Dance Dance baby

Dance clubs do not catch me at my best. My body was not exactly designed to replicate Michael Flatley. Far from it. While I do not mind shaking the occasional leg, I like to do it in private.  Unfortunately, when you live in a country where there is nothing else to do to while away the long, weary weekends, you find yourself being drawn to one night club or the other. It is inevitable.
Friends do not help, either. I usually hang out with a bunch of guys who all have managed to secure the immediate presence of girlfriends in Singapore.  So it follows that I, one of the few singles in this place, often am forced to accompany these pairs to their favorite watering and dancing holes as a sort of sympathetic appendage.
It’s not all bad throughout the night. The festivities start out with the entire bunch dancing as a group. In a mob, I can camouflage my twin deficiencies (no groove, no girl) pretty easily. All it takes is to focus really hard on which leg is currently being shaken by the group, follow suit, and try not to kick anyone in the gonads.
But once the DJ starts playing romantic ballads as the night wears on, the lovebirds usually pair up and move to far corners of the floor. Leaving yours truly stranded in the middle of the dance floor, much like the surprised Mark Antony who realized that his friends and confidants had peeled off unnoticed from his group, until at last in Egypt, he was suddenly left alone, with the spotlight shining on him.
Years of experience in battle has hardened me somewhat.  The modus operandi in such situations, without fail, is to slowly start shaking my hands to the tune. (Not my legs. Unfortunately, in these situations, there is often a breakdown of communications between my torso and legs) Once I have got the hands swaying gently, I slowly execute a tactical retreat to the bar. I always find solace there, in the company of fellow guys who are as rhythmically challenged as I am.
But the retreat does not end there. There is only so much time you can spend at the counter, locking eyes with the barman. Eventually they ask you to stop begging for vodka. I then start circling the dance floor, slowly twisting and turning to avoid the smooching couples, ducking to avoid the wannabe ballerinas and stopping altogether to prevent the spotlights singling me out. It’s an art.
There’s only one silver lining to the whole cloud. I am usually the only one in the group who isn’t expected to hold back his girl’s hair while she pukes her gut out in the street outside. It’s not always the wisest thing to dance for girls. Ask Antony.

The promotion of evolution sans Justin Bieber

Promotion seasons are always fun to watch. They happen about once a year and everyone on your floor in the office suddenly become analysts, trying to predict the next move and shake. Those who are due for an imminent move are subjected to the most intense scrutiny, their every action pared and analyzed. Excel sheets are made and macros created to understand how the shakeout would affect the organization. Of course, amateurish attempts at such organizational acrobatics are not always successful. For instance, one such excel sheet I created consistently declared that my manager would end up taking up a position with the Ringling Bros. 
Those who are due to be bumped up are suddenly treated with increased reverence. Their jokes suddenly become funnier, their emails are promptly replied to and they start receiving more drinks invites on Friday evenings.  Funnily enough, those who are due to be bumped out are also treated with more or less the same benevolence. Their jokes are also laughed at, even though the laughter may sound unnaturally high pitched. Their emails are also promptly replied to, maybe because it doesn’t matter what reply they receive. They get drinks invites almost every day, from those who sympathize. And wish to make external contacts. Who knows who’ll be buying the drinks tomorrow?
Promotions are the corporate version of evolution. The better DNA crawls out of the swamps and makes its way to the dry lands, in the hopes that it may, one day, start walking on two legs and leave its bitter memories of Justin Bieber behind. Ironically enough, it is the same survival instinct that makes us secretly celebrate the ouster of corporate rivals. 
After all, every DNA, howsoever mediocre it may be, wants to survive. And walk on two legs.

Handling unrequited love: The quick and dirty guide

To watch her walk away into the night, sad, alone and with all ties to you severed is painful enough. To watch her walk away into the night arm in arm with someone else, happy, contented and with all ties to you severed is nothing short of torture.
I spend countless hours roaming her street, glancing expectantly at her dimly lit windows, hoping against hope to catch a glimpse of her blessed silhouette against the lavender curtains. And when it does appear, all is bliss. At least until his profile appears alongside hers, ranging slowly towards her. When both the shadows merge, I close my eyes. It is indeed torture.
Then I open them again, walk purposefully to her gate, and open it. His bike is parked next to her moped. One swing and both the headlamps shatter into a thousand pieces. Love may be tender and fragile, but a baseball bat is not.