Category Archives: Matter of hearts

I love toads……

One look at Surya and you will find a decent looking, small stature person, wearing rimmed  spectacles, Square face, with a resolute chin.  His hair is all dishevelled after a 15 mile ride in an Auto Rickshaw from Atapur  to Punjagutta Chowk.  So, rather than a professional , he looks  more like a guy who  has been fired ,he has a small bulge in his belly, not uncommon for professionals in his company, with all those daily allowances.
He looks likes the hundreds other backpack carrying, formal wearing professionals roaming here and there hailing autos, running after buses and cabs,  calling an end to another miserable day at work.
It’s all new for him, because at his previous location he was the only guy in the above mentioned attire.
Initially he was not very happy with the transfer, but it took only one Veg-Biryani at the Paradise to convince him otherwise, apart from the politeness and cooperative nature of the people (except the Auto –Rickshaw Walla’s).
Surprising , well yes, attribute it to the one odd stroke of luck in this life or his  own accurate  self –assessment, he has chosen for himself quite a less trodden path for Engineers.
Not that he had planned for this.
His work if we start to explain going by his own admission  has no end or start.
One day you may find him inspecting the toilets for cleanliness like a Municipal Inspector, the next preparing joint inspection reports with some hot shot technical guy. He is also required to resolve the Disputes between the customer and the  car dealer as if he some ombudsman .Even after this much of process and paper work he is expected to have astute diagnostic skills so that he should be able to identify the vehicle trouble by  just hearing its noise.
Other than this he has to resolve the HR problems of the workshop employees. He for them is a star , a standard against which they measure everything. But in reality he is just a half baked engineer, who has just learned to survive the college life with a sharp tongue and XEROX notes.
Out of the blue, his face begins to lose colour, as if something had stung him and he was trying to brave it.
But the pain was too obvious; the hardening of  jaw muscles were the indicators of the effort it was taking him not scream his heart out.
Then he decided to do what he has been too afraid to do from the last 3 months.
One ring, two rings, third ring…..and it begins
 “Hi, how are you?”
“I am good. But I can’t hear you properly. Where are you, there is so much noise in the background, are you outside?”
“Yes, I am waiting for an Auto near a crossing”
“Firstly you never call for like ages and when you call it’s always from these crowded places only? We can talk when you reach home”
“No, wait.(He takes a deep breath)It’s like when I am surrounded by a sea of people , my heart starts to ache for one person I want to see more than anyone on this earth.”
 Thanks.  I could never figure you out completely”.
“So, how’s life?”
“Hey don’t say like that, I told you na, no one dies for anyone, life goes on”
Well mine’s stalled, “When is the D-DAY?”
Silence for 3 minutes
  He grinds his teeth, breathes fire…..
Even in this din and noise this sentence of her puts a vacuum in between Surya and world, for a second he is unable to even feel anything .His body goes numb. He mentally curses himself for calling her. He always gets these anxiety attacks by calling her. You never learn son of a bitch.
There is a surge of anger inside him, a feeling he never experienced before, its like the rage the Lord Shiva must have felt when Sati had jumped in the fire before opening that 3rd eye.
“Are you there?”, she asks.
“Yes, I am good, take care, and got to go”
On the Brink of tears “Ok bye, I will call you later”
“Please don’t”
“Bye”. Just in time so that he doesn’t hear her crying
She immediately rushes towards the bathroom, with her hand on her mouth to muffle the sobs, she wails and cries. Those muffled cries which nobody but he can understand, why this had to happen?? Why?
Why God gives you such blessings and then takes them away as quickly as they come?
But then she stands up, looks up in the mirror;the red eyes, the swollen lips. She washes her face again and again. Takes a deep breath and tries to relax. Her cousins are waiting outside for her to select the saris  and jewellery for them. She puts on a fake smile and rushes outside.
Surya is 1500 KMs away from her in an unknown city.
He just stares in to the gravel beneath his feet and thinks, what would it take to get her back in my life?
He is brought back to this world by the shouts of an auto Walla.
Auto wallah is a lanky man in his early twenties, wearing a cap; with as much of holes as the cheese in Tom n jerry. His longish face which ends in a small extended chin like the beard of Pharohs  that could have been  considered handsome had he dressed a bit better, not that striking, but enough to get yourself a GF.
“Aein bhaiyaan kaha ko jayenga??”
“East  Maredpally, near Chenoy nursing home” but hell will do okay.
“100 rupayian lagenga”
Surya, who was too tired to haggle, got in without a word of protest.
He always enjoyed travelling alone; he could just stare at the moving mass of men and vehicles
 And let his mind think about the questions which are eating him up from inside.
What he wants? Why is he always unhappy? Why? Why??
It was raining and traffic was as usual moving like an overfed serpent
 “Aye bhaiyan, Mai iddrech hun,English me kaisa bolna ka” in typical Hyderabadi style.
 “I am here” ,smiles.
“ Matlab?”
 “I am here in Begumpet.”
“Theek theek(okay,okay) Aye aam heer,acha”
“Tumhari girl friend puchti h kya?” Chuckling (Does your girl-friend asks this from you?)
“Han Bhaiyan,bahut hi-fi h wo, saali pata nai kiddreech se padi h”
It brought back happy memories of the time he was trying to teach the nuances of Kashmiri language to Nanu in the college park, ….aaah that park…..that park had a small dirty pond at the centre, full of toads and every time they walked around that pond a toad would jump in front of them and Nanu used to cling to him, her eyes shut and shrieking, and for that moment he used to feel gratitude not only the toads but their whole phylum. 
For that touch used to make his day.
He never knew it, but Nanu used to dissect toads by a single slash of her blade in her Under-grad lab, she was braver than he was in all respects. But then she just never bothered to tell him.
But the honking of an over eager biker brought him out of his reverie back to this cruel, wet and static reality that he is not going to spend the rest of life with her, that he will not be able to even see her for the rest of her life after D- DAY, that he has to learn to live without her, day after day after day.
This thought shook him from the core and he sulked back in his seat, looking like a man who has weathered too many storms.
From a small drizzle it has begun raining, which makes traffic even more difficult to move. So, the bored Auto walla again prods him into a conversation.
AW: So, what do you sir? In typical Hyderabadi.
Surya: I am the guy who comes to your rescue when you get cheated at a car workshop.
AW: Oh, I thought you are a computer person…
To be continued….some later day………….

PS: Go ahead and make that “call”
It’s a piece of fiction.


Transformation ………..

 It was like just another day in my “Amazing” life as Trainee in the ” Amazing”  Tata Motors.
 Bus dropped me at a walking distance from my building. There is park on the way. I used to hit the track regularly in the park  a few weeks back. It also had its own reason. My timing always “co-incidently” matched with the entry of a Hot chick. So, if she started running clockwise, my direction obviously would be anticlockwise or vice-verse . I always ran fast enough to cross her twice per round. But after 4 weeks of “BOLTING” , backaches and calf pulls , she didn’t as much as look at your humble servant . My body finally refused to obey the orders from some vague part and finally the drudgery came to an end. 
At the entry gate of the park there is also a Momo wallah. After 6 pm there is a literally a stampede for the momos/dimsums.  But today me and my flat mate were the first ” Boney customer” for the Momo wallahs. 
He asked to wait for about 10 -15 minutes in the park till our order was ready. No problems here. Its always  good to occupy a nice bench and appreciate the bounties nature has blessed us with. So far so good. There was a variety of people in the park, but majority were with Blank looks and ID cards hanging from their necks , the oppressed class to which i proudly belong  to( abi sirf training chal rahi h tabhi).
We both were sitting silently on the bench, which is impossible had two females been sitting there.
But after some time a young technocrat caught our eye. He was talking so loudly on phone that it didn’t require sherlockian skills to decipher what the conversation was about.
We both exchanged looks and sighed .It was the same gf-bf saga 
kuch to….
suno to….
maine nai…..
sorry ….sorry …Tear- your- hair- apart wala sorry

 It seemed as if he was fighting a court battle for a mass murderer who has pleaded guilty without his knowledge. There was no point. He was getting brick brats from i don’t know which coordinates on earth, but his voice was getting lowered step by step.
So, finally we thought that he had  lost the already lost battle. Maybe for us it was comedy circus but the way he was looking it must have been a matter of life and death. After such a bout of exertion even Muhammed Ali would have asked for water .Our young technocrat found himself a bench next to us .Both his hands were on the bench and his head was pointing towards the heaven.Strangely instead of grim melancholic expression he was as if suppressing a smile.He brought his gaze down from the heaven and took a deep breath and relaxed. The transformation was remarkable.As if some different soul had entered his body. He loosened a button of his shirt , ruffled his hair  and started to whistle. Something inside me was utterly surprised at this spectacle and as soon as i  stood to talk to this Guy.
We heard another whistle , from the momo guy. Steaming overpriced  Momos with Gun Powder Paste were waiting for us.
Hunger pangs won over the curiosity as usual.


I often used to ponder upon the above thought; can life be any stranger than a man’s imagination? There have been numerous examples where the vagaries of life have shocked us beyond reason, but still one can only appreciate it only when something strange happens in his own life or with someone he is very close to. One of the major black spots of our logical brain is the inability to fully understand complexity of relationship with people around us, there is no mathematical formula or a theorem which can cover the entire range of permutation and combination our mind does in a relation or is forced to do so. So finally cut the philosophical bullshit and let’s come to the point, I have an amazing story to tell, but it’s not mine, it happened with my closest friend, while we were travelling in a train chair car- Sampark Krantii. His seat was on the window side , but i was too quick to for him as always to let him have the pleasure of cool wind through my hair, only to regret it later. After 15-20 minutes the kranti began its journey from Smokey Lalkuan to Delhi. We had to appear for the our first job interview for a company which has a Japanese brain and Indian Skelton which got badly shaken in Maneser. So along with my dad’s tie I had also squeezed two production engineering books in my bag, with the hope that without even preforming welding ever, I will be able to master it during the five hours of second class Indian rail travel.
Well how much were we successful is the burden of this story. As all great authors do, let me begin with the character sketch of the hero of the story. We both had first met in the thermodynamics lab which is now a museum for outdated boilers and crank mechanisms, he was wearing metal rimmed glasses and a Tollywood style moustache. Nearly 6 feet tall, he was looking out of place in the land were 6 feet is a rare feat. It was his first day, but there was no sign of any nervousness while he started chatting with us within 5 seconds of his arrival, actually he got ambushed by a group of nasty charged up seniors before coming to class, who bombarded him with all forbidden words ever invented in the land of five rivers. It was his first time so he was quite shocked. I don’t know why he took a fancy for me and stuck with me all the time. He actually joined the course a few days late, so I was the victim of his insatiable curiosity about this god-forsaken place .
After three and half years , we are at same point where we began, the fear of ragging and teachers has now been replaced by placements, competitions, GPAs, future and what not. There is no respite in life, it’s just like in video games- you have to move from one stage to another, but in life there are no extra chances. We imagine that after achieving this or that, we will become somewhat different or we will begin to enjoy life more. Well, I don’t disagree with the sweetness of success, though I have forgotten its taste since matriculation, but this is an illusion of the Maya or Matrix that keeps us plugged in, forever shielded from our real higher purpose. Are we living a life driven by reason? Well the answer is no. We are driven by our egos, urges and habits. Why can’t we live a life which is under our control? Why can’t we transform from Mr. Anderson to NEO? These are just the tip of the iceberg, there are tons of unanswered questions which our mind asks, ponder on these and the purpose of my blog is complete.
Let’s get back to the bogey number D9 of Krantiji. My friend has a very nagging habit of making fun of people, in other words, he has a real lethal sense of humor which can infuriate anyone to the point of blows, but his intentions are innocent, he likes a laugh now and then, but by the time you realize this fact he has already stripped you of your mask and either you fall for him or you begin to hate him. If someone tells me to plot the graph of his life, I will simply draw a range of mountains, because everything with him is simply extreme- full of peaks and pitfalls most of which are his own creations. Well his native state is always on the front page due to extremism, so it should not come as a surprise.
Within half an hour of train safar, I began to feel for my books, they must have suffocated, so let’s air them. Aakash our hero (name changed to protect identity), initially refused to take any of the two books in his guardianship, but after getting bored of bird watching, he decided to unravel the mysterious difference between shaper and planer. He was itching to unload his pressure on any hapless person, but unluckily there was no one ready to take the bait. But wait, there was a ceaseless chatting and laughing going on the seat next to us. Two girls were watching some farewell videos on their laptops and laughing as if they were watching The Simpsons or Scooby doo. Aakash was curiously staring both of them. But both looked like veterans of eve -teasing and they ignored his staring on their laps and tops. But fate had something else in store for Aakash . He usually never likes to have conversations with strangers, again because of his lethal sense of humor, so there was thin chance of any sparks.
Out of the blue, a cop appeared with a ladies’ purse and began to ask for its owner. It caught the attention of all the bored passengers except the chicks, who were busy with their ceaseless chatting, oblivious to everything around them.
When the cop came to their seat with the purse, one of the chicks suddenly shrieked. It that was her purse. When she had opened her laptop bag, the purse must have slipped and slid to cop’s seat- how lucky, but instead of feeling embarrassed or shocked, they started laughing more and more, now they finally caught the attention of Aakash . But he still was not passing any comments quite shocking na! Maybe the pressure of interview had killed his killer instinct. But meanwhile, he was also trying to fill his brain with some technical bullshit, just in case he survives more than one minute in the interview.
Now I again got lost in the world of welding and gear manufacturing, but what brought me back was the giggling of the girls on our hero’s comic timing, I caught him by the neck.
Me: What’s going on man?
Aakash: Arey just nothing, she owes us 2 rupees I paid for her bisleri, so I am making fun of her worth at least 2 rupees!
Me: Okay, but please don’t cross the line, I don’t want to add sexual harassment case to my resume, remember that.
Aakash: Chill man, you know how much I have changed .
Me: Yup, who knows that better than me?
Aakash: Don’t you worry buddy, continue with your welding while I am entertaining the passengers.

Well both Aakash and the cocky chick sitting next to him had become the cynosure of every body’s eyes. Most of the people shut up when they realize that everybody is listening to their silly conversations, but not our hero. This thing adds fuel to the vulgar jokes search engine in his head. One thing leads to another, and suddenly two people with equally venomous tongues were dueling each other in the bogey number nine of Sampark Kranti. Every single soul in the compartment had his ears perked up, listening to their sharp taunts and comments on each other, it was like a movie shot from any other Bollywood movies, the only difference was that the dialogues were created instantly and delivered like hot pizzas in full public view. He had finally found his counterpart who was equally adept at making fun of others, so it was like the clash of titans, It was honey to my ears whenever she got the upper hand at him, but gradually they were cooling off and turned on the lesser mortals like me and her more cute and silent friend. He introduced me as big hot shot singer of the college, as soon as these words left his anemic lips, both girls jumped and asked for my autographs on their soft palms, had it been a eating joint or some other rendezvous, I would have thanked lord, but here with 100 eyeballs on me, I simply refused. They started enquiring about my singing capabilities and career, and before I could even part my lips to answer, Aakash had begun my biography.
To be continued………………………………………………………………