Monday, October 24, 2005


Okay... I met up with friends on Saturday evening... didnt smoke till I had the crappiest dinner at this place called Pot Pourri on Turner Riad, Bandra... god awful stir friend veggies they have. So frustration led to a smoke...then another... and then more all through Sunday. Was ashamed that all that resolve and resilience had come to nought in no time...

I had succeeded for whatever little time I did not smoke was because I was by myelf working mostly... but I hold myself for more than a couple of hours when a friend was smoking right beside me...Will I ever be able to quit...

Dont know... but am gonna try again... so best of luck to me!!!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Lets face the facts!

When you are trying to quit smoking, isnt ti natural to try and find out whether more people like you exist out there. I found one and maaroed this trivia from his post.

Yeh padhke toh sudhar jaa yaar...

When Smokers Quit - What Are the Benefits Over Time?
20 minutes after quitting: Your blood pressure drops to a level close to that before the last cigarette. The temperature of your hands and feet increases to normal. (US Surgeon General's Report,1988, pp. 39, 202)
8 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal. (US Surgeon General's Report,1988, p. 202)
24 hours after quitting: Your chance of a heart attack decreases. (I am still in this stage :D )(US Surgeon General's Report,1988, p. 202)
2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases up to 30%. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, pp.193,194,196,285,323)
1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce infection. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, pp. 304, 307, 319, 322)
1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker's. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p. vi)
5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker
5-15 years after quitting. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p.79)
10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is about half that of a continuing smoker's. The risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney, and pancreas decrease. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p.110, 147, 152, 155, 159,172)
15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker's. (US Surgeon General's Report, 1990, p.79)

The Devil is slowly taking over

Its becoming increasingly difficult to keep myself from smoking! I have been drinking tea by the gallons to control the urge... but god its too tough! The good part is that I am not hanging around with people who smoke. But the weekend is here and am not sure whether I would be able to control the urge when I meet up with friends at some pub or disc. Bhagwaan shakti de!!!

Shit man, its only the 4th day since I quit, actually its the best I have managed out of all the numerous attempts I have made in the past. None of them lasted beyond a few hours. Iss baar I want it to be the final time.

I am not gonna smoke
I am not gonna smoke
I am not gonna smoke
I am not gonna smoke
I am not gonna smoke
I am not gonna smoke
I am not gonna smoke
I am not gonna smoke
I am not gonna smoke
I am not gonna smoke....

Okay I hope typing out what you wanna do 10 times helps you do it!

A couple of my friends who have read this blog are not amused. They think I have gone cranky or something. Coz they know the funny me, the practical me, the unfazed-give-a-damn-sab-chalta-hai me. So seeing me in a fucked up state, talking like a cry-baby is difficult to digest.

But kya karein... life mein twist aa gaya hai! Kitne din tikega yeh bhagwaan hi jaane!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Quitting to win!

Its been 65 hours... God when am I gonna stop counting the no. of hours I havent smoked. Its the 3rd day of abstinence and boy am I finding it tough...If I continue like this I will become a Mahatma! Okay confession time...

I bought a ciggie at 10 pm yesterday and started feeling very guilty after about 4 drags, so threw it away. Ended up taking 2 more drags from a friends ciggie when I met him later last nite.. but he drank rum while I drank something called 'Summer Delite', a mocktail with one of those hats inside the glass for no reason. God was I embarassed when it arrived... the guys around looked at me... they must have thought I am gay or some kinda sissy! Par unn gadhon ko mere sacrifice ke baare mein kya pata?

Actually the 2 times I gave into temptation yesterday have made me realize that quitting smoking is not that big a deal... I didnt feel any different after taking those few drags... so am gonna resist the temptation better next time around...

But beleive you me everytime I feel the urge to smoke, its almost like a war between the 'good Bisu' and the 'devil Bisu'. I can hear 'devil Bisu' saying, "C'mon man, you can keep your goddamned resolution but how about just 3 drags, its okay man! It will feel soooo goooooood...." while 'good Bisu' is saying, "No Bissu, you are not touching that thing again. You promoised na?" I feel like Snowy in those Tintin comics with one 'Saint Snowy' and another 'Devil Snowy' standing over its head.

Sometimes I wonder why I am blogging all this, after all bloggers do look for readers and this is hardly what people wanna read about... but I am doing this for a different reason.. I wanna record my thoughts so that if I am to stray away from my resolve at any point of time... I have a place to come back to and understand where I had started and all that I had planned and resolved... and that probably will ashame me enough to fall back on track!

So just to remind myself once again...

No cigarettes
No alcoholic drinks
No carbonated drinks
No rice
No sweets/fatty stuff
No girls (until I find someone as good as 'the best gal in the world!')
And change your job soon!!!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Somewhere between Andheri and Vile-Parle... I found myself.

My mind had become a royal, stinkful mess. Some of the events which had caused this horrid state have been described in my earlier post 'The Woman'. I used to think, I was far better off than those majnus who run after women... and yet, this one woman had totally turned by world upside down. Okay, I love her more than the world, and I would do anything for her... but now that I know she can never be mine... Am I gonna spend the rest of my life wallowing in self-pity and helplessness? Fuck....

As a thousand thoughts like these crossed my mind, I sat up in my mattress. My roomie, who was till now busy figuring out 'alligations and mixtures' for his impending CAT exam looked at me in a way which said, "Dude, now what?". I replied to that implied question with, "Dude, I am going out for a walk." Now that must have surprised him for two reasons... one, I would normally have added a 'Do u wanna come along' to that sentence... and two, it was 11:30 pm... a good time for me to doze off reading Naomi Klein's No Logo. But he did have a clue about what I was going through... so he just nodded... I was out of the room and onto the street in no time....

S.V Road near Andheri Station is quite crowded even at 11:30 pm. The place was still choc-a-bloc with people and traffic. The roadside vendors were packing their wares... red combs and brushes, 'Chadhti Jawani' mp3 CDs, Salman Khan posters, rings that had F.R.I.E.N.D.S engraved on them, and what not. In Mumbai, people will buy absolutely anything you sell. The last time I felt this way was when I had visited Mumbai largest shopping mall, InOrbit, Malad. But that would be digressing from our topic.

So, here I was standing near Andheri station... I start walking against the crowd... a bit like that guy in that video... I think its 'Bittersweet Symphony'... anyways, my thoughts have so clouded my head by now that the people walking past me have become a complete blur... almost like lazers whizzing past me... I am walking really fast... and I am crying at the same time. Coz my heart is broken, my career is screwed up and I dont like the way I look and I hate myself for the habits I keep.

But instead of feeling like shit, I suddenly feel strong, for having the courage to talk to myself about what was wrong in my life... my fists are clenched as I walk with my head held high.. my tears have dried up and now I am walking... looking at myself as a specimen in a lab... trying to dissect the issues, problems and imperatives in my life....

Am I fat? Not really, but I have been kinda healthy for 8 years now... so I have this nice motorcyle-tyre sized ring if fat around my belly and I hate it. So, I decided its time to do something about it... and I made
Resolution No. 1: No between-meal snacks, no non-veg, no sweets and carbonated drinks and no rice!
Easier said than done for a bengali.. but what the fuck!

I am sweating by now with all that heavy-duty walking. Find a pan-shop and am about to buy a cigarette. but something tells me not to. So, I buy a bottle of water and walk on. I drink some water and pour the rest on my head. Passerbies think I am nuts, I smile as I feel that they are nuts coz I am taking control of my life.

I have been a cigarette addict for 4 years now. I smoke arund 10-12 sticks everyday. I start thinking about how pleasurable the post-lunch smoke would be, long before I even finish my lunch. Rushing out of the cold movie hall during the intermission, and letting that first drag enter your throat and then your lungs and belly, letting the warmth percolate into every pore of your body... smoking was fun. In pubs, canteens and now at office, I had smoked, socialised and enjoyed every bit of it. But at times I had tried to quit and failed every single time. By the end of it, I had stopped beleving in my will to do something .... and hence it was time to quit one last time... to be able to beleive that I may have lost the girl, but I am not gonna lose my life! So, resolution No.2: No Smoking... and since I was on a resolution making spree... no drinking too!

I paused as I realized that all of a sudden, the traffic on the road had reduced. I looked around that I had walked all the way to Vile-Parle... I was not feeling the least tired... but I decided to return coz the chaps back home would be sleeping and it wouldnt be a good idea waking them up too late in the night. My thoughts by now were racing from one issue to another, it was as if someone up there decided to take my problems one my one and just help me put an end to each one of them, all in one night... so I finally come to the biggest problem of my life... my career. I dont like what I am doing? So, I decide to change my career. I am not going to let my education shackle me when it should liberate me. I should not let the need for security to prevent me for doing what I love and achieving what I beleive is my passion and destiny. So,
Resolution No. 3: Quit the job within 4 months and get into what you really wanna do!

I was nearing home.. and was surprised at how much that long walk changed me... I had left home depressed, down and hopeless. I was back smiling, feeling strong and at peace with myself. I was surprised as I felt grateful to that woman for she came into my life and compelled me to take stock of it... she might not be mine... but she couldnt have meant more to me... infact if she had been mine... I would feel like I have got all I wanted... and that would be as good as being dead... so in a way... she is the reason why I live... coz not getting her gives my life a million more goals to achieve....

Yeah, I know that my resolutions are tough to keep... that life again will throw up new challenges, new problems and sorrows... but I also know that the solutions to these problems lie within me... and I just have to go and find them.... somewhere between Andheri and Vile-Parle

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The Woman

The weekend brought a batchmate from B-school on her Mumbai posting. Someone I had loved and lost and had fond memories of. We met, we hugged and as we walked again hand-in-hand, those days, those feelings came back rushing into my heart... for a moment I forgot all that had transpired between us and life was beautiful beyond words for those few moments.

Later that night, I could not control myself and went to meet her again at her hotel. As we talked about days gone by, she got a call from her boyfriend. That was when I felt this intense sense of guilt, lying in the same bed with her... talking to her. Coz her boyfriend is a good friend of mine... and what was I doing here at 1 am, in his girlfriend's hotel room?

I couldn't stay there any longer, but I didnt want to leave her, so I suggested we go someplace near for a cup of coffee. But I was feeling so awkward by then that I was suddenly looking for topics to strike a conversation (all day, not once had we run about stuff to talk about). That one phone call had brought me back to reality...that she was no longer mine, that she might hold my hand and smile oh-so-cutely at me... but she is NOT MINE!!!

Finally, after a brief spell of silence, as I sipped my coffee and while my heart wept, she asked, 'So Bissu, wats new?' and I replied with a question that I wish I had never asked, I said, 'Nothing... u tell me wats new?' She is the most innocent women I have ever known and she knew what I was going through, she wanted to put an end to it, she said, 'I am getting married to him next year.' She knew she was breaking my heart, but she also knew that there was no other way to let me know that it was over, that she might have liked me but her love was someone else, that things might have been different... but they were not!

I smiled, congratulated her, an avalanche of thoughts and emotions filled me and I dont know how idiotic I looked sitting there... groping for words to change the conversation that had come to a standstill. I looked for the waiter, asked him for the cheque, smiled at her and said, 'Awful coffee', probably I meant, 'My life sucks!' On our way back to the hotel, she placed a sympathetic hand on my shoulder, my heart was crying but I could not let her know that. So I tried to talk about my hunt for accomodation in Versova. For the first time in my life, I could hear myself speaking so incoherently, that I knew I was sounding like an ass. My voice was trembling and I was catching up on words, I was talking without looking at her, coz I knew that I would cry if I looked into her eyes again. She remained silent, probably thinking why on that fateful last day of my MBA had she decided to tell me that 'she liked me but did not love me!' She must have blamed herself... but I wouldnt change any of that... coz pained as I am due to all this... I still love her... and am fortunate that I have spent time with this amazing person...I may not be able to have her in my life... but I have memories of her, moments which are vividly etched in my heart... and why should I be sad... I should be grateful for the time we shared together.

God bless her.

Friday, October 14, 2005

IIPM Vs. Gaurav+Rashmi+Varna

Okay, my posts usually are incoherent thoughts which come when I am supremely vela in my life... but this is about something I have been following quite closely for a while now.

Ever since I started wanting to do an MBA, IIPM has been there with its humongous full-page ads. These were smart ads due to the following reasons:
1) IIPM ranked 4th* amongst all Indian B Schools ahead of 3 IIMs... and the 'extremely' fine print would then elaborate "4th in Industry Interface"
2) It would have beautifully 'Adobe Photoshop'd pictures of IIPM buildings...even the clouds on each IIPM building (in different cities) were exactly the same
3) Lastly, there would be a pic of a beaming, pony-tailed Chaudhri in one corner giving fundas about some Great Indian Economic Theory even though it had nothing to do with the rest of the ad. Also, a mention of a 'bestseller' called Count your Chickens...

In short all the ingredients to catch attention and create an impression on the MBA crazy hordes that abound everywhere...

Then there would be these ads with pics of IIPM faculty and their rates for workshops... The ads wouldn't have any info about what workshops they were planning... just plain vanilla faculty pics and rates like 200,000 per hour. Again a brilliant way to create an impression...look our faculty charges so much... I was beginning to look upto Arindam Chaudhry as a marketing genius... not coz I had started beleving the ads... but I knew there were lakhs who would... and thats what marketing is a lot about... customising your message to the target audience...

Till here everything was fine... I was happy with my analysis of IIPM ads and would think what the heck? Those who beleive it probably deserve it. And everbody's got to make a living right... if Samsung can sell TVs with bio-rays that soothe your body, Maggi can pack in protein and calcium, then who's to dictate what IIPM can or cannot put into their ads?

But then I chanced on Gaurav Sabnis's blog and got to know that he had been sent a legal notice by IIPM since he had linked to a JAM Magazine article on IIPM's ad-claims and to Rashmi Bansal's blog. I followed the issue to sites like desipundit and wow the issue had snowballed into an online movement for blogger's right to freedom of expression.

Meanwhile, Gaurav resigned from IBM as IIPM happens to be a major client of IBM and Gaurav didnt want IBM to be affected by this entire thing. Now that says a lot about the man and his convictions... also a lot about the confidence you get passing out of an IIM. Be that as it may, I vaguely know Gaurav from my engineering days in Pune and hence the inordinate amount of time I am spending writing on this issue.

Out of the 1000s of bloggers who came out supporting Gaurav and Rashmi on this, someone called Varna (a student in Delhi) also got sued for expressing her thoughts on the issue.

So far, there have been a few thousand blogposts and comments on this. Most talking about why IIPM is a huge con-job, others talking about the freedom to expression, a few others abusing IIPM detractors, and a few more offering unsolicited viewpoints like this one. But why isn't anyone taking this up in some way...

Rashmi Bansal, IIMA alumnus and editor of JAM magazine... why dont you take this up?
Gaurav Sabnis, who quit his job due to this.... why dont you take this up?
Varna, forget about it... you should be studying...

I mean I am frustrated that Rashmi Bansal is ignoring the issue and writing on Coke ads...
Gaurav Sabnis has not posted for a while (hope he is busy working out a strategy to combat IIPM's threats)...

And hats of to the great Indian media... none of the print buggers will cover this in detail coz IIPMs ad budget is some 5 crores.

So, from the looks of it... this issue will die a quick death... and that ultimately is what is good for everyone...

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