Adventure, Comedy, experience, Family, life, Writing Challenges

Modern Families – Now vs Then

So, here I was trying to get hold of a writing prompt to inspire me and up comes this one! Note, this prompt is dated exactly a year ago. Weird huh!

Daily Prompt :- Modern Families

If one of your late ancestors were to come back from the dead and join you for dinner, what things about your family would this person find the most shocking?

Disclaimer: I value my family and the traditions, heritage that they all put stock into. It has definitely help shape who I am. To be read with a pinch of salt. Any sense of disrespect is definitely not intended.

 Let’s get started.

Curtains Open : Great Grandparents get down from a strangely shaped contraception called Time Turner. After exchanging pleasantries, my parents invite them into the house.

Shock #1: Is this your house or the servant quarters?

You see, long ago, my ancestors lived in huge houses that roughly covered an area equal to one floor of an apartment complex. Not to mention the lush green backyards, with elaborate gardens. The current living situation would definitely make them claustrophobic. If you still don’t believe me take a look at this –

Shock #2: Changes in Lifestyle

Right from my clothing to my education, my job, my marital status, my opinions would be a shock for my great grandparents. Don’t get me started on the scientific advancement. The shock would have more to do with the possibility of all these things and not the thing itself.

 

Shock #3: Advent of Nuclear Families

I think this would be the biggest shock of them all. Once upon a time, joint families were the norm. The house would be full of cousins, siblings, aunts & uncles. Everyday used to be a huge celebration of sorts. Today, none of us stay in the same place as our siblings, leave alone cousins. We talk to them once in a while and meet them rarely on family functions. Agreed, technology does help but it cannot bring back what once was. The family gap is widening folks.

Even after all these shocks, I think my great grandparents would still be extremely happy to have met their great grand kid, pamper me and of course bless us all before its time to go back.

So how do you think your ancestors would react?

Comedy, experience, freedom, life, Writing Challenges

Wheels in Motion

For days, I struggled with the dreaded question – What should I write about? It felt like the pipes in my brain had been welded shut and the old rusty ideas were swirling around desperately trying to find an out. It was like constant rejection where I told myself ” Nope. Not this. Not today”.

These hard days are when I have literally push myself to even attempt writing a few lines. Nothing comes easily and even after trying so hard to focus, I feel like Atlas carrying the world. Even after all the whining and grinding, I just shelve it to start afresh. I cannot tell you how many unfinished pieces are cluttered all around my laptop!

writers_block_cnh

Then there are the easy days where things just click. I simply cannot wait to get started. There are at least five amazing ideas and each one of them turns into something that I would be proud of. Sentences are already taking shape in my head. All I need to do is, direct my hands to the keyboard and type away to glory. The feeling of content that fills me at the end of this is just …. Ah!

Each day is different from the one before and tomorrow is still a mystery. On a few days I struggle and on some I simply don’t. But I realized that what matters is that I continue to write.

Writing is definitely hard work. You have to filter your emotion to the point where you can describe it in its purest form. You have to edit, critique yourself to the point that sometimes self-doubt kicks in. Not satisfied, you subject it to the scrutiny of peers and elders. Even though it may never be perfect you keep at it continuously. Why? Because you are a writer  😉

Comedy, experience, Love, Random

Inseparable Love

inseparable_loveThe last time we saw each other was 8 months ago. I loved the way we looked just so perfect together. Not a hair out-of-place. I’d look into the mirror and feel a small smile tugging at my lips. Every time I went out, I swear there were girls who turned green with jealousy.

As time passed, we both grew up. My reflection was changing. It was time to let go. But I knew within my heart that he wouldn’t be gone forever, I knew he’d come back to me, when I wanted him to! Till then, I should try to get used to my new self, I thought.

I started to understand and discover a part of me that wasn’t pretty, didn’t get any attention, but was still likeable. Gradually, I started liking myself more. Have you heard how they say, “It is all in your head…”? Everything was normal again. The sun was still rising in the east, shining brightly and life went on despite the transformation.

And then one fine day, from the bygone depths of time, appeared a sublime image of us inside my head. It was a sign! I realized that it was time to get him back. We were after all meant to be together. I felt my defenses crumbling down.

That is when I went to the stylist and got myself the same hair-cut like the last time. Well, for now, we’re inseparable and in love! 😀

Comedy, Culture, experience, life, Random

Coping with the Cubicle Life

Ringing phones. Pinging IM. Loud conversations and sometimes even Background Music. How is anyone supposed to get work done in this place?

Good old Mr.Webster defines the word cubicle \ˈkyü-bi-kəl\

A small partitioned space; especially one with a desk used for work in an office; A sleeping compartment partitioned off from a large room

The second definition is interesting, I must admit 🙂

Today’s open offices are mostly distinguished by their high noise levels, lack of privacy and surfeit of both digital and human distractions. Apart from concentrating on meeting deadlines and getting by one’s day-to-day work, it becomes highly imperative to learn to tune out these distractions.

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I still remember my first day at work. I was brought into the office and lo! Before me, stretched out like a sea of grey on a rainy day, were dozens of nondescript cubicles. They were interesting in an extraordinarily boring way(credits Eddie Izzard). Finding my way in this cubicle labyrinth seemed impossible post lunch and I wondered if I should have left bread crumbs like Hansel and Gretel.

cubicle_4

A recurring scenario is loud personal conversation over speaker phone. There is always at least one love struck colleague who cannot stop talking to their partner every half hour. While the rest of the folks do appreciate the love that these two share, it doesn’t mandate them with a license to annoy others.

On the other hand, it is not uncommon for cube-mates, just a few inches away from each other, to call/email/text things they don’t want overheard. The walls do have ears my friends.

There is nothing more unnerving than casually turning away from your screen to find someone standing right behind you. Some people just creep in from behind without any greeting and just knock the wind out of your breath. On seeing your shocked expression, they would probably laugh it off  and even if you tell them not to spring you like that, they hardly seem to register it. So much for candid communication!

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Whenever you hear shuffling footsteps at the far end of the cubicle line, your brain quickly tries to analyze if it is the “peeper”. Do not get me wrong  it is probably hard to resist a glance when you pass by someone’s cube. But that doesn’t give entail you the right to just keep staring long and hard to get a good look on what the person is working on.

The gossip network in cubicle life is faster than any known processor chip manufactured so far!  Right from dinner plans to domestic disputes, everyone knows it all. No matter how much people cross their heart and swear that they wouldn’t breathe a word, news spreads like melting butter on hot toast.

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Butter reminds me of two distinctive smells that permeate the entire office (thanks to the central air-conditioning) – perfume and feet. One man’s perfume is another man’s migraine. There are those who wear enough to knock out anyone within a 100 foot radius. Come rainy season, here follows the inevitable smell of feet. These literally set your nose on fire and even nose plugs are a far cry from any respite.

The panacea for most of the distractions is to just plug-in your headphones and just put some music on. That way, most of the background noise can be drowned and one can work in peace. One thing that I love is to decorate my cubicle. I can put up posters, some pictures and make it look a bit more cheerful (but again nothing over the top to call for extra attention)

There is one word, that shines like a bright sun in an eclipse, that possesses enough magical power to turn this gray canvas into a plethora of colors – CAKE. “Did someone say cake?” “Sweets/cake at xyz’s cubicle”. This information travels faster than light across the entire floor in a matter of minutes and you can hear footsteps all around like a carnival. Ah, food at desk, I can make it through another day in this labyrinth 😀

Comedy, Culture, experience, life, NaPoWriMo, Poetry

Unhandled Exceptions

It all begins in the brain storming session,
Design, specs, corner cases define the mission
The focus shifts from the conference rooms
At every clock tick, the deadlines looms.

Located deep in the cubicle maze
Glued intently to the LCD gaze
Armed with technology to play
The programmer toils night and day

Fueled by caffeine and Diet Coke
Bemused by the occasional nerdy joke unhandled_exception
The codesmith has no sense of time
His clock runs in a bit wise rhyme

All is easier said than done,
Software wars are seldom won!
As he readies to pull the plug
There pops the treacherous bug!

Break points, logs and debug mode
He strives to cleanse his code
Though others help him to their best
He himself performs the sanity tests

In between , the managers speak,
The code is to be released next week
He sounds a primal cry with a clang
“Nothing in the program should hang”

Finally, the dreaded release day dawns
He steps into office stifling huge yawns
The head speaks, he waits with breath bated
“Engineers, the code we released is already outdated!”

Poem #23 for National Poetry Writing Month Challenge

Comedy, experience, NaPoWriMo, Poetry, world

Power Cut

The moon light outside
Only source of power to guide
Glimpse of shadows tall
Appear dancing on the wall

Temperature on a down trend
As the dark night does descend power_cut
The candle light in the hearth
Does little to add to the warmth

Darkness befalls the room
Eyes struggle in the gloom
Candlelight shadows flicker
The wind seems to snicker

Shadows grow larger in formation
Adeptly stoking my imagination
Pulse accelerates to a rapid beat
Glistening sweat does greet

They seem to move menacingly
Intent to devour my soul
I am sure it is my imagination
Yes, I am almost certain it is.

Almost!

Poem #12 for National Poetry Writing Month Challenge

Comedy, experience, life, NaPoWriMo, Poetry

The Mall

A floor above, a floor below
Energy of visitors never low
Shops lined up front to back
None of them ever slack

Pumps, Wedges and Flats
Watches, Coolers and Hats
Cardigans, Tees and Tracks shopping_mall
Everything neatly in racks

A haven for lovers of gizmos
Ranging from Sony to Bose
You can watch all movies on,
With mouth full of popcorn

People flock here like a fair
Parking spaces you can’t snare
You can freak out in the mall
All in one, one in all

But all these cost sky-high
You keep questioning why.
Window shopping is the norm
Else your wallet is gone

Poem #10 for National Poetry Writing Month Challenge