Start me up!

So, the blog hasn’t seen a new post in a long time. I have a valid reason. I am working for a startup. This is the second startup I’m working for and I can safely put up this post.

Here are the things you have to forget when you’re working in a startup:
1. Ego: There’s no such thing as an ego in a startup. People will not recognize your company. The neighbor who shows off about the fortune 500 MNC he works for has won hands down! When you call people on behalf of your company, be prepared to the following reaction: ‘What?!?! What company is that?’ If you deal with college students (especially the snooty variety) be ready to be insulted, rejected and treated with malice. Sometimes people you’ve hired will act like your bosses and throw around attitude. Bear with it and don’t forget to flash that smile. You NEED them!

2. ‘Me’ time: The moment you signed the contract, you sold your soul. Your time is no more your time. You’ve got to bear with your phone tinkling at 2 am, you’ve got to answer it because the world might be coming to an end and you have to sound cordial if not chirpy.

3. Sleep: When you’re in your bed trying to dream of the hot eye-candy you’ve been noticing on a random hoarding on the way to work (that’s your only hope for bird watching!), you remember that you should have sent out another reminder for the upcoming deadline. You manage that with your fancy GPRS and then doze off. But no you must not sleep. When you’re not at work, you have to think about work. Panic attacks, nightmares about files lost and more will keep you away from your beauty sleep.

4. Social life: First up, there’s no time to dress up and all that. Secondly, if you’re working as hard as you are, you have to get some rest! Don’t forget that you’ve got to be at work mentally when you’re not there physically. And the rest of your day is for sleeping(refer to clause 3)

5. Pessimism: Even if you have a slim chance of completing the stuff by the stipulated deadline, you must truly believe that you will finish your work and do a stellar job. Remember, positive attitude can move mountains (so can begging, pleading and sticking to clause 1!)

6. Boredom: It’s hectic, it’s chaotic but you’ve got to love it. With so much to do you better love your job. You can’t survive the crazy chaos if you’ve not got the passion!

Yet another memory!

Birthdays are a whole lot of fun! But most of the times, I end up forgetting the birthdays right on the day of the birthday. Jugal popped up on my Gtalk and asked me how I was. As one would with very close friends, I began to rant about how stressed I was and all that. The gentleman that he tends to be, Jugal continued to talk to me and just when I was about to close the window, I remembered it was the 14th of July!

It was Jugal’s birthday and I was busy cribbing to him. That’s that. I wished him, he said thank you and there was no cake… What non-sense! Anyway while I figure out how to get kanjoos Juggy to part with some cake for me and Sneha, you guys read the story ahead.

It was a rainy day in June. I was driven all the way down from Pune to appear for my personal interview and a group discussion at Vivekanand College. I wanted to get into BMM at Vivekanand even though I had secured my admission at KC. As I took my seat in the classroom, I looked around me. There were absolute strangers and some of them were potential classmates. All of them seemed pretty quiet and reserved. Most of them were science students who were in a limbo with their medical or science admissions. The fellow next to me had the most curious questions ever. We struck a conversation, and soon when the group discussion started, we had a heated debate. ‘This classmate would be fun!’ I thought.

Much later, when the time came to make a decision, I chose KC. I graduated from KC, did my MA and then joined a Yuva. I was pretty excited about being a part of a newspaper launch team. “The initial team is always close knit,” is what the editor said to me. It was true. We spend 10-12 hrs a day together. And suddenly we were told that a new dude from Mid-day was joining us.

Now, our team was already pretty friendly and this guy, was not exactly the friendliest creature on earth. He came and kept doing his stuff and asking us questions and answering ours exactly to the point. We brushed it off thinking he’s just another ‘khadoos’!

Slowly and steadily as we approached the launch, all of us worked closely and got chance to know Jugal better. One day he just asked me casually. “Were you very fat in college?” Yes, I could have smacked the guy right on his face, but I tried focusing on the fact that he was indirectly asking me if I am thin now. He continued. “I think I remember you attending a GD in Vivekanand, but wasn’t sure it was you.”

Wham! The realization struck me. I had met Jugal before and he was that inquisitive and possibly fun classmate. Now we were team mates. As time passed, we realized that our initial impressions about Jugal were wrong. He was very reserved but when he considered you a friend, he was right there for you.

He will crack the silliest joke when you’re talking to him about a ‘dharam sankat’, he will be brutally honest and he’ll ask questions to which you may not have answers. That’s Jugal. I, Sneha and he hung out back in our ‘Yuva’ days, and we continue to hang out together today. We discuss human rights, politics, sports (sneha and jugal talk, I listen) or films with a passion. We plan trips to Matheran (though they are cancelled at the very last minute). We are the trio- and sometimes I do wonder if I’d have ended up in Vivekanand BMM and Jugal and I were classmates, would we still be the thick buddies we are today? I don’t have the answer but I have the buddies, so who cares anyway!

PS: Jugal… Now can I have that cake?

Home Sweet Home

What are dream homes made of? That’s a question I often ask myself. Swanky high-rise, plush marble floors, ample rooms, snazzy decors, location, neighbourhood, blah blah. While all those things are cool, they wouldn’t exactly compose my dream home. And I realise that no matter how many of those things you get right, your home will still be one-step short of being a dream home… Why you ask? Yeh hai Bombay, yeh hai Bombay, yeh hai Bombay meri jaan!

 

Okay let me give you my example. I live with my parents (what, it’s normal in India for a 24 yr old girl) and they bought this house back in the 80s.

 

Its a five minute drive to Dad’s office, it was housed in an old building that boasted of Scottish architecture, Italian mosaic floors and a brown-tiled roof. We were housed on the top floor, with humongous rooms and loads of airy windows. For the toddler in me, it was a great wide space for hiding and seeking. The building had a nice garden that was promptly taken over by Mum. There’s 2 schools and 4 colleges within a walking distance. There are two vegetable markets in the area, both are a 5-10 minute walk. The station is a 15 minute walk and there’s a bus-stop right under with over 20 buses connecting us to the city! Brilliant.

 

The house has few rooms but they are big and spacious. Me and my sister, have taken over the attic. We have our tiny little den cut off from the rest of the house, every teenager’s dream come true!

 

So yes, I live in my dream house. I have my parents to thank. I love it that it takes me 25 minutes to get to work on a great day and 45 on bad day! I love it that I can reach anywhere in the city in 40 minutes (on an average! Don’t ask me how long I’d take to come to Yaari road!)

 

But… there’s a catch. The area I live in is the quieter side of the town. We have few multiplexes, and even fewer restaurants around. Me and the sister are adventurous with cinema and food, and our area does little to cater to that. Most of the restaurants within a 20 minute reach are fantastic, but they’ve been here ages and we know the menus inside out!

 

India, especially Mumbai, is getting global. We’ve got world cinema releasing in our theatres, we have cuisines of the world being offered on the menus (dude! The quality is really bad and if you want the real thing, be ready to cough up an entire month’s salary!) and of course we have interesting brands coming to our malls.

 

That makes Mumbai such a vibrant city doesn’t it? Of course, but all that happens in the suburbs of Mumbai. The world cinema is released at a late night show in a theatre far far away. At the end of a tiring day at work, I don’t feel like taking a drive down through the mad-mad homeward bound traffic. And the parents don’t exactly feel great about us daughters being out in a film till 1 am and then driving back home.

 

Every week, the newspapers recommend new restaurants, new pubs. I see what’s on offer and I say, “I am going there!” Then I look to the bottom of the review and read Malad, Andheri (W), Goregaon and Mulund and the enthusiasm just pipes down. I don’t mind driving all the way, but then the prospect of spending 2 hours stuck in traffic listening to Emraan Hashmi films’ songs lifted from some Chinese musicians doesn’t excite me at all!

 

BIGFlix, the new DVD rental service on the block, has my list of dream movies, but guess what, they don’t have a single outlet remotely close to my area! And they have a rocking network in the suburbs. Result: I don’t get prompt service from them nor can I go and demand movies L

 

It is times like these when I start to think about moving to the suburbs. Life is vibrant there. With the new restaurants, funky theatres, new services offered and a plethora of pubs and clubs, I believe that the true spirit of Mumbai is out there. I share this with a friend who lives in the suburbs and she goes, “You mean you want to eat at new restaurants and watch crazy films from countries I haven’t heard of and for that you’re ready to switch places! Sounds good I don’t mind living in your exotic building, walking to work everyday and chilling….”

 

The grass is always greener on the other side! For now, I will settle for the green grass on the Parsi Gymkhana lawns that I can see from my window…

June Songs

So June has come and gone. I have been blogging heavily and just reading through the past posts makes me realise that I can revisit my life anytime. So I am going to put down stuff that needs to be maintained (Remember my worry that my memories might go?)

So here’s how my past month was:

Mood: more or less mad

Work: it was a busy month. Had the CJ contest and a whole lot of other stuff to organise

Happiness: I appreciate the lovely time with the sister while the parents were on vacation. The sister has finished her Ogilvy internship and we’ve had a whole new wardrobe courtesy parents’ trip to UK.

Music: I was into a lot of radio, but I also managed to organise the 9000 songs on my computer, so there was a lot of Simon and Garfunkel. I love listening to happy and mellow love songs. The monsoon called for it. Also, absolutely tripped on Kabhie Kabhie Aditi from Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Na.

Friends: Sneha, Jugal came over to eat food cooked by moi. Om joined us too… a lovely evening J Pannu started working with Kuku and man I am excited about the fact that she’s working with someone I thought was hot on screen…. Hehe… I am so filmy! Satam has had a rough patch with her Dad being unwell, but she will bounce back and uncle will be up and about soon.

Reading: I read chick lit through June. First I endured How Opal Mehta Got Kissed… and then I read Salam Paris by Kavita Daswani. They were a good brush through. But right now, I m right in the middle of The Secret by Rhonda Byrnes and I am loving it.

Dreams: There have been mad dreams, some feel good, some shocking and some just about forgettable.

Movies: Sarkar Raj, Sex and the City and Indiana Jones are the movies I saw at a theatre. I revisited many movies through the month on telly. I revisited Bicycle Thieves in the last week of June and it touched me just as deeply. Me and Nani also caught Sideways, which too the meaning of ‘wine’ to whole new level. Of course, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai was revisited too.

Disappointment: I was very excited about my BIGFlix membership but their service has really let me down. I hope they pull their act together, so I can watch more movies and be happy J

Hope: I’ve learnt to enjoy my family’s indulgence in the idea of my wedding. It gives them joy and I think the joy’s rubbing off me too…

Love: I want it but whenever it comes on its own… Meanwhile, I am in love with the idea of love…. *smiles*

Achievement: I saw my pictures from a couple of years ago. I’ve lost a lot of weight, I definitely dress better and I am happy about that. But I m happy knowing that I was happy with the tomboy I was too! Nanu, thanks for inspiring me to kick the fat off…

Favourite place: Five gardens. Walking there soothes me. I owe it to the iPod

Food: I have indulged this month. Right from chicken hot n sour soups to tuna subs… I ate it all. Loved cooking the squid ink pasta and totally loved eating at Open Affair at Bandra. The food was strictly okay but it was a windy day by the sea… Wonderful ambience.

I am a sucker for meat but I have enjoyed vegetarian food through most of the month and I’m loving it.

Dance: Banana Bar, random music with Om. Thanks for coming back to Mumbai brother…

Talk: Sneha and Nani- heavy discussions about life, people and more… Love them both…

Wanted to: Spend more time with Pannu… July will be the month