The Ringside View

My attempts at writing have always been stacked up in old diaries and scraps of yellowing paper.Time,neglect and phylum insecta however, always ensured that the gibberish i scrawled, never would see the prying gaze of an alien eye.Years later, i still scribble once in a while - this time in word documents stored in some obscure folder somewhere in the innards of my C drive.I am unearthing some of them and opening them up for the interested.To get what i call - The Ringside view.

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Location: Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Big decisions world makes, small decisions you make.

Picture this: Act 1 Scene 1.

You are sitting on one of those white plastic chairs waiting to be counseled. No. You’re not James Frey in a ‘Million Little Pieces’. No. You don’t have a demented bent of mind and contribute to no psychiatrist’s cash register. You’re just waiting to be counseled into one of the hazaar professional colleges in the state. And you expect your freakin life to take off sails upright into sunny Bohemia after that.

The last one year’s been one big blur. Social life has been as happening as that of a weasel’s. You feel you’ve stunted. You speak more gibberish than you ever did at any point in life. And the numbers on the marks card has proved you geek enough. Or so you thought. But now sitting on that white plastic chair, staring at the big electronic board blink rapidly depreciating numbers, you reckon otherwise. You look around. Guys in glasses, checkered cotton shirts and trousers ending at their ankles have all got better numbers than you. When you lived like a weasel, they probably lived like a weasel in solitary confinement.

Your dad next to you is panicking as the numbers against good city colleges for so called good technical streams disappear like Harry Potter books. You can feel the sails on your imaginary boat going limp.

It’s your turn finally. ‘Yen thagothiya (What will you take)’, they ask you at the pearly gates like in a grocery store.

‘Computer science – ABC college’, you reply for lack of a choice (Where is ABC college – somewhere in the city. Is it good? Probably. Do you like computer science – probably not. Then why are you taking it? Don’t ask too many questions no. I am taking a career decision damnit.).

Computer science close aithu. Electronics thago. Ole scope idhe (There are no more computer science seats. Take Electronics. Good scope)’

Your plans have been re-shuffled like a Rubix cube. Holy fuck, now what. ‘Jaldi (Quick)’, he prods you like you were not disoriented already.

Kot bidi sir (Give it to us)’, dad to the rescue. The sail has now completely gone limp. You can see yourself paddling in the high sea. Career decision made. What joy.


Act 1 Scene 2:

Your American Airlines flight from Denver or Houston or wherever else has barely hit the tarmac and your marital future is already being discussed. Oblivious you, with 46 kilos of luggage, 23 out of them being chocolates for all and sundry is merely happy to be back. Mars, Maltesers and Snickers for aunties, uncles, unseen neighbours and Lindt and Ferroro Rocher for women friends with whom you intend reviving some lost chemistry (little do you know that all these women friends of yours are now snugly married with their little ones winning general proficiency awards in Ryan Internal School first grade).

You feel disoriented. Stoned. And like in a trance you are whisked away to see some potential wife-to-be. Nice pretty stranger sits there as disinterested as you are.

‘Now why don’t you’ll go into the living room and talk’, an elderly uncle from the wife-to-be’s side announces; like he were some DJ at some rave party announcing – ‘Let the party begin’.

Progressive India you see. You get to talk to wife-to-be before marriage and all. You are jet lagged, disinterested and pretty much speak as much sense as Hunter S Thomson in Fear and Loathing. Wife-to-be sounds aloof as well.

‘Did you like her’, one of the cousin’s prods you back in the car.

‘She’s got a nice nose ring. It twinkles’, you reply.

‘Uncle, he likes her’, cousin (devil incarnate) conveys decision after parsing innocent statement above.

‘I did not say so’, you counter attack.

‘Don’t feel shy I say’, dad volleys back into the far court.

You stretch. Reply. ‘But I have hardly even talked to her’

‘Lots of time to talk after marriage. So much so, I get irritated when your mom speaks these days’. Federer style cross court smash. Laughter. Applause. Decision made.


Two years later, in one of those silly office events you and wife-to-be (now wife) score 7 out of 50 in the ‘oneness of thought’ round. You are petrified. But the office average is 5.76 you hear.

Now picture this: Act 2 Scene 1:

You stare into the mirror and get a ‘Was I not wearing this yesterday as well’ kinda feeling; your one favorite jean is working round the clock and accompanying you everywhere from hair saloons to ice cream parlors. And when your mom, without prior notice decides to wash the poor thing, you pretty much are stranded with nothing at all to wear. Fine!! Enough is enough, you decide. Retail therapy time it is.

You walk into big swanky mall and cookies that smell much better than they taste are doing what they do best – smelling good. Pretty girls stand around campaigning for pretty cars and what not. You hate the malls as much you like it. Enter store one. Depreciating fashion sense these stores these days have. Outrageous designs. Looking for something wearable is no longer an easy job. Everything on display are for models strutting the Milan fashion scene. Poor you can find nothing at all.

You lay down fairly simple requirements. Something regular; single colored. (Is it a god damn necessity that every denim fabric should look faded). Ya, preferably not ballooning at the base. Absolutely, and no intentions of showing the black strap of your undergarment either. The sales man gives you the ‘this is the 21st century boss’ kinda look.

You move onto shop two. And three. And twenty three. Consultation. Deliberations. Trials. You finally narrow down the winner. Napoleon would not have thought this hard. You return home victorious. Mom looks at it and hollers –‘Again the same colour’.


Act 2 Scene 2:

You: “So where do we go?”

SP: “You tell.”

You: “WTF? Why is it always me?”

SP: “Ok, how about Shezan. Like always. Good food, familiar faces, easy on the wallet”

You: “Why are you freakin worried about the wallet. It’s his treat. Wanna rip him apart”

SP: “Rip him apart we will. We can order extra food and not eat, can’t we?”

You: “What’s the point bugger. Why not go some place swanky.”

SP: “Ok then you tell”

You: “RB?”

PS: “No Chinese”

You: “Little Italy?”
CG: “Ya nice”

SP: “Fuck you. That’s a veggie place”

You: “Coffee shop at the Taj”

PS: “Ya my cousins tell me it’s a nice place. They have a poolside…”

AH (interrupting): “No pseudo places place. Just want food. Loads of it”

You (Beaming): “Pinxx?”

Chorus: ‘Ya”

AH: “Good liquor as well”.

VS: “I’ve not won the sweepstakes yet you bastards. It’s my treat and no way in hell it’s Pinxx”

{Two hours later]

You (sounding bored): “So where do we go?”

SP: “You tell”.


P.S: Ever wondered why we ponder so much over the little things in life while the big decisions are just shoved down upon us no questions asked?

The question is asked, so if you’ve got an opinion, do drop a word. Else, go fly a kite. Lol.

P.P.S: Act 1 Scene 2 is not autobiographical. The other scenes may have tinges of the same. Btw, I finally managed to write a blog which is not in first person. Yayyy.

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Blogger Pri said...

the act 1 scene 2 disclaimer was a smart idea. i was about to ask.

and yes Indian people especially make the strangest decisions for the strangest reasons. Im glad i made the decisions i made in college. Even the one that lead me to getting my hall ticket on the morning of the first exam. all worth it. but i think im a little too laid back for most people [read desi people] in fact now im pretty much an expert at not making the tough decisions or pushing them to the back of my head to be later reviewed [read never] and the best thing ive learnt so far is saying no. even the simplest of things. if its not going to make me happy i wont do it. i might regret not doing it later but oh well for the most part its worth it. im rambling. i will stop.

July 30, 2007 5:30 PM  
Blogger Preeth said...

@Pri -> Ramble on Pri.Two more words and you would have beaten my blog you know what, you gotta be proud about the fact that ur not doing what you dont wanna do. Not many can say that on the lie detector I tell you.

July 31, 2007 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the best of the lot dude !! a very practical and thought-provoking question this is :)

I remember the debate u, me, prads and gullu had at Puerto Marina in TorreMolinos.. on similar lines.. we can debate things like this for days I think, but still do the same mistake as most people do

August 01, 2007 10:14 AM  
Blogger as good as it gets said... wine you are getting better and better and better ;)

August 16, 2007 7:12 AM  
Blogger MayaTheReality said...

WOW!! I think the scariest are the ones made where one is too deep into it, and it is too late to go back on so you accept and live it while always wondering "what if...!"

November 21, 2007 7:07 AM  

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