Sun be sale..

Last week, I was discussing with a friend of mine on Whatsapp, how the good old days were! High school was so awesome. Poignant memories and spiteful ones came up as I started going back to those chapters of my life. Some where in between we started rating our fellow classmates, something that I find odd in retrospect, and funny. Stumbling upon a particular one guy, who happens to be a very good friend of mine, and not so of hers, she asked me how did I become friends with this particular sort of guy? She went on to describe how she felt about this guy (which was not too good) and was surprised how and why I had made this guy my friend.

I simply had no answer. How did this guy end up being my friend, a very good friend? How do 2 strangers end up becoming friends? Now if you start reminiscing about how you and your best friend end up being “best friends”, I guess you too would be clueless. I then went to the back of my mind to remember, how did I meet every single person who later (or instantly) became my friend! A very odd thing to do when you have your GRE and end sems coming up, I ended up spending good time on this matter. I concluded, I do not remember how I met most of them, but I did remember some moments that were crazy, funny, amazing, ludicrous, full of tensions, sadness, sharing the nadirs and the zeniths of my life.

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I remembered how one time I had to run with a badminton racket in my hand from my room to his to scare away a rodent of who was hidden in one corner as scared as my friend who was curled up on the other corner in his bed. I remember how that same guy came running to help me when I woke up in the middle of night and found a dog sleeping beneath my bed. (Scary hostel, isnt it? :p)

I remembered how this one time, I almost broke my leg into 2 while playing holi with few friends and those friends ran upto everyone to arrange a car for me to the hospital, accompanying me with faces smeared in holi colours.

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I remembered how one consoled me at 2 in the morning when I called her to tell I had failed. I remember how my friends threw me a surprise birthday party. I remember how they beat the crap out of me on my birthday. I remember how they all hugged me when I got placed.

Friendship, I feel, isn’t something that we can really control. We all are like magnets. The moment we find our match, it just sticks. And then starts the frolic ride. Call them by anything but their names, use their stuff, no matter how expensive, abuse them, curse them, it just doesn’t matter, does it? “Sun be sale.. Ped pe chadein??”

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Hello!

It is a feeling, a titillation, sort of, not normal by any means and an unprecedented one! I do not have words to express my current state of mind. It is definitely not normal, not the usual, monotonous one. Why? Well, Hi, I now work as a Technology Analyst at Deloitte! 

Eh? Thank you, thank you!

To be placed from the campus itself, is a huge relief and massive honour. I fondly remember during my 3rd semester, as I was walking down the hostel boulevard, I saw a guy, dressed in formals, hopping in his formals. A visible chirpiness and excitement in his gait, he sounded ecstatic on the phone and wore an ear-reaching grin. Yes, he got placed, that was tacit! But that look on his face, was of a huge relief, excitement, joy, all at the same time!

Today, as I am placed at Deloitte, I find myself in a similar situation. I am still gobsmacked at the fact that I actually got placed! My cheeks hurt from the constant grin that lies slapped on my face since the time I got the news that, Yes, I have been selected!

Oh dear lord, I still find it hard to believe at how the events turned out today! Somebody pinch me, is it real world or am I still dreaming?

 

Hey, that hurts!

 

And about the appellation! I didnt give it a thought actually! Neither I will; because, Hello! 

“Mess”y affairs!

Keeping its motto in sync with its actions, the DTU, our beloved university welcomed a swarm of students, both freshmen and seniors. “A university driven by talent and something something by innovation” reads the frontal bill board on the façade of university campus gate. As we step in, the campus, as delightful as it was during my first year, doesn’t put me down. It is indeed beautiful. A monotonous sight for 3 years now, yet it is still a mesmerizing one. That is probably the first and the last thing that I love about this university. Beauty is to be found in abundance.

An intake of 1600-odd students this fall, coupled with 1600 previously, 1600 before that and a 1000 of us makes this around 6000 of the undergraduates, if I am not wrong. Add to that the graduate population, and then the PhD’s (if any) and the facu.. let’s leave them aside. So the serenity of the campus that was to be seen during my first year is up in the air as soon as I enter the academic block. Plethora of cars, parked at every possible side lane available. From 800 to Audi, one can find everything here. Okay, that is world class, isn’t it? Lots of cars!!!

As I step into my non-existent department of 3 years in the middle of Electrical Engineering block and the EC Engineering block, I am gobsmacked at the number of students that walk through the corridors. What the F happened here? There’s everyone here! The cool dudes, the hot lasses (Okay, there was just this ONE, but let’s not be cruel to the freshly arrived bastion), jackasses, some overly sophisticated one’s and then there’s the friends and acquaintances in form of fellow classmates and juniors.

Still world class. Beauty check. Huge crowd, check. Good looking ones? Check. So what if there’s enormous number of students at this campus? Every university has it. University of Southern California has in excess of 35-40k students. Same is with the University of Toronto. So, nothing to gloat about yet, I guess. Okay, yes, I have to register for my new sem. Yeah! Lets get to that.

“You are late by 2 days, pay INR 100 at the accounts department and come back again”. Asking to pay for a registration, that too from a typical Indian parsimonious student? Okay, I am still at a world class university. Can’t help it. I guess, I’ll just pay. I head to the accounts department. Some background information here:

Location: Basement

Heat Index: A degree less than hell’s?

Humidity: Its monsoon just round the corner

Cooling provided: Nothing

No. of students at the queue: 40?

No. of counters: 2

No. of people at the other side of counter: 1

Got the image? Okay lets proceed. The dimly lit area with around 40 students lined up to pay their late registration dues. You commit a mistake, you have to suffer. At DTU, if you commit a mistake, satan welcomes you to hell. So, I stand in this queue to pay for my sins. There is just one fan that creeks and rotates with a speed that will put a sloth to shame. There is another one that works perfectly fine, placed at the next counter that is around 10m away. 40 odd students, lined up in hot, humid basement with no ventilation. And then there was a grateful personality who just thought his/her ass crack would be too hot and might be in need of some “gust of silent breeze”.  Talk about world class students.

Beads of sweat roll down everyone’s face as we breathe in everyone’s perfumed sweat and the queue moves forward slowly but steadily. The guy at the accounts section was doing his best. No one blames him. But that is one dent on the university’s world class image. Isnt it?

And yes, the classes. I am an Electrical major, and yet, except for one year, I haven’t have had my classes scheduled in the Electrical block! Our classes our held at the Mechanical Block. For some reasons that, god knows what they are! Nevertheless, its nothing that bothers me much, but then it is a WORLD CLASS UNIVERSITY, remember?

This time around, I felt, DTU successfully managed to go above the clichéd norm of being a world class university.  Yes, literally. It takes the meaning of being world class to a NEXT LEVEL. Again some background:

Our campus is a large one. Green, beautiful, serene. It houses the faculty residence blocks, the hostels, the residential blocks for some lower level workers here. The academic section that houses all the departments is entirely separate one. Our classes are supposed to be held here. I guess you must have got a gist of my point here? If not then read on!

Our class schedule read “Nursery” in classroom section. Now where the eff is nursery? Three years at this university, and being a hosteller, I knew every corner of the campus. But where the F is nursery? Asking here and there, the department and the admin, we come to know that there have been new classrooms that have been constructed. Great! We get the new classrooms! Only that, we are in for fallacy. The nursery is nothing but a revamped first year hostel mess, bam in the middle of residential block, quiet far away from main academic block.

You don’t believe me? There’s proof at the end! Dont hesitate, go on. Scroll down. Be shocked! I’ll wait.

*Whistles*

Okay, so lets proceed!

This is how the senior most students of the university handled. Kudos! That IS definitely out of the world.

In addition to making us study all the subjects that probably ever existed, and not giving us adequate remuneration for our valiant efforts, the only nail in the coffin that was left to ostracize us from the university has been hammered. Thank you so much! Let’s not get this personal and rather focus more on the recent up gradations.

Another visual spectacle that everyone must have noticed would be the tin capped covering of a part of corridor to make a room sort of place. Just above the Electrical canteen?  Well, if it is a store room, it is magnificent. If that is another slaughter house for us, I have no words to express my gratitude.

Yes, we are extraordinary students, sir, but have very ordinary requirements when it comes to classrooms and other facilities. Maybe we could have used those funds to fix the hostel toilet flush and leaking taps that keep the bathrooms floors perennially wet?

Yes, its real. Thank you DTU!
Yes, its real. Thank you DTU!
It isnt even funny!
It isnt even funny!

We do not need world class facilities, we need basic working facilities. So it would be kind of you to reconsider your decision!

Thanks!

Lets talk alcohol!

It does that! Yes, it does!

“Beauty lies in the eyes of beholder”.

Not a great opening line, especially when it is an adage, but also when it bears no relation to the above appelation. Wait! I find something malicious here. I am not quiet sure whether the guy/girl who wrote this heard it correct. Let me put forward my version of this hackneyed phrase

“Beauty lies in the eyes of beer-holder”

Eh? See? Doesn’t that make more sense? And I presume most of you would certainly agree with me, specially the guys from my alma mater who lie perenially in the state of inebriation! Alcohol, you see my dear friends, is one invention that accelerates the fostering of human relationship beyond measure! Greatest achievement of man, I would say!

I’ve been in there. A time when your self concious decides to sit aside and let the reins of your body be taken over by this nectar. Enjoyable, but it becomes a real problem when you need to get up to take that loo break. I remember the time when I first got drunk. I could feel my consious self slipping away and being subdued by alcohol. It was, I dont know, mized feeling.

I wore a constant smile, as I was told, grinning to every question thrown at me by the experienced ones. There was just one name that I would utter; and then get back to smiling. I do not remember what happened subsequently as I progressively gulped down those shots, one by one. But what I do remember is, it took a herculean effort from me to just get the energy down on my legs and stand up. It took another herculean effort to take the first step. And yet another one to open my eyes to look at the dimly lit surroundings clearly. That was the most relieving loo-break I took; afterall, I had put such a huge effort!

I talked a lot after the smiling phase, I am being told. Bellowed harangues to some, crying over lost ones, the pretty ones, my family. It is in fact true, you talk about everyone who is close to you when you are not in the sober condition. I had heard everyone in my hostel, and that was hilarious. You get something to talk about for the time till next round of get together, which is fortunately not far.

There was this one phrase which I thought was infact made up, and that people say uselessly, probably to show off. A phrase that trancends the national, social, racial and sometimes gender barrier. “Buddy, you are indeed my best friend. All others are fake, I know that. You are my true one. And I am completely serious, HEY! I am serious, you understand? Huh? YOU. ARE. MY. BESSSSST. FRIEND.” *gets up to make public announcement among group of friends* “OII!.. This guy here, he’s my best friend. HE IS MY BEST FRIEND. You all are fake.” And then there’s the forced hug. :/

Being a spectator to a tanked party is no less than a visual comical spectacle. It is equally embarrasing when you are one of them, and you are reminded of that the next morning, even more embarrasing when there are video proofs.

For those who believe that is is morally unacceptable and degrading practice,   ,|,,

Be foolish, and get drunk!

Good day, people.

The case of Telangana: A House Divided

“Mother India gets ready for her 29th child at the age of 66” reads Times of India on its front page as I pick up my daily. The Telangana issue has been streched for a while now, almost a half century, but only gaining momentum recently. Or perhaps I took notice of it just now! Skimming over the first few pages, over my morning coffee, all I found was the Telangana issue. So what if a seperate state was created? I wasn’t really sure of this political move’s pros and cons. I do not have a penchant for politics anyways, but then I took notice. Read a few articles, editorials and the end result, I am still the confused sperm I was before, only now, I have a minsicule knowledge of the subject. (In case someone broaches the subject during coffee break, I can actually say something instead of just hmms and yeaahhhs..   😉 )

I find myself half immersed in the political ken of a common man, and hence would want to share my own views on this subject, however childish they may sound to you. I neither support, nor oppose its formation, for the pros according to me, stack up equally against the cons of formation of this new state. Let us weigh up the pros first, shall we?

As the nation prepares to welcome another state into this vastly diverse demography, the economic, political and social scenarios around the country are set to change. One obvious effect of dividing the large state of Andhra Pradesh with an estimated population of 84 million people will be better governance. Managing a state of 84 million people is an arduous task in itself. Compare this with an average European country, where the average population is 18 million. The US of A is further down in the averages’ list, with an estimated 7 million people per state.

What do these statistics tell us? Ostensibly, lower the population, better the management, better lifestyle, better transparency and better accountablity. These parameters do not need numbers for US of A and European Union. Quality of life speaks for itself. Some proponents of Telangana issue argue for creation of further states, carved out from larger states like those of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and others. Not only this leads to political upgradation, it also helps preserve the culture in this seemingly migratory scenario. 

The smaller the set of people that is to be governed by elected representatives, the better is their response and action. There tends to be more accountability. No doubt Andhra had managed to bring down the poverty levels down to 9% a gargantuan task when the national average hovers at 22%; there have been times when certain demands of people were overlooked for being uneconomical to the state. Creation of a new state will lower the range of governance in terms of area and people and will hence be advantageous to the previously overlooked demands of the people, in both states.

So, in a nutshell, the creation of a new state by citing the examples from US and EU, tells us that it is indeed a good move that will ring in prosperity and better governance among the people. Let us now look oer to the other half of the discourse. The cons, that is.

India can simply not be put in the same bracket as US or EU when it comes to governance and prosperity and progressive policies. Yes, we are the second fastest growing economy in the world (?) and the largest democracy, but we are zilch when it comes to implementation. Something that our western counterparts have done exceedingly well and hence prospered and matured.  Following their examples may lead to disastorous consequences.

For once, India is a nation whose leaders are not motivated for the good of its own motherland. They are only concerned with stashing their swiss accounts with stacks of money while they are in “power”. Citing United States as an exaple of economic development with so many states, is not good. We know why the Congress has finally pushed and agreed to the creation of this new state. Fear of Narendra Modi and loss of vote bank is the primary reason for its creation. So this is perhaps just another vote laundering act.

Secondly, for a debt ridden country like India, is it possible for the central government to finance the creation of new public infrastructure that comes with the creation of a state? Our current account deficit stands at 4.8% [Source: The Hindu]. It would take a huge investement on part of our central government to establish a state where more than 85% of population resides in rural areas. And what about governance? More corruption perhaps?

Another issue that crops up is, this support for creation of a new state will only boost the morales of several other protestors who demand a state of their own. The reason of their demand may apparently be in favour of “their people” but I fail to agree. The motive is purely political. Who does not want to be in power in his country? People who are in power are respected more than those with knowledge. Creation of more states would imply creation of more leaders, more corruption, for corruption is now pervasive in our country, engulfing the lower most to the higher most person in the social, political and economic hierarchy.

The creation of a new state on this base does not particularly sound a logically good idea.

That is my personal analysis, on the creation of new state in our country in India. Naive, as it may sound and appear, let me remind you, this comes from a guy who knows donkey shit about politics. Although what I do know is, for us to develop as a nation and be compared to US and EU, there has to be a radical shift in not only the ideologies of leaders, but also in ours. We are the other half of the government. A hackneyed but actually very pertinent condition.

I shall rest my case now. Experts, if any, feel free to comment and deride me! 🙂

This was a part of Daily prompts postss, http://dailypost.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/daily-prompt-divided/

Reminiscences!

This story is purely a work of fiction and fantasy, if you think of it so. Any resembelance to a person, living (I am sure you’ll find many!) or dead is purely co-incidental and unintentional (?).  The story is divided into 7 chapters, very short ones though. The storyline is taxing and hackneyed one, you’ll complain, but wait till the end. 😉 Enjoy!

The cadence of cacophony reached its pinnacle and I felt her bloodied palm thudding onto my face when I woke up suddenly, sweating profusely. The clock struck 2am. I rose and sat up in the corner, looking outside the window. The dim moonlight partially filled the room, obstructed by the dark red curtains. It fell on my face as I sat there, pale and wan looking at the few vehicles that sped across the highway. She was here! I could feel it!  A tear rolled down my face.

Chapter 1

21st April 2012, I saw her for the first time, as she hurriedly paced down the Senate hall to reach Major Terry. Major John Terry was leading the Anti-Terrorist Cell’s most recent and biggest mission to foil a potential attack on the city of Globishire. They had intercepted an encrypted message that was being sent to Khilolistan from Shire, a suburban area near Globishire a week earlier. Initially nonchalant, they were gobsmacked when a part of the message was decoded and read “aroung 65000 people”. The ATC quickly jumped into action.

A core team was assembled to be lead by the Major, an experienced guy whose CV boasted some of the major terrorist attack interceptions around the world. He was a maverick when it came to foiling and encountering the bad boys. Terry selected his own team members. Some were the usuals, some new faces. He wanted to bring forth new and best talents to the best anti terrorist organization in the world. Although he had no intention of retiring, it could be sensed this was his last mission.

Officer Frank was the most experienced person at the ATC after the Major. He was his good friend and often deputised in his absence, which was not very often. He too, like Major, had an unblemished record and was the stalwarts of the organization. He held the record for most number of scalps, 203 to be precise. his latest one had been a double strike to disgruntle an attack on Globishire.

Officer Ashley Cole was another major cogwheel in the ATC . Joining the organization in August 2006, he had played a major role in many operations. A skillful master of the hand guns, he had an impeccable record of using as many bulets as there were his targeted strikes.

Officer David Luiz, another skillful man, adroit with the machine in his hand, the grenade launcher. He played a more defensive tactical role, occasionally launching his grenador at times of need. A boisterous, prankster he was the entertainer of the group.

Officer Eden and Officer Juan, were the new faces in this team. Hugely impressed by their exploits in the previous campaign in Manchesterole, Terry had given them a go in his presumable last major operation. Although diminutive, these astute professionals, linked perfectly with each other, using their Mamba pistols to great effect in synchronism.

They had already started working day and night into deciphering the unnatural looking coded message. They had been successful in decoding some important information. They knew the targeted number of casualities, they knew it was to be carried out by a man from Khilolistan. What they did not know was when and where.

The Senate Hall was the seat of ATC. An antediluvian structure in the center of Globishire, it still stood strong and was one of the attractions of Glob. As archaic is looked on the outside, the inside was equally modern. Jennifer ran down the Senate hall, climbing the staircase with a horrified look on her face.

“Its the Bridge. The attack will be on Stamford Bridge.” She said as she slid across the file towards a stolid John looking out of the rain smeared window glass.

“Hmm.” He mumbled. He was thinking of something else. If it was to be his last mission, it had to be in style. He waved her off.

Although not the team member, Jennifer was the major support system of the team, only that she was not in the highlight. She provided information, some real insights of the opposition master plan. The pretty blonde had her own sources who were pretty reliable ones as well.

John picked up the phone and dialled a number. That was to be his latest weapon, the one that was to be a masterpiece in the last mission of his illustrous career.

“Hello..” said a guy on the phone.

“I have a surprise for you.” said John.

Chapter 2

It had been a while since we were going out. The first meeting that we had, or more specifically that I had with her had taken me apart. The next time we met, I had her palm embellished right across my face. The next took me to public harassment and after that came the smile. The cost of one coffee with her was £10 plus the glowing red palm on my face that wouldnt go away for two days and an eve-teaser tag among few Globs who witnessed it. It was all worth it though!

We had some amazing time together, and those were certainly the best of the moments.

“Are you sure you want to do this?” I asked her for the last time as we seated for the roller coaster on the Chessington.

“Yeah, I’ll be fine!” she murmered as she sat up stolidly with eyes wide open, back straight and her hands firmly gripping the handle in front. I somehow held myself from bursting out laughing!

Some air wafted through her face bringing a wispy strand of her blonde hair across her face. I rolled it behind her ear while comforting her “Its okay!”

The dragon fell off the pinnacle of its track as she burst out in the highest pitch of her voice. After a minute or so, when the ride came to halt, she had all her hair across her face and an expression that I was just hoping for. She couldn’t be more horrified and scared while at the same time angry at me for pushing her into the ride of death.

We later moved to the giant wheel that took us to the top from where we could see the entire Globshire and the sun setting over narrow Plaise that flowed across the heart of the city. The gentle hew of warm clours filled the sky. The scene was set, only that neither was I nor was she. I couldnt. It was part of my job.

Chapter 3

“They know it will be at the Bridge, they know it will be Anton and they also know.. ” I was interuppted in between by Rio.

“I know” he said in his heavy british accent. “Go and tell Chicha, Kagawa and Nani to assemble the CESC. We go tonight.” He said as he bellowed a cloud of white smoke.

“Tonight? But it was supposed to be next week. We are not fully prepared and..” he cut me off in again.

“It doesnt make any difference. Crowd will be the same. We go today.” He said as he asked me to get out with hand that held the cigar.

I went to the theatre and told them about Rio’s plan.

“We’re almost done. This baby will blow the entire thing off.” yelled Nani as he continued to program CESC.

“May their souls rest in peace” he said with a fake reverent tone.

“Yeah, alright! I’ll see you at the Bridge then.” I slapped him playfully.

Chapter 4

“Listen, I’ll be out tonight. I have to go over to my granny’s. I’ll call you once I reach there. Love you” she said on the phone.

“Okay, be careful. Love you too” I said, as I stood near the Bridge. It is going to be exciting. Gonna blow his mind right off!

 19:15. The truck reached Fulham Broadway.

“Clear?” asked Kagawa

“Clear” I said, as I took down another of those security guys using my PSS Silent gun. An old Russian device but deft piece of work. It was Russian afterall!

The truck parked into bay 1 just below the East stand. Kagawa and Chicha got down as all three of us started shifting the bodies towards a darker place. Rio arrived moments later in his Audi.

“All set guys?” he said with a beaming smile across his face as he looked towards Nani who was busy wiring and checking the wiring of CESC.

“Let’s get this baby started” Rio yelled as the crowd over us gave out a loud cheer for the teams coming on to the pitch. It was Chelsea vs Manchester United.

“How about a coffee first, Rio?” said a voice from behind. John stood there with his team; all looking dapper in their Armani suits. Officer Frank and Luiz on either side of Major, then Cole and Jennifer flanking them. Eden and Juan completed the wing at the extremes.

We looked completely bamboozled. And surprisingly, Rio wasnt amazed. “John. Oh man. It’s been such a long time. I was so hoping to see you here.” He said as he strolled towards him looking at the floor while smiling.

Jennifer looked sternly at me. A bit dazzled herself. For her, I was an accounts manager at Barclays.

“Yeah?” asked Lampard.

“Oh yes, really. And I bought you a gift. I am your guest tonight afterall” he said to Lampsy.

“I like gifts, such a good friend you are!” said Lampard sarcastically.

“You wont like this one, I assume” said Jennifer as she pointed her pistol on John’s head. I knew it, John thought, a hint of smile across his face.

Everyone froze for a moment. Eden and Juan looked completely blank at the turn of events. They all pointed their guns at Jennifer now. So was I and my partners. I came forward and stood besides Rio. Rio moved further up to John, coming almost face to face with him. “Like it? It going to be all RED this time friend.”

John smiled and then looked straight into Rio’s eyes. “Allow me to be the perfect host Rio!”

The sound of a slider and a touch of cold metal on his head was enough to wipe the smile off Rio and everyone’s face, again. Everybody stood surprised. More so Jennifer. She had not expected this at all. Double shocker. I stood behind Rio. “Or maybe we should let it remain blue. No?” I murmured.

The boundaries were now defined. Everyone knew who was on which side. The stage was set. As the second loud cheer was heard signalling the kickoff on the pitch above, Rio took down John on the ground landing a solid punch on his face. Frank and Luiz dashed straight towards the van that had CESC. Meanwhile Eden and Juan slid to the ground taking aim at Chicha and Nani. Both of them escaped and counter fired at them. Cole stood besides the pillar and enjoyed the show. He involved himself in dire situations. Kagawa managed to get away from the scene to call for backup. Within ten minutes, men from both parties ensued in a violent fracas below the East End. The the noise of bullets was lost in the cacophony of crowd above.

I swiveled on my left foot with my right arm streched out holdin the gun as my face touched Jennifer’s gun.  Her face was touching my gun. She had tears in her eyes. A thousand words were said without uttering a single word. Everything was clear despite the maddening clamor. She dropped her gun, so did I. I held her in my arms. We embraced each other right in middle of the defined boundaries.

Fire shots were being exchanged, as I saw some falling down with gun shots piercing their head. Just then I felt excruciating pain in my back. A bullet had torn down the fabric in my body in the shape of a small round hole. Blood came rushing out as Jennifer brought forward her bloodied hands before her eyes. I stood there motionless, dropping to my knees in a jerk, unable to move my hands or feel my body. I closed my eyes for a moment as I saw my life rewind in my memory. She came before my eyes and then I opened them up. She was supporting me, and crying profusely. I just smiled at her and kissed her, for the first and probably the last time. Just then some blood spewed on my face as I saw her forehead pierced with a bullet and blood all over her face.

I gave out a loud cry, when she fell down besides me absolutely motionless.  “I am sorry” she mumbled. Her eyes rolling up and her palm fell right across my face with a thud. I cried. I felt myself losing out. I lay there in peace. I wanted to die. I closed my eyes and remembered my parents and friends for the last time. I took her palm in mine and kept it over my face, remembering the glorious moment when she had dished out her first.

I felt someone hold up my body, agitating my face and crying for ambulance. I opened my eyes to allow the minimum possible light in. I saw Mata and Hazard there against the shining bulb in the background.

“We’re here buddy. We wont let you go! We’re here. Stay with us.” said Mata as he again cried for ambulance. I did not want to go. I wanted to stay there. With her, in peace. But I couldnt say anything. I couldnt open my lips, nor could I lift my hand. I was a near corpse. I saw here lying there for the last time, with her head in a pool of ther own blood. There was chaos and bedlam everywhere. It was irritating. My eyes and ears shut up as my energy waned completely.

Chapter 5

I woke up in the hospital, surrounded by every kind of beeping instrument. They beeped numbers and graphs about my condition. A plastic tube up my nose to help me breathe. Two pins that provided me with blood and glucose were drilled in my arm. I looked sideways as I saw Mata dozed off on the sofa in an ostensibly uncomfortable condition. I had mixed emotions. Should I be happy, for I am alive, should I be sad and regretful for I couldn’t save her? I closed my eyes again, immersing myself into the moments that we shared. I felt her hand in my hand as we walked through the Palaise on a cold night. I felt her lips on mine as she cried in the midst of brawl at the Bridge.

I was discharged a few days later from the hospital. Hazard and Luiz had come to pick me and Mata up at the Crossriver hospital.

Luiz bellowed “Whazzzzzzzuppppp man!” with his tongue sticking out. It was enough for me to simper and shun my gloominess. Although I was meeting them for the first time, they did not let me feel it. I was the latest recruit by John, his “masterstroke” as he had told me over the phone.

“John has a surprise for you at the Hall” Hazard said, excitedly.

“Oh please no more surprises! Last time John gave me a surprise I nearly lost my life. I was better at my own spying agency. Why in the world did I pick up the phone that day, I dont understand.” I said jokingly.

Everyone laughed and we headed towards the Senate. It was a felicitation ceremony, where all of us were felicitated for our extraordinary service to the ATC.

Chapter 6

I went back home, only to be reminded of her when I saw her photo on the key table. There seemed a void everywhere. The past few months with her had changed my life completely. I looked outside the window, gloomy dark clouds hovered over the city. They seemed to be crying with me for my loss. I felt heavy, a tear almost rolling down my face. I wiped my eyes, and resolved never to think of her again. “It was just a few months, like a long fling! I’ll get over with it.” I thought.

I laid down on my bed, staring blankly into the ceiling. A bloodied crying face of her came before my eyes as I lay there right besides her. I dont remember when I slipped into my sleep. The cadence of cacophony reached its pinnacle and I felt her bloodied palm thudding onto my face when I woke up suddenly, sweating profusely. The clock struck 2am. I rose and sat up in the corner, looking outside the window. The dim moonlight partially filled the room, obstructed by the dark red curtains. It fell on my face as I sat there, pale and wan looking at the few vehicles that sped across the highway. She was here! I could feel it!  A tear rolled down my face.

Thats it. I wont let her do this to me. I wont let her bother me again, I resolved

Chapter 7

A few weeks passed as I shifted to my normal routine. I had now taken up a job at Walmart. I was starting to get over her now. I would go for walks, sometimes along the Palaise, without letting myself delve into the poignant memories.

Then this fine morning, I got up and got ready for work. As I was crossing the the road, i bumped into a blonde, carrying her coffee. She had a bag with god knows how many things stuffed into it. They all came out spilling on the road and her coffee spilled over me. I let out a controlled cry as the hot cappucino dripped from my fingers.

“I am so so sorry mister” she said in an apologetic tone as she tried to get pick up all the scattered bags from the road. I found some familiar air. The fragrance, it was Channel no. 5, I knew it. I couldn’t be mistaken on this one. She rose as she pulled back her hair and adjusted herself.

“I am extremely sorry”.

Her tone seemed familiar. Her first impression was familiar. I took her by her face and kissed her in the middle of road. She agitated and pushed me away wildly. A palm flew and embossed itself on my face. Bellows of harangues followed. I was labelled as the eve-teaser by the section of Globs who were present there.

She left fuming, I continued to follow her with my eyes till she turned back to look at me again. Her face replete with confusion.

I raised my eye brow with a hint of smile across my face. Talik about Familiar waters!

Cons of Flying High

One should be wary of flying high. Not that it’s all bad, but flying is a risky business. You must be insured first to take the flight. Lack of insurance not only dents you but may prove fatal if you are too high up there. While it is okay to jump once in a while for fun, it is equally essential to come back. You smash down to the ground hard when you fall back. And that hurts, you know.

I write this because something familiar happened to me. Buoyed by last semester’s academic “success”, I flew to the enigmatic horizons, heavens, on the gust of wind which was my “ego”. I came crashing down and was hit hard by reality when I failed in one of my subjects this semester. The world turned upside down.

It will carry you high, only to disappear and then you'll cry
It will carry you high, only to disappear and then you’ll cry

I had been warned before, several times, of my high flight and nonchalance on the “insurance” part. But when the heavenly music wafts through your ears up there, you tend to ignore everything else. That’s common. It is blissful and who on earth wants to be interrupted in his bliss?

And then it struck. I failed. I had failed. I was now a labelled failure, at least for the time being. But I did not accept it. How could it be? I’ve managed to score at least 40 marks out of 100 even in dire times. I have managed to do that. I had secured 3 marks out of 20 during midterm and still managed a passing 40 out of 100 in the finals.

I realised, what crap I was into. I was talking about getting passing marks now. I was once a topper in my school. Getting mediocre marks was the definition of failure for me, let alone getting passing marks.  And here I was, thinking about getting “passing marks”. How lowly I had began to rate myself.

When did I let myself drown in this abyss? Perhaps it was the company. Yes, it plays a huge role. I realised it later. I had started studying for the exams, just a couple of days before it. They did not seem to be of great importance for me. Because, as I feel now, everyone else around me took it lightly. Or at least ostensibly. I had let myself be fooled. Age old trick, and yet another victim. “I don’t  know how I scored! I hadn’t studied a bit!”. My ass.

There you go!
There you go!

There was not one exam for which I had prepared myself fully. I was content with doing it “more than my company”. How foolish was that of me? “You must never compare yourself to any other. You are not mocking him in doing that. You are deriding yourself”. And now as I see the results page, he passed and I failed. Everyone passed and I failed. From a good 73% to heinously low 56%. Failure.

What this episode did teach me was, how to handle failure. Although I am yet to fully come to terms with it, I think I am taking it well, really well rather. When you fail, accept it and move on. Failure to accept failure is a sign of stubbornness, arrogance. No one has succeeded with arrogant attitude. If anything, it has always been a reason for one’s eventual downfall.

 Now, I do not wish to go into details of how people succeed after failing and everything that accompanies it. In my view, one succeeds if one has the courage to stand up and tread his path again despite how many stumbling blocks dot the way. If you fall down, you need to get up and continue the journey. Or crawl. But do not stagnate. Stagnation is certain death. If you start crying over one stumble, you are good for nothing, dear friend.

The road to success is always under construction. The contract is with the Indian government.  You could keep waiting for it to be finished into a smooth road, or continue along under-construction highway. If you choose the former; chances are pretty high that it will still be under construction when you are playing the second innings of your life. Even if it is done, you won’t be in a condition to walk that long arduous path. If you choose the latter though, you will surely stumble and fall, but it will lead you to success, eventually.

I have fallen, it hurts badly. It will take me a little time. But I am sure I will get up, and continue this journey which is my life. For all I know, if I stay here, sulking, I will be run over. Such is life dear friends, such is this life.

That’s All, Folks

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Any writer worth the ink in his printer knows how crucial the first sentence of his story must be, how perfectly constructed and seductive it must read. It’s this hello there that has to make our reader (agent, editor) suffer delirium tremens to get his hands on the rest of that first paragraph and the entire initial page and the whole of chapter one. No first sentence wowzer, and you have no purchase, no reader, no admirer, no nothing, nada, zilch, squat. Bubba, you just ain’t worth the sweaty socks on your computer’s mouse because you ain’t a writer.

If you’re still not sure, read – no, ingest, Noah Lukeman’s The First Five Pages, A Writer’s Guide to Staying Out of the Rejection Pile. It’s one of the books I rest my weary head upon each night as I go sleepy bye, hoping to absorb more of his wisdom. It’s…

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I (won’t) Thank You!

Since I have been here in Pune, there has been a spurt in my blog posts and consequently the comments. While my blog posts may not be a reader’s delight or visually spectacular and articulated pieces of writings, they are, well, ME. I am no transcendent writer of any sorts, but I try my best. Cliche as you may say, I may also add that the statement I just gave is completely untrue. I do not try. I write what I feel, and hence “WHIMSICAL THINK PIECES”! Well, not actually “think pieces”. Thats a misnomer!

Some of you have been critical, which I greatly appreciate. I value people who criticize me, more than the ones who praise me. Who knows whether those cynics have actually read it or not. Yes, I judge you! *wicked smile*

It is actually not a drudgery to be able to decipher who has read and who hasn’t. I know I am not even capable of a writing that is tantamount to the “fabled” Durjoy Dutta’s ;).  And when you tell me “That’s amazing!” I know!

Most of my posts are from my office desk. And I noted a strange co-incidence, they received a good response  (my perception of good response is actually very modest!) praising my wiriting skills when I wear my recently bought formal shirt (with trousers, of course!). Absurd, you say? I don’t blame you. Thats how things roll when I am involved! As for this “think-piece” I think it will turn out to be a rather good one because.. Wait! What I am I wearing? Nooooooo.

I want to thank you all for your forebearance to read all of my insufferable posts. I hope, I can make my posts even more unbearable with your valuable “Ohh! That is perfect” comments!