Tuesday, April 19, 2011

You must not necessarily follow !!!

The packet of Wills Classic had just been finished. It was the World Environment Day. Those few, who cared about the environment were requested to switch off all the electric appliances and lights in their houses, between 8 to 9 pm. It was 8:30 pm. Pari and Rahul were sitting in the Balcony. Pari was playing guitar and Rahul was singing. For the month of June, It was a beautiful weather. It had rained some hours ago and mild breeze was blowing in the balcony. The smell of first showers was still in the atmosphere. The scene from balcony consisted of a park and many multi-storied buildings.

It was a pleasant break from their daily routines. For last some days, Rahul had started feeling that his life was empty. It was the same office, same friends, same bus, same piece of software code, same everything daily. His life of so full yet empty. He wanted something else. He felt that he was going nowhere.

The maid had not come that day. Pari had cooked Khichdi. Rahul and Pari(Paritosh) had become good friends in last 2 months, after Pari had come to the apartment as Rahul's new roommate. Rahul today wanted to cry. He wanted to tell Pari about his pain. But he had no words to describe the same. He himself did not know what was causing the pain.

After the session of Guitar and songs, Rahul and Pari had dinner together. It was 1:00 am and Rahul came back to his room to sleep. He had to wake up early in the morning. He tried to sleep but he could not. He got up and started thinking about what he really wanted to do. He wanted excitement in his life. He desperately needed a feeling that he was moving ahead in life. He thought about his career and then, in a flash thought of doing an MBA came to his mind. He rejected it completely at first. But then he mulled over it and decided to apply for the CAT coaching.

Ten months later, he got an offer letter from one of the premier Business Schools of the country. He was elated. He informed Pari about it. Pari was very happy. But he was also sad that he will loose a nice roommate who had become a very good friend. It was 8:30 pm. Pari asked Rahul to come along for a walk. They bought a cigarette on their way and went to the park nearby. Pari told Rahul about all the Booze parties and life style in the premier Business Schools of the country. He said, "Fod dena Dost". Rahul and Pari came to their apartment and then they had a Guitar session at the balcony.

Some days later, the day came when Rahul was leaving the apartment. Pari came to his room and wrote on his his wall with paint, "You must Follow". He said to Rahul that he would like others also to find out what they really wanted to do in their life and move ahead. Rahul told Pari that that was the lucky room of the apartment and everyone who stayed there, moved to a better place in his life. He jokingly suggested Pari that he should shift to that room. Pari said that he was happy with his life and he had all what he want. Then they bid good bye to each other.

Two years later, Rahul had completed his MBA. He went back and met Pari. He found that Pari was almost the same as before. That night they played Guitar. They went for a walk. They again smoked a cigarette together. Pari cooked Khichdi. Next day, Rahul had to go to Mumbai to join a big renowned consultancy firm. Pari was sleeping when he was leaving. There was a smile of Pari's face. Rahul did not want to wake him up. He saw a box of paint kept in the corner of the apartment.

He went to his old room and wrote two more words. Now the message read, "You must not necessarily follow". Rahul smiled and left the apartment.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Complan Boy

It had been a hectic trip before that Shared Auto ride from Konch to Ait (2 Small towns of Uttar Pradesh). The trip eased my mood a bit and my head was also aching lesser now. The sun had almost set. It was a huge plain landscape. There were fields on both the sides, which had heaps of already cut wheat crops kept stacked in them. Mild breeze was blowing and there were no other vehicles on the road. The Auto driver was playing "Sheila ki Jawani" and some remix songs which ideally were not suited to the ambiance but nevertheless, I liked the experience.

At the end of this 18 KM trip, I reached the Ait Railway station. It was one of the smallest stations that I had seen before. There were no lights on the platform. Only a small lantern was lit in the Station master's room. I went and sat on a bench and took a deep breath. I looked around and noticed that there were hardly 4-5 passengers on the platform. I was very hungry and thirsty. At first it seemed like, I would not get anything to eat or drink there. Later I saw a hawker at the end of the platform with his "Thela", containing some biscuits, Laddoos, Gulab Jamuns and Samosas. Amongst all of those previously unknown Brands, I found Britannia "Time pass" Biscuits and bought a packet of the same. I came back and went to the Station master's room and en-quired about the train timings. He did not say anything. But he switched a Button on which led to lighting of two CFLs at the station and the station was lit now, though poorly.

I looked around and saw a boy curiously looking at me. He seemed to be well fed but was wearing very dirty clothes. I had already eaten a quarter of my Britannia biscuits when he signaled to me that he was hungry and wanted something to eat. I was hungry but I decided to give the rest of my packet to the boy. As I went near him, a foul smell came from him. I gave him rest of the biscuits and quickly came back to my seat. The boy ate all the biscuits in no time at all and then he even ate from the ground whatever had fallen out of the packet while he was eating at first. I noticed that the boy was wearing his pant inside out and there was a lot of dirt on it. The boy then lied down on the platform and laughed. He started moving his body as if he was doing butterfly strokes on the platform. Then he looked at me and laughed again. I was reading something but was not able to concentrate and was noticing him.

Suddenly there was a lot of hustle-bustle on the platform and a bell was hit by the son of Station master. It was a sign that some train was reaching the station. The boy stood up and became a little curious. As the train arrived, a lot of Samosa vallahs, Chai Vallahs, Cold drink vallahs attacked the train as if this was their only chance to earn some money through out the day. I thought they deserved to sell their cold drink at more than MRP irrespective of what the law says. I looked around but could not find the boy. For a moment I thought if the boy was actually there or I had just imagined him.

Then, I located him looking at a compartment with curiosity. He seemed to be meditating. Dogs had surrounded him from all sides. He looked at the platform gate and then at the Station Master. Then he looked at me and smiled. He kept looking at me, and I felt very weird. Then the train started moving, the boy jumped and reached near the train. I thought that the boy will hurt himself. I approached him to save him but he ran faster and then Jumped in to a compartment. Standing at the gate he shouted, "I am a Complan Boy. I am a Complan boy". I looked at him, he seemed happy. I looked at the station master, He seemed happy.

I went to the Station master and asked him, who this boy was. He said nothing. He switched the lights off. Again there was only one lantern lit at the station. Only a Complan boy was missing from the platform.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

B2B ( Back 2 Blogging)

So here I start blogging again and I hope to be more regular from now onwards.

Since my last post, I have spent great time at XLRI Jamshedpur, memories of which will remain with me for ever. It was an immense learning experience and I also made some great friends. Last few days at the campus were very emotional, followed by an awesome trip to Goa. And then we received our degree on 26th of March, with our Convocation speaker Mr. Vineet Nayar ( Chairman and CEO of HCL Technologies, an alumnus of XLRI, Batch 1985) telling us to honestly assess ourselves and then to fly.

Then came the moment which filled the heart of now 1.21 million Indians with Joy, India won the ICC Cricket World Cup. I also went out on streets watching people hugging each other without even knowing them. The Bond, called Indianness that connects the hearts of denizens of Second most populous country of the world was on display. I also jumped, danced, laughed, shouted and hugged everyone. On our way back we found a severely injured person lying on the road in unconscious state. People were passing by completely ignoring his need for urgent medical attention. They were busy hugging each other and shouting, "Bharat Mata kee Jai". I and three of my friends stopped, admitted the person to the hospital and then came back to our place. I could not help thinking that this "Bond" called Indianness is only available in the comfort of Inaction. We can not act together on issues that matter to the nation most or even act sensibly as human being. We can sign virtual motions but when it comes to sacrifice our personal interest for a larger cause, most of us may turn a blind eye. Then I realized, that I may be thinking cynically, so I decided simply not to think, have a beer and sleep.

Days passed and more incidents took place. News papers have been filled with applaud for Charismatic leadership of Dhoni, Coach Gary Kirsten and Passion of Men in Blue. One thing that I liked the most, was from an interview of Gary Kirsten where he said that apart from planning and hard work the team Believed that they will win. they did not think about any other outcome. I am sure one of the factors of success of Team India in the recent past has been this "Belief" that they can win. We all can learn from it and apply it to our lives.

Then the news of Anna Hazare has flashed in the media. Again my email is filled with multiple mails to support the cause. BJP leaders and Baba Ramdev have been shown in the media meeting Anna. Headlines are, "Today I am also Anna". Everyone says that Corruption should end. I decided to call some of my acquaintances and asked them what they know about "Lokpal Bill". None of them knew about it. Yet they had sent me mails supporting Anna. I asked them if they made an effort to find out what the Bill is all about. They answered in negative. I thought that it is enough that they knew that the fight is against corruption. Then I received a call from one of my friends boasting about his "Miraculous" escape from a Traffic Police person at the expense of 50 rs. and then talking about Anna in the same breath, I thought that Corruption also is a Bond that Connects at least an optimistic figure of 90% of Indian population together. So even if someday, India doesnt win a world cup, terrorists don't attach Mumbai, We can remain together as Indians.

I again thought, I am being cynical. And hence I went for a walk and had Golgappas at a Kiosk on Jhansi streets. I am sure this delightful activity also connects a lot of people in our Fabulous country.