Wednesday, November 18, 2009

C.H.O.I.C.E. and What It Meant To Me.

I probably should be saying/writing this as my Third Year Farewell speech, at Rama Watumull Auditorium, but I don’t think I’m getting there and I feel this may be the last time I ever think about this with my over-dramatic emotions, which as of this moment, while I write cannot be suppressed.
It may just have been two years since I’m a part of Choice, but it feels like the person that Choice has made me is always who I was.
The time I left Shazaad Bhiwanidwala’s car on the last day of Mood Indigo 2008, a certain part of me, felt like I’m never going to see the people inside again. Even though we’re not the best of friends, or underwear buddies, but all of us have an indefinable bond, that I realized only when I leave cars or exit security gates at a festival. As this year marks the end of a number of significant people from choice, this note is for me to relive those memories with those special people because of whom I’m “someone” today. Trusting me when I was (and am) a skinny, short kid, walking into terrace classroom 1 in shorts and a blank look on my face, who still hadn’t hit puberty, with no experience or talent, 5 days before HR Fest 2007. I may not have been confident, or known to the person appraising me, but still, with conviction or maybe just a trial, accepted my application. That person in a hundred years would have never thought that jus by doing that he would change a boy’s personality forever.
I had two primary reasons for joining choice. A short but impactful skit done by two very talented people at our orientation, and second, a not-so-docile girl shouting “CHOICE, CHOICE”, standing on top of my canteen table, whilst I ate Chinese. Makes no sense, but I was drawn to that application. Maybe someone up there wanted me to greet my friends with more than just a simple hug when I enter HR College. 
As the year went on, I was just doing Malhar because someone who I was fond of, asked me to. Thank you, Veda. At Kaleidoscope and Kiran, I actually got to know everyone, and saw how work really got done. Kiran was a memorable experience, as not only did I see how difficult people of the same species as you can be, and I made of one my best friends there; Pinky.. I still remember Neville saying that even if you don’t win, or don’t place, what you gain from things like these are best friends. Along the route further, there were a few disappointments, but by then I was too much into how much people trust me with even the smallest of things, that I never thought of doing anything otherwise. The feeling one gets when a person you admire, respect, has faith in you and trusts you, and for the next few significant moments, all you think is how can you keep up to that. The feeling of someone you respect trusting you is overwhelming, but the fear of not completing the given task and disappointing that person makes you feel like a true dick.
Working with people with whom one constantly argues and fights, Khopkar, Sumit, but at the end of everything, all I could think about is when do I get to meet all these people again, and since a while now, all I can think of is what if I never get to see them again, and if we lose contact. Quoting Anushka, Being disorganized is a part of choice’s charm. Running at the last minute to buy an extension chord when Raju sir is screaming his lungs out and when kirit sir hurls abuses in hindi, calling you the “chhota, patla chutiya” maybe next year, I’ll miss being the “chhota, patla chutiya”. According to me, I spent a lot of my time with people apart from work. The closeness must have just come about in the past few months, but the thought of it all not going to be there soon is haunting.
The reality of my first favourite choice member, with whom I loved working and respected so much, not being there in my second year, was a disappointment. I miss you a lot Veda.  I need you at times when I need my self-esteem back where it belongs.
Never having to argue and call Khopkar a cock juggling thunder cunt, really symbolizes, not communicating at that level with them before.
Not being able to get a ride home in an orange 1900’s model Maruti 800 saddens me. Viraat.  Gonna miss you man.
The thought of not ever shouting at Sumit for no apparent reason, will make me forget what a really good work companion he makes. Kiran, 2008. 
Never talking utter bullshit with Anushka about all the possible shit, whether masculine or feminine makes me realize how serious and boring life really is.
Not getting re-imbursed for Raju sir’s food from Darayus, made me realize the value of limited money. Ha Ha, and stingy-ness.
Not debating with Ali on the pettiest of things shows me how pointless life is without conversation, baseless or meaningful. And that I should dress only in good brands. :P
My favourite Choice moments; Malhar- Street Dance 2008. Picking up Sonali (wearing creased clothes) in pouring rain; Raju Sir’s food. Abusing Jai Hind. Hand stands, Nikes. I wish our entire P.A. Department good luck for this year.
Understanding the magnitude of Datta & Hunaid’s achievement, once I saw Kirit and Raju.
Never again will 9 people fit in an Indica, with Meheryar Tata in the driver’s seat. Never.
Being blessed to watch India’s top 50 street dancers, in my first year. 
Right datta. ?
The unexplainable emotion of not wanting to leave this group of people from an authentic dinner, while a good friend waits at his party for me.
The look on Sonali’s face with the Malhar 2008, F.A. Trophy. The look on Datta’s face with the Overall Malhar 2008, trophy.
The night we didn’t place in street dance at Malhar 08, I went back to our terrace dejected. For the first time I had a conversation with Neville, which did not have sexual innuendos or involved insulting me. He said that the final result doesn’t matter, but you judge your performance with the amount of hard work put in. There will be many more years for you to come, and you will realize the importance and timing of winning. I am happier to win Malhar with Danesh by my side, in my last year than before. This is what Neville told me. Later that year, I could understand what Neville must be going through as we lost K’do. It was his last year and first ACL ship.
Year before last, a topic was being discussed, & said something, & then to that I said, “Was I not supposed to know that?” Tushna replied, “If YOU know that Shiv, then its okay for everybody else to know it”. Made me realize that I have a long way to go.
Sabotaging parties and heading at Ayubs or Bade Miyan’s with Datta and Hunaid.
Taking Crawford market directions from Hunaid 
Being bellowed at by Sonali in the choice office, for a reason known to her, in a way not even my mother has shrieked. 
Britannia. Leopold’s. Lonavla. Sundance.
Doing L.A. events with Haabil, for the heck of it.
Walking through security gates, tricking people, in a manner and confidence instilled by CHOICE.
Never getting a thong cake for Sonali, ever again. 
No way in heaven can I describe in words, my memories and instances with Datta and Sonali. Apart from Choice work, in three words if I have to define the terms trust, friendship, mentor, guide, bitches, agony aunt and uncle, all I would say is “Datta and Sonali”. However sucking up this may sound, it’s really not that at all. I truly love and respect these two people in the most important years of my life. Always being there, would be an understatement for them. As I said before, not in a hundred years, would they have thought that they would change a boy’s personality forever. Disappointing any of them, at any point of time, would make me feel like shit. I would do anything if they asked me too, even if at 4am. (I’m sorry for the melodrama, but this is how much yau’ll mean to me). I can’t imagine Choice without yau’ll.

I thank all the choice members for being an integral part of my last two years. These moments with yau’ll are unforgettable. I’m gonna miss each and every one of you, and I hate not being there this year, but I’m coming to cheer for sure. I can write on and on, but I need to go wipe my face now.

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport- Mumbai.

A recent visit to the airport was very amusing for me. I went to drop my cousin as she returned to land of dumb people. (Oh yes, you guessed it right, The U.S. of A. no offense guys but they spell colour as color: P)
(Hahaha…Microsoft Word just “Red-underlined” the word when I spell it here as colour). Anyhow, as “they” say, by wearing new clothes mentality doesn’t change. (Well, “they” didn’t say that, I just made it up.: P)
Point being, (for all those who dint know) that even though our airport is all new & renovated, looks cool and all, it still remains unorganized, and haphazard.
One can witness more human emotions at an airport, than a fulltoo commercial, masala Hindi film. It still takes half a decade to park & get a trolley, but enough with the criticizing, let’s see what I saw that night.
A dear friend once told me, “Indians by nature are very emotional people”. No two ways about that. But being melodramatic, eccentric, & yes, high-pitched at times, yes all these things too.
Not to hurt the religious sentiments or the undying, blind faith of our respectful senior citizens in God, but come on, taping four of the same pictures of Lord Ganesha on four respective sides of your luggage, isn’t going to save your bag from the scanner, when you have 3 dabba’s of theplas & 4 packets of khakras, covered under shawls, in your bag!! You still are going to get pulled up! For all you know by the time you’re landed, you might not get to see your bag at all, leave alone your safely tagged Lord! And oh, not to mention foreigners looking strangely at you, wondering why you have pictures of a half-man, half elephant tagged to your bag!
It’s sad when dear ones leave you, people cry, whine….blahh, the usual. Yeah, but there are some people, who see their dear ones off, in a strange manner. The both parties are just an inch away from each other, just separated by glass (sound-proof. Mind it.). There they are, seeing each other through the glass, even sticking their nose and lips to say bye…wait, here it comes…and talking on the phone, ALONGSIDE. Well, I found this really funny. There they are just an inch away, looking into each others eyes, and listening to each other on the phone!
Getting a little clichéd, there are the usual, sobbing mothers with a garland & the most portable diya ever created (oil-lamp) in their hand, mothers putting their crying babies to sleep on the floor, etc.
Now we come to the “Not-So-Frequent Flyers”. First timers. Oh boy, they’re the very best. Women and men, all shapes and sizes, in sweaters over salwar kameezes and track pants (respectively), gobbling chaklis, at the airport 4 hours before flight time, in attire fit for the moon. Snacks Bar with the regular “Cutting Chai” has although changed to “Wraps & Rolls and more... and U.S. Pizza, the people still remain the same.
Ahh, the night has ended, he/she is gone. Time to get nostalgic.
My cousin reminded me of a scene in an old Hindi movie (Pardes, if you’re so keen, you silly, over-excited Shahrukh fans would know), and the both of us burst out laughing. We found one of the most heart-wrenching, heart-pounding scenes in the movie, actually quite hilarious. The part where Ganga’s (yes, that’s her name, I have a good memory: P) parents have a tear rolling down from one eye, as they stand waving at the taking off plane, in which Ganga goes to the dumb-people land.
**Tears**………………………NOTTTTTT!!!!! Oh my god, now that’s what u call “plane stupid”... (I.e. plain stupid: P)

With Love, Your Best Friend.

He’s her best friend. The one who makes her laugh when she doesn’t feel like smiling. The one who makes her feel secure, when she’s scared. The one who she trusts and confides in & let’s not forget…She’s the one, whom he completely fell in love with.
Every time I fell for you, I think it was a part of you that made me stand up again…
Then you came again, this time to cut me through…yet my love grew back with more inclination…I still believe that part of you had a little something to do with my undying strength…& that part of you that is not “his’”, keeps refurbishing me with fresh energy every time you unknowingly shatter my hopes.
As they say, that confidence is a nervous reaction to insecurity, every time I see you with him, I gather courage with a glow on my face as if the Sun shines out of my derriere, smile as if my cheekbones are held with iron clips, walk up to you, and make conversation trying hard not to shiver out of (good) intimidation, whereas all I can concentrate is on that arm of his’ around your waist.
It is after this that I realized the true meaning of love. “Love” as glorified by the middle-aged, is completely contrasted to what it actually is. Surprisingly an unexpected feeling of unusual happiness was generated in me, whereas actually my physical condition was saturated in sorrow. My heart did not agree with that kind of a confused soul, who did not agree with the above mental and simultaneous physical situation.
It was after seeing you with “him” that gave an explanation for the confused behavior of my heart and soul. That part of you that lived in me was an explanation in itself. You were genuinely happy in terms of present joy, and soon I realized that, what was the point of cribbing and whining when the end aim was YOUR happiness?
I had become selfish, thinking about my emotional gain and happiness…that’s when that part of you made me realize that Love, even if unrequited, is love. Love is not defined according to circumstances, or conditions of lovers, or period of time. It remains constant in its nature and feeling, no matter whom it is shared with. So, even though I had not “achieved” you in physical terms, you were not by me, but with me. This may sound clichéd, but that part of you, was nowhere else but in my heart. Sometimes love is unrequited, but what makes it noble is the fact that even when the love is not reciprocated, people dont stop loving.
True love does not mean having someone to love, but it’s to be happy, just coz the other person is happy, even if he/she is not with you. It is very strange that how the heart is depicted by medical minds and how it really is. They see it just as a cardiovascular pump that circulates blood, helps us breathe and the only scientific explanation for our daily existence.
Well, I think otherwise. It is true that the heart is the only reason we live, but it is not the system inside us that gives reason for our life. It is you who have taught the heart to beat, each time with equal enthusiasm, after each beat, gearing up for the next one. But well, as the sea has high tides and low tides, the pace of my heartbeat, constantly changes when I think about different aspects of loving you. Here again, it is a marvel how our brain and heart our connected. The supernatural up there deserves applause for this unexplainable connection of our brain and heart. Strange is it, when the moment the brain (the mind) thinks of you, a small smile comes up, or rather when I see you with my eyes (again, connected to our brain), my heart starts beating heavily like a drum beats at war. It is definitely not out of fear, but something, no doctor can give an explanation for.
The times of our hearts “low tide”, are due to certain actions committed by you. But again, we should not be affected by them in any negative manner. But yet again, we are human after all. Achieving you in physical terms does actually mean everything. During those times, even pain, cannot reinstate life in us. I am so numbed by your “love” that even if I bleed, I wouldn’t know that I’m alive.

Not Such A Twilit Night After All!

Bella sat upright, yawning shamelessly as she cleared her vision, throwing her Rapunzel-like flowing hair back, and stretched her arms like an aged gymnast. She put on her baby pink satin robe and called out to a thin lanky man whose face looked like a foot. That was just Edward; her semi-human, semi-creature husband.
“Edward!!” she bellowed. That was Edward’s signal to go bring the bread and milk for this satin robed, demi-god beauty of his.
Bella finally got off her creeper infested, four poster bed and greeted the 11am sun with another uncovered yawn. Twenty lazy minutes passed and she began to wonder what’s taking Edward this long. He’s usually back by her third morning yawn, or even before on days the farm obituary in the newspaper has taken the dog show’s (entertainment section’s) page space. Edward walked in ten minutes later, with his head looking at the floor, almost as if crestfallen. Bella looked at him, smirked and said, “I was wondering what took you so long; till I remembered the event that took place last night”. Bella laughed sadistically, like an eight year old cookie thief. “Last night” said Bella and sighed happily. Edward scorned as Bella recounted what happened before her satin robe was on last night.
The lights were dim, candles lit and the moon was a mere crescent. Bella was in a playful mood while Edward’s blue gaze was fixed at Bella large brown eyes. Slowly Bella moved north from Edward’s cold torso, and the next thing Edward knew, was the sensation of human teeth sunken into the side of his icy-white neck. Seconds later, Bella found Edward collapsing to the ground. Bella was just being playful, but anyway her cause for worry was soon gone, as Edward lay on the floor like a migrated squirrel, not fainted, not unconscious; but as if he were enjoying peaceful sleep. Now, we all know that vampires don’t sleep. Soon, realisation struck Bella. She now had a completely human better half, after all.
The 11 am sun did nothing to Edward’s new found human self as he stood crestfallen yet, with Papa John’s Whole Wheat in one hand and milk in the other and meekly said, “I guess you’ll just have to wait a while longer for your breakfast from now on, love”.

Unfinished. Whether You Like It, Or Not.

Taking me for granted is something you’ve always managed to pull off even though you don’t do it voluntarily, and it just “happens”.
They say time heals everything, but in this case why does time hurt like a six inch nail? Can you not judge what would hurt me or upset me? Can you not see that the slightest thing that you say just pushes the nail deeper?
“Oh but it’s been so long, he is used to it, what’s new”. This is what you told Amy when she called, the night I sounded harrowed, we argued and you thought we fought. Well you know what? I’m not used to it. Yeah, it’s been really long since everything I’ve gone through, even though the face of that one person in your life has changed, the situation remains the same for me. In fact, it’s worse. A new face, new stories, new risks. With each passing fancy you believe it will work, and in the end you get hurt. It’s worse because you talk about this new fancy of yours with equal conviction and affection as you talked about the last one, like you’re dead serious about this, more serious than “Mr. Ex”. And what am I expected to do? Listen patiently, give you advice, laugh at a lame ruse of his, which you think is hilarious, when all I can concentrate on, is struggling to stop a tear, while I hear your over enthusiastic happiness, like a child with a new toy.
Isn’t this what you want? Isn’t this what a “best friend” is supposed to do? Can’t you see that my life doesn’t revolve around him, or his jokes or his song for you, or his day well spent!? Really? Can’t you see that? All this while, I hear these things and all I can sense is that same thought in my head over and over again, that I love this girl. The only thing, the only fancy that remains the same is that of you with me. Tides change, rocks break, fire dies, minds rust, fancies change with a glow in your eyes, but all that I am reduced to is that person holding the phone smiling because you are; agreeing to you believing that God exists, even though I sing you to sleep, cutting the phone to an empty silence, the sound of your breath, more precious than anything on this planet, or even away from it.
What I learn the next day breaks my heart. Looks like I’m not enough for you. As the night settled, you woke up after my song, only to call him and talk till sunrise. That’s that. It’s done, right? Why call me up just to tell me that? Again, does my world revolve around him? His morning sickness?
What did you attain by sharing that with me? Too late. Smashed. Broken. The nail has not only been hammered in, but now it’s beginning to cause cracks. Cracks, that nothing you say or do can cement them.
Well in any case, according to you, I enjoy my misery, correct?

I call this Unfinished because I think theres a lot more to come. A lot more to go through. Together.

And There He Sat. . .

And there he sat…
Battered, watched a hand thrust his glasses,
With the corner of his lip bleeding,
Silencing the pain, and draining his cry.

And there he sat…
Head buried in his violet-coloured shins.
Tear stuck half way down his cheek,
As the rest cheered on for a victory on the field.

And there he sat…
Wondering why cupid’s arrow missed,
Watching love bloom, on the left of his heartbeat,
Walking right through him.

And there he sat…
Suited up, but eyes looking south,
With folded arms, while the rest of the room,
Applauded the man who left his moral ethics in his Ferrari.

And there he sat…
On a chair with wheels,
Watching his grown-ups squabble in conflict,
Through his blurring vision.

And there he lay...
His face, as white as the sheet he rest upon,
His complete existence flashed before his eyes,
Like an intact, un-tampered memory,
Before his eyes shut, as the sea drowned the Sun.

The More I. . .

The more I think,
The lesser I dream,
And what is a life,
One without dreams?

The more I want to soar,
You scare me with failure and death,
You say, you’re curbing another Caesar,
But not everyone’s wings are cut.

The more I want to love,
You compare me to “him”,
You say, you can’t ever love me,
But that’s not even what I asked for.

The more I want to stop myself,
You say nothing, No acknowledgement,
Slyly dismissing me,
Compelling me to push myself off your edge.

The more I want to submit myself,
You hold me back, tugging at my soul,
Now you feel the need to keep me?
Let me end this;

For freedom from here catches my eye,
More than life without dreams to soar with,
And a love so powerful that one can’t stop himself.
The more you want it, now it’s gone. . .

Passion. Not One of the Deadly Sins, You Know?

One of the most over-rated words in the English language.

Interviewers, journalists, award-winners, sportsmen, use this word to add more zing and attitude to their “Winning speeches” or interviews. Men like these are not the ones who really value what they do, but commercialize it, for their public image and goodwill. Men like these do not wake up every morning, as if born again each day just to do what they yearn for the most, one more time. They are artificial, pretentious and fake. Right from their vocal tones to their mannerisms. All fake. When one is passionate about something there is no pretentiousness and no hidden motive behind why that person is doing what he is doing.

One does not need a dictionary to define or term Passion. It is a self-driven emotion which arises out of a certain amount of excitement and enthusiasm to work or do something that one is keen to fulfill. Passion is what a person prays for before he or she sleeps every night. It may be an assignment, a project, a person, a job, even a strong desire that does not even remotely look possible to come true. Young students today do not really care about how many dollars get credited to their bank account in a year, or how many bedroom house they live in. They choose their line or education and gradually work based on what satisfies their inner creativity and completes them professionally.

Gone are the days when students take up their parents’ dreams for them, because they are not passionate about it. They realize that down the line, when they are almost settled in life, they are going to be stuck in a monotonous rut as they will not be passionate about it. Everything in today’s day is not looked at from a monetarily feasible way. People sometimes do not care about how much money is gained or lost, but what pleases them & is in confluence with their passion. For starters, why would Virgin Companies’ head-honcho, Richard Branson buy an island all for himself and his much-loved penchant for water sports, when he can hire out? Well, this was quite the extravagant example, but even taking working class commuters, would pay a few dollars more for a better configured computer which is graphically well equipped, rather than a cheap one even though his wallet is tight? The answer is the common man’s love for games. It maybe just recreation and no way profit making, but it’s a passion at the end of the day, however insignificant or leisurely it maybe. Why does a Non Governmental Organization stand up for the under privileged? Okay, that maybe a little too “general”. Individuals like social workers, activists, and members of non-profit making organization help people? Some part inside of them is passionate about the well-being of others, who are under privileged, handicapped, or just not well equipped with the know-how to perform a certain deed, which is in turn passion for them. On a more realistic and genuine level, a blind boy, has wasted 10 years of his initial life crying over his misfortune. Somehow, something inside him says and has the desire to read and as shown through several articulate feature films, the boy is able to read, because he is passionate about it, and it’s a burning desire within him.

On concluding, I would just like to say that passion for something or being passionate about something one values cannot be invoked into someone. It is imbibed in us when we choose our paths in life. The things we are passionate about are the things that are desired by our souls and one should never hesitate in doing something his or her heart tells them to do. If there is true dedication and passion, it is like God’s own hand upon us. Passion is pure and the things we do with conviction have no malice or wrong intention behind it, and even so a pure heart, a passionate heart is able to elevate the opposite person’s as well as their own soul’s greatest accomplishments to a whole new and pure level. So, even though people realize this true emotion in our current 21st Century, the great French philosopher, Denis Diderot mastered it in the 18th Century.

All I’d like to ask you today is, what is that one thing you’re passionate about?

Hidden Scars

He opened his eyes,
As he felt the fleeting of steps,
Carried in Mary’s arms,
Being the infant that he was.

Recognizing his mother’s cry,
His cheek brushing her arm,
He let out a wail,
Till the swiftness of her steps, came to a halt.

As time passed,
The image of a large figure holding a cane,
Chasing them out,
Gradually faded.

When senior ball approached,
A new suit was to be tailored,
He was back living in the attic,
Isolation was not new to him anymore.

While others wove their silk three-piece,
He found the same stitch, but only on his arm.
As Prom King gave his chaperons pieces of truffle,
He was putting the pieces of the attic back together.

They say the worst part about a wound, is its scar.
The same people preach, that time heals all wounds.
What we choose to believe is always left to us,
And when something goes wrong, we are the ones who are left bruised and battered.

The Question.

“What has the world come to?” she asked me with the most disgusted look on her face, as she threw her chicken wrap out the cab window. Right now, an appetite was killed. This is a question every teenager should be asking his or her surroundings today. No one is born spoiled. No one is born vulnerable. Who we want ourselves to become, is who we behave like. We stand up to our mirror each day, demanding something new from life. The most ironical thing is that, whether what we’re demanding is materialistic or not materialistic, is irrelevant.
Most of the times we aren’t even sure whether we’re gaining anything from what we ask that piece of glass every day. “How about we give it a shot?” This statement is all the justification the youth of today gives for anything they are unsure of. Being experimental is one thing, being foolishly experimental is another. Trial and error works for Lab assignments, not your life. Whether it’s a relationship we’re talking about or even Monday’s class test. We’re so used to leaving things to chance. We’re brought up that way. Since our childhood everything is given to us on a platter (made out of silver). Now we’re 18 and still most of us don’t know how the world works, or even how people think. We’re so used to getting out the car, not even opening the door ourselves, cleaning our fogged glasses and moving on to the exact same environment, just in larger parameters. Gone are the days when innocence was an asset. Now that same innocence when stretched in a person’s persona for too long turns into gullibility and ignorance. Whoever said ignorance is bliss, never really bothered being on the receiving end of a peril, where a little maturity and knowledge would have helped. But No, no one wants to make that extra effort of being different. “Everyone’s doing it”. There’s another justification. So what if everyone’s doing it? When someone close to us tells us they didn’t answer our call, because they weren’t answering anyone’s calls, the first thing we ask them is “Am I just Anyone”?
Same way, are we just “everyone”? Do we not have minds of our own? Still, we’re found standing in a cluster of smoke, surrounded by similar looking people, with white sticks in their mouth and aviators donning their eye-frame, cursing across the floor. Does it once cross our mind, “Is this what I asked for this morning”? We’re confused; with that head rush, we can’t even remember what we asked for? Again, materialistic or genuine; that is immaterial, so how does it matter when memory can’t recollect.
We then see a hand offering that second round of grass neatly wrapped in white paper, we accept it and forget about what we were thinking of.