Words for my thoughts

The decade that shaped my life…

Posted by Alok on January 2, 2011

I know I am a couple of days late in penning down the thoughts that swarmed my head on 31st night as the world and along with it I moved into the years where the third digit in the year part of the date will never be zero. The reasons for this tardiness can be many but plain laziness that has described me over the last 2 and a half decades would be the biggest culprit for this delay.

2 days ago it was the end of 2010 and along with it the end of the decade 2001-2010. The decade which formed my life, which shaped it, which distorted it, which convoluted it and which all with its negatives and positives will remain with me for whatever number of decades I live on from now on. Start of 2001 I was in school, about to write the final school exams of my life, wondering at nights and worrying at days as to if I would be able to make something out of my ordinary life. Everything, if not everything then at least most of it, was to be decided in the next 6 months with me about to see if I can land up at a good institute for graduation. In 2000 I did not know there is a thing called IIT that exists and in 2001 I failed to get into one. I still do not know why I did my engineering and what I learnt from it technically. But looking back at those 4 years, I can surely say I learnt a lot and started becoming who I am today. I made my first best friends, stayed for the first time in a hostel, shared a room for the first time, had a fight with him from the first time, worked in an organization for the first time as a trainee, bunked classes for the first time and did not end up being in the top 2 ranks for the first time. 2004 December was the last time I asked my father for money to spend on myself and 2005 January was the first time I bought my parents a gift from my own first stipend. That was also the first time someone superior complemented me for a job well done and made an ever-standing job offer which I can take even today if I want to work with him again. I had my first remember able crush in 2004 in college (albeit I am pretty sure there were many before that, just that I don’t remember them). And 2004 August was the first time when I had 3 high paying jobs in my hand, the sum total of which was the highest in the institute at that time.

Joined my first full-time job in 2005 at a company whose name my mother still cannot spell or pronounce and whose work stream I got to know only after my first project. Analytics as a word was never in my dictionary then and it never really mattered since the job was in Delhi and paid 25K as the starting salary which was enough for me then. Years passed by and 2006 was the year I first went out of the country and it was also the fateful year I fell in love for the first time. People do crazy things in love and I was no different though I just don’t remember most of the crazy things I did. Maybe I should have done more of them. Anyways, 2007 was the first time of the second time I wrote CAT that I got interview calls and it was also the last time I had to write CAT. 2007 was the year I had my scariest accident, the scars and memories of which still send shivers down my spine. It was also the year where I returned being among the top 2 ranks and it was also the year I got my summer internship with the employer I still work for. 2008 was the year I went to Europe for the first time (of the many more times to come) and it was also the year world came falling in October. It was the year that crushed many a dream and brought many a people back to earth. 2009 was the first time I worried about my future. But the year and the morbid start to it were not able to make me compromise on too many things. 2009 was the year I finished my formal education and it was the first time I felt some part of me was left behind at the place I lived for the last 2 years. When I got my gold medal in front of 500 people, it was the first time I saw pride in my parents’ eyes, a pride that compounded when Director of the institute and Chairman of BHEL stood up to shake their hands and congratulated them. It was the first time when I realized that I may have done something good with my life.

2009 was also the start of my unending professional life and it was the first time I lived in Bangalore. It was also the first time I saw a formula 1 race live and watching the live race was the first things to be ticked off my bucket list. As the months passed by, I for the second time was worried about my future and first time worried that I may have messed up the IIM degree and the gold medal. 2010 came unannounced and I just hoped that the last year of the decade brings some joy to my life. It did and that too in the very first week of the very first month of the year. March was the month I came back to Delhi. Life seemed back on track. 2010 was the year I got my first car and it was the year we moved into a bigger house. The year did play some tricks though and it was the year I finally said good-bye to the only person I ever fell in love with. Life moved on with its own funny ways with me being in an airplane almost every week. The year ended appropriately with me on a plane destined to Delhi on the night of 30th of December.

Looking beyond the events and anti-events, the hits and the flops and the fast flipping pages of the calendar, I wonder how I have changed over all these years. How have my expectations changed, evolved, got distorted? How have the things that mattered to me 10 years back changed? And most importantly how have the things that did not matter to me 10 years back suddenly became so important? 10 years back all I expected was to get into a good engineering college and hoped for getting a job that would pay me 2-3 lakh annually. Last year I was earning half of that much in a month. 10 years back I would have been happy with this money, last year I was not. No, it wasn’t about the money. 10 years back I would not have got up at 5 AM on a cold December morning and ride a bike in the pitch darkness fighting the cold winds, all the way to railway station just to meet someone for 10 minutes. I did that in 2008. 10 years back I would not have called my classmates mediocre and would not commented on their way of thinking. I did that in 2008. 10 years back I would not have spent 30K for watching a car race, I did that in 2009. 10 years back I would have married any girl my parents selected for me. I could not do that in 2010. 10 years back I would have asked my parents for advice, I don’t do that anymore. 10 years back they would offer me an advice, they don’t do that anymore. 10 years back I had horrible English and could not have written an article. Today, my blog has more than 12000 hits and 200 comments. 10 years back I did not know what love was; today I am scared of falling in love.

Some things still haven’t changed. 10 years back I was in top 2 of my class. 2009 I was back there. 10 years back I lived happily with my parents in Delhi. Today again I am enjoying the chill of Delhi sipping a cup of tea made by my mother. For the rest unchanged things, I don’t remember them since they never changed.

10 years surely is a long time but in some measures its nothing. Some things never change, some do and some maybe will. Who knows where I or you will be at the end of this decade. What will change and what will not. Doesn’t really matter since there is nothing we can do about it. Just pray that things that should not change don’t change and things that should change do not take a decade to change. Amen!!

Posted in farewell, Life, Musings, Uncategorized | 9 Comments »

In a confused state

Posted by Alok on October 5, 2009

Reading my own older blog posts, I realised that it’s been quite a long time since I wrote anything. Reading them I also realised that there was a time when I always had a topic to write upon. I wrote on controversial topics, I wrote on philosophical topics, I wrote on sentimental topics, I even wrote poems. I wonder, what has changed in the same person over the last 6 months or so that he has not been able to churn out even 200 words of gibberish which he could do with effortless ease earlier.

I guess it’s a combined impact of many factors. I am no longer in a business school which means I no longer become privy to petty everyday issues. This also means I no longer get agitated with something which I believe is not right and hence do not voice my opinion to it. I also believe that not being in an academic setup also implies that I am no longer in touch with my soft, literary side which was earlier always with me while writing cases and essays. Life was difficult there; there was competition, there were deadlines and there were perilous peers always ready to point out your shortcomings but life was also simple there. There was a constant shade of friends, someone to walk with you after dinner and someone to share your sorrows and joy over a drink or without it, thus giving you a channel to vent out which many a times translated to a written mode of expression. That is gone now.

The other factor can be the sheer burden of working in a corporate world. Many of us work without our heart or soul into it. Doing something for 10 hours a day without any interest what so ever means your creative side becomes dormant. You start tugging along, you start going with the motions and you start leading a robotic life. Life starts from home, reaches office and ends at home. Personally speaking, this is the case with me. Many would corroborate and many wont.

On the other side, there are many things which I can write about even today if I want to. I can write book review, I can write a movie review, but I wonder can I ever write a poem again given that you need a strong inspiration and a powerful feeling of well being for that to happen. I don’t have an answer as of now. I want the earlier situation back, when words flew from the mind and typing speed was the only inhibiter for them to come to life sooner than did. Today, I think while writing, I wonder what to write next and I even revise my writings. I may be maturing as a writer or this may be the start of the end. Or have I reached the end already?

Posted in Musings | 5 Comments »

Team India- So many blunders…

Posted by Alok on June 14, 2009

Come back home our heroes, come soon.. Come earlier than you were supposed to come as if the union budget would not have been presented without you back in India. It was a display of utter nonsensical batting and captaincy right from the first ball, no even before that, right when the coin was tossed.

  1. India winning the toss and batting second: Indian record in chasing has been good in recent past but given that this was a do or die match, it would have much more sense to just go out there and play their game. Get a score on the board and then see. Chasing in such a critical match, Indians generally need a lot of diapers to see these matches through
  2. Poor bowling: 14 wides compared to 4 by England sums it up. A 4 of a wide ball of the last ball of English innings could very well be the runs that India fell short of.
  3. Poor batting: How can someone defend that none of a team’s top 4 batsmen can play short deliveries? No one can defend a world cup playing on lollies and hitting them out of the park. West Indies troubled them and England raped them by the same tactic. Where is the famous learning curve now? Byt seriously, Indians have to start practising against this stuff if they want themselves to be taken seriously in world cricket.
  4. Unexplainable captaincy: Dhoni deserves full credits for gifting this to England. Now he made so many blunders, they themselves need sub bullets:
    1. Not coming down at number 3: he came down at number 3 against Banglash and Ireland and playing like a slow donkey. The argument, he will stabilise one end of the pitch while others will come and score from the other end. He will be the anchor. Why dint he come down today? Was he scared of English pace bowling? It appears like that
    2. Sending Jadeja: Who in his sane mind would send someone like Jadeja when you have Dhoni, Yuvraj and Pathan sitting in the dugout? He tried his best to get out but somehow was unsuccessful in even that. He should have tried hit-wicket, run-out or maybe obstructing the fieldsman, that could have made him go back quicker to change his leaking pajamas. Maybe he dint even know these ways of getting out.
    3. Keeping Yuvraj in the dug-out: Dhoni preserved Yuvi as if there is a tsunami out there in the middle and the over won’t be counted while that’s is going on. Alas, he was partially correct, there was a tsunami but Yuvi was sitting safe on shore while the clock was ticking for India. Defensive cricket generally does not win T-20.
    4. Dhoni’s batting: Someone please explain the logic of trying to sneak in a single when you need 60 off 30. You lose by 3 runs or by 15 runs, how on the freaking earth does that make a difference. Somehow he has started to believe that he cannot hit 4s and 6s and hence does not even tries to hit them. What happened to his hammer shots? All he could manage were 2 lucky snicks for 4 down past the third man. He looks more concerned to access facebook on his Aircel mobile then to play cricket these days.

With so many blunders, I personally believe it would have been a gross injustice to the effort of the team if India had won the match. At some stage of the match, it appeared that even if all the English fieldsmen shut their eyes and their hands and feet are tied with a rope, India will still lose. Reason: Dhoni would still hit the ball straight to the fielder. It seems that all the practise and so called edge Indian players had gained via IPL had gone down the drains. Hope that someone at the airport welcomes them with rotten tomatoes and eggs.

Hail Team India..

Posted in Anger, Critical, Frustration, Musings | 2 Comments »

A poetic beauty

Posted by Alok on February 24, 2009

It was a beautiful morning with white flawless clouds filling up the valley just in front of my balcony. The clouds overlapped with fog, making it impossible to distinguish one from the other. Amongst this pure whiteness there was a hint of greenery lurking from the wild mountain bushes that form the valley. It looked as if a green cup was holding white spirit of life that was so keen to make the life of each one of the viewers full of innocent and unpolluted joy, a joy which was not polluted with the sorrows of everyday life, a joy which surpassed the meagre mundane pains one undergoes on not achieving something which is so materialistic and trivial that the person starts the tryst of something new on realising this failure.

While appreciating and absorbing this natural beauty, a friend a mine sent me pictures of a beautiful, innocent French girl whom he met 3 months back in a train. Her face was as calm as the fog, her expressions as natural as the clouds and her eyes as deep as the valley itself. It was a face no one can forget and a face which can make anyone become a poet. The face had 100s of questions, questions to no one in particular, yet everyone would want to answer each one of them

Beauty 1Beauty 2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The face inspired me to write a short poem, the effect was so strong that all it took was 5 minutes to compose it. It is not one of those classic poems, but for a novice like me, its nothing but an acceptance of mesmerisation of one’s soul on encountering something larger than life. The poem I wrote for this beauty goes as follows,

uljhe baal aur aankhon mein hazaro sawal liye, shoonya mein jhaank rahi ho tum

chehre pe masoom shararat liye, is safar mein tanha hi chali ja rahi ho tum

kash ki tere kaliyon se komal in hoothon pe ek mushkaan la sakoon main

kask ki terey in khamosh khayalon ka ek hissa ban sakoon main

kash ki teri ek tasveer bana sakoo main, jisme sirf meri ho tum

kash ki teri in jhuki hui palko ki sharm ka kaaran ban sakoon main

Posted in Musings, Poems | 7 Comments »

Many firsts many lasts..

Posted by Alok on February 24, 2009

The date of 16 February 2009, Monday would remain etched in my memories for many reasons. It was a day of many firsts and many lasts in my life, more specifically my academic career. This was the day when I officially attended the last class of my studies, finished MBA (barring exams J), made my last ppt etc. There were various firsts as well which were a perfect ending to the various things I have done over the last 2 years here.

Firsts

  • First time a professor slept through my presentation. He was sitting on the first desk and a mere distance of 5 feet separated his resting body and my restless soul
  • First time I had or more specifically I attended a class at 8 AM in the morning. Funnily, this had to be on my last class as if the class scheduler was waiting with me to give this final blow
  • First time I have seen a person sleeping over in a one-to-one conversation. Sleeping in a class listening to a ppt is fine but asking a question and then sleeping is a thing I realised is possible only today
  • First time we went to write a quiz after a whiskey shot. The shot was a toast in celebration for a friend who got a job an hour before the quiz. Nothing could come between our traditional shot-for-job celebration and us
  • First time I saw a guy using a camcorder in the class. He even made a video of me presenting the case to the sleepy professor with funny images of mine getting flustered at the obvious mockery of my night’s sleep and hard work

The various lasts that happened that day were:

  • Last class of my academic career, at least for a long time to come
  • Last academic presentation, a random case was an apt end to the stride of presentations I have delivered here
  • Last quiz of my academic career
  • Last exams of my academic career for a long time to come

The last day did not come without its glitches; I had to work till late night to prepare the case, a thing which I did only in the very first days here around 1.5 years back. It was almost an academic night out, a thing which happened only in first year. The case reminded me of the very first case given by the OB professor when all of us were perplexed as to how to analyse the case, here it was a bit different, I was alone but was equally perplexed nonetheless.

Looking at the last day and the first day, I believe a normal curve would fit in the description. However, it would have to be a really skewed normal curve as far as effort put in is concerned. The start was with a huge amount of effort which tapered with the time spent here. My earlier post on “Life as exponential functions” would summarise most of it. Nonetheless, my MBA is over now and I am all set to move beyond academics, into the real world where case presentations are not so fraud, where audience generally does not sleep in the presentations. Let’s see how it turns out…

Posted in Education, farewell, IIMK, MBA | Leave a Comment »

Unpredictable, unforgiving and uncertain

Posted by Alok on October 21, 2008

Being in a philosophical mood, I want to share 3 feelings I have currently. All these are learnings from the happenings of the last few days.

First. Life is unpredictable. Life is uncertain. And maybe that is the best thing about life; you don’t know what’s going to happen in the very next second. All of us know this but funnily enough none of us acknowledge this truth. We always keep fighting for trivial things in life be it a degree or diploma or be it a job. Why do we do all this struggle, knowing very well that all is going to end someday, maybe tomorrow itself. Well, I answered a friend of mine that we do all this just to kill our time here on Earth. Since we are here, why not as well do something to make sure that we don’t feel bored until we die. People might disagree at this and even laugh at this, but I could not find a better reason for anything which all of us do knowing the end result. And people say that human beings are rational. Are they?

Second. We all take many things in our life as granted and unless you see someone devoid of them and suffering because of that, you never care about that. Life is nothing without the love of near and dear ones. We take for granted the love of our mother and the protection of our father and never give a second thought to it. Think about someone who for any reason is devoid of this. Life can be seriously incomplete and difficult for such a person. Reasons can be the complete absence of parents which is generally uncontrollable and it is an utter misfortune of the person. For someone, who has both parents alive but who still do not want to nurture this child is the worst thing that can happen to this kid. They may have differences amongst themselves but this child is in no way to be blamed for it and do not deserve such a punishment. They may have some constraints, some reasons but how can they kill their feelings towards their own child. The mother who gave birth to this child after keeping it in her womb, who fed this child with her own milk, would require a super human effort to detach herself from the child. In this case, human beings have a lot to learn from animals. Look at a female monkey, even after her child is dead she doesn’t want to believe this truth and keeps the dead body attached onto her and behaves as if nothing has happened. She doesn’t abandon even a dead child. A dog would kill you if you as much as touch his child. I am not generalising but even one case is disturbing enough. What happened to the human emotions? Is it a case of modernity or showcased modernity?

Third. Friends are irreplaceable. That is the best bond people make other than the blood bonds and I would say sometimes these bonds are stronger than the God-made bonds. Some people are very lucky to have friends who are ready to be with them at all times in all situations. A friend can make you smile when you are down about a family member. A friend can make you laugh when all you can think of is to cry. And a friend can make you believe like you are the king, even though you are an idiot. One good friend is all you need to become the richest person in the world. The best thing about friendship, it can happen anytime in your life and with anyone. I remember the movie, “Cast Away” where Chuck made a basketball his friend and lived with it for 4 years on an isolated island. He talked with it, he fought with it and he even cried his heart out when he lost it. He would have been dead long back had he not humanised a non-living object like a ball. For him, it was not a ball; it was Wilson, his best friend.

Cherish all the good times you have today because who knows what would happen tomorrow. Don’t take things and people for granted, you only realise their worth when they are gone, far from you. And try your best to preserve them, don’t be a fool to throw them away. You are one of the luckiest people to have had the chance of making your life beautiful.

Posted in Life, Musings | 2 Comments »

Birthdays and time zones

Posted by Alok on September 25, 2008

I somehow end up being at random places (read countries and cities) on my birthdays since the last 3-4 years. Places which either have a different time zone from India or even if I am in India on my birthday, it somehow ends up being celebrated in strange locations. Weird locations are still acceptable since I don’t have to worry about celebrating my birthday according to various time zones where some friends wish me when its 12PM according to their time while it’s still late evening at my location. Let’s see how time zones have mattered in 2 of my last 3 birthdays and how the only remaining one was celebrated in a bus🙂

24 September 2006: Singapore, 2.5 hours ahead of India meaning that it was 12AM of 24th in India when it was 2:30 AM in Singapore. So I got calls from friends in India at 2:30 AM in the morning. Of course their argument that I was born in India and not in Singapore justified the time of wishing. Fortunately I was celebrating my birthday at a beautiful beach in Singapore so I dint have to wake up to pick up the calls. But yeah, that birthday was nice, serene beach and a bunch of friends to enjoy with till wee hours of the morning. I think it was till 4AM. But confusion due to time zone made many of my friends to wish me twice, once according to Indian time and once again to Singapore time.

24 September 2007: This time I was in India so no confusion due to time zones but I was travelling on a bus from Bangalore to Kozhikode that night. Fortunately had 4 friends with me on the bus and we did make sure that the entire bus wakes up at 12AM with loud noises and celebrations. A makeshift cake in the form of a chocolate bar was there for me to celebrate my 24th birthday. Of course, that meant that I was saved from the customary birthday bumps. Lack of critical mass to do that🙂

24 September 2008: It was the turn of Germany this time, 3.5 hours behind India. In simple terms 8:30PM here meant that my birthday actually started in India. Taking things a bit ahead, it meant that it was 2:30 AM in Singapore. So while I was getting ready to cook something to eat for my dinner, I got calls to wish me from sleepy friends in Singapore who wished according to Indian time. It would have been easier for them and much more complicated for me had they decided to choose Singapore time (was in a class at that time). Indian friends were confused as to should they wish me according to Indian time or European time. Some wise people decided to use the German time and other stuck to the logic of “You were born in India and not in Germany” and wished me according to Indian time. Of course, I am talking about chats and pings and scraps, since not many people called from India. Maybe rising financial crises and falling rupee is the reason. And even I was confused in this time zone mix as to when should I stop feeling like a birthday boy; according to India or according to Germany. And I decided to extend the day by 3.5 hours on both sides, start by India time and end by German time🙂

A quarter century of my life which started in India and ended in Germany was spent with not many friends. No birthday bumps and no cake on the face to make you smell of egg for days. It was simple, sober and different. Silver jubilee celebrated in Frankfurt with an Indian dinner at a Pakistani restaurant. Truly a globalised world!!

Posted in Humor, Life, Musings | 3 Comments »

Life at a European Business School

Posted by Alok on September 23, 2008

It’s different, very different from what I was used to back home at IIM Kozhikode where the boundaries between days and nights, between weekdays and weekends and between courses and exams seemed to non-existent. Even if they did, they were too blurred for mortals like us to realise. It was a constant engine, where every inch of your horsepower was used to move yourself ahead. Time was a luxury and pressure was the best friend people had.

Here, life is simple. I still have 9 courses and will have to pass all of them but I am sure of many things about them. The professors are different and to a certain extent I like their way of teaching better than I liked at IIMK. The pedagogy followed is less demanding and I have a lot of time to spend beyond reading cases and worrying about quizzes. A short reference list with differences between EBS and IIMK:

1.       No classes on weekends here compared to just 2 weekends free in the whole term at IIMK.

2.       Classes generally don’t end at weird times and neither do they start at weird times. The duration of classes is also manageable. Back home, I can’t tell you how ridiculous it became sometimes.

3.       Very small class strength compared to humongous 65 people at IIMK.

4.       No cases to read and prepare here. This I feel is worse compared to IIMK where the cases were sometimes good but many a times there were too many of them. Its difficult for me to transition from infinite cases to no cases. J

5.       Slides prepared by the profs are very very professional as compared to slides prepared back home with weird backgrounds and funny animations which almost always became a pain to be printed. Here professors provide the print-outs of the ppt before every class.

6.       No set textbook prescribed in almost all the courses and hence no textbooks distributed by the school for the students to mug-up. I like this system of multi-reference studies (though haven’t studied at all till now)

7.       Students come to class very nicely dressed up compared to us where we would just get off our hostel beds and rush to the class with red eyes and dishevelled hair.

8.       Most of the students would have read the reading material or cases (if any) definitely for the class as a home work. I don’t remember that happening back home very often.

9.       Teachers respect students’ time and end the lecture on time with appropriate breaks. Back home, the teachers took pride in making sure to extend time.

10.   Students don’t do CP just for the sake of doing it, no marks for CP, hence they speak only they really want to say something substantial and valuable.

11.   Very few components of grading compared to infinite components back home. No surprise quizzes, no graded assignments, no midterms and in a few cases, no end term.

12.   No compulsory attendance. Back home, people lose a grade for missing 2 classes. I particularly like this system since in a post graduate course like MBA, students can decide what is good for them and what is not.

13.   Smoking not banned in college though there are non-smoking zones in the college. Same maturity principle applies here as well.

14.   Students here take submissions and presentations very seriously. They would prepare the ppt 2 days in advance and would have had at least one dry run even when the submission is not a graded one. Indian students would laugh at this J

15.   Haven’t seen people free-riding here. In India, we find plenty of them.

I am not going to say which system is better and which is worse. It’s a huge change for me and I love it. MBA can’t get easier than this for people from India. J

Posted in IIMK, MBA | 3 Comments »

A journey to remember

Posted by Alok on August 27, 2008

What is your idea about travelling for almost 24 hours in Indian railways and that too in Second Class sleeper? 95 out of 100 people would say, “YUCK” but NO, it can be actually fun. All you need is the right route and the right company and I can’t tell you the speed at which time flies and before you realise, the journey is over.

Take a train on the Konkan railways route and be prepared for enjoying the symmetry in randomness of the nature engulfing you. An engineering marvel, the stretch is picturesque with innumerable tunnels, uncountable waterfalls and unimaginable stretches of lush green forests. If you are lucky, you will be greeted with misty weather with light drizzle which very quietly enters from your side window onto your face, refreshing it and making you feel almost in heaven. Smoking hot Vada Pao and hot tea add to the thrill, making you wish for this journey to never end.

People talk about the beauty of Europe and Switzerland and are thrilled by the idea of a long trip on Euro Rail across the Alps or fields in Switzerland. Without undermining that, I want to say that this stretch can easily match anything anywhere. Nowhere would you find such never-ending stretches of green forests and plains, herd of buffaloes roaming around in utmost carefree freedom and a couple of huts in the slopes of the Western Ghats with slight traces of smokes coming out of their chimneys. You can actually see clouds being formed and travelling with you crossing small ponds of clear water where the idea of fishing makes you feel romantic. Life becomes a lot simpler and the worldly worries are hushed out of the same window from which the rain comes onto your face.

The only spoiler in this dream run is the smoke from the engine which unable to escape through the tunnels, enters into the compartments and makes it a bit of uncomfortable, but this happens only when the tunnel is real long. Anyways, the cool air removes all traces of this smog as soon as train exits out of the tunnel. The run continues for more than 7 hours and as you keep entering and exiting tunnels, your mind keeps wondering the amount of effort expanded in digging these tunnels in such an area where for miles you don’t see traces of human beings.

All this while, you have a nice bunch of friends who make this journey ever more beautiful. Playing cards and eating whatever comes your way, you make sure to get people out of your coupe and run for covers on berths insulated from your voices. Once tired of cards, you start gossiping about unrelated random people and things and kill time like never before. Then suddenly some of you get emotional and start discussing politics, only to leave the topic upon entering a tunnel where nobody can hear anyone. Out if the tunnel, the topic is gone and you scramble on a new topic to discuss till the next tunnel which on this stretch are long and plenty. Time flies by and slowly the serenity of the surrounding engulf you and makes you feel sleepy. You climb on your berths for the one last time before you enter into the hustling, and noisy city of Mumbai.

The run has come to an end. The journey is over, it’s time to get out, but I am sure the after effects of the journey will not fade away for a long time to come. Journey, in this case, is much more important, pleasant and beautiful than the destination.

Posted in Musings, Travel | 3 Comments »

In love with nature

Posted by Alok on August 10, 2008

Pretty late in the night, sitting on a pile of to be submitted assignments and an impending quiz tomorrow, for some weird reason he feels like writing something. Best part is that he has nothing to write on, no controversial topics to provide his POV on and no global topics to be an expert on. After lengthy thoughts, he starts believing that it is the weather that is playing its part in making the mood of almost a workaholic to run away from his laptop and books to listen to soothing songs and let his mind wander around in search of nothing.

What he feels when he listens to the sound of the heavy rain falling on the innocent green wild bushes is a feeling of tranquillity amongst this noise. He searches for stars in a heavily clouded night and lets the cool breeze slap his face with full force, making his face wet with the cold rain water. He imagines the fog that will soon engulf this serene place and would make it almost look like a white paradise where life stands still and is free of worldly vices. And in all this background, his ears are recognising the lyrics of a beautiful song sung by Kishore Kumar, making him join the singer in the song.

He wanders further and reaches a place where his ears are immune to any sound or noise, he thinks of people he normally doesn’t think about, he starts to relive his childhood when he was free to run in the rain and nobody cared. He remembers the days when he thought of nothing and just flowed along. He remembers the days when he played flute and enjoyed his cricket. He remembers living life without realizing that he is reaching slowly towards a point of no return to these blissful days. All his friends of childhood flash in front of his eyes, calling him to play with them, as he finishes off his glass of milk to run to the park.

Not having any more words to write on nothing, he signs off looking in the sky singing the song, “Jagamagati Hui Jaagti Raat Hai, Raat Hai Ya Sitaaron Ki Baraat Hai”, amidst no signs of any stars. What he sees is the cheerful swaying of the trees and bushes, enjoying the thumps of the wild rain lashing around this beautiful place, without complaining as if the pain of being beaten by this rain is overwhelmed by the joy of being so close to it. Pain and joy, always had a close relation, with one following the other almost always and this he realises today in its fullest practically. Nature, as they say is very powerful and he bows his head to it.

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