Thursday, April 26, 2012



In early twenties, like every other selfish kid who believed that elite  university education entitled me to greater things in life, as long as one picked from within, writing, theater or painting, the last of which was just a pretense, I too picked up the one that required the least resources and gave ample room for procrastination. It wasn’t long that I never wrote again. Internet taught me to type, but to write. Many years later I did meet a wandering selfish kid in his mid twenties, who scribbled on a tiny notebook while his drug addled brain blocked the noise of other drug addled brains in his vicinity. A month later I found him in new company with more drugs and no notebook. 

The elite university education, the two kinds, one abroad, one inland, one created jobs and managers, the other created jobs and managers had finally entitled me to greater things in life. It wasn’t long that I never had a job and never managed anything. 

I did have a job once, albeit only to protect myself from elite university education abroad. It goes back and forth. Strange. However, I was sitting in a white cubicle with no work but a job, and a fellow elite university educated colleague asked me to give him a ride to his nearby apartment as two giant boxes of books had arrived from the previous city he held a job in. We were all writers with jobs and I saw the brown boxes filled with books. My colleague and friend was a rather shy person. If you said hello to him he would walk backwards. If you did not say hello to him he’d walk forward. I used to say hello to him in the morning. He would nod. 

Now in my early twenties I had never imagined living in a city where no one knew me. But later I did learn that trick and it wasn’t long that I never lived in a city where anyone knew me. So outside a door with two boxes filled with unknown books, I tried to persuade my shy friend to let me in so that the selfish kid in me could go through that vast unseen collection of books. I wasn’t allowed. Finally I opened the boxes outside the door and so I was reluctantly let in. I saw flying black things in a room that had never been cleaned. I didn’t understand it back then, but then it was my early twenties, not mid. So I took a broom from the neighbours’ and started cleaning. It wasn’t that I was a nice, I just never knew what it took to live in a city where no one knew you. My shy friend joined in the cleaning and he was not shy anymore. I felt like a great person who was meant for greater things in life. I must have left with five or six books that day, two of which I probably never returned. 

I spent a year in that room surrounded by semi constructed walls of books on three sides, and lazy music and films from the world, believing that my early twenties are well spent in my pursuit of greatness. Some vague notions of art, love, music, bonds, what nots floated around, all nothing but a bad cocktail of hormones or something. Anyway it was all very vague. That is the best thing about a decade, everything is vague. It's not a long enough time or a short enough time for anything except for internet radio stations and television music channels to make sense of. 

But then how else to divide time, considering it’s not even absolute anymore and will one day become a rubber ball in the hands of an enterprising elite university educated selfish kid. 

I once had a conversation with a friend during the later part of my elite education. In my mid twenties we felt obligated to defend the nineties as a decade. It was the most anonymous decade, a decade no one even claims, but then what else could one do, except wait for the millennium which was a great managerial feat promising everything with a fancy name. They saved the internet for the millennium, after the clocks didn’t go crazy, how could they, time could be fitted in any box, in any size, like books. 

Finally we agreed, Seinfeld was the nineties and hence the greatest decade of all. We had to conclude as the walk was over and nobody really remembered the nineties, it was just vague.

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