Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Pursuit Of Happyness

It has been a really long time since I addressed my fellow readers in first person. I usually take other way-outs like assuming fictitious characters (mike), descriptive writing, and other means. But this time I want to address my friends in first person because for the very first time I am speaking my mind off entirely.

The Pursuit Of Happyness. The most wonderful movie ever made. Not only because of will smith. But because of what it showed and how much it appealed to me. Here are some of the quotes which I had remembered.

Christopher Gardner: I met my father for the first time when I was 28 years old. I made up my mind that when I had children, my children were going to know who their father was.

Christopher Gardner: [about the spelling mistakes in the graffiti of a building] It's not H-A-P-P-Y-N-E-S-S Happiness is spelled with an "I" instead of a "Y"
Christopher: Oh, okay. Is "Fuck" spelled right?
Christopher Gardner: Um, yes. "Fuck" is spelled right but you shouldn't use that word.
Christopher: Why? What's it mean?
Christopher Gardner: It's, um, an adult word used to express anger and, uh, other things. But it's an adult word. It's spelled right, but don't use it.

Christopher Gardner: Hey. Don't ever let somebody tell you... You can't do something. Not even me. All right?
Christopher: All right.
Christopher Gardner: You got a dream... You gotta protect it. People can't do somethin' themselves, they wanna tell you you can't do it. If you want somethin', go get it. Period.


Christopher Gardner: It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?


Sometimes these quotes are very thought provoking for my idle mind, for example today, when I should be giving a mock Cat prep test, or working on my b.e. project, or doing something innovative for my mothers birthday. But no. my mind wanders into emptiness, dives further into so called philosophical tides seeking solace and explanations. Explanations to thoughts that are vague, confused and philosophically bound which my mind does not accept because it doesn’t know if they are true.

Happiness. Dictionary says it a state of your mind when you feel satisfied or content. Now this is untrue. I mean satisfaction or being content is usually attached to things or people. Most of the times these words are used as ‘satisfied’ on doing something and ‘content’ on having something. Then it makes sense because we have then defined happiness as an achievement rather than a state of mind. And it has become an achievement for me. If I get something which I wanted or if I do something satisfactorily which was supposed to be done by me, then I am happy. That means if I don’t get what I want or if I don’t do things am I supposed to remain unhappy? Why has it come down to this? Did you ever see a small child being unhappy ? he or she is always happy. He or she is happy on just ‘being’. Not because of anything. Just because he is there. Just because he can run with the small feet of his. Just because anything can bring a smile to his face. He doesn’t need anything to be happy. He is happy just like that. Something has to make him sad. Considering my case, something has to make me happy. What a sad transformation. Life is a journey. Not a destination. Destiny says you should be happy at all stages of your life. Because you are bound to get what you are destined to. Whatever may happen. Just do today’s work sincerely. If one remains happy and goes about his work he is bound to get what he is destined to. If one remains unhappy throughout his life, his thoughts plagued with analysis and self doubt and anxiety, he still gets what he is destined to but lives a horrible life. In the end he is left cursing his past ; why he didn’t live his life to the full. In this world the focus is so much on doing something that we tend to forget to give time to ourselves. We often say, “I’ ll achieve this then I ll be secure, then I ll be happy”. The happiness gets postponed towards achieving our goals. Am not saying that is a bad thing to go out and make one’s place in this world. But at what cost? Is it really worth to earn millions and then run around ashrams and astha and sanskar channels to have inner peace? There must be something wrong somewhere.

Happiness is a state to be perennially maintained. It is not to be related to achievements. Do what you have to, go and achieve what you want to, but be happy regardless of everything. Come what may, nothing is worth troubling your soul. It is priceless.

So when we look at the last quote which I wrote; did u forget already? I ll reapeat it for you:

Christopher Gardner: It was right then that I started thinking about Thomas Jefferson on the Declaration of Independence and the part about our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. And I remember thinking how did he know to put the pursuit part in there? That maybe happiness is something that we can only pursue and maybe we can actually never have it. No matter what. How did he know that?

Then you know why I found it thought provoking. Pursuit of happiness. Maybe they perceived happiness in a different way to what I portrayed it above. And the whole movie, though brilliant, talks about how he struggled and got over his problems by sheer hard work and determination. How happiness is not a journey but a destination. That he postpones happiness in pursuit of his goal to be a stock broker (cant actually be harsh on him , considering his financial status). Only pursue happiness and never actually have it. Is that so?

I would go on and on because my mind never rests. But I think this is enough for now. Thank you Mr. Steve Conrad for the Pursuit of Happyness. It really appealed a lot to me. Thank you Will Smith. I am not a movie buff but I have never missed any of your movies.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

The First Day

Decorative lights. Sticker tape. Extension cords and multi-plugs. Switched off fans. Gamlas. Saffron aasans. Thermocol, pins and blow paint. Stained red hands and nails. Mother running around. Tall silver and golden samais. Seven and nine flame diyas. Ghee and cotton diyas. Liquid ghee. Raw ghee. Burnt ghee. Sparkling floors. Perfumed smoke. Aggarbattis. Ashes of aggarbattis. Flowers. Wet flowers. Fresh flowers. Orange. Yellow. Hibiscus. Rose petals. Wet rose petals. Tulsi. Durva. Garlands. Crumpled fresh green leaves. Burnt matchsticks. Mother's soft experienced hands. Long, difficult sanskrit words. My stammering voice. Panchamrut. Dahi. Water. Stained with kumkum. Camphor. Raw peculiar smell. Burning camphor. Black outline of its flame mixing wholeheartedly with the aggarbattis' white perfumed smoke. Bronze thalis, mugs, vessels. Mango leaves. Kalash. Coconut shavings. Raw coconut. Sweet water. Silver glasses with water and rose petals. Strewn rice grains. Gold plated wide aggarbatti stands. Apples. Kumkum stained sweet lemons. Raised saffron platforms. More durva. Murti. Sanshtaang namaskar. Burnt hair while holding aarti. Growling , hungry stomach. Kheer. Hot, sweet aromas. Paining shoulders on rotating aarti for long. Rainy weather. Loudspeakers. Sweet, sticky , kumkum stained hands. Open doors. People. Smiles. Blessings. The wait for lunch. Happy Ganeshutsav!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The other side

They say I am on the wrong side of the road. That I can't see the cars coming from behind and i may get hurt. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side on the train. If I have to get down at dadar i need to be on the other side. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side of 60. That I may have to go the extra mile to get placed. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side if I am not studying enough. That I ll have trouble later in my life. That I won't be successful enough to be satisfied. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side if I plan my life. That it is wrong to bound oneself to what he or she has to do and keep bothering oneself. That it is insignificant. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side if I am confused about things. That my confusion won't get me anywhere. And it will bother me as a habit for the rest of my life. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side if worry about things. That no one has seen what the future holds for him. So there is no point in getting anxious about things you are not sure to be yours. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side if i do anything anti-social. Even if it is the smallest of things. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side if I can't decide. That I over analyse things which makes me difficult to choose. And that choice is something that is not worth the thinking. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say i am on the wrong side if I underestimate myself. If I feel that I am not strong enough. That I have all what it takes to be the one I want in this world, but I just don't know it yet. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am wrong when I am silently diplomatic. That I should be straightforward. That I should say what I feel. I listen. And still keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side when I smile too less. Life is a gift , they say and that I have a better life than most people. I listen. And keep quiet.

They say I am on the wrong side when I think too much. That once I get rid of this habit,I ll be the happiest person in the world. I listen. And i keep quiet.

They say a lot of things. Most of it registers. Some of it doesn't. But none can be ignored. Why? Because they have said it.

They say a lot of things. About the wrong side. They say as if they know. What it is to be on the wrong side. To come to think of it, there is no wrong side. Its just the other side. Which they don't know. Or they don't want to know. Maybe because the front side guarantees a lot of good things. And the wrong side does not. May be they are just scared to explore. May be they want a simple normal life where you sit back in a recliner chair many years from now to think about how nice (read dull and monotonous) his your life was. May be that is a good thing. I don't know. Its just that it is not to be looked as right or wrong. Its just what is yours what is not yours.

They say a lot of things. Their saying does not affect me. It is a matter of choice. If I take it in, then it registers and I get affected. For example, suppose if some relative of yours passes away at 3 p.m. You get the news at 8 p.m. When you get the news, you are affected. That is not because of the relative dying. Because the person died at 3. If that was to make you unhappy you should have been unhappy at 3. But you were not. So there you had a choice of talking it in or just being yourself. And you unconsciously take the choice of being sad. You had another choice of being the same. Any ways, that was just an example.

They say a lot of things. They say I write long posts. May be I should listen to them and cut this one abruptly. Or maybe i just need therapy. :)

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Subtle contact

He was on the ground. Face down, his nose buried deep in the damp mud. It smelled of crumpled grass, moist stones and fresh sweat. He lay there not sure if he should get up for spasms of pain were racing their way to his head from the epicenter of the injury, his knee. A deliberate planned tackle. A whistle was heard. He looked up, supporting his body on his palms and turned around. The sun was at his maximum, laughing at him over his shoulder and beating the heat upon his neck. He closed a hand around the knee and began to wipe the small, firm streaks of blood oozing out of the wound. I could have scored this one, he thought. He picturised himself just a moment ago going solo with a defender and the next moment he was down. The tackle was uncalled for and brutal. The culprit stood with his hands on his hips, with his body totally covering the referee's as he was sent off the field. A free kick. So close. He got up and stretched. The pain seemed to lesses but was present as a continual reminder. As the ball was placed, the coach looked on hopefully. Clifton was going to take it. The injured forward turned his head. He looked at Clifton and smiled. Clifton smiled back. They knew what they were going to do. This was their chance. He pulled is stockings up and tightened his laces. The stockings were looking discoloured with the blood around them. It did not matter. Now was the time. Now was the chance. As Clifton readied himself, he took his stance. No one would suspect him to do it. Only clifton knew as they had practised this for months. He saw Paneerwala his eyes wide in anticipation. He saw vinesh frantically trying to get away from the opposition defender. He smiled. As the whistle blew, he ran blindly towards the far post. The moment it left Clifton's foot everyone knew where it was going to go. It was flat and low and was racing to the place towards the far post. He ran his normal pace but felt as if the ball would somehow miss him. Maybe he was weakened by the fall or Clifton fired a little too much into it. He ran putting every ounce of energy there in him. And dived, the edge of his foot making contact with the ball. A small subtle contact. The ball went faster and higher than expected and hit the crossbar on the lower side, but went in. He didn't wait to see that. He was in a world of his own, racing away. Gone was the pain of the injury, the worry of the championship, the innumerable fouls, tackles and abuses of the game. He ran along with Clifton, jumping, celebrating as his other team mates gathered. They laughed effortlessly, like small children, their shirts soaked, but their eyes shining. The final whistle sounded as they ran over the edge of the stretch, spraying each other with water. The coach smiled and let them be. He came upto the coach and gave him a hug. The sweat and dirt didn't matter. Someone was proud today and it showed. Maybe this is what it feels like to be God, he thought. And closed his eyes as vinesh emptied another bottle of water on his head.

p.s.: I miss school days! (sob sob)!!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

A Conversation

(I keep my views about sensitive and controversial topics to myself. So these are not my opinions, nor a collection of my ideas put together in a fictional way. This is something which really happened which i would like to share. none of this is adapted or edited. Whatever i remebered perfectly, i have put it up. Dialogues which were hazy in memory i didn't refer to them at all.)

It was sometime in sem 4. Passport renewal. I had already gone through the irritatingly painful paperwork process. Once that is done, the centre sends a police constable to your place for address confirmation. And you have to accompany him back to the head office for a signature. Being a lawyer's son, I was not new to policemen and had a few typical images of them. One is potbellied with a huge black moustache(which is too black for his age) almost covering his upper lip, with remnants of red of paan reeking from the corner of his mouth, one who has a regular need to spit or clean his nose loudly(or both) every 4.5 minutes. Other image is of tall Herculean giants, eyes bloodshot because of either excess of night duties or excess of liquor or both. Their smiles are false and timid, the latter expression is uncomfortable for them to sustain. But they are scared of layers. They have always been so. I couldn't figure out why. So i was taken aback by the constable who appeared very different from the versions of cops which I had in mind. Tall, slender, formally dressed with a pair of intelligent, alert eyes. He didn't smile and that expression deviod of it was genuine. He spoke good English, though not fluent. He accompanied me to the office, got the work done and insisted on accompanying me home. We shared a cab and the cab driver immediately struck a conversation with him. i took the back seat and buried myself in a book.

Cab driver:: Kya jamana aa gaya hai...
Constable ::Haan? Kya hua?

Cab driver::Hisdustani hi Hindustani ke khilaf ho gaya hai...
Constable ::(an a typical way) Kya baat kar raha hai be??

Cab driver:: Aapne suna nahi? Raj Thakerey ke logon ne 2 bhaiyyon ko bahut peeta. Kyun? Kya guna kiya unhonien? Kya kaam karna paap hai? Paisa kamana paap hai?

Constable ::(voice rising) tu bol raha hai ke maine suna nahi? abey chutiye, mein udhar duty pe tha. Udhar bhaiyyon ko daraya dhamkaya, mara nahin. Kahani banane mein mashur hote ho tum log. tum logon se hone se hum marathi logon ko khana, paani nahi milta. naukri nahi milti. Aur ab tum log mumbai mein apne vote sabha bana rahe ho? yeh galat hai. tum log aayo, paisa kamao. lekin hum logon par raj mat karo.

Cab driver::(Realising that he is talking to a policeman...the quivering of his voice was evident)...par bhai sahab, hame Patna mein koi kaam nahi milta. Mera chota bhai engineer hai. 2500 mahine ka kamata hai. Yeh bhi koi kamai hai? Usse acha mein Bambai mein idhar taxi chala leta hoon. Kam se kam parivar ko roti toh milti hai. (The driver smiled. A false meek smile) Amrika jate hai na log apne. Unko woh log kahan kuch bolte hain?

I looked up. The conversation was much more interesitng than the book. I looked at the constable, half expecting him to be furious, half sympathetic. I failed to find any emotion.

Constable :: Hamare log Amrika jaakar apne hi dal ya sanghatan nahi banate. Udhar jaakar paisa kamate hain. Kabza nahi karte unpar jaise tum log kar rahe ho. Tum log toh mumbai aakar apne vote ke dal bana rahe ho. Sabha aur municipality mein apne hi logon ko khada kar rahe ho. Aur sunayun? Railway aur B.E.S.T. ke naukriyon ke sabhi applications Patna aur U.P. bheje ja rahe hain. Jab ki mumbai ke logon ko uske bare mein jaankari hi nahi hai. Matlab woh sabhi naukriyan khali tum logon ko hogi. Hum ko toh application ke forms bhi nahi diye gaye. Yeh Kya hai? idhar ke naukriyan aur sirf unke liye? Hum kya idhar tamasha dekhte rahein?

(The taxi surged forward. I was waiting for the driver's reaction. It came after a long time and it changed the course of the conversation.)

Cab driver:: Bhai sahab (cough cough...ahem ahem...clears throat loudly and spits) hum akhir hai kaun? Hindu hi hai na? Lekin yeh log to hinduon mein hi khagda laga rahe hain. Hindu ko Hindu se hi alag kar rahe hain.

(I stared fixedly at him and turned to look at the mirror. I didn't realise that my eyebrows were raised in surprise. The constable's face was a shade redder and the previous expression had undergone a complete makeover)

Constable :: (as if realisation struck him) Arre haan, barabar bola. Musalmaan logon ki 18 jaati hoti hai. Koi shaadi ke liye doosre jaat ko beti nahi deta. Lekin kisi ek musalman ko chua toh sab ek hokar aate hain.

Cab driver:: (Pleased with himself) Aur hindu kabhi ek nahi hote. Upar se marathi aur bhaiyye jhagadte hain. Agar yeh badta gaya ko musalmaan log toh hame kuchal ke rakh denge. for bhi mujhe lagta hai ki bhaikyyon se jyada asli target musalmaan hai...."

I watched and listened with horror and amusement at the same time at how the conversation changed and progressed. They talked as if they were comrades of a long lost war and had been reunited. Gone were the maratha-bhaiyya arguments, they discussed their ancestors fights and battles. I just sat there listening, a silent anger rising. I went home, slumped into a chair, thoughtful. Religious tolerance. Secularism. Sigh.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A Disappointed Smile

A labourer stands alone, fatigued with work and pain,
A ruthless master implies no more gain,

He begs for more, just a little bit more,
Receives lashes till his back is sore,

He returns home, hopeful eyes stare at him for a while,
He shakes his head with a disappointed smile.

A doctor he is, tired and exhausted,
Stares at the next patient having his blood clotted,

He works twenty hours without a break,
So many commitments he failed to make,

As his next patient retches blood and bile,
He takes him in with a disappointed smile.

A soldier he is, stands tall and upright,
And feels proud of the army’s might,

But the person controlling him, he knows,
No ethics, no righteousness, after money he goes,

The soldier feels betrayed as he marches another mile,
He looks up at the flag with a disappointed smile.

A journalist he is, strong and bold,
To the worlds wrongs his attitude is cold,

He travels and writes about the wrongs in this world,
Of the people and places of high ranks, laurels and low morals,

But as he stands and stares at his rejected file,
His cold eyes do not connect to his disappointed smile.

A student he is, a frustrated engineering one,
Three years into it and wondering what he has done,

A lot of thoughts cloud his mind,
A small voice saying that everything will be fine,

He sees his friends, in the rain, play,
Their faces and limbs covered with mud and clay,

He stands there watching, the wind teasing his hair,
He tries to fake a impassive stare,

He closes his eyes, letting the tension pile,
He looks up and wears a disappointed smile.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Cold Shoulder

I stood there in front of them, staring,
Both engrossed in each others caring,

I stood there watching, my fastest friend he was,
The one who taught me that friendship had no clause,

They stared at each other and smiled at each word,
While I just stood there waiting and bored,

I looked up, looked down, to find someone I tried,
And kept shifting my weight to the other side,

I wish then, there was someone beside me right,
With whom I could share my miserable plight,

I waited and waited, it seemed like months and days,
For him to come around in his original ways,

I always thought that changes were inevitable,
But never imagined they could be so pitiable,

I thought he would come by, at least when I was in trouble,
But I guess it was hard for him to break that bubble,

I waited a lot and I waited some more,
But inside I was hurt by what he had done many times before,

But I realized it was my mistake, that I expected things from him,
Cos he wasn’t the best of them, for he was always so serious and grim,

I smiled , shrugged, and turned around to go back,
The girl noticed and she called back,

It mattered none to him as I stared at him colder,
For I knew what I had got from him...the cold shoulder.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


I love my bike. A lot. Maybe more than a lot of people in this world. This is the closest I can get to being materialistic. But all of us who own a bike would agree. It’s different.

She helps me a lot. My unicorn 150. whenever I am stressed, or depressed or just plain confused. I feel like for a long ride. On the highway. I have to then cut down other costs which are obviously directed towards fuel. But that’s ok.

There was no one at home that night. The air was still and there was no unnecessary breeze. It was 1 a.m. and the neighbours were asleep as well. Not a sound. Perfect. I went down, tied pieces of torn cloth to the grip handle. Increased the revolutions per minute by 1000 rpm. (it can be done by loosening a small screw located to the right, just near the engine where the kick start pedal ends.) I got on top and kicked. Unicorns don’ t make any noise but in that uncomfortable silence of the night in the parking lot, it seemed to roar. I killed the engine. Lights. Check. Rear brake. Check. Disc brake. Check. Dippers. Check. Indicators. Check. Mirror positioning. Check. Fuel on. Check. Fuel level. Check. All set. Ready to go.

Kick. Raw rumbling sound of the engine. Clutch. Gear pedal down. Gear 1. go!!!
Clutch, shift gear pedal up, gear 2…shift gear 3….and I was off.

As I descended the hill and on to the highway, I thought whether I should be doing this.
If I was right in doing this. It was not about the risk of getting hurt that was worrying me. It was the risk of getting caught. And be grounded for an indefinite amount of time.
That too without the bike. That part was scary.

The western express highway is particularly dangerous after 2a.m. nearly all the drivers are drunk and no one drives below 100 km/ hr. A breeze started to blow. A steady cold breeze. I was riding against it. It seeped in through the visor screen and was right into my face. I put on full throttle. 45km/hr. 55 km/hr. 70 km/ hr 85 km/ hr….now it gets dangerous as any sudden movement or anything relatively close to that would result in a one way ride to you know where. 95 km/hr. my shirt was going to be blown away. 105 km/ hr. this is the highest I have been so far… the bike starts vibrating and curves slightly to the left on going above this.. I felt like God..Riding at 105 km/hr in the middle of the night. I felt ecstatic. Free. Out of control. Crazy. And I loved myself for it. And I loved my bike even more.

The lights appeared and went in a daze. It was still on full throttle. The bike swayed dangerously each time the speed increased. Not that I cared. Every time I accelerated, I felt this catch in the region just below the solar plexus and above the stomach. A sharp hollow feeling. Adrenaline pumping. The pulse rate quickened. The feeling persisted till the acceleration was on.

The t shirt collar flapped rapidly at my neck as I cut through the wind and further towards Andheri.
I wished I had a jacket on, I thought bluntly as I sped through the occasionally present mist in between flyovers. It is an interesting thing to notice how the air becomes suddenly damp and moist and cold and again becomes dry a minute later. It feels as if there are patches of different air columns present stationary as I cut through them.

I let go off the throttle as I neared Andheri. The speed lessened as I decremented the gear shift till it reduced to 2. I still wished my bike had a 6th gear. Life would have been so much better. I took a u turn at Andheri junction and proceeded towards home. Even with the helmet on my ears had gone cold. It was a cold November morning. as I reached Goregaon I began to feel good about the little excursion I had. In 10 minutes I pulled into the parking lot. The watchmen had made a primitive fire for themselves about which they had gathered around, playing teen patti. The meter said 9174…I had ridden 26 kilometres. 30 rupees well saved and spent. I felt good about myself. There was nothing in my head. A mind devoid of thoughts. I could feel the blood rushing to the brain as I recalled 105km/hr feeling. My stomach churned and my head started beating. I smiled. Quietly I crept to my second floor apartment and unlocked the door. I hoped the neighbours wouldn’t hear me and luckily they didn’t. my head swayed as I lied down on the floor. I smiled again. Maybe this is what being high feels like, I thought, amused.

(p.s.: I do not in any way, from this post, encourage anyone to ride or drive at night or speed above 70 km/hr. trust me it is highly dangerous. Only a stupid dumbfuck like me can be foolish enough to carry out something like that. Also try avoiding writing such articles especially when your mother uses the pc often. Because unknowingly you will be foolish enough to write such an article and save it on the desktop, thus making it available for everyone to read.>> I had to hear a lot that day. Especially since the accident I recently had..details later…amen)

Sunday, April 5, 2009

blogroll updated

Greetings to my reducing list of patient readers...say hi to anna, gaurav dobhal, karan, kirti, pratiksha, snehal and tanmay.

Will update soon..Please bear with me..have been very busy...also life has been very interesting this one month :-))...adios.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Just This Once

The room was dark. And quiet. It smelt of raw plywood and rotting wood polish. A damp woody smell. Perfect, thought Mike. He walked towards the window sill, his sneakers making a soft muffled sound as they passed over the wood shavings scattered on the floor. He stopped. The window sill. Perfect. the weather was cloudy. A soft drizzle followed as he stood there, watching. Darkening the sky even more. Perfect. He sat on the window sill, one leg up resting his elbow on it. Slid a window open. Fresh air greeted him. Maybe for the last time, he mused. The drizzle turned into a downpour. People, children, dogs scattered for shelter. Perfect, thought mike. To be safe inside a man made structure but still feel the iron grip of nature on yourself. And to do something so unethical that even nature would be upset. He smiled. And took out his smoke. Lit it. Rested his head on the wall, closed his eyes, letting it burn idly. I am not sad, or depressed or in any trouble. Neither am I under any peer pressure, he thought bluntly. I am just doing it to try it out. Just once. Just this once. He looked at his Marlboro light. It was halfway through. Hell I think too much. He took a drag. A small one. His throat grew hot, his chest burnt and what followed was a series of coughs. Violent ones. Uncontrollable ones. His eyes watered. What pleasure do people derive from doing this, he thought. It was nearly over. He put it in his mouth, and inhaled slowly. This time there were no desperate coughs. No burning lungs. A floating sensation. A mind devoid of thought. Clarity to the maximum. His heartbeat went up as blood rushed to his brain. And then it slowed down. Easing it of all pain. Of the confusion. He thought the smoke would cloud his thoughts and retard his thinking capabilities. On the contrary, he had never been so clear. Or confident. He opened his eyes. The feeling started fading and he could already feel himself reaching out for a second. But he stopped himself. And smiled. Is this what they called being high? Is this what people wasted their lives on? Someone had told him that meditation gave one the same feeling after years of practice. What a quick way this was. But he promised himself he wouldn’t get addicted. Addicted? And me? Definitely not, he thought. He could feel beads of sweat forming on his forehead as he struggled to fight off the urge. His body swayed and his mind raged a battle against his so called ethics. Maybe I just need another one to calm myself down, just this once. Just this once.

**(this article does not in any way promote smoking or any related activities. I have tried to show it in a bad light, how it becomes addictive. Also the character is purely fictitious. Any resemblance to any person living or dead is highly coincidental.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Thank You

This is a post I had written 6 months back but never had the opportunity to update it. For some reason I didn’t do it. But now, since many people are changing (these may include me), I really want to thank many of my friends who have really done a lot for me. I have really been lucky to be blessed by amazing parents, amazing friends and frankly many a times I feel I don’t deserve it. My friends have influenced me in many ways. I have learnt a lot from them. Many of my opinions about them have changed and before they change completely I want to do justice to them by posting it. Now I can’t list down all those who have been there for me but definitely they know it I thank them for it. Let us start. I want to thank the following people….for teaching me….

Pratap Kaul::

To be a fighter, to always be the underdog, to work really hard, to stay on the ground always, to rise after being down, to put 100% in everything, to self introspect and continuously improve, to help others no matter what.

Ashwathi Nambiar::

To make life simple, to get maximum output through minimum effort(I have not figured out this one as yet), to not be bothered by material achievements at all but at the same time achieve them with ease, to help others, to enjoy life as it is and not how it should be.

Rohit Bharadwaj::

To be passionate about doing things which come your way, to understand help and trust people completely, to be selfless.

Sinan Kadavath::

To try and live life to the fullest, to think and act differently, to be unique and live life according to one’s own wants, to do everything, to try and do the improbable.

Rahul madhavan::

To not be bothered by anything, to go about one’s life in a way which is unaffected by others’ thinking, to improve, to think practically, he showed me that change need not always be bad.

Rahul goswami::

To be selfless, to help others and think about their good, to care for others even when he himself is in a precarious position, to think a lot, to be positive and critical at the same time, I always thought he deserves more than he achieves.

Amey desai::

To be practical, to not divulge too much into peoples’ personal lives, to help others at any cost, to be lightheaded and unstressed, to make complex things simple, to not think about the past, to not regret at any point.

Dimple Nangia::

To help others, to be hopelessly optimistic about everything around you.

Brett fernandes::

To put minimum effort and maximum output, synergy is maximum, btw thanks for helping me in the exam.

Tushar yerandekar::

To work hard, to fight for success, to help others, to be positive about everything which one faces.

Madhav Kanhere::

To be a die hard self critic, to work day and night and still be unsatisfied, to compete all the time, to be the best.

Karan Gaikwad::

To relax and be chilled, to work hard, to be determined at all costs.

Sanket Godbole::

To be humble, to have your feet rooted to the ground even though your knowledge may touch the sky, to be genuine.

Anup kotalwar::

To think logically all the time, to share one’s knowledge with anyone and everyone.

Shrilata murthy::

To hide one’s maturity, to be highly determined at the same time not sacrificing on small events which make one happy, to behave like a kid, to be full of energy all the time.

Sachin Kondar::

To help others no matter what and stay by their side when you need them.

Nikhil Khekade::

To be energetic, determined, smart, to captivate everyone with humility, to admit if one doesn’t know something and to go to any lengths to explain it if he does know, to be dynamic, to do something in life, to work continuously and to enjoy life as a journey.

There are some more names which are coming to my mind but for now, I think these should suffice. Thank you for everything. I know things are not going to be the same considering how things are right now, but I hope they do. Amen.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

A Sunday Afternoon

::(post dates back long....around three months.)

I sat there. Staring. Fixedly in front of me. Out of the window. Where two small boys played with a Frisbee. The loud chatter. The laughs. The fun. I was perhaps more jealous than envious. A warm Sunday afternoon and these children played carelessly. Laughed effortlessly. Ran the whole stretch not thinking about any projects. Or assignments. Or journals. Or presentations. Or submissions. Not worried about their future decisions. Ignorant of the challenges ahead. Swallowing all envy, I got up. Rinsed my face with cold water. And stood in front of the mirror. A pair of tired red eyes stared back at me. The haggard face showed signs of unnecessary overwork. The wrinkled, unshaven face depicted an identity of a person torn between career decisions, managing relationships and building a place for himself in this huge world. I looked away and stood in front of the window. A soft breeze went past, teasing my face and hair. Inviting me. Telling me that nature is waiting. For me. Telling me to break all bonds and shackles. To be free. Like those two children.

The wind picked up speed. Windows banged against their sills, dried leaves leapt in the air. The trees swayed joyfully as I looked up at the slowly darkening sky. The children also looked up amused at the sight of their Frisbee going longer and higher in the wind. Thunder struck but the childrens’ cries of joy was louder. As the drops fell, their dance began. They sang a popular Hindi song as they continued dancing, drenching themselves. Everyone else ran for shelter. Except those two. All I could do at that moment was smile. I went down and took a long walk. The rain fell harder. Drenching my clothes, my body, and then my thoughts. It was as if mother nature was washing the negativity off me. I walked up to the hill and sat on a bench. The noises of the children were still louder than the rain. How I wished to go back in time. To be that same kid. Once again. A shout interrupted my thoughts. I smiled to see a few people getting their hands on a football. I didn’t know anyone. And later, I realized that they didn’t know each other either. But the silly game of football that followed in that small space of the parking lot was enough to change my mood completely. The silliest of jokes, the horrible barefoot play, the slipping, the laughing, the continuous swearing for the ball. A enjoyed every bit of it. Only once did I gaze up to see on the 1st floor, the same two children being reprimanded by their mother. Maybe for playing in the rain. I smiled. Just then I got the ball and scored. I looked up to celebrate with the smiling unknown people which I had met just an hour ago. I smiled again.