Thursday, May 31

Ants on a mobius strip...

The bitch about hindsight - it just mocks you.

There is this phase of life where we have fantastic dreams, outrageous ambitions and even ideas that appear slightly dubious now that we can look back. In most cases, that happens to be the time we're in college, attempting to get our Bachelor's degrees. I'm not quite sure why this is so - certainly, when I contemplate my college life, I can't recall anything about F.C that inspired me to greater heights - umm... in those areas that are accepted as respectable enough to be scaled, that is.

Can you honestly see yourself inspired into being someone respectably employed when the professor of psychology is droning on about how some chap got his poor dog all strung up and excited over a bell ? I think not...

As far as I can make out, in my 3 years in that grandiose institution I read a lot, developed a marked fondness for beer, a variety of other spirits, was introduced to philosophy by the dynamic duo of Ashish and Ketan, motor-bike rides at odd times of the night and well, other stuff that it may be prudent not to mention here.

Those, and a certain trip to Goa that certain worthies were decent enough to take me along on.

The best parts of my 2 years allegedly obtaining a Master's degree in Anthropology ? It had to be the field trip to a village in north Maharashtra (about which I will devote a whole piece sometime later), endless yatras to the canteens for endless plates of funny tasting food, bad tea and good conversations, hanging out in the hostel in the room shared by Jim, Colin and James and playing scrabble and cards at any given time, generally accompanied by beer... you get where I'm going with this right ??

Then one day we wake up and contemplate, on average, a 70 hour work week... and some of us are studying further ( Heaven only knows why !!) to boot.

We may not have worshipped Bacchus unconditionally but Mammon sure has most of us by the unmentionables and I'm still at the "How the... When the... but, but, but..." stage.
Now, when I look back I think I ought to have taken some serious advantage of my college years and really lived it up. Because, back then, we could do that without trying. Because that was what college was for, is for. Now...

The jeering in the background ? That's hindsight.

Up next - "To be or not to be"... working, that is.

Thursday, May 17

the walrus had a point...

Another day, another birthday..........

Not mine but does that really matter ? Each milestone someone you know passes, it is you who are acutely aware of the sand in the hourglass - each tiny little grain...separating itself from the rest, sliding ever so slowly along the curve of that smooth path, waiting an eternity for some... and then just as surely, dropping down. Another moment gone... and before you know it, so have you.

It's summer here as of now and its officially the holidays. I suppose one indication that we are no longer children in the truest sense of the word is the fact that the summer holidays no longer exist for us. It doesn't for me either; I have the dubious honour of having to take 2 classes in the summer semester.... and well, right when the professor has been talking for more time than you'd care to believe, I think back to the times summer meant being woken up by mum and after a suitable breakfast being politely directed outside the house toward... well... a long, carefree day.

Bike rides on my beloved Hero Ranger cycle, noisy games of cricket with most of the colony kids, sleepy afternoons spent either watching tv or playing any board games that we could get our hands on, more cricket in the evening, just hanging around talking... that's what I remember. Or, choose to remember, since I've lost more than I care to reminiscence on.

In the end, I suppose we may be no different from the waves that crash upon the beach, head as far from the sea as possible and just when we think we've done it, get pulled back toward the only certainty there really is. We're ghosts you know... all the places we've ever been to will be there after we no longer are... and I'd like to think that there's some memory or image of us forever left behind in these places, remembering both the laughter and the times the laughter just wouldn't come. Even something as simple as a seat somewhere has the ability to bring back past images so vividly, you can only wonder how that grain of sand has slipped by... is slipping by.

Does that nameless fear ever clutch your heart suddenly when you wonder how many opportunities have also similarly slipped by ??

There may only be the road ahead of us... but the ghosts are always at our heels and like the siren song, entice us to look back just once more... again and again. In the end, what have we really left behind and what do we really miss ??

The realization that anything and everything was possible... that there was still time... that nothing was really certain......... yet.

Monday, May 7

birds of a feather...

A couple of declarations before I pontificate on today's theme...
  1. Manchester United finally stopped torturing me and won the premiership yesterday. Its been 4 long years of watching them see-saw between semi- decent football and the kind of stuff that can only be described as akin to several Greek and Shakespearean tragedies put together. However, the deed is done for this year and joy is in the air... for now.
  2. My exams are finally over and another semester has been chalked up as completed. What I actually learned is open to debate, but the important thing is, I am one more semester closer to coming home. Which really is all that matters anyway.
Now that we've got that out of the way, back to the issue at hand - room mates.

It had been a couple of days since I got to the land of excitement (o good for you, you recognize sarcasm) and the first couple of days went by in the usual fashion - I spent a good portion of it berating my actually being here, a little more cursing myself & the world for good measure and the rest filling out paperwork at the university office. Once all the supposedly necessary red-tape had been negotiated, I had to face facts namely that I had to find a place of my own and and also look out for other desperadoes who wanted to share a place. People are apt to tell you that finding room mates is an important process... for, eventually, they take the place of family.

Now, even the best and kindest of my friends will testify that I’m not the easiest of people to get along with. “Antisocial, alien bastard” was the popular phrase used to refer to me, I believe. Keeping my charming personality, idiosyncrasies and other character defects in mind I considered the fact that this whole deal could go pear-shaped very easily. I could very well end up rooming with a bunch who were either ruthless manipulators, terribly and creepily friendly or heaven forbid, the very epitome of the phrase 'village idiot'. The possibilities were endless and so I did what I usually do when I need to carefully consider the consequences of my decisions - asked the first new chap I met whether he was on the lookout for a room mate. He was... and he knew 2 others who were also in the hunt. And just like that, the four of us moved into a nice 2 bedroom place within a period of time that can only be considered a dubious record.

Instead of a long drawn out epic describing them, let's just say they were and are as eccentric as I have been accused of being... I name no names so sobriquets will have to do with the current set of ruffians I live with -

Batman - active solely at all ungodly hours of night and sleeps most of the day. How he juggles his classes, which for some perverse reason (for him, that is) are held in the daytime, only he knows. Excellent cook and all-round smart ass.

Grandpa - The oldest chap in the house by a long way... a really long way, believe you me, so his name practically suggested itself. Hides a smart brain behind an expression so inane that it beggars belief. Tells extremely tall stories that nobody even remotely believes anymore and eats as if the next famine is around the corner, resulting in the fact that he currently looks rather as if he is pregnant... with twins.

Mod i.e. the master of disaster - replaced one of the original guys. Announces his arrival by promptly burning a plate in the oven.....

while making.... tea.

Yes, tea.... which he was making on the stove.

And yes, we still are trying to figure out how he pulled that off. Wasn't satisfied with his entrance so tried to sabotage the whole kitchen at a later date by simply attempting to make rice in a fashion that I will not attempt to describe here, for this blog does not attempt to describe the occult. Suffice to say, that too is still in the head-scratching and puzzled stage with a bit of ardent "thank you merciful heaven" thrown in for good measure.

And me - the resident candidate campaigning for a seat in Yerawada Mental Asylum (only Puneites will get this one)

All in all, life hasn't been dull so far. Here's hoping the jamboree keeps moving along....

P.S: Did I mention Manchester United won ??