Thursday, February 24, 2011

Dance Baby Dance

You were once a shy kid.

At every birthday party, they would have to force you to dance. Where you would reluctantly get dragged to the tiny floor, make sure you’re far away from the annoying boys, and move your arms a little.

A little older. It’s an achievement to be in the school’s dance team. And do ridiculous fishermen or tribal dances. But the dance teacher selected you. You gloat.

Yet a little older. It’s cool to perform western dances on stage. You know, the cool kids do. In the spotlight. Popularity test to be in the western dance group.

Macarina, Barbie Girl, and Mambo No. 5 is what you groove to. Blue jeans and black tops. Awesome dance troupe.

And yet not so much older.

Dancing on stage is for social retards.

Suddenly not sure if you can dance.

You reluctantly get dragged to the tiny dance floor, make sure you’re far away from the annoying boys, and move your arms a little.

But then you grow up. School becomes college. Dancing becomes a high sport. An expression of your enthusiasm, and you begin to move.

You’re not sure of your moves, but you are sure of the music, and you learn to have fun.

And then you realize the power of the ability to dance. You start to diversify.

You try out your adaa’s on a Kajra Re, make sure your hips are more truthful than Shakira’s.

Songs get sluttier, so do you.

The distance from the annoying boys proportionately decreases.

Suddenly you’re hell bent on proving you’re more badnaam than Munni, and definitely more jawaan than Sheila.

Salsa and belly dancing are the tricks of the trade.

You grow up yet more.

Smiling, and looking socially decent in a pretty sari becomes priority. You move a little bit on the dance floor, with family, for the cameras. But most importantly, you look pretty, and stay within socially accepted norms.

You grow up yet more.

Arthritis and weight happens to catch up.

Moving your hands in an imitation of Bhangra is now the only socially accepted mode of dancing.

For exactly 5 minutes.

You’re old.

You sit in a chair.

You look at youngsters in their various phases of dancing.

You frown disapprovingly.

You tap your feet.

And smile at memories.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

For the love of life

It’s been a lazy Sunday. A nice lazy Sunday. But what most lazy Sundays do to me by the end of the day, is challenge my brain to work overtime on some completely futile thought.

Thought for the day: alternate reality

Disclaimer: No, I wasn’t thinking of inception, limbo, virtual reality or any other crap. Though that’s pretty much what this will sound like. I was simply thinking.

I’m living a life. A life created by quite a few logical decisions, a life which I continue to live by taking many more logical decisions every day, and well, a few not-so-logical and impulsive ones.

I wish I could freeze this life, in time, just make it pause, lift away from it, smile down at it, and land myself into my alternate life. A life which starts right where I switched, but where I decide differently, not necessarily based on logic, but more on instinct. More on what I genuinely feel like doing, rather than what I think might be good for me in the future.

I’d like to meet random people, and have all the fun at all the places and parties on the planet. I’d like to spend all my money, travel and shop till my last penny. I’d like to be giddy with a kiddish crush. I’d like to not think about the future. I’d like to not think about age. And expectations. I’d like to run so far away that reality becomes a distant memory.

I’d like to self destruct.

And then I’d like to return, to my frozen, logical life. I’d like to have seen and experienced all that I gave up on, and know that it was worth it. I’d like to believe that being mature and thinking through everything I do is actually what’ll make me happy.

I’d like to know, that my instinct has always been wrong, just like I believe it to be.

I’d like to know, that I am right.


Friday, February 11, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Recently, I finally reached that stage in life when you suddenly (or in some cases, rather slowly) realize that you have to for once and for all take that plunge, to prove to yourself rather than others, that you truly are independent and self made, to some tiny extent possible at least.

And hence I took the bold step of stepping out and searching for a new place to live, alone, a place to make my home.y

Of course I took Grumpo along to keep myself from getting too freaked out by creepy brokers.

And, by far, it was…one of the best decisions of my life.

The decision about taking Grumpo along, not the one about being all grown up and stupid enough to live alone.

Because for some weird reason, no romantic Bollywood movie ever shows you the simple not-so-easy part of the normal middle class Mumbai. They’ll show you the rich brats partying across town, or they’ll show you the poor bloke whose pocket got picked, luggage stolen, purpose lost, and footpath found. I wish, I just wish, someone would make a movie about a simple person searching for a damned apartment in this place.

Believe me, with my limited budget, I didn’t have many demands in life. One simple room, kitchen, bathroom.

Not too much to ask for, right?

But then by the end of the weekend, I realized I was being too simple, and perhaps I should’ve clarified, and added a few other demands to my list.

Dear Broker,

I want a simple one room, kitchen, bathroom.

Ideally, I don’t want the above three amenities as three open corners of the same room.

I would like to be able to stand in the bathroom, without bumping my head on the generously constructed false ceiling, or falling into the cracked pot.

Oh wait, no one could actually even aim efficiently into that tiny pot, let alone fall into it.

I wouldn’t mind a drainage system either.

Oh, wow, you have a window too? Like air? Seriously?!?

Elevators are not a necessity, specially the creaky groany wobbly ones.

Of course I don’t mind a store room! Oh wait…you said in a store room?

I would like to be able to reach my gate without going through the slum latrine.

Hmm…a room in the slum? Can we keep that for later?

I might want to avoid neighbours who are poultry farmers, neighbours who like to show last evenings alcohol consumption with empty bottles lined outside their flats, and neighbours who run slaughter houses in their flats. I mean, I like fresh chicken and all, but still, thanks.

Yes, I want a place in Mumbai.

No, I’m not completely daft.

P.S. Dear Broker, next time, when you get off your bike, it might be wise to not check out your customer from top to bottom.



Oh, and something that a friend wisely shared with me that weekend:

“Is sheher mein ek hi gham hai,

Har ghar mein ek kamra kam hai.”

- Javed Akhtar

Oh, and this is my 100th post, btw :)

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

5 Seconds to Life

I happen to be one of those people who just love travelling by flights. Till date, every time I enter an airport, I still explore each of its shops and eateries with the same childlike curiosity, as when I had first stepped foot onto the tiny almost non-existent Lucknow airport, at the age of seven.

The first time I sat in a Shatabdi, I was told “This is what an airplane is like…just that it’s in the air.”

And I still like to take the window seat, I still go through the safety manual, I still see the safety instructions, I still feel something funny in my tummy when the flight takes off, I still try to spot my house from the flight, and I still look forward to in-flight meals, whatever they might be like.

But the one part, which I always always apprehensively look forward to, is the landing. Let me try and describe the situation, which in my head, repeats itself without fail, each flight.

You’re sitting at the window, looking at the endless cottony clouds spread out across the landscape, beckoning you wickedly to come out and play with them. And suddenly, you dip right through them, and get a slightly hazy, yet steadily approaching view of the land underneath. You look in wonder as the merging forms appear and start to make sense, and the approach of civilization becomes imminent. And then the brick structures start to come into sight, dangerously close, until all you can see is twinkling lights at the air port, and a long stretch of tar infused to form the grey stretch where you’ll eventually land.

The runway approaches, faster than you had expected it to, and within moments you’re right above it. And then the 5 seconds begin.

These are the 5 seconds, when you literally hold your breath, because you know you’re going to make contact with something solid, while you’re at a dangerously high speed. These are the 5 seconds where you wonder if your entire long successful flight, is really going to end successfully or not. These are the 5 seconds where you remember how you said goodbye to your loved ones. These are the 5 seconds you feel confused about whether you’re still airborne, or whether it was an exceptionally smooth landing. These are the 5 seconds where the entire world ceases to exist, where noise is tuned out, your senses numbed, and worries take a back seat, as all your concentration is on the moment the aircraft will touch the runway.

And then with a thud, you hit the ground, and you’re jolted back to reality. The noise swooshes its way back into your ears, your worries and appointments for the day easily squeeze their way back into your brain, and with pure impatience the air is filled with the beeps of cellphones being switched on despite the airhostess’s announcements against it.

You get up and pretend that those 5 seconds didn’t exist for you.

But for me, those 5 seconds, are 5 seconds that I look forward to, that I’m scared of, that I know, could just be the last 5 seconds of my life.

Lost & Found

She looked at him
He made her frown
A headache, a nerve
A tremor, a sound.

He looked at her
She made him melt
A smile, a laugh
A wink, a spell.

She looked at him
He made her smile
A joke, a touch
A hug, and time.

He looked at her
She made him shiver
A look, a scent
Love, and lust aquiver.

Now, they look
With emotions, long gone
Unsure of the world
That lost, never found
The smile, the love
The look, and lust
All lost
Never found.