Thursday, April 26, 2007


The sound is unmistakable .... but it doesn't do justice to what happened ..... a blade is thrust in ... sharp .... very sharp .... body doesn't know what happened ..... until the eye sends an alert on seeing blood .... the horror comes first ..... the pain follows later..... the blade has gone deep .... pulling it out would be more painful than letting it stay in ..... yet some things must be done .... so the blade is pulled ... each microsecond unbearable .... amidst screams ... the body begs to be unconscious ..... as if that wasn't enough ... the blade was poisoned .... ensuring that the wound does not heal ... the skin never grows .... and blood clots only reluctantly ...... yet the body must function .... it does .... but life seems paler than any fathomed death ..... Yet a time comes ... when the same enemy has to be faced again .... all senses beg to run away ... but you hold the legs ... the body struggles against the mind .... the mind forces a submission .... but the energy lost in the struggle tires even before the swords are drawn ..... but you hold the ground ... for retreat is cowardice .... wishing a win ... or at least a dignified end ... but the enemy has neither in mind .... the only target is your un-healed wound ... old - and dark .... the pain potent and alive as if eternal .... and the blade plunges down a familiar path .... the fragile blood clot cannot hold it back .... the body staggers back .... there is no strength to draw the blade out .... so the enemy comes to a sinister aid .... pulling the blade back slowly .... its only then on top of pain ... you recognize that this time the blade isn't poisoned but delivered red hot .... the enemy eases it back through an old wound .... and you see your own blood drying in the red heat .... Will thy end me ? ...... you ask ..... 'Nay!' .... comes back with a laugh .... the eyes close ... in ancient greek ..... SPAZO.


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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The Art of TP.

As any educated civilized person would understand, TP - is true positive. This blog is about the other connotation of TP - Time Pass... No - it doesn't sound virtuous at all. So heres my attempt at proving the virtue and importance of Time Pass.

The only time when I have truly engaged in TP and when it was most beneficial, was - in the monsoon of '98. I was in KJ Somaiya College. Junior College. High School by American standards....


Let me introduce the characters first ... people as they were more than nine years ago...

There was Rahul, the definition of cheerful. There was Aashish, friendly but queer. There was Chinmay, simple and with a great sense of humour. There was Deepti, spectacled and beautifully uncomplicated and there was Mithila: frank and an unquestionable Babe! And of course me! Each of us brought a new color to the concept of friendship like suspended drops of water forging new colors from youth's sun light.

Everything we did was cool! Our day began at a leisurely hour and we would immediately get in touch with each other on the phone - to co-ordinate our train timings. Fun started from the train journey itself - each person boarding the same compartment one by one as stations progressed. We would all get down at Vidyavihar and walk to campus. I can still remember the dizziness of joy that filled me whenever I entered that campus!

Beyond two large 'iron-grill' gates lay the sprawling Somaiya campus - at the time - it was the largest thing I had seen. The Somaiya campus opens up from the main entrance as two parallel roads leading straight on through to the end with college buildings coming up one by one on the right side. The divider between the roads was lined with mid-sized palm trees. After a recent rain - their hanging leaves would still be dripping - showering the students with fresh monsson water as they entered the campus. Immediately to the left was the "Suruchi" Canteen - on really lazy days - we would directly go in here - to satiate our ever hungry appetites. The 'Suruchi' canteen was cheap and versatile in its menu - more than enough for our junior college needs. Usually we would walk straight ahead. The first right turn ahead - lead us to our classrooms - after the first month of college - I don't recollect taking this turn again. So walk we would .. to the far end of the campus, past the sports grounds on our right till we reached the engineering cafeteria. There was a spot on the left sidewalk just right enough for six people ; this would be our TP base. Once stationed at the base at around 11am, we would dutifully 'time-pass' till it was 6.

On some days, the sidewalk would be wet - and we would tear off pages from our unwritten notebooks and sit on them instead. Our discussions of trivia used to be conducted with utmost honesty and unimaginable humor. Punctuating these discussions regularly were the local coffee(2Rs) and hot Maggie noodles (5Rs).

I still remember Deepti who had a tendency to crawl from one person to another to taste different stuff, tearing her jeans at the knees in the process and causing her parents considerable distress...I remember the innocent satisfaction - I would derive from picking a harmless monsoon earthworm from the damp soil and causing the girls loads of trouble by bringing it in their vicinity. It was the first time we were friends with girls - so often times our discussions would be throughly enlightening. Later in life I have faced a lot of problems because of the early misconception that Somaiya put in our brains - "Girls are usually frank and don't mind open thoughts on all topics" - as it turned out the girls we were with were quite the exception and not at all the rule.

The base was at a fairly low level - grazing the road - so that when people used to pass by - we would have to look up to see who it was. Somewhere around 5pm, the girls from Fashion and MBA used to disperse - and we would (including the 2 girls) - to put it kindly - check them out! Passing lewd comments was OK ... staring open mouthed was OK .... we were kids - in the first year of college .... we were OKed to do these things.

On some days - the idle wind would carry with it strange romours .... "Damodar is on the loose!! Watch out!" ..... Damodar - was the supervising prof - guy who used to ensure - students were in-class and not out! And we would all hide out. On some days we were caught - these were especially funny times - some of us would feign sudden illness - others like me or Rahul would have no respite and Damodar would demand our college id cards. "They are already with you Sir! " we would reply impishly.

Towards the end of the day as our class mates sprang out .. we would casually ask them - as one would ask an old acquaintance - "So! Aaaj kya hua?" (what was covered in class today?) Months would easily slip by ... .. amongst movies and outside food and masti and endless talking and pool tables we would never allocate time to trivial things like studies. UNTIL ..... when the exams came by, and we would scramble to get ourselves in order. Luckily course work was light and I don't remember ever requiring more than a days preparation to get by in the exams. Of course parents would wonder - what was happening to our shining grades from last year..... but thats a whole different can of beans.

Career ..... coming to America! such things weren't in our wildest dreams. We knew serious times lay ahead ... but at the moment we were just content in knowing each others little worlds as throughly as possible. The friendships that were forged by the lasting laughter of that TP, by the moist scent of Mumbai - are by far the most lasting connections I have ever had..... unstained by the passing of time.

Later on in Engineering and now in Masters, I have been fortunate enough to have good friends, but the friendships that endure most were those formed almost a decade ago. I was too innocent to recognize that friendships are also some times formed out of need. We changed as people, we went different ways and pursued different careers ....... but to this day when we meet, we are the same people when we are together.

Duh! Central point of all my blabbering being ..... that there is a time and place in each persons life when TP plays the most important role ...... when TP isnt TP at all. That TP reinforces good health. That TP can some times be the most lasting memory a person would ever have!


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