I don’t know who I am. Sometimes when I look at myself in the mirror, I find myself staring at a stranger. I think I am great. Sorry for being immodest, but that is what I think. I also think I am an escapist. I run away from the realities of life, as far as I can. And sometimes I lurk close to see what is happening but far enough to shrink further into the depths of my own being. I am also impractical. If I was not, why would I leave a job which fetched me three-quarters of a lakh every month, probably the highest earned by anyone else in my entire clan? I am also a dreamer and they sometimes (read most of the times) ruin me. Dreaming is my biggest vice. Let me explain how.
When I was very young, my mother took me to a marriage luncheon. I would have been three years old or little younger than that. But this bitch, my memory that is, keeps on reminding me of my follies. So yes, people were having their lunch and I saw a baby crying. Now my mind, as it always does, started working overtime. I thought (read imagined) that the baby was separated from her parents. Back home, for weeks, I dreamt of creating a space (I had no idea what space meant, but whenever I thought of it, it felt like something secure) where I could keep that baby. This dream ruined my days and robbed me of my childish play. I grew much before it was expected of me. It is another thing that when I was fourteen, I was still creating bubbles out of soap water. I hate to tell you that that act was also a manifestation of my dreams.
Don’t tell this to anyone, but sometimes I dream that I am Kabir. Now this dream gives me twin pleasure. One is regarding words. Kabir wrote such beautiful verses that no matter how great I am (refer to my earlier statement), I cannot write with such intensity. And second, I dream that Osama Bin Laden and Praveen Bhai Togadia are fighting over my dead body. And they kill each other. And then I rise again and see my disciple waiting with pen and paper. I start writing again. Chaah gayi chintaa mitti, manwa beparwah, jinko kachhu na chahiye, wahi shaahanshah (Desire killed, worries gone; he who desires nothing is an emperor)
But I have lots of desires. Like making my greatness known to all and sundry. I dream of being paid the highest advance ever paid to an Indian author for his book and then being interviewed by the news channel which I left. And then Tarun Tejpal, when he meets me during a book launch will not have to remark, “Oh, have I met you before, you smart young man?” (Don’t miss the adjective ‘smart’). Is it called adjective? I think yes.
Cut the crap man! You know Katrina? Katrina – super model. She proposed to me. And you know what (with due apologies to Tata Indica), I said yes. But I told her that I don’t like Salman Khan. Ok, if it is of any consolation to him, I don’t like Aishwarya Rai either.
Let me kill my desires. If not anything else, I will become an emperor.
Dream on, Rahul!