June 21, 2007

Notes from PG

It rained here yesterday. The first decent rain of this monsoon season. Things became little difficult for us as Sabu's room got flooded. This new room is just like India. You can experience so many centuries at the same time.

My holidays are getting over. Only 3 days are left. I will have to leave Phursatgunj early on Sunday morning. Suddenly, I realize how good life is when you don't have to go to office. Not that, I don't like my job. But, given a choice, I would prefer not to work and do my own things. Mostly sleeping.

Friends in Mumbai didn't come this time to PG. I can fully understand their situation. Life in Mumbai is not easy, especially for lazy friends. It pains me to know that my aging friends have to work really hard. How cruel destiny is!

Parents are getting older and older. The more I want mother to get detached, the more she is becoming sentimental. She can't believe I can have so many holidays. She thinks I have left the job. Dear mother, your wish will come true in few years time.

The other day, I tuned into these new FM radio channels. I didn't like any of them. Good old Vividh Bharti is 1000 times better. What would you prefer? Ae Huzoor by Himesh Reshammiya or Din dhal jaye by Mohammed Rafi?

Being in Gujarat has its own advantages. I can eat Gujarati thali and lots of other delicacies. That seems to me the only reason why I want to come back here despite the merciless weather. I am feeling hungry again.

June 17, 2007

End of the road

I am deeply worried. Worried about my own future and for millions of others who are as ignorant as I am. The world is changing very fast. It used to be very simple When I was young.

In those days, Internet for me was yahoo chat rooms and e-mail. I still remember those college days, not very far, 7-8 years ago. My friends used to go for Internet surfing. They used to talk endlessly about having a foreigner online friend, female obviously. They used to boast how many friends they have and stuff like that. In my smugness, I used to look down at them. Poor souls! They are wasting their precious time on some fictitious chick, while I am getting enlightened.

Being a curious fellow, after a while I also decided to know what this Internet chatting is all about. I didn't know the rules of the game. I tried my luck with my most common Gujarati name (I can never forgive my parents for that) and whatever English vocabulary I had. The result was horrible. Chat room after chat room, forget girls, even the most hopeless aunties refused to talk with me. On the other hand, some of my friends were chatting with 3 girls at a time. After few weeks, I learned a few tricks. I started getting responses from some girls as I made use of my palmistry and sun sign knowledge. However, I couldn't make much headway as my typing speed was pathetic. Some of the girls used to think that I am busy chatting with another girl, when I was really struggling to find something on the keyboard.

I got fed up. But, being an intelligent fellow (in those days, not now), I decided to turn my weaknesses into my strengths. I asked myself, "What are my weaknesses in the yahoo chat room?" One I am a male and two my typing speed is horrible. Why not create a nice female id for myself and show those silly boys (my friends), what I am capable of. And the trick worked like a magic. As soon as I entered with a female id, all the boys in the chat room used to approach me. Even though, my typing speed was pathetic, those fools used to wait for minutes for a single sentence from me. It was entertainment at its best. Some of them used to tell their sad stories and even proposed to marry me. Most of them wanted my contact number. After few weeks, I lost interest and ended that silly game. Again, I returned to the comfort of reading great books. This time with even more smugness than before. My temporary affair with Internet ended there. I concluded that most of the stuff on the net is silly. It's only for frustrated boys who have never got a chance to speak with female species in real life.

After I joined journalism, I came to know about the power of Google. I was amazed. You don't need to remember anything. You don't need to think. Just type a few key words and Google will give you whatever you want. For people like me, who are blessed with poor memory, it was a gift from heaven. Once, I finished my course, I realized the power of online job sites. I also came to know about many wonderful things, like how I can listen to an old Hindi film song online and also watch a movie for free. My friends also told me how I can read e-books on the net. But, I don't like that idea even though it's cheap. I still prefer the old way of reading books.

Before coming to Phursatgunj, I was happy thinking I have become well aware about the Internet usage. I know stuff like how to book flight tickets online, Internet banking and online trading. Two weeks with Sabu and I am again feeling downtrodden. Everyday, he tells me something new about Internet which my tired mind refuses to understand. Brother, have mercy on this aging friend!!!

Anyway, I am lucky that I have some smart friends who have abundance of time and patience to explain the changing technology around me. But, I know everything has a limit. What will happen if they will all become very busy and lose patience? Sabu is already showing some signs of that. This can't go on forever. I can clearly imagine myself 10 years down the line. A helpless middle-aged guy whom even a 4-years old child will not respect.

June 06, 2007

Summer holidays

Hot summer night. Five past three. Quiet except sound of some night birds. Nice cool breeze. Can't sleep on the terrace. Mosquitoes. Starry sky. More than a half moon. No ciggies. Bit hungry. Sabu is fast asleep. Don't want to wake him up.

Fourth day in Phursatgunj. Things have changed. Many shops have gone from station road. No Samrat during night. Everything closes at 10:30 p.m. Feeling sad.

Damn hot during daytime. No rain. Can't go anywhere during afternoons. Only saving grace is Masi's food. Good and cheap. Sabu is very busy. Works like a mad man. No time at all. Making some Websites. Umesh comes in the afternoon. Dhavalbhai meets after 9:30 p.m. at Kalubhai. No news from friends in Mumbai. Will call them tomorrow.

Baroda Central has opened. Only footfalls, no real business. Some new FM channels have started. Three according to Dhavalbhai. Nothing much has changed. No vibrancy in sight despite tall claims by Modi government. Still, BJP seems to be favorite to win elections later in the year. Pretty weak Congress. Enough for today.