Feel. Think. Express.

Saturday, April 29, 2006

An encounter of the eighth kind

After a couple of hours of staring into a screen, I stepped out into the darkness that had fallen onto the road outside the lab. The road was wide, lit by sodium vapour lamps. They weren't enough to probe into pockets of darkness that hung beneath the trees. Well manicured grass stretched evenly from the illuminating haze into the darkness beneath the trees. The sky was clear. A thin crescent moon hung low in the sky; a face with a faint smile.

Under the tree, I saw a shape in the grass. It munched on the grass, in the cover of darkness. Shy animals by nature, the clever rabbit had found a safe dark clearing in a spot where two roads crossed and four lamps threateningly watched. People walked right by without noticing him. I biked right along him, too see what he looked like. He was shaped like a grey furry easter egg. His back was facing me but both his large ears followed me as I biked in an arc around him; like a radar antenna following a plane. I slowed down as I passed him; he gave me a sideward glance; not alarmed, but seemingly annoyed, "can't you see i am eating?" I apologized without saying a word and went on my way.

Further down the road, the lights had dissapeared. A large family was walking down the sidewalk with two of their dogs; enjoying the cool night. While one dog walked with the group the elder fellow took it upon himself to scout on ahead. I suppose it was route he knew well. I was biking a few feet behind him on the road while he trotted on ahead. A pedestrian crossing came along. He turned towards the road and looked the other way and then, saw me. He didn't expect to see me and was fully prepared to cross. As soon as he did see me, he stopped and looked at me, and smiled, "after you". I biked on ahead and turned back to see him cross, along a straight line, right in the middle of the pedestrian crossing.

In a couple of minutes, I was at a red light. Trucks and cars whizzed past me as I stood and wondered.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Is a blog is mightier than the sword ?

Reports are just pouring in. Judge for yourself - if a blog is mightier than the sword ?

Purdue Grad Student Charged with Making Threats Against President Bush:


Suspect in Okla. Girl's Killing Had Written About Cannibalism in his blog:


Thursday, April 13, 2006

1 / 365

It comes once a year. Starts at 0:00. Wishes are made. Candles are blown. Midnight snack is smeared on faces. Phone calls pour in. Congratulations flood in. ISD calls are made. Greeting cards try and express blessings. The sun seems specially bright that day. Birds seem more chirpier. Gifts (need I mention free) are unwrapped. 11:59 rolls over and the party stops. Almost as if everything turned back into the pumpkin. The next 364 days seem to be clones. But isn't one of those 364 someone else's birthday / special day. "As if I care" / "Whatever", apart from eating that cake & for a few minutes, seems to be the unspoken thought of many in that 364X24 hours. Is there something wrong with this picture. Isnt today someone's birthday? Then why not feel that same special feeling even today. Why is the sun specially here for you today ?

Friday, April 07, 2006

What matters

A few days back, I was watching TV with my roommate. The anchor on the show that we were watching was interviewing an author, who had recently written a book on Manliness. Towards the end of his talk, the author remarked that the average American woman spent around one-third of her time at work and the remaining two-thirds at home and that was the way it should stay. My roommate, in his mid twenties and single, told me that it was indeed a good formula and that was the only way one could hold a family together.

The next day, I happened to talk to another friend of mine who told me that she was almost certain that her life after marriage would be void of any excitement and time for herself; the only thing she could look forward to was the mundane and a life characterized by the fulfilment of responsibilities, nothing more.


Thinking back, I don't remember which small town in South India I was in. I don't even remember why I was in that town or with whom I had journeyed there.

I remember that it was evening. The sun had gone down but there was still enough light. The street lights hadn't come on. I was sitting in a bus; a town bus; the name given to a bus that shuttles between towns. The bus was parked in a road side bus-stand. It wasn't full when I boarded it and it began to fill up with old men chewing pan, old women, a few hunch backed, hawkers, flower sellers and wage earners.

Amid the din, I saw a young couple climb up the steps into the bus. They appeared to be in their late twenties. I pictured the man as one who you would find working in a local textile mill, or in a shop, or as a carpenter. He came across as a person who would consider the acquisition of bicycle as a moment to remembered. He was dressed in a neatly ironed dull checked shirt and a dark trouser. On his chest he carried his sleeping child. The child would have been around three or four. His wife seemed to be dressed in her best sari. Bright, neat and immaculate. Her face was powdered with talcum and she wore a bright red pottu on her forehead. Being the end of the week, they might have been on their way to her parents' house in a nearby town or just visiting a bigger town for shopping. She seemed quite excited. She walked very close to her husband, very much like young lovers and newly weds do. Her husband wore a stoic expression on his face. It neither betrayed his worries or the happiness of being with his wife and child. They settled into a seat for two, with his wife taking the one by the window.

A flower seller walked past the bus and the wife commented that the flowers seemed very pretty. The husband asked her to hold onto the child and quickly darted out of the bus. His wife, holding on to her child, looked anxiously out of the window. He was back in a few moments with a large bunch of woven flowers in his hand. He knew how to part his wife's hair and place the flowers in them, just the way she liked them. She was holding onto her child and brimmed with contentment. He didn't say a word. He quietly took back the child, sat beside her and put it across his chest.

The conductor blew on the whistle. She was smiling and he had his stoic expression; they were happy. The bus rumbled forward.