February 10, 2009 § 3 Comments
The Mediator sat on one of the benches at one the promenades that dotted Hussainsagar. It was Valentine’s Day. Couples strolled on the walkways, holding hands, whispering sweet nothings to their partners(what are these sweet nothings?, he thought, what is it that makes these girls blush and the guys, well…er…happy? ; he decided he was better off without knowing). Policemen strolled in twos along the promenade, they had been put on duty here to make sure that the couples are not bothered by the moral police(specifically the Shri Raju Sene, a group of single, spurned Satyam Engineers who wanted to do nothing better than to bash up software guys who weren’t single). He often wondered what made young men in groups beat up defenseless couples. Was it ideology? Religion? A zeal to hold up their idea of moral values? To feel good about themselves? Or was it just to have a good time? He decided that the answers didn’t lie there. The answer was plain and simple: they were just jealous of things they couldn’t have, of what they couldn’t be and they had lashed out at the slightest bit provocation that was offered. It is one of the basest human instincts, jealousy and it makes people do the stupidest of things, he reasoned.
It was a bad day to be single, this. Worse than normal days, that is. Much worse. He sat with music playing on his iPod,
Our Candle burns away, the ashes full of lies,
I gave my soul to you, you cut me from behind,
Nowhere to run and nowhere to hide,
You’re scared of the truth and I’m tired of the lies…
He had noticed that the colour red and its variations had suddenly become omnipresent in the run up to Valentine’s Day. Discs and Pubs, Hotels and Restaurants, Shops and Malls, all turned to these colours to attract love st(r)uck couples. He had nothing against the colour, except that he hated it. And it also brought about rare vestiges of rage back in him, something to do with the colour or the day. He didn’t remember. Maybe he didn’t want to. The iPod went on,
Why’d you have to up and run away?
A million miles away
I want to close my eyes and make believe
That I never found you…
Life is particularly difficult for people in long distance relationships on this day. They want to personally go and whisper sweet nothings(what the hell are sweet nothings?) to their beloved on this most special of all days; instead of relying on a cell phone network to get their point across. But they did manage, and very enthusiastically at that.
One such sample was now striding across the promenade to come and sit next to him. “Valentines Day! Such a wonderful day, when everyone can express their love to each other. Like me to my girlfriend and she to me, even though we live so far apart. Life is beautiful today, isn’t it?" The Mediator felt a weird sensation of déjà vu at this stranger coming upto him and talking as if they were long lost friends. He looked behind him, wondering whether the stranger was talking to someone else. Nope. "Beautiful weather, isn’t it?", the stranger said. The Mediator just nodded and continued staring out. "Wonderful weather to be out with someone special", said the guy. The Mediator shifted a little, away from the guy, unsure of what he was getting at.
"Valentine’s day is wonderful!", the stranger continued, "its like the entire universe changes, life itself changes, the colours in the sky. But best of all, there is something in the air, something indefinable. Something that strikes all of us, something nobody can escape. There’s that kind of tingly feeling, like electricity that courses through the air this day. There’s something in the air. Something intangible. But its there, right?. Don’t you feel it, dude? What do you say, isn’t there something in the air?" He looked at the mediator.
The feeling of déjà vu was now complete. This guy was asking for it. The Mediator sighed. He inhaled and sneezed the type of sneeze that has the potential to spread a cold virus to all people within a 5 foot diameter. This guy was only 3 feet away. He had no chance. “Sorry about that. Yes, there is something in the air. Its known as the flu virus. I guess you know what that is.” The guy looked stunned and a little afraid. The Mediator got up and walked away. A thin smile forming on his lips. Idiot. There’s one born every Valentine’s Day. The iPod blared away,
So lie to me once again
And tell me everything will be alright…
Lie to me once again
And ask yourself before we say good bye.
Well good bye…
Was it worth it in the end?
[The song is Lie to me by 12 stones]
November 19, 2008 § 8 Comments
As I mentioned in a recent post, I have been going through my college pictures. There are many good ones, and then there are the special ones. Ones which are associated with memories, with people. One such picture was from the GOA trip. As I was looking at the picture and thinking of that trip, I remembered a lot of things that went on in the trip (even though I’ve never quite known what I did for the hour that I was drunk 😀 )
The trip was, for the lack of a better word, momentous. Momentous for many reasons. Class unity for one and more importantly for all the failed romances. Industrial trips in any college are fraught with relationships starting or ending or both. It is actually one of the attractions of the trip.
The incident that I am about to recall here in this post happened on the Goa trip. It is not the funniest incident of the trip ( some of the funnier ones can never make it to print\type 😛 ), but it is by far the most unique. It still brings out
smiles laughter whenever the college group talks about it.
It happened so that, as it happens often, one of the guys in our class (lets call him X) was totally fida over one of the prettier girls(lets call her Y) in our class. Now X had already proposed to Y in the course of the preceding year, and since it is mandatory for guys to propose over the course of an industrial trip, he was going to do it again during the trip. There was no doubt about it. There was also no doubt about the fact that Y would refuse again (she was one of those girls who believed in holding onto their value system and belief – in this case the belief was of having no boyfriends, I think. Bless her). The guy, bless him too, was of the ‘try and fail but do not fail to try‘ ideology. The mediator himself had entered the fray, trying to dissuade him from doing so, knowing the answer Y would give him and having theoretical knowledge of rejections and the hurt they can cause. But even the mediator couldn’t dampen X’s enthusiasm. The stage had been set for a great show on the last day of the trip. Only the actors had to deliver out the final lines. We waited with bated breath.
The mediator wasn’t the only one who knew of X’s plan and the resultant hilarity it would cause (for others, of course). Some of the other guys knew about it too and they took it upon themselves to motivate X to carry out this task. It so happened, as it was wont to, that X and Y had to return to Bombay in separate buses. The motivators were in the same bus as X. The motivation began as early as 6 hours before we were scheduled to depart. It continued into the bus ride. And rattled on as we stopped for dinner.
The motivation was on the lines of ” You can do it, man”, “Go for it, dude”, “Jo darr gaya woh marr gaya, *#$@*** ” and progressed along the lines of “Tu kucch nahin kar sakta, *#$@*** Tu toh Z ko bhi propose nahin kar paayega!” The last statement caused particularly loud hilarity from the motivators and the rest of us guys. A little background about Z : If any guy was told to make a list of girls in the class, Z’s name would figure last. No offence meant to her, but then, it would figure in last. Not that she wasn’t bright or anything. Just that nobody had heard her speak. Every class has a Z. Ours had one too, and the motivators were making good use of her name. “You won’t even be able to propose to Z!!”, they chorused. X had been taking the motivation (which could also be described as heckling) for many hours and he thought that they meant well( for themselves), but he couldn’t stand the heckling. He decided that he had had enough, he stood up at his table and shouted at the top of his voice(unintentionally I believe), “Bas ho gaya! Kahaan hai woh Z? Leke aao usse, abhi propose karta hoon usko (Where is Z, bring her here, I’ll propose to her right now!)” As he said these words, there was stunned silence. Then there was howling laughter from the motivators.
Because Z was sitting at the table right next to his.
November 19, 2008 § 1 Comment
I was in Mumbai recently for the Diwali holidays. There are quite a few changes in the city. First off, there are TV’s inside some of the buses nowadays. With ads and all running on it throughout. I could have used this in 6 years of traveling to and from college(junior and degree, just in case you were wondering 😀 ) but they wait for me to shift out of town to implement this 😛
On one of the days when I was in Mumbai, I took a rick and on reaching my destination, gave money to the rick guy and when he returned the change, I said ‘Thank You’. The look on the guys face was of pure horror. As I walked away, I was still wondering how could I have possibly terrified the man.
Ever found yourself reliving your life through pictures? I somehow managed to salvage my college pictures from my old, critically ill, on-the-deathbed PC and get them back to Hyderabad. And went through all the pics, all 2.5 GB of them. I haven’t smiled this much in a year and a half.
March 20, 2008 § 1 Comment
It was a summer during which I had tried to maintain my dignity intact, after all that had happened during the previous year(s). But fate conspires against me to such an extent that all my caution is rendered redundant. However, I was naive then and believed that I could stay out of situations and did my best to that effect. I believed that the previous incident would be the most embarrassing of my short life, but as will be narrated here, fate wasn’t quite through with me that time.
It was wedding season in Mangalore that year. A wedding had been timed to my vacations to a nicety. A cousin was getting married. She was all happy and stuff; and I was happy too(food!!!). The Mehendi function passed off as peacefully as is possible with around 40 drunk guys dancing and singing (which could be mistaken for wails). After a night of revelry and debauchery(not really 😛 ), I (as usual) overslept. And the marriage was scheduled in some hours. Not that I was needed anyways. But mom was adamant that I get to the function hall with the others who were going early. So I was kicked out of bed and told to take a bath. After a quick survey of the bathroom for spiders and other icky creatures, I proclaimed myself ready to take a bath.
And since this wasn’t an open area…I was..er…in my birthday suit. And I was merrily nahaofying, when the bathroom door flew open and in came this girl. She takes one look at me, smiles and proceeds to get water out of the bucket and wash her face. Meanwhile, following my scream of surprise, a cousin rushed to the bathroom, only to see me trying to cover myself with my hands and the girl calmly washing her face, as if she was alone in the bathroom. In between unconstrained laughter, my cousin found the time to give me a towel, which incidentally was near the girl (so I couldn’t just go and grab it could I? ). As the cousin went around the house telling of the incident to anybody who’d listen; I stood inside the bathroom(wrapped in a towel, of course) as the girl finished her facewash routine. She looks at me once again, giggles and says, in Tulu, “You should lock the door from the inside, you know”. Lots of thoughts came to my mind then, some of which included “There shall be blood!!”, “There is no dignity left” and “Revenge shall be taken!!”, but none came to my lips. And then she exited the bathroom. I was left standing there, lost for words, the last vestiges of my dignity taken away from me by a door lock. Everybody in the house came to know, everybody asked. They mocked me, they laughed. I could never meet that girl’s eyes again. She had seen.
[About the girl: She is about half a year older than myself and was one of the intelligent & beautiful types. She is now married.]