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.

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.

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.

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…

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?