Sunday, April 02, 2006

Guest post II: Deja Vu

Me still on my sabbatical, so over to Abhishek.


Think of France and certain thinks come straight to my mind. Thierry Henry (aka GOD), Patrick Vieira, Zinedine Zidane, Robert Pires and company come first up. Especially since I am fan of Arsenal FC, which is a club with an English heart and a French soul. Then comes the red clay of Rolland Garos and the many afternoons and evenings that I have spent watching the rivetting tennis matches played there. Also when I think French, the Tour de France, the Eiffel Tower, Amelie( the film) all come up. And finally I think about my mother who knows the language, and once taught it in a school in Patna. Despite all her best efforts, I have refused to learn the language till date, but do happen to know a few phrases here and there, courtsey being the typist for her question papers!!

Something which none of us can deny is that the French have a certain flair about them and their words have added a certain zing to the English language. How about tour de force, or bon appetit, or for that matter deja vu. Deja vu is one of the numerous french words that has become part of the English language. The word web dictionary defines it as the experience of thinking that a new situation had occurred before. Think about it. You must have felt it before. I certainly have, or else I would'nt be writing about it.

Let me give a few examples. When Glenn Mcgrath bowls just outside the offstump, and gets a nick through to the keeper, don't you feel that you have seen that before. Or when our very own Anil Kumble traps a hapless opposition batsman plumb in front - LBW you do get the feeling. Or when Michael Bevan or Lance Klusener (2 of my favourites) used to play those unbelievable innings chasing down totals, the opposition, I am sure must have had this feeling. I sure did. Or say about 30 ODIs ago when our much vaunted batting line up used to collapse frequently chasing totals, it used to be deja vu, all over again.

How about about those moments in the classroom, when a certain teacher used to target us, without any rhyme or reason (most of the times that is!), did we not get the feeling of deja vu. Or how about when you used to listen to the news on polling day in Bihar, and all you got was news about booth capturing and gun fighting. Many times while coming in a bus at 5.20 in the morning to good old Xavier's, following exactly the same routine of getting down at Jeevandeep, walking down Middleton Street, crossing Camac Street, through Wood Street and in through the back gate, the feeling of deja vu on some mornings was unmistakable.

Deja vu happens to us every now and then. Just the other day I was being briefed by my senior at the client's place and I felt that this had happened before. Happened in the sense that (I felt) we were sitting exactly in the same place, at the same time, (probably 11 in the night) he was wearing the same shirt and talking the same stuff. Actually, what happened was that the feeling came so strongly and suddenly, that the net result was that I did'nt listen to what was being told to me and had to ask my senior to repeat what had said.

The point is that I am sure this happens to all of you. But what I don't know is that why does it happen. It is an intriguing problem that has often puzzled me. If any of you out there have an explanation just let me know. I am sure some of you will have some really interesting insights about this word for which I have a penchant, and one which should be spoken with a panache, worthy of its beauty and meaning.

PS: Thierry Henry is not GOD but simply great, he is to me what SRK is to Suhel. Also did you not get the feeling of deja vu of reading all this non sense once again, just days after reading my first guest post on "serendipity". Got You on that one!! Ha ha!!. I promise the next one won't be so soon.

Take care. Abhishek.
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