Wednesday, December 05, 2007
Saturday, December 01, 2007
You remind me of the first time it rained.
The first peck of a cold lip on the boiling broth that was.
That would have been.
Had you not rained.
And there always will be that fear,
That you, in fact, could have not been.
To somewhere else you would roam, on a chariot of lightning.
Showering your coldness,
When I see people speak of you in fear,
Of how you could freeze them with one look at your motionless eyes,
Of stories of warriors and kings that looked at you
And saw no more of me,
Know that I’d looked at you of choice
Not scared of the serpents that twirled and hissed
For to your coldness so stony and grim
I owe my shape and warmth.
Monday, November 26, 2007
In short, Blank Noise is a community art project that tries to address the issue of Street Sexual Violence/Harassment by creating a dialog, tries to break the social acceptance that 'Eve-teasing' has got over time. I mean, most girls take it as one of those facts of life!
Try reading the blog. It's rather massive. But I can assure you it's very much worth the effort.
The Calcutta chapter is relatively new(about 6 months) and this was out first street intervention that involved not only the people who walked, but, more importantly, the locals... the hawkers, the shopkeepers, the shoppers.
The basic ground work included extensive conversations within the group, with our parents, relatives, friends, with absolute strangers on the streets and in colleges. A questionnaire was circulated both in paper and through email. We went out with the questionnaire to the streets and talked to people of all kinds. The answers were used to form a survey which also presented to us a picture of how similar or different the work for Blank Noise in Calcutta would be compared to the other cities.
The preparation for the walk included going up to all the shopkeepers and hawkers in the stretch between Gariahaat and Dhakuria and getting their views on the issue of Street Sexual Harassment. These dialogs are, in fact, the most important part of this project. We met really angry people, very supportive people, and the last and the most challenging kind- What-Can-I-Have-to-Say-on-This people. We met mothers and fathers who said their daughter had never been harassed on the streets because they wore 'decent' clothes. We met shopkeepers who said they had never heard of eve-teasing since they were too occupied with their business. We poked them, prodded them and managed to get them to talk. And there in lies the first aim of Blank Noise.
Another very impressive aspect of this project that amazes me, is the way it uses art and the element of surprise. Art is one medium where all the defenses that social conditioning grinds into us drop. And at that moment as person becomes open to ideas, to connections, to empathy with an absolute stranger. However, how Blank Noise uses art, will take a separate post to describe.
Thursday, November 22, 2007
A lot has been happening for the past couple of weeks. The Blank Noise intervention was a wonderful experience and all the running around really paid off. Jasmeen is leaving tomorrow morning. A brilliant woman. You just have to see how focussed she is about her work! I must say, although I have been working for Blank Noise for some time now, this is the first time things are really clearing up inside my head. I love the way we worked. I loved the way the intervention opened me up to so many things about Calcutta and its people that I had never noticed before.
For the last few days, I have had random and long conversations with hawkers, shopkeepers, autowallahs, rickshawallahs, littlekids, wearyaunties, gigglinggirls. And suddenly I know everyone in the entire stretch of the Gariahat market. Well, most of them. Like, I really know who the kid selling pirated CDs is. And what he loves best. I have his phone number. He has mine too. I know I won't be calling him up when I am blue anytime soon, but I know that I can, if I wish. That feels great. I know. I am mad. It's impossible to emphasize enough on the importance of these conversations. I give up trying to explain.
The walk condemning the Nandigram killings was, also, a reason for hope for more reasons than one. I have been to the walks when Singur happened. I distinctly remember feeling a little out of place among the theater workers, actors, intellectuals( although I was sure I wanted to be there). But this time it was very different. I met the common man at the walk this time. The doping student. The old man with a hurting knee. The teacher with his students. The housewife after the day's chores. The cute girl in glasses. Everyone of them.
I am surprised how addicted I have lately become to walking alone. Going on limbs to absolute nowheres. I walked to Subhayu's place the day before but lost my way- which is insane, considering I go to his place more frequently than anywhere else.
Mark Knopfler is really great. Yes. I know what you are thinking. I just felt like mentioning. Just that I am listening to Walk of Life right now.
On a slightly gloomier note, my semesters start the 3rd of December and I am having to study. Not that I am complaining. I don't mind, really.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Sunday, November 11, 2007
Friday, November 02, 2007
Into a yellow river that flowed mighty and proud.
The blue will live only in the blues
Of the mighty Hwang and the tramp
Who stood watching on the bank the day the blue died.
The river of sorrow has its booty of blues.
But the tramp won't tell no one.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
It's a little unsettling to see that your memories weren't, in fact, real.
So, you try and stand away from them. And look the other way. So that people( and you) won't think they are yours.
Sometimes, they will start crying just like that. Much to your embarrassment and horror. Children! Try and run away if you can. Not the best thing to get caught with crying children that you were trying to abandon.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Misty morning ho,
All my worries go.
The fig-tears in tow.
Life doth flow.
Ever so slow.
Misty morning ho!
I feel insanely funny. And childish. I think this is the happiest I will ever be. This isn't the beginning of happiness. This is happiness.
Went for a trip to the riverside on Mahalaya. Quite early in the morning. Shonai, Subhayu, Rommo, Teko, Himadri and me. Thousands of people doing their bit to get that one yard of advantage on the road to nirvana. This road, as I found out, is slippery(with water, algae and shit) and goes down in steps. The browns of the skin, the brilliant colours of the clothes against the bland dawn-scape, the stink of the sweaty armpits rolled eyes with the smell of the cheap soaps that were used to wash them. All this and a lot more presented to me the sensuality of belief. Of faith that is unquestioned. Of faith that is not troubled by fears of social conditioning, of religious oppression, of political manipulation. As I stood there with my camera, these people went about their business with a gravity and matter-of-factness that intimidated me. Was it fear? Respect? Not really. More of an awe. I don't know.
Walked around randomly in even multiples of 5 kilometers. Along the circular-rail tracks. Across streets. In circles. Past men bathing. Past a child fanning a coal oven. Past closed shop-shutters. Past red-bricked buildings. Counting patches...small towels of sun lying on the streets. On shoulders of old men. On running buses. Wiping them clean. No one cared to stop by.
-Thank you mister. That was a nice wipe. The best I've had in days. Thank you. Really.
I breathed in. My city was diffusing into me. Or may be its osmosis. I am not sure.
Then there were the usual askingfordirections. And the usually elaborateanswers. Mostly wrong. But they answered anyway. In goodspirits.
-Chitto babur dokan? Oh! she toh Chitpur e! Ekhan theke shoja chole jaan...Great Eastern er shamne theke bus peye jaben...othoba ekta kaaj korte paren...
I wasn't even hearing what he was saying. I was just looking at him talking to us. Telling us where to go. And how. The hands that were raised. The wrinkled, crooked, chocolate fingers that were pointed. In uninterpretable directions. The eyebrows that were strained. The eyes half awake from sleep at 7 in the morning. The smoking tea.
The jilipis went round in circles. Like golden children. Like conjoined brothers. I wanted to be one of them too. And go round and round. Inseparable. And splash in the pool of sugar syrup. What fun! The jealous kochuris would swell. Only to be squeezed out of steam by the hot aloor torkari.
|Mahalaya: At the Ghaats|
Saturday, October 06, 2007
1) What makes You? Is it the things you do, or is it the people you love(and the kind of people they are, the things they do)? What speaks for the person you are? The choices you make in your life? Or the choices the people you choose make in their lives? Can you completely love somebody who you don't identify with?
I somehow have a feeling that your choice of company shows the real You. This of course applies only for the people who are not pretending fools/wannabes. You are with someone because you feel at home with him/her. Right?
2) It's difficult to speak your mind these days, with people throwing such unspeakable allegations at you as calling you 'immature'.( It goes, 'See? You are being immature. You cannot handle me!') I would not mind being faced with a counter opinion or even shouted at or kicked, for that matter. But, suddenly faced with being called immature, I find myself at a loss.
I understand it's impossible to tell even your closest friends exactly what you think of them. We all, at every point of our life, choose to ignore facts, incidents, misgivings, to make way for a greater good and to be able to think of certain people as our best friends, lovers, etc. The moment any thought of such consequence as may harm our long-formed opinion (positive or otherwise) of a person appears, we shove it aside, almost like a piece of underwear, when an outsider suddenly chooses to enter our room. At that very moment I split. Between a me who is an Insider. Who knows. And a me who is an Outsider. Who(the Insider thinks) doesn't know. At that moment we lie. To each other. Such lies, I tell you.
Such lies pile up. In blocks. In bricks. And form the Wall. The Divide between me, and me. Between Us. We may think of this wall as the Elemental Wall. The very Building Blocks for all Divides around us. The Wall between two people is two walls thick. The personal walls of the two individuals. Strong walls still. Only thicker.
The walls grow higher, thicker. Everyday. And you keep lying. You laugh over two cappuccinos.
-'What wall?', you say.
No make that a cappuccino. Plain. No added nothing. No thank you. And a mango frappe. No no. No added ice cream. Yes. Thank you.
And then one day you can see no more of the other person. You don't see him/her at all. But you still pretend you don't see( that you don't see ,that is). How long?
I am sorry if I sound world-weary and stuff. I can't help it. How can I go on living with such lies. Again, I really don't see how I could ever live without these lies. It drives me crazy!
One solution, which seems to work somewhat, is to know the lies to be lies and use them to your end. And stick to the minimum. That amounts to a sprinkle here and there of hypocrisy; but being totally aware of it. Still, very often I tend to mix things up.
I guess I will learn with time.
Friday, October 05, 2007
Polytetrafluroethylene to stop that gravy from sticking to the pan.
Polyoxybenzylmethyleglycoanhydride to save you from the burn.
Epoxy polymers to keep that broken joint from falling apart.
Vulcanized non dust erasers. Scrape free erasing. No dust!
Silicone for that sexy plump of an arse.
Polyethelene packets to carry tamarind water.
Polymethyle methacrylate for your coloured lenses.
Polyurethanes for that good night's sleep.
I want to puke. And don't give me that plastic puke bag! Give me a patch of green to paint yellowish white. With people watching. Disgusted.
Can you smile? A real smile? Or just swear? When was the last time?
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Why am I writing this? Just.
I have nothing to prove. Nothing to say. I would not mind you returning a few of my stuff. And the most of it you did not even know you had. You will, may be. Someday. Or I am thinking you will.
What intrigues me is that I feel nothing. Nothing at all.
Like a spell undone. Like the beginning of time. Like the autumn sun on a torn cob web.
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Saturday, September 08, 2007
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Monday, September 03, 2007
I found my sky. It's all shades of grey. I feel my sky opening up to me. The encroachers moving away. Slowly. For good. Not a vibrant one, for sure. But it's mine still.
I want to be a bird in the rainclouds that rumble. Just before it rains. The sky full of silent expectations. A bird soars on the wings of such hopes. No flapping of wings. Just letting the updrifts take you where they want to. Just giving in to the moment. Accepting it. Loving it. And keeping it tucked away somewhere, to be cherished in times to come.
For now, just fly.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
- Tell me, R, what do you want to do when you grow up? What do you dream of?
- I will be a marine engineer.
Pat comes the reply. And before I could ask him anything, he says:
- How much does a marine engineer earn? Papa says a marine engineer can earn lacs of rupees in a month? Really? Is it the highest paid job? How much does he earn really? Five lacs? Ten lacs?...
- But what will you do when you become a marine engineer?
- I will earn a lot of money. I will eat in posh places and relax on the deck all day. I will go places...
I was sad. But I consoled my self saying, he is only a kid. And it's rather mean to judge him based on his words. I am amazed at how many of the people all around me want to be a lot of other things because they want something else that this job or profession will get them. People want to be software engineers not because they passionately love software making, but because they have an idea of the things that this profession brings along. People who want to be actors not because they like acting, but because they want to be rich and famous.
I must make one thing clear here. I have nothing against wanting to be rich or famous or anything at all. But the point is, you should know what you really want to be- an actor? Or famous? You might say, that a good actor will naturally be famous. I disagree. A true actor or a good actor is good because he is passionate about his acting. And not about being famous. One follows the other. But the order is not reversible. Prioritizing is important. And it reflects on your work and life.
Why can I not work solely because I love doing what I do...
There is a lot more I would have liked to say. But I realise that it's getting immensely corny. So I will stop writing here. But i still feel bad about it. I specially hate it when this mediocrity spills into love. I hate it. Anyway.
Monday, August 27, 2007
-Oye, will you be there at my birthday?
-Oops. I've got some work. But let me see if I can squeeze things in a bit so that I must just be able to poke my nose in once during the party. Can't promise though. You know these projec%$#@...bla bla bla.
After all the running around you still have to come home to yourself. You still have to go back to your room and switch off the lights. And you still have to lay sleepless on your bed staring right there in the darkness. Wishing this babel of thoughts would just go away. Like dark magic. Disappear. Into thick air. Yes. The air is thick and syrupy-dark. And sometimes you will think its hard to breath. There must be some law in fluid mechanics that says thick syrupy darkness is harder to inhale. I really wouldn't know.
"Once upon a time there were three little sisters," the Dormouse began in a great hurry," and their names were Elsie, Lacie and Tillie, and they lived at the bottom of a well-"
"What did they live on?" said Alice, who always took a great interest in questions of eating and drinking.
"They lived on treacle," said the Dormouse, after thinking a minute or two.
"They couldn't have done that you know," Alice gently remarked. " They'd have been ill."
"So they were," said the Dormouse, "very ill."
Like I was saying. We need Black Magic. Or wait. Grey Magic is more like it. We all need a Dark Grey magic to get by. Please don't tell me there is no such thing as magic. Let me use my illusions to my end. Literally.
The worse part is, I have even lost my innocence. I know too much to believe that things are not in fact what they seem to be. Hope has lost its wings to fly beyond days or weeks. It flies around and comes back tired and aching. Panting for breath. Flying in a dark syrupy sky is hard, I tell you. It's sticky. It stinks. Like a cute little kitten. Dead and rotten and all. Whiskers in the wind. The pink flesh of the skull made invisible by flies sitting. And licking. I wonder if the kitten feels like waking up and scratching the place. Does it itch? Still? But not all dead kittens have the luxury to be able to scratch their pink, fly-infested, itching skulls.
But the fact remains, all kinds of kittens(dead), cute or otherwise, stink.
All this could boil down to a few simple words. Then again, simplicity is a luxury for me. I just wish I would not have to leave you.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
It's quarter to three,
there's no one in the place
Except you and me
So set 'em' up Joe,
I got a little story
I think you should know
We're drinking my friend,
to the end of a brief episode
Make it one for my baby
And one more for the road
I got the routine, put another nickel
In the machine
Feeling so bad, won't you make the music
Easy and sad
I could tell you a lot, but it's not
In a gentleman's code
Just make it one for my baby
And one more for the road
You'd never know it,
but buddy I'm a kind of poet
And I've got a lot of things I'd like to say
And when I'm gloomy, won't ya listen to me
Till it's talked away
Well, that's how it goes,
and Joe I know your gettin'
Anxious to close
Thanks for the cheer
I hope you didn't mind
My bending your ear
But this torch that I found,
It's gotta be drowned
Or it's soon might explode
Make it one for my baby
And one more for the road
Long, it's so long, winding road ...
Monday, August 13, 2007
2) That I never got this high up on the evolutionary ladder. I miss my shell. I miss the slime that oozed forever. I miss the darkness of the calciferous haven. The cool of it. The isolation. The loneliness. The sacred escapes.
3) That I could be a Star. A Lone Star. That hangs up there, away from everywhere. It doesn't feel giddy at all. It's too far away from everywhere to know that it is, in fact, away. It's loved because its away. Because it's never there. Just.
I am sleepy.
Monday, August 06, 2007
People come and go. While I wait. I don't really. I pretend. I just like the feeling. Of waiting for the bus. Or pretending to wait for a bus. Or pretending to pretend to wait for a bus. I like specially that part when the bus whooshes past me. Leaves me standing. Waiting for another bus. Or thinking that I am. When I am not, really.
And while I stand here, I see all kinds of people. I am surprised most of them don't really like waiting for a bus. They are just here to get the bus. And I figure the buses don't care too much about people waiting for them either.
Some times it will rain for hours. And people take shelter here. All the time worrying about getting late for their parties, offices, dates, dentist's appointments. They hate waiting. And then when the sun comes out, the long road shines like a silver ribbon. It hurts to even look at it. Its beautiful. The road. The ribbon.
Saturday, August 04, 2007
I'm the world you'll never see
I'm the slave you'll never free
I'm the truth you'll never know
I'm the place you'll never go
I'm the sound you'll never hear
I'm the course you'll never steer
I'm the will you'll not destroy
I'm the gin in the gin-soaked boy
I'm the half-truth in the lie
I'm the why not in the why
I'm the last roll of the die
I'm the old school in the tie
I'm the spirit in the sky
I'm the catcher in the rye
I'm the twinkle in her eye
I'm the jeff goldblum in the fly
Who am i?
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
When stars stare on the sly, and wink.
To marvel, that They would know a million year ago
We'd be here. To Think!
To think, that They would wink just in Time.
For us to see.
I wouldn't tell you sweet things to hold on to
But I'd sing a song so Blue
And play the notes, ever so softly
Blacks on whites would flow.
Like you will never know.
The waves would wash away the tune.
And sing it to a sad fish.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
It only shimmers and glistens when you get close.
Only light gets through. You have to be fast. To be allowed.
Other things just stun themselves against it. Like flies.
Then they will make a buzzing noise and spin around in eccentric circles on the floor.
Flies. Eccentric flies.
You press your nose against it. And stand right there.
Pastries. Cookies. Rum-balls. Tarts. Mustard sauce on grilled toasts. Mayonnaise to go with it.
When you are hungry and tired you just run across the street and order an egg roll.
Egg Rolls. Extra sauce. For no extra money.
Even Eggs Roll.
A Rolling Egg gathers no Sauce.
Tell you what? It doesn't have an option.
Friday, July 20, 2007
Sunday, July 15, 2007
Lonestar, where are you, out tonight?
This feeling I'm trying to fight,
It's dark, and I think that I
Would give anything
For you to shine down on me...
Some general pointers in life( Five for now...still to come):-
- Never store Pickles in Aluminium vessels.
- Before you get out of your house, always switch off the lights. It's stupid to pay the electricity bill for people who you can't even see. Or who aren't really there.
- If you have to buy an umbrella, go for a large one. Preferably real.
- Cruise Liners are better options if you really want to travel. Paper boats won't really take you anywhere.
- Shine your shoes before you leave. So that they shine. Avoid looking at them all the time you are walking.
For all the love in the world, give me some lies. Some illusions I can use. I hate running around naked. And horny. All the time.
He will be here. In a year.(Wow, that rhymes perfectly!) Dum dum. Old man. Only, not in a caravan this time. I will be off. Before he does.
New Orleans. Blues, they say, is a woman. Tell you what, that pun hurt.(I would never admit, haha, there!) Like hell, it did!
Oh and before you go, kindly switch off the lights.(Down with filament bulbs, by the way.) And tell him, he won. And I won too. That he can keep the trophy. The trophy goes well with his cushions, I must admit.
I remember, when I was very young, we had this maths teacher in school. I was in nursery then. And we had to complete a certain number of small sums within a given stretch of time. What happened is, I could not finish them in time. I was so afraid and helpless I started crying. I can't tell you how scared I was. The teacher, she came up to me, put her hands in my hair and told me that it didn't really matter. That she would give me extra time. Or even an easier sum. I can't tell you how relieved and overwhelmed I was! I figured that she loved me. A lot. So I went home happy. She gave a me a strip of stone stickers too. I have one still. A star. Blue coloured. In one of my books. It has lost its shine. But it is the star nonetheless. My first gift of love.
Gosh! It's late already. I must sleep now.
Tell me your tale
Was your journey far too long?
Does it seem like I'm looking for an answer
To a question I can't ask
I don't know which way the feather falls
Or if i should blow it to the left
All the voices that are spinnin' around me
Trying to tell me what to say
Can I fly right behind you
And you can take me away
Trina had a hard time framing this picture from across the street. A narrow para gully. Four people standing in a row. She is a greenhorn. Point taken. Still. It's hard.
The bags were packed. The steel flute with its tidy little case. The voice. The smile. The glitter in the eye. All packed up. No Gladstones.
Time is a reckless, rude bike-guy. With long hair. Earrings. Sunglasses. I-don't-give-a-fuck attitude. I will ride over you;what do you know, sonny!
Next year framing pictures will be easier. The year after, only yellow ocher.
You will be missed. All the Best.
Someday, we will stand there together. Like we did. Like we thought we would. Always.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
You are The Sun
Happiness, Content, Joy.
The meanings for the Sun are fairly simple and consistent.
Young, healthy, new, fresh. The brain is working, things that were muddled come clear, everything falls into place, and everything seems to go your way.
The Sun is ruled by the Sun, of course. This is the light that comes after the long dark night, Apollo to the Moon's Diana. A positive card, it promises you your day in the sun. Glory, gain, triumph, pleasure, truth, success. As the moon symbolized inspiration from the unconscious, from dreams, this card symbolizes discoveries made fully consciousness and wide awake. You have an understanding and enjoyment of science and math, beautifully constructed music, carefully reasoned philosophy. It is a card of intellect, clarity of mind, and feelings of youthful energy.
What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Sunday, July 08, 2007
Every night they lose at poker to older
men, who know what to do with their faces.
Life without hopes of a hope is slightly fluffy. And heady. Somewhat like wading through knee deep water with your eyes closed and ears open. To the Big City Noises. If you are reading this now, you probably think I am sad or depressed or even frustrated. Believe me when I say I am not. I am only barely conscious of a reality that does not feel anything like it. You know what I mean? Suppose I played something really corny( which I do anyway) and got a call to the Grammys. And when I go to collect my prize Norah Jones walks up to me and says-I adore you for your musical genius! And before I am out of the daze I get a call from the Nobel academy saying I got the Nobel prize this year for my outstanding innovations in the field of Solid State Physics. This is followed by two years of tours, lectures, felicitations...and that feeling within, that I deserve none of this. That I ought not to have gone through all this. That feeling of wanting to scream. Thinking to yourself if you didn't really deserve a normal life.
I crave for a life with gifts for your goodness. And punishments for your mistakes. Proper punishments.
" We'll have our own house," Ammu said.
" A little house," Rahel said.
"And in our school we'll have classrooms and blackboards," Estha said.
"And real teachers teaching."
"And proper punishments," Rahel said.
This was the stuff their dreams were made of. On the day Estha was Returned. Chalk. Blackboards. Proper punishments.
They didn't ask to be let off lightly. They only asked for punishments that fitted their crimes. Not ones you spent your whole life in, wondering through its maze of shelves.
Lights on the ceiling.
Every inch of it.
On the walls.
On the floor.
I am not much seen. You would easily mistake me for my surroundings. Or the other way round. I am very fluid. I am a lot of things I was. And a lot of things I never will be. I will get into your head. Through your ears. Like an air horn. Your nostrils. Like a dark syrup. Your eyes. Like a bad dream.
The chameleon on the window vanished
without seeming to move. So are we
looking through the chameleon now
as we gaze across the pasture?
Tuesday, July 03, 2007
As are the happy-thoughts
That swarm inside my head
It's only the sickle of the moon
That cuts the chord
And sets the star free
To fall through the darkness
Old dreams lie sleepless
Look at me, and i will tell you why.
Some thoughts are just so happy. They are like under-nourished suburban mastaans with inflated impressions of themselves. They flex muscles. Wear cheap glasses. Dirty yellow T-shirt(the only good one they own) with weirdly fitted trousers( Hip-hugging. Bell-bottoms. With sliver chains). They lean against walls and stand. Just stand. Like that.
Then there are other thoughts. Well-framed. Decent. Crew cut. Well-bred. They have purses well shoved with Plastic cards. All kinds. They wear clear glasses. Striped shirt. Sober jeans. Boot cut.
The fun begins when the suburb guy takes the train to the city. But I am in no mood to be funny right now. So I will not talk about them. I will talk about the beef biryani I had instead. It was so wonderful.This shop. Man I love cows!
I feel weird. Mostly because I don't feel anything at all. So technically, I don't even feel weird. I can't.
Monday, July 02, 2007
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
The Memory is an irritating fly. And heck! I can't find my swatter. I am afraid even to look for it.
I don't know what I am talking about. It's been raining. Sat waiting for a friend on the railings below the Gariahat Flyover the other day. While it poured. Perched with perfect strangers. To my left were two guys having some telebhaja with lebu chaa. You should have seen them as they sipped the tea and took the first puff at their cigarettes. The sheer relish. Two old men sat playing chess. And many stood around them-faces filled with speculations. The cars honked and passed by.
I closed my eyes. And listened. To the pouring rain. To the car screeches. The beeps. The animated conversations. The splashing water. The jilted lover. Listened to my city. To my noisy city. To the City noises. The noise of life. To the pouring rain.
I once went for a swim and it started raining hard. I took a dip and listened. From under the water. The fishes listened too. They looked at me and went away. One even came and pecked me on my leg. Water pouring on water. Its strange. And beautiful.
Fishes have strange eyes. I have an aquarium. I often watch them. I know they can see me. I know they know me to be the one who gives them food everyday. At times, when i put my hands in the tank to clean the glass or remove something, they are never terrified. I can tell that they know I won't hurt them. I know they trust me. Why, I could almost say they love me. But when I stick my nose against the glass and look at them closely, I never know what they think of me. Their eyes have strange expressions. I never know for sure. It's weird to care for your fish everyday and never know whether they give a damn. Or feel guilty that they don't(in case they don't give a damn, that is). And then you start to wonder whether at all you should have a tank. A tank of fishes that don't love you.
And then the clouds rumble. And you think it's going to rain. It does. And you forget everything.
Oh and did I tell you? I will be doing a paper in my final semester.On my findings on flies. Flies hate rains. I swear.
Saturday, June 02, 2007
Friday, May 25, 2007
It was one of those moments when you become truly conscious of your existence. And it struck me suddenly, that you always have a choice.
Whatever comes our way, whatever battle we have raging inside us, we always have a choice. It's the choices that make us who we are, and we can always choose to do what's right.
This realization only makes things harder for me. But I cannot possibly believe in something because it makes things easier. I must know things for what they are. I must.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Tears swelled. I too had cheated him. Disregarded his reality. Made myself my own reality. A reality that is easier to use. Easier to live. Formulated theories to make the simple truth seem less apparent.
I swear I could not look him in the eye.
Friday, May 18, 2007
I am not high.
It has been cloudy since the morning. And gusts of wind sweep in surprising me sometimes. Almost. Like little children. Playing around in the puddled streets. So when you walk by looking at the streets you see parts of the earth at times and parts of the sky at others. As if everything has been torn and scattered around and bits of sky are lying around on the ground. Dark grey streets with smudges of a light grey sky.
And it has been raining playfully. Rather furtively, actually! It is one of those afternoons when I get all dreamy-eyed and stuff. Am listening to Nat King Cole. Love the piano notes that flow ever so softly...rising falling with the trumpets.
Made myself one large glass of coffee. Dark black coffee. Was sitting on my bed sipping coffee, listening to Nat King Cole and studying(yes!) Digital Electronics. And I have to admit that despite all my prejudices I cannot but help love the austere beauty of this subject! The continuous discontinuity. Each moment that stands on its own. Apart. Distinctively independent. Move away farther, and you begin to see the breathtakingly beautiful and harmonious pattern that these severely individual moments go on to create.
Loving each moment for what it is. Not trying to look back nor beyond. And still be in perfect harmony with your self. With the other 'you's from all the other moments.
No grey areas. Zero or One. Be or don't be. Love or don't. Cry or don't. No where in between.
I love myself.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
There's no need for turning back
For all roads lead to where I stand
And I believe I've walked them all
No matter what I may have planned...
We live between conflicts. We are our conflicts. Choices that determine the person we are. Critical, hair-tearing, wool-shearing choices. Weighing of pros against cons. Intuitions. Or the lack of them. And then a choice is made. A choice we know will change our lives for ever. Every choice we've made was an irreversible shift towards the person we are today.
The pangs of the clustered could-have-beens. What-ifs? I-wish-I-hadn'ts. And nightmares of what-will-I-be thinking-of. Fear of the imminent fear. And fear of the fear of the imminent fear. And the carousel swirls around. Slowly. Rising. Falling. Going round. In circles.
When one day, you wake up to see that you have been living your nightmare. That it wasn't really what you thought it was. That nothing really matters. That nothing could really matter much.
There always was only one choice. The one that you chose. Now wait a minute. That means you never had a choice. You had to be what you are. All the other possible alternatives that you thought were, weren't. All the things you believed you could have been couldn't really have been. You merely had illusions of choices. Illusions that are the mother of all our conflicts. All dilemmas. Of all regrets.
Now that's interesting! So, what about all those nights when you scratched your head till the dandruff flakes were all over the place? See?
In this new light, when I come to think of decisions in life, it is a lot less taxing for me. Because I know that I have no choice but to choose the one I will. That all possibilities (except the one that will be) are impossibilties. That does mean you no longer seem to have the power that you believed you had on your life. But it takes away a lot of responsibilities (Yay, I love spiderman movies turned upside down).
Does it mean I believe in destiny? No. Because when you realise that you really can't be convicted for your choices, you can begin to enjoy your life as much as you want(and not as much as you are destined to enjoy, that is).
May I draw an analogy here(I am just being polite.Of course I will. This is MY frigging blog!). I always love band performances better than band competitions. When you are playing for a stage show, you know there is nothing you can win or lose here. So you really lose all your inhibitions and start giving it your best. Living in the moment. Absorbing the madness of the crowd all around you. Trying to give them back more than they would expect. Try to overwhelm them. And the joy of giving all you have without ever expecting anything back is immense. Of course you love it when the crowd starts singing along. But your action itself is its reward here. And everything else is bonus. All the more sweeter because you never expected it in the first place.
When we accept things for what they are, instead of trying to see what they could have been or can be, we free ourselves of all expectations. And start seeing the beauty in them. Start getting suprised by everything around us. It brings back the element of awe that we had once as a child.
Dear Leonard, to look life in the face, always to look life in the face and to know it for what it is. At last, to know it, to love it, for what it is and then to put it away. Leonard, always the years between us, always the years, always the love. Always the hours...
Thursday, May 10, 2007
O Fool, try to carry thyself upon thy own shoulders!(Gitanjali, Fool)
O beggar, to come beg at thy own door!
Leave all thy burdens on his hands who can bear all,
and never look behind in regret.
Thy desire at once puts out the light from the lamp it touches with its breath.
It is unholy---take not thy gifts through its unclean hands.
Accept only what is offered by sacred love.
Don't care enough to not believe in God. And am not ready to take your word for it. If I were to choose my own God, the one that loved me enough to write for me a hundred years ago, the one I know has suffered the same pains that I have, smiled at the same world that I do, I would always choose you. You knew I would.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
she taar apon tobu paye na tahake
I didn't sleep yesterday. I was searching my words. Wiping the dust off them. Looking at them with the eyes of an old lady admiring her marriage crockery. The words that came to me. All the time. I would bring them out at the right time.
And I know better now. Words are a wretched burden. They are. Their sheer uselessness made me angry. Helplessly angry. And the thoughts stared. Like street dogs. When strangers walk by. The strangers wore glasses. And chains around their waists. And they looked around at the streets like the dogs weren't there. Like they did not count. They wagged their tails silently. Disappointed. Trying to draw attention. Like a three year old kid in a teenager's crucial para cricket match team. Unwanted. They wanted to curl their tails up and run away. And so they did.
And to think that I had known this all these years.
Monday, May 07, 2007
Thursday, May 03, 2007
The rain always sets me free. It reminds me of the raindrops. And how much we all are like raindrops. From the soft bed of the clouds they fall. Through the sky. Down. Down. Down.
I am a raindrop. And I fall. Every moment with a growing speed. I fall. For you. To you. On you. It's not the fall that I dread. It is like the inevitable. The unswerving and lone truth.
A raindrop can take a billion possible routes. To the ground.
I wish I could tell you that it was you I was thinking about last night. But then, you would never believe me. I don't blame you.
Who would believe a raindrop?
Monday, April 30, 2007
1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it:
Faint traces of burn marks on the fingers of my right hand. Was in class 9. The day of Diwali. Was making rangmashaals on the terrace. Very badly burnt my hand trying to test a concoction of various powdered chemicals. Was a painful experience to say the least.
P.S. But by the time this (accident) happened I had finished making all the Tubris and Rangmashaals and very heroically lit all the fireworks that I would (had this not happened, that is) ; only this time with my left hand.
2. What is on the walls in your room?
Very boring yellow walls (the colour of the cow's teeth in the Orbit White ad to be precise). 'Wall contents' undergo changes that have nothing to do with the seasonal changes, in general. Currently I have sheets of paper pasted on the wall next to my bed with trigonometric formulaes related to multiple and submultiple angles written. I am supposed to know all of these from Class 12. But then a lot of things never turn out to be like they should. I also have sheets of paper to write down names of random songs, books, quotes, thoughts. Alternatively, I utilize all the glass surfaces on the pictures, my bookshelf,etc to write stuff. The ideas thus written appear to float in the middle of nowhere. Like they should.
3. What does your phone look like?
Like a double horned rhino if you look at it from the left. And a cock-eyed spaniel from the right. Well. Mostly.
4. What music do you listen to?
Jazz. And really old school Blues. Rabindrasangeet. Indian Classical. Norah Jones. I love her.
5. What is your current desktop picture?
A Norah Jones' poster I edited myself. Now here's a secret. My desktop pictures are always Norah Jones' pictures.
6. What do you want more than anything right now?
A Steinway Limited edition Grand Piano. Precisely this.
7. Do you believe in gay marriage?
You mean gay/'happy' marriages? No. I don't.
8. What time were you born?
I was never born. I am. I was. I will be.
9. Are your parents still together?
YES! What was the key word in the question again? Still?
10. What are you listening to?
My sound card driver conked off. I am listening to myself sing, thus. And shuddering. But wait. You just might wish to know what is it that I am singing and subsequently listening to(and sub subsequently shuddering at). It's a song by Ella Fitzgerald.
12. The last person to make you cry?
13. What is your favourite perfume/cologne?
Cool Water. Davidoff. The Smell of wet soil. Before it rains.
14. What kind of hair/eye colour do you like on the opposite sex?
Duh! As if...
15. Do you like pain killers?
No. Why would anyone want to kill pain. Or kill anything for that matter? Just Be!
16. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
No. I am not.
17. Fave pizza topping?
Extra cheese. And salami. And chilly flakes.
18. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
Baked fish. From Amber.
19. Who was the last person you made mad?
My mom. Don't ask how. You already know. They are ever so willing to get mad at you.
20. Is anyone in love with you?
No one I know.
No wait I think this will speak very poorly of me as a person. And make me look like a love lorn loser. So I think I'd better say something like...Well there are a handful. But I couldn't care two boots.
Does that sound better? Yes. Definitely!
HA! I am done. My turn. I tag Shonai, KoYell (I think you are through with your papers,no?), Subhayu (jobless as ever), Dhruva and Tania. Yay!
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Figs, like berries...the greenest and the most wonderful I had seen. They were the colour of the dark leaves of the banyan. And fresh. Unscathed. I could not help thinking about them. She was beautiful too. And she sat with her figs everyday. You would imagine her to be just another vegetable seller. But I had seen her eyes. She sat there just like that. I had never seen anyone buy figs from her. There were occasional drunken brats that would pass lewd comments at her. She would calmly look down and ignore them.
I wanted to buy them figs from her. But I wasn't even sure if she wanted to sell them at all. I thought to myself-'what if she is just sitting there for nothing?' But I knew I had to buy the figs from her. I had been looking for them forever. Days went by.
I finally gathered enough courage to go up to her.
-Excuse me. But are these figs for selling?
-They are.(she did not look up)
It was all that I could ever ask for. I took out the biggest rupee-note that I had.
-Give me all of them, please.
She went on to put them in a packet for me. When she looked up and saw the note in my hand. Her face fell.
-But I don't have so much change on me sir.
-I don't need any change. You don't know how eagerly I have been looking for these all these years.
-You are over-paying sir. It would not be fair of me to accept so much in return of the handful of berries that I have to give you.
-Trust me, I am not. I cannot afford to pay you in cash the value these figs bear to me. Please give me the figs. I cannot give you any less.
-But what if you feel cheated later. What if you come back tomorrow to ask your money back?
-Why would I? Believe me Miss, I will be grateful all my life for these berries. Please.
-No. I can't.
And saying this, she packed her polythene into a bundle and started walking towards the Railway station. Like she did everyday. She went back home with her figs. Perhaps planning to come back one day to sell them to someone who paid her just the price she wanted. Just the worth she thoughts her berries were.
I started walking towards the park. The taste of the figs in my tongue.
P.S. Anuj D says:When the sun started to move around the earth, had it not any idea that the earth would fall in love with it; when the oceans started to wave up & down, had it not any idea that the water would fall in love with it; when the birds started to fly, had it not any idea that the sky would fall in love with it; when the breeze started to flow, had it not any idea that the beach would fall in love with it. When she was born had she not any idea that I will rise in love.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
When afternoons are spent walking in the hot summer sun trying to get to cooler places such as Laddu's sat-tola or Chini's opposite Presidency. When no distance is too long to trudge. No excuse lame enough not to. With a company where being broke never makes you stand out. Where people have a reason but no plan. Where roadside lebu jol and lime cordial pegs cordially cohabit.
Where no one expects you to smell of lavender at the end of a hot sweaty summer sojourn. Where girls can fart fanatically and still get away without being damned and with little or no defamation. These days are kind. These Times are wonderful.
Making your way in the world today
Takes everything you've got;
Taking a break from all your worries
Sure would help a lot.
Wouldn't you like to get away?
All those night when you've got no lights,
The check is in the mail;
And your little angel
Hung the cat up by it's tail;
And your third fiance didn't show;
Roll out of bed, Mr. Coffee's dead;
The morning's looking bright;
And your shrink ran off to Europe,
And didn't even write;
And your husband wants to be a girl;
Be glad there's one place in the world
Where everybody knows your name,
And they're always glad you came;
You want to go where people know,
People are all the same;
You want to go where everybody knows your name.
Saturday, April 07, 2007
( Please click on the play button to listen to the song while you go through the post)
The syrupy darkness of the night ruffles my gelled hair. A touch of a button. The window slides up. Goodbye sticky darkness. Goodbye disordering darkness. It’s silent inside. Serene. A submarine ride for a swim. A space capsule for a free fall.
A hundred Kmph is smooth. Just about do-able. Soppy thoughts can get to you in no time. And before you know they will be making you feel gooey all over. In places you never thought were. A hundred Kmph is just the bare minimum. Huh. Can’t even read the speed limits. Couldn’t care less. I don’t think of you.
Visions of you on a motorcycle drive by,
The cigarette ash flies in your eyes, and you dont mind, you smile,
And say the world doesn’t fit with you.
I don’t believe you, you’re so serene.
Careening through the universe, your axis on a tilt, you’re guiltless and free…
For no reason I can think of I want to slow down. For once. It was one of those usual tiresome loathsome days at the office. Plastic politeness no longer makes me want to puke. The steps of the social ladder are slippery when wet. You better not puke. Or pee. Or cry. When you want to it’s best to excuse yourself to the washroom.
Where’s the soul.
I want to know, New York City’s evil.
The surface is everything, but I could never do that,
Someone would see through that.
And there’s this burning, like there’s always been,
I’ve never been so alone, and I’ve, I’ve never been so alive…
I slide down the windows. It’s breezy. Like a summer evening somewhere up this road. When people had a tough time keeping their hair off their face. Off their dark eyes. People. Just generally. When it felt so good to walk under leafless trees that left only patches of the evening sky to seep through. It felt quite nice. It felt just okay. I mean I am happy now. Very Very happy.
Careening through the universe, your axis on a tilt, you’re guiltless and free,
I hope you take a piece of me with you,
And there’s things Id like to do that you don’t believe in,
I would like to build something, but you’d never see it happen
And there’s this burning…
I stop the car and get out. And sit down on the grass on the roadside. Like I haven’t in a long time. Do people still have a hard time keeping their hair off their faces? And dark eyes? People? Generally?
Where are you? This moment? Are you happy too?
Monday, March 19, 2007
Sad. Took away my last straw.
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
Let me draw an analogy. Let us consider a space(S) with a charged body. We need to know if the body(named say, Fact) is positively charged or negatively charged or neutral. For the electrostatically challenged, similar charges repel, while both a neutral and an oppositely charged body will be attracted towards a charged body. So the only foolproof way of knowing whether the body(Fact) is positively or negatively charged is to carry a test charge(either positive or negative, called Perception) into the space(S). Now:
1) If attraction occurs, the body(Fact) can be either oppositely charged or neutral compared to the test charge(Perception). So we cannot be sure.
2) If repulsion occurs, it(Fact) has to be similarly charged as the test charge.
But the moment the test charge(Perception) enters the space(S) it brings about a change in the electric field of the space(S). But there really is no way of determining qualitatively or quantitatively the nature and magnitude of the charge without bringing in the test charge(Perception), and hence manipulating the field.
So only a perception that is biased(charged) can tell if the Fact is true or not.
Having said that, I unequivocally state that truth is always relative. All the truths that we believe in are relative. We all have our relative reality. And our relative reality is formed by the way we perceive the things around us. Our perception, which is entirely a fruit of social conditioning, is biased. So the reality that we look at is self-made.
I believe in saying what I feel to be true. What i say is definitely not what is absolutely true...it just is my relative truth. But then why would you expect me to say something that is absolutely true? When absolute truth does not exist?
All living people have to be either judgmental or politically correct. Of course what being politically correct means is that instead of stating my relative reality I either stay away from saying anything or try to figure the Root Mean Square of all the individual relative realities( i.e. a convolution or a mean collective reality) and serve it on a platter. A platter so high on general Correlation Coefficient can hardly go wrong. It has the least chance of being contradicted.
So there. I rest my case.
I feel as empty as a drumJust watch you go by. I don't care AT ALL. :)
Don't know why I didn't come
PS: You think I should give up? Does it seem like I am lookin' for an answer to a question I can't ask?
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Meanwhile, THIS is what you should read. All of you.
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
But it didn't matter.
After 20 years , suddenly
I was tired. And I could see
There was nowhere to go.
The day was windy.
The drizzle a silver shimmer.
In the middle of a busy afternoon in Calcutta
I was crossing a road.
I could see it coming, the blue-yellow bus.
(Follow Traffic Rules,it said)
But it didn't matter.
After 20 years , suddenly
I was tired. And I could see
There was nowhere to go.
It was near.Very, very near.
A matter of moments.
And the Wall would be scaled.
A streak of lightning across the grey.
And I saw
That it didn't matter really.
Two choices too eerily congruent.
A few quick steps.
A swearing bus driver.
(boka choda naki shala?, he said)
Casually concerned Calcuttans.
The drizzle grew into a shower.
Got wet today.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
At every step of my life I have been overwhelmed by the love I have had from people I least expected it from. People I thought were inconsequential. And I have wondered. Why squander my feelings on a particular someone(who, incidentally, couldn't care less) instead of giving back to these people what they rightly deserve? There is after all no point in being selfless in love! It's a lot like charitable services. People take them for granted. People should be made to pay for what they get.
Because for us lesser souls, love is an investment. We expect a return. Or we wouldn't be hurt. There would be no jealous zeals otherwise. It's a market out there. And the bargain is on. People are quoting prices, ferrying dreams. It's about how adept you are at packaging and marketing your dreams. Gone are the days when products were brought out in accordance with the demand. Today's trader will create a synthetic demand for his products instead. And there are buyers too. But we will talk about them some other day. Let's end the post on a statutory note for all investors-
Mutual Fund investments are subject to market risks. Please read the offer document carefully before investing.
Saturday, January 20, 2007
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
I just can't keep going along
Making believe nothing's wrong
It's wrong and it's always gonna be
Nothing you did in any way
Nothing you said or didn't say
It's not you, baby it's me
So keep on being long and tall
Keep on talkin with the same ol' drawl
Keep on baby don't you trip and fall over me
The petals of the daisy drop
You love me then, you love me not
You love me not, it's plain to see
Who keeps the fire burning bright
The one who's losing sleep at night
It ain't you, baby it's me
So keep the rose you never brought
Keep that ring that you never bought
It's all my fault, it's all my fantasy
Oh, but I can't give you no more of myself
'Cuz I'm lookin out for somebody else
It ain't you, baby it's me
Oh, but I can't give you no more of myself
'Cuz I'm lookin' out for somebody else
It ain't you, baby it's me
The Little Willies
God I so love the lyrics and the way she sings it...