Sunday, March 4, 2012

Lost, Found and Ageing Ungracefully: A Ranting Autobiography

                     Volition. Certainity. Choice. Decision. Career. The ordeal came slow to me, who, for the best part of twenty years had lived amongst the all the elevated comforts of an extremely middle class household. Blessed with a tongue for the tongue-in-cheek ,and a sense of humour that shuffled between ribald and effervescent, more often than not I found myself in the company of a more elevated section of society, that tended to live a different life style from the one I had grown up listening and envisioning of the archetypical. My identity had, over the years, the tendency to erase the person I was growing up to be, along the way. So, at any given point, my physical structure or his personality had no bearing upon what person I was just before the sweeping phase changes. Simply put, I, at the tender-but-not-so-vulnerable age of twenty, had transformed from a silent boy, to an excellent academic schooler, an ebbing and flowing early teenage, a rebellious and social late teenage, to an uncertain twenty-ier. My face had aged quite rapidly. From the complete lack of whiskers by high school to a scholarly full beard that I sport now. And through times of adversity, it felt like the beard gave me a much needed identity and a sense of much required purpose.                                                    
                      My social life has never been bereft of company. I have and have had many friends. From different classes of society, different religions and cultural backgrounds. It is truly amazing how much they taught me about the ways of the world. From the abstract to the tangible, from love to booze, there was nothing that these fabulous people left me wanting. Yes, there were problems. But nothing that could be pinned down to the company that I kept. Mostly, it was me. And I always knew it. My life had suddenly transitioned from having been bullied through school, an all boys' school at that, and spat upon for the way I looked, dressed or spoke. I had, in quick time transitioned to become "socially acceptable". My language was immaculate, never short on a cultured wardrobe and multiple pairs of footwear, and a sense of humour that was sharply on the rise. I began to be well versed with things around me and acquaintance with people of higher IQ's did me no harm. I absorbed it all. I was quite enjoying the sudden influx of people after a lonely childhood spent crying in front of a chapel or arranging G.I.Joe action figures and watching Cartoon Network which served as "best friend" through school. My one good buddy, I lost in a time when parents were busy changing both their insitutions whilst reflecting upon their job transfers.                                                               
                     The birth of peers in my quiet and lonely time, was a welcome boon for my overall inter and intra personal skills and personality development. At teenage, I had finally seemed to have found solace at my tuition centre where friends and girls (shout out to you lovely people :D) slowly began to mould me into a socially acceptable predicament. The traumatic seperation of my best friend seemed to slowly hurt a little bit lesser everyday, a burden I carried for five lonely years. Things began looking up, grades began dropping down. With the help of my tuition teacher, the only one who probably seemed to be understanding of my exuberance and potential helped me clear his Tenth boards with seemingly decent grades. Mother too, played an important moulding role and I got through tenth without many bruises save for ones that were said about my shockingly degrading academic performances. They too were forgotten, and me being only too eager to have fun only, didn't reflect much about my opinion on my further education.                        
                      Before I knew it, I was in an institution I seemingly disliked apart from all the wonderful peers I befriended there,  and owing to a huge cultural divide and such factors, adapting to the new place and its expectations went topsy turvy tied up with the joy of having so many girls around, a privileged sight for a starved kid just out of a boys' school. Things rapidly escalated from bad to worse, and needless to say and with no help from myself I was out of college. What followed was the tortorus exercise of attending a professional course at undergrad level with classmates that seemed to be brash and non sofisticated to say the least, at the whims of Mother dearest, who by now had given up hopes of her son becoming an "Engineer". At the time, I was adamant to prove a point , but little did I realise that through three years of the course, I was truly on the path of "un-becoming" an engineer. Questions and eyebrows were raised domestically and situations and arguments at home only seemed to get worse. But friends and bonds only got stronger. Which I don't essentially know till date, if from a professional stand point is good or bad for me. But i figure there's more than this that needs addressing from my side.                                                                  
                      After endless nights of silly indulgence and a tendency of over dependance of alcohol to address life's gravest problems, and a tumultous roller coaster of involvements with the opposite sex, life seems to have slowed down. At a pace, I feel most comfortable with. Today, and with every passing day, I get a little more certain of what I want to do. Of what I want to become and what should "un-become" of me to achieve. Bordering 21, a whole fearsome road of uncertainity lies ahead and a lot of adversity too. Convincing people that are close, isn't going to be easy. Nobody said it was. Post 21, and in a line that doesn't pay much appeals to none. But satisfaction seems to be more on the cards than a  pointless six figured sum. And I'm guessing this doesn't thrill the opposite sex much either. Neither does it thrill Mother. Makes Father a little more supportive, yet cautious at the same time. It is time for me to choke. Or have the last hurrah. So a buddy calls, and calls me out for a few beers. Beer. :D Gah. Friends. Those nit-wits are always around. Even at times I'd like to sound serious and focussed. Coming up, 21. 

Monday, February 13, 2012

Then There Were Two

                   One chilly morning, one a park bench, two men sitting on two extremes ...  Silence, ambient, to the discomfort of the hour. They exchange furtive glances, fleeting looks, as though the sands of time seem to be aligned against them. Every passing second dissects resolve like a knife through butter. In the eyes, are two men who seem bereft of acceptance, the same individuality, the farcical society around them encouraged to build. The futility of the ideals that we seem to uphold, seems as fragile as the mind in face of adversity, being hypocritical at best. Our morals tweaked to subliminal levels, only to re-surface at times of malicious judgement of another. The cruel foundation of "society" that seems to evolve out of tainted religious ideology and blind faith. One, that believes in "The word of God" when the fact remains, that God, till date remains a man made concept. Two men, who at crossroads of life, have nothing to pin their hopes to, save for but something that spits in the face at the hour of their irony: Hope.                                            
                      Raghava, 28, is a software engineer. Born to a stereo-typical middle class Brahmin household, he now is the primary bread earner of his family, and much to their delight brings home a six figured sum every month. They are now a well settled family ... a suave duplex house, a Maruti car and the Sodex-ho vouchers for groceries every month. Its all smiles at Raghava's houselhold, save for a particularly sensitive issue ... that of Raghava's wedding. Raghava with practiced guile, dodges these questions, and the issue is repressed, only to be pursued with more vigour another day. For now, he is content. But, one look at Raghava, and you see the fabric of the man that has a cloak on, for reasons that he probably cannot put into discussion. He sits on the left hand side of the bench, as a righteous Marxist would.                                          
                      Aaron, age 19, is a journalism student. Aaron stands out amongst his peers like a dove amongst a bunch of crows. An ardent admirer of Beethoven, and a fantastic artist, his apparent disinterest in football and heavy metal music seems to be only overshadowed by his preference of dressing up in particualry bright colours and high waist pants. The pattern emerges, that Aaron has had obviously, quite a rough childhood, especially studying in an all boys school. A special lad, diligent and full of life and conversation and ideas when amongst free thinkers and people without inhibitions. Despite having faced and overcome all his nuances growing up and a difficult time through adoloscence, there seems to be a more pressing matter in the ornately built mind of his. One that seems to counter the Bible, the very essence of all things taught to him at home and school. He sits on the right, hoping to be ... as he seems to be on the verge of questioning the very ideals his foundations seem to have been laid upon.                                            
                     Raghava and Aaron look at each other. In face of their inner turmoils, they seem to smile at each other. There seems to be a sense of timelessness descending down upon the moment that they share. There's a look of knowing, sympathy and comfort that are exchanged and they seem to be each other's strength to question the very same morals that they grew up listening to. Yes, they were free thinkers. And in love. Armed with each other's strength to face the inhibitons and questions and disgracing that this pseudo-idealistic society was ready to bombard their union with. They smile again, this time with a stronger adulation and a stronger resolve to face whatever consequences they'd have to incur for their "sins" ... "sins" as serious as "loving another man". Burning the Bible and the Gita, collapsing the void of religion to a tangible embrace ... one of LOVE. Raghava and Aaron get up, hold hands and walk away ... from a world that seems hypocritical at best.