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Showing posts from September, 2008

Life is a long song

Can you imagine us
Years from today,
Sharing a park bench quietly?
How terribly strange
To be seventy.
Old friends,
Memory brushes the same years
Silently sharing the same fears

- Simon and Garfunkel

I cannot say whether I will make 70.
I do not know whether friendships last that long, in this day and age.
But life is for the living and memories, good & bad, will teach us... make us smile at the most inappropriate times and leave us wondering how ancient scars can still hurt sometimes.

To step forward, I look back... and without effort (and thankfully, no grief), this exercise effortlessly conjures up countless images. Heaven help us if our respective folks ever found out how three greenhorns actually made their way on motorcycles from Pune to Panaji... or somewhere in the vicinity. And back, of course.

See, the thing with being a greenhorn is that most knowledge is theoretical and quite a bit of the bravado is churning furiously…

Enough Space

Imagine if you will, a strip of greyish tarmac 34 * 18 yards in dimension. One side of this area is taken up by metal gates. Facing them, on the other side is a large, oft-painted water tank. This being India, time and again the wall of that tank has had a set of three lines scratched or painted onto it. Buildings tower over the remaining two sides of this area. If at any point in your life you have played cricket in Kumar Classics Housing Society, your mind's eye will have conjured up an image of the pitch.

Kumar Classics or KC for short, is one of the older societies in Aundh. At some point of time in the misty past (or about 20 years, give or take), KC was the first set of buildings you would see if you were making your way from Bombay to Pune. Only a blind man could miss it because the buildings were painted in an interesting combination of pink and white. Keeping with the trend of the 80's, the builders did not make any provisions for a club-house, pool or any of the other…

Let it be

After a few days of hanging around at home and in Aundh, I ventured past University Circle (yes, yes, you may not see a circle, but screw your objections) today. I wish I had not.

9 months after leaving, I come back to find more changes in Pune. Now, honestly, I'm okay with change. It's natural and in some cases needed. But the pace here is ruthless, relentless and has claimed some victims that leave me with a dull ache in the vicinity of the old ticker. I could and can do nothing about it so there's no use flailing arms or bitching. At the most, a cursory tsk-tsk.

It's almost as surreal when I visited my school yesterday. In more ways than one, I went back. Nothing like talking to your teachers from Std. 5 to ensure that you feel 12 again. The really odd part is snapping out of the self-induced hypnosis or whathaveyou to realize that you are discussing your future (theoritical) marriage plans... with someone with whom the only previous discussion you can recall concerne…

My one and only love

I honestly never thought this day would come.

I've thought of a 100 ways to start this post. To say just that one sentence. Words will not come and I'll take that as a blessing because there is nothing to say. Not any more.

To those who know me... or if not me, then my obsessive 10-year journey to this day.


Song for the moment:Dream On - Aerosmith

One foot out the door

I've lived away from home for a little over 2 years now. In that time, I've come across in interesting type of non-resident Punekar. Without fail, 99 % of this mob, on discovering our common bond, will switch to Marathi from whatever language they were attempting to slaughter. They will then proceed to badmouth all and sundry in the vicinity. Gradually, the chatter will begin to noticeably lose steam. Enthusiasm will be replaced by uncertainty. Eyes will proceed to narrow at the less-than-satisfactory quality of Marathi being intermittently offered by moi'. Questions concerning heritage will be bandied about and the hiss of indrawn breaths will rent the air when no relation to long-departed Maratha worthies on my side is evinced. The social death knell will most likely be the discovery that I speak Tamil.

Further events will depend on how vindictive I'm feeling at the time. I confess that I do sympatize with this lot. After all, they can hardly be blamed for the fact t…

New kid in town

It was a lovely evening... and standing across the road from the Independence Monument, he wished it had not been.

He had hoped for lousy weather... anything that Nature could and often had thrown at him, from broiling 40 degree heat & sapping humidity to a bone-drenching torrential downpour. Anything except what it was now... late evening sun painting the sky golden and a gentle breeze that wafted in from the Bassac River on the horizon. Unbearable weather would have made leaving bearable, but the Fates were being their usual sadistic self.

Rivulets of cars, motorbikes and cycle-rickshaws made their way past him toward Sisowath Quay and the Riverside. He became hypnotized by their monotonous rhythm, became one with the bikes weaving through the line of Lexus' & Toyotas, barely shaving past them. He'd been here 5 months, a drop in the the ocean, but it felt like a lifetime. His thougths wandered back to a similar evening in April, in another city, on another continent. I…

New way home

Naturally, I'm counting down.

17 days to go.

Then I pack my bags, say my goodbyes to people and places and begin the drudgery of airport-hopping & thumb-twiddling at transit lounges.

Drowsily stare at the orange-yellow glow struggling to make it's presence felt through the smog.

Stretch my legs, yawn & stumble across the downward-sloping gangway.

Imagine it a fraction of a second before I smell it - phenyl.

Feet involuntarily move faster as the babble of languages, none of them English, wash over me.

Pray that I can spot my bags on the conveyor belt.

Brood about the prospect of the corpulent Customs chaps hassling me without reason.

Grin uncontrollably as I step out into the sultry night air of Bombay.

India.

Again.

Song for the moment:Baker Street - Gerry Rafferty