July 15, 2004

Heat

You know it is hot like hell, when all it takes is less than a few minutes, after a shower, for the first beads of sweat to appear on you brow. The last time I felt this miserable about the weather was during my early days as a student in Delhi, sharing a shoebox room with two other batch mates. Our room was a barsati and by the time we would come back from the institute, it used to feel like being inside a pressure cooker.

As a result, we used to sleep with the many others on the open terrace, looking at the stars in a windless night, hoping that the fumes from the mosquito coil would keep away the buzzing creatures from us. Around us, the times when sleep was elusive, the rustic village-turned-overcrowded-shanty could be seen in the moonlight, looking like an ailing, suffocated beast, waiting, in vain, for a chance to exhale.

That was towards the end of 2000 and since then all three of us have gone our different ways due to various reasons. There was a time when we used to think, considering the tough times that we pulled through together, that our friendship was going to last forever. Now we know it does not work that way. If it was the lack of time in one case, it was a lack of consideration that that led to the split in the other.

After the loss of many a good friend and now in the august company of hindsight, I still cannot say whether I understand how friendships work. Over time, I have moved through many sets of friends. While some have had the displeasure of being discarded by me, the intervention of poetic justice has ensured that I get paid back in the same coin and be discarded by others.

There used to be a time when I would try to keep all of them with me, if it was possible. I would jump over multiple hoops; push myself into impossible corners and in general make a total idiot of myself trying to keep everyone happy. Thankfully, that has changed considerably and these days I prefer dying by a handful of swords that I choose to live by too. Still, I do wonder about those times.

Meanwhile, the heat continues unabated. I can see the shadows outside crisp like a summer noon, even though it is past five in the evening. The air conditioning in the room stubbornly refuses to work for more than a few days in a row and there is not a single fan in the room. I cannot escape the feeling of living in a novel set in the old days of the Raj -- feeling hot, sweaty and very bothered.

July 12, 2004

Echoes

Conversations in corridors are always of great interest if you are a passerby. In well populated corridors and staircases, it feels something like moving in and out of various consciousnesses. One moment you could be listening to someone saying “the problem is that I cannot do anything about the problem” and next it could be someone delivering the much-beaten-about lines of courtship and flirtation. Eavesdropping? Maybe, but it certainly is good fun when you have to work five floors, countless times, to do even the most menial of tasks.

That, incidentally, is no excuse for the lack of anything new here, nor do I have any other excuse that is worthy of any mention. The long and the short of the tale is that I am fine and well. The only problem is that I am bored out of my mind and in constant conflict with the monster called routine, which doggedly follows me around all the time. For the time being though, you, my dear reader, will be spared of another of those ‘damn-what-do-write-about-now’ bouts of verbal diarrhea and be guided over probably mildly better matter of interests like a mildly-different weekend.

After the best-laid plans for a partying Saturday went totally awry, we found ourselves looking almost skyward, in one of the front row seats, at the giant screen for a late night show of Troy. Bulk was in abundance everywhere and so were ample instances of unintended humour. Pardon us Greek Gods for not lending enough gravity towards the tale of pathos and a stellar example of crappy movie making on the screen. But we certainly did have our bang for the Rs. 75 buck a pop and save the Brad Pitt-induced droolfest by the ladies, it was, all things considered, not a bad way to spend a Saturday night.

Around evening, Sunday picked up speed and chugged on towards a meeting of seven bloggers and one non-blogger at one of the local watering holes. At the head of the table, was the ‘high’ priest of the Delhi Blogger clan – Simple Simon – at his often-failingly menacing best. Towards my left was seated the bovine clan – Boomsa and the Tuber, followed by my good friend and non-blogging colleague. And on my right was the fabulous Wonderbug, the star attraction of the congregation, seamlessly switching between her mommy and blogger modes, flanked on her left by Surinder ‘I-love-Schumie’ XX and Reshma.

Reverting back to the main ‘done-to-death’ theme, one of the reasons why I don’t update the blog much is that I can’t seem to beat redundancy when it comes to tackling certain issues on the personal front. That is reflected on the blog with entries that maybe different from each other only in terms of metaphorical mockery and nothing else. Thus, as long as the larger malaise, of the actual life, remains unchanged, there would be nothing new here. For me the blog is just an echo chamber, where I can listen to myself interpret things, chart a clear path for my thought pattern and see, just for myself, where I trip and fall.

Beyond the falls, things are changing all around; only if the damned weather would change too. Someone should tell them Gods that the adage “change is the only constant” applies to weather too. Another cousin is about to take the plunge and will be getting married soon. The folks have breached the topic in one of our previous strained conversations. The future is very much an unknown, yet exciting, dark road ahead. And the journey with no specific destination or purpose moves on ahead like a steam engine that tears into the darkness. How in the world can you explain all this to anyone at all? How in the world can you describe what is it that you want and what is it that you are looking for, when it is yourself that you know the least about?