Friday, February 20, 2009

Can we talk?

I read a lot. Online, off line.

When I used to read books, it was a two way conversation. The authors talked to me, and we were in no hurry.

Now, I read online mostly, and it is a shout out rather than a conversation.

If offline media was intimate conversations over a bottle of red wine when the light is slowly fading, online media is more like speed dating.

What are you saying?

Can I link/retweet/add to FF?

Nice meeting you - lets keep in touch via RSS.

This is the most laid back place I have ever lived. This place offers me refuge from the everyday annoyances which ate up my time in other places.

Why then, am I having the least number of conversations in this city?

By conversation, I do not mean talking and listening. I do that - I love to talk and to listen - and have been lucky enough to meet many people who indulge in that whim of mine.

By conversation, I want us to explore, in the span of few minutes or few hours, about things we have never thought of, experiences we never had, worlds which we never knew existed. I want us to debate and ask questions, to each other and to ourselves. Not all questions need to be answered though, nor we need to design a question for every answer.

I was us, not to care about the food and the drink, not get distracted by the music or the pretty sights around us. Or rather, I want us to get distracted, but only to the extent that it would lead to more conversation.

Now, the nature of such conversations have shifted. It depends on twitter's word count, and on whether you can access Jaiku. The silences which add texture to the conversations have all but disappeared.

And that is why, whenever people produce an invite for casual meetings, I always take it up even if it means having to stress out a bit with the logistics of juggling different conversations. That is exactly why, I get into CIA interrogation mode with many people. I am curious. I want to know. Tell me more.

And that is the reason for me going mute and getting lost inside my head in mid conversation. I am savoring the conversation we had, feeling it, understanding it.

So I thank you; those of you out there, who were kind enough to sit down with me and across me and have a conversation. I thank those of you who blog and are kind enough to share your blogs and thoughts with me about your country and culture. Thank you, to those who disregard the 140 character limit of Twitter and make me feel as if we are sipping hot beverages on a cool spring evening. Thank you to those who tell me their stories, opening my eyes to perspectives and thoughts I never realized existed.

I live in hope, of more interesting conversations to happen.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Wimpette speakth: Erm, about you calling him ugly? Ah. about that...

One of the reasons why I blog so intermittently is because I do not like picking on what others have done or said, and even if I want to, 'Shut the fuck up, you dumbass!' isn't much of a blog post, anyway. And frankly, I am a little (as in short) wimpette, so I use my blog for passive aggressive rants which I'm sure the other person wont read, anyway.

I am a very visual person. It is funny given that I am technically blind without my glasses - may be it is the blindness which had made me appreciate beauty in all its majesty and forms.

Speaking of beauty, how can I not speak of humans? Coming to Helsinki has exposed me to a whole new side of human beauty. The men and women I meet here - from babies to the old, they have broadened my definition regarding beauty. On the roads, I stare at people, at moments of great intensity when a particular tilt or curve of mouth would have made a great picture, told an amazing story, but then was lost. ( Some people I know called it eye raping. I disagree. Its appreciation.)

What is beauty anyway? It is perfect symmetry? If so, then we humans are doomed, as not one of us is born symmetrical. And then again, what is the uniqueness in a perfectly proportioned face? For me, it is just boring.

And that is why, I hate it when people call others ugly. Excuse me? If you are talking about beauty, you have to take in all the details. Instead of telling that her eyes have crows feet around them, look into them and see how they sparkle when she smiles. Instead of telling that he is short, focus please, on that killer smile. Instead of calling another one overly made up, look at her face and see how transparent it is when it comes to her emotions.

Human bodies can be very imperfect. I confess that I like the lean n mean torso on men myself. But human faces, I love them, all of them but with various levels of fascination, each uniquely interesting to me, each a reflection of the life that is being lived - you can call a face cunning, angry, evil, boring, wicked, charming, elegant, piquant, sad, happy, crazy, tired, frightened, brave, phony, disgusting - but ugly?


At least, please do not use that word again. It shows a deep lack of imagination on your part. So, either use the right words to tell me exactly what you feel about a person's face, or Shut the fuck up, you dumbass!

Sigh. I said it, didn't I?

Saturday, February 07, 2009

I just blogged, to say, I miss you...

I miss my friends.

Let me put it in context.

I had a great evening, and I miss my friends.

Of course, I have been meeting new people and making some friends here in Finland. Some nice ones. Some great ones even.

But man, I still miss my friends.

I miss my speed crazy companions who think nothing of going at 120Kmph in peak traffic in Blore. I miss my bike crazy friend who took me to watch the planes land from the highway, and then took me to one of the best bars in Delhi.

I miss my friend who always picked fights with me, matching me insult for insult, scream for scream. We are better friends now that we both passed out of that petri dish called MBA school.

I miss the idiots who would oversleep and forget to pick me up from the railway station. I miss the ones who cancel the predetermined meeting, and then pout when my plans do not turn around theirs. I miss my hug buddies. I miss the cribbers with their deep sighs and ' we are all going to die in the end anyway' attitude. I miss the friends who can and will polish off my food whatever much is left ( sometimes even before I am done). I miss my friends with whom I would get into impromptu wrestling matches.

I miss my friends who can match me drink for drink and take care of me once I am so drunk that I start seeing double. I miss the smokes. I miss the randy jokes that I crack with my friends. I miss being called out on my emotions by people who do not mince words. I miss being able to gossip over food and drink and then go and dance the night away like a gang of dervishes.

I miss going to movies and crying, laughing, heckling and sleeping through them with my friends. I miss going on trips with them, my head out of the car window . I miss reading Mills and Boons aloud in a group and dissolving into peals of laughter and adding exaggerated sounds effects to accompany the text.

I miss my friends who tell me to just have fun and embrace my inner Samantha. I miss my friends who can read my every emotion and casually talk me out of my moodiness. I miss my friends who give me drunk calls in the middle of the night so than we can talk about everything and nothing and whom I drunk dial back. I miss my friends who get scandalized of the things I do, but still, love me with their whole heart. I miss cribbing about Mallu culture and getting knowing, sympathetic nods from friends who have been through similar experiences. I miss going out with my friends, making up plans on the fly, never knowing where and how things are going to end.

Girls and boys, loves of my life, this one is for you.

Did I tell you how much I miss you?