Write ups

THE KERALA ROADTRIP:

This was a much anticipated outing for me. Something that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time now. Of course, it did not include a cousin who doesn’t speak the languages I speak best accompanying me; but then I had to drag him along since Radha aunty and my parents were adamant that I shouldn’t be driving alone. So what if my car breaks down or one of the tires decide to blow up? I thought it’d be an adventure trip, you know? Where I do my own shit and manage my own problems. I’ve since then decided to keep a travel-log and notate every inch of my road trip which promises to be full of fun and adventure from where I stand now; a boring clichéd life full of nothing but digital friends and traffic.

My cousin, Jittu (my dads younger brothers son) arrived yesterday morning and I haven’t had time to speak with him since I attended the last session with my creative writing workshop. It was enjoyable even though we watched a rather boring movie. All about my mother by Almadovar. I guess the other creative minds thought it had an awesome story line, some great acting, that the plot was amazing and yada yada yada. That was a load of bull; people tend to slip and shiver when its time to actually say what’s true. You shouldn’t appreciate something you don’t quite like just because its an acclaimed item of flattery and praise. I told Vijay precisely what I felt and we had a long chat after that. Mostly about general things and the future prospects each one of us had. We also spoke of keeping the fire in the gang alive but I’m not too hopeful. It ended with all of us giving a small sermon on how we felt about the workshop and how it helped us. The rest of the day was spent in shopping with Radha aunty and packing up.

9th November 2008 – Log

4:15 AM: We set out in my car and it was pitch dark outside. I was hoping for some early morning brightness but there was none. Its November and it was just chillier than usual and I was appreciating myself for the one good thing I did the other night. Loaded up everything into the car so that we could just take off the following morning. The morning woes were on for me where I cringed for some more sleep cause I played DMC3 till like 1 AM when I knew that I had to wake up by 3 AM. Well, there are some activities I just can’t avoid – for nothing. A cold shower helped me recover from the want to skip the entire road trip (Man! that would have ticked Sneha off). I took to the wheels and we sped off. The early morning breeze (which was cold enough to suck your skin of any remaining moisture) blew against my face and it seemed to bring me back to life. Sleep is a half dead state, you know?

7:15 AM: Crossed Hosur and nearing Salem. The roads were full of holes but we still managed to cruise at around 80kmph. It took some trying to avoid the huge potholes but then the music and talking to Jittu kept me going. I wasn’t too keen on letting him drive cause I’ve never been comfortable with letting someone else handle my car. Its not cause I’m attached to the machine but mostly because I’m a selfish person. I don’t like sharing things. I’d give things away but never share. I don’t quite care about what people think about this side of me but that’s how it is and I can’t change. Sharing money and my personal stuff is something I just can’t do. Plus, in this case I had to trust him with my car and trust is another problem with me these days.

9:00 AM: Salem was achieved and we had kept the tempo going. It wasn’t difficult I’d say since food was very neatly packed by Radha aunty and we didn’t need to stop much except for when nature called and that’s when I got to stretch my arms and legs. Around this time I realized that I need to rest myself a bit and let Jittu take the wheels. To my surprise – he turned out to be a wonderfully safe and calm guy on the wheels and he managed to keep the car roaring till we touched Coimbatore. The road up to Salem; I’d say was good if not excellent and it was safe and easy. From Coimbatore onwards it deteriorated quickly and I noticed the roads get narrower and this indicated that Kerala was close by.

11:30 AM: Coimbatore crossed and Pallakad touchdown complete. Stopped for refreshments and felt the humidity hit us. Bangalore is cold; like really cold in November but we started sweating profusely the moment we stepped out of the A/C when in Pallakad. Kerala is a humid place and people not used to the weather might not want to stay there for long cause you might feel uncomfortable. Especially if you’re in clothes that are thick or dark shades. We spent around an hour more in Pallakad cause we stopped to watch some hardcore bull races that were being conducted. Drunk farmers and angry bulls – it was awesome! We spoke to the black rodeos and they explained how things work. Bulls are timed on how quick they cover a certain patch of land which is 20% underwater. Now this is difficult for any mammal and especially tedious if you’re controlling dumb bulls.

1:00 PM: Kodakara, Trichur, Kerala – touchdown. A distance of 550 kms covered in around 8:30 hrs; considering time spent on stretching out and the bull-race. We didn’t feel a thing from what I remember and I felt good about the drive. I’m going to do this again but this time it’d be just me! I don’t need no company. Somehow, like I said, I don’t like sharing my alone time either. Yeah, sharing isn’t caring as far as I’m concerned.

End of log

Entering Kerala had its effect on me. The humidity made me uncomfortable, sweaty and sticky but the climate suits me. My congested lungs seem to function better when I’m there. Cold troubles me a lot but that’s the kinda weather I prefer. Have you’ll noticed? I somehow tend to want and love things/people that I can’t have. How human is that? Very. I met mom, dad and Sneha. Dad was waiting for me to reach cause he desperately needed the car. He likes showing off and he was about to leave for my cousins place. He’d want to go over in a swift rather than an Alto. I wonder how he fits into an Alto anyway. Dads huge! I was thrilled to see Sneha. She has this soothing, calmly confident look on her face and it feels awesome when I talk to her. Mom had a mixed worried-happy face on and she wanted to know more about the drive. Did Jittu drive? If so, WHY? Did you eat something? You look so weak! (I go on to make my what the fuck face here.) Here on began a saga of showers. I’ve got this weird habit when I’m in Kerala – I need to shower at least three to four times a day. I overdo it sometimes but I can’t stand the sticky, itchy feeling. Thus, I took my first shower and sat down to eat.

We had loads to speak about; me, Sneha and mom. So we spent the rest of the day talking and eating. We had to go over to my cousins place in the evening though since he was getting married the next day and they have this thing where they need to treat close family and friends. I got my hands onto his awesome camera and tried my hands on shutter speed, aperture and its amazing night mode. We had a pretty long picture session since he had to give ‘dakshina’ to all the elder zombies around. People he didn’t even know. Its a ritual where they’d fold up some money, beetle-nut and something else in a pan-leaf and hand it to the elder. There on they’d fall on his/her feet and seek their blessings. This cousin of mine is settled in the U.S and I thought he’d have a problem falling on people’s feet but he did it without a problem and that just about concluded the proceedings for the day. Dinner was served after this and we left early since we had to wake up early the next day.

The wedding wasn’t as glamorous as most mallu weddings are. Mostly since these people have more friends in Pune than in Kerala. Here we had limited people to entertain and thus it was easier. The actual wedding was a tiny function inside a temple near the hall. This was attended by family members only. Here was where the guy crossed the girl with her ‘mangalsutra’ and all that. They then came over to the hall and sat down in front of the crowd. Posing for pictures, smiling fake smiles, looking happy when they’d probably be shit scared inside and wondering about whats going to happen. It’d be especially difficult for the girl I thought since she had loads of gold on her and I wondered how she sat there unperturbed and without looking too troubled. Sneha and I looked awesome in maroon. She wore an elaborate saree and I had this maroon silk shirt on. I step into the mundu-mode as soon as I touch Kerala. Mostly cause its warm and humid and jeans would get really uncomfortable. The function concluded with some sumptuous food and awesome payasam.

We (the Sasi Menon family) left for Guruvayoor after this and here on mom became this pious saint who wouldn’t stop for nothing. She wanted to visit all the temples she could and thank god for the amazing people she had in her life *winks* I’d pep her up by telling her awesome things were going with us and she’d thank god for helping me miss the recent bullet that was headed for me. So the temples in that order – Guruvayoor, Triprayar, Hanuman temple I, Koodalmanikyam (Irinjalakuda) and then Kodungaloor; the main temple and Hanuman II at our taravadu. I ended up donating 200 bucks at Guruvayoor to an old man. This old man looked posh but walked over and asked us to help him with 200 since he had to buy Asthalin inhalers as he suffered from Asthma. His kids had abandoned him and he couldn’t work anymore. Food was provided by the temple but medicine wasn’t. So every month he’d have to ask around. We declined money initially but then Sneha scared me by telling me the story of Guruvayoor appan who’d come over to test you in different forms. I ran over to him and gave him the money. I hope he’s not a phony. Anyhoo, god bless all of us is what I wanted to pray. But I’m selfish like I said and I heard myself say this to god, “Ohh god, thanks for helping me all this time and thanks for staying by my side. I don’t need to ask you for anything more cause you’ve already given me enough. I just wanted to say ‘thank you’ and that’s done. Please continue aiding me as I can’t do without your help” here I realized that I didn’t even pray for my family. Guess that’s ok since mom prayed for everyone anyway. I hope Guruvayoor appan understands English. I can’t pray in any other language.

The next couple of days were spent at our new house in Irinjalakuda and Velyamma’s place. My cousin had come down from Australia and we had a lot to discuss. He suggested immigration to Aussie land and it sounded very tempting. I’ve attempted to go there before but then there was that cloud hanging above my head and it just clouded my eyes, heart and desires. I spent quite a lot of money on it and then pulled away at the last minute. I felt good after having spoken to him. Old memories of Kodungalloor, the kulam there, our temple and me playing cricket with numerous kids; all these forgotten experiences seemed to converge on me from all sides. Nostalgia makes me happy and sad at the same time and I get confused about how I actually wanna feel at that moment. So, that just about sums up my stay in Kerala and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I’ll be adding the pictures I took on the way. The Pallakad-Coimbatore highway is a little paradise for photographers. The ambience is awesome! Lush green, water bodies and nature all around you. Its enchanting and I loved every minute of the drive back.

The drive back to Bangalore was adventurous since we decided to go visit Ooty which fell in our way and the signboard read – 80 kms to the right. It was 80 kms alright but what they forgot to mention was that it was uphill. A climb takes a toll on your car and you. Also, we had to cross Coimbatore city to get onto the road that took us to the ghat section which led to Ooty. Except for the scenic beauty and the drive there isn’t much you’d find there. I had a chance meeting with the cops on one of the bends where they asked me to get rid of my black shirt cause the police would suspect us to be terrorists and stop us for questioning. Wow, didn’t see that coming. I promptly got out of the black t-shirt and into a white one. The stupid police wala guy scared the shit outta us and also managed to draw a 50 out of my pocket. After having had a small tour of Ooty and eating some good Ooty milk chocolates we decided to head back and here is where we made the biggest mistake of my life. Instead of travelling from Ooty – Mysore – Bangalore, I went Ooty-Coimbatore-Salem-Bangalore. I was fucked in my head when I learnt later that I could have avoided around 4 hours of travel time. We managed to crawl into Bangalore around 12:00 AM and I crashed as soon as we reached home. The whole outing was tiring and I had hardly gotten myself some sleep over the last 4 days and I’m still recovering. So that was a detailed report on my road trip – totally rocked.

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GOA:
I’m not too good with giving credits, but this trip is courtesy one of my best friends – Abhijit. Usually, credits are given in the end, but I’d like to begin by acknowledging the fact that this trip wouldn’t have been possible without him. Actually, a lot of things in my life wouldn’t have been like they are today without him and a couple of other good people! So, thank you Abhi for making this happen. I really can’t tell you how grateful I am. I’m not thankful for the arrangements you made, but because you had the heart to do so. I’m not thankful because you drove us safely to and from Goa, but because you laughed along with us even as you drove. I would like to forget the part where you cursed almost everyone on the road. It’s just that you’ve been very kind and a very warm friend throughout the time; before and after. Thanks.

Abhi had spoken about this outing like a year ago. The plans were different though; it included more people and was supposed to be a lot of things – freedom from work, letting our frustrations out, sorting things out, running from problems amongst others. It wasn’t working out because of a lot of really bad ghosts surrounding me and us. As of now, we have managed to carefully rid us of the evil spirits and thus, the outing was a success beyond our wildest imagination! It was supposed to include Nikhil and Zoher too, but as time tumbled they fumbled out and we were the three of us – Abhi, Muiz and me. Muiz’s better half wasn’t very happy about him leaving her and going, but then, I guess she let him because I was in picture. I’m sure Muiz told her that it’s for our heart broken friend. Thanks Muiz and ohh, thanks for letting him go with us Bhabhi. So that being said, the plan was chalked out and we were supposed to drive to Goa on the 30th; just so that we could attend Sankets brothers wedding. Abhi was supposed to come to Bangalore with Punit, but that didn’t happen and I came over on the 29th by myself.

I met Smikh on the 29th. Abhi had come to pick me up from the airport. I had already spoken to Smikh about lunch and we just had to decide the venue. We met up at Aundh; Baner even, and had an awesome get together. The gossip mongers that we were. The three of us used to have an amazing time at work. Low call flow meant time for gossips and stories. We used to talk and laugh a lot and it meant a lot of fun for us. I thought we’d get to relive it. Even thought it wasn’t remotely as fun as being in office, it was great! I enjoyed my time with Smikh and we spoke a lot. We did the photo session thing after this and waved a bye. Abhi drove me home and I spent the evening speaking to mom, dad and Sneha. I slept early! We were beginning our day early on the 30th!

The day was here and I was as excited as I could be. I packed up and got ready to go. Abhi came over by 3:30; we had tea and moved off by around 4 AM in the morning. We drove to Muiz’s place which I believe was in no-mans land! It was really far away from our place and the area spooked me a bit because of all the dogs around. So, we reached his place and lo! What do we see? Muiz is all dressed in formals, haha! I couldn’t stop laughing while I made fun of him! Abhi asked him to be ready for the marriage he said, hahaha! I was chilling out in my sleveless t’s and Abhi was wearing a decent pair of trousers and a good shirt. Muiz looked weird, dressed like that on our way to Goa! He took an hour to get the house all locked up and we took off by 4:45. So here begins our trip to Goa:

It was early morning and Abhi drives well. The car roared as we drove quickly and went past Khandala and all the other expected places. On Khandala’s note though, I was expecting Lonavala to come and it was only when these guys made fun of me 2 hrs later did I realize that Lonavala wasn’t coming! Anyway, we stopped at this dingy restaurant for some breakfast and I must say the idli I had there will keep me away from the puffed rice balls for quite some time. The plates weren’t washed and it was disgusting overall. Muiz dug in though and he had his fill. The tea was ok and we took off again. This time we did not stop till we reached the wedding.

The wedding, luckily for us, wasn’t a beeline of people as we’d expect it to be. It was quiet since we reached by 2 and they were packing things up. Again, luckily for us, we managed to get food and we beat the hunger. There wasn’t any meat on the menu since that’s how it’s done, Sanket said. Later on Sanket and his sister in law invited us for a meat-filled treat the next day. I wasn’t too sure about going cause they lived at the beginning of Goa and our resort was at the end of it! So, the drive took nearly an hour and a half and I didn’t want to drive back later than evening or the next day even. The thought came up after I reached our 1 BHK resort though which was at Varca beach and run by Club Mahindra. Abhi is a member there and the rich bugger managed to get us into this heavenly place. The A/C did the trick for me. Goa is hot and when you get into A/C it really does feel like you’ve reached heaven. We got fresh and walked over to the beach to catch a glimpse our private section of the huge beach and I must say it was awesome. We had paragliding and Jet-Skiing which was amazingly expensive, but we thought we’d do all that the next day. We just lazed around the beach and returned back. On the way I saw the pool and it looked very tempting. I tried my level best to get the two hippos into the water but neither one of them budged. The reason stated was: We don’t have trunks! Crap. I’m sure they were scared they’d dirty the water. I really wanted to go into the pool. We walked back to our apartment anyway after a bit of my drama. I dozed off for a while and woke up in time for some awesome food and an amazing sweet dish – Gulab Jamun with ice cream. It was all going as per plan and I was enjoying every bit of the outing.

I’m not going to talk much about our apartment because I’ve put it up on my orkut profile if you’d like a glimpse of it. The only thing I’d like to add in here is about our bed. It seriously rocked. It was soft and comfortable and it accommodated all three of us. I loved the apartment a lot and that’s one of the biggest reasons for me loving this trip so much. Thanks again Abhi. So I woke the guys up early the next day.  For no apparent reason I must say. We ordered tea since the electric tea maker was sucking up and didn’t act as expected. The tea it made sucked a lot. Muiz and Abhi then got busy on their respective phones for a while and I watched some TV. We had scrambled eggs and bread for breakfast. Funny that I did not know the part where scrambled eggs means eggs that is scrambled. It does not include any masala or anything else. In simple words, I thought scrambled egg is egg bhurji in Hindi. It tasted good nevertheless and the Masala tea gave me the kick I needed to start my day off. Muiz and I had a small argument in the shack when he decided to do something silly. Naked American woman? WHY? Did I not lend you that CD Muiz? Then why? Why do you need more? We couldn’t even see the things she wanted to show anyway. So why click pictures and invite trouble? I was loud (he said) when voicing out my feelings and that irked him. I apologized for my stupidity in being loud and we managed to forget the incident in no time. Well, Muiz, I must say this: You are annoying and you’ll be annoying to me for the rest of my life. I’m sure we can’t be roomies for more than 4 days. I’ll kill you! Dog.  We didn’t do much on this day, just that we went shopping and noticed that Goa isn’t the best place to shop! There aren’t any malls in Goa (WOW!) and the overall place is dead in the afternoons. So we wandered around Panjim and I got to see Goan Inox and a few other empty places as we looked for slippers that Muiz and Abhi could wear in the sand. We finally found them what they wanted and drove back. The rest of the evening was spent on IPL!

The next day we did some real time Goa outing. Mostly because we had Sanket with us and he had time that he could spend! We went over to the fort (name unknown) the same fort where Aamir and gang stood – Dil Chahta hai Style! I feel awesome about being there at that very spot. It gave me a lot of pleasure to be there with people who were really on my side. They did not wear any masks. They were awesome guys. We did a lot of talking and Sanket showed us around. The pictures are uploaded to the gallery. I loved the fort and we clicked a lot of pictures there. We did some weird ass shopping at this very famous beach – Calangute. Abhi and I bought colorful shirts and I felt uber cool about it. We then went over to get some paragliding done and only Abhi and I went in. Muiz was dead scared and Sanket gave some lame ass excuse; I can’t remember. I somehow felt that he was scared too. The experience was mind blowing since it was on the sea and an awesome speed boat. I loved this part the most. They charged us like 400 Rs; a full 400 less than what the guys at our private beach were charging. Ohh, speaking of which, we did do the Jet-Ski bit at our private beach and Muiz had the ride of his life. He shivered for quite some time after landing! Man that was really funny. Getting back to the part where we paraglided; there I noticed this cute girl. Guess she was in her 20’s short, but she had a cute smile and she looked oblivious about why the guys in our boat were making all the commotion. We were riding along a group of guys from Andhra and they were hyper excited about the whole outing I guess and thus they made a lot of noise. So, yes, the girl; she was pretty and spoke very clear and perfect English. I think I had a 20 minute crush on her. Well, she disappeared into oblivion after we got back. We were taken further into the sea on one boat and transferred into a speed boat to which they had a parachute attached which flew us in the air. It was all very safe and cool! I drank a lot of salt water which I did not appreciate. Also, we wet our clothes and that worried Abhi. Later, he got naked very shamelessly inside a shop which was very open. I wonder how he managed that. He did that to change into the clothes he had purchased from that very shop. I had to end up changing my tracks there as well! It felt weird. This was because Abhi did not want to wet his car seats. I wet them anyway, don’t ask me how! I really did not wish to get off my undies when there weren’t doors Abhi! You’re embarrassing. Some more shopping, I bought myself a hat and I then witnessed the weirdest thing ever – people who got naked all over the place in the toilet of an adjoining hotel kind of a shack. It was disgusting. There was urine and water and no one knew which was which! WOW! Who cares? I come for salt water baby.

We then headed over to Sankets place since he needed to pick up some clothes to change into when he came to our place. Their family is awesome and I totally dug their house. I met his parents, his brothers, his elder sister in law and the new one too! We were fed and I felt secure. That’s when Sankets sister in law dropped a bomb. I mean, it wasn’t such a big bomb, but Abhi thought it was funny and he laughed a lot about it. His sister in law, Divya; she noticed that I had worn the same shirt for 3 days. Sigh, I couldn’t quite explain that my new shirt got wet! I thus, had to get into this old one. But yeah, we did have a hearty laugh about the way Divya put through her worries about having to share her clean house with a guy who wore the same shirt in GOA for 3 days in a row. Geez, that ought to suck, come to think of it now. We then drove back to our beach house and the time taken to reach there seemed like eternity! We weren’t hungry I guess since we had already eaten a lot. So, a very light dinner was ordered and but of course, Gulab Jamun with ice cream. Sanket had bought some RC to drink, but he got stuck on the phone and never got a chance to finish it. Here, there was this time, when Muiz and Sanket got stuck on the phone and Abhi and me had a minor argument of sorts. I was going to get the evening to be bad, but then, I’m not sure what happened to me, my otherwise stupid ego seemed to disappear and we woke up Abhi. Asked Muiz and Sanket to keep the phone away and totally got into some deep level talking. Well, it was essential and it happened. We spoke for a long time and this nearly cleaned my mind and heart. I formatted myself and puked out whatever remained in me. The guys acted as professional system administrators and waited for me to restart and make weird noises in the meanwhile. Muiz and Sanket farted a lot and I must say, Muiz has the loudest, smelliest fart! We slept off at around 3:30 AM. We did fight for who’d get the bed, but then me and Muiz shared the sofa cum bed anyway. I slept peacefully that night.

We woke up the next day at around 10 and quickly got ready and left for some more sight seeing. We went to a Church. Uhm, the most famous Church in Goa as you might know, which has the remains of an important person? I’m not good with these things. So, yeah, we went to that church, clicked a lot of pictures and did a lot of talking; about sex mostly. Abhi is a maniac. He has a lot of information which he shared with us happily. Ohhhh, not to forget; we did visit the Cathedral too and it was great going through the history of Portugese and Goan culture. I looked gorgeous in my Hawaiin blue shirt and awesome three fourths. Abhi, you looked OK as well. Somehow, blue seemed to be much better than red. We got over this and reached Sankets brothers place (in laws) and they had food ready. I’m sure the non-veggie guys enjoyed an awesome meal with all the fish and chicken that was served. I had a very fulfilling meal comprising of bread and rice with all the things I’d need. It was good. We then sat and spoke for a while. We left along with Sankets sister in law and gang. We were supposed to go to some fort, but things did not seem too bright. There were some technical problems. And now, we went shopping some more. I bought 2 more three fourths and we bought cashew and wine. We then dropped Sanket home and returned home all famished and tired. I just wanted to hit the sack since we had to leave for Pune the next day! Our trip was coming to an end. I was happy and content with the trip overall and I was sure that nothing was left behind except for the pool! You guys suck – Abhi and Muiz.

All we got was a small three hour nap. We woke up by 3 AM and all of us got ready to hit the roads back to Pune. The drive was going to be felt this time, since we were returning. The return is what sucks almost all of the times. Somehow, Abhi hit the top gear and he drove non-stop at top speed for a long time. After which Muiz and I took turns driving. That’s when Abhi dozed off for a few. We spoke a lot, cracked a lot of silly jokes and heard some music. Abhi did something funny too! He saw this huge ST bus coming at us after overtaking a vehicle and instead of giving it side, he drove right into the bus’ face and cursed the driver a lot in Marathi. We then let him pass anyway. Abhi and Muiz were all charged to go beat the driver up, but then I was there to pacify them. Abhi was shivering in rage. The fucker needs to control his temper, I feel. He really looked like someone who could kill during that time. They both took turns telling me that I must not be a sissy boy and I ignored them with little effort. We reached the outskirts of Pune by around 11 and stopped to have Vada pav. Well, it tasted heavenly and we continued on the drive. Abhi did not stop then till around 1. We dropped Muiz at his place and here is where I forgot to take my pathani’s (which mom bought along later) Abhi and me then drove back home all tired and just wanting to crash. I did not sleep though; spoke a lot with mom and sister instead.

Well, this is how it ended – GOA. In the end, all I’d like to say is THANK YOU ABHI! Without you, this wouldn’t have been possible. I loved the trip and yes, Muiz, without you we would not have gone, so thanks for trudging along with all the problems you had. Thank you Shaista, for letting your jigar ka tukda come along. You’re the best! Finally, thank my good stars that this all happened without a lot of fuss and that it helped my brain, mind and heart clean itself up. Goa ended and I returned back to Bangalore energized and refurmished!

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EPIPHANY – PROSE

I had a sudden revelation of truth inspired by a seemingly trivial incident. It seemed like something that popped out of a James Joyce Novel. Initially, it did not make sense to me. I moved along the current of life’s unending flow. Slowly, but yes; steadily, I could relate to whatever that was happening around me and lo! Epiphany struck.

I am sure all of the above would seem like English algorithm. I am not surprised. That’s what I felt first when the thought came to my mind. I was writing on a piece of paper and my thoughts wandered off. It was like an exalt. The puzzle was ridiculously modest and I tried to figure it out myself. I sat alone and thought for a very long time. I could hear mom yelling for me, but then the vision was so diminutive that I couldn’t let it go. I had to explore through it, think it out.

The vision was about me. It had answers to almost all the questions that I had about myself. Questions; that I have asked myself for ever and for ever and never found an answer. Consider a situation, wherein, you are trying your level best to understand yourself, gauge your highs and lows, trying to figure out the reasons for your defeat with life and people. Each time you return with nothing less than an empty hand and gods tight lipped. It is frustrating, upbeat, dejecting and it’d kill you if you don’t treat it immediately.

I met this girl online, let’s call her Nisha. That was the name she used when she introduced herself. She lied and I wouldn’t blame her for it. Our initial few confrontations were spiky and we argued over nothing less than dust. The arguments did not make sense, not to her and I was always clueless about why we argued, but then – shit happens! So, yes, all in all we had a mind boggling war of words and to tell you’ll the truth, I enjoyed it. She was witty and quick with words, putting her into the clan of people I’d like to associate myself with. There’s something called mind-waves, if you’ll know what that means. It’s complex sometimes, because it falls into psychology and hypothetic science.

I messaged her one day, because a lot of people had questions about her sexuality. I was curious myself and I had to know! So, yeah… I spoke to her and managed to strike up a conversation alright; the lucky fact was, it did not stop for a few days. I was enjoying the usual bouts of arguments and she decided that she wanted to talk to me. Talk, as in actually call me up and speak. She had this urge since a few days (that’s what I’m guessing, from a question she asked). She started off like, “Would it be desperate for a girl to ask a guy for his Phone number?” I was like, “Uhh, what’s with the sexes? If you wanna ask, just ask!” So she responds, “Ok, give me”! I knew that she was gonna ask and thus, I had the number ready! Good, so she’s got my number. Then, I waited for her to call… but then she was crafty enough to not call me for a couple of days!

I got hectic with work and stuff, and thus I couldn’t get online for a couple of days. I also forgot that I had given her my phone number. I had made it picture perfect that I wouldn’t answer phone calls that came in before 12:30 pm IST, cause I’d be sleeping. She said she’d call me when she felt like speaking to me! I couldn’t care less at that point of time, cause I never expected a call from her. Then one day she called, at uhm, 11 A.M in the morning. I was sleeping and my sister decided that it was best to let me know that someone named Nisha wanted to talk to me. I was like, “Uhh, who?” Really drowsy and yawnish, I was about to bang the phone, but some sudden urge forced me into saying a Hello? And heh, we started speaking. Funny, but I lost my sleep then and started yapping away. It usually doesn’t happen, but I managed to delve in a small comfort zone between her wit and my own.

Finally, after having spoken enough it was decided that like minds; in a lot of different ways, must meet. So we decided to meet up. We were supposed to meet on a Saturday and I was pretty excited. Luck ditched us and she fell sick. Poor thing, she had to attend an important birthday bash party on Sunday and she goes down with viral just 3 days ahead of it. I felt bad about her not being able to attend the Sunday party, cause she was so excited about it. Fortunately, for her; she’s so human… that internal craving in her to attend the party got the better of her infection and she made it and as far as I know, she had a ball! She sounded elated when I asked her about it the next day.

Then on Monday, we were talking as usual, and she decided that we had to meet up that very day. I had time and I wanted to meet her myself, so lo! I go and look who shows up! A blue-eyed damsel, neatly dressed, a perfect smile and a confident handshake! She was late, almost 17 minutes and she was taller than I was. Well, we walked into this library – Crosswords which also had a small cafeteria. Both of us were seemingly hungry and thus we decided to grab a bite and some coffee. She asks me, “Cold coffee or hot coffee? Its hot coffee for me” I made up my mind pretty quick, “Cold coffee for me!” Then we got some munchies, a couple of chairs and sat ourselves down for a coffee talk!

I was careful to not look like one of those guys that girls are generally scared off. Scared? Even like some of those guys who usually disgust girls, heh, battery eyed, nerdy, and completely parched off chicks! You know the typical, ohhh-I-need-love; I am single and ready to mingle kinda looks? I was careful to avoid that. I had nothing on my mind, but if I was my normal self, she’d have assumed that I was just another hole-hungry guy; like one of her seniors had put through, hah, that was freakin’ funny! My normal self includes a lot of !@#$ (censored words). I’m used to a lot of laughter, did I tell you’ll? I’m all full of laughing gas! All in all, you could sum me up as a guy who’d do anything for a laugh! This lady here, of course, wasn’t the kinds, or so I thought. To describe her more… she was uhm, blue-eyed like I already mentioned and *dr000l* whoa, they looked real cute on her! I tried to not scrutinize her the first time our eyes met. Again, that was a sign of you-know-who! So, as I mentioned, we shook hands, I was skeptical and I nearly had that intuition that she’d surely raise her hands first, which she did and wow!! She was confident… unlike a few other girls I know. Huh! Give me a break, I know! We need to start from the part where we were about to have coffee, but then, this is what I’d term as a small flash back into a wonderful introduction I had with a girl I met online. I then paced up Sohrab Hall along with her. I did not know where Crosswords was, heh, embarasking*! Ok, so here we found a good table at the cafeteria and like I said – sat ourselves down for coffee and talk.

Alright, now is when I had to look down to see her feet. You’d wonder why. Well, have you heard of eye-crotches? I’ll tell you, it’s the first thing someone would notice or would find appealing in their opposite sex. It’s different for different people. Ohhh common!!! It does not have to be the crotch that’d cause you an erection, geez! It’s just the uhm… ahh, forget it; I wouldn’t care to explain! To give you a better idea, some of us might notice a person’s eye to begin with, then the lips, the smile (which covers the teeth), the hair, ears, nose… and so on! As mentioned it’s different for different people. In my case, I generally look down, find the feet and I can make a vague assumption about that person’s feelings. You’d find it funny if I say that I hugely rely on the type of footwear they have, trust me… it makes a huge impact and I’m positive about this. So, in her case – she had this chilled out pair of kitto’s. That’s what I usually call them; you know the unisex strapped one’s that you’d wear with denim? Yeah, so, it was blue as far as I can reconcile, a dark blue pair of denims, maroon to… dark brownish if I am not wrong, yeah, that was the color of the kurta type top that she wore. Her hair bounced as she walked and was mahoganish* in color. I nearly wondered how she managed with hair that bounced so much and was in such a lot of unrest! Heh, that’s when I realized that she was such a busy person; such a lot of stuff to be doing! *winks*.

We bought some coffee and munches like I said and I knew she wouldn’t let me pay the whole amount and thus I did not bother to do the “Let me pay please…” thing! I mean, that’s so stupid and old. I don’t think it impresses girls anymore. She gave me 50 bucks and I still have it with me. I mean, in memento to our first meeting. Summing up all that we had that day, I realized; later on that I owe her 10 Rupees. That annoys me now, but hey… that’s alright, I guess, who bothers anyway? Maybe on another day, she’d owe me 100 bucks. So we started yapping and I might add the subjective clause – “as usual” I mean, I am not sure if she was floundered when I was there sitting beside her, heh… I couldn’t feel any unrest in her, so I assume she was as relaxed as I was. We spoke about a lot of different things. She showed me some of the snaps that she had on her mobile phone; which was presumably expensive. Expensive mobile phones scare the shit out of me. I really do not understand the need for such high-end gadgets whose only purpose is to keep you connected. Anyhow, she looked made-up on some of the pictures she showed me of Sunday’s party. Yes, the typical beauty conscious, healthy faced crowd? Yeah, she belonged to that tribe. By the looks of it, I could also assume that she loved partying. Dancing, but of course is a craze amongst the North Indians and she had told me, I don’t remember when, but yeah, she had told me that she loved dancing!

Great, so we came to a point wherein we had finished hogging and me, my usual sloppy self I had some puffs remaining on my plate. I did not particularly enjoy its sight, but then it stayed there cause it had to. She had a lot of weird questions. I remember the one where we argued about consensus and people’s opinion about our lives. I told her that I don’t care about people, but their consensus is something that bothers me. Then she wanted to know if pain and suffering gave me pleasure. It was a stern no from my side, cause it did not help me when I was in pain. According to what she meant, pain and suffering is a part of life and enjoying it as it goes by is better than crib about it. My point of view was different, which she could not absorb, well, opinions… heh; I wouldn’t try changing an opinion. Especially of a person who is as good as or better than me when it came to reasoning. I would never crib about pain and suffering, but yes… it bothers me and I don’t like it. If I’d ever face a situation wherein I was in severe pain I would find a subway out of it and make sure that I don’t have to use that subway again. Her blue eyes gleamed when she tried to put her views through and I did not want to argue more for some unforeseen reason.

Suddenly, she puts me a blinder – “Anup, how spontaneous are you?” I go like, “I’m, I’m… huh? I’m spontaneous enough to answer your questions” she responds, “Alright, here’s some paper (she gives me some tissue) write down whatever it is that comes to your mind” I was taken aback for a minute cause I couldn’t think of nothing. Writing is a passion and I don’t use pen and paper, I use my fingers and my blacky’s keyboard! Hell, I had to write something. I couldn’t look like a puppy who did not know what to do, right? So… yeah, I went about the herculean task by starting off with one of my favorite 4 liners:

I don’t think you trust
In my self righteous suicide
I cry when angels deserve to die
In my self righteous suicide
I cry when angels deserve to die

Now that gave me the zeal to think and I wrote the following:

Who are we? Where did we come from? Was god the reason for our existance?

-Answer, God? No. He made us, but he made us on a Friday, when he was nearing a weekend that he had awaited for light-years. Imperfections, flaws and vulnerabilities… this is what we pay for being last on the assembly line. Can we correct this sloppy copy, this mortal coil that not even evolution has perfected yet, science is the answer, maybe…

-Anup

In the meanwhile, she had a book in hand which she showed me like an excited kid. That book had illustrations which differentiated man and woman in the best probable manner. I do not remember who authored it, but whoever it was, sure seemed to be someone who deserved respect. It’s out of sheer determination and hard work that one would ever understand womanhood. I did not expect an answer from her to the above mentioned piece of shit, but she chose to reply, again to my amazement and amusement. She went like this:

‘We’ – are the mob… sometimes it’s so easy to write about oneself, specially when you know that there are people who would appreciate you no matter what you write, but the other times, its so damn tough… (I am simply embarrassed for being so free hand as I am not able to put forward the appropriate thought… that’s what happens when I have a critic in front of me! )

We came from… hmm… eternity and would probably dissolve in the same.

“God” ain’t the reason for our “existence” but he is the reason for our confidence. He is our (at least mine) psychological necessity. Someone who made my father buy me extra chocolates when I was six. Someone who helped me get up early morning during my Xth boards. Someone I can bank upon (not for aid, but for support) when I’m low… I trust him – so I trust myself.

Imperfections, vulnerabilities and flaws are the beauty of a person… something which makes us so god-damned interesting and inquisitive. It gives us a reason to know more and be perpetually curious.

-Nisha

Ohh well, I was amazed at the way she efficiently handled words and not only that all of it was conveyed in a simple and lucid manner. Just like me, I might add. I couldn’t say much, I checked up with her if it was ok for me to carry the stuff she wrote and she nodded affirmative. I still have the tissue with me! Heh, I’m crazy, I know… but I like remembering moments like these… when Anup spent some time with a girl he met online.

I had bought along my slam book, which I wanted her to sign. It also had pictures, yes, all of the pictures that I loved ohh-so-dearly. Unfortunately for us, we had to keep bags outside and couldn’t carry any personal belongings; especially books to the interiors, which I could understand… since it was a library or a bookstore of sorts. That’s when I remembered that I had to consult her for some skin trouble that I had! I don’t leave opportunities like these that come by and I don’t have to pay for it. So, yes, I had this skin disorder called “Lichen Planus” I showed it to her wondering if she could probably dig into her books (cause she was studying derma at that point of time). Those rashes on my hand looked pretty disgusting, eeeks! I hated its very sight. She did not know what to do, but yes, she kinda plucked my fingers with her own as if trying to examine the marks closely. She was skeptical, I think, so she was trying to hold my hand carefully, trying to avoid any of the aftermath that she’d have to go through on contracting the disease. I was worried, cause I did not want her to suffer, heh… cause that’d surely spoil her skin, which was important to her! I’m a guy, no one cares… but in her case, she’s this popular girl who’d not want such rashes! I pulled off, and managed to divert her attention. Finally, she got a call from one of her friends and she had promised to have lunch with him. She asked me, being such a gentle lady, “Would you want me to cancel that plan?” I’d do that if you plan to stick her for some more! I did not want to make things difficult for her, so I nodded a polite negative and told her that it was time for me to proceed to work. It was Monday and I would have loved to talk to her some more, but then she had to leave, so be it!

We were together… for uhm, 3 odd hours roughly and I enjoyed every minute that I spoke with her. If I have not mentioned before. I am not the kind of person who’d find friends waiting for me at every other corner! I choose my friends, god doesn’t. It takes some kind of a match in brain-frequency when I decide to make an acquaintance; my friend. Friendship is divine, that’s what I have to say. I can’t live without the people I call friends and I’d be careful before adding her in that list of elite people. I know that she’s already (all so quick) made herself a friend as in “a someone” who is more than an acquaintance, heh! I’m strange. Finally, as we were departing, she asked me, “So, Anup, what do you have to say about this meeting?” I really wanted to say a “WOW” But yeah, by then… this fell from my mouth, “As expected, everything went as expected” geez, some shit! I don’t know what she thought of me then, but yeah… we did not speak much till we neared the gates and she bid me farewell! I cropped up my bike and rode back to Aundh, time for work!

I knew that I’d spend at least an hour or two when I have my re-think bouts, which essentially has to be before I sleep. I tried my level best to avoid thinking about her or the whole meet up, and I was successful, cause I got back to work and heh, got busy. She gave me a buzz when I was at work; funny, she wanted to know more about the bike that I had. One of her friends wanted to get himself a bike and I guess she was trying to help him out. I gave her all the information I could, and I think the guy has got himself a Pulsar. It’s a really cool bike! I love mine. I thought about it all when I reached home and I’ve written stuff in my diary; uhm, I think I have. Yes, it’s a tiny report on the series of events that happened to me on that eventful Monday, but yes it sure helps in recalling the day better.

From that day on, she was a bit odd in the way she spoke to me; or so I thought. I mean, we spoke less until Thursday, that’s when she told me that she’s missing home and she’s studying her brains off! Whoa! That answered my questions about her whereabouts. But here is where I find the pun. After Thursday, she never called me or replied to my messages for the next, uhm… 4 days! I don’t know what I felt about the whole situation then, but it was bad. I felt like a stupid monger who lost a friend cause he showed himself off. Scary people are supposed to remain submerged in themselves. Anyhow, let’s not discuss that part, just makes me feel sick. We spoke on Tuesday then and that’s when she told me a few sucky things. That’s when I realized that she was such a girl! I mean, she had to be, right!?!?! What was I thinking in the first place? She was special cause she was a girl and… had the additional few positives in her. But then, she was a girl to begin with and had all the same premonitions about a guy she met online, and a few other questions in her mind that were probably left unanswered. I learnt that I must not expect things out of her, cause like I said she has a few positives that makes her so special. She isn’t the typical person who’d expect you to call or someone you’d expect to give you a call. She’s careless, insensitive (at times) and ignorant about worldly dogmas. I mean it amazed me that she is… the way she is! But I guess that’s the way she is and that’s when she’s her best! She mustn’t change for all the good in the world!

A small dedication to the girl who lied about her name, but still managed to carve herself a place in my thoughts:

EPIPHANY – POETRY

Your words to me just a whisper
Your face is so unclear
I try to pay attention
Your words just disappear

‘Cause it’s always raining in my head
Forget all the things I should have said

So I speak to you in riddles cause
My words get in my way. I smoke the
Whole thing to my head and feel it
Wash away ’cause I can’t take anymore
Of this, I wanna come apart.
Or dig myself a little hole inside
Your precious heart

‘Cause it’s always raining in my head
Forget all the things I should have said

I am nothing more than a little boy inside
That cries out for attention
Yet I always try to hide
‘Cause I talk to you like children,
Though I don’t know how I feel
But I know I’ll do the right thing
If the right thing is revealed
‘Cause it’s always raining in my head
Forget all the things I should have said

Thus, here ends the story about a girl online that I met.

DECORUM HERBATA:

The above mentioned data is true to the best of my knowledge. I haven’t made any changes to the happenings and all that’s put forward here is nothing less than my sincere feelings to a few events that occurred like an Epiphany in my life. If you, as someone close to me cannot understand WHAT here is the Epiphany, then you are not worthy of knowing it anyway. No questions about the above said would be entertained.

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