The Human Aspect

In times of a crisis, different people react in different ways. During these times, many people overlook the little things. The small details which escape the eye. Or the small details which makes your will for survival stronger.

I like to call it 'The Human Aspect'. The Human element.


I saw a very excellent documentary on Discovery, Surviving Mumbai yesterday. And noted down these small details.

The gunmen rounded up some guests in the hotel and this woman, she was wearing a black evening dress. When they were rounded up, she quickly wrapped a black pashmina around her.
To appear as a 'conservative, middle-aged woman' to the Muslim gunmen. I think that was very quick thinking on her part. Or it could've earned her the gunmen's wrath.

This guy, he's hiding in a room in The Oberoi or the Taj (I forgot which one). He looks outside the window and there is a house in front of the hotel. He can view the inside of the house and he sees a man...brushing his teeth. The hotel in front of him is burning down, and he's carrying on brushing his teeth. Like nothing's happening.

A woman remarked that the terrorists wanted to wash their hands or something, but they couldn't open the taps. They could open-fire among a crowd but couldn't open a tap. "But when you have a gun." she said. "Everything is possible. Isn't that interesting?"

The staff of the Taj hotel were extremely helpful. They sealed the guests inside the Chambers and themselves remained outside and led the terrorists away from the Chambers. This guy who worked in the Taj had the chance of getting out and getting home to his wife and children, who lived just three blocks away. But he decided to stay and help. He died two days later. Vir Sanghvi wrote an article a while back, praising the dedication of the staff at Taj towards its guests even in such a crisis.

Anjali Pollack said, "When the doors finally opened and light spread out, a commando walked in. And I swear, at that moment...he looked nothing less than Brad Pitt to me."

I have a book which recounts the experiences of women detained at Concentration Camps during world war2.
One woman wrote that there was this other woman in the camp, who used her very limited ration of margarine to smear on her face, instead of spreading it on the bread. And they were given very little food.
There were a group of French women, who went inside the gas chambers in Auschwitz singing Marseilles.

In the camps, everything was so filthy and dirty, you couldn't clean up properly. Women's heads were shaved off and sparse little hair grew on them. But once, these girls encountered a French man who was exiting from the same door as them. He held the door open for them and said, "Apres vous, madame." Which means, after you, ma'am. That little gesture made them feel a bit more woman again.

My stupid keyboard's given out and on screen keyboard is not fun.

More later.

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The Only Thing

I go out, take in- a deep, long breath
fresh, so pure, almost dizzying
tangy, wet, oh the typical rain scent
Let it rain, I say. Let it rain.
You know why?
'Cuz this scent's the only thing, we both can smell.

I look around, move-the wind passes by
cool, so crisp, almost heady
nippy, ruffling, oh the typical rain breeze
Let it rain, I say. Let it rain.
You know why?
'Cuz this wind's the only thing, we both can feel.

I extend, my hand-and a drop falls on it
chilly, so raw, almost stunning
spotless, sparkling, oh the typical rain drop
Let it rain, I say. Let it rain.
You know why?
'Cuz this drop's the only thing, we both can touch.

I sit down, and listen-the sound of the clouds
brusque, so loud, almost pounding
snarl, rumbling, oh the typical rain roar
Let it rain, I say. Let it rain.
You know why?
'Cuz this roar's the only thing, we both can hear.

I look up, the sky-a vast stretch it is
blue, and black, almost bruised
murky, so sombre, oh the typical rain sky
Let it rain, I say. Let it rain.
You know why?
'Cuz this sky's the only thing, we both can see.

The Only Thing.

So dear rain,
Please do come again.

P.S. And this is my favourite song. :)
Death Cab for Cutie is SO good.
I'll Follow You Into the Dark

I will.

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Hide and Seek

You're here; we smile, knowing

I look away and back
You're gone.
I look around; and you've

I smile; 'cuz I know
And I look away-and back
You're here.
You grin, I laugh.

"Hide and seek?", I say
The glint-in your eyes, is

"I hide, you seek", you say
Roll my eyes; fine, I say
Close, you order; I do
I look away-and back
You're gone.

Behind the tree, between the leaves
Think I; look around, but you've

Behind the rock, hidden, laughing
I look around, but you've

Scratch my head, frown
Wondering; where possibly could
You have gone?

And then, see I, a shadow
Laughing-to myself; I walk
Stealthily; towards you, smirking

"Ah-ha!", I shout, pointing
But that-not you,confused
Not you.
I look around; but you've

I sit; despondent, miserable
I've lost you, I think, forlorn
I've lost you, this is it.

And there, you are, smiling
I cry and jump and hit you.
And you grin; I laugh-again.

You'll never, lose me, you say
But stubborn I, still, hold on
to you. Go on, try, you say

Afraid, nervous, but try
I look away-and back
You're here.

Convinced, happy, I smile
"Look away", you tease, I glare
You grin, I laugh-again.

What now, you ask, I shrug
"Hide and seek?", you ask, with a glint
"I hide, you seek", reply I.

You raise, eyebrows; challenged
Close, I order; you do
You look away-and back
I'm gone.

Let me hide,
Let me lose myself.
But please dear love,
Find me in the End.

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Undo it

Every once in a while, you hear something or see something that makes you appreciate what you have in life. That makes you thank your lucky stars. That makes you laugh at yourself for worrying about stupid, trivial things just five minutes ago.

L, the sweet, funny L, who made me laugh as we walked through the Haunted House, who made me smile instead of scream, is alone. I've just met him a few times, but I liked him instantly. Twinkling eyes, goofy grin-how could you not like him? He had all the comforts in the world.
And now, everything's gone. In a flash.
His father passed away today. How can it be? I had seen him healthy and happy on Diwali, laughing. Not fair, this. L's 13 too young. It can't be.
My Saru went through something like this last year, a week before finals. I remember her cry as I managed to call her from school; I remember trying to say something, anything but nothing came out. I remember everything.
I am unable to get it out of my head.
I'm in two minds over going there tomorrow. Can I bear to see the tears instead of twinkle?
Can I bear to see him like I had seen my Saru?
I don't know.
I just know that I want it undone.

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I am talking to Daggu, and time flies by. We're talking. Still.

Suddenly, I see the buses, at the other end of the field moving. "Bye!" I yell, and run off after the bus. I'm gonna miss it, I know. I run and I run, but my bus is gone. I still don't give up, still try to look for it, when suddenly, I trip. And crash on the ground.
Knees, bruised, hurt. I'm covered in dust, sitting on the ground and my bus is gone and its cold and I don't know how I'll get home. Pathetic, is my state. Barely anybody came to school today, so nobody could hold the bus.

Slowly, I get up and move a little, stretching my legs. Then I remember- Mallika's staying back today. She'll have her phone. I go back inside the building and find her. She tells me that I can go back with her, she'll leave at 4. Okay, I say. Lets see Behind the Scenes of Interact Thunder [Which is like a Battle of the Bands, scheduled for tomorrow!]
I hang around watching what they do, occasionally helping them out. Then we go to B.P. to eat something. When we get back to school, I find out that there's still loads to be done. She'll have to stay till 5 30. That won't do for me.

I decide to take the Stayback bus, which leave at 4. Although they take a longer route, I'll be home before 5. I search for my route and find my bus. I didn't want to be the only one in the bus, so I waited to see if anybody else was there.
There was.

So I got on it and settled myself nice and snug on the second last seat. I braced myself for fifty minutes of pure torture, with nothing to do. Tired, but alright. A boy, fat and bulky but cute, about three years younger than me, comes and stands beside my seat. Dressed in a jersey and shorts, football coaching after school, I think.'Hato, yeh meri seat hai.' he orders.
I'm exhausted and comfortable and I don't want to move an inch. I know I won't win if I fight, so I put on my sweetest voice.
'Aaj baithne do, pleaseeee. Just for today...' I say. His expression changes as I say please. 'Okay you sit' he says, and takes a seat adjacent to mine.
Magic Word. Or maybe because I look like a pathetic mess. Doesn't matter.
But Motu's face rings a bell in my mind.
"You're Sanchita's brother, right?" I ask him. Sanchita's my friend. I don't know her very well, but she's nice.
"Yes" he says and we start talking. His friends too enter the bus and take seats around him.
Awkward, uneasy, I look outside the window. But they were all smaller than me, so I hoped that they'd be busy in their own babble. They were.
Motu opens a bottle of Coke and holds it out to me. 'Didi?' he asks, asking me if I wanted a sip.
I'm touched. Seriously. I'm very touched. After a rough day, if a small kid offers you his beloved Coke, that seems about the kindest thing anybody can do.

As the bus starts, so does their conversation. They argue about who played the best and its clear that Motu's a bully. He hits anybody who says anything against him. But he's a good bully, not a harmful one, I realize. Good kid. I listen to their conversation, which contained a wide range of expletives. But since I've nothing else to do, and they seem pretty funny to me, I listen.

Enter Blue Jersey. Blue Jersey is taller than any of them, smarter and obviously much more respected. Motu daren't hit him and Blue Jersey daren't say anything to Motu. Mutual respect. But all the other guys were made fun of. They all looked up to Blue Jersey, they did. Anybody cracked a joke and everyone would look at him; if Blue Jersey laughed, the joke's funny. If he doesn't, katta! They all wanted Blue Jersey's approval.
But Blue Jersey's popular for a reason. He's the funniest, his mind the dirtiest and well, best in football, I gather.The bus stops and many people get down. So does Blue Jersey.
After some time, its just Motu, one or two people in the front and I.

Motu and I talk some more, when this guy older than any of them, in Ninth I'm guessing, comes at the back. He's wearing really weird jeans. "Aapka stop kaunsa hai?", he asks me. I reply curtly, and turn away. The jeans is giving me bad vibes. Weird jeans sits beside Motu.
"Chal yaar, mai tere ko ek gaana sunaata hoon." he says to Motu.
Motu refuses in his usual cute funny way. And surprisingly, he asks me. "Aapko koi gaana sun naa hai?"
"No, thanks." I say. Weird Jeans is actually Weird.
"So if I sing, aapko koi problem toh nahi hai naa?"
"Its your mouth, do whatever you want." I reply.

And. Believe it or not. He actually starts singing. Singing.
And not the latest hit. No. His song contains phrases like,
'Party mein jaaonga,
Scent lagaoonga'

I look at Motu, appalled, and he looks at me, appalled. I resist the urge to laugh, lest I offend him. Soon, I learned that he isn't the type who takes offense; his songs are entirely for our benefit.
And dear Lord, that was just the start. After that, came MANY other songs. 'Dil de diya hai...' and others. The guy just sang non-stop until he got off the bus. He kept asking us if it bothered us and after a while, we started replying in affirmative. But the guy was sincere to his singing.

It was when he started screaming in my ear that I asked him to get lost and he did.
After an hour, I bade goodbye to Motu and got off the bus. As I walked back home, a lame dog growled at me and I dodged him and almost got crashed into a car; truthfully, the lame dog scared me more than anything else had in the entire day.
And finally,
I reached home.

All my love,

P.S. Check out this link here. Its NaNoWriMo, a novel writing compettion, 50,000 words. I can't take part because I have pre-boards this month...but if anyone's interested, please go for it. :)

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Keep dancin, Shah Rukh

There are two kinds of people in this world: The ones who love Shah Rukh, and the ones who hate him. I belong to the former.
Well, okay, there are the ones who don't know Shah Rukh but, whatever.

Shah Rukh Khan has always been, and will always be, my favorite actor. The way he runs his hand through his hair, his two-dimple grin, his eyebrow-arch, all spell out this : A King indeed. ( I don't have a crush on him; he's older than my father!)

But on screen Shah Rukh is just the tip of the iceberg; there's so much more to him thats hidden from the world. His devotion towards his kids, his Mills-and-Boons love story with his wife, his love for sports, his charming personality and quick wit makes him just about the most popular actor in India.

This season of IPL, Kolkata Knight Riders won only a single match, I think. But I supported it throughout.
He's a self-made man, this Shah Rukh. Completely self made.

I'll meet him one day, you'll see.

Happy Birthay Shah Rukh. :)
These words are not empty; there's genuine affection behind them.

Anybody who says that Shah Rukh ain't good doesn't know what he's talking about. My opinion, pardon the tone.
And anybody who says 'Shah Rukh budhha ho gaya hai' is just deluding himself.
He's forty four years young today.

Aamirs and Brad Pitts are all good; but Shah Ruks's still Shah Rukh. Unbeatable.

Dude, you rule. Literally.

I don't care what anyone says; I know him from past life.

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