Wednesday, July 23, 2008

The accident and the century

I completed 100 smoke free days two days ago. That is, on the day I dropped biwi to airport. As usual, it rained in the morning, to indicate hellhell. Biwi covered herself in a bedsheet; like a terrorist going to blow up the airport, as we didn’t have a raincoat and she hadn’t ordered a cab. Anyway, I was concerned whether she would be able to walk at her office.

We met with an accident. The auto carrying us back had toppled near lotus temple which we couldn’t enter as we reached there late. A car bumped into auto; toppling it at full speed. I didn’t get a scratch as I fell on biwi but biwi got badly scratched arms and sprained ankle. And the first thing that biwi asked as soon as she got up was: “Did anything happen to my face?” and I could only marvel at the obsession of women with their faces, especially pretty ones like biwi. Biwi later told me that those scratches were the biggest wounds of her life till now. I felt sorry for her. I would have preferred the auto to topple over my side. In fact, I was miserable whole night because biwi was wounded.

Anyway, in this hoopla I forgot that I had not smoked for 100 days. I last touched a cigarette on the evening of April 10th, before going to my wedding reception. Raghu was with me then and I told him that this would be my last cigarette in life. He laughed and shook his head like an Indian chameleon as he had heard me say that many times. But I meant it this time. And I have kept my word. Life has not changed much. I sometimes miss the smoke in my lungs. And the soft kick I got out of it. The curling smoke from the navy cut that transported my melancholy to higher levels is absent. And my long time wish to kick the butt has finally come true. I feel like Tendulkar after hitting a century. Only that I don’t have people to cheer. It’s a lone fight and a lone victory. And the saddest part is, I myself forgot about completing 100 days, otherwise, I could have asked Biwi for extra favors on Monday to celebrate the century. What a miss!


Monday, July 7, 2008

Jane tu ya jane na...

I call her 'biwi' as no one else can call her by that name. It's customized just for me. When she's around, I am always with her, following her, talking to her, arguing and ahem, doing other things as any other couple. The difference is, currently we are not together. She's in Bangalore, I am in Delhi. And thereby lies a tale.
She has become a comet in my life, and i have become her Sun (not son, please..). And the behavior too matches. When she's far, we both attract each other and when she comes near, like she did last week, i burn her with my nonsense thinking here...i just mean i sometimes fight with her. Anyway, that's minor part, the major part is love.
She's still the same girl i fell in love with (i guess i am still the love increases every day). When she smiles, my heart beats faster. And i now believe that we have both heaven and hell on earth, right here. Heaven's when she's around, and hell's when she's not. Simple. I was in heaven when she came last week, now that she's gone, it's hell. And while i dropped her to airport, I realized one more thing. There's something call hellhell, that's double hell. The state of existence where you know that you are going to be in hell in few minutes and you can't do anything about it. And in hellhell you also smile while doing the act that sends you to hell. Like I smiled at Biwi when she left me at the airport. She went in and 'thud' i fell into hell. Yes, the sound 'thud' was there, trust me. The descent was quick, and hurts. In my native tongue, 'hell' means 'shit' (pronounced more like 'hale'). I am in deep hell now. Take the meaning either way, it fits. And in hell, all i have is her momories from past few days.
I can live with that till the next meeting. The sweet nothings that she cooed into my ears will vibrate till we meet again. Her image, that's etched in my eyes, and that i see whenever i close my eyes, will last till i see her again. She has left me with ample love to fill the void in my study breaks. Just the thought of her takes away all my worries and I smile.
Biwi came to lift me up from hell, she did more than that, lifted me to heaven and now that she's gone, I am back. But she made my life liveable in hell now. And she gave me the hope that we shall meet again, and as they say, people live on hope in hell. And I am thankful to her for giving me the hope. I will survive. And as one of my favorite country songs by Don goes:

My heart is out of control
this ole love struck soul
Just lives for the moment you're around
When I hold on to you it is all I can do
just to keep my feet on the ground
Desperately loving you desperately
When you're not here with me
I get a little bit crazy
Constantly I think about you constantly
Look at what you've done to me
I'm just like a little baby
Oh I love you desperately

Missing biwi as usual,


Thursday, June 19, 2008


I love my wife. No brainer, huh? But I do LOVE my wife. Well I guess I should have emphasized the correct word in previous sentence. It should be - I love MY wife. Of course, she is 'my' wife but the feeling of 'my' also means, that in some way, I think that she is my possession. I believe, deep down, that I possess her. How true and sad. But is that so? Do I possess her? If i say yes, i become a possessive husband, the one we love to hate in Hindi TV serials.
If I say no, then the matter is serious. Then the sentence would be " I love wife" - which somehow doesn't make much sense to me, except if i love everyone's wife, which of course, due to technical reasons, is difficult.
So, what's the solution? The solution i believe is, not to say to anyone that 'I love my wife'. Just tell her (the wife) that 'I love you'. And leave it at that. But social situations, like introducing the spouse to someone, again creates trouble.
Now the problem is, how to introduce her? Shall I say, "Meet my wife...(name)" or shall i just say the name "She's ...(name), she happens to be my wife" or is it " She's ...(name), she adopted me as her husband".
I like the last one. The girl-who-adopted-me-as-her-husband didn't object.
I don't know how the girl-who-adopted-me-as-her-husband would have solved this problem. She has better brains...


Friday, February 22, 2008

The one who stopped the search...

(Message: Thanks to the anonymous who left two beautiful comments on this blog. I have few questions for him but don't know how to approach)
Sitting alone in the office, at 8 45 pm, I am waiting for a mail from my onsite coordinator. I plugged on the headphone to the CPU and put on nirvana, the classic 1994 live recording of ‘the man who sold the world’. The song always make me sad, it makes me feel as if I have missed something very precious. It’s as if the irony of existence shakes me from end to end. I feel as if I am missing the bigger picture somewhere. It is the same feeling that I sometimes get when I am absolutely alone. The string of thoughts collapses at some point and I am left hanging, like a spider hanging by a thin thread, blown by the wind to some unknown direction, into the oblivion. I feel the same when I visit some quiet place, like an ashram or an empty temple. I feel the same when I am alone in the room, when I stare blankly at the walls, trying to figure out the big picture. I search for the answer in the books, I search for it in the eyes of my beloved, I search for it in the songs and in the pause between my two breaths. I search for it in the holy places, I search for it inside my heart, I search for it in the intoxicated state of mind, I search for it in the tired body after a heavy workout and I search it in the cool breeze after the rain.
I am so tired of this continuous search that I have started to run away from it. I try to hide somewhere. I try to hide in the small joys of life, i try to hide myself in the daily chores, I try to hide in my office work, I try to hide myself in the duties of life, I try to hide myself from myself by trying not to understand myself.
Sometimes, I fail. Like when I listen to that song. Like in the instances i mentioned above. And that’s when i am sad, terribly sad, and so sad that sadness redefines itself.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Time stops when I look at her face

Time stops when I look at her face. My eyes are glued the moment they meet hers. There’s something that keeps me from looking away, and I think I would never figure out what. I think she is the most beautiful girl in the world. And I’ve told it to her many times, and every time I tell this to her, she responds in a different way. Sometimes she never believes it, sometimes she acts as if she didn’t believe and at some other times she passes some comment which makes me look like a fool. Yes, I do look like a fool in front of her, and I accept it shamelessly, as if it’s the most natural thing for me.
She knows it when I am looking at her, and then, she won’t look straight at me, she would look at something else, all the time maintaining a teasing smile on her lips and trying to probe from her peripheral view if I am still looking at her. It’s bewitching. And then, after some time, she will face me full, and smile softly. The smile brings out a beautiful dimple on her cheek which plays hide and seek with me.
There’s a shine in her eyes which one sees only in a child. The experiences of the world have failed to snatch it from her. She has this innocence on her face which makes her stand out in the crowd. Her lips are naturally pink, so much so, that I once asked her whether they are red. And again, I looked like a fool.
The words fail when I am with her. My speech competes with the butlers of British raj. And I make such obvious goof-ups that I pity myself at times. I try to define how I feel when I am with her, and I fail, time and again. When she's with me, I lose myself and the world melts.
Sometimes, she hums to herself when she walks with me. The joy of living comes naturally to her. I am yet to see someone so happy, in the natural sense. And that’s what makes her so beautiful. The quiet moments between us, when neither of us speaks, broken only by the lilting sound of her ear rings, are the most beautiful moments of my life. The brief moments when she holds my hand, are the most cherished.
Time stops when I look at her face. And my heart would stop the day her face is not there.


Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The unburdened

I am a pauper at 28. Absolutely nothing in my pockets. To survive, i am staying at one of my friends' place without giving him any rent. He also sponsors part of my luxuries, i mean my chai and suttas. For meals, my younger brother, an army captain, sends me money at the beginning of every month. More or less. So you got it.
Add to it the fact that I stay at Bangalore. My roomies are techies. They earn infinite amount of money in terms of earning ratio (half a lakh divided by zero is infinity, half a lakh their salary and zero being mine). And there are usual attractions of a big city, which i, of course due to my financial constraints, resist. Except books. I buy them from the borrowed money from friends. I read a lot. Fiction, facts, biographies, short stories anything and everything that i find interesting in a big book stall.
Lately, I wondered if I have become thick skinned. The rhino type you know. Shameless enough to survive on begging. Then I counterargue, No, I am a knowledge worshipper, a kind of modern gyana yogi, and I don't need money. Knowledge and wisdom enlightens, money lightens, roughly. Money fills ones physical hunger, knowledge, mental. And so the argument goes.
But at times, sitting alone in room, the self doubt returns. Am I missing something. I mean, isn't it manly to earn at this age. What am i doing? And i have the capacity to earn decent if i wish. So what stops me from getting back? Have I become lazy? Is it that i have started liking the current lifestyle? The last point makes me ponder.
Yes, I remember when I was working I had a decent bank balance and shares of various companies. I was always worried about investing properly lest i make less returns. A full pocket always kept me away from real life. Now that I am a pauper and no money to manage, i have a hippie lifestyle. Living for today. I am not sure where my next sutta comes from, or the meals for next month. But I know that I am trying to know. And I know that with money I didn't know that i don't know and without money, I know that I don't know. So, that's a huge improvement from money to no money if you understood what i mean.
So, here I am, writing perhaps one of my last blogs as i am not sure whether i will have money to come to an internet parlour tomorrow. But yes, I have two unfinished books, which i am simultaneously reading. One is 'God' and the other 'Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy'. And do i like it? You are asking a horse if it likes grams.
Being absolutely penniless is an experience which cannot be experienced if you have money (and you might not want the experience if you don't have money if you are not a knowledge worshipper). No guru can simulate the experience for you. For once, I know that there is something more than my free will that runs the universe. And it is that, which knows, for sure, where my next sutta comes from. So close to me, yet i don't know. And the knowledge is liberating.
Sincerely, go pauper once, the experience will last you a lifetime and maybe, beyond.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

The bird-watcher from the skies

The sound of the overflowing water from the tank bothered me. I couldn't concentrate on the book. How can someone be so callous to leave the motor 'on' and let so much of water overflow from the tank? I stay on third floor and the roof the the neighbouring building is next to my balcony. The tanks are on the roof and whenever it overflows, I can hear the sound. The water falls on the roof as the pipe cannot be directed down lest the water falls on someone passing by in the lane. The water forms a small puddle over the roof before taking the drain pipe down. It was almost an hour since it started overflowing. I felt like shooting the fellow responsible for this. Underground water is so precious and this fellow is just pumping and letting it go. Just like that. What does he think? I gave up. I though I must go down, go to the next building and tell the fella to switch off his motor. I got up. Moved out. Had a look at the water gushing out of the tank. And then I saw a beautiful scene. Dozens of pigeons were rolling in the water all over the roof. They were flapping their wings happily wherever water was flowing. Yes, it was really hot at 4 PM in the afternoon. Even I was in shorts and nothing else on my body. It would be real fun to do what these birds were doing. Only that, I have lost the innocence long ago, and with that my courage to be free, well that't the price to belong to this society. I envied their independence. At the same time, I couldn't stop watching them. They were oblivious to my presence and were having their time in cool water. If happiness can create a happy aura around it, it was here. I lost count of time and I just watched. I felt happy from within. Suddenly the motor stopped. The owner must have realized that the water is overflowing. One by one, all the birds flew off. The roof was all empty again. I felt a bit sad. And ashamed too. Sad because the birds went. Ashamed because I was planning to go down and switch off the motor which would have stopped these innocent birds from having a moment of respite from the sweltering heat of Delhi, and I would have missed the chance to see some souls in pure joy.
There's someone who provides for everyone. I thank HIM. I think, it was his decision to let the motor run. Hey man, YOU are simply great.