As most of his friends were using a popular app for booking cabs, he used Uber. The reason came as a shock to whoever, he told this story. It was on a fateful day that he downloaded the app and tried registering but failed. He called the support centre and they, very politely, told him that his number is blacklisted. He thought for some time and ended the call. He went into nostalgia. Standing outside the office, he was waiting for the rain to stop on that dark evening. It was then Rehan also happened to come out, leaving office. Thinking of Rehan, he went into the second level of nostalgia. They both met in the recruitment drive of the company, where Rehan got eliminated in the second round. But Simr got selected. It was later next year that Simr saw him in the office elevator and inquired. Rehan told that he was called back as there was wrong evaluation on the company’s part in that second round. He cleared the consequent third round and came to Bangalore.
So, coming back to the first level of nostalgia. Rehan invited him to come with him to his flat in a cab that he has booked from the office. Also later his flatmates were going to a nice Punjabi restaurant present in Frazer Town, he was again given a courteous invitation to join them. They went by same cab and while coming back the flatmates used his phone number to register and use it for the first time as this gave them free ride upto a specific charge. Looks like this was misused as per policy. And he never knew, until that fateful day.
Government is a mere reflection of the nature of society or even that of individual citizen. If you feel the government is dominant and corrupt, it is time to self-analyze and look inwards. There is no point of blame game in an ecosystem that celebrates democracy, which if implemented in its true nature, makes each one of us accountable for the smallest issues rising in any part of the country. It is not that someone who is highly visible in media should only show honesty, but weakest of the commoner lurking around on streets of this nation should feel that “burden” of doing his duty and carrying out his responsibility in a most respected manner. At home, this responsibility becomes more crucial where exhibition of such gesture can have a positive impact on the younger generations growing up in there.
Governments might have ultimate power but any kind of misuse of power at any level in a system is still an act of corruption and injustice. It is good to protest, rebel against the wrong-doing of the administration, but being self-skeptical won’t hurt in bringing out our own flaws. We cannot impose good action items on someone else, until we get rid of the bad traits from ourselves first. Trying to identify such shortcomings can help community foster a positive and healthy environment. We don’t have to depend on governments to bring the slightest of the changes, few good men are enough to even initiate something.
Entering into that big hall, he was bewildered by the fact that every inch was acquired by the candidates. There were few co-ordinators, who directed him to the big desk where he marked his attendance while submitting some documents asked in the invitation mail. He saw all around and every seat was taken. Finally found one in the middle of everything. He sat and contemplated. This was not new and as he was in final year of his graduation like million others, he got accustomed to it. Everyone was going through some notes of their own, some were looking into their resume as if seeing it for first time and getting awed by the achievements overly stated and some were chatting, finding it a perfect place to flirt with girls. It is then, the overpopulation hurts. It is everywhere. Or may be he followed the path travelled by the majority, “Engineering”. But looks like no field is spared. If you think about some idea, it has been out there from long.
It was in ’09 that he watched a movie “Luck By Chance”, one of the song depicted the same scene that he was going through. Although it was a movie audition scene that the actor was absorbing in but human feelings can be indifferent to the fields and ultimately rise beyond the state of a struggler equally in all spheres. The clock was ticking, and his turn came, he shifted from that hall to the interviewer cabin with a heavy feet and heart. There was agony and the fear of another rejection.
The summer of ’07 was harsh. Taking up science added to the woes. School education wasn’t enough for two of them or all of them in their class. Thus, all went to different tuition centers after the school. One was at New Road, another at Vasant Vihar and the last competitor was at T.G. Road. They chose the one at New Road. It was hot and the teacher knew it. Simr and Adrien would sit in the front bench pretending to be studious which they never were. Going one hour back in time, it is when school got over, and they went back to their homes. Post lunch, Adrien would come to Simr’s house at VIP Road and they both will head toward this class. After 15 minutes into the class, the awkwardness starts, as Adrien will not able to control himself and go into sleep while sitting. And this is not any kind of sleep but deep sleep. Simr will try to be calm and composed but hit him gently with his elbow, so that he wakes up but he won’t budge. Looked like teacher saw him, but ignored.
Gradually other three classmates in school also joined the center. The trio would come flashing in their tripling ride violating traffic as well as distubing the attention of the “studious” guys. Adrien’s proposal to one of them was previously rejected. And Simr had a secret crush on another. Third girl being already committed. The warmth of the room enhanced as seen on Adrien’s face that turned red. Finally the day came when the teacher planned to install AC in that dreaded classroom, whose every inch was occupied by the students. The window AC was put up at the back of the room, and that gave rise to a change not only in the temperature of the room but also in the attitude of these two. They started to sit on the back benches to make better return on the investment they made on the class in the form of fees that they wouldn’t give up untill asked by the instructor himself. So, life somehow became better. But Physics haunted them still.
Hate to love it. Watching “A walk to remember”, an emotion enticing flick, doesn’t do any harm in the real sense. But getting the gist of it, reveals an important truth. Somehow a nice girl pulls out the good side of the bully, unintentionally. She doesn’t fall for him, but the guy himself goes into a transformation, all because of her, and becomes a sutaible one. Taking something out of it, the following question arises, do nice girls fall for bad guys? Watching another report, the person tells, “nice” girls see a bad guy as someone as an opportunity of improvising them or can be worked upon. So, they are happy to make that transformation happen.
In that case, not sure if nice guys either should feel happy that they don’t need any improvisation and are perfect or they should feel miserable that they won’t get a girl. But fortunately or unfortunately they get someone, if they really want to. Unfortunately because nice men make life boring, as they don’t have any ominous evil within them, that need to be worked upon by the dedicated and sincere worker; the nice girl. Looks like love is overrated. Married life needs dramas and imperfections that can be worked upon by the perfect brides. Undoubtedly, there is a scale invented by some women that can check and give an evil alert found in men, but vice-versa is not true.
One day the door bell rang and when he opened, she was standing outside looking sad, carrying her luggage; two suitcases and a small bag, to be specific. “How she managed to lift those up the first floor?” he thought initially. She started sobbing out of nowhere and rushed towards him. “I left my home”, was her answer to the unspoken questions. She hugged him hard until his body agonized. He was reluctant but then his heart melted. He reciprocated well and tried to console her of something that he didn’t knew. “Leaving home but why, the reason I meant.” – he murmured intentionally.
He knew her from childhood. There was a chemistry between them. Being elder to her, he was a role model, being a sincere and thoughtful guy. She liked her a lot and expressed that love in weird ways. For instance, she caused more irritation to him by arguing, fighting and even complaining about him to her mother even when she started it all. These things reduced while she grew up. She was different since her childhood. She was independant, open-minded. She was born and brought up in a small town, but went to a prestigious convent school. He specifically remember the summer of ’08 when she behaved differently. It was unconventional and against the norms of the society. She was his first cousin after all. He has to be cautious. But he made a mistake. That was the last time they met.
She, being a free soul, wanted to be a model that her parents disapproved. And she left instantaneously to Delhi and rang his door bell. She knew his address as she visited him last year after making persistent efforts through video calls. She settled in and he got unsettled from that day. He was happy alone, but the uninvited guest has added to his woes. She was unaware of the fact that her parents were in constant contact with him. He felt stranded as a middle-man. Still he tried to ignore her everyday and focused on his job and personal life. That day when he came home, again he felt that uneasiness, the uneasiness that he felt everyday. It was her who was inquiring his presence, she was Harlene and she looked worried. Something was eating her up as was palpable on her face.
That tution point was a mockery of education, rather it stood for the money making intent only. There was no quality learning but rush of students can be seen due to cheaper fees. It was a double storeyed house where ground floor was rented by a self-proclaimed teacher who was under the impression that he knew science related subjects. The previous Physics tution teacher was well known, but there were circumstances that led to running away from there for the two and ending up here. The environment was different, mix of students from different classes could be seen loitering around, rather studying in the rooms. Simr entered there with Adrien to clear up some Physics chapters, wearing a T-shirt that read impossible. It was so correct. One of his classmate was standing in the corner, welcomed both of them. She flirted with him a little, teasing him over his impossible attitude. His counterpart was made fun of his lousy low waist jeans. For the records, his mother also once scolded him about that and publicly compared with Simr’s which was on spot, as per her. The curious cousin sister, standing behind his mother, took a look upon both jeans. That was funny.
Getting more into the complex, the classes were empty and the teacher didn’t look like one. Simr was skeptical about him. They both saw one computer room which was locked from inside. When knocked the scene looked tensed, they were permitted in but given no heed whatsoever. They took the seat and stared hard into the screen. An adult movie was running with full enthusiam. He was shocked as well as anxious at the same time. Coming out of there, he took a peek into one room and saw a student himself teaching two minors. More than teaching he was instilling fear into those two kids whose parents thought that they were in safe hands. The fear on their faces was palpable and it really made Simr sad but helpless. The education system is really making people burdensome with fear, rather empowered, he thought.
His father was alcoholic. Had two marriages and was broke. Even though achieved higher education, but no career at all. Found bad company with people who were settled already and gave company for drinking and lurking around. What a spoil? And finally the life extinguished outta him.
He, in stark contrast to his father, protected himself from such bad and negative people. He wanted to become anything but like his father. He wanted to become anything but a failure like his father. The lessons learnt made a grave impact on him. He saw a broken home trying to get stable and look settled, but unstability took comfort away. The vulnerability can be touched and felt deep down. That time appeared, starting from scratch, a bumpy ride that was riding through a storm. Consequently the childhood was not normal but took twists and turns. The loneness was better than the company of bad. That aloofness served tools like contemplation, empathy, honesty, sensitivity, self-criticism and realization. Also in those weak times, things like fear, self-doubt and skepticism lurked around him.
He understood dark better than light. He misjudged his own capabilities and created a closet in his mind. To be in, to be in. To be in with the disorders and rituals of his own. To be in with his generalizations and thoughts of his own. When others looked to their fathers outside, he turned to his inner self for guidance and explanation. He looked through a different lens upon the society, the school, the streets, himself. He segregated him from others and even him from himself. He grew with the awkwardness, the stigma of his own making, of his own thoughts. He was dutiful and responsible and worked hard and worked harder. To be not, to be not like his father.
He found himself sitting with three other people in a Godforsaken eatery at Tibetan market. It was dark inside where in the other table a middle-aged man was drinking rigorously. It all started one hour back, when Simr was riding with one of his friend towards Physics tution center. But met the other duo, who had different plans. From there the trip took a different direction and stopped in between to buy liquor. The journey ended at this eatery where he ordered dimsums and the other three started drinking. His abstinence was palpable and was already understood by the peers. The place was smelling with the combined effort of alcohol and vomit. On top, the dimsums tasted weird. The nature of it was doubtful and that doubt got deepened when one of the other guy, whom Simr disliked a lot, told that there could be a possibility that it is pork instead of chicken. Simr didn’t touch the other dimsums’ integrity and felt contented and disgusted at the same time. The other three were drunk enough to start narrating their emotional love stories. The scene grew from disgusting to pathetic.
Things started to heat up, and in no time all three stood after a decision was taken by one of them. One of the three became so emotional that he wanted to barge into the villain’s house who presumably took away his girl. All got ready, and all were drunk. Simr didn’t knew riding bike. Even though he was worried about drunk guys driving, he took a leap of faith and sat behind his original rider. They started their voyage and in no time reached Race Course area. Unfortunately, they met that girl on the way. The guys stopped, and the emotional friend waved in front of her to stop her ride, but she sped up. On the other hand, Simr’s rider got into fight with an elderly couple. Sober Simr tried to calm him down. The expedition started again and stopped at villain’s home. They went in and his parents told that he is out for Chemistry tution at Sir Chawla’s. The three were disappointed but Simr was happy. The fight was averted and they finally started for their respective homes. Everyday, there was a new learning for him, it appeared. He went home and sat for a while to absorb the incident.
If this wouldn’t have happened in the primary school, Simr would not have felt a need to tie shoe laces ever. Even though he was studying in class 3rd, he was helpless looking at those strings. He couldn’t tie. His mother or mellow sibling would do it for him. But one fateful day, there happened sports day in school, where one of the game involved untying the perfectly tied shoe laces and running in a race, reaching point A, tying the shoe laces and come back to the starting point. Five students ran to point A, including this helpless guy, but for the teachers’ amazement, one student never returned and went in eternity. They looked at the distant point A and there was our guy looking at the shoe laces, not even trying to get it together. The maid finally came for the rescue and he was able to return with the tied shoe laces. That day he learnt to tie those and moved on.
Coming back to the present time, he knows how to do it but it becomes irritating to tie shoe laces. This is kind of a chore, he feels should happen automatically. The solution he found was to buy lace less shoes. But those have their own set of problems. It becomes loose after a while and without laces it cannot be brought to the right fit. Shoe lace tying looks tedious and he takes considerable time to tie those still.