Archive for October, 2008

October 10, 2008

Quotes

– To achieve have goals, to be happy have wishes
– Consistency is what mind seeks, freedom from it is what heart desires
– God begins where self ends
– The more you say, less you are understood
– Truth is never understood if it needs to be spoken
– Your truth is someone else’ lie
– Life gets complicated when your actions have more implications then you want
– The destiny is to die, the karma is to choose how
– I come to meet you because it makes you happy. You meet because it makes sense and fills your time
– The kid is self centered, thinking man has false pride and sense of superiority
– Writers can be,
– person who is not rooted thus looks at everything hoping to find a root, a cause, a feeling to live   for. When he is disappointed, he writes a story about it.
– an observant and laidback fellow, who takes an external view of things and looks at humans as part of a larger flow
– an empathetic fellow, who thinks feelings decide the world and events. Once the assumptions are proved to be wrong, he looks back and misses the moments and writes about it with nostalgia
– an intelligent and inquisitive fellow who produces commentary on events.  – a very sensitive and non-judgemental fellow who writes dilemma and emotions of people as they see it
– Look at logic from the prism of life, not at life from the hole of logic
– God’s work ethic: Bad we do immediately, worse may take a little time, good is out of stock
– Success is about being there when it comes looking for you.
– A woman finds a man, a man finds himself.
– In the God’s framework everything has a purpose. If you don’t know your purpose then may be that is how it is supposed to be
– The deal between the God and the man is; You know your will, I know mine.
– Find a purpose in your life. God will find one in your death.
– Lose urself in the clutter of the world to find urself in the void inside
– To think and live or to live and think
– Quest of intelligent person ends when he realizes that no one can answer what he himself can not
– And then he came to know so much about himself that he forgot himself in the clutter
– It is in your actions where one is truly recognized for they are outcome of all that you are at that moment
– No feeling is permanent, including that of permaneance
– Life is never an issues, questions about it are
– Don’t respect the system that doesn’t respect you
– Its good to be romantic, better to be practical
– Can you lose your mind for the love of others?
– You get the leaders you deserve
– If you are too clever with others, you will end up fooling yourself
– I need a perspective of mine to deal with other’s perspectives.
– If you dig your heels too deep before start, chances are you never will run
– When your God will face you and ask, how many mistakes did you make? Hw would be disappointed if you didn’t any. What will I do if you don’t make these?’ he would say
– When you jump, look at the sky you want to touch not the ground you may fall upon. When you fall, listen to your pain not think about the height you fell from
– In the bigger scheme of things, nothing is important.
– Those who have to do, do, others find reasons to not do
– There is never good enough reason to do something you don’t want to do
– Reason is a device of mind to prevent itself from following itself
– One can’t be everything, so he becomes something. Once you become something, there are too many things you can’t become
– When reality has no space for you and dreams have no reality, its time to live your nightmares.
– If you want to follow your dream then be practical enough to not listen to practicality
– Fun is in getting a success which is not planned.  A planned success dies under the weight of continuous expectation.
– There is no fun in solitude, there is so much pain in other’s company
– Sometimes being urself means not being the best you can be, but being what you would much rather be
– Occurrence of right thought is like meeting God. They both come at their own wish, while we waste out time in praying for them to happen
– Following yourself may not have any rewards but ignoring yourself sure has punishments
– Finding yourself is great fun but you may not find much at the end of the search
– Self love is best love and love has a power to destroy you
– Great stories are written after great mis-adventures
– Would you be able to value something if you found it just like that? Would you value something just because you found it after lot of rigour?
– The moment you begin to like your thoughts, you will dish out mediocre ones
– Continuous peace of mind is an elusive concept. It will cede the moment you will think you have it. You can know you had it only when you have lost it
– You want to win or you don’t want to lose?
– If you think there is something wrong with you then that’s your first mistake
– Don’t doubt yourself, others will do that job far more efficiently
– If you doubt your intentions but believe in your thoughts then it would be a long journey before the two get in-sync
– Seeing everyone’s perspective will make you lose your own.
– Catch life where it stands and take it where you want to
– Life and drama are not too different just that in life movie can get switched in-between, from commercial to art and vice-versa
– Not everyone is wise enough to stop being intelligent
– Problem is using mind is you have to continue using it
– Mind is a device which you can not repair if it starts to malfunction
– Show people they are dumb, chances are they would say, you are intelligent
– Intuition can reach where thinking can not.
– Thinking resulting in action is good thinking
– To know yourself is to destroy yourself
– The constant evaluation of whether we have done the best with our life ruins it of whatever we have done with it
– Some thoughts are so powerful that they can overpower your life out of yourself
– Beware of thoughts, they may stick to you
– To know is to fool yourself of knowledge
– In retrospect, any unlikely event will always have a likely reason
– Some people know where they want to go, some know where they don’t
– What is to happen, will happen despite your best efforts and blame will still be on you.
– When you don’t have a mind of your own, go with the flow
– Some people create situation as per their mind, other make up their mind as per the situation
– Accept your mind even if it doesn’t show you the right path
– I know myself, its not worth knowing
– If you don’t make the timely choices, it will be made for you by time
– Story is a personal account of an impersonal event
– You have a duty towards yourself and like all duties they are a thankless job
– If you are good at heart, strangers would help you and you will need it very often at the hand of those you know
– Some take the easier route and use faith for justification. Others take the tough one to meet their God. Ofcourse, you have to die to meet your God.
– Best time to do anything is right now
– Those who have to do, do, others just talk.
– Time will test all your theories, and prove you wrong
– When you are okay with life, it doesn’t matter how you look at it
– Today’s Dreams are tomorrow’s nightmares
– People ask you for a definitive statement, when you least have it
– It is not so much about how you feel but about how you feel about feeling that way. Are you okay with yourself, in whatever way you see yourself?
– I hate people who love tragedies
– First you believe you are special and act on it, then you realize what an idiot you have been. Then you become special not because you are but because you believed you are.
– Defining a problem too closely, will make that itself a bigger problem
– You wont know how to open my heart, once I decide to close it
– When you go with the flow, someday flow stops and so do you. If you go with yourself, someday flow is opposite to you and you crash
– Irrespective of the road you choose, you may reach a place you didn’t want to be
– Problem with intelligence is, it knows what true, it does not know what else are also true
– I believe in God, but the question is does he believe in me
– I know there is God somewhere, he exists, but I doubt he realizes that I exist too
– I do what I do because I have to do what I do
I dont value views which dont lead to action
– You become the choices you make
– Sleeping with my love…i love myself
– Happiness is a nature to child, habit to grown up and a choice to the old
– Dont bother if its not bothering you
– If its a suggestion, dont do it. If its an order, you wont be able to say no
– crazy ideas get crazy results
– problem with the world is that it focuses on sounding right rather than being right
– Judge me by what I do not what I say
– In the middle of a journey, there is no destination, without a sense of destination there is no journey too, there is mere floundering. Then there are steps, in some direction, any direction, and thus there begins a journey, again
– Consolation prizes are not really prizes. They are tokens for remembering the loss
– Success has no alternative. Failure has no respite. Irrespective of how hard you tried, you would always say, I could have done more, I should have done more.
– Price of innocence is its eventual loss
– Your actions in life are your preparation for your death
– One can remain lost in his thoughts or get lost in the world
– Do first things that you want to do the last
– truth is a lie
– What we call truth, is merely an explanation
– I want this so I do this vs. I do this so may be I want this; first is a choice, second is not.
– There are no reality in life, there are only situations
– There are many ways to understand life. None is worth it
– If you are so full of yourself then where will be the place for me?
– उम्मीद छोड़ सकते हो, पर उम्मीद का दामन नहीं
– In the face of failure, be stubborn. In anticipation of success, be humble. Your failure needs you, your success doesnt.
– I never cry. So that when laughter comes, it feels like the only emotion possible
– friendship has many levels; of benefit, of convenience and of habit. There is probably of a fourth kind, that of nature. But it is rarely found in nature
– Give up on what you love most. You shall get what would love you more
– All I know is that I know very little
– Ordinary men have extraordinary lives
– Dont bother if you feel I pity you. Whosoever I pity, I soon become like.
– a rolling stone gathers no moss, but it acquires a certain polish (not mine. heard from a dear Sir)
– A flawed idealist is better than a fake realist
– Till proven wrong, I am right. By the time its proven wrong, it will be too late to be right. So there is no scope for right
– ‘Great life’ is an idea. Great to have till you have it. Miserable that you had, once you have lost it
– Questions do not get answered. They become irrelevant
– If you like me, I am yours. If you love me, I am you. If we live togethers, there is no I and you.
– Being foolish is not same as being a fool
– It is not the world that I need to sort, it is rather I. Entangled in the web of strings, it is futile to unravel the strings, disentangle yourself, let the strings be
– To feel worthwhile, you may have to journey through worthlessness
– In shunya, everything appears to be yours
– I push myself ahead, ahead lies a ditch. I fall in it
– don’t plan happiness, don’t plan life
– Way to a worthwhile moment goes through many a worthless ones
– ज़िन्दगी बदलने के लिए लड़ना पड़ता है
आसान करने के लिए समझना पड़ता है
– Those who wish the best shall be given, but not before handing over the worst, to make them deserve it
– Life is not a choice we make, but a destiny we accept
– Our sense of morality emanates from our sense of guilt
– faith may not get the impossible but will definitely push the limits of possible
– We never lose as much as we do in our quest to win what is not to be
– Power lies within, the switch outside
– The need to do good emanates from our need to not be judged when we end up bad
– Those who know, know that they know nothing
– Those who do not know what they want to do, end up doing a lot many things
– Life is a disease, work is its ablution. Love is its aspirin pain-killer
– Courage may not get you the impossible, but it would definitely push the limits of possible
– Let tomorrow bring home the disappointments. I am busy creating a momentous and monstrous today
– Believe you will live for thousand years. Know it may end tomorrow
– It is better to not be understood, than be misunderstood
– I have no intention of being a great person. Being good is good enough
– It’s not possible to forget oneself in the company of others
– A contrarian mind doesnt make you a contrarian
– We look for a moral grounding to do what we consider immoral
– Just because you can knit a sweater out of wool, dont make me believe you can make an umbrella out of it too
– Walking with faith is like walking under the sky. Reason is moving ahead with a torch
– Sometimes the only thing you want to be is, anything other than yourself
– Those who want respect, know they do not deserve to be loved
– Dont search happiness. Search happily
– I looked for a way to live, till I decided to live whatever way
– Dont compare me to anyone, including myself. Others are too small a benchmark, I am far too high…
– In trying to save myself from hurt, I ended up having a severe headache
– Everything can be contradicted, for all arguments are based on a certain assumptons
– Learn something from my life. else you will become like me
– Learn something from my life. I am not able to anything from it
– Logic is a good adviser, bad guide, poor friend
– It is better to be lost than to be on a way you know is not right
– Life is neither worth it nor not worth it. Effort is.
– You listen what you want to hear, learn what you need to know, receive what you are ready to grasp
– On a journey, one can never be truly ready for every thing waiting to happen
– Thinking is not knowing, knowing is not understanding, understanding is not accepting
– When understanding begins to look obvious, its a sign you have accepted it
– honesty is last refuse of scoundrels
– Embrace the worst of you
– I always wish to be some place else, to be with somebody else
– Some live, some dream. Some dream to live
– Suffering doesnt make one creative. It is the creativity that would make you suffer.
– Values are to make you feel proud of your sufferings
– A true artist shall be able to transcend the limitations of its medium. It shall be able to use the medium to express what the medium is otherwise unable to.
– Suffering doesnt make you creative. It is your creativity that makes you suffer
– There is a sane life, there is an absurd one. There is a serious one and there is a frivolous one. We cover ourselves with one part, letting other rustle below. You wear sane, I feel sane wearing absurd, and absurd wearing sane.
– Writing brings peace. Writing providing anchorage. But more importantly it brings understanding when it moves a partially understood memory and brings forth what makes the picture fuller
– The moment after a piece of writing has brought forth what had been hidden, is a moment of quite inward reflection, of surrender, of being open to the presence as what had been moving within begins settling down in more harmony, understanding and peace. Like a gentle stream finding its way in the gentlest of manner
– Wandering could be dear to a writer for it frees his mind from the thoughts constantly occupying him. It provides him an external and not already understood stimuli, opening him to new vistas, thoughts and consciousness. So does spontaneity. So does abrupt action. So does what is often seen as self-destructive action. Like paulo Colho mentioned burning his own library once. In the end it is all about settling things in. Settling by understanding and accepting them, settling by removing their presence altogether from around you
– if my good thoughts dont become real, why shall the bad ones be?
– The real punishment is the punishment of your own conscience. If it doesnt bother you, then it doesnt matter
– Strong convications will leave you with difficult choices. Weak convications will land you in uncomfortable situations
– Everything has a benefit, including sin. It makes you more empathetic towards those who sinned against you.
– In a perfect relationship there is no sense of give and take. It looks like spontaneous convenience for both sides.
– Truth is a lie we have convinced ourselves with
– Bad decisions do not lead you to the right decisions. Some decisions just happen to prove right
– ‘Resignation to fate’ is a trait. You can not choose to be one. You either are or it is imposed upon you.
– I am not the storyteller. I am the story
– You can not understand me. Unless you are also someone who can not be understood.
– I am a man of reason. well sometimes. But I am not a man of logic.
– There is always a reason when you do something. Even if the reason is unreasonable
– If you are not a fool. You can not be my friend
– Never help someone in trouble. They would latch onto you. Then you will have trouble leaving them
– Never lend money to someone who doesn’t have it. There is a reason why he doesn’t have it. He would never have it enough to return
– A storyteller is more focused on evoking the right response. He is narrating the story. A writer’s focus is to describe and etch out a scene, character and be true to it
– Value nothing in life. It will make you miss it all the time.
– Nothing is destined. But everything happens out of destiny
– Happiness is absence of analytical and judgmental mind.
– I wasn’t meant to live a dream. I was to dream.

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October 4, 2008

A Wondeful Lie

(It was written as a Post on Juice Notice Board – Official trash box at IIMA)

It all started the day I was born ..
Yes it all started right there..
A fakir passing by glanced upon me,
and remarked “Iska Kuchh Kho gaya Hai”
So I was named “Khoya”…
and since then..
“main kabhi chain se nahin soya”

With the passage of time
I grew to find that I am to find something
that destiny has taken something from me
and hid it in some treasure for me to explore
to find the metal from the ore
to find the truth out of fake galore
I got enrolled into school
and on very first day I lost my tiffin box ..
and my cute teacher remarked
“Beta ( :(((( ) , kya hua …
u r looking worried ..
and the little idiot girl next to me said
“Iska Kuchh kho gaya hai” !!!

As I kept bumping from one class to another
I kept losing some or more of one or more things
kabhi marks , kabhi socks ,
kabhi key “to” kabhi locks
I kept my search on from rocks to rocks!!

amidst all this chaos ,
my only solace
was the movie “Ram aur Shyaam”..
the original khoya-paya movie ..
I watched it once,twice,thrice till power failed
and formulated a theory
“Whatever is lost must be found”
thus lost = found
how does that sound ..?????

Soon I moved to college from school
and found myself amidst several beautiful “phools”
and I plucked a bud which colored red
and proposed to girl under the shed
and my friends remarked
“Iska kuchh kho gaya hai” (“Dil” / Character)
the journey continued and in the rubble
I kept losing something of me…
till I lost it all..
yes one fine day I found I have lost my vision
my reason for existence ..
my search ..
what was it that the fakir has said
what was it that kept happening to me..
I forgot it all and time skipped a few “saal”

a vision lost is a man lost..
and so was I as if sun in a deep frost ..
i was to be this way forever..
till some thing happened to me..
walking along the aisle of @@@ by the corner of my eye,
with a smile ever so shy ..
I saw..I saw..I saw..reason of all why..

I saw U..
and I knew..
why I kept losing a little of me every day
why..why..I felt its all worth it..
why..
for u were embodied with all that I had lost ..
the childhood charm,
the teen enthusiasm ..
the coy smile..
like serene river of nile ..
it was all there and more
like a manicured pile ..
And I stood there for a long while ..
and standing I still am..
to bring to end this destiny’s game ..
as i declare.. @@@@@@ ,
u r the one !!!!

Tags:
October 4, 2008

Possessed…

across the sea…
in the blue end be
a little solace …
in a lonely place
with trees so dark
with glowing bark ..
leaves which glisten
as I listen
sounds of heart
pounding so fast
as I cross
roads so crass
leading to an end
then having a bend
as I walk
the lonely path
I shun the world
purge the mind
drew the blind
as I kneel
over the pond
and plucked some water
between my plams
and in it were you
looking at me .

i turned behind
only to find
a distant hill
beyond the chill …
and i rushed
with all my might
having the distant
knoll in sight
trees cried
so did the sea
dont go, dont go
o wanderer knight
but possessed I was
with your only sight
i jumped the tree
and crossed the sea
only to find
everything but thee
and i sat
gasping for breath
as I longed
a little solace
in a lonely place ……

Tags:
October 4, 2008

Someday…

someday I will say, this far and no more
someday I will stand and say, fall no more
someday I will see my face in a spring of water
love what I see and think of no more

someday I will be the picture and not the pieces
someday I will be the destination not the traces
someday I will see the spirit not the faces
someday I will feel the people not the images

someday I will live life, not the dream
someday I will want you, not your notion
someday you will meet me, not my imagination
someday we will find love, not its apparition

someday nothing will exist, but me and you
someday nothing will be desired, but me with you
someday I will fear nothing, but me without you
someday it will be the same, this me and you

Someday…

October 4, 2008

Book in process – opening piece 2

That was my first day at my new boarding school. I had never really thought much about having to go there and what kind of changes in my life it may bring. Till last day before I left for the new school I was hanging around with my old friend Virendra and his sister. We had placed a bet on ghoonsa chhap and statue, and timing was whenever we see each other. When my mother packed my bags and saw me off along with my father on a rickshaw, I felt nothing more than slightly irritated at the thought of being with my father for the one hour ride as my independence loving nature never went along with his controlled and rigid ways. I do not remember much about that rickshaw ride but it must have been tiring as time of July is not a pleasant time in my city as weather is hot and humid and sitting in Rickshaw being pulled by another human being one can do nothing except wet his handerchief and wonder how does the rickshaw puller remains unaffected by it. Anyway, I was among the early ones to reach the school for enrollment. While my father appeared quite excited to see the new school and meet the teacher handling the process I wasn’t so impressed as it looked dull and deserted. It was a one story building with rooms on its three sides and fourth side covered with boundary. It had a big courtyard which wasn’t well kept as evident from the thick and long grass all over. There were couple of small guava trees and one hand pump at a corner but apart from that it was pretty naked and had an eerie silence. The teacher handling the process sat on a wooden chair and had a small table in front of him which had papers strewn all over. He asked me my name, gave a half smile to me and pushed a register towards my father for his signature. My father lapped at it like a baby on his outing and enthusiastically signed it off and began to make mundane queries like when will I get the books, class timings, facilities etc etc. while I just stood there without any interest as I hardly knew what is happening and how should I react to the situation. At the moment all I wanted was my father to go back so that I can be with myself. Soon I was taken inside by an assistant, shown my bed which was in a large hall which had more than 50 beds lying next to each other in two rows. Then for next couple of hours I was running from one room to another collecting multiple stuff being distributed like bed sheet, mattress, books, almirah etc. etc while my father saw with amusement and pride his son getting ready to start the big journey of his life. One could say from his eyes that his heart and mind was full of hope and expectations from this school and what it can do to his prodigious son. My city did not have many good options when it came to schooling. There were a set of government schools which were marred by too many students being taught by too few teachers, lack of facilities and more prominently sense of responsibility with both the student and the teachers. Most students used to come to school probably because their parents would not have much use for them in their business till they are atleast 13 or 14. A normal route was for the father to give his son a chance at making a life for himself by getting him enrolled into one of the government schools and keep telling him that he is making an investment into his studies and if there are no results it would be advisable to join him in the family business which will typically be either running some kind of store (general store, chemist, apparel) or may be a food grain trader. Most students will start showing their fate as their marks will sink with each class and they will struggle to pass through by using methods like cheating, bribing teachers of difficult subjects by getting tutorials from them or if someone is really smart by trying to leak the examination papers.          With connections with the right people like peons, assistants and some amount of money may be a couple of hundreds, anything could be made possible. But the wheat from chaff will be sorted out in the board exams wherein such tactics will fail to work which means the eventual fate of working with their father in the family business will become apparent to the student as well as their family with the board exam results. Apart from these there were some public schools with slightly better standards. The teaching staff in these schools used to at least create a notion of sincerity by arranging things like parent-teacher meet, insisting that books, clothes and all other materials required should be bought through them and finding ways of creating hype and fleecing money. The weak student’s parent will be informed in advance of their sons capability or lack of it so that when he eventually fails they can turn around and say, we told you so. Some of these schools used to go extra mile by not letting such students appear in exams lest they mar the performance of their school. Reputation of school was more important than the fate of student. Potential students will be picked out, given a demi-god status and their performance tracked with a microscope. Teachers will bring the papers of past years and make students cram solutions in case they are unable to comprehend the logic. The focus was very clear, student should get good marks even if they don’t understand a single damn thing about the formulae they applied. Anyway, the point was while these schools were the best option available for someone whose only hope of a future different than that preordained by the family one is born in, they were simply out of reach for those who don’t have a present to live for. My family was way too poor to afford to send us to these schools thus the only source of hope was scholarships from Government. The school I was getting into was one such place which was started by Rajiv Gandhi for the students of sub-urban and rural towns from low income families. So I guess my father was not wrong in feeling pleased and happy about his son getting inducted in this school as it meant he can be assured that his education is assured for next seven years and it will not be affected by financial constraints. In a life which always hung in balance, wherein challenges were always immediate and worries were never ending, any kind of stability on any front was a big source of comfort and relief. Of the many things that the man had to struggle to provide for, he can take off the expense of his son’s books, school fee and clothes. Which means that 15th of each month will not be a dreaded day for at least one reason, school fee. But these were not my thoughts nor were these my worries. The fact that there were schools with better dressed students and more clean looking students never really affected me. Also the fact that my school fee was often deposited after the due date didn’t concern me as well because no one at school ever really looked at me with this thought in their mind and if they did I never read it. Teacher of my school were always nice to me, partly because I was a good student and mostly because my father was a devotee of them. To him teachers were next to God as he would invite them over to our place, feed them with tea and snacks and indulge in discussions over my hand writing and how it can be improved. Of course I used to be very peeved at this as they would typically call me once they have made their conclusions about my hand writing and then provide tips and lectures on how it very vital to get good marks, specially in board examinations where teachers get tired of trying to figure out what student has written and a neat hand writing gets automatically favored as it brings a sense of peace to them for a while. I on my part just used to play the role, listen and nod while all the time thinking about my Kancha friends from the street whom I would left in the middle of a game asking them to wait for my return while they shouted at me that I never do and they will keep my Kanchas if I don’t in next fifteen minutes. In the hindsight may be it was better to lose a few Kanchas and chances of winning my opponents Kanchas then having to realize that payment of fee was a blessing I should be thankful for.

Soon my father left after giving me a tight hug which was less out of his sense of separation from me and more because of the day he had full of excitement and hope. By that time I had begun to get tired by the whole process of collecting various things, arranging my bed and almirah and hearing so many new noises. The hall wherein our beds were laid out was now full of people, new and old students and staff members. It looked like a complete chaos I had come to as other students tried to spread out their bed, some of them were rushing around to collect stuff as their parents followed them giving instructions and checking and cross checking if their son has got everything that others have. Old students will hang around there appearing amused, making sarcastically funny comments about something or the other within themselves and giving a friendly but distant smile to us. As a result of having come earlier I had already finished all this and had nothing to do now other than watching others and feeling something which I had never felt before. I did not know if I was feeling bored or lonely but I knew that I did not feel like sitting in that hall as the noise and chaos was increasing every minute as some of the new kids had started to cry as their parents left them there. With so much noise outside and nothing really inside, I decided to leave the room and walk out. I came out of the room and saw the same scene there as well that of people running around and shouting at no one in particular. Outside there were even more bunch of old students who lived in adjacent rooms and were standing in the corridor watching new students and their parents run around. I found outside equally suffocating and decided to move towards the backyard of the hostel. The hostel being situated outside the city and close to villages, there were large tracts of open land around it. I maneuvered my way through the hall, escaping being hit from people carrying their luggage around, shifting and adjusting their beds or generally running shouting for someone or something. I reached at the back gate of the hall which opened to the backyard and quickly made my way out of it. It was much better here and a little peaceful as well though I was still feeling restless. There was a large ground with green grass spread on it and covered with a boundary. I decided to take a walk along with the boundary and would try to jump to see what is across the boundary. As my attempts at watching beyond the boundary did not provide results, I tried to climb up on it. I put both my hands on the wall and began to try and lift myself through my hands. Realizing that my strength is not good enough I tried the other trick. I raised my right leg and tried to place in on the boundary to get some support and then try and use my hands to lift myself up. I somehow managed to place my leg on the boundary though I had to stretch myself and all the support now rested on my left leg which was already on its toes. Soon I found myself in a very awkward situation trying desperately to keep my balance and pushing myelf up at the same time. My face began to get rubbed against the boundary wall and my breath was getting heavy and I almost felt I will fall as my left leg was not able to keep me up and my right leg had got stuck on the wall. Suddenly I felt a new strength flowing through my left leg as it stiffened easing pressure on my right leg. I was also able to push myself up and was finally found myself on the boundary wall. I smiled for the first time on that day as I looked at the vast stretch of fields ahead. I took a deep breadth and turned to look at my hostel. At that moment I saw a thin, tall and gawky person standing just next to me and peeping ahead of the boundary along with me. I suddenly found the source of sudden strength in my left leg. ‘It was you who pushed me up, isn’t it?’ I asked curiously. I broke into an impromptu smile as he nodded and threw a wide obsequious grin at me. He was shabbily dressed in a loose white paijama and a short hung over his thin shoulders. Bespectacled, his hair was well oiled and parted sideways and face bore an expression of a man with no pride or sense of self worth who is only too willing to please and looking for someone to follow the commands of. I didn’t typically enjoy company of people who can not take their own decisions and be ready to bear the fallouts. As living with me meant that there will be moments of desperation, anxiety and restlessness. There will be incidents when one will not be sure of the outcome or the consequences and in those moments lied the thrill of life, the fun of discovery and the agony of ugly surprises. The worst thing to have in those moments of fallouts was to have someone wailing around you, who needs to be protected and cajoled into believing that you know a trick out of the situation while you really have none other than a hope for a miracle or discovering something within you which you are yet to see. I intently looked at him trying to decide what to do with him as he kept flashing his smile at me. I looked at the aloof hostel building, the long unkept grass growing around its walls, its depressing red brick structure the paint on which had been coming out from several place with walls scribbled over with lines filled with enthusiasm and loneliness of kids who had probably learnt a new and prohibited word that day and decided to take him in with me as I jumped from the wall on the other side and looked at him asking him to join me. His eyes were filled with glee as he realized that he has been accepted and he immediately jumped over the wall to join me and began to look at me for directions. I quickly began to move ahead where I could see a field of paddy stretched ahead as he followed me. With each step our hearts were getting filled with joy and enthusiasm as we kept on moving from one field to another. We began to share the basics like names and where we come from. That was all we needed to know about each other, rest was meaningless. His name was Baizanath and he was from a village 40 kms from the city and his father was a landless laborer. I didn’t understand what does it mean to be a landless laborer as all I knew about villages was that it is the place where farmers live and grow fruits and grains which they come to sell in the market where my mother goes every evening. Also that one can really get vegetables very cheaply if you happen to buy it directly from some farmer who has come down to the city market for selling it as typically the sellers in city buy it from the farmers at very cheap rate and sell it at much higher prices in the city. Anyway, he tried in vain to describe to me that it means that his father does not have land of his own for farming and thus works for others who do for a daily labor wage. There was a lot much more which probably he wanted me to know and understand like the fact that it meant his father doesn’t really have work on a lot many days, is paid really low and that Baiznath must have had a very strong luck line and born with really auspicious star combination to have been able to make it to this school which will ensure that he gets food and education for the next seven years and hopefully will be able to do something which will ensure food and a shelter for his family for all the twelve months of the year. As we were moving from one field to another a shift in command was happening as Baiznath was slowly taking over from me in deciding where and how should we walk. We should not walk in the middle of the field as it will damage the crop and if the farmer sees me, we are likely to be chased. Walk on the clay path left in between called “medh” instead. Also he showed me a few weeds in the field and the plant of ‘behaya’ which has a quality of growing where ever it is thrown. Like a man with no real roots it is good for nothing though it knows how to survive in any situation. There was also the small plant of ‘chhui-mui’ whose leave can sense it if you show them your finger and quickly fold themselves up. But while it may be fun to show them your finger it is not advisable to touch them as it can cause rashes to you. I curiously absorbed all that he was saying till we reached a mango groove. There were a few mango trees there and a couple of straw beds and a shed. He told me that the shed is for the farmers to stay at night to protect the crops and the straw bed is what they use to sleep on. I began to climb the mango tree while he was explaining all this to me and soon I was on a low branch of it which was directly above one of the straw beds. I beckoned him to come over but he was little hesitant while I was feeling thrilled at having come so far from where even the desolate school building had begun to look like a get away in the midst of fog. It had begun to dawn and sky had turned deep yellow and sun was about to set. I stood on the tree branch holding the upper tree branch with both hands as I balanced myself on the lower branch. Baiznath anxiously gestured me to come down as if knowing something I do not. I had not felt so happy in a long time and I began to shake the branch I held and the one I stood on and began to look around with my face virtually exploding with joy and enthusiasm. I wanted something dramatic to happen at this moment as I felt ready to take on an adventure and desperately sought it. As I looked around I saw couple of strong built men running towards us with lathi in their hands. The spirit of adventure quickly fizzled as fast as it had grown as I looked ashen faced at Baiznath who had already understood what I must have seen. I quickly looked down and jumped over the straw bed and we began to run away. I was never much of an athlete but moments like these bring the best in you. As I ran desperately, Baiznath appeared more composed and kept telling me to not run so fast else I will exhaust myself soon. But I was not to hear anything from him as I just kept going on while he shouted from behind that they are not chasing us anymore and must have stopped once they saw that we were not really doing any damage to their crop. Soon we were close to the school boundary as I finally stopped to breath and Baiznath caught up with me soon. I collapsed next to the wall with my back against the wall, breathing heavily. Baiznath stood there looking at me, patiently waiting for me to regain composure. I was unable to look him into the eye as I felt ashamed as the way I had run and been afraid of the two men while he was always composed and relaxed. “But then he has lived in the village all his life and knows the tricks while I was doing it for the first time. Only brave men can take such chances. I had had to run as one should in situation they do not fully understand”, I told myself. Filled with these thoughts and ready to face his skeptical and judging eyes with rebel I looked up at him and instead found a set of concerned eyes along with the familiar goofy and obsqueious smile. I didn’t understand his expression but felt more at ease and stretched out my hand for him to help me get up. We quickly crossed the boundary and reached the hand-pump on the backside of the hostel. I washed my hands and legs which had gotten slightly bruised and muddied and drank for long to quench my thirst and anxiety as Baiznath patiently pumped the hand-pump. Once I was done I began to move towards the room gate. As I reached the gate I realized that I was walking alone and looked back to find Baiznath operating pump with one hand and trying to drink water from the other. Something struck me pretty badly inside as I felt very pathetic about it. Not for Baiznath but for myself for being such an insensitive creep. I quickly ran towards the hand pump and began to pump it as Baiznath stood surprised for a while before he broke into a wide smile which was neither goofy nor obsequieous but of genuine warmth and pleasure as he finally bent down to drink water and kept at it for a really long time as I began to tire out. I did not realize that it was the first time someone had done something to him like a human should do to another.

October 4, 2008

Book in process – opening piece 1

Some stories need to be told. They have general good of the reader inherent in them. They can teach him something, may be change his life for the better a little. They may not in reality but the intention is there. This is not one such story. In fact it is not even a story. It is a tale of tales. Narrating loose tales in themselves is never interesting enough. One needs to bind them together, form a pattern, give them a shape for the reader to feel that it is something worth discovering. As I begin to tell it I am not even sure what am I going to talk about. I have some loose idea though. I am going to talk about myself. I am going to talk about things which have happened to me and which make me really interesting person to know. Of course, most of them would be fictional. Let me begin with telling you about myself. I am a 24 year old guy who has just got admission into the most hallowed of all places in Indian education system, IIMA. The place where many of us would aspire to end up at. I have been one such aspirant myself. Atleast ever since I heard about it for the first time at the age of 17. Now that I stand at that point where my dream has come true, I face a dilemma. My dilemma is whether or not should I join the place. The question I am asking myself tonight is, is this an answer to my prayers or a joke on my fate. Is it an opportunity to capture or a disaster to avoid. To most of you my question would not make sense. Of course you should join, what else is there to be done. But this my friend is my bigger dilemma. If I choose to listen to my heart and decide not to enter the place, how the hell will I justify it to the world. How the hell will I meet my friends from my engineering college and my software company who have already put me on a demi-god position. What will I tell them to the question that they will never ask in words but with blank faces. For telling them what is in my heart will be too damn difficult. It will be impossible to put it mildly. How will I tell them that it is not a simple matter of choice, that it not just a matter of who I am and what I want to be. That it not just about what my current situation in life is and how all of it appears to be getting twisted with this thing which has fallen into my lap without any warning. How will I explain them that though I had toiled for it for years now, that though I dreamt of it for so long, now, now that it has happened, I am thinking of forego it because that is what God appears to be asking from me. Because to tell them this would require to tell them the whole story. To take them to the places I have been, to the people I have known, to the life I have lived. I will have to tell them about all the people I have met and have never been able to forget. I will have to narrate all the good, bad and ugly which happened to me and stayed on in my heart ever since. I will have to explain them each piece of hurt, each joy and each exuberation. I will have to indulge in self love and self obsession. Such a task it will be though I would love to do so. For if there is one thing I love doing then it is talking about myself. And somehow everytime I do this I find that it is really worth it and there could not have been a better spend of my time and of course of the listener’s. Though most people, as people are do not have the courtesy to express their gratitude after I have shared my time with them and shown pieces of my life to them. Most of them end up giving a blank look and an irritating gentle nod which I take as a sign of their stupidity. Though I must concede that even in today’s selfish world there are indeed some individuals who still follow courtesy. These are fellows who laugh at me, sorry laugh at my tales. And it is indeed their gestures and laughs which encouraged me and has given me strength to narrate the story of my life, the reason of my dilemma in complete detail. With all the descriptions which come to my mind every time I think about it. All the slices which mix and match and become a mish mash and hound me like a beast. All the memories, hope, desires which come back to bite me and leave my heart in tatters. Such a heart wrenching situation they throw me in. How do I throw it all away in one night after having come so close. How can destiny do this to me. I always thought of myself as the chosen one. But I wanted choice in the matter of what I am chosen for. And this decision, this moment, this quagmire, I refuse to be in. I never asked for it, I didn’t long for it, I didn’t deserve this. Why should fate bring different pieces of my life together in such a way that their future appears to be hanging on my decision. Why the hell should I have to choose the direction of my life when I don’t get to choose what square I will land in. And let me tell you, this is not a fun story. It is a dark story. It is a story of suffering, of pain and of helplessness. But then who in the world want to hear the true story so I will add some humor and some cheap material to keep you going. But let me repeat it once again do not believe in all that stuff. For though I will be writing it, I have never really been part of it nor is it part of my imagination or fancy. I am having to include it just keep you glued to it for it is way too difficult for people to handle my true story, the dark one. For who wants to know that world is such a sucking place that it can make you want to not live. That it can make you puke at it and at what it has made out of you. That it can suffocate you so much that you begin to want to live. That it can throw you in such darkness and not heed to any of your pleads that it will force you to take cudgels and stand up on your two little wobbling feet and proclaim with all your strength, come on you fucking life, come on. Pile me with all the shit you have and I promise you I will not be bogged down. Come and throw me into any further abyss you have. Show me all your might. Is it all you can do to me or there is more you have. For I am not finished yet. For I have decided to fight you. For I have decided to fight, not for victory but for making sure that next time you decide to play your sick sense of humor on anyone else, you should know that the man is capable of turning the heat on you. That you may win in the end for you play a game with your own rules, but ride will not be all that easy for you. For there will be times, when the man will rise will all his might after you have deserted him after sucking the last drop of blood from him. He will rise and spit in your face in defiance and you would be able to do nothing for you are already finished with him. So be prepared to lose this time for I am playing to win.

October 4, 2008

To catch a butterfly

Hi,

My second book To catch a butterfly is out now. It is available at all leading bookstores (Landmark etc.). It is also available online at,

http://www.flipkart.com/b/books/catch-butterfly-vivek-kumar-agarwal-book-812231158x?ref=09d32296-c024-4b3d-a1fd-51168a3592fb

Articles and reviews
http://www.hindu.com/mp/2011/02/21/stories/2011022150910200.htm
http://www.telegraphindia.com/1110511/jsp/entertainment/story_13965558.jsp

Regards.

October 4, 2008

The sweet, the successful and the rest

The world seems to be divided among two set of people. The Sweet and The Successful. Then there is the third kind, people who lie somewhere between the corridors of sweet and successful, better known as The Frustrated. You can distinguish devotees of the two corridors by the way they refer to the people of the third world (The Frustrated). “Ah, but what is wrong with you. Everything is just fine. I think you are worrying too much, just take it easy and rest all will happen” or “I told him early on that if he does not take the right decisions, this is where he will end up, I pretty much knew its gonna happen”.

Obviously, we are not here to talk about the third kind, who needs them. Even they don’t want themselves. Ah, the sweet ones. Everyone wants to have them around, after all they are the harmless ones who will be the last of the human race to judge you (Though their simple often naïve belief in goodness may make you feel guilty as somewhere deep down you know that it is not without reason that others are judging you the way they are doing). So, in a nut-shell, the world needs them. They make world appear a better and more easy place to be. Another advantage of them is that they want to keep good people around them and say all the nice things and mostly indulge in all the good things that text-books have been trying to cajole us into ever since we learned that very first tool of knowledge transfer – language.
Unfortunately, like all good things, even they are in shortage. Reasons are not confirmed but experts say it is because everyone wants to have them around but no one wants to become one. Remember Christ? Everyone loved him, everyone has him in the corner of their house. But how many will like to actually become one? Yeah, I know your answer to why everyone can’t be him. We are just human (And be assured even I think this is strong enough reason to go on the way we do).

Well, let us have a look into the other part of the world as well, The Successful. To their credit, had it not been for them, we would still have been living in the stone-age. All the progress, the plane, the train, the electricity, the gizmos, the internet, the home-deliveries (The most important one) is because of them. What do they thrive on? Verdict is not out yet but common belief is their most-preferred dish is “Ego”. Their’s to pander and other’s to conquer. They make sure that wherever they go, they fan other’s ego enough to turn it into a delicious dish someday to gorge upon. It’s an eco-system based on cooperative system. I sow, I grow and one of my community eats.

So, what are we saying? That we need more of the first kind but increasingly we are getting the second ones? Amm, may be in a way but not really. Lets study the normal life-cycle of the first kind. What happens to people who grow up being sweet. Where do they end-up. Well, a complete research on it will not only be time consuming but I have no intention to do so. So let us go to next best alternative and the most common technique employed when you don’t want to work hard enough and still want same results, go for secondary research. Pick other’s work, play with it, make a few changes here and there and you got your very own “inspired version”. No one can deny that its original in some sense after all one has to begin from somewhere so why not from the point others left. Anyway, lets get into movies. Ever wondered why all romantic movies are about sweet people. Why do they have these silly incidents which normally one doesn’t even bother about. Why do they try and give you a feel that your ordinary life could be extra-ordinary if you just choose to consider them as one. Anyway, point is most sweet people start their life that way, doing ordinary things and doing it well.
What happens next? Enter the little more evolved version of romantic comedies, the romantic tragedies. It is a movie about two sweet people who happened to meet and discover that their naïve beliefs have wide-spread support. That when they smile and hug, everyone around stops to clap and a few even shed a couple of tears for them. Anyway, these are tragedies so eventually life catches up with them and teaches who is boss. The unfortunate incidents happen (If its bollywood then mostly they discover that their parents are arch-enemies or that guy’s dad is car-driver of girl’s dad. If it is Hollywood then it is mostly to do with the guy who incidentally sleeps with the friend of the girl after a drunken stupor and yes, leave his pants to be discovered by the girl). Ending of the movie is also dependant on where it is coming from. Bollywood has mostly concluded that such people are doomed and must die though after around half an hour of fight sequences and around 50-100 car blow ups. Hollywood has a different take. These people smarten up and make difficult choices in life and move on. Basically essence is the same. Either kill the innocence (Hollywood) or the innocent (Bollywood).

So, what the hell. Is there no solution? The sweet ones can’t survive and the successful ones alone are not enough. So who will rule the world? The Frustrated? The ones who don’t know what they want? Who are at neither of the ends? Who are trying to strike a balance all the time and the balance is so slippery that they spend most of their energy in keeping it intact? Will they…can they?

Yes, very much yes. A strong yes. If you are frustrated then you are not alone. If you are frustrated then it means you haven’t given up hope. That you are still striving and be assured you will survive.

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October 4, 2008

रुका नहीं हूँ…

 

पथ पर चलता, चलता जाता,
चलते-चलते थक सा जाता,
थक कर फिर कुछ बैठ गया यूँ,
समय को रख कर भूल गया ज्यों..

चला सगर सब मंथर गति से,
मैं ना निकला अपनी रति से,
पूछा किये सब लोग हुआ क्या,
चलता पहिया रोक दिया क्यों

मैं बोला कि थका नहीं हूँ
क्या कहते हो? रुका नहीं हूँ..
राह में कुछ छोड़ चला था
उसकी बाट जोह रहा हूँ…

तन भागा था, मन पीछे-पीछे
छूट गया वो दूर कहीं पर
उसके बिना सब सपने झूठे
माटी के जस बर्तन टूटे

आएगा वो मुझसे मिलने,
मेरे उधड़े दिन-रात को सिलने
टांका लगा कर गाँठ बाधूंगा
फिर हरदम बस साथ चलूँगा

थोड़ा धीमा, थोड़ा रुक-रुक
बोझ से जाऊं शायद थोड़ा झुक भी
पर उसमें भी आनंद मिलेगा
जितना भी हो पूर्ण लगेगा..

October 4, 2008

Lost in the maze…

why it has to happen
and why this way only
it can happen many ways
but why it happens this way

I go wide and far
I go talk to the star
I go wild and crazy
and I become absolute mess

I feel it never happened before
I feel this will never happen again
I feel there is no way out of it
I feel this is going to be forever

I feel this is a new road
I never travelled before,
I do not find any trace
Of my travel on this road before

And I keep walking
As i keep talkingto myself,
to fellow travellers
but they see the end clearly
they have been on the road before

Why was I left out I ask
why have I not been here before
puzzled they look at me and say
ofcourse you have been here before…

Perplexed, I become still,
take a break and stand
without moving, contemplating
its all in all bloody confusing

I stand there as people pass by,
calling me over to move by,