"I should go to Chamundi hill sometime".
Perhaps, I had got this thought over a hundred times in the last year. I generally get this thought in Bangalore-Mysore bus on friday evenings, and I had not gone even once!
But, this time I got really disgusted with myself for getting this thought. Call it inaction, laziness, inertia, procrastination or any such crappy word. Whats the use of thought without action? I had to get out of that instant bad feeling. I will go to Chamundi hills tomorrow morning. 'But, getting early on saturday after a strenous(!) journey on friday night might be difficult', my mind made one last unsuccessful attempt to ruin my plans. No way, I am going tomorrow.
I get up at 6.30 AM and reach the base of Chamundi hills. The weather is cool, perhaps the sun planned for a delayed rise over the weekend. "When you are determined, the whole world conspires to help you", I said to myself. There are very few people there, in fact there are more monkeys than people. Less people, less noise, more space - the perfect recipe for my happiness. I turned on my ipod and started climbing the steps.
Prem Joshua had barely finished playing "Shiva Moon", I was near the 100-mark, gasping for breath. Is it the lack of practice? Lack of fitness? Or am I getting real old? I rest for a few minutes and again start climbing. Again at 250-mark, I was as tired as Javagal Srinath on a continuous 6-over spell! One more small break for rest and I am feeling real better now. I reach 600-mark without a break. I sleep on the katte there for a few minutes. Bliss!
The sugarcane juice stall near the Nandi is still not open. A bit thirsty now, I continue the journey. I stop near 900-mark, there is a small passage, that leads to a place where we can sit and see almost entire Mysore. The solitude, the cool breeze, Joshua playing "Secret Place" - simply meditative! I love looking at places from the top - its as if you suddenly have a change of perspective! I sit there for 10 awesome minutes. I am completely in love with this location and I have named it as 'K900' (Kallu bande near 900-mark)
I have done this for the last 2 weeks. But, I am not sure how long will I continue this. I am playing an interesting triangular series with my laziness and my life. And I have a huge reputation for losing in crunch situations. But, who cares? All that matters is the joy of playing!
After all, mornings are not as bad I had imagined! And I have one less reason that makes me feel pathetic!
Year 1999...class ten in some high school...there were 4 friends...
Sheetal Udupa - The sports star of the school. She was a natural athlete and was the best basketball player in the city. The only games she did not like were indoor games like carrom and chess. Nah, they were too boring for her. She was 5' 11'', a cool half foot taller than the second tallest girl in her class.
Nazneen Baig - The class topper. Biology was her favorite subject. To her, parthenium was not just parthenium. It was class 'Magnoliopsida' and kingdom 'Asteraceae'!
Sushmita B - The most 'enthu' girl in the group. There wont be a dull moment if she is around. Her high energy would have made even the punjabis look sober!
Chaitra Narayan - A very normal girl. An average looking girl, moderately intelligent and not particularly talented. You would not have noticed her if she was in some other group.
7 years later...they are now at a "marriageable" age...
Sheetal - Now 6' 5'', she is playing basketball at the state level. She is finding it difficult to find a guy to match her height...
Nazneen - After finishing her MBBS, she is now pursuing her subspeciality in neurology. Her orthodox father is struggling to find a groom for an over-qualified daughter in her community...
Sushmita - She is not getting married in the near future. Its not easy when someone has 2 unmarried elder sisters...
Chaitra - Finished her engineering in some branch in some college. What, where - it did not really matter. She was no longer perceived as ordinary or dull, there was a new adjective - "homely"! She is married to some software engineer, who works in yet another 'cutting-edge-technology' company, settled in Bay Area!
In the world of marriage, there were too many parameters. And somehow, it was not fair...
1) I am on top of the hill. The cool breeze hits my face, I love it. I am briskly descending the steps. Well, I am almost running. I see a few oldies with huge pot bellies, desperately trying to get rid of decades of hard earned fat. A beautiful girl just passes by. I have not seen her before; she is definitely not from my college! I increase my walking pace, I can reach down within 10 mins. And suddenly, I slip, lose my balance and fall down the slope…
…and I wake up! I look at my watch. It was less than 5 mins since I had slept. Not once have I got up in the middle of the night because of this dream. (whenever I get this dream, I get this within 5 mins of sleep) I had read somewhere that this is the most common dream and ‘insecurity’ is the cause for this (Great discovery! No one can prove it wrong, as all the people have some insecurity or the other!)
2) Sometime in 2001. Its my last semester exam. The question paper is very easy, I know answers to all the questions. But, I am very bored to write the exam, I just answered 2 questions for 40 marks and handed over the answer sheet within an hour. The invigilator asked in a surprised tone – “So early?”. “Yeah”, my smile conveys “I just made sure I passed, and nothing else matters. So chill!” Half an hour later, a couple of guys came out and start discussing the answers. Stupid! They are acting like high school kids, analyzing question paper after the exam. I just overheard the answer to a question. No, they might be wrong. I think about the question and realized that I had answered a 10 mark question wrong. I rush back to the hall and ask the invigilator – “Sir, can you give me back my paper? I know the answers to other questions also”. The invigilator just smiles….and I wake up!
(I get slightly varying versions of this dream – like failing a particular subject in a semester – that too after getting the result for that semester!)
These are the only recurring dreams I remember till now. All the remaining ones occurred only once.
3) I am talking to a girl. She tells me – “Abhinay Sanjo ninge sakkattagi matta hathsda!”
Do I know her? I am not sure. I don’t remember her face. I don’t even remember how her lips were. But, I vividly remember the essence of her smile. Her supreme confidence conveys a sense of “You can’t hide anything from me”. It irritates me. I have no clue who she is. I have solved a piece in the puzzle – Sanjo is the name of the hospital on the outskirts of Mandya (I came to know this recently, may be I had seen it in semi-sleep state some night) But, who the hell is Abhinay? I did not even remotely know anyone with name “Abh*” then. What could Abhinay have done? How does this girl know about it? And why was she so happy?
4) I jump off an airplane. My parachute opens up and I am in the middle of a forest with obscenely long trees. On my way down, I see numbers like 171, 170, 169 etc. on each of those trees. Does it represent the height? Is it 171 inches, feet or meters? Kilometers by any chance? I land in some place inside the forest, surrounded by a lot of snakes. For some strange reason, I am not scared and come out of the forest. I go to a nearby church and meet Sister Celina. She is the nun there and has two bodyguards, who always wear black suits. She asks me to go take some rest. On my way out of that room, I start mimicking Sister Celina – “Child, you must be very tired. Go take some rest”. And I turn back, and see Sister Celina’s bodyguards staring at me! :)
And sometimes I get this weird thought. That my whole life must be some long dream, and one day I will wake up and laugh at the whole thing - that I thought I had some strange name called Vasuki, I imagined some machine called computer and I thought blogging was for real!
All you Sigmund Freuds out there, can you interpret these dreams?
I'm standing in the noisiest street
Searching for a bit silence
Its way too crowded out here
And all I need is some oxygen.
Some say hi as they walk past me
Few smiled and spoke nice words
The handshakes, the smiles and hugs
Made me feel more pathetic.
Couldn't stay for long, I had to run
But didn't move an inch
Is the whole world against me
Or am I on a treadmill?
Feel like I'm falling off a deep cliff
Gravity reduced by a tenth
All the cacophony around me
Fused into a symphony.
I am too tired of the journey
And only a few breaths left
All of a sudden I realize that
I was looking at a huge mirror.
PS 1 : If this does not make any sense, congrats! You are in perfect mental health.
PS 2 : This is not a poem. Its just a combination of non sense and new line characters, for better readability.
"He is a good person, sir. Very God fearing man", the old man was saying to his friend.
"Stupid!", I almost said it aloud, as I heard this conversation.
This is not the first time I was hearing something like this. And every time I come across a statement like this, I feel as irritated. Belief in God is the personal choice of anyone, just like brand of denims he wears or the drink he loves. What has goodness of a person got to do with his belief in God? Don't you think its stupid? Its as meaningless as saying "He is a good person, he has brown eyes" or "He is a good person, his favorite color is green". Stupid!
I know what you're going to say if you think I am wrong. That belief in God instills a fear in man that prevents him from doing bad things. You may be right to some extent. But, I feel being a good person because of awareness or self-thinking is much much better than being a good person out of fear. Long time back, even I was scared of Gods (the attitude you have towards a horrible manager, who has the ability to screw up your appraisal :)), but I am no longer scared of God (assuming that God exists). I don't ask anything from God. I don't think there has been any difference to my 'goodness' factor. I don't know if God exists, and it makes very little difference to me either way. I am an almost agnostic!
Hopefully, someday I would listen to some old gentleman talking - "He is a good person sir, because he is good".