Tuesday, 30 April 2013

A Dog’s Life: 15 Years of Joy > 15 Days of Sadness

In the last couple of days, two people I know have experienced the demise of a dog from their lives. It is a heartbreaking thing when it happens but we all eventually move on. But oftentimes, a situation like this makes you wonder, do you really want to experience the pain of losing someone again by getting another dog? Is it really worth it? I say yes. And I’ll tell you why too.

They say they won’t be able to deal with the pain of loss. They can’t bear to see another of their dogs, no less than a family member, dying in their arms. They say there’s just too much sadness when a dog passes away. It’s true that it is really difficult, the sight of a dog in pain who eventually gives up right in front of you. It’s even worse when you have to put them to sleep just so that they can escape whatever misery they are going through. But accept it or not, this pain fades away with time. This 15 day mourning period is always overshadowed by the 15 years of joy and loving the dog shared with you. And what helps you even further is the next dog that you bring home who helps you deal with the sadness by cuddling right next to you.

I first got a dog when I was about 5 years old or so. Me and my sister fought with our parents and forced them to get a dog for us. Not that they didn’t like dogs, they themselves have always been dog lovers, but all they were worried about was that we kids would eventually get bored of the dog and they’d have to take care of it by themselves. That didn’t exactly happen but yes they always did the major chunk of walking the dog and cleaning up its poop and pee. But we kids never ever got bored of ‘Tiffany’ and we loved her more than we loved each other.

Years later when she was about 15 years old, it was her time to go. We knew it. We tried getting her treated but it was of no use. And one sad night she literally passed away in my mother’s arms quite peacefully. My father woke me up to tell me the news and I somehow controlled my tears and took her with her stuff and got her buried close to my house.

In the following days, I could not bear to see the sadness in my mother’s eyes or the emptiness in our house. All I knew was that we needed another companion. We had to try and fill up the void that Tiffany left. It would be impossible but it was something that had to be done. It took us a couple of months but we finally got hold of Layla. Another one of the same breed who once looked like a tiny rat but grew up to become nothing less than Beyonce Knowles. Alas, she couldn’t beat Tiffany who resembled Jennifer Lopez.

Tiffany’s void could obviously not be filled but Layla brought us back to life and helped us move on. We still haven’t forgotten Tiffany but we remember her fondly. I know that in all likelihood I will see Layla too pass away in front of me but I don’t think about it much. It will happen when it has to and I’ll be there with my family when it does. And I will bring another dog to my house and another one after that and maybe someday one of my dogs will see me not wake up again. Bittersweet revenge for those cute little rascals, eh?

All I’m trying to say here is that pain and suffering are a part of life but let’s not be afraid to deal with it. Let’s think of how a dog showers us with unconditional love all its life. Simply put, as the title of this blog says, 15 years of joy is definitely greater than 15 days of sadness. Always remember that. There’s a lot of good that happens when you have a dog. You give another living being a home. You get a companion who’ll always be right by your side. It’s a creature that helps YOU become a better person. It teaches you a lot about compassion and love. There’ll always be someone who’ll feel ecstatic when you come home. There’ll always be someone sad when you’re away. Even if you are the ‘most loneliest’ person alive, if you have a dog, you have someone to love and someone who loves you.

It’s a strange little life that these dogs live. Giving you an insane amount of love all their lives and then hurting you so bad that you howl for days. But I am pretty sure that they too want you to move on and get another one of those hairy little creatures home for you to love. And lord be my witness I can vouch for the fact that the next one surely knows about your pain and has come to your life only to help you deal with it.

So don’t break the next one’s heart, adopt one when you think you’re ready. It’ll be sooner than you know. Love and peace forever. Bow wow.


Sunday, 28 April 2013

The Curse Of The Hangover

There is no Bengal Tiger in my loo or a dead hooker in my apartment. But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long time. Skills that make my Sundays turn into nightmares. I have the not-so-unique ability to drink till I pass out and spoil the following 24 hours. I can have the worst hangovers ever.  

As I sit here in my room, wallowing in pain caused by this hangover, as always, I wonder to myself, ‘When is it going to stop?’ When will I grow up and not start a party with beers and then have vodka shots and end the night with some whisky on the terrace? Haven’t enough days been wasted because of a few hours of fun the nights before? Probably not.

You may or may not remember this one blog I had written sometime last year called ‘Tu To Mera Bhai Hai’. I had proudly stated how I drink to get drunk and I’d always like to be a drunken fool all my life. I’m reconsidering that thought today. I will not go to the extent of saying that I will quit drinking altogether, but I’d like to state that I now want to consciously bring about a positive change wherein I don’t get crazy drunk too often and waste my days.

Spending the whole day inside the bed doing nothing but just staring at walls and trying to survive the hangover is not an ideal way to spend most of your Sundays. There could be so much more that could be done like maybe drinking some beer on a breezy sunny afternoon at a nice outdoor place. Or reading the newspaper. Or bathing.

Crazy drunken nights are fine at times. Like when you’re in Goa. Or at a bachelor’s party. Or when you touch a girl for the first time. Not every weekend they’re not. That’s what I need to change. It’s not like I think it’s wrong but it’s just that I end up wasting 24 hours after the drunkenness and sit and do nothing but just pull my hair in madness. Not worth it anymore. Mujhe yeh sab ab shobha nahi deta. Aur mujhe Shobha chahiye.

This is one of those days when you think about life and all and take decisions to change it in some way. There’s a lot to be done in life and many more changes to be made but I’m not going to get into the details of that. What I would like to state is that I will not be wasting my days in hangovers so often. No big deal but I’m frankly quite tired of the annoyance that follows an awesome drunk night. It will happen every now and then but not so regularly no more. You have my word.

Will I live up to this promise? Only time will tell. I shall be back with an update soon. Cheers. 

Monday, 15 April 2013

Nehru Place – The IT Hub

“Softwayerrrr. Softwarayyyeerrrrrr. Games. CDs. Softwayerrrr. Softwayerrr. Windows. Games. CDs. Softweayarrrr.”

It is as if hawkers from your local Monday Market have landed at Nehru Place, the IT Hub, to sell software and games worth lakhs as if it were fruits and vegetables. This is not an exaggeration, but the truth. What was a funny conversation with a friend back in 2001 about Nehru Place selling laptops and computers on the footpath, it is now a reality and it’s much worse than what we’d thought.

I first visited the ‘IT Hub’ of India way back in ’99 when I’d bought my first computer. It was a swanky Pentium II with 350 MHz of processing power, 32 MB RAM, 4.3 GB HDD and a 40X CD-ROM. It was a branded system but made by Vintron, a lesser known brand at the time, which doesn’t even exist any longer. It was truly a mean machine back in the day and it used to run NFS II SE, which is still my all time favourite car game, like the wind. So I’d gone to Nehru Place to buy my first ‘Game CD’ with my parents. It was a nice outing and our first time there. After scouring through some random shops on the ground floor of the main plaza, we went searching for some better, cheaper options for ‘pirated’ games on the first floor. Walking through a dingy staircase we landed up at this tiny shop where a fat uncle sat selling CDs of all kinds. I bought Total Annihilation and Starcraft and my mother bought her astrology software and we all returned home content. The games cost us about 350 bucks a CD and thus began my love for strategy games. It was a bargain.

Visits to Nehru Place increased as I started fiddling around with my computer, trying to open it and playing around with the strange wires and gadgets inside the ‘CPU’. Oftentimes we’d buy a game one day and would return the next day to get it exchanged because they never worked the first time ‘round. My parents had given up and I’d found some like minded friends who didn’t mind travelling on a hot summer afternoon in a bus (Route No. 492, Noida to Nahru Palace Terminal) and have some Rajma Chawal or Chhole Bhature followed by the epic Mango Shake. Of course, roaming around the shops, window shopping, we aspired to one day build a mean machine with the best parts possible. Although, when the time came, when we grew up, we were over our obsession to assemble a system with the best configuration possible.

Going to Nehru Place still never stopped as there was always a need for a minor upgrade or repair for the computer. Since we were a little more aware of how computers are built, we never really bothered to call any ‘computer engineers’. We were our engineers and we’d know when it was time to upgrade the RAM or which HDD to buy which would be compatible with the previous one or how to get the data recovered from a corrupt HDD. And neither did we stop eating Rajma Chawal, Chhole Bhature and the epic mango shake.

Today when I ride to Nehru Place every day for work, I still, at times, feel a little nostalgic about the days spent here as a kid. It feels odd for I didn’t know that there was anything other than computer shops in Nehru Place for the longest time. But today I am a part of a social media agency operating out of Nehru Place which coexists with hardware vendors, street vendors, malls, cinemas, an insane amount of food, and what not; with harmony. The essence of the place still remains the same but the scale of the operations (be it whatever, computers, piracy or food) has increased ten folds. The dingy hallways still exist, the shady staircases are still functional (with any repairs whatsoever), the taste of the food is still the same (bliss), and it is still dirty (maybe dirtier) as always.

Even our worries about how this place functions came true when in the last 6 months I experienced 3 fires in Nehru Place. One was a car that lit up in the lane (next to my office building) opposite Park Hotel, the other was inside a building opposite ours and one was on the 2nd floor of the building where my office is located. People moved on as if these incidents didn’t even happen. It shows great spirit of how we manage to continue living and striving to make something of our lives but it also, quite disgustingly, showcase our attitude of ‘Sab Chalta Hai’. Nehru Place is a pinnacle of this callous attitude that we carry about our own life. There is still no learning, there is still no improvement, there is still no worry that an accident might happen again and it just might be worse.

Businesses continue to thrive, computers are being built day in day out, more and more games and software are being sold on the streets with every passing day. It is truly a concrete jungle waiting for that little kick before it all crumbles. It’s a jungle full of cars, bikes, people, shops, electronics, food, and it just keeps on getting worse. I wonder what will it take to break the spirit of this ever thriving Mecca of quality products and services sold like trash. Will there ever be an end to this madness? Only time shall tell.

In the meanwhile, ensure it never happens, and go buy your next laptop or computer at the cheapest price in India, in Nehru Place.

PS – Do not forget to eat the Rajma Chawal at the Sardar, Chhole Bhature from Sona and Mango Shake from practically anywhere. 

Sunday, 14 April 2013

Lame Of Thrones – Winter Is Cumming

Oh Sir Baratheon and Sir Lannister are searching for me and they want their wolves to sodomise me for not liking Game Of Thrones. Pity is that I live in Jamnaa Paar (Trans-Yamuna, or as we fondly refer to it: Trance-Yamuna) and I don’t think their armies and wolves can cross the toxic flow that’s called Yamuna. So up their wolves’ asses. I wish for a thousand little woodpeckers to peck the wolves’ penises until little 6 year old kids come out of those wolf costumes.

Reading that was crap, right? So is the show. For me. And I’ll tell you why.

I started watching it amidst extreme hype hearing rave reviews and statements like “Duuuuude it’s the best motherfuckin’ show evvvaaa!” and some went like “Maayyynn.... It’s so good I wet my pants bro and not just because of the sex scenes but its sheer awesomeness it’ll make you cum out of excitement.” And then I started watching the show and I saw that midget and I haven’t got a hard on since.

Figure of speech. Move on.

The show started pretty nicely and I was quite liking it. Till I saw a little more of it. And a little more. And some more. It just kept getting from bad to worse. Both the show and the lives of the ‘good’ guys in the show. I understand the realistic element and the fact that life is not a fairytale and things do go wrong even for the good guys. But I am sure even the most unlucky guy in the world is luckier than those good guys in Game Of Thrones.

Everybody keeps dying or getting maimed or dragons come out of their behinds (that must be painful) or they simply fall off the cliffs after having incestual sex. There is no silver lining; there is no light at the end of the tunnel on the sets of Game Of Thrones. It’s like Gabbar didn’t only cut Thakur’s hands but also his penis and legs and ensured he stayed alive. He then went ahead and maimed Ramu Kaka too and forced him to rape Jaya Bachchan in front of the whole Ramgarh ke vaasiyon. Not being satisfied with the mayhem he had created, he ensures Jai and Veeru DP the shit out of Basanti and then Dhanno.

If all this downfall wasn’t enough, the creator thought why not distract them from all the ‘unpossible’ negativity and give them a thousand odd characters so that they stay confused. People keep dying all the time and there are a million odd ‘important characters’ so you forget if the person who died was a good guy or bad.

Winter is coming. There’s so much of that white snow they should rather say winter is cumming.

While I, kind of, enjoyed the first season; the moment I started with the second, it all came crashing down. Each and every character I liked, died, and before I could develop the interest for the sake of impressing my peers by knowing all about dragons and eggs and Sati and what not; I lost interest. I couldn’t go beyond the second episode of the second season.

Today as I sit here, I wonder if I would be able to survive in this world where not liking Game Of Thrones is like not liking Jab We Met. I hate them both. In spite of each and every person around me being an ardent fan of the show I just cannot bring myself to watch another minute of it. There are conversations all around me, people are masturbating at work and ejaculating the moment a new episode gets downloaded. I simply sit and observe and lurk in the shadows as if I don’t exist. I might be missing out on a lot of fun but I just don’t understand what’s there to like about a show where a ‘season’ cums, little girls ride wolves, boys have sex with their mothers, a sister mothers a child of her brother and the father promises to save the world but dies and has his head hung out in the balcony among other drying clothes.

No my cup of tea. I don’t like winter cumming. And I have to live with it.