The Illusory Reality

Ah, failed again. This was my second attempt.

Aargh, dammit.

Phew… A long sigh.

It seems as if my life, as of this moment, is full of long sighs. I have lost that zest – that springiness which people have at the back of their heels. I am afraid to go to sleep for nightmares may haunt me, which they do far too often these days. I am afraid to wake up for I don’t feel like doing anything. I lie on the bed staring at the ceiling fan hoping for something akin to a miracle if not the miracle itself to happen.

Passivity is what I engage in. Activities may result in failure. Passivity is comforting. I spend hours watching obscure television series and films. I excel at self pitying, maybe the only thing I do excel at. It’s not that I don’t know what to do. I just can’t get myself to do it. I don’t know why but I just can’t.

Another night. Again the fear of nightmares haunting me. The lights are off and I am sitting in the dark supported by the walls at the corner of my bed. I just want to get by this. Please world, leave me be.

A voice comes from somewhere. I startle a little. It is now accompanied by beats and guitar music. I wonder if this is reality or dreamscape. Suddenly a spotlight beams at the floor. There is a sense of movement and a well built man all in black seems to wriggle himself out of nowhere.

The voice intensifies. I can hear it even if I try closing my ears. Yes, I did try to close it out. The beats now go peppy. I feel rather miffed at this for I just wanted to be left alone. But that dancer has something about it. He seems to attract me with his energy. Oh, wait a second, is that Allu Arjun?

I am now witnessing an impromptu performance right in front of my eyes. Oh, I am having goosebumps. I can feel the dance and the music. It feels as if two different realms within me are fighting for the ownership of the kingdom that is me.

Allu Arjun’s dance is now picking up energy. The voice matches it to the count. Not a single tone missed.

Did he just lift me up and asked me to dance? Am I supposed to match his moves? How in the world am I going to do that? But I am doing it. It seems I can dance. Oh yes, I can.

There is a visible change in the room. Am I hallucinating? What is happening here? There is a weird springiness all about me. There is a voice within which says it’s alright. Is it? It certainly seems so.

I can give it another try. What’s the worst that can happen? Yes, I may fail again. So what? There’s always music and dance. A voice says again,

“Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter.
Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”

I don’t think I can fail again. No, I can’t. But don’t you see, the voice cries, it’s not about that. It’s about trying. It’s about dancing to the energy.

The performance comes to a close. As Allu Arjun departs with a gracious move and with him the voice of Anushka feebles, there is an illumination everywhere.

Wait, how did the lights get all open by themselves?

A part of me thus asks, “Is it all real?” Another part questions first, “What’s real?” and then goes on to say, “Does it matter?”

No it doesn’t.

Let’s try again. Let’s go all in again. Let’s win it. In any case, third time’s the charm.

I am blogging for #MaxFreshMove activity at Are you?


The Odorous Friend

College, first year. This is first time most of us are living in a hostel, with its community living, corridors, messes and wings. It was exciting times. There was a world of opportunity ahead of us. I was in Room 404. My room mate seemed nice. And things were going quite well. Until, of course, a smell started engulfing the entire wing. It’s source appeared to be Room 406. I can’t name the person here, but we all knew. We certainly did.

As it so happened the route to our hostel gate from Rooms 401 to 405 was best traversed through the front of Room 406. But we all changed it, independently. We had to. Now the new route meant going from the 200s series which meant traveling at least half of the original distance more. This went on for quite a while.

Then came the time to bell the cat. On birthdays, deodorants were the most common gift, if not the only. But to no effect. Sometimes people threw water in front of the room. I wonder why, but well, they did. Still no effect. Jokes were made on bathing and cleanliness rituals. Nada. Finally one day, one of us, I don’t remember who came to the darn point and mentioned, “Dude, I am sorry to say this but you smell a little. You should do something about it.” The emphasis was on the ‘smell’. We did feel sad. He was a friend, after all, but this needed to be done. We all were in agreement to that.

Surprisingly, he was quite accepting and forthcoming. I always assumed that the person who is odorous doesn’t know about it. That somehow his own nose gets acclimatized to the smell. But he knew. Maybe we were too obvious or well, the nose knew.

I would have liked to tell you that from the very next day, things began to change. But no it took a bit of time. He did do a few things. I am not sure what all but the odour weakened a lot.

By now, I was habituated to the other route. So it didn’t matter much. But still, a couple of years later when his sister was getting married and I along with a couple of other friends went for it, there came a moment, right after the dance, when we all hugged. Now, smell and hugs don’t go that well. Surprisingly, there were no issues. The odour had more or less gone, or maybe we had gotten habituated to our smelly friend. Nonetheless, one of the memories I have of that friend is his body odour, not something I wish to remember him by but it is what comes to the mind first.

I am sharing my odour story for the ‘My Nose Knows’ contest as a part of the #SniffSniff activity at BlogAdda.

My World: A Road Trip with Renault Lodgy

One of my favourite mythological story is that of Ganesha racing around His world. As Devdutt Pattanaik narrates:

One day, the two brothers, Ganesha and Kartikeya, decided to race three times around the world. Kartikeya, being more athletic, jumped on his peacock and flew around the oceans, the continents and the stars. The elephant-headed Ganesha simply went around his parents, twirling around himself, and declared himself the winner. When asked for an explanation, Ganesha said, “I went around my world. You went around the world. What matters more?”

Ever since I have heard of this tale, and this happened quite early in my childhood, I have wondered as to what constitutes my own world. I am, thus, partly glad that Renault is now offering me a chance to seriously think about it.

Every college kid wishes of a road trip. Books have been written on it with Kerouac’s “On the Road” inspiring a generation and Guevara’s “Motorcycle Diaries” launching a revolution. Countless songs and movies have been made on it too. One only needs to search for it. It, indeed, is a genre.

Unsurprisingly, it has been one of my personal dreams to go on a long road trip as well. In which there will be a series of endless roads, experiences and memories.

What will I take on it? Well, I am glad you asked. Assuming that the boot space will be immense, which surprise surprise it is, here are six things which shall constitute my world as I venture out on Renault Lodgy road trip:

  1. Great Company – The most important by a distance. Mark Twain once said, “Heaven for the climate, Hell for the company“. The rest of the things on this list don’t even matter if this isn’t fulfilled. Ideally, I would have loved to bring along my closest of friends and given that it’s an eight seater car, it would have been amazing. But then, maybe it’s time to make some new friends – those who can make even hell enjoyable. I think I am up for it. I have already started preparing my stand up comic routine. I am sure the others will be up for it too.
  2. Good Music – What’s a road trip without good music? Exactly my point. I will bring along a storage device – preferably a heavy duty USB drive with songs from Iceland in Sigur Ros and Amiina to those from Africa with Miriam Makeba and the vocal percussions. We shall groove to Bollywood numbers and philosophize to Bach.
  3. Balls and other such sporting equipment – We shall stopover somewhere on a beach where there are but a few people around. We shall make two goals, or tie a net somewhere, and play football, volleyball, or even croquet if you will. Plato once said, “you can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” and I intend this trip to be as much a self discovery as it is a discovery of my fellow travellers.
  4. Hajmola and Anti-Motion Sickness medicines – A characteristic of a road trip is the occasional break at a dhaba and that person who doesn’t feel because of road sickness. For the former, since I intend to satiate myself with good food and get others to do so too, I’ll be getting a Hajmola. For the latter, a strip of anti-motion sickness tablets. Take one, or at best a couple and be set for hundreds of kilometres.
  5. A tent and a telescope – Late at night, when we shall camp our selves in the middle of nowhere, I shall take out the telescope and as we gaze at the stars above we shall realize what mysteries that lie above us and compare it those that lie within.
  6. Books – As we leave after the road trip to our respective vocations, I wish to gift a few of my favourite books to others. I hope they shall read it, learn a thing or two from it and remember me. I doubt there will be much chance to read while on the trip. After all, people are books waiting to be read too but if I do get a chance, I’ll like to borrow and talk about a few books that others are carrying around. I think it’ll be a lot of fun.

This I am writing without a number, for it is in the realms of the noumenal world – I shall also carry a small Ganesha idol and a kala teeka with me. The Ganesha idol shall go on the dashboard for no car is Indian enough without a God figurine on the dashboard and this is an Indian road trip. The kala teeka will be the first thing I shall place on the body of the car, taki nazar na lage.

Also, I will puposely not bring any internet device. It’ll be just us and the Lodgy. Ah, it feels like I’m all set to go for the trip already. The power of visualization, so they say. Let’s see.

I’m participating in the #LiveLodgycal contest with Renault in association with BlogAdda to get a chance to be a part of the #LiveLodgycal Drive in Goa.

Love – The Other dimension

In my college days, as I left my home for the first time into the wilderness of the real world, I felt a huge void in the corridors of my heart. It wasn’t that I wasn’t excited with the amazing possibilities which lied in front of me. Indeed I was really thankful for them and I did engage with them to the best of my abilities. Still, I was away from home and there’s something about home which just is far too incomprehensible.

The first semester was well under way. Tests, assignments and extra-curricular activities were lining up. I was immensely immersed in them. Hardly a moment to take a breather when I glanced at the calendar and found that my matashri’s birthday was just a couples of day away.

Memories rushed within the contours of my head. Or was it my heart? I soon found myself on a train going back home, if only for just a day. I reached back home much to everyone’s surprise and yet not so for somehow it felt as if they knew. As if it was a foregone conclusion that I wouldn’t miss the occasion for the world. It felt, well for the lack of a better word, heartening. My father was introducing his staff to someone and then seeing me, with a smile on his face, he said, “And here’s my elder son. He just arrived a minute ago.” All chuckled.

Later in the evening, we had perhaps one of the best dinners I’ve ever had in my life. It wasn’t just that the menu was par excellence, although it was. It wasn’t just that the occasion was special, although it was. It was something else. Something more. Something magical. I guess that’s the only way I can describe it.

On my return journey my train, with my berth RACed, was horribly delayed. Most of my fellow passengers were not, let’s just say, in the greatest of moods. I, on the other hand, couldn’t help but be beaming with smile. I still am smiling as I write this thinking about that evening.

In his book ‘The Prophet’, Kahlil Gibran writes, “Love is sufficient unto itself”. I further believe that love is a dimension unto itself. The way it works sometimes it does things beyond the natural grasp and senses of our human four dimensions; and our understanding of them. Perhaps that’s what magic is. This inexplicable happening around us which we can feel, yet somehow cannot. Maybe it’s the events of a mysterious force working in dimensions we just cannot fathom with our logically rooted brains. Maybe we still can get a faint feeling of it for our hearts register something as they can register love. Maybe; just maybe: love is the root cause of all real magic.

I am writing for ​#DilKiDealOnSnapdeal​ activity at ​​ in association with Snapdeal