Thursday, September 27, 2007

A few lessons learnt

Lessons learnt in the Design Yatra, presented in the Goaing, going, gone way. But this must have some witty comment to prove how smart I am. The thoughts within quotes aren't mine, the hyphenated ones aren't either. But just because I'm nice, it's getting credit here.

"Everything I do always comes back to me"
- Life must be a boomerang

"Trying to look good limits my life"
- Hobos are in

"Everybody thinks they are right"
- Lefties feel so left out

"Helping other people helps me"
- Two helpings of each then

"Over time I get used to everything and take it for granted"
- Try living in a vacuum

"Complaining is silly - either I act or I forget"
- This must be for whining and dining

"Worrying solves nothing"
- I'm tensed about the outcome of this statement

"Everybody who is honest is interesting"
- Dishonest people are interesting too. Check their bank balances.

"Assuming is stifling"
- Oxygen is a lack of assumptions?

"Material luxuries are best enjoyed in small doses"
- Bring out the caviar and Coney Island people

"Thinking life will be better in the future is stupid - I have to live now"
- Yeah, 4 feet of water is so conducive to the good life

"Being not truthful works against me"
- Umm... about the money... er.. forget it. Nothing!

"Money does not make me happy"
- Something else does, but we're civilized here

"Having guts always works out for me"
- Chicken guts works out too

"Low expectations are a good strategy"
- I should have learnt this for my maths exam

"Actually doing the thing I set out to do increases my overall level of satisfaction"
- Civilized society, civilized society, civilized society...

"In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act"
- Move over Guevara, Egoman is here

"The only thing you really have is what you give away"
- Nobody look at my commode

"Tom Cruise doesn't like the colour Red"
- And that's why the Mission: Impossible text is blue tinted

in fine print: Stefan Sagmeister
Neville Brody
Wally Orlins
Michael Johnson
Kyle Cooper

Friday, September 14, 2007

Lights. Chimera. Action.

I untangled my headphones. The thrum of digital music wasn't for this setting. The white dog looked expectantly at my hand. It's tongue had run faster than it had, hoping to bite into my burger. Or whatever was left of it. I threw the last piece of meaty bread onto the sandy beach and licked my fingers clean.


I'd been here two days already. A rushed preparation, some anxious moments for reserving tickets, a lot of pent up frustration. The place was worth every second of waiting in smoky AC rooms hoping to get a seat in the Design Yatra 2007 conference.

There was this international creativity conference happening in Goa. The who's who of design were going to showcase their work. The mailer said it was a place "where creatives meet". I was interested. I had no chance of going. My notice period in the old workplace was over. There was just no way my ex-boss would sponsor my presence among all the old colleagues. The ex-officio Dark Stallion had bitten the dust. But here I was, walking in the sand.

I wasn't just bitter, I was angry. Angry at the way the last job ended. Angry at the fact that all my friends were out of station. Angry at the fact that I didn't have the energy or inclination to keep in touch with a single one. And in true movie style, I needed to vent. There, this post has gotten so many "I-s" already.

"Ma, I want to go to Goa. The office is gonna be there for 3-4 days. I plan to show up. There's also this design conference happening. I can get a student discount. Need some money."

"The word 'please' and 'may I' seems to have disappeared from your vocabulary."

"Let's not talk about it Ma. I need a break..."

Ma and Dad paid for my tickets. It was a vengeance visit. I wanted to prove to the ex-boss that I could jolly well show up wherever he was and have just as much fun, and learn just as much, and network with just as many, and I didn't need his help. If there was an ophthalmologist then, I'd have gotten an instant prescription for acute short sightedness. I'm also gleaning over a lot of details here. Details make postings unnecessarily big.

24 hours and 20k later, I was sitting in Mumbai Airport. My male ego was pounding it's gorillaic chest. I'd managed to shock my ex-colleagues by showing up. It's a different thing that my back was throbbing from three days of zero sleep and endless hours of anticipation. Goa was only an hour away. By flight that is. The check-in and boarding added a tidy 4 hour wait before that one hour came my way.

The organizing committee had made reservations at the Alor Grande, Candolim. My friends were in more posh hotels around Goa. The point is, I had come. The nearest hotel, La Calypso, was on Baga beach. It was about Rs. 100 away. Another taxi driver buddy and business card later, I was back to socializing with the old gang. This sounds more and more like a memory journal. It probably is.

I finally managed to meet a colleague who sat in Mumbai. We chatted, joked, got inspired and annoyed the ex-boss together. The fact that I was present there was annoying in itself, but to have dinner with everyone and get away with smart alecky comments was a bit too much. Every dinner with the old group was accompanied by Port Wine. Lots of it. Shark fin steak, seafood platter, beefsteak sizzlers and chocolate mousses were lost in the revelry and thick atmosphere of sarcasm. Someone dropped a glass of wine. It seeped towards the boss. I offered him a napkin.

"Here, use this to stem your flow."

I wasn't part of it. It felt good to be rude and in-your-face. I was also beginning to loathe myself.