Thursday, November 27, 2008

Tears

I grieve. I mourn.

Soon, I shall rise back. I will pledge, I will swear by, I will respect, I will revere, I will idolize. I will grow to love more.

But today, I weep.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

In a sentimental mood

Slowly but surely, they wound up the road, dust swirling around the cars. There was a mist of anticipation and nostalgia surrounding the cars. Eyes darted around the green meadows, looking for any sign of their destination.

The clouds had chosen the day to practice formation flying in the sky and the sun was busy cooling off somewhere. The perfect day for a family outing, and four cars they took and pushed out! Driving down the highway on that perfectly lazy day, there was hardly anyone who could resist breaking into song. Away from the hustle-bustle of the Big City for a day, the weather could not have been better!

And now, as they drove down the road that didn’t seem to end, their enthusiasm grew every passing second! The fields around them swayed to the tune of the wind and the beauty of the scene was nothing short of dazzling! The serenity, the repose, the calmness in the air was enough to tranquilize everyone into a peaceful state. This was the life in the Indian village, the life hundreds of millions of Indians lead today. Enough to spark more than a few volts of envy! This, fifty years ago, was life as they knew it for Grandma and her children! Today would be a drive down memory lane for all the members of the family who lived this life, at the very grassroot level of the Indian lifestyle. Eighteen members of the family were out to look for the old house which the older members had once lived in, and the gusto could not have been stronger!

In its days of glory, the house had been a railway station, with Grandpa being station master. The house and the surrounding countryside was life as they knew it! And what a life it was! Waking up to the first ray of sunshine to the sounds of the 6 AM locomotive’s breath. Studying under the banyan trees, playing hop-scotch at the edge of the fields as the cows grazed. Helping their mother out in the daily chores as she sang to them, and later brawling to be the lucky one to sit on her lap while she read out the story for the night! The long-forgotten Indian countryside was rewinding and playing itself in the minds of all the siblings who’d lived there. The adults were surprised at how things had not changed at all! Far away from encroachment, the trees were still there and so were the boundless fields! The birds still chirped the same melodies, the field still whispered the same wisdom. The kids, however, were simply blown away. That a life in the village could be so beautiful and so worth living in, was something they’d never even imagined. The metropolis was the whole and soul of their existence. To think that their parents lived in a place like this, with all its peacefulness, was beyond belief!

And all of a sudden, like a shot from the blue, the house came into plain view. Nobody could have anticipated that what they saw.

The house was entirely unoccupied ever since Grandma and her family had moved out! The place was in ruins, but what beauty those ruins shot out! The house looked like an old wise man, smiling knowingly at those who knew him in his youth! The shine and polish had long gone and exchanged for a look of maturity, of age. The maintenance of the house was poor, but nothing could replace the grandeur, the magnificence!

It was like the memories stored inside the house had flooded out in that one fleeting instant and Grandma couldn’t hold the tears back any longer. Emotions welled inside everyone and Grandma’s children went inside in a reunion with the house they knew so well! Every wall, every staircase, every window, even the little cowshed to the side, worn out with age smiled at the family in unmistakable recognition. Time took them back, and the familiar sound of a train passing by the station was the only one which reverberated in their ears.

As for the kids, they were just thrilled to be in their parents’ house. The older ones who understood memories couldn’t help but smile at how rejoiced their parents were. Some kids had missed more interesting prospects of a Sunday evening to make it to the trip, but the house made everything worth it. This was a Sunday they weren’t likely to forget for a long, long time.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Funny, is it?

Y'know one of those days, when nature tries to be funny?

The weather at campus today was arguably the best we'd seen since the beginning of sem. The clouds had made the perfect veil to show just the good side of the sun, and the omnipresent sweat was . There was a calmness in the air reminiscent of a summer vacation evening in Pune, with only football, a lime juice and a Pizza dinner to look forward to. The usually lithe breeze was draggier than ever, the dogs were lazier than ever.Your generic always-in-a-hurry chap, late for a lecture and rushing across the B-wing plaza was nowhere to be found. Pubby was humming "People are Strange" while Bing and I nonchalantly sipped our coffee. The Egrets were invading Nescafe, though I doubt that had anything to do with the weather.

It was THE perfect day to actively do nothing. Not laze around mind you, that would be the sunny day where Mister Apollo decides to blow some steam. Those are the brain-on-standby days. This one, it was a day where you'd dynamically look out for the perfect ways to do all the fun things which would fall neatly under "constructive randomness". A day when the library with it's feeble Air-Conditioning did not feel like a haven. The beach clearly would be the ideal backdrop for all of this, but campus wasn't all that bad an option either.

And we spent most part of this day inside a Chemistry lab, measuring the pH of Acetic Acid while adding Sodium Hydroxide to it. Dropwise.

As a perfect end to the pain, a few moments after I rushed out of the lab to soak in what was left of the day, the clouds decide to vanish into oblivion and I'm left stranded in the middle of the Library Lawns, the sun beating down upon me.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dad

Campus restrictions, a sucky public transport or whatever else I might choose to blame, I never actually got a chance to explore Goa in the almost-three sems I’ve been here. Even being the haven that it is, the tourist thing just never happened. But then suddenly dad decides to show up, claiming to get bored at home, and fully equipped with plans of a super 3 day vacation. Our idea of a super 3 day vacation – Hire a bike, hit the highway and just travel. No usual Goan shit - going and buying those highly weird flowery Goan shirts, visiting Stereotype Shack on Runofthemill Beach, none of that.

I’ve had my share of quality time with parents, but never has it been SO much fun! Guess it’s the whole distance thing, not being able to hang out with dad as much as I used to back home.

They say Goa’s about the beaches, I say no. Beaches, they’re all the same, you’ve seen one you’ve seem ‘em all! No, I am NOT biased about this! Honestly, there’s just a small many beaches you can visit without getting riled! I mean, WHO goes beach hopping?! For the love of Christ they’re just sand dune thingies, it’s like visiting different parts of the desert! Bah!

Ok maybe I’m a little biased.

So anyway, being the irritable self that I am towards beaches, we decided to explore that part of Goa which doesn’t feature in “Goa for Dummies”. The green Goa, the Goa with its raging forests and the never-ending foliage, the wildlife, the sanctity in the core interiors of Goa, WHY does nobody talk of these things? I mean, foreigners in no clothing is all very fine, but there are things beyond that! Very rarely, but there ARE!

I guess we took the whole journey-and-not-the-destination thing to a whole new level! Although we could feel the effects of the insane biking on our rearsides, it was totally worth it!

Monday, June 9, 2008

Nikita speaks...

A vision of delight, a memory planted permanently on a mind. A sight to behold, a display of nature’s beauty. Nikita Prakash experienced, quite literally, what it could be to be in paradise. Over the clouds and, quite literally, above the hassles of everyday life. On the 25th of March ’08, she spoke. And I wrote. I was astonished how she could describe every tiny detail of the great panorama of the beauty she experienced. And so I wrote and I kept writing.

Today, on my blog, Nikita speaks.

Place: Flight SG 257. Delhi to Goa

Time: Just before sunset.

An orange streak in the sky. It looked vaguely like a city. I dunno what the best way of putting it is, but the clouds sure looked like buildings from far away. Almost like the city of the dead. Sounds cheesy, but it quite literally looked like heaven, if it really were above the clouds, like they say. I could see only silhouettes, anyway. Maybe that added to the beauty. The mystery, the imagination that unlocked the world beyond the darkness was what was so fascinating. Veils shrouded the city, and I doubt it could’ve been any more beautiful. The calmness was nothing short of eerie. I wish I could say the clich├ęd “calm before a storm” thing, but a storm’s not the best thing to expect when you’re in a plane. I just kept looking…

The level of orange kept dipping, insipid to an extent. We were losing altitude fast, and suddenly I found clouds above us too. It was all becoming very creepy. There was a sudden layer where there were no clouds. Clouds above me, clouds below me, but a scary void where I was. At this point the sky decided it was time for a show. Lightening, nothing short of intense orange to my right. Instead of the expected chill down my spine, I was amazed. If this was nature’s idea of a pre-landing performance, it was working. I didn’t know what to think. My mind suddenly flew to Physics class about some plane getting electrocuted, but the people not dying of shock, thanks to Faraday’s shielding theory. A man next to me was ready to argue on my physics doubt. Not exactly the best thing to do, methinks. A lady next to him was visibly terrified. There was a general stunned silence in the plane.


We started receding more. The clouds were actually making the plane bump around. Wasn’t a very happy experience. There was still a continuous tinge of orange behind me, and I could still see random orange patches around me, even though it was so dark. That particular colour was definitely the colour of the day. I got a strange sense of being in a Biblical story. There’s heaven above me, earth beneath me. All those Biblical stories of Apocalypse showed up in moments where they’re best forgotten. The clouds were forming a tunnel, until all I could see was clouds. The kind of feeling you get when a tunnel closes on you? When there’s no light at the end of the tunnel? Well, it was actually a pleasant feeling this one time! Almost gave me a sense of security! The lights inside the plane were off, and we were fully emerged in the cloud. Suddenly, the plane grew all silent. What we all had mistook for lightening a few moments back was actually the flickering of the plane lights. I wasn’t the only one giving a sigh of relief. My feet were cold. It wasn’t just because I was wearing slippers.

Going through the clouds gave me vivid memories of the Konkan railway, with all its tunnels. I remember counting the tunnels with my bro. One memory led to another, and I almost forgot for a while where I was.

The plane was dropping all the time. Suddenly, it grew all dark, and the clouds that were once above me in the form of a city was now a massive water body. Only moments later, there were no more clouds, and behold! There was a real water body right below! I saw what I knew was the sea, but couldn’t really see it. The only reason I knew it was the sea, was the boats. The barges that carried ore to and fro. They were just points of light back then, later to be seen as what they were. It made me wonder how the boatmen managed to tame the rough sea. Reminded me of the Indianapolis Navy accident documentary I’d seen on the discovery channel the previous night. Uncanny how these things happen right at the time when they’re in context. Since then, the sight of the barges in the dormant sea hasn’t failed to creep me out. I’m certainly more scared of a cruise than a flight. I dunno why people are scared of flying, to me it seems like the safest and most obvious way of travelling.

The guy next to me started boasting how he was a frequent flier and how we’ll see the campus right now, and now, and now…and next thing we knew, we’d landed! Somehow we ended up missing the grand view of the campus that we’ve sold to so many sponsors. The plane screeched its usual screech and we were there. On the airport, back to earth and away from what I’d seen! Everything up there seemed like an El Dorado, somewhere there, but hard to believe it was…

Spicejet pilots really haven’t a clue how to land. Every single time a flight lands, the plane takes jerks. Massive ones. You are actually aware of your seatbelt, and the guy doesn’t take enough time to stop. One thing’s for sure, they aren’t the best pilots.

I realized how restless people get in the flight! Phones get switched on jus when the air hostess says- “Apne mobile phone vimaan se utarne se pehle ON na karen”. You can hear excited chics going “Yeah dad, I’ve reached, I’m in GOA!”. Baggage comes down. The warnings are for a reason, aren’t they? Amazing how people don’t care for rules, and amazing how many people have Nokia phones, and amazing how many messages they keep getting all the time!! I just sit still where I am, and wait till everything’s simmered down. I mean, why the rush, why the hurry? Those few minutes aren’t gonna help you much in the rat-race, are they?

We got back, plane landed, and my phone finally got switched ON. Read everyone’s messages. Felt all nice and wanted. :)

Friday, May 2, 2008

Flight...

Don’t we all simply adore books and songs about flying? Well, I sure do!


The open sky. The sun shining brightly up there like a wise old man watching over you. Tiny houses like the ones we used to play with as kids. A tiny spark of desire of picking one with your hand and placing it in a more aesthetic position, then realizing that it’s perfect the way it is. Thoughts about a perfect world come flooding through. You barricade the thoughts and concentrate at your task at hand. A short loss of focus and you’re gonna go crashing down. The hard rocky land down there doesn’t look all that cute anymore. You see a professional shooting past you occasionally, doing the thing that you’re so afraid of, with such ease and ever-so delicately. Such beauty, such liberty, such freedom, you wonder. But this is no time for contemplation. That has long gone. There are times when actions speak, not just louder than words; they’re quite a din over words. And that time, to borrow a friend’s expression, is now.

The clouds seem to be doing their usual pattern thing, except that from up here, it’s different. The shapes are much more real. You realize why clouds are loved and sung about all that much. Cotton floating around in the air, puffs of pure-white smoke collecting together and playing games with our heads, everything we’ve compared clouds to back on land is a joke now. The clouds are cities, the clouds are mountains, the clouds are all that we’ve ever seen.

The biggest distraction is this tiny thing in your head. It’s this annoying voice which keeps telling you what to do. The most annoying part of it, however, is that all the logic is founded on what the consequences would be. Some people call it a conscience. I’d rather stick with “annoying voice”. More often than not it happens that instincts are your best friend. Go where the roads take you, and you’ll get to the best destination. And once you’re AT the destination, you’ll realize that every road leads to the same place (it’s referred to as Rome by an ancient smarty-pants).

It all boils down to that one moment. The perfect dive, the perfect swooshing movement across the sky and suddenly you’re nothing more than a blur. Bounded by nothing anymore. No moment has been as close to clarity as this one. Unleashed from the shackles of everything that’s kept you on the ground. Flying.

Flying.

One word cannot give more joy!

Monday, March 31, 2008

Random Thoughts - Episode 5

In response to certain accusations that I've stopped being random, here's to Maddy :D

Random Thoughts - Episode 5

1> Ali Azhar sounds constipated throughout Garaj Baras.

2> I don't feel like throwing polo wrappers into the bin.

3> Notepad++ rule-th! Kudos to ET :D

4> Emergency Lights look cool when they're charging :|

5> It's been a while since I read Shantaram.

6> Why are EGGS used in Rangpanchami? I mean, COULD you think of anything more disgusting?.......... Maybe that's why. :|

7> I hate walking slowly. I simple HATE it. Except if it's on the beach.

8> I recently confused the starting riffs of Alive and Bring it on Home. VERY weird and unexpected!

9> I'm gonna try and mention Shippy on ever Random Thoughts Episode.

10> OMFG, I need to do Shippy's tag. It'll take way too long.

11> I'm sure I'm gonna update my blog before an exam this time, too :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Matrix has you, Neo

A certain someone who's shaped me the way I am once told me that the best lessons in life come when they're least expected. Maybe I'd dismissed that back then as another one of the "The best things in life come free" kind of statement. Today, I very certainly agree. Not often does the philosophy of The Matrix become clear to you at 3 am, whilst returning from the ground floor bathroom after a rare late-night bath.

“Free your mind, Neo”, said Morpheus, famously. Whatever Mr. Director intended to say then, it just means one thing to me right now. Quite literally, free yourself from whatever you’ve been programmed to do. For being programmed is probably the worst state you’re ever in.

Indian ethics. One of the more passionately debated topics of today, with the debates not restricting themselves to be purely verbal. Sex, lust, greed, and all that jazz which being uttered in Indian homes today might lead to controversy. It is these very ethics that caused me to realize what we’ve been taught every time someone tells us to “free our mind”. The night saw me having arguably my best phone conversation. Never before had my thoughts been so clear, so smooth and so easily transferrable into words. The friend and I spoke about things which would not just bond us closer than ever, but would make me come to the realization that more people in the world are programmed than we’d ever imagine.

How would one define “programmed”? A simple example – Making out when one is not “going out” with the girl. Even though the guy has intense emotional and physical attachment to the girl, making out is specially reserved for after they start “going out”. Are a simple question and the affirmative answer the key to establish trust between two individuals? Or is it the constant building up of trust in a slow yet sure way, which makes the two people, eventually, quite unable to live without each other? I mean, this is as preposterous as little kids believing that the exchange in garlands changes everything for the woman, and she ends up having kids. That’s programming for you. Something fixed with such a brilliantly tested algorithm, that it refuses to fail, howmuchever you try finding a loophole in it. Something embedded so deep in a system, that to alter that piece of coding, the whole system needs to be altered.

And crashing down upon me came the realization of how important it is to “free your mind”. To see the truth, to see the world as it is. The Matrix might have shown us the literal version of it, with the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar very literally “pulling a plug” out of Neo’s “programmed” mind, but not too many realize the vast applications of this. I don’t attribute the realization to myself; it is wholly the credit of the friend who got me to this junction. We need to start questioning. We need to start thinking beyond the realms of the physics and the chemistry we’re taught, and start thinking right from our fundamentals. For the programming starts ever since we’re born. Building your fundamentals on your own will never be done, they will be “taught” to you as empirical relations. So many people try to tell us to study and study more, but does anybody bother explaining why when we’re kids? As we grow, the nature of this programming changes. So many people keep trying to drill us with the fact that sex before marriage is a bad, bad thing, but does anybody explain why? How is it that so many people live inside the Matrix, but never figure out they’re there? Brilliant, Morpheus, just plain brilliant!

Does anybody bother explaining whether emotional and physical relationships are best when they’re same, or best when they’re different, or whether their nature depends from person to person? How come we’re never taught in schools and colleges how to handle our emotions, when the teacher-folk very well know we’re gonna encounter it someday? Why are “relationships” randomly given a bad name, without any explanations? Why do mothers, without any justification, tell their daughters never to get too involved with boys, knowing all too well that someday, the daughter’s gonna end up asking questions and most probably be a rebel?

Why are purely physical relationships considered bad, always? I am not questioning the fundamental, just wondering why we aren’t given an explanation as to WHY they’re bad. Maybe learning out of pure experience is the way it’s meant to be. Maybe it’s the journey, not the destination that matters. Maybe it lies in the simple fact, that the best lessons in life come when you’re least expecting them.

Maybe next time when I need an answer, I should just scroll up!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Deep Down Inside...

Two blogposts in a day? To add to that, on the day before a Chemistry exam of which I know nothing? Some people are gonna be scandalized, others pleasantly surprised. Never mind. I've realized, after long enough, that these things help.

Inspiration of post – Something I said to someone dear. Something I felt she should know. A simple question I put across – Is friendship, being there, giving a shoulder to lean on and all that worth it if it’s gonna lead you to mental stress? Is taking mental stress for a friend, which is gonna lead you to something that’s gonna give you further mental stress, worth it?

How much is human behaviour determined by the desire to be happy? Dwelling deeper into that, to what levels can the desire to happiness be embedded? People go through great extents of pain, trouble and all that jazz just to get to where they want. How do they make the decisions? Where does that weighing occur, whether this much pain is worth the happiness that it’s gonna be traded for? How do we define “worth”? Where does all this subconscious thinking go? I certainly don’t see it anywhere!

A parallel I drew recently – Isn’t all the gameplay of emotions exactly like that one statement that controls the entire universe – “Every body tries to achieve a configuration with lowest energy”. Isn’t it the same with us? We weigh whether the positive vibe of the happiness will eventually overcome the negativity, and make decisions. Marvel, while we may, at the efficiency of this whole process – so efficient, we quite literally never know when it happens! Isn’t happiness some kind of “lowest energy configuration” of the human body? I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve reached here and derailed my train of thought process. Offshoots like “Maybe we should research the chemical intricacies of how and why happiness is the lowest energy configuration, why the hormones act the way they do and all that. Maybe that’ll get me a Nobel” occur way too often.

Speaking of hormones – don’t we underestimate hormones? A discussion with another friend led me to another conclusion. When people expect an ideal world, they probably expect a hormone-free world. Stuff like lust, shallowness is considered as thorns in the sides of a world which is meant to be way different, way more pure. Maybe we SHOULD invent that Time Machine we’ve all been trying to invent, get to Adam and stop him from eating that godforsaken apple (I’m sure there’s a pun in there somewhere) . My opinion – God intended hormones to be there.

In fact, God intended everything to be perfect! Everyone does what they want to – isn’t that the simplest but most brilliant way of running a universe? Of course, the definition of “want” needs to be changed for you to understand what I’m trying to say. To “want”, is to choose a course of action which would determine which future set of choices you’d be provided. From this set, in turn, you’d have to choose, and so on and so forth.

“You can’t always do what you want” – probably the most misguiding statement in history. How about changing it to “You can always do what you want. Remember, however, that everyone else around can, too.”

Right then, back to Chemistry. Something tried, something achieved.

On the eve of a Chemistry exam...

Yeah, yeah, so I didn't think of a better title, shoot me.

Intriguing thoughts lost amongst the pages of my physics text book. Not a very happy thought, is it? Some would say it is, considering they're the some who do the whole oh-my-God-don't-think-so-much thing on me. But it's the loss of a good Blog post, which matters a lot...

Although what I would vouch for was that it had something to do with the soundtrack of The Lord of the Rings. Yesterday's thought process is slowly seeping back in as I write this on the eve of a Chemistry exam as the text book awaits me. I've wondered more than often how to-be engineers keep up with their literary side, especially if it's their more favoured one. A quick browse through all the blogs of campus folk makes me realize that nobody's writing, except for the odd post by Bing. The semester being way more hectic than the previous one doesn't help. I just realised that joblessness was a sine qua non to whatever good writing i came up with. All my reading and writing happened when I had to think of what to do next. Today, I have to push the guilty pangs aside while sitting down to pen my thoughts down. No more mooching around of the mind, no more aimless straying. Dinner is assigned half an hour, a walk with a can't-live-without friend is assigned 45 minutes, that too after extensive persuation.

I miss writing on pen and paper. Universally anachronized as it is, I'd never thought I'd prefer electronic piling of data to good ol' fountain-pens-and-crumbling-paper. I miss the tranquil ambience of Coffee Break where I could sit for hours of unadulterated nothingness. I miss the home-like feel of Fergusson Road where I'd wander alone pretending to the world and eventually myself, that I have a task at hand. Somehow, it's the same feeling you get when you fake a phone-call.

Yet another ambiguous post. Last night was a Lord of the Rings overdrive. Enqueing the whole soundtrack in a Winamp playlist and plugging in earphones and getting lost in the realms of the Third World, as though I belonged there – It’s a different feel altogether. Every note played by Howard Shore and co. was upto the brim with emotion. Every tune, every refrain was there for a reason, I thought. Never before has a soundtrack so beautifully portrayed the feelings of characters, and never before has a fantasy movie made me believe in it to this extent. It's a dream to be in the middle of an large auditorium, eyes closed, and the soundtrack playing all around me. I do think it'll make me go over every incident in my life, for every key played in that epic musical extravaganze stood for something I'd felt. Something beautiful.

I can see my chemistry notebook peeping at me with the 3-D noughts and crosses page conveniently open. Goes to show what I did in class while the prof was trying to drill CFSEs and Strong Fields into my head. Which further goes to show how much more I need to do. Snapping back to reality, let's quickly put this up before the writer's jinx catches up again...

PS - I just realised "Phashinating" is gathering dust. Mr. co-author, take note.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Random Thoughts, Episode 3

Random Thoughts, Episode 3

1> Bhimsen Joshi sounds better through laptop speakers.

2> Feels really good talking to shippy after a while.

3> Afternoon baths in late February. Sounds like the name of Georgette Heyer's newest book.

4> Rishikesh DOES look like Firenze the centaur. I don't know what's weirder, the fact that Tuffy actually thought about it when I told her, or that she agreed. Kudos to Tuffy, my patient listener of Random Thoughts.

5> Random Thoughts are my favourite posts.

6> Bing's latest post made me think. About couples and spring. About the overratedness of touch, yet the necessity.

7> I want to be able to write like Richard Bach. The feeling's always there in the back of my head.

8> I found my pendrive!

9> Why does the sense of security QUARK left me with seem false?

10> I heard the word meglomaniac on Boston Legal yesterday. Made me feel good about myself.

11> We should allow ourselves some leeway when it comes to pronounciation errors.

12> Random Thought posts are like fillers. Senseless yet essential.

13> HP called his room a brothel. Men cum and go all the time, he said.

14> Speaking about Geography always reminds me of the Ness Wadia road and the cute chic I used to check out all the time.

15> Why do I number my random thoughts? Does that kinda beat the point? Never mind...

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Sunday, the J and Friendship

There's a strange sort of euphoria associated with getting up early in the morning and going to the Jhopdi. For those who're lost, that's a little shack-like place which is your average egg-lover's haven. The only debate about what to order there is between a half fry and an omelette. And a cup of tea being the obvious must. Sometimes two. It must be had in that typical glass made of glass (ahem...) and the glass filled about 3/4th. Sticking to a Delhi-lingo word I've learnt recently - Feel aati hai!

It was Sunday when this particular adventure to the Jhopdi happened. Nothing particular happened there, so stop looking for a build-up. Adventure's just a nice word. Madhura and me were the latest Jhopdi addicts, and Saniya had to have her first time there. So there I was, on a Sunday morning ironically, at the J, with my favourite duo on campus. I had this insane desire of saying "the usual" to the little kid who came up to us to ask what we're gonna gobble down. I fought it off, however, and asked for my omelette. We ate like recent escapees from the Sahara. To put it plain and simple, the J in the morning is pure serene. The campus and the academics and the internet and the weird CS addicts and all that seems oh-so distant. It's definitely the best place for calm and easy-going musing. I could almost feel the vibes of revolutionary ideas of the future springing up in the Jhopdi. Maybe more people would know about it then.

In the middle of recognize-the-song-from-intro on Maddy's cellphone, we were joined by a noisy bunch of annoying thinglets. Not the best thing to say to a group who closely resembles us people when we're at our best. But this was obviously not the time and place for that riffraff. So off we went, and not to be outdone by anything on that beautiful Sunday morning, we headed to Nescafe.

It was one of those late mornings when Nostalgia was the unspoken theme. Some minor comment set off a series of memories from those two ladies at the table with me, who I consider today the epitome of best friends. They're a living example of the fact that all that friends-for-life stuff is not just jazz and cliches. Never before have I seen two people knowing quite literally, everything about each other, from when they took their first steps. Madhura and Saniya that morning, burst open that old argument in my head. About what's the right thing.

Friends, for me, have always been people who can stand up for me. People who I can lean back on, and more importantly, lean back on anytime I want to. And somehow, maybe it's just me, they've never been the same people for too long. Everytime I thought that THIS is the bunch of people I wanna hang out with for a long time, everything would blast. The fear still lives somewhere inside me, even though I've found the best people I've met till date. Madhura and Saniya are idealists. Their friendship what millions crave for, and million others envy. Their friendship is perfect to the extent of unreal. *Crosses fingers lest I jinx it*

Why is it that I lie on the diametrically opposite end of the friends' circle (terrible pun, i know) and yet continue doing the same like I actually know what I'm doing? Maybe hoping for something that perfect is too much, but I feel way far from most others I know.

I sense proximity to self-pity. Must stop :)

And for all the good times to come, *raises a toast* to Madhura and Saniya :D

Random Thoughts Episode 2

Random Thoughts - Episode 2

1> Writing is an awesome substitute for self-pity

2> It's nice when folk recognize certain words as must-be-written-by-me.

3> Is having no people who you've been with for ages a good thing?

4> Somehow, I can never get over the word "algorithm"

5> Richard Bach loves flying. I have reason to believe he can find a flying metaphor for just about everything.

6> Why do philosophical insights happen only during really interesting and thought-provoking Physics lectures?

7> I just called "derogatory" and "ostensibly" big words. I'm slipping. Some people might tell me I'm maturing.

8> It's been a while since I read a Wodehouse.

9> I think I'll be really happy the day I stop caring about comments on my blog.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Coffee Break, Part 3

The last day in the big city. Feeling blue, quite seriously. Not really the emotion I expected at this threshold. After days of meeting my folk, being called thin so much that I felt all wizened and emaciated, four days of mood indigo, some feel-good and some feel-hollow rendezvouses with people, and other vague randomness, it's time to get back to where I belong. I'm spending time in the most obvious place I'd think of spending this evening in - Coffee Break.

It's not fun to say goodbye. Not fun at all. A day with a goodbye is not a good day. Never. Turns out I behaved astonishingly maturely towards the goodbye. Surprised myself. Usually, these forced goodbyes make depress me to no ends, but this time around I was up and around straight-on! Had I grown up, or had my innards frozen, I asked myself. Bah, not the time to think.

There's a bunch of people who're evidently from Delhi. The first words uttered by the girl when she entered the shop just gave it away. The accent, the casual attitude, the cautious yet careless stress on certain parts of the sentences, were all signature Delhi. I suddenly missed my CH1 corridor a lot. Especially the northie blokes. All the Delhi things - the classic Hindi, the righteous and playful swearing, the sheer loudness, the in-your-face sexual humour, and in spite of all this, that intense camaraderie and swearing by the people they held close - I miss all those. Never thought I would, considering I'd cursed them all some time or the other, especially exam-times. Today I found myself wanting to go through all that stuff. It's funny how some things silently become an integral part of your life. So silently, you never know they're there till they're not around any more. Funnier still, although they happen all the time, they're make you feel just the same on realisation, every single time. If I'd have to describe the feeling, I'd call it strangely hollow yet complecent.

Neha's borrowed my latest Richard Bach find, so I've switched over to Shantaram. I got the how-long-do-you-take-to-finish-a-damn-book-man from people recently. I just figured I like slow reading. Reading to absorb every detail, every word and every phrase and how beautifully they've been used, each metaphor and most importantly, every ounce of inspiration I can gather from the author. More than saying I've read so many books, I'd really like to say so many books have inspired me.

Getting back to Shantaram - I think I've got the gist of why the book's gained stupendous popularity. I'd wondered a while back, as to why a fugitive's tale would fascinate millions across the globe. When Mum asked me this today, I found myself giving her quite a satisfactory answer - The book's about freedom. And deep inside, skin-deep for some and way deep down for others, everyone desires freedom.

I found myself wondering what real freedom is. Whether it is, as Gregory David Roberts puts it, the power to say "no", or whether it's something else entirely. One thing I have a firm personal foothold on, however, is that real freedom is more difficult to achieve than any of us can perceive. Real freedom is when we are liberated from, quite simply, everything. And the one type that prevents most of us from real freedom, is social restrictions. To consider it blasphemous to alter the rules and regulations set by our own ancestors - humans, to be exact. To be bounded by boundaries created by our own kind, the one that makes mistakes.

And yet something inside me told me social restrictions are essential. To prevent society from going haywire, to prevent utter chaos. Is this another paradigm set in the past which could be shifted from? Or was this the proverbial Catch-22 situation which made real freedom unachievable?

Or was real freedom simply the power to believe? The faith in your own self, the faith in the fact that oneself is free? Do those who claim to be absolutely free, just believe so strongly that there's no questioning the thought? Is it really that simple?

Maybe i need to read the book more. Or maybe I need to give it more thought.

Or better still, maybe I need to stop pointless thoughts.

Having said all that, I feel incredibly imbecile!Oh, for the record, this place is playing Sinatra today. I was pleasantly surprised when I entered to here ol' Frankie's voice. Happy change from the usual hip-hop and dance numbers playing here. Way more blissful to write while listening to Jazz.

Bleh! I wanna continue reading Shantaram. Curiosity about the story combined with a wanting of widening of perspective. I don't wanna say goodbye to Coffee Break. This place has given me loads, even in the little number of times I've been here.

But for now, I'll just do a pirouette, take a bow, and hope to write further parts later.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Starry eyed

How many times does it happen that you get back to putting finger to keyboard and decide to post your thoughts up, because of a 35mm flick? How many times does a movie touch your heart so warmly that, in the words of Madhura, "It's almost unfair if you don't put something down about it". This one's purely inspired by Aamir Khan's latest masterpiece, Tare Zameen Par.

It's amazing how the man, adhering to the theme as it was, created a piece of art that can inspire the good in a person. It's the simplest of storylines. A dyslexic kid, neglected during his childhood, meets angel-in-human-form teacher, who recognizes his dormant talent and brings out the best in him. TO most, it would sound like the most overdone of Bollywood stories. This is where the execution of the film comes in, and quite literally, takes our breath away. The movie, after a point, is not about dyslexia anymore. It's not about a kid who's rubbished by society. It's not about how parents should raise their children, it's not about how teachers should be. It finally comes down to whether we're willing to build an individual-based society. A society where the development of every member is equally important as the development of the society in general.

I dunno how, but something that Rowling mentioned in Deathly Hallows just popped up. It's actually just a phrase. Geller Grindelwald's motto. "For the Greater Good". For eons together, there have been conflicts on whether the lives and fates of single individuals helps society on it's way, or gets in it's way. It's been one of those unsolved debates that we all talk about. Hundreds of kids with dyslexia are passed off as mentally retarded, when it's quite the other way round - they're way ahead of us where brainpower is concerned. Those hundreds of kids could've lead normal lives, but at what cost? Is it worth it? Will all those kids turn out to be Albert Einsteins and Thomas Edisons? Is it worth the effort and time to identify these children?

I'm not here to feed fire to the old doubts. I'm just intrigued by the subtleness by which the subject has been approached. The very basic fundamental of life. Individualism. Something I consider of utmost importance. For me, individualism is realising the simple fact that society cannot get where it needs to without every single member raising the bar for himself all the time. A dyslexic kid can think way beyond a normal one, but can he put it across to anyone? Can his talents be recognized by the standard techniques of recognition we have set? Where's the loophole here? Can we seal it at all? Does individualism, when contexted to the dyslexic kid, mean taking him a few notches up the rat-race or raising society a few notches up? Then again, what do we have to compare against when we have society?

Where am I headed to? Just this - There is no wrong and right in this. It's about belief. Whether you believe in the fact that every person counts, or you believe that a selected few can take society to it's pinnacle. It's worth the thought.

Blah! Enough of that. For those who haven't seen it - Stellar performances by Darsheel Safary and Aamir Khan. Also the kid who's polio infected.

In the cliched words of them critics - A must watch!