Saturday, May 29, 2010

A Day In My Life (Wooofffff !!!!!!!)

Hello everybody. I know this is Ashwin's blog, but that asshole is just too lazy to update it. He can sit all day long in front of his laptop but won't get enough time to regularly post stuff here. So I am posting something here today. This is not about him, its about me, it describes how I am forced to spend my day with this bum everyday.
First let me introduce myself. My name is Pixie, and I am the only dog of this house. He prefers calling me his pet and himself my owner, but I find it highly degrading. Afterall, I am also equally entitled to the love and affection from the family (Woof!!!!). As of now, he is in the shower, singing God alone knows which song, and I have to suffer listening to him alone as all the other family members are in some far away land, something called USA or something like that and this guy is doing a favor on me by staying back. Favor my Paw!!!!!!! So lemme begin.

7:00 A.M

I am lying nice and snug on my blanket. Ashwin is sprawled all over the bed. Dude, its 7 in the morning. Time to wake up you moron! Dad wakes up early and takes me for a nice stroll outside, and since you are doing a favor on me, you are supposed to get up too. Damn it. This guy is not going to get up so easily, and slowly my bladder has filled up to its limits. I cannot hold it for much longer. Some urgent damage control has to be done. And for me that's a very easy thing to do. I go close to his face and sniff around. Usually this is enough to wake up Sayali, our sister but she is not here and somehow its not working on this bony mass here. So I use my Brahmastra. I again close to his face and give him a nice saliva filled lick, proper on his nose. He wakes up yelling at me. "What the hell do you think you are doing ?" he shouts, apparently angry. But its easy enough to cool down his anger. I droop down my ears, my eyes nice and round and bingo.....that apologetic look on my face. We canines learn this very early in our lives with humans, a sad face is all it takes to melt them. "Awwww" he goes. "What happened now?". So at last this fellow comes to the point. "My bladder is about to burst and I would pee right on your bloody face if you don't take me out right away." I feel like saying, but these humans hardly understand our language. So I do a bit of jumping and dancing around and then rush to the door. That's enough of a signal and lazily he gets up and I get an opportunity to relieve myself. What a relief!!!!!!!!!!!!

8:30 A.M

All the morning ablutions complete, now its time for some breakfast. Usually Mom gives me a bowl of milk and if I am lucky, then a biscuit from Dad. But now both of them are not here and I have to deal with this guy. He himself is having two bread with fried eggs and a mug of coffee, but clearly he has forgotten that I am also alive in the same kitchen. I am making all the hungry faces possible, but he is clearly trying to ignore me. And then the idiot of the house appears.
MEOWWWWW.....MEOWWWWWW!!!!! Our cat, Pandu enters the kitchen. One thing I don't understand about this nut is, why the hell does he have to yell whenever he enters a room, it's like he is announcing his holy arrival. Cats!!!!! You can never understand them, but then, living under the same roof, I have to tolerate him somehow. As soon as Pandu enters the kitchen yelling his head off, Ashwin bends down and scoops him up on to his shoulder and cuddles him. Pandu promptly starts his purring. Sighhhh.....these males seem to be stupid in all species.
"Do you want some milk Catty ??" he asks Pandu, who makes one of those content looks (which in fact does not even look like a hungry one to me) and then Ashwin goes and prepares our bowls. After a patient wait, at last he puts my milk bowl infront and turns away. Duhhhhh....this guy is never gonna learn. When Mom gives me the milk, I always get a kiss on my nose before I start drinking. I stand next to my bowl and stare at him. Thankfully he understands this time and I get a peck on my nose. Now that's better, ain't it ? And SLURPPPP.... I start on the milk.

9:00 A.M - 1.00 P.M

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ .... so nothing really to talk about unless you are interested in the dogs that I chase in my dreams.

1.00 P.M. - 1:30 P.M.

It's time for Ashwin to have his lunch, and for me its time to act like a forever hungry dog who has not had a morsel for days. He sits at the table, munching away while I sit on the ground next to him with my hungry faces. Occasionally I receive a glare back from him to stop acting like a glutton and I promptly stare in the opposite direction. I wait like that for a couple of seconds, and then without turning my head, I look towards him if he's still glaring. If yes, then I again look away, if not, then back to the hungry looks. This game continues till he finishes and its time for my lunch. Off we go back into the kitchen and Pandu tails along with his yells.
When I think of food, the saliva just flows uncontrollably. They say it's bad manners to drool, but then, even a dam cannot control a flooded river after a certain point. And it's much worse because this guy is way slower at preparing my meal than Mom. I wait with the drool falling in sticky long drops down my mouth while Pandu walks in between my feet brushing away all the time. Irritating cats, as if brushing to me is going to make that slowcoach any faster. Then suddenly, out of nowhere I get a bite from Pandu right at my elbows, and that's where my limit is crossed and I snap back at him. After that he stays at a safe distance and chooses the fridge to brush against. After what seems an eternity, Ashwin at last prepares the food and keeps the plate in front of us. A point to be noted is as far as solid food is concerned, I don't wait for kisses to start eating. Somehow I have to finish the food as soon as possible, maybe some unknown hungry monster might come and finish it before I do. So I attack the food, and all of it is in my tummy before you can even say "WOOF".
I have finished my food, but then Pandu is still eating. Why do cats have to eat so slowly. This guy usually does not eat properly, or rather completely. He has to leave those little morsels on his plate. And I am left with the job of cleaning it up. You may think that I am a real obsessive glutton, finishing off the cat's plate which would contain only a couple of rice grains hardly enough to fill an ant's stomach. But then, I live by the principle that food, in any form should never be wasted. There are many dogs on the streets who don't get proper food, and here cats are wasting their food as if its their owner's property, so I oblige.

2:00 P.M - 4:00 P.M.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ....yeah....its siesta time.....only difference is that I get my biscuit at 4:00 without any trouble.

6:00 P.M.

Now it's time for the big job. Something that all living creatures have to perform daily if they want a healthy and comfortable life. Yes, you guessed it right, it's time to add manure to the infertile lands outside.
But once again, this dumbass is sitting glued to his laptop smiling at the screen. Most probably chatting with some female of his species I guess. Hey You! This no time to indulge in chats. I have to answer the call of nature, and answer if fast. So please lift your butt from that chair and take me out.
"You have to go out all the time, don't you?" he asks me back. Duh, as if he doesn't do it himself, only in the toilet. I do my dancing act again and he obliges quickly enough.
He puts on the leash on my collar and out we go!!!!
There are two aspects of going out. Firstly you get such a variety of smells, especially on those tyres of the cars, its really heaven for a dog like me. And secondly, the irritating aspect --- stray dogs. What the hell was God thinking when he created them. Filthy, skinny, mostly infested with scabies...they were the most godforsaken species of all, and how much they love taunting me, especially those two black females. As soon as we get out of the building, they come barking at me, as if they were going to attack me savagely.
"Look at you!!" they bark. "All tied up and pulled by a human. You are their PET!!!" That word gets to my nerves more than anything else and I have to give back a reply.
"And what about you ?" I growl back to them. "Scrounging on things that people throw as garbage. At least I get good food everyday and I am not diseased like you, BITCH!!!"
"Whatever it may be, you are still their PET!!!!!" I wish that he would let go of my leash for once, I could teach these bitches a lesson in no time. But he just tugs hard at my collar and pulls me away. I still growl back some unspeakable "WOOF"s back at them and trot away as suddenly my bowels remind me what I had actually come out for. One chance.....just one Chance is all I need to show these bitches what I am made of.

6:30 P.M. - 8:30 P.M.
Once again ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ .... what else am I supposed to do inside the house!!!!!

9:00 P.M

Dinner time. Once again the same routine as that of lunch. I so wish that Mom would return fast from their trip. This fellow thinks he is a great cook, but I'd dare not differ with him. He might stop giving me totally. So I act as if he is the greatest chef in the world and that I am honored to be fed by him. Sighhh.

11:00 P.M.

The official ZZZZ time. Official in the sense that now I HAVE to sleep on my blanket and not at any other place. I wait patiently as he unfolds my blanket and lays it down on the floor next to his bed. He puts on the AC, switches off the lights and ZZZZ both of us go.

I hope you didn't go ZZZZ while reading this. If you did, then please excuse me as this was the first time I wrote on a blog. But all the same, I would like to know your feedback on this.

Now that pathetic bathroom singer is coming out, so I'd better leave fast before he catches me with his laptop. Afterall for him, I am supposed to be a dumb dog. But you know the truth right. So as a signing off message, I would like to share a quote which was once quoted by his brother once.
"If beauty and grace are feline, then strength and loyalty are definitely canine. Not all men are dogs, but I am proud to be one."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

That Bloody Block

If I am not mistaken, this would be the smallest gap I have kept between consecutive posts. I had planned to update this blog in 2-3 more days, but just yesterday, I had such an amazing experience that I could not help but write about it. If you are expecting anything serious, then please relax your mind. This post would be one of my lighter ones and not based on any life changing experiences, but it was amazing enough to get a mention here.

"Ok, bubbyeee and thanx for calling..... " were my last words as I disconnected the phone. A simple and straightforward conversation with a friend, but it was quite stressful. The reason ?? The speaker of my mobile phone had been faulty and the volume of the other person's voice was quite diminished. I literally had to strain my ears in order to catch a few words that he said, and then use my guesswork to guess what he had actually said. Due to that some of my replies were quite wayward and out of context. I'd better get this phone repaired. But wait! Which fool in today's world repairs a mobile phone? With the prices of such electronic goods falling everyday, it would be a much more sensible option just to discard the old one and get a brand new cell. So it was decided, the first thing I would be buying from my salary would be a sleek mobile phone for myself.
Before the phone call came in, I had just returned home from and early morning swim. Just about a month and half left for me to join the corporate world, I thought this is the only time I would get to work on my physical fitness. My dog, Pixie, was lying down under the table as usual, too busy relaxing to get up and greet me. The only way to make her rise would be to open the kitchen larder and shake up the container which had her biscuits. That sound could make her rise even from a coma. But then, another sound, a street dog barking outside caught her attention and she ran out into the balcony to give that dog a piece of her mind. Pixie's bark had lost the intensity that it had a few years back. Maybe it was time we learned to accept the fact that she was in fact getting old.
I inserted my index finger into my left ear, trying to remove that little bit of water inside that was blocking my ear. That was one thing about swimming I hated. This water just stuck inside your ears and refused to come out. But now it was a life threatening mission for me. It was me against those few droplets inside my ear. An engineer against some molecules of H2O. So I brought my weapon, that powerful cotton bud. Slowly and carefully I inserted the bud into the ear canal, careful not to push it hard, just hoping that it would absorb the water out. But all was in vain. The block only seemed to get worse. Next, I pinched my nose, closed my mouth, and blew hard. This was a technique I used when I get those pressure blocks in my ear when the flight takes off or lands. It may have worked for a huge sophisticated airplane, but not for those godforsaken water drops. Now it was slowly becoming frustrating for me. My reputation was at stake. What's the use of having a Bachelor of Technology degree from one of the premiere institutes of the country when I was not able to remove just some measly droplets from my ear. I was increasingly becoming worried when the landline phone rang.
I picked it up and viola! It was the savior calling. Mommy the great!!!!
I might have been proud to be the son of two doctors, but when those two doctors were in US, I was totally lost where medical stuff was concerned. I described my ailment to her in full detail, narrating the history as they say it.
"My dear son." mother dear said. "I can't treat you from here on the phone. Plus I am a gynecologist, so your problem is right at the opposite end of my specialisation." Typical Mom. Here, her poor lonely son is in a traumatic condition, and all she is worried about is the "end" of her specialisation.
"In that case, my dear mother" I replied. "Please guide me on what I am supposed to do. Or at least suggest a doctor to whom I should consult."
"It may be due to the blockage of your eustacian canal with mucus. That's the most common cause. Try steam inhalations and gargling with warm water and see if it works. If it gets painful, then go to Dr. R.L Naik, he is and ENT specialist." Doctors!!! They have to say everything in one breath all the time.
I tried steam inhalations, I tried gargling. But that bloody block refused to budge. Afterall it wasn't mucus that was blocking it. It were just some !@#$**** water droplets. After repeated attempts throughout the day, at about 5 in the evening, I at last decided to get the ear checked. After all, it could be that ear infection that I once had in my childhood, and it was really painful.

I went to Dr. Naik's clinic and introduced myself. He made me sit on a chair and took out some wierd headband kind of a thing which had a bulb on top and some kind of lens. It reminded me of the GI Joes that I used to play with. It required him just one look to diagnose the cause behind my helplessness.
"Stay calm, and don't move. Just breath deeply." He told me as he inserted a forceps inside my ear. After somewhat fishing around inside, he removed the forceps, and with it came a nice big ball of earwax.
"What the ..... " I caught myself in time from completing the sentence.
"Did you by any chance put cotton buds inside ?" he asked me.
"Yes I did." I told him. "Just an attempt to drain out the water inside."
"First of all remember that the water never remains inside your ears for long. With that cotton plug, you pushed the wax even further inside. Now it may be a bit painful as it is stuck to your skin tissues, so just breathe deeply." He said, and in went the forceps again.
After some slightly uncomfortable moments, the block was cleared. My ear felt awesome. I looked down at the dirty mass that was kept on cotton swabs. Wow. I never knew the ear canal had so much volume to hold that shit.
He then checked my right ear and the mining inside gave another voluminous amount of wax. After both the ears were cleared, he gave a prescription for some ear drops to be used thrice daily, for 15 days, 2 drops each time. I thanked him and left the clinic.
Both my ears felt so clear, I could hear even the softest breeze blowing. I jumped when I started the ignition of my bike. Woah...that was loud.
As I rode back home, the whole world seemed to have put on amplifiers. The car horns were honking extra loud, I never knew that the indicator of the bike could beep so loudly. The music playing at the music shop seemed much more melodious. I sang quietly to myself. Hey!! I was loving the sound of my own voice.
After several minutes, I entered my home only to find Pixie in the balcony again cross with some ignorant dog who had strayed into her "territory". One thing was sure. This dog's bark was still as powerful as it was 4-5 years back. My mobile phone rang, and suddenly I had to hold it a few centimeters away from my ear, the person at the other end was literally screaming.

So all in all, the moral of the story is, if at any point in you life, you feel that the world has suddenly become peaceful, people have become soft-spoken, then without second thoughts take the earliest possible appointment with your ENT doctor. The inferno in the world is going nowhere. But now its time for me to put those two drops into my ears, so bye for now.

Adios till the next one... :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

An Experience That Changed My Life

Hello folks....
Sorry once again to have let u down with my laziness. No excuses this time. Yesterday I thought of updating this blog with an incident that happened in February 2009, in my third year wherein my outburst against a person who had insulted me and many people close to me in a very derogatory manner made me an outcast in a group where I thought I belonged. That very person (name will not be taken.. :P) told me that I did not have the capability to motivate a team into winning, that I could never be a leader and command respect from others. Well, this was the most decent thing I ever heard from him, the rest consisting of mostly unspeakable words. I was shunned by some, but there were others who motivated me and stood by me throughout and gave me back that lost confidence. The result .... I became more determined than ever to prove my beliefs correct and mainly to prove him wrong.
But then I thought, was that experience so important when you look at the larger perspective? Okay, it definitely made me stronger no doubt, and it did make me the happiest person when I finally succeeded in that aim in March 2010. But did it really change me or my way of thinking? If not, then why should I give it or for that matter that person so much importance and publicity by writing about it on my blog? So I decided that I wasn't going to dissect the incident here. But then, what should I write about? It has been more than a month since I wrote something here.
And then it struck me. There was something that I have long wanted to write about, it was mainly an evening that changed my whole perspective of looking at things. It was that evening that prompted me to start making a documentary that aimed at helping someone in need. So here it is.................and this time, all the names and people mentioned are real... :)

It was a warm April evening and I was busy editing the videos of 60 IDIOTS, the movie I was making on my IT batch of MNNIT, when Suhaas, a friend and classmate, entered my room.
"Hey, I need a favor from you, if it's ok with you." he said.
"Depends on what you want." I teased back.
"Do you know of the orphanage in the nearby Shivkuti area?" he asked.
"Yeah. I have heard of it, though I have no idea where exactly it is or what it looks like. So what about it?"
"Well, some 2nd year guys go there during the weekends to teach the children there. Just the basic Math, some english and other stuff. They want to shoot some sort of a documentary there with the kids, so could you help them with that ?"
"Sure man, but what exactly are they trying to make?" I asked.
"Even I'm not sure. They were also saying that they would be requiring some photographs for the same, so I thought of you."
"Okay, I'm in. Who are the persons involved?"
"I don't as such know them personally, just know a couple of Mohit' Agarwal and one Gupta from Mechanical."
"Is that Agarwal the plump fella??"
"Yeah, the same one I guess. You contact them and proceed. I would also try to come with you if possible."
Saying this he left. Mohit (the plump one) was in fact a member of my dance team and I knew him quite well. Apparently I had also borrowed his video camera to shoot 60 IDIOTS. I also faintly remembered him telling me once that they were doing this orphanage thing. So here, I got another opportunity to improve and display my photography skills. I contacted those people and we decided upon the time when we would go there.
That weekend, around 6 of us went to visit the orphanage, a "Bala Ashram" which is under the Ministry for Women and Child Welfare. My prized possession, the DSLR camera was hanging down my shoulder as we entered the building. After writing our names and details into the visitors register, we were escorted by a clerk there into a cramped room, approximately 20 sq. m (my estimate) where all the children had been gathered. As soon as we entered, a small boy came marching to me and put his right hand forward for a formal shake hand and said, "Good Evening Bhaiyya!!"
I shook his tiny hand and asked him his name. He just kept smiling blankly back at me. Another child came forward and said, "Bhaiyya, he knows only bengali, no other language."
"Kemon achis ?" I asked him the only sentence of Bengali that I know, if I am not wrong it means "How are you?". He replied a greeting back which I guess meant he is fine.
Another child approached me and tugged at my camera pouch.
"Isme kya hai ??" he asked me, his voice was very hoarse.
"Isme camera hai." I replied. "Jisse main aapki photo kheechunga."
"Bhaiyya meri sabse pehle!!!" Saying this he just jumped on me with glee. This boy's eyes had one of the most horrible squint I had ever seen in my lifetime. Looking at his way of walking and talking, I understood that he had some kind of disorder, most probably autism.
I looked around at the other children sitting on the floor. There were at least five autistic kids that I identified. Many had skin diseases, though not severe but scabies was quite common. Everybody was 8 years and below in age. In total there were around 45 children housed by the orphanage, we were told later.
I took out my camera and began clicking their pictures in earnest. Everybody wanted their own solo pictures and that led to a scamper to grab my attention. It was really tough managing the enthusiastic bunch. Mohit was busy filming the video while the other guys were either having friendly chats with the children or were teaching them. Managing this bunch of highly energetic children was one real tough job, and suddenly I felt a increased respect for my parents, them having raised 3 of the most over-energetic children.
I was lost in capturing the innocence of the children. Never before had photography become an emotional issue for me. Later when we interviewed some of the children, we came to know that most of them were not really orphans, but children abandoned by their parents due to financial reasons. They came from various parts of the country. I had a small chat with a boy who had come from Mumbai, and he was thrilled to talk to someone who could speak Marathi (however pathetic my Marathi may be). He told me that he used to work with a group of people there. Most of the time, they would give him packets which he would have to deliver to some other persons. He was picked up by government authorities at the VT station and brought here.
Somewhere at that time, there was a sudden realisation in me as to how lucky I was to have the support of my parents throughout my growing times. Most of us take our parents and their love for granted, "its their duty after all towards their children" many might say. But ask any of these children how badly they need a proper guardian if not a parent. While I was talking silly things to amuse them, one little girl asked me all of a sudden, "Bhaiyya humein lene koi mummy paapa kab aayenge ?" From her expression, it was clear that she yearned for a proper home. I was speechless for several moments, but her face was still searching for answers on mine. "Aayenge beta, jaldi hi aayenge." was all I could manage to mutter. But that was the moment I decided, that I would try my best to help these kids get adopted.
That day I was really amazed how just a simple action of mine i.e clicking their pictures gave them so much happiness. Those children required love and attention, and it was heartwarming the way they took pleasures in the simple things of life. We came back the next day too, this time with some games for them. The children were given some pairs of cards, which contained similar pictures with some particular differences, and the children were supposed to point out the differences. Most of them clambered up to us pointing at objects in the pictures and muttering "Iss card mein yeh hai, uss waale mein nahi hai". While I was surrounded with the toddlers, I saw a small girl standing outside the crowd, silent but staring intently towards me. I motioned her to come near me. She came smiling with a pair of picture cards in her hands.
"Batao, in dono mein kya kya alag hai ?" I asked her.
She stared blankly towards me, it being apparent that whatever I had said hadn't registered in her mind. After about a minute, she kept both the cards in front of me and said, "Isme yeh hai, isme yeh nahi hai." pointing at practically nothing. Another autism affected kid, I understood.
"Very good beta, aap to bahut hoshiyaar ho." I said, in a weak attempt to make her feel good, and somewhere I struck a chord and a very beautiful smile appeared on that tiny face. I knew that I wasn't very convincing in my compliment, but it was enough to make her smile.
There was another child who caught my attention. She must have been hardly two or three years old, but whatever I said or did, I have never seen a smile on that face of hers. All the pictures that I clicked of hers, have her frowning. A child who has lost her smile, now that was something that I found quite disturbing. And in that I have found a kind of a mission, to bring a smile on that face. How can I, or any other person for that matter, in our own small way light up that face.
She is becoming the face of my documentary, the teaser of which can be viewed on Youtube at CDC TEASER . I am currently in the editing phase of the film, so it would be at least 20 days before I manage to complete it.
I know this has been a very long post, my longest so far, but with a matter so close to my heart, I found it very difficult to cut down on the words. There were many more children who deserved mention in this blog, but I had to cut it short. Maybe I'll have another post for them, or else I can mention them in the new blog which would be coming up soon.
I don't really know whether this post has been an enjoyable fare or not, but this one has come straight from my heart. Exactly what I meant in the beginning of the post, when I had such an experience that changed my outlook towards life, why should I write about those who tried to destroy my spirit???????

I hope I get loads of comments on this one, and in particular, suggestions on how we can help improve their lives in our own small way.

So.....Adios till the next one.................. :)