Rough Book

random musings of just another computer nerd

Tag: friends

Great Weekend

This past weekend was awesome. My sister and my cousins came down from California to hang out with me. However, that was only part of the reason. Their coming over was part of an elaborate scheme to throw a surprise going-away-party for me. I was originally going to leave on August 11th, but that date was pushed back to August 26th. So they were a little early, but that actually made the event all the more surprising. It was actually funny in a way.

On Friday, I was at Sadhana’s house, and I was telling her how excited I was that my family was coming over. However, truth be told, it did seem a little sudden, and I wasn’t sure why exactly they were coming over right now. I mean, it is a bit of a trip. Sadhana seemed irritated that I would ask such a question. “Maybe they just want to spend time with you!”, she said. I didn’t know why she was so irritated, but it makes sense now. She didn’t want me trying to figure things out and ruin the surprise for myself – she had been planning all this for quite a while now, collaborating with the rest of my friends and with my sister and my cousins. The other thing was when I talked to Rachna on Friday. I told her that I would be seeing her this weekend. That apparently caused her to get really flustered because she thought that I knew about the surprise party. But I just said it because my family was over and I wanted all of us to hang out. She started freaking out because she thought I anticipated the surprise party. Then there was my sister’s odd behaviour. Whenever she was talking to Sadhana on the phone, she’d walk away from me so that I couldn’t hear the conversation. It struck me as odd, but I didn’t think much of it. It gets funnier though. We all planned to have dinner on Saturday, and I expected Sadhana, Rachna, and Suraj to be there. We all get to the restaurant and I walk in. I see Nasser, Shareen, Anthony, and his girlfriend, in addition to Rachna, Suraj, Sadhana, and Vibha. They all yell “Surprise!”. So I said, “What are you yelling ‘Surprise!’ for?” I also didn’t look the least bit surprised. Then as I’m sitting down, they say “This is your going away party!”. But I respond, “I’m not going away yet”. Eventually it dawns on me that this is a surprise, and when that happened, I was really surprised!

The party was a whole lot of fun. My sister got me a lovely going away present. Over the last week, she had been hounding me for some pictures – of my family and my friends. I eventually sent them to her. She used them to make a Calendar (2006). I was really touched – I don’t think I could have got a better going away present. I know I’ll be using it to mark the days until I come back home, and while I’m doing it, I get to look at pictures of my family and my friends. Rachna told me that it almost made her cry. And it’s true – it was a very thoughtful and loving gift. Thank you Keerthikutty! Oh yes, then on Friday before I left work, Shareen started sending these odd emails out. Things like “Chocolate, Strawberry, Banana or Blueberry?” and “Blue, Orange, Green or Purple?”. I had no idea what that was about, but I responded anyway. I said “Chocolate” for the first and “Blue and Orange” for the second question. It all fell into place when I got my cake – it was a chocolate cake with Orange and Blue icing.

I was touched that everyone had put so much and effort into planning this. Rachna and Sadhana had been planning all of this, and Sadhana had been in touch with my sister and my cousins for the past few weeks. They were trying to figure out their schedules, and how to get here. Shareen and Nasser had decided on using their house for the party, but their AC broke, and so that didn’t go through. But it’s the thought that counts!

On Sunday we went and saw Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I thought was absolutely awesome. Johnny Depp made an awesome Willy Wonka (Gene Wilder did too) and he fully captured the eccentricity and weirdness of the character. Tim Burton’s direction is awesome as usual, and lends his “Burtonesque” quality to the whole movie.

SPOILER ALERT

Ok, I know that some of what I’m saying aren’t really spoilers because anyone who has read the book should know about them.

There were some really touching scenes in the movie. I remember when I first read the book, and I came across the scene where Charlie gets the Wonka Bar for his birthday. I remember the anticipation I felt as Charlie slowly opened the wrapping… and the disappointment when he found out that he didn’t win the Golden Ticket. The movie captured that really well… I felt the same way I did when I first read the book so many years ago. Another scene that I thought was really heart-breaking, was when they show the backstory for Willy Wonka. Young Willy Wonka comes back home from trick-or-treating, and his dentist father (Wilbur Wonka, played by Christopher Lee) is going through the candy. He tells his son how bad the candy is for the teeth, and despite Willy’s repeated pleas to have just one, tosses the whole basket into the fireplace. Young Willa Wonka’s expression (orthodontic headgear and all) is absolutely heart-wrenching.

I am usually nit-picky about movies that have been adapted from books, but I thought this was a pretty good adaptation. The backstory about Willy Wonka didn’t bother me too much either. All in all, a good movie.

END SPOILER ALERT

After the movie, we went back home and chilled for a bit. After Michael got back home, all of us went grocery shopping and bought the ingredients to make some Mexican Food. We also bought fresh pineapples to make some piƱacoladas. Josh came over as well, and we all started working together on making dinner. The dinner we made was delicious! We made Tacos and Taquitos which we ate with salsa, guacamole, and mexican rice. Oh yeah, and piƱacoladas with fresh pineapples! After dinner, we sat around and talked for a while. I brought down both of Michael’s guitars, and he also brought down my keyboard. We jammed for a bit with Dipu Cheta and Michael on the guitar, Prem on the percussion set on my keyboard, and with me singing. Good fun!

The next morning my cousins and my sister headed out. Dipu Cheta flew back to San Francisco, and Keerthi and Prem began their long drive back to Los Angeles. I had a whole lot of fun this last weekend. It’s the best I’ve had in a while!

The Subject is Irrelevant

Sometimes I think that I know all there is to know about certain people who are very close to me. I even trust them implicitly. Then something comes along and blows it all apart. It took me about a year and a half to come to this decision. I didn’t realize how hurt I was until today, when I came to know more about the situation. It was pointed out to me that I was being resentful. I hadn’t realized that. I was going to try and mend things. I figured I could try my best – because I still have fond memories of an old friendship.

This was a person I trusted completely, and who was very close to me. Things changed – for the worse. I saw a side of this person that I never knew, existed. I was hurt. Even still, I figured that maybe there was something worth salvaging.

But then I found out something new. Something I had always suspected. Something that hid in the dark corners of my mind, that I didn’t consciously want to confront. Something I never really verified, or tried to verify. Until now. It’s a betrayal of trust that runs too deep. Some might say I am being inflexible. I don’t think so. A friend you cannot trust, is no friend at all.

Thoughts

So this whole “going to war” thing is a huge deal. Obviously. There are many reasons why I don’t want to go, and then there are reasons that I must. But anyway, that is not the point. Sometimes I think that getting away from here for about a year would be good. An escape? I don’t know. It feels like it sometimes. But I prefer the euphemistic term “welcome reprieve”. I like to think that things may change when I get back…

I find myself seriously questioning certain facets of my life. First, am I happy? I guess I am… but it would be more accurate to say that I am mostly content. My job is a pleasure – I do what I enjoy doing most – writing code. But at other times I feel seriously apathetic about my life. I mean, I go to work from 8 to 5. I pick up my dog, Honey, from Sadhana’s home (I am really thankful to her family for taking care of her), I spend maybe half an hour there with her parents and grandma, and of course, Juju and Nimbus. After that, I come back home. I check my mail (real mail), pay bills, have dinner, write some of my own code, and then I head to bed. That’s it. That’s my day… how boring.

I sometimes want to go back to being in College. Each day was different. But then again, when I was in college, I wanted the stability of a normal job. I guess the grass is greener on the other side. My friends are still here, but of course, they have their own lives and the things that they need to do. My family is here and I do talk to them on occasion (although I should call my mom and dad much more frequently). They’re always there for me and I have never felt neglected by them.

I guess things changed a lot when I graduated. When I was in school, there was always someone I could interact with on a regular basis. Now that’s not there. It’s much harder for me to interact with any of my friends because I don’t see them that much. I guess what I am saying is that I feel pretty lonely at times. In response to that most of my friends might be saying “get a girlfriend” and some might even say “go get married now”. As far as the second one goes, please, I am only 23. The first one? Well. I am picky. Not that there is a serious lack of women to go around, but the fact is that I am picky about who I want to be with. No, I’m not on the look out for “that special someone” and I don’t believe that there is any one person with whom I am compatible. I’m sure there’s a whole range. But of course, that set, when intersected with the ones that my parents would find compatible, leaves a much smaller set. But still, it’s one that can be worked with.

So now you might be saying “so what? just date someone for fun!”. Can’t do that. I consider it a waste of time. “WTF?!”, you say. Well.., let’s say I date a girl… I go out with her… and then what? Eventually there comes a point when I have to break it off because I can’t make the committment. I am going into the relationship without the intent of ever making one, so logically, what is the point? I guess it would be different if it was mutually agreed upon that there wouldn’t be a committment, but that is rarely the case. So in that sense, am I looking for someone with whom I can have a long-term committment? Yes. With can being the operative word. That word has a lot of import. I have to think about what my parents want as well. They would want me to marry a nice, Malayalee, Hindu, Nair girl. I am not averse to that at all. In fact, that’s what I would like ideally, because then my parents and I are in total agreement. Some of my friends say that I am closing out a lot of options if I think of it that way. Yes, that’s true. I am aware that as an individual there are definitely women who I am compatible with, but aren’t any of the things that my parents want (for me). Therein lies the problem.

An Indian Marriage isn’t just the union of two individuals. It is the union and alliance of two families. In that sense, I can understand the cultural isolation that my wife could feel in the presence of my family, and vice-versa. And also the awkwardness and lack of any common ground when both families meet. But then again, there are cross-cultural marriages that do work, and work well. So I guess I am saying is that I don’t want to go through the trouble of it all. Which in a sense might be chickening out. I myself am not sure what it is. There are certain things I want, and I think I might have them better if I were to be with a woman who is aligned as closely to me as possible. For example, I consider my culture very important. My customs and traditions are very important to me. This is something I would like to pass on to my children. And this isn’t because of some misplaced sense of pride or superiority. No. I consider culture and tradition to be something that has evolved over a period of so many generations and so many hundreds of years. Something built upon the traditions and observances of the generations that have passed. I feel I should try and preserve as much of that as possible. Otherwise, something precious will be lost. I might be able to make it work with a girl from a different culture – something that is still close to mine – a girl from Tamil Nadu for example. Tamilians and Malayalees have reasonably similar languages and customs. But even still, between these two similar cultures, there are a vast number of differences… and with differences, arises the possibility of conflict (but isn’t there conflict in any marriage?). What if she is as concerned about her culture as I am of mine? What would the children learn? Would they be confused? Would it be cause for conflict between she and I? Almost always, one side has to give way. The children end up knowing one side better than the other. Is that a problem? I don’t know. When I was younger, and therefore more idealistic and naïve, I thought I could easily make it all work, and it didn’t matter who I married. Somewhere along the way I realized that real life isn’t so simple.

I guess my dilemma right now is that I don’t know if I’m limiting my options too much. I can’t say. Most of my friends have someone special. Sometimes I find it hard being around them sometimes because I feel that I’ve missed out on that aspect of life. It would certainly alleviate a lot of the loneliness that I feel… But then again, I’m only 23… a lot can happen in the next few years.

So… am I being too picky? God knows… but that’s also why I think it may be nice to get away from all of this for a while… get everything in order.

I can’t believe I wrote all this crap on a public website for the world to see. Someday I am going to read this and laugh… or regret writing it… or possibly both. Is there such a thing as a regretful laugh?

Chez Michael et Laura

As some of you may already know, I spent Spring Break at Michael’s and Laura’s in Northampton, MA. Before any of you point it out, yes, I notice the inconsistency. Where was I? Was it Boston, Springfield or Northampton?! It was all three. I spent time in all three places. Laura and Michael however, live in Northampton. The town is 350 years old.

I left Phoenix at 12:15 pm on Wednesday. It was a four and a half hour flight to Baltimore. A nice Sardarjee man bought me beer, AND gave me his free drink coupons. He was on his way to New Delhi and didn’t need those coupons any more. Awesome – I got FREE BEER!

I only had a one hour lay-over in Baltimore. That is, if you assume that one is equal to three. I didn’t leave till 9, eastern time. Our flight was delayed for some reason. It wasn’t too bad because I had a book to keep me company. The flight to Hartford wasn’t very long. It was around an hour.

As we were touching down, I saw strange white things falling from the sky. Furthermore, the ground was covered in this white stuff! What was this strange whiteness?! Ahhh! This must the “snow” they are always talking about. Strange stuff. Being a desert boy, I had only experienced snow twice before.

There was a nice lady sitting next to me. She was in her 40’s or 50’s. She asked me where I was from. “Phoenix”, I replied. “And this is the first time I have actually seen it snowing!”, I added.

“Oh how exciting!” she said. Then she asked concernedly “Did you bring warm clothes? And I hope you are not driving!”. “Yes, I have warm clothes and my friend is picking me up!”, I smiled and replied. “That’s good!”, she said and smiled.

I always elicit some sort of maternal response from women in that age group. I guess I probably remind them of their sons.

It was about 10:30pm when I touched down. Laura and Michael were waiting for me. I was really happy to see them. Michael, as usual, said a lot by saying very little. Laura gave me a big hug. As soon as I stepped outside I noticed the extreme cold. It was about 20 something degrees. It was snowing lightly. My breath came out in steamy puffs. I was exhilarated! We drove home and I saw snow EVERYWHERE. Snow is such a novelty to me. I was very excited. We reached Northampton and Michael gave me a quick tour of the town. Like I mentioned before, it was established in 1654. Michael had to turn in early as he had to go to work tomorrow. Laura gave me the grand tour and we sat up talking. We had Mac and Cheese and watched some TV.
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Leaving Springfield, MA

Tomorrow, I leave Laura and Michael. My snowy spring break has come to an end. It was awesome. I will write more about it later. Back to school… stupid school…

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