Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Against Hope Hope'n

You are anticipating an important call. You keep checking the phone every 2 minutes to see if it is working. You even check your phone occasionally when you hear some other phone ring. And when it finally does ring, you hear that extremely familiar tone "Hello Sir, I am calling up from Blah Blah bank. Are you interested in a personal loan?"

I am sure we have all been in that situation before, where you rarely get what you most expect. It seems to be the law of the universe. I think it is a incomprehensible trick your head plays on you. Why does it always feel you have waited the longest time for your bus? Why do you think that every other bus except the one en route to your destination stops by the bus stop but yours? Eventually when you decide to take a rickshaw, there you see it in appearing in the far end of the road.

On a recent trip, we had confirmed reservations in a train and we were hoping that it'll be a fun trip to our destination, the whole groups of friends together. It turned out as always, we were wrong. We couldn't find our seats in the first place because as it turned out the seat numbers were not marked on any seat. When we did locate them, we had to literally win our right over them because valid arguments do not work against a certain species of obstinate Marathi Manoos. We spent half our time finding seats. The remaining half in secluded groups of 2-3 trying to at least hold our ground against the tide of people, hungry and crammed for space. What a joyride!

It had become a ritual in college, to predict the day the examination cell will declare the results. Many would cry wolf, many more would even take the bait. There will be murmurs that today is the day, five o'clock is the time of reckoning. They would never come. In fact we had got so used to the wait-and-watch game that we stopped believing results would actually come at a preinformed time. Last four semesters at a trot, I have either been out with friends, at a movie or just sleeping at home when the results have been announced. You always know there will be a few who'll wait every time there is a slightest of chance that the scores will be displayed so why bother.

What will be, will be. It is better to let time reveal it's moves rather than trying to predict them. The more you expect, the more you are disappointed when expectations are not met. I know and yet I continue to build high hopes whenever there is an opportunity. Old habits die hard.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

For a moment like this..

I haven't visited the Shadows in a while because I was visiting some place else. A tiny sleepy hill station on the outskirts of Mumbai (don't know if 180Km qualifies as outskirts) was our destination for a well deserved post exam holiday. It is called Bhandardara.

We went there to have fun and so we did to the fullest - climbing the tallest peak of Maharashtra, trekking among the clouds, catching frogs, going shoe-hunting when it is pitch dark, playing the most hilarious game of Bluff, getting caught in fog so thick that it could hide an elephant, picnicking near waterfalls and much more.Nonetheless, I am not going to make this post a journal. I am going to describe three moments which made me feel at peace with myself like never before.

The first one came when we were sitting at a step on our trek up the Kalsubhai summit. We were half way up having crossed rickety ladders and slippery trails. At this point, I decided to take a break. I sat on a rock in admiration of the view. A waterfall found its way from the peak to the valley through stony steps in a green canvas. The sun was extremely playful hiding behind the clouds from time to time, like a mother playing peekaboo with her baby. Sometimes the clouds would hover over me giving me the feeling of sitting on a cushion of clouds. They felt cold and moist. However it was not long before they were carried away by a gale. Somewhere in the middle of all this, I could hear a sound. Actually, sounds, two to be precise. One of a bird whistling periodically, the other of my heart beat.
The second one was while driving around the town in an antique Mahindra 404 jeep (the kinds you see policemen driving in the hindi movies of the 70s n 80s). While driving back from Konkankada (a point which is supposed to give you a overwhelming view of a valley, but we only saw fog and mist), we reached a stretch of freshly washed road which was covered by a beautiful canopy of lush green leaves. You wish that all roads were like that. No obstructions, no traffic, just you and the beautiful weather. I had the company of my friends and their company made the ride even better. I wish the journey went on and on forever. I had just forgotten all my troubles and responsibilities for a few minutes.
The third one came while driving back from Bhandardhara. My sister spotted a beautiful sunset surrounded by grey clouds and light rain. My friend had just mentioned that these were ideal conditions for a rainbow and at the same moment, it appeared in the sky out of no where. I had seen a rainbow only once before this but it was neither as beautiful nor did I have the time to observe it so closely. It took us some time but soon we realised there was not one, but two rainbows together (the second one is not visible in this picture I clicked). It was not like the VIBGYOR coloured rainbow I drew in my drawing books ( I am pathetic at aesthetics). It just blended in with the surroundings so beautifully, giving them a tint of its constituent colours. It looked like a stairway to the sky. It was a crown for the hills of Bhandardhara. It made our trip so much more complete!

Now I know what they mean when they say 'the little joys of life.'

Friday, June 06, 2008

The End

It is quite a spectacular view. At one moment you are watching the high rise towers of Malabar Hills sitting on the comfortable parapet of Marine Drive. At the next, all you see is grey clouds. You can make out it is raining out there, there's lightning, and then there's thunder. It looks quite spectacular because of the wide canvas provided to you, a frame which you usually cannot zoom out on in a concrete jungle that the city is.

You are so mesmerized by the beauty of the view that you don't realise when the clouds have caught up with you. For a while, you feel it is just the waves smashing into the breakwater, but as the downpour grows heavier, it finally sinks in that it is raining.

But you don't want to get cover. You want to stand up, raise hands and feel the rain. It gives you the impression that you are standing on the edge of the world with no one else around you. The thunder overshadowing all the sounds of a busy city and the lightning giving a cosmic feel to the surroundings. You feel free, you feel powerful, you feel overwhelmed, all at the same time. That is all until the shower becomes so heavy that it hits you on your face and you start feeling like a damp sponge.

To add to the adventure, you go catch up a movie. Adventure because sitting through a movie in an air-conditioned hall of a multiplex requires an incredible amount of endurance and strength of character when you are wet. At one stage, the movie doesn't matter, you focus your energy on surviving those two hours while you shiver and smell. But it is all a part of making the celebrations memorable. What celebrations one might ask? Well, you don't become a B.E. every other day.