Friday, June 29, 2012

Her Story

Heart out of the loop – No fuzzy logic – Make movements as a snail – Brains, yes but not just that – Genuineness and Unpretentiousness: figure it out – Help yourself as much as you can. Some narratives I told myself. Is that appropriate? – Does that cross the normal i-m-only-interacting-to-get-to-know-you bond?. Some questions I asked myself every now and then. Delight – Enigma – Aura – Specifics and the likes. Some things I thought I looked out for.

The longest video chat till that day was a little more than an hour long and was the only time when He spoke for half of the stipulated time, otherwise it is always me who exploits the time, especially during the VC's [Vivid Chats :)]. Setting up records like a 2hr+ chat, 500+ lines on gtalk, gruelling discussions on what 'blushing' actually meant, if tinch and tint were different, what was an EXIF data (for a novice like me), what was the deal with cannibalization, news and facts and information, hell loads of other stuff which made things look interesting, if not more. That's it, it was the start and I looked for nothing more as an answer.

I listened to this tune many times (it was the first audio shared by him and he has not shared too many), trying to identify it but have not been successful, as yet. Both the video and the audio are His and were shared at different points of time. I have put them together; do let me know if you find some familiarity to the tune.

Deep dive!

There could have been a paragraph for everyday like writing a journal but this incident needs a special mention. He has his own versions of Polorama Generator, Sudoku Solver, Accounts Handler, etc. Once I was explaining to him a problem that we as friends have faced from time to time, which occurs when a lot of us go out and have to come out with a mechanism for dividing the expenses as not everyone avails the same facilities and some have their special preferences. He understood the problem quite fast, in fact liked it and came out with a Expense Splitter tool and it is fantastic to say the least. I did not like the colours used in the tool and the fact that he used someone else's voice to welcome and bid good-bye to the user in the tool (Edit: That someone else's voice is her own laptop's voice!) but keeping these little (important if I'm going to call them anything, he might make my head oscillate from left to right) things aside, it splits all kinds of transactions that I can think of. A snapshot of the same :). The audio is his choice (I only converted it into a .mp3 file - hehe) and the creativity with the video is definitely His.

Splitting made easy!

As you are now aware that the Superpartners met for the first time in KTM (his home city) and there were some rules laid out before our trip (it was me and 4 of my family members who visited Him and His family)

  • Do not carry the Indian currency notes worth Rs.500 and Rs.1000

  • Have your passports ready (2 of us did not have one when I had booked the tickets and one of the passports arrived just a day before the start of our trip)

  • Wear all the jewellery that you are carrying and have none in the bags

  • No silver or gold coins; might wish to carry a few in the pockets

I was too excited to research about Nepal or KTM or anything related as I generally do but at the end of the trip, I realized that I had learnt a few more things – that the population is close to 3 crores, that there are cities like Biratnagar, Birgunj, Pokhara, Dharan other than the capital city of KTM, that only KTM has an international airport, that V is pronounced as B there, that air-crashes happen because of the hilly terrain and the aircrafts face difficulty while landing, that one of the identification letter in the licence plate of your car is equal to the remainder of the 4-digit number divided by 33/36, that it attracts a lot of tourists, that Wai-Wai is manufactured in Nepal, that 100 INR are equivalent to 160 NPR, that there are just too many schools in the capital city and a lot of temples.

I enjoyed the ride from the airport to His home looking out at a new city, which appeared old and not so well-planned (very much like most of the cities in India). As we reached his home, I climbed up the stairs to the 2nd floor (as I was told) too much in a hurry (I had wanted to ask him as to why did he not come to the airport but I did not. I was simply very excited), leaving everyone behind and waved a 'Hii' that might have appeared like two childhood friends meeting after a long time or 'Where were you this long, now lets not waste time and get to work'. There was a beautiful cake arranged (wish I had eaten a little more of it) and that marked the start of a very polished hospitality.

N (one of my new nephews) was happy after meeting me and I was equally happy (though could not express it to my fullest as people don't take expressing emotions too positively in the Indian context). I met the very cute Happy (she is a Pomeranian) who barked a lot during my first evening at their place but was calm and sober the next day. We did not become friends (there is a reason I later figured out – I called her 'he' during our muted conversation) but I sat with her for quite sometime and tried explaining who I was and why I was there. Happy is 2 years younger in the photograph. A special mention goes to R (a cousin of his) who clicked this one.

Interested!

It was too hot and everyone could feel the heat but He was the worst affected of all. He reacted like an open wound would to an acid. Looking at the sweat oozing out of his body, I wondered if I would see him dehydrate and faint. Glad that that did not happen and He handled the warm (Edit: Blisteringly HOT) conditions somehow.

Pashupatinath Temple was nice and warm. There were commercial spaces around but not as much as you would see in an ISKCON (those places are the examples for heights of commercialism). The architecture was perfectly Indian and I was reminded of Mahakaleshwar for some of the resemblances that the place offered. Don't know why but I was expecting some Buddhist monasteries (Edit: You were right to expect. It just happened that we 'avoided' those roads!). I recall an incident as we were entering the main temple where one of the Pundits was reading some verses from a book and my sister asked which language it was. Instead of saying that I felt it was one of the three South Indian languages (obviously not Tamil), I blurted out Telugu and it turned out to be Kannada. I felt like slapping myself for having stayed in the South of India for good 10 years and still having difficulties in identifying one of the (only) 4 languages.

Garden of Dreams was unlike other parks. It was very well maintained, the grass and plants well-kept and everything perfectly organized. We were expecting less humans (as so is the case it seems) but found good number of them around (it was the weekend time and hence the reason for some oddity), few building on their photography and reading hobbies, few enjoying the serenity, others indulging in chit-chats, rest seemed to be amused with each other. I particularly like this photograph.

GoD

We were going through some panels, which compared how the garden looked in the past vs. now and as I started touching the sentences written on one of the panels, He told me 'You aren't supposed to touch the panels' and I said 'Huhhh' with a shudder and then smiled. N saw us chewing gums and he wanted one too. I had to repeatedly talk to him about squirrels and monkeys and butterflies and all the living things that we found in the park to distract him from the gummy thought. Didi had a difficult time keeping him in good spirits.

Half of the 50 Km ride to the Panchmukhi Balaji temple was marvellous – narrow roads, one-way traffic, deep valleys and mountains, small shops and little houses, clean air, plush greenery, reverberating sounds – everything captivating, rest was just dirt and smoke. The pundit there proclaimed himself to be of 105 years old. He looked like a meagre 60-70 and was asking us a few questions. When I said the answer to one of his questions was 'trolley', he giggled after listening to my answer when everyone else was silent. What the hell?

I started this sher when I was about to enter the KTM airport:
तू छोड़ रहा है तो खता इसमे तेरी क्या
and he duly completed :)
हर सख्स मेरा साथ निभा भी नहीं सकता
-वसीम बरेलवी

With memorable times from the trip, I came back and looked forward to another one. And that was visiting Rajasthan in the month of June and the after-math of experiences there led me to decide that it was the last time that I would plan and visit this largest state in India during summer. Heat waves crossed the bodies like lightning attacks the earth, water-coolers did not help nor did staying indoors. Heat was everywhere and loo winds blew into the ears and danced through one's brains. But the ceremonies happened as per the plans (Indian Standard Time, of course) and when I asked Him if He had any second thoughts about the engagement, He said 'loads'. I was shocked and asked if I could know a few of those thoughts to which he replied 'Nothing to worry about for now'. Seriously, what the hell kind of an answer was that? [Edit: :)] He asked me a similar question under similar circumstances at KTM and I had replied, 'This is the first and last thought!' and he had only listened to the last half as we figured out later – 'first and last thought'.

There were too many exchanges of gifts that happened in those 2+2 days. We were offered something called as 'bela ka ras' (an extract from a flower named ‘Bela’ used for making a drink), which was one of a kind. It tasted great. It was over-pouring affection and one of the ways in which people showed more of it was by making us eat sweets. I hardly denied and enjoyed myself to the full extent possible. It felt different being with new faces and being the center of attraction everywhere but it was not too bad – not bad at all :). These things are to be cherished once in a while – is what I realized. We both left the same day – he went back to KTM and I came back to my working place.

My learnings: Pictures are priceless. Sweets are the best things invented. Weather can cause misery unmeasured. Live the moment and “Moms” are the most loveliest, none like them and will never be!

A few pictures of us Fermion and Boson together. The idea of this post was to tell you my story “a lot like it actually is”. For details on timelines and other concrete stuff, refer to

His Story