Wednesday, 28 June, 2006

Chronicles of Sonwada : Sunday

The Early Riser : Sam

Warm air mellowed their home. Sonwada was an early rising village like most villages in India. Sam - the wannabe villager got up early like most villagers in India. He welcomed the sanguine Sonwada air with his own air. Sonwada was now warmer. Early mornings in Sonwada inspired Sam to pen some poetry too, warm poetry :

Subah hoti hai, havaaon mein garam khushbu hoti hai,
Murga bolta hai, suraj ki komal kirne girti hai;
Lota beckon karta, usmein bhi ek alag mazaa hota hai,
Potty hoti hai, havaaoon mein phirse alag khushbu hoti hai

Sam embarked on his sojourn on the Road Less Travelled. With a jaunt in his step, he resembled a sloth on viagara. That was how he described his renewed vigour. Am and Damn blisfully slept. Damn fantasised playing football with kids and starting a Rural PR Agency for Sonwada. He would employ the kids in a unique form of child labour wherein he'd give lessons on football, guitar and "how to pull Sam's leg" as remuneration. Am in the meantime was dreaming about rural women: The "gaon ki goris", all in backless cholis and alluring waist-lines. He had thought of cladding up in a dhoti and a sleevless kurta. At 5 ft 10", Weighing 58 kgs, he had an envious physique. He even anticipated the gori's sayin "Anuj ni body to jo - ekdum Himesh jevi che."

Sam, at that moment, was treading the Road Less Travelled. The man was thinking about how Buddha attained enlightenment under the tree at Bodh Gaya and was hunting for his own place at Sonwada where he'd renounce his desires and lead a pious life. "Abstinence from guys and cows whom he ogled at in his teen-age days", is what Sam pledged for himself. Sam was nineteen. Sam often questioned things like - is there life after death? He promised to call from wherever and tell Am & Damn really soon. They were waiting.

7.30. a.m. - Sam returns to popular culture. Aam junta infested Sonwada Proper tell Sam - Koi Shaq, Whaaazzup!. Seeing Damn on the bed with "Arms Wide Open" turns Sam On. (Read: Damn is sleeping). Sam tries to cuddle Damn. At that very moment Damn is busy playing a football match with the kids in his dream. The ball passes the midfield and moves towards the undefended part of the field. Damn, at his tactical best, does a fantastic one-man act and goes for the Roberto Carlos 30-yarder to go 1 up in the first half. As the kids strengthen their defense, Damn takes a deep-breath and lets go. At terminal velocity, his legs move to hit the ball/s.Ouch.It's a goal!

Am & Damn finally get up to Sam's crooning of "I love you O Sayonee", the latest Himesh anthem. Ofcourse, Am and Sam ended up in a brutal fight wherein Sam was ummm..brutally beaten up. Am tried the pile-driver, tombstone and the rock bottom simultaneously on Sam. Sam was ummm.. brutally beaten up. Sam tried the two legs in the air kick (read: not flying kick). It was remarkable how me managed to stay in the air for 1/173rd of a second. A feat in human acrobatics. Ofcourse, he came crashing down and he was ummm.. brutally beaten up.

Meanwhile, Damn was tryin to teach the kids football. Ofcourse, the consequences weren't as grave as his dream cum reality episode. The kids learnt various skills on how to kick the ball with their foot and foot only. On how holding the ball in their hand would make it another form of football though there was really no foot involved. The kids learnt a lot. Damn taught them how to not mistake shperical portions of human anatomy for footballs. The kids learnt a lot.

The rest of the morning was dedicated to village sight-seeing and dropping into random homes. The villagers were a cohesive unit. It was as if the families were asked to live seperately to promote the concept of "My Home, is strictly My Home". The concept failed miserably. The city-dwellers were awestruck. They thought of promoting this culture in Bombay too. Sam suggested, "Wish we could enter random-homes too. Not random really. Since Mumbai is so big, we could zero upon homes occupied by the opposite sex between the age of 19 and 19." Sam was a focussed guy. For him, it was cows, men and cow-shaped women aged 19.
Am, Sam and Damn relished the elaichi flavoured milk for the 14th time (n is the 14th alphabet).

Am and Sam took photos of naked kids to show people the "Real India". It was a pity that city-dwellers looked at villages with a derogatory eye. Alas! if happiness was the purpose of life, they sure had achieved it. If one could smile involuntarily, live with heads held high, have nutritious food and find contentment in the moment - what else would you ask for?

Of course, the argument veers onto - A cocooned life, exposure to real world curtailed, limited opportunities, the need to break free, the need to connect, information-penetration, infrastructure - the works.

From the eyes of a management, systems & processes student - the village, for Am was at the threshold of growth and progress. But on a philosophical note: the village had gotten its basics right. Am further added, "They've set certain basic rituals for themselves which they thoroughly enjoy and relish. Their need for instant-gratification is very low because of their constant exposure to Nature's Law of Exponential Growth. The villagers sleep with a sense of serenity and quiet because they indulge in a lot of physical labour. Their belief in natural cure to various ailments makes them internally healthy and strong. Aversion to medication and practice of the age-old ayurvedic healing therapies ensure immunity to common diseases. The fresh, unadulterated air which Sonwada breathes in by default is another boon.

10.00 a.m
. - Industrial Visit - Excel Process Pvt. Ltd.

Industry : Printing, embossing and affiliated

Company Profile : Manufacturing of metallic logos for electronic companies, banner and other outdoor publicity etc.

Purpose:- Study manufacturing and factory process. Factory labour-orientation, industry orientation, supply-chain and management practice (plus personal interpretation)

Am wondered how men from villages around Valsad worked for as many as 10 hours and all they did was punch holes in steel. They surpassed all conceivable levels of monotony and industriousness. Made him wonder how they'd define happiness and joy in their lives? The need for security it seemed was their driving force.

Their trip at Excel enlightened them on the many practical aspects attached to their beckoning management education. Interactions and conversations furthered their learnings. It was a holistic scan of the factory and its various manufacturing activities.

Sonwada Calling :-

Mohan Bhargaw a.k.a Damn

Post Lunch, the three returned fondly to a place called "home". A Bumpy chaggda ride took them to Sonwada. Damn was shot in various Swades-ish poses in the chaggda. Their eccentricity invited some serious glares. They continued. You guessed right. They had to.
That Sonwada afternoon was weird. Time was running out. The Attachment continued. Memories had to be created.

Tangents were drawn :-
1. Life on earth is short.
2. We have to die.
3. We still worry about it.
4. Funny.
5. We are neither here nor there.
6. Kyun?
7. Haso, Jeeyo, Khush raho, Muskuraon - Kya pata... Kal ho naa Ho
8. Profound.

Anyway, Am and Damn went on a cycling expedition on the Road Less Travelled. They tried to spot the famous tree at Bored-Gaya. They saw a cow somewhere in the distance. They saw a tree close to the cow. They knew they had found "The Tree".Kaachu Limbu and Sachin followed them on foot. Sachin was a monster for his age. The man and his machine (inset: Sachin with his bicycle)
Am tried to flaunt his expertise on the cycle. He was soon directed into a ditch by Sachin. Damn laughed. Obviously.Am was a massive show-off. He had a fetish for his physique. His biceps gave most women a complex. He was well-built.

Sam: He was resting at home. He was missing someone. Lost in thought, he reacted to a name uttered somewhere outside. He could hear it faintly. He knew it. It was that 'special' someone. He could now hear it right outside his home. He couldn't believe his ears. How could they miss " " too. Sam was very popular in Sonwada because he was closely related to the "special" someone. Infact, Sam had a fan following.
"Some people have all the luck," said Damn reacting to the women queing upto see Sam. "I'd prefer being unlucky", replied Am.Just by the way, that 'special' someone was - you guessed it right - *drumrolls* "Himesh Reshamiya".Yes, Ladies and Gentlemen you heard it right : HIMESH.

Scoop - Himesh happens to be Sam's first cousin. They share common tastes in music and other nose related hobbies like snorting, sneezing and nose-picking. Of course, Sam doesn't wear a cap. He is a wee-bit more image conscious.

Time flew. It happens when you're partying. holidaying, chlling with friends, on weekends, and generally when you're enjoying doing what you love. Life'd be much more shorter that way and also much more of a celebration if we only did what we truly love.

As the warm (natural warmth) evening air settled itself on Sonwada, it was time for these youngsters to pack their bags and head home to the hysteria of a bustling metropolis. Their motive was simple. To transcend the calmness of Sonwada into their relatively turbulent lives. Implementation, of course, was another ball game.

As they moved out of Sonwada, they captured their final moments on camera. The same women lined up on the verendah to bid them adieu. The same kids jumped with the same joy as they had expressed when they arrived.

And they realised that it was not momentary, fleeting, transient experiences of joy for them. It was something higher, deeper, sweeter. It was perennial. It was the pure joy of welcoming life and all its experiences with open arms and surrendering to it totally that gave them "Joy".

Sonwada felt alive as they left. And maybe, they too.

Disclaimer: All events in the above narration are definetly non-fictitious. Any resemblance to three youngsters alive or dead is purely intentional. The author is responsible for the above story. Apparently, the author of this chronicle has decided to holiday in Europe for 12 weeks or any amount of time till Sam regains composure and stability.

Thursday, 22 June, 2006

Snapshots of Khandala

Me & Miti (Filmy)


The Ace Photographer (read:Me) - My personal favourite - A Silhouetted Miti

1. The Garden --------------------2. The Poolside-------------- 3. & the Home

S.Cho and I (left) - Game of Cricket

Maiden Rain (right)

Wednesday, 14 June, 2006


I penned this during that languid, guiltless summer vacation after the tenth grade. I just got hold of it from our batch of 2002's msn group and was thrilled to bits. The poem is ridiculously simple in its construct. Back then, i didn't pretend to be intelligent. Of course, I was glad to know that i've been a relationship optimist ever since i've made friends. Was very much one in the tenth grade too. Touchwood it's been the same till now. The poem is dedicated to all my friends. The people i've known. The people who've shaped and sculpted me to help me become the person i am today. This poem is specially dedicated to my chud-bud Vishal who is in NewYork. Also to the famous Perva and Ranga. I am nostalgic. Obviously.

The biggest name one gives to a relationship, is the wonderful name of friendship,

It starts of with a hello-hi, and it doesn't end even end after you die,
I think and think for long within, that Am I the luckiest man living,
cause i have friends lovelier than the sky, who can make me laugh and also cry,
I am proud to be a part of them, cause without them i'd just be a stem,
with no leaves, no flowers, no fruit, a lonely tree without a root,
This world as it is, a living sorrow, with tragedy and distress a part of tommorow,
And its in times like these you need, your friends comfort and his heeds,
- Cause if tomorrow something happens to me, I am sure my friend will be there to see,
What's wrong with this foolish friend o mine, who was hale and hearty till yesterday's nine,
and God whatever the matter be, just make sure he is there with me,

But then - the boding fear comes to me! What if he suddenly leaves me? :

I will be shattered, i will be ruined, i will be alive and yet marooned,
alone in an island of sorrow, waiting as if there was no tommorow
i'd hate to see such a day,but such things always come our way,
but then i know, so what if he's away,so what if i can't be joyful and gay (gay=happy)
i know he's there, thinking about me,and that my friend is the key,
to this beautiful world of friendship, where time and space cannot break a relationship,
no one can come in its beautiful way, where a friend cannot even go astray,
cuz' you have the power to hold him tight, with a hug that comes from within your heart,
even though it may just be a thought, it proves that the two can never part,

The love for a friend is immortal,and this my friend is the biggest moral,
Friends Live, Friends Die, Friendship lives forever - and ever.

Anuj Gosalia
Peru fan
Coldplay fan
Wannabe poet too

Wednesday, 7 June, 2006

& Being Alive

The chord struck seamlessly throughout the night,
The guitar, it seems, hummed a succulent delight;
In those meditative rythms I found my Joy,
The celebration, for me, of 'Being Alive'

I played the perfect shot, off my bat,
And each ball i faced was akin to a new breath;
In the meditative Stroke-play I found my Joy,
Hitting the sweet-spot of my life, I came Alive

That test I aced, I do not know how,
The fringe benefits, i guess, of being in the NOW;
In the meditative number-crunching I found my Joy,
The celebration called life, & of 'Being Alive'

Danced that night like I never did,
Ignored I comments that seemed once rancid;
I danced for myself, I found my Joy,
In those meditative movements i came Alive

Chillin' at the cafe, we made some noise,
Reflections of tireless energies and unbundled joys;
In the meditative randomness, I came Alive,
The joy of nothingness became my joy

The raindrops caress us as we kiss,
Unknown eyes see us from her coffee chalice;
And in that stilness of time, i find my Joy,
That thoughtless moment makes me 'Feel Alive'

As words run on this paper white,
Darkness gives way to the cliched light;
And in the meditative cliche i find my Joy,
The Celebration - Life - & Being Alive

It is this singular moment in time, that goes as I write,
which left unlived will go out of sight;
In these meditative silences I find my Joy Again,
Dont Live.
Come Alive, I pray, cuz tomorrow : Nature may just end the game

Anuj Gosalia