Monday, October 06, 2008

A Wednesday

I am impressed. Naseeruddin Shah’s dialogue at the end is worth a thought. A common man’s answer to terrorism (my apologies for plagiarism) - 

Aapke ghar mein cockroach aate hai to aap use paalte nahi, maarte hai. Main wo hoon jo aaj bus aur train mein baithne se darta hai. Main wo ho jo kaam par jata hai to uske biwi ko lagta hai jung pe ja raha hai. Main wo hoon jo kabhi barsaat mein phansta hai, kabhi blast mein. Main wo hoon jo kisi ke haath mein tasbeeh dekh ke shak karta hai aur main wo bhi hoon jo aaj kal daadi badhane se aur topi pehenne se ghabrata hai. Jhagda kisi ka bhi ho, bewajah marta main hi hoon. Bheed to dekhi hogi na aapne, bheed main se koi ek shakl chun lijiye, main wo hoon. I am just the stupid common man wanting to clean his house. 

Logo mein gussa bahut hai, unhe aazmana band kijiye. We are resilient by force, and not by choice. Galti hamari hai. Humlog bahut jaldi ‘used to’ ho jaate hai. Ek aisa haadsa hota hai to channel badal badal ke sara maazra dekh liya. Sms kiya, phone kiya, shukr manaya ki humlog bach gaye aur phir us situation se ladne ke bajaye hum uske saath adjust karma shuru kar dete hai. Par hamari bhi majboori hai, hamein ghar chalana hota hai. Isliye humne sarkar ko chuna hai, ki wo mulk chalaye. Aap log, sarkar, police force, intelligence saksham hai aise pest control ke liye, lekin aap log kar nahi rahe. Sirf sheh diye ja rahe hai. Why are you not nipping them in the bud? Ek aadmi gunehgaar hai ya nahi, ye saabit karne ke liye aapko dus saal lag jaate hai? Aapko ye nahi lagta hai ki ye aapki kabiliyat pe sawaal hai? This whole bloody system is flawed. Aap jaise log in keedo ka safaya nahi karenge, to hum logo ko jhaadu uthana padega. Shayad usse hamari is civilized society ka balance bigad jayega, lekin kya kare. Koi m******* button dabake mere liye ye faisla nahi karega ki mujhe kab marna hai.

Unhe fakr hai, 93 pe, 2006 pe, Gujrat, Mumbai, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Malegaon pe. Mujhe fakr hai khud pe ki main aise logo ko maar raha hoon. Main koi maseeha nahi hoon aur ye main sirf apne liye kar raha hoon. Main chahta hoon ki agar mera bachha ghar se baahar nikle, to bekhauff ghoome, kahi bhi, kabhi bhi, train mein, bus mein, kahi bhi. Jo train blast hue, wo sirf ek terrorist activity nahi the, bahut bade sawaal the. Aur wo sawaal ye tha ki bhai, hum to tumhe isi tarah maarenge, tum kya kar loge? Yes, they asked us this question on a Friday, repeated it on a Tuesday. I am just replying on a Wednesday.’ 

Bomb blasts have become a day to day activity. We change the channel when they show bodies lying in blood. ‘Ye tasveerein vichlit kar sakti hai’ – that’s the caption shown with these pictures. Haan, vichlit to karti hai, but just to the extent that we thank our lucky stars that we or our loved ones weren’t around to face the brunt. 

I think it was the day before, when we were in the car park of Select Citywalk, this huge mall in the heart of Delhi. So, Renj, her sis, her nephew Neil and I were walking towards the car. We saw this innocuous looking small pillow lying next to the driver’s seat, outside the car. The first thing that came to our minds was could this be a bomb. Some people might laugh at our paranoia, but the thought was a serious one. We actually contemplated on calling security, and on finding none around, we entered the car from the other side. Only when the car was reversed and nothing ripped us apart, we breathed a sigh of relief. That’s the kind of fear that has been inculcated in our minds. In some ways, the terrorists have been successful.

 The irony of it is that all I am doing is writing a blog and wondering what can I do. Its terrorism after all! Not a common man’s forte, to fight something as huge as terrorism. And then I saw the movie ‘A Wednesday’ and thought, that maybe…just maybe something can be done. Something should be done. The question is will we wait for someone we love, to die before we do something? 

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

My daddy strongest

For once, I can't see humour in small things. 

For once, tears seem comforting. 
For once, vacations seem like a monstrosity. 
For once, fear seems tangible.
For once, prayers seem credible.

We fight all the time. We have a difference of opinion about everything. Stubborn as mules, we would stand by our judgements and create an uproar till ma would play third umpire. So many vacations went by, when I would love to be alone in the house. I used to be home alone from 10 to 6. Revel in the space and do what I felt like.While he slogged it out, got up early in the morning, helped ma, ran a thousand errands, left for office - I slept in the comfort of my room. He would keep trying to wake me up, I know he loves it when i get up and have a cup of tea with him, he loves it when i tell him college/office stories -  but i didn't do any of those things. I slept. 

He is proud of ma. He is proud of being known as Alpana mam's husband. So much so that, his life revolves around ma's routine. From the bus stop where he drops her every morning (even though its a minute away from home) to the last triangle that has to be cut out for craft class, he does everything to make ma's life easier. He would stand taller when ma would be recognised at every second place they went. Yes, my daddy strongest does everything for ma, for me, for dada - for eveyone he loves obsessively. And yet, we missed the strain he had been going through. We missed the tired face when he would come back from office. 

He gave up on the good things in life, so that I can splurge in college. He planned meticulously, so that we never fell short of anything. When he walks into a room full of people, he lets people know in his loud voice that dada is in TCS, in New York, that I am in IIFT, that Ma is in DPS - all nitty gritties that we always wished he would forget to mention. But we missed the pride in his voice. There is so much of him in me, and yet I have managed to find faults in him.

Life was flying by and I was indifferent, happy in my own small world. One call, ma's quivering voice, the deafening silence behind, the rain drops in my face and a severe heart attack. That was 17th September 2008. Dad had a heart attack. My daddy strongest. It is a gut wrenching feeling, seeing him on the hospital bed. 

I go back home and crave for the meaningless fights. I don't want to switch on the TV because it reminds of his fetish for Dharmendra movies. I move around from room to room. Everything that I have done wrong, every moment that I was rude to him, every moment that I could have used to talk to him, to be with him, to laugh with him and I missed - it keeps coming back to me now. 

I believe that prayers heal. And I know dad will be fine. 

Just that home doesn't seem like home without his presence. Get well soon baba. Your partner in crime misses you. 

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Photoshop I like!

This collage is Apu centric, because well.. this was supposed to be sent to her only. Anyway, turned out okay. Even Kinshu's distorted chin is lookin good :D

For the ignoramus, the people in the collage -
The most prevalent face - Apu (Apoorva Raje)
The fair one - Aaki (Aakriti Talwar)
The one with the long chin - Mr. Nice Guy (Kinshu Sinha)
The sleepy lady - Debu/Gunda (Devika Phumbhra)
Hazy guy in blue tshirt - Bhuti (Ankit Bhutani)
And there's me ofcourse. :)

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Not so bad afterall..! :)

Thoughts are always aplenty, but to actually take the effort to switch on the computer and type a post - the lazybum in me just refuses to oblige! Last I wrote was when Motu got married. Since then a LOT has changed! Just to name a few –
1. I am jobless
2. I am a poor-trying to make ends meet- B school student
3. My seven year long tryst with Pune ended
4. My journey in
Delhi began on 1st July
5. I am back in an overcrowded hostel, sharing bathrooms :(
6. I am in a co-ed college
The New life - 
1. There are seven people in the room I stay in. Yes, I kid you not – the number is 7!
The one thing I miss most is my flat in Pune. A room with a view, all to myself - where listening to Nirvana full blast on my Altec Lansing speakers at 3 in the morning is not sacrilege, where I could get up ANY time of the night and fix myself a snack, where I could indulge in cooking, where in-house parties with quality alcohol, people and pictionary was how we spent weekends and where the bathroom was blissfully well equipped, clean and always available. And now, the place I live in is Room 36/17/18, Old Hostel, IIFT. No, the college hasn't allotted three rooms to me. I am an 'add-on' to rooms 17 and 18. Seven people in one room, one shady bathroom, too close for any privacy – but I admit that I don’t hate it.   I enjoy being around people I like (not too sure whether its true the other way round :) ). A single room is just wishful thinking in this sarkari college. We do have fun, but there are days when solitude and peace seems so out of reach here.
 2. The one problem I can’t seem to solve is how to stay awake in lectures! Now when I was preparing for these B school exams, I thought classes here would be fun. Some Einstein like professor would be dishing out extremely interesting food for thought and students would be giving profound insights. Of course, I knew I would only listen. But mind you, I assumed I would be AWAKE. Day One IIFT Delhi – The professor starts talking and my inner battle with sleep begins in 5 minutes! One trimester down, and I have lost the battle fair and square. My sleeping prowess can only be challenged by Bhuti. Now if you knew him, you would know that that’s no mean feat. It’s amazing that the teachers haven’t thrown me out of class yet! 
3. I have learnt to play TT. I think I am good at it. I can serve, return serves and sometimes, by sheer pot luck, return smashes as well. :) The odd spin from time to time is never intentional, though I like Apu to believe otherwise. :P The TT table is of international standards. Tilted at some 5 odd degrees and with a huge rift in the centre – it’s truly pathetic! But still, we play with utmost reverence. :) Sometimes till 6 in the morning! I have relatively improved my game – initially the long one used to beat me 21-4/21-5 (u get the picture). Now, she beats me 21-16/21-17. Now, that’s definitely a lot of improvement. I mean I have actually played shots which she couldn’t reach! (She has verrry long hands). 
4. My friends and family are going to disown me (if they haven’t already).  Now now, don’t presume that this is because I am a vile person with not so endearing traits. I like to believe that I am ‘such a joy to be with’. :) To problem ye hai – 24 hours is too f***** less! There are so many things that take so much time that before one gets to know, its 2 in the morning. A very sane time for most of us, but for world outside a B-school, calls made at this time would mean a truckload of choicest abuses. To delve deeper into the problem, let’s look at the ‘so many things’ that take up our time.
a) Food at Dhaba
b) Special tea at dhaba
c) Coffee/chocolate fantasy in rockland
d) Dinner at Tanku’s
e) Talk/gossip/bakar
f)  Power naps
g) Batch meets/ seminars/ CRC (I hate them all!!) 
So, ideally finding time for loved ones shouldn’t be a problem. But still, days turned into weeks, weeks into months and months into a full trisem and I stayed cut off from the whole wide world! So this is a solemn oath – I shall not be the jerk that I’ve been and I shall not be subjected to so many abuses. :)
There’s so much more that I can write. I could write about my new friends in this new place -  but they don’t seem so new anymore. :) Writing about them would make this blog inordinately long. I could write about the 5’10 pact, but since it never was ratified – what’s the point! I could write about the insane jokes that crack us up at 4 in the morning, about the time Debu scared us out of our wits with tht cellphone of hers, about aaki’s killer one liners, about mr. nice guy’s not so nice PJs, about how Bhuti scares the living daylights out of me with just a look, about my 'leech like lowe' for Apu and a hundred other things. As I write all this, I realize that this ‘new life’ isn’t so bad afterall. For every hour that I’ve spent cribbing about this place, I have spent twice as much time loving it and the people in it. :) That ain’t a bad deal at all!