Sunday, May 17, 2009

Brown pants and a cream shirt

When i'd get up, he'd already be up. I would then get ready for school, while he read the morning papers. He'd leave for work after i left for school. His pant and shirt neatly pressed, and not one day would he leave for work without his pen in his shirt pocket.
He'd come down from work for lunch. We wouldn't talk much. He would then quickly finish lunch, and i would sometimes sit for an hour or so, attempting to finish my meal.
He would then proceed to bed for a quick nap. 2 to 2:30. Then a banana or two, and work again.
Time Management.
In the evenings, when i was out playing and my mother busy indulging in the age old gossip with her friends, i would see a figure from a distance. I'd wait as it slowly approached, and then realising it was appa, i'd never fail to hide my excitement. I'd almost beg with him to play cricket with us. Often he would seem fidgety and angry. But i would always hide my disappointment.
He obviously was tired from all the work.
Hard work.
After his evening tea, he would leave for the 'Gedung-olah-raga' (Badminton court) for a game or too. I would trot along. Sometimes he'd play with me, after his daily quota with the 'seniors'. I would always screw up the subtleties, trying to smash the shuttle cock every single time:-)
Often, appa used to lose a game or two. He'd cry out in frustration. ' Thath Therike' he'd scream out. I would often laugh at this. But later i realised that losing a game of Badminton doesn't mean the end of things.
Be sportive.
During weekdays, we'd go to bed by 8. He would tell us stories about how things were back in India. In early 88, his friend told him that there was an opening in Indonesia. He just grabbed it. Little did he care about going out of the box, or the unstable environment in Indonesia back then, with the dictatorship and communal violence. But yet he went.
Taking risks.
Sometimes even during the night, after 10 or so, a worker would ring the bell. He'd then say that there was a 'masala' in the factory. Appa would do little to hide his anger. He'd quickly put on his brown pant and cream shirt and leave. Sometimes we would follow on our bicycles. Sometimes, we'd wait for more than an hour for him to get back. Sometimes, his whole day revolved around that 'Uniform'. Sometimes, he was called even on Important holidays like Id-ul-fitri. Important, because these holidays were his only free days.
Life's a bitch sometimes.
In the night, after dinner, Dad would watch sun tv. Vivek never failed to amuse him. He'd often laugh until he cried. My sister and myself would often stare in awe, asking amma jokingly if his tears masked his laughter:P. My mother would simply shrug her shoulders. He would then ask me to go fetch him a Bud. Of course, he did offer me some when mom was looking elsewhere.
Have a beer occasionally:-)
One thing he would always do, amidst this chaos of balancing work and life, was make sure we had our fun. Every Friday, and i mean every Friday, he would take us into the city. He always bought me what i wanted. Whenever i sensed a disapproval, i wouldn't care to argue. The last time i visited Indonesia was the time he decided to leave. The company presented him with a Crystal ship, symbolic of his wonderful journey. He commanded Respect in every nook and corner.

A few days back, i was looking through his Cupboard for a shirt. In a dusty corner, there it lay.
The pant pockets carry virtues and values one has to understand in this journey of life. The breast pocket still carries respect. They still lie there. Unperturbed.

P.S-No relation to the above post: I lost my entire Ingmar Bergman collection:(

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


The eagle was in heedless flight
meandering about in circles.
No sense of direction i thought
I only admired it's vigor.

It's flight was quite a sight,
as it weathered the torrent of rain.
From the bench where i was rooted,
I saw a dark figure in the grey sky.

Soon the darkness grew in size
I felt that it was headed towards me.
But the rain helped me gather myself
And i exuded a coherent calmness.

The darkness and rain converged,
The eagle rested beside me.
For a moment, a difficult oneness
One i couldn't even value.

The eagle took off without a trace
And the rain reduced to a drizzle.
Is there ever a conjunt place
For heart, mind and a destiny.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Of casteism, power and lateral thinking!

Casteism- Discrimination and what not. We've seen or heard of it in the Ancient Greek society, the medieval ages, and in lands far and wide. In India, we've been discriminating human beings for several centuries now. Even to this day, a scholar is more respected than a daily wage worker. A man with money, power, or fame is a "Bhai". He is almost worshipped.
Even a politician, an M.P for instance, has luxury written all over him. The common man elects him for a purpose, yet he misuses his powers. He flies in Business class, like there's no tomorrow, Uses money like he actually made it, He is the real untouchable literally...
Who decided that a "Shudra" should pick up soil (i don't fancy using shit here!), while the Brahmins should stay away and ridicule him. The poor man committed a crime. He was born into what he now does, and this cannot be changed. Who is to judge whether or not this soil and rag picker, can actually live a life in the midst of his superiors, without being ridiculed just because his parents and grandparents were tagged with Inferiority. But this is how society has grown, it is merely a farce now. His parents were ridiculed, and so will he. For he doesn't have power to ask questions.
I say it's all in the mind.
One fine day, a man with power raised questions. And so, now these outcasts have rights. They can ask the very questions that a man with power can. This "power" manifests itself in the form of reservation. However unfair it may seem to me (being a Brahmin and all), i cannot do anything about it. I don't have the power. Sure i may argue that Arjun Singh is a retard and stuff, and that reservation is absurd an idea, for i believe that Our Country is secular. It was written in the darn constitution.
One thing i don't understand is why students falling under reservation, get 'discount' in college fees in our University. It is so absurd. It's not like they're still ridiculed even now, that they deserve special treatment just because their ancestors were downtrodden.
In that case, Why don't Jews have a free Israel, solely because their ancestors were slaughtered in concentration camps. It just doesn't work that way.
Ultimately, it all comes down to your status in society. If one has power, he can solicit an outcry.
Society has never been bound by restrictions. It has always circled around Money. If one has Money and Power, he can change history.
This kind of Horizontal thinking may be vertical thinking to someone else, and vice versa. If one can think laterally, and start asking questions, maybe the whole outlook may change. I'm saying maybe...
For now, society is what you think it to be. That's all there is to it.