Adios, Hammy Goes?

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Things change. They do. And the damned things keep changing all the time. Just when you think you’re getting the hang of things, there they go changing all over again!! A damn nuisance, I tell ya. I understand there are lots of people who actually embrace change. I’m not one to talk with prejudice. Just because they think different from me doesn’t mean they deserve any less respect. Just to clarify things, though, I am not one of those lunatic crackheaded change-junkies.

Oh no. I have an aversion to change. An acute intolerance towards evolving surroundings. And wouldn’t you know it… that turns out to be the ONE thing in this world that remains constant. What do I keep telling ya? A damned conspiracy…

I don’t like to see anything change. Back in school, I couldn’t stand it whenever my folks wanted to redecorate… or recolor… or just move my bed a bit so that I don’t keep falling on my head the first thing in the morning. Every time something like this was proposed, I’d jump up and take arms against the two-crew tag-team, Mom’nDad Inc, like a white-khadi politician hearing about foreign investments proposed in his area. I get nice and cosy within my comfort zone in record time, you see.

When fate decided to kick my butt over to Bangalore some four… five(?)… four and a half years ago, I held on to my dear land, Cochin, with my claws held tight even as my folks dragged me by the feet. But why?? I don’t really know. It wasn’t like Cochin is the ultimate vacation spot for the Gods or something. On the contrary, we have roads that wash away at the mere forecast of a drizzle, traffic that gives ‘bottlenecks‘ a whole new meaning, politicians that make Nixon look like Mahatma Gandhi, and mosquitoes large enough to scare the neighborhood cats.

But after four and a half… five(?)… four and a half years in the IT hub of India, I am deeply entrenched within a self-developed comfort zone here. So once again, I started building my fortress of stability, flinging flaming arrows at changemongers, metaphorically speaking.

That worked for a while, but you can only fight for so long before you realize your fortress has developed a stagnant pool full of dirty dishes and reeks of beer… still speaking metaphorically. The rest of the world has moved on. To make progress, you have to realize your comfort zone, make a conscious effort to break apart, and stop putting things off by sitting on your ass eating popcorn and watching reruns of ‘Friends’.

Right now, my comfort zone is under attack, once again, on the metaphorical level (what can I say… I love metaphors). And it’s getting blitzkrieged from all sides…

  1. Mom’nDad Inc. in joint collaboration with its sister concern Aunts’nUncles Ltd. are still hunting high and low for a clear and fatal shot at my very endangered bachelor status;
  2. Office dynamics have changed so much that it’s like I am meeting entirely new people as colleagues, although this could be because of the fact that we DO have some new recruits lurking around;
  3. My prodigious cousin, Roshan, bagged my prolific friend, Ashy; bound her in an iron-clad legal contract, labeled her his wife, and snuck away in the middle of the night to the United Kingdom. Both Roshan AND Ashika were part of my elaborate comfort couches in Bangalore. With one wide sweep, they’re off!!
  4. My long-suffering college-senior turned roomie turned guitar-tutor turned booze-partner turned hopeless-romantic turned permanent wife-hugging-mush-machine, Nash, has turned in his paper on my desk, and is serving his two-three months notice period. He has agreed to carry on serving in the ‘friend’ capacity, but has declined to continue living in the same time-zone that I infest. His company is taking his job to the US, and like a dedicated employee, he plans to jump aboard a plane with his wife logged in as the carry on luggage and yelling at the pilot – “Captain – follow that job!”.
  5. Another one of the really good friends I have left in Bangalore, the incredible singing Soopzie, is also bailing ship along with her daughter and hubby, following his new superfantastical job abroad. And she’s working on a VERY short time-frame. She’s already packing clothes, visa, and her six-octave opera voice. Her compass is set for New Zealand, where she will relax for an undisclosed amount of time. She has also agreed to keep in touch. Unlike Nash, I have a WRITTEN agreement from her, though. With her sporadic online presence and limited chat appearances, I couldn’t afford to take chances.

Items 4 and 5 kinda hit me harder than I could have justified. Granted, Nash and Soopzie are close friends, and once upon a time, we had even formed a band that was slated to mercilessly unleash some of my songs to the public. Unfortunately, we got the instructions all mixed up from ‘Build Your Own Band In 10 Easy Steps’ and the very first thing we did; before getting songs, approaching record labels or studios, or even practicing… was to try to get T-Shirts made. Not kidding. The very first step. Anyway, by the end of it all, nothing came out of it (not even the T-shirts)

So, like I was saying… granted, Nash and Soopzie are close friends, but it wasn’t like we met up for cocktail and dinner every other Sunday. I used to meet Nash on those rare occasions when earthquakes, cyclones, or nuclear attacks temporarily displaces the bear hug he keeps on his wife. And I ued to meet Soopzie even less frequently. So the way items 4 and 5 hit me was surprising. They’re moving abroad, but we’d still keep in touch. The internet has that advantage.

So maybe… maybe what really bugged me was that I began to realize the depth of my comfort zone. Perhaps it’s an instinctive reaction telling me that maybe it’s time for me to follow suit; pack up and jump across the ocean to a new land for a while. Maybe I should tell my comfort zone to bugger off. Maybe I should bid adieu to Bangalore.

Funny. I suddenly feel like… like just sitting on my ass eating popcorn watching old reruns of ‘Friends

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18 Responses

  1. silverine says:

    Don’t bid adieu to Bangalore but into the habit of slipping into comfort zones. Enjoy the comfort zones while it is there. But be prepared to let go.Your childhood redecoration angst reminded me of mine too. I too had this problem and my folks realized that to move my bed even an inch would be catastrophic to their ear drums. Boy could I scream!! Then one day I wanted change and ‘moved my bed’. Since then I seem to have unsubscribed from comfort zones. I think it is a hangover from childhood. Grow up hammy!!!! 😀
    Kidding. Me like this post!”

  2. Dony says:

    I second your thoughts. nothing is constant but change.
    all the best incase you stop eating popcorn:)

  3. Arun says:

    What??? Are you crazy??? 😉

    Ok, if you promise me that you will not suffocate me to death when we meet after this, can I ask you something?

    Is this change in the attitude towards ‘Change’, in some way or other, going to change your feelings towards Item 1 too? 😉

  4. mathew says:

    you have expressed it perfectly what i felt several times myself…and may be even now…i had the same feeling when I left my college..when I left my work place in india..and surprisingly I have built up a comfort zone here already….I think we have to enjoy being part of the change and get out of the zone like Chandler Bing did…I am actually not the best guy to say this considering I too am apprehensive about a change as you mentioned in item 1…
    Wishing you all the best…

  5. Bharath says:

    Hey man…interesting blog!

    I feel that Change is something, which if not outwardly stated, is something that we accept. But when stated as something complex and herculean, we find it to be a very difficult thing to adapt to. For instance, you know and we all know that the less discussed about marriage or relationships, the more you yourself will wake up one day and tell your parents “Ok, Mom&Dad, I am on”….this may be tomorrow, or even a few yrs later. But if you keep discussing about it, it will continue to be a stalemate.

    The point is, we are so influenced either by reading or by hearing someone else talk about these arbit “Self-help” books which project a simple part of life as a complex aspect. Books like Who moved my cheese must be downright trashed. Your experience differs from some other bloke.

    I think you will do well in changing – except for the Beer, Girth, Food-aholism….(boy, that list just nullified my whole point of this post!)

    🙂

  6. Sherry says:

    U serious!!! Nash & Sups off abroad is it??? When did this happen??

  7. Chelle B. says:

    Hammy!!!!!

    There is a job waiting for you at the Idaho Falls, Idaho Super Walmart (it even has a McDonald’s too!), if that is any consolation for you.

    Seriously. The checkout girl was very cute and she did have a tattoo of Charles Manson on her arm, a unibrow, 3 nose and lip rings, but – get this- no wedding ring!!!

    Hmmm… I think she had a nipple ring too, I’ll have to ask my hubby, he pays closer attention to those sorts of details than I do.

    Oh and hey, despite what Fox News says, Idaho really is a state!

    OK, so the sheep herders here have given us a bad rep, don’t you mind what you hear about them and their *cough cough* wool fetishes, and the white supremacists are not all that numerous or scary, they are mostly just talk.

    Did I mention she was cute with a possible nipple ring?? 🙂

  8. clueless says:

    change the channel.tell me hw u felt.oh,try pakkodas instead of popcorn.

  9. hammy says:

    @silverine:
    Well, Silverine. It all depends on the depth of the comfort zone. For some factors like jumping ship from Bangalore, it might be weally weally high. For some like changing bed positions by a couple of inches, it might be lower, but not as low as an upgradation of my laptop to a 20TB HDD, 30GHz processor, bluray disk writer, 20GB RAM… Hell, I won’t oppose that change at ALL…as long as it is drool resistant, of course.

    Grow up hammy!

    Nevaaaaa!!

    @dony:

    I second your thoughts.

    Great! And I second your thought… you know… your thought of seconding my thoughts. And what do you mean stop eating popcorn?? Is that even possible? Are we going to run out of corn? Is there an impending corn shortage or workers strike in the horizon?? I’m not taking chances. Today, right after work, I’m getting me a lifetime stock of popcorn. So there!

    @arun:

    What??? Are you crazy??? 😉

    Yeah. But what’s that got to do with anything?

    And no, I make no such promises. In fact, I’m going to practice the art of strangling today if I can find someone worthy of my wrath.

    @mathew:
    I love Bing, but I really don’t think I have the nerve to just walk out of my job like that. But yeah. It’ worth a thought.

    @bharath:
    Wow. Great. I can practice my strangling on you.

    @sherry:
    Yup. Me serious. Soopzie’s already packed up and is currently looking up flight fares. Nash will have some time though. But soon he’ll also rub his hands together and chuckle as he too grasps his one way ticket out of B-lore.

    @chelle B:
    Of course, if I drop down to Idaho, I know that I can depend on you to take care of me, cos… well, you take care of ur fans, and I AM after all, on the top of that long list.

    The checkout girl was very cute and she did have a tattoo of Charles Manson on her arm, a unibrow, 3 nose and lip rings, but – get this- no wedding ring!!!

    Wow!It’s like an assembly line production with all the best parts fit into one being… the second most perfect woman… after you, of course, Chelle.

    But a girl like that probably is already taken, wedding ring or no wedding ring. Shucks. 🙁

    @clueless:
    Change the channel? Ok. Hold on… Nope. Just static there. How did I feel? Sad. Depressed. Suicidal. But then I changed the channel back. So I’ll live.

    Pakodas instead of popcorn?? Genius. Now I don’t have to worry about the popcorn shortage. Hooyah!

  10. Zennmaster says:

    YOU ARE TAGGED!!! HAHAHHAHAHHA…

  11. Zennmaster says:

    BTW… if you not lookin into that check out girl…sounds like just the girl for me…and think it is true what say about matches being made in heaven…

  12. Hi there … how have you been? Long time. I can see you still do the odd creative bit … good one!!

  13. Bill Libbey says:

    I agree with ‘Grow up Hammy – Nevah!

    Hammy, do you remember your recent visit to blog ‘I Animate You’ with animation? I’ve animated one of your face pics. Would you email me please for how to see it. I don’t post them without permission first, so don’t panic LOL. Thanks – Bill Libbey

  14. clueless says:

    genius???

    ok.listen to me carefully.we don’t have much time. maybe only seconds before u fall into the illusion that u wer joking wen u called me tht. look around,u will find a white paper..i gather ur room is a mess, but u will, u must find a white paper….ok. now for a pen. we need a pen. no,blood won’t work. u can’t find a pen?? then blood is just fine.

    now write this sentence.”this is to certify that clueless, is indeed a rare genius,i was completely sane and had my rightful judgement abilities at their heights when i said that. ”

    now,this is a welcome change. genius. it sounds nice. g.e.n.i.u.s.thanx man!!

    i have got a variety of such ideas as well. pakodas wer just a sample.

  15. hammy says:

    @zenmaster:
    Wha…? Tagged again? Oh no, you don’t. Here’s a compromise. I’ve filled up the tag in your site itself… In your comments section. Let’s make do with that, shall we? And for all checkout girls from Idaho, Chelle B is your contact point.

    @sahin gopalakrishnan:
    Yup, long time… Thanks. Do keep in touch.

    @bill libbey:
    Of course I remember your site, man. It’s awesome. 🙂 I’ve already sent you an email. And you really shouldn’t wait for permission. Your work is always awesome. 😀

    @clueless:
    Dang. I’m feeling drowsy now. Maybe I should have just made a prick… Blood oozes rather profusely from a wide and deep cut, you know. What do you mean you have a variety of ideas like ‘pakodas’? That’s not humanly possible. There is a limit to one’s personal quota of genius, you know. So stop bragging. I don’t buy it. One superhumanely genius suggestion per lifetime. That was good enough for Mary Antoinette, that’s good enough for you. So there!!

  16. Moi says:

    Well, considering that change is the only constant, maybe its time to make that your comfort zone- atleast that way you never have to move.

  17. mmm…yeah i kinda understand what you mean.. There is always a constant urge to return back to your roots; the domains always seem to align itself to pull you towards the place of your birth. Having spent 3 years in Mangalore and now in this Caucasian island, I feel closer than ever to Kerala and the nostalgia of my hometown…

    Well, life is somewhat like that no? You will have to leave your den to make a living, seems to be nature’s law, so here we pass..:)

    Nicely written b/w 🙂

  18. Aishwariya says:

    Change isn’t as great as it’s made out to be, but stagnancy is like it’s evil twin. There’s bound to be some sort of happy medium, and I suppose all you can do is keep telling yourself that one fateful day, that happy medium will make itself known to you. Till then, like you said, you’ve got the internet to keep in touch with everyone who matters, and you’ve always got reruns of Friends. 🙂

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