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.


me, as i am said...

hmm... ok. delhiites are not ALL about swearing and everything. but i guess its cool. (since u miss delhi ppl n all...)... i guess social restrictions exist so we all enjoy our own space, so that one person's freedom doesn't eat up the other's. o well, one can go on n on about this...

dude cmon, we dont abuse all the time yaar...

reems said...

"I just figured I like slow reading
More than saying I've read so many books, I'd really like to say so many books have inspired me."
There are so many statements you make in every post,which 'almost' everyone can relate to.
Nice flow of thoughts,I must say.
"Or better still, maybe I need to stop pointless thoughts."
^you made a point there :P
I am never confused while reading your posts.Take it as a compliment and go on,please. :)

Nikita said...

feels good to be back...

kicking.and.screaming said...

"And the one type that prevents most of us from real freedom, is social restrictions"
i know that only too well. i used to think i was a 'free spirit'. but im actually shackled by society.

u in ur Coffee Break reminded me of Jug Suraiya's Jimmy Uncle. Hmm.. Coffee's expensive any how.