Friday, October 30, 2009

Right Ho!

A colleague of mine, C (mentioned elsewhere in this blog, for asking crazy questions and to be mentioned many more times in coming weeks for ‘adding value’ big time to our otherwise existential life in officeJ) is a major Bertie Wooster fan, to the extent of considering him a role model. In his own words, “What would you have prayed for as a school kid? Good marks at the max? I used to pray for a large inheritance so that I can just sit back and enjoy the well nourished life, very like Bertie Wooster. And of course, it would not hurt to have a Jeeves by my side. What more can one want out of life?”

He is right. He is thinking about the larger picture when he talks about the well nourished, laid back life. Somehow, that is what many of us are striving for, to run around and earn so that we can have a peaceful old age, the Jeeves factor being more of an add-on than hygiene, of course.

I digress, as usual.

I too am a big P. G. Wodehouse fan. However, when discussing Bertie Wooster with C, I realize that I am actually a major Jeeves fan though I am not sure of the ‘role model’ part. In all of P. G. Wodehouse’s works, while I have laughed my head off over the antics of Bertie Wooster, Gussie Fink Nottle and others of the clan, it is Jeeves who has always attracted me the most. Precise and in control of every situation, quoting from things unheard of by the general public, thinking miles in advance and planning and manipulating situations, knowingly and unknowingly making himself indispensable, networked enough to know the darkest secrets and latest gossips – in one word, or rather two, Jeeves rocks! Thinking back, inadvertently, I have strived to be a Jeeves in real life, trying to be in control of situations, thinking and planning to pounce miles in advance, networking big time yada yada with little or no success. I strive nevertheless.

Jeeves is a character I can never tire of unlike many other novels and characters. For instance, when I read dear Agatha Christie’s murder mysteries back to back, I get bored of the murders and the thrills and the evergreen game of suspecting the most non – obvious suspect. Beyond a point, even enjoying the smart moves of the indomitable Poirot and the petite old Miss. Marple becomes a weary exercise. However, I can read on and on about anything that involves P. G. Wodehouse’s Jeeves and still crave for more. My nearest term goal is to stack up the Wodehouse collection in my small in – house library, stand back and give a satisfied smile.

And, yes, I have been very nostalgic about my books today, all that I have been reading since the age of seven, ‘cos I was poring over them and arranging them in my book case through out last evening. The touch, feel and smell of books! What an enriching way to spend an entire evening!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Lov(n)ely Road

It was a never ending road, noiseless, devoid even of the occasional bark of the dog and the buzz of the bees.

It was a never ending road, pitch black and plunged in darkness, having escaped the clutches of the silvery moon light and the many twinkling stars.

It was a never ending road, bound by no fence or wall, slave to no tree’s roots and falling leaves.

It was a never ending road, uninhibited by the scorching heat and the freezing cold likewise.

It was a never ending road, with no way back to the start, with only one way ahead, and that, towards the never ending end.

It was a never ending road, out of the world, peaceful, lovely and lonely too!

Monday, October 12, 2009

ECR and me, with not much in between

If there is still something left that ties me to Chennai, other than school of course, it would be ECR (East Coast Road, Chennai). And, it has little to do with partying and the Fisherman’s cove or even just hanging out with friends, for that matter. ECR, to me, has always been a family thing.

The drive on ECR* with that totally beautiful, clear, deep blue sea on the left embraced lovingly by the light sky blue sky (!) with a couple of clouds adorning the spectacle, the wind gushing past hurriedly while still taking time off to my caress my hair, with a treasure trove of Rahman-Maniratnam combo songs going on loop in the car giving company while a brilliantly orangish red ball of fire sets now slowly, now rapidly, on the right! My, my! What a sight!

Being a sea person more than a hills person (not that I am adventurous when in / on / with either, only the ‘sitting back and enjoying’ thingy), the sea has always left me in a trance. Just that, finally, I am out of that fleeting stupor in which the coast revolved around Marine Drive and Goa! They are nice in their own way, but..

The Bay of Bengal is the most beautiful thing on earth!

I still vividly recollect those weekend trips to Prarthana theater, Muttukadu, Kovalam, Mahabalipuram, Pondicherry and Cuddalore! The destination only incidental, the journey on the ECR was always the subject matter of the trip!

It has been almost a decade since then, and I thought I had forgotten ECR, like how I seem to have forgotten the clean roads of Singapore and the biting cold of Kodaikanal (never gone anywhere colder than that yet L)! Yesterday, on a 90 km journey, ECR taught me how grossly wrong I have been all these years! And, no, I was not down memory lane on a nostalgic trip looking back at the fond memories! I was just enjoying ECR like we had never been away from each other for ten odd years, like how when you meet your best friend from school after many years, there is no ‘loss of words’ phenomenon, you just start talking with absolutely no disconnect in sight.

However, unlike other days, this time around, the destination was as much a subject matter as the journey, maybe even more important for a change. I finally, finally managed to go to my first live concert of the King of Music! It was an ARR night! And what a night it was!! Right from Khalbali (Rang De Basanti) to Dil Se Re (Dil Se) to Thamizha Thamizha (Roja) to Fiqrana (Blue), it was such a steal and such a steal with all my favorite songs (as if Rahman had heard my prayers J) that I just could not have asked for more!

The crowd went a little berserk, standing up, standing on chairs, standing on the poled fences, to catch a better glimpse of Him. I too went berserk, much to my Mom’s shock and amusement. Now my friends do I fully understand the total kick in going to a live show and jumping and cheering around with people more fanatic than me as opposed to sitting on my cosy couch in a suave living room and gobbling down shows with just chips and Fanta for company.

My long time dream is fulfilled now; I will go happy and all grinning to the grave!

P.S. Almost the whole of Tamil Nadu was at the venue yesterday. I was nowhere near the Mozart of Madras, the God of Music, to catch a full length, clear picture of him alone, forget taking a picture with him. And no, no autograph either. That is my next and only dream for this lifetime ;) But even otherwise, I will still go happy and grinning to my grave!

* I know it should be ‘the ECR’, but ECR in itself is a brand, a proper noun J