Monday, July 31, 2006


Ghar ke ullu waapas aaye

The two month long siesta was slowly but surely drawing to a close. The D-day seemed more menacing than ever in its propinquity but the mindset was manfully grappling with the thought of overcoming the inertia of rest. Ultimately though, the tide of time turned to be too great to overcome and I found myself back on the road to College.

The arrival was too typical to elaborate. The registration was almost over so I had to hustle. There were five photographs required and after a great deal of effort I managed to find three. Since I didn’t have an identical twin on campus or a beloved who could be counted upon to have a 35x25 replica of my visage there was no option but to hustle again, this time to the friendly neighbourhood photo shop. The upshot of it all was that I missed lunch, though that wasn’t that great a deal considering the mess food. Luckily the mater had packed a sumptuous meal, the finishing of which required an almost clandestine operation to avoid the hungry hordes.

And then again there were the greetings from old cronies, who were treated as revenant souls. No sooner had my presence been noted that there was an outbreak of back slapping, hand crunching, bone breaking and various other forms of affectionate hellos. The ones that were unable to join in were actually contrite.

Now that the academic formalities were out of the way, the practical side of hostel life was left to be considered. Since all my worldly possessions were packed in a little black bag, it was to the cloak room that the self made. However the time to unload had long got over and as some visionary had once remarked (there are so many visionaries it’s difficult to remember which one) – “Time gone past never returns”, I was forced to spend the first day of a new semester without having evinced anything from that all-important black bag. My new room was squalid to say the least and I had to get to some serious snodding to “set my affairs in order”.

Thus, the first day back on campus was about to pass almost uneventfully when the necessity of sleep brought home a cruel fact – my worldly possessions included the mattress which had been my saviour as far as comfort was concerned. So it was a hard wooden frame which turned out to be my bed and I tried to catch a few Z’s as dirge after dirge went through my mind - This was just the first day back.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006


Truly Grand

So accustomed are we to living in the modern era that the mind strays but few time to the subject of the Creator. He who brings the light of day is often reduced to a non-entity. The only things that seem to remind us even slightly of the presence of a superior being are those one-line tees that sport – “Thank God, I’m an atheist”, or a similar wisecrack. Yet there are instances, accidents, little things here and there that bring our minds back to ground level and remind us how inconsequential we really are. The little imprints that we leave of our deeds are covered by layers of time soon after. In the vast multitude of space, we matter little, if we matter at all. The fact that we are matter is a different matter altogether.

All this philosophical revelation was made to me by a seemingly innocent visit to the Grand Canyon, Arizona. The mind was full of trivialities of the nature of football matches and gorgeous women when the thought process was suddenly brought to a gravel crunching halt by a glimpse of the canyon. Correction, the Grand Canyon. There’s nothing grander than this gargantuan creation of the Almighty, with a little help from Mother Nature. The Grand Canyon is a masterpiece conceived by the ruthless atrocities of the river Colorado. How wonderful it is to think that something so brutal and merciless can make something so complete in it’s beauty and grandeur. A lesson to us all perhaps that good can be found in the most evil of individuals. And that good might be so great so as to put the evil in a pale shadow of itself. After all, it has rightly been said, “All the darkness of this world cannot put out the light of one burning candle”.

The Grand Canyon was love at first sight for me, and the more I saw of it, the more enamoured I was by its magnificence. Etched along the lines of the spectacular structures are great tales untold. The entire history of our planet is recorded in those enigmatic patterns. Each line is a new chapter in our past. Who knows what secrets have been entrusted to the Canyon to safeguard till the End of Days? Myths and legends might become intangible events should the Canyon choose to speak. The ever-blurring line between today’s fact and fable might dissolve to form Tomorrow. And one look at it is enough to tell us that our entire life is just another dot in that which is eternal. One look at the Grand Canyon is enough to make us seem small in the face of such enormity. And one look at the Canyon is certainly more than enough to send us into a state of such complete bliss that we’re almost fey.

How long I stood there basking in the beauty I cannot tell. Time seemed to have stood still to allow me to become part of the soul of the Canyon. To make me strain to listen to what I thought the Canyon was softly whispering to me. To let me admire the vastness of it all. My eyes might have seen to a hundred leagues but the Canyon stretched out for thousands. From the depths of the Canyon where modern rainfall cannot blemish the ancient soil to the peaks, which ascend all the time as new chapters in the tale of humanity unfold, these eyes struggled to take it all in. Yet what they saw was but a drop in the ocean of everlasting change. For, even as I stood there, the wind might have changed the original of the treasured image in my mind to differ from that very image. Who knows, what great event Mother Nature had commissioned it to report on her canvas in front of an unsuspecting viewer’s eyes. All too soon I was dragged from the stillness and beauty of the Canyon to the hustle-bustle of the mundane everyday world.

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