Welcome home (Sanitarium)

Airports make me sick. Modern airports leave the walker-by with so many things to gape at, stare at and drool over, that one loses hold of the actual scene in hand. And before you know it you have lost a friend, and a companion, to miles of ocean between you. You have not waved that picture-perfect goodbye that you had practiced all week, you have not said those award worthy lines of parting and you have not smiled once all morning. The shops, the general ambiance, the artwork skewed all across, are very distracting. Someone please take a note, airports should henceforth be designed like hospitals; crisp white walls and dirty floors that ensure that your mind is hung on nothing other than the tragedy that lies ahead of you.

[….]

I was speeding down the highway, a sudden urgency to get back to my current camp. OK! for all those already pointing fingers at me, for being the road-rage consumed beef, I wasn’t driving anything above speed limits, its fast enough to get around in time. The recent loss of my sensible music had left me listening to “classic” rock from The City, whenever did Stayin’ Alive count as classic rock. Now, now, don’t get me wrong again. I love the Bee gees for their pop feel and Stayin’ Alive is unarguably one of the classics that catapulted a bunch of people into stardom, but I digress. So, back to my driving in to town and listening to some mind numbing music. I usually give myself the leeway of letting my thoughts out loose while driving back, especially now that I know the route and the bumps and exits like second trait. It was during one of those thought flooded moments, that I almost jumped off my seat. I must have definitely scared the driver behind me, with that little sway, but the rising moon, up ahead, was a beauty beyond words.

It was comic-book material, huge and crisp white, enhanced by the light blue of the sky. The craters were as clear as pictures in Science text books and the size definitely got me off guard. The moon hadn’t obviously grown in size over the last month, so it was clearly one of those sights I had never seen before. I had to put my camera to some better use right away. I followed the moon down the next half a mile, waiting for the next service area up ahead. I parked in unstated urgency, jumped off my car and frantically looked up above for that bright spot.

It was missing alright. The tree cover and the thick canopy din’t help much either, but I could not locate even the bright light in the sky. I looked around at other passengers, getting off their vehicles to get a drink. Had anybody else seen it at all? Was I hallucinating after all? It had been a tough weekend indeed. But I wasn’t that bad, especially not when I was driving. Right? I walked all across the perimeter of the service station, staring at all directions above me, waiting for that body to come to view.

Unknown to me then, a thick cloud cover had formed above the area, rain laden and dark. Heavy with all its material, it slowly sank closer to ground, engulfing any bright blue of the sky in its stocky grey. I got back on the road, disillusioned by my recent folly. I watched the last streak of blue give in to the rain clouds, and realized that I had seen the first few seconds of the moon rise, before clouds shrouded everything above and beyond.

The whole incident left me stunned and sad in more ways than one. It was like one of those sunrises I had woken up early to watch, only to be met by the thick, dull grey of the clouds. It was a feeling of meeting negatives at every turn we take, every act countered by a stronger, all encompassing force. I felt too mortals for words and rode the rest of my journey in a bewildered silence.

[…]

I slowly sneaked out of my room, bare foot, quickly aware of the wind chill. The drizzle had left the pavements still wet and that added to the wintry feel. I quietly sat down on the steps, snuggled up against the railings, and yet letting the wind freeze me out. There were too many things on my head and the running nose, with its splitting headache hadn’t helped much either. I sat there and stared out aimlessly at the dimly lit parking lot.

First day, two down. That much at least is progressing well enough. I need to keep off all that though. Will need to keep reminding myself of those days and then those other days and that person. That should be enough to fuel me forward steadily. Note to self: Check on how H is doing in this front. First day, twenty new. Decent start. But its time to realize that there are million others out there. So twenty at a time, on a regular basis in required. I verified that the piece of code works. Now I need to check other places where the similar issue exists. Will also need to make sure that the sheet is up to date. That post processing still lacks that one zing I am looking for. Need to start from scratch and check if I get there. Is it time to start P365 already? The weekend deadline is finally here. Don’t want to rush things in the last minute right. Will need to wait for the reviews, spruce up the last one and get going with the filing. Man ghazals make you very introspective!

I let out a deep sigh, collected the complete self together and walked back indoors. Rang the bell to my apartment, opened the door and locked it behind me.

Sometimes we love with nothing more than hope.

Sometimes we cry with everything except tears.

In the end that’s all there is: love and its duty, sorrow and its truth.

In the end that’s all we have: to hold on tight, until the dawn.

– Shantaram.

Communities…

It was a time to idle. Technology has taken its course. Time at hand is spent surfing the deep dark tomes of the web rather than stroll outdoors and enjoy the breeze(When was the last time there was any though.?). True, am a complaining sucker who hates the span of the net but cant live without either.

So as i was saying, spending some quality time surfing, I came to terms with the fact that I had managed to spend a solid 3 hrs coz of this new trend picking up with surfers; Online Communitites.

It was Orkut that kept me going. A frail invite sent by some long lost friend got me hooked for hours together. The discovery started off with me getting the entire list of college batchmates into my list of contacts. Funny a hundred different minds think alike at one point. And another community is born.

And fancy the spread. I managed to get back in touch with this kid who studied with me in the 5th grade. Oh yes it was a revolution. And the spread of communitites. Anything from a bunch of nerds sharing their common interests for puzzles and apti; to a group of freakos talking about eventually falling in love(O so mushy!It actually has 156410 members!). Then there’s the usual alumni bunch forming the same community over and over again. And the list goes on. From the believers of the Gita to the lovers of chaat; Pursuers of an MBA to the ones who got there; Lovers of Abhishek to haters of Schumi. Its all in there. The weirdest one i treaded upon till today is ‘Nokia’; a community for all Nokia phone users.

Then there are the geographically distinct ones. I found one for ‘Coimbatore’, where a bunch of 70s oldes sat discussing the CBE then and now. I bet every city has one such with similar forums going out. And there’s the ‘Iyers’ and ‘Iyengars’ community. I personally love the concept of a common repositiry of people brought up in a similar fashion irrespective of the distance and instance in time. Ones that woke up near the sun to the smell of freshly brewed coffee, renditions of the sahasranamam echoing through the long corridors of the house on the agraharam(the temple street for the uninitiated). Imbibing the taste for good food with the regular vatha kuzhambu and vadu maanga(Now I cant think of a translation to Bliss!). Oh yes. They belong.

Taking forward a tradition is quite a challenge. (I dont know why this came in. It just crossed my mind right now.!) With terrorism and hatred raising its dirty head at every corner, it surprises me to realise that there are people who wanna unite for the most fickle reasons possible. Why else would 3246 people from different parts of the world come together and share their common hate for Mondays!

Communities Rock!