the big three-o

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Thirty is supposed to mean a lot. The fact that, on this day (and, in fact, as of this very minute), I have officially completed 30 years of life on this planet is meant to be epochal in some way.

I can’t completely disagree 🙂 The run-up to completing 30 has been eventful, to say the least. I finally moved on from being a student. I’ve moved into parenthood. I’ve moved locations in the US.

Yep, those events are each epochal in some way. But turning 30 in itself (and no, I don’t mean the terrible-even-for-me movie)..

The 1st of January that just went by served to remind me quite forcibly of where my friends (and hence myself) are in life, so to speak. Most of the people I pinged to wish greetings for the New Year spent exciting, fun-filled evenings… quietly at home. Hell, more than one person (including me) may not even have realized when the clock actually struck 12: being otherwise engaged in such exciting activities such as changing their kid’s diaper, putting their kids to sleep, sleeping themselves, etcetera. Now, while I can’t claim that I am (or ever have been) a party animal, the sheer calm acceptance of the New Year… the unsaid fact that, in the end, the 1st of January is just a day that succeeds the 31st of December, was very striking.

Everyone is getting older.

Lest I be misunderstood, I still have stimulating conversations with my friends contrasting ‘Bichchoo’ and ‘The Professional’. Last week, I watched ‘Justice League: Doom’, ‘Superman and Shazam: The Return of Black Adam’ and so on. I keep telling G that I have to figure out how to fit in some gaming somewhere (and she, of course, smiles sweetly in reply). Heck, when a 7 year old recently visited our house, the two of us spent an animated hour talking about my Transformer toys. Hallmarks of growing older? You tell me.

So as I turn 30, I can wax nostalgic about 20-year old memories: ‘Jurassic Park’ came out in 1993 and is incidentally one of the first movies I have a distinct memory of watching on the big screen. As of 2013, ‘Baazigar’ and ‘Khalnayak’ will be 20 years old. A.R. Rahman’s ‘Roja’ is 21 years old and is still as mindblowing as when I first heard it. What else.. the terrible 1993 Bombay blasts happened 20 years ago. ‘Informer‘ (another sort-of-first for me) was all the rage on MTV back then. ‘Myst’ and ‘Doom’ debuted in 1993. South Africa’s ridiculous 21-runs-off-1-ball incident was already a year old, and the world was still marveling at Jonty Rhodes.

Y’know who else used to tell me about 20 year old memories 20 years ago (e.g. Sholay and Gavaskar)? Yes indeedio.. uncles, dads, and other old people talking about things that were way older than I was. And now, it appears I am one of those people.

Time has inexorably brought me to this point. And as much as I may try to clutch at straws that serve to keep me connected to being a kid (even though, as G never fails to remind me, I have a kid now), they are but straws. Not anchors to days past. Life is moving on, change will happen… a lot of it well out of our control in any way. Yes, I do have people around me who find this stuff just as inexact and confusing.. which merely makes it a little less scary (or more scary depending on how much of a pessimist you are). When I talk to my friends, it never fails to amaze us how long it has been since we know each other. In some ways, it feels like the 10 or 15 years we have known each other have sped by. In fact, turning 30 will mean that I have known some of these people for almost 20 years. Actually, at this point, I should probably stop keeping count of such things and just bask in having companionship of such caliber.

Hitting this age also means that you really start feeling how those bedrocks of adulthood you have grown up with are now so much older. And with that comes the realization of how frail they are becoming. Of course, they may outwardly appear to be doing great, but it is in the small details that you see the tell-tale effects of age. Which means that ever so slowly, whether you realize it or not, the tables are turning… the bedrocks of adulthood will soon need you to be the bedrock for them (in a manner of speaking). 10 years ago, you may have been living in some form of denial that this day would never come. But it must. And guess what? That day has crept up on you while you were turning 30.

On the flip, I’m watching the little one growing up now (it has been 4 months already!) and I’m seeing her learn the many things we don’t realize that we actually learnt… abilities that seem like you just sort of knew — as far as you can remember. Yeah, it means you have come far, but more importantly, it tells you how very far the little one has to go. A very different, agile, evolving responsibility from any other. Whether you are a parent currently or not (or even plan to be a parent), by turning 30, you are officially setting up a platform in some way for those who are currently 20, 10, or 0 now. Probably going to have to start teaching someone something, maybe even mentoring them. From here on out, you can’t get away from it by saying you’re not even 30 anymore. Because you are.

Last but never least, 30 merely serves as a marker for the completion of 3 years (plus 3 days) of my marriage to G, and a little bit more than that for our relationship.  While there are many things we have done together, there is the promise of the many things we have still to do.  And therein lies why turning 30 is not as scary as I might have thought it would be when I was 25 or 20.

The hope. The promise. That 30 marks a beginning.

Of a journey towards 40: something to really look forward to.

updates galore. or something.

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Given the extreme gaps between posting here, it is obvious that a series of update posts are in order.

Well, obvious to me anyway. And I’ve already written them, regardless of how bored y’all get.

So they’ll be following from here on in with appropriate gaps so you guys are not “overwhelmed” while reading them. Getting a sudden influx of blog posts here at staying.cool could prove so mind-numbingly awesome that all your minds would be collectively blown. Which we wouldn’t want to happen.

Well, to be honest with myself, it’s probably just a couple of minds. But I’m a kind, considerate person.. and I wouldn’t wish that on y’all, especially seeing as you’ve stuck with me through so much.

Just don’t say you weren’t warned.

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let me tell you a story..

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There was once a blog that was updated frequently.

Then it was not.

[The end] [End credits]

Ah well. Wish I could stop there.

Something doesn’t let me.

There is the still pending instalments to ‘The Man Who Was‘. Which was supposed to be finished with by now. And I was going to start on my next, partially based off something else I started a long time ago and never finished.

Are we seeing a pattern here?

My flickr has languished too. There are photos piling up, crying out to be looked at and segregated and uploaded.. and they remain there. Crying. There are classic ‘blog’ type posts that I note down here in the ‘Drafts’ folder. And they remain there. ‘Drafts’ for ever more. Google Reader doesn’t look like it can ever reach ‘0 unread items’. I have to organize it to club all the posts that I’m never going to read on time together, so they don’t overwhelm.

Somehow the day doesn’t seem to have enough time in it for me to work, relax, write, watch TV/movies, follow up on hobbies (like photography), game, read… all within the same 24 hour period. I keep resolving to turn over a new leaf every day. And then at the end of the day, I wonder how many times the leaf can be turned before I realize its just a spinning top.

Is it that these things are not fun any more? Not really. I’m enjoying this random ramble right now. But there seems like there’s too much I want to do and not enough time for me to do it in.

I’ve complained about this before, I think. Yeah, there’s a definite pattern here.

Where is this post going?

I thought I would talk about some big realization I’ve had about time management. Then I thought I would make it more moralistic and pin-point my apparent lack of discipline. Now I think I will do neither of those, because that’s what I normally do. There must be something new I want to take up in this post. Something new I want to work with here.

I know its going to get worse from here on in. There’s a new PS3 around. There’s a parental visit. There’s a marked increase in interest in when I’m going to finish and graduate and get out of school after 24 years of attending.

Can I promise much for this space? Can I promise much to any of my hobbies (so to speak), to assure them they are unforgotten? I want to. I really want to. But I guess that’s the point of this post. I’m going to be realistic. And accept that some things are evolving in their use. In the role they play in my life. I just have to learn to prioritize and make sure I don’t lose out on the important stuff in all this ‘realism’ talk.

I guess that’s the pattern. I’m grasping at straws to hold back a ship that has already sailed.

I have to be careful about what I lose. And I have to be careful about what I try to hold on to.

Not everything falls into the correct category when things finally pan out.

my event of a lifetime

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It’s been too, too long.

Wish I had a good excuse.

Maybe this one: “Marriage does that to you.” Or even: “Things change like this after marriage.”

At the very least, marriage gives you a scapegoat that most married men will commiserate with. “Yes, yes.. I know what you mean.” Its either commiseration or a devilish satisfaction (as I saw on more than one recently married face that was turned to greet me). “Yes, yes… now you shall know what I mean! Muahahahahaha!”

I have enough things to write about that I might be able to post more often. However, the future looms close with promise of having to wait on the Mrs hand-and-foot.. so no promises. Continue reading

my big event of the year is nearly here

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The time has come.

Back to India.

Madness. All centered around me. And the missus. But me too!

There will probably be no posts for a bit here. I’m not live-blogging my own wedding, or even live-tweeting my honeymoon 😛

Speaking of which, that is probably going to be the best birthday ever 😀

It has taken its time to sink in, people have been asking me ‘How do you feel about you getting married?’ for weeks now.. and I haven’t really had an answer. Half the “wedding feeling” is in the atmosphere around you. Yes, I have great friends and a great missus who are all insanely excited about what is going to happen… but its not quite the same, is it? Having 20 billion people around you (or at least what feels like 20 billion people) all abuzz, all running around, ragging, laughing, managing, noise, shouting – this is what really makes that feeling really hit you.

A little bit of that feeling is striking me now. I’m not sure if it is my usual trip-anticipation jitters, but it does feel different somehow. Feels like a lot of preparation is coming together at long last. A big huge deal is about to happen, and I’m right in the center of it all. I want to hug myself and hold onto all the anticipation, save it for the big day.

The missus becomes more than just fiancée. She already is, but will now more officially be an SWMBO. I wonder how much she will like me as her PWOM (inverse of SWMBO).

I can’t wait.

what do i really believe in?

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When it comes to religion, a lack of knowledge about the unknown has meant that I have come to classify myself as a sort of agnostic (as opposed to atheistic), but if you were to argue with me about God and rituals you’ll find I’m mostly just apathetic. I have been known to do rituals simply because they need to be done: it matters little to me that they are done at all; I can do them because they matter to others. My ‘religious beliefs’ are thus dynamic enough to be classified by more than one person as mere hypocrisy.

How and why I lost the absolute faith that characterized most of my childhood – I don’t know. Sometimes these things happen. A loss of faith (or a lack of understanding) in what rituals signify eventually means that religion itself starts to seem very arbitrary. Merely performing the rituals did not prove much to me, and not performing them made it that much harder to hold onto what faith I had left. Eventually, normal absolutes such as a religious basis for God became superficial.

Recently, however, events have happened to make me question my own agnosticism. There was this year’s avani avittam (related post still in progress), and the associated realization that the real depths of religion can only be understood by accepting everything about it completely. Hoping that faith is rejuvenated based on doing one set of rituals a year (no matter how sincerely) is not really doing much at all – indeed, it can seem hypocritical (as I’ve pointed out). Giving a way of life a real chance is the only way it can have a real effect. On the flip-side, my current apathy is based on the fact that blind faith does not hold up in my own scrutiny. Doing something just once a year for the sake of faith and assuming that the reason to do it will be found – and then finding none – has killed a lot of my faith. As cliched as it may sound, I need a reason better than ‘blind faith’ to accept religion completely again.

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