Thursday, May 22, 2008

And then the old man said ...

Post Note : This is a one-time note. I am never going to write something like this again, and for no one else.

Like the archetypal character in Vinod's fantasy novels, each one of us in our lives has a "wise old man". He comes in different forms for different people. For some, its their fathers, for some its their uncles, their grandfathers, their neighbourly elder or someone. I found such an old man for myself in the early months of 2008. We immediately hit it off. He was about 3 years older to me, a man of principle and character. He was, so to say, someone whom I would like to live my life as sometime in the future.

In this place of "quick-to-change ethics" and magic words like "adaptability" and "fending-for-your-own", I had finally found someone who was "old school", who had the insight and the patience to look into the details, who used his homegrown intelligence to solve problems and someone who was oozing with confidence. He was someone I had once wanted to become. He was someone who made me realise that it was possible to live a life like that, someone who showed me how contentful it is to live likewise. He was someone who gave me hope.

Yet he was no superman. He was weak and vulnerable, just like me. I connected with him because I could. Very few could. But I was lucky. I was lucky to spend time with him. I was lucky to share thoughts. As much as I realised that it was only a tip of an iceberg that I could relate to in such a short time, it was still enough for my agitated mind. He could give me a sense of relief subconsciously which I had somehow lost in the past couple of years at IIT.

When I was packing my bags at IIT to return to my home for good, he came round and offered to accompany me, on my taxi, for the trip. I think I shall forever live under the assumption that this event happened just so that we could spend some more time together for one last time in THAT mode. Here's a brief conversation we had during that trip, amongst a lot of other "meaningless-yet-profound" transactions. (P.S : Don't mind the profanity, just look into the meaning)

He says, "You know what, you are a d**k."
I say, "Hmm?"
"Yeah, you are a d**k who is not interested in f**king."
"Hmm?" (BTW, this is the kind of response that I give to him whenever I want to keep him talking)
"Yes, and mind you, there are not a lot of people whom I consider d**ks."
"So what do you consider most of the people as?"
"Oh most of the people are c**ts. They are happy just getting f**ked. But you, you are the other kind, you are the one who has been made to f**k , but you're not realising it. You're simply not interested. Saumya Jain, work on this and you can really f**k the world. Realise your worth. You're a d**k and you know it!"
(I just smiled. At being called a d**k! And then he smiled, knowing that we both knew what had transpired in that heavily loaded Toyota Qualis speeding away on National Highway 91 on that scorching summer day)

I must say I was lucky to have stayed back in IIT that one extra semester. I was lucky to have met this wonderful person, who filled the proverbial much-needed-gap in my life. Here's to you, Raj, and I would gladly say that for me you have been the closest one to being the elder brother I never had.

Ball-Bearings, eh?

Oh Well, I might have lost my bearings, but I have surely not lost my balls!