Saturday, July 25, 2009


This is the name I gave her - Emma.

I was in class 10th, when I first saw her and that was a crush at first sight. I guess high-school crushes happen that way only - at first sight. Since I didn't know her name for very very long, I gave her a name after her school only - Emma Thompson Convent.

What we do at fifteen, I wonder, how it becomes a laughing stock only few years later. And so is it for me today. I used to plan my schedules according to hers. Every market visit for comics was tuned to her school return or her coaching classes. As a result, I used to visit bookstall at noon during summers and late evenings during winters - weather was no issue if it was for Emma.

Once I went to play cricket in her neighborhood, just because that ground was in front of her house. However, I ended up being attacked and chased by a dog and getting a severe sprain and swelling in my foot. I was forbidden to move for about a month but even that came out for good. As I was confined to my room, I used to sit in my balcony early morning and as a surprise, I came to know that Emma is friends with another girl opposite my home. So I could see her every morning when she came there before school. That was the best summer injury I ever had and most inspiring poetic mornings too.

Once she tried talking to me, when we were in the street, waiting for a procession to pass. And I was so dumbstruck, I didn't utter a word. I know I lost that moment but who knows if it would have made any difference. And once I had read the whole telephone directory to search all the addresses on her street. Eventually, I discovered a lot about her. Like - family details, address, phone number, college, courses, and seven years later, her real name too. But her real name didn't matter anymore - she was, for me, Emma, forever.

Ironically, with so many memories, I have no picture of her. I don't even have my old diary, which had an almost day by day recording - had to tear that off due to some reason. It lasted for seven long years before I finally thought of moving on. Actually I realized by then that I don't have either the guts or means to make anything possible. Perhaps that was very typical of me - by that time, I loved her feel and image more than I loved her.

I wish if she'd ever know that someone loved her so much and for so long...even, gave her a name - Emma...!!! or perhaps, she does...!!!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

History, Saputara, and We

That what has never happened is also a part of history.

"We were in Saputara 15 days ago and in 15 more days, I'll be leaving for Bangalore."

This is what I should have written in my diary exactly one year ago.

I never did.

We never went to Saputara.

I went to Bangalore.

Soon, there was no 'We'.

Saputara became the Neverland of my life.

That what has never happened is also a part of history.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Parallel Universes

Scientists say that there are infinite parallel universes and in each of those, moments unfold in different ways. In those parallel universes, all the possibilities are lived. I wonder if things are different for me in one of those parallel universes.

Is there a universe where I get to do all that I want? May be, I am more sincere for studies in one of those. May be, I have continued with business and have not studied much in another. Somewhere I must have become a writer and may be, in one, I am a professor. Perhaps, I have even become a politician in one or a poet perhaps. In one of those, I might be an adventurer, a traveler, or a photographer. May be I do not exist in one of those.

Is there a universe where we are still friends? Is there a universe where we are still friends only? May be, in one of those, we have never met. May be, in one of those, we have never separated.

Perhaps, in one of the universes, I have got the superpower of constructing parallel universes. May be in that universe, I know what has happened in all the other parallel universes.

In at least one, I must have gone mad.

Is there a universe in which I am happy?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Why I love the IIM of A

After spending four years at IIMA, as the time to leave is approaching, I progressively feel like not leaving the place. The reason?? Well, it is not the magnificent buildings listed on world's greatest buildings or the huge campus that is full of birds, greenery and scenery. A lot of other places have great buildings and greater landscapes.

The faculty is great indeed - one professor was on sixth pay commission, another on the Sachar committee, one was the member of industrial commission, two of them have a testimony from the Nobel prize winner team for their work on climate change, and the list of great ones is too long. But the reason for my love is not even such distinguished faculty. Even the opportunity to meet and listen to many luminaries, including Soli Sorabjee, Harsha Bhogle, Arun Myra, Pt. Hari Prasad Chaurasia, Sunil Bharti Mittal, and Arun Shourie doesn't bind me so close to the place. Its definitely not the IIMA administration, which is typical babudom - inefficient, corrupt, and rude. Even the city and its weather are rather unlikable. However, I still don't want to leave the IIMA.

In fact, few days ago, I re-realized why I love the place and why I am going to miss the days spent here. Perhaps that is the same reason that makes IIMA one of the best institutions in India. I love the place for the peer environment I got here - And which is not the case with most of the campuses in India. IITs may be a close exception but their size is so big that close interactions are often not that easy.

For the past few days, I've been getting stimulating, intriguing, and pretty idiosyncratic ideas from some of my batch-mates on the subjects ranging from ethnic conflicts, politics, civilization, human evolution, religion, and sociology. Likewise, I had a four-day long and academic discussion with some on the quran and islam related matters. Debates on politics, capitalism, socialism, budget, and government policies have always been intense, long, and diverse - be it the classrooms or the virtual notice-boards of D-Babble. More than that, there were always people around to talk and teach about technology, science, economics, politics, history, and culture.

Interestingly, I got not only wonderful academic discussions with seniors, juniors, and batch-mates alike, there have been gems on a range of arts as well. For one, those long discussions on Ghalib and Gulzar with some in my section and once, I even had a wonderful listener to all my poetry. I had some lessons on Sikhism from one of my dormmates and on islam from a junior. There were plenty of them who tested their musical sense on me and tried putting some tune into my larynx (however, all failed drastically and I am as out of sync as always).

When I bought an electronic cooker, I had a wonderful friend to experiment with me and teach me the fundamentals of cooking afresh. Some friends taught me to play with my new camera and one even happily posed for it many a times. And this is not it - I got access to an enormous repository of movies of all genres and languages and ages, all sorts of technology and finance whiz kids around (who still sound like gibberish), sports freaks, toughest quiz masters, journalists, military men, and even a few lawyers... all in one package of IIMA.

Now tell me, who would want to leave such a campus with all the blessings of genius colleagues, so many memories all around, and so much more still left to explore in life...!!!


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