Evening at Zambezi River, Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, May 2015
and so does everything around... the situation, the people, the perspective, the needs.... and we too change.... the wise and courageous seek change.. because only change is constant!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

186. Exhibition

A call from an unknown number. I cannot have the luxury of not answering calls from unlisted numbers. In a way, this phone is for public purpose, I keep on receiving calls from 'unlisted numbers'.

"Good Morning," there is a woman, from Delhi. She tells me her name and adds, "Mr. X has asked me to contact you." I know Mr X for many years. He is associated with one organization who does a bit of social work. I don't really appreciate what his organization does but I appreciate the commitment and dedication  of Mr. X.. So if someone approaches me through the thread of Mr. X, I generally offer whatever help I can.

"Good Morning. What do you need me to do?" I ask directly.
"Mr. X has told me that you have a lot of information," the woman says vaguely.
Now I have crossed that phase when one feels happy at the praise showered by strangers. That woman may not know it.
"What information do you want?" I ask again.
"Women," is the answer.

Now 'information on or about women' is a broad theme. Until this women tells me what exactly she wants, I won't be able to help her.
"Which women? On what theme?" I try to steer the conversation.
"Oh! Obviously Indian women! Any theme that you want," the woman speaks calmly.

I am bit irritated with the vagueness of the dialogue. However, because of the reference of Mr. X, I am not in a position to end it immediately.

After spending another few minutes what I realize is this: the organization with which this woman is associated (the same organization where Mr. X is also involved) is planning an exhibition on Ancient Indian History. They need some help from me in this regard.

"Have you listed some names?" I ask.
"Well, we have your name ..." the woman seems to have a good sense of humor.
"I am talking about historical names. If I know what kind of preparation you have, I will be able to help you better." I say politely.
"Sorry, I did not have enough time. Whatever you want, can be done. No problem." the woman says, again with the same calmness.

I smile. There won't be any problem, because they have not given any thought to exhibition. Anyway, I can always provide them few names.

The exhibition is in Delhi, so the write-up needs to be in Hindi.
I ask, "If I give you information in English, do you have someone who can translate it in Hindi?" I expect affirmative answer.
"No, we don't have any person who can translate. Why don't you give us information in Hindi? You are based in Delhi, so you also should be able to write Hindi..." that is undesirable. .

I decide to leave the matter for some time. I can always discuss these details with Mr. X.
"You are going to have posters ..." I am thinking aloud.
"Probably..." the woman says.
"Who is going to do the sketches? Or you will be using photographs? What would be the size of the posters? There cannot be too much of matter on posters, so we have to choose the information thoughtfully ...." my train of thought is going fast.
"Don't you have drawings, sketches or photographs?" the woman asks me in a tone of disbelief.

"No," I reply. Even though this woman has given me reference of Mr. X, now I am reaching the limits of patience.
"Then what will we do?" she asks.
Who is planning the exhibition? I wonder.

"You decide and tell me," I say little curtly.
"There is no time for decisions and discussions," the woman is also irritated now.
Curiosity overtakes my irritation and anger. Here is a woman whose organization wants to plan an exhibition; she does not know anything about the topic; she calls me for help and trying to order me; she does not know me and still she is getting irritated with me for no reason. I note to tell Mr. X that he should not provide my mobile number to any Rama, Seeta and Laxman.

"Yes, time is always short for such tasks," I try to understand her position.
With enthusiasm (which is my habit!) I add, "Kindly discuss with your team about all these points. Then we can sit together and work out. Don't worry, everything would be fine," I try to assure her.

"Can you come to my place today evening?" she asks.
"Sorry, I am out of Delhi for a week. Maybe....". I say.
The woman does not allow me to complete the sentence. "You are of no use then.." she announces.
"What do you mean?" I control myself but still can't help asking the question.

"The exhibition is planned on this Saturday-Sunday." the woman tells me.
"Sorry, I can't help you and best wishes to you..." I say and cut off the phone.

Exhibition, of what?

Exhibition that I work for a voluntary organization? Exhibition of my interests in History and Culture? Exhibition of our attitude to take everything casually? Exhibition of 'right to expect from others'?

Exhibition of many such aspects of how human beings think, and how they work!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

185. Uncertainty

This post has been published by me as a part of the Blog-a-Ton 34; the thirty-fourth edition of the online marathon of Bloggers; where we decide and we write. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. The theme for the month is "Of-Course, I'm insane"
“Why you did not show me the answer even when the teacher was busy in conversation with the other teacher? I needed your help and I thought you are my friend,” the boy is fuming.
“How could I show you the answer? It is not good to copy during exams,” the calm looking boy answers.
“You are insane, man!” the aggrieved friend says.
The boy smiles. He adds confidently, “No, I am not insane.”
“Why did you not appeal?” the Captain is upset.
“Oh! But he was not out, the ball was leaving the off stump, I know,” the bowler is all smiles.  
“We all were appealing, but since you did not appeal….”the Captain does not know what to say. He adds sarcastically, “You are insane, man!!”
“No, I am not insane…” the bowler is in tears.
“Let us have a cigarette” one of the boys says.
“Just smoking? I thought we are going to celebrate in an adult manner,” other adds.
“Ok, you continue with your celebrations, I am leaving,” third boy says.
“How can you leave? We are celebrating your success,” the first boy is really surprised.
“But I can’t celebrate by smoking and drinking…” third boy.
“Come on yaar! We are not school children. You are selected by one of the best IT companies in the world and so we are celebrating,” another one says.
“Look, even the girls want to smoke and drink  ...” another one. The girls immediately join the chorus.
“No, long back I promised my grandma that I would never smoke and drink,” the boy is indeed adamant.
“You are insane, man!” exclaim his friends.
“Maybe, I am insane …” the boy is feeling little guilty for spoiling the fun of his friends.
“Oh! Where is our bike?” the girl is anxious.
“It was parked in ‘No parking zone’. So the police have taken it away,” the shopkeeper informs. “Look,” he adds, “there is the traffic police van, go and get your bike before it is taken away.”
“Come on,” the girls says.
“Give him hundred rupees,” the girl asks.
“Will you give me a receipt?” the boy asks the police.
The police gets angry. “Come to police station, pay three hundred rupees, get you receipt and pick your bike,” he answers.
“Don’t be a miser. You earn loads of money,” the girl shouts.
“The question is not about money but…” the boy tries to explain.
“Come on yaar, leave it, I will pay,” the girl hurries through her purse.
“No, I won’t take the bike by paying bribe,” the boy is adamant.
“You are insane, Man!!” the girl’s anger is beyond bounds.
He keeps quiet.
“What are your expectations?” uncle asks.
“What expectations?” he is really puzzled.
“Oh! Nothing really. Whatever you want to give to your daughter, you should give. We don’t demand anything, you know what your daughter needs and what is best for her….” One of the uncles says.
Everybody smiles, nods.
“Are you talking about dowry? Then my answer is NO…” the boy’s voice is stern.
“Come on, who is talking about dowry? You don’t understand anything. For God’s sake, keep quiet,” one of the aunties orders him loudly.
“Calm down young man! No, we are certainly not talking about dowry. …” the man sitting next to uncle explains.
“If you are talking about any 'give and take' in the marriage, I will not marry…” declares the boy.
“You are insane, Man!” his cousin remarks.
“No, I am not insane. You all are…” the boy says and storms out of the room.
“You are insane, Man” his colleague says.
“You are insane...” the officer says.
“You are insane, “the shopkeeper says.
“You are insane,” the corporator says.
“You are insane,” the headmaster of his son’s school says.
“I want a mobile, dad,” his son demands.
He looks at his ten year old son.
“You are still young,” he says.
“But everyone in my class carries a mobile. It is only you who is not allowing me to have a handset. If you don’t give me a mobile, I will not go to school,” his son threatens.
“It won’t work my boy. You don’t need mobile, that is it,” he firmly says.
“Don’t be a miser. And don’t tell me about your values. We have to live according to the norms set by the world around,” his wife is trying to argue.
He ignores the demands, the pleading, and the accusation of neglect.
“You are completely insane Dad,” his son shouts through his tears and runs away.
“Of course, I am insane...” he shouts back.
He weeps silently.
He has not been able to create a space for himself in this world.
Is he insane? Or the world around is insane?
He is not sure.
The uncertainty has always baffled him. And it continues to do so.
The fellow Blog-a-Tonics who took part in this Blog-a-Ton and links to their respective posts can be checked here. To be part of the next edition, visit and start following Blog-a-Ton. Introduced By: BLOGGER NAME, Participation Count: 29