| 9 minute read

an aspiring soap actor

There was a time I worked as a mechanical engineer with the Indian Railways. It was a boring job. I did not even have a supervisor to tell me what to do. I was a far cry away from being self-managed, so, one day, I hopped aboard a train headed to Chennai, in hopes of finding something interesting to do. I had heard that Chennaiites were innovative folk. What I saw in Chennai was nothing less than what I had heard or imagined.

| 7 minute read

a great worshipper

I happened to visit quite a weird place a few years ago, called, Bhōjanālayam. Apparently, this is the best place to find gods. I grew up without going to Ālayams. I don’t know why. My parents simply did not like Ālayams. Or any place of worship for that matter. I am not like my parents. I’m quite progressive. I embrace the gods. I want to know them. I want to praise them.

| 8 minute read

a passenger on a democratic ship

I was born innocent. I cried like every other healthy child did. I was terrified when I was carried around by so many of what I later understood were hands. I distinctly remember the few initial moments, in which I opened my eyes and saw women throw up. The nurses were unsure if it was their pregnancy that caused it or sea sickness. The women smiled dearly either way; both of these cases were more or less the same to them.

| 7 minute read

Mother Nature

Two personalities is nothing new to you. I think I have two personalities, too. And given that children inherit from their mother, you have inherited the dual-personality trait from me. And that, child, is one of the things that make me your mother. I bet you heard [from the other]({{ ref 2019/notamother-nature.md }}) that I am not a mother. Sometimes, I hear her too. But don’t necessarily listen to her. She’s just … a little hardened, and thinks everyone is.

| 12 minute read

a corporate vada pav

I come from a humble background, from Maharashtra. I had hardly stepped out of my home town my entire childhood. But when I grew up, somehow, I was wanted. By so many people. By so many companies. When I told my kin about this, they were very happy. I was getting what my forefathers had only dreamt about. I was not only stepping out of my home town, but I was stepping into a whole new world, that somehow, seemed to celebrate me.

| 6 minute read

Not-a-mother Nature

If anything, I am misunderstood. Not a day passes by when a human doesn’t call me, “Mother Nature”. And it feels … just wrong. Awkward. I favour the truth. I follow rules. Truthfully. When someone calls me what I am not, I get this weird feeling. I want to wrench their necks, but then, I was just called a mother; would a mother do something like that to their child? But: am I a mother?

| 8 minute read

an unusual credit card guy

Since childhood, the first thing that comes up when we talk finance at home is how not to get a credit card. Credit cards are seen as demons in my family. I’m sure they are in some of yours, too. ‘Credit cards will drown you in debt. You will never be able to maintain any bank balance.’ I was hard-wired against credit cards. So, every time I received a cold call from these credit card salespeople, I would tell them I didn’t want a credit card.

| 5 minute read

a pragmatic loser

Work is worship. This is what I learned growing up. At that time, it was studies that was work. Then, it was defending my country. Now, I work at a multinational IT giant, as an IT Manager. Outsourced IT Services is a funny industry. While I’d heard a lot about it, I was shocked how true everything I’d heard about it was, when I saw it happen in reality. One of these things is how it seems there are more people to monitor work than there are to actually work.

| 6 minute read

a taxpayer

My history class introduced me to taxes, the rulers' “unfair” means of earning. My mathematics class introduced me to the modern system of Income Tax. I did not like either version of it. Subliminal messages from my taxpaying teachers? But I was also told that there were certain—legal—ways by which I could avoid tax. This would be useful later. In the senior grades, I picked the Science stream and completely lost connection with understanding the way an economy ran.

| 5 minute read

a cyclist in Bangalore

When I was young, one of the superpowers I wanted was invisibility. This is a wish that hasn’t changed in decades. ‘What would you do with the power?’, I would be asked. And I would smile in response. The asker would simply assume (and sometimes shout out) the worst—cheating at hide-and-seek to voyeurism. But it didn’t matter. Years later—or rather, last month—I got a chance to travel to Varanasi. There, I met a mystique from Bangalore.