Wednesday, November 29

the story of a come back

The Girl (henceforth- TG) knew the only thing good about hitting rock bottom was - the only way she could go from there was up. She collected all the strength she could muster and decided to make a come back . So she went back nervous and very -very anxious, her heart thumping at a speed that she felt dizzy. “May be this will be over even before it starts”, she thought while climbing the steep stairs, “and I would collapse right here.” At some corner of her conflicting heart she almost wished that would happen and the ordeal may be over even before it began.

She gently knocked at the door and since it was ajar she peeped in. TG remembered the familiar face- the face of her Prof. that commanded respect. But the teacher did not have the similar familiarity to reciprocate from her burnt out memory. ?”- TG wondered if all of them had wiped out her existence from their collective memory. The Professor waiting in her trademark patient (and somehow being positively patient) manner kept looking at TG. “May be all those years of formal education does work that trick on at least some of them”- TG thought.

Standing there at the door of the class – her class- TG almost pleaded with her unrelenting heart to slow down and dared a hesitant glance at the seating area. Her eyes came across at least 60 young faces – familiar faces ..all of them surfacing from the bottom chambers of her vague, hazy memory to her present moment of ordeal- “may be if she looked deeper in their eyes at least some would acknowledge her existence.” As if to serve a proof to her claim to be present at the moment and place where she was present – an institution to which she had earned her position. TG could not help but wonder.

As a divine intervention from the heavens, it turned out that the Professor was in a rush to finish the topic which she had planned for the day and asked TG a simple question which did not call for any explanations at least at that moment. TG was equally simple in her reply – “Yes Professor, I am from this class” and taking a deep breath quickly walked right inside.

There she was – HB seated alone on the second row from the front corner. As TG hesitated for a second, HB shifted a little inside towards the wall to make space for TG, signaling TG’s first acceptance in her second innings at the institute.

The initial few days rolled on quickly for TG as she was too caught up in the string of official procedures and explanations- submitting innumerable copies of applications and certificates of medical records. After receiving the final green signal to re-join the institute, TG was immersed in catching up with the ocean of pending work (projects, presentations, and reports - assignments that had long back faded from the collective class memory (who copied what from where, which text was good and which one was not to the teacher’s liking…) as everyday students battled with perennial course work assignments that kept popping up like giant monsters ever ready to gobble them up.

TG knew it was a challenge. Slowly TG was faced with a greater challenge of a nature to which she had not clue how to solve. Although no body seemed rude, the class was coldly indifferent towards her. “May be they are too caught up in their own respective cycles of work, too comfy in their own personal zones of trust, friendship and hostilities. Who would like to make space for someone who was a fresher in this game of competition and jealousies -the rules for which had been long decided and the contending groups long recognized? Is that not the way our education system works? Training people to survive in this modern world where it’s a battle everyday. The institute was doing its job well.” TG knew she had herself got into this situation.

TG had sensed abrupt silences that fell when she had walked in the cafeteria or common rooms. There were surprised glances and cold vibes and TG knew the gossip mills were working overtime providing quick fix entertainment and optimum degree of kicks to tired brains and over stressed bodies along with their daily supplements of caffeine and nicotine. TG wondered if anybody really bothered to know the truth as different from fiction. If she could ever break that circle of ice where she was trapped- frozen and lonely very lonely.

It was around this time when TG had a chance meeting with HB in the university special bus on their way back home. As HB boarded the bus and looked around for any vacant seats, TG signaled her to come and occupy the seat next to her. That day as they traveled back few things fell in a perspective for TG.

Both of them talked about casual stuff for a while and then all of a sudden HB smiled gently at TG and said: “you know I never knew that you were the friendly types…..uummm I mean I thought you liked to keep to yourself.”
TG : “Do I come out like that?”
After few seconds of awkward unsure silence TG spoke first:
TG : “Actually I have been finding it so difficult to break in, you know….everybody is so caught up. I feel nobody wants to hear my side of the story.”
HB : “What is it TG?”
TG : “HB can you tell me what’s going on?”
HB : “I don’t know much yaar but I believe there are at least three versions of your story doing the rounds – a) you went on a long leave to appear for your civil services exams; b) you went to some overseas university and have come back for some reason and; c) that you had some relationship problem…”

TG knew that in a place like this there were broadly three category of people : those who eat, drink, sleep dreaming to crack the civil services exam, second are the types whose aim in life is to get a foren degree and the third are the types who do the above two and more to either catch a boy/girl friend or keep one.

She could now locate the insecurity inside those heads. However what appeared most important to TG at that moment was to find one courageous soul (HB) who was mature and sensitive enough to ask TG and not follow the herd mentality by believing the hear say. Someone who was self assured and genuinely wanted to hear what TG had to say about her reasons for long absence. Both of them found a true friend that day.

Years after that day, once TG asked HB about what made her reveal the truth to TG and she said that she wanted to follow her heart and not the rumors. Even today TG wonders about the need of modern civilized societies to spice up their lives with ill-founded rumours at someone else’s cost.

Saturday, November 25

time flows

i have a sense of this moment
a moment of vague realization
granting me the rare peek into the distant horizon
the soothing melting enveloping realization -
it is time,
realization that i may have to go
if i have to come back.
that what has passed may be over
then is this the moment of final separation?
what it could be i know not
but this is it, i know for sure

Monday, November 20

goodness gracious grace

Hi there, my name is Grace. As you all can see I am a dog but what you don’t know is that I am a happy dog. And here goes my story:
I am soon going to be one year old. I have been adopted by a family that wanted to get a pet for their four year old son. Oh boy! That is a four year old terror, who thinks himself to be Hanumana and runs around the whole house in his chaddi with a gada in his hand!!!
Now, life was good, I normally would have a eventful day packed with lots of eating+sleeping+playing+masti. One day a stupid girl came to visit my family. It looked as if she had enough of that Hanumana bhakta (you know with his gada and supernatural powers, he can be an unnerving experience for the weak hearted).

As for me, I am always happy to see others (particularly strangers). As a policy I always display my exhilaration while meeting guests…err, frankly speaking towards everybody and anybody ranging from carpenters, barbers, sweepers, post men right up to the thieves. I ardently believe in a ‘no woof’ policy. Yes at times, I do rarely woof at my owners when they do unreasonable things like- don’t let me lick from their plates or get cozy on their warm beds.

As far as that stupid girl is concerned, trust me – I made all efforts to please her: I would go and pick her shoes and slippers and hide them in such choicest places. I would make sure that the timing was perfect, so the moment she would step in one of her shoes, I would swiftly grab the other and run off. But all this to no avail. Even tearing her clothes did not help…sigh
I say she was a real snoot. I would even go and slobber her while she was sleeping but nothing, just about nothing worked on her. Good ridden now that she has gone back.

And did I tell you how stupid she was- she could not even pronounce my lovely name properly and would always call me dis Grace. How stupid, but see i am so nice,I still never woof at her.

Thursday, November 9

on second thoughts...

i think i have gotta stop focussing on all these things- they make me way too sad. i am sure there are lot of good, positive things happening on planet earth. i will be glad to hear about them. so if anyone knows about some please do share them here.