Friday, May 27, 2005

On our way to becoming Shanghai

Location: Western Express Highway, Jogeshwari, Mumbai.
Time : 2:00 P.M.

It has become the MMRDA digging ground. A group of 10-15 dhoti-clad workers were sweating it out. I was in my car at a signal. I was watching one really thin man in his early thirties amongst these ‘diggers’. He was pounding the earth below with a long heavy iron rod. He had almost acquired a rhythm in his digging and I followed the beat in my mind and I was singing songs in my head….(thump)I walk this (thump) street (thump) boule(thump) of broken (thump) Where the (thump) sleeps…And suddenly he stops pounding; straightens his bent back…and…he puts a cell phone to his ear!!!
“Aama Saar. Parva ille saar”
The signal turned green.
I grinned in amusement and drove away.

Monday, May 23, 2005

The toilet is a very strange place indeed! Some of the best creative ideas strike in the loo when one is doing one of the most mechanical jobs one can imagine.
When I was in the loo I was transported in the past this time…precisely 7 years ago. I was in Ruparel College in the first year, science stream. My subjects were Physics, Stats and Maths. But looking at those please don’t jump to the conclusion that I was good at studies. I was basically crazy about Einstein and his theory of relativity and I loved astronomy in general. That’s why I followed Physics into Degree College too. Well, but by this time even the Guitar had entered my life and I was totally in love with it and the twist in the story is that I had begun hating my science-student life from the bottom of my heart! That’s because my whole day was spent in completing journals and in the dark physics lab! I hated it because it kept me away from my guitar. BINGO! It finally struck me that I am an artist and not a science freak! When I used to read my science texts and see that the current flows from Point A to Point B or when it proclaimed that the earth goes around and the oceans are held on the earth’s surface because of a certain Centrifugal and Centripetal force, I thought,
“How does that matter to me and my guitar?! The only force that keeps the
guitar stuck on me is Love!”
I changed my stream. I took up Arts; Psychology, Philosophy and History. !
I had joined a guitar class by then. But it would not suffice for my hunger for guitar knowledge. I wanted more. So, one day I left from home for college. But instead of reaching college, at 8 A.M. I reached my guitar tutor’s home and told him, “I want to be a musician. Please help me.” He sent me to a more serious tutor called Mr. Rodriguez. I travelled to his home and told him that I wanted to learn more. He gave me a guitar and asked me to play. He was a stout old gentleman with really big stern eyes. He told me that if I kept playing like that, he would slap me! Then he told me a big list of things that I SHOULD learn…while two other guys with guitars looked meekly at me. Perhaps they too were at this stage in the recent past. From there I went straight to the Mumbai University to find out about music courses offered there. It was lunch time there so I was sent somewhere else…ultimately I did not find what I wanted.
But the point is that at that time, there was no ‘fear’, no inhibitions or hesitations! The mind was so full of innocence that I could just go out and search for what I wanted. It was so easy to change paths, try something new or do something which the heart desires.
*sigh* I so love those days…

Thursday, May 19, 2005

The real thing...?

What is ‘real’?

Something tangible? But that tangible, can turn intangible anytime! Is the person beside you ‘real’? But people can just vanish…and then what is left? Memories, sounds and pictures in the head. Can you show them to your best friend? You can only ‘tell it’ as it was. It can never come back. All the ‘reality’ that we see around us, how much is ‘real’ for sure? Transient is everything. Everybody.

We say something is painful because we have experienced pleasure, we know something is cold because we have experienced heat. As with all dualities, so with this. If all this is ‘unreal’, what/ where is ‘real’? There has to be something which is NOT transient, something that is time-proof, something that does not decay…

What is real?

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

If you notice, so many of us are worried about our ‘image’ more than anything else. We are all busy sticking to our images of who we think we are. Of course, it also means this is with regard to ‘other’ people’s perception of our image. Confusing? It’s not really that complicated!
A husband and wife have been married for five years now and the wife’s mother always taught her to respect her husband and his family. Now, five years down the line, this woman discovers that her husband and her in-laws are not all that ‘respectable’ and being the humans that we all are, we commit some really stupid mistakes. Because this woman has squeezed herself into this ‘image’ of the ‘ideal’ wife/ daughter-in-law, she refuses to depart from it by not speaking up at all! Ok, now we all might not identify with a situation like this. Let’s take another example.
There is this young man in his early twenties who’s just got his degree and has begun working in a very reputed firm with a handsome salary, perks etc. His family, his friends, his neighbours…everyone is happy about him. He’s enjoying his job too…even his odd hours and overtime. After about four months in the job, he realises that he’s not all that happy. He feels this kind of heavy feeling in his head when he wakes up and thinks about going to work. It becomes a burden. He gets this job because his qualification matches his job profile. But his heart lies in theatre. He knows it. It won’t pay well, the working hours would be odd but still he would love going for rehearsals anyway. The lights, the stage, the energy, the script…he is dreaming about it when he goes for his job too. What would this man do? Normally, he would stick to his job because, suddenly he would lose all the ‘status’ associated with the job. Perhaps he doesn’t want people around to think that he is a ‘struggler’ in the theatre business. So, even though his heart yearns for something else, he doesn’t do anything about it. Reason? IMAGE!
Unfortunately, this the way mind works.
What is Life about after all? Being happy, right? So of what consequence is living something we don’t enjoy?
On a lighter note, one of teachers used to call this state of mind, ‘toilet-seat mentality’!