Access Denied!

As a result of that really, really long day I wasn’t able to go to work on time, so I arranged to come to work an hour late (I ended up working for an extra hour anyway) and my training batch were given some other activity to do and fill some forms as part of their joining the company. Today’s session was very easy to do, so I was able to relax a bit during the day. As a joke I also sent a photo of their namesakes to the three tiny ladies who are part of the training team for a another product – I christened them the Powerpuff Girls! :D

There appears to be some problem with some of the access cards, including mine, given to us by our company. I can use it to enter the ground floor but nothing else. Tomorrow they have promised to sort it out. We went to test it out at some of the doors and it was so funny since there were people waiting in the lounge area for interviews and they must have wondered what we were up to!

I really wanted to have a drink or two on my way home but when I checked the ATM my salary hadn’t been credited yet. That was at 8:30 pm but it has been credited when I just checked at 11:50 pm. Being able to check your bank account online is great!

Song for the day – “Have You Seen My Love” – BARENAKED LADIES

Feel like crap

My head hurts, my eyes hurt, my legs hurt, my brain hurts, my pancreas hurt! My soul hurts. I was up from 6:00 am yesterday morning till 2:00 am this morning. Working from 9:30 am till 2 am. My body began to revolt towards the end. I was trying to finish a report that was to be sent and could not complete it as my brain did a complete shutdown around 2 am. I wanted to do it but I just couldn’t do it. I really feel bad that I couldn’t help out more but after a day of training and then this, I just can’t handle it.

Sens 2 Anaheim 3

Not a good start to the finals and the Ottawa Senators looked like tiring against a strong looking Ducks. We led 2-1 for a while but two goals by the Ducks gave them the victory. I am a little worried as the top Sens line of Spezza, Alfredsson & Heatley were held pointless and that is a problem. We need players like Mike Comrie, Antoine Vermette & Patrick Eaves to start supplying more goals in support of the big 3.

Saying Goodbye

Saying goodbye to people you care about is never easy, especially when you may never cross paths with them again in the near future. Several people who I got to know during the last few years have recently moved away from the office or city and the chances of me seeing them are highly remote, given the current way of living, wherein you never get time to just catch up with an old friend.

I have asked myself this question time and time again – “Why is it that you cannot find time to keep in touch with your old friends? The ones who swore along with you that you would never be more than a phone call apart?” I ask you, how many high school friends of yours do you keep in touch with on a regular basis? I can think of just one, who I used to see atleast once a month or so until I moved to Kacheripady – and that is just because his home is 5 minutes away from my old home, if you are walking. His work is in another city, but he still stays in his parents home in Thrikkakara, meaning he gets up early in the morning to go by train to Thrissur and comes home around 8 or 9 with not much energy to do anything more than eat & sleep. But since he lives in the vicinity of my old house, I got to meet him by chance.

I don’t even have the phone numbers of most of my old buddies, several who were closer to me than any brother could. Don’t even ask about the girls, I don’t know if any of them have kids or got divorced or married. Seven years after leaving my 10 grade behind me, I used to keep in touch with a girl called Jesna, since my E-commerce class was quite close to the store where she worked part time keeping account. But I was never that close to her, still we managed to have a chat every other day or so for almost 6 months. Then no news. Until last year when she joined my former company for a brief while, so I tried to speak to her every few days until she left.

One of my closest friends in the whole wide world (well from the age of 11 to 22 atleast) was the one that hurts me the most. We had a huge fight because of the asshole she called her boyfriend, and now her husband, and just like than in the space of a half-hour, we killed eleven years of friendship. I still have nightmares of that, cause I miss her terribly at times. I think she tried to get in touch with me when she got married, which was 3 after we fought, but I was unreachable at the time. I hope she is ok and I hope that jerkoff is treating her well. Cause he once broke her heart and really made her upset and it was me that she turned to. I was there for her and it was on my shoulder that she cried on. But some people never learn. I hope she never gets to regret her decision.

You Kettle, Me Crow, You Black

I’m a little pissed off today concerning work and what seems to be a regular thing among management in India. It doesn’t matter what their caste, creed or culture is, they are really fucking assholes. They talk a lot and in these guys case they fart through their mouths. They like to portray themselves as big shots who have conquered all and seen it all and more and aren’t we lesser mortals lucky to be basking in their shadows! What a load of crap!

And in a clear case of the crow calling the kettle black, they outlined the defects of the supervisory level of employees (meaning me and my friends) and outlined things that we had to do. Well are they doing their jobs? Are they doing anything? I could have pointed out several issues where they were not at all seeming to be competent and looked like buffoons instead. They just blasted a whole lot of hot air in our general direction, what with the new VP showing us slides of what a company like SAS has done and the changes made by their CEO and stuff. Man, tell me what you have done!

These guys do not implement a bit of their normal policies here in Cochin and yet they expect us to do as they want it. Well there are several hurdles in our way, which includes them itself! So what can you do? And they mentioned one thing in particular that I do not agree at all and I plan on doing something about it, or else leave. I will consider myself fortunate not to have to endure this non-sense.

Song for the day – “Playboy Mommy” – TORI AMOS

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Take your soup elsewhere

I slept like a baby last night…well more like from early this morning at 2:00 am but I did sleep so peacefully and woke up seven hours later at 9 am. I still did not want to wake up as the past week I was busy working and wanted to rest as much as I could. I stayed in bed for an hour more until I just had to get up. Not sure if I should go out for a little while or just stay home and watch a movie. Going out for a while won out in the end but I was in no mood to anything other than have a few drinks & a nice lunch. So I headed out to Oberoi and had a few Muscovy vodkas and some food.

I am usually not one to eavesdrop but I just couldn’t over hear these loud Americans who came into the bar about an hour after I did. Well actually, it was actually more like a loud couple and much quieter three others. Anyway the lady was too loud and she spoke in a very exaggerated American accent and she had some not so nice comments about her travels in India. Infact I would say that it was downright insulting! She was making fun of a waiter (not in this bar) who did not understand when she said that she wanted “soup to go”! Now that is not a common term at all in India and I was wondering if she did not know that. But yeah, the waiter was at no fault, lady. I am not going to go on about much of what she said but she was kinda annoying and I just wanted her to leave as she was quite loud and seemingly so full of herself. And the guy, who could be her husband was almost as loud as her!

Bah, what does she know! I tried not to let that ruin my afternoon and left around 3 pm. I came home and went to sleep for about 2 & a 1/2 hours, satiated with drink and food. In the evening, coffee followed along with the movie (look below).

Song for the day – “Santa Monica” – THEORY OF A DEAD MAN

Another band comes over to India

Another legendary rock band is coming over to perform in Bangalore and I will not be able to see them! Aerosmith will be playing at the Palace Grounds on June 2nd and the shmuck that I am will be sitting here twiddling my thumbs and crying while singing along to ‘Janie’s Got A Gun’. Will not be able to go and see them as I have an induction training scheduled till the 8th of June. Woe is me!

Will any of these great bands ever play in Cochin? Why is that not possible? Oh and worse – two of my female cousins are going to the concert in Bangalore! Yamini & Gayathri – you were still sucking your thumbs and listening to nursery rhymes when guys like me were into Aerosmith! Why, why, why!!!!!

Broken Road

As I came home this evening, having wrapped up by training session for the day, I decided to take a detour and go to have some coffee at CCD. I would also get a chance to see M G Road in it’s disheartened state. And it looks pathetic! Shenoy’s theatre has no wall to speak off! Demolished by the government’s anti-encroachment battalion, it looks like the theatre staff will have a tough time trying to keep the crowds at bay. Several store fronts looked like a bomb had hit them.

I was feeling very energetic today, not sure why. I am trying to involve myself in as many activities as possible. Trying to do constructive things. And make new friends all around. Even flirt a little as I did today with a lady I had mentioned in earlier posts. The fact that I can even think about it after the incidents of last month is a miracle in my eyes. I guess I will always be a lonely bachelor but you can’t blame a guy for trying to have some fun!

Song for the day – “Someday I’ll Be Saturday Night” – BON JOVI

Drinking On The Roof

Today I was just heading out the door to head for the office when I got a call from my manager. It seemed that due to some emergency we would have to start the training for a batch of new recruits today instead of Saturday as we had planned. It was 10 o’clock and he asked me to hurry to the office. I reached there as fast as I could, in 30 mins. I spoke to him and found out that our clients were upset about the fact that we were running short of agents – much less than we had planned. The salary at the call center agent level is not that much, hence we had people leaving our company to join ones that were offering bigger salaries.

So due to pressure they decided to step it up a day ahead. Thanks! No prior notice, no shit! Anyway, the new recruits had to be summoned to the office and that took time. We had to wait for a couple of guys who found it hard to come to the office so suddenly, when they were expecting to start only on Saturday. Hence I could only start the session at 1:30 pm, after lunch, and continued till 6:15 pm. I don’t like it when training is rushed as it usually leads to below-par results. But somethings are just beyond your control.

By 7 I was ready to head out of there when I got a call from Madhu & little after that one from Anil. Would I be free for drinks at a roof-top garden bar quite close to my office? Am I ever! By 7:45 we were up there (quite a nice place, they had done a lot of renovations and the restaurant & three bars in the hotel were really looking cool) on the roof and had ordered a couple of rounds of rum for Anil, brandy for Madhu & vodka for me. We had some snacks of beef & chicken & peanuts. And there was some lightning although no thunder or even the hint of rain.

Chatting about work, the weather, health etc finally lead us to a big debate on the anti-encroachment demolition done on M G Road in the past couple of days. It was quite a debate and went on for an hour atleast. By 8:45 our glasses were empty and were being refilled when we started talking about work and I just happened to mention about Sajith, my colleague and friend since January. Turns out Sajith & Madhu had studied Hotel Management in the same college and were friends who had lost touch over the past few years. Natural since Madhu is from here and Sajith is from Bangalore. So I called him up and he said that he would join us.

So now we were a foursome and the talk shifted to Sajith rehashing to us stories of him & Madhu during their Hotel Management days in Chennai and we had a good laugh. Pretty soon it was 11 pm and time for us to head home, so Anil dropped me at Kacheripady on his bike. That was an evening I will never forget.

Song for the day – “Rock Of Ages” – DEF LEPPARD

Appu & Making Babies

Is there anyone who has seen the phenomenally successful & hilarious tv show The Simpsons and not a fanatical follower & fan of it? Raise your hands. Ready, Aim, FIRE! You do not deserve to live.

Ok, more seriously what I would like to comment on is the “Indian” character in the series Appu who runs the Quickee Mart (not sure how that spells). Anyway, the episode I saw online a couple of days ago was very funny. It was about how Appu and his wife try to make a baby without success. So, ofcourse, advice is vested out by Dr.Family Planning himself, Homer! He offers them tips on how to make the mood just right to start a family. Finally after a whole lots of “trying” and with absolutely no help from Homer, Appu gets his wife pregnant and they are ecstatic…only to get the shock of their lives when Marge informs them from the delivery room that Appu’s wife has been blessed with OCTOPLETS!!!

The look on Appu’s face (I know it is only a drawing) is worth a hundred million. Anyway, do you notice that nearly every “Indian” character in American or British shows speak in the same way? Sometimes it seems that all the men have the same voice, they run stores or supermarkets and stuff. I am not taking anything away from the show, which is brilliant, just that accent & voice is so annoying when it is heard on nearly every show where there is an Indian guy. Funny thing is, in most cases, the voice is given by a non-Indian. Ha! In this case by Hank Azaria.

Quote of the day : “There comes a time in a man’s life when he must ask himself; who will send my corpse down the holy river Ganges” (this is by Appu to his wife just before they decided to start making a family after Homer & Marge ask them why they don’t have a child yet).

And the next quote, again by Appu : Oh, Calcutta (after his wife takes him in a sexual manner).

AC Milan win Champions League

AC Milan are Champions of Europe once again! Getting revenge against Liverpool for the final of 2005, the Milanese side were victorious, thanks to two goals by strike Filippo Inzaghi. A late consolation goal by Dirk Kyut was only good enough to give the Italians a frantic finish to the game but from the very start it seems like Milan were destined to be champions. Liverpool need not be that disappointed as they have proved themselves to be a formidable side in Europe and will certainly be contenders for years to come. But Milan proved that they are the best in Europe once again and a team built for the Champions League.

Monster Bike Builder – Goldammer

Roger Goldammer’s skill and passion for designing and building custom motorcycles has turned a hobby into a business as a premier bike builder in the custom motorcycle community. Founder of Goldammer Cycle Works, Roger received his formal training from BC Institute of Technology and the Motorcycle Mechanics Institute in Pheonix. Building most of the bike parts himself, Roger combines functionality with innovation to create unique designs that compete successfully at an international level. Roger’s latest bikes, the boardtrack racer BTR3 and Trouble, were awarded 1st place in successive years at the World Championship of Custom Bike Building.

This guy is a monster as far as building bikes are concerned. I mean, just check out the bikes that he has designed. They are way too good to be on Indian roads, but we can dream, can’t we guys? I heard about Roger Goldammer while watching the Las vegas Bikefest, in which one of his bikes won first prize. Marvel at the pics all you want.

Notes For 23rd May

  • Demolition on encroached areas in M G Road continues
  • I had to go to our client’s office and copy a file to their systems via pen drive
  • I feel like I am not getting enough sleep (5 to 6 hours on a working day)
  • I was busy preparing a presentation slide for a training program
  • For the first time since I joined this company, I had lunch on my own
  • We planned to buy a gift for our departing training manager
  • The office is looking very hectic and with good reason
  • I spoke to recruitment about them conducting interview for people I want to recommend
  • I have some ideas I want to implement in the next few days; keep your fingers crossed for me
  • I want to break free

Song for the day – “Nymphetamine” – CRADLE OF FILTH

Champions League Final is tonite

It comes down to this – a repeat of the 2005 final, where a resurgent & courageous Liverpool FC came back from 0-3 to tie the game against a much fancied AC Milan side and then went on to win in on penalties. Perhaps one of the most dramatic finals of all time, that was pure magic and a night to remember. This time around AC Milan will be looking for revenge and redemption and will be wary of the Merseyside club. They will be out for blood and if they get an early goal or two, look for them to sit on that lead and probably keep 10 men behind the ball and only send out a lone striker forward. Liverpool will look to the attackers to put dents in the Milan defense.

Players who could decide the match tonight : for Milan Kaka & Seedorf; for Liverpool Gerrard & Kyut.

Breaking The Roads

Hmmm, how to explain what has happened in the city of Cochin and that too the main commercial areas? Well go back many years and know that the business and stores in M.G Road have actually built part of their stores / shops / parking areas / displays on portions of land that is not theirs! Meaning the government owns that section of the road, which is meant for the public to walk / cycle / ride or drive through. But most of the big business and stores in this area have encroached on the areas that are not theirs and built on it. It seems that the government had given out repeated warnings to those business owners not to build outside of what they were provided. And later, after these stores were guilty of encroachment, they were warned that the government could at any time take necessary action.

But the businesses did not take heed and many, many years passed. I’m talking years – children were conceived, born, grew up and got married in that time! Finally now, the government wants to take action and severe action too. Achuthanandhan is here with a bulldozer or three.

“Speaking to reporters at the demolition site, district collector A P M Mohammed Hanish said the demolition was carried out after a survey was done and notice was served on the encroachers in M G Road in the heart of the city. “We have planned to demolish 25 encroachment on the M G road today (Tuesday),” he said.A host of government officials including a strong police force had been deployed at the site of demolition.The collector said the demolition would continue in the coming days.Kerala Chief Minister V S Achuthanandan had recently said here that the Munnar model will be implemented in other parts of the state where encroachment was reported.

So yesterday, the bulldozers arrived and demolished part of the buildings at M G Road. The affected businesses – a huge book / gift / cd store, a bank, a supermarket, a shoe store, several jewelery showrooms etc etc. People gathered on the streets and traffic was blocked for hours at a stretch. A huge group of onlookers start cheering and dancing as it became apparent that the road would now be wider than usual! Which means less traffic blocks along M.G Road.

A new hotel was the worst hit as they had just finished construction on their brand new building which was guilty of encroachment. The huge loss will be difficult for them to bear. I only got a glimpse of the demolition as I came home last night, since I don’t have to go by M G Road on the way or back from work. I hope to see the new M G Road sans encroached sections in a day.

Ode To The Mosquito & The Mosquito Coil

Living in Thrikkakara for 19 years and the 11 years that I lived in Kuwait, I was mostly mosquito free. While many people I know have to depend on the various mosquito repellents available in the market, my folks and I went unaffected by it. Used to be that only when I stay over in Mattancherry, in my maternal grandma’s house, did I have to revert to what the masses were doing viz-a-viz mosquito aversions. Ointments, mosquito nets, mosquito coils and mats plus the more effective choice of the liquid thingy. Now that I have moved to Kacheripady, I have to be more careful – this place is quite near garbage dumps. Hence mosquitos and their entire entourage abound in blood-thirsty glory and are just waiting for nightfall to start sucking on your blood. If I forget to close the windows after 7 pm, I am done for. I begin to understand what a vampire’s victim goes through! (hey wait, I thought I was a Vampire….nevermind). Anyway, I penned a little ditty for the mosquito coil & the mosquito, to be sung in the melody of the hit song “Wish You Were Here” by Pink Floyd.

So, so you think you can tell female from a male,
yesterday’s bite from todays’
I got one on my ass & face, one on the nuts, whose to complain
Do you think you can tell?

What do I do once the coils fade to just ghosts?
Should I beg on my knees? Repel them with a sneeze?
Bite them back for a change? Blood didn’t exchange
one just buzzed in my ear and woke me up in a rage

How I wish, how I wish you were here.
I’m just a poor bitten soul searching for the repelent bowl,
bites after bites,
running out to the ground. What have we found?
More of the same,
wish you were here.