Saturday, April 28, 2012

Of Moments...and more..

                                             Of Moments...and more..

He felt he was 62 years old.The sense of spirit ebbing away..the feeling that he hadn't done anything big in life thus far choked him each moment.He felt 61 birthdays come and go....each more routine than the last.
Tomorrow would be his 62nd,if he didn't act fast.He saw the cake-a dull chocolate brown with two candles,6 and 2 placed next to each other.

On the other side of the table was all that he had managed in his life-3 photo albums and a dozen diaries.The albums contained his childhood.The diaries,his life as he had seen it since he'd been advised to keep a diary by his English teacher during his high school.

The first album contained his pictures from his kindergarten school days.Nothing eventful at all...he thought as he browsed through.Then the moment hit him hard.He would've lost his life-well it was a remote possibility.
At most it was stupidity.Nobody asks you to push a piece of eraser up your nostrils because you're bored in class(He was six then)!He remembered the drama that unfolded.Vaguely,he remembered the forceps being inserted into his nostrils...

The third album contained a picture of him wearing a king's dress;a play he had acted in class 6.He remembered the lengthy dialogue he'd delivered(it was 4 lines long).There was huge applause that turned to laughter the next moment-his pants were halfway down his legs..and he couldn't pull it up for he had a sword in one hand and something else in the other that he couldn't quite remember.

A small smile flitted across his face."Two moments!"he told himself.He looked at the candles and the cake.
He started reading his diaries one-by-one.

March 21st Year,Tuesday
I helped my friend pass his lab today.I've never done such a thing till today.I was very scared of that Chemistry ma'am.What if she'd caught me!But then my friend promised me a movie. So I lifted my hands off the paper and he saw what he wanted to.Only 3 answers.
God please forgive me for my mistake.But I was helping my friend.I shall leave 3 questions in my theory paper as punishment!

He felt lighter.That was in class 8.Okay,he had done something out of the rule-book-he could proudly tell his friends when they came over at mid-night.

June 23rd Year,Thursday
It was my first day in college.It was a very different experience.I adhered to the college dress-code,wearing the checked formal shirt and black trousers.But almost none of my friends did! I don't know why.They called me a "nerd"-need to look that up in the dictionary.And college is full of four-lettered slangs.
I hope I don't get into the habit of using them.Need to ask Dad for a mobile.Will be left out of the group otherwise!

He remembered the day he got his first mobile.That feeling,when he sent the message "Hi! This is my new number... :)"was unforgettable.He had got all his friends back truly that day.

May 12th Year,Saturday
Lost the inter-class cricket match.But I managed to play well-well almost.I picked up four wickets.
Then in a rush of blood,I asked the best batsman of the other side to "Charge me!" and later got carted all over the park.I deserved five wickets though-even my captain admits it! Too tired to sleep!

He was grinning now.Cricket had given him so many memories.He would make it a point to write them somewhere soon...before he forgot.

October 31st Year,Monday
I'm on top of the highest peak of this state now.It's such a wonderful experience.I'm alone in the tent.All my best friends are out-side,in front of the camp-fire.This moment of peace right now is the most profound moment of my life.I feel I'm discovering myself in a whole new way today.I'm glad I signed up for this trip.

That trip had kindled a passion for nature and trekking in him.He had travelled to a lot of places from then on and still planned to.

January 1st Year,Sunday
Missed my diary-entry last night.Wasn't in a position to do it.Still hung-over actually.It was my first time..and my last-it is a promise to myself.We had a great time last night nevertheless.I remember all of us trying to stand straight as some idiot had the cheek to play the national-anthem.I was the only one who was able to do so-almost.It was difficult see..with all that I had in my stomach at that time!

He grin widened.That sure was the last time he had drunk so much.He still didn't mind a shot or two.
But had never tried to be close to anywhere where the national anthem would be played."Moments"he said to himself.

August 22nd Year,Monday
Reported to my first job today.It is indeed a day to remember.My parents are very happy.Got dozens of wishes and congratulatory messages from friends,relatives and well-wishers.Bought many new pairs of clothes and two pairs of shoes for the occasion.It's a new life starting from today and I hope to excel in it!

Ah yes! That indeed was one of  'the days' in his life.He could remember each moment to this day.His chest swelled with pride even now.All the sense and non-sense one had learnt through school and college had some meaning if you could land in a decent job.He thought he had landed in one that day.

February 15th Year,Friday
How I wish I had enough courage yesterday!I should've asked her out yesterday.May be there was a chance she would've agreed.I've got only myself to blame! I vow never to make the mistake with the next girl I find interesting!

He burst out laughing.He remembered how his feet had trembled when he had approached her.He could remember the excitement before asking her..and the disappointment he felt for a whole week after her rejection.He could remember that smile on her face...
He took a pen and wrote a line below that entry

"It's better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all!"

He felt stupid he was consoling himself even after so many years.

September 13th Year,Wednesday
I resigned from my job.I just couldn't take the non-sense anymore.I'm not someone who's going to do work  if my heart is not in it.I don't care for the salary,nor the power this job gives me.Yes my parents are unhappy with my decision right now.But I'm going to achieve something in life and show them that I was thinking right.
I shall decide my destiny from now on!

That day was the day,the moment when he had come of age.He felt proud of himself that today he was in a much better position than when he'd resigned.

The clock neared midnight.He closed the diaries.He looked back at these moments and the innumerable ones that came flooding back to his mind.Yes,his life lacked those extreme highs and lows-those milestones.It had been very commonplace and that was the  best part of it.He had moments that he could take back to his grave.

Grave....?? What was he thinking?He looked at the cake and candles now.The chocolate was looking yummy.He shifted the position of the candles so that it now read 26.The next moment his friends rushed in to celebrate his birthday.

And as though mirroring his thoughts,one of his friends presented him a plaque that said

                                "Life is not about milestones,but of moments"

                                                                    -28th April 2012

This my 25th post in this space.

If you're visiting this space for the first time,thanks a lot!
If you've been here earlier,thanks for reading the posts I make.It feels good and motivates me to do better.

Hope you find reading the posts enjoyable and feel like coming back often as I write atleast!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Roommates Only!

  Room-mates Only!

I stepped out of the auto trying to pull my suitcase out.It weighed a little more than 24kgs.The auto-driver was willing to help me.But not Nikhil.He stood there,oblivious to my plight,texting away on his cell.And to think I was going to share my room with this guy! To my relief he paid up his share of the auto-fare without my asking him to look away from his messages.This guy could multitask when he really wanted to..

Not that we really knew each other.We just knew each other.We were from the same college;knew each other by sight...and that was it.We were posted to this place on our first job along with an other guy who'd join us soon in our room.We had no other choice but to come here.And be roommates because we had no one else to turn to.

When Ajith arrived,it had to be in style.I had heard about his heroics during my college days,and got a first hand experience that day.
"Hey...I lost my wallet..could you pay the auto-guy??"was the first thing he said on seeing us.
No..Nikhil was not multitasking this time..I had to pay on my own.No longer had we settled down on our single beds for some rest after a hectic morning,Ajith interjected "Guys I can't seem to find my phone!".Nikhil and I looked at each other-clueless of what to do.We were room-mates now.We had to help-irrespective of how long we knew each other.We rummaged his bags,searched the whole room...and after a whole hour when we sat down tired,all he said was "Chuck it! It was just a dummy know...for emergencies.."I would have killed him if he was my friend..or even my enemy...but he was my room-mate.And room-mates couldn't kill each other...

I woke up next morning before the other two.I had planned this part well.I had to be the first,if I wanted to occupy the toilet as long as I wished to.I had decided I wouldn't compromise on that part-come what may.
Half an hour later when I came out,all Ajith could do was stare at me...Nikhil was busy with his phone again.
I had drawn first blood!!

Each of us wanted to set a trend by doing things his own way-so that the other two would follow.We couldn't argue with each other see.If I used the toilet first,Nikhil would use the bathroom first.Ajith arranged his clothes in the only cupboard..and politely asked us if we would like to share it(fully knowing we would say 'it's ok' and leave the cupboard to him).Nikhil had to make most use of the only charging point in the room.I would've offered to buy a spike-buster...but then knowing neither of them would share the expenses,I resorted to charging my phone in that first half-hour of the day I had monopolised.

A week passed and all of us lived together separately.Yes..that's the best way to put it.There wasn't any argument-probably because we avoided it.I'm sure we hated certain things about each other.I hated Ajith's habit of listening to music into the night.He hated my waking up early and doing a bit of  studying-he envied my being a little more intelligent than him you see.(I hadn't told him I had flunked a paper thrice in my BE-we were room-mates only for heaven's sake!)Nikhil hated Ajith's habit of losing things(wallet,phone..a girlfriend was the latest on the list).I hated Nikhil because he was constantly in touch with his girl-texting and calling her 24x7.We shared our breakfast,lunch and dinner-or rather the bill.I would pay exactly 22 rupees for my Idli,Vada and Tea-and walk out of the hotel first.Thanks to my roommates.I learnt eating fast!

A fortnight happened.Things were getting a little frustrating in the room.We had shared nothing more than expenses so far.No stories,no histories,no experiences,no jokes.The only progress was that we had become friends on Facebook.Talk was business-like.We missed a genuine rapport going for us.

We woke up one Tuesday morning Nikhil was awake already.He looked a little tense.I could guess why..but wouldn't ask.We were room-mates only.Ajith probably noticed it too..but again we wouldn't talk of it.It was a taboo to share personal info,between room-mates only.We got dressed and left for office.
Nikhil was on the brink of tears."I'm not supposed to ask"I told myself firmly.
Breakfast was silent even by our standards that morning.

We were travelling to office in a bus.There was a crowd as usual and all passengers were clinging to each other.Suddenly I noticed a guy trying to pick Ajith's pocket.Ajith didn't notice it as usual.The guy took his wallet out in a flash and got down.I shouted at Ajith and Nikhil and we got down from the bus as well.
The guy started running.We chased him.Nikhil ran the fastest.He caught up with the thief.Ajith and I pinned him down and wrested the wallet from him.I could see Nikhil thrashing the thief with all his might-possibly taking his pent-up anger and frustration on him.

Ajith was treating us in the afternoon.All barriers seemed to have broken down in a single moment.We were reliving the incident,moment by moment,again and again.Ajith praised my observation.I praised Nikhil's speed.And Nikhil,Ajith's generosity in treating us.I quietly asked Nikhil why he was upset since morning and the poor fellow poured his heart out in 10 minutes.It seems he hadn't called his girlfriend the previous night,and she hadn't replied to his messages since morning.
"Hmm.." was all Ajith and I could manage,not being experienced enough to laugh or sympathize.

We finished our dinner.Yes.It was our dinner.Each one of us would take turns and foot the bill each night.So it was like a treat each night."Bonding Exercise"-we had decided to call it.
We were returning to our room when Nikhil went to attend the all important call.We hoped for the best.But the worst thing happened.....Nikhil and his girlfriend had reconciled,leaving Ajith and me staring at our single status.

Nevertheless,we had a group hug.Nikhil promised a huge treat the next day-which we rather looked forward to.We were Room-mates now.We would last....

                                                                                -18th April 2012 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

A Writer's Woes -2

                                                    A Writer's Woes -2

"Think in a straight line...think..."He motivated himself. He had a weird way to do it though: putting your head between your crossed legs is not a pretty sight.But then he was at dead ends everywhere. His thought process was constipated. What had looked like a subject a couple of months earlier looked so mundane.What had looked like mundane a couple of months earlier seemed almost oblivious!!

He was not that someone who could stretch himself to write.Subjects came to him.He never went to them.
His idea of writing was simple: an idea would form in the heart,germinate in the brain and terminate with the hand.
"So always write with your heart...."he would recommend to budding writers.Writing had to have a soul.
"You should connect with it first"-his Guru had said.Only then would someone else connect with it.
"And as long as you connect with it,nobody else really matters."

This was the founding principle on which he based all his writing.Yet his situation at present was one he wasn't accustomed to.A deadline was approaching and he wasn't even able to pen a paragraph in the last few months.Half-formed ideas,disconnected ones swam in his mind.

"Life."He wrote. The word seemed a world to him. It has such simplicity to it-on first thought.Then the profoundness hit you with all force.He had this peculiar feeling that it was not just the living things that had life..
He looked at his watch that he had worn every single day in the last 7 years.If it didn't have would you describe the attachment?Even some of his friends hadn't lasted so long... 
And people sometimes behaved as though they had no life at all...he remembered his previous boss who was worse than a machine.He wondered how that guy got into the writing field.

"Life."He wrote again.This time it brought to mind all those people who led (followed..??!!) their lives just because they'd been given one.No path.No ambition.Just wishful thinking. They dragged themselves through the day..they dragged themselves through life..Surprisingly they were the happiest in the world.They never expected they never got anything as such.Yet they never really bothered.

"Life." He wrote again.It was a surge of ambition this time.He was reminded of people who thought they were here on a purpose by birth.Or people on whom a purpose was thrust upon by birth.He was for a fraction reminded of all the great people who achieved a lot in their lives and to whom mankind owed a lot.
He then looked out of the window.
He saw a labourer-boy of not more than 12 years carrying a can of water to a nearby home.He had met that boy before.He took care of a mother and a sister.Would the boy ever be recognised by the society at large in his life? He had a purpose in his life...yet he would probably never be great. 

 The writer sighed."Life."He wrote again.This time two words started forming beneath the word Life: Luck  and Destiny.He wondered.Was life a matter of good and bad luck?
Yes said a corner of his mind.How else could you explain him running out of ideas at such a crucial time with a deadline approaching?
No said an other voice in his mind.He didn't get ideas because he didn't look for it.Waited for the ideas to come to him.He had to go for it...
Slowly an other word started forming on the paper.Opportunity."Ah..yes."he chuckled."Lesson learnt"he said aloud and was almost sure that the sheet of paper had chuckled as well.

He was folding the sheet of paper when a line appeared
"This is your Destiny" it said.

He took his pen out and with a fluency that reminded him of his own,scratched the line that had appeared and wrote: "This is my Choice." 

He went to a world where an ocean of ideas waited for him......

                                             -3rd April 2012