Friday, February 26, 2010

WHAT HAPPENED IN THE KIRAN BEDI LECTURE


Let me tell you what happened at Kiran Bedi's lecture the other day. I assume you know who Kiran Bedi is (uhmmm, if you dont, update yourself :P).

The ICSR hall (Thats were all the 'stud' lectures take place) was completely packed with people, all in anticipation of the arrival of the first woman IPS officer of India. She, I must tell you, is an awesome personality. AWESOMEEEE !! would be an understatement. This is applicable to both the looks as well as the character. She has bobbed hair style and a unique dressing sense ( I dont mean to be shallow, there are reasons behind this sentence). Ah ! why the bother. I'll put in a pic so that you can see her if you already haven't.

So coming back to the point. There we were, on the tips of our toes, in a room stuffed with people waiting to a glimpse of the star. The stage has a side door through which all the VIPs come into the hall. Our eyes where glued to the door, and someone of us seemed to have almost forgotten to blink our eyes now and then. Then, we saw her. She had the same hair style we had seen in the pics and almost the same 'figure'. The hall went 'awwww' and thunderous applause rang through out the room. We all stood up in respect. Everything was going perfect except for the fact that, she wasn't she. Yes, She wasn't she. She was a 'paavam' professor's wife, probably a fan of Mrs Bedi, who was as 'enthu' about seeing her as we ourselves were. The crowd soon realized the mistake and sighed in disappointment and then burst out laughing . Half of the people, who hadnt managed to get any seats laughed at us, the 'stupid souls' who couldnt recognize the celebrity and had stood up to wish the impostor. We on the other hand, laughed at each other.

Laughter soon died out and the crowd lapsed back to the 'anticipatory mode ". Then a dude in the front row, clearly some student representative, got up and went to the stage. All of us eagerly looked at our leader waiting for his words of wisdom. "We have with us.." he began .."a unique icon. A lady who has made her mark. Her father's fond daughter and that of the nation...."
As I sat there, wondering why he was saying all this when she hadnt even arrived, he paused. At first I thought he 'bulbed'. You know, that he forgot his lines. I waited for the rest of the speech feeling sorry, as he blushed badly on the stage. Then I noticed his eyes. Some prof at the front row was telling him something. He got of the stage and the hall rung with the sound of laughter for the second time. The 'genius' that I am,I laughed too, thinking that he was just bulbing. Then, it struck me. He hadnt bulbed. He had just lived upto the post he was holding. Even when his faithful followers had realised their folly, their master hadn't. Quite conviniently assuming that the imposter lady was the original he had climbed up the stairs to deliver his mugged up speech and be done with it. Thankfully for him or us or for Mrs Bedi, the prof interfered in time to spare us the bother of the boring speech twice.

Within the next fifteen minutes the guest of honour arrived and much to our amusement he got on to the stage again. It was just so damn embarassing. I would have dropped dead then had I been him. However, he didnt seem to have any such intentions. Quite confidently, he adjusted the mike, and began, ' Today we have with us, a unique icon..." The audience put fullstops to each of his sentences with claps ,snorts and roarng laughs. I sat there and wondered if Mrs Bedi would be wondering what was so funny about her biography. Anyway, the dude finished his speech and soon enough Bedi began hers.

Later , as Bedi proceeded to list out the 3 M's of success ( being a Master in our fields, a useful Member of our society , and achieving the higher Meaning of life), I leaned forward to get another glance of our dear representative. He sat in the front row, listening to the speech as if nothing happened ( a forgery of emotion??). Traces of embarrassment on his face seemed to have disappeared into nothingness. For the first time, I felt a little admiration for him. Clearly he had just mastered the 3 M's.


{ For those who dont understand the slang:
'paavam' = naive, enthu= enthusiasm , to bulb= to goof up}

Thursday, February 25, 2010

SMILE

She was cast on the lips,
when the heart tore with vile,
and heat emanated from within
In the fury, to kill or die.

She was cast again there,
when the green eyed monster peeked its head,
twitched the soul in that ancient cry,
When outshone by another’s light.

Again she reigned on the lips,
When contempt bred in the mind,
And laughed, hands in hands with some,
While the other, returned her twin.

Smile found herself on the lips,
And never in the eyes or heart,
Pushed on an alien stage, for an alien role,
Confused, she hid her self in the dark

Deprived, a true identity and soul
Like a deserted queen she wailed,
Displaced from her golden throne and raped,
Smile, stood alone, and cried.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

SPIDERS

The ceiling fan twirled around.Monotonously. She gazed at it, thoughts following its motion. Moving in circles. Returning invariably to the same point. It was then that he caught her attention. At far end of the ceiling, in the dark corner he lurked. Silent. Spinning his sweet alluring net. The flies that were buzzing around the tube light seemed to be completely off guard of their potential destiny.

Cliche. She hated cliches. She stared at it, stoic. Then got up, took the long pole (which she had specially bought for the purpose) and approached the corner. Smack! He fell from his sticky throne to the dusty ground, twitched once and then laid still. Satisfied, she went back to bed. The mirror opposite, reflected her. Thoughts started their games again.

The circle stopped at a childhood. Small hands clasped the window bars and looked outside. A car was passing through the gate. She watched it slowly diminishing before her eyes. Distance slowly engulfing the blue car and the dreams that went with it. When the intellectual pursuits of her 'post modern' mom clashed with that of her dad's, they decided to part ways. May be that was one of the reasons, she preferred hostel life. It spares one from a lot insensitive displays of affection. Thoughts of her mother had the lingering smell of cigarettes and the deep redness of lipstick which was nauseating. Thoughts of her dad were mere sounds of footsteps, of stuttering boots that climbed upstairs at the dead of the night, unbalanced. The only time she saw them together, smiling, was at the occasional parties they hosted at home, demanded by the deep urge to climb up the social ladder. They held hands, laughed at each others jokes, exchanged courtesies. A perfect happy home.The perfectness of this happy home confused her as a child. Grown up thus, now the memories of home were shadows on the wall, raised cups, raised voices, broken glasses, bitterness and void.

Circles again. Thoughts paused at a restaurant table. The brown ceiling fan gained momentum and changed to one, cream coloured, with floral patterns.Two brimming eyes stared at hers. It reflected the desperation, pain, helplessness and the hope in a friendship thickened by time. Shalini carelessly drew circles in her coffee with the spoon. 'Anupama,' she said,' I dont know how to face this. I am lost.It is too huge a sum for me. I dont even know how to make half of it. Where will I take my parents God !She was slowly breaking down to sobs. Anupama looked out of the window. Sighed and watched the small drops of perspiration scattered on her friend's brow. She held her shivering hands and squeezed it. Something poked Shalini. Surprised, she looked into her hands to find an ATM card. ''2890'', murmured Anupama, and got up to leave.

The circles brought her to a railway platform at a distance of two years from the restaurant table. She stood alone on the platform of Delhi station absorbing the newness of the strange city. She wondered what kept Shalini so long. Her phone then rang indicating Shalini calling. Relieved she picked the call. She heard her friend's heaving voice on the other side. She seemed to be on the verge of tears. She said,' Pammi, My mom is in the hospital man. In ICU. I have to leave for Banglore as early as possible. I am so sorry man. Buy I..'. Anupama consold her friend and asked not to worry about mom. After spending around twenty minutes convincing Shalini that nothing will go wrong, she got into an auto. She wasn't sure where she was going but told the driver quite confidently to go the nearest YWCA. The traffic on the road was maddening. The honks and horns was getting on her nerves. The auto stopped at the signal.Then something caught her eyes. There was a huge spa on the other side. The red structure was notoriously conspicuous among the off white buildings that marked the lane. But what caught her sight was not the spa, but the person who was climbing down its steps in a sparkling green sari. Years had successfully changed Shalini, but not enough to make her unrecognizable.


The room bell rang. Thoughts came to hault with a sudden break, almost causing Anupama to fall flat on her nose. She opened the door to find the sweeper lady standing outside with an envelope. The writing on it looked vary familiar. It was an invitation from her dad- for a wedding. Her eyes strayed over the invitation, the golden letters in bold stuck their tongue out and laughed at her. Somewhere at the fag end of her memory lane, the 56 year old groom kissed her on the cheek and the familiar smell of whisky spread in the room. The little girl raised her hands to be lifted, to be held in those arms and the smell slowly drifted away, farther away, away until nothing remained. Sounds of footsteps faded out.

The invitation shivered in her hands. The letters blended, the paper tore and from its womb it came- a big black spider. Sacred she screamed and threw it away. It crawled to her. Like an amoeba splitting into two, four and many more. All around her the spiders rained. Stickiness. Skin soaked in the slimy secretion. The dead one at the corner twitched again. The floored filled with spiders. She jumped on the bed and watched them growing in size, the hunger in their eyes, waiting to chew her flesh. They smiled, their voices were sweet. The legs swayed in unison, beckoning. She pulled the sheet over her head and closed her eyes tight. An hour passed. And there was silence.

Slowly, carefully she removed the sheet from her head. The room was bright as before. The door, partially closed. The floor was the same and on the corner the dead one lied motionless. She stealthily approached it. Touched it with her feet. Claws seemed to move for a split second. Impulsively she placed her feet on it and crushed it. Slime oozed on the floor. She stared at the disgusting yellow liquid that linked the spider to her toes, emotionless. She took a paper and rubbed it off, the slime and its memory. The flies on the light above seemed to nod their head in appreciation. If only killing spiders were an easier business, she thought.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

INTIMATE STRANGER

( These poem was written by me around 6 months back, I have come a long way since that time. So many things have changed in life, circumstances, friends, beliefs, relationships, outlook, my style and field of writing. Yet this poem continues to be very special to me for a lot of reasons. I felt I should put it on my blog and share it with you. For unless I do that I felt I will be leaving out the most important ingredient in my secret recipes... )


INTIMATE STRANGER

You sit across the silent room,
I try to hear your heart, but
all I hear are random words,
born from the tip of your tongue
And not the bottom of your soul,
You rob me of my sleep,
and sleep when I am with you

Clueless I stand, wishing,
you spoke with your heart, not brain,
I stray alone in no man’s land,
You shake me with your voice,
Delude me with false hopes,
I let you toy with my emotions,
to know you forever,
And you call me possessive.

You cheat me with your silence,
And bend me with your words,
And bind me with your smile,
Intimate stranger,
I have seen bubbles of trust burst before,
endured many a loss,
Opened up and got hurt in turn,
Yet I believe you like a baby,
And you call me childish.

How do I know who you are?
These few paces, seem miles apart,
You devour my thoughts,
I relive my memories for you,
knowing well that you take me for granted.
I know you are far, in a world different from mine,
dreaming to climb up the ladder,
And here I am, learning to love,
hoping to meet you at the next corner!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

WRONGS

What is a wrong? I know not.

I only know that there are certain moments in our life, when we chose to learn things the hard way. Sometimes, we know that what we are doing or what we want to do is 'not right'. Yet in spite of that knowledge, in spite of the pulls of our brain, we choose to go ahead and do it anyway. We conveniently ignore the small whisper inside. Those are the moments in which our heart wins over our brain. In the perpetual battle between reason and emotion, we side with the latter.

Why do we do this? Again, I know not.

If I knew, I could tell you. May be tell you even how not to do those things. How not to fall prey for the instincts that are the gateways of misery. By 'not right' I don't essentially mean the 'conventional mistakes'. No. Sometimes, we know, or at least we have a premonition that if we chose what we want to do, no matter how much pleasure it may give us in the present, it will end up only in hurt.Yet, fully aware of its implications and end results, we simply do it.

Is this bravery? sacrifice? or plain foolhardy?

As they say, some questions don't have answers.If we had the answers for all the questions in the world, we may as well become gods. For Gods don't dwell in uncertainty, only humans do.

Morality???

What is morality but a consensus among the lesser mortals. Who decides what is right and what is wrong? When I point my finger at you, judge you and stamp a 'WRONG' on your forehead, am I not Wrong? What is my authority to make such a statement? Besides, when all of us, at least at some point fall a prey to our instincts and impulses do we really have the right to decide the rights and wrongs of others.


For all those who are wondering what's got on to my head today, lemme tell you. May be this article is an aftermath of an hour of browsing about philosophies on morality. Or may be I am just listing some doubts that has been haunting my head for a while.

I don't want to picturize god a jobless man sitting with a huge stick,waiting to punish us. No. God has better things to do than that. I believe, there are no rights and wrongs. But only actions. Actions that chart out a destiny. There is no sin and punishment, but only the aftermath of an action, a decision to chose the hard way or not. May be this might sound absolutely stupid to you. But it makes sense to me. And before you judge this article, or the mind that's behind it: pause, are you right?...or wrong?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

THE ONE WHO LOVED A STAR

His days were long impatient hours spent in waiting to devour the silent moments of the night, gazing at the starry night sky. Each night he would lie on the dewy grass, his head resting in his arms, eyes fondling the shining Nova. Far away, she stood alone, a sheen of white light, pure and divine. Now and then she would twinkle and smile, throwing a spark or two, tickling his insides.

Days became weeks, weeks became months. The man would lose himself each night for the love of the lone star who beckoned him like a sweet impossible dream. Everything about her was so mesmerizing, so much that it could lure even his pragmatic heart. Intoxicated with love, those sleepless eyes would caress the light thrown across space and time. With each passing day, the streaks of light became stronger and stronger. And on such a night, he decided to seek his one true desire. Grasping the streaks of light, that surrounded like thin strands of white hair, he set on his ascend. His hope strengthened the brittle threads thrown to him out of nowhere. Blinded by love, he set on leaving his life and world behind, to welcome the world of his bewildering light.

The initial steps were easy. He felt he was on the ascend to bliss. To seek the one thing that had caught his straying heart and put his wandering thoughts to a standstill. He was seeking the reason of his living, the end of his waiting. Nova, far away haunting him like a shadow. He closed his eyes and found her smile, at the distant end of darkness. A twinkle. A hope. A dream. The promise of happiness.

Slowly, the warmth of her beautiful serene light began to increase to the levels of discomfort. Warmth transformed to scorching heat. Sheen transformed to blazing light that pierced through his eyes. The metamorphosis was complete. His body began to burn in the heat emanated by his beloved. His hands were aching. The threads swung in air shifting him through and fro like a pendulum. There he was, in the middle of no where, his world left far behind, his destination impossibly ahead. A heart dangling in air. Beating and burning. Aching and hoping. Nova, like always, smiled at the distance, her sparks brighter than ever.

The wrong step had been the first. That had left him hanging there. Stars were far away. Father than he thought. Farther than he could ever contemplate. The bleeding hands slowly left the threads. Streaks of light swayed in adieu. Eyes embraced darkness, at the distance the brightness slowly faded. The heart let go and merged with the void around. Silence, And of him nothing was heard anymore.
The world moved on embracing his silence. Somewhere in the night sky, a falling heart whispered...

Let stars to stars keep, men to men,
None to own, heartless, let light burn,
Let curtains fall, visions fail,
And let life be a fairy tale.


[Originally inspired by the poem ‘For the love of a star’ by Neeraja M R]

Thursday, February 11, 2010

INTERPRETED

Should I write,
another verse on love,
so that the prying eyes
could start their work
to spot
which of my unaware
acquaintances it is about?

Should I write
another one on death,
to again instigate inquisitors,
to probe the annals of my history,
and seek
the name of a non existent somebody,
whom I lost and still grieve upon?

The pen, uncertain, trembles in my hand,
wondering what the next link would be,
What strange discoveries would be
thrown my way,
as the price for a harmless word or two,
unintended meanings plucked out hard,
and rolled into stones
to pelt an unsuspecting hand.

What would suffice to quench the thirst,
of folks busy looking for dirt,
between the lines do they read and find,
all that one could ever mind,
at this paper I stare and sigh,
what all would this force me to deny...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

SO MUCH FOR A SECRET BLOG

As at least some of you must already be knowing, my 'secret' blog has lost its defining trait, thanks to my 'great' knowledge about how blogspot works. Anyway, I'm not upset or anything. Though the purpose of creating this blog has almost been defeated, I dont think it was a complete waste after all. Besides, over the last few days I have fallen so much in love with my blog to even think of deleting it or starting another one.

Now let me look back at my decision to conceal my identity. Why did I do this?
The first answer that pops into my conscious mind is obviously the teeny weeny fact that I didn't want to be judged or misunderstood. (Looks like I have over come that fear :) )
The second was more logical or may be it was just the selfishness of the writer in me. If I reveal my identity I may not be able to write as freely as I would want to. Or at least, that is what I thought. I may no longer be able to write short fiction or articles in first person narrative( which I must confess is my favourite and most comfortable style of writing). Why? Isn't it obvious? Simply because of the fact that ones' dear and near to me would try to fish for autobiographical elements in my writing. This may be springing from as noble a reason as the concern for my welfare or for more entertaining reasons (which I have better reasons to beleive in ). And this can be very irritating at times (like yesterday when a friend came up with a theory about my article on deceit)

Let me illustrate how beautifully this can happen . My article or more correctly post , 'Et tu Brute' (read it !! :) ) seems to have interested many. People are curious. Neither me nor you can blame anyone for that. But what happens when a person like myself writes something is that, anecdotes blend with fantasy. I do depend on certain instances or incidents from my own life to put in an article or shape into a story but that is not just it. Then the writer in me wakes up and for the aesthetic beauty of a peice of literature I tend to edit the experiences a bit or add fantasy to it. When I do this, I feel my 'work' is complete. That's only when I feel satisfied.

And if upon reading any of my posts or anything ever, by me or anyone else, dont waste your time and energy trying to figure out whom or what it is about. You can do it, cause it is your liberty to do so. But as a person who writes I can assure you that in eight out of ten cases you will be wrong.

So dear readers and friends, if you want to know anything feel totally free to ask me. Comment or if you know me, just ask me on my face. I am not gonna end up blushing or getting hurt.Why waste time contemplating stupid theories?

I close this article (which to me looks more like a letter), with the hope that at least some of you would try to appreciate ( and criticize) the literary element in my writing (please extend this generosity to other writers too ) than look for arrows pointing to certain directions or people. Lets be more open. After all, all of us do want to write and read good stuff.

Monday, February 8, 2010

ET TU BRUTE...

Year 2006.
An English classroom of a sub urban school.
The teacher is taking the culminating episodes of Shakespeare's glorified 'Julius Caesar". The class is deeply engrossed. Pin drop silence. She acts out the scene. Caesar, his words are spoken out loud. 'Et tu Brute...then fall Caesar." and the hero falls. The whole class is deeply enthralled, touched and silent.
Suddenly, a hand shoots up. It is of a girl. Her hair is plated on the two sides, ink marks on the face and finger tips and her expression is of an utterly confused person, not able to grasp something.
''But Miss ", she begins " I don't understand why a great warrior like Caesar has to fall for such a thing. I mean, considering his intellect and rationality and stuff. Why does it have to matter so much that he doesn't fight back? At least he should have thought of Calpurnia who is waiting for him at home.. "
Silence again...and then the whole class bursts out laughing. The exasperated teacher says " My dear ***, we are talking about Shakespeare's classic novel not some sappy Bollywood movie...He was cheated by someone he trusted with his whole heart...he couldn't take it in..now sit down. And don't put forth such propositions in you board exam paper for Christ's sake".

Clearly, the girl isnt satisfied. She still cant understand why someone has to be so hurt. She turns her head back. A pair of eyes meets hers. He smiles and rolls his eyes, and mouths "I know...". The class disperses for lunch. They are eating together. 'I still don't understand..." the girl starts. He smiles again and says 'You will. Someday".

A couple of months later. Same classroom. But the ambiance is quite different. The girl is standing surrounded by a circle of friends. He, strangely, is missing. Tears roll down her eyes. '' I don't know what you are talking about. Please, we are just friends. Don't cook up stories. Please I am not lying. No, no. I don't know. What secret meetings? Please. You are lying. He would never say that. I trust him. What's wrong with you guys.....Please..''
He walks in. The circle widens. A tall boy in front says '' Are you both trying to fool us? Tell her whatever you told us. Now. " He turns pale. The girl stares him in the eyes. He avoids her gaze and mumbles something. Neither here nor there. The girls beaks down to fits of tears.

A study table. The girl is staring at a book. Turning pages randomly. Thoughts elsewhere. Now and then a tear drop falls.

Scene dissolves. School courtyard. The last board exam has got over. She looks at him, her trusted friend. He looks at her expressionless and walks on. Days pass. Results are out. His name tops the list displacing her to the fourth. She dials his number. Talks to his overjoyed mom who passes the phone to her son. The girl whispers , 'Congrats. You have proved yourself'. His voice, very different from the smooth soothing voice to which her ears were accustomed says. " Remember what I told you last year. I defeated you. Finally. Every time, in every damn test you were on top. Me second. Ha! now where has all your pride gone? I knew what I was doing. This is intelligence, strategy, not the stuff you vomit on paper. Want to know something more? They weren't talking without reasons. I told them. Gave them beautiful descriptions of our 'friendship', a little more to the truth.'' The girl is numb. He continues, " I know what your are thinking now. God and punishment and blah blah. Haven't you heard. It is not the path that is important. It is the end. Read Gita. I just did what my God himself suggested. ..you pathetic fool.." Receiver falls.The girl slips to the floor.

That girl was I.

History has this annoying habit of repeating itself. I saw Brutus again. Each time in a different attire. First he came to me as a friend who sold me for marks. Years hence, he came to me as my 'true' love who left me without reasons. I was the fool, taking the hormonal imbalance caused by his first touch ( there is no need to let you imaginations run wild, he held my hands, nothing more...I may be a fool, but don't overestimate my foolishness :P ) as a passage of divine grace. The 'electric shock' of God's blessed touch. And mummifying my trust into him. Then he came to me again as my friend, my sweet friend whom I saw as my own sister, who went for the one who broke my trust, and heart. Again, I see him all around me. Playing his games. On the cross lies the source of my faith. Blood drips from the crown of thorns. Sold out, wasn't he too? Whom should I run to for solace?

What is a better possession? I ask myself. A broken heart or a broken integrity? A broken trust or a trusting friend?...

Roads diverge. I stand, questioning my beliefs. What next?

to live a lie or be the lie.....

TO THE LIGHT BEARER

When the night closes by,
I steal to you,
Behold, and warmth slowly falls into the soul.
Pushed around by a meretricious crowd,
I run, and panting crash into your hands,
I hide my face in your chest,
Hot drops of tears mix with sweat,
Heart speaks to heart, mind to mind,
Time comes to a standstill, worlds vanish,
and the weeps slowly subside.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

THE STORY OF GODAV EXPEDITION

Yesterday something awesomely interesting happened.
My friend has a HUGE crush on this guy. I mean, it wont be proper if say it's a crush. They both like each other, but they belong to two different states, and they aren't sure and blah blah blah. Before that let me give you some background information. I am studying in an institute where all of us stay in hostels within the campus. OK pack, I am fed up of this "secrecy" crap. I am a freshman in IIT Madras( but i am not gonna tell you my name :P..heh heh ). We have a big beautiful campus, part of a forest, right in the heart of the city (why don't you just google up for the rest, it bores me to death when I describe it, and it would probably do the same to you.. ).

OK, coming back to what happened. So last evening we were out on a walk. She and I. We have this place called 'Gurunath'. That is were we go to buy stationary and 'put' grub (Insti lingo creeping in ;) ). We were on our way to Guru when a 'classic' idea struck my friend. Why don't we get a chocolate, put a note on it and throw it into his room!! (it had a broken window,he had cribbed about it to her) . That would be so awesomely sweet ! I must confess, that I am person who finds pleasure in indulging in not so usual things. I cant stand monotony. Her enthusiasm coupled with my longing for the unusual fueled our genius plan. We rushed to guru and decided to buy a chocolate and a card for, let's call him, Mr.X. Then it struck us ! How to get into a guy's hostel? Besides it was already 6:30. He will be back from class in just an hour. And on top of everything she didn't know his room number ! So many problems and so little time. But being the resolved little angels that we were, we couldn't pull back the step we had taken. The decision had to be honoured.

So I take my cell phone out and call up a male friend of mine. Technically speaking hers too. He is her classmate and my senior, yet somehow closer to me than her. I hear a really drowsy, sleepy voice at the other end. I tell him "listen, there is an urgent problem, come to guru asap", half afraid how he would react when he got to know the 'really urgent problem' which made me kick him out of his bed. He came in ten minutes and we spent another five quickly briefing the whole idea to him. He wasn't much pleased I believe but now that his sleep was entirely gone he decided to help us anyway.

Guys have a knack of doing stuff. Sometimes they handle stuff better than we do ( hush-hush, I am NEVER gonna admit or acknowledge this in public ). Proving this point, he calls up his friend, who was probably sleeping too in his hostel and asks him to find Mr.x's room number through our student's portal (God, why didn't we think about this before !!!). Now that we had the card, the chocolate,the destination address and a guy to accompany us we happily headed to Godav (Godavari ruthlessly cut short, hostel sweet hostel for Mr.x). After around five ten minutes of trying to coax the guard into believing that we were there for an urgent non existent group discussion, we eagerly approach the stairs, and guess who was coming down !!....

At this point I really don't know how to describe whatever I felt. My friend was like "Oh shittttt" and tried maximum to avoid his vision. He walked past us casually not even looking at us. Relieved, we went to his room ( my friend recognized it by the broken window). Now, our intention was to through the stuff in through the 'broken' window. The recently patched up window with its holes covered with neat paper looked at us pleadingly.We had taken all the pains to get there, in front of the room, dodging its owner, just to find out that the broken window was no more broken. Never the less we slipped the card through the door (much to the amazement of his room neighbour) and 'accidentally' tore the paper on the window and put the chocolate in.

Phew!! finally the almost mission impossible had transformed it self to a marvelous mission accomplished. Later that evening, Mr.X called up my friend (too much for a 'secret admirer' :D) and thanked her for the card. We tried our best to pretend (with questions like, what card? which chocolate? :O ) and pull the prank to a success. Being an IITian with all that sharp brains needed for the jee he replied, " My dear, you really thought I didn't see you??? " ;)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

THERE IS A GENTLEMAN BEHIND THE MASK

Perceptions change. All the time. I agree with Heraclitus on it. You can never step into the same river change. By the next time you try to step in it, the goddamn river would have changed and so would you. To put it in other words you perception about yourself and the river would have changed.
Often we believe that people metamorphose. But may be it is just our perception about them that change.
I know a person , an intellectual friend of mine, in whom initially I couldn't find any elements of goodness. All I could see was a very arrogant rude fellow who was just impossible to stand. He belongs to let's say a little different cultural background than mine. Being the 'conservative' soul ( I stress here, kindly replace the 'being' with 'used to be', after all we are talking about change ) I couldn't exactly associate decency and goodness with someone whom I knew smoked, drank and sometimes took a step further. He was not even interested in studies. But he I must tell you is very talented. I respected it. But that was all I could respect. He made me uneasy and irritated. But my friends, at least some of them, did try to convince me that my perception may be wrong.I openly told him I disliked him. Fought with him. I believed that would could never stand each other. It was simply impossible. The adamant conservationist that I was I refused to even move a little from the circle of perception I had drawn around myself.
Time passed ignorant of the trivialities that was happening in my life. Then something really upsetting happened. One of those little experiences that knocks on your head and reminds you that you dont dwell in clouds. I have this annoying habit of keeping such stuff to myself. If it is sad I let my friends see the tears, if it is sadder I run away from the crowd and hide myself from everyone including me. Then I had a little chat with this 'unstandable friend' of mine. Honestly, I didnt mean to talk. I didnt want to go any further than a normal talk of courtesy. But surprisingly talking to him made me feel much better ( I don't know the psychology behind this). Slowly I found myself telling him things I never even told my intimate bosom friends. Any even more surprisingly he understood. He told me a little story. The story about a man who goes to a psychiatrist for his brother who believed he is a chicken and acted like one. The psychiatrist asks him why he didn't take his brother along or didn't try to cure him so far. Then this guy says ' But I really do want the eggs sir'. The story was simple. But the message was strong. I felt better. Felt good in fact.
Much later, I apologized to him for being rude and so wrong about him before. I could see all that my friends were trying to convince me. I saw him being courteous not just to me but the others around me. No matter what all he indulged in the integrity inside was intact. At least he was not one of those hypocrites who behaved in way that proclaimed "hello there, I am the good guy , come to me " and stabbed you behind the back. There was no 'hug and slap' policy involved in him . As surprised I was at this rediscovery, I was at the thought that why couldn't I see this before. Prejudice pays its price, doesn't it? I told him I could see a gentleman behind the mask. He said when you peel a mask, you find another. And another. And another. He told me he wasnt so good, and I knew that his perception about himself was may be as wrong as mine was.
I have changed. I am glad I have. It is beautiful at times to have a whole new perspective about people and things. Sometimes it feels good to be proved wrong. To look at things from a different side.
I am sipping my coffee. In the background I can hear two aunties cribbing about the spoiled youth of today ( hey, I am not eavesdropping, they are loud enough). How one of their neighbour friend's blah blah son ( I could make out that he used to be a 'typical good mama's boy ) had fallen into the 'evil' hands of bad friends and had been 'utterly spoiled'. Not at all an unusual conversation in an Indian background. I pause. Thoughts drift. Again, I sip my coffee, busy redefining 'evil' in my head.

NAME ON THE WALL

In one of those boring classes,
Where the words of wisdom seemed
To fly high over my head,
And numerous invisible bees
Busily buzzed in my ears,
Stifling a yawn for the millionth time,
I looked out of the steel barred windowsill,
Grateful to obscure gods,
for its close proximity to my seat.

Something then caught my fleeting glance,
As my careless eye drifted from sight to sight,
Hidden underneath my comforting opening,
To what I thought was a more worthwhile doing,
Was something scrawled, rather scraped with much interest,
Small yet conspicuous in its modest dwelling,
Much more to eyes like mine, looking for better things.

On a closer look I could see,
it was a name of an unknown someone,
Who had dwelled in the past and shared my seat,
I could then see him sitting there,
Looking out of the window,
then indulging in that strange activity.
Out he took the rusted compass, I saw,
and set out to carve his lone name,
To whisper his sad story,
to generations that were to go through the same.

In that moment of epiphany I could relate,
To whole humanity who had to share my fate,
To all those lost souls who scratched their heads,
Wondering why the professor couldn’t be absent,
Somewhere within the spring of empathy burst forth,
And a deep love rushed forward to my stranger friend,
Now I saw myself opening my box,
Out came the rusted compass again,
And set in the noble task, to declare the name of another martyr,
For millions of generations yet to come,
And feel inspired by his silent story…

Monday, February 1, 2010

A LITTLE CHANGE & A LASTING AFTERMATH

It is funny isn't it? When sometimes people surprise you in the least expected way. Oh, that's what surprise is all about. Catching you off guard, when you least expect it. Now just contemplate how it would feel when you get surprised on both the sides, by two totally different people, in two totally different ways. When your perceptions about people and life altogether changes in a split second. Ah ! it is painful. At times it really is. The change. The change that forces you to accept that you were so totally WRONG. And when the pain eases, reality creeps in.
I had a friend. A friend whom I liked a lot. A lot in the sense, like really really a lot. In that friend ( no pronouns, sorry, identity crisis ;) ), I saw the goodness in the entire world embodied. A friend who was my trust personified. I know I am speaking in superlatives and that it can really piss you off. But let's just say it is my way of emphasising what I really feel. It springs from an urge to convey exactly I have in my head and heart. And then one day I wake up and find it gone. Without leaving a trace behind, as if it never existed. We were very close, this friend and I , and left no secret unshared. The classrooms, corridors, coffeeshop, combine study sessions in the library, frequent fights and comebacks....you know one of those rare friendships you get once in a lfetime (superlatives again... .. but I hope you get my point)...
The worst part is I dont know why it had to happen. This entire "break up ; part ways" episode. No reasons. I mean, no convincing reasons given. One fine morning(when I say morning I mean it literally, we had chatted for around four hours even on the previous day) my best friend decides to pretend I dont exist. To talk and be nice to all except me. Oh, dont gimme that advice again. I tried to communicate. I tried to talk. Tried my best to atleast know the reason why my friend took such a decision. And then, let it be. I still cant say I have accepted it. It is difficult you see, to accept such a change in a person whom I strongly beleived I knew inside out.
Sometimes we run across each other in class (while we are not particulary busy pretending the other doesnt exist) or on the corridors, eyes meet and quickly pull back as if burnt. For quite a while I brooded over all the possible reasons for this strange episode. Misunderstandings? Manupulation? Or was it the 'green eyed monster'(yes, I like Shakespeare ;) ) again? Ah! each time, invariably I reach back on the hot seat of cluelessness.I was hurt, deeply ( if you look closely, may be you can still find its traces in me ). I kept it to myself and occassionally when the bottle inevitably brimmed, it poured out as poetry. For all the cynics out there who are wondering why someone should take such a small trivial thing as this so much to heart, sorry to disppoint you but Earth still has a not so negligible population of sentimental fools.
Looking back, I ask myself. What have I learnt out of this? I fish for the faint silver lining in the dark clouding hurt inside my head. The truth is I still like my friend as much as I did before. Hating doesnt make things any better. It just ends up making you feel worse about yourself, the world and everything that happens in the world. I know the change is permanent. May be it was even inevitable. And pushing my optimism with the last ounce of will power left in me, I may even end up convincing myself that it was for good. Nothing can ever be the same again. And even if someday my friend comes back, will I be able to be what was to my friend ever again? I doubt it. The emotion, the intensity of affection will remain the same but can I get the same perception with scarred spectacles? Can the broken trust be ever mended? Rhetorical questions , aren't they?....
May be this is all a part of "growing up" as my mom puts it. May be with time the hurt would go. I look up and see my friend busily typing something in the computer opposite to mine. My eyes, forgetful, strays there for a second.. My friend looks up. Eyes meet. I pull back with a face that shouts "I dont care" and a heart that whispers " I miss you. God bless dear one".