Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Laughing at the Narcissus

Yes, I know I write a lot about myself but believe me, I think a lot more about myself than I write about myself. Didn't you notice one of my post labels read 'Narcissus'. But I am not self- obsessed for nothing as most of us are. I talk so much about myself just because I like talking about interesting and important people (well, to me at least).
OK, PJs apart, I am not as self-obsessed as I may seem. In fact, I have been deft in proving a dork of myself, that is - knowingly and intentionally too. And I have had cracked quite a few practical jokes on myself, just to make some special folks smile. I re-realized this when I read some old mails and found a few of the jokes I used to crack on myself.
One of my most oft repeated one (well, most of them are) is "Had my teeth been just a little larger, I'd have sold them for elephant tusks." And another one "my face is so oily, I fear USA might attack it".
One was during the lazy summer days, when I used to watch at least a movie a day. I wrote in an e-mail, "When I watch a movie, I feel guilty of not studying and I can't study when i feel guilty. so i go on to watch another movie, which makes me even more guilty and ......the cycle goes on."
And whenever I cook, I recall the first time I cooked a full meal at home - the 'parantha' made a 'tannnn...nnn...nn..n' sound as I placed it on my plate. But since the first time, I've learnt a lot and now I am a lot less pathetic cook, so my latest RCP (Repeat CP - sort of gobbledygook for IIMA people, so if you are not one, leave it) is - "Wah (with a big Waaahhh!!!), kya khana hai! Man karta hai ki banane wale ke haath choom loon." As a matter of fact, I do :D.
And being a cleanliness-freak, there is a lot about that as well. Like - how I emphasize on keeping my doormat on 17 inch from the door, 21 inch from the wall, and equally divided by the line between first and second floor-stone. Just because of this simple aesthetic sense, some people believe I have OCD, i.e. - Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. I mean, what the heck man!! Ain't you misunderestimating (sic) me??? Au-contraire, I think I have not only OCD but also schizophrenia, social anxiety disorder, narcissistic personalty disorder, avoidant personality disorder, neurasthenia, Asperger syndrome, separation anxiety disorder, attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, borderline personalty disorder etc. etc. At the end of it all, I was told I am just hypochondriac. How disappointing for an aspiring psychopath.
But to forget yet another failure, I crack another joke on myself and laugh on...

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


लेकिन एक दिन उसने एक निर्णय लिया और पिछले सब कुछ को छितर-बितर कर दिया। मैनें देखा और एक क्षण के लिये सहम गया। उसके निर्णय पर कोई भी सहम जाता। फिर कुछ समय बीत जाने पर एक दिन उसके पास बैठ कर मैनें शान्त भाव से पूछा,"यह तुमने क्या कर दिया चन्दन...?

उसने भी उतनी ही शान्ति के साथ जवाब दिया - "एक क्षण आता है देवेश, जब निर्णय लेना ही होता है। चाहे वह कितना भी कठिन क्यों ना हो। असमंजस के बीच जीवन नहीं जिया जाता...!"



देवेश ठाकुर

मैं इस कहानी का चन्दन हूँ जिसने एक दिन एक निर्णय लिया और पिछले सब कुछ को छितर-बितर कर दिया।

I have always been wary of taking decisions, especially where others have stakes or concerns - 'what if something goes wrong? what if it hurts anybody? what if the other one wants it the other way?' Not that I never took decisions but I always preferred to think through and a bit longer (often irritatingly too long to be noted as 'a bit') than it should be. Further, I also almost always accepted what others had decided for themselves and even for myself - again just because it makes the other one happy and I always liked to respect others' opinion than thursting mine on theirs.

And ironically, I never realized when this respect and concern for others' decisions got the better of me - I just forgot that I can decide. I became impotent of settling matters. I started evading decisions, even if I am not fine with that - the respect and concerns, all got submerged into a submissive timidity and I followed what others decided for me. Even more ironically, I persisted on thinking that this is out of my concern for them and not out of my impotence as a decision maker. This not only costed me heavily in the form of confusions and sufferings but also irritated my most near and dear ones as well for this evasive and submissive attitude.

But then, as they say, wisdom dawned upon me. I realized that this is not concern anymore - this is cowardice, pure evasive cowardice. This is my life and if anybody can decide for it - right or wrong, good or bad - that one should be me. And I have to face the music for my own decisions, I have to face the repercussions of whatever I decide, and I have to stand up to whatever I deserve. This is for the good of not only me but also those who are close to me and matter to me. And I have already taken a decision that has affected many and has cleared a lot of fog from many lives, including yours truly.

After this enlightenment, I felt really ashamed of my cowardice and idiocy and wanted to confess. I hope all who endured me with all my idiocies and idiosyncrasies so far would forgive me and just keep loving me (or hating me) as they always have had.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Of Charandas, Meursault, and Martyrs

Part one: Charandas Chor
Charandas, the thief, commits jokingly to a sage that he will never ride an elephant in a procession, will never eat in a golden vessel, will never marry a queen, and will never accept to be a king. All four being improbables for a thief, the sage asks him for one more promise - of speaking truth always. Charandas agrees to that. Fate brings him to all four opportunities - the queen, impressed by the truthfulness of Charandas, invites him to the palace riding on an elephant in a procession and to dine with her in a golden plate. He denies both. Even more impressed, the queen proposes her to marry and become the king of the land. He denies that too. Finally, queen requests him not to tell this to anybody that a thief rejected the queen for marriage. Charandas says that if somebody asks he cannot lie. The queen threatens him of death but Charandas remains firm on his commitments. The queen kills Charandas, the thief.

Part Two: L'Etranger (or) The Outsider
Meursault, a French in Algeria kills an Arab by mistake. He is trialled for murder. A chaplain insists him to confess in the name of God and set himself free. Meursault says he does not believe in God. The chaplain insists that it doesn't matter, even if he doesn't believe but he must say so to save his own life. Meursault says that he cannot lie and gets a death sentence.

Part Three: The Martyrs
Charandas and Meursault are no less than martyrs. Both of them sacrificed their lives for truth. They made a commitment - to oneself or to others, and stood by that. To me, they are no less than martyrs who die for values, for truth, for justice, for rights. They could have saved their lives easily with just one lie. But then, I guess, they would have had to die a million deaths with the burden of a lie in their heart. To them, it was better to die for what they believed to be right than to live with what they didn't. And to me too.

Saturday, November 3, 2007


There is a classic movie titled "It's a Wonderful Life". The theme is pretty simple yet the direction, actors, and the juxtaposition of events made it one of the most memorable classics. The protagonist faces a lot of difficulties and finally, after a failed attempt of suicide, wishes that he had never been born. His guardian angel grants him the wish and he realizes that he had brought so many changes to so many lives and that the world was even worse without him.

How would this world look like without me?? Better?? Worse?? Even better?? Even worse?? As it happens with everyone, I cannot judge myself either. It is better left to others - unto them whom I have caressed or harassed, kissed or kicked, loved or loathed...

But I got a feeling that something somewhere has gone wrong - terribly wrong. The real problem is that I really don't understand anything of it - when, what, where, and how? On second thoughts, I feel even more terrible - I seem to know it.

I guess, the world would have been a much, much better place without least for me.

As Ghalib said:

डुबोया मुझको होने ने
ना होता मैं तो क्या होता

and the tumult stretches itself even force me to write:

रहा गम मुझे अपने होने का लेकिन
अगर मैं हूँ तो इसमें मेरी खता क्या

Thursday, November 1, 2007

All that comes and that doesn't come to my mind

Life is a pendulum. The more the things change, the more they remain the same. Its yesterday once more. And once more...

So don't fear
if you hear
a foreign sound
to your ear
It's alright Ma,
I'm only sighing!!

Some apt line comes to my mind:

इलाही फिर मज़ा क्या है तेरी दुनिया में रहने का
हयात-ए-जाविदा मेरी ना मरग-ए-नागहा मेरी


किसी मौसम का झोंका था
जो इस दीवार पर लटकी हुई तस्वीर तिरछी कर गया है।

बस तेरा नाम ही मुकम्मल है
इस से बेहतर भी नज़्म क्या होगी।


Related Posts with Thumbnails