After stories occupying many of my past blog posts, I finally have a chance to talk directly about something I love – Myself. Thanks to Sultan of Samarkand for tagging me. I, on my part have never tagged him and intend to return the favour sometime.
This blog post is gonna be long, for talking about myself is one thing I like to do for as long a time as possible (and that is Mastram ki zeroth masti). The post may also veer from its course at times, for, as the title suggests, I’m a Mastram and happen to be in one of my Mast moods right now. I’m terribly sorry if someone would rather a short-n-sweet post. I just can’t help being verbose right now.
These are my Mastram ki mastiyaan, in no particular order of preference.
1. Love the name!
Yeah, I’m in love with this name ‘Mastram’. I’ve had several nicknames over the years, but this one takes the cake. Was given to me during the ragging period, by Khare I think, for writing several pages of Mastram-type literature for the benefit of my seniors. Fit like a glove, this name, for not only did I give the real Mastram a run for his money by producing some very exciting literature totally worthy of the name, in normal life I’ve always liked to stay ‘Mast’ for as much time as possible and do not entertain many unnecessary pains in the neck. ‘Mast’ remained fine, but over time, the sound of ‘Ram’ in the end slowly lost its appeal and I had stopped believing that this name suited me, until Himachal happened.
I went to Himachal in the summers for a trek in the wilds. Ever so much the Aravalis’ own boy, I took to the Himalayas like a duckling takes to water. I was pretty good at everything we were supposed to do, and some of the local guides were even gracious enough to admit that I was right in their league!
Now, the guides (bless them, pure souls!) had names like Dola Ram, Doley Ram, Sohan Ram etc. My friends in the trek admired my climbing skills, and started calling me ‘Aniket Ram ji’, ala Dola Ram Ji, Doley Ram ji and Sohan Ram ji. And that’s when it hit me: The name ‘Mast Ram ji’ or Mast Ram WAS my name. It was as much meant for me as the green colour was meant to cover the lower Himalayas and as the white colour was meant to cover their peaks.
Yeah, unfashionable as it is, this name is my name. Pity though, that not many people are left in the college who call me by this name.
2. ‘Song listening Principle’ :
“‘Never change a good song before it is completed.'”
I love music and also the people who create it. I think that if you change a good song before it ends, you’re doing an insult to the artist who was gracious enough to perform it for you. So, I formulated this principle. Not that I always abide by it; but I always try to.
The artist has put in an effort and deserves a chance to present his thing. Listen to him, give him his chance, and then reject him if you wanna. But not before that, please, not before that.
3. Music: Another peculiarity about music: I cannot listen to a music for long unless I understand its lyrics. And also usually, the less instruments and sound effects, the better. Lyrics and vocals are of primary importance to me in my music. Also, I’m a minimalist: too many of the instruments and effects, and the real emotions get buried under them; hence the less of them, the better.
4. Schools: I get totally ecstatic, absolutely very, very happy sometimes at the sight of a school. Especially if it’s in a remote area and there are lots of kids running around. I think several subconscious factors may be at work behind this reaction. Maybe the school tells me that someday, everything will be alright with India, that it has a very good future, that every kid in India is studying and will have the chance that is due to her. Or maybe, it just subconsciously takes me back to those good ol’ absolutely carefree school times when we played during the days and the evenings never came…
5. Athletic girls: I somehow feel very attracted to girls who’re athletic (meaning girls who’re good at running or jumping). Not only attracted, I hold them in high esteem and have a special respect for them, a kind which I have only for them.
The attraction thing puzzled me and I read about the mechanisms of attraction, what makes some girls attractive to guys and what doesn’t. It basically has to do with our subconscious instincts. Won’t go into the details, but I think maybe the athleticism of a girl tells me that she’s gonna retain that marvelous figure for a long time, maybe it’s just appreciation of the qualities in another human being. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s because of myself being an athlete too. Only an athlete girl can appreciate the finer details of something that’s an integral part of me and which probably precious little number of girls can even understand.
6. Mania for climbing:
Our very own tharki dirty old man of India, Khushwant Singh once admitted that almost every woman he comes across, he, well, sizes her up. That he pictures her in bed, how’d she look and act during the act and so on and so forth.
I’ve grown up among the Aravalis, and things like running up and down steep hill slopes, climbing vertical ascents, jumping from heights and ‘skiing’ down slopes over loose pebbles are second nature to me. But in all these activities, climbing up vertical ascents without any ropes is what turns me on the most. I equally love climbing up trees.
So far, so good. But it isn’t just that.
Climbing runs much more deeper into my head. So much so that whatever structure I come across, I ‘size it up’. Meaning figuring out whether I’ll be able to climb it or not. And that includes all kinds of structures. The IIIT Main Building front, the boulders we come across in Hyderabad, the trees in the campus, any wall, railway wagon, hill slope, cliff, basketball column… any goddam vertical structure. After sizing it up, I make a plan in my head and picture myself carrying it out. “I’ll proceed like this, then put my foot there, no, I won’t be able to put it so high up… from here, that’s better. Then I’ll grab that chink in the wall, no it won’t hold my weight… this angle will be difficult, that position impossible.” Like this I proceed in my head until I’ve climbed the ascent, which may be anything from a few feet high campus wall to a thousands of feet high Himalayan peak. And I do this with almost every structure I happen to pay any attention to. I don’t know of any other person who does that. Maybe there isn’t any.
Our Tharki Sardar enjoys his secret pastime with women. I remain quite happy with my heights.