Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Kati Patang...

Balu…. I’d heard of him a long time before I actually got to meet him. And if I liked him from what I heard… I liked him more when I met him…Here is something he’s written:

“I am sending you something I’ve written. Although I must confess that when I read it again just now, it seems a lot more boring. I am however sending it to u bcoz u seem to be dishing out a lot of crap on ur blogs :) I’ll consider u as my blogspot, coz I’m too lazy to open an account and blog anywhere. Plus, I don't care a damn :)”

Balu... I have not changed anything- except a little here and there… its your story and will always remain yours…

"It always does things to me, a cup of strong, stimulating chaay. Even this morning, as I was sitting there in my shop - I am a regular there. Not that there was anything special about today. If anything, it was very foggy. At about 6:30, it was foggier than most other days. My Amma once told me that heavy fogs foretell the coming of summer. Not that we have anything close to a winter in south India. Out here, they say, one can experience only two climates - the hot and the hotter! And so as I set out for my early morning chaay-sutta, I was a little weary about the fog. The summers here can be extremely oppressive, the humidity making it all the more irksome. It still is better off than most of the temperate places though. The dry heat in places like Delhi almost kills me. I'd rather sweat like a pig than roast in the dry heat.

Let me begin where I began. I was sipping my chaay and having a couple of drags alternatively at the famed cancer stick when the thought occurred to me. My life so far...I can't choose the right word to describe how it has gone. Well for one, I have never planned anything. Even while everyone was busy planning their careers right from high school - its amazing how people work in this part of the world. From the time you are 16, you are expected to work out a plan for the next 15-20 years or so. Which stream to graduate in and where to do it. If or not one would post graduate - its becoming almost a necessity now, more so if you happen to be an engineer. Every Tom, Dick and (Bi)hari happens to be an engineer. More so in T.N - all you need is a two storey building to start off an engineering college. Never mind the lack of a library, laboratories, even workshops, let alone a decent cafetaria! You are even expected to know if you'd choose to pursue studies further, like these nerds who end up doing a doctorate and end up in some research laboratory. Wait, its not over, you are even expected to plan when you'll have a house, get wedded and 'settle down', as they call it. No other clichéd phrase has troubled me so much as this one. I wonder what one earth Amma means when she has that troubled look one her face and asks me when I am going to settle down. Anyways, what I was saying is that you are expected to virtually have a blue print of your life ahead - such geeks are called the smart ones.

And here was I - an average student from what my school results would say. I have never been more than that, thankfully. And fate, as it would have it, took me to one of the 'premiere institutes' in the country. Less than a month down the line, I discovered it was far from it. A year later, I'd laugh if anyone used that term to describe my college. I don't know what it was that caused it really, but I just lost all the interest (if any!) that I had in academics. As time went by, all I was bothered about was passing my papers. Anything more than a C or a D grade would be too far fetched. An 'E' was frequently, and graciously accepted. I had a few close shaves, but managed to clear all my papers in the first attempt. A job on campus seemed elusive in the beginning, but later did come my way. I felt relieved and there was a lot of celebration. For friends, it was just another excuse to party. Sure, there were some of those genuine guys who were really happy for me - for they knew heart of hearts that what they thought was impossible, or at least close to it, had been accomplished.

Work was a new frontier, and in the beginning, I was just plain curious. It would be challenging, stimulating to the grey cells which had long been put to sleep - ever since I got out of school, I thought. Like everything else in life, I got bored if it very soon. I wonder how I keep getting bored of every damn thing in this world, including myself. Anyways, I kept trying to do something at work and kept at it for more than a year. Then there came a time when I decided I’ll kick the job. What I’d hence do, I hadn't the vaguest idea. And I wasn't too worried either. I was 22, and I suppose I had the time to sit back and think of what I want to do.

It was when I was damn sure that I’d quit the job that I came across this. Two years they said, I’ll have to serve the country-for two years through them. All I had to do was try and meet youngsters and try and inspire them. Didn’t sound all that bad and being the crazy guy that I am, I didn't think twice. Just gave my resignation the very next day. And now, here I am. I have a few more months to go for the official two year period to end. What I’ll do after that I have no clue. Strangely this time, I seem to be getting a lil worried about it. I keep brooding about it, but don't seem to find any answers. As one of my newest friends rightly said, I’m one hell of a confused soul.

And so I’ve decided to put away all the worrying, consciously. Nothing I’ve done so far as been planned. Call it destiny or by any other name, but every where I’ve been so far is where life has taken me, not where I’ve wanted or decided to go. Everything I’ve done has been what has happened, not my actions out of a deep desire to act so. Life for me has been a journey without a destination. To put it short, I’ve just been flowing with the tide.

And I’ve decided I’ll continue doing just that, no matter what you may think. I’m the 'kati patang'..."

4 Comments:

Anonymous Gouthami said...

Very true...lets live the present and cross the bridge wen it comes...agreed?..Balu, am askin u...

3:10 AM  
Blogger deepthi said...

Kati patang, I feel is better than the other kind. That way u can atleast fly away with the wind to the horizons, otherwise howmuchever far you reach you'd still b controlled by someone down there...

6:11 AM  
Blogger Poornima said...

Deepthi: I so agree!!!! Am in a very similar frame of mind!

8:35 AM  
Blogger sparsh said...

Gosh...this seems so much like my own life. Someone never thought about msyelf as 'kati patang' but a river....Now I am worried...kati patang huh?

3:42 PM  

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