"something will turn up, always has, always will” (Blog of Advocate Pritish Sirkar)

Our Menon Sir and Me

I can never forget that distinct voice with which he told my mother, “Don’t worry. I am going to make sure that he studies.” My mom had very emotionally expressed her worries before Menon Sir that I never study (which obviously was an exaggeration considering I always did exceptionally well in English and History and some other subjects as well) and that I sometimes flunked or barely passed in Mathematics.

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My mom had just got me enrolled in ‘The Institute’ which was (I think it still is) the leading coaching institution in the city of Kanpur and well known for its brilliant teachers and its head, Mr. S.V.G. Menon, fondly called Menon Sir by his students. I noticed this man carefully, his radiating skin and compassionate eyes showed a lot of promise.

At that age, I genuinely believed that improving myself in mathematics and getting into a good engineering college, is the only way I would be able to turn my entire life around in a positive way. I was determined to get better and better in maths and my determination lasted for a few months which I still consider to be a huge achievement considering the attention deficiency syndrome, I believe myself to be suffering from and the innate lack of interest I had in anything which was based on numbers and wasn’t imaginative. I developed other interests as well, smoking cigarettes being one of them. I also found some awesome company in the form of some students from ‘The Institute’ who’d join me and we’d waste a lot of time (considering how life threatening it is to not do well in board examinations in our country) everyday after our classes and before going back home.

11896017_10153465855475535_2716502715732465809_nMenon Sir, I don’t know how, found out about ‘whatever the hell’ (as he described it) we were doing. He called me to his office and gave me a severe reprimand, the kind of like I had probably received only from my father each and every time I did something really stupid. After he had vented out his frustrations, he said, “I am wasting my important time with you because I love you like all my other children and want you to do well in life and not end up being a rickshaw puller.” Thereafter, my motivation came back and I did fairly well (considering my not-so-high standards), not because I feared being a rickshaw puller but because he said that he loved me.

The other students who had joined the Institute from my school had all considerably improved and one kid whose name was Rohan Nigam, who flunked in mathematics in 9th standard became one of the toppers in the subject and surprised everybody in school. The other two students from my school (Eshan Gupta and Priyankesh Nigam) were already good in mathematics besides other subjects and they had further improved (I think both have gone on to do their engineering from top quality colleges, have great jobs and beautiful wives).

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Needless to say, I was quite a black sheep among my peers and I think Menon Sir had a fair idea of that, nevertheless, what he continued to do was motivate me and still try to bring certain improvements in me not only in maths, but improvements which would help me become a better person. Never did I feel that Menon Sir gave up on me even when I did that so many times. Never did he think that teaching me mathematics was a lost cause. Apart from being an exceptional teacher, he had this rare ability of engaging a class of 30-50 children and still be able to connect with them at a very individual and personal level. He did that with me and he did that with every other student of him and anybody who has been his student will agree. I think the reason he was able to do that was because he genuinely cared about all his students.

If I am to be completely honest, I did, a lot of times, lose interest whenever he was teaching maths but still remember everything he had said in the classroom about life and people and the goodness of things. I still remember that he told us that the wars in the future will be fought for water and other resources which are easily available and not oil (The U.S.A had attacked Iraq at that time) and that day onwards I have been far better than most others in not wasting water (I shower twice a day). He almost perfected me in algebra and arithmetic (I still did considerably suck in trigonometery geometry and logarithm as for some reason nobody ever could make me learn the formulae and other relevant stuff) which meant I did score decent marks in mathematics, not only in preliminary board examinations but also the board examinations. After my board examinations in the summer of 2004, I was to shift from Kanpur to Lucknow and continue my studies there in a new school. I visited Menon Sir to say goodbye and he wished me luck. He also asked me about what I wanted to do. I, honestly told him that engineering, unlike most of his other students was not my cup of tea and I would either want to be a journalist or a writer (I ended up going to law school and became a lawyer).

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For the next 12 years, I’d almost have no contact with Menon Sir, except for the occasional Facebook messages that we would share. I would ask about his health and his life and he would be happy to know that I’d become a lawyer (and that I worked in a big law firm). I never got a chance to tell him that I did so well as an advocate that I got enough corporate clients and business to be able to come back home and start my own individual practice, even when I had always wanted to make him proud because of the influence he’s had in my life and in my personality.

When I got the news of his death on August 15, 2016, I could hardly believe it. I later came to know from Khojika Ma’am on facebook that he had a heart attack on August 14, 2016. It’s been more than 24 hours since I last got that news and I can only think of a few more things he has taught me with his death (he has been a true teacher, guide and mentor till the date of his death and beyond):

  1. Sometimes, a person is so good with his deeds and so perfect in what he does, every small flaw that he may have (to all his students, Menon Sir was flawless) becomes invisible and he comes across as a very, very beautiful person.
  2. Sometimes, a person, in his lifetime, is able to do so much for so many people that his identity and philosophy go on to survive him for a long, long time. (I have always thought of Menon Sir as a modern and slightly modified version of Gandhi)
  3. Love your parents and fulfil all your duties towards them as you never know what may happen tomorrow.
  4. That to get out of a writer’s block, you sometimes need an overwhelmingly emotional experience.

Nobody knows what happens after death but I will always want to make him proud and want him to have the best of whatever he can as nobody deserves it more I think and whatever he’s taught me in the capacity of being my teacher and a far better human being, I shall remember forever.

 

 

 

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“Thank you… I know it’s hard for you to understand why.. But you will.. I’m sure you will.. You’re smart guy Parth.. For now probably you can’t rationalize everything because you are clouded of what and how you feel..

I did this because I want you to be free.. In life there are so many things which we have to consider just so that we can be happy.. Me being with you will just make your life miserable and empty..

I’m hurt.. Yes I am.. Because I’ve fallen for you even in a short period of time.. I should be the one to be blamed in all this because I should have known better and I shouldn’t have let this happen.. Now I’m suffering because I know I have hurt you.

I guess it’s a lesson learned.. But I have no regrets of loving you.. For you requited more than I ever expected and I really felt you did.

I’d always want you to remember Parth, that life is a one time chance.. Everyday is a battle of living our lives.. I have fought so many battles already that sometimes I feel that I’m tired but knowing that life is unpredictable has made me realise that it is my decision if I want to live life and be happy..

Parth you are so lucky you have everything you needed… A great career, support from your parents and friends… All you need now is someone to be with you..I don’t want to leave you devastated because of me being gone and no matter how hard you keep trying to deny it, you know that one day it will happen.

Take care and make your parents proud.. Be the best lawyer.. Be the best at what you do.. Stay strong and enjoy life.. Love will come soon.. Then everything will be ok..

Don’t worry about me.. I’ll be ok.. I know God has a plan for me.. Whatever it is I know it’s for the better… He knows I’ve suffered enough for him to reward me of a little joy… I’ll be waiting for that to happen..

Goodbye and take care

Love
Neha

You can never learn to play the guitar Parth. You’re just too mechanical with it. Just like a robot”, laughed Vinayak while smoking the half-finished joint that Parth had been smoking before he walked into Parth’s room in the hostel. Vinayak was a nineteen year old boy with curly, thick hair and with dark, unrevealing but expressive eyes. He was not a boy of many words. He had friends but always stayed reserved. He would joke sometimes, sometimes he would laugh but Parth never saw him having a personal conversation with anyone or revealing things about his personal life. Sometimes Parth wondered if anyone knew what he really was. Maybe Parth himself did not know what he was.

Vinayak was a year younger than Parth and a year junior to him in law school and in spite of Vinayak fitting perfectly into the definition of an intelligent, introvert person, there was something about his personality which drew people near him. Nevertheless, his reserved attitude, in most cases, distanced anybody who tried to be a close friend. Even though a year younger than Parth, he seemed much more matured. To most people in law school, he appeared to be a no-nonsense kind of a guy. Parth knew Vinayak was an introvert who had somehow opened up to him. Vinayak was not Parth’s best friend.  Parth did not even like him when he first met him and sometimes Parth wondered if Vinayak was even his friend but with time they had become good friends and Parth called him Vinny.

Every conversation they ever had was remarkably fascinating even when there were very few things which Parth and Vinny could talk about. They shared a passion for music. They would talk about music endlessly. Vinny was learning to play the guitar and he was learning very fast while Parth had tried so many times and given up so many times already. Every time Vinny brought his guitar to Parth’s room, Parth would give playing it a shot but Vinny would always say, “You have to feel it. Try strumming the guitar in a flow and identify the beats in the song”. Parth had been trying to play the guitar for over a year now but could only learn four chords while Vinny already knew many after his few months of dedicated practice.

Apart from music, Parth and Vinny would talk endlessly about Vinny’s longtime girlfriend and the two girls from the law school itself who Parth had dated briefly in his fresher year and the second year respectively. Vinny would talk about his girlfriend quite a lot. He would tell Parth how much he loved her and the things he would do for her, some of which Parth understood and some of which he did not. Parth had never seen Vinny talk about his girlfriend so much in front of anyone else. Parth did feel privileged sometimes because of this fact. It was then that Parth realized that Vinny was a good friend and probably his only friend with whom he could have a real conversation about anything.

When Parth got to know that Vinny was dead, it was a huge shock for him.  Vinny had called Parth a day before he killed himself asking for some consultation but Parth was too busy doing something which seemed very significant then but he did not even remember what it was after Vinny ’s death. ‘Vinny, I’ll call you in a couple of hours, I am busy doing something right now. Don’t worry all shall be well.’ Parth had said. Those couple of hours never came to an end and Parth had indeed forgotten to call his friend. Two days later Parth got to know that he’s dead. Parth did blame himself for not giving his friend a chance to consult him, for ignoring his last call for help. Parth tried to find comfort in the fact that he did not know how grave the problem really was but that did not help and it had to be a life changing episode of his life. Parth knew it was a foolish decision made by Vinny but he was his friend. Parth could probably never get over it and didn’t want to and knew that Vinny ’s family will always be devastated.

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NOTE: The blog page can be followed here: The Clairvoyant’s Blog | Facebook

Parth was hurt. As a strong person most of his life, he had learned that he should least care about something which was beyond his help. But he was helpless now and he couldn’t stop thinking about his life, about his family and the girl he loved, about things which never happened, about the desires which were never fulfilled and about his glories of the past forming part of his short career as a lawyer which no longer seemed relevant in the present circumstances. He was a good lawyer he knew. He knew he had the potential but felt powerless to realize it now.

He tried breathing, having read somewhere that deep breaths may help in clearing up the head but he was choking and his heart was aching. Breathing didn’t seem to help. He thought of God and tried to seek refuge in faith. Most of his life he lived with a very strong belief in the existence of God. He was sure God existed but knew he was not being watched or taken care of. He knew God was the creator who made the world and all the living things in it but he also knew all his prayers always remained unheard. He knew that God will not reward him for his finest acts and that he will never be punished for the worst things he had done in his life. He was not a man of faith but he had always been strong and faith was not what made him strong. It was always his confidence and his self-belief which made him move forward in life without complaining. But all seemed to be lost. There was nothing in him which could help him in not feeling miserable. All seemed broken and lost.

As he sat depressed on his table, he began to type a goodbye mail to the girl he truly loved, knowing that this would mean the end. Not knowing if he will have the courage to send it or if he will have the power to live through whatever would follow after the mail was sent. But it had to be done.

“I’m sorry for being dramatic Neha. I shouldn’t have done what I did today. I know things get better with time and I know that very well and I’ll be ok. I know you’re a strong woman and will not worry but I’m just telling you so because I will not write to you again so don’t worry if you do worry about me. I will be fine.

I don’t know what I became today. I’m sorry that I hurt myself and I’m sorry I disturbed you when you should have been sleeping. I know you’d always wake up to talk to me if I needed to and I always did the same but I know and understand things are not the same as before.

Please do not remember me for what I have been for the past one week. I was being very weak and feel embarrassed. Yes, love will come and it will make things better for us both. It’s just a feeling. I know and feel now I never loved you and you never loved me too. It wasn’t working for a while now and we both know that but never said it to each other. Nevertheless, I think we were very special friends. Maybe there is no definition of what we really were. But you were and will always be very, very special in my life and I will never be able to forget you. There will be another me, I am sure.

You could have stayed Neha. I think now when I was trying to call you earlier today, it was more because I was concerned and I’m sorry but it was only because I cared and still do. I’d not have worried and I’d not have disturbed you if you had not cut me off like you did and just given me some more time. I was relieved to hear that you are perfectly fine and feel better now. Like I have said before, you never really gave us a chance to be friends while that is what we really were. That is the only one thing I may ever complain about when I think of you in the future. You have never hurt me before but the way it ended between us, it just left me completely alone and wanting more.

I know you’re much more matured than me and you know how the world works. I have always believed that I was a very strong man but I am not a realist, Neha. I am a dreamer and I always dream while you have a very firm set of beliefs and know it very well how to differentiate between right and wrong. That attribute of yours will serve you well I am sure. I think, with you, I was always trying to be older than what I was and my childish behaviour kept getting exposed like it did today. And that never made me good enough for you.

You say everything happens for a reason. I agree with you. You taught me this sweet Neha. I think I served a purpose in your life and you did in mine. If nothing else, we were with each other when we had no one else and maybe we contributed in each other’s life as a positive influence. I know you feel alone sometimes and that’s the only thing which makes you miserable and it should stop and it will and you’ll never look back.

This letter also helped me. Maybe I needed a proper closure too like you had in your last mail to me and every mail and text I sent to you after that, asking you to talk to me and come back to me just made things more difficult and complicated for me.

Goodbye (I feel bad for disturbing you tonight when you should have been sleeping. But I know you’ll forgive me. Sorry if your head hurts at work tomorrow. I will not disturb you again).

Have the best life.

Love and regards. Parth

PS: I think you were at the lowest point of your life when we started to talk. My purpose in your life was temporary just to make you feel better I think. And please don’t worry about everything so much when I’m not with you. All shall be well. Take care.”

After Parth stopped typing, he waited for a few seconds to decide if the mail really was to be sent. Finally mustering enough courage, he hit the ‘send’ button and closed his eyes. It was almost morning. The soothing morning breeze of September and the melodious chirping of the birds were not comforting him. All he really wanted was complete silence and prolonged darkness of the night. He was not seeking death for himself but he wanted to shut down his mind and not think till he can control his mind again. He wanted to be what he was before everything started to fall apart. He lied down on his bed, uttering to himself, “There should be a fucking switch off button for feelings and thoughts.” After a few minutes, darkness and silence, as he had wanted, followed, and he was fast asleep.

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NOTE: The blog page can be followed here: The Clairvoyant’s Blog | Facebook

The Three Year Hiatus

It’s been a while since I last wrote. A little over three years, I think. It has been work mostly but there is a lot of blame that I must take if I am to correctly analyse the reasons which precluded me from writing.

A lot has changed in the past three years. This blog, however, has remained, I haven’t deleted it even though the thought was considered. Something which started as a very personal thing has come to become a major suicide blog on the internet. Somehow I believe that I get more positive responses than the negative ones and that the page has helped and I remain a ‘Suicide Blogger’.

Crazy how a strange and a sad experience of your life which you try to take positively can get you to do things you may never think about. A blog post, even though sad was not meant to be read very seriously and probably was only ‘a would have been conversation’ between two friends which could have meant a different world for me today. It went on to reach millions. It was never a dedication, it was a conversation which never happened and it was about a life which was never saved.

With or without a writer’s block, I think I may have matured as a person and hopefully as a writer over the past three years and there is plenty I can write about. I have a story in mind. It may be in parts and it may be too influenced by some real events. But there will be one and hopefully this won’t just be a suicide blog anymore.

Love. The Clairvoyant.

NOTE: The blog page can be followed here: The Clairvoyant’s Blog | Facebook

Recently I went for this movie, X-Men-First Class. It was a wonderful movie and I had a superb time. There were two main characters in the movie, Dr. X and Magneto, played by James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender respectively and in one of the dramatic scenes, McAvoy encourages Fassbender to use his special powers and move a gigantic metallic structure. It was then that McAvoy tells Fassbender that, “Focus lies somewhere between rage and serenity”. At that point of time, I completely agreed with what was being said in the movie and that kind of reminded me of the epic saying “With great powers, come great responsibilities”  from Spiderman.

Nevertheless, after giving it an astute thought, I now believe that focus does not lie somewhere between rage and serenity but it lies with you when you have both rage and serenity at the same time. Rage and serenity are like a demon and a saint who live inside you. Its essential that you become the master of both for if you let either one of them take control of you, you would be likely to find yourself in a very difficult set of circumstances.

The logic that I am offering is simple. If you have rage but lack serenity, you would be likely to go berserk and mad and on the other hand if you have serenity alone, you would surely be complacent in life and end up being an underachiever.

Give it a thought and if you agree with what I’m saying, trying enslaving both the demon and the saint. If you have rage and serenity at the same time i.e., you are determined, ambitious, aggressive and enterprising (because of rage) and calm, composed, patient and willing to endure (because of serenity), at the same time, you would be unstoppable.

These words of mine also remind me of a quote my favourite ‘Guru’ (I’m not going to name him here) once told me. He said while saying a lot of other things, “………revenge is the dish which tastes the best when it is served cold…..” I guess there is some connection with what he said and what I learned from the movie.

So control your rage but don’t do away with it.

Good night.

Beauty, the presence of which brings delight to the observer’s eyes. Beauty, the reason behind thousands of smiles. Beauty, an inspirer of great poets, writers and painters, is also said to be very subjective. Some would argue that it lies only in the eyes of the observer and some would add on to that by saying that in reality it does not exist at all.

Whether beauty lies only in the eyes of the observer or whether beauty is existent or not are very complex questions. Nevertheless, it is an established fact that beauty is a very subjective phenomenon and what might be beautiful for one person, might be very ordinary to another. Thus, if it is so hard to conclude if something is beautiful or not, how can one write about or define real beauty?

Right from the cradle, to the grave. From the bright red toy one had during infancy to the smile on one’s grandchildren’s faces, there are a lot of things, a man finds beautiful.  For me, my mother’s bangles which made a tinkling sound, my father’s bright blue t-shirt and my bright red tricycle were the most appealing things I came across as a little kid. In late teens, there is always a girl in your class who is the most beautiful creature for you and till then only toys are the most beautiful things you have around you.

The look on your parents face, the day you graduate is beautiful. The feeling you get when you hold your crush’s hand for the first time is also beautiful. To love and to be loved in return, is beautiful. A day comes when you feel that you have accomplished something, you have a look in the mirror and feel beautiful. When you buy your first car, its shiny metal body seems beautiful.

You hold your baby for the first time and that baby grows up in front of your eyes, its beautiful. The look on your child’s face when you gift him a toy, and the look on his face again when he, himself becomes a parent one day, everything is beautiful.

There is a day when you are an old man and you realise that you have discharged all your duties well and have nothing significant to do, an emptiness begins to surround you when suddenly your little grandchild comes looking for you, catches hold of your finger and a fresh chapter opens in your life, that is beautiful.

And then, one fateful day, your entire life flashes in front of your eyes, just before you die and every beautiful thing that you have always commemorated, flows into your mind just like the sands of time and that day you realise what a ‘real beauty’ is.

Maybe the real beauty lies in this catch 22 situation which is nothing but a cycle, a never-ending cycle of life and that every beautiful moment in that cycle is like drinking from the “endless fountain of immortal drink” (Keats). It does take a life time to understand the true meaning of real beauty.

PS: I wrote this post for a blog competition. If you liked this post then please ‘facebook vote’  by pressing the facebook  ‘Like” button in the page which can be reached by clicking here.  Thanks.  🙂