I believe in signs

The weekend that followed my visit to the college campus was great. I was on a high. On that Sunday night, I had even updated my status with – “Charged up for the week ahead!!”, with one of my friends liking that status update. I was really charged up for the week ahead. But what was waiting for me was a horrifying truth, a truth that I’ve always been aware of, but have always chosen to ignore. I was slapped with a reminder on the very truth on the very first day of that week.  I spent the rest of the week in a confused state (nothing new for me). This confusion continued its stay with me through that weekend, till I started reading one of the books I picked up the following Monday. That Monday, I went to office with thoughts wandering. I don’t know what lead me to the book store after our lunch that day. I was flipping through a few books in that store and decided to buy 2 from the shop.

That Monday night, after getting back home, I spent reading around 50 pages of one of the books.  I felt it was too late, bookmarked exactly the 50th page of the book and hit the bed. I was still thinking of what I could think of, of what I’ve read in the book till then. There was a line in the book – “Routine is a slow poison”. In a few minutes, I had lot of reasons to blame the whole world. I didn’t know when I slept off. The next morning I woke up, all the more convinced that the whole world is forcing me on a routine and I’m not liking it. As part of the morning Routine, I was searching for a shirt and pant to iron. I was looking for a yellow striped shirt and wasn’t getting it. To my surprise, I found a blue striped shirt which I normally wear every Monday. I was wondering how this shift was available on a Tuesday and why I didn’t wear it the previous day. Only then I realized that it was my dad who ironed my shift the previous day. Only then I realized that I Have forced myself on a routine for the last few years. The rest of the day was spent trying to recall the different routines I’ve forced upon myself all through these years. This weekend, I had an invite from my parents to travel to Madurai. I hesitated a bit. I wanted to play cricket. This has also been a routine for a few years. I’ve been playing cricket every other weekend. So I spent this weekend at Madurai and my status update this Saturday morning was – “Weekend @ Madurai.”

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Local languages of India and Tamil

On returning home from work on a saturday morning, I didn’t feel like sleeping. I was browsing through Indivine when I decided to read this post . It was about the struggle of a girl (a girl who had been to different cities in India) with Tamil at Chennai. It was so funny, but was thought-provoking. To think of, how many languages has India got with her. We feel so proud to call our country multi-linguistic. We brag about unity in diversity.

I wonder how birds migrate from one place to another so easily. Don’t birds have the problem of having to learn the local language when they migrate? Does a Mumbai bird use a different language than a Tamil bird, leave alone the Australian bird. Okay (enough talking about birds and bird watching) let me come back to our topic. Why is that people in India find it so difficult to migrate from one place to another. We proudly say our country is multi-linguistic. But it comes with a lot of struggles which we adjust with, without many complaints. I’ve my own experiences and the experiences of my colleague-friends to show how we move along, fighting all the struggles with local languages.

I’ve been to Hyderabad for a 2 month training last year and it was a wonderful experience there. I’ve been with my college friends and most of us never knew Hindi. The moment I landed in Hyderabad, I was expecting waterlu, tealu, coffeelu (Now my Telugu friends are gonna kick my ass. No hard feelings friends. I know only those words in Telugu that end with ‘lu’). But Hyderabad greeted me with Hindi. I was forewarned by one of my friends that Hindi is widely spoken in Hyderabad than Telugu. She even taught me how to talk to autowala to take me to office. I remember those sessions 😀 “BHAII!! XXX Office jaane kitna hoga??”. I tried a few times, but somehow or the other, every time the autowala found out that I’m a Hindi illiterate 😀

It had always been our routine during our stay at Gachibowli,Hyderabad to play cricket, on returning from office, until the time we used to go out for dinner at 8:30. There was an apartment where Infy people (See I did not specify any specific gender here) stayed and it was opposite to the apartment where we stayed. We used to go out for dinner and on the way back, we always used to raid a supermarket for reasons you know (Obviously. It was for bird watching and not window shopping. If you had guessed window shopping, you are still a kid ;))

It was on that destined day, when we were performing our routine at the supermarket – we were standing in a queue to bill  just one chocolate that we picked, only to spend more time looking at the package that was waiting in the adjacent queue. Finally when the package that we were looking at was getting billed at the adjacent queue, we had one guy getting his package billed in front of us in the queue in which we were waiting. We were cursing the guy who was standing in front of us,commenting everything about him when this guy turned back and offered us to get our chocolate billed along with his package. We accepted his offer, paid him the amount, got our chocolate swiped for verification and went out of the supermarket to see the whereabouts of our interested package. Just after we saw the package move in a car, we realized that the guy who was standing in front of us in the queue, when he offered us to get our chocolate billed along with his pack, talked to us in Tamil –  the language which we knew, the language in which we were cursing him, the language in which we were commenting about him, about everyone there. It was an embarrassing feel. We waited outside the supermarket for the guy to come out. When he came out, we told him “Sorry!! We never knew you know tamil” with a sheepish smile on our face. He was laughing crazy when he told us that all from Chennai are the same and he did the same when he migrated to the city.

The other night at Hyderabad, we were having dinner at a hotel. There was this gang of girls from Infy who were having their dinner in the table before our table. When there is a gang of girls, what else do you expect from them. Yes, they were gossiping, giggling.  Again, they were gossiping in Tamil (Now, don’t ask me what they were gossiping about. I don’t remember). We tried our best not to show them that we understood what they were talking. Beyond a point, one of my friends couldn’t control and laughed out loud. The girls realized that we understood what they were talking and out of embarrassment, they finished up their dinner quickly and left the place as quick as possible. We didn’t get a chance to meet those girls again in Hyderabad. All the time during our stay at Hyderabad, we were free to talk whatever in our mother tongue. We used to curse the autowalas, shopkeepers in Tamil on their face. After the two months stay at Hyderabad, we had to get back to Chennai and we were still living the Hyderabadi life. The moment we landed in Chennai, my friend cursed a beggar who was following him all the way. We realized we were in Chennai only when the beggar cursed back. (lol ;))

At Chennai, I got two colleague-friends from Mumbai in last one year. Let me call on of them S and the other N.  Both of them don’t know Tamil, though N has been working on learning Tamil all the while. This was one another destined day when 3 of us (N is not one among the three)had a night out at workplace (Those of you who wonder what night out is – it is not hangover. We stay awake all night working. No, it is not night shift. We swipe in at 8 AM and swipe out at 8 AM next morning. Yeah, it was one of those days). S was one among the three. Let us call the other one R. So S,R and me were working on an issue. R and me gave up at around 1:30 A.M and were gossiping (Yeah, guys do gossip when there is no girl around. R and me had no clue about the issue. The code would go even more worse if I or R try when we feel sleepy). S, being very stubborn, kept working on the issue and found something about it and was telling us something. But R and me were busy gossiping that we never listened to what S was talking. It was only after our manager told us we realized that S was frustrated and saw him throw his mobile and bang on his cube. (Woww!! we love irritating S. We always talk to S in Tamil. lol 😉 S, if you are reading this – cool :D)

This is one more incident with S. That evening, S found one of our common friends have Adai Avial at food court. He tasked it and liked it. I was not in the scene that day. For some reason, he didn’t get the dish that day. I was with S the next day at food court, S wanted to taste that dish that our common friend was having the day before. He tried recalling the name of the dish, calling the dish by all the funny names (Now if you ask me all those funny names, I don’t remember them) and finally made a call to our common friends to get the name of the dish. Unfortunately the dish was not available that day at food court (I had mentioned this in shalini’s post in comment, the one that inspired me to write this post. I don’t see my comment approved at this point in time. If at all she happen to approve the comment and if S gets to read my comment on that post, he will definitely kill me. Apologies, We didn’t get the dish that day. It was not available that day.S, again – cool)

With all these experiences, all that I can say is – If you are a person who knows Hindi, you can survive anywhere in India, but Tamil Nadu. If you are a Tamilian who doesn’t know Hindi, you cannot survive at any other place than Tamil Nadu in India (Now, hope none of the politician gets to see this and demand for an independent Tamil Nadu). It is Ironic, but it is true. It is fun if you are with your friends at a land, where people speak the language that you don’t understand. At least one or two of your friends would know the local language and you are safe. But if you are alone, It is pain. All said and done, Life has to move on and we are all proud to be Indians.

PS: These are not the best moments in my life. But these moments make me smile, when I turn back and flip through those pages of my life. I would  call them Jiyo life moments of my life. Why not? If you like whatever you read here, I would like you to leave a comment and promote my post here. Yes, This is the first lengthy post from me. But, I think I made sense with this post. If not, 😦

A Self Discovery – while canoeing at Coorg

I had been on a Coorg, Wayanad trip last week. It was a 4 days trip. We spent first two days at Coorg and last two days at Wayanad. We stayed at jungle adventure (Lived up to its name – was adventurous) in Coorg and at Blooms (I would recommend Blooms to anyone who goes to Wayanad. Best in service) in Wayanad. Here, I’m posting about a self discovery I had during the trip.

Cannoeing

I enjoyed canoeing at jungle adventure a lot. For a person who doesn’t know swimming, who always yells at people who play pranks while boating, who double checks with the guide about the depth of the stream before stepping into the boat, to enjoy canoeing is strange. Jungle adventure helped me discover this. The 2nd day when we woke up, we knew we were going for canoeing after breakfast. I was of the notion that I would sit calm, let the guide row the boat and have a watchful eye over my playful friends. We had breakfast, I took the blue colored life jacket that looked different from all other jackets. We took the paddles we found near the stream, posed to photos and put the paddles back at the same place.

The guide (supposed to be) helped 4 of us to step into the boat . I was wondering if the boat would stand the weight of 5 as I was expecting the guide to be on boat, though the boat had place only for 4. To my surprise, he gave two of us the paddle (I was one of the two who happily accepted the paddle), cut the rope to which the boat was tied, and asked us to row (What!! little did I know that I would be using the paddle when I was posing for photos). My heart would have skipped a beat or two. I was cursing myself for taking up one edge of the boat (could have been happily seated in the middle. The middle place, somehow would have given me a protected feel). OMG!! It was too scary to sit at the edge (remember I do not know swimming).  I somehow tried to hide all the panic and proudly asked the guide the depth of the stream (Gulp!! in I’m-the- paddler-I-should-know-the-depth tone) and his reply was “45 feet”. OMG!!  The stream was nearly 8 times my height and I do not know swimming. I cross checked if my life jacket was in good condition, ensured if it was plugged well.

I regained my senses, started rowing and in sometime I didn’t know where all my panic flew. I had forgotten about the depth of the stream. The sound of water was not panicking me anymore, rather it was a comforting sound then. It was so peaceful and I was enjoying it, I even asked my friends if we could row further. We went for trekking post lunch and I came back to canoeing with 4 others after trekking, when all others were tired trekking. I actually wanted to go alone. Wow!! Do I love canoeing? Will I enjoy it better if i learn swimming or is it the thrilling feel of not knowing swimming that made me enjoy this activity? The discovery is very late. It has come after 23 years. Better late than never!!