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When two human beings cross paths and something inside them instantly clicks, it is less to do with chance, and all to do with connection. Sometimes we feel we need to know someone, like to know them to know them, and that is where common knowledge fails us with regards what we have been taught all our lives: that it is slightly difficult to form a bond betwixt strangers.

Call it a gift, or a curse, but people might think of people like Sushant and me insane when we tell you that we can evaluate, at times, even from a mere look or the written word, the intelligence and intention of the person interacting with us.

I am certain that you, the reader, has dawned upon this truth that we might know someone, and yet not know anything about them, merely because what they show us about them is what they want us to know of them, and at times you have connected more with somebody just in a fleeting moment and that euphoria stays with you for the longest, and in some cases for the rest of your existence. Similarly, when it comes to words or visuals, I quite believe that they resonate their own essence and character that can seldom fool people into believing otherwise. 

Let me give you a tiny example. I had a friend who was erudite and awfully popular as an actor. We enjoyed a warm camaraderie for close to 5 years, up until I began following him on Twitter. Once I did, my entire idea of who he ‘actually’ was seemed completely changed. Perhaps I might have read him wrong to begin with. I might have been blinded by the bliss of friendship, and a million other reasons could be conjectured for the change of my perception about him, but the reality is, particularly in our likes and dislikes, and in our idea of humour, and what we say, we give away far more of us than we realise. That ‘I cannot be anyone on the outside that I am not on the inside’ is even more so reminiscent via our digital imprints. And this is where, methinks that technology is imperative in understanding a person’s subconscious. It is quite the mirror to our unrestrained self. 

So when I see someone, or something that they have done that touches the core in me, I usually reach out to make a note of it for my own pleasure. I also find how nature has this rather distinctive approach of creating situations where people of similar interests can coalesce together, be it in person, or through thoughtful communication over the Internet. This aspect of life is what I find thoroughly fascinating. 

Let me offer you another example. My elder brother Subi is a celebrated lens-man, he spoke about the strength of the ‘hash tag’ sometime ago. Being a classist, I had refrained myself from biting into the hash tag apple, until one day, I decided, quite on a whim, that I would click on the first name that would show up with the hash tag that I was using for the first time on Instagram. And when I clicked on the picture of the first person, it turned out to be the great great grandson of Prithvi Raj Kapoor, who incidentally was close friends with my maternal grandfather. I began to browse through the young man’s photographs and discovered they did something to me. If in one frame he had the representation of a tumbler of coffee with a straw, in another he had shot traditional bangles in their splendour and vivacity. His pictures, though real, still contained in them such mysterious artistry. They were representations of what he saw inside his head when his eyes set eyes upon the subject, and it was as if we, each of us, were seeing him and his world through his eyes, and akin to our fingerprints, to each of us, this experience was unique. So these chance encounters, serendipitous too, yield such enlightening experiences and brought somebody whom our forefathers had spent enough time with but we had lost touch with as a new generation. I got in touch with the young man and it was a delight to go back to familiar bloodlines, decades later, and via what we saw and liked, even without knowing who it was to begin with until one delved deeper to discover the identity of the person. So like I said, words, images, and one’s inner self gives itself away, and those who have the gift to pick those nuances up can see more than what meets the eyes.  

To conclude, let me return to my little brother Sushant where I am sharing with all of you two handwritten verses from my little brother. Interestingly, it was his birthday on the 21st of this month, and after a period of nearly ten years I wrote him a note by hand. I could have handed him the keys to my Aston Martin, but I knew that material possessions did nothing to him. Also, what is mine is his, so there was no reason to give him anything in particular to make a point. I scratched my head and pulled out an ordinary white sheet of paper and began writing on it what seemed to flow out of my head without any hold. The lack of practise had rendered my alphabets a bit awry I noticed, but it was also a metaphoric representation of life I thought. We are not what we were a second ago, so for me to have assumed that something that I haven’t practised for close to a decade than the usual signing of cheques or random documents, was going to be like what it once was, was inaccurate. A friend looked at it and exclaimed – What? A hand written note! Hope the receiver does not think you boring and old-fashioned! I smiled inwardly at my friend, while her words only strengthened the fact in me that possibly I had not sent it to anyone else for these many years simply because nobody else would have cared for it the way my Sushant would have valued it.

It is never too late to slow down from this fast-paced, ‘I want to be the cool know-it-all’ façade. And my humble request is to take a moment and think about what my little brother has said in the poetries I am sharing. Also respect every moment. As cliché as it is, what we have now would never come back to us again, and wail and weep as much as we want to later, it would be gone forever.

Live now!

Happy Republic Day!