Friday, February 22, 2013

This Goodbye is Forever

She heard the door of the car slam shut. She closed her eyes and silently wept with her back towards it. She stood tall, with her luggage in front of her, waiting for her bus, the bus that would take her far away from this city, from him. She waited for the sound of the engine. She knew he would drive away.

Then she felt him behind her, felt his hand suddenly take her hand and more tears flowed down her cheeks. He hadn’t left. He hugged her with his arms around her waist and his head buried in her hair. She slowly turned around and hid her face in his chest and hugged him back. She clutched him with all her power and intensity never realizing that it is not the strength of her arms that can keep him.

To keep him she had to be born again. To keep him she had to be born again as someone else, someone who shared the same religion as his and till then nothing, absolutely nothing, could keep them together. The very God who got them together in the first place was helpless. Without his knowledge or consent people had named Him, people had given Him a face, a religion. In His name two people, who really loved each other and shared love because He willed it, were forced to separate and there was no one in this whole world who will help.

“Why did you walk out of the car?”

“I could not sit there anymore, listening to you talk like this. Accepting whatever is happening to us without ever questioning it.”


She knew he was silent because he had no reply to that. She was right. He was accepting everything without a question because he believed in the endogamous system, he believed in his religion, he thought he was doing right by his parents without ever considering right or wrong when it came to her.

Suddenly, she felt his grip tighten on her and she knew her bus had come. She turned her head around slightly. Yes, the bus was here. She took a deep breath and let go of her death grip on him, turned around, picked her bags and climbed the bus. Her seat was a window seat, towards the end of the bus. She kept her luggage overhead, sat down and pulled the curtain away.

There he was. He was looking at her with eyes brimming with love. She did not know whether to laugh or cry. What was the point of all this love when it was all going to go to waste? The engine suddenly came alive and her breathing quickened. He held his hand out to her. She took it.

“I love you”

“I love you!”

The bus moved and she looked out of the window till he became a tiny speck in the city traffic.

Then she broke down.

Jab hum chote bacche the, badi shararat karte the!

Innocent faces, twinkling eyes,
Naughty smiles and little white lies.

Its been over 8 years and our hearts still pine for those Zero periods and PT hours. Getting punished by our favourite teachers was fun in a twisted way! J Aam papad never tasted more delicious than when bought from the school canteen during lunch break! My favourite part of the day was the fabulous, ever-entertaining bus ride! Call it a joy ride! Seniors trying to show off their seniority by sitting in the last row and screaming at every speed bump like hooligans (at least that is what we did! :P)

At that age and time, everything we did literally screamed of innocence. Or maybe you can call it naivety. Whatever it was, at least we were real. Now we are all just fake, playing pretend all the time. Anyway, we all remember our friends as pranksters with naughty smiles, ever ready to pounce on a chance to take somebody’s trip or to pull a fast one! Each and every one of those monkeys had that gleam that I am talking about! Neer, Harry, Akul, Rach, Ru, Anu, Som, DBR and Ya.

The gossips, the poems and the songs,
Award winning stories and stink bombs!

There was a time when our life objective used to be to put together the most gorgeous class notice board. There was also a time when we used to put our heads together trying to come up with the world’s best pranks and tricks! That was the time when the thought of struggling in the real world never even entered our heads. Our biggest worries were – how to endure the next class, when will I go to play football outside, this time in half yearly papers I MUST get more marks than him! Haha…

So the story about the stink bomb! That was actually a fart bomb, which one of our friends had bought from an Archie’s Gallery. So what happens is that you are supposed to sit on it (in our case, make someone else sit on it!). The weight that you apply on the bomb makes it balloon up and, eventually, explode…with a sound and a smell! However, as most of our tricks, this one didn’t exactly go as planned either. Our great friends decided that it would be hilarious if they could make EPL sit on it and get it to explode beneath him.

EPL was a boy who, most of the times, had absolutely no expression on his face. There was a popular game among our friends where each person had to be expressionless for as long as possible. The loser would be the one to show expression, any expression, first! Now this was a very tough game, let me tell you! It isn’t easy to do what came naturally to EPL. Also for some reason, perhaps his amazing dance moves that he did with his two left feet or the awesomeness of his hand-eye-leg-body-head coordination, he was perceived, unfortunately and due to no fault of his own, mostly because we mean asses decided that he qualified as one of the subjects or rather victims of our many useless, nonsensical pranks, as one of the ‘dumb’ ones.

So the fart bomb is strategically (one of our favourite teacher’s favourite words! She was also our class teacher at the time of the incident) placed under EPL’s bum. But lo and behold, EPL figures it all out. Ok maybe not all, I am perhaps exaggerating a bit but he certainly knows something is wrong. His seat does not seem all comfy! He can feel something. Suddenly he jumps off his chair and, to our horror, discovers that fabulous bomb. But hey, we still don’t give up that easy. Come on, its just EPL so maybe we can pull some story and get him to sit on it again. Na├»ve, weren’t we? So now, we have an ‘activated’ bomb that has started ballooning up because of the pressure applied by EPL’s bum. However, we have nobody sitting on it at the moment. Our favourite teacher is about to come to class for her lecture. Don’t want to be getting caught with this thing in our hands! So what do we do? The boys start trying to shove it under each other’s asses. Tried on us too. Of course, that did not work. None of it did. Only the bomb worked. RN, our teacher, enters the classroom. 

She was a woman with a very sunny disposition. A bright, shining face and, in Ya’s words, she always looked like she had just had a shower! As she enters the class she has that smile on her face that tells the world that I am the class teacher of the naughtiest students in school! Kind of a resigned look that has a mixture of a sigh, a hopeless smile, a little bit of pleading, and surprisingly obvious pride. 

So as we see her coming in, we decide to throw it inside the drawer of Anu’s desk. RN parks herself near the blackboard and the bomb goes off. Does she hear it? Does she HEAR it? She BLOODY HEARS it! Oh, and Anu is also one of RN’s most trusted students, a house vice captain at the moment who will be captain in the time to come. Someone who has been a prefect and a disciplinary in-charge all her life!

I don’t remember much of what followed. I think RN left the classroom after giving us all a lecture on how to ‘behave’ in class and how we must all ‘grow up’, etc. She refused to come to class with a “the ‘culprits’ must confess and come ask for forgiveness” or something to that affect. Though our plan failed miserably, the fart bomb sure lived up to its name and price, it provided us with a lot more fun and drama than a successful plan would have! :P

Back benches and missing books,
Those teachers’ disapproving looks.

None of this world’s cynicism, fakeness, struggle and loss can take away our precious Somerville memories!! Sitting there in that classroom we never thought friendships would have to stand the test of time, we would all compete in a dog-eat-dog world, just scoring good marks would not be enough, getting a character certificate from Somerville wont tell the whole world how great a person you are and we certainly did not think that the corporate world or the everyday struggle would become a daily routine for us. But I guess, it is these memories that keep you going… WILL keep you going… always!J

We never say goodbye to the times gone by,
Hold hand and reminisce till the day we die.

For yourself

You can't make everyone happy with the decisions you take in life... but then again you're not supposed to either. 
Do it for yourself.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Have I lost?

You may lose everything – money, love, property, job, friends, family and even your life. You have only so much control over these things. But what you do have in your hands, and in your hands alone, is your self respect. Don't lose that or you might as well be dead!