The Delhi Dislocation

So I am in Delhi. Been here for almost three days and haven't stepped out of the house since. I merely ate, slept, crapped and Netflix and chilled with self. I did take a few work calls but I kept those to minimum. And as a result all the work that I had to do has piled up the way cars stall on a highway after an accident. And because I can see work piled up like a long line of cars stuck on the highway, I dont want to work at all. Am stuck in that vicious circle. And I dont know the way out. 

Anyhow, today I'd had enough of home and I had to step out. The nearest Starbucks -- the place where you can sit for hours and work -- is about 20 KMs away from my place. And though I hate going too far away from home for work, I had no other option. 

Fat forward. I am parked at the Starbucks CP. And I am trying to fix things. And how do I fix things? By writing. The other thing that I typically do to fix things is go for a drive. But then I dont have a vehicle and I am tired of begging from friends. And I can't afford all those self-drive cars. Like they say, #FML. Let me not crib and do the other thing that I dont have to borrow for - write! 

So I am in Delhi and unlike other trips to Delhi, this time I haven't called anyone (called = made an attempt to meet friends et al). I want to be with myself and fix shit in my head. The ones I am meeting are the ones that can't wait - perils of being self-employed.

Thing is, last few months have been crazy (not work wise but emotions wise) and I needed a break from the madness. One option was to take off to an unknown land and meet strangers. I could even go to a familiar place like Panchgani or Goa or something. But then I looked at my bank balance and decided not to. Thus the only place that I could escape to, without spending too much, was Delhi.

However, little did I know that Delhi no longer gives me the peace, the sukoon that I craved for.

I've always known in my head and heart that I may live anywhere in the world, I will always remain a Delhi Boy. And and East Delhi Boy at that. For things like bhai, feel, bhasad, jugaad et al define me. I am as unpolished as they come - I like to wear socks and chappals, I like to scratch my arms and head at public places, I like lounging on a chair, rather than sitting with my back straight. I am loud. I am a showoff. I like attention. I am embodiment of everything that a Mumbai girl (aka sgMS) hates. And no, I am not apologetic about it. I am proud of my roots. I dont have any deep cultural ties to any religion or a location, except Delhi. Delhi is me, I am Delhi.

I knew I could count on Delhi. Anytime. Everytime I needed a break, I could scoot away to Delhi, meet old friends, get in a car, blare the car music system at are you crazy levels, drive fast, get into petty arguments and yet find the peace of mind. I could go for walks with locals, go to far away malls with friends, even hop to Gurgaon when I wanted to feel good about how I dont do the Delhi-Gurgaon grind anymore.

There was no ailment that a trip to Delhi could not fix. Even the craving for sgMS is a tad less when I know that I am not in a 20 KM radius of her.

However, this trip I realised that in the last few years, between all the Delhi - Mumbai trips I've severed my ties with Delhi (the bonds with Mumbai are shaky at best). The friends are still around, things are still the same, there is that familiarity with the place but I no longer get peace here. I am as restless as I am in Mumbai. I continue to get those cravings to search for that promised land where weather is perfect, things are the way I want, and I have a life of abundance.

Couple this with my permanent bone against the Bandra house.

Thing is, I am finally rootless. I dont know where to go, where to sleep, where to go to find peace. I am lost. And I dont know where is home. And I dont know what to do about it.

May be home is between soft, white, cold sheets of a hotel where the AC is always at a perfect 22 degrees. I love the feeling of being in perpetual motion. I love airports more than I love home. In fact, when I worked for Gravity, the best bit was all the airports and hotel rooms that I was supposed to live out of. I loved the muted opulence and pseudo-luxury. I loved the distance that the staff maintained while I was there. I liked how at a press of a button, things magically appear. May be, next time I need a break, I'd book myself into a 5-star and switch off my phone! May be. I shall try next time.

P.S.: Of course I need money to be able to afford a lifestyle like that. And by God, I will.


With age, I am turning into a sentimental fool! How do I know? I sent the following email to my batchmates from MDI. Read.

Dear PG04, 
When was the last time someone called us PG04? When we all got placed? Or the last time the faculty addressed us? Or was it when we had our convocation? Or was it in one of those emails that one of us sends to each other once in a while? 
This PG04 to me (atleast) had a really strong connotation. This to me was the call to our wolfpack (see Hangover if you haven't), call to our brethren, call to the family (Godfather) that separated us from them. Us was PG04. Them was everyone else including PG03, PG05, Faculty, Hostel cooks, the security guards, the professors and the companies coming on campus to hire us. And others were people not on campus like the world beyond the college walls, the families back home and so on and so forth. At MDI, we were all we had. Ok, exaggerating. I made it sound like we were in a concentration camp. May be we were. It was a wild world out there and we had to emerge from MDI as Change Masters. To give credit to the salutation of our hostel, some of us have did become Change Masters! 
But over years the wolfpacks have dismantled, families have gone to the mattresses, other pressing matters such as buying houses, acquiring corner offices, raising kids et at have taken precedence. We've gone busy with our respective lives. So much so that we cant meet even if we live 3 KMs away from each other (pointing accusatory glances at Ridhima and Ketan - I live 3 KMs away and we've been making plans for three months). What has remained is faint memories of times spent at MDI. And there were tons of incidents that I probably will never forget. 
The beauty is, each of us would have had our own sets of memories to look back at. And the sad bit is, none of us would ever discover all the stories that went around back then! May be someone has to catalog all these into one journal? May be I will at some point. 
I can share my story to start with. When I walked into MDI, I had no clue what was in store for me. I came from a small college in a remote corner of Delhi and everything about MDI was intimidating to me - the ones I was talking to on a yahoo group (before college started) went to fancy colleges, were sons of army colonels and so on and so forth. My roommate, Pochu, was topper from BITS Pilani. The dudes next to me in class - Satya and Gupta - were so brainy that I had no idea where to look at where stuff was happening in the class. Right in front of me was Piyush who was so tall that I had to stand on my chair to make sense of stuff happening on the blackboard. The first friend I made at MDI was Ashish who literally lived in the library the whole of first semester. Despite being the odd one out (I still am come to think of it), with time I found my place. I became a part of "us." I discovered things that made me happy - reading, counter-strike, music, spreading myself too thin, staying up at night, travel and of course, writing. I learnt that I was not the king of the universe. And I made friends that probably will last for a lifetime! 
Thing is, if I did not go to MDI, I probably wouldn't have discovered any of these and I would have been a far different person from what I am today. 
Wait a minute. So, why this email? 
Because (Vivek) Gawri told me that it's been exactly 10 years since we passed out! Ten fucking years (and almost 12 since we started). I can't say it feels like yesterday but time does fly away. While at campus those two years seemed like eternity and now 10 years are insignificant. 
Back then, when I was joining MDI, like someone starting a new phase in life (see Shawshank), I was super excited - after all I was going to MDI! And I was afraid of the unknown. I was clueless about what was expected from me - MDI to me was (and is) the most decorated tag that I've earned. I was dreamy eyed - I remember I wanted to be like Bill Gates and make money (of course I am nowhere close). And I was apprehensive. I had no glass globes to gaze into and predict what would become of me in 10 years. 
In fact, I remember getting asked a million times, "Where do you see yourself in 10 years."
I dont recall what I'd said but there's a high probability that I would have said, "I'd be the CEO of a large organization." Talk of wishful thinking! 
BTW, what did you say? And are you any close to what you thought you were gonna be doing in ten years? 
And may be, just may be, today is the time to plan for the next 10 years. What would you be doing on Mar 16, 2026? 
Me? Well, I would be living on a sparsely populated location (if there is one left till then) and I would be a teacher. And a writer. Please be my guest if you visit the city I am in. And do buy my books ;P 
So, here the deal. Lets come together? Meet each other? If not meet everyone else, may be come back to meet your friends that you spend so many countless nights with, on the dome, on the steps of the hostel, the acad block, library, computer centre and of course behind the closed doors of rooms ;) 
So what if we are older now? I am sure there is some fire left in the belly. And that little fire finally succumbs to a slow, painful, nondescript death brought about by years of monotony, how about a meet up? I am sure there will be reasons, excuses, spouses, deadlines, missed connections, red-eyes and all that troubling your brains but it would be fun! 
Guys, time does flies (Tomorrow never dies) and it goes away fast. Next time I send something like this out, we probably would be 20 years out of MDI and as Sharma told Gawri, "it would be a miracle if we are alive by then." Lets do this. For you. And for I. And for us. 
Thats' it guys. 
Oh, one more thing! Thank you for such an amazing time at MDI. Whatever little I know, whatever little I do, all of it has happened because I was lucky enough to be at MDI and more lucky to have you for company. 
Love, Regards and Headshots
Saurabh "MML | h!+m4n" Garg 
P.S.: Thanks to Gawri for reminding me that we're ten years out of college and Ketan for confirming. And guess I've seen too many movies. 
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Why the fuck...

So it's been some time since I've written. Last post was on Feb 23 - that time I thought I was going to die. But as I've found out, I am not! And if I am not dead, why the fuck have I NOT made a post on my blog? Or written anything else? Why am I even alive?

Two weeks. I have no excuse to be honest for not writing. I know I was busy. I know I was travelling. I was unwell. I know I was fucked in the head. But then, that's no excuse for not writing.

In an alternate universe, in two weeks I could have written 15000 words. And in 6 such two-week pockets, I would have written the next book! Like Charles says...

Source: Unknnow. Found via Google Image Search

Now that we are talking about book 2, ladies and gents, I know its long overdue! It was to hit the stands last december (2015) but I am nowhere close to even completion. I am sure my publisher has given up on me. However from what I hear the first book is no longer hardly available on any of the online bookstores (the wait time to get delivery is 10 days). So the first print run of 2500 is almost over - I guess. So may be there is a reprint sometime in future. Depends on the publisher. Let him take a call. I've done my bit by writing it.

Coming to the next book, lately, a lot of people have started to ask me about the status of my next book. May be they genuinely enjoyed the first one. Or they are genuinely concerned about my writing career. Or they dont have anything else to talk to me about. Irrespective, I need to uphold their trust and faith in me. I ought to write. If not for them, then for myself.

So there. I will ensure that the book comes out before end of this year. With or without a publisher. Wish me luck!

The Nidhi Kapoor Story

Did you like this post? May be you want to read my first book - The Nidhi Kapoor Story.

Check it out on Amazon or Flipkart?