0

Thank You, 2015


When I wrote the blog post summing up 2014, there was this feeling of dissatisfaction about how, I ended up literally doing nothing in that year. It was getting way too monotonous for my liking and the regular confusions of ‘what to do and achieve in life’ prevailed. I kept asking myself,”when would the finances settle down, when would I reach a point of satisfaction in life and when would I start doing things that I like”. So, I hoped the New Year 2015 would answer those questions and I looked forward to it with a lot of hope and excitement.

First things first, did 2015 answer my three questions? “Yes, it did”. Am I satisfied with the answers? “Hmmmm probably. May be. I don’t know”. Were there life lessons? “Yes, definitely”.

2015 taught me a thing or two about finances. We will never feel settled with the finances. There are always insecurities. Even Sundar Pichai would feel it. The human tendency is to be greedy. Yes, even a handful of people do philanthropy work for tax exemptions. There are people in this world, who earn a tenth of what I earn in a month and have no complaints. I look up to these people. Rather than this Manager in the corporate company, who lives a glitzy life in Mumbai or Bangalore and who has nothing to think than procuring a H1B visa and settling down in US of America. At least, the recent floods in Chennai taught us how little the cash, fancy 3BHK apartments and luxury cars mean in life.

Now coming to the next question about feeling satisfied in life, I learned that satisfaction is how you see it. If it’s relative, that is, when you are comparing with your colleague or friend or cousin or Pakistani or anyone, you are forcing yourself inside a pressure cooker. Satisfaction is in, what you do and achieve, and is never worth equating it with what others do. I am very much satisfied with my life. I married the love of my life this year, a girl whom I met, talked, proposed, dated, loved and discussed about being life partners. Of course, having really supportive families, helped both of us in realizing our dreams. We believe in this simple philosophy of cherishing little joys of life.

2015 helped a huge deal in letting me know what I really wanted in life and what I had to achieve. It has given a much needed inspiration that would hopefully drive me towards it. I feel I have a clear vision on what to do now, than say, a year back. Professionally, I am yet to completely switch over to what I like doing, though I am on the way of accomplishing that. Writing and travel, quality time with the family and hang outs with friends were all that I wanted in 2015 and God has been kind enough to grant those.

2015 has been an action packed year. It introduced me to the exciting married life. And it also showed me what wedding preparations were like and how much of an effort goes in to it. From booking venues, inviting dearest and nearest, to shopping to bankruptcy, everything has been worth cherishing. Hopefully, a book on the Iyer wedding someday.

Google happened. Hyderabad and Jaipur were seen. Stayed at a luxury resort. Watched Premam. Fell in love with Malare. Also with Ok Kanmani. And also, with the feel and visuals in ‘Unakenna Venam Sollu’ from Thala Ajith’s ‘Yennai Arindhaal’. Read books. Hiked and said Hi to Ayyappa Swami at the Sabarimala Sannidhanam. Gatecrashed Chinnaswamy and said Hi to Swami AB De Villiers. Also met the West Indies dude Darren S(w)aami, serving drinks as a 12th man.

Positives apart, there were a few despairing events too. APJ Abdul Kalam’s demise, Sehwag’s retirement, South Africa’s loss at the Semi finals against New Zealand, Chennai floods, the image of a drowned Syrian boy in the shores of Turkey, unrest in West Asia and the sky-rocketing rent amount that the greedy and filthy rich, house owner in Bangalore charges me.

As 2015 closes in, it is time to remember all the good souls that made me smile and made my days special. And God Bless you, dear haters. May the force be upon you. You keep me going. Thanks for all the beautiful memories, 2015. You were kind. And to 2016, a big Hello. I am not preparing bucket lists. I am not into any high level planning that businessmen do. I’d just want to live in the moment. Shower me with a handful of travel opportunities, so that I see new lands, do new check-ins, click new snaps, make new friends and write about interesting stuffs. Some of my favorite people are tying the knots this year. May God bless them. Cheers!

P.S. ”I’ and Me’ refer to ”We’ and Us’, Bhaskar and Priyanka! Cheers again.

6

The Love Story


“I love you. To the moon and back” were the words of an innocent girl. Nah, she isn’t that innocent. She bullies her guy. She chides him when he pulls her legs. She cuts the phone call when he reminds her of her school reopening after a Sunday. She turns into a ‘Nagavalli’ when he makes her walk on a sunny afternoon in Bangalore. She gets worked up when he doesn’t take his pronunciations seriously. She argues. She fights. But all these fizzle out the moment she looks into his eyes. She erupts into laughter, often teary eyed, and the innocence returns. That’s her character. That’s what made him fall for her. That’s what made him come to a conclusion that she is his girl. 

When Priyanka Menon met Bhaskar NH at the Brigade Road in Bangalore on a pleasant Bangalore morning, she was thrilled. He was stuck in between reality and cinema. Filmy dialogues rushed through his mind. “Winds whisper a melody. Skies hum along. The moon nods”. And what not. He was nervous. He didn’t want to embarrass himself by trying Mohanlal’s cliched romantic dialogues. He just held her hand, looked into her eyes and smiled. She smiled back and he knew what the response was. They fell in love without even proposing. Within no time, she was making fun of his Irish Green tee and his black Puma flipflops. He looked like a school boy. She looked stunning in her magenta- black attire. He was nervous again. He remembered the dialogue from ‘Thattathin Marayathu’, “All the good looking girls in this world have awful looking boyfriends”. He wished he didn’t fall into that category. He backed himself and decided to proceed. They discussed a lot of things that day. About convincing parents, wedding, careers, dreams, books, traveling together, her idea of starting an art store and his plans to pen a book. Every moment seemed like a chapter of magic and blissful madness. Every moment triggered a swarm of butterflies within. 

She read a lot. Books and words lit her instantly. She loved the writer in him and has ever since desired that he authored a book some day. A desire he is yet to fulfill, though he hoped to break the shackles soon. 

She is creative and artistic, while he represented the other end of the spectrum. She had a craze for paintings, craft works, scrap books, photo frames and loved collecting things. Money had no role to play in her life. She treasured little joys of life like a bed coffee with a smile, ‘Rise and Shine’ message early in the morning, #100HappyDays challenge and living in the moment, something which she has unknowingly imparted to him. He loved the way she is. 

He is ‘an introvert to outspoken’ in progress. Travel bug bit him some years back and he was yet to recover from it. So, while she liked to stay put inside the closed comforts of home, he roamed around places, trying to unearth the tales of different people he met on the way. 

It is true that when a girl steps into a guy’s life, he becomes mature. He feels he is important. He feels that his life has a new meaning altogether. He feels that his voice is getting heard often. He starts ‘planning’ his life ahead. The journey becomes more thrilling, from ‘ME’ to ‘WE’. There is a shoulder to lean on. There is a soul to share your happiness and tears. There is a hand to hold on to. There is a hand to hold yours and say that everything will be okay. There is an eye that peeks into yours every time you stare at a hot girl in her party wear. And then, a hand to give a punch if the staring continues.

Their journey so far, has been like that. They didn’t ‘fall’ in love. They simply rode on it.They liked the way they are. They spoke the way their hearts could connect. They looked at things only their eyes could see. They fought over issues only they could fight. They were themselves. They had their egos as well. But their egos allowed them to understand each other better. 

Its been three years. Three beautiful years. Every moment they spent together has been picturesque. That day. Their first date. Their first selfie. The Coke spill at the McDonald’s. Serengeti. Early morning attendance at Au Bon Pain for French breakfast. Mexican lunch. Thattathin Marayathu dialogues. Bengaluru Darshan on Ashwin’s Suzuki Access. Hang outs with their crazy set of friends. Moments spent in the rain. Gossips. Shopping. The birthday cake. Fort Kochi. Scrap book. Tabbie. Cubbon Park. Engagement. And here they are, all set to tie the knot on November 8. 

 

The first selfie

                                                        The first selfie

Kitsch Mandi

                                                          Kitsch Mandi

Birthdays

                                                             Birthdays

Surrender!!

                                                           Surrender!!

Together

                                                           Together

Engaged

                                                         Engaged

2

Little joys of life


I love simple pleasures of life. Like how one fine morning a friend called me and said,”Dude, I am in Bangalore today. Shall we meet up over coffee?”. Or like how I wake up to Priyanka’s call every morning. Or like staring at my engagement album every now and then and silently giggling. These things make my day. I wake up to realize some of the little joys of life these days. I had decided to work from home for four weeks. It was like taking a sabbatical and cherishing every moment of it, in the presence of Appa and Amma. Its been three years since I ditched the comforts of my home to join the mad race to make money. And since then, I’ve often thought if life could also have rewind buttons. Appa waking me up before he sets off to the office, Amma serving those hot tumblers of filter coffees as I lie down at the couch like a prince in front of the TV, accompanying annoying Amma in the kitchen (munching carrots, onions and cucumbers as she prepares the lunch), joining her in those mother-in-law daughter-in-law soaps that has been a part of every Indian household since its inception, discussing the neighborhood as well as Television gossips, the sound of the land phone ringing and how lazily sticking my ass to the couch, ordering Amma to attend it, Appa’s lunch and his customary post-meal nap before he heads back to the office again, settling down to watch the Matinee in Asianet, Surya or Kiran TV, the aroma of lip-smacking home made evening snacks, opening the door to welcome Appa and secretly wishing there would be something in his bag, evening baths, the priceless family conversations the three of us have on varying topics, from politics to relatives, the occasional (and frequent also) visits by a family friend or a neighbour, dinner, reality shows on Television and then settling down with my laptop till late night. Its not that I’ve never come home in these three years. I make my way out here twice in a month, for a weekend or at the maximum, four days. Nothing more than that. That’s why I love this period. Memories of my semester vacations and summer holidays flash by. As I said, little joys of life.

0

Looking back at 2014


The Sun is about to set on 2014. It is time to look back at the year which promised a lot and which began with a bachelor’s party in Bangalore. As 2013 had presented me with more happening 365 days than any of the years before, I was really looking forward to 2014, but it just fizzled out like Rohit Sharma. Not that the year was bad but 2014 was less interesting.

There were good times. In fact, plenty of them. With friends around, I did have one heck of a year. Be it, the night at Kingfisher Dude Vijay Mallya’s palace UB City or be it dragging Ashwin, Murali and Vysakh for a French breakfast on an early Sunday morning. Be it cheering for Yuvraj Singh during an IPL match at the Chinnaswamy stadium or be it showing the iconic spots in Bangalore to Vishal. Or even the bowling session at Amoeba with Priyanka, Aradh and Chinchu. Even the California Dude George who had busted his ankle was here to meet us all.

What is life without friends!!

What is life without friends!!

image

Appa Amma's 25th wedding anniversary!! Shiva Temple, Murudeshwar

Just like in 2013, Internet and Social Media dominated my life in 2014 too. Though I had contemplated deactivation of my Facebook account, I wasn’t just courageous enough to do it. Twitter, on the other hand, continued to be my most preferred Social Network. The findings of one of the apps in Google Play, left me startled. It showed that I access Twitter about 75-85 times a day. What the fuck was I doing with my life? Am I not having a life or what? 75-85 times a day meant that I was hardly missing any of the tweets of 400 people I follow. Seriously, refreshing Twitter button is not going to lead me anywhere, unless of course I am a Ramesh Srivats or a Sidin Vadukut.

I got myself a Moto-G which was my first real Android experience. I started using Instagram, Zomato and Foursquare voraciously. Instagram turns almost everyone into a professional photographer or at least makes us feel like one. And despite lashing out at Zomato for their ‘Delhi better than Bangalore’ blog last year, I found their mobile app to be an interesting concept. Foursquare reaffirmed that I was now a 24*7 smartphone chap.

One of the sensible decisions of 2014 was buying a bicycle. I started cycling the streets of Bangalore which gave me a lot of joy. Getting to see a lot of characters in the chill mornings lifted my spirits and there was no stopping since then.

All we see are the sights of the beautiful sea around

Traveling to the Ghost town of Dhanushkodi was one of my most memorable 2014 event

My biggest regret of 2014 is my failure to travel more. I did manage to squeeze in a few trips to Chennai, Dhanushkodi and religious towns of Karnataka. Apart from that, it was basically getting tied up at my cubicle in Bangalore or at the comfort of working from home. I missed out on a dream trip to Goa with my friends despite Air Asia offering me tickets as cheap as 999 bucks from Bangalore to Goa. None of the foreign trips too kicked off. It was a pain in the ass to see all these buggers in facebook either snorkeling in the waters of Maldives or setting off to Malaysia and Thailand for a holiday.

Even my blogging took a hit. Blog Archives indicate that I had not even penned 20 blog posts. Partly it is attributed to the knowledge reception mode that I turned on. I had read more books in 2014 than ever. I’ll blame the Flipkart folks for spamming me with book recommendations.

But on the whole, I would give around 5.5/10 for 2014. Taking the unconventional route has always thrilled me and also inspired me. May be in 2014, I had wanted to be a good boy and fell prey doing conventional things. I must confess that in my professional work, I played the waiting game and didn’t do much to make things happen. Hopefully 2015 will have interesting answers professionally. And I wish my personal life continues to thrill in the coming year as well.

Dear 2015. Be kind on me. Be adventurous. Be thrilling. I’m stuck. Help me out in completing my book. Aid me in expanding my horizons. Give me a kick on my bum if I stay conventional. And importantly, let India win the World Cup in Australia.