Sunday, October 26, 2008

The greener grass on every side

An old friend of mine called me up from Australia today to wish me a 'Happy Diwali', I guess it was an excuse to catch up with whats happening around us. He's somewhere near Brisbane doing an MBA in accounting and taxation, or something like that. The last time he had come down to Bangalore, I had just started working and he kept telling me how he was completely broke and might have to drive a truck to make a living. Then we entered a college-hang-out-place to.. well, hang-out. And we decided to drive our troubles away by material pleasures. Him with cigarettes, me with chocolates. (Hey! that rhymed)

Anyway, when he called today, after the usual pleasantries, I updated him on the highlights of my life. I told him I was engaged and I'd get married sometime next year. He then told me he had applied at a Pacific cruise company, for a kitchen-help job for 2 years.

A big pause.

He said that driving trucks around Australia had opened his mind. He had seen quite a few places, lived on meagre means and had quite loved it. He wanted to do more of that. He said he'd take the current financial crisis as an opportunity, he'd take up another job and then sometime later, he'd get back to the corporate world and blame his inexperience on the unavailability of good financial jobs. At least by then, he'd see the world, meet new people and get some extra skills.

A big pause.

I was jealous of him and I told him so. At 22, my life was all planned out. I knew what I'd do for a living, who I'm going to marry, where I'm going to live... everything! At 22.

"But you'll rake in a lot of money, mate", V said.
"But where will I spend everything, designer shoes?"
I didn't tell him that. But I admitted I'd be making more than him, atleast for the next 2 years.

V - "You're getting married, you've found the One."
Me - "You're going to see the world."
V - "You're going to be working in an air-conditioned office everyday."
Me - "You're going to visit so many different places."
V - "You're starting a family."
Me - "You can still *bleep* around."
V - "People say I'm a loser, I'm crazy."
Me - "Of course, you are. And I'm jealous."
V - "And I'm jealous of you."
Me - "You get to follow your dreams"
V - "You can do it too, just quit."
Me - "I can't quit, I love my job."
V - "You just don't want to do anything crazy."
Me - "Yeah, I'm not a risk-taker".
V - "Unlike me, you atleast you have a job."
Me - "Yeah."
V - "Yeah."

And that was that. We said "Happy Diwali" again and hung up.

I feel like I'm no longer passionate about anything. I've been through many phases.. Karate, Akshay Kumar, Linda Goodman, my college forum, yoga, Rahul Dravid, basketball, losing weight, French lessons... but now I have nothing. Currently, I'm in a no-phase phase. And it sucks.

I want to see the world too. I want to do different things too. But I'll never get off my butt. The rebel in me has gone to sleep.

Wonder when she'll get up again.

Monday, October 13, 2008

The bulls and the bears

For the past year or so, there has been a queer sort of volcano brewing underneath the "everything is fine" face-pack that the world has put on. America's greed has finally imploded, leaving thousands of homeowners with nowhere to sleep. Firms after firms are announcing losses. Banks after banks are having a run on them. 160 year old Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy, Bear Sterns and Merril Lynch were gobbled up. The surviving firms are circling like vultures, looking for any decent meat left in the tottering banks. The Fed is to pump in billions of dollars to rescue its economy, governments in Europe are right behind them. Iceland, with debt more than 12times its GDP, is melting in its own deeds. Rising oil costs, painful levels of inflation. An extreme credit crunch, the financial world at a standstill. Thousands of jobs lost, wealth disappearing... The future has never looked this bleak.

This is serious enough for President Bush to stand up and give a speech once in a while.

This is serious enough for me to use it as an excuse for not blogging frequently.

This is pretty serious.
But apparently, not so much for Jamaica.

Anyone listening?