Saturday, July 18, 2009

The smiling chain

It’s so easy, isn’t it, to just think that things won’t exist when you won’t exist and that it doesn’t matter anymore. But yup, it matters, it matters a lot. However lonely we have been in this world, there must be someone – at least one person in this world, who we have effected in such a way that we will be thought of. And for those good humoured ones, who want nothing from anyone, going away, is just another phase of being remembered dearly.
And may it be voluntary or not, which doesn’t matter, once the person is gone, it is forever. I didn’t know she had such an effect on my life, till she left. Really. I was on a vacation (the much waited summer vacation from school) and as usual had planned many things up for the day, when Appa (my dad) called and told Amma (my mother) that there had been a homicide, and a whole family was just gone. It was disturbing, just the thought of it; a whole family, who must have meant the world to at least some people, were just gone. A few seconds later, Appa added with a sigh, that the children had been studying in my school. Oh God! No, please no! Let it not be anyone I knew (Selfish me, to even think like that)! Then he read out the news, and I went in to a shock.
She had been a sweet gal, a very good natured one, in true high spirits who could infect any ones moods with that pleasant smile. And now she was gone. To be frank, she wasn’t the most best of friends with me, was just another regular face (a didi, because she was my senior) that I met daily at school who would just smile or blurt a Hi, when we met. That was it, nothing more. But still, today even after almost a decade of the incident, her smile remained fresh in my thoughts.
Often I used to think, did those smiles, hide so many a problems behind it, which finally resulted in this. Oft I wonder, poor her and the family, they never knew this was coming their way. Her father (under financial pressures) just decided one day that this was it. Poison was mixed in their food and they all were gone, just gone.
It was surprising, there was this particular assignment that had to be submitted the day before at school. The vacation was starting the next day, and the day after I was going to Kerala. I was worried about the assignment and she walked up to me and told me not to worry and that that teacher had not come to school. A smile broke out on my face. Then she told me to keep smiling, and that a smile triggered by one triggered someone else’s smile. I stood smiling there, also wondering what she actually meant.
Little did I know that that regular smile, I got every day, would not be there to greet me on the day I was back from the vacation. There were issues and problems, at home, with dear ones and all, but her smile always made me feel that one could look at the world in a different way. And yes, I had begun to. And now … that smile was gone.
I will miss you my dear senior, the face that still brings a smile, (and now a sigh), on my face. I have tried and kept the smiling chain on. Thank you for being there, however much time you were there.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tripping on 4 glasses of Coke

I was always in the background! But it was fun, trust me. It was crazy and hilarious to see others tripping, high on life on just a few drinks - tripping and flipping.A strenuous and jam-packed schedule had never allowed us to get to know each other (not that, we got to know each other now too, but just saying). Someone was crashing plates, another was spilling ice-cream, someone kicked off a glass of beer, and many others were perfect examples of ‘imagination let loose’.JPK’s ‘Do you have a song?’ to all of us, invoked thought in me ‘Did I have a song in me’ - or did anyone? It could be a state of ultimate intimacy or sheer unimportant moments, but I had a song in my heart, for what I felt then, in fact many.SD’s comment’s were pretty and funny, she never knew that she was being outrightely bold and saying the funniest and most bizarrest of things. P was just a fun loving girl, dazing at everyone drunk (just like me), enjoying all the funny antics. AC was out there reminding everyone that it was time to leave, then he would find another drink and another converstaion to add on to, and yet again "Shouldn't we leave?" SC could find a joke in almost anything today and laugh (maybe some frustration hidden inside) out with no care at all for everything. She just cared for the fact that she wanted to pee. [And of course her occasional, ‘I’ll miss you, gal’ (a sweetheart that she was) and ‘Tu math jaa’ (You don’t go)].SM was too high - talking to all, telling RJ that he wasn't like this 'usually', telling SC’s hubby that he should accompany us to the party, rolling her popping out eyes again and wondering what we all were doing there.There were add-ons: sweet little VS who told us (with his always present smile) that if we wanted to have dinner, we had to ask AS, who would tell RJ, who would tell VS, if we could eat. Then there was R, who would come running - ‘I want to tell you guys just one thing,’ and in stunned silence the next few words followed in ‘Kadappa style’ ‘Shut up!’ LOL! There was the sweet and soft-spoken AL, sloshed, but confessing about his 4 years romantic relationship (this was an extreme surprise to us because he is one of those extreme quiet types). Then there was AS, telling us that we were a great team and that we did a good job (a much needed pat on the back, Phew!)Everyone was at least 3 to 4 drinks down, I was high on 4 glasses of Coke (the highest in a gap of 14 years -- the last largest quantity being 3 ltrs plus, in a bet)I was always in the background. It was fun to watch these faces unmasked and being haywire.

Up-market whining

Caught in an emotional whirlpool, I am still searching for what to do. The thoughts are like an ants colony, with all of them just running around, having no clue of where to go, how to become a concrete idea and how to be productive. The so long ‘story idea list’ has been bid farewell long back. Well, the job has been said adios to, too.
A colleague once told me, "at our schools, our principal used to say, do not make this place a fish market," when he would be angry. But wait a minute, does that refer to the fish market being down trodden? And if so, then why do we even go to the fish market at all? In this world, all who are around play major roles, pivotal ones to keep the human race going.
Just imagine that your newspaper-wallah ditches you tomorrow and decides no paper for you from now on. The kaamwalli bai, just refuses to be there, when you have to urgently leave for a meeting. The electrician guy feels that you have yelled enough at him and just malfunctions your house fuse box. You’re done for then, for sure.
Down trodden is not a level of the society. It’s really a clich├ęd setback in our minds. It’s the thought process and our families that make us like this. Break out from these chains of unrealistic explanations, my friend; break out from them for a better world tomorrow.
In Bangalore, a person lies dead on the road and no one turns around to help. But if you are one of the slum-dwellers, a crisis at your home and all of them will be there. That’s how they stand, united in all. Grow up my friend; grow up, the nation’s future lies crushed there in your hands, if this is what you abide by!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The so-called kings

The usual business
I never knew that India even though being a secular democratic union could be ruled by the so-called down trodden market called the auto-wallahs! If not the whole country, at least Bangalore... packa! And they are a huge novel of ‘gyan’ by themselves. They give you the best of knowledge, the weirdest experiences and the sloppiest of treatment. Really!
It’s night time --9 o clock, and naturally they are on the better lands. They have an auto, an object of utility for emotional blackmail and the test of time makes us succumb. They ask for Rs 90 and we go “Kya Bhaiya, at 9 o clock! Accha, Rs 10 extra ...” He doesn’t even wait to listen to the rest of it and is gone. We wait hopefully for reasonable guys. Here comes the next one, and he demands a 120. He’s really rubbed the wrong nerve for us, now. Feeling incompetent and just plain irritated, we go, “Bhaiya, aapke auto ka daam nahin poocha! (We didn’t ask, how much your auto is for) ”

The not-so-common care
The wait is on, and then another guy smoothes in. He asks for one-and-a-half the meter. By this time, it is already 10 and we are ready to agree for anything. The auto guy is a Mausi (a strange phenomenon, but we have noticed that most auto drivers who are Muslims, are much sensible and don’t ask insensible rates. Please do not take this as a religional compliment). We are own our kit pit, talking about the day at work and on, finally my stop comes and the overly caring auto-wallah goes “Aap jaldi kyon nahin nikalte office se? (Why don’t you leave office sooner?”
Aghast by the response, we go in union, “Bhaiya, aapko koyi problem hain kya? (Brother, do you have any issues with that?)”.
While dropping my other friend at her stop, he breaks out in sobs, “Hum tho aapka bhalla maante hain (I was talking for your good only).” A rare sight, I should say.

Weirdness at its whole
I was on another auto trip. And I told my friend over the phone that I will be in the area around Ulsoor lake. This strikes a note, in the auto-guy’s brains and he goes “Aapko patha hain madam, iss area se lekar wahan thak, Tamil Nadu ka hain. Hum Tamilians ne bohut sahan hain. (From this point to that place, is actually Tamil Nadu. We Tamilians, have suffered a lot in this state)” Feeling utterly awkward with this conversation, I shut up and cut the call. And he goes on about how his family worked in the royal chambers, and how his cousin sister was ill-treated. I can sense a strange smell, a drunkard’s aura, in the auto. He (all auto-guys have mobile phones now, believe me), gets a call and he goes “Saale, can’t you see I’m telling her the story? Now I have to tell her about the snake bit too.” I’m shit scared and have no clue about what to do. The thought of my featuring him, if what he was saying was correct, now just stays shut in my mind. The only primary thought, ‘I have to get out of this auto soon’.

With all their own whims and fancies and thoughts, they are definitely an interesting lot. Pain in the asses, but I should admit: Tales from these guys, are the best. And whatsoever, they are a part and parcel, of my mediocre life!

The world of A.B.C

All this seems to be a joke! The economy, wining bosses, whiling away time with nonsensical stuff, gibberish writing! What is happening to the world? And journalism is now more of advertorials and writing about people we don't want to write about or have no clue about! But thinking of that -- when do they not do advertorials? A rock band playing and a curtain raiser on that, a high claimed theatre troupe and a massive review, a new hotel opening and a food review -- is that what the public wants? But if not, then what does it want? How long do we follow Shiney Ahuja's raping a maid, or if Jeffrey Archer's new Kane and Abel will be as good as the old one? Who cares, anyways? Does anyone read at all nowadays? Does reading help anyone at all nowadays? Does it trigger thoughts like it earlier did? Have people just stopped reacting to things? What has come over us? Abhishek's body was never found, the little girl who got electrocuted left her mother bereaved -- the drains still lie open, the electric wires are still all over the lanes and roads. No one responds... Newspapers are just merely there. And even if they could do anything, what could they do?Write-in-to-us sections, don't really help now-a-days, no one writes in or sends their feed backs, trust me. Poor souls, all those messed up journalists, you have no clue, how they just make up some stories to retain their bread-n-butter. And till then, the food reviews and the rock shows, shall prevail...