Saturday, April 17, 2010

Life is Beautiful

Suddenly there was a loud noise and then everything was calm. It must have been fraction of a second but I still remember everything; as if my mind had taken a snapshot of that moment. Front seat of my vehicle had tilted backwards and my legs were trapped. The glass on the back side was shattered and there was dust all around.

So there I was going to a block on a routine inspection. Newly built highway was inviting and soon our vehicle crossed the speed of the three digit mark. I was enjoying the scenery of Buxa Tiger Reserve talking to S who had come on training in my subdivision and it was just any other day; but then it turned out it was not.

From the last few days there were numerous articles in the newspapers showing violations of traffic norms in my area. Particularly irritating were buses having scores of passengers sitting on its top. Ideally these checks are conducted by police and Motor Vehicle departments but at times enthusiastic SDO’s also do these.

At a distance, we saw a bus coming towards us and it had persons sitting on its top. In a strange fit of enthusiasm I asked my driver to signal it to stop. The bus did not pay heed and crossed past us. That was when it all began.

I asked my driver to stop and was telling him to note down its number and suddenly there was a big jerk along with a deafening noise. My driver had stopped; but what he probably missed was that behind us there was another vehicle speeding on the highway; and it was not able to replicate our action.

There was dust all around and we were trying to reconcile with what had happened. Luckily none of us was hurt barring a few minor bruises. Scorpio is a sturdy vehicle and it had absorbed all the shock. S still maintains that we must have been cursed by the vehicles on which I had imposed fines.

Whenever I look back, I cannot resist thinking why that happened. I should not have tried to stop that vehicle on highway, my driver should not have stopped on road, and the vehicle coming behind us should have maintained a distance. Anyway, that is not worth dwelling upon.

As I stood there trying to figure out our injuries, the first thoughts that crossed my mind were of my wife and family. Never in that half an hour did I think of the unfinished work lying on my table. So, though, many times we get lost in our work, we should never forget for whom we are working for.

I also felt the transient nature of our existence. Life can go in flash of a second and we may not even know. I felt a strange pain for that Scorpio. It was a beautiful new vehicle and after that incident, its beauty was suddenly gone. We thanked God that we did not meet a similar fate.

Standing on that road, waiting for some other vehicle to pick us up, I also realized that being alive is a wonderful feeling. I feel bliss when I breathe the fresh air, when I see the green bushes of Tea Gardens and the colorful mountain stretches beyond them in Bhutan. I also I feel bliss when I write this, when I wait for your comments on my blog, and when my wife teases that I am just another ordinary writer.

Life is Beautiful. Indeed!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Better Left Unsaid

Strange are the ways of Love.

The first thing she noticed was that he did not brush his teeth. He was somewhat fat, somewhat lazy and enigmatically interesting. She had known him for three months; and she hadn’t in real sense. They were put together in a group of ten that went together on ‘Bharat Darshan’ and that was when their journey began.

Bharat Darshan is a two months tour in which bureaucrats are sent to discover India. At the end of the journey, discoveries are not confined only to ‘India’. It is an experience in itself and two months of continuous journey bring out the best and worst in all. Ten people who are randomly put in that group often end up as best of friends; and in some other cases avoid each other for lifetime.

So their journey started along with that group. There was something that pulled them together. Both of them lacked enthusiasm that new tourists have, both of them had a flair for cards and both of them were loners. One thing led to another and soon they realized that there is something that binds them together.

Nothing in this world is more beautiful than falling in love and you cannot appreciate this as long as you experience it. They carved a world out of themselves and they talked about anything and everything. When you fall in love you realize that there is so much you have to talk about. There is nothing that is stupid; there is nothing out of bounds.

They were away from their friends and families, away from their ‘roles’ and there was nothing else that mattered. But then, all good things come to an end!

Many relations are best left undefined and same was true probably for this case. The problem started when they tried to name their relationship. It was the last day of their journey and boy proposed the girl.

She denied that she was in love with him; she also denied she was ever in. In fact her marriage was settled and she had known that boy from last five years. It was going to be a love cum arranged marriage and she was prepared for it. Her eyes were dry and plain and this was not the girl he had known.

It is difficult to understand women but the men never mind trying. He tried to argue, he tried to convince but somehow she had made her decision. She was not ready to take on the world and defy her social role.

From some distant corner they heard a song being played:

मेरा कुछ सामान तुम्हारे पास पड़ा है,
सावन के कुछ भीगे भीगे दिन रखे हैं
और तुम्हारे ख़त में लिपटी रात पड़ी है,
वो रात बुझा दो, मेरा वो सामान लौटा दो.

Many things were left unsaid and for the last time in their life they hugged and cried together. Bharat Darshan had come to its end and so had their relationship.