Sunday, October 28, 2007

October afternoons can surprise you. They have a way of stealing up to you from behind. Cover your eyes with cold hands that smell of long forgotten weeds and wild flowers. It grows dark. You open your eyes to silhouettes. Like school kids in uniforms the color of the night. You hear her soft steps fading into nowhere. The smell floats around still. Reminding you of memories of times to come. Memories that have not been.

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

Use your Illusions

A few things I have been pondering on for quite some time:

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


Poly Vinyl Chloride to carry drinking water.
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


Did I tell you I will not be meeting you again? Yes. I know it doesn't matter to you either. Well, it does matter to me. Which is why I won't.

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.