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.