A lil’ bit of Me…

Take me Home, Alfred…

it’s been a while since my last post. so much has happened since the last time i posted anything… suffice it to say that i’m in a happy state of mind right now. that’s probably why i haven’t posted anything for so long. but due to some recent prodding by one or two people, i’ve put this one up. it’s kinda self-pitying, which pisses me off. but it’s all that came out after a considerable attempt at making myself write something. i still haven’t recovered fully from the mumbai experience, so i guess it’ll be a while before i can write again as of old. but for now, guess we’ll just have to make do with this…

It has been 3 months since the virus hastened my retreat from the city they call the land of dreams. The irony is amusing as always; dreams are born and lost perpetually in the city that never sleeps. Like so many others, I too walked along its heathen shores and gazed at the Queen’s necklace, as I had never done as a child growing up in that city, feeling back then that I belonged, that it was my home. Ten years after I bid goodbye to Mumbai, I realized that it was never mine, that I was nothing more than one of the drones in a mammoth ant hill. Life was a grind, one interminable, mechanical cycle. It was such that even when I had to meet the Faithless Freak, I would inevitably find myself doing a full sprint behind a BEST bus for the better part of a kilometer, just so that I could save some cash for the mandatory coffee, smokes and chicken masala fry with roti, the only escape from the mundane routine. Working for human rights isn’t lucrative for the little guy. And Dad has done enough for me, gotta start living off my own living sometime right?

Thus I spent over 6 blurry months of my miniscule, irrelevant existence in Mumbai. Or perhaps it wasn’t all that irrelevant. At least a handful of people were somewhat gratified that I had come into their lives, however briefly. Of course, most of them were in jail at the time, and most anyone on the outside proffering aid might seem like a messiah to them. Beyond that, the only other people for whom my presence in the city meant anything at all were my Brother and Bhabi, my landlord (well, naturally) and the Freak.

And then, I had to leave. My first foray into ‘independence’ had gone horribly wrong. A proverbial job from hell, a city on a perpetual adrenaline overdrive, and finally a hospital bill that I would have to spend some three years repaying had I continued being the pseudo-activist lawyer. Perhaps it is fortunate that I fell as ill as I did. At the risk of exaggeration, I guess the only way I could get my life back on track was if I nearly lost it. So it was back to Pune, to the city that most certainly does sleep. Amidst the goodbyes from Dada and Bhabi, and the echo of the Freak’s voice singing “Goodbye my friend, this is the end” over and over, I left Mumbai.

The effects of coming home were damn near immediate and quite miraculous. Within no time at all, my smile became genuine again, Euphoria’s “Sone de Maa” no longer made me want to break down and cry, and the fog finally began to clear in my head. I started hanging out with the guys again, MUNA happened, my job in Pune took off on a great note. Life’s good today.

But I am mindful of the fact that I have lost the first battle. This is the first time I have slunk away in defeat, the first time I have cowered under the protective hood of the familiar. And naturally, in a way, I feel like crap. When I was leaving Mumbai, I spoke to Dada, expressing my anguish and shame at running away. His curt reply was instructive, “Yes, you are running away. Come back and fight again when you’re stronger.” In his own way, Dada was expressing his hope that I should not forget who I am and where I come from (as he has said on numerous occasions before), but that I should realize that the fight has only just begun, that it was never gonna be easy, and that any modicum of superiority that I might have enjoyed in the past over any of my peers is passé. Sticking to any notions that at this point I am no more than an inexperienced idiot would be an utter exhibition of naiveté. He wanted me to remember that I must always be ready for the fight, and that I must never give up in the long run. And, in his own way, he let me know that he is waiting for my return.
It seems he is not alone. In a moving comment to an earlier post in these writings, the Freak has expressed his desire to see me come back. To join him again in the war to claim our destiny, whatever the hell that means. I am gratified to know that even the faithless has faith in me. I do not intend to disappoint.

But I need time… I need time…

Guess I should start dreaming again…


5 Responses to “Take me Home, Alfred…”

  1. very real…

  2. hey,
    i know its been ages since you have written this and i finally comment after reading it an infinite number of times…
    dude, pune rocks! i would be the happiest man in the world if i could go back!
    essentially matey, i think you arent very clear of your career goals.
    im sure you are doing a lotta soul-searching. i hope you find yourself soon.
    you are fabulously talented, apply yourself in the right places! few people could ever hope of reaching levels that you are capable of…never be bogged down and never lose faith in yourself.
    moreover kiddo, you are “BIKRAM!”
    take care man…
    until later then…

  3. ” You are wounded not slained
    rest for a while
    Let yourself bleed for a while..
    Sleep for a while
    And then get up and fight again ”

    Yes the faithless has faith in you.. and i know. you will come back again.. bigger and stronger this time…and together.. we will fight back to claim our destiny…

  4. indeed we will, brother… indeed we will…

  5. Heres the lyrics of a certain anthem named “Dream on” by Aerosmith that I suppose you should pay special attention to…it holds so true for all the 7of us;

    ” Every time I look in the mirror
    All these lines on my face getting clearer
    The past is gone
    It goes by, like dusk to dawn
    Isn’t that the way
    Everybody’s got their dues in life to pay

    Yeah, I know nobody knows
    where it comes and where it goes
    I know it’s everybody’s sin
    You got to lose to know how to win

    Half my life
    is in books’ written pages
    Lived and learned from fools and
    from sages
    You know it’s true
    All the things come back to you

    Sing with me, sing for the year
    Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
    Sing with me, if it’s just for today
    Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away

    Yeah, sing with me, sing for the year
    sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
    sing with me, if it’s just for today
    Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away

    Dream On Dream On Dream On
    Dream until your dreams come true
    Dream On Dream On Dream On
    Dream until your dream comes through
    Dream On Dream On Dream On
    Dream On Dream On
    Dream On Dream On

    Sing with me, sing for the year
    sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
    sing with me, if it’s just for today
    Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away
    Sing with me, sing for the year
    sing for the laughter, sing for the tear
    Sing with me, if it’s just for today
    Maybe tomorrow, the good Lord will take you away…… “

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