The Jack of Spades

Despite the melancholy, pessimism and moroseness that people might associate with yours truly, I would still like to reassure my ardent readers that deep down yours truly is an outright optimist. In fact, it would be safe to concede that yours truly is contaminated by the germ of optimism. It is this germ that gets yours truly to expect the best from every possible person or thing that comes his way. Even the slightest deviation from the ‘expected’ tends to have a very disconcerting effect on yours truly. The Avatar of a dissatisfied, frustrated and hapless being is a camouflage that yours truly often uses as an antidote against the growing levels of pessimism.

 
I had left the company of my dreams in July in search of a Thinking Lease. And contrary to the popular belief, I had expected the best out of my judgement. One month into the new horizon, I was still oozing with enthusiasm. But, just when you are certain that you are on the right track, the perpetual trickster that we call ‘Life’ starts to unleash its master plan. Unfortunately, things and people never fail to disappoint when you least expect them to. I, like Humpty Dumpty, had a great fall and once again came to terms with the reality. The reality of the ‘mundane’ vis-à-vis the ‘fantastic’! Just like any man whose dream world has been shattered, probably for the nth time in his lifetime, yours truly got grumpier and grumpier. And it would certainly have been the end of his misery if it wouldn’t have been for the disease called optimism.
 
The disease once again started looking for the cure and ‘Life’ was quick to oblige. I was presented with an opportunity to follow my passion and write for a completely different genre which, needless to say, I accepted with rapturous glee. Since then things have once again started to shape up nicely but yours truly cannot afford to take things lightly one more time. I must not overlook the perpetual trickster, which is always on the prowl to turn the tables. But, at the same time yours truly cannot afford to be extra circumspect or else the creativity will have to suffer.
 
In an urge to make amends for the horrendous lack of judgment that I have shown in my recent choices, I decided to send my entry for the flagship event of the annual fest organized by an esteemed institute. Voila, my entry got short-listed for the finals of the 48-hour long marathon even! With great reluctance, I decided to undertake the journey to a town where my professional career had started few years back. I reached the institute at 8:30 AM sharp, as per the instructions. After completing the formalities at the registration desk, I decided to take a brief tour of the campus, which to my amusement turned out to be a pleasant one. It was Maharishi Valmiki’s Jayanti, and deliberately so, the room that was chosen as the venue was Maharishi’s namesake. The room was almost full with participants from big and small institutes all over the country.
 
After a long wait, and to everyone’s amusement, a surly looking person showed up in a Raghu-like avatar, except that he had enough hair on his head to be called bald. He told us that he literally ‘owned’ us for the next 48 hours and tried to intimidate us by telling that 4 out of the 10 teams had backed out last year after the very first round itself. He then told us that our mobiles would be taken in custody for the entire length of the event and advised us to inform our girlfriends that we won’t be available for the next 48 hours. What ensued was a relentless flurry of events as we were forced to lose the track of the time. Every round posed a completely different challenge to the participants, who it seemed were fighting for their lives. Amidst all the tension, yours truly was virtually inert to the proceedings being fully aware that the activities involved in the event were by far not his forte. It was at 1:30 in the night that the results for the elimination round were announced. Yours truly was least bothered when someone told him that he had failed to make the cut by just a couple of marks. A controversy started as some participants identified some errors in the marking scheme and calculation. After a lot of commotion and contemplation, common sense finally prevailed as the scores were re-calibrated and a new list was declared, which too seemed to have some flaws. The scores were calibrated for the third time, but to the disappointment of some, there were no significant changes.
 
As far as yours truly is concerned—despite the anti-climax—the purpose had been served with the very intent of participation, and all that followed was a bonus. Infected with optimism, as I continue my struggle with ‘Life’, I must tell my ardent readers that the ‘old nemesis’ may have prevented yours truly from becoming the ‘Ace of Spades’, but the title of ‘Jack of Spades’ shall always be his. 
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About A Potpourri of Vestiges

Murtaza Ali is an independent film critic, sports writer, and content developer based out of Delhi. He is the author of the movie blog ‘A Potpourri of Vestiges’. He has been writing movie reviews at IMDb.COM for over four years. He is also associated with F1India.ORG as a content editor. Cinema is not only his passion, but also his greatest obsession. His all-time favorite movie-makers are Akira Kurosawa, Stanley Kubrick, Luis Bunuel, Andrei Tarkovsky, Charles Chaplin, Orson Welles, Federico Fellini, Ingmar Bergman, Satyajit Ray, Fritz Lang, Sergio Leonne, Francis Ford Cuppola, and Martin Scorsese.
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