Friday, June 25, 2010

The Window Seat

It is a pleasant morning. My study table is strategically located near the window of my hostel room. There are trees very near to the window, so close as if they want to sneak in. But most of the times, we Indians carry out the important conversations with our friends at the door when they decide to leave. Similarly the trees and I discuss important topics, staying at the opposite sides of the window. I can see the partly cloudy sky. It has just rained, trees seem very happy and the soft rustling suggests as if trees are singing. The mild sun rays are making the rain drops on leaves shine and they look very pure- like pearls created by rain drops in Swati Nakshatra as believed in Indian astrology.

Window seat has always been very special to me. Most of us like window seats when travelling. I like it because it opens me to the outside world. I used to hate travelling by bus when I was a kid. The condition for travelling was window seat as it made puking easier. When not puking I used to keep looking for milestones and count every kilometre anticipating the destination. (I do somewhat similar in some lectures, no I don’t mean vomiting, I mean counting every minute!!!). Though Bus was and is always last option to travel for me, the ‘mature Kunal’ has learnt to enjoy it.

As I started travelling more often by trains, the window seat opened a whole new world for me. Here the probability of getting window seat is lesser and if at all one gets lucky then there is always some kid in the compartment who wants to sit there. As I grew older A.C. coaches became priority because of supposedly sophisticated crowd. But the A.C. coaches don’t offer this ‘luxury’ of looking out through the window. I stand at the doors of compartment for hours and hours together, watching and thinking. Eventually a policeman or T.T. comes and ‘shoo’s me away but I return and open the door again once they are gone.

Standing at the door, especially at night, I keep watching my shadow moving in sync with the movement of train. Once in a while, the train changes track. The perfection with which a train changes tracks and the sound generated takes me back to all the great achievements of mankind and makes me feel proud that I am also a human being, a species which is capable of doing wonders. A cold breeze blows at night, the sky is generally clear and one can see stars everywhere in the sky when the train travels through jungles and villages, a sight which no longer is so beautiful in cities because of pollution. In farms, there is an odd hut. Suddenly I feel an urge to jump from the train, go to the farm and stay there atleast for a night, watching the stars. Most of the philosophical thoughts with which I bug my near and dear ones occur during these journeys.

Once I started earning, I felt now I can travel by aeroplanes as I am no longer dependent on parents. (It is another matter that I invariably used to ask my mom to sponsor flight ticket).The window seat in Aeroplanes takes me to a different world. When plane travels through clouds I feel there can’t be any sight more beautiful than this. The sun rays cut through the clouds; it is an amazing combination of white and gold. The clouds look like fresh cotton. The overall sight makes me feel as if there exists a parallel world at other side of mountains formed of cloud, like Atlantis.
Window seat, where-ever it is, is very special but the aeroplane window seat always reminds me of a song from movie Mission Kashmir:

सो जा चंदा राजा सो जा चल सपनो में चल (Go to sleep, o’ my lovely child, my prince, let us go to dream world)
नींद की परियाँ पहेंके आई पैरों में पायल (The sleep fairies are here wearing anklets)
तुज़ को अपने नरम परो पे लेकर जाएगे (They will take you away for a ride on their soft wings,)
सोने का एक देश है जिसकी सैर कराएगे (for a stroll in a country of gold)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Punk who sold his Maruti

Neel was one MBA grad whose career was on exponential rise right from the time when he joined a multinational company. Neel was very charismatic and had mastered the ultimate art, ‘saying right things at right time’. He was very trendy as well, right from his college days. Whether it was clothes, accessories or electronic gadgets; everything has to be in line with latest fashion. Well, almost everything, except his beloved ,old Maruti 800 Car!! For some reason, he couldn’t let it go. The Car had no A/C, required servicing every 15 days but still was too close to his heart. Well, actual reason was, a baba, Jai Jai Shivshankar had once told him that this car represents connection between him and the ‘powers in heaven’. So long as he possesses his Maruti, he has every chance to attain nirvana, but he dare not anger the mystical powers by selling his Car.

One day, while returning from a picnic, the brakes of Car went dead on a mountain pass. Suddenly out of nowhere a big tree collapsed right in front of his vehicle. The car took off like an aeroplane, but landed 20 feet away, revolved 360 degrees, thrice and stopped. Everybody in the Car was safe and surprisingly the car was not much damaged either. His girlfriend Rene (Renuka) who was accompanying him was stunned and converted into a statue till a mild explosion from bonnet brought her back to senses. “What the hell”, she shouted getting out of the car and kicking the tyres. “Sell or throw away this Car right now or else the relationship is over”. Rene was a top HR executive in his company. Neel promised to do exactly the same once they get back.

That night he couldn’t sleep. All the memories with his beloved Maruti flashed in front of his eyes. But it was also a wakeup call. As told by Jai Jai Shivshankar, he almost saw God thanks to his Maruti. Next day he had a mysterious visitor. It was his friend Danny (DayaNayak). He talked in length about Toyota Corolla Altis and how he should buy it as the Car is ‘class above’. Neel went to Toyota showroom. His eyes immediately went to ‘Camry’ but probably it was a step too far for him. Suddenly he saw a Sage walking in suit towards him. It seemed like some miraculous transformation of an ordinary man. Afterwards he realised that it was a Toyota salesman and it was sunrays entering through transparent glasses in the background which gave the salesman a sage kind of look. Neel being a materialistic student visited showrooms of other companies like Honda,BMW,Skoda etc. After every meeting he noted down virtues and wisdom learnt as well as specific techniques and quotable quotes about the Car.

Finally, after much thought he realised that it was Toyota Altis which had rekindled his inner fire and Altis was ‘the most precious commodity’. He realised that the ultimate purpose of life is ‘change’. He got a free t-shirt as well, reading ‘Change is Good’. Neel sold his Maruti and yeah he did break up with Rene.