Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Musings

Now that i have discovered that not many people are interested in reading my blog, it is a moment of happiness and a little bit of disappointment.
Like my diary Jenny, this too is now a world i consider a territory inhabited by just one person and thats me.
Often people have noticed me talking to myself. That is such a great relief, it is not possible to define. Conversations that are open ended, mostly, are just rantings probably. but most of the times, it is just daydreaming. long before i wrote an article about the 20 somethings. and the last line was an extension of something i read long time back.
"Daydreamers are dangerous people - they dream with their eyes open. Remarkably they possess the invincible attitude to make them a reality."
Now that it has been almost three years i wrote this line - i was 21 at that time - the question arises, is it true?
Could it be just one of those umpteen things said in a fit? A fit of youth, hot blood etc etc.
I cant call this mid-life crisis as this is not mid life.
I started working early, well atleast a little earlier than my peers. By 20 i was earning, enough for my ciggarettes, daaru, magazine and books.
So that is a time when i shouldnt have joined the industry of journalism and that too print. It seems that the ladder of success has steps so far that it takes losing out a handful of hair to reach there. one of my colleagues was just promoted to the grade of a senior reporter. that did not seem like any achievement at all. reason, the person slogged for almost 6 years in the same damn office and three years in the same department.
another one got promoted because it was high time.
i dont wish to live like that or grow like that. had that been in the head, wont have i done something else. Ambition is the key word that drives me. But then, i think i am so much grounded to earth, that these things dont matter and do matter.
So what is it that I fianlly wish to do.
At times, studying, but what.
working, but what, where and how
my first love writing, just what do i do with that
theatre, dont even get me started on that.
it just sucks man
Right now i am a very happy person. (Touchwood)
My best friend Krishna has reinstated contact with me. and it feels phenomenal to hear from him, and that too, happily.
i always said that if a person can find just two people who understand him and love him for what he is, that is it.
My soulmate Reeti, she is the best friend that i could have ever asked for. Amazingly we share a bond that is more than platonic and is still platonic.
So that is reet and Kris.
ANd finally the love of my life Aditi. After i met her and then the turbulent phases, we fell for each other and now we are just so inseparable. I can not believe at times that once again I am in love. it is scary but then age has taught me something too. So we are working at it, as soulmates.
to top it all, my family is also happy. which is just so superb.
But, back to square one. I am still living in darknesss. I do not know what do i do with that.
guess a beer and a ciggarette will do it for now. and a kiss from my cutie.
moonstruck as always

Friday, July 07, 2006

THE WORD IS LOST

Something is wrong with the world today. Woes and worries, bias, prejudices and discrimination is not just limited to the vast lands within which we were neither born nor would be take it with us when we depart from the physical being.

Our race was titled ‘Superior.’ Maybe we took it way too seriously. Hence the noun had a new name, the rat race.

My question is not to you who is reading the article because it sounds rebellious, rhetorical or even truthful. Or perhaps the title was intriguing. Men have come in millions and spoke words and gone. But where is the word today?

For every Krishna’s death there came a Vivekananda. Every Lenin was followed by a Gandhi or Bhagat Singh. One Lincoln gave way to a Martin Luther King Jr.

Remember those iconic words, “I have a dream.” Sir it seems the dream just fizzled into an illusion.

Still, despite the continuous flow of these ideas, there is a profound and conspicuous absence of the word. Bhagat Singh said, “Kill a man, try killing his beliefs and thoughts.” I still don’t see the word.

Camaraderie in today’s times has acquired a new definition. It is this proverbial truth of the birds of the same feathers. Respect has been replaced by utmost disgrace. And to think that all of us began our journey together from one place sends my doubts soaring high to an endless horizon reaching an apogee that my neck breaks at the very first attempt.

It is not that I’m not a part of this civilisation or that I think of myself as one in a separate league. But after centuries and decades of pathetic silence I’ve no other option left but to SHOUT.

I’m not sure of my voice reaching every ear or knocking every mind and triggering that thought process that I see missing. But I’m here with a hope that floats like a feather even in this torrential war-torn weather of our planet that I shall hear the resound.

The echo will have a new voice.

THE BLANK

While the sun shines brightest and the frame is pretty lightened, the blank exists. The colours are plenty and vivid enough to paint a picture so utterly beautiful that a Rembrandt or a Vinci would fall short of words, yet the BLANk exists. Subjects are numerous and so are the curators, yet it exists.

Yes, there is a blank everywhere in everyone, each one of us. Not dependent on the factor of life or any weird anthropological classification of humans or the species. There is a SOMEBODY or SOMETHING in everyone waiting to be SOMEBODY OR SOMETHING.

Quite often we’ve seen and heard of those capricious voices which come from the inside and outside stating our nature as extrovert or introvert whichever turns the minds on. The tussle is with the first you who awaits to be understood and the other which is suspicious of the outcome, always.

Deep down there your cry dry tears in order to let the significant other know the deepest emotions yet your surface is conspicuously and mysteriously devoid of those expressions.

The force is on both the sides, the gravity pulling you down and the throttle from down under.

He who strikes the equilibrium reaches a level of mental consciousness only known to the real self. He does not even need the mirror which is presumed to show the right angle. But at this specific stroke of the clock, neither of us can draw some sense out of this extremely pertinent issue that is eating us daily.

Because the BLANK exists.

The muse awaits the imperfect artist……

Reserved! No thank you

A particular traffic signal on my way back home is worth giving a look. It has now become somewhat of a habit to stop at the crossing and look around for little kids selling gajras, small garlands of jasmine.

One night, as I stopped, a bright-eyed boy glanced at me from the dirty pavement he was sitting on. The obvious thought crossed his mind, finally a buyer. It is difficult to ignore a smile, so he too received a controlled one.

All this while, the mind was occupied with the scene of today, how this nation is right now witnessing a nationwide agitation on the issues of reservations in educational institutions. Mandal, V P Singh, Arjun Singh, SC/ST and OBCs were the play of vocabulary in the head.

Until, the boy came in front of the eyes.

“Four for 10 Rs bhaiyya,” he said. Now that is one deal that requires no bargaining. Here is a young boy who should be happily playing and studying, but he is busy selling gajras at midnight. Being an avid talker, I felt the sudden irrepressible urge to engage in a conversation.

“My name is Mohit and I came here two years ago with my father,” he said with a confused look on his face as to why is this person interested in me.

When asked about studying, I was taken aback by the blunt answer of ‘NO’. Books, he showed total disinterest. There was a storybook in Hindi, collection of short stories that I just happen to buy from the National Book Trust.

When showed, he looked at it as if it is an old movie ticket, first with a glow in his eyes and then sheer indifference. “What will I do with this? No use, if something matters in this world, it is money. That is the reason you are in a car and I do not even have a bicycle,” came the answer as a lightning on my head.

Mustering my courage and pretending to be still cool, I said that it is because of my education that has empowered me to reach this level. “So if I study, I will have the power to work hard and earn money. So what exactly am I doing right now?”

Ok, how about reservation. I knew he was of a lower cast, couldn’t make out though, which category. Mohit got introduced to the concept, minus the political game play. “So if a seat is reserved for you in a school or college, wont you still grab the chance.”

With a sarcastic smile, “No! I would lose out on all the money during this time. And I will still be called a lower caste. My other brothers and sisters in the village do not know what is a school nor do they wish to. That is because no proper building, no books, no teachers, nothing is present there. What is the point of studying?”

After twenty minutes of an interlude, I lose. Not to a young boy’s rhetoric but to his lack of education and basic amenities that has made his view so blinkered.

The keyword that has been missed out on, deliberately and unknowingly, amidst all of this agitation, protests, political brouhaha and regular media coverage, is empowerment.

It is so misused much to the chagrin of Mr Arjun Singh and his motives that a young Mohit has forgotten to dream at such a tender age.

If you really need to empower these people Mr Singh, kindly go to this little kid’s village and open a proper school. Let there be a basic education programme throughout the country that is reaching a deserted village in Jaisalmer to Arunachal, from Sivan in Bihar to backwater village in Kerala. Then will this country be empowered, or shining or incredible.

Since I had wasted so much time, I ended up buying all the gajras. That’s what I did to empower Mohit, a kid of this country for one night.

Delhi Belly/Saadi Dilli Rocks

My tryst with this city dates back to 1998. The ‘vivid’ memories still exist fresh - like the roasted kabab nearby. Red sausages on a long seekh plunged into the tandoor sending wafts of masala to the waiting drunk Punjabi mouthing expletives at a lean, vest-clad dark fellow is what made the first picturesque scene I ever saw in Delhi.

Whether that is an apt introduction might be argued by the ever-shaking rules of journalistic writing and the likes of my fellow beings. Rules? Of all the things, for tandoori chicken and punjus? Heck no!

Fans of absurdity and victims of Delhi Belly virus may continue reading this but for the uninitiated and even disinterested, here is a bit of introduction.

A recent survey had put Mumbai on top of the charts of rude behaviour with the national Capital coming second. As per the high IQ people who conducted the survey, that would have generated so much of employment, people living in the “business capital” just do not know how to behave.

Though women feel safer there, rickshaw drivers charge by the meters, we have complete non-interference in other peoples’ lives and, life despite being troublesome ends with a smile, yet “saadi dilli rocks” and they are downright rude.

Of course they are! I strongly agree your honour.

Look here in this city. Probably the highest consumption of alcohol happens here, but do we create a ruckus in our homes. No, we take it out on the roads. Simple solution. Eight gang up against two who were not even there in the first place and boom bang piff pow, they are biting dust. That is bravery!

In walks a policeman. Show me the people who call these khaki-clad gentleman corrupt, brash and the most dangerous people on the roads. They come, they take, and they leave.

Shame on you people who disgrace Police.

Mumbaikars tell you on the face ‘Keep away man, no boot-licking with me and only hard work.”

Oh my god, what attitude dude!

Dilliwallahs say, “Hiii! How you doing man? You are one amazing chap and I can see you scaling the ladder of success at greased lightning speed.”

The real words only come out in front of every other person except the one in talks. See, so considerate. Also, we make sure that everybody knows our real, honest feelings by talking to every and any person we meet, at the pub, bar, chicken dhaba, kitty parties, page 3 parties etc etc.

A report published on the front page of a glossy supplement said that the Delhi male could rape a woman by his eyes. Such respect for the feminine form, odes of praise for the glowing (and growing) beauties of this city could only from here. We don’t even use proper words as we are awed by the grace. Mumbai, learn some lessons.

And of course, we believe in community, brotherhood by taking an avid interest in everybody’s lives. So Mr Sharma has started to come home late because of tensions with his wife is something known throughout. Wow, what camaraderie!

And a certain self-confessed ad guru still writes a column called Yeh Dilli to paagal hai. Bury him!

A day at denouncing demolition drive

Despite being a journalist, or so I may take the liberty to call myself, the encounters for reporting have never reached a demonstration. The imagination has been there, but in reality it never happened. I thought that, I would leave this aspect of life untouched.

Until one day…

I am not a morning person, but this ante meridiem was different. My mother informed me that a part of our residential area comes under the guillotine ‘UNAUTHORISED’. The deal is, that all the residents of Freedom Fighter’s A block (Oops, that is my address) are raising their voice against the MCD’s demolition drive. The ‘request’ is not to destroy the houses but seal.

Ok, so I am out and join my comrades. All the gates have been chained, and ‘we’ protestors, are on the main road. I am gearing up just give it to the MCD guys.

Alas! That is not quite the scene. Men and women are passing the time discussing, with everybody trying to prove their intellect over ‘sensitive’ issues. Some other unwanted specimens are trying to catch a glimpse of the roaring bulldozers. (Why are they called bulldozers, there is nothing bullish or dozing about it?)

The news gets us, ‘They are one kilometre ahead’ and the guillotine drops on this under construction house on the third gate.

Comrades! Gate number three.

The police is all there and they are smiling, don’t know at what. I’ll fight you today, grrrr! Someone musters the courage to shout, ‘MCD, waapas jao’. Yeah, jao jao, I am all excited. And before I could use my vocal chords, it all cools down.

The discussions start happening all over again. I was constantly looking out for the bulldozer or the officials, or just about anyone. But no, they are absent.

The MCD people arrived, you can make out by their bellies sticking out, white attires and that gutka smile. Waapas Jao, waapas jao, I say in my head.

They talk and speak something.

Then the SHO arrives, shakes hand, they talk and speak something.

All this while, everybody is talking to everybody except me. Because I want to shout! It is my first day at a demonstration, would anybody realise that, please. No.

The best part is when the MLA arrives, that typical grin, khadi dress, tambakoo and cigarette teeth, and the jhataak Roy Bon sunglasses.

Anyway, now I have to shout. Of all the things, the man comes, waves hand as though he is some PM and we are some rural school children who will go euphoric over it. Same routine as others. I started pinching myself; tell me this is a dream.

Finally I get to hear the MLA, he says that you all are together and that has forced the MCD to stop the deconstruction, and just seal the properties.

YAY! Everybody is happy and start shouting hurrah. And it is time to retreat. What? It is over! All smiles, shaking hands again and the next meeting is scheduled. One of the seasoned people in my apartment block tells me that we are successful and lets get back home on that note. So much for a demonstration!

And I still don’t know why it is called a bulldozer? Actually that is the least disturbing and upsetting things I did at denouncing a demolition drive. DAMN!