Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The Devil’s Snare

Tuesday, 24th Jan. ’07

I have done it! I have finally broken the ice with Manish – just some inconsequential small talk, albeit with some flirtatious hints thrown in, but yes, we have started talking!!! Or rather, I have started talking to him.

I should perhaps fill in the details about the past few days before ploughing on with the day’s events. So, here goes.

Ever since I resolved to ensnare Manish, I have been returning his flirtatious signals with signals of my own – a gaze with a naughty stare, a slight smirk with a barely concealed femme fatale shy grin! But all of these, like him, well concealed from the public eye! Quite naturally, his shocked reactions to these are not quite concealed – and people are noticing! People other than my gal pals, I mean…

But it was only actions and no talk… and without smooth talking, how could I ever get closer?! So I stayed on the lookout, meaning to break the ice with a cool, witty conversation. But my over enthusiastic colleagues got… well, over enthusiastic. They staged quite a disaster for me the other day, trying to get the two of us talking. Some weird thing about him wanting chocolates and me coincidentally having some – honest to God, it was actually that lame. Thank goodness he was equally abashed and realized that both of us had been tricked, else it would’ve been really difficult to get my footing back as the deceptive flirt!

So, I stayed put on the lookout, and finally got the chance to have our little chit chat today. He was wearing a moss green polo neck sweater, and I noticed it. And the first time we crossed each other in the lobby, I asked him with a naughty smile, “Is it that cold in Kolkata?!”

I am sure he caught on to the double meaning of my words, and blushed – but he had no ready reply for me. That disappointed me a bit. I somehow thought he’d be a smooth talker, but well… unlucky me! Or may be my attack was unexpected. Either ways, we’ll have to wait and watch!

Things have started to look up anyway… at least the phase of “ensnaring” has begun.

I have another bright idea though – it’ll do me a world of good if I get to know more about the guy. And what better way to do that than to befriend some of his department people? I will have to be on a lookout for that too – may be I will get lucky and get to charm some other eligible bachelors as well!!!

Well, well, well… the Devil is indeed at work! Wish me luck with the Devil’s Snare!

Is This Love? Is This Life?

The ranting mood has returned. The bottled words and mottled feelings make their way onto the paper – to be heard and felt… not to be dismissed.

There is so much to talk about. There is so much to be resolved. But the words don’t come… somehow, the two worlds separate, and the language of one is unintelligible to the other.

Moods contrast… feelings clash…

There is so much anger… but when sleep steals over the anger-distorted features, somehow they become baby-like. And the baby craves to be held close… when the hug is withdrawn, the baby makes those teensy restless moves and coos, as if begging for the hug to come back… and it does, and the baby sleeps peacefully again. And then suddenly, the anger-monster wakes him up, and he is no longer a baby, and no longer wants to be held. Caresses enrage him, empathy disgusts him…

I get angry… I get upset… I get sad… I get despondent…

But then I remember the baby’s teensy restless moves, and the barely audible cooing that begged to be hugged… and a sudden ache fills my heart…

Such is love.

I remember the way strong hands hold me when I shiver and tremble, the way a cocoon shields me from the harsh sunrays and the cold monsoon sprays and the ashen winters… and I know what compassion is like…

A hope flares, filling me with a bright rainbow. The language of the two worlds is not different after all – it is but the same… the language of love… the paths of the two worlds have separated, but they will wind their way through until they criss-cross to meet once again…

Such is life.

An Example Set By KFC

A few days back, I witnessed an incident that made me want to write again (and between you and me, that means quite a thing – since these days I feel too lazy to wield the pen!) and here I am, relating it to you.

My mom and I had some errands to run, and in between working them out, we stopped at KFC, City Center for a snack. We ordered our usual and sat around for some time. When we were just about to leave, I noticed we had some unused ketchup sachets. I waved to the nearest person, and handed them over, saying we didn’t need them. The person didn’t quite understand my words and was about to tear the sachets open, evidently under the impression that we couldn’t get it open and wanted his help. I immediately stopped him and repeated my words – but to my extreme surprise, the guy indicated that his hearing and speech were impaired. After that, I had to gesture to him that we didn’t need the condiments, and he could take it away, and he did.

My mom and I stared after him, our hearts filled with admiration and hope. So far, we had never come across a restaurant which employed such people. We couldn’t resist appreciating the effort to the restaurant manager. He told us that the guy was in charge of managing the stock, clearing away used trays, etc. He also informed us that as a policy, in almost all KFC outlets, physically challenged persons are employed in an effort to let them lead a normal life. I was too impressed for words. And then, I resolved to write about it.

What we witnessed that day wasn’t an Indian act. We Indians, and I will not mince my words here, don’t have the guts or backbone to take such a step. But KFC is truly American in its ways, and what they are doing is something that only an American / European establishment would dare to do. This may hurt the sentiments of many a conscientious Indian, but that really will not change the facts.

I would truly love to claim, as an Indian, that Indian establishments are equally gutsy – but the fact is that we have never, ever come across any such efforts on the part of any of the high flying indigenous restaurants. They want physically fit persons to serve them, because, of course, they are worried that a person who is unable to hear or speak will piss the customers off, and that in turn would reduce their profits. A good many of them also think that such people would be of no use to the establishment. And hence, the typical Indian glam restaurant will only hire the glam girls and hunky chaps, and not even spare a glance towards the less fortunate.

Honestly, I am concerned. We Indians, while claiming to be the best in Heaven-Knows-What, actually do nothing about taking a step towards real progress. We want “equality” in everything, and yet we don’t ever really do what is required to bring about true equality. We scream for opportunities to be given to the less fortunate, and when the opportunity is really given, we scream about how inefficient the less fortunate are. We forget that that is why they are less fortunate. We forget all about equality and opportunities. We become downright selfish.

And then we say our culture has no place for vices like selfishness!