Last night I had a conversation with my sis where-in she asked me to write about my metamorphosis from a "dumb kid" to what she calls a "cool dude".And here I am writing this, not becasue she was bang on target,not because she was almost right but as always,these sisters are just partially right.If I was dumb as a kid, i ve certainly grown up to be dumber.Dumber not in the sense that I am at loss of words but in a way tht I am into my 20's and still ve a long way to go before i eventually "arrive".
It all began on a rainy day,the 21st of May1986.I am told that it happened to be the last summer in the history of the beautiful valley of Dehradun, when the weather 'God' forced everyone to be wrapped from head to toe.See theres a point behind this.The weather couldnt afford to be cruel anymore as there was this cute kid bringing in warmth and charm.Or was it the pollution and the urbanisation that this "devil" brought along, that made fans and air-coolers sort of mandatory.
And then there was utter chaos.No one in my family had ever gone to an engineering college.Had they ever been tought by the likes of Prof. Banerjee nd his 'Doctor' chelaa the intracacies of naming conventions,it wld ve been a lot easier for them to give me a sound name.There were minor altercations when everyone else was vetoed by my grandpa to name me "Arpit".Man,if you rush thorugh the word in an american accent,doesnt tht sound like an Armpit.Arpit Armpit Dammit!!
Seems like the consensus,if any,was just an interim one.I m called by different names by different set of people.Maa nd Dad differ in the names they use for me nd the same applies to my sister who doesnt even ve the time to blurt out my name as she can scream at my anyways.Name or no name how does it make a difference to her.I ve been into no less than 7 schools nd colleges and ve been rewarded with atleast as many names in each.Infact, if i notice someone using an unfammiliar name,i m pretty sure its me whos been called at.The best part, names change according to the situation at hand.A friend called me adroit in front of a lovely babe when he normally wldnt ve done the same.So nice of u Santa!!
If u think i babble on too much,the first word i ever spoke wasnt Camera,darling,love,sex or f*** either.It was "tooobh lite".And it does make sense.Tube Light,however wierd it may seem,was the only thing i could relate to.Tube Light's first day at school was fun and it was when i started bunking classes as well.Never stayed in the alloted class, instead roamed all around the campus to search for the teacher who used to buy me ice-creams.
It was time, i was shifted to a bigger school and my first day there was fun as well.Fun not for the 'your's sincerely', but the 59 odd other classmates.A teacher(nun) was scribbling on the black board with her back facing the students when someone in the crowd whistled.Now, u dont expect a bunch of Class 2 students who dont know to spell their name properly or even add two digit numbers to come out with such a thing.The class burst into laughter and here was i,coming to terms as to what whistling actually meant.The nun turned back to see that i was the only one not enjoying the fun and was supposedly acting smart.She mistook this dumb chap to be a smart one.Trying to explain that i didnt even know how to whistle,placing the two of my fingers in the mouth and blowing in air... Boy! what a treatment i got.50 canes on my knucles.
Tears rolled over my cheek when a girl came to console me.Needless to say,she was my first friend at school.First friend and that too a girl.Not bad,huhh!!
A week into this school,i was really fed up with this fellow who used to sit next to me.Every time, i fell asleep in the class this SoB used to torture me by inserting a pencil in my nostrils.And it was time that i teach him a lesson the hard way.So next time he repeated the damn chore,i struck my mouth wide open and kept the head as stationary as a turttle.Phlegmatic eyes added to the trick.
There was a commotion,everybody thought i had fainted and the culprit was actually shivering.How did no one notice the wicked smile on my face.But then what happened,happens not more than once in a lifetime or even a century.You must have heard of SRK drinking on the sets of Devdas to get the required urge,have you ever heard of a person who actually fainted when he was just pretending to do so.Three cheers to this dumb natural actor!
When i came back to my senses, i was strictly told by the doctor to improve my diet or to perish.What followed were a series of requests which later became instructions and culminated as headaches."Raja betaa Khaana Khaalo Please"."Baabu nutritious diet bahut jaroori hai".
"Krishna ji tumse dugnaa maakhan khaaya karte the".Arre Yaar,agar mujhe krishna ki aadhi bhi gopiyaan laa kar do to main,unse chaar gunaa maakhan khaane ko tayyaar hooon!!!
My Dad's great institution is in the habit of transferring people every 3 yrs and it was time for me to finally stay at the place of my birth,the place where i was supposed to belong to..Dehradun.It was then that i started getting just a bit mischevious,made it to the school table tennis and hockey team.Once,while the english class was on,the three of us were involved in Plankchit..yes we wanted the spirit to scare Mrs.Lal away.She caught us midway and were thrown out of the class. Devashish suggested we go out to play basketball and i willingly followed him,coming just in time.The Vice Principal Bro. Caroll was on rounds,when a mosquito fell into my eyes.Tears started oozing and i can tell you that these catholics are really gulliblle.He mistook the tears as a way of compunction and i became an epitome of sincerity.Devashish's smirk was caught,resulting in him being asked to run around the football field whole day:)
The idiot box syndrome caught me unaware and all the outdoor activities were replaced by the mundane glue.And then the junk food really junked my senses to te core.When, we were transferred to a new place,i was conferred the title of 'Hanuman'.And there was a dichotomy of sorts.Not only did i resemble "India's super hero", but was also single,very much like him.The only difference that his desicion was a matter of choice and the fact that i had nothing to decide made it even worse.
Well, lived with the paradox of being called hanuman,when i would every day visit the Hanuman temple,not to notice the similarities but indeed pray to Him to help me get out of the jinx.
We were transferred back to Dehradun,bid adieu to 'hanuman' and gained admission into my old school.
Then came the ugliest day of my life.I ve committed many evils,been tremendously mean,plagiarised many works but nothing comes anywhere close.It was the 11th of March,had just finished with my 11th final exams and everyhing seemed to be going well. Was pretty excited to watch Kabhie Kushi Kabhie Gam,the new mega release,but had no idea that the day had only gam in store.I was rushing back home,when noticed an old lady in the middle of the road.Blew the horn as many times as i could,screamed at the top of my voice but she remained standstill.And i committed a sin,a sin that continues to torment me, at the time of every success, even today.The scooter of mine,hit this lady who was surely in her 80's and she fell down,rendering unconscious.She was rushed to the hospital, where(as i was told) she was discharged after 2 days.My regret comes from the form that i had seriously injured a person and couldnt even meet her affterwards so as to confirm her state of well being.The only solace was that i actually had the courage to accept my fault,get her to the hospital and not run away.Since the confession's done,hope to feel better now.
Lemme tell u,i am a die hard patriot and seeing this great nation as a genuine force to reckon with has always been my childhood dream.Since i respect nd adore this country,the regard for its emblems and offices comes inherently.While the flag was being hoisted on the independence day,we were supposed to be studying chemistry.The tune of the national anthem enticed us to sing along,thus halting the teacher's favourite SN2 reaction.Obviously,were thrown out of the class.Bro. Caroll who had saved me from a similar situation 5 years back came,but only with a letter in his hand this time, which said i was woefully short of attendance and might not be able to appear in the boards.I had to come up with a reliable solution quickly.
And while the thought process was on as i was returning back home, a girl riding on a cycle from the opposite direction came right in front.Had no option but to take a U turn rendering the scooter out of control.Was badly bruised all over the body and had fractured the right leg.Now that was the best available solution to come out of the Attendance thing.God id so Kind!!The plaster restricted my movement for three straight months.Gave my 12th exams using a crutch.
In the long run,the fracture taught me a lot of things.It taught me the importance of all those things that we end up taking for granted.The importance of true friends,much needed support from the family,the importance of good books(as tht was when i took up reading)and other things that were a great help.And most importantly, the fracture and the bruises made me realize that it isnt at all easy to clean your a**:)
Then began weeks of slogging..my prep. for JEE,the most dreaded exams for all enginnering aspirants.Probably,that was the first and the last time time when i put in my best effort.Though,that does include the peroidic bunks from the FITJEE test series to watch Kaante,Saathiya,harry Potter,**** ***** aur ***,** **** ********.I hope u need not be told as to what to the asteriks mean.We had fun and that made studies all the more enjoyable.In case u dont know me,i didnt clear the JEE.Never for a moment did i feel that i could ve put in more effort.I knew i had done my best.JEE was the most satisfying experience and there were people who actually deserved the 'IITian' tag much more than me.
As it happens,with most engineering aspirants,i had to search for alternatives.Ended up joining a place which aims to be at par with Stanford in 5 years or so but doesnt ve even the basic sports infrastructure into place.Had no idea as to what engineering actually meant and the first year studies did take a toll on me..physically.Kept on gaining weight till i started abhorring myself..abhorring the way i used to carry myself.Woke up one fine day and the intense passion screamed "Thats It".And that was it.A strict routine followed and man i lost 19 Kgs in 6 weeks.
A close friend has actually suggested to write a book about it and i do see some possibility of finding takers for the same.Considering the fact that i didnt join a fitness or a diet program makes it all the more marvellous.Yes, I kept on loosing pound a day for as many as 40 days till everyone i knew freaked out.Grandma thought i was terribly ill, an aunt thought i was on dope.Strangely,strange things ve strange effect on strange people!!
I am known to have grown up into pretty abnormal stuff.Abnormal not in the sense that i can open my mouth atleast 365 times in a year or prefer to take a bath only on guzzetted holidays. Can go without sleep for as long as 3 days as well as sleep for 22hrs at a stretch.Can gulp down the contents of a 2L bottle of Coke in a single go,stop my eyelids frm blinking for a couple of mins,play any damn game equally bad.I might not be involved in your times of joy but would be concerned enough at the time of apathy.And i stand by the statement, India is the land of oppurtunity,an oppurtunity to eliminate inequality ,an oppurtunity to provide equal access to facilities to every citizen.An India where every one has the ability to let their careers take the path they want to.
"Kiss me or Kick me,but dont ignore me"said Tushar Kapoor.Well,if this chap can dare to ask for a kick, i certainly deserve a kiss for this piece of crap.Meanwhile,as i go out to play soccer and score a own-goal or two,please dont forget to post in your ideas,suggestions and criticism.There's nothing as divine as feedback.And there are many more blogs to be posted real soon.So do visit regularly :)