Missed New Year and Hope 2010!

Happy New Year 2010 to everyone!! Woohoo.. I survived 2009!! It was a year that seemed just never ending and full of work, work and more work. A simple change of date does not mean that all the work has vanished into thin air but certainly ensures renewed energy and a desire to carry on. What’s more, I am also at a place I thought I will never see in 2009 and that is my home!! Finally reaching after a spate of delays, missed flights and horrendous train travels makes this accomplishment even more sweeter. In spite of putting my body through this torture of travel, I was so excited to be home that I was jumping around and wide awake till afternoon (after having arrived at 2 in the morning!!). Giving out gifts is so much fun that no wonder Santa ever gets tired of it!!While I felt ecstatic with the fact that there was absolutely no dearth of energy in me, I still thought of giving my body some rest before the midnight so that I could herald in New Year with full enthusiasm. So finally with some calming music playing in the background, I settled back to the warm comfort of the bed that I had missed for so long. The time on my phone read 3:30 in the afternoon when I settled down to sleep.

I distinctly remember dreaming something pleasant but I was too tired to wake up. Some time later, I even heard the voices of some of my relatives and my little cousins. While that feeling seemed like coming from distant dreamland ,the brutal shaking by my elder brother that followed it certainly wasn’t!! My thoughts were still too disjointed and feelings almost drugged so even though I wanted to wake up and greet them with all energy, all I could do was slumber back into my pillow. Everyone seeing my absolute lack of interest and energy ,left me to enjoy (or that’s what they thought!) my sleep. The next things I remember were my mother telling me to get up for dinner and the wonderful smell of home cooked food wafting in the air. This time, I distinctly seemed to remember that I didn’t even open my closed eyes. I don’t even remember for how long attempts were made to wake me up, but another thing I seemed to remember was my mother telling me where the food was kept so that I could have them after I wake up.

By this time, I knew it was getting close to 12 and I could hear my family’s chatter in the living room. My mind now was screaming for me to get up but the body was absolutely unyielding. Harassed and tortured by incessant travels and energy deprivation at times, it was now completely satiated with lovely food of home and just needed the comfort of sleep to recharge. While the mind tried to extend its duel with its full force, I am not sure even a minute passed before the body resoundingly subdued it. The ringing of the phone finally brought some strength into me to get up and pick it up. It was my sweetheart on the other side of the phone; as I picked up the call, I could hear the sound of crackers bursting, even my myopic eyes could discern the fact that the light outside my window were from fireworks in the sky. I finally knew that I had missed the first minutes of the New Year for good!!

It was 4:30 in the morning and a whole 13 hours after I went to sleep that I finally came to my senses. I didn’t even remember the only conversation that I had last night, one phone call later I was soon to know that even my sweetheart was too dead tired to remember it!! There was a tinge of sadness in missing the wonderful hour the calendar turned. The body had finally won with a big margin and was happy! The fireworks had ended by then and not a soul was now awake to share my distress so I settled back on my living room’s couch.

My eyes by now noticed the food that had been laid down for me as promised on the dining table. It was cold but still tasted fantastic! I switched on the television and watched something that I would never have had if I had been awake last night- the live telecast of fireworks at London!! So I missed a moment that was anyways going to be temporary. But as the new year’s first day dawned, I was under the same roof as my entire family, was having some wonderful home cooked food and getting to watch something that I never have had before in my life. Not a bad bargain at all!! So at last, while the year 2009 died peacefully last night, the New Year showed that hope still lives!!

Have a wonderful, hope filled year everyone and may every one get what they desire!!!!

Weight Matters and Thanksgiving!!


It’s Thanksgiving!! Now there are many things that crop up in your mind on hearing that word. No college if you are a student, Black Friday if you love shopping, “Slapsgiving” if you are Barney Stinson to name a few! And then of course there is the good old Turkey too. I was all excited for this thanksgiving for several reasons, primary of which was a long list of shopping (I sure want to have plenty to dole out when I go back to my home country this Christmas!). The other reason was my desire to cook turkey on thanksgiving. Now I am totally a chicken junkie and in spite of the giant turkey drumsticks that try to lure me when I shop, I have always stuck to rather tinier chicken. But finally I was all set to yield to temptation but as it turns out, sometimes things are just not fated to happen. I might attribute that to several reasons, some technical, some monetary but there was a reason that was highly unexpected- my weight!!

Now for somebody who is reading this blog for the first time and doesn’t know me in person, I would like to save you some time before you jump to hasty conclusions. I am just not the other regular person with weight issues. For one, my concerns about weight so far have been of not being overweight but rather being grossly underweight. Drug companies could make billions if they know how I could stay thin after eating tons of food ala Jughead!! In fact, I have begun to notice my weight only because a dear friend of mine had been on a diet to lose few pounds. Weight machines are things that are really difficult to find on this campus and I for one knew of one ‘secret’ location. It was a place that happened to be remotely associated to health issues- the astronomy building!! So it became a sort of routine for us to go every second Friday there and while my friend checked his progress, I would have fun checking my underweight status too! But while every week my friend was meeting his goal of getting his weight down, I had been witnessing quite the reverse. All this time, I had actually been on upward spiral and gaining weight!!

It was bit of a surprise because life has become quite hectic for me over the past six months. I no longer have the regular three meals; I skip breakfasts and sometimes just manage to get one single meal before the day is over. Things had become so irregular that I was resolving on making it mandatory for myself to accommodate breakfasts into my days routine. On hindsight though, there indeed had been some warning signs for me. I no longer fitted in my old pants, I didn’t require any belts on some of them which had been a size larger, my sweetheart always said that I looked different now and as my friend once had pointed out- my lunch alone was worth a thousand calories!! But I never had been worried till then and always thought it was simply my weight rearranging itself around my waist due to working in front of computer all day long!!

Now it might not be totally universal but thin people like to stay thin. I immediately put some plans in action as the necessary damage control measures. I tried to cut down on my coke consumption, made sure that the resolution of having breakfast was never put into action etc.etc. Two weeks down the line we were on our Friday date with the weight machine again. I usually went there after lunch but this time I made sure I didn’t have anything to eat before I weigh myself. My friend was first on, he had lost another pound although his goal had been already reached in the earlier weeks. I on the other hand was soon to find out that in spite of the above said measures, had gained another two pounds!!It has been over a year for me in this place, and I realized that in this time I have gained over fifteen pounds!!! A year back, I might have rejoiced at the thought but now I actually don’t.

I actually wish I had used that weight machine before and not only in the last two months. Just think about the repercussions: What if my family doesn’t recognize me back home? What about the money that I will have to spend on the all new clothes? It hasn’t helped that we are in the week of thanksgiving,a time of feasting and I have been to two buffets before thanksgiving even arrived. So finally I had to do something, and it was my desire for turkey that had to be unfortunately sacrificed. With one roommate short, it would have just too much for me to finish it off! Well, Black Friday is over now and I have managed to complete checking off every other item from the ‘things to buy on thanksgiving’ list. I am happy that I maintained restraint on my eating habits. If you happen to be curious on what I finally did have on thanksgiving- it was chicken of course!! ;)

Shocks and Surprises (Part 3)


As I begin to write this post, I find mercury finally losing its battle against Mother Nature. The temperature has already dropped to sub-zero and the dreaded winter is finally upon us! And finally the moment has also arrived for the final installment about the genesis of my new blog. For the past two weeks almost everyone who reads the blog has commented about how “not funny” is the scenario of not finishing the post and I yeah, I love the feeling of generating that feeling. :) To further infuriate them, the finale is going to be self-admittedly rather unflattering!! But that’s why we say “Ignorance is bliss” ,so let’s continue!

As I reached back my office, the first thing that I did was to start reinstalling software on my new operating system. Almost done, I was ready to show it off to everyone I could catch hold of. The first person who I went to was my batch mate and my very dear friend who unlike my other friends, is as interested in talks related to computers as me. After showing him all the new cool features that Windows 7 has, I also pointed out some deficiencies that it had and then let him know how I had worked around them. He suggested me to post my experiences on my blog so that others having similar problems could benefit from it. I found the idea really good and within an hour I was ready with one of the first user reviews of Windows 7!!

Same evening, I was having a talk with another of my friend, who incidentally had installed Windows 7 and had a similar problem as mine.

“You should have read my blog bro!” I said to him with a self-satisfied smile.

“But you haven’t posted anything new!” was his reply.

Now I usually post all my blogs using the “Windows Live Writer”, really handy blogging software by which you can post things without using the actual blogger posting tool. But using it means that technically, I never ever visit my own blog!! Having gained a real confidence in it, I had even stopped double-checking to see whether my post had been actually published online or not. But getting the unusual reply, I immediately opened the software to find that the post had actually been unpublished due to authentication error.

The first thought that crossed my mind was that the new OS had erased my password and I just had to re-type it. I tried that but it didn’t work, tried that again and the same error message and although I was pretty certain what my password was. I tried using the “Forgot your password?” option but it kept throwing the security question as “Who was your first teacher ever?”

There were two problems with that. One, I never set that question and two; I couldn’t!! because frankly, I have no clue who it was! Just then the thought struck me that my blog wasn’t under my Google but the Yahoo account as well so the link for the password change should go there too. Checking it, I found that it indeed had. I clicked on the link and I got a captcha code verification link to verify that I am going to change the password, once I did that, I got the next page as, “Who was your first teacher ever?” (arrrgghh..)

By now, I was close to tearing my hairs in splits. I tried to contact Google and went as far as doing all the things that they had listed as the “last resorts” but all of those paths lead me down to the one single sentence that proved to be the fatal blow for my blog -“WHO WAS YOUR FIRST TEACHER EVER?”!! I love Google, but that one day of their non-response was absolutely deserving of a howler!

So that’s how that eventful day of shocks and surprises finally got over. That my friends, was the story of how I started my new blog. My apologies to all the readers if I tested their patience and hopefully my future posts will not take the route of fragmented narratives. Amm..well, they just might!! ;)

Shocks and Surprises (Part 2)


The story of how my new blog came into being is going to be a small one so let me take the liberty to throw in some more “adventures” of the day!!

Taking off from where we left off last time, I was now in my college waiting for another peril coming my way. Incidentally, it happened to be the day I had to go to the mandatory TB screening so that the hold over my Spring registration could be removed. As expected, other students who belonged to any of the 160 listed countries by the university were waiting in line. Amongst them were couple of Indian girls and a bunch of Chinese (couple of them later turned out to be Japanese but who can tell just by looks!!). Now, I may not speak or express it but I have a morbid fear of the needles and I was all nerves. I tried to calm myself by striking up a conversation with the couple of Indian girls. The conversation went something like this:

Me: Hi! You guys here for the TB screening? (kinda dumb opening line seeing the big TB screening banner on the door!)

Girl1: Yes, I think you need to fill a form first which they will give to you, so just grab a seat for now.

Girl2: You know (Girl1), this place is so gloomy that it scares me so so much, I hope they blah blah blah (incessant complaining about the system,the place and the screening).

I quietly picked the Diabetes clinic brochures and started browsing through them trying to avoid her bickering. Within a couple of minutes Girl2 was called up for registration. I turned back to Girl1 and tried to start a fresh thread of conversation. Few loose talks about the weather, rain etc. later:

Me: So how long have you been here?

Girl1: Two years

Me: What?!!! (in disbelief)

Girl1: What do you mean by “What?!” (in greater disbelief)

Me: I meant how long have you been waiting in this clinic! (Duh!)

Girl1(red faced followed by a blank look): I think I came in at 1:15.

Girl2(returning after her registration): That was just registration re. The nurse will call me for blood test now. I hate this part.

Girl1: Don’t worry, I will go with you and you hold my hand,everything will be fine!

Girl2: You are so great, I don’t know but I always get scared at blah blah blah blah (philosophically talks about friendship,pain, god and Ekta Kapoor- Ok, the last part was just my invention!!)

I found it a good time to open the long unread novel that I had downloaded on my phone about a human in a robotic society while they chatted away their troubles.

Not so long later, I was up next for the blood test. The elderly nurse called me up inside giving me a sinister “yes, you’re next!” look. I followed her inside and sat down on the chair while she prepared all her instruments carefully for the delicate “operation” that she was going to carry out on me. When she turned back towards me, she held a long, thick needle and three small containers for collecting blood.

“That’s one big needle” I said to her.

“No way!” she spoke with a no-more-sinister motherly smile “you are a big lad”

When I asked her about which hand she was going to draw the blood from, she replied whichever hand she can find the veins easily. With my near absence of adipose tissue, it didn’t take her long to find the right vein.

“See, that’s a big healthy vein” she said, evidently pleased.

But the moment she inserted the needle into the vein, a thin stream of blood splattered out with full force into her gloves, apron and face. I watched shocked and horrified and the shock made me forget the pain of the prick. But she remained calm and filled the blood into the three containers. When she finally opened the cuffs and placed the cotton I exclaimed

“That wasn’t so bad!” I spoke about the obvious absence of any pain.

“Not for me” she said finally said about all the blood on her “will now wear my goggles all the time, that was surely an unexpected first!”

We both chuckled and finally I was off from the clinic and just have to wait for the results of the test. But did this incident lead me to abandon my old blog? No way! But the day wasn’t over yet and their were bigger shocks in store for me!

…to be continued

Shocks and Surprises (Part 1)


“Lo and behold! Another blog..another feather in my cap..yipee!!”

Well, actually it’s not a happy event to start a new blog. Rather I have been literally forced into it! Things have not been going good for me in the last few days and this is probably just another extension of the long line of misfortunes in this month. So let me just describe the events that led to the creation of this blog. It’s not as entertaining as KRK’s antics on Big Boss but unlike him,I am more averse on using swear words! :P

It all started on Oct 22, the very next day after the mid-term of an insanely tough Econometrics class. The day also happened to coincide with the launch of Windows 7 which I had been eagerly waiting for. I was dead tired after the exam and my head was bordering on a full-blown headache but still I waited for the clock to tick to midnight. Midnight came but there was no sign of any mail from my good friends at Microsoft. I had no inkling of when I fell asleep but it was six in the morning when I woke up. I was still tired but I was even more excited about Windows 7 so I immediately opened my mail and there it lay expected but unseen!! Sent at midnight for sure but at PST rather than EST(so much for living in a country with different time zones!). I started the download and seeing ETA of 1 hour, fell back to sleep. When I woke up after over an hour, the download was complete. Happily I started the installation and selected a clean install, patting myself on my back for having completed the backing up of the data way ahead of time!!

Everything was going fine once the system installed and I was absolutely in love with the new cool features, I installed the essential programs, including all the chatting clients to get in touch with my sweetheart.I placed the first call to her on the new system but was too busy and excited to explore the new features of Windows, rather than hang onto her words. No wonder she was all angry within minutes of realizing what my first love for the day was!! But soon I realized the first glitch.On transferring my college notes and assignments, I noticed none of my assignments bore the familiar MS Word sign. It didn’t take long to dawn on me that after the clean install, along with several other software, I had even managed to remove the entire MS Office package. While I was shocked and dismayed, my sweetheart latched onto the opportunity to vent out her anger on my Facebook status update!! By then I was getting late and my office hours were about to start.I hurriedly downloaded the free trial of MS Office so that I can at least carry out my day to day tasks normally. It was raining when I got out in open and all I could hope was that at least the worst was over.

But as it turned out, it wasn’t the only and surely not the biggest shock of the day for me and the other unpleasant surprise actually is the reason for this new blog!!

…to be continued