The Rocking Sadhus!

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The Rocking Sadhus

Kumbh 087

We went in search of them
They who lived bare
Survived on what they found
In places where no men dare

We went in search of them
We lived in tents so bare
Walked with blisters on feet
And rejoiced on things, earlier we would never dare

V graduated from rum to scotch
From boys we turned men
We spoke bot women, now bot daughters,
We r 40 now, we were 17 then

Running from hostels to classes proxyed
Copying assignments, sipping tea
Whistling to windows, tracing GTs
Beating up profs n shouting in glee

Appearing for vivas or job interviews
Life was never easy but always fun
Then it was at the boss’ beck n call
We enjoyed it seldom sitting, always on the run

We ran marathons,
We turned the tide
When troubles were knocking
We took them for a ride

Took a dip in the Kumbh
Happens once in a dozen years
We washed our sins
Allayed our fears

We went in search of them
But soon it dawned
We lived lives better
And inside us, THEM ,we found!

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The trip to Kumbh was nostalgic.. not because we had done it before. But because I felt at times that I was standing on the tracks of a running train approaching me. Just that it was coming towards me slowly and making me recount every detail of the life I lived…and I have ‘lived’ my life quite a bit, while most would have just ‘led’ their lives. The prime reason that makes me write a blog now, though I had wanted to write one for quite some time now. Besides, I always felt that everything was within us- our fears, strengths, attitude and even our future.

Character maketh Destiny- I realized the importance of this simple axiom much later. At every point in life we are faced with 2 choices. Our character makes us decide one of them and that leads us to our ultimate destination. My choices in life have taken me to interesting paths- some mundane but mostly exhilarating. But they are like roses- they always come with thorns attached.

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When we are growing up (we never cease to grow though!), we feel that even smaller challenges are the end of the world. Not topping a math class, failing to get through to the best engineering college or to the MBA institute you desired- catastrophic. You hear students committing suicides nowadays. Are they worth it? You look back and you see they were just a microcosm in this journey called life. After all Life is what happens to you when you are busy preparing for Life!!! And as Steve Jobs rightly said: you can only join the dots backwards. And when you actually do the sketch of joining the dots you feel like the protagonist from ‘Memento’ who is trying to figure out what happened in the last 15 minutes of his life, just that this time it is the ‘why’ and not the ‘what’.

I could still remember those days when a single mark away from being the topper was detrimental to my spending the vacation peacefully. The result days of the engineering college when we tried to go further than the golden milestone of 40.. else another year lost or another subject more for the next semester. When we jostled below the hostel trying to figure out where could we copy the next drawing assignment from, a practice of copying which was proudly called GT (Glass tracing). I don’t know if they still do GTs with the technology rendering good old skill of hands redundant.

I proudly recall those days when I was one of the experts in GT. You would need the same skill to differentiate my GT from the original that a skilled diamond trader would need to differentiate from a fake one. Traditionally, a lamp would be kept below a glass surface. The drawing to be traced would be kept on the glass and a blank paper on top of it. You could see the imprint of the original on the blank which could then be easily traced with a pencil. But then there were loop holes. The imprint of the pins that would be needed to keep the two papers together would give away the GT .. or sometimes shoddy craftsmanship. We found out ways to overcome both the hurdles. In fact we graduated to the next level where we weren’t at the mercy of the glass surface anymore. A windowpane would serve as well with the sun rising behind it and the compass marks would be then copied later on making most GTs foolproof.

Life was much simpler then… we just had to make sure we cleared our exams. But we still thought we lived the most difficult lives and the stress was the maximum. Little did we know that there would be a time we will have to think about our EMIs, next jobs or assignments, salaries, health, parents, family, pension schemes, investment.. the list goes on.

Thank god! We can’t join the dots forward, else Steve Jobs would have never invented Apple and I would be writing this from my PC!

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