Saturday, January 18, 2014

A Special Mate

In a train while returning from Cannington after submitting my nth rental application,I am cocooned in the quite preoccupied calm of my fellow commuters. A youngster next to me checking Facebook in Arabic text breaking into guffaws now and then, a man in suit sat opposite me with the grave awe of a CEO not sparing a moment running his company in his head( who probably owns a mansion with a bustling family somewhere I have probably avoided for exorbitant rental rates), a lady with tattoos and metal jewellery with a good head of blond hair listening to a music matching her attire, and few others who look like they are on their way back home after their work hours.

Just about when it feels like the doors are going to close and before we could all slip into the supine rhythm of the train moving, a rotund man comes in. Holding on to a bag he mumbles and sits down on the priority seat and exclaims
” Hello mate! Nice to meet you all mate! Gotta go home! Got work to do at home! Tutututu..gotta go a lot to do mate..tutu.” The CEO cringes in suspicion and discomfort. Others just look up from their books and gadgets indifferently. I avoid looking directly at him like he is radioactive and concentrate on the shoe of a guy reading the booklet of Perth July train delays, wondering if he is drunk and what unfinished business does he have at home..

He however goes unabated” tututu..” and on reaching the next station as the prompt announces “Next stop Claisebrook” he chimes “Next stop Claisebrook good job!! Tutu..” And on reaching as the doors open and the passengers shuffle there way out.He bids them" Claisebrook good job. See you tomorrow mate. Have a great day mate.” Which is ignored. Then on reaching Oats street he yet again iterates “ Next Stop oats street. Good job! Tutu.” And he gives an equally enthusiastic adios to Oats street passengers.

I couldn't help smiling at this open appreciation of the Public transport efficiency and courtesy for strangers. Probably he has a disability for which a system has been worked out to make him appear friendly and harmless to public while being able to reach his destination without confusion. Anyways as he continued undeterred he began getting response from fellow commuters as they greeted him back. And just as I was wondering if he remembers where he is supposed to get off. The prompt announces next stop Queens park! He heaves himself up gleefully “ah that’s my stop. See you tomorrow mate. Have a great day mate.” Everyone beamed nodding and greeting back.

He left a warm feeling behind. A mixture of grace ,pride and love. And a journey to remember by.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Brisbane to Perth- the big move

My husband finally got a call for that contract job based in Perth and having crossed the interview process to reference check,he is all restless and walking up and down contemplating and calculating his future in Perth. He would be able to deliver his long due word to his parents settled in perth to move in with them. His mind has now become a cyclotron of ideas and he is already on the move, though we are only going to know for sure tomorrow. When I asked if he was happy with the prospect he says he has mixed feelings. While he is excited about his job that will be more on the field than a sedentary office job too cozy and sometimes cloistered with corporate politics and advancement games, he is worried about his jump.

Here is what is messed up about a coveted job in any field and changing jobs. It is hard to trust anyone especially when you are someone from outside and its worse if you don’t know how to network. He does get along well with people and I really admire his ability to see through their games. He is doing his best to survive the corporate jungle where everyone in hierarchy is waiting to chuck someone out or stunt other’s growth. The people from the contract job too seem to care less on how precarious the situation is becoming for the candidate especially if they are not planning to select him while asking for references. The reference colleagues are now mulling, rubbing their hands in glee “ Ha! Now wait and watch my friend.” Your luck if your position tangents their scheme. It could be a fierce competition to get rid off or just the power to use the chink in his amour. Next project or pay revision just tip the boss off saying he is not planning to stick on why him? The contract job pays well but it has no stability, on the other hand you could be left with the stable job that you might have to fight tooth and nail to advance in.

I keep wondering why the corporate world punishes its employees in this manner. Why does it encourage such a self-centered environment to thrive? Why can’t it reverse the cycle by rewarding those who allow others to grow? Why does it always fail to foster comradeship and genuine friendship? Why is it just obsessed with eliminating people for most pathetic reasons and less concerned in giving an opportunity for a family to survive? From my end trying to land a job the fort is impenetrable and for those inside are just fencing the whole time while holding on to the parapets.

I believe the school should teach students more to be street smarts. Or is it really something that can be taught? Probably not.. may be more field games and competitions. Am I now over the line if I say ragging and bullying help?! It sure is a handicap being naive.

Coming back to us, we are just keeping our fingers crossed hoping it will all happen for good. I did visit Perth last Christmas and couldn’t find anything wrong with the city. The populace is dense with Indians less jealous of each other’s presence and not sure if the natives are disgruntled by the Indian Mynah evasion. The weather is a weird hot and cold mix . Brisbane will always be my favorite as it was the city that made me feel welcome. Unit8, 22a Kumbari st spot on googlemaps was my castle of dreams and hopes. And it never failed to disappoint me. The vast green verdure and the deep blue sea..the relaxed air of people kite surfing and picnicking at open air barbecues.. has a beatific whisper that says life is more than just running behind stuff. Alas now we have to wake up from our yearlong honeymoon and mature into family. My mind too is now on the move.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


I acquired my specs when I was in my 8th grade. Forever the world around me got framed, a tad artificial. I used to wonder which was real. The faded hazy vision or the clearer framed one? I was not so petrified with my partial Hubble space look until an uncle exclaimed “che! Now all that glamour has gone”. Snap! Right between my eyes it snapped! The entire thrill of looking intellectual, mature, someone worth taking seriously, all that snuffed out!! But then I looked around, half my family were in glasses. So I was relieved that it runs in the family. In fact, I began to feel much better when I checked out some of my mom’s old photos, whew!! Those days’ people literally wore voluminous swimming goggles!
Inevitably that thought still keeps sneaking in… somehow I began to drift into that group of mousy bespectacled people, even my class benchie then on, turned out to be in glasses. It does creep into our attitude; somehow these glasses seem to encase your entire body attitude. You are not nearly so open, fun loving or funky when you are in glasses than when you are without them. And if you do happen to be kinky in spite of all that, you are applauded to such a point of exaggeration that it is more than enough to effectively make you sniggle back to your shell.
It is with a touch of dread, like a final spoiler to all the pains gone into looking good, getting the dress right, the hair right, and pointless though it is, the eyes lined with kohl, when I finally do don the specs. A friend of mine considered the possibility of doing all that after wearing the specs first. IT doesn’t work; somehow it dampens the spirit of vanity and verve with which we start out at adorning ourselves before going anywhere.
Try arguing with me that even spectacled people can look classy once they get the glasses of the right shape and design. I have despairingly tried one after the other, and those that do look classy….eham! Costs a bomb! I am often tempted to take that smart move, you know like my cousin does, to go out without them, and use them only when watching a movie or read a book. But whenever I try doing that , I feel a bit of a mean hypocrite, why if someone has to like me should like me as I am , specs and all!!
All the charming guys politely avoid you and soon those intellectual recluses become the apple of your eye. I don’t know what it is a sort of stigma attached to being a chash- mush, people wrongly assume you to be dorky or nerdish on the whole the boring type just at the sight of those confounded goggles! Just when you feel like emerging from a luxurious sedan with a fashionable √©lan, your glasses get all misty all of a sudden because of all that A.C and sudden warmth outside. By the time you remain frozen waiting for it to clear by itself or you clumsily fumble for the suitable cloth to clear it, you could have got robbed in broad daylight!!The same while you are sipping a coffee thoughtfully staring fixedly at some object, suddenly it all gets blotted out and for a moment you suffer from partial amnesia! Well all that a framed soul can say is that in life, things become clear when glasses become clear....