Saturday, December 22, 2012

About the word 'thought'


Definition: (noun) an idea that comes into your mind. Something you think about. (verb) The past tense of the verb 'think'.

Uses: A wonderful thought (noun) came into my mind last night, which I'd like to tell you about: Let's go on a world cruise!

He was sitting there looking very serious and turning something over in his mind. It was clear that he was deep in thought (noun)

I'd like you to look through this letter and give me your opinion of it. I really would appreciate your thoughts (noun) on the matter.

I thought (verb) about going out for a walk this morning but when I saw the rain, I decided against the idea.

I know you originally believed that it was a very easy exam but now you've taken it, I'm sure you have discovered it's not as easy as you thought (verb).

I honestly thought (verb) I worked very long hours but now I see how long you work, I've changed my views.

Variations: She always thinks of others first and what they need as she is obviously a very thoughtful (considerate) individual.

Some people aren't a bit interested in what they do to the environment and are very thoughtless (inconsiderate) in the way they drop their rubbish in the street.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Burns not...

Like acid flowing through veins
Burn felt not
Yet the night says it all
One cold beep at a time

Take me
Make me what I am
Throw me away, far and hard
'Cause yet, it burns not...

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Great Thoughts from Paulo


He put down his coffee, lit a cigarette, and looked at the ceiling for a long time. Then he turned to me. “It’s a very simple sentence,” he said. “I love you” –p26
To love is to lose control. –p37
Why do we always do this? Why do we notice the speck in our eye but not the mountains, the fields, the olive groves? -p48
I was there because suddenly life presented me with Life. I felt no guilt, no fear, no embarrassment. As I listened to what he was saying – and felt myself growing closer to him- I was more and more convinced that he was right: there are moments when you have to take a risk, to do crazy things. - P29, 

From 'By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept' (Paulo Coelho)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Time, Or a Kiss?

Time flies like moths on a rainy evening
To the flickers of short-lived emotional flashes
Only to lose wings and fall lame
Onto the green bed  which will suck your remaining life.

Time! The one villain that blocks all repetitions
To repair damages, redo erred scenes.
When does it stop, this 'tick tick'
While it ticks I can't think, not even wish better.

Time to wake up! Begins a day with a yawn or two
Time to sleep? That's how it ends with a question.
How can I feel the whisper of winds that brush by?
How can I feel anything if time takes the first place?

I want to live like a child- dieing for a chocolate crumb
Into the warmth of welcoming hands, I do want to faint.
Need a smile when I return home- just when I need one,
Needless to say I need a hug for every tear I shed.

Despite the flight time has embarked upon
Dreamers like me desire to take a break- a small one.
Long enough to kiss a beautiful child, be kissed by one too
Life never waits they say, that time flies and waits not.

But waits time, and tide if a feeling of you waits to be said
Bait time thus and hold firm; take time to feel and express.
Love the ones that love you; give a smile, take a hug.
Let time wait, till you finish; what's more important- time or a kiss?

Friday, August 10, 2012

Worries about Monkeys and a Home

Like every other morning, this one too had a lazy blanket pulled over me when my alarm rang for the fifth time after 7 am. This time, the ring of the alarm was annoying. But then i realized that it was not an alarm- it was the phone ringing! And guess who... Yes. You guessed it. I couldn't miss that call.
I was at home. In my quarters. Its a good home. I have a home. It's a pleasant thought- I have a home.
After brushing and bathing, i realized that drinking water is over. So i got ready fast and was trying to go to the office.
I opened the door and found three monkeys sitting on the corridor, silently picking at each others fluffy hairs. Cute- I thought. So I locked the door and walked towards the stair case. Suddenly, one of the monkeys ran towards me screeching. My heart skipped a beat or two. Adrenalin. Death. Run, escape. But i had locked the room- I can't enter my room. If the monkey runs on to me, i will have nowhere to go. Behind me is the end of the corridor, on the third floor. I cant jump off third floor!
But- god be blessed- the monkey went back and kept on picking on its companion. I went back slowly without provoking the monkeys and opened my room. I was thirsty; but there is no water. Now i was suddenly hungry. I need to go to the office. Gathering courage, i got out of my room and walked again to the stair case. But this time, all on a sudden, a BIG monkey appeared from the staircase and came jumping on to me. I am a dead man. But when it saw that i was frightened, it went back proudly. And i went back frightened. Once inside the room, I called a few friends. Mr. Sreekanth Reddy offered me help. But at that moment, he realized that he lost his bike keys. Excellent. I was never happier!
I lost hope in life. I locked myself inside the room. I only have a packet of biscuit- a small one. Death, come with thy cold hands and welcome me into thy kingdom. Alone in my home, I will fall prey to death under seige!
After half an hour, i opened the room and looked at the corridor using a mirror. Monkeys are still there. Death is closer. A few steps closer. Trapped.
My phone rings again. Sreekanth sir. He will be late.
Trap gets closer. I can feel the clenches. Am I sweating? May be this is how death by tension and fear is! May be...
Phone rings again. Sreekanth sir is here. The rescue team is here. Finally. Death is not that close. May be, they can save me from predators.
They came with sticks. And courage. The rescue team. But there were no monkeys. What! No monkeys? What happened to them? Where are they? Why was I caught?
They replied with a smile, “what sir? There are no monkeys here... why are you so frightened?” I blushed... partly ashamed... and looked around. ya. No monkeys. NOW there are no monkeys!
Thanks to the rescue team. I am saved. 
Now, that I am free, I can reflect on what happened and how much courage I have and why monkeys don't have a home and why they come to my home and what we do to other living beings and why we do what we do and so on... Quite some time is needed... because monkeys do deserve a home... like i deserve a quarters... Now I worry. I have a home which stands exactly where their home used to stand... Worries about monkeys and a home... 
Yes. Worries about monkeys and a home!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

An aunt and a crow!

Whenever I go home, there are a few things I make sure I do. Some of them are visiting old Kunjaamma at Neeloor, praying at St. Joseph's Church Neeloor and staying a full day at home. But there are a few more things that I desire to do. One of them is visiting my aunt Eliammachi. 

There are many stories of my childhood that they narrate to me. I was the third child of my mother. And my mother was the eldest of 7 sisters. No other sister was married when I was born. So I was the baby of all those 7 sisters. Imagine how love-rich I was. May be, I was never even put down on the bed if each one wanted to caress me for a while!

Eliammachi was my mother's younger sister. She is an extremely beautiful woman. Lovely woman. She is all love. There is always a smile on her face for me. And a kiss for me when I bid farewell. She has gone through tough times for the last decade. But she has managed to maintain her smile and love through all the hardships.

One story she narrates to me is this. When I was a little baby, she took me to the church once. Since mother's home was on a hilltop, it demanded a lot of mountaineering. Anyway, she carried me down the hill to the church. After church, on the way back, she bought me a bun which i liked. I happily rested on her shoulder, nibbling on the bun I got.

It was sunny and hot and the climb was steep. She opened her umbrella so that I won't be burned in the heat. After a while, when my aunt looked back, she found my bun almost fully eaten. Wondering how the little baby could eat that much, she observed me while walking.

When the story reaches this point, she will stop and break into uncontrollable laughter. It seems, a crow was flying around behind us. It cleverly flew down and pecked on my bun little by little while the little me looked at it eating my bun. I can imagine my own face curiously looking at the crow stealing from my bun. My aunt would top the story saying cutely: "my son, you looked so innocent and calm then; as if you were allowing the crow to have its share".

She would pinch my cheeks saying this. And my eyes would be full of tears of joy and gratitude. Just like it is now... Eliammachi, I love you...

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The loss of a Bottle!

It was late in the evening when I boarded bus to IIIT-RK Valley. I was looking forward to my new job and its novelties with childlike wonder. It was nothing like earlier. Life was changing day by day. I had to be on my own. And being on my own was a beautiful experience- to begin with. If I wanted to eat, I had to earn. Though a frightening fact for a person of my background, it soon turned out to be an easy task with all the divine blessings focused on whatever I was doing. So as I was sitting in the bus, thoughts of fulfilment and eagerness filled me. ‘Hmm… good’ I thought. 

At around 11 pm, the bus started moving out of the hushed din and buzzle of the never-asleep streets of Hyderabad. Slowly, I crept into my tiredness and disappeared from the world of silly chores. The clumsily decorated background of the sleep world welcomed me as usual with open arms of protection and cheer. The dream had deep, open tubewells that I usually fell into, long snakes with dark and bright spots that usually ate me and hundreds of mountains with thousands of cliffs that I usually fell off from. There were also bright spots where white fairies fluttered their wings and flew around singing some strange song in unusually high pitch. There was a tall old man sitting among them with long white beard and a hallow around his head. The woman who sat next to him was nursing a child, and was beautiful like I have never seen. I loved this world of the sleep. It was alluring and repulsive. Honest and deceptive. Trustable and treacherous. Very human indeed!

But soon, I was shaken out of this beautiful but treacherous world. The bus stopped at some lonely place. The driver was yelling something out over the phone. From what I could make out, someone had missed the bus. So we had to wait. I liked it! In fact, I was waiting for an opportunity to get out of the bus. I had taken a couple of extra sips of water. I had to do it. It was high time. See, blessings come in all forms. I ran out of the bus, and did the needful standing behind a bush, away from the bus. Happy! As soon as I sat in the bus, it started again. I returned to my world again. Into the world of paradoxes.

When light broke, I found the bus cruising among arid mountain ranges fringed with numerous bushes and scary rocks posed dangerously close to ‘falling off’. It was warm. The rocky hill ranges were already fighting with the sun in rage. Between my long yawns, small villages rushed past the bus behind a veil of dust. It was 6.30 am. My neighbour alighted at a comparatively bigger village. Now I had two seats, all to myself. So I kept my water bottle on the empty seat and went back to sleep. 
I was awake again after a while when the driver started shouting Vempalli Vempalli… ‘So it it close to the campus’ thought I. Somehow I dozed off again and again.  After a few minutes, I got up and reached for my water bottle. It was gone! My water bottle is gone. I couldn’t believe my eyes. So I checked if my bags and pockets also lost something. But no. everything is its place. Only the bottle is gone.
Out of all things I carried, why this water bottle? I have a costly camera, hard disk, shoe, certificates, books, clothes, … Why the bottle? It was my dear bottle. 750 ml bottle. Cute and small. I loved it. It was Satish who gave me that bottle. I had carried that bottle around for the last three months across three states, and over 4500 kilometres. And now it is gone.

I was upset. I reached the campus at 7.30 am. There nobody knew how to process a new lecturer. So I had to wait upto 10 am to brush my teeth. I had my bath in the office of the Director! I was assigned an apartment, but no one knew where my flat mate was or what his phone number was. I was homeless and BOTTLELESS! 

Then again, god sent me some of my friends. They took care of me. J Life moves on with blessings scattered among ill feelings and disappointments and lost bottles, like the arid mountains fringed by bushes- fighting with the sun’s fury. 

Now it is three days on campus. I have learned that things do not come easily to anyone here. The system stands tall like a capitalist. And the beneficiaries stick around like bonded labourers  masking insecurity and unhappiness. Still there are genuine smiles among IIIT’ians. Still there are hopes woven into the garment of disappointment. Life goes on without a bottle as well… and I have started liking it already- like my treacherously paradoxical world of sleep.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Monday, June 25, 2012

At Charminar...

View from Charminar

From top of Charminar

A little secret to share at the foot of Charminar!

Even Looks tasty!

These guard the walls of Charminar

Mango vendor on the street- adds colour and aroma to your Charminar visit

Masjid from Charminar

Heee, I see everything without paying ticket fare!

It's a cool day, therefore we are here at Charminar...

Graffiti at Charminar: Punishable, but who cares!

Leppy- the Selfish Elephant

Once, Leppy, the elephant was walking about in the forest searching for food. He was very hungry. It was summer and food was not plenty. While walking, he found a banana on the road side. As he was about to pick it up, he heard someone saying, ‘hey Leppy, I am already eating it. If you want, take half of it’. He looked around and saw no one.

Leppy wanted the whole banana!
But when he was about to pick the banana up, he heard the voice again. He looked closely and saw a little ant on the banana. He laughed and said to her, ‘haha, you tiny creature! What can you do to me? I will kill you in one stamp! The banana is mine. I will eat it.’

The little ant kept quiet. She decided to teach Leppy a lesson. When Leppy picked the banana, she began biting him in his trunk. Leppy jumped up in pain and began running around. He was mad in pain. He tried to throw the ant away, but couldn’t.

Finally he begged the ant to stop biting. Immediately she stopped. The little ant said to Leppy, ‘Leppy, it is not good to be proud.  The food is ours- not yours or mine. It is to be shared. I was ready to give you half of my food, but you wanted all of it. If you are selfish, you will not be happy.’

Leppy said, ‘sorry friend. I was wrong. I will never be selfish again.’ The little ant shared her food with Leppy. From that day, Leppy was not selfish.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

BTec Factories

(Sorry if I sound too negative. I couldn't help it!)

I work in an office sandwiched between two manufacturing units. One on the left, the other on the right. Both are multi-storey buildings in the heart of the city. The manufacturing process starts at 8.30 in the morning, and ends at 4 in the evening. Raw materials reach the unit from around 8 am. The one on the left has an evening shift as well. They go on till 11 in the night, sometimes later. The process looks- from my building, laborious and uniform on both sides. Are the products, of good quality?

But what do they produce? Now, that’s a good question. They don’t produce any material. Nothing that can be seen. But they manufacture youngsters with a degree after their names. Yes these are BTec Factories. IIT student factories. Coaching centres cum Intermediate Colleges. Buildings with huge posters of IIT entrance rank holders’ photos and their ‘marks’ obtained, hanging in front. BTec manufacturing units!

In this locality, there must be at least 10 of these institutions- Junior Colleges as they are called. I am proud of the fact that so many of our youngsters are interested in higher education and are actually into it. But I am sad that their interest is mostly in one particular field of study. I wonder what is so much alluring in being an engineer. And why and how does our country need so many engineers? Don’t we need English scholars, fashion designers, primary teachers, merchants? Or should they all be engineering failed candidates?

5 years ago when I was in Chennai, I had learned that there are around 130 engineering colleges in the city of Chennai itself. Each college will have at least 200 students in a batch. Which means, Chennai alone ‘manufactured’ 26,000 engineers 5 years ago! Look at Andhra’s condition. It has 847 (year 2012) engineering colleges with 3.39 lakh seats! Interestingly, no one talks about the pass percentage of these engineering colleges. It is unofficially heard that not more than 40% pass each year! Now, that is an interesting figure. Out of 100 engineering students, 90 buy their engineering seats paying lakhs. And after 3 or 4 years, they gloriously fail in their course. What a national waste!

Therefore, these manufacturing units do not manufacture engineers alone, but loafers and thieves and failures and dropouts and criminals and drug addicts and psychos as well. That’s a great social service they are doing. I appreciate the pain they take.

Coming back to the coaching centres, they do another wonderful service to the nation. That is, they inspire a sort of ‘spirit of competition’ in students, that pulls them down to the abyss of despair if they get one or two marks less than the expected 95+ in the top rated subjects.

Why does this happen? Because it is big business. Having a network of of such coaching centres in the heart of cities is no joke. Assets in terms of land and building are huge in magnitude. If 3 lakh students get into Engineering colleges, at least 10 lakhs do try writing exams. The fee is enormous! And name and fame in terms of IIT ranks they buy, is great. People say, there is a nexus between these ‘factories’ and those who set question papers for top competitive examinations. I don’t know how much of it is true. If it is, our society has a rotten sense of morality.

I am an ordinary man. I don’t understand the rules of this game. But I can say this much. If the cream of our youth goes away into these manufacturing units to become BTec bearers, and majority comes out as BTec failures, we will only have a lopsided society. One that is full of one kind of people. Uniform and boring. With crime levels going up. A society that doesn’t think creatively. One that doesn’t produce/create. A complete consumerist society (we shall fulfill the dream of capitalists).  It might take some time, but surely something of this sort is going to happen. Let us wait to see if parents wake up, to wake their children up from this illusion.

Friday, June 08, 2012

Bra Burners-2012 edition

Any reader of feminist history must have come across the term “bra burners” and the related assumptions and myths. All of us know that nothing was burnt, and the iconic title of the protest is a reference to the onset of feminist proclamation of freedom at the 1968 Miss America beauty pageant. Though mistaken and misinterpreted, the issue remained in the history of human memory as a strong demonstration of feminist assertion.

But the other day, I had to witness another kind of bra-burning here in the city of Hyderabad. The modern burners were not photographed and nobody talked about them. They burned bras behind the shadows of the night, so that no one could see them. Probably, even if it was done in bright daylight, they wouldn’t be seen or heard by us and those around- us!

You can have a look at what and how they burned.

Done by some miscreants at Himayatnagar, Hyderabad
I see these burnt advertisements on my morning walks to Husain Sagar, Hyderabad. I kept thinking of the degree of intolerance and perversion represented by these burned images. It was a week ago that I decided to click pictures of this burning and write something on it. I wanted to protest. I wanted to protest the attitude behind this burning. I didn’t feel it was funny. Neither did I feel any joy in looking at these burnt images.
There is something more grave than the obvious, that works behind this burning. It is not one person’s momentary craze that inspired this action. It is a reflection of age-old prejudices and contempt towards feminine body- a masculine attempt to de-divinize the physical form of the opposite sex. Therefore I wanted to register my protest. I don’t know if this would be interpreted in ways I haven’t imagined. It doesn’t matter.

My anger overtakes me, whenever I begin to write on this, and my wit goes for a toss! Ah! But I have to write. And thus writes Sajit. 

There was this jealous, incompetent, patriarchal notion that the feminine is the weaker of the two genders, from the beginning of times (I guess). And to compensate the obviously negative connotation, the ‘strong’ gender added that the weak gender was also ‘gentle and fairer’. Very funny. But jealousy did not stop there. It takes different forms. The ‘gentle ones’ are kept at home to be rotten, uneducated, and unequal. They were not given enough (and equal) opportunities to grow and were not treated well during the day, and ill-treated during the night. The last in the list is a difficult logic, but easy to understand. It is the way gender jealousy works.

Drunk or mad?
Women have stronger immunity systems, faster reflex and deeper intuitions. Very natural, eloquent, and graceful. Jealousy goes a step higher on the ladder. If both the genders were given equal opportunities in a neutral world, on a competitive basis, the results for sure would have been quite different. Therefore, the muscled gender found ways, concocted reasons, invented traditions, and established taboos to prove that the non-muscled and gentle gender ought to be kept under powerful masculine control! Not finished- these notions are institutionalized with the help religion, culture and politics. Wonderful, isn't it?

Now, to keep things under control, more customs, stranger traditions, etc. are bought in. But what if thing go out of control? Ah, there are ways to manage this. Modern bra burning is one such. Mock. Laugh at. Look down upon. Let contempt come from within the enemy. Let destruction be complete. If these measures do not work, there are more in the list. Insult, rape, torture, molestation, blackmail, murder, honour killing, public stripping and beatings, etc. are just a few.

Therefore WE continue to burn. And the rest of US continue to witness in silence. They say our traditions are god-given and therefore eternal, and therefore holy! If we don't change our mindset, we will be remembered as the land where cows roam legally protected while women are brutally objectified and eliminated. If we decide to turn away from such images, we will remain blinded. All of us will!

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A Sepia Vision of Life

A day goes by, unnoticed
Like the bloom of a fragrant bud
Sigh! Can I, now that its beyond?
-Oh how I wished for this day-

Faded colours and melting lines
Faces sweeter by forgotten years,
Moments cuter by forbidden errors of past.
A perfect sepia day- but went unnoticed.

A Sepia Vision of life

Want to be reborn- yearned a desire within,
Burned my will and memories.
Left nothing but grey ashes and dark soot-
Yet another image- this one for my tombstone.

Sure clouds'll gather, and rains pour.
For I can smell a storm in the dusk.
I'm used to seeing days pass, 
Making way for storms unawares.

Yet when a day goes by,
What can a man desire,
Whose life had nothing but love and its worries-
Come, night, embrace me in thy cold.

Here ends unnoticed days,
And unforeseen storms, to be sure.
I got my sight- in sepia though.
Of faded colours and melting lines...

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Cling Cling way to a Young Plant’s Birth

Cling. Cling cling! My browser window calls my attention. It is around 11 pm. I wonder who it will be. Cling. Cling cling!

Oh wow! It’s a friend whom I adore. An artist. A free thinker. One who is not afraid of following his dreams. Reckless non-conformist. Ready to try anything. Handsome and young. I am surprised.

‘Hi’ said he.
‘Hi’ said I.
‘What news’
‘Nothing great. How about you?’
‘Nothing great either. Where are you? And how do you feel after all this turmoil? Are you settled and happy?’

I reply these… I like replying to him. I feel a pint of concern and genuine love in the ‘cling cling’ chat that comes up my browser. It is a human conversation.

Somewhere among these questions and answers, I feel a little seed breaking its shell and poking its first leaf out to breath. It is the first sprout of a friendship. And I love it.

I chirp on in my own way and he listens- that too in my own way!

Its 12 am. A new day is born. 

He says, ‘oh, its time to rest. This is my number' (cling cling). 'Leave me your number. I will call you sometime tomorrow.'


Good night.

The sprout is already a young plant. Green leaves and tender sap. A beautiful young plant. 

Good night.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Little things

(For god's sake, this is fiction! Please don't start asking me when did you get married!)

...the little things in life...

Little things. Like the half packet of milk that got spoiled the other day when someone kept the fridge open. And the beggar who spat with hate when I passed him without giving alms. Little things. They make up the whole of life.

Some of the little things I encountered are sweet like gulab jamun. For example, the smile of a little girl I saw on the road. She was a small girl. May be ten years old, but already growing up into a beautiful lass. While I was passing her on my morning walk, she gave me a startling smile. As if to say, hi uncle, I love you, how about you~ I smiled back in haste before she and her mother passed me towards their luxury car. They were rich. Its rare that rich people smile at poor people. I am poor.

a smile matters
Some of the little things encountered are not so sweet unlike gulab jamun. For example, this woman conductor I met on the way to my sister’s home. The bus was not crowded. She took my money, gave me ticket. Then while dealing with another customer, she leaned on me to balance. I didn’t mind. But she- the one who leaned against me- turned around and says, “can’t you adjust and move to the front? What is your intention?”. I was angry. She… but I controlled and said, “you asked me to go back in the bus, I came back. Now are you asking me to go front again? I’m sorry, I won’t”. She must have had bad experiences. Someone must have disturbed/ molested/ attempted to touch her with evil intentions earlier. But I was sad when I was branded as a womanizer/ eve teaser when I had the least of it in my mind. She was a woman. Women sometimes are very negative towards men. I am a man.

Little things. They do matter. Once I didn’t tell my wife that I would be late. When it was too late, I got a call. It was the war cry. The battle had begun while I was away. No more sweet talk, no more allowances, no more concessions. The war is on. Till a truce is called at the expense of my dignity, the enemy stands tall and strong. Little things do make you hungry. For food and for other things.

I have only a few pairs of clothes to wear. Just enough for an employee to survive on his 5 day office schedule. But I need to wash daily, iron daily. One day’s default will cause great stink and embarrassment. So out of love my wife asks me, hello why don’t we buy you at least a pair of undergarments? I promptly say NO. I say no because I am comfortable the way I am. She insists because she is comfortable the way she is and she wants to make me comfortable the way she is. Great. Someone needs to adjust. Compromise. Something of an agreement is necessary. So the next evening, I go silently after office, and get me a couple of not-so-costly undergarments to please my not-so-happy wife. I knock at the door, lifting the packet to make my not-so-happy wife happy. The door is opened and two packets meet saying hello. The packet she lifted up to make her not-so-happy-to-spend husband happy contained five bloody pairs of expensive undergarments. Those with pictures of hunks with huge genitals covered in white fabric. Wearing those men could attract women like flies by a candle. Huh! Who won? Now I am suddenly under-garment-rich. I got seven pairs to attract the gentle sex with! She smiles, gives me a hug and asks me to try them on one by one. Pink first. Oh! These women! I liked the last one the best. I felt like superman inside it… little things…

I asked my father’s account number to transfer most of my first salary to him. A token of my respect for parents. He told me its not necessary. I thought otherwise. It is necessary. They might not need the money urgently. But of course they will need the money some time. And its not about the money. Its about how one should feel about oneself. Its about how one treats others and how one is treated. Its about gratitude and love. While I was confirming the account number to him before doing the transfer he told me, ‘son, its like you already gave me the money. Why to do it. You keep it, you will need it’. Yes I will need money. Perhaps urgently. I will need it. But that’s not important. What is important is this little thing. Making my parents happy.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

A Pessimistic reflection

And again a 27th of May has come and is almost gone. What was special? A few more phone calls, few one liners on my social networking pages, more sms to be replied to, and of course a chicken biriyani that I bought myself as a gift. 

What reflection do I have apart from all these superfluous? I'm getting older. I have gone a year ahead. I am closer to the end by another year. Someone asked me today, what special did you do today? Honestly, I didn't do anything. Afterall, what could be special when you are alone in a city of one million busy people? I tried to read the novel I was reading- Silas Marner. Read a little. Slept a little. Now, thinking a little. 
Someone else told me that I didn't tell anyone about what happened to me recently. True. Very true- I didn't tell everyone. I wasn't asked either. Life and its sacred secrets are not to be trumpeted to 'curious' listeners. They only want to satisfy their curiosity. Why is noone able to see the pain that lies around me in broken bits? Why is it that we all turn self righteous when a friend suddenly becomes 'the other'? But I did tell those who needed to know, I believe. And as always, I don't go to mend damages done. If it had to be, it had to be. And if little things can affect greater things, BE IT SO. Life is teaching me lessons teachers didn't. 

In  the end, I take refuge in reflections of the other. Lyrics of MJ's 'You are not alone' goes this way- 
"Another day has gone
I'm still all alone
How could this be
You're not here with me
You never said goodbye
Someone tell me why
Did you have to go
And leave my world so cold

Everyday I sit and ask myself
How did love slip away
Something whispers in my ear and says
That you are not alone
I am here with you
Though you're far away
I am here to stay

But you are not alone
I am here with you
Though we're far apart
You're always in my heart
But you are not alone"

Which part of it is a message for me? I wonder. 

And I keep wondering. Till this day is gone and takes its place among the pigeon holed array of memory stack room. Pessimistic I know. But certainly realistic!

Saturday, May 05, 2012

That which is unsaid...

I watched a popular Hindi film, Bodyguard.
I was touched by the way something can touch human hearts. Looking at the movie objectively, I can understand why it was such a big hit at the box office. Though Siddhique has no new theme than love in the movie, he has seen love in a different light. He has hit the bulls eye. Love is the most common, but the most valuable emotion that's around. Its been around since the beginning of human-ness. Therefore, when we look at or hear about or feel it, we are take off into a world of our own. We are transported to a place thats very personal, very 'our own'. In that space, we feel love as it is. In a world of pretensions and imitations, one is not able to express and feel love at its purest form. Though this is a very absurd thought, sometimes I feel this is indeed true. When we are alone with ourselves and love, bliss descends upon us. And thats holy place. Presence of God is felt there. I don't care if Bodyguard is a commercial movie, but I am thankful to its form and content for making me feel love, and LOVED.

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Forty days and Forty nights

Its forty days. And forty nights. Feels like its forty years. But to count, its just forty days and forty nights. Just over a month. Spread over my mental landscape like a barren desert with distant oases- forty days and forty nights. Forty countable time periods… just forty of them. But if you count the drops of tears that I shed during those forty… I am left with no words to recount what they were for me. But there is a swelling within which always threatens to explore. A swelling so full of pain, agony, love and loneliness. So life-like I guess. I listen to Lionel Richie, Hariharan… and go down into the abyss of reflection of my state.

When I get up in the morning, I ask myself- ‘what next?’ There’s no answer I know. But what if there is… Forty mornings have heard this question, but none heard its answer.

The forty were spent on trains, buses, dingy lodge rooms, red hot Hyderabad streets, cheap hotel tables, verandas of old buildings, at the ends of long and never ending queues, and lost in thoughts about what is the meaning of all these… Whenever I turned around hearing a ‘no’ or a ‘sorry’, I went back into thoughts about meaning. Of late, I wonder if I am searching for a job or meaning…

In one of my literature classes there were discussions of meaning making, and life as a process of meaning making. Now I understand what it all meant. It is true. Life is meaning making. Whenever I went down the narrow fissure of despair, there came a voice from within that told me to wait till the meaning is revealed. A long wait for a revelation- LIFE.

But it sucks to learn that its not easy to wait indefinitely. While you wait at a hotel table, you know your food is being cooked. When you wait in the railway booking queue, you know your turn is this far. But when you wait for meaning, you don’t know till when or if at all! That’s what sucks…

Once, in a cave-like lodge room in Ernakulam, I was amazed by the dedication with which scores of mosquitoes kept on trying to suck me dry of my blood. I wondered why I lack that king of enthusiasm about my own life. Then I realized that whatever happened to me was the outcome of what I have within. There is nothing unexpected and unplanned in life. Even death and accidents could be expected and planned. One should be prepared for anything. One should be prepared to attempt till one’s prey is sucked dry of blood- just like those Ernakulam mosquitoes. 

So its forty days and forty nights now. Forty days and forty nights of itinerant existence, address-less-ness, anxiety, and uncertainty.

Today, sitting in the chill and heights of my room, I can see these forty days and nights laid out like a collage on the busy streets and tall buildings around. Dark and bright, they hold up their ups and downs for me to see. Forty pieces of them. Forty pairs of them. One for each day and night. I can hear people, smell spoilt food, see frowns and smiles of people I love/d on those forty pieces of collage- sort of jigsaw puzzle I would say. From this height, I can see they take a shape… a definite shape of something which I can’t make what… Probably I will have to wait. Another revelation of kinds. I am reminded of my literature class again, and the sweetest of all teachers I had… Unfolding meaning. Meaning making. LIFE.

Yes, I realize. It is life. The unfolding. The revelation. LIFE. Life in a crucible of love, pain and loneliness. That’s what it is- Life in forty days and forty nights.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ways to learn...

Experiences do not come one's way. One can't go in search of them either. One needs to be open to the nodes of experiences that guide this phenomenon called life. If one is blind to what comes to him/her, no learning takes place. At the same time, life will not seem a meaningful exercise.

The other day, while I was waiting for a bus (which I do many times these days) a beggar approached me. I didn't mind that man. He was ugly. Might not have had a bath in ages! While wondering why this fellow cant have a bath, a young boy standing next me gave him a Rupee one coin. The beggar received it, raised his hand as if to bless and moved on. The boy went back to his chatting on phone.

But I couldn't move on. I was pushed into thinking. I was wondering why beggars are made at all! I, for example, am educated. But I beg for a job, I beg for my salary and food. Why do we have to beg? Is this world so bad that no one can get his/her share of food and shelter? Anyway, I was awaken from thoughts by the next beggar, and I imitated the young boy, contributing a Rupee to the beggar. I felt proud.
What I am driving at is, that if we don't keep ourselves open, such experiences can escape us. If they escape us, there is no way we can get it back and relish it.

These are ways to learn. Today when I went for lunch, I planed to buy Poori. But just then, it got over. The other day, I was hesitating to go by a bus which went round-about. So I waited for another bus. Many buses of the former category passed by, but none of the latter. I waited for an hour and a quarter. Then I realized that the other route also would have taken me to my destination long back. I decided to board any bus that came my way. Then plays destiny. For another half an hour, NO bus came that way!!! What does this experience teach me? Grab the opportunity? or Don't wait for better opportunities? I don't know. probably it is true that I should have taken the first bus. I am yet to understand the lesson.

I was searching for a room to stay. It's a rich man's world- I understood long ago. So I decided to move to a poorer locality where I can save a little on rent. But not many are available. Those available are in shabby condition. After many a good friends' generous and selfless efforts, a room was found. Advance was paid, and on the next day, I paid full rent for a month in advance and started staying. But the very next day, people at my office tells me that I can stay at the guest house in the office. What is it! I couldn't understand the mystery. Why shouldn't I wait for a day? Why didn't the office tell me a day earlier? But no complaints. I might get my advanced money back... What I learn is that there is no lack of generosity in this world. I was offered this room at the office, because of the generosity of a benevolent lady at the office.
What do I learn?

I learn that I am learning. That I can't keep my eyes closed to these realities around. That these are ways to learn- looking around and understanding...

Sunday, April 22, 2012