Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Friends with ’Expiry dates’?

Do friends come with expiry dates? That’s one question that came to my mind this morning as I got dressed for work. I have been experiencing pain this last weekend over a soured friendship which did not just snap but has been going ‘bad’ for a while. Which made me think...do friendships come to expiration just like any other product we purchase in the market? Some part of me completely agreed with the concept. Yes, they do!
Think about it! We choose our friends just as much as we choose the products in the store. Like a new product we anticipate that the new friend will make you better...add value to what you already have - who you are (like lotions and creams enhancing our natural beauty), contribute to your happiness (like coffee that just perks me up), or just plain ol’makes you feel better like nothing else does (like ice-cream!!). Having friends around or just a call away makes one feel secure about relationships. That happiness permeates into different other aspects – career, relationships with family and with our own spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend. Friends make us plain happy after meeting or talking to them!
We choose these products depending on our mood when purchasing them. Sometimes we ‘experiment’ with these products because we believe they will make things better – our health, our beauty, our overall personality...Similarly with new people depending on our mood we decide to let that person get close to us, enough to become friends who momentarily convince us that they are worth being acquainted with. We experiment with them. It’s the mood that does play a role. That’s why we let some really nice people to pass us by and sometimes let losers get close to us because we were in ‘the mood’!!
And just like products come with expiry dates; friendships near to an end as well because they turn bad and ‘toxic’ at times. Some friends need to be let gone else they continue to suck you out of the energy they once upon a time contributed to. The one thing that you give to any product and to a friend is the chance to make you feel better. If you are a friend to them, you would do the same. But once the product starts to make you react in a way adverse to what was expected, you tend to discontinue using the commodity at once or at least gradually start reducing the usage of the product to see if it the main reason for undesirable results. Is that not a good strategy while dealing with ‘friends’? Why let some friends who have become sour make you feel bad?
Subconsciously, friends contribute to your self esteem and spending time with certain people defines your attitude to a particular extent. When you spend it with certain ‘toxic’ friends, they turn to harm us more than just superficially, which products gone bad do. They harm us internally and they bring pain. Letting them out of your life is not as easy as throwing a product away but easing them out of your life is like doing yourself a huge favour. You deserve and are worth a healthy relationship and friendships are part of those healthy associations you want t keep to contribute to a healthy, happy living!
Since I realised what had happened to a fantastic friendship I had with my best friend, I have started revaluating friendships that I still have. I do love myself and could use healthy relationships that nurture my personality and make me happy like an apple nurtures my health.
Slowly letting go of the people that show telling signs of embittering your life can be tough but oh-so-necessary for yourself. Think about it, why would you keep a product that does more harm than good? Similarly, why would you allow a ‘friend’ to eat into your time and energy when there are enough parasites out there anyways (go by the name – horrible bosses, foes, naggers etc)? Think about it, re-evaluate your relationships and see if they have reached their expiry dates!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Types of people you see inside elevators

We all spend at least five minutes everyday traveling the lifts. If you are a lift operator you probably spend more than eight hours inside the lifts….but since we didn’t expect you to understand English and be reading blogs on the internet, this blog post doesn’t cater to your interest. Folks working on 30 plus floors, and those with extremely slow elevators needn’t despair…you might be spending more than five minutes inside lifts but we forgive you and still cater to your interests. Read on.
Here are the different types of people you will find inside lifts:

The Operator
This is generally a man, and the moment he steps inside the lift he has only one question for everybody inside the lift: “Which floor?” He is the type that gets upset if you have already pressed the button. Throughout the journey, he will stand next to the buttons. If you give him a chair to sit inside the lift he wouldn’t really mind. He is also the guy who presses the >< and <> buttons to close or open the lift whenever necessary, and gets super offended if you so much so even extend your hand to do that.

The Evaluator
Both a man or a woman can be an evaluator. This person runs an eye over everybody in the lift. Once the first glance is cast, he or she then starts focusing on individuals and starts marking them eye to toe. There are various parameters on which such people evaluate you – which company you could be working in, single or married, how much you could earning, how much does that shiny shoe cost etc. He/she usually stands right at the back in one of the corners.

The Starer
This is mostly a man. His job is to stare at anybody who enters the lift. A stare back doesn’t discourage this guy. The fact that the stare is going to last only 30+ seconds helps. Mind you, he doesn’t just stare at women….men also end up being his target.

The Perfume Woman
In most office lifts this character is a rarity. How often do you share a lift with a girl, who is washed head-to-toe in perfume? This person is usually wearing heels, dark, tight trousers with light colored shirt, has a scarf around her neck and is holding a file or a diary against her bosom (not to mention the branded, big handbag or laptop hanging from her shoulder). She steps into the lift with a few clicks of her heels, and sets the adrenalin rush amongst the men inside. If you see a man missing the second floor in spite of pressing the second floor button of the lift…there are very high chances that there is a perfume woman inside the lift.

The back-to-the-door person
This can either be a man or a woman and is most likely to be 40+ in age. For some odd reason, they stand with their back to the door till they reach their destination floor – opening or closing of the lift doesn’t help in changing their orientation. This man is the Evaluator’s worst enemy.

The Evader
This is an interesting character that becomes a part of our lift life very often. They avoid all eye contact when inside the lift. If you notice, they will take out their handkerchief and play with it, then stare at the fan or AC vent on top, then look at the buttons, stare at the floor indicator at the top of the lift etc. They will do anything to avoid eye contact with you – even looking at their own shoes.

The Mobile Manager
This can both be a man or a woman. For some odd reason, they always get emails when they are in the lift. And when they don’t have emails to read, they would snap out the mobiles from their pockets and send out a few SMSes. I wouldn’t be surprised if they are just some sms forwards. Most often, the mobile that’s involved here is a smartphone – a Blackberry, an iPhone, an HTC or a high end Nokia device.

The Handler
This is almost always a man. He takes it upon himself to trigger the lift door’s sensitivity by placing his hand next to the door till everybody isn’t inside completely or hasn’t gone out completely. He is the fatherly figure to every lift traveler. There is no specific age group for this character – they range from 16 year old boys to 50 year old men.

Any other characters you can think of?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

the call...

If the phone in her pocket buzzed one more time, she would seriously consider disowning this piece which the population claimed to be one of the best inventions of technology. She had absolutely no idea who would be trying to call her in the midst of a harrowing Monday afternoon.

She crossed one jean-clad leg over another and leaned back in her chair, pretending to listen to her boss rave and rant about her invisible short-comings. It was another mystery in her clueless Monday.

She had woken up feeling distinctly positive about the morning and thus very hopeful of the week which would follow. But out of the bed, is as far as the positive feeling followed her. She had opened her wardrobe to discover that all her ‘work trousers’ had seemingly taken an affinity to the laundry basket. The laundry basket had however stubbornly refused to make it to the washing machine over the weekend! Someone ought to have written a book on laundry psychology! Which left her with but one choice – don on jeans on the one day when your boss would be sure to notice that you were not a mere wall d├ęcor!

She had teamed her jeans with a very official looking white shirt and even gone to the extent of ‘corporating’ her look with a black silk scarf. You think that would have helped?

The first thing she walked into her office, she was summoned in by her boss. He had peered at her and said,

“no doubt this is your definition of office wear….”

And the meeting had begun. She was flawed. At least that is what she thought her boss was trying to tell her through his numerous incitations. It was not that she really had made all those many mistakes; it was just that he was having his round of the male equivalent of PMS. He did get these mood swings once every month. Quite regularly.

But today it seemed to stretch on way beyond the normal. She was closeted with him, in this confine of glass for well over two hours, listening and re-listening that, what she had already heard minutes before. What had definitely worsened matters was the peal of her cell-phone.

It began quite innocently five minutes into the meeting. Her boss was in the midst of proving a point when her phone had begun to sing “umbrella- ella …” It did seem rather funny, but she had turned an embarrassing pink. She’d cut the call and smiled apologetically at her boss.

Every five minutes after that the phone needed to be choked into silence as her persistent caller refused to give up. Annoyed she had switched her phone to the silent mode and pushed it into her pocket, where it had buzzed its presence with a dramatic whir.

Her mind was busy wondering who needed to get in touch with her that desperately. At one point her thoughts had led her into an almost panic – nobody was in an accident, right? Quite unconsciously she started twitching her foot, much to the distraction of her boss, who sighed quite melodramatically and said,

“I suppose we should convene the meeting after you have taken that call?”

As if on cue her phone whirred again. She hastily excused herself and not quite out of the room barked an annoyed “yes?” into the phone.

“Hey!” came the hearty reply.

“You would be?” she asked not wanting to be nice to this particular, as yet unidentified, oppressive entity.

“waiting for the past two and a half hours for you to answer your phone, so that I could quite innovatively ask you out for lunch. But innovation is wasted on you, isn’t it?” came the curt reply.

She stared aghast at her phone. Double-checked to see if her eyes and ears were deceiving her, then looked back through the glass panes into the room she had just walked out of. Sure enough her boss was grinning from ear to ear, shaking his cell phone in front of her face.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Silent Endings...

He watched the city pass him in a hazy blur, as he drove along the main street. He had no clue where he was headed, nor did he want to know. He just wanted to drive because driving kept him sane.

He tried to focus on anything but her, but all he could see in his mind’s eye was her tear streaked face. He almost reached out to wipe the streaks of her reddened cheeks. But realized he was just caressing thin air. He slammed his hand down on the steering wheel. How had he botched it up so bad?

He remembered her voice textured with velvety concern, soothing his tired senses as he crashed home after a day’s work. He loved watching her as she bustled from room to room chatting about nothing, yet making the house come alive. Once when they’d disagreed over something, which was actually his fault, she had gone out and purchased orange PJs on his credit card, knowing that he particularly disliked orange.

‘It’s because I know you will never say sorry. So here’s your punishment!” she had flung at his questioning glance. She had paraded the entire weekend in those PJs and he had made up his mind on that precise Saturday that orange was actually very cute. The make-up session then had taken them to the bedroom and ended up with breakfast in bed.

And then there was Radha. She was nothing like his wife. She boasted sculpted features and a translucent skin. Her almond eyes were fringed with thick dark lashes and her lips made the perfect pink bow. She was beautiful. And she was interested in him.

It was flattering. Here was woman the world would be willing to covet, seeking surrender in his arms. It was tempting desire itself. He had given in.

For a long time now, he had been thinking about breaking away from Radha. He did not love her, he not even lusted after her, it was just some twisted form of male ego that kept him going. Her tears could melt him, but they didn’t lash out like whips on his tender heart.

Like his wife’s. When she had found out, she had said not one word. But from the depth of the black of her eyes, rolled the torrents of betrayal, which her heart had found difficult to contain.

The blaring horn made him look around. He was parked, as usual, under the balcony of his home. Only it was no longer a home, because the homemaker had fled.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Tell Me...

I don’t want you to hear me out
when I’m sad and upset
But tell me if you can just listen
to what’s not being said.

I don’t want to know about the great things
that you have overcome
But tell me about the little things
that have made you what you’ve become.

I don’t want to know that thunders of applause
for you feels breathtaking
But tell me about how it feels
when you hear the sound of your dreams breaking.

I don’t want to know about the brilliance
of the sun at the peak of noon
But tell me about the darkest night
in the absence of the moon.

I don’t want to know about your many friends
and what they say and do
But tell me about that one friend
who lets you just be you.

I don’t want to know about all the questions
that you have found answers for
But tell me about that one question’s answer
of which you are still unsure.

I don’t want to know about the things
that you see in broad daylight
But tell me about what you see
after you close your eyes at night.

I don’t want to know about your wounds
that hurt and burn sometimes
But tell me about the ones
that have gone numb with time.

I don’t want to know about the things that you’ve written
in lonesome times on a lonely night
But tell me about the blank pages that are filled
with words you were too reluctant to write.

I don’t want to know about the things
that you would tell the world anyway
But tell me about all the things
that you will never say.


Happy Valentine's Day to All....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


She walked in, hair swaying in the wind, eyes glancing across the half crowded coffee shop, with a bunch of red roses gripped tightly in her hands. A cat whistle shrilled from across the table where she rested her grip on the flowers. A couple of gawky teenagers couldn’t hide their excitement and let their jaw drop (along with the glass of cold coffee) at the sight of the flower girl. She looked up, sharp eyes, lined with kajal, the type that makes the eyes look even more expressive than how it is on a lazy Sunday morning.

The flowers found a place on the table and one got to see her fingers, beautifully manicured, the ones that would have experienced the choicest of creams, lotions and moisturizers, the ones that always smelt fresh and felt divine. The ones that were always not too far from sanitizers. The ones that had mehendi on them?

Ah! She is married. About to be married? Or her friend just got married. Yes. That should be the case. Phew! That’s a relief.

She sat down at a table that could accommodate only two people. She is expecting company. The electricity just went off, thanks to the heavy rain. A few drops of rain cascaded down her forehead and fell on the table. She carefully took a tissue from her bag (didn’t even bother looking at the pile of tissues folded and placed on the table in a triangular shape by the waiters) and wiped her face, gently, not ruining the kajal. The heart skips another beat. She folds the tissue and places them next to the flowers.

“I’m there”, she said on the phone, that seemed to have magically sprung out of her bag and planted itself to her ears, when the mind was too busy deciding on her relationship status.

“Oh! Another half hour? Shit”, she cursed. The lips seemed so pure, so bright and so sensuous, that one could never expect words other than love, peace, hope, and bliss, let alone profanity. Those lips were meant for kissing. It looked like a painting, perfect, symmetric, orgasmic with the blood red of her lipstick, like the painter's final signature.

The waiter walks up to her table and places a candle and she smiles at him. It’s his lucky day ! He walks away and she lights the candle with her lighter. The candle light falls on her face and the heart skips another beat. Her eyes shine. The light keeps shifting, thanks to the wind; it plays a pattern on her face. Her nose ring twinkles. The light is blinding, making me turn my gaze away from her for just a moment.

She is trying to catch the attention of the waiter. Unaware that she has everybody’s attention. She does realize it. She signals him to get her a hot cappuccino.

The coffee arrives in what felt like milliseconds. She looked awkward trying to open the sachet of sugar to add to her coffee. She spills some on the table-the coffee and the sugar. She looked up to see if someone saw her clumsiness.

Her eyes met mine. I smiled. She was still for a moment before a gentle smile escaped her lips. The candle light was playing tricks. The light and shadow was just too much to handle. I gently nodded my head to greet her. She hesitantly waved back.

I went back to scribble on the tissue paper, the one I had in front of me from the moment I came into the coffee shop. I wanted to write something. In fact I wanted to just keep writing. I had something to write about.

The coffee shop began filling up. The rain was getting heavier and water was dripping from the roof above. People were trying to squeeze into any available space. Tables looked crowded. Privacy could be forgotten. At least till the rain stopped. The air smelt wet. The voices became loud and conversations from every table could be heard clearly. No one went near her table. She still stood out. Alone, beautiful and mesmerizing.

Ever so often, I looked up to see her. I just couldn’t stop. I would then smile to myself and then get back to writing. My coffee was getting cold, partly due to the weather and mostly because I never bothered to drink it.

“What? You’re stuck? It’s pouring here and what do you want me to do?” she spoke on the phone once again. Frustration was written all over her forehead. I could see the lines forming on her clear face. She shook her head and disconnected the call. And I’m certain I heard her swear one last time before hanging up the call.

She glanced towards the flowers that were on the table. She picked up a tissue and began scribbling something. A note I thought. She tucked the note to the flowers and called the waiter. She handed him the flowers and said something, the waiter nodded. He went back to the cash counter, carefully holding the flowers. She took a final sip of her coffee and got up, hand held over her head to protect her from the rain and strode out as briskly as she had come in just a while ago.

The heart skipped another beat.

Do I go behind her? Maybe just talk to her? Would I be seeing her again? Questions flooded my brain. I was snapped out of my trance by the waiter.

“Sir, that madam asked me to give these to you”, he said handing me the flowers.

“Would love to read what you have written about me. Coffee tomorrow at 4?” it read with a smiley at the end.

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