Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mis-adventure or that is what they say...

Routine, process and youth gives a strange certainty to our lives… an assurance that nothing wrong can happen to us… nothing can move us, stir us in our regular lives unless we want to do it. Somewhere we tend to underestimate the power of chance, of probability and of chaos theory (may be!), until the irregularity in the system drives us toward an inevitable shock… a tryst with destiny… how we handle it…recover from it or crumble beneath it is more a matter of circumstantial positioning of our guiding stars than historical performances!

So much for the build up! I guess an odd effect of living in the times of Ekta Kapoor (or did I miss an ‘e’ in the name), we tend to over dramatize even the slightest of out of ordinary incidents. But then what the hell! However these weren’t exactly my thoughts when I was returning from Andheri station to Aseem’s place at around 0045 hours on a Friday night, more like- damn I can’t party tonight, cause I have to go to work tomorrow! So with a heavy heart, I listened to Bon Jovi and wished- Someday I will be Saturday night! Auto rickshaw is one hell of a modern day innovation. You should see it weaving its way through Mumbai traffic; you can literally feel the time slowing down as it approaches the speed of light…. Umm .. well not exactly but then compared to the other vehicles on the road it does give you a certain sense of speed, hence my preference for auto rickshaws immaterial of the traffic conditions. That night was no different! I was enjoying my music while my mind drifted away visualizing chilled beer in mugs topped with clean white froth. It was in fact after few seconds that I realized that my rick had stopped mid way, I hadn’t reached Aseem’s place yet, and worse there was a rick standing right next to mine with an extremely agitated driver and someone else, who was least bothered about everything!

Indians are curious and I am certainly above average! So as the altercation picked up volume, I paid more attention to it than what Bryan Adams had to say about- day like today! I hate missing the opening scenes of movies, because if it’s a nice one, you know you have missed a lot! The entire logic behind the chain of events is lost and only after interval do you actually pick it up, or may be even later! Such was my feeling, but the protagonists of this brief play were most unconcerned about my feelings. Finally unable to control his feelings the ‘taller guy’ (the driver of the rick which forced mine to stop…by the way this was a post analysis realization) got out of the rick, came and safely covered the only exit of my rick (other exit was already covered by the stationary rick). Now I was really curious, so took out the head phones from my ear and was paying undivided attention to what he had to say. At the same time, in some part of my logical brain, the most illogical part which dealt with sixth senses became active and started sounding low warning signals.

Their conversation reminded me of my engineering college ragging when we were asked to say entire sentences with 3rd degree abuses after every word we said. Anyways, the couple of questions which the ‘taller guy’ asked again and again- “Kya be shaane khud ko shaana samajhta hai kya?” ; ( I was particularly lost by the sheer confusion in the question!) “Pata hai main kaun huun?” and the worst one- “Ghusa duun kya?” It was then I noticed that this guy had produced a broken bottle and holding it by its neck. Now suddenly this ‘taller guy’ became ‘taller and dangerous guy’. My sixth sense alarm went full blast. Finally, say by destiny or otherwise, he turned to me and asked me the same set of question! Two very basic rules in a group interview are- 1. Don’t speak unless spoken to, 2. Prepare yourself for the same questions which are being asked to the other candidate. I had forgotten the second rule, or may be I was still quite lost! Anyways, few seconds passed and I still couldn’t come up with any convincing answer and he finally settled for an assumption that – ‘Tu shana hai!’ … Now he being the protector of the world wanted to teach me a lesson for being ‘shana’. “Chal be, jo hai sab nikal!” came a sudden strong demand. By now, he was holding me by collar and the tip of the bottle was threateningly close to me. Few split second calculations, few random checks here and there, and few desperate SOS signals to my guiding stars later, I grabbed his arm and started my most impromptu drama ever- “Main student huun… kuch paisa nahin hai…. Lut jaunga…. Maine kya kiya hai…” Came back his credentials and demands, stinking of alcohol, “Aaj hi jail se chuta huun…. Bhai ka admi huun… police kuch nahin karegi…. Ghusa duun kya… chal shaane sab nikal”. All of a sudden to add some masala to already spiced up situation, someone started playing – “Khuda jaane main fida huun….” ‘Taller and dangerous’ guy was immensely distracted and demanded- “kiska mobile hai”… I promptly answered- “uska” pointing at the guy in the other auto. He was caught unaware, but retorted back in couple of seconds- “nahin mera nahin hai…isi ka hoga”… But by then I had realized that it was my phone and it was playing music out loud because the headphone had come off. Instantly I fixed it back again, before other man’s defense. Our ‘taller and dangerous guy’ lost interest in such non-sense soon and came back to his old questions. I held on to his armed arm with determination and continued my drama, as if we were haggling over the price of something he wants to buy from me! All of a sudden, like the way it had started, this guy decides to leave, with his parting words- “dobara nahin dikhna”… and sped away in his rick. I dialled 100, and heard- “Hindi ke liye 1 dabaye,Marathi santha 2 daba…..” About then I realised something liquid on my right arm….aah parting gift from my friend – a perfect hysterisys curve shaped cut…almost 2.5 inches long, 2 cm wide and few mm deep. Took 6 stitches and two and half grand to be closed and sealed.

Anyways such was my adventure (or mis-adventure), and they say life is so boring and dull… Well may be for others…for me… am still busy changing bandages on my arm and thinking of an appropriate answer for the question- “Kya be shaane.. khud ko shaana samajhta hai kya?”

Sunday Bloody Sunday

On a sunny Sunday afternoon, sitting on the sofa of your drawing room, there aren’t many things you will be afraid of; not the usual things at least except of Monday! You know the Saturday night is gone- you had fun but then that is lost along with the hangover from those vodka shots. Sunday morning shoots into your blood that venom which you fight all week long- laziness. An utter desire to walk out of this rat race and take a time out! You want to go on, but it all so tough now. Monday seems like bonded slavery!
Sunday afternoon is the scariest of all - scarier than a night in haunted house. Mind is a very powerful machine and whenever let to run on its own, churns out things you don’t want to know, things long forgotten, things you don’t want to think about, things you wish, things you miss, things you desire and things you will never have. Between this eternal battle of reality and dreams somewhere mind duped in the yellowness of Sunday afternoon plays the devil’s advocate. It makes your heart go crazy about things you love and things you want, while remind you of the utter futileness of such efforts; and you sit there like a lonely warrior unsure of the side to take; watch it conquer you, tear you and wrench you till you are not sure if it was worth the battle. As I said, Monday could have been lot easier if not for the Sunday afternoon.

In any battle evenings are traditionally the time where dead soldiers are taken back to their camps and the last respect is paid to their brave souls. Here you walk the evening with a similar sadness, a strange silence in all the noise. Torn and tired after the war, you know these are the last few moments of peace before Monday takes over. While you dread that and wish that the time would stop and you can stay forever in that peace, it slips right through your fingers like sand.

Monday will come my friend, it’s inevitable! I don’t know if I will be prepared for it, will I be able to throw the poison out of my blood and jump in to it, or will I be swayed by other’s destiny and lack the courage to make my own. Whatever it may be – only time will decide! It’s a wide and wild river before I reach Saturday; while freedom, peace, tranquility and warmth beckons me there is a chance that I might never make it to the Saturday and there is only one way to find out- swim through the river. If I dive in- I know it will be a bloody battle, while the rewards are worth a life time, it will surely leave me without one if I lose. For now the temptation to quit is just too high- I hope I will have the strength and faith to carry on!