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


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...