Just Emkaying: 2016

Dec 30, 2016

The one with Madrid - Spanish Escape Part 4

This is a part of a series on my travels to Spain. Read the previous post here.

Real Madrid's Beautiful Stadium - The Bernabeu
After bidding adieu to Bilbao, I took a bus to Madrid. In my mind, Madrid was going to blow my mind. However, of all the cities I went to Madrid was my least favorite except for the great Airbnb experience - I was hosted by professional musicians! It was really sad that I could not get to an actual performance as I had to leave on the day of the show.

Dec 26, 2016

The one with Bilbao - Spanish Escape Part 3

This is a part of a series on my travels to Spain. Read the previous post here.
Scenic Bilbao!
It's hard to top Barcelona. I mean it really, really is hard to top great music, food and the feel good factor that comes with a beautiful city that is so free, passionate and yet welcoming of the millions that come there every year. Not to mention that this continues while the internal conflict on autonomy continues. Of course at the end of the day, it is a tourist heaven and commercialised, but honestly, 4 days is hardly justice to Barcelona. But as a backpacker, time is the most expensive commodity you have, so you soak and smile, and keep moving!

But Bilbao just took awesome to a whole new level! 

Sep 25, 2016

The one with more of Barcelona - Spanish Escape Part 2

This is part of a series on my travels to Spain. Read the previous post here

When RT first kept telling me to visit the Sagrada Familia, I had no clue what it was. I thought it was some kind of former Mafia place converted to a Pizza museum or something. And even though there is Google, my love of last-moment-procrastination meant that RT needed to spell it out for me to actually note it down (a day odd before flying) and then see that it was considered the 8th Wonder of the world, and will be completed by 2026, A Hundred and Fifty years after construction began.

Yup, I'm going to Barcelona in 2026. That's how un-missable it is.

It's probably the most magnificent structure I have seen in my life (I've not seen the Taj Mahal yet). In fact I would go as far as to say I do not think that there ever will be any structure that can top this. Each facade of the structure has a story to tell and is an architectural wonder. When it is completed, it is expected to be taller than every other structure in Barcelona - natural or man made. The reason that it is so brilliant is the structure is made of innovations in design, structure, material to achieve effects that go with the idea and ethos of the structure - essentially, Christian Philosophy. Every part of the structure is present by design - no matter how small, no matter what it is - a statue, a scripture or even a piece glass. 

The Nativity Facade

Sep 18, 2016

The one where we went to Barcelona - Spanish Escape Part 1

If anyone asked me at the start of the year if I would travel to Europe in 2016, I would have probably scoffed at the idea. Not that I don't like to travel, I love it. However, with time, the weight of responsibilities and commitments takes it's toll on everyone. And that means that traveling together as a old gang of friends would be very difficult.

No, this is not us. It's my impression of us. 
Often, the best memories I have are the ones with my friends when we go out. Like the time when we almost ran away from the hotel we were staying in without paying them in Langkawi. Or the airport Fiasco in Manila and the Bar fight in Boracay! But irrespective of what happens, it's always something that we all look back at with fondness. I wouldn't be wrong to say that our favorite has to be getting stuck atop a pass in Ladakh.

Nonetheless, It's been awhile since I've come back from Spain, and I've been shoddy with the updates. I've only got over the whole adventure just a few weeks ago. A part of me does not want to write about it - only to cherish the memories at my own pace. And I don't even know where to start - should it be about all the places I've been to or all the amazing people I met. Or perhaps stuff that was off the beat or  those small moments in an unknown world that makes you realise the joy of the little things.

I went alone but I don't think I came back the same.

Jun 12, 2016

The one where it comes together

He slid open the sliding glass door of his book shelf, and looked inside. These were books that had a lot of sentimental value but didn't stand a chance against his collection of must read books just a shelf above. Most of them were notes or thoughts pen downed at moments of deep reflection or angst, and while time had erased the feelings and emotions, the books remained a testament.

May 15, 2016

The one with the Tea Stain

Read the first part here

Moving houses was a pain. Packing was a pain. And doing it all on her own was an even larger pain. But she was grateful that at least it was happening during the break so the home was relatively calm.

Source: https://www.quora.com/What-is-a-cutting-chai

May 8, 2016

The one with the Wedding card

He never understood it. Even till the last day, the last ride, the last handshake, the last rebuke, the last few steps away and the last fleeting glance, he would never, truly understand. 

Apr 17, 2016

The one with Ending a Relationship

Source: http://tinybuddha.com/blog/healing-heartbreak-lessen-pain/
For the last few months I've been having relationship issues. It's sometimes on, sometimes off kind of thing and its damn frustrating. To be honest it started off very well and when it did, things were rocking. I don't remember a single instance when we ever had the slightest of disagreements nor even a feeling of "is this what we want?" kind of thing. If anything, I for one just wanted more, and faster. But in the last three months things have come to such a standstill, that I have had to do some serious introspection and finally, today, with a heavy heart, I had to call it off. 

Apr 3, 2016

The one with Divorce, Love and Relationships

If I were a popular content writer like some of the people at Thought Catalog, I'd have named this "16 signs that you shouldn't rush into marriage" and then follow that up with something like "16 reasons you should not listen to any advice about marriage". But I thought, why not? It shouldn't be that difficult to write a generic, feel - good, post about things I have no experience about.

Even though I had some brilliant  pointers like "Does she know which level of Assassin's Creed you are on?" and "Dump him if he forgets the number of dresses you have", I gave it up in the quest of a more serious topic of conversation, given that seems to be how my mind has been roaming around of late.

Mar 21, 2016

The one with What scares you the most ?

A couple of weeks ago I was at Bangalore and found myself in the midst of a most unusual conversation. Most party conversations would include good natured leg pulling, gossip or something else of a more spirited nature, etc unless the first that came to your mind reading the word "party"was to do with any political one in which we case we can't be friends anymore.

Seriously, stop watching Times Now. 

Mar 13, 2016

The one with God, Religion & Humanity

The evolution of one's belief is primarily through what one has been taught, learnt and experienced over time. If you are one of those who has very strong beliefs on Religion, God or any related topics are are the easily offended, then you probably won't enjoy this post.

*my blog, my rules*

Religion is a very strange topic. People love to fight over religion using "God's" shoulder to fire from. It is rather ironical that the religions that we see today, have nothing to do with the virtue's and purposes that it was meant to eschew, or that's about as much credit as I would give it.

Mar 1, 2016

The one with Internet, Rickshaw Economics and Bangalore

Hello! And welcome back to your favorite weekly commentary on the most inane things that go on in my life. You may have missed the last 2 posts, but that’s because the last two posts are yet to materialise and yours truly has been gallivanting about Bangalore and the other town I call home. Technically, I’m still at home, but this time around I have mobile – internet connectivity, a cause for celebration in itself. Hence, I’m posting this blog post from my home – the first time ever, and probably the first ever from this town even.

Cue - Collective cheer and applause.

I am bit disappointed though that the charm of saying that oh-my-village-so-rural is gone now, what with 24 hour electricity (Ha Ha Ha Bangalore!) and network connectivity (Ha Ha Ha Bangalore Airtel users!), but yay for development! (Ha Ha Ha Bangalore roads!)

And of course, while we travel there is always scope for an interesting story. Sometimes I feel like I’m a complication story magnet, what with Taxi drivers and Auto drivers giving me regular fodder for thought. And Bangalore did not disappoint. 

Driver has Mobile - TV enabled on his Rickshaw. Welcome to Bangalore, people. 
My Auto driver (in Bangalore they are called 'Auto’s' unlike 'Rickshaw’s' in Mumbai) had a very interesting analogy to describe why the Bangalore Metro’s completion would still not solve the burgeoning traffic problem disaster. I shall try my best to give you the same flavour as he did in Kannada.

Feb 16, 2016

The one with the Good, the Bad and the Birthday

Look at poor old me not even wanting to eat cake but being forced to. 
I'd like to take a minute and thank you for being here and reading this. And I'm talking to all the thousands* of my weekly readers because you make my keyboard go clickety clack every Sunday evening. So Thank you.

*All 10 email subscribers, after 8 years of writing and all the beer I bribed you guys with
*Not you R, you've not even activated your email yet. You're a good for nothing, sneaky little rat. Nevamind. 

Feb 15, 2016

Break Free

Have you ever felt
A weight so heavy
that you can't lift your head
your hands want to bury deep
into your pockets,
At your sides

Have you ever felt
the hooks of the past
buried so deep in your back
the more you pull forward
it claws you, hurts
and you just want to give in

Have you ever felt
the urge to throw everything
to break, destroy anything
after being broken yourself
for so long

Have you ever felt
to just scream your lungs out
to listen, to do,
what your heart cries for
without a care?

Have you ever felt
chasing after a dream
a need, a desire
but left disappointed
unable to understand

Then its time,

It's time you felt
the sun shine a warmth
through the eyes
who see you admirably,
for who you are

It's time you felt
those arms reaching out to you
Calling, embracing
drawing you close
Holding you tight

It's time you felt
those smiles and cheers
smother all your fears
picking up those pieces
to keep you together

It's time you felt
the little song in your heart
tunes and beats
that only you can hear
when you see
who's with you

It's time you felt
that you are not alone
let go of what was
to let in what can be
Love is beautiful

Break Free.


Feb 11, 2016

When Amazon & Flipkart could not fix what Gillette had done.

It was near midnight and my eyes had starting going red. I spend a lot of time looking at screens but this was an all new experience. As I switched from browser to browser and site to site, a eerie emptiness started to fill my insides. I was good at this, yet what I was desperately looking for was eluding me. Amazon, Flipkart and every other known site in the world that sold toothpicks to SUV's had been searched through with every possible keyword, and yet as the clock ticked on, minute by minute the desperation was just getting higher and higher.

The clock struck 1 am, and a bead of sweat trickled down my forehead. The whirring of the rented AC played chords to the rapid typing on the keyboard and the click of the mouse. With each scroll of the mouse, my misery worsened.

*tick tock tick tock tick tock*

Would I ever find....

Feb 7, 2016

The one with Cobras and Royal Enfield

There were actually three things I wanted to jot down today. But I realised that setting the standard with three sub topics every Sunday may not be the most easiest thing to stick to. It also happens that the third topic I had in mind is capable of being a complete post in itself (in an exaggerated, nonsensical kind of way).

You may also interpret this as "he's running out of topics already and relying on last minute improvs."

So yes. What were we talking about? Ah, Cobra's. Also known illogically by these welcome gestures:

Hissss! (International version)
Dusss (Indian)

To start off, let me relay this conversation that just happened with Dad a few hours ago:

"You at home?"
"Didn't you go out anywhere today?"
"So what else is going on"
"It's the end of Sunday dad, there can't be anything happening here. You tell me what's happening there!"
"Ah well, we had a special visitor today. Guess who?"
"Umm. Just tell me"
"A Cobra"
"Ah. I see."

Feb 2, 2016

Who we are

I've seen castles made of sand
Met people who believe destiny is engraved
on the palm of their hands
I've seen people who changed their faith
Sometimes we even get to see Love turn to hate
I've seen people grow younger with age
And a bird who wouldn't fly out of an open cage
I've seen love sold for money
And people devastated inside, yet outside they're funny
I've seen a Unicorn fall in love with a toad
People who owned the city, are now on the road
I've learnt to expect the unexpected
Perfection is unreal, we're all dented
Everyone cries, some hide their tears
Doesn't coal turn to Diamond, a thousand years?
For some, you are one in a million
To others, you remain a nobody in a billion
So live life with all that you have
Cherish everything, happy or sad
Feel Blessed, Erase those memories, those scar's
Life is too short, so try not to forget
Who you truly are.


Jan 31, 2016

The one with Gulf War, Hostel & Betty

Everyone has been raving about the movie Airlift. And for good reason. Despite my best intentions I haven't been able to get myself into a cinema hall to watch the movie, even though this whole week has been about travelling cinema, workwise. Anyway, of late the standard of cinema is so bad that you could make a movie about Pani Puri and that would have a better story line. Of course you put SRK - Kajol in it and that would be a 400 crore grossing flop.

What exactly is a flop? 

Jan 25, 2016

The One with MPD, Slimming & Sandhya Mridul

Welcome to another edition of Just Emkaying. You are just in time for the the third successive post on a Sunday evening, that too, at approximately the same time. That half of the people who I expect to read this do not exist, is a different matter.

But if you are performing, then why not perform expecting the President, eh?

I am currently running about a week or so behind the actual calendar dates. So if you have already heard some parts of this post in person, do keep reading. I exaggerate very well for comic effect when I write. Additionally I want to talk a little bit about Multi Personality Disorder that came up twice this week!

Gasp! MPD? Is our Born in Bahrain - Grew up in Bangalore - working in Mumbai hero alright?

Jan 17, 2016

The one with lots of beaches, seafood & Leo

My equation with the rest of the Universe is like a Calvin and Hobbes comic strip. The Universe plays the role of Calvin and Hobbes, and I'm the strip on which they get drawn. Nonetheless the results are quite noteworthy and fun.

Me: I don't want to travel anywhere this month

Universe: Nope. You're going

Me: But I don't want to

Universe: Nuh uh. You're going. 

Me: WTF. You Suck. 

Jan 10, 2016

The one with Wazir, Chess & Khwaja Bhai

What an eventful week! If you asked me last Saturday how the next week would be, I'd probably go "Meh". But yesterday, I was exploring bikes to buy, rides to take, and reactivated all my Travel group pages on Facebook. It's been a long time since I rode a bike, an unexplainable rush when you run down open roads with the wind in your hair (in my case, skull), the sun shining down and glorious nature in all its splendor.

More on the travel story in a follow up post. I miss my Unicorn. Wish I had got it to Mumbai.