Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Life is Beautiful.......

I’ve always talked and thought about this tag “Life is Beautiful….”…. without argument everyone [who reads this are well connected to net and stuff :P] agrees yes life is beautiful, but there are some more but’s to it before we conclude :D. Here the protagonist mainly see’s the entire thing from his point [i.e me], but also leaves an option open for the readers to look from their perspective, if the readers mindset tune in with the protagonist’s [i.e mine], then my life is easy [to make you understand].

We all started to go to school from the age of 3 years and odd months, from where we’ve been exploring world outside a few individuals whom we’ve come across. Till that time the few individuals must have treated us so sweetly and taken care of us with all the love and affection from the world as we might have meant the world to us. [O.k, I should shift and narrate the story from my view point :D]. Now I start to go to school, come across various set of other me’s [I mean like me of the same age and not the other categories :P], and we all started to sense a feel of loneliness among a crowd. Also not to forget the teachers here, who take intense care of the children of that age with the perseverance got from the entire world. Life seemed to be very difficult on the first few odd days to school, but after a couple of days when I forget to bring my pencil, some one lends me one to show care [if not the level my parent’s would’ve but enough to save me from the teacher at that point of time by lending the pencil]. A sweet little smile exchanged and I get a person who feels for me and whom I can feel for, the first stage of Friendship….. ran the days non stop from there till we bid off farewell some day. Life has been beautiful with them. The world has become bigger.

Same is the case when we moved to college or even to a new work place. I’ve always celebrated every moment of my life. I mean I really have celebrated. For me life has been so difficult right from the beginning. I’ll be putting down some of really critical phases of me a few months down here, but those difficulties have made “SELVA”. I’m what my life taught me. I’m what my life is. I have had excess of emotions like happiness, depression, anger, sentiment, binding, care, commitment from my early age. Above all Frustration is the feel which I love to. I’ve enjoyed my frustrations to the most. Only a very few [mostly my mom] have seen my frustration, but after every frustration I find a determination. Its usually with everyone I suppose, but frustration is beautiful.

At some stage most of the people start to live life with frustration….so obviously life becomes beautiful. [atleast for some period of life]. O.k…O.k… hold on… now me seeing life of mine from my point of view and describing it, some where I feel it illogic to say that “Life is Beautiful…..” as a general statement……someone said me once please add “my” to that tag….. I thought, felt and explored it…. Let’s take an example of a very poor girl’s life.

Amri… a girl who begs [she proudly says after earning some bugs, that I earned this much :D] at dilli haat hardly earns around Rs.50 per day [not the exact average], and out of that almost 98% goes to her household expense. I’ve been interacting with her for quite some time and she is so sweet and smart girl. One day I was enquiring with her why she is not attending the classes which we conduct for the children at dilli haat.

“Amri tum class kyun nahi aati?” [Amri, why are you not coming to classes?]

“mein nahi aaoongi bhaiya” [I’ll not come brother]

“kyun nahi aaoogi?” [Why you’ll not come?]

“mujhe padhna accha nahi lagta hai” [I don’t like to study]

“phir kya karma pasand hai tumhe?” [ then what do you like to do?]

“isa hi khelna hai” [I just want to play like this]

“agar abhi nahi padhogi tho kya hoga pata hai?” [Do you know what will happen if you don’t study now]

“nahi, lekhin padhne ke baad aap jaise hi banoongi na?” [No, but I’ll also become like you only after I study na?]

That’s it, everything packed in one answer. Can I enjoy what she does with all the education and stuff I’ve got?, probably I may do it like playing on the road but I’m not sure all my fellow beings would be doing it. Got a point clearly stacked [which I knew earlier too…but now to make it clear to you], money and education are not the solutions to the cheer in life. Amri could laugh and dance where Selva can’t do it. Amri can do whatever she wants which none of us can do it even though we want to do. Aren’t we all thinking on something like throwing off all the stuffs and just chilling out [On Amri’s language “Khelna hai”], but we are not able to do…… we’ve frustrations and we live with that and Amri doesn’t have frustrations and she lives with that. Probably Amri might not have known about the other so called comfort limits we people have, to justify herself that education is not important, but till the time she doesn’t compare things, her Life is Beautiful…..Once she starts to compare she’ll come into the frustration domain and frustration makes life beautiful……

So friends stop comparing, “Life is Beautiful…..” Live it we all have got only one :D

[Forced to cut short the article keeping readers patience in mind :D, will come up with a few more examples latter with some other name :P]

Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Learner's Chapter

Parichay is the first place where I stepped in on to the new world of volunteering. Not many of volunteer get a chance to start learning volunteering from Parichay. It was a fine morning when I, Somen and one more girl Priya met at IIT main gate to move to the project. It was one and half hour travel with the modes of bus, auto-rickshaw and cycle-rickshaw travel. Before reaching parichay itself I had a lot to learn from the road from bhajanpura to tukhmirpur. I could imagine and interpret the state of mind of the people at that place (though that was an imagination of an immature so called volunteer who was on his first sight visit).

After all the way of travel when we reached the building with a block of bricks arranged on the front and loads of bundles of paper wounded and kept aside on both sides of the entrance. There were children all around with namasthe bhaiya and namasthe didi…while we entered into the block. Man I thought Somen must be a hero here; he got such a reception which I’ve earlier seen only in Rajnikanth movies on screen, a live experience.

Once we stepped into the block on the left hand side we had / have a steep steps leading to the first floor…..I just imagined “Parichay is already on top”.

A quick little flashback……. Me, Somen and Anirban used to have dinner quite often and during our dinner we talk about Parichay, AID, Volunteering etc., etc., we used to talk a lot about Parichay, the children and bhaiya…. I from there on had an imagination of Parichay with two separate rooms on a ground beautifully decorated with lots of charts having a small garden in front of it. Both the rooms surrounded with a series of flower pots [this is not my mistake, movies have shown things like that :D].

Back to the situation, I started to realize that I’m realizingJ. [I mean the reality may be different from cinematic imagination]. Up we went, and walked on the corridor, passing the unfolded cots, the vessels waiting to be cleaned and the clothes just getting a bath. Vijay bhaiya was waiting there for us and with a warm welcome; we had an introduction with the children. I could remember, Monu, Tarannum, Moni, Heera and Sona were the people I recognized on my first visit. After a lot of talk, bhaiya said us you can go to the next room and teach the children.

I was a bit clueless on what to teach, but me as usual ready to take up the new challenge. Priya somehow managed to gather the children and start to teach them how to look at the watch / clock to read time. I start to interact to a few children and start to teach them English. I thought I’m smart enough to take English class and started with ‘A’. In came a question,

“bhaiya yeh ‘A’ kyun hai?....

I was just feeling like a air plucked balloon. Infact the children were smart enough to understand my feel and said “theek hai, aage batayiye”….

I went there to teach the children and I was taught by the children that I’m not prepared enough to do so, it was a great learning from them and infact if this might not have happened that day, my entire experience of volunteering might have been different. Even today I go to parichay to learn and not to teach [though some times I share a few of my knowledge with children, I never call that as teaching].

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Trip to Gangotri..... Part 1

It was a pleasant surprise to hear from Ravi that he has plans to visit me on his way to BITS, Pilani. When he reached, he also wanted me to make a plan for a 3 day trip to somewhere. I’m always on for a trip and journeys as I like to travel a lot. I always looked for an opportunity to explore Himalayas and river Ganga and this was a right time to execute it. We decided to go to Gangotri. It was early November when Delhi got into a pleasant weather and chillness spreading out across the northern parts of India. We planned to take a cab ride all the way. It all started 2nd November, 2007 early morning 06.00.

Ravi, at school times was not this talkative, it was good fun to be with a school mate after such a long time and that too for three continues days without any other disturbances. The driver was so good to keep the pace of the vehicle not exceeding 80 kmph on the highway. After three hours of drive since we started, we thought of breaking for break fast. We came across a highway stoppage place called “Cheetal Grand”, which was too good with lots of food option, {like a food court in malls, with beautiful garden around. We grabbed sandwich and pakoras along with a map of Uttarakand. [It also had a book store :D]

A non-stop journey from there to Haridwar, and we decided to wash Ravi's sins in the holy Ganges. Ravi was there for the first time and I asked him to take bath so that he also can become [atleast try to become] like the "holy me" :D. I’ve already taken bath in Ganges for a couple of time earlier to increase its holiness :P. Ravi then wanted me too to take a dip so that its holiness will be enriched and I did. When we got back to our car, we had a shock to hear from the near by bhaiya as he said Gangotri is closed. I knew that Gangotri and its route would be closed for a couple of months during the winters and this was unexpected. As Ravi like me is open to take up challenges, we decided to go as far as possibleJ. I also had an alternate plan of River Rafting at Rishikesh and a quick trip to Dehradun if possible.

Past Rishikesh [we didn’t stop there as we decided to stop there when we get back], we started to drive up the hills as I started to enjoy the scenic view of the ranges. The feel you get when you sit on the front seat along by the driver, riding on a mountain, cannot be put on words. We were traveling at a pace of 25kmph, which I think is the optimum speed to drive at mountain range. We had a few stoppages to capture the views in camera [by doing it we lost the camera cover :( ]. By now we’ve passed a couple of valleys[couldn’t count exactly the numbers], and we observed a stream running alongside the road in the opposite direction of our travel. We again thought to break for lunch at around 15.00 hours and we had a delicious lunch along with an awesome tea [must be a herbal one], for Rs.45/- for three people.

We got back to business and started to travel back. I observed a village at every 5th Kilometer. Terrace cultivation was at all the corners. Children going to school. Mobile phones all across. Cricket on road with ball made with cloth [I suppose]. But still they lead a different life with different culture and to term it simple “a difficult life”…..

The rest would follow soon……

Monday, April 21, 2008

A Cinempact

I’ve always been a great lover of cinema and I have my own taste of selecting my favorite movies. I always feel that cinema is a tool which has the potential to tune ones mindset from one frequency to other and if a movie not only tunes, but if possible to set the change in frequency then its an achievement of the story teller. Khuda ke liye is of his genre, which has the capability of tuning and setting the views mindset and leaves you disturbed for quiet some time.

The movie unfolds beautifully without even words spoken, just like a flower. Right on the second scene you are taken into issues which are told delicately. If you keenly notice the movie unfolds the issues of communism, brain drain, gender bias, terrorism and racism. The thought process of two brothers which was same is then becoming contradictory with time is handled with great delicacy. The story has both the brothers as protagonists and moves from there to different parts of the globe which shows the poles in lifestyle. The lead lady has her eyes do the talking, particularly the scene when she comes to know that her father ditched her by separating her from her boyfriend and get her married to her cousin. The remote village without transportation and toilets which cause an impact on the viewers…

You have an educated young youth listening to a local Maulana Tahiri and that changes his life and on the other hand his family which is contradictory to the deeds but not the thoughts. A situation which needs to be handled impeccably. Maulana Tahiri’s words are soothing and convincing enough for anyone who is open to listen.

The elder brother moves to America following his dreams and joins a music school over there; on the other hand the younger one moves to a remote village in the border of Afghanistan to marry his cousin to save the holiness of his uncle’s family. The struggle of the girl to get out and escape from the village makes you pray for her and the scene when all her efforts go in vain, you’ll really have your hearts heavy. The color combination of bright scenes of the American life and the dark / brownish view of the village life adds more feel to the happenings.

Suddenly the director has some surprise for you when the elder brother’s life takes a change. Now if you carefully notice both the brother’s life which took different track, getting into serious trouble. Even though the contradictory minds and thoughts made them to choose their lives, they both suffer and struggle from normal life. On the other hand the fight back shown by both the leading ladies are commendable. After all these surprise you have Nasureenden Shah as Maulana Wali, who is a special package who gives new dimensions to the views on Islam.

Director Shoaib Mansoor succeeds in making you sit, relax and realize a flow of river in front of you. This will remain in one of my all time favorite movie.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

The hours when I loved love

It’s now 13th April, 2008, 03 hours 35 minutes…..

Approximately 24 hours before……

Almost Delhi was deep into silence with its people fallen asleep. I was one among the millions of people who was enjoying sleep. I usually don’t get dream while sleeping. Even if I get dream, I used to forget it the next morning. Dream comes very rarely to me. Usually dream occurs when a person falls deep asleep and the images, thoughts and feelings are experienced through it. I also know that these images are caused because of the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) which happens when a person sleeps deep.

Yes.. This is one such dream I had, probably the best of my life….

I personally don’t have a very good opinion towards Love. I was / (and partly) am not convinced with the theory of Love etc., In fact to agree I’ve had a few infatuations during my school days [which lucky I was matured enough to identify those as infatuation], but never slided towards love.

Without blah blahing much let me straight away enter into the dream. It was fine morning when she came to me. She is a friend of mine.

“Selva, can I ask you one thing?’

“haan, poocho……”

“You should give me an answer straight away.”

“haan zaroor.. kya hua?”

“Will you be my boy friend?”

Some electric shock into the mind, even before understanding what was happening there, my mouth uttered.

“I must be blessed”.

I swear I never had / have such a feel for her in real and I really couldn’t understand what's going on there. Suddenly I realized something and asked her.

“What will happen to the orkut profile wali”.

“………………..” silence was the reply…

“It’s o.k… mein bhi aaur kitne saal wait karoonga” – I replied and I had one question in my mind but didn’t ask her. [That was about her boy friend].

Me, a couple of my friends along with her were on an outing.[I don’t know how days passes so quickly in the dreams…] I could remember it was a resort where there was a long lonely road in which we all were walking, laughing loudly. Suddenly a silence persists, she came along my side and we both were walking. [I could realize that I was too shy in my dream too :D]. My mind was thinking of holding her hands but I just couldn’t do it.

Suddenly I started to feel a warmth of softness in my hands as she grabbed mine and she looked into my eyes after holding my hands, those eyes were asking me, “you were thinking of holding it na?”. With the warmth of her hands on mine and her head resting on my shoulder, I just felt love for the first time :D. I realized that “Life is more than what I’m living now”. I usually keep saying that I fly in the air, but the truth is I was flying at the moment”….. Just started to love the love :P….

We both spoke a lot of silence, the beautiful poetic walk with just eyes doing the talk…. I wanted to break the silence and start to talk, start to share but again I was shy L . She was the one to break it…..

“Selva, yeah bataoo…. What happened to __________ [her boyfriends name]?.

I replied, “Mujhe kya pata”

“I know you won't even ask :) .....mein hi batati hoon…..lekhin ab nahi.. Dinner ke baad’.... I started to expect the dinner time.....

“Selva, get up and prepare the coffee da….” – my friend Giri’s voice.

“Giri you spoiled a wonderful dream”- I uttered and tried to recollect the dream.

The hangover of the dream existed for the next couple of hours with me thinking why such a dream came to me. The concept of the dream is entirely controversial and contradictory to my thought, but then it was a dream and none can help it out.

But those hours I spent in the dream was wonderful and it will stay as a memory for ever and ever…..