25 January 2006

But I found the Post Office

Just wondering how you are. I know it’s a long time I've written. Am trying to get settled. But honestly, I'm feeling quite unsettled. I remember you telling me once there is no time in life where one feels settled down.

I miss a lot of things that I knew I would miss when I came back here. But there are newer and differently nice things and people. There are also some changes I am finding hard to accept. Like for instance, sometimes in the morning, I expect to wake up and go down to meet my mother and Sreesh for coffee downstairs or suddenly chatter away about something odd, I find I am really very far away.

People move on they say. I have moved on from one phase of life to another, each of which I have thoroughly enjoyed living and I have hardly realized the time pass by. I never saw myself as anywhere out of my school. I could have always walked back home every single day from the bus stop back with Rugmini and chatted about events and people in college. I could have always gone on unplanned trips with friends. May be in a few years I would say, I could have always come back home after a long day’s work and relaxed on the couch with music, but now I find myself old with grandchildren, toothless and eating uppuma and pasta.

There’s something weird about being in a software job. Apart from the money and great circle of friends, I find very little fulfilment in the job in itself. This is not to forget that there have been projects I have really enjoyed working on and learnt a lot of things.

I keep asking myself, if this is what I really want. I have been reading lots of papers on testing. Outrageous. So many of them zero-content. The same stale theme repeated over. In different words and very un-refreshingly. And such people come to fame and get celebrated as international speakers and experts. I feel all this corporate world is big nonsense and does little good to the world.

When I teach myself a new programming language for fun, I ask myself, who it benefits. The language by itself is not even anything remotely permanent, because very soon some other next-best-thing in new technology will arrive to solve some so-called business problem. All the software managers will put on their ties and shiny shoes and sprinkle power-points on gullible clients and hypnotize them into paying hefty sums for some crazy application that I test meaninglessly for days on end. Some times I find myself stretching on a task for six to eight days that really needs only a day or two of concentrated effort. Don’t know who I am fooling. Me or the rest of the world.

So I am wondering whether to set myself a purpose. What my purpose is I don’t know. However, I think I need to be looking for something. I went to the town library last weekend. Spent a couple of hours browsing and reading. Then I read bartleby.com which has literature online. And then organized searching on the net. Got me some authors toget started on. Ben Okri, Mitch Albom, Rainer Maria Rilke, Emily Dickenson.

Then I am listening, as always to some carnatic music. Looked on the net for carnatic music related blogs. Also going to figure out how to reach out to people here who have musical interests. Don’t know if Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan is a good place to start. Do you have any ideas? I need some place where I can sing. This morning I took the lift right up to the topmost floor and then came walking all the way down because I was itching to sing the JalajAksha-Hamsadhwani varnam. The stairs were very quiet. And I don’t care who heard me sing, as long as I didn’t see them. More importantly, I need a music system. Something I can just switch on as soon as I wake up and will make me happy about while I am living through the day.

I am just back from a walk in the afternoon where I was pretending to looking for a post office. What I do is, I follow my nose. So despite the cold I walked and walked. And despite the cold, I came to realize that I was singing a song Sheila Gomez had taught us in school

How I love to go for a walk along the street
Just to smile along to the people that I meet
And to watch the show of the happy, happy feet
When I say to myself it’s a miracle!

It was a happy coincidence really! Where I had landed myself, was a place called BroadGate circle. There was a decent crowd of squealing children and assorted grown-ups at a huge skating rink with low music playing. Some almost near-professional and some reluctant beginners. I stood there and stared. I imagined that it was dark and that they had glittering costumes - instead of the sweaty back and sticky clothes that i could see – and stood rooted and gazed and lost. I am back now feeling slightly happier, less disturbed about the world around me and more sure of myself.

18 January 2006

In the News

A couple of things in the news have disturbed me over the last few days.

-Trees are now seen as one of the causes of global warming, thanks to the Max Planck University, as they have found to release methane
-Fizz drinks like coke, pepsi are reportedly good for your brain
-Children in several countries are suffering homeless in the snow
-Individuals killed or brutally murdered while walking, travelling and holidaying by thieves or rapists.

I am worrying for the world.

Sunrise in St Albans

In fact there isn't any. Nor sunset. I need to remember not to look out for it in winter. Factually there have been only two occasions when I have seen the sun since the new year. One was when I saw gleaming sun rays in the upper shelves in the kitchen and I shrieked with joy and looked out immediately. The shriek unfortunately worried Ashok at the other room a little bit who lacked penetrating vision through walls. The second instance of sun-sighting was in the afternoon when I went out for a little stroll during lunch. Encouraged, I went out strolling again the next day. Little pellets of snow fell on my unhatted head.