year will be a reflection of the first act you do that year.

This year should rock!!!


This entry won the Best Review for a Show by Yours Truly. This show was at Makkala Jagriti, an NGO based out of Bangalore (http://www.makkalajagriti.org). Yours Truly is a Bangalore based theatre group specializing in various formats of interactive, improvisatory and participatory theatre.

More details at: http://ytnewsletter.wordpress.com/2009/05/28/alternative-definitions/

My ideal weekend

Mondays, they say, are a bad way to spent one seventh of your life.

Thank God for the weekends!!

A weekend usually has a blasting and active Saturday for all the fun, noise and games (of course, the party starts Friday night!) followed by the faithful Sunday for taking rest. This, in my definition, is an ideal weekend.

I think most of my weekends are ideal. Last weekend was my birthday (thank you very much :)) and so the weekend was extra special because of it; it had cake (yum ones, btw!), wishes and cheer, friends and family coming over, general-time-pass shopping, mall ogling, discotheque etc etc followed by a lazy Sunday with movies, hot coffee and a book. I think birthdays are the perfect weekends. So I’ve devised a plan.

Now what makes the perfect weekend? After intensive research and development in this area for the many, many sober years, I have finally cracked the solution to an ideal weekend. The ingredients to an ideal weekend are booze, friends, booze, food, booze, games, booze, loud music, booze, an LCD playing nonsense and yes, before I forget, booze. Now booze has the special ability to convert mere, mere mortals in merry, merry men and merry, merry women. (Hiccup! :)). Booze also hath charm that can convert great enemies into great friends. And vice versa. And vice versa again. And again. And again. And so forth….

But great weekends will cost great money. And I have found an ingenious and effective way of making sure that money flows into your ideal weekend: not your own money but other people’s money (the best source of money :P). Divide your friends into groups and to each group tell a different day as your birthday. Tell each group that you’re throwing a bday party and that they would need to bring in the food and booze for themselves and of course, the cake. Since they think it’s your bday, in more cases than not, they will oblige. (Make sure the group is sufficiently large so that chances of obligation are higher: P). With a lot of planning and a little bit of luck, you can celebrate your birthday in style. Again.

Of course, care should be taken to ensure you don’t invite the same friends to adjacent birthday parties. Maintain different books for different birthday friends groups (52 books are ideal; 53 for leap years :)) and use each book for one week in a year.

Yes, you would need a huge friends list to pull this off. But think of it this way, with a sufficiently big friend list, you should have ideal weekends all year through.

So here’s inviting you for my (next) birthday celebrations on Feb 14th; please feel free to surprise me. If you were part of my birthday celebrations last week or in any of them in the last 6 months, please ignore this message. If you don’t remember or don’t care about the last 6 months, please come (with scotch).

And by the way, I like chocolate black forest.


You go, girl....:)

I complete a year with my company today.

I have worked in a few companies before the present one. Two things I find here are more smiles and more number of women. :) Maybe I’m too young in the organization but I personally think diversity and inclusion are just part of the company DNA. I’ve seen my women friends share outstanding ideas in team meetings, lead initiatives that delight partners, help around with organizing birthday parties and team lunches, be that helpful ear who listen to you when you’re having a bad day and just make the office simply a better place to be.

Of course, the advantages of diversity and inclusion are quite ingrained in our collective consciousness and hence I wouldn't want to spent too much blog space elaborating on them. It is believed that diversity is the melting pot that breeds ideas, innovation and creativity. And inclusion is all about equality, which is the heart of any relationship, whether it’s employer-employee, between friends or between man and woman. I think the essence of these two terms (diversity and inclusion) is one word: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. And at my company here, I think that there’s a lot of it. I’ve seen guys offer their seats to women (no, they weren’t their bosses :)), I’ve seen people open doors for others, hold the lift just a bit longer so that the other person can get in; there’s a lot of respect here. And there are also company policies on well being and flexi-timings, amongst others, that support the Woman. And maybe that’s why there’s a lot of smiles going around here. I really think that Diversity and Inclusion are woven into the fabric of our company.

I wouldn’t want to get into the ‘this gender is better than the other’ discussion cos I personally believe that men and women simply complete each other. But having said that, I have immense amount of respect and admiration for the Woman.

Because here’s the lady who runs a home, makes sure the kids are tucked in bed, the dog is fed and still manages to make it on time for that late night call with the partner.

There was a mail yesterday saying that “Let’s Do Amazing” is our new corporate tagline. Here’s saluting the mother, the sister, the friend, the significant other, the One who is always, always ‘doing the Amazing’.

In Office and Outside.

Belated though it may be, Happy Woman’s Day, Lady! You Deserve it.

This blog won the pan India company level blogging competition themed around 'International Women's Day'

Make a Toast, Master.....

The beating heart.

Beating rabidly, Thumping to a crescendo, pounding against the chest. There is a heightened sense of feeling; a feeling of nervousness, a feeling of being light in the stomach and a feeling of your mind going completely blank on you. Suddenly you realize that it’s just you and you only. Against the whole world. And they’re all watching you; watching your every step, your every move. And you stand there in front of them, numb, blank and speechless.

They say that the human brain starts working the moment you are born and never stops until you stand up to speak in public.

I remember the first time I was asked to make an impromptu speech (Of course, I had prepared for two weeks for that impromptu speech!). At the faithful moment, my mind suddenly went blank and I started blabbering nonsense; and that too, nonsense peppered liberally with ‘aahs’ and ‘umms’. I had no clue what I was talking about. Luckily for me, I was not alone. No one in the audience had any idea what I was talking either. After I made that speech (!), I didn’t know if I should have just killed myself or run away from any known living civilization. Well, unfortunately for my audience, I did neither.

History recognizes great speeches. Mark Antony changed the course of roman history with one speech. Churchill spoke and galvanized a nation into combative battle mode. Martin Luther King mesmerized an entire generation by speaking of his dream.

I’m just not there yet. In my many attempts at public speaking, it is usually the public who does the speaking. In fact, at one point in life, I considered it lucky that my audience didn’t run away when I spoke; I remember a particular instance when my speech had drawn a surprisingly large crowd; my happiness was short lived when later my friend told me the audience stayed back because they were serving snacks after my speech.

But I am trying. Word by word by word. Day after day after day. And it is quite an effort. I’m part of Garden’s City Toastmasters Club, the oldest Toastmasters club in Bangalore (in fact, the oldest Toastmasters club in India :)). The Toastmasters Movement is a global nonprofit organization offering a proven - and enjoyable! - way "to practice and hone communication and leadership skills".

And it’s wonderful being part of a group of people united by the passion to be a better speaker and divided only by degree of enthusiasm in doing so. And the thumping heart, sweaty palms and blank mind are routine affairs at the weekly meetings. But we get better with each speech. With each feedback. With each week. The prepared speeches allows one to explore new subjects to talk about. Also, it helps us improve our diction, grammar and pronunciation. The feedback tells us what we did right and how we could improve ourselves. The most exciting part is the table topics section, where we need to speak on the spot on the subject shot at us.

This is only the start of a journey; a journey of understanding oneself, of “awakening the sleeping giant within” and of honing and tuning communication and leadership skills. It’s also about making life more livable, about giving more meaning to the words coming out of the mouth and about enriching your relationships. And of having fun all the way.

Someone once said ” It’s only words and words are all I have, to take your heart away.”

I totally agree.



Some call it `tears from heaven’; some others, `holywater from the Highlands’…I like to call rain `little, little drops of freedom’. I remember those good ol’ days when I actually let myself get wet in the rain; when I let myself splash in the muddy puddles and I would look up into the sky to let the water drops caress my face while I danced and sang in total abandon. I remember wishing that my father would come late to pick me up from school on rainy days so that I could free the child within me. I remember wishing that it would rain on holidays so that I could eat hot garma garm pakodas at home looking at the millions of droplets of water splashing across my bedroom window pane.

And then, I grew up…

I started wearing leather shoes, leather belts, mobiles, watches… which shouldn’t get wet. I locked the child inside me, inside me. I no longer wanted it to rain.

And it never did. For a long, long time…

Last November, I found myself making noises that I had forgotten about, heard myself laughing out loud, saw myself walking, running, screaming not bothering about the boundaries that I had created for myself. I looked into the eyes of total strangers and they were strangers no more. We let our bodies make individual senseless objects which in totality, made absolute sense. We were all part of the Yours Truly workshop. We made new friends there and we let the child inside us, come out.

I let the child inside me, come out.

The vibes at Yours Truly were infectiously positive and happiness and fun, are just few of the emotions felt at the workshop; there’s also fear (of letting go) and the exhilaration of having conquered these fears, the elation of having found the real me, hidden deep inside layers and layers of social conditioning, and the sheer joy of feeling truly, throbbingly alive. The first time I talked with Ranji (in my mind, I picture him as Peter Pan, the guy who brings the extraordinary into our ordinary lives :)) on phone about Your Truly, I was somehow overwhelmed by the feeling that this is where I belong . The workshop kindled my imagination and lit up my pent up creativity. One of the exercises I distinctly remember was walking blindfolded around Indiranagar, “seeing” the world through my senses of sound, smell and touch and by trusting a fellow YTian (Shanthakumar), who also helped in guiding my blindfolded way. Simply remarkable! (Though blindfolded, I like to think it opened my ‘eyes’.:) ) What I liked about the workshop is that it helps us break our mental blocks and helped us connect to hitherto unused/forgotten aspects of our mind, heart and head. The workshop taught us the basics of acting, expressing, to give 100% of ourselves into our acts and to simply let go. The workshop culminated with the ‘neat cocktail’ (intoxicating!), where we, under the able directorship of Ranji, Gopi and Sumit, put up our very own play. And from that day on, the show simply goes on….

Today, I find myself looking forward to my weekends to spent time with Yours Truly. It’s that time when the rules don’t really matter, when u can scream, laugh, shout, make faces and it’s all just alright… and it’s rubbed off into other areas of my life; I find myself more confident, more happy and I have a well rounded feeling about my life.

I’m glad the rain is back in my life


This entry won the Best 'One Thought' of the Quarter in the Yours Truly Newsletter. Yours Truly is a Bangalore based theatre group specializing in various formats of interactive, improvisatory and participatory theatre.

His name is R-A-J

I’ve known this guy for a very long time now. In more ways than one. :)

And I think he could win the Oscar for the most interesting person I know.

I’ve been told that there are 7 deadly sins; but after meeting him, I know that list is incomplete. He is the human incarnation of the word narcissism. And he’s proud of it.

He works with one of the bigger IT companies in Bangalore (half of Bangalore works in IT, the other half has got a life!) and he’s pompous enough to admit that he’s fairly good at what he does. Interestingly, he looks at life through four different perspectives: Personal, Professional, Financial and Spiritual. Here’s introducing him to you, through these fours views:

Personal: He hails from God’s own country (he claims that Kerala is known as God’s own Country cos all the devils end up here in Bangalore : P). His dad is a retired engineer and mom, a house maker. He has a younger sister and brother, who work as software professionals based out of Kerala. His sister has just been blessed with a baby girl and the kid is the light of all their lives, their bundle of joy and the apple of all their eyes (and so forth…).He’s currently tryin hard to ‘woo’ his 2 year niece (ya, the same bundle of joy I was talkin bout earlier…), who just doesn’t seem to warm up to him (his luck with women never seems to change :)). He’s tried cuddly bears, toys, sweets, funny glasses ; though kurkure seems to be promising... Since his birthday is always a dry day (Oct 2nd), he has become a master planner of sorts over the years by buying booze way in advance. He claims to be into theatre, though he’s got no credible proof. And to make sure he gives a hard time to humanity, he’s also into public speaking (usually it’s the public who does the speaking when he talks). His certified passions are movies (only critically acclaimed pieces of cinematic excellence like Dumb&Dumber, Om Shanthi Om, Dabangg etc) and music (his kind of music usually peps him up, annoys the neighbors and wakes up the rooster).

Professional: He claims to be an engineer with an MBA (ya, rite!) but the irony is he’s got certificates to prove it :P. His working philosophy is “Work Hard, but work Smarter!” Actually, he likes work and is fascinated by it: he can sit and look at it for hours without doing anything :). Another interesting bit about him is that he was one of those affected by India’s so called ‘biggest corporate scandal’.

Financial: He does not want to be a Billionaire, he only wants to live like one. Every morning he gets up and looks through the Forbes list of the richest people in the world. If he’s not there, he goes to work. He spends most of his money on wine, women and gambling; the rest of it, he spends it foolishly. He claims to be heavily influenced by a book called as ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’ by Robert Kiyosaki and recommends it to anyone who does the mistake of listening to him. His most promising tactic is to always borrow money from pessimists; they won’t expect it back.

Spiritual: Spiritually, he’s known to be quite liberal and endorses secular views. His personal philosophy is that in every set back in life is actually a stepping stone for success of a far greater magnitude and that “If it is to be, it’s up to me” (influence of too many Rajnikanth movies :P).

I meet this guy every day, in and out of life, almost like a bad habit. Most people who know him opine that in the interest of civilization, such people should be quarantined.

And by the way, he’s grateful that you’re reading his blog right now.