Into Dreaminess and Back

on Monday, March 12, 2012

It was an evening quite like today. The scent of the wet earth still lingered in the air. Yesterday, rain was the devil. It had in it's power to destroy what was going to be the most memorable day in the life of this bride But today, the rain humbly withdrew from the limelight. Today's star was going to be this girl, sitting pretty with her hand in his', still counting her heartbeats. In those heart beats she was counting time till when she would finally becomes his', when she can  would finally drop carelessly into his arms.

That night, was her night. I was lost somewhere in the grand crowd of eager faces, each of whom smiled for her happiness and comfort. I did too. It was an evening like today. The musty breeze seemed to be my only companion. I had come wishing for her happiness, but in that crowd, I had found myself to be terribly lonely. It was only the bride's face which was familiar. Rest were unpleasantly strange. My imaginations were running amok. Someday, in near, yet distant future, I shall also adorn a pedestal much like her's. To a sprawling acreage of lush greens, I shall also be the shimmering queen.

But for that day, I was lonely. In the unending multitude of heartbreakingly unfamiliar faces, I only had the naughty breeze for company, which also devoted attention to tickling the ribs of small bright lanterns suspended from each tree in the magically illuminated garden. That naughty, musty breeze might have remained my only companion had fate not been in a playful and yielding mood.

Tired searching for a soul warming cup of coffee from the mad array of exotic delicacies competing for attention, I could finally locate a near empty table which seemed friendly enough to accommodate me. I did notice a lone male figure occupying the seat across my own, but that his features would be breathtakingly gorgeous, I had not expected. Had I even meekly expected, I would have stayed away. A dreamy romantic and a hapless single are a lethal combination for a girl who suddenly finds herself in such a titillating zone. Boredom also plays its role in necessitating a leap of heart in thinking "now begin the bright times".

Was I crazy when I shared the first smile? I promise, I did not do it knowingly. His beaming, spotless face evoked a smile in my heart, which promptly ran to my lips. He smiled back. Effortlessly. No, eagerly. This, because, as I later realized, he was my male counterpart at feeling lonely in the deluge of people. Like me, he knew no one else. Like me, he had no company. Like me, may be he too needed someone like me. Yes!

The conversation began with pleasantries. It moved onto polite inquiries.  Name. Occupation. Weather. Food. Ambiance. The bride. The groom. The match. Back to occupation. And then, inevitably, life. Why I said inevitably? Because a part of me told me it would. He had small eyes, hidden behind rimless glasses, which became smaller when he smiled. He never stopped smiling. Consequently, my once sombre face too, did not stop smiling. Worries about reaching home early dissipated into the cold air as I concentrated on how dapper his black suit over a black shirt looked. Did I say dapper? Casually graceful would be more like it.

I am not a shy talker. I must've been talking a lot. I might have said something which made him remark- "You know, sometimes, its just fair that we count our blessings. Those lines of worry which crease your face will disappear in a nano second then." I did not know why he said this, but that is when I kind of came back to senses. What seemed titillating till now was seeming genuinely nice and warm. There was something about his happy countenance; he made me want to smile. It sounds mad, but it also made me want to show my sadness, for he seemed like someone who could still make me smile. There was an enormous amount of positivity radiating from him. What most soothed a nervous girl's heart most was that he was not being kind to me. He prized my chance company as much as I did his'. And this I know, because he was not interested to even look up when bride and groom readied themselves to command attention from each pair of eyes as they exchange the garlands of sacred flowers. He would have much rather continued the conversation, but I did not want to miss one of my favorite rituals from a traditional Hindu wedding.

I stood there, watching them lovingly garland each other. I loved the clandestine glances stolen. I loved the delirious applause filling my ears. I loved seeing her turn red as he claimed her hand back into his. I loved all this, and yet, I wanted to get back to that one conversation which I knew would ease me through the dreariness awaiting with open arms at home. Somewhere, in the middle of that celebratory commotion, I was commanded to head to the gate. My car awaited me. It was late. And I am a girl. A nervous tingle on my spine saw me running to the gate after saying a quick and polite bye. Nervous. I did not think of it earlier, but how many people had seen me laugh and joke and talk with this virtually strange guy in this crowded, yet lonesome place?

On my way back home, I felt silly for feeling all that I did. Sweet silly. I felt grossly silly for not knowing why I did not exchange numbers with him. We had clicked decently well, it would not even have been awkward. No regrets, facebook is the great savior of today. All I need to know about anyone to permanently invite him into my life is his name. I knew his'.

At night, a night like today, with chill pricking at my bare arms, as I sat with facebook friend finder open in front of me, I decided against 'finding' him. He was the perfect stranger. Straight out of books and poems I had read and fantasized about. He will only remain the perfect stranger if I abandon my pursuit. Meeting new people, good people, people who survive only as fond memory, is a dreamy concept in retrospect. I like the dreaminess of it  I closed that chapter there. Now I only revisit the pages when the blur in my memory turns inviting.

PS-Few days back, he 'added' me. I cursed facebook for interfering with my dreams from the past. Did I add him too? Well, I still am a nervous romantic and a hapless single. Should I?

Crossroads (Urban Shots) - A Review

on Monday, March 5, 2012

Now this is quality stuff. Genuinely. I do not know how many times did I find myself touched and connected and affected by the short stories compiled in this yet another brilliant anthology under the Urban Shots series. I do know, however, that this is one book I will strongly recommend to all book lovers out there, for the 30 stories told by 26 odd authors in this book are fresh, and textured interestingly. And as I stated earlier, this book is a quality affair. A pleasant, yet intense journey.

A glimpse through the foreword written by Rohini Kejriwal reveals to you what this book potentially would be about. As professed in the prologue, this book turns out to be a collection of tales on some very interesting and diverse characters, and mostly pivoted around a centrally important or watershed incident in their life. The simply yet elegantly told stories go beyond just that one incident and often make you stop and think. Each story here is a world of its own. Each character revels in a distinctness of his own.

What is truly commendable here is the selection of stories, due credit for which goes to the Editor Ahmed Faiyaz. This is perhaps the fifth book associated with him which I am reading, and I can now safely proclaim- he is one author who simply does not know how to disappoint his readers. Through this compendium, interestingly titled "Crossroads", Ahmed strings together some intense stories, each uniquely drawing you into the lull of its narrative. These are stories which find their roots in the urbane locales of India; each inspired by a different facet, human or physical, of the carelessly burgeoning and increasingly complicated urban existence of new age Indians. Some characters here pace too far ahead, much too quickly; yet others tell their tales about coming to terms with the world whizzing past them. There are stories here of complicated love, compromised relationships, pulverized identities, pressurized psyches, crushed innocence, thankless altruism, and unrewarded commitments. So many thoughts and emotions have been depicted in these 30 urban stories with such finesse that a constant eagerness to move onto and investigate the contents of the next story keeps you gripped throughout. An added beauty to all these tales is the fact that most, if not all of them are not easily predictable stories even though they build on situations one hears of or faces in real life.

Having been thoroughly satisfied by this outstanding collection, I was reflecting happily on a lot of them to pick my quintet. I have to admit, that selecting only five from a potential 30, each one of which stood as a strong contender to be included in my favorite five, was a task ridden with fond anxiety. After much thought, here are the five stories I found best..

1. Mindgames by Manisha Dhingra
A tale about psychological setbacks, one which turns ripe only at the very end. This was my absolute favorite from the lot.
2. Gautam Gargoyle by Shailaditya Chakraborty
Brilliantly written, beautiful wordplay and extremely intriguing plot. A complex take on what you might be tempted to dismiss as a rather mundane phenomenon. Understandably, this one was the Editor's pick.
3. Songs Of The Summer Bird by Anita Satyajit
I loved this story for its simplicity and  poignant portrayal of a misunderstood but well meaning library watchman. Simple sometimes is richly beautiful.
4. Jump, Didi by Sharath Komarraju
Dark, complex, intense. This story reveals itself to you in layers;. each new layer a whole new dimension. This story is about the innocent baby sitter next door and her forbidden sercrets.
5. Footsteps In The Dark by Mini Menon
A girl, penury, needs and exploitation. A sensitively told story of an aspect of our corporate society we need to feel ashamed off.

Also, Crossroads by Ahmed Faiyaz, the story which lends its title to the book is easily one of the best you will come across. Depicting love, lust, desires and commitments in a seamless manner, this story essentially themes around the concept of infidelity in urban relationships.

As a last thought, this book is one of those which makes me believe that contemporary Indian fiction has come of age. That said, there still are a lot more avenues to explore and experiment with. Crossroads is one book which has something to connect with everyone of you. 3.5 stars on 5 is what I will award it with.

And yes, the cover is totally gorgeous too. Quite prophetic of the gorgeous content waiting to be unveiled.


on Saturday, March 3, 2012

If you are incapable of tears, you will become incapable of laughter. A man of laughter is also a man of tears- then a man is balanced. They both go together. And out of this togetherness of polarities a balanced being is formed.

I have with me a screen shot of my success from about half a year ago. I also have with me a screen shot of a success my name does not feature in. In other words, I have with me a screen shot of my failure. A moment back, I was looking at them together, hoping for some divine vision to alight upon me. None did. I shut both the screen shots, and started laughing. The last I checked, that laughter was genuine.

Three days ago, I was crying. What could have been one of the most important days of my life had turned out badly. I was not able to shine in the one exam I pinned my future hopes on. Cry, I did. In fact, I wailed. But that, I was supposed to. I did not cry because I felt depressed. I cried because a castle that could be had just gone poof. And I could do nothing now to make it real. 

There is only an extent till which we can try; and try we must. With honest and diligent efforts behind me, the tears did not last for long. In fact, some sudden alacrity filled me. Now that this one door had closed, that too not forever, I had with me the opportunity to explore numerous others. Also, I could sense in me an urge to undertake shorter trips on hitherto avoided destinations which my dreams are made of. Stronger resolve, greater hunger. And a smile of my face. 

I always feared failure. I think I feared the ignominy associated with it. I also feared assimilating myself and standing up all over again. The same is now giving me a reason to look ahead with brightness. As one of my friends said, " I am glad you did not peak so soon." I, too, am glad I did not. With no major disappointments in my arsenal, I felt if I was equipped enough to be by my own in the world out there. Continued success makes people risk averse, so quoted Namita Bhandare in yesterday's HT. Even when I was not looking, answers were coming my way.

The tears have now lived their life. The smile and excitement are increasingly becoming subdued. The resolve to turn it around for myself is maturing steadily. Now is not the end. Now is the time to begin.

The Love Collection (Urban Shots) - A Review

on Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Love is sacred, yet to many lost and caught in this web of society, it remains forbidden. Love is universal, yet to most who devote all their senses to its pursuit, it remains elusive. Love is ethereal, yet it is defeated more often than not by considerations real and pragmatic. Love is love, yet in this one word lies a myriad of emotions ranging from happiness to anger to jealousy to possessiveness to sorrow to calmness. Love, as we see and feel it around ourselves today is simple and complex at the same time. The variegated hues of this simple-and-complex phenomenon and its diverse manifestations- some lovely, others ugly- is what is explored in another brilliant anthology published as a continuation of the Urban Shots series. This offering of short stories is aptly named- The Love Collection.

The above paragraph surmises with flair the moods, thoughts and emotions I underwent while reading the stories picked up by editor Sneh Thakur to be published in this compendium. Compiling 31 stories by as much as 27 different authors must have been a daunting task for Thakur (who quite adorably refers to herself as 'pint size Rapunzel'- a description I cannot quite get over), given that 'love' is an emotion all of us like to talk/write about. It serves perhaps as the first motivation for nascent writers to put pen to paper. Not guided by a uniformity of writing style, guided solely by a common emotion running through the 30 odd stories- the book could have faltered on many aspects- the most important being monotony or stereotyping. Love is not always dreamy. It is not always like a bollywood movie. And much as we would like to argue, in real life, it is not always depressive and unyielding. This book does well to explore the many shades, including the greys, of love and compile them in neatly. Each story stands out on its own. I could not compare or hold any two similar in the essence they portrayed. For this, the editor and the various authors deserve a proud pat on the their back.

Having stated in clear terms that I loved this book, two or three stories left me sorely disappointed. May be because they did not appeal to the dreamy lover in me, may be because I hate to associate depressiveness (almost clinical) with love. Very rarely does it happen that I leave a whole book unfinished; much too rare is the case with short stories. In this book, while there were stories which I devoted time to rereading, there were some I did not feel like finishing. That said, I would still strongly recommend this book to readers of contemporary Indian fiction. The stories contained in this book are stories about characters whom we meet in real life, characters we identify with, characters we hope we would meet someday and characters we thought existed only in stories. Exploring diverse backgrounds, wading through different emotional topographies, these stories are perfect to discover and understand and even amuse oneself with varying facets of love. While in some stories this emotion dominates, in others its subtle; in yet others it chooses to lurk around the periphery.

Importantly, reading for quite sometime titles under the Urban Shots series, I have come to realize that short stories are the perfect, breezy metro reads that can fit into demanding schedules of the day. You can leave anywhere, pick up anywhere, and still not feel lost. If the book lover inside you feels suppressed unwantonly because of compulsions of material world, The Love Collection might be a good place to start at. 3 stars on 5 it is for me. My quintet from this collection-

1. Making Out by Hina Siddiqui
The Editor's pick, and appropriately so. The title explains much, and hides much for what this story might be about.
2.Strangers by Ahmed Faiyaz
Begins normally, ends eerily. One of Ahmed's best short stories I have read.
3. Twisted by Lipi Mehta
You thought it was simple, but actually it was not. Exploring a different side of love.
4. The Jhalmuri Seller by Bhabhani Shankar Kar
The simplicity touched me. Simple, but beautiful and a little more than just a tale of nascent love.
5. Reality Bytes by Anitha Murthy
Will touch you, I guarantee. This was one of those I reread.

and I would also mention one which does not leave my mind, for it was one of the only which pandered beautifully to the romantic within me- A Girl Can Dream by Ayesha Khanna.

Once again, a very satisfying read. 

(Reviewed on request from Grey Oak-Westland)

With A Smile

on Sunday, February 26, 2012

When I entered the festooned gates of JMC on the morning of 23rd February, I found the atmosphere inside ridden with confusion, with some palpable heat and anxiety flowing around. Reason? The Women Studies and Development Center, my alter ego while I was still in college, was waiting to launch one of their most prideworthy initiatives of the year in the august presence of the Mayor of Delhi, Ms. Rajni Abbi. Quite obviously, my juniors, who now hold the reigns of WSDC, were facing essential bouts of pre-event jitters.It is not everyday that the Mayor of Delhi herself agrees to walk in through the gates of your college to give to your endeavours her blessings and encouragement. However, that is precisely what Ms. Abbi consented to do- to be with a bunch of enthusiastic young scribes wanting to make their quill their sword of revolution- and the kind of person she is, we were easily stunned and mesmerized by her.

"Still I Rise"- this is the name of  a recently launched monthly newsletter by WSDC, JMC, which seeks to address bold topics relating to gender issues- the concerns and the celebration. It is a unique and unprecedented initiative, at least as far as the history of JMC is concerned. If the first issue of this journal is anything to go by, I am more than sure that the forthcoming issues will only get better and more interesting, and will carry lots of informative and entertaining content which will definitely appeal to the sensibilities of the young, the concerned and the daring. You can know more about this newsletter by clicking here. This link directs you to the blog of this still nascent product of young imaginations, trying hard to mark its presence among people who take interest in issues relating to women empowerment, gender parity, inter alia

A simple half hour rendezvous with Rajni ma'am ensured us that their could not have been a better icon of female strength and achievement whom WSDC could have invited to launch the first issue of Still I Rise. The fact that they invited me, their ex-President alongside her is something that makes me swell with pride. Tantamount to pride also lingers the humbling feeling of gratitude. Rajni ma'am had a personality that makes one instantly like her. She is a teacher by profession, a teacher at heart, and somehow, I always believed that teachers make for excellent leaders. They already know how to shape futures, mold young minds into mature ideals, and be inspirations without having to try too hard. 

Professor Rajni Abbi heads one of the three municipal corporations of Delhi, namely the MCD. The designation of a Mayor has a lot of pomp associated with it. So while we were expecting a VIP to enter our college at 11:30, Prof. Abbi nonchalantly walked into our campus at 11:25, not as a VIP, but like a humble leader who belongs to the masses. Her punctuality and humility were immediately noticeable, but what was even better was her keen understanding of a student's life and an urge to cooperate with us. She was friendly, and gave us helpful sermons which we ought to remember for our own benefit. No moment spent with her lacked the dynamism she effortlessly exuded. It was the first time I met her, and though I have no idea of what her accomplishments are, I still felt like sharing the first impression she left on me. Political ideologies, I have none. But an addiction to recording the best of experiences in life I certainly do. This was one of them.

My best wishes to the WSDC team. Make sure each step you all now take only takes your forward. What you have began should not end with college. Your passions should accompany you everywhere you go. You all make me proud, for all the right reasons.

PS- Sometimes, its just a smile you need. A smile that you carry, a smile that you can lend. I think some of you reading this will understand what I am referring to :)

With Ms. Rajni Abbi and a copy of Still I Rise in my hand

Freedom At Midnight by Dominique Lapierre and Larry Collins

on Thursday, February 23, 2012

Here, I am attempting to review a classic historical treatise, which has won acclaim for itself from diverse corners of the world. I feel inadequate. To exacerbate my feeling of inadequacy, the fact that it has been more than a month since I finished this 700 page long book looms large over my head. Still, I have now been infected by this incurable urge of expressing my view about any and every book I read, here, on Nascent Emissions. So this post, essentially, is my 'view', not a 'review' of Freedom At Midnight.

History is not a hailed discipline in our education system. It is pursued by those whom science rejects and commerce repels. Even still, those who brag about their knowledge of historical occurrences do so on the basis of extensive reading of world history- the wars, the revolutions, the socio-economic evolution. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with it, but how many of us are actually aware of the history of India, and I here mean that part of Indian history which has perhaps been pivotal in shaping the landscape of India as we know it today? All of us have a decent idea about the Indian National Movement, the struggle for freedom, the Gandhis, the Nehrus, the Patels, the Partition; but are we really aware of what was it that went into making India one of the world's most successful secular democracies?

Lapierre and Collins, through their characteristic exhaustive research, attempt to answer the above question, and a lot many more. Their research was conducted precisely to recreate the drama and the hysteria surrounding just one event, perhaps the most important in the history of Modern India- that of Independence, concomitant to which was the Partition. The idea that I would be reading about 700 pages delineating just one event, however mammoth its significance, was both, intriguing and putting off. I am glad that intrigue prevailed. This book is not a mere collection of words, or recollection of incidents. This book is a magnum opus. And had it not contained its own set of controversial detailing, it might as well have been an indispensable reading for all students of history in India. For me, it still serves much as an authoritative text. When you go through page after page of tireless details, a certain amount of credibility and an acceptance of the veracity of facts builds up inside you along with respect for the authors for their painful investigation of even the minutest of events surrounding India's independence.

For those not used to Lapierre and Collins' writings- and they do have to their credit other historical works of unquestionable repute, viz, Paris Is Burning and O Jerusalem- the opening chapters of the book can baffle the reader with both, their verbosity and a little over-the-top detailing. However, that is how the authors set the scene. When you revisit events from Indian history via the narration of these authors, you will be certain to feel a thrill and gush of personal emotions even though everything they've written about is a veritable anachronism in the 21st century. Their book is layered with interesting trivia, the most interesting perhaps being the chapter dealing with the lifestyle, the essentially eccentric and amusing lifestyle of Indian Maharajas. Their role in consolidated Indian politics becomes relevant when the independence plan grants them an autonomy to decide which side of the border to join, or to remain independent. More trivia about the division of state property when India was being partitioned can leave you astonished, with anecdotes you would perhaps want to sit over with a coffee and share with your friends.

The book begins with the appointment of Lord Mountbatten as the last Viceroy of India, and goes onto scan in detail many incidents gone unnoticed by famed historians. Particularly interesting are chapters dealing with Cyril Radcliffe's predicament. He was the cartiographer deployed to undertake the surgical division of Indian mainland, the irony being he had never ever visited India prior to this assignment. The bloodbath which preceded and followed partition has been narrated in a manner to leave you shocked and stirred. Marvelous are the portions dealing in an elaborate manner with the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi.

What I personally loved about the book was the theatrics. Many events, including the riots, were not just described, but narrated as a story from the perspective of that one person who could be easily lost in a crowd, but who as an individual was profoundly affected by the same. The story builds up on you, in a way that you understand the magnitude and consequences of events you read as dull parts of draggy history text. The book dithers a bit too much upon the role of Lord Mountbatten, gloriously described, in the pre and post independence times, so much so that you are forced to feel if the authors had a predilection towards him. However, the latter half of the book more than redeems itself with the kind of aura it builds around the person who inhabits the very soul of India- Mahatma Gandhi. Many a book, including his autobiography, have I read about him, but none has made me fall in love and awe of him as much as Freedom At Midnight. The book also paints interesting portraits of Nehru, Jinnah and Patel- the other big players at the fore of the political battleground. And, most importantly, trust me, you really want to read this book to delve into the chilling details of the fanatical plan which was put in place to end Gandhi's haloed sojourn among us mortals.

On a scale of 5, not less than 4and 1/2 stars for me. This is one book we all should read, with a warning, it might just bore you in parts, but at the end of it, you will feel immense satisfaction for having dared to undertake this journey. The following are the protagonists of the saga of independence, and any story which builds on them, along with numerous other faceless characters, can be nothing less than outstandingly thrilling.

Lord Mountbatten

Mahatma Gandhi

Jawahar Lal Nehru

Mohammad Ali Jinnah

Of Patch Ups and Filibustering, Two Roses and Some Debating

on Tuesday, February 21, 2012

"Death is caused by swallowing small amounts of saliva over a long period of time".

Don't read much into it. I just wanted to start with something catchy. And this line more than fitted the bill. Two days of lecturing an unfortunate score of eager debaters on filibustering, and here I am, doing precisely that. However, this filibustering conveys what I dedicatedly follow in life. Each moment we grow, each step we take ahead, we are inevitably heading towards a dead end. Where we arrive, when we arrive, is irrelevant. How we travel is what is important. I like to travel savoring each experience as unique, and not having too many of one kind so as to keep them special. One recent experience which has raced to the top of my favorite moments from college life transpired on 11th and 12th February this year. To relate a little about that is why I hold the quill in my hand today. (Yes yes, I am tapping away on the keyboard, but, you know, this is called setting the mood)

Just so you know, I am not late in writing about an event that occurred almost 10 days ago. Yes, blogs are a lot about prompt display of thoughts, but I intended only to write when the memories in my mind had crystallized. Now, they have.

The Delhi Technological University, on 11th and 12th February, as reported earlier on Nascent Emissions, hosted a two day, multicommittee MUN, called the Deltech MUN'12. As a first, they simulated a double delegation, non MUN committee under the same event, namely, the G20 Summit. Amid an Executive Board with tonnes of experience, and participating delegates with mad and enviable MUN resumes, I felt a little lost. The amazing hospitality of the organizers did put me at ease, but it was not till I met Sakshi Aggarwal, the hastily deputed, charming Director of G20 that I could finally locate my comfort zone. In her, I rightly saw an amazing support for the two days I was supposed to spend at DTU.

The first few moments were spent in anxiety. 'Will we have a good participation' was the only persistent thought on our minds- mine, Sakshi's and Vrinda's, Vrinda being our sweet rapporteur. Little by little, beginning with a warm up session, things get into motion. Rest is indescribable in words. I am not a regular MUN person, only about attending one or two in a year. I resolved last year to never attend- participate or chair- a similar conference ever in life. And I am only glad that that turned out to be a hollow resolve.

We, as a committee, debated two very contemporary, dynamic, sensitive, pertinent, but dry topics over the two day session. Thanks to my well read committee member, the debate was anything but dry. I can safely mention now that Canada, China, UK and USA were my favorites to be the winners at the end of two days. A demure but determined Indian delegation made a strong case for itself by the end of second day, and ensured a High Commendation for itself. As countries, I might forget them, but as individuals, I promise, if you are reading this, I will always remember and recognize you if at all we meet again in future.

Amrita and Anmol- They were my favorites. Clean favorites. Charming and composed, both of them formed an effective pair to keep up with the pace of debating in the committee. (The Laurel and Hardy)
Priyakanksha and Hisham- They were the smartest and most confident speakers in my committee, whose confidence dripped from their faces. They were clearly more experienced than myself, but the respect with which they treated me was overwhelming and precious. (Rangeen Jodi- Runner's Up)
Kirithiga and Pranav- An adorable duo, where Pranav dominated with his eloquent speeches but Kirithiga matched up with her grace and composure, and a very amiable personality. (Rangeen Jodi- Winners)
Bhavya and Akshay- As I said, demure, composed and focused. Whenever my committee went crazy shouting and being uselessly animated, they were the only sources of solace I resigned my attention to. (Hope of Diplomacy)
Anup and Prashant- The youngest bravehearts of my committee, willing to take over those whom I was scared of debating with. These were two precocious school students who effortlessly contested, paralleled and even dominated the other committee members at times. Got into trouble, but got out of it soon enough. (The U-Turners)
Saumya and Siddharth- They were the next best on our list, just missing out on the awards. A little late to pick up, but their NSIT connect ensured they get enough attention from me!

The exemplary deliberations, debating and negotiations were accompanied by a lot of fun moments in the council. Discovering an unnamed rose under my placard was one of them. Breaking into long lectures about reading habits, concept of diplomacy, nuances of public speaking, and a little gyan on life in general was another. I had my tiffs only with the IP, but they too, were so fantastic at what they did that retrospectively, I remember them with a lot of respect. Exhausted after chasing consensus on two lengthy Declarations, a little photo session, preceded by a melodious rendition of Maeri by Pradit was only what was needed as the perfectly sumptuous icing on an already delicious cake.

I could never end this post without mentioning some more names.
Saad and Akhil- Prior to meeting them, I never realized that conference staff could be so diligent, endearing and eager to help. They displayed hospitality at its best. Water, coffee, projector, charger, chits, pens, stationary- I think we harassed them in every possible way. The only thing they gave us in return was a heart warming smile at the end of it all.
Soham- He is a school junior I am proud of. Had it not been for him, I would have suffered because of my over punctual self. Thanking him in few words is simply not possible. I can only say that the warmth, concern and respect  he loaded me with I shall never forget.
Shobhit- The sheer awesomeness he displayed at handling an event of this scale is something I could write essays upon. For now, I'd just mention that there could not have been a more perfect Sec Gen for Deltech MUN. Being invited by him was humbling and pleasing at the same time.

The best frames from then.

Two Hours Of Eternal Splendour (IV)

on Friday, February 17, 2012

Part I- The Ending

Part II- The Premonition

Part III- The Celebration

Part IV
The Last Song
Love is not what you arrive at. Love is what you travel through. 

The two hours are about to end. I will have to wake him up. Should I just let him sleep? If he misses his flight, it'll buy me some more time with him.Should I be fooling him? He has trusted me in one of his weakest moments. I have this feeling that he will love me for fooling him today. The question is, should I? What I can't figure out is- will it prolong the celebration, or will it prolong the pain?

I am still looking at him. He is sleeping with the serenity of an angel. Each trait of his, including this serenity, has complimented me perfectly. Each time he intertwined his fingers with mine, he fit the gap perfectly. The hopeless romantic in me always concluded that the Creator had crafted him only to fit into my life. It made sense. It seemed perfect. He was never just the lover. He was the 'love' in my life itself.

His brow now appears slightly creased. Is that a bead of sweat trickling down the shadowed part of his face? As if in a fit, his whole body just jerked. I quickly crept closer to him, and held him in a reassuring embrace. A fierce embrace in fact. I know it was fierce because when I withdrew, his eyes were open. With a dizzy confusion. He looked at me, at first as if figuring out if I was real. He then managed a goofy smile on that ruthlessly handsome face of his, the smile I knew the contours of which by heart. He closed his eyes, preserved that smile, dug into my bosom, and slept.

This moment is real. As real as it can get. Tell me, should I be sad or angry? In his love, in his embrace, have I not already gotten more than my share of bliss in life? There is this sweet pain lurking somewhere in the rear corner of my heart. I cannot for sure know if its normal, but some part of me feels happy in this moment which is heralding the close of an era of love. His infinite worth has become apparent to me. I've seldom valued him more than I value him this moment. He is grand. Priceless. This is how I will forever remember him.

"I love you. I always will", I whisper softly while pressing my lips to his ear. The crease on his forehead has now disappeared. The serenity returns.

In a few moments I will wake him up.

After a few more moments, he will be gone.

And after some more moments, I will cry.