J for Joy


As I write this post, its very very close to the New Year. Generally, I’ve ended each year with a post on the line of “Highlights of my year”, generally loaded with references to friends, family and events. This time, I’ll end the year with a lighter one… one on Joy (that I had in fact contributed to Sam’s blog on its anniversary). As usual, the post is in normal font, and the italics are my wisecracks/personal inputs.

To me, joy isn’t one thing alone. In fact, joy is a mash up of so many more parcels; many more Js.

One of ‘em is Jingle Bells. And this one just passed us by. And it reminds me, each year, how joy multiplies by leaving a gift under a tree. (I’m not Christian, and very few of my friends are, but the idea of a song with memories attached to a whole holiday season gets to me. The concept of Diwali or Holi or Eid or Baisakhi have the same effect; unfortunately none of them started with J, so they’re going to have to live as a sub comment.)

Another is Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikander. This was one of the first Hindi movies that I fell in love with and that taught me the joy of both losing and winning, and falling and rising in love. I find some indefinable joy in Bollywood and how much I love it despite its many corny moments. (I watch more Hollywood than Bollywood, and believe that Hollywood makes more amazing cinema in one year than Bollywood ever has, but even though Hollywood releases an Inception, it can’t pull of EIGHT song-and-dance sequences in ONE movie, that’s shot in TEN locations, over the course of TWENTY months.)

Another one is Jhakaas, the Bumbaiyya way of expressing joy. And this one reminds me of how much this city means to me and how much joy I find in its little nuances. From the crowded local trains to the serene beaches, and from Pav Bhaji and Wada Pav, to Schezwan Dosa and Jain Rolls; everything about this city makes me feel joyful. Joy is Mumbai and Mumbai is Joy. (My friends in Delhi will happily refute this one, but you ain’t writing this one are you? 😛)

Another one of ‘em is Jhingalala. Not only Tata Sky, but TV in general is something that cheers me. Joy is watching that ridiculous cartoon or an outrageous reality show or that lovable ad. Joy is The Roadrunner Show, and Masterchef Australia and the Kit Kat ad with mongrels. The TV reminds me that there is always joy… you just have to find the right channel on which it’s playing. (There was to be a separate section on Masterchef Australia, so I limited myself on that front. Unfortunately, I think after the writers favourite contestant being outed, Master Australia was replaced with another topic. Also, the Kit Kat ad is just too lovable to ignore. As for the Roadrunner Show, it’s impossible not to love a show where a dumb coyote makes diabolical plans to outsmart a roadrunner that’s, well, just too fast for his wits.)

Another parcel of joy is Jango (the music site) and my trusted old jukebox. They introduce me to new music every day. The joy I derive from music is one that words could never capture… But I can safely claim that the feeling when I compose a new song, or listen to a new one is pure joy. I try to write a new song each week, just so I can revel in the joy of having written it. Joy is Hobbie and Pluto (my guitars) and how I smile as they gently weep, and how they comfort me as I gently weep. (Before you wonder why my guitars are named what they are, they are named after their brands. And they have soul; that entitles them to a name)

Joy is in Journey, a band with some of the awesomest rock songs (Beatles has the honour of the awesomest). And Glee did a cover of some of their greatest songs. And Glee is a joyous 40 minutes for me… good songs and a bunch of kids with nothing to worry about – that’s joy to me. I loved that part in my childhood where my biggest worry was lunch, and then dinner. I’d happily jump into a show where all I had to do in school was sing, and dance, and occasionally get slushied. (The jump from J to G for Glee – this one’s pure Jenius eh…?)

Joy is in JLT. It’s when you do something extremely ‘arbit’, but it makes such a great memory in hindsight. Its partying late and sloshing out on a friend’s bed – not because you wanted to, but because you could. It’s bunking class or office and just staying home and catching up on sleep. It’s those late nights on campus strolling for hours discussing nothing and everything. It’s that impromptu terrible movie you dragged your friends to, which had you all in splits. It’s those morning jogs and bike rides for which one of your friends always had to be dragged out of bed. It’s those trips planned a day in advance with lots of friends, few clothes and even less money. It’s arriving on the station 15 minutes late for a Shatabdi, and cheering as it arrived on the platform just as you ran in.

Joy is reading this and thinking of those many special people and wonderful moments in time (I hope you’re thinking of at least a few by now.)

Joy is calling them up to say, “Hi… I just thought of you.”

Joy is going through some old photos and remembering how skinny your friend was, or how fun that Esselworld trip was! (I have just one bunch of photographs from our school trip to Esselworld, but a pile of memories attached to ‘em.)

Joy is listening to that mix tape or CD and reliving the emotions attached to those songs. (I made a mix tape in 7th grade, when recording a tape was considered real fly, and every time I listen to it (yes, I still have a device that plays tapes), I find myself in extreme bouts of laughter!)

Joy is finding an old birthday card and remembering how fun your childhood was. (I’ve saved up cards from when I was six, till last year, and ones from close friends and distant relatives, and each one says the same thing to me – you’ll get another one next year!)

Joy is seeing that perfect report card, and the smile on your Mom’s face that’s still stuck to it. (Not to brag, but I quite a few of them, and I’m still proud of myself for accomplishing that – I’d do for it for my Mom every year. If there ever was something that signified a perfect report card in the worklife, I’d do everything I could to get my hands on it just for that smile to come back on!)

Joy is 8 batch-mates, one laptop and re-runs of sitcoms you know every line to, with a healthy dose of wise ass comments. (From “How you doin?” to “Bazzinga” to “Legend-wait for it-dary” my laptop Mike (yeah, I name my laptop too… he has soul, and a name that’s derived from Michael Dell) has been both an entertainer and an entertainee!!)

Joy is 4 friends, 4 mugs of coffee and Gtalk. (I still take out an hour a week, whether I’m travelling or at home, to catch up with those friends who live in various time zones, and work in different jobs, but who miss the same people.)

All these little things I call Joysters. They’re friends, families, and a truckload of memories.

Joy is living in today, thinking fondly of yesterday and loving the wait for tomorrow. With your Joysters.

Wishing you a very Merry Xmas (if I havent already) and an awesome New Year!

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