Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Get(ting) Smart....

July 2006: You come to college happily and are bold enough to take a room right on the fourth floor (in case someone is missing the point, we are in India, that too Jodhpur, lifts haven't been invented for the city yet). You think it'll always be breezy and nice and you'd be able to see the sun rise every morning over the endless stretch of what I can at best call..umm..earth (sand sounds too bland). Not to forget that corner of our brains which somehow always makes us feel that if we are buying a house with a nice balcony, we'll sit there every morning to sip a cup of tea while the birds chirp their way back to their nests (The next thing you know is we are moving out and you can't really remember the last time or for that matter, ANY time when you sat there and sipped that supposed cup of tea). So well, optimism fills your heart with hopes of soft mornings and soothing evenings which you will spend by yourself in your balcony. Now it is important to mention here that these hopes are of course "to scale". I mean while with a normal balcony you'd imagine sitting down with your legs spread wide and occasional stretches, here the hopes could not further than being able to stand in the balcony without moving a muscle if you wanna save yourself from falling off considering the unbelievable size of the balcony (I'm bad with numbers so just imagine space not more than just enough to place two coolers). But still, whatever the size, you have hopes.

Three mornings later : You have exhausted all possible abuses you know, that can even remotely apply to birds (Go figure). Your earlier bird-loving self, who looked down upon bird hunters with rejection and disgust, is now reconsidering itself and is wondering which would be the best weapon to destroy the entire pigeon species in a single blow. (Reason you ask?) Well, nothing more than the fact that in your lovely balcony there are more pigeons than air molecules, and your good old alarm clock never gets an opportunity to wake you up considering that you could never sleep thanks to some serious bird porno going on (talk about being violent).

One week after that: You detest pigeons more than anything you've ever disliked. You come to the conclusion that all that you were taught in science in school was bullshit about how all creatures apart from humans and dolphins have a specific mating season and produce babies ONLY DURING THAT SEASON (I think the people who came to that conclusion never saw the pigeons of Jodhpur, because boy they can go on and on and on at it. I think the next big thing in science should be erectile dysfunction cure using biotechnology based on pigeon genes.. Forget Viagra!) So now, not only is your balcony absolutely infested with pigeons, but it also has numerous lil birdy homes!

Two weeks after that: Its the rainy season (You know what it means, lots of water in the balcony).Your nose has evolved into believing that rotten eggs smell good thanks to the constant pooping needs of the pigeons, which when mixed with water gives a smell which umm kinda gives you a high!

You have reached the abyss of your disgust!!

Some time after that: You can't get over the fact that your college life is flying by and so far the only ones who've sipped anything in your balcony while enjoying a soothing moment are the pigeons. You go about doing a survey as to what all are the possible remedies to make your balcony pigeon free. You get hopeful after seeing the nice mesh put up by the rich guy in the other hostel, only to find that it'll cost you nothing less than your entire month's expenses.

So you give up..you succumb to your fate and try to establish a cordial relation with the pigeons.

An year and a half after that: You realise that there is a war going on in your balcony. Pigeons and sparrows have declared an open war on each other and BOTH of them have their establishments in your balcony. You start missing the sounds of pigeon love making which were so much lower than the sounds of birds killing each other.

Some time after that: You finally decide that you can't take it anymore and something must be done. You turn to your very own magician who always has a solution for everything (Dad). You laugh at yourself to see that he came up with a cheap solution in not more than one day and you curse the entire genetic combination theory for the fact that you are clearly not an inheritor of his intelligence. So you come back to college, do a little market dash and buy a funky mesh which cost you nothing more than your two days food expenses. You gloat in adulation. Once the mesh is fixed, you finally get to see what your balcony actually looks like (hmm..I expected better but oh well!). People keep coming to your room and you are happily convinced that if ever there were an award for the best idea that'd go to you (what's my dad's is mine :P). Lots of people copy your idea and you realise what it feels to be on the seventh heaven.

All is going well till you go for a moot to Europe leaving your balcony totally unattended for 2-3 weeks. Only to come back and find that the mesh is doing a perfect job in keeping THINGS bigger in size than the mesh pores outside. But as you once again look around with a feeling of sheer genius over the idea, you see something which was never there in your balcony before. Aghast! you quickly lock the balcony swearing never to open it again by yourself. You share the dreadful sight with your floor-mate who nicely comes to the conclusion that this is what happens when you tamper with nature and act smart. He seems more happy with his decision of not putting a mesh than ever before.

The Present Day: March 2009: You of course are not regretting your decision to put the mesh. It still is the best thing that has happened to your balcony. You can't possibly forget the nights which you have slept peacefully without any disturbance thanks to the mesh. But one thing fails to escape your mind: What do I do of this freaking Bee Hive!

Monday, March 2, 2009

A Tribute to Smoky!..

Hmmpph.. :(

Europe: Lovely place..had awesome fun.. BUT.. in all the glory and glamour, amidst the shimmering lights and amazing sights.. I lost something (which of course I wasn't really discrete about.. ask anyone in Den Haag about a certain Indian who kept asking any random person if they had seen something which he had lost?).. I lost Smoky!

Who Smoky you ask? Well, its a long story. I remember the first time I laid my eyes on smoky! She was a beauty! Black has always been my favourite colour. And it was the perfect black. Neither funnily grey nor sooty black. Just the perfect shade of black. Which made you feel oddly warm, and not like the normal cold black-holish cold creep that you get on seeing black. And what was more.. It was in a SALE! So it was the perfect brand, the perfect colour, the perfect look and yet CHEAP! Sigh! It was simply perfect. The moment I picked it up from the Monte Carlo, I knew that we were meant to be together (at least till I grew out of it considering my constant tendency to bloat up every once in a while).

So finally we bought it, all excited to take it to Europe with me. I packed it up nicely, right at the base of my suit case so that it doesn't get spoiled or soiled. i had saved it for the perfect moment, it was supposed to be my good luck charm in my moot. It was supposed to be my protector from the ruthless biting cold of Europe. But these bloody heaters, they ruined it all.

Its still fresh as ever in my memory (actually, it really hasn't been more than 2 weeks). It was a Monday (or was it a Wednesday, i think it was a Wednesday but that's not the point). I was getting ready for the first round of the moot. I went, had a shower, took out the suit and then carefully took out Smoky, my black sweater, wore it, looked good (or so I though at least). And then feeling empowered I went for the moot. The moot went well. I can accredit that to Smoky i I guess. But darm the heaters. It was like a furnace in there. I mean Smoky was just trying to help I know, you know, doing her job by keeping me warm. But it was so freaking hot that I had to take Smoky off. Don't give me those e-looks, I didn't have a choice. I never meant to take it off. You know what they say: "what's meant to happen, happens". I guess my act of taking Smoky off was just a pawn move in the greater cosmological conspiracy against Smoky. But little did I know that. Else, I would have NEVER taken it off. NEVER!..... Sigh! .... But i did!

I was overjoyed with the moot performance. We were all chit chatting. And somewhere in the corner was Smoky, waiting in patience to be picked up. And i did too. I picked it up and then took it into the lobby with me, But there I was distracted. Had to go for some work and that is the last time i remember having held Smoky. That was the last time Smoky was in my arms.

After that everything is a blurr. The next thing I remember, I was in the Hotel where I was putting up and Smoky was not there. I looked around like crazy. Everywhere I could see, she was nowhere to be found. I had left here somewhere.

For the remaining days of the trip, everyday I spent thinking where could I have left her. I inquired everywhere, at the World Forum where the moot took place, at the Chinese restaurant where I had had lunch that day. Downstairs at the Hotel if I might have left it somewhere. But all in vain. She was nowhere to be found. And the only thing that I could think of was: It was my fault! The others tried to pacify me. "Its not your fault". It made me question my very responsibility levels.

I became desperate. I would ask any one I saw or met. By the end of the trip, I was known as the guy who lost his special black sweater. I remember that at the farewell party, so many people actually walking up to me to express their condolences over my loss of Smoky.

Then I became REALLY desperate. I needed a plan. I jotted down all the possible places I had gone to. And my final conclusion based on elimination method was that "Oh f****, I left it in the Tram!". But I wasn't the types who'd give up. Before leaving, I asked one of my friends who was staying back to go to the Lost and Found Department and look for things found in a Tram. I was so convinced that he would find it there. I kept hoping..hoping..till one day, days later after returning to college I found out that Smoky wasn't found. I surrendered to my greater wisdom and concluded that I should let go of her.

It is often said that we don't realise the importance of something till we have lost it. It was only after losing her that I named her Smoky.

An thus, with this post, I bid adieu to Smoky, forever. You will be truly missed!
Header Image from Bangbouh @ Flickr