My Oktober Fest

There are people who always play dirty. There are people who always play, regardless, if they were invited to the game or not. There are people who always play it fair. And there are people who play it fair up until it makes sense and then as time demands, they get down to playing dirty. The fact is everyone wants to win. No one likes to play by anyone else’s rules. And everyone can play dirty. They just chose not to. It is a choice and not an inability.

This applies to Obama and Shivam alike. You don’t have to be the President of a nation to taste these flavors. You just have to be human and be surrounded by humans.

Why this sombre tone?  Oh well – Obama is to blame. Did you see the debate last night? He proved me right. He chose to not fight dirty in the first round. It was not that he was unable to.The idea is to wait, gauge your opponent, identify their weaknesses and then strategically make your move.

Enough about games and debates. On to something more interesting…October started bad for me but it seems to be getting better by the day. Let’s not get into the specifics. Firstly, there is a faint chance that I might be losing my wisdom (I hardly had any in the first place). So Mr. Dentist here I come. Secondly, I am enjoying the late summer in San Francisco. I absolutely love every day in the city. This week has been the best ever. Thirdly, I am planning our HW party. And the ones who know me, know how much I love hosting warm and enjoyable parties. And finally, fourthly (not sure if it is even a word), lots of travel in the last few months of the year — a getaway and two small trips. We are heading back to Europe  after 3 years for Christmas and New Year. I cannot get enough of the Christmas spirit in Europe. This shall be our last trip on my miles. And then I shall bury my past life (for the time being ;)).

I wasn’t away from writing. I was indulging in posting small snippets on Google plus. Here is the chronology

October 1, 6:30 pm

I don’t like October any more. It just doesn’t feel right to me. And out of all the Mondays, I was definitely not looking forward to this one. My negativity spread like a wild fire, and consumed my day in drudgery. Simply stated – I had quite an extraordinarily bad day.

My day started with a delayed train, and a dysfunctional clipper card. The conductor gave me a warning for first offense. I felt a little humiliated. For some reason my monthly pass did not load on to my card and here I was apologizing to the conductor in front of strangers.

Then the train got delayed, because of which I was late for a 9:00am. And then it was one meeting after another, one bad news after another. Prod issues, irrelevant and unscalable design issues, reports throw up, name it and I had it on my plate. So much so that it was 2:30 when I took a breath and collected my “bad news” and translated all of that into actionable steps……….and soon It was 6:00pm (that’s when I next looked at my laptop clock).

That also meant that I had exhausted all bullet trains for the evening. There was no lunch and no snacks up until now. But there was coffee. And a lot of it.

I decided to take a cab to the station, but the cab driver was a Russian oldie who took me to be a fool and wasted time on streets I would have personally not chosen to drive on a packed first day of Oracle Openworld. When I offered help with directions, he didn’t like it. He handed me a bill of $15 after 25 minutes of sitting in traffic. And I happily paid him.

I am finally on a train, that will stop at every stop on its way to Mountain View. But I am not complaining. I complained about October enough. And here I am off to a grand start.

But tomorrow is going to be a new day. One with new promises and new hope. And maybe tomorrow I won’t hate October as much.

But, there is just one thing. I lost my most precious gift in October – so tomorrow I will grieve that.. And maybe consider thinking about the hope and happiness on October 3rd… Until then….

Miserable me

October 3, 8:30am

It did not get any better this morning. I reached the train station 5 minutes earlier than usual, knowing that I have to buy a ticket (dysfunctional Clippercard). As luck might have it, one of the two machines at the station was broken and hence there was a line of 20+ people ahead of me. Of course I missed my 7:57 but I am now waiting for 8:05 which is running 8 minutes late (as of now).

I wish that my story ended here. What was ironic is that on Monday I enrolled for auto-roll on my clipper card (if balance less than x, add x). The notice on the website said it takes 5 days for the balance to show up. And hence I was in the line to buy a ticket, running with the assumption that my clipper card had no cash. While standing in line I had a eureka moment: what if there is cash loaded on my card (if only by accident). But my pessimism took over and I gave up. As the 7:57 train rolled past me, I wondered “if only the balance had auto-loaded sooner”. As the line grew shorter, I decided to make a leap of faith (that I would be admitted back to the line if I returned) and marched to the clipper kiosk, tagged my card and the machine read: travel ok balance $xx.

I did not return to the line, smiled at my fate and joined the bunch of people at the platform waiting for the next one.

Make that leap of faith and try.


The remaining days up until October 14th were occupied with A LOT OF WORK. Did it pay off? Time will tell. I did more than I could have and should have and that’s what matters. Made some real good friends on the way and got some real awesome accolades from peers and seniors. Life started getting better. And by the time it was mid-month, the tide had changed.

October 14, 11:45am

It is about finding joys in little things – like coming out to shop for things you don’t really need at 10:45 in the morning and realizing halfway through that you really don’t feel like shopping. So you “almost” empty your cart and get the bare minimum. Store in question: TJMax. Perhaps a pottery barn would have been more tempting. Followed by a solitary dose of coffee, overlooking the very crowded mercado shopping center.

You don’t have to go to Paris to see people and sip your latte.Sigh!

And then realizing that Starbucks is playing the same CD that you bought from them when you started working at Boldtech almost six years back…coz you fell in love with the songs, and you could afford it. Tequila sunrise is on that list.


And finally today –

Downloaded ios 6 before going to bed.. It screwed up my alarm this morning. What’s more to come…grr!

Excuses set aside, a very awesome morning so far. Rolled out of bed, took my time getting ready. Paired my scarves with my ear-rings. Lit the navratri diya, made my nimbu pani, watered the plants. Made my green tea for the commute and drove to the station. Comfortable ride so far..

I am not a person of routine. As much as people like it and talk about it, It does not fit my appetite. I accidentally stepped out of my routine today, and the joy of something new has been rewarding so far. Now I cannot repeat today’s events tomorrow, but whatever was experienced today, was awesome 🙂

So that’s what October has been for me. It is getting better, like I said. Stay tuned for more debate to go!

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