Writing is the only profession where no one considers you ridiculous if you earn no money.
- Jules Renard

18 May, 2009

Enough Is Enough!

Author's Note: The entire write-up below is purely fiction. Readers are requested to keep that in mind while reading.

(This was found besides a dead body of a college student who seemed to have killed himself by slitting his wrist)

To whomsoever it may concern,

I am writing this to proclaim that ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. I want out of this horrid life of mine, and by the time you read this, I may have succeeded in pulling the plug. In other words, what you are reading now is a suicide note. You may call me a sissy, a coward who could not face his problems in life and preferred to run away, but you will only understand when you realize how life has been treating me until now.

I was born in 1991. Not like it's important, it's the beginning of a huge waste anyway, but I have to start somewhere. I started my Std 1 in 1998, and instantly found that I grasped concepts much easier than my peers could, and also remember them well. In other words, I was a 'scholar'. A few years later, an IQ test would give me an IQ of 142 — meaning 'prodigiously gifted', but that's until later.

In the first three years of primary school, I scored 95 plus % straight, and ended up becoming the teachers' favorite and the students' envy. That very envy was probably the reason why I didn't have many friends back then — In fact, come to think of it, why I didn't have any friend back then.And then, it was the 4th standard examination when it happened. I was caught during the exam — with a book under my desk. When you are caught and punished for something you haven't even done, it feels very, very bad. For all I know, it might have been done by some of my so-called 'classmates' for a good laugh. And boy, did they get it! I didn't get one though, all I got was a big fat zero in the subject, without any real reason.

The incident hit me very hard; I suppose you could call it 'below the belt'. It took me years, many long years, to get over it, and in the process, my academics, the only thing I was ever any good at, suffered. The taunts that suggested I couldn't score as much as I used to just because I didn't get to copy didn't help. However, I was almost over it by the age of about 14 - 15, thanks to some very solid support from Dad. The IQ test I was talking about had also happened by then.

And then, life landed its second blow, hitting where it hurt the most: It singlehandedly took out my entire support system. Dad was returning from his job that day, but was 10 minutes late and missed his usual local. He simply took another one. The day was 11 July, 2006. Only charred pieces of his body were found... (Here, some seemingly random scribbles are seen, which have been struck out.)

Sorry, I'd got a bit emotional... And Mom, well, she, to this day, believes that Dad hasn't yet returned from his Fort office, and will soon come... she's in a Mental Asylum.

Almost a year later, I got my SSC results (AKA 10th Standard) — 61%. Good in the face of what had happened; 'A testimony to your talent', that's what Dad would have said; but that doesn't change the truth, it being that my dream of being a Nuclear Scientist was all but destroyed. Not the first dream of mine to go that route; and certainly not the last.

However, none of these had much of an effect on the hormones of my body. You might be knowing what happens in your typical male body at the age of around 16 - 17 — Total chaos in your body, with only one coherent wish coming out of the mess: I WANT A FEMALE. (The more, the better, in some cases.) And then I noticed her... Naina. A Commerce classmate of mine, her major feature was apparent from her name itself: her striking blue eyes. Between losing both my parents and getting stuck in Commerce trying to tally Balance Sheets (not that I ever managed to do it), I felt Naina was the best thing that had happened to my life. How wrong I was... But by the time I realised that Naina was, in fact, my life's fourth strike against me, it was too late...

They say 'Be careful of what you choose to desire, lest the desire comes true'. I desired Naina to say 'Yes' when I popped the question on the first day of the vacation post 11th (or FYJC), and she did. Of course, in hindsight, I feel it would have been much better if she had said 'No' straight away. We were together for a total of six months, and guess what? She two-timed me all the time... ALL the damn time! She had already been in a 'relationship' even as she said 'Yes' to me. Why do girls do that? Not that I'm terribly interested in knowing... One of the things IQ scores don't reflect is how good or poor the person is at judging other people...

This affected my HSC results as badly as my SSC ones... probably worse. In the end, I had to settle for an admission in this hole-in-the-wall college that would grant an FYBCom admission to a 49% scorer. (Not even the new crappy percentile system helped...)

And there, life played its final hand. I say 'final' because I have no real inclination towards letting it screw around with me even further. The very day I set foot first in the college premises, a group — in fact, a gang — of 6 - 8 seniors put me through intense humiliation. I cannot even get aroung to write what they did, but I can tell you that it was a milder version of the atrocity depicted in The Kite Runner.

I still attempted to contact the authorities, without much hope, and learned two things. One was the shocking truth that the leader of the gang was none other than the principal's son himself. And the other was the supposed reason — or you might say provocation — for the attack: something to do with me being a North Indian.

I won the first battle in life — if fact, against life, of getting a headstart over my competition due to natural ability. But then life struck back with a vengeance, and now the seven-match series stands finished at 1-6. Today, I'll end it on my own terms. Goodbye World!

Yours Unluckily.


03 May, 2009

No Honking Day

"In other reports, today is being observed as 'No Honking Day' in Mumbai. This initiative to reduce the dangerously rising noise levels of the city has been taken up by the students of the reputed Mithibai College. The organizers of the day have left no stones unturned in their efforts to ensure its success, and have enlisted police support too. Which means, anybody caught honking will be fined anywhere between Rs. 50 and 500. This just goes to show how much the youth care for the people around them and for the environ—"

"Utter Bullshit." Mr. Verma switched off the TV and returned to his Toast-Bread breakfast. "Cars have horns for a reason, damn it! How else are we drivers supposed to alert the rowdy motorcyclists or the blind pedestrians that a car is coming and you need to save your arse from its front grill! But you so-called 'environment-conscious' people, you'll never understand..."

"Dad, if you drive well, you should face no need for horns."

"Have you ever, ever seen the Mumbai traffic? Ever negotiated a car around it? No, right? And still you bloody go ahead with your initiative that fines people for using horns!"

"I repeat, if you drive well, you won't need any horns... If." Before her father could open his mouth to retort, she plowed on, "And why is it that you elders don't care two hoots about the environment? It is always we youngsters who are taught of the depleting Ozone layer, the noise threshold of the human ear... Do you even know how much it is?" Without waiting for an answer, she continued, "About 85 decibels. And well, okay, we are taking the major steps. But can't we even expect your support? Just remember one thing: Whatever you people do, you will escape. It will be my generation that will have to suffer the consequences... Is that why you take the environment for granted? Forget it, why am I wasting my breath..." So saying, she — unnecessarily — raised her voice a bit further to say, "Mom, I'm leaving, Goodbye! I may be a bit late today, don't you worry about me." With that, she picked up her bag and stormed out of the house.

Mrs. Verma appeared from within the inner recesses of the house and said, "You know how she is..." But Mr. Verma wasn't listening.

"Hey, dude! Why feeling so low? What's up, man?"

Mr. Verma was in the Axis Bank office where he worked as head cashier. However, that day, he wasn't feeling up to the job of supervising all the note-counting going on aroung him. Two hours into his job for the day, his colleague Rajeev spoke the above words.

"Nothing, Raj..."
"Sunaina again?"
"I used the horn," Verma said, appearing in a daze.
"Yes, it's Sunaina again indeed... Oh come on, we do need horns!"
"You don't understand... If we continue this way, it will be Sunaina's generation that will have to face the consequences..."
"You aren't in your mind today... Let's go to Sashi's after work, okay?"

Later in the day, Mr. Verma sat in his car to drive home after a day that had passed in a daze. His boss had reprimanded him — the third time in a month — for negligence. After that, he and Raj had gone to Sashi's Beer Bar where they — at least Verma himself — had drank very mildly. In spite of that, when he entered his Indica to drive back home, his watch showed 11:45.

He was driving steadily along the deserted highway when he saw a young boy take off across the road to cross it. He seemed to be extremely poor, with a dishevelled appearance, aged about 20 — Mr. Verma remembered with a pang — around the same as Sunaina. Mr. Verma's hand moved reflexively towards the center of the steering wheel, but then, voices began to ring in his head...

We are taking the major steps. But can't we even expect your support?
You will escape. It will be my generation that will have to suffer the consequences...
Why is it that you elders don't care two hoots about the environment?

The dashboard clock on the Indica said 12:10, but Verma had no eyes for it... nor for anything else. His daze ended only when he heard a sickening thump. That thump changed his life.

"Looks like the boy was innocently crossing the road, and the car just came and crashed into him," a Police officer was saying to another. "What did his Breathalyser say?"
"He did have alcohol, but it was slightly below the permissible limit," the second officer replied.
"Oh, I see..."
"What now?"
"You said it was slightly below, right? Okay... Double the figures and slap a drunk driving charge on his face... This might finally mean our long-overdue promotions are on their way!"
"Once that happens, we'll celebrate! Sashi's the place! What say?"