Friday, November 27, 2009

I, me, myself, at 9000ft.

Its been a month since I went there, but I can still feel the chilly wind that seemed to pierce through the various layers I was wearing. It was a perfect weekend getaway, the most perfect I could have ever imagined. The birch-deodar woods, the grass that looked like somebody mows it everyday, the little stream next to our cottage, and just the purity in the air—this is what I wanted to carry back home…

At Dugalbitta, I had enough time and space to sit and dream and do what I liked doing most- spend time with myself, for myself. It seemed like a different planet altogether. So cut-off from the rest of the world, untouched by civilization.I was awestruck throughout about how they managed to get Maggi up to such altitudes. That was our staple diet there for those 4 days we spent there. The best part was that the Maggi we had there was not the usual stuff we get down here in the plains. The cook put some weird spices and stuff and it tasted really different, and good. The woods looked scary in the evening, and the silence echoed in my ears. The cook also told us that bears and jaguars often strayed down the woods into these ‘Bugyaals’ or meadows. Were we scared? Well, when you’re hidden under 5 layers of clothing, a blanket and a Rajai with all the windows and doors shut, you don’t really care whether you’re really scared or not. You just want to feel cosy and warm for the rest of your life!

After trekking up till the peak, of course I had second thoughts about going back there ever. But it was only when I was down in the plains finally that I felt the attractive force of the mountains tugging at my mind and my heart. I had decided that I wanted to go back there, soon, and how and when too. I knew what I missed most and I knew how strong the desire was to go back there…and here I am praying for that day to come soon. Cuz I wont be going there alone. I’ll be going there, with myself.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

On a Tweet...

I happened to read Shashi Tharoor's Tweet today where he mentioned that he is going to Mumbai today for the 26/11 Commemoration, and to meet some families affected by the attack, etc. I cannot help but comment on this, though I know it might be purposeless. But I really don’t care. And I don’t think it’s a crime to not care.

I want to ask Mr Tharoor what exactly his intention is in doing this. I assume that he is most likely to say the most cliché statement about wanting to "share their sorrow" and all that crap, to show how he as a minister is also one with the masses. I do not doubt his credibility as a diplomat. But I cannot help feel the prick when I see hypocrisy shoved at my face in this manner. Perhaps I could raise a thousand questions, along with the billion other Indians who complain about politicians doing their job well in playing politics as long as it ends there. But is this it? I want to ask him—and then what??? Why is it that one year down, we're still "trying" Kasab??? Where is the action? The reason why I gulp down that question every time it pops up is that I know there will be a 1000 answers and justifications for it. And, well, also the fact that I am in no hurry to be one of those billions who ask the same question.

But the political side of it apart, perhaps it’s an example enough for us to question ourselves—how often do we do this ourselves? Hypocrisy. Trying to show the world how good we are. Are we not constantly trying to prove ourselves to the world? Perhaps a few hot blooded youngsters might argue back about living for ourselves, working for ourselves, and we ourselves being the benchmarks of our own progress. But trust me, its all utter nonsense!

I have been working in the publishing industry for the past five months. I joined this company thinking I am doing something to satisfy my creative urge, as it was considered by many, from the conservative Mallu background that I belong to, as an "unconventional" profession (I really wonder why!). My knowledge about the field, when I had started, was just next to nil which, coupled with the inadequate presentation of my skills during my interview, led me to be placed at the post of a copy editor, which then I had thought was quite exciting and creative. But over these five months, things revealed themselves more clearly, and the ignorance was wiped off my face, rather rudely. I realized that I am just about somewhere near the bank of a huge ocean that I have to cross, to reach somewhere in life, as far as my career is concerned. Am I in a hurry? Not really. But the question that troubled me was not the hurry, but the same old question that I had started out with in the first place...Is my creative urge satisfied? And I sadly shook my head.

The reason why I began with this monologue about my unsatisfactory job in the first place, was because I realized a lot of truths in these five months. I realized, when I went for my first holiday after joining my work (trekking up to 13000ft), that all this talk about "doing what you like rather than liking what you do" is utter nonsense. I believe whatever field you choose, whether it is creative or not, does get stagnant after a point of time. And you are left asking for more. It is human nature to constantly seek change. And the only option I am left with now, is to satisfy my creative urge by doing things I like in my spare time, while I continue doing my job (till I am driven to the point of madness thanks to the purely mechanical nature of the job and a thousand other things of course). Perhaps there are more options out there. And my friends do ask me not to arrive at conclusions already. But why is it that I feel ready to chuck my job in merely 5 months???

And what does this have to do with hypocricy? Everything. But then on second thoughts, I guess at every juncture in life, I will stop and ask myself not whether I did the right thing in doing what I did, or jumping into whatever I jumped into, but what I learnt from all of that or whether I did indeed learn anything from all of it. And that I guess is how life moves on. Why judge things? Why the hurry to categorize things into good and bad? (this can go on and on I guess)

How does it help me? I guess it saves me a lot of conscience pricking. For, I am not claiming to make thousand people smile. And ultimately in life, I think if I can make someone’s life better, it is only through improving myself as a person. Only then can I serve to be an example to another. Whatever is in my ability to help another, I will do. But deep in my heart, I would know that I am not doing it to put up a goody-goody face before the world. It is to be good to myself, and to respect the life I have got. And if that helps to help someone, isn’t it all worth it? Whatsay, Mr Tharoor?