Not Only

Not only the lovers
But the writers do make some tales

Not only the happiness
But the struggles too do make a man

Not only the shiny roads
But the potholes too speak a lot

Not only the romances
But the wars do shape the histories

Not only Hercules be idolized
But we shall always hear of a Timur-lame

Not only the stars above
But you and me shall shine alight

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Officially : Quarter Life Crisis’ed

I have very vibrant memories of times in our school/college when going through the pages of TOI, I would at times stumble upon an article talking about the problems that the young corporate India was facing. The term used in the papers was Quarter Life Crisis. To describe,what I could make out of the phenomenon (after reading such articles time and again) was the confusion that these people had, the lack of purpose, lack of direction and such things which were threatening to disrupt their mental balance.

Looking from the POV of a starry-eyed teenager or an unconcerned college student, these issues didn’t amount to much. It was quite hard to appreciate the feeling of emptiness/void being talked about in the articles. It always seemed quite weird to me that people having good pay packages and all the comforts in life, they could think of, would still be unsatisfied, could still be puzzled and muddled. Looking from the point of view, I had at that time, getting a job and earning handsomely could have been the simplest solution to life anyone could ask for. Yet, such is the rule of life, that when you find the key to the lock of happiness, somehow or the other, lock  changes and you are left flummoxed at some nook or corner of a road, which until now had seemed like heading in one direction with no seemingly visible obstructions or turnarounds.

Today, more than 1.5 years since I left the college and joined corporate culture, left right and center, I can see people going through the Quarter Life Crisis. Words like void and incompleteness which only graced the pages of science textbooks for all such science graduates, started becoming the words which describe the current status of their lives. It might be wrong to say that most of the people this age are looking for solutions and things to do, yet the fact remains, that some way or the other this is the time to THINK. Someone’s happy with a relation, some one else is all geared up to settle down and have a happily satisfied life, some are looking towards their job and making a glorious career out of it through their own efforts, some people after spending enough time in corporate world are looking to go for education, mostly an MBA or MS which would help further their career in the line of service they choose. Such people, who have chalked out a path in life for themselves can definitely be found around us.

Yet even with all this said and done and people having options and many of them even selecting them, there remains a large chunk of population,  torn between the issues which shall decide their life, someone’s torn between looking for (and hopefully finding) a gf (ignoring bf coz girls just supposedly don’t care that much) or else, working for and looking to develop a career, which can be a bit difficult if you give time for the activity of finding and maintaining a girl. Troubles in the task of finding a life or a better(?)/different career is compounded by the fact that S/W field is a very comfortable and (atleast for me) a well-paying option, which desists an individual from taking any sort of risks because it shall involve giving up a life which is good, comfortable, paying and respectable! Almost everything you could want from a job is provided by the field, yet leaving a blank/void somewhere somehow which makes you think again and again, more and more until you are irritated by the thinking and also as a result of all this thinking have exaggerated the pre-existing void in your life.

Asking for a solution to such a thing, is never going to be easy. Since a whole generation is suffering with the problem, you would be hard pressed to find people in your peer group, who can give u solutions, at best people around can be used as a sounding board, on which you can bounce your own ideas and think for their views and opinions, but its going to be hard finding help more than that. It’s hard to say what path life takes in such cases, someone more experienced in this situation can help people out. But, each and every person having his/her own mindset/problems/talents/desires leads to the fact that no one can understand the issues like you do, and the things they recommend could be wrong in your context. I can’t say, which way this ends, or rather which way it shall chalk out for me, but I guess I shall be looking forward to it,because after all

Jeena isi ka naam hai

Will you ever ride?

It must have been around 5 months since that balmy night in August when I was posed with the question by a friend of mine. It was the time just after the 2nd operation, so I was at one of my periodic lows 😛 I thought about it, discussed about it and yet couldn’t just think it out.. Saying that it was perhaps the most important, cared for and (loved?) thing in my life might obscurely be meandering towards the point of exaggeration yet the fact remains that perhaps the time spent with bike was much more than the spent time with humans. My short lived biking career is something I will cherish through my life while also bearing the nails of its discordance.

The 5 months, as is the wont of life, passed in usual highs and lows. The point at the time of being asked the question, yet not was Will you ever ride? It rather was, Will you sell this bike? 5 months down the line, (actually happenedalmost a month ago, so 4) I am pretty sure about the answers of these questions . Whatever the answers be hardly matters in life, because any decision you take shall guide you to a different path where the comparison ends between the two sides, as life always moves on, some way or the other. It’s the fact that you took the decision which signifies an event in your life, and in some sense or the other you grow up, climbing up the ladder of life, one issue/question at a time. Looking at the process of growing on a very different level.

One of the realisations of this whole issue has been the fact that life does, infact move on. This line being called ‘just ‘ a cliché might considered be to be a matter of amusement in some circles. Yet the fact of life stays that they are clichés because, it happens that way and has happened that way. This phase was perhaps one of the time when I really realised what stopping of life really means. 3 months looking at a single window and 2 doors cant really be described as a pleasant experience to the best of my knowledge. Still, amidst all this gloom, steadiness and staleness, there remains always an idiot box of moving saas bahus and (if lucky) a net connection with some respite, and in some way or the other, some form or the second, life finds a direction, the stream might definitely be narrowed down, but it always manages to find the path. I can claim , to a huge extent, to understand the feelings of a permanent disabled person, yet their life too does move on.

After a point, it matters or pains a bit less because its not the decision, the point of contention or the furthermost issue on your mind. The mind, the master of all, has infact moved on to the next issue and yet again we climb another ladder of life.

THE Bonder

I can still remember many of the discussions we used to have, when still in college about the supposed benefits of Jeevan Vidya as a good means of bonding between individuals (as purported) and comparing it with smoking/drinking, the catalysts for bonding according to us. Not many people (obviously having the experience) would disagree with the fact that a bottle of whisky shared between two people can go a long way in forging a relation between the two, not only for the meantime as well in the long run. There are many examples in my life where I have bonded with people while sharing smokes or a quarter.

Along with all such friendships which are forged by the help of these bonding agents, another kind of friendship which almost any smoker would be having is with the local pan wala. Over a period of time, the (default) pan wala of a person may change owing to the chage either in his location or at some rarer times, disappearance of the gumti of the pan walah courtesy some road widening exercises or the pressure of the local police. Although the 5 minutes you spend at the place shortening up your life by a few minutes, you might not interact with the guy sitting at the shop but with the passage of time, as you start becoming more frequent at the place, a sort of band starts forming! The pan walah can recognize you, the regular customer among the few people who might be there, wanting their own cigs, giving you the cig first among them with a recognizing smile, and at the not so busy times, you can have quite a few conversations with the guy! The last 4.5 years, I have been in hyderabad shortening my life with this futile exercise, there have only been 3 regular pan wale that I have gone to and the trust with them is such that I can anytime go to them with a empty wallet and ask them for a cig never to be denied one. At times the accounts running to 50s and 100s (the poor days of college you see).

And yet, the best part of this whole exercise came a day back I went to a shop which although wasnt a party of my daily routine, but definitely one which I would visit time and again. More than 6 months after I went to the place, I definitely knew him as the guy near Cafe Latte, one who also stocks smoking paper for some needs of mine, was wondering if after all this time, he would be able to recognize me. But, the moment I reach the shop (teeming with many customers), he shoots me a cursory glance and asks the question Accident? and I with a sheepish smile say “haan bhaia”.

I wouldnt like to call it as a reason for smoking as all of us know, how harmful smoking can be to life (and all that jazz) yet, there is one thing about it, which puts a smile to my face and helps me have more acquaintance than normal and none of them is worse than some of the friends I might accrue through this journey of life in the non smoking environment!

Smells like Teen Spirit

I am
Just a nineteen year old
Standing there on the threshold
Gay abandon of childhood I look at, with eyes closed
Doors of youthful maturity I am knocking at

Sometimes with a desire to turn grey
Wishing at times to be a toddler
Loneliness is my passion at hours odd
At others its the company of people I long for

Constantly seeking knowledge
Avoiding refinement at every step
Falling in love times hundred a day in a dreamy world
Breaking down with pain being the only respite

Scathing rage I burn in, at times
Only to be run down by a shower of love
Trying to run away from the world every day of life
Careful not to miss the pits in this journey unknown

I fly high and the next I go slow
Sometimes I am so cool, mostly just a fool
Mostly lost, wondering where to go next
I am just a teenager soon to be some paid labour

And Until that day comes
Let me run around in the rain
While I shall laugh a little
And think of mountain chains i can conquer

The Queen of History

Why shouldst thou care for me?
Thy brother thy friend indeed
Why shouldst thee accompany me!

Into the travails of the night.
Why don’t you come experience
With me, the thrills of night?

Thou shalt not drift asleep
Thy dreams shalt now be lived
Thou shalt live the life anew.

It’s a world so wide and strange
With thrills and joys aplenty
Welcomes night, The queen of history

My Life

The clock strikes 10 and thats when it dawns
Begins a new day, of light and hopes
A new page in the book turned,
Of Struggles and happiness
In my life

The clock strikes 5 and that’s when I stand
To end the night, to end the fun
This is where the story ends,
Of another night
In my life

And in the midst ,i live what we call life
Pages are filled, stories written
Few need blood ,some just sweat
thousands of memories, million moments lived
Some remain as blots, some shine like the sun
Some stains left, of the ink that dropped
Turbulence and the turmoil making their mark
Some reams of writings glorious
celebrating the success and joys
Some pages blank passed in a haze
Some scribbled to the heart’s content
Days spent living to the core
Some chapters torn in blaze
Some pages resemble a slate clean
Pages filled so meticulously wiped away
Games so weird played by tears
And along with this all
I play the notes, I sound the trumpet
Of a bittersweet symphony
Which I call My Life