Through the looking glass

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Long, long time ago ..

I came across this one as I was scanning some old folders. I guess my wingmates from DTE will enjoy it more than others, knowing the context. I do sincerely hope that even others enjoy it too.

"The humourous incident of Mishra in the evening time."

This one evening only Mishra and me were in the wing. I remember the food in the mess that day was far from palatable, so we decided to go out to eat. As we were about to leave the hall, we see Mangu. Actually, we should have been expecting to see Mangu because most of the times he shows up just about when we are on our way to somewhere. And of course, what follows is a flickering motion of the fingers signifying that we wait for him for five minutes. That day we were not in a mood to relent. And so Mangu said, "Order onion uttapam for me and I shall meet you at the restaurent." We nodded our approval and cycled away.

I had been trying to systematically brainwash Mishra into buying a mobike. I could see that he was on the verge of conversion. Anyway, we were on the frust corner and I was again extolling the virtues of a bike when we saw this Kinetic Honda coming from the Tech Market. Surely, the guy riding the Kinetic also saw us. He expected us to stop and we pinned our hopes on him. Turned out, none of us was worth the faith we had in each other. Right in the middle of the road, the Kinetic banged into Mishra and went skidding away.

Mishra let out a groan of agony. I was psyched out and so were the people around. The rider on the storm was in a belligerent mood because we didn't stop. However, we decided that rushing Mishra to the hospital had to be scheduled first. We took a rickshaw and went to the hospital. I rushed Mishra to the emergency room and told the nurse about the whole situation. The Kinetic Honda guy also had reached the hospital by then. He wore two horrible bruises on his left arm and leg.

Meanwhile, Mishra had been groaning incessantly. The nurse began to role up Mishra's trousers to the spot where the pain seemed to emanate from. After she had rolled up to above his knee, the three of us strained our eyes trying to find a bruise, a cut or even a scratch. While me and Mishra were going through alternate cycles of relief and disbelief, the nurse was overcome with mirth and let out a boisterous laughter. I, red-faced, suggested that the injury could be internal. The nurse replied, "Don't worry, we will check that also." Somehow the tone of her voice seemed far from reassuring. By this time, we came to know that the gentleman who crashed into us was a defence personnel. It would be unbecoming of him to acknowledge the pain that the injury had inflicted upon him. As a result, his countenance bore an expression betraying mild rage. And the nurse turned to look at him and found the contrast all the more humourous. Anyway, we got the X-ray done to shred the last pieces of doubt and we came back to the hall.

Fifteen minutes later, Mangu walked into Mishra's room and asked "Where is my onion uttapam?"

Saturday, October 14, 2006

In Search of Greatness

This is in response to a recent post by one of my better friends. So ideally, this should be in the comments section of his post. However, I chose to put it on my blog instead. Part of the reason is that I thought it will get greater visibility as a new post rather than as a comment – though I must say this guy’s blogs get a lot of hits – or so I have been led to believe :p. The other reason is that I can’t seem to hit upon too many ideas for a new post.

Writing an executive summary is something I hate as much as repetition. I suggest you to go read his blog first.

I have myself spent countless nights fretting over the fact that the way I wasting my life, generations to come will hold me guilty for it. Delusions of grandeur – a problem lot of us experience and learn to live with. I won’t say I no longer do the same, however, of late; I have begun to wonder if that is the correct way to go about life.

Here I will take a slight detour – “Hazaron Khwahishein Aisi” is one of my all time favourite Hindi movies. People tend to have strong views for the characters – one way or the other. One of my friends thought the character played by KK was pathetic because he represented that section of born-with-silverspoon-in-mouth losers who are just looking to grope to something so as to give their life a meaning. I do not agree with his judgment, but I have a feeling that the above description is a good fit for the “thought leaders” in our generation, yours truly included.

I have often heard people say how great it would have been to be born before independence – there was so much to do. I myself would want to be in the America of 1960s – the time of Vietnam, the time of psychedelia, the time when music was created like never before and never after. History demands a great price for admission into its annals. And the generations most remembered by it are those which have suffered the most. Indeed, for such generations, being remembered would be a small consolation to the pain they went through.

We must remember that generations find the gems of greatness in the chasm of chaos, sorrow and pain. Our generation has been born into a valley - semi-green, with some glaring brown spots. Turning it into a lush green one is surely a handful task, however, it is not glamourous enough to guarantee a direct entry into history books. Alternatively, we could just stroll about this valley, enjoying a beautiful sunset, a good book, a bottle of fine wine. Either way, some of us will find the stray gems of greatness. For others, life is still worth living.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

When it comes to drinking tea, I am often overcome with greed. This afternoon, when I decided to make tea for myself, I was looking for the biggest vessel possible, short of the kettle itself. My options were a largish china cup and a larger whiskey glass. I succumbed to the temptation and poured the contents into the pan as per the measurements of the whiskey glass. After the tea boiled, I poured it into the glass. As I touched the glass, I realized why it was not called a tea glass – it was too hot for any human to hold it. About tea, it is said that some like it hot and I belong to this group. I felt like the greedy dog that barked at his own reflection and lost his piece of meat in the process. The problem solver in me rose to the challenge and I begin to think how I could avoid losing my piece of meat. I drew the following decision tree:

The decision tree clearly indicated the path I had to follow. The tea was nice.

Moral 1: Some stories have no morals

Moral 2: Every little convention in the world need not be probed

Moral 3: Decision trees can help you make good money if you are in career where you charge clients per hour