Friday, December 14, 2007


My blog-life is always a few months behind my real one. This happened way back in August. In an attempt at masking identity, I’m using initials instead of names (because I can.)

My good friend, H, gave birth to a baby girl, V. 3 and a half weeks later, when mother and child were back at home with the visiting grandparents, and father was away in the Red Centre drinking beers, I decided it would be a good time to pay a visit and say hello to the recently arrived drooling life-form.

Now let me tell you about babies and me. I have nothing against them, but personally, I don’t find them very cute. Admittedly, there are cute babies and there are cute babies, so it’s just me I guess. I’m sure if I’d seen me as a baby, I would have run away in absolute dread. And don’t even get me started about work colleagues who insist on showing me pictures of their newborn.

I’m also scared of holding babies, not least because of the sudden unannounced burst of bodily excretions they so obligingly send forth my way, but also because they’re so small and I might accidentally drop them and they might fall through the cracks on the kitchen floor and be lost forever, doomed to be raised by a foster family of cockroaches.

So I approach babies with a healthy sense of caution, and exercise even more caution with the parents, grandparents and other family members involved, because invariably something I say is bound to upset someone. I think I lack that particular part of the brain that deals with baby-and-new-parents-social-skills, or maybe the years of alcohol and drug abuse have destroyed it completely.

But come to think of it, we have a few things in common, babies and I, such as -

· Lack of hair.
· Easily amused, especially by little colourful objects that can be swallowed.
· A strong affinity for boobs.
· A tendency to drool (in my case, especially when boobs are involved)

There you go, put a diaper on me and send me into the infirmary, and I’d be drooling away with the best of them.

Anyhoo, so there I was at H’s house, speaking to the newborn’s happy grandparents, sighing inwardly that the conversation was going quite well. Thankfully, H has warned them that I was a dumbass when it came to babies, and she herself was quite good about it, bless her. And V was, well, she was just happily doing whatever it is 3-and-a-half-week-old babies do.

I think I learnt more about babies in that one day than I did in the other 28 years of my existence. For example, that they couldn’t focus their eyes just yet. And strangely enough, I was feeling quite comfortable, partly due to the fact that I had just downed a beer, and the whole awkward conversation had gone by without incident. So when asked if I wanted to hold the baby, I said “Yeah, OK”, surprising even myself.

Next thing I know, I was cradling V in my arms with H giving me instructions on how to hold her properly. I’ve never held a baby that young before. And at that moment, when I looked at V, and she looked back at me with her out-of-focus eyes, I kind of got what the fuss was all about. I understood it, this whole baby thing. Thankfully, during this epiphany, I didn’t drop her.

So there it is. Not that I suddenly have the urge to become a father or anything so extreme. No, these instincts that have been woken inside are strictly avuncular. But I’m not scared of babies anymore. And I think I’ll do alright with newborns and parents and grandparents in the future.

PS – All the best, little V. I’m sure you’ll do just fine!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

The More That Things Change...

'All the same we take our chances
Laughed at by time, tricked by circumstances
Plus ca c'est la meme chose
The more that things change...the more they stay the same' - from "Circumstances" by Rush

...the more they stay the same.

It is coming close to 2 years since I started this blog. As is usual for me with all anniversaries, birthdays, and the like, I am troubled with the very heavy and very true realisation that over this period, little has changed. By that, I mean I have changed little.

Plenty has happened, for sure. Accomplishments, milestones & promotions at work, new friends made, old friends lost, new places seen, new things discovered, new highs, new (and sometimes the old) lows, new things purchased, old things given away, body art, new sounds, new music discovered, old music rediscovered, a love of whisky (single-malt) rekindled, a love of rum left to burn to embers, a new country that I am a citizen of, the old one I call home that I'll now need a visa for, a change of passports, a change of seasons...

I could goes on.

And in the midst of this change, there is me. The only constant amid the constant change.

I still stumble along awkwardly, worrying about how things will be. I still make the same mistakes over and over again. I still worry about whether people really like or not. I'm still no closer to buying a house than i was 2 years ago. I'm still no good with personal finances (which is fucking hilarious since I'm a Finance major), I still can't understand women, and have no idea if I'll ever be in a relationship that will go somewhere.

Sometimes I think I'm still the same scared little shit I was when I was 18, and I lost my mother, and I was even afraid to wonder what was going to happen to me.

That was 10 years ago, and I turned out OK, but there's still this thing, this nagging thought, this voice inside my head, that keeps reminding me that there's more to life than what I've got now, after all this. And maybe I could even get it, if I'd only get off my ass and do something about it, and not be content watching all the world pass me by.

I feel like I've failed. In the big contest that is life, I feel like I've failed. Stupid really, considering all I've got.

I have no idea how this is going to end. Perhaps I'll always feel this way. Perhaps it will motivate me to truly accomplish something in my life. Perhaps not.

Maybe I'll crash and burn. Or maybe I'll slowly fade away, into an ordinary-meaningless- suburban- potbellied-two-kids-and-a-nagging-wife life, leaving behind me a legacy of digital words and failed, faded dreams.

I have no idea how this is going to end. All the same, I, and the scared little boy inside me, we take our chances...

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Minor achievements...and somewhat major celebrations

OK, I think this is getting to be a bad habit, where I update the blog only between 3-4 am on weeknights. Not cool, especially when I have so much work to do the next day.

Anyhoo...better than not updating it at all I suppose.

I wrote an incomplete post about some weekend adventures. Now it seems like many many weekends ago. But I shall complete it at some point. Until then...there's this.

As of September 13th, I am an Australian citizen. The true blue, beer-swilling, pie-eating, vegemite-fancying, waltzing Matilda type apparently. Though I must say I don't feel any different.

Felt a slight pang of guilt as I went through the ceremony, as I now have to renounce the Motherland. I guess the reality will hit when I get a new passport and I have to give the old one up. But, it's all for the best. The Aussie passport is my ticket to hassle-free visits to foreign lands, or so I hope.

Didn't exactly celebrate with great gusto, but coincidentally, the weekend following this little milestone, I went on a road trip with some mates (notice the sly inclusion of aussie terms), and had a massive drinking session, which I think is celebration enough for this.

Oh, yes, I also boought me a nice little electric guitar. A Fender Strat..70's re-issue, black. That, along with a Roland Cube 20, are now my new favourite things.

And now, I must go sleep.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Resurrection... (aka Wednesday I'd be Paul Simon)

Tuesday Morning 3am.

5 months and 4 days since the last post. It's a wonder that Blogger still has my details saved. I didn't have to log in. Whodathunk?

I'm waiting. Waiting for lots of things. Mainly sleep. But sleep is not coming. Actually, sleep came. We hung out for a few hours. Then sleep went. I watched Boston Legal on TV while eating rice, rasam and vendakai curry. I'm waiting for sleep to come back. Sleep is not returning in a hurry.

I bet Paul Simon has never eaten rasam and vendakai curry.

Much has happened since I last wrote. Much has happened this year that I haven't written about previously, since I was still stuck in November last year. Brief summary for those interested.

New Zealand trip in December/January. Very relaxing. Stayed mainly in Auckland, enjoying the South Indian hospitality and cooking of my housemate's family. Saw bits of the famed NZ countryside, did the bungee (very exciting), and went white-water rafting (most excellent). Caught up with old friends i didn't think I'd meet, once again proving the world is minuscule. Kicked off 28th birthday celebrations in Auckland, and then continued it in Melbourne, making it a truly global (well, southern hemispherical, if you must) birthday. Partied like I was 22. Still not getting any wiser or more mature.

Indonesia trip in January. Met off key chick friend. Jakarta was lots of fun. Not wanting to get into too much detail, but two volcanoes, one rainforest, plenty of ancient temples, bars, pubs , and one classic rock cafe later, I was sorry the holiday had to end. Not to mention that my friend had a maid and all I had to do was look in the direction of the kitchen and some snacks would be served. It was awesome...

February. 2 concerts. Roger Waters - simply superb. Eric Clapton - good, but right after Waters, not as great.

April. 2 concerts. Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Mother Key!!!!!!! The Lemonheads. Enjoyable, but I didn't know too many of the songs. It was a free concert for me, because Penny Lane's uber-cool aunt and uncle bought me tickets.

Trip to Japan in April. It was one of the best holidays I've had yet. I think it was partly because of the sufficient amount of planning that went into it. I did next to no planning for the other two trips. That, and the fact that Japan is a beautiful place, it was cherry blossom season, and I got to hang out with one of my best friends. Highly recommended holiday spot!

Came back from Japan to find out just how much work can suck.

June. Short trip to India, to witness wedding of good friend. Survived various attempts by aunties in social network to get me married to randoms. Escaped with minor injuries and ominous threats of "You're next, young man. Soon your time will come!" still ringing in my ears.

August. Missed a Black Sabbath concert because of work. 'Tis not often i show this much dedication. Saw a Bob Dylan concert, and ended up wishing I had missed that too. Let me give it to you straight. Bob Dylan sucks. Bob Dylan is a goat. If he is playing in a concert near you, avoid it like brain cancer. You'd be much better off listening to his songs on CD.

Paul Simon, I believe, is not a goat.

I believe the circle of friends has undergone some major changes, what with people leaving the country, new friends being made, others getting engaged or married, and some others having babies. Still, the parties keep happening, and I keep celebrating Sunday on the Saturday night, and wake up wishing Monday didn't arrive. Just last week, I bid farewell to 3 good friends. Oh well you know, life goes on....

Oh, yes, slowly but surely, the Australian citizenship comes ever closer within my grasp. On Thursday September 13th, I will have to send off pledge and national anthem in a citizenship ceremony. Have half a mind to slyly sneak in "India is my Country. All Indians are my..." and "Jana Gana Mana..." and see what happens.

Anyhoo...I think sleep has returned. So has spring. Life, in the words of Tom Lehrer, is skittles, and life is beer! Wotaylouly!

Excuse me while I poison some pigeons in my sleep...

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Pieces of November

  • I feel like bullet points. Put it down to the fact that I've been working on presentations most of this week.
  • I wrote a post earlier about what I did in November. This is an addendum to that. No one cares anymore what I did in November, but its more so for me to move on and write about December and the New Year.
  • A States-based friend of mine came to visit me. (She'll probably never read this anyway)
  • Showed her around Sydney (in some cases, she showed me around) and Melbourne.
  • I was at my man-magnetic best during this period! None of the guys even looked at her. They were busy looking at me, buying me drinks and what not. Very disturbing, yes, but I took the free drinks anyway...
  • No attention from the women, though. Very very disturbing!
  • Highlight of the trip, and the main point of this post - a bunch of us went camping. Bunch consisted of my housemates, States-based friend, world-famous blogger Penny Lane and her boyfriend.
  • We went to this place called Wilson's Prom(ontory). Beautiful spot to go camping and trekking.
  • Rocked up there on Saturday afternoon, set up tents, got the BBQ out, set up the portable iPod player, and proceeded to get smashed. (Yes, folks, this is our idea of roughing it. We went out to the wilderness, and made it our own personal backyard. Rough!)
  • Wilson's Prom has plenty of walking tracks and beaches all around. Sometimes the tracks lead to these beaches! Whoopdedoo!
  • One of the better known beaches is Squeaky Beach, so called because the sand squeaks when you walk on it. It was awesome! Surpassed all expectations. Superb white sand, and relatively empty (except for a dead seal-like creature). From memory, the sand is made of quartz crystals, which results in the squeaky sound. And it squeaked like an ensemble of mice on coke!
  • Spent the rest of the Saturday getting more drunk and eating more BBQ food. At some point, 'dead baby' jokes were told. ( I think I started that...)
  • Sunday - we went trekking. Walked up this hill track, reached the top an hour and a half later, and smoked up, while admiring the scenery (which got consistently better with each drag).
  • Spotted a snake on the way up. (I almost stepped on the damn thing.) Penny conquered her fears (well, for that moment anyway). She claimed later that it was a tiger snake and highly poisonous. This I can't say for sure. But knowing that Australia is chock-full of all types of cheerful creepy-crawlies that have enough venom in one bite to kill you and your extended family, I'd probably agree that it was highly poisonous.
  • All in all, a good time was had. I'm sure I have some pics from the trip. Are they going to see the light of day? Probably not.
  • I wish we had gone camping more than just once. Now the summer's nearly over. Damn!
  • My States-based friend had a great time, and absolutely loved Australia. Which only proves that we folks down under know how to party!
  • There, I did it. It's finished. Now we can all move on. Phew...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Silent Sorrow In Empty Boats

Fuck Turd Art! I don't give a shit anymore, and neither do you.

The Wheel of Life, in all its mundane glory, begins another revolution.

Something tells me I've been here before.

Deja Frickin' Vu!

Not pleasant.

From out of the utter normalcy of the routine comes this sound, monotonous, high-pitched, never-ending, the sound you hear when someone punches you in the ear.

It's coming from inside me. And it's getting louder.

It's my inside screaming.

In Fear. In Regret. In Sorrow.

For Change. For Love. For Help.

I'm lying in bed with the light on, staring at the ceiling, with nothing but the 'tick-tock-tick-tock-tick-tock...' of the clock and the 'eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee...' in my ears, the realisation slowly dawning that life, at this very moment, sucks.

I'm just being a wanker. Maybe I shouldn't have had those baked beans for dinner.

What can I say? I'm a gloomy bastard. Go figure...


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Apologies at Midnight

Sorry about the distinct lack of posts.

The mind is willing, but the fingers are otherwise occupied.

I will write about turds this weekend, once all the work is done.

I hope you all still love me.

It is now 12:16 AM. Bedtime for Rael.

Good Night. Watch this space.