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26 Jan 2012

Molly's Mystery Unravelled

"I hate my house! I hate it. I hate it. I hate it!", she yelled. 

It was strange to hear her go on like that because she used to love it. At least that is what she used to think, I think. When she was moving into the house, she had said that she picked this house because it had felt right. Of all the house places she had seen, this one was by far the most expensive one but it had felt right and she had stretched her purse strings to nearly snapping point. When the rent had increased, she had clung to it because she could not find a reason not to. Other than how expensive it was, it had just felt right. It was less than 5 minutes away from all 3 means of public transport - train, bus and ferry. She could walk to the city if she wanted to. The proximity to the river was one of the things that had attracted her most, when she was house-hunting and it continued to be a key factor. There were no major hassles with the house, the owners left her to her devices and the agent was not too interfering. In all, there did not seem to be one good reason to not like it. Yet, she had begun to feel a sense of incompleteness, off late. 

Initially, she thought that she might be lonely. Maybe she needed a flatmate. Once she started considering this idea seriously, she realized that that might not be the case, after all. She was not too sure that the place was big enough to get a flatmate. It would cramp her space. Maybe not physical space, because there was still room for another person's furniture. The study was nearly empty, save for a briefcase and an air-mattress that was almost never used. Still, it was a small house. Anyway, deciding that she would go with logic rather than feeling, she convinced herself that the cut in rent and other costs plus the possibility of getting an internet connection, which she might be able to afford if she was splitting costs, were enough for her to start looking. When a mate of hers started looking at apartments and was struggling to find a suitable one, she thought it might be a sign. They were good friends, respected each others 'space' and might make good flatmates after all. The only problem was that neither she nor the mate were too keen on sharing a unit. Both of them loved living alone. So, she decided that they would leave the option open (Plan B, if you like) and get on with life. If this one did not work out, she was going to live by herself. 

When her friend found a unit to move into, she almost breathed a sigh of relief! That was when she realized that loneliness and needing a flatmate was not the problem with the house. So then, what was it? She looked around the lounge she was standing in and found nothing wrong. During the day, it seemed like the perfect place. Lots of light streaming in, backyard, birds, plants that did not need maintenance, spacious, etc. At night, though, it did feel a little dark. Well, it is dark! She just could not put her finger on the problem. She knew something was missing. She did not know what. She decided that it was nothing and she was probably just reeling under the pressure of financial troubles. It was time to put that behind her and get on with things. She was going to stay here till the end of her lease, so it did not matter whether she found the source of her problem or not. She was not going to move out anyway. She was not going to get a flat-mate either. That was that. 

One morning, she sat up in her bed and found herself thinking, "When I step out of this room and go into the living room, I want to be able to see people". It did not make sense, yet it did. It felt like it made perfect sense. Like that was the answer she was searching for. It took her a second to understand what it meant. Surely, she lived alone and would not want to find someone sitting in her living room when she stepped out of the room in her nightclothes, on waking up one morning? She knew it was not about a room-mate. What was it? She saw herself standing next to a window. That was it! That was exactly what was missing in this house! When she looked out the windows, she saw nothing but a few plants and the lower half of anyone at the entrance to the building. The balcony was behind the house, overlooking the backyard, and she could see nothing from there either. All she ever got was the sound of voices from neighbouring apartments on holidays and weekends (not even that, during Christmas and other long holidays). The only people she saw were a man or woman from the house behind her and from the distance, she could not even recognize their faces! 

She wanted to be able to look out and see people or animals or even traffic. She lived in an underground apartment but she wanted to live on a higher level where she could see life. Then, she would be less lonely. There would be more light and more life. The nights would not seem so dark. She realized that the house seemed to close in on her on some nights. All because she lived under and she wanted above. That is why she had felt a sense of lightness when she had looked out from her mate's house one night. There was traffic to watch. She knew her answer to the agent's question that would come up in the next few months. Did she want to move out? Yes, she did! She loved the locality, the proximity to public transport, so she might look for something around there but she wanted something higher up, with a balcony and a view of life other than basic flora & fauna. 

Once she found the answers, she never felt sad in the house again. She would enjoy it as much as she could, while she was here. Because once her time was up here, she was going to move up in life. Yay!

25 Jan 2012


I have been slack. It clearly shows in the appearance of my blog page. There are too many colours. The fonts vary across posts. The template is too splattered. Most importantly, the formatting of each post is haywire. In other words, I need a makeover for my blog. As it is apparent, I have not been making time to write a post, let alone work on the blog itself.

I have noticed that it is much easier to write about negative topics than positive ones. When something is not right, there is much to say about it! There are the complaints about what is not right, then there are the things to be said as to how it should be set right and then there are the multiple options to set it right. Of course, there are the asides to all of this. Not to forget, multiple opinions. In short, there is a lot to say.

When something is going well, who would want to stop to talk or write about it? It is all about having fun and savouring the moment. It is about saving it for later, to replay the events in moments when the mind is blank and the heart is empty. If not written well, they do not serve as good memories. The mind, however, stores the visuals away with more clarity and colour! Like I said, writing about it would be hard work for some of us. Hard work is harder when it can be replaced with more of the fun. Thus, the motivation fails to surface.

How about writing on a neutral theme, instead? That sounds reasonable. Right? Ok. What could be neutral? Would it count as neutral if I listed the pros and cons of an event? Will the positives and negatives cancel each other out? Probably not. So, I scratch my head and rub my chin, hoping for an idea to materialize out of thin air. Then I remember reading somewhere to just start talking (in this case, writing) and that words will form themselves into sentences, which then turn into a fully fledged conversation. I suppose that is what I am attempting here. I am failing miserably. I keep stopping to think. Nothing happens. Then I write about what I just did and how nothing happened. It repeats. Then I think of a different way of saying the same thing. Now, I am just narrating my attempts in vain, at trying to come up with a decent post.

I give up. Another day, another time. When the cloud called writers' block passes by and leaves me with the bloom of words under the sun, I shall attempt to write. That will be a positive note. A neutral one, at the very least. Till then, I guess I will have to stick to narratives such as this one. Better than nothing at all.

18 Jan 2012

Vodafone Test Series - Their Test or Mine?

"Somewhere in the midst of the changing seasons and overbooked events, there will be time to read and write" Those are words from my last blog, at the end of last year. It has taken me 18 days to get back to writing my first post of this year. Obviously, it has not been that easy to make time to write. I will admit that I may have had the opportunity a couple of times but I have been lazy or tempted to trade the writing hour in favour of a far easier and (sadly) slightly more enjoyable task of reading. I guess a Jack Reacher book does that to me.  The Indian cricket team arrived in Australia last month and started their first match against the locals, with the Boxing Day Test Series, at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). They lost the match. That was the start of the disastrous streak for the Indians in the Vodafone Test Series. Three matches played. Thrashed by the Aussies in each one of them. In fact, they only got worse each match, losing the second one at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) by an innings and repeating that at the Western Australia Cricket Association (WACA) grounds at Perth in 2 and 1/2 days. The media in both countries went crazy. The Indian cricketers were defamed liberally while the Australians were nearly deified. Somewhat rightly too, I will admit.  By the third match, the Aussies were the only ones being spoken of, as far as the game of cricket went. It was as if the Indians were not playing at all. Truth be told, we have been in the ground but whatever it is that we have been doing, it cannot be called 'playing'. We have fared badly and how! By the end of the third match, there was not one person with a kind word for the Indian men in blue. Even the captain Dhoni had run out of excuses and had to admit to a rather shameful performance thus far. The rest of the crowd, thankfully, stayed away from the press. That is probably just as well, considering that they have only been in the news for all sorts of wrong reasons (giving the bird to the Aussies inside and outside the cricket ground, go-karting instead of practising, the drama over the 'traditional' booze party at the WACA, the list goes on). The cricket team may be lying low since their last defeat at Perth but the talk of their failure has not stopped. The media is still tearing them apart. The favourites, at the moment, are the Aussies and there does not seem to be enough words to praise their performance. The supporters of the Indian cricket team are copping a fair bit of flak too. Not only do I have to deal with the frustration of the team performing poorly but face the comments from everyone at work, every day. It is as if, suddenly, everyone around me has been given a secret weapon to attack me with. No matter what topic is being discussed, the surefire way to shut me up and deflect my argument seems to be to bring up the Indian cricket team's performance.  Disgraceful, boys! Thanks very much, for that! There is no expectation that we will win the next match. The Australian captain, Michael Clarke, has made his intentions clear. They want a 4-0 win this series. Most likely, they will get what they want. The test series is out of our hands, just as the Border-Gavaskar trophy has already gone into theirs. It is no secret and the crowds in Australia and India have acknowledged that is the case. Clarke might refuse to call the next match dead rubber, before the reporters, but I bet he and his team are confident that it is.  The concern in my mind now, is how they will perform in the next few matches during the rest of their Australian tour. Having bought tickets to watch a couple of ODIs in the Commonwealth Bank Series, I wonder if I will get value for my money. Will I be able to proudly wear the new Indian cricket team jersey? Will they put up a better show then? Will we win? If we lose, will we have at least put up resistance? I may not be playing the match but I sure feel like I have exams coming up.  Whatever the outcome, they are not going to be the only ones to have to face the music. For my own sake, I hope we fare well. Next week is going to be a hard one to live down. From the moment I step inside office on Tuesday, the 24th day of January 2012, to the last ball of the 4th Test, I will be counting down the fat ugly minutes and willing them to pass me by as quickly as possible. It will be slow going.