August 18, 2008

Life in a Monochrome

All my bags are packed and I'm ready to go, the train is waiting outside the door;

I hate to say my boss goodbye...

Well, she's left but I'm struck, Life's like that at times it sucks,

But no more baby coz I'm gonna fly.

Books are waiting, the chips are bought, the movies are there, the coffee's hot.

Oh I’m all set to have a weekend of my dreams.

Well, I actually wrote this impromptu in reply to a query of my BIG weekend plans over a gtalk chat window on Thursday evening. It was one of those moments when you try to feel nice and good about yourself and would make everyone around you feel the same. Actually, I was feeling pretty much awful, for no great reason at all. My plans of travelling back to Calcutta were scuttled. Trying as a last moment effort, I looked at the trains, buses everything for a getaway nearby. But every place was booked and swarming with people running away from Mumbai. Luckily that night G was with me. He and I walked out of office and he forced me to walk down to some place, any place. Normally both of us are pretty awesome, come what may but it was one of those days when I was down and out and G was feeling nice about things around him. We went towards Marine Drive, the one place I always run away to. For the first time the sky was a single colour at Sunset, the colour my mood was in at that point of time. It started drizzling and we walked back to Mochas. Being the Bong that I am, a nice cup of tea always cheers me up. And the Moroccan Mint Tea did just that. The aroma of a well brewed tea with a hint of mint leaves is as exotic as it can get. Or perhaps it was just that I needed something nice in my life and a mint tea was perhaps the only substitute.

We again went down towards Marine Drive and sat at Nariman Point discussing books, discussing for some strange reason Dead Poet’s Society and Monalisa Smile. The wind kissed us soothingly. The water level was higher than any I have ever seen. Little kids were running about selling flags without even knowing what the flags meant. If they knew, perhaps they would have stood together in a huddle, anger in their eyes and hunger in their belly and shouted at us, “Yeh Azaadi Jhutha Hain.”

We sat on the rocks. Our office attire a misfit against the skyline, the laptop bags serving as a distraction rather than an aid. The distance flats in Colaba were lit up. Malabar hills looked on as usual not bothered about the dreams and aspirations that pulsed along the Marine Drive. It was on of those nights when what I could see from Nariman Point was exactly the same as what one could see from a NCPA apartment – Darkness, an all engulfing darkness.

I suddenly wondered if I was allowed one phone call tonight apart from family who I would call. I didn’t have an answer. Faces flashed - Faces that are as important to me as writing, as music, as reading, as perhaps breathing. And I think there I counted my greatest blessing. One phone call would be too less for me. My friends – I have never chosen between them, neither do I want to ever. If I go away without making that one phone call, they would understand.

A called up and met us at Nariman Point. I love it when my friends gel. A got us on a cab and it started raining. The sky poured out it’s pent up emotions. I guess doing something similar is a little difficult for us humans.

Being unhappy is often like a spiral. You just go down with it without realizing ever how far you have sunk. At times, it’s intoxicating. At times, scary. It’s the quintessential Chakravyuha, it takes a lot of effort to get out of it. For me, it mostly takes people who care to say, “It’s ok if you are upset tonight. You better get back soon.” It takes a phone call from the US at night just to remind me that as usual I did not keep the promise of calling a friend and yet things are ok with us. I have been accepted as the duffer that I am. It takes friends who force you out of your room take you to a movie, take you out for lunch and torpedo your plans of reading. Sometimes we yearn for that human touch even though there’s no limit to the strength we can draw from within ourselves. It takes some crazy DJ on All India Radio FM at late nights who remember someone called Elvis. I want to meet this guy. I want to tell him that I too am keeping my sideburns in order to honour the King; before I become too old or too scared to try anything like that.

Life at times turns monochrome. The palette we hold turns empty and then comes friends with their colours, spill some on you, fill your canvas and ensure that the next sunset in Marine Drive will be as beautiful as ever.

Sometimes when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopeless and tragedy, we can thank God for Sugar cookies and fortunately when there are not any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin or a kind and loving gesture or subtle encouragement, or loving embrace or an offer of comfort, not to mention soft spoken secrets and maybe the occasional pieces of fiction. – Stranger Than Fiction


CJ said...

loved the friends spilling colour line... banjo class! :)

and the one about friends gel-ing... relate to it a lot!

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ CJ - I know dude, especially when you are keeping on making new friends.

Shrutz said...

:) We're all too mushy for our own good! Where're you Banjoda?

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ Shrutz- exactly my thoughts. That bugger deserted me. But getting him back pretty soon.

V said...

I was running thru my contacts on my phone. All work. All from work. Don't even respond on gmail these days. Downward spiral?

Madhurjya (Banjo) said...

@ V - most definitely the early symptoms. Take care.