Been really looooooooooooooooong since I wrote!!!
Why I am writing today? Actually even I don’t know why!!! Am just disturbed… with what? For what? Kuch to reason hoga? Frankly, I don’t know.
There is an uneasiness I can’t describe. Something is wrong…but what?
Probably everyone gets this feeling of uneasiness once in a while. Are we really required to know the reasons? Reasons for the uneasy, uncanny feeling that something is wrong? Or will it just go away like that only?

Keep Rocking!

My first experience with hard rock was during my college days. At Lady Shri Ram College, the only fest we looked forward to was the IIT Delhi fest. We would try not to miss even a single day of Rendezvous (it’s the name given to IITD Fest, for those who don’t know). Getting passes for the pronite and rock show was always a herculean task. You really had to have a lot of friends or ‘friends of friends’ to arrange the passes for you.

In my second year of college, some 5-6 of us just went to the IIT campus on the rock show day. We managed to find someone who could arrange passes for us and were overjoyed at our success to have been able to manage to get inside to be a part of the crowd gathered for the rock show. At that time, I dint really know what heavy metal music is or for that matter, I dint really know what rock music is. As the band began to play, the heavy metal music sounded harsher and harsher to us. We could see people head banging and enjoying the music but for us it was terrible. I kept wondering how someone can enjoy this music, the music that was giving me a headache. Someone told me, all rockers do drugs as this kind of music can be enjoyed only when you are on drugs. After sometime, we just could not bear it and decided to leave, upset that the rock show was not worth the efforts we put in to arrange the passes.

Overtime my brother has become a rocker himself. I hated the fact coz I thought rock music can not be enjoyed without drugs, and I thought… Oh My God… is my brother doing drugs???? How wrong I was!!! Not that now I like heavy metal but I can now understand that those people who were enjoying the music may not necessary have been on drugs. They were genuinely enjoying the music.

My brother insists that all of us at home also hear rock music. He sometimes chooses a list of songs and makes me sit and listen to them. I don’t always like the songs he makes me hear but yes, I do love the songs he composes and the ones he plays on his own guitar.

It’s my brother who told me the different forms of rock music. He told me, anyone who hears heavy metal would never like it in the first go. The liking comes slowly after a while. I have now started liking soft rock. Though I still cant make out the difference between pop and rock like he can (something to do with there being more electronic sounds etc, if I am not wrong!), but now it seems am gonna start liking rock music!!!

Learning Curve

After my first blog I wasn’t sure whether I should continue writing. Even though I got encouragement from a few of my well wishers, I wasn’t really sure whether I can write and whether I should do it. I know it seems like a very long time but I was still taking feedback for my last blog till last week, waiting to see more comments on the blog but not many came so I thought of taking oral feedbacks. Last week, while in the process and after a lot of coaxing, one of my very close comrades said, “What should I comment on this? Should I say that it was so stupid of you not to have pulled the chain or should I say that you should become a professor because they usually preach from their mistakes?” Now, I have not been a person who takes criticism well and for a moment I did feel bad also for such a comment. But then, I gave it another thought and was shocked to realise that I took the criticism in my stride and decided to be more alert the next time I face a situation which requires quick thinking. I realised that it’s a drastic change from what I was earlier to what I am now. For the past few months, my father has been telling me that my behaviour and outlook towards things has changed in the recent past and he is proud of that. But I thought it was just because he is my father that he keeps telling me these things, after all, which parent does not see his/ her children as the best in the world? But this incident really made me think, “Has my outlook really changed?” 

Looking back, I realise that in the last few years of my life I have learned a lot about life. Some learning has been hard learned while there are certain things which I just learned without having to burn my hands.Four years earlier I was a happy-go-lucky, easy going, fun loving girl. A confident girl who was sure to achieve whatever she wants. She dreamed of a rosy life. I was and still am a very pampered child at home. Today I still am what I was in those days but I have learnt a lot about life and also about myself.What I am today is because of my family. Had it not been for them, I would have never got a chance to know what life really is. My parents allowed me to live life on my own terms and subtly also told me where I went wrong. And had it not been for their sacrifices and will power I would not have had a career today at all. Despite living in hostels for a greater part of my school and college life, I always had a protected environment. For every little advice I wanted I always went back to my parents. As I grew I started developing thoughts of my own and undoubtedly there were points in time when I thought that I was right and my father/ mother was wrong. But Papa had this very intelligent way of telling me that he dint approve of what I was doing, he would say, “according to me it should be done this way but then if you think it should be otherwise, I wont object to it”.As a kid I always knew my parents have great expectations from me. There was a point in my life when I felt over burdened with the expectation from me. But then, I now realise that there are expectation only where there is a confidence that the expectations are achievable. As I grew, I only became closer to my family even while the people around me wondered that how could a girl who has stayed away from her family for almost all her life be close to her family. When at a certain get- together where I was present with a few friends and extended family of mine an acquaintance asked me whether we are all a close-knit family, someone from my extended family answered, “as a family we are close knit but you know Prachi has been in hostels since childhood so as a person she is not very close even to her real brother.” I was zapped at this but I dint react. At another time the same person also told me upfront that I would not know the close bond that a family shares as I had lived away from my family for a greater part of my life. I tried to retaliate on this but then realised that there is no point trying to explain my relationship with my parents or brother to anyone. There is also a cousin of mine who is the same age as this particular person mentioned earlier who told me that “Prachi always remember, your mother will always be your best friend. She is the only one who will always show you the right path.” I still thank her for this advice. Today when I look back at these two incidents, I know that there will always be two kinds of people in your life, people who try to tell you that you don’t have anything and people who will encourage you and show you the right way.Everyone gets to meet both the kinds of people in their lives, the only thing that is important is how you tackle them and what you learn from such incidents. Having met so many people of both the kinds, now I have a better understanding of people and can handle situations better than I earlier could. I feel I have become wiser, patient, mature and more tolerant, especially after I started working.

This blog is mainly to thank my parents, my brother and all the people who are my well wishers and who helped me grow as an individual. All of you must know your importance in my life and how thankful I am to each one of you to have stood by me at all times.

How responsible are we?

Last Saturday, after having seen my brother off at the Dadar station, I along with my parents boarded a local train to go back to Grant Road where I live. Having spent a week with the entire family, the three of us were morose after seeing my brother off and were just staring out of the window of the moving train. I was thinking that very soon my parents would also be going back to my native place and I would again be alone in Mumbai. The train stopped at Mumbai Central station. The usual buzz of people getting off and boarding the train continued and the train started moving. We noticed some commotion at the door and I peeked out of the window to see a boy, of about 12-13 years running alongside the train which was gaining speed. The people in the train were asking him to leave the train’s pole that he was holding as he was not being able to keep pace with the running train. I also noticed that he was repeatedly turning back and looking at someone. I was wondering, “Why doesn’t this boy just leave the pole and catch the next train! And if he does want to catch the train, why doesn’t he just get in and stop looking back!” I also noticed a couple with worry on their face. The boy was their son. By now, the train had already gained speed and the passengers pulled the boy in. Suddenly we heard a shriek, and instantly turned back to look at a girl, about 7-8 years old who had started crying.

It then dawned on me, these people were not regular travellers in Mumbai local trains. I got answers to all my questions. That boy was running along the train hoping that his sister would catch up with him and both of them would get in. People started consoling the mother as she had already started weeping and was worrying about her daughter, “vo vahan akele kya karegi. Usko kuch pata bhi nahi hai” (what will she do there! She doesn’t know anything), was all she kept saying. The father started asking co-passengers what he should do. The passengers suggested that the family should get off at the next station and take the help of the railway police. The next station as Grant Road. The family got off and walked towards the RPF (Railway Police Force) office. We too got off and started walking the other way towards the foot bridge. Till now all three of us were dumb struck. We had seen the face of a small girl full of fear and anxiety. My parents recalled an incident when they had almost lost me in a train on our way to Puri. We started discussing what was right to be done in such a situation. My father said, the distance being only of about two minutes, one of the parents should have taken a train back to Mumbai Central and the other should have gone to the RPF for help. My mother said, they should have let their children board the train first or one parent should have boarded then the children and then the other parent. We were doing all this discussion and my heart kept going back to that little girl. What she must be going through. Getting lost in Mumbai that too on a local station! I just prayed to God that the parents find their little girl.
I was wondering what if they announce on the station, like they usually do for lost people, and some person with wrong intentions spots her and misguides her. Then it suddenly struck me- WE COULD HAVE PULLED THE CHAIN!!- I said aloud. My father said, “but is there a chain in the local?” I replied that there is one. He said, “I dint know there was one, else I would have pulled the chain”. I really cant explain the feeling I had when I realised how irresponsibly I had behaved. Shouldn’t I, or for that matter all my co-passengers, have remembered that we could pull the chain and have saved the mental trauma for that little girl? I don’t mean that we should keep pulling the chain for everyone who misses a train but in this case, we knew it’s a small girl whose entire family is onboard and she is being left alone on a platform. I feel pathetic that none of us, who are regular travellers by local trains in Mumbai, acted responsibly enough. We were all panicked and thought of solutions other than the most obvious one!

Probably, most humans behave like this. They panic and find solutions other than the most obvious one. The obvious solution doesn’t even occur to most, just like in this case. I don’t know what happened after we left but I still pray to God that the girl was safe and met her parents.