Tuesday, April 28, 2009


However good or bad one's past might be, it is common wisdom that one should not live in his doings of yesterday or dwell in the dreams of tomorrow, and rather concentrate on whatever is to be done at the moment. It is another story as to how many actually follow this saying. I believe a man is today because of what he did in the past (however immediate or far that might be) , and his present impacts his future standing.

Travelling alone often presents us with an unusually (continuous) block of time to spend with ourself. Some might choose to read a book or listen to music, some others defeat the concept of "personal time" by talking or texting over the phone, few introspect and dissect their actions. When I was just starting to wonder what of the above should I be doing, a brainwave came by. Why not rummage through my wallet, for a change? I had hardly bothered to check its contents over many years for now, except for the odd currency and ID.

The first thing I could get hold of was a bunch of photos of Hindu Gods and Goddesses. I remember my dad giving me a couple of those on the day my tenth standard exams started. I was to recieve another couple of them from him when I wrote my twelfth standard Board examinations. How we struggled to keep our tension and anxiety in check the morning of every one of those exams!

A faded out Identity card revealed a younger me- it appeared to be the Southern Railways ID card I had got in my first year of engineering, to travel to college. 155 Indian rupees for three months of unlimited tension-free airy travel with a lot of college mates for company - not even the best seat in Kodak Theatre would get better than this.

A wad of tickets came through- of varying types. Tickets to the IPL season one which took place in 2008. Splendid memories of a hoard of friends and a lot of sporting fun. Tickets to the Chennai Tennis Open, to which I had been to every year. Tickets to a test match at the Chepauk cricket stadium, where Virendra Sehwag famously scored a triple century. I remember cheering with every one of the 50,000 people in the stadium for it. A bus ticket for a ride from home to my grandparents' place, which I visited every fortnight. Tickets to a movie I remember seeing first day first show- The Pirates of the Caribbean- at the best theatre in Chennai.

A courier receipt turned up- of the consignment of paperwork I had to send across to universities, for my higher studies. An autographed piece of paper from one of my friends, wishing me best of luck for a second year engineering exam.

The next thing I know, stewards were shooing me off the Burbank (LA) Airport Runway. Travel can be lonely at times, but whoever said it bores, probably never meant it.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Past the prime..

One of these days, we had to go out to the mall for some general purchases, and groceries. Going shopping with the fairer gender has an obvious downside for the males accompanying them- but surprisingly enough, I was to find out later that there was an upside to it, too.

When was the last time you had time to look at the price gap between an in-house brand of cornflakes, and an established one? When have you ever noticed the difference between the nature of various brands of kitchen tissue paper ? (the toilet paper is another story, altogether!) Would you care to look up those arbitrary coupons left on the shelves and get the exact brand of Granola bars, and the exact quantity, to save a relatively paltry twenty five cents? Never. That is, unless you are left to grocery shop an hour instead of the customary once-per-week-ten -minute routine.

Aimlessly staring at an aisle filled with a surfeit of dogfood, I walked the entire twenty metre stretch without realising the fact that neither do I own a dog, nor am I one-technically. (Some people may tell I am one, but then I hate to think how my consort would be called as, if I was indeed a dog) Half-lost in a world of nothingness, I wandered along just to remember that I had to pick up a carton of milk. So, the milk aisle I went- I had eternity left for the bus back home, and just one item to purchase, before the others returned. (for LOST fans- by "others" here, I just mean my friends.)

Maybe it was the music playing on the headphones, plain curiosity, or the level of boredom in me- I actually bothered to check the "Sell By" date on the carton. Philosophy, they say, can strike the aimless mind anytime. I second it- down went a spiral of milk , Bollywood Flashback style..

A friend we loved, the camaraderie we had with some people, all those weekends we just lazed around on the lawns waiting to be fed with good food, the talks we had with someone who's not with us right now , the puppy love which blossomed in school, the nights spent talking absolutely nothing over the phone, and umpteen more occurrences in life - would they be remembered by us if they had not ended? Would they be treated with as much nostalgia and love if they had become a routine like a daily bath ? ( only for people who do that ;) ) I reckon the answer would be a unanimous no.

Maybe....Maybe, things are valued only if they have a Sell By date. Be it a carton of milk, or life.