Wednesday, November 28, 2012


It is often said we should celebrate the life that one has lived and cherish the good times. After he has transcended this earth to a place where they hopefully serve kuska and butter chicken, today, a year after his departure, the rest of us must make some time to remember him.

I met him first at a gig where I think I was playing a few notes on the keyboard which we all hoped would compensate for the lack of a bass player. It was that grating Staind song about being outside and looking in, or some similar junk which I feel too old to recollect now. He was playing with another band - some power metal type sound. After the gig, he came up and started talking to me about music - turned out we didn't have a single band in common - and thus began the frantic exchange of CDs and hard disks.

I realised quickly that he was smart - in an understated, unaffected way. He had a mind that broke down things into little bits - he was completely logic-driven and I was at the other end of the spectrum - completely emotion-driven. Which is why I ran to him for relationship advice and he saw me through lots of ups and downs on the graph, even (somewhat unwillingly) playing mediator at times. We spent hours talking earnestly about life and its meaning like most almost/early twenty-somethings do.

He was a man of few words. But when he said something, it made a lot of sense. How many of us sought him when things went wrong? And he would calmly listen, smoking his Gold Flake and grinning that lopsided grin. Sometimes you could hear him grin that grin on the phone. How many of us remember that song he composed on the guitar? He'd play that over and over again, the main tune neatly worked out, but always getting stuck at a point, always looking for lyrics, always ending up looking frustrated!

We had a crazy friendship - we called each other names, we judged, we were hilariously sarcastic (okay, he was), we were tough. I'm reading some old chats now and they make me laugh out loud (me: hey I got a raise! he: you're a rich bitch). He knew exactly where I went wrong. He would skip all the in-betweens and get straight to the point, forcing me to step back and find fresh perspective. He never told me what to do - he left it for me to decide, except when he got tired of my whining. But he said what he had to say, and I have to admit that he was mostly right.

Six years he formed an inseparable part of my life, a constant part. Steady in between months of no contact, when priorities changed, when we lost touch with other friends, when we had a hundred other things to do. But at the end of the day, we made time for each other, we stayed connected, and that's what makes a beautiful friendship.

Rest in peace. Your favourite Extreme song.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

the budday post - on popular demand!

Must celebrate this quarter with many quarters, halves and fulls!
So many people called and wished and gifted...
I know it's the thought that counts and all that but I love getting gifts.

I was asked by a bunch of people to write the budday post this year.
Wow, people actually read this stuff.

They did interviews and put me off in the papers last year - it was all very fascinating.
They asked me to pose and all - tilt head this side maydum, put hand there, smile more, leave hair, pose behind those leaves, etc.
It was great fun.

All the sudden publicity this year has been a bit scary..
So I'm deciding to be all mysterious and inaccessible from now on. Ha.

Last year, I learnt to say no.
I also learnt to say fuck off very politely.
I've grown thick skin. 
I don't dwell on things anymore.
Dealing with things is much easier now because I've learnt that nothing is the end of the world.
Wait - I'll say that in 2013.

Last year, I said I should become a travel writer.
This year, I did!

I lost a close friend this year.
The permanency of the loss is awful.

I moved forward last year and I am proud to have left behind all the baggage.
Which reminds me, I lost my luggage (containing valuables) at Singapore airport and, till the time they found it, all I could think about was the stuff that were gifted to me by various people.
I am clearer, more focussed and (maybe sadly) less sensitive.
I have learnt to be picky about those I let in.

I don't understand abstinence.
Why be miserable without eating the stuff you like when you can afford to?
I love Egg Factory.
I love all manifestations of egg except the egg itself in whatever-boiled form.

I have been deliriously happy.
Comic Con was an exhilarating experience and I was touched by the number of people who supported me.
I am an expressionist.
I don't care if your perspective is wrong or your limbs are misshapen as long as the drawing speaks to me.
It's a convenient excuse for me cuz I can't draw.

I get excited by code. I would have made a good coder.
Website design could totally be my thing.
I surprise myself every time I frame a sentence or draw a drawing that says exactly what I want to say.

I get irritated by inefficiency.
I hate slowness.
I know what I'm good at and what I'm not good at.
I am spoilt, pampered and very very lucky.
Having good friends at work is important.

In a guy, I admire confidence, focus and kindness.
In a person, contentment is what I believe is a beautiful, essential quality.
I look up to people who are driven.
I am hopelessly attracted to guys who are good with animals.
Beards are another thing.

No matter what the situation, my dad is always right.

I have fulfilled my dream of getting a (purple) two-wheeler. Vroom.
I thought it was filful in school - like fill till it's full, you know? Makes more sense.
Until last month, I always thought "many happy returns of the day" referred to return gifts at parties. 
Clearly, there's no guessing who's the clown in the family.

A friend taught me the importance of distraction.
You cannot be sad forever and you cannot sulk forever.
You have got to do things that make you happy cuz you're the only one in control.

You have to do things that aren't you, just to see what it feels like.
And so I discovered gym! It really helps mental fitness.
I also danced in front of other people but thankfully nobody remembers.

I am repetitive.
I am blessed with a wide circle of friends ranging from engineers and doctors to artists and hippies (even engineer-hippies) and all of them have something to teach me.

In art, I like detail only if it is meaningful.
No matter how many friends you have, school friends will always be in that wonderfully special zone where you can automatically pick up where you left of.
I have more than a handful of friends whom I have met online and gone on to meet in person.
Bangalore still remains my happy city.

I am emotionally a lot more independent than I used to be.
I think KKHH can still make me cry - the part where Rahul tells Anjali he loves her when he actually is rehearsing to tell Tina.
I'm going to write a picture book some day.
I warm to white space.
Bryan Adams can still make me sing along to him.

Travel consoles. That going going going feeling - it's peaceful.
The only series I've ever been addicted to is Grey's Anatomy.
I even dreamt that I had lost my job, but no worries! I got offered a position at Seattle Grace, and the cast welcomed me warmly on board.

I miss rain. Real, hard, pouring, cleansing rain.
I miss the mad, crazy, adventurous person I was in Vellore.
I'm learning to say goodbye to grey areas and, while I'm proud of it, it makes me feel grown-up in a slightly sad way.
But there are a great many other wonderful things to look forward to.

If you have any questions about life, please ask me and I will share some of the gyan.
I'm 25 now you know.