Thursday, 26 February 2009

Daddy Dearest!

I remember taking giant leaps to keep up with his pace; walking with him always meant trouble to my skinny legs. He would take me to a nearby sports club for some exercise which was always of primary importance to him. Being a kid, I had trouble focusing on his explanations; sports talk is something that demands tremendous amount of patience. At the end of a tiring session, he would playfully lift me up and jog back home to get me dressed for school. That’s daddy to me, a sports champ and a thorough athletic package. Apart from that, one of the greatest time freaks I have ever witnessed in seventeen years of meager life. (That’s because he’d get started for our 10 minute journey to the educational institution an hour before its commencement!)
Biology being his favourite subject, he’d enjoy giving sermons related to the subject even when least required. One of his biggest lectures was on the external structure of heart and its internal functioning (which dates back to 1998, when I was a confused fourth grader). His knowledge was finally put to use in a science project which apparently turned out to have a great impression on my teachers. Those were one of the few, rarest of occasions when I acknowledged his affection as a father. A staunch believer in educational qualifications, he inculcated principles of basic knowledge and its significance, yet we (i.e. my brother and I) were never confined to academics. I was always pampered to a degree greater to my elder brother, who unfortunately, was the innocent one amongst us. He took pride in our achievements in a very queer manner; a manner that stood completely invisible to us till the time we were made to realize of its existence.
There came a time when it clicked me of his introvert nature, gradually enfolding itself. Being an exact replica of him myself, I despised his ruggedness and conservative conduct. I rooted various reasons to burst out on him, yet, he guarded respect, never stormed out directly to prove his point and till date stands out to be extraordinarily consistent in preserving that quality. Today, I feel extremely remorseful, never having acknowledged of his pertinence, protectiveness or even his mere existence without which my presence would have been practically impossible.
If the above sketch is a dry imitation of his own self, then let me clarify that the potential emphasis lies in this particular phase of his character- duties and responsibilities, all of which comprises of his shoulders that have abundant strength to fulfill them and immense practicality to perform them rightfully. His love for his family is in every way, as ordinary as anybody else’s could be. Yet, he has the power of doing what people are fretful to consider as one of their responsibilities- the power to initiate duty for the sake of it, not as a means to achieve anything out of it. The only reason that saddens me of him is, of all that he did for his dear mother, he was left with little or no time to grieve for her. I couldn’t help but feel proud and sorrowful for a loss that affected him more than it did to anyone else. It was as If the stretcher carrying her was the entire world crashing down on his shoulders. He was broke, yet he fought his grief to accomplish final rituals, a traditional quintessence for the soul of the dead to depart in peace.
How much ever I write about him, words are still few. This is one of the little ways of appreciating his support and his love for us. WE LOVE YOU DAD!

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

A thought to remember...

The International Monetary Fund yesterday issued a warning that record oil prices will stunt the growth of global economy next year….

“Post graduation in management studies would mean minimal investment of ten lacs. Can we afford it in times of recession?”

The state government’s decision to end the stamp duty amnesty scheme on February 15 led to considerable confusion among flat owners who….

“Let us assume that I obtain a degree in Mech. Not considering campus interviews and job opportunities, is it practical enough to opt for an MBA after that?”

…threat to boycott SSC/HSC exams if the state government does not clear salary sheets. Fully-aided schools…

“Your cousin sister is excelling in academics and is due to receive an offer letter from TCS this year. Well, she’s a nine pointer after all…”

Rewind: few years back
“…and don’t forget to carry your Tiffin-box. The least I expect is that you starve all day unnecessarily.” There is a single slice of toast left on the plate, half emptied glass of milk and bits of bread scattered on the ‘bearer-of-all’, our loyal furniture (table i.e.). You are half choked with a sickening combination of omelette and few gulps of milk. Prepare yourself for a single- warrior combat and get set to play the hero who gets defeated in the end! Mommy dearest will ensure that you are showered with the deadliest of whacking and an elevated spirit to be welcomed at school. You are taught very well to walk up a miles distance without relying on anybody; your back is embellished with a two kilo bag lazily slumped over your shoulders and a pair of dragging feet. Pretty much to your advantage, you have a half hour’s time to flush out your frustration.
Eating breakfast is such a waste of time! I am fed up of being stuffed with bread and milk every morning…That old school fellow..! He’s too full of himself; I will beat him in marbles today. Forget homework, I am yet to finish my class work. About the book that I am to submit today, I don’t remember keeping it in my bag….
Such events bear major importance within them, equivalent to a minister’s appointment with his fellow cabinet members, a celebrity interview with a news channel and a mid-life crisis. Every morning greets a play with a protagonist encompassed with petty jobs and too much load, the responsibility of fulfilling his/her parents expectations by religiously walking back and forth to school, completing homework assignments and attending to additional commitments that people often mistakenly address as ‘multi talent’. Amidst all the haunting tasks, the ‘star-kid’ speeds off to hit a couple of shots or pick up a ‘toy’ fight with neighbourhood tots. The joyride is not confined to concrete school grounds and brick red open spaces; there is constant chattering by the seas, getting defensive off the giant water bodies, munching on peanuts and feeding spicy red ‘pav bhaji’ gravy to already dirt smitten clothes. There are huge monuments and sky scrapers looking down upon the bearer of innocent eyes widened with wonder and excitement. Every moment of exhilaration is an outcome of- the right time to grab an ice cream, a race through wet streets washed away by the showers of first few drops of rain, a giant alien ‘toy’ loitering in the streets destroying thick ‘rubber snakes’ dug beneath the earth, our dear samosawala’s arrival and discount toy stalls set up at the neighbourhood grounds, to name a few. The carrier of such innocence and half knowledge is yet curious to know why, with a zillion things worthy of appreciation, is the world around him/her unhappy and tensed?
The protagonist is a toddler who appraises the gravity of any situation like we do, today as young adults or experienced elders. The innocent ‘five and something’ will grow up to evaluate every circumstance in a manner he/she is taught to, lest there should be a reason with enough pertinence for an exception. The basic difference lies in the changing degree of appraisal with passing time. In other words, what may have seemed to be challenging then is now a part of sweet memoirs of the past and is therefore, no longer a challenge. The innocence in procuring joy out of cute and cuddly events is swiped out with growing maturity. Once the burden of responsibilities is bestowed upon us gracefully by the older generation, we fail to gratify those moments which add up to our lives, our age and the individuality that develops over time; the little reasons that carved gradual smiles on our faces, the tearful ones and those that brought immense happiness even in times of grief.
As much as we wish to have those days of dashing bicycles and ‘galli’ cricket back in our lives, technically it is said to be an impossible dream. For all that God has left with us, let us live in harmony and spread happiness with this thought in mind: the privilege of living through childhood, the greatest of all gifts granted to mankind.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Random thoughts

Writing is the toughest job I have ever come across. If I consider every minute of my routine, I have a hundred jobs to perform on a daily basis. There are times when I feel like pouring out each passing moment on a piece of paper which is far from being possible.Sometimes I can feel my head throbbing, overburdened with random thoughts, trying its level best to channelize its priorities and ultimately, failing to do the same. It is only when I am walking down the street or preoccupied with important commitments of the day, I am struck with a turbulent flow of thoughts worth putting on paper; which is when I am stuffed with frustration with layers of disappointment piling up. After going through a series of emotionally vibrant episodes, I have drawn an inference: I write only when I feel I should and if it is good, it happens only once in a while. It has nothing to do with my emotions, my mood or psychological elation and tribulations. I am in a stage where I could bring out issues never intricately considered or thought of. Yet, I lack the ability to let the flow descend without obstruction. If you consider writing as a learning experience, you may jot down points for framing sentences in accordance with the topic chosen, the body construction and the impression one can make upon the reader by projecting a wacky introduction. In that sense, it is an uphill task to perform, an added responsibility for passionate readers and those who aspire to make it big as writers. The most peculiar aspect of being a part of this race is, you can always back out whenever you want to, but you will always have a mark of your own to remind you of your role as a writer. You will know your importance as one when you choose to opt out of it. Escaping or making giant leaps towards resignation from writing could be an easy option altogether, but one of the most difficult situations to deal with. If you are heavily doped with thoughts and have had experiences with ink and paper, then writing is certainly meant for you. If bad writing makes you feel low, remember one thing: writing is an art of playing with words, juggling them and putting them in the right places. It is synonymous to building a new outlook towards life. In the process, you are always learning something new from your own literary work. It is a skill acquired by few in this world of teeming millions, mastered by a handful. Bad period should never be mistaken for lost talent, it is something that develops and diminishes with passing time…