My Second Favourite Trip

When I was 15 years old I had to beg my parents to let me go on the class X two day trip. The reason they didn’t want me to go was that the trip was to Kodaikannal and it being a cold hill station and during the peak season when it was the coldest in that area, they were afraid that I would have an asthma problem. I was able to convince them that it would be alright and as that was my last year in the school, I really wanted to have these memories with my school buddies and my teachers.

So I finally was given the go ahead and the next day I went and registered for the trip and paid my charges for the trip. The best thing was that all my classmates were going on the trip and we had two of our favourite teachers with us. We left on a Friday evening and reached Kodaikannal by the next day morning. We had a blast taking in the scenery, buying the small knick-knacks and knock off cheap touristy souvenirs and stuff. We had some fun riding boats and riding horses and I took a lot of photos.

The evening before we were to leave we had a bunch of singing and mimicry and all fun stuff and though I did have a bit of an asthma problem, it went by quickly and didn’t cause me much comfort. It was one of the best weekends I can ever remember having.The down side – we came back on Sunday night, the next day was a holiday for us kids from our school to give us time to rest. My family was waiting for me and we went out for dinner with a few of my relatives. I ate some good Chinese food but the trip took it’s toll on me and late at night I woke up and puked my guts out. Whew! I remember being so tired after that.

Messy Bed

Do you make your bed when you get up in the morning or leave it since you will just mess it up again that night?

Make my bed? Moi? Perish the thought!

No, I never make my bed. I usually just leave the sheet I use to cover me in a crumpled mess from when I move it off my body as I wake up and get outta bed. We don’t use blankets over here so it usually just single layer sheets. At times, only when it’s been raining throughout the day and perhaps late in the night and it’s really cold, have I ever wished that I had a thick blanket like the ones we used when we were in Kuwait (and which we brought back with us to India but are no longer used).

I also tend to have a few books (thin magazines and a novel or two), my small tripod for the phone, a diary (work related), my phone’s earphones and perhaps the charger pushed towards one end of the bed. Yeah – that messy! And I keep two pillows. When I watch movies, which I always do on my laptop, I have my usb wireless mouse on my bed as well but I always remember to keep it back next to my laptop which sits on a small table next to the foot of my bed.

I never fold my sheet and put it neatly when I am at home but when I am at someone else’s house, I tend to do so and keep the bed a little bit neater.

Prompt from 30 DAYS OF SEPTEMBER WRITING PROMPTS at The Sits Girls

How I Watch Movies

Where, and How, Do You Watch Movies?

Well for the longest time I usually only watched movies at home. So as a kid and until the age of 15-16, I and my family usually rented movies from a Video Lending Library. VHS tapes of movies and you signed up for a membership, give them your name and number and address and you paid a certain amount for each movie for a week or 2 weeks at a time. I usually would rent 2-4 movies at a time.

That’s what we did until cable came around to my part of the district anyway. At first we got one channel that had movies all day long and then we had a whole blast of channels which played movies and specials on movies, interviews and behind the scenes stuff in between showing of movies. So every weekend I had a choice of what movie or movies I wanted to watch from a handful of channels.

Since 2007 I have mostly been watching movies off dvds. They started selling dvds at a much cheaper rate – might not be original but it was good enough – and I could buy a few movies at a time and watch them over the next few days or so. I usually watch them in my bedroom on my laptop. I currently also have streaming options as I am a subscriber of Amazon Prime (the Indian one and options will be limited) and I am even thinking of signing up for Netflix.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

What Was Your Favorite Field Trip?

What Was Your Favorite Field Trip?

When I was in high school (back then in India for most schools, high school started ended at the 10th standard or grade and you did your 11th & 12th in a different institute, usually a college), they took us for a couple of school trips. I remember going to the Kerala History Museum and also to the Modern Bread factory.

We were to both trips during the 8th grade and I remember them kinda vividly. Despite all these years that have passed since then. I remember learning a lot of things at the museum and seeing the statues and art work about our state. At the end of the tour we were given an orange drink and biscuits – which we 13 years old kids were only to eager to devour as we were quite tired and famished by that time.

The Modern Bread factory is where the majority of bread and buns for the state is made. It was quite near the school and the museum too. We went there in the same year and it was fun to wear a hair net for the first time and see how they make bread on a massive scale. And ofcourse at the end of the tour, we were given plenty of samples to take home.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Sep 20th : On This Day…..

On this day, September 20th :

How Has Travel Affected You?

How Has Travel Affected You?

I don’t like to travel mostly because I hate packing and I hate having to travel in a bus or a train. I would prefer the bus instead of the train but if it is a long distance travel then I would rather not go at all. But the last couple of office trips I took were very nice. I had gone to Chennai for a week in 2015 and to Gurgaon in 2016 for 2 weeks.

Firstly, I took airplane flights for my departure and arrival, courtesy the company who booked and paid for my tickets. Secondly I had never been to either city and rather enjoyed my stay there. My stay in Chennai was not a great place but it was alright – I got a room for myself in an apartment, with a tv (very old one) and cable and free wifi. In Gurgaon it was a mini-hotel so I got a big room with free wifi and a nice flat screen tv.

I went to see some bars and a few malls and had a nice time. I also realized that I could actually live in these cities if I wanted to and I got a job there. Ofcourse they are a lot more expensive than my hometown but I could live in either place. Especially in Gurgaon as it is the hub of Indian microbreweries and there are tons of pretty women all around.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

The End Of Three Long Work Weeks

Well, what a week I have had. 12-13 hour work days from Monday to Thursday and a normal work day today. Tired, exhausted, out of fuel, out of gas, pooped – name all of them, that’s me. I cannot tell you how difficult it is for me to wake up at 6 am and get to the office by 8:30 am especially since I am not a morning person and I have gotten used to evening work hours.

So the last three weeks I have worked in the morning from 8:30 am and yet I only get home by 9 or 10pm because of the crazy way out office/department and team works. I get so pissed off especially since I know that most people who don’t like to extend their shifts, say so and they don’t stay back after 9 hours. Yet here I am, like a fool, because my team members got used to the insane hours plus long breaks. I don’t like that because I want to go home once my 9 hours are up. Make me work in those 9 hours (an hour break in between) but that should be it.

So after 12 plus hours each day for the last 4, today I had decided that I had to leave on time. So I said in advance that I would have to go on time so I came at 9 am and planned to leave by 6pm. A few minutes after 6:20 pm, I was out waiting for an Uber and then marveled at the fact that I was leaving after work and it was still light outside. I had skipped lunch and was very hungry so I went to McDonald’s and had a Junior Maharaja Mac Chicken, French Fries, Coke and a McFlurry. Then I came home and bought some groceries and snacks for the weekend and got to my room and changed into a lungi and now I am relaxing.

I plan to stay home for the next two days and do nothing but listen to music, play some Youtube videos and watch movies. Sleep a while too!

Share 3 Things You Love Right Now

  • This weather. Granted getting wet while outside is not the best thing in the world and neither is getting splashed by dirty, brown water by a speeding car. But today’s rather heavy rains was awesome. I love how the night city looks just after the rains and how the various colourful lights and neon signs reflect off puddles on the roads. Plus it’s very cool temperature wise and it will be good to snuggle in between the sheets.
  • The idea of going to a burger/grilled food joint that I have never gone before. I will be, hopefully, going for dinner to a restaurant that I have never been to before. They are known for rather delicious burgers and other awesome food.
  • The idea of just staying at home for the weekend and watching movies from my bed. I hope it rains a lot during Saturday and Sunday. I would love that and I could use the rest. Plan is to take two days off my feet and sleep in and chill.

ROSHAN’S ELEVEN: Food Joints In Cochin

So these are my current favourite non-large chain food joints that I like visiting on a regular basis. I’m sure this list will change over time especially since I haven’t been to a few places like The Grill Lab which I am dying to visit. Anyways, for now this is where I love to chow!

  • 360 Degree Pizzeria
  • The Burger Junction
  • Cocoa Tree
  • Lil America
  • French Toast
  • Cafe 17
  • Burgeria
  • Chai Kofi
  • Kashi Art Cafe
  • Bloomsbury
  • Mash 24

New Kid In Town

How Have You Handled Being the ‘New Kid’?

The main time that I remember having been the new kid was in grade 6. I had moved with my family from Kuwait to India and we settled in Cochin. A whole different country – well since I and my family are Indian it should not matter at all. But then I was born and raised in Kuwait till the age of 11 and it was a different experience for me – not as different as say a Western nation and then coming to India – but still it was a change.

I was in a new school and country and I stood out for a while. I was the only one who could not read & right the local language, Malayalam. So I was put in a different class for the second language as the school system has “Special English” for out of state students. You studied English & Hindi with everyone else and then the four to five of us who couldn’t read or write Malayalam went to sit in a smaller class room with a teacher who took additional classes for us but they were in English. And it was fun.

But I made friends quickly and within a few weeks I was fast friends with a bunch of guys and girls who I still keep in touch with even now (30 years later) albeit on Facebook.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Sunday Plans Changed

This always happens to me. It’s Sunday and yesterday after leaving the house at 10:30 am and having been at the movie theatre and the mall then lunch and coming home by 5pm, I wanted to relax. Not having slept much the previous day and after a long 14 hour work Friday, I could use more relaxation on Saturday evening with an early bedtime. Which I did and am grateful for.

Today the plan was wake up at around 7:30 am or 8 and spend the morning online catching up on Youtube videos of channels that I subscribe to until 11 or 11:30 am and then watch a couple of movies till 5pm, go online again until 8 pm. Watch another movie or two and then to bed as I have to get up by 6am tomorrow to get ready for work. But then my internet service provider decides to play spoil sport.

I wake up and the internet is down. After coffee I wait for sometime but the internet is still down so I call up my ISP’s customer care and raise a complaint. Ofcourse it gets fixed only by around 12 pm! Until that time I listen to music and finally by around noon I get the connectivity back. I also got distracted in changing the look of this blog by installing a new theme. I hope you guys like it. I’ve been fiddling with customizing the theme and I lost a few hours to that today. Post lunch I watch a few episode of BSG and then in the evening we have family over.

Better New City

What Ideas Do You Have for Enhancing Your Community?

Well, I have a few ideas. How about first stopping all religious places of worship that don’t pay taxes and just takes up all that space? Instead we could use those buildings and spaces to house the poor and the homeless and use the money to feed them too. How about a shelter for cats and dogs? That would be useful for the poor animals.

I would like to see more public places dedicated to reading and learning. How about some libraries with a few computers each that have free access to the internet? More museums and science center so ordinary people can go and get some upgrade for their knowledge base. More parks and common areas too.

Increase the fucking roads man, it’s pathetic now. Make it easier and cheaper for people to commute using public transport. It’s chaotic now. Cleanliness drives all over the city – we have such shabby streets. Public toilets in major areas. Reduce the charges for medicine and food. I think we can do it.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

Careful In The Sun

How Careful Are You in the Sun?

I am a lot. If the sun is blazing hot and it’s terribly sweaty and sticky outside, I will avoid going out and will stick to staying indoors. I will blast the fan full speed or if there is an air-conditioner, I will blast that at full cooling power. No one likes to be out in the sun and sweat buckets every few minutes. Least of all me.

I will make sure that I drink lots of water to keep myself hydrated. Hydrated as fuck, I should be peeing every hour and my pee should be clear as crystal. I will also have ice on hand and maybe Sprite or 7up in large 1 or 2 litre bottles at home because I find that they help. Lemonades with ice and water or soda with plenty of sugar and a little salt is also good.

Daily showers, possibly even twice a day will help as will changing your clothes, especially your underwear as it keeps you fresh and clean and sweat stained clothes smell badly too. That’s important.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

4 Days Gone In The Wink Of An Eye

Well, it’s gone before it was even here. I cannot believe that its is 4 days almost done and dusted. Man how quickly does time fly when you are enjoying yourself and not working! This is unreally quick. I was so looking forward to this 4 day long weekend believe that I would be relaxing and enjoying it to the max and though there was plenty of that, I still feel that it went by so quickly. Like a flash of lightning.

Friday, I stayed in and did nothing. Watched a movie and some tv shows and slept well. Saturday I had made plans with my cousin to visit Fort Kochi, try some food from places I haven’t visited yet and go to the beach. That was fun. I left my place a little after 10:30 am and was back home before t was 5pm. I went to bed earlier than usual as I was tired from the hot sun at the beach during our walk.

Sunday I stayed in and spent a lot of time on Youtube and watched a movie and some tv show episodes. Today was more of the same. I watched two movies and probably might watch one more before I go to bed. Or maybe I will watch some tv show episodes and then go to sleep. But it has rushed by. I demand more.

Cannot Wait For Thursday Evening

I’ve had two long days at work yesterday and today. And for no reason. All I want is to work my 9 hour shift and go home at the end of it. But no – due to some stupid reason or the other I am extending it for over 2 hours and it is all for no use. I wake up by 6 am and get ready and leave the apartment by 7:30 am and reach the office by 8 am as there is very little traffic at that time.

I start my training batch from 8:30 am to 5:30 with a long break for lunch. And then the last two days I have been waiting around for over two hours because of some stupid reason. Hence I have left the office at 7:45 the last two days and while yesterday there was very little traffic I reached home by 15 minutes past 8pm, today due to a huge traffic jam I reached home by 8:45pm.

I barely have much time for myself, let alone enjoy a cup of coffee someplace, before I have to go to sleep. This is ridiculous. I dunno how many days I can go on like this but I am ok for a while. But I still cannot wait for the long weekend to start.

A Second Tattoo?

Would You Ever Consider Getting a Tattoo?

I already have a tattoo. I got my first one after years of thinking about getting one and when I got one I was already 39 years old. I would consider getting a second and a third one if I do get the chance and find a good tattoo artist. The question is what design would I choose to get for my second tattoo?

I keep thinking I want a skullhead tattoo and I really would love that. I dunno how it would end up looking but I have several designs that I would love to be on my skin. Heavy metal and hard rock style logos or design is also something I would love to get done. I have a design that I got someone to create for me which is a skullhead in a top hat with vampire teeth and a cape and which I have dubbed Count Roshculla. That would be awesome.

Other things I have considered are Star Trek logos and a few other things here and there. Someday I will get them.

Prompt from The Learning Network at The New York Times

4 Days Of Bliss Upcoming

I know it’s still a few days away but I am so looking forward to a 4 day mini-vacation / holiday coming up. I gotta say, when you work night shifts, you star looking forward to the weekend by Tuesday morning! Even before you finish two days of work. It’s Wednesday afternoon now, me having just woken up about 90 minutes ago and I am tired and could use another 2 hours of sleep.

I have had an early lunch at 12:45 pm, since I do not eat breakfast on days that I wake up this late due to my work shift. I usually get up, brush my teeth and wash my face and then get my coffee at come to the laptop. After lunch, it’s back to the laptop again and maybe watch a couple of tv show episodes till 3:30 pm or 4pm when it’s more coffee and maybe a snack before I start to get ready for work. I shower, shave and poop and get dressed. In between I will find 20 minutes or so for some quiet time.

But yeah back to the 4 day holiday -September 1st to the 4th – I am thinking, why not take a nice hotel room for 203 days and just relax? Somewhere here in the city or a little further away. Take a nice, comfy room and chill. Sleep in, enjoy some room service, watch hours of countless tv on cable and maybe a drink or two. I’ve never done that but I am thinking that I could use some time away from home. That would be nice!

Saturday Movie, Dinner & Ice Cream

After a nice evening out, I am just back home. Today, a Saturday, saw me wake up at 10 in the morning due to the fact that I kept the alarm for that time. If you think keeping the alarm for 10 am is odd – remember that I work from 6:30 pm to 3:30 am, reach home at 4 am and probably sleep only by 5 am! So after reach home at 4am I watched two episodes of Frasier (final episodes of season 9) and then went to sleep. When I woke up at 10 I was so tired and sleepy that I went back to sleep for another 90 minutes before getting outta bed.

I stayed on my feet till 1:30 pm only as I needed more lying down time to relax, no sleep but still needed some rest. The plan was to wake up at 10 and get ready by 11 or 11:30 am and go out for a nice big lunch and then a movie. I wanted a nice big lunch because it’s been a couple of weekends since I’ve gone out. So that was out as I didn’t feel like going out until later in the day. At 1:15 pm I asked my cousin Sujith if he was up for an evening movie and dinner. He was so we booked two tickets for Annabelle : Creations and went to Cinepolis at 5:30 pm. Until then I relaxed at home and watched three episodes of Stargate SG-1. After the movie, which I wasn’t too chuffed with by the way, it was time to shop for a few provisions.

A quick shopping at Big Bazaar later and we were in an Uber to Ravipuram and to have food at Dominos. We have some baked chicken wings and a pepper bbq chicken pizza – both were awesome. After that we went nearby for some ice cream by which time it started raining heavily. We ate our ice creams while chatting and then hailed Ubers to go to our respective homes. And now watching some football before sleep.