Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The Brain Gets Numb and I Don’t Realize That!

Numbness – this used to happen with my legs whenever I played violin for more than half-hour, uninterrupted, while I was a primary school student. And when I just finish the final bow, I realize the acute pain that prolongs just for a few micro-seconds. Yes! It prolongs for micro-seconds. That acute pain which I used to suffer makes me use the term ‘prolong’. And slowly, as I widen my legs apart and tap the affected leg hard on the floor, to relive me of the pain, I end up calling for more prolongation, and thereby more pain. It’s then when I used to realize how tormenting one shall feel, if one were to stay numb. But then, it eases after a few seconds.
My brain has been numbing for the last few months, for the last few weeks at least, indifferent to many things people would normally react to. I’ve never been this way for the last twenty-one years. “Now, why this sudden change?” you put this question to me, and my instant, candid reply would be a terse ‘No’ accompanied by a smile. Now, you throw another question to me, in an attempt to make me react the way I actually feel inside. “Are you happy with the numbness?” “Well….” I start, but in an attempt to put more pressure on me, you raise the tone, “You’ve any complaints? Why don’t you just party? Something for a change…” I think deep, not as deeper as you might imagine. And I reply, “I don’t think so. It’s just that I’m neither happy nor sad with the way things are going. I don’t know if it’s for the good or bad. But, just like how the sun rises each morning with neither complaints nor enthusiasm, I live every passing day with no striking reactions.”
Yes! This exactly is what has been happening for the last few months. I get up late in the morning after an early morning sleep at 2am, brush teeth, sip coffee, skim through the first few pages of The Hindu newspaper, and in a few seconds, the right index and middle fingers automatically get themselves relieved from the sheets to flip a few more pages to the editorial section. Trust me, it happens involuntarily. Whether it’s about the Indian healthcare industry, or about the Liberhan Commission report, or about the disciplined behaviour of the MNS (let them be called disciplined at least in this page), or about the Copenhagen summit, or about the India-Pakistan relations, my inner conscience has made it mandatory that I should read them, and later, if I’m unable to peruse, should scissor the editorial column and put it into the file that contains many of its predecessors. Then, I walk into the empty hall, switch on the TV. The year-old practice of switching the ‘Channel V’ or the ‘9xM’ or the ‘B4U Music’ on, starts to build in me, but before I could I press the ‘OK’ button in my remote control, I press the ‘Exit’ button and move to CNBC TV 18 or NDTV 24X7. When I turn to the former, it’s the stock market experts who answer the queries of our Indian middle class who wants to sit at home and earn money at the click of a mouse.
“Sir, I’ve 1000 shares of HDFC Bank. I bought them at Rs. 28.10 and today it stands at Rs. 1807….” And as he’s speaking, charts adorn the TV screen, indicating a 6000 odd percent return on investment.
“What the fuck, man? What more do you want today.” I yell.
“Why the hell do you people call up and flaunt your stock-marketing skills?”
Irritated, I switch to NDTV 24X7, and there I see the Harichandra of the 21st century, Mr. Madhu Koda, denying all the charges against him, and claiming that he’s the most innocent politician India has ever seen. From one level of Harichandra-ness to another, I see all politicians smiling on the screen, making sure they contribute to at least twenty minutes of the half-hour news bulletin. And, in the last ten minutes, the so-called real heroes who the 21st century Indian youth adore and admire, cricketers and film-stars, make sure they end the news bulletins on a refreshing note. I switch the TV off and walk to the dining table to find my notebook stacked between the questions and answer pages of a workshop material distributed by IMS learning Resources Pvt. Ltd. I start solving the problems, or start to practise a few Grammar exercises.
By now, if you still didn’t know what I’m up to in life these days, I suggest you please drag your mouse cursor to the right top corner, press the ‘X’ button, close the window and do something better. Else, continue reading. If you decide to go ahead, flouting the rule, go ahead, but make sure you know what I’m up to, before starting with the next paragraph. I’m a B-school aspirant. I’m aspiring to get into a B-school which is in the top 15 of all the surveys, irrespective of whatever amount of money bribed or not to the surveyor.
After solving a few problems, I get up from the chair with mixed emotions. I would be happy for the fact that I could solve many problems but at the same time, unhappy for the fact that I was not able to solve quite a few problems, sometimes dismayed by the misfortune that even after repeated peruse of the solutions pages, I was not able to digest the concepts. It just doesn’t get into this head. Then, I do the easiest thing of all –leave things to God, just pray to Him to ensure I’m not tested on these sorts of questions on the D-day. I bathe, say my prayers, lunch, and sit in front of the desktop computer to check my e-mails. Posts of a few of the pagalguys like me fill my inbox. I skim through them only to ensure there’re no more unread messages in my inbox. The jobless me, I clear the spam mails too – the e-mail account as clear as a blank slate, or if I could say, my mind.
Then, in a few minutes, I get a call from the Head of the Institute where I work, teaching students who are aspiring Probationary officers at one of the banks.
“Rajesh, free today evening?”
“Yes, tell me….” I say, wondering if I should have actually said that.
“Ok, you’ve a class at 6.30. Lecture on Time, speed and distance.”
“Ok, done”
“Fine, bye…”
As I hang up, I’m happy for two reasons. The first reason being I would earn a few more rupees and the second reason being, I would get a break. Instead of learning, I would be teaching the same concepts.
So, life, this way, moves on, every passing day. Even if at times, I’m a tad upset, I’ve KK’s Dil Ibadat or Javed Ali’s To Hi Haqeeqat to refresh me. Of course, Shreya Ghoshal is invincible. But, trust me; KK is superb in Dil Ibadat.
Well, I’ve taken one of the many B-school entrances – IIFT. I’ve done reasonably well. If this year’s cut-offs are similar to previous years’, I can’t be denied a GD/PI call. The results are to be announced in mid-December. So, just like any other student, my fingers are crossed as well.
All said and done, I’m pleased with the way life has been on for me in the last few months. As long as I’m on the right track to fetch myself a seat in a top-notch B-school next June, I wouldn’t complain but only feel proud of myself for the fact that I would’ve achieved something for the first time in twenty-two years. I just wish good things happen in the near future.
A few hours ago, I was asked by a good friend of mine as to why I’ve not been blogging for the last many weeks. She was not the first person. Another good friend of mine too had asked me the same question last week. This post is not written for their sake but just to see if these words could actually give vent to my feelings (if there're any because I seriously doubt their existence). It’s just that I thought I would share whatever I could - things that have been happening at my end in the last few weeks.
So, with a mouse in hand, I’m all set to bell the CAT on Dec 5. Come what may, I’ll give my best shot.

P.S: For people who have been following my blog for a long time, I’ve a good piece of news to share. My book has been getting very good feedback. Many, including my inspiration, Shreya Ghoshal, have been saying kind words. They’ve appreciated me for what I’ve done. I just hope my first creative child sees the light of the day really soon.