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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Instant Inspiration!

It was the eleventh of july, 23:55. I was awake and waiting. So was more than half the human race. There was soccer and excitement in the air, all around –in every living room of the li’l colony I live in, and on my wall on facebook as well. Every third second on fb, saw a new status update, some cheering on the orange Dutchmen and the others siding the Spanish 11, everyone on tenterhooks to see if Paul’s prophecies were right.
A soccer game, usually the last thing on my list, was right there on top, this day. The mood everywhere was electrifying. In spite of my drowsiness, I was going to stay up all night to watch it all. There was no way I was going to miss this must-see.
I stayed glued to the tv screen, till some point when I think I dozed off, only to wake up to see the 85th minute with no score yet. The game went on that way for quite a while. There were so many missed opportunities by the Spanish, a few that made me jump, just to fall back on the couch a second later, in dejection. Most of the extra thirty minutes went on this way, with neither team scoring. 13 yellow cards were issued, with De Jong kicking Alonso so hard on the chest, for a second seemed like I was watching wrestling, rather than soccer. So went the game, a combo of yellow cards and missed chances.
And then came that moment, out of the blue, when Iniesta maneuvering the ‘Jo’bulani (yeah! I do skim through the news paper) impeccably, kicked it flawlessly into the nets, leaving Maarten Stekelenburg dismayed and upset. Up went the Spanish faction, cheering passionately. It was wild. It was crazy. Casillas’ men ran around in ecstasy, unable to contain the glee. I watched Casillas cry in overwhelming happiness. I was inspired, instantly.
The match continued. The match ended. However, the Dutch couldn’t recuperate. They were beaten, outclassed. Spain was the better team that day. They had won it, the World cup, after 2 lost finals. They had made it finally, under the brilliance of Casillas’ captaincy. They were elated. Words can never ever illustrate the level of magnitude of the happiness. The elation was high. It was emotional. Victory seemed so beautiful. Urged me to want the feeling, incited me to desire to win.
I went to bed that night, inspired.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Let me free!

When college suspends one guy for fagging, makes it an issue when a girl’s texts suggest she is in a relationship (don’t wonder how they read her texts, they don’t believe in privacy!), when the warden tells me what not to wear to the girls’hostel’s mess (no exaggeration!), when people have a problem if my dad chooses to buy me a phone with a camera, and the problem gets bigger if I’m on the phone after ten and and the worst of all, when they don’t let me step out of the campus when I feel like - not for a meal, or even just a stroll, I wonder. I wonder, what the logic behind all this is. Do they think restriction leads to what they term discipline?

I’ve two things to say to them. First, Not talking to people of the opposite gender and wrapping myself in layers of clothes, doesn’t make me disciplined. If you think it does, you’ve got a lot of thinking to do, before complete comprehension. Second, restriction doesn’t help. Get creative. Try other methods.

‘Discipline’ is the word I hate the most in English. It’s the least understood word, the most misinterpreted word, yet the most used word by every random person who loves to throw around free advice. These people, who believe it’s their responsibility to enlighten us, assume a girl is undisciplined when her hair isn’t tied up, a guy lacks discipline when he has a li’l longer-than-usual length hair. And the common rule for all young people, it’s indiscipline to have head phones on or play music loud.

Leaving aside this ignorance, and moving on, even if they want a non-smoking, single young man or woman who is a tee-totaller and completely covered , restriction is the last method that will work. It’s not rules that make a person, it’s a person’s beliefs and opinions that make him/her what he/she is. Once an adult, a person should be allowed to choose what is right for him. Surely, any 18 year old deserves this autonomy. This is what learning to live one one’s own is all about, and ironically, that’s the reason why one goes to a hostel. Sadly, we are all denied this choice. Restriction only causes frustration, and prolonged frustration will only lead to burst-outs. I write this out of frustration, that’s been building up for a long time now.

Rectifying a misconception is out of question when one denies its existence. So as long as this realization doesn’t happen, I guess we will all have to toy around with the rules, and find our way out.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The on-screen India

I’ve always been a proud Indian, I ‘ve loved India, I still do. Here is something I’ve noticed: every now and then, some video I watch intensifies this love. There’s something about them that gives me a feeling of belongingness to India. An emotional ingredient in such videos inspires me. It makes me glad I belong here. It gives me a sense of pride. It makes me smile to myself in genuine happiness.

It happens all the time; there is this sudden surge of patriotic emotions when I watch one of these Incredible India videos on YouTube. The music that goes with the video, the peace it gives, it is inspiring.

Is it just me, or does looking at India on screen, make it more beautiful?

Reading that India is the biggest democracy and that it’s got the second biggest something or the third biggest something else is not what I’m talking about. Nor is it the claims that, credit goes to India for the first wireless system and the concepts of surgery or the several others of this sort. It’s not such facts or statistics. I’m talking about the essence of life, that you can just feel, watching these videos.

It’s not just such videos. The other day I was cosying on the couch, flipping through the countless tv channels, grumbling about how monotonous the hols had become. I caught a glimpse of something that seemed familiar, I went back to it. It was As I passed Travel and Living- some show featuring the streets ofChennai, hosted by Meera Vasudevan, an actor and model. I went on to watch the show- An Indian Rendezvous- for more than an hour. The show, showed me Chennai in a different perspective, made me see what I see every day, differently. I don’t know why India on screen seems way more awesome, but I did give it some thought.

Some post-tvshow reflection, made me realize I miss out on the li’l, yet beautiful things that the show accentuated on, in real life. Time becomes too important a factor, for any to be left, for the small things that go unnoticed. The time I spent on hindsight told me I don’t take that extra second to look at the street side idli shop, or the throng of li’l kids playing cricket on the roads. I don’t even realize it when the resonant sound of temple bells ringing or the echoes of the evening namaz, fill the air. I’m just too worked up with seemingly important, but in point of fact, trivial things, to perceive the common, minute, but enchanting entities around.

My reasoning might not be perfect, nevertheless, the India I see on screen, is a different one from the one I see everyday.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Salem, As I see it!

Salem! This’s my place. This’s where I was born, this’s where I’ve lived all my life. This’s where I belong. I assume, you know that Salem is a tier-2 city in Tamil Nadu. (If you don’t, remember Salem steel plant? It must have been there! In some corner of you eighth grade geography book.)

Here is a gist of my place, As I see it.

A typical convo!

-Coffee day? Barista?


-Oh! Alright, surely there’s gotta be a pizza hut.

-Nope. There’s a pizza corner though.

-Oh damn! This sucks! Rural area, probably.


Let’s face it. Salem is no metro. It’s not the coolest place around. It’s no Bangalore. It’s not even close to where you’d place Cbe.

If you ever visit Salem, which you surely should, there is one thing you just shouldn’t let pass. I’m talking about what we call the ‘Settu kadai’. It’s a roadside mobile eatery that serves some awesome food (U got it? thinking of ‘set dosa’? You’ve no idea what I’m talking about, quit guessing.) At close to seven in the evening, get outta where you stay (on a bike, I suggest). You might have to hang about a bit before you spot the guy. Nevertheless, you wouldn’t lament it, it’s surely worth it. You would certainly find it nowhere else. That’s a bike ride, awesome food and easy on the pocket as well!

So, unless you’re a hygiene freak or the kind who refuses to eat from the road-side hawkers, this is surely SOMETHING!

Yercaud! Li’l Ooty! A forty minute drive to awesomeness! Get outta bed and into our car, drive uphill with the windows down, turn up the music, loud and intense, feel the morning chill as the wind hits your face and makes your eyes watery. Look all around, see the beauty, listen to it, feel it, experience it. Reach the place, sip some hot tea to feel the warmth as it descends down your throat. Spend the day chilling out. The drive downhill, it’s something you ought not miss. The top view of Salem, the countless street lights in a backdrop of black, dark silence is a breathtaking site. In all, I promise you a beautiful day.

Bangalore and Chennai have too many things, which Salem is short of, traffic as well. :P That’s one thing that’s cool about Salem. You don’t spend half your day swearing at the red that never turns green here. Small town, lesser population, insignificant traffic, distances are way shorter and travelling is not a piss off. It’s fun in fact.

In spite of the many times when I got bored of the eateries, when I was fed up of riding through the same roads, when I couldn’t think of any new place to hang out, there’ s something about the place that I miss when I’m not in town. It’s just that it’s home, I guess. =)

Stop over sometime, to see Salem as you see it. =)