Monday, 8 March 2010

A Tribute

There are times of unbounded ecstasy. These are moments of sheer jubilation, though hard to come by, which we would like to etch forever into the chronicles of our life so as to recall them during the grayer periods of our mortal existence. These are sources of courage, hope and unbounded delight which are keep the years ticking by without us going quietly insane. These are times when we know we have reached that depth we always knew we had in us; times when there is so much happiness, it is almost vulgar; times when the ground disappears from our field of vision; times when we feel we should honour ourselves, not with marble statues and monetary rewards, but with an acknowledgement from within - that we are, indeed, awesome. At times like these, I listen to a song.

Then there are moments of unparalleled sorrow. Though universally proclaimed a cheap emotion, self pity has an almighty impact- drowning us, asphyxiating us and swallowing our minds as we plunge into an endless spiral... Lower and lower, as the worst memories hit us, again and again. And again, shattering whatever remains of a meager self-belief as we soak in our own tears. Life seems pointless, people become cruel and wicked beasts, and our head sinks so low, we barely see a few feet in front of our apologetic stride. At times like these, I listen to a song.

And then there are those inexplicable days. Hours crawl by and yet rip through life at a relentless pace, tearing apart the fabric which defines our world. And it does this all so slowly. Challenges pile up to form kilometer high columns and Helplessness is the only emotion left accessible to you. Frustration and dejection, which were once carefully tucked away in a corner, smirk viciously from the centre of your brain. Even tears fail you, as the bottle fails to uncork. Slowly, gently, the searing heat transforms into a bitter chill; pain gives way to emptiness and calm… As steel slides against flesh, the latter yields lightly, and you feel it leaving you, with the blood. You want to let it flow.
But, there's an alternative. I listen to a song.

"There is no pain you are receding
A distant ship's smoke on the horizon.
You are only coming through in waves.
Your lips move but I can't hear what you're saying."

The song is 'Comfortably Numb'. Thank you, Pink Floyd.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Holi's Hypocritical Heaven

My 20 has seen a lot of ups and downs; oh yes, very many. And each crest and trough has been religiously documented on the Konfessions, serving to rekindle warm memories when videos turn to stills, as memory fades. But each experience leaves behind a change; good, bad or ugly, but a change all the same. I once thought I would dedicate a post to my half century, but now I'm reserving it for the ton which, god willing, will come. So here is my fiftieth. Here's another change.

I just got back, having alighted a heavily overloaded bus and being made to walk half a dozen kilometers by a pleasant bus-conductor who very politely refused to move an inch closer to IIT R, a distance which I negotiated in a dazed stupor with passers-by leaping out of my way thinking I was at inebriated ease. I'd have loved the experience had I been awake to see it. Oh well, I just returned from Pinky's house.

It wasn't my first time, but nothing could have felt more different. To put things blandly, I felt much like a Guppy in lemonade; the surroundings are sweet, but it's still out of water. For one thing, I realized that Garhwalis are the true Mountain-folk I used to imagine when I was a kid; a happy and cheerful lifestyle, quaintly boisterous folk-music, energetic dance with loops all over. I hate to admit it, but Chetan Bhagat in his fourth nonsensical best-seller has some irrefutable arguments: However cosmopolitan you think you are, when you are some 2k length-measures away from home ground, you feel like the aforementioned Guppy!

I celebrated Holi for the first time in IIT R last year; the first year saw me sneaking away in the shadows escaping a Mud-bath. In the second year, I was caught unawares; WONA assaulted us - a sad day indeed... But this was the first Holi-at-home kind of situation. The water caught me and so did a few colours. I hit back, though rather meekly through half-hearted attempts, unlike the Pink marauder who soaked anything between 5 and 95 years of age, irrespective of gender, species and vehicle being used. All the while the neighbour's snow-white Pomeranian was seen donning Tiger-hues. All was well until now. Then came the dance.

A few strange, incomprehensible, quintessential mountain tunes filled the air and people began to dance, and how! Yours truly managed admirably, dancing with great composure and grace, leaving the crowd in wonderment, even as they imagined how similar the great Woolly Mammoth would look were it to dodge a Panzer raid. But when it came to food, I came out with straight A's! No matter where you go, my eating gospel remains the same: 'Eat as many things as you can, in as large proportions as is buccal-ly acceptable.'

No Pinky celebration is ever complete without a copious amount of photographs shot, which finally lets me understand why they had to shift out of the 'reel-system'. They simply couldn't make enough of them. As usual, I remained camera-shy or wished, in retrospect, that I had. And that was Holi-2010.

P.S. Why would you run away from colour and water when you want to get yourself colourfully dirty anyway? Bah.

P.P.S. Happy Bloggiversary, blog.