Monday, December 30, 2013

2013 – year which left me battered and bruised

There are years and times in one’s life when all that one has stood for, all that one has believed in and all that one always wanted to do come to a naught and stand reversed; there are times when the entire belief of one’s life stand shaken; when all that has been accomplished over years starts going away slowly; when all that one believed is firm starts shaking first mildly and then wildly. There are years which shake you to the core which at times force you to take some unwanted decisions; for me 2013 has been such a year.

If you have been reading me for sometime (or even if you browse through posts of 2009) you will understand how dearly I wanted an international assignment and how glad I was to have finally got one in 2010; my elation continued in 2011 with a good time at workplace but then when things started going wrong in 2012 I as a fool did not understand that it was best to head home; but never in my wildest dreams did I ever imagine I will lose my job that too with such humiliation and disgrace. My tumultuous relationship with my boss and his unprovoked verbal assaults in office wounded me no end and with me being located abroad avenues of escape or job change got severely limited. I never wanted to return to India which I am now being forced to, thanks to all the tribulations at office and my unfruitful and desperate job hunt in this country. What this entire ordeal has also taught me is that my profession has limited job openings and the vast corporate expanse of India provides larger scope for employment and job changes, moreso with increasing years of experience which also implies lesser matching jobs. Infact with all that I have gone through this year I doubt if I will ever work abroad again

Apart from all the acrimony at workplace there was nothing much else to write home about in 2013. Sadly I seem to have lost out on life a bit in last couple of years; pursuits like Toastmasters and Art of Living which I so actively pursued in India have come to a halt here, I hardly have anyone left in this city whom I can call a friend, my drinking has become much frequent and has become more of a habit now which has resulted in a bloated belly which shows no sign of reducing and life has become so listless that almost on all weekends I find myself confined to my bed with a book and drink for company. 2013 has also been a year where I almost abandoned this space with less than half dozen posts to show for the full year. If all this shittiness in life was not enough, for much of the year I was paranoid of having contracted some virus after I took the Russian blonde to my hotel room in Dubai earlier in the year

Perhaps the only thing positive about the year was my growing bonds with my family; first it was my mother then my brother and lastly it has been someone with whom I plan to start a family! Yes there has been a bright prospect in the offing for long and if things turn out well, which actually means that I find another suitable job soon, then may go ahead here. (For the time being let this be subject of another post and not this piece, sorry to keep you curious for now)

As every year draws to a close, it gives an opportunity to look back upon the 12 months that have gone by and the sweet and sour memories they have left behind; and when I look back at 2013 I can only say that I am glad its over. I dearly hope 2014, with all the trials and tribulations of life in India notwithstanding, turns out to be a better year for me; with all that I have gone through in 2013 I am surely due for some relief. I sincerely hope the New Year brings a new dawn which will help do away with the gloom and helplessness of 2013

As a number 13 has always been unlucky for me and in my heart of hearts I was dreading that atleast this time number 13 will not be as harmful for me but guess that’s not how it turned out. If life ever gave me a rewind option; I would never like to go through 2013 again

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Life hits a trough

I have been away for such a long time that it may seem that I have abandoned this space all together. In a way yes I have almost given up not only on this space but I guess on this upstart life itself for 2013 has been a major trough in my life marked by endless despair and frustration. Before you hazard any guesses let me first assure that I am safe and have not suffered any personal loss; its my workplace and more specifically my boss who has bestowed upon all possible agony on me that I have now lost my job here in Muscat and am forced to return back to India

Trouble had been brewing for sometime with signs of turbulence evident in 2012 itself which I as a fool missed to read; my failure to comprehend the office politics and dynamics hit me in the face earlier this year with one of the worst appraisals accompanied by termination recommendation to head office. Since March I have been engaged in a constant battle with my boss which resulted in me being subjected to endless bullying, torture and harassment; the reckless shouting and intimidating behavior ultimately had an impact on my health too resulting in chest pain and throbbing body ache. I am yet to undergo any major check-up but all through the ordeal I was paranoid that I have surely contracted some major illness

My fortunes at workplace have swung so drastically that I am myself stunned and amazed how swiftly the world can change. When I first arrived in this country in 2010 I was looking forward to life with optimism and hope; it had been a long wait before I landed up an international assignment and I was determined to make the most of it. I did try to give my best at what I thought was my dream job but slowly the dream started turning sour; in hindsight I should have looked at jobs in India when it was evident that I will not be moved to head office in Dubai. However I now realize that a major drawback of any international assignment is that is very hard to switch jobs; not only are the openings very less but then other factors like Visa, nationality etc make it all the more harder. Since March I have been applying all around but have got only a couple of calls; it was only when end was imminent that I looked upon the Indian market in July which I now realize was a major folly

During this trouble some period one constant support has been my family in India; first it was my mother who consoled me during her visit here earlier this year and then my brother acted as a support helping me with all his corporate contacts in India. If anything I have come to realize during this hard phase it’s the relevance of family and relationships; no one else, and I really mean here no one else, will stand by and support during lean times as much as own family. For someone coming off an uneasy past this realization has hit the hard way but thankfully not too late

As I wind up my stuff many thoughts come rushing to mind, returning back to India now was surely not desired but then perhaps may not be too bad for me also, my plans of settling down in life hit a block for now (though there is a bright prospect in sight, more on that later), how will life in India be now after having pledged never to return in 2010 and lastly my boss, he will surely pay for what he has done to me, mails to chairman and directors have already been drafted (any more thoughts guys, I am open for all false accusations )

In another fortnight I will be back in India for good , hunting for a new job which will be another challenge in this economy. I am not sure if my troubles have just started or is this another phase which will be over soon, what I know for sure now is that life has nothing constant, the only constant is change and to lead better lives its better we be always prepared for this change

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Life comes full circle

It is often said that life throws lemons at you and that too when you least expect it; it is also said that life takes unforeseen turns when least anticipated. With unexpected changes taking place on both professional and personal fronts, my life seems to have taken some unexpected twists what with me now yearning to return to where I was previously glad to leave and also now wanting to run away from where I currently am

My last post was about how my previously tormented relationships seem to be on mend and thankfully in the past month relationship has not only got better but also strengthened. Three years back when I first came to this city and country, I was sure that I have got away for good and this is where I will build my Eden but life here has taught me few valuable lessons which will hold good for coming time too. Relationships are to be valued not only in Karan Johar movies but in real life too and even if things go wrong at times, as they sure will, to forgive and forget is for own good as I have now come to realise. Gone are the days where I used to recall my caged days of past with anger and disgust pledging never to return to the shores I left behind; my present is all about valuing what I have.

A major factor in my change of thought has been the change of fortune at my workplace; things seem to be going from bad to worse and it is now clear that I have to hunt for another job on war footing. I was in Dubai last week and my interaction with HR bosses had more negative strings attached than I had anticipated; with appraisals due next week my fatwa will be out anytime now and the sooner I get out of this place the better it will be for my own mental peace and stability. I have come to such a sorry state that I don’t want to wake up from my sleep in morning and every day I kind of despise coming to office. However what is real frightening is the lack of opportunities in this city; I have not got a single interview call the last three years I have been here which makes it amply clear that I need to run away at the first opportunity. Even earlier many well wishers had advised that India will be having more opportunities which made it better suited to build a future at my stage of life but I did not foresee that reality will hit me the hard way. All the work chaos has resulted in such mental disorder that it makes me take decisions which I am sure to regret; the Russian in my hotel room in Dubai last week was only one such instance

With work and office going downhill and the previous tormented relationships getting better and better; life seems to have come a full circle. My present mental disequilibrium badly needs a shoulder to cry upon and rest, which I am happily discovering these days at home after many many years; the city I was glad to live in few summers back now makes me wonder when I will get to run away from here. Life does have its own store of unexpected twists and turns, own cycles of ups and downs; in my life I seem to have lived my circle, atleast for now

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


Some years back when I had watched the forgettable flick Bachna Ae Haseeno my only interest was in watching sizzling Bipasha with not much interest in the dreary storyline. For the uninitiated this film is about a casanova who plays around with females ditching them at last slip till he finds true love, he then realises his folly and goes back to find his old flames to seek their apology; the film dwells upon closure and talks about cleaning the pains of past before charting a new ground. Watching the film at a time when I was grousing about my present and yearning about a better future I could not relate much to what was depicted but now having realized some of my cravings and seeking to open a new chapter of my listless life I have come to realize that its first important to close pains of past and only then can anything new be charted

A couple of weeks back while talking to my folks back home I decided to call my Mom here; it was a decision taken at spur of the moment though certainly not an emotional one. Old readers of my blog are aware of my past tribulations in India before I took the flight here and even after landing here the scars of past did not vanish overnight; I was deeply tormented from within trying to forget my caged past and was seeking to chart a new uninhibited course of my life however three summers later much has changed both within me and also amongst those who matter

First I have to admit my life in Muscat has gone into a rut both personally and professionally. This city is more of a retirement paradise more suited for a staid family life than for a bachelor from a colorful metro and after three years I have got reasonably bored of the mundane and monotonous life this place offers though I am still glad to be away from where I was before coming here. I will be blatantly lying here if I say life here has been colorful and exciting, no point denying the obvious. Also challenges at my workplace seem to be increasing by the day and the past year has been fairly tumultuous to say the least without any signs of abatement in near future. And to add to this my search for a life partner seems to have hit a dead end with no suitable prospect in the offing; all adding up to my present despair

Meanwhile things have changed at the place I gladly left some years back, I now realize time does have healing powers and can fix tormented relationships too. Past few days after returning from office I am glad to see my bachelor pad all spruced and cleaned up looking more like a home and it feels good to know someone is eagerly waiting back home. In the evening of her life and amidst failing health Mom does look content having lived an eventful and largely good life, gone are the domineering days from menopause which left me crushed and abused. I guess in everyone’s life there comes a stage when there is no way left except compromise and the wise ones do realize this soon

In Bachna Ae.. when Ranbir seeks last apology from Bipasha at Airport before leaving she cries silently for sometime cursing him for his deeds but when she puts on her shades and resumes her life, Ranbir knows a painful chapter has been closed after which he flies off to open a new story now fully aware that his past has been cleaned up. I guess its high time I too clear the pain from my past , only then will I find my Deepika

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Weekend dash to Dubai

This weekend I made a short trip to Dubai; with an extended weekend announced and nothing much to do in this city I decided to hop across the border, of course the pleasant weather and free accommodation at my friend’s stylish flat were added incentives which helped in my decision

However the trip had more in store than I had anticipated. First to start with the bus got delayed or should I say delay is too mild a word to describe the ordeal I went through. A journey that should not have taken more than 5-6 hours took 11 hours and I was completely pooped out by the time I reached Dubai. Visa stamping at both borders took ages and with little food and water I was totally miserable and famished. Thank heavens I had another friend for company who did help me with sorting out the long queues but this long ordeal at border crossing was something I was totally unprepared for. Even after alighting at Dubai my misery did not end for I had to locate my friend’s house in posh upmarket business area. Eventually after I did find my way to his place I learnt from the building guard that he was away and had kept the house keys with my details to be handed to me on arrival; I was totally lifeless after the long day so I took the keys and was delighted to finally see an inviting bed all for me upon entering his room. Just as I was about to push down my jeans after unbuckling the belt, the door opened and in walked an unknown young female.

“Hey are you R’s friend?” she asked
“Yes that’s me” I mumbled
“That’s cool, he has been waiting for you all day. He just left to help me shift my place and so I am staying here for this weekend”

I was a bit confused as to where she will be staying with two boys in a single room but I did not raise any query. After some time R came and we chatted for a good time before ordering dinner ; we finished early and decided to retire to bed. Since there was only a smallish double bed I didn’t know where the girl will sleep so I folded myself at one corner; I was surprised (not sure if this was pleasant) when the girl also came and slept next to me! Her body was very close to mine but I was so tired that I dozed off soon. The next night again the girl slept with me in my bed, must say this is one of the few times I have slept with a female with a straight intention!

Next morning I accompanied R for Dubai marathon near Burj Khalifa; Dubai was abuzz with all youngsters dressed in athletic wear swarming the glamorous stretch of this hip city and the entire set-up resembled a big mela with all nationalities and skin colors present. When R left for his run I took a walk around Burj and was totally taken in with the resplendent and stylish display across malls and eateries. After Marathon got over we came back for a shower and left for lunch at Dubai Marina which too was dazzling and stunning. Dubai is indeed an international city and after having visited some places in East and West, must say Dubai compares with the best in terms of style, entertainment and gentry.

In the evening R had his friends over including the sleep-next-to-me girl when we drank for a good time before leaving late night for a raunchy Russian dance bar. Russians in Dubai are like the cream decorations on top of a cake; they not only add beauty but are also good to taste; inside the bar negotiation were in full flow between the fair skinned sex bombs and desi chhoras eager to taste nature’s nectar. R and myself relaxed at a corner and later played some pool before calling it a day; upon return to apartment the earlier sleep-next-to-me girl was all drunk and asleep, however when I jumped into bed she eagerly slipped next to me (I was too engrossed with Russian dreams to ponder over the obvious local invitation)

Next morning was a bit dull with all of us having hangovers of previous night; the girl next to me awoke first and left soon for her place. R and me took our time and lazily dressed up before leaving for a sumptuous lunch of grilled Turkish food. The return journey was even less exciting; only exception being that the 6 hour journey back to Muscat took 10 hours instead of 11!