The long lost fireflies

Growing up, electricity was always kinda playing hide and seek with us, especially during nights, in my hometown. Power outages were a regular occurrences and part of everyone’s lives. These outages were more frequent during Summer season, cause of increased demand. Though, I am pretty sure that the number of households with air-conditioner, would have had been very few in those days (at least in my hometown), the distribution generally does not depends on the needs of one city. Other than the increasing demand, I am sure the production and output of power would have been less than the normal demand of the days. It has been like that in India, as long as I can see in the past. A gap in the supply and demand!

But, this post is not about the power situation in India. Not about, the production, supply, and demand of electricity. But, this post is about recalling those summer nights, when electricity was out, and we used to sit outside in the lawn, under the moon and stars. As soon as the power went out (it was almost a fixed time, every night), we used to pull folding chairs outside, and then sit and talk. The neighborhood used to come alive during those power cuts. You could listen to conversations going on, across the boundary wall, shrill cries of babies getting irritated due to the heat, sharp noise of children trying to play and have fun in the night, under the light from stars, moon and candles or emergency lanterns peeking from the open windows of the houses.

Those days, fireflies were quite common and present everywhere. At night, as kids, you could enjoy the faint yellow glow and marvel at those flies. It amazed us as kids. I remember, we used to catch few of them between the hollow of our palms, and then peek through a slit between fingers at the yellow glow. At times, I remember, catching a few of them in glass jars and then doing nothing but staring at the yellow tail. As soon as it was time to sleep, even if the power did not came back, most of the times, we used to release the trapped fireflies back to nature, their natural habitat.

It’s been ages, since I saw a firefly. The same way, it’s been ages spotting house sparrow. The fast change to climate, must be causing changes to the ecology on the whole, which has disturbed the eco-system for many birds, insects, animals. I am counting on seeing the fireflies once again, sometime in future!

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Daily Prompt: Super Sensitive | Sense and Sensibility

I had always wondered, how good it could have been, if one my sense could have been a lot better than it is. To be more specific, I had always wondered about the joy of having sharper hearing, and sharper sight – so that I don’t need glasses. I had never put thought in wondering why I would want sharper sense of smell, taste, or touch, but as I am writing, my brain is trying to tell me that how can I ignore my sense of touch, when it comes to marking it on the I want checklist, before I enter that wonderland, where I can trade one for super sensitivity in another?

Frankly, it’s a tough one – about letting go of one of the senses for the sake of another. How can you wish for something like that? But then, the problem statement was – it’s not a choice we are asked to make, but supposedly a choice thrown at us due to some unavoidable catastrophic circumstance. Well, in that case, if I really have to let go of one, and have another spiked up, then I would trade sense of taste for sense of sight! Why do I chose that, you ask? Well, it’s not that I do not value the sense of taste. I actually do – I cannot imagine to forgo the taste of food. But then, remember we might be living in that apocalyptic world, where this trade-off is not of our choosing, but forced upon us. So, I would let go of taste to have better sight. Why do I choose better sight than better hearing? Well, I don’t have weak ears, and neither do I have super sensitive ears so that I can pick up what people standing few feet away from me are talking about in hushed tone ( I know few people who can listen to those things, which my ears don’t pick up).

Sense of sight, is what I would like to be spiked up, so that I can get rid of glasses, so that I can see my sweetheart with clarity in a crowd, so that I can see the beautiful waves and their curls breaking down at the shore, so that I can see the beautiful colors of the nature more crisply, so that I can see the red and orange hues of sunrise and sunset like pumped up HDR shots, so that I can see the beautiful face of my sweetheart even more clearly than I do right now. I can’t think of any thing else at this moment, but am sure there are lot of other things, I would like to experience a lot better with my super sensitive eyes.

In response to Daily Prompt.

Daily Prompt: Bookworms | 1Q84

Last night, I was thinking about how infrequently I blog since a long time. I was feeling really down yesterday and so was contemplating writing something about what I was feeling, God and all that shit, which comes to your mind, when nothing seems to be going in direction you want. So, this morning, I logged in, and thought that I will at least start responding to Daily Prompt and Weekly inspirations, to give me a jump start, if nothing else.

These days, I am reading 1Q84 and that was besides my bed.

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The 10th word was broadcast and a Google image search gives me this image of an NBC nightly broadcast control room.

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Seeing this image, or before I actually saw this, the first thing which came to my mind, was live sports broadcast (as I was watching EPL matches last night). I always wondered, how much technology, effort, and manpower goes behind the scenes in ensuring a live broadcast of a sporting event. Live coverage of sports, any day is more demanding in terms of resource input, than live broadcast of a speech. Reason being, in sports, you got to have multiple cameras, depending on the sport you are covering, to give multiple angles to TV viewers, cameras to cover those attending the game, some for covering what’s going on outside the stadium (like in Tennis, for instance).

I was watching The Newsroom on HBO and that gave a lot of insight into the production and broadcast of nightly news on TV. 

In response to Daily Prompt: Bookworms

Workplace and Managers

At work, at times you get a manager who is so difficult to get along with that you find it’s painful even to smile to him/her. You actually change your path, whenever you can. I am not sure about everyone else, but that’s what has happened to me at my current workplace.

I always thought that the manager(s) I had in my first company, were the most lousy of the lot. But, when I reflect back, I can definitely say that they were a lot better than the ones I have to currently deal with.

Over the time, I have realized that there’s a wider problem with the current crop of managers or people who are just sitting above you due to the number of years they have spent in the industry. Many of them – the ones I am lambasting here – are good for nothing, be it – technical, functional, communication, or the most expected trait of them – managerial. I know quite a few of them, who’ve reached there by shining the boots. I also realized that such people are hard to get along with, as they take you as a threat, since they see you as more talented, and as someone who questions. They hate our guts. They hate that we don’t follow their shitty whims, or that we don’t want to leave the chair for them when playing musical chair (well, I never had this scenario, but am just painting a picture for the sake of it).

Funny, it may seem, but I was told at my current company, that “there are people who get up from their seat, when a senior is talking to him/her”. This was in reference to the fact that I was comfortable in my chair, when my manager came to my desk to ask me something. I wanted so badly to hit that schmuck in his face and tell him that he is not living in a sarkaari daftar and I am not his peon or clerk, that he expects me to get up from my seat. I get up from my seat for people I respect, or I care about. And respect is earned, not asked for. And as far as professionalism is concerned, I was under the bounds and not violating any shit. Well, that was one part of a whole bunch of shit.

Recently, it’s getting increasingly difficult to pass another day at this worthless, and thankless job. It has reduced to a way to pay my bills and EMIs, rather than the enjoyment I had from working. I don’t know, when and how I can get out of this enormous crapload of job.

Apathy…and empathy…

I had a close encounter with people’s apathy on Indian roads this Tuesday.

I met with an accident on my way to the office in the morning. I was on my bike and my brother was pillion rider with me. We had spent almost 50 minutes to maneuver through nasty traffic, for a journey which usually takes hardly 15 minutes.

I was driving in the leftmost lane, and a car was around 100 meters ahead of me in the center lane. I though of increasing speed and getting ahead of the car, but then though otherwise, since no one was pushing on my back, and I was almost near my office. Then, something happened. I heard a loud screeching noise, of someone applying the brakes instantly, and even before I registered it completely, the car in the center lane came into my lane and made a full stop. I was travelling somewhere between 50-60, and I tried to swerve, but hit the car’s rear door on the right and feel right away. After that, I could not recall what I was seeing, but I was dragged with the bike for almost 50-100 meters, before I made full stop. I made a fall on my right side, and dragged on that side. My brother managed to stand up before me, and then he helped me. I had bruises on my right arm, a long scratching cut, and my jeans was all in tatters at knees, near pockets – on the right side. Some other biker, who was traveling ahead had stopped by the noise, and came running towards me. He helped in standing the bike on stands, and then asked me if I was hurt. My brother was all the time saying that I was hurt, but I did not know how badly, since I was not feeling the pain. It was when the other guy told me that I was badly hurt, after seeing my arm and bleeding knee, I realized that I was really hurt. 

I was looking towards the car and the driver, who had decided to come to a full stop after suddenly changing lanes. I wanted to scream at her, but did not. I thought she will at least come and ask if we were okay, but she did not. She stepped out of her car hurriedly, and then just checked her car for dents (if any), got into her car and left right away!

Meanwhile, some other cars had stopped, and I saw that there was another biker who was badly hurt, and was bleeding profusely. A gentleman came out of his car and was calling someone and helping the guy, by the time we left…

The love of Cricket and superstitions

Even though, I am not a fan of IPL, and neither a die-hard fan of a team, that I follow the matches, I at least make sure to remain updated or try to watch it when Sachin plays. And so, today, I was actually hooked on my laptop, watching MI vs CSK. Sachin misfired, yet again, and I left it at there, and stepped outside to the market to get few things done.

My brother, on the other hand, still remains a cricket lover, though, for him too, 99% of the time, it starts and stops with Sachin. He is rooting for MI, this season (like always), and so he had his interest in the game. When, we were strolling through the market, he noticed the match on TV screens inside an electronics store (It was a showroom for LG). He was ecstatic, when he saw that CSK has lost 2 wickets for 9 runs, and needless to say, he asked me to wait for a couple of minutes, so that he can continue watching it. I relented, though I was not that willing to. And then, the very next minute (actually less than that), another wicket fell. I could see the smile on his face. Then, I asked him to come along, and we left. 

Once inside the mall, we simply walked up to the top floor, where there is this big electronics store, thinking that the match must be coming there too. And it was. Needless to say, my brother stepped inside the store, and I stayed outside (since I could see it from the outside too). He went in, and they changed the channel 🙂 , but as soon as he walked out, they again changed the channel back to the match. He went back in, and saw two more wickets going down. When he came outside, he told me that, one of the salesman asked him, if he is looking for something, to which my brother replied that, he is just interested in the match and score. Surprisingly, the salesman happily said that, he can continue watching it (the salesmen in that store, usually are not this friendly).

We strolled here and there, few more showrooms (just electronics store), wherever he can see the glimpse of the match and keep a tab on the score. Then, we stepped outside the mall, and sat for sometime, outside the mall. He was constantly checking the scores on my smartphone (he still carries the normal Nokia handset). 

Since, we had nothing else to do, we decided to head back to the flat, and try to catch whatever was left of the match. On the way, he felt hungry, and we decided to eat something at Bikanerwala. While sitting there, I realized, that we can try watching the match on YouTube. I did not know, whether they stream live content on mobile or not. They do (and why wouldn’t they?). So, we witnessed the fall of last 2 wickets in HD quality on my phone.

During this part (where we were watching the match on phone), I recalled an old superstition, which I (and my brother) used to have, when India was playing. When a wicket, used to fall of the opponents, we quickly took notice of the room and everything – like the pose we were sitting in, the object we were holding, maybe the water, which has just entered the food canal and not gone down, or the crossed fingers. I even used to notice whether right leg is on left or is it other way round. And after this quick analysis and note taking in the mind, we used to (kind of) hold our positions, and try replicating everything, for next deliveries  thinking that the wickets would fall OR if India was batting, praying that the batsmen will hit another 4 or 6. 

So, when 9th wicket fell down, and the CSK batsmen, started hitting the ball for runs, I told my brother, that he better not watch it live, as the wickets are not falling, and CSK is scoring runs. He obliged my request. And I quit YouTube application, and just refreshed CricInfo website, to check the score, And right then, I saw that the 10th wicket has fallen and MI has won. I quickly (and excitedly) told my brother about this, and switched on the YouTube app. There is delay of 1-2 minutes in YouTube feed of the match, so the wicket taking delivery was still to be shown. We were able to see that delivery from Pragyan Ojha, and were happy that it was Jadeja who got out :).

So many memories of the old days came back, just from that one episode of the funny things which we used to do. I would love to write about some incidents from those days, some day. 

I still remember the amount of Mountain Dew, we gulped, watching World cup finals, at Abhinandan’s place. I had the last sip in my mouth, which was nothing more than few drops, not yet ready to gulp down, before that last hit by Dhoni, which gave us the World Cup.

Ahh, Sports and Superstitions. We all have them, and I smile looking back at things I did.