Archive for the ‘ journal ’ Category

My Sort of Valentine’s

To me, Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean as much as it used to, or least not as much as my girl thinks it should. Where I once used to see its magic, wonder and romance, all I see is rampant commercialism.

Just a few years ago, it used to be a one-day event. Now I hear they have decided to extend it to eight days, with seven days as Rose Day, Propose Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Kiss Day, and Hug Day respectively, leading onto the ultimate: Valentine’s Day.

If you ever had trouble choosing a gift between a chocolate, a teddy or a ring, well, you’re in luck because now there’s a day for each of those.

But I digress. This piece isn’t about gross commercialism of pop culture. Nor am I here to bash Valentine’s Day just because it’s “popular with the kids these days.” This is about a man’s submission to the powers beyond his control. This is about his struggle to survive in a world which, with each passing day, makes lesser and lesser sense to him. This is about my search for a Valentine’s Day gift.

I don’t remember what I got for her last year. You see, it was the first year of our relationship. It seems the whole year just went by giving gifts. Some to say “I care,” some to say “I love you” and some to say “I’m sorry.” Actually, mostly to say “I’m sorry!”

There was a time when I used to think that higher dimensional calculus was the most difficult thing I had ever faced. Back then, I never had to find gifts for anyone. I’m an engineer; I’m not built for this. And my habit of leaving everything to the very last minute doesn’t help, either. I tried to think of the subtle hints she dropped along the way, as women often do. There were several but all of them meant spending money. As it was against my New Year’s resolution to spend money, I skipped plans to buy stuff until I ran out of every other recourse.

I then thought about crafting. Why not build something out of things lying in and around the house? It adds a personal touch to the gift. I hear they value those things. Moreover, it adds more savings to my pocket. I tried to reach into myself looking for engineer’s creativity, and I found engineer’s laziness. Too much work, and did I tell you I waited till the very last minute?!

Something simple, then – how about randomly pinning up few of her pictures on the wall with cutout alphabets forming a sweet romantic message (“I L U” takes the least amount of effort). Oh! But that’s what I did for our anniversary. OK – don’t panic. How about I cook her something? And by cooking, I mean putting week-old, refrigerated raw edible item on a hot pan and heating it until just before it burns completely. I had already done that on her last birthday.

So, exhausted and out of ideas, I had to turn back to Almighty Money. For the past few months, she had repeatedly mentioned “ring” in our several conversations. Now don’t get any ideas. I’m still far away from wedding rings or engagement rings. Far, far away, very far.

But I’ve heard there’s something called a Promise Ring. The way I’ve understood is, if you feel an engagement ring is too much of a commitment, then give her a promise ring, which means “I promise I’ll give you an engagement ring… someday.” What an idea! Ingenious! But I’m such a commitment-phobe that I feel even a promise ring is too much of a commitment.

So I came up with the idea of I-swear ring, meaning “I swear I’ll give you a Promise Ring… someday.” Besides, she loves things beginning with “i” – her iPod, iPhone, iPad and her iDiot boyfriend, to name a few.

So I ordered a ring. It hasn’t arrived yet. But I have a funny feeling that I got her size wrong, which isn’t going to please her one bit. I give up! Anyone has any ideas for an “I’m Sorry” gift?

[Published in Republica, THE WEEK on 17th Feb 2012]

… Heard Inside My Head…

It wasn’t perfect… but it was better than that.

Mid West Adventures – Part I

Should I go for a romantic novel or a pink cowboy hat?

Now that is a question I don’t ask myself too often – but I was ransacking the DFW airport gift shops for a gift for Niti. I had no plans to take anything earlier but ever since her aunt set forth the idea of me showing up in the Chicago airport with flowers in my hand, I knew I had to get something. I picked up ‘Dear John’ by Nicholas Sparks – one of her favorite writers.

After paying for the book I lingered on and was casually looking through other books, when my eyes fell on ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins. I had never read the book but I had seen enough of his interviews and lectures to know his thoughts on evils of organized religion and delusion of God’s existence. At that point in time I found myself somewhat agreeing with Dawkins.

I was on a tight schedule. As soon as I landed on Chicago and met Niti, we had to rush to the Union bus station to catch the bus to Des Moines. And the fact that my plane was stranded on the runway for some 25-30 minutes before take-off didn’t help much either.

We were on our way to the bus station on a taxi and already behind schedule. The road was almost stagnant with rush hour traffic which wasn’t rushing anywhere. It’s funny how my faith is God’s existence is dependent on how deep in trouble I am. So assuming that Dawkins was wrong and the God had nothing better to do, I asked him to clear the traffic a little and hold back the bus. Apparently, it worked and we made it on time.

So there I was in the bus – easing into my seat… nothing more to worry about… luggage – check… backpack – check… wireless internet – check… food – check (thanks to Niti).

Aah! finally it was the time to relax. I wished I hadn’t left her gift on the luggage or else I could have given it to her then. I had to wait till we reach Bipin’s place to get it. Still, I was sure she was gonna love it. The pink cowboy hat idea started to look pretty silly by then. But just as I was congratulating myself for getting through a tough day and choosing a fine gift, she turned to me and said –

I hate this sunlight coming in through the window… don’t you have a hat for me?!!

Lesson Of The Day

If you’re gonna be proctoring an exam for an hour and a half, make sure you don’t drink a whole can of Monster just before it, COZ YOU WON’T GET TO PEE FOR AN HOUR AND A HALF.

Rocking The East Coast – III

If I pee my pants, it better not end up in facebook!

Braver words were never uttered on top of the boat platform where I was laying, attached to a parachute, which was ready to fling me to the skies any seconds then. My fear would have gotten the better of me if not for the beautiful companion cowering by my side. But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

We reached Ocean City the night before, with hungry stomachs, tired bodies and mind plotting on ideas to sneak in five people in rooms of four. After a lengthy and inconvenient check-in everyone freshened up and went out for some food. Well, almost everyone. It was funny to see that two out of three people working in the subway store we went to were Nepali.

We then went for a midnight stroll across the beach. Having found the right settings, I took out my camera and I started working on my ‘spirit’ shots. Apparently, I was a little too good at it. Experts say, sand and water are the biggest enemy of a camera, so I was a bit worried. Little did I know my snap would be destroyed by tears. After a few wonderful shots in the dark, we were done with the night and went back to the hotel.

I’ve had a mere two hours of sleep when the morning came knocking on the door. A quick breakfast, a complicated check-out, and we were heading to the beach. Everyone had fun there. I think I made some sort of record by being probably the only guy to walk on the beaches of the east coast and the west coast and never touch the sea.

The search for a Nepali restaurant proved costly as we barely made to the parasailing in time with half-fed belly. The superman was about to fly! OK I’ll admit it – I was petrified!… But the only way to stop making it worse for myself was to get done with it as soon as possible. So I jumped at the chance to go first – my flying companion, however, wasn’t too thrilled about it. I wasn’t going to show my fear – not after three days of calling myself names like ‘hero’ and ‘superman’. I think I did quite well at that. I don’t know what it is about girls, but as soon as one is around, you feel like you need to be ten times the man you actually are. And it helped.

I sat there on the platform saying my last prayers and the wind started carrying me to the heavens. It was… a bit disappointing to be honest. Specially since we didn’t even get to land on water coz the sea was too rough. The rough sea did take its toll on someone later – personally, I blame the “driver”!!… Now it could be jealousy speaking ;)

Other than a little incident with missing lunch box, the rest of the evening was quite uneventful. We had plans to end the night with booze and long talks but none of us had energy to commit to it.

Next day, the awesome vacation came to and end. We all went our ways with wonderful memories, new friendships, some unfulfilled wishes and a few unspoken complaints… and in my case, a 50$ receipt as a consequence of a missed flight!

“(Pointing at the two buffed guys with tight abs) See that is how a guy should look like!”

“He’s walking with another guy!… I’m walking with a beautiful girl!!… I know what I’m doing!!”

Bugged!

Bugged! ~ by theCipher

Bugged! ~ by theCipher

… the past two days have been awesome… both Brazil and Argentina got knocked out of the world cup… almost washed away the pain of seeing England humiliated…

… it’s been weird seeing the team I support win against the odds!

… just saw my friends upload pics of their momo party while i’m here all alone chewing through yesterdays cold hard pizza… life’s so unfair! :P

… it’s 4th of July!!… hope I’ll get to shoot some fireworks…

… classes over so i need to get back to work!… been behind on it already…

… got a lecture to give in two days – a little nervous about that…

… and yeah! Orange Rocks!! :)

Free As A Bird

Wings of an Angel ~ by theCipher

Wings of an Angel~ by theCipher

… free as a bird… got nothing else to do… and that the World Cup is in two day break isn’t helping much

… done with exams for this semester… had a short 5 weeks class… over!

… maybe I should start reading some books… been almost two years since I read my last one!

… (removed my last post… no jokes! – it wan’t quite ‘me’!)

… been listening to a new bollywood song – “Pee Loon” … just came up with my own version LOL

before:
pee loon tere neele neele nainoon se sabnam
pee loon tere geeley geely hontoon ki sargam
pee loon hai peene ka mausam

after:
pee loon tere yaadoon mein soda aaur rum
pee loon kuch whisky usme coke thoda kum
pee loon aaur bhooloon saare gum

… what else?!… ummmm… ditched England – a bad breakup!… supporting the Orange for now… also Spain, Germany, etc etc… well any team besides Argentina and Brazil!… (but somehow I know it’s not gonna end well for me… gggrrrr!)

Rocking The East Cost – II

“This feels just like Darjeeling!”

”Have you ever been to Darjeeling?”

”Nope!”

Highways of Philadelphia must’ve never been described in those words before.

We were on our way to New York/New Jersey. Backed by a mere three hours of sleep, we had started early in the morning (11 is quite early for me). After a brief respite in a welcoming house in Philadelphia, we were on our way again. I was really hoping to get some sleep on the way but couldn’t. In retrospect, I shouldn’t have drank all that Monster after all.

New Jersey seemed a lot better than what I had heard. No offence! We took a subway to New York in the evening. I don’t know why but every time I was on one of those things I felt I was gonna be mugged! Damn you movies!!

We went to the Times Square – remind me to rent a sailors costume next time I go there.

We went to a Nepali restaurant from there. I was totally jaded by then. I needed an energy drink. Too bad they didn’t have Monster so I had to resort to Jack and Coke. Well, few sips and I was back from the dead. It was wonderful to be amidst such great friends – Jack, Johnnie and Jose. The restaurant was good – drinks, live band… and I heard they had food too!!

The next day – six hours of my life I’ll never get back.

After waiting for some three hours in a line – under the scorching sun,… we finally had our turn to board a boat where we could sit – under the scorching sun,… just to go to an island where we could walk some more – you guessed it! – under the scorching sun… and we had to pay for that!

And ya, don’t know if it’s just me but I though the Statue of Liberty would be a bit… umm, taller, you know!

All in all, the first part of the day was one to forget so I’m moving on.

After a dull and grueling half of a day I couldn’t wait until we reach the Ocean City – a paradise to vacationers, under age drinkers and any Nepali student. So we set out on the road again – missing the proper gas station exits and taking the ones where there were none. And when it came to eccentric comparisons no one was getting left behind.

“This feels just like driving in Terai”

“Have you ever driven in Terai?”

“Nope!”

My Zombie Wedding (Based on a True Nightmare)

Yesterday I dreamt about a zombie invasion… and about my wedding… and the zombie invasion was lesser scary. Seriously.

First I was somehow coaxed into a wedding and I hadn’t even seen the bride. WTF right? Exactly! Hell I don’t even know when it turned from a casual chat with my buddies into a wedding – but dreams are like that. Everyone around me were busy, doing whatever people have to do at weddings, and there I was, absolutely petrified. All I could think was “What if she’s ugly!?!”

There were a couple of other things going through my mind that I can’t mention here but that’s beside the point. And ya, for some odd reason I was really interested to know whether or not this particular girl was invited to the wedding whom I once had a huge crush on.

Anyway, I don’t know what happened next but after a while the whole dream turned into a zombie invasion. Maybe my prayers were answered – I don’t know, but boy was I glad that there was no wedding anymore. These zombies were really slow and not that strong, and there were a lot of people on my side. So it was basically a walk in a park – a pleasant turn of event after that dreaded wedding.

Don’t remember much after that. Later I woke up to find out Germany had a little nightmare of their own in the World Cup against Serbia. Not surprising for the second youngest team in the tournament.

But this is what’s bothering me – I’d rather look at an ugly zombie than an ugly girl!… really tells you just how superficial I am!!

~ by a guy who fears commitment more than he fears zombies

Times Flies… Just When You’re Having the Most Fun

Time Flies ~ by theCipher

Time Flies ~ by theCipher

… “Time flies, just when you’re having the most fun”…

… my first upload from my new Nikkor 50mm F1.8 lens… love that lens :)

… this is about the short and awesome vacation I spent two weeks ago around East Coast… best time I had in a long long time… met some old friends and found some new ones… loved it… more pics coming soon…

… despite what that watch shows it’s already 3 in the morning/night/whatever… catching up with all the Jon Stewart’s Daily Show I’ve missed for past few weeks… but gotta go sleep now…

… also here’s wishing a rare 6 hours sleep to one my new friends – hope your nightmares are in vacation today…

… good night all!