Archive | August, 2008

Breaking Barriers, or are We?

20 Aug

“Talking breaks the barriers” 

Is how the tagline of Airtel goes. Makes me wonder how important communicating is in our lives. Of course there are some people who go on n on n on, the ones we can call blabber mouths. But at the same time there are some people that do not wish to talk at all.

In today’s age of computers, mobile phones, e-mailing, have we really forgotten how to communicate effectively??

A good friend of mine used to hate a guy from her college. They surprisingly started talking to each other over the phone after finishing college and slowly became really good friends too. However they hadn’t got a chance to meet as they stayed at different places.

When they finally happened to meet, and she went on their first official date, one of the first things she said to me after coming back was “It’s easier to talk to him on the phone yaar , at least that way I don’t have to look at the expression on his face when I say something stupid or if I crack a joke n he doesn’t like it”

I laughed at her innocence and dismissed all her thoughts as first date jitters. But it is after some time that I realized that what she said was actually true for a lot of people, even for me to a certain extent.

There are people who have a habit of logging onto popular chat rooms n talking to strangers almost all the time. But when it comes to talking face to face why do they stammer?

Are we afraid of the people we know, and perfectly comfortable revealing everything about our lives to absolute strangers?

So it’s time we start thinking about this communication gap that is fast growing, and do some thing about it.

Its time we actually start breaking the barriers………

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Full Circle.

20 Aug

“Zara Hatke, Zara Bachke , Yeh Hai Mumbai Meri Jaan”

 

The song blared through the speakers of the auto rickshaw seeming like the singer had gotten a sore throat since ages singing the same song over and over again. It was like a warning to everyone daring to come in the way of this guy and his three wheeler which he mistook as a private jet of his. At least the people sitting in it thought so; looking at the merciless way he drove it.

 

The inside of the vehicle was as interesting as a night club; with the only thing lacking was a shiny disco ball. There were warnings and posters of every sort placed at whatever space a normal person would care to look at.

 

“NO SMOKING”, sprawled right across the ceiling, although he failed to explain why that particular place. Maybe he just added that as an afterthought.

 

“HUM DO HUMARA EK”, was the next prominent one written on the back side of the driver’s seat.

Next came some of the weirdest looking pictures of Sharukh, Salman, Aishwarya and the ever so forgotten Divya Bharati. Maybe it was to emphasize on the fact that the auto was very old.

 

But Ramu took his job as seriously as any white collared big shot in an Audi A4. According to him he had one of the most important jobs in all of Mumbai. He knew that Mumbai would not be threatened by a bomb as much as it would by an auto rickshaw strike.

 

He drove his auto from morning to evening going places, always keeping in mind that he had four mouths to feed at home and he could only do so by keeping two jobs, one the auto and the other one was a night job nobody knew about. It would go with him to the grave he thought, but he could only die peacefully after making sure he had left enough money for getting his children educated and married.

 

Today was the day all his problems could come to an end. If the deal went smoothly he would get at least half the amount he had calculated to live a comfortable life. He had waited for this day since he could care to remember.

 

Rafiq Bhai had given him special orders to be extra careful while doing the job tonight.

He knew that the job he had been doing for a year now was only a small part of a vast network; and within a year he had almost come to know every link and piece possible.

Although he portrayed the image of being ignorant to all the activities and being just a dumb auto rickshaw driver who needed the extra cash, he had been following every member of this network without their knowledge and had been able to know the in’s and out’s of the whole system.

 

His parcel was supposed to arrive at 11.30pm with two of his acquaintances, meaning it was something very huge, and he had guessed exactly what it was.

 

It was 11.35pm and he was getting anxious now, when he saw the blinding lights of the familiar white Maruti Omni. Two people got down with haste and he saw Rafiq Bhai sitting in the front seat smoking a beedi and giving fast instructions to the two men in hushed tones to make it quick.

 

The men hurriedly put the heavy sack in the passenger seat of his auto and told him to scramble promising him huge amounts of money if the deal went through.

 

He started his rickshaw knowing that it was a human being in that sack, and immediately felt a pang of guilt about the sins he had committed in the past year. But it was all coming to an end and for good.

 

He took his auto to a deserted road he knew very well and started undoing the strings on the mouth of the sack. What he saw sucked out all the air from his lungs. There lying unconscious with the most pallid looking face lied his eldest son. He was shocked to the core. God was punishing him for his sins but why his son? Why?

 

Why had his son fallen into all this?? No no he had also been fooled like all the others with the promise of lots of money, but little did he know that he would wake up tomorrow in a godforsaken hospital with one of his kidneys missing.

 

No he would never let that happen to his family, not as long as he was alive. He immediately took a U turn and started on the shortest route to the nearest police station.

 

“Calm down, breath easy”, he said to himself. That’s when he heard the siren waling through the humid silent night, like a howling wolf. “Oh! Good he thought he would not have to drive all the way to the police station.

He stopped his auto just in front of the jeep, and got down saying multiple things at a time, and then he sensed that something was not right.

 

They were getting down with revolvers in their hands shouting orders. “Put your hands behind your head”, “You are under arrest”

 

“But this is a mistake, I was just coming to the police station that’s my son in the auto, they kidnapped him, I know everything about their network, you have to believe me”

 

But they weren’t listening at all. “Get in the jeep you scoundrel. Kidnapping your own son, aren’t you ashamed?”

 

 

EPILOGUE:

 

Rafiq: “I have taken care of that idiot Ramu, Aslam Bhai”

 

Aslam: “Good job Rafiq, he was behaving extra smart, he thought he could do our job and tip off the police, what a stupid idea” (Laughing)

 

 Rafiq:  “Ha ha ha….. He thought we were scared of the police………”

 

Aslam: “Oh! Ho look who’s here…. (Smiling) Welcome Inspector Shinde…. Bajrang Saab ke liye chai lao”

 

 

Lifeless

19 Aug

 

He was so tired of his routine and boring life. Living in the same place since so many years, there was absolutely nothing exiting about his life anymore. The same old home the same office, the same schedule…

Life had become so monotonous, for him, till that day…..

 

That day, when she came to live at Mayfair Apartments. Her arrival gave a new much required change to the whole society, it seemed. Suddenly everybody wanted to get to know her more. Not only was she attractive but there was a pleasant charm about her, which was a head tuner everywhere she went.

 

How he wished to talk to her, to be close to her. It was as if life had finally started to give in to all his wishes. He woke up every morning with a new zeal, a mission, to just get one look at her before going to work. One look at her and the whole day would go on smoothly, so much was his love for her.

 

But would he ever get to talk to her? He was just an ordinary guy, from an ordinary family. He would go unnoticed anywhere he went. He never really knew his parents, the only family he had were his caretakers, or was that just a mild word to describe them. They ‘drove him to the wall’, sometimes literally. But that was another story, and she would have nothing to do with his background, or would she?? And she was certainly very rich, anyone could guess that. He had heard a lot of guys saying she was very “High Maintenance”, not that he knew what it meant, but what difference did that make?

 

It was that pleasant evening in June when his life changed forever. That evening she talked to him for the first time in the parking lot. Oh! Her sweet melodious voice, those beautiful eyes, with a naughty ‘shine’ to them.

They met everyday after that, whenever they could. They had some spark, he was sure; he knew this was going somewhere.

Sometimes they would bump into each other on the streets or on a traffic signal, and gaze at each other till they time they realized that both of them were blocking considerable amount of traffic. Life was so beautiful with her around.

 

It took him six months to muster up the courage to finally tell her how he felt for her. Tonight was the night,

And he was pretty convinced that he would tell her, come what may.

 

So he waited for her in the parking lot, their favorite place, as it was very discreet and private and he could be sure nobody would be able to eve’s drop on their conversation.

 

He was rehearsing, what he would say to her when he saw the headlights. When she came near him she looked very low and depressed. “Something wrong?” he asked. ‘So much for the well rehearsed dialogues’, he thought to himself. He had spent hours pondering over the right things to say to her, and his script was all falling apart now.

“Hey Merci, what’s wrong, you look sad?” he tried again.

“Oh! It’s nothing, really”, she replied.

“You can tell me, ya know”

“Well if you insist… my owners, they are planning to sell me off, and buy another….” and she broke down.

 

The world was spinning around him, how could they do that to her and to him. Things had just started to look up for him. Life was not at all fair. He felt so lifeless as if someone had taken all the air from his system.

All his friends had started to get jealous of him. No no this can’t be, he kept on saying in his head. He knew this was the best thing that could ever happen to him, and he would never ever find a girl like her…..

 

After all how often did a “Maruti 800” get a “Mercedes Benz” as his girlfriend?

 

One in a Zillion

8 Aug

“It’s 2008!!! ”

“You don’t Blog???? ”

“Everybody does!!”

These were some of the usual reactions I used to get from my friends when they discovered that I didn’t care to start a blog for myself.
“As if it’s like illegal or something”, I used to say.

But I finally gave in to their insistence or I would rather say forcing at gunpoint and became a member of the all famous ‘Blogging’ clan.

It’s not easy as some people might think. With almost half of the world already into the activity and the other half like me joining in every day in tens and thousands; choosing a name for your blog becomes one hell of a task.

I am a person for whom choosing an e-mail Id seemed to be a very intellectual process, but little did I know about the blogging world where it’s even more difficult.

First you have to try to think of a name that suits your personality (or rather the personality you want to portray 😉 ) and believe me that takes more time since you have to actually find a good name he he..
You can finally think of a name say writestuff.wordpress (that’s what i tried) and the computer immediately tells you that its already reserved.
That’s such a common name you console yourself, and then go on finding cool sounding names for your blog.

After 15 such attempts on my part when the computer just refused to accept any name that I finally gave up thinking this blogging business is not for me.
“Maybe it’s a bad omen” I said to one of my friends (The most insisting of the lot) thinking that it would procrastinate them to force me to start one.
She gave me a look that would make Osama bin laden scared.
“Okay, I’ll try again”, I assured her very scared myself.

I typed in the URL again today and Hey Presto!!! My oldest username for yahoo came to my rescue.

I was jumping with joy literally, not because I had finally created a blog but because I was still unique, I was still One in a Zillion. 🙂