Sunday, April 16, 2006

My First Novel

I began writing this novel in November 2005. I've completed 4 chapters till date. It is a simple story about an imaginary guy named 'me'.

I am writing the first chapter here so that I get reviews about it. I'll continue anyway.

Life is a highly capricious game and it is the fittest and the toughest who comes out as a winner in it. Winning is a feeling which surpasses all heartaches and sorrows. I was not always a winner in my life but I always wanted to be one, just like anyone else. Maybe it was this hidden passion for winning in my head that led to the birth of my protagonist in this novel. Even he is not a winner at times but he certainly has one thing which at least never lets him lose - hope. I hope I learn something from him. The story written is not autobiographical but things which go on in your mind often reflect in your works.

My head started swelling just after the Incident. At first I thought it was merely the aftereffect of the tragedy. But as the time passed,the swelling continued. I was simply clueless of its implications and cure. No one else saw the big lump on my head. Neither did I when I looked in the mirror. But I felt it all the time; even while I was dozing in the class oblivious to the boring lectures or while cycling to the department with a heavy hitchhiker or while eating the rot rotis in the mess, I felt that glob grow larger and larger. When I was just on the verge of insanity due to this feeling, I wrote a poem for a competetion. Even though the poem wasn't a whole-hearted attempt, I felt my lump had become smaller. It was an infinitesimal change but I could feel it. It was then that I realised the meaning of it. The clumpy mass on my head was the chunk of the overflowing emotions, as if a high tide of unknown feelings had come and taken possession of my brains. And then I decided to write, to bring out all the stinky pus out of my bubbling head in the form of a poem. I wrote a few poems but they weren't enough. I needed something big, really big to clear this thing out of my head. And it was then that I decided to write this novel. I hope the swelling will be completely egested after I complete it.


You'll need a lot of patience to complete it. Carry on!!

Chasing the morning sunshine

Chapter-1
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I loved blue.
I am not sure if I still like the cloudless blue sky, the bluing indian team or for that matter, Aishwarya Rai's eyes but I loved blue back then. Back then I liked everything blue or even with slightest bluish tincts.

My earliest memories of blue are of a deep blue saree my mother used to wear. The memories are too faint; of a time when I was merely four or five but the blue colour has remained with me ever since. I have always liked the blue eyes of my grandmother and Chinky-Minky. I also remember that my first crush wore a blue dress when I first saw her. Well, so did my second, third and numerous other crushes. maybe I had a fetish with the blue colour which seemed to maturate every time I saw some new shade of blue.

Loving a single colour more than the rest is not new. Many people love specific colours for various reasons. Many hindus rate saffron equivalent to God Himself. Misha Bittleston always painted in different shades of black. Some girls have been observed to be too much obsessed with pink. Some people imbue their hairs with the wierdest of colours.There have been numerous examples of this single colour mania. I write all this to prove that my being possessed by blue was never wrong. It was not wrong until this colour brought doom into my life.

Well, maybe I am jumping too fast to more interesting and awry chapters of my life. You must wait a bit longer to know more about that blue trouble, about the stone statue, about the potato belly,about Chinky-Minky and her wooden horse, about her and about me. As for now I must focus on the beginning of it all and nothing else.

So, I loved blue. People say, so did my grandfather. People say, he always wore his blue kurta when invited to any function in the village. People say he looked dashing in it with his long legs,fair colour and enigmatic smile. People say it was in one of those occassions that he first saw my grandmother and her blue eyes.

Burra Baabu Ramdayal Prasad Singh had always wanted his son to be a government employee just like himself. In early twentieth century, being an employee of the Raj was not only a matter of money, it was a matter of prestige, of being better than the rest of the worthless society. It was due to this desire of Ramdayal that Gopi studied and went to the best school in the nearby town of Bettiah. He shared classes with the son of the then primeminister of the Champaran Raj and even few Europeans. When Gopi got the highest marks in his Biblical Studies course, the devout and orthodox Ramdayal forgot all about his religious predilections and his heart puffed up in pride when the Father of the school told him about it. Ramdayal always tried to be like his masters. He preferred trousers over dhoti, shirts over Kurtas, 'Saahibs' over 'Desis'and wanted his son to do the same.
Everything went fine till Gopi reached fourteen and seventh class. It was during one of the Bible classes. The foreigner teacher was teaching about Christ raising David from his grave and he was becoming a bit persuasive in it.
"Has any of your thousands of Hindu gods ever raised someone from dead? I dont think any of them had powers even slightly equal to the powers of the holy Christ!"Everyone in the class swallowed what was said just like any other lecture and noted it in their notebooks. Everyone but Gopi.
He didn't know much of Hindu scriptures. He knew more of Bible than of Geeta. He was more near to Christ than Krishna. He scored the highest marks in Biblical studies and his father loved him for that. But it was probably the effect of Gopi's religious housewife mother Chandramani that forced him to raise his voice when the rest of the class was busy meaninglessly scribbling down what was being taught.
"I dont think so, sir"
"What do you mean, Gopal?"the teacher's voice was more inquisitive than angry. Gopi was his best student and he liked him for that. 'Gopi' was the proof that he was doing his work of spreading the holy message of Christ quite well.
"Sir, I mean, my mother told me that even Lord Krishna raised King Parikshit from dead."
"Well, no one has ever heard of this story, dear. Maybe your mother lied to you."
This was enough for Gopi. In the last fourteen years of his life, the only thing he had never questioned was his mother's verity. He had heard all her religious stories, her complaints, her rebukes, her love-filled songs and he had believed them to be fully true without a second thought. His teacher calling his mother a liar was too much for him.
"Sir, don't call my mother a liar. She never lies."
"I think she lied in this case. Maybe she lies at times but you don't realise that."
The teacher was from somewhere in Wales. Even in 1913, the truthfulness of someone's mother was not a big deal there. Mothers in Europe lied as often to their sons as to their husbands and to their lovers.

But for Gopi, this was the contempt of his mother. He grabbed the writing board he always carried and hurled it towards the teacher with all his might. The Europe-made writing board, bought by the pseudo-European Ramdayal from a European supplier, got its target on the face of the confused European teacher. Before he could say anything, some of the enthusiastic students started raising slogans. Bengal's partition in 1905 had already given the term 'Indian' a new meaning and the Indian students of the class saw it as an oppurtinity to show loyality to their religion and nation. The clever ones of them saw it as an oppurtinity to bunk the classes. They lifted Gopi on their shoulders and marched out chanting slogans, some of them entirely meaningless and uncontextual.

Poor Gopi was still confused with his action. He didn't know that he was to do these kinds of impetuous actions,caused by adrenaline overflows, all his life and finally succumb and die due to this. His over-impulsive nature even passed on to his sons and their sons and even destroyed my life.

Without deviating further, I move on to the scene Ramdayal created when he heard about the furore that his obedient and only son Gopi had created. His small action had led to an outburst in the whole of the town of Bettiah. Those were tough times and people had already heard a lot of the lean and thin Indian who was working wonders in South africa with his non violent methods. The market was closed in protest and there were some processions. When people learned that Gopi was the son of Ramdayal, some of them came to congratulate him and this was ignominious for the fractional European that he was. He rushed back to his home with his umbrella and called for Gopi. Gopi, by now, was welling up with pride. He had not only fought for the honour of his mother but had made a huge fan-following in school. He came to his father with a smiling face and a puffed up chest only to see the growling man pacing up and down the verandah with his umbrella. And when Ramdayal saw his son, he lost all control over his fury and started thrashing the little boy with his umbella. Despite his wife's cries and son's wails he went on banging the poor child until he realised that one more blow from that umbrella will weaken it beyond repair. Then he went inside the house leaving his son nearly unconscious and totally bruised on the verandah. Ramdayal never came to know that this small incident changed his son for ever. No, it didn't calm him, it made him more rebellious, more strong-willed, more patriotic. It made him against his father, his father's ways and his father's masters. Ramdayal never came to know that he and his umbrella had led to the germination of the greatest freedom fighter in the region. Ramdayal never came to know that it was the last time he was using his umbrella for anything.


Ramdayal passed away that night in sleep. No, it was nothing to do with Gopi. It was his highly confused and similarly blocked heart which overtook him in his dreams. Some women discussed among themselves of the possibility of Gopi and the tormented Chandramani, Gopi's mother murdering the man while he was asleep but after a brief discussion, heart blockage won over patricide. They were all convinced that it was God's punishment to the English-licker and went in flocks to sympathise with the poor widow and praise the dead man. While the whole of the village was shedding crocodile tears over the incident, Gopi didn't cry. He was too confused by the sudden sequence of events. Day before yesterday he was just a student, then he became a hero, then a paternal shame and then fatherless. After the cremation and the final ceremonies, everyone left and the big haveli, Chandramani and Gopi were left alone. That night while Gopi was on the rooftop, he realised the worthlessness of running behind worldly pleasures and smiled cryptically. That smile became the part of his face for ever.

For the next few years, things weren't easy for the duo. Chandramani got ill by the shock and never left the bed again. Still in his teenagers, Gopi was suddenly conferred the crown of the head of the family. He left his studies and started farming in the farms which were once farmed by his 'Desi'servants. He was usually sober and well behaved with the highly mysterious smile on his face all the time. But he sometimes became angry and acted rashly. Beating his bulls, picking up fights and slapping a European reporter from Patna were just a few examples. Partly due to his father's reputation and partly due to his normally calm personality, he avoided major problems. The problems began when Britishers started forcing the villagers to grow indigo in their farms at minimal prices. This indigo was to exported to Britain and sold at high prices. Indigo is bluish in colour and probably, this is when my obscure association with the blue colour started. Indigo growing was harmful for the soil and wasn't profitable for the farmers but no one ever questioned the rulers. People including Gopi blindly followed what was being ordered.

It was the arrival of Mahatma Gandhi in 1916 which changed things for the people of the Champaran region. A poor farmer from the neighoruring town of Motihari had approached Gandhiji and had urged him to come to Champaran. Gandhiji had readily agreed and it was Champaran where he first realised the homeless India, the naked India, the hungry India, the true India.It was during his public lectures at Bettiah that Gopal Prasad Singh first understood the meaning of revolution, even though he had once done something similar to it. He joined the Satyagraha movement alongside Gandhiji. He was young, energetic, popular and strong-willed. Soon, he was the leader of his area and a close associate of Gandhiji. The britishers had to bend down to the power of the non-violent revolution and they passed the Indigo Law of 1916 forbidding forced farming of Indigo.Gandhiji learned the meaning of poverty and people learned the meaning of freedom. Both learned the meaning of 'India'. Seeing the poverty of the region, Gandhiji decided to leave his clothes and wear only loin-cloth. Experiencing the magic of freedom, Gopal Prasad Singh decided to give up farming and joined the local Congress party.


Things were better for him now. When Congress Party decided to nominate their new Area Chairman, they found appeal in Gopal's smile. When Gopal decided to start wearing coloured kurtas, he chose blue. When Chandramani, his inspiration for his first revolution died after prolonged illness, Gopal did cry a lot this time. When Gopal first saw my grandmother, his heart missed a beat. Things were indeed better.


It was at the wedding of Maria's friend that Maria and Gopal saw each other for the first time. Was it the blue of Gopal's kurta or was it the blue of Maria's eyes, I'm not sure but something passed between them in a single glance. Gopal, by then, was young, smart, alone and a local celebrity. The combination was lethal and wherever he went, fathers judged, mothers spied and daughters murmured and giggled. Maria had often heard of Gopal through her friends but when she first saw him, she was blown off her feet. Even Gopal had heard of the beauty of Maria. Maria, the daughter of an Irish father and an Indian mother, had the best of features of both worlds. Her father was a soldier in the British Army who had fallen in love with her mother when he had come to the place for the 1902 Nepal Wars. He married her mother and even settled there. But he had to leave his wife and their twelve year daughter when the World War-I broke out. His hybrid family was ill treated by both the locals and the rulers. He finally died in 1917 in Egypt and never came to know of his illustrious son-in-law. Maria's mother was a primary school teacher and remained ill for most of the time. She wanted to get Maria married as soon as possible. When the sixteen year old Maria and nineteen year old Gopal looked at each other, they knew they were meant for each other. Just like any other Indian boy of those times, Gopal didn't talk to Maria. As impulsive he was, he approached her mother and asked for her hand. Maria's mother had always wanted to meet an angel since her childhood and Gopal with a good reputation, attractive looks and no venomous mother-in-law for her daughter was an angel in disguise for her and her daughter. She readily agreed but with the condition that the marriage take place with Christian rites. Fortunately, she didn't live long enough to see the dream love marriage turn into a nightmare because of her daughter and their angel. She breathed her last in the same old haveli within a year of the marriage.


So sometime in December, 1918, on a wintery night at the Bettiah Catholic Church, my grandfather Gopal Prasad Singh and my grandmother Maria Barlow Singh, later renamed Meera Singh, married each other in a rather quaint ceremony. I say quaint because it's probably the only case where the bridegroom was wearing a blue kurta as his wedding dress.

Sunday, February 27, 2005

links of cupid

I have made a links site but I dont think I have put up decent links in it yet. But still I am trying. So go to the links of cupid.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Reporting from amidst a flooded desert !!

When a person, who rarely blogs, does so, especially in between the racking schedule of ever-tormenting midsemester exams, its easy to guess that he's doing so because his food till now has been either very dainty or totally insipid. Well I belong to the later category. In short,I'm 'makhao'ing big time in these exams.
In a paper, in which 'junta' was out of the hall in one hour, I was struggling to complete it. I left a question and did a very very silly mistake too.
But why am I showing off my foolishness and failure in public ??!? The only reason for this is that I want to relieve myself of this sappy feeling and prepare for some better performance in days to come.
well, in addition to midsems my life has acquired another newfangled self-inflicted chaos and as expected for a Cupid, my life here means my love-life. For the people who were incognizant of this.. yes!! even I have (??had??) a love life.
Well, there was this girl who was once my neighour (... umm .. or rather... the girl next door..). I saw her first time when I came home from my boarding school in vacations seven years ago. She was rope-skipping. Imagine this..a flapping skirt and a hopping 'bonnie jeune fille' on a resplendent evening. And no perks for guessing that I developed a huge crush on her. Soon we became friends (or rather just aquaintance!). She was in our building for 3-4 years and most of my vacations in those days were spent watching and analysing her from different possible angles. Well, after she was gone, I almost forgot her after a temporary breakup-daze.
The unforseen twist came when I met her after quite a gap on Net 5-6 months ago. Considering the dreary dryness of this place, it took only few chat sessions and phone-calls to revive the hidden embers of love (or lust ?!?) for her. The better part was that most of the times it was she who called me( For people who are wondering what's the difference... its 'paisa', darling, the only thing I value more than love!!) . So, I fell for her and started dreaming... day-dreaming... night-dreaming...class-dreaming.. room-dreaming.. about her.
Now time for the climactic tragedy... The crash of my crush came this Valentine's Day when she mirthfully announced that she has just accepted 'the proposal' of one of her classmates and I was her first confidant of this 'euphoric' news (considering I'm such a good friend of hers .... grrr..) . So this was the blunt and bumpy end to my joyous ride.
Well, she still calls and I still reply with those fake laughters on her PJ s (Pathetic Jokes :)) ) and false concern for her missed classes/busses and self-made reviews of movies and lies about my adventurous exploits and daring forays. Yaar !! you can't give up on someone sooooo close soooooo easily. Right?!! Try maarte rahna hai... someday someway, I'll succeed.

At this moment there is only thing which comes to my head.... (Thanx Ghalib Uncle !!)

"Unke dekhe se jo aa jaati hai moonh par raunaq
wo samajhte hain ki beemaar ka haal achcha hai"

"hazaaron Khwahishein aisi ki har Khwahish pe dam nikle
bahut nikle mere armaan.. lekin fir bhi kam nikle"

Hoping for the best...
Adieu everyone!!

===
Currently reading:- Obviously for Midsems
Currently listening:- Maine Dil se kaha and The Scientist (courtesy:- P.S and Akhauri... my next doors)
Just watched and liked:- Before Sunrise and Before Sunset, Top 100 NBA plays (Documentary)
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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Just to remind I still exist !!!

Blop!! Blop!!!..... here I come again... Sometimes I get confused by my habit of getting inconspicuously invisible and re-surface againwith my insanely irresponsible blogs. whatever be the case... I am back again.
offff!!!!! I was in such a mood to bore you all but something more important has crept up.... will resurface again.
===
currently reading--> Love and Longing in Bombay (Vikram Chandra)
currently listening--> Bandeh(Indian Ocean) and Page 3
just watched and liked--> Black and Smallville-413
--- cupid.
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Friday, October 01, 2004

feeling wet, wet, wet !!!

Long before midsems started, plans for a post-midsems trip had begun. Quoting Shreen,' the trip could and should be anywhere in this world outside the walls of this hellhole campus'. The possible options were purging Puri, already digested Digha, chancy Chandipore and kool Kolkata. Finally,mid sems ended and after lots of discussions and discourses, we settled for a soused visit to eastern india's only water theme-park-'Aquatica'. We started Saturday early morning on our cycles (my cycle was obviously borrowed one as i've lost mine last year itself!!). With fuddled Reddy Da slopping and sleeping (as usual), we were quite behind our schedule.But we boarded a galloping passenger (for the uninitiated, a galloping passenger is a semi-express with the passenger fare) right on time and reached Howrah by 10 am. After an appetising breaker at Comesum, we took the seemingly eternal taxi ride through the dingy streets and smoky traffic of the crumbling and crumpling city of joy, rosogullas and dust. We finally reached our terminus after losing the track for a while and travelling extra 2-3 miles. The park had just started its day and our dreams of finding scantily clad Bengali Babes were tattered with the presence of well-dressed and well-fed aunties. Being the end of a mind-boggling midsems,there were a lot of kgpians all around. At times, we even felt as if we were in kgp itself. Anyways, we enjoyed all the rides and had lots and lots of soppy fun for more than five hours. I won't go in details as it'll be better if you yourself go and explore the place. At around 5:30 pm,after an agile decision, we took an auto for Inox. Inox and the adjoining shopping mall looked a total oxymoron to the rest of the greasy city. We spent just an hour there but got to see the best of brands and bandis. Especially, i was bowled over by a pretty receptionist at the mall's information counter. Well, soon after we moved to Esplanade cum Park Street, the final phase of our visit. It was at this moment when we had started musing over the perfection of our trip that we lost contact with each other and had to split into two groups.After an hour long confusion, we finally converged again at Domino's and had a corking dinner. Finally we caught one of the last trains to kgp and reached here at 1:30 am. The best part of our returning journey was the cycle drive from station to the campus through the ghostly,benighted and deserted road. After that? well, after that.... obviously we slept like never before (i even missed the next day's lunch). It was indeed a day you would love to live over again and again.
===
I'm loving it...
--- cupid.

back from an oblivion !!

so... i have resumed blogging.... ya!! i know you (my devoted and consecrated fans!!) are enraged at me because i kept u deprived of the conjuration of my sometimes elegiac, sometimes witty blogs...
there were times when i needed to flush my emotions out somewhere.... times like the day when midsem became history and we had some really wet wet time at aquatica, or the day
when i realised its useless to trust friends who usually arrive late when they are most needed, or the day when i finished reading 'the fountainhead' and wondered about the dexterities of this manipulative bluff known as life, or the days when the unpredictable 'beimaan' kgp weather suffers (and is still aching) from multiple personality disorders, or the days when i fell in love for yet another beauty and another and another... but, constraints of time and tempo won over the effect of the aforementioned motivations and finally after lots of tribulating trials, here is a series of the recent ruminations and confused confessions of a not-so- dangerous mind.
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I would prefer falling in chocolate than in love.
--- cupid.

Monday, June 07, 2004

Experiencing the Serendipity

BoooHoooHoooo!!!!! I'm returning back to the haunting zone of 'Kyunki Saas...'aka my home tomorrow and I'll really miss Kgp like always, the only solace being the comparative abundance of beautiful lassies outside the non-existent walls of the campus.
But, today I won't blog about the grief and sorrow I feel and how much I cry when I'm far from here. The actual cause of the crevasse in my heart is that after so many dissections and analysis I found her. You won't believe it but she was the one. It was just by a pure/poor accident or a fortunate serendipity planned in the heavens above. After the dreamy 'Blah!! Blah' with the 'Mumbai-returned' Puneet and the Drafting mishap at the cash section, when I reached the State Bank to update my passbook, it was my heart that got updated or rather deposited in the safe vault of a pair of green-blue-grey eyes( I wasn't sure of the colour then.. btw it's grey). Yes, I fall/rose in LOVE once again. She asked me for my pen and It took me a while to realise that she was talking to me. I was so glued to her eyes and her lips (sigh!!) that my eyes remained magnetised to them until she finally turned and talked to an old man nearby and used his pen(the pen was as old and crippled as the old man and leaked like his other pen_s). Damn!!I thought. But this was indeed my lucky day. We met(saw each other) again at HARRY'S and this time she smiled at me(ohh!! even her teeth were so beautiful,just like the Close-up ad). And guys this was not the end, I just now saw her near the Tech-Market turn. This time her smile had more surprise and genuineness and my smile... my smile never came. I remained mesmerised like a stone looking at her. yAAR!! iT's mAgIc.. I'm in LOVE(believe me!!).... plzzz pray that the serendipity continues..
Before signing off, here are few of the eternal questions which has often kept me ever-pondering:-
1> Why did Kashish (source:-'Kahiin To Hoga' Star Plus) put lipstick on her face when she was supposed to be mourning her husband's death???
2> Why can't I even say 'Hi' to some gals when I've already kissed some (only one, to be exact)???
3> Why do I always feel that I'm in love when a girl smiles back??Am I in love with the idea of being in love??
4> Why is Kgp so unromantically romantic and I'm so romantically unromantic???
5> Why am I writing this bakwaas blog when I know the only person reading this will be KK and not her???
Why??Why?? ....zZzZzz......

====
Kyaa Yehi PyAAr HaI????
--- cupid.

Sunday, June 06, 2004

VRoooM!!!! I'm back...

After a quiescency of nearly two months, I'm back with a bang. The reason for this volcano to remain dormant was the inavailibility of Internet in the picturesque metropolitan hill-station, my very own Sahibganj. I misutilised my days in afternoon naps, 'Ma ke haath ka khaana'and occasional'Kyunki Saas...'(Yuck!!). The only thing worth nostalgia is the elysian beauty I saw in Rita Mousi's home at Motihari. She was worth few suicides but like always I couldn't even say a 'Hi'. Venus struck but I think She did so because She wanted my heart to keep bleeding. The 'Band-Aid' is still in Motihari. I hope I meet her soon and at least say a 'Hi' this time. Any ways, like always I had other anti-septics too..like the 'saali' of 'Babbu bhaiya' who was just like boys when it came to vulgar jokes, the girl-friend of my brother(If Arjun can share Draupadi, why can't he) and ofcourse, the divine Priety Zinta in the promos of 'Lakshya'.
Nowadez, I'm back in my wing in KGP and continuing to kill my time in movies, bhaats and blogs.KK calls me by a certain name and I think nowadays, I'm spending my days just like the above name. Yes, I'm jhandaoing big time.
Frankly speaking,I started blogging today to remove my boredom but I think this blog is more bore than my boredom.Aren't you too feeling bored and blased by this blog?!?... I think I'll complete the blog later...
OoHHHH!!!THuuuuMP!! I'm back.... It pains.



===
In my dusty heart
Is a fear sublime;
Sharp like first love
Blunt like eternal time
--- cupid.