Friday, May 27, 2005

Will you be there?

A person I know, in fact we worked on the same team, was not doing too well. He had to undergo a minor surgery. Jim is an elderly person. Just about touching 60 I would say, but much weak than a 60 year old person should be. It occured to me he lives all alone so I volunteered to be of any help, should he need it.

On the day of his surgery my roomie and myself dropped him off to the hospital, and later in the evening picked him up and did a pharmacy run for him. He was so heavily sedated that we had to support him into and out of the car. As we walked out of his place I was in two minds whether to leave him alone or to stay overnight with him. I had spoken to the doctors and they had said he'll get out of the sedation in a few hours and he should be perfectly fine. Taking their word for it and making sure his refridgerator was stocked with food, I took off. He called after a few hours and said he was doing fine.

I had been wondering, had I not been around what would he have done?

Someone told me he has some 2 or 3 kids and is divorced. I dont know his history and I dont really care. But at a time like this, I would have helped my worst enemy. When someone genuinely needs help and its in your capacity to help them, I always believe you should. I wonder where his kids were? Where his wife was?

Today I came upon this
true story of a father blogging about the pains he has been through when his one and only new born girl died. Probably one of the most touching things I have read in a long time. And I feel for Michael.

Us humans are a funny race. On one side we mourn the loss of a loved one. On the other extreme we could care less about someone we might have been in love with. We let our ego, pride, self-esteem get in our way. People who were once a close knit part of our lives are living a life tangential to ours. Just because you had to have things your way? You wouldnt bend, neither would the other person. Ask Michael. He'll bend a thousand times to have Mei back. When I read Michaels story, I thought, to hell with our ego's, to hell with our pride, to hell with self-esteem. I count in those lucky few who has his loved ones around him. They are my ego, they are my pride, they are my self esteem. And I'll never let go of them! I will try my best to always be there!

Who's not lost that one friend over a certain misunderstanding. And you never tried to go back and patch up. Just because your ego got in the way? Just because you felt its not worth it? I know, sometimes it better to let the person go and I dont want to get into all those analogies right now. Let the relationship go, but dont let that person go! Be there when they need you. You were friends before you got married. You were there for each other. Marriage did not end up being the perfect paradise. But why did it kill that friendship? Everyone who has entered your life is worth being a part of your life.

Sometimes you look too hard at the small things and lose sight of the big picture, called LIFE. If that ever happens to me, I know one blog which would remind me the value of family, community and those near and dear to me.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I think I put on the television almost after a week. All thanks to the American Idol finale! And it sure was a well made event. Of course Carrie had to win it. Small town girl, making it big is the perfect storyline for American Idol. I think Bo, the other finalist was cool. If you take an all-round view he might fit the idol role better but not today. Carrie seemed to do everything right. She deserves it. And she is kinda cute, so I wouldnt mind watching more of her on TV :-)

The best I might have gone in singing was winning the second prize in our building during Ganesh Utsav. This must be around 1992 or so. My over-enthu building used to have these various competitions during Ganesh Utsav. Basically it translates into all aunties come down to do gupshup, boys play night cricket, girls watch boys play cricket and complain we should play Antakshari, Uncles take a stroll, talk and smoke!

I still love Ganesh Utsav. Mainly because it launched my singing career. Of course, the second prize was because me being a favorite kid amongst most of the judges. Anyways, that did inspire me to take up singing professionally. I learnt the raag Malhaar. As a matter of fact this is my advice to most of you. Learn the raag Malhaar. It really helps when the shower runs out of water. Seriously. Either that or make sure
Pals is around.

Meantime you car freaks might wanna check
this out (Thanks Booga for pointing it out). Dont forget to check out the "Roof Option".

Anyone have any interesting plans for the long weekend?

Monday, May 23, 2005

Blogging your own Death

Aint that weird. You could be typing on your computer, posting to your blog, about a specific person and that very person kills you. And thanks to your blog, that person is nailed down.

Yeah, this poor guy blogged his own death. Here is his
last post before the murderer struck. The whole story could be found here. Its weird that people who read his post leave comments. I mean, nothing against it, but I would really feel weird leaving a comment in the blog of a person I never knew who is no more. If I knew him/her its a different case.

Why do you think I blog every alternate day? :-) If you dont get a blog entry from me for more than 1 week, dial 911. And here are the top three people you wanna name to make things easier for the cops:

Bird. (He was always jealous I could speak better marathi than him).
2. Pals. (He wants my car)
3. Bakshi. (Since he owes me half his pay check)

I would have named
Abbs, but since I am the only one left to play Formula one with him, he wouldnt like to lose his F-1 Online partner. BTW, any other F-1 buff here? I am tempted to make a trip to Indianapolis come 19th June provided I have some good company (and the air tickets get cheaper).

Friday, May 20, 2005

To this our school we are proud to belong...

... and its praise we sing loud and clear.

Old memories. Old times. Old conversations. Old? Nope! Didnt it just happen yesterday?

Get ready for a loooooooooooooong post.... and a joyride!

When Jamnabites get together the partying never stops. And when you are meeting some of them after almost 5 years, conversations, laughter and emotions run high!

Location: Tandon's place (Millburn, NJ).
Date: 14th May 2005
Occasion: Tandon's 2?th birthday.

But first, a blast from the past. This is a 10th Grade picture and yes, we all look much better than we do right now (except Kallu, who looks the same).

Standing (L-R): Prashant, Athan, Angi, Adarsh, Me, Ganguly, Pranjal (how did he get there?)
Sitting (L-R): Tandon, Kallu, Booga & Ani.
Location: kallu's terrace in Khar.
Year: @ 1995.

Shift back to the present, or the near past if you would like me to be precise.

Pranu and Mrin picked me up @ 3PM from Baltimore and from that moment its been down memory lane. Also were pointed out my past evils by Mrin, which I had thankfully forgotten. Yes, she, Natasha and Meghana would be the last people I would like to conference with my would-be-wife. Qouting Mrin, "Make sure you sign a pre-nup or something that she would not leave you after she has had a rendezvous with with either of us." Yes, I shall keep that in mind. I never knew I used to snatch girls hairbands and throw them in the gents loo. I knew I was a teachers nightmare, but this is taking things too far. How come no one smacked me? And how come I dont remember?

We finally hit Tandons place @ 7:30 PM. I think I met Booga, Tandon and Ani after almost a year. Kallu after a good five years, and his fiancee for the first time.

And the present. Have we really changed? Nah, Kallu still looks the same! (Mom: My hair shall grow back)

L-R: Kallu, Booga, Tandon, Ani, myself and Pranu (in a difficult to replicate stance)

Here is what I remember next. Eating the Indo-Chinese food, getting tempted into trying a mud-slide, Priya teasing me that its apparently a womans drink, finding a bottle of Bacardi, sweeping the floor (yes, we have photos), more conversations, more bottles of bacardi, trying to figure out which of the women were single, more bacardi, Booga cracking some joke on me, Ani suggesting some stuff about the mud-slide, Kallu saying I remind him of Joey, everyone laughing to that, more bacardi, Pranu trying to start a conversation with Foram, Tandon cutting the cake, splashing cake on Tandons face, more Bacardi, finally getting confused which is Bacardi and which is Smirnoff, more Smirnoff, random chatter, trying to figure out who has not had an opportunity to speak, trying to stay silent for 2 minutes, finally figuring out there is one single girl in the room, hallucinating the Bacardi had changed into Jack Daniels, asking Manish if his driver has a H-1B, telling Booga his Long Island Iced Tea looks like Long Island Iced Pee and more but not necessarily in the order mentioned above.

Random Chatter: Kallu (is he trying to fart?), Me, Booga and Mrin

Next Stop: New Yawk City.

Drove right in from Lincoln Tunnel. After all those drinks I think I made quite a good navigator and Tandon managed to find a spot pretty close to Times Square (which is where the club we planned to hang out was).

By now, I have forgiven and forgotten whoever had the brilliant idea of heading to a Desi club. But this is where the fun began. The DJ used to stop the music in the middle of nowhere and start off some speech. Then some couple used to walk down a stair and perform some weird ass dance. Then the DJ used to start abusing. After 20 minutes I was convinced that I should be paid to see this. Well, when in Rome, do as Romans do! So as the music got more pathetic, our dancing got more pathetic. The DJ made his final attempt of pushing me to my limits (read: play the most pathetic song and see how this chap could make his dance worse than what he is already doing).

Yes, we managed to beat him at that too. He played the most lousy song and we did the most lousy dance. Then some weird gay looking fella who claimed to be a choreographer flown in from London tried to show us how to dance to a weird step. I dont believe I actually paid for all this! By this time the DJ was frustrated with us (I like to say us, actually it was only me). So very soon we found ourselves out of the club. Of course, I should mention that I also met Anju, Jessie and 5 seniors from Syracuse. The world is a small place. I think all of them left when they saw me dance.

New Dance steps were invented: Kallu, Priya, Mrin and Me.
Actually the above is a traditional dance step followed since Andaz Apna Apna was released.
You keep one hand across your chest, extend the other out in a perpendicular direction and just jump around.
Switch hands with every alternate jump.

What do I remember next? Heading over to Downtown and eating Kathi Rolls on Bleecker @ 6th Ave. This is the New Yawks Desi version of chicken frankie we get in Mumbai (yes, my favorite one is at Kwality's in Juhu - more because its bang in front of JNS).

Next stop: Tandons place (were we there before?).
Time: @ 4 AM.
Purpose: More drinks and more conversations on the meaning of life.

What I remember: Everyone falling off to sleep and Booga striking the best pose.

Booga had run a 5 mile marathon at Chicago in the morning,
was going mountain climbing the next day.
Never ask why? Its Booga!!

Tandon and myself going for a morning walk @ 5:30 AM and then doing his laundry. Yes, we are weird! I think I saw sun-rise after like 20 years. Probably hit the bed @ 7 AM. Thanks to Booga I was up by 11 AM. He and his "high heel" shoes walking all around the wooden floor was good enough to wake me up (I should mention here that the sound Boogas shoes made were better than the music played by the DJ - thanks Booga).

Rock solid party. All of Monday I was suffering a hangover. Thank God my meetings got cancelled.

Tandon, I look forward to 14th May 2006 (or any day which resembles 14th May 2005).

And those of you cribbing I am all over the photos, here is one of most of the people, minus me! Of course, if you wanna see the complete album, you can click here

All of the Gang
Photograph: Courtesy Apoorva Joshi

Thursday, May 19, 2005

A splinter in bread is worth two in my hand

Bread is pretty much a part of my daily diet (we tried making roti's at home but all that aata etc. is not worth it. And I cant roll rotis into a round shape - EVER!). As I munched away on a slice something poked me on the inner side of my mouth. Further investigation led to a wooden splinter in the slice of bread.

Now this is where standing up for your rights and all comes into play. All those verbal wars when we broke windows while playing cricket help. Without them I could never be good at citing out penal codes (as Bird would say) and stating with much confidence - "I'll sue you for mental harassment" - altho' most of Nandanvan (my apartment complex) is keen on sueing me for mental torture.

With companies providing their website URL on the bread packing its easy to shoot off an e-mail filled with words of anger, emotions and complaints. More than anything I was interested in checking out what happens. And Bingo! I get a reply the very next day. They will pay for any damages caused to my mouth. I should send them the bill. If I have not yet got things treated their insaurance will cover me all the way. Also a person from their local bakery will come and collect the bread.

The next day this chap turns up at my place with 4 breads in his hand. All complimentary. I politely refuse the breads but finally get tempted into grabbing one (heck, I should get one for the one I lost). A few days later I get these coupons in mail from the company, each redeemable for one item made by the company. So thats a few months of bread taken care of! Also is a check worth $5. Not bad!

Can I still sue this company stating everytime I eat bread I fear a wooden splinter might be hidden somewhere in it? I am traumatized at the thought of flour! Or should I wait till I have encashed the check?

I wonder how this would be taken care of in India? If you sue the company, it'll take 5 years to get through court, after which the judge will order the company to pay you 10 bucks for the bread which after the 5 year gap will be costing 30 bucks.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Sacrifice Apoorva

As the days go by I am sure I could write a series on this one.

Scene: Roundtable meeting. Director, Managers, Leads etc. all discussing future strategy and past mishaps. From my past experience(s) when a growd gets together there is more argument and less conclusions. More cooks spoil the broth. At such times I have developed the art of getting my point across at the beginning, getting a collaborative decision and then enjoy the ruckus that follows.

Today was no better. At one stage the conversation trailed off to an area to which my team is hardly related. Standard Operating Procedures. Ok, we are related to it in the form that we have to follow the SOP's but thats about it. Read it, sign it, follow it. I personally have nothing more to do with it. Some of them I personally feel are too bothersome and make a mountain out of a mole. But whats there is there. If you have to make any amendments you need to pass through many layers of management (and QA). By the time its approved my grand-children will be in college.

Now there happens to be one such SOP which makes a certain process for our validation team 5 times what it should be. So some brilliant soul says, "We need an amendment." More discussions of what the amendment should be follows (by now I have found a very comfortable seat behind my Director, have my laptop out and am checking my schedule for the rest of the day). Somewhere I can hear someone say, "We need someone to volunteer for the amendment." That sentence had not yet registered in my head when suddenly this familiar voice speaks up, "Apoorva and myself will work on it and take care of it."

My eyes focus on this girl who is on my team. My own team getting me in trouble!! Even worse, I am the lead of that team. I really didnt know some people in my team hate me so much! Everyones looking at me and smiling. Its more of that, "relieved it was not me" smile. My Director who has always been ever-ready to have me as a volunteer says, "Since Lisa (name changed) has volunteered Apoorva and herself, we'll stick to that." Ha! My team member just sacrificed me! All I could say was, "I tried to hide but I guess it wasnt good enuff"

Microsoft Word, Editing, higher management and politically correct English. Here I come!

I forgot to mention, but on a serious note, my team is hiring. Anyone who wants a job on a team where you can put your lead to work, send me your resume and sample code at apoorvajoshi at gmail dot com. It would also help if you have good knowledge of SAS, C++, C#, VB, Web Dev. (HTML/ASP bare minimum), SQL, Oracle. More importantly, we look for passion and for someone who has a will to get things done.

And of course, if you are good at writing SOP's, send me your resume immediately :-)

Thursday, May 12, 2005


When mortals drive to work as the sun rises, majority of them listen to music or news on their radio. I listen to my roomie. Yes, it seems my roomie has a pact with his girlfriend that he will, come what may, talk to her on the phone whilst I drive. I should mention his girfriend happens to be from Europe and carries an European accent. And after months of talking to her, my roomie has also developed an European accent.

Listening to only one side of the conversation can he amusing at times.

Him: Good morning honey-bunny, how are you?

Him: Ohh, what was that....? Whats wrong?

Him: Oh my God, the kids are driving you crazy!
-long pause-

Him: Honey, you need to have different kids. These kids are bad. Can you tell Stacey next time that you want to have less kids?

Maybe I should have mentioned this at the start. His Girlfriend works as a nanny!

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Whats in a Name? - (Part 2)

And now, carrying on from my name dilemmas, this is the second part of "Whats in a Name" by Apoorva Joshi.

Recently I was invited for dinner at a Gujarati family's place. And they made my ever favorite dish - Baingan (Brinjal). Just to let you know, I hate Baingan. I will eat Karela, but no Baingan.

Anyhoo, this is where my belief that I was a Gujju in my last life was also strenghtened. The word Apoo, resembles the Gujju word, - "Aa-poo" which means, "Should I give this to you?" in the literal sense. So when you want to give something to a person and need his/her permission, or need to ask him/her before giving it to him/her, you say "Aa-poo?" Of course, you should point to the object which needs to be given to make things clearer.

Anyways, back to the Gujju party. One thing which rocks is the food. Dal, Dhoklii, Khamand, Jalebi etc. and of course Baingan. Its an art to go around the uncle and aunties who are running around forcing you to eat more and avoiding the baingan. But years of practice has made me perfect. My plate had what I relish and I had the perfect seat, right in front of the TV. Suddenly this unknown auntie popped up before me, looks at me and says "Aapoo?" For a moment I was stunned who she was and how she knew my name. I hate those guessing games when people come to me and ask, "Do you know who I am? I saw you last when you were 2 years old" (seriously, you expect me to remember who you are?).

Anyhoo, I was looking at auntie who had just asked if I was Aapoo. And the first reaction was nodding my head acknowledging the fact that she had the right person. What I didnt realise was she had a bowl full of Brinjals in her hand and she was asking me if I wanted some - "Aapoo?" - (once again, translated to "Should I give this to you?"). Within a second of nodding and saying "Haan", Brinjals were in my plate.

She was pretty shocked when I exclaimed, "No, no, no, not that Aapoo." When everyone came to know I detest Brinjals I was made to eat them. When someone says, "I have made them with my own hands, you'll like them" its difficult to say no.

I went to get some water and some brat of a kid took my seat. Scary faces did not shoo him away. Nor did he exhibit any sympathy towards the sight of me standing in one corner eating Brinjals.

And you thought a name was just a name? Wait till I get to part 3.

On a different note. It involves a local train (as always), it involves nudity (for a change) and it is bloody hilarious.
Bird has finally penned down some more of his thoughts. So those of you who click on this link, let me warn you, the remotest reference made to me is not true!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Whats in a name? - (Part 1)

So I was working out at Bally's (trying to shed weight yet again) when I notice this girl who seems to have noticed me (in simple words: Girl staring at me more than once). I notice such things since they dont happen too often... its like an eclipse. Anyhoo, my hopes were dashed when I realised she was checking out how the machine I was working out on, worked. But when she tried it out, she got it all wrong. So the Bally's Blonde (BB) looks at me with a huge smile.

BB: Am I doing this right?
Me: Nope, probably you wanna raise the seat.
BB: How do you do that?
Me: Lemme show you.

(Pause for a while)

Me: You need to get off the seat for me to raise it.
BB: (Laughs the I am so dumb laugh) Yea, of course!

(Raise the seat, show her what to do)

BB: Thank you so much, do you come here regularly?
Me: I try to.
BB: My names Jennifer.
Me: Apoorva, nice to meet ya.
BB: Huh? What was that?
Me: Apoorva (saying it real slow)
BB: Aproo...
Me: A-poo-rava.

(confused look)

Me: You could just say - Apoo
BB: Aboo?

(By this time I am searching for a dumbell to hit myself with)

Me: No No, Apoo, like A-P-O-O. You know, that chap from the Simpsons.
BB: Oh, I dont watch the Simpsons.

By this time I have done some quick analysis. I dont think I will ever meet her again. If I do, I am sure she wont remember my name. If she does I still wont marry her! So we say our bye-bye's after telling her she should watch the Simpsons because they are COOL!

To be continued...

Saturday, May 07, 2005

My Brain Hurts!

I have been reading incident after incident and now its time to spit venom.

Warning: High emotions ahead.

First, a 14 year old girl
raped in Hyderabad. Then there are acid attacks and other rape cases. Then again, a rape in a hospital where the vicitms eyes are gouged out! BSF trooper shot dead a woman who resisted rape. A maid was raped in Lucknow. A police constable rapes a teen. And a quote in Saamna says "Women should stop wearing revealing clothes." Heck thats the ultimate crap I have ever heard! And it gets my blood boiling.

First, spare a moment and try to feel what these victims might be going through. Its really tough to feel even a small fraction of the pain/anger that they must have felt. Imagine yourself to be related to the victim, a 17 year old girl, who was all bubbly and cheerful about life. She could be your sister or your daughter. And suddenly, she feels like all her dreams are shattered. Now read on.

If the rapist is caught, I say dont sentence him for life. Lock him in a dungeon, get him naked in public everyday for a week. Have him pelted with stones. Let him be an object to vent your frustration on. After that let him suffer for a few days. And then sentence him to death. Something which will instill fear in the next person trying to commit a rape.

And frankly, I dont care what Human rights says. Where the hell were you guys when the rape happened?

Maybe my stance is too harsh and irrational. But sometimes you gotta kill fire with fire. What I said above is not possible. But these guys deserve the severest punishment possible. They should regret every moment they live, beg for death!

And to the guy who said "Women stop wearing revealing clothes" how about a "Men stop staring" instead? I know, its your right to stare (sight). And I think everyone has a right to choose. If women want to wear revealing (which is a very relative word) clothes, its their choice. By telling women that they must adhere to a male-dictated code of public appearance and behaviour, you are disenfranchising them by denying their constitutional right of freedom of choice. You think that poor maid who was raped and faced partial burns due to a cigarette lighter was dressed in a mini-skirt and revealing top? Whats next? Women stop looking beautiful, else you'll get raped?

Why dont you write a "Lets educate, lets kick some corrupt politicians, lets fight corruption?" How about catching these offenders? How about doing something about drunken movie stars driving over sleeping people? Any follow-up's on that incident in Delhi where an ex-army mans grandson drove his BMW over some people? Nanda family was it? How about coming up with a brilliant idea which would change the system? How the hell does this one person from Bihar with more hair growing out of his ears than on his head be in-charge of our railway system. And while thousands are killed in railway mishaps, politicians want a system which will verify that their personal helicopters are serviced regularly and checked for faults! Politics! Politics! Politics!

Give cops higher pay, better vehicles, state of the art devices. Let them be in such a position where you could never dare to bribe them. Reduce the salaries and benefits of politicians. Lets watch how many politicians stick to their posts. How many are passionate about the country and how many are doing it for the money!

Make processes faster. If I am caught for skipping a red light, I should be able to pay the fine off real quick. No long lines. I should be able to post a check to the address mentioned. Maybe pay off the penalty online. I remember once when my car got towed (in Mumbai) for apparently parking in the wrong spot (Janani, if you are reading this, I hope you remember my sad face then). While towing the car off, they scratched some paint off. When I pointed that out, the cop told me I could pay him 100 bucks instead of the 250 and buzz off. When I refused, his threat was I would have to wait in long lines to file a complaint, then claim insaurance, some court chakkar etc. If everything could be a phone call away, I would never feel threatened by what he said!

Look at the system in America. Cops have the best cars (heck, I would love to drive one of those). All laptop, GPS, the works! My cousins car got ticketed and wheel locked for parking without a permit in a particular zone. All we had to do was pay off a $75 fine and the lock was removed from his tyres in half an hour. The other no parking ticket could be paid off online. No scope for corruption or passing something under the table.

Its almost summer time (altho it doesnt really feel like it) and GAP is having trouble coping with the demand in summer clothing. And trust me, summer clothing here is probably more revealing than beachwear in India. As per the Saamna writers theory, rape cases in America should be much much much higher than those in India. I dont have statistics at hand, but I can assure you they are not. And the male of the species is pretty much similiar all over planet earth. So Mr. Writer, I dont think the issue lies so much in the clothing as it lies in the brain!

Somehow the people have got into the impression that they can do wrong and get away scott free. The system needs to change. What frustrates and hurts my brain is not knowing how to change it?

Friday, May 06, 2005

Bracket Karma

I had read this before, it was on my mind and I think its about time.

I write so much (and then I have the habit of putting some comments in brackets (just like this one) and it gets into multiple brackets [sometimes of different sorts] and then they get so many (that I finally lose trace {of how many I opened )}). I keep nesting my thoughts into thoughts!

So here is to my bracket Karma... for all those I forgot to close and all those I'll forget in the future.


I'll keep updating this list as and when I feel its time.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

The Passion of The Apoorva

There are a lucky few, who know about it. Even luckier, who experience it as their career. And the others just spend their lives looking for it, or are ignorant about it. Yeah, passion! Passion is what I am talking about.

Note: The title is picked off directly from The Passion of the Christ. Please dont get the wrong idea that I am indulging in any ego-boosting activities by saying "The Apoorva".

During some casual talk with some colleagues the question came up, "Why do you work?" Many had the obvious answer. For money. Some said to have a better life, stability etc. No one came up with a "I work because I am passionate about this stuff."

Makes me wonder. How many of us are really working for something we are passionate about? When I said you gotta be passionate about what you do, I was laughed at. Half of them didnt know what they were passionate about.

Do I know what I am passionate about? Nope. Or... maybe I do. But I have had countless heated discussions whether its sensible to work for money, or work for passion. I firmly believe if you work in something you are passionate about, money will flow in. Anyone who is making big bucks is invariably working in something he is passionate about. And those who are working in something they are passionate about but hardly make any money, I think they are Happy! How many are there who make a lot of money in something they are not passionate about and end up happy. In the long run, you wont be happy.

I have a friend who walked into my office few days back and proclaimed, "The next job I have will be a $100K+ job." When I probed further, he had no clue what he would like the job to be, just, $100K+ job! Such people scare me! I probably used to be like that few years back. I remember I didnt look into Tata Telecom during their on-campus placements becuase they offered an amount not acceptable to me. I didnt even bother to find out what the job was. Bad move! Thankfully, things have changed.

But I still wonder, what am I really passionate about? Coding? I write code all the time. But I could live without it. Probably. Just about. With a lot of difficulty. but it might not kill me! Once I thought I would enjoy doing just about nothing. Sit around, sleep, eat, sleep. That would be wonderful life. Dont work, just live how I would like to. I tried it. 1 month and I was bored to hell!

One smart chap told me that he is passionate about making money. Heh! This person I know (wont name him) is obsessed about amount of money one can make at gas stations. He worked at a gas station during college days (in New Jersey there is no self sevice. Gas stations need to employ people to fill gas into cars that pull up). He has seen a lot of money there. Says if he loses his job, he will work on a petrol pump. Will never return to India. The day he has enough money, he will buy a gas station. We were at a Benz showroom. The SLK caught my fancy and I mentioned how classy the convertible was. This chap commented that he has filled gas in it once.

My good friend Mask. I have pointed out to
voidfilms in the past (I did the voice for one of those animated characters by the way). True passion. I didnt really see him too bothered about grades. About whether he passes or flunks (mind you, he never flunked). But walk into his room and you are walking into a mini-Disneyland. The walls are painted with life-size figures of Aladdin. There is the flying carpet with the Genie. The princess (I wonder how he could create a woman with a figure like that). And of course, good old Abu. Each life-like, almost 3-D drawings, done by him. When he set off on the project, I thought there goes his room! How wrong I was. On the back of his door are these words engraved in wood - "I will work in PIXAR and win an OSCAR". Pure passion! He went against convention. Shun the career path a B.Sc in Microbiology has to offer. Worked for free. Moved to Pune since it offers more sanity to an artiste (although most of us know what art he is practicing there). Started living in his "Animated World". Today he is the lucky few who lives, breathes and drinks what he is passionate about and never reads my blog!

Of course, passion takes its toll. Hadicaps you mentally. Makes you walk up to your girlfriends mom and say "When can I stop calling you Auntyjee and start calling you Mummyjee." Bird and myself tried to talk him out of this filmi dialogue but not much use. I left India few days after that talk and I haven't heard from Mask since then. I hope Auntyjee agreed in that change of name, else Mask will end up drawing caricatures of her all over!

Like always, I am wavering away from the topic. Asked to choose between passion and money, I'll grab passion anyday. Many people make enough money. Very few make a difference. Those few are people who are passionate about what they do. Once again, I wouldnt mind being in the minority. Which side does your balance tilt?