Saturday, September 23, 2006

The Rearview Mirror

The other day, I was riding my bike and at a traffic signal, stopped and looked into the rearview mirror. Saw vehicles behind. I peered deeper and I was getting sucked into the past. The rearview mirror was showing me things that had happened with me over time.

I pinched myself and it hurt! It was not my typical afternoon slumber. The rearview mirror was indeed giving me a different view! Saw my friends with me, laughing with me,crying with me. Saw my Mom making me my favourite dish and how I could not thank her enough, how my Dad bought me a new carrom board and how I was as crazy as Marilyn Monroe would have been -with an Oscar-, Saw myself as a 2 year old with long hair resembling a rock star, Saw the school principal praising the speech I had delivered- the time when my voice had just broken.Saw myself falling off a steep mountain side partly on the rocks and partly on a friend, when I ate pizzas at a friends' place till my tummy almost burst, my first crush way back when I was about 9,when I was slapped by Dad for buying chocolates pinching away money without his knowledge,when me and brother cheered Manchester United goals like crazy,when I slept 17 and a half hours and wondered if I was a zombie, saw all my pranks in school- for which I was hit on the hand;blasted by my the teacher;the principal,when I sang a song in a concert and people said was well tried not well done,when my swimming instructor pushed me off the diving board,when I lost my bicycle because I hadn't locked the rusty lock, when I would change my beard style every week and the barber would think I am crazy, when I went ahead for rock climbing and realised that there are easier things to do,when I spent 7 days in a school camp,when I danced 3 hours without a break and discovered muscular pain all over,when I hit my first tennis forehand,when my cellphone and I went on for hours and hours till the battery gave way,when I cried after England lost a football match,when I travelled in a car long distance full of people and no space at all,when I bought home stuff from my first salary -- --- ---- And on and on!

I wanted to see if the front view mirror had some magic too! Maybe it would show me the things to come. But alas! All I could see was my bony face and glittering yellow toothed smile. It was time to ride home. My Mom was waiting for me!

Riding away from the mundane highway

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

This is an excerpt of a Robert Frost poem - The Road not taken

When I reach a crossroad, this poem comes to my mind sometimes.
Do you want to travel the road less travelled because it looks less worn out or you do not want to gamble and you take the oft travelled path - and miss out on the 'The Road not Taken'

One road is the same mundane road, where you know what's ahead, like a typical potboiler movie, the other one is enticing, you do not know what is in store and is not used much!

Not that, I like to do everything differently, but the mundane does not thrill me enough and no thrills, no frills is not my idea of life!
I want to travel the grassy path, where the fresh autumn leaves have not been trampled upon, where I can get unmatched satisfaction of having done something new,different,challenging and satiating.

So reiterating the saying "Life's well lived when you have expressed what you felt and did what you wanted to" by the great Arthur Bossueman Tolson.
Do not ask me who this man is! Maybe he does not exist or maybe he does!

(1981 - ?)

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

The contents in this post can have adverse effects on the appetite and the eating pattern of the readers.
Readers' discretion is advised.

Quarky and the Mucus factory

Sometimes I have wondered, how does the flu factory work? Millions of flu virus workers fighting against the body to produce unending tonnes of mucus, which fail to subside on an Antibiotic attack, yogic exercises or unending physical exercise or was it something else?

One of my close friends - Quarky wanted answers to these questions too. With a lot of investigative traits in him, he volunteered to venture into the unknown - the erstwhile unsolved mysteries of mankind.

This is his account when he entered my body for what he later called - the out of body - experience in a sarcastic way!

I entered the oral tract and made my way down. From the books I read, I knew that I had to make a real fast move over to the trachea.
For newbies in human anatomy- the alimentary canal is the passage straight up to the stomach and much before I reach the stomach, there is a flap called the epiglottis which covers the wind pipe or the trachea from the food pipe

To make the long story short while the food passes down the food pipe, I have to force open the epiglottis and make my way down the trachea and I know -- I would have to make it fast. Probably some James Bondesque stunts - hmm. Lets see.

It wasn't easy: Nik swallowed me with some fluids, I was gushing down like a Grade 6 Waterfall and the moment of truth arrived. In a swift turn of events, I swung and held the epi(that's what I ll call it now on)and arched my fin around it. Turned the flap 180 degrees and jumped in. Some fluid mad e its way in with me too- forcing Nik to regurgitate. I had not anticipated this and I was being forced out, before the mission even began. But I held on to the epi for dear life.

That passed and I was relieved that it did.But the going was going to get tougher.
I had just entered the mucus factory and it was slimy and slippery and I just went sliding down the trachea and hit the division into the 2 lungs.I put on my Magnifying glasses with a 100X Optical zoom and what I saw was some experience!

There were these thin tooth-pick like creatures, innumerable ones which were slowly carrying around this mucus and putting it all over the layers- So these are the good workers isn't it? After all Mucus is a protective substance.Just then! some kind of a particle appeared to get into the tract. Probably dust, and then I saw these Tooth-pickies panic, They started attacking the dust, and in the process - spraying the mucus around. This excess mucus was being thrown off through Nik's nose. Yuck!!
It was a difficult span of time for me, when every sneeze caused by the efforts of these good pickies to throw out the dusties - seemed to blast me out- But I was not going to give up.

And then I saw the baddies too! Tooth-picks again but dark in color, these were the bad men. They were holding the mucus membrane to ransom and squeezing mucus out of it. What fun were they deriving from this was beyond my understanding! They were many more in number than the good pickies and they were stretching the mucus membrane to its limit. Gosh!

So the flu factory has the good guys and the baddies both equal contributors. My research had finished Phase 1 and it was time to leave!
I could be called Quarky the MucusMan after this trip! On one of the next sneezes, I let myself go like I would during a free fall, and there!

I was out into the open again!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Quarky goes to New York

Quarky was a vagabond. Even in the seas below,the merman did not have a home. He would keep wandering, a true wanderlust. He believed in nothing stationary or still.
He loved change. And change for him was travel.

This time around, he landed up at New York,to watch some tennis at the Flushing Meadows. He had heard that today could be another day in the tennis life of Andre Agassi or it could be his Swansong. Quarky was not going to miss this moment.

This was Andre Agassi's playground, or as a fan had it on a placard, this was Andre's house. For 21 long years, Andre had made the US Open his home, where the world saw him as a long haired, punk with dangling earrings and a service return which is known as the best in the game, The US open saw him mature into a class act, He lost his hair, but won over his fans and became one of the games greatest ambassadors.

Its always overwhelming when all this ends in a flash, and Andre could not control it. His tears said it all and Quarky had tears in his eyes too. Quarky would always feel very strongly for such moments in sport and this was no different.Andre Agassi lived the life of a Roman gladiator and in the end died the same way. Never one to give up easily, he fought till the realisation dawned that the mind alone was no longer enough to win. The body had given up. Age showed its weak frame, when Andre would lunge and bend, but the body would think otherwise. The writing was on the wall.

But there is no denying the fact that, as long as tennis is played, the Glamour god will be remembered for his style and substance.

Quarky's stories would continue..

Till then,

Friday, September 01, 2006

Quarky the Merman

Its been a while, haven't been to the Land,
Water and the world below, suits me just fine
Thought, I ll see whats happening this side
I am Quarky, the Merman

Sprung out in exotic Hawaii
And what a sight it was to see
Maria Sharapova being photographed
For the Swimsuit Calendar Edition : Oooh!

Took a dip and came up, alongside a place called Gujarat
Shuddered at the noise, the blood and the gore
People fainting on exhaustion
This was what they called the hunger strike.

Wanted to see this country,
Had heard so much
The culture, the Diversity, the color
Bare Hands or whatever, Travelling was on.

It wasn't that easy, Not as cool as the waters
Sweat dripping down my brow
Stopped by for a drink
Some thing they call Pepsi here

Throw it off! Said a voice above
DDT and Ammonium Phosphate it has,
Kills pests and insects alike
Do you want to die as well?

To be continued...

The adventures of Quarky, the Merman will continue... Watch this space