Thursday, February 25, 2010

Mumppy and the fictional jackass....

I vividly remember that Sunday.

The sun was blazing, though it was just the onset of summer. The park was brimming with happy families. Children frolicking in their bright and colourful summer outfits, parents lazing around the cafe, men sipping mugs of chilled beer, and security men, keeping vigil on the little monkeys around.

It was then, that I first saw her. Like, she had stepped right out of a fairy tale. Golden hair curled into little ringlets. Pink lips, a deep dimple forming in her cheeks when she laughed that tinkling laugh of hers.

The boys hovered around her like bees. They vied with each other, to crack jokes and make her laugh. One stylishly ran his hand through his hair, another leaned on the wall with a macho casualness, the third kept on his silly non-stop banter. She was patient with all of them.

I watched, silently, from a distance, knowing I didn’t stand a chance.

I was already, hopelessly in love with her. But didn’t have the courage to do anything but watch from afar.

’Oh! Unrequited love. How often will you pierce my heart?’

They say beauty is only skin deep. Why then, does nobody want to look beneath, and find the real me? The warm, caring, loving soul that lies deep within.

This is such a materialistic world, with shallow people.

My helplessness and anger made me feel hot, and the sun didn’t do much to help. So I decided to go for a swim in the pond. My stomach was rumbling.

It never fails to amaze me, this stomach…so irreverent to the emotions of the person. No matter what one feels - anger, sorrow, frustration – all of these take a bow before hunger pangs. And happiness, oh, that’s another excuse to gluttony.

The water was cool and refreshing, as I glided through it. I steered clear of the children, for their high-pitched chatter, cries and laughter that earlier seemed so endearing, now only aggravated the ache in my head.

I swam the entire length of the pond, when all of a sudden, I heard a shriek. The group of bees, er, boys, were gathered in a nervous bunch. People were talking in loud whispers.

“How did she fall? Does she know how to swim?”

“Mummy, are there dangerous creatures in the pond?”

“Mumppy, where are you?” (So, her name was “Mumppy”).

“Somebody save her. Please!”

Now was my chance. Nobody had noticed me yet. However, I was never one for limelight. I gallantly ducked into the water, and searched for Mumppy. Gnawing hunger pangs had already drained the bulk of my energy, and I couldn’t see much, but I didn’t give up.

‘If I could spot her, but once … if I could just get hold of her, and never let her go!’

And then, as if in answer to my prayers, I saw a bit of pink cloth moving gracefully among the weeds. I swam with all my might, and saw Poppy trying to swim upwards towards the light. It was very silent, there, in what seemed to be beneath the rest of the world.

My heart pounded with excitement. I couldn’t help, but admire her to heart’s content. Her golden ringlets waved slowly, her graceful hands and feet moved vigorously.

She looked charming … almost delicious. I dared to go very close to her. She caught sight of me. Our eyes met, and instantly locked. She opened her mouth … and let out a noiseless scream.

Then came this final rumble, from the depths of my stomach. I didn’t have a choice.

As I ate my lunch that day, I shed tears.

People called it “crocodile tears”.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Cow & the Coconut Tree Saga!

Whilst in the lecture hall today, our esteemed professor came upon a statement saying, we students follow the 'Cow & Coconut tree' paradigm.

Startled, we cooed in unison that we have never heard of that statement before and that we'd like to hear the Professor's talk on this new topic rather than the subject he was ranting.

He, after taking a long pause, went on to explain his new theory.

He claimed that we students never stick to any dedicated answer during any test given to us. We vomit an answer that we supposedly know, on a question that we supposedly don't.

He went on to amuse us with an example. On a certain test a boy was asked to write the characteristics of a Coconut tree. This boy, who in the prof's example represented us, knew all about the characteristics of a Cow instead.

So he went on to decorate his paper with his answer of the Coconut tree, but with a twist. He incorporates the Cow in his answer to make it look like he has nailed the question and toggles between Cow and the Coconut Tree to make it look like he has answered the question.

This was his answer, as far as I can remember, through his brief narration..

"A Coconut tree is a fruit bearing tree and it is a very tall tree. The Coconut tree also provides good shade. It's long leaves can be used for the making of the cattle sheds, they are popularly used in sheds as sun shades, housing the cows. Now a cow is a domestic animal that gives us manure, milk and meat. It can be used extensively in farming as well. The cow is a very docile animal, so docile that it can be tied to a coconut tree without disturbing or damaging the Coconut tree. A coconut tree is a very sturdy tree........."

That's as much as I could remember from the prof's exemplanary narration, but at the end of the story there wasn't one student who wasn't holding his stomach and laughing.

For once we felt he has nailed us right on the mark.

The Cow and Coconut tree paradigm! haha!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

a little child within me....

"Hey young man.. C’mon just grow up" How often have we heard someone say that. I hear it everyday when I am with my family at home.

"Ankush grow up, don’t behave like a small kid". I somehow don’t understand why a small part of us, still refuses to grow up? I have come across many situations where the child in me is very much awake waiting to explode.

Many a time, we find that we have a hidden child inside us which we refuse to bring out for obvious reasons.

In my case, being a performer in my own right, it becomes necessary for me to maintain a sense of decorum and decency when I am among some people. But frankly speaking, I still feel the urge to shout, scream, giggle, express, comment, sulk about every thing happening around me.

There were so many instances, when I have discovered the child in me. A soul inside me, which still needs child like attention, who loves to be pampered, who sulks for the silliest reasons, who still fusses around for things that can generally be ignored!

But still all that I hear is.... "Ankush, U are 20+... its high time u grow up".

Do we really need to grow up? Ask me. I hate growing up. Sometimes I feel I haven't achieved anything becoming so big. What have I really learnt watching elders around me? Especially, those who have never really grown up they are twice my age. I see a lot of them here in my campus too.

Here are a few things I love to do and am sure all 20 year old love it too

*I still love chocolates and expect dad to get me some every time he goes abroad.

*I still play cricket with my society friends aged 8-10.

*I still buy paper windmills when I spot them on the road.

*I still love sleeping on my grandma's lap.

*I still love my grandmother feeding me every time I fuss to eat.

*I still love playing monopoly with my friends and whine about not winning a game.

*I still love having pillow fights with my twin-brother.

*I still expect a gift every time I win an argument.

*I still bet on the silliest of issues.

*I still make paper rockets and boats.

*I still love doing craft work.

I bet all of us have a hidden child in us which never leaves us.

Try bringing it out in abundance, at least in the privacy of your own home and among your closest of family members.

Trust me, I have seen my grand parents really like it.... though they don’t openly endorse it.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

A Very Happy Valentine to all the girls I know....

Isn't it good that Valentine's Day this year comes on a holiday thats, Sunday the 14th?

Or is it just appropriate? I mean, I love Valentine's Day, mostly because it is all pink and hearts and smiles and hugs. But let's be real about it: it's a Hallmark holiday, made up for consumerism.

Today, beleagured young men line up to buy overpriced flowers and jewelry to show how much they "love" their partners.

I've never really been too much about the material gifts, though in my high school days I can admit I fell victim to the enormous pressure to make this day count.

I've received some pretty nice things over the years from various suitors, some expensive and some just thoughtful. Not all of them meant true love. In some cases, no real emotions were involved whatsoever. So be it. I'm sure it was fun while it lasted!

Some of my best V-Day memories involve my girlfriends in bahrain, strolling away with the rest of the lonely singles. And that's okay too. Love, for me, has always included both the romantic and the platonic and each is most important in its own way.

This year, we've decided against the traditional celebration. In these meager college years, this day equalled an excuse for a fancy dinner out. Last year, it was an extravagant trip to the majestic here in Nagpur, with some lovely gourmet eats. (It has also been long lines in restaurants where the very next day, you can eat the same food without waiting a minute. Long gone is the insanity of that!)

Now, we are going with pizza and an evening of "Fun" - or some romantic all-time absolute favorite film, inspiration for a fairy tale life of love if ever one existed. Not much different from other nights, really, because here in the midst of the damp hostels, that is what

Happy Valentine's Day to one and all. No matter the celebration you choose, may this day of love be filled with just that in all its treasured forms.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Unfortunately the mask does slip .....

Have you ever witnessed any person with seemingly matured tone, and an incredibly sensitive attitude, suddenly turn around and snap viciously at his sub-ordinate, before turning once more back to you and resuming his cultivated persona?

In that split second he has let the mask slip and you have witnessed him do irreparable damage to the hours of build up he has executed for you.

For the true key-stone of our character is the way we treat those less fortunate than us, not our equals and superiors.

Why is it that we loose control of our anger only against those who cannot retaliate? Or for that matter unleash the demons within us, when nobody is looking??

Indeed it is these moments when you feel that nobody who really matters is watching and thats when you emerge in your true colours.

How you behave when your work is not supervised, how you treat your children who cannot or rather will not retaliate, how you hold up in the face of temptation really calls for your true strength of character.

Contradicting whatever I have written above, how can one's intention be tested unless they are faced with varied temptations?

How can one be really sure that they will not steal until they have been actually left with a treasure and are totally sure nobody would ever find out even if they flicked away a part of it? And lets assume that you have walked away from such a temptation once, what is the guarantee that you will do so the next time?

Thats a million dollar question which faces all of us in this multi faceted, disturbed and greedy world of today.

The truth lies not in the sparkling marble flooring that we display but in the dust that has been swept in abundance under the carpet.

It is only when the mask slips that the real individual emerges from down under.

All of us wear masks for each other as well as for ourselves. Nothing wrong with that, as long as the mask does not slip at the most critical moment.

There are a whole lot of good and bad within all of us and the fight between these two are a part of our daily lives, where the outcome depends on our upbringing, environment around us and the situations that we are put into.

The true test of character isn't in the existence of the bad within us but in the urnest ability to suppress it.

Yes!!!!! thats even when nobody is looking!!

Can you??

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sprinkles of Happiness on the ring road….

I've been running for nearly over a month now. Daily 2 hour run from the University gate to wherever my run takes me. Just recently, I've discovered a route that expands into a huge 100 meters wide road. Part of this road contains small rings to approach closer parts of the city while larger rings take commuters to the outskirts of the city.

My daily run takes me about 2 hours, I run about 12-15 km at a stretch. I had never run on the ring road, especially this Hingna ring road. It's one of the arterial roads of Nagpur. But this 33 km stretch of road, out of which I ran 15 km, was a seemingly drab road to run on. But I had judged too soon.

Whilst I was running, I happened to see two young girls, maybe about 15-16 years of age happily conversing. From a distance I sensed that the two were using a lot of hand gestures, but as I drew near I observed that both the girls were verbally-challenged.

I slowed down, partly because I was tired of the arduous run & partly because I couldn't comprehend what I was seeing. They two seemed to be enjoying conversing to each other in their sign language and were totally oblivious to an ogling passerby like me. How beautiful it was to see them embrace what God had given them instead of cribbing on what God took away from them. It was a sheer delight and it put an immediate smile on my face. The smile was only going to become wider.

A little ahead I saw a man with three dogs. I must admit that I'm an ardent lover of dogs. One of the dogs was a Dalmatian breed; the other two were a Labrador & a Golden Retriever. Unable to contain my curiosity, I approached the man who happened to be their caretaker. His name was Pradeep. He told me that the dogs belonged to a local doctor who lived nearby & was a lover of dogs. I walked with Pradeep the remainder of the distance up to the owner’s house. I also took the liberty of playing with Oscar (Dalmatian), spirit (Retriever) and joey (Labrador). It was a pleasure to walk with these three amazing animals. And oh yeah, they didn’t even have a leash on, just a doggie-collar. Yep the smile was wider now.

A little ahead I saw a man, walking with a strange gait. As I crossed him he suddenly tipped to the left & fell, his head nearly missing some concrete blocks kept nearby for some construction. I uneasily helped the man out, who seemed about 55 years or so to me. The reason why I was apprehensive about helping him was because he was too tipsy to recognize the road from a garden. But I did guide him to a safer area where he fell asleep. Thank god for that.

All this happened on a stretch of just 1 km on the Hingna ring road.

A little ahead, I got to see a brightly decorated horse, prancing along the side of the road with its keeper. I spoke to the keeper and he told me that a white decorated horse is always used to carry the bridegroom to the bride’s house in Hindu customs. The horse was superbly tall & brightly decked. I wish I had my camera along with me.

The remainder of the run was very pleasant.

If you, as a reader of this blog do get a chance to visit India, please do make it top priority to walk on these roads. These dirt roads have many a story unfold in front of your eyes. There is never a dull moment here.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Yet another day when the free slack in my activities is allowing me to diverge from my critical path.

In other words, am a bit free today. So another one of the flashes....

Talked to some old friends after 4-5 years... Orkut-facebook is Great!! Felt amazing how the distances of years can be erased in minutes.... in the same world where minutes are deemed sufficient to wipe away an era of trust and friendship...

Sometimes, I feel whether it is wise to sit back and let life take its course or to take control of it...

Though a staunch advocate of the latter, right now I seem to be favoring the former. Just to see what happens, if for nothing else.

So for a while, life itself will decide. Unless of course, I revert back to my usual self, which I trust more than life, luck or destiny. I suspect I will...

Hoping against hope, but still hoping for the best...

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Love thy neighbour? Not yet...

The Times of India has started a bold new campaign on this New Year... Love Pakistan. Some arguments and counter arguments are bound to come up there, but at the outset, I concede that I am on the side of naysayers.

I also dare say, this seems to be a gimmick but one with intent of doing something good.

It actually feels odd to see India, Pakistan and Love in the same sentence. And can anyone be blamed for this?

It is not just what we have been fed over the past 60 years of ‘hate propaganda' from the other side. Any well meaning individual who feels for the common man and especially for the armed forces will have this odd feeling.

Also, when all previous attempts of extending hands has met only cynicism and counterproductive results like terror attacks.

It makes common sense to be wary. The sadhu who keeps on tending the scorpion that bites back may not have to stop tending to the scorpion. But he definitely needs to take care of the sting before taking care of the scorpion.

After all these years of gore and attacks in my country having been repetitively propagated by Pakistan, I can still love the common people, cricketers, singers, etc on the other side of the border. But loving Pakistan... boss...

I know better than that. I love the likes of Karkare, Saluskar, Kamte, Nachiketa, Unnikrishnan, Suri and common Indians too much to love the hand that killed them all.

Lets all be bit more wary on this count....