Sunday, July 29, 2007

Three meetings and a shocker !!!

One of those long lazy Saturdays when all that’s on your mind is to sleep, sleep and more sleep if not lazing out. I did just that till late morning when I realized I had to meet a friend in fact 3 of them and meeting each of them at the appointed time could mean sticking to my pre defined agenda with a tenacity not seen any other time.

So off I went to meet Ancient Mariner. Yeah it’s a guy and no I am not gay I am rather straight but then this meet was being on the radar for long and I am glad I could finally make it today. It’s always nice to meet people who think the same way as you do or rather on an identical wavelength if not the same. Needless to say we talked about everything with me even sharing my propensity to hate this shady character who seems to take on the role of “love interest” of a mutual friend.

Next stop a high octane bull rush chase through impeding traffic to my old flat at a bustling part of the city. Considering the accident I just had, I was wondering if I would make it on time but I reached exactly 2 minutes before the allotted time and as I parked and ambled towards the foyer, I could see my friend looking at her watch and smiling “Always on time huh !! I like that “I nodded wiping off the sweat from my palms as only I knew what it took to be on time :)

It was an analyst meet and we both were deeply engrossed on dissecting her data and using the slice and dice rule to evaluate the pro’s and cons of each. While normally I would just listen and let her do the talking this time around it was the other way around with me doing the talking and she the listening. The only thing that didn’t change was of course the argument that we need to get into just as we were about to conclude. 7 months of knowing each other and it’s this step that’s always repeated. Not that it matters we do appreciate each other the way we individually are which is why the next day all’ forgiven and forgotten and its time to begin the next fight Bring e’m on !!!.

It was nearing 9 when I left and I had just under 40 minutes to make it. I arrived a good 10 minutes early but then with the whole city out on the roads, I am glad I made it at least. We sat down for another round of coffee and chatted at leisure about those good old times. This whole meet and the trip came at a very critical time. My friend had a flight to catch in less than 3 hours and asking for a detour from the planned landing point was actually quite harsh but yet it was made without even a slight sign of exasperation sigh!! Well I am pretty lucky I still have people who quite willingly go that extra mile. As I dropped my friend at the airport, my hands went to my bag and I gaily handed out a fancy package that was my gift for the upcoming happiness in my friend’s life.

As the package changed hands and the boarding announcement came in, I was treated to a shocker. Those eyes they seemed to say all. I was dumb founded. It was a fact and it stared at me right at my face but then it was just too late. As the soft hands that engulfed my shoulders and chest moved away the uncanny silence and the restlessness in my eyes were felt right to the lowest strata but there was precious little I could do apart from managing a smile and a wave.

I watched the figure disappear and yet I could never figure out why after all this it hurt. I guess I was too selfish and lost in my own materialistic demands and want to even realize that being always around when needed was perhaps one of the reasons why I was noticed.

No doubt it hurt like hell for a long time over and with it my sense of being fair was also tarnished. God why the bloody #$$# am I so antsy then. I have half a mind to actually call Chaubey and land up at one of those snazzy pubs and get drunk like hell.

But then alcohol had never been one of my choicest beverages but then neither was milk. Besides the only good thing about getting drunk is I would just shut up which actually is a rarity considering I can go on and on and on and the second being I wouldn’t know a thing till next morning at the least and right now exercising my non existent brain cells was something I was quite averse to doing. I can’t believe I am actually going through this not when I had decided never again after one of my recent experiences.

It’s a classic case of wanting to cross the river but never actually taking a step to swim across against the tide!!!

Sometimes I can really curse myself like an old hag and actually go to sleep with those insults riding my mind till unconsciousness takes over alcohol or not and today was just the day!!

A new day awaits me tomorrow and hopefully with dawn those feeling of exasperation and helplessness would make way to a better day. I tell you these relations are an awesome thing but just make sure you leave your bag of emotions locked away since feeling too much is a sin and feeling too less a crime and somehow finding a mid point is just not the forte of mere mortals like me.

Dear God,

Please let me be the way I want to be sans all the emotions please. I honestly wish I had an inbuilt on-off button as I would really like to switch off when you do a rerun of those not so happy parts!!!

Good night.

The Avenger!!!.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Mom's Advice!!!

My mom would always tell me not to do it and dad would freak out when I wouldn’t do it but then I was far too civilized according to me to believe in all these nuances.

After all I am a city bred and modernity ran in my blood how could I follow such mundane traditions never mind the fact that doing it never required anything but a smile and a few golden words.

I had a hard day in office and believe me I was feeling lazy like hell since when I stepped out. All I wanted to do was just sit under a waterfall and hopefully soothe my over heated nerves. As I reached a prominent junction in the city a friend of mine called and wanted to meet me and needed my help. I agreed reluctant but it was fine, just a matter of about an hour I thought. An hour gave way to a couple more and before I knew it, it was well past 9 at night.

To make matters worse things were pretty fine till we argued for some trivial matter and finally it ended up with me feeling agitated. As I dropped my friend off and speed on, she warned me to be careful and drive carefully. Not that I am rash anytime, maybe my mood swing was caught while I still pretended I guess. Anyways I waved and speed away...

As I entered the driveway to reach my place, I speed up a bit. All that argument had made me hungry and I just wanted to have something to eat, a hot bath and sleep. Suddenly out jumped a middle aged guy on a bike right onto the traffic, I braked with all my might, my bike screamed but it was too late, there was a loud thud, his bike flew away as if it was made of paper and he landed right in front of me over the asphalt road with a thud.

I froze it was my first accident since I began biking almost 12 years ago and the enormity of the situation was too striking for me to do anything. The sticky feeling, the gut feeling in my throat, the cold hands and feet and the rapidly beating heart i had all of them at the same time. I watched in empathy as he was helped by others and he hobbled on one leg to where his bike lay. I ensured he was fine and since it was not my fault I left.

4 hours down the line, I still can’t sleep. No its not my wound that are keeping me awake rather its the pain i feel deep down my heart. I had seen such scenes only in Hollywood movies and today it happened to me. It’s at that point of time I remembered my mom and why she hated me saying a bye after an argument….

I won’t deny the fact that my tiff with my friend was on my mind and I was being increasingly getting agitated over being misunderstood over a trivial matter but then it would cause me so much mental agony I had never dreamt off.

I do hope sleep comes to me naturally before fatigue gets to me and I also hope I would be fine tomorrow and can rest the ghosts of today’s incident….

One thing is for sure, I am definitely going to follow what my mom wished for so long. As for my friends who are guessing what the request is all about, wait till I meet you any evening and you will realize what “Moms request” is all about…..

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Traffic Truths !!!

  • For every traffic jam on a non conventional road, there is a WOMAN involved.
  • For every such jam, there are THOUSAND MEN converging and cursing the driver!!
  • Every weird vehicular / horn sound heard anytime during graveyard hours belongs to the BPO cab drivers !!!
  • BIKERS have the same pedigree as pilots. The foot paths are exclusively for their use.
  • To KISS AND RUN means to be smart enough to run away from the scene after causing a dent to the vehicle ahead of you.
  • Last but not the least “Left is not right” rather “MIGHT IS RIGHT”.

Don’t believe me try driving on our roads and you will understand

what I mean !!! …..

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Journey !!!

It’s the usual morning, the sun’s in bright and on time flooding my room with warmth, the kind you get when you are back to familiar territory...

It would be my last trip to this much loved land and while I admit having spent quite sometimes in different cities both within and outside the country, there never seems to a place which entices me with such ferocity as this place does. I am always into the relapse mode during each visit and still savor the memories that each beam, path, house, neighbors etc bring.

Times have surely changed. I am no longer the trouser clad, lean lilliputian guy who ran around dishing out one calamity after another much to the chagrin of my loved ones. Today I am more composed, taller NOT tall neither SHORT ( this is for you rash :) geez !!! ), not lean, and definitely not fat but an athletic frame. The absence of facial hair earlier on has now given way to a freshly shaved face and the only thing that has still remained as earlier is my receding hairline and of course my attitude. I am yet to figure out how to tackle either of them and fortunately I am in no hurry….

At the crack of dawn I was all raring to go. The elders tried to dissuade me mentioning my lack of geography, masked men, murderers, serial killers etc on the prowl looking for unsuspecting victims like me but I was in no mood to relent. Besides not only have I traveled far and wide all by my self but my will power and desire were just too strong to get stymied by such frivolous excuses. I waved a bye promising them an early return and to be in touch as always…

My journey took me across the breadth of my chosen land and unknown to my victims I always made a dramatic landing at their tharavadu ( or ancestral home). The eyes still remained the same, the health was not pretty good but the determination and their principles were still intact. What’s more the same learning and morality were imbibed by all those around them and I was glad to admit that me too am a by product of the same school of thought.

As they peered through those ageless wonders at my face trying to figure out the jeans and jersey clad lad who could only speak the mother tongue and still found them out, the ends of their lips would expand to a radiating smile, the hands would stretch out for a loving embrace and a bear hug would ensure the relation that was lying dormant for 20+ years was resuscitated. Thanks to technology I am able to put each one of them within striking distance to my whole family and my camera would go click click click storing the images, sounds and human warmth in my memory and laptop for further use.

A typical scene enacted at each of the ageless wonder I had set out to meet ignoring the warnings, bad weather and of course issues that would not work to my advantage. And to my credit lies spending a night out in freezing cold at the bus stand. This place is known for sudden strikes and hartal and since I couldn’t read or write in the local language I was unaware of it. Thanks to the street dogs that crowded around me for food and warmth I was safe and of course I loved the feeling of those rain drops bounce off my face besides being water proof from birth also helped :).

It was time for me to bid a tearful adieu, I may not see them for a long time to come but I was glad I made an attempt and was successful in reaching them. To be honest just seeing their smile made the journey of thousand miles worth so much more.

Friday evening, time for me to depart. I checked my stuff, everything is in order. I stood and took one last look at a black and white photo of mine that adorned the freshly painted wall. Right next to that are my other family members. I smiled I had achieved all that I had set out on this trip and my satisfaction levels were very high.

Amid all the chaos I am rained with hugs and kisses from practically everyone who seem to matter. Being the last male progeny amongst the second generation helped and I was accorded my usual “Prince” status. I deftly dodged cheeky questions about marriage and my girl friends with the panache of a seasoned pro. Hell no, its not that I think village belle are no good or are too old fashioned for me but first things first I hate the tradition of going to see a “girl”. I won’t ever do that and second I am an obnoxious buffoon who appears proud and with a stiff upper lip. For someone to tear through the mask it takes effort and more importantly time but then I was never so interesting nor the tom cruise types so there goes my hopes on that :)

Sometimes just sometimes you always have this feeling to go back to your old self, to re live the life that you lead sans the worries the troubles or the heartaches that seem to cloud you so much more and my recent trip was my way of getting back to my past.

The place I am headed to, I have seen, heard and have experienced that human values and emotions don’t have much prominence and bound that I am to my country and its rich tradition and heritage I just felt I need to get my bag full before I depart.

My journey of a thousand miles began with a small step and with each movement I felt my goal being near. As I touched each one of those who have touched me in their lives I felt like a kid once more and more importantly a pride as I still am the way they wanted me to turn out to be and I don’t ever intend to let them down.

My bag was heavy it had to be as it was not just full it had enough in it to last till my next trip whenever it happens !!!

As for now let me just rest as the next chapter in my life begins soon enough .......