Monday, October 29, 2012

The Festival Season!

This month saw many communities celebrating the triumph of good over evil in many different ways. It also finally dawned on me that living in C.R. Park meant that Durga Puja is the new Diwali! It was a visual treat every evening with six beautifully decorated pandals, insane crowds pouring into the locality, beautiful women dressed in the best Bengali saris with big bindis, prayer, and oh-my-God so much food.. chuskis and aloo tikki and chaat and pav bhaji and chowmein!

The festivities culminated on Dusshera day with visit to the Red Fort grounds, to experience the triumph of good versus evil first hand! The Ramlila grounds were packed to capacity. I could feel the tension emanating from the crowd, as if one mishap would trigger panic and a stampede. Nobody was pushing, but people were breathing down each other's necks (literally!), talking excitedly, intermittently yelling "Jai Shree Ram!" and crowding around food stalls.

After perfunctory speeches from the chief guests, the process of lighting up the huge statues of Raavan and his two aides kicked off. First, there were pretty firecrackers lighting up the sky, followed by the eyes of the statutes lighting up - a deep dark red. The crackers then went off right before the statutes, pulling another "Jai Shree Ram!" from the crowd, at which point, one by one, each statue exploded. The sound, the flames and the cloud of fire, made it look remarkably similar to a nuclear explosion. With the first explosion, the crowd was momentarily stunned and collectively took two steps back, as if nobody was sure if this was according to plan or had the crackers gone out of control... But then the second explosion went off and the third and everyone breathed a sigh of relief. It was safe... "Jai Shree Ram!"

The fire died down too soon though...   merely in a few minutes and the crowd pushed on, to the second Ram Lila ground to enjoy another spectacle. We lost a wallet, lost each other for a while; then found everyone and finally, after much drama, reached the metro station. Despite the crowds, the stolen-wallet and the mass hysteria, this was one Delhi experience that I'm glad I did not miss!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Work-ed Up

I am working all the time. This means that my brain is processing all my usual angst on low simmer all the time. Because there is no space for the angst to blow out. I miss Bombay. I miss my friends. I feel guilty for not hating Delhi. Even more guilty for not wanting to travel to Bombay because it is so exhausting.

Two views on friendship are warring inside my head. One view that says you fight for your friends. Fight to not leave them when they're down. Push through when they're troubled and not let them drift away, because that will only make things worse. Another part of me is telling me to give up. To not be obsessive. Move away and move on. To not love. Or love them enough to leave them alone, because it was never just a friendship. But you know, I've had this debate before. I have made the "decision" to move away and move on, several times. But I always go back - like an alcoholic. Or a battered wife (you, no thanks for the title :P). Maybe I should go to an AA meeting and tell them about my problem. Pray to what I believe in. Take it a day at a time.. a minute at a time.

I'm scared that I'm going to be stuck in Delhi forever. Working for crazies who want to "change the world". For those who believe it is okay to make me work 15 hour days, alone, at no salary, because I believe in the cause. I'm scared that I'm going to let go of my best friends because I have no time to call and say hi. Because when they call, I'm at work and when I call back they're asleep. We have decided. We're all going to stay in the same city when we grow up or grow old. And I'm going to work for crazies who don't make me work 15 hour days. Crazies like me.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

When the going gets tough...

For the first time ever, I'm worried about not delivering a product on time at work. I can't get a handle on the people I'm working with and I don't know how to navigate the intense political maze that is my office.

In this moment, quite frankly, I hate it. So much so that if I had a choice, I wouldn't go to work tomorrow. As a friend of mine was saying the other day when his day was going down the drain.. "it's one of these days when you wonder why you're doing what you're doing and if it is adding any value to your life at all".

I'm just hoping I can get through this without getting fired. Or getting an ulcer.