Saturday, April 25, 2009

On health and stress....

I went through a lot of bad shit, health wise, from Sept to Nov 2007. Was hospitalized 4 times in these 3 months, with extremely weird symptoms which scared the shit out of me and my family. Doctors couldn't figure out what it was, and hence they poked and probed most parts of my body and put me through a host of exotic tests, and they still couldn't figure it out. As specialists discussed and debated every new possibility that was thrown up, stuff like vit b12 deficiency, heart trouble, pulmonary embolism, neurological disorder etc, I couldn't help thinking what kind of future lay ahead for me, or whether there was gonna be a lengthy future at all..!

By Gods grace I pulled out of all that unharmed. When I was down I kept thinking about how I had abused my body with junk food and a pathetic lifestyle, and how I will turn a new leaf, so to say, when I recover. Turns out, its been almost one and a half years since, and I am still doing a lot of the same wrong shit which got me in the mess to begin with. I sure dont want another jhatka to help me come to my senses. In the coming months I'm gonna focus much more on moving towards a healthier lifestyle.

I also spent a lot of time thinking about all the superficial meaningless stuff that I spent so much time bothering about. 'High stress levels' was the one common point all docs seem to agree upon. It seemed so funny. I have a good life, really nothing to complain about. Fantastic family, great friends, decent earning, all comforts, etc etc. And yet I was stressed out. So if I already have all the things that really matter, what was I running after?

My bro told me I had lost all my joyfulness and playfulness that I had when I was younger. Somewhere down the line I had become too serious, too uptight, wound up, maybe even angry. I had convinced myself that I had a lot of responsibilities to shoulder and things to prove. And this was not unique. We see this so often amongst our friends and colleagues. Perhaps we're taking life too seriously. Far too seriously. Quasi and Rashmi helped me a lot in getting out of this mindset. I still have a long way to go, but I'm so visibly more relaxed and happy now. A lot has changed and I'm thankful to Q and R. I'm really having fun now!! :-)

Anyways, I wrote this in Oct 2007 during my lowest point mentally and physically, which is why it is kinda extra-cynical. :-) Just wanted to share the thought with you, though... All said and done, cant help feeling that sales is quite enjoyable, to a point, and a nice deal cracked does give a fantastic kick! :-)


Confessions of a sales-guy....

Well this is gonna be quite an exercise
On whether i can still rhyme; or otherwise!

My rythms all rusted and wit unused
Creativity has just been a word abused

For i spend it all on client meetings
On instant smiles and beamed-out greetings

"Sir you really have a beautiful office!"
or "Our competition can never ever top this!"

I talk about a beautiful long-term relation
While trying not to work out the SIP calculation :-)

"Ha Ha! Sir that was a really good one!"
& "more benefits? why not! consider it done..."

Constant agreements and contrived pleasantries
Smile on the face; both eyes on the proc fees

We're selling to the clients & then selling to credit
We're selling to the boss, "look how i did it!"

Sitting at home, watching television
While the brains churning out a pipeline revision

Instead of pretty ladies with bodies perfected
My dreams are now full of all clients prospected

Amid songs of collateral values and ageing of debtors
I'm down on my knees proposing with sanction letters!

In this chasing of numbers, this whole wild rush
Am i forgetting myself a wee bit too much?

Chill out, old buddy! You've a long way to go!
Whats the point of a great act if you dont last the show???

So i'm gonna sit more often with my pen and my paper
And try to put together, a song or a caper

I've no idea whether i'll be able to write
But with some beer and some music, i just possibly might! :-)

- Vivek Rao


Oh, glorious weekend....

Its a beautiful saturday afternoon. I've planted my lasy arse in our most comfortable armchair, and its been there for a couple of hours now. This is what i love about saturdays. They seem to stretch on.... Knowing that even tomorrow is a holiday is such an lovely feeling!! You know there are hours and hours to go before you have to don the stupid formals and tie again, and you can actually begin to unwind.

I always seem to get monday blues from sunday afternoon onwards. Sundays are bloody deceitful. They promise a full 24 hours, but seem to vanish in something like 12! And then desperately attempting to enjoy the last few hours of an ever dwindling weekend are hardly conducive to chillaxing.... :-)

I try not to let saturdays be productive in any way. It is near sacrilege to list up chores and tasks to finish when you can actually stretch out in a cool spot for hours and try to out-stare a friendly gecko on the ceiling. Then there are movies to watch (400 GB's of good movies waiting on my hard drive), and reading to catch up on.

Just started reading The Secret by Rhonda Byrne, but my eyes keep returning to The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami on my bookshelf, that Ubaid has heartily recommended. Have been thinking of reading that one for some time now.

Anyone looking for some soft, soul reading must try Stretching Lessons by Sue Bender. Its an amazing book that really speaks to you. Its a book to read slowly, and contemplate upon. Come to think of it, the last 3 books i've read were slow ones; its time i pick up something fast and exciting. Maybe Haruki will have to wait a while. I've read just the first book of the Bourne series (i know, i know, thats shameful), and perhaps The Bourne Supremacy will be perfect, once i'm done with The Secret.

Well, i've typed for 15 minutes now, and thats the max exertion i'm planning for today. It is time for my weekend afternoon can of Kingfisher, and then some sleep. Adios amigos!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Sleepfully yours,

Its a frighteningly boring day at office today. Frightening because we just had a sales review meeting in the morning today, and the numbers were looking really bleak. So with an overcast mood on a bright sunny day, I returned to my desk with a resolve to get things moving. But seems like today is one of those days when you just cant help feeling lethargic no matter what you do. Haven't slept much last night, and am feeling damn sleepy. Tryin to stay awake by chatting with chana and typing this post.

I usually have great trouble fighting sleep during trainings and product presentations. Dunno what it is about these things, but i get instantly sleepy. And sometimes the speakers just drone on and on giving gyaan. I sleepily worry about getting caught, then imagine how the speaker must be gettin pissed seeing my glazed eyes and my intermittent and untimely nods and shakes, and then i get this unbearable urge to giggle. Though i snortle and choke over my suppressed laugh into momentary wakefulness, i'm in deeper shit by now as many eyes stare at me. Thankfully its not long before i'm half snoring again.

I'd written this during a ghastly presentation on some system integration, as a desperate attempt to stay awake:



i dunno what he's tellin me
at absolutely random moments
i nod my head all knowingly

eyes are heavy, sinkin fast
i force them open time to time
the murmers are now homogeneous
cant make out a single line

oops! did i just jerk awake?
how long was i jus nodding off?
the talking guy is starin hard
i nod rapidly, squirm and cough

its a losing battle; not bravely fought
sleep is a bitch with stealthy charms
may i stretch out 'tween the chairs for a while?
i'm desperate to throw down arms...

- Vivek Rao


First post....

After just a few years of procrastination, i finally get down to my first blog post....!! As often as my lazy arse will allow me to, I hope to accumulate here some random scribblings, abstract thoughts, and by freak chance maybe even a few piddle-drops of wisdom!! :-D

I've wanted to do this for long, and i'm happy to begin. Ganapati Bappa Morya!!

Luke warm beer...... It signifies a kind a pessimistic / sarcastic humour-tinged take on life. A tone similar to SSDD (same shit different day!). It also signifies the sobering effect of practical realities on perfect happiness.

Allow me to elaborate. When i was in college, my definition of heaven was pretty simple.....a steady supply of amazing, chilled beer, accompanied by hot pakora's or bhurji to hog on. But then i fkd up my throat and was confronted with an apalling choice; i had to quit beer or.....gasp!.....drink it at room temperature. So its been more than 7 years now that i'm drinking luke warm beer. Over the years it has actually stopped tasting like bottled urine and I get the same old wonderful feeling seeping through my body and soul when the first delicious mouthfuls get in.

But even though i've sort of made my peace with this luke warm beer, there are times when a waiter will look at me like i'm nuts, and shaking his head, fetch a sun-heated bottle from the window display. And then my eyes close, and like a streaker at a tennis game, that long smothered memory of an icy tingle on my tongue slips through the guards, and i say, what the fuck......