Sunday, 18 November 2012

One Tight Slap!

The slap was such an integral part of growing up that I miss it sometimes. By the time I passed school, I got so used to getting slapped that it really didn't matter anymore. The normal reaction to the phase - "If you do this, you will get one tight slap" was kind of like - "Just a slap? I mean...that’s all?"...and off I went to the liquor shop after college to get myself a beer.

But yes...there is a difference between getting slapped by someone you know and getting slapped by a policeman. The latter (always delivered harder and with sheer precision) often left a ringing sound in the ear for a good hour or so. My study (done during the last 3 years of college, sitting outside 'Aunty’s Tea Shop') revealed that every time a policeman slapped someone, (especially college kids caught drinking beer behind the liquor shop) it was delivered with an undying sense of passion and honesty...words that were missing from the police dictionary (owing to the fact that all the pages after the word Corruption went missing). It was a policeman's divine duty to slap 'peace loving beer drinking college kids' behind the liquor shop...if slapping was a sport, I know one or two policemen who would have got the Khel Ratna. It was what God, in a dream, told a policeman to do as often as he could (apart from taking money from truck drivers) to ensure that he was not a policeman again in his next life. The other difference was that a policeman would never say - "If you do this I will slap you". He slaps you straightaway. For a 'peace loving beer drinking college kid' such a slap was often very difficult to anticipate. Like the slap the 'peace loving and probably beer drinking kid' in the in the center fresh chewing gum ad got from his dad after failing in his exams. (Link to the ad, if you have not seen this –

Slaps in school could be classified according to the subject. The hardest came from Math teacher, followed by the Science teacher, then by the Social Science teacher, the English teacher, the Language on and so forth. I was not particularly good in Math and the Math teacher was not exactly my best friend. (In school, even if you are not good in Math, you can still be best friends with the Math teacher if you take private tuition from him...along with all the other students who were good in Math but still wanted to be best friends with the Math teacher...just in case). So being bad in Math and not being best friends with the Math teacher lead to situations like these:

Math Teacher: One pipe can fill a tank in 5 minutes and another can empty the tank in 10 minutes. If both the pipes are opened together how long will it take to fill the tank? Any Questions? 

Sanjit Phukan: Yes sir! Sir, what is the objective? Is it to fill the tank or empty the tank? If it’s to fill the tank then why open the other pipe at all? (I always found it amazing that people required Math to solve such simple, man-made problems of life) 

Math Teacher: You think you are very smart? SLAP. (Completely un-anticipated, quick swing of the arm, flawless)

I know text books can’t be wrong but it’s been more than 16 years since the above slap and I have not come across a tank that has 2 pipes, (one to fill it and one to empty it) with both of them opened together with an objective to fill it. If you tell a plumber that this is what you tried to solve in school in the Math class...he would probably never send his kids to school. But change is constant! I have heard that the above problem was removed from the text books a few years back. It has been replaced by this one - 1 labourer can build a wall in 5 days and one labourer can break it in 10 days. If both the labourers are working together, how long will it take to build the wall? Sure someone somewhere is getting slapped. (Btw: Now that Bal Thackeray dead, I wonder who is paying the other labourer to break the wall)

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

One shade of grey!

Every enthusiastic drinker would have his own 'Post Getting Drunk' (PGD) horror story. Yes, the degrees may vary and on this would depend the possibility of a public announcement, but I am sure most will have a story to tell or to hide. I am a moderate drinker but from my experience I can tell you that the few glasses of whiskey 'on the chosen day' never look back at history to determine what kind of rating your PGD horror story would get. The glasses I gulped down managed to script one that would get something like - 'parental advisory'. 

I used to live on the 1st floor and this had an important role to play (probably and hopefully) in the entire scheme of things. The doorbell rang really early in the morning...had to be...I remember leaving the party at 4.30 in the morning...considering that it was a 20 min drive back home and the fact that it felt like I was asleep only for about 8 must have been 4.58 am*. Everything else remaining constant, something was not, because the time was 2.15 pm. Please do understand that getting the time right was important because that is a testimony that you are in control. The time is not important now and by the end of this paragraph you will know why. I managed to pick up my head from the pillow (if I say it felt like a football, it would be a gross underestimate, say by about 9 times*) and float towards the door.

Opening the door while you are half or fully asleep was something I was reasonably good at because the maid used to come at 6 in the morning on weekdays. The maid that day looked fatter and was wearing a t-shirt not because it was a weekend but because she was not the maid but the landlady. I got ready for the usual suspects (a) “Beta...kal raat music bahut loud tha” [%#*^] (b) “Beta...daru pina acchi baat nahi...mummy daddy ne bari umeed se aapko Gurgaon bheja hai” [Gurgaon of all places in the world!] (c) “Beta...gadi terhi lagi hui hai...jharu lagane mei dikkat ho rahi hai” [No are so fat!].

But that day it was kind of different. The moment I opened the door, she was trying hard not to look anywhere else but straight into my face which made me feel rather uneasy. Then she finally spoke..."beta ye aapka jeans hai?" My head was jeans?...looks like the one I was wearing last night...was I wearing jeans last night? or did it fall into her backyard from the dhobi line in my balcony? Suddenly it all became clear and I replied "Nehi aunty...mera nehi hai" and I slammed the door close. 

The jeans was mine cos I was not wearing any (remember she was staring straight at my face trying hard not to look anywhere else, now precisely below). The mystery of the cool morning breeze that seemed to be effective only on the lower part of my body was quickly solved too. I thanked God that at least the undies were reasonably new...not that it made any difference. I vividly remembered that I did take a leak right next to my car after I somehow parked it and also felt quite happy about it but till date I have not been able to remember why or how I managed to open my jeans on the staircase. It was not long before I realized that my wallet was still in the jeans and that I should boldly agree that it was my jeans indeed before the landlady gave it away to her maid (it was rather strange that all male clothing - small, medium, large used to fit the maid's husband) and that is exactly what I did. She never asked me any more questions and I never told her any more lies. 

* All of the above calculations were done by the subject PGD and are not meant to scale.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Way back Home

Standing here, looking at these city lights,
Feels like I'm growing old,
Everything's so hi-fi.
Don’t know why I feel alone,
I had a life, it was so right.
I wanna go back to my mother’s arms,
Mamma take me back,
Don’t leave me alone...

Cos I’m singing a song,
The one that belongs,
To a book where the pages are torn,
And I don’t understand, I can’t comprehend,
The reasons for all this pain.
It felt so good when I took that stride,
But it has given me a face I wanna hide,
So it’s better that way, that I stay away,
From the angels, who got me deprived.

I am coming back,
Would you hold my hand?
Would you help me stand?
Would you smile again?
Or would you say -
Son you must pay, for the games that you played.
Or would you see the crazy me, the one that hides, deep inside?

Sir, please understand, please hold my hand,
I just can’t miss this train.
Gonna get home soon, so give me some room,
Sir, please help me stand.
It felt so good when I took that stride,
But it has given me a face I wanna hide,
So it’s better that way, that I stay away,
From the angels, who got me deprived.

I'm standing here, in front of my home,
I am scared, I am alone,
But then I see my mother's arms,
They were stretched out to receive me.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Orbit Of Shame

If your cosmic dream I could manage to tame;
I would not mind and float in the orbit of shame;
If I could trace where you laughed to let go of your soul;
To help save that tragic black hole.

If I could make you fall in love with that beautiful ray;
The one that always promised to stay;
The one that’s now shining astray;
I would not mind and walk in the orbit of shame;
Cos I know I will always have this love to blame.

The light

Packed my bags, it’s over,
Ain't looking back in time,
Nothing to lose or to cover,
It’s my life, gonna make it mine.

The road is long, But I'm not bothered,
The sun on my face, the shadows left behind,
Dreaming away of a better day,
When I'll say, It didn't matter anyway.

The night is cold, lonely, I’m tired, 
But I'm standing tall, wont bend,
If there's no light at the end of the tunnel,
I'm sure, there's gonna be an end.

Don’t know if I'll make it through this night,
Don’t know if I 'll survive,
But if I die, I'll turn to a firefly,
Light up the cold and lonely night. 

Packed my bags, it’s over,
Ain't looking back in time,
Freedom's a word for nothing left to lose,
But I'm sure there's so much left to choose.