Monday, March 14, 2011

Wandering around

कुछ समा हुआ ऐसे ही बैठे हुए,
कुछ अरसे गुज़र गए यह दीवारें देखते हुए,
दिल हुआ है ज़िन्दगी को नए सिरे से देखने का,
नयी ज़मीन पर बैठने का, नयी दीवारों को ताकने का.
तोह चल पड़ें एक और रस्ते पर, एक और ठिकाने की तालाश में,
मंजिल फिर नहीं है, सफ़र से फिर ना कोई उम्मीद,
दिल को बहलाना है, वही पुरानी ख्वाहिश.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Random peek in the past

Over the past three and a half years or so, I have traveled quite a bit. Only one country i.e. India but states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Uttrakhand, Punjab, Haryana, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, besides my very own Delhi. Phew! That is quite a long list, and we are still to go into the cities and villages list. The best part is that while some of those escapades have been very touristy - visiting all the places one is 'supposed' to - a large part of them have taken me to remote villages, slums, and what not. And what that has meant is not-so-typical experiences, conversations and memories.

I like interacting with almost strangers. And by 'almost' I mean I do not start talking to the person standing next to me on a railway platform or a temple, but the next layer of people closer than them - the auto rickshaw or taxi walas, the waiters, the bar tenders, the project associates, etc etc. And I have formed a belief that the kind of insights taxi or auto drivers give about a place are incomparable. I remember talking to a taxi driver on my first visit to Mumbai. He had seen Mumbai age with years. To him the city had become like a museum, where millions come and go but whatever is inside hasn't changed for decades. The infrastructure development has just not coped up with the population increase. I hardly know Mumbai, but I feel that every time I am there. Don't take me wrong, I am not a Mumbai hater or something, in fact, I believe the Arabian Sea makes it the most special city in this country, gives it that soul. But the day time chaos is something that could have been better managed. Anyway, I love the vada pao and when I told this to another taxi driver, he laughingly said, 'Sahab pet bharne ke liye khana padega, toh utna achha nahi lagega', with the laugh receding with every word.

One thing that catches my eye every time I visit a new city is how each city, especially the smaller ones, have their own design of auto rickshaws. I have seen some giant 10 seaters to really petite, slim and trim ones, still having the same capacity. While the city defines its auto rickshaws' exterior structure, the interiors really bring out the personality of each of those auto rickshaws, or their drivers. So some have starking bright blue neon lights with silver danglers hanging down the side railings. Others would prefer posters of bare chested Salman Khan or the shades wearing Shahrukh Khan or more commonly, the not so fair Bipasha Basu. And it does not end there. I remember traveling in an auto rickshaw in Bhopal. We reached a traffic signal and stopped (an impossibility in states of Uttar Pradesh and Haryana). Another auto rickshaw came, screeching with a glass shattering sound of Dhoom Dhoom (yes the John Abraham movie's OST). My auto rickshaw felt outdone and replied with 'Muqabla, muqabla..hoga!' and rocketed ahead at the sight of green light.

It is obviously impossible to capture (even remember) all my traveling experiences in one blog post. I think I would not even want to. It is about how thoughts are stored in one memory. I believe they are compartmentalized on the basis of some common characteristics. You think of a fair girl and your memory sorts all the records of fair girls that made lasting impressions at any point of time. You remember a girl in Rishikesh and that brings you to your other memories of that place - the rafts, the camps, the boats, the cliffs, and so much more. And those threads of thoughts are what make memories beautiful, bringing that smile to one's face. At least to me. So let's see how my day-to-day experiences of the future would remind me of some of the moments I have enjoyed in the past and then would like to share them here.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

A New Day, A New Beginning

It is amazing how time makes thoughts to oscillate between extremes.

I started this blog to pen down some of my real thoughts as an extra-curricular activity whenever I get bored of posting on stairway. But that quickly lost steam as I just did not find the motivation of doing so.

Now things have changed. I fail to muster up energy to post anything on stairway. While there is a plan of putting a fictional thing down someday, something that is more exciting, voluminous and useful, I don't know when will that happen. I have come to realize one thing - human thoughts evolve beautifully with time and experiences. From what I was a few years ago, the way I thought about life and the world, my outlook towards my innerself and beyond, I am a remarkably different person. And I just got this feeling that if this evolution is not recorded, I will miss out on the charm of looking back a few years down the line and reading through the way I think right now. I just read my older posts out here when I began this blog and I couldn't stop smiling. And also that I have accepted I don't possess much memory to be proud of. So the concluding idea - this blog will get a fresh new beginning while stairway will go into hibernation for sometime, and hence the oscillation.

The interesting thing to see will be that are these really oscillations or a mere U turn that will now take me to an altogether different journey, which I could have just missed going on.

I plan to record some of the interesting experiences that stumble upon me every now and then; also some of my thoughts on the issues I typically remain interested in; some of my travelogues from excursions that I normally value a lot; some of my rantings about world, people and even myself; and a lot more. I just hope I am regular enough to do this justice from hereon.

Baddi muddat ke baad ek raasta fir pakda hai,
Manzil ki na koi khabar hai na koi chahat, safar se hi mohabbat karne ka iraada hai.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Moving Back

I had the intention of making this blog my 'real' diary, but frankly I have not been getting time to do it. Even when I do get that, I prefer taking care of my original world than this one. So till the time, I really figure out what I want to do with this one, it would be better for you to keep checking The Higher World, as it promises to be more interesting.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The Pole Theory

Negative multiplied by negative is positive but negative added to negative becomes more negative. So negative negative is not essentially positive.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Lazy cribbing

Another lazy post before I fall off. Seriously speaking I don't even know why have I sat down here, as I am just too tired and that too for no reason. Perhaps the Monday syndrome. If you are wondering what that is, you don't really need to do that as there is nothing like that. I just coined that term right now. And if someone is working, he will know what I am talking about.

It was an average day with average load, average results and an average mood. Just like not everyone is born to excel, days have their share of fate too. So if some days score a distinction, there are days which need some grace marks to pass through. Now those marks can be OH radicals for some, sinful passionate hard work for some, good music for some, wasteful blogging for some and reading some wasteful blog for some. You must have stopped wondering what is wrong with this guy, otherwise you would have stopped coming here.

An interesting thing to note is that in the heights of capitalism, I am not charged a paisa (an endangered species) for advertising my webpage on gtalk and orkut. But I am sure days are near when status message won't be for free or there will be some company sponsoring the same. Money has been taking man for a long ride, and it has just started. I used to hear from people about a common debate over rich getting richer and poor getting poorer, never making much sense of it, especially with all the globalization happening, banks opening up to public, the giant corporate houses coming up to do so much around us. But my small stint in the rural development sector tell me, that its a bunch of bullshit. The debate will continue to exist. The fact is that it is easier for people who have money to get more money and the ones who really need it, who have the fire, who want to break the shackles, who have the fire to become something on their own, they are shooed away at all these big banks who run hours of advertisements about caring for people. I understand for them it does not make business sense to lend 40-50k of rupees, but everything can't be business, right? And even if it has to, no business starts with a million. I might not be making much sense to you, but I have seen that pain in the eyes of people, and I can't sleep easily. And if I can't, why should you?

I still get three to four calls everyday for getting a personal loan of 2 lakhs in 2 days. Don't you?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Of Chambal and the Stars

'Aisa toh mere sath kabhi nahi hua!!' I slept for more than 14 hours, and those who know me would or should know that actually thats pretty rare to happen. Anyway, this fact hardly makes a difference to anyone's life. So how has life been at your end? At my end its been pretty hectic to say the least, the only difference is that this time its by choice than by anything else.

I have been doing interesting things. My work, as expected, landed me up in Jhansi. But that was just to sleep. The work was out of Jhansi and in places like Orchha, Niwari, Tarichhar, etc, which I am sure you have never heard of. For the first time in my life, I saw rural India with such proximity. And on top of that, I celebrated my birthday roaming around in draught hit areas, meeting weird people with acute memory problems, seeing half filled orange coloured sealed coca cola bottles, eating jumbo sized gulab jamuns which are strangely called rasgullas, drinking hot chaai in big khullads, yelling at a half psychotic painter, almost drinking the sinful Bagpiper (Don't worry, I did not do it!!), seeing the largest number of matkas at one place at one moment of time (only second to IIT i guess!), and what not.

If that wasn't enough, my next day saw me had one ride of my life on an open truck. I was on the back side of it, which was open. We were going through a dark jungle in Madhya Pradesh, better known as Chambal. Yes you have guessed it right its the famous land of all the Dakus in bollywood. And what I heard from localites is that the bollywood hasn't done good justice to the area as it is actually far more dangerous than portrayed. Dacoits can actually come out of nowhere anytime on that highway and you are not left with a long list of options. So that was how it was. We were crossing through that jungle and it was pitch dark with a strong breeze. Nothing happened except the fact that I kept listening to all the infamous incidents of past and the long list of Do's and Don'ts if something was to happen.

The most fascinating part of the whole thing was that I could see so many stars in the sky. You have to take my word, if you have always seen the night sky living in a city, you haven't seen anything. There are millions of stars visible with our eyes, which are never seen, because of the the excess of light in cities. That was some breathtaking experience, sitting in an open truck, everyone around me asleep, my iPod on, and the milky sky..brilliant!

About what useful I learnt from my experience, people are same everywhere, even the topics of discussion do not change, cricket rules there too. Most of the people have the basic necessities primarily because of the fact that electricity for them is not a basic need. So even if it is there for a couple of hours they are happy. But there are problems which they do not realize like the sanitation, the education levels and a lot more. The only thing which pinched me in the trip was that I could see that light in so many young kids, that fire to become something, that passion to dream..and I knew most of them won't be able to do it, just because they neither have someone to show the path nor the resources to walk on that path. It is that thing I am really going to work upon. Even if ten students are able to make big out of those places, the most fascinating stars on my blurred sky will make their first appearance.