Domesticated who??

Oh hello !!  I’ll let you in on a secret. I am pleasantly surprised that you browsed all the way over here to actually read more about me. So if you aren’t my HR manager trying to figure out how I spend my time, you are welcome to be friends with me.

My name is Sandeep Nair, and I welcome you to my blog, dear reader.

This blog has been a long time in the making, and consequently, has no ordered structure to speak of. Counter-intuitive, ain’t it? The reason is that I spent a long time agonizing over how to monetize my blog. Now, I could have written informative and highly authoritative pieces about  transformer wiring, business to business marketing, or automobile manufacturing. But since I have done electrical engineering, studied marketing at IIM Bangalore and worked for some time at Tata Motors, I knew for a fact that I suck at those things. Then finally, one fine day, I decided that enough was enough and I needed to downsize my plans for buying a Harley Davidson with my blog ad revenue.

Which brings us to the blog itself, and its name. Why did I choose it? Because of a heart rending story. Before I begin, let me ask you all something. How many of you (excluding anyone who studied in Mumbai, and err… Chennai) have had the opportunity to study with a fledgling film star? Don’t tell me the answer. I wouldn’t know what to do with your answer even if you told me. But, here’s mine. I have studied with a budding young actress. Any self respecting mallu guy has to write engineering or medical entrance test soon after finishing his 12th board exams. That’s how he paves his way forward to a bright, if slightly overcrowded future, parental bragging rights, and a decent social capital at mallubridesonline.com. I followed the same path, and ended up taking Civil Engineering at the College of Engineering, Trivandrum. A very old institution; it is rich in tradition and history. But more on that at a later date.

The very first class was abuzz with the rumour that one of the girls in our trade and batch was a film personality. A “Cinema-nadi”. A living, breathing, actress amongst us. Ahh, the bliss !!! When she entered the class, all the guys stopped reading “Basic Principles of Civil Engineering(4th edition)” and actually looked at her for a few seconds before burying their heads in the book again. Okay, that may not be exactly what happened, but you get the picture.

It was the first time I was in close physical proximity with a girl who was comfortable in front of a camera. Usually there is an LCD or CRT screen that separates me from such girls. Anyway, I shall freely admit I was scared of talking to her. So I adopted the tried and tested, age-old method of fifth graders who suddenly realize that the ponytail wearing guy who used to sit next to them and give as good as they got till last year has suddenly undergone inexplicable changes over the summer vacation. I regressed into a blustering denial. But, to her credit, she was friendly and sweet to all of us, and quickly developed a friend circle.

Then one day, wonder of wonders, she talked to me ! She requested a favor from me !! As far as a guy is concerned,that’s a “double-whammy”. So I freely let her copy my paper during the Basic Civil Engineering exam. I hoped it would lead to bigger and better things. Like perhaps, we could solve the math assignment together. Such happy thoughts were a dime a dozen in my mind when one day at noon, she joined us at our lunch table. All of us were discussing pretty random things, when she suddenly turned to me and let loose a bomb-shell. ” You know something Sandeep”, she mused,” you are a domesticated kid”. I was flabbergasted, confused and err, confused even more. I had never before heard of something called a domesticated kid. But apparently I was one. Having established the who and what, I proceeded to the why. She explained, ” you have never left the comfort of your house and have completed your entire schooling at a single location. You are nice, sweet, caring and somehow, I don’t know…. domesticated. I love you.” Well, under torture I may admit that she never said the last line, but everything else was said for sure. I had never really thought of things that way, and it was a real eye opener for me. Here I was, all of 16 years old, and I had never even been to Outer Mongolia. Shame on me.

That day, I resolved to change things. The first step to that end was to appear for an All India Engineering entrance exam and complete my Btech from Nagpur (chosen for no reason other than its geographical position relative to my home town of Trivandrum). From then onwards, I have roamed cities like Pune ,Bangalore and Hyderabad, towns like Davengere, Kolar and Chikballapur, and God forsaken villages and hamlets spread across South India. The idea was to meet people, experience things and write something. Thanks be to the actress, she kick started me on a journey that is still continuing. Along the way I picked up a sense of humour, a little cynicism, and the realization that a lot of things in this world can appear really funny, confusing, pointless and sweet (in no particular order) if viewed through the eyes of a ‘domesticated kid’, who has had little exposure to such stuff before. And since I mostly write about such things which I myself experience or vicariously do through my friends, I decided to name my blog that.

And yes, I will go to Outer Mongolia. Once. In the meantime, if you are my HR manager, I am not the Sandeep you are looking for