Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Get used to it?

“Did you see Saw?”

“Yeah I saw Saw and it was pretty good….”

“So, if you are in to gory movies you might like this”, he suggested.

Every now and then I go to Hollywood video store to pick up some movies that the store guy suggests. Sometimes it turns out to be good and sometimes a total failure. I stumbled in to Memento like this, and so did I with Little Nicky. The girl who suggested Little Nicky movie to be a hilarious one was real hot…so I had to take it…. needless to say…it was a total failure…

“Yeah…I like gory movies…I will see and let you know how good or bad this is”

“So why do you like gory movies?” a middle aged man with glasses thicker than my eyebrows, jumped right in to the conversation from the next aisle.

“The same reason, why I like movies…may be to see or perceive things that I cannot experience on a personal level”

“This generation of people are so much in to these kind of movies and they increase their tolerance limit”, he shook his head in disdain, “This makes them tolerate bad things that happen around them, the ones they would not have tolerated before! I can give it to you in writing that you would tolerate less violence to you and your community if you have not seen these kind of movies”

Both the store guy and myself did not want to argue/appreciate such a statement/conversation from a person who is visibly frustrated and reasonable sensible…. so we yesed him for a while…maintained his boiling point state…and made the monologue look and sound like a dialogue with one word responses….

Unlike this particular incident where I chose to shut up (which btw is very rare), I like talking to people of this kind. People who let their frustration out and understand time in a generic pattern through their specific experiences. I am not saying am in agreement or disagreement with his piece of thought, yet. All I’m saying is that I appreciate such thought processes that starts from a tinge of personal flavor to a lesson addressing the larger picture. There is always something you learn out of such conversations that stay with you for a longer period of time.

Well, parallel processing of life lessons led me to the point of correlating his thought process to my lifestyle. Not literally though.

Often times I come across circumstances that leads to the point where the answer is “I will get used to it. It’s a matter of time”. My question to myself here is that “Does this really mean anything?”

Why would one have to get used to something that he/she is not comfortable with, in the first place? Why would we have to compromise and reason life by understanding occurrences as a messenger device to learn time and truth?

Of course am talking from the perspective where he/she has enough knowledge to talk about the comfortability level. So the clan, which claims to be uncomfortable without exploring what it is all about, is totally out of the discussion and respect here.

So, when do we pull the plug and say…that’s it …I am moving on …I don’t want this anymore!

Or do we ever say that?

When there is a whole spectrum or right and wrong with great overlaps, calling it quits based on what is right and wrong is nearly impossible at certain circumstances. Also, there are so many things that happen around us that we are not in agreement with. If we rebel everything that we are not comfortable with, we would have to lose all the time rebelling without enjoying what we have. So, it boils down to priorities and on the quality of compromises.

Gandhi insisted in getting used to the process of earning freedom with Ahimsa, but he always rebelled against getting used to the so-called “freedom” we thought we had. I guess you get the point. But how many of us can trust the Gandhi inside you who tells you to get used to something that you are not comfortable with, to reap real benefits later. Can you trust that voice inside you that sometimes has a vision with just guts and instincts? If yes…then for how long? is the question that follows!

On the plane of multiple options, I think life is like playing Rummy. You will have to get used to the first set of cards and look for the right cards that would fill in for a win. If you are not leading anywhere as you lose time, you just have to change the sets you have and create new ones and play them for a win. You may get that old card that would have filled in for win just moments later, but could you do anything about it? Nope. You just respect your decision and move on! And interestingly sometimes you would not play for your own win….and that is the brilliance of understanding this!

On the other hand, when you firmly believe on something for some reason that you personally understand or don’t, you must differentiate it from the rummy kinds, by holding on to it until time proves that you are right always…. or even wrong sometimes… as long as you have the ability to see what you take home when you are right or wrong…I think you are safe minds!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Lately, I have been spending quite a bit of my time by myself. The quality(!) time that I have been getting to spend with someone I love (me - as Woody Allen in Annie Hall says) has led me to visualize world from a photographic perspective...I am neither claiming this to be my new found hobby..nor am trying to be an amateur expert...Its just that, sometimes I get to see these places and things that makes me think ...

oh..f&^&...I wish I am a real photographer to capture this in film than in mind... ...

So, in such attempts to capture something’s I have seen with a pinch of crazy thought process.... I am starting an irregular series of posts with pictures and may be some messages...So, here I go, with the first one.

Image source: Picture taken in Quintana beach, TX, 05/05/2008

Staying grounded lets me see the world I conquered and the world that conquered me!

If am not stuck here, may be I would have conquered the rest of the world!

You are welcome to add any quotes to this!

Friday, May 02, 2008

Railway station, Name Board and a Red checked shirt…!

Have you ever seen people holding boards with some names in the airport receiving area, and wondered if you would ever get to be received like that?

Have you ever thought more and asked yourself do they have the right names? What if they had something like “Hell …Welcomes.. Moron of the millennium” or something stupendously funny!
Well a guy asked me to such a thing once.

This is about one of those guys I knew from Cookeville. .....

have to edit some super mean lines by the author who later thought it needs to be deleted..appreciate for pointing it out.....

... and this happened in one of my high on ego days....so bear with me!

It was sometime in November 2003 when he stopped me on my way to my apartment and was for some reason….he was overtly nice asking about how and whereabouts. I was almost thrown back to rethink about his sexual orientation for such a display of his new found affection. I thought….

Is he all right…I don’t know about you buddy…but am straight…don’t friggin hit on me!

Then a day later, I was walking the same way…. again this guy stopped me….this time he wanted a favor….

Now I think I can pattern recognize….

“So what can I not do for you….oops I mean what kind of a favor you want”

“Dude you are going to India this December right, could you be of any help to me there?”

Well yeah…. I can teach what life is all about and let you know how to live….atleast in my own idiotic way….

“Yeah! If that’s something that I could do…sure why not”

May be he wants me to get some package to or from India….Oh God …these package monsters have already started their killings…even a month before my trip…..I am going to be victimized now…how many…3, 4 or 5 lbs of chocolate and FedEx….not again….why are these people doing this to me in spite of me not telling anyone to deliver or bring anything to me…save me...!

“I am coming to India sometime mid December…..”

Ahh! Thank you God …he is not one of those folks with their humungous packages!

“….I will be flying in to Chennai ….I have a friend who is coming from Hyderabad to receive me in the airport and go with me to my home town….he is new to Chennai and he is my best friend …..he comes sometime in the morning and he does not have any place to go to in Chennai …would you be with him and entertain him for the day…I would be taking the train that night to Hyderabad …if my flight comes on time…else I will have to take the next day morning train….”

Did he say entertain?

“What do you want me to do exactly?”


I don’t know what is that almost every other Indian (including myself sometimes) use this basically word to begin a sentence…. why would everything start from a basic level…even if you are in middle of the conversation…is it just an Indian thing?

“…you will have to receive him from the Central station and take a car from a local travels….put him in a lodge closer to the airport ….take him around the city …show him places…wait for me to come to the airport in the evening and drop us later in the Railway station that night else next day morning….that’s it!”

That’s it!? Then you should wake up and go back to school starting all the way from kinder garden…

“Dude…are you high on dope or something…you realize what you are asking here right….you don’t even know me that well….and I am going there for a mere 20 odd days and you are asking me to spend a day with you and your beloved friend…? Are you out of your mind?”

I was not able to bear a face of disappointment.

“Okay…I can do a part of it…not all …I can receive him from the Railway station and may be drop somewhere closer to the airport the same morning after breakfast or lunch…I cant spend the whole day with him…Honestly I don’t foresee having anytime …you can try other people who are coming to Chennai and ask if they are of any help”

“I did…and Balaji said he could be of some help”

I don’t understand this …I don’t know why people ask a same favor to two people and not let the two know about it…

A couple of days later….

Barath…I spoke to my friend ….he said he is glad that you are coming to receive him…”

“Do you have ticket details and such?”


“How am I going to know who is he?”

“Do you have his picture or something?”


“You don’t have a picture of your best friend..?”

“No….May be you can do this…”

“What? Take a picture when I meet him?”

“No....Can you have a Name board with my friend’s name and stand in the Railway station so he can come by to you directly?”

“Are you kidding me? What do you think am doing for you….a favor buddy…remember that…am not going to go and hold some board with your friends name on it!”

“Okay…okay…I understand”

Then he asked me that….I don’t have a clue what his thought process was just before he was telling this…..he was god damn serious….

“Can you do this then?”


“Can you hold a name board telling that your name is Barath? So he can find you directly and talk to you?”, he was drop dead serious….!

There are several moments in my life where I was completely bowled over by someone’s thought process…. this is certainly in the top 10….

Did he just say what I think and heard as what he said?

After few moments of silence and shock, “Dude…WTF is your problem man….do you expect me to hold a board with my name on it….so everyone on their way out of their train…come to me and congratulate me for being the Barath I can be?…..!!@&^#(*&@", he reacted in a..May-be-you-are-correct way.....

What is the reaction...? Dude...you need some serious help!

If I do what he had told me to do...

What would I look like… May be like this?

Then I suggested that his friend would wait for a while in the same platform as the train arrived….and come with a specific shirt color of his choice and let me know about it earlier….the point was to go a little later so he would be all by himself with the shirt I know…so would be easy to get hold of him…..sounded like a fool proof plan…

The day before he called me to say that it was a 4 30 am train.! I had to say no to the previously arranged temple visit and was bored of getting all the thrashing from parents for not visiting god for a guy I don’t even know and like..

The day came and I was told he would come with a red checked shirt….twice… I was told red checked shirt…..

I drove to the station around 5 with my friend….and went around looking for the man with red checked shirt …..and no where I found anyone of that sort…The central station was huge and after an hour of search in vain I called it quits….These were the days with no cell phones and stuff….so I have no way of communicating to this guy!….All that guy had was my home phone number….so I called my folks to see if someone called for me …and Nope… was the answer….. I was pissed to the core….

I was reminded of the quote that goes on the lines like…."Tell me about your friends …I will tell about you”…!

May be I should have guessed it

I guess I will have a long day… I thought to myself before heading back home

I stepped back in to my home and the phone rang…the guy calls me from the station and after waiting for more than 2 hours…I told him to get an auto and reach my place….

Cirrreeeeeng! The calling bell cracked….

I opened the door and there was this guy……

“...Hey.....You are Barath….I saw you in the station”

“What? You could have stopped me!”

“You were running up and down …looking for someone….I never knew it was me you were looking for”

I was even more pissed…!

Then he took his books out of his small tiny bag and asked me if I could tell him where the library is as he intended to pursue some reading before meeting his friend….!

That was the most simple looking person I have ever met.

I was dumbfounded again …in a nicer way…he did not ask about food…shower…what do we do next…anything…..Library!…that’s the first thing he asked!

He stayed there at my place for a few minutes and he said he had coupled some important academic things so he wanted to visit the Egmore library and left soon after the shower and breakfast. While he was leaving, I asked him…..

“What happened to the red checked shirt?”

“No…! He told me blue checked shirt…..Twice…he insisted blue checked shirt….”

I was dumbfounded again

Now I am sure that quote is not exactly true in all cases….!