Letter from a Sachinist
Yada yada hi Dharmasya Glanirbhavati Bharat,
Abhyuthanam Adharmasya Tadatmanam Srijamyaham!!
Letter from a Sachinist
Dear Mr. Tendulkar,
Below I tell you the story of a generation of Sachinists. A story to which we all relate.
Before I was born, you were still in school. But whereas I and other lesser mortals have gone to school to study- read mundane stuff from text book you went to school to break records.
Six months before I was born, you broke a record- the first of your gazillion record breaking feats to follow. Playing a cricket match for your school- Sharadashram Vidyamandir you made a score of 326 and shared an unbroken partnership of 664 runs-the then record of highest partnership in any form of cricket which stood for almost 18 years.
Four Months after I was born, you made your first class debut, made a century in the match and became the youngest man to make a century on first class debut.
I was a year and 3 months old when you played your first test against Pakistan in Pakistan. In that series, you got hit on nose by a searing Waqar Yunnis bouncer. Blood splattered all over as you refused medical attention and spoke those words “Main Khelega”- a part of legend now.
When I was two you made a test century against England to save a match for India and became second youngest test centurion.
I was six months into Kindergarten and you became the youngest player to reach 1000 test runs.
Barely three days before I was to attend first day of my first standard at Kendriya Vidyalaya, you opened Innings for the first time in an ODI. You immediately made that position yours inflicting a bloodbath on opposition bowlers making 82 runs off 49 balls.
Few days before I was to enter third standard, you became highest scorer ever of a world cup making 523 runs in the tournament. A day after my birthday in 3rd standard, you became the captain of Indian Cricket team. By this time cricket was my favorite and only sport I followed.
In March of 98, few days before I was to enter 5th standard, in a home test series against Australia, you butchered the then best leg spinner of the world, made 446 runs and won the series for India.
I had just entered 5th standard. I first wrote with a pen. I had till then started playing cricket religiously- in school and in evening in the playground of our campus with friends and you took Sharjah by storm. You were unstoppable. Made back to back hundreds against Australia and single handedly won the series for India.
By now, a whole new cult of Sachinists (me included) had evolved around you. People would watch matches only till you were at crease. When you were at crease, the streets would be empty and everyone would be glued to TV screen. India was cricket. Cricket was Sachin.
I was 10 years old, in a test match against Pakistan, you made a heroic 136 chasing 271 despite being injured with a back pain. Once again you single handedly tried to win when the entire team had failed. Later in the very same series,in a test match at Eden Gardens Kolkata, you were given Run out and crowd believed the run out was unfair… crowd went on a riot! Such was your influence.
I was in 6th standard when I saw you batting an entire innings in an ODI against New Zealand, without getting out. You made 186- the peak of greatness pushed a little further.
I was to enter 8th standard in 10 days when in that great series of Harbhajan Singh and VVS Laxman against Australia, you displayed your class- took 3 wickets in the final day at the Eden Gardens and scored a decisive century at Chennai.
The day I entered 8th standard, you completed 10000 runs in ODIs.
Next year when I was 14 years old, you broke sir Don Bradman’s record of 29 test Centuries.
My final exams of 9th standard were going on and I watched every match of the world cup. I watched how you made that world cup your own, making 673 runs in the tournament.
That six against Shoaib Akhtar which went on to become a part of the folklore in Sachinist cult, is still fresh in memory as if it was yesterday that it happened. I remember the look on your when you got out after hitting only a single four in the final.
I remember when I was in 10th, you gave us all a lesson in grit and determination when you made that 241 Not Out without playing a single cover drive- a Shot which used to be your major score point. You had been getting out playing this shot recently- a lot many times and hence like God you decided fine let’s do away with it.
I was in 12th Standard, giving my pre board exams in December when you crossed Sunil gavaskar’s record for most test centuries- achieving that record was just a formality now- everyone knew it’d be yours one day.
I was giving my end semester of second semester when you were dropped from the squad for a series against Bangladesh in the pretext of resting. I Outraged. Rest of India Outraged. You don’t rest Sachin Tendulkar, you just can’t do it. He himself decides when to rest and sit out of the squad.
I was in 4th Semester when you scored that century in CB series final. India won that series.
I went to 3rd year. I should have been preparing for my campus placements to be held next year but instead I spent time watching you break the record for most test runs.
Next year, in 7th semester I was placed. I had no worry. I watched you in the TV of hostel common room full with friends as you scored a majestic 175 and single handedly almost chased a target of 350!! You got out with India just needing 19 runs and India choked- good old times were reminded when Sachin getting out spelled game over for India.
It was 24th February, 2010. I was preparing for the college tech fest ahead and I saw you making first double century of the international one dayers. I will never be able to forget the atmosphere of common room that day.
Then a year later came world cup. India Won it… this team which had won the cup was not just any other team- it was Sachin Tendulkar and a group of his followers, who grew up watching him and wanting to be like him, ended up playing with him. It was only apt that they took you on their shoulders and did rounds. This day, I was six months into my job… I was a professional. Times had changed.
This year I saw you making a century of centuries- four months before I turned 24.
And today as I have successfully made my first Job Switch, you retire from one day International cricket. All of a sudden there is a Void. This emotion is not my solitary. I belong to the generation of Sachinists. I stand a small element of the cult who has grown watching you.
They say change is the only constant. So has been the case with our lives- everything changed. The only constant being Sachin Tendulkar’s Presence in Indian National Cricket team. You retiring from One Day Internationals is a personal loss. It will be difficult to accept.
It’s a Sunday afternoon. It’s cloudy. Sitting here on my terrace peacefully, as I close my eyes, I get a vision…
I’m climbing a cliff. Cliff? Or mountain is it? I can’t see the top. The slope is pretty stiff.
I have the climbing rope tied around all around me. I’m wearing helmet and all other protective gear too. I’m sweating profusely, making industrious efforts to climb the cliff.
I stop for a while and see around myself. There are hundred, thousands, billions of similar cliffs around- Visible as far as I can see. Each cliff has a man trying to climb it- only one man. Each climber is wrapped with climbing ropes like I am. No man can see the top of his cliff. Some people do believe that they can see the top of their cliff but that’s an illusion. The top of any cliff is too high for its climber to notice.
Every person is at a different height on his cliff and everyone is climbing at a different pace.
Some are trying hard, too hard and climbing at a fervent pace.
There are a few people who are trying hard but are unable to climb at a desired pace.
Some people there, simply hanging with the support of rope. They are not trying to climb. They are battered and bruised. Clothes torn at places. Injury marks on body. Seems they too have tried too hard in past. But now they have had enough of it. They seem to opine this cliff does not have an end and hence have abandoned the attempts to climb.
“Does this climb really not have an end? Just because I can’t see it, it doesn’t mean this cliff doesn’t have an end. I will reach the top some day. Some day for sure…” I think.
I look at the people who are really high on their cliffs. The highest people I can look at. They seem super human to have reached there. I think of reaching at the top of the cliff. I start with a new zeal, new enthusiasm. I climb one rock.
Carefully, I firm my foot on another rock, ensure my grip and then as I leave my weight on it, it breaks. I hang from my rope. I look around. No one notices me hanging from my rope- they are all deeply occupied in climbing. “Oh hell, he is getting ahead of me… get up man, you don’t have the luxury of relaxing” I say to myself. Hurriedly, I reposition myself and climb two-three rocks. I feel sweat on my face. Why does the sweat feel thick? Why is it warm? I try to mop the sweat on my face with my finger and then look at my finger- “oh god!! This is red!!”
The vision blurs… the scene changes…
I am alone… this place is very quiet. Not even a single living being can be seen as far as the eyes can see. This is a desert. Only sand can be seen till far off.
I sit on a sand dome. My hips resting on the sand on the top of the dome and legs folded such that feet rest on sand in front and knees are in front of my face. I pick up some sand in my fist and bring the fist to the level of my eyes.
I try holding sand in my fist but it starts falling out. I try desperately to hold it back but with each grain of sand falling out, the speed of falling sand only increases. I want control the fall of the sand. But it seems to have a mind of its own. I’m desperate. I’m restless.
As my fist is about to get empty, wind blows- strong wind. There is sand everywhere and the vision blurs again…
Note: These visions are my metaphorical take on life, as I see it. The mad rush to get god knows what and our desperate and vain to govern the flow of our own lives.
“I ” was walking aimlessly on the street. Concentrating on the footpath to avoid the pits, manholes, and early stages of animal manure- abundantly scattered here and there. It was the end of June and today’s weather with cool wind was in contrast with the scorching heat of last two months in Azamgarh.
The refreshing cool breeze in cloudy weather in a small town made a perfect morning far from the hustle bustle of the big town India, of which I had become a part of.
Wearing a blue T shirt with a torn jeans and chappal and the welcome breeze brushing through I’s face and ruffling my hair, he decided to walk towards chowk to grab a cup of tea from the road side vendor.
As I walked in nonchalance, from a Panwalla’s Radio Hummed Rafi “Main zindagi ka saath nibhata chala gaya…”
As I walked further, he got lost in the pristine beauty of the Mughal architecture abundantly present in this older part of the city. As I walked on the street, marveling at the architecture and made a mental note to ask Dadaji more about this part of the city, he saw something, the beauty of which made him stop and take a notice.
In front of I was a building- old but proud and imposing reminder of its beautiful past. On the first floor of this building, sat a girl wearing a white salwaar kameez with shades of blue. She was sitting in an ‘aram kursi’ and was reading some book in rapt attention, oblivious of I looking at her.
She had a round face. Her beautiful, big black eyes, adorned by perfectly shaped eyebrows were fixed on the book. Her thin lips crafted to perfection by the master sculptor. Her ears had tiny ear rings shining on the either side of her cute face.
Her hair was tied in a bun at the back of her head. A few strands of her hair escaped the constraints of bun and were playing on her forehead and eyes and she would constantly try, in vain, to keep ‘em out of her eyes with her right hand.
One end of her dupatta was sandwiched between the ‘aram kursi’ and her back. The other end of the dupatta going round her neck was swaying slowly and aimlessly in the slow wind.
On the wall in balcony behind her, was a window. The wooden window frames, seemingly crafted in 19th century were loose at hinges and hung elegantly from the window. I stood there for some time- bewitched by the mesmerizing beauty in the back drop of black clouds.
For a moment the girl lost her concentration, her eyes drifted from the book and she looked at I. She hesitated a little and then with a swift elegant motion, she got up, adjusted her dupatta and went inside the house.
I came back to senses. The song on the Panwallah’s Radio interestingly changed to “Hai apna dil, To aawara…”
Smiling, he shook his head, made a mental note to come back to the building and moved ahead towards chowk… wind ruffling through his hair.
The Law of Fun
We have quite a few married people at GC. Dear married people, you might think you are cool, but let’s face it- You are not cool. period
I have always- ever since I was born, been convinced that bachelors are the only people who have fun on the planet. But till now I did not have any conclusive evidence to show this (though, this doesn’t mean I doubted this fact for even a second), hence I decided to conduct a research and the results of the research are being published in this esteemed journal in form of the ‘law of fun’. So here it goes
The Law of fun has following two Postulates:
- After Graduation, disposable income and responsibility as function of time vary according to the curves shown in the figure.
- ‘Fun’ , as a mathematical entity can be calculated as:
Area under the curve of disposable income- Area under the curve of responsibility.
Which can mathematically be represented as:
Where I represent disposable income and R represents responsibility.
As you can see that we have started the curve from graduation- the reason behind starting the domain of results from Graduation is because that is when the income of any sort starts for an average person though there are many exceptions, we are talking the Indian Middle class here.
Now, as the person graduates, gets and job and works hard- the disposable income increases with time where as the responsibilities curve maintains a constant value of a very low magnitude. But this trend continues till point A.
The point A symbolizes Marriage. After Point A, as is evident, the disposable income curve acquires a negative slope and the responsibilities curve acquires a positive slope. This physically means responsibilities start increasing and the disposable income starts decreasing.
This trend continues till point C. The point C signifies the advent of kids in the life. Now, From Point C, the negative slope of disposable income curve and the positive slope of the responsibilities curve becomes notably sharp all of a sudden and within a very short span of time achieves point D. Point D is the point where both the variables attain maximum values and become constant- the disposable income attains a magnitude tending to zero and cannot further decrease and responsibilities curve attains a magnitude so high that it is not possible for a person to take any more responsibility.
This state continues for a long period of time- say at least 20 years and as said earlier- the disposable income is nearly zero and responsibilities are maximum during this period.
But as we can see in the curve, after the end of those 20 something years, there is a slow increase in the disposable income curve and decrease in responsibilities curve. This phenomenon can be attributed to the retirement and kids starting to earn. But by to this time, generally people due to some unexplained reasons, tend to acquire this weird idea that visiting pilgrims and other supposedly Holy places can also be classified as fun. So practically that disposable income and lesser responsibilities remain of little use.
Now the question arises how to maximize the function “fun”. According to the formula and the graph, fun has a positive value only till point B and also after point A (marriage) the negative and positive slopes of the respective curves are inevitable. It means the best way to maximize the function fun is to have as high value for point A as possible. The physical interpretation of the previous statement will be- stay unmarried for as long as possible.
Now that I have provided you with sufficient mathematical proof, I hope you all will agree. Do ask in comments of any clarification is sought – I shall be gratified in clearing the doubts.
All you bachelors out there- this research could not have at a better time for you. Now that you are enlightened, go save your share of ‘fun’ in life from being snatched by the hands of chachis/Mamis/bhabhis anxiously trying to get you married.
- This study doesn’t recognize people who talk to their girlfriends for more than two hours every night, as bachelors. They are as bad as married to the author.
- This is not to offend married people. This article is to be taken with a pinch of salt, butter and jam.
God – Is the concept a fiction?
God… this is a unique concept. I mean there can be no other topic probably which would bring so many people to a common consent and force them to fold hands in Namaste.
But, With the little science knowledge that I have, my brain refuses to believe the fact that this whole system -universe as we call it, is creation of some person called God because such an act is beyond any laws that have been mentioned in physics. Ok so here comes science-doesn’t-know-it-all argument. I can’t counter that possibly. Fine, agreed on that.
So let’s assume once upon a fictitious time, there was a person called God who had unearthed laws of physics which no one since has managed to discover and decided that he wants to create something which will have animals, plants, water, air, sky, human beings, birds, rivers and other godly stuff. Let us just assume bhai. This guy had the imagination to visualize it all when none of this existed (I know this sounds super cool and I also know I sound super nerd calling this cool). But even then he won’t have created it. He simply would have chosen not to create it. Because let’s face it- it’s too much of a pain in the ass to create something this complicated- so what if you are even competent and sufficiently jobless to do that. But again let’s assume he did it. So how’d have he done it… it’d be fun to imagine.
I suppose God suspended a few balls of some weird substances in null in a concentric circles around one big ball and was having fun playing with the arrangement (analogous to Small boys playing with GI Joe, making them do weird stuff and enjoying their imagination). But after some time, just as the case is with boys that they get bored with one GI Joe and start finding a girl friend for one, he got bored with this game and thought to himself let’s do something cool man and set the ball in center on fire!! “That was wicked” he must have thought to himself. But again as is bound to happen, he got bored with this too. Then he started kicking each of the balls out of sheer boredom and they started revolving around the fire ball in center. As he was kicking it around, God got bored. He thought what the hell… all the balls are rotating in same plane its boring so he kicked the outmost ball in some different trajectory. And this is how the solar system was created.
But when I think of it seriously, I find God no more than a concept. A concept which us humans, confused because we developed that extra Grey matter which other creatures couldn’t, went on to invent. There are a lot of things even now which science has not discovered or is in the process to discover. I like to believe when the ancient man couldn’t find an explanation to anything or couldn’t help or control something (like rains or floods or draught say) he just credited it to God’s account. Because the thought that there are a few things on which he doesn’t have control on was overwhelming for him. He felt insecure. So he created a proxy account by the name of God which was credited with everything Good and Bad.
Good- probably because he was too modest to admit that he did it all by himself (say profit in business) or simply so that he can have someone to blame in bad times.
Bad- Because he didn’t want to feel insecure that anything could happen by chance.
A lot of things were attributed to god- earthquakes, lightening, Fire, Rainfall, good crop and even kids. But as society progressed and evolved it discovered the actual reasons behind this. Similarly even now there are things which we attribute to god and later we’ll discover how silly we were like now feel when we think once earth was supposed to be flat.
For everything else there is entropy which is ever increasing by its nature. When randomness has this ever increasing tendency, anything can happen. Why do we need a God?
But then again I am not an atheist. Because I find it hard to reject a something that everyone around me believes in, with the wave of my hand.
I go to temples or pray sometimes only because my father asks me to.
But I find it hard to believe in this concept because it is the same person, my father taught me science. He taught me to reason and to ask questions (I might as well add that he never taught me to question the superiority of almighty, just in case he reads this. But, dude, I’m just extrapolating your theory of questioning, to the specific case of God).
Maybe Agnostic is the term coined for me typically. But then as I see what am I writing about? God? Something I’m not even sure what’s my opinion on?
Maybe I should get back to doing what I do the best- Getting on streets of Lucknow and admiring what ‘God’ has created
PS: If you are into spirituality, comments are welcome to ‘guide’ me but don’t talk grey! Let the conversation remain black and white. I hate it when those dreamy spiritual guys make it vague and say stuff like “God is that water which will quench your thirst of peace which you have been unable to find within”. I could kick u in the groin dammit!!
PPS: @mani ji- this thing was actually drafted as a comment on your article:P
The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi
We have so many Indian mythological characters that have a lot of powers but still we have very less contemporary Indian superheroes like Spiderman, Batman, Superman etc.
And similarly I have always wondered why we don’t have more fantasy fiction when we have Things like Ramayana and Mahabharata for inspiration. But this book- Immortals of melhua is one attempt towards contributing to Indian fantasy fictions.
Immortals of Meluha is the first book in the series of Shiva Triogy by Amish. When I first heard of Immortals of Meluha, I thought it’d be something like “The Da Vinci Code”. But I was wrong- this book is different.
Shiva at the start of story is no lord- he is a tribal man from a tribe residing by the side of Mansarovar Lake at the foot of mount Kailash in Tibet. An extremely skilled warrior, he is the chief of his clan and Bhadra is his deputy and childhood friend. Though the best, most courageous and intelligent warrior in many tribes combined, he is fed up of the barbaric ways of the tribal life.
Plot in brief:
The Indus valley civilization of today is the Meluha of 1990 BC. Meluha is an amazingly organized and scientific civilization for its time. The Infrastructure of the Meluhan cities is so good that it can put the modern day cities to a shame. The people of Meluha are not only happy- they are Immortal.
But this crazy-and-freakishly-perfect society has its own set of problem. And like their grand style of living, their problems are also grand. The river saraswati, whose water is main component of their elixir of life- Somras, is drying. They face constant terrorist attacks from the rival nation- the Chandravanshi who have joined forces with the ferocious martial art warriors- the Nagas.
Then there is the legend of Neelkanth which says: “When the evil reaches epic proportions, when all seems lost, when it appears your enemies have triumphed- a hero will emerge.” Enter Shiva in Meluha and the story kicks off…
Other than the Plot the book has two most important aspects:
1. The character of shiva- the character shiva has been put in an interesting manner.
The introductory description of shiva’s physique in first chapter says it all. He is atheletic and he is warrior- an extremely good one at that. He smokes chillum. He has a sense of humor – a really good one. He is a natural dancer- a perfectionist dancer. Despite belonging to a barbaric clan, he is humane. He is an inspiring and extremely respected leader. He has lazy, elegant and effortless charm about him. Ladies can’t help admiring him.
Sounds like James Bond? What seperates him from being bond is the fact that he is profoundly humble and he can love. He is in deep love with Meluhan king Daksha’s Daughter- Sati, who is, let us say a little reluctant to go in a relationship with shiva though she likes him a lot. Interesting uh? It is…
This character shiva- the elegant, powerful and effortlessly brilliant, alone makes the book a worthy read.
2. The language used- The language used in the book is, to say the least- contemporary.
That is where the main objection of critics lies- when godly people go about saying stuff like “For god’s sake man, if you are happy with her, then I am happy for you” it becomes a little difficult to digest. It could have been better of the language was a little more dignified when you are setting the plot in 1990 BC.
But for me, such language totally worked- it helped me connect to the story better and added to the humorJ.
But there was one place in the book where even I had an objection with the language- the chief scientist- Brahaspati explaining Shiva about food, oxidation of food by oxygen present in respiration and other truck load of science including ageing. I mean man, cm’on- you have set your plot in 1990 BC, did you forget? At least use some creative words for the scientific terms to prevent it from being weird- like you could use “pran vayu” for oxygen.
Amish has a very captivating style of storytelling- the story is fast paced and gripping. The book has everything- Drama, Action, Romance, emotions- everything. Romance has been portrayed particularly well. Once you start the book, it is an absolute un putdownable. Amish has this ability of putting romance and action simultaneously in same scene. He is also very, very good at sketching the characters because of which you can relate to the characters better.
A must read if you enjoy fantasy fiction- the book leaves you waiting, anxiously for the sequels!!
PS: I personally liked the character ‘Anandmayi’ –towards the end of the book, a lot. Read the book and you’ll understand the obvious reasons behind this
Art of doing nothing
Hey You! Yes you, who are deciding right now whether or not you should continue with this article. Fine, it’s up to you to read this or not but I must tell you, here I’m preaching for you only in this article, if you are lazy. So if you are lazy, read this full- take a cue, spread the word and join the cause.
So, now let’s get directly to the point. Here I go:
This world has been unfair to lazy people. Yes, it has. I mean people just don’t appreciate how hard it is to be lazy. I’ll give you an example- here this Sunday; I lie on my bed, doing nothing. I’m simply there on the bed- like a log that has been kept. Now my roommate enters the room- our typical prejudiced against lazy person and says- “what is this? You are blissfully sleeping when I have been busy buying vegetables. Don’t you think you should do something?”
Now, to this, I think in my head- “F@#K you! Can’t you see I’m busy? Yes I’m blissful doing nothing but why does that bother you huh? Doing nothing doesn’t automatically translate into ‘applying no effort’. You know, I have postponed my lunch, in order to do what I am doing right now- nothing. I have not switched the TV on because the remote is out of reach and I have decided to do only nothing. I have not had bath since last seven days because everyone does that. I’d like to be different. I’d like to do something more difficult and more challenging- I’d like to do nothing in the time I’d use to have bath. In order to do nothing, I have to resist the temptation of reading that Dan Brown classic that I still have unfinished with me. You absolutely have no idea that it needs a resolve of steel, to resist the temptation to go to the women’s college street and check out the hotties. But I know you don’t have any idea regarding all this. You don’t have the intellect to appreciate my resolve of steel which makes me commit this many sacrifices. And that is why you can’t appreciate that doing nothing is a very difficult task and asks for such resolve.”
Now when this roommate of mine ridicules me for doing nothing, I think all the stuff written above. I want to say all this to him aloud, but this much thinking has made me exhausted. I can’t waste more energy telling him all this verbally so chuck it. Bhains ke aage been kaun bajaye. I’m busy doing nothing.
Let us see an instance of the very next day- Monday. But before that, let me add one thing- we, the lazy people hate Mondays. It is extremely insensitive to allow someone to do something that they love most- nothing for two days, and then suddenly, the very next day, ask them to do something that they despise most- everything that’s not nothing. Monday, IMO should be made a compromise b/w a working day and a holiday- something like a half day but a little more biased towards holiday. Anyways that’s another debate, let’s get back to point.
But it’s not only the others but we- among our own fraternity are culprit of underestimating us. Let us consider this situation of the office of a typical software company on a Monday morning which I was explaining before I got carried away with the heart touching issue of Monday. So one fine Monday morning, cursing this ridiculous system of Mondays, a software engineer comes to office. Till 11 am he is logged in to facebook lazing around, warming up and his boss calls him. He goes to boss’s room and gets a lecture on how he has been doing ‘nothing’ and how he is not fit for the company.
The poor lazy software engineer who had till now been cursing the crazy, inconsiderate system of Mondays; starts cursing his boss too “you- you don’t understand the value of doing ‘nothing’? You do ‘nothing’ only sitting on that chair. In fact, the amount of ‘nothing’ being done increases up the hierarchy of chairs. But still you don’t appreciate the value of doing nothing.”
Look anywhere, any office, any field. You’ll find such examples of ‘nothing’ being underestimated, denied and ridiculed. I fail to comprehend why people can’t appreciate the value of doing nothing. We are one of the key parts of our economy. How? Look, that’s how ignorant you are. You yourself being lazy enough to read this don’t know how important you are to economy. It’s this apathy I was talking about. But anyways, let’s get back to the topic. We are key parts of economy because we are a major source of jobs in India. Confused? Just imagine what all the dhobis would do if we ceased to do nothing and started washing our clothes on our own. The closest that I have been to cooking is boiling chemicals in a test tube in chemistry lab. If people like me loose that passion to do nothing and start cooking, it will have two effects- one, the cooks will go out of business obviously. And the second reason is well, if I start cooking, people who are stupid/ gracious/ lazy enough to eat that food face a heavy risk of food poisoning. So we should leave the jobs for specialists- clothes should be washed by dhobi, food should be cooked by the cook and we should do what we are best at- yes you guessed it right- nothing.
Just see the power of doing nothing- you are John Buchanan, a cricket coach. The team you coach goes round the world and the eleven extremely gifted and hard working players beat the shit out of every team they face and you get the credit for their win. We actually have a live example of how you can do nothing and still be the chief minister of a state as big as Uttar Pradesh. These are the places where doing nothing can take you, but still the denial!!
I hope I have been able to convey the message that I set out to convey and now you realize that doing nothing is not an easy task and nothing doers are very important part of society the and have at time also achieved great things but despite of this, they have constantly been denied, underestimated and ridiculed.
Hence, here at Gingerchai, let us start a campaign to get recognition for nothing as a legitimate (and particularly difficult) form of work. Join the cause.
I & Her
‘I’ entered the 11th standard A section class room of his new school and looked around with contempt. I adored his previous school, he didn’t want to leave it and come here but he had to. He went inside and silently sat on an empty seat besides a guy in third row. He didn’t have friends in this class; he looked around hopefully for friendly faces.
“No one is friendly, I’ll show them in exams” he thought in his childish prejudice.
Then ‘her’ entered the room. I saw her. “Man, she is beautiful!!” I thought.
Her went on to sit next to a girl two rows from I. He kept looking at her. Enter the physics teacher and I’s day dream ended. Classes continued one after another and I kept taking notes religiously. But in between he’d steal a glance or two towards her. Finally after the last class of the day as he stuffed his books inside the bag, I remembered about her. He turned to look at her but she was gone. Little disappointed, he went home.
Next day as I got ready for school, the only thing he was looking forward to was meeting ‘her’. He reached school and in the assembly line for prayer, he was searching her. But I was the tallest in the class and her was one of the shortest in the class- he couldn’t find her there. After prayer, as he entered class, he saw her- sitting there, where she sat the day before. He looked at her- she was a typical small town girl from UP, nothing special about her. She had a triangular face. Her sharp pointed nose parted those big beautiful black eyes with a hint of surma. Her long black hair was tied in a pony at her back. I fell in love. It was not the first time that I had encountered such effortless elegance, but it sure was the first time that I had acknowledged it. I was floored.
I wanted to know her’s name but he didn’t dare ask her directly. Who else to ask, he had no friends- you can’t go a stranger and directly ask him “excuse me, can you tell me the name of that wonderful lady sitting over there?” No you don’t do that. So I inferred – first he’ll have to make friends. And by the end of the day he was friends with the guy sitting next to him- S. As luck would have it, even S was a new admission and didn’t know her’s name. Another day had passed- I’s insides ached- I wanted to talk to her but he didn’t know where to start.
The next day same routine continued only that the last two classes were lab classes. The class was divided in groups and each group had been assigned an experiment. I went towards his experimental setup and waited for the other group mates to arrive. Just as I was about to study the experimental setup, he saw her coming towards him- walking, with all the divine grace that divinity could probably muster. Her came and stood besides I, silently.
“Have you too been given this group?” I asked.
“idiot!! Isn’t it obvious, why else would she be here?” he cursed himself mentally immediately after asking this.
Her nodded in agreement and I’s heart leapt.
“Hi I’m I” he introduced himself.
“Hi, I’m her” she introduced herself and the friendship began. I came to know her was Muslim. I was a Hindu. “Who cares anyway” I thought hovering in the completely alien cloud of emotions.
Classes continued, 11th standard got over and 12th standard arrived- friendship grew from lab sessions to class room and from class room to after school long chats and I’s feelings for her only kept getting stronger. I could still not tell her. “Man, she’ll say no” he’d think.
School days were about to end. I still didn’t have the courage.
It was the farewell party of 12th standard and overcome by emotions and with a sudden surge of inspiration- I got up and went to her. He took her to a quieter corner and told her all the feelings that he had for her.
Her listened and no, she didn’t say no. “I too like you I. But you are a Hindu and I’m a Muslim. We can’t do this. This is not to be. We can get into this now but it will only bring tears l for us both later. Let us please don’t get in this than regret later…”
Beyond that I couldn’t listen he lost the track of what her was saying. I took it as a No. He couldn’t fathom how the hell did that matter? He couldn’t understand why on earth did she care this much for the society? I couldn’t see the obvious but her did. The typical sensibility of the small town UP girl prevailed above I’s typical recklessness.
Eight years after, I opens TV and watches a debate going on the topic whether there should a Mandir or a Masjid at a particular place and he thinks “if only… her, you had shown a little more courage, we would have shown these morons!!”
But then suddenly I understands. Her did the right thing- in favor of her and his families. I feels proud of her- she had been both bold and sensible. Then suddenly, I feels pity on himself. Then he feels even more pity for his society “Unfortunate people- still held in petty issues of religion. Blissfully ignorant of the larger picture- love!!”
Dear Old, Dirty Jeans
Dear old, dirty jeans,
I love you. You know I do… I really do. I have loved you, still love you and will keep loving you. You have been there with me through thick and thin… you have shared my grief and joy. You cried with me when I did and rejoiced in my happiness… we were inseparable… we were exuberant… we were loud… we didn’t care or in our language- we didn’t give a F.
I still remember how our affair started… 7th of august 2006- I joined room no 218 in Bhabha Hall of residence, NIT Jamshedpur. I knew this is the start of a new life with all that build up being made up about college life by the people around me- my family and friends but little did I knew this was the start of a whole new affair. You were with me even then but till then I had been at my home… the safe world where parents took care of the every single need- from toothbrush to examination forms. In that safe world I didn’t notice how beautiful and wonderful you were… besides you were not exactly ‘old and dirty’- my mother made sure that any jeans that I wore was not torn or old and neither did she let any of my jeans get dirty… you know how much she cares for me. She gave you to me- all new and fresh as I was leaving for Jamshedpur from my home.
So, I joined the hostel. I had clothes and I’d keep giving them to the hostel dhobi to get them washed. But there was something peculiar about you that I noticed… the dirtier you were, the more beautiful you’d look and it is true to this date- a dirty jeans looks much better than a washed one. It was then that the affair started… it was then that I fell for you. From then onwards you’d be with me all the time. Little did I realize at that time that you were a whole new chapter in my life.
You were with me when in the first year I studiously used to get up at 7 in morning to attend the 8 am classes… you were with me when I came back at 12 to have the disgusting mess food for lunch. You were with me when I attended the sleepy afternoon lab sessions and like the geek who had just passed 12th standard, kept noting those mundane readings of my experiments in my lab record.
Then I entered the 2nd year and you, my love, were still with me… I had grown in confidence. I started supporting mass bunk and had also started bunking on my own. You remember how I hated ‘mechanics of solid’ and ‘fluid mechanics’? I bunked a lot of them, got poor grades in those subjects but as you know we- you and I, had stopped caring for grades… who wanted grades anyway. I’ll live my life in my own ways.
Then came 3rd year… I was a little anxious for the placement season that was about to start next year and I knew there was too much to be asked for in my preparation for the interviews. But you, my dear jeans, comforted me with the fact that my state was shared by most of the 72 people of my class besides the fact that there was one whole year to prepare and we returned to our carefree ways. You accompanied me when I got up at 10 in morning having already missed 2 classes of the day; I missed 3rd classes in making up my mind whether or not to go to the class. Eventually I did turn up for the 11 am class and you were with me when Prof D. Patel of ‘production technology’ ordered me to get out of the class. Merrily we went to canteen after that… when you were with me, there was no question of guilt even after being kicked out of a class… such was our romance- we were so much lost in each other that we had stopped caring long ago.
Then I entered the 4th year- the placement season had started… I too had prepared my bit like everyone else… I was scared and this time you were too. No, my love, I’m not complaining… it was natural for you to get scared- after all you cared for me!! The first two companies to visit the campus for placement were big multinationals- after all it was NIT Jamshedpur. I couldn’t even qualify the written round… I had started to doubt my credentials. I had started to think if I had ever studied anything worthwhile… you were at a loss for words… those were troubled times for our affair- my faith in you had started to falter. But then came the third company- again a huge name in Indian automobile industry and I qualified the written… I kissed you and apologized for doubting your commitment… qualifying the written exam was my main concern and I had done that! Anyways that day as I was preparing for the GD and interview rounds, I had to wear formals- for the first time in four years… you looked offended and you were quite justified in being offended… I don’t complain. But I promised I’d kick the formals away as soon as I was done with the interview… I qualified the GD round, gave interview and was selected… when I got the news I came running back to hostel- it was party time… I kicked the formals away and the legendary romance resumed… it was sweet- as if we never had any troubled times in our relationship. The rest of the final year was fun at its peak… if there was a glass in which you could hold romance; for us, the glass would have over flown. You accompanied me whatever I did and wherever I went… you supported me and encouraged me as I slogged day and night as the organizing committee member of our national level technical festival. You comforted me when I was rejected by her during the cultural fest when I asked her out… “She’s a difficult person” you told me- “not very outgoing type”… and it was only because of you that I moved on.
Everything was going so well- we were cuddled up in each other but then suddenly- the last semester ended!! Alas, I was devastated… the college had ended. There were sad farewells to friends who had been my life for the four best years of my life… you held me in that tough time. How could I ever have done without you my love?
But now times have changed… our romance has to end it seems. Please don’t think any bad of me… please don’t. I still love you and will continue to do so but in a fight of stomach and heart- the stomach always wins. I had seen this coming since last one year but I was too afraid to tell you… but now I don’t have any option. I have to tell you. I am entering the corporate world darling- for me it’s the easiest way to earn bread for self. And the corporate doesn’t espouse much to people desperately in love with jeans… it prefers people in formals. No, I don’t like the formals… I never have and I never will but still I have to wear them. I have forcefully been married to the formals… it’s not a choice that I have made; it’s a decision that the almighty fate had in store for me.
In fact when you see from my side, you’ll feel- those four lovely years of love were never mine… those years were something that I had borrowed from the almighty. My heart bleeds in telling you this but that borrowed time of love has ended and we have to part our ways.
Hope you forgive me,
The Law of Parent’s Approval
Ever noticed that if there is anything you really want… you crave for, most of the times your parents won’t approve of it? No? Well, think again… I know if you think properly, you’ll have no option but to agree with me. Remember how you wanted to play in the rain and your mum won’t let you? There… now you know what I’m talking about. Now, if you are thinking along the lines of “but that’s for your own good…”- please stop! We’ll discuss that some other day. What remains as of today is, parents will have a problem with most of the things that you’ll want. In fact this ‘having a problem’ thing can be summarized in one sentence in form of a law, which I prefer to call the Pranjal’s law of parents approval. So, here’s the law…
The magnitude of a child’s desire is inversely proportional to the magnitude of parent’s approval on a particular issue
You don’t approve this law…do you? You don’t agree with me uh? Fair enough, let us review the following incidents that most of the children face while growing up…
1. Two years old:
Kid: mum I want one more biscuit.
Mother: No, you can’t have one… you’ve already had too much, that’ll spoil your teeth, stomach and god knows what else.
Kid, if he could think, would think – when I’ve already had three, I can’t see how this last one will make me all sick!!
2. Six years old:
Mother: son, come drink milk.
Son: mother, I hate milk… please give me tea instead.
Mother: son, milk will make you strong… don’t you want to get strong? Come on, drink milk.
Son: naaa… I don’t want to… I don’t like it… I want tea!!
Mother: KID, don’t test my patience!!
Son silently drinks the milk….
3. Ten years old:
Kid: mum can I go out and play?
Mother: no, stay inside! You’ll get a sun stroke in this heat…
Kid (stamping his feet): no, I want to…
Mum: when I say no, it is NO kid.
4. Fourteen years old:
Mum: kid, go and get your hair cut, it’s getting long.
Kid: mum, I want to sport long hair like that rock star
Mum: GO and GET it cut, when you ARE a decent guy, you should LOOK like one.
Kid goes, gets the hair cut and returns to mother.
Mum: WHAT is that?
Kid: that’s my new hairdo mum… it looks cool and look, its small.
Kid is exasperated and thinks: oh Gawd… you hate this too!!
5. Eighteen years old:
Boy: dad I need a bike to go to college.
Dad: NO… you guys drive too fast, you’ll meet an accident… use local conveyance to go college.
Boy: but dad, I’ll drive slow….
Dad: NO boy, I know how you’ll drive once you are riding a bike on the road, without any parent supervision.
Boy thinks: Is there like, anything that I say and you’ll approve of? It’s not as if I drive at the speed of light that all my mass will convert to energy!! I love my life too dammit!!
6. Twenty two years old:
Mother: Son, we are organizing a satynarayan pooja at our home, you’ll be the one doing the pooja with the help of pandit.
Son: Na ma, I don’t want to sit at the pooja… I find spending this much money on pooja and stuff ridiculous … and moreover, I can’t sit cross legged continuously for more than an hour. By the way I hate your pandit too… he’s a fraud.
Mother: as he is growing older, this boy has started to think he knows all… as if we don’t know anything blah blah blah…
Son thinks: oh no! Not again….
7. Twenty six years old:
Son: dad I want to marry this girl I like very much.
Dad: No Problem, go ahead.
Son thinks: what? Is he all right? Did he hear me right? Are my ears buzzing?
Dad (continuing from where he left): yes, go ahead… marry this girl, only that she should be same caste, religion etc and should not be of same gotra.
Now generally what happens after twenty six years of age is the boy gets married. And then this cycle repeats itself, right from case one… only that the kid, which was till now on the RHS of the equation, shifts to the LHS.
In each of the above cases, as we can see, the child’s desire is inversely related with the parent’s approval. Bingo! Consistent with the law of parent’s approval. Now tell me… agree, or not?
PS: we may crack all the jokes we want, but we know how much they mean to us. My salutations to our parents for without their love, life wouldn’t quite be the same enjoyable affair as it is now