Have u ever been in a crowd , all alone ? when the faces around you are so unfamiliar tat you stop taking notice ? when you are not even afraid of getting lost , when you know you are the only one you have , and are accountable for ?
Mohashoptomi 6th October 2008 was such a day that I felt that way. From the morning I was feeling alone and left out. My college friends were busy with their school friends. My school friends ( sigh !) were busy sleeping . they had removed me from their equations since the time I had gone into JU.
When frustration kicks in , you don’t even think correctly. My mom tried to lighten up things by suggesting that I go out with her and her friends. Free food and a lot of unnecessary questions , a lot of them with a sarcastic “oh-you-are-in-ju-while-my-son-isnt “ tone and under meaning…. No thank you …I tell my mom. I sometimes cant stand her friends. Not always, but sometimes.
I just walked out. Grabbed a pair of jeans and a tee ..took my money stash .. and went out. Took the metro to desapriyo park.
The instinctive urge of male human beings approaching the peak of their mating prowess is to stare and ogle at females of their own species. In Bengali , we call it “jhaari” . the feeling is mutual. Females also look for prospective mates . some want it for a temporary dash. Others , who don’t lack sincerity still have a “ for life “ attitude as far as these issues are concerned.
Jhaari is best done when in a unisexual group. An all-guys group or an all-females group. Groups comprise of anything from four to seven members.
When you are a lone soul and have no group of your own, you can walk alone and get noticed only if u have a terrible smell or have an absolutely weird beard and semi-long hair. Or , you can pretend to be in a group. Its easy , in three steps. Step one , identify a group of your own sex who don’t look like un cool geeks. Step two, keep a distance of about sixteen inches from the last person of the same group who is trailing a little behind the entire group( there will always be one ! sometimes two !) and waalaah .. you have your own group in the general view sight.
The disadvantage of having a creative and rational mind is that it never stops working. 24x7 it keeps on working. Give it more food for thought , and it works overtime. But never stops functioning.
Give it a thousand or so faces. And even more manners, snippets of conversation , waving hands and exposed feet. And the mind just does its job. It keeps on making stories, keeps trying to understand, to the point your head starts reeling and you start feeling .. is this the heaven for a casual anthropologist ?
As far as I remember , here is a brief example of what you notice if your head isn’t a confined box of misconceptions about human sexuality and perverted mentality.
A group of boys. Another group of boys. And another. An all-girls group. A queue of people. A ticket box. A man frantically exchanging money with slips of printed paper which you need to show to get onto a trip on the giant revolving machine.
One giant revolving machine. Another giant swinging machine. Lights. Excitement . human emotions abounding plentifully. Fear, happiness , dejection. All packed into one. Faces on the rides ,which betray the feeling of wanting to vomit.
A hot dame with lots of exposure. You feeling that even you could expose that much and not feel so hot(literally!) in the humid and claustrophobic atmosphere. A couple of hot dames. A couple of not so hot dames. Someone who you think you know. Someone you actually know. “ cowlt deenk .. cowlt deenk “ sounds emanating from a makeshift stall. A menu card with ridiculously high-charged prices. Slush on the field. Huge cooking vessels. Cheap biriyani which might get you cholera. actually it depends on your immunity. someone i know confirmed she didn't get cholera. i have heard many get it. so i guess its all relative.
Boys and girls perspiring . you remembering a certain scene from FRIENDS. For no apparent reason. Just remembering in a flash. Small kids on their fathers’ shoulders. Remembering the picture of you and your dad which you still keep in your diary. Everyone out there feels lonely . everyone out there feels empty. You look up .. wishing to see stars . You end up choking yourself by inhaling dust kicked up by the multitude of people.
You take the long way back. Back home. Again the metro. This time it will be different.. you say to yourself. You get off at the station where you are supposed to. Suddenly u feel an urge to do it , fulfil one of your wildest fantasies. In a metro station !. you avail the opposite metro and get off at the next station. You change lanes again and again come back. You go back and forth like this 3-4 times. Time looks so stupid. You point your middle finger at the moments passing by … these same moments that have driven you to the brink of your physical and mental limits.
You are now taking it back. You remember the time in the exam hall. Those last few minutes. Which drove you crazy . Your hand moved faster than hell , your mind stepped into overdrive mode. Now you are wasting those minutes.
TAKE THAT……. TIME !
You finally see an escalator. Everyone is crowding to get on it. You decide .. not today ! today I am not going to be bound by the norms of safety and sanity. No more “ they also serve the ones who wait “ logic. You just dash up the opposite escalator. Ha ha !! just do it …. Not think . just do it!!
You reach home. Listen to dark metal and a bit of new age alternative rock. Go online to find no-one else there. Slump down on your bed. Go off to sleep .
It is only then you realize the truth. The truth that in spite of your friends , In spite of the loves, crushes, past-present-prospective lovers, in spite of your parents, in spite of you cursing the devil , in spite of you hoping that Megadeth is with you ….. you are alone.