Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Tryst with Versatility

"Two roads diverged in a wood,
I took the one less traveled by…
And that has made all the difference!"

A well paying secure job, a decent house and a family, this is all that most people aspire in life. But what would you call a man who gave up these very things and went on to become a street artist and chose a life of uncertainty ? Eccentric?
May be it does take an element of eccentricity to leave the trodden path and wander in uncertain terrain, not just to say that I’ll live life on my own terms but to go out and do it, not just to dare to dream but to chase those dreams and live it!

Piet Bel is one of those few who are living their dream. Sauntering at Connaught Place I spotted a middle aged foreigner making live sketch of a lady. More than his artistic ability what caught my attention was the glint of passion in his eyes. Something about him made me stop and take notice. There are times when one meets the most unexpected people at most unexpected place and in the least expected manner. I stood there in silence observing him finish his sketch with utmost devotion. It was for the first time I had actually experienced how does it feel to love one’s work.

Piet told me that he was well versed in six languages .By profession he was a teacher, a translator, a linguist, an artist, a musician, a traveler and an author. Phew!
‘Versatile’ would be an understatement for such a person. And in case you are wondering, Jack of all trade- you are wrong; he was the master of all.
Piet had been traveling all over the world for last 22 years and already had two published travelogues to his credit. He first came to India in 1997 and since then he has kept coming back. On being asked what intrigued him most about the country, he promptly replied “Why it’s diversity of course,” and then added “Varanasi” as an after thought. “I couldn't stop my amazement at realizing the contrast of Glen Affric in Scottish Highlands and this Indian Varanasi. No other place has made such an impression on me. While floating on the majestic and inspiring Ganges I was happy to be,” he said. His love affair with India incidentally started with Varanasi.

At 48, Piet is more in love with life than any teenager and his contentment shone bright in his eyes. I asked him about the books he had written and he said he had just finished one called ‘Hannah’ which is life story of a girl and with a child like delight added that the closing chapter is based in India. The book has not been published yet. I couldn't keep myself from asking why he chose India as the backdrop for the closing chapter. He immediately got up, opened his bag and took out a white book. “I happen to have an unpublished copy of my work, why don’t you read it and find out for your self?” he said handing me his book. I turned the first page and there it was, in a tiny hand
‘For D, Journalists are the objective and critical eye of society: don’t forget!’ signed Pier Bel.
I could feel the bubble of happiness inflating within me. “May I ask just one more thing?” I asked my voice almost shaking with excitement. “Go ahead,” he said with a smile. “What is it that you wish from life?” “I would like to be somewhere. Be somewhere without wishing any thing else. Be somewhere because I want to be there, not imagining, not knowing there might be other places one could go, not waiting for death as if I was retired or tired of life or waiting for something to happen but to be able to see the trees and look at skies and be able to hear my hear,”  he concluded dreamily.

P.S: We were actually given an assignment to go to C.P and interview any "interesting" person we can find and report it.
* First target was the CD guys at Palika and that turned out to be a hilarious and "ENRICHING" experience.
* I zeroed on beggars next but that didn't work either and Shruti ended up giving her lunch (Chicken roll) to them.
* Then We just bumped into PIET BEL and ended up talking to him for over 2 hours and finally I did get an
"interesting" interview and the draft of his not yet published book so nice of Piet!
* Yesterday I was up all night trying to write this report but I couldn't get a sentence and today morning I had this entire thing typed in less than an hour sitting in college.
 I perform best in Pressure cooker conditions.


Rozita Singh said...

wow!Pier seems to be damn interesting!i wanna meet him 2!lol
i thnk u were at the right place at the right time!its so nice to know that a 'foreigner' can luv r country as much as we do!but i guess INDIA has that charming effect....Well written and i agree that 1 performs best under pressure....P.S:can i plz read that buk 2 wen u done with it? ;)

just me... :) said...

yeah sure... but geet has already askd for it u can take it once she has finished it...!!!

I guess pier is gonna have a huge fan following evn before he gets his book!!

Rebel Raised by SATAN himself said...

myyy.... godddd!!!... this was an amazing interview... wowwyy

It was a simple story!! but i have to admit it is very well written up! very very nice!!!

Rebel Raised by SATAN himself said...

ok... umm humble request!! Can you write out your interview with the CD guyzz at palika plzzzz!!! lol.. i mean i m dying to know their plea... :)

Rebel Raised by SATAN himself said...

umm... blog is a open online diary!! and I am not too ready for blogging yet!!!

Praniti said...

very well written, as usual! :)

and yes definately one of the most 'interesting' interviews i'v come across yet...*ahem* ;) :P

Rebel Raised by SATAN himself said...


I am mailing at your hotmail ID a write i wrote just now! DO read it... BYE

--Gagan Chaudhry

Meher B said...

I must say, you got the interesting down to the dot. :)
I enjoyed the idea of it. (y)

Rebel Raised by SATAN himself said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Shantanu said...

Well, this was one great post writing-wise. Good for you too that you met the right peron at the right time...

Rebel Raised by SATAN himself said...

ummm... if u like it and you are honest it leads to Honest Flattery!

So i guess i'll choose Honesty....:-s

Rebel Raised by SATAN himself said...

umm... pretty long time for a feedback!!!

Should I be scared??

parul said...

although i loved it!!!
bt pretty unsure what ms. yadav will have to say!

Shruti M....the insider said...

A nice piece again...I must say:)...U rite really well....I wish I cud have bumped into a similar kinda person..well written..[Best MANAGERS perform there best under pressure,so....:)]

just me... :) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RuDR@ said...

gota except it soona you have architect a simple probably complex thing into water smooth.

rest all absolutely FINE! :)

Manu said...

gud one...pier seems to be a very intresting were very lucky that you ran into such an amazing person..this post was very refreshing considering your previous controversial post abt virginity.


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