Friday, 22 May 2009

Time wounds all heels.

You give a habit some time, and it becomes OCD.
You give civilization a few centuries, and it defiles.
You give freedom to people, and over time, fanatics emerge.
You give clients some weeks to ponder, and they start disliking what they had approved earlier.
You give love some years, and you take it for granted.
You give life a few decades, and it betrays you.

I wanted to be a painter, a cricketer, a scientist, and a rockstar at different stages of my life. Today, I'm in advertising, and there's nowhere else I'd rather be. And throughout life's course, at any given point, I was always at a place I hadn't ever imagined I would be at, five years before that point.

Makes you wonder. Isn't 'long-term' overrated?

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Hello, Urban Comfort.

Last week, us office folks went for an off-roader to Muthodi. (Near Chikmangalur, adjacent to the Bhadra forest reserve.) Cool place, this. Chilly streams, coffee plantations, fireflies, noisy trees and birds, the works.

We did the usual nature-boy things. Bathing in the stream, bonfires, tents, mosquito bites, and lots of spirited liquids. Away from uncivilized world. No electricity, no networks; basically left to our own (and the caretakers') resources. I don't recall when was the last time I survived a whole 48 hours without my phone ringing.

Three days. Lotsa gung-ho. Doing nothing proved to be a fun thing to do.

During the customary song & joke sessions 'round the fires, I often pondered though. Can we last here if it wasn't a recreational trip? I mean, we observed the people who lived and worked there. Quite a bunch. They climbed up & down the slopes without puffing for lung power. They could find their way around the dense foliage in the dark. I have trouble finding the light switch in my home in the dark; or locating the candle during a power cut.

These guys were probably made for this life. It's an evolution thing I'm sure. The giraffes grew necks, the polar bears sprouted fur, and these people got night vision and intravenous odomos.

We, on the other hand, have been fed on urban comforts all our lives. It's one thing to take a break, and talk about how nice the rusty life is, while swimming amidst rocks, pebbles, and imaginary water snakes. Doing it for life is quite another. Honestly, I don't think we can handle it long term. Not just us, even those "earthy" nature-lovers who go round the country on their Bullets, in their cargos and with their rugsacks, Canons flung across their necks. No, the jungles aren't for them too. It for those small kids in shabby clothes, wandering without shoes, living off the land, and reassuring poor souls like us that there are no snakes in the stream.

Albeit, the three days were memorable. The views were breathtaking. So were the scents and sounds of the wild. There was a jungle safari too where the most junglee thing we spotted was a squirrel and a cow with blue horns.

On our way back in the bus, as we reentered familiar stratosphere, we started getting our bearings and our networks back. At the sight of the first bar on the screen, everybody started calling friends and family telling how great the trip was. At the lunch halt, we saw ourselves in the mirror after a long time, secretly hoping we'd resemble Tom Hanks in Castaway. No luck. Same face, more stubble.

The first thing I did after reaching home was turned my ceiling fan to top speed, plugged in my mobile for recharging, switched on Good Knight, turned on my comp, downloaded all the pics from the trip, opened the fridge for a can of beer, and slouched on the sofa to watch the IPL, before reminiscing about how great and natural the rustic life is. Just then the power went off, and I stumbled in the dark looking for the candles. No place like home.