Saturday, February 19, 2005

The Butterflies

From my vantage point
In my second floor room,
At a certain time of the year,
I get to see a fantastic sight.

The tree before my window
Is a very greedy tree –
Hundreds of thousands of butterflies
Are held captive by it.

But when autumn comes
And a strong wind rises,
The tree can hold them no more.
Then, these butterflies break free.

When the wind comes
And sets them free,
These butterflies
Do not fly away immediately.

For a while
They twirl and float around
Their place of captivity,
Before descending finally
To their flight of glory.

Come to think of it now,
In that short while,
These butterflies, most probably,
Stick their tongues out at the greedy tree
And proclaim,
“Weeee. I’m free. I’m free.”

And then, hundreds of butterflies
Fly around on the whims of the wind.
Some reach beyond the compound wall,
And some go out of sight.

Finally, all these butterflies
End their flight by falling to the ground.
And on landing,
They turn into dead leaves.

Of course, there are unlucky ones
Which die the moment they break free
And just like any other dead leaf,
Fall straight down.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

A Campus Placement (Part II)

Read Part I

"Final year mein aur kaam hi kya hai - career ke
baare mein discuss karne ke ilawa.
" ("What other work is there in the final
year except for sitting together and discussing our careers?") - a friend.

The final year, truly, has proceeded with a lot of
discussion about careers. And along with it, people have slogged to get the
career of their choice. Well, with so much heat about 'career'-s, it is natural
that one turns to nature, once in a while, to clear a jammed-up mind.

My habit of going for a jog in the evening gave me
ample opportunity of doing this. One day, as I was doing my rounds in the Jnan
Ghosh Stadium, I noticed a man a little far off. He was sitting down on his
haunches and was cutting the grass. Now two things about this struck me at that

One - I have observed the grass cutting process which
takes place annually in our hall. Here, when the grass reaches alarming
proportions, a huge gang of grass-cutters descend on the field and clear it
within a day or two.

And, two - in the off-season, when no events are
scheduled, the grass in Jnan Ghosh Stadium is left to grow. I have observed,
while passing it, how particularly 'alarming' the proportions of grass become in
such times.

Thus, what struck me as odd was that a single person
was cutting the grass of the entire stadium. I do not know how many epochs that
person had been working for, before he got the stadium fit for joggers like me.
(Now it strikes me that probably, a gang had descended upon the stadium, not so
many epochs before, to get it into the shape it presently possessed. And that
this particular grass-cutter was just doing the finish-up job.)

Anyway, there is something about the act of
grass-cutting which deserves consideration. The act of grass-cutting involves
squatting on one's haunches or bending down, sometimes for hours, and shaving
the land of its extra growth by a scythe or something. The task, as I see it, is
repetitive and proceeds slowly. In simpler terms, it is boring. On the brighter
side, the grass-cutter has a very nice work environment; sitting as he is, right
in the lap of nature. (Our grass-cutter might not agree on this term, and cite
the harshness of the mid-day sun as a valid argument.)

A comparison with the work-environs that we, the
passing out batch, are going to join comes naturally. Most of us shall be
assigned a cubicle in a plush office, with a computer to work on. In the future,
for a few years at least, that cubicle will be our workplace. Just as the Jnan
Ghosh Stadium, lined by trees on all its sides and the blue sky above it, is
workplace to the grass-cutter. Somehow, by fate or otherwise, we and the
grass-cutter are doing entirely different things at entirely different places.
Ultimately however, both of us are doing the same thing i.e. working. Hopefully,
both of us will work to the best of our capabilities. Hopefully, both of us will
be happy doing what we do.