Vintage dreams


Life has its own way of showing how fast it can travel. Yesterday we were a bunch of teenagers, and today we are all on some path to a different life altogether. We are perturbed about jobs, career, relationships and what not. Yesterday, our lives were so simpler. The leisure time was decided by whether the school homework was already done and not by amount of office work left or whether we are tired after a long day at office.

I begin stumbling on the net mindlessly trying to get a fresh space in my brain after a saturated day. Suddenly I come across an old rafi song. It takes me back to the time when the same song used to play on my car’s cassette player on a long journey. I used to hate those songs with the mere aspect of how boring the songs were. I was surprised how my dad used to love those songs among many others. Today I look at myself and feel how much in love I am with kishore and rafi songs. How they bring out the best meanings with their simple lyrics, which no modern song can even come close to.

Back in those days we had a VCR, which used to have bulky cassettes. Every time we rented a movie, my dad used to sit down with a piece of cloth to dust the lenses. After many futile tries when the movie was finally able to play on the screen, it was a moment of mini celebration. We also had an old cassette player at home which came to use only on holidays when my dad was in mood for some romantic songs from a collection of over a hundred cassettes he had.

I somehow come across an old scanned photo I put up earlier on the blog. The photo was clicked by a brand new Yashika camera which could capture around 30 photos in a single reel. We didn’t have the leisure to hook up the camera to the laptop and see the photos then and there. It’s hard to believe how we lived without the digital cameras or laptops. I still remember how we had to wait for the photos to come back from the photo studio and how every photo is still preserved in the dozen albums locked safely in a box back home.

We did have a cable connection and the sole reprise was to sit in front of the TV for that one hour of Disney channel on Sony at 6’0 clock in the evening. Gaming was that 200 bucks worth of china-made TV video game. Mario, Contra, Snow brothers were the silent companions. I begin remembering the one time when during Holi, my father awarded a 10 bucks Coke to the winner of the Mario game.

Cartoons didn’t consist of shincan, doaremon, kitretsu or chota bheem. Mysteries of scooby doo or the sheer brilliance of Dexter was enough to take the breath away. We used to laugh when Jerry was up to some mischief. We used to cheer for Pikachu when he was in a battle against Team rocket. Baloo, uncle scrooge, the flinstones and the jetsons were a part of the daily routine.

My memories drift farther in the past to recount the fountain pens. Filling ink every night was a tedious task and most of the time; the task was accomplished in the school itself where we borrowed not the pen but some ink. Cricket was not a game but a war between the brothers. It led to several fights when someone didn’t budge away with excuses like “try ball” and “bohot fast tha”.  And how can I forget the homemade sweater by my grandmother.

I hear a knock at the door and I am jolted back to the reality. Life has become easier and better for sure. We have a different life now altogether. Everyone has a different set of responsibility. The old friends talk once in a month, but that has failed to bring any sort of space between the hearts. They are the same crazy ones. Some things never change, and though the reality is beautiful in its own way, sometimes it’s so peaceful to dream away in the past and relive those vintage dreams over and again.


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The presentation


I sat down at my desk calmly after the presentation. This random instructor who had already made life miserable for hundreds of students was calmly shouting at a colleague who was giving his presentation. Suddenly he turns back and then the conversation began. For the simplicity, lets call him Prof. X.

Prof. X: Do you even practice your presentation before coming here?

Me (Taken by surprise): Yes sir, I did.

Prof. X: You guys take things so lightly, as if everything is so casual here. I don’t know why do we have presentation as an evaluative component.

Me: Sorry sir, I tend to get nervous when speaking to a large audience.

Prof. X: So, how far do you think this attitude is going to take you?

Me: I get it sir, its just that sometimes I get nervous when presenting.

Prof. X: You are manipulating your own words. Earlier you said, you are always nervous. Now you saying something different. Worthless students.

Me (Still very politely): I get it sir. I will try to improve my public speaking skills.

Prof. X: You better do so, instead of giving useless excuses. These evaluative components are to improve your public speaking skills. What will you say to your interviewer? They will kick you out right away.

Me: Yes sir. But doesn’t the content matter?

(The guy beside me started nudging my feet to stop talking)

Prof. X (Now getting to his temper): NO, it doesn’t. I wish you were in my PS station. I would have given you a straight zero. Then you would have seen your grade shoot down. I could even have your PS station cancelled. If I am the examiner I have the right to evaluate the question paper as I wish. Does the student have the right to argue against the evaluation?

Me (Still being calm): Yes sir, I get it.

Prof. X: Today, I am in a very good mood. Ask the people from my PS station. And they will tell you how miserable I have made their lives. They don’t even dare to speak against me. I don’t know what manners you have got. Don’t you even know you shouldn’t argue with a faculty.

Me: Yes sir.

Prof. X gets back to his original posture, but unable to find his mind at peace, looks back again.

Prof. X: Do you know, if you were in my PS, I would have made you run a hundred times on this 100ft road otherwise would have cancelled your program. You should be glad that I am not evaluating your presentation, otherwise you would have received a zero.

Getting no response, he turned forward, frustrated.

He turns back, one last time and asks with a mocking smile “Kaun se campus se aaye ho?”

I smilingly replied “Goa campus.”

He shook his head smilingly. As if Goan students are worthless.

I smiled. As if I cared.

The instructor behind me poked me with his pen. He wrote the professor’s name on a piece of paper and smiled. I smiled back.

I could have thought about how weak the system is. When we couldn’t speak against someone for the sake of saving meagre grades. I could have stood up against him. Ask him where were his manners when he was shouting at the students as if they were his servants just because he wanted to show off that he was a senior faculty. I wish I could tell him that he was some frustrated person who made others filthy in front of him. But I didn’t say anything. Because even I wanted a safe grade. I looked back at my instructor once again who mouthed “Take light.” I smiled back.

The presentation continued.

PS. PS stands for Practice School. The internship program of the college.