Home Alone

Well, it’s the weekend. Saturday. I was alone at home for the past 4 days and my folks just came back from a trip to Bangalore with my sister and my niece. My 2 nephews study in colleges in Bangalore and we also have cousin Shalini and her husband who live there (they moved from Bombay to Bangalore about a year ago) as well as another older cousin from my dad’s side who lives there with his wife and 2 kids and 2 yellow labs.

So on me own, though the maid came in Wednesday to Friday, I slept in a lot and I did my business as per usual. I ordered a pizza on Wednesday and had a burger on Friday with a couple of wings. Uber Eats is an awesome app and service that I can utilize so much – I just love it. Today though, even if I was initially planning on going out and maybe even taking in a movie, I decided to stay in as I got very little sleep.

I woke up by 10:45 am and just had coffee before deciding to go and buy some beer. I booked an Uber and went to Bevco Self Service and bought a few beers. Came home very quickly and then got a pizza from 360 Degree via Uber Eats. Watched a movie in the afternoon and went to sleep. There’s been some thunder and lightning but no rain today, so it is a bit humid.

Quick Day At Work Then Back Home

So I had a very short day at work yesterday. I took permission to come in by 7:30 pm instead of 6:30 pm like usual as I was feeling rather tired and it was so hot and sweaty. A nice big lunch of a pizza was also probably not the best way to go. So I was tired and needing more sleep than usual and so post lunch I took a nap. By 6 I was showering and shaving and left for work however I got delayed due to a traffic block.

I went in and started on work but knew that most probably I would be leaving early. I’ll tell you why in a bit. I went with my team members who were working in the night shift for dinner and then went to write an assessment for work as part of this project that I am doing. Me and a colleague. Once that was done I went up to do some reports and stuff and by 10:30 pm it was decided that he and I would leave by 12 or 12:30 pm as we are to join the trainings being conducted in the day shift.

We could have gotten this stuff all sorted out last week and knowing my superiors at the office, they didn’t think about it. I should have and blamed myself for not thinking about it sooner. Anyways I was home by 12:45 am and I watched some tv for a while before falling asleep at 3 am. Today I am going in by 1:30 pm as I need to attend a meeting at 6:30 pm which will take till almost 9 pm to be over. I am just chilling till 11:45 pm when I go take a shower and a shave and then eat a quick lunch before I go to work.

To Beard Or Not To Beard

Thinking of growing my beard. How do you all like salt n pepper beards? More salt than pepper! I haven’t grown a full beard (for me a full beard is a month’s growth atleast) since I was 21 and that was 20 years ago! In the meanwhile, I have grown stubble worth a week and maybe 10 days worth once and a French beard that was there for 2 months when I was 35.

When I was 21 I grew my beard for 3 weeks as I was ill in between and then I just thought it would be fun to keep it on. At the end of that month, I went in for a circumcision which meant that I would be away from going out and attending classes (at NIIT) for about 5 weeks. So I had the procedure and then rested for 5 weeks during which time I did not shave at all. Anyways by the end of 1 month my beard was so thick that I couldn’t shave it with my measly 2 blade razor anyways.

So once I healed completely and could wear underwear again, I went with a cousin of mine to the city and the first place we went to was the barbershop for a long over-due shave and a haircut. By popular demand I must add. I had a full shave and a chopping of my longish hair and it made me look like myself again. Since then I haven’t grown a full beard. Maybe it is time!

Kid’s Books

What were your three favorite children’s books when you were a kid?

Hmmm, I read a lot of comics as a kid. I read a lot period throughout my childhood uptil the age of 30-32 I guess. And that stopped because of broadband internet and especially Youtube taking over my life. But if I were to look back and see which were my favourite books:

  1. Huckelberry Finn
  2. Gulliver’s Travels
  3. Robinson Crusoe

I am not sure that you can qualify them as children’s books but I read the illustrated versions of these books by the age of 10 and I loved them all.

Prompt from 30 DAYS OF APRIL WRITING PROMPTS at the SitsGirls

When I Moved

Write a post inspired by this word: moving

Back in September 2006 my folks and I vacated our home in Thrikkakara and move to this apartment in the city, we were busy packing up stuff to be moved to the new place. What we weren’t be able to squeeze into the apartment (hey, we had been piling up junk from the early 1980’s; stuff which fits in a big house but will not fit into a 3 bedroom flat), we stored some stuff in an uncle’s house & in my maternal grandma’s place. A whole bunch of newspapers, papers, magazine stuff, cards, letters & wrappers were found and dumped in the backyard to burn. I saw the burning going on and soon added a whole pile of my shit into the fire and further fanned the flames. I saw some old cards & books from lost loves, even some porno and other sort of stuff that I dumped into the fire pit.

I felt like my old life was being closed right before my eyes; chapters of my life being destroyed as the flames turned it into ashes. It felt like the end of an era & the beginning of one. The old one had a lot of fun and a lot of tears & heartaches behind it. And as the fire died down,only black.grey ashes remained. Is that symbolic? Is life as I knew it been changed to this….ashes?  The massive changeover took place and my folks and I moved from our home of 19 years (we completed the house in 1985 but only started living there permanently from 1987; until then it was a summer vacation house while we were based in Kuwait). I have so many fond memories of the house in Thrikkakara, which, the current owners, made a lot of changes to including building a separate wing itself and demolishing a wall between two room to make one really large room.

We moved in and boy what a shocker! A major goof up happened by the workers and the walls ended up being painted a sick looking pink! Imagine a 100 people threw up bottles of liquid Gelusin in the rooms and you will get the picture! I still giggle when I think of it. We later had it painted a light blue.

Back To Work

The day after a long vacation/holiday/leave/weekend is always the worst, isn’t it? So I had a long staycation from work from the 24th of March to the 1st of April. In between on Thursday, the 29th of March, I did have to go in to work but with the bosses being away and I only having to do a little bit of work and everyone being on a holiday mood with the Easter weekend starting the very next day, it was alright.

Monday being a harthal (an all out strike due to political reasons and conducted by political parties) for 24 hours it was difficult to get to work. Most people just stay indoors, having prepared in advance by buying provisions and supplies. Since the harthal kinda dies down by late evening and since I work nights, I waited to get to work. There were no public vehicles at all with just a few autos runnings. I had to wait from 6pm, when I got ready, to 9:45 pm just to get an Uber to come to work.

And ofcourse their rates will be much higher than usual. They were running at 2.5 times the usual rates for most of the evening and I was not going to pay that. I waited till it went down and then booked one and got to work. I came back home by 4:45 am and was so tired and sleepy that I slept till 12:30 pm.

April Fool’s Day! Tell us your best practical joke story.

April Fool’s Day! Tell us your best practical joke story.

Ok this is the simple trick, which we label as the Wizard. Now say I wanted to pull this trick on someone I am with, I would tell this person that I know a Wizard would could read other people’s minds. And then I would take a deck of playing cards and ask this person to pick a card at random and show me the card. Then I could call my friend the Wizard on the phone, in full view of the other person and once the phone is picked up I would ask for The Wizard. Once the Wizard is on the phone I would tell him that I have a friend / relative here who has picked a card and would he be able to tell him which this card is by reading his/her mind. When the Wizard says he is ready, I would then give the phone to my friend/relative who picked the card and then the Wizard, without fail will tell the other person the card he or her had picked. Worked every time and the person would be stunned!

Wanna know how we did it? It’s simple. My friend Nikhil and I had prearranged signals for enacting this little silly trick. When I had a person with me who chose a card at random and showed it to me, say it was the 8 of Diamonds, I know which one it is right? So when I called Nikhil at his home and he picks up, I would use the first prearranged signal, which is:

“Is The Wizard at home?”

Nikhil would then start saying to me “One….two…three….four…five….six….seven…eight….” till Ace! I would interrupt him at the correct number, which in this case is eight and then ask the next question:

“I have a friend / relative here who has picked a card and could you read his / her mind and tell which card it is?”

That being the second prearranged sign, Nikhil would then say to me “Clubs…..Hearts….Diamonds…..Spades” and I would interrupt him at Diamonds and say “Ok, so I’m going to hand it over to my friend / relative now!” So Nikhil aka The Wizard now knows that the picked card is the 8 of Diamonds. I hand the phone to my friend / relative and as soon as they say “hello” he would say “The 8 of Diamonds” and hang up! Leaving a stunned person at the other end of the line and me with a big smile on my face!

Prompt from 30 DAYS OF WRITING PROMPTS FOR APRIL at The SitsGirls

Long Weekend

Long weekend is here, lol. I get so many days off that it’s so awesome. I just wish that the bloody weather wasn’t this hot and humid. It’s actually making me feel miserable. Sweating in the night while trying to sleep is a big no-no. Today I woke up at around 11:30 am with a bad cold and wanting to go back to sleep. I must have caught the cold from the office. I stayed in bed for another 15 minutes before getting up.

Due to the heat and feeling tired, I actually fell asleep at around 3:30 and slept for 90 minutes. I was watching and catching up on some tv shows when sleep hit me. The evening has been a bit better but come 7pm and having to close the windows or else bugs and mosquitoes will come in, it’s been hot again. But it’s not as bad as the last few nights. I personally cannot wait for the monsoon.

Tomorrow I plan to go out but my plans as to where and with whom are not fixed yet. Two different set of folks (just 2 on each side actually) that do not really mix or know each other. My cousins on the left and two girls, former colleagues, who I am very close with on the other. If things go well I will still enjoy a nice day out. And I want some pizza, if possible.

4 Day Weekend Coming Up?

Well it’s coming to the end of the first part of my holiday. As mentioned earlier, I had applied for 9 days leave and off combined at work so I could relax and recharge before the upcoming busy schedule at work which will see me and my department have multiple new training batches to handle as we are expecting 350 new people to join our company and process. That is a big number but no where as big as the initial numbers floated.

So I got my leaves but I have to be in to work tomorrow. After that I was to get the three day weekend that everyone is getting as it’s the Good Friday-Easter weekend. However that may stretch to 4 days as it has been confirmed that we are to have a nationwide strike on Monday. And its a 24 hour strike which means no offices, businesses, shops or stores will be open all Monday till Tuesday midnight. Sheesh!

So this will mean I and my colleagues along with many others will get a 4 day weekend to enjoy and relax and party. Party on Monday in the comfort of your, family’s or close friends’ homes. Better stock up on beer and the essentials.

Tuesday Shopping In Town

These are really hot and humid days. Last night I could barely sleep as I had a pool of sweat right under my head as I lay in bed while watching a movie. Sleep isn’t that fun these nights. Whew!

Today I was out shopping. First I went to Panampillly Nagar to meet a friend and went to ITnet as he wanted to buy a new laptop. We checked out various models until he finally selected one that was just under his budget (4GB ram and 1TB HDD, I forgot the processor but I think it’s core i5) and then went to French Toast for some cold coffees and discussion. I must say that French Toast has a lot of pretty and rich (and in some cases just pretty rich) people, mostly women coming in.

IMG_20180327_172530

Having done with the coffees I said goodbye and took an Uber to Seemati and went to their 2nd floor Men’s Studio to buy some shirts. I select two, the ones you see in the shot above. Very small selection for the large person. Anyway, I spent 10 minutes there before leaving for Center Mall and shopping for some essentials and a few snacks and some juice in Big Bazaar. After that I went to Burger King for a nice burger and a Pepsi with fries. After that I came back home, sweating and tired.

My 21st Was 21 Years Ago???!!

Write about your 21st birthday

1997, August 2nd. That was the day I turned 21. Seems like a lifetime ago. 20 years ago —– almost 21 years ago; man has it been that long? I had to go and check up and see what I did for my 21st birthday because I wasn’t blogging at the time. I only started blogging in 2002 and only became aware of blogs in 2000! See how useful blogs are?

1997 means I was studying at NIIT and having a really good time with the friends I made over there. This must also have been around the time that my cousins from Scotland came to stay in my grandmother’s hometown for a long summer vacation. I cannot remember if they came before or after my birthday though.

I kinda think I spent my birthday alone at home or went out for some beer. I think it’s the latter. I think my next birthday was at my grandmother’s house and we had some snacks or something. 21 was real mellow.

Prompt from See Jane Write

My Blog & Why

Describe how you started blogging and what inspires you.

I remember reading a couple of blogs during the 1999-2001 period. Maybe it’s more 2000 and 2001 and I kinda liked the idea of an online log. I have kept diaries during various times of my life. At the age of 15 I kept a diary in which I would enter a few lines about the day and my thoughts about certain things on a daily basis and even back then I had a song for the day section at the end of each entry. I soon started writing about my feelings and opening up my heart about certain stuff that was going on in my life.

When I went on a 3 day school trip to Kodaikannal, it was a way of recording the things that happened there on that fun trip. I stopped writing in my diary the next year – although I should have continued as so many things happened to me during the ages of 16-19. During my 1 month rest post operation at the age of 21, being mostly restricted indoors and mostly staying in my room, I started writing a bit again but it didn’t last beyond those 30 days. Mostly I wrote in a book about the albums & songs I listened to each day (and I listened to a lot). I also managed to create a scrap book of the 1998 World Cup in France and wrote stuff about the matches that I would see. In 2002 I moved to Calicut and mostly to keep a record of things there, I started a blog after having started reading a few during the past few months.

I created a blogger account and the blog is still there but I lost track of why I kept it once I moved back to Cochin and around 2004 it became a hockey & football oriented blog with the occasional blog post. Then in 2005 September I started a new one in blogger – also called Awake & Dreaming – and it became the kind of style that you see today. And in 2007 Jan 1st onwards – I started this blog you see here. It’s a big release for me, it’s a way to get my creative side out and it’s a way for me to keep a track of things and as I grow older I can look back at events and read them and enjoy them again. That’s why I blog.

Prompt from 31 DAYS OF MARCH WRITING PROMPTS at The SitsGirls

Here Comes Another Staycation

So here I am in the beginning of a staycation. Yeah, no warning eh? Totally out of the blue eh boys and girls? Well I was planning one a few days ago as we got to know the schedule of a major ramp at work. That ramp will mean long working hours and we (atleast the 6-7 people) in my department won’t be able to take leaves in the middle from April 6th till the end of June.

So I applied for and got some leave. I am on leave from today till the 2nd of April. A total of 9 days including two Saturdays and two Sundays off and with the next Friday being a holiday it’s actually only 5 days leave but 9 days vacation. Well, I may have to go in to work on Thursday if the two calls and 1 meeting are taking place. Most probably they will and so I won’t count that day.

So today after I woke up at 12 pm I had coffee and then dilly dallied for an hour or so before I went to take a shower and shave and got ready to leave the house just before 2pm. With no breakfast or lunch I left to go to Lulu Mall for the 3 pm movie showing of Pacific Rim : Uprising. I had a large Coke and a small Caramel popcorn as I was starving by then. Once the movie was over, I went to have a late lunch and then bought a few things and then came home. The next two days will see me relaxing at home doing nothing.

Humid & Hot

I hear all this talk about snow melting and the onset spring in my timeline and on Youtube because of my friends from the West. Meanwhile over here, it’s March and it’s fucking hot. It is humid and sweaty and unless you are in an air-conditioned environment you will suffer. It is so humid right now that immediately after you take a shower and come out after wiping yourself down with a towel, you will start to sweat.

It’s 3:47 pm and 33 degrees Celsius and around 91 degree Fahrenheit. I just went to the bathroom a few minutes ago to wash my hands with soap before I went to make some coffee. The water from the tap was boiling hot. I will take a shower in about 45 minutes and I am not looking forward to the heat in the shower. No wonder I feel like drinking a few cold milkshakes in a day though I don’t actually do that.

I would like to look at getting an ac in my bedroom – the outlet is there and I only just need to buy the unit but when I think of the electricity bills I am hesitant. I guess I will sweat it out.

Broadband Problems Fixed?

Well it looks like the problem is solved. Finally, after well over 4 days and many,many phone calls and complaints and emails later, Asianet had determined that the problem was —- drum roll please —– the new modem that they had given me and come to install just over a week ago!

Yes, by my count I have called them over 20+ times during the past 30 days or so. I have emailed them 5 to 6 times. I have raised complaints and I have made them escalate and finally it was so simple they could have done this days ago. There must have been nothing wrong with my old modem but they determined that the several outages I have been facing recently was due to a modem fault. And so they gave me a new one – which was faulty! They came and changed the charger but that was not it.

So today a guy came in, the same guy who gave me the previous replacement, and had a new one installed and changed the charger too. It’s been working fine since 1:20 pm. We’ll see how this goes. I had thought of going over on Friday and cancelling my connection and getting one from Airtel. Asianet does have the best plans though and they are economical. But if they keep this up I will have to cancel.

Dearly Departed

So a couple of weeks ago I wrote about this girl from my school, Maryam, 2 years younger than me. I would like to share another incident from that time. During my 9th grade (or 9th standard as we call it) I was selected to be in a play for the school’s annual day celebrations. The play was called Dearly Departed about a grandfather whose two granddaughters think he has passed away (he is in reality only just in a deep sleep) and they and their husbands start fighting over his belongings and property. There is also a small girl in the character list, daughter of of the granddaughters.

So I was to play the role of the grandfather and hence for most of the play I was in the sidelines, which suited me fine. I am only in for the last 1/3rd of the play when I finally wake up from my sleep and the little girl sees this and goes to tell her mother, father, aunt and uncle but they don’t pay attention to her or see him until he comes down the stairs. I see the family fighting over my stuff and blast them for it. I then go on to announce that I have met an elderly widow who I have fallen in love with and I am getting married to her and my estate will be going to her in case I die first.

The play is mostly funny but there is a scene in which one of the grandaughters, played by Maryam is supposed to check on me while I speak and hold my wrist, to check my pulse. During rehearsals it was supposed to be just a metaphoric holding of my wrist but she came and actually held my hand and I yelled out in jest “Let go of my hand woman!” to which everyone else in the play including the teachers started laughing but Maryam was embarrassed and ran away crying. My teachers admonished me (though not sternly as they were still laughing) and made me go and apologize and bring her back.

Battling Sleep & Tiredness With Black Gold

If I had to choose between drinking either of only beer or coffee for the rest of my life I guess I would have to reluctantly pick coffee. You can’t drink beer in the mornings and besides, Captain Janeway beat the Borg with it. Good morning!

Nothing can beat the taste of a nice big mug of strong coffee just after you wake up. I like my coffee strong, with or without milk and sweet. I need the sweetness but I also like a bite of coffee bitterness so I make it strong.

Mornings like today are perfect examples : I woke up early, by 5 am, as I had fallen asleep quite early for me. By 11:30 pm or so my eyelids were getting droopy so I switched off the lights and went to sleep. The two beers I had last night were the culprit. Anyways I woke up by 5 am as it was kinda hot.

I still lay in bed in the dark and checked my phone. I went online to Facebook and also played a few games but then tried to go back to sleep. Still groggy at 7 am I finally gave up and woke up. I brushed my teeth and washed my face and went to make my first cup of coffee for the day. Ah! Much better.

No Internet Again

It’s been two days since I had internet at home. Well it came for an hour here and there. Early Friday morning at around 2 am as I am trying to watch football on live streaming the broadband goes down. After 10 minutes I call up Asianet for what is like the 30th time this year to complain and tell them to fix it. All of Friday morning and afternoon I don’t have internet and call them again.

It comes back on sometime at night I guess but I am at work and only see it at 4:30 am this morning after I reach home. This morning after I have slept it’s on for an hour but goes out again. I called them again and asked them what is going on. I spoke to a supervisor and ask her why the problem can’t be fixed and told her if the internet isn’t fixed by time that I would cancel. She said that the issue would be escalated.

I waited till 5pm and checked and see that it’s working but only for a few minutes so I call them again as they closed my complaint as HAVING BEEN FIXED! What the fuck?!! I told the customer care representative to reopen the complaint and said the same thing. I will cancel if they don’t fix it by Sunday morning. And I mean it. I have called Airtel and if Asianet cannot care enough to fix the problem for me, I am changing ISPs.