Wednesday, 26 December, 2012

Ramblings by the Beach

The waves continue to lash the shores
The full moon lights up the beauty of the night sky
And clouds play collage with the breeze
The rustling of the wind drowned by the cacophony of the beach-goers
Any soul would buzz with joy
Lapping up this serene atmosphere

But Today
It wasn't to be
It's been 8 years
But the scars remain etched in memory

How could I forget that day...
The day when the sea wasn't blue
The day when the waves waved good bye to many a soul
The day when the air was full of loathful stench
The day when the roars of the waves drowned the prayers of thousands
How could I forget that day...

Why did it happen?
What was God trying to say?
That Nature could be harsh on us?
That Life is unpredictable no matter how much we de-risk ourselves?
That Man should finally comprehend the pettiness of his means?
That we are at the receiving end of our Karma?
What's the rationale for who gets to live and who dies?
What's the yardstick for this causality?

To me, this whole world seems to be a musical chair
We never know when the music will turn off on us
All that we can do is keep running
So run we shall
With Love and Hope as lynchpins
For without Love, there is no motive
And without Hope, is there any prospect!

In memory of Tsunami (Dec 26, 2004)

Monday, 24 December, 2012

An Obituary

The old man breathed his last this morning. The end took a while to come. But, Time catches up with everyone. Years of toil and age have taken a toll on his health; his frail body looking a distant shadow of his former self. The ‘who’s who’ of the city gathered outside his mansion to pay their last respects. In the queue are business magnates who transacted with him, big shots from politics, celebrities, IIM understudies he mentored, his detractors who for all their professional rivalry still revere him, friends of his older days, and the general public who venerate him to heavenly proportions.

What has this man did that deserves this level of adulation! It’s no simple accomplishment for one who came into the city with nothing more than a ruck-sack. I look back at the times when the old man was still The Man. Looks like distant memories, the days when he, as a kid moved into the settlement with his brothers, and begun their family trade in a small hut. Gradually, his youthful blood and natural instincts developed the business into one of the best in the city. Growth brings wealth; and wealth tends to extinguish the inner fire for excellence. His brothers un-winded gradually; but he went on, chugging like a steamer on full fire. He single-handedly built the family trade into one of the best business empire of the city. What was their hut has now metamorphosed into one of the grandest mansions in the city.

History was in the making. His success story kindled the aspirations of the city’s youth. A new generation grew inspired by his success story; he shone brightly as a guiding light in their lives. His fame attained legendary status; people revered him as their god father to say the least.

But, Time is a great equalizer. Came Fame, Then Came Fall. Age brought with it ailments. Health failed and so did his reputation. His children bickered over his business empire; once the jewel, he was now seen as a liability. The very mouths that praised him, the very hands that waited to shake hands with him, began ignoring and foul-mouthing. The saying one is only as good as his last achievement bore true yet again.

He could sense the end was nearing; but his obsessive passion for his business blurred his vision and masked the reality. His very children showed signs of dissent and sidelined him. Off late, he would withdraw into a shell and dwell over his predicament in silent contemplation. Rational reasoning would advise him to step down, but his passion would inevitably pull him back; bursts of energy would propel him for a few days only to dump him back in sickness and desolation sooner.

Finally, the day has come. Today, the city mourns his passing away; they recollect the hay days of his life, the ordeals that this man went through, the one-man army that bore the burdens of the business and hopes of millions. Superlatives fail to describe his success. To dream is one thing, to achieve it is another! But to have passion in the blood, and not letting the blinding adulation and glory diminish the heart’s burning desire to excel is no mean achievement. This old man deserves a salute just for that!

PS: A scruffy attempt on an obituary. How I wish I could name the old man!