Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Long back in time, Rehan had met an accident.
It was not a Major one one but a General one (pun intended).. As Rehan said it was..
The accident was so small that it had taken 2 months for Rehan to recover and walk on his own... After the first month he used crutches, in the same time he used to work online and his most of the time was spent on facebook, I sometimes feel that I have noticed him talking to his laptop, it seemed weird but given Rehan's condition it somehow made sense.

In the month of October 2011, Rehan took me out for a drink, there he told me a story, those days there was storm which was creating a mess of the American Island.. Looking at this Rehan remembered Katerina.. He told me a story which I still feel should have happened with me.

"I was online one night as usual unable to sleep and trying to scratch my plastered leg and failing miserably everytime. I was browsing through various sites to find some useful information other than youtube videos which are now bombarded with advertisement. However, I did not realise that my yahoo messenger was buzzing for some time.

I was avoiding it assuming that it would be again some of the stupid people trying to know how was my broken leg after the accident, although I did not have any problems with them but simply failed to understand how could I consider these people caring when I had to call these people and tell them that I had been advised bed rest due to broken fibula and yet these guys were only available on chats and calls, well maybe older are wise when they say, Mumbai is a city of heartless people.
 However, to my surprise there was someone else who was buzzing me.. Her name was Katerina. I had never known someone by this name, usually I let these names go to spam but somehow this interested me. I replied...
I asked her if she knew me from somewhere, as my hopes were high I was assuming her to be my distant friend's cousin which she was not.

I asked her what her real name was and she replied Katerina.. I said it's the same name, Then she gave me two more names.. Here is the excerpt of the messages she shared..

katerina : my name is katerina
Rehan : it's the same name
katerina : yes,its the same name, katerina or katrina or kate

Yes, she did share her last name but I chose to keep it a secret. However, despite my all beliefs of not talking to strangers I chose to talk, maybe I was sick of talking to myself. Believe me, when you need the people who can make you feel better and they are never around you feel like fool who did not have the pure sense of time investment.

However, we started to chat very casually with the generic ALP(Age/Location/Profession), and got to know that she was 22 living in Big Island and an Actor by profession but was studying too.
I don't know why I disclosed the my relevant information to her maybe as it was of no harm to me. We chatted for a while before we realised that we had been chatting for more than an hour.
She requested me for a live chat and here I was thinking of what to do, I was deeply engrossed with the kind of topics we were discussing, since she was a student of greek philology, she told me a lot of stuff which was very exciting to me. I was thinking about the live chat then she sent me another ping it said ' sent a friend request on facebook please accept'.

I checked her profile, in the first impression I felt it was a fake profile. I had never seen a girl like her in my life. She was very different, she had everything similar to a common girl but yet she seemed very elite and apart. Her eyes were something that I can still see when I close mine, they were misty and moist as if searching for something with great hope. It lacked the mischief of the teenage as if she had gone through a lot. She had the most beautiful face, oval shape, cheek bones to give a run for money to Julia Roberts, but yet there was this smile of hers..there was sorrow in her smile. It was hard to believe that this girl exists so without even thinking I dialed for the live chat.

Unfortunately, my purpose was unresolved as she did not turn on the web cam. However, her voice was distinctly clear, it was husky and I don't know why I told her that she sounded like one of our actresses, I was hoping to get ashamed of my remark but she liked it maybe because she was an actor and she did not know that I was talking about Rani Mukerjee. Similar to her DP, there was something different about her voice, there was poise, she was calm and had great control over the discussion.

Finally, after 15 mins I asked her to turn on the webcam and she apologised to me a couple of times as she did not realise that she had missed to turn it on, I feel she did it purposely to make me feel desperate. But to my pleasure she was exactly same to the DP I saw on facebook. I was amazed at her beauty, she had dressed herself in simple pajamas and a jacket. But there were two things strikingly beautiful and different, her specs which made her look wise and her nose ring I guess they were studded with diamonds which made her look strong and sexy.
I told her how I felt about her smile and eyes, she was quite for sometime and then she said, 'lets talk something about you'.
I said 'very well' and I don't remember for how long I had gone on and on and on.. And she kept listening with some interventions when she felt that I was a stupid or a fool or just a fun moment she laughed and then we continued...
That day we had a chat for almost 1.5 hrs and then we talked for good 5 hrs. But I still remeber the last 15 minutes.

The last 15 minutes:
I was very sure that Kate and I have something in common, after all we had been chatting for past 6 hrs, I was sure that there was something. Then suddenly Kate asked me to hold the line and only listen to what she has to say, I had no thoughts of denying her and I simply agreed with a "hmm..ok.."
Then she started to take me back to my life, she told me what were my mistakes, she told me who are the people I have really cared about and who have been the people I should have cared for. She made me realise that I have been living a life which is far away from the reality, I have been running around for all the stuff which does not matter to me. The biggest thing that she pointed out was that I don't take my life seriously. This had completely broken me, I knew what she was saying is simple truth but I wanted to revolt, so I did.

I said to her that 6 hours ago she did not even know me but now she has become a person who can judge me? I had a lot more to say but noticing my angst she stopped me and said "I have known you since the day you have opened your eyes in this world, our talk was necessary so I was commanded to meet you, I just want you to remember two things that I have told you, live for yourself and not others and take life seriously, you are the architect of your own life".

After this I could not see her on the screen, her voice was still in my mind but I could not hear anything over the headphones.
She was gone, I checked her profile on FB, there was nothing, it was nothing, as if Kate never exist. I dunno why I started crying but it made me feel light and I went into sleep, the next morning was very new and refreshed as if I had found a new ray of life. For me Katerina was not a destroyer, it made me.."

Till this day I have never seen Rehan this happy while telling a story to me. I wish I had a chance to meet Katerina..

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Zindagi bas aaj aur kal hai

Zindagi bas aaj aur kal hai
kabhi khushi aur kabhi soz ki sankal hai
jo samajh paye tu dasturaane zindagi
batla de mujhe bhi kiski mohtaaj hai zindagi

Na Maulvi ko andaaza hai naa Aalim ne jaana
aakhir hai kaun se dhaagon ka taana baana
gar tu samajh paye to mujhe bhi batlana
chaahun ab main bhi is uljhan ko suljhana

Jo samajh paye tu dasturaane zindagi
batla de mujhe bhi kiski mohtaaj hai zindagi

Na masjid mein aaraam hai na maikhane mein salaahiyat
har roz zindagi se pareshaan bashar ki hai yehi museebat
na aeitbaar hai khuda pe, na bande pe bharosa
phir bhi karta hai sajda aur deta hai bosa

Zindagi bas aaj aur kal hai
kabhi khushi aur kabhi soz ki sankal hai

Tujhe dar hai bas aakhirat ke azaab ka
zara soch, ke wo hi ek din hoga maula ke deedar ka.

Zindagi bas aaj aur kal hai
kabhi khushi aur kabhi soz ki sankal hai

Apologies for the twist in language I have used urdu words which I don't know how to write in English script, hope it is understandable.
Soz : Gham
Sankal : Zanjeer
salaahiyat : ability, calibre
bosa : kiss of honor

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Onset of Monsoons – In Mumbai

3rd June 3, 2011 – Mumbai

I wrote this quite some back but finally thought to share it with you all.

Somehow Mumbai remains my city of influence, no matter how much I crib about this city, it resonates as a motivator encompassing such different worlds under its hood. It provides me my characters of life, it provides me with the examples of the way of living on the both extremes.
It estranges me on the view of the people who take life so differently in the same city, forget the city I am surprised to see how people celebrated the first monsoons in the mere radius of a kilometer.
Recently I shifted into a new house in Bandra. If I tell you the surroundings you will be jealous of me and when I go on, telling you the rent I pay for this place you will feel that I am a lucky Basket… well the place where I stay is near to Carter Road like just 5 minutes walk, atmosphere is damn nice, a crazy night life in this side of the town, food available at the request of a phone call even at 1 @ night, the rent I pay 6 grands for a studio apartment (feeling jealous???). Well let me tell you some basic facts, I live in a place which would be approx. 150 sq ft. surrounded by fishermen and people who are loud for no valid and apparent reasons, sometimes the fish smell is so strong that I start believing that deodorants are a gift from God to humankind. All the coins in this world have flip sides I guess, but still I like this place. This gives me the space I always wanted in my life, the space that let my thoughts go wild, allows me to spend time with myself. Nobody can imagine the kind of feeling I get when I am home alone and it’s not a guy thing but it’s something very personal and spiritual or rather psychological... 

Oh teri… Aap bhi na mujhe bhula hi diya ki kya baat karni thi….

Haan, I was talking about onset of monsoons and the way people react to that… and I mean actual reactions not the status updates of the social networking sites and BBM (WTF)…
To begin with I was celebrating the monsoons with one of my closest friend Rehan watching TV and getting some memory drags… When it started to pour heavily like cats and dogs, we were enjoying a singing show on TV… I don’t know where Rehan gets these crazy ideas, he suddenly stood up, opened the window and almost drenched the TV, but he would never be worried since he cared a damn!!! He got out from the window and allowed the rainshowers to wet his head, he then turned back to me and gave me a weird smile… (No neither of us are GAY, yes but we are Happy) It was a smile that I was very familiar with it meant something crazy is going to happen and here he was, he asked me for the Keys of terrace.
I didn’t have them, since I shifted a week back I had no idea where or who does it rests with!! But it was Rehan with him its either his way or HIS way, there was no point in discussing with him the odds of finding the keys, so I stood up and got down to the Aunty who lives downstairs, I guessed she must have the Keys and Bingo!!! she had them, I got the Keys…
When I returned, I saw Rehan sitting on the mattress, he was busy folding his pants and he stood up and said “Chal be C***iye, Carter Jayenge, terrace pe baad mein jayenge”, I was standing still with nothing to say. I gave in and got myself my umbrella... (needless to say Rehan abused me for this too!!)

Mumbai - The way of LIFE
While we were going towards Carter road, I saw a couple of boys enjoying in the rains, I could feel their happiness it was radiant, I thought to let go of my umbrella and start dancing with them on the Dhinka Chika track (I told you the people here are loud), taking my shirt off as they had none but something resisted me, don’t know what.
We moved to some distance, I saw an old man sitting on the pavement of his house he reciprocated a different kind of happiness, he was happy to see the rains, he was a fisherman, Monsoons meant more fishes and more money to him and his family. There were many such cases of happy faces and gleaming eyes. But Rehan is not like me, he kept on moving in the rains enjoying every drop of it, I think I like him for this, he is fun, he knows what he wants and he enjoys his life by living every moment of it.
Finally we reached Carter road, it was a different world altogether there, lots of people all drenched, all enjoying the rains. I could see young girls dressed in hot pants and skirts flaunting their legs and voluptuous bodies to the sea as it almost touched the promenade. However, there were some guys also who were seemingly enjoying this along with the rains. Rehan moved ahead of me and reached the amphitheater and made himself comfortable there. I sat beside him, we were just sitting quietly and watching nothing, it was Carter Road you can look at nothing. (credits to Russel for this)
Then there came the other extreme of life - lavishness. She moved slow, she was sexy, water droplets all over the body, she was short but definitely curvy, it was a BMW ,I couldn’t notice the Model number but it sure must have been costly, cause the lady who was enjoying the rains from the roof top looked classy Page 3 woman. She showed a different kind of reception towards the monsoon, she gave a lovely smile to the person who was driving the car, I can’t say whether it was her husband or not, as I said she seemed like a Page 3 woman so nothing is there for her forever. But letting that aside she was very happy.
After this I realized that I had nothing to worry about, because in whichever strata of life I be in, I can be happy, it’s a different thing that the enjoyment will be of varied nature but who cares as Rehan says, “Kal ka hai woh maalik, aaj ka main hoon…”

let me know how you see the monsoons!!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Things I did in 2010

Listening to Aamir and writing down the things I did in 2010
-Made some friends for life...(I guess) , Aamir Bhai became Aamir to me...
-Dubbed as the Marketing Topper of the batch with not so much Hard-Work.
-Worked my ass out to get through a decent company in placements.
-Took some not so good decisions.
-Danced on stage and didn't mess up the act.
-Joined a not so good company and didn't enjoy the PPT presentation.
-Celebrated the most memorable birthday ever(thanx Sofi)
-Moved in a rented place with best roommates ever...
-Got close to reality and Islam to know its offerings(learnings)
-Landed up in worlds best MR agency and still making PPT presentations...
-Escaped Death.
-Spent quality time with Family at Eid.
-Completed MBA.
-Had an awesome trip with close family.
-Got some fame in Nielsen within four months of joining...
-Lost love and found something...
-Gained weight...
-Understood that Family is the support you need, they don't necessarily need you
-Got in touch with some old buddies and understood the importance of relationships.
-Agenda of life became Learning and sorting out unattended issues in life.
Did a lot more than this...but one thing to say at the beginning of the new year...
"Hazaron Khwahishein aisi ki har khwahish pe dum nikle...
Bahut nikle mere armaan lekin phir bhi kum nikle...."

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Unforgettable Journey

What a strange coincidence, I happen to write this one on a journey, maybe because every journey like this reminds me the unforgettable incidents that took place on that train with Rehan. By then Rehan had touched his adulthood and he was appearing for different examinations in different parts of the country so as to get admission into a reputed institute to fulfil his parents dream. So when he was on his way back to home from Delhi after completing the admission procedure in D.U., he boarded a train not so full, it was called the Utkal Express. It took more than necessary hours to complete the journey which usually is of hardly 21 hrs. Rehan had never thought that a common idiot like him could have such an experience in his life and while he narrates the story to me I can still see the excitement in his eyes which he must have had at the time of the incidents taking place. After I finished hearing him narrating the first word that came from me was “really”.
When Rehan was boarding the train he was very confused about going back home or staying for a week more just to try in some more colleges which he thought was never his cup of tea, immersed in his thoughts he was waiting for the train to arrive after the train arrives he boards and looks out for his berth, 32, side upper berth he remembers distinctly. Why he remembers he told me later. He settles himself down and takes time for a nap; it was 8 am when he boarded the train so he had to get up early and could not sleep so he decides to sleep first. Two hours passed by, he has taken his nap feeling fresh but still in his sleep he notices a family boarding in Agra and coming to the same cabin he was in, they had all the berths from 25 to 28 that made it one full side and the lower berth on the other. Now why Rehan remembers his berth because just opposite his berth was berth number 27 and 30; on berth no 27 there was a cute girl. When Rehan talks about a girl you have to listen to the details he provides and how he justifies his usage of words. By cute he meant not hot and by girl he meant 3-5 years younger to him. As they settled down he found the girl taking the upper berth 27; this was the reason he remembered. Rehan was about to get up from his nap as he noticed the family arranging themselves some lunch. Rehan usually didn’t eat while travelling but this time he thought of getting something so he got down at a station and bought some fruits and kept it on his berth and made himself comfortable on the lower berth. He wanted to talk to the family who were there. He saw something in their lunch packet and the courage to talk from within came to him. He asked about the destination in which they headed and found out that they were going to the same place as of Rehan as he made the conversation he had a masterpiece which he had seen his brother perform, he asked the Lady what do they call Cucumber in their language and hence he came to know all about them, their religion, belief, family background, native place and what not, he smartly shifted his conversation with the lady to her child; the cute girl. By that time that lady had become an aunty of Rehan and the girl was somewhat friendly because her mother was talking to him. She was still in her schooling days; she attended a very famous school, DAV in 12th standard. There was something peculiar about these convent girls, I thought about this as Rehan told me about her, they are all very cautious and highly egoistic, tall claims but these are the things I have noticed personally. You will never find a convent girl who doesn’t know how is she looking and she will always think of herself as second to none. I don’t know how these chicks survive in all girls’ school, they desperately need male attention, that is the only thing satisfactory them. So as Rehan describes this girl, she was nearly 18 and was a early bloomer and had a pretty face but some part of it still covered with pimples but it made her cheeks look more pink and it suited her fair complexion, wearing a pant which covered her legs just above the ankles (I don’t know which category do they fall into full or Capri) with a black coloured top just touching her waist. She showed every sign of growing up into a beautiful lady, one of the reasons was her being a ‘panju’ and other reason was ‘Rehan thought so’ that she looked stunningly beautiful then. She had a problem of speech, she used to stutter, and Rehan came to know about this after a long time talking to her. After the lunch the family decided to take some rest. Now Rehan has nothing to do so he pulls out his rucksack and gets hold of his walkman which he had borrowed from his brother and his brother gave it to him reluctantly. He had a cassette of Lucky Ali and Bryan Adams...needless to say he wanted to play Lucky Ali but he played Bryan Adams in anticipation that Miss. _______.....Ohh God!!! Now Rehan realises that he had not even asked the name of the chick. Now Rehan makes a checklist in his mind what he has to do before they get down 1. Name, 2. Address, 3. Phone-number( if possible). So Rehan keeps listening to his walkman when the boy comes and sits next to him. This boy is the chick’s brother, he was boring to the limits and he integrated stupidity along. He had a funny side though, he was a sardar without a turban but he had all the jokes suited to him as if he was the Santa of all the sardar jokes. Rehan describes him to be the utmost boring guy on the whole train, even the beggar was sounding interesting to him. So finally the beauty awakes from her sleep with a cup of coffee, she preferred it over tea. Rehan was sitting there with his walkman both of them exchanged a smile and then she came down. Rehan started to nod his head and noticing this she asked him “what are you listening?”(as anticipated by Rehan), Rehan proudly said Bryan Adams... she said “oh k”. She then asked “what other cassettes do you have?” Rehan gave her all four and what luck she picked up Lucky Ali and requested Rehan to play it. Rehan changed the cassette and during that time he asked her “What’s your name?” She said “What?” Rehan completely on his back foot repeated his question in totally different manner “nothing I was wondering what your name is when you were sleeping” Rehan still doesn’t know why he said so. Because when she said what she meant that she couldn’t hear it and wanted to know what he asked, but Mr. Rehan made a fool of himself and paid for it later. By the way her name was Anjali. Anjali made a note that Rehan was looking at her when she was sleeping, and she asked him twice why he was wondering about her name when she was sleeping maybe she was teasing Rehan but he got completely nervous. Anjali sensed it and made Rehan comfortable again. I don’t know how these girls can do it, first they will sense what you are thinking and then they always have a solution for it and they will solve it even before you’re asking for any help. The time passed by and now Rehan and Anjali began to gel with each other, her stupid brother came and interrupted again and again but after receiving a cold response from both of them would return to his mom and granny. After a while they had dinner, Rehan was also asked to join, he did it, without hesitation but ate very little because of his fear of eating while travelling. After the dinner they all played a game of Rummy even the aunty enjoyed the presence of Rehan. They all set their beds up and Anjali took the same berth opposite to Rehan. Rehan went to the washroom and came back in a while and found her there on her berth. It was only 10 Rehan gestured to Anjali why so early? She pointed towards her mother. Rehan thought that’s it this is the end of the talking because they had to get down early in the morning. He knew that he won’t be able to ask the other two things and therefore there would be no chance of meeting Anjali again. Rehan also climbed up to his berth reluctantly, he put his walkman on as Anjali wished him goodnight.
After a while someone tapped on Rehan arm, it was Anjali. Her mother had slept and half an hour had passed and then Anjali decided to wake up Rehan and talk. She started by saying “You wanted to talk?” Rehan did not reply. After that they chatted for three longs hours; all lights were put down in the compartment and the only light coming was from the passage near the door. They were talking about everything and anything on earth, there was one time when Anjali asked Rehan to come to her seat as it was a little inconvenient for both of them to lean over in order to talk, Rehan resisted, he knew the risk in that, after a while again Anjali complained of her neck pain and offered to come over to Rehan’s berth but Rehan again refused. Rehan had no idea what they were doing staying up all night but Rehan had asked by far address of Anjali when they were talking about the time she takes to reach to her school. She stayed in the same part of the city where Rehan lived about a couple of kilometres far. Suddenly her mom woke up because of hearing both of them laughing although they tried to keep it as low as possible. She asked Anjali what she was doing and she blatantly said she tried to sleep but she can’t. Rehan felt proud he thought this was because of his charm that Anjali could not sleep but what the reason was only Anjali knows. Her mom again went back to sleep and the snores became harder and louder this time. They chatted for a while more and then Anjali said this is the time we should sleep otherwise we won’t be able to get up; it was 4.15 am in Rehan’s watch. Anjali asked for a little help before they went back to sleep, she asked him to escort to the washroom and Rehan agreed. They both got down but Rehan went ahead and made sure that it was safe Anjali followed and asked him to wait outside the door till she comes out. She took a little time in there and Rehan out of curiosity knocked the door, Anjali opened the door and asked Rehan to come inside, Rehan was confused but Anjali pulled him inside. They were both in the same washroom Rehan was terrified about being in there because he was aware of the risk if someone found out about this. He said to Anjali “if your mom comes searching for you and finds us like this I am dead”. Anjali said nothing; she just placed a finger on his lips so as to make him stop blabbering and her right hand on his chest and slightly came ahead, Rehan had no idea what was happening, she then kissed Rehan on his chin and then on his right cheek. Now Rehan knew what was happening. Rehan returned the favour immediately and kissed Anjali on her cheeks, both of them; Anjali smiled and came out of the washroom, she rushed back to the compartment, Rehan kept standing there thinking of what just happened. When Rehan was going back he saw Anjali coming towards him, she took him to the door which was closed and whispered in his ears “everyone is sleeping”; then happened the unforgettable she held Rehan tight in her arms and gave him a kiss, this time it was more passionate, more romantic and more on the French side, Rehan was shocked for the initial moments and later on began to play the part. Rehan recalls that the kiss must have lasted for more than 30 seconds but still says that it felt like 30 minutes of her breath, smell of her hair, the feel of her body and her beautiful white, delicate arms wrapped around him. I could see the beauty of that kiss in Rehan’s eyes. They came back together from there this time and climbed up to their respective berths. Anjali gave a flier to Rehan and Rehan returned a smile. Anjali said “I would like to keep meeting you in town”. Rehan got excited he asked “how?” She said “Shhhhhh, I will let you know tomorrow now go to sleep”. Rehan said to himself “how can she possibly think that I can sleep now?” But anyways Rehan slept and woke up in the morning to find out that Anjali was already awake and ready to get down, he slept long, hurriedly he washed up himself and packed his stuff and before he could talk to Anjali they started to head to the door as the station was arriving. Anjali smartly made sure that she goes last to the door, Rehan saw this and he followed Anjali such that she was just in front of him. There Anjali stared at him and Rehan felt sorry for his sleeping for so long, but he managed to ask “what next?” Anjali abused him with some English abuses and asked for a pen, Rehan got hold of a pen she gave him her number on a piece of paper so did Rehan. Rehan said that he would call her for sure. They both got down of the train and Rehan saw that Anjali’s father had come to fetch them up, that man Rehan thought had seen somewhere, he was Rehan father’s friend’s brother, he had met him in party but he decided to keep away and he took his way out and they took their.
After two days when Rehan went to call Anjali he found out that the paper he had written down the number was washed along with his pants he tried to figure out something from that piece of washed paper, he was only able to make out three digits out of five so he tried to recall what Anjali had told at that time but he remembered nothing so he decided to call up random numbers and ended up calling 15 wrong numbers. He was devastated with this event and had only one hope that Anjali called, and she did. When Anjali called after two weeks to check for Rehan, his mother picked up the phone as he was not around and when he came back he came to know about it...
Months went by and Rehan had no contact number of Anjali, he tried everything from phonebook to school directory but nothing seemed to be working, slowly the memories of Anjali started to fade away. Strangely he never happened to see her in town after that. Rehan stayed in the town for an year because he started working there in a financial firm and postponed his graduation for an year, exactly 8 months after he had gone to Delhi, he saw Anjali again in a restaurant. He was sitting there with one of his clients, a lady from the bank who wanted a vehicle to be financed; Anjali was there with a guy too. First when they exchanged stares she didn’t give a heed but second time their eyes met she nodded in response and gave a smile without letting know the person she was sitting with. After a while she stood up and went towards the restroom and on her way back she came to Rehan’s table and dropped a tissue there. It had something written on it: “Thank you for tht journey, I waited for ur call but cudn’t wait 4 long, he is my BF n I m glad U found sm1 too, luv Anji”
Since then Rehan had seen Anjali many times in town but never approached her to tell what exactly happened. He was completely fine the way it was. But he still laughs on the fact that he was mistaken to be seeing that banker of all the people. There is one more thing Rehan thinks of and instead of laughing just manages to smile...that’s his unforgettable journey....

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Mumbai- The City of Dreams

Many have written about it many will write about it. Different people wrote with various objectives giving it diverse perspectives. When I came to Mumbai (Bombay then) for the first time was completely awestruck by the pace at which the people carried on their lives, everyone was in a hurry to catch something; trains, buses all looked filled with same type of people. Of course it had some level of differentiation but I could only make out one difference that is of people- being satisfied and frustrated. People who were satisfied showed intense love in whatever they did be it the cleaner on the road or the gentlemen with their ties on in a first class compartment or even in taxis; these were the ones who were satisfied. There was another set of frustrated people who were doing their job but one could easily make out that these people were not doing what they wanted to do, e.g., man who was driving my rickshaw was a graduate in arts, he came to Mumbai to work in a mill, he succeeded in doing so but the mill did not run for long and out of shear need he had to get into rickshaw driving, since then he felt that he had been forced to drive the rickshaw. Well is it true that he was forced? Of course he was by the pressure to survive in this fast paced city. Another man I met on my next trip to Mumbai he wanted to be a musician, his dream was of playing in the band of Aadesh Shrivastav a then well known music director, why Aadesh? Because they both belonged to same native place...did he get a chance? No!! What is he doing now? Working in an office as front desk man taking tuitions in evenings and weekends, says this is what has kept him alive till now otherwise he would have died long ago if he left the music. This man was somewhere in between the satisfied and the frustrated. All of the above have their terminologies to define Mumbai, the satisfied says that they are Mumbaikars because they got what they wanted, the frustrated say that they have been cheated by luck and Mumbai betrayed them and in between some say that Mumbai is biased it makes the rich richer and the poor poorer. Is it really the fault of the city that it drives people to its glory and gives them dreams which sometimes can’t be fulfilled at all or is it the people who consider themselves worthy enough to give their dreams a shot?
I don’t see any fault in city by providing dreams to people but I also can’t completely blame the people who just want to try their luck but they should also know that till what time they should go on. Some philosophers suggest that if you have belief in your dream then carry on till you reach there, but it is not a perfect fit in our scenario we are a population increasing with every passing microsecond, competition is increasing every day. Is it still relevant to chase your dreams all the way or is it the best way to make a life with a job which can satisfy your basic needs and has a level of interest of yours and to satisfy your dreams you can always pursue it on the sidewalks of your life. We can say that the decision of the musician was a wise one, but still he blames the city. Mumbai can’t provide you with your dreams, it can only give you opportunity to make your life but it won’t give that exclusively, so if you have an opportunity you need to fight for it, simply blaming the city or the system won’t do anything. People have to fall in love with the city then only they can pursue their dreams. You will be seeing people who blame the system all their lives but they need to understand their own responsibility towards the system. As far as the system in Mumbai is concerned it is the best than any other city, during the last decade it has failed and learnt from the mistakes, simply to give an idea you should look at the train stations security now which has grown after the incident of attack and the policing has been at the crest since then. We still got to get the best of it but we got no reasons to blame the system or the city. Many of times we have ideas that can really help the country or the system. Do we take it forward, do we take the pains to make it work; rarely!! Why? Because it’s not easy and we don’t want to take the hard ways, we don’t believe that it’s our job we don’t really believe that we can bring the change. Is it???
I feel we can, we just need the self belief not a city of dreams to correct our lives. May be that is why Gandhi said “Be the change you want to see”. Many people came to Mumbai to get their desires fulfilled, they did what took them to achieve that; Mumbai has given a lot of people what they desired, has it? Or was it the people who got lucky at the right time? Whatever it might be there will always be a divide between the people and their opinions on the marvellous city MUMBAI. For me it hardly matters which city I live in, it will always be my life but I also know the kind of opportunities available will be far ahead than any city in India. So rather than thinking about what the city can give us let’s just do our part, be loyal towards Mumbai give whatever we can to make it a beautiful place to live in and leave the rest on destiny and hope someday day the wheel of fortune will favour us...

Jai Ho....

Monday, February 1, 2010

The Lost Art of "Teaching"

Teach (v): 1. Impart knowledge to or instruct (someone) in how to do something, especially in a school or as a part of a recognized programme, give instruction in (a subject or skill), cause to learn by example or experience. 2. Advocate as a practice or principle. Teaching (n)
Teacher: someone who teaches in a school.
The above is what oxford dictionary defines teach and teacher; teaching is a noun originating from teach. Quite fashionably the word teaching has been changed over time. Earlier teaching was something that the people used to practice to pass on their learning and experiences of life to generations to come, it still finds a place in the definition but is it realm of today, are the teachers practicing the art of teaching the way it used to be earlier, if not then what made the shift to take place? May be the new learning methods made the shift or the advancement in the technological era made the difference? It is hard to tell. Let’s just draw some basic differences and try finding out whether or not the shift has really helped people over time or it has simply made mockery of the word teaching.
Earlier i.e. in the era when the writing was not yet developed and people used to learn under the guidance of the gurus and used to dedicate their lives for the sole purpose of learning (both the students and the gurus) it was very easy to demarcate the learned and the unlearned the latter could not enjoy the same status as the former did. It all started to make way for learning for all, and then after a long time the system came into existence where everyone got a right to get himself enrolled for basic education, it was a great change that could have ever taken place in the history but as always it came along with some tragedies of its own. The art of teaching was lost and moreover it became the art of war where it was entitled as a ‘business’. This business made way for outburst of educational institutions, there was teachers available for anything and everything on earth, the worst was the mushrooming of the tuition classes & it showed the impotency of both the students as well as the system which was hit badly below the belt. There were times when we used to hear about the premier institutes who believed in teaching as there essence and the alumni from these could be sworn upon the authenticity of knowledge and intelligence but it is really hard to imagine that these great institutes also fell in the trap of modernization and started the act of competition in terms of number of applications received and their alumnus network and it all paled the effect of the education and teaching they had thrived to provide for several years. The teachers were not only merely teachers they were people of the industry who taught as their hobby initially and when they find out that this ‘profession’ is less time consuming and pays better they became full timers, no issues with this attitude but are we not taught by the professionals who themselves are not sure what they wanted to do. Personally I have encountered many such teachers who started their careers as bankers, production engineers, marketers and even business men and currently teaching the subjects that have nothing to do with their work experience like physics and maths are taught by a banker, human behaviour is taught by a production engineer & list goes on. How many have we felt that person who is teaching us is not at all interested in what he is doing? The answers will surely tell you that the teachers have lost the main agenda of teaching, many are found teaching to support their other functions of life and they use teaching as a filler of their career e.g., a person who is doing his Ph. D will take up a teachers job anywhere possible and also work side by side on his thesis, there will be many authors who are teachers, I can understand if they are writing something related to the subject they are teaching but if they write fiction and teach Anthropology that is unpardonable, take example of my favourite writer Chetan Bhagat, it took him 10 years of banking career to realise that he wanted to be a writer, he mentions in three of his four books that he wanted to be a writer since his college days, the only question to ask here is, that a alumni from IIT and IIM takes time to fulfil his dream job and he does not have the confidence to pursue his dream then who should have the courage to take up their work seriously? It’s not just the multitalented teachers I am against with it’s the whole thinking they bring along with them. You will hardly see a true teacher escaping any kind of discussion with their students, no matter how stupid is their disciples’ doubt they would clear it in no matter how much time it takes but the ‘teachers of today’ find it really time consuming when a ward ask a minor doubt and you can feel that he is completely annoyed by the time it’s going to take to make that fellow understand the intricacies of that subject. They expect you to know whatever is there in the books and they want you to do what they say as they say, you must have encountered the schools’ students forced to have different types of notebooks different faculties demand, what difference does it makes if someone writes English in a single line notebook. Some people say that it is the sophisticated way of teaching. My request to those people, please give it one more thought and think with the bias of what is the value addition, you will have a changed mindset. Now there is one more thing that has always bothered me and recently got provoked by a Hindi Movie; what is that we call success?  Just a good job in hand, a nice sedan in your courtyard, an apartment in the highly rated location of the city and high profile parties!! Is that success all about? Then i would like to share an advertisement of Intel which featured an average man and he was portrayed as there superstar, what was his success, nothing; he was just best in what he did and that was innovation. He could never had been successful if he had not chased excellence and I happen to track his records he was an average student in his school days and when he got into his field of interest he came out with flying colours. Knowingly or unknowingly we all are forcing the current students to chase the path of success without even telling them to be excellent in what they do, and the major responsibility of this job lies with the teachers but they fail miserably because they themselves are running for success that is driven by numbers.

Personally I would be more than glad to learn under a person who has chosen to teach rather than a person who has opted to teach. The fellows who believe this is not possible please just put your thinking caps on and take a look at the Gym which you go to, the trainer there has a passion himself for the things he is asking you to do, and the learning that you are gaining now from your ‘teacher’ will teach you not to differentiate and inevitably would have their own favourites, they will teach you not to take a decision with a pre-decided mind and then will have a notion about you.
Who is responsible for all this? We all are but the main villains are the teachers of present times not all but majority. We need to ask what we want in life and what really matters to us because till the time we don’t know, we can’t ask for it. It will be similar to dying on the shore of a lake just because you didn’t knew you were thirsty.