Monday, December 29, 2003

For Want of a Better Title: Happy New Year

Another year is coming to an end. And I am sad. I am sad because I didn’t really make this one count. For that matter I haven’t made the last 21 years count either. Everyday I go to sleep, not because I am tired and exhausted by the day’s work, but because I have nothing better to do. I don’t remember the last time I slept after being completely spent and used; each and every muscle of my body aching for some respite from the hard work. I don’t remember the last time I said out loud, “That is a good day’s work. I need some rest now.” There are no accomplishments since there are no goals. I am just hanging on to one last ray of hope – the confidence that I am on the right path – the path that leads to being satisfied at the end of the day. That is the goal of my otherwise goal-less life: to sleep when I am exhausted because of the day’s work.

Let me start by giving an account of what has happened since 21st November, the last time I blogged. CAT got cancelled and I was disappointed for two reasons: I had done considerably well and now I’ll have to go through the whole charade of giving it again. Theatre Y, my theatre group, finished the poetry reading program ‘Rhyme and Reason’ organized by the British Council in Chennai’s leading schools. We also did a book reading of Raj Kamal Jha’s latest book ‘If You are Afraid of Heights’ as part of the book launch by Picador publishers and British Council. We got excellent reviews in the newspapers (check out what the Hindu Link 1 Link 2 had to say about us). Finally I finished my end semester exams in IIT.

During the first week of December the Park hotel organized a festival called ‘The Other Festival’ - seven days of plays, music and dance performances from artists all over the country and some from abroad. The shows were held in the auditorium of Chinmaya Heritage Center and I must say that it is one of the best auditoriums in Chennai for putting up a play. I attended five performances and I enjoyed the poetry reading by Zohra Sehgal the most. I will abstain from saying anything about the other shows. But more than the shows the most lasting memory from those seven days was the smile of a girl who I saw five times.

I was doing some research and writing an article on Memory Aid Techniques around that time. I was trying to explain to a good friend, the various features in a person’s face which leave a lasting impression. A good smile according to me will register the face instantly. No wonder Julia Roberts is so popular. It is not because she is exceedingly hot or is a great actress. It is all because of that million-dollar smile. The moment I said this, I remembered the face of this girl I had seen the previous day. The same friend had introduced me to her and I saw her again on successive visits to the Other Festival. Even after three weeks her face haunts me. And this hasn’t happened for the first time. It has happened on previous occasions also with other faces. It is my firm belief that this is the Universe’s way of telling me to wake up and do something about my life. Opportunity has knocked on my door a number of times, it has even gatecrashed into my life’s boring party a number of times but I have been too dumb-witted to recognize it. Anthony Hopkins said in ‘Meet Joe Black’: Lightning may strike. And I have been waiting a long time for lightning to strike. But it hasn’t. So its high time that I strike back. 2004 here I come.

Time to make some New Year resolutions. And this could take some time. So I’ll leave you with these thoughts:

The minute a man is convinced that he is interesting, he isn't.

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