Random Thoughts.

I’ve Learned to Love Life

Screen-Shot-2012-04-09-at-8.48.15-PM “Okay I’ll drop you to the main road, and you can go on your own from there”, he was saying while he tied his wristwatch. “After all, your mother has asked me to drop you, but not specified as to drop you where…” And here again he came up with that playful wink of his. My maternal uncle can sometimes be a delight in his playfulness. This remark of his certainly did a lot to ease the tension and excitement of joining college.

“Okay Mamu”, I replied, no less playfully.

And thus we did. The moment I boarded the bus, I had a strange air doing rounds in my mind. I could not categorize it, it was an amalgamation – homogenous? I don’t know; strangely influential? Oh yeah! What was it? Suddenly, I was thinking about my parents, feeling a strange longing for them, baselessly regretting having come away from them, and longing to see them at once. It was strange how one could experience such an upturning of thoughts. Just two days back, I was happy I was finally escaping from that atmosphere of intrigues, of persistent tension, frustration and disgust; and here I was once again, loathing my escapade, wanting to undo it – at least the separation part. The other feeling that engulfed me was one of uncertainty – how will this life be? Will I fare well with the sudden gust of freedom that this life blows into me? What kind of a reputation will I be able to make in college? Or is it time to rise above reputations and begin to enjoy and live life up to the fullest? Will this tryst with Science end up fruitful? Will I make friends in college or will I once again land as a loner? Or will there be too many friends or just a select few? There were many questions – about my future life at college and in this city called New Delhi.

Four days down the line, I am much to explore much more, but there are a few things that I have realized. Firstly, wherever you go, things ultimately fall into place. Its strangeness, its hostility, its volatility, its fickleness – you however adapt to them all, you learn to deal with them, sometimes at a bit uneasy expenses. It’s not the cinematic ‘Happy Ending’ thing, yet on similar lines. This principle says that you cannot feel out of place somewhere for a long time. You end up falling into that particular mould and finally, you fit well. It’s just that you end up liking your journey of life. Secondly, you’ve been dealing with expectations all your life. Some of us are where we are today because we took it upon us to live up to the expectations that others had of us, it’s time we spare us this. It’s time to enjoy life, and beware, enjoying does not mean going astray; it just means not setting predefined levels of success. The idea is to enjoy what we do and see ourselves being conducted to success as a consequence. So to say, I am not going to define the CPI that I intend to secure in the term exams, I am just going to try and enjoy to the fullest what I study.

All this and much more, much more yet be learnt, explored, achieved. Frankly, I still miss my parents but the regret has gone because there is a lot here too, even more wonderful when I am all up as a receptor. I’ve learned to love my life, and love what it brings for me.

Movie Reviews

Break Free and Run… On the Highway!

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“Everyone dreams of doing so, of running away from this City and its artificial, caging life; but no one does. No one gets to see that freedom. But I have.”

It is an artificial world, with artificial customs, feigning habits that it dubs as sophistication, where open souls are caged and the adaptive ones are left to propagate the traditions. We are just left cursing it, just dreaming of escapade, yet again, left passive. Nobody acts. Veera did not; but destiny had something in store. She is gifted.

Just at the brink of marriage, Veera is kidnapped in a dramatic incident. As she says in the car while her fiancé drives, “Dimaag ke saare knots khul rahe hain” (All knots of the brain are untying), she is yet to realize that the real untying shall begin post kidnap. Mahabir (Randeep Hooda) is the angel for her, the one who opens the new Vistas of living for Veera.

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‘Highway’ is an amalgamation, a double narrative of how the protagonist finds freedom, and in freedom, love; but this is not a traditional love story. Veera and Mahabir are not lovers; they are two brutalised souls who find solace in each other’s company. The victim finding solace in the kidnapper? Strange it is, but Imtiaz Ali does not leave room for question. It is quite obvious for someone to feel safe with a person who saves her from being molested by one of his partners. I did not find it off-beat. Her mother did not let her cry out against her lustful uncle, this abductor is at least better than a senseless mother who shoos away molestation incidents for the sake of that artificial integrity which bites our protagonist. This abduction has not taken her away from her life; it’s the other way round actually, and Ali is successful in showing us this.

Anil Mehta has been a delightful cinematographer making us feel our presence in almost all settings of this movie that is filmed across six states. Be it the salty planes in Rajasthan, or the chilly winds in the Himalayas. A R Rehman has lent a delightful music completely harmonious with the mood of the movie. Personally, I liked ‘Patakha Guddi’ by Nooran sisters the most.

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Alia Bhatt has been exceptional in fulfilling all nuances that Veera requires. Highway brings her forth as an actress, proudly open to scrutiny and failing nowhere. She seems to have delved deep into Veera especially when she opens up about how hollow all the elite, sophisticated society is back where she lives thinking it as her home. Her home is there where she prepares Maggi and cleans that small hut on the mountain slope. She had finally found home. Mahabir had finally found a soul to disclose his woes. They had both rescued each other before the “real” rescuers took Veera from her true rescuer. Mahabir is shot dead. Frankly, I thought it would be Veera’s end too; but she had to spit in the face of the elite, she had to run back to her freedom, she had to run back to Mahabir.

Imtiaz Ali has created a delightful piece. An accidental encounter with rebirth, with life, with reality sans hypocrisy, with comfort and contentment, with happiness and a consequential compassionate embrace to it is what Ali makes Veera go through. And she finds a direction. It makes her fly free.

I would never regret having watched this movie. I am happy I watched it.

Book Reviews

‘Nemesis’ by Philip Roth – A Review.

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Nemesis is the last of the four short novels in the ‘Nemeses’ series by Philip Roth. The plot is about the outbreak of polio in the equatorial neighbourhood of Newark, New Jersey – where Roth comes from – in the summer of 1944 and how the people find themselves helpless, angry, protective, bewildered, suffering and humbled in front of that epidemic that has hit them hard out of nowhere – that Nemesis. Nemesis delves into the grave results that such a circumstance can have on a person, his society, and on his opinion of his strengths and weaknesses.

The protagonist Bucky Cantor, a playground director in his mid-twenties is through the eyes of whom Roth takes us into this travel. Bucky is altogether a hero in the opinion of the children who come to play ball at the Chancellor playground. He is a well built man, a weight-lifter, a javelin thrower, an man of athletic physique – all made up for him to get into the Army and fight the World War II for his nation – but his eyesight proves to be the culprit. Consequently, he is probably the only man of his age in the neighbourhood who is not on the front fighting – and this is an object of great guilt for him and makes him think he had let his grandfather – who had encouraged him to be fearless and healthy – down. God, however, has a different war for him to wage – the war against polio. In a matter of few days, Bucky witnesses several cases of polio in the children who play at his playground, two of them dead. Continuous implorations by his fiancée to leave that place and come to her the summer camp in Poconos where she works make Bucky bow before her wish out of love. His decision however culminates into a reason for utmost guilt of having escaped from his warfront when he should have diligently stayed.

Yet Bucky stays; the aura of mirth and joyous summers far away from the squalid polio-stricken neighbourhood and near his beloved Marcia makes him stay. But there is no escaping the Nemesis – polio strikes Indian Hill, and along with a Donald Kaplow, Bucky is also the victim. However, in his own view, he is more the cause than the victim, the bringer of virus to this land of dreams.

We are brought to know all about Bucky’s life post-polio by the narrator, a certain Arnold Mesnikoff who happens to run into Bucky one fine day some three decades later.

Nemesis, more than an analysis of how pestilence stricken multitudes react, is an analysis of a particular person with Bucky’s traits. It is a record of what dismal consequences self-denial by an unthinking all-responsible maniac can have. To me, Nemesis is a narrative of a person with a dismal flaw in his character which when exposed to the particular situations delivers him to self-depreciation, guilt, social abhorrence and complete loneliness. The twist in the plot like an O. Henry type story converts it from a record of behaviours during an epidemic to an analysis of the flaw in the Protagonist’s character and the setting of a polio outbreak is reduced to a mere adjustment of situations apt to highlight the flaw.

Altogether, it is an above average, likable story.

 

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Ounces of Words, Deluge of Pain…

He watches as mother goes inside the room to summon his dad up for dinner. He has been resting on his bed in his usual silent but frustrated disposition. Shaun can feel the tinge of nervousness on his mother’s face while she approaches the room. Both of them know it; he is in a bad mood. She enters…

The door is not completely closed and sitting across the veranda, Shaun can see whatever happens. He cannot listen what is actually being articulated, but he sees a frustrated dad turning to see while mother asks him to come for dinner. What he sees next is a hurling of words, such words that make the already frightened face don a flaccid expression, an overpowering pallor.

Before his mother entered, Shaun had decided that it was enough for him now. He was not going to bear all crap, all blaming and anger and tears and all that depressing stuff that had blown him off his senses innumerable times before. But what he saw today made it seem all the more worse this time. It was actually a consistent graph, each time their quarrels had grown increasingly merciless; and it was this reason that made Shaun intervene as he feared that the limit may be crossed. The limit may be crossed. Oh poor boy, the limit had already been crossed – innumerable times.

Once again, he hopped down from the railing bar at which he had been seated, sped towards the door where the drama was on. With each nearing step, he could hear the words more clearly. And now he was there, audience to those shameless blames thrown by his dad upon his mom. He heard those unbelievable words where his father blamed his mother for all the failures that he had faced in his professional life, for the fact that he had to live on someone else’s means, for the fact that today he and his family were as homeless as the group of people living on the footpath, for the fact that they were at the mercy of these shelter-givers who could have them out whenever they fancy. He scorned her for her tries of making us stable, for the hard work that she put in so that the shelter-givers did not get a reason to get them going, for each and every bit of life that she had suffered. He stated that she had brought ill-fate with her in dowry to their marriage; that his unison with her was the beginning of the apocalypse that was about to befall him. To Shaun, this was nothing new – although with each word fired, his lachrymals responded with equal violence. He could feel that his mother was at the brink of a violent outburst of tears and he just wanted to grab this man by the neck and give him ample punishment, but this was not what his mom had taught him. He stayed – his body, not his tears. Sorry, their tears…

***

He cried that night, erupted actually. As he wrote –

“I am writing this note to you Ma. Ever since I have come to my senses, I have seen you as the best person in the world. I have idealized you for all that I think and do. With you, I have been witness to a whole lot of learning experiences. You have been my school better than any other organization; and I have worshipped you. You have been the source of uncountable successes of mine, the origin of all happiness of mine, the root and cause of everything positive that I have within me today. But it is not all positive that I have in me.

You and Dad have been excellent parents. I still adore you both for those sacrifices that you have done for me; but in this course of life, I have also seen you both as husband and wife. And with each such witnessing, I have gradually lost belief in this institution of marriage. I do understand the motive and logic behind marriage, but its consequences have taken me aback.

Each and every time I saw you and dad quarrel, I’ve had this strange feeling that it is me who stands shamelessly as the root and cause of all of dad’s sufferings and, consequently, your sufferings too. Both of you could have been very well off if dad did not have to give all his earnings for my hefty education fee. And this has pricked me to limits of pain.

It has been a great mental trauma to see how two people who swear to be each other’s support in life come to blame each other for all the bad in their lives. I know it is nothing as compared to the pain that you have taken all these years. You were always stronger Ma. Let me confess something Ma, I have often come to the idea of killing myself, releasing myself from all this tension, but not executed it because the moment I closed my eyes with all the tears, all I saw was you. I would no doubt free myself, but at the cost of having caged you once again. And I did not want to cage you and all those dreams that you have associated with thoughts of my bright future.

But what future Ma? Will things ever get back to normal? Even if I become a big man, will I be able to give back to you both those moments of happiness that you missed? Will I be able to erase from the record of Time all those tough moments the cause of which was I? Will I be able to make those words return which dad hurled at you when he was tensed? Will I be able to quash all failures that dad met with? Will you and dad ever reconcile, laughing and enjoying life as you once did? Maybe; but I cannot see an affirmative here Ma. I am still confused Ma. I love you. I want you to be happy. But what will give me what I want?

Is it my death? Or is it my life?”

***

Shaun’s mother woke up to another morning. As she approached Shaun’s room to wake him up, she could guess the tears he would have cried last night. She herself had cried. Shaun wouldn’t have slept early.

As she was about to knock, she saw a piece of paper lying halfway through the door on the floor – the very note that Shaun had written last night. She opened it; read through it; and before she had finished reading, the paper was already wet enough to make it look as though it had been thrown in water. With trembling hands, she pushed the door open.

What could she have seen?

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My Son would Never Rape a Woman

Just read this exceptional piece… Hope you like and understand it.

Epiphany in the Cacophony

sad-alone-cute-girl-waiting-someone-window My son would never rape a woman. It is brutal, disgusting and immoral. He simply isn’t capable of such a thing. She has obviously enticed him. __________________________________________________________

She was at the club when it happened. Short black dress, tall black drink. She stood in the middle of the dance floor, moved her hips slowly. She made eye contact with him. She even smiled. He walked up to her and asked her to meet him at his car. When she declined, he grabbed her arm.
And what a scene she created! She fought, screamed and kicked. You want this, he told her as he pulled her out of the club. NO, she screamed, yelling as he dragged her to his car. You don’t know what you want, you’re drunk.

She sat alone in the parking lot a few hours later. Disgusting girl, she reeked of smoke and alcohol. What…

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Contemplations · Random Thoughts.

My Protection, My Escort… My Society!

Perhaps you would not disagree with me when I say that most of man’s attempts at introspection are soon transformed into critiques of all those who surround him. Let’s elaborate.

Introspection, in common terms may be understood as an occasional dive into the dunes of time to analyze and categorize one’s life, decisions, and occurrences. When one attempts at introspection, he keeps all his actions under the scanner and formulates an unbiased report. Unbiased; A lovely word, an embodiment of justice in itself, wonderful to pronounce, encouraging to hear, but to inculcate… Question mark! Man unbiased towards himself; Strange?

‘Competition’ would be an irrelevant word in that case. Selfishness is a feeling, more of a belief, an undoubting one; an unflinching opinion that if I committed a mistake, there has to be a stimulus, a person that causes so. Somebody else has to be responsible for my mistake. It’s unflinching, you see. That, I suppose, gives an ample of a backing to my opening sentence, “…critiques of all those who surround him.”

The question then arises, “Why not straightforwardly shun these that stimulate us to err, to make mistakes? Why not practice a complete abhorrence and consequently, approach perfection?” We, however, first need to identify, who are these that surround us? And why do they do so? ‘Interfere’ is the word. Why do they interfere?

In the most primitive of times, man devised the method of living in groups, with others of his own kind, to survive hostilities, to act each other’s shield. Okay, a bit of a nomenclature change will have the deeper meaning rise to the surface; today, they serve as ‘scapegoats’. It is self-evident, neither was man singly able to survive then, nor is he now. He needs someone as a companion, he needs those who surround. Just the uses have changed, evolved over the period of time. Prehistoric man used his companions as a shield to protect himself from hostilities; twenty first century man uses his society to climb up the ladder of success while not having to single-handedly bear the burden of all his failures. I added something…

There is a positive and very integral side to ‘interferences’ also. Not only does the society come in handy as ‘scapegoats’, it is also a stimulus for man’s success, his advancement on the success ladder… ‘Expectations’ is the word. Society can, very justifiably, be dubbed as a most bountiful organization that happens to find in everyone some or the other talent- depending upon the society’s eligible discretion- and then goad him into intense, often unwanted, action such that the victim ends up finding himself somewhere unexpected yet desirable. A most plausible and suitable example lies in deciding the career of a person. His society that includes his closest as well as his farthest acquaintances very interestingly begins to decide for him what career he shall choose, mind you, their decision is often non-concurrent with that of the person himself. There are some fighters who carve their way out of the odds, and there are submitters who let themselves drift in the direction that appeals to the society; but what actually is concurrent is the fact that both of them ultimately land on the zenith. The time certainly differs, but not the destination. And that’s all what matters, I believe!

I believe I have been- if not completely then to a great degree- able to convince you that the positive aspect of society is too valuable and dominating to be overlooked upon. However, if it’s all about society, then why did I start with introspection? Introspection, as I have previously made clear is the activity wherein man looks into himself, sees and ponders over everything that makes a part of him. Society is inevitably as important and inseparable a part of a man’s persona as is his own soul. This is the reason as to why during his errands into himself, man finds society very much ready to meet him, ready to be pondered over, ready to be blamed, ready to be named… Beginning with introspection was no mistake I suppose?

Society makes you err. Wonderful is the fact that how amidst the comedy of errors, it conducts you to the apex.

Undoubtedly, it makes you put in a tremendous amount of effort, and at times you almost give up the battle that you fight not for yours but the society’s will; but then it is it wise to shun it? Is it wise to neglect its role as a stimulus for errors, as a scapegoat, and finally as an escort to success?

Contemplations · Love · Random Thoughts.

Down The Love Lane…

“Loving you has made me love myself”, “He cared”, “He just let me be me… That was the most important thing that brought me close to him”; each and every word in these lines bombarded against the walls of his heart, and brain. It all circulated in a whirlwind in his head, converting all that was in it into a tumultuous, chaotic piece of crap. Loud explosions, deafening explosions, created such a harsh situation that he almost gasped in that so open, abundant with air highway which he had been walking. His walk lacked the brisk pace that was its characteristic; he lacked the vitality that had always been his constant companion. Devoid all physical, mental, and emotional strength and balance, he just moved. He had read it all, read it last night, read it innumerable times since then, and each time he scanned that letter, he was even weaker; but this self-torture was what- according to himself- he deserved. He deserved to be obliterated into innumerable unrecoverable granules such that his body, mind, and soul seized to exist. The letter had come to his as a revelation, or rather, as a realization of the infidelity of his soul, his opinions, his observations, his very existence. That day he was just a block of mud, moving but not walking, looking but not seeing, saying but not talking. He reached home and found his sister humming the song where the singer congratulated the love of his life on being successful in love- in her love with a man, who was not the singer himself, and he found the burden just too heavy to carry, his sorrow too widespread to conceal within his corporeal frame, but he had to. He just let his lachrymals activate themselves. Maybe even that was a mistake, for he soon found tears too abundant to be allowed to exit his self. He was soon sitting squeezed up on his bed with a sense of fear, and defense; but another fear made itself prominent- the fear of becoming an object that prompted widespread questions. He feared being questioned, he was sick of lying- first lying to himself about the existence of an intense love for her, then to everyone who saw a possibility of that love, then to the depressing aura, saying that he was good and such things happened. He was sick now; but wasn’t it pitiable that he had not a single soul to share his excessive melancholy? This thought proved all the more intense a stimulus for his lachrymals and he could hardly control his groans.

Hours later, he was just sitting there, still frightened, but now on the lane of time, back into the memories of when he was happy.

He sat on the first bench in his classroom with no partner, none found it amusing to sit with him, he was a different, rather an odd one in that class. His dominating expression of seriousness and contemplation looked annoyingly boring to all such that hardly anyone wished to bless him with a talk. Neither did he yearn for their friendship. He was happy to dwell among the poems that he wrote and the thoughts that he had in mind. He would have been happiest to have his head sunken into his books or his thoughts had she not been in the class. She sat among her ‘new’ and ‘more interesting’ friends on the last benches of the class. Once a great friend and companion-when-possible, she now had new friends who matched her type of merry-making and whom she thought good, and who brought him to utter contempt whenever they could, given his odd nature. He would not bother. All that interested him was she; all that had him desperate was she and the never-expected development of awkwardness between them. He hated that lack of words when the two of them ever came face-to-face. He hated those friends, being conscious of whose watch, she hurried away from him. But his love was not enslaved by the talks or smiles. He could love her by just being conscious of her presence, by being able to paint her portrait in his mind. In that way he was always conscious of her presence, because she lay there within his conscience. He loved looking in her direction, observing her smile at something said; observing her when she put on her glasses, and also when she did not; observing her finger driving all locks of her black hair behind her ears; observing and admiring the face that emerged thereafter. He loved her  because she was his friend, because she was a wonderful girl, because she was all that he had wanted to be- an epitome of virtues, because she was the genuine herself and never wished to imitate anyone. He would just sit in front and look back where she sat, look at her and ensure she was not annoyed, ensure she was not bored- that may sound odd, ensure that she was secure and in a way ensure that he was secure. His idea of love was all about coexistence and responsiveness.

In those days, the days that followed Eid, her absence had prompted him to take to her abstract avatar in the mind. It was the fourth day, and he had been sitting in the classroom reminiscing about their long talk over SMS the previous day when she walked in with her red and black school bag and her metal water bottle, and had his heart pounding. Courtesy the absence of her new and dear friends, she greeted him good morning to which, unexpected as it was, he responded with a stammer. He loved it when she called his name and specifically stressed upon the depth and length of the first syllable of his name which was followed by a smooth flowing remaining part of his name. The day had begun on the highest note in quite a few weeks. The last time when they talked well was when both of them were among the participants of the ‘Commonwealth Day’ debate.

There was something different and positively strange about her ways that day. She walked with a greater elegance and gracefulness, she talked in tones that were lesser in volume than those in which she previously did, she had changed her spectacles and the dark black, full-frame ones were replaced by the frame-less glasses with light supports; right from her elegant mascara to her beautiful hairdo, everything about her prompted an aura of beauty, mirth, positivism, elegance and care. Regaining his equilibrium, he said, ‘You’ve transformed dear! What made you bring out this revolutionary avatar of yours?’ and she echoed the words from one of his SMSs from last night conversation, ‘A woman realizes her true self only when made to do so by a man.’ Things stirred…

Very much logical to a heart in love, he took the man to be himself. The days that followed saw a sea change in her attitude towards him, she had once again begun to talk well to him, share her thoughts with him, laugh with him, yes, he actually recovered his dormant sense of humor as if to realize and make it known to her that it was not he who had gone away, it was just that others had come nearer to her. And months passed with his levels of ecstasy rising each day, each moment. Then he proposed…

Facebook chats one day reminded her that he had once said that there were many people who loved her, and one of them was very close to him. On being pressed further, he had promised to reveal the name by the end of the year. And it was December when she was reminded. This time the requests had turned to be threats, threats of ending friendship. Obviously, he had to yield, he wanted to promote friendship to love, what if the friendship itself ended!

And so it happened that after the Chemistry examination, there she stood to listen all that he had written in that email confessing his love. When he saw her standing, waiting for him, his heart would just not stop wanting to leap! He reached and he spoke, he spoke with fear, with doubt, with stammers, with hope, with love… He told her that his love for her was as pure as the ice on the mountains, as the intentions of an angel… It was not a romantic incarnation of desire but a true expectation of nearness, not a demand for intimacy but an assertion of his wish of never having to watch her go away, not a longing for unison of bodies but that of souls, not a want of imposing his life on her but of sharing it… He made her know that what mattered to him was the beauty of the soul which was more abundant in her than the abundance of happiness in heaven. He once again spoke out his heart, spoke till the very limits of his equilibrium, spoke before she finally said, ’I am dating someone since the last six months.’

She spoke much more, spoke how she cherished each and every moment that she had spent with him, saying that she was sure that he would get someone better than herself, saying much more, if only he was conscious enough to hear it…

That was the first time that he had experienced devastation prompted by his misunderstandings, the faux pas of opinions and observations had left him azoic. He was shaken when she told him that her man was five years older than her, lived in the U.S., worked for an esteemed firm, and earned in dollars, and that both their families wanted them to be together. Blunder number two, he took her decision to be submission to the will of her family. He respected her even more; but he decided to maintain distance, not a distance of talks or smiles, but a distance of emotions…

This letter, the one that prompted this remembrance had made it just so worth blaming himself! It told him that it was not submission but real love that endeared her to the American and dragged her away from him; it told him that he had been stupid enough to think that she ever was near to him… He now knew that he deserved obliteration!

Random Thoughts. · Tragedy

No Next Day…

She waits all day… Along with all the innumerable chores to which she attends, she never loses count of the number of hours after which he would finally return. In that small compartment of her mind are reserved all those scarce moments that she has had with him. It is the most invaluable part of herself, for this is where the essence of her being, her moments with him, lie; this is where the ones to come shall dwell…

She waits, waits till the clock strikes eight, when she can finally catch a glimpse of her soul mate from the balcony, see him rushing up the staircase, walk through the oval corridor in that old building in Delhi. This is the moment when her life begins, when she comes alive. The swift throb of his heart that she hears during the hug; the fragrance of his cascading breath; and the smiles on the faces of both creating a beautiful portrait of eternal harmony. That special compartment comes into action.

All problems now melt down. No more does she remember that the bedroom ceiling leaked when it had rained that day; that the A.C. was much too noisy; that the woman next door was one big piece of crap; that… She does not remember! She is now with him, only him…

All through dinner, she fixes her gaze at him; with love in those eyes, she sees how happy he is to be away from all humdrum, away from all reproaches of his boss, in front of his wife’s love-laden eyes. He loves it, she loves it. They love it…

That two kilometer walk at night was the most desirable and enlivening part of her day. When he in his track suit and she in her Salwar-Kameez and shoes walked hand-in-hand, shoulder-to-shoulder in that absence of hurry and all tension, she was transported to all new levels of ecstasy. Those forty odd minutes comprised him narrating all his day and herself acting the Oracle to all her problems. He involved himself in her problems with no less interest. They discussed their problems, laughed their laughs, and talked their talks. Isn’t that all required of partners?

She always wished that those forty minutes would never end. These minutes seemed no more that the minutest fraction of a split-second to her and each day she wished that he would extend their walk, that she would get a few more moments with him before they reached home and the next-day necessities occupied them. She wished that there never was a next day. Just this night, this walk, with him…

“Let’s walk to the India Gate today…”

And she was left agape at so apt a fulfillment of her unarticulated wish. ‘That would be double the length of the usual walks!’ she thought overjoyed.

“Sure.”

Their talks continued; her Oracle avatar, their laughs and more talks. Then instantly, something prompted silence while both of them walked.

That cool late-summer Delhi wind brought forth a small curl of her silken hair to her face which she very elegantly drove back. He had been watching…

“You are the essence of my life, the breath of my being, the root of all my strength. Be with me always, and I shall die the happiest man…”

She held his mouth, just planted a peck on his cheek. They walked on, silent, happier than ever.

“Want to have a Kulfi?” and he ran to a stall. India Gate nights are enchanting. She could see him. The aura smelled of love, peace, and harmony. He turned with two Kulfis and a wide smile on the face. She could see brilliant lights, listen to the harmony of crackers, small peaceful explosions, and he was going to be back in a few steps or more.

Then she heard something big, and before she heard it, there she lay under soul mate’s distorted body. The biggest explosion; the explosion of her life…

She lay motionless.

He lay motionless.

His blood on her face lay motionless.

Her tears could not…

Her wish had been granted. There would be no next day…

Random Thoughts.

Elation…

They come down mirthful in their flight under gravity, hooting, whirling, laughing, shouting, in their own limitless ecstasy. They fall; they fly and crash head-on into me who has been laying breadth wise across that traditional jute bed, face upward, staring the skies in my own pursuance of optimism. Dry till an instant before, I am pleased at such an impromptu invasion of my face and thoughts. The aura has changed, tiny invaders have started attacking me in a drizzle, but I have seized to move. I choose to be complaisant to my invaders. I let them come and explore each nook and corner of my skin-curtained skull. “Come, here’s my little too big nose, then here my previously pimpled cheek, here this tiny speck of beard on my chin, these medium-sized pinnae, these not-so-ideal lips, and this forehead. Come have me all!” And they comply, as if inviting their counterparts who, as their predecessors, come down in the same wild ecstasy. Abundance; they come down in full abundance and now I can feel the force; feel their desire to inhabit, feel my desire to let them. They transfer their ecstasy to me, I am ecstatic, elated to have inhabitants, companions.

But as and when the drizzle converts to a full-fledged rainfall, I perceive that with each newcomer landing here, the old one has trickled down and now has no whereabouts; but they keep coming.

Yes, one shall go with the arrival of the other; or to put it optimistically, with each departing drop, another shall arrive to never have me isolated, uninhabited.

Elation…

Random Thoughts.

Life Matters… Doesn’t It?

That boy caught my attention when I was intentionally unmindful of the presence of all objects on that lane where I, in my Lucknow-embroidered Kurta-Pajama, was strolling to breath out the pollutants of the entire day.

Nothing had been pleasant that day; firstly, I could not fish out a remarkable piece of rhyme, against the expectation of all my co-participants in that impromptu poetry competition. I was conscious of the absurdity of the notion that one could have someone write a poem on something random about which he had to compellingly think so as to win the contest, but still went for it so as to have me recognized as a poet. Obviously it did not work out, and I had known that all the time. I had never written a rhyme because I had to, instead, I wrote because I wanted to. Whatever it was, I was a loser. Secondly, the snobbish bulging-bellied asshole editor called me up to tell me that the book for which I had devoted six months of my year, and that too when I dropped that year to prepare myself to get into an I.I.T., was rejected saying, the content was contradictory from the intended at different parts of the book! What did he know about the motive of my book? And finally, being made to know that the article that I had sent to the newspaper was not deemed fit to be published owing to its high controversial content. Implementers of the Constitution could watch restricted videos in the Parliament, but I could not bring to all what was reality and everyone deserved to know! Sometimes I resent the employment of all those years when I dived down to explore the realities under existences and then woke nights to pen them down for humanity; I recall with taunts all those moments when in the nights, I’d go and lie down under that Tamarind and peacefully dream of being a celebrity writer whose books were a favorite of the Booker Prize, who would be invited to foreign universities to deliver guest lectures on the subjects of his books, and on whose name, campaigns would be held to recognize and promote budding writers and poets; I cry at the futility if that feeling of triumph when my English teachers applauded any piece of poetry that had come to my mind while I stood as a beholder to Nature’s numerous activities… Futile, all futile; I was obstinate but it seemed not enough to match the levels of the world.

Anyways, indeed the day was bad, but that sight made me forget all of it, almost! “Mom feels I am wasting my time in this what-she-calls ‘creepy’ writing stuff…”, he narrated to a huge Banyan tree in the park by the road. A small boy of fourteen, I suppose, a rounded face with a hairdo which is popular among children of overprotective mothers. The sweet swift gusts of wind made his hair fly like the full-grown mustard plants in a crop field, and each time his face met a breeze, the face donned an innocent smile in the midst of that serious and dissatisfied expression. Innocence indeed!

“Michael sir says that if there is anything that I am made for, it is writing, literature! How obstinately does she disregard the words of an authority in what he deems me perfectly fit! ”

I wished I could just walk up to the child and tell him,” Chap, you are just wasting your time, first in writing something that the common world will find too absurd to be blessed with a read, and secondly in being laden with clouds of complains which you shall share with none but a lifeless gob of leaves.

Something then happened; he began to recline, as if tired enough of complaining and assuming the tree supported him in his arguments as staunchly as he himself did. There he lay, glaring straight into the leaves and beyond into the sky as if he intended to pierce its limits through his sheer devotion and determination that exhibited from that gleam in his eyes. He kept on chanting something continuously for around half an hour; yes half an hour, there I stood in my traditional Kurta-Pajama with my arms folded around each other just looking at the boy! All of a sudden, the boy rose, as if he had resolved something and intended to be on it without an iota of doubt. He ran, and ran towards me shouting,” Let them think whatever they want to, I won’t live a lame deer to die every day I live with the guilt to have ignored my dreams for someone who would, after some time, simply not care!”

And he ran, ran towards me, ran through me, but his words never left my mind, they still rent the atmosphere in there… Now, neither do my achievements turn me ecstatic, nor does my failure turn me depressed. Just the notion that I did not submit gets me going and every now and then makes me realize that I am alive; and it is perhaps life all that matters?