Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wander-lust

Mocha Mojo had always been ‘their’ place. The red lights gave her face a resplendent glow which he noticed while he clicked her for the nth time. She kept chattering like a hummingbird, feeding him bits and pieces of the bruschettas and gnocchi. He kept smiling at her, fiddling with the lemon slice in his Corona while she sipped on the last glass of the bottle of Californian Merlot that she loved. This wasn’t the first time they were doing this. It was a culmination of hours of chats, never-ending phone calls and countless emails which had been going on for weeks.

They were just two of the millions who were awake all night in the city that never sleeps. She was a darling of the new-gen yuppies, while he was the quintessential small-town boy, charming his way through the city of dreams. Their first meeting and the story thereafter had the makings of a classic Bollywood rich girl–poor boy chick flick. He knew that she was a high-flying rockstar and did not live in any false beliefs that she fell for his looks. He also knew that she, like every girl who knew him had not been able to resist his charms. His witty remarks and her incessant chatter had kept them engaged in conversations for hours.

They were both married. Not to each other. Not that anybody could have guessed that when they saw them together. He was coming out of a bad marriage, completely cynical about love, relationships and commitment. She was living through her bad marriage, finding the much-needed respite and comfort in him. He had promised her nothing. He had not a single string attached to her. Yet she not only confessed her love to him but also took care of him like only a mother can. Even his Gemini dual instincts could not understand how she managed to play the role of both an ardent lover and a caring mother.

To him, the entire arrangement was simple. His past had taught him to be unattached and all he really wanted to do now was to sleep with every woman. He found his “mommie”, to be perfect. Yeah, that was his nickname for her, inspired by the love she showered on him. Her words were soothing and she was so concerned about everything related to him, that he could not help giving her a special place in his life. For her, he was everything that had been missing from her life till then. She spent hours discussing the world and its trivialities, dreaming about the perfect future 30 years from then.

She was fiercely independent, but once with him, she gave him full control. He had always given her an upper-hand from day one, letting her be, whoever she wanted to be. She went out of her way to become the woman he liked, which was completely against her nature. She gave up compulsive drinking and smoking, even avoided non-veg just because he was vegetarian. He kept insisting that her special efforts wouldn’t really make him trust her more but she didn’t care about that, always claiming that her love for him was absolute and selfless. Together they explored every pub, disc, restaurant in town; dancing, drinking and feeling content in each other’s company.

She was a pretty pricey doll, sometimes naughty but mostly sweet. Her soft voice and honey-soaked words kept him up all night. She would drop him to his apartment every night before going to her place, because she knew her ‘kid’ was new to the city. She bought him expensive gifts that she thought would be perfect for him and promised him many more. She even promised to make this arrangement work and persist long enough to be able to have a full-fledged relationship with him someday. She claimed that he was the single source of happiness and peace in her life and she would never let go off him. Maybe this was her last attempt to try growing roots and settling for someone, moving away from her natural nomad instincts.

He always felt that things were very smooth and pleasant; in fact life with her was too good to be true. And when things are too good to be true, they usually aren’t. From a time when lyrics of every song reminded her of him, there came a day when she could not find five minutes in a day to talk to him. There were times when she was everywhere, on GTalk, on DMs, on the phone, and still emailing songs. Today, she would appear online on every platform, yet remain offline to him, thinking he wouldn’t notice. Somehow all her words started sounding hollow and the silence too long for comfort. Her to-do lists had always started and ended with him, but today he figured nowhere in them. He had admired her and often wondered why she loved him even when he had expressed his inability to reciprocate any feelings towards her. Today, he was left wondering if they were all a bunch of lies.

The spell of a witch is very strong and binding, but the intentions of the spell are known just to the witch and no one else. When the woman who reads your cards spells doom for you, where do you go for respite? Was it all because he eventually lost his job? He could blame her for this as well because they both know that if there was a genuine intent, she could have helped him. But then, selflessness has its limits. No one, not even someone who claimed undying love for someone, would want to peg her money on a losing horse. She fled at the first sign of sorrows, after making a million promises to always keep him happy. When she needed comfort, she had seeked him out. Today, when he needs support, she has supposedly lost herself and her way in life, almost retracted into a make-believe shell. Probably he was worth the effort only as long as her life with him was happy.

Every person who even remotely knew the two of them had warned him of her fickle nature. He had known about her and the truth of her numerous lies all along. He had however always wanted to give her a chance, always wanted to overlook her cheating behavior and believe in the goodness that she portrayed. It is human nature to move to greener pastures, probably that was why she had wandered off to a richer, happier, more stable ‘life support’, or atleast moved away from the one which was not so happy or happening anymore. Once a wanderer, always a wanderer, isn’t it?

Tonight, while Bon Jovi sings in the background, he cannot help but agree that she really does give love a very very bad name. Yet for her happiness he hopes that her wander-lust finds its solace somewhere…

Monday, January 26, 2009

So fa', so gud…

Being an average guy was not what he wanted to be, not being one was what he knew sets him apart from the boy-next-door. His life was a string of interesting twists and turns, some of them revolved around his interactions with the fairer sex. As a critically-acclaimed actress once proclaimed, what sells in Bollywood is either Shahrukh or Sex. Our hero here is no less than Shahrukh and anyways 11% of the audience in India is under parental guidance, so what we could discuss here is a truncated version of his truly Bollywood existence.

As a child, he had always been up to some or the other mischief. His parents adored the ease with which he made his way into any heart, and indulged the tricks he played on everyone he came in contact with, including the girls. They never took it as anything other than harmless fun.

He had a mesmerizing effect on the members of the opposite sex. His antics never failed to bring a smile to their face, whether it was tying their pony tails together or standing under the staircase to watch the skirt-parade. They shared a lot with him, from a bite of chocolate to lunch to the stage of the school function. They would want him to cycle home with them and he would happily do so. Just to make them happy he would copy the notes they offered at the 11th hour, even when his own notes were much sought after. In all innocence, some of them would tie the sacred thread on his wrist and wish for him to protect them in times of need and he smilingly obliged.

What intrigued him though was the extent to which these girls would go to spend a few valuable moments with him. They would give him reasons to visit them at their homes, much to the apparent dislike of their family and brothers. They would spend innocuous moments, finishing school projects, doing SUPW work or rehearsing for upcoming school events. He often analyzed what it was in him that made them wait for him at the corner of his street or compete to share the class desk with him.

But being at a juncture in life where he was busy carving out his career path, he did not spend too much time mulling over it and enjoyed life the way it was. He moved on to a wider playground, came across newer people at the ‘coaching’ and had new experiences. Every experience made him richer and meanwhile even the ‘neighbors’ kept track of his life as he moved on to a new phase.

College gave him the freedom and the independence to fuel his ‘philanthropic’ ways. Ragging brought them closer to this boy who had his elder bro in the final year. Even the college helped them ‘break the ice’, by keeping some cross-functional subjects in the very first year. He was one of them, the elite ‘Mechanical Guys’, the men among the boys. He was the quintessential bad boy, what with his ponytail, pierced ear and occasional violent spates. Yet he enthralled them when he topped the university in the first year and every year after that. He made a smooth entry into their lives, impressed that they were with the cheesy ‘mechanical’ comments he made at them.

He went on to make a slow and steady start to his career. Time to time, he wonders if things would have been different had he been less of the multitasking type, an attribute of a true Gemini, that he is. Nevertheless, his life was now on a whole new track. He had never settled for a ‘best friend’ or ‘girl friend’, he had neither understood the concept nor felt the need. Though he did find a ‘best friend’ during this period, but as the Bollywood line goes, ‘Ek ladka aur Ek ladki kabhi dost nahi ho sakte’, and so the story lay unfinished!

This phase was about experimentation, about a childlike inquisitiveness about women and relationships, what with love triangles and cozy moments, proposals and betrayals… Those winter nights, those cozy rides are all witness to the awesome life he had! The child in him needed constant pampering and that he was getting. This was also the phase of seeking; the subconscious search for that ideal woman who would fit the bill, both his own and his parents’. As he did better professionally, his work took him places. His frequent travels gave him the opportunity to explore new avenues and encounter new people. This was when he met the woman who he still values as being more mature than him, but then the time had never been right for them.

While his search didn’t yield him any results, his parents found him the ‘right’ match. So he made the life-changing decision between the Devil and the Deep Sea and finally ‘settled’ down. She started this relationship on the foundation of mistrust and suspicion for him. Given the story of his life pre-interval, he thought he deserved it and gave in. But then her wariness became a nuisance when all attempts of adhering to the role of an ‘ideal’ husband failed to get appreciation and ultimately he gave up! He still doesn’t blame her for this, nor does he find anything missing in his own attempts to keep ‘peace’. He left the issues to time, hoping that they would sort themselves out and moved on to the next phase in his life.

Another college brought to him another assortment of people, which he consciously ignored, owing to his ‘settled’ status. He politely declined all proposals that came his way, managing to upset a few hearts beyond repairs. So while one says that she had always been fond of him and seeks replies that he doesn’t have, he envies the others’ ‘well-settled’ status. Some of them came back with questions. The others teased him for his reluctance to take the plunge. Probably it was his values that stopped him, or probably just righteousness. But even today all he has to offer to all of them is happiness.

He may live to regret today that he did not cross the self imposed line, given the fact that it could have been an ideal tit-for-tat for what he ultimately got from his current relationship. It continued to deteriorate with time. No amount of sacrifice was enough to sustain it. He had already given up his friends but drew a line when asked to give up on his family, resulting in breaking the newest bond.

Indifferent that he is increasingly becoming to the entire world, he was travailing the same roads which he used to wander aimlessly without knowing where to go. But then not all who are aimless are lost. He knows today that he isn’t looking for ‘her’ anymore. The child in him still craves to be pampered and he gets his share of attention. The good boy that he has been has probably paid off, wherein he has managed to retain most of his friends and made new ones. They come to him with questions to which he maintains his silence. There are those who have loads of advice to offer, he can only smile knowingly as he knows he hasn’t left any stone unturned. There are those who have issues of their own and still want to give him everything, but his desires are limited. Then there are these pretty dolls who tease him but he never retaliates. The few, who feel sorry for him, shower a blessing or two, which he is thankful for but then it is not what he needs.

So what does he need? Does he know where he is headed? Is he in a position to decide where he wants to go? Have the reins to his life finally come into his hand or is it still serendipitous? Truth be told, he is currently taking life as it comes. He has a tried and tested method to life, which is the guiding principle but then he hasn’t charted a path to his life yet. As they say ‘If you don’t know where you are going, any road would take you there.’ And thus, the journey continues…

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Devil and the Deep Sea!

The very sight of him gave you the feel of an average guy. The well-parted hair style, the clean-shaven face, the no-nonsense expression, but what differentiated him from the guy next door was the way he could talk his way into your heart. As he sat on his favorite rocking chair that day, sipping coffee and pondering over his life so far, his thoughts meandered their way to where it all started.

He saw himself, the small-town boy that he was. Born to these hard working parents, he inherited their resilient nature and the character of ‘a man with very few desires’, as if proving to himself that materialism means nothing to him. Their upbringing had readied him perfectly for his part in the movie called ‘life’. Preparing hard for higher echelons in life, he was always focused on his long cherished goal to see his parents at the place they rightfully deserved in life. To achieve this goal, his life had fallen into a pattern or so to say: he had a ‘method to life’. A disciplined life comprising of a regime of unlaid rules, to be abided by religiously.

Once his professional life got more or less set, his parents decided to get him ‘settled’ in life. Probably this decision ensued from the urge to unburden themselves from their worldly duties or perhaps from the desire to see their child happily settled at an early age. He knew that the magic that he could weave, would have got him anyone on earth. But he left this important life-changing decision on his parents, trusting them blindly, knowing that they would definitely not push him into the well!

And so walked into his life the girl they chose. Beautiful, bubbly, smart, small-city girl, her eyes full of dreams about a lavish lifestyle, she fantasized about the pleasures of it all. Talented in homely skills, educated and modern in outlook, she overwhelmed his parents. They did not realize that all that glittered was not always gold. They based their decision on experience, though he may now disagree to them on the count that ‘What is good from far maybe far from good’. For him, their decision was as good as the word of Lord himself. And just like that, he was ‘married’ !!!

Had it been a reel-life story, this is where the credits would come up with the visual of a car driving into the sunset, ‘Happily Married’ written on its rear plate. In real life, however, the story had just begun.

The hot-shot marketing executive that he was, he was exposed to the big-city life, he knew there exist the so called worldly pleasures, but he was still rooted to his traditions and hence, expected the same from his wife. She, on the other hand, was mesmerized with the apparent abundance of the big-city life and started losing herself in it from day one. In her attempt to experience ‘life’, she got caught on the wrong foot. All he had wanted was probably her but all she wanted was everything!

He got up from the rocking chair and walked towards the verandah. He thought about those early days of his marriage. It seemed to pass off in a whirlwind of excitement and festivities that surround any newly married couple in this country. The cracks were probably there even then but the newness of it all made it invisible. However the novelty soon wore off and the small tiffs translated into major differences.

His genuine expectations off her became a burden for her and her small wants off him became demands for him. Seeking perfection that he used to, he was looking for least small doses of it in her. What he got was the excuse of her being very young and naive. She, and everyone else, was increasingly attributing her immaturity and lack of good judgment to her young age. He kept saying that he had also gone through the same drill at some point in time but was never given the leeway. Being the older of the two, he was expected to act Lord Shiva and consume the poison for the general good of their marriage, which he did but to no avail. He knew that the entire family may now be regretting the decision they made earlier and trying their hard to make things work between them.

It’s not like they did not try. She tried to make the necessary changes in herself to suit his family. He let go off some of his expectations to get some peace in life. But somehow it was never enough. Small every-day arguments became long-standing fights. He was a cleanliness-freak, she a clutter head. He liked to spend quiet evenings at home; she wanted to party the whole night long. From lifestyle choices to mundane decisions, they never seemed to have the same opinion about anything. What was worse was that they were never able to find a midway meeting point in their mindsets. They stopped speaking to each other for days together, neither willing to give in or give up.

He came back and sat on the rocking chair now, analyzing what is it that had gone wrong. Have they been able to get any closure in their relationship, to understand why this happened and have the maturity to accept atleast now that it was meant to be, or rather meant not to be? Had he been wrong in expecting her to get moulded as per his family? Or probably in having any expectations at all? Would he have been better prepared if he had known her before they got married, but then would he have married her at all? Should he have chosen a girl himself, but then would he not have had the same expectations off her? Would she have fulfilled those expectations?

People ask him for advice. About relationships and marriage. About the ongoing debate between which is better: love marriage or arranged marriage. All he knows is that it is a choice between the devil and the deep sea. To each his own, he feels.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Dark Night!

It was just another day, as he left office later than usual. Work pressure had gone up, but then it was nothing new. He had been handling even worse situations for time immemorial.

On his way out, he called his new-found old friend. Mr. Morgan & Mr. Chase, however, did not let her pick up. He then messaged the one who he was not willing to talk to after their fight in the morning. Not finding a rickshaw, he decided to walk. So, there he was, walking on the pavement, talking to his dad.

He felt this sudden tug at the hand holding the phone. For a few moments, he could not think about what had hit him. He looked around for his phone and then the realization dawned. Out of his customary effort to save his phone, he had not let it fall to the ground; he had ‘gifted’ it to the hands that had tugged at it.

He looked up to see two buggers on a bike. Two buggers who had snatched this phone. This realization sunk in deeper with the sting of pain that shot up his thumb. Alarm bells went off. His beloved piece of gadgetry had been mercilessly robbed off him.

He ran after them, but to no avail. They had found an accomplice in the BEST bus, around which they ducked effortlessly. The till-then-all-elusive rickshaw made its appearance then and he caught it to chase the goons. But the fact was that he would have been better off, running behind them. The rickshaw-driver must have been another one of their partners in crime, as he was driving at snail’s pace.

Still coming to terms with his loss, he let go off the rickshaw. His single-minded focus was now on trying to figure out how to get his phone back. The first step in getting things back into perspective was to call her. Once she arrived, he used her phone to call his family and inform them of his current state.

Then he took control. To eliminate the remote chances of the phone-stored passwords being used against him in the wired world, he changed every single one of them. Next he tried to block his phone through the IMEI number, taking a cue from one of the ‘Bond’ flicks. But between Vodafone and Nokia, he was assured that it was only a myth.

Taking the ‘Bollywood’ cue now, he went to the nearest police station. Clueless whom to approach, he was volleyed from table to table. To no one, did his state of affairs make a difference. All they could say was; “Remain seated. The senior is yet to come!”

Well, the ‘ok, approved’ man did finally arrive and not a moment too soon. What followed was a plethora of the most unexpected, irrelevant & twisted questions that such an incident warranted. His story was then recorded by another joker from the same pack. And on a skimpy FIR notebook, it got written, between the records of a panicky guy’s account of how he lost his driver’s license and another person’s unnerved report of a laptop theft. All three of them were united in the understanding of the apathy of the Mumbai cops.

So, the night ended but the ordeal has not. To him, the entire episode has been a lesson in self-awareness. It reminded him of the terrorist acts in Mumbai recently. Maybe it was less on scale, but it has left him exposed personally. The sight of every person he sees walking on the street, talking on the phone, now pricks his conscience, making him wonder whether he was a soft target.

Like each of us, he lived in a cocoon of security, where he was confident of his invincibility. He was Neo, The One! But he had this sudden epiphany, that he was truly the one; God’s favorite child, the child who has the persistent, incessant question, “Why me?”

But the never-say-die dude that he is he has found the silver lining in the darkest cloud. This episode had made her change her mind, and what had originally been a drink invite, would now be followed by dinner. He is sure that the evening would do away with all his current negativity!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Randomness!

Everyone has to be something to somebody to be anybody, anybody that tries to be everything to everybody is nothing to anybody.

After numerous evenings of snacks & hoards of movies on HBO (& not TV as they prefer it this way), I came to the above conclusion on the state of affairs in the life of somebody that I have been observing for quite some time now. Though I may much appreciate the effort required to lead a life in such a fashion, I would never be able to follow ‘it’ (just to let him/ her remain anonymous). I dedicate this post to ‘it’. Somebody who wants to get details on it may connect with me!

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Cogito Ergo Sum.

Till now in my life, I have been using this phrase a lot: 'Cogito Ergo Sum'. People have been asking me for long about what does it mean, so here it goes...

Cogito, ergo sum: The Latin for: "I think, therefore I am". Its a philosophical statement used by René Descartes, which became a foundational element of western philosophy.

The latest thought on the same idea that I came accross is here below:

Nature gave men two ends— One to sit on and one to think with. Ever since then man's success or Failure has been dependent on the one he used most.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Re-Birth.

"With or without religion, you will always have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.
But for good people to do bad things it takes religion".


I plan my 're-birth' with this thought. As they say - change is the only thing constant, so i thought i should also change and should start 'living' once again!

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

To Be or Not To Be…

To be or not to be... ~ William Shakespeare (from Hamlet 3/1)

Ankit (Name changed on request) was a brilliant student as a child, with a fairly good memory to grasp the complex jargon of Botany and also a very good aptitude to solve the most abstruse problems in Arithmetic. Ankit today is an engineer by qualification (not a Dot Com engineer but a mechanical engineer) and a sales & marketing professional by occupation. Here we will not debate, whether he is a grand success or an utter failure, or whether he could have proved to be a better surgeon. But the question here would be whether he wanted it to be or not to be?

As a child lacking maturity, Ankit would have been given due guidance by his parents at the time required, which he may now consider as a right advice or curbing his creativity, as per his discretion. The question is were his parents interested enough in empathizing the situation as per their child and then take decisions on his behalf. Or whether his parents capable enough to take decisions for him on his behalf?

The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want ~ Ben Stein

If he would have been given more freedom in the decision making part and at times appraised of the alternatives available and their impact for him, what would have been his present?

The unexamined life is not worth living ~ Socrates (469 BC - 399 BC), in Plato, Dialogues, Apology

The one thing in the west which I have off-late admired is the sense of responsibility that they give to their children right from the teenage, which turns them into the thinking individuals prudently deciding for themselves what is good for them & what is bad. The summer-camps, the vocational trainings, the summer jobs, the pocket money etc. are all examples.

On the contrary here the child is spoon-fed right from birth as to what is good for him as per his well-wishers and to refrain from even thinking about the rest. I sense that the growing competitiveness is forcing us to bring out the best in us, sensing which we pass on the same feeling to our younger generations trying to make them mature much before their age.

It may be as they say “The grass on the other side always looks greener” or maybe I am failing to understand the rationale behind this differential treatment.

The purpose of life is to fight maturity ~Dick Werthimer.

I see it as possessiveness curtailing the wings of a bird that may have otherwise flown over all creative mountains. But like it or not as of now you have a system in this society and if you chose to remain a part of the society, you got to learn how to live with certain unalterable dogma as the system itself.

Or else let us try to make a new beginning, let us give our imagination the fresh feel of our creativity to reap innovations that the world would sit to notice…

If you were thinking that I will be talking literature here you have been proven wrong because this is the blog I have dedicated to Life as such! For any other random thoughts follow the links to the other blogs of mine…

Friday, August 18, 2006

Life is on...

Life is on…

My recent tryst with technology has been in the form of a site: www.orkut.com which made me realize that life is on and on and on…

Life is just one damned thing after another. ~Elbert Hubbard (1856 - 1915)

Having positioned myself on the net through this site, I have been able to get my memoir, through all those people who have been an ephemeral part of my life or who have been there for me. All those ol’ pals brought back the memories afresh. Now if I sit and look back at what has been my journey like, this topsy-turvy has already passed so many stations and then ‘they’ say you still have to learn how to live in this world?

Being a ‘Gemini’, I have always had the fantasies to hallucinate about what could have been my alternate track in life (remember ‘The Twins’ in a Gemini). I don’t claim that what I have done is the best possible nor that it could not have been done in a better way, but given the circumstances what I see it as is what has been done out of ‘free will’ (remember the movie ‘Bruce Almighty’). And I would never live to regret it.

It’s now that I realize that my quest for life has given me a swing around the country starting from South India (read Hyderabad) to Chennai, Pune, Mumbai, Delhi, Jalandhar, Amritsar, Jammu & Kashmir, Bathinda, Ujjain, Bhopal, Indore….finally back to South India (Bangalore). But anyone who knows me even a little can tell you that I must have relished this journey as a treat, understanding the child in me who ‘knows’ nothing and has to ‘invent’ everything (who is on the job even as I write).

It's not true that life is one damn thing after another; it is one damn thing over and over. ~Edna St. Vincent Millay (1892 - 1950)

It is now that I am forced to divulge it that I have really grown with this experience (& I love it) meeting people from all sorts of backgrounds, listening to languages of different types or going through the unimaginable. Now I understand the ‘diversity’ part in the phrase ‘unity in diversity,’ used as a metaphor for India.

The first step to getting the things you want out of life is this: Decide what you want. ~Ben Stein

I have to admit that frankly speaking I never paid heed to ‘Ben Stein’. Still let me tell u that the journey has just begun…

Watch out for this space.