Clearing thoughts

Posted: January 25, 2011 in Heart, Misc., People, Places
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Warning: This is a long post, full of rants which you would do well to avoid reading. It’s here because it had to be put out. And because @Chet6 suggested that I blog a small part of this that I had tweeted out earlier.

@Chet6: The few and small tweets became a big rant-atious post. Oops!

Post Begins.

Saturday night we saw a great movie (to be covered in an upcoming post) and sat down for dinner with a small group of friendly people. People I know in my other life – the life I try to keep far and away from this me that you see on the blog, on twitter and this me that a few close friends are privy to. Somehow, the conversation turned to this blog and, as expected, most of the table was unaware of it. Surprisingly, for me, they were not uninterested in it and one of the friends had actually found this, even been following this here. The other interested people on table went after her, and in a moment of adrenaline rush that sometimes comes from being pursued for information, she spelled the blog address out. There, just like that, my long plans of keeping the two parts of my life separate were swept away.

This troubled me. After a long while, I had started enjoying blogging. Whether it was those one line posts or the long 2000 word ones, I looked forward to them, even got some satisfaction out of putting them out there, irrespective of the quality or feedback. I was liking even more the regimen of posting everyday, even on days when I didn’t have much to say or didn’t like the topic. It was making me feel good. And then, Saturday night, it all seemed to be crashing around me*.

I thought of taking this blog private, but I’ve never liked the idea of writing a private blog. Raghi does that, I don’t know how, but for me it was clear that taking this private would just mean a prolonged death of this blog. Or I could move the blog somewhere else, and write under a different name. But I’ve gotten attached to this pseudonym – raven – and the idea of losing this blog address and this pen name pained me. There was, of course, that other alternative too – of a quick separation, by deleting this blog altogether. That last option was the one I considered the longest. Yup, that’s the way this stupid brain of mine works – If I blog, it’ll be here or else won’t blog at all.

Well, since I’m still blogging here, you know which option won. And I’m happy for it. But it leads into the second issue messing with my mind – of a job interview coming up later this week. Directly, though, the prep for that interview, and my performance in it, is in no way related to the issue of this blog going ‘public’. However, the fact that a friend could so easily find this blog makes me anxious that the firm I’m interviewing with could find it as well. Given that I’m usually pretty vocal about my political, religious, economic and other views, I’m pretty sure any prospective employer finding out about this isn’t a good thing. And that just adds to the general anxiety related to the interview itself.

Which leads to the third main thought troubling both of us, me and Rags – of our longer term plans. If everything goes well with the interview (and other aspects of their evaluation) and they make an offer, then, at least for the mid-term, our future is settled. However, if it doesn’t go well, and I don’t hear any good news from this or any other firm soon, then I may head back home. And given how things are going for partner, she’s much more eager than me to head back. Which will lead to even more questions – to head back or stay being only the beginning. If we head back, then when – ASAP, after a few months of travelling around Europe, or after enjoying a full summer? And where – to Bombay, the city we both love, to Delhi, where I might land work, or to another cheaper, smaller city? The question of whether I move back into consulting or pursue opportunities in marketing and management, or give starting-up a shot? Does she join another investment bank or try something else? And many, many more open-ended questions.

Finally, between staying in UK for mid-term and returning home for good, are the plans of that visit home in April to visit family and sign the register. But that visit has issues of its own – of making up with close, much-loved friends who I’ve not kept touch with. Of the few family members who I love but have distanced with my reclusive behaviour. The question, not of marriage, but of the reception – where, when, how, who all. And the question of many other responsibilities back home that I’ve been running away from for some time but will have to address on the next visit.

Add to these big issues the bit issues – long pending problem with my bike that’s been holding up biking, the plans to buy a new bike and the long pending visit to local relatives in order keep parents back home satisfied.

I need to do some serious thinking and my brain’s been all blocked up. It needs clearing up but I don’t have a Vatsy around to talk out to or a Thalwa to talk sense into me. Even the bike, which gave me a few hours every day away from the ever-connected, ever-noisy life is out-of-order. It has gone from being the best stress buster I had in London to being another item on the to-do list that I keep procrastinating on, and which keeps adding to the confusion in my brain.

With all these thoughts on my mind, and unable to find the box of cigarettes that Rags has hidden somewhere in the house, I headed out to Starbucks today for my evening coffee. On my way over, I remembered all the things that have over time helped me get out of these situations – when too many things to do, and too many things going wrong, get me so confused that I end up doing nothing – and clear my thoughts:

  1. Some days nothing clears up my mind like a smoke.
  2. Other days, getting drenched in rain does the trick. (The heavy Indian monsoon rain, mind you, not the light drizzle we get here in LDN)
  3. Or a peg, or few of good Scotch.
  4. On a few, rare days, I need a friend for company. Not just any friend, but one of those handful of special friends.
  5. At other times it’s a few moments of quiet solitude that clear up the mind.
  6. And in LDN, the thing that has worked best are a few hours out on the bike, dodging traffic and climbing hillocks.

Over the next few days, I might call up on all of those to clear up the mess that I am. To get me ready for the interview, for the register signing and to lay down a short-mid term plan for our lives. Wish me luck, and if you are one of those very select friends from my old old life, get in touch.


*My immediate reaction to finding out that the friend knew of my blog address was ‘How?’. The shock that should have come from her making the blog public never came. I’m good that way, just discounted that disclosure as a sunk cost, as a past event and moved on. Knowing that I could contain the damage by taking this blog offline also helped. But I had long been at pains to keep the blog away from my discussions with what I call my ‘offline’ social circle. What I really wanted to know was how did she arrive at my blog.

A day spent offline and I had my answer.

I have, for long, maintained separate email addresses, separate twitter ids and separate logins in most other online locales to keep this nick separate from my real name. It must have been a moment of legendary insanity when I decided to use this nick on PS3. And I paid for it. I play with a couple of ‘offline’ friends on PS3 and thanks to my blunder, they knew this pseudonym.

Rags also contributed. Not so much in the way that I initially thought – using her real name as a twitter handle – but because of the way she regularly keeps referring to our tweeting and blogs when we’re with any friends. It was bound to generate curiosity and make someone go look for it.

Fuelled with that curiosity, empowered with the knowledge of my PS3 nick and of rag’s twitter id, it was just the matter of a decent google search before someone figured out my twitter id and, from there, this blog address.

Thus the ‘how’ was solved. Which also made it clear that the friend who made this blog public was not to blame at all. The poor thing didn’t know that she was not supposed to find this blog, and then expected not to tell anyone.

It was I who knew that no one in that circle was to be told about this blog, and I failed the moment I started playing with that nick on PS3. I also failed by not warning Rags to not talk about the blog & twitter with that set of friends. I have warned her similarly earlier, when with my relatives or some of my friends I’d rather keep offline. This time I didn’t, and we failed. Should have thought of this earlier. Will hopefully remember this next time. Lesson learnt :D

And just to prove that punishment is mostly not proportional to actions, take this: I committed the key blunder and all I lost was a couple of days’ sanity, an open twitter account and this blog for about 24 hours. Rags, who had a much smaller part, ended up losing her twitter account completely. It does even things up a bit when you consider that I miss her old twitter handle more than she does :) . As for the friend who outed the blog? Despite no fault of hers, she ended up possibly feeling sorry and upset for half a day, and then missing out on some fabulous pizza Sunday night. Such is life.

  1. ~j~ says:

    Not as paranoid as wanting to delete everything to do with this side of your identity. Would’ve hated that.

    And thanks for the “young lady” bit. Much needed boost, even if not really intended.

  2. […] I’ve already done my bit of ranting here this month, I want to invite you – my handful of readers – to vent […]

  3. ~j~ says:

    Had read this on the phone when you posted it. So couldn’t comment. I really loved reading this. And I’m happy that you’re not as paranoid :P

    Keep writing, buddy! All the best.

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