Futile Search For A Place To Stay

During this last week I’ve got to hear about so many potential places to rent for me and been disappointed at all turns that I have almost given up hope that I will find a suitable place to rent at the budget that I have kept in place. Among the most promising one was the second floor of a house, owned by a couple in their late 50s and whose kids live in other cities. They were currently renting the top floor – 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, one hall and a kitchen area & with a balcony – to a marketing manager who is originally from Kannur. This guy had applied for a transfer back to his hometown and was vacating the place. An acquaintance from the Info Park where I met asked about this place for me and through his landlord, who is friends with the owner of this house, we had come to an agreement. This is the same place in Chalakudy where they have the strict rules.

However on Monday my plans were dealt a lethal blow – the current tenant’s transfer got held back for a further 2 months due to some complications at his firm and he has to stay back. Hence no vacancy at the house. I spoke to my acquaintance’s landlord and he says that he will try to find something else for me. Bummer!! So now I was back to square one. I called up all the people I know, including brokers. On Tuesday morning I went along with a broker to a house in Angamaly,where they were renting out the top floor – 2 small bedrooms, 1 bathroom, kitchen. Fuck me; the house is located 2.5 kms away from the main road and it isn’t a bus route. If you don’t have a bike or a car, its gonna be real tough to get around and about. And the auto charges will be Rs.25 one way. And the house wasn’t that good anyway but I would have taken it for Rs.4000 per month if it had been closer to the main road. So I declined.

On Wednesday evening one of the security guards at the Info park informed me of a guy who was willing to rent out the top floor of his new house – 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom and kitchen area for Rs.2500. I said ok, let’s go take a look. I went there on Thursday morning and holy shit!!! It was a fucking dump!!! No tiles, just kind of black concrete or whatever for the floors, no doors from the middle room to the balcony, no door for the bathroom – which was smaller than a telephone booth and had a hole in the ground for a toilet and it was pathetic. The “kitchen” area was outside – no walls!! Just a sink and a table kind of area. An old canvas bag was stuffed into the sink as well. The owners wanted to tile and fix the area once I gave them the Rs.10000 as advance. I almost cried and said that I would think about it.

No way was I gonna live there!! I told the security guard that I wasn’t interested in such crap and not to inform me of any place if it is this bad. And so what do I do? Do I give up and take a lodge in Angamaly, the one that has a nice room and bathroom attached? I do not want to live there for long but what else will I do? Anyways, Thursday night I got a call from a man who is renting out his house, which is a 2 minute walk from the office. He had heard about my search and was given my number from someone who works in my office. It’s a one story house, Rs.3000 rent and has some facilities near by. I dunno but I’ll take a look at it today and see for myself. I hope this is the one!

Scents that Evoke Memories

The smell of strawberries or any kind of cherries, remind of this girl I used to know. She smelled of cherries, strawberries and all kinds of sweet smelling scents. Strawberry icecream reminds me of her as well.

The smell of kebabs being cooked reminds me of Bangalore and the times I spent with a friend on Brigade Road. During the year, 1995-96, that I lived in Bangalore, every Saturday this friend & I would go to the city and our evening would basically start by eating hot plates of kebabs at this open air shack on Brigade. It was tasty as hell and the onions and lime squeezed onto the meat just made it even more great. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

The smell of coffee beans, not the instant one, reminds me of my dad’s business (whole sale agency for a brand of tea & coffee in Kottayam) and the year I spent trying to help him. I was 21-22 and alternate days I would travel with him to Kottayam at 6:15 am and when we reached the office area, the smell of these coffee beans would hit you with a vengeance. It would also make a hungry person even more hungrier.

There is a smell of washed cloth, using a certain kind of detergent, that reminds me of my grandmother. She used to have all her clothes washed in it and the fresh ones post washing would be sitting on her bed in her room. When I pass by I would get this smell. I rarely ever get that same smell elsewhere, especially once she passed away, but when I do it reminds me of my “ammumma”.

The smell of cigarettes reminds me of cancer & puke. And that makes me wanna puke!

Fish biriyani, jack fruit, bread & milk – all these smells remind me of my dog Shawny cause that’s what she loved to eat. Raw fish reminds me of my cats, Chocolate & Lollipop, that I had during my early teens.

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Versatile Reptile Smile

My dearest Selma – a wonderfully talented blogger, writer, friend & wholly awesome woman/human being, has tagged me for this little Versatile Blogger award thingy that you see here. Thanks for that love, and now I have to tag a few bloggers and also share 7 facts about myself (as per the rules of the award). I’m an open book but I going to try to keep the facts as fresh as possible, which is hard. Anyways here goes:

  1. I get depressed a lot and when I get depressed I eat. I buy candy bars or cream biscuits/cookies and sit in my bedroom and eat them, using the temporary sugar rush to fill in the voids in my life. I never think that anything can ever help so I turn to food. Or I go to a store and buy a few snacks in a paper bag and eat them in my room. And I am already fat enough. Which makes me even more depressed.
  2. I love telling jokes & incidents from my life. Especially if they are funny; I just love to make people laugh. Cracking people up by telling them something funny or embellishing facts a little in order to make them hilarious and getting a top notch reaction is something I hold dearly. I’m a trainer at heart and spend a lot of time standing in front of a group of people and talking to them while they are seated. When I get a laugh from them, it’s like I’m a stand up comic and I’ve just delivered a great joke. I live for that. It makes me feel great.
  3. I’m pretty untidy. My bedroom is a big mess. I have stacks of old magazines, books, cds & stuff in two cupboards that are getting dusty and they are all just tossed up there. There’s old newspapers here and there and an old big chair in one corner on which plastic covers filled with cds, dvds, books and crap are all piled on. I just do not have enough shelves or storage area for everything and hence they pile up but I am not neat. Plain and simple. There are 6 empty bottles of water in my room – all empty! I’m too lazy to fill them up and keep them away in the kitchen.
  4. I get cramps quite easily. This is because I sweat a lot and lose a lot of water & salt from my body. And since I am a big guy, I need to drink a lot of water or else I dehydrate quickly. Since it is now summer, I’m constantly filling a bottle of water and cooling it in the freezer and sipping them slowly throughout the day. I do not drink enough water at work, which is a problem. As I type this I’m drinking from a 600 ml Coke bottle filled with ice cold water. I have a 2 liter bottle chilling in the freezer which I will take post lunch. I hate getting cramps, especially in the abdominal area. It’s murder and it hurts like fuck & I hate it.
  5. Ever since I turned 30 I’ve had this feeling that I’m destined to be alone and live my life as a bachelor. At times it hurts and I get depressed (and fact 1 takes over) and at times I feel that I have accepted it. I’ve had a couple of girlfriends and been involved in serious relationships with these girls but it’s been a long time since then (I’m 34 years and 7 months old  now) and I feel like my chance has gone by. In the last 5 years, I’ve been in love once and got close to another woman, who I’ve met but had a great rapport with. The first case, the lady got to know about my feelings and for a while I thought she felt something too; in fact during a very emotional moment when she was leaving my city and going back home, she actually said that she shares the same feelings. But a few days later things got cold between us and I had a falling out with her due to her attitude about some stuff and I’ve only spoken to her twice since then and both times were over 2.5 years ago. The other lady, was 7 years younger than me, so I never let things go far beyond friendship but she could have been the one. Due to some complications regarding her family, I knew that it would not be possible. So I never pursued it.
  6. One of my biggest regret is not pursuing musical lessons, especially learning how to play the guitar and be able to accompany my favourite songs on my own axe. I would have loved to be able to play screaming, lead guitar and wail like so many guitarists out there do. I don’t mean necessarily as a professional rock guitarist (that would be cool though) but generally as a recreational guitarist who plays for fun but with serious chops. I can play air guitar like the best and even make all those faces and poses but playing the real deal would be so awesome.
  7. Many a times in my life I wish I could just blast back at people. I regret that I was so scared of losing my job that I just didn’t stand up to the moron who took over as center head/DGM in my previous office. I took most of the blames, for things that I’,not even responsible for and let myself be a target board. If I wasn’t afraid of money issues, I would have told him to go fuck off. I would have said a lot of things, done a lot of things and stood up to many other people regarding other matters. But I never usually do. And people can read me well and hence have at times used me as a door mat. I don’t want to be that person. I’m nice and I’m sweet and I’m friendly and I’m helpful but I don’t want to ever feel like I’m being used for target practice again. I want things to be nice and fair but not at my expense.

Now, I’m supposed to tag 7 people and I would love to read about what you guys are going to write. So here are the 7 people that I choose:

Meleah, Lady Banana, Technodoll, Toronto Mike, Phaedra, Christelle & Heather. These are some of my favourite bloggers.

Go for it.

I Work In The Fields All Day

Here’s an old song from the Barenaked Ladies. Straw Hat And Old Dirty Hank is a song that tells the story of a man stalking a singer, told from the stalker’s point of view. BNL says that the song was inspired by a similar event that happened to Canadian singer Anne Murray, though the song is not specifically about her.

Blogging From The Office

On my way back home last evening, my sister called me up to say that mo wasn’t feeling well. My mom suffers from an inner ear imbalance and from time to time she gets dizzy spells and nausea. Usually it goes away after taking meds and resting for a few hours but yesterday it went on for a while and she wanted to go to the hospital. She was admitted for an overnight check and my dad stayed with her at the hospital. As soon as I reached the city, I took an auto to Krishna Hospital and met my sister, dad and mom in the room provided for her. I bought mom & dad some food for their dinner before making my way back home and bought some fried rice for myself as well. She was herself by morning.

My internet services went down last evening. I reached home at 9:30pm last night and switched on my computer but the internet was down. A call to TATA’s customer service revealed nothing wrong at their server’s end so it could be a cable fault near my home. Anyways, it meant that I had no net at home, so I ate my dinner in front of the tv and watched most of Aliens vs Predators on Movies Now. I really like this cable channel as they only show movies and no crappy stuff as fillers in between. However I have a feeling that their selection of movies are limited compared to HBO & Star Movies. And they seem to air Night At The Museum almost on a daily basis.

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My Most Memorable Birthday

The Plinky Prompt I have here is to describe my most memorable birthday. Although I can’t say that this is my favourite birthday ever, I just seem to vividly remember my 29th birthday in detail. I spent it all alone but somehow it just sticks out in my mind.

“Well well! That’s it, I turn 29 years old today. August 2nd 1976 was the day that I, Roshan Gopal Krishnan Menon, was born. 29 years ago!! Holy fuck!

To celebrate the event, at work last evening I bought some peda & soan papdi to give to my collegues and the kids in the call centre, who enjoyed it as dessert after their dinner. I myself don’t think much about the celebratory part of birthdays except that drinks will be a staple. That part I do like. The last few years have changed so much in my drinking life. I now can safely say to my parents that I will be having a drink with cousin/friends/office staff and not have them create a big fuzz. Not that my dad would anyway, but my mum would. She doesn’t do that now, cause anyway I am not taking her father’s money or even my father’s money to drink. I pay for my drinks using my own hard earned, under-payed salary.

My morning started at around 6:30 as I was jolted awake rudely by some asshole who rang the buzzer at the gate. 6:30, who the fuck was it? I don’t know; by the time I got my glasses and went to the window to see who it was, he/she had gone. Still recovering from the shock, I went to brush my teeth & pee as there was no way I could go back to sleep. My first piss as a 29 year old & my first teeth brushing as well. I went back to lie in bed and stared at the ceiling for a few minutes before deciding to make my first cup of black coffee as a 29 year old. As I got the paper and sat down, I suddenly realized that it was almost 7:30 on this Tuesday morning and Ten Sports would be showing the repeat telecast of WWE Raw that I had missed the previous night since I was working.

So watching the wrestling took my early morning and went to make my first breakfast as a 29 year old – 2 eggs bulls-eye with 3 porottas and black coffee. As I slowly ate that, I pondered what to do today. Get drunk was the obvious answer! I lazed around till 12:30 when Hallmark was showing a repeat of the episode of Regenesis that I missed last night. As stated before, this is an excellent series and Peter Outerbridge plays a good scientist. That done, I went to take my first bath and shampoo as a 29 year old & dressed to go out for lunch at 2:00 when it started to rain. And when it rains it pours. Holy H2O it was raining like it was the end of the world and the wind did us no favours. I managed to get to an auto and point him in the direction of Karthika Regency bar in Edapally. The trip was really an eye-opener, since the auto had no wiper and I was hoping that my first day as a 29 year old wouldn’t be my last as well. Finally I got there and dripping wet I moved past the open area section of the bar that is so fucking noisy and went to the AC room only to find my favourite table was taken. I found another table with a good view of the tv and ordered a Haywards 2000 & peanuts to be followed by three vodkas & a deep fried beef fingers dish with two porottas. I sat there and I thought to myself about all the mistakes that I made, the regrets that I have in my life (and oh do I have plenty of those), the bad choices, the high points, the low points, about the fact that I am nowhere near where I thought I would be at this point in my life. Welcome to 29 Rosh! Life’s a bitch, life sucks!! I hope I die before I get old.”

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Wanted: Lawn Mower For Use

There’s this house on the side of the highway that I pass by twice a day, on my way to work and back again. Whenever I go back home and sitting on the left side of the bus, I always make a point to look for the house as we pass it. The house itself is not grand; infact it’s an older looking house, much the ugly duckling compared to some of the houses near it. But in the front porch of the house I see this middle aged guy lounged in an easy chair, the kind in which you can easily lie back and fall asleep. Put a pillow at your head and you will be snoozing long before you can even think it.

This guy, I’m sure retired from whatever work it was that he was doing, is always there in the evenings, half asleep and not bothered with whats happening on the road or the world. Everyday I pass by a little after 6pm he is there, legs raised high and shirtless with just a towel hanging over one shoulder. He has his arms folded behind his head, showcasing his armpit hair to the world. Seemingly without a care in the world. “I’ve worked a lot in my life and now I’m retired and I don’t care about what’s happening elsewhere. Every evening after a cup of tea, I wanna take a snooze out on my front porch and lie back and if you wanna admire my hairy chest & armpit, you are welcome”.

Just what is it with a certain section of society here in Kerala where men once they are past 60 & retire always have to be near the side of the road bare-chested, showing off their salt n pepper hairy chests. Are there women who are flocking to see them? Do they have a fan club? Women throwing themselves at these older farts “oh he is such a MAN! I love an older man with grey chest hair. It’s so manly!!!” What the fuck assholes!! Next time I see an old jerk baring his chest in public, I’ll take a lawnmower and shave his chest!! Hell, I’ll run the lawnmower up his ass as well, them stupid idiots!!

Welcome Home : Hindustanium

Unconfirmed rumours that started late last year just got confirmed. It’s been written in a brief article on RollingStone’s India website that bassist Robert Trujillo reveals plans for Metallica to perform in India!! Trujillo has, in an interview with Inland Empire Weekly, revealed that the thrash pioneers are slated to play in India this October. This is consistent with rumours that the band has been signed up to perform at F1 Rocks alongside the inaugural Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix scheduled for October 28-30, 2011, at Greater Noida.

Metallica has plans to play across Europe this summer, including appearances in Italy, Germany, Sweden, England and France in July, then Brazil in September. “Also, we are going to play India in October,” Trujillo says. “That should be interesting, playing a place we never thought in our wildest dreams we’d [go] to play. It’s an honor for all of us that we get to be a part of that whole music scene as a metal band sharing our music with fans in India at this incredible concert!”

Currently Metallica are on tour with fellow thrash pioneers Megadeth, Slayer & Anthrax as part of the Big 4 festival. After a break they will start up again in July and do summer festivals in Europe before hitting South America, Canada and the US.

Alchemy With A Vintage Stratocaster

I hadn’t heard much of Philip Sayce before today; I mean knew he was a good blues guitar player and all that but hadn’t heard any of his solo stuff, just a couple of guest appearances on stage. But this cat can wail his guitar like the best of them, serious chops  here. From his Peace Machine album here’s a live rendition of Alchemy.


Giant blockbusters with budgets beyond most countries GDP, special effects beyond yours or my imagination & multi-big star cast? How about a movie that was made on a budget of less than $2 million and has just one actor (for atleast 88 of the 90 minute screen time) who we get to see. The rest of the cast are just voices that we hear on the phone and a brief minute or so of a woman getting shot, seen on a video clip on the main actor’s phone.

Ryan Reynolds plays the protagonist, Paul Conroy, in Buried. Paul, who is a truck driver based in Iraq, wakes up bound & gagged inside of a wooden coffin along with a few items – a Zippo, his whiskey flask, a flashlight, glow sticks, a pen, a folded piece of paper and a BlackBerry. He & a convoy of other truck drivers were ambushed by Iraqi insurgents, leaving him as the lone survivor. He is contacted by the kidnappers and they demand that he contacts the American embassy and get them $5 million as a ransom money for his release.

Reynolds & director Rodrigo Cortez both do a wonderful job of creating a claustrophic effect with camera angles and minimal lighting, mainly from the BlackBerry, glow sticks, lighter and flashlight. The emotional & frantic acting as Paul wakes up – confusion, panic & then realization setting in and he needs to keep his wits with him, is all played out well. We see Paul reach out for help to his wife, his employers, the FBI, as well as his kidnappers. Even in the midst of this tension & suspense, Reynolds also gets out a humorous scene in dealing with a friend who initially cuts his call when he gets emotional. Also riveting are the scenes where he has to deal with the kidnapper, trying to negotiate his release over the phone.

Ryan’s acting is best when he pleads the kidnapper not to kill his colleague, who is still alive albeit as a prisoner of the Iraqi insurgents and shooting the videos that they want. He has to cut his finger, filming it on the mobile while doing so and send it to the kidnappers. The scene in which Paul has to fend off an unexpected guest, a poisonous snake, that crawls into the coffin through a hole in the coffin is also riveting. The hope of being freed is what keeps him alive, as an FBI agent calls him with the news that they were given the details of where to find a man buried alive, although he at one time almost kills himself with the knife. The sand & dirt filling into the coffin after the bombing of the area is once ironic & heart-wrenching – its’ the US army’s bombing that ultimately kills him. The FBI handler who tries to reach him is forced to concede defeat as he realizes that he won’t reach Paul in time and as the sand fills into the coffin, closing Paul inside and killing him, the last words heard are the FBI agent saying through the phone ‘I’m sorry Paul’.

Amazing acting by Reynolds and good solid work by the director & crew. I would recommend this movie to anyone who want to watch something vastly different from the usual fare. 8/10 for the film and 10/10 for Ryan Reynolds.

If I Were a Genre of Music…

Music means more to me than any religion can possibly mean to any person. It’s the oxygen, sunlight & water that fuels my spirit, my heart & my soul (and you thought that it’s only for the ears!!). A world without music is just not worth living in. When I was very young, my sister made me listen to the music that she liked. She liked Stevie Wonder, Culture Club, Wham!, Sade, Madonna, Kim Wilde, ABBA & Duran Duran. It was at the age of 8 or 9 that I started to listen to Michael Jackson and became a fan. However, my life would change forever the first time I listened to rock music.

It was in a tv program, that showed music in Kuwait, that I saw 3 music videos by 3 different bands that changed my taste in music forever and gave me a passion that will be forever. The 3 bands were – Europe, Bon Jovi & Van Halen. The 3 songs were Final Countdown, Living On A Prayer & Jump! The year was 1986 and I was 10 years old and became a rocker for life.

Since then I started listening to mostly rock, blues & metal bands. Within a year & a half I discovered and became a fan of bands like Scorpions, Def Leppard, Poison, AC/DC & Guns n’Roses, I borrowed cassette tapes & videos from anyone who had the music, recorded stuff, did mixed tapes of my own and was so into rock music by the age of 13. And then boom – Guns n’Roses, Metallica and soon grunge – Pearl Jam, Alice in Chains & Ugly Kid Joe.

Since my mid 20s I started listening to different stuff. The internet helps and so many of the interesting people I have met online recommended bands, singers & musicians to me. I try to be as open as possible but there’s some stuff that I just don’t like like rap, hip hop, most rnb & pop stuff and boybands/girlbands are just not music. I did start to listen to classical stuff like Mozart, Paganini, Bach & Beethoven. For Indian classical I am a fan of Zakir Hussain & Amjab Ali Khan.

My fancy was tickled by the fantastic rhythms & melody of flamenco guitar and some Celtic music. I guess I do like World Music but not too much of that stuff. However anything with some good guitar in it will appeal to me. So how do I pigeon-hole myself into one genre? With all the various bands that I have. Simple – I’m still a rock, blues & metal kid who likes to experiment. Cause rock music allows for that kind of experimentation. Amen to that brothers & sisters. Now, rock on!

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What My City Is Known For

My city, Cochin, is known as the Queen of the Arabian sea. She is known for the beaches, sea food and being a commercial hub. In fact she is the main commercial hub for the state of Kerala. She is known for the many hotels and food that entice visitors and natives alike. She is known for her greenery and big blue skies.

She is known for the Chinese fishing nets that are almost not seen anywhere else. She is known for the costly rents & soon scarcity of available land. She is known for her intelligent people, her burgeoning areas of commerce and congested roads. She is also know for her rains that can really pour down during the monsoon season.

She is known for the open drainage system that is so ridiculous and hazardous. And hence she is also known for some really bad smell in some areas. Also for her MOSQUITOES that plague the city and collect a sizeable amount of blood; enuff to start 10 blood banks. She is known for a population that is slowly becoming younger & dumber, with kids who really need to grow up. She is also known for the heat.

I still love you Cochin! And it’s Cochin, not Kochi!!!

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Bad Movie But A Hot Chick

A few days ago I downloaded and watched the 1979 Scifi cult classic Starcrash. Believe it or not, it’s actually an Italian movie, although the dialogues are all in English. It’s basically a low budget rip-off of Star Wars, well parts of it atleast. It’s 94 minutes of cheap & unintentionally funny special effects that seem even more stupid when you consider the fact that it all feels so half-hearted. Even 1966 Star Trek had better effects, 13 years ago!!

When you get to the cast you just have to shake your head. David Hasselhoff, a very young looking David Hasselhoff, is the son of the Emperor of the Galaxy and is lost, presumed to be dead when his spaceship with an important mission of finding an Evil Count’s secret base, is attacked by a mysterious weapon. Two thieves, Stella Star & Akton, are set free by the Emperor in order to help find his son. They are assisted by a police chief & the most stupidest robot I have ever seen in any movie. Imagine a redneck robot – you get the picture!!

You’ve got evil count, that is so cartoonish that you just want to bitch slap him. You’ve got the mysterious sidekick, who looks human but isn’t and has got all these mystical powers, like healing and stuff. He also sacrifices himself towards the end to save the heroes. You’ve got the prince, who ofcourse wins the heart of the beautiful & sexy Stella. And we come to the centerpiece of this movie – Stella star, a beautiful and sexy Caroline Munro, who just gives you incentive to watch this movie! Hey what chance did I have – she runs around on a beach wielding that weapon and dressed in that skimpy outfit! If you thought that Prince Leia’s golden bikini was hot, what do you think of this? Stuff of fantasy for nerds & geeks like me!

And you have an almost apologetic Christopher Plummer as the benevolent emperor. What the heck is he doing in this movie? Although panned by critics, the movie later became a cult classic and still remains a favourite of those who like movies ‘which are so bad, that it’s good’. 5 outta 10 for me!

Things I Have No Patience For

Religious bullshit – even when it’s moderate religious people, bullshit is still bullshit. Having a religious preference & choosing to believe in a non-existant shitty entity & following some dumb doctrine is one thing. Ramming it down my throat is a whole another deal all together. The kind that begs me to kick you in the balls and throw you on your ass. Pray if you want to, believe if you want to, live by their rules if you want to. Ask me to take you seriously? WTF!! And don’t look down upon me moron.

Cricket & why I don’t follow it: Isn’t it obvious? I like sports and I do not think cricket is one! And even if it were, I can choose stuff that I like. Telling me that just because I am Indian I should like & watch cricket is just stupid. It’s idiotic and fucked up and that’s what’s wrong with this country. And showing the same dumb match in 3 channels at the same time – Indian channel operators, give us variety!! Why do I not watch cricket? I don’t want to waste 9 hours of my time on a result that is already fixed.

Bollywood movies & music: They are just not good enough for me. Most of it anyways. I do like some classical music but I like rock music because of the passion, expression and freedom in it. I do not want my songs to be dripped in sugary sappiness and devoid of any individuality. I don’t watch Hindi movies or listen to what passes off as songs in them. Or the over acting. I prefer to watch English language movies and some Malayalam movies. I do not think Rahman is a good musician – he sucks and he has brought the whole Indian music industry’s standards lower with his crap. The lyrics suck, the music is repetitive and shit. And he copies from others. End of story. Period. The music & the movies suck.

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My Very Interesting Day

My day started much earlier than usual – I woke up at 4am as the alarm shrieked out loud at that hour. I had to  get to the office much earlier than usual but the office being in the next district, there was no way that I could have reached at the time that I wanted to. I was out of my apartment by 5:40 am and missed the bus that I was hoping to catch. So I had to wait for a long time in the dark and it was almost completely light when I finally got a bus to Aluva.

Once I reached Aluva it was a search for a bus headed to the Thrissur area so that I could rush to my office. I didn’t find any and after 10 minutes, I saw a low floor bus headed to Angamaly and I thought that I’d catch a bus to Thrissur from the Angamaly bus station. As the bus left the station, I was the only passenger!! The whole bus for just me? Then I heard the bus conductor and the driver having an argument, which made me a little uncomfortable. The conductor approached me and asked me where I wanted to alight. I handed him a Rs.100 note and asked for a ticket to the Angamaly bus station – which is only Rs.14 as charge.  The conductor spoke to me rudely and said that he didn’t have change to give me for that. I fished in my wallet and found a 10 rupee note and a damaged Rs.5 note. He took those and gave me back a buck as my change.

The bus driver still continued to speak loudly about the fact that there no passengers on their bus and that they might have to cancel this bus & reduce trips. The driver then called out to him and told him to stop bothering me and that they both should speak face to face if there was a problem. The conductor left my side and went to the front of the bus where they both still argued for a while longer. At Athani (half way through) one more passenger got on and two stops later 2 more people got on. The whole trip just 4 of us!! What a waste and the stupid driver just drove at his own slow pace without a bother in the world.

Anyways funny & stupid thing regarding my search for a place to rent. A guy who knows my dad told me about this 2 bedroom flat in Athani, in a 3 story building, right next to bus stop. He had recommended me to get the place and could I go there this afternoon and speak to the owner, see the place and then decide if I wanted to rent it? I was happy to and we decided on 5:15 pm as the meeting time. Well the person wasn’t there to meet us and so we had to wait for sometime and then they took us to this…..house! A fucking stupid house, painted a dull yellow. The 2 bedroom flat was the second floor of a 2 story house!!! From a 3 story apartment building it was now a house. My father’s acquaintance was now embarrassed that he had asked me to come down. And the owner has already rented the place out to someone just the previous day!!! What a moron! A waste of my time.

So I asked him to see if there were any other places in my budget range and went on my way. On Saturday I am meeting with a house owner in Chalakudy. This guy has some major conditions – they are overtly religious, they are vegetarians and they live near a temple and so I 1) I have to be a Hindu & preferably  of the Nair-Menon caste (I am or rather my family is) b) cannot eat non-vegetarian food in the house and cannot eat meat that is cooked elsewhere and brought to their home either c) I cannot keep alcohol in the house either. I can ofcourse eat meat outside and come into the house and I guess I can drink and come back into their house. I will be checking with them on Saturday!!! Is this for renting their house or marrying their daughter? I’m a total opposite of the kind of ideal tenant that they are looking for – I booze, I eat meat and I do not believe in their fake gods.

I wonder what they plan to do to ensure that I am following their rules – check my stool and urine for meat and alcohol or give me a breath analyzer test at random intervals??

What I Can’t Leave Home Without

Alrighty, here are some things without which I just cannot leave my home.

My Rings – I have 3 rings that I wear. They are cheap rings that I bought over 9 years ago from a roadside vendor and they have absolutely no monetary value to speak off. However they just have become a part of me, so much so that if I forget to wear them and I am outside my home, I feel naked! One of them is a thumb ring that I wear on my left thumb. I wear the other two rings on my left middle finger and my right ring finger. It’s always been like that and I never switch them around. People always ask me if either of the rings with stones in them is a special stone. I just smile and tell them that it ain’t. So why do you wear them if they are so cheap? Fuck you and mind your own business.

My phone is another thing that I can’t be without. My BlackBerry is the device that I use constantly and I rely on it a lot. Other than the quickest way to get email on the go, it’s also become my source of music on the go. With my current job, I have to travel atleast 80 minutes from home to work and the same back. Why sit in the bus doing nothing other than stare at the women passengers? Do it with some rock music blasting in your ear. So you can also add earphones to the list.

Depending on where I am going I also would add my bags & laptop to the list. I have an official bag for work related stuff and a laptop bag that you can also use for casual stuff. If I am going out for some relaxation (coffeeshop & relaxing, drinks & lunch later) I will need to carry the laptop & bag with me. A book or something along with me. If it is work related then I need to carry my official bag with me. If not I would feel lost without it. I would not feel like I am going to work if I didn’t carry my work bag with me. For the casual stuff, what if you are stuck somewhere; might as well read a book!

And I definitely need, last but not least, to carry an umbrella with me in the bag. Cause I live in Cochin, the Queen of the Arabian Sea. And we get rains a whole lot. A whole lot during the monsoon season. And sometimes during the rest of the months as well. And as much as I love the rains, I don’t like getting wet. So I need the frigging umbrella.

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