Friday, June 29, 2007

Which of the following...

... is easier to bear/tolerate/accept?
  • unadulterated hatred in your heart for another person(s), or
  • absolute failure to hate that person(s) inspite of the crippling urge to hate him/her/them

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Just Another Day

(An old writeup. Just thought of having it on this blog today)

It’s just another morning, just another day. Not much has changed from yesterday, you guess. Your mind is blank but suddenly you think of her and you’re sure nothing has changed form yesterday. You dread the thought of college first thing in the morning but light up at the prospect of attending lab first up. You reach college a little late as usual, hoping hers will be among the first faces you see. But she turns up at the lab door some ten minutes later than you. You watch her wave out to someone at the door (you know who she’s waving out to) and then turn around only to catch you staring right back at her. She smiles at you and for a moment everything is bliss. She grabs the chair next to you and embarks on her everyday casual talk. You listen to every word because you don’t want to miss anything she says or does. Somewhere at the back of your mind you are thankful that nothing has changed from yesterday. The two hours at lab pass away speedily with the usual banter, her infectious laughter and the odd attempt at actual work. Then you are both out of there. Together. As usual. On the way back to classroom two floors up, she runs into some friends you don’t know. You walk away as she stays back to chat with them. But only till the next corner, where you stand waiting for her. You see her walking towards you a few minutes later. She notices you lurking around the corner and she stops in her tracks. You can see the surprise in her eyes. Just above that disarming smile on her mouth. She’s surprised that you actually waited for her. You reply that it was no big deal. You mean it. As you go up the stairs, she goes on about how you mustn’t pamper her. You smile silently knowing that that can never happen. You start talking about something else as you approach the classroom door. In the doorway, you realize she is not really listening to you any more. Her eyes scour the entire class till they settle on him. You stop talking midway through a sentence and realize that she didn’t even notice your incomplete sentence. You look at her in askance and see her eyes light up. And you know it’s him she has just found.

You’re a forgotten moment of the past as she hurries to catch the seat he has saved for her. You walk to your seat among your friends. The usual dose of remarks on how you entered with her again follow, but by now you are used to their ribbing. You know it’s no use explaining to them that there is nothing going between you and her. There can never be. You aren’t even among her best friends. She’s not your muse. It would be appalling to even think of her that way. You want to tell your friends that. But you don’t. You look at her a few benches away. She is laughing away and you notice her hands interlocked in his. It doesn’t pain anymore to see that. It did when she had just started going around with him. But not anymore. Now you are just happy to see her happy. As the day goes on, you get to speak to her off and on. In between classes, and sometimes during some boring ones, she turns around casually and your eyes meet. A smile greets another. But it’s not that novel anymore. Your heart doesn’t race or skip a beat at every look or smile from her. At least not at every look or smile. You think of the times when it did. You comprehend that you still like her as much as you did back then. Actually even more.

College ends and she leaves with her hands firmly grasping his. No ‘bye’ or ‘see you tomorrow’. You like it better that way. At least it doesn’t hurt if she misses a ‘goodbye’ when you are not expecting one. She calls late that evening just as you are about to fall asleep. Her last call was nearly a month ago. It’s about a report at college. You move on to other topics. In between all the mirth and gossip, you realize that you have been on the phone with her for over an hour now. Just like old times, you reminisce. She tells you about an irrational quarrel she had with him earlier and how miffed she is. You smile serenely over the phone because you sense a déjà vu. You talk to her about how close they both actually are and how much they like each other. You try to talk some sense into her and get her to forget her scrap with him. When all’s sorted out, she thanks you and remarks about how you always get her out of the mess she manages to get into every other time. You know you’ve had the same conversation with her before. You want to tell her how much she means to you, how fond you are of her. But you don’t. You just fake a laugh and tell her to hang up and go to sleep. Yet again. She makes a comment about how sweet you are to her. And she hangs up. As you get ready to fall asleep, you begin to rue taking her phone call. You know now, thoughts of her will lurk endlessly in your head. You begin the same old conversation with yourself. Again. Are you in love with her? You disagree. It’s been 5 years since the only time you thought you were in love. And you think of your ‘love’ all that time ago. That ‘love’ who hadn’t bothered calling up even once in all those years. That ‘love’ in whose pain you wallowed for a long time even after you had realized that she just didn’t care. That ‘love’ who had called you her friend but had turned fiend. You float back into the present. No, this couldn’t be love. You don’t want this to be love. You don’t want her to be your love. Not after your first brush with ‘love’. You consider ‘infatuation’, but immediately discard that. She isn’t just an infatuation. She never was. You remind yourself that you don’t want her to be with you. You know she is happy with him. Without you. You want to see her happy. Always. But isn’t that true love? True love. Another one of your hated romantic clichés. An incredible myth. A terrible truth? Your mind is in utter turmoil now, but when is it not? Suddenly you want to hate her for making your life and thoughts so complex. But the very next moment, you work out that you can never hate her. You love her. But you don’t want to love her. Damn, how you hate that word …

You feel you are putting yourself to sleep thinking of her yet again. You sense that it’s just another night. You drift into the surreal unconsciousness that is sleep. Tomorrow you will see her at lab again. You will see her holding his hand sometime during the day. You will see her smiling at you again. But what matters most is that you will see her. It will be just another day...

Friday, June 22, 2007

Who's the smart one now?

I came across, nay, researched my way to an article on Rediff which says that first-born kids are smarter than their siblings. Now, being a responsible first son, a role-model elder brother (now that scientists have endorsed this fact, I can safely shed whatever little modesty I had left within me, can't I?) and of course, a well-educated student of science (try not to laugh too hard else you'll miss the point I'm trying to make), I am of the opinion that we, and by 'we' I mean all of us including the lesser fortunate ones who weren't the first out of their mother's wombs, must heed these scholarly scientists who have spent much of their valued time on researching such vital topics despite the pressures of releasing information to the press so that such stunning results can change the way people live. I, for one, have now become a big fan of these scientists who came up with this ground-breaking theory relating intelligence to first-borns. I am also willing to worship the ground walked on by scientists who can research their asses off to publish articles with headlines "Heavy Alcohol Consumption Raises Human Intelligence Levels" or "Chicks who Date Fat Guys Live Longer and Look Prettier".

It is my newfound respect for such scholars that led me to taking my wallet out to pay to read this profound article in its entirety on the website where it is originally published. I duly paid with my credit card by inserting it into the cd-rom tray of my pc and waited for the transaction to be carried out, wondering with awe how much science and technology have matured. My eagerness was slightly nipped in the bud when even after waiting the next 15 minutes patiently, my transaction had not been carried out. After rechecking and re-positioning my credit card, I decided to make my wait a little more enjoyable by calling up my brother (note: "younger" brother) and checking up on him lest his lower levels of intelligence be taken undue advantage of by some shrewd first-born cheat. Now, let us not call this activity "rubbing it in" since such unsophisticated words are not befitting of a smart first-born like me. Coming back to the topic, my not-so-gifted brother made some bizzarre comment about how online payments are not made via credit cards inserted into computer hardware. I silently shook my head, brushing aside the temptation of belittling the ignorance of my arrogant little brother. Blame it on the order of birth, I sighed, it's not entirely his fault. The only explanation I can offer for his frequent class-topping academic record can be all his classmates being younger siblings in their homes. Alas!

With much pain in my heart, I withdrew the credit card and sent it back to its safe haven in that torn compartment (I prefer to call it the 'airy area' or the 'donation nation', the latter mostly in memory of those currency notes that've found their way out of there) of my wallet. In fact, I am quite sure the problem was with my credit card rather than with my payment technique as my smart-neck brother had opined. I must have hit the credit limit when that nice, pretty saleslady at the mall helped me in making that wise decision of purchasing that slightly expensive 8-foot pot made of what she said was fine bone china. She was so helpful, she even promised to help me buy an exquisite thin glass cabinet for the pot's protection when I had mentioned my fear of the pot toppling over from the stool that I planned to perch it on. I guess I will have to wait till next month to buy that cabinet now.

I am digressing now. Let me get back to the main topic which I faintly remember had something to do with my brother. Or was it about intelligence? Or both? Well, if it concerned both my brother and intelligence, then let me assure you he is just another student who's definitely not cut out for spying and other covert military operations. In fact, I've had scores of people refer to me as the smart one in the family. And they've even made compliments like these seem so much warmer by passing glances at one another, perhaps to confirm the fact, with wide grins on their faces. All those people can't be wrong, can they?

Monday, June 04, 2007

She called

For months together she hasn't even
Heard the sound of my name
She calls me today out of the blue
My absence begets her abuse and blame
The care in her voice unnerves me
Excuses I offer for avoiding seem lame
But how do I explain to her that
It's all become one scary game

I'm scared of the lies that accost her
I'm scared of the hatred she might foster
I'm scared losing me won't cost her
I'm scared I've already lost her

I'm scared once the alcohol's worn off
Will she still feel the same?

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