– My hair is thinning slightly and I compensate for it by keeping it short like Aamir Khan did in DCH. Although, I do see tendencies of Akshaye Khanna in it now! Anyways, I have also given a thought to growing my hair long and keeping a pony tail – along with the mandatory French Cut – Thought it would give a dashing young look! But, well, it has remained just that – a thought. Also, I get fidgety once the hair starts falling over my ears! BTW, is the Ghajini Mohican style in vogue now?
– I do not like heavy metal, hard rock, death metal (goodness?!),hard metal, rock stone, slow metal (and myriad other forms of such “music”) or anything that poses potential danger to my hearing. Hence, I despise even going to noisy places for that very occasional drop of sin (if you know what I mean;) ). Pink Floyd was, is and will be – the one!
– I used to love driving. Yeah, used to. Now, I just drive. And I try to keep my cool while bikers whizz past me with reckless abandon, cars honk from behind at a traffic jam (as if the sound waves emitted by that would clear the road for them!!), oncoming vehicles put on high beam lights in city roads, and office cabs cut me off as it was their birthright! All this, while I try hard emulating driving habits of Japanese drivers (in a single file)!
Of course, in an effort to justify the EMI going in for my car, I try and make use of the little comforts and momentary joys it offers, like listening to music – again, nothing hard, but soft, soothing music and once in a while retro – Kishore, Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar hits. However, that has never stopped me from muttering cusses under my breath whenever an aberration such as the ones pointed above happen to me!!
– Strangely, kids call me uncle! I say “strangely”, because, well…I am not an Uncle! I still like watching Tom & Jerry, I have started collecting Tintin comics (and am contemplating Asterix as well), I find the new-age computer games too addictive and exciting (forget your homework guys! Go ace Battlefield 2! ), and who doesn’t take a stroll down the toys section in Crossword to see if they have a plastic make of the M4 Carbine or the Beretta guns…I mean, who doesn’t!
– I have a slight paunch which just refuses to go. And lazy eyes, that just refuse to open up early in the morning so I can make that short trip to the gym. And an even more lazy mind, that just refuses to make that short trip to register for the gym. And to top it all, a shameless disposition that bares all this in front of you.
You’d think I would be embarrassed – Hey, after saying all those things above; whaddya know! I am maxed out!
The final verdict? – Yes, I am getting older – I am not afraid to admit – yes, I am! yes, I am!
Some chest thumping, eye – widening and fist-punching! Phew! That was a load off the chest………………………………………nah, it still hurts! 😦 Yeah, the chest thumping also!
Anyways, ever wondered how as we get wiser (ahem!), we start to feel nostalgic about our childhood and everything related to it – that tug at your heart while you came across your old school mark sheets or accidentally came upon a photo where you looked skinny amongst a group of other skinny kids and an elderly lady/gentleman sitting in the middle, and you ended up having that incredulous “is-that-me-without-the-paunch” look on your face Or a familiar song suddenly transports you to that rainy day which had been buried under for so many years or a call from one of your father’s family friends reminds you that you are still that chubby little kid for them?
No? Never had that feeling or that look or that call or anything?
Well, then there are endless possibilities for that to happen. To name a few –
1. You are as skinny now as you were then, OR
2. You pass by your school everyday while going to work and you know which brick was relaid the month before OR
3. You do not care much for those childhood memories – you work in the same place as you grew up! OR
4. Err….You are still in school…Is that possible? Well, it could be. I mean, Err, maybe you were a good student and, Err, you just loved studying so much that you decided to stay back!
That’s believable, c’mon!
Anyways, in the not-so-recent past, I had this wonderful opportunity to travel to Kolkata. More than being excited for the reason to go to Kolkata, I was teeming with joy at the prospect of a possible trip to Durgapur – the place where I was born, went to school, spent my childhood, had my first crush, saw my first failure, my first achievement, had my first(and last) pooping-in-my-pants-in-school experience, made friends, cried, laughed, and lived!
I could make it only a half-day trip. But to set foot in Durgapur in the wee hours of that morning, after almost a decade, was to say the least, poignant. While on the mini-bus (the cheapest mode of travel there) to my colony (CMERI), everything I saw seemed to tell me a story long-forgotten, but which was once part of my being (and probably still is). The colony where I grew up, the apartment blocks, the huge playground in front, the grocery shops, my school, the market place – it was all the same, except a little worn-out. Maybe I had expected it to look the way as I only knew it did – in my memories. Reality had a different look though. And yet, when I walked up the stairs of the apartment block where I grew up and stood in front of the house, even a slightly ajar door could not make me walk up to and knock on it. I so wanted to go in and see that home where I had taken my first steps, played cricket with my father and brother, spent time with my mother in the kitchen, but I just could not. Or maybe I did not. I still wonder why – maybe I did not want my memories to be tainted with colors of the present. I think that is what it was.
Years of city-living and “cosmo” thinking had probably buried the innocence that was once Durgapur for me.
It all came rushing by though, when in an internet parlor, the owner, on realizing I used to live there as a kid, exclaimed happily, “Ohh..tho tumi Durgapur-er chhele? Bah! Daarun tho!”. (Ohh, you are Durgapur’s boy? Wow! Great!) And I did not even know this person!
I left Durgapur in the cold January night, with a smile and a warm feeling inside.
I have now returned to the jungle, which is, so to speak, my life now – of rush hours, endless cups of coffee, heartbreaks, insecurities, temptations, instant gratifications, reality TV, sleepless nights, MTV, mobiles and laptops – a life consumed by the endless circle of wants, needs and desires – by products of a lifestyle obsession. But I have made a promise to myself that I am going to re-live a couple of days of that innocence once more – am going to see that sun rise from above the distant place which I thought was the farthest I could ever go, the dew drops on the playground early in the morning that made everything look so green, listen to the silence that was almost a way of life and smell the night fog – I am going to return to my childhood, if not for one fleeting moment.
…………or, maybe I could just get that Tintin collection on Amazon! It’s a steal!
Heart is after all a child G, aren’t it or not? 🙂
P.S : For the uninitiated and the majority who have started to think that I may have acquired a speech impediment, this is the much too literal (and phonetic) translation of the popular “Dil to bachcha hai ji”, from Ishqiya.
P.P.S : A.D.D.A stands for Asansol Durgapur Development Authority. However, in common Bengali parlance, it refers to “hanging around with your friends and talking crap over countless sips of tea”. And that is just one definition!