Day 107: Explain Unity and Diversity in India

As expected, the Sociology exam was a bummer. 1/5th of the paper was simply about Unity and Diversity in India. Reminded me of writing similar essays in school; Social Studies, we called it back then. And at least then, all this was new knowledge and there was hope.

Now that I’ve spent 33 years in this world, I see how language divides us more than it unites. Ask every child who’s ostracized for not speaking English. I know that there is as much division between the North and the South of India, as there is between India and Pakistan. We are so hung up on our food preferences, that we’ll go hunting for an idli-vada place in New Delhi, and then complain about the poor food taste.

Our culture, our language, our eating choices, our dressing choices, our sexual preferences, our movie picks, our living spaces, the car we drive, the tourist spots we go to and the money we earn or spend; all make us more and more divided from each other than united.

As I wrote about the beauty of a Durga puja pandal in Bangalore and a Muslim community hosting Ganesha celebrations, I felt hypocritical. I felt like I was using stray incidents of color, to obscure how dull and grey this world really is. As I highlighted the cosmopolitan nature of every Indian city, I felt like I was hiding the fact that every city is one Kaveri verdict away from a curfew and localities burning.

Have I just been wearing my dark shades for too long?

I have never

The much-awaited MAED-MBAELM party happened; in the middle of the day, with the lure of free booze. Well, technically it was four out of the 12. But, it was the most likely crowd, I would say. The usual, shots, beer, pizza and I-have-never.

The dark black shades were on through the day, and I wondered if I was just becoming too cynical in life. As A guffawed at every silly joke, and touched and petted DubaiCasanova at every feasible opportunity, I reminded myself what a make-believe world this was. ‘I have made out with more than 50 men’ and ‘I have hooked up with a teacher in the Uni’ were worn like awards of honor. Such is the pitious state of today’s youth.

And through it all, what surprised me was the overly comfortable Gemini twin in me. An outsider would have found me at the center of it all, reeling in the fun, not feeling an inch out of place. I laud and condemn this strange ability that I seem to possess.

You know it’s a myth that dogs see only in black and white, right?  We actually have a reduced color spectrum, but definitely not the Grey scale. Maybe that’s the filter you need to look at the world. 

What do you think?” Scotch

Day 50: Staring at death

My broken wrist has kept me out of the driver seat for a few days, and buoy, have I had some junkie, adrenaline-fueling episodes since then! I haven’t gone bungee jumping, or sky diving, or white water rafting in the last year, and yet, I’ve not felt as psyched out as I did this week. I’ve been crossing the Outer Ring Road to get to the bus and back, and that is all it takes apparently.

Today, I almost killed myself…twice. A lazy truck was slowly catching pace, after going over the mountain of a hump, and I thought that was a good opportunity to cross over to the central median. This was after all 7 in the morning, and not what you would call ‘peak hour traffic’. I was absolutely wrong. I’d crossed over mid-lane, when a Fortuner overtook the lazy truck and sped from 0-60 in under 2.3 seconds and was heading straight for me. My body immediately juggled between the fight or flight reactions, and made it’s choice in under 2 seconds. It froze, right there, in the middle of the road. I was the proverbial deer stuck in the head-lights, and this was broad daylight.

So, this was how I was going to go. Not a bad look if I think about it now. I had showered fresh in the morning, put on my crisp formal blacks and white (Damn! I would miss the Council photograph day), had a good hair day too and had had a sumptuous breakfast. My picture in the newspaper would tell a good tale, wouldn’t it?

I saw the whites of the driver’s eye, as his Aana’s (Elephant) ABS kicked in, sensed the out of ordinary braking, cycled 15 to 16 times per second and halted, a feet away from me. If I had to pick between the lazy truck and the white Fortuner, this would have been it; maybe the driver was cute too. Who knew? I was busy staring at death in the eye. He smiled and waved at me to pass; like you would that spotted deer that was about to become dead meat.

I ran away to freedom! I did get to take the fancy photograph for the Council website.

Life went on, uninterrupted, until at 1 AM, Scotch and I hear a loud bang and we’re up. I fumble in the dark, trip over some metal on the floor that I do not remember leaving there, turn on the lights, and see the fan on the ground. The ceiling fan. That is meant to be hanging from the ceiling. Turns out that the fan decided to give way bang in the middle of the night. Scotch and I had our heads intact by the nick of a feather. One of the blades crashed on the side of the headboard, and that’s what woke us up.

I had stared into the eyes of death today. Twice.

That fan killed my beauty sleep. Without my required 20 hours of sleep, I will get dark(er)  circles, S. Cmon! Fix that fan.

 

Anyway, forget that now. Yayy! Mum and Dad are coming over. Let’s pick em up” ~Scotch