Friday, September 25, 2009

Alternatives galore

I observed him carefully again. Here was a boy sitting on the opposite birth to me. My age. Hair reaching up to the shoulder, shirt unbuttoned to the waist and jeans folded up to the knees. I assumed he too was going to Delhi like me albeit with a very different purpose. I was on a mission. I was the elite. I guessed, he must be returning to his college. I didn’t venture to bother him and continued day dreaming about what lay ahead of me. A while later, my eyes fell on him again. This time he was reading from his diary. I observed that it was some handwritten notes in Hindi. Examination then; last minute preparations. I couldn’t help smiling. Poor dude is suffering from nerves. However, the fact that the notes were in Hindi aroused my curiosity. “Where do you study?” I asked after some hesitation. He told me. I looked at him with utter disbelief and amazement. I was curious and asked him to tell me more.

He told me that he was one of the twenty successful candidates to be selected from a hundred thousand applicants. He told me that his institution was one of its kinds in the country. He told me that his institute’s alumni included great names like Nasseruddin Shah and Anupam Kher. He told me that he was a student of the National School of Drama.

He too had a viva-voce during his entrance test but he was asked ‘what lights would best suit the stage while staging a murder scene.’ He too has internships to worry about but those include ‘training schoolchildren to stage famous plays.’ Finally, he too is tensed about his placements but that depended upon choosing between the theatre and the screen.

I flipped through the pages of his diary. It countained notes on the types of the modern stage, stage lights, latest costume styles, a list of all oscar winning movies and dramatis personae of plays he had directed in the past.

I asked him: “How? How could you build up the courage to choose such a different track?” His reply was: “I knew I was born for the theatre. I have been acting since I was eleven and staging plays in the town since I was fifteen. I knew I had to do this or else I do not know what I could have done.” Such was his confidence, his zeal to do things differently.

I wondered how many of us had unique talents that suffered in the hands of compulsion and stereotyped professions. I have known great actors and lyricists masked as engineers, authors and painters left craving as unwilling technocrats. Will we ever realise that we do not know what we want to actually do in our life. Quoting the play ‘Love in December’: “Most people do not know that they do not know what they want to do in their lives.” How true. I still believe that there is still time to seek what our heart seeks. I still believe that we ought to keep looking. The alternatives galore.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Rename Game

I desperately wish to write something. Blogging is a great way to relieve tension and bring up the calm. As usual, I have nothing to write but the motivation is high and the night has just begun. So here I am; hunting for a topic to pen down my thoughts. My last presentation of one aspect of college life seems to have gone well with my scanty bunch of faithful readers. Therefore this time I try to explore another fun aspect of college life: the renaming. It can be easily said that you enter college with your pleasant and sweet name and you go out re-christened with a cryptic acronym drafted out of your name. I and my friends have been victims of this weird tradition and I am sure my dear reader, if you be from some other college, you have been too. That’s how, Siddhant becomes Sid, Nilesh becomes Nilu, Gyanendra becomes Gyani and Vijit becomes Biju (this one in paricular reflects the creativity of a professor.) As far as I am concerned, I have been DD since time immemorial. I think it must have been sometimes after my birth that much to my annoyance, I have been stamped by this acronym which has now become my identity and has replaced my name which could have reflected my parents’ creativity.

However, I consider myself luckier as there are worse victims. There are people, who are almost unidentifiable if you call out their true names. I often wonder who the hell Ashish Yadav is for he is Haria/Harry (for his friends decided to rename him to make his name sound like that of a manservant) or who is Satyendra Aggarwal for he is Boss (for his dominating style.) Nor can I decipher the name Shubham Shankadhar for he is better known as Kholu (for he holds the best JEE rank among all the ISMites of my batch.) Then there is the case of Telly who is called so because of his exceptionally poor eyesight. I am sorry but I do not know his real name.

The rename game runs high in college life and most names stay even after leaving the institute. There is hardly anyone left out whose name hasn’t been transformed into something creative. My message to all those who believe in the statement: “What’s in a name?” Well, at college your name may not just identify you. Beware! If you have a bunch of creative friends, it might just reflect your entire personality or even peculiarity.