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A Solitary Vacation


A Solitary Vacation

A Solitary Vacation

 

With no options to select from, I ask the skinny looking guy who was also the owner of the rented jeep and motorbikes to give me the keys for the only Jeep in the shed. I fill him with my details and take the keys. As I turn on the ignition and press the clutch, in a brief second, my mind registers the reason for my being where I was.

I see the passing coconut trees and try to absorb the greenery around me. I somehow have hope that this greenery would heal me. I pass by numerous modest homesteads, a bizzare ensemble of colors in vibrant foliage. Life is so slow here, so serene, so calm. The sound of Thunderbird engine brings me back to my senses. I quickly look towards my right and no more than 7-8 motorbikes rush past me. And did I just see a Harley? I suddenly remembered it was season for bike races and no more than a minute ago I had crossed Anjuna beach area. I briefly curse myself for not choosing a motorbike over my open Jeep, but then calm myself down as the North Goan breeze coolly sweeps over my forehead. The purpose of my vacation was not the adrenaline. By now the bikers are nowhere to be seen. My stomach backflips. I hadn’t eaten anything since morning except for few slices of toasted bread and some juice at my hotel. I see the navigation on my cellphone. Still 15 minutes for me to reach Panjim, where first I’ll have to get the tank refueled and find something good to eat.

At a distance I can make out the bridge on Mandavi and few streamers and ferries on either sides. It is four in the evening, in few hours the bridge and river both would be covered in tiny pinpricks illuminating the river water and the city of Panjim alike. On the other side of this bridge, it is a new Goa altogether. I have a reason to miss and evade the city-lights at the same time. After crossing the bridge I pull over at the petrol pump. Weird images flash in my mind. I had never planned for this vacation alone. At least two months back I was intended to be with someone at this moment here, where on the other hand now I was contemplating everything all by myself.

I stop by a makeshift diner and step in deciding something to eat. Looking at the menu is always a formality for me unless I am in a mood for experiments. I take a table towards the corner and fiddle with the menu card. I have to change. In the fork roads as these, I’ll have to change to be able to accept new things in life. I had never thought that this would happen. I decide on ordering something that I have never tasted (something authentic and local). As I start tapping the table unknowingly, the waiter turns up to take the order. He smiles and compliments me on the choice. Somehow I smile too. Partly to return the gesture and; partly to laugh at myself on my good choices. Yes, now I regret some of those difficult decisions. Throughout my time there this guy keeps me entertained with his smiles and gestures. Does he pity me for being alone in a place like Goa. Maybe this is how the world reacts when you are a guy in your late-twenties and half of your friends think that you could have had any girl you wanted.

Having been finished my meal, I ask for check and tip the waiter and move out towards my Jeep. It is twilight now and the bridge, the city and the Mandavi are dazzling with lights. I am leaving a city behind and with it all the intricacies of my life and embracing the soothing serenity and calmness of solitude and with it embracing a new life in a hope that when I end my journey I’ll be able to change and change for better.

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2014 in Stories

 

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Even with closed eyes, I see You


Wherever I go, my eyes follow you
Whatever I do, I only think of you
No matter how far we are
No matter how same we are
My heart beats because of you

When I go to sleep, I think of you
Always wish to dream about you
No matter how tired I am
No matter how restless I am
I am at peace, because of you

I always smile, when I look at you
I feel nervous, talking to you
No matter if I am asleep or awake
No matter if it is give or take
Even with closed eyes I see you

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2014 in Poems

 

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Be the Instrument of Change


Many of us slog through our lives complaining about so many things that are not right. We judge everything from movies, to politicians, to players, to relatives and to friends. And we judge ourselves too. We want to bring change but often we try to find the reason for that change to happen in our lives. We dress up and dress down for the occasion. We make up and go for make-over for someone. But in all this, we forget one person who is the closest to us. Who we need to nurture in order to be able to live. We forget our ‘self’.

Often we run after material, we don’t go for substance. We want to chase our dreams but follow our desires. We want to change, but crib about so many things not being right. Isn’t it important to be the instrument of change yourself?

Life throws so many surprises. Some surprises leave us off guarded but some surprises leave us bemused. It forces us to wonder that it was so easy to take the opportunity and be part of something that would change your life forever. Miracles happen, but happen because of so many things that make it happen. All that is required is to start with just a small step that would make all the difference. It takes a lifetime to think, but seconds to initiate. And this initiative would always pay off. This thought is a crime in itself. When we want to do something for our ‘self’, the only thing that shouldn’t cross our mind is expectations. There is a very small difference between expecting something from yourself and framing an objective or a goal. Expectation may or may not lead to disappointment. But, goal would always help to be able to stay determined and focused. Expectations should better be left for others whom you trust.

Although, it seems really difficult to bring the change whether small or significant. And ‘hard work’ and ‘determination’ are those heavy words in the dictionary that always wade us off our targets. Everything eventually falls in place when that small step is taken. You yourself become the instrument of change and initiate that small beginning, after mustering the immense courage that it requires and bring about a new environment in which you don’t have to complain. It sounds difficult and impossible but here we are not talking about conquering the world either. It could be something that may be small and insignificant to someone else but for you, it may matter the most. And if something matters you, you should be the one initiating that small step to be able to live in that moment when it is yours, otherwise no other option than to fret!

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2014 in Articles, Reflections

 

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That white shirt and the pair of blue jeans


I slowly walk inside the room and look at the only empty chair near the bar, cursing myself for treading inside so early. Even, earlier than my friends who I was expecting to be there already. I started feeling awkward standing all alone among the crowd of people dancing and drinking. I was continually being conscious of myself being so dressed up in spite of being able to blend with the crowd so easily. Gathering courage and twisting my cellphone between my fingers, I moved towards that empty chair. While being seated, I dialed my friend’s number and waited eagerly for someone to answer, but no one answered my call. I started looking at the crowd. Shifty glances from one person to another. My gaze stopped three chairs away towards my right. A guy was sitting there apparently alone rotating his half empty glass in his left hand. Registering I hadn’t ordered my drink yet, I turned towards the bar tender and ordered something that would help me sail through the immense wait. After a minute or two that felt like hours, I got my drink. I shifted my gaze again towards that chair. But there was no one.

I started searching for him on the dance floor. He was nowhere to be found. I felt uneasiness that had nothing to do with the wait for my friends. It was so hard to find that perfect combination of crisp white shirt and a pair of blue jeans. Ah! Small sigh escaped me, there he was. In so simple and casual attire, yet he just stood out from the crowd. He was dancing with a girl. My heart felt a small pang. This guy had probably come with his girlfriend. And then I saw, another guy come closer to her. I felt somewhat relieved. My phone rang. It was one of my friend’s. I had five minutes to savour the moment now and brood over about this guy in the white shirt. After those short five minutes, I saw the door open and horde of five or six people enter, waving and shouting towards me. Those were my friends. The unruly pack, but they were my friends none the less. He looked towards them and then towards me. Our eyes met. I got more conscious.

After a small ceremony of chit chat and few drinks, we walked towards the dance floor. He was not there. I would have forgotten about him altogether, but I brushed against someone while dancing. I looked up. It was him. He said sorry and moved towards his group. Fighting through the whirlwind of thoughts that occupied my mind, I resumed my dancing. And the evening ended and we all came back home.

I had a very restless night as I was unable to sleep. In the brief encounter that we had, I was able to sketch his face perfectly in my open eyes. It was crush at first sight. I don’t remember when I dozed off thinking about him.

I felt slight giddiness the next morning, which had nothing to with the drinks. It was a different kind of hangover. Time passes so quickly, I had already reached office. Checking the time on my watch I rushed into the elevator. I took few seconds to register the guy in front of me. We both looked at each other and quickly looked down. Yes, it was him and somehow I had this feeling that he recognized me. He worked near my office. It was a happy thought. Unconsciously, just to confirm I looked towards the panel with floor numbers. Only a single button was pressed. What! We were going to the same floor. I looked towards him. He also had this puzzled expression. And the elevator door opened and I quickly rushed towards the entry gate. I was suddenly too embarrassed and conscious to be at the same place with him. I wanted to be with him and away from him at the same time.

I quickly composed myself. It was either the end of this brief stint or the beginning of a new story.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2014 in Stories

 

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Zindagi Badal di


Zindagi ne li hai aisi karwat
Ki koi khwahish na rahi
Jo chaha tha humne pa liya
Ki koi ranjish na rahi

Socha na tha kabhi, ki
Ye sapna bhi jee lenge
Sapno k sath chotein itni mili
Ki koi sazijh na rahi

Lagaya seene se jin yaadon ko
Un faaslo ki kadar jisne ki
Khushi k aansuon se bhigo diya aanchal
Ki aisi koi baarish na rahi

Ek ehsaas jo chhu gaya dil ko
Ki zindagi hi badal di
Itni ehmiyat di humko
ki koi chubhan, koi tapish na rahi

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2014 in Hindi

 

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