20 September, 2008

Tagged to the Rescue

Starved for ideas, who wouldnt take up the offer of a tag? Well, for the few of you who still dont know, Im under net-arrest, meaning, Im not allowed to use the net because Im supposed to be studying for a great big exam, and I cant afford to be distracted. Atleast mom thinks so, and while Im at home, rules go! So that leaves me with the precious few hours I get on saturday. So there goes the answers to a few tags. One by D and another from VJ

Of course, that leaves me with no time to read all your posts and all. But then, you'll understand, havent I been the best of blog buddies while I could? anyways... read on.

    If your lover betrayed you, what will your reaction be?
    HURT. I really don’t know if Ill be angry.

(I do sometimes wonder whether Ill be the one who cheats. I hope I don’t. Im not sure if adultery’s not ok. But Im sure that its NOT FAIR!)

    If you can have a dream come true, what would it be?
    Be known as India’s most trusted man. I mean, seriously :D

    Whose butt would you like to kick?
    On second thoughts, I would kick the chairman of the CA institute, as a representation of what I think of the whole lot of them.

    What would do with a billion dollars?
    Gosh. Maybe Ill write to Forbes. Just in case they didn’t hear of it. But seriously I don’t want a billion dollars. I need to build a house because mom insists it is necessary. I need to have enough to raise a pair of children if ever I have them without making them feel depraved. And I need a little to travel the world for the rest of my life. Does that call for a billion dollars?

But yeah, a worthwhile idea would be to buy off a good newspaper or a TV channel. Apart from the fact that it would solve my employment woes (:-D) it would also give some competition for Rupert Murdoch before he finally k icks the bucket! (Y ou know, I still harbour dreams of some media baron taking a liking to me and offering me 25% of his company, only to die without a heir, and Ill buy off the other 75% too – Like in ‘Kane and Abel’)

    Will you fall in love with your best friend?
    I would fall in love only with my best friend. I don’t know, I cant think of any relationship that isn’t intimate to the absolute.

    Which is more blessed: loving someone or being loved by someone?
    I guess its being loved. It gives you a reason to be around.

    How long do you intend to wait for someone you love?
    To quote Mark Twain, Id wait for her for half my life, if I can meet her before the other half. But of course, do tell me if you know any shortcuts.

    If the person you secretly like is attached, what will you do?
    Oh well, a few weeks ago, I did something, and suffice it to say that I characteristically messed it up. So, Im back to ‘The hardest thing Iv ever done, is keep believing, there’s someone in this crazy world for me’ and ‘I know I need to be in love’. God bless the Carpenters!

    If you could root for one social cause, what would it be?
    Domestic Violence. Ill treatment of women. But I wouldn’t call it women’s rights!

    What takes you down the fastest?
    Insensitivity to others. And people who'r so full of themselves already.

    Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?
    A successful journalist, career wise. And happy, life-wise.

    What’s your fear?
    Living long – that is, long enough without being able to eat the things that I can today. Everything sweet, spicy and oily!

    What kind of person do you think the person who tagged you is?

Well, Ill say this. She’s in the best love story Iv actually come across in real life. And thats saying something, methinks!

14. Would you rather be single and rich or married and poor?
You got me there! But no, I wouldn wanna be poor, whatever be the sacrifice.

15. If you fall in love with two people simultaneously who will you pick?
The person with whom I can be myself, and the person who wouldn’t have to

change for me. The person who I enjoy spending time with!

16. Would you give all in a relationship?
Yes. Period. And I wouldn’t get into any relationship where all isn’t required.

17. Would you forgive and forget someone no matter how horrible a thing he has

Well, actually yes. maybe Im not being manly. But actually, I find it quite easy to get over an incident, if I

see the remorse and the sorry’s. I mean, I melt quite easily.

18. Do you prefer being single or in a relationship?
After hearing that D prefers being single, Im having second thoughts, but yeah, as

of now, relationship!

And then this. I wrote this a week ago, but couldn’t get around to posting!

My oldest memory :

Well, its funny, but my earliest memories wouldn’t really be about me. It would be something like watching Anil Kumble screw the famed West Indian opposition with 6 wickets at the Eden Gardens (which, I was watching while everyone else was celebrating a friends birthday in the next room). Or reading in the papers that Kapil Dev was the highest wicket–taker in the world. I remember that the previous day I had argued with a friend that he wasn’t – Because I hadn’t read that in the papers. (I think that hasn’t changed over 14 years. Ignorance combined with too much of arrogance to match intelligence!)

Another memory catches me. This same friend and I had once hatched a plan to write a song. My dad had assured me that it was pretty easy. And we reasoned why not! So, at the appointed time we both sat down with our tools – pen, paper and, of all things, a dictionary. Well, suffice it to say that that was my earliest memory of a writers block. We gave it up as a bad job some 15 minutes into trying. That might have been the first among many incidents that took away from my admiration for my dad (which is at its nadir right now)

Thinking it over, I remember squinting at bus #123 in Bangalore (that’s when my parents noticed maybe I had a problem with my sight – I was eight then)

I remember envying my school chums who could buy ice creams from the roadside vendors, something that my parents insisted were too unhygienic)

I remember being at a friends birthday party in which I could choose from the wrapped gifts. I so wanted a miniature bow and arrow that a lot of other guys wanted, but all that turned up was a Cadbury bar.

I remember watching a football match at this friends place. Lazio Vs Ajax. I now remember that it was he who was so gaga about AC Milan, but since then, there’s a bond between me and the club!

Gosh, I remember Yoko Zuna lock up the Undertaker in his own coffin.

Need I go on?

10 years ago:

Feeling too important for my shoes! Sulking after yet another fight with mom. Sulking after being told by my uncles that boys would many more things than curl up in bed with a Hardy boys on a holiday. Sulking over the fact that not one girl really would talk to me for more than a couple of sentences and that the guys only made fun of me. Sulking after being told by mom that I wasn’t allowed to play, because my marks weren’t good enough (less than 60% in 8th standard, fyi. We still joke about those days) and aaah, feeling relieved after using yet another lecture to do something useful – like, read that novel or take a nap!

My first thought today morning :

Yippee, finally todays internet day again! Oh by the way I should have slept a little more. To see what happened after I ended up at the dentist clinic to undergo some tests to my brain! Gosh… btw, any of you guys can read dreams, by any chance? In case you could, I can clarify that the concerned doctor is actually a urologist, and that for some crazy reason I was chewing strips of cinnamon in his room, and he made me spit it out, which was when mom decided I had overslept enough!

My time capsule would contain :

Haha. I guess the answer will have to be some motivational speeches I seem to be fond of making to myself when noone’s around. And some really really interesting though twisted, philosophies on life! Its bound to come out sometime.

This year :

Has been wonderful. Even its nastiness. Finally, Iv come of age in the School of Life. Learned to decide what’s best for me!

(Update: ah well, you know those games of ‘snake and ladder’ in which you crawl all the way up, only to be bitten by the longest snake to end up in square two? That’s where I am today. Hmmmph… come of age! Fat chance)

I think this would sum it up – The year the 23 year old boy turned into a 24 year old man! (of course, still untested by the fires that await men, but nevertheless!)

14 years from now :

Be happily married, or happily unmarried – Happy anyway! And well on my way to becoming India’s most trusted journalist, if not the best!!!!!

11 September, 2008

The Circle of Life

They used to play a game during break time. Table Tennis on the thin classroom desks with two pencil boxes arranged midway to serve as the net. Well, He was a master on that surface. As much as it kept him from scoring even a point on the regular TT court, he could beat the very best in this format. And he had a wonderful bat that everyone would borrow. Not the TT racquets with glazed surfaces that you see these days, but one with groves on the face that aided his high-speed top spins, back spins and whateverelse spins! But that isn’t the crux of the story. One day a fight broke out and one guy, lets call him Keji, was banished from this small playing community. The bully of the class, decided that he wasn’t fit to play with them. But Keji happened to be the friend of our protagonist.

Well, he got all worked up and started with a carrot and stick negotiation. Over the next two periods, he had very clearly spelt out that if Keji wasn’t reinstated, he was also pulling out, and naturally his racquet would also go with him.

Now, as the story turned out, at lunch break, they were all still playing. Keji has been reinstated. But our friend is out. And what’s worst, they shamelessly ask him for his racquet as, in any case, he had said he wasn’t interested in playing.

This story has kept on repeating ever since. The characters change. The settings change. But unfairness doesn’t. And he makes it his business to fight. Holding on to pride and honour. The pride of standing up for a friend. The honour of doing what he felt was right. Not realising that the world really didn’t need his huge efforts. That it has always been on the go. And that it would move on in spite of whatever happened within. Not realising that the ones he sought to help themselves had moved on.

Holding a fort that was no longer there! Duelling a shadow! Helping friends who were in need of help. Not realising that they didn’t need it any more.

Like Forrst Gump. They asked him only to run. They didn’t bother stopping him after their purpose was served. They had better things to do in life!

We are all optimists. And we believe in the Circle of Life. But does the so called circle necessarily have to come a full circle. I was reading Khaled Hosseini’s ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ yesterday. This story talks about two women in war-torn Afghanistan, almost fifteen years apart in age, and pretty much as separated in terms of cultural background, who end up fated to marry a man about 30 and 45 years older to them respectively. A man who, at the very least would give them a home.

Their life with him is miserable. But again to put it in perspective you could see that it could have been much worse. But the fates of the two women are different. The older woman, Mariam, a harami – fatherless-, kills the man to save the other woman Laila from getting killed by him, and gets exected by the Taliban for the crime. Laila escapes and in the end, to prove that love triumphs, gets reunited with her childhood sweetheart, and the father of her daughter, and has a happy life in Hamid Karzai’s Afganistan.

But the contrast is stark. Mariam. Brought up in a kolba, a mud hut which was all her single mother had, she is made to believe that what she was granted was indeed happiness. As if it was her fault that she was born a harami. She loses her mother because of an adventurous mistake she makes, and gets married off to a life of complete misery.

On the other hand, Laila grew up in native Kabul, the daughter of loving parents, in the company of her best friend Tariq. She loses them all, and she also ends up in Mariam’s house.

But life doesn’t come a full circle for them. Laila, brought up in happiness, has a happy ending to her woes. Mariam, born a loser, dies, though valiantly, a loser. Her only claim having helped the younger Laila to live through the debacle.
And it gives me the jolts. All the optimism is centred around the idea that life will come a full circle, and my time will indeed come. But what if it doesnt?