Sunday, April 24, 2011

Mood swings

I am not sure if there is a male version of PMS or if any hormonal changes take place with change of season but I have been climbing up and down mood elevator once too often for past some days

*Holiday in Swiss Alps – planning a holiday in Switzerland is a guaranteed mood elevator; no matter if you can travel or not only the planning of what you will do in Zurich or Interlaken is enough to give you a spring. Only thing do not go too much into the cost aspect or try discovering hidden costs in fancy tours, which can be a real spoiler. Just sit back and plan, you will be surprised to find yourself in orbit for sometime

*Good appraisal brought down – now we all crave appreciation at work and I was delighted to find good words about me in my appraisal form. Being my first year in this job I was delighted to be recognized; however superbosses in Head Office had other plans and brought down my rating in name of moderation. Now that royally sucks

*Old college pal tying the knot and reminiscing old days – always good to exchange mails with old chums especially if they have been with you through the most exciting days. I was happy for my friend tying the knot and sending me pics; only wish those carefree days could last a little longer

*Morbid thoughts on marriage – deciding to getting married is like buying an expensive lottery ticket, you see only a handful winning and smiling while majority lose out, only extent of loss and despair vary though all had bought lottery tickets with some dreams and plans. Off late I have really been thinking is marriage so essential?

*Best buddy may not come – I had been planning which cabaret bars to visit and which booze to buy when my close buddy comes calling but now it seems Muscat may not be in his tour diary. There was so much to talk, holidays to plan but that will have to wait for sometime

*Landlord leaving – lastly you come home after a hard moody day at office and last thing you need is a house vacate notice! My landlord has made up his mind to return to India and soon I may be on the road; I had moved in only recently and was on the moon to get such a well furnished comfortable place dirt cheap but I guess someone up there is keeping a watch on my happiness and never allows it to go too high, pulling the rug at most inopportune moments

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Muscat I love you

There is an old practice of introducing a new chicken to a farm when all other chickens are asleep. When other chickens wake up they mistake the new chicken to be one of their flock and treat the new entrant as if it had been a part of them for long, seeing the bonhomie the new chicken also forgets that he is new here; my initiation into Muscat, exactly one year back, was also something very similar

It was with a mix of emotions on this day last year that I took a flight out of India and stepped into this new country unsure of what awaits me; I was not at all confident if I would be able to survive here let alone thrive and armed only with courage and fortitude I had no choice but to make a success of my stay here battling all odds.

I vividly remember the first few days of my new life discovering Muscat and its people; it all seemed so familiar that I now think I always belonged here. Looking back I guess within a fortnight of landing I was all at home and knew living here would never be tough, infact it has turned out to be much more comfortable than imagined. As the days passed by I surprisingly discovered more about myself than the new place. First I can live alone or rather live better when alone; second I seek and enjoy company of like minded folks but doesn’t mean I can’t survive with others; and lastly the basics of myself will remain same irrespective of where I stay and I mean this in a positive way

It is amazing the kind of relief a long desired dawn can bring, more so if it happens after an agonizingly long wait. Now it seems the long wait for Visa was worth it; I have found my feet here and am grateful to be away from all the ills that had dogged my life before I came here. However when I say that I am enjoying myself here it doesn’t mean I have painted the town red, this city is a bit lifeless still I am thankful to be here for many characteristics of Muscat match with my personality – well organized with all elements present in balance, not too loud, free and liberal lifestyle, absolutely unchaotic though slightly sleepy and an under running underbelly with all dark deeds happening in darkness keeping many unaware.

Oh in the middle of all this I should not forget that I also got a bit of romance and flirting, it was so much fun when it was going strong; sadly this has gone on a bit of back burner off late with the chick getting a new job but there is always hope

As I conclude first year of my new life, I sincerely wish that it stays with me for long; it has taken a good time to arrive and it is only fair that it should not leave or disappear in a hurry. I look forward to seeing more raunchy dances in cabaret bars, more boozing with pals, a holiday in Europe, recognition in my job and maybe a new chick who is a bit more uninhibited…but more importantly I now look forward to life with hope, enthusiasm and anticipation

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Its love that matters

Yesterday morning I woke up in a foul and grumpy mood, which is not too unusual for someone trying to wipe out scars of a suppressive past and afraid to face the predicted acrimonious future. While getting ready for office and bathing under the shower dark thoughts of morbid past kept cropping up and my perpetual insecurity of having a future as joyless as some days in past kept raising its ugly head time and again. Thankfully when I moved into office I had a lot of work in store and being an HR guy many employee issues had to be sorted; while I was banging my head with some irate employees deep down I was also thankful that at least I have some respite from dealing with my own demons, work pressure is peanuts if you have dealt with depression ever, maybe not depression per se but that aloofness arising from uneasy relations.

By afternoon I was again about to slip into that dreaded sad and melancholic state, when I received a reply to my earlier e-mail from an old buddy. Now this guy was my colleague and langotiya yaar from previous job, who is now relocating to a nearby place in this part of the world from Bangalore. Seeing his mail made me jump with joy and after more exchange of mails, we started preparing our holiday plans; doesn’t matter if the holidays are still six months away. The first plan was for a suggested vacation in Seattle where we have another buddy; I called up US embassy here in Muscat but the long drawn Visa process and huge costs punctured my mood, now why on earth does this country have to have such Visa procedures even for a short visit! Next on line was London, but this guy has been there couple of times before so not sure if he would be game. I checked few other destinations in Europe, all too glamorous and expensive but c’mon this is going to be a real vacation, and for someone who has never been to West, a bit of cost should be okay. We ultimately decided that if nothing works out we will make a dash to Istanbul, cheap and nearby; so yours truly may (a big may that is) fly out in August

What was remarkable for me was that after back and forth exchange of these mails and the exciting travel plans being drawn up, my despair of morning had totally evaporated. After those two hours of frantic mail exchange post lunch and my promise to my buddy to show him cabaret bars around and our plans to raid some exotic international locale, I was so cheerful and excited that I myself was surprised. What had changed so soon was perhaps abhorrence and resentment giving way to fondness and liking; I am fond of my friend hence elated at the prospect of an exciting bachelor vacation, I despise some left behind folks so have been avoiding my visit to India though its due now

In life nothing matters as much as love; I love my buddy hence dance at his impending visit and the good times we are bound to share, I do not love some other folks so much whom I end up cursing. Its love that matters, rest all is worthless

Sunday, April 3, 2011

10 things to learn from Dhoni

1.Inspire self- belief – this win would not have been possible had the leader not inspired; all world champion teams have been led by inspirational captains like Kapil, Imran, Border and Waugh

2.Take bold decisions and back them – leadership is all about taking decisions and backing them. Dropping Ashwin and bringing back Nehra in a high pressure game was indeed bold but it paid off

3.Mask your emotions – I have never seen Dhoni go hyper on field or vent out emotions; even after lifting the Cup his face was calm. This counts a lot in tense moments with billion eyes watching you

4.If you show confidence in your folks, chances are they will deliver – some years back Sehwag was dropped for a final in Australia and instead Praveen Kumar was picked. Praveen responded by picking four wickets

5.Admit mistakes – not many captains would have admitted giving last over to Nehra was a bad call but this guy did

6.Never mix personal and professional life – Dhoni could have had flings with actresses or been a party boy like Jadeja or Yuvraj, but he remains a private person. I really admire his marriage, the way no known had a clue about the wedding or the chosen girl

7.Keep your feet on the ground - I never thought that this gawky wicketkeeper with long hair chosen for Bangladesh tour in 2005 would one day be such a big star. But this new age Kapil Dev has never forgotten his small town roots

8.Body language makes lot of difference – right from the time he promoted himself up the order and came out to bat in finals, his body language meant business. Remember Viv Richards and his famous swagger? Many opposing teams lose on field when they see so much confidence

9.Be aware that team is made-up of different characters of which no two are similar – Dhoni has never tried to reign in Sreesanth or Yuvraj, he knows they are different characters and need some antics to perform

10.Lastly dream big and believe in them, one day they will come true – Dhoni is about a month younger to me and like him I too dreamt of India winning the World Cup one day. I am sure like me, Dhoni too would have stood in front of bathroom mirror while growing up and imagined speaking from Lord’s balcony or lifting Sachin on shoulders for a victory lap. Only difference between me and Dhoni is that my dreams broke with the mirror