Hari Shanker R

Hari Shanker R

A Happiness Engineer at Automattic.

Seeing is believing

“Socha nahin toh socho abhi!”
(If you haven’t started thinking yet, do it now!)
Metal guitar notes accompanying the soulful lyrics of the song from ‘Rock On!‘ soothed my mind as wind matted my face through the open side-window. I’d deliberately switched the air conditioner off, despite the 15+ (with A/C) mileage of our Indigo CS, just to savor the wind. The engine whirred at a precarious 90 kmph through State Highway One. (‘Precarious’ because it’s good ‘old’, SH1!!) Dad, Mom and I were returning after an Onam-trip to our native place. Turns out that my Grandma’s culinary skills won me the driver’s seat! Dad & Mom were too sleepy to take the wheel, thanks to the sumptuous ‘sadya’, and I wasn’t tired at all. Initially, I was sceptical of Dad’s (reluctant) offer, for, driving sessions with dad are always thinly-veiled verbal-expletive lessons! Luckily, my parents had drifted to sweet slumber half-way through the seventy kilometer journey, avoiding all the back-seat-driving crap. Whew! I could even play whatever music I liked!

As we neared Trivandrum, I was quickly reminded of the Microprocessors assignment up for submission on the day of college-reopening. I didn’t have a text, and friends who owned dilapidated copies were too reluctant to share. It was so late that even book-hunting through libraries was virtually impossible. My only go was to buy a good ‘Mu-P’ (Read: Mew Pee) book. Dad groggily nodded away my suggestion on traversing book stores in search of the book. As we neared the city, the drive progressively became arduous. My speedometer rarely crossed the 20 mark! After a nerve-wrecking twenty minutes of finding a parking slot at Pulimood Junction, at the heart of the city, (it’s the peek of Onam, mind you!), I literally sliced our car in between an Indica and a Santro. After a futile attempt to wake my parents (they were sleeping as if they’d taken pills!), I slipped a five hundred rupee note from Dad’s purse, locked the door and sauntered off in search of my Mu-P books.

Six shops and one sharjah (occasional guilty pleasures at dad’s expense!) later, I found my book. It was a Tata McGraw Hill publication, complete with stylish blue cover and glossy pages. Four hundred bucks well spent, for a book-cum-makeshift-pillow. Making mental calculations about the angular velocity of paper planes I’d make with pages from this book once I’d complete my B.Tech, and wondering whether the glossy pages would match wind-velocity and topple the paper plane, I dreamily walked to my destination: our car. As I neared our car, I took a quick glance at the interiors of the Santro which lay adjacent to our Indigo. Watching car interiors is a hobby, especially at such jobless occasions. It was well-furnished. Velvet seat cover, sassy stereo too. The OLED display of the Pioneer stereo rocked! The sheer beauty of the on-screen OLED visualizations, coded in true-blue C Language, enthralled me; I stood there, gazing at the beauty of the visualization, which seemed like a cross between ripples in water and a dancing girl. Curiously,despite the working music player, not a sound emerged from the car’s speakers. But I was too preoccupied with the visualization to detect that. I didn’t even notice that the timer, adjacent to the visualization was in reverse; gradually ticking to one and then to zero.

For a split second, (or was it a couple of split seconds?), I thought the visualization came alive. Yes it did. This time, the color was lilac-red instead of the OLED-ish bluish-green. It filled my vision, literally, and I found myself, pushed by some mystic force into the realms of nothingness…

The world around me had changed within the bat of an eyelid. Pulimood junction, as I could see it now, was abound with flames which oddly resembled the lilac colored ‘visualization’ I’d witnessed momentarily. The Santro, which now lay a few metres ahead, was a burning heap of metal-pulp. Its door, through the windows of which I’d peered into it, had pinned me down. Blood, bodies, blood-curdling screams of pain all around. Sirens with increasing pitch drew in from all directions. I tried to shove the door away with my left hand, but I couldn’t. Through the layers of blood induced by the shattered side-view mirror of the Santro on my forehead, I could see a bulk of deformed flesh that peculiarly resembled my left hand!

**************************

The disaster; as it is… Image Courtesy: Sify


Another nightmare! For the past week, I’ve been having nightmares. I’d always keep pondering over those scary nightmares, amid all the cold sweat and incessant panting.

But this time, I knew.

I walked to my drawing room and switched on the T.V. The death toll of Delhi blasts had reached 20. Over 100 were injured and five live bombs, defused. I could see a pattern emerge, Bombay-Ahmedabad-Delhi; BAD. Bah, poetic justice, even in death!

I could feel the tears in my eyes. And I didn’t bother wiping them away. I knew how the victims felt. For, it almost happened to me too!

Food for thought:
Why don’t we have a good Counter Intelligence Agency? If news is to believed even ISI is way better than our puny RAW & IB. All terrorist-bashing we see in desi ‘patriotic’ movies is bullshit. If it isn’t so, it’s for you secret agents to prove me wrong! Forgive me if I’m being too laidback and complacent. But it’s in-your-face truth. Period.

17 Comments

  1. ~==[[[ Abhi ]]]==~

    Thanks for telling me in advance that it was a dream, else u’d’ve got a nice KIA(kick in the ass) for scaring me like that!

    One doubt though, even after standing close, ni chattile? πŸ˜€

    About the blasts, it’s seriously a thing that occurs frequently nowadays and shakes the confidence of ordinary mortals on the government. Govt on the other hand, doesn’t wanna lose the muslim votes and hence doesn’t enforce strict laws. Also about the agencies, what use is an agency when the criminals they catch are never prosecuted, or even if they are prosecuted, their judgments are never passed? Who’d like to work in a agency like this? No matter how patriotic a person is, he’ll never like the guy whom he caught playing with his life, roaming on the streets the next day! So i’d say it’s high time the govt brought back POTA

    Pinne about the agencies, i’ve always loved the single line in THE RECRUIT, when Al Pacino says about CIA> at The farm to the new recruits: “Our failures are known, our triumphs are not! If you fight for your country, all you get to have is a LOOK at the medal, they don’t even give you the medal! And if you die for your country you become a star on some wall in the lobby!

    So if u hear less about an agency, means they’re doing good πŸ™‚

  2. Hari

    @ Abhi:
    Hehe.. πŸ™‚

    Anything is possible in a dream. Chaavunneenum mumbe njaan orakkam eneetu.

    Hope POTA comes into being fast enough. πŸ˜€

    Hey bro… You got the Recruit DVD? I want it asap. Before you leave. πŸ˜€

  3. Sriram

    The same people behind it, yet again, and the same “Condemnation” of the attacks, the same frenzy, the same call for security. What the hell security can they enforce? What we need is better Intelligence-people. Did any fucking bastard lay a hand on the US after 9/11? Compare that to our country.

  4. Ms Cris

    no words. I too watched TV at the crucial hours. Simply no words come out when you see life fading away in front of you

  5. Ruplai

    Mea and me was bout to visit Delhi this weekend, Mea can’t travel, so we dropped the idea.

    Had we been to Delhi, we wd have defenitly been to Karol Bagh. KB is a thriving commercial and business centre and there’s simply nothing that you can’t find here.

  6. Abhilash Suryan

    And no dreams are required nor the images for one who had seen the blood splashed all around and smelled the burning flush standing wonder struck at a place one had gone seeking solace on how one was spared to see another day !!!
    Adapted from an entry on my notebook, Varanasi, 7th March,2006

  7. S Soorya Narayan

    terrorists know that Congress govt will never carry out any stringent anti-terror action due to the fear of alienating their vote banks .

    I wish Laluji was the Home Minister during this crisis . He would have done at least something than playing the blame game and justifying the inaction and irresponsibility of the Central Government.

  8. Neethu

    Wow! wish i could remeber my dreams as well…..

    when the timer part came, i realised it was a dream cos for a split second, (or was it a couple of split seconds?), I thought hey i chatted with him yday…so avan ipozum jeevanodiripunde πŸ˜›
    sometimes even i can be reaaaly dumb u c….:D

    And ya…was wondering wether it was so easy to flick money from ur dad:P

    my bro is in delhi too:(

  9. itzme

    U shouldn’t have told me this was a dream before i actually read the post, kinda spoiled the effect:)

    Very thought-provoking though..kinda felt really helpless on thinking about the victims..hmm

  10. g3

    of all the places u could only dream about pulimoodu junction!!!!where i have spent all my life!!!
    mite sound weird coming from a stranger…i am still one of those 11 unique readers of ur blog:D…keep writing…on a serious note…we feel so helpless..and we feel so insecure…when the home minister who needs to take the responsiblity is happily showcasing his wardrobe!…next time(i hope there is never a next time)…no pulimoodu junction plzzz!!
    by the way i would have never commented if it hadnt been pulimoodu junction!!

  11. Hari

    @ Sriram:
    True! We spend 45000 crore bucks per year on defense and it’s a shame if we can’t even manage a proper CI agency! Maybe the government will take some stringent action now.

    @ ms cris:
    Seeing is believing, indeed!

    @ ruplai:
    OMG!! You were spared by God’s grace, I guess… Probably you should thank Mea, then. πŸ˜€

    @ Abhilash Sir:
    Poignant, sir!! Beautifully-put! You’re the only person who can describe the pain with such magnificent lines. πŸ™

    @ girl with big eyes:
    Good, madame! I think I already saw you in one of my dreams. πŸ˜€ What say about meeting tonight? πŸ˜›

    @ s.soorya narayan:
    Hey, don’t say like that!! It’s our government, whatsoever. Something is being done, at least.

    And laluji as the Home Minister… lol!!
    Nice sense of humor! πŸ˜›

    @ Neethu:
    Hehe… It’s easy to flick money when dad’s asleep. πŸ˜› alleel it’s damn hard.
    And hey, your bro’s safe no? πŸ˜€

    @ itzme:
    Hehe… That’s alright. And the victims… Who knows… such a situ. may befall upon us too!! πŸ™

    @ G3:
    Thank GOD! I wrote Pulimood! I finally got to read your comment! πŸ˜› Welcome to my blog! πŸ˜€
    Great to know that you regularly read this. Really happy to meet a regular reader.

    And yeah, you’re right about Shivraj Patil’s wardrobe! 😐 And yeah, I’ll write more about “Pulimood” so that you comment more regularly! πŸ˜›

  12. vids

    Hope everyone in the world has this nightmare, probably a recurring one. People will then hopefully start coming around.. I leave it to the nightmares to restore my faith in humanity! πŸ˜›

  13. Hari

    @ nitin:
    WTF!! Mafia Bush? πŸ˜›

    @ Vids:
    Well… Nightmares may not necessarily try to awaken the good samaritan in you, always. πŸ™‚ 99% of nightmares have scared the living sh1t outta me. This one remains a sole exception. πŸ˜€

    @ merin:
    Thank you!! But present day ordinary folk? Erm… I didn’t really get that.
    And, welcome to my blog!! πŸ™‚

    @ prasanth:
    Chella… Pedippikkaathe! Sreekariyam metro il blasts nadannaal nammal prakadanam nadathum! πŸ˜›

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