Posted by: Neeraj | August 6, 2008

We just want a little bit more than we get

I was born a human being. When I was a child I loved toys. Slowly I grew up and my priorities began to change but human nature as it is did not change. I still want just a little bit more than what I already have. I guess this is true for everyone else in this world too. Here are a few examples:

When I was a child I just wanted to grow up and be like Papa – big and strong. It wasn’t much that I was asking God for. Then I grew up to be a teenager and was doing reasonably well in my studies and suddenly Papa told me to top my class. I began to try hard, really hard and I huffed and puffed my way to first position in the class. Realizing I had potential Papa began to push me to study even harder and put before me an almost unachievable target of doing Engineering and that too from the best Engineering Institute in the country. I tried but failed. I managed to become an Engineer but not from the top Institute in the country. Realizing I was not competent enough he settled for lesser.

Then came my chance of starting work just like everyone else. I commuted for three hours everyday on a bus and thought,” Oh, God! If only I had a two wheeled drive how much time and effort would it save me.” After an year of toil God relented and let me have one. I was the happiest man in the world but for a few days. Slowly, my envy shifted to all those people who drove a car, whose white shirt remained white throughout the day and I started craving for a car. The craving stayed with me until I pushed myself to buy my first car – a non airconditioned less than a liter car. It was the most beautiful thing on earth but again for a few days.

I was not married then. I always rate myself as one of the more contented man. So I prayed for a non controversial homely wife who could adapt to the culture of my home. I got married and the lady, to her credit, adjusted really well. In the meanwhile, I had got fed up of my non AC car and started looking for ways to buy an AC version, always telling myself that the green house effect was making the earth hotter every day. At the same time I had got bored of my Executive position and my Manager was the focal point of my envy. God again relented in a few years, I got promoted and bought myself an AC car.

At home, my wife got germinated with seeds of our first child and both of us prayed only for the baby to be born safe. Self professed contemporary Indians we did not care what the sex of the baby was. The baby was born safe – a girl child and very beautiful. All of us were very happy.

A few years have passed since and we sit in the present. I am not the happiest man again. I now crave for a bigger car – an SUV or a luxury Sedan, the position of the head of my organization, an Ivy league education for my child and off course a second child – now a boy child. And I also wish that my wife, the lady of the house, should have been someone else – a more educated, erudite, suave working professional.

Posted by: Neeraj | August 2, 2008

The Park

Unobtrusive, silent, undemanding, compromising and giving – that’s how I perceive my neighborhood Park. It gives me life, maybe has saved me from a few killer diseases, and gives me an avenue to vent out my feelings with my friends. I believe, that it is because of the Park that it is said that countries where there is more sun people are warmer because they come out of their homes and meet in the Park. Then I tried to visualize what she thinks of us – the daily visitors. In her words:

The Marauders
The Marauders are typically the type who do not have any respect for me and for that matter anyone else. They stomp on me, they spit on me, they leave a huge pile of garbage in their wake and they pluck the flowers that I nurture with so much care for their daily religious chore at home. I hate the sight of them and if I had a gun they would have been the ones who would need those very flowers which they tore from my chest so brutally.

The Health Tourists
The Health Tourists could be young, could be old. They will visit me mostly in the mornings or in the evenings. They brisk walk, they jog, they run and they exercise depending on their individual drive to stay fit. Some of them drop out, not able to cope with the daily regime; others who stick continue for a lifetime. Among the health tourists there exists a clan of medical tourists who have been told (and that too rather strictly) to visit me every day or get laid (to rest in peace four feet under the ground).

The Gossipers
I love them – the Gossipers. They comprise mostly of the most admired form of life on earth – the females, though well past their prime and with a lot of free time at hand. In summers they congregate in the evenings and in the winters in the afternoons dragging along with them their afternoon chores to me. They form a group, their loyalty shifts everyday like the weather and they are loyal only to fellow women present on that day. None of the gang dares to be absent, lest its her turn to be dissected in the day’s session. They are very well informed about each resident, updating and indexing their information on a daily basis and I feel if you ask them about anyone’s bedroom in my neighborhood they can throw up a better result than any existing search engine on the face of the earth.

The Love mongers
They are the ones who profess peace, not for the world but for themselves. They are usually not known in my neighborhood. They come under the scanner everyday even if they try to hide under a secluded tree, looking to steal that elusive moment only to embrace each other. Sometimes they are shouted upon by the self professed moral police and they have to beat a hasty, embarrassed retreat. My heart bleeds for them!

The Sportsmen
I understand they are not marauders,  but they are forced to brutalize me in the absence of specialized playgrounds which have been sacrificed in order to accommodate more homes, make more schools (again without playgrounds or with very small playgrounds). They are young kids, who usually stay indoors playing on their PlayStations or Xboxes, but sometimes lured out by the huge success of the soccer world cup or the Olympics or Cricket. With time I have learnt to tolerate them and even love them.

The Passersby
They are the guests. They could be salesmen engaged in Direct Marketing stopping over for lunch under the shade of one of my trees. They could be the house maids, the servants who come out for a smoke or simply peace after a back breaking cleaning session at the cruel, demanding owner’s house. They belong to lower middle class, and at best, trying to live an honest life under highly tempting (because the owner is usually a rich guy) and trying (because they themselves make a pittance for themselves) circumstances. I wish God would hear their prayers at least.  

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