Thursday, January 25, 2007

Happy Holidays

Guys.....friends....HELLOO...,yeah bozos.I'm talking to you.Listen up.I'll be out of town for a few days so u might find this space empty.The mission is....dangerous,I'll let u know more when I get back.That is 'IF'. ;- ))

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Stranger I know

He stands there on the footpath,unkempt,dirty.He looks at me with a disdain,as if it is I who am polluting this planet.He bursts out in a rambling song about the troubles of his life.Many disturbed eyes cast an ugly look on him.He might be a thinker for all you know,a poet maybe.The fruit vendor down the line does not think so.He shouts at him for scaring away customers.His gait steady,head held high he walks away.You ought not to think that he is scared of a fight,he just does not stoop so low as to.He catches me staring at him and smiles.A smile of knowing,that of one who is wise.He does not ask for money,but never says no to it.The crowd of humans going to catch their regular train do ot pay much attention to him,he does not care.He sits down there.Unbeknownst to him,a white pooch is nibbling away at his food.He lovingly feeds it.Probably out of brotherly love,or maybe out of sorrow that it is among the last living being to love him.

I see him there very regularly.He never is missed,but he never is missing.Some people ignore him,while some others hate him.Like the constable,who never misses a chance of hitting him with his baton.Hitting a 'human pillowcase',does not hurt anyone.Anyways,who's gonna complain.His frustration vented,he leaves the 'filth' in a heap;crying.For you,this is insensitive.For him,this is life.

His pain subsided,he gets up.Hunger is a more powerful motivator than fear.He asks the shopkeeper for food,only to be rebuked heavily.He laughs the pain away.He satsfies his rumbling stomach,by drinking water from the tap.The tap is as full of water as his mouth is.He curses and goes away.I watch him for a while,till my bus arrives.As I board the bus,my eyes search the road for the familiar stranger.He is still there.Standing on the footpath.Unkempt,dirty.

Friday, January 19, 2007

My best friend.....

I see him everyday.At least once in every six hours.He is about the same height as me,in the same age group.Everytime he sees me,he has this odd twinkle in his bespectacled eye;as if he knows what I am going to say next.We don't speak to each other most of the time,we don't need to.Only on occassions when I am very nervous or excited do I open up to him.He is a very kindhearted boy.He is always there,whether I look for him or not,I know.My friends say he looks just like me,I disagree.I am not so naive.Agreed he has the same hairstyle as me,though I look much better in it.His fashion sense is good,but untidy.His face sports an unshaven look,which does not suit him.It does not matter to him.He is a rebel.

I see him everyday.Dressed almost the same way as I would,he looks pretty smug.I do not know much about his nature,but my friends say he is a bit of a softie with a tough heart underneath.It is strange how we have a common circle of friends but still do not know each other well.At the first look he is like any other ordinary guy with a slightly freckled face.He does not look like a very shy or introverted person.But I have a feeling that he is a bit insecure.He is very thin for his age,probably has bad eating habits like me.Or maybe something is eating him up from within.On the first glance you might call him my alter-ego,but the chances of you seeing the both of us together is far and few between.

I see him everyday.As though he knew what I knew.How I wish I could decipher that look on his face.Is it the joy of knowing some secret of mine?Or is it the pain of his own sorrows?Maybe it is that reading look which he uses to judge my character?No,the half smile suggests an admirer in him,maybe? Ohh!How I wish I knew what he was thinking.Maybe he will tell me if I ask him?No,he turns his back on me.He is a mystery.

I see him everyday.He looks at me and grins.His half white teeth,have grown oddly giving him an almost fearful yet childish look.He blinks his eyes giving me the signal that my choice of apparel is good.We part,as always, in opposite directions.As I think of him,a sly smile crosses my face.I have known his existence since a very long time,yet through all these years his behaviour towards me hasn't changed one bit. My friend,my alter-ego,the companion of my soul........The boy in the mirror.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

How to......?

'The college campus is one of the best places to look for a story',that's what the book said.Which book?The book I am reading rightnow, a how-to on 'creative feature writing'.All right!!I don't want you people laughing out there.I observed for quite a while that I am not able to attract any readers onto my blog.I know I am not the best writer around,and also that I am not the worst out there.So I decided to better myself.All i didn't know was where to start from.I guessed the library would be a good idea.

I went to the college library yesterday.I was accompanied by one of the more smart guys around in college.I don't know why,but I am scared of the library corridors.I mean, with all the serial killing going on around, you never know who is lurking behind those dark,unused and creaky shelves.It is a creepy place if you would take my word.Anyways,we decided to stand our grounds and fight like men.We went through a few shelves of English Literature,the most dusty ones.Then we moved on to the obvious choices,Mass Communication.I found my required book lying obscurely between a pair of other business management boks(wonder how they got there?).I picked it up and rushed through the pages.It looked rrather interesting to me.My friend on the other hand,was onto some old book named 'War and Peace'.I left him to his own bits and 'peaces',and checked the book out.

As the librarian turned the book,I noticed that it had never been checked out before.He looked suspiciously at me.I questioned myself,that whether I should have taken some other lightweight book,that I may not look like a first year student writing a thesis paper.He gave it back to me at long last.I thrust the book into my bag,and rushed out of the library to do muuch better things,do not ask me what ;->

As I returned from college,the presence o the book was almost forgotten.it was only when I was rummaging through the rucksack for my diary that I noticed it.I pulled it out and sat down to read.Quite interesting book,I have to say.'Look around you for a good staory',it said.Yeah right.If i look aroud myself,all i find is a dirty room with things lying in any place that the find comfortable.That would make a good story,hahahah.The next place to look for a sstory is your workplace or college/university.sorry dude.Both won't work.For one,I don't work.The second reason,I attend college as regularly as the postman comes to my house,which is every time ther is a function/national holiday.So that is the reason why I did not get a story for you guys today.Hope that I do get a good one by tomorrow,for your sake.I never worry about mine.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Purged of my sins

I am not a very devout person,so when my cousin invited me ..or rather impored upon me to accompany him to a temple on the outskirts of this huge metropolis,it would be an understatement to say that I was apprehensive.What weakened the faith more was that the plan was to hit the road by 5 am.Forget IT!!! No way am I going to be able to do that.Not if the great god himself lands up and pulls mme out of bed is it possible.The guy was unmoved by such dramatics.We are going,he said laconically.The trip was to be kept short,sweet and fast.I looked up and said "dude!wassop? what are you planning?".We went to sleep very late that night,i think at 12.As my thoughts drifted I knew the impossile task that awaited me.

BZZZZZZZZZZ!!!The damn alarm went.Groggily,I searched for my mobile(I've kinda grown fond of it now;-) ) It showed 4.25 am.I looked around.The room was very silent,except for the occassional creaking of the fan and the lonely rat looking for food,nothing stirred.I knew it, No idiot in his right mind is going to wake up so early and leave,of all places,to a temple.Such acts are left alone to the elderly of the house.I couldn't hold out for much long,a small nap and i would be fine;I thought.when I awoke to my dear brother trying to shake me like a medicine bottle,it was 5:15 am."We're late",he whispered.Yeah right!I said to myself.He asked me to hit the shower.The bathroom is a very cold place in the early mornings.....who am i kidding?It was just 4 hrs past the night.I anyways hate the idea of taking a bath,and the prospect of doing so in cold weather was bone-chilling.I gingerly stepped into the wet marble floor.A shiver ran up my spine.I checked the temperature of the water.Just as I thought,it was lukewarm,not enough to warm an ice cube.The best part of closed doors is,no one knows for sure whether you did bathe or not.after a few splashes of water on my face,I stepped out only to be greeted by a blast of chill emanating from the fan.Drats!!We dressed up fast and ventured outside.

The outside was as silent as the inside(though i prefer the latter for its warmth). As we braved the morning chill,I was trying to imagine the thoughts of my company,what in heavens is he thinking??it looked like I was not the only one.He had called on one more of his friend along.Right,so the trio set off.A strange sight we made on the desolated strip of raod.We hailed a rick and got in.The rickshaw driver was in a jolly good mood,as he sped like michael schumacher on a empty main road.By the time we reached the railway station,I was beginning to feel the chill.The train sojourn was worse.Beleive me,when in the very early mornings the train is careening through dark trails and the cold,merciless wind cuts at your face;the last thing you want to do is hang at the door.Brrrr!was it cold.We picked up a fourth passenger at my home station.We knew each other well enough to be on first names,me being the youngest in the group.We reached the destination in a quarter of an hour more.

The temple is pretty far away from the railway station,the choices of travel being a rickshaw or a buggy.We chose the former,much to my discomfort.All through the journey the driver had his eyes more on my white face and knuckles than on the road.looked like my discomfort was very amusing to him.We approached the temple after buying something to please the deity.The task is not easy,the god being an elephant one (we love animals).I found surprisingly(sic) that the temple premises were very much empty.We finished the visit fast,except that salutation part.As the others sat on the floor in order to meitate a bit,I dozed off.If it wasn;t for my brother who tapped me,I would have made a joke of myself.The best part is,he thought that i was deep in prayer,the good lord bless him.When we decided to head home the sun was up and beginning to shake out of his slumber.I never spoke of my discomfortas the others ha goals in their hearts,(good boys).I went home in dire need of a soft bed and some dreamy sleep.I wasn't dissappointed.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

To Hope

I am posting a beautiful poem by John Keats today.This poem is all that a optimist thinks and romanticises.I thought it would be good change from boring,and drab prose.Hope is what keeps people going on,in the most difficult times.Ask me,I know about it.Read on and hope


To Hope....by Keats

Whene’er the fate of those I hold most dear
Tells to my fearful breast a tale of sorrow,
O bright-eyed Hope, my morbid fancy cheer;
Let me awhile thy sweetest comforts borrow:
Thy heaven-born radiance around me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head!
Should e’er unhappy love my bosom pain,
From cruel parents, or relentless fair;
O let me think it is not quite in vain
To sigh out sonnets to the midnight air!
Sweet Hope, ethereal balm upon me shed,
And wave thy silver pinions o’er my head!
In the long vista of the years to roll,
Let me not see our country’s honour fade:
O let me see our land retain her soul,
Her pride, her freedom; and not freedom’s shade.
From thy bright eyes unusual brightness shed -
Beneath thy pinions canopy my head!
Let me not see the patriot’s high bequest,
Great Liberty! how great in plain attire!
With the base purple of a court oppress’d,
Bowing her head, and ready to expire:
But let me see thee stoop from heaven on wings
That fill the skies with silver glitterings!
And as, in sparkling majesty, a star
Gilds the bright summit of some gloomy cloud;Brightening the half veil’d face of heaven afar:So, when dark thoughts my boding spirit shroud,Sweet Hope, celestial influence round me shed, Waving thy silver pinions o’er my head.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Reminiscing the past

"Life is a very long journey for people to travel alone",that is what my pa always told me.The reason he used to say that was,in order to make me mingle with kids my age.I remember that I was a very closed book.I had no friends in school,in the colony i lived in,anywhere else.The only people with whom I got together with were my cousins.Those were different times.Yup,I was such a kid.

When I was in the higher secondary, i was very small.Literally.The tiniest guy in class.Add a pair of spectacles,and you get the ideal punch bag.I was pushed and shoved around by a lot of people.The teachers did take my side,but that earned me more taunts than rewards.I lacked confidence.I was scared and insecure.As i grew up, i realised i wasn't as tall as other boys in class. I was also a cry baby ( It is kinda difficult putting this on my blog),believe me.Till the age of 16,I never went out with my friends,or anybody for that matter.Horrible days those were.

Then something changed in me as I reached my final school year.Maybe the faith in myself.I don't know honestly.I decided that if i can't have what i want,I'd rather make most of what i have.I analysed myself.I was good at studies,not very good but good enough.My english was above average(for people in small towns ,its an advantage).I decided to make full use of them.I realised there are people in my school who needed help in studies.I took them under my wings ;-). Soon my popularity grew.By the time I left school,people were interested in what i wanted to be.I did not know.I still don't.

In my first year in college I wasn't that well known,though I had friends who were.I tried to show off my prowess but was snubbed.Though I didn't lose hope,I wasn't exactly high either.The second year was worse.I failed.The slide began.

I spent two years out,doing nothing.Yes,I worked for a while,but most of the time was spent pondering why?,how? People sympathised with me and laughed behind my back.I,myself wallowed for some time in the self pity.Then a thought crossed me,why am i worried?I wasn't this bad before,I am still not the worst around,so why worry.I decided to fix things.With a lot of help from people,I did fix things.The next morning had come.

Today as i sit here filling this post,I cant help but think how much i have changed as a person.My schoolmates often do not recognise me,but i do.Of myself,I am proud(vain).I have not accomplished anything,i still don't know what i want to do.yeah,I wanna be a journo,but I got no idea how i am going to do that.Maybe i will be that,or maybe not.But then,I wont stop trying.Maybe i am not the best around,but I am what I am.I write this not as much for you to read,as for me to remember.Today I read Tennyson's poem about "Ulysses",I was inspired to write what I've written. Two stanzas of the poem still strike me in the heart,read on and introspect.

"How dull it is ever to pause,to make an end,
To rust unburnished,not to shine in use
As tho' to breathe were life"

The last one is
"We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven;that which we are,we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate,but strong in will
To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield."

To strive,to seek,to find,and not to yield.Indeed!

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The longest part

My schedule for the past few days has been going haywire.I have no idea where my studies stand in comparison with college lectures.I haven't hit the gym for the past few...weeks ..maybe.My brain is complaining that it hasn't been to work for a long time.That was what i thought when i decided to attend college today.

So late as I was, i got up and rushed to attend lectures.I had missed a couple of them already,so I hurried for the third one.I was climbing up the staircase when my friends called upon me.We are a pretty bad group,in the sense that we are never together.As I neared the classroom,i realised lectures had already begun.Our English Literature class has a variety of teachers.A teacher for each day,and every one as different from the other as chalk from cheese.My lecturer today was in a lousy mood,not that i would be able to tell if he were happy.He started droning about a long length of comparisons between shakespearean tragedy and a Hardian tragedy.His long face surely added sincerity to the topic.We waited very eagerly for the bell to ring.One down two to go.

The next class i had to attend was the sociology one.I like this class better than the other ones,at least we are not forced to listen.We hardly have time to look up from writing.The teacher started dictating as soon as she entered.The only time she stopped was when somebody reminded her that she had yet to take the 'attendance'.AH!"Attendance",the only real reason for which people like me attend college.As soon as that was done,the 'train' resumed its journey.

The last lecture,quite literally, was that of sanskrit.Don't give me that look!!I had to take this subject as my second language or opt for marathi/gujarati/hindi.At least I am reading the indian equivalent of latin.Though i must confess,it is no different.Unfortunately I had to attend this class today.I sat down to listen to a story from the 'panchatantra'.Yaaaawnnn!Just before the moral of the story,the bell rang out.Sir walked out saying "Try not to yawn so loudly next time." Yeah,yeah,.Anyways that done I decided to leave for home.My friends wanted me to stay and join the cricket match,but my stomach was rebelling.

I reached home amid severe intestinal spasms.It is in such times that you would think the loo is a far better place to be in than heaven!!!Ahhh,to hear the flush is liberating,literally.But the pain has not yet subsided.I wil have to look for some of those 'old Grandma recipes' for 'tummy tucks'
So could you excuse me please!!!

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Sleepless in Somaiya(Ayurvihar)

Boy what a harangueing 24 hours I have spent! I know that you people might have spent worse hours,but excusez moi,this is my blog.To really provide you with the full elements of the story,I'll have to rewind it to yesterday....No,maybe back to the 'Bone Corrector' issue.Right.On Jan 04 'o7,I had posted the blog on one of my cousins getting himself a fracture absolutely free(You ever in need of one.You know whom to contact...)This is the sequel to that post of mine.So here goes,

It began yesterday.I was suposed to visit the 'ol boy' in the hospital.It was heard that he was in pretty bad shape.add to it that the operation to be done on his structure was preponed.Suddenly there arose panic all around.People started off to the hospital.I had my college to attend to(an excuse always used wisely).I attended college,but missed the first two lectures(Surprise!!).Then,after all else was done and nothing else left to pass my time on,I decided to do some goodwill hunting.I planned on going to the hospital for the operation.Personally,I was a very frequent visitor to hospitals in my childhood.I spent most of my time out of school in hospitals.So I was looking forward to this visit.

The hospital is situated on quite a lonely spot,near a highway.I do not know why build hospitals in places that are acessible by a fast road and resemble haunted buildings in the night.Both equally deadly.Anyways,I reached there by about mid-afternoon,only to find that the 'Operation' had just begun.The wait had begun too.

All my relatives,well at least the closest ones were there.walking outside the corridor of the OT like it was a Bypass surgery.I watched all the elders worrying so badly,thst it even caused me to think that this is indeed a serious case.The nail-biting finally ended after about three hours.The operation was a sucess the Docs declared.At least they thought so.The fact was the patient has suffered a "multiple fracture".Hmm...looks like he is going to be in the sling for about a month or two.Now I don't wanna add that 'I told you so'.So,I keep quiet and make a sorry face.

Fixing everything in the hospital s indeed difficult.After arranging everything and making the patient(Who,all this time,had no idea what he was speaking.For a clue,neither did I???) comfy,we arrived at the 'Big Q'. "Who is to stay on for the night?".The parents of the child,were obviously very eager(Poor people),but for the sake of their health,the onus fell upon the youngsters.We,the young of this family are a very lazy lot.To add,the number of us present were apalling.Considering the person afflicted was one amongst us,and the conditions demanded us to be supportive.One is a 'GEEK' who is,you know what.The other one,his brother that is,was just back from work.Filthy,double crossing scum,because of them i had to stay back.The thought of staying back did not hurt me as much as the fact that I had to do it for the stubborn ass with a fractured arm.Hell!!why do these things always happen to me?

I readied myself for the night.The mobile that I got recently,proved a handy companion in the loneliness.Half the night was spent listening to Clif Richards singing 'A Girl Like You', the remaining half going around watching patients turn over.Then the nightmare begun.The patient awoke.He suddenly realised that the pain in his arm was killing,till then the existence of the same arm had been a well guarded secret.HE tried to change the position odf his arm,to reduce the pain(stupid),and I rebuffed him for doing so.Remember one thjing readers,Never teasee a wolf,that too a wounded one.I was on the other side of the saying now.The ****** didn't let me sleep at all the whole night.He was howling,raging,crying,and shifting his arm.I,on the other hand was trying to stop him from doing anything that would prove harmful to his arm.No you idiot,I wasn't trying to be the good samaritan,I was just scared hat if anything untoward happens,I would be the first one to whom all fingers shall point to.I was trapped.I rushed to the nursse,who gave him a sleeping tablet to ease his pain.That hardly worked.The rest of the night...or rather morning,for it was already past 2 am,was spent talking/arguing.By the time my eyes could get sleep,it was five am.

All this while,there wa a person right beside me,sleeping so soundly that it would not matter if hell broke loose upon him.He,I have to give it to him,is an early riser.He likes to see the sun emerge out of the horizon to wish him a good morning.The good fella was up and about by 6 am and in his enthusiastic style,woke me up.The anger I was experiencing cannot be subjected to words.But after all 'Words are all I have'.To put it in short,the act of sleep was something I did not experience today.


Later in the day,the boy needed to be uploaded with some amount of blood,to increase his strength.OH yeah! he needs strength.So we set about finding the cost.It was a bit too high on our pockets.So,we decided to get into Barter Exchange.Two of us were to donate our blood,in retaliation for the blood they give to our boy.What a bloody exchange!!Well,I was among the two of us who were party to this exchange.The rest I do not remember,but I guess I am spent writing this much.

The remaining story will be published in the next post.Keep reading.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Get a life folks!!!

I have done nothing for the past two days.Nothing at all :-)) I was suposed to attend college yesterday,but I never got up on time.I was also supposed to see off my friend today,which very clearly i am in no mood to do.I am in my laziest spell ever.So i am not going to fill anything todya.If you so want to read,read my previous post(I bet you'll sleep before you catch the end).

Bye

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Bone Corrector

Accidents are a part of day to day life in Bombay.We are among the most fearless and probably brainless people ever born.No,do not take me in the wrong ,but to be as fearless as we are,is a tad foolish.Take this for an instance,there are about 300 people who die on the central and western railway lines alone. This is excepting the number of road accidents,bomb blasts and building crashes.Yet people never change.The best example for this would be the much acclaimed act of hanging at the door in a moving train.This act finds equanimity among all the famed railway lines in this city.Of course there are people who participate in this act because they ahve no choice,and there are people who participate as they have pretty much ntohing else to do.Yes,they know about the risks and some have even stared at them in the face,but stuborn ass.... as they are,they won't change.Well,most of my people would be surprised to hear this coming from me,since I myself am a 'Footboard Traveller',but I too am a human.There are sometimes when I wish I hadn't done what I did,this is one such moment.

I speak of this because an incident has happened that connects me to this post very directly.My cousin brother,the eldest one of our generation,is quite an eccentricity in himself.When he got himself injured yesterday,the family didn't quite go berserk but on the contrary burst out laughing.It happened yesterday.I am staying for the past few weeks....or is it months... at my uncle's place in a suburb of this city.It was about 7.30 pm in the evening, me and the 'Geek' ( Hereforth I shall refer to him in that term only),were dong something...though I don't exactly recollect what.The knock on the door was answered,and we found the 'hero'of this plot standing at the dooorstep.

His appearance does not betray any sign of the pain he is suffering.Dressed in a cream shirt,he enters,holding his left hand across his stomach.The first question that was put forth to him was "Is your stomach aching?".Poor fellow,couldn't help smiling as he answered no.More prodding reveals that he has been hit by the 'inside pole' while climbing into the crowded dungeon of the train.It seems that he had noi choice but to hang on to the door for his dear life.In this process,he actually was pushed forcibly by the crowd;which caused his hand to hit the pole with such fiery intensity that he now can't lift it up to his nose to scratch it.Tchk,TchkTchk,poor ol' boy.He might have won sympathy,but not my confidence.I'll tell you later why.

Now,we had a problem on our hands.If injury wasn't bad enough,the protagonist is also among the best misers I have known.No,he is a good boy but a tad stingy about money.Fine,we said.Do not pay,but get yourself treated.NO,he replied defiantly.We waited as we could see him grimacing as the swelling on his arm,stung him.Finally,he relented.We took him to a GP,who immediately confirmed our doubts of the injury being that of a fracture.He,in fact,threatened a major one.He directed us to a orthopaedist,and asked us to get an X-ray done;pronto.

We hurried on to the hospital.All this while,our 'hero' was crying and cribbing the expenses he was going to incur on us.We were getting bored of it,I was so irked that I would have broken his second arm and gladly paid for his expenses.The thought that he is a weakling(at least then) stopped me.We got to the orthopaedic,and presented our sample to him.After a few twists here,a few tweaks there;which our patient bit his teeth through; he announced his decision.He had serious doubts about the fracture.Excellent!!We marched on to the X-ray department.

The X-ray technician was even more merciless as he pulled the patient's arm to adjust the position exactly beneath the light.HE seemed to be a perfectionist,as he changed the position twice or thrice,with our poor brother biting his teeth and struggling to maintain poise.Finally it was done.The technician vanished into his lab to wash,dry,and hang the final result.Surprisingly,it didn't take long for he was back soon.He held up the X-ray proudly and showed us the spot.The crack looked like....well a crack.We went back to the specialist.HE immediately scribbled something unintelligible in his pad,and handed it over to get from the chemist.Leaving our 'crack'there, me and the 'geek' walked down.

As we looked at the bill for the stuff,we realised that it would have been better that we had carried more cash on us.The need was urgent.So an SOS was despatched to a fellow resident.He arrived shortly.Together we waited as the doc worked on our protagonist.He emerged from the room,his left arm strapped in a sling.We decided to take him abck home.Surely,he needed a night of peace to get ready for what awaits him,when his father gets here.

I lok back at this incident and try not to laugh.The reason is,I have a serious doubt that he did not get injured while he was on the inside.According to me,he must have been hit by a passing pole while he was hanging on the door,more knowingly than forcibly.The reason I put forward to his denial of this fact is,ego.In fact,if I were in his place I would have done the same thing.It is much more embarassing to accept that you could not stand on the footboaard correctly than it is to acknowledge that the crowd was too much for you to handle.Anyways,FYI,the guy just got things complicated.The 'doc' in the house thinks he might have to insert a pin in order to fix the damage done.Well,think that would keep him off my back for about three or four weeks.Also,that should act asa deterrent to all those 'Footboard Travellers';including me; to stop acting cool and act smart.

As they say in the railway safety advertisement " Somebody is waiting for you back home."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

A Tiresome Quest

It has been a horrid day.This I say out of feelings generated from the furthest bottom of my heart,which I sincerely doubt exists after all that I have gone through today.In India,we face administrative nonchalance everday.For people around me,it has become a thing normal.For me it is not so.I am a very headstrong and impatient boy.I am not proud of that,but I think that will aid you in picturing my this experience.

I went to college today.It had been a long time since I had been there and I thought it would do good to my reputation if I am spotted around attending lectures once in a while.I was half expecting my friends there,but was disappointed when none of those buggers turned up.Irked,I entered the college.Halfway up the stairs,it struck me to read the notice board.Call this intuition or anything else that you like,but it ws definitely no coincidence.The notice board is on the ground floor,right next to the office.I was casually glancing about when I came upon a seemingly harmless piece of paper,stuck on the right handside bottom corner of the board.It read

Dtd:16-12-2006

Students of FYBA/BCOM/BMS are hereby requested that they collect their Board certificates from the prayer hall and submit the same alongwith a xerox copy in the office before the 27th of December in order to obtain admisssion for the Second Year.If they fail to do the same,they are liable to lose their admission for the further year.

To say I was shocked would be an understatement.I jumped back from the noticeboard like it were a livewire.The scream emitted by the jock behind me was the only thing that brought me back to reality.Before he could catch me and erase any proof of my existence,I ran into the office room."Excuse me sir.I am an FYBA student.I am here to collect my Board certificate",I said.The clerk did not move.By now,I am used to this reaction but today was different.I knocked on the glass impatiently.He looked up with the ease of a tortoise,"Yeeess???",he asked.I grudgingly repeated my question."Happy new year",he muttered,much to my surprise.But before I could mistake his greeting,he broke in,"Where were you all these days??In timbucktoo?".I could see clearly that he was enjoying my plight.I decided to keep quiet and put on my most pitiful face and pleaded,"Sir,I am very sorry that I am late but could you please tell me where I could get my Board Certificate?"He finally grumble,"Ok,Ok.Go to the prayer hall.They will be distributing it there,But only till twelve and don't....".I did not wait for him to finish the sentence.The prayer hall was a large room on the first floor.I rushed upstairs

The prayer hall ought to be renamed.Students never attend the prayer meets and what they do attend cannot be called a prayer meet,not unless your version of the prayer allowed people to shout loudly from the back.I approached the room,which was in absolute mayhem.The cacophony of it was utterly amusing.By the picture the clerk below had painted for me,I was of the view that I might be the only irresponsible scum on the face of this planet who was collecting his certificate so late.But the sight of so many students scrambling over each other to have a look at the bundles sort of calmed me.By the look of it the peons were having a tough time handling the students.I patiently awaited my turn(As if I had much choice)

I approached the desk.The clerk was busy poring over the list of students."what is your roll no.?",he quizzed.I handed over my I card."Hmmmm..." fearing that pause of his, I was about to say something that he handed over a bundle of certificates and ordered me to search for mine in it.Two hours passed and yet there was no sign of my certificate.By now I was desperate.I looked again at him.He was already packing up for lunchtime.I was pissed,I asked him about what further steps I could or should take.He graciously asked me my seat number on which I appeared for the exam.The question left me dumbstruck.I had no answer.I gaped back at him.He asked me to 'go get it'.I aasked him if there was a choice,he happily replied in the negative.I returned home dejected.

I have a weakness,that of a very short and temporary memory.I entered my house with a fear that I might never be able to find the documents required.I ransacked my drawer spilling out all its contents,causing the house to resemble mount olympus in chaos.Imagining my mom's reaction to this,I decided to put it back.As I was doing that honourable act,I found my file hidden in the most obscure locations in the entire world - Between my books( A place I hardly look for).I packed my bag and waited for the ordeal that was to come tomorrow.

I woke up late the next morning.With mom not being around to wake me up,its difficult to be punctual.I checked if my documents were immaculate.I didn't want to give them a chance to send me back home again.I gulped my sugarless cup of instant coffee and left on my mission.

It looked like I had reached college pretty early.There were hardly any people around this time,save a few unfortunate ones who,like me,had missed their documents.I got my chance about ten minutes later."I card",the voice asked.I handed it over."Seat Number",was the next question.I replied,loud and clear."Fee receipt",he queried again.I produced it.By now,I was beginning to lose it."Wait for a few minutes", was what I next heard.Yeah,right!!As if I was doing something else till now.I waited with bated breath as he dived into a old bundle.Just as I was beginning to lose patience,Voila!!the man springs out with my certificate.It looks a bit ragged ,folded in bad designs,but thankfully its in one piece.I sign wherever he asks me to.Thanking him I move on to submit the form.

The office is situated at the ground floor alongside a corridor leading to the girls' staircase(Enticing;-0).Though i had much serious businesses to take care of.I entered the office room,only to find it deserted.I instinctively looked at my watch.It was five minutes to one.Hmmmphh.Irked as I already was,I had to wait,nevertheless,for people to return.I won't bother you with the rest of the story as I think you already might be wishing for this post to end.Anyways,its quite insignificant.The moral of the story (I have to say this) is,never expect your work to get done faster in any administrative department-government or private.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The past two days

It is 2-01-07. Happy New Year.That was a reminder that the year 2006 has become last year,lets move on.To where??To how I Celebrated My First Day Of The New Year.

I have a very cynical view about the working of this world and its inhabitants.So I do not think the way most people do.So the way I ushered in my New Year would be very boring to people like you.What matters is what I did in my New Year.

31st morning.Its D-day.Everybody woke up late.Usual for me.I had a place to go to though.Crap!People won't let you rest in peace,even on this day.The ocassion was of the marriage of my friend's sister.Hmmpph!To tell the truth,I hardly know her.I went there just for the sake of my dear friend,and of course the free buffet that he was doling out.You betcha!The food was lipsmackingly good.With,basundi,rasmalai,roomali roti,chan masala,alu palak,paneer tikha,salad,pasta,and the most necessary - Ice cream,I freaked out on the food.I didn't care if i was bed ridden for gastro-something,I won't be getting this opportunity in a long time.Apart from that it was a reunion for us guys.We are five of a group.Often,we never see each other's faces for a very long time.Maybe that is the secret of the longevity of our friendship.So all done,I moved on.On the way,we casually wished the bride and the groom.It is unlike us to carry any gifts,but we bought something easy on our pockets.

I got back by about three in the evening.I was tired already.I was hoping that there are no plans today.By the lok of the house,I judged that people were in no mood to party.I thanked god.I settled into an easy chair and dozed off.All those plans we made a day back,were washed of by a flood of surreal dreams.When I woke up,I found the scene changing.Suddenly one of my cousins said he'll be back and left.There was no sign of him fo the next six hours or more.The other,a geek,was sitting on the comp,true to his clan.I was now getting bored.I turned to my oldest companion and friend.The good old television.I sat and watched anything that was on.I hardly remember when I had dinner or the time I slept,but I do remember waking up the next day with an ominous feeling.

My head was numbly aching.The formal greetings over,we marched over to our aunt's place.Why? to wish them, silly!But contrary to the vibrant mood all around her,my aunt was ...well,to put it in a word "steaming".Actually,if you could revert to the flashback,you would have noticed me making promises about celebrating the New Year with everybody in tow.But promises are made to be broken.Unfortunately for her,my aunt does not believe in that.She fired left,she fired right,and we were sitting ducks.The only consolation bein that I wasn't the only one being fired.So much for being a close knit family.

My last year was spent the same way as this year,before the television set.Luckily for me,while all this was happening,my sister had gone to pick up her friend.We escaped unhurt.
So we sat down and planned as never before.The plan for afternoon lunch got cancelled,as we had lunch at home.So it was to be in the evening.

As evening neared,things began to get worse.My stomach started reolting to the food I had in the afternoon.Add to that the friend my sister was bringing along.So it meant that I had to behave.We left pretty late,so late that I was almost beginning to hope that we won't go.Where were we headed for?A hip place downtown, the plan was to hit a coffee joint and sit there.

We reached our destinations fast.As I sat down i realised that my bladder was full and on the verge of exploding.Damn!!The place looked pretty good,so I couldn't picture myself letting free in a corner.We searched around in vain.But then,loos in such places are hiden in obscure locations such that you never find one when you need it.I sat down hoping that my dam holds up.

We placed the order.It was a cofee joint so a cofee was in the calling,so were some pastries and desserts.But the surprise material was to be the Hookah. The hookah is an ancient form of smoking.It somewhat resembles a water pitcher with aa long pipe attached to it which supplies you with draughts of your stuff.We,being non smokers,chose for an ordinary mint one,though not entirely free of harm.I ordered a moroccan tea for accompaniment.MY bad!!The tea s{*#s.Man,was it bad! So i digged on the pastries and turned to the new and inviting prospect of smoking a hookah.

As I watched my more professional cousin blow puffs of designer smoke into the atmosphere,I was excited.It was a totally new experience!Though I felt the guilt of committing the sin,it vanished after a first few draughts.Now I know what smokers feel.I was almost addicted to it.We immediately had a competition on who could blow the best.I'll be glad to tell you that I wasn't the winner.The experiment had given me an elated feeling,and that is what saved me from feeling guilty about the bill.

When we were returning home,the elation vanished.My insides began to turn and churn whatever I had fed them.The moroccan tea felt like sour lemon on my tongue.My stomach felt very turgid.The bumpy roads were continually forcing me to throw up.I held my nerves and managed to reach home.Boy,that was a relief.Home cooked food tasted like heaven after Moroccan tea.Post dinner I realised that I had been strained of all my energy,I could hardly stay awake.

I fell off to sleep dreaming myself in a egyptian tent siping on a hookah and watching the Nile flow by.Then came the ............ Moroccan Tea!!!!