Monday, December 21, 2015


"You know this odd-and-even rule that is getting applied in Delhi..."
"That 'odd' reminds me. You know the odd thing is that even though I have a book published..."

Giving up the esoteric ways of Delhi traffic as a topic, my friend plunged into the next.

"Really, the way the media dealt with the Chennai rains..."
"I know. My promo messages of my book just got flooded out on Social media"

As a last ditch attempt to get me off the subject of MY book and assuming, rather idiotically, that he could wean me off my book by talking of someone else's book, "This trolling of Barkha Dutt's book.."
"I know. People like my book but are too shy to write a review to say so. HER book they even take the trouble of going and saying they did not like it."

By now, like my friend, you would have got the point. I AM obsessive. Once my mind is on one subject, it refuses to pay attention to other insignificant things like flooded-out cities.

Ah! It is not THAT. When I look into the mirror, I do not see the ONLY important thing in the Universe staring back at me. The most handsome, the most alluring, the one with the inbuilt Axe-effect...all that, yes, but NOT the sole thing of relevance to me in the Universe. This obsession works equally as well, if not a shade better, with other things too.

Like the time my mother sent me out to get some sugar from a neighbor. On other days, when things are casual, I would spend a couple of hours chatting with her since she was about the only adult who did not think that conversation with a child should constitute exclusively of how he was doing at school. So, where with the others the conversation would be wound up with one disgruntled grunt, I could spend a couple of hours with this 'auntie'. Not when I was there for sugar, though.

"How are you, Suresh?" (Kaise ho, Suresh?"
"In a hurry. Can I have some sugar?" (Jaldi mein hoon")

There. The moment this borrowing sugar thingy entered the equation, she had ceased to be a person and become a mere sugar-vending machine. Such is the nature of obsession.

Which is why working life was so bad for my soul. I would meet my boss in a party and, by way of light conversation, say,"We still need to receive data from the marketing guys for our performance report". Starting from a glazed look in the eyes, he would, by stages, be converted into such a close replica of an Egyptian Mummy that he could have been mistaken for Tutankhamen. It never crossed my mind that the chap may prefer scotch to vodka, be proud of his daughter's kung-fu skills, prefer Baldacci to short, that he could have a life outside of being employed in my office.

Or take this friend of mine, for example. He had a torrid time at his office and used to discuss it with me (Poor chap. Little did he know what he had let himself in for). You know what, as far as I was concerned the only topic of conversation that springs to my lips when I see him is those problems at office. AND, then,

"So, I hope your problems are sorted out now?"
"What problems?'

AND, know what, I had to go in great detail telling him what HIS problems were and he seemed to have no recollection of them. Merely because it had been a decade since we last met, they seemed to have vanished into the distant past, while he had seemed stuck like a fly in amber in that time, as far as I was concerned. Obsessive...

Ah! Well! Now that we are all agreed that I am obsessive there is this little matter of a book...

Oh! ALL RIGHT! No need to run way just because I mention it every now and then.


  1. Obsessive huh?! Really! You may have to reinvent the word for some people-I'd-rather-not-name! Try hard as I may,they cannot be weaned from their current self-obsessed pet topics in any discussion! Almost reminds me of this one author who wrote a book.....;)
    P.S: Seems like, I keep inserting the colon and bracket too frequently!

    1. Aha! You acquired THAT obsession from my previous post? :)

  2. I am guilty of ordering Barkha's book before yours. Will order it soon, once I finish this one.
    Some self obsession is good, in fact ideal.

    1. Thanks Alka! I was making fun of my own obsession with my book and presto...:)

  3. I am more than half-way through your book, Suresh. And for someone who doesn't really care for popular contemporary fiction for the most part, I find your novella refreshingly entertaining and educative at the same time. I have always held a cynical view of the whole advertising industry and you bring up all that stuff in such a humorous and polite manner that I was almost tempted to change my view into a sympathetic one! Hope to finish the book soon...just have been busy with other non-managerial stuff :)

    1. Thanks Beloo! I seem to have transferred my obsession to my readers :)

  4. An enjoyable post! The obsession does happen to all of us.

    1. That is heartening. Always thought I was peculiarly an obsessive character :)

  5. Ha ha ! I too have been noting that and you seem to doing it quite well ;)

    1. It would have sort of thrust itself into your notice :)