Monday, December 22, 2008

Musings

Under a fading light
That bent in a slant
As it entered empty halls
I walked the road with her
'Do me a favour', said she
'Say not a word'.
And so i spoke in silence
And listened
As she spoke in the voices of angels
That were long lost in the skies,
now black as her eyes;
No,her hair,her long black tresses
That flowed down her back
In wayward curls,
Curls that flowed back and forth
In the wind
Like the ebbing sea.
She parted her lips
But no sound came out
The wind carried her voice
Far away from me into the deep woods
where a black myna sang
her praise.
An hour past,or was it a day
when she stood up silently
And went her way.
As the night gathered its followers
and rented the air with hollow chants
I walked away
My back towards her way
No voice called,nor a step heard.


Friday, December 19, 2008

A spirited respite

The sun shrinks slowly behind the tree on the college campus.It is a burning afternoon and i,once again,am in a poetic mood.It is not unusual.Though the fact that I am not entirely in my senses is.The images of people swim before my eyes,as the wind feels like water.....

We walked in pretty high already in the morning.It was my friend's birthday.So we stray dogs knew that someone was gonna feed us today.That is one thing about staying in the college the whole day.Make sure you have somebody to feed you.After all,you can't pay for everything everyday.Infact,we never pay for anything anyday....Good thing,I study in a gujju majority college...MAy they prosper and progress.

The plan was decided.NObody tells me anything these days.We were gonna fill it up and go bottoms up.My friends were a little free-spirited considering that they had just made presentations of their projects(the work on which i had done).Christmas was on the way,and New Year waits impatiently.I,on the other hand,was pending for both my projects.My profs were getting crankier by the day,and girlfriends bossier.

"You better meet me in the Library by 12 today,H".MY professor.A short,stocky,grey haired lady frowned at me.She was one of those who remind you of somebody in your family.I nodded solemnly.Langston Hughes.A poet,I've never read.And that is my project.Forget the other one where I've a choice between scriptwriting and copywriting.Somebody tell me how they do any of these....

I walked down to our regular meeting place.A bench opposite to the cricket ground,right where a lot of girls walk past to the canteen.The plan was announced in a very cheery fashion.I was dazed.Apologies and rejections never matter when you are in a minority of 1 to 6.I was half dragged to the place.TO save my remaining integrity,which was soon to be lost,i walked in to the ninth circle of hell.

The glasses were plain,simple,and tall.I watched as the beer fizzed up to the brim.I faked a cheer.And then after the first glass,there was none....I meant the hesitation.We soon were singing 'Yeh dosti" and "Happy Birthday to you" in chorus at Royal Albert Hall,London.

The watchmen spied me suspiciously as i walked past them.My pant was a little lower than usual.I was quieter as i missed more than a couple of hellos and hi's..I walked right to our seat.The revolutions of planet earth made themselves clear to me..I had reached a point where as Yeats said "Language ceases to be the mode of expression for your emotions"...It was half past eleven.And i did not even know it for sure.

The loo felt as warm as the quilt on a wintry night.I sighed and pissed with a sense of relief.The five cups of coffee were working,or at least i hoped they were."This is the limit ,H",she screamed.The fist of bangles shook as it hit the table.I barfed.I could see blood rise to the excesively powdered face.I stayed as calm as i could."You are going into the library right now,and getting as much work as possible done.You have a week to submit your projects"..."And get a hold of yourself"..I staggered out of the cabin.Steady,H,eaaasy now...

The library was a respite.I propped up my book and went to sleep.Langston hughes be damned by milton.I love Wordsworth....

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Of War and Peace

Freedom!! A word so casually used nowadays....The price of which is far too great for one who has lost it. Which leads us to the question, who owns it today? Is there any man out there in this forlorn planet who can claim himself to be free? We are all bound by something. Ideas, Customs, Prejudices or Passion. But most of us can proclaim ourselves to be free. At least act on our own will....in some place we can call our own. Our homes, for instance.

Friends and allies, I send you this SOS today to announce that my turf has been invaded upon with no logical reason. I am under siege in my own house. This happened exactly 45 days ago.Seems like such a long time now…..

HE was..is a Software Engineer from Bengaluru(where else).He came to my house as he had nowhere else to go to in Mumbai.How does he know me? He is the friend of the son of an uncle whom I have’nt seen in 15 years. H wanted a place to stay in for 3 days before his company allotted him a place. That sounded okay.Yeah…whats wrong with helping out a guy in need.But I knew better. I read history ,Dude!! Foreign guests coming over for a friendly trade staying over for ages ,sounds familiar???

When the week ended, I asked dad if the ‘guest’ had found a place to stay.Dad frowned at me.Labelled me unsocial,hostile freak.First blood drawn.I can take that from my dad,been doing it for 21 years now.I don’t mind if somebody shows me in bad light to my parents,does’nt take too much effort to do that.But I hate it when I am asked to act as a chauffeur to people my age.I hate that!!Why on earth would a 25 year old along with a couple of his friends need a chauffeur for??? HE can’t move around a city on his own??

You know what I hate about guests? No.I can tolerate their habits,their needs and requests.What pisses me off is their judgements,and the fear of the hosts about their judgements.Since the arrival of this visitor,my parents have me on barracks restrictions. No littering,no eating junk food,no late night tv,no surfing on the net after 11,no calling over my friends and the worst of all…Visit the temple every Saturday.Why? Because HE does!!!!

I hve always been the ‘other’ I my own house.So what if I am the rightful heir of my father’s property.He is a good boy,because he has a job,a salary of 30ks and never speaks against my parents.He goes to the temple,follows rituals and has friends who do the same(so he says)…I asked him as I was chauffering him past the Marine Drive ( 2 weeks before 26/11). “Want a ciggie?”. “No,I do not smoke.Bad for the lungs.”…a few minutes later again “ What do you plan to do on New year’s Eve? Hang out with your friends at a pub? Load on a few pegs more than usual?”..”No.I do not drink.Bad for the liver.”

I thought for a while and muttered to myself. ” I bet you do not think either.Bad for the brain…son of a *$#@X!!!!!”

Its been 45 days…I have waited patiently this long,for nature to take its own course.I mean no ill to this man,but he has intruded on my territory so long,that it feels alien to me.He sits on my computer whenever he wants,watches his programs on MY Television, He has lived after he told me arts is a very easy course to take.For fools and philosophers.That was the most pathetically rude jke I’ve ever heard.If he is still alive,its because I am a believer in the kinder nature of human character.But that was that!!!

I stand upon the threshold of a war beginning…upon invasion of privacy.The time has come when a man’s gotta do what he gotta do.I have been oppressed,humiliated,enslaved.

Gone is a time when I would have asked him to know his limits. That has passed with the last bend on the road.Now I want him outta here.POORNA SWARAJYA!!! And I swear upon Lucifer, I’ll see it happen.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Revelation

The flame rises
Past dark corridors and black ceilings
To skies unknown
The smoke moans out of windows
To be carried
On the backs of a raging storm
Across a lulled sea
The gulls fight over their fish
cawing and clawing
As the rest of the fish watch from the bottom.
The clouds hide the red sky
While the sanguine sun sinks itself .
Its bloody robes leaving a mark on the background
A lone eye loiters
Intently capturing the moment
Till the portrait becomes a part of it
A tear rolls out
Out of its fortress,stubbornly it takes form
White,spotless,pure
Every atom of its existence carrying a pain
Deep,obtuse and hidden
The pain struggles to be contained
And rushes past
Careful hands that seek to hold it
Crashing to earth
And shattering to a million fragments
Each a million more
Emitting a radiance so bright
That cannot be seen
Unless a million more eyes wake
And take in that sight
Of an immortal struggle of light against darkness
Till the sea itself washed ashore
And took with it every light that eye could discern
And the world was dark
Dark beyond darkness
A darkness that neither sound nor light could pierce
And out of that darkness
Rose a flame,its yellow tongues licking the pitch black air
Till the air caught fire
And every being was enveloped in it
The fire was all
The universe was in it
And the eye that held it,saw everything.
The vision saw what it created
And created anew as it saw.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Existence

There were a thousand births before this.
Bright yellow festoons,tied onto electric wires.. fluttering carelessly in the breeze.Bangles - Gold,green and glass ones .Glittering like a thousand suns.Happy, boisterous voices booming through the house.Sweets passing through greedy hands.sticky fingers dipping for a second helping

There were a thousand deaths before this.
Thin white muslin sheets.Spread from head to toe.No face,No name, No religion.Be they burned, buried or left alone.Frozen air wafting through the morgue.Even tears are frozen cold,...and dead.Sound does not exist.Nothing moves or asks to be moved.Naked in their passivity.\

I existed.
Everything slows down.Almost to a stop.You can watch the first ripple form on the water.Almost perfectly.The single feather on the crows back shimmers in the sun light, as it waits to take flight.The smile that changes instantly to a frown and changes back just the same.The father,the son and the ghost walk hand in hand.Life beside death,Good beside Bad,and Form beside None.


I walked through empty cradles and full cemetaries.Through windy deserts and airless seas.I watch you laugh and cry,Speak and shut up.I watch.This body feels like a cage.Holding a cosmic force within.A nuclear energy,that is waiting to explode.It rattles against the walls.Unable to speak, act and move.It is
Shape without form,shade without colour,
Paralysed force,gesture without motion;

Who am I? What am I? Nameless, Formless and aimless.I cannnot do what i want,neither what i don't want.I cannot die happily,nor live forever in despair.Is this life? This does not feel like death.I see my face everywhere and yet there is nothing within me.I exist.I exist.

I am a million,million people
Talking all at once,with voices
Raised in a clamour,like maids
At village wells.

I am a million,million deaths
Pox clustered,each a drying seed
someday to be shed, to grow for
Someone else, a memory.

I am a million,million births
Flushed with triumphant blood,each a growing
Thing that thrusts its long nailed hands
To scar the hollow air.

I am a million, million silences
strung like crystal beads
Onto someone else's
Song.
------------- kamala das

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Nature's Elixir

You step onto the street outside

Sensing the anticipation

Feel the wind sighing in your face

And know of its coming.

You scan the skies, looking for signs

And watch with wary eyes

Dark, black clouds swarming above you

Like a stampede of wild bisons

Announcing themselves in the savannah

The earth trembles and welcomes its visitor

With a perfume laced with all her creation

That enters your mind through your heart

And stirs up a cocktail of emotions

That you never knew existed.

Birth. Creation. Pausing to be let out.

By a power far beyond the reach of mortals

And then the zeus parts open the skies

With light,causing them to roar.

Then in the momentary second of silence

A hush sweeps across the horizon and

Over you,to go silent

Just at the moment,to let that

One cold,pristine drop of life

Rest on your forehead, and announce


Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What Is Truth? Que Veritas....

"What is the truth?" Pontius Pilate reportedly asked the Christ.Buddha went in search of it.Krishna delivered a sermon to a desperate arjuna in the middle of a gory war about it.The Prophet Mohammed found it.But what is it?

Truth,as they say, is a very complicated word.I read this somewhere,'Everything you say,is true.But the opposite is too'.Funny,i thought.But is it? You walk around this strangely small,unique yet immensely vast planet of ours everyday.You watch your cohabitants and judge them.You learn a lot everyday.You observe and implement.But do you really learn? How do you make out what is right and what is wrong?A simple way to guess would be that you do what you are taught.A child's mind is tabula rasa - Liquid tablet.Anything you put in there would be absorbed and used in action.Which is one reason why your mother told you stories about brave,kind righteous and dutiful men and women.She warned you to speak the truth.Always.You beleived her.You believed that truth.

Then,You grew up.You wandered through this planet.You realised the truth.Nobody is holy.Nothing is either.You became cynical,pessimistic.You realise the futility of speaking the truth and the dangers of it too.I remember watching my father once lie to my mom about the price of something he bought.I went up to him later and asked him innocently,"Why did you lie?"
.He laughed and said wisely,"Son,The truth is always the right thing to say,but not always the best thing."

But how do you recognise the truth?Actually,you don't.You just accept it.And most of the time you are right.Just like a broken clock is right,at least two times in a day.The truth is relative,as the popular theory goes.It is what you want it to be.Which is what makes it all the more complicated.To each what he seeks.The truth though always has two versions.The kauravas were arjuna's enemies - True.The kauravas were arjuna's cousins - True.So which one is it that is right? Remember the old proverb of having to make the right choices.Yup.Your character is defined by the choice you make.

Now,that is the kicker.Your choices will depend on your priorities,and the priorities on your experiences.George bush is a true son of a gun when he declares that he is hunting osama down.That Osama is in a planet he has no clue about is another truth.This world is full of such complicated,two faced truths.Each one of us lives in his own planet of truths.'Samsara', was what the Buddha termed it.It is when two distinctly differrent planets collide that confusion arises.People fight,kill and behave like animals.To protect the 'truth' that they beleive in.

What is the truth? I do not know. which is why i am still human.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

The Dance Of Shakti

She cuts through the crowd
Like a river through the rocks
Her sharp eyes searching
Fingers running through the vegetables
Turning,twisting and checking
she will only use the best
Green,Yellow,Red and some orange too
Packed in a huge cloth bag

She first lights the Fire
The primary element,the purifier
Then,she uses water
which bubbles and hisses upon the fire
She sits down with her weapons
cutting,chopping and mincing things
As she deems fit
Till you can see no difference in one
From the other

Her brow is sweaty,hair messy
She whirls like a dervish
in her small universe
Everything assembled together
she stirs them with her ladle
Like a sorcerer,muttering incantations
Dancing to the crackles of Fire
The Dance of Shakti
Till things reach a frenzy.
The liquid thickens
To a semisolid state and a sweet aroma
travels in the air,serene and calm
And suddenly,she extinguishes the fire

Silence overcomes all,Nothingness
Just a deep reverberation
The aftershocks of a frenzy
Till you can hear nothing but the word
The seed of creation

She calmly places it before me.
Her labor,her fruit and art
And stands before me.An artist
Creator and Mother.
"How does it taste?"

Friday, March 07, 2008

words

White paper with Blue ink
Black in some places, I think.
scribbled words in a straight line
A thought that is solely mine.

formless thoughts without a shape
Written neatly on a foolscap
Away from margins, within the line
The words shape up just fine.

Seamless thoughts unknowingly altered
Grammar and English diction faltered
Sentences ended eternally with a dot.
Was this what i had thought?

words,
They have an identity of their own,
You only read what is shown.
You'll never be able to read my mind,
Unless,you see the world these words hide behind.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lucky Day..

The bus was empty as i got in.Empty as in,there was no space to sit but there was no problem in standing.The conductor was in no hurry fr my ticket,and i shared his view.I leaned on a nearby seat and waited as the bus took off jerkily on its journey.I looked around the bus.The first four benches were filled by girls....not aunties,not grandmas....girls.This must be my lucky day,I thought.A day just couldn't start better than this..

The bus slowed to a still at the next stop.I watched her climb in.Every step measured carefully,head steady and eyes - deep and searching. I waited for her to notice me.She did. I smiled at her, unsure of my next step.She started walking towards me,and the bus resumed its travel.It is an art to walk on a moving bus,with potholes for company.Just as we neared each other,the bus screeched to a halt.I held on to the handles on both sides of the bus,just in time.Suddenly time stalled.

It was one of those 'Matrix' moments, when everything around you stops in midair.I could see the conductor bending forward.I could see the driver,his mouth opened to form a curse.But more importantly,I could see her.As she fell forwards,her hands on my shoulder,leaning against me.I wished time would stop here forever..

for the next few moments we blubbered around embarrassedly.A few girls had seen this and were busy giggling.She smiled at me,not knowing what else to do.I,meanwhile,felt like i just had three shots of tequila followed by a double espresso.She was still holding me by the shoulder, I don't know if i consciously went red but she realised it and hastily held on to a nearby pole.I looked at her,trying to gauge what she was thinking
but she kept looking away.

A few minutes later, a seat in the ladies portion emptied.I asked her to sit down.I just stood near her for company.It is kind of weird,standing near a pretty girl.You subconsciously feel the glare of half the aunties of the bus,and of course,you can hear the curses of the boys in the back.I stood there,silent and stupid.

The aunty beside her got down at the next stop.I wondered if i should take that seat.... It is a 'ladies' seat' after all. "Why don't you sit down?", she asked... "It's a ladies' seat.." i blurted... " Doesn't matter.You can always get up if somebody comes.". No questions...

I watched as th wind played with her hair.And every time she would tuck it behind her ear resolutely.I kept watching her till the last moment when she would realize that i was looking at her.Before she could spot me,I would turn away.I got down with her,a few stops(15 mins) before my destination. "Don't you have to go further ahead?",she asked knowingly. " Oh,I am in no hurry",I said.

We walked all the way to her building.Talking about exams,preparations,notes adn future careers.I know,that was all we talked.A distance so short,a conversation that never started.We rached her building in no time. " Thanks for coming along.", she smiled. " No mention.",

A pause...."SO then...See ya.", I said hesitantly. "See you." she courtesied.Just as she turned,she stopped."You are coming to college tomorrow,aren't you?",was the question. " Tomorrow......is a sunday.",I said. she playfully slapped her head," I forgot.Sorry.See you on Monday then..". " I grinned and said,"Ya, C U."

I watched as she ran into her building,and waited till i could hear no more of her steps>Then i turned and continued my journey.IT is my lucky day...

Itni shiddat se tumhe paane ki koshish ki hai,
Ke har zarre ne mujhe tumse milane ki saazish ki hai!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Images Of A Morning

A foggy morning...A man cleaning his Maruti800...A lone crow on a tree..A lazy dog sleepig on the street..A red bus speeding away..A green mosque sounding its azaan..Parents and children waiting for the school bus..Tea boiling on a stove...Stacks of newspaper behind a bicycle...The paanwala opening his shutters...

Vehicles speeding down an empty road...Spittles of red and gray abstract on the ground...An Indian Airlines flight flying overhead...A white bus carrying people to office...A cow in the middle of the road...A cigarette packet in a store...Puffs of dust rising from a sweeper's broom...

A dead rat..A dried gutter...A man asleep on the pavement...A drunk beggar...A singular broken chappal...Crowded platform...Even more crowded train...Creaky Foot over Bridge...starved child asleep in the lap of its mother...Bell in a Jain Temple...Cobbler busy with his work..streetfight...girl dressed in green salwar..two men pushing a handcart...a woman arguing with a clothseller...

Groups of students...roadside vendors making dishes...Yellow building...watchman adjusting his cap...vast corridors ... an empty classroom... rows of benches... a red bag ... a blue pen on a long notebook... Strange thoughts flowing out in recognised words.... an experiment.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Untitled Poem..

Words lost under a twisted tongue
A mouth that refuses to open
Yet the conversation goes on
with what her eyes have spoken.

The wind whispers in her ears
Carelessly, he ruffles her hair
How my heart rages and sears
To see him put his mout there.

A single studded bangle clinks
On the wrist of her slender hand
How lucky the bangle is, i think,
To be entangled so,in her hand

No face ever looked so clear
No body ever felt so far
I was just so near
As the crow to the star.

Then she waved her hand
waiting for me to say goodbye
Rooted to the ground,i stand
But....I never even said Hi.

And so she left unanswered
The world grew darker
O what would i give to be heard,
To speak,open my heart to her.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Snakes and Ladders

It was my neice's 2nd year of life,So we brought it in with a grand bash.Being the only grandkid in the family (curent),she gets what i won't if i grovel at my dad's feet.After the day was done,I dropped off at my cousin's house to stay.As we were unpacking and taking out the trash,there emerged from the bag one,shiny wrapped up gift that somebody had obviously not taken home.We looked at it like little kids at a christmas present ( though we knew what was in it)

We opened it impatiently.Out came a board,painted in bright new primary colours of red,yellow,green and blue.Snakes crawled all over the bold numerals.A few misplaced ladders here and there,and a passage to a new dimension opened to us.We slit the side to let gush out a barrage of little coins.And of course,the most important piece of the game.......THE DICE...

We grinned like stupid school children at each other.The game began,at 12.When the world prepared to go into the recesses of slumber,we awoke to a pathway that led us deep into hallways that we had lost our way to.We ran up those ladders that revealed to us the joys of a forgotten childhood.We fell , bitten by the snakes of reality that would not allow us to forget responsibility.But we began again, fearless like little children.... laughing boisterously,shamelessly,like we never would.I thought i had forgotten the ways of this world.How we used to try and keep the dice with us for the maximum time so that it would favor us, and how we chanted the names of gods and uttered stupid incantations when in trouble.How every missed turn and stolen move warranted a fight...and how we always forgave the past to broker peace over a board game..

Snake and Ladder,Ludo,Businessmove,Monopoly......games that define summer vacations for every kid my age.Playstations were alien to us.Summer mornings were for cricket and afternoons for a board game on staircase of the host's building.HOw school was the scariest place to be in the night...excuses made up on the spur of the moment to skip school,the homeworks that could never be completed,they just had to be done on the last bench during some other teacher's period(lectures).The first time of detention,the first caning,days of white uniforms and canvas shoes......Had i forgotten all this??

We exchanged anecdotes from our lives,like grandfathers sitting on a park bench in the evening.When did we ever grow old?? How i remember those days clearly now,like the clear horizon after the parting of the mist....MY school, those little compositions that laid foundation,those brown book covers,my first geometry box.Memories that burst through like the vomit after a bad booze.They just wouldn't stay in.MY first day at school,the forgotten book - destined to be forgotten,a strict teacher,a punishment meted..........a wet pant and an embarassment for the rest of my life.I laugh now,but i remember not going to school for the next 3 days.We rolled on the bed laughing,tears flowing out,unwiped and unchecked;carrying with them a tinge of sorrow for the lost days mixed irretreivably within the happiness that caused them.I remembered Kamala Das' lines
" The real tragedy of life
Is not Death.
But growing up "

My uncle,who past sixty,prefers a little peace at night came out grumbling.He stood at the doorway for a while,then himself smiled at the sight of 3 full grown men grappling for the dice with each other over a game of ludo. " BOys...." he said

Really what keeps us apart
At the end of years is unshared childhood
R Parthasarthy

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

IN DEEP WATERS

The water splashes all around me.I wobble around uncomfortably in the weightlessness.For a moment darkness surrounds me.The moment expands,swallowing me in it and the world becomes silent.Then,water enters my lungs,air escapes through bubbles.My mind empties itself of all emotions,as actions slow down to a pause.Suddenly,a hand reaches down.Grabs me by the arm,and pulls me towards the light.And the world swings into action again.


The creek of Khadavli lies at a distance of 20-25 kilometres from the temple town of Titwala.After spending a month or so in total ennui,every one of us wanted to get off from the city.With temperatures in the city dropping to an all time low,we hit upon an ingenious idea - To go skinny dipping.

well, not entirely.But yes,the idea was to get to an even colder place and dare ourselves.I suggested this place, which is quite a spot for teens to be initiated into the 'big,bad world.' When i was a shy,little teenager, friends in my colony had taken me out to this water-hole to teach me to swim.And after that i had my first taste of beer.Boy,it was something to have fear and excitement running in the same quantity through your veins.It was perfect for a dare adventure thingy.

We decided to first visit the temple of Titwala,to seek blessings.The chilly Sunday morning was taking its toll.We had begun to shiver on the train itself, and we still weren't even close to the water.All of us put in our best prayers.After a while at the temple,we decided to hike our way to Khadavli.We had a slight difficulty in charting our way.Obviously,cos none of us,among 25 , knew north from south.The battalion was split into 4 groups.We created quite a ruckus as we walked through idyllic towns that we had only seen in movies.After about 10 kms, most of us were deflated.My group was in high spirits.We were carrying the 'munchkin' bag and had munched through it on our way. The guys ahead slowed down,and asked for the bag to be handed over to them.They wanted us to lead now.We did,while they kept wondering if the bag was really as light as they felt.

As we were just on the outskirts of the lake/creek,two well fed bulls came running our way.I had never seen such a sight.All i heard of such things was on TV,or when my mom described festivals held in her hometown down south.I froze for a moment,before my friend jerked my shirt.We ran....... ,not a fellow dared look back.Unfortunately,the bulls had changed course after coming after us for a couple of minutes or so.By the time we looked back,we were 3kms away from our destination.

We reached khadavli by 11 am.We hurried to find a spot for ourselves and found that most were booked by boys( who had skipped school).We chose one, gathered our papers round,set our bags on them.And we set off to practise our skills.Most of the guys knew swimming.Our group decided that we would go in last.We played around in the shallow part for a while.The water was too cold for my comfort,the sun hadn't warmed it yet.As most of the guys came out shivering in the flabby paunches ( i was the thinnest of them all,in fact , i looked malnourished in front of them.), Bunty opened the 8 pack. We grabbed our cans of Fosters and raised it to the sun.

An hour later games began.MY challenge was to perform the best dive that i could muster.I couldn't refuse,I knew that they would throw me in if i did. So i looked up at the sun. Took my position at the cliff. A few paces back.Then a stop.I pushed my feet forward on the slippery mud.MY mind raced through actions i could perform.MY heart started beating like a royal enfield.As my feet left the last of the dirt platform,and my body convoluted into an awkward position,my mind screamed "Maybe you should have told them that you don't know to swim".

As i rose up through the waters,shivering and coughing violently;my friends laughed, clapped and cheered.Amit looked at me and said "That,my friend, was a splendid dive.Where did you learn that?"