Monday, March 4. 2013
I'm looking to sublet the 2nd bedroom in my rented 2BHK in Koramangala 4th block (near Raheja Residency / Wipro Park). It's on the 1st floor of a G+2 house, has its own separate entrance, and is in a reasonably quiet neighbourhood, opposite a park.
I'm 35, am an engineer and pilot by education, freelance IT consultant + home automation network integrator + french translator by profession, and an electrical/electronic hobbyist. I keep the atmosphere at home mostly quiet, letting loose on a few occasions. I'm a blend of neatness and relaxed. I'd rather have a buddy who's well mannered understanding and respectful of me, my personal space and the facilities available. A caring attitude is always welcome. It'd be nice to be able to watch each other's back when required. See random episodes of Simpsons or Family Guy or HIMYM and laugh it out.
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Saturday, November 10. 2012
Wednesday, May 30. 2012
I recently joined Vantedge, a business which is involved in creating LonWorks networks and commissioning LON devices, whether it is in the field of building automation, industrial automation or energy management.
Specifically in the field of HVAC, air conditioner models that we commission include those from Daikin, Electric, Fujitsu, LG, Mitsubishi, Panasonic, Toshiba, etc. These are typically integrated with controllers from AMX, Crestron (CGELON-240), Fujitsu, IPLon, etc. Vantedge has the expertise and experience in doing a rapid commissioning of these products at sites across India.
Thursday, March 8. 2012
It happened five years ago, on this very night. The 7th of March, 2007. It was a fateful dinner, because both of us had stretched beyond our normal means to meet. It led to a change, which I'd like to refer to, as my rebirth. This is the story of what led to that night.Mayur Poddar
I remember her from 11 years ago. There's one prominent and vivid memory, from Annual Day at school, December 22 (or 23rd) 1994. The real memory is not something that happened, nor a conversation, it's a picture. A picture clicked with a film camera, and a copy of which had cost a crushing Rs.22 in those days. How this picture became a valued memory, is revealed by the bigger picture of my school environment.
All of high school and above was grouped into 4 "houses", named and identified by colours. There was Red house, Green house, Blue house, and there was Yellow house. I belonged to Yellow house. So did N. Now it's not at all odd that I don't know any or most of my juniors, because I wasn't that much of a people person. I'd rather be holed up in the computer science lab, than be mingling with the crowd. Nerdy, yes, that's what they called people like me. I only noticed N existed when I was in 10th grade. But I really acknowledged her existence to myself in 11th grade, when I became a senior. And by the way, that is when you get to rule the rest of the school (did you hear the far echoes of an evil laughter?).
It was only in 12th grade, final year in school, when I accepted that I had a crush on her, and for some time then. But being the quiet, timid, shy kind of chap, I couldn't muster up enough courage to do anything about it. She was the prettiest girl in school, and the sight of her, with that sweet unassuming smile, cute short curly hair, was mesmerising. And when she was on stage, speaking or singing, you could swear she was a human nightingale. I could pick out her voice when the National Anthem echoed through the school at the end of the day. And I couldn't do anything to save myself.
Well, that annual day, my last in school, Yellow house won the overall championship trophy for 2004-05, and I, was awarded the Best Outgoing Student. It was one big shiny and heavy trophy, and they let me take it home for 2 weeks. There was cheering and there were pictures. Ah, the pictures. The group pictures with the big trophies. I was standing on my knees holding up the super sized trophy with my right hand, and she was standing behind me, a little to my right. If you didn't see my hand, you'd think that it was she who was holding the trophy. From the time I have this picture, and right up to this day, each time I look at that picture, I cannot be honest with myself and say if I am looking at the trophy or looking at her.
On the night of March the 7th, 2007, I was passing by her town. I don't remember how or why I had her cell phone number, and I wasn't even sure if it would be a good idea. With that picture in my eye, I called her. She had to jump over a few hurdles, but we met over dinner. That dinner was left unfinished. Somewhere in between, the story of her life, the courage in her heart, the strength of her voice, and yet, that suppleness in her being, short circuited my delirious stillness into a lucid appetite for life. It bulldozed a tunnel through to the other side, just when darkness was swallowing me whole. I could write a book about it.
She says there's one other time we met. We had watched a movie, Jurasic Park 2, about 9 years ago. I remember vaguely, but I can't find any visuals in my memory bank, neither of me meeting her, nor the movie. I'm absolutely pathetic. There can be no conceivable excuse for forgetting even one of the few times you get to go out with your first crush, your childhood sweetheart, and to life's marvel, your life saver. I cherish and celebrate our friendship, each year.
On International Women’s Day 2012, three cheers to you N, and three cheers to all the women like you.
Monday, June 13. 2011
It’s not easy to forget your first true love, is something I accepted after trying for years. The ingrained memories, together with the world around me, wouldn’t let me forget. Movie characters somehow had to use the same name, portray the exact same situations, use the exact same words in their dialogues, evoking precisely the same sentiments. People with the same name and matching birthdays were appearing in my life. Everybody was talking of the same places we had gone to, doing the same things we had done. I was stumbling, but I was learning. I was learning to make friends with those very people. I was learning to smile, even while crying, through those scenes in the movies. More than accepting all that wasn't, I was learning to accept all that was.
Tuesday, March 8. 2011
Through the past 365 days, I have had a whole gamut of experiences with women. These women come from all age groups without any exclusion, from various strata of society, living in different parts of India and the World, having disproportionate access to modern means of communication, with multitude of emotional and psychological states of mind, playing numerous roles and owning numerous responsibilities; I could go on and on. I have had just as many different kinds of relationships with these women. And many of these relationships were stretched to extremes by my definition.
Tuesday, January 18. 2011
I could never forget that night. It was the beginning of a new phase in my life.
She was looking so beautiful, as usual. It was already difficult for me to keep my eyes off her, and seeing her dolled up in her new short red dress was giving my eyes plenty of exercise, like they were tracking cameras of some kind. I could live the rest of my life just looking at her. Looking at her sleeping. Looking at her cooking. Looking at her getting mad at me. Looking at her smile. Looking at her so scared crossing the road. Looking at her crying in the movies. Looking at her when she looked at me. I could live the rest of my life just looking at her.
The plan was to celebrate the New Year at a friend’s home. But the fog appeared at 11pm, just when I reached her apartment to pick her up. When we finally decided to not risk a drive in the fog and to stay home instead, I instantly fell into numbness. The thought that I'd be bored as always in her small apartment was killing me, and as always, I moaned.
She cheered me up, cooked two packets of instant noodles, and we watched TV as we ate. I was still angry because I was spending that night watching TV! “How sad is my life.” Those were the last words I spoke in that year.
Suddenly, and at the same time, we realized that the fog was so thick that it felt like it was snowing. Memories flooded me, and I smiled. She smiled too. After all my grumbling, I’m sure she smiled only because I smiled.
My impulsive self took over. I shut off the TV, pulled her upstairs to the terrace, switched on the light, put the cell-phone radio on speakerphone, and we danced freely to all the songs. In the whiteness, I could hardly see her face clearly. For the few moments when our hands would separate, I wouldn’t let her red silhouette out of my sight. Then the count-down started on the radio. 10. 9. 8 ... We kissed, and hugged, and stayed that way for a long period. The songs meanwhile continued to play.
Dew was forming on our faces and hands. We went inside, downstairs, quietly, holding each other, the radio on low volume now. I took her to the kitchen, opened the bottle of Chardonnay that we were to take to our friends, poured out two glasses for us, but set them aside. I hugged her again, and whispered into her ears. “Marry me.” Those were the first words I spoke in the New Year.
[The above is the translation of a story which I had written for an assignment for my French class. I scored only 5 on 10 for it, because I misunderstood the topic and wrote about an “unforgettable” experience, while it should have been about a “relaxing” experience. Anyhow, writing the article itself, was a relaxing experience, while seeing the score, was an unforgettable one!]
Saturday, December 18. 2010
I was at this 3 star hotel, to meet a couple of friends who were there to attend a wedding. At the hotel reception, when I was sure nobody was looking, I grabbed two fistfuls of individually wrapped candy (toffee) from a very pretty little basket, and stuffed them into my jacket pockets. As luck would have it, this girl R at the reception noticed this escapade (she was beautiful, and ignore how I know her name). I saw her seeing me, and I also saw her making a "stuck up" or "screwed up" face, ostensibly as a reaction to my toffee grabbing antic. At that time I just ignored her, and hoped that she did likewise.
I parked the bike at the hotel, rode with my friends to the airport, saw them off, and had myself dropped back at the hotel to pick up the bike. It was about 8pm. Without giving it much thought, I walked back to the reception, and asked R if she would take a break for a couple of minutes and come outside. To my surprise, she obliged. I asked her to follow me, and we strolled to the rear of the hotel, towards the motorcycle parking.
It was dark and the bike parking lot was quite unforgiving. It felt like the hotel didn’t respect bikers. But that wasn't why we were going there. I didn't say anything, we just kept walking.
The hotel was undergoing expansion, and construction workers were living in makeshift huts, right next to the bike parking lot. There, I found the same group of little children whom I had seen playing, when I had parked my bike earlier in the day. I called out to the children. Within seconds, half dozen boisterous kids had surrounded R and me. I took out the toffees from my jacket pockets and gave them to R, and asked her to give them to the kids. She looked surprised at first, and then smiled. The kids had their happy moments, screaming and scampering all over the place. Then one of them stood there with a hand stretched out, still in wait for a toffee. R didn't have any more, and she said "not enough". I responded with "there's never enough."
After the children had dispersed, R stood staring at me, and asked: "So what’s the point?" What’s the point! Geez! I said: "No point. I noticed your stuck up face when I picked up the toffees, I wanted to put things in perspective." She smiled (really!) and started walking away. Made me feel good.
I stood there looking at her walk back to the hotel. When she was about 10 feet away, she stopped. Justifiably, I found myself holding my breath. She turned around and said "For your information, on weekends, I work with an NGO and teach in a school." First, my heart sank to my stomach. Right there. Then I was dumbstruck, unable to say a word. Stupid. Stupid. Stupid. She works in an NGO and I'm trying to impress her like I'm Robinhood. What a loser!
Without waiting for a response, she turned around and started to walk again. Life returned to me when she had walked another 10 feet, and I screamed out to her: "What else do you do on weekends?"
She didn't stop. She just walked, and walked, till I could see her no more. And I stood, surrounded by darkness, my mind screaming to run after her, but my feet simply unwilling to move. When the sounds of the children reached my ears again, normalness returned, and I suddenly felt, like I had won, after all.
Thursday, October 28. 2010
Sunday night, I had a dream. I usually don’t dream. And when I do, I vaguely remember that there was a movie playing in my head, but I will have no recollection of any scene, no audio, no video, nothing.
Wonder of wonders, I wake up Monday morning, and I have a vivid recollection of the movie that played. It was in full colour, but there was no audio. There was an airplane. And besides me, there were hundreds of people in the dream. I remember only one person, this girl, N.
It was a rather large airplane, packed with people, buckled in, prepared for takeoff. I found myself standing in the aisle, beside N, who was seated in the aisle seat of the very last row. She was panicking, like a first time air-traveller, unwilling to let go off my hand, and pleading me to take her off the plane. The others seated around were looking at her. Or were they looking at me? I was saying something to her, trying to pacify her, to calm her down; after all, I was the pilot.
I could see in her eyes that she was trying to fight her fears, and her tears. I spoke for several minutes. When the stares from around us became too hot to handle, and I realised it was getting late, I looked at her to tell her that I had to go, to take everybody to their destination, and tried to free my hands from her ever tightening grip. After a moment, she let go reluctantly, and before I had moved, two drops of precious appeared out of the corner of her right eye. I dropped to my knees, wiped them away quickly, and held her face between my palms, not saying anything, just looking at her, not knowing what to speak, and only hoping that she’ll see in my eyes that it’s all going to be ok.
The engines had probably started to roar at full power, but the vibration didn’t grab my attention. Then, the plane started rolling on its wheels. That knocked me off balance. It shocked me, the plane was moving! I tore myself away from N, and started to run towards the front of the aisle. By the time I reached the cockpit door, it had picked up speed. I tried to open the door, but it was locked.
There was no big flash of light or the super heated flames from the aviation fuel, just a shockwave going through my body. The explosion must have been deafening, like thunder. The airplane stopped moving, and it fell with a reverberating thud, knocking me down onto the floor. And quite abruptly, all movement abated. I turned around, and found the rest of the airplane in several pieces, wires hanging from everywhere, and the distinct yellow of the oxygen masks. Strangely, all the passengers had disappeared, along with their seats, and the luggage that was stowed in the overhead bins. The airplane was now like a long tunnel, with alternating lit and dark sections, a mess of electrical wires, oxygen masks dangling in mid air, and a light haze.
I started running through the tattered body, towards the rear, like that was the sole purpose of my life now, to run to the back of the airplane. I reached there in no time. And there she was, sitting on the floor, face burrowed in her knees and hands clutching her little black bag. I sat down beside her. She was sobbing quietly. I said nothing, just put my arms around her and huddled up, and cried.
Monday, April 12. 2010
It was the best new years ever. 2010 came with the biggest ever rush, displacing 2003 by miles. The images of my cousins and new friends will remain ingrained in my memories. And the cold winter temperature of Jamshedpur was the icing on the cake.
I think I have an optimal operating temperature range, between 10C and 20C. Between 20C and 30C is the orange zone, where I will perform optimally, but I will complain. Between 30C and 40C is the red zone, where I cannot perform optimally with sufficient external cooling and excessive fluid intake. And above 40C is the melting zone, more like the “get-out-of-my-way,-I’m-taking-the-next-flight-to-the-North-Pole” zone. Incidentally, Bangalore has seen the highest recorded temperatures in its history in these last couple of days. While 38C is nowhere near the scorching temperatures of cities like Delhi, Bangaloreans are much too accustomed to the comfort of sub-30C dwelling.
As always, there’s a lot going on in life. A lot of what I don’t want. And too little of what I want. I’m not miserable any more. I’m ok, actually, for the most part, I’m happy. I’ve indulged in meditation, pranayam, Art of Living courses (or, discourses, as a friend says), homeopathy, acupressure, long walks, long talks, and just anything else that will keep my mind occupied. Even an hour of doing nothing leads to extended periods of nothingness. So I’ve prescribed myself the task of staying busy, and act it if required.
One of the biggest achievements in the recent past has been completing the French level A1. All the weekends for 6 months at Alliance Française have brought more happiness than all the whisky in all of the last year put together. I am now doing level A2. As much as I enjoy the studying, it’s the friends in class and a cool professor who make it worth the while.
A recent incident in Bangalore had my head spinning for a several days. The fire at Carlton Towers, that killed 9 people. This is a building I visited often, because if houses some of the best restaurants and ice-cream parlor in close proximity to home. I drove past it the same night as the fire occurred, and noticed the sullen desolate look, as against the normalcy of bright lights and feverish crowds. The next morning, the front half page of the newspaper was a picture of a man falling from the Nth floor of the building. I was instantly in tears and needless to say, I couldn’t read at all. I can’t say that the image brought back haunting visuals of 9/11, but my reaction was no different. While tragedies will happen, and we will learn to live with them, I simply hate the fact that a newspaper is allowed to display such visuals. When I watch a movie or read a book, I’m conscious that it’s all an act, or fiction. But this is real life, and nobody, nobody must have to endure such images without their own explicit desire.