Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Voice Inside My Head

When you are a muddle head, the worst thing that can happen to you is being constantly reminded about the fact you chose to be oblivious of. As I walked out of my aunt's flat on to the bustling road, searching for an auto that could ferry me back to my grim PG, my eyes started wandering. ''Ah! What a glamorous car'' I thought to myself, admiring a metal-coloured beauty on four wheels that zipped past me. Just then came a crude reminder. ''Stop ogling at that thing that's far beyond your reach and get down to the business of getting yourself an auto, loser!" said that shapeless, genderless, evil squeaky little voice inside my head. Ok. I know I am a moron, or worse still, a loser. Why the hell do I need to be reminded repeatedly? And finally, when I did get the sent-straight from-God's-own-garage sort of rickshaw that I promptly plonked myself into, I could not help but grin an extra wide grin at all those who were still waiting for their's to come past! I chuckled at my childishness, then I heard it squeal again. ''Do not laugh at those unfortunate souls. Some one else may also laugh at your expense, loser!''  What humiliation! Had this been some earthling, I swear I would have slapped the shit out of that person. But unfortunately, the idiotic squeals were coming from right within me, and what made it worse was that I realized that it was right.

I live in this old fashioned flat thing that doesn't even boast of a lift. Adding to my piling woes is the painful fact that I live on the fourth floor. By the time I climb those stairs to reach my PG, I look like a coolie; and start smelling like one too! Waking up early morning and rushing back to your PG with an assignment at hand, a lecture from the bugging rikshaw walla is the last thing you would ask for. ''Pehle hi paisa nikal ke rakhne ka tha na..kitna time barbaad karte ho..'' he grumbled. Getting out of the auto, I was muttering a zillion curses under my breath, and it let out the irritatingly familiar squeal again. ''No need to curse him. You didn't waste his time; you wasted yours, moron!"Bang on again!

Struggling up the stairs, with the oh-I-am-so-out-of-breath look pasted on my face, I toppled to my PG. Just then I realized that my keys were playing hide and seek with me. ''What timing', I thought to myself. The squeal: ''Why cant you keep that jhola of yours organized? Keep finding the things that you need the least and find no traces of the stuff you need urgently, loser!'' Yeah right! Panting for breath, I just wanted to squeeze that shapeless bugging thing hoping that it would lose its voice or something, but I was helpless. I had to leave home for a ''far-off'' assignment and I was running al around the house like a kitten whose tail was on fire. I took my bath, got dressed in a jiffy, and was busy gobbling down the yummy breakfast while juggling with my phone and the food, and every time the bugger would be, '' Hurry up you idiot. You are such a lazy bum and a loser!'' I had enough of it. I am the one who is hunting for an auto, getting lectures from the idiot of a rikshaw waala, exerting myself climbing four floors opening the door, hopping around the house to be on time! I wanted to scream out, '' Technically, I am not the loser you dimwit, YOU are!!'' And I did scream. Only to wake up the peacefully (and thankfully) sleeping hyper active PG auntie of mine. That was the last thing I wanted to happen. I was dreading about being quizzed, '' Beta, kahan ja rahe ho so early-early?'' Thank Heavens, nothing of that sort happened.

The rest of the day was quiet, as in the squeal, it wasn't there quite that much, apart from the instructions and speculations like, ''Time to get off; the platform must be on the right side.'' Not that I missed it. I was gleeful that I probably didn't go wrong anywhere. Moreover, I was busy covering a story. But then, I heard her again. Two voices, or rather sounds that my ears sprung up to. One was the angry growling of my stomach, demanding for some fuel; the other, the bugger: ''You should have picked up some sort of food that you could have nibbled on your way back, you loser.'' Thank you, was the only thing that I could manage to grumble.

Back to work and I had far more voices hat I would listen to happily. And the irritating yet intellectual thing knew when to shut up. It did shut up. And for a pretty long time. ''How nice. Commotion all around yet a profound silence within. This is what I want'', I thought. But whatever said and done, I know that voice keeps me going. Talks to me when there's no one to comfort me. Consoles me, lashes out at me. But, its always there. And its always right!!!

First RCB Fan Meet-Up, Mumbai, 2010

Surprises aren’t always pleasant; sometimes they are just mind blowing. As I was gearing up for the first RCB meet-up at Colaba, I received a certain call, which made my sleepy eyes light up with excitement. That was Disha Shetty informing me about a latest addition to the list of participants: the new addition was, of course, none other than Siddhartha Mallya!! Before I could let it sink in, I found myself imagining how the meet-up would be, and most importantly, how lucky the Mumbai RCB gang is! 

I was super excited owing to a number of reasons. Firstly, this was my first meet up. Secondly, being new to Bombay, I know very few people, and hanging out with people sharing the same passion was something that I was looking forward to with bated breath. The new twist in the tale introduced by Disha sent the excitement meter ticking!! 

Celebrities are never on time is the usual assumption. But contrary to popular belief, Mallya Junior turned up way before time! As Disha and I walked up to him, introducing ourselves, we could see how happy he was to see two RCB fans in the house! Little did he know that there was a bunch of chirpy fans who would be pouring in a while. 

The meeting kick started in trademark Royal Challengers style. There was beer on the table, and Mallya Junior insisted that we sip beer as the proceedings began. Although he was a little surprised that we chose not to taste a home product, yet he was polite enough to excuse us and let us have juice instead. Then started a conversation, which we wished would never end. He shared with us his vies on player retention, who is the ideal player for the CL, who is in great shape, who’s not et all. However, what emerged to be the most interesting part of the event was all the inside-scoop he shared with us.

Going by the way he spoke, the man does have in-depth knowledge of the game, and he knows for sure, the nitty-gritty of the business he is into. The ease with he discussed the sport, chipping in with facts and figures, the fans were charmed and bowled over. With some off-the-record scoop and future plans like altering the jerseys, who-goes-in-who-faces-the-axe kind of stuff, the meet-up was refreshing! 

He posed with the fans, and when I asked him about the meet-up he said, “I am never lost for words. If today I am, it is because I am overwhelmed by the turn out. And considering the fact that this is Bombay, I have to confess that such a huge turn-out was least expected. It feels great though!” 

What followed was a stint of an awareness campaign, with the RCB fans sporting colourful stickers on their jerseys. These stickers courtesy an NGO called Corner Stone, had some thought provoking slogans printed on them. A march and a photo session leter, we were a bunch of happy youngsters. Community Managers Natasha, Nidhi and Ankit along with chief blogger Aneesh also joined us. What a awesome day it was! I not just got a chance to break away from the monotony of home-workplace-home, but also got to know some of the RCB fans in town and most of all, made a lot of new friends! If this is the way the meet-up would turn out to be, I am GAME FOR MORE!!!! :)