Friday, January 13, 2006

A Sort Of Life

Exactly five years ago, on this day, on a foggy night, I boarded the Tamil Nadu Express in Delhi, clueless about what lay ahead of me. All I knew was my destination: Chennai. I did not know a soul there and the only address I had was that of my new office.

In the train I tried visualing my life in the city. Food was the easiest to visualise: images of idlis sprang up instantly. I tried visualing my would-be colleagues. Nothing concrete came to my mind: they ended up looking like the people who were travelling with me. When I thought about a house, I could only imagine a window opening to a coconut tree. When I visualised about sex, I could see Silk Smitha biting her lips and beckoning me.

Today, it is five years in Chennai. Five years in the office. Five years in this house. Lucky me. Five years is a long time for luck to sustain itself in one go, and time is approaching when luck will tell me: "Now you take over. I'll come back later." Sure Lady Luck, I will take care of myself when you go, but do come back soon. I cannot wait to have you back in my arms.

I cannot decide whose embrace has been more delightful: Chennai's or Lady Luck's. But in these five years, both have given me enough material to write my own version of Henry Miller's 'rosy crucifixion' trilogy, Sexus, Nexus and Plexus. 'Rosy crucifixion' was the death, at age 33, of one Henry Miller and the ressurection of another.

I can identify with him in the sense that the man who took the train five years ago died the moment it arrived in Chennai. All his friends died too: they are today mere 10-digit numbers in the mobile phone directory. The man who walked out of the station was a stranger to the world -- homeless, friendless -- and waiting for his canvas to be peopled. And then the people came. Some left. Some remained. Some more came. Some more coming.

I just shut my eyes to took a quick mental trip down those five years, looking for people who have mattered to me the most -- people who sustained me, shaped me, tolerated me. A strange coincidence: the names of most people whose faces shone in the dark alley begin with 'S'. I can't help listing them here, in the order of their appearance in my life.

S, the Solid. Friend from day one. Remains a friend and will continue to remain so. We call each other 'buffoon'.

S, the Master. Excels in the art of editing and the art of drinking. Spend too many evenings with him and you will need to learn the art of living.

S, the Rabbit. My support system for a long, long time. Went away suddenly one day, I don't know why. Never told me why. I feel sad.

S, the Virgin. Never said 'I love you', but loved each other in our own ways. A short but memorable relationship. Now happily married.

S, the Naughty. Taught me the art of kissing. She thought I did not know how to kiss. Maybe I did not.

S, the Boss. Grace, beauty and kindness personified. My confession box. My truest friend. Makes life obstacle-free.

S, the Goddess. Gave me many sleepless nights. A good friend now.

S, the Glam. Known each other for three years but seems thirty. Walks in and out of my life, but is never out of my thoughts. Not even for a moment.

S, the Obsession. My biggest weakness. Loves music. Loves books. Loves writing. Loves stationery. Loves pens. If only she loved me!


Anonymous said...

semblance of some simple stuff; such is solitude in a swarm. surely, the soul isn't sorry?

Anonymous said...

"I could see Silk Smitha " -- an S too :)

Anonymous said...

OOOOOOOO Bish I feel like blessing u frm the core of my heart. I pray to that supreme lord that HE gives u the best. Amen.
Bish u say that the day u landed in chennai u tended to forgot all ur childhood buddies. Why? They r n were the part of ur growth. But if again u leave chennai n get the offer somewhere else like in canada then will u forget all that chennai had given u. Anyways thats my personal opinion n i do love u my dear friend for the honest n frank opinions of urs. My idea of defining S is different. S for Supreme, S for soulmate, S for selflessness S for satya, S for shivam, S for sundram. N if u have all these in ur own self that u dont have to look for any subjective or objective S. U know that song that u like n i like it too. Kahin door jab din dhal jayyee........thats the essence of S the self when u can feel the touch n smile at that thot too. But again Bish these r my personal opinions n these r for me only n for my self growth. God bless u dear bish n i humbly pray to ur boss the selfless n the supreme that he gives u the best of all the S'sssssssss. Amen

Bishwanath Ghosh said...

Atul: Thanks, you understood. :)

Anonymous: Yes, Silk Smitha is an 'S' too. Sex is 'S' too. :)

Ravi: Well, I really don't know what to say. Your kindness is overwhelming, and I must thank you for your blessings. I did not forget my friends in Delhi: all I meant was they stopped playing a decisive role in my role. In other words, my daily itinerary was no longer decided by those set of friends. But then, they remain valuable friends. I hope I don't have to leave Chennai ever; it would be very painful for me. When I was leaving Delhi I did not feel any pain because I thought I would be coming back soon. But if I ever leave Chennai, I would know that I wouldn't be coming back.

In any case, today the world has turned virtual and distances don't really matter. And by the way, the S' in my life I listed did/do have these qualities -- Supreme, Soulmate, Selflessness, Satyam, Shivam and Sundaram. Maybe that is why they mean(t) so much to me.

Thanks a lot for writing and for your wishes. I wish you the best for you too.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Bishwanath Ghosh,
Who is the second S? Is it Sheshadri, who was nicknamed as 'master' in his good days with Indian Express?

Medical Blog said...

I can identify with him in the sense that the man who took the train five years ago died the moment it arrived in Chennai.

Anubhuti said...

and Shiva is S too.

Anubhuti said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...


the destiny "s" decides to follow SM ever..take it for sure.. this will be the best in the list..