Wednesday, 10 July 2013

C'est La Vie

“The trouble with life is its amorphousness, its ridiculous fluidity. Look at it: thinly plotted, largely themeless, sentimental and ineluctably trite. The dialogue is poor, or at least violently uneven. The twists are either predictable or sensationalist. And it’s always the same beginning; and the same ending …” 

— Martin Amis, Experience (2000)

Thursday, 20 September 2012

I am the Lizard King. I can do anything.

I like the fact that all my work, in random writing or design or elsewhere, is reminiscent of some treasured strands of feeling. Strands which I like to keep close, like a little boy clutching onto his toy airplane. I remember that time. That year. It was the month of April in 2003. 

Numbers ending in three have never been good for me. I like even numbers. And if its an even number multiple (like 24, 48), its bound to be good for me. Just. It was at the time I had just given my board exams, the test which determines your social standing, your families' standing and the university you get into, in that exact order of priority for my parents and peripheral concerned beings. The only reason why that time is one of those treasured strands is because, that at that time, the possibilities were endless.

I would think up new things and career's everyday, day dreaming and many times making real those random dreams... Of the person I could become, of things I was capable of, of the path I could choose. Of course, a lot of that feeling was also as a result of my being sure of very low grades. But, that innocence of saying 'Yes' to anything and everything was beautiful. Do you want to be part of this marketing exercise? Yes. Work in a call center? Yes. Do you want to try designing this? Yes. Would you like to help me shoot this? Yes. Want to be a slave apprentice on a movie set? Yes. 

I simply loved it. I used to love being called a 'nomad'. Oh, that feeling when I would walk with beaty background music in my head after a first time job well executed. It was a roll of 'Eureka!' moments in those days. I owned the world in my own little way. I owned myself. And I could do anything. I was the Lizard King. (Okay, no, that's Morrison's line. Getting carried away now). 

But now, I don't know if it was the right year number for me. I want to try trusting the 3's. I don't know if I own myself. I want to try remembering that background music, every strain of which was so clear to me once. I'm at the point where the world will either swallow me up or ... not. I want my airplane back. 

Today's a simple even numbered day. This should work.

Saturday, 28 July 2012

I want to be a boatman.

"Have you ever had that feeling - that you'd like to go to a whole different place and become a whole different self?"

A book I was reading yesterday confronted me with this rather other-worldly parallel universe question. And me, like the sucker to always fall for arguments which talk about fitting-in somewhere wanted to agree. But for once, I did not find myself forcing slight tweaks in personality or phrase in order to fall in line. It was just flowing naturally. And it is a well established fact by now in my universe that if the flow is right, it's all bright. That does sound like a nursery rhyme and it's just perfect for the feeling of innocence from a lost era it helps me keep close.

So, coming back to the question and to answer it with all honesty.

I would love to be a boatman, say somewhere in the interiors of Bolivia, maybe with a farm or two, speaking spanish or maybe not speaking at all and spending my days dreaming up fantastical realities like underwater elf life or planting magic beans by mistake. 

Maybe not the row-row-rowyourboat kind of boat I would won. That's just too many 'rows' and it makes me feel tired and reaching out for my inhaler even as I saw it in my head. But one with the big round precision polished wooden steering wheel and a steam engine. It would be probably called 'Veronica' for lack of appropriate naming mind space in this moment.

I love the paragraph above. It's a whole life. And I love it. And I can even live it. And that for me, is a beautiful feeling.

In reality, though, I'm going back to the start. Way back to the start line. Even before that and beyond. To the time I decided to run. To where they told me that the race is my destiny, that this is what I am supposed to do.

It's like stopping at one of the water counters at the marathon and just dropping out of line casually, to start walking back. There is no drama about it. It's not a walk of defeat. But not of victory either. Not even of disillusionment or one born out of revelation. Cut it with the right background music and it can become anything, my cinematic mind says. 

I'd maybe stop at an ice cream stall, numb up my mouth and deliberate over new flavor ideas or buy some balloons and leave them one by one at sporadic intervals hoping I may accidently be talking an alien language. Just plain wondrous casual walking back with the cool breeze drying up my sweaty self, thinking of the days when the sky being blue and earth round was magical and shoes feeling happy about the unexpected breather.

I'm going back to the start. 
I don't want to play anymore. 
I want to be a boatman.

Friday, 16 December 2011

Shooting Stars.

Of the people in my life, of those who've come, gone or stayed, there is a certain breed of people who are best remembered as 'shooting stars'. Just like a streak of bright light would be seen in close up in a little boys' big black eyes and the effect of which would be more pronounced when the shot would cut a little wider to his awe-struck frozen face as he slowly expands his eye lids to more absorb the moment in all its glory. Some people are like those moments. You see them, feel them and they enthrall you and amaze you, at their beauty, at the beauty they bring out in you, lifting you into a different and probably higher state of being and then... then they slowly or suddenly fade away. 

And just like a selfish mortal practical being, the natural instinct is to try and capture them, put them in a jar and keep them around. Only that the lesson that shooting stars loose all their brilliance when captured always comes a little too late.

I’ve been witness to a few of these moments. I understand that they’re rare. The heartbreak which comes with letting these stars be and move on from them is immense. Not only does the heart break but it consistently does so for a much longer time than other daily experiences. They reach down in the depths of your being and make you feel strands of feeling you never knew existed. It’s almost like you have a hundred other illusionary organs and body parts. You feel them and loose them in the same moment. There is always the oscillating feeling between happiness and contentment of a new discovery and the sadness of never having to get to experience the same again. I want to apply the ‘quick sand’ phrase to this situation but it miserably falls short. At least, in the moment, you can feel the sand escape through your fingers which maybe even leaves a few grains stuck to your hand. But this, this only leaves you with emptiness. An emptiness which can even be felt in the ends of my toenails.

But I’m learning. I’m learning to let go with a smile while still keeping the warmth in my heart. I’m learning to cherish these moments more when they present themselves. I’m learning to overcome my fears. I’m learning to mark every piece of my heart so I can put it back together easily. But I’m still learning.

So, this one is for you ‘shooting star’. I know you exist. I know you’re there somewhere in the universe. I feel you and imagine you lightening up unknown worlds in the far end of the galaxy. Maybe I’ll encounter you again or maybe you’ve faded away forever. But I’ll always be here, looking towards the sky, waiting…

Sunday, 27 November 2011

That girl who has my heart.

I have vivid memories of when I fell in love for the very first time. It was magical. I can still feel that time when my heart used to beat so fast that I would have to put my hand on my chest to calm down. Sometimes, I would go weak in my knees. Rarely, it would be both and I would feel like a Bollywood hero about to die for love. I haven't changed much since then. I still look for love worth dying for. But she often pops into my thoughts, often without any warning or reason. I'd be doing the most mundane thing, like filling up water bottles to put in the fridge and almost like a film scene cutting into another, her kohl lined eyes appear before my eyes in close up, her scent filling up my senses.. like tear gas used to break a mob, it breaks up my momentary self into a thousand pieces. And as naturally, in the next moment, I smile to myself and get on with the water but it does, still, fill up my heart with love and warmth. 

The strange or stupid romantic fact is that I never told her. I never even made the effort. And I'm even more stupid to not even know why. 

I remember glimpses of her, of her cycling down the road, of her making funny eye gestures at me, of her silently walking back home in her school uniform, heartily laughing after winning a game... Oh, that laugh.. It could light a thousand lamps. I think I get my laughter from her. Every time I do, its a way of thanking her. And of course, my rosy hued memories are also coupled with my stupidities when in her presence, of making those phone calls to her and never really being able to say anything, of writing those endless letters to her and never posting them, of having the courage to make her a valentine card and dropping it in her mailbox. She was and is a rich girl, living in the upper creamy layer of society. And my only motivation ever of becoming rich and famous had been her. I remember being a fourteen year old riding his worn out bicycle and thinking of reasons I could not be with her. One of the main reasons was money and second was social standing. I didn't have both. I wanted to be with her and I wanted it like water. I felt my life would be worthless without her. I felt I would die if I couldn't be with her. It was my very own personal romanticized version of poor boy falling in love with the beautiful princess. 

My life was all about her. 

Still, I started working towards it. Inching my way into becoming my own person. I used to sit for hours and imagine my life with her, imagine the process of getting her, of how I would propose to her, of how we would be, of life and memories together. And all those thoughts and fragments of imagination converted into a profession and my bohemian selfish self took over. I started living for myself. But till today, I write and think of many concepts and stories. All of them end up being about love and the main character is invariably her. All my relationships are the way I would have been with her. It still is, in a way, all about her.

I owe my very existence to her. And yet, she does not know. She will never know. And I still don't know why I never told her. I don't know if that Valentines day card ever got to her, but I'm still waiting for a reply. 

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Of reminiscences, nostalgia and home cooked food

Marriages in one's family, at least a punjabi family in Delhi, are really emotional experiences as I've come to realise. Its like a communal carnival making you feel a range of emotions. You think of the people who've played a part in your life, big or small. You recollect wisps of memories and try to put them together, savoring each one like a prized dessert from a secret bakery. And as I was going through these days, looking at those faces and taking in those smells, I realised, for the first time what being 'home' truly felt like. It felt like... home. 

Of a generation which has passed, children who have become adults, adults who have grown old or died out, of other peripheral people who have made homes, families and comfort zones of their own and even the chirpy stationary shop owner who now has his son to help him as he's too old...  all of these people make me want to think of my life, in the moment. In my reminiscence of the time now, many years from now, will I remember it with the same fulfillment and fondness that I remember my childhood with? Am I living...?

Friday, 28 October 2011

Keep Walking

Every couple of years, a time comes in my life, when I loose the ability to structure thoughts. And each  time this has happened, I've often written myself off, telling myself that I've really lost it (finally). There is a sense of relief which comes with writing your own self off the face of society. But then there is also the often glorified idea of 'bouncing back' which happens almost all the times other than the odd time when I was too distracted to notice.

Well... another such time is here in my life, one late festive Autumn in the ancient city of Delhi. I like the idea of being here at this point. This city has been consistently occupied since the past 5000 odd years and has seen empire after empire rise from nothingness and fall into ruin. In a way, its the perfect city for new beginnings or more romantically, rising from the ashes. I've circled half the world, exhausted my brain, put my heart in a deep freeze and I'm only left with this pure physical energy which most probably comes from my consistent love of food (and not from the strength of human spirit as some of my wise friends like to incorrectly assert). With so much energy to dispense, I'm following my old friend Johnny Walker's famous tag line, 'Keep Walking'. The man who came up with this for a whisky brand must truly be a genius, a man of 'heart'.. a man who 'understood'.

I've often been accused of being contradictory. And I am. Most of the time. It doesn't mean that I don't have a stand. It merely means that I'm willing to see all sides of an argument, even defying my own stance, and coming to a logical conclusion giving the heart and mind equal importance, sometimes even telling the mind to F-off. Who has ever been able to attach logic to the heart? I can't think of anyone from Nagasaki to Nagasaki who has. The best one can do is balance. And young and naive as I am and always will be (hopefully), I will never be able to. Reacting in the 'moment', being in the 'now', 'experiencing', 'feeling'... thats how I am, thats how I'll be. Trying to be otherwise is not good for me, that much my wise grandmother already taught me.

Lost in my little world, I am simply walking, not caring if I am in circles, if I stumble on a stone, if I come across a bridge-less river or if I find something which makes me pause for the moment. My senses are active. I'm taking it all in.

I will walk until I get sucked into the world again, only to come back to this beautiful state again.

A state where... the possibilities... are endless...

Tuesday, 10 May 2011


I am a Punjabi from Delhi, living in Mumbai among Marathi's, working in a predominantly Bihari office and mostly speak in English. Never looked at my situation in this way.

So much for all ideas of identity and the likes.  

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Bow down to the 'man' who invented 'feminism'

I've always been interested in the idea of feminism, even though I've never really known what its all about. Everyone, including all-knowing google gave me conflicting definitions, some said it was dead, some say its necessary, some slap you if you ask for a definition, look down upon your poor unknowing soul, some themselves don't know and admit it and some say that they know it but can't express it without going into a five thousand word speech mode. No one really knew.

All I figured from that whole inquiry was that women would apply being a feminist to any sort of discrimination against their kind. Sadly, such a term never really became popular for men. Self centered women have always taken center stage. Their troubles, trials, tribulations and related T's. So I left it at that until recently when a 'female' friend brought it up again. Her ideas are the reason for this post and also an end to the long pending argument in my conscious, sub-conscious and other unknown areas of my mind.

Feminism was invented by a man.

A man who did not want to do all the work, did not want to open doors, did not want to be the bread winner, wanted to work hard only for himself, not press feet or rub backs.. basically have a life of his own. And in the process, was ingenious enough to make them believe that it was their idea.. even make them burn their bra's.

So, unknown man, I bow down to you. You are truly 'the man'.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

What's the matter...

'What's the matter?'
'No, something is up.. What is it?'
'No, it's nothing'
'hmmmm... you're not telling'

I've been asked this often and continue to be inflicted with this question ever so-often. Its almost as if you're at this unwanted center of attention, trying to always explain your expression, impression or state. Now, I don't know if I am sooo interesting that it keeps happening to me or my vibes are extremely strong or maybe people around me have downright boring lives or I am just being unnecessarily maniacal, but this observation stands.

Why should I always be truthful about what I'm feeling? Is it like a cardinal sin to not share? Get a life everybody. I'm not letting anyone in. I refuse to be the one satisfying your voyeuristic urges. If you can find an underhanded way of getting in, good for you, but beware that you will be thrown out at first sight.

Sometimes I just invent something to say, just to appease someone's burning fire to 'know'.

So, nothing is the matter with me.

Read the subtle signals, invest some energy... but stop trying to 'get in'...

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Black Beauty Escapades

Another day, as usual, had passed by like a blur. There was a lot going on on many fronts. I rested my pained body on my couch staring into space. I looked at the watch and it was eight in the evening. Many of my friends from all over the world had been partying in Goa since days and I was getting another one of those incessant calls to come there. I was contemplating on ideas of love and life.

Flash. I got up, picked up my helmet, put in one t-shirt, towel, swimming gear and my toothbrush in my laptop bag and headed out of the door. My small bag was bursting at its seams. The decision, to go, as it seemed, was not one which jelled with the energies of the universe. My key chain, which was anyway symbolic, a small brass chariot wheel with one wheel missing, completely came off. Black Beauty, as I lovingly call my faithful motorbike, refused to start. At least five of the closest people in my life called me in a matter of ten minutes. I felt like I was going to die if I went. So, I fixed the key chain, force started the bike and told everyone that I'm fine. It was surreal and the thought of so many signs at once did not leave my being for the next hour. My heart was beating fast. I kept driving. 

Then I realised a very important fact, I did not know the way. Now, how does one know the way to a place six hundred kilometers away. One imagines it'll be straight, like highways normally are but I was wrong. I had driven for about two hours and was faced with two big boards, both pointed in different directions and both had Pune written on it with different highway numbers. So I did my mental coin tossing after not finding anyone around to ask and turned to the left. Another fifty odd kilometers went by and there was no signage. I wondered where I was but kept going. Suddenly, almost out of nowhere, there were four official highway patrol cars with flashing lights flagging me down. For a moment I felt like a criminal from one of those FBI video's. They told me that I was on a fast expressway where two wheelers were not allowed. It seemed like a major offense in the manner they spoke to me. I apologized, but they insisted on taking me to the police station. So, two hours into my journey, it was interrupted. I felt that the universe had had enough of me, it gave me a hundred signs to not be so dumb and outrageous and now it sent the police after me. I was prepared to spend the night at the station.

As I entered a dingy little shack, I was immediately handed a cup of tea. The inspector took one look at my bike number which was a delhi registration, another look at my attire which was a tibetan om t-shirt with flowy harem style pyjamas and immediately came up with a story inside his head that I was a restless traveller. He seemed very impressed and almost fell to my knees when I told him that I work in films. He had many ideas of scripts and songs. We debated, chatted and sang old film songs for an hour, his men who had flagged me down gave each other puzzled looks, and finally, I casually got up and said I should go. His so-called 'power men' were instructed like servants to escort me to the nearest diversion off the expressway. I sat in the front seat like a king trying to make conversation with them but they just gave monosyllabic responses so I kept shut. 

I was left at a junction in the middle of nowhere. There was no street lamp, no person, no sign of existence, not even the night time animal sounds. So much for pushing up my ego with the power men. I was faced with a narrow meandering road with a dense forest on both sides and the trees shaking hands above me. There was complete silence and I felt it to be a cinematic moment. So, shifting the background music in my head from low frequency silence to warrior drum beats, I kick-started the Black Beauty, had a moment of connection with it and started off. Thirty minutes into the dense forest, there was still no civilization. I started singing songs to myself to kill the eerie silence around me, even the moonlight couldn't find its way to me. An hour passed. Nothing.

Finally I saw a lone kerosene lamp with an old man making tea for himself sitting by it. I asked him for the way to Goa, he didn't seem to understand my language. I stopped and asked for a cup of tea, he gave me half of his cup. I was a bit hesitant at first but went for it. As soon as I took a sip, he smiled. That I couldn't figure out. I imagined him sitting in the same place since decades waiting for someone to come and share a cup of tea with him. We sat facing the forest, both with cups of tea and a lamp between us and did not speak a word. I smiled at him and I tried to pay him as I got up. He did not accept any money. Just pointed to a trail nearby. I gestured if he was sure. He put his hand on my shoulder and speaking for the first time told me in broken hindi, 'to trust'.

So I ventured into the trail and the black beauty started missing, probably because of being manhandled by those highway rogue's. It was like it was coughing and I rubbed its fuel tank, talking to it and trying to make it feel better. It gathered the necessary courage almost immediately and zoomed off. 

The highway welcomed me a few hours later and the first signboard said: Goa-620 kms. I went on the other side to see how far I had come and it said: Mumbai-50 kms. Well, after 5 hours of leaving Mumbai, I was actually only an hour away. I was facing the mumbai milestone and I almost felt like telling myself to quit and return home. At the precise moment I had that thought, my bike revved up without my doing anything and I had to control the involuntary race with the clutch. I thought of it as a sign to go then but this problem would plague me for my entire journey. 

So began my conquest of never ending winding roads. There is this extremely frustrating thing about Indian highways. The kilometer readings are all mixed up. It says 620, then when you've travelled for an hour, it'll confidently tell you 560, after half hour more it'll say 580. I stopped seeing the milestones beyond a point, they were frustrating and demotivating. 'What the fuck is wrong with you milestone?' No response. 

This detail would be incomplete without me mentioning the joy of traveling on a bike. It's a freeing feeling with the engine whirring under you, the wind invading your senses and 'being' and you zipping past the landscape, feeling every moment of it. Its like you're suddenly much more aware and alive. The good thing was that I had just bought a helmet a couple of days ago and one with a good visor. I tried to get a feel of the wind against my face and all I got, at least in the night, was mosquito’s in my eyes. So, every some kilometers I had to clean my windshield off the mosquito dead bodies. It was a massacre and I wasn't very happy with the feeling of having killed so many. I mourned every time. 

Another thing about this highway was that they had made the roads to be really good. They were smooth, there was less traffic and one could go at a really high speed on the straight stretches. But, in between these long stretches, there would more than often be these really really bumpy patches of unfinished road. Expected this of the official highway organisation. So, being constantly careful and alert was of essence. The signs had to be proved wrong.

It was 2 a.m now and my eyes were giving away. I was physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. I was crying for a hotel to come by but none came for about an hour. My butt and back was seriously hurting. This was a hotel with a locked grill gate. I tried to open it, couldn't. Desperate, I started banging against the grill. One of the men woke up, opened the gate, gave me an absurd rate for a room for four hours, none of us were in any state to have a bargain battle so I gave him my figure and he agreed. This was one of the dirtiest hotel rooms I had ever encountered. Being a freak, I thought of cleaning it (they had very strategically placed a broom and mop in one corner of the room) but simply passed out on the rickety bed. 

I woke up to a knocking sound on my door exactly three hours later. It was the groggy guy wanting his room vacated. I said I have an hour more, he said no and just stood there. I craned my neck to look at the corridor on either side, the hotel was empty, all doors were locked from outside and here was this bizarre guy wanting his lone 'taken' room back. I took out a hundred-rupee note, put it in his shirt pocket and shut the door on his face. An hour later, he was there again but this time I was ready with my bag. I walked past him.

Now, there was one thing I didn't account for all my craziness, the cold. It was cold, freezing cold and there was fog. This was just the hills, not the Himalayas, I said to myself. So, I put on the extra t-shirt I had over the current one and journeyed on. Five hours more of continuous driving and it was time for breakfast. This was a restaurant on a hilltop with no town fifty kilometers either way and it had a menu which ran into some twenty odd pages. I ambitiously ordered scrambled eggs and a hot chocolate. What came was a cheese omelet with a glass of milk with bournvita on the side. These people were living in some different world altogether. I didn't contest my meal, the waiter looked at me with a gleeful expression. I left him a generous tip. He came running as I left, saying I had left my money. I told him to keep it and he looked back like I was god-sent and had just saved his dying son's life. 

The drive continued. It didn't seem to end. Ghats, hills, mountains, ocean, forest, rocky roads, forest again, hills... the landscape was truly thrilling. I drove like a man on a mission. Finally, I was a hundred kms away from Goa. My stomach was grumbling again. Lunch stop. I walked into a dhaba, again in the middle of nowhere.

An old man smoked sitting outside, a boy of ten was cleaning the dishes, a woman, maybe the boy's mother sat on the floor in a corner staring into space. The boy asked what I wanted, I asked what he had and he rattled off with the menu. I only caught egg and curry and roti. So that was decided. After waiting for about an hour, I saw his mother walking in with a packet full of fresh tomatoes and other ingredients. OKAY, now this was not happening. They were just starting to cook my meal, from scratch. I gave the little boy a troubled look and all he told me was, 'All is well'. I smiled and sat back.

Ten minutes later, the boy and the mother were having an argument. Half cut tomatoes lay untouched. That was it. I picked up the knife and starting making my lunch. They felt apologetic but I had to take charge. So, old man, little boy and grumpy woman, all joined in and we made a splendid lunch, for all of us. We sat and ate together like a family. They fed me like a son who had returned from war. The old man blessed me. The woman almost packed some left over food for me which I politely refused. The little boy hugged me and asked if I would take him with me. Now this was becoming way too cinematic for me. I told him in a very 'full of wisdom' like voice that he would one day find his own way. He looked at me with straight eyes and told me that he wanted to go… NOW. I said no and zoomed off, thinking in retrospect that I had just paid for a lunch I cooked.

Goa, one km left. My heart was beating faster and I was thrilled that I had made it. I entered beautiful Goa and called my friends. They were someplace I had not heard of. On asking around, they told me that this place was another hundred kms away. This broke me. Another hundred… for god’s sake. So again started the longest lap of my ride. Finally, I made it. 

We were at a secluded beach in South Goa. My whole Goa experience was a mix of reading, sleeping, walking, drugs, sex, alcohol, love, pain, expensive wine, silence and a lot more. The less said about it, the better, in the interest of myself and other parties involved. Although, our hotel cum favorite restaurant cum bar is worth mentioning. They would normally take an hour to get an order, only after at least five reminders. Else, they would just forget. Sometimes we would order and just go for a walk. Sometimes we would come back, sometimes not. Nobody would mind.

Goa happened. And Black Beauty had rested for two full days. I had a charming breakfast and was tired after getting no sleep at night but still left with a vengeance. 

At least I knew the way now. So I zoomed. I was much more free mentally and emotionally, so I was enjoying the view around. It was breathtaking and every so often, I would stop to just sit and admire. 

The day passed with a lot of driving and an occasional stop for tea, snacks and a late lunch. I couldn't find the places I had been to on my way earlier. The sun had set and I still had five more hours to go. I was driving through the treacherous winding hills in the night. I didn't think much of it earlier until someone decided to spray a lot of sand on a really steep curve. Black Beauty slipped. I went flying off towards the railing which had a deep cliff on its other side. I could see myself fly in slow motion. My whole life passed by me in a flash, the signs of death which I had got also did and I thought that this was it. At that last thought, my hand hit and clasped onto the railing. I was on the cliff side of the railing and holding on to my dear life. There was silence... for the longest time. I did not dare look down. All I could see was the ring on my thumb finger. I tried to shout. I could not. My vocal chords seemed to have gone mute. There was no one to hear me for at least a hundred kms anyway. So, almost like maradona's 'hand of god', my left hand also brought itself to the railing and pulled me up. There was a slight sigh of relief. I remembered my mac was in my bag. I pulled it out to see if it was working fine.

This was a funny sight in retrospect. Me sitting with my beaten bike on a hill in the middle of nothingness and darkness staring at the apple logo in the middle of my screen. Mental check happened: Don't carry your mac on a long journey, especially on a bike. I checked on Black Beauty, it was smashed from the front. The one wheel chariot keychain was missing. I was free, finally. I did some fixing up by hand and tried to work it. I had just been saved from death by an inch and was just too lucky at that moment to be stuck there with the bike having broken down. 

It started immediately. The headlight was pointing in a weird right hand top direction. But I had no reason to complain. I waited for the next car to come along. So, the rest of my drive in the nighttime was spent just taking cover behind cars. Some were slow, some were fast and some were just irritating enough to have no consistency. One of them was of note. A driver who was the probably the best I had ever encountered. Driving an SUV, the overtaking was perfect, every decision perfectly timed and calculated, no speed irregularities, just balanced precise driving. I had a lovely time following this car and it somehow understood my need and fell right in line to help. As soon as I had to go my own way, I thought of peeping into the car and see this marvel of a man and it was a beautiful woman. That was a moment. I would have married her at the time if she asked. I smiled at her, she smiled back, gave me a casual sailor's salute and drove off. The women in my life... always of note. 

Mumbai at last. I entered the city and I felt I had gone for years and now returned. As I was basking in the happiness of the moment, Black Beauty choked and stopped. I was out of fuel. 

I got off and with all the courage I had left, starting doing my final lap on foot. The road seemed never ending and I was an hour away from home. An old sikh man on a beat-up bike appeared out of nowhere and told me to arrange for some rope. I told him I had none. He started looking around in the bushes around as if he knew the exact spot. I was too exhausted to debate or make sense of what was happening. It suddenly struck me… there was someone who was helping me. I shook myself up and tried to get my tired brain to think. The towel. I took it out and his face lit up. Only a sikh man can do this in this country, be so eager to help another and go out of his way at it. So he tied the towel to the back of his bike and since it was not very long, I had to hold onto it with my hand and the bike steering with another. I held onto my towel as tight as I could and we kept driving. He was a crazy angel of a man. While we were doing the balancing act, he wanted to talk to me about random things about me and him. All I could think of was the towel which was slipping out of my hand, one millimeter at a time. I noticed my hands, they were black and burnt from the sun. I was two shades closer to my Black Beauty and another five away from my White Beauty.

We made it to the fuel station and then his bike refused to start. I got off from mine and wanted to help. Then I heard him talk to his bike and I was so happy to know that I'm not the only inanimate object talking crazy person around. I touched his feet, he hugged me instead. And we went our ways.

So, I reached home.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Show me the love...

So.. what do I love..

Other than people and 'select' things, I love doing new things, exploring new possibilities and eureka moments. Now reflecting back on what I just wrote, I'm thinking that my list doesn't include making movies, painting or designing. Strange.. Considering that I've always told myself and believed that to be truly good at what you do and be content and happy at it, you need to love it as if that is the only thing you think about... the only thing which drives you...

But my loves don't include anything tangible... I love the beautiful, the deep, the mysterious but nothing which can convert to a profession. Of course, whatever I do now is an off shoot of what I love but that is not it. I don't know what to love so much that I give my life to it. That really explains my career jumping way of life. Can I really love something as deep? Am I not the special child I was always told I am? I always believed I was but that image of me for myself is slowly fading away.

I am becoming a mortal, someone who can be broken, who can be broke, who can not be good at some things. I'm not good at everything. That is a realization. That 'possibilities are endless' phrase has long been taken for granted by me. Its time to grow up...

And as the influence of the wine wears off, I see me telling myself yet again...


I AM..