Thursday, June 28, 2007

Just Kidding

When you were one, perhaps the only thing that mattered to you was a nice siesta. All you had to do is just sleep, eat, and then sleep again. Say a little bit of dida and momma in your tongue and not bother about the syntax of the language. A little later, the latest toy became the obsession.

You then moved on to school. Education then was a lot different than what it is now-a- days, whether you coloured the giraffe purple or green, it really didn’t matter. There was no protocol to follow, not many rules to abide by, except the rationing of the television viewing time, based on intense negotiations with mummy dearest. Most young lads would express their desires to become pilots by profession when they wrote their first few compositions and they had the belief in them that it was a realistic goal.

You could cry when in pain, without having to feel embarrassed about it. You could dance in the rain and you would not have to straighten up, when you see a pedestrian staring at you. You could crack stupid jokes and laugh at the silliest of things, because a good sense of humour didn’t matter.

Marks were important, well you always had an incentive to score back then, though it was only something as small as your favorite pair of shoes or a box of chocolates. A scolding by your teachers was sufficient to get you back on track whenever you lost focus. How your body odour would offend your childhood sweetheart never was an issue, nor was saving pocket money for that special date.

Most of all, there were no strings attached. Deadlines could come and go, like the rains, but who really cared?? It was your world, your impenetrable bubble of joy.

A few years later, you reach the threshold of adulthood and the bubble just bursts. Not that there is no happiness in life now, but now there’s a price to pay, burdens to bear and risks to take. You realize the whole story of a fairy taking your pains away was a sham, just another placebo! Materialism takes a grip over you. You now have to follow the norms of the society to be accepted by it. Job, money, relationships and family commitments, politics and hypocrisy - Life all of a sudden seems more complicated than ever!

Ironically, you ponder, homework wasn’t that bad after all! The only thing you desperately want now is your childhood.

PS: A beautiful ghazal that comes into my mind when I think of the topic:

“Woh daulat bhi le lo, woh shaurat bhi le lo, magar mujhko lautado, bachpan ka sawaan, woh kagaz ki kashti, woh baarish ka paani, woh bhudiye jisse bachche kehte the nani…”

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Fasten your Seat Belts

“Sir, would you prefer a window or an isle seat?” the lady at the check-in desk asked me, and a smile crossed my face. “Window,” I said. I have flown so many times before but the silly fascination of sitting on the window seat watching the action out of those tiny vacuumed glass cubes remains unchanged from what it was when I took my first flight. An airplane always brings back the kid in me.

I especially was not going to miss this opportunity because, it was late afternoon, and this is the time when you get the best view. After the security checks and a cup of coffee, I boarded the plane. As always, I was as eager as the maintenance engineer to find out what was happening in that open turbine cabinet and the hydraulic shafts and kept catching glances from the corner of my eye.

I so hate waiting in anticipation of a good co-passenger. So far, on most occasions I have been unable to find that vivacious person with whom you can strike an interesting conversation during the course of the flight to save yourself and hopefully, him or her from the boredom of flying. Reading is always the redeemer. This time though, to my surprise, the two seats besides me were empty. I thought rather not have a companion than having an unpleasant one! Life isn’t binary after all.

The safety demonstration and instructions got the “yeah, yeah, we have heard that before” looks from most passengers. In the meanwhile it felt like the plane had been taking rounds of the around the take-off strip for ever. I was beginning to get bored.

Finally that loud roar of the engines, the rudders sloping downwards and the wings raised a notch above the horizontal like a bird taking off, my surroundings appeared to be sliding backwards at a rapid pace and I was soon (my chronograph showed 35 seconds) off the ground after what felt like mild tremors.

Now coming to the point why I am writing the blog? I am sure everyone has traveled by air before and I shouldn’t be bothering you with tit-bits you already know. I am going to describe to you what I saw.

As the plane grew in altitude, I saw the most amazing view of Mumbai and its coastline. Cars looking like ants and local trains like serpents in a maze. It looked like on of those images you see on Google Earth, but way better in clarity. The cabin in-charge has mentioned that photography is prohibited, but I couldn’t resist sneaking a few photographs in.

As we moved higher, all we could see below is clouds stretched over the blue sky, like ice-bergs drifting in the ocean. It was breath-taking. On the clouds, I spotted the reflection of my plane, and realized how big the cloud actually must be in contrast to the plane. Besides, like the cherry on the cake, we even sighted a rainbow. I so wish I could push open the glass windows so that I could actually capture that sight, but sigh, it wasn’t possible.

But nonetheless, it gave me some more pass time in the plane in the form of writing this entry. Hope I have a safe landing. Bon Voyage to all my engineering pals who are traveling out of town this vacation!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Ban-ned Wagon and Crazy Party-ing

Ban Orkut. Ban Valentine's day. Ban this. Ban that. After all, freedom of expression is only theoretical. It's the fundamentalists who control the actual nature of our democracy. I don't think any of are unfamiliar with these agitations? Shiv Sena. Rings a bell?

Even more hilarious was the recent movement to rename Bombay Blues to Mumbai Blues. Like poet's have a poetic license, entrepreneur's surely do have the right to name their ventures at least! Besides, Bombay Blues is quite a name in dining. It's like asking the Indian National Congress to change their name to Bharatiya Rashtriya Parishad.

Knowing how jobless Shiv Sainiks are at present, and how much I love giving advice when it is not asked for, here are a few more suggestions to keep them busy, keeping in mind their calibre.

1>Rename Indian Idol to Bharatiya Idol. Sinful showing videsi names on national television.
2>Make sure all names are written in Marathi too on hoardings and magazine covers.
3>Renaming Nightclubs, red light - laal batti, velocity-gatti, poison-zeher..that will make things a lot more swadesi!
4>Any one abusing in English should be abused back in Marathi.
5>Starting new day's like, Marathi Manus divas (Maharashtra day ain't what we want)
6>How about rapping in Marathi?! Any takers??

These are of course some of the many things which we can expect our responsible political parties to do, once most of them stop doing bigger things, like triggering riots by coming up with policies as brilliant as reservations.

Oh no, they also come up with something better. India shining? Yeah, as if we didn't know. But why are they claiming they were the reason. Tube-lights, these people. May be that's why they kept showing off the name of the party between every few clips. The Indian people as usual, did nothing. A bunch of 795 intelligent leaders in that Parliament of ours did it all. Pat on their back.

It's a sad state, for us, the Indian Citizens. Freedom of expression is suppressed, freedom of choice is useless. There is no point cribbing because we are somewhere responsible, but then it does make us feel good, doesn't it? After all, that's perhaps the only game India plays well, the Blame game!

Oh that reminds me, how's that for the national sport? Hockey is in the dumps, Cricket is going that way, we need a substitute!