Monday, December 26, 2005

Life uninterrupted

Many things have happened. Life has been whizzing past while I stand frozen, like these lines from a Salil Chowdhury song,

Aamaar chotur paashe shob kichu jaaye aashe,
Aami shudhu tusharito goti heen dhaara,
Aamaaye proshno kore neel dhrubo taara,
Aaar koto kaal aami robo disha haara.

I spent last night at S's place. S is a temporary bachelor, as his wife has taken off to Kolkata for the week. S lives in a rented house in C.R. Park. For all my years in Delhi, my night life experience is actually quite limited. In fact the first time I even returned from a pub (absolutely sober and quite alone) at two in the morning, was in a small town in the French Alps! So when S asked me if I wanted to have a double-egg-double-chicken roll on a very chilly evening I was duly tempted. I don't know which billowed more vapour - the hot chicken or S's cigarette or my mouth. Much as I detest smoke, my best friends always turn out to be smokers! We wandered about, taking in the ambiance of roadside stalls selling gud (jaggery), bodi (dry dumplings of ground pulses), narkol (coconut), fish cutlets, old books and mishti paan (sweet paan). We returned home and while S worked away, I caught a movie on the tube.

Then at around 10 p.m. we went down to the kali baari cafeteria, and had a sumptuous dinner of bhaat, daal, aaloo kopir dallan, macher jhol and tomator chatni (rice, pulses, a mix of potato and cauliflower cooked in way I cannot translate, fish curry and yummy tomato chutney). And guess the cost of this three course dinner - 35 bucks! We had two huge helpings of everything (it's an all you can eat meal, except for the fish). Then I came back and watched "Aranyer Din Ratri," vintage Ray. There is nothing more intoxicating than a movie which makes you forget that you have a brain, it just seeps in through every pore of your body. I do not understand cinema as perhaps a connoisseur does, but I do live the stories of the movies I like, in the moments that I watch them. And trust me, there is nothing else which is more liberating and more escapist than this.

But you might be wondering what was I talking about when I started this post. Life seems to be treating me like a king. It certainly has been, and I am not complaining. The point, however, is everybody is moving on. Y got married. B has become a father. S got a job which is going to make him a millionaire overnight. I am still where I was yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. I do not even know what I am complaining about here, because I have this feeling of unprecedented calm which has descended upon me. I am content. It is driving my parents crazy, because to them it seems that I have suddenly become addicted to compulsive laziness. But I have always been lazy, yet this, this is scaring the wits out of me.

I wanted to research a piece on undecidability in computation, and look what came out instead. It is like I am no longer in control, and I am content to let it take me where it does. Am I being foolhardy, or for the first time in my life do I see things clearly?

Dil ke kuch shikwe jo baaki hain dil main,
Unhe tumse kehne ki chahat kyun baaki nahi rahi,
Agaar aaj, abhi, isi lamhe me zindagi guzar jaaye,
Dil ko marna gunah hoga, ya daba dena usme tamannaye unkahi?

I actually had planned on posting this on Christmas eve, thinking I'll be working as always, but as things turned out I was with friends watching Chicken Little, eating a huge pizza and jingling away to Christmas carols. Then I got a cute message from D, asking me whether I had a date for Christmas eve. When I said no, she asked me to it's about time I got around to seriously thinking about having a serious relationship. Seriously!

So, as I end this post, I smile and I savour the warm sun on my face, and I am thankful for being the way I am, and where I am, today.

Shayad phir tumhe dhoondne ki koshish main,
Zindagi se kahin phir mulakat ho jaaye,
Shayad phir khwabon ke aasman se utarkar,
Kamsin chahat ki baarish bhigo jaage.


  1. i so relate with this feeling...just a coupla days back i tried explaining to a friend how odd it felt to be left behind...doing the same thing this year as i was doing last year this time...while everybody else moves on...find the love of their lives, their career breakthrough etc etc.i've lost count of the numbers of friends who've got hitched in this last year...

    it seems like everybody but you is getting someplace...but then i remb the story of the three trees and things dont seem so bad at all...

  2. i know what you mean. it seems the same way for me too. and i really don't know what to say to that other than, you have company. but that doesn't really help does it? but then again, you're not looking for help r u? ure content. well then, just *hugs*.

  3. but dont forget perhaps all those others went thro' the same phase until the moment something happened.

    2006 might bring with it fresh relationships! i bet n if it doesnt u ought to advertise ur blog! :))

    (n yaa i love this blog when it is filled with those songs... )

  4. i got wat u r tryin to happens but wat i dn't understand is tht when a situation yells at u sayin tht it's of no use...try movin on..n when we move on,there are things tht are unfortunately left behind, n thus retard our so called "move on" kind of notion..
    wich ultimately leaves u not only frustrated,but confused as well...

  5. You know when I was single I would want to be like other couples. Now that I am with someone, I envy my single friends. No matter where I get in life or what I achieve, I always feel that I am behind in a rat race that I am not even running. So the point being that it is great that you are at least at peace with where you are. Because even though you may not see the highlights of your life, I am sure there are people who would do anything to be in your shoes. You know? Like for example I would love to be able to write so well like you. :-) That's one thing you have that I don't!

    But wishing you a year full of pleasant surprises and hopefully of an unexpected romance!

    Btw I have lived in Delhi all my life and never heard of Kali Baari cafeteria.

  6. @rapz: Amen, for the three trees! May something better be waiting for all of us.

    @sonia: *hugs* Yes I am.

    @swathi: Ah! Advertise ... now that you put it that way, my next post is going to be one looong advertisement. Btw the lines in hindi are not songs, they are my own. I love that you love those songs... so keep visiting :o)

    @triplesix: Confusion is highly overrated, or perhaps underrated, or perhaps... :o) Best to stay confused than think about it and add to the confusion!

    @sine: Yeah I know the "grass is greener" feeling, and I know I am blessed with things which many people do not have (and I am not bragging about my writing abilities here :D ). I have stayed in Delhi all my life too, and it was only a week back that I discovered this place! May you have a fantastic year too.