Monday, August 26, 2013

The Living Daylights

Winter mornings in Kerala aren't symbolic or significant. There is a nip in the morning air and the rest is quite the usual. Winters in most parts of Kerala are only indicative of dates on a calendar. They are not a season to expect or experience, particularly along the coastline that is weathered down with searing heat and insufferable humidity.

Some seven hours and a hundred and forty miles away, in Ooty, one wouldn't dare say the same! Nestled in blue mountains, and dotted with conifer and oak, the winds there have a reputation, a notoriety of sorts. Even the arriving sun wouldn't muster enough courage to battle the dew drops of the night before or the omnipresent breeze that can be bone-chilling. Refuge, therefore, is best sought under the covers, many layers of them, until it is deemed appropriate to set about into the day that wouldn't be very different from how it began - sleepy, cold and lethargic!

On the morning of 26 January 2001, when i was roused earlier than usual, i knew it had to be something very important, rather significant. Groggily walking up to the telephone and placing it to my ear, which had now been numbed by the chills, i was greeted by an excited voice who sought to urgently but happily convey an 'arrival.' There were four, she had remarked, and all of them entirely different. I sat up listening to the details and a surge of excitement energized me into exhilaration. As i replaced the receiver onto the cradle, i smiled to myself. Unbeknown to me, i was setting off a chain of events that would last over twelve years. Twelve years today, is close to a third of my life.

Less than forty days after that telephone call, i set foot in Cannanore to begin a new phase. It would be my home for over two years. No sooner had i landed, i paid the 'arrivals' a visit. They were four. Very different, and no larger than fully grown squirrels, huddled up in a corner with their mother. Mixed in lineage, of Chihuahua, Daschund and Terrier, they were a curious lot. Noisy, frolicking and funny, the first you'd notice of them was the attitude they wore and carried; four bundles of fur and the mother were seen trudging along like royalty, never letting go of an opportunity to bark away even at the tiniest object that evoked curiosity or fright.

After a protracted battle with fellow contenders, owners-in-waiting, i settled on one, the one - the little girl with a sandstone coat, not unlike a lion cub, with a fierce temperament, whose idea of a warm welcome was to deliver a sharp bite. For some four weeks that i was her custodian, our roles transformed. Our identities had differed. She was no longer a pet and i no longer a custodian. We were contemporaries instead; she quadruped and i biped. Though devoid of a tail, and different in constitution, i became fast friends with her and it increasingly appeared that she chose me as opposed to the notion that i picked her. Soon, she had a name, one that reflected her person, nature, attitude and being, in all appropriateness and likening - i named her Simbha; signifying the fearless.

April of 2001 we set about to begin a journey that would take us southward, to what would be her ultimate home, in the mountains, in Ooty. Dog and human, in feverish excitement, yet thick of wariness, began their journey mindful that each hadn't undertaken such a monumental feat ever before. Several pairs of curious eyes spied us as we seated ourselves in a bus that was to conduct us to the end of an eight hour journey, transporting us across two neighbouring states, from one home to another!

Arriving home, in Ooty, we received a rousing reception, the new arrival and me, her batman! But Dad would instantly, at his first meeting with her, quip loudly about how tiny as a kitten she looked - a remark that wouldn't go well with her and remain unforgotten till the very end. A month later, when i returned to check on her, she had ingrained herself into the family and bonded very well, having established a place in the hierarchy. Dad was the man who brought supplies - essential in the pecking order, but not one to be very good friends with. Mum was the 'master,' or the mistress in this case; head of the family, an institution to be served with love and loyalty. And then, there were us, Deepu and i, brothers, who were her pets! So, in effect, we had a dog that looked like a cat, and kept pet humans!

The biped 'pets' had rooms for themselves, but visited no more than twice or thrice every year. Their bedding could thus be used to sleep over, jump about like a trampoline and mess up at will. Carpets served as nap stations. The telephone was an object of never-ending curiosity and the television was a mystic glowing box that was to be stared into along with Mum, every evening. The driveway served as a sunning cum watch station, spent barking at passers and chasing birds and cats. And Dad, the supplies guy, was only useful for the late evening snack he offered, before and after which he could be barked, snarled and growled at.

Years passed. My quests took me across the country, crisscrossing Delhi, Pune, Chennai and Mumbai. She remained at home with Mum all along, by her side, supplying her with unending love and limitless compassion. She mastered the art of multiplying happiness, without condition, and spoke volumes with her loving eyes and baring fangs! She charmed us, every bit of the way and we lapped it up seeking more of what she could offer, and offer she did beyond our needs, much further than what each of us were destined for.

In 2009, Mum was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy - a process resulting in damage to nerves of the peripheral nervous system. It was a sunny summer afternoon in Pune, after my short visit to Ooty, when my phone buzzed indicating Dad's call and the details thereafter. I wasn't sure of how to receive the news and rattled at what the implications could be. Ignorance apart from being blissful can also be scary, when met with a sudden realization of what would be. Deepu was away in Chennai. This meant either of us were a few hours from home, painfully unable to respond to any crisis that may emerge. Eventually, Mum would seek medical assistance outside of Ooty for over 10 months leaving Simbha devastated, depressed and on the brink. I cannot recollect another period in time when she hasn't been by Mum's side other than this excruciating phase which had taken a miserable toll on either. Being reunited with Mum in 2010 was perhaps the happiest part of Simbha's life. Her joy seemed limitless and there appeared a promise of hope. Since then, like before, she would always accompany Mum on her long-distance travels wherever she went, dutifully by her side, slinking away into the shadows, but steadfastly remaining with her at all times. While Mum's doctors continue to wonder and often remark about the brilliant progress she has made at recovery, we have known better - of Simbha's perseverance and consequent success in making the impossible happen. It was dramatic and moving to watch her prod Mum to walk, as she laboured hard to make even one step possible. Bounding off a distance, pausing to look behind and then mildly letting out a woof, she would urge Mum to go forward to her. The activity continued for months, until the patient felt little of the terrible woes that once incapacitated her. I wouldn't attribute it to medical sciences alone. Miracles surely are a part of life too, and in our case, it came on four legs, brandishing a short tail.

Returning home on vacations, Deepu and i were accorded receptions befitting royalty, complete with a welcoming ceremony that would last almost forever. No sooner had that come to a close, she quickly reminded us where our respective places in the hierarchy stood - but not once, without love or kindness, of which she was a living embodiment. She was cuddled, treasured and celebrated, and in return blessed us with love, the kind we hadn't ever seen or experienced before.

Earlier this year, when i visited Ooty for the last time as a resident, Simbha appeared to look her age. She had turned twelve only days before. Her gait and disposition hadn't slowed one bit though. With boundless energy, she charged forward and lept into my arms dressing my face with warm snuzzles and spoke to me with the same intonation that she was used to. However, i couldn't help but notice how twelve years had transformed her - from a bouncing pup to an octogenarian lady at the prime of her age, at the evening of it. There weren't many outward signs of her deterioration, but i knew she was rapidly being consumed from within. Time is an unkind element, badgering the weak, accelerating their pace to oblivion faster than it can possibly be imagined. Perhaps, it is nature's way of deliverance, of liberation, from the woes of the inevitable. Even so, her fire never vanquished. I gather it was too powerful even for time to quell with its pitiless spell. Happy and full of life, running about and deep spirited she carried herself with the disposition of a warrior, surveying the expanses of her empire with the air of a conqueror. I wondered if i'd meet her again. The thought hung on vividly like a bad memory, recalled at every passing instant. Her eyes conveyed reassurance; comforting me that this wasn't about to be the end. I dabbled with doubt and belief, torn in anxiety while she looked up at me more than once with a glance as if to chide me for having tormented myself about something that hadn't yet happened. I returned to Mumbai, not comforted but hopeful. It was a promise that i felt would be honoured. Eventually, the cacophony of everyday life replaced my bother.

Seeking warmer climes, my parents decided to relocate from Ooty this March. Dad had relocated there in 1966 and Mum followed in 1978 after her marriage to him. I arrived in 1979 and Deepu in 1983. Simbha, the third in the line of a tribe of luminary-extraordinaire, arrived in 2001. My quests set me from home in 1996. Returning periodically and setting off to where my pursuits took me, Ooty remained, until earlier this year, home to return to. Though I hadn't been living in Ooty for over a decade now, to imagine permanent relocation of what was home wasn't easy. As a family, we hadn't done it ever before, much less imagined it. Ooty was our base, our hub of life. To conjure the image of another destination in its place was simply unthinkable. But the realities of life often permit that the unthinkable happens! Our home of some three decades sold, parents and Simbha moved to Wayanad, solely assisted by Deepu. I stayed out of the operation, frightfully intimidated at coming to terms with the colossal change.

Early in May this year, i arrived in Wayanad on my maiden visit. As is custom, Simbha welcomed me with unwavering love and livened up my holiday. Extremely cheerful and playful, she brought out the child in me, constantly reminding me that happiness and contentment are central themes of life, all important inspirations upon which our fundamentals should be based. A week sped by in minutes. The close of any vacation isn't easy. This one was doubly difficult. Preparing to leave before daybreak, i strode into her room and picked up a sleeping Simbha. I was surprised at the absence of the usual growl when disturbed. Holding her under her forelegs, clasped within my palms, her paws shot skywards while her hinds loosely hung in the air - a position i often put her in, not unlike the description of Mocassin, Piscine Patel's cat, from Yann Martel's celebrated book Life of Pi. She looked at me groggily, struck by the sudden unease at being roused up at an ungodly hour. Bringing her close, i kissed on her forehead and cheeks and hugged her firm. Still no growls. Her eyes conveyed nothing. They seemed to absorb, and not reflect. I was puzzled. Setting her on the floor, i strode out while she scampered off to her cushion to continue her momentarily troubled slumber. Hours later, when i got off the plane in Mumbai, i was still wondering if i would be blessed to meet her again. There were no answers. Only questions remained.

August 19 was different. It began on a very promising and interesting note. A sense of victory in casting away bygones into the past was endearing. That Monday morning, i began with zeal and energy that hadn't been felt in a long time. Tim Robbins couldn't have been more accurate when, as banker Andy Dufresne, in Shawshank Redemption, he remarked to Ellis Redding (Morgan Freeman) that "hope drives a man insane." My sentiment that Monday morning was not any different. But, remember Baz Luhrmann and his Sunscreen, where he says "The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday." Well, only this time, it was a Monday evening and strangely at 4pm!

I hadn't noticed Mum's call coming in at 1810. Neither did i observe Deepu's text of some 10 minutes after. Mum and Dad were in Cannanore attending a family occasion. They had arrived there with Simbha some two days ago and were set to return soon.

At about 1945, as i ambled out, i fished out my phone and ran through a list of unanswered calls, emails and texts. Those from Mum and Deepu stood out like a sore thumb. Even before reading Deepu's message, i knew instinctively what had happened. Deepu's text merely confirmed it. Oddly, i was greeted by the sight of an intrigued Labrador pup intently looking at me as he was being led away. His eyes were transfixed on me. I was puzzled. It took an awfully long while for the bolt to sink in. I decided against returning Mum's call, instead texted Deepu and set about going, not knowing how or what i felt. My mind was fighting the feeling. An increasing sense of denial was to set in, soon giving way for realization that dawned in a rather dull and ugly comportment. My thoughts mirrored the commotion outside, like endless blinding lights of automobiles, scattered and vying to find a way toward a destination their masters intended them to. Blazing horns and the painful clamour of an evening commute made the feeling worse, close to gut wrenching. It soon grew to become anger.

At 2034, i dialled Mum and heard a somber voice that battled hard to keep tears at bay. I fought too. The sense of anger that had now enveloped me made it easier. Gritting my teeth and clenching my fist, i restrained as hard as i could, aware that every beginning had to have a definite end. Less than 3 minutes into the call, i hung up asking to call later. We both wanted time to reorganize ourselves, comprehend and come to terms with a situation that was complex. In such times, silence is a preferred alternative.

At 2127, i rang up Mum a second time. She recounted the day and how they had been troubled by Simbha's growing unease. Handfed meagerly and accepting no more than a few drops of water from Mum, she bounded off, away from watchful eyes and into immortality. The end had come at about 1610. We both agreed on what had truly been a monumental being of extraordinary love.

Between 2151 and 2224, Deepu and i exchanged calls, often stopping off to ring back. Difficult moments ensued. Sobbing painfully, he recounted his lasting meeting with her and how he had departed without farewell, something that was bizarre. I sensed enormous guilt and grief, but did little to console, knowing that time would do a better job. We cried together. Nothing had united us so much in pain and grief before. It was a first. I recollected how Simbha's predecessors had passed on in our youth. Perhaps childhood offers a better mechanism to deal with bereavement, i thought. Or maybe we were too oblivious to comprehend back then. Possibly the strength of adolescence was formidable. Age can make a destitute of emotion.

Alone and bewildered, i made my way to the refrigerator and emptied some cola. It seemed tasteless and reeked of fizz. I gulped it down anyway and made to the shower and let the cold jet sprinkle on me. Vivid accounts of the past, safely etched in memory now came to fore and translated into tears, streaming down my face. I cried. And smiled.

That night as i attempted to sleep, glowing dreams transported me to faraway places, in the mountains, awash with endless hues of green and blue. I tossed about fitfully, shifting through places and time.

And then, i set about to write this post. I needed to write, express in words. This was my way, this is my way. A way of catharsis, a path towards deliverance. A paltry attempt at recounting a splendid existence that can never really be explained.

This is by no means an obituary, that is not how i would want it to be read. That is not how i wrote it. It is a fragmented account, severely limited in expression, of a superhuman life that intimately and absolutely transformed the lives of four people who, i realize, are truly blessed!

We have all, since, returned to our lives, largely out of necessity and partly out of choice. Eventually, time will consign memories to more manageable spaces where recollection would be possible with more cheer than grief.

That is indeed the purpose. To write; to remember and to come to terms with - to remember and celebrate the grace, love and cheer and to come to terms with the grief and pain.

But truth be told, she will always remain what she has always been - iconic.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Tale of U

I measure about a 176 cms skywards. U, close to about two-thirds of that, with a steely blue, somber and strong build wielded imposing construct.

It was not chance that brought us together, but necessity. Going by the call-signs; spear or spike, U lived up the description, apt and fiercely loyal, protecting me from unpredictable ire, that even some of the most sophisticated forms of electronic intelligence, i use, were unprepared to counter.

One dark, wet, evening, last year, i went looking for purpose; a journey that would eventually take me to U and fulfill my quest for security, comfort and preparedness which my world demanded - a world that was increasingly turning unkind, hostile and unremitting, for most part of time.

U was perfect and much more; a head-turner and lifelike, many an onlooker paused to glance at this outsized figure whose sole duty was to protect the master. Between us, we had forged a camaraderie, a sort of a bond that permitted each to communicate with one another at will, without the burdensome semantics of language.

This past Saturday, all of that came to an abrupt end. Out to attend a meeting, at a hideously unfamiliar part of Mumbai, U and i became separated. A feeling of remorse overwhelmed me as i tasted bile in my mouth, unable to comprehend the happening. Sick and disgusted at my callousness, i became immediately aware of the danger that now surrounded me, vulnerable as i was. My world had changed - forever, it seemed!

As if on cue, the moment i had feared and loathed, came to be.

Ominously dark and sinister clouds, hanging in wait, like sleeper cells of terrorists waiting to perpetuate war, let go of a torrent of deluge that struck me. Alas, there was no mercy! The very mortifying infidel that U had kept me from, now found me an easy picking and attacked with spitefully relentless might.

Vanquished, in pride and spirit, i headed home a forlorn being. But even in trounce are lessons to learn. And, as i returned wiser, i thought of U, my umbrella, the generous being that had unconditionally protected me from an increasingly hostile Mumbai monsoon.

An Update:

On 14 August, U, my beloved umbrella, was returned to me. I can consider being among those privileged few who is now reunited with my 'adored.' It turned out that i had left U at a colleague's residence and returned quite absent minded.

The supreme realization of true love is that you set free the object of your affection and upon its return, if it does ever, know that you were meant to be together. U and i are a fitting example!

Now, the incredulous rains of Mumbai have much to fear as U is back on my side, looking after me, every moment i am out in the open. I feel powerful as ever and sometimes, in pride, mock those hapless clouds and their arsenal of water-drops that connive among themselves to launch a scathing strike, only to be met with a God-like phalanx; to be defeated and condemned to be collected in puddles and pools that will eventually be desiccated - miserably!

All thanks to U, my umbrella! :-)

Monday, August 05, 2013

Sometimes

Some dreams, deep and vivid,
fleeting, like floating clouds,
in moments that are, but lost forever,

Some thoughts, like dewdrops,
drip and depart, like shimmering lights,
shrouded in mystical darkness,

Some emotions, weave a shade,
forlorn and uneasy, like drifting spirits,
leaving behind a stain, rancid and dark,

Some places, embrace in comfort,
offer kindly abode, like maples in woods,
where melody is born of skies and wind,

Some worlds, are yonder,
from the pretenses of time, like twinkling stars,
obscured by daylight,

Sometimes, i pause and gather the truth,
that these facets, like colours,
are different, perchance, as unlike shades,
yet, one, and all the very same! 

Monday, July 29, 2013

Some Milestones

80,000+ Page views
6,900+ Comments
400+ Posts
120+ Countries
9+ Years

And, endless love.

Cannot thank you enough for supporting Redefining Oblivion

Monday, July 22, 2013

Shine On You Crazy Diamond

Of a nine-part Pink Floyd composition written by Roger Waters, Richard Wright and David Gilmour, this is a tribute to former band member Syd Barrett. He was their lead guitarist and wrote most of their early hits, but was eased out of the band in 1968, due to erratic behavior patterns. Substance abuse played a big role in his mental illness.

Word has it that Barrett, with a completely shaved head and eyebrows, wandered into the studio while the band was recording Wish You Were Here, although Nick Mason has since stated that he is not entirely certain whether "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" was the particular song being recorded when Barrett was in the studio. Because of his drastically changed appearance, the band could not recognize him for some time. When they eventually recognized Barrett, Roger Waters was so distressed he was reduced to tears.

Someone asked to play the song again and Barrett said a second playback wasn't needed when they'd just heard it. Apparently, when "Wish You Were Here" was played, "He stood up and said, 'Right, when do I put my guitar on?'" Wright recalled. "And of course, he didn't have a guitar with him. And we said, 'Sorry, Syd, the guitar's all done.'" When asked what he thought of Wish You Were Here, Barrett said it sounded a "bit old".

The track was first performed on their 1974 French tour, and recorded for their 1975 concept album Wish You Were Here. To me, this track defines Pink Floyd and its signature progressive psychedelic style. It, undoubtedly, is the best produced pieces of music, that nothing could rival, ever!



Footnotes:

With inputs from Wikipedia

Monday, July 15, 2013

Perfect Symmetry


Footnotes:

Image Description: Tea gardens in Lovedale, outside Ooty

Monday, July 08, 2013

Us and Them

In the company of stars, lights in trance,
moments of splendid indulgence,
wind, mountains, streams and the trees,
all part of an assemblage of happy regales,

Without words or expressions to distort,
those visuals that make for delightful import,
vast meadows of sun-spilled warmth,
set about in green prairies of endless charm,

The everlasting allure of an old world,
against the braggadocio of those newfound ones,
we have always known of the winner before, here,
which those plenty retards know not to care,

Time, to some, is a tool of wise immoderation,
spent well on what is worthy of accommodation,
yet, for some others there is no path or way,
caught drifting in a callously downstream sway.

Footnotes:

Inspired by the second single 'Us and them' from the English progressive rock band, Pink Floyd's eighth studio album 'Dark Side of Moon' released in 1973.

Monday, July 01, 2013

Happy Birthday Bill Watterson

-- For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream ~Bill Waterson, Calvin & Hobbes


Footnotes:

Paying tributes to American artist and the author of the comic strip Calvin and HobbesWilliam "Bill" Boyd Watterson II who was born on July 5, 1958.

Image Courtesy - Google

Monday, June 24, 2013

One Morning in the 0638

It is almost 06:38 one morning, and i'm waiting up, like i do most mornings, for the 0638 to coast in. This is a description of some regular sights that i catch in the process.

The 40 something Cowboy Trapeze Artist (Codename - Uncle) cannot rest until he has hurled himself into the oncoming train even before it has come to a halt. That despite the train being empty! I gather this has to be his most defining personality trait, something he has painstakingly perfected for decades now. Hopefully, he understands the difference between hurling into and hurling onto!

And, there are the Cousins, his accomplices who herd behind him in the act, convinced in the belief that this is their last train to salvation!

Fugitive appears hurriedly from the shadows, with steely pale eyes, always shivering with fear. He scampers in like a shrew that has been pursued by an owl.

Frequent Flier arrives through the bridge and seats himself at the same place as he has done before. Now, bridge is our reference for the train that has parked itself adjacent to ours, scheduled to depart ahead. In case of the bridge not available for transit, he trudges down the track, climbs up the dirty, rusted scaffolding and hoists himself into the carriage. Not an unimpressive antic for a seemingly 50 something tumbler! But stupid, all the same.

Half Moon, the bald 30 something guy is in perpetual hurry, occasionally accompanied by Distressed Damsel who scampers along like a mouse deer.

The Meerkats appear two pit stops later. Teens, enthusiastic and three in number, they seem primarily preoccupied with news from the soccer world, and intermittently raise their heads in unison as if posted on the prairies as lookouts. One of them can be mistaken for a bush baby!

The Twin Cloud, two 'accidental' look-alike colleagues make an occasional entry from one or two pit stops later. They are forever preoccupied, intensely wondering about their work woes, which are, not surprisingly, people specific, and spend the remainder of the journey strategizing.

Motormouth is the most undistinguished of the lot, but is heard the most. He has no qualms yelling his lungs out to comrades who seem utterly disinterested and the rest of us who are thoroughly disgusted. The description is understated, surely.

So much for seemingly serene mornings! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

19 Years Later

What changes 19 years after? Absolutely nothing or absolutely everything. Well, in some rare instances the former is more so, as i was to find out.

D and i went to school together and have known each other since 1986. We spent until 1994 in school, after which we managed to remain in touch. So, when he told me of his visit to Mumbai, i was determined more than anything to meet him, after what was an epoch that passed by.

Warm as ever, characteristically poised, positively sensitive, clear and deep, i noticed that those traits that defined him as a person of excellence not only remained, but were now accentuated with time and understanding.

Our conversations soon deepened into the need for extricating ourselves from the labyrinth of pointless pursuits that now centralized our lives. Soulful conversations, examples, recollections, a great deal of wisdom and remarkably positive reassurances later, i returned a happier man who had inherited the fortune of sharing a defining dream.

Maybe i don't have the apt word to best describe him. I am not sure i even qualify to do so. But it would be close to use the words evolved, aware and mindful. 

Monday, June 10, 2013

The #Extremedrive Indiblogger Meet

Renie and team Indiblogger can kick up quite a dust and take you through some power-packed jolly rides, as i figured during my first ever Indiblogger meet.

Set in the expanses of a large open ground, this one was quite different, perhaps, from the routine of presentations and tech-literature. With some 200+ enthusiasts from different genres of blogs, there was a mood of eagerness and bonding.

Soon, with hands muddied, outwitting competition to tug up a truckload, literally, the 'cyclone' swept up a win within a super-incredible 5.82 seconds. And, off we were bundled for some roaring antics orchestrated from behind the wheel of the beast, which was worth every ounce of adrenaline each one carried! That must sum up the mood when you are dished out a power-homie Tata Safari Storme to play with :-)

Also the wonderful conversations, a great connect with some fellow-bloggers and time well spent, makes for a memory to be treasured.

Oh, and thank you very much guys, for that snazzy Victorinox jewel for an appreciation and souvenir. Loved it.

Next thing on my mind: #Extremeblogtrek :-)

Indian by birth, Blogger by choice! Yeah! 

Monday, June 03, 2013

A New High

A soulful evening replete with tranquil green expanses of wilderness. There are no thoughts as the eyes feast on the setting sun. Dusk arrives, and with it more measures of silence. The soul is stirred, elated. A walk into the wilds. Canopies of green rising up into eternity. Sounds of dusk hallowing the moment. Distances don't matter as eager steps edge to cover them. The path is endless and gratifying.

Birds fly about seeking spots to roost, their calls trailing through like flashes in twilight. Soon, it is a moonless night and darkness envelopes. The colours of colourlessness are distinctive to the eye; and a feast to the senses that only wants more.

Serenity is a sweet prescription and consigns memories to flames. It feels like a different time and age. A spectacular union of the inner self and the outer world.

Home is where the heart is.

Footnotes:

An evening during my maiden trip to my parents' new home in Wayanad, Kerala.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Direction D

D turned 34 a few days ago. I've known him most of my life. Unchanged in demeanour or passion, he remains undaunted in the face of changing times and beliefs. Pleasantly stoic and forever upbeat, he reflects an optimistic disposition, maturely woven with strong measures of a selfless pursuit for achieving happiness, not limited to oneself.

There is a certain character to his pursuit; corded in downright simplicity, embedded with more than definitively clear thoughts and yet as diverse and magical as the enchanting shades off the mirrors of a kaleidoscope.

As he continues his relentless pursuit, Redefining Oblivion wishes him the very best, always and all ways. A chip off the old block, truly. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Small Measures of Joy

Small measures of joy, amidst rumbling clouds of gray. Time speeds by without count or warning. In this state of blank, yet with strong persistence to reconstruct, there are small joys to be relished and among them the bliss of being back on the blog and sailing into another world of happiness, which is by now familiar, very much like home - a home in the heart.

Some indulgences never die; the strong connect with nature, the pleasure in gorging pages of an interesting book, filtering light through the lens, conversations galore, the everlasting love for music - now, retro-pop of the 70s ;-)

Life goes on, apparently some full-circles aren't really it; they were merely interludes in the passage!

And then, there are long and momentary silences, deep shades of gray, an occasional delving into memories that bring smiles, rumbling ragings and of course, small measures of joy!

Not at odds, but completely even.

Friday, May 17, 2013

A Few Days in Heaven

Mighty, mist covered blue mountains,
rolling ever greens of happiness,

rich blue skies of eternal joy,
soaring trees, oak, pine and others plenty,

maybe, there are so many different worlds, yes,
but there's only one like you, yours of bliss,

the one i was born to, embraced and loved,
cradled in the arms of divine comfort,

with brethren akin, bound by love,
forever and ever, always in hope,

someday i will return to these valleys, these mountains,
these expanses of joy, these moments of elation,

of your soul, spirit and all, i am part of you,
in you i see me, as in me they see you,

there can only be one home for me,
and it will always be in those mighty arms of thee.

Footnotes:

My 'last' few days at home in Ooty early in February

Monday, February 04, 2013

Beyond Sun and Sands - In Words and Notes

Goa and frolic have, over time, attained synonymy! And, fun in Goa is nothing short of being legendary, decreed by King Momo himself. It has been 20 years to the date since i last visited Goa and something has been itching within me to pack a bag and set off - except that the moment in time doesn't seem to arrive.

Some ten days ago, on a Friday morning, fellow blogger Chirag's text and K's email landed up almost the same time informing me of a press-conference scheduled later in the day announcing the Goa Carnival 2013. The enthusiasm of news from the land of 'sun and sands' added to the prospect of meeting some fellow bloggers was alluring.

The Government of Goa had sent in their top emissaries for the purpose; the minister and chief executive for tourism, who did good to promote the upcoming event and spell a message that Goa wasn't all about beaches and fizz, during the year end, but much more in spirit, culture, food, people and destinations. One witnessed a passionate and sensible attempt to convey of Goa as being a place to be visited year round rather than it just being seen as a frenzied venue for new year calling.

So then, what is the message about the carnival? A moment in time at a place "dominated by enjoyment and merry making where people come together and spread cheer and happiness."

Now, Goa aside, it was a treat to meet the lovely K, charming and eloquent, who as an organizer made it very comfortable and personal. Anil Purohit of Windy Skies was a pleasure to meet with. Kuldeep Chugh of The Top List with his sense and perspective of current goings-on and beyond along with Chirag, about whom i've written some posts before, made for some fine, personal, warm and memorable conversations that one could have hoped for.

Footnotes:

A post on Chirag's blog about the evening.

And, on another note, my Mum and Sister-in-law celebrate their birthdays today!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Wind and the Valley


oh you, to whom life bows in deference,
you, who is part of our every moment and existence,

mighty, fulfilling, absolute and faultless,
your colours and contours are timeless,

in you, i find comfort everlasting,
forgetful of time, age and all that is unwilling,

to you i was born, to you i shall return,
these moments apart are but a short sojourn.

Footnotes:

Image description - Taken from a look-out point at Matheran

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Sojourn in Paradise

Whoever remarked of paradise being only within the heart was not blessed enough to admire the expansive outbacks that lie strewn across all of India. Matheran is one such destination and it was sheer thoughtfulness that took me there.

V's text one Friday evening had me elated when he asked if i'd like to go along over the weekend. And, on a following Sunday morning when we set about, in the midst of nippy winter air, i had little clue of what was to come. Excitement turned into elation when we slipped out of the city and into unrestrained greenery, which to me is balm to the soul, or rather, its home.

Winding roads, thin clear air, rugged hills and rolling mountains later, Matheran presented itself and welcomed us like home would its inhabitants. I cannot justly describe the sights and sounds, for they are much more and beyond words. But walking about untroubled by time or intention and purely ecstatic at taking in all the marvel that was, i soon reached a point of not wanting to return; of the need to disappear into the consoling wilderness and remain lost forever!

Humbled, and in awe, i was once again reassured by the verity that meaning and purpose are nothing more than the synonyms of nature, the marvels of creation.

I cannot thank V and his friends enough for this splendid opportunity; the sojourn, feel, stillness, conversations. And V, and his family, particularly for some delightfully homemade Rajasthani fare of 'dal bati churma.'

I can at best sum up the day with one word, very distinctive of what it truly is - a 'blessing.'

And as i returned home and passed into time, another milestone, quite contrary of its just-relished predecessor stood in force to smother me - It was a Monday morning! 

Monday, January 14, 2013

Rendezvous with the Renaissance Man

Among the things that define him the least is to say that he is a blogger.

He is someone who is much more, and blogging therefore is among the many activities of his passion. Self taught, self made, supremely adaptable, admirably well-travelled and in a purposeful quest for meaning, reason and happiness, he holds the distinction of being someone out of the ordinary, committed to himself, to be away from the mundane rat race that defines the road to success in the context of the present day.

Sadho Ram, affectionately known as Sadho, is a man who holds life in high esteem and values relationships with importance. So when one Sunday morning, not long ago, i had the privilege of having breakfast with him, only hours before his departure from here, i was adequately reassured of his priorities in life.

But the story begins from many years ago, when a boy decided to break free from what was almost decidedly the natural course of his life - willed for him by his kin, themselves following in the path of their family before them. Aware that the path towards his destiny lay elsewhere, he broke glass and chose to embark upon a journey that saw him go places, pursue a course of study of choice, and transform his life  - a journey which saw him be himself.

Having travelled extensively across the breadth of the Indian union, he continues to be in awe of places and what they hold in store for the explorer in him, the explorer that is him. The more i spoke to him, the more i became aware of him as a person unperturbed by time.

His concerns are not centered around wealth, positions or material gains - those to him are mere dictates of a social order. Sadho is energetically and genuinely articulate about the concerns surrounding human life today - paramount among which is a prevalent lacking of the ability of the individual to unite and bond with the self and thus be aware and cognizant of the the world within and that which lies outside of it.

Close to ninety minutes, an easy south-Indian fare and a soulful conversation later, i decided to let go of him mindful of his impending journey later that day.

But, truly, it has taken only ninety minutes to earn a friend for life.

Footnotes:

On another note, Deepu, my brother, turns 30 day! Welcome to the club, boyo! :-)

Monday, January 07, 2013

Live On Forever Ry

My first memories of him are that of a warm smile, twinkling eyes of sincerity and a firm handshake which evidently were his trademark style of greeting, every one, every time, and at all times. These memories are not from a very distant past, but, from the backyard of the present.

At 21 you wouldn't expect anyone to be anything but a stirring teenager adept only with the ways a relative, contemporary world. But, at that, he proved all assumptions as they truly are - as assumptions. Extremely passionate about education, with the resolved belief that it was a liberating force, he was working on making his dream project come true - education for the under privileged. It was this yet unborn cause that brought us together, though we found ourselves often delving deep into the pleasures of music, movies, travel and literature.

One would think that a soul like this was destined to live his dream, to deliver the world from tribulation and be celebrated in timelessness - because that is precisely what the world needs, a man of resolve, commitment and belief that he will change the way people live, by hope, vision and effort.

Christmas was two days away and i was invited to have dinner with him - even during which occasion he passionately articulated his dream, his vision, his purpose. That evening, i went home comforted in dreams, his dreams, that strengthened a world of perfection deep within my mind.

But life isn't always the way we think of it! There is always that big fucking sick surprise that springs up unannounced, unbeknownst to us. I wouldn't know then that Ry wouldn't make it for Christmas. A little after mid-week last, of the past year, i was informed that Ry had met with death tragically, bringing two-decades of brilliance to an abrupt end.

Today, as i recall our last conversation, only hours before his departure - his words echo, inspire and encourage me, as if to say that we had met that last hour so that he could pass on the mantle of his dream to me, for it to live on. I gather, he was someone, unlike so many of us, who did not need any credit of achievement to attain his coign of vantage - for who he was, his existence alone did that for him. And that day isn't very far away when tributes, which will culminate into efforts, paid to his memory will show how much the influence of the departed will strengthen and inspire the deeds of the living.

For me, he continues to exist, always and all ways, in my memories and my actions. His simplicity, compassion and forthrightness and more prominently, his efforts to make the world a better place for the less fortunate make him truly what he is - the son of God!

Rest in peace, Ry, my friend, my brother! You fought a tough life and now you are united with your creator. Heaven is a place, now, better, but you have left us poor, forever!

Rest in peace, my friend, my brother. You will live on forever.