Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Dust

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.

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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.

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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.
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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?

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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?

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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.
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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.

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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.

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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

Snapshots

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 d├ęcor 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.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bee-sized Bonnet

I'm Back to Blue and Blogging.
Only while this weird feeling lasts. Which isn't saying much.

I'm semi-obsessed with a few things right now. These being:
  • Photographs. Old, new, photoshopped, non-photoshopped, peopled, non-peopled, familiar, non-familiar (but looks familiar!), sepia, yellowed, faded, artistically taken, badly taken, et al. I stay up late going through random people's photoblogs and it has never been so much fun. (I am not much of a clicker myself, and in any case, I dont like the pictures i take)It reminds me of an older semi-obsessive phase I had of reading short stories on the net, and I wasnt even on broadband then. Try explaining huge phonebills to irate parents who refused to understand the merits of free original fiction.
  • Color pencils. I got a new set, picked it out all on my own and now i'm just raring to go. These are ordinary Camlins, set of 12 (actually eleven, i never did see the sense of a white one) and they have this cool tip which, when u dip into water, gives a darker, smudgier effect. I always preferred the pencil sketch effect over crayons, though crayons are undoubtedly more brighter. Anyway, I am currently doodling over anything and everythin, even though i have a brand new sketch book for the very purpose. That just seems too...white...to mess about in. Something tells me, all my life will be sketched in practice sheets.
  • 91.9 FM. Its this new radio FM station by ABP i think, and i listen to it all the time, whenever i'm downstairs, or out, or not around the PC. I loved their promo ad hoardings (I'm a sucker for things like that--Coffee House, adda, old gaan) and now I cant get enough of Rabindra sangeet, and Lok Geeti (is that it?) and Adhunik Gaan and Manna De and Hemanta and Salil Choudhuri (pardon me, but these are the only names i know :( ) The RJs are pretty bad, and talk far too much than they should, but oh, the music. These are all the Sunday morning songs that used to be played at home when i was in Bombay, and unconsciously or otherwise, it seems i know most of the lyrics to them, even though i cant remember the time i last heard them. They're all a little sad, looking-back-to-the-past times, but it reminds me so much of my dad and my childhood, that its not funny. (Sigh, i must be getting on.)
  • Bombay. I miss :-( for reasons beyond my comprehension. And some within. Maybe its because i was on holiday and life was pretty much a lazy sunday afternoon. But i miss. And i wish i knew it better. I stayed there for 10 whole years! And I barely seem to know it at all. I want to go back. Not to stay or something. But just...
  • Suzanne. By Cohen. I cant get it out of my head, cant stop singing it, cant stop picturing it. Its exasperating me a little now. I am almost tempted to quote the entire lyrics but i shall refrain.
  • Southern Avenue. I am back to my walking days. Even though the worst of summer is on its way, and sweat beads threaten to obscure my line of vision, i realize that i am happiest when i walk. Its just mindless, hands-stuffed-in-your-pocket, not-looking-at-anyone-around, full speed, threatening-to-crash-into-the-woodwork walking but oh its so senseless and so liberating. I just dont have to think!

There is more. But i'm done for the moment. Its 4:12 right now, i do not see how that would change the course of your existence, and it just became 4:13. That is how quickly I'm getting old. I wish somebody would do something. Its all so ohh-shucks-darn now. Why why why? Will the why never leave?

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tomato Soup and Murgi'r Jhol.

Sometimes you wonder how little things can make such a big difference. Like this picture i saw of my grandmother taken quite a few years ago. It was not particularly subtle, with a bright studio seashore scene set up, and she had this intense look on her face as if someone had told her that if she smiled, the world would end. So she had her eyes screwed up, and her forehead wrinkled--and she didnt look like my grandmother at all. Its funny, because everything else was so familiar, the clothes she was wearing, and even her spectacle frames. But she was not my grandmother in the picture. It felt a little weird, and even a little sad. Like she was someone on her own. And all these years she had just been my grandmother (and other people's mother and wife and sister and aunt) and not much else.
I cant make up my mind about the picture, as in, whether i like it or not. And i cant get over it either.

So anyway, people everywhere are trying to make up my mind for me. On every possible issue. Sometimes i think it would be so much easier to go with the flow. But but but... the stars get in the way. I just dscovered a few days back that my lunar descendant is Leo. And i seem to inevitably end up with the worst of both. What a laugh this is.
Speaking of stars, i got tarot card readings. Oh and inevitably again, whatever card i picked ended up being a slutty high priestess with enormous endowments. (Sigh!) So anyway, the cards hinted that i might meet someone new in the future, which is a good thing as i am tired of recycling people in my life. Oh, and it is also most probable that i might be the first to 'get some' and soon! Which leaves me to wonder if this is going to be another round of recyclement (yes i know thats not a real word).

I dont want to 'get some'!! I want excitement, and intelligent conversation, and lots of laughter, and butterflies in my stomach, and funnyquigglyfeelings, and corny sms, and meaningless phone calls, and giggling, and surreptitious glances, and bunches of wildflowers, and long walks in the evenings, and handwritten letters, and balloons and watercloured pictures, and random memories, and waterfall picnics, and redwinehighs, and bleary eyed mornings, and...

And there is and can never be any end to human want.

And so we sail on...tide against current, or some such thing. What a bitch the world can be sometimes.