Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Life as a newly born poet

Here it goes. My 6th poem has just been completed and is ready to hit the bull-board (this is how I refer to my company’s bulletin board in short) any time next week. The odds are high that it would be appreciated as much as my last poem, if not more. Incidentally, my last poem received only a single response, when I sent it to my friend for his expert opinion. In return, I got a Delivery Failure message saying “The recipient’s mailbox is full”. Though, I have nothing to worry about. There are peaks in a writer’s career, that I have already experienced, and then there are abysses as well. I have seen those days when my mailbox was overflowing with the mails of adulation, when one of my poem was put on the KM Board (Yeah, they do feel that my poem can be the best means of attracting people’s attention to an otherwise unnoticed notice board, just like Shahrukh Khan can do for Himani Navratna Tel). I have even heard rumors that I have been nominated, and am the strongest contender to receive the next MVP award as well as the SPOT award. Is it true that they have changed the names of these awards to “Most Valuable Poet” and “Star Poet Of Team”? The awards are a certainty as my PM is loudly vouching for me.

People often ask me about my very peculiar style of writing. Why is it that all my poems are always written in first person? Is it because I am a self-obsessed freak? Well, the answer is “No”. I am neither a self-obsessed egotist (Kudos to my memory for remembering the first word I had read in a book by Norman Lewis to improve my vocab 5 years back), nor an egomaniac. Even though I had the realization of my attractive charm way back in 1983, when the doctor looked at me and said “Sho Shweet”, I am still a very humble person. Even though during school days, my friends called me Einstein Junior (my powerful specs and receding hairline played some part in it), yet I have my feet very much grounded on earth. And though, people call me a star and a gem (maybe due to the 4 gems I wear on my fingers), I am still a very down-to-earth man. And the only reason I write my poems in first person is because I want to relate to the person I am writing about.

However, as the old adage goes, Fame comes with a heavy price tag. Once you become a poet, every one expects you to write a poem on him or her. The other day, my PM asked me to write a poem about her green dress. Now I am not that sort of writer who can write about just anything in this world. Poetry is something that comes straight from one’s heart. But I had to surrender under peer-pressure. After all, my appraisal activities are still incomplete. But with my heart not into the poem, the words didn’t come out. I had decided that the last line of the poem will be “The Lady in Green”. But what are the lines that would rhyme with it? After spending almost half an hour, the best lines that I could think of were –
“Two years back I was lean”
“In college, Prof Rao was my Dean.”
“I have to dust my room clean”
“I have been working for past 2 months like a machine.”

And I gave up. To hell with my appraisal.

Last weekend, I went to a nearby mall to purchase a new pair of pajamas. And as luck would have it, I wasn’t spared there as well. My celebrity status has really deprived me of all privacy I experienced until few weeks back. But now, they spot me wherever I go. For instance, I asked the salesperson standing at the counter:
“How much do these Pajamas cost?”
“Rs 800.”
“That’s too much. I would pay only Rs 100 for it.”
“Saab, free me hi le jao.” (“You can take it for free.”)

His reply was something I couldn’t take. I know that I am a celebrity. But that doesn’t mean that people would start giving me free gifts for no reason at all. Alright, he might have read my poems sitting with his family in front of the fire-place, and must have felt a new bond with his children, but offering me a pair of Pajamas for free was just too much.

The biggest problem a celebrity, like me, has to face is the fear of paparazzi. While shopping, I saw a man deliberately making his girl friend stand just in front of me and then taking a snap of her. As if, I don’t know that in actual he wanted a photograph of me, to sell it to the highest bidding newspaper.

But my worst experience was when all of a sudden, a person came to me posing to be an old friend.
“Vaibhav Mathur from St Mary’s Academy?”
“Yes. Do I know you?”
“Hey, I am Ankur from high school. Don’t you remember me?”
“Stay away Mister. And don’t call my name loud, or else there’ll be a stampede here.”

I had to quickly run away from the scene before they all recognized me and started asking for an autograph.

On second thoughts, was he really Ankur Sabbarwal? My high school chuddy-buddy? Nah, can’t be. This world is full of poseurs and wannabes.
- Vaibhav Mathur

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Me DONE for this week

Under normal circumstances, I am not a voracious reader. After office hours, I don’t even care to read the front page of the newspaper (sometimes I even think that the sole purpose of the existence of newspapers is to sell them as raddi at the end of month). However, office hours are a totally different story. When it comes to reading the Leisure section of my company’s Bulletin Board during office hours, none can beat me. I am among those who think that one should spend quality time and effort in reading the BB, and should have 5 minutes of work breaks in between.

Coming back to the point, last week, while going through some of the hot topics on the BB, such as Aamir vs Shahrukh, I saw a post from a colleague of mine. The post was titled DONE or “Do One New Simple Thing Every Week”. The guy had made a high level plan to do something new each week.

Inspiration comes in many ways, and in my case, it was through this post. I thought “Why not me?” I should also try doing something else this weekend. So on Friday evening, I made up my mind and started thinking. Thinking and thinking and thinking. And the first thing this highly uninnovative mind saw after some more thinking (read 2 hours) was a DVD my roomie had purchased the previous day. So I told myself – “In past I have seen atleast 1 movie each week. But this is my golden chance to break all records and put myself through a test. Why not watch the complete DVD in one go. This is that something new for this week.

Now, I have seen lady luck stay away from some people throughout their lives. However, in my case, it was just the opposite. That particular evening, I, Vaibhav Mathur aka the biggest loser of all time (I don’t know whether they have this category in The Guiness Book or not else my name would surely have been there), kicked her with my very own feet adorned in newly bought Lee Cooper shoes (Price Rs 5800 after a discount of 5%).

When I took a closer look at the cover, the movies in the DVD included Dhol, Saawariya, Bhool Bhulaiyya, Dhamaal, No smoking and Johnny Gaddar. And I cursed God for not giving me X-ray vision so that I could have looked straight through the closet which had the DVD containing Dollar trilogy and Once Upon A Time trilogy, rather than the one outside the closet. But a man’s word is a man’s word. I had to go through the torture for next 15-18 hours.

So the long endless journey started at 6:30 am on Saturday morning. The first in queue was Dhol. Goodness me. How can people even give a remote thought to such an idiotic idea of film making? Let alone bringing it into execution.

Next in queue was Saawariya. Well, after watching this movie on big screen and spoiling my Diwali, I had made up my mind never to watch Bollywood cinema ever again in my life. Never had I thought after that day that there can be even a slight possibility of me going through that torture all over again. By the end of this movie, Mr headache started knocking on the doors of my forehead.

Next came Bhool Bhulaiyya. No words are enough to describe the movie. I was completely lost in the bhool bhulaiyya. And even more lost were the characters in it. But the most lost soul on planet earth seemed to be the director of the movie – Mr Priyadarshan, who didn’t have a clue at all what he had made.

Dhamaal – After watching the movie I realized I had seen it earlier as well, perhaps in the year 1988. Some more stress on my brain revealed that it was incidentally on the very same day my dad had brought home the Video cassette of “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World”.

No Smoking – I had heard a lot about this movie, how bad it is. And I had expected Mr Headache to start tearing each and every part of my brain during the next couple of hours. But to my surprise, it turned out to be otherwise. What I came to know after watching this movie is that abstract art is not understood by all.

Last but not the least – Johnny Gaddar. It made my day. Well, all is well that ends well.

So it was 9:30 pm. And what bad luck it is that even the pirated DVDs these days have movies in their fullest of lengths unlike those Golden years when 30 to 40 minutes portion from each movie was removed to make it fit into one VCD.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Death Should Wait

Fly like a bird in open skies,
See the world from highest of highs,
Lighting up some blind man's eyes,
Being the truth in a million lies,
Answer to all whats, hows and whys,
Sound of Eureka after thousand tries,
Each one of these is a special prize,
I want to receive, before this heart dies.

A cringing hungry beggar's bread,
A priceless tear from her eye she shed,
A little bud planted on flower bed,
Blooming into a rose so red,
Timeless knot in a broken thread,
Silence in the air after all has been said,
All of these things, I would be glad,
To know that I have been before I am dead.

A rising wave in deep blue sea,
Prince Charming of a girl's fantasy,
A butterfly, a spirit too free,
Endless shade under a banyan tree,
In midst of riot, a harmony,
A metaphor in the book of poetry,
All of these, I want to be,
Before they dig a grave and bury me.