Saturday, February 24, 2007

Now, the trio :-(

A couple of years back, four guys came together to live in a place called as Rolla. Everything was pre-decided in India as to who our roommates were going to be, and so it was no surprise that we stuck on together when we came here. We were perfect vegetarians, conservative and outgoing, having the right blend of modernity and orthodoxy. We knew from day one that we were perfectly made for each other (before jumping to conclusions, I meant "roommates" and nothing more!!).

The four of us
I remember the early days, when we used to sit back and start off a discussion that would seem as if it was going to end in the next few minutes. The discussion would meander endlessly, and as one of us swaggered lazily to look at the wall clock, he would let out a shriek "Oh!! Do you guys realize that we have been talking for the last three hours on a variety of topics?" We would then with great difficulty get up from our positions and worry about Buvva (food!!) for the night. Obviously, we would feel like kicking ourselves for having gone into the tiny details of the topic. But, what fun that was!! Truly unimaginable! In the last two years, we would have got into every conceivable discussion, with various arguments, rare cases of emotional outbursts (yours truly is good at this!), fun-filled teasers, giving out opinions on every possible person whether you know him well or not, share your fantasies and crushes, the past and the dreams that you hope unfold in the future, reality, hardships, happiness, low points in life, uncertainities, comment about various school events, professors, jobs, money, power, position and finally, rather primarily, girls! It was great to stick together in these two years, worrying about the "at that point" important things in life. Life never ceases to throw challenges at you, and it is fun to examine and combat these various facets of life.

The Jokes
The jokes form the fun aspect of our lifestyle. At times, all of us would get very busy in our lives, saving little time for others. The cramped schedule of our life with the many courses and research would mean we see very less of each other. But even in those times, we would spend some quality time together. One of us would crack a PJ (no guesses as to who it is!!) from the room, and suddenly you would notice all the four of us in the room pulling each other's legs and taking the joke to an entirely new dimension of discussion. Yadu superior (he got this title recently) would stand giving out a wry smile, Rama would have used hundred gant... and kak..., while Venkatesh would be So, everything trying to prove a point with great difficulty, and obviously I would be the filler for totally incompatible jokes. Like before, we would realise we have spent enough time on this trivial thing and head back to normalcy. It was great to be the four since there was not a trace of no nos in terms of money or anything. At one point, we cared not a thing about what we were spending, and it was a classic case of a well knit unit.

Rama has gone on an internship program to a tiny town in Pennsylvania. The rest of us are graduating in May, while Rama is returning to school in November. None of us would be there to share those great moments in Rolla. All of us will be ploughing our way to the corporate world, and the chance of two of us, let alone four of us, finding a job in the same city is as remote as Scotland winning the cricket world cup. Though we know about the advancement in technology, messengers and telephones can just not be ideal substitutes for person to person interaction. It was certainly painful to see the cherubic Rama leave us, and each of us were immersed in an unexplainable mist of grief. It is not an easy feeling to let go of some people in life, and it gets all the more difficult when you have spent a considerable amount of time with someone. At the time of leaving, all of us were cracking jokes and trying to act as if we were soaked in a sea of happiness, whilst all the time knowing the invisible tears choking our emotions. Certainly, one of the most emotional points in our lives without a glint of exaggeration. The dynamic four got reduced to trio and we were just following our destiny. Destiny has written a concrete script in our lives, and there is no way in the world to bypass destiny.

The Room
After Rama left, Yadu had to show off his cleanliness after a gap of two years. His room, he says, is spic and span, thanks to the space created due to Rama's internship. But, for a change, myself and Venkatesh have to agree - their room is actually clean. Now, we plan to dump some of the items from our room to Yadu's lounge. After a long day of cleaning (look at our fridge!!), I just had the time to compose this rather emotional piece.

But our discussions and talks about the past and the future are not disturbed, and we are still in pursuit of our dreams. If you wonder why we do not discuss about the present, it is just that the present is never as bad as the past, and never as rosy as the future!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Am I going to stop?

I have this rather great(let not others answer this question) habit of humming tunes while listening to songs. It is no doubt a wonderful thing to be in a state of artful thinking. Being passionate about music doesn't mean you get the basic elements right to reproduce the same. But, there should be some coherence to the originality that would make others to listen to the so called hum. What happens if the standard deviation takes you to terrible limits?

Last night, I was listening to some of my all time favourite songs of AR Rahman. Obviously, the music takes you to unimaginable heights that you are left wondering how in the world did he come up with those out of the world compositions. The mesmerizing thought just adds fuel to the fire, and almost sub-consciously, you begin to follow the lyrics without paying any heed to others around you. Venkatesh, a step away from my seating position, asked me to calm down and came up with a suggestion. Why don't you put on the headphones, listen to the song, sing simultaneously with it and record it using Windows Sound Recorder? Once you do that, I bet you will never hum any tune in your life! This actually sounded like a good idea, not because I wanted to base my humming from the results of a sound recorder, but just that I wanted to listen to my voice and see how close it comes to the perfectionist. As I sang away to glory, I was not able to concentrate on the song knowing fully well that Venkatesh was hidden under the blanket keeping his emotions in check. The emotions comprised of everything - frustration, irritation, pent up anger and a bout of sarcasm that can drive any budding singer to abysmal depths. Inspite of the numerous facades of emotion expressed by him, I continued with my song and finished up with one stanza of Yeh Jo Des Hai Tera from Swades. He then told me in a serious voice, After listening to this, if you don't give up singing, I will kill you! I saved the sound recording carefully, and played it from Windows Media player expecting it to start off in a hearable fashion though not in a spectacular way. I listened to the song and then came up with the statement Yeah, I couldn't sing this line properly since even great singers can't reproduce that properly. He immediately retorted, "Do you think all the other lines are sensational? How can you find fault with a single line when everything is butchered?" This actually sounds good in Tamil "Aamanda, Baaki yella linum romba nanna vandhurku paaru". I kept quiet like a silent assassin and then consoled myself with the fact that people are jealous of my abilities. But then, I will not mention anything about the outcome of the sound recorder. It can get too embarrassing!!!!

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Man..Man..What man!!!

Indians have this habit of translating the conventional thought of native tongue to the superfluous English language. Obviously, it does sound awkward at times, providing food for thought about the sentence formed. Somehow, many words have just found its way into the day to day sentences. Be it a North Indian or a South Indian, there are some typical words that get essayed in normal usage.

It is not uncommon to find two Indians in a "man"ly conversation. A typical desi style talk would meander on these lines

x: Hi! How are you man?
y: I am good man. What about you?
x: These days, I am busy man! Lot of work man!!!
y: OK man! Catch you later!!

Notice the gist of the conversation, an average of "one" man per sentence, and as the complexity of the sentence increases, the "man" increases proportionately. At a particular point, the conversation was too funny once my roommates and I realised the "manly" usage of the word.

RL: Good man, I did this!
GK: What is this Rama, good man, he man, she man!!! Grow up man!!!

The usage was so spontaneous that VH burst out laughing highlighting the usage of the word. Another commonly used word is "only".

x: Who did this project?
y: I only did this project. ("Only" here is used to highlight the enormity of the effort! Don't ask me how it fits in in the sentence)

"I also know how to do it" is supposed to be a replacement for "I too know how to do it". These words just cannot be taken out from the jargon of daily usage. It keeps hitting back in some form or the other without one's conscious.

Words have a telling effect on the listener. With hundreds of different languages and their varied dialects in India, there are different ways of highlighting the enormity of the situation in the local tongue. It is very easy to express your feelings in the best possible way by using the right expressions, which is totally unmatched when it is translated to a different language. It is with a hope of sustaining the originality that we try to match the sentence in the other language. But not always does it work to perfection, rather it never works to perfection. At the end of the day, everything is a pot-pourri of emotiongs flooding the language with the whims and fancies of the teller.

Monday, February 05, 2007

In a daze...

As I look at the calendar and see the number of days that are attached so called special significance, I wonder where we are heading. Every day is more or less commercialized. Father's day, mother's day, friendship day, valentine's day, dog's day, cat's day, pet's day....and the list seems never ending. Half the time, I end up forgetting people's birthdays, and also wonder what the fuss is all about. As long as you like a person, you would end up doing good for the person. Why wait for a particular day if you have to express your love and affection?

Open a website, and the message would prop up Express your love to your mother, buy some roses for your valentine, do this to your best friend...... I would never wait for Mother's day to remember my mother. I don't even know when Mother's day actually falls on. I get reminded about it from numerous television programs and thousands of web pop-ups that disturb my browsing peace. I wonder where the modern fantasies are taking the present day youth. The marketing is so good that people get attracted by trivial things. The money is out there, you just have to find ways to blow it up. Also, that doesn't mean one shouldn't be curbed off their freedom to celebrate these days. I remember the moral policing that was taking place in Bombay and Madras when the so called preservers of moral code and ethics went about damaging shops and malls that were promoting the celebration of Valentine's day. Nobody has any right to stop others from doing what they want. We have reached a situation where everyone wants to experience these new things in life, and get associated with the gloss and superficialities around us. So, why stop when in a matter of time you would realize the cons associated with such things.

Birthdays were supposed to be accompanied by wishes and visits to temples, and of course spending quality time with near and dear ones. That's what I thought! But how wrong I was. I see people get kicked mercilessly as if their very existence is a sin and their birth is the main cause of all the wrong things in life. Of course all this happens in the name of birthday bumps and gives me every reason to flee. I remember when back home, I wouldn't even wait till 12 to get the birthday wishes. I would be in the middle of a deep sleep, wake up early in the morning to wishes from parents (my brother would be sleeping when I get up, so obviously he would wish me late in the day), pack my bags to school/college/office depending on which stage of life I was in, come back in the evening, go to the Hanuman temple close to the Malleswaram Railway Station and end the day with a feeling of everlasting peace. That's birthday celebrations for me!!!!

But for the time being, let me await for the Valentine's Day and put up with numerous advertisements commencing two weeks before the so called D day and two weeks after it. As my roommate says rightly, We fellows would repent that it is yet another Valentine's Day that has gone abegging!!!! But, seriously, it just does not make a difference to my life.

Thursday, February 01, 2007


There are moments in life when everything around you comes to a standstill and the only thing that seems to be filling the void are your thoughts. Not everyone can give you company at every point in life, and there is always this strange feeling that you might be left stranded some day. The way life paces out itself is truly amazing. An unexplainable lowest ebb in your life creates a queasy and uncertain thought in your head, and according to me is certainly the most complicated aspect of life. You have no idea why you are going through certain things that you shouldn't be going through. There is nobody to look upto, since everything turns unexplainable. You just sit and wonder whether people around you would be able to comprehend the incomprehensible. Thoughts come streaming in when your mind is blanked out of everything. This according to me is the worst experienced feeling till now.

There is always this tendency for an individual to go back in time and hope to set right what might have gone wrong in life. That would have certainly been the best invention. Time machine going into the past and tweaking your life to get the basic concoctions right for a better tomorrow would certainly have made good headlines. Sometimes, expectations from life is a bit too much and the twist and twirls can leave you gasping for breath. As a student away from home, having to undergo this emotional trauma now and then can be truly mind boggling. It is easy to come up with statements like Life throws a lot of challenges and that we should battle all these things. This statement is truly laudable, but in reality, when you are not in your elements, I am not sure whether anything will help including having friends. One of the most difficult things is to contain your emotional surges at the wrong moments. An experience of living away from home is one of the biggest learning aspects in life. The learning comes from not undergoing these travails but coming out of it unscathed.

It is just that you know some days are not your days. It is better to stick on with what you are doing than interact with anyone. As each day passes by, the various facets of emotion has just taught me to cope up with various thoughts. All along through these travails, thoughts fortunately or unfortunately do not desert the deserted. It just beats me how thoughts can take you to unimaginable situations through fascinating sojourns braving forth rugged terrains lifting you from the grasp of the uncertainties around you. It is during these times that an inspirational touch can do more than a handful to lift you from the dumps.

As my thoughts come streaming in...