Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Ribbon streamers and Maharani

Some people, places and days are near perfect.
I took a near-perfect interview and a near-perfect walk. There's this near-perfect road bend where you get a near-perfect cup of tea. I attended a near-perfect aerobic session and walked another near-perfect mile.
Then i met some near-perfect people with near perfect dreams. We ate some near perfect muri and talked about this...these near-perfect dreams. And oddly enough...once we started walking away...something followed, like a determined mongrel that wouldnt be shooed of. And made itself at home in the little space between us, that wouldnt be enough for a person. And stayed put. While we walked on terribly conscious of this stubborn pup and yet oddly comforted by it, talking on as our near-perfect future rose like mist over our far-from-perfect present.

I bought a wedding gift, but i wish i could keep it.
And this wonderful, wonderful old man i met today from whom i bough a scrap of ribbon, upturned his tiny shop to search for a bit of cardboard i could wrap my gift in. And then he went all the way and wrapped it for me with a lot of enthusiasm "thik kore dhor. arre, oi deek ta dekhbi toh, beke jachhe, dara dara, ami korchhi" Oh, and did i mention? He has never seen me before today, and probably never will again? And at the end of the whole thing, he charged me Rs 2, for the ribbon. And threw in a huge grin as well. Gratis.
I...wish i could remember all the things i've been told that i want to remember. Sometimes the words return and crawl underneath my scalp, ever so lightly, so that you just know they are there, but you dont know what they are or who said them.
And when you have a series of near-perfect moments, like today, you come this close to thinking that its all going to be okay, perhaps. There shall be more nice music, and nice roadways and nice cups of tea. And there will be near-perfect people too. Just when you least expect them. If only one could teach the old dog some new tricks. But then, we all need our own security blankets, no?

Saturday, November 10, 2007

You know that very bollywood scene, where the hero and heroine turn their backs to each other and walk out of the scene, and then the hero turns back and sees her walking away so he shakes his head and turns around, and just then she turns around and sees him walking away, so she wipes away an imaginary tear and walks out too?
Sooo filmi, no?
I think I'm going to pass out laughing. Or crying. I wish I knew which.
Listen to A Bittersweet Symphony.
Ti ti ti-ti ti ti-ti ti ti ti ti ti.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

In defense of chick-lit.

Laurie: I have loved you since the moment I clamped eyes on you. What could be more reasonable than to marry you?
Jo : We'd kill each other.
Laurie: Nonsense!
Jo : Neither of us can keep our temper-...
Laurie: I can, unless provoked.
Jo : We're both stupidly stubborn, especially you. We'd only quarrel!
Laurie: I wouldn't!
Jo : You can't even propose without quarreling.

I always knew that Jo should have refused Laurie. Even though he's perfect. The thing is that she is not. I was just surprised that she had the foresight to realize it.

Friedrich Bhaer...sigh...where are you?

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Of little stories in between

Sometimes, when you’re least aware of it, you look back at the people you knew since the beginning of forever, only to realize how much you’ve painted them in rainbow colours to suit your own rainy day purposes. I once knew a little boy, wide eyed and sharp tongued. He wrote a little story everyday—the same story, very episodic, where he always played the hero. Occasionally I featured in it too, always a small subsidiary sub plot character, never important enough to turn the tide. I don’t think he ever stopped to consider me as a real character, or gave it a second thought whether I was in it or not. It meant something to me though, to see my name in one, after several dry chapters. Not a great, earth-shattering deal, but something, nevertheless.
Pretty soon, we went our separate ways. He moved along to change the world, or something equally important as that. Before leaving, he gave me a bunch of scrap paper filled with incomprehensible doodles. I took it, feeling terribly important, certain that they meant ‘something’. At the lonely, deserted station with its early morning smells, I saw his lean self bent almost double with the weight of his faithful red rucksack, walking towards the train, and out of my little coloured world, without a second look behind. My eyes shone with the possibilities he was capable of. I don’t think he could even remember if I wore glasses or not.

His crumpled parting gift was lost in transit when I changed houses. And so were his memories and curious stories as I flitted in and out of unsatisfied lives and people. I learnt singing and took up pottery. I met somebody amazing and lost him in transit too. I gave piano lessons to the girl next door and learned how to bake the most perfect carrot and cheese cake. Occasionally, and never to deeply, I allowed myself to ponder over roads not taken, and dreams not fulfilled. A little self-pity, a little self-loathing, a little looking back. I thought of all the people I used to know, and wondered if they were worse or better off than I was. All the crazy men and women with music in their laughs and stars in their eyes.
Sometimes when it rained and the world and its neighbour refused to open their doors, I ran along the sidewalk, counting every alternate square, until I reached a hundred. I was content that I had nothing to complain about—no immediate financial worries, the occasional date, the occasional music concert, a monthly visit to the parents, and life seemed to be in order. Thunder and lightning had never quite been my style.
At the cafe, on my way to work, I met a stranger scribbling away furiously on crumpled, ink stained tissue paper. I stopped to talk, because even years of saving the world hadn’t taken away the child like determination from his eyes. He accepted my coffee but refused my muffin. He said, he couldn’t take sweets. As I sat, reading the paper, amidst the hasty scratch of pen on paper, I remembered the little boy with never a special word for me, in whom I believed then, as much as I believed the sun would rise tomorrow. The waiters ignored him as he signalled them weakly—as he walked down the sidewalk, people from all sides seemed to walk through him. In the tube, he muttered furiously, clutching his threadbare jacket, crushing the tissue paper even further.
I confessed that I had lost his doodles somewhere in the flea bitten years. He didn’t blink twice. I doubt he remembered my last name. At the station, he handed me the crumpled manuscript, and asked me to keep it till he returned from the restroom. I waited three whole hours before I ventured to read it. It was the same little boy I had know a few lightyears ago, and the same story, only different chapter. He was still the hero, and I was still nowhere in it. I left the station only after the last train had gone.

Sometimes, on off-days I still go and sit there and watch the trains pass. Occasionally I think I see a dash of red and a proud weather-beaten face amidst a sea of nameless people. But the train leaves before I can be sure. In any case, the red backpack has been lost for years. And the face is off on another adventure, another story, another earth-changing mission. Where he plays the good cop, and I the nameless, faceless person in the sidewalk among thousand others.

Friday, October 26, 2007


The cat purrs and curls around
The cat has spoken
Let there be extra virgin olive oil
Let the wine flow
Let there be light headed people on the loose
One is rather smugly and snugly.
Tomorrow, one leaves on an adventure
One is hoping...
This year shall be.....(shhh!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Ha ha

I should really stop being so pessimistic about Bombay. Yesterday night was actually fun. Unexpectedly so. I was quite sure things would go like they always do, and they did, but even so. Fun. To those two who would never read this blog: you're okay. Really. Inspite of battered beer cans and cheap chinese crow meat and conveniently ignored moments. Maybe, because of it. I was a happy kid, i could feel the sea on my toes.
Cheers to a lot of things. Most of all cheers to a-not-all-that-bad past record.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007


Perhaps, just perhaps
Somewhere amidst the purple
There was a chance
A tiny chance
A little flower
Yellow. Crushed.
The sunlight not perfect
Too bright, too harsh
Wet shoes on the tracks
Muddy footprints
Strawberry jam
Finding shapes in clouds
A blue-black cap
Piles of friendly ice-cream
Nestled in the sky
Somewhere outside windows
Somewhere beyond doors
There was that tiny moment
Lost to all tomorrows
Perhaps, just perhaps
It is possible, after all
To be free.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Tomorrow i exit civilization (apparently)
But didnt someone say that this wasnt the place to discuss existentialist philosophy?
Obviously im not tuned in enough.
What to do?
Im influenced very easily, linguistically speaking. When you meet me next you shall know what i'm talking about. Quite literally. Just don't hate me okay, i'm only human, only less so.
So, anyway i'm not doing anything i should be doing. Come to think of it, i'm not doing anything i shouldn't be doing either. What am i doing again? Ah, there is that question again. No discussion, sorry madam.
So anyway, the last two weeks or so have been a little disoriented. Like, how do i explain? I thought and felt adult but then i wasnt really. A fine ride happened instead. What a fun!
I need to start going to the gym again, or playing or something. There's too much wasted energy thats heading straight for the head. Not nice.
Someone once said-No good can come of this.
Profound. And how true.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

If i could, i swear I'd try writing a little everyday. Maybe just a paragraph or something. Its a part of me I try to remain in touch with. I mean, how difficult can it be? I've been writing for as long as i can remember. The queen of the not-passers, that was me, yes.
The thing is, when i write, I can hear myself think. Its very soft nowadays, very very soft, but its there nevertheless, and I do hear it. When I don't...theres just an uncomfortable silence. And thats not very nice. Silence with other people I can handle. And you know why? Because there are more than ten thousand voices in my head all the time, some talking, some laughing, some being mean, some cribbing, and some waiting for their turn to talk. And I can only hear them best when i write. Or sit down, pretending to write. Like now.
Its unsettling not being able to hear my own voice. To hear myself think. And thats why i try to write. In marketing classes, in boring journalism lectures, in whatever. I try to scribble random lines that sound beautiful and mean nothing. Its just a small way of keeping in touch.
Therefor, it is important that you dont take this blog post seriously. Or anything I say, write or feel seriously. I'm just doing it for practice so that I dont go deaf and empty. Like I'm likely to go very soon.

Silence. Painful. Painful.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Perhaps…some blue
Some red, some gold
A formless identity
A shapeless force
Perhaps…some orange,
Some ochre, some green
Twirling the sunshine
In your fingers
Squinting, blinking
Laughing in leaps.
The last time I lost you,
I left you, I loved you
Drunk in the madness
Soaked in the sadness
Perhaps…some violet
Some black, some white
Perhaps your mad eyes
Were never meant to lie—
Rain washed eyelids
Sand washed souls
Lucy…who took you?
On a night without stars?
Creeping below the window
In clandestine chains
When the sky doesn’t answer?
What part of you remains?
Perhaps…some grey
Some purple, some blue
Perhaps they never understood
Somebody like you.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Swan Song

I try to refrain. But there are times when temptation must be given in to. You have to listen to this song if you haven't already. I cannot get it out of my head.

Cyrus Jones 1810 to 1913
Made his great grandchildren believe
You could live to a hundred and three
A hundred and three is forever when you're just a little kid
So Cyrus Jones lived forever

When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain

Muriel Stonewall1903 to 1954
She lost both of her babies in the second great war
Now you should never have to watch
Your only children lowered in the ground
I mean you should never have to bury your own babies

When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain

Ring around the rosey
Pocket full of posey
Ashes to ashes
We all fall down

When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain

Little Mikey Carson 67 to 75
He rode hisBike like the devil until the day he bike
When he grows up he wants to be Mr. Vertigo on the flying
Ohhh, 1940 to 1992

When you dig my grave
Could you make it shallow
So that I can feel the rain

-Dave Mathews Band

Craazy shit. I listen to some great music nowadays. Putting them all up is tedious. I shall put in other tedious stuff instead. Like the great deal of crap i seem to come up with every class. Invaluable crap, i tell you. Priceless. Maybe next time.

Friday, July 13, 2007

I kind of hate everything right now. And i keep meaning to call my grandparents everyday but something keeps happening.
I miss a couple of old people I knew. My stomach hurts. I feel kinda sick. And its not just in my head.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


Its one of those moments when you just sit back and look at the magnamity of the calamity that you are a part of. That you are solely responsible for. That is, in fact, you. I have done some pretty stupid things in the past, but this has to take the cake. I am in a place i have absolutely no interest in, i am trying to learn things i do not understand (yes i do understand thats the sole purpose of learning it, but sigh, if thats the question in your mind its obvious u don’t get me) Just leave, why don’t you? Just go away and leave me to ponder upon my goals and communication skills and be a deer caught in the headlight. Only except that this deer is in a tunnel and the headlights are those of an approaching train. Ah, how easy it is to draw analogies when you are in deep shit. Is deep shit an analogy too?
Have you seen Clockwork Orange? I did my first ever presentation on that. Its ironic because thats exactly how i feel. Trapped. Forced to listen to jargon. Like somebody has clamped m eyes and ears open and tied me to a chair. I hate this place much much much more than you can ever imagine. And not just because it sucks, even though thats a major reason. Because i understand as days move by, that this is something i’m just not meant to do. To quote a friend, “this isn’t me”. And so it isn’t. Not even a little. Not even a microscopic bacteria. And to think i chose to come here on my own volition. Without being dragged in kicking and screaming, that is.
2 years of my life. 2 WHOLE years. It amazes me with what fluidity i can see my youth slipping away in front of me. It would amaze you too. Let go of the brand equity. Just let go. Go. Leave. Scram. Out.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

I'm in Poo-na now. I dislike most of it. I like my room. And my roommate. And some other humans in the other floors.
I dislike a lot of things. Mostly attitudes that make me want to jump off the earth. Or push them off.
I haven't been around much. I dont have wi-fi. I miss the gym. There will soon be loads of work to do.
I shall presently kill Bob Dylan.
Thats all folks!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Goosebumps are those words said in a particular way at a particular time that get underneath your skin, and refuse to leave.

You will travel to many places
-is my Orkut fortune of the Day.

I went to Mocha and had a hookah!
-that rhymed.

If i promise to be madly in love with you for the whole day, will you buy me all the happiness you can find? If i only pretend to, do you promise to pretend as well?

Lets go in an Alto.
-and have Alphonso mangoes on the way.

Like, dude! Watch it.
Oh, it. I beg your pardon.

Interesting thing to note.
I hate Bombay traffic. This isn't like those "I hate this weather" bit, though i do hate the weather.
I genuinely hate Bombay traffic. I never want to live here. There are too many cars on the road. Thats way too environment unfriendly, for one. Besides, you can never reach anywhere on time. No matter, how early you leave.
I hate being late. My time is precious, even if i'm wasting it. Other people's times are precious too. Even if they are wasting it. Thats their business. I hate keeping people waiting. I try not to.
This has to be the worst place for keeping appointments. It took me 30 minutes to cross a stretch that is probably not more than a 12 minute walk.
I walked.
Life is good when I can walk it.
But the air is horrible.
I hate Bombay traffic. Its much worse than Calcutta traffic. I dont want a car. I want a plane. Or a submarine.
This city depresses me.
But i had hookah at Mocha. Doesnt it sound like hooker?
I didnt have a hooker, i assure you.

Goosebumps are special.
I don't wanna lose you,
But i don't wanna use you
Just to have somebody by my side

It can't be that bad now, can it? I can handle it. I can handle anything.
Except Bombay traffic.

Sunday, June 10, 2007


Books books books. New ones, old ones, really cheap ones, not-so-cheap ones, bought-with-my-own-dough ones, mommy-gifted ones, scrounging-in-the-footpath ones, discovered-amidst-trash ones, wanted-to-buy-forever ones, pretentious-(perhaps)-but-i-dont-care ones, hoping-it-will-be-good ones.
These are it.

Brand new ones-
  • No Exit and Three Other Plays: Jean-Paul Sartre
  • The Sound and the Fury: Faulkner

Discovered amidst trash-

  • Four Plays: Tennessee Williams
  • Men Without Women- Hemmingway

Scrounged from the footpath, but brand new with amazing bargains-

  • Tintin and The Calculus Affair
  • Tintin and The Castafiore Emerald

Books still waiting to be finished- (Sigh!)

  • Snow: Orhan Pamuk
  • Tough Guys Don't Dance: Norman Mailer
  • Jude the Obscure: Hardy
  • Women in Love- D.H. Lawrence

Books I suddenly want to read again, this instant-

  • The Colour Purple: Alice Walker
  • Beloved: Toni Morrison
  • Feluda: Ray
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Roald Dahl
  • Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man: Joyce

Books I saw and wanted to buy and couldnt because of the guilt and no money-

  • Endless, exhaustive and extensive.

Dear God, in my next life, make me a book. Its so much easier (and faster) to read people.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

I can either blog or mail. I can't do both. I have a life. And an extremely slow dial-up. Ok, scratch the first, I just have an extremely slow dial up.
My folks and I can get on each others' nerves with amazing alacrity. It doesnt take too much, just a little overwork, hot weather, and well, me. But i love the fact that we are such a hang-up free, low-maintanance family. Non air-conditioned dhabas and rolls for lunch, are okay. So are autorickshaws in which three of us can barely fit into. Budget hotel, even no hotels are cool. 3-tier train rides? Done that. Calcutta buses, local trains? Check. Metros, a blessing. Non-bisleri water at restaurants, well, what else? Sure we all would love to travel in style and eat in style, etc etc. But sometimes it cannot be afforded. And thats cool too. My parents have always been painfully honest with me about these matters. I've been told what i can get and what I cant, and its pretty much no use arguing. Its a lot like Central Bank selective credit schemes. Branded designerwear that could pass off as street wear, for no particular ocassion is out. Books, worth the same amount or even double, are in, before you can bat your eyelids. Their logic sometimes goes beyond logic. I haven't been denied anything, ofcourse, but I've never floated in what you would call, plenty. There's always been room for wanting, but never needing. Not badly enough to die for. Besides, whenever I've gotten anything really big, they've always given me the feeling that i've earned it, somehow or the other. Birthdays are usually out, i dont think my dad's ever given me anything on my birthday since i turned 5. There are always those no-occassion surprises too, like surprise visits and cookouts and chocolates! We're not boring, predictable people, us. We try.
There's a song I wanted to quote because it perfectly sums up how I feel about a particular something. But i realize its way too revealing, and I shall save it for the mailbox. No sense wearing your heart on your blog, i always said. There are undoubtedly a lot of advantages to being your own person, chiefly a guilt-free head. But i miss some things, that I'd started to take for granted. Like phone calls, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. And someone to always talk to without the formality. As in ", just." You can't do that even with the closest friends. They're bound to get tired sooner or later. Mostly I guess i miss being off my guard and comfortable. Sort of like propping your legs on someone else's leg, quite unconsciously, and not removing it. Or being comfortable enough to go to sleep mid sentence. Or to read a book without worrying about making conversation. When i think of all the effort that goes into making a relationship reach this state, i want to go right back into hibernation. Sure, there's always room for spark, excitement, chemistry and thrills and whatnot. But sometimes, i think i would just be okay with a book and someone to go for walks with. With whom i wouldnt need to worry about fat days or funny repartees. I could just talk about the weather, or i could just shut up and walk in comfortable silence.
Meeting new people brings out the worst in me, i think. With D i think we began comfortable. Or maybe it was the uncynical-then-me. Whatever. There has never been much effort there. Which is probably why it survived what it did. About 0% credit for that goes to me. I miss sweet-nothings. Sometimes gestures are enough. I've had it with deep, meaningful people, i think. They always have issues of their own to deal with. Suchaniceboy.Wheredidhego?

Monday, June 04, 2007

This is what I wrote in my journal (in the days of Anne Frank and bloglessness) a little more than 5 years ago when i was shifting base in a big way.
9th June 2002: ....I always knew I would have to leave here, I suppose. A part of me has always been an outsider in Bombay, sometimes trying to fit in, mostly looking on with detached indifference since an age where I couldnt even spell those words, let alone knowing what they mean. I dont know if where I'm going to will be any different. I don't know if I care. I just want to get away from the people i'v known all my life. Its not been all bad, it never is all bad. Its just never been close enough. I can't think here. Or maybe I think, too much. Maybe thats the problem. I want to go somewhere that I can do things besides thinking. Maybe, just maybe, inspite of what everyone says, I'll actually like it there. Who knows? Who can say?...

5-years-ago-little-me had quite a way with words, methinks. You can never, never tell whats coming. Do not try.
I always knew I would have to leave here too, but i wish i still had the 5-year-back enthusiasm of looking forward. I don't mind the going away, if only i were going away for something more meaningful. Bitterness just creeps in like horrid black smoke.
Its all ego, really. All ego. And a little of missing the grandparents and my little room by the chhat. Don't kid yourself though. Mostly ego. And self-love. Isn't that what it all is?

Friday, June 01, 2007


Today felt like the end of something huge. Like the whole of 16-17-18. The giggle-years. Total bye bye. The no look back types. Because what would you look back at? What, indeed I ask?
There cant be anything worse than a lump the size of a cricket ball down your throat when you're trying your best to be brave for other people, and holding their hand and telling them not to cry. When all you really want to do is break down and howl and don't care who sees you at it.
Haha. When was the last time you did that, i wonder? When did it become not-okay to show how you feel? Ever since the 16-17-18 passed? But we're grown ups now aren't we? We have futures to live and money to make. Oh and some life to live, along the way. If you can spare the time, that is. Thursday at 5, then? Maybe we could take a walk. Eat an ice-cream? No? But ofcourse.
But who will i walk with now? And behind whose back will i cry? And what will become of you? Who will look after that mad little mass of all heart and no brains?
Okbye then? Take care. No, you take care. And call me. Sometimes? Once a week? A month then? Oh okay, on my birthday. Yes?

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Painted Pinecones

I am painting pine cones silver and gold and playing out a few imaginary phone conversations in my head. You know the kind where you can say all you want to and not look stupid or needy? Like i said, imaginary.
There must be something about life on a higher altitude. I wish i was born on the hills. In some tea garden or some such. Picking tea leaves with that huge basket thing on my head. Physical, utterly fulfilling labour. Where I wouldn't have to pretend to think. I would be so much fitter, for one and not puff and pant after climbing a few stairs. Besides there would be long hill road walks, and early sunsets, and goats cheese (atleast I hope there would be goat cheese). I love it how perfectly people outside the city learn to adapt. I wonder where we lost ours.
Travelling always gives me a high, but there is just something special about hills. I think its the green. I could never get tired of it. And the roads. As much as i support 6-lane expressways, there is something so uber-exciting about those windy sharp bends, especially if you are driving at night, with pale headlights on. And the rains. There is nothing more to add in that.

I am a very bad storyteller of things that really happened. I can't tell you how my trip went, not even on this blog, because the moment factual details start coming in, its not me writing anymore. I haven't talked about it with my friends or the folks at home, whenever anybody asks, i have evaded it with my trademark i'm-busy-dont-bother-me look. Maybe a part of me is worried that you, being not there, will not understand it, and i will have to work hard at convincing you how beautiful it all really was. But maybe you will still not be convinced, maybe you will nod your head lamely and say something entirely inappropriate, maybe you will not break into the raptures i shall expect you to break into. And then i shall be in danger for hating you the rest of my life (or atleast the rest of the day).
I don't blame you. I know you try your best, I'm even willing to believe that you are genuinely interested and not just making conversation. But i still cannot tell you. It is the reason why I do not take photographs either. Because they never match up to the moment. (I am also not a very good photographer) Its me. I don't want you or anyone, animate or inaimate to take away from me what i cherish in my head. The feeling and all that. Which is why I can never tell you what exactly happened. And that does not mean I'm a snob or a recluse or anything of that sort. Alright, so maybe I am. But not for those reasons. Okay? Okay.
I do not think life in the city is for me. I have always been the slow sort. I prefer Cal over Bombay. I am not even remotely fascinated by New York or London (except for the architecture) and I will live there only if you make me an offer I cannot refuse. I will also run away as often as i can. I do love Paris, but the reasons are different. And because it has more character to it, besides its city life. I need a room with a view, one that is not of other rooms with views. I prefer small houses over apartments. I need green paths and fresh air, maybe a kind of place where everyone either walks or cycles to work. I need silence at night so that I can sleep. I do not need to be in touch with everyone all the time. You dont need it either, believe me.
Maybe I'll make enough money to buy a tea plantation and live there by myself, a modern Miss Havisham or some such sort. Do not get scared will you? I bake the most perfect pumpkin-and-hazelnut pies and sell them anonymously ofcourse, so that it may not tarnish my eh-keep-off-my-estate-you-bugger image. And yes, i brew the most perfect tea too. Come see me sometimes, when i'm not too lost in the greens. I'll make you some and we'll talk about far away worlds that do not have anything to do with reality.

Why is it so hard to tell people how much you're going to miss them? Its mammoth, and I wish i had a script. Which is ironic considering it would be one of those truly genuine things i want to say. Its so much easier to pretend to be busy. Unfortunately however, i haven't much time (oooh, doesnt that sound melodramatic?) And like a lot of things, like most things in fact, i am afraid that this too shall remain unsaid. I only hope you will understand and not think i am an insensitive ungrateful prick.
Instead I'll give you pine cones painted silver and gold. They looked much better in the original, but i cannot give you that, for they look too raw and you might wonder. And i will not have answers to that.

Monday, May 21, 2007

City Lights

I'm in love with the City. With its dust and traffic and pollution and aimlessness. With its 3-minute long signals and overstuffed buses bursting at the seams. I'm in love with B.B.D Bag and the Grand Eastern renovations. And Bowbazar and Bidhan Sarani and weird bus numbers from far north and the GPO and the grandfatherly tram conductors.
This has been the most glorious me-day ever. I did everything on my own, inspite of the day being unimaginably hot (this is all before the heavenly thunderstorm) Walked till the ends of College Street till bookstalls had been replaced by sari stalls. Looked through a few incredibly good art books. (Note to self: Go back.) Took a tram ride through the north, all randomly ofcourse, I had no clue what I was getting on and where it was going. North Cal is so picturesque, you can almost lean out and touch it. So anyway, I got off suddenly at a place where the tram stopped, walked around for a bit, looked at old baris, shops and people. Was actually looking for some food, but it was past 12 and they weren't frying kochuris anymore, and thats what I had to have. I did have sugarcane juice though, with lime and everything in a bhar.
Then I walked on some more, I really do not know in which direction, but bus names still seemed familiar, and that gave me confidence I suppose. Intentionally, I walked off the metro route, metros are too easy. I wanted to feel lost, if you know what I mean. Never mind if I had to ask for directions, or call up my dad, it was just the sense of, I don't know...oneness? And I realized that I could not get lost here, it was all too familiar, even though I have never been into these streets before.
How do I put it? It was a connection, one that I had been looking for since a long time with people, places anything. In spite of all irritants, I was really enjoying myself. Its like re-exploring a place you already know about, but its all in your memory, and you have to know it again. It was completing. All the way through unfamiliar to familiar landmarks, Park Street, Maidan, AJC et al, as I returned to my side of the town. Only there weren’t any sides anymore. The entire place was mine.
The City is hypnotic. Just fall in with its beats. Tram beats, dust footstep beats, Conductor chant beats, people, cycles, street food. This is my place. My own.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Aye aye!

I am not always very nice to be around. I am forever impatient and always losing my temper. I went to Peter Cat for dinner yesterday (had grilled chicken sizzler, because I don't like rice). I saw a weirdly disturbing movie called Under Trial today during the interval of the ManU Chelsea match. I also saw Spidey. Total Hindi flick, with thunder, lightning, memory flashbacks, amnesia et al.
There are a lot of things I want to write about the City, before I leave. Some people are too nice to me. I dont deserve such niceness. Some people aren't. They can go lose themselves. I am a little apprehensive about what lies ahead. I hate doing things I'm not already good at. And most especially I hate doing things for a purpose. In this case, a livelihood.
I'm tired of worrying about money. I wish we could go back to the barter system instead. We dont need money. We need things. People kill for money, not for things. Why complicate lives unnecessarily?
The ISC results came out today. Mine came out on 18th May. I was supposed to go see Main Hoo Na that day but had to cancel it. I also ordered pizza after my parents left teary eyed. And then felt like a complete loser. But you don't need to know this. It really has not much to do with you.
I want a long over coat like MJ. But it must be bloody expensive, no?

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

So i gather we are not getting a farewell. Okay so, I haven't had much of a college life, like a lot of people. And maybe I don't yet know the names of everyone in class. But in my defence, i know almost all the faces. And i'm bad with names anyway, I can't quote a single critic to save my life. Besides my mom seems to have done enough networking for both of us during the exams, and now she knows not only names, and faces, but also permanent addresses, family backgrounds, future crises and the name of the vet. And maybe we are a rather disjunctive, seperated batch where each corner either relentlessly bitches about the other, or does not know of its existence. I have got laughed at without knowing what i did, and wild rumours have flown about my friend holding a dual citizenship and what not. Ah, so we are not the most social people. But there have been some fun times. Like collectively facing the dean's sarcasm, Eton's nastiness and CM's everyday classes. Ane everything. I remember CB went on one of her crazy fits and held a quiz in class, and PM did an end of the term psycho-analysis thing. Oh, and the first class, when we were all new and fresh and innocent (smirk!) and Bertie pricking the bubble right then with his "Why are you all here, anyway? You won't gain anything in these three years."
So anyway, I think we need a farewell. Legally, we are entitled to one, since we gave a jolly good one ourselves. Oh nothing too hi-fi, maybe just another day to see all the old, familiar faces , maybe bitch a little more about who is wearing what, maybe some good music, some badly prepared perfomances, some cheesy games. I know no one would really cry or anything, but maybe there would be the lump, maybe some half-sincere promises to stay in touch, some general best wishes, some smiles, some more memories. Maybe a last walk down those sunless corridors as a student, maybe a sneak peek into the office, maybe a smoke near the backgate, maybe a look back to the building once the sun has set and the neon lights are on.
As someone has so very wisely said, "We need closure." But then, it seems like we are not going to get any.
This is my own goodbye to the last three years. I havent missed a single oppurtunity to bitch, criticize and look down upon you. But now when I shall be out in the big-bad-world, I wont waste a single moment in telling every new soul I meet, what a wonderful place you have been. Goodbye Room 10, 11 and 19 and all the little rooms in between. Thank you, because I know now what I had and how I will never get anything like it again.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Today was Soo-Doo Day.

Thursday, May 10, 2007


There is a strange parallel between my day tomorrow and the next two years of my life. It is sad indeed when you do out of pity, the things you did out of love. Or compromise that which was your pride.
I'm not trying to be cryptic. Sometimes you are manipulated into some things. But even after you realize the manipulation, you allow yourself to be led in further. Becasue you must. For someone or the other's sake. For an image of yourself that some people have. That you would rather not break. Would that make me a hypocrite? Perhaps, yes.

I have had a fairly uneventful and happy life. No abuse or trauma or abject poverty or messy divorces. Which is why I realize how shallow it sounds when I say, that all my life seems lived for other people. Not in a self-sacrificing way. Just in an accidental, non-interfering kind of way. I suppose I was gullible, or just plain uninterested. As long as things are going more or less the way they were supposed to, as long as I didn't feel cheated to the face, it was easy to go along.
But when you're young, specifics do not matter. As long as you are into something. Anything.
You know what I blame it on? Books. And films, and music and words that mean so much but amount to nothing. That can change your perspective on life and people for ever. And yet remain innocently guiltless. It is you who change. And you who have to live with that change.
I feel all words and quotes and characters sometimes. And I realize that I expect my life to work out like my favourite book. Or atleast be as dramatic. Everything that I have thought or wanted, can be credited to some perceptive writer or poet or artist. Literature has, in a way, taught me to think for myself. And as I find out, the hard way, it's not always a good thing.
My life isnt a movie. And there is no guarantee of a happy ending or a prince charming or a sweepstake win. And there are certain things that must be done, be it against my will, for others who expect it to be done. For the sake of...I don't know, sanity? Not disturbing the universe?
The world has its share of rebels and mad scientists, who did not have to pretend to make choices.
The worst is when you're told, that the choice is yours to make. That it is, after all, your life.
Don't kid yourself, or allow others to kid you. That, it never is. And there wasn't even a choice to begin it.
Just go with the tide, and try not to rock the boat too much. There are agents who wouldn't bat an eyelid while pushing you off it. And all for your own good, ofcourse.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

"Even amidst fierce flames the golden lotus can be planted"

I was told that I would get over her. That i would ahem...grow up. I cannot help it, the more I read her, its like a spell. I agree, perhaps there isn't much profundity to look for here. But can you deny the magic of her words? Try reading them out aloud. See what it does to your tongue. Close your eyes and try to imagine what you just read. See what it does to your brain. Puro mindfuck. If for nothing else, then just her messed up head. Because we are all like that sometimes. And because not all of us can do that with our thoughts and our words. I know I cant.
A lot of people know her as Ted Hughes' wife. Their turbulent relationship has always intrigued me. Plath is no shadow, she couldn't be if she wanted to--but a lot of her poetry is a direct influence of the influence her talented, agressive and over-sexed husband had on her.
Take a look at their first meeting and marriage--
One night, early 1956 Plath attended a party held to celebrate the launch of a new Cambridge literary magazine. Among the poetry she most admired in it was that of a poet named Ted Hughes. After arriving at the party quite drunk she gazed across the room at a "big, dark hunky boy, the only one... huge enough for me," and wanted to know who he was immediately.
After meeting Hughes in person, she proceeded to quote one of his poems to him. In a side room into which he had guided her, he ripped her hairband and earrings off when she pulled away as he tried to kiss her. Soon after, she bit his cheek. Each of them, it seemed, had met their match. Walking back to her college later, a friend warned her that Ted Hughes was "the biggest seducer in Cambridge."
Ted Hughes had earlier published a poem about a "Jaguar"--so over the next few days, Plath composed the poem "
Pursuit" in which a woman is stalked by a panther. On her way to a spring vacation in Europe, she spent a night with Hughes and his friend in a London flat--she found Hughes' power and strength irresistible. By the time a couple of months had passed, the two were discussing marriage.
They decided to marry secretly in London. Sylvia wore a pink suit and held a pink rose which Ted had given her. The newlyweds spent time that summer in Paris, Madrid and Benindorm, Spain on the coast, where "every evening at dusk the lights of the sardine boats dip and shine out at sea like floating stars." Some of the poems Sylvia wrote during this newlywed summer of writing include "Fiesta Melons", "Alicante Lullaby", "The Goring", "The Beggars", "Spider", "Rhyme", "Dream With Clam Diggers", and "Epitaph For Fire And Flower".
There was one alleged episode which darkened the otherwise idyllic days of their summer. Years later Sylvia told a friend that one afternoon as they sat on a hill Ted was overcome by such rage that he started choking her, and she resigned herself to die.
In August, Sylvia met her in-laws for the first time. The Hughes family, like Ted himself, was interested in horoscopes, hypnosis and the occult. Plath's "November Graveyard" was a direct influence of her days with them.
She was to be equally fascinated and repulsed by her husband in consequent years, as she saw their marriage through abortions, personal failures, jealousy and infidelity. Hughes himself received extraordinary success post-marriage, and his stature grew in equal measure with his arrogance, and a distance from his bond with his wife, while Plath grew steadily into further depression, self-infliction and tortured verses.

We all know how she died. In the early morning of February 11, 1963, Plath set some bread and milk in the children's room then cracked their window and sealed their door off with tape. She went downstairs and, after sealing herself in the kitchen, knelt in front of the open oven, turned the gas on and stuffed her head inside.
Plath's world had become too much for her to take. The depression had won. Just six months before her death she wrote of feeling
"outcast on a cold star, unable to feel anything but an awful helpless numbness. I look down into the warm, earthy world. Into a nest of lovers' beds, baby cribs, meal tables, all the solid commerce of life in this earth, and feel apart, enclosed in a wall of glass."
Her gravestone bears the inscription "Even amidst fierce flames the golden lotus can be planted."
Unsettlingly enough, in March 1969, realizing that she would never escape from living in Plath's shadow, Assia Wevill (the woman Hughes left her for) killed herself and their daughter in the same way Sylvia had committed her suicide.

People remember her for her crazy, unreal metaphors, her controversial allusions the The Holocaust and an extremely irreconcilable train of thought also associated with Confessional Poetry.
To me, her poems are a world of fairytales gone terribly wrong. Just like her fairytale marriage. And what could have been a fairytale life. Her poems are unforgettable because they are, like her, at once violent and vulnerable. They speak, at once, to both the child and the beast within us.
This is one of my old favourites:
Mad Girl's Love Song

"I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell's fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan's men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you'd return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)"

These are some others I wish you would read.
The Bee series, Edge, Electra on Azalea Path (written in memory of her father), Letter in November, Ariel.
Oh shucks, I cant choose. Go read them all. And do tell me your favourites.

Monday, May 07, 2007


All i remember is that the sky was purple and the roads were slippery. Nothingmuchelse. Most of the time i kept looking at the sky to see if it would rain. Somebody had taught me that. Something about the shape of a cloud or something. The other times i look down at my feet, especially my toe nails, which i'm rather proud of. So i'm very adept at noticing car track patterns on the road. Anything in between these two escapes my notice almost always. Which probably explains why i bumped into you in the first place. Crashed, is more like it. There never was anything subtle about me. Its never a knock, but a bang; never a smile but a guffaw, a loud, embarassing one at that, never a bump, but a crash! Which knocked off your glasses, books and my singular train of thought.

You called it a cliche while i called it chance. And we laughed over how both words began with C. "Carma", was your explanation, while i settled for Coincidence. I dont remember most of it. Its just one of those things that happen sometimes. Like i barely remember the way u looked. Except that your glasses kept falling off your nose everytime u tried to make a point, and for some odd reason u reminded me of someone i used to know long ago.

After you moved away, I wondered what your name could have been. Maybe I'd met you online, maybe I read your blog. Or not. Chai and coffee. Cult and corruption. Its all good, you said. But mostly chai. And chocolate creams.
Goodbye, little Snoopy. Hope you find your bliss.

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Note to Self

Things to be happy and/or excited and/or thankful about:

  • Dinner tonight and loads of pampering.
  • Wearing new black top.
  • And old denim skirt.
  • Deforested Arden (finally).
  • Probability (not possibilty) of book shopping tomorrow.
  • A.C.
  • Aamer chatni.
  • Shillong.
  • Neil Young (thankful, thankful, thankful)
  • 3 new books to read- Snow, Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy and Daisy Miller.
  • Sudden storms.
  • Doing up new rooms.
  • Sorting through old books and clothes, marking boxes (yes, i find that fun)
  • Shoe-shopping and kulfi treat.
  • Ice.
  • Trips around the City.
  • Promised I.S.D phone calls (possibilities)
  • Train journeys.
  • Spiderman, Pirates and Metro.
  • Pizza.
  • And beer.
  • New people in old city and vice versa.
  • Grandparents and doting aunts.
  • Farewell dinners, lunches, breakfasts, dinner, lunches, breakfasts, dinner...
  • Rainforests. Any forests. Forests.
  • Other things.
  • Soft fluffy croissants. With butter and preserves. And good black coffee.
  • Old friends.

Whenever I intend a post to be small, they never are. Its weird. There are more things. But I have to go for dinner! :-)

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The easiest things are so darn difficult sometimes. I don't want to sound like I'm quoting other people. But it is so hard to say your own thing. Like when someone is away on a flight of fancy, why the urgent desire to de-fancy him, to bring him down or to simply ignore? Is it because we know what hurts the most?
What is it with young people and loneliness? I thought that happened only when you stopped asking 'why'. Why have we stopped asking 'why'? What's there not to reach out if we are all feeling the same? If we all want different versions of the same thing?
And who am I to speak really? I'm definitely not distributing warm blankets. I don't have too many to give away, and even if i did, I would be shallow enough to ask you why you think you need one in the first place. A little selfishness is good, apparently. Rules, are always changing.
If i told you I'm okay with my books and films and music and paints, I wouldnt be too far from the truth. But just sometimes, when I'm really happy, its sad if there's no one to share it with. Anyone at all. I suppose one of our favourite things to say is that no one understands. Logically then, we don't either.
Well then, who does? And what then, is the purpose of this entire medium of language, and unspoken words, and books and films and music? If we are meant to be understood only by inanimate objects, that are incidentally written by real people, well, what is the point?
Or is there not supposed to be one? Pardon me. I don't quite understand.

Friday, May 04, 2007


I cant believe i'm saying this, I'm like the biggest advocator of public transport--but its so bloody difficult to get around the city if you don't have a car of your own! Its true.
I made my grandparents get out of the house today for dinner at Flury's. Nobody remembers the last time my grandmother stepped out of the house. We practically had to drag her out kickin and screamin! Dadun is 86 going on 20. His face lights up at any prospect of food, and travel (its all in the genes, see?) So anyway, we had a merry dinner, and loads of good nostalgic conversation and everything was great.
Now, my gran doesnt walk too well, its something in her leg, mostly psychological I think. So naturally crossing roads, or even walking fast was out of question. And here we were stranded in the middle of Park Street, all brightly lit up like a Christmas tree, for more than half-and-hour waiting for a willing cab. And it was only 9 p.m. With the road full of empty cabs, yet no one ready to go. They see we have two old people with us, they know bloody well we cant walk or take a metro, and yet they would not go. One rather original dude even reasoned that he couldnt, because his home wasnt that way. So go home, why dont you. Why stop? I kept getting madder by the minute, and guiltier too, expecially coz this whole dinner thing had been my brainkid, and now it seemed that there was no way but to painfully walk it up to the main road with didun, a bloody impossible feat, when you think of that entire Russell Street crossing.
And amidst all this, there is a cop standing smug on Middleton Row, listening to every word we said, with such an apathetic distance, that he could have fooled us into believing he was a statue or something. All those cabs, and he doesnt do a thing.
I don't know if that rule is still valid, but i remember as a kid, there used to be these TV ads which announced that legally a taxi had to take you if it was free, and if it didnt, you could seek police assistance. So in all innocence, i approached him after an unsuccessful 15 minutes. Number one, he pretended as if I had just appeared out of the woodwork, even though, he had been looking on most interestedly inspite of a traffic hitch in Middleton needing immediate attention. Two, I only enquired, if it was always so difficult to get a cab at this time of the err..night. He deliberated a long while, and said that he was after all only a harmless traffic police, and he did not do cabs. Right, so cabs, are not traffic folks. Next time you get stuck at Landsdowne crossing, just you remember that! Third, I ventured a little more directly, if he would help us, given our circumstances, to hail down one. He asked me where I stayed, ran an eye over the group, and coolly suggested we wait some more, or take a metro. "Ei ektu hatlei metro peye jabe" he added meaninglessly and sauntered off. And that was that. Our honourable men in uniform.
And as I was standing there, i remembered all the times I'd been out late in The City (after haggling for permission), they had only been possible coz I had a friend to drop me home. Not a cab ride, but a friend with a car. These are all beyond 10-o clock times, when the metro's shut as well. Even when I do come back on my own, I always have to say that I'm being dropped. Otherwise I can't go. So then what happens to those people who don't have their own transport, and cant bank on metros like others? What happens in places like Park St or Camac St, where buses dont run, where there aren't autos and other convenient things, areas that are too posh to allow such travesty? You might as well put up a sign-"Not allowed if you don't have your own friggin set of wheels." You dont have a car, then why are you out anyway? At 8 in the evening, too! The nerve. Go home now, I say. (Errr, how though?)
What we finally had to do was stand before Music World, while I ran upto Chowringhee to convince a cabbie (godblesshissoul) to turn into blessed Park Street. He was the 12th or 13th one I had hailed down, who finally agreed. There is nothing more infuriating than an empty cab, believe you me. We're all home now, no harm done. Just a bit of a dampener on what was otherwise a wonderful evening, with the old folks understandably a little tired.
Seriously, transport. Something needs to be done. I can imagine Didun not wanting to do this again anytime soon. And can you blame her?
And we wonder why people preach that its not safe to be out late. Safe, schmafe! Unless you got strong walking legs, dont go anywhere, I say. Stay at home and watch Travel and Living. And order take-out.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I've figured out finally, what it is that really really gets on my nerves. In a word, its called unprofessionalism. And it can have several manifestations. Like lack of vital information, unpunctuality, being ill-informed, not doing enough research, not caring enough to bother. It makes me beetroot mad...the kind of mad you never ever want to catch me at.
At this recent interview this guy tried to be a smart aleck, and asked me "How do I know you've done all this yourself, and not hired someone to do it?" Apart from the very audacity of such a suggestion, the only other thing to say was, the truth. That I can never trust anyone, not even an expert, to do my work better than me. The main idea is to not give myself a chance to whine later, because I will be dissatisfied, no matter what. Only thing is, there wouldn't be anyone to blame but me, and you have to agree thats a whole deal better than having to blame other people.
So, i was at this programme today that was supposed to be honouring a man, the ground beneath whose feet I am willing to kiss. And while I sat through two hours of pure unadulterated torture, I wondered how those people's minds worked, how they could manage to do such shoddy work? Where does all that complacency come from? Here you are, with so much potential, and funds, and resources. You must be genuinely stupid or genuinely indifferent to screw it up this bad. If its the first, I'm just sorry for you. And if its the second, well I wish people would throw rotten tomatoes at you. Bloody losers.
It was supposed to be a tribute to Ray on his 86th birth anniversary. Organized by Doordarshan. The set was beautiful, but the lights wouldnt work, and they had to keep it switched off. Check. It started 1/2 hour late. Check. Mikes never never functioned at the first try. Check. To make things even more hilarious, there were streaming it on national television, live. In the midst of a Pather Panchali sequence, there was an infuriating Metro Dairy commercial, jarringly loud. In the middle, mind you, rudely interrupting Apu and Durga running towards the train. While catching Adoor Gopalakrishnan live from Trivandrum, the connection breaks. Not only that, not a single simulcast is done without hitches. Its like, its a new device they have discovered for the first time, and testing it, much to the credit of mankind. All this on national TV, mind you. In an auditorium full of people. Then again, nobody knows what to do onstage. The governor comes, with other people like Sandip ray, Dulal Dutta, Soumendu Roy, Soumitra Chatterjee, Madhabi, Sharmila Tagore and all of them are standing inspite of there being chairs on the stage, because no one's told them to sit. People are unceremoniously told to go offstage. Called on for only 2 minutes. The whole thing, that would have been so perfect as an intimate talk show, is royally screwed up because of the full length nonsense they went for. People kept coming and rudely interrupting the speaker to pass on surreptitious messages, about more things gone wrong, no doubt. Like they were requesting songs or something. Besides, what horrible camera angles! How viewers at home, understood anyone or anything is beyond me.
What infuriates me is the fact that they had everything at their disposal. All the guests spoke wonderfully. I especially liked Sharmila and Suhasini Mulay who spoke through a simulcast in Bombay. There are things I found out, that i never knew. Lots of memories, some incredible behind-the-scenes stuff (which kept getting interrupted by a commercial for Arambagh books?!)
All i could think was how much better some more interested people could have used what these idiots had. Even folks from my college. Heck, even me. It really doesnt take an Einstein to get a few technical things right. To keep the flow smooth, to make sure most of the running time isnt spent in people staring around vacantly or running for cover. What gross mismanagement. Why, i wonder. Just because its DD? Just because they know that people know that their work shall always be on the flipside of mediocre? If that isn't the height of complacency, i dont know what is. I hate mediocrity, detest it, despise it. Especially when you can rise above it, but you wont. Because you are an obstinate, stubborn mule, that is why.

The problem is a lack of genuine people. Who are genuinely bothered. You dont have to go an extra mile, just go that whole damn mile without taking a short cut and falling flat on your face thats all. And making it up by saying "Boss, this is India/Calcutta/whatevurrrr" Its everywhere. If you have such a problem coming on time, reschedule it 10 mins later, why dont you? The other person has a life, if you please. And how about knowing what you're talking about, the next time? Instead of hamming and using a lot of big words to make it up. People can see through it. And how about not taking things for granted? Especially things that suck and must be changed? If we are looking at progress and being first world and everything.
The difference, my idiots, is not in the resources. From what I see, there's plenty of that, most of it staring straight at our faces. There isnt lack of talent either. Oh we're full of ideas, we're swimming in them. How about putting them to practise? So this is the part where we look for the other people, to blame, to point fingers at, blah-blah. How about getting your own hands a little dirty? And doing your share of the work? Even if its just the sound check and mike testing. Do it properly, for heavens sake without dreaming of overtime and item numbers. Just do your own damn work, and save yourself the trouble of overseeing what everyone else is doing.
And while you're at it, do it well. But you wont. You're too much of a conformist to do the unexpected. Even if it is to do the expected.
Bloody idiot.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Bring it all back to me, why don't you? The colours, the excitement, the bee-wing bits of joy. Even if you cannot. Try a little, why don't you? Where have all the people gone, the little mad men and women I knew? Who turned them sane? What made them stop thinking? Forget dreaming? Why is it all slipping away? How did it get so hard to imagine?

Why are their air bubbles in my pink and blue liquid timer?

Friday, April 27, 2007


Well, i got "tagged". And since there is nothing to do but study...
Couldnt be wittier...too much headache. Literally.

1. Pick out a scar you have, and explain how you got it:
On my right knee, when I was 5 or 6. 5 i think. Playing gully chor police. Dham!

2. What is on the walls in your room?
Relatively bare. There's an ancient year planner which I've been thinking of taking off, and a cross-stitch wall-hanging made by my mum.

3. What does your phone look like?
Rather sleek. With zero features. Ocassionally you can make calls without getting rudely disconnected.

4. What music do you listen to?
Oh, all. Recently there's been a Neil Young overdose.

5. What is your current desktop picture?
It keeps circulating by itself. Right now it shows the Neuschwanstein Castle in Winter, Bavaria, Germany.

6. What do you want more than anything right now?
To go away. I mean, travel, not run away.

7. Do you believe in gay marriage?
Is this like a do-you-believe-in-fairies question?

8. What time were you born?
Morning. Don't know the time.

9. Are your parents still together?
Yes. Meant for each other absolutely. In more ways than just "awww.."

10. What are you listening to?
There's a wind storming outside. And faint TV sounds from below.

12. The last person to make you cry?
Wont say. Do movies count?

13. What is your favourite perfume/cologne?
Brut. Old Spice. Wet earth. Sandalwood. Old books. This particular one whose name i dont know, it has loads of memories. Kinda woody.

14. What kind of hair/eye colour do you like on the opposite sex?
I have a weakness for brown eyes. But i'm not choosy. Hair anything. As long as its clean and finger-run-through-able.

15. Do you like pain killers?
No. I detest.

16. Are you too shy to ask someone out?
Always. Never have.

17. Fave pizza topping?
Mushrooms. And red pepper.

18. If you could eat anything right now, what would it be?
Well, now that you mention pizza... also kulfi. I'm dying for some kulfi. In a matka.

19. Who was the last person you made mad?
No one recently. People always keep me happy during exams.

20. Is anyone in love with you?
They only think they are.

I tag anybody who reads this. Even those who don't leave comments ;-) It isnt that bad, really. Loads of soul searching and epiphany in store.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Yesterday when I came home, besides wanting to drop off immediately, I also felt this weird uncomfortable gut feeling. Well, not exactly uncomfortable. More like, sad. Helpless sad. Cant-d0-anything-about-it sad. I realized as i was writing, no struggling, to write that last answer, on that stupid paper, that it was the last time I would be studying drama. Its just...I know i can always read plays, and watch them and all that. But.
I miss my classroom discussions. Or even telephone conversations. Even if we are trained to think only in terms of question answers. Not all the time though. Yes, so I know i 'yeah-but'. But look at it this way. There arent too many things that can get me excited or enthused. I shall miss yeah-butting. Somehow I cant picture myself yeah-butting press laws.
Plays are so much more real somehow. I love poetry too, but that is such a personal thing. If i like a play, I'll talk about it to everyone till they get tired of it. Poems, I'll consider who I'm talking to. Maybe its the live thing that works. When i'm reading it, I'm always seeing it as well. And thinking sets, and costumes, and where would someone stand, and what colours could be used. And who would play what. Its happened so many times that I have met people who would be perfect for some role, random people totally.
But then, I like being taught as well. Even if I learn nothing new, its amazing how what you think can be said by someone else in such an exciting way. And there's so much more life to it. I already said that i think. Oh, i cant explain it. I'm just not done with it. (Whine, whine)
Ah, anyway.
These are the last plays I saw and liked: Macbeth, Intro, Kangal Malshat, Homecoming, BroadwayBound, Evita, Feriwala-r Mrityu. I wish I could link them all.
These are the plays I want to see performed: Look Back in Anger, The Glass Menagerie, Pygmalion, The Caretaker, The Birthday Party, Ghosts, Dr. Faustus, What Where, Rock 'n' Roll. Oh and so many more.
Anyway, its raining now. So i shall presently try to stick my head out of that infernal roof cover in such a manner that i can catch the raindrops on my face without breaking my neck.
Oh, and I'm also attempting to put one of those online library things on my blog. Keep looking. Funny, how you cant remember the names of books you've had for years. The pressure is too much. I have more books.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Grant me an old man's Frenzy

I know my very own Acre of Grass old man. Who vehemently denies being old. With a great deal of frenzy too. So, he isnt much of a poet. Or an artist. Even though he designed bridges. That count?
But I think he and the old Dubloo Bee would have quite a lot in common. For one, he taught me to distinguish between an eagle and a kite. And he isn't scared of mice. And he's the last person I know who will complain about the "rag and bone shop of the heart".

Yesterday he complained as to why Shahrukh said "Ladies and Gentlemen" and "Boys and Girls". And told me to send an e-mail to Siddharth Basu from Grandfather K.C Ghosh.
He is the most grandfatherly person i know, and the least elderly.

I could tell you a lot about him. About how he walked from Burma to India after independance. And how on the way, he lost his friend, and his sister to typhoid, and was one of the few to make it across. And how he took his wife and three kids travelling every weekend, in his own little jalopy. And how he used to walk around the lake four times unfailingly every morning, come rain, sun or hail, at a speed that would make you giddy even thinking of it.
But i wont.
I'm extremely possessive about my memories. And too scared of not being able to express them properly.
But this one is to him. With all his frenzy and zest and anger-oh yes, loads of anger. I wouldnt change you for the world.

Rockabye-baby, on the tree top
When the wind blows, the cradle will rock
When the bough breaks the cradle will fall
And down will come baby, cradle and all.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Helpless (!)

Pic courtesy:Vatsala

There is a town in north Ontario,
With dream comfort memory to spare,
And in my mind
I still need a place to go,
All my changes were there.

Blue, blue windows behind the stars,
Yellow moon on the rise,
Big birds flying across the sky,
Throwing shadows on our eyes.

Leave us
Helpless, helpless, helpless

Baby can you hear me now?
The chains are locked
And tied across the door,
Baby, sing with me somehow

Blue, blue windows behind the stars,
Yellow moon on the rise,
Big birds flying across the sky,
Throwing shadows on our eyes.

Leave us
Helpless, helpless, helpless.

-Bertie, Mel and Fuzz [originally Neil Young :) ]
There goes my resolution to refrain from quoting lyrics on my blog.
What i really wanted to do was put up the lyrics to Tina Marie and Motorcar Blues and Moonlight Lady. Oh and also Tin Pan Alley.
And i will, too as soon as I get my hands on the CD.
Shit! Shit, shit SHIT!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007


Somethings are just not fair. They truly arent. And i wont explain that. You wouldnt care anyway. You would just nod your head and think of all the times when you thought the same thing.
I'm tired of the herd mentality. I never really wanted to be a cow. Or a goat.
And i am perfectly pissed off. And thats an alliteration in case you didnt guess. In which case you must be really dumb.
I wish blogger was like MSword. I hate having to capitalize.
Its the easiest things in life that are so difficult somehow. Ok, so that wasnt entirely original. But it is entirely true.
And that is what matters, really. No matter how much you deny it.
I'm half in love with Wilde. Men should have a way with words and wit. Alliteration again, by the way. I bet you missed it. Yes, men should be, must be witty. Even if they are hopelessly gay.
And this is a pointless post. So what? It makes sense to me. And it'll make sense to you too. When you write it. Except that you wont. Thats the whole point of it.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Have you ever noticed how noisy women are? Have you? the way they kick the floor about, simply walking over it? Or have you watched them sitting at their dressing tables, dropping their weapons and banging down their bits of boxes and brushes and lipsticks?
I've watched her doing it night after night. When you see a woman in front of her bedroom mirror, you realize what a refined sort of butcher she is....

You've got to be fundamentally insensitive to be as noisy and clumsy as that...Slamming their doors, stamping their high heels, banging their irons and saucepans--the eternal flaming racket of the female.
- Mr. James Porter, age 25, a lost cause.
(Ouch! *wince* But you know, its all true.)

I may be a lost cause, but I thought if you loved me, it needn't matter.

(And i shall be quoting again. I would quote the entire book if i could. But i wont. You will read it for yourself if u want to do something meaningful with you life. Or if you simply want to get mindfucked. I dont care which. Just read it.)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

L'Après-midi de la folie

Talking to a friend last night made me realize/accept/understand that i had got it all wrong. This isn't what it is about. What anything is about.
The reason for last few days' worth of madness had been a simple case of misappropriation of priorities. Oh, I don't blame myself. It is easy to get swept away when the tide is flowing only one way.
Truth is, that sometimes, we underrate ourselves too much. It's okay to set high goals, infact the higher the better. Just dont kill yourself trying to get that high. It is evidently, not worth it.
So what? I get a first-class degree, an education with some of the best names in the country and/or the world, a high-paying job, blah blah. Surely that cannot be it? It could be, if you are not willing to look beyond it. And in that case, all the best. I am sure you will be very happy.
What I received in all that restriction, was severe denial. Some things are so simple, you wonder why you dont know it. Its not about that vision, or any vision. Its about you. You make the vision, you break it, live it, decorate it or dismiss it.

Life so far has been spent in searching for inspiration. It isnt that elusive. I have spotted it in words, in music, in pictures, in colours, in dreams. Spotted a hint, a promise of something more. Maybe your inspiration lies in a plush corner office, in a small house by the sea, in your leatherbound diary. Truth is, you wont know unless you go look for it. Its one of those things that wont come looking for you.
Dont promise a road for yourself and then expect you dreams to fall in place. It doesnt work that way, even though uptil the last moment, i thought it did. And though this might seem like a last minute bubble of optimism, it isnt really.
I realize, that I can always travel and always read. That i can always meet new people who are like me, or unlike me, and i can still have thought-provoking conversation. That i can always watch films and make plays, learn pottery and listen to music. That there will always be lessons to learn, and I dont need classrooms for that. I dont need to to well because that is what one must do, as long as I am happy and learning something new each day.

After all it is literature, it's theatre, it's poetry, stories, books. It's life and it is limitless. I am not giving it up, because that is not even an option. Its a part of my being. It doesnt matter if i go on to become a nuclear physicist or a banker, it shall be there, in me, as me.
Maybe I wont find inspiration in my work. Maybe i will. Maybe i'll find it in a wayward conversation, in "one of those mad, insane moments of life". Maybe in my sleep or while taking a walk. Maybe today, maybe tomorrow. Maybe right now. Maybe where i'm going next, or maybe when i'm 40 at a cafe, solving sudoku puzzles.

I haven't given up on it, yet. It wont let me. Cheers to the dream, and to the last 10 years, especially the last three. And thank you. It wont be the last.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


This time things had gone too far and I knew there was no way out. No other route but the one that led outside and away. Away, away, away.
I left the letter on the sideboard table. And as an afterthought, the brass keys. There would not be much need of those now.

It had been three years ago on some unbearable hot monsoon afternoon that he had first stumbled into my stuffy apartment and my life. And after that we were constantly moving. Running, almost. From one strange place to another. Roller-coasters, media houses, dreams, hotels, highways, in and out, on and on. You would have thought we'd be exhausted. I still don't understand why we weren't. It was--something.

I know its best to let sleeping dogs lie. But i personify the curiosity that killed some poor cat. Even though I don't like cats all that much.

I don't like answering questions either. I probably ask a lot. I can't help it. I have an inherent need to know.
The first time, i let it pass. The second time, i cried. The third, and everytime after that, i hit back. Lashed out furiously. I suppose things changed, even improved. And i wasn't entirely sure if that was a good thing.
It's a crazy world we live in, Mac had said once, quite gone.

So who was crazy really? Or maybe the question is--who was crazier?

We were both unconventional people. That was something given and accepted. There was just that little matter. The quiggly feeling, nagging your brain when you least expect.
One just has to deal with it i suppose. Or ignore it till it went? Or even if it didnt?

It was all okay when we were drunk and stupid and forgot everything and made love and stories. But afterwards, i lay awake to the regular sound of breathing. His breathing, which i held my own to catch.
It must be a mad sort of love, that. Which makes you lie awake so that the other person does not die on you when you are sleeping.
I cannot drive faster than my mind thinks. Its just difficult when someone says 'no'. I know. I say it a great deal. what goes round, will come around. Its all cyclical. Water vapour, rain, industrial waste, the ebb and flow of tides, tears, laughter, everything.
It all comes back to you.

I'm prepared for most emergencies. My first-aid shelf is an entire wall closet. Cuts, burns, bruises, slips, pricks, all.
And I know we will meet again, I see it as clearly as i see my reflection in the rear view. It is an endless chase. A quest. Who goes faster. After a while you forget who is chasing who.
And yet, we pursue. We race. Next time I will prepare even better. And run even faster.

All the world seemed to be running, ocassionally flashing through windows. Only glances, only glimpses, only glimmer.

And so we run. We run.

PS: I wrote this for 'creative writing' (and it was actually corrected by a poor unsuspecting prof)!! Needless to say, it was atrocious and completed in all of 10 minutes. N said it reminded her of Gangster.
Oh, i put it up anyhow. Its a little mad. And well, i feel like that sometimes.

Monday, March 26, 2007

There was this entire phone conversation that took place last night (or this morning) at 2 a.m. that i wanted to write about. Like i had it on my mind all day today, like when i was having coffee and watching Namesake and eating very good niramish food (not all at once!).
But now, i dont think anyone would get it. And then it would be this long complicated non-gettable post and a huge waste of time.
I dont think i get much of it myself. I mean, i get parts of it, but not the whole thing. So...

Come to think of it, this post doesnt make much sense either. Ah well.
And so i said.
"Hello, Blue Roses!"
And no one said.
" "
Nothing. No one said nothing. (Is that wrong grammar? But thats what No-one said! Nothing.)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

I don't mind good people so much, or even bad people. What I dont get are false people. The ones who will smile at you and then laugh at you. And those who will invite you for coffee and then have you for dinner.
Its not that I have anything against them, really. I, well, I don't exactly understand them. Why would you want to be two (or more) people? Isn't it bad enough being one?
Like i know some people have public and private selves. Which is, I suppose, okay to some extent. But what is with public and public selves?
Its just so bloody hard to get. And weird. And a trifle irritating.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Reality Check

Well, that is that I suppose. Its one thing to dream big, and quite another to dream impossible. And not as some people would say "Impossible is Nothing" But just impossible impossible. The usual dictionary meaning.
And its okay really. I mean, there were all these other things to consider. And other points to make. Speaking of points, is it always necessary to make a point. Whatever happened to pointless living?
Its a funny thing, co-incidences. And they are usually never repeated. Superstitions either. And then little glitches that come back to laugh at you. Like..."you think?"
And so life comes back with a little more perspective. And as always there are two roads to take. And two voices in the head. Isnt it funny when there are two choices in front of you, there is only one you want to take, and only the other that you can? And you know even before you make the choice that its not really a choice but a compulsion. Just like there isnt any thinking involved even if you spend days (nights? years?) deliberating. You know right at the onset, what you ought to do, and "co-incidentally", it never is, what you want to.
And so we get swept forwards and onwards and even backwards in this current of choices, pretending to be in control, and knowing fully that we are not and can never be.

Sunday, March 18, 2007


There is a bouquet of long-stemmed roses, from last month, wrapped in a cellophane of pink stars and tied with a white ribbon, stashed away in my locker. I do not know now, what I should do with it. I did not know last month either.
A day will come, when the locker will be opened and its contents discovered, when prying questioning eyes will wonder at the fresh pink stars and the decayed flowers and the pretty white ribbon. I dread the day, for I know not yet the answer to the questions in those eyes, or those in my head.

There is also, a wooden wind-chime that makes a strange sound on lazy Saturday afternoons; there is the house next door that has witnessed innocent beginnings and selfish ends. There are candles that were lit during the last KalBoishakhi, whose smells have lingered into books, bed sheets, fingers and hearts; there are liquid timers that have evaporated into nothingness, there is a small crystal oyster on a dark wooden shelf. There is a blue beaded bracelet with a broken catch, there are old yellowing letters in an earnest hand, there is an empty Rocher wrapper. There are recipes for cheesecake and honeyed chicken never-read never-used, there are indignant red crosses on blank calendar squares. There is Southern Avenue and long silent walks, there are secret midnight phone calls, there is falling out and falling over. And there is a funny song.
There is bunking classes to play hide-and-seek, there is Haldirams, there is butterscotch ice cream on a new white shirt. There is madness, there is anger, there is walking away from a busy street. There is cloud watching and kite flying, there is Haji’s takeaway biriyani and tram rides through the Maidan. There are stormy evenings and a broken glass swan, there is death, there is Cadbury Perk. There are shy first glances, there are school uniforms pretending-to-be-adults. There are feverish journal entries, there is craftwork, there is amateur poetry.
And there is rain.
There is looking for the first time, there is Smirnoff, there is red wine. There is the sea, there is an unknown bed. There is a journey, there is a book fair, there is Dreams on DVD. There is Christmas morning three years back, there are the rows of Inox. There is crying in the attic, there are hysterical breakdown. There is Nicco Park and joyrides, there is Ashtami. There are stolen kisses on secret stairways. There are midnight story telling sessions, there are friends’ weddings, there is singing lullabyes. There is a chhatar tola, there is an SD4, there are lies never told. There is spin-the-bottle and clumsy seduction, there is a 6-hour conversation, there are surprises given and surprises spoilt. There is pushing away, there is drawing near. There is consolation, frustration, sympathy, misunderstanding, there is the second hooghly bridge, there are picnics by the river. And there are dolphins.
There is a first touch, there is a last. There is waiting outside Priya, there is apprehension, there is ‘Ode to a Nightingale’. There are errant friends and troublemakers. There is a shower, there is a kitchen. There are indulgent families and film festivals. There is a night full of stars, there is a cell phone under the blanket. There is yahoo messenger, there is sneaking in, there is a snowglobe. There are intertwined fingers and interlocked eyes, there is a long distance phone call. And there are dreams.
There are home décor books, there are coffee stains on floors, there is getting drunk. There are days missed and days made up, there is a blue glitter pen. There are names taken the first time, there are initials doodled in books, there are pictures sketched in minds. There is growing up and leaving all far behind. There are crazy, unthinking moments when all function but the mind. There is a tickle, there is nervous laughter. There is Goosey and Jimmy Porter. There is a sense of the forbidden, there is rebellion, there are bruised egos and homemade lunch.
There are confessions, there are threats. There are crumpled sheets and hastily brushed hair. There is a cork from a wine bottle. There is lightning and a hint of smudged kohl. There is a song hummed alone, there is a mischievous smile. There are stolen looks in a crowded space, there are questions answered without a word. There are panic attacks and paranoid fear, there are mood swings, there is impatience. There is a medical shop. There are e-mails. There is a smile out of place. There are power cuts and overnight trips. There are byes and there is a goodbye.
There are sepia memories and written records. There are two bruised hearts and so many broken dreams. There are promises never kept and words not forgotten. There is a green silk blanket.
There is all this and so much more. This is all that and so much less.

How am I to get rid of so much evidence?

Friday, March 16, 2007

The March

Sometimes i wonder if this City is for real. I feel like the picture, blurred. Like everyone knows what they are doing, but no one does anything in context with the next person. And it never matches. And all in all its total chaos. Anarchy. Whats happening to this place? How do some people get away with so much? Who makes the rules? Who lets them make rules? Why do we need rules? And why, inspite of rules, is there such a mess?
So here we are in the middle of nothingness. You would think stillness is peaceful, but look around you. Look into squalid state hospitals, into dysfunctional PA systems, into 4-way road crossings, into the eyes of the unrest youth atop garish tempos shouting slogans they can barely pronounce. Look a little further into editorial offices struggling to get the most shocking punchline, into tired reporters misquoting, misrepresenting and generally unaware of whose side they are on, into eerie empty streets during rush hour traffic, into squadron guarded official buildings threatening to burst forth in malice and hate.

And who suffers? Not you or me, even though we may pretend to be pained by what is going on around us. Not the intellectual creme of the City who have denounced their association with the state. Not the people waving scarlet flags and burning down buses in the middle of daylight in the metropolis of the world's largest democracy. Not the men and women in starched ujala-white cotton clothes whose lives revolve around making a thousand visions and revisions while the world crumbles around them. Not the hundreds of people who follow them around and claim to be fighting for a dying cause, and who can, in the same breath demolish antique furniture and civilized living.

No, the ones who suffers are those whose names we either dont know, or are mispelt and misplaced time and again by reporting agencies and by others claiming justice. What they end up as is just another statistic for the state to mull over for a week or two before something else comes up, preferably something more spine-chilling, and preferably something by the Opposition (well, we must take turns you know!) Until then, we dont go to work, we deny other daily labourers of their daily meal, we protest by burning down a BDO and throwing eggs inside the parliament, we refuse to listen, we refuse to speak, we scream from the rooftops and megaphones about the barbaric injustice that has happened, cite name after name, attract media attention, disrupt the last vestiges of normal life that could have been salvaged, all in all, we do our bit.

And as we speak, some more people in the hospitals die, and some more buses are torched in protest, and some more people gravely shake their heads and call the whole thing 'unfortunate'. And tomorrow some more eggs will be thrown, more walkouts staged, while away from prying media and public eyes anarchy will continue in a small nondescript village in Bengal.

All in the name of industrialization, equality, progress, justice, compassion and basic human rights.All in the name of democracy. All in the name of the poor, the down-trodden, the deprived, the deceived.
Yes indeed they are the deceived. They, and thousand others like them who are yet to understand the curious working methods of the people who have made themselves responsible for their destiny. They are the cause and they are the victims. Not the other way round.

And while heated debates continue in plush air-conditioned offices about human rights and the merits of industrialization, a few brave young survivors are left by themselves to put out the fire they did not begin.
Something has gone horribly wrong somewhere, hasnt it?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

"And That's Why Not"

Okay, so after years and years of research, and late nights and endless cups of coffee and heartbreaks and genuine puzzlements, I am ready to make my (infallible, undoubtable, yet mindbogglingly simple) theory public.
Now mind you, this theory, though foolproof, is entirely tailormade for the random doodler, so any raising of eyebrows, shaking of head (unless in agreement) and general dissent will not be entertained (gomakeyourowntheory!) And woe betide anyone who tries the alternative route of consolation or 'tsk-tsk' or ofcourse-that-isnt-true crap, this baby is time-tested i tell you.

So anyway, now that disclaimers are over, here we go.
The theory, which for now has a working title of "And That's Why Not"(ATWN) basically examines the possible reactions that can occur within a given framework of conditions (in this case, four) and also possible variations in case one or more of the conditions are altered or absent.

We consider first a homo sapien, necessarily of the male variety, and one who is necessarily not attracted to other homo sapiens of similar orientation. This is a mandatory clause, which when not met with can add serious complications towards the end of ATWN. Now, being just a required homo sapien, whom for simplification purposes we shall now call M.A.N (maleus andois niceus), is not enough. The theory requires that this particular M.A.N under study, must fulfil the following conditions:

  • Intelligence. Not just first-in-class/ i-read-eliot/ i-know-all-the-elements-of-the-periodic-table intelligence. But the kind that comes with being well-read, having a good upbringing and a certain clarity of perception. The M.A.N in concern must also possess the ability to conduct an intelligent conversation (that need not necessarily be about himself) with liberal doses of good (or bad) humour and wit. (If you think this clause by itself is a rarity, wait till u see the other 3!)

  • Cuteness. Not necessarily jaw-dropping, hearbeat-skipping, knee-hammering good looks (though one is not against it, one simple wants to be realistic). But reasonably decent looking, enough to make one think, to consider and reconsider, just about enough to be attracted to. This clause further includes the inbuilt clause of height, which again is a necessity, given that even without heels one seems to be taller than the majority of the male homo sapien population. And one is not necessarily happy about the fact.

  • Focus. What one refers to is a one-word substitute for 'going somewhere'. In life. Like our M.A.N may be hot a la Tom Cruise and able to quote pages and pages of Homer's Odyssey, but that still does not qualify him if he is basically drive-less. What one has in mind is a M.A.N who is doing something useful with himself, with what he has at his disposal. He need not be finding a cure for cancer, as long as he knows where he is going, and it isn't backwards.

  • Attractiveness-index. This is where one herself comes in. The point is that the previous 3 conditions must play in such a proportion that one is attracted to M.A.N, even to the slightest degree. Since cases have occured where the occurence of the first three have not resulted in the occurence of the fourth, this condition must be necessarily maintained as an assumption rather than a clause. (One is yet to come up with a theory that will determine in what proportion the first 3 are to be found in M.A.N for the fourth to be valid. As of now, the index remains a complicated abstraction.)

So these are your clauses. Now for the theory itself.

Given that the four conditions (as explained above) are found to be valid in the case study (in our case M.A.N) , the chances of M.A.N being even remotely interested in our Random Doodler is found to be zero (also known as zilch, none, nyet, oh-no-no-no!) Copyright- RandomDoodler

Further studies and more cups of coffee have also revealed that if one or more of the required clauses are found to be absent or modified, the conclusion of the theory can take an almost 180-degree turn. That would explain why not-so-bright, or not-so-hot, or perpetually-stuck individuals, or all of the above seem to take unnatural interest in one. Or why a M.A.N possessing the first three pre-requisites but falling short of the fourth through no fault of his own (in which case the whole thing takes an extremely tragic turn), would also do the same.

How far changes or modifications in given clauses affect the final result is still under research. Eventually one hopes to come up with a foolproof quadratic equation that will determine an exact change in the result when one or more of the clauses are changed in whatever degree.

However, the final result, all clauses and conditions given, remains unchangeable and fool-proof. The posession of the clauses in M.A.N and his interest in Random Doodler are inversely related, with increasing returns to scale dominating the scene. For the uninitiated, that means, greater the presence of the clauses in M.A.N, lesser and lesser is the interest shown towards one. (Note that one used 2 'lessers' as opposed to one 'greater'. That is increasing returns to scale.) The relation of the result to the clauses individually as of now follows a chaotic system of permutation combination that one is desperately trying to solve. (It is extremely probable that the same may take several light years as one was awful at PandC during school and to this day, has never quite got it)

Footnotes: The number of years gone into observation and understanding of the theory is more than a decade. Number of cases studied are at their least about a dozen. Theory has remained a sad, infallible, inevitable truth over the years. Earlier, one was puzzled. Now, one is more knowledgable.

Practical uses: Earlier one tried, got confused, got demoralized, got hurt, got angry. Now one simply checks to see if the first three clauses are in order if the fourth is activated. If they are, one simply does not bother. One knows what the result will be. And if by any chance, the result isn't what it always is, one checks the clauses again. And sure enough, one of the four is suddenly diminished, evaporated, or had never-been-there. The theory saves one a great deal of trouble and unnecessary deliberations.

Warnings: As one has mentioned before, ATWN has been categorically developed from experience, personal research, soul searching and simple logmathonomics. It is entirely suited to the dubious personality of Random Doodler, and in all possible cases will not apply to you. Therefore, think twice before attempting to practise this in real life. No requests of refunds, threats or coffee and milk-biscuits shall be entertained.

Now with the great theory out of the way, one is back to doodling and moping, and working out the the mechanics behind quantum physics, permutation combination and the Black Hole. One is also thinking of a better name for the theory as one suddenly realizes that ATWN sounds extremely silly.