Thursday, July 31, 2008

In celebration of being alive

I wouldn't mind dying in a plane crash. It'd be a good way to go. I don't want to die in my sleep, or of old age, or OD...I want to feel what it's like. I want to taste it, hear it, smell it. Death is only going to happen to you once; I don't want to miss it.
- Jim Morrison

It was one of those windy, rainy mornings in Imphal. I took out my two wheeler planning to get a hair cut. The rain was not going to stop me. As soon as I started driving,I could hear a faint voice of my mom. I didn't try hard to make out what she said but it seemed she was trying to warn me about the omen of cutting my hair during the exams. The maths paper ,for the 12th board exams, was just conducted yesterday. I had this habit of doing exactly the opposite of anything what people thought would bring ill- luck based on their blind belief and more specifically if the words came out from my mother.I don't how I got this habit, maybe I was trying to show my rebellious attitude. So, I went without any hesitation. 

All drenched up, I went to a local barber shop. Just as he was about to finish cutting my hair, he accidently made a deep cut in my ear and I was bleeding pretty bad. I was pretty much pissed off and my blood was boiling so I broke his glass mirrors and came back without giving his charge.

Just when I was starting to clean up my wounds, a train of thoughts ran through my mind.It suddenly struck my mind that he didn't clean the scissors properly and the place was one of the unhygienic shops in the locality. "Fuck! What did I end up doing this time? " I screamed. Manipur had the highest percentage of HIV positive people in India that time(the major contributor being transfer from blood to blood) and I even saw people suffering from AIDS till their death. The virus strain found there is strongest with HIV positive people advancing to the last stage on AIDS within three years. Nobody deserves this kind of death. It didn't take any more time for me to assume that there is a possibility of getting affected by the virus because of this incident. I immediately told my dad I wanted to go for a HIV test.He straight away denied my request saying that I was being foolish.

But it was too late to control my mind,the only way I would find solace is a result HIV test being negative.I was a man possessed, obsessed with finding out how much science has progressed in curing this curse. The images of people dying with AIDS would burn my mind everyday and I had several attacks of insomnia. A thousand emotions and speculations would run on my mind everyday.I wanted to find comfort in alcohol but I couldn't.I never had the urge to kill a man so much before. At the same time,I never felt so helpless before. I didn't care about academic achievements or whether I passed the 12th board exams or attitudes or girls anymore.I would say my belief in God was unparalleled during this period and even thought that if I did some good my ending wouldn't be that bad.It was time for me to shed some tears since my nursery days. Death ,I thought, would be my best friend.I didn't fear death anymore but the act of dying consumed me.In loneliness, I would often imagine about the Death God, if there is one.  I would torture myself with this thought for nearly one month.

A week after the exams ended I went for the test on my own and not surprisingly it came out to be negative. The doctor told me that exposure to air dries the fluid that contains the virus, and that will destroy or break up much of the virus very quickly. I was a relieved man and it seemed that I had been a new life.I had a new found respect for my life as well as for the others.I went to see the barber again ,not to harm him, but surprisingly to apologize.

When the board results came out, as expected I got 87 aggregate in the first three papers before this incident but the marks of the rest of my papers were hovering around 60's . Even though my fears seemed very childish I am not trying to find out an excuse rather its a confession. More than four years after people still bitch about how even though consistently being in the top three in my class ,I couldn't make it even the top 20 of the school in the board exams. That's alright with me ,I just give them a big smile ,without a hint of sarcasm, and say it every-time , "I got more than I asked for."

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Can we live without expectations?

Let me begin by narrating the story of my first cousin.I have always called him by the name of  'Da nao' with respect,so will refer him in this name only .

Long time back Da nao used to love a girl.I was of the opinion that the girl also loved him that much because they were so close to each other.Da nao is not from a well-off family. His dad worked in garage and his mom is a plain housewife. Infact, many people from his locality were surprised to see him doing good in his studies and even completing his masters degree in Physics. His girlfriend's economic condition was not very different either,being raised up by her widowed mother.

He loved his sweetheart so much that he used to earn wages side by side with his education by giving private tuitions  and engaging in social work, just for the sole purpose that she could pursue her education. After finishing school, she decided that she would choose nursing as her career path and so left her hometown with the same aspiration. Da nao managed all her education requirements and they even use to mail each other often. Everything looked so set for them.

After three long years when she finished her graduation she came back home and we went to meet her. During that time I was enjoying my summer vacation back home after my 2nd semester got over. They looked in love just as it was three years ago. The next day ,as if the armageddon had arrived ,news came that she eloped with someone else. For Da nao his world was falling apart in front of his own eyes. They were together for seven long years.A few silent moments went by and then he looked at me and said "Boi!!"    " Would you get your two wheeler ?"   " I need to attend to some previous commitment."

We went straight to Sekmai, i knew what was coming next. This is the place where the local wines are made,as pure as you can get. That night, he was so drunk ,i thought he will die of over dose and this was from a man who never tasted wine before. For the record,  I didn't drink that day. A few days later, we went to the girl's home and in rage, Da nao demanded the money he had spent on her education.It wasn't much some 70,000 bucks. Tears were rolling down from her mother's eye.I didn't know what to do except watch like a statue.

One year had passed.It was time for summer vacations for me again.I came to know that the bridegroom party had offered her a post in RIMS and she took it.Da nao never mentioned anything about her. But one fine afternoon ,we heard the news that her first child died in delivery. Da nao threw a chicken party the very same night but I didn't go . We had a difference of opinion and since we have not met eye to eye with each other but that episode was the beginning of his never ending unfortunate incidents.

My purpose is not to discuss whatever morals  the story might have told.I want to bring into light how weak our mind gets when bonded by the shackles of aspirations. Aspiration maybe of materialistic ,emotional or metaphysical in nature.I am not saying that one should not aspire or should give up the fruits earned by a man's worth. Its not possible to lead a practical way of life in today's world without any desire or dreams. But when we falter its possible we are not in control of our lives anymore.If you have an eye on the fruits of your actions, you are liable to be affected by worry, anxiety and restlessness.I don't know what the greater truth is , if there is one but I do know we are ignorant enough to be influenced by the darker reflections of ourselves.In my opinion , the mind is the birthplace of every one of our worries, anxieties or restlessness. People have faced this and survived but is life all about surviving or does the true knowledge about life hidden somewhere else?

Saturday, July 19, 2008


The frequent power cuts got me in the poetic mood.
I thought of writing a poem but ended up being a tragedy, which is not a surprise to me. Although ,titled "irrevocable",it has dark shades in it, it was more of a result of loneliness felt during the few moments and nothing more than that.It might dismay  a lot of people who never got to see me in a serious mood.

She entered like an angel,just the way in every love story, 
with a smile that can bring the death alive, 
with a voice that made my ears experience thirst.  

She summons a mystical energy that surrounds her,
like a mythological creature, 
like a bible,I had to believe in.  

I dont know whether I am the master of myself anymore,
but I would do anything to have her for myself, 
just for myself.  

Only if it could have been possible. 
Only if my past did not betray my words. 
Only if she could have understood my faith.  

Now I dont know what to do,
because all I am left behind is a soul container, 
because I am left shattered, stretched across my shame and jealousy.  

Wish I could say its dying down inside of me.
Now I realise she is my unattainable.
I realise she is a dream that cannot be fulfilled.
I realise she is song that I can never sing.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

"True love tends to forget"

"True love tends to forget".These are the words of the great Bob Dylan.Frankly speaking I have seen many interpretations of these words especially in movies. Love not fulfilled is to be forgotten or atleast lovers should try to forget whatever memories they had shared.Even amongst my friends ,its common to find using the words like,"I tried  to forget you, but everytime I do so I end up loving you more" (or somewhat on the similar lines) to convey their love.Its funny how each time when love is portrayed as synonymous with pure, steady, effulgent, attributeless, formless, ancient, eternal, immortal and nectarous, it has been accused being just the opposite and how often it has been labeled as an imprint on our memory.

I am not trying to be a critic of Bob Dylan because I know there won't be another Bob Dylan coming.I just seem to develop a different opinion.My thoughts and feelings are more pulled towards the words like,"I am trying to do whatever I can ,not to forget you in every passing moment, trying to remember everyone of your simplest things".Am I being illogical or just plain confused?Whatever the case maybe I am just being myself.

Friday, July 11, 2008

My experiences of travelling in the train solo

Its been a long time I have written something on my blog.I just came to Howrah after a 52 hours long journey from bangalore and felt like i should write something.I got another train to catch ,a few hours from now.So, I will just post whatever memoirs i can recollect.
Most of the time, I travel alone in a train.I don't wait for any companion because thats suits me best.I have come across many people ,strangers in the beginning but ended up having a quite a good rapport with them.The list includes a korean guy, a muslim girl going for her sister's wedding,a XLRI prof, a BSF jawan, a well known author, two girls who came for summer school and it continues.
I had different experiences with all of them.The muslim girl just wouldn't stop talking.She would pick any random topic and will keep blabbering about it.Of course I was the one who started the conversation when i saw mehendi on her hands.She looked good by the way.The korean guy wasn't much of a talker and his accent was weird.I had a tough time understanding what he said.
I was more interested to know about korean girls from him or more specifically 'Son Ye Jin',the actress in the Korean movie 'The Classic'.
The XLRI prof and the author ,I was talking about, are a couple and our conversation was more or less on serious topics.They were very much interested in knowing about Manipur's heritage and history.I got to know a lot of things from him like keralites marry their first cousins,its a tradition for girls in tamil to marry their uncles etc,which i found very uncanny.
On the other hand ,I had to very good time with the summer school girls. We were only engaged in gossiping.Hell, they even talked about their boyfriends.
Once, I was travelling from varanasi to guwahati on a train on a waiting ticket no.4 .But such was my bad luck that the entire "man-in -uniform" had to be on the train.I had couldn't find any place to sit for an entire day and so did the BSF jawan from dehradun.He turned out to be quite a nice guy.
Oh!But I forgot to mention my first ever experience.I was supposed to be travelling alone from varanasi to delhi, when I was in first year ,but as it turned out my IT-BHU seniors were the majority amongst the passnegers travelling that day.So I was ragged along with some first yearites, in a sweet way though, so I had no complaints.I was told to propose to a girl and me along with some other guys were told to shout "This train is not going to delhi but is going to chennai instead".We did that.
I am actually looking forward to meeting more new people on the train.Hopefully ,this wouldn't be the last you would see me writing with the same title.