Friday, November 28, 2008

My new motto...............

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

I need to work on this.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The great Escape - An update on the Shake-it shake-it.

Ok, so today morning we had to attend a video conference with our offshore team and the conference was scheduled to be held at an unearthly hour of 8:00 a.m. Having managed to sleep successfully thru 3 different morning alarms, all set to beep 5 min after one another, Anup and I were woken up at 7:20 a.m. by a call from poor ole Vedha who had been solemnly promised the presence of the aforesaid couple in office by 7:00 a.m.In my defense I must say that tossing and turning till past 2 in the night really does not work well with getting up at 6:00 in the morning. Sigh!! Anyway after the meeting, with just ten minutes before the cafeteria closed, I was more worried abt missing my regular cuppa rather than the impending imaginary quake.

And so when a couple of equally earth-can-quake-for-all-I-care teammates invited me to join their table,I promptly decided to do so. As we were jabbering away ,there was an announcement over the speaker system regarding the quake and that’s when we decided that we were really not keen on crawling under the cafeteria tables. So we decided to leave quickly and go back to our seats. We walked into the lobby of the building only to have two towering security guys frown at us and say “You shud not be walking around”.

Now as per the rules, if u don’t have a table to crawl under, you are supposed to stand against a wall. I for one infinitely preferred the option of crawling under my table to pretending to be stuck against the wall in the lobby with my coffee in one hand and my laptop bag in the other.No.Thats not for me. So before they cud tell me to do that, I told them “I am going to my desk, to crawl underneath. I am going”, and ran off with my teammates. We hurried into our work bay to find the area seemingly deserted with just one guy wandering abt in a fluorescent green jacket and carrying a walkie talkie.Cripes!!!The bay’s fire warden who is in charge of the drill. I almost turned around to make a run for it before he caught me while one of my teammates instinctively ducked down though there was no table anywhere within 6 feet of her and if it had been a real quake then she wud have been a sitting duck for any debris that fell. But I had a funny feeling that she was really trying to hide from the fire warden. Luckily she straightened up just in time as the warden turned round and saw us.

Owing to the unfortunate location of my darned table, I had to walk past the warden who looked at me sternly and said “You are not supposed to be walking”. Well, I smiled sweetly at him and replied “I am going to my table”. And to show him that I was in earnest, I quickly trotted down to my table, passing my colleague’s bum sticking out from under his table, his head nowhere to be seen (Did he think that his bum alone wud be safe outside or something?) and dropped to my knees, crawled under my table, popped my head out and cheerfully waved at the Fire warden to show that I am in. I wonder why the man didn’t look more pleased than he did.

Anyway I popped my head back under the table and as instructed ,tried to hold onto the table to prepare myself to move with it.Really!!They just had to make the table without any legs, didn’t they? It was the kind that was attached to the cubicle partition and had absolutely no part you cud hold on to. So I held on to the waste paper basket. Before I cud sing the Shake-it song to myself, the speakers announced that the earthquake was over .Huh!!That’s it??? I might as well have saved my poor knees the trouble.

Anyway, am glad to inform you folks that almost everyone in our bay conformed to the rules and got under the table. In fact I was as proud of them as Obama wud have been if they had done the Shake-it dance.Well, except of Anup and Vedha,who were outside on the patio enjoying their coffee and did not realize that an earthquake had struck and gone until our company manager happened to ask us if everyone got down under the table in our bay.Thats when the two men simultaneously turned to me and asked “When did it happen?”

Yeah!!That’s right. With 1.3 million people getting down on their knees and crawling under tables to hide from an imaginary earth quake, you wud think that these 2 wud at least have known it happened.
So much for the Great Southern California Quack-it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Shake it-shake it!!!

Ok…so after a dismal post,my sense of humour seems to have returned and with it came an opportunity to write yet another loony tune. Today I came in after lunch to find a flyer on my desk and it proclaimed in big bold letters “Shake out.Don’t freak out” and had November 13th 2008 printed in smaller letters.A closer read showed the words “The Great Southern California Shakeout”.Now that brings to mind an image of people across the nation shaking their booties…In fact we cud do it to the tune of “I like to shake it –shake it” song from Madagascar.Yay!!! I just love that…In fact I think Obama shud promote this event as an effort to improve communal harmony.I can just see it..People of different countries,castes ,creed and colour all shaking it and singing “I like to shake it –shake it”,all across USA.and after that I wud be surprised if we have any more hate crimes….
Alas,when I googled “The Great Southern California Shakeout”,I was mightily disappointed to find this.

// At 10 a.m. on November 13, join millions of people throughout Southern California in the ShakeOut Drill, the largest earthquake preparedness activity in U.S. history! //

Wow!!! I was impressed.I mean, u got to hand it to these people.They are so organized.Now had this been India,people wud not have started moving until after the earthquake came and went and most of us wud have even slept right thru it.

I heard from a friend that the big one was to have hit California in September 2007 but apparently its late.(Mama,please dont panic and dont tell Poppa,cos then He wud Panic!!!If it makes u feel any better,I shall lug around a table and make Anup also lug one around)…Yeah…We make schedules for everything these days.Coding,testing,lunch,shopping,washing pots and yet nothing happens according to the schedule.So what made u think that the earthquake wud be on time?Duh!
I guess I will have to live with the disappointment that my idea of “The Great Southern California Shakeout” is not to be.On second thoughts,my version of “The Great Southern California Shakeout”, wud only serve to bring the earthquake faster than its supposed to come.Why invite trouble,man?
Anyway coming back to the drill,here is more that I found on the website.

// At 10 a.m. on November 13, 2008, millions of people in homes, schools, businesses, government offices, and public places all over southern California will Drop, Cover, and Hold On.

Yeah,so u lucky people on the other side of the globe can have fun imagining a bunch of us out here dropping to the floor like a dozen eggs and scooting under our respective work tables. (And if u are lucky ,u can even see a live broadcast of it and laugh ur heads off.)Can u imagine that?Millions of people crawling under tables for no reason at all?What next? Carry a table wherever u go?

Sigh!!!what am I complaining abt?Am gonna be doing it too and I guess I shall play the “I like to shake it –shake it” tune in my head while am under the table.

My dear abandoned blog

My poor abandoned blog!!!You are not abandoned exactly. And its not that I don’t have anything to write about. Its just that I don’t have any happy or funny things to write abt.Or maybe its that I do have but am not able to dwell on them long enuf…So u may ask me why I don’t write whatever is on my mind instead of trying to figure out something cheerful…Because what I have on my mind is tuf to write. Its one of those tuf times in life when I wish I cud run back home and hide under the bed and not have to see the sadness and the badness in the world.Its one of those times when I long to back in my homeland and really believe with all my heart that I will be able to handle it better if am back there. But am I deceiving myself? Maybe.Misery and sadness is the same everywhere and does not depend on the climate, does it?Or on geography either….
Do you want to know what bothers me so? Where shall I begin? Shall I begin with the people who have been losing their jobs here left and right? So far no one I personally know has lost their job and so I managed not to think abt it cos it was so sad. Each time the thought popped into my mind that many a Christmas stocking this year will remain empty and many will be the houses that wont have the Christmas lights hung out…It brings back memories of last year’s Christmas which I loved so much in this country.We rode around just so that I cud look at the lights and oooh-aah to my heart’s content.Let me tell u that to a certain extent I managed to avoid thinking abt those poor folks..But when a dear friend today seemed depressed,I asked him why and in turn he replied that he was saddened seeing his friends who lost their jobs and also mentioned the fact that his job may also be in danger.It broke my heart.and I had nothing to comfort him with.

What can I tell you abt the poor homeless man whom I saw almost every day for the past 18 months on my way to office? Can I describe how he had been sitting there for 20 years,depenedent on the neighboring shops and homes for food ?Can I even begin to describe the horror I felt when one day I heard the news that the poor man who troubled no one had been burnt alive by some heinous character? My heart stops at the thought that someone can walk up to a harmless man and pour inflammable stuff on him and set him alight at 9:45 p.m. and culprit is still walking free.I cannot express my outrage when the sister of the victim came forward in tears asking for help in catching the culprit.What kind of sister lets her brother sit on the roadside for 20 years,neglects him only to come back when he is dead? You can tell me that she may have had her own problems but I find it hard to forgive. My only consolation is that he is definitely in a better place than that roadside.

Should I tell you about the police shooting that happened at the junction outside my apartment yesterday?
Or do u want to hear abt the injustice that happens even after you have worked your butt off which though in retrospect does not bother me any more?Do u want to hear how tired I am of staying cheerful?of ignoring the sad stuff? of feeling outraged and helpless? of wanting to cry for all those people who lost their jobs? of not crying cos it seems absurd to cry for people whom I don’t even know? of wanting to go home cos it seems only the safe place and yet knowing its really no safer than where I am? of worrying that I am making choices that I may regret later? How do I even begin to explain it all..?Where do I start from? How do I explain the heartbreak that is really not mine?

And through all this why does what my friend’s wife told him seem to be the only thing that makes sense? That “ I need to worry about the things I can control and accept those which I can't. God is great and he has something good for us.”
In this big fat whirling mess,call it the world,life,rat race,whatever,my faith in God is the only thing that remains firm.And that is one reason why I don’t relinquish this blog which right now seems as ironic and as ridiculous as a sad clown trying hard to make funny faces for the world to laugh.So all I can do is pray and do my best to keep the people I love happy..and as for the rest,well,God will take care of it feeling better already!!