animesh kumar

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Archive for December 2005

Escapism

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9dz_escapism21What dictionary says about ‘escapism’ is – “An inclination to retreat from unpleasant realities through diversion or fantasy.” But, it doesn’t say a word about what kind of realities or fantasies are they?

When I first came across this coined word, I pondered a lot about my own past. There had been many situations where I had retreated back, often unconsciously, illogically. But if it were a kind of an escapist attitude, there must have been some reasons behind my escape. Only the sense of running away couldn’t have driven me away; there must have been some other factors, local or global, that might have urged me to run away. Then, I sat down to analyze my course of actions in the hindsight.

I noticed a strange thing, that was, in most of the cases, those realities or those fantasies were my own – self made. I had created them, because I believed in them, because I wanted to believe in them, because I wanted to deny myself something that was perhaps more real. In his book, Paulo Coelho examines a similar situation.

A boy and a girl drove to a trench beyond the country, and saw an old church. By the time, they arrived to the church, it was mid-afternoon, and an old man who sat by the well outside the church stopped them from going inside. They persuaded the old man but in vain. After an hour of horse-trading with the old man, the boy decided to go inside the church and hence decided to run the risk of police. The girl was scared but he went along. When they came out, the old man was gone. And there was no police. The boy explained the girl: sometimes we need to devise a play in order to cease our own reality, and to see the world as we want it to be. And when we don’t succeed in playing the play alone, we invite others into it. That old man was on a similar course. He wanted us to take part in his play and play the role of a victim.

But now, the question is: how often we play with ourselves?…any answers?

Recently, I fell prey to another play. I wanted to change my apartment and hence contacted a near-by provision-store-man. I had a good relation with him and we used to talk quite often. Once, in a barrage of talks, he had told me about his various contacts with various builders across the city. Then, I didn’t realize that that piece of talk was nothing but a confabulation – a part of his personal play only to keep himself warm from the hard realities of his anonymity, where I played a role unknowingly and expected a real output. Days later, when I inquired about the possible apartment, I was assured and then reassured. When I asked about money, I was said not to worry about that.

The play was going so well that I decided to assume it real. And there I fell down. I created one fallacy for myself, and I started playing it.

I kept searching for him to show me the apartment and he kept pretending busy. I asked his son, who stood by the shop in his absence, too but nothing happened. I phoned him also, only to be reassured again. He gave me one date and then the next, but he never showed up.

Yesterday night, as I was coming back from office, and because it was late, I saw him around his shop. As soon as I reached, he retreated backwards and hid behind his shop. I noticed that. He noticed that. I didn’t stop by and went ahead.

Then I understood the difference between fallacy and reality.

Nothing is real. “Fallacies that are accepted by more number of people are realities”. Just like that.

And escapism is a rout to segue from fallacy to reality, and vice versa.

Is there anything wrong with it? I guess, none. It’s not pernicious to live vicarious. Is it? Moreover, when the second man is you yourself.

When I talked to Anirudh about it, he said escapism is a trait of optimism. Only an optimist can leave behind his efforts and dart forward. (To create the play and to dream a dream, you need efforts. Don’t you?)

What I believe is: it’s more like being ready with ‘plan-B’. You are working on ‘plan-A’ and as soon as it fails, you run away from it, and settle down with ‘plan-B’.

When I was in engineering school, I used to neglect my academics for software. I used to devote most of my time in learning new computer languages and techie stuffs. Now when, I am in software industry, I tend to avoid coding. Now I am more prone to literature and psychology and philosophy. Is it my ‘plan-B’? Am I escaping from myself?

Dreaming is good; but how about living in dreams?

…any thoughts?

Written by Animesh

December 31, 2005 at 1:00 am

Posted in Diary

A moment… or eternity?

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dscn0971People who write are of different clan. They are special in a special way of their own. Because they have a weapon – not particularly for others, but for themselves. Because they can articulate their innermost turmoil into words and can vent that out to the real world. Because, words are their confrere, their companion.

I have always relished in awe that I can write, that I can express myself, my grief, my frustration, my sorrow, my pain, my love, and my failures. But sometimes, your words betray you. They don’t just come up when you need them the most. Just like that. They would deny their existence altogether, and you would be left alone. Then in that time of urgent need, you feel distrait, and a process of random thoughts evade you brain.

And sometimes, that moment is stretched into days, months, or years perhaps. And through all those days, you remain lost, and alone. You find no word to use, no paper to ink, only a lurking tumult to suffer, to survive. You have to do it, since you have no other option.

Here, I am trying to fetch words to continue writing, but I find none. They aren’t coming up. I can see them, in fact, they are right in front of me, but I can’t use them. They are mocking me with derision, with contempt, but I can’t use them. Why? I ask myself why? Just because I lost one battle, did I lose all? Am I nothing if I couldn’t stand that one blow, that one failure? And what the hell is a failure?

You see a girl; feel like getting attracted; try to be friends with her; then suddenly you propose her. And voila! She denies.

Is this a failure?…eh!

I talked to my friend about it. He said that there are two ways to analyze this situation? First: see yourself as a victim and let the pain be inflicted upon you. Second: look onto the moment and let it pass, look for its intention, its purpose, and let it go; meanwhile learn what could be learnt. But don’t stop. Don’t get struck. Don’t get smitten.

They all preach.

For me, that moment is stretched into a lifetime.

And for a whole lifetime, I would be deprived of words. I wouldn’t be able to vent the anger out of me.

Brian says, “One does not fall ‘in’ or ‘out’ of love. One grows in love.”

I say, one neither falls, nor grows, one stays in love. Love is not a process; it’s a state, a moment. A moment of still, of eternity. A moment, when you feel the rarest of feelings: the feeling to be alive. Love is to remain in love.

I will be always the same, though I would promise myself to grow past that moment, that feeling, that predicament of love. But it would keep coming back to me, and I, yielding to it. I know I would never let it pass, though I would fool myself in disguise of trying to let it pass. And the outside world would remain silent to me. It would all be mute here.
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It is all mute here.
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It was all mute here.
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And today even her eyes were mute. Mute, silent, but vigilant. She saw me, I saw her. Phew! I felt something rekindling inside me. In a flash, so many months, so many evenings, so many places drew before my eyes that I almost lost her as she drove ahead on her bike.

Was it a moment?

Whatever! But at least it wasn’t just any other moment; she wasn’t just any other girl.

Written by Animesh

December 22, 2005 at 12:59 am

Posted in Diary

Gazal maestro in Indore

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He needs no introduction, no definition. He has redefined ‘Gazals’. He has made it the vogue of this generation. He is beyond adjectives. He is the king of Gazals, the maverick, virtuoso singer – Jagjit Singh Ji.

jagjit_2And when he inundated the city auditorium ‘Abhay Prashal’ with his mellifluous voice, two days back, in the evening of December 19th, the audience swam along. It was an epoch – that people of Indore would remember for long – that hit the city after almost four years.

The concert was organized in the memory of senior journalist and freedom fighter, Late Thakur Das ji Khujneri, by Mrs. Mona Khujneri in co-operation with Montana Events and Promotions.

The scoring barrage began with the melodious Sarfarosh number; “hosh walo ko khabar kya…” which only increased the voracity, like the scarce water which only multiplies the thirst in manifolds. But it was just a beginning; and the listeners knew it as they welcomed the sensation with a long ovation. It was an emblem of the greater bliss that followed afterwards with his second number from the album Sajda, “har jagah, har kahin, beshumar aadmi…” and then the flow never stopped. The crescendo sped up. The music winged everyone out of his brain. At one end, the audiences were drowning in the rapture, at another the singer went up, up and above the scale of measure. And the songs kept on melding with the evening. “kiska chehra aab main dekhun…”; then “ye daulat bhi le lo…ye shohrat bhi le lo…”, “hujur aapka bhi ahteram karta chalun…”. The ace singer was at his best.

jagjit_1Later, when he sung the request-numbers from audiences, it seemed as though the winter evening too had stopped to listen to his velvet articulation in “kal chaudahwi ki raat thi…”, “jhuki jhuki si nazar…”, “tumko dekha to ye khayal aaya…”, “tum itna jo muskura rahe ho…” It drew back the air of nostalgia of first love, of the first ever promise, of the first rose kept and forgotten in old books, of the age when nothing else mattered but love, and of nights spent with friends listening to Jagjit’s Gazals.

Soon, luminary Jagjit himself got lost in the miry days, when he went with his Punjabi numbers: “sawan da mahina yaron…”, “dhai din da jawani…”, “chulhe angana ghade de witch…”, “mati da baba…”. The evening worked equally for both: the singer and the listener.

And when he stopped; the desired was intensified; the evening waited for a while, as if it stood nonplused over the sudden blockage, and then tardily slipped towards night.

The concert will be in memory for many days to come. Only if the management were a little more managed, it would have been a greater delight.

Never mind! Roses come with spines. And this rose – the maven singer, Jagjit Singh Ji – was more prominent than the spine.

Written by Animesh

December 20, 2005 at 12:57 am

Posted in Diary

I am the rain.

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rainI am the rain.
atoned with dust,
with grief,
with love and pain.

I walk over the sky,
that covers her, and me,
and the forgotten dream,
and a path unknown.

I fall down to earth,
that supports her, and me,
and the forbidden love,
and emotions un-shown,
but…unshorn…!

I am the rain.
She,
my driblets.
I run along the current.
She, my breeze, seeps in
to bane.

We live,
We die,
together, in
disdain.

I live to
retain my belief, to
continue to remain.

She dies, to live
her cause,
her curse,
my love, and
a life, mundane.

She stills to deify
our bond,
her detain, and
my abstain.

I journey
to refrain,
to persist,
in wait to explain.

I am the rain,
assuaged to wane.

Written by Animesh

December 19, 2005 at 12:56 am

Posted in Poetry

AID(S)ing Ambassadors

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Whatever be the message, ‘glamour’ can say it all. Remember Shah Rukh endorsing Videocon televisions, or Santro cars; Aishwarya donning Tanishq jewelleries; Amitabh gulping Hajomola golies (tabs); Tendulkar driving TVS Victor; or John riding Yamaha? What they all have in common is their celebrity-ness. And the people eager to copy every move, every style of them. Harnessing this peculiar selling power of celebrities, some great campaigns of past were launched. Aishwarya coaxed for eye donation; Amitabh and Shah Rukh cajoled for polio vaccination. And they worked. As efficiently as they clicked in commercial ads.

Now they all have gathered to throw AIDS off the country.

Mumbai Mirror reports about this HIV/AIDS awareness media campaign which is the costliest music video ever; featuring the largest number of stars from bollywood ever. Last time it happened was almost 20 years ago for the song “mile sur mera tumhara…” This video – a BBC world Service Trust production – would be directed by Anu Malhotra, nine time national award winning documentary filmmaker.

Glamour is today’s spice. Add it to anything, and that would sell. Make it a fashion, and it will trade. Tell people that this is the latest style, and they would buy. No one likes a simple message, make it complex, and – voila! – there you go. This is what they call brand management.

AIDS is not a product; but certainly, it is today’s concern. “Precaution is the only salvation”. This is the brand message; and they are the brand ambassadors. Let them – the glitzy stars – lead us. We would follow.

Written by Animesh

December 16, 2005 at 12:55 am

Posted in Diary

SSPorting

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I would like to know, why were sports invented? For the people, or for an individual?

When I peep into it more profoundly, I see sports as one of those rare jewels which start from an individual and stretch to the masses. A perfect quintessential of plurality! The game is for one, and at the same time, for all. Everyone is a champion; everyone is a spectator. Sports are a true measure of current day democratic unisons.

And in India, sports means cricket. We live cricket. Pulse by pulse, beat by beat, ball by ball, and rematch everything with Door-Darshan highlights.

Either in war or in cricket, we – the Indians – come together in support of our nation, holding our gasps, hand-in-hand, furiously watching over the television set. This sense of nationality is apparent again, by dint of Mr. Ganguly’s omission from the ‘Team India’. Here is what The Time of India has to say.

Ganguly was an epoch to Indian cricket – most successful caption ever – among the best of batsmen around the globe. But then, he slipped steeply. Few errors with bat, few slips of tongue, and he was in dust. And load of accusations was burdened onto him.

Then he was thrown out. And people, especially from Kolkata, protested. The protest however was discarded, considering as a mere jingoism of Begali’s over their Bengal-Tiger. But, the man was determined to revert and claim his position. He took all the toil and spent all his patience through out the local series, and he was taken in again. He played for some time, and quite appreciably, he played good, past the accusations of individuality, he played to the team spirit, for the ‘Team India’. But, this couldn’t help him much as he was thrown out again. No one knows why? I guess, not even the selection (read rejection.) committee.

And the mighty parliament discussed this issue. Here are what The Hindu reports.

Who says this is an era of short memory span? Cricket fans still hold all his records at the tip of tongue. Watch them over the Kolkata streets. After all, this is democracy. How can you commit ridicule and go away untarnished?

Whatever happens in future; one thing is certain. Ganguly has his way paved to politics, if not to cricket. He wouldn’t have to open a cricket training camp; he can instead become our sports’ minister? Policy-making is brawnier than run-making. Is this why he is keeping his lips tight?

Written by Animesh

December 16, 2005 at 12:53 am

Posted in Diary

Streets-Hawks

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Are they the abandoned kids who were not to enter into the social and cultural life of the mainstream? Are they the deprived and depraved rookies roaming the metro side-lanes? Are they the street hawks eternal subject of contempt and menace? Well… they were. But after Mira Nair’s Salaam Bombay, they are not forsaken creatures of our world anymore. And for them the maverick Nair had established a NGO in 1989 named, after the movie, which took care of their needs, medication and education. Today, around 5,000 children are enlisted to this organization – The Salaam Baalak trust.

New Delhi based hotel chain Nirula’s have recently joined hands with the Trust to have children aged from five to fifteen years bask their mural on the hotel’s Defense colony restaurant in the city. And the theme is felicitous too: “Right of the child.” The current endeavor is not the first one; four years ago, they painted the walls in theme with “Environment.” Nirula’s has also co-sponsored social activities with WWF, HelpAge India, Spastic Society of India, and Blind Relief School etc.

What amuses me after reading all this is how rest of us are sitting so idle only to harp over the misfortunes. If they can stand up, why can’t we? I ask myself, worriedly, why only the few among us are taking up the noble causes? Why only few? What would make the rest of mass stir to action?

I remember what Paulo had written in one of his books: It takes only a few people to galvanize a massive movement. He told a cavalier story. There was a scientist who went to an island. He wanted to teach monkeys how to peel a banana. However, he couldn’t do the task of teaching all the monkeys of the island at once. So he chose one of them. It took ten years to him that the monkey could first peel and then eat a banana. But afterwards all the monkeys learnt to peel bananas in less than a year. And until next year, monkeys from all over the world learnt it. Miraculously! The scientist didn’t go to each and every monkey. They learnt it themselves. The conclusion was that – if a certain number of people are taught to behave in a certain manner, the whole human race would start behaving in that manner.

It takes time, and the fixed certain number. I guess the numbers are not yet sufficient enough to gather the movement. Are you listening?

Written by Animesh

December 12, 2005 at 12:51 am

Posted in Diary