Sunday, 15 July 2012

Getting Fresh


The blog that you are reading has never had a moment’s rest. It was born out of the desperation of a crippled student stranded on his bed for more than 45 days. Weeks that the student under question could have spent rafting, trekking, bungee jumping, spelunking, hang gliding… or at least clicking a few photos of the small town that is Roorkee.

The canvas has changed dramatically. A fresh post ultimately comes after being inducted into the corporate world. The first two weeks at Kolkata were spent at an awesome luxury hotel. Years spent in a hostel with the very worst in lavatory facilities; it was slightly overwhelming to see a bathroom of such calibre. The corporate induction programme wasn’t bad either.

Heaven hath no joy as this.

A glass of cold milk with ice please

Add another two days of “experiential learning” at a resort that was part fun part farce. Then a week in a jolly old guesthouse that was warm and kind and slightly mouldy. The circle of life was completed rather quickly- I was back to daal sabzi. It was also the week when I began my work life, in a factory with the heavy smell of tobacco and the constant whirring of machines, which meant that a few sensory organs had to be put under suspended animation.

Bangla United
Work life began but not with the smooth pick up of a Ferrari. It coughed and spluttered, gathered pace only to lose direction and finally ground itself to an abrupt halt by Saturday. Restaurants and book stores were visited but with a sort of tired franticness that I had never experienced before. Gangs of Wasseypur also made it to the menu, making June the only month in my entire life when I could see two movies at the cinema.

I am learning again but not from books. A bunch of people with very different views and expectations from the world is a welcome relief from the pseudo protection I received from like- minded peers. I have to fight for my convictions; I have to concede the weaker ones among them.

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Munger is a philosopher’s dream. Even after a murderous day of work you can return and spend an hour or so staring at the high ceiling, constantly going through a path of depressing self-discovery. There is a certain sense of desperation in this land of goats and desi kattas; a feeling of distaste lingers at the back of your mind. You are moulting again and it’s no less painful. Bursts of excitement in witnessing the state of the art management practices are interspersed with the wariness that can only come to a body that has never run for more than two hours at a stretch.

My very first week at Bihar also included a trip to adjoining villages. We returned with torrential rain on our heels, the lush green countryside a sight to behold. A trip to an old fort where Mir Qasim allegedly spent his last years in exile was also squeezed into the itinerary. On top of the hill, staring away into the distance with the vast expanse of villages, hills infested with Naxals and rivers and streams slithering away to the sea you couldn’t help but think of all the people out there, playing out their insignificant parts, never to be recorded or remembered. 

The hill will still remain.

 Mentha oil extraction requires this crude but highly effective distillation column
Arvi


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The leg swells up occasionally. My forays into the employee township generally end at the community club where I’ve started playing snooker (I’m at level abysmal currently). For days when I came out, generally accompanied with the harsh and now slightly familiar sting of rookie-rape, I barely noticed the tennis courts and the curious mix of kids and thirty somethings whacking their way to a sweat. After 8th July, after Federer’s majestic and awe inspiring victory at Wimbledon, I stop there for more than a few minutes. One thought beseeches my mind.

The court is tiny. I mean it. When you watch the game on TV you often forget that the battleground of the likes of Laver, Borg and Emerson never changed. And I forget that the seemingly huge surface isn’t all that big. To think of all the angles, the insane drop shots and blistering groundstrokes that the Federer racquet conjures up take place in a court of exactly the same dimensions is simply belittling. There I stood staring at the opposite end and wondering how I had let slip this obvious fact. The difference between the top twenty and the rest of the field was never more apparent. It just isn’t enough to know how to play the game. Can you squeeze as much juice per inch of playing surface?

BTW, Federer is the GOAT.

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Another Sunday has come and we’ve all been advised to be careful and wary of snakes. I am waiting for my turn as the local barber (naayee) snips and cuts away with the pitter-patter of raindrops in the background.

The place looks a lot like my alma mater



(to be continued)








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