AR speaketh...

The questions, the answers, the thoughts, the ideas and the other crap that make me, well, me.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Fore-word: Time passes. And takes everyone by surprise, as if they expected it to stagnate, form a thick yellowish film on top, curdle and finally turn into cheese. Time has continued to pass since ‘time’ immemorial yet, we do not cease to be surprised at its passage. Evolutionists might want to look into that one- so much for survival of the fittest.

Recently, I completed four years ‘at work’. Which means, for the last four years I have been consuming inordinate amounts of network bandwidth, caffeine and office stationery and not to mention, indulging in complicated and ineffective office politics. As is common in these circumstances, I decided to look back. Surely, I did and saw Bhavnesh Patel, who else? He’s the guy who sits in the cube behind me.

Anyway, having looked back and been assured that despite the time, I still haven’t completely lost my vision (that I can still spot objects the size of Bhavnesh at six feet) I decided to think about the things I have learnt(other than an encyclopedia of excuses) and the ways that I have grown (apart from paunch-wise). After intense reflection for about two and three-quarters of a minute, I realized that I hadn’t, in ways other than those mentioned in parentheses! It was a crushing blow. I was shocked into silence for the better part of 12 seconds. Then I recalled reading somewhere that people freeze an image of themselves in college and go through all their lives drawing on the experiences that they had had by then. That’s about as grownup as they get. That has to be it, after all, who are you to question the wisdom of the internet?

So I thought of verifying this assertion, starting with the way I talk, when I think I’m out of my mom’s earshot. And that hasn’t changed. I still use more invective than ‘actual’ words in sentences. I add a six(four + ‘er’)-letter suffix to most words when I’m excited, I think ‘cool’ is a perfectly acceptable response to most questions. When people ask me why I’m sporting a beard I say things like: Its not a beard, just some fungus that grew because of the rains. Or, if it is someone who warrants a more elaborate answer: “The three most popular men in India are Abhishek Bachchan, Himesh Reshamiya and Emraan Hashmi. What do you think is common between them, apart from a complete lack of talent? A beard! Now talent is God given, so that I can’t really do much about what I already possess. What is in my control is to grow a beard and that’s what I have done.” So, that checks out pretty well.

Interest! Yes, how about my interests? Surely, they must have ‘evolved’ over time. Let’s see, I still think playing with guns is a great idea. Riding a bike at speeds that can be expressed as a significant fraction of ‘c’ is as stimulating today as it was ages ago. Books that were either banned or burned in public (better!), still interest me more than books that threaten to be either improving or intellectually stimulating. I still prefer ‘Playboy’ over ‘Investor’s Guide’. If it rains, the activity I’m most likely to indulge in is sleep, provided no-one’s around for playing football. Playing cricket seems to me the most constructive way of passing a lean day at office and watching it makes me extremely expressive. And cartoons still rock. Check.

And attitude? Hmmm… I try and shirk as much responsibility as possible. Everyone other than me is no great shakes or a faker or both. Couples having a romantic meal still get bombarded by chilli flakes or pepper corns, depending upon the cuisine of the restaurant. My responses to most situations are still mildly vitriolic. If there are more than one ways of doing something and one of them is not completely compliant with regulations, the chances of it being adopted shoot up dramatically. Check.

The surest signs of maturity is the way one handles relationships. How, then, have I been doing on that count? Don’t make me laugh. Check.

Someone once told me that a sense of humour is always preceded by sense. So, how have the years affected my sensibilities and therefore my sense of humour? Mr. Bean is still not funny. Calvin and Hobbes are. Peanuts, sometimes. Karan Johar, politically incorrect and gender insensitive jokes and public bouts of flatulence all continue to inspire uncontrollable laughter. Check.

So, we see that spending four years perched on a revolving chair and staring at a monitor does not:

  1. cause you to grow up
  2. make you a better human being (if you are loser enough to want to be one, that is)
  3. make you a professional (whatever that means)
  4. do wonders for your anatomy
  5. improve your chances of being taken off the singles’ market

What it does, however, is that it helps you gain perspective on what maturity is all about, on how the world really functions and on whether Playmate, June-’06 was really hotter than Playmate, October-’05.

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