Monday, July 5, 2010

Another walk

Ctrl+Alt+Del Enter. The computer is locked. I stick the "Please do not shutdown this machine" sign on the monitor and push back my chair to get up. Nonchalant to the fact that my desktop would consume quite a lot of energy to stay awake all night and in some way increase the global warming, I walk off towards the door. I stand in the lobby and wait for the lift, although, it’s not quite needed while going down. I wait. It comes and the shiny metal doors slide open. I enter, and press the button for the ground floor. The doors slide close with a 'ting', followed by a 'clang' overhead. The lift begins its descent, the acceleration due to gravity resisted by the motors up above. The lift display shows zero. It’s not absolute zero temperature on the Kelvin scale, as I can’t endure that mathematically. The doors slide open with another 'ting', with a soft voice from somewhere saying ground zero. I far from grounded, I feel like flying, and quickly flash my card to the exit door. The glass door opens with a beep, to liberate me finally under the night sky. Finally after a series of discrete sounds, I come out where the sound is that of a distant rumble or grumble of a mega city. A cool breeze whisks past, and I cuddle myself and start walking briskly. All these hours inside the air-conditioned environment has stripped me of my resilience towards the fluctuating weather. I now feel quite naked to nature; vulnerable like the ugly pigeon chicks that if not for their parents would die in hours. All this while, the human invention, the air-conditioning system spoils the environment to keep us comfortable and silently but steadily taking away the power of resistance. I keep up the brisk walk on the deserted, bird crap filled, boulevard towards the grand tall exit gates. We have so many gates to protect us, still we are attacked over and over, I wonder had there been no gates, what would have happened. Probably we would have learned to coexist and prosper. As soon as I step out, on the express highway, I am nearly deafened by the mad roar of the vehicles zooming past; the shouts of people running; the deep, loud music from an auto-rickshaw. This is another form of pollution that is far from being controlled. To reduce noise we improved the cars. The cars are now quite silent. But a hundred such cars still make quite a formidable amount of noise. So, we are back to square one. All this time the moon up above smiles on, even with the Chandrayaan orbiting it and photographing it, inch by inch. I walk into the subway, the blind beggar, now fast asleep doesn’t greet with his songs now, and he is in the happiest moment of his day, fast asleep. Sleep is such a wonderful thing, it rejuvenates physically and mentally. I heard once of a person who had gone crazy due to insomnia. Still it’s like fluoride in the toothpaste, too little and too much both can harm. As I step out of the subway into the mad highway again, all thoughts get away as I run and dodge the numerous speeding vehicles to cross the road, all the while holding fast on to dear life. Finally I successfully cross the mad-way and am welcomed by the strong smell of long boiling tea. Ahh... the tea, such a great beverage, full of antioxidants, quite refreshing after a long hard day. The tea in India has taken a totally different form that its original recipe, a different concoction now, boiled in milk, laden with ginger, cardamom and copious amounts of sugar, it’s more of a sweet dish today. The chai-wala is staunch follower of that Indian chai tradition, and me being only interested in tea, walk on towards my flat, amidst the star studded night. Far off a supernova happens, we would know of it millions of years later as the light would reach us then, but sill it in some way creates some change, that effects us in some unknowing way. Somewhere below me the magma shifts and flows, preparing for some future earthquake. Far away somewhere, some mad scientist prepares for another night with hysterical laughter. In the jungle the wolves howl in unison, the dogs bark away happily. Somewhere in a dark cottage, in front of wood fire, a mother sings her baby to sleep.