Saturday, October 4, 2008

Run maadi Run

Catching the bus back from TCS Trivandrum is always a tough job for me. I mean, I avail the bus service provided by the company, and I am talking about the bus provided by the company only. But it always comes so late and when it comes, there is always maara-maari for a place. Especially when we get the good one. Because it's one or two short of our strength and one or two guys always go standing. That day it was my turn.

And I'll have to say, it was one of my best bus journeys, at least of those between Hotel Mas and Technopark. I generally sing all the songs into the window when I'm in the bus, so that others aren't troubled. But this day I wasn't concerned about others troubles, probably because I was the one standing while others were sitting. The other guy standing was Naveen. Also a few others were there till the gate of Technopark. And there it was our CR who boarded the bus for a ride to the executive hostel which is some half kilometer from the Technopark.

I remember we were shouting out Khalbali with AR Rehman and Naresh Iyer, me and Naveen at least. The girl was silently bearing the pain of all the voices. Soon she got out and we were shouting more loudly. At least I was, as Naveen hardly had left any scope remaining already. Also, with his voice, I was always the humbler one.

That was probably the first day Naveen got into the back rows of the bus and made almost everybody sing. Thanks to our bus driver's wonderful collection, the songs playing were Khalbali, Meri Neend, Mast Kalandar, and same sort. All the way it was I wasted my energy as much as I could and when I reached hostel, I was soooo... energetic. So much so that I moved out of the hostel within a few minutes of coming. Just as soon as I was out of my tie and shoes and back into my VIT UNIVERSITY T-shirt, I took my phone, purse, headphones, and put them on, to start on an unknown track.

I started on the road in front of my hotel. The side I knew had the market. I walked past the market, the one I knew, to some new roads, keeping it straight. Guess some 2-2.5 kms later, I took a little turn and saw a bookshop. It was quite big and even a few foreigners were strolling inside. I got into the shop and started looking up the books there. Quite a few books caught my interest too, but I didn't want to spend much money, as I had not yet received my first salary.

Then there was another book called 'You Are Here' that caught my attention. Probably because of the name of the author, it's bright colorful cover, and an introduction that completely mismatched the name of the author. Actually the book's author is called Meenakshi Reddy Madhvan, a South Indian name that brings me the smell of Sambar-Rice and when talking in books, some serious subjects. But here it was, a book with a few lines on it's cover, looking like a map, and showing points as: The job that sucks, Smoke first postcoital cigarette, do-not-disturb: perfect make out session in progress, attend dad's second wedding as bridesmaid, and so on.

At the same time, I saw another book called 'reluctant fundamentalist' that looked quite readable. Also, I saw later that it was nominated for the man booker prize. Both these books costed Rs 200 each. And I thought I'd buy the fundamentalist book. But for some reason quite unknown to myself, I bought the other one.

On the way back, I was quite exhausted as I had already been standing in the bus and now it was a complete 5 kms way up and down for me. Finally when I reached the Hotel, it took all my will to get up for the dinner. Yet another run to the Ramji Bhojnalaya.

Time to Act

It was a class of personal grooming by Ms.Jaysree. A first again. She came, talked some things about first impressions, dress sense, etiquette and professional and unprofessional behavior, and after some time, suddenly divided us into four 'random' groups and said that we'll have to come up with a skit that would differentiate between professional and unprofessional behavior. She allotted us ten minutes for that though later it was extended.

I was in a group of eleven, with three girls, two Naveens, and five more guys. We decided to go with two groups shown as two companies, the professional company and the unprofessional company, and one common client, Sugam.

I myself was a manager in the professional company. Quite boring. And I guess I played my role strictly OK. May be worse than that. But on the whole our skit went well. Even though we were group number 3 and called on first.

Later on, there was one more group that I loved, because of Dhruv's acting. Dhruv Mandal (dhroo-bo-mon-dol), actually a Bengali, played a Punjabi customer of a telephone company, and kept all the class and the facilitator laughing for almost 5 minutes. One thing I had to accept that I had never seen a Bengali speaking such wonderful Punjabi, without a trace of Bengali accent.

Later when the skits were over, Jaysree said all the plays were good but story wise, group three did the best. Hurrah! She also said, pointing to Dhruv, that she didn't know we had such good actors in our batch. It was one class I liked a lot. In fact I remember Dhruv's great acting and I think it'll stay in my memory for long.

Yet another lesson learnt was once again about our abilities and our potential. Once again I came to know we were capable of performing quite well on such a short notice while previously I used to be afraid of acting even after long sessions of rehearsals. Hope it makes me less fearing for the future.