Saturday, January 10, 2009

Ready to Serve


What’s this?

What am I doing here?

What do I mean by what am I doing here?

Ok calm down.

Well, yeah. This intro too is inspired by the large sperm whale’s in Hitchiker’s guide to galaxy! Thank you Douglas Adams. J

Here’s the thing.

Cogito Ergo Sum. Or Cogito Ergo Doleo.

But the point is why do we think?

And more pertinently, why do I think what I think?

Now, I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that we were born with the almighty sitting down cross-legged and deciding whether I make this fucker a jackass or a nimwitted blonde with two big…well. You get the picture!

I believe in Aristotle’s concept of mind as a clean, blank state/Tabula Rasa.

It means that one’s experiences define her personality. No one’s born in a particular way. It’s the surroundings, the experiences, the childhood, e.t.c. that influence one’s views about the world.

So while I think I may explore those ideas in this blog, I am not sure as to what else I will touch and go. May be everything!

Anyways, While doing my post-grad. most of my female friends which later on led to the guys also saying so just because the girls said so- that “I am an emotional guy and that I can’t see anyone in any discomfort- in their particular cases- see them cry” which I will agree is pretty much the truth.

I did like every drunkard wonder when the fuck did I become that?

But the wondering long about life’s wonders in general was not something I could wonder for a long time and so I wandered into hitherto unknown territories-the stories of which I shall divulge at a later time.

So anyways, the other day while talking to a colleague over phone. I realized probably what helped me shape up this attribute in me.

I’ll share that today.

Like every other 26year old, I too was once a 14 year old. I entered class 8. Was always on the wrong side of teacher’s books by doing things-you-ought-not-to-do-but-still-do.

As a result, other wannabe kids too followed the suit and soon the class got blacklisted amongst the teachers. So they did what teachers do best. Punish us. We replied by doing what we could then do best. Irritate them. And so the saga of “Whole class. Stand with hands-up (which was a punishment otherwise bearable but in the winter season it was cruel. Well you see, with our blazers on our shoulders it was difficult to keep hands straight as demanded by teacher and if u tried too hard it would reveal many a ugly sights of my fellow classmates shirt hanging out and in few fat cases, there belly buttons being visible to all- which then became the laughing point for all and subsequently made the teacher even more pissed off, which she would then ask us sternly to keep our hands even more straight, which would lead to the repetition of the some poor soul’s belly swell up again and the cycle kept on getting repeated…)”, “Stand up on the benches” and some times simply “standup”. Now till class 8th we were a united class. No classification of girl-boy had come up, in fact I liked that there was no classification as it generally helped my case of pursuing a un-suspecting girl (talk abut starting early!) who after I would have proposed would change the school as soon as the session got over or worse still in the very next Raksha Bandhan tie me a rakhi. Hey… I was just finding out things about myself! I was on an overdose of ‘Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge’ and ‘Dil To Pagal Hai’.

So without digressing from the topic further, we were pretty much a united class and bore the brunt of all the innovative (which they weren’t) and sadistic (which again they weren’t as we had a gala time standing up and eating our lunch boxes without getting caught) punishments our teachers had for us. Time came for all of us to move on to next class and so we all did much to the comfort of our class 8 teachers.

Now, this is where it got different.

We still did the same things. But some stupid new girls from some school- I don’t remember which one- entered our class and changed the whole scenario and shaped yours truly this way.

Now these I think came from only girls’ school and were therefore always trying to show the superiority of the womanhood on us. Like every men in the history of humanity, we too did what every man does in a situation they don’t understand. We made fun of them and bully them.

So well, amidst all these larger issues of life, we still presented a united class to our teachers when it came to breaking the rules. However, unlike class 8, this time the new girls after standing for few minutes would pretend crying. The teacher would take pity to them and scold us guys for doing all the mischief and make the girls sit down. This led to our old female friends follow the suit every once a while, and were pretty successful every time, well almost.

In any case, the unity of class to ensure that ‘we don’t need no education’ disappeared soon and the gender divide in the small class 40 odd students surfaced to the core.

I being a believer of the following line of the Indian preamble as written in our civics book (though hardly followed ever in real life) “…no discrimination based on cast, creed, colour and sex…” despised this.

But the girls obviously loved this and soon it became evident to us-the male populace of the class- that girls can get away with anything by shedding a drop of tear.

I somehow learned to live with the fact. But this belief only got stronger in under-grad as I saw my friends’ girlfriends cry out aloud in the shopping malls in front of everyone only because their boyfriend has refused to tell them if rani-coloured saree or vibrant red saree would look better for the upcoming culture day celebrations in college. (Well, my friend had not actually refused but had said something as sweet as “look, I don’t care a damn what you wear, I like you for who you are and really makes no difference what you wear. You are free to wear/not wear ;) anything you feel like.” Now, I don’t see why she felt it was rude of him and that he didn’t love her enough…what followed next were the violent sobs of the girl and the embarrassed pleas of my friend proclaiming his love and also the selection of a blue coloured saree.)

Now I used to hate it. Hate the way a drama used to get converted to tear-jerkin-emotional tragedy whenever some female would make good use of her lachrymal glands.

Now all the girls who did not resort to this got lots of respect from me. So whenever these friends of mine would be sad or depressed then I shall sit with them and make them happy, whatever it took.

The fact that I, because of aforementioned events-instead of being indifferent-became more concerned about it was as surprising to me as it was to the girl I proposed for the first time ever. (I rarely used to talk to her, she didn’t even know I existed and thought I am some random shady guy from class 8th. She left the school next year! L )

A normal incident, I guess, but the way it impacted me and shaped me was quite surprising.

Anyways, class 9th was the end of adolescence for me in many ways.

Now when I think about it, it looks like a horizon, not the ever-receding one that I am running towards, but one which I have already passed, similar to the one on a long road-when in the midst of a journey- you stop and turn back to see how much is it that you have traveled and see horizons on both the ends and only a thin road to travel (not much choice to wander into the unknown land.) And then you wonder when did I cover all this distance, how could I go the distance?

In your motorcycle diaries, you may have the time and possibility of going back, and reliving it; in a lesser mortal’s guide to life-We just wonder how in such a short time we are in the midst of this journey without knowing when the first half finished and when the other half started, all the while heading for the inevitable beginning of death.

Sometimes we move too fast, too far from everyone and sometimes the horizon moves back too slow but too far.