Thursday, August 07, 2008

Number One Hundred

The ones which remained as 'drafts' ....

26 Jan '08
[a conversation with my friendly neighborhood uncle. felt like dad talking to me. i was touched]

Hello Uncle

Atish, I heard the sound of Guitar and was wondering how come you're home so early.

Didn't go to office today. Wasn't feeling well. So akele hoon to socha guitar baja loon thoda...

Oh! I was wondering ye ladke log itni jaldi kaise aa gae... So I decided to call you up. Such a nice way to connect.... music. Come over for a cup of tea. I just had mine but wouldn't mind having another cup. Come.

Ok uncle, I'll be there in 5 minutes.
Do cup chai aur kuch toast vagaira le aana....

Nahi uncle, bas chai... kaafi late lunch kara tha

Ok. So, how have you been. I'm sorry yaar I couldn't talk to you guys properly that day. I was so busy with all the guests.......

Arre it was absolutely fine uncle. The Biryani was so awesome, we didnt have anything else on our minds! The weather was fabulous, the music was just right and you couldnt have chosen a better place for the reception. So your son left.......

......achcha ye sab choro, you tell me how have you been. What happened to your plans for MBA?

Applying this year....

You know Atish, it's very easy to lose sight. I mean you remind me of my days back in the 70s when I had just joined Phillips and stayed with friends just like you do. Of course Bombay in those days was not like what it is today and with a princely salary of Rs 700 we couldn't lead the kind of life you guys are living. What I mean, Atish, is that, it's the 'good life' that you guys are leading. Weekends spent with friends, eating out. Then you have your music. You have a great degree... you can let things drift and then by the time you wake up, it might be a little too late..

27 Nov '07
[the few minutes in the mild Bangalore winter morning, sipping tea...meant a lot those days]

I stand on the balcony, the sun on my face. The music comes floating from the hall. It's a bright morning in Bangalore and there's a slight chill in the air. I have a cup of tea in my hand. It's the start of another day. At times I'm joined by my flatmate. If it's his playlist then it's on shuffle and anything from Kishore to Atif to Hootie & The Blowfish is equally likely to come up next. If it's mine, then it's following some pattern. Third Eye Blind one day, Scorpions the other, Scrubs soundtrack or Simon & Garfunkel. I like the way my day starts. Earlier I used to make tea for both of us. Now our cook does that. I think he's slightly better than me!

I had my first cup of tea when I was four. On the train while going to Puri. Kullhad vali chai. I never had milk in the morning after that. Cha, it was. In the evening when dad came back from work, I used to have my second cup. And did I tell u. I finished entire packets of biscuits in one go! Mom and dad talked about office and other 'grown up' stuff. I chipped in with anything remotely interesting at school. I always associated this evening tea with a very relaxed atmosphere.

In college, milk replaced the morning tea (whenever I had breakfast, that is) on most days. The 5 o' clock extra messing tea was more frequent though. The best, by a long distance was the one we drank at Sassi. Especially during the winters. Especially after bread omelet. I can't remember any occasion when somebody would refuse to go to Sassi for a cup of tea. It was almost a part of the curriculum.
Then there was the 'Dip Tea' near the Library, to be taken in between classes or during Music events at the Convo. On the rare occasion when I found myself in the institute at night doing something relate to academics, yet again this was the place to have tea and take a break.

21 Jul '07
[when i felt like writing about independence. especially financial]

Its been just over a year since I entered a new phase in my life. One typically characterized by more independence at all levels, particularly financial. And going with my ideology of 'kal ka kal dekhenge' I have made sure that my bank balance is never able to shoot up beyond a certain level. I also managed to convince my dad that all serious investments and future planning would only start a year or so later. So all of it basically meant I went ahead and bought whatever I felt like and I could. A bike, a laptop, a guitar. I'm absolutely loving it. Savoring this free existence along with the knowledge that I'm not doing anything wrong.

29 Mar '07
[my first and only attempt at fiction. i was downright pathetic and somehow always felt that i was copying both the form and content from somewhere.. old man and the sea? dont know. the idea, however came from this picture my dad had taken in Puri. of a man and his son, standing by the boat with the day's catch.]

He was about fourteen. Standing there with his back to the sea, his dark, wet skin glistening in the last rays of the sun, he was a picture of satisfaction. In front of him lay the day's catch, enough to ensure a week's supplies. His father tended to the boat looking for any cracks or damages while he played with the sand. Soon, both headed towards the wholesale market as the setting sun marked the end of yet another day. A day spent on a small boat in the middle of the sea. At the wholesale market, they would sell their catch to the local dealer who would in turn head to the man responsible for packaging, cold storage and transportation and a few days later, some Bengali in New Delhi's C R Park would eat the same fish for dinner, cooked deliciously in mustard oil by his wife, knowing little about the fourteen year old who formed the first link, in a series of many, between him and the fish on his plate.

Life was tough but not unfair in the little village in coastal Andhra. Most of the population earned their livelihood from the bounties of the sea. The sea which gave them their life. Shrinivas, or Shrini as he was called had gone along with his father in his fishing boat for as long as he could remember. He loved the sea and its sights and sounds. The sunrise which would see them push their tiny boat over the waves and head for calmer waters in the middle of the sea never failed to amaze him. The lazy afternoons which saw them taking a rest in the shadow of the boat's mast after having cast the net, waiting for the fish to come, soothed him. Wherever the eyes went, there was water, dotted with a few boats here and there, of fellow villagers and fishermen. There was no sound except that of the waves lapping the sides of the boat and the birds flying by. Shrini chatted with his father, learning new tricks everyday, hearing stories of the sea when his father was his age. That's the way it had always been. They were a generation of fisherman, each following the same method to learn the tricks of the trade. To them it was the only way to grow up, to lead a life.

25 Jan '07
[about friendship..]

They are the people you spend your entire day with. Once out of home, they are the ones that make you feel at home, become your family. Sure they were there even when you were a kid and had your ma and baba besides you. You had the "best friends" and the other friends, the ones you grew up playing cricket, badminton and a whole lot of on-the-road games. Then college happens and more importantly you get to know about a certain place called Hostel. Friendship takes on a completely different hue as you start to live day in day out with the same set of people who start exerting their influences on your life involuntarily. You pick up some of their styles. Be it the manner of speaking or their posture....