I woke up late today. Leisures of sunday as you know! It is a bright sunny winter morning. I walked up to my balcony and took out one Marlboro.
Eyes half open and with little shivering I absorbed the heat from every puff I was smoking and began to plan out how I am going to spend the rest of my day. I received a call from this girl I had met a month back asking me out for a movie. I was not in the mood. There was a subtle sadness in the wind today. Or maybe it was just my half opened eyes unable to see clearly. Nevertheless I rejected the offer making some lame excuse. I wanted to spend the day with myself even if it meant stressing out the whole day surrounded by a pool of crappy thoughts on how boring the life has become now!
It’s been 2 months I shifted in Pune and despite all the happening aura I had heard about I was just not able to get in sync with it.
I finished my 3rd cigarette and went to take a hot shower. I am used to boiling water hitting against my skin burning all the stress and reminding me of the stone I have become. I decided to wear loose cargos and a black sweatshirt. Totally my stuff you know!
Grabbed my wallet and keys, locked my flat and switched on the thought transmission from my brain. This little devil loves to be the pain in my arse by constantly feeding me with totally u related thought streams and compelling me to pick any one and then be lost in it. Time flies, thoughts are the drivers for my time!
I went to nearest Starbucks and was wondering what I shall order. Coffee for sure but which one? Its been 2 years and yet am unable to figure out their menu and products. I wonder if they are the grand illusionists or I am blindingly dumb.
I started to regret the rejection I made to this girl for a movie. But, fuck it. Who cares. I took my order and went out to smoke a puff or two.
I was about to lit it that I forgot.
It was time for my medication.
I hallucinate a lot.
She came smiling sweetly giving me those bitter pills and kissing me on cheek.
“You will be fine. I love you“, she said and I finally came out of my visions.
I do not remember how or when I found myself stranded on this land. I am not even sure if this is an island or just a remote part of some landmass. My lower back hurts a little towards my left ribcage and there are a few bruises on my knee as well. So far I am able to walk properly but the back does hurt sometimes with shootings of pain leaving me groaning with discomfort for next ten minutes. For God’s sake why can’t I remember anything? It is like until today’s morning everything has been swept clean and erased completely. There is not even a figment of imagination left to recover from the traces of my memory bank. Nevertheless, I shall plan what to do next!
I feel hunger slowly trying to gush out its frustrated lava in my stomach. Let’s see what I can find out. I think my lower two ribs are broken. God! Where the hell to find a doctor in this forsaken land? It seems to be late afternoon. I think whoever left me or however I came here, I surely have lost all my belongings assuming I did have some ever! I think I shall follow this soothing wind flowing towards east. I can feel the freshness when it blows past my worn out face. I need a shower I guess. It stinks. Have I been on a bathing fast? I can’t stop from humoring myself especially when in a few hours I will be praying that there are no man eaters on this island. Oh wait! It’s coming! I see a room with LCD TV and a couch, navy blue in color. I can recall the scenes from this movie, very gruesome ones, I guess yeah, Cannibal Holocaust! That’s the name. Thank god! Well, that was a good start. Out of all the things that could have happened in my life before landing here, Mr. God why would you make me recall scenes from that movie? Han? I quickly begin to walk towards east arming myself with thick branch that fell off this tree. I guess I am not a botanist because I do not recognize the vegetation here. There is pin drop silence around me, not even birds flying over my head or hiding behind the thick bush there. I just hope I find some help.
After walking a mile or so I find a small pond. At last I can quench my thirst but it hurts to bend down. I think I shall sleep for a few hours. I already feel exhausted. No food only water yet! But I have to keep walking. I can’t trust this unknown land. Searching for food I don’t want to end up between somebody’s canines with my red water serving as wine for their dinner. What is this sweet smell? Hmm! Fruits ripening somewhere close. I love the fresh mangoes. I think I’ll save a few more before I start looking for shelter. Sun will set in the next hour or so.
It all sounded like I am living a typical movie plot right now with a guy left stranded on a remote island and learning to survive but no! I just woke up, brushing my teeth and trying to remember scenes from the dream last night. It felt so real that I woke up looking for bruises in my knee and softly probing my lower back for any broken bones! Time is running and am getting late for office. Lets pack up!
As a bachelor living as a paying-guest I never cared much about saving things like water or electricity. I never cared about what type of fertilizers are used in producing the crop that we eat. What kind of effect this will have on our Land. Will it become totally poisonous in a course of time?
Not only these, but there are many other parameters which we don’t care about , but will make this earth a hell for the future Generation.
One second! Why am I repeating this when most of the people already know this thing. In the books, in theories, in lectures,in advertisements, almost everywhere we have been passing by these teachings. Then why am I shouting the same thing to everyone, again? Because I have realized it.
A few days back I saw a movie “Mad Max”. I went for the movie just by reading the reviews that the movie has a lot of adrenaline rush. The movie started rolling on the canvas. s it rolled I came to know that movie was on future water wars. Not only Water but wars on everything which will get vanished in our near or not so near future. And gradually it presented some crucial things in such a way that it made an impact on me. There was one scene when a Kingly status Man sitting very high on top of a rock(like the rocks we see on Grand Canyon), under the rock there was a close cavity. On the bottom of the rock there were thousands of people in the most deteriorated state they can ever be, holding some vessel. The Man on top pushes the lever so that the cavity under his place gets opened and water flows from the cavity to the people downside. Those people fought like animals to get their vessel filled by water. They were struggling to get WATER! of which we never cared about. And within few seconds the man pulled off the lever. People at the down where helpless,exhausted, fighting with each other and mankind was totally absent there.
Although the leader was cruel,merciless but he was presented smart also. In one of the scenes Vertical Farming was shown in his premises. This Vertical Farming technique saves a hell lot of water. It mostly uses drip irrigation system which is very much water efficient and also it produces the crop at very high speed and less cost. Urbanized Countries like Singapore have started using this technique at a huge scale as it allows farming without actually farming on land in a totally artificial environment. One SHOULD read about it at least once !
There was an old lady in the movie who had a bag filled with different types of seeds. She had a dream of sowing those seeds somewhere. All the farm lands had became barren and poisonous. Every land was part of dessert. There was no land left where you could do farming. I believe that’s the reason Director gave a glimpse of Vertical Farming. The famous Grand Canyon has also dried up. The soldiers of the King were dependent on live humans who were their blood banks (literally!). The live human blood banks were tied on the front of the war vehicles as a slave and the soldiers were connected to the human blood bank with a tube through which blood was constantly flowing from the blood bank to the soldier.
The film may have many more lessons which I have missed. But the way it taught me a few was very compelling. Right now we should be awaken. This is the time to act if we don’t want a mankind deficient Dark Future.
I woke up to loud arguments that were leaking into my room, despite the heavy wooden door being closed and latched in a failed attempt to restrict all sound vibrations from the outside world, for me to enjoy my sweet nap in the cool pleasant weather of Ranchi. The previous night, cable was running back to back episodes of How I Met Your Mother, to which I was glued to, till 3 in the morning. Because why not?
With closed eyes, I ran my hands all across the bed to find the small rectangular bar. My Nokia. 10:20 am. I woke up with a jolt. Not that I was running late. My meeting was scheduled for 2 pm that day. But guilt. In Delhi, 8:30-9 am had become a regular wake up time. Besides, I had to find out what were my caretaker and cook arguing all about!
Flipping aside the thin sheet, with which I had a battle for the better half of the night (you know, when you are not sure if you’re feeling cold or warm and hence you put one leg out of the covers, and other one inside!), I stepped out, pulled down the latch and came out into the room blazing with sunlight.
Okay pause! This song just started running in loop as I am writing : Sunlight Hurts My Eyes
Okay. Let’s carry on.
I entered the common area of the house, rubbing my eyes and picking out on the mud in the eyes. The cook zipped her lips as soon as I entered, looked down at a declining angle of 45-degrees, and walked off into the kitchen to make me some tea. Now, this one is tricky. I am not sure if she left the room, leaving the argument, out of respect, or she walked-out, out of embarrassment. Because suddenly I realized all I was wearing was a pyjama, with the right-side sleeve rolled all the way up to my knees and just a vest. Now let me tell you. I look like the guy from the gym. Just that I am that guy who registered just today, to lose 20 kilos over the next 1 year. So I walked to the balcony to grab a T-shirt, making it look like I did not have any t-shirt to wear as my clothes were drying up.
Sanju kept the cup of tea on the table. And as she started walking back into the kitchen, I caught her throwing looks at Vijay, the care taker. So I asked, “kya hua bhai? Kyu ladd rahe ho subah subah? (What happened guys? Why are you fighting early morning?)”. And soon enough, I regretted asking this. Big mistake. My next 1 and a half hours, that could have been enjoyed over omelette and fresh juice, while looking at the brilliant green view over the Kanke Dam, got wasted into a burnt toast, sugar free tea (i meant sugar less), and tears and yellings and phone calls. The old refrigerator was being replaced by a new one. The question was what to do with the old one? This started the battle for the contenders to get the old refrigerator! Vijay had asked the previous night if he could take it home. And obviously, Sanju wanted it too. The argument began between these two, the premise of the argument being who has been working in the house for the longest and been the most loyal one, thus, being the deserving candidate to receive the fridge! By 11:30 am, Sanju had to leave for another shift. Things seemed to have settled down. But I was mistaken. The Hindi proverb, “ek anaar, sau bimaar” was turning out to be true. Within moments, Vijay received a phone call from one of the drivers, asking not to take away the fridge, as he had been working with “saar (sir)” for more number of years than him. I quickly grabbed by ear plugs, and zoned out. I could not deal with another long hour of explanation to why the explainee deserves to take the old fridge.
I kept looking at my mobile time to time, to check the time, hoping that it was time for me to leave for my meeting, and reach there before the scheduled time. (this sentence gave me a word-gasm at the time of writing!)
It was noon. I started getting ready for the meeting when another phone call arrived. This time some lady from the office, who was managing this entire staff – drivers, maid, cok, caretaker etc. Soon after the phone call, Vijay came to me and said, “saar. Abhi madam ka phone aaya tha. Unko poora kissa bol daali Sanju. Dikkat ho gaya. (sir. Ma’am just called-in. Sanju must have told her the whole case. There is a problem now.)”
I asked, “Why? What happened? Did she scold? Got angry?”
Vijay, “nahi saar. Ab toh madam ko bhi fridge chaiye! (no sir. Now, even madam wants the fridge!)”
Deserted room. Dusty tables. Wires running all over the place as if hijacked by thin black snakes, like in that movie ” Snakes in the Plane”. A lady, wearing hand-woven cream coloured sweater and bright, and I mean slide the photo-editor-slider-to-extreme-right-level of bright red shawl, just entered. The scarcely populated hall nods a little, tells me she must be a senior in ranks here. 15 desktop pc’s, and only 4 have been booted up. 1 out of these 4 machines have Flipkart, Amazon and SnapDeal opened up. All tabs with different brands of wrist watches opened up. Thin straps. Colours red, pink and all shades of these two colours. I guess the surd guy’s daughter’s birthday is coming up. The discussion is about where to find the express delivery option. Forgot to buy a gift, and now looking for a way out, this guy.
E-com has changed the entire structure of shopping and gifting in India within the last few years. An age when shopping online had hesitance to an age when shopping from a local mart raises more hesitation. Blame the easy, zero argument, return of goods facility these sites provide.
10:50 am. 5th pc boots up. But attendance in the room hasn’t changed. An attitude that reflects the attitude of all Govt. Departments. Morning gossip is an essential start of the day. The old machine apparently takes some more time, time worth some last night alcohol party gossip sharing, to rise up to the Green Meadow wallpaper of Windows XP. The red shawled woman calls out to the lady who has been swirling the spoon in a large mug for the last 15 mins. What we call, “beating the coffee”, for a creamier coffee. So this red woman hands over a bunch of papers to her. She walks straight to the worn out photocopier cum scanner. God! This copier needs to be admitted to the ICU ward of Hewlett Packard service station urgently. Such loud screeches.
11 am. Still no sign of any increase in the attendance of the room. Punjabi songs are flowing through the air molecules around; sharing of songs is underway now. The guy I am supposed to meet is nowhere to be seen.
Steel racks being used to the best. Heavy Index files all around, with wide plain sheets pasted on their spines, marking what the file is all about.
Meanwhile, coffee is ready. The butter bite biscuits are being garnished on flat, embossed with flowery designs, steel dishes.
“No thanks.”, I promptly reply, to the lifting of eyebrows by the helping staff, presuming I was being offered a cup!
11:30 am. So the guy arrives finally. Heavy corduroy coat. French beard. Santa belly.
11:35 am. Documents signed. Letters picked up. I am on my way back. So all I needed to do was a 1 and a half hour travel, over one hour of patience for a 5-minute job. Day well wasted.
If you have lived in Delhi for over 5-10 years, you might know the existence of Compressed Natural Gas powered vehicles. You get accustomed to the cleaner, less polluted air. The “greener” air. So why am I being some nature huger and talking about the CNG gas?
26th May 2014, 2 pm, Secunderabad Railway Station : Something was wrong. Something in the air. Eyes started getting irritation. And the pollutants in the air made it harder to breathe. The southern state of India, Andhra Pradesh is petrol powered. Yes. That was the first impression of Hyderabad I got. Just as any other place, a buzz of auto-rickshaw drivers came into my ear. Everyone yelling at top of their lungs to just pull you into their “ride” and take you to any place you want at of course at a rate obviously higher than the legitimate one.
I had gotten into a summer internship at International Institute of Information Technology, which is situated at Gachibowli, Hyderabad. So about 26 kilometers from the railway station was the place where I was going to stay for the next 2 months.