Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I Still Owe Her Dinner

In the corporate world, farewell mails are commonplace. It is customery to thank your supervisors/peers/sub-ordinates and leave on a semi-nostalgic, cordial note. Who knows, you may have to work with them sooner than you think.

People who you have spent 10 hours of your weekdays with (God knows for how many months, maybe even years), gone out for drinks & dinner with, make their way out of your life with calculated ease. The push of the 'send' button and poof, all obligations are put to rest.

However, every now and then, a farewell mail comes along that strikes a chord. One in which the words written convey emotion, not social obligation.

Yesterday was a co-worker and dear friend's last day at work. So when the expected farewell mail reached my inbox, I thought I had a fair idea of its content and intentions. However, after I read the mail I found myself sitting motionless, staring at my monitor, and at a complete loss for words. This one didn't just strike a chord, it strummed one hell of a sequence.

(Pasted is an excerpt. There were a few more personal messages but I've just added the part addressed to me.)

TS -

Thank you TS! For being the person you are- straightforwardly enigmatic, and for being the writer you are- simply brilliant! The Wander Years and TS will always hold a special place in my heart for inspiring me to write again. For all the contrsuctive criticism, for the uncomplicated friendship, for godknowshowmanydrinks, for the appropriately timed messages, for dancing rarely but oh-so-sweetly (haha!), for the hairband look (forever etched in my mind), for the books you will write and are already on my list of favourites (check Orkut!) and for taking punctuation to a whole new level… Of course, none of this changes the fact that YOU still owe ME dinner!!! Hehe… You’re the best. Much love. I know what kind of an idea you are…

WHAT KIND OF AN IDEA ARE YOU? Are you the kind that compromises, does deals, accommodates itself to society, aims to find a niche, to survive; or are you the cussed, bloody-minded, ramrod-backed type of damnfool notion that would rather break than sway with the breeze? The kind that will almost certainly, ninety-nine times out of hundred, be smashed to bits; but, the 100th time, will change the world.

When I saw her later that evening, there were a million things I wanted to thank her for...
  • for being there for me,
  • for the honest criticism of my articles,
  • for getting my left-feet moving (even though it meant taking my hand and dragging me to the dance floor),
  • for being the first one to NOT ridicule the hairband (and understanding that I was inspired by Farhan Akhtar and NOT Abhishek Bachhan),
  • for calling me DON,
  • for writing again (I may have wept after reading Teresa),
  • for teaching me how to mix lyrics and literature,
  • for making Friday's something to look forward to, and of course,
  • for letting me believe that I'm an idea...
But I didn't say any of that. Instead I smiled and said, "I still owe you dinner."

Thursday, March 15, 2007

This One's For Me

I gave the sky a long, hard stare; and said to Him: “This one’s for me…”

Then I closed my eyes and took a deep, deep breath. While exhaling, as the air escaped my lungs, transformed, I allowed myself to drift into oblivion. Into one complete moment of nothingness.

Not surprisingly, that moment coincided with the change of track. Where do you think you’re going gave way to Tunnel of Love. My mind then drifted into the past. Images; some lucid, the others blurred. One particular image stayed in my mind, countless eyes conveying a desperate dream, a dream they were certain only I could realize. It was also my ticket to unquestionable immortality.

Someone patted my shoulder, in an attempt to bring me back into reality. I opened my eyes, took out the earphones and looked up. My partner was standing there, transfixed, but the look in his eyes said everything.

I nodded in familiar confirmation because I knew it was time.

The next five minutes were routine; one I had followed for over 18 years. Once I was ready, I gave my partner a quick glance and we started walking towards the stairway.

The walk was long, and the voices in my head were far louder than the cheer of the onlookers.

When we reached the pitch, while parting ways to walk towards the opposite ends, Viru punched me on my arm and whispered in my ear: “Leave this one to the rest of us...”

Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar (born 24 April 1973) is an Indian cricketer who was rated in an article by Wisden in 2002 as the second greatest Test batsman ever, after Sir Don Bradman. He holds several key batting records, including the most Test centuries, most ODI centuries and the most runs in ODI cricket. He is also the most capped player currently playing international cricket. He received the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, India's highest sporting honour, for 1997-1998, and the civilian award Padma Shri in 1999. Tendulkar was a Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 1997. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest batsmen ever.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Framed on the wall of a club I frequent:

"There was a time during 1976-1977, when the record business went crazy. That was when Hotel California came out, and Saturday Night Fever, and also Rumours by Fleetwood Mac. That was the music business at its decadent zenith. I seem to remember that the wine was the best and the drugs were good and the women were beautiful and, man, we seemed to have an endless amount of energy. Endless stores of energy. Hangovers were conquered by Bloody Marys and Aspirin. You were resilient."

Glenn Frey

(I somehow relate to it a lot.)