My Lucky Seven

>> Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ok, I am new to this tagging game. Had been tagged once before by Amrita, but then I was in the middle of my never ending story, so couldn't write it (It was a different matter that it was an extremely difficult tag, so I ran away from it!) Now, that I have nothing else to do, here's another tag from Yamini about seven places that I love in this world. This seems a little easier. So, apart from my abode, in chronological order, here they are:

1. Shivaji Park Tennis Courts, Mumbai: Sweating it out after a tiring school day, this is where I developed my love for sports. And for the assortment of chat items we used to get outside the courts. This is also where I realised that I am supposed to get attracted to girls. A plethora of beauties in short skirts hitting the ball hard all around me didn't hurt either! I would truly say that this is the place where I started growing up. Whenever I go there even now, I can still see the little boy inside me. The downtown boy who wants to be a part of the uptown crowd...

2. The basketball court at PICT: Ohh, the games we have played here. Sports and otherwise! I remember one time, there was cricket, football, basketball, handball and rugby happening all at the same time here! Not to mention the "batting" that kept happening at the courtside katta. This was the place where I first used to go when I went to college. This was invariably the last place from where I used to leave for home. People get nostalgic about a lot of stuff in college. This is what gets me all welled up.

3. Coffee House @ Taj Blue Diamond, Pune: There was a time when this was the only decent joint in Pune which used to be open through the night. And a friend's girlfriend had this nagging habit of arriving at the Pune station by a 4 a.m. train. So, we used to hang out here, before and after she arrived. That's how i discovered it. And then I kept coming back. Many friendships have been forged here. My first "official date" was here... Even now, whenever I just want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city and sip a nice hot cup of coffee without shrill teenagers around (normally present in a CCD or a Barrista), this is where I head to.

4. The classroom at Kothrud where I taught Seed PGDET, Pune: For six months, I had a bunch of eager students who would discuss, assimilate and implement anything that I threw at them. This is where I realised why teaching as a profession is so hallowed and revered. The only time in my professional life, when I literally used to put not just my heart but my very soul into what I was doing. After three hours of teaching every morning, I would be mentally and physically exhausted. I am sure I learned much more from the students in these six months than they learned from me. A defining place in making me what I am today... and something that I would love to do any given day.

5. Sus road Tekdi, Pune: This is the place where I have spent probably the most memorable evening of my life. A beautiful setting sun spreading it's glow across the bustling city. Artifical lights flickering on as natural light dimmed out. Just you, your love in your arms, the open starlit sky above you and the city of lights in front of you. It can't get more romantic than this. It was a moment which I wanted to last forever. Still feel as if it should have lasted forever! I just can't go there anymore. I am afraid of disturbing the picture of it I have in my head. I feel a little pang in the heart whenever I cross the place!

6. The first carrom board, KPIT Recreation Area, Pune: This seems to have recently made it into this list. It is my getaway vehicle in office. A couple of sets quickly after lunch, hoping that my manager doesn't catch me sitting here. Long championship games between me/Rahul and Sunny/Gaya that go on into the night, neither team willing to give up! While writing this I have realised how much I look forward to this board during office hours!

7. The weirdly round thing sitting on my shoulders - my head: I like to get lost here. In my own world. I know it sounds a little loony. But I like it. And most of the time, it gets manifested as idiotic writings on this blog - pretty much like this one! I guess, being a little insane in the head is what keeps me sane in this world...

That's it. Phew! I ended up writing a lot here. And along the way, realised a few things that I had not noticed earlier... Thanks Yamini! Now, to continue the tradition, here are seven people whom I would want to write this one (those of you who don't want to write on their own blogs, please write it as a comment):

Rucha
Pooja
Ankur
Kaveri
Sahadevan
Neha
Mansi

Hope you have as much fun doing this, as I did!

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The Storm

>> Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The wind howled around her. Standing on her terrace, she could see people scurrying for shelter below. The tin sheets that formed a makeshift roof of a hut across the road cluttered. They fought a fierce battle with the wind. Trying to hold on. To their identity. Without the four walls beneath them, they would be nothing but tin sheets. Those four walls made them a roof. They were the last line of defense for the simple people that lived under their shelter. They were the only thing that kept those poor beings from being homeless. They had to hold on. They had to fight this battle.

She watched this with a smile. She seemed unperturbed by the howling wind. She stood firm. Her long hair flying away behind her. Her white dress clinging on to her, flailing like the torn sails of a ship caught in mid-storm. She stood there with her back arched, as in defiance to the world.

He watched her. The lines of her face were sharp, unlike the soft features that have come to be recognized as the standard of beauty these days. But in her face, he found something which was rare to come by. He found truth. It was naked. There was no mask. There was the sheer arrogance that she could and would do whatever she set out to do. He realized that she was the most beautiful person he had ever seen. A beauty not masked by years of faking emotions or hypocritical wanderings, but that derived from sheer competence. From the happiness that is inherent in you after a work done well.

And he thought about all the work that she had done. All that she had accomplished. Fighting through the inefficiencies of the bureaucracy, trying not to get entangled in the political games being played out in the capital, she had sustained her march, taking the nation along with her. But somehow, the wolves had caught up. They had ended up making such a big mess of it all, that before she could react, the world had collapsed. She could fight against the biggest masterminds. But it was the most stupid of things that had sent across a crippling wave of losses throughout the world.

Many had been crushed. But she had stood resolute. She had not despaired. She knew what had to be done. And she had started going about it with the single-mindedness of a bricklayer intent on rebuilding the whole building - brick by brick. What she had planned to do was going to ruffle quite a few feathers. But it had to be done.

It was at moments like this that he hated his job. He looked through the lens again. He looked at the hope she gave. At the sheer confidence that she exuded. He saw the steely resolve in her eyes. He traced her from toe to head, taking in the surreal beauty in front of him. A beauty that invigorated the basest of human qualities in him. As her forehead came into his cross-hair, he shrugged, "Oh, what the fuck." And pulled the trigger.

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