Friday, November 07, 2008

The trip to Shantiniketan


Gosh, we can not believe it! The trip is finally happening. Here we are on the train (Ganadevata Express), 5 past 6 in the morning and in the golden sun the train is pulling out of the Howrah humdrum. P is trying to hold the window up with her hands since it will not keep open by itself. I , who is sitting next to P, is trying to tell P that it's futile and she need not go through the ordeal and that it's fairly chilly anyway. Next to I is me looking out of the window at the steel sheds along the railway, somewhat blurred in the morning mist...yes, the window lovingly held open by P. Next to me, in the seat next to ours (which is a three seater) is D with that unmistakable happy grin that says Yay!


That P would come with us was quite a last moment decision. I had bumped into her at Ranikuthi while returning home from M's place where I had gone to collect my camera batteries. We were talking and she said, I can go too. I'll confirm once I talk to the parents. You're kidding me, I'd said. Not, she persisted. Anyway, so she had informed me late in the night that she would be joining us for the trip. What a pleasant surprise! For all of us actually. Since Di and M could not come with us owing to an unfortunate event. And even the bald A pulled out at the last moment because of unavoidable office assignments. So, we were all extremely happy that P would be coming with us.(That is not to say that we would not have liked her come with us if the others had not backed out.) We had woken up three in the morning, me, D and P and come to Howrah together. I reached in time too after a lot of adventure. But then I would not be I without the bizarre adventures. We had gotten the tickets and boarded the train. Found comfortable seats too. So, all good.


It's been about half an hour since the train started moving and I can see D dozing off on a grown-ass man's shoulder. The man, in question, is sleeping too, arms crossed. The three of us are taking pictures of one another and of D who seems to be suckling in his sleep. I moves around to capture Dhruva's weird expressions to her satisfaction while I eat chocolate biscuits and cakes. Now P's perseverance gives away and she lets go of the window and goes off to sleep with her head on I's shoulder/the window(alternating). I falls asleep on my shoulders while I, the responsible one stay awake looking out for my dear friends and our luggage. (The discerning reader will realize that the arrangement is not really as bad as I make it out to be and they will know why.)


Now before the reader's mind starts going haywire in wild fancies, and while the others are still asleep, I invite you to come take a look at the luggage we are carrying. I is the tidiest of them all. The Adidas knapsack on her lap is all she is carrying. That includes her huge Nikon D40 and a large water bottle. Both P and D tie for the second place with moderately-sized bags. I am the black sheep with a mammoth bag that holds enough change of clothes for all of us for about a month. But this was not what it was meant to be like. I had initially planned to carry my 2.1 Creative speakers with me. So I had used half of the bag for packing and kept a neat half for the speakers(and the woofer). Just when I had managed to unplug the speakers from the computer and after wiping years of dirt off them was trying to put them into the empty half, the mother entered the room. 3:15 in the morning. Early morning pleasantries later I was desperately tucking clothes and things to fill up the empty half. So, there. Oh and oh wait, I has woken up and is looking dishevelledly around making sure everything is in place and she has not been abandoned on the train.


She says now it's my turn to sleep and I am no one to refuse. I will go to sleep now, but not before I have had shingaras that are been peddled and hawked. I says she can have a bite from mine but she doesn't want any for herself. P is asleep and D says he doesn't eat anything that needs to be chewed in the morning. That figures, me and I chuckled.
I have finished my shingaras and gulped down some water. Now, dear reader, you will excuse me, for I must go sleep for some time while I and D stay awake to watch over me.


To be continued...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Untitled

Is there a word for a happiness that is ever present and continuous? For absolute security and faith? For unquestioned, uninterrupted care? I have this feeling that I have broken on through to the other side of reality. My reality doesn't look real. Yet it's as real as a steel knife through the viscera.

May be the word I am looking for is Peace.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

The Complete Man


The Raymond advertisements have always been one of the classiest on the Indian advertising scene. I, for one, always found the music beautiful. For the ones who might be interested here is an interesting article on the story of The Complete Man.

The music, after some Googling I found out, is a western classical piece called Dreams (specifically Golden Dreams (Träumerei) Op.15 No. 7) by the German Romantic composer Robert Schumann. Try listening to the original piano composition.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Yes!

My computer had not been working for almost a month. Got it fixed today. Good wishes of the lovely season to all :) Will be back.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Growing Up

I remember the times when you are in the state of indulgent consciousness of a dream. Actually, I remember that first moment in your dream when you realise in the serenity that sleep grants you, that this is just a dream. Oh, to imagine the absolute vulnerablility and the delicate transitions of that instant in time! I cannot say for sure and I don't know if you will agree, but I have always thought I like the few moments of torment that follow, sweeter; the moments that mark the walk away from the dream.

What makes them sweeter? What seperates our perceptions on either sides of the moment? The consciousness? Yes. The antagonistic play of intentions. When you are preparing to let go. Not wanting to. Sad that the dream will not go on. Relieved that you will go back to reality. However that is. Somewhat stupified at having believed so intently in something. Amazed by the brittleness of what appeared perfectly logical and real to you on the otherside of that moment. That one deciding moment. That one waking moment. That one fleeting moment.

I was walking the walks I walk everyday. Then I noticed it first. And no matter how much I pondered I could not find that one moment, that one day, that one incident that marked this remarkable shift in who I am. Or at least who I believed I was. Had been. Where was I when I first realised that nothing really matters? That nothing could possibly matter much? That everything will come to an end? And a lot more many things will spring from absolutely nowhere? Was I passing the middle aged panwallah with gory lips when it happened? Was I asleep? Where was I when I metamorphed? Then again, metamorph is a term that clearly indicates a positive development. Growth. I am not entirely certain it is the word I ought to be using.

When was it that happiness almost always started coming with an internal dis-association, or a conscious effort of it? When you start almost looking at yourself like an old man looking at a gleeful kid and smiling to his self? When all things that ought to have made you sad come with their very own world-wary gurdian angel? Worst, you trust him implicitly. You know he is right when he says it won't really matter. That nothing matters much. In the end. When was it that you stopped screaming out like a mad man at such guiding spirits? Telling Him you don't bloody care! That you want what you want? When did you settle in the numbing soothingness of wise serenity?

I try looking for that one moment. Just in case.


Saturday, September 20, 2008

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Mithya



This is not Bollywood. It's cinema at its best. Hats off to Rajat Kapoor. Definitely the best Hindi movie I have seen.

You can make it! bla

WARNING: THIS POST IS FULL OF PERSONAL OPINIONS THAT YOU MIGHT FIND EXTREMELY EGOISTIC AND DISTURBING. YOU WILL FEEL LIKE I HAVE NO RIGHT TO JUDGE PEOPLE LIKE THIS. BUT THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I THINK. THIS IS WHO I AM. AT LEAST I AM BEING HONEST.


 There's one good thing about me(among a million others), I think before I do/say anything. Only, I am very fast in my thinking process. So, most people will take me to be impulsive. If you still recall the force versus time graph and the area-under-the-curve thing it will be easier for you to get my point. I am consistently/continuously impulsive.


I am impatient only when I know something is not worth it. For, know this for sure, I have traced in the series of events a pattern that so closely matches many other templates in my head, that I immediately know what lies ahead. It's more of mathematical induction customized to a somewhat wider (and grimmer) event space.
I notice patterns in things very easily. That is not to say I generalize. I don't. Not here. My inductions are tailored based specifically on my past interactions with the person concerned. These interactions are not considered independent of the situations/circumstances in which they took place. So, you could say I have, at least to my belief, a fair and logical way of judging people and weighing out to them what they deserve to be rationed.


You will notice that this system cannot work when I meet someone new. I have no previous data concerning that individual. In these cases I use a very wide band band-pass filter. This is the only stage where I do generalize people to an extent, to weed out the absolute scum. (Yes, you may insist that they are different people, and not necessarily scum, but i don't care.) I am almost never wrong in this part. Generalization isn't always very bad, I have come to see. There are some traits that I simply will not stand. 


If the person concerned passes this first filter, I put him/her into the observation stage. This can range from one day to several months depending on how dubious or dynamic the characters are. Now they start developing a space for themselves as individuals and I stop referring to templates when I look at them. I keep taking mental notes, sometimes sub-conscious. 
Now there are some people I trust and rely on completely. Implicitly. In fact they might not even have to undergo the stages mentioned earlier. These are very very few people. There may be some that I don't see in months. Then there are some I see almost every other day. When it comes to these people, I never ever judge them and I will forgive them no matter what they do to me. I may not forgive them for what they do to others however.
If you have had the patience to read this far, I must tell you, it's not at all as elaborate as it sounds. It's so organized and fast that you will think I am acting on impulse. And in case you have jumped to this part looking for something less taxing on the brains, I suggest you skip this post. I promise not to hate you for it.
There are two things I look for in a person. 
  1. How passionate is s/he about something/anything that she/he loves. How far will s/he go for it. It may be music, it may be physics, it may be photography, it may be another person, it may be just walking.
  2. How consistent is s/he about her/his passion. Can she/he love it day in day out? So much that s/he will never get tired of it? So much that s/he could take on the world for it?
  3. How does the person treat a person/thing that can be of no consequence to her/him ever?

I do not like people who get bored of things easily. Boredom is not necessarily a bad thing. There can be subtle joys in it. For me, life's greatest joy and mystery is monotony, boredom. It strings moments together to make one life. When one looks for changes and avenues because one is bored, it is a sign of lack of empathy. An inner emptiness. I am not against change. I love changes. But a love for change that springs from boredom is a symptom of an ailing mind. An escapist soul.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Picasa 3

The new Picasa 3 is absolutely stunning. What's more, the Picasa Web Albums now have automatic face detection with tagging! You will freak out if you see how it detects people from your photo and names them!

If you are outside of the U.S. and would like to download 
Picasa 3 in English, you can do so from http://dl.google.com/picasa/picasa3-setup.exe 

The Future is Here and all that


I don't know how many people see the significance of this. But this is what I feel: Chrome is going to change the world for ever. If you think that's simply because I am a mad fan of Google, you are nuts. Go use it!
http://www.google.com/chrome/

Then again, whoever thought of releasing something as mammoth as this using a webcomic?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Blue Ribbons in the Wind

I could not help it. Had never been more impatient. More mindlessly impulsive. I fucked up alright. Acted like a selfish bastard. If you are reading this, know that I am sorry.

Know that you made me proud.

But for that rush of blood to the head, I would have been a part of all the celebrations I'd thought of.

Or may be it's true. May be I am only a selfish loser. I don't quite like myself these days.

A Walk to remember it was. The Scientist. And She.

Or that day I ran after the taxi. Chocolates in my bag. Stuffed potato in my head. Small ears. And an obscenely large moon. That is how I'll remember you.

Button the shirt na! :)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Prudence

The problem with me is I simply fail to lose faith. I believe. I virtually go through things unchanged. With a better understanding of things. Yes. But I never stop from doing things the way I normally would. Just because I'm wiser or because I'd know better.

I make no sense.

P.S.

I never thought I'd miss you as much. Yes. You. Let for once, just once, let things go right. Just for the fun of it. Or for the utter monotony of debacles. So that things are not as predictable. Wouldn't it be fun? If for once things worked out so well?


Luck be a Lady tonight! :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Sleep Well

I was having sleepless nights. I needed it. Desperately. Went to the local corner store. Bought myself one luscious red pack that said: Deep Reach. Extra Large.

You guessed it right. Mortein mosquito coils. I sleep well these days.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Mediocrity

Why do we shrink from absolute honesty, from absolute love, from absolute perfection? Why are we put off by excellence? Because excellence demands excellence. Perfection demands perfection. Honesty demands honesty.

It's easier for us to love things that are imperfect. Closer to imperfection. Because we do not have too much to live up to. We love them hoping that even our imperfections will be overlooked in a silent mutual forgiving.

And in these secret escapes Mediocrity is born. Don't we find it so much easier, comfortable being around people who are mediocre, almost entirely honest, somewhat talented, fairly hardworking? In fact we will mostly end up having a pretty good time with them.

It's almost always more difficult to handle people who are very nice, honest, infallible, true to their word, totally in control of their selves. Even when they don't say anything we know in our wicked little minds that they are better. That neither do we have the will nor the patience to live up to them. We are ill-at-ease, worried that we will end up doing or saying something that will make the differences very apparent. Too apparent to ignore.

Then of course, there really is nothing that is too apparent to ignore.

We keep fretting about so many problems. In our personal lives, society. We say we are trying to work towards making things better. True. Exactly true. We always work towards making it better. We do not really want to solve the problem in its entirety. We would miss the satiety, the satisfaction that this Saviour image of ours grants us. When there is no problem there need not be a Saviour, or a solution seeker. We need our time of glory. Even if it is only inside our minds.

Blank Noise Spectators' Special (Till 15 August)

The public on the street comprises of those who 'experience' street sexual harassment, i.e. the survivors; those who cause street sexual harassment i.e the perpetrators and those who witness street sexual harassment i.e the spectators

Our very own stat counter on the right hand bar of the page says that 22% of the Blank Noise blog visitors are spectators.  Now its your turn to speak!

Most cases of street sexual violence go unnoticed because they are intangible , can be doubted as 'accidental brush/ touch' ( strictly in the Indian context). More often than not the survivor feels embarrassment  and shame for being sexually violated and does not wish to draw further attention. Some survivors of street sexual violence don't seek public support because of the fear that 'the public' may not always show support, act indifferent, or be one more face in the crowd watching the scene.

Blank Noise Spectators Special asks members of the public, both men and women to share what they witnessed. What was your first reaction? Was it to intervene? Was it to ignore? What did you do? What would you rather have done? Can you share your thoughts about being a spectator. If you have been a 'special spectator' , that is, intervened in the situation, please tell us how! Was it with wit and humor? Or did physically assault the 'perpetrator'? Did you walk away? Or call the cops? Or gather a crowd? Or see another spectator take charge of the situation and participate in any way.

To participate in this online event please register by emailing us at blurtblanknoise at gmail dot com subject titled Blank Noise Spectators Special.  Link this post to your blog, and send in your blog address. We will add you to the list below.  Deadline for your post on being a spectator is August 15th.  

IF YOU DO NOT HAVE A BLOG: no problem. what matters is your point of view. Register with us via email anyways. We will publish your ideas on the Blank Noise blog on Aug 15.

This event hopes to be one in the series of events planned in bringing together 'survivors'(http://blanknoiseactionheroes.blogspot.com), 'perpetrators' (male only event coming soon) and 'spectators'.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Blank Noise Team

Friday, July 04, 2008

Bad times. Bad times. Not so good times. Hardly the best times. Oh well. Life is good. It's all good. And even this shall pass.

To make way for other not so good things. He he.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Special

Mad people are just plain sad people. In fact, we could do away with one of the words. Their madness is the only escape from their sadness. So much that they almost become it.

Just when everything is about to be perfect and beautiful, just when things seem so unrealistically right, just when every single block seems to fall in place, life becomes unbearable. Just in time.

To remind you. It's the same life you lived. What were you thinking little boy?

It's nice to be special. It would seem. Turns out, it's not, always. Special kids have predictably special needs. They are always loved a little more than others. Put on a pedestal exactly 73 feet high.

Sometimes, these kids, will just want to come down and play. It's difficult to tell from down here what they really want. So they'll just wail in the sky. People below will look up at them and smile. Nice kids. Nice kids. Always loved. Always there.

I could sit by a pond all my life. And look at the ripples that shine and dance on the street lights as they go by. The street lights, visibly stirred, just lie there. Like street lights should. The ripples shine as they go.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Man on the Pink Moon

Why leave me hanging on a star
When you deem me so high?

And why leave me sailing in a sea
When you hear me so clear?

-Nick Drake.

(If you haven't heard him, do. Now. Before something happens to you and you die not listening to him ever and regret it for the rest of your death)

If Life were a Play I'd be the Classic Fool. Time after Time. I never seem to get tired of this character. Like I have a choice :)

Bless the Rain that pours. Bless the Wind that caresses. Bless the Night that lets you hide.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Harvest

When my fingers sink into your soft being of rainbow colored dreams.
There are knowings suspended from nowhere.
Like dead babies with crinkled fingers in a formalin jar.
Like gloom.
The room in my head
That swells with dehiscent whims.
Waiting to burst open
Paint you a purple gooey blue
When you are not looking.

Thursday, May 29, 2008





I want you to know
one thing.


You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.


Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Pablo Neruda

Monday, May 26, 2008

Rain

There’s something very reassuring about rainy evenings. About rain. It sort of gives me a sense of belonging. Weaves the bits and pieces of confused happenings together to give it a sense of continuity. As long as it rains like this, I know it’s the same life I lived. Loved. Live. Love. No matter what. Life for me is lived from one rainy evening to another. To think that it will always rain like this, no matter where we are, what we are doing, how we are in life! Will you not stare out of your office window one evening when it rains like this? Will you not think of the vapour-lamp lit streets in the rains? Of addas? Of random getting-caught-in-the-rains? Will it not make you smile, inside. Once? No matter where you are, will it not feel like home? To know that it’s the same rain that got you soggy on your way back home from some lousy tuition after school? Everytime I get wet in the rain, it gives me sanity to go on. Knowing, that there’s one thing that has been. Will be. That was, even when I wasn’t there to admire it. Love it. There’s something very reassuring about rainy evenings. About rain.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

To Summer

It will not be very often when you'll remember a summer. Summers are dull moths. Dusty beige. No wing flapping. Graceless flights. Odor De-odor-ized. In countries like ours, and a city like Calcutta, Summer is the black sheep of the family.

Not loved. Not talked about. Not looked forward to.

And when winter, the sister married in New York, comes calling for her yearly trip (complaining all the while about the rising prices of Business Class fares and troubles of maintaining the Penthouse), summer goes back in to his small study in the attic... and reclines on the old squeaky armchair with a Neruda on his chest. The air fills with gasps and excitement as the gifts come out one by one. Binocular for her nephew and MP3 players(stacked with Ali Akbar) for the baba. The 'I love NY's...


'And it was at that age ... Poetry arrived
in search of me. I don't know, I don't know where
it came from, from winter or a river.
I don't know how or when,
no they were not voices, they were not
words, nor silence,
but from a street I was summoned,
from the branches of night,
abruptly from the others,
among violent fires
or returning alone,
there I was without a face
and it touched me..'

It will not be very often when you'll remember a Summer. Only this time, I will.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

* awestruck *

"
And love is just a four-letter word and
so is fuck and so is fool how far
did you believe in those stories they
told you as a kid what
is it that makes you sleep now?

"

The woman is brilliant, isn't she? :)

Friday, May 09, 2008

Painted

Give me colors all shades of Blue

And a Red You wouldn’t mind

And I’d be the man

Chocolate brown on a bamboo ladder

So high up in the sky painting

Your skies the darkest shades of a grey blue.

Or that evening at the bridge of sighs

When the dust rose in the storm

When the dark waters swelled like bloated dreams

White crown like the toothpaste foam

On your lips the morning after Saturday night

Shared a mirror, we.

I could paint them all in Blue.

Then at night when the world would sleep

And make love and blow and cry

I’d climb inside my painted dreams

Into the swirling sky; that night

When the dust rose in the storm

When the dark waters swelled like bloated dreams

White crown like the toothpaste foam

On your lips the morning after a night

Shared a mirror, we.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

To my God...from my God

















My desires are many and my cry is pitiful,

but ever didst thou save me by hard refusals;

and this strong mercy has been wrought into my life through and through.

Day by day thou art making me worthy of the simple,

great gifts that thou gavest to me unasked---this sky and the light, this body and the

life and the mind---saving me from perils of overmuch desire.

There are times when I languidly linger

and times when I awaken and hurry in search of my goal;

but cruelly thou hidest thyself from before me.

Day by day thou art making me worthy of thy full acceptance by

refusing me ever and anon, saving me from perils of weak, uncertain desire.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Re-Call

Everybody's Free
(to wear sunscreen)
Mary Schmich
Chicago Tribune

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of '97... wear sunscreen.

If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be IT.

The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience.

I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded. But trust me, in 20 years you'll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can't grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked.

You are NOT as fat as you imagine.

Don't worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum. The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind; the kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing every day that scares you.

Sing.

Don't be reckless with other people's hearts, don't put up with people who are reckless with yours.

Floss.

Don't waste your time on jealousy; sometimes you're ahead, sometimes you're behind. The race is long, and in the end, it's only with yourself.

Remember compliments you receive, forget the insults; if you succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.

Stretch.

Don't feel guilty if you don't know what you want to do with your life. The most interesting people I know didn't know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don't.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you'll miss them when they're gone.

Maybe you'll marry, maybe you won't, maybe you'll have children, maybe you won't, maybe you'll divorce at 40, maybe you'll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary. Whatever you do, don't congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself, either. Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else's. Enjoy your body, use it every way you can. Don't be afraid of it, or what other people think of it, it's the greatest instrument you'll ever own.

Dance. Even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don't follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they'll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings; they are your best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on. Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography in lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard; live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.

Travel.

Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will philander, you too will get old, and when you do you'll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don't expect anyone else to support you. Maybe you have a trust fund, maybe you'll have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don't mess too much with your hair, or by the time you're 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it's worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Warning: Mush Ahead!

‘What is love but care?’ said a friend once. A bald one at that. I have wondered ever since. Pondered. During those hours alone on the terrace. In the acoustic chaos of power cuts. While sipping steaming chicken and crab soup on rainy evenings. On auto rides when her hair caressed my face, the smell of her perfume filling the entirety of the moment. Of the space.

What is love but care?

Care to look. To see. To wonder. To notice that little tentacle of hair that waves in the wind and seems to have a mind of its own? Isn’t that love?

Care to remember things about someone. Care to tell someone they are wonderful?

That phone-call every time it rains? Is that not care? Is that not love?

On those evening-walks in the drizzle when the city is a beautiful blur, when every breath is breathed in the true consciousness and fulfillment of breathing. When you look around and say to yourself, how will I ever leave you?

The butterfly that sneaked into your room at night? You gently hold it by the wing, awestruck by the incredible mystery that a being so beautiful would exist, and cautiously let it out through the window. What is love but care?

That phone call after the fight, when you feel utterly miserable for being as nasty as you had been?

It is care that makes you hold her close even after Mr. Big O has come and gone. And we come back to the original question. ‘What is love but care?’

Love is care.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Singing in the Rain

Have been very very happy for the past week. Mostly because it's rained almost everyday in the afternoon. And for a host of other reasons that include (but are not limited to)
  • airy and cool metro vestibules.
  • kosha mangso and porota at Golbari.
  • quite a few long and nice walks.
  • a realization that happiness comes in tetra packs of pulpy mango juices with extra plastic glasses.
  • waiting for a weekend trip to Shantiniketan.
  • a beautiful musical rainy evening at a friend's place.
  • rose syrup, cheese dosa and coolfi at Rallies.
  • a super girl with a beautiful smile.
It's raining as I write this. I am stuck at home. And I am not complaining. 'Cuz I'm never gonna stop the rain by complaining...' :)

Oh and here's a picture I took just now. Nothing brilliant. But just for keepsake and fond remembrances.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

The Magic Man

It was one of those days when you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, looking for water. Just one of those days. They had fountains of Coke and Long Islands. And all you wanted was plain water. Hold the glass against the sky and the sun would shine through.

It was one of those days when it rained. He ran like they did back in Bedlam. A tongue waggling in the air. It rained all day. He sat down happy when the drizzle had died down. More thirsty than ever. Smiling.

For years he would play in the sand. Suddenly looking up from his games at the sky. Then, sometimes, he would break into smiles. Clear streams of diamonds would shine like tears in the sun.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Question : What do you gift a Tramp?

When I walk in to that old bar in New Orleans some day, I'll love to say-

-Just, the regulars.

There's something about things that are mundanely regular that overpowers the seductive and somewhat intellectual call of Novelty.

Give me things that are usual. Give me things that smell of the old poetry book under the geography text in the summer afternoons. Of John Denver and Scarborough Fair. Of Sunday piano lessons and 'You and I'. Of Norah Jones.

Because I am sick of all things that are surreal and transcending. Don't give me something too divine and rare. I never know what to do with them.

Give me something I can touch. Feel. Something that will break when it falls. So I will be careful when I hold it. Something that needs to be watered to make it grow. Something that dies when taken out of water. Something I can cling to when I'm lonely and down.

And for heaven's sake don't give me things I'm never sure I possess.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Loved. A Little Less.

They threw away the last bowl of payesh she'd ever cook. The soft sarees neatly hung on the wooden aalna smelled of winter afternoons in the sun. Of dried mango pickles. Of jowan and paan. Of crispy Lobongo lotikas.

As she burned on the banks of Ajay, a gaping darkness stared into the eyes of an old man. The couple on the wall smiled. He smiled back. She did too. (Like they had, fifty years back to the hooded camera.)

Only her smile bellowed in whiskers of smoke that drifted across the river.

The little goat she fed every afternoon stood motionless at the bamboo gate. Its head tilted. Searching eyes. Long after, it went its way.

It's difficult to sleep when the person who loved you the most burns brightly in the cold. In the drizzling rain.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

For a friend

A poem by Veronica Shoffstall:


After a while you learn
the subtle difference between
holding a hand and chaining a soul
and you learn
that love doesn't mean leaning
and company doesn't mean security.
You begin to learn
that kisses aren't contracts
And presents aren't promises.
And you begin to accept your defeats
with your head up and your eyes ahead
with the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child
and you learn
to build all your roads on today.
because tomorrow's ground is
too uncertain for plans
and futures have a way of falling down
in mid-flight.
After a while you learn
that even sunshine burns
if you get too much
So you plant your own garden
and decorate your own soul
instead of waiting for someone
to bring you flowers
And you learn you really can endure
You really are strong.
You really do have worth
and you learn
and you learn
with every goodbye, you learn...

Friday, February 01, 2008

Love Actually

There are friends who will tell me I need to find a girl and fall in love (not necessarily in that order). There are still others who insist that my skills at doing absolutely useless things need to be put to good use. Such as the upkeep and well being of a lovely lady. People at a point of time almost convinced me that I keep myself occupied in all sorts of things to overcome the inconceivable emptiness that looms in my life. They had the solution, of course.

‘Get into a relationship! You will no longer need to do all the things you do.’

I do the few things I do because

a) I really love doing them.

b) It’s better than fooling around doing nothing.

Now it’s impossible to put it in a way less cornier, but I believe in what I do and I believe that I can make a difference.

I love a lot of people. A lot of things. And all that makes me the person I am. It’s just that I have never really found someone who would understand me somewhat. I hate to say this, but my standards too are pretty high. It’s convenient that way.

Some people have lame relationships. Okay, let’s put it this way: Some intelligent people I know go around with freaking stupid people. People I would not normally consider talking to. You would say they just have a very different way of looking at life. But I am a snob who thinks they are stupid people. They have this one common defense.

‘You know, he/she is very honest.’

As if honesty was an excuse enough to make up for their uselessness. And for crying out loud, if honesty and looks were the only deciding factor, I would marry a Labrador. Anyday.

Ah, that reminds me. I love animals too. All kinds.

I forgive them. I realize they are just keen in the general perpetuation of the human race. It’s nature’s invisible force at play. Poking me at all the right places.

This post is full of spite and sarcasms and things you would not find anywhere on my blog. But it’s just a word of caution to all the people who have been bugging me. I love being what I am. I cannot think like you do. I do not understand the way you look at life, love. If anyone who has known me thinks I have loved them any less than they deserved, I will remove this post and write out an apology.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Twenty Tens. One unit.

When you go out to see the world
Remember me.
And all the things I wanted to see.
Think of all the afternoons
In the Sun that was.
Of Dreams I dreamed for you.


The Stony Way to the Castle of Edinborough.
The Wooden House in Kentucky.
The Sheep farmer's Limousine in the Land of the Upside Downers.
The Twig Armchair an afternoon in the golden Savannah.
The smoking sac of Boiled Potato in the hot springs at Hem Kund.


And when you're at your cuppa that foggy morning at Dharamshala
Think of me.
How they wouldn't let me have tea,
Because they thought I was too small for such luxuries.


Cherish all the things you have, I didn't.
And know that you were loved
All the Time. That was.
That will be.


Think of all the times I didn't know that I'd be you.
(Am glad how things turned out.)
Oh! And a Happy Birthday too!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Inter View

The small booklet. Navy Blue cover with the Shining Fonts. Aptitude classes. Ironed formals. Codes. Where-do-you-see-yourself-five-years-from-now shit. Profiles. Packages. Trainings. Projects. Challenges.

Hey, Mister! When you ask me of my strengths, will you like it if I said I can walk really long distances, alone? In the Calcutta mist? Even when the roads are all empty and street dogs bark loud? That I can sit on broken stairs of old houses by the street and stare for hours together? Or that I can always find my way to all the shabby eateries that smell of wet cement, of so many things that I am never really sure of. Can I tell you about that tea shop we always go to? It's so much fun, you know!

Will I tell you that my only weakness is this city I have grown to love?

Friday, January 11, 2008

In other noos:

You must check this out! Must!

Egg on your face-blah!

The noos channels and dailies are flooded with noos of the much awaited Tata eklakhiya car. The car, I must say looks very impressive, specially if you consider the price it's being rolled out for. Being somebody who's always taken a keen interest in tech-talks and one who aspires to be a part of the tech world in a couple of years, I cannot but feel the excitement at the Tatas having done something that is worth every bit of the attention. Specifically because this lives up to the motto of technology, and science in general, of bringing the privileges of a handful to the millions.

But, I also see, and foresee, a muted, almost furtive propaganda by segments of the media and political/business honchos of making this success(strictly technological) look like a win over the activists who had been rallying against the land acquisitions in Singur. There will be attempts to make the protesting people look like asses with no foresight whatsoever and egg on their faces.

And here, I have a couple of points to make.
One. The Tata eklakhiya car project is absolutely brilliant. Hats off to their perseverance!
Two. The Singur land acquisitions were illegal and inhuman. The Marxist mask turned transparent as the ruthless, power-lusty reality shone through.

The Singur incident could have involved any other company. It's only incidental that the Tata eklakhiya car factory was to come up there. What happened in the name of land acquisition was a classic example of putting the cart before the horse, with absolutely no planning whatsoever on the part of the government. People were rendered homeless, jobless.

There must be a million papers on how integrally paddy cultivation is related to the life and society of the farmers in India. Making car factory labourers out of farmers cannot be made to look any better than it is. It's plain pathetic. I doubt there might be any Bengalis here who hasn't read Mohesh (Sarat Chandra Chattopadhyay). The story basically talks about how Gofur is converted from a farmer to a human resource, a labourer to an industrial world. The implications of such a conversion are not only economic. And I am sure most people out there, taking decisions, know this a lot better than I do. And there in lies the grotesque tragedy.

Of course, this has absolutely nothing to do with the Tatas! Or the car project. It would be stupid to look at the car as a victory against the evil forces of Bhoomiuchhed Rokkha Committee, or Mamata Banerjee, or the anti-SEZ activists. It means so much more than that, really.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Ponderfruit


Evenings.
Walking backs.
Red Indicators to Jazzy trombone.
Here. There. Pointingnowhere.
Misty fare.
The long way home.

Wish we'd left it where
I could think of you and smile.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Safe Mode

Ah. My computer is finally up and running. Got some really cool geek stuff inside the cabinet now. The year has just started out and the tramp will be kind enough not to bother you with details of the very very exciting(and much needed) hardware upgrade.

As the last year drew to a close, I realised how simplified my life has become. That is, if you don't count such grave complications such as my camera batteries running out every two days and had to be replaced by costly Duracells everytime. And since I cannot take less than 200 photos a day I underwent bouts of depression and hypertension.

It was only then that I realised that I was not going to carry this horror to the next year. So I went and got myself two pairs of good rechargeables and a charger. The year starts out with a computer upgrade. So, basically my life has no problem whatsoever. All I do is eat, take photos, write, sing songs, make music when I can and walk.

I feel kind of primitive saying all this. Very crude in a way. I almost feel gulity to be running in what Mr. Gates would call a Safe Mode With Networking. Huh! Like I care two boots!

Season's greetings to everyone. Walk on. :)
On that note here's a picture for you. And Calcutta.