Yet each man kills the thing he loves,
By each let this be heard,
Some do it with a bitter look,
Some with a flattering word,
The koward does it with a kiss,
The brave man with a sword!"
                     oscar wilde , the ballad of reading gaol

When was the last that I thought of you...I know not...but am I the one who goes alone on this path...and should I but care only a little for the souls that follow or those as march ahead?

Mode C is a way of life, perhaps my way of life: C for Cool, C for Cold, C for Chaos, C for Calvin. Ultimately, all of it boils down to the way you look at things. Are they not how they are but just how they appear?? No...and yes...Almost all the seriously critical fundamental concepts of life...aren't they just the bogies under Calvin's bed that he is afraid of? Miss Wormwood, Susie, Mom and Dad, and of course above all, Hobbes...aren't they all merely the means that he uses to attack these bogies?

Reflecting on 'living the Calvin way', I have started to believe that life and our reaction to it can only be explained by a number of Calvin and Hobbes strips combined together. The philosophy, as I like to call it, is to know that you are not alone. It is not just my perspective alone that is going to help me fight my bogies. I will be able to inch towards the Calvin way only when I perceive the other perspectives on my way.

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My Past
Loyola High School Patna
Delhi Public School RK Puram
Institute of Technology BHU
Infosys Technologies Ltd
IIM Kozhikode

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Kotak Mahindra Bank Ltd.

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Movie Reviews at Mode C

Kabhi Alvida Na Kehna
Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire
Batman Begins
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Mr. & Mrs. Smith
Bunty aur Babli
Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith
Veer Zaara
Phir Milenge
Kyun! Ho Gaya Na
Mujhse Shaadi Karogi
Spider Man 2
Main Hoon Na

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Stay Hungry Stay Foolish
The Inscrutable Americans
Harry Potter - Half-Blood Prince
The Monk who sold his Ferrari
Angels and Demons
Life of Pi
The Da Vinci Code
The Tristan Betrayal

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Friday, February 25, 2011

It is a strange phase of life to be in. Ever since I moved to Mumbai, I have been fortunate in getting to stay with family since Priya was also posted in the city. She has had a big influence in my life right from when we were kids and she used to somehow convince me to do all the right and wrong things exactly the way she wanted them to be done. I had branched out since then and throughout my stay in various hostels and cities and friend circles, developed my own quirks. As we started staying together (for the first time since we were kids) about 3 years ago, Priya must have found it difficult to reconcile to the changed persona of her brother...not that she didn't fact, she would be at her wit's end trying to make me do things a particular way or stop me from doing them in another. At some occasions she succeeded, at others she failed...thankfully, the ones she succeeded in also included convincing me to purchase my flat which has been the most logical investment decision I have ever happened to make.

Now that Priya is married and I am staying alone (she stays just a couple of flats away but living separately all the same and it is quite different), things are slowly taking a turn. Most of the evenings she does drop in or I go to her place for dinner, but mostly it is "main aur meri tanhaai" that inhabit the flat that Priya had so painstakingly and lovingly helped build. Knowing her, I was sure that she would get over it and start to build her own home the way she wants and she has done exactly that. In the process however, I have remained constant...without change, stuck in some sort of a limbo.

I would so love to have my parents come and stay with me and not many months pass before I bring back this topic with them. However, it is not to be as of the moment and I understand their point of view. Getting uprooted from where you have spent so many years of your life and moving to a completely new place with more strangers than acquaintances is not really easy...getting into the perils of settling in a new work place has been stopping so many of us from resigning from our existing jobs...things are no different there. So I am alone in this big bad city and it sucks. As it is, I am not of the partying around town age (not that I ever was) and as such, the merits of living in a bachelor pad all alone in a city like Mumbai are lost on me. Friends are great, work is fine, movies, plays and musical concerts are aplenty but it is not the same...not at all.

The one solution that everyone (really everyone, right from uncle, aunts, and their fifth cousins) has been doling out in good measure is the "get married" one. I know it is about time and a lot of friends would be more than happy to tell me just how much about time it is...given that since last June, I am already in the fourth decade of my existence on earth :-). I also know that it may solve to a large extent, the situation that I find myself in. Not that getting married would have me hitting all the party spots in town but at least there will be company and who knows what we might make of it. Plus it's not as if you decide to go the marriage path one day and get married the next. There is a whole lot of process here too and I have no idea as to how long it may take. This process, too is so complicated and you never know how much of yourself to expose and how soon. Ideas of honesty and frankness appear good on paper but practical stuff may be completely different. You never know if and when you know enough about someone and you never know if and when you should let out enough of you for someone to know who you really are.

And thus I keep marriage the only solution or one that is sustainable? I am not too sure considering there are things that need to really click even post marriage in order to build the same degree of closeness that one has with family. All of it will take time and will happen in due course, marriage, settling in...the works...but the question is whether till then or beyond then, it is going to be all morose and isolated or can I make it better? I am sure that there are ways of making it better, it is just that the effort required does not seem to be worth it. The languid inertia that I find myself in seems to be taking a lot of doing to be lifted up.

Right, so now that we have all of this sorted (or unsorted...depends on the way you look at it), let's move on to more interesting stuff. The World Cup is underway and despite a pretty lackluster first week, it is getting into the more interesting phase where the bigger teams clash with each other. Tickets have been impossible to get, TV coverage is not too bad and considering that the IPL follows, I think that the bug I have been talking about thus far is covered as of now. So cheers to ghuma ke :-)

Posted at 12:55 pm by Nitai

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Friday, January 28, 2011
Keeping busy

It is sheer boredom and the fact that I can postpone whatever little is occupying me at work currently, that I am here on the blog. What a waste, really that it has come to this! Started out as something that would record my life the way I see it, that would note my observations, feelings, thoughts, and ideas...Mode C was meant to be so much more but it was all of this only once upon a time. I have been busy since then and more than that, have been enjoying reading stuff online too much to bother about writing any.
There have been many things that have happened since I last wrote which is to be expected given the last time I wrote a post was some 7 months ago. My sister got married, I finally graduated from the small car to the mid-big sized car segment, the team I manage at work grew to five really smart people (Well...four smart ones, excluding me), I went on a regular exercise - good food course, went off it and saw myself bloat, and have now been back on the course again.
All these apart, the world is the same place as it was with its share of the strange and the mundane, joys and sorrows...the killings and plunderings co-existing with the winnings and achievements. With Manoj entering the family and Priya moving on to complete the family of her betrothed, I get a lot of time to sit alone and introspect...not too much of it though, considering that Priya continues to stay in the same building, even on the same floor as I do (which is a blessing, really).
Whatever little time I do get though, is spent on some good deal of mental reasoning, idea formulation, rationalizing and cross-questioning of thoughts, and at times, even their dissolution. Random thoughts...will India win the world cup for Sachin or vice versa...what is the purpose of my life, just to make a living, reproduce and die or to actually create something that carries my name and legacy and when will I be able to convince my parents to come and stay with me the IPL only a random money making, extravagance showing game for the rich-beyond-means or does it bode well for the sport of cricket...and does it really matter as long as I am entertained not just by the cricket but also by the disgusting show of financial muscle...who and how would my life partner turn out to be and is it right to go the route of arranged marriage with no background or compatibility check possible and does it really matter...when would my venture finally see the light of day, if at all and what would it be like, the multimedia restaurant or the Home Office or the Fin Mart or something completely different...
There are no clear answers. Heck, there aren't any clear questions in the first place. All that's there is time, more than I can gainfully employ. I do keep randomly spending it quite nicely though. There have been some really good concerts that I have been to recently (the morning and evening concerts at Janfest on the 26th of Jan were specially nice and brilliant, of course, was also the time when both Manish and I lost our hearts to Gwyneth Wentink, the Harp player from Netherlands). I need to start getting back to theatre...participation may not be very active but at least as an audience...and when will I finally be able to play the guitar well (the three month lessons during my summers in Cal are all but forgotten)
I must catch a movie today. Keeping busy certainly helps.

Posted at 12:56 pm by Nitai

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Thursday, June 10, 2010
A milestone crossed

As I sat down to write the invitation for my 30th birthday party (yes, I had one...a good one), there were several things that were going through my mind. On one side, there was the apprehension about what this new decade would bring with it, while on the other, memories of the 10 years that just went by, played in my head. The dread was setting in and so was the excitement. By the time I had finished writing the senti invite and the parody of a follow-up to it, one thing became abundantly clear to me...I was never going to be able to choose one over the other, and at least for the 9th of June 2010, it was going to be a heady mix of fear and anticipation.

So many things happened over the last ten years (considering they constitute one-third of my life, hardly a surprise) that it is difficult to really mark out anything particular and let go of the others. Most importantly, I became a qualified engineer and a manager in the last decade, which also witnessed, amongst other things, my first job, first love, first heartbreak, the adventures of MBA, my first car, a death-defying accident, big money...the list is endless.

In fact, after the rather quiet teenage spent in the safe and sheltered environs of my maternal household in Patna, the 20s were when I really became independent. From learning to cook for myself to mastering bikes (despite the accident, I actually rode them well) and cars, I was much more free with myself, much less encumbered with what repercussions any act of mine would carry. The mindset changed from a shy, small-towner to someone who has been there, done that. The attitude became full of confidence, so much so that it became a trait that marks my personality today (or so I would like to believe).

Things evolved and so did I, forming my individuality, letting go of imbibed traits or holding on to them and making them my own. There were a lot of imperfections, lot of apprehensions, instances where I was down in the dumps and others where I was right up there. All this, however, will probably happen in the coming decade as well but maybe not as frequently. At 30, I would like to believe that most of the attributes that were to shape my character are already in place and while there would be additions and deletions, they will be few and far between.

So what do I expect of the coming 10 years? I don't know really, except that additional responsibilities will come in, the family shall expand and new relationships formed, it will be time to take the plunge and leave the cushion of a well-paying job, and at the same time, get hold of and enjoy the worldly luxuries for my family and myself. I don't want to wait for the 40's to come for me to get to all this and make all these decisions. I just hope that I am fortunate (as I have been over the last 10 years) and strong enough to stick to plans and make this most important part of my life really sing.

Posted at 11:18 am by Nitai

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Thursday, March 04, 2010
Back again

I had almost given up on the blog after what happened last time I tried to write something. There was also this thing that is popularly called writers' block that I had hit and I hardly knew what to write or even had the enthusiasm to try finding out things that were interesting enough to recount to those who still read this space. Habit, however, as they say, is a leech and so I am back here with yet another update. If I offend someone or something by what I write (both here down below or anytime in the past or future), I am unconditionally apologetic but that is the best that I can do.

So, what have I been up to all these days? Let me see, I have watched a lot of movies for a first. Unfortunately, none of them have excited me enough to want to write a review. Whether it is the idyllic Ishqiya or the message-heavy My Name Is Khan, the thought-provoking Up In The Air or the different Karthik Calling Karthik, or even the visual marvel Avatar, I may have liked or disliked them but not really loved or hated any of them enough to warrant a blog post.

Holi just went by and was awesome because Papa and Mummy were here to celebrate it with us at the new house (this is the first Holi here). They are here for another week or so and plan to go after Papa and I go to watch the inaugural IPL (Indian Premier League) cricket match at the stadium on the 12th. The times when parents are home are such blessings, one looks forward to going home from work and spending weekends out of bed with so much more enthusiasm. Priya, my sister, does manage to keep me on my toes even otherwise but hard as she may try, poor thing can never match the impact that Papa and Mummy have.

Life is chugging along just fine and I am in one of those phases of mine where even if I am not really excited about the way things are going, I am pretty content and that, I believe, is more than half the battle won. I like my friends, am reasonably stable financially and do not hate my work even though I have form and content issues (more content than form, if you know what I mean)

Work, as I said, is getting slightly complicated with the mid-work-life crisis showing its face yet again. As a practice so far, I have not spent exactly 22 months with each of my previous assignments, 22 months at Infosys, another 22 at Kotak Wealth, Delhi as a Relationship Manager, and as you may have guessed by now, I have completed 22 months in Mumbai at Kotak Wealth. So is it time to start something new (as the logo of Shoppers Stop, the company in which my sister works, says)? I am not too sure but what I am sure of is that I need to be prepared for some tough questions from both sides during the upcoming appraisal.

Appraisal reminds me of something Jassi (colleague and dear friend) showed me this morning. It was the status update of a friend of his related to appraisal which pointed to the dialogue of one of the few classic Hindi Film Industry's comedies, Andaz Apna Apna. The dialogue goes like this (and reads beautifully if the context with which you are reading it is the appraisal process):

bbbbba .... bolna kya tha chup kara diya
unka ek ek sawal, mere do do jawab
sawal ek ... jawab do

chupppp...lambi khamoshi

Posted at 04:01 pm by Nitai

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Thursday, December 24, 2009
The Blogger's curse

I am extremely sad and hurt, and not for the first time because of my blog.

It is something that seems to be so inexplicable initially but once you think about it, all of it starts making sense. The writing of a blog is, in my opinion, all about putting down your feelings and emotions in a manner to which you will be able to relate, some time in the future when you go back to the blog and reminisce about the days gone by.

In the process, however, one tends to write of memories the way they came about, not shrouding them in any manner of propriety. In conjunction with this, if one also names people in the blog, it no longer remains mere memories associated with one's own self or actions. The interpretations start coming in, scope becomes broader and the probable impact of the written word is deep rooted.

Reminded of the same today through some context, I was made to realize that in the communication age of the present, reference checks for jobs, opinion formation by friends and so much more happens through an online search for a name that a casual remark in a blog can cause much unintended harm.

I appreciate this and have made necessary corrections. However, what still beats me is the indelible impact the writings can have on an individual and my relationship with the individual.

Is it not correct, then, to write about things in a lingo which was so common and acceptable in the context and settings the memories are from? Are things so far removed that the banter of yesteryears is being taken as the slander of today? Why does a mere play on words have to be taken as an expression of opinion that does not even exist? How can the blogger express his feelings such that no one is able to look at it so dispassionately, dissect it line by line, and yet not be able to read between the lines?

I am, definitely, extremely sad and hurt.

Posted at 01:36 pm by Nitai

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