Roots

Here I was, returning from a tight 2 day sojourn to Madras combining work and pleasure like I always do :P. But something felt different this time around.

Having been raised as a Tamil Brahmin in the grand city of Bombay with a rather infamous distinction of having visited my native state of Tamil Nadu only about thrice in my 21 years of existence and with an impaired knowledge of the Tamil language, such visits to Madras always raised the risk of arousing my curiosity in tracing back my roots. This is the dilemma I found myself in constantly this time around as I waded through a swarm of my Tamil brothers and sisters in Chennai Central station while imbuing the aroma of fresh filtered coffee and savoring the spicy Sambar rice minutes before I boarded my train back to Nagpur.

For the first time, I truly felt a lost connection with the Tamil way of life often wondering about so many things I saw around me in Madras which ideally should be very obvious to me. My good friends are aware about the special significance that Madras holds for me for it has always been the uncanny residence of my most cherished social priorities. By saying this offcourse, I am not in the slightest way undermining Bombay and all that it has given me. Bombay will always be my home but an odd feeling likened to that of a refugee (in a place that I had so long perceived as my home) has set in me which has helped me conclude that I need to trace back my roots, get in touch with my birth-culture , my true ethnicity. Especially considering my immediate future plans of pursuing higher studies abroad, I truly feel there couldn’t be a more appropriate time to reaffirm my roots before I spread my wings and fly off to a far away land.

Cheers !

The Last Good Day of the Year

I am incredibly happy right now. ‘Thoroughly refreshed’ infact, just the way one must ideally feel at the start of a new decade.

Having been roomies and great friends with Kotecha, Potnis and others of their ilk, I have been influenced by their infectious sense of travelling and adventure. Coupled with an intrinsic wanderlust from birth, I have turned into a travel aficionado of sorts. It’s been more than a year since I took off time exclusively for travel from the never-ending mire of internships, exams and applications-blah.  An excuse of celebrating the Last new year’s eve together as college-mates served as a catalyst to an already brewing thought process in my mind and lo! The plan to get our asses outta Nagpur took a firm shape with everyone [ Kotecha, Tyrant , Deng , Hara , Potnis , Deshmukh & Randy] jumping right in ( for they too like me were burdened with a new-found perpetual boredom induced by a heavily relaxed 8th sem schedule in the insti :). So, here we go :

30 Dec 2009

2100: Bus tickets purchased by Deshmukh and Randy.

2200: Taste freedom( oh, so sweet !!) on leaving the insti. Premises.

2300: Board the MP tourism Bus to Jabalpur.

31 Dec 2009 (The Last and the Longest  Good Day of the Year begins )

0000: Pee n Tea Break somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

0430: Reached Jabalpur, Auto to Bhedaghat.

0500: Not a single living soul, pitch darkness , a chilly moist breeze , 8 guys , a bottle of Rum and a shed.

0600: Status : Everyone alive, awake and merry thanks to the rum and some interesting exchange of words 🙂

0630: An annoyingly ‘hyperactive’ Kotecha threatens everyone ( who were sleeping and putting off getting up till the sun shone brightly ) with ‘dire perverse consequences’  and ‘SCARED and MORTIFIED ’ at his behavior, we all get up marching towards the Duandhar Waterfalls like an army out to invade a city promptly at the break of dawn.

0645: Eyes treated to a slowly brightening morning sky and majestic marble rocks sidelining a short yet amazingly beautiful waterfall and a consequent stream.

0730: An unpalatable breakfast at a resto. nearby followed by some of us choosing to take a dip into the very ‘inviting’ water of the stream and a few others out to answer the ‘sacred’ call of Mother nature in a manner closest to her that can be imagined.  While the former were left with a body-numbing experience and goosebumps galore on coming out of the water , the latter heroically survived a truly bowel-numbing experience on finishing their ‘business’ .

0815: ‘Fotu’-graphy sessions, poses , solo pics , group pics and not to forget pics of stray dogs, cute and adorable kids, weed-smoking ascetics all forming a part of Deng’s paraphernalia dominated this session.

0845: An exhausted lot-Us stop for a better tasting breakfast of jalebis, dosas and noodles.

0930: Walk uphill to reach ‘Chausatyogini’ Temple ( built 1155 AD ).Greeted by an intricately designed temple with statues of 64 yoginis circumscribing the inner sanctum of a temple adorned with Shiva-Lingam’s and Nandi’s .  Prayers are offered by the believers among us 🙂 while the rest soak in the cool and utterly pleasant breeze.

Chausatyogini Temple

1030: Walk down to the Magnum-Opus of Bhedaghat : the famed Marble Rocks and the lake around it. Site of the sensual ‘Raat ka Nasha’ song sequence by an overly bleached Kareena in the film’Asoka’ :  A 40Rs-50Mins breathtaking boat ride here justified every minute we had spent out here in Bhedaghat.  More ‘Fotu’-graphy and more awe….infact so enraptured were we that major embarrassment could be inflicted on us if someone were to take a picture of us staring openmouthed at these marvels of nature. The serenity of the surroundings temporarily dissolved all our tensions ( if any ) . The sight of an urchin fearlessly diving off a high rock into the water below only to be applauded  by awestruck onlookers like us and the interaction with a boatsman-cum-travel guide wonderfully explaining the history of the rocks in rhyming couplets will forever remain etched in our memory.

Marble Rocks

1200: Exhausted with being treated to so many wonderful sights in a few hours span, a declaration for a Grand lunch in a nearby resto. was announced.  So famished were we that even a strictly below-average plate of food given to us was devoured in no time.

1330: Long Lunch over . Time to leave 😦 .  Auto to return to Jabalpur.

1405: Partition of the group in halves at Jabalpur : While a plain and an uncomplicated ending awaited the ones returning to the ‘Orange City’ , the others were just about to embark on one of their most adventurous and challenging endeavors by heading off to a remote forest realm of Patalkot.

AARGHHHHHHHH……I don’t know if you have grown tired reading this , but I sure am tired writing now. I promise our experience in Patalkot will be penned down very soon but here’s the teaser for those looking forward to it :

All along the clock till then,

We were climbing the stairway to heaven;

Now, only time will tell,

If some of us will go downhill along the highway to HELL !!

Cheers and Wishing all the readers a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year !!

Count Grishnackh

Halo

A headstart on my background : I am your average Indian male engineering student with the usual joys and sorrows and expectedly,being a hosteler, I have  a close-knit group of friends : friends among whom I am as comfortable with in silence as I would be in an engaging discussion. There are a number of other friends whom I acknowledge as I wander in the hostel, the campus and the city. And then there are those special friends made on chance journeys and trips in almost no time who are forever weaved in the fabric of my memory.

In the past one year or rather the past few months, I have made an effort to meet a few of my friends from the good ol’ schooldays (with a little help  from social networking offcourse )and tried to rebuild any connections which I had unintentionally broken or not maintained till date.  That is when in a sudden moment , I realized that had I maintained these lost social linkages in place of the others which I made so far, would my life: both the present and the future be profoundly different ?

What if I joined some other school or college, stayed in some other city or hostel  ??  What if I hadn’t visited the places I did visit for the reasons that I had instead of some other ? Infact I have come to attribute my present condition (with all the ups and downs, all the pros and cons )to be a direct consequence of the social choices I have made albeit the little role of fate which oft decides whom you meet and where.  While, an oversimplification of my ‘social choices’ might be nothing but the age-old paradigm of ‘the merits and demerits of the company a person keeps’ or a person’s ‘destiny’ in general, I choose to believe that I am what I am today not entirely because of myself but due to the people who have been around me but isn’t it ironical that in the first place I played a major role in deciding the people whom I surround myself with ?

The spiral of life is quite similar, isn’t it ? Starting from: Have I made all the wrong choices or all the right choices ?? Can my choices fit either bill perfectly ? Is it even possible for me to decide without trying ? Do I have the right person besides me or the wrong one ?? Descending into a chaos of unanswered questions, this spiral is best seen as a halo whose brightest and outermost rings are signified by our social priorities.

Finally, I leave it to you, the reader to decide whether I am plainly muddled up by confusing various threads of life or if you too have individually felt nearly similar things about the stuff I have mentioned here.

Count Grishnackh

Intermezzo of my soul

” I saw you then…..I knew it then , we were to be something more ,

Days and months have passed , and treading this sea of life , we have almost reached the shore ,

I searched for you and I found you , You are the intermezzo of my soul,

Now even a minute without you leaves my heart with a burning hole . “

Welcome to my new blogspace. Inspired by Plato’s saying The beginning is the most important part of the work ” , I have composed my first verse hoping to write better ones in the future . There is no particular theme underlying the text above. Some random thought-beads pulled together to make a chain of words in a time span of 20 mins 🙂 .

From my schooldays , I have always been motivated to try a hand at poetry but somehow , I never could get myself to compose metrically as opposed to composing essays at length which I feel I do very effortlessly.

Anyways , here’s to new beginnings and new blogs .

Cheers !!