My Sort of Valentine’s

To me, Valentine’s Day doesn’t mean as much as it used to, or least not as much as my girl thinks it should. Where I once used to see its magic, wonder and romance, all I see is rampant commercialism.

Just a few years ago, it used to be a one-day event. Now I hear they have decided to extend it to eight days, with seven days as Rose Day, Propose Day, Chocolate Day, Teddy Day, Promise Day, Kiss Day, and Hug Day respectively, leading onto the ultimate: Valentine’s Day.

If you ever had trouble choosing a gift between a chocolate, a teddy or a ring, well, you’re in luck because now there’s a day for each of those.

But I digress. This piece isn’t about gross commercialism of pop culture. Nor am I here to bash Valentine’s Day just because it’s “popular with the kids these days.” This is about a man’s submission to the powers beyond his control. This is about his struggle to survive in a world which, with each passing day, makes lesser and lesser sense to him. This is about my search for a Valentine’s Day gift.

I don’t remember what I got for her last year. You see, it was the first year of our relationship. It seems the whole year just went by giving gifts. Some to say “I care,” some to say “I love you” and some to say “I’m sorry.” Actually, mostly to say “I’m sorry!”

There was a time when I used to think that higher dimensional calculus was the most difficult thing I had ever faced. Back then, I never had to find gifts for anyone. I’m an engineer; I’m not built for this. And my habit of leaving everything to the very last minute doesn’t help, either. I tried to think of the subtle hints she dropped along the way, as women often do. There were several but all of them meant spending money. As it was against my New Year’s resolution to spend money, I skipped plans to buy stuff until I ran out of every other recourse.

I then thought about crafting. Why not build something out of things lying in and around the house? It adds a personal touch to the gift. I hear they value those things. Moreover, it adds more savings to my pocket. I tried to reach into myself looking for engineer’s creativity, and I found engineer’s laziness. Too much work, and did I tell you I waited till the very last minute?!

Something simple, then – how about randomly pinning up few of her pictures on the wall with cutout alphabets forming a sweet romantic message (“I L U” takes the least amount of effort). Oh! But that’s what I did for our anniversary. OK – don’t panic. How about I cook her something? And by cooking, I mean putting week-old, refrigerated raw edible item on a hot pan and heating it until just before it burns completely. I had already done that on her last birthday.

So, exhausted and out of ideas, I had to turn back to Almighty Money. For the past few months, she had repeatedly mentioned “ring” in our several conversations. Now don’t get any ideas. I’m still far away from wedding rings or engagement rings. Far, far away, very far.

But I’ve heard there’s something called a Promise Ring. The way I’ve understood is, if you feel an engagement ring is too much of a commitment, then give her a promise ring, which means “I promise I’ll give you an engagement ring… someday.” What an idea! Ingenious! But I’m such a commitment-phobe that I feel even a promise ring is too much of a commitment.

So I came up with the idea of I-swear ring, meaning “I swear I’ll give you a Promise Ring… someday.” Besides, she loves things beginning with “i” – her iPod, iPhone, iPad and her iDiot boyfriend, to name a few.

So I ordered a ring. It hasn’t arrived yet. But I have a funny feeling that I got her size wrong, which isn’t going to please her one bit. I give up! Anyone has any ideas for an “I’m Sorry” gift?

[Published in Republica, THE WEEK on 17th Feb 2012]

… Heard Inside My Head…

It wasn’t perfect… but it was better than that.

Mid West Adventures – Part I

Should I go for a romantic novel or a pink cowboy hat?

Now that is a question I don’t ask myself too often – but I was ransacking the DFW airport gift shops for a gift for Niti. I had no plans to take anything earlier but ever since her aunt set forth the idea of me showing up in the Chicago airport with flowers in my hand, I knew I had to get something. I picked up ‘Dear John’ by Nicholas Sparks – one of her favorite writers.

After paying for the book I lingered on and was casually looking through other books, when my eyes fell on ‘The God Delusion’ by Richard Dawkins. I had never read the book but I had seen enough of his interviews and lectures to know his thoughts on evils of organized religion and delusion of God’s existence. At that point in time I found myself somewhat agreeing with Dawkins.

I was on a tight schedule. As soon as I landed on Chicago and met Niti, we had to rush to the Union bus station to catch the bus to Des Moines. And the fact that my plane was stranded on the runway for some 25-30 minutes before take-off didn’t help much either.

We were on our way to the bus station on a taxi and already behind schedule. The road was almost stagnant with rush hour traffic which wasn’t rushing anywhere. It’s funny how my faith is God’s existence is dependent on how deep in trouble I am. So assuming that Dawkins was wrong and the God had nothing better to do, I asked him to clear the traffic a little and hold back the bus. Apparently, it worked and we made it on time.

So there I was in the bus – easing into my seat… nothing more to worry about… luggage – check… backpack – check… wireless internet – check… food – check (thanks to Niti).

Aah! finally it was the time to relax. I wished I hadn’t left her gift on the luggage or else I could have given it to her then. I had to wait till we reach Bipin’s place to get it. Still, I was sure she was gonna love it. The pink cowboy hat idea started to look pretty silly by then. But just as I was congratulating myself for getting through a tough day and choosing a fine gift, she turned to me and said –

I hate this sunlight coming in through the window… don’t you have a hat for me?!!

Happy Birthday to Me

Birthday - Apparently It's a Big Deal

[Source: abstruse goose]

All About You

I can feel
It’s all new
A different scene,
A different view.
Warm sun and cool air
Blows through your silky hair.
Here I go
Day dreaming again,
But I don’t want this dream to end.
We go for a walk
Across the fields
Lovely smell of the daffodils,
And lovelier are you;
We go running
Splashing in the rain,
And your laughter
Washes away my pain,
Of all those forgotten days.
And I wish I could spend an age
Just you by my side,
You don’t have to pretend
And I don’t need to hide.
It’s true,
The best thing about me
Is who I am with you.

… Heard Inside My Head…

… here i am wondering at 3am – am i going crazy because i’m sleepless or am i sleepless because i’m crazy… ?

We are, many of us, a planet orbiting somebody’s sun, unconscious of a lonely moon, orbiting our planet.
- Robert Brault

Stretching his hand up to reach the stars, too often man forgets the flowers at his feet.
- Jeremy Bentham

Dark matter makes up 99.99 percent of the universe, and they don’t know what it is. Well I know. It’s apathy. That’s the truth of it; pile together everything we know and care about in the universe and it will still be nothing more than a tiny speck in the middle of a vast black ocean of Who Gives A Fuck.

- John Dies at the End ~ by David Wong

The Thief – Guilty Conscience

dearth of sleep in his tired eyes
his head spins around the heart that lies
guilt of the deeds he never imagined he’d do
he stole her nightmares now it’s hunting him too

made excuses to himself – said it would be fine
but he’s lost who he was – he crossed all the lines
now he struggles to hold on to whatever remained
lost what’s most precious – now just fighting the end

… Heard Inside My Head…

Love is not only blind, it’s also deaf and dumb.