Friday, January 31, 2014


I can name at least 10 people right now who hate the city they live in. They hate the pace, lifestyle, people, weather, culture, infrastructure, job opportunities or any other reason - they are living there as they don't have any other option as of now. The moment they find the right kind of opportunity and favourable circumstances, they would move there. But how many of them get really lucky?

There are so many stories around us of lost dreams, of those who do not live in their dream place because they want to earn. It's about people who go to a different city, to chase their dreams, or to find new ones. To survive, or to hide. To remain in their comfort zone or to move away from it. Most of us are stuck in a monotonous working life we hate but cannot do without. Imagine just staying there all your life. This idea may sound absurd to us, but a generation before us lived for this. Rather, most of them.

Imagine being in such a profession or job for years, earning enough every day to survive for the next. Save some money for contingency, take a loan when there is an emergency and you don't have enough money. Recently I met such a man. He is an auto driver. I was travelling from office and we were stuck in a traffic jam which is nothing new if you live in Bombay. There was some wedding going on near Kokilaben hospital. We started talking about it whether it was legally allowed to play band baaja right next to the hospital.

Now, I have this habit of conversing with auto waalas and cab waalas. Their stories always amuse me. And this guy asked me a very valid and smart question which you do not usually expect from them. (How judgmental of me!) From that we started talking about how Bombay was before and how it is now. How the lonely areas are full of buildings, how a useless site has one of the first and largest malls on it today, how civilisation development depends on malls around that area these days and such. I have been living in this city for 16 years now and he has been riding for last 24 years. 24! He knew about Bombay roads more than any autowala I have interacted with. I had to go to a cafe that was located on the Oshiwara back road. I just gave him the name and he told me what was around the cafe, in that area, which other cafes, restaurants, salons and banks were there in and around that area. Yes I was amazed. He was a Bombay map.

Since the ride was short, I couldn't talk to him much, but it was an experience worth mentioning, sharing and writing about. And completely opposite to the one I had a few hours ago, same day.

Republic day was a working day for me. I taught for five hours on that day. While going to the class, the cabwaala suddenly asks me - what is there today? Did we become independent today as well? He was an old man, must have been in his 60s. His question shocked me. And shook me. That realisation of how ignorant one is today - maybe because of lack of knowledge or opportunity - one doesn't even know the difference between independence day and republic day. I explained to him about the importance of that day. This journey was of ten minutes, which I spent in the explanation. There was no time or opportunity to ask this man about anything else. I asked him twice if he had heard the words like - Ganatantra divas, Sanvidhan, Prastavna, Dr. Ambedkar etc. He did know some things, didn't know some. I told him that our constitution that gives us voting right came into effect on that day. "Hum toh Panje ko (Congress) vote dete hai. Saalo se dekhte aaye hai unhe." - he replied when I asked him if he ever voted.

I love to interact with these people. But not always that you find decent men. Many of them give you dirty stares when you are sitting in the auto/cab. They keep staring at you through rear view mirror. But some of them are really helpful too. They won't say anything if you don't have sufficient change to pay them, or you make them wait, or roam around streets while looking for an address. Some behave as if they are doing a huge favour on you by dropping you at your destination. But most of them so far have been nice. There have been plenty of conversations with them. Their stories have always been amusing, and inspiring. Most of them have been honest. And helpful.

This city is one of the best cities to live in because of them.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Advice should be chargeable

They always said that no matter how hard you try, your past comes back haunting you. You can try to hide it, amend it, delete the traces, destroy the evidences - that doesn't kill it. That just makes it dormant. It comes back to life the moment it gets the sunlight called opportunity. Or people. 

I have rarely felt guilty about my acts. No matter how big or small the mistake is, I have always accepted it, amended it and moved on. Guilt is one emotion I would never want to feel. Nor would you. For, it kills you from within. But these things are not always in our hands. We are yet to be heartless enough not to feel anything. We are yet to be nice enough to never do anything wrong to anyone. It's normal and natural to feel guilty about certain acts. But the key is not to let it rule you. Your life. Your people. And most importantly, your decisions. 

How easy it is to talk when you're not talking about your life. Some well learned person (read yours truly) once said "दुनिया का सबसे आसान काम है ज्ञान बांटना|" We are natural at giving unwarranted advice. Even to strangers. If you see someone crying at the beach, or in the train or a park, you walk up to that person, ask him or her as to what happened, try to console her even if she asks you to leave her alone, give her unsolicited advice even if she shares just a small part of her problem just so that you stop disturbing her. How we fail at minding our own business. 

Some look at it as a good deed. They think that it's good to help those who are sad. And some are even willing to accept the help. Maybe because they have nobody to talk to, or nobody understands them, but the probability of that happening is pretty low. Most of the times people who are crying in Public places wouldn't care about what you think about them, thus they wouldn't care about what you have got to say either. 

Writing a blog post on phone is a pain. Especially when you're not able to sleep because you have a lot of things on your mind. You do not know what or how do you feel at this moment. But you need to vent out. Thus you take the pain and risk of typos and write a post. But the worst part is, deciding the header. After writing the entire post, I haven't yet decided on the header. Sigh. 

Ps: Found the header. It maybe totally irrelevant, but what the heck! 

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Piece of mind

How we live in phases. Little things make us happy when the time is right and biggest things don't even affect us then. Why do we do things for others? To see a smile on their face? Or because that smile makes us feel good. At the end of the day, we look for our comfort zone, and while doing that, we end up making others happy. Or sad. Depending upon the kind of phase they are in at that time.

I feel as if I think in some alien language these days. Yes I have noticed changes in me. And they have been drastic. I can sense that I have become more confident now. I was always a very confident person, but I have stepped a level above now. And it's a dangerous position. It almost makes you arrogant. It definitely makes you more narcissist. It surely increases the number of your haters. But it also makes you less vulnerable, smarter and cold. You are so cautious about everything that you may prefer losing them than harming your confidence, or emotions - whatever sounds good to your ears. 

Human nature is to exaggerate. We exaggerate almost everything. From our position to power, knowledge to foolishness, stupidity to virginity - everything. The most abused area when it comes to exaggeration is our emotions. We blackmailed our parents when we were kids, we faked tears, threw tantrums, faked smiles to look strong, faked love to not lose something or someone special, faked work pressure and illness - exaggeration kind of became a habit. Many of us are compulsive exaggerators - if such a term exists. At times it helps, at times it backfires. 

I think it's a habit now to talk about vague things on this blog. Way too many things clutter your mind without any reason. And after a point, you feel nothing about anything. It's like being emotionally dead. It maybe a temporary phase or a permanent state. But somehow these things have to be brought out of your system. It depends on you how you prefer to do it. I need to talk. I talk with people, close friends, strangers - whoever I can connect with. And I blog. 

In other news, just like last year, this year too looks good as far as travelling part is concerned. And like always, I won't be writing the travelogue. I find them boring to read. Those who know me or are connected with me on other channels know/will know about my plans. If you know me and I don't want to meet you, then you'll never find out about my whereabouts. 

And yes, happy new year. People are posting pictures of all the things that make them happy under some project where they will have to stay happy and click pictures for 100 days. What have you done with your life? I blog. Like it makes all the difference.