Monday, December 20, 2010

An awaiting symphony

Some rain here some thunder there
Blew a breeze among the fluttering leaves
A symphony emerges amidst those swelling waves

But Where are we all running to
To an orchestra in tuxedos or to an opera in gowns
Oblivious, as nature conducts its diligent score

Hamsters stuck in a wheel we are
Yet gloating at our achievements
Pause, breath and step out of that wheel
A symphony awaits for an audience

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A transparent state

States high was a normal high school. Bitchy teenage girls, football jocks, geeky nerds, sprinkled with a few goths. A formula for a classic high school. Sleeping around were jocks, wishing to be sleeping around were nerds and world was a fucked up place doomed to darkness for goths. It won't be complete without gossips among 'mean girls'. All in all a classical american high school. Peace prevailed in open and chaos behind the closed doors.

But change was imminent. Omen was in the air as vicky walked the corridors. Vicky Leaks, a new entry to States high from the land of kangaroos, was a quiet and creepy young girl. Though no one was sure about the girl part. Guys, even not-ever-getting-laid nerds, stayed away from her and bitches.. well they bitched about her. Acceptance is what Vicky had always struggled for. Some argued that thats why (s)he became she though creepiness never left her. But the corridors that were undisturbed by goths could easily take one more creep. Very soon everyone forgot about her and States high returned to what it was before. And continued frustration of not being noticed returned to Vicky.

All her life she had struggled to be recognized, struggled to prove her existence. So much so that the doubts of her own existence and invisibility occupied her thoughts. She tried to commit suicide, picked fights with other girls, and stole things from grocery stores, just to get noticed, just to prove that she very much existed. But that wouldn’t last for too long and as normalcy would return and so would her doubts about her own existence. But this too was set to change.

A week before States high's football game with Mideast high she overheard some of the school cheerleaders gossiping about who's who of 'sleeping around' in school's football team. This was Vicky's chance to prove to the world forever that she very much existed. She knew if this information was leaked it would bring disaster for school especially just a week before the game. She could threaten to release this information. The idea of holding such a baton filled her with sudden surge of empowerment. Thrilled was Vicky for her awaiting future but she knew that the power can corrupt people. “Who cares” her inner voice seemed to say. It was the least of Vicky's worries and her thoughts seemed to suggest “what is far more important for you than the corruption-of-mind is the exposure of corruption. Its about the time people know who you are”.

Yet a justification was needed. Justification to expose those secrets, least of which shall include her necessity of being noticed. But what could be such justification she thought. As she struggled to put her idea into a moral framework one word rung a bell. Corruption. What fights corruption? Transparency. Yes transparency. That was her answer. She knew that to the world of opaqueness she needed to bring transparency. And that was her justification. Her moral framework.

She realized however that she need more. She needed diversity of information whose leakage would justify the moral framework of transparency beyond the gossips of who slept with who. This was Vickey’s day and ideas were pouring over her in abundance. She had found the treasure trove of questions, answers to even one of which would be explosive enough to bring her to spotlight. She needed to find what were teachers upto, what was the principal, who was school’s football coach as well, upto, what was SCHOOL upto?

But how? How could she know what they were upto? Locker room gossips could only reveal as much as who slept with who. As she walked past classrooms in the long silent corridor the answer walked past her. “Dos is dead” “Debug this.. bitches”…… , their T-shirts read. She knew geeks were her answer to the burning questions of revenge in her heart. But she hadn’t left a great impression on anyone including geeks. She needed a way in among geeks.

As she lay down in her bed contemplating what would appeal geeks and the ways to befriend them, the weight of her own thoughts put her to sleep. But she had already found an answer the next morning she woke up. And it had worked. The geeks turned around in awe and surprise as Vickey walked the school corridor with a t-shirt that read “you can pipe your output here ;)”. Geeks were sold. To the principle of transparency on surface and to their only hope of getting laid underneath. Subsequently they hacked their way to know everything about teachers, principal, school and everything that was to bring transparency.

Storm was coming. Lightning could be seen and thunder could be heard in distance as Vicky made everything public from who slept with who of football team to teachers’ affairs and closeted principal. “Girlfriends need to know what cheating bastards are their boyfriends” “Football team needs to know who their coach really is when they share their locker rooms with him”. Principal broke down. Quarterback, one of the “cheating bastard”, with few others, was ambushed and found beaten with “they deserved it” banner. Needless to say the football game was lost even before it could be played. But transparency was brought.

Most importantly for Vicky, revenge was served. And notice was made. Forever.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Friday, February 12, 2010

Pursuit of Excellence

This is a story of an individual whose life has been shaped by the desire to follow his dreams and heart and this odyssey into his life gives us an opportunity to know this real life 'Rancho' whose support from '3 idiots' and Amir has forever changed the course of his life and has inspired many more.

"It would be only unfair to say that anyone could milk a cow for milking cow is not just a work of art but is of, as well, passion, diligence and sacrificial emotions". The motto of "moo- lets milk cows", the milking company owned by Gajodhar Ramhilawan whose dedication and pursuit of excellence started 10 years ago in a remote village of Bihar, Bailganj.

Born to Ramhilawan Pyarelal and Kalavati in poverty, Gajodhar was the only son of milkman Ramhilawan . Ramhilawan was an ambitious person but little could he do with his own life and now he wanted to see all his dreams come true through his son. He would go miles delivering milk just to facilitate good education to Gajodhar. He wanted him to go to IITs and one day work for NASA since, apparently according him, NASA was run by Indians.

But Gajodhar was born different(not gay). He had a different eye for the cows than his father had. As a kid he had spent more time playing with calves and cows than with other kids and as he grew up it became apparent that he had no inclination whatsoever toward education. There would be frequent arguments between him and his father.

(Its hard to conceive that they are conversing in English but bear with me, its funnier this way)

Gajodhar would say "But dad you don't give its due importance to the respectable profession of milkman"

His father would say "My ass respectable profession. You think I like it?.. I do it only for you so that you can one day work for NASA. I hate milking cows and even when I try so hard I can hardly manage anything. These cows just dont give enough milk.. as if they are holding back. But I and your mom still manage .. just for you.. and you find no interest in studying"

Gajodhar would say "You have got it all wrong dad. It is love that the cows want. To milk a cow is not a mechanical thing as much as it is sentimental. You need to put emotions in it.. you need to understand them and then you will see the beauty of milking. It is like making love dad.. not like having sex.. you need to understand and grasp the art of milking and not just go by books as rest of my friends do in school"

Eventually Ramhilawan had given up on Gajodhar and Gajodhar had started doing his wonders in the barn. With his touch, love and gentle milking the milk produce has increased more than ever and now his dad had no way to complain although he was entirely bitter about it for he had seen his dreams come true through him.

Right around this time when Amir Khan was just roaming around in random places for the publicity of his movie '3 idiots', he came to Bailganj. It was Gajodhar's lucky day. Although in a small village of Bailganj none had heard of '3 idiots' or its story, his interaction with Ramhilawan turned out to be a boon for Gajodhar.

Ramhilawan told Amir "Sirji, talk some sense into my son. He doesnt want to study at all and he says that all he wants to do is to milk cows. Now you tell me have you ever heard of someone who wants to spend rest of his life milking cows"

Amir replied "Dekhiye, this is what I have tried to address in my next film. Pursue excellence. Maybe he will be a very bad engineer and never work for NASA but if you let him milk cows he may one day 'doodh ki nadiyaan bahayega'"

Ramhilawan got angry and shouted "sathiya gayan ho aap. Kaun sasura aapko filmo me rakhata hai"

But after much arguments Ramhilawan gave up, once again, and Gajodhar took over his dad's business. But all he was interested in was milking cows and soon his pursuit of excellence in 'how to milk the cows' got him fame. Now everybody in the village or even the near by villages wanted Gajodhar to milk their cows. It would be safe to say that by the tender age of 18, there weren't any cows, in the vicinity of 100kms, that he hadn't milked. Sometimes he would milk two cows simultaneously and yet none would get jealous. He had mastered the art of cow-milking. And thus was started his servicing conglomeration of milking cows, "moo- let's milk cows". Cows in his barn were as healthy as a hippo and the barn grew everyday.

Soon his fame became nationwide and he had been invited to places to educate people about "milking cows". He started offering a course on the same... "cow-milking 101". It was established on very simple principles:

Name your cow

Buy her cow jeweleries from time to time

Talk to her while milking her

Be gentle while milking, don't be rough.

And talk to her after milking

Inspired by this real life story Ram Gopal Verma, known for making eccentric movies, has decided to make a movie on Gajodhar's life "What cows want" along the lines of a similar movie starring Mel Gibson.

Although unfortunately we were not able to secure any time slot, for our interview, from his busy cow-milking schedule, Gajodhar did reply to our email, expressing his gratitude to '3 idiots'. "If it were not Amir and '3 idiots' very few cows would be happy today".

[PS: No offense meant and if feelings are hurt by the post above I apologize]

શું તું મને ઓળખી શકીશ

બનીને વહેતું ઝરણું
તારી પાનીને ચૂમું છું
અને એ પંખીડો બની
તારી પાયલની રણકાર માં કલરવ પૂરું છું

બની હવાની શિત લહેર
તારા ગુલાબી હોંઠ ચૂમું છું
અને ધરતી બની ધીરેથી
તારા હૃદય ના ધબકારા સાંભળું છું

નથી ખબર મને કે છે એહસાસ તને
કે હું તને કેટલો નજદીક થી જાણું છું
પણ જો બની માનવ આવ્યો તારી સામે
તો શું તું મને ઓળખી શકીશ