“You simply just don’t get it do you. Love was never about them or those things. Love was always about you. It was your love story, and they had very little to do about it! It was why you chose to be born and why life chose to create you!”
Who would have thought.
The first time I heard about Ship of Theseus was when I saw a news item that mentioned Kiran Rao (Khan) presenting a film. I had watched her Dhobi Ghat with keen interest, and wasn’t necessarily disappointed. So ‘who was this Anand Gandhi, the maker of Ship of Theseus‘, I wondered and ‘googled’ him! Then started a series of coincidences.
May be around 2005 or even earlier, a friend had been to Ahmedabad and used to hang around NID. He saw a film there, liked it, and when he came back to Hyderabad he narrated to me its story. The story was about a young man who shouts at his mom for some reason and appreciates his brother’s painting.. while his mom carries forward the negative feelings caused by this scenario to people whom she meets, the brother carries all the positivity around…and this carrying forward forms a circle. That story stuck to my head, and even though I had wanted to see that film, my friend had forgotten it’s title and i forgot pestering him about it. Turns out Anand Gandhi is the maker of that film!
My waiting for Ship of Theseus had just begun!
My interest on this film had made me read any and every news about it and knowing me the looker for signs and the sucker for news online, I would follow the film news on Facebook. Then I read the story line of the film.
I had participated in the 48 hour film festival Hyderabad chapter, and the genre I picked was Silent, meaning I had to make a silent film in less than 48 hours. After a sleepless night, trying to work on a story in that genre, after about 20 hours had faded, an idea struck my mind. A color blind novelist, helped by his friend, writes great fiction. When he finds a color blindness cure (creative liberty), he kicks the friend out and realizes he cant write the novels the way he used to! I was so disappointed by my own filmmaking capabilities that I decided not to submit my entry, and of course I was late by few hours!
Turns out, a similar story is a major part of Ship of Theseus.
Whenever someone mentions, Ramgopal Varma, they mention it either with strong liking or even stronger disliking. I tend to differ with them in the sense that I entertain both like and dislike towards him and his films. In a sense I would explain my feelings towards him as that of Howard Roark’s feelings towards Gail Wynand. (Am no Howard Roark, but always thought Gail Wynand’s characterization suits RGV better!) I had always wondered, if RGV would ever make a film like Man from the Earth, where philosophical discussion takes the center seat, yet keeps the audiences hooked, almost making them question their own limitation of thoughts. And so on and so forth…
I work in Telugu filmmaker Puri Jagannath’s office. Am not sure if he is aware of my existence in his office at all, but I like the fact that Ramgopal Varma is a frequent visitor to this office. Just as I left my office (on a Sunday), to watch Ship of Theseus (finally), I heard that RGV and my boss, the Telugu filmmaker were in the lobby. Now whenever important people are in the lobby, we are not allowed to enter it, even if we have to just cross past it! I was, as usual, getting late for the film, and finally some gentleman who saw my attempts to walk past the lobby, kindly told me…”you can just walk past sir!”
RGV was discussing some murder scene with someone, probably a cinematographer. I didn’t see him, and of course am sure he wouldn’t be aware of my existence. But I had crossed RGV to watch Ship of Theseus. (This coincidence is purely metaphorical for those who can understand… it was as if I had to walk past my feelings of respect and disrespect to the usual filmmaker that RGV is to watch this film)
And about Ship of Theseus may be another blog post… may be…but towards the end of this film I had to hold my tears back…else my wife, sitting beside me would end up gladly watching me, rather than the film it self…which I would recommend to anyone sane. It’s a brilliant film, something that engages you physically, mentally, emotionally and then yes…a rarity in Indian cinema – spiritually!
(P.S. that this film has words like ‘intellectual masturbation’, a wording which I thought I created to tweet to RGV was just another coincidence… and what did i Tweet to RGV went something like this I guess… “all entertainment cinema = socially accepted emotional masturbation…” sigh!)
1. Choose a person whom you want to control and set an agenda of having this person do your work.
2. a) Find a point in the recent past, a decade ago, or even in both of your previous lives
OR b) use what the other person might have ‘trusted and shared’ with you about what he / she wanted to achieve in life, but hasn’t achieved yet
OR c) simply and conveniently create a piece of fiction when what you did seemed to help the other person (little help or exchange of value doesn’t matter, what you did helped them, even if it is fictitious)
3. Talk about this point as if
i) how hard it was for you to see what the other person did or didn’t do yet;
ii) how this doing or not doing affected you badly even though you didn’t want it to
iii) how finally you were forced to do what you did by the other person
iv) how you are still worried that the cops/the FBI / CIA / RAW / IB / KGB / ECG / BP / DIABETES are looking to kill you
4. VERY IMPORTANT – give the other person a little time to grow some guilt and then let it
5. ALSO VERY IMPORTANT – forgive the other person for their guilt, ensure that you express that even forgiving the other person is tough (for clarity refer to point 3)
6. try and divert the topic, of what you wanted to really get this person to do. Tell the other person how this little thing will help you, and how EASY it is for them to do it.
7. YET AGAIN IMPORTANT – wait till the other person offers help happily. If the other person offers help a bit reluctantly / unhappily or doesn’t offer to help at all – hold on to this point and repeat steps 1 – 7!
8. Get your work done.
9. Thank the other person seemingly cheerfully, and also mention FBI / CIA / RAW / IB / KGB /ECG etc.
10. wait for your next agenda and next person!
Guilt tripping may seem like alienating you from others, even from those who you trust a lot. But that’s a minor pain considering the benefits of Guilt tripping.
Happy Guilt tripping!
(This is yet another story I wrote some 7-8 years ago. To some extent, it is based on a true story)
No one exactly knew where he came from. Nor did anyone notice that he played with the puppies under the Banyan. It wasn’t that people were indifferent to him. He had become a part of the village’s life. As much as the old Banyan tree that had seen the birth of the village, and as much as the newly born puppies which tumbled around the village temple. All of these had one thing in common, they never made their presence noticeable. Nor that a new wanderer’s presence was anything new to them all the time. They were too busy- men thinking about rains, and cheap liquor; women, about rains and their husbands; and children, just about everything and nothing.
It was the result of a cyclone that threatened to, but never happened to, cross the East Coast, which was somewhere, at least two hundred miles away from the village, that made his presence that day. A strong wind, though lasted only for a few minutes and stopped as quickly as it came, blew over the village and left it cluttered with dry leaves and dust. The temple wasn’t spared too.
Because the temple looked a bit untidy that usual, because he found a very long handled broom, because he thought he should do something about it and because it was a different thought for a long time now, he started sweeping the floor. The work started soon after the morning prayer, carried on till it was prayer time again in the vesper. If the few people who hanged around the temple cared to question themselves why they kept watching him, his eyes and the broom, it would have been difficult for them to answer because they never happened to witness the intent and the precision of a sculptor.
‘Pride’ must have been a very lesser word for what, if it could feel, ‘sweeping’ felt that evening. The priest who came in was happily surprised. Surprised at the way temple looked, and happy because people complimented him for the same reason that he was surprised. It did not take him long to know who did it.
Prasadam was sent to him, which he took earnestly. He was called to the adytum where Lord Venkateshwara, amidst his two wives was receiving his last prayers of the day.
“Our sweeper is getting older, do you want to take her place”, the priest said to him trying to study his face in the tube light which was a recent addition to the temple, “you will be able to have two meals a day”.
“Yes I’ll help her do her work” he replied. It wasn’t the reply but the bum’s voice said that there was more than what he meant. The priest didn’t know that the old sweeper reminded this man of someone. His happiness faded and curiosity took over him. The surprise however remained as he went out of the temple that night.
After the priest left, he walked past the well at the northeast of the temple, back to his choultry that was more towards the southwest. Not that it can be called a choultry, but when small temples were built in the 19th century few blocks would be built around the temple just to allow the pilgrims to take shelter in case they wanted to stay back for a night. No one cared to call these old stone cases of granite blocks any differently. The puppies followed him trying to bite his callused feet with old chappals, while their mother kept a close watch on the puppies and also on him.
There was something, if anyone could notice if they cared to, that there was disturbing in him. His face had a charismatic blankness that made him look like a seer and yet at the same time he was no different than a bum. Even though the old woman was no good, even though the puppies too puppyish and even though the people’s staring got too much sometimes his expression never changed. They thought that he didn’t care.
But, that was he when in public. Otherwise there were too many things that mattered. The plastic bag that contained the coconut, the newspaper piece which read ‘Maoists kill another 4’ that was used to pack kumkum. He couldn’t relate how, men who created recyclable plastic could create a situation to kill each other. There are people and then there are people, people like him who…
He couldn’t go beyond that. But yes there was something that was disturbing in him. And there were people who were worried that this time around, the crop wouldn’t be enough to feed them.
And he had a great way of passing time. His sweeping never made him notice time, but the increase in the number of visitors who talked about temple becoming clean did. He could easily withdraw from the crowd as easily as he would come in. And then he had the puppies, tumbling around, biting him in a play, cuddling unto him when he slept, licking him for no reason.
One day while he played with the puppies he felt that something was wrong and so he looked up. He saw the priest looking at him and so smiled. The priest didn’t. Then he knew that the priest wasn’t looking at him, but was observing him. Somewhere he didn’t realize that the priest’s look was an expression that matched one of his favorite lines from his favorite book “what a magnificent waste”!
Someone asked the priest, ”Aiyya! Are you coming to the rajasthani singers show”. “Yes”, he said and went away.
The puppies resumed playing with him.
Staring into the vast emptiness of the skies, when, one night he was almost asleep, with his own charismatic blank face, it woke him up.
A shrill and a husky voice of a Rajasthani singer accompanied by a Sarangi tune floated over the distant bushes, over croaking frogs, over the creaking crickets, over the silent trees and over the rustling water pond it reached him, and reached something in him. He hated it. The desperation to get back to everything that he had left behind. The separation, which after a long struggle took one form, – sweeping.
“Saroo! Let this old woman talk”, she said it. He heard her. He closed his door that he just opened to enter into his tight shut A/C cabin and turned around. The wrinkles on her face were similar to the wrinkles on her saffron sari. Broken spectacles showed her big eyes, while she held to her bamboo stick as if it were the only thing that kept her alive.
“What?” he came back to his usual self.
“Saroo! My ashram is not mine anymore, they have kicked me out. Now you must only help me”, she said in her accent.
“What what what? Tell me soon completely. I don’t have time”
“Saroo! I’m from Dharmaram. I take care of the Brahmendra Swamy Ashram there. Now your people come and tell me I don’t have rights on it. They are going to put it down. They cut down all my trees. They say I have to go out. Now you only tell me what I should do. I have been there from my childhood and now it is not mine anymore.”
The name Brahmendra Swamy Ashram changed the expression on his face. He listened to her, this time, patiently.
“OK.OK. I’ll see the file. You come back tomorrow”, he said to her. She walked away. That was the first time he noticed her age, her saffron, and her bamboo stick. “See if she wants something”, her ordered the peon, and “call Dharmaraju”. That was the first time the old woman got a positive response.
The “Boss”, as called by his sub-ordinates, was given the file immediately. That was one of the best things about being a Government Officer. But becoming one was a different story – Preparing for exams, newspaper mornings, special classes, and yet, sleepless nights spent undisturbed, even in his sister’s marriage. And when he got the job, settling down, lobbying for promotions, and finally becoming an Officer in Endowments. After all this, one thing hadn’t changed, his habit of reading, previously fiction now only subject files. He kept track of everything he could, through the files. So the “Boss” had no problem connecting to the old woman’s problem.
The land the old woman was trying to save was a piece of 1200 square yards adjacent to the National Highway. The owner, a zameendar in his times, gave it as alms to a priest who made an ashram on it. Both passed away. A child adopted by the priest, ran the ashram after his death. But independence gave a new meaning to the owner of the land. The certificate, which is supposed to be better proof than a word given, still had the zameendar’s name and then went into his son’s piece of share.
What the file didn’t contain, and yet he knew, was that a Sub-Inspector of Police was urging the owner with the certificate to sell it to him. And that was the reason why the old woman was being ‘asked’ to leave the land by the police.
And the file read that the District Collector had sanctioned her, a piece of land under a scheme. But the old woman refused to take it.
“Foolish”, he said it aloud. “These people want whatever they like. What is government there for? At least she could have made it in her name” he thought. What he didn’t know was that the old woman had been to the Revenue Offices as many times as she could, but always lacked enough money to satisfy the needs of the ‘Public Servants’ so that the land could be registered on her name.
And because the old woman didn’t turn up soon, he completely erased the disturbance in his mind caused by the old woman’s arrival that day.
He was returning from a 14th century temple to his home that holiday when he passed the village the old woman lived. He closed his eyes and leaned back onto the cushioned seat of old while ambassador, feeling uneasy.
He suddenly opened his eyes, asked the driver to stop by the ashram. A question had sprung in his mind. The car stopped.
“Why are you rushing?” his wife asked. He didn’t care. He threw open the bamboo gate. He ran in. Someone recognized him.
“Oh…o! You too. Go tell her but she’ll die first and leave later. Go tell her to leave the land. She is in. But you please don’t wear the chappals like the inspector did. Leave them here.”
“No I’m not here to throw her out. Came to see her”, he calmly replied while he took his chappals off…. “Oh! She kept telling me that you would help her saroo. I did not speak nicely with you. Don’t think badly about me. The inspector was very rude to her yesterday,” he said, ”here wash your feet and go in,” giving him a mug full of water…. “Avva!” the person shouted loudly looking into the door, “Endowment Saar came…you go in saar”. He went in…..Coming into the huts from sun suddenly blinded his eyes. Then when he got used to the environment, he quickly scanned for her. She lay in the middle, on a mat. …“Avva!” he called her. When he walked further he noticed that the hut had something cold about it, cold air, cold floor. The other person had come in and stood at the door…. He bent down, gently touched her hand. Cold skin. Saffron sari, wrinkled skin, cold body. He didn’t try to wake her up. He stared at the other person and sat down on the mat. He didn’t say a word because he knew the question that had aroused in his mind was answered.
He didn’t realize until the car stopped with a jerk, that he was in the car and that his wife was shouting. “Stop!” he yelled at the driver. “You go, I’ll come”, he said to his wife.
He never returned.
It was early in the morning, he realized seeing the squirrel squat right in front of him with a half-eaten guava in its mouth. He found people awake early that day, and fresh too. The smell of dung sprayed yards, and sight of colorful muggus told him that it was festival. He didn’t know which.
“Is today everyone’s happy birthday’, a boy asked his dad in Marathi. “Aa Yes re. It’s Ugadi. Telugu people’s birthday”. ’Ugadi’, did surprise him because he realized he forgot when the other festivals went by and so he forgot to listen to the conversation of the child and his father.
The priest sent him a Kurta, a Dhoti and ten rupees. White Kurta & a white Dhoti to wear, 10/- to have his beard shaved.
The day passed with many visitors at the temple, all colorfully dressed, welcoming spring and celebrating the arrival of a New Year. And so, the evening came soon that day. It meant more visitors, until it became a traditional gathering.
The priest read the Panchangam to forecast the future for the year, and also advised which gods had to be pleased. All put together it was going to be a good year.
“You say it good ayya! But every year will not be like the last year. There are so many bad things happening. We don’t know who to blame or who to pray. We are afraid, I am also afraid. Farmers are killing themselves. God forbid, it won’t start in our village” a very old member of the village said. Most of them fell silent.
”No it won’t start in our village.” The priest always looked upto for his long speeches knew he had to reply to this, “We all value our lives. We are farmers. We have our purpose. It will never start in our village if all of us just realize that purpose and…” The priest was stopped suddenly.
“How do you know what is your purpose. Who are you to tell us?” someone from behind asked. It took a moment to the priest to recognize who it was. It had grown dark and a sixty-watt bulb in the temple yard wasn’t good enough. It was the sweeper.
Everyone looked at him. Most of them shocked because no one dared ask the priest that question. Some glad because they wanted to ask the same question but didn’t dare to. The priest had a different expression, ‘anger’.
The priest couldn’t help himself saying, “Who am I to tell you your purpose. No one will tell you. But it’s not the answer that is important. It’s the question. Why did it come? What did it mean? Weren’t you asking me how did I find it? Do you understand what I’m talking? You have discarded your purpose and that is the reason why you are asking. You knew it once, in the innocence of your childhood. Or may be even as an adult. May be you didn’t stand upto it. That is why you are asking”
Both were in a rude shock. The questioner and the one who answered.
The priest consoled the people, “we are all farmers. We are the reason why many people eat. They should eat. But more importantly we should grow food. That’s our purpose…”
The old sweeper, whom he helped in sweeping at the temple and, who lived outside the village in an as much an old hut as her age, saw someone walking towards her with a bowl. All she could make out in the dark was that this man was clad in white, and brought her a bowl of paramannam.
“Who are you?” she asked.
He didn’t answer her nor did he tell her that she reminded him of the dead old lady. He walked out of the village.
I was born in February (or so I have been told). And since about 10 years now, Februarys are extremely tough for me. The kind of introspection that they push me into… with the comparison of what I planned and imagined to achieve and haven’t yet makes me go crazy. (Without wanting to be sounding sexist in Februarys I could be worse than a girl on PMS… seriously). Right now I think I have found a way of dealing with it. I would post here, few works of mine – some old, some new, but not necessarily known to all of my friends or family members etc. Some are just random thoughts and some would be short stories (if I can find them) I had written in the past. The idea is not to correct / edit anything except for a few typos; instead I have to let these thoughts out (with a hope that they might reach people who care about them).
(This piece I wrote 2-3 years ago.)
It was around 11.00 am in the morning and it wasn’t the time to sleep. But after getting a few chores done early in the morning I had given into some sleep on the floor just like that.
And then they came – the Three Brahmins.
I call them Brahmins because I have no other name. From their distinct pilaka on their shaved heads, the sacred janjamu going along from their left shoulder to the right waist, and the dhoti with silk border – what else do you call them!
The moment I saw them, I knew I was going to give them money, I just had to know WHY! The very fact that I don’t believe in giving alms and yet why I sometimes give away money is a contradiction I have long ceased to ponder upon.
They asked me to come out of the gadapa (threshold) or let them in. I asked them inside. They asked me if I belonged to the Reddy caste. I waited a second. I didn’t know I would.
12-13 years ago, I had then just come to Hyderabad, looking for a nice place to settle down in. Owners of places who were ready to let out their places would ask me my caste, and the moment I replied Madiga, some would raise their eyebrows, some would say they are not ready to let out their homes for me despite the fact that I am a vegetarian (and didn’t even booze until much later!) I vaguely remember a professor of Physics telling me that his house was let out only for brahmins and vysyas!
My mom taught me a trick. To tell them a different caste name – “what’s the big deal” she would ask as long as I could get a place! I remember my mom not trying to hide her caste with people, but for her son, she was ready to give up her ideals!
Few years ago, my then girlfriend had asked her father to allow me to talk to him so that I could request him to permit us to get married. He knew my caste, and associated a funny swear word with it. My girl friend is now my wife anyways. It is only recently that my father in law and I have begun talking to each other. Now they are looking for a guy for their second daughter, with some relaxed caste requirements. The guy has to be a Hindu though.
The three Brahmins asked me my caste. I waited a second. I didn’t know I would.
I always thought that I would say the answer to such a question easily and would laugh at people who were afraid to say out the name of the caste they belong to. But at that moment I gave in.
I had a feeling deep in my guts that the moment I told them I belonged to a pretty lower caste, they would run away, and here I was a man trying to give alms eh! I managed to skip the topic. I asked them what they needed. They persisted. I skipped it again even more persistently.
It was the oldest Brahmins daughter’s wedding. I gave them 51/- (now the hell do I add ONE to the FIFTY… hello I am supposed to be rationale, scientific, etc.) They needed another 50! I lied to them that I had given them whatever I had in my purse.
They asked my gothram – which I don’t remember. I didn’t lie this time. They stared at me.
They inquired if I was studying. I told them I work. They blessed me in Sanskrit. The moment I heard the word “Kalyanam”, I told them I was married anyway. The next words they used were Putra Poutri . I told them I am not interested in kids right now! (Hello… why did I tell them… wasn’t it my problem!) They said it was all in God’s Hands! And then they left. I was glad and sad.
As they left, I remembered my other three friends.
One, a friend from the childhood, and in whose home I reside now, sometimes not even caring to pay the rent. He just won’t ask! (He doesn’t mention that money till now yet, and I don’t have any plans to return it to him in case he is reading!)
Another, probably most educated amongst my friends and a doctor, has been a thorough supporter, no matter what I do. He just trusts me completely!
The other one, used to ensure that I don’t fall in his grandfather’s eyes, lest I will have to face a question on my caste, and would ensure that I ended up at their home every Thursday night, so that we could savor his mother’s dinner!
All three were/are Brahmins, by caste!
There is no relation to the three Brahmins I mentioned earlier, and my three Brahmin friends, and there is no aim that I intend to achieve or ponder upon through this piece. But by the end of today’s incident, I felt a deep sense of gratitude to my friends – whether it comes from my deep insecurity of being in a position where I have to be helped by upper caste to survive, which I never knew I had or from my belief in Rhond Byrne’s The Secret, I don’t want to know.
Otherwise I will have to try and raise my circle of influence to change
– the system which sees that people born in certain race need the state’s help.
– a powerful woman who thinks that the only way to raise attention towards lower caste’s problem is by spending crores of money on her statues among those of others
– all the mindsets that have degrees, phds and yet have demands of marrying people from the same caste
That’s difficult isn’t it? To change and to bring change! So I won’t think about it.
I was nine years old or may be ten, when it was pushkaram season of Godavari in the early 90s. My family members decided they should all go take a dip in the river in the holy season near Pochampad, just an hour drive away from home. Of course I was excited. My memories of almost running naked along the same Godavari in Bhadrachalam, and playing in water for hours together were playing heavily on my mind. What I forgot to calculate was that whenever we went to Bhadrachalam previously, it was mid summer, and Godavari was half or may be even quarter to her original size. Infact the flow was so less, that as a kid, I could easily walk from one bank to the other through the river. That also meant that I never learned how to swim, atleast until then. Little did I know that Pochampad was going to be different, very different.
Before this planned tour, going to Pochampad was a kind of ritual for me – either for a school picnic or for a family picnic – the famous Sri Ram Sagar Project is built there. But that day, we went to a different side of the river adding all the more to my excitement. By the team we reached there, I standing in the gap between the handle rod and the front seat of my Dad’s Bajaj scooter, I could see hundreds of people, all sitting on the banks, as the river flowed along with a gush. I wondered why most people where happy sitting on the rocky banks, while only few seemed to be having a real dip. I was quick to undress into my underpants, and even as others were trying to settle down, I put my feet inside the water, on to a visible rock inside the river. Someone should have told me that there is this thing called COLD RUSH – the rush to get down into water. None did. I tried to jump into water, and even before I could, I slipped, and the first thing that struck me was – “where is the earth beneath my feet”.
It was probably then that I took my first dip. The moment I was out, I remember seeing few strange faces looking at me, including my dad’s. And one man’s face just panicking as he held out his hand to me in fear. I was atleast ten feet away from him and then second dip. It was then I noticed that river water isn’t really blue, but rather a murky mix of clay, black and whatever! By the time my head was out of water this time, I saw my dad flung into air, his clothes on, jumping into the water. I dipped again, but this time, my dad and some other gentleman had reached me, my dad trying to hold onto me with my hair. And then he said something that still makes me smile – “why the hell do you have such small hair” – poor chap all his anger and the despair of the moment boiled into one sentence. Anyways – together the other gentleman and my dad helped me to safety. It was then that I realized that my left ankle was bleeding, thanks to a cut as I slipped into the river. Strangely it started to pain few minutes later, and it was probably around this time that someone, my mom or someone else, who told me I was saved from drowning – DROWNING. Really! I still dont want to use such a dramatic word for this experience, because I was hardly afraid then. But the real fear came back years later, even though I had learned swimming after this NOT SO DROWNING experience!
For some reason, beyond my understanding, I never really got myself to like the Krishna river, as much as I like the Godavari. But the last time I went to Srishailam, along with my wife and a group of friends, I had to take the bait, it was water (and I’m a Piscean mind you) – just water, and call it Krishna or whatever I just had to jump. It was early morning, a touch cloudy and humid, and nice weather to take a dive, especially with other three boys around! It was quite a few years that I allowed myself to take a swim, and the moment I touched the water – the COLD RUSH stuck me. Of course I had forgotten all about it! So I jumped, not slipped, into the water. It felt good that I didn’t forget swimming (ah!!!), but I realized that the body takes some time to get used to swimming like it does in a pool! When I finally thought I was a touch under control, I reached a point where water in the river behaves like river, not like in a pool or rather should I say it was at that point Krishna behaves like Krishna! It was not heavy flow of water, but I guess the body was tiring, all because of lack of practice. I tried to swim back, and I just couldn’t. My power was just not enough to keep me on top of water! So what do I do, I take a dip – dip number one. Immediately I got up, looked around and I was fair 10-15 meters away from the banks, even though I remember swimming along it, not away from it! Ah the Cold Rush! For a rank outsider or a thorough swimmer 10-15 meters may seem too less for the drama about to unfold, but I say be a beginner and try swimming in Krishna sometime! The river was sucking me inside! Then came dip number two. This time the panic was gone, but a sense of wonderment and excitement replaced it. I knew that I had to do something – instead of trying to come on top of the water, I decided to hold my breath and swim towards the banks from inside – something I had practiced in the safe zones of swimming pool. It was then this strange familiar color of water caught my attention – a murky mix of clay, black and whatever! So I go up, took a deeper breath, pointed myself to the direction of the river bank, and took another dip. Even as I swam for my dear life, my heart was pounding, not by the lack of oxygen, but with all the excitement. Then, I had hit something with my hands – the steps at the banks. And just as I helped myself to stand, I saw another friend trying to hold onto someone’s leg. Immediately I reached out to him, but he helped himself up, and gave me a glance. It was an instantaneous look of understanding. He too had just saved himself! River Krishna is not for rookies like us to swim!
As we all returned, I remembered how one astrologer predicted that I have ‘Jalagandam’ (meaning the imminent danger of dying in water!) Now whether he was right or not, I think water takes over me, the more the merrier. That should also explain why I spend ages just to take a bath! The two experiences are only few that I mentioned. But, somehow, I have helped myself into wishing that I should die in water, infact in tons of water. No I dont wish it as a pessimistic way of looking at my own life, but somehow this thought/wish gives me a perspective of the imminent end. It tells me to bathe in life, as much as I can, in fact more than I can! That’s why I wish water will help me transform from this life form into whatever thing that happens to us after the so called death! Thats why I wish to die in water – ideally it should be like swimming across the Bay of Bengal, alone in a small boat, in a bid to create a record – sigh sigh – drama drama more drama. These pisceans you know…
Even after every muscle has been put to test
Even after every bone and cartilage screamt for rest
Even after the mind gave up on its lost map
Why wont you come to me dear miss sleep
Take me into your arms, make love to me
Take me where I can again see
How far I wanted to leap
But why wont you come to me dear miss sleep
Rocks that I haven’t scaled had become a burden
Bricks I laid haven’t yet formed the mansion
There are niches to be carved, and windows to open
Help me dream, help me awaken
But why wont you come to me dear miss sleep, why won’t you