Sunday, November 20, 2011

..a kiss to build story on...

(On 15th November evening, I had a small discussion with my colleagues in office on what next after business solutions on mobile.)

I tossed the idea of:

Stage 1:
  • If mobile can answer the sound waves with an inbuilt sensor, we may possibly have a sensor built to catch the neuro/ brain waves as well. I am sure we will be able to get there because brain waves/ nervous system do instruct all the body organs;
  • If aforesaid is achieved, such sensors can be implanted in human brain itself. (I mean chips those may receive brain/ neuro waves/ instructions);
  • If aforesaid is achieved, we don’t need a mobile, just by thinking about someone, with the brain waves we will be able to send and receive information like telepathy between one person to another through chips implanted in our brain. (Exact recognition options can be designed as a human mind identifies people with several parameters...and not just with name and/or number);
  • If aforesaid is achieved, and we may be able to develop applications for not only business but also for each and every person for his/ her day to day work. The whole population (not just those using a mobile phone) in the world could be our potential market. (Desktops > Laptops > Mobile > Brain Chips)

Stage 2:
  • Later we may manage to build an interceptor to receive brain waves (with a database of all recognition options in point 3 above) which are not necessary directed to us;
  • If aforesaid is achieved, we may be able to catch the thought process of any person in future.
  • If aforesaid is achieved, we will know who all are our potential customers.
I know friends, aforesaid appears crazy. But landing on moon was equally crazy to those who fought the first war of Panipat.

But my own idea scared me last night.

If this technology was available as of yesterday (on my 8th anniversary), Kuhoo might have known everything that went through my mind (written in italics with my each response during conversations yesterday)

Sometime in morning.

K : “Happy Anniversary”.
M: “Oh dear, I was going to say that..and you spoke”. (...God I forgot my anniversary again…how does she remember this always..when she forgets her ATM pin, Adi’s bus number etc…)

K : “I Love you”
M : “ too. More than anyone else in the world” (Shit..I could have said this at least before she did)

K : “You remember our first anniversary?”
M : “Off course” (Off course not)

K : “I sat near the river early morning. That second arghya day of Chatth Puja”.
M : “Yes...and I stood in the river watching you” (...was that second arghya day of Chatth ? so inhuman, how could you remember all that ?)

K : “So what’s the plan?”
M : “Not'll love it..” (Which plan ? I just want to sleep please...)

K : “OK. I bring tea for you”
M : “Thank You. I will go to Adi’s school after that. Be ready by that time.”

I went to Adi’s school to apply for his School Leaving Certificate etc. I came back around 11 AM. Mummy too wanted to give something to her ladli Bahu. To my scare both of them were ready by the time I returned.

K : “We are going to Chemmanur”. She was unable to hold back the grin.
M : I smiled. “Even I wanted to go there”. (...get poorer by 25K at least..)

K : “Really?”. Her eyes shining…she was sure of two gifts now…one each from mummy and me.
M : “Indeed. I got down at Bowbazar to buy something...but couldn’t buy.” (well another reason of getting down there was the lovely crowd at Bowbazar. But I couldn’t buy because of the hand-rickshaw puller event written in my last post )

K : “Is this saree looking good?”
M : “Yeah..very nice” (...does that matter ?)

K : “You remember this one?”
M : “Yes” (No)

K : “You bought this on my birthday”
M : “Yes” ( am I supposed to remember..they all look the same)

K : “We will stop by at McD while coming back”
M : “Sure”

Mummy looked perplexed with the idea of lunch at McD. But Adi was happy. I didn’t want to spoil their mood. We completed shopping, had something at McD and came back home.

K : “Let’s go to Hypercity”
M : “Anything specific?” (We just came back ?)

K : “General grocery stuff, fruits and vegetables”
M : “ok”

Then we went to Hypercity. Kuhoo started with her intense shopping; bought a chocolate cake. Engaging Adi is easy; just buy him a car. We could come back home by 9 PM.

K : “Too late na..I was thinking, should we order Pizza ? Adi too wanted to have Pizza today”. Adi appeared like a puppy wagging its if he never had Pizza for years. And all he eats is plain garlic bread.

M : “Yup. Normal or thin crust?” (It just came out of me...but it gave an impression of how much I care.)

K : “Normal. Thin crust you order for yourself”. She smiled.

I ordered a veggie supreme for myself and a chicken one for Kuhoo. Pizza came. It was around 11.00 PM by the time we could finish and go to bed.

K : “Promise me. You’ll always love me like this”. And I got a kiss to build story on.
M : “Love you...always”. ( I have an option?)

Monday, November 7, 2011

Coming back to life..

By Udayan

“Get up Birthday buoy; aren’t you getting late?” Kuhoo almost whispered in my ears.

There is nothing sweeter than your wife waking you up on those special days (of course when she is in good mood).

“No. Sonu has messaged; the flight is delayed by an hour”.

Sonu sponsored the trip as my laptop was dead. Our genius friends in support department had done some changes in my user account settings that had deactivated my windows password as well. And I had to go to my SAP office in Kolkata to login (in office LAN) to revive my laptop. Plan was to go to Kolkata in morning and return to Patna in evening.

I boarded the flight to Kolkata at 10 AM.

It is rightly said, some words have physical meaning, and not just meaning. One must undergo such words to understand their meaning. Consulting profession has given an opportunity to travel to various places, know and interact with various kinds and types of people; and that has helped me go through and understand a multitude of emotions. I have understood what is love and infiniteness; what is pain and heartlessness; what is survival and selflessness. Over the years, I think, I have become too receptive to such emotions; and that often compels me to vent any overflow.

I reached Kolkata around 11:15 AM and proceeded towards Ho Chi Minh Sarani, near Esplandade. The hustle at Kolkata remains same; change appears to be the slowest here.

Anyway I wasn’t in much hurry and my taxi driver knew all the roads of Kolkata. He took me to the roads I would never have believed hadn’t I passed through them.

And then I reached Bowbazar; actually on a road called B.B.Ganguly Street.

I found a series of Jewelry shops on one side of the road. I had some time, I thought to get down for few minutes and pick up an earring for Kuhoo.

The first shop I went to was a small one, and it was attended by a single person who was already losing his cool answering to three-four customers simultaneously asking for something in Bangla. I decided to look for a bigger shop; but realized that my taxi driver had already parked the vehicle at some distance. I started walking.

An old man shouted at me and said something that I couldn’t understand. But I stopped. I saw the old man, who was actually a hand-rickshaw puller and was asking whether I wanted a ride.

He was around 70; may be more. So lean and weak that he could just manage to walk. I saw his eyes, they pleaded for a customer. I saw his body, they pleaded for rest. I couldn’t ignore him. I knew about hand-rickshaw pullers in Kolkata and in some other parts in India; and I think I have read or heard news about them as well a number of times. But I had never seen them so near, I had never imagined how cruel it could appear. Possibly I will never be able to explain the shiver I had; because I too couldn’t have felt it, had I not actually stood before such person.

For once I thought to give him some money but that could have dishonored his labor; I couldn’t accept his offer either. I felt I will cry.

Finally he spoke in hindi. “Achca. Koi aur jayega”. He almost smiled as he bailed me out of the predicament.

“Dada, aur koi kaam nahi kar sakte?”

“yehi hai, bus”.

“…lekin aap beemar ho jaoge..mar jaoge….” I spoke something incoherently..I don’t remember.

“wo to sabhi...jab tak mara nahi..jinda hai”. I have heard such words in movies, but for the first time I heard these words from someone who actually meant it.

He turned to the other side of the road, found another customer and moved on. I stood there for some time. He didn’t even look back.

I proceeded towards my office and completed my work around lunch time.

Around 2.30 PM I left for New Town (near Rajarhat) where my friend Anupam has just relocated from CMC Vellore. He has just joined Tata Medical Center (TMC) as Consultant - Haematologist and Bone marrow transplant. At TMC I saw another set of people fighting for survival; and yet another doing their best to save lives.

It was once again an emotion packed birthday to me. And finally Bhabhi (Anupam’s wife) who has also joined TMC (actually the same day) almost ran back from hospital and prepared that yum Rajma Puri for me. Perhaps she knew I couldn’t have my lunch that day.

Anupam and Bhabhi

In the morning flight I was almost cursing some people for making me travel on my birthday; in the evening flight I had a quiet moment to realize the purpose. I wasn’t complaining any more as I had learnt few more lessons to honor this life.

I landed at Patna around 8 PM. Kuhoo and Adi were waiting for me to cut the cake. We didn’t go out as Kuhoo was in middle of cleaning the rooms. I too was little tired. But Adi wasn’t; he did what loves the most, putting the cake all over our face.

Over the dinner, Kuhoo asked about my laptop. I smiled. "My hand-rickshaw has come back to life".

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Letter to Rishu..

(This post is written as a response to my brother's (Rishu) post in You may like to read his blog first to get the complete context)

Dear Rishu..

I don’t want to sound like preaching but because I have found myself facing similar questions at one stage, I feel like sharing my opinion.

First of all, everything works out to be fine, if you are lucky; else it doesn’t, on its own.

But unfortunately there is no absolute formula. There is no choice, course or answer which is absolutely right or wrong; it can only be generally or relatively right or wrong. Therefore it is difficult to know whether you are wasting or utilizing your time.

Indeed, the shift from 2 days to 2 hours happens because of the expectation, the world and we set for ourselves, to do the multi-tasking. But in that bargain, the world and we, start taking the quality of outcome and/ or the pleasure of doing it as secondary. Believe me, the best things of the world are innovated or made only when one keeps the quality in mind and pleasure in heart while doing it.

Therefore my opinion is even when you have got multiple things to do; please set a priority to them in order of your liking and long term objectives. Aforesaid gives you direction to take the right calls, for example whether to attend to a distinguished speaker or to spend time with your wife. (It may sound a little preposterous but most of times I have found spending time with dear ones more useful. Remember there will never be a you-tube or recorded session of the evening walk you had with your wife).

My opinion is even if it appears impossible; please try to plan your time judiciously between your work/ study and your family. If you are able to now, you will always be successful in your life. And remember, Kanu will always be more important than Steve Jobs to you.

You are right about ‘Trusting’ your study group members. Later as a manager you will have to trust yourself and your team to achieve desired results. A good manager is identified by what I call the '3 Ds': Decide, Delegate and Deliver.

A manager must ‘decide’; right or wrong and if s/he fails, s/he is not a manager. Second, a manager must ‘delegate’ else s/he will become a bottleneck to progress; and finally, s/he must deliver which means s/he must not quit till end. In all 3 Ds, trust to her/ his and team’s ability is an underlying element. Trust builds the platform to all managerial competencies, one develops eventually.

And lastly, be prepared for failure. Being prepared for failure doesn’t mean you don’t trust yourself or your team, it only means that you try to ensure ‘everything works out to be fine’, even when you aren’t lucky. Even mental preparedness helps, to stand up again and continue. You may lose some battles, but you will win the war.

With lots of love and best wishes

Saturday, October 8, 2011

When tomorrow comes..

“You haven’t learnt it yet”, Kuhoo had caught me slyly looking at the girl sitting in front of us.

“Actually I see you in all the girls. Some have got your eyes; some have got your smile; some walk like you; some talk like you, it’s so difficult to avert my eyes when I see even a glimpse of you in a girl, you know”.

Kuhoo couldn’t stop smiling.

We had boarded the train from Delhi to Haldwani. The girl in front of us was around 16, may be less. She was cute and an incorrigible attention seeker. She reminded me of some of my friends who are so very cautious about how they look, how they dress etc, though a similar behavior at this age was a little odd. Perhaps the world is changing with teens’ trying to appear as matures; and matures trying to appear as teens.

 “So what’s the plan?”

“Just to spend time with you for next 2-3 days”.

“Wish I could draw this Romeo out of office more often”.

Haldwani is the gateway to Kumaon range of Himalayas and many of hill stations like Nainital, Ranikhet, Almora, Kausani, Binsar, Pithoragarh etc are located in this range. Traveling among these hills always feels like homecoming and this was my plan for the holidays.

By late night we had reached Haldwani (at Kuhoo’s elder sister’s place).

Next day it was 4th October morning, Dushehra’s Ashtami. And Kuhoo could persuade her Jiju and Didi to come along with us. Finally we all were going to Ranikhet, Kausani and Almora by car.

We started around 10 AM.

En route we stopped at several places for tea, fruit juice and scenic views and pictures. Especially the terrain after Bhuwali (a small town known for sanatorium for tuberculosis patients and apple orchards) is rich of Pine and Conifer trees. The weather was fine and the winds had the sweet chillness.

Adi had fun seeing me not working at all. Throughout he mimicked on how I talk, how I walk, etc. We burst into laughter when he sat with his cousin brother to just show how seriously his papa looks while talking.

We reached Ranikhet around 3 PM and since this was Dushehra Ashtami, we visited the Kali Durga temple first.

It was evening by the time we went to the famous golf course where some shots of movie Raja Hindustani were taken. We found the place fresh, green and wide. We spent a lot of time playing around. Mummy too liked the place a lot.

Later we went to Chaubatia, the place of apple orchards. We found the flowers coming on the trees. Kuhoo was fasting; she developed a kind of motion sickness as we reached the place on a hill top. I got a little worried but thankfully mummy was there; she took us to a tea stall, where we sat for a while and had tea. Kuhoo was soon back in her elements.

We came down to visit ‘Jhula Devi’ temple. Both Kali Durga and Jhula Devi s are quite old and have folk lore attached.

Later we reached Heda Khan temple. It was Sandhya Aarti time by then. Heda Khan temple is a very popular temple of Lord Shiva in that region. It is visited by several actors/ actresses of bollywood and is managed by Heda Khan Baba’s disciples (mostly foreigners.)

By 8 PM, we returned to our hotel, ‘Parwati Inn’ in Ranikhet. Our hotel was reasonable (Rs 1500-2000 per night) and well located. We had the Ranikhet market below our balconies and overview of the mountain range in front of us. Services are satisfactory and they have lots of parking space.

The next day started with Kuhoo whispering into my ears. “I have forgotten my purple salwar”. I realized that day that only purple goes with purple; any other color like skin color, black or white doesn’t match. Well I went down to the market and got a purple one immediately.

We then started for Kausani and Almora. This was the day of Dushehra Navami. Both Kuhoo and Didi had to pray and then break their fast. We first stopped at ‘Siddheshwari Mata Temple”. We all were mesmerized with its serene and magnificent look on the slope of a forested hill. Photography was prohibited inside.

Later we decided not to get inside any town but to roam around the hills surrounding Kausani and Almora. And we did exactly that. While going towards Kausani, we stopped at Ranikhet Golf course again.

On the way to Kausani, we stopped by a roadside restaurant at a place called Naini. I found some time to pick some forest flowers and placed them at their next best place.

Sometime in afternoon, we started the return journey. We stopped at various places, for tea, for trekking, scenic-sides, riverside, wherever we felt like.

While coming back we finally stopped at Kainchi Ashram, the place where celebrities keep coming to. This is the same ashram where Steve Jobs came looking for meditation and peace.

These were the times when I was myself. I did what I kept postponing..for some 'right' time.

I believe it is important to hear the inner voice and accept what we want; it helps us be ourselves and realize the best use of times in our lives.

It also makes us ready to take any decision..when tomorrow comes...

Monday, September 26, 2011

I sing for you..

This autumn..when the old leaves fall,
the flowers bloom, in the woods we strolled,
the quiet moments spent by the lake..
and the longing felt..soaked in rain..
that nip in the sun-shine grew tall
miss you so much... wish you could call..

I do live, with those moments rewind..
there is little bit for you..still left inside..
as memories the distance far..
you walk down the strings to my heart..
the song comes out…and the music through
a pain rekindled..I sing for you..

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Search of a new God..

There were stories of a small grass land where the morning sun shined bright, of the gulmohar trees those swaggered with the monsoon winds, of the fragrance of the soil that foretold the onset of seasons, of the far songs that heralded the days of festivals; I've heard them all as Granny used to tell those lying next to me, under those thousand stars, making me sleep.

Only I could make her run; only she could make me eat Dal Rice. There wasn’t anyone dearer to us than each other. We shared the same world, the same sky and the same God, in and outside those stories.

I was at the same place again for my brother-in-law’s marriage. It rained a lot during those few weeks.

But the town did recognize me. The familiar sight, of the rhythmic rain, of the drunken trees, of dancing kids, and of waterlogged roads; and this time I also saw the time that has gone by since I and Sonu used to sit on the window and watch the rain. Spent few days dreaming as the stories were retold, places revisited, moments relived; I just wanted to make the most of it, not sure when will I be back.

Granny is very old now. When I met her this time, she hugged me and cried. Every time I meet her, I just pray that she stays alive until my next visit. This time, I wasn’t sure about my next visit; I kept silent, heart sinking.

Unlike earlier days when she used to be very active, this time in the hustle of marriage, she kept quiet; blessed everyone with her filled-in eyes, slept before we stopped singing, occasionally hugged us and cried at times with joy. She said she couldn’t prepare those Aloo Papad because of her weakening eyesight and strength.

Time has flown by. I look at myself, the wonders have become the usual, unpredictability has become unsafe, and a protectionist has replaced the cowboy. There aren’t stories anymore or I am no more part of those stories. Guess I too have changed, in not too less than the ways my Granny has.

She doesn’t appear to be praying God all the time now. Perhaps she has no more wishes left.

As I look ahead, I see it’s time to re-prioritize my wishes, for overall future and not just for my professional future. I have taken steps towards the change.

For Granny and me, the world is changing. Our priorities and places will change, for the sake of our near and dear ones. The wishes also have changed. Perhaps the old Gods aren’t enough; the search for the new God has begun.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

For a thing called love..

Photo by Bhawani

“He doesn’t love me anymore I think”, said Suzan. She sounded low; and kept the phone before I could speak anything.

I sat thinking for some time and smiled as many times her words rehearsed in my ears. Can anyone really start or stop loving? Can we really plan ‘who to love’ like we plan a project or marriage?

Do we really love only once?

Well, I don’t think so.

To me, love started as a mystery, then devotion, then the way of life and finally my destiny. And through all these years, it has been just ‘one love’. The same love happend, more than once, several times, as often it was must, to my parents, to my wife, to my kid and to some of my friends... and I cherish that because I know how to express and honor it.

Love is possibly one of the most discussed and debated topic, but still remains most confused and mutilated for individual convenience. And thanks to media, it has already become a hobby, and treachery, a status symbol.

Relationships are broken or forced to pursue one’s ambition or ego. I see some friends debating on expectations keeping the ‘me first’ attitude; while love requires ‘you first’.

Suzan is an amazing girl. She is fun-loving and beautiful, for most of her friends; she is an ideal candidate to marry. But she is afraid. She just wants to find out first, whether the person actually loves her or not.

Am not sure what to advice her but I guess most of the answers may come from following two questions:

Whether you will be happy to see him/ her happy?

Answers like ‘yes in general’; ‘yes if….’; ‘doesn’t matter’ etc won’t do. Anything less than an unconditional and genuine yes, from both sides, will mean that relationship may get into trouble and may fade.

And it may sometimes mean his/ her happiness at the cost of your own happiness. In today’s world of lost individualities, while we strive to show our presence or difference, this may be a big ask. There is no Robert Kincaid today who likes to lose himself into a Francesca Johnson, and vice versa.

Whether you need to act before him/ her?

Acting must be avoided, all the time, as it may end up suffocating each other in long run.

It may spoil the necessary space that a person may require. And when this space is lost, you may eventually lose the person even if s/he is physically next to you.

It's good to be yourself and check each other's comfort. The person, who loves you just the way you are, actually loves you.

Photo by Piyush

I wrote back to Suzan that there is no point getting psychic, losing mind or blaming ourselves as no one controls love. Love happens.

But for marriage she should not go for the person she considers the best but wait for the one who considers her the best.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The longer line..

Sometime back we had an emotional discussion over who would win this world cup.

We talked for hours before I got my chance. I told Australia had the best chance to win; followed by Sri Lanka and then India. And within few minutes I knew that to my views there were no takers.

But I still carry the impression that mostly we run our own race. And therefore it is important that we rely more on our strengths and, not that much on competitors’ weaknesses. I believe in drawing a longer line next to a line, to make the latter smaller.

I grew up during the years when Indian team and India waited for the world cup. I have seen, despite good show by India at several occasions, how teams like Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia went ahead of us. World Cup remained the ‘cup that counts’ while we waited for the opponent to falter for India to win.

But I think this Indian team knew their strengths and weaknesses. While they tried to come out of their weaknesses, they worked very hard on their strengths, rather than being complacent about it.

I am so happy to be wrong about predicting the winner. I am so happy that this Indian team believes in their strengths, and in drawing the longer line.

(Picture taken from an album of Ajay Sudhanshu)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Can something happen over Chai ?

I took a U-turn from Sarjapura junction. It was dark and cloudy. A sudden evening rain had created a kind of traffic mess on the outer ring road.

Somewhere before Bellandur my phone rang; I took left and stopped the car to attend the call.

By the time I finished the call, I heard a thud at the rear left side. For once I thought someone had hit my car. Pissed off, I looked behind. A girl stood with an umbrella, holding the door half open.



“Will you go to Marathalli”?

The genius friends I had dropped at Sarjapura junction had left the doors open. She was almost inside the car, possibly a little desperate too, due to rain and traffic situation.

“Ok. But ...” I tried to speak.

“Koi baat nahi..extra le lena..ab chalo”, she sat in the car.

I don’t think I looked like a driver. But wearing beard and a dirty white t-shirt; driving an iron-age Alto in a dull evening; there was a remote possibility that she might have misunderstood.

“I am coming. Please wait. Lot of traffic today” She spoke over the phone. “Bhaiya..aap thora jaldi le lo please”.

The ‘Bhaiya’ insult was too difficult to bear. It killed whatsoever little hope of romance I was left with.

I kept driving ahead. My CD played the next song 'O re piya' (from Aaja Nachle). Saw her hearing the song quietly. “Hindi samajh bol lete ho"? She obviously liked that song.

“Haan”. I saw her trying to see my face. I switched the gear and looked out.

“Tum aur log nahi bithaoge"?

“Nahin. Aapnay bola na..jaldi chalo..”

“Theek hai. I will pay you extra..tum Rohan Vasantha apartment tak drop kar doge kya”?

“Theek hai”.

Rohan Vasantha is just opposite to my apartment. My phone rang again. I had to pick up. I had to reply to the caller that I will be in Mumbai next Monday.

She got a little suspicious; but by that time we had reached Rohan Vasantha. She came out..and saw my face.

“I am sorry”, came with a blush.

“But I thought you’ll say thanks”. I could not stop smiling. “Don’t worry I stay in the apartment the other side of the road”.

“Thanks. Actually I have to go out in few minutes. Will it be possible to catch up over an evening tea someday”?

“Sure”, I smiled and took the reverse gear.

They say a lot can happen over coffee. Does that apply to chai as well ?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Raj Dharma..

Over the years I grew up with an unsettling thought, something that actually made me dislike (the God) Rama.

How could he leave (the Goddess) Sita; as if she was just another property that he could dispense with; and that too when she was on the family way? What was so compelling that he, who followed all the dharmas in his life, had to leave his beloved wife in such stage?

The answer came, few months back when I saw an episode of Uttar Ramayana, the story that narrates the events after Rama’s accession as the king of Ayodhya. The story goes on till the battle for the Ashwamedha Yagya horse.

Before battling with his father, Luv asks the same question to Rama.

And Rama replies, “Raj Dharma”.  The duties of a leader, took primacy over all the dharmas.

While it may remain a debate at several forums but for the first time, I saw the reason that ‘King’ Rama couldn’t have ignored, even if the decision was as cruel to Rama himself, the husband.

But unfortunately the message of Raj Dharma is lost, and is sorely missed in many of the leaders today.

In my personal view, what they fail to do is - to detach themselves and decide.

To be able to detach means to treat all subordinates equally. Perhaps the most important trait of a leader but hardly found these days.

There is always a blue-eyed boy or a June Pinto (DTBHJ) that leaders find comfortable to go to. Unfortunately in long run, it proves to be disastrous - to other co-workers' output, to leader’s credibility and also to such favorite’s overall effectiveness.

The second most important attribute is to be able to decide. Our experience is replete with situations when leaders ask for ‘all the information’ before they decide.

The issue is when all the information is available; we don’t need a leader anymore; then a computer or an interpreter is good enough.

An informed decision is qualified with maximum 50% of information. Beyond that, the probability theories provide better reference. Therefore a leader should always be ready to decide with an element of risk.

A decision may finally prove to be right or wrong but inability to decide means the person can only fake to be a leader but s/he can’t actually lead.

Rama may not be a great husband, but I think he certainly was a great leader. And a king who managed to follow the most difficult dharma known to us...the Raj Dharma...

Sunday, January 30, 2011

To a hundred billion castaways..

Got up a little early today. Saw Adi smiling in sleep.

Sat quiet for some time. Have been little restless for few days. Some of my friends unhappy with their work and/or life, some of them bored and listless and worst still, some of them showing signs of desolation.

Last night Adi took a promise from me, to buy a yellow engine train for him next month. For next few weeks he will be happy waiting for and later playing with that train. I never see him bored. I think if we have a dream or something to look forward to, it is unlikely that we will get bored easily.

Not many of us face any dreamlessness in early years. In middle school, I was fascinated about comics, later I looked forward to score well in matriculation, and then I found myself looking for a job, and after that for a partner.

Possibly we can exclude ‘look for a partner’ from some of our friends who care or dream only about their job or are just over ambitious; and those who carry too high expectations; and also those who have apparently stopped just because it could not work out so far.

I know some friends of mine, extremely talented, those have chosen to take up a job commensurate to meet their family life requirements. They do repent, sometimes, of not following their dreams.

I also know some friends, equally talented, and have chosen to follow their dreams, but not been able to adjust to a family life. They too repent, of not settling with the marriage and its blessings, at right time.

Dreams demand madness (or selfishness) and marriage demands adjustments (or sacrifice). This remains the dilemma of our lives. And we become what we choose.

But when go too fast and focused on our dreams, and when we have all that we wanted, the question of ‘what next’ comes haunting.We end up growing faster than our age, to some of us, who have been in the habit of achieving our goals quick and early, mid life crisis too comes a little early. We get confused with what we have achieved and what we could have achieved. We get bored easily but at the same time feel very reluctant to come out of the comfort zone.

Marriage helps..

My personal view is marriage helps. You could be lucky enough to get a partner who supports you following dreams. Though it may take a lifetime to realize whether you were actually lucky. But such partners are worth all the hunt and the heartburn.

Even otherwise, I prefer marriage. Happiness comes to us in many forms. These are not necessarily the ones we could actually dream or anticipate. But we need to ‘Open Up’ and must not confine ourselves just because of an unfulfilled dream or choice.

I travel, read, and make new friends. I believe, they are amazing levelers. And I have found that this world offers more than we could ever dream of.

..handling an early mid life crisis

Mid life crisis does come to all of us, sooner or later, perceptibly or actually.

Possibly the most important thing we need to learn is how to keep the right balance between work and personal time. Imbalance is understandable if it exists for sometime (say for a month or so), but beyond that, it definitely requires an action from our side. And that includes taking some risks. Otherwise it may fill us with an annoying sense of purposelessness.

Options are plenty, if we look for those. Plan two vacations in advance. Duration doesn’t matter much but try to keep it short. Go to the places or people you really like to visit. The best part is, when first vacation is getting over, you know that very soon the next will follow. Hobbies help; may be joining a fitness program or tennis classes too; it could also be learning guitar or harmonica again.

Most of us know now that there is no end to where we can reach or of how much we can earn; but we must remember that its just one life for all of us. Nothing comes in between when we try do what we love to do. And it is never late to try.

You may never know an old friend is just waiting for you to join in the return journey..

..Walked out this morning I don’t believe what I saw
A hundred billion bottles washed up on the shore
Seems I’m not alone at being alone
A hundred billion castaways all looking for a home..

(John Mayer, Message in a bottle) 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mr Ressel Live..

“The train is slowing down. I think station is coming”, said Kuhoo. “It must be cold at the platform. Please don’t sit anywhere there. Instead get inside a waiting room”.

We had reached Londa Station today around 12:15 AM in morning. From there Kuhoo and Adi had to proceed to Yeshwantpur (Bangalore). And I had to get down, to catch Goa express to come back to Panaji by morning. I had accompanied her till Londa because her ticket was confirmed from that station only.

“I will”, I said in an almost swearing tone.

I got down. After a brief halt, the train moved on. Didn’t like that sight; but saw the train going, for a while. Few minutes later, I realized I am standing on an almost deserted platform without any trace of civilization.

It was cold there. I started looking for a waiting room. Found men’s waiting room. And found that locked. Finally a little disconsolate, I sat on an iron chair on the platform.

“Why don’t you come in there”, a voice come from behind. I saw a young married girl standing behind, pointing towards ladies waiting room, which surprisingly, was open.

“I am fine. Thanks”. I found the proposal a little strange.

“Don’t worry, there are many men sitting there already”.

I checked inside. I found two old women, one old man, around four-five guys sitting there. And I found another girl sitting half awake. I thanked and sat there.

“Where are you going?”

“Panaji. Waiting for Goa express”.

“We are also going to Goa”, she sounded happy with the coincidence.


“My name is Rashi. This is my cousin Payal. Actually I am on my honeymoon trip to Goa”.

Two girls on honeymoon! It was difficult to hide the surprise on my face.

“No, no. Actually my husband had to come as well. But he couldn’t because of some urgent work. He will reach Goa day after tomorrow”.

“I understand”.

I tried hard not to smile. I thought of the lucky idiot. Sister-in-law accompanying his wife on honeymoon.

“We could not get direct reservation in Sampark Kranti. Therefore we had to get down at this station. But we don’t mind since there is not much luggage. My husband is very particular about traveling light. But I will have some luggage on return”.

“Planning lots of shopping? Add cashew nuts in your list”.

“Yes that I have already noted. Actually I have also heard about the flea market, you have to bargain but you get real trendy stuff”.


She was quiet for few seconds. The other girl, Payal, was sleeping as if she hasn’t slept for months.

“We are from Punjab. But I have studied in Delhi. Payal also is currently studying law in Delhi. We normally take flights but you know flights are so costly these days. And trains are so much of fun. Enjoy the scenery, enjoy tea and pakodas, so comfortable, no?”


Then I acted busy. Picked up my mobile and typed a new status on facebook as if I was replying to some urgent message.

She waited desperately, “Why are you going to Goa? You stay there?”

“I am in Goa on a work assignment for few days”.

“Wow. Then you must be knowing all the happening places to go to. I have downloaded information from internet sites”, she took out some printed papers and fumbled. “Could you please tell me how to go to these places?”

“Don’t worry, you won’t get lost in Goa. And if you could get lost, then you would enjoy Goa the most”. Payal got up smiling. Possibly she wasn’t sleeping at all.

Rashi's mobile rang. She went to the door and started talking in low tone.

“She isn’t scared anymore”, Payal spoke, unexpectedly.

“Scared?” I tried to understand whether that was a compliment.

“We weren’t too comfortable because those guys have come inside the waiting room. We saw you outside. We needed company. Among all strangers, we thought you could be the lesser evil.” There was faint smile on her face.

I was a little taken aback. But this was understandable. I sat quiet.

“Which coach are you traveling? Which seat number? ” Rashi came back asking.

“B1/ 28”.

“It’s not too far. We are at B1/ 39,40”.

Train came. Slept peacefully in the train. Got down at Vasco station.

“You like to come with us? We are taking a cab. We can drop you if you like”, said Rashi.

“No. Thanks. I prefer the bus”.

“Hello, you didn’t tell your name?”

I smiled back, "I am Ressel Live". And then moved towards Kadamba bus stop.

“Strange. He doesn’t look like a Christian”, I heard Rashi saying to Payal.

Payal looked at me for few seconds. Finally she smiled, “I guess he is actually Ressel Live”..the lesser evil.

Monday, January 17, 2011

A place over the rainbow...

The very first day, I had decided to call Kuhoo and Adi at Goa. And by weekend, it was like calling them ‘whatever it takes’.

She loves beaches… opposite to my preference towards hills…and then Goa offers somewhat a mix of the two..

First day, we spent some time in evening at Miramar beach. Joined a group in kit flying and then sat quiet for the sunset. Later we joined the cruise on the river Mandovi .

Perhaps there is something in the air or the world is changing. We noticed the slow moving traffic, honeymooners’ confidence and then people sitting on roadside benches.

Last two days in Goa have been amazing. Fun in the air and in the eyes, I joined my crazy ones for Baga beach, Aquada Fort etc.. did shopping of 'God-knows-what' at every street and corner.

Mobiles off..two days completely on..water sports, tatoos, sand-castles and a lot of mindlessness.Two days of doing nothing..or not doing anything..whatever explains it..

No story to it feels like..being part of this place over the rainbow..