Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Yeh Woh Jagah Toh Nahi...

Haan, yeh shahar toh ab bhi wohi hai
Yahaan ke log, ghar sab wohi hai
Lekin jisse main kabhi chhod kar gaya tha
Yeh woh jagah toh nahi.

Hawayein toh ab bhi chalti hai yahaan
Magar mere baalon ko sehlati nahi,
Logon ki chehel-pehel aur hansi bhi hai
Par mere mann ko behlati nahi.

Ghar, baahar, ados, pados mere yahaan
Gair toh koi nahi par ajnabi sabhi hain,
Sadakein, deewarein sab jaane-pehchane se
Paraya toh kuch nahi par achanak door sabhi hain.

Fark nazare ka hai ya phir nazariye ka,
Behoshi mein iska ilm toh nahi raha,
Lagta hai aakhir yeh shahar hi badal gaya,
Ya phir shayad main woh nahi raha...

Monday, April 21, 2008

About A Girl...

I saw “Good Will Hunting” for the first time when I was very young and found it a dull, slow film. Recent viewings, however, unearthed spectacularly touching layers in it, catapulting it to the list of my favourites.

One of the best moments in the film comes from the following, seemingly casual exchange between Sean (played by a restrained Robin Williams as only he can) and Will (Matt Damon- thank you for that script!). It is a conversation that suddenly, strikingly exploded into my life once again.

Will: So, when did you know, like, that she was the one for you?
Sean: October 21st, 1975.
Will: Jesus Christ. You know the fuckin' date?
Sean: Oh yeah. Cus' it was game six of the World Series. Biggest game in Red Sox history.
Will: Yeah, sure.
Sean: My friends and I had, you know, slept out on the sidewalk all night to get tickets.
Will: You got tickets?
Sean: Yep. Day of the game. I was sittin' in a bar, waitin' for the game to start, and in walks this girl. Oh it was an amazing game, though. You know, bottom of the 8th Carbo ties it up at a 6-6. It went to 12. Bottom of the 12th, in stepped Carlton Fisk. Old Pudge. Steps up to the plate, you know, and he's got that weird stance.
Will: Yeah, yeah.
Sean: And BAM! He clocks it. High fly ball down the left field line! Thirty-five thousand people, on their feet, yellin' at the ball, but that's not because of Fisk. He's wavin' at the ball like a madman.
Will: Yeah, I've seen...
Sean: He's going, "Get over! Get over! Get OVER!" And then it HITS the foul pole. OH, he goes apeshit, and 35,000 fans, you know, they charge the field, you know?
Will: Yeah, and he's fuckin' bowlin' police out of the way!
Sean: Goin', "God! Get out of the way! Get 'em away!" Banging people...
Will: I can't fuckin' believe you had tickets to that fuckin' game!
Sean: Yeah!
Will: Did you rush the field?
Sean: No, I didn't rush the fuckin' field, I wasn't there.
Will: What?
Sean: No - I was in a bar havin' a drink with my future wife.
Will: You missed Pudge Fisk's homerun?
Sean: Oh yeah.
Will: To have a fuckin' drink with some lady you never met?
Sean: Yeah, but you shoulda seen her. She was a stunner.
Will: I don't care if Helen of Troy walks in the room, that's game six!
Sean: Oh, Helen of Troy...
Will: Oh my God, and who are these fuckin' friends of yours they let you get away with that? Sean: Oh... They had to.
Will: W-w-w-what'd you say to them?
Sean: I just slid my ticket across the table and I said, "Sorry guys, I gotta see about a girl."
Will: I gotta go see about a girl?
Sean: Yeah.
Will: That's what you said? And they let you get away with that?
Sean: Oh yeah. They saw in my eyes that I meant it.

It was a great match, the IPL premiere- stars, pomp, razzmatazz, glamour- and, perhaps first and foremost, McCullum and his 158 not out. A match that everyone I know made sure they did not miss- including me. I think Ananya will forever hate me for dragging her out of office- almost physically- well before the official end of the day and rushing to the station by auto. But that was necessary- I was set to view it at a sports bar on Grant Road, over an hour away from the office. I made it there too, just in time.

If Ananya minded my dragging her there, she will certainly not forgive me when I tell her I didn’t see any of it.

You see, I too had to go see about a girl.

Hope that makes sense, Ananya.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Where Hearts and Minds Meet...

When I was very young, I had a teacher who taught me not to be impulsive. Decisions, he said, should be taken with utmost care and after a lot of introspection. Well, so many years down the line, with enough instances of introspection and plenty of care taken, I have to say- Sir, you were wrong.

See, I am sick of all those SRK films that keep telling you to listen to your heart, and your brain. Frankly, when I think of something, that thought doesn’t exactly come with the postmark of my heart. Therefore, it is quite difficult for me to decide whether the swamp where the thought bloomed was my heart or my mind. Thus, I am never sure whether to listen to myself or not.

Over the years, though, I have realized that the heart and the brain are like two trains that start off at the same station, but while one is going to Ahmedabad, the other goes to Patna. In simpler words, with time, they are bound to increasingly diverge from each other. Hence, if you need to make a decision without any doubts or second thoughts- make it quickly!

Many decisions I spent ages pondering over have proven themselves to be not only incorrect, but also clearly undeserving of the time allocated to them. Hey- when you are at an airport, and have barely a few minutes before somebody very close leaves for months, do the 15 minutes you spent deciding what to have for breakfast make any sense?

Admittedly, I have found that there have been several decisions I made on the spur of the moment which have turned out to be questionable- and extremely troublesome. For instance- in hindsight- the decision to do MBA perhaps warranted more than the cursory 20 seconds I gave it. However, at the end of the road, I am glad that I didn’t allow further thought to interfere with my decision: imagine all the friends, fun and growing up I would have missed out on. Not to mention the suffering- and, as Steve Carrell says in ‘Little Miss Sunshine”, suffering is what makes you who you are.

Whatever a person is at any point of time, is ultimately a result of his or her decisions- and not abilities, to paraphrase J.K.Rowling. In that case, then, I am pretty glad I took some of those decisions.

Decisions I will always live by and hold close to my heart- and my mind…

Decisions taken in an instant, with one vision of somebody on a stage…
Decisions taken at the IHC, sitting and looking into somebody’s eyes…
Decisions taken walking in the dark, aimlessly, cluelessly…
Decisions taken while sitting alone, staring into the distance, seeing nothing.,..
Decisions taken outside someone’s house, with a thumping heart, and a sudden moment of clarity…
Decisions taken at the seaside, holding somebody’s hand, walking with feet flirting with the tide…
Decisions taken in love, with alarming calmness and total knowledge of the storms coming…


Taken in the spur of a moment. Sometimes looming over your entire life.

Moments where your heart and mind meld into one and in one, blinding flash, illuminate your entire being.

I am talking of those decisions. And Sir, they don’t need care or introspection.