Birthday Wishlist

A couple of people have asked me what I want for my birthday so I thought I’ll make a list and put it up here the way this stranger on the internet always does. Here’s a list of a few very affordable things that I would like gifted.

  • Dunlop .50 mm plectrums.
  • Decent electric guitar strings.
  • Vietnamese coffee. (I have decided I will settle for any good filter coffee)
  • A Bacardi Breezer. (To be consumed on my birthday, of course.)
  • Your favorite album (that I don’t already love. [This applies to everyone reading this post. Everyone must at least give me this. Online listening links will be accepted.])
  • This, or something like it:
  • A (good) Guy Fawkes mask.
  • A can of spray paint
  • A book. (literary fiction / modern science fiction / music theory / guitar / an autobiography of someone I’ll really like)


Please note that this list is only suggestive and items from outside this list will also be gladly¬†accepted. This is just to get you thinking in the right direction. If you’re too broke to afford any of these things then other non-material things will also be accepted. Such as hugs, love, and company to dance in the rain with. (“Happy Birthday” wishes on the other hand, are quite worthless. Please do more than that.) On the same note, don’t feel restricted to get only one of these things, multiple gifts will also be accepted. In fact, the first two suggestions come nicely as a pair.

Expectantly yours,

Day 65: Separation Anxiety

It’s true, the thought of leaving here is making me anxious. I keep running through a list of everything I need to do before I leave here over and over again in my head. Maybe putting this list down will help with some closure. So here are things that I HAVE to do before leaving here:-

  • See American Idiot on Broadway (If this doesn’t happen by next weekend, I’ll go alone)
  • See Muse live. (I already have a ticket for that this Sunday, but I’m a little worried it might be fake. Logically, I’m quite sure it’s not but you know, I’m anxious so I’m going to go to the ticketmaster retailer tomorrow and ask them to check. Then I’ll know.)
  • Go to The Bitter End at least once more and sit through all the bands that play there. Twice preferably.
  • Buy things for people
    • Mineral ice from a pharmacy
    • A lamb of god t-shirt and a couple of posters from one of the stores on Bleeker St.
    • A zippo
    • A few I<3 NY t-shirts.
    • Chocolates and candy (I could make another sub-list here, but lets not)
    • Random items from the Guitar Store for “the band”
    • Books from the Barns & Noble
    • Any other random things I might come across
    • Alcohol
    • Phones
  • Have the Plain New York Cheesecake again. Twice preferably. *salivates*
  • Go to Times Square again, preferably with a tripod and take one brilliant picture of it.
  • Take pictures of EVERYTHING.
  • Go to Union Square Park and sit there and write. Because it’s a beautiful place to write.
  • Go for the Beatles tribute brunch that happens every Saturday.
  • Reach home after 4am. Twice preferably.
  • Go to the top of the Empire State Building
  • See the Statue of Liberty
  • Talk to a random girl at a bar again. Twice preferably.
  • Have lunch at the Chelsea High-line. And take photos of it.
  • Eat sushi.

That’s all I can think of for now. You see, it’s a huge list. I have only 18 days to do it all in.


We love measuring things in numbers, it makes things more tangible. So here’s a list of numbers to quantify my life for the past one year since it’s been almost exactly a year that I’ve been working.

  • 1,50,000 – My current bank balance.
  • 4 – Songs I’ve made that are worth singing again. (+1 with the band)
  • 14 – Blog posts. Way above my annual average of around 2.
  • 6 – Trips out of the city. 2 were to Lonavala so they don’t really count.
  • 1744 Hours (~73 Days) – Time spent in office.
  • 564 Hours (23.5 Days) – Time spent traveling between Lokhandwala and Thane.
  • 4 – Books read.
  • 10 – Liters of hard alcohol consumed. (estimated)
  • 10091 – The mileage on the car bought last June, to which I must have contributed about half.
  • 365 – Times I’ve spoken about quitting my job. (estimated)
  • 2 – Times I almost quit my job. (That’s twice that I actually walked into my boss’s boss’s office thinking I would)
  • 0 – Pieces of fiction written.
  • 0 – Computer games finished.
  • 450 – Cups of coffee consumed.

From 2011 onwards, I want to pretend like we’re all really going to die in 2012.

How I didn’t do any work at work today

I love the internet. I spent an entire day at work today not doing work. (To be completely honest, I haven’t done any significant work since last Tuesday). I write this blog post now, from office. I’ve been sitting at my desk all day (except when I went down to eat, when I went down to play carrom and when I went out to stare at the evening sky, which cumulatively wasn’t more than 2 hours) but I feel like I’ve been all over the place. My mind hasn’t been in this office at all. And the best part of it all is that at the end of it I feel like I’ve put my time to better use that I do at the end of an average working day.

So here’s what I learnt today:-

  • There was an auto rikshaw and taxi strike today. I actually knew about this yesterday because I heard my rikshaw-wallah talking to another rikshaw-wallah about it but I found out today that a lot of people had to change multiple crowded buses and walk for up to half an hour to get to work. This did not affect me at all because I was in Thane all day and there’s no strike here, but I know about it, thanks to the internet, social networking and micro-blogging.
  • IOS4, which is Apple’s new OS for its mobile devices (laptops not included) is out and will work on my 64GB iPod touch. This means I can do cool things like multitasking on it now.
  • Now this one’s interesting. This guy found a girl sitting in front of him on a flight cute and though he made eye contact with her, he couldn’t talk to her because he was with his parents. With some inspiration from his friends, he thought it would be a fun social experiment to try to track her down using twitter after he was off the flight (and it was!). What started on Sunday with people trying to look for this girl based on a description of the clothes she was wearing and her seat number on the flight (which we later found out doesn’t exist) carried on through Monday with a large number of people trying to find this girl and arguing about whether this activity is an invasion of her privacy, and ended today with two newspaper articles ( This one on page 6 of today’s Midday and this one in Headlines India ). This experiment eventually ended because of the amount of attention it was getting and this girl was not found (yet). Following this story kept me entertained for around 2 hours.
  • I found this rather interesting article about ‘The 10 most important things they didn’t teach you in school’. Try to not get distracted by the number of ads on that page. It’s actually a very well written article.
  • I found this interesting blog , which now puts the number of blogs I follow to 18.

Now that I’ve put down most of what I’ve done on the internet today it really doesn’t seem like much. That doesn’t matter much though, because this still feels more productive than an average work day. I could sit and think of more interesting things I found on the internet and list them down, but I should be leaving now because it’s almost 9 and I don’t want to sit in office for any longer than I absolutely have to. So now, I’m gonna find dinner somewhere and then try to finish reading my book (of which I have almost 200 pages left) which I may or may not tell you about depending on how I feel when I finish reading it. I’m going to miss all this idle time in office when I actually have work to do again.

Things to do when I quit my job

1 – Find something to do that’s actually worth my time. (spend at least 2 months before really starting to do it)
2 – Learn to play the piano.
3 – Play the piano. (this is not the same as #2)
4 – Travel around the country, spend a month in the north/northeast. Also visit friends living in other cities nearby.
5 – Write. A couple of short stories, a novella maybe. (can very easily happen while traveling)
6 – Play a sport, regularly.
7 – Watch at least 20 movies. (at home, in the afternoon. I can’t express how much I miss watching movies in the afternoon)
8 – Read at least 10 books. (and stay up at night to finish them)
9 – Watch at least 20 sunsets and 10 sunrises. (I don’t think I’ve done even half of this in 1 year of working)
10 – Find friends who are equally jobless. (This should be way higher on this list than #10)
11 – Send a mail to people still working at my company telling them how they are wasting their lives. (Just for my own amusement)
12 – Go on a road trip. (in addition to the traveling plan)
13 – Buy a bunch of plain coloured T-shirts and paint stuff on them. (if I don’t end up doing this by then [which I hope I do])
14 – Contribute to open source software in some way.
15 – Wear shorts and 3/4ths as much as possible. (not just because they are incredibly comfortable in Bombay* weather, but also because I can)
16 – Smash my employee ID card to bits.
17 – Spend some quality time with my dog.
18 – Add 18 more points to this list.

*I will always call this city Bombay and I suggest you do the same.

Things I didn’t do this year

Play for a band on stage

  • Sleep for less than 7 hours a day on an average. (I think I did 9 hours)
  • Listen to enough new music and fall in love with it
  • Register to vote (yet)
  • Teach 11th and 12th standard physics
  • Get a job
  • Get my camera fixed
  • Stand up for something I believe in and see it through
  • Read more than 5 books
  • Ride a bicycle to Pune
  • Go on a road trip
  • Score well in exams
  • Get drunk on really expensive alcohol
  • On the other hand, here are some things I did this year:

    • Write a short story people acknowledge to be good.
    • Earn some money for myself
    • Get my driver’s license
    • Try to do something really big without any formal support
    • Make enough trips out of the city
    • Go for a trek
    • Cry
    • Kiss a girl
    • Get some direction in life
    • Stay up all night long and watch the sun rise
    • Steal a road sign
    • Walk in the rain
    • Eat sushi

    This doesn’t seem like that bad a year after all. It was just far less fun than the few years before it.