Monday, November 26, 2012

In memory of a mischief-maker

Writing an obituary for a student is the worst thing that can ever happen to a teacher! Having come from a profession where we're considered above and beyond all emotions (of course with an exception of a teary-eyed and emotion-choked Arnab Goswami), I thought I'll take the shock, and the pain, without much difficulty. But that wasn't the case!

The fateful Tuesday morning (20.11.12) was like any regular one... or at least it started like one. It being a class-free day for me, S and I set out to get some work done at the bank. We went smiling, came out with the happy and hungry thoughts of invading the nearest dhaba for lunch before we work through the second part of the day. All was well and cheerful till we reached the dhaba when a good Samaritan colleague informed us that we're forbidden to go "there" as "a boy died there just now". Though the message was confusing and triggered a lot of questions in our minds, S turned the bike towards the office without another word.

Post lunch in the college canteen, I tried to squeeze out some more information from a senior colleague on the-boy-who-died. And what we got to know wasn't good news. A first-year student of the engineering college drowned in a nearby pond across the road. That was my first moment of shock. Seeing the expression on my face, S quickly rushed me out. First-year?! My only prayer since that moment was "I hope it's not somebody I know..." because I know quite a few first-year students personally.

The tension kept building up as nobody seemed to have a clue about the unfortunate kid. As the day passed and the evening set in, things slowly started seeing light and the name and other details got out. It was J bhai, one of our attenders, who broke the news to me. He didn't have much information except for the name of the boy who drowned. He then cross-checked the name and the spelling, along with the roll number, in my attendance register. My worst fears were confirmed. He was a student of my class... somebody who I knew - by his first name, middle name and last name - for the past 3 months and 4 days.

The moment was beyond shock, though that was the initial reaction as my brain went numb. Shock engulfed me suddenly and kept overwhelming. It felt as if all the energy drained out of my body. My feet, especially! As I dragged myself out of my room and down the stairs, the news was re-confirmed by two more colleagues. Though I saw a few of my students gathered near the dais, I had no courage to meet their eye, or talk to any of them... The bubbly me had deserted me for the moment and I just dragged on without a cheerful "Hello", "How're you?", "What're you all doing here?", "No class?" or "Good luck" for the next day's exam.

The nightmare had just begun as shock slowly gave way to pain. And pain was coming in waves. Everything around looked like a blur. I was talking, cleaning, arranging and re-arranging things mindlessly, watching TV - but nothing seemed real anymore. The only thing I was doing with focused attention was to trace the boy's FB account. I don't know what made me do it. But after over an hour's effort, I found him - smiling as mischievously as he always did - on FB. Reality striking, I started prying into his not-so-private life by checking his photographs, friends' comments - in fact trying to find out everything 'about him'. Ironical as it may sound, his favorite quote is "Life is too short. So why don't you love me before we run out of time." And then I found a comment posted by his friend, posthumously, "Miss you balli... aise bhi koi chhod ke jaata hai kya". And that really broke my heart.

The first wave of severe pain hit me just when I was about to doze off. The kid's smiling face, both on and offline, and his friend's comment kept coming back to me - depriving me of my usual sound sleep. With a heavy heart and eyes that kept welling up, we reached the college next morning to attend the condolence meeting at the institution. The garlanded photo on a stool with flowers placed in a heap in front, and the overpowering aroma of the incense kept confirming, and re-confirming, the tragedy that could have been evaded had he been a bit less reckless, and a bit more careful.

Now what can I say about Pradip? He was like any happy-go-lucky teenager - dark, thin, short, smiling, reckless, mischievous and talkative. He was neither brilliant nor studious, but he was smart. Not the kind of student teachers would take note of. With a high-pitch, and slightly feminine, voice, he used to keep yakking in one of the last rows. So he was one of the first students whose names I made it a point to know; warned him a couple of times and threatened to throw him out of the class if he "cannot stay quiet". The last I scolded him was two weeks earlier when I told him he'll not be allowed to write the exam if his attendance percentage doesn't improve... :( And improve, it did not. He still bunked classes despite the warning.

He knew he wouldn't be allowed to write the exams because of his poor attendance. He knew and he came prepared... with a towel, a pack of cigarettes, the company of two friends and the thrill of swimming - in a lonely deserted pond amidst nature. The two friends who survived will certainly be scarred for life. And so will be his parents. His father (especially) who works as a security guard in one of the prestigious software companies in Bhubaneswar... who must have dreamed that his son will become an engineer, and someday will work in the same company!! The father's dreams shattered, the mother's heart broke, and the sister's hopes vanished... all in a matter of a few seconds.

Why? Why? I wonder if it's his age, his adventurous spirit or his reckless attitude that predominated and prompted him to take a swim in untested waters on that fateful day! I'm yet to get an answer, and the only person who can answer it right cannot do so - ever again! A moment of thrill cost him his precious life, nipped it in the bud and sucked the life out with ease. S is so right. Such is the fickleness of life!

All I can say now is - be happy, no matter where you are! And may your soul rest in peace!! 

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Rediscovering love...


How're you? And how's life? Wondering what this is all about? We see each other every waking moment. And then in dreams (nightmares - yours) too. And then in the mind's eye. Telepathy?! So what's this epistle about, you may wonder! Honestly, I've no idea.

On a sudden impulsive whim (yeah, that's the me you know too well), I've decided to give you a teeny-weeny surprise, and a few glimpses - down the memory lane. Let's see what a spontaneous, spur-of-the-moment thought will lead this, and us, to! Are you ready for the reckless roller-coaster ride, back in time?

I believed thirteen is an unlucky number. Apparently, it wasn't and it is not half as bad. And I thought in terms of years, thirteen is too long a time for fond remembrances but what if memories are fresh, tender and mushy?

Walks, talks. Puns, promises. Fun, freedom. Laughter, love. Teasing, texting. Stolen glances, and kisses. Silly intranet messages, sweet nothings. Nicknames, conversations. Roses, cards. Letters, emails... But where have thou all hidden all this while? Behind torments, and true-to-life troubles? Behind age, and responsibilities, chasing me (us) trying to catch up? Or behind tactless taunts, meaningless misunderstandings, and fruitless fights? Maybe behind stubborn silences, and mock (and real) angers! Behind harrowing nights, and pits of hell!Behind remotes flung out, broken things. And hearts.

And somehow, all these subdued memories come back rushing to tease a sleepy mind on a beautiful cloudy afternoon. Thunder, lightening, rain! Reminiscences. Memories of a rainy evening - soaked to the soul. At some godforsaken place outside the city limits. Wilderness. Nature's fury. Wild thoughts. The chill and the thrill of it all...

Aimless and endless long drives... desperation to find a way - the right way - to the destination. Did we eventually find out the right way - after crossing those pastures, barren lands and deserted roads? Who cares! All that mattered was the togetherness. Along with the tension of getting lost. And the excitement of embarking on yet another adventure. Of finding a new path - to life!

I can still recall... our late-night rides to satiate sudden hunger pangs at the only places that would be open 24X7 - cafes at the airport, and inside plush hotels (oh, why didn't we ever think of the railway station?)! Midnight biryanis. Chai and pakode parties. Three-in-the-morning buffet breakfasts. Never bothering about the abominable amounts spent on two cups of coffee (and with my favorite tomato bhath added to the menu at times)! Forever wanting to make dear wife happy. Despite crazy demands. In fact, in spite of it. In spite of everything.

Have all those reckless early morning trips to every corner (and direction) within and beyond the city to find some hidden treasure, and pleasure along the way, vanished from our memories? I guess not! A plain white tea-pot; stones, pebbles and broken branches for the aquarium; carefully chosen unchipped tea cups; a memory here and a souvenir there - all laid out in plain view for us to see, and enjoy, and relive!

From sharing work to sharing lives to sharing work yet again, life has come a full-circle. With a daughter to remind us of the essential bits. Sharing lives was never that easy... or was it?After a decade and more, nothing feels the same. It's different. Like it is a dream. Like it is impossible! Like it was never meant to be.Like it is brand new.Like it is still fresh.

All I have on my mind now is a collection. Of memories. Good ones. And a few bad ones. Years that went by without me realizing it. Even once. Twelve years (okay, fourteen) of togetherness. Shared rooms. Beds. Hugs. Warm nights. Cold ones too. Food. Smells. Scents. Of love. Of flowers. Of boiling milk. And burnt toast. Sights. Books. Sounds. Music. Concerts. Plays. Games.Fights - for pillows, rugs, TV remote, choices. And sometimes for nothing. Many more things.

Songs. Yes, songs. That were in your heart. For me. That never came on to your lips. For fear? Look into my eyes ... (I tried, when you weren't looking). Search your heart(I did). Search your soul (maybe I didn't. Not well enough).What you mean to me... Only now I've understood that well - and beyond. Unspoken words. Un-shown hurt. Unrequited love.

Now it all comes back to me. The fresh feel of it. And what it means to be with you. Tohave you in my life. And so...

Bade achche lagte hai...
aur tum...

(And YOU!)

It was always you. And it'll always be you.

Despite the distractions. The occasional attractions. And the flirtations. And thodi si bewafai...

But I'm making no confessions here. No apologies, no pretenses, and no promises either. The world is not about to turn upside down.Things will still be the same.Crankiness, yes! Temper tantrums, yes yes! Fights and frustrations, yes yes yes! So what's going to change? Nothing. Except my own realization. Andbrutalself-analysis. And my paranoia. And my almost-parasitical need for you. And my love. Yes, my love! But my love... that's going to change. With newer understanding. Newer perspective. Renewed ties. Renewed possibilities. Rediscoveries.

So, thank you for all these awesome years. For unconditional love. For patience. For emotional support. For passion. For saner counsel. For appreciation. For not remembering my silly acts. And for remembering and making fun of me.For lovely moments.And insecurities. For understanding. And not understanding.For just being there. And for not being there, especially when I needed you most. For secrets shared. And for things I got to know through other sources.For smartness.And stupidity. For cozy nights.And memorable mornings.For abeautiful today. And a brighter tomorrow.For everything.A big thank you for each and everything.


P.S: I (think I still) love you! Happy Anniversary, btw!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

It's only words...

oh those treacherous words!
They just come and go...
to torture me!

Words. They trouble me. They torment me. They taunt me. They tease me. They frustrate me. They fail me. They ruin me. And they run away from me, laughing mercilessly.

Look at them agonizing words! Now they want to tumble out, roll across, run hither thither. Lots of them. Floating around in circles... just above my head. Inside my head sometimes. And sometimes inside out. Sometimes upside down. Sometimes hanging in the air. Just! Sometimes in plain view. Sometimes hiding. Playing hide-and-seek with my feelings. And at times, refusing to come onto my lips to give shape and meaning to my thoughts.

Just plain words. Trying to manipulate my head, my emotions, my feelings. Trying to tell me stories. Which I don't want to know or hear. Prying isn't good, I was told. Voyeurism is bad, they told me. But I still hear those words - loud and clear. Conversation(s) in the vehicles, inside homes, in front of houses, out in the open. Stories being told in excited, high-pitched voices. Gossip being shared in low, secretive tones.

Words. They just seem to stare at me from every corner. Wall posters looking me in the eye. Billboards looking down upon me from great distance, and greater height(s). Newspapers hung in stalls, strewn across the table in the reception areas of plush glass-and-steel buildings. Breaking News scrolls on 24X7 news channels. Blogs glaring at me, challenging me and my authority.

Words, and words everywhere. Begging me to read, comprehend, sympathize, empathize, re-tell. Forcing me to accept them, take them into me, shape them up. And tell the story. Their story. My story. Our story. Some story. Any story. Just tell it all... say it aloud... say it one more time.

But how do I choose my words? Carefully, of course! But there are several thousands of them - revolving around me, mocking at me, making faces. Testing my patience. And questioning my command over them. Now, how do I use them to talk about things I want to talk about? About the boy and the girl kissing under the dark canopy of the cloudy sky? On the beach. In the sand. About their desire to make love, merge their bodies, and their souls, into one. Or about mushy love stories that just began and promises just being made. Or promises being broken elsewhere, breaking hearts along the way.

How can I use words, the right ones, to show the agony of the daughter-in-law being dragged by the hair on to the streets? And rip apart the in-laws hurling choicest abuses at the hapless bahu. Is there a better way, really, of using words? Besides talking about couples in love... And about those that are drifting apart. About the husband cheating on his wife. And the wife two-timing her husband. Or the boss seducing the employee, and vice-versa. About the woman pleading with her man to not desert her. Or the man beseeching the woman to understand, and let go!

Nah! I don't want to talk about any of this. These stories do interest me but don't satisfy me well enough. So I'd rather talk about children, their faces a mirror of innocence. Their voices full of exciting, innocent stories. Their faces masking the mischief in their eyes. Their playful faces filling my mind, my soul, my life.

Yes, I want to use all the words in the world (my world) to tell interesting tales about, and for, children - their thoughts pure, their hearts clean, their love unconditional, their expressions cute. That's what I want to use words for. Use these very tender and loving words that I stealthily seduced into my mind (and with those sweet words inviting me back into their amazing world)...

It is best to be on a safer turf. To be able to preach still. Standing on a higher moral ground. To succeed in making a charade. Of being holier than thou! To not let them words slip out of me, take over me, betray me and spill the darkest secrets, desires and fantasies from the deepest core of my heart.

So innocent children it is! That's the tale I want to talk about. Or, I'd rather not talk at all...

Thursday, June 28, 2012

This is the rhythm of life...

...Of rural life! Reported by yours truly. Sights, smells, sounds. Seen, felt and heard from the window of a bus. On a pleasant early morning. On the way to work. Passing villages by at breakneck speed. Never slowing or stopping to take a careful second look. Just a few fleeting voyeuristic glimpses. Here and there. Into the lives of others, and things around.

Smells - of fresh village air, moisture, fields. Of liquor, flowers, cashew nuts, perfume. Of piss, cow dung, poop. Of smoke, petrol, pollution. .

Sounds - constant chattering, laughter, incessant honking, and more honking, fights, pleasantries, sighs in traffic jams, some more honking, metal on road, oxen in the fields, bells in temples, chants, blaring trumpets, loud speakers with devotional songs... hmmm, well not always! There are those filmy songs from the '80s and then there are the new raunchy item numbers too - devotion and devilish desire go together sometimes.

But sights are aplenty. I assure you there's plenty to see.

Colors - bright and brilliant - catch your eye. Shamelessly they demand your attention. Reds, blues, magenta pinks, yellows, greens, oranges - hues of nature. Blacks and whites. And shades of grey in between!

Kids wearing nothing - their need to cover their nudity and put up a show of civilization is not greater than that of their counterparts in urban India.

And kids wearing uniforms - reds, blues, whites, browns - walk past as the bus zooms by, fast and furious! Children crying for attention. Dragged forward mercilessly by rushed angry parents... With a slap or two! To make their point. To put things in perspective for the young citizens-to-be.

Green fields laid out with gourd plants, many gourd plants in fact! Bitter gourd, snake gourd, bottle gourd, ridge gourd crawling over to cover every nook and corner... wherever they can lay their long ugly stalks on! Plain grass pastures. Cows grazing. Early birds, and their prey! Pests. Dogs - barking, fighting for life, for food.

Women with loads of stuff carefully balanced on head. Multi-tasking! Walking, chattering, giggling, flirting, and carrying - clothes, pots, wood for fire, infants, burden of life - and balancing the act so well. Why is it, then, that to us - the chosen ones, the blue-eyed children of God, the gifts of God to mankind - it's so difficult to do even simple(r) tasks? What if those women took life, and people, for granted... I wonder what then!

Raucous women - brushing, combing, bathing in tanks and ponds - outdoors! Taunting, tantalizing semi-nude women with wet saris wrapped around their bodies in a cinematic fashion. Now that's reality.

And men! Where are the men? Muscular, skinny, bony, plump, tall, short, dark, fair - all kinds! Lazying, ogling, flirting, standing, watching, talking, smoking, chewing, spitting - ghutka, pan, saliva, something, anything... That's how I find them.

Men. Driving, talking, heads turned sideways or rested on shoulders pressing a mobile phone down. Talking. And arguing. Winning some, losing some. And peeing on the road (but that's oh-so-cool)! Yes, peeing... Blissfully (un)aware(?) of the surroundings. Peeing. With a contented expression. Showing they're enjoying the moment. Peeing. Everywhere.

And passing out! Naked. Semi-nude. In the middle of the road, on either side, on pavements, in front of unopened shops, everywhere. Liquor on their breath. Drooling. Liquor in their hand. Liquor on their clothes. Liquor in their head. Gambling - yes, sitting in a circle under the shade of a tree and gambling. Encouraged by onlookers. With satisfied egos. And fighting - just for the heck of it, for no real reason. Killer instincts.

And then we see people and their nameless faces. And animals... grazing lazily. Running aimlessly. Stretching themselves - some on the road, and some inside vehicles, behind the wheel, some hanging out of the overcrowded buses and truckers, some sitting on top of them, some just standing and staring at anything that moves.

Is this how it is supposed to be? The equation? The balance? Maybe, maybe not! But it is the same everywhere. From east to west, and north to south. Try the directions in reverse too. It's still the same. Only the faces change. And shapes. And climates. And colors - of skin, of clothes, of surroundings. Rest is the same. And this is India for you! The real India. The true-to-life version. Enjoy it as it is. Take it, if you must! Or just leave it, if you mustn't.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The story of my life...

... and it hasn't been easy, I tell you! SIGH!

I never thought living with humans was that tough - what with all those expectations revolving around the relationship between us and you humans! About dogs being a man's best guard... errr... I mean friend! 

Well, I really cannot recollect whether I was happy being with my mom, dad and five siblings back then (I wonder where each of them is, and whether they have similar thoughts). If you ask me, I don't really know if I'm happy now in my new home. Yes, it's still kind of new... at least I think so! Or is it, really? Anyway, these folks got me to their house a while ago and since then they have been expecting me to adjust to them and act normal! Like the other day when I pooped inside the house, they yelled at me and threatened to lock me out! Like I care! Oh no, actually I do! These guys are crazy I must tell you!

Okay let me start from the beginning... it almost goes like the famous saying 'They came, they saw, and they conquered' (but in my case, 'they purchased'). I was around 5 weeks old then. I was blissfully unaware of their existence and was playing with my siblings and mom. Dad was downstairs barking at the top of his voice and that was when I sensed that all wasn't well. There were intruders who royally walked into the house, and my life too. 

At first, one of my four sisters and the only brother were taken downstairs. I have to admit that they were cuter and quite roly-poly. So God knows why I was asked to be summoned. The man kept trying to engage me, pet me, call me near him, and in general, act irritatingly friendly. And the woman was more fascinated by my brother and sister, and didn't bother me much. Soon I've had enough and tried to escape by climbing up the stairs and run to my mother. But my owners kept bringing me back to them as they decided to take me home as a belated birthday present for their daughter! 

This was my second day at my new home!
I was given a bath and made to sleep in a carton (what a silly way to transport me, I say!). A small portion of pedigree and milk were packed... I was all set to go though I am not sure I wanted to - leaving mom, dad and everyone else. I remember going in a three-seater to some place where the silly, uncourteous, mannerless new owners ate something without offering me anything - expecting me to curl up and sleep. Then they were running like mad dogs in a crowded place with me in the carton and my stuff in a carry-bag to get into something big that just began chugging away! Once inside the big moving vehicle, the couple took me out of the carton and took turns to make me sleep in their lap for almost 3 hours until we alighted at some smaller place... and hopped on to a scooter, stopped on the way to buy more food (how much do these humans eat I wonder!). Finally I was home - well-rested and wide awake!

Unfortunately, there was an excited little devil in that house waiting with a scary grin and scared the hell out of me by uttering cries of joy! She wanted to hold me, play with me, touch my coat, pet me - how very irritating! And that girl even changed my name from James Bond to Ebony. Yuck! James Bond sounds so much more macho! To top it all, they were treating me almost like a human, and a part of the family, expecting me to return the gesture! How stupid!

Yeah yeah, I know I'm supposed to keep up to my image of enjoying and loving every moment of it. I read it all up on Facebook where we were compared to those furry-purry creatures and made to look dumb, loyal and loving! 

But don't you worry! Over the next few days I plotted each of my moves carefully and took my revenge - sometimes secretly and sometimes quite openly. I peed all over them and their house, and marked my territory. I pooped everywhere - in every nook and corner where I could reach and they couldn't. I nipped and bit them at the most unexpected times and in unexpected places... as many times as I wanted to and ran away laughing when they tried to hit me with a paper or push me away! 

I hated the rice porridge with boiled vegetables they gave me initially and often refused to eat it but those devils used to wait patiently till I grew extremely hungry and went (albeit silently and secretly) to lap it all up. Actually, with milk and carrot and lentils and potatoes, the rice wasn't half as bad as I thought it would be! Or maybe it was my plain stupid hunger! Can you believe me when I tell you that they retaliated by trying to kill me with a boiled egg? This was during my third week with them, and the egg smelled like some disgusting enemy dog... boy, how I barked at my food bowl that day!

And during those days of open war, I used to refuse to drink water and tilt the water bowl upside down to spill the water all over so they would slip and fall, and fracture their bones! I kept pulling off the pleats of the sari (that moved irritatingly in front of the wearer and protected her feet) so she would fall flat on the floor. I even curled up around the man's legs to make him trip and fall from the stairs. Only none of the plans ever worked! Bloody hell! 

All this I did because I knew I was too small to be disciplined and they could do nothing except perhaps call me Bad Dog at the most! Like I care! Hey, I have to share another of their secrets... They really don't know how to talk okay! Their vocabulary is limited to Good dog, Bad dog, My boy, Sit, Stand, Run, Eat, Wait and Down! Can't they speak one sentence of English properly instead of in single syllables?

This is the handsome me with my bushy tail :)
Anyway, it was so much fun taking revenge - the only time(s) I wasn't plotting against them was when I was given warm milk and food or when I slept upside down! 

Mind you, all that fun was too unreal and fairytale-ish to not end. So after a week of constant nipping and biting and pouncing, they lost it and decided to pack me off to my place of birth. I even heard them make a frantic call or two! God was I happy, yet worried... what if I'm abandoned by all? 

And then suddenly everything changed. The foolish folks decided to keep me as suddenly as they decided to send me back! They slowly started changing their ways, and mine too! They kept me on leash for a couple of hours in the day when I acted rowdyish or tried to bite their feet and hands off! (To tell you the truth, I always aimed at their head but ended up at their feet :P) And they got me a lot of toys and things to chew on so I don't chew their footwear or clothes. They made sure that I was well-fed, at regular intervals, even in the middle of the night! Hmmm... they seem to tow my line finally and are trying their best to keep me happy. So I guess now it's okay to stop biting them (also it's no fun to get hit each time I bite them). 

And they keep petting me, rubbing my stomach and fussing over me so much that I actually started loving it. They think that I'm the most obedient and handsomest dog in the entire world. Which is partly true, of course! I'm now a grown-up handsome boy and I love the way my long bushy tail looks - they whisper among themselves that it's because of the dog-food they keep feeding me. And they want to feed me yummy chicken and bones twice a week instead of occasionally! If it's true, then I'm not leaving them or troubling them anymore! Not today, not tomorrow and not in the next few years!  Because I love the way I look today! And, however much I hate to admit it, I do love my foster family despite all their madness, stupidity, silly acts and warped behavior!

Now that I let out my story without their knowledge, let me go back to my evening snack in peace!


P.S: Love to all humans and peace to the world!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Conversation on a cool eve

God seems to have chosen some real feel-good moments and opportunities for revelation(s) for me at the most unexpected times, and from unexpected quarters. 

A very close friend of mine was coming down from the national capital on a short visit over the last (long) weekend. So there we were in the car, en route to the station to pick her up. Daughter was in the back seat while the husband was sitting next to his best chauffeur-cum-spouse. 

Time: 9.30 p.m.

It was a pretty cool drive on a cooler night with a cooler breeze and the coolest company. Of course, the car wasn't really cool so suddenly senior S (SS) turned around and encountered junior S (JS) in a semi-serious tone.

SS: Do you think we should buy a bigger and better car?
JS: I don't know nanna... I'm very small (Of course she means 'young'). You should only decide no! Why are you asking me? 
SS: Because I want to know your opinion. So since I'm asking you, tell me what do you think.
JS: We can buy a bigger car but we should keep the bike also. 

Before SS could say anything, I intervened and said, "Of course, we're going to keep the bike and this car as well! So... what do you think?"

JS: No amma... we shouldn't do that. If we want to buy another car, we'll have to sell this one.
SS: Why S... we don't have to sell this car to buy another. We can have both the cars and the bike as well.
JS: No... if we sell this car then somebody who wants a car will buy it and use it. And then there will be one car less on the road. That means less traffic.
SS: (Thoroughly astonished by the logic) Hmmm... okay!
JS: It will also mean some petrol can be saved. We should help save petrol no!

Now, can you actually beat that logic?

SS: Very good! And all that is fine! But what kind of car should we buy?
JS: I don't mind any car in which I can sleep comfortably in the back seat... because I'm sleepy right now (giggling). Goodnight!

Seriously, I can't remember if I ever analyzed a problem with such complicated thought process and came up with a solution in less than a few seconds. And that too when I was barely nine... May you have a good night my little girl, and many more such good thoughts! Amen!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Between now and forever!

I had always read, and believed, that love is an ephemeral feeling. It's strong one moment and gone the next. And so sometimes I even have a doubt whether it's true to say "I love you forever"... (like the protagonist of the Telugu movie Orange says); "I love you now" is the right phrase, I guess, in these tricky times! 

Also I somehow used to think you can only love people, or pets at the most! But last night was a shocking revelation for me - when I was shedding copiously bitter tears for something less valuable than life! Then I tried recollecting when was the last I cried for/ over material possession(s), and I could hardly count 10 instances - and most of them belonged to a different age and era (read when I was a child)!

  • When I lost my favorite pencil at school
  • When one of my artificial earrings (a gift from a cousin) fell into a drain and I knew my dad was never going to buy me another pair as I was allergic to metals other than silver and gold :(
  • When an ice-cream vendor "stole" my 10-paise coin and refused to give me ice gola :-/
  • When my brother broke my toy in anger
  • When I lost my engagement ring soon after marriage :P
  • When I lost two of my precious rings (a pearl one bought with my scholarship money and a diamond one bought by hubby dear on my first birthday after marriage)

I think that's about it. I didn't even shed a tear when there was a big dent on my brand new car within a week of taking it out. I didn't feel bad when we had to sell the same car a couple of years later. I don't remember suffering silently about disposing of our first flat in Hyderabad as I realized we'll not be able to go back there ever again - my daughter's corporate school and our respective offices were located at a pretty convenient distance from our new rented apartment.

However, I do remember a few instances where I cried into my pillow through the night - sometimes for nights together. The incidents almost always were related to a sense of loss - a relationship, a to-be-born, a sibling, a parent. Or when I had a serious fight/ argument with someone that made me cry out in helplessness and frustration.

But those were about differently difficult and complicated things, and revolved around a loved one. And this reason was different. It was all about a brick-and-mortar-and-four-walls structure which we were thinking of putting up for sale. I had hardly spent a year in that place. Still... just the thought made me nervous and experience the same sense of loss all over again!

I guess it's not because of a return of love for material things but more because my subconscious mind sends me a warning signal - of an impending break of a bond/ a strong tie... Hmmm and why not! The house is my only connection with the city I was born in, spent my childhood, adolescence and the prime of my adulthood, made friends, had relatives, got married, had a child, saw things that are good or bad, witnessed growth and destruction spanned over 35 years - both in terms of personal life and the city itself.

Can you really be so possessive about some silly material possession that you stop caring for the person sitting next to you, trying to reason out with you and comfort you? Not really. It's surely not about the four walls... it's about the bonds that are set to break. Sad but true... and I'm "human" after all :)

And precisely for that - for reminding me of my love for the city, my affection for my friends, and my human(e) personality - I love you forever my sweet abode! And it's adieus - sooner or later!