The aircraft was shaking violently. We seemed to be accelerating towards doom. It was getting increasingly cold. Suddenly there was the sound of a crash. I couldn’t see anything beyond that. And that was because I had just woken up from a nightmare. I realised that it *was* quite cold (a chilly december night) and then to my horror I realised that even though I wasn’t in an aircraft, the earth definitely was shaking quite violently and a crashing sound had just emanated from the huge godrej almirah lined up against the wall. The tremors were making it bang against the wall! Only my sister and I were in that room and my parents were sleeping on the floor above ours. The thought that the house might come tumbling down, crossed my mind inadvertently and I also wondered if I should go upstairs to look up my parents. Anyhow the earthquake passed, but I wasn’t able to sleep at all after that. That nightmare was one I have never forgotten and neither can I forget the jitters (literally) when another earthquake starts. I have become hypersensitive to any tectonic movement and generally feel even the mild tremors that happen during the day when everyone else around me is tapping away at the their keyboards or stoning their eyes infront of a monitor by staring at it. Tremors across the Delhi region had died down substantially, until the Bhuj quake. In those days, there used to be a lot of mild tremors which would again leave me sleepless the whole night as I would continue to watch the bulb hanging outside the neighbours door, swaying with the tremors. Over the years there were not many earthquakes again. Recently a lot of tremors have started showing up again. Delhi lies in the region classified as number 4 which is just 1 below the region most prone to earthquakes. This shifting of tectonic plates is gonna have a catastrophic ‘earth shattering’ result – say a lot of speculators. Are we sitting on a time bomb just about to time out?
There are only two things that everyone is talking about nowadays. I am oozing cricket and politics out from my ears. (Thank GOD for the naturalesque attribute of other orifices!!) Of course not to forget the mixture of both – cricket in politics (cricketers campaigning) and politics in cricket (what *are* all these friendly matches anyway, we’ll be eyeball to eyeball in a couple of months). Are we that low-brained a nation that we cant imagine anything else worth talking about? Or we are so blinded by the sheen of these areas (less found in politics though) that we dont even realise how much time, effort, revenue we are wasting in both or at least by going on talking about both. I am not a cricket aficionado anyway and politics is something well educated people like us stay away from by default, unless one has a family connection like the rahuls and the varuns of today. Why it is so, is an entirely different debate altogether. But at least I am not the “eat cricket, sleep cricket and drink whatever pesticide infested cola you may want” variety.
I silently aged another year on 31st march. Yeah folks it was my b’day but didn’t feel like it at all. Surprisingly, I had a tendency this time to almost forget abt it. I had to consciously remind myself that my b’day was approaching. I have always been good with dates (that would probably be an understatement according to some of my college friends) and I remember and wish ppl on time. I used to make a lot of efforts to make the birthday baby’s day special, if it was someone close but not anymore. Many of those who are in my age group, would agree that aging another year, or rather your birthday is no great day, nothing to look forward to as you try to battle with that sinking feeling that you are getting *old*. There was a time, when birthdays were a big deal. As a child one keeps waiting to quickly grow up and get out of school. Once there, you yearn to grow up fast and be independent. No rules and cash that is your own, seem like nirvana. Been there, done that, leads you to this stage, where I am in no hurry to grow any older than what I already am. It only translates into one word – pressure. Pressure to grow more, relative to your colleagues, pressure to earn more than that glamourous dame in office, pressure from parents to get married and once that would happen pressure to produce some kids coz all this while your biological clock is ticking away. It’s just not in sync with you, you who keeps trying to make yourself believe that you are still young at heart. Slowly but surely, it has changed from a time to think of what all you want to do ahead in life, to counting and feeling miserable about what all you *still* could not get done. I spent half of my previous year feeling aghast that I was going to turn another year older in a couple of months. No more of that. Someone said life begins at 40 or was it 30 or mebbe it was 27. Who cares?
There’s this colleague who gets in my office bus from my bus stop. Recently I have noticed that he’s changed his habit of sitting in the very front seat. Now he prefers sitting in the rear end of the bus even if there are empty seats in front. Once I pointed out to him that seats are empty but he just ignored it and went ahead and sat down at the usual vacant seat in the back. I wondered why this weird quirk all of a sudden. A couple of days later, I realised myself. There’s a new entrant in the bus – a buxom babe who gets in from the stop which is right next to ours. Both of them seem to like each other enough to sit together everyday :-). The devil in me is gonna make me do naughty things now >:->. I think I am gonna sit right next to this colleague for a couple of days.. ha ha.
My Pocketful of stars