Friday, January 30, 2004

Over the last few days, whatever I have been writing (published or unpublished) seems to have a sombre touch associated with it. It's not that I don't know why. I know perfectly well. Over the past few days, I have been thinking a lot. Thinking seriously, if you know what I mean, thinking on the lines of what do I want from life, am I happy, the way I am, and where will I be a few years down the line.

Now, anyone who knows me well knows that I am not much of a planner as far as my own life is concerned. I just have a vague idea of what I am good at, and what I like. I also have some idea as to what I want to do. But then I am not the kind of person who plans out so as to achieve his goals. I am more of a hopeless 'hoper', one who hopes that things will all fall in their places, and I will be happy.

Now that doesn't happen in life. Very seldom does one get what one wants out of sheer coincidence. But I have realised the fact too late. And now that I have indeed realised it, I still don't see myself changing much. I still keep on dreaming dreams which my logical mind tells me are perfectly impossible. At this point, I would probably have said "God help me." but the problem is I don't believe in God either! I give up.

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

It takes all kinds of people to make the world. Some people are satisfied with whatever they get. They don't need a lot. A little is enough to make them happy. They do not generally have a strong opinion about anything. They are easy-going, and like to lead a peaceful and calm life.

Some people on the other hand know exactly what they want. They plan out their lives, and live accordingly. They need more to be happy. And they get more.

But do people change? Can a person who belongs to the former group become one of the latter? Can a strong-opinionated person, who has firm likes and dislikes, turn into a person, who is satisfied easily, satisfied with the second best?

A certain person is of the adaptive type. He can stay happy with what he gets. He does not ask for the best, because he can adjust and be happy with the second best. Then there comes a phase in his life, when he gets to taste the best. For some time, he knows that what he has is perfect. Now if the perfect is taken away from him, will he be able to be happy with what he gets? Or will he always compare what he gets with what he had, and could have had...the perfect? Are his values and his taste changed permanently? Or can he go back to his earlier easy-going accept-all ways of life?

Friday, January 23, 2004

The darkness of early dawn. The sun was yet to rise. The moon was there bright and shining up in the sky. The desolate roads, with an occasional human soul here and there, one or two shop-keepers, trying to make an early buck, and five weary travellers walking along, joking and talking to themselves.

There was no specific topic of conversation. Pulling each other's legs, praising each other's sense of direction (or the lack of the same), and wondering how far the sea was, that was about all that they talked about. Someone yearned for a cup of coffee. Someone had a heavy heart, with a lot to say, but no one to say that to. Someone was anxious about the future. Someone was dreaming about tomorrow and all other tomorrows to come. Someone was happy to be where he was. Each was blissfully unaware of the others' thoughts. Each lived the moment in his own private world, with the only thing in common between them being their destination, or at least their destination for that moment.

First it was the feel. The faint odour of the seaweeds, the heavy moist air laden with salt and water, the cool breeze. Gradually one got to hear the faint yet deep, heavy rumbling of the unimaginably powerful monster. Far ahead, the sky was suddenly clear of any buildings or trees or anything which usually makes up the skyline. A sense of thrill suddenly went through the minds of the five. Did someone shiver slightly, or was it pure imagination? A turn towards the right and they were there.

The sun was still deep down below the horizon. The dark blue water shone under the moonlight. The beach itself was rocky, huge black rocks stacked up precariously one on top of the other. Below, the sea crashed against the rocks in a spray of white foam again and again. The heavy rumbling from the depths of the mighty ocean was more intense.

A few loan boats were making their way back after a night of hard toil. A ship with sparkling lights stood still in the water, arrogant, and unimpressed by the waves that crashed against its hull. It had weathered many a storm in the course of its life. Black clouds lined the horizon at the end of the ocean, putting doubts in the mind about whether the sunrise will be visible.

They waited there, sitting or standing, as the clock ticked slowly. There were a few discussions, whether the sunrise will be seen or not, which is east, and if the chicken came first or the egg. Some sat quietly, lost in thought. Some stood there, staring, enthralled with the enormosity of it all.

Gradually, the sky became clearer. One could see better now. Visible at a distance were some pieces of wood, jutting out over the water's surface. There was a long jetty snaking out into the water, some way farther off. A few more boats came into the view, bobbing up and down in the swells. A lone fisherman struggled hard to bring his boat abreast the planks jutting out of the water. He started coiling up the nets which had been put there the previous night.

It was pretty bright by now. A few of the travellers stirred up from their positions, and started to get ready to return. It was generally agreed that the sun had already risen and was behind the dark clouds, so couldn't be seen. As they were about to make their way back, the sun proved them all wrong. A glimmer of deep red burst through the dark clouds, just beyond the horizon. The sun had risen, the day had started.


The brief respite from the drudgeries of daily life, the short time off was over. It was time to return, but no one wanted to.

It was the same five who were sitting on the black rocks, on the shore of the ocean. Below them, the incessant waves were still crashing against the rocks and breaking out in a spray of white foam. Occasionally, when the wind picked up, a few drops of water would be carried up to the people sitting there, and splash their faces or hands. On their two sides, there were endless number of people, sitting or standing, enjoying the beauty, with their own friends and family.

As the sun set behind their backs, a strange sense of freedom prevailed in the breeze, that buffetted against their faces. Here one was carefree, and not tied down by the rules that governs the behaviour of people back at home. For a brief moment of time, one was allowed the oppurtunity to forget who one was, and enjoy a sense of closeness and belonging, a sense of camaraderie, inspired by the ocean. The beauty of the ocean could only be appreciated, as one lost one's identity and felt oneself to be part of nature.

As they trudged their way back to the hotel, and later as they sat quietly in a car on the highway, each lost in their own thoughts, they carried back with them a memory, which would remain for ever, irrespective of whether anything else did or not.