Sunday, March 15, 2009

Redemption

All of us have fears we are afraid to face. The ghosts in the closet about whom you don't want to talk, don't want anybody to know. You try to hide from it, run away from it.... but it haunts you. Like a shadow follows you everywhere, your worst nightmare. You can't do anything, either you run away from it for ever or face it.

Today I visited Agonda beach. For two years the events of October 2, 2006 haunted me. I lost 3 people I knew in front of my eyes and could do nothing about it.I would never forgive myself for that ever in my life. I still remember my last meetings with the 3 of them. The sight of Punit waving his arms. The confusion that ensued, the frantic attempts, the helplessness and finally the decision to return.A part of me died that day , another part was born. The days that followed were probably the worst I had been through in life. One had to appear strong, keep people who were there with you strong, give them a shoulder, not let the people around you feel too broken but inside it was 100 degrees. The feeling that you didnot do anything. The helplessness, the guilt and the nightmares.

Today on the way I got flashes of that day. A part of me wanted to go back while another part of me wanted to face it. I tried to make small talk with my friends but it did not help. As the place got closer the day kept on becoming more clear. And then we arrived there. While walking towards the beach a kind of reel was playing in front of my eyes of that day. Then I saw the beach. Today it was calm, the sun was setting, children were playing on its sand. I looked around and it had changed, there were shacks around enough people around. I sat down and just looked at the setting sun, thinking about everything. Looking around I could still visualise that day but somehow being there was different. I don't know how but it was different. And finally I did something which I never thought I would do. I stood up, took of my sandals and walked towards the sea and let my feet get wet in it.

While leaving I looked back once again. The sun was setting, the day was ending and I thought the nightmares may continue, the guilt may remain always but today I have faced the one of the biggest fears of my life and probably with that setting sun much more may have ended than the day. I thought I had redeemed myself.

Before I end this deeply emotional posts of mine I think some thankyou's should be in order. I would always be indebted to Vishrut, angad, vishal,boxer, Mohammed,Puneet and Purnoor for being with me throughout the next 3 days. To Rao for talking to me and keeping me together as soon as a got back. To Gurveen for making me talk about the incident. To Sethi, Gaurav, Abhinav and Rajat for driving me there today. And finally to the people who were with me on the fateful day for keeping each other strong.

And finally to Punit, Praveen and Hari  ..... I am sorry.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Womens Day

Yesterday was Women's Day. Every Lady in my building went out for an "Women's outing". while watching Tv and various campaigns promoting Women on it, I saw my domestic help and I wondered what does this day mean to her. It is same as any other day for her. Come early, do the domestic work for various houses she takes care of, go home, tend to her wifely and motherly duties and repeat the process again each and every day.

And then it struck me. What is to this day other than a big corporate gimmick to make you shell out more money? Think about our neighbouring country Pakistan. Half of it under the fundamentalists who have bombed more than 100 girls schools. Restricted their movement, imposed sharia law which demeans them to the status worse than that of animals

Or think about the case of hundreds of women in Africa suffering from Aids. Living with no medicine, no way of tending to their kids or saving them from the gruesome disease. Hundreds of women in Darfur have become victims of the raging civil war. Rape a weapon being used constantly in the civil war to humiliate the enemy.

Closer home pick up today's newspaper and you will read the story of two dalit women hacked to death for marrying in the upper cast. Everyday hundreds of women are subjected to domestic violence. Our cities are one of the most unsafe in the world for women. The Lonely Planet guide on India itself asks foreign women not to heed to Indian men or wear "revealing" clothes for they may get into trouble. thousands of women in our country don't have a voice to raise their concerns. No adequate health care, education, violence in every sphere of life. Does this day mean anything to them?

I think Not. But what the hell to all women reading this post ... HAPPY WOMEN'S DAY!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Decisions


Well Waves started yesterday. 4th and the last waves of my Bitsian life. I don't know whether its seeing the same thing again and again or something else but his time I didnot have any feelings for it. So today I am back home. Anyways yesterday night while sitting in the lawn during the sea rock performance I started thinking about my life and decisions. Well it becomes easier to be philosophical when you are alone, good music is being played at ultra high speakers, you sitting in a lawn which for once is not stinking and the moon is looking beautiful.
There are times in everybody'sife when one hs to make decision. As Kerry Russel Famously put it
"Sometimes it is the smallest decisions that can change your life forever "

Sitting there in the lawn I thought about :

1. Whether leaving NIT and coming to BITS was the right decision?
2. Whether leaving ECE was such a good choice?
3. Was not taking Stephens good choice?
4. Would I have been good at arts ?
5. Should I have gone for NDA?
6. Was putting so much energy into Quark even worth it?
7. Was taking PS in sem 1 a decent choice?
8. Why did i extend going home by 2 days?
9. Why do I decide against letting people get closer?
11. Why am I eating center fresh after dairy milk ? ( Common it is a decision)
12. Why am I sitting here?

Well I don't know the answers to the above questions? The only thing I know that I made my own decisions and therefore am still in control of my life. Depending on how things turn out will answer my questions. Till then I would take refuge in the words of Thorton Wilder

" The more decisions you are forced to make alone, the more are you aware of your freedom to choose "


PS: For those of you who are wondering where the memoirs posts went, I shifted them to my wordpress blog.