November 17, 2013 § 3 Comments
As Carlsen pulls another one out of the proverbial magic hat, a reporter throws a question to Vishwanathan Anand about Sachin. Frankly a very silly thing to do, when a fellow has just battled for about 5 hours and lost it for seemingly a single error. But what it does bring to light though, is the story of a generation for whom a guy with a short stride forward and push through the covers did more than anyone else, a guy on whose shoulders they let the weight of their expectations rest, An atlas of sorts; and he held it.
The praises and the tears flow much like an overflowing river, perhaps to touch the feet of this cricketing god, or so it would seem. This country loves to worship, loves to throw it all in, to gamble its emotions and let the stars do their bidding. On a little man, for years, it gambled all that it could, and in some measures it was repaid. Personal hopes and unfulfilled dreams were left in a blissful abeyance, as he shooed away those miscreants who dared impose their presence on his bright side screen. As the little red cherry was wistfully driven away to the fence, at a Perth, at a Wacca or at a Lords, the fellow drove the placid to tears.
The story isn’t really about cricket, or golf for that matter, or curling. The story is about how a boy who as grew into a man came to define a generation. How a name could turn penury into a few seconds of ecstatic bliss. It doesn’t matter, how he did it, rather what he did for those who pledged their hours to wristy cuts leaves an emotional footprint to be fossilized for a couple of centuries, at least. He might have stood against wall, he might ridden plaintively in quiet determination through those years when games were supposedly thrown away at a price, but that night he flicked away an Akram at Sharjah or the day he swept away a Warne at MCC was enough for the nation to taste its heart, sweaty, greasy, but still hopeful.
This is the story of a boy who caught the tails of television, of live telecast and the clever commentary of a certain Bhogle. With him they could let their dreams seem bigger than they were, feel a bit more whimsical about life in general, even while at the other end a Dravid slowly worked a boring reality of sorts, grinding the willow, adding flying bits of the leather to a grassy top. This is the story of a man of not merely stats, but of the unstated. A man whose dash across the 22, seemed to solve more problems than yatras did.
This is the story of the generation(s) who were ready to give their hearts and years, who coveted happiness and instead found joy unbound in those fleeting moments. None shall be able to the same- because with the little master of unbroken dreams retires that fleeting love affair. Talent, ability and achievements are elements, yes, but more than that, to sate belief through darkness and to sally hope through foggy yearnings is a task of a different order.
None shall be the same, because that generation has now grown up. The romance has already been written and now shall be allowed to while away till it acquires that particularly lovely tint that old books do. The generation gambles no more, but sullies in thought of days ahead. Maybe it would find a hero, but she shall be of a different sort. The story it wants to write is no more romantic, but of bravery, boldness and unflinching strength. That is how it wants to be seen, and for that it will hunt far and wide, peering deep into its own musty soul.
As the masala moves along, this story ends with a national award, which till date has been reserved for life time achievers, the rulers and their friends. In a sense, the script has been worked wonderful, with shades of the 90′s even. In this, shall the generation recount its tryst with star-dust, with the same gusto reserved for certain stars, a la Rajanikanth.
While not a fan of the game or the player, leaving aside records, contributions, controversies, what strikes me as an observer, is the emotional impact Sachin Tendulkar had on a whole generation which grew up watching him in their little screens.
October 28, 2013 § 6 Comments
At 22, I believe that my head has acquired a certain stability it didn’t possess earlier. As in, my head doesn’t run off into its own set of issues. It doesn’t feel that angst any more. Maybe that tough phase earlier in the year has made it grasp aspects of reality better.
On one side I feel I can do whatever I set out to do. The whole world seems out there and yet this comes with the taming rider that there are things which you have to do which you might not like to do. But then, you are of the inspired lot, who believes in setting out and doing things, a better commitment to yield to than the other.
On the other side is that last bit of 20,21 uncertainty- the prospects of a many years ahead seem scary and the moment seems to linger in abeyance, especially with the impending exams. The effort to put my head down and prepare for these exams has needed quite a resolve, but then you realize that there is nothing you can do about feeling let down. And no matter of introspection or thought out reasoning helps change what happened, rather a perspective, one coated with positivity is need to counter the intuitive rebel, that need to break out or worse that little kid who cries over stolen candy.
My friend’s death has affected me in very strange ways, it has in a way made me resolve to be stronger and yet it has left me questioning my own resolve to get through those long dark days.
At a certain level I have tried to become ruthless, ruthless in not allowing self-pity get in the way any more. There was a period where I had set out on a mad dash to do certain things, mostly to prove to whoever, I don’t know what. And in a way Bookrack let me feel that I could do that and though it no more is, it gave me the confidence that I am a capable person.
June 16- September 16 was probably the toughest time in my life- because I suddenly had to face emotions which stemmed from events which affected my physical world. I surprised myself by coming out of it stronger, and most importantly stabler than ever. The Hampi trip helped me greatly, this poem was written inspired by that wonderful place. I have stopped tweeting for over two months now, another change which has (surprisingly) helped me find more clarity in where I stand.
A week away from the exams, there is a bitter-sweet taste which lingers. The way I see people has also changed, a shift in perspective which seems broader than ever, but at the same time which points out rather sharply the skewed world we live in. There is a needed effort to look beyond and accept the landscape as it is, not merely as itself but as a sum of histories, of individual and of people to reconcile the place I stand at. While that might sound rather vague, what it does mean is to not feel dejected but instead to keep your head.
That fear of becoming a character out of an Auster novel abets itself with this sort of self imprisonment I have imposed on myself(exam prep) but accepting distances makes you feel a sense of security and lets the planes of imagination guide you through.
It has been quite a while(years, in fact) since I wrote something this personal on a blog. But there was this sudden urge to write. What’s important is to hold on and to enjoy the ride, I guess.
October 21, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Take a moment and thank yourself, because you are alive and here. Some say life is a gift, precious, gifted by someone or something; others choose to believe that you are a product of billions, zillions of years; whatever you choose to believe, you are here and alive, that is what matters.
You might feel you haven’t done much about it, but then remember you wake up each day, look at yourself in the mirror and decide to give it another go. You are built to survive, but being built isn’t enough, you got to do it- and you do, each and everyday.
You have dreams, aspirations, ambitions and yet a constant fear holds you- photographs from seemingly far of places which drive home that life is fragile and this lottery ticket might be one that has expired, lost to the conditions in fine print, much too small for you to decipher. But still, you go ahead and build plans, days, future, what not and decide to drag the weight, do that extra kilometer, just so that goal which seems so far away today, would be your tomorrow.
A journey is worth more than the actual goal, stories are strung word by word and not a cat’s scribble of your first day. Get up, get out and do whatever you think you should and remember to have fun, be happy, remember to laugh at the funny posters along the way, enjoy a good joke and to be in awe of random sunsets.
Thank yourself, for whatever happens, you can do what you want to do, as long as you believe in yourself. Life may seem long and dark, and the only way to get through this is to not give into that comfortable depression, that wonderful soft pillow which takes in all those tears. You got to get up and take another step forward and another and another, and move the curtains away, let the sunlight hit you and the deep blue of the sky tell you that there is more than you ever will understand, but that doesn’t mean you have to throw up your hands in despair and give up but go out and know that nothing can stop you except yourself. Don’t be afraid, and believe in yourself for you have come this far, scratched and bruised maybe, but stronger than you ever were.
September 4, 2013 § 3 Comments
To a friend who was and now in our hearts will be.
There were days when we spoke for hours over the phone about everything either of us could think of. There were days when you made my day out of nothing and put up with all the endless nonsense, the endless barrage of wish-wash and mish-mash which I came up with. You were a friend, like none other.
That bright smile and that big booming laugh of yours will stay with me forever. Through much you smiled and laughed and gave me belief like no one else. Your believed in what I did and we both held on to hope, someday, sometime. I always dreamed of a day when we both would catch over a coffee or a drink and laugh at our silliness and how we made it the way we dreamt. Yet that remains a dream, the time and the distance have now become permanent and there is a void, a void which I know none can fill.
I don’t know what happened, but whatever did, to me Omkar will always be that boy, that guy who laughed and told me, “Vichu, please da, you know how people are.”
And what we shared, I would like to believe was more than what even death, distances and years can undo. It has been over a year since I spoke to you and a headline is rather a punitive way for me to learn what happened. Maybe I am a bad friend and nothing will ever assuage the pain. I should have been there for you, but circumstances are their own masters, unless tamed by things beyond their petty threads, and words are just that.
Your smile and laughter were infectious, and to the future, I shall carry that, for not even our dreams were as big as that.
You were a person beyond your years, one conscious of your identity, patriotic and mad about making this world a better place. Your passion and energy were inspiring and will remind me of what still needs to be done.
If tomorrow is a morning, then we shall all smile for you, because you reminded us time and again, that within us there is something better and that we can.
I will miss you Omkar.
P.S:- I am going to yell and scream at you in my dreams tonight, like never before.
July 30, 2013 § Leave a Comment
There’s nothing like the comfort of the keyboard. The rhythmic sound of keys being struck to produce words, sentences, stories, poems. So today is Monday the 29th of 2013, slowly drawing to a close, IST.
Sometimes you wish life had defining moments, and then there are times when you just want to live it, just like that.
If you read, if you write, your sanity is defined by the impossible things you believe in to be possible. It is all there is- a different world, different stories, different lives, all coming true as if they were your own. Maybe staying true to reality isn’t the right thing after all.
Life is best when there is nothing for you to worry about, just a moment to live, to feel, to let go, to stand on top of a hill and shout your heart out and then listen to the silence of the world and know that the words spoken are tucked away from sight and cannot possibly reach you here.
How does it matter who you are, or what you be, if all you had was a moment? You know, independent of time, of people, of places and origins, just midstream, idling along, moving ever so lightly, un-dammed, let go off, free as the breeze, soft as the skin that the drizzle falls upon?
But all that is a moment, and an epic is nothing but one composed of many such. Like One Hundred Years Of Solitude, like eternal-ephemeral love. Jokes are wonderous to hide behind, sarcasm acts as a twinkle in the winking eye, just a sign, just a hint of what really is, what ought to be.
The freedom from inevitability, of fate, predetermined course, does that exist? What comfort is there in knowing things are happening like the way they ought to? Isn’t it better to just move on, another step forward and another into the future, as if the past was a subscript long ignored and forgotten, to be seen by those far away who cannot make out the language?
Is courage facing your worst fears or the willingness to look beyond, to see the sunset and know that there is a dawn around the corner, till there won’t be any? And that no one sets out these things, at least no one you know.
True freedom, maybe is living beyond purpose, beyond intent and just being. To see beyond the cycle of causation and the perforated blankets of relationships, to stare at yourself at night in a mirror and know that the stars are out there, because they are.
It is easier to listen to the songs of love and believe than to look at reality. It is easier to lie, to yourself, to the world and sprinkle it with wisdom cleverly made in the shower to ensure there are no clogged drains. It is easier to never admit than to fight for what you think you really want, because maybe to lose what you already have is worse than to have more.
Is it wise to have nothing then? Where there is no hope, where it looks ridiculous even to the most fantastic of the poets, is that the moment when that thing, possibly the human spirit or just the drunk you, rises up to give it a go? Is that the freedom we really seek?
July 11, 2013 § 1 Comment
Don’t think. Tie the stupid watch but don’t look at the time, don’t think. Walk forward, one step at a time, walk forward, one more step at a time, slowly, slower, slowly.
Don’t see, don’t think. Stare blankly and freak the person out. Look deep into the eyes and then quickly go blank. And when they freak out, pretend to look at the watch, but don’t look at the time. Repeat that till the person walks away or runs away. If that seems to take forever, hell just walk past them, waving at infinity. That’s a perfectly good way to begin a day.
Not that it would make anyone feel happy, but there.
July 7, 2013 § 3 Comments
8 am, Saturday morning is probably the best time to have an existential crisis, mostly because who gets up at 8 am on a Sunday? 8 am works because, a lot of humanity is already up and running and in a country like India with 6-day work weeks, someone has to ensure the cows are fed, the eggs collected, the elephants washed and a couple random people hacked to death.
One can always dial students of philosophy, and they will tell you that some random guy in Italy or China or England said something about existential crisis. There is that cool guy who lived in a bucket or sack or something, and that other cool guy who is quoted in a lot movies. You can ask your mom, and she’ll tell you to help with the laundry. But what’s really obvious is that though this has been a state of mind, a burning issue which has possessed people since people became people, there isn’t a way out really.
I’m no fancy scientist to propose it is all in our genes. While I can easily google and find a million, trillion, Larry knows how many articles on this, it doesn’t help. However well written, funny an article is, it cannot make me less lonely. It cannot stop me from feeling that there is no point to life.
There are some who say, too much luxury and time does this to you. I am not too sure that is how it works. Education, time and luxury, make you realize what it is- they help you separate this from thousands of other things which go through you. You probably aren’t going to wake up, mistake this loneliness for something else and choose to invade a country or break a mirror. But you are going to wake up knowing how many hours are left till you go back to sleep and you hope that they day will be filled by nice things so that you can forget about it all for a while.
Will being mindless help? Will not thinking too much help? I do not know, because I haven’t tried that. How does one freeze your brain and not think? After all, I was thought to think and critically at that from a very early age.
Is this being too indulgent? Maybe. But is something wrong with indulgence? How does luxury abate one from the general throes of existence? If anything, it magnifies things. It makes you wake up on a hundred-hundred and fifty year old bed on a cool morning and makes you wonder why you still feel lonely. It makes you think about people, and makes you think about them more, and you do not want to get out of bed and face the world.
There is nothing wrong with people in my life. In fact, if anything I should call myself luck to have many nice friends. But then who do you call when you really need to talk to someone? That’s when you realize that being hyper connected is bad. We have all learnt to ignore calls, messages etc. because we can’t really stand this level of connectivity. The phone ringing at midnight no more means just that someone might need your help, it could also be your friend to talk about some football match. And we might do it once, or twice, but it hits you- you start to wonder about friends and relationships and realize how alone you are, really. Can I blame them? That wouldn’t be fair. After all I’m guilty of the same, such are the ways of our time.
Maybe my loneliness stems from my disbelief in God and all that almighty stuff. I used to be a believer as a kid, mostly because every one around me was, but the reasons for my disbelief also stem from exactly the people. There was no point of reconciliation and frankly preaching one thing and doing another doesn’t inspire confidence. Maybe they were wrong to not instill fear in me, just ‘love’ or whatever but it gave me a chance to think otherwise. While it is convenient for me to hold complex views on the whole god thing, I know deep within that I probably can never believe in him or her or it or whatever.
In a world of believers that hurts, especially when you are confronted time and again with religion and its hullabaloo. There are only so many times you want to confront and fight. But when it comes up again and again it hurts, because your sense of belonging and identity start to shake- you aren’t sure if you want to fight again and again but most importantly as an individual you are made to look into the mirror again and again, questioning your life, your existence and what it means. And constantly having to define and redefine your boundaries and your need to live in a collective world gets you. You need the people and you can’t handle them at the same time.
Should you give up yourself and go on? But when one is expected to employee ones senses and use it to judge, how do you do that? Maybe I am self-centered, but then this is about me and my world, not your world and me.
If you are reading this and cannot understand what I’m saying, well you aren’t alone. There are plenty out there who are of a similar view. Maybe you all are right. But I miss my teens, a time when I wouldn’t listen to you. When I still could not wake up and remain in bed. But there is a need to belong, to feel part of something bigger, even though I hate it, because there is always hope that people can help you out of it. There is that fear of course, of getting too close and being hurt, but some how you do it.
Should I be rational and look at it from a different PoV, should I try to correlate, understand? Well can you do that with what you believe in? Would you be able to throw out your views and hold another person’s and see the world? You can’t, can you?
If I sound bitter, well I’m not really.There is no point. It is better to smile and try to be funny or mad or something which helps you interact and get by in the world. It is about masquerading yourself as just another person, to blur your identity and be part of the world. It is about not thinking about war, violence, rape, theft and how your best friend might tell you he has a dinner to go to and can’t take you to the hospital.
I don’t want pity or sympathy or even empathy. But I do not know what I want instead. There are people out there who are nice, who are wonderful and I love meeting them. But I’m afraid to get close, to be a part of their lives, because I’m not sure what that entails.
So is 8am, Saturday the perfect time to have an identity crisis? Maybe.
In fact that level of rationalism is probably one of the reasons to make life an even bigger drudgery.