Friday, May 12, 2006

When the student is ready, the teacher appears...

Chinku was (in?)famous for his fear of water - take him to a pond, and u can see a budding sprinter - trick him to go near a lake, u'd starting rethinking the ability of human limbs to deliver escape velocity - tie him and take him to the sea, well make sure that u have the paramedics ready!!!

He was famous for one more thing - slumber! Once a drunk Jhonny ran the trimmer through his entire facial hair, and he didnt even flinch - hah, and he didnt even notice it till the next day noon, when he was getting ready for lunch !!!

Oh my!! Did I list only his vices...? well... there is one thing remarkable about this guy - his "determination"!!! Once he sets his mind upon something - I guess only God Almighty can knock him out. A few scores worthwhile to mention are, shedding 20 kgs of body weight in 3 weeks, writing a whole C++ server for TN-validation in 2 hours, and, yeah... a 12 oz budweiser in 15 seconds (though I'd prefer to call it "aquired alcoholism")!!! But the best thing about him, which I liked was, he was kind of a thinker, u know - the kinda folks who ponders over things, for inner meanings etc...? yeah.. one of those! Sometimes, while we are having some conversation, something trivial (for us - comnom folks) would strike him, and he'd be lost in thoughts... and when we shake him up, he starts - "do u realize?" and the stuff that continues, would sound mostly like "blah blah blah" to us less-thinky souls.

It was one of those jolly days, that we happened to win a lucky draw for a lake-cruise for 5. Our gang of 5 wouldnt be complete without Chinku - 2 weeks of brainwashing and pressurizing succeeded in making him agree for the 'ordeal'. And, we could literally see pain and strain in his face, as the day neared. Atlast, we started feeling pity, so we gave him the choice to opt-out, but he held to his word - may be his ego (or dignity, whatever) didnt allow him to break the promise.

The cruise started fine, with the cool november Texan breeze against our loose hair. The first half an hour went clicking snaps on the deck, and once we got bored, we retired to our pack of cards - the cabin was cozy, and the beer added to the merry. The cruise was a 2-hour one, and we decided to spend the next atleast 1 hour, playing 'rummy'.

The clock ticked by, and as Alco was shuffling for the 3rd round (and, that translated to atleast 4 rounds of beer till then), Chinku excused himself for the restroom. May be it was the beer - we continued with the game, until while shuffling for the 4th round, Aneesh realized that Chinku wasn't with us. It took all of us a while to realize (damn the beer) that one woulndt need 15 mins to void his bladders, and we all set out searching for him. It started calm, but after a round of "Chinkuuuuuuuu" calls, adrenalin did start pumping in, and soon we realized the truth - the cruiser didnt have him on-board!!!

We informed the captain, and he adviced us not to panic (uh !!!???), and radioed someone. We ran to the deck to scan the horizon, whether there was a spec of two hands above the waters waving for help. No, there was none! Someone suggested to try his mobile (grrrrr.... the beer!!) After around 10 mins, the captain ran back to the deck, yelling that "he's safe, he's safe"!!! He told us that the patrol folks found him at the shore a minute ago. "
"At the shore!!!???? did u say S-H-O-R-E shore..?????"" "No, that would be impossible?? Oh my God... dont tell me u mean't..."
"No no no.. he's alive" - the captain didnt let me finish.
"Oh... thank God... thank God... Praise the Lord" I sighed.

Anybody who thought that we continued the cruise - I'd say they are sick!!! We hit shore within the next 10mins, and ran to Chinku, who was now seated on a chair at the patrol guyz's station, clad in a thick towel. We ran to him (he was still wet) - we could almost imagine how he'd be looking now - with his phobia and all those stuff - "half dead"!!... but, as our paces closed-on, and his face was more clear to our naked eyes, we spotted something else - a Chinku, who was smiling... and that familiar gleam was in his eyes - that gleam which typically proclaimed that he had done something cool - had beat some records - u know what I mean?!

We gathered around him, with the typical questions and blah blah... and he re-assured us that everything is fine. We didnt trouble him with more questions, and our drive back home was rather silent.

Once at home, we watched him curl up in the sofa, grab the remote, and turn on the TV - I in turn turned it off, and we all stared at him.
"What??" he looked me
"Okay, guyz... relax..." he put the remote down
He stared outside... and started "Remember what I told once..? We are all governed by the options we choose for ourselves?..."
"Chinkuuuu, cut the crap!!!!" Alco yelled back at him.
Chinku sighed "Okay.. okay.. see.. listen to me... "
We all turned our heads away...
"Please... let me...... " ...... "...explain..."
We contiued our stance...
"When we were playing, I was absorbed in thoughts about my phobia... I always wanted to overcome it, but never was able to... the wish was strong, but the mind was feeble... When I was in the restroom, the thought struck me, that we are what we choose to be... and I realized that I chose to fear the water all these days... and If I chose not to fear it, that's it... I'll no longer fear it... to try my theory out, I went to the deck... with great difficultly and conflict of mind, I managed to reach till the railings at the edge... I stood there for a few minutes, re-iterating my theory"
We still didnt look back at him... and more that than, we all held that "oh-crap-not-again" expression on our faces...
He continued after a pause "Then that turbulance struk, when the boat jerked"
"The boat jerked???" I thought "(damn the beer!!!)"
"... and I lost my balance, and fell off into the lake..."
he paused, and we all looked back at him...
"I drowned... I tried to get back to the surface, and yell for help... but I kept drowning... and a moment came, when I realized that I was going to die..."
We kept staring at him...
"and, then I realized... and I chose life to death.... I calmed down for a moment, I recollected the principles of buoyancy, bought my body to the posture which altered my center of gravity..."
"Oh please... cut the crappppp!!!" I murmered, looking away...
he continued, as if he didn't hear... (may be he didn't) "... and I slowly floated up to the surface... the boat was already away, and I was sure that the wind wouldnt let my yells reach you..."
"but, this is not the point of the day..." he continued after a pause, (and I looked back at him with an "oh-yeah?" expression) "the lesson of the day is when-the-sudent-is-ready,-the-teacher-appears"
(crap crap crappppp) I was yelling in my mind now.
"As I floated there, with my ears, lungs and belly full of water, I realized that if I can choose to live, I can choose to swim too... I remembered seeing dogs who splashed into water and swam to fetch balls back to the kids - they never went to swimming class - their parents never taught them to do it... its instinct... its will... its the knowledge that 'I can do it'... and the absence of the doubt 'can I do it?'... and the whole talent asleep in us comes to life... It's nature who taught the dogs to swim... and we all constutite the nature... and nature is us... the same magic in dogs is present in us too... and I doubted no more - I swam to the shore - my arms moved in the fashion it should be, my legs moved the way they ought to - not the way scientific swimming advices - but the way nature teaches us to survive - I swam, and I reached the shore"

It was the panic-alarm of some car parked outside, that brought us all back awake... we were all staring at him spellbound... we did have conflicts inside (yeah... the 'crap' stuff), but we couldn't deny the fact that it all happened - the proof was infront of us... !! alive and talking !!!

We stood there, our lips tight...
Chinku silently grabbed the remote, and switched the television back on... the channel was playing the 7th season of F.R.I.E.N.D.S...


  1. is this Chinku...btw? you like my name so much??

  2. Loved this one. Its 'positive-thinking' stuff but withought the usual follow points 1 to 10. A la-alchemist???

  3. Dotty thomas said
    It is fantastic. Congratulations. Dotty thomas.