Sunday, April 25, 2010

Silent Hero

I'm normally very terrified of traffic cops, owing to past experiences where mild ignorances ended up being translated as trespasses of the law. However, I'm working on that. And yesterday, a rather ordinary incident changed my perception of these men in white and khaki.

The traffic was insane. I didn't mind, Khaled was singing into my ears. It was hot but I had my shades on and AC high. Cars were everywhere-left, right, back, front. Horns blaring, sun searing, confusion reigning supreme over the scene. Something was wrong with the traffic light and as usual, no one had a clue, so they were doing what we in India do best-race ahead at the expense of everyone else even if we have nowhere urgent to go to.

This traffic policeman was all by himself. In that debilitating, destablising sun. He had no Khaled or AC. All he had was this mess before him, around him. He was not sheltered by a comfortable cocoon perched high above the craziness. He was walking around, weaving around this cars, purposeful and ever-composed, as if the noise did not exist and collision was impossible. Me, I would've bolted or screamed my lungs out at these unruly inanimate personalities (Cars always seem that way to me. I cannot relate them to people controlling them from inside).

No, he was calm. With a wave of his hand and a nod of his head, he stopped one section and allowed the rest to zoom off. He didn't growl or wield his scary baton. He seemed to command the respect of me and my fellow travellers, soothing us all into patience, rare on an April afternoon in Chennai. The mess vanished, leaving a gloriously empty road ahead. Another wave of his hand, he deemed as free to pass. And so we did, slower and calmer. Our destinations could wait. It was all good.

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Letter to Time

Dear Time,

I've been meaning to write. Well, it's kinda your fault I couldn't. I've been thinking about you a lot lately. I guess I could've written rather than spent so much time thinking. What a waste, you.

I hope I'm not interrupting your busy schedule. Who am I kidding? Nobody can interrupt you (hmm, idea for a sci-fi movie) but I've been meaning to well, not exactly, complain, but question your breakneck speed and the lifestyle you lead, trampling on petunias and tripping over plastic toys. Stress is a killer, you know.

Time, listen. I'm not pointing fingers or assigning blame or anything, so just relax. But I'd like you to refer back 365 days in your diary (or if that's a problem, my diary) and I'd like you to tell me if life then was fact or fiction. Is who I am or whom I speak to or what I do now the markers of reality and does it completely negate what existed before, a week or a month of in this case, a year past?

Okay, okay, don't laugh. I know you and Forever broke up long ago. Adam and Eve told me how you guys were so close.

It's not that I want to live in the past. I told you, I concluded that fourteen is so not where I want to be. I love my life. But this is what I ask, do YOU really have the right to choose who stays in my life and who doesn't? I mean, come on, I have it right here in my diary, the truest words spoken by a dearest friend. Sweet words, adorable words by an adorable person. The feelings are the same (atleast on this end), the warmth of the memories ever fresh and as delightful as freshly baked bread or newly ground coffee. But the SMSes are down in a book while the phone is long discarded. The incidents are in a sliding drawer in my head, not in front of me. The places still exist but the people to go to them with? I'm again saying its not all your fault, (your brother Distance has more to do with this but I hate talking to him) but could you be less like an IT raid and more like a gently bubbling stream? Hello, that's what they used to call you. What did the digital age do to you? Or were you always like this and it takes growing up to figure you out...?

I don't want to go back. No, siree. But I'd like a refund. I'd like there to be less photos and more real-life. I'd like my best friend to be in front of me and not in a book. He did exist and I want him to prove you, Time wrong.

Stop chuckling.