Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The secondary tale

Once upon a time there lived a man. Lean, strong, good looking and brilliant. He studied in the country’s premier institute and then chose to follow his heart and start a newspaper. And what happens to him? He gets to become the ‘loser’ in India’s most loved corn-head’s new novel strangely named after the newspaper our ‘loser’ guy had started. Apparently, getting drunk and messing up the objective exams is way cooler than doing everything properly.
Indian’s have traditionally loved drama. Even senseless, soap opera like effluent they’ve been bringing out under the generic name “bollywood masala” has been received positively for years. When a rock-star seeking inspiration went to Prague and stole somebody else’s wife everyone sang about love and everything else wonderful in the world. But did anyone worry about the man who must’ve been really good to own a business in such a hostile environment like Prague?  A poor life had turned miserable over night and nobody cares. Instead the world only cares about the heroes.
Infact these ‘secondary’ roles are so insignificant that even the likes of Salman Khan could don such an avatar and be subjected to no sympathy. So convenient isn’t it, to end it all by saying “Kuch Kuch Hota Hei”? 
In the big scheme of things, these lives are so inconsequential, so secondary that nobody really cares about what happens to these men/women after those moments that changed their lives. After having been ditched, under-valued, and mentally tortured? Nobody really knows right? I suppose they move on. Lead a non sensational life filled with counseling, depression and more.
Human beings like it when underdogs or heroes win. Even more when it’s the former. It’s the sadistic brain we all have which has the ability to instill in its owner the ‘thing’ that drives people mad – hope. Why else do you think people watch Dhanush movies? Here’s a slim, dark guy who looks to be suffering from malnutrition winning pretty girls. If he can do it, we can too.
My story is about such a person. Who did nothing wrong and still had his life turned upside down. The only mistake he probably did was to become the part of somebody else’s fairytale story.  Our protagonist would’ve easily fitted into an average girl’s ‘dream boy’ criteria. A handsome guy who also happened to be a brilliant orator. He loved this girl with all his heart.  Spent hours at the bus stop to get a glimpse of her while she went for her coaching classes. Skipped meals to be with her. All was well until one fine morning he got a call from her saying she had fallen for someone else. The word spread. And suddenly people were all talking about the guy who was short and not nearly as handsome as our ‘secondary’. But it seemed his love for her was convincing enough. His love was termed genuine and real. The girl was called the ‘Goddess’ for realizing true love. She had opted ‘true love’ and turned a blind eye to his looks. And our Mr. Secondary? Who cares right? His love probably wasn’t good enough. The guy ruined his exams, got into some xyz business school and screwed up his life. And yeah, the couples lived happily ever after. End of story. And there are similar stories everywhere.
That’s life on planet Earth. It's confusing, sensational and most of the times unfair. And since it is so inter-twined with somebody else’s, you are bound to wear the ‘secondary’ shoes some day. You, me and everyone else. Be ready!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Confessions of a restless mind

Confessions of a restless mind
All my life I used to rank ‘nostalgia’ as the most over-rated act in human lives. Movies, poems, stories, plays.. wherever one looked there was always a story about distant memories. Of childhood, parents, country-side. My ideology was fairly simple: what has happened has happened. It was good/bad back then but there ends the story. The present is all that matters. Survive the present.
This probably explains why I have never really saved anything. Why should my first tooth brush be kept in the drawer on the old wooden table? So that one day, when I find it I would be able to remember a time when root canals weren’t a necessity? Why should I keep hold of that autograph book? So that I can send it to the paparazzi incase a classmate turns out to be a celebrity? 
My life always has been a dull stroll in the park. The occasional flower is pleasing to the eye but the thought of what the park would’ve have been had humans not invaded the place comes back to haunt me. A dense forest, where birds chirped with love and streams of water moulded the land, perhaps? However beautiful it might be, do we really love a plastic flower?  Remember the movie matrix?  Would you be able to live peacefully in the simulated world if you knew the real state of the world?
That was when I found an old novel while cleaning my room one day. “Five have a mystery to solve”. I couldn’t help but travel back to the days I spent reading Enid Blyton novels. Walking to Achama’s madam’s library with a fractured hand, telling her that I needed a ‘big’ book and then walking back to standard IV with a 153 page “Tom Sawyer” in hand. All seemed like only yesterday. I was so fascinated by the fact that I could recall almost everything about the book, a gift from my brother. It was my first famous five book. The story about the Whispering Island, the kid named Wilfred, some mysterious golf course, cycle rides.  And the thought gradually shifted to ‘Hardy Boys’.  It scared me as to how well I remembered all those books. “Danger in the fourth dimension” (and I had no clue as to what dimension meant back then), “Slam Dunk Sabotage”. The list was non exhaustive.  And before I knew it, I was completely taken over by the ghost of the past.   Hours spent inside the library finding ‘secret spots’ to hide the favourite books from others, begging mom to buy the “Five go off to camp” from a stall at Kanyakumari, those family trips we used to have, those secret societies in school.. And the visions from the past kept bombarding my brain.
When I did come back to my senses I was upset that I had let my emotions rule me. I took a deep breath and got back to cleaning the room. The next thing I found was an old note book with a yellow cover page. I opened the last page to check if the book could be used again and found a piece of conversation scribbled on it. My heart stopped for a minute when I realized what it was. The 12th grade chemistry book.  Things I’ve struggled hard to forget ever since that hot summer day morning when I got the ‘call’.  I closed the book immediately and gulped two glasses of water in one stretch. I moved to the living room and found an old school magazine named ‘Clarion’. Clarence Pandey days. And yet again I succumbed to that invisible force called memories. My friend and I sitting under the ‘root tree’, formulating theories about the strange name of the magazine. We even pinned an alternate name, Clara, to our English teacher. Thinking about those days did bring a smile to my face though.
In this ever changing, aggressive world we often do not find time to reflect on our past. Like that star studded cast in the play ‘The Blue Mug’ kept repeating, we are what our memories are. Everything we do, whether we like it or not are reflections of the past.
Did the day’s events change me? It might have. But I did clean the room as I had intended to.  Found a lot of ‘Big Babool’ tattoo stickers and had fun thinking of those days during the cricket world cup spent at waste dumping zones searching for ‘Brittania’ covers which would fetch a ticket to the world cup. And then got back to the editing work for the college magazine. But since that day, there is a certain realization. Pondering about lost love and days spent on lush green outfields with your friends might not be the best thing to do. But what you learn from all these small episodes in this mega series called life is finally what makes us what we are. The point is to learn from your mistakes. And live life to the fullest.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Life Miserables 1

  •   No. This is not another MAD article. Just because I started the same way doesn’t mean anything right?
  •   Throughout the article you will find the word ‘BANG’. Its best described as something that cannot be described. Seriously. Like an emphatic, dramatized version of wow in the right kind of ambience.  Eg: Boring lecturer gets a call from Mrs. Unknown. Needs to stop teaching immediately = BANG. A very pretty girl gives you a ‘stare’= BANG. You’ll know!
  •  Do I enjoy writing these ‘Hate notes’? Hell, you haven’t even read the article yet! One thing’s for sure though. Drama’s in my blood. Rest you lot can decide. Like every other desperate Indian male would swear , “ I don’t get to do what I’d really love to do.” I genuinely hope that helps.
  •  Characters like RooneY, Sabsa, Ubbas, Khan_Girl, still photographer 10dulkar, D_Cool are purely fictional.  Incase you find this strangely coincidental, then your imagination levels are on par with that of the author.
  • Throughout the entire trip we missed having “the secretary’s wife”. We could’ve had fun discussing mobile operating systems and scheming ways to steal money from juniors. 
  • On a more serious tone, this article’s something that popped up while my groupmates were busy learning ‘remoting’ @ Shiju sir’s. Nothing personal. 
                           Life Miserables

I wanted inspiration. 2012 was already a month old and my blog ratings had dropped drastically. Last updated – December, 2011. Girls inside the college weren’t turning pretty. And the St.Joseph girls were getting younger [ Yeah Mr. Pessimist. We were getting older :-/ ]. So I went around seeking that ‘something’ to stimulate my writing senses.
Being dropped from the basketball team by a fellow classmate on my final match at cusat infront of a huge crowd did not help. For someone who has never played basketball seriously! You know this theory that like charges don’t attract? Its dumb. See if you have a white honda unicorn you are bound to like someone else with a white honda unicorn. So much so that you might even drop the grey discover waala for him regardless of his bball prowess. Its like those guys with pink T-shirts. They LOVE each other.  Sitting on the bench(a non existent one) on your final match – definitely un-inspiring! After all this was the first time I got to play in all my 4 years. You simply have to empathize with me.
As if to make matters worse, a student organization that was supposedly the best at cusat (what fellow north Indian mates calls “asses” ) comes with a brain storming idea. A magazine. And I get to be the editorial head of the new magazine. My Evil personality : “ Junior girls Nevin. Remember Bigu Matthai and the KFC offer?” Evil smile. So completely neglecting ‘the song’ that kept haunting me, I agreed. How dumb could I be! Editorial team = Nobody. So what should I do? Make the complete magazine. 2 weeks to do all that. Apparently in strange organizations across the world, the Secy’s wife has more power than the president.  What was that word? Yeah, FUCK! Certainly un-inspiring.
So when Trombay approached us with a tour package – 2 days at Kerala’s most exotic location Wayanad and one day at South India’s most over-rated hill station Ooty, I thought to myself “life’s shit anyway” and nodded a yes. What’s with this stupid song.
Unlike Mr. Jack Dawson who only had to play cards to earn his ticket for the death ride a.k.a RMS Titanic (and who also got to spend some time with THE Kate Winslet) I had to beg, use all my savings, boycott the daily chicken biriyani to get the 3k needed.
Wednesday                  - Anxiety.
Thursday                       - Nothing much. Was busy I suppose.
Friday                           -Wait. Didn’t the internals just get over?
Saturday                       -Spent the entire day reading articles on photography and doing finger exercises.  I didn’t have a tripod so waterfalls required real steady hands. ( Can’t believe people still think that I never wanted to go for the tour.)
Saturday Night   (Day  1)
Tuborg. Al Fahm. Plate shavarma. BANG!
                                                                                    (to be contd..............................)

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