Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Perception

It was chilling evening and I was moving on a long straight road. Half constructed apartments were trying to register their presence in my mind but I was more interested in the loneliness of that road. No vehicles, no shops, no crowd…just the sound of chilling air, which was penetrating my skin to reach the bones of my body.
Suddenly, my legs stopped in front of a small park. Something forced me to move towards the park and I saw some kids playing in the park. Few more steps and noticed a little girl sitting on a wooden bench at one corner of the park. Something attracted me towards her. As I was approaching her, I noticed that she is not older than 5-6 years. I could not see her face because she was wearing a red woolen cap and looking downwards. At first instant I thought she is sleeping but then I realized that she is in deep thinking mode. Her small legs were stretched over the bench making a small part of her leg hanging in air.
As I sat on the same bench, she lifted her head and turned towards me. For few seconds, I was just lost in the cuteness of her face. Dark black eyes, small round face with pinkish white cheeks. The red cap covering her head and ears was making her even prettier. She was quite and did not speak anything; rather she closed her eyes and moved her head downwards again. I dint know why but a thought came in to my mind and I started a conversation.
I: Why are you sad little girl?
She (in sweeter than her face voice): I am not sad, I am thinking
(Impressed; this wasn’t the kind of answer I was expecting.)
I: What are you thinking?
She: I am thinking about a friend of mine, actually, the best friend of mine.
I: Ok. So he/she is not with you and you don’t have anyone else to play with (I made a guess)
She: I have lot of friends but I don’t want to play with them. I am waiting for him and if he comes, we will play otherwise I will go home (she said in her careless voice)
I: So where is your friend? Why did not he come? Where does he live? (I was wondering why I am asking so many questions to this small kid)
She: I don’t know. I met him here few days back. He was alone and he was white. When I saw him, he was hiding under that bush. Probably, he was afraid of something. Then I helped him to come out. He was small and he also had a cute small tail. He was not dirty like other doggies on the street. I gave him my toffee and he kissed me on my shoes. Then, we became friends and we started playing. Everyday, in evening, we used to play for hours and then I stopped playing with my old friends.
(I was not expecting that she is talking about any puppy or dog but I did not change my expressions, rather, I became more curious.)
I: Then?
She: We had become best friend. We enjoyed each others company. I even left playing with all my friends. Then one day, I went to my grandmom’s place for few days. When I returned, he was not here. I searched for him but I could not find him. I was sad and I cried. Every evening, I came here to search him. Yesterday I saw him playing with some other kid. I went to him but he ignored me. I stood there for many minutes but he did not come to me. When I returned to home, I cried again and mummy told me that she would bring me another puppy. But now, I don’t like any other puppy.
I: hmmm, that is sad. But how can you consider him your best friend when you know that he left you and now he is playing with someone else?
She: He is my best friend because I like him. May be, he left me because of some reason. May be he was hurt because I left him for few days or he met with some problems when I was not here. Right now I am thinking that whether I should go to him once more or not. May be he will recognize me this time.
This was a strange explanation which I could not understand, probably because I can not think like a kid…..pure and honest. I was not even sure what I should say to that kid. I just smiled and get up to move. I noticed that the girl has again made the same gesture in which I saw her when I entered in park. Many thoughts were moving in my mind but I could not figure them out.

Sunday, October 25, 2009


Every story, whether it is long or short, good or bad has an end. Important factor is that, how it ends. Fortunately, I have lot of friends, all of them having different characters and different way of thinking. More importantly, I got chance to be the evidence of many love relations of many of my friends.

Those who got a chance to be in love know that it is a beautiful feeling which can not be expressed in words. But many of the love relations have a serious negative outcome which is called “BREAK-UP”.

Break-up Type I- Male driven break-up: I am starting with this kind of break-up because this has been the most dominating since past especially in Tier II and Tier III cities. Guy starts the relation as a time pass element and girl (mostly simple girls of middle or lower middle class) becomes too senti. Girl starts thinking about the name of their unborn kids. But suddenly guy starts feeling that “yaar ye to chipak gayi hai”. OR he gets a better looking girl. BREAK-UP. Poor girl cry a lot and for really long time. She calls up the guy many times and asks “what wrong did I do”. Well, you did not do anything wrong, rather you did the right thing with a wrong guy. In simple words, he is BA*T*RD and does not deserve to be with you.

Break-up Type II- Female driven break-up: CAGR of this type of break-up has been around 20% in last 5 years. Future market is also very promising. Mostly happens when a smart, Tier I city girl gets involve with a simple guy. The guy goes to pick the girl every day from her coaching, driving 20 k.m. on his bike. One day when he reaches the coaching, he sees the girl moving away with a guy having car or at least better looking bike. BREAK-UP. This time guy cries a lot (mostly when he is drunk). In many cases, guy calls up the girt and tells her that he will kill her. He he he, boss, you are not going to do anything like this. If you really want to do something, find a right girl for you

Break-up Type III- Selection driven break-up: Both love each other but the problem is that they are not compatible. Problem starts when no one is ready to compromise. Fir kya….Roj roj ke jhagde. Some examples:
“See, I don’t like you talking to guys, have you ever seen me talking to other girls” ( hmmm over possessive)
“Ofcourse I love you but this is very good opportunity for my professional life…cant you wait for few more years” (The sensitive and the ambitious)
“Nooo I don’t talk to her now. She was my past. (Shak…what the F**K)
In such kind of break-up, they unite many times after saying “Its over” but ultimately they separate.
Compromise is an important part of relation. Words like perfect match do not exist, perfect relation does.

Break-up Type IV- Destiny driven break-up: We were the perfect match but…..
Whenever I think about love relation, I consider 4 factors which make the relation successful. Love, respect, understanding and compatibility. This couple has it all but there are some other things which affect a relation. In most of the cases this thing is “parents”.
They always had an option to run away but somehow they could not do it. Some experts (including me) don’t like to use the word break-up for such kind of end but that does not matter.
Life of both ends becomes difficult and only time heals the pain. Although, in their hearts, the relation lives forever.
“Hum dil de chuke sanam” and “Rab ne bana di jodi” becomes their favorite movie because they try to relate them selves with the characters.

What ever is the kind of break-up, life becomes difficult for some time (unless you have advance degree in flirting). Jagjit Singh suddenly becomes the favorite singer and watching space becomes favorite sport. Public gatherings become torture and many of friends become enemies. Many of the acquaintances (some friends also) make fun of their break-up and feel like winner. “Dekha….maine kaha tha unka relation nahi chalega”
Some friends, who understand the situation, become close during this time. Most among these friends (the intellectual or nice ones) do not speak much, they just hear. Some speak also: “Dood I understand you. When I broke-up with my girl, I did not eat for 10 days”.

I feel that life always gives you some reasons to restart. Bad things come and go in life and the only thing which remains forever is “Memories”. You will always find a reason to smile if you want to. One of my favorite lines says that:


Monday, September 7, 2009

The Night & The Train

Year 2002, the city in UP where you can find more number of foreigners than cows on street, the city where you can find more number of temples than chai ki dukan, the city where you can find a university bigger than some countries (sorry for exaggerating). VARANASI.
I was there to give a try to my dream of being a doctor. My life was really wonderful and full of excitement. Wake up at 5 in the for continuous 3 hours (unless pressure of inevitability comes). Breakfast around 8 and then... study. Lunch at 1 and then.... study, coaching classes from 3 to 7 and there… study. Hear Altaf Raja’s  “tum to thahre pardesi” in auto (most of the time while returning from coaching) and after reaching home.... study . I loved my life there.
One of my friends was also there for preparation. We were kind of young and energetic that time and we had promised ourselves that “Kuch bhi ho….phod dena hai”. I used to visit my hometown, Faizabad, once in 2 months and our favorite train was ‘Sialdah Express”. We used to travel without ticket in general compartment at that time and every travel was around 240 minutes fear from the DooD, we call TTE.
It was 2.45 in the morning of a December night and everyone at the railway station was looking like a moving holdall (of cloths).  As suggested by the old and experienced guy at the inquiry (most sought after place at railway station), I and my friend were waiting for the Sialdah express at platform number 3. I had fought a bunch of atleast 50 people to get the information about train and so I was feeling like James Bond. The air was chilling and we were having tea keeping our volume as low as possible to fight against the winter.
Suddenly, we saw “Sialdah Express” at platform 5. There were some kind of announcement on the loudspeaker but like most of the stations in India, neither the speaker nor the loudspeaker was clear. Before we could understand anything train from platform 5 started moving. We ran towards the train thinking that the inquiry has given us wrong info. Because the train had already started moving, we took the shortcut to reach the train saving our steps from the most common stuff (in India) between railway tracks.  
Somehow, we managed to catch the train and had become the part of crowd in general compartment. Train was moving and after 15-20 minutes we noticed that this is not the same track which goes to Faizabad. I was surprised and so I asked an uncle standing near me “Uncle, ye train Faizbad jaegi na”. The uncle ji gave me a weird look and started shouting at me “ pagal ladke, ye Sialdah “down” hai, Faizabad Sialdah “up” jati hai. Vo train platform 3 par ane vali thi gadhe. Bevkoof kahi ke. I was surprised. In just few seconds he gave me shower of pagal, gadhe, ullu and some other words I fail to recall.
We got down from the train at next station and it was 4.30 in the morning. We were not having a ticket and the station was really small. We were only people who came out of train at that station and it was platform number 3 again. We took stairways and were moving towards platform 1.
“Kaha se aaye ho ladko? Ticket hai paas me?” a voice came from behind. A policeman covered in Khaki from head to toe was coming behind us. I and my friend saw each other and next second we found ourselves running towards main exit. The policeman was also running behind us but we were much younger than him. The second reason he could not catch us was that a guy run fastest when a policeman is behind him. We came out of station and waited for 45 min to get a lift from an uncle. He was in a big car and going to Varanasi. Situation was perfect but we left the uncle ji after 15 min, took lift from a tractor, a bullock cart and finally got a cab to reach Varanasi.
We reached Varanasi at 8 in morning. That night was a real experience for me. The chilling night, the guy in the train and the train itself. But the best part was the uncle ji who gave us lift. We left his car because he was GAY. Now please dont ask me how we came to know that he was gay.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

I know I won...but - Part II

Many years had passed and now I was quite big in size, in fact I had completed my studies. Everyone was surprised on the fact that I had got campus placement in a reputed MNC and I was surprised because the company asked me to join (in Hyderabad) before the completion of my course. I joined the company on 2nd of April and I had to come back to Noida for my final semester exams after one month.
I reached Noida 1 week before the exam so that I can recall something (or at least anything) which I was taught in final semester. The day I reached Noida, the student inside me suddenly opened his eyes after a long sleep and I realized that I have to submit a dissertation project report in college which was part of my final semester curriculum. There were only three problems. First, I had not prepared it, second, the project report was of 200 marks and third, I had to submit it the next day I reached Noida. It was 3 in the afternoon and a big daru party was also taking shape in our house cum hostel, so I had to complete this report thing asap. I was about to feel helpless when one of my friend came up with a solution. It was not the best solution but because I did not had any other option so it was actually the best solution.
In less than 20 minutes we both were in Atta market, in front of a small printout shop. The shop was full of restless creatures who were actually students, like me. The uncle ji ho was sitting in that shop was looking very friendly and generous person. And then my friend told to him, “Sir, we want to buy a project report”.
Without giving us any alien look he handed over one booklet kind of thing to us. I opened it and saw that it was full of project titles. There were more than 200 project titles in that booklet. Uncle ji asked me to select one. My eyes scanned the book in few seconds and I selected a very long and strange looking title from the book. (On asking, Uncle ji informed us that these are project reports made by students of various colleges in last 4-5 years. All the reports are at least 2 years old). I took the printout and gave it to binding shop for hard binding. While returning, I noticed at least 40% of my classmates buying reports from similar shops in Atta market.
Next day, I submitted the report in the college and got busy in the exams. Finally the day came of the viva of the dissertation report. Everyone was carrying a photocopy of their original report. I noticed one of my classmates (whom I say buying report that day), trying to tell others how much hard work and efforts he has given in preparing this report. I smiled and moved ahead and suddenly my legs stopped automatically.
A report was lying on the table and the funny part was that it had the same title of my report. I picked up the report and found that it is word to word same. Same charts, same case studies and even same page numbers. I was almost killed by God’s justice.
I shouted in horrified voice,” whose report is this”. One of my classmates (girl) came forward from the crowd and told me “this is mine. It is good na”
“Yeah, it is really good. That’s why I have also bought the same report”. I replied.
Cuteness of her face suddenly disappeared. Even I was not in very good position.
“I will be caught, they will give me 0 marks, I will loose my job” Thousands of similar thoughts came in to my mind in less then 3 seconds and all of them were possible.
Suddenly, a good friend of mine (who was Dood of our class) came in to existence, analyzed the situation and said in confident voice,” Nothing can be done man. You are screwed” and disappeared.
But he came back again after 10 minutes, took the report of the girl and ran towards I don’t know where (at that moment). I run behind him and she ran behind me. Because of curiosity, some of my classmates also started running behind us. They did not even know why we are running. We reached at the photocopy shop of my college block one by on and somehow managed to change the cover page of her report.
She went for the Viva first and everything went fine. Now it was my turn for the Viva. I entered in the room and sat on the chair like the most innocent guy on the earth. The teacher who was taking my viva was the most notorious visiting faculty of our class. I don’t know why but he liked my report and asked me as many questions. To my surprise, I answered all the questions like I have actually made that report. The viva went fantastic.
After few months, I got the news that our convocation ceremony is going to happen very soon and I have got the award for best dissertation project.
I know many of my classmates were really annoyed. Even I knew that I do not deserve this reward. This reward was one more reason why I did not attend my convocation.
I never planned to won this dissertation project award by cheating. It was just that I ran to escape from a dog and when I stopped I came to know that I have won a race 

Monday, August 3, 2009

I know I won...but - Part I

They say that honesty wins at the end..............they are wrong.
Many years back when I was quite small in size (I was in 8h standard), I took part in a G.K. competition. Those who know me today would say that I should not even allowed to sit in such competition. My general knowledge is horrible. Today when people ask me something related to G.K., I just start Googling. Probably Google is the only hope left in my life.
But, I was better in G.K. that time and so I took part in the competition. Some of my classmates and friends also took part in the competition and I know they were far better than me. I was just hoping for a consolation prize or a participation certificate. The competition was organized by a reputed organization and so all the participants were really serious about the competition except me. As usual I was busy in cricket and other activities when all other were eating “Samanya Gyan-Kaun Kya hai”. 
Finally the day of test came and one of my Kitaabi Keeda friends called me up at 9 in the morning. I wake up by the tring tring of the phone. It was not more than 15-20 day we had taken the BSNL landline connection and it was our first phone. (Try to remember the first landline phone at your house and initial tring tring of it. People used to wait 3-4 day to hear the tring tring of the phone). I wake up by my friend's call and I saw the time. The test was supposed to start at 10 and it was 9 already. (The best thing about my parents is that they never try to wake me up early). My friend told me that he has read 7 books and he is confident about winning a prize. I said all the best to him and I wished that he get the 1st price coz he has really done hard work for the competition.  
I was about to start for the venue of the test when suddenly one of my neighborhood friend rushed into our house with many A4 size sheets in his hand. He was looking like a man who has just broken a prison and running away from Nicholas Cage, the FBI officer.  
“What is the matter? You are moving life football. You have killed some one or you are making a documentary on ants” I asked him.
He replied,” I am running like an ant for you” 
Before he could complete his sentence, I said, “I haven’t killed anyone either. I have just wake up. Ohhh, are pintu’s parents coming for me. Yesterday I hit him with the cricket bat.
He said,”shut up and hear me. One of my cousin was in the organizer committee of the G.K. competition in which you have participated. He just came to me and gave me the question paper which is supposed to come in the test today. I haven’t participated and so this is not of much use for me, but this is a jackpot for you” he gave me the question paper. 
I looked at it. 100 multiple choice question. I started reading it and I came to know that I hardly know the answer of 50 questions. It was 9. 35 already and suddenly a storm of G.K. books came into my house. Books of G.K. were coming from every corner of my home and I was amazed that I have this much G.K. books at my home. 
Somehow, I managed to find the answer of most of the question and rushed to the venue of the test. I was 20 min late already and other participants were lost in the ocean of question. I requested the organizers to allow me to sit in the competition and gave the excuse which was most common and most successful excuse of that time. Sir, my bicycle got puncher in the way.  
They were kind enough to allow me to sit in the test and I was the first one to finish the test in my room. I handed over my answer sheet to the invigilator like a born winner and walked confidently outside the room. 
The judgment day has arrived and I dressed like never before. In a huge auditorium, my name was announced as the participant stood first in the competition. They added.” This boy has broken the record of previous years and has given 96 right answers. Although, he came 20 min late in the test but he finished it on time. He is simply outstanding”. My friend who worked hard for the test got consolation prize. 
That day I was a champion for everyone. Everyone was praising me. As people came to congratulate me, a strange feeling inside me suddenly came into existence. I don’t know what it was but it was painful. I was not liking the word which everyone was using for me. By the evening, I transformed in to a looser.  
I still see the trophy in my cupboard. I participated in many competitions and won many prizes in academics and sports after that but this trophy is still biggest among all. But being biggest is not the only difference. All other trophies and certificates give a feeling of satisfaction and proud……..
They say that honesty wins in the end........actually they are right. Its just that what is your definition of “WIN”

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Mirror Has Two Faces

A year has passed and in last one year, I felt alone many times. I knew I am in search for something (or someone) and I always knew what it was. I waited really long for this moment to come and I traveled a long distance to see him. I was still not sure that he would be agree to come with me.

As soon as I started to walk on the same old road my heart started sinking. “Nothing has changed in one year”, I thought. I was about to reach my destination and I felt that something was melting inside me, something very big or very heavy. I knew it was a emotion, probably the most common and most strong thing (I am not sure it is a right word) in the life of a human.

The place was exactly same as I left: same shopping space, same restaurant, same cigarette shop and same bench in the center of that area. The place was crowded as usual but my eyes were looking for someone very familiar and very close.

When I saw him, he was sitting on the same bench where I left him year back. He was quite and he was not looking at anyone or anything. He was lost in his own space. I went towards him and sat besides him. He didn’t see me but I noticed a smile on his lips. He said, “I knew you would come”.

I: Time to go back

He didn’t reply and gave a faint smile.

I: It has been a year and you still sitting on the same place. What are you still waiting for?

He: I am not waiting for anything. It is just that I don’t want to leave this place.

I: I could never understand that why you are so emotional. We faced the same situation but the only difference is that I moved on and you still sitting on the same place. Initially time was tough for me too but I fought against it and now I am a happy and satisfied man.

He: Then why are you here?

I: I am here because of you. I feel incomplete without you. We started our life together. We were so different but we were the perfect combination. I always considered you as the best part of mine.

He: Practical people like you should not talk like this. You moved on because I was not with you. I choose to stay here coz it is me because of whom you suffered. You were practical and perfect. I took everything seriously. I know you don’t allow people to come so close that they can hurt you. I did and we both paid for it.

I: It is your way of thinking. I did not suffer because of you. I suffered because the destiny has planned to make me stronger. I moved on because of you. I alone am not perfect and you know people love me more because of you than me. Whatever comes in life has some purpose. I feel stronger and better than before. You know me; I never miss the learning when I miss the success.

He: You always impress me by your words. Sometimes I am just amazed that how can you be so practical.

(I saw him smiling and suddenly for a second I felt a wave of contentment inside my mind and soul)

I: I have come here coz I have much bigger dreams for my life now. Whatever happened last year, it has wakened up the best inside me. Now I really thank those who hurt my ego, they forced the best in me to come in to existence. I just need you back in my life and I know all the bad memories would be erased. And I know you would come with me.

He did not say anything. He was lost again in his space. I saw his face: calm, content and selfless.

I started moving away from him. “Probably he is not ready yet” I thought. My legs suddenly stopped in front of that cigarette shop where I stopped year before. I lit a Classic Mild and everything flashed out in front of my eyes like a movie.

20th July 2008. Me sitting on the same bench and smoking the same cigarette, collecting the pieces of some broken dreams, loosing the battle of ego for the first time. Me, leaving the place and trying to keep my self respect alive and me, leaving something very important on the same bench.

I smiled again and my smiled told me that whatever happened here a year back was destined to happen. I have changed after that and that change was desired. I don’t really care about the past and the one who cares was still there, watching me leaving the place for ever. I knew that next time when I will come here it would be a new place for me. I crushed the cigarette below my sole and the emotions inside my soul. My world is different now.

Emotions were still flowing inside my nerves. I told to myself that this story has never been about love or friendship or broken relations. The story has always been of my self respect & identity and finally self realization. Some times you must meet the worst in order to see the best in you. I was happy that I finally came here but I was disappointed that he did not come with me. He was still sitting there.

The road was empty. People generally don’t like to walk in the afternoon of hot summer in Noida but I was not feeling anything. I was just walking to leave the place behind me for ever and suddenly I heard the sound of steps behind me. I turned back.

His steps were straight and confident. His face calm and having no signs of regret. His body language same as before, of a man who don’t care who rule this world. His eyes having same brightness as before.

He was the same old Niteesh, the best part of my soul.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009