Sunday, December 23, 2007

A moving story - the end

What a day.
I mean, seriously.

Phase 2 - the heavy, bulky furniture - successfully moved, and unpacked. The rubbish sold off. The post-move check for all the stuff left behind, done. Identified. Packed. Moved.
PC set up.
Kitchen functional.
Fridge working, even some food stocked.
Cupboards filled up.
And now - finally - I can sleep.
So tired. So completely bone-tired. But we did it. The most intense shifting experience till date, over and done with.

My roomie's room, after packing. I don't see much difference.

My room - a last look. Strange sense of - a kind of loss. We've moved on, but the room is still there - so much happened here, the last two years. Life changed so much. Everything changed... and every night, this was the room I returned to to rest.
Goodbye, A-7.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Yeah, yeah, movin story, thats right

The Island of Dr. Moreau
Packing the kitchen
I remember the last time I was packing the kitchen - found a full-grown rat, complete with nest. This time around, that particular pleasant little surprise wasn't around, but it was pretty interesting even then. There's an ecosystem in the sink, and the rubbish heap moves by itself at times.
It's also fascinating what a collection of food one builds up. This is a realization that hits really hard when you realize that the fridge now needs to be emptied. In a day.
I can now either stuff myself with rotis like rock, fossilized pizza, and something red and greasy that I can't even identify anymore in a plastic jar.
Another round of luggage has been shifted; there's now a deep, stretchy ache in my forearms and shoulders, and thanks to a minor bike mishap, in one leg as well... but it's 3:30 AM, I've been sleeping four hours in the last 48, and I'm absolutely, brilliantly, completely wide awake, excited, nontired, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, the works. It's fun. I should throw out rubbish more often; it's better than amphetamines.

A Moving Story continues...

Laws of Packing
  1. Everything is covered with dust. Thick, grimy, cobwebby, full-body dust. The Dara Singh of Dust. Dust that's been working out and wont give up easily without a solid fight.
  2. When a bag is closed, an item is immediately found that needs to be put in the said bag. The probability of this happening increases in direct proportion to -
    1. The bag being locked
    2. The key being misplaced
      1. Corollary - the more essential the item, the higher the probability of the key being lost. In case of self-closing locks, the key has a 98% chance of being inside the bag.
  3. Rubbish is infinite.
  4. Number of available bags will always be less than amount of available stuff.
    1. This will happen regardless of the number of bags. A Duckback warehouse will be insufficient.
  5. The duster, when required, will always be at a distance of minimum 75% on the other side of the room.
    1. Corollary - The distance increaes in direct proportion to volume of rubbish obstructing your path to it.
    2. There are 3 exceptions to the Duster Distance Theorem.
      1. The duster is under you, if you are sitting down.
      2. The duster is underneath the large, heavy bag you just packed.
      3. The duster is not in the room at all, but has been slyly 'borrowed' when you weren't looking by co-packers.

Friday, December 21, 2007


... had his eyes closed. Cliff thought he could see a very, very faint glow surrounding him, like a thin mist. There were tiny points of light in it.
He was still standing with his eyes shut, as if he was asleep on his feet.
'Yes,' said Cliff, 'we'll get on out there, will we? Er. Buddy?'
Buddy's eyes snapped open suddenly.
'Let's rock,' he whispered.

Soul Music
Terry Pratchett

Thursday, December 20, 2007

A Moving Story, Part VI

Phase 1, round 1... done.
Minor luggage successfully shifted, ECG and blood test done, Aquaguard cleaned, cleaner identified and arranged, security guards pal'ed up, and I still made it to my office on time! And I didn't even sleep in the train!
Next - more smaller luggage shifts, and arranging for movers.

A Moving Story, Part V

Packing, round 1.
15 items.
2 rucksacks.
3 cartons.
1 large duffel bag.
4 medium carry bags.
1 small knapsack.
1 small sling bag.

What any average Great Indian Train-Travelling Auntie would normally carry.

I think it's in control. Most of it can come in a cab. I will have to entice roommate with beer to accompany me and help out with the carrying stuff up. If we can this over to the new place in the wee hours of tomorrow morning, I can dump it, freshen up, get my blood test (the insurance guy had to pick this day of all days, man) done and head to office. Do the review meeting, then back and unpack there all evening, go home, and pack the big stuff. And call a large-size tempo.

The Junking Process has unearthed 15 expired credit / debit cards, a glass model of the Burj-ul-Arab, and 3 mismatched foam earphone covers, pristine new.

And I'm tired but feelin' go-o-o-d.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Moving Story, Part Fuckit

Where the fuck did I get so much STUFF from???!

More stationery than a kirana store, more electronics than GN United Computers and Spares across the street, and that's without even packing my comp and speakers. I mean, the photos alone have occupied an entire airline carry-on strolley-sized bag!
And my superboss is in town... which means reach office by 9:30, so no morning shifts. And coming back is as late as always. And my damn blood test had to happen on friday... which of course, being an optional holiday, has been promptly commandeered into a working day. Aaugh!
and don't even get me started on the books and DVDs. Just about half of them have filled up another 3 rucksacks. Big ones. I'm fast running out of place to put them, and the idea of actually moving them is...

You know what the trouble with being a superefficient packer is? It also makes a superefficient stocker. I've managed to pack so much stuff into such a small place, through genius-level application of inventory and space management, that taking it all out is like watching the Sorcerer's Apprentice' brooms go wild. Expect a wardrobe-related accident any day now, when I get deluged in the bursting dam of pent-up possessions.

Time for emergency measures. Starting tomorrow, every stitch of clothing goes into the washing machine. Let the dhobi can transport them on the weekend.
No more sentimentalism. It doesn't matter if X was a much-cherished gift from some long-ago girlfriend, if it doesn't work and is falling apart, out it goes.
Promise to self - once I move, I'm going on a donation spree. Books, movies, clothes - give, give, give. After flogging off as many as I can, naturally.
Stop. Storing. Boxes! Please! Billions of camera, phone, shoe, and miscellaneous other containers are emerging like ants before the monsoon. Stop being a packrat! Some cardboard cartons - which are normally subjected to such abuse they never last beyond a single shift - have GIM address labels on them. I've nursed them through 6 moves, over eight years!

On the good side, I've found stuff - mysterious foreign coins. My PAN card. My electric drill chuck, would you believe it? An Alfred E. Neuman poster. Neuromancer, that I was convinced was borrowed and never returned (and won't be lent out again, never fear, and don't even try). A pack of Malaysian cigars. Fifteen different adaptors, and not one, but two cordless headphones, complete with their own transmitters. 2 windcheaters.
And somehow, my external HDD has suddenly started working perfectly. I don't think it's related, but still a good thing.

I need a drink.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

A Moving Story, Part III

Last time we moved, we ended up having 43 individual pieces of baggage (including a bucket full of brooms and mops). It's too much to manage. This time round, I think it'll make more sense to do couple of quick trips to the new place and start dumping bags - and emptying them and bringing it back as well.
Advantage -
  • It'll do away with the need for superpacking where every available cubic centimeter is utilized, which results in superdense cartons where you have no clue exactly what has been packed where.
  • It'll allow re-usage of available bags
  • It'll let us set up the new place in phases, so the exhausted period post-move isn't occupied by an even more exhausting re-setup; last time, we were so pooped that stuff stayed packed in cartons for months at a time. In fact, some cartons are going today as is from the last shift.
Disadvantage -
  • Multiple trips, so I need to be able to leave early enough to pack, and reach late enough (from and to office) to do a baggage dump in the morning and an unpacking exercise in the evening.
  • Finding cabs willling to go short distance, with a luggage rack.
  • Anyone in the Andheri West area willing to help and with a big car, and lots of free time?

A Moving Story, part II

yep, that's my room.

cartons, bags, dust, electricals, Jon Bon Jovi, and the bright clean table in the middle is where a chicken patiala rested not very long ago. It's an explosion in a psychotic warehouse, and I'm lovin' it.

All the interesting stuff i never knew I had has started turning up... and will be going on eBay soon. Advance booking open for cordless headphones and an ancient Yashica.

Another fun bit of this phase is imagining where some of all this stuff - so useless so far - will go in the new place. This tiny bulb on a bedswitch? Can it be used to make an illuminated drinks cabinet? Or how about this...2.0 speaker set? Can I wire up the entire house so I get my music in every room? I already have the 5.1 set, the old 2.1 set... and an amplifier... and lookit this, thirty feet of shielded cable... heheh.

in the watches of these dark nights...

...the most innocuous takes on... overtones.
like the laundry. close to twenty shirts hanging in the dark corridor. like a battalion of emaciated, headless corpses.
gently swaying in the wind, like they're giving a chance to let those at the back peer forward.
twitching. crowding around the door.
if I go to the loo, brushing past them all, what will I find outside waiting for me when I come back?
dead quiet... but moving. coordinated, twitchy, random movement. like a silent mob.
it's creepin me out...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

moving... again

After 2 years at Veera Desai, it's time to go. I like moving. It's cathartic. A chance to leave behind all your mistakes, your messes, and start over, now that you've learned from the past. A sloughing-off of the dead skin, the ultimate housecleaning.
And while brokers, societies, landlords, and other such blots generally conspire to make it horrendous, this time around, the entire process of closure took less than a day, thanks to Harish.
And now we're the proud owners of... well, just a single key right now, but the next 6 days are going to be action-packed. Packing, unpacking, repacking, scotch tape, cartons, dust allergies, finding things you thought had been forever lost, arranging, buying stuff that had been waiting for a better setting... it's an awesomely fun experience.
Signed off with the landlord, an elderly lady who for some reason has assumed that my roommate is so junior he could be my son; a fringe benefit of the beard, I guess. Roommate naturally is frothing at the mouth.
And the celebration parties never stop.
As I look around at the awesome wasteland of debris that my room is, I can't help wondering how the fuck is it all going to be shifted.

Friday, December 14, 2007


you can be a boring guy
with boring friends
and a boring life

you can be a rockstar
with rockstar friends
and a rockstar life

you can be both
with no friends
and no life

from the outside.

zoning in

only way to describe it is, it's like runner high.

remember feeling this way... more than a decade ago, in my XII boards. and Macleodganj.

a moment of perfection, when everything works. not hungry, not thirsty, not tired, not sleepy. your head, your whole body, trembling with an energy so frighteningly abundant you can feel it barely contained.

everything coming together, at the right time, the right place. synapses, situations, reflexes, thought, hands, the world around you, in a perfect ballet where you can't go wrong. in some extraordinary way, you have reached a level where you can actually make the world behave the way you want it to - or where it doesn't matter how it behaves, you can handle it. easily.

like a dragonfly climbing out of the husk of the nymph it used to be, and spreading it's wings for the first time in it's like in the sun. the world just changed forever, and it's a wonderful, exciting place to be in. where there are endless possibilities, everything is - not easy, but fun. you look back at what you were, and you marvel that you could have felt like that, lived like that, once...

it's also lonely. when you try to describe it, you come across as - you can't come across. it's such an intensely personal experience, it can't be communicated. the other won't understand. at best, you can be boring.

it's an interesting thing... this is probably what someone on serious amphetamines, or in a high-altitude climb, feels like. but from outside...


piles of work.
piles is a good description.
work that looms
tottering in treacerous, terrible, terrifying, tall towers, trembling with tons of terrific trouble trapped tightly, tormented and travailed, waiting for the toil of the time-lagged tasks to transition from then to tomorrow.
emitting the ghastly pong of putrefied deadlines
surrounded by buzzing clouds of outlook reminders
while the boss sniffs around, wagging tail and drooling, searching for rats
and colleagues caw and peck, and fly off with a little bit now and then to squabble over while the pile teeters and wobbles...
and the outsourced independent parties scurry around within, living their own lives, blissfully unaware of the world outside
and distractions sprout in pale clumps in the shady parts, giving you dreams, nightmares, and hallucinations if you pick and eat them. Some can even kill you.
Such is my work. And now I shall return to it.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Smoking your way to good health

Did you know that smoking, apart from being injurious tohealth, can also be used as an effective tool towards a better, fitter life? Here's how - with Dr. T's Ten Tips for Smoking Your Way To A Healthier, Fitter, Slimmer You.
1. If you have a sedentary job, look at the first advice any fitness authority gives - Keep Moving. Walk around. Sit, stand, stretch. And while doing this for no reason can get you classified as a freak, look at the same activities with a cig - you're a hard worker, stressed but in control, dynamic, driven. Wonders for your image.
2. Frequent legitimate breaks. If you're in a non-smoking office; so much the better; every break means at least ten minutes of getting up, walking around, standing, moving... count the calories.
3. Walking. You can't smoke in public transportation, so don't take it. Just walk instead. Billions and gazillions of health benefits from a ten-minute brisk walk every day.
4. Buying. Never buy a full pack, you'll lose the entire health benefit of getting up, walking downstairs, across the road to the corner shop, back, skipping briskly through traffic, smoke, then back up the stairs.
5. Reminder value. Once you're smoking, all those activities you thought you could take for granted will suddenly become effective reminders for you to get into shape - huffing on the stairs, seeing black spots in front of your eyes on steep climbs, altitude sickness on holidays, the works.
6. Food control - feeling the urge to snack? Smoke instead. Not only do you save the calories of the pakora you would have otherwise consumed, but the nicotine will be an effective appetite-killer, so you don't pig out on regular meals either.
7. Binge-ender; Smoking kills off taste and smell buds, so food is less tasty and alluring. The sight of that Lebanese chicken grilling in it's brightly-lit glass counter will, in time, no longer sending you into paroxysms of a feeding frenzy.
8. Shorter meals - A cig tastes the best after meals, so when you're considering tat second helping... think of the smoke instead.
9. Social benefits - Social people are happy people, and happy people are healthy people. The entire smoking subculture will give you undiluted support; borrowing, sharing, cadging, asking for lights, inviting fellow smokers (many of whom will be attractive young women) acts as an instant ice-breaker, as well as a great conversational support. Don't know what to say? Just nod and take a drag.
10. Cleanliness. Very quickly, your house will start filling up with packets, matchskicks, butts, and that all-pervasive grey ash. It'll drive you to insanity with it's sheer untidiness, not to mention asthma, sneezing fits (also assisted by the reduced-efficiency lungs you now have, another benefit) so you will be forced to keep constantly cleaning up. Massive calorie burn, as well as impressive to girlfriend / landlord / wife.
And finally, tip zero - when certain aspiring authors, after having convinced you to smoke, ask for a cigarette, don't deny them. It's healthy, trust me, in strange and indefinable ways.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Claims, investments, bills, proofs, receipts, and other such blots upon the world

Rent receipts from an absentee landlord who squeals at the thought of any trackable transaction.
Medical bills from a shifty-eyed chemist's assistant who acts like he's selling you stolen russian nuke warheads under the table.
Insurance premium receipts from a company which is still convinced you live 3 moves in the past, and will unfailingly send you everything you needed precisely 1 day after the final deadline.
Banks that want you to change login passwords, transaction passwords, One-Time passwords, secure PINs, phone PINs, CRNs, DoB verifications, all via brain-damaged, abysmal imps of CSRs that were thrown out of Hell for being too obnoxious.
Salary slips, more lost than the key to the Rosetta Stone.
and over and above everything, fluttering like Hitchcock birds, like blurred, smudged passenger pigeons, are the forms, forms, forms...

Monday, December 03, 2007

SMS From 91**********

and this one came on sms. I am now fully enabled to moblog, at the rate of my operator''s premium sms charge per post! Viva la tec

Please visit

Isn't technology wonderful?

This post has been written via an email. If you're reading this, it means I needn't log into blogger anymore to post... next step, blogging on mobile. be continued...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

life goes on

the funny thing is, life is not clearly delineated chapters. my blog is losing continuity. one incident or another, floating past like dead, swollen rats in the black water. or rain-bubbles in the downpour, whatever gets you through the night

had a nasty taste of mortality when i realized more than half of my friends are married, when the conversations that used to go 'my girlfriend says...' became 'my wife says' and i saw myself slide into that inevitable cycle of comparisons - who's married, had the baby, bought the big car, bought the freakin house, whoa, started own biz, become something that has 'president' in the designation... when all this is happening now, you realize that there's been a very subtle shift in milestones.

learning to drive, the first cig, the first kiss, first / second / third base, college, staying alone, bike, trips, the first fight, the first drink, the first job...

the promotion, the engagement, the marriage, the birth, the house, the car, the foreign holiday / trip / posting...

you got it. the first heart attacks, separaion, divorces. the first death.

is this what they call a pivotal moment?