Tamasha – In reverse


Boy and Girl were in love with each other.

Boy was a Tamasha artist. Carefree. Imaginative. Dreamer. Movie fan. Bohemian. Director. Storyteller. Girl was corporate types and they both seemed to have found their true calling in life.

One day the boy decided to visit his home in the hills. There he had a wonderful family time with his family — mom, dad, aunt. They talk work and are not at all worried about the direction his life is taking. Or his marriage.

Before he leaves — his dad decides to tell him a story. In the story..there was a father and a son. The son was very creative and was day dreaming and not studying and imagining stuff all the while, much to the delight and joy of his dad. He wholeheartedly spurred him on, supported him, cheered for him — but deep inside, his dad felt that his son should be an engineer! He felt that his son would be great at it and would go places if he chooses that as a profession. But his son became an artist — and eventually died unknown, with a crazy dressing sense, an arbit music/books collection and penniless.

Didn’t like the ending? You can still change it! — his dad said. The boy cheerfully shook his head, hugged his dad and headed back to his city.

Once the boy got back, he kept Tamashaoing — with great success. He had a great bunch of friends, more like colleagues from all over actually. Housefull shows. Taran Adarsh’s glowing reviews. Irani chai with Naseeruddin Shah and Bun Maska with Boman Irani. Life was better than ever. One night the boy was going home in a cab after a particularly happy night out with his girl. As he was humming his favourite tune — the driver turned around and complimented him on his voice. And they got talking. The driver told him that he drove a cab through the day, but at night he went for engineering classes. Part-time! There he read up on many wonderful things and theorems and concepts and differentials and integrals — many of which were a mystery to him but he was sure that he will use them somewhere in his life. Wow! What a story thought the boy. He was impressed. Why engineering he asked? The driver coolly said — Startup boss. Funding milega. Media coverage. Fancy Offices. Shares. Valuation. Awesome marriage prospects (he mentioned he was still single). And the biggest key to success is that you need to be an Engineer! Stream and all does not matter. Full Time, Part Time also does not matter. BE/BTECH degree is what matters! It’s crazy, but its true!

After being dropped home, the boy thought about it a lot. And thought about it for a very long time. He pulled out his Samsung J series dual sim, fired up the browser — and got lost. Angel, Seed, Series A, B, C etc. ESOPs, Projections, Fundraising, Acquisitions. So much news. So much media coverage. So much fame! And they were all Rockstars. Young. Very Young. Very, Very Young. Could he be part of the this world? He could totally picture himself signing term sheets and giving interviews and talks, mentoring youngsters, being on boards. And then raising another (bigger) round!! But then as dawn broke, so did the boy’s dream. He realised that there was no time to do anything except Tamasha. He was too much into his thing to move away now. Maybe he could Tamashaofy on weekdays and then read more about this on the weekends? Sounded like a plan!

So a week went by. Costumes. Budgeting. Scripts. Rehearsals. Shows. Party. Date. And then another week, and then the Boy got busy. A month. And 6 more months. Budgeting. Scripts. Rehearsals. Shows. Party. Date. Not in the same order and not at the same times as the previous day. It was all very adhoc, just like the random debates of Arnab on the newshour every night. The boy’s plan was to have no plan — go with the flow. Live every moment. Tamasha all the time. And it was tiring out the girl.

The girl began to get worried. There was too much unpredictability in the system. Dinner had to be around 8. Ok 8:10 at the latest for good digestion. Movies had to be seen at Promenade only. Drink had to be a single pint of light beer. Budweiser preferably. Flights had to be booked at least 4 weeks before the travel date for good deals. Of course, you are still living your life and having fun — but its better when it is planned. No?

Thats what the girl was thinking and worrying about, until out of the blue — the guy proposed to the girl. And that’s when she decided. The girl had to say No. She told him this was not what she had bargained for. This was not the guy she had fallen in love with. Yeah sure Tamasha is cool. Once in a while its fun. But all the time? She needed some predictability. She needed a plan. She needed to take a goddamn Uber without surge pricing sometime! And so, she left. Left him alone. Left him heartbroken.

The Boy went home. Thought about it a lot. And he decided to just brush it off. Tu nahin to koi aur sahi. Koi aur nahin to koi aur sahi. And the boy continued doing what he was doing. Costumes. Budgeting. Scripts. Rehearsals. Shows. Party. And Repeat. Again. And Again. And Again. The Boy made himself so busy that he did not have any time to think about the Girl. He missed her, but the past was the past. Somewhere in the midst of it all, the cab driver refused to leave him. Metaphorically, of course. And his friends could sense the change. He was talking sense most of the time. Speaking softly. Not acting like he was perpetually high on red bull. No filmy dialogs. But he was still tamashaofying. Until finally after another 2 months, the boy skipped Tamasha one day. Switched off his phone, made some Ramdev Noodles and started reading on the world of startups. Skipped another day and continued reading. Called in sick the next day and continued reading. After 3 days when he finally went Tamashaofying, he found no one there! He looked at his watch and realised that it was just 8AM. No wonder there was no traffic on the roads. He quietly sat down and started reading again. Until 1130, when everyone else came in.

After that, every weekday the boy was in by 8AM. Somedays at 730 as well. Breakfast was eggs on most of the days. To control overeating — the odd days Monday, Wednesday, Friday were boiled egg days. And the even days were Omelette days. Sunday was a free for all. With revenues from Tamasha coming down slightly, he began to shop online to avail discounts. He downloaded all e-commerce apps. He downloaded an app which was only an app and had no website. He began to order food online and use his mobile wallet to save more money. He began to use Ola in the mornings (with a discount code) as it gave him an option to advance-book his cabs. He began to book his movie tickets from his mobile. He even downloaded an app which compares all apps!

The girl in the meanwhile was enjoying herself in her job. Her career had taken a leap as she began to climb up the corporate ladder. She missed him, but the past was the past. Gone were the late night movie shows — only 6PM shows on Saturdays for her now (No action movies!), followed by window shopping. Gone was the food like cheese burst pizzas and beer and a road side parantha soaking in butter. Only olive oil pasta and green tea for her now. And in addition to all this, the Focus was on work and more work. And it began to show in the girl’s performances. More responsibility. More accounts to handle. More onsite trips. The Girl also signed up for the Great Indian Dating Service called Arranged Marriage. She met many suitors — US settled, Bangalore based, Engineers, Product Managers. But somehow things were not clicking.

Until one day, her company decided to send her to an MBA course at one of the deemed universities down south — the ones which have courses from home science to rocket science. The girl was queueing up to complete her registration formalities when a familiar voice asked for a pen. The girl looked back and she was stunned. Short Hair. Blazer. Fitbit. Blue Shirt with cufflinks. Black slim fit trousers. Macbook Air. The latest nexus phone. The boy had changed. Just like that, he was back in her life. And he was there to be an Engineer.

The university was breathtaking. Different highrise buildings for various departments. Manicured gardens. 24 hour open library. Luxurious rooms with housekeeping. 128 MBPS leased line with superfast internet and wifi hotspots all over the campus. Fully Airconditioned lecture halls. And there was a Starbucks too. The boy and the girl both fell in love with the place.

As they started reconnecting, they realised it was like being with a new person. The girl asked him as to what happend to the Tamasha? The boy told her that he stopped Tamashaofying as he figured out the power of an engineering degree. Not only will he make good money, he will also be eligible for all sorts of loans. Not only will his parents be proud, they will make sure that their neighbours also feel jealous. Not only will he get a visa, but if he is lucky he could get a green card as well. He will also get married with a lot more ease! She asked him what the plan was? He told her that the short term plan was to get through these 4 years and get and engineering degree. The long term plan — was to startup.

Boy and Girl were in love with each other.


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