Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Summer of '14

It's quite normal when people associate summer season with heat, sweat, harsh weather, the blistering sun and of course, all related ailments like sores, sunburns, dry skin and dehydration! However, what I'm going to write here will not cover ANY of the above points. This is MY take of how this summer went. Unlike the harsh ones I've faced before, it was satisfying and heart warming by itself. Why? I'll tell you.

I did my internship during the months of April and May in Chennai. Having worked in a corporate environment before, I always knew what it was like to work in an office. Oh yes! Could it get any worse than where I'd worked earlier? :-P The 9-to-6 monotony and the unending tasks were not new. I knew how absolutely boring it really was! But what was unexpected in its own way, was the HR Trainee experience for a Mineral Extraction & Mining company. On my first day at work (April 1st) - I was ushered in and to my surprise, I discovered that I've joined an extremely traditional organization. There they were, distributing sweets and vibhoothi/ kumkumam to all the employees to mark auspicious start to the financial year. But what was far more alluring was the COFFEE! Yes, you heard it right. The company served machine-vended coffee, morning and evening, right at the employees' desk. In fact, I remember feeling Whoop! when I was placed with a steaming cup of coffee at my desk on Day-1. Just as I was going to take a sip, the boss called me to discuss on the internship work details. :-( With my mind firmly stuck on the coffee mug, I must confess that I had a tough time catching up with his thoughts during that meeting. Thus, what could've stretched for an hour was shortened to 30 mins of quick discussion, thanks to my eagerness to get back to desk. But alas, what pity! The mugs had been cleared away from everyone's desks when I returned. All I could do was stare at my pristine workstation - without its coffee in place. Sob! :'( So that's how the very first coffee experience turned to be - disappointing and elusive. :-p

Mudhal Coffee - Mudhal Ematram

While I did learn about the nuances of a HR role through on the job training, this space will only record the interesting events which happened while I was there. Oh, how can I forget my trips around the office block with another intern? That needs mentioning. On boring, hot afternoons when my intern friend and I had no intentions of getting back to work immediately after lunch, we took expeditions around office. Being a large complex, it was manned and guarded by over-zealous securities in every nook and corner. While the security officers around my office block knew us, it clearly wasn't enough to keep me rooted to the same spot. It was time to test my luck further. Thus, we ventured into the Corporate zone of my organization/ group, which was heavily guarded. I still remember how my friend and I faked conversations and kept walking, much to the shock and amusement of guards standing vigil within the building premises. Since it housed the CEO's, CFO's and MD's, this particular zone had extra security in place. Not to forget, the number of access-restricted doors were quite high too! But no, that wasn't going to keep us away. We ventured, floor by floor, not even leaving the restrooms out. The walks, the laughing and the exploration continued until we exhausted all the floors and buildings around the work complex. It was a fun experience, I would say! Oh I must mention here, to whomever is considering joining my awesome organization - the food is AWESOME! Their lunches are to die for. What variety and taste! Looking back, this was probably the highlight of my stay with the company. :-P

As a part of my work assignment, I was also entrusted with the task of working on the in-house magazine. I had to travel to Hosur and Bangalore on a business trip within a day for the same. The plan was to meet the business heads sitting in the offices situated there, interview them and prepare detailed write-ups. Was this amusing? Absolutely not. What was interesting was my boss who accompanied me in the trip. Here was a man fond of the Cows and Bulls game. He could play it at any time of the day, and he was constantly looking for a partner to play! The uninterested victim? Me, of course. :-D So despite my protests, pleas and begging, the boss made me play Cows and Bulls whenever he wanted someone to play with. Of course, he knew I was a sucker at it, and that made him even more excited to match against me. :-P The sensation of beating an evergreen loser at a game is priceless, as he said. I remember how I had to endure one of the worst games invented in the history of mankind on my return journey back to home from Hosur. When one game was enough, I told him I'm not playing any more and went to sleep. What did my boss do? He decides to let me sleep for an hour, and later wakes me up to watch Singham-2. Now, you decide. What's far more horrible? Is it Singham-2 or a game of Cows and Bulls? :-o Should I go to the Devil or the Deep Blue Sea, I was left wondering. :-D

A blood spilling experience. :-(

My office was located at the Northern tip of the city, and so it involved travelling between Tambaram and Chennai Beach everyday in electric train. One hard-to-digest fact which I eventually accepted was that Maddy did not stand in Tambaram railway station day in and day out, waiting for Shakthi. To everyone who believed he did, boo! He actually doesn't. And there I was, searching for Maddy every single day, only to be disappointed two months later by the fact that movies will always be movies. :-p It was in the same Tambaram railway station that I bumped into Sherryl by coincidence when I was in a hurry to reach my Beach train. There we were - behaving like insane, lunatic kids on the over-bridge, overjoyed to meet each other during the course of internship. :) Ah well, at least I met my girlfriend here, if not the guy. Hehe! One happy moment from the intern experience was the trip to Gujarat Chats with Divya. We didn't plan it as such, but eventually went there for a snack. It's one of the best chat shops to eat from, around Parrys Corner. :) I only missed visiting Sowcarpet while I was interning. Ah yes, how can I forget this one - We (the CUMI family) went to Marina beach on some random evening in April. It was fun, being at the beach. To me, the seashore is always a feel-good place which brings a lot of happy memories! :) The month of April also brought with it the unfortunate incident of my laptop's hard disk crash. Sadly, none of the data was adequately backed up. I lost all my personal data all over. It hurt for a day. Thanks to pep-talks from a friend, I eventually overcame the sensation of loss about it.

No matter how much I write about my internship experience, the Summer of 2014 is special and elevated [unlike the other summers] for an entirely different reason. It's because life decided to throw a unique surprise in form of a friend whom I never thought I would have. Especially since I was not really keen on meeting strangers after growing out of AII and OI trends. Ugh, not my type! If I should thank PagalGuy, it would be for this idiot who literally stormed into my life and created a tremendous impact. I am glad about his presence in my life and he's done every single thing to reaffirm that he's the best thing that happened to me in the Summer of 2014. It's alright that he's no longer LIBA. He is meant to be at a different level altogether. I miss him, but he is the kind of person who is meant to be at YIF rather than here. =) I only wish that YIF brings him the kind of learning and experience that he's always yearned for to fulfill his dreams. If he's reading this, he should know that he's a precious jewel that I've had the fortune to pick up along my path in life. Grumpy kid, you're adored and cherished. :) That's despite the eye-burning sensation every morning arising from screwing my sleep and of course, those innumerable call waiting moments which were both embarrassing as well as amusing. =D

Grumpy Kid! 
Summer of 2014 was beautiful indeed, thanks to the aura of people I truly love. Beside these treasured memories, I also enjoyed the perks of being at home, being pampered by Amma 24x7 and being able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to. But going to office doesn't count here. :-p True, I did miss LIBA. I'm happy to be back here now. As I type this, I freaking can't believe I'm in second year. Time flies. I sure hope that I will make use of the year that's left to do all the things I've been intending to do. I've crossed off an item from the list already. Hehe! With this, I end my post. This is one long pending blog entry that I'd always wanted to write but never got myself to. Ah sweet procrastination, I'm done with you. Muhahaha! :-D 

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Womance. With a Capital W.

This is a sticky topic. And I’m wondering where to start with. *Initial writer's block*

Mills & Boon is one of the best seller romance novels in the history of time. That’s a fact. The Twilight Saga is supposed to be a somewhat similar love story narrated along a different line. I’ve read neither of these books. And I’ve always wondered what is it about them which make women go gaga over them! This post will explore a few narration styles adopted in these so-called “Romance novels”. This blog is supposed to be decent space, where I don’t write away nonsense. But for once, for the very happiness of entertaining my thoughts – the rule goes down the drain! Buck up and enjoy the joyride, people! :-p

Ever wondered WHY women are so drawn towards Womantic novels? Yes, you read that right. Womance. With a capital W. Not Romance. Is it a girly thing? Is it because women are secretly fond of a parallel portrayal of their lives? Hahaha! In that case, I’m totally blind to miss the connection between reality and expectations. So yes, to understand better – I did some ground reading yesterday on some of these cheesy romance novels. The discoveries are quite..Interesting! The protagonist in these tales is ALWAYS a woman. Tall, lean, smoky doe-shaped eyes, curves to kill for, intelligent, sassy, sex siren. She’s an hourglass figure of perfection. She has the wit and charm to disband anyone. Our leading lady has a great job, she is the life and soul of parties that she attends, she even owns an apartment god-damn-it. YET. YET. YET. There’s no love in her life. No prince, no knight in shining armour. So our lady goes about her routine life until one day, the guy arrives in the scene.

They meet – inside the office lift, or a park, or while attending a funeral, or wherever you think it’s least possible to meet the guy of your dreams. Here are some descriptions of the guy, as these writers put it:

“She turned her gaze to Rafe. He looked like six feet three inches of sexual fantasy, lying there in the firelight. From his lean, muscular body to his amber eyes, he was the perfect blend of GQ cover model human and untamed wolf. On this night, the eve of the full moon, most Weres were in partially shifted form, herself and Rafe included. It only served to enhance his magnetism.”

–  Arctic Heat, by Alecia Monaco

Brilliant, isn’t it? The guy is ALWAYS some six-feet, tall, burly, muscular guy with a hobby of playing some sports. And seriously, an untamed wolf? Uhh.. I’m not saying anything. :-D

Here’s another gem of a description:

“Tall, blond, and handsome, he had been a major football star and had been recently hired by the Network.”

-          –  Kaleidoscope, by Danielle Steel.

I told you! Inadvertly, our male protagonist is always some sports star, with a 6 ft chiselled body to die for, and he has well cut features and a strong square jaw. God knows whatever that is. I’ve never noticed THIS much while seeing a guy. He dresses impeccably, and you’re left wondering how he has the time for office, to play sports and his timely dedication to maintain his body like a Mr. India model. :-D Ok, so destiny blows down on this bloke too. Six pack abs, booming voice, great sense of humour, suave and kind. YET. There’s no girlfriend or no love in his life. Tch tch. So sad, no? :-p He is the perfect match for our Ms. Perfect who is leading a lonely life on the other side.

So they meet. They realize that bulbs glow and music plays (Mozhi effect) while seeing each other. They know it. He’s the one, She’s the one. And then what happens? They do it on the couch or the bed. They see each other often and have heated passionate trysts. Oh yes, that’s what they do! So pure, so much sacrosanct. Rue me for misunderstanding the entire thing. :-p Here are some excerpts. It took me so much self-control not to snort laughing as I read these lines.

“So thrilling, the way his mouth fit on hers, the way all those hard lines and planes of his body met and meshed so perfectly with the curves of hers.
Hot, voracious kisses lashed with tongue and teeth, the frantic strain of torso against torso with one thin layer of silk between dampening flesh. She rocked against him, sizzling, as those clever hands soothed, abraded, tormented her skin. She thought she might burn from the inside out and fumbled desperately at his waistband.

Then he cupped her, fingers streaking under silk, plunging inside velvet fire to drive her hard and
mercilessly over the edge. She came like a geyser, release spurting out of her, shooting out shock waves that made her nails bite viciously into his back.”

-          –  Daring to Dream, Nora Roberts

Holy Cow! What a romantic encounter. She came like a geyser – get that?! And the hard lines and planes of his body met with her curves. Whatte wow!

“..And finally, they lay naked in each other's arms and he forgot himself and all caution as they joinedand made love as her body hummed beneath his hands.”

–  Heartbeat, by Danielle Steel.

Her body hummed beneath his hands? What is she – some wind pipe or wind chimes?! How the hell does someone’s body hum? O.o

“Scorch’s tongue plundered her mouth, and Victoria moaned as he swept inside meeting her own. She gripped the fabric of his shirt within her fists needing him to take away the ache building inside her."

-         –  Alpha Bait, by Sam Crescent

“Emotions spiralled and tipped and careened, and she gasped when a thunderous explosion of feeling ended with a tumbling and rolling, glittering like colourful gems that had been tossed, helter-skelter, onto black velvet."

-         -  Close Proximity, Donna Clayton

Okay, I’m not saying much about the two descriptions above. Seems like a VERY HOT passionate chapter of their lives. Emotions spiralled and tipped and careened. They are really having wild sex having a good time, eh? :-p

Almost every book – at this point, narrates about the earth-shattering orgasms or the dull ache in her loins after their intense love-making or rolling across to look into each others’ eyes tenderly (In the dark, guys? Seriously?) soon after their passion-filled encounters.

All’s well that ends well. Add a couple of emotional dilemmas, some soul-stirring tragedy and some situational contingencies after their coup. The coupleget them sorted out and finally, they walk into the sunset, hand-in-hand. End of the story. Ah, what joy! *Wipes a non-existent tear from the eyes*

Ladies and gentlemen, there you have it. That’s a womantic novel for you. I still remember how a few of us jointly gifted my friend Aarthi with a bunch of Nora Roberts books for her birthday two years ago. Little did we know what sort of a writer Nora Roberts was. But today, I look back to laugh and say that it’s an experience which taught me to never step into an aisle containing her books. :-D Such is the impact of these writers upon me. And you were wondering how I ripped these lines from each of these books listed above? It’s very simple! All I had to do was enter keywords like “passion” or “moans” or “kiss” and search those pdfs. And I could get whatever I’d put above. Quite easy, ain’t it? B)

Despite the predictability of the plot, the non-existent storyline, the impracticality and lack of logic, women seem drawn towards such tales of love and lust. The heck, these books are best-sellers too. Women like Nora Roberts and Danielle Steel make a living writing such reels of love. WHY does this happen?! It’s because, there’s an undiscovered soppy romantic inside each of us. She wants a magical element to satiate her wants and needs, to rescue her from her mundane life. She wants a guy to understand her without being spoken, to listen without the need for words, to empathize without the need for her to express her desires. She wishes that her life drew itself into such a happy ending where she walked into the oblivion, hand-in-hand with the man of her dreams. And that’s precisely the concoction that these authors brew. J

So there you have it, folks – Womanticism justified. :)