Constants and Variables

I thought I was well read,

One of those who are, and happily so.

Alas, books choose to defy,

The countable status which upon them is often conferred.

For every Blyton, Archer, Rowling and Isaacson of mine,

There are Salinger, Seth and greats akin.

As I read their chronicles, of feats and fears,

I wonder how much I’ve missed out on, in the past four years.

 

I knew things when I first came to college,

Or so I had assumed.

The random fact, the attention to detail,

That’s the quizzing for which I’d been groomed.

It took a two on thirty,

To jolt me out of my reverie.

 

I was hardworking or as they call it these days, intelligent,

The torchbearer of the family and the school.

The torch has long gone out,

And the bearer has dwindled into the crowd.

Only to emerge for a while with momentary ebullience,

Much like his idol’s slice and the rarely seen glance.

 

All those days spent in ‘hatred’,

Of people, things and oneself, as well,

Seem futile now.

Apathy is the answer, as is pointed out,

By India’s literary popstar.

Boy, I hated his work and how,

Doesn’t matter, cause I’m indifferent now.

 

This could have been a funny blog, I now realize. I’d asked Saini for inputs regarding what I had in mind. And today, three days thence, he came up with this gem- “I thought rivers originated from oceans. Till the 1st or 2nd grade. Used to think that there is so much water. Some of it might have come in.” Funny thing that his present day version doesn’t know what osmosis is. Maybe, that was just an early indication of his proclivity for ‘creativity’.

Nonetheless, Saini’s creative spark sent my memory scurrying in search of ingenious explanations that I might have had during my torchbearer days. I found none. Well, except for the indelible memory of me referring to the male protagonist of Kaho Na Pyaar Hai as “Lipstick Lotion.”

 

Glibness it seems,

Was never meant for me.

The fear of being laughed at, and being deemed a fool,

Was too strongly instilled for me to overrule.

Quietness often misleads people,

Into thinking that you’re in the know.

Might even give you that air of mystery.

I’d take that over being deemed hysterical.

 

Age is a funny thing. I recollect a conversation from back in the mid-teens.  A friend was being berated on his birthday for his appalling uselessness. “Dude, look at De Gea. He’s two years older than you and his life is set”, chimed one of us. Only if we knew. Today, it is hard to digest that the likes of Rashford and Zverev(who will replace Federer as the player I root for, once the latter retires) are younger than us. Playing the senior samaritan nobody is tough. Watching a person at a stage of life which you’ve passed and learning what one was capable of doing at that stage, tougher still.

 

Enough of the changes, 

The constants abound too.

Regret, overwhelmingly at times

Over decisions, relationships, tempers,

Continues to be incessant.

Only to be matched by the serenity,

Of Centre Court and riding shotgun.

 

The desire for opposites persists.

Solitude is craved,

Yet attention required.

Pride is taken in perfect recollections,

Yet a goldfish’s memory is sought.

 

I think Shakira’s “Hips don’t lie” was the first English song that I heard. Her “Waka Waka” was the first English song that I listened to. Explorations on Rediff music and my desire to ape Umang Sanghvi led me to Linkin Park, Green Day and Backstreet Boys. And yes, Hoobastank’s “The Reason”. My music choice, it seemed to me, was instrumental in my acceptance or rejection. The things you’re judged for. I find myself on the jury, these days. Classic rock gets the nod of approval,  while EDM is looked down upon, at least for me. The point being that when we’re wronged, we promise ourselves not to do the same thing to someone else. We believe that we’re better than the other hypocrites, but we aren’t. This world doesn’t allow us to be. Call it escapism, if you will.

 

A vestige remains,

Clinging on to the embers of the years gone by,

And the belief that I had got at least some things right,

That it was possible to do something,

And that things sometimes,

Don’t get worse, but better.

 

And lastly you, the holy city,

My muse for the last two months.

Hating you has given me strength,

To vile away the days here, which are now numbered.

The choice was wrong, no denying that,

But I’ve gotten used to the freedom, the lack of strife,

As will I one day, to this ephemeral life.

 

 

 

 

 

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