Monday, February 04, 2008

Concrete Observations

Routine starts with the me getting up in the nick of time, only to find later that there was a lot of time to waste. A much needed bath and a carton of milk later, four harried shadows are on their way to hallowed grounds. A fruitless mission, I realize. Some think otherwise and happen to be a bit more optimistic. A newspaper flutters in the wind. I try to catch the fleeting words. They chuckle at my helplessness. I give up in exasperation, much to their astonishment.

Reach the exalted confines of IIM Ahmedabad. The campus is amazing and the architecture awe inspiring. I am afraid to scale its entirety with my timid eyes. So I look away. Its austerity is almost intimidating, forcing you into peaceful submission. Then suddenly, when you have quietly accepted defeat, it accepts you into its folds, as one of its own. I sit down on the parapet, pleasantly smug at the unexpected frankness. The arches seem to be greeting the sun’s rays, politely bending them to suit their own whims. The rays sketch playful patterns in the aisles and frame the numerous photographs on the walls. There is not a single drop of paint in vicinity. The bricks seem fresh and smell as if they are just out of the kiln, the aroma assailing one’s nostrils like sarcasm.

We walk the corridors and somehow the space inspires us to grow, to be better than our present selves. We enter a room and it’s as if a door into the past has opened. I am reminded of the the time when light filtered through pale curtains and lit up the board game I had just spread out on the floor, pestering others to join in. Hushed voices are heard and we file out in haste, my reverie now broken. The library is a monument of words; we pay our homage to its overbearing presence and surrender in humility.

We realize the presence of some notes suspended in symphony and retrace our steps to the shor sharaba. More shadows milling around. Shadows in love. Some expressing it with passion. Some resorting to subtlety. Few professing height of fashion. Few age-old tradition. Noodle straps. Halter necks. Salwar kameez.

The Shadows mingle with the crowd and feel at home. But soon their curiosity gets the better of them. They poke their inquisitive noses into other unexplored corners. Hurried steps pass them by, wanting to catch up with the world. In juxtaposition, two pups suckle milk. Contentment personified. The Shadows think of lingering till they can melt into the darkness. So much for philosophical muses.

We ride a bus back. I find some space on the hump beside the driver. A stranger had warned me of dire consequences of utilizing the unlikely spot. However, I decide to run the risk. The windshield in front has CNG sprawled across it. A bell rings and a face gets off. A lady with a smiling face balances the numbers. I notice her love interest dropping her off at the bus depot. Hence the smiling face. Comprehension dawns. She wears a red dress. Little red riding hood, I smile in secret jest. No one offers her a seat and I guard mine with fierce selfishness. The face doesn’t wrinkle into a frown as the bell jingles on and off. Faces and shadows sway in suspended animation. The trees grow in numbers on either side of the dormant mortar. We wait.

Home beckons eventually. The shadows walk the walk back. Some disappointed more than others. I feign nonchalance. Did anyone know better?


  1. The details are coming to you. But you musn't have noticed.

  2. Looking at the architecture, you get the feeling you are in Egypt or something...all brown brown and plain plain, like the Pyramids

    But leave that...whats that stupid Indyeah you have on the right?...very Tully-esque, I must say !

  3. @med
    Didn't get you. You need to be more lucid with dim wits.

    Just because it's about India, doesn't meant it's Tully-esque. Stop ridiculing choices and get on with life. Amir is waiting.

  4. A picture of a helpless looking woman holding a malnourished child, begging for money...with the caption on top saying 'Indyeah'...thats India?...thats it?

  5. Tell me if you can exclude it from the picture. Tell me if you can. You choose to close your eyes. Your problem. India is everything it has to offer. Hunger, Poverty, Rape, Information Technology, Malls et al. Nothing escapes the purview.