Friday, 26 June 2009

A Greater Force

I had chats with my predecessor, a man who claims awesomeness, a certain ex-9.583333 as well as the Moustached Marvel regarding this. Well, I put forth my views again, this time through verse.

The woods were green, tulips red

Cobbled stones covered the way

Yellow scattered ray by ray

The silhouette stared up ahead

Half thinking, half with dread.

Since a fork lay to the fore

One path preferred, another not

How to choose, why, when, what?

Gold at the end of one, said lore

The other brought scourges, nothing more.

Start similar seeming, so diverse they close

Two doors shown, the lone man’s choice

Would he cry? Or would he rejoice?

Once a road taken; the verdict froze

No comebacks, no changing course.

The incessant probe of questions beat

Which to choose? And which to leave?

The answer was there – a wondrous weave

For dwelt he in a painting, ein lied

Being but a pawn in the artist’s feat.

An expression – vexed, on his face

This was the game the painter played

As questions drummed, his dilemma stayed

His form was white, on dark canvas base

The painter’s art – to him was maze.

He couldn’t view, of the road, its end.

Yet answers simple, were painted ‘fore him

By Pastel and Oil – rich here, thither dim

Illustrating a way to follow, to tend.

And yet silent of the trail’s end.

Little he knew that the maestro, his lord

Held his life by reins in art

In series of prints, hung little apart.

His story was written, he could but nod

He solemnly wished his tale not flawed.

But within, he discerned, he knew

Whatever road he should soon take

Whichever choice he would soon make

Had already been made as the artist drew

Leading him from painting one to two.

A future he could ne’er foresee

Was but part of a greater plan

Deeply entwined with many a man.

What was, what is and what could be

Was told by strokes; the brush’s decree.

Helpless he was as his painting hung

The next one nigh; with solutions to doubt

The next episode of his tale vividly painted out

The adjacent canvas was the ladder’s next rung

The ladder was life; his story they sung.

He took joy in a fact so mere –

That whatever be his final pick

The clock of life would continue to tick

So as to take him there from here.

Everything had been written ere.

He realized the force too great

One could nought but comply with

Nothing was difficult, life was lithe

Each sketch was Life at different date

The silhouette I and the master – Fate.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

The Thirteen Rupee Travels – And More

Prologue - I've spoken about this gazillion times and yet, I feel I owe this experiance a lot more. So, disbelievers go away, but I assure - you will miss a lot... (Lot of what?) Anyway, since people are so jobless in the holidays, I'm sure one can spare time enough to read, once again, the story of my Thirteen Rupee Travels. So, here it goes... one last time.

The Earth felt white hot as I seemed to have reached the ends of the inhabited world. A blast of hot air seemed to boil the ground. His putrid breath lingered- ominous. Even, as in reflex action, my breath did cease… For I shalt not breathe Ammonia, Methelene Chloride and the likes. Nay, I shall find sweet Oxygen and only then will I rest!

‘Orchid Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Ltd’, established in the year of the Lord 1992, is a company of great repute – and it has, I concede, lived up to its name until now, to say the least. And seeing signposts indicating ‘Orchid’ some 20 kilometres from my beachside abode, I took heart – ‘Quality and Comfort’, could I ask for more? I had wondered how lucky I was when I saw those majestic (when inside; from the outside – the adjective would be ‘monstrous’) buses plying the roads. These illusions kept me going, a fuel of some sort… It was 1st June 2009 when truth finally dawned upon me!

It was that day when Providence decided to switch sides and how! The day when I would realize that the ‘Orchid’ sign 20km away is but the R&D Center and the plant I ought to go to was actually 42km from home; the day when they told me that their buses weren’t meant for trainees; the day I, being as na├»ve as I was then, accepted a project instead of observing my way out of the plant.

Soon, I was a regular visitor of Phase 25 – DMF, DMAC recovery section – the plant which is, as you might have guessed seeing how lucky I have been, the farthest unit from the main gate. My initial exponential learning curve (accompanied with, ‘This guy is from IIT!’ murmurs) reached saturation and I felt e^x had just been divided by some extraordinary number! Stagnation is never a pleasant experience, but put it together with a Chemical Industry and lack of company – Presto! You’ve brewed the most destructive concoction…

Well, I do not gloat when I say that I DID manage to solve the problem given to me, trivial though it definitely was NOT. This, using a subject I haven’t yet studied and I began, for the first time, contemplating a future in Chemical Engineering. But such joys are so often short lived, and the absence of things to do got to me fast. I began to wonder (and mentioned this to a friend or two) about how ‘Dolce far Niente’ had ceased to hold. The fact that I barely stayed in the factory for 3 hours at a stretch may speak for itself – but people failed to notice the effort behind the 3 hrs… the 2 hour travel either way on 13 Rupee bus tickets. I have a collection of these tickets now – a file full of them!

As in most stories, this one has a nice ending too. Albeit the solution, we have suffering… Albeit the suffering, a solution does exist! Scoff if you want to, but those idle times, which can be painful indeed, were no longer as idle… as I scaled the columns, and at a 50 foot height, simply stared at the sky – taking shelter behind a heat-exchanger or two. Backwaters at a distance make you forget that you still wander within the boundaries of an industry. And birds, I realized, inspired me as they did quite the same thing – sit and stare. Well, this joblessness was beautiful and 13 Rupee tickets were made worth the while…

As I walked away leaving the two mighty chimneys astern, the bright sun hid behind the cumulus gathering – which I noted were coloured in deep grey. The tree canopy notwithstanding, a first drop fell even as I stared heavenwards. It was not just Oxygen I had found – but a whole new side to life! I walked keeping true, readying myself for the two hour trip back home – with ‘Rain drops in the sky…’ – of the Colonial Cousins, on my lips…

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Food, Fun, Frolic... It's Frikkin' far!

A very long time after my last post, I chose to write again... But even as I start typing, I notice my fingers have become stubbier and my shoulders have broadened a bit. The highly overdue change in diet came on the 13th of May and ever since, my body has been greedily accepting everything that was being fed to it! Albeit putting on a couple of kilogrammes, I wouldn't call myself flabby; forget 'fat'! Just 'healthy', maybe... And then I wonder how I looked before I got here.

Multitudes of chocolate, regular doses of caffeine, some marmalade sandwiches, truffles, souffles, croissants, doughnuts, Bagels and very authentic and delicious local cuisines later, I wonder why I would ever go back to R-land! Even that dreadful drink at Costa in Terminal 1C at Delhi had tasted heavenly then! Why, I think the 'fodder' (so say the labourers who eat there) they provide us with at my intern is way better than Friday special at the mess!

My intern is going pretty well and coming to think of it, I'm actually learning stuff. But more interesting than visiting the Vacuum Distillation Columns, I've met some pretty decent people (not as interesting as the people Jetty has made 'friends' with though) out there who really make it worth travelling 90kms everyday! The travel is hell on Earth, I assure you. Now that I have trudged through the first 10 days, I'm looking forward to the next 15 to fly by.

Actually, it's been keeping me busy off late. Initially boredom filled my heart and I wished I hadn't left R-Land and all... But then, my Other Life kicked in. School friends, the intern, T20, movies, family, holiday trips and more friends have made it much more interesting. Even the weather has gotten a lot more pleasant now - not that humid. And yet, a spur-of-the-moment decision made me tell the barber, "Yeah... Shave of the hair." The rest, as they say, is history. Ksp and Dela have company. 

I've found a lot of time to myself too, these holidays. All Virgos enjoy time to themselves. Time for retrospection. Time for planning. Time to think... I've done all that. Retrospecting the past few years of my life has made me happy in general and the 'few' drawbacks will be addressed by my future plans! I've also had time to get back to writing (though, not posting) poetry, stories and random texts...

I appreciate Real's urge to reconstitute the Galacticos though I think it's sheer madness. Once bitten - twice shy, I'd say. They don't think so. Last time so many stars got together, they flopped after one season. Only time will tell.

Hope everyone is having as much fun. Cheers!

LATE EDIT: The world is NOT a wanna-be! At least not here, not now... For the record: I adore Dosais, Vadais (note the spellings) and Rasam rice among others!