the long search

When you have nowhere to go, go back to yourself.

Of Today

Sometimes when you think you can get a hang of it, life quickly effaces all such notions. You feel so naive and ignorant then. I will remember August 17, 2008 for this reason.

I met DK today. He is fighting cancer. It's a battle he is unlikely to win.

I have known DK for quite some years, the acquaintance purely professional. Dark-complexioned and medium in build, you can dismiss everything about him. Not his eyes. They come across as that of a man who is game for every fight in life. A banker, he has been punished for standing up against the management for causes he believed in. He never gave up. DK went through tragic times when a son ended his life. Another one is fighting brain tumour for a second time. Nothing could dampen DK's spirit though. No tragedy, as if, could take him down.

I sat by his side in the hospital room. He looked a skeletal self of his own. DK was eager to go home, still unaware of the truth. Would he be shattered to know it? I had no clue.

How meaningless does everything seem when you know it will not last; that the race will meet a dead end someday. But we tend to ignore it because we are afraid. We are afraid because of the way we live, conduct ourselves and perceive life through our own microscopes. Instead of looking within, most of the times, we try to cover ourselves with more of ourselves. That's when the misgivings raise their ugly heads and weave a vicious circle we can never rid ourselves of.

I believe life is all about how you play it. Play it fair and you will have no regret at all because you may just not get enough time. You might just lose it - we all will - but you will have at least played it fair, stood up for what you truly believed in, damn it.

That's why I liked DK. And I will remember this day because it told me - in Andre Gide's words - Be faithful to that which exists nowhere but in yourself, and thus make yourself indispensable.

By the way, I was born today. On August 17.

Of Freedom

Nobody is free. We all like to believe otherwise though.

No, it's not an Independence Day thought for me. I remember arguing with my friends and colleagues (yes, all of them are married and I am not) that I can get up in the morning, pick up my backpack and head for the forests or mountains for trekking. And they can't. Is it freedom? I don't know if it is.

I guess freedom is the "space" you offer to people around you; people including your near and dear ones, your spouse, family members, friends and others who constitute your world. Freedom is when you let go of your insecurities; when you know not to possess. Freedom is when you realise you can give without actually seeking much in return. Am I making sense? You can tell me.

One thing I know for sure. Men pretend to be free. But they are not. For, they try to possess as they are insecure and want to retain control. They are a weak species compared to women. They even pretend that they believe in other's freedom. Then, that's just a pretension. It reminds me of the fiery Kamala Das (Surayya) when she wrote:

"You planned to tame a swallow, to hold her
In the long summer of your love so that she would forget
Not the raw seasons alone, and the homes left behind, but
Also her nature, the urge to fly, and the endless
Pathways of the sky...."

The Long Wait

Sometimes when you are alone and waiting; and waiting, every moment seems like an eternity. I am almost tempted to say it's like India's quest for a Gold in the Olympics (thank God for Abhinav Bindra and I hope Saina Nehwal will do us proud soon) and a characteristic Rahul Dravid innings in a Test match but this feeling is personal. Something that's gnawing at my heart.
Kyon har aahat iik dastak si lage
Aur yun dekhoon teri raah
Apni palkon pe liye
Main hazaar raton ki neend....
(My eyelids flutter
Burdened by the darkness of a thousand nights
But sleep eludes me
And I wait
Every footstep outside my door says
You will be here soon...)

The Pride

Shooting!!!! Did you say shooting?

I was woken up by my cell phone's irritating ringtone. The late-sleeper that I am, it takes me some time to be on my feet. But the cell phone was unrelenting. "Hit DD Sports. Abhinav might just get a medal for us," my friend was blaring from the other side. Still rubbing my eyes, I switched to the channel.

I can still remember the second last shot and the final. The penultimate, when he was tied with the Chinese Zhu. And then came 10.8. Abhinav Bindra hit the bull's eye. That was a moment I will remember for years to come. For, I did not care what sport Bindra played (I am avid follower of Cricket - like every Indian is - and love lawn tennis, hockey and soccer). I was proud. I was proud that I am an Indian. I always was. I always will be. Not just because Bindra got us an individual gold in the Olympics. The reason was something else. When the national anthem played and the Indian Tri-colour was raised during the award ceremony, I stood up in attention and I was proud. That was pride for me. Thanks to Bindra. He brought me and a billion others that pride. I dont care which sport he played. In a country of over a billion, when getting an Olympic Gold medal takes 28 long years of wait, it can spur anyone on. Anyone Indian at heart.

Now, I am praying for the pint-sized powerhouse. Saina Nehwal. Bring it on.

About this blog

If we admit that human life can be ruled by reason, then all possibility of life is destroyed