Posted by: saket71 | May 30, 2010

Casualties of Time- Bhopal Visit

The week ended with a trip to Bhopal, astonishingly beautiful capital city the heart of India. I was there on a business trip, went there with a lot of apprehension, not very sure of the outcome of the visit. I have found it time and again that no matter what the odds are, a face to face meeting always yields some thing positive (even if it be a learning on how to handle obnoxious people and a lesson in what not to be, which I constantly learn after every meeting with a particularly obnoxious gentleman at Pune). Met few particularly nice people in my customer’s office in Bhopal. The meetings were particularly on the nature and kind as one would expect in Madhya Pradesh. I could have been carrying a prejudice for the state, given that I did my engineering and then Masters there, but fortunately, this is one prejudice which has not let me down this far. I had been to Bhopal couple of occasions earlier, first as a young man, almost on the threshold of the journey called life, eager, impatient and a vision tinted with rose colored shades, full of dreams, second visit was when I was on the verge of completing my preparatory session for the battle laid out by life in front of me. First trip was for the engineering pre-enterance test. At that time I had stayed in a lodge right opposite the Bus stand in old Bhopal, in a crowded lane across the road. Coming from a sleepy village town in the hinterland of Guna, on the frontiers of infamous Chambal Terrain, known for Dacoits where milkman carrying a gun on the shoulder was a common sight. However, even with all those intimidating exteriors, it was a great simplicity in the people of that place, which made you trust them instantly. This time however, the stay was in Noor Us Sabah, on a small Hillock overlooking the lake, which people in Bhopal call Bada Talaab or bigger lake. I remember, on the second visit, I with my later to be wife had gone there on walk on a particularly beautiful day, with drizzle incessantly working its best to augment the already surreal view. The lake seemed to look at me with the way village elder looks at the young boy who comes back from a voyage as a man, asking me where my companion was. And I so much wanted the old lake to meet up with the newest addition to my life, my daughter. However, the day of business meetings wound up with meeting up with my classmates, now running there own businesses, managing their families. Still the back slap was as loving and as endearing as before. We three mid-aged men met once again like boys, struck in time. Still remember the time, when we would sit under the summer sun, over endless cups of tea, and looking at each other through the smoke screen created by the incessant smoking, mostly by me. The dreams were so young then, and reality of the day was mere world. There was a promising future waiting for us to leap into and very little of history for us to be sad about. How things have changed, as very quickly the horizon in front of us keep on getting dwarfed by the shadow that we have behind us.  Still it was a good sense, to be able to take a pause, and take account of the past. I really could see the wisdom in what people say is to have friends outside the professional circle. I should seriously believe that the speed with which life passes us by, it is very important for us to mark couple of hours every week or so for friends we knew before we got any designation attached to our respective names.



  1. yaar tu senti bahut karta hai,
    The sweet memories of the old friend circle is still alive in me, I realy miss those sharing of cigarates and fighting for the last puf. those days are really wonderful.

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