Friday, December 24, 2010

Kranti Ki Paribhasha

Here is a little incident which happened when I was in class X.

I was sitting in one of the middle rows of the class and a lecture of 'Hindi' was in progress. I was sitting beside a very good friend of mine (His name is Ashutosh. Unfortunately we are not in contact for quite some time). The class was not particularly interesting(as most lectures are), so we started chatting. With one eye and an ear on the teacher, we were chit chatting, when I heard the teacher said,'so bacchon, batao, Kranti ki paribhasha kya hai? Koi jawab dene ko icchuk hai? Haath uthao koi!' Hearing the word Kranti, I said to my friend - 'pata hai Kranti kisko kahenge? Anyay aur Atyachaar ke khilaf jan andolan ko kranti kahte hain.' As I finished this sentence, the teacher noticed us talking and shouted -

'Hey, you, kitni baar bola hai ki class mein baat chit nahi. Class mein padha raha hun to usse kya baat kar raha hai. Khade ho jao. batao Kranti kisse kahte hain'.

With a speed which took an eternity to complete, my dear poor friend stood up. With about 40 pairs of eyes on him.

The teacher repeated the question - 'batao Kranti ki paribhasha'

My friend said - 'Anyay aur Atyachaar ke khilaf jan andolan ko kranti kahte hain'.

The teacher was stunned by the silence, but quickly recovered. He praised the perfect answer and then went on for about 10 mins, on how each and every keyword in that definition is important and serves specific purpose. He asked my friend his name, noted it down and also politely asked him to be more attentive in the class in order to grasp more.

And then came my turn -

'tum batao..Kranti ki paribhasha kya hoti hai?. Ashutosh ne kitne achhe and spasht shabdon mein paribhasha batayi hai. tum kuch alag batao'.

I just shrugged my shoulders. The teacher gave me a You-are-hopeless look and asked me to sit down.

My friend just gave me a 'Sorry-Dude' look as the bell rang to signal the end of the class.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tomorrow Will Be Fine

It all started with a little pain in the legs. Sometimes a little more, quite bearable on all other times. But the pain was there. Constant reminder, that something was not right with it. We ignored. And then we ignored some more. Painkillers was taken to reduce the pain. But, the pain refused to go. When these constant complains of my room mate (batch mate and one of my best friends), went beyond 'comfortable limits', I suggested to go to a doctor. He ignored. Until one day, when I got a call from his mom. My friend had gone to meet his family in Ambala and was on the way back to Delhi. His mom told me, that he was having a lot of pain in his leg and that pain has reached his upper body(hips and waist). His mom wanted me to convince and persuade her son to go see a doctor immediately. I assured aunty that I will make him see a doctor as soon as possible. 

My friend came home around 11:00 PM. Walking a slight limp and having a bit of pain in the waist. But, he was more occupied with the 12K Nokia mobile which he had just lost at home. (He had bought the phone only a week back. And he dropped the phone by accident while doing cycling at home). This monetary shock was more important to his foolish mind than the pain in his body. He went for a check up after about a couple of days, where in nothing conclusive came. Except for that fact that pain in his leg and waist has its origin in the Spinal cord. Some more medicines came. It continued for about a week, until this nightmare happened...

I had come home from a short one week vacation. As soon as I entered home, he complained that he is still having a pain and he has been unable to sleep because, because he has been feeling sensation to piss every couple of hours, but he has not been able to release the pressure. He has been having this for about 2 days running now. The pain increased severely as the day wore on, and around 7-8 PM, it became unbearable for him and painful for us to watch. We called a doctor friend of ours and explained the problem. He immediately suggested that the bladder is full and unable to empty it properly is causing all the pain. Urine would have to be drained using a catheter. There was no other way out. He came around 11 PM and did the process. Its not an easy watch ( :( ). But it reduced the pain almost immediately. The catheter was left till morning, during which more than 2 Lts of urine was drained out. Thankfully, my friend slept peacefully, while I was awake almost the whole time.

We suspected a problem with urine, bladder or kidney. He went for a urine test the next day, but nothing came out. A thorough CT Scan/MRI Scan was suggested. And then came the big news. And a shock as well. I received it in the form of an SMS in the afternoon while at work. 

'I have a tumor in Spinal Cord'. 

I did not know how to react to it. I called him and the first question I asked was ' Is it cancerous?' When he said 'No', then only I could breathe properly. So, I said, 'Whats next?'. He just said - 'Come home and we will talk'.

And we talked. What are the options. (There was nothing much actually except for surgery), when to tell parents, how much to tell parents, how would they handle it. The problems continued in the meantime and we learnt that as the pressure due to spinal card increases, it will cause more problems, sensation in the legs will decrease, possible paralysis, infertility etc. The tumor is not the problem. The position of the tumor in the spinal cord is. 

And it has all come down to tomorrow. My friend is in the hospital and he will be operated tomorrow early morning. I have taken leave from office and will be with him. Along with his parents who have been here for last few days. Along with another one of my best college friend.

I have never told him that I will be always with him. I have not wished him luck for the surgery. I have not talked much to him at all today. I just gave a pat on his back before going out. But, he knows, that I am there for him. I tell his mom not to worry and that everything will be fine. But her mom says nothing. Eats nothing. We both know that it wont be easy. What if something goes wrong in the surgery? What if God is having an off day tomorrow. Her mom is asking these questions. By not saying anything. She just sits on the bed with the shawl around her and sobs silently, inside.

I am not the best person on earth and YOU do not have to listen to me. My friend is not the best person either on this earth and YOU can ignore him as well. But I want YOU to listen to his mom. He is the best that she has. Just be on her side and guide those hands that will open my friend's body tomorrow.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Friday, the 19th

The Metro Lines went dead on last Friday evening(at least the Gurgaon Line). I was already late from office and when I saw the half open shutters of the Metro station and people coming out with dejected faces and angry words, I knew, it was going to be tough ride going to Delhi. There was a large group people standing on the road, waiting for cabs and buses. As soon as some cab pulled up on the side of the road, a bunch of people would just leap in that direction, not caring about ladies or old people standing on their sides. On that day, it was just about somehow getting a ride.

I decided to wait. It was a friday night, so I could afford to be late. I walked to the next Metro station, where the nearest McDonalds is present. I was getting a craving for its McVeggie Burger. I reached the Mall which hosted the McDonalds about 9:00 PM. I first went to a Om Book shop to check out some books. As I was browsing through books of different categories, I noticed a girl browsing through the same section (History), a couple of columns to my right. She was talking on her mobile, when I heard the words-
'Six Days of War, ok, ok...hmm...yeah...ok..fine...bye'

She got off the phone and looked over to her left and right in search of an attendant. She called out the nearest one and asked him if the book 'Six Days of War' is available. She did not remember the name of the author, but she added that it is a famous title. The attendant excused himself to check and confirm.

'If it is famous title, how come I have not heard of that before'. This thought crossed my mind. As she was still waiting, I thought to enlighten her(and myself) about the author of the book. I quickly pulled out my mobile and opened the browser. I opened wikipedia and quickly searched 'Six Days of War'. As I waited for the result, the attendant came and told her that book is not available. I got an image of the book, but the search was still continuing and I saw the girl moving away from the shelves. I cursed my mobile, stopped the search and just zoomed in about the text which has the author's name. In 2 sec, I had the answer. I turned towards her and was about the tell the name, when I saw her moving away. Oh...no..I thought. Then I noticed him. The guy who was coming towards her. In a ponytail, with a funky phone in one ear, he came and put one hand around her and took her away.

I walked out of the shop after few minutes and bought a takeway order of two McVeggie burgers and went on my way to look for ride to Delhi.

It is Michael Oren, by the way.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

As It Happened

Anybody seen the movie 'Sixteen Candles'? Where all in the family forgets the birthday of the girl who is turning sixteen because everybody is busy in preparation of her sister's marriage. Looks like a cool plot for a movie..isnt it? The girl waking in the morning of her birthday in a upbeat mood, in anticipation of something coming, a surprise celebration in the making, a special gift from family members, only to find out that her sister's wedding is the biggest thing on everything agenda. So big, that the birthday of a about to be sixteen year old girl has been pushed so farther down the mind, that it seems irretriAevable. At least on the day when it matters.

Got the image..right? Now, replace that girl with a boy who is going to turn sweet twenty five and the wedding of his sweet and only sister being on the same date. Yeah..that's me. And it happened last year. 8th Dec last year.(Readers - you will not forget that date..will you? :D )

Everything was hectic on the 7th Dec. In preparation of welcoming the Baarat and getting everything ready. So, naturally, me, my younger bro, cousins were all engaged in some things or the other. I had that 'turning 25 at midnight' thought somewhere back in my mind, but it was too feeble. And there were lots of things to do. Lightings, Tents, Dinner at night, chairs and tables, invitations, Snacks..things just do not end in a Indian marriage...do they? Add to it those unforeseen but totally expected situations like 'pandit ji abhi tak nahi aaye hain', 'mithai ke liye ghee aur laana padega', 'baaratiyon ko naashta nahi pahuncha hai abhi tak', 'baarat mein sab logon chai/coffee ya cold drinks se khush hai, par 3 logon ko ice tea chahiye', 'band baaja wale ready hai, par unka generator kaam nahi kar raha'...uff...never ending..nerve racking problems. And I truly admit, that for few moments, even I had forgotten that today was supposed to be my day, if it was not overshadowed by my sis's wedding.

The Baarat came in the evening. More or less on time. Things went on on an even pace as the night wore on. It was a chilly night, as a Dec night usually is in the northern part of India. We had tents covering all the portion of our big roof to protect the people from dew. Dinner for the baarati and sharati was completed around 10 PM. After that, the actual 'rasm' started in the 'mandap'. And we all know, that a Hindu wedding is not a simple affair of a couple of hours. At more than one occasions, I have seen groom asking for a break or his relatives giving him a poke in the ribs to wake him up from the slumber induced from pandit's indecipherable sanskrit chantings. (I have not seen a bride asking for a break, but caught napping...yeah... )
Midnight passed. My parents, brother, few relatives were all wide and awake as the marriage ceremony progressed. I had a quite smile to my face. A smile that said, I know something that nobody here knows. A smile that said, 'As soon as this is over, I am gonna scream, papa, mammi..aap mera birthday bhul gaye!'. But it was not a thing to feel bad (unlike the girl in the movie!). Marriage of my sister was such a big occasion for everyone in the family, that a birthday (yeah..it comes every year) seemed trivial and it was trivial.

Around 2:30 in the morning, when the ceremony was still going on, albeit at a slow pace, and things were comparatively quiet, I suddenly heard my dad, 'arre, aaj to chintu ka b'day hai..sab koi bhul hi gaya hai..haha...happy b'day beta'. And then the thing caught on, mammi, bhai and cousin joining in. And then I realised, what I thought was a miss came out to be a mere aberration. My birthday coinciding with my sister's anniversary was doubly sweet.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Just Naive.


Seene mein jalan, aankhon mein toofan sa kyun hai?
Is sheher mein har shakhs paresan sa kyun hai?


It was first week of May last year. I had returned from Spain after completing the assignment and was joining office on the next working day in Noida. I had brought the chocolates for my team mates and friends and knew there would be quite a lot of excitement as I would be meeting them after 3 months. I had a smile on my face and was looking forward to the barrage of questions I would be subjected to: 'abe, kaisa hai bhai','trip kaisa tha','kahan kahan ghuma','abe, wahan ki ladkiyan kaisi hai','tu to mota ho gaya hai', 'abe, tu to waisa hi hai','khana bana leta tha?','koi mili ki nahi udhar?' etc etc etc. Well, these questions were asked and answered when I stepped in to the arena. But..

There was one question which I had not imagined or anticipated. It came from a colleague. He took me to a corner of the cubicle, away from all shor-sharaba. And asked a fairly simple question - 'abe, wo sab hata, ye bata, bacha kar kitna laaya?' I was speechless. Not because, I did not want to answer the question (Say what you say, but most of us are secretive of our account balances). The question made me uncomfortable, because I did not know the answer. I mumbled a reply that I did not know how much I saved as I have not really calculated anything and moreover saving money was not high on my agenda as I was really happy in travelling and seeing as many new places as possible and enjoying my time as best as possible. He was visibly dissatisfied. He clearly expected a answer that I had saved x lacs. (He was the next in line to go to Spain).

Very recently, a friend asked me over a drinks party - 'tujhe paise se bilkul pyar nahi hai na?'. I chuckled and said,'mujhe paise se pyar hai, par paisa ka moh nahi hai.' (I dont even know, if it makes sense). Another question from my room mate and college friend - 'I do not know, if it affects you or not, but I see people in my company who are at par with me or below my rank come in car and when I get down from a auto in front of them, I feel so bad'. I told him, it does not and will not affect me at all. Ever. I have so many friends/batch mates/colleagues who come in cars and I take public transportation daily to commute. Can I buy a car? Yes. Should I buy a car? No. Why? I do not need it.

Money has always been secondary. Spending it on things which pleases me comes first.

Me personally, I would happily take a break now for couple of years and go and engage myself in activities which I would like to do and lighten my account balance(or squander, some would say!). This would  give me great pleasure than accumulating all the money and then finding myself suddenly bald and bulging waist and asking myself a question at the cross roads - Is this what you wanted? But you can not take a break. Who thinks of taking a break when you are just 25. 'Ye to kaam karne ki umar hai, paise kamane ki din hai!' Society will remind you this. Make a career.

Is it necessary to have an ambition? To make money? Is money necessary for a better and satisfying life? What if, we just want to lie around and do pleasurable activities and earn just enough to meet your needs? Is it so bad to not work to change your job to increase your salary? Not to do an MBA, when you clearly can, but just because you do not feel like it?

If these questions paint a picture that I have a very rich upbringing and that I have seen enough money to not realise its importance( or power), then you are mistaken. Without giving much further, I can just say that I am a common man. I own money. Money does not own me. Nor it will ever. My career path will not be defined by my salary hikes.

I know I am not making much sense. Things related to money never do.
Almost everything I have said are contradictory to each other. Am I just Naive? Immature? Irresponsible? Selfish? Or just a mortal born in a wrong time period.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I am Home.


www.thebanyantrees.com

The alarm rang precisely at 7:00 AM.Not much effort was needed to drag himself out of his bed. Not today. He got up and noticed the tea was kept by his bedside. As always. He finished his tea and made his way towards the bathroom to get ready for office. Half an hour later, he emerged outside. He saw the checked white shirt,ironed and folded, kept neatly on the bed. Along with a black trouser and a matching tie. Though, normally he did not prefer wearing a tie, today's occasion demanded it. He came outside his room, fully dressed for the office. The breakfast was already served on the table. His wife was sitting on the chair (one of the three circling the dining table), smiling and waiting for her husband. He sat on the chair, opposite her wife.

'Hi Sweety', he said, pulling his breakfast plate slightly towards him.
'Morning..darling', she said softly
'Hmm...you know, I saw the morning tea kept by the bedside, and I thought something..'
'hmm..what?'
'I could not remember the last time I saw you bringing the tea or preparing the morning tea, or ironing my shirts and trousers, or preparing the breakfast. Only the hazy images of yours doing these things remained. Things were different when we were newly married. They have changed. Have I changed? What happened?', he asked.

She remained silent for a while. But she could not keep the sadness away from her eyes.

'Please say something. I am feeling guilty inside'.

'you know, we can not have this conversation. Not today. Today is a very special day for you. You do not want to ruin it..you know that right? You have worked hard for this day. You have been waiting for this day for quite some time. If you haven't been here always, this is only because you were working for a better future. Our better future. Please finish your breakfast and go to office in a cheerful mood. Just remember that when you return today, I will still be waiting for you. As I always have.ok.. sweetheart?

If he was disappointed, he did not show it. He smiled and kissed her. He picked his bag (with wheels) and took out his car and departed for office.

He reached office shortly. As he proceeded towards his cubicle on the 4th floor, past the long corridors, everyone he met passed a smiled at him. Working in a company for a long period has its advantages. Though, he did had trouble remembering names of few people he met, but a subtle smile on both sides erased any discomfort, if any. He knew this building intimately. Perhaps better than his 2 room flat. He allowed himself a chuckle opening the door of his office.

He settled and kept himself busy doing the chores of office. He wanted to talk to his boss about something. Around 4 PM, checking that his boss is alone in his office, he knocked gently on the door. His boss with a plump but likable face, saw him and beamed enthusiastically.

'Come on in, Mr. Please come on in. How has been your day today?'
'Fine, sir. Thank you. Its just that I have to talk to you regarding something.'
'Ok..I think I know what you have to say. But first, accept my heartiest congratulations on completing your 10 years of association with this prestigious company. Oh, boy, you have really given it your all these last few years. We are very proud to have you here. Your family would be proud of you.'

'Thank you sir. Thank you very much indeed. But..'

'Wait..wait..wait..I think its time for you to move on.'

'I am sorry, sir...I did not...'

'Move on to your new office, haha...got scared, did you? haha. A new office, entirely your own is waiting for you.'

'Oh...wow..I did not expect that much..'

'yes, yes, we know how to reward our employees..haha. And, by the way, you can leave early today. Go to your wife. Have a chilled day. You deserve this. You can join your new office from tomorrow.'

'But..'

'No more talking, young man. In fact, I have to go early as well. Advantages of being a senior..eh?I guess, you have one eye on my chair now...haha...just kidding. Take a day off.'

He returned to his seat and thought that may be his boss is right. The thing which he wanted to talk may wait for some other day. He waited for few mins and then packed his bag and left office. On the way, he thought about his promotion. He deserved this.

He rang the doorbell. When no body answered for some time, he drew out his key, thinking about where his wife could be at this time. Perhaps he should have called her before coming, he thought to himself

As the key turned in the lock and door was opened, he heard -

'Hey...here comes our Ten Year Boy'

He scanned the room to see many people from his office (his boss included), friends and members of the family (his beaming wife too). All happy and smiling. He did not expected it. A surprise party for his Ten year completion on the job. He shook hands with everybody and accepted their congratulations.

The big cake, pineapple flavor, his favorite, was brought forward. He looked at it. He looked at his boss, standing and clapping on the opposite side. He smiled at himself. Suddenly, everything came rushing back to him. In a few moments, he had envisioned the full circle. Off all the moments, this was the perfect moment to do it. To do what he wanted to do in the office some time back. He cut the cake and shared it with his wife. He had rarely felt happier than this moment as far as he could remember. Then he took out a big piece, put it on a plate, took the spoon and proceeded towards his boss. He smiled at him and handed him the plate.

'For you sir' he said.

'Thanks and congratulations again'

'And this one is for you too, sir'

'What is this piece of paper. Can I take a look later on. You do not have to discuss office matters here...hehe'

'My Resignation Letter', he said proudly.' I am moving on, sir', he added

Suddenly the room became silent as the word 'resignation' made its way through. Slight fuss started and his boss was left speechless.

Then he turned towards his wife, who was looking lovely as ever. He could not keep himself from touching her face. Looking into her eyes he kissed her on the forehead and said -

'I am Home, Finally!'

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Perfect Misfit

I was talking to one of my very good friends few days back with whom I have been in constant contact even after leaving college (lucky him). I was explaining to him about my 'part-in-progress-part-upcoming' research on my perfect bicycle to start my tour of all over India covering every major Indian city and seeing everything there is to see. I told him that I would like to attach a speedometer and a odometer to my cycle, so that I can measure my optimum speed, how soon I get tired at maximum speed, how much distance I am covering on an average, how much wear and tear my cycle suffers at different speeds on different terrains etc etc etc. He was a very patient listener, as he usually is, but on the first moment of silence that he got, he snapped -

'abe, pata hai, jab tu baat karta hai na, to pata nahi aisa lagta hai ki tu kuch bahut bada soch raha hai aur achhe se apne dream ko pura karne wala hai. Par saala, tu karta kuch nahi hai last mein.'

He got me there.

I had heard a similar analysis some time back when I was casually talking to my father about my desire to enter film industry.

Me: Papa, agar main aapko bolun ki main film line mein jaana chahta hun, to aap kya bolenge?
Papa: par acting to kabhi kiya nahi hai tu?
Me: Nahi , acting nahi. Main film banana chahta hun. Kahani hai mere paas. bas usse likhna hai. Main direct karna chahta hun.
Papa: Hmm, (silence continues...), aah, tumhare bas ki nahi hai.
Tu itna lazy hai. tere se nahi hoga ye sab.

Actually, I was happy for 1. He did not say No. and 2. He did not say, that I can not do it because I do not have the ability to do it.

My history does support the fact that I have jumped from one desire/idea to another without ever start working on any of these. Three years back, I started self -learning about nanotechnology by reading books. But backed off on the first instant, when it occurred to me, that I will have to appear for GATE and once again study my Mechanical subjects which I did not study well the first time itself. I moved on to study about Radio astronomy and it was once again a dead end as the university I was interested in wanted a MSc in Physics. Another idea suddenly struck me last year about my wish to convert the great deserts of India into a green forest once again. I researched on internet and read a lot online about this technology called 'Permaculture'. It talks about sustainable development of ecosystem in different soils and climate conditions. It sounded so great and exciting that for few days, I thought I had found my calling. I found an government institute in Rajasthan which is actually supposed to work on the same lines. I could not stop talking about it to my friends and forwarded a bunch of links and articles to them to check. But this enthusiasm could not sustain itself over the course of next week and permaculture suffered a pre-mature death. In between, I had 3-4 potential stories taking birth in my head about my non-existing movie, which never blossomed.

And then, I had this great idea about a bicycle tour of complete India. I honestly do not know, for how long this idea/desire/wish resides in my head, but for now, I am truly relishing the effect of this 'most resilient parasite'.

I, with my T-shirt and Jeans, see myself a perfect misfit in the corporate world of white shirt, black trousers and a blue tie. I belong everywhere, but here, where I am now. The world, where I am planning my escape to a parallel universe where my desires are not just desires. Where, I do not have to take care of hundred of strings to fulfill any of my ideas. Where ideas come with a full proof plan and a 'How to complete me' pamphlet. Where, one does not think things. They happen.

But, back in my imperfect world, I first think. Things does not happen. They are made to happen. Yeah, let me think about something else now.

P.S - I think, this may be classified as half crib post. Gosh, I have not written one of those for so long.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Autobiography of a Juggler

When I was a kid, I liked to play with colorful balls. I liked it when my dad used to throw me a orangle color ball and say 'Catch it' and I got hold of it. Sometimes, with a single hand. When my dad was not around, I used to throw the ball high up in the air and would run, guessing its trajectory and a smile would run over my face when the ball would land in my outstreched palms. Then I started with two balls at a time. It was so delighful juggling both the balls at a time with one hand. Then, I moved to three balls a time. I was really skillful. When I grew up slightly, I used to entertain the little children of the colony with my '3 ball play'. When some guests came into our house, my dad used proudly used to say,'he can juggles 5 balls at a time'. When I frowned, he said,'We do not have 5 balls now, but he can show his skill with 3 balls for sure!'.

I soon realized, it was the only thing I was good at. Juggling was my love. But thinking of a profession in juggling was craziness. There was no profession. I finished my schooling but nothing good came out of it. Switching to different subjects in a day was not the same as throwing and catching multiple balls at a time. I tried to set up shows on some of the busy corners of the city, away from home, to raise some money. But those were already occupied with street side magicians, road plays, musicians. I could only hear the people clapping and coins clanking once the show was over. Who wanted to see a kid playing with 3 colorful balls?

I had to move up the ladder. I had to develop my game. Playing with balls was kids stuff. I started with rings. It was not so difficult, but yeah, took me a lot of practice to get perfect with rings. Sticks, torches followed. Torches were heavy. And tricky. They could hurt if the timing of making contact was not perfect.It took me some months to master the torches. I picked out a corner on a nearby lake where there was considerable crowd on weekends, particularly when the sun was out. In the beginning it was difficult. The public used to think, I was an intruder. But the small kids really loved it. I had found my space. My corner. Kids were accompanied with their mothers, grand mothers. They used to clap when the rings used to fly high up in the air and seamlessly landing in my arms. It was so exhilarating. But the monetary returns were not enough. Few kind souls rewarded. But, a few good words here and there used to lift my spirits.

Sometimes, it gets lonely in the lake side. I picked a little puppy from the roadside and soon we were companions. Whatever, I could make, it was enough for us. He was the mute approver of all my antics - great and stupid.He saw me develop my skill further. I wanted some Man stuff going. I started practicing with knives. Very dangerous. I got cut twice on the left hand. I almost got the puppy hurt as well. I could not continue with knives and so I tried with fire-torches. They were dangerous as well, but were more manageable than the knives. When I performed with fire-torches for the first time, after months of practice, I noticed quite a few people clapping with their hearts out. I had a truly outstanding evening.

But, Yeah..when I am performing Juggling on the road side or lake side, I am not begging. And I really hate it, when some one thinks otherwise. I am not a juggler by circumstances. I am a juggler by choice. I like what I do. I am good at what I do. I know, not everybody can say both these things about themselves. I am proud of my skill. I risk getting hurt atleast 10 times a day while performing my juggling antics with fire-torches. But, I do it. Day in and Day out. Sure, it does not pay as much as some blue collar jobs. And women are far from impressed upon hearing what I do for living. But, I have my lucky days. I am happy. My puppy is happy.

I am waiting for the weather to clear up so that I can go to my corner and perform for the kids and adults, who know I will be there. With balls and rings in one bag and sticks and torches in another. With a cute puppy sitting in shade and observing everything. With my hat turned upside down resting a few meters ahead of me. Risking myself once again.

I am a juggler.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Stranded

I knew about Inception - The Movie for quite some time and was waiting with a silent and controlled anticipation which a new 'supposed to be good' movie invariably brings. Now, when it has finally released and has got almost everyone everywhere raving about it, I suddenly feel like I am living in an uninhabited unnamed island. But, its only Zurich. And there is no sign of this movie being released here for at least 2 weeks. The buzz generated on the internet, friends, friend's blog, critics has has made me very very impatient. 2 weeks are 2 weeks away..

Actually, Inception has three release dates in Switzerland

Switzerland (French Speaking region) - 21st July
Switzerland (German Speaking region) - 29th July
Switzerland (Italian Speaking region) - 24th Sept

The good thing is that, the movie is shown in the original language with German/French subtitles. I will have to condition my mind not to see the subtitles, to concentrate on the movie.

Another movie, which I had checked the reviews on last Friday was Udaan and they were very positive. But it will be an eternity(if ever), before Udaan finds itself in theatres in this German speaking part of Switzerland. So, probably, I have no option but to wait and get a CD/DVD once I am in India and watch the movie with pleasure (harder route) or just watch it online here on some pirated website (easier route) with guilty pleasure. I hope the movie is worth the wait..

I am stranded.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mat Uthana

I was working in Noida office last year in my company. It was evening, and I was out for some snacks with few of my colleagues, when I got a call.

It was from a guy called Deepak, and he was an HR manager of some company. (I do not want to disclose the name). He said that there was a very good opening in his company and he would like to offer me a job position there.

I said,'hey, wait. Wont you call me for an interview first?'

'Oh, yeah, sorry. I meant, we have shortlisted you for the interview. We have seen your resume and it perfectly matches our requirement. When can you appear for the interview?'

This was a tricky question. I was really not looking for a job change. Not because, the present one was high paying-less work job, but because, I was not in a mood to get to an interview mode just few months after coming back from Spain. Moreover, I was looking to go home in a couple of weeks. And this interview thing just seemed too unwelcome at this time to warrant any attention.

I explained him that I am not so sure about the interview as I am planning to go home soon and will only be able to say anything definite before coming back. He tried to talk me into appearing for the interview before that but he soon realized that it was not to be.

I did go home for a week or so and kind of forgot about this all interview conversation. But I got a rude awakening one morning after returning to Noida, when a forgotten voice called and said, 'hey, its Deepak. remember, we talked few days back regarding your interview'.

'oh...yeah..I remember', I said dreamily. 'Spare me my sleep, man', was my actual thought.

He once again asked for a date. I tried to talk him into out of this interview thing by telling him that I am not very much interested in a change right now. He kept telling me to just appear once for the interview as he had made great effort to fix my appointment with the client. I thought, telling him point blank that I do not want to appear for the interview will be too rude. So, ruefully, I accepted to appear for the interview on coming Saturday at 11:00 AM.

I still had about 3 days to go for the interview, when I got a call from one of my best buddies (called Chinchoo) that he is coming to Delhi (from Mumbai) and he plans to go to our college (NIT K) from there. He was staying in Noida for the weekend and I thought this was a great time for a get together of college friends and have a small 'ladko wali party' over the weekend. Friday was the natural choice for the party day and we were about 7 guys (my friends and room mates) who were all in the party mode. Interview thing was displaced from the subconscious part of the mind to the unconscious part. I was just checking my mails before the party and saw 'Location for the Friday interview at 11:00 AM in Gurgaon. Shit man, ye saala subah mein interview.

I told this to my friends, and also added that they need not worry. I will attend the party and will be awake all night with them and then go and appear for the interview in the morning. I was pretty confident, I can do it. (I had done this before). I was confident, but apparently my friends were not. By 3:00 AM, my friends were all spread on the floor, using bedsheets for the blankets and kicking beer bottles with their legs. I was the lone survivor and still in 'have-to-attend-the-interview-at-any-cost' mood.(Hausle Buland, you see ;)). By 4:00 AM, that hausla started cracking and my eyes became heavy. By 5:00 AM, the hausla had disappeared all-together. But the thought of ditching Deepak's hard work into arranging this interview did not auger well with my conscience. Sorry Deepak, I still have to do it. Can not show my red blurry eyes in the interview even if I reach there.

So, I opened the mail on which he had sent me the location details. (aah..he had even embedded a route to the location). I clicked on the Reply and wrote,



Hi Deepak,


I am really sorry to inform so late. I have just left office after working in the night. I do not think it will be possible for me to come to Gurgaon on Monday to attend the interview.

I felt guilty and relieved at the same time, if ever these two things can be felt simultaneously.

I slept peacefully till afternoon. I was still in bed when my phone rang. Oh, Deepak again..please leave me alone. (I recognized the mobile number). The thought of sacrificing my sleep to explain the hows and whys was too daunting for me. I did not lift the call.

The first thing I did was to save that number by the name, 'Mat Uthana'. He did call me many times over the course of next few days, but everytime his number shouted itself 'Mat Uthana'.

Seemed like he was not to be dismissed so easily. I got a call from a landline number next week and I did the mistake of receiving it - 'Hey, Kunal. Its Deepak, you were...'

'Hello...Hello...arre yaar..kuch sunai nahi de raha hai...hello..hello'..

After hanging up, I saved the landline number by the name - 'ye bhi mat uthana'.

I have been safe from him till now.

P.S - Hey guys and girls, please do not hate me after reading this. Outside of these incidents, I am a pretty nice guy. I respond to calls and messages. I AM polite. :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

All in good time..

Hey folks,


Many Thanks for appreciating the last entry. Though, there are only 4 comments in the last blog,I had many friends pinging me and saying that they liked 'Chocolate Almond Fudge'. Off course, the most obvious questions were directed as 'who was he?' or 'who was she' and what happened then...and so on. But, let me assure all, that it was an entirely fictional blog. Though I got this idea by seeing a guy alone in a restaurant and a girl entering the restaurant and leaving soon after seeing it overcrowded. It had nothing to do with me (as if any of this stuff ever happens with me ;)).


I have tried hard to take this fictional story forward and so far prepared 2 drafts(one with a happy ending and one with a not so happy one) which has been discussed,analysed and finally discarded as 'kuch jam nahi raha'. I do not want to dilute the simple pleasure of simplicity by following it up with a tame sequel just for the sake of it. Next, a better post is assured. All in good time..


I am off to Paris for a 4 day weekend. Till then, bye and a have a great weekend.


Thanks to all...


Cheers

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Chocolate Almond Fudge

I was sitting in an over-crowded restaurant overlooking the stretch of blue lake and snow-peaked mountains in the distance. I was alone on my table digging dip in my delicious Chocolate Almond fudge when...

'Is this seat occupied? None of the other seats are empty. Do you mind, if I seat here?.

My mouth was still full with the fudge and barely managed to mumble,'Sure!', pointing my left hand towards the seat. And I realized by back pack was still there on the seat in front of me.

'I am sorry. I will take this bag. You can have a seat', I said after swallowing the creamy bite.

She sat and put her purse (quite an attractive one!!) on the side of the table.

We managed an awkward smile looking at each other. There was just a tinge of gloominess even in that awkward smile. There was no way of knowing why though. I concentrated once again in my melting ice cream scoop.

'Is it good?', she asked pointing her finger at my bowl of fudge. I could not help but notice her beautiful finger nails.

'yeah, they are good. They really taste like chocolate.', I said

She smiled. It was no longer awkward. But that bit of gloominess was still there.

She ordered the same. It was my turn to smile.

'Well, it does taste like chocolate', she said when the order came some ten minutes later.

We both smiled together. We started talking. She told me that she is away from her 'loved ones' for reasons which she did not tell. But she is happy. She is looking just to be on the road for some time. She was charming as I found out in a uniquely charmingly way. I too told her that, well....leave it.

I noticed that my bowl is empty.And my stomach is full.

'Umm,..I am sorry, but I will have to leave now. I am meeting some friends some place in some time'. (Off-course, I was lying. But I did not wanted myself to impose on our 20 mins of smiling and talking.)

After a moments silence, she said, 'yeah, sure. you can go ahead. I plan to have one more chocolate fudge'.

'Ok. well, nice meeting you and good luck on the road.' I said which I genuinely meant.

'Thanks and good luck to you too!'

The smile was replaced by an awkward smile again. I took leave of her. I stepped out of the restaurant and started walking in no particular direction. I could not get my mind off her. Walking away from her, I managed some strength and stopped. I turned towards the restaurant again not knowing what to say when I will meet her again. I stepped in again and stood behind her. Waited for a moment. She was in to her second round of her chocolate fudge.

'Is that seat empty? Well, you see, though there are other seats empty here, but this seat is really cool and has the best color and best views.'

We laughed. The awkwardness was no longer there and her gloominess disappeared just for a moment.

I sat and ordered another chocolate fudge, which ironically tasted like chocolate again.

P.S - The 'I' in real life is always some other poor lucky bastard.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Without Any Descriptions

IMG 1: This was in Kerala. LN has a classic expression for which a name has still to be devised and the reason behind this still to be deciphered.


IMG 2: I have absolutely no idea what to call this. 'Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe!!' will be Apt, I believe



IMG 3: Despite our umpteenth attempts to make him look at the camera, he could not make it.
Was ist los..Kurt?



IMG 4: No Comments.



IMG 5: Who is gonna jump first? KG-->Rudolph


IMG 6: Concentrate on the left hand side. I am about to pick up a fight with that guy because he is making an attempt to take my mike.


IMG 7: Sleep Attack V1.0


IMG 8: Sleep Attack V2.0



IMG 9: Sleep Attack V3.0




Friday, May 28, 2010

Pictures and then the Story.



After a sticky weather all week, the sky really opened up on Sunday last week (23rd). We were really looking forward to it with a child like excitement(atleast I was!!). My Team Lead Marianne had invited us (Me and another friend and colleague, hereby called KG) to her house for a short hiking trip in the mountains and then dinner.




The Place is Thun, 30 Km south of the swiss Capital Bern(Thanks Wikipedia). We had heard, it was very very beautiful.




The Sunday morning started very early for us as we had to go to the Airport to receive another colleague who was joining us here. I woke half an hour late in the morning and hastily called KG to get ready for the Airport. We reached just on time. Weary eyed, we returned to our rooms and I was still feeling sleepy. We had planned to catch a 11:00 AM direct train to Thun. But, true to our nature, we missed it. In fact we missed two trains in a row. Both by a whisker. What a start!! KG listened to songs to pass time as we tried to figure out the next train. We caught 11:30 AM train to Bern, from where we had to change to another one for Thun. The 1 hr journey from Zurich to Bern was pleasant enough. We reached Thun around 1 PM where Marianne and her husband Rudolph were waiting for us. Rudolph is a very pleasant man. We easily warmed up towards each other as we talked about many things during our 20 mins ride from Thun Railway station to Beatenberg, a place near Lake Thun. From here we had to go up to the mountains for a brilliant view of the Swiss Alps.



The view from the top was absolutely Fantabulous. Instead of taking the train ride to the bottom we preferred to walk for about an hour (KG was a bit under pressure, but managed well). The walk itself was very pleasant giving us good views of the snowy peaks. We took the bus ride back to Thun.




We went to Marianne's house which was on the fifth floor of a apartment made on mountain slopes (pic below). The house was amazingly beautiful and view from there was one to die for.



To our surprise, Marianne prepared us a tasty Indian dinner of Rice, daal and mix veg curry. I had some white wine with Rudolph, but had to stop after only two rounds, when KG started giving some looks.




It was as good as a Sunday as any!!


P.S: All shops were closed,Thun being a small town and the day being Sunday. What little ideas KG had of Shopping were gone.