Wednesday, August 01, 2007

just another guy

i always believed tht i was better than the rest. something tht sets me apart from the crowd. maybe my mom loved me too much and made me think this, maybe no one after that was concerned enough to bring me back to my senses. nwayz i was holding on to this notion for too long and it came as a bit of a rude shock when it was broken.

Perspective. thts the art of shifting focus frm "what we see" (which is wht we do 99% of the time) to "seeing ourselves" (in the grand scheme of things). you are extremely unlucky if you possess this skill. it shows a lot of unpleasant things which you could be happily oblivious to, if only u had not stopped to ponder (or read this blog :P)

for example, a typical HR intv question - "where do u see urself 5 years down the line?" i dish out a new future for myself in every interview, and im sure u must be doin the same. but whn this comes up in ponder mode? ans dont seem so easy. The problem is not tht i dont know, rather its tht i pretty much _know_ where im goin to be. and somehow i dont like it.

i am going to be just another guy...


Monday, July 09, 2007


"when it comes down to the 5th set in a championship match, its no longer tennis. "

sports at first glance seems rather stupid, or childish. Two grown-up men trying to get a rubber ball past each other and thousands of grownup men and women watching and screaming?? Whts the freakin point to all this?
Well, the fact is there is none :D and thts exactly wht makes it so fascinating. It is essentially a simulation of wht men are capable of doing if pushed to the limit. We have made our day to day lives so easy and comfortable tht somewhere tht animal urge to "fight it out" remains unquenched. Hence sports.

If your opponent is equal to you in terms of skill, tht is where the fun begins. doesn't matter wht sport, its a fight btwn two minds from then on. and in high pressure games (like facing federer/nadal on center court, wimbledon for the title with bjorn borg and a million people starring at u) its all abt character.
As they say, u can tell more abt a person in an hour of play than a year of acquaintance. it nt only shows ur character but forges it too. if u take it seriously of course. tht is why theres no fun in lifting weights and putting them down again. gimme a goal and put some smart men in btwn me and my thts what i call a sport!

as the BBC lady said to nadal, it was a priviledge to watch both of you play on center court today. give it up for the tennis icon of our generation...


Monday, April 16, 2007

Poverty: Not my problem

Chapter 1 : Growing up....

"stupid! I was so stupid then!!" From time to time if you can say this about yourself, its a sure sign that you are growing up! 'cause realizing u were stupid then, kinda makes u a bit smarter now. but is this growing up thing a continuous process? i think आपण प्रत्येक सेकंदाला जरी वयानी वाढत असलो तरी actually मोठे somewhat खटक्या-खटक्या नी होतो. These are the very rare moments which change us...even if that change is small or unnoticable, it is _always_ irreversible. म्हणून मी त्यांना 'खटक़े' म्हणतो. छोट्या-छोट्या गोष्टी असतात many times they are very personal and often unshared. Its fun to keep track of these rare events. They kindof show your journey in this world...rather the 'turns' you took in this journey. अश्याच काही खटक़्यांची गोष्टं....

I would never forget the warm summer nights of my childhood in pune. चौथी नंतरच्या मे महिन्याचे दिवस. अंबे असण्याचे आणि अभ्यास नसण्याचे दिवस. रात्री सगळी पालक़ मंडळी either balconey or सोसायटीच्या खालच्या कट्यावर निवांत गप्पा मारत बसायची. ती सुट्टी मला विषेश आठवते कारण त्या सुट्टीत मला भावाची "atlas goldline super" cycle मिळाली. ती इतकी उंच होती कि मला मधून पाय घालुन चालवायला लागायची. रोज रात्री गल्लितली १०-१५ पोरं cycle वर चोर-पोलिस खेळायची. For a long time I was dying to be a part of that action. एक दोन दिवस practice करुन मी पण रात्री माझी cycle काढली. सदाशिव, शुक्रवार, नारायण आणि नवी पेठ - ही boundry थरली. Ohh yess..I was no longer one of the little guys who played near the building where there moms can see them. This was the big league. I would race on the roads, just like big people. Felt great already! teams पडल्या..मी चोर होतो. रस्ते काहिच माहित नसल्यामुळे मी एका मोठ्या चोरा बरोबर रहायच अस थरवल.
and so the game began...पेरुगेट वरन‌‍ left घेतला, टिळकला right, मधेच कुठल्या तरी गल्लित left, परत right....we kept going. Damn these big guys were pretty fast. I was fighting to keep up. अस बराच वेळ चाललं. As I was navigating through these hitherto unknown parts of the city I glanced back to see if any of the "police" have caught up with us, and lost my fellow fugitives in the process. I found myself alone in the middle of nowhere. With no clue how to get back.
For the first few minutes I was confused. Then I was scared... started peddling aimlessly, hoping desparetly to see something familier. "अता घर परत सापडलच नाही तर काय?...कश्याला बोंब मारत ह्यांच्या बरोबर आलो..मस्त building मधे खेळत बसलो अस्तो! एक काम करु, पोलिस चौकी शोधू. अमित हारवला होता तेव्हा पोलिसांनिच त्याला परत आणला होता..."
I dont remember how I got back, or how much time I was 'lost'. But there I was back in the group all smiling and laughing. you know the best part? no one even knew that I was lost in the first place. I got into a big problem and solved it myself without anyone even knowing about it!!
that is like so...responsible, so "grown up". Ofcourse I ran upstairs and hugged my mom like a baby after that, But the moment was not lost....

I had tht "alone in the middle of nowhere" feeling again, when I deposited a check for almost 8 lakh rupees in BU. I mean what the fuck did I just do??? I had squandered my parents entire retirement savings, banking only on my hardwork and intelligence to get it back. And I had serious doubts about both. But as they say, its not an adventure if it doesn't scare u. I still remember the day I got funding and was in a position to repay every single penny. Man I felt so responsible, so "grown up". Of course I drank myself silly that night. But the moment was not lost….

असच एकदा आम्ही डेक्कन वर बिड्या मारत बसलो होतो. त्या आधी 'कु कुच कु' मधे एक मस्त कोंबडी पोटात सर्कवलेली. दुसऱ्या दिवशी MS साठी अमेरिकेला उडणार होतो. आम्ही 'जी जे घैसास' च्या steps वर बसलो होतो. compound च्या पलिकडे एक भिकारी उभा होता. beggers are as much a part of the cityscape as roads and sidewalk, so I saw him but didn't take notice as such. बिड्यांन वर बिड्या पेटत होत्या आणि अमच्या गप्पा रंगत होत्या. पण बळच माझ लक्ष त्या भिकाऱ्या कडे जात होत. तसा standard भिकारी होता,complete with फाटके कपडे, वाकलेल शरीर, सुऱ्कुतलेला चेहरा, the works! actually तो भिक पण मागत न्हवता, नुस्ताच सुन्नपणे बघत होता. आमच्या general गप्पा सुरु होत्या. topclass education, dollar मधे पगार, गोऱ्या पोरी, etc. basically bright future आणि राडा ऐश. Again my gaze drifted towards this begger dude. त्याच्या हातावर कुणीतरी एक रुपया थेवला होता आणि तो त्याच्या कडे फक्त बघत होता. I have never seen an image more devoid of hope. तशी आपली कातडी टणक असते but this paradox hit me. आम्ही इथे २५० रुपयांची कोंबडी रिचवुन ४-४ रुपायच्या बिड्या मारत होतो अणि तो ४ रुपये जमले तर रात्री उपाशी झोपाव लागणार नाही असा विचार करत असेल.

मी काही दुधखुळा नाही. I understand everybody cannot be equal. some are rich and some will be poor. But damn! I mean I can survive without a few useless luxuries like cigarettes but somebody give that man some food for christ's sake. fulltu senti होउन मी पाकिट काढल आणि हाताला लागल्या तितक्या नोटा त्याच्या हातात कोंबल्या. मला वाटल तो full खुश होइल, हसेल वगेरे. पण त्यानी त्या नोटांकडे पाहिलही नाही. सलाम केल्या सारख काहितरी केलं आणि compound ला धरत पुधे निघुन गेला. मला काही समजल नाही. I mean have seen more wretched looking beggers smile at a rupee and this guy was staring blank at 500 bucks. थोडे परत घ्यावे का, असाही विचार मनात डोकावून गेला.
मी अजुन एक गाधवपणा केला. तो जाताना त्याच्या डोळ्यात पाहील. Maybe I was smoked up but those were the eyes of a man who once had it all, and lost everything in an..instant. I could feel the mute reverberations of tht instant in his moist sunken eyes.
The paradox hit me like a bullet. I had everything to look fwd to, and tht poor old guy had nothing. At tht moment I was so god damn lucky to be me, and not him. But for a sec this thought occured to me...wht if I _was_ him. And tht scared the shit out of me. What would it be like to lose it all?
तेव्हाच एक खटका उडाला. I guess wht you need the most to survive this stay on earth is not money, not power, not people, not even food. Its plain and simple 'hope'. Everything can be built from it, everything. So buddy, you keep your hope thingy where no one can reach it, not even your closest and dearest. 'cause u lose him and u lose it all. Perhaps I could hve done without this incident, but it happened never the less.
And yes it did make me feel very "grown up".....

Take the highway they say, turns slow you down. but I think some turns are worth slowing down. कोण जाणे पुधच वळण तुम्हाला काय शिकवून जाईल !!


Thursday, March 08, 2007

One Love?

[one of my previous posts had this sentence somewhere in it "We need somebody to be there for us at the end of the day, and more importantly _only_ for us." It refused to stay buried in obscurity and came back to haunt me for a blog of its own. So here is....]

Long ago, with enough alcohol in my body to inspire this, I had asked my dad pensively "whats the most important thing in life? money, power, knowledge, truth??" "Emotions you stupid fool, emotions!" I laughed at him then, now i know better.
So heres the big daddy of them all. Love. Though my tryst with this one has been rather unfortunate it is no doubt the most intriguing of all human emotions. Literarily, everything from a sonnet to an epic has been written abt it. Financially, everyone from Shahrukh Khan to the "khare daNe" vendor outside a park makes his living out of it. Historically, everything from bar brawls to monumental wars have been fought over it. Socially, everything from a condom to a commitment has been associated with it.. which.....brings me to my point.

Commitment. (rather, the lack of it)

What is so serene, so holy so noble about this word? Why does the almighty all powerful love, loose all its seriousness without its backing? Ayn Rand says “Love is the emotional price we pay for enjoying the virtues in others." Ok....i didn’t get that either, but do you guys sincerely believe that one human being can love just _one_ other human being in his entire life? I mean do you really buy that “mere liye koi ek bana hai, aur wo (god, I presume) mere dil ko ishara karke batayega..” yash chopra style crap? And am talkin romantic, dead serious, bottom of heart, no chance in hell kinda love. Not the hot body, crazy for sex love. If love is such a great thing, why is it so immoral to have it twice? Which law or what reason says it _has_ to be unique. If love just happens, then how can we be so sure that it wont happen again?? Somehow this commitment thing does not seem aligned with the spirit of love. There is no restriction on whom you love, who decided this 1 per lifetime upper limit then? How can a reasonable man/women ignore this simple reasoning and say, whtever they say while getting married! This, deciding your partner when ur around 25 (btw..this is the age when you r at ur stupidest best) and then sticking to it without thought or option till the end, is more of a convenience than true volition.

Society must have experimented with this looong ago and came up with the most simple and robust solution that we see today. One Love, One Family, simple, no complications. You follow this chain - birth, education, income, marriage, kids, retirement, goodbye.- and u r acceptable. u don't and u r looked down upon. love anyone other than ur partner, ur guilty. Simple rules. Keeps the society intact. But are u really guilty? This multi-love theory may not be this simple. i mean there are some 'practical' problems. For one..who do you stay with? :D But that doesn't mean its wrong morally. We are so imbibed with this "not making or breaking a commitment is a sin" idea that we simply can't comprehend the other side. I agree its time tested to work almost flawlessly. But that is basically for people who, out of ignorance or fear play by the societies rules....
My point is why can’t we (people who can and will…think!) decouple love and commitment? We should have a choice. Judging the seriousness of love by the willingness to commit, is wrong. The society will never approve of it, hmmm....but doesnt that make it all the more worth it? (just kidding..ignore me and have a happy life)

Of course there is a personal and perhaps more important aspect to this. You meet someone and that person brightens up your life like never before. Life is so beautiful that u r shit scared of losing it. Commitment seems so soothing. You demand it, get it at all costs and promise to love nobody else again, ever. I saw nishabdh the other day (stupid movie..zia khan is hottt though). Wife gets angry ‘cause husband likes another girl. Sad, I understand, very sad in fact. But angry?? I don’t get it. The world might say its infidelity but I can never accept that loving can be a crime no matter what the promise or the consequence.

Most of us will get married and stay together till “death do us part”, always _assuming_ that it was love that kept us together and not the commitment, of course not!.We will n'joy our _unique_ status in our partner's life and make a big scene if that status is lost. Just like normal people. But there might be very very few among us who will not commit but still stay together for ever _knowing_ it was love and nothing but love that kept them so. Those brave-hearts will most assuredly deserve but even more assuredly _not_ get, our society’s utter respect. And I wonder why….. :)