Sunday, April 26, 2009

A missed call..

Phone rang relentlessly in the wee hours of Sunday morning.

Half asleep I groped around the bed. I had slept late last night. For last few months working till late has become unavoidable. I picked up the phone.

“Remember me?”

I hate early morning calls and I got a little annoyed with the question. I tried to recognize the voice, “Can’t hear you properly”.

“Setu here; how are you?”

“Hey ! Setu.” I almost screamed.

Setu was my school friend. He moved to New Jersey 10 years back. We were a little out of touch recently. We studied in same college; shared somewhat dissimilar thoughts, discussed a lot about career and girls. “Your accent has changed a bit. I am fine. How about you?”

“I am coming to India”.


“Manish, you were right. I understand your point now. I had a chat with Sweta also. Let us make another trip to Rajpur.”

Setu always liked to make money when I told money isn’t everything; he always liked high society life that I felt, several times, too artificial; he believed in passion when I believed in flexibility. He was focused, I was confused. He had girlfriends, I had none.

We were at par in studies. We respected each other. Later I joined a company as a Management Trainee. Setu waited for a chance to go abroad. He finally managed to. And since he has earned a lot of money and has lived a high quality life. I too worked on my weaknesses. Got a decent job, got married and settled in Bangalore.

Sweta was Setu’s girlfriend then and now the life partner. Once three of us went to Rajpur and stayed overnight in a camp. The whole night we sat and discussed about the real life we had to see ahead. While I spoke to take life as it comes, Setu talked about dreaming big. Sweta shared similar views those I had and she loved Setu.

“Come here. We will plan. Though I am not sure whether I will be able to go to Rajpur. We can plan anywhere near and around Bangalore”. “Hope everything is fine at your end”.

“Manish, I have run too fast. I feel exhausted. I want to slow down. Want to spend the life you spoke about”.

“What happened Setu?” This was not the Setu I knew.

“Nothing. Just that I want to take it easy now.”

But Setu didn’t know that his views had actually changed me. I too had started dreaming big. Since last 10 years, I tried to become Setu. I turned into a perfectionist from an easy going guy. And I achieved what I wanted to. To catch Setu I also ran fast. But perhaps because I never completely believed in his ideology, I could never catch him. And finally I stand today, dreamless and realizing Setu too has stopped chasing those big dreams.

“You know Setu, I somehow followed what you believed in. And in this I lost my ordinariness.”

“Don’t tell me Manish. You told you will never change”.

“I did Setu. But today there is more Setu in me than Manish. You taught me to dislike mediocrity; I came over it. Now flamboyance sucks me.”

Of late I see more life in ordinariness. It’s like knowing all roads of the jungle. And all roads of the jungle are known to only those who have got lost in it. Success alienates a person to all those small things in life that life is made of.

“Manish, I am coming back. We will trek again together to Rajpur. We will talk. I want to re-live those moments.”

“I understand”.

“Throughout my life I chased my dreams. One dream after the other. And in this I lost touch with my friends, created distance with parents, got money but life slipped out. Objectivity replaced amusement. I am boring at best, anxious at worst.”

“You have been my alter ego Setu; and finally we have a common problem” I smiled.

“How is Kuhoo?”

I turned around to look for Kuhoo. But she was not on bed.

“Wake up”, I saw Kuhoo standing near me with tea. “We are planning to go to Mekadatu today’.

She continued, “I took your phone in morning. Setu had called. I told you’re sleeping. He and Sweta are coming to India for a week”.

“I didn’t miss that call”, I smiled back. She looked at me in disbelief as I enjoyed the cardamom tea.


zirelda said...

Ah, this post is so much of mine.

Live simply, live well.

I hope when he comes you find your dreams again and may they be not only attainable, but enjoyable to attain. :)

Anonymous said...

But did he really say what you saw in your dream?

I have always felt we should be ourselves, and do what gives us pleasure, instead of running after money or success - it's great to do well, but not to be better than somebody else, just to do what we love to do...

Lovely post Manish. This blogs makes me feel at peace :)

Anonymous said...

Manish you left a comment on my old blog, now I have moved to Wordpress, here,

please do pick the tag on this blog


How do we know said...

hmm... what i m mot envious about, is that you have had at least one Rajpur in life..

On a more serious note, LOVED this post... the more one reads, the more one is grateful for the people who were around when one was growing up. This note of gratitude goes to my father... in a silent prayer today.. perhaps it will get written one day, perhaps not..

Thank you for this post.. i will think about it for a long time..

Pinku said...


Reading a post from u after so many days was a plasure...reading what it was about was pleasurable still.

I hope Setu's trip does all of you good...and u are able to freshen up for the journey ahead. Good luck to all of you.

Kiran said...

what a beautiful post...most of us can surely relate to it in one way or the other...
great to read a post from you after such a long time :-)

state of mind? said...

fantabulous post....have a grrrt trip to rajpur....

Manish Raj said...

@ Zirelda - Great to know that. Thanks

@ IHM - Thanks I will update my blog list.

I will surely write on Cruelty and violence soon. Thanks for the tag.

@ HDWK - I am in Delhi 18-21 May. May be when I get some time, I will plan about getting a house at Rajpur ; )

@ Pinku - I am badly stuck in a project. Working on weekends, holidays, sometimes so tired that I just sleep.

This will continue for a couple of months more. Hope I will manage more time from July onwards. Thanks so much for your comments. How are you ?

@ Kiran - Thanks for your comments and many more for liking it.

@ State of mind? - Thanks Dude.

Mampi said...

loved reading this post.
it happens to all of us-missing those calls, and missing out ourselves...
and yet we do not miss anything, but we miss out on life on the way.
however, i do not believe for a single second that you can or have become Setu like.

Spontaneous Mini said...

wow, wonderful. I am hanging between focus and confusion. my eternal companions.
Loved reading your post. really makes me think.
Thanks for coming by my blog. My photography is one that keeps me happy nowadays.

You Know Me Very Well said...

Just getting to read all my pending bolg updates.. this is a wonderful post Manish.. and it is so very insightful into our current lives...