“Over the years, I had made it a point to write on my birthday no matter what. Anything about everything which criss-cross my mind during that very day while delicately garnished with impressions that have stayed with me from the incidents of the past. Pretty long line, you might think. Indeed, a long year I wish to believe.
Life at post quarter. It took me time to digest that, but all is fine now. Maybe I am still trying to digest. I don’t know. However, the year has been more than eventful to be honest. I had my share of ups and downs, like every other, which includes another failed attempt at the prestigious Civil Service Examination. But anyways, this post isn’t about that. It’s about a beautiful thing, called hope.
Hope. The bright light that seems to rise higher in intensity with every failure in my case, drove me towards an unexpected milestone, a moment which I would happily term as “Happyness”. Yes, it has a ‘Y’ in the middle and yes, I am referring to the movie with the same name. It happened a month ago, I got selected, finally. XLRI Jamshedpur offered a seat in its prestigious college for pursuing a MBA and I was taken aback, in a good way. I had this tune from this movie playing in my mind as I rushed home to inform my parents, my brother, my friends; all my pillars of support. There were tears of joy, there was an unknown smile that kept rushing inside, an experience that I will treasure for a lifetime. I don’t know how but sometimes the most unexpected things create the most happier memories for us. It did for me, it could surely happen for you too.
Thus, with the ink running dry over the successive failures at one end, a small door awakened into light with a long-promised dream coming to life. Yes, this year has been amazing, and I am more than happy to admit it.
Family, Friends and everyone involved, we surely did something good this year, we indeed did. Thank you. Thank you!
“Opium of masses; Religion is the opium of masses.” The sociology sir spoke in his humble voice as he expanded upon the theories of Karl Marx. We on the other side of the table listened with utmost attention, unable to digest how our long held notions were weathering away in the storm called Marxism. A thought played out synonymously on our minds that the man with the huge beard wasn’t wrong, in fact was completely right in certain aspects.
In the age of unbridled materialism where our ideas are influenced based on the material outcomes they help us achieve, where a person’s value is judged by the economic weight they carry, where we have more than enough for the rich to feed but hardly any for the poor to survive, yes some of his principles stand true even for today. But having said that, I don’t believe in the communist society that Marx made us dream about but I do believe we have a long way to go for achieving equality and inclusion for all, in a method or an ideology of our own, a socialism which is indigenous, a socialism which unites us in progress and even in our fall.
Karl Marx, you along with Engels ignited a new theory in our minds, and after 200 years of your birth, I sit along with my e-note, like many, remembering all your great moments and how it impacted me, how it made me understand the constancy of change or the eternal flux where no destiny is earmarked and no feat unachievable.
P.S. Communism and Socialism aren’t same & I haven’t used them synonymously.
“The courtesy calls stopped coming. The tragedy was forgotten and the world moved on. The eye balls drifted to other sections of the news and so happened with the media, or it was the other way around, or both happened simultaneously, we never understood. But one thing I knew for sure was that we were history all over again. The crisis stampeded in and out of our lives with every passing monsoon, the rain fed crops that we harboured rose and fell on to the very ground which we prayed, for fertility and for bumper harvest.
Prayers, prayers for impending prosperity, prayers to atleast make it out alive; I started having my reservations about it, about all of it and the futility it was all becoming into. My conversations with the village priest hadn’t helped either, we seemed to end up arguing without a tangible solution in place; how could we, faith still remained afloat, awry from my understanding. The pyres, meanwhile, had grown in number since the successive droughts; the flames that glowed in dark reminded us time and again about our own insecurities, our own probable fate but the beautiful faces of my children pulled me out from the viciousness of losing hope. How could I? Despite the white fly, the untenable heat, and the dying rivers, the hope of a future for my children, however wane it was becoming, just couldn’t let me give up. I just couldn’t.
However, the plough felt heavier the next day, the day after I saw my friend burnt to ashes, as the mind wandered far away into a never ending abyss while I passed by another pyre with crying children and a weeping widow, and all I could utter was Earth & Water…Earth & Water, before I reached my land and began, just like any other day, just like nothing had happened.”
I remember discreetly my pick when posed with a dilemma by another friend to pick one, the mountain or the sea, while I chuckled as I answered, “Over a mountain surrounded by the sea.” I know I was greedy there. I wanted everything at a single place yet longing secretly to visit them in pieces to know in real what I actually loved and why. I haven’t been able to figure out the reason though but however I seem to understand what exactly I might have loved in the enumerable trips I have been to, since I was a child.
Port Blair. Mangalore. Goa. Pondicherry.
I seemed to have strangely been in love with the beaches while being equally scared of the gushing water. So, I often used to stroll along the coast, gathering the wet evening breeze under my sobering breath before I found a spot to settle on to watch the dimming sun, set. Memory, you see, a mental picture which you would take along with us in the ever flowing journey called Life. I picked up the notion from a movie titled, “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” but anyways it’s a story for another day. I believe some things are meant to be remembered through the naked eye rather than behind a camera lens. Be it the famous night street of Pondicherry or the sparsely visited Anjuna beach of Goa, I wouldn’t dare to forget how it felt to be there in those moments of awe.
Sea, in particular, is kind in its demeanour yet dominating in its presence and vastness. The rhythmic sound of the splashing waves brings out a kind of music which has a soothing effect, especially on me. It brings out romanticism in its truest sense, adding colours to the existing palate of our life. The calmness into which I could stare for eternity to come is the thing that I have found to savour with time, the thing I actually seem to love about the sea.
Kargil. Khardungla Pass. Shimla. Khasi Hills. Yercaud. Dodabetta. Yumesamdong.
My tryst with the mountains began way before I met the sea. It began from the place where people usually end, “The Great Himalayas”. The dried up mountains to the south of Ladakh to the snow covered ones to its north, it’s a befitting spectacle which one rarely could afford to forget. But I have come a long way, I was only ten back then.
This December, it was the clouded mountain and the windy valley that we happen to choose, making me understand the reason why I seem to love them so fiercely. It so happens with the hills that the time we spend to get to the scenic location is far more than the time we spend at the place. The topsy-turvy road curving upwards with every delicate turn thus remains the significant part of my travel memory, organically peppered with conversations. This part of memory somehow feels a lot important, feels right somehow. The arduous journey packed inside a Mahindra Xylo with an infinite road ahead and with scenic beauty covered all around while being gently graced with differing personalities carrying different opinions yet bonded together by long years of friendship and camaraderie. I now know for sure what I really love about the mountains. Sikkim, one of the most beautiful and one of the most underexplored places that we had recently visited made me realize this over and over again.
Paradise: When the two meet
Pangong-Tso Lake. Gurudongmar Lake.
I always loved the mountain breeze as much as I adored the gushing waves; they felt to me as pious and serene in their truest sense. I was too young to remember much about the time we had visited Pangong-Tso lake. Except the crystal clear bluish water and the deep blue sky at the fore with an abandoned boat at one corner, my memory about the travel is only in bits and pieces. This makes me ponder over the recent things that happened in our week long trip a few weeks ago, which by the way ended with us missing our destined flight, however it’s a story for another day. Gurudongmar Lake, 17500 feet above MSL, surrounded by snow-capped mountains was the paradise we had been lucky to witness. Partly frozen, partly liquid, the lake has been known for its religious reasons, an extremely pious lake, the locals had stressed. I wouldn’t deny their claim, even a bit. It’s God’s own paradise, he seem to have taken an extra effort while making this one. Stunningly breath-taking, applicable even in its literal sense.
The other place, my personal favourite of the trip and one of the best I have ever seen in my life, was the Sea of clouds. The one I had chuckled about; we were at the top of a mighty mountain and below us flowed the ‘clouded’ sea.
It’s never wrong to dream; sometimes they come to life in the most unexpected times and in most unexpected ways. Period.
P.S. Back home. Delhi and its beloved winter smog!
“Why do our movies and us try finding our answers in black or white while our life remains grey from start to the end. Isn’t exaggeration a ploy we tend to use to put our point across for wide unrelenting attention.
I find people mooted for an ideology, giving irrelevance to change while exaggerating the untrue to make their side of truth, the only reality for others to believe. The left think they are right, the right think they are no wrong, while I stand with many in the middle, watching the sheer Idiocracy both try to paint. I like many fail to understand, what does ideology have to do when you know humanity triumphs all. Why do you want to paint red or saffron when we are still unable to help the Gandhi’s Talisman.
Seventy years is a big number while poverty still remains an unforgotten cousin. When there is no food to eat or water to drink, there is no teaching or color better than food and water itself. Empty stomachs, malnourished children, trafficked women, landless labourer, construction worker, these Gandhi’s Talismen still search for a voice from us, the privileged. They ask for a helping hand, a voice to narrate their stories, a heart to accomdate one and all, isn’t that a lot to be asked? I don’t think so.
If you are still stuck in the black or white, red or saffron era, don’t worry I will simplify. There is no Antagonist in our story which might dishearten you all, but if you are still adamant then try finding a solution to the problem of poverty. Try all your colours in this effort, I like many won’t mind, but get me that rainbow when you finish, a rainbow of inclusivity and life.”