Today's mood

सानू सौदा नहीं पुखदा, सानू सौदा नहीं पुखदा...

रवि तो चेनाब पुछदा,

"की हाल है सतलुज दा?"

Monday, September 24, 2012

Right or Wrong?

This beautiful incident just surfaced after years of hidden detritus. I was in class 7th and I was a good student. The Indian education system defines a good student as one who is good in studies; morality, honesty, character are just topics to be flirted with in Moral Education classes. My scores in test papers made sure all teachers knew me perfectly well and for good reasons indeed.

The age of thirteen, the fresh entry in teens, is defined biologically as an extra surge of testosterones in males and estrogens in females. Repercussions are emotional changes, attraction towards other gender, moodiness and many others which can be found in any psychological journal. My first attraction happened in class 7th at this age. I have something for tall girls and girls that are older to me. By all standards I am fairly tall. Starting from my first attraction to the most recent one, from which I am still trying to come out, I have been attracted to older, matured, intelligent, tall and beautiful girls. She was in my class but a year older. I will name her Ana to maintain secrecy. How I felt at that moment is beyond words. Handling first attraction at the tender age of thirteen is akin to a lake being asked to store the water content of an ocean. My heart beat used to increase on spotting Ana, anxiety used to overtake me, eyes used to go all goggled. I did let Ana know how I felt for her, and she was gracious and matured enough to handle it properly. I was a naïve in this field just blasted into teenage-group fresh into an emotional turmoil. I will make a biased statement here that girls are better judge of characters than boys and they take things slow in terms of relationships because they know this thing requires time. It is not a thing to be hurried into. Ana liked me too.

We used to meet regularly, exchange copies, seldom letters and used to call each other privately when each-others parents were not around at home. The fright, the innocence, the first taste of love is second to none. Saving money to gift her a key-ring and a birthday card on her birthday consumed months for me. My parents did not use to give me pocket money. They logically made be understand and agree to the concept of pocket money as wrong; to give me company Ana started refusing her parents for pocket money too. What beautiful days they were!

Fortunately my studies never slumped and neither did hers. However the rumors of us being a couple started spreading. By the time teachers came to know of our tiny, little affair we were in mid of class 8th. Keeping a secret and especially such a secret for one and half years at that age was indeed praise worthy. Teachers, hailed God for good reasons, decided it was time to talk to our parents. Why did they do that I am still not sure. Does their complaining show their lack of faith in me, or does it show their concerned attitude I am not sure. Either ways our parents were involved in our love story now. The straight line had turned into a square with me and Ana being at the opposite corners, with our parents sitting at the other two corners.

The meeting room was no less than a war zone. The teachers kept on talking till what seemed ages. Ana’s mother was nervously on the verge of tears; Ana was pitifully crying and her father was red and flaring with anger. My mom was looking at Ana and seemed more interested in Ana’s state of mind rather than the story. My dad listened to the teachers patiently, and said he will talk to me.

“All you got to say is- you will talk to your son? Give him a good beating and ask him to stay far away from my daughter.” Ana’s father was flaring like a snake.

“That will be my decision to make Mr. Patnaik. My son and your daughter are young. She is more terrified and close to a specter. They need reasons, not spanking.” My dad said thank you to all and left with me and my mom.

My dad did not talk to me through out the journey back home. He wasn’t furious, he was just quiet.

On reaching back home, he asked me to sit at the dining table. He brought out six steel glasses from the kitchen. He asked me, “make the tallest structure possible with these glasses.”

I was surprised at his reaction. I didn’t intend him to raise a hand. He never did that, and as a matter of fact used to fight with my mom in case she used to raise her hand on me. He was a logical person strongly founded on causes and reasons. Nevertheless I expected him to shout at me.

I made a three layered pyramid structure with the six glasses. Three glasses on the bottom layer, two in the intermediate level and one glass at the top.

He observed me silently and then spoke, “what will happen if I pull out the glass on the right side from the bottom layer?”

“The structure will collapse.”

“Exactly. You are standing at a juncture where one of the prime glass is education. With education you may rise as high as the structure you have built. If you get diverted the structure is bound to collapse.” He further went on to say, “Keep your priorities clear and emotions clean. At this age education is your priority. The less the hassle at your age the better you may be able to think.”

“Mr. Patnaik has not taken a liking to you and it seems he will prefer you not coming in the path of her daughter. I may stop him from raising a hand on you but if you prefer Ana’s safety than you will need to be careful.” His voice echoed with genuine concern for the girl.

Today this morning I overheard two of my senior colleages talking about their children and this incident just popped out. I instantly called my father and asked him a peculiar question which took him by surprise. “Papa, do you remember the Ana incident of class 7th?”

“Yeah I do. Age has silvered my hair not my memory. Fortunately I have a good memory. Why? What happened?”

“Were you sad or angry at me?  ”

“Well no. I wasn’t sad because emotions is what makes us human and moreover if Ana happened to be a boy that would have been a greater headache for me. Thankfully she was a girl. I was concerned- concerned if you forget your priorities; concerned if you got too much emotionally involved to get out. The same incident at this age of yours must have Ana as the priority, and at that age education should have been the priority. I hope Ana’s dad didn't give her a hard time.”

My father was neither cold nor furious about the incident. He just asked me not to get diverted from what was required. Life is not about right and wrong, it is greyer than that. Ana at that stage was not something that could be categorized as right or wrong.

*Ana's name is derived from the song "ana mere pyaar ko na tum jhuta samjho jaana". No resemblance to any real person.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Finding Neverland-3

Dear Ramya,
Dearest Ramya,

It has been a long time since you bade goodbye. The cities have changed a lot since then, as a matter of fact the world geography has been altered too. A few new countries have come into existence. However, as far as my heart is concerned nothing has changed. My heart is still alone and longs for your company.

Do you remember the last time we sat on the roof of our house. It was a full moon night and your black glistening hair fell carelessly on your back. A slight breeze swept across wafting a tuft of your hair onto my face. The smell of your hair is still fresh in my senses. The moment the hair landed on my face, a secret desire took birth in me; desire to preserve and consecrate the moment, and prolong it till the existence of the mankind. Was it less than being high on Marijuana? Probably no! It was a different high. I miss your presence on the roof deeply.

Life had given me immense happiness when you were with me. It appears your dainty presence was the bringer of happiness. Do you recall our college days? Half of the boys of our batch used to flirt with you. Your smile was so beautiful that the poor boys were helpless and found themselves drawn towards you by an inexplicable force. The dent on your right cheek, no matter how many times you flashed it, lured boys to see it appear once more. I miss your smile!

It has been an year since you left. Every-night of the last year I have found myself staring at the moon. The moon bears similarity to me- it’s as lonely as I am. Its presence gives me strength to go on, and at the same time reminds me of my loss. Don't ask me, how I come out alive of no moon nights. At moments when I am frustrated and tired and on the verge of crying I abuse god; I curse him for being cruel and heartless. Moments later, your face gets flashed before my eyes. I feel ashamed of cursing and seek an apology. You had immense faith in Him.

(You might also enjoy reading Finding Neverland and Finding Neverland-2)