A Night in the Fort

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Guhagar Beach, off NH 17, Chiplun, MH, India. 8 April 2006.

“Only change is constant.”

And a lot of things can change in fifteen days. And they did. One of the significant was when mindless musings started the Starbucks for Tea, with an Indian twist. Love the new look!

It has been one of the busiest fortnight since I care to remember. I have been awake a lot and been equally awakened. In the five-and-a-half feet tall cauldron that I am, a good many emotions have boiled over. A few of them have been old friends, and a few unknown, my first encounters with them.

I think I have been everywhere possible – meeting rooms, hospitals, hotels, resorts, highways, cars, SUVs, sidey bars, conference calls, car race on a crowded Western Express Highway, home, medical labs, coffee shops, friend’s homes, departmental stores, beaches, ancestral home, lawyer’s office, mountains, and most of all – people’s hearts and minds. While the plan was that I spend the fortnight only in meeting rooms and at home – this has been one long eventful journey.

Many’s the time I’ve been mistaken
And many times confused
Yes, and often felt forsaken
And certainly misused
Oh, but I’m alright, I’m alright
I’m just weary to my bones
Still, you don’t expect to be
Bright and bon vivant
So far a-way from home, so far away from home

But they were a good couple of weeks. Towards the end of the first week, Paul Simon’s American Tune was resonating in my mind even as friends introduced and conducted constructive criticism of Himesh Reshammiya’s crooning. Most cars I travelled in, synchronised his music to the potholes awaiting their potential death when the administration plans to get more flyovers than roads.

I don’t know a soul who’s not been battered
I don’t have a friend who feels at ease
I don’t know a dream that’s not been shattered
Or driven to its knees
Oh, but it’s alright, it’s alright
For we lived so well so long
Still, when I think of the
Road we’re travelling on
I wonder what’s gone wrong
I can’t help it; I wonder what’s gone wrong

The music was some solace because the drivers were silent – untangling the three strands of dreams, reality and frustrations. AIDS and cancer can kill a human. Car accidents do too. (I forgot – I even saw a Ford Ikon burning on the highway) Most people die long before a virus or a malignant tissue can affect them. They die much before they make the wrong move while at the wheel. Of the three strands that they need to untangle, they recognize the red-coloured reality thread – this one is always at hand – the ends are visible. Dreams and frustrations are multi-coloured and it is easy to mistake one for the other. The dreams die an unnatural death.

And I dreamed I was dying
I dreamed that my soul rose unexpectedly
And looking back down at me
Smiled reassuringly
And I dreamed I was flying
And high up above my eyes could clearly see
The statue of liberty
Sailing away to sea
And I dreamed I was flying

But dreams die anyways. They die either because they achieve reality – and are dreams no more, or they die because they wither away; people forget nurturing them. Not all forms of death are characterised by sorrow. Unless of course, we stereotype the emotion associated with death.

We come on the ship they call the Mayflower
We come on the ship that sailed the moon
We come in the age’s most uncertain hours
And sing an American Tune
Oh, and it’s alright, it’s alright, it’s alright
You can’t be forever blessed
Still, tomorrow’s going to be another working day
And I’m trying to get some rest
That’s all I’m trying to get some rest.

And you need all the time and the energy if you want the dreams to die their natural death. Oh, I forgot, you need the conviction too.

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14 thoughts on “A Night in the Fort

  1. What if nothing exists and we’re all in somebody’s dream? Or what’s worse, what if only that fat guy in the third row exists?

    Woody Allen (1935 – ), “Without Feathers”

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  2. love the pic. dats sumthin most of us are don’t take the time to do: watch a sunrise or a sunset…..i can almost see myself walking along the shore with the soft rays of the sun cajoling me…

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  3. Nice pic,Atul..And i always love the pics with sunrise and sunset.For me,it seems like the birth of an original idea and the outcome of a successfully engineered idea!
    And the new look of “cutting the chai” is pretty cool..
    And you presented some nice lyrics here..thank you,Atul

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  4. You been absent for some time dear friend and now you come back and how :-)!

    That was a wonderful, wonderful read, Atul.. Looks like your batteries are now well charged from your trip, for our benefit 🙂

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  5. –E&Y: well said, why would living and surviving be two different things?

    –aqua: possible, very possible @ the fat guy – what is the “real” world after all? i watch a sunset whenever i get the time. i hardly get to watch a sunrise, so i guess sunsets are my favs. they have an amazing calming effect. as if everything is perfect the way it has ended…or something like that.

    –ganga: thanks @ pic. and your welcome @ lyrics. i love that song. Ha smore meaning than the words.

    –kundalini: a positive one, i hope.

    –rulda: thank ye! dunno abt the batteries however – just that this for-night has been an amazing experience…

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  6. –kundalini: saw the post; thank you

    –soumya: they die, one way or another. Regarding Starbucks, they say that it is abt the experience, not just the coffee, therefore. I keep coming there for the experience, the chai is incidental.

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