Sunday, December 30, 2007

Why IS RD The Fall Guy, ALWAYS?

Ok, so what is it about me, that makes me the "Bad Guy", ALWAYS? I really, really don't know. Its weird you know, all these years, and I still don't bloody know, why is it, that in any group that I am in, I always end up as the fall guy. You would think, that any normal human being will have the basic intelligence, to figure out something as simple, and inevitably repetitive as this! But excuse me here for being naive, but I forgot to tell you, its RD at this end, ladies and gentlemen.

The panga started a coupla weeks back, when the new jerk who came in to live with us, started behaving weird with me. Won't speak to me properly, avoided me all the time. I was too busy with my shit to bother much. When you have to live with a bunch of hyper active geeks, you learn to compensate for erratic mood swings. And I was no stranger to this myself. So, I "gave him his space" and zoned out of his immediate sphere.

But wait a sec! Isn't something wrong here? I happened to hear the conversation between him and our third roomie, and things sounded pretty normal to me. Shouldn't he be upset with the "world", in general? Oh no! Don't tell me, its another of those, "RD is to blame for my foul mood"!!!! Great! History Revisited.

Duh! Mom doesn't want me to go ahead and complete this! ;( So, I guess, its gonna be one abrupt ending, right here!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

My Life At SKID

Sumant wants to make a documentary on SKID, the school I teach at, during my lunch break. And he needed a write up that he could use. In under an hour. This is what I could come up with. Pretty lame. But if it can make even one of you, curious enough to visit and spread the awareness, I would consider the effort, to be worth it. Apologies, if this is spam for you. Not intended.

They say, Music is the Universal Language. But how do you say this, to someone who has never heard a single note, in his entire life?

They say, Education is a Fundamental Right of a child. But how do you teach someone who has to fight each and every minute of his life, to just be accepted in society?

They say, Life is all about those little triumphs that make it worth living. Now THAT is something that you CAN tell these kids. Kids who have been dealt an unfair hand, but play on gamely. Without flinching, without complaining.

When I walked into the SKID campus, the first thing that hit me, was the SILENCE. At a subconscious level, we have probably come to associate kids with alot of white noise. Kids at the mall, screaming. Kids at the park, talking. Kids at the circus, laughing. Kids at school, shouting. And so, a lack of white noise, is a hard jolt, that made me look a little closer, dig a little deeper. I had no intention of hanging around for more than a couple of weeks when I first stepped in. But something deep down within, changed. Changed radically, after those few minutes.

And I entered a totally different world. A world away from dog tags (read : employee tags) running around. Away from the world of cribbing and bitching about the employer. Away from the usual mundane activities around which my life is centered. But, into a world of grit, determination, courage and an ability to appreciate the little pleasures of life. Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to my world. The world of SKID.

To give you a glimpse of some of the people with whom I share this wonderful world.

Arun : My puttu Baby. Abandoned by his parents as a "Curse From The Gods". Started doing his homework regularly, after I threatened to teach another kid. Likes to play cricket, but loves to answer my questions in 'Sign'. THE reason for my continued presence at SKID.

Sheeba : The shy, quiet girl, who will surprise you with her display of emotions, once she warms up to you. Her loving hug, when she comes running into my arms, makes my day!

Charan : RD, in a parallel universe. He sticks closer to me, than my own shadow. Always at a respectable distance, but always there. Makes me feel like a good human being that I am not, with his hero worship.

Shalini : Pocket Sized Dynamite. That toothy grin, framed on a face with twinkling eyes, and bratty gaps where the baby teeth have fallen off, is the right medicine for you, on a blue day. Her diminutive stature does not certainly dampen her spirit, on the playground.

Sakshi : By far the smartest of the lot. Made me feel stupid, when I first tried baby talking her, and then proved me stupider, when she reprimanded me for asking questions "suitable for babies", in a class quiz! Tries hard to get her siblings to not be indifferent towards her.

Shubham : Confidence personified. The Little Guy, with Loadza Attitude, and intelligence to boot. Loves to play, read, and show off his smartness. Certainly, my pick as the next gen Thought Leader.

Maybe you dozed off, long before you reached here. Maybe, you were cursing me, by the time you read the 5th line. Maybe, you deleted this, the moment you saw the name of the sender. But, if you are curious to find out more about this little world of mine, come visit us. It will not help you win brownie points from your boss. It will definitely not help increase your "Cool" factor with the opposite sex. But it might, it just might give you some pure, unadulterated joy. A chance to bring back that kid to life, who is hiding so deep down inside of you, that you have probably even forgotten about him.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Silly Rhymes

Can't remember the exact date, but a coupla weeks back, was attending this session on NWDevStudio. First of all, I had no interest in the content. Secondly, the guy really had no skills to keep an audience interested. And somewhere in the middle of all that boredom, I wrote a coupla these silly lines.

RD is flying high, high in the sky,
For all to see, and wave goodbye.
Lonely skies, shiny stars,
Drifting along, like faceless cars.
Lost forever, here and gone,
Time to run away, time to reborn.

Life is dull, life is dead,
Too many folks, trying to run ahead.
Running in circles, round and round,
Stuck in the race, forever bound.
When's the time, for me to be Me,
Everyone keeps telling me, what I should be.
The voice inside, is drowning slowly,
Am tired of walking this path, all alone and lonely.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Raahein, My Road To Myself

What can you say about a bunch of guys, just out of college, with some starry dreams in their eyes, and some solid determination to achieve those lofty dreams? What can you say about the very same bunch of boys-next-door, who come grinning back one evening, and tell you that the first hurdle has been overcome?

I really don't know. And yet, I want to talk about these boys and what they are doing. Not because they are my friends. Not because its 'cool' to talk about folks doing something different. But, because I believe in their dreams. I love what they do. And I draw my inspiration from them.

There will be a host of others speaking about the movie. And I don't think I need to give lip service to something that is so good. So, let me just say, that Raahein, is just what it promises to be. Amateur cinema, at its very enthusiastic best. At its classiest. Don't watch it, so you could appreciate the effort put in by these young turks. But watch it instead, because you want to know, what Loneliness feels like. Watch it, so you could savour the bitter taste of being alone. Watch it, so you could start to love your life, just a little bit more.

Check them out here.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Re : Monsoon Music

Yes VG. I totally relate to how you feel when the rains pour down from the heavens above! ( Its almost like orgasmic pleasure. Unexplainable. Delightfully blissful. Magical...

I would love to sit in the balcony, rocking on my chair, with either a book (Fredrick Forsyth/Robert Ludlum types), a mug of steaming Bournvita within easy reach. If the book is not available, I won't mind tapping away on my lappie working on some Evolutionary Computing code snippets. Equally pleasurable! ;)

The music is 'obviously' playing (that goes without saying). However, my choice will be a little different. What the heck! Very different!

1. Colonial Cousins - Rain
2. Cat Stevens (assorted)
3. Elvis Presley (assorted)
4. Shubha Mudgal - Ab Ke Saawan
5. Anjan Dutta (assorted)6. Jagjit Singh (assorted)
7. Soundtrack of Metro, Cheeni Kum, The Train.

Yes, I think I could live with that! ;)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Motorcycle Monologues - V

'Its like adrenaline, the pain is such a sudden rush from me'. <> True. Pain is a huge rush for me. I do admit that I aint one of the sadistic types, who constantly indulge in self flagellation. No sir. But there are times, times of self doubt and intense disillusionment, when pain is not only the intense pacifier, but also the sole meaning of existence, that I do resort to inflicting some pain on myself. Just to feel SOMETHING. Anything. Anything but the numbness.

And that is what I did when I left her house, 15 'numb' mins later. Her mom asked me for some tea, and from times immemorial, it has been tough, to say no to a cup of tea. So, well, as soon as I left her place, I decided that there was no point in staying back in town (that is what I had initially planned for). There was this numbness that was slowly but surely taking over my senses, and the last thing I wanted was to spend the night at an unknown, unfriendly hotel room!

I am not a pro biker, by even a far shot. Nor is my bike, meant for long cruises. So, it was IDEAL. The moment I left the outskirts of the town, I knew I wanted to do this, without a single pit stop. The fatigue would be intense. And so will be the pain. But then again, that was the whole idea.

But before I carry on with this dead, dull narration, I would like to mention, that on my way out, I took a slightly longer, more scenic route out of the city. And boy, was it Beautiful! For a coupla moments, I had comepletely forgotten the void inside. It was lush green fields around me, cloudy grey skies above, and a pleasant breeze with an ever so slight hint of a chill, caressing my body! It was like a drop of rain, in the middle of a desert. Made my ride, worth it.

The journey back, was predictable. I have done this sort of thing before, and I think, this will not be the end of it, either. Instead of raging against an unknown opponent, I personified it, as pain. After a coupla kms, the ride started taking its toll on me. But I carried on, unrelenting. After some time, it became a duel. Me, against the Pain. The entire focus of my being, of my existence at that moment, shifted to overcoming that intense pain. Eyes steady on the road, ears alert to honking in the rear, and the breathing regular. All senses, working at their optimum, to overcome the common enemy.

I can't articulate the feeling, but when I reached home, I knew that I could make it back, only because of the intense concentration that one derives, when focussed on overcoming an opponent. It wouldn't have been possible otherwise. But the problems, never cease to enter bang in, into RD's life. As soon as the physical stress of it all began to wear off, the pain inside, which I was originally running away from, began to surface. And the worst part of it all was, this time there was no escape...

Out Of Fuel!

Motorcycle Monologues - IV

Have you ever stood in front of a crowd to speak, and then had a feeeling, that your stomach just did a somersault into the pits of Hell? Or, you were crouching to start that all important race, and your limbs feel like jelly?

If you nodded to either of those queries, you would know how I felt, as I approached her house. There was this intense desire, to just turn around, and run away. Errrr, Ride away, I guess. My head was buzzing, and there was this crazy, psycotic churning in my tummy. Like a vaccum, sucking me inside out!

But over the years, I have learnt to overcome such 'difficulties'. The trick is to keep on MOVING. Yes, movement. You need to keep on moving, physically. I think its one of those neurotic things. You keep your body moving, and the repetative, rehearsed movements of your body, have this soothing effect on your mind! Freaky? You bet...

So, I decide to ride around her house a coupla times, to calm the jumpiness inside. Its never a good idea to rush into important things, with clammy palms, and a squeaky voice sounding like a squirrel on high Octane energy drinks! Bad. Bad. Moreoever, its just not RD's style.

Being a believer of the Silva's method <>, I decided to first practise a bit of it, before approaching my 'subject'! And by now, you have correctly figured out, that I was Desperate (with a Capital 'D') to make this thing work. Life's so incomplete without Her. I mean, I so like to make her laugh, hear the sound of her voice, feel her heart beat next to mine, feel her breath on my face. I am so used to it. So, so used to it. Never really thought I would come to miss it so!

I mean, I am RD after all. Women have never been tough to find, or fall for. But never before has it hurt so much. The pain is intense. The urge to have her back, is like nothing I have ever felt before. And it is this feeling, that makes me believe that if I cannot get this woman to share my life with me, I will probably regret it, for a long, long time to come.

I have rehearsed my lines a hundred million times. I know just exactly what I want to tell her. Its simple. Its the Truth. No ego. No false pride. Just plain, simple, naked me. No unnecessary baggage. No pretense. The moment she opens the door, am gonna look her in the eyes. Unflinching. If there is even a hint of hurt, or pain in those beautiful, serene eyes of hers, I will go right ahead, and tell her how I feel, wihtout her in my life. Simple. True. And so, nothing could go wrong.

The door's open, the smell of freshly sawed wood hangs in the air like a fog, enveloping all other smells that emanate from a typical domestic household. Its a little disillusioning. According to one of the principles of Silva's Method, you visualise what you are about to do, in as much detail as you can. I had. And this new, unexpected smell, was NOT a part of it. Definitely No. That's the problem with over preparation. One thing out of place, and your whole confidence level, comes crashing down!

My heart is thumping like a steam piston with a soul of its own. The buzzing in my ears is louder than ever. I think its slowly moving, towards my head now. In some obscure corner of my mind, a now 'relegated to the sidelines RD' is screaming, no no, screeching, for me to turn back, while there's still time. My feet hesitate, and its with the greatest measures of willpower that I manage to reach out, and knock on the ajar door.

I don't like this. Not a bit. Something is wrong. It doesn't smell right. It doesn't feel right. Things are spinning a little. I think I am dizzy with this unease. And before I could turn back, and run outta the door, her mother is there, smiling at me, after it took her a coupla seconds to recognize me, with all the facial hair and all. By now, I really can't feel or hear anything. Its like am watching this whole scene unfurl, from a detached perspective. I hear myself mumble somehthing that was as close to Latin, as anything I know. And somewhere, in the middle of all that confusion, uncertainity and turmoil, I thought I made out her mom say something about her staying back at Bangalore, for the weekend.


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Motorcycle Monologues - III

Alot of people ask me, how I can go for long rides, all alone? Its so much more natural for people to take a coupla friends along. But I never felt the need. Infact, I find it more comforting to travel alone. You are not obligated to make conversation, you can set your own schedule. Your a Free Bird, which is exactly what our daily mundane lives, don't let us be.

However, I must admit, that inspite of this, I wouldn't mind having her pillion ride with me. Oh Boy, At Your Service Miss. We have made a coupla similar rides, in happier times, and well, gotta give it to the old gal, I have never complained!

Anyways, back to the Monologues.

Its surprising, how often I can be so blind to so many things that were like, RIGHT in front of my eyes! Its like, till someone actually kicks my rear end, and tells it to me on my face, I often overlook stuff. And when I am busy running away from most people I know, there aint too many options left, but to listen to the voice inside the helmet, about getting a grip in Life. And before you start to get any illusions, let me tell you, that its DEFINITELY not one of the better ways of getting advice on your Life!

But it sure is therapeutic. Oh boy, it so is! I reached the outskirts of Mysore by around 5, and for no apparent reason, I was feeling pretty good about Life. I had heard of the Japanese hack to de-stressing, wherein an employee can go into a room, and vent his anger at a dummy mmodel of his boss, but never really thought that it'd work! But here I was, living testimony of the practicality of such a system! Amazing, what one can realise, on long, lonely motorbike rides!!!

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Motorcycle Monologues - II

My Dad always warned me against reading too many of those darned books. Sometimes, I really, really wish, I had listened to him. I mean, look at me. Just look at me. I believe I should have been born 20 years before my time, because that is the music, the attitude, the life that I can relate to. I cannot have a normal conversation with most people my age (supposedly)! I live in a Fantasy World where real life issues are over simplified, often misleadingly. Aaaarrrrggghhh!

But well, as it was, I was not ready to admit that things were too messed up for me to even try something. In my mind, I was The Good Ol' RD, out to get his life, back on track. All I had to do, was just turn up at Her doorstep, all dusty, gritty and dirty from the long ride, with that "I Am So Lost Without You, Baby" look, and she will be there, running into my arms, making promises of never going away, ever again! Wasn't it supposed to be as simple as that?

But first things first. Had to call my Best(est) friend first. My Mom. Always a good idea to take her into confidence. I remember, someone I once knew, told me that my whackiness was not really my fault. Its in my genes. And Mummy, just proved him right, all over again! She encouraged me to go right on ahead, and listen to my heart, no matter, how foolish it might seem to be.

Buoyed by this further encouragement, I think I was unstoppable. Fixed the brakes, fuelled up, stuffed in a pair of jeans and a shirt in my bag, and well, that was it. On my way to 'A Better Life', running high on faith and fuel, I was out of the city.

Mysore is 142 kms (give or take a km or two) from my house. Add to that a couple kms to her house, and well, 150 doesn't seem to be a bad estimate. All I knew of her house, was that it was near a college, where I had to take a turn near a 'Red and Yellow' flagpole, and then identify the house, from what I remembered of it, the last time round. Not very tough, considering, that I have already done this once, almost a year back! ;)

After quite a while, I was riding without those nasty earphones crushing into my ear lobes, from the pressure of the helmet. I was sceptical about it though, but well, it was fun to not be listening to something. Riding, for the pure joy of riding. The thumping of the machine, in sync with the beating of my heart, and the roar of the wind, were the only joyous sounds in my ears!

Just to kill the monotony, I started speaking to myself. It was silly scenarios, initially, like having to relate the most embarassing incident in my life, but pretty soon, I was thinking aloud, about alot of issues that have been bothering me, of late. Really, talking to myself (I know, THAT probably set new standards of insanity, but its RD after all)

And so it began, The Motorcycle Monologues!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

The Motorcycle Monologues - I

I won't refute claims that the title of this article is not original. Heck, WHAT have I ever written that has been 'Original'?!! Anyways, for those who are now getting put off by these oblique references, the inspiration for the title came from here. <>

Woke up late on Saturday morning. Loadza things are extremely messed up in my Life, right about now, and waking up early to face them again, is NOT something that I look forward to. Atleast in my DreamLand, I have the liberty to distort reality in my favor!

The day started with watching this <> And for those who are pathetically ill-informed, I am one of those jerks who actually cry, watching cartoon movies. Oh yes, I do... However, while watching this one, the tears did not come. And I was about to celebrate my Growing Up (finally), when another emotion hit me. And boy, did it hit me hard! It made me ride close to 300kms, without any prior planning!

I think the desire was born at the precise moment when RJ (watch the movie to know who HE is), said something about, 'That Is The Way To The Good Life'. I mean, that was in a wholly different context, but am sure you too have had times in your life, when you saw, what you wanted to see, and not necessarily, what was there to be seen. And if you have had the misfortune of being another RD (I am beginning to think that that is a genre now), then you have successfully made a fool out of yourself, because you failed to see the truth.

Anyways, coming back from my musings, I started to think that I too should really go after the 'Way To My Good Life'. Obviously, I had forgotten, that one should never ever listen to the whisperings of one's mind, when the rumbling in one's stomach is louder. And hence began, another of my self delusional, Fits Of Fantasy...

If your still reading, well, hop on!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Just A Year?

Just a year? Just a year you say? Its tough to actually believe that so much has changed over, 'just a year'! Oh, you need not look far and wide for that. Just look around. Alot changes over just a year.

A happy, cheerful man becomes cynical and dissatisfied with everything around him. Folks who loved to be around each other, to talk, to play stupid, naughty games, to make illicitly pleasurable eye contact, cannot stand the sight of another, in 'just a year'. Can't talk, can't smile at each other, in a period of 'just a year'.

Yes, alot changes over a year. But is it justified for me to complain? I mean, after all, isn't change the only supposed constant in Life? Change is everywhere, you argue. Change is in the nature. Change is in Humanity. Change is Everywhere. Then why complain?

I complain, because this change is not for the better. This change is just about everything that I run away from. That I hide from. It is everything that makes me just a little bit more of a someone, that I detest. The Man in the mirror is gradually making me sick. He is not what I wanted him to be. He is not what I needed him to be.

Yes, Just A Year. It was just a year back, that I was a happy man. Waiting eagerly for Life to come, and embrace me in her arms. Seduce me into a ride to paint the town Red. Oh Yes. I remember. It was just a year back. Just A Year Back...

Nothing More, Nothing Less...

Didn't someone once say that Stillness of Heart is what gets you to Nirvana? Well, not sure I would agree whole heartedly. Today has been one of those days that really make me wonder, if I am the man, that I am supposed to be, that I pretend to be.

Everything has crashed down, all around me. However, there's no smoke, no fire. Just an old, tired broken heart. Nothing graphic. Nothing to write home about. Nothing dramatic. But this is how lives crumble. Its a slow, steady descent. Slow, but Sure.

The last shreds of hope, are slowly, but surely disappearing. I am grasping for that lone
driftwood, that I can clutch to and delay the inevitable end. But can't seem to find it. Am reaching out in all directions, but all I can see for miles, and miles around, is just the calm, undulating sea.

Nothing More. Nothing Less...