Saturday, November 29

To come of age

This post is being written, irritatingly enough, from Hong Kong airport where I seem to be spending half my travel time over the past year. Before I began to type, I looked up the last post written from here and that was on 8th May. Only 6 months ago and yet, it seems like a lifetime of events have washed over me, leaving me reeling & blindly reaching for a fixed point of perspective. Since that last post I have lived... a breath at a time, it almost seems. And yet, I have just been woken up from a delightful dream, to find myself back at this airport.

Living in Cambodia changed me, it's as simple as that. I found out something of who I am but more importantly, what I want. Want - a simple word, attached to so much meaning. It is important to want, but more so to want something with a calming certainty. Like a bite of perfect chocolate mousse at the end of the evening. Having it fits... it completes. And for me, rudderless as I was, plodding through one degree after another, it brings a measure of comfort.

I thought I was a world-citizen, willing and able to live anywhere, and do it happily. I cannot. I am happy in India. I sleep like a baby there, the blanket of my country's and my city's essence cocooning me in my dreams, like the rhythm of the train speeding through the black night. I appreciate what my life in other countries has taught me, but cannot, do not, want to experience that ache accompanying me from the moment I take any mode of transportation to the airport. To Bombay.

I cannot add anything to the outpouring concerning the events of the last few days in the city of my birth. A helpless sadness, no doubt shared by others, is what I have to offer. Sadness undoubtedly for death, but the helplessness for my conviction that those handed the responsibility for India, for Bombay, will do practically nothing. For once, I'd liked to be proved wrong.

I hate pontificating about what life is and so on and so forth... all I know is about my life and the direction I want it to take. And the people I want to be with. To share a laugh with. To float in the comfortable silences with. To grow old and not wonder too much how things could have, would have been. The day, the moment, is fast approaching when I will stop walking and face that fork in the road. Always, I seem to have taken the road less travelled (to borrow a cliché) with a lot of apprehension. I want to take the next one in peace... if lucky, a smile and damn the consequences. And return home.

To live fully, rather than in half-breaths. Half-lives.

The airport is a lonely place and I have a long way to go still... so I will end this by thinking back to a few of the brighter moments of the last 2 months... family and friends, a motorcycle trip, a wedding trip, a dear old friend met, other friendships ended, the first note I played on my saxophone, a dinner that may or may not mean anything...

C'est la vie.

Song for the moment: Jaane Kyun - Dostana

Monday, November 17

A matter of feeling

My house in under some heavy renovation... the kind guaranteed to bring us, the residents (yes, we are actually still staying in the house) to an anatomical position similar to that of the Thinker. Fervent mutters of "it'll all be worth it, you'll see" do the rounds and maybe it will. But if anyone back in Birmingham says something about me enjoying my holidays, well... never mind.

In the midst of the dust and plaster chunks, I happen to look out the window. It frames grey skies, a gentle drizzle and that soul-enticing smell of moist earth. I pause, purposefully head out to the balcony with my chai and step out of everything for a while. The chai is hot. I stir slowly... the delicate tang of ginger & wisps of steam lazily intertwine with the heady bouquet outside, drifting away. I watch, smell, hear, see... feel, lost to everything else.

I have to run an errand, taking me out of the house. My Kinetic starts almost instantly and we are off, slipstreaming through the breeze. Not too many people are on the streets and that lets me ride a little fast... a little recklessly... catch the scent of unknown flowers from the rickshaw passing by... my city has gifted me a moment close to perfection.

There are things I need to think about, things I want to say, emotions I need to keep feeling but all of these have to be shelved for the time being. In 2 weeks, I must go back to the States and an ominous restlessness is already growing in the pit of my stomach. No reassurances from anyone will make a difference at the moment. They never have but we all knew that, no ?

Too many Whys...

A solitary When...

Song for the moment: Chup tum raho, chup hum rahein - Is Raat ki Subah Nahi

Monday, November 3

Running out of days

In a team packed to the gills with personalities to adulate over, he was the one I did. His sporting highs are many, unique and in all probability, will never be bettered. For you see, being bettered implies the presence of a better man, a better player. Which I know there never will be.

It's slightly hilarious that the term Fab 5 has been applied to those five individuals who would relate least to the show-baazi. Each brought something magical to the team, standing tall and in many ways, aloof. But no other five players of the modern game individually and collectively epitomize a dignified agression fuelling their desire to win.

Good luck to Captain Marvel. From the 2nd of November 2008, his eyes cannot search the field for the one individual who will willingly step up, readily and calmly twirl the ball, take a half-step, then 5 strides and...

Step forward Mr. 5-for on debut. If you play with half the ferocity, sportsmanship and even double the taciturnity, you will be a very good bowler.

But you will not be him.

For he stands not for what is just good or great about the game...

But is the game.

Song for the moment: And further on - Jethro Tull