It was after many years I was home. Not that I am nostalgic by instinct, but those pictures of time kept hovering in my mind throughout the day. May be it was the ‘nothing to do’ syndrome making the devil to take toll of the workshop. It was hot and unbearable, the kind of climate I had been used of not being used to, staying all those years in Bangalore. The warmth of those old day reminiscences conflicted with the heat outside and I could manage to trade off for a walk post sunset. I found myself into a different land, not the one I came out looking for. Everything seemed to be renovated and organised, how I always wanted my city to be like. The small tea stall near my house had turned into cell phone recharge point. The sweet shop at the corner of the street had scaled large. The sweets now sat in big metal platters, shelved around within ornamented glass counters. The halwai himself had put on some flesh that had tanned considerably, perhaps out of the heat of the ovens, but the golden chain in the neck would veil the shade quite often.
Ten meters further used to be a video game parlour that had grown into a cyber café, the remote controls, joysticks and television sets being replaced by keyboards, mice and monitors, the wooden creaky gates taken over by revolving hinged glass doors and the frivolous child of the street being matured into a mustached accountant at the counters. I recalled myself putting up a new alibi every other day to convince mum for crediting the expenses of the unmanageable entertainment cost of one and a half bucks per hour that had mushroomed to a rather more affordable fifteen, with pleasure being entirely at your own discretion.
And up the street there came the crossroads at whose pavements we used to gather for Holika’s pyre, its cauldron being restructured into a dais for the traffic policemen to stand and ensure the order that the shrieking traffic demanded of. I looked around for the old houses where my friends used to live. They were there as such, the houses not the friends. I remembered their childhood faces and all those numerous pranks we played. I had no idea where they were today. Time had changed, the city we lived had changed, and perhaps they too had changed.
I walked back home, with a little of anguish in the heart but more of appetite in the belly. The dinner table was laid out with a crockery of ceramics juxtaposed with vases of fabricated floral stalks, adding to the catalogue of dismal mutations haunting my sense of retrospection. I stepped my feet into the kitchen to find an old plastic platter with images of my favourite cartoon characters. Luckily it was there, though, with the imprints faded out. I craved for the food, hoping to do away with the repercussions of the haze of time and also satisfying the abdominal appetite creeping up. The starving stomach couldn’t wait for a serving and I hurried to open the pans to gulp in the feast, so meticulously prepared.
I traversed through the pans just to make an account of the feast my starving belly was going to be treated to, with a flickering phantasmagoric sense of all those multi geographical cuisines I had been privileged all along in those years of exile.
The traditional barbecued pan curry garnished with green coriander leaves, spicy onion fried minced potatoes, thick tamarind sauce caramelized with jaggery and sweetened porridge soaked in milk cream simmered for long hours made the mouth watering delight, washing out all the foam of grimness bubbled out over that short walk outside. The soft fluffy inflated phulkas reminded me of the school day tummy challenges we took for consuming the maximum numbers and the mint and garlic chutney refreshed the lost fragrances of the evening winter snacks of tea and peanut chips savoured with it. I felt glad to be able to reconcile the thoughts lost in time, at the same time realising brevity of this spell of time that would soon fade away and reverberate that psyche of nostalgia.
Being back to school, in those geeks crammed classrooms, I remind myself striving to grasp the rudiments of this fundamental triology. And I remind of all those subtle intricacies, lurked in those hefty textbooks, that tended to cramp every nerve out in my head. I remind of how I used to give up and fall back to those inquisitive pranks played by the less common of the groups there, of which I was more commonly the part. Although I fail to recreate my reminiscences of the most sophisticated first principles of the disciplines taught in those dark classrooms, yet, with utmost modesty, I can make a feeble account of what I managed to pick up out of my limping quest for brilliance. And without further messing up I intend to puke out what PCM had made me swallow years before that makes me live my present today.
It was mathematics, the M of the three idiots, that gave me the intellect to differentiate, the necessity to integrate, the ability to deal with limits and go on with continuity. Physics, the science of the nature, taught me how waves are lent out of a vibrating body(♥) and when its frequency matches with that of another, how it leads to resonance. And Chemistry used to be my favourite as it made me learn of bonding, by exchange and sharing, not of minute miniscule charged particles, but of glances, thoughts and emotions, and everything more intricate and fundamental.
One fine night I saw a dream
That became my dream one day
Every night henceforth I saw the dream,
Of the dream that took my nights away.
Last night too I saw a dream
I must tell my dream came true
Not the dream itself of the last night
But in the dream I saw, it came through.
The dream broke up as the sleep broke down,
With bumps of cold and that of glee
And the one I sought, my dream broke too
Yes the one in daylight I often see.
The dream’s unchanged, uncherished
A world of hope that make my dreams
If the the dream unsought comes true some day,
I dread being fled to the hopeless realms.
Falling for a girl is easy but making her fall for you is like venturing into a startup business. To start with, you keep fretting about it for months, probing on the prospects of making the first move, finding the point of initiation, fitting things into a plan that seems genuine enough to buy on the customer. And then you brood hours into making the feasibility study, giving it every thought where it might crash down, pondering over every step you would make, the prospects of where you take it to the next level, scale up and form alliances. A whole range of questions flicker through your mind, questions on your very own potential to make it through, the first response that turns up, the materialization of it and the prospects thereafter. Ask her out and well she might reject it flat or she might consider and make an excuse or she might even turn up.
You make all the research, survey the markets, analyze the needs and psychology of your stakeholders, prepare a plan to impress the customers and still you never make sure you would even make it on the first step of the ladder. You plan to check out on the customer’s areas of interests, you talk about it to them, you pretend to be their caretakers and you pave and strive to be the best deal for them. Try and sell your heart out to her and you would realize what it takes to be a ‘3k bucks worth’ a sales guy – forget the whole notion of entrepreneurship.
The first response matters, it could close down right there making the castles in air fall to the grounds of reality, shattered to pieces or it could show up signs, of growth, of a potential for investment, of being the seed to getting high in the real market. For the latter, all you would need is the right set of investments, the light, the rain, the chemicals and most importantly the care to nurture. She knows you care for her, but who cares for that?
The first date comes through. Well you’re out in the market but it’s not a big deal yet. What next? Spend more hours of brooding around for the next thing, seek all the free advice, chart out a plan once you find one, and keep hitting the ‘Go’ button in a cycle of iterative development model. After a span of time you start feeling monotonous working around on the same stuff, nothing moving ahead. Nothing goes wrong that throws you out of the park but you fail to fuel the spark that turns on the ignition and puts you in motion. Very soon you find your pockets loosen up, your funds running out, investment attractions fading away and you turn on to stand exemplary of the phrase ‘a fool and his money are soon parted’. And then nightmarish terms like ‘bankruptcy’ haunt you with the fear of closing down. Dating’s no more fun when you get stagnant in those alleys of ‘just friends’ crap, you get eaten up on your finances and you find yourself clueless and helpless of the choked neural hoses of her mind.
The strife continues, you tend to cope up or rather satisfy yourself with the hapless business you make and soon you realize yourself to be part of a race. Well business is always prone to competition and it makes insomnia brim into your eyes gazing at your counterparts, streaming in to cut on your profits and snatch it altogether from you. You have to stay, survive, dominate and outrun the foreign beasts tending to gorge into the flesh of your beloved entity, your enterprise as you claim her to be.
It’s a damn fucking hard thing to let her know how you feel about her. Put your heart out to her and yell it loud enough and you might make a beginning. You live less and die hard to sustain and still you might find yourself like a fish out of water, and that’s where the real business begins.
Like a bull beneath the earth,
This burden I bore,
But I confess to myself,
That I shall regret no more.
Now I won’t be static,
And move on and on,
For there’s nothing to flare,
And there’s nothing to frown.