In the depths of my being, a strange certainty, deeper than reason, entirely animal in quality, filled me with terror. The same certainty which some beasts-sheep and rats feel before an earthquake. Awakening in me was the soul of the first men on Earth, such as it was before it became totally detached from the universe, when it still felt the truth directly, without the distorting influence of reason- The 'Boss', Zorba the Greek
Outside the New Delhi railway station stands a lone army javan behind a six foot high enclosure of sandbags- fully equipped with gun and bullet proof vest and helmet. Look around to find his companions, and there are none. He is the lone ranger, quite literally. He is placed about twenty feet from the entrance and most of the times, he gets lost in the crowd. He will protect us from all evil.
Indira Gandhi International airport. We drive in with a car full of little bags and big bags, wondering how it is going to be a pain to go through security. It's going to take forever! Drive through the main gate. A cop is hanging around- just peeking into the car (not even stopping us), looking to see if we are terrorist worthy or not. Apparently, we aren't. We flew through everything not stopping once for any kind of inspection. The car went to the parking and we went into the arrival lounge. Not so much of a metal detector. Our big bags (that have our whole lives in them) and us bought our enrty tickets, walked right into the arrival lounge. Going to the movies was more painful- I got body/bag searched like twice- my camera was taken away and all sorts of nonsense.
But at the international airport- nothing. Ridiculous.
How many people have the same name as me? Lots, I am sure. Not as many as a 'Pooja' or 'Divya' or 'Simran'. But quite a few. I know maybe three people, two who spell the name differently (it is spelt with an 'E' not an 'A', fool) so that makes it a totally different name. One though, spells it just like me and is literally my neighbour. Name stealer. I am a whole decade older, her parents know mine- they stole my name. Whatever. I dealt with it. I got over it (did I??).
As of thirteen december two thousand and eight, I have another namesake. Spelt with an 'e' , in a family close to mine (boyfriend's sister's baby!) and somehow I am not so irked by this situation. Okay, I won't lie- there are moments of when thinking that I have another me to deal with, it scares me. Seriously, born four days before me with my name- this is strange shit. But, the dad said this was his predetermined name for a daughter whenever he had one, and when I came into the picture (seven years ago) , he was actually shocked to meet my name. The baby came much later and the names they tried to replace my name with weren't good enough. So, there you have it. They named her. It will be weird, and I can't call her by name. She will be K2 for me. Good luck to the boy who now has a niece and a gf with the same name. BUHAHAHA!
It is hard to believe that it may happen. No, it will happen. My life will be different, forever. Our lives. Our home. *sigh*. Acha, but it also means many good things. Must look at the positive side of things. This is my new policy:positive thinking. It worked at Schipol- I had no trouble with my two twenty kg suitcases, did I? It worked then so it will work now. It is a good thing- change is. Many good things await us. We will leave behind things much better than the good things. Uff- sorry, it is GOOD GOOD GOOD.
In other news , I have been "stalking" people's blogs to see how to improve my own blogging-ness. I have added a music player, adopted a turtle, and stacked my library.Heh. Sometimes, I wonder if ADD is a friend of mine.I lose direction so easily.
Lots of great blogs out there. Slowly and steadily, I might reach there. Right now it is all random thoughts and ramblings. I am anonymous here.So I think!
If the crazy Leiden lady doesn't write to tell me about my acceptance/rejection soon, I will use it as an excuse to go visit again(the positive angle of the situation).This time my agenda will be to kick some butt! I cannot wait anylonger.It's unbearable.
My cousin is worried that her teenage daughter and Chandigarh are a bad combination. Not because she doesn't trust her daughter- she says the town is unforgiving. One mistake (considering she makes one) and the town won't let her live in peace. This is what concerns her. Really? Just that? It's pretty lame. She is growing up like we all grew up. If you screw up-deal with it. No small town ever forgets.
I am concerned too, dont get me wrong. Not for the same reasons though. I worry about the sleaze (read men) this town has accumulated. The ones that follow girls home, gape at them, don't let them live in peace types. You know the breed. She will grow up like me- always wondering if someone is following me, thinking of ways to deal with a situation if one arises and just wanting to leave this town for no other reason but this. Because the sleaze is too much to handle.
This is how this topic arose: I went to drop my niece to tuition. While driving away, my sleaze radar picked up on a follower. I was in for a shock because today's accused didn't "look" the part. He was riding an enfield (damn, i wish I had taken his number), wore a black vega helmet, was wearing fatigues and a floppy jacket. Something like what my brother wears while riding. Automatically, I put him into the category of "riders" who are altogether chilled out and never posed a problem. This is where the lovely old cliche,'Don't judge a book by a cover' comes in. He was following me and he wasn't chilled out at all.He was a sleaze. Obviously wasnt a pro yet cos he kept overshooting me and was forced to take a turn where I was going the opposite way and inevitably I lost him.Another skill I have learnt. Evading and losing the losers.
If there hadn't been so much traffic and I was a little more enthusiastic, I was going to try out a new manouver. Follow him. I was pretty excited about it but I wasn't so energetic. Next time maybe.
So this is what my little niece is going to face. No matter what they look like, no matter how they speak, what they drive, ride, walk- as long as they are male -they are all the same. Sleaze.
WHAT TO DO!
P.S. Sometimes I think it is the red big car that attracts these idiots, or my dark glasses or my height or my happy vibes (lol)- but I don't leave home without any of those things ever. Why should I ? Right??
Ten thirty and I get a phone call. Random shootings in Bombay. Watch NDTV. There it is, watch it for a while and go back to everyone. No one thought it would go on. But it did. One a.m.- Uncle S is in the Taj. Stuck.I go home. I switch on the TV.
One thirty: we speak to him- he is with a hundred other people.Safe he says.
Two a.m : Can't get through.
The Taj is on fire.
The army has been sent in.
There are bomb blasts.
People escape. They have seen dead bodies on the stairwell. Where is Uncle S?
Four am: Fresh fire breaking out. More gunshots, more bombs.
My eyes shut for a minute- I think I fall asleep. But I won't- I can't. He is in there. Seventy seven years old, all alone , in the middle of a WAR. He went for work- and he is a "hostage". Mum and Dad try to lure me into their bed but the chair is my friend. I have found my spot. I won't move. I can't.
Six am: Still burning, still fighting and still no news.
Scarsdale, Boston, Islamabad, Andheri west, # 51, #105 are sitting and watching- hoping against hope he will call.
Sunrise: Mum and Dad decide to go across to #51 -it's been too long. WHERE IS HE?
Seven a.m: I lay down, I fall asleep.
Eight thirty: I am up again. Call mum, no news. I call his number. Nothing.
I watch the news thinking I will see him maybe on TV.
Nine thirty: He is spotted!!! on TV (Headlines Today).
He is ok!!!!!! Well, physically ok. Twenty minutes later, we speak to him. He has spent the night in a six by eight foot bathroom with five other people with no room to move or sit or breathe. Spent six hours in utter silence listening to the battle right outside their door. At nine am, the army finds them.
On the twent seventh of November, he is sitting with us at the dining table- shaken and shattered but he is with us. Just like after nine eleven Bee masi walked out, scarred from what she had seen and been through, but eventually coming back to us.
Can we can sleep now?No, The war wages on.
No knowing when it will end.
This has been close, closer than ever before. Will we ever be able to sleep again?