Archive for category Life

Ride Back Home

Kumbakonnam is a small town some 300 kilometres from Chennai. Diya had to get her ‘Mottai’ (shaving the head bald). My folks left at around 2 PM from this dusty small town for Bangalore. I stayed back because I had to head to Chennai for work and of course a social trip was always on the cards.

So after a few pegs of Grants scotch whiskey, I flicked from my friend I headed to the bus terminus to catch the next bus to Chennai. I managed a small village bus which headed some place on NH45 for me to take another bus to Chennai. There weren’t any direct buses.

So off I was in this bus which rattled more than it moved and was playing Rajnikanth movies in full volume. The bus was more or less empty and everyone had a place for their own. The bus soon stopped at a village where a horde of school students boarded.

Something about village school students; half their clothes were torn, a very few wore shoes or slippers, their bags had more stiches than cloth and were unkempt.

A girl came and sat next to me; she smelt of coconut oil and coffee. She had a long braid, all the way down to her knees; and I was guessing she was not more than 14 years old. She had round pleasing dark face and super white teeth. If Colgate needed a model, she was her.

She gave a sheepish smile to me, as I was playing with my phone GPS trying to figure out where I was. I guess she was truly fascinated, and wanted a closer look. I showed it to her.

She exclaimed, “That’s my school!” While I was enjoying her excitement I was also half worried not to be hounded by a bunch of school kids who would want to play with the expensive piece of hardware.

I asked her what her favourite subjects were. “Mathematics and social studies!” she said. “Algebra is my favourite; my teacher always asks me to solve the problems on the board. I am always first in class in Mathematics. But I don’t like Tamil one bit. Why should I learn all the boring poems by heart? Just because someone thinks its intellectual, why do I have to suffer?”

She went for a while about social studies too. I eventually figured she was in 9th grade; and was gearing up for board exams next year. The other kids were now looking at us, especially me; the new friend the girl had made.

We stopped in between at a village, and a guy selling popcorn boarded. I bought two; one for each one of us. She went on about her school and family as she munched the whole packet down; and then took mine as well without even asking me. I liked her style.

From the time she was a kid, she had been told to get married and one day be a good house wife. Here was a girl who wanted to make something out of what she had and make the most of it. She was doing just that. From the ramblings of math to her parents and the time when she was almost married off to a geezer; I think she just wanted to talk. Popcorn does crazy things.

Obviously tired, she held on to my hand and rested her head on my shoulder and went to sleep while she was still rambling. It was weird and awkward in many ways how a little girl could get so comfortable with a stranger whose name she did not know. I guess she just had a lot in her mind that day. As she slept peacefully for a whole hour, and made oil stains all over my shirt I swear she was smiling. Maybe, good things would happen to her soon. I hope they do. For it would be a crime to confine a heart with so many dreams and aspirations in walls of tradition which no longer have any significance.

Her stop had come, and she woke up with a jolt and got off the bus. I was looking out of the window; as she was waving to me. I just smiled; there is a god in all of us after all.

I had also missed my stop somewhere way back and was back on my GPS trying to figure out the next route and bus to board.

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Another Chapter

End of a chapter

With house hunting still going on, I took some time off to head to the nearest beach. It had been a while since I saw the waves hitting the shore, and the cool breeze.

Of course the beaches are not the cleanest anymore; it was still something to just gaze at the sunset and the enjoy view from there.

As the sun set, one chapter closed and another opened. To new beginnings..

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Happiness Is Just Around The Corner

As I am pacing up and down across the empty rooms in the house, we so lovingly called ‘Sparta’; I am filled with joy, excitement and this strange uncertainty in a good way. I could never cry, i don’t think I will today as well. A close friend always said “Happiness is just around the corner”; maybe it just is. So I hope!

Sparta had grown with us, the way we had grown used to it. After having spent so much time in this house, I think it has a human soul; and it’s crying out but can’t shed a drop of tear just the way I can’t.

I remember the times, when Albert (the house hold ghost) used to scare the hell out of us; and we swear to have seen shadows in the dark whispers in the night. I guess I am going to miss all this; hope Albert manages to find his way to Mumbai sometime soon.

The sorry looking round table in the hall was where we played poker late into the nights. I was lucky enough not to lose much money to all the crazy gamblers around. It was also where we played the first game of M.A.D. That was the watering hole as well. A bottle of Old Monk still lies there as living proof.

Every corner in the house has its own story. The kitchen where I made the first batch of chicken; and many more later. Sparta made a good host at parties; no one ever went back hungry or not hammered. The posters on the wall, are something I leave behind with the hope that Sparta finds solace in me leaving behind something yet again.

As I spend the last few hours in Hyderabad, I go through all the fond memories with Sparta whoever came to know it. I am sure, everyone embraced it like their own. I look forward to reaching Mumbai tomorrow and leave a part of me behind with Sparta and whoever I have known. I look forward to taking that solitary walk on the beach in the early morning, gazing at the sunrise and wonder what the future beholds; having bid adieu to corporate life for good.

And I do look forward to happiness; because happiness may just be around the corner!

My name in Vineet, and I am signing off from Hyderabad.

Over and out.

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