Here it is once again, a dawn and promise and the potential of a new year. While the grammar polices are caning about how we should call it, Twenty ten or Two thousand ten, I am welcoming it anyway. After all, babies don't have a name when they arrive. But that doesn't make them less desirable.
In earlier days of life, when a new year shoved out an old year, I witnessed my mother placing a twelve pages calendar on top of the recent year's obsoleted calendar. While exquisite pictures seated on the upper section of each page, the lower section hosted Gregorian calendar in English script juxtaposed by Hindu calendar in Assamese script. No doubt, she never missed a single pooja or festival and her children never enjoyed a fake school holiday. All days were fun and play. Naturally I didn't understand the calendar. I wished all the dates were marked in red color. Red meant a holiday.
Other than the towering and imposing calendar, a different kind of calendars arrived too- mostly in folded boxes and frames and accompanied by a greeting card. These were addressed to me and my sister with a beautifully calligraphed greeting message. From relatives and well wishers. We placed them in corners of decoration tables and sometimes nailed them on the wall. But then it stopped for me when we reached adolescent and continued for my sister. They arrived in all sizes, shapes, pictures and folding techniques. Apparently she had to hide most of them to escape from parental anger.
Now those are gone. Digital lord has overruled paper lord, calligraphy replaced by font style, folding technique by animation. The greetings come fast and fade fast from memory. You can pick up an e-card and send to hundreds in 2-3 clicks. Most of us don't even do that. We just forward the greetings as if they are transitive. On this year eve, one person who until then I had been finding beautiful sent me a greeting without removing/editing out the original sender's name! I wished her a bright future and coffined the idea of our joint future.
I generally don't believe in so called new year resolutions. However, when I see off 2010 after one year I would like to watch most of the below accomplished.
1. Health - a)after more than five years seating job, I have gathered enough fat around my waist. Time to dust them off. I need to trim by 3-4 inches.
b) A full body health check-up for any probable weakness. A decade of unrestrained food and living habit have definitely left its footprints.
2. Food - Never ever waste it and ensure that no one at home do it. Now I don't usually do this. But I would ensure that no one under my direct influence does it either. How can my ethics allow to do that after watching this video? You can afford, no doubt. But someone somewhere is dying because of our 'I don't care' attitude.
3. Environment- Avoid plastic. Avoid. Avoid. Avoid.
4. Reading - I wish I can manage to read all of the below in this year. I don't know how I can access all of them though.
1. Aldous Huxley - A brave new world.
2. Chinua Achebe - Things Fall Apart.
3. James Joyce -Ulysses
4. Gabriel García Márquez -One Hundred Years of Solitude
Apart from these novels, also in the wish list is Buddhism.
5. Writing - Write the damn novel. Write, no escape, no distraction. Put aside all your shiny new ideas which keep blinking now and then. Write more. Write more blogs, more comments. Reply to comments. End of the no reply comment era.
6. Commitment - It is time. That is the air and buzz around me. I believe 10/10/10 is a good figure to get married :D
That's all. Not more, not less. 5) and 6) - look daunting. A year of ambitions and potentials -not mere wishes. But somewhere we have to demarcate ambitions from wishes. I am doing this year.
I thought because I have X and Z already in place, Y will fall eventually in between them. Heck, no. It doesn't. Time to shoot it down. Go and get it. Or can I say, a potential doesn't have a name unless released and realized?
Release your potentials and watch the garden they create and give it a name.
Happy new year.
Posted by Nitu
Our uniqueness lies in our contradictory character forces and truths. We are creators, we are destroyers. We are seekers, we are relinquishers. Our fineness is not the smoothness of our character carpets, but the aligned and accommodating patterns of ups and downs, ridges and grooves. We are both -flawed and beautiful, ordinary and incredible. We are human.
We are not a smooth ride with the warning boards signalling a bump on our character road. We can't handover each other a dossier of cracks and bumps upfront because we have none ourselves. We are not metro city streets with its DNA and structural blue-print affixed in every corner and turn. We are dirt terrain roads, rugged and lugged. We explore things while on the run.
Our egos are Himalayan. But there is snow and it melts. Our peripheral proclivities are polar opposite, but there is a core and it hinges them well. Our debates are never ending, but there is a mind and it can reason. Our complaints are monumental. But there is an ear and it can listen.
We are perfect with our imperfections, our flaws are our polka dots, our differences are our orchestra.
Posted by Nitu
It is amazing to surprise others, intriguing to surprise self. I am not a guy of surprises. Too predictable like the sun and the moon or the birth and death, too conventional like mom doing her cooking or school children's homework. Yes, the analogies suck. But so do I in this matter.
It is a quarter to 4.00 am now. And I am wide awake- consciously and actively- eyes, nose, ears, skins and tongue - all sprung alive. My mind fox sharped( I can recall all the five at least). Last time when I was awake at this time was three years back I guess, before catching a flight to Delhi.
The neighborhood is mechanic silent. It is that kind of silence one experiences when a big roaring machine comes to an end. A cricket is incessantly chirping. A lone yell commanding the night. No bark. The pampered pet dogs are deep asleep. And the stray dogs are busy digging either the fox holes by the lake side or the dustbins on the main road. No honk on the nearby street. Truck drivers are away with wives or prostitutes.
Someone is dropping water from an upper floor on a neighboring building. It is still dark outside with a dim bulb hung to a corner of the small room on the parking plot where the watchman lives fighting hard for its way out. Before I could locate the source and know that someone is not enjoying an adventurous late-night peeing, the dropping sound stopped.
Attention back to the room and bed. An envious stare on my desktop wallpaper picture. A baby girl sleeping innocent. One can quake the earth. But she will die with her little smile on her lips - I think. Innocence, your name is happiness.
Wondering what might have triggered this nocturnal sojourn. I went to a big shopping mall yesterday. It dearly cost me. But that's not the reason. I saw lots happy people (or at least they pretended happy). No I don't think that is a reason too. Talked to someone earlier and bragged myself- "I need only six hours sleep. That's it." Got to know that that someone sleeps only a little more than four hours! Damn it. Nocturnals are contagious.
Am enjoying the night though. A silent night has its own charm like a lady in a dark veil. It adds richness to your thoughts and calmness to existence and seduces imagination. I always maintained I can't do anything during this time other than sleeping or cursing if someone break my sleep. But when the world stops throwing surprises to me, I surprise myself. I prove myself wrong. There are humility and consternation when one does it self.
Am hungry. Late night waking has an uncanny habit of stomach craving(I am not married yet. So not sure of other dimension of nocturnal appetites). Bread, butter and a few other stuffs. A cadbary chocolate too. Mid-night butter spreading doesn't sound inspiring, others need to be tossed in the burner or a little more than hand doing. I didn't keep the chocolate. But taking anyway.
A crow has started cawing. Someone is reciprocating with a cough. Poor old men. They always get awake at the slightest provocation of a sound and always the first one to wake up in the family.
Lights beaming through my window grills. It is dawn. A day ahead. And I have things to do.
PS- the writing is looking like a motley of candid tweets. Is this because people bear no makeup when they wake up, leaving only the view of raw and natural self?
Posted by Nitu
I don't know how you are spending your days. Do you still paint the bluish hue of an open sky or the white dove in flight? Do you still craft out a dancing girl out of thrown away papers? Or dream the things that I always wonder and pair them up to a wonderful dream?
It is Autumn here now. You can smell the scent of night-flowering Jasmines when you wake up in the calm early morning. The leaves on the plants are emerald green. But I know it won't remain so long. Soon they will grow yellowish and then coral gray before the winds blow them away. A forest without green, a plant without leave- I wonder for what reason. But then you said it happens for the season, not for the reason, they shed not for the fear of an autumn, but for the hope of a spring. I envy the plants- for their despair of an autumn will be inevitably chased away by the abundance of a spring.
The ducks and waders which migrated away have already returned to the lakes and wetlands. They float, they quack, they dive, they rock. I wonder may be they too are waiting for a spring and a prospective mate. Soon they will collect tiny twigs, decayed ferns and torn leaves and call it home. I envy the birds too- for the spring will arrive for them too as they dream it to be.
Someone said the autumn is here for me too. I know it is, tells me to shed the memories, the memories where once you walked, you smiled, you cried, you fought. I know it is, tells me to paint a new face of a spring on the Barista table where once you sat with a coffee mug and flashing smile. I won't lie to you, I go there often, but always return without a new painting in my heart. I still see the me in the reason defeating the me in the season.
The reason without, there won't be a spring.
The reason without, there won't be a hope.
The reason is you.
Posted by Nitu
Yet again I found myself talking to her for length, from the pettiest thing to the "what life wants" depth. Four buses honked passed on the nearby road, her jealous dog cooed nudged and showed his displeasure, the song on my vlc player repeated for the fifth or sixth time, her mom dropped in once and left(she described of her mom's reactive look, "crazy girl with crazy little device" ). It went on..covering her fascination of the New Zealandian landscape and Egyptian desert( here we both admitted that our geography knowledge is pathetic as none of us could figure out in which continent, Europe or Asia-Pacific or something else, New Zealand falls), an imaginary question, "if you marry a rich girl, will you tag me along to your dreamt Europe tour?" ( I said it is a highly stupid question and the answer is, of course, NO), an anecdote at a cottage in a remote hill station where she had spent a night while the wild water of a river kept gushing at a stone-throw distance for all the time. We ended when her mom called her again asking to assist her in the kitchen chore.
She lives in a hilly place with a breezy air and frequent showers and many water falls, with her mom, dad and a teenage brother and a pampered dog, named Tom-Tom. Her flat is on the fifth floor of a government quarter building of the fire service department where her father works. The building has no lift. "The fire service department doesn't believe in the lift concept"- she reasoned frivolously. She is grateful of the stair though, because it has kept her waistline at 26" and still allows her to get up a bit late in the morning. "No morning walk, you see."- she laughed.
She returned home from the university four months back after completing her master in print media. Then she applied for a job sending her resume to all big and small news paper groups. But it is a bad time for the campus leavers with a job market waiting frozen outside. The one or two offers that arrived on her way, came with a dirt cheap salary. So she decided to hang on and take care of the flowers that her dad had planted on the vases and carpeted soils and watch them bloom. She played with Tom-Tom to the extent that he became hostile to her dad and completely became possessive of her. "Probably I won't be able to marry when Tom-Tom is still alive!"- she wondered one day before hanging off my call as she needed to give Tom-Tom a bath.
One day when she took out her dog for a walk, a sudden rain caught them. Rain in a hill always arrives that way, without a sign of warning. Next day Tom-Tom had a fever. So she went to the veterinary hospital and waited for the doctor. "Tom-Tom puffed all the time"- she said later on. The next day, when her dad tried to give medication to Tom-Tom, he bit the daddy's hand. She told in despair, "Tom-Tom didn't leave dad's hand until I gave a big slap!". She consulted the doctor again who advised to send away the dog which she couldn't do of course. Instead she locked Tom-Tom and shifted him to a lonely corner. After that incident and when she had enough of novel reading, she decided to join a college as a teacher. "It is only for the time being until something comes on your way for a media job." - I often consoled.
After more than one month, she exclaimed, "Hey, I am loving this job"! Though she has to study lot her self and that there are a few hopeless students who never bring their text books, it is something she is enjoying. She is even contemplating to do another master in English literature!
Tom-Tom has recovered and behaves well now. Yesterday she talked of the age of her dog.
They say these are petty things to know about, to talk about. May be. But One only needs to know that when he talks, someone is out there to listen, that he won't get a yawn in return ( the reason why we grow distant).
Happiness is made of small things. To listen is to heal.
Somehow I couldn't resist posting this beautiful song.
( Moloya, thank you for the song. Oh, I know you read my patchy blog. I force you to read. Don't I :D
Beach, sorry for the Hindi. )
As I began to write a crucial chapter of my story about a flood rising river sweeping a swath of landscape, the receding world economy shook my office. I had to call off my story writing and focus on code writing!(People let me think, you are being paid for the code, you know, for the code and hidden bugs, not for a gleaming firefly in a fable!)
The problem with IT professionals is that they don't have a definite timetable, at least not in India. It keeps on swaying in such a whimsical way I doubt even a circus master can attune himself to it. No, if you are a statistician, you still can't model this behaviour in your stochastic equation.
I dreamt of and made a resolution of a routine where my story would see a few words per day. But like so many dreams it saw the dust. I hit a doldrums.
Now that appraisal phase is over and I am nearing to the deadline of my code delivery, I am returning to my text editor( btw, text editor is far better and simpler than a code editor, only I wish it had a debug option!).
The primary objective of this chapter is to portray a flood calamity of a biblical magnitude. And I want it to be as vivid as possible, as devastating as perceivable. The chapter aims to -
1. a situation compounded by poverty and inherent human dark side.
2. rob a village of its innocent charm and simplicity
3. let the characters(including the protagonist) experience few incidents, both benign and severe which will eventually dictate and haunt their adult lives silently.
And I guess I started it well. But now that the flow was broken, I am finding hard to put myself in. Like an ex-lover returning and trying to win a second chance and confidence, it is awkward, hesitant and frustrating.
Btw, the abstinence has not been all that bad. For -
1. time again has reaffirmed it is what I love.
2. I have devised a twist in the story which will resolve a logical inconsistency present in the original story idea.
3. I have changed the name of the novel and I think, this truly reflects the story.
- How brooding the walk amidst the bush and dust, How enthralling the chirping cricket while you rest, How mystic to sway your whispers to the tune of a wind, How thrilling to say,"I have arrived!" To the hill, To the river, To the bog, To the little frog.......... I walk, I brood, I rest, I vanish, I surface....