Tuesday, November 08, 2005

For JB

With my two hands
I can change the world
With my own two hands
I can make a better place,
A kinder place...
With my two hands
With my own two hands...

What are you waiting for? You have been lingering on for so long. Keep your promises. Get your priorities straightened out. Take one things at a time. Take a vacation; find a little space to breathe in. The task list keeps on getting larger and not a single one gets crossed off!

"What was it all about?" - you ask. You see the signs everywhere. You read them on faces that pass you by, You even see them in the blank look in the mirror. They tell you everything. They've always told you everything. You've always known whats been going on even though you could never really afford to. But when you tried to put it all together, string them all up and show it off they got all messed up and you were right in the middle. You got tied up pretty bad and it scared the living daylight out of you. You got so scared that it couldn't be you anymore.

You switched places with your demons. You kept them conveniently locked up in the closet for as long as you could. But they kept on whispering into your years from behind the door, demanding to be let out.

You are getting no younger and one of these days you are going to find yourself really old and none of it will matter anymore. Well, people are supposed to get old. No harm in that. Its just that you were supposed to be somewhere by now and it doesn't look like you are anywhere near it. May be you were supposed to start your life's work? Write the best song in the world? change the world? How come you never had time for any of it? First you put it off till your final exams. Then till you find something to pay the bills and when you get there you don't have anytime till the weekend and weekends are just two short and there are just too many things going on during. It wasn’t your fault; things just didn’t go your way. You just,...didn’t have a 'moment'. Right?

How come the 'moments' are so short lived now a days? And why do they have so many excuses? "Oh! Its way too hot today! Lets just take a shower, turn on the AC and take a nap. May be I will get my 'moment' later in the evening." The weather is perfect the next day; its raining. An old fiend comes to town and you guys have a swell time talking about the rotten weather, mad traffic and crappy literature. You get to be sarcastic talking about how everyone around you 'sold out' cheap. Your cynicism got better over the years. You pat each others backs and say that you really miss the old times. Then may be you will talk about the things you both said you'd do. You scold yourselves for being so lazy or may be you part before you get to all that. Doesn’t really matter. You know it, he knows it, the demons in your closet, the God you disowned, the short lived moments and all the excuses in the world - the lot of them, they all know it and with any luck, you who is reading this (God be kind to you) know it too.

You take a cab to work everyday. You could take the bus. That way you would have to walk all the way to the bus stop which, by the way, is just five minutes away, stand in line for too long (no less than 15 minutes) under the sun (may be you saw a shed but you are not sure). Clearly, taking a cab is a better option. So you are going to work and you are looking out the window. This is probably the only alone time you get to spend with yourself these days. You are never this alone; not even when you take the day off and lock yourself in your room and refuse to take calls all day and not meet anyone in the evening. Somehow, something still finds its way in and it keeps you preoccupied. You go over your plans for the future, may be you try to figure out a way to spend a more 'productive', 'quality' time. You can afford a little something for yourself these days; something classy. May be you should get a new pair of trousers? A new pair of shoes? You could use a laptop; your brother hogs the PC all the time and it really spoils it for you sometimes. May be you should move to the other room? You ought to take up French! You need to jump start things somehow. There has to be something worthwhile; something novel; something fresh and new! something with angles you haven’t explored before. Thats right! You need a change of scenes. But how is that happening? If you have finished thinking about all of it and still have a few minutes left, you probably end up thinking about increments, savings, investments or taxes. You cant seem to get away from these unless you are in the cab on your way to work or coming back from it.

The cab stops at a red light. Three or four street kids rush in from the road islands and get to work. You've seen them everyday since you were...well, since always actually. Some of them are selling candies, some flowers and some decided not to use any imagination and simply sticking their had out. Now here is something new! Two cars up a kid is wiping the windows! Look at the way he goes! Really putting his hands to it! His face...hey wait...the passenger is letting the glass down. Think he is going to pay the kid now...Oh no! That bastard! He's yelling at the poor kid! God! whats he so mad about? The kid looks down and walks away. The man is still yelling from behind. If he doesn’t want to he could just...not pay! What an asshole! You would never turn into that!

A kid came begging yesterday. He had the pathetic look all these kids have. When this is how you earn your food you learn the tricks well. But they are just kids...so no wonder they over do it at times. The kid that was begging yesterday really went over the top. He went all out. Tears rolled down his chicks constantly (always wonder how they do it!); told a very convincing story about his mother being sick and not being able to go to work and finally begging you not to let his mom die. The tears looked so real! A bit too real to be true. To give or not to give! Such a dilemma! Saved by the traffic signal which turns green at the nick of time. Poor kid! May be he was telling the truth!

Now lets see...how much would you have paid? A 1? A 2? A 20??

How did it get to this you asked?

So is there no hope? Oh hell...who do you talk to about these anyway? Joy Bhai! You wasted so many of my weekends! I was getting so tired trying to think of ways to get rid of you. Now I don’t have to. I was just telling my colleague about you on my way back from work. How I kept you waiting an hour the other day and how I ignored you the whole time later on and how you didn’t give me the chance to make up for it later. You just had to do it. Didn't you? Didn't even leave a message!

So I was telling my coworker about you; It was during lunch. We had had a good meal. We were smoking cigarettes and drinking tea. Was telling him how skinny you were, how you destroyed your body and mind doing all that stuff you did. You lost your natural high. Huh? But thats the only way you could go on. Well, you did not go on for long. Did you? Who knows! May be you knew better! So I was talking about you and looking at this retched, dirty, pitiful little excuse of a human being sitting by the road, obviously too weak to even beg. Now this guy from the food joint we'd just been to comes out with a plate in his hand. There was a burger in it and it didn't look like a left over from the other day. He asked the man to take it from the plate. He seems rather shy to do it and leaves as soon as the man grabs the food with his shaking right hand. The guy running the tea stall snorts in disgust. Mumbles something; I couldn’t make out what. Why is he so unhappy that somebody fed the man nobody had to? Why did the guy in the car get so mad at the kid washing the windows? Why did I try to figure out if the tears on the kid's face are real or not? Its better from this side of the glass. Isn't it? Lets keep it that way.

Joy bhai, come and see me this Friday. Lets bum around like we used to. I'm so sorry I kept you waiting the other day; it won’t ever happen again.

Home alone

How many ghosts have you got locked up in your closet? Not many I hope. Then again, may be its good to have one or two for rainy days. When you meet one after a long while you get to reflect back, see where you are now and how far you came from your dreams and resolutions.

I am not good at keeping promisses. Especially the promisses made to myself. I'm way off course and it doesn't look like its gonna get better. However, I'm gonna keep one today.