Wednesday, April 23, 2008

2008 - The Year of the Nerd

So, the Boss-crush. Like most workplace crushes, it was awkward, embarrassing and very, very inconvenient. There was perfect coherence as long as we were discussing work but anything else - anything at all, the weather, travel plans, hell, a simple 'hello' - and I was back to being thirteen, tongue-tied and incapable of constructing complete sentences. He just had to pass by me in a corridor and I'd be reduced to a fiercely blushing mass of utter stupidity.

And I don't get it, I just don't get it! The man was (is, actually, but I don't work there anymore) a complete and utter nerd. He had the standard issue nerd-glasses, the weird, high-pitched voice, the lanky, disjointed Pinocchio-walk, but all he had to do was smile and I'd be marvelling at the way his eyes went all twinkly and how his teeth were *just* like 'thirty-two hand-picked chiclets' (Summer of '42 anyone?). And OH when he rolled up his shirtsleeves* and got to work...*dreamy sigh*

And he had the most efficient mental-rolodex I've ever come across. You could walk up to him with any sort of question - tech, content, graphics, code - and you could almost see the cards flipping in fast-forward (and totally making that 'vrrrroooossh!' sound) as he came up with the exact, perfect, without-a-single-superfluous-detail answer to your question. Not the kind of guy you want to look like an idiot in front of, but that's what I did. Inevitably. Every single time he walked past.

THEN there were the highly inappropriate dreams. (No. Not 'fun' inappropriate, just...weird). In one of them, S (colleague, female, motherly), Boss and I are sitting in a hotel lobby. I’m wearing some sort of a halter-neck-y top, which has officially put imagination out of a job. Somehow, all three of us realise just HOW skimpy it is at exactly the same time, and while S subtly whispers in my ears about how maybe I should try and fix the fabric shortage, Boss, absolutely unfazed, actually *points* and said, "Yeah, you know you need to cover up a little. I can see real spillage happening THERE."

So in addition to the crush-induced-embarrassment, every time he walked past my cubicle I'd relive the stupid dream and get even more flustered. The poor chap must've wondered whether beet-red-and-stammering was default-CS**.

It’s all making me wonder if this drastic shift in type is a result of my err…advancing years. See, my teens were spent in the pursuit of surly, sulky boys, my twenties, the artists — singers, guitarists and the odd poet (Not, not odd as in ‘one-off’. Really odd). The thirties are showing worrying signs of being declared as the decade of the nerds.

That, or as Billy Joel said, ‘I've reached the age where competence is a turn-on.’

(Also, apparently, the age at which you start quoting Billy Joel.)

*Yes, I have a thing for rolled up shirtsleeves. No, I can't explain it.
** If he ever noticed my existence, that is…damn him.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Is it still a happy birthday...

...if you're dead?

I live in an area which the newspapers describe as a Dalit stronghold. Which means that anything to do with Buddhism, Dalit politics, or Dr. B.R. Ambedkar, results in shamianas mushrooming all over the place, very loud music (mostly the nasal-plague-reshammiya variety) and firecrackers all through the night.

But yesterday was Ambedkar Jayanti and all day long the loudspeakers outside my house played:

“Hum bhi agar bachche hote!
Hum bhi agar bachche hote,
Naam hamaare hote Babloo, Paplu,
Khaane ko milte LADDOO!
Aur duniya kehti Heppy Buurrday too yoouuu!”


”Tum jiyo hazaaron saal,
saal ke din ho pachaas hazaar!”

Which was refreshing change on the music front,
but I wonder how *I’d* react to people wishing me a (very, very) long life if I’d been dead for over half a century.

And dammit! Now I want laddoos too!

Monday, April 14, 2008

In loving* memory of

Chronicus Skepticus, Instruction Designer
Died 11th April 2008 aged 5 months and 20 days.

Developed an appalling crush on her boss (more on that soon). Had her first (in all five years of professional life) in-office meltdown. Learnt the difference between an em-dash and an en-dash, and the similarities between project managers and pond-scum (and OH SO MUCH MORE ON THIS).


If my life were a cheesy seventies bollywood movie, this is the part where I’d be in the hospital, shedding remorseful tears over my comatose blog, which is lying on a hospital bed, a white bandage (with a big bloody blotch) around its head.

I’d lean over and sob:
”Mujhe maaf kardo blog! Mujhse galati ho gayi!”

(Nothing. Not even a goddamn curtain-flutter)

"Main fir kabhi kisi job ko tumhari jagah nahin lene doongi!"

(Bastard blog resolutely stays in coma)

”Aanken kholo http (private nickname and all)! Aankhen kholo! Tum mujhe yun chhor ke nahin jaa sakte-e-e-e-!”

(And as a tear falls from my eyes onto blog's peaceful face, there is a slow, delicate flutter of eyelids, and he opens his eyes and says weakly, “Arre CS? Tumhaari aankhon mein aansoo?")

Cut to blog and me, dancing around trees in the mughal gardens. Me in a bright yellow chiffon saree, blog in tight white pants and matching shoes (think Mithun, not Jeetendra. I have *some* standards. So what if they're not very high?).**, yes. This is me, being back.

*Hey, I liked her okay? So she was prone to walking around with bloodshot, mad eyes and muttering to herself, but once you got past that, not a bad sort.

** I did say 'cheesy bollywood movie'. You were warned.