Wednesday, November 13, 2002

Whatever you do, just tell me. Let me know. Words. Just feed me. Time and again. And I'll be fine. Perfectly.

Am I in the wrong business? Selling dreams, living dust. You didn't see the expiry date, did you? Check the entry below and you'll figure out the irony of the situation. Too long a pause. Too large a question. Time for closure.Re-insert value, Question purpose. Live on. It doesn't work this way. Which way does it work then? Dunno. But not this. You've seen the right things. All around you. Pay your fare. Wait in line. Throw away the plastic.
Open those peepers wide. Watch the reds and yellows, the crimson and orange. Throw the muddy brown and the pale white. Soak a little ego, add a pinch of raw energy, burst into flames. Leave the others to simmer.

You're smooth and suave. You used to be sweet. Caught ya.

My ego's hurt. I let it out on a vacation too long. In his absence, do the weak yearn for the tyrant? In absence and under attack.
Touch and retreat. Bang your head against the wall. Am I repeating myself or is the world in a warp?

Wednesday, October 30, 2002

I am walking. Straight with blinkers. On my eyes and in my head. Blinkers for survival is my election manifesto. Cello-taped existence.

The junction is crowded. The guy is smoking a beedi. A rickety cart and five kilos of near-rotten tomatoes. Do your quick calculations. At 5 rupees a kilo and a profit margin of 20%, it is 5 rupees on the road to cheap liquor and instant caffeine.
Riding down the bridge, hutments on both sides, cotton unravelling from filthy mattresses and cheap 'barsati' plastic at wholesale prices. My vehicle's swerving and my hands are steady. One rush and it'll go bang the yellow Zen, I hate yellow cars. I would dive off the bridge, vehicle and all if it weren't for the filthy water. Can't stand the smell...But I would dive off, yeah I would.

Beauty is a myth and I'm a delusional participant in the art of story-telling. Nothing exists, nothing survives. Creation is an act of impotence, by cowards who cannot face their inherent uselessness. We are factorials in a probability of grandeur.
Blinkers, blinkers, don't you dare touch them...

There are fragments in my head that are like splinters. They prick, they draw blood. All I want to do sometimes is spread the pain. With the vague logic of the afflicted, I believe that alleviation lies in proliferation.

Sunday, October 27, 2002

In search. Un grande passion.
Easy to give up. Easier to run. Thy time shall come.

Sitting, wondering, watching...above all, waiting. Always.

Kafka depresses the hell out of me. Most times, I have difficulty figuring out if what I understand is what he says or if what I understand is irrespective of author and word. I digress.Read Kafka's story of the King's messenger with the purported elixir of life for you and you alone.
I travelled with him, through the endless doors and teeming millions and inescapable distances. And I gave up. On him.Me I'm still banking on.

We sat on the portico today evening, me and the family. Three of us in comfortable silence. Suddenly felt so limited. Like this was my only universe and it is so 'not' going to last. And I missed everything I had ever let go of, knowingly, unknowingly, voluntarily, rebelliously....everything that added and subtracted to the simulacrum of existence.
Emptiness creeps in like blankets in an AC compartment. Just enough light to read by.

Friday, October 18, 2002

Every awesome high is followed by the onslaught of an irresistible low...
The above is probably so true that it explains why I go looking to drag in causes for depression even when there aren't any...

Thursday, October 17, 2002

Long time since I felt my head held. If this feels good, this must be good.
How long can I float? As long as I want to, I guess. As long as the air feels good and the lungs breathe deep.
In an oscillating world of random rhythms, some sound good. This one sure does.

Wasn't free fall. Just some burden off the lightness of being.
If I'm writing again, this must be extra good.
My eyes have grown wings. And I'll hold them to their promise of flight.
Through cheap thrills and fleeting touches, I have straightened up to walk tall.
Spine, don't fail me now.

It's raining.Baby showers. Clear light. And the safety of the world and its day.
And a city morning.

Monday, October 14, 2002

I've seen it all
I have seen the trees
I have seen the willow leaves
Dancing in the breeze

I've seen a man killed
By his best friend,
And lives that were over
Before they were spent.

I've seen what I was
And I know what I'll be
I've seen it all
There is no more to see

You've seen it all
And all you have seen
You can always review on
Your own little screen
The light and the dark
The big and the small
Just keep in mind
You need no more at all

- Selmasongs, Dancer in the Dark

Thursday, October 03, 2002

In groups of two and three and closed quarters are the lessons of life learnt. The remnants of childhood are given away in stealthy conferences and concealed laboratories.
And I’m in detention. For pretending to know what I want to do. And for shouting out loud. My ulterior motives and my deepest fears.
For talking, for not allowing the silence to be. For disabusing uncertainty. For prevaricating in the face of my ordinariness. For wanting whatever my eyes can see.
I am tawdry tinsel. I shine when the bulb glows. And I steal away when the lights go out. Into musty attics and non-festival, non-sale seasons. Where I gather dust and fireflies. To rot and shine on borrowed light.

I want blinkers on my feet. And a purdah on my eyes.

Wednesday, October 02, 2002

I have perspective, but no empathy.

Friday, September 27, 2002

Your philosophy, my life.
Sorta like jelly crystals.
Add water, refrigerate and voila...Gaston in the making..

Is it a virtue to be infinitely malleable?
I'm not too sure and yet I don't see why not. Is it acculturization or submission? To look into your head and pick the parts I like and make them all my own.
Isn't that what supermarkets do?

Sunday, September 22, 2002

The waters are calm and the sun bright.
Turmoil beckons with a banshee's wail.
A rush of blood and a body falls. Right into the maelstrom.

Friday, September 20, 2002

How can I hope to make you understand?
Why I do?
What I do?

This is one of my most favourite frames from Fiddler on the Roof. Bleak, languishing railway station at the border of a Jewish village somewhere in the barren Russian landscape. And two voices rising above the gloom. Clear as reeds, strong as strength.

Lend me a frame and elevate this life less ordinary. A small push, a big shove and I sail. A skiff on calm waters and a carton of beer. That's all I ask of you.
What did I do today that was different from any other day? I just was, nothing new, earth-shaking or dream-shattering. Just the same old thing. The same old thing gets nicer every day. If I amhappy, so are you. Don't tell me any different.

This has been a crazy week. All I did was sit quiet and watch the drama unfold. Multiple stages, intense characterisations. Single member audience traveling ticketless.
Sunil and the rest of the guys have been developing this awesomely exciting script. They're planning to stage it at Fergusson for Oorja. Extremely simple, powerful theme.
The play starts like any other would; plot, characters, conflict and resolution. Well, almost resolution.

The play refuses to end.
The actors snap out. They throw a tantrum. They walk.
They won't.

Time to take the shroud off the corpse and show the dead for what they are.
Meaningless, non-existent, unimportant, unknown.
Like 'The End'?

What else can I say? All I want is a window-display of my endless erudition of all things bright and beautiful.

What are the words about?
Non-confrontation, denial and cross-country races?
Defuse the grenades and chase firecrackers in the sky
Watch the gas fall back to earth in a tawdry funeral of two-penny sparks.
Everyday is an Impressionist canvas and my opthalmologist prescribes glasses to clear my vision. What's the bloody point?

Thursday, September 19, 2002

I lost my diary.
A few days back.

It isn't exactly a diary. I ramble in it as and when something gives.

And I have no clue where I had left it.

Somebody mailed me a few days back, saying he had found it and so I know I'm getting it back. Which is good I guess.
But it's not so great really. I was worried because there is a load of nonsense and crap in the thing. Random bits of my head. And I did want them back. But I kind of let it go. I don't own it anymore. It will come back. But what was is no longer. I know he's read it and it's not mine anymore. I didn't write to be read.

I'm confused and detached and irritated.
As a friend told me, maybe I should stop carrying my personal effects out of my home. But how do Ieave this head behind?

Monday, September 16, 2002

I have a life. When I least expect it, I find it.

Been running around University all day. The project is finally kicking off. Is a pretty ambitious HUGE five year thing that has to start off with a feasibility report. That means I have tons of structural work coming up. I like the stuff. Putting things in order.

Last Friday was a huge load of fun. Took a whole bunch of screaming 6-15 year olds to the Lohegaon airport. Field trip for this organisation I volunteer once in a while for. We got to see the insides of a really plush, neat monoplane. Absolute high point and the kids went mad! Hema Malini, Esha Deol and the other kid, Ahana landed up at just that moment (in town for the Pune festival) and obviously, the plane was promptly forgotten! Complete pandemonium in the gallery.Celebrity appeal is to be seen to be believed.

The weekend's gone. The concept still stays, though all days are holidays right now. And I'm supposed to be working doubly hard, operative word being 'supposed'. Was up on the terrace day before chatting with a friend. My most erudite, coherent, meaningless conversations have always been on rooftops and terraces. The silence and the distance inspire all that blab. All my theories fall into place in thin air.

Theory of the week: Everything is open and amenable to manipulation.To elaborate, manipulation does not carry with it the usual literary connotation; black fades into grey and the issue of pulling strings is only so far as the end justifying the means.

To repeat a platitude, we all create our tight little cocoons of wefts, warps and gossamer. And preservation comes at a cost.

Saturday, September 14, 2002

This one is long due. Just been too busy, tired, crazed, puzzled and worried.
And just so alive.

Thinking is an activity that is beginning to happen in situations more frequent and meaningful than the usual happenstance.
Looking for belief and trying to manufacture some of my own. God, Destiny, Fate, Control....what's thy poison?

I landed up at a temple last week. After ages. With this image in my head. Of hearing voices in suspended time. Of hallowed stone and and wisdom sitting tight. Of age and eminence and brilliance. The usual suspects.
Nothing happened. The priests had paunches and the murals were tawdry. The idol had laughing eyes.

We set our anchors, our points of reference at long-forgotten points if trivial time. And never veer too far.
His stories were my anchors, gods and Goddesses and Yaskhas and Ganas. Never the idols.
His feet moving in an even tempo on the cold night of a ritual. Never the temple.

I went alone to the temple and he wasn't with me.
So I walked away.

Friday, September 06, 2002

My demands are many and his abilities limited.
His needs are simple and my generosity stilted.
Pray how do I make a life?
He likes my hair. And the way it curls.
And my legs. And the way they move.
And my head. And the way it rambles.
He likes most of the package.
Familiar territory. I know my way through this.

He did too. Liked the way I made my path. And lived through his days. Made his years go away.
And spoke with the unafraid countenance of innocence.

Take it away, lads!

I like the way I cry. And bend and break.
I like what I cannot see.
I don't like this. Just too pretty.
It's all his pretty picture

Tuesday, September 03, 2002

Something burns somewhere.
A body. A child. A king. A scribe.
Lasting embers. Lighting the way to the stage. A solitary spotlight on a dying life. Leaving behind memories for centuries to bathe in.
Warm glow. Passing light.

Me, I don't like the light. I like the anticipation of the fade-out. Like the purple sky before the blackout. The last flicker in hot wax.

Battle-worn, weary and lamenting. That is how they leave the survivors. Damn the end. Somebody leave a sunrise.

Leave me the tentative half-beat step of a morning ray. Leave me your skin and your years. Let me hold onto the muslin on your body and the calluses on your fingers. Tell me you are there even when you're not.
Hang around in the palace of the good ghost and enter my house with the wind in my sleeve.

Thursday, August 29, 2002

She traipsed along the muddy path, speckles of slush all along the tiny ankles, stinging and slapping the red shoes. Singing in a high voice all her own, hands flapping in staccato rhythm. You could see her head bobbing, keeping time with the baby voice.

The evening drawing to a silent end, solitary lamps popping up in kid-dream splendour. Down the path, to the right and up the slope.

And the voice sloped down to an anti-crescendo and wrapped itself up into a sulky mouth. Voices drowning the silence. Voice. Loud and angry. And loud.

They saw her at the door and lowered the anger. It just stood there, suspended with the moths that the rains brought in. The muddy shoes came off on the rubber mat with the blunt spokes. The smile lay suspended on the path behind, waiting to be claimed by another kid, running from loud voices.
And she walked in. On a straight line. Like a drunkard in a calm frenzy. The eyes glassed and the words came.
And they all walked their paths.Characters in a demonstration, "How to Walk and Not Bump Into People".

Eyes up, eyes down, feet down, hands down.1,2,3,check. Sleep.

And she slept with teddy. She didn't like being touched. The wall was as good for the hands as for the voices.
But teddy was alright. He didn't scream.

Wednesday, August 28, 2002

Is it ok to be me?
Unfettered and cornered. Scared and powerful. Chained and released.
Chains with flowers, they look good and photograph well.

I walked ahead and looked back.

I sit in a house with four walls and twenty books and glide over a tar walkway in unsoled shoes. When I look at the sky, I cry.
I do not want any rules but mine. But my words are not always of my own making. They talk in voices I don't like and use tongues I've never heard.
Conflict is undesirable. It makes me look at things I don't want to see and takes away my will to will.

God in Heaven and I'm under a canopy. You can only see one of us at a time.
Choose my friend. He and I are on the same side, but you don't have that luxury.

Monday, August 26, 2002

It's been a week of non-activity, the busiest of all times...when I'm dying to figure out what it is that I can possibly do that is not this. Read between the lines, makes perfect sense.

There I was, on somebody else's balcony, thinking somebody else's thoughts, worrying about a life not my own. And it helped. To think without responsibility and involvement and the stakes. To just think.
Wonder what it would be like to have the water in the sky fall into my thoughts and let them trickle into somebody else's consciousness. To step into a puddle and dirty borrowed clothes. To smash your car and eat your food. To steal your money and live your fears. To be not me.

Will you be me for a day and a life?

Friday, August 23, 2002

Did I go somewhere?
Nah, I just came back...never know when and if I'm coming or going, picked that one up from 'The Shadow Lines'.

Picked up a number of books from the exhibition at J.M, dirt cheap prices...Am back and things are happening like in the eye of a whirlwind, everything's moving but I seem to be at a standstill, feeling like a soothsayer, something's wrong here...never mind, no point transmitting impending doom onto the blog of all places.

I have an interview for a random scholarship in an hour and will probably get to do an Anthropology project at the University of Pune.That should hopefully keep me going for a week at least. Been under the weather all of this week.
Terribly stifled...

Will write better in seemingly better times...

Saturday, August 17, 2002

Bags packed and ready to go.
To routine and mayhem.
Confusing confidence.
Mask upfront.

I hate transition. As a concept. It ricochets off the insides of my head and wears out all the padding.
Of course, I reconcile myself pretty well when I have to. Just that tiny gap in the hedge I have difficulty jumping over. One leap and there we go...

Flying in mid-air, pray gravity doesn’t fail me. One more time, just this once…

Friday, August 16, 2002

I want the right to be reckless…

To throw stones into brooks and pebbles into oceans,
To walk through thoroughfares, water-hose in hand,
To jump on the sofa,
To make faces at guppies in the aquarium.
To eat cotton-candy…
Not as reckless as downright goofy…

I’m going to go up on the roof tonight and sit and stare at the sky. A firefly or two should be coming my way and we’ll all sit and watch the silence glow.

Wednesday, August 14, 2002

The Marche Slav burns my insides on a slow fire. Roasts the entrails till they are soft as marshmallows, easy target to every passerby’s two-penny ballad.
The first I heard this was as part of a music appreciation workshop. Just about figured out the pronunciation of a fugue and a Tchaikovsky, before Parag Trivedi threw this right in my unsuspecting, hard-as-nails countenance.

And I sat there, hurt, killed, wounded, bleeding.
Desperate, penniless, hopeless and dying.
Plodding, falling, screaming and stopping.
A Russian soldier marching home in defeat, the winter tugging at his bodily remains.

But then, this is all but a fitting background to what I figured is the love of my life.
Melancholia.
Yep, all 24 carats of it.
Drenched in unsung tears and soaking cold, that is how I like the image of life to appear.

I love Raga Todi and its komal swaras.
I adore Talat Mahmood and voices that lament over imminent disaster and ruin.
Heathcliff is mah guy and I love rooms with the curtains drawn.
I will create ‘hero with daaru’ frames.
And gift away my entire non-existent inheritance to Kabban Mirza.
My best dreams are of lost loves and Taj Mahals.

We all have our mechanisms to elevate this life to one less ordinary.
This is mine.

Tuesday, August 13, 2002

Why can’t men dance?

Is not a judgement or a bias…just plain, simple fact.

There are very few men I have come across, who even in an inebriated state beyond redemption can move. Move like their bodies have the ability to and move like the music is part of them. There is an innate rejection of grace and an unconscious blinking in the spotlight. Women dance like they were born to. Sashay, wink, whisper, undulate.

Chatting with an old friend today. Currently in Mauritius. She and I used to absolutely love grooving on the floor. And we loved discotheques with mirrors. We loved dancing with ourselves, watching the motion and the mayhem.
When the music and the lights took over till the point when we stepped out and let our bodies do the talking.
An extremely demanding, heady place to be.

I repeat, very few men I know who can dance.

Philip John, definitely. Like a panther in motion. What a performer!
Motive power of course being, the audience. More the women, sexier his moves;)
But what a mover…
Rahul Sethi…mah guy for adrenalin…all ‘masti’ and abandon…we danced the ‘bhangra’ to every other rhythm in the world. And audience be damned.
Durlov’s another league altogether, an absolute artist; until of course, drunk when he begins sparring with his own shadow, partner be damned.
VKG invents his moves as they come, GM’s awesome when he’s drunk and Handa is a phenomenon.
Pretty limited sample size come to think of it.

Quite paradoxically, in most dances, it is the men that lead. Set the motion, form the choreography and orchestrate the body. What a phenomenal waste.

I remember dancing with a guy called Noy and thinking, if only his patterns could be superimposed onto the entire male population.
It is a joy to dance with the right kind of partner…where the body takes over and all you’re required to do is freefall.
I can watch ‘Dance with me’ ten times over and Al Pacino totally rocks my floor.
And reel life is seldom real..

Monday, August 12, 2002

Times few and far between when I wish I were anywhere but here (remember the shitty movie?).
I left home when I was 17, pretty late actually, I wanted to leave much before. Audience assumed the obvious, studies, career, a better life. They watched me walk. But I remember seeing me run. Run with a desperation that overwrote all transitionary problems and culture shocks.
I remember inhaling trouble, worries and potholes along with the heartache, loneliness and uncertainty. I remember learning to live with the constant indecision and the responsibility. I remember feeling me.

And I remember the heady rush of space. My own bubble and the breaking of that nagging lump. And all the growing-up. I remember arguing without the fear of not being understood and I remember walking tall, without wondering who was watching.

I remember flirting and sashaying and talking to strangers in the street.

It’s been a wonderful life.

Yet, remnants come back with the guilt and the nagging feeling that something somewhere shouldn’t have been this way. That home does stuff for you and you do nothing for it. And you do nothing because it does not accept anything done for it. And your way is not necessarily always the right way. And sometimes it’s better to turn your head than watch the ruin.The cracks run deeper than the surface and you have learnt to walk around them, but some are lodged permanently in the security of erosion.

And I cannot watch, so I’ll run again. It works wonderfully with practice.
Anywhere but here.

In the midst of a tantrum!

Saturday, August 10, 2002

A bead of sweat glistens, marches down the arm onto the outer ridge of the elbow;
Holds for a second partly in air, before falling off in rhythm with the motion of the muscle..
And they call it a sexy body...

Subconscious artifice...the human body, controlled by the human mind..
This guy is so sexy

Absolutely, unbelieveably, irresistably droolicious.
Check him out here, here, and here..

As your superior powers of observation must by now have gently insinuated, I'm well and truly mesmerised, stupefied, bedazzled and obsessed...it's that damned wordlist again!

Friday, August 09, 2002

It’s a beautiful day, been raining all morning, there’s a large ugly frog on the porch, beady eyes et al. The grass needs trimming, the colony’s going to ruin.
Not like earlier. When I was a kid here, everything used to be in landscaped order. It’s a beautiful colony, some five lawns and huge trees. Clusters of bougainvillea and periwinkles. Drainage canals run next to the houses, overflowing in the monsoon. The kids don’t run paper boats in the brown waters though. We used to make tunnels and rivers on the sandy bed in the playground and drag the main pipe off the large lawn to fill it up. We could race cycles through the roughest paths and skate through the steepest roads.

My BMX lasted through school.
Wonder when I gave it away.
I still have my roller-skates, though I only use them in the house now. Too scared of falling on the roads.
Wonder when I learnt fear?

Every age has had its pleasures, some more debauched than the rest…
Darn right, I’m going to write.
All these logistical constraints over the last few days, not the least of which being, blogger overturning my carefully constructed verbal context, have taken away the scarce kegs of creative juices I strain to possess.

‘Tis the old argument all over again. Safety versus impulse, with the two not necessarily being mututally exclusive domains.
Of course, only in hindsight will the ‘intersperse’ show. So what the hell do I do?
All signs point to the obvious, anthropology it is, with the future carefully chalked out and direction signs mapped to scale.
But the motive power behind quitting was the ‘write’. And hence the MFA and all resultant jubilation. Doesn’t seem to be the safest option actually. Check the shelves at Crossword, overflowing with confetti and packing paper. Signs of a healthy, wholesome industry with unhealthy component parts. Writers starved for words, epicurean audience with the freedom to pontificate and reject. I can make a better career writing Hindi film lyrics.

Still figuring out the whole mess, slowly, surely…

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

And now I sit, staring at the rain curtains stretching from my doorstep to the end of the road. Rows and rows of harem beads. It rains in whiplashes down here.
It’s pouring cats and dogs outside. Long day today.
Was up at a quarter to five and ended up missing the train at 6 anyway….

Finally found place in some vague Hyderabad Express at 9 and home at 12.
Fed and put to sleep by 1.
And now I can’t seem to get any sleep at all, have exhausted all the music that I can stand for the day, rushed through a bunch of comics from the attic, watched all the stoopid TV I can stand and here I am…

The journey through Lonavla was awesome. Brooks and streams careening down jagged stone at every corner. That obscene green that follows heavy showers and the mist in limbo, like time under repair.
And garam chai. Not to mention chillies and wada-pav. I bought random stuff off every hawker that bothered to come through the compartment. Cucumbers and jelly sweets and chocolates and chikki.
High point of the day, this close to 60-year-old woman threatened to throw my stuff off the train if I didn’t clear her space. Not an inch above five feet with all the sinews of long years in her veins. Needless to say, I did.

Monday, August 05, 2002

Whooops-a-daisy...

He swung me up, then brought me down...
Then kicked me up all over again...
I can see the ground coming up faster and faster...

Thud, thud, thud
Up all over again

Freeze shot, enlarge and frame.

Saturday, August 03, 2002

Is there a purpose to life as we know it?

How many lives before I learn to ignore that question? The only solace I ever find in times of eternal doubt is in somebody else's words. In knowing that someone, somewhere knows. Maybe. A faint halogen glow at the end of the railway tracks. Somebody will wake up tommorow morning and tell me the secret of existence. And I wonder what I will have to offer in return.

And it is this that plagues, pulls and worries. What is that particular skill or talent by which I have the means to create value in this world? And what value to date have I? I don't know. I can't see much for which I would pay with for the secret of existence. Maybe most have given up because there is no such thing.

I think. At least I think I think. But it's getting to be quite an ordeal of late. The conditions do not permit excessive usage of the grey cells. And I am nothing if not an atmospheric child. They call it situational management, escapism, mediocrity, the middle path and various such. The terminology is of no consequence. If there weren't a non-existent moral fibre to contend with.

Looking for a value structure. The shelves are loaded.
How many for sale? How many worth bidding for?
I have nothing to say..and I don't want to say the things that I would otherwise have.
I don't want to tell you what I did today and yesterday and the day before that...because I did nothing...

The city is empty. I don't know anybody here even when I thought I did.Their heads are in caverns in the Amazon jungle and now it seems like mine's going to roll off in a day.Something's got to give.

Tuesday, July 30, 2002

What are beautiful words?
What do they say that tear at my being?

My brother once told me that a truely beautiful sunset is the one that is felt in that instant between that which is seen and that which is worded.
Then what is beautiful on that page, if not those black scrawls that scream at my brains?
Nah, I think my brains are the ones doing the screaming.

The process works like this.
Eyes register...Something makes you stop in silence and take a deep breath..
And then comes along that shithead mind (not mixing metaphors here, are we?) and says...
'long road, mist overhead, row of mountains, and thou...of course, it's beautiful'....there goes the moment ...

The only beauty I see in those words is the sheer agony of my mind on the edge..Because it is told something that it cannot see..
It is made to wait on the edge of the gap between the word and the experience. And the gaping abyss holds the promise of beauty and beyond.
But that's all there is.Only the promise.
And I wait. Read it over. And over. And over. Till it pinches and hurts.

Till the gap expands into the certainty of never knowing. And the acceptance of loss...
Loss is powerful and so is absence.
The power of 'not being there' is always much more potent than all the acts of presence.

An accident happened last Saturday. People died.
People who had taught me, who had lived with me at some point of time in life, people in my head.
And it hit. I haven't seen them in years. And now I will not.
Somebody said it's destiny. Vague destiny this. Act of permutation and random probability. Does not, DOES NOT, exist in the realm of reason. Stupid destiny this.
I did not brood, I didn't cry, not much at least. But that sense of impending doom refuses to go away.

Beauty exists in loss, yeah right for the onlooker it does.

Saturday, July 27, 2002

Going out dancing tonight...Absolute high point of the week.

Weekend feels good, spent all morning cooking and cleaning...love doing that once in a while...

Hot oil and spluttering spices is my kick of the day..
Sprinkle mustard, dash of cumin, fresh ginger and chillies and the rest is just by the way.
The first whiff of flavour released kind of sets the mood for the rest of the meal. Add onions and watch the heat go all the way to the veins.Tomatoes, bell peppers and a hint of chilli powder. And last but not the least, tonsa coriander...

Desert was peaches and ice-cream and a bar of chocolate.Slept like a drugged whale. Phone calls right through my dreams, God knows what I blabbered.

I'm going to go home and GORGE on good old South Indian food. Just eat, sleep, read and walk around like a zombie. My mom has an awesome repertoire. Enough to last me for a month and not repeat anything. Although if you ask me, good old rice and curd day and night will serve me just fine:)..ain't a fussy sort. Just keep an unending supply of wafers and chocolates in the refrigerator.

All that food's made me hungry, dnner is Nandu's parathas. Cheese with extra butter, absolutely sinful...I can always get back to gym Monday morning and anyways, have a high BMR, so what the heck...
As my grandmom says, sweet thing that she is, this is the age to EAT....she wouldn't say that if she saw Bomi attack chicken though, can that beast EAT!!! She's 47 kgs of wafer-thin swaying in the air 'nothing' and eats thrice as much as I do.
Am looking forward to getting to B'lore in November and catching up with her and the rest of the assholes. Junta has migrated to B'lore past few months. God help the city...

Friday, July 26, 2002

It's a lovely day and I slept all morning..saw 'Road to Perdition' yesterday. Extremely ughhhh...
Wanted 'I am Sam' or 'The English Patient', but the dodos with me obviously suffered from acute lack of taste.

Have a whole bunch of mails from associates and clients, really nice ones...think I will be in touch with quite a few of them.
Binged on clothes today, some lovely shorts and skirts and pajamas at Cotton World, no money, seems like Daddy will have to be coerced into opening his coffers. Is nice to feel partly 'supported' after such a long time. Don't mind going back to the allowance funda actually.
Come to think of it, I've never had a fixed allowance thing ever. Most expenses were asked and accounted for, they were discussed and provided for, post viability studies. I've always grown up knowing pretty well what I can have and what I cannot.

I still have to get an alternative cell scheme. Just blasted the Idea guys, but didn't seem to make much of a difference.
Just my luck, that the customer care guy turned out to be a 40+ Iyer Tam Brahm, JUST THE KIND I CANNOT STAND!!! Reminded me of a lot of obscure family members with those patronising tones and dismissive gestures.This one was comparatively manageable.
Said my piece, threatened to switch (which I will anyway) and walked out. Definitely not the kind of tirade that makes a shit of a difference to anybody.

Have to get back home in a while. Picked up a marvellous collection of plays by this guy called Wesker. There's this one called 'Three Women Talking' that is so minutely detailed, right from the light arrangements to the sets and the people. A friend wanted to have a look at the script. He's thinking of staging the play. Don't feel like giving it to him at all. Am a little protective about this piece. If not done well, it can end up looking pretentious and awkward.Like words all wrong and situations for the sake of...
Its a potential minefield, extremely powerful in content and I know he's going to ruin it.
I want to do this play, start to finish. But doubt I'll ever bring myself to. Naaaaaah, not now.

Suffering from lack of external stimulants. Nobody I know has anything to say.
Why is everybody simultaneously brain-dead?

I have new clothes and I'm going home.




Thursday, July 25, 2002

Mr.Essential Ingredient of My Life!
How essential? As much as I choose to let it be. Can I let go? Oh yes!
Purpose of above statement, to establish credibility of control mechanism.

You're pissing me off. Your theories, your paradigms, your righteousness.
Mr. Too Perfect, Exalted Highness is difficult to handle.
You're up there and I'm down here and I can't see you listening. Your conversation has the right gaps, just enough for me to fill then up . But I'm just a filler and you just want to say your piece. That's what it's all about. Saying your piece.
Audience beware, there just aren't enough of you guys. Suggest you start demanding a premium.

You are right, or so you claim and thus you defend.
And I am tired of stepping carefully, keeping silent, watching my words.

I hate fitting in and discovering that you have so tailored yourself to a particular role that you hate roles you have played at different points in time.
I would love to keep running, never having a past. Don't want anyting to come back to or build a story around.Do not want to be caught between times, knowing where not to go and heading right there. Can't be in between, rapidly falling in love with my own helplessness.

Strangely restless.
Everything keeps coming back.

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

I had a GRAND day today!

Met Veena..Veena's my counsellor, friend, mentor..She's one of those people in my life who teaches me to smile straight and think right.
I don't know her too well. Just enough.
To think, see and not mind the blotches.

I sat up writing half the night yesterday. Think I'm beginning to write right.
Watched life flow. Looked through old photographs and letters.
Relegated nothingness to the upper reaches of the attic at the bottom of my appendix.

Nothingness, such a euphemism...says nothing, yet tries so hard....an effortless flow, leaving nothing in its wake.
If everything could be verablised, my tongue is all I would need. But verbosity is my crutch and don't ask me to limp.

Write for the sake of writing, in itself an acknowledgement of the eternal need for reason...for the sake of....something backed by something/ safety nets/ no fallen angels. Excuse my inability to stand on my own.

Pinpricks burst bubbles! Ban needles, ban involvement! Curiosity, chutzpah, life!
Too many exclamation marks, talk soft...

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

Aaaarrrrgh!! I miss my comp.

Saturday's booze plans got cancelled, a colleague had free passes to TDS, but the place was shut. Next weekend hopefully.

Sunday was coool, browsed all around juna bazaar. Bought a set of 12 slides for ten bucks..u know, those outdated thingies that you can see through a view-master?
These looked like agency stuff, artworks for cola ads and vague OTC drugs. Tons of sepia-tinged specimens in an old plastic bucket right next to grotesque brass curios. Extremely out of shape models and ugly curtain print clothes. Also saw a huge brass canteen, encased in denim, shaped like a goblet, moth eaten edges, but looked pretty good. Couldn't afford it though.
Went out to dinner in the rain, felt absolutely light-headed, non-being.

Planned to sleep in Monday morning, but like most well-meant plans, managed to wake up at 7.Called up a few dozen people and made lunch engagements with half of them (this way, I won't have to cook in the day). Met up with a friend at German Bakery and chatted through the rain. About a lot of things I didn't want to talk about.
About moving on and finding meaning. About letting go and holding on.About the ego and its compatriots.
Also won a bet and a floppy hat. Small consolation.
I don't like meeting this guy, I don't like being under the spotlight. Brought back a lot of unwanted memories. I had once asked him if things turn out ok and he had said, they work out beautifully, exactly the way they should. Always had difficulty believing platitudes.

Today's been a downer, done nothing much. Just lazed around and let anxiety and worry glide into the brains.

Somebody tell me it's going to be ok. I might not believe you, but let that not stop you.

Saturday, July 20, 2002

Everything is but hormones and a rush of blood.

I can only feel as much as my body allows me to and I don't even know if I should trust the consistency of these feelings.
How long does hate last? How much can love withstand?

Maybe, I am but a figment of imagination and the world another metaphor.
The land is also called Marmosa Marmalada and we are in training for a better life.
Plankton in the sea, washed away into microscopic oblivion.

I cannot question who I am, because in the absence of answers, limbo shall conclude that I cease to be.
Today I'm adrift.
Have a BIG lump, dying to get out....

Such an anti-climax...Promise this will be the absolute last ever time I whine about quitting.
But loss of familiar surroundings has always been a sore point..

I'd bawl everytime I'd have to go back to hostel and I'd hate getting back home during vacation.I do NOT take too easily to drastic change.There's a whole load of time and energy I invest in my surroundings, in people, soft boards, desks and my window.
Have to empty it out of my head.

Softboard has the verses of Lochinvar and an Escher print. Also the tickets for 'Evam Indrajit' and 'Death', our theatre productions.Besides a few random concept pics, exhibition renderings, CD scripts, schedules.
Desk has a Chinese loo (Anthu, if u'r reading this, it still works) and my Cheshire cat. Also the TOI mug (which incidentally, I'm going to whack).

My office is a white building with zebra stripes, situated right out of the back of beyond. You can see the hills outa the window.
Time to relocate to civilization.

Friday, July 19, 2002

Questions, Questions, Questions...

All I want is somebody who asks as much as I do.
Course, it won't be much fun if we both did that all the time. Would be like declaring insolvency after publishing Who, Why, Where Part I.....be right back with the answers after THIS commercial break...

God's on a commercial break, no wonder they call this the Kali Yug;)

Surprising how the words sabbatical, break, quality time are all in vogue. Everybody's taking time off, coffee machines on full blast...
Me, I'm just happy, really...for some modicum of control on state of existence...
Have huge plans for next week, going to get back on the mandolin, enrol for Spanish and Tango classes, and maybe check up on the local Department of Anthropology...also work out regularly...too much time on hand and I'll go crazeeeee...

Sometimes this seems like a video game.On slow motion.

Just when I thought last two days would be hassle-free, whole load of projects and amazing amt. of fire-fighting.
Matto's Law: The only time production cannot go wrong is when you aren't doing it!!!

I want a warm bed and a double-layered quilt.
Make me a wish, find me a star.


Thursday, July 18, 2002

I'm in self-induced stupor.
Having a bad hair day.
No appetite.
Eyes threaten to fall onto the keyboard.
Flirty SMS from a 40 yr old, somebody tell him to go get a LIFE.

The one bright spot in Matto's day, 'Bend It Like Beckham', tonight's show and loadsa caramel popcorn.....wheeeeeeee

Just indexed the whole load of data; correspondence, quotations, content, copy, project reports, ALL the crap.
Hopefully, my successor shouldn't end up calling me Monday morning in the middle of my dreams.
For at least a week after Saturday, I don't want to hear the phone ring and be asked if the project is on track..
I want to FEEL like I don't have a job:)..

There used to be a time when I'd have actual nightmares about artworks having grains and clients rejecting design after design. Complete graphic, word by word, perfect renditions of 'Scenes from my SAD life'. Days thankfully long gone. Took me some time to stop panicking over every contingency. Learnt to chill and say that it ain't worth THAT much.
Moderation mah child, Buddha was a wise guy.

My mom doesn't understand what I do. Not since the last three years anyway. How do I explain what a degree in communications entails? Or what a design agency does?
My Dad's a chemical engineer. I knew about paraxylene when I was eight and buffer tanks long before that. I grew up thinking a factory was the coolest place to be.Every month I'd bum a few pellets of some convoluted chemical off his desk. I knew what he did. Manufactured some vague element that could be spun into cloth. Touch, feel, see, believe...

I sell logos, and strategy and reach and recall.....Ughhhhhhhhhh.....Not any more..

It's trickled into mah life.
I have multiple phone voices,
'Agency to vendor, when the hell are ya gonna deliver',
'Agency to client, Oh I'll love you till the end of the earth',
'Agency to client again, waaaah, where's the money',
and 'Mom, stop asking me if I'm eating right'.
At any point of time, you'll find one of these in high alert.

My mission for the week, to find my voice.

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

Nobody loves me
Everybody hates me
I'm going to go and eat worms

Big worms and round worms
And wriggly worms and squiggly worms
See how they wriggle and squirm

I will bite of their heads
And suck out their juice
And throw the skin away

Nobody loves me
Everybody hates me
I'm going to go and eat worms!!!

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Wed Morn : 2:30 a.m

It’s a perfect night to weep. For you, me and the ants on the street. For our movements and our plans. For feet that scamper and eyes that dart. For life that will never be.
When I’m sad, I bawl. And hug. And sleep. Mornings, I move on. Emotion is trivial and survival the noblest goal of all. Every problem has a stopgap arrangement. The meaning of life is 42.
I asked a friend how he would like to be loved, sensibly or senselessly?
And he said 'sensibly'.Knowing if he were loved because it was him. And if it were ever to be gone, he wouldn’t wonder if it was ever his to keep or lose.
I don’t think he would much appreciate the irony though:)

Tragedy is awesome. And love magnificent. Burning embers are grand. Yeah yeah, that too!

Tragicians don’t bawl. They weep, in blood-sucking agony.
In raising sorrow above all else, they drain themselves of the ability to adapt.
We bawl and move on.They weep and die.

I loved ‘Devdas’. Screw the critics. Costumes, sets, colours, no doubt amazing. But the protagonists have outdone themselves.
For a change, SRK is really really good. I went with the sole expectation of seeing him ham frame-to-frame.
Love Bollywood when it does a great thing every once in a very long while…
Smashing ‘pikchar’.

Don’t understand his love. But is easy to feel his despair. And know his faults. And weep.
Clincher in all good stories, ‘focused conflict’.
Push. Pull. Fall.Break. Repair. Run.
Beautiful.

I wish I could write stories to make you weep.
I always knew I belonged in Solang!


Which era in time are you?

I do not want to be responsible.

Responsible indicates a 'cause and effect' rule. NO way Jose!! Doesn't work that way.
In limited, controlled atmosphere, all other factors remaining constant, maybe it does.
But not in my life...
And that's ironical. Because all that I do and think and imagine is towards creating this utopian bubble of self-sufficiency and 'I know what I'm doing'....and that's crazeeeeee, cause I DON'T...

I do not know if what I say is what you hear and I can't hear what you say. Every speck of dirt that I throw out of the house comes back through the window to settle into a crevice in the loudspeakers. Every ant crushed leads an army of ten thousand to the kill. And sounds stay suspended in mid-air.
Impulse combats thought and instinct bails out complacency.My hands are not my own and my fingers weave an unknown web.

Powerlessness is powerful.The unknown is comforting and my eyes are glazed.Shut the door, draw the curtains, snuggle in.

Sunday, July 14, 2002

I love Sundays..
When I can be coaxed to wake up early that is..

Biked down to Peacock Bay at 6, lovely clear sky and unending road. Stopped there for a good half hr, traipsed all over the brooks and rocks and headed back to breakfast. Crashed for the next three hours.

Just back from Crossword. Bought a Hemingway and loadsa music. I'm running out of cash, but what the hell.
Awesome 'Bong' dinner, dal and chawal like home and HUGE syrupy rosogollas. Bless the revolutionaries.

I like sleeping when I'm tired. When that 'just before sleep', fifteen minutes of restless brain activity is not allowed to stretch into the night.When I sleep like a sozzled hilsa.

Tell me who you are and I'll tell you who I am...

Thursday, July 11, 2002

Is analysis a good thing?

I read a good book, I love it, I bathe in it. And make meaning out of it in my own limited sphere of experience.
And then comes the Mr. Phonetics/Semantics/ Semiotics/ Anthropological Ph.D analysis...

And my first reactions are like,"Huh? Huh? Double duh!"
Further down into the long-winded, convoluted paper meant to double up as Esperanto, some semblance of a pattern. Head nods in slow, difficult, resistant mode and eyes glaze into a non-cynical, 'maybe this makes sense'.
And then I make another pattern out of the former black and white 'I like it' viewpoint and walk on.

Sure that is over-simplification. But the point here is that I don't know what is better.
To just soak it up and let it be, see it like a child and be amazed or look through a microscope, watch for underlying patterns and love it for its architecture and symbolism.
Does knowing add to the tapestry or just buffer the 'let's make meaningless conversation about something equally uselsss' lounge?

Analysing Rushdie makes sense. He asks, literally begs to be. So do most post-modernists, magic realists, blah, blah, blah.
But some I don't want to touch. Kundera, Hemingway, surprisingly even Tokien (allthough LOTR analyses make for complete readings in themselves, and pretty interesting ones at that, ).
Words that are, because they couldn't have not been. Stories to live, lives to be, worlds to conquer.

Sometimes, all I want is a good bedtime story.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Why must we find excuses to be right?
I finally got my exam dates today morn!!!!
Whoops, what a relief! Now the entire plan seems kinda REAL .
Long way to go, but my guess is it couldn't have been any other way (post-purchase dissonance and all that crap).

The entire handing over process SUX!! Am so bored of documentation and more documentation and 'manufacture more cloth to cover EVERYBODY'S ass' and some more.
Let's see; meeting in B'bay day after, status reports done, couriers gone, have to call the vendor, burn old data, quote for product branding, brief for corporate copy, mail Anand and Anna and the Eco Times guy....
Let's hope we get back Friday evening, was supposed to go dancing.

Mail's a laundry load of convenience, but I miss ink.
I wanna WRITE on my blog. Curves and curlicues and seriphs. With a leaky pen and twisted nib.
My handwriting has walked with me all stages of my life. From introvert to more introvert to curious to ambitious to confused to composed. It's been there all the way. Through the brief experiment with calligraphy and the 'g' with a blob and a toupee.
Now all I get to write is IOMs and cover letters and addresses on envelopes when the courier has to leave in the middle of the night.
And letters. Sometimes.I write letters to people I love...

Remember Set theory?
Matto only writes letters to people she loves.
But not all the people she loves get letters from her.

No wonder, I can never frame a decent test paper!!!!!!!!!

I write to people I want in my head.
Long, nonsensical, puzzled, whimisical, newsy letters.
On hand-made paper in designer envelopes.
Of course, once written, they lie conveniently on the desk till such time I can drag myself to find a stamp and the right address and a red postbox.

Sloth, my favourite sin.......



What Was Your PastLife?

Hee, hee, heeeeee, he, he, he.....

Mac, do they do this to every dumb, jobless, test-taker?

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

Lousy dance session yesterday, got saddled with an asshole of a partner who kept trying to beat the beat.
God knows where he wanted to get to, tripping on my toes and frowning at me like I was the one with the two left feet.

Most irritating, he simply, absolutely refused to enjoy the act and behaved like he was on trial.
Awesome music, lovely expanse of floor and 'Mr. Nose up in air' is on his own trip.
Felt like stepping right on his little toe with four inch heels.Or feeding him to the cat. Or shooting a pin into his bike tyres.
Or just pushing him out of the window..Or Or Or....never mind.

Tonight I'm gonna go home and soak my feet in a large tub of soapy, warm water. Probably cook some macaroni with oodles of gooey cheese. Also, pick up a mousse. Wash hair, paint nails purple,play some music (choices: Marche Slav/ Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan/ Radio Mirchi/ Aks/ Peter Gabriel/ BEATLES!!!).

Then, then, then?
Go for a ride in the night maybe,find a kind soul to be silent with.
Write some. Read some more.
And let the moon in.

Monday, July 08, 2002

Unstoppable urge to soar.
Not like a bird.
Like me.

For the first time in a very long time, I've broken free of my life. Momentarily. Felt nothingness. Non-being. Unexistent.
Like a wisp of cotton, a whiff of mist, a hint of breeze.
There, but not.

My life's boring. Most of the time. So I buffer it with yours. And your kin. And your head.
I'm bored of me and enamoured by you. So I hold you down, pin you by the throat and pick your brains. One thought at a time.
And finally one day, you fade into the background. Become familiar, comfortable and BORING.
So I get back to re-inventing myself. And I entertain you.
The dance of the tribes. One step to the left, one leg to the right, forward and backward, tight circle, heady beat.
Inexplicably the circle breaks to allow oxygen. Vacuum. Laughing gas.

(The darkest dreams appear no more than episodes in wakelessness. Not real. Romanticised bits of deep blood satin.
How do I want to be loved? Sensibly or senselessly? Can I try both before I decide?)

I don't live here anymore. On a vacation to bluer skies.
Few more seconds, I'll plummet right back. Right now, let the world be.
If I'm happy, you must be too.

Saturday, July 06, 2002

Half my days I cannot bear not to touch you
The rest of the time I feel it doesn't matter
if I ever see you again. It isn't the morality,
it is how much you can bear.


Don't we forgive everything of a lover?
We forgive selfishness, desire, guile.
As long as we are the motive for it.

-The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje, 1992)
What a lovely lazeee day. Feel like this

Just finished the whole load of tiresome billings and now have the rest of the day to while away in God’s own cybercafe.

I have fifteen more days to hand over, update all status reports, close a few projects and get content and design on the exhibition moving. All in all, not bad at all.
It’s been a good year. Definitely much much much much much more organised than I used to be. Learnt to appreciate the fine art of detailing, not to mention design lingo. Can pretty much handle a project end-to-end now. And that is something (read big grin).

Have to get back home and stock up on provisions. Olives definitely, beer, loadsa chocolates. Cheese? Maybe.
Might just try some good old South Indian cooking today and catch a movie on telly.
Decent band playing at the Jazz Garden, but am too bored to find/coax and drag anybody to dinner. So the idiot box it is!!!

Ruchi’s away for the weekend, so house all to myself, definitely need to clean up, get some flowers and most importantly, get the cracks sealed up.Also, try and do a study schedule.
Tasklists are reassuring.

Friday, July 05, 2002

Nothing much to do over the weekend.Maybe clean house, walk through Juna Bazaar or take a look at the useless flea market at Koregaon.
No plays running in town either. The last production I enjoyed was 'Ismat Aapa Ke Naam'.

At the Corinthian open air auditorium; minimal sets-low divan, a few panels, low lighting and Naseeruddin Shah in full-throated splendour.The stories just spun themselves in thin air.

The publicity sucked. Naseer and Ratna Pathak slashed all over posters. And sure, we love them. Master practitioners of the craft. But no mention of the cultural context in which the stories were written, or the retribution that they would have had to face.
Or even anything about Ismat Chughtai.
The atmosphere in the stories is LOADED. Humour, wit, cutting sarcasm and an unbelievable pathos. An astutue daguerrotype of the times that the words have withstood. And we will never know.

Have to learn Urdu.

Thursday, July 04, 2002

At office staring blankly at my screen. Awful hangover, two hrs to chai time. Fever's catching up, need to get home.

Was in a lovely haze y'day. Alcohol seeping in, music floating and no conversation.
Why does it help to get drunk? Cause it makes it easier to face me.
The 'not happening', 'bad deal', 'wrong choices' me, everything absorbed into the bloodstream.
The edges softened, the lines blurred, the pixels minimised.

Just that the day after feels GODAWFUL!
Makes you want to give up on booze.
Like everytime I have to get my eyebrows tweezed, never want to do it again. But well....head right back the next time.

And come to think of it, I don't want out-of-focus life views. I'd rather see it in all its ugly glory.
As escape mechanisms go, figures right at the bottom of my list.
Can't match the high of a word, a quote, a picture. Of faces on trains and voices on platforms.
Of colour, beauty, and lines; or me and you and them.

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

Another seventeen days to go..
Then there'll be my apartment, my TV and my road.
A little scared of the emptiness that seeps into a vacuum.Of inventing work and intent. Of reassurance and letting go.Of the de-addiction and the temptation.

Times like these, there's words and music.
So today, I'm gonna trace the history of my some of mah music and books.
Lanes they were picked out of, people they were borrowed from and moments they became a part of...In random order...

The Pavid Pavilion
Sheldon's trashiest book ever, picked it out of an old trunk in the storeroom, under all the vessels that smell of Madras and my grandparents. Part of Dad's bachelor days I guess.I must have been in Class 7. Used to read it under cover of the largest Math workbook I could find. Sex education at its best.

The Thorn Birds
King of kitsch!!! I love the book. Picked off the footpath, strong recommendations by a street vendor (Dad was an old faithful at his corner) at the Fort bylanes (I love the place, I could spend days just walking those paths).In his words, 'Yaad rakhoge madam, waapis aakar aur le jaoge'.

Dil Se
Awesome awesome music, and we’re not talking ‘chaiya chaiya’ here.
This was Third year hostel on a second-generation National Panasonic.
Rains in Pune, leaves all over the courtyard and gentle showers on the window grills with a lone red carnation sparkling in dew. Rahman crooning. And chai and bhajis. Sometimes, it doesn’t get better than this.

The Book of Laughter and Forgetting
Kundera at his best. This was my the first Kundera, bought on a whim cause I liked the title. Since then, I always pick out a book a month, solely on the title. My Kundera collection now is almost complete.

Midnight’s Children
Again, My first Rushdie. Was given a dog-eared copy by an Irishman, whose legs dangled off the pillion of my scooterette. Read it right through an Economics paper. Fell in love with the play of words, never knew till then that words can do this dance and get away with it.

Lord of the Flies
This was IIT Madras (Marina, OAT and Gajendra circle), summer vacations. Trying to while time while the rest of the family slept (life runs a different routine, brunch at 10:30, lunch at 1 and tiffin again at 4). Burrowing into my brother’s dusty book-shelf.
If you asked me, I can’t repeat verbatim any word of the book. But I still remember being hit. Out like a shot.

The Best of Simon and Garfunkel
This was a hand-me-down from my unc. The shiny dirty green jacket and the dark black cassette. Second year hostel. Three years later, a friend took me through ‘The Rock’, word by painful word.And now, it’s just there, for forever, one of those permanent fixtures in my collection.

Husn-e-Jaana
What an album!!!!!!!!
This is Muzaffar Ali and some voices.
This is First year Post-Graduation, Maneesha and daaru. This is always the first on a long list of favourite ‘sear through the soul’ music. Along with ‘Tera Hijr Mera Naseeb Hai’ (Kabban Mirza, Razia Sultan) and ‘Mujhe Ishq Ho Gaya (Shiv-Hari, Parampara) .
This is Urdu at its sweetest.

Destiny
Vijay Raghava Rao and John McLaughlin. My first introduction to fusion.This is atmosphere music. Makes me want to do a set, a play, a night to its tune.
This is the front room, cane lamp glowing , burrowing into the newspaper on rare visits home. Surprisingly, nobody I’ve ever lent this album has liked it much.

Need to get back to billings, maybe one last…

Lila
Another title thingie. Picked off a lone shelf at this place called ‘Bookpoint’, Ballard Estate. Waiting for Dad to get off his meeting.The title and the jacket design.
This book, I go back to, once every month. Pick a random page and let it in. Cruise down the river and hear my head speak.

To be continued next Wednesday:)

Tuesday, July 02, 2002

Thinking of my SOP...Now why would I want to study socio-cultural anthropology?

Let's see..
" Maslow defined his hierarchy of needs at five levels. Sometimes, I think mine are too numerous and multi-layered to classify in either a linear or understandable fashion.
Purpose is subversive to Intent which in turn reports to Department of Ulterior Motives.
My purpose in applying to a Masters in Anthropology is not as much a purpose as a search and a journey.
Platitudes, cliches,falsetto. Let's start again.

I work in a design agency. I know the theories of communication. I can understand five languages.
I can placate the worst of egos, churn out artwork hour after hour and repeat by rote the types of paper, postcards ought to be printed on.
To what avail? A paycheque at the end of the month and the knowledge that I have what it takes to survive.And the sinking feeling that I have regressed. Into mediocrity, B+ and unseeing eyes.
I was taught to want to know, to love knowledge for the sake of it and allow the world to seep in all its beauty and wonder.
The doors are temporarily jammed.

There is this strange class that permeates the air around me.They come from all around the world and sit on my head.Ghosts and banshees and spirits.Who? Where? What?

I want to know all over again.
That there are people with history dating back thousands of years before mine, living in traditions fostered by ancestors long forgotten.
I want to understand why feuds are fought, how battles were won and how lives are preserved.

I am a small being with big eyes and I want to see with the eyes of a child. All over again."

Think they'll believe me?

Saturday, June 29, 2002

Its raining in baby puff showers.
I want to go dance.
Twirl to a salsa, jaunt to a jive, sway to a mambo.

There’s something about dancing….
One leg perched precariously on the edge of a beat, hip ready to cut through the next, now stopping, now stealing, now falling.

Let the body go, show them what you are…weave the web and add a little glitter…

Dancers speak the truth; knowingly, unknowingly, they let you in to their secret wants, their imaginary personas and their ideal worlds.
A performance, a wooing, an exhibition, an exuberance, a catharsis…

The origins of dance tell so many stories of the people that brought them into the world.
The Cossacks dance a controlled, disciplined fight; watch their faces, no emotions bertrayed.
The Dervishes twirl in a cosmic ritual, on and on and on.
The Latinas contort their bodies and faces in the physical agony of the upheavals their history has taken them through; passionate, angry and very sensual.

Dance to me has always been an outlet. Never thought I would succumb to the discipline of a dance form. So it was with some trepidation that I walked into a dance workshop.
I saw a mambo and I was hooked. OOOOMPH like wow!!!!!!
And then I went onto the cha-cha and the jive and the waltz……And it goes on.. maybe the tango next week.

Another to a never-ending list of addictions, this one should last for another month, hopefully.

I sway to cha-cha beats on railway trains and hear ‘Mambo Italiano’ in my dreams…
Another bit of tinsel in the sky:)

Thursday, June 27, 2002

The most beautiful words ever written did not stop to look into the mirror.
They flew like Pillai’s eaglet. Did I tell you the story of Pillai’s eaglet? Never mind.

My words look into the mirror and they preen and pirouette for all mankind to see. A life on a mm of paper, a lifetime on a square of ink. Lived, spent, loved, ignored.

The mirror is a wall, an obstacle, an impediment. It makes you retrofit beauty.
The concept of absolute has just been diluted. There is no absolute. Relativity is cool and purity an empty ideal.

And who is to tell me what I must believe? Why must I believe? I have to switch to keep my sanity. If movement be akin to disloyalty, so be it.

Wednesday, June 26, 2002

I love GLITTER!

With undying passion and unexplained relish,
With empty pockets and three rupee Holi colours,
With paint and brush and dirty hands and lovely crayons,
I can make everything HAPPEN:)

Transparent nailpolish with those ugly stars peeping out, cheap tinsel in faded corner shops, the stars at MICA and Solang (choc-a-bloc, neck to neck)
and most of all 'GLITTER GLUE'....

Try saying it, fast...'glitter glue', tongue does a jigsaw in unabashed glee(no apologies to Nabokov)
trust me, it's fascinating.

Ring the bell, push the door open, first object d'art that hits the eye..
An Old Irish cream bottle with dried pink and purple wildflowers, painted over with swirls and swirls of green and gold glitter glue.

Turn right, cane stool, doubles as the telephone stand, triples as a quick dryer (important meeting tommorow, clothes on stool, place under fan, voila, miracle morning!).
And what's that peeping off the edges? Hey, you're getting good at this. Try purple and silver, looks awesome.

90 degrees left, two feet forward, take a right into the corridor, David Duchovny (courtesy roomate) and Aamir Khan (that's right, she strikes again) grace bathroom walls, well, maybe a line or two of black and silver here.

Absolut Mandarin in the kitchen and loadsa orange here again.
One line up and the other line down and a few criss-crosses here and there just about adds that 'designer' touch:)

We live in cities with drab walls and neon signs. I like my colours. And I love them when they shine.

Tuesday, June 25, 2002

I went to a play, looking for some meaning.
I went looking for someone who would tell me why one part of the world that had been turned upside down could be a better life the wrong side up.

Only succeeded in pushing me farther down the herd...

The play was called 'Mee Nathuram Godse Bolto', loosely translated to 'I, Nathuram Godse'...I slept three fourths through the play. The loud voices got on my nerves, the jingoism lulled me into indifference and the audience made me cringe everytime they got their hands together.

Godse was a man with a mission.
But I know that.
Don't push his strident tones into my ears, don't give him dialogues that make you marvel at how language can become an unwitting tool for propoganda.
Let me touch him, for God's sake. Let me feel his angst and his fervour and his anger. Make me live in his times, make me make those choices, make me jump over the fence.
Don't push me, for I'll go off to sleep.

I miss my 8 hours and I miss Karnad and Kundera. Give me a real play before I switch to the movies.

Monday, June 24, 2002

I have a theory, actually I have loadsa theories.
Anne Elk had one too, but this one is slightly more comprehensive.

A platitude is what has been repeated so many times that it ceases to appear truthful.
The East is a platitude. On second thoughts, the appearance of untruthfulness is not necessarily a lie.

My grandfather has been my storyteller for as long as I can remember. But I guess it runs in the family and the civilization.
The most fascinating story he ever told me was the one about Nachiketa, the boy who asked questions at Death’s door. And I repeated the story and added my own bit.
And my father tells me the differences between Hata Yoga and Karma Yoga. And I add my own bit again.
The East is the storyteller of the West. The West is bored. And here we are telling the stories they have long forgotten, adding just the right bit of ‘stirred not shaken’.
My family once told a Mexican we knew, the story of the three main Gods of the Hindu pantheon; Brahma, the Creator, Vishnu, the Preserver and Shiva the Destroyer.
He was aghast that the God of Death is worshipped. In his words, you should keep away from such a God.
That is what the East is to the West, a region of fire-eaters, Death-worshippers and storytellers.

But they cannot keep away from us. It is like a balcony view of the Great Eastern Circus. It not only gives you entertainment but a ticket to heaven.
And the East laughs backstage. The East earns what the West taught it to revere and the West goes home happy.
I rest my case.



Sunday, June 23, 2002

What a day and what a ride!

NH-4 will always permanently remain the one loooooong journey I'll never tire of making...
Brought back so many memories...of school and the rains and gentle roads, waterfalls and brooks and broken bridges.
The Expressway is kind of neat, but I'm stuck on traffic jams...what to do, we're like this only:)

It was raining cats and dogs on the way back, the Sahyadris shone through with a quiet fervour, very very surreal, scary, eerie, but very unreal; just felt like we were passing through.Don't get to see the road too often, maybe once in four months.There was a time I knew it like the back of my hand, but never stopped to look...

There's something about riding that you can never find driving. A oneness with the bike, an extended being,
motion that the human body can only borrow, the closest you can get to floating out of water. Reminds me, haven''t been to the Enfield meet since last month, those guys must have left for the Ladakh trail by now.

I saw a puppy with its ears cocked near an electric pole. Wonder if it found its answer.I have to go get some sleep.


Saturday, June 22, 2002

Innocence aborted..
Leaves corpses in its wake...

And draws blood at the edge of a blunted sword.

Ouch, I'm bleeding...
And it's a fantastic feeling..

I'm sorry
a) I did what I did
b) I said what I said
c) I am what I am
d) Screw it all

Under anasthaesia, watching the watcher...

Friday, June 21, 2002

Finally gave in the resignation,so that's one step closer to eternity...
Now I have a month and a lifetime to go..

Also the open offer to return, so that's kind of another arrow in the morale armoury:)
GOK what will come of Don Quixote and his band of buccaneers.

Paisa pheko, tamaasha dekho....

Just created a furore on mah mailgroup, kinda liked all the attention:)
But end result, I'm thinking too much about the funda of quitting rather than the BIG PICTURE...

I can only think of lazy mornings and dance classes and gym and books and movies, something missing eh?
I'll miss the routine, the purposefulness of having somewhere to go to.
Inventing destinations can be taxing, I'd rather discover a few brooks, stare at some skies and sleep by the road.

WAKE UP, ALARM RINGING....GO GET A LIFE...

Thanks a million and may your children rot in putrid hell,don't think of returning the compliment and for God's sake,get original..

And I love the up and down of it all; in times forgotten I had once written, 'Cities, jobs, routine, decisions, bills, logistics, sometimes they are not as powerless as we want them to be. And the will is an instrument to be used judiciously, every act of will needs a hiatus to rejuvenate.' Mine will soon go on vacation...:)
The office if EMPTY.
All gone for the England Brazil jamboree:)

I'm here and likely to be here all day, loadsa space and a ton of silence.I've spent all morning peeking into other blogs. Such a lovely world view. My eye hurts from the information overaload. Like being introduced to everybody at a society do, and wanting to know a select few, but too curious to stop the frenzied search.

Addiction for the month, after Kundera and switching cell covers.

Am going home over the weekend, biking down, the ghats at Lonavala should be lovely.We could take a detour and drop in at the guest house. Really beautiful bungalow, with old Parsi furniture..High beds, and huge armchairs.

'Aks' playing in the background, Anu Malik in rare glory...

nzjobs just tells me i've matched some awesome jobs, WHATS THE BLEDDY POINT? I can't work there unless i have a work permit and I can't get a work permit till i get a job offer..Utter MORONS!

Ton of mail from people wondering why I want to quit a perfectly good job. Veryyy Verrry zimple...is a teensy-weensy irritant called BOREDOM! Methinx I'll have to get back to the good old hunt once the funds dry up, but I'm calculating Feb 2003, so right now it's all covered and they all lived happily ever after.

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Damn appointment with the doctor again, was begining to miss my maladies.Otherwise, nothing much to classify this as a day of note.

The roads were lovely on the way to work,all flame and sun and smell and warmth...everybody seemed to be headed somewhere..I was just so tempted to let the road take its way and flow along..to the end of the world and never back...like Monet come to life,without any of the myopic blurs that kind of mar reality (oxymoron eh?)

But the buzzer rang and the deadlines came to life...bunch of faxes and mails and projects...and the trees outside my window look a little less green..India apprently thrives on its extremes, now where did I read that? The rain brings out that obscene green that I love, crepe streamers in the wind...and the heat washes it out...

I love radio, doesn't tax my senses and seep into my already numb head...I can type and talk and see and think...and still listen...

Glass hits glass,(sheesh, cannot catch the flavour of 'sheesha')
Nectar flows, (madira, jaam, and the romance grows unabated.....try and beat hindi and urdu for sheer imagery)
The ignorant watches as the alcohol flows.....

Still searching, pepper the day with that bit of exotic spice, the unfelt, the unknown, the seen and the never caught...

Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Finally...

End of day,evening sets in..and I'm not so sure I'm as thrilled as I thought I would be..

There's only SO much I can read, have to get out of this self-imposed ennui RIGHT NOW...

Oh BTW, got around to actually typing in a resignation letter, feels good to see it concretised, gives a little meaning to the RISK!

Let's go home and stand on my head....
This is just a random entry to see if another of those thingamajigs works.

I just completely mucked up my template...

Currently under R&D........
Started out the day on a reeeeeeeally nice note.....got a few leads on the MFA!!

This definitely better well happen..or I'll have no option but to traipse off to Hrishikesh in search of hippiedom..Is it my imagination or are they a dying breed? I just saw a wannabe from koregaon buying Issey Miyake the other day...

Read an old diary entry in the morn...says 'Arrogance comes free with fear'..where in the world did I get that? Could force feed into my next PMS diary entry i guess:)

Later, later, quotations, presentations, concepts, all await my imminent doom!!!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Okies, I just made a whole load of template changes

So hopefully, I shall keep my hands off vague fiddling around and just keeep WRITING!!!

Hate presentations I don't believe in...

Gotta run, gotta fly, gotta live before I die
(Im beginning to sound like Bomeeeeeee!)
I dont know how to do this!!!

But I will..

Story of my life..

The power of mass media, Fortune made me take a look at this site, and right now I'm the guinea pig..

So let's see how long this experiment lasts....

Thought for the day:
I took a walk yesterday evening, looking for my present. Walked straight, walked bent, walked on and on till I could walk no more….nothing…nowhere close….

Ether is what it is…and I saw other things as the road went on….a kid climbing up the stone wall effortlessly like a monkey, instinctively knowing where to hold and when to let go…does knowledge diminish as we grow older? Or does reason take over instinct?
Noise pollution my love

Then goes the kid in search of the seer, wild-eyed walk, springy limbs, dying to fall apart, living to defy gravity.