Tuesday, December 30, 2003

Just watched 'Boom'...found it quite watchable despite the doomsday reviews. Sort of like Gustad's first film, 'Bombay Boys'..it's a weird, wannabe noir, fun movie. And I am bored in my head. All activity seems to be with the express purpose of conscious movement. And it stops at that.

What if you and I were secret schizophrenics? What if we were to convert our fragmented lives into separate episodes of being and master the art of separating one from the other?What if we were 33,000 discrete lives?
And everything becomes the video game that it is with decentralized modes of control...variants of the same self in its multiple playgrounds but the plays take on lives of their own...

What's on your minds?
If only I were to be spared the pursuit of perfection, the nitpickery of lint and the fallacy of thought. Life would be oh-so-fine.

Tuesday, December 23, 2003

It's been a week and some. Done with my final papers and cruising through a four week vacation. So much that has been wrapped up and so much being unravelled. Never a dull moment is all I can say. Sometimes I wonder the rationale of seeking chaos...like worrying about having nothing to worry about.

It's not a worry right now, just a nagging thought and a constant cunning loop. Something's got to give. Famous last words...

Is it really worth the process of careful construction? Loops and patterns, are they the same thing?
Accountability is no fun at all. And we are governed by our crosses. I fortunately, have multiple choices of those. Ribbed, scented, handcrafted, tailored, designed and custom-made. What then shall be my deathwish of the week?

But have had a lovely weekend in New York and I so love the place. So bloody psychedelically alive. And I've been out walking and listening to music..on the streets, in the subway and in the village. And the music is what is ruining thought. The music, the beat and the promise of harmony. Distractions, deflections and disasters. Do they fall in line?

Back in Philly and heading out to Chicago in another ten days. And I am so broke. In every way possible.

Monday, December 08, 2003

The Garden

Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
And she is dying piece-meal
of a sort of emotional anemia.

And round about there is a rabble
Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
They shall inherit the earth.

In her is the end of breeding.
Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.

She would like some one to speak to her,
And is almost afraid that I
will commit that indiscretion.

Ezra Pound, Lustra (1913-1915)
I am heteroglossia and sensorama and cyborg. I want to exist in multiple contexts without ever facing the responsibility of one intersecting the other. That then is the crux of all my earthly worries. Fragmentation.

Drops of glass and shards of rain,
Seeping into the skin inch by inch,
Doing away with the luxury of my disembodiment...

Living on borrowed time,
Loving via media worlds
Writing through stolen signs...

Existence by proxy...

Tuesday, December 02, 2003

Of what use is knowledge? How does it translate into the world? What degrees of impotence does it exhibit?

I am involved in the endless erudition of historicity, circumstance and situation. Sometimes, there is but a thin line between knowing and writing away. Do I exonerate when I explain? How do I know when to give the benefit of doubt?
And how long before my complicity translates into my own subjugation?

What goes around comes around...A victim is but an accomplice away.

Monday, December 01, 2003

Dead beat and nowhere to run. Every weekend meets its Monday...
Essays, papers, projects, presentations, annotations.

One down, three to go.
Catch me on the other side of the thirteenth!

Saturday, November 29, 2003

It's been a wonderful weekend so far.
Interesting company, non-stop activity, and coherent sleep.

I was here and have a Sing Loud tattoo to show for it. Then peeked into this non-happening joint before heading off here. And then back we went to singing loud.

Tons of junta on the roads, two buck margaritas and shots in test-tubes...
God did I freeze and God do I love tequila!

Thursday, November 27, 2003

Social anthropology has robbed me of my ability to see the world sans stealth and subterfuge. Just back from another movie and all I can reflect on is incomplete frames. As we pontificated in class today, representations are important not for what they say but what they leave unsaid.

And I have to do a paper that situates my project and life experience and goals within the boundaries of this science, this culture, this artifice. What do I say? That I do not see much meaning in doing anything except for that which helps me wade through endless, precious, wasteful time? That in navigating this constant search for meaning, I all but lose control of the idea of being in control? That the idea of making sense is invested with modernity and doesn't excacty make sense?

Derrida says that every answer corrupts the question. I, it seems, am irretrievably corrupted.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Some people don't just lend me perspective, they are my perspective. And that doesn't work out too well sometimes. Just like critiques of the culture concept, individuals do not exist as coherent, internally homogenous organs devoid of history and external influence. Objectivity, unlike price, is not available on request. And hence, I must deduct their motivation from their opinions and hope that the remainder contributes to clarity. My fingers and toes have been crossed all day...time to uncross and get the blood flowing.

Sunday, November 23, 2003

I've been busy fire-fighting minor upheavals, some bad most good. And there is yet so much more work to do.
I guess those guys at the orientation did get it right after all. The function of academia is to keep its members in a state of constant tension, battling imaginary foes and transitory woes. And God, is it an efficent machinery! All I have to do is look around at all the work other people seem to be doing and the constant 'buzz' in the air and it brings on a near-nervous breakdown. Processually Foucauldian and ultimately Kafkaesque. Those two should have collaborated on their work, would have been paranoia at its brilliant best.

Monday, November 17, 2003

Another funeral. Time to mourn. For the passing of an idea, a stance, a future.

And then the aftermath. Rewriting, reconfiguration, reparation.
Practice never makes perfect.

Wednesday, November 12, 2003

Thoughts that put life into jeopardy. God save mankind from them.

Just back from a really interesting set of talks on Edward Said and his work and it has fortunately helped settle some of my essential discomfort with the inapplicability of most academic work. Not that it hasn't raised murkier issues.

How does one think and how does one choose? If epistemology allows categorization of the world, what is it that will allow the choice of the category to slot oneself in? How does one balance involvement and objectivity?

The themes seem to recur everywhere. The debate is omnipresent.
How does one give of oneself without adding a conditional clause of gift?

Tuesday, November 11, 2003

No careful contrivance.
No premediated speech.
No veracity of knowledge.

How then will the plot come to light?
Epiphany?

Monday, November 10, 2003

This is an exercise of putting away things. In designated grids of space and time. In subsuming order into chaos. Compartments, colours and Excel sheets. The appearance of reality in the transcendence of time.

How goes the Ph.D?
It goes...

Life?
Confused

Movies?
Beautiful

Self?
Unreliable

It is as convoluted as I choose it to be.
Pretend soldiers of warless times.

Wednesday, November 05, 2003

New seasons, new garbs, new songs and new eyes...
My Christmas wishlist

Monday, November 03, 2003

Familar panic and the run-for-cover screams...

I don't understand. This is not the usual forerunner of doom. This one is a new guy. I don't know him, he doesn't scare me....he unnerves, displaces and disorients, but doesn't evoke any fear.

I don't understand. What manner of enemy, what category of foe? Do I fight or flee?
It's been a great week. Been to see this and this...

Sunday night, I am dead and dying and hoping to find a new day and a new morning...complications galore, but nothing worth killing myself over...

Sparkling conversations, interesting company and people galore...somewhere I have in me the sneaking feeling that it doesn't get better than this.

Monday, October 27, 2003

Waiting for the silence to break, unbearable effort...
Familiar moves, inability of subterfuge makes the task at hand awfully distasteful. I do not understand the rules of the game, but I do acknowledge their function. And play I must...

Sunday, October 26, 2003

This is a great place to be right now. Nothing beyond, nothing before.
A permanent lump of anticipation. A cocky assertion of knowledge. An unflinching certainty of nothingness.
Going nowhere. Coming from nowhere. Just being... right here, right now.

I have a paper to write as usual. And I am slacking off. The mind's wandering places it's been to a hundred thousand times before. And it persists in haunting the same corners, looking for the very same signs. Hoping something new turns up...even while being aware that it's a statistically and logistically impotent, indifferent and impossible situation.

I wish I could package this moment and send a whiff your way. Or even a teaser campaign.
My words are a poor substitute for what I know is sublime kitsch.
But you would find the package familiar. And warm. And beautiful.
It just might make your day. Like it made mine.

Reason is currently in cold storage. Watch this column while it thaws.

Saturday, October 25, 2003

If my words did glow with the gold of sunshine
And my tunes were played on the harp unstrung
Would you hear my voice come through the music
Would you hold it near as it were your own?

It's a hand-me-down, the thoughts are broken
Perhaps they're better left unsung
I don't know, don't really care
Let there be songs to fill the air

- Ripple, Grateful Dead

Thursday, October 23, 2003

I just discovered a few patterns yesterday...not all good...but value judgements aside, it just hit me that the patterns are always there, defining the directions of the warp and the weft...

Most times, its romanticization that wants to negate the reason and ascribe the act to random probability...and maybe that works too...but the patterns have been formed, 'for this cause or that greed'....and they come around...always...

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Sometimes, purpose stays circumspect and at other times redundant...if text is only the representation of a thing and can never be a thing, this then is a doubtful rendition of my uncertain mind...does a double negative resemble a positive? Or is it just the idea of plus and minus that is skewed?

The discussion today centred on religion and how it is accounted for within the realm of anthropological interpretation...sometimes mystical and sometimes functional...but as far as I can see, even the mystical is functional because the only people analyzing it are on the outside of absolutism and hence to them, the purpose cannot but be manifest...so do we reason and conclude on the functionality of religion and God only to stay away from them or legitimately participate in them? Why is reason such an exacting master? And why does it seem like we find ways everyday to circumvent this feudal lord?

Friday, October 17, 2003

Every moment seems to border on the contingent of some or the 'other'...
This waking life seems to border on the contingency of sleep...or escape...

Saw this documentary the other day called 'Genghis Blues'...interesting to say the least, but rather disappointing in the same vein..seemed quite hegemonic in its portrayal of a one-sided perspective and possible fetishizing as a friend put it of what could have been an empathetic, layered investigation.
Or maybe I am analyzing too much as I am wont to do...but this is what I do best; unfortunately doesn't seem to be working too well with Paul Ricoeur though...somebody analyze and send me a precis...I'm calling it a day!

Thursday, October 16, 2003

Warm light on a dappled corner. Hindi film music in the background and shadows in the wind. Lyrics that are as familiar as the scent of incense in the air. This then is what I am made of. The taste, the smell, the feel and the touch of decades of humidity, heat, wind and ephemerality. How then can I not go back? It is a country of artificial borders, manufactured identity and constructed cultures.....

So am I darling, so am I...

Tuesday, October 14, 2003

It takes me half the week to start moving by which time it is already the end of the week. My week starts Sunday night because I have paper submissions every Monday morning...and I obviously never get around to doing them before I have to, like I really really have to....

Excerpts from a conversation on the bus....

A: I have my Bible right next to my bed and it's in this plain simple modern English that I can read and relate to...it's like the Lawd is curled by right by mah head and talkin' to me (can't reproduce the Texas drawl)
B: Aha...
A: And my most prized possession is my little Green bible that I have put stickers into to make it fun and exciting when I read it...and I keep in it all the cards that mah little boy made me when he was growin' up y'kno..
B:...
A: And why don't you guys believe in make-up?
B: Cause it makes us into something that the Lord never meant us to be...
A: I kin understand that, though I don't agree with it, but I can understand that...

Funny bits of conversations in the air...old people....I see them on buses talking to strangers all the time...about their families and their day and their possessions....and it never fails to strike me how incredibly lonely people in this country are...and is it that when they're young they have the wherewithal to withstand, but it gets worse as they grow older?

But they do talk all the time....to any stranger that would care to listen...life's a bitch sometimes...

Saturday, October 11, 2003

Awesome discussion at the coffee-shop. Ran the gamut from totems, castes, advertising, image mechanisms to nation, symbols and Nazism. All that is left to do is write the ubiquitous paper.I think I'll get round to it tomorrow, but I have to figure out a way to bring it together. Right now, all it is is fragments of erudition floating in ether. Ether's one of my favourite words, a tease if ever there was one. Two steps forward and three backward.

Friday, October 10, 2003

We are what we think we are and that probably is the toughest job of all, to think of ourselves as we want to be.
Digging up old material on ink and parchment...

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.

Thursday, October 09, 2003

A research proposal that integrates communications, brand management, folklore, anthropology, theater and quantum theory...does that make sense or am I the only one losing it on a muggy Austin evening?...

Hocus pocus, focus focus!!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

'...an important difference between games of entertainment and marriage rules: The former are constructed in such a way as to permit each player to extract from statistical regularities maximal differential values, while marriage rules, acting in the opposite direction, aim at establishing statistical regularities in spite of the differential values existing between individuals and generations...each individual tries to play it in the normal way, that is, by maximizing his own advantage at the expense of the others (i.e to get more wives, or better ones, whether from the aesthetic, erotic or economic point of view). The theory of courtship is thus a part of formal sociology.'

- Social Structure, Claude Levi-Strauss

Anthropology truly cracks me up!!!
In complete high stress that I just do not feel equipped to untangle...is a ton of activity with no semblance of sequence, transition or order. The need for structure is a debilitating structure. Need to unravel other ways of tackling this recurring mesh of inanity.

1. Get fellowship opportunities in place
2. Figure out which papers are worth the while
3. Detach detach detach
4. Write this week's paper at least six hours before submission time, basically, try and get some sleep Sunday night
5. Buy the damn bloody laptop! Enough prevarication and consideration!!!
6. Stick to one accent;)
7. Decide if I want to be a cabaret dancer or an anthropologist
8. Add belly dancing as another option
9. Make a concrete research plan for the summer....

And now I need to stop typing and go read some Burmese ethnographies...

Monday, October 06, 2003

You know what? I need to write you this letter. Cause the conversations in my head are just not making any sense. Call it catharsis if you will, but seeing something on paper seems to finally reign it into reality. And you no doubt must have recognized yourself as audience by now. How have you been and what have you been thinking? I must admit I am irreparably curious. Not because I want to pry, but just because I get bored of my life over and over again. It no doubt is an interesting life and I try to keep it on that minimum threshold, but most times I have a low patience quotient and some very few rare times, the effort is godawful draining.

Are you intrigued, surprised, provoked, irritated? Yet? Maybe it's all that talk about me. Let's talk about you instead. I like you. I really do. Your first redeeming feature is of course that you are human. That solves a lot of stuff really, which basically means that you cannot be all bad. And you really have a wonderful smile, When you choose to smile as opposed to smirk. When it reaches your eyes, to use an old cliche. It's sunny and impish and wicked and warm. And it makes me want to laugh with you. And then there's your incredibly unique way of looking at the world of course. In a way that only you can. The way you love the lights and the speeds and the noise and the rubber that screeches on the roads of your sight. And that languid walk that I could make dinner of. I do not much care for the sights and sounds and I walk really fast. Else this could have been a love story you know. As could any other.

And it seems like you do not want to tell me the stuff that you have given away. And I don't even know if what you've given away is what I have inadvertently eavesdropped upon. And hence we live on in terror of the ears in the walls and the eyes in the skies. And shut our mouths when we should sing and bind our feet when we should dance.

This might yet be a story you know...
Perfection comes addended with an 'else'
Someone else...
Somewhere else...

Have I stopped trying or have you stopped marking my papers? I still write them and hold them up for your inspection. But I've forgotten who you are. Either that or they appointed somebody else. Because the faces are blurred. And the lines grainy. And the process undefined. My brains are thoroughly muddled. Reading about class, race, culture and crap. It's making sense though. As does crap.

I do not know why I put that much worth on knowing you! Is it the curiosity, the potential, the desperation or the hunch? That one spark of limbo in memory, that one tantalising, edge-of-the-seat millisecond of juvenile, hormone-driven rush of blood, the single blast of sound that threatens to escape my throat and cut through the night sky...un momento...

Monday, September 29, 2003

It wasn't me that did it, it wasn't me that fell...
It was impulse and longing, the need for belonging
Irrationality and lust, the fear of biting dust,
Do not I beg you sound my death-knell...

Sunday, September 28, 2003

Can I write you a letter? A sparkling, incandescent, shimmering, fly-by-nighter?

I promise you it will make sense. It will talk in grammatically correct sentences and weave prose in aestheticaly pleasing constructs. It will not hold back or tip-toe around your well-shod presence. It will neither scream nor whisper or maneouvre and manipulate for time and space.

It will tell you about the city I live in, its sights and sounds and smells. The fountain on the way to school, the skateboarder on the curb, the fire-engine screeching on the road...the fat squirrels and their bushy tails...the bells of the clock in the tower.

It will sit there crouching on handmade paper, shining in blue ink encased and awaiting your discernment.

And maybe it might not even get to you and even if it did, you might not get it. It is a monologue after all. My contribution to the throng of voices in the air, suspended till retrieval...

And I wonder if you would write back...

Saturday, September 27, 2003

There is something astir here. The memory of feeling and familiar subterfuge.
Have I played this game before?

Years at a stretch, playing the cards...
Good hand, bad hand, old hand, new hand; same game, same plot, same odds.

In the quiet of twilight, I have begun to settle into the front-row. Some or the other entertainment is bound to stage a show. And so I shut my phone, shove my bag under the seat and sink into the velvet. The lights are dim and the smells musty. The stillness of anticipation. An almost feline pleasure to it.

Wednesday, September 24, 2003

You are the music while the music lasts

T.S. Eliot

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

There are no rickshaws in Austin!!!
And I haven't even been watching Hindi movies....
Pray how do I fire the imagination?

It's the same thing....rickshawwallahs, script writers...same thing!If I ever wrote a bunch of short stories based on all those I have heard from intrepid,directionally challenged, near-alcoholic, schizophrenic rickshawwallahs... I would have been able to say,'Monica Ali, here I come!'

But I haven't...

And now there are no rickshaws in Austin!!!
Do I classify as a social fact or an ideal type?
I obviously need to sleep.
Resurrection is a few hours away.
Hasta manana...

Monday, September 22, 2003

Every once in a while, I allow myself the luxury of random thought. And it all seems so far away. Different names. Unpronounceable places. Syllables that have difficulty rolling off my tongue. This then is the function of memory. Dramatisation of life. Alienation of experience. False consciousness.

Saturday, September 20, 2003

Convenience...
Like in a convenience store...
Easy, quick, hassle-free...
No premediation and no aftermath...
A beautiful fall morning and a random conversation on a bus...
Someone seems to be sending a few spare showers my way...

I just figured out a way to contact him (bless the net; a few random facts, a few focussed search options and voila, stalking in its new avataar)...
Question now being, what do I say?

Tuesday, September 16, 2003

Do not ask of me, my love,
that love I once had for you...
How lovely you are still, my love,
but I am helpless too;
for the world has sorrows other than love,
and other pleasures, too.
Do not ask of me, my love,
that love I once had for you.


- Faiz Ahmed Faiz (translated from the Urdu)

Been thinking about Goa all day.
The skies and the water and the whiff of pervading inertia.
The sun and the daiquiris and multiple tongues cruising along the waterfront.
The mass of kaleidoscopical humanity and the slow rush of blood.
I'm going back.
Soon...

Friday, September 12, 2003

It's raining here!!! Hallelujah! Pray the fair weather plays hookey all weekend;)
Do I love the rains or do I love the rains?
What's a few thousand miles when it's raining like at home?

The same water that muddies the same streets, we of that time don't have gumboots anymore;)!

Blame the water folks, my brains have turned to mush!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2003

All of a sudden I know a ton of people doing their own thing.
Giving up cushy, regular, well-paid jobs to find elusive contentment.
Has the satisfaction quotient taken a sharp dip or are we just a generation in an unmediated hurry?

Never mind the rhetoric...it's just fun to watch the world dip into its litter of idiosyncracies...
I have to do an abstract for this. Any ideas?
Rajabathar's got a new blog here.
Don't ask me who he/she/it is and why I am taking on the mantle of publicist...I guess I'm just feeling exceptionally generous;)

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

The appearance of working hard is not necessarily the equivalent of the real thing.
And when did I not know that???
Roll up sleeves, hitch up shorts!
Time to shake some earth here!

Monday, September 08, 2003

Excerpts from a letter I wrote what seems like a hell of a long time back...

'And then sometimes, I look at the rain pouring through my window and it seems like all that time never went by, like I could still trudge through to school and it would all come back on its non-complicated single TV channel limited joy route...and I wonder what I want..and I wonder what it is that we think so loud and work so hard for....and it never makes sense..and all I do is draw a few more furrows on my forehead...'
I am falling behind on my updates...
As also on my paper deadlines...
And my task list...
And my budgets...
And my readings.....
AAARGHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

And having a great time to boot...

I like what I'm reading; if only I didn't have to pontificate and elucidate and expound on them as well! I do not have an ability to polemic criticism....the art of random bitching does not necessarily make for an A on the paper.

Thursday, September 04, 2003

It doesn't get funnier than this...it's amazing to be audience, it's even better to play audience..
And what is the name of this game?

Wednesday, September 03, 2003

Have been browsing lyrics all morning. All the solutions of my life are embedded in pop culture.
Every day is a new one. Mine didn't begin too well today. But it got better.
And I am beginning to wonder if I prize consistency over spectacular secrets of life and living.

Tuesday, September 02, 2003

These are strange times. I struggle in vain to achieve consistency while in constant flux. One a roller-coaster in 'repeat'. It seems like the same patterns on a faster rhythm. Seems like the older I grow, the easier I screw up. The bigger the risk, the smaller the pay-off. If, of course, there's a payoff to begin with.

An empty house and a cluttered mind. All in good time, but it seems like time's running out. Running out on the streets and seeping into the cracks on the road. Downward, out of sight, out of reach. And no precipitation, no reverse osmosis, is ever going to fill this empty house.

My head's heavy and I have these articles to read. Also a paper to write. And I don't have anything important enough to say. Except of course, that life's getting interesting. No wonder the old Chinese curse that goes, 'May you live in interesting times'.
But those things which have no significance of their own are interwoven for the sake of the things which are significant.
- Saint Augustine, the City of God

While on the subject of cultural theory, the above seems to be the defining element in the choice of information and patterns for consideration. The entire history of theory as also its evolution seems to be nothing but an elaboration, explanation and internalization of otherness or that which we are not. This, in consequence leads to the greater subject of identity politics, and reason why our being in the way we perceive it, is justified.

Over ages, our others have changed and molded to the needs of the times. The objectivity of the sightings of these others is definitely of consequence, but of more importance is the consideration as to what these others signified to the supposed mainstream. The continuous and contiguous lines in the readings trace the genealogy of wildness, otherness and difference through the classical, medieval and modern times, elaborating common links as to their treatment and their construction.

Otherness , thus, beginning with the original concept of the wild man and progressing to that of the noble savage before heading towards the modern concept of the cyborg is that which challenges all that is sacred and potentially fragile if questioned. To encompass all of the above under a single terminology, otherness is the chink in the armour of faith. It is that which does not fit and hence interferes in the perceived order of things and their functions. Consequently, reactions to the various forms take on the likeness of a fetish oscillating between extreme revulsion and overriding awe. These are either, that which we aspire to be as an unattainable ideal or that which we steer clear of and repudiate in no uncertain terms. Only through permanent preservation in either the negativity or the Eden of the times can society and culture hope to preserve contemporary form. Otherness is as important for convenience of classification as it is for maintenance of homogeneity.

The wild man and the noble savage are extreme ends of the oscillation, one serving to signify what society stresses on as right, acceptable and important and the other serving as a reminder of what has gone wrong while in cultural breakdown and societal disillusionment. Thus, the significance of these metaphors is in different times, the former in stability and the latter in breakdown. In either case, the signifier is but an indicator to manage instability or explain away elements that do not fit into the overall scheme of things. Thus, the power equation is never tilted on the side of those thus signified. It is rather, an instrument to steer society towards that which is viewed by those in power as acceptable.

Make any sense?

Friday, August 29, 2003

N took me out to a very good lunch. Back at the library now. A few hours of reading, then off to bowl and then maybe, conversation at the coffee-shop. Sounds like the plan for a perfect day. Can I freeze these frames and never step out?

Seems to me that all our energies are most often taken up in the act of preservation. Keeping that which has been gained with supposed effort. Effort that most often in hindsight appears alien and superhuman, like we were motivated by extenuating circumstances to act in a manner that we will never again be capable of replicating. Hold the chair, reserve the seat, book in advance, ensure availability. And then stick tight with superglue. Like 'Boom'. Kaizad Gustad's new film is apparently about three gangsters, Bada Bhai, Medium Bhai and Chota Bhai...Chota wants to be Medium, Medium wants to be Bada and Bada is holding tight...have to see the movie...

Preservation...

Vishnu is my flavour for life, though the aspiration be Shiva...

Thursday, August 28, 2003

One has to have the courage of one's pessimism

- Ian McEwan

Wednesday, August 27, 2003

Would you let me borrow a few words today?
I'm sure you would.Because isn't that why you write?
So that the world and its strangers can don the mantle of your erudition?
And claim immortality on the platform of memory?

As long as you stay happy in your royalties...
How does it matter?

So lend me some and we'll be done...

Monday, August 25, 2003

Garaj baras pyaasi dharti par phir paani de maulaa
Chidhiyon ko daane, bachchon ko Gud-dhanee de maulaa

Do aur do kaa jod hameshaa chaar kahaan hotaa hai
Soch samajh vaalon ko thodi naadaani de maulaa

Phir roshan kar zahar ka pyaalaa, chamakaa naee saleeben
Jhoothon ki duniyaa mein sach ko taabaani de maulaa

Phir murat se baahar aakar chaaron or bikhar jaa
Phir mandir ko koi meera deewanee de maulaa

Tere hote koi kisi ki jaan ka dushman kyon ho
Jeene vaalon ko marne ki aasaani de maulaa


- Insight, Nida Fazli and Jagjit Singh

A prayer, a plea, a wail...

Friday, August 22, 2003

He made me cry.
All morning.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Did it make sense?
Or did it get unmade in the making?
Did I ruin it?
Or was it teleologically ruined?
Is it the age of reason or the realm of probability?
This had better seem real soon enough.
If only you could see me now.
Stretched on black metal on a nameless road, watching the cars pass by.
You would ask who I was.
You would.
Because I do.
All the time.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

The array of courses is as fascinating as it is daunting.
Chronic exhaustion syndrome.

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Are you as perfect as I think you ought to be?
Ups and downs all over again. Can I start over? Do I collect 200 when I pass 'Go'? Can I buy, sell and mortgage in the blink of an eye? Can I give away my time to think?

Cheap ink in plastic bottles and throwaway pens. 9-month apartments and 3-feet pools. Such a redundant life.
My present discrepancies will loom larger than ever if I rake up past perfections. My time does always evade my deperate lunge.

Monday, August 18, 2003

Reading this article on how the brand image of a nation is a prime deciding force for people buying and buying into the nation's products.

Some interesting bits:
* National image can be a complete media creation when the media are the sole source of information.
* Brands tap rather than use history in the truer sense
* A nation offers a fragmented set of images. So the key is to exploit the right fragments in line with the product and the target customer group

Communication?.....or propaganda?
I am so exhausted and there is so much in my head that I have to empty out. I don't know where to start. Or where to end. Or even what comes in between. But then, in 'The Moveable Feast', Hemingway says something to the effect that all he had to do was write one pure sentence a day. Just one sentence of irrevocable, untaintable purity.

It's been a very nice weekend. Been out dancing and have corns on the soles of my feet to show for it. Been out drinking and the sweet, easy feeling remains.

Met this guy who could dance, like really really dance. Salsa, merengue, mambo, samba; he just twirled me round and round and round till the world came back into perspective again. Pity he's a freshman;), but thanks to him I had a really great time. Then went out for Tex-martinis, sans a damn bloody ID and ID right now translates into passport. So I had to go back home, but A was kind enough to take me there and back, so no harm done.

And my writing's sloping upwards, it never ever did, was always rock steady straight lines. Looks like I'm losing it.

This week should be really busy, with adviser meetings, library tours, health check-ups, etc. And it's slowly settling in. I can't run. Not now anyway.

Friday, August 15, 2003

I am having an awfully chaotic week. Just hope I come out alive.
Keep all your fingers and toes crossed.
It is a maelstrom in here.

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Just as I leave to begin a stint here, these guys come through with a funded offer...
Abhi tak so rahe the kya???

Needless to add, anthro rules, but my ego could have done with the fuel a few months back!!!

So there it stands filed away for future reference...stranger things have come through when I least expected them to, so well, why not this?
Lifelessness creeping in. And the power that comes with the lack of ownership.
I do not take responsibility for this. Or that. Or the rest of the world. I sleep easy and wake up late.

It’s been a lovely weekend. Been out drinking, rambling, talking. Invested in lives other than my own and figured that I do have unused reserves of resilience. To listen and remain silent and figure out life henceforth.

And I love the people I love. And it is an amazing feeling to be right here right now. And let the mind linger over the moments that form the links in these elaborate frameworks.

And we are all weavers in time…

Sunday, August 10, 2003

Could I replace existence with a package and its fat-free ingredients? A pinch of this and a speck of that. Some disclaimers and a lot of hype. Careful dissembling and you would never know the difference.
It seems to me that we take our pleasures where we find them. And who’s the worse for wear? Hop, skip, jump and leap.

And this country and its size is growing on me. Whatever little I have seen of it.

I miss the grime though. Already. The smells and the sweat. And I can think of a thousand and one people who would enjoy this place more than I do. I know that there are a hundred thousand and one things that I haven’t done yet. But it’s like forever switching between rides in an amusement park.

But it is a relatively new experience being a rank outsider. Not that there has been enough reason so far for it to be drilled into my consciousness. Not knowing is imbalance enough I guess. So I have probably decided to be the outsider long before the label is printed. Esteemed guest. Designated visitor. Being from outer space.

Reading Steppenwolf.

Thursday, August 07, 2003

Gone to Texas:)

I love and adore a good story and I could fall hook, line and sinker for a good story-teller. My entire legacy, the country and its lore are all a product of careful and meticulous story-telling. Had once attended a concert by Teejan Bai, a SPIC-MACAY affair. This woman tours the country narrating stories from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. A voice like a fog-horn and a presence like the Titanic. Unerring punch-lines and beautiful orchestration.

One of the most common techniques used by such narrators is analogy and familiarisation. Every member of the million strong pantheon is analysed in the light of humanity and its errors. Come to think of it, only way to develop a healthy empathy for our own fragile selves.

So if Brahma is never worshipped, it is because he consorted with his own daughter and Indra is as guilty of despotism as any Amin. Vishwamitra blows his top at the drop of a hat and is putty in the hands of every dancing damsel.

As I have been told, God is after all nothing but the pathological outgrowth of the megalomania of man;)...
It probably doesn’t get better than this, but I am allowed a few pauses and some deep breaths. Steady there…
It is the hopelessly skin-scraping process of letting go. Draws blood. Every fuckin’ time.I will be fine when I get onto that plane…and then some.

Can I ramble till the owls come home? Cause this night doesn’t seem to have sleep anywhere on the itinerary?

Johnny Johnny, Yes Papa
Eating sugar? No Papa


And don’t you tell lies my child…wrong, right, evil, wise…

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

The same night that whitens the same trees.
We, we who were, we are the same no longer.

- The Saddest Poem, Pablo Neruda

Monday, August 04, 2003

Can I make a story? Of you and me and the perfect happiness that we will eventually find. Yeah okay fine, maybe not with each other.
But the story lies waiting to be told. And what a story my friend.
He was intelligent and interesting and funny. She was intrigued, curious and young. Where the hell did they meet? Oh somewhere in the bylanes of an old city, he scouring the streets, she hunting for trinkets…I could tell you more but then there are other sources, rather industries of exponential economic worth that describe the process. Let’s not rob them the pleasure.

But you and I can watch the story unfold before time. Because there is a story there wouldn’t you agree? They are opposite sexes to begin with and let us anyway take the liberty of conferring heterosexuality. So that’s a point of common interest…does the rest really matter? Ah well, embellishment no doubt, but skip the icing…
What she wore, what he looked at, what she likes, what he doesn’t, where they lied and how they connived, the games they played and the defenses they fought…done over and sold.

Mr. and Mrs. A star in ‘The Life and Times of Mr. and Mrs.A’…and nothing is as different as they would like it to be. It’s the same old sin, the fear of being alone and the necessity of dying old. The obsessiveness with safety and the constant tinkering with back-up nets.

You know what? I’m bored and I lied. There isn’t a story here.
So sue me.
I am exquisitely tired. I wouldn’t be if I acknowledged that this is the order of things to come. This is how it is going to be.

Aankhon mein tum, dil mein tum ho, tumhari marzee,
Mano ya na maano...


I have in my head a hedonist’s lair, one that my body refuses to abandon. Imagination more often than not is more powerful than the most visible reality. Isn’t it far easier to believe in the powers of conjuration than the dismal colourlessness of sight?

Sunday, August 03, 2003

It appears that there is no place to run. Not that I have reason enough to, but I like having the option available. But then again, had I had the option, I just might have had reason enough to take it…

Jack be nimble, Jack be quick,
Jack jump over the candlestick

Friday, August 01, 2003

I am at the end of my tether.
My tasks are piling up and so is my inertia.
There are only so many hours in a day and only so many that can be spent on the idiot box and the comp. Lack of activity is as tiring as the alternative. Daddy's not home yet. I leave in a week.

I want to crib! In a voice shrill enough to break glass or rouse the dead. I'd rouse my grandpop...a right hellion he was.
I just hope he passed on enough of the genes to carry on the tradition.
Today, this 1st of August, 2003, I claim rightful ownership to his irritabilities, eccentricties and genius.

When I can safely claim to be an anthropologist(another four years) I will write his biography and call it 'The Head of the Undivided Hindu Family'...remind me in case I forget.

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Endless, meaningless words. In ‘The Fire and the Rain’, Vishakha succumbs to Yavakri under the guise of the words she declared herself to be hungry for. Words, she has always known are never what they mean. Obvious camouflage. Blatant games.

As an aside, it is also a very fine script. Amazingly nuanced and bitingly political. The film (Agnivarsha) was a disaster. Sajnani just superimposes the words into the mouths of unthinking actors, loses the entire flavour. Karnad is meant to be felt and performed, not just re-created. Karnad is like Steinbeck to the extent that he walks the fine line between grandeur and pomposity.

Sorrow is grand.
Beauty is grand, great beauty grander.
Grotesque, vicious, maligned and slandered...all grand.
Sometimes, some very rare times, I waft into uninhabited space. Untouched and noiseless, cold and unfeeling, safe and sound. And then the world rushes back in…screeching voices and multiple lives, exaggerated existence and crises galore. I wait for the other extreme, the one where beauty returns in small measure, where noise clears out into fugues.

Frankly, like Siddhartha, all I would like to do is think, wait and fast. I am not a very good participant. I resent having to play when I am not in the mood to.
They are old. The gestures, the words, the actions and the deeds. Nothing can be said that hasn’t been said before nor done that hasn’t taken prior form nor attempted that hasn’t been tried a hundredfold by minions beyond count.

I am but an amalgamation of the many that were and a precursor to the many that will be. Just another point on the continuum of no beginning and no end.

In some corner of some labyrinth, I feel......safe.
And then again, I specialise in illusions. Kaleidoscopes of colour. Waves of light.
Tinseltown magic.

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Restlessness is a necessary evil.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

There have been blasts in a suburb. The city downs its shutters tomorrow in protest.
An acquaintance came up with this gem…'If they really do want somebody to sit up and take notice, why do they have to disrupt processes and cause further grief? Why don’t they all just stay open for business on Sunday instead?’
I know the most warped people in the world…

Monday, July 28, 2003

I walked through the rain. Was pouring sheets on the streets. Drenched, cold and ecstatic.
Walked the length of the road staring at the headlights and the street-lamps. Neons and halogens. Black and gold and silver.
And I was glad for all the times that I took off on a whim. All-nighters at the Maratha’s fort, bike rides through the dust, conversations on the terrace and drives with strangers.
It’s all happening at the zoo…
There are people and people and people…some of whom I cannot live with and others I cannot live without…did I also mention that those thus categorised play musical chairs all the time?

This process of people maintenance is tiring and the only reason I do it is so there remain enough that want to maintain me…mercenary eh? More like the innards of a super-efficient business plan, all other things remaining constant of course.

We dramatise our lives to the detriment of reason. And all structures are but paper sculptures. Beautiful, delicate, intricate and fragile. Every evening I add layers to the quirks of my reason and every morning I tear them down in ruthless abandon. Only to regain my illusions with the passing of the day. And thus passes my life.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

A woman with an inanely perfect face
A dog with wickedly beautiful eyes
And the last train ride on this route for some time to come

She sat on my lap and we watched the mountains together...and counted the waterfalls...and wondered at the depth of the gorge....and put our hands out in the spray...till she fell asleep...and then I had to get off.

Somebody buy me a month...
And then again, I would probably give it away as well...

Thursday, July 24, 2003

I love...
cotton candy
old books
attics
red
tinsel
trains
words


I hate...
lizards
loud voices
cracked nails
bills
documentation
bright lights
transition


I dread...the loss of familiarity
The details are banal, and just as banal was the fact that I loved him throughout. Until he left me. Then I hated him. To go through all that pain and misery and not reap the pleasures of hate?

- Three Women Talking, Arthur Wesker

Thursday, July 17, 2003

The air is crackling, it's the sound of my nerves...
Go ahead and give me a sign, I won't believe any of it today..

Mind-numbing, blood-curdling, bone-chilling...
Slay the lamb and give away the soul
The demons have come home to roost

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

And it's two in the night and I must think of something to say..
In this time and space, in this moment of grace...

How can I not?
Time will bury my virtues and magnify my sins.
This is when I need to draft my defence.
Justify my day and maximise my time.

Value energy expended and conserve tomorrow's worth...
Strength to go on is an infrastructure composed of multiple lists of things I have never done before and things I have put off for the morrow...

This then is my claim to a little time beyond my imprint
A tale hanging in the air when the body has long burned to ash
And isn’t if good?
Isn’t it funny?
Isn’t it everything that you paid the price of a ticket for?

Then wait in line and bend your back into too-tiny seats and worn-off cushions.
The act has begun…
A minute late and you’ll miss the plot…
God has off late been declared to be in the details.
Less than a month short of total overhaul.
My room’s in disarray and so are my brains.

The greens are out in full bloom.
The light’s peeping in through holes in the sky.
My neighbour’s doing his usual jaunt, cigarette in hand.
A little bit of smoke in an otherwise perfect day…

What I have and what I want

Rich empty spaces and white sky
Devoid of the circumlocutions of colour
The redundancy of meaning

I walked there once upon a very long time ago. Nimble of limb and limbless often...
Under skies of stars with feet of heather.

Monday, July 14, 2003

People...

They talk too much
Understand too little
Imply far more than warranted

Just give it to me straight
and I'll forgive all your sins

Past and future
Done and undone
Realised and imagined
Marred and untouched

A little respite from thought and I'll be ready to face the world again.

Friday, July 11, 2003

It is the build-up to the big fight. The one with the repressed nasties and the hypothesised scenarios.
I am going to sneeze my intestines out at this rate…
I need a body transplant.

Thursday, July 10, 2003

It is time to document my intrepid, vacuous flights of limited imagination for the world and its nothingness to record for posterity. Different matter that they’re looking the other way.

My vacation is at an end and I don’t remember when it began. Was it July last year when I quit or February this year when I quit again? Was it when I booked my tickets or when I cancelled them for the fifth time over?
Silly schedules and aimless plans.

I’ve been to Pune and Bangalore and Pune and Bangalore and Chennai and Tirutani and Monday I’ll be back in Bombay. I’ve been living on a haversack and torn jeans. I have invited nasty comments from most relatives and marriage proposals from none.

Seen my friends look older and wiser and busier and emptier. Found solace in a few and contentment in none. And the road’s taking a few sharper turns by the hour.

I went up the mountains to find God. Under stone pillars and granite floors. And queues of people chanting familiar tongues. Food and drink and flowers and ash. And sun and sand and raucous din. There they stood sweating to their gills, huddled in fear, love and hope. The eyes of the idols glazed over and stared into our collective confusion.

My peripa says that ‘bhakti’ is about an involvement beyond fear and other mercenaries. It is a merging of the self with the divine. And the dissolution of an identity to a greater truth.
Didn’t seem like there were any devotees waiting in line.

In the end, the only truth I found was the elephant that placed its trunk on my head for the price of a rupee and some. The temple elephant and its divine duty.

I am a 20th century anomaly in an 8th century edifice

Monday, July 07, 2003

This feels real. Flesh and blood real. Not gut-wrenching. Not bone-breaking. Just walking on ground real. And I am breathing again. In agonies of ritual. And necessity of air. The hope of strength and the certainty of choice. My stride breaks air and cuts the pavement. I still run across the road.

Marked for life.

Friday, July 04, 2003

He is such a sweet-heart...

And appearances can be deceptive...

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Dream at the risk of flight

Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Here with a Loaf of Bread beneath the Bough,
A Flask of Wine, a Book of Verse ~ and Thou
Beside me singing in the Wilderness ~
And Wilderness is Paradise enow


- The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam

Saturday, June 14, 2003

Humanity is a far better bet than divinity.
My unrelenting ability to believe and your unflinching hold on faith.

The myth of perpetuation
The illusion of continuity
The fallacy of creation

It's a living, walking, talking circus and I so love it.
Curious, hurt, awed and repulsed by my kindred souls. Revealed in their glory and gore.

The questions we ask and the answers that never come. And yet we go on.
In miracles of agony. In life, death and rebirth. In contradiction, assumption and supposition.

Tinkers, tailors, soldiers, spies,
Lies, steals, runs and dies...

Friday, June 13, 2003

Citius, altius, fortius
Tonight I can write

Wednesday, June 11, 2003

I invested in a whiff of permanence. Now the wind’s turned the other way and so have I.

Thursday, May 29, 2003

Tuesday, May 27, 2003

I'm in the mood to be violently ill...

To throw glasses off the rooftop and pluck the grass fron its deepest roots, to bash random people and draw claw marks in red ink....
Might as well add to the list while I'm at it.

1. Peel skin off in patterns of squares
2. Stick stones in all my shoe soles
3. Rip the seats off new bikes
4. Dunk every person that tells me not to do whatever it is that he tells me not to do
5. Scream gibberish at people who create scenes on roads
6. Scream

And no, I'm not suicidal. I just want nothing to do with this dastardly business of decison-making.
Couldn't I have found a slower train? This one travelling at the speed of rotting light, threatened to put my old Fiat to shame.
But anyway, it did calm down the frenzy I am so dying to get into...

Plonked down in a corner of the ladies' compartment and watched innumerable dramas simultaneously unfold...
Soap Opera No.1: Lady with the lovely nose ranting in voice like foghorn about her sister-in-law who set another in-law on fire...
Soap Opera No.2: Kid on the top berth spraying remnants of stale bread on the hellion below...and the grandmom jus called the kid a har**mi...what will this country ever come to?;)
Soap Opera No.3: Is more like a documentary...the price of every commodity under the Sun is being subjected to a comparative analysis...Alphonso mangoes, Kokum, Potatoes, Tomatoes, Madras chillies, Cane Baskets, etc etc etc...and incidentally, these were two extremely housewifely women, each gabbing in their respective tongues to perfect comprehension..also expounded that the reason for the unexpected lowering of prices was the war in Iraq and the closure of exports...I so love this country...

And the faces, oh the faces...lined and smooth and dark and light and proud and wrinkled...the faces you see on trains..stupefying and beautiful....

The 10.40 local from Pune Station....is my only chance at sanity...

Thursday, May 22, 2003

Wednesday, May 21, 2003

I-I thought of that old joke, you know, this-this-this guy goes to a psychiatrist and says, "Doc, uh, my brother's crazy. He thinks he's a chicken." And, uh, the doctor says, "Well, why don't you turn him in?" And the guy says, "I would, but I need the eggs." Well, I guess that's pretty much how how I feel about relationships. You know, they're totally irrational and crazy and absurd and ... but, uh, I guess we keep goin' through it because, uh, most of us need the eggs.

- Woody Allen, Annie Hall
love arrives and dies
in all disguises
and we fear to move
because of old darknesses
or childhood danger

so our withdrawing words
our skating hearts


- Micheal Ondaatje, Handwriting

Tuesday, May 20, 2003

Ever tried sitting pillion the other way round? Is damn good fun, the world does a whirly-jig and everything seems right all over again.

I retraced old paths, brick by brick, stone by stone.
Climbed up the water tank (sans parental permission of course), ran down the slope, balanced on the rickety stile and stuck my head through the bars of the jungle-gym. Smiled non-stop as I spied old loves, old hates, old 'doesn't matter' peeping through faded time. How did I ever find the courage to leave all this?

Saw the entire industrial complex all over again. This used to be my backyard. The smells and the sounds and the tankers and the trucks. It always seemed like I would end up working in one of these. Be a part of the great Indian industrial revolution. Instead I ended up in what a friend refers to as the elusive 'tertiary' strata of the occupational hierarchy. Somewhere that still bothers me no end. My father has always worked in industry. He puts in long hours of work in the living breathing backbone of a textile plant. I know what he makes. I can see, touch and taste (not advisable) dimethyl teryphthalate.
What do I do?

Sunday, May 18, 2003

Promises are made on paper chains strung in the sky
Lit for ninety-one nights
Burnt on the ninety-second
Embers soaring in the air
Dark-eyed children orphaned and lost
They settled on his sleeve with the lint and the dust
Carried along in the sway of his limbs
While I watched

It all passes by in a blur.
The superfluity of existence and the weightlessness of the body.
The redundancy of memory and the forgotten glimpse of an unseeing touch.
To seduce is to rule. To be seduced is to fall.
Beginnings will be grafted onto endings...
For love of the game...

Thursday, May 15, 2003

Just another video game. I'm constantly navigating levels, adjusting tempo, pulling the reins.
Pity the LCD's cracked.
Is a beautiful broken display.
Sometimes, what 'may have been' is so much easier to live with than what 'is'.
To hell and back...

Thursday, May 08, 2003

Every second step is a decision point. Life is as demanding as I am often accused of being. Is there a connection?
Time to take a big risk. I haven't yet. And maybe I will.

Need to make a dash for it while my feet are still running.

Wednesday, May 07, 2003

What do you define as being a cheat? Or a liar? Or a threat?
Infinite instances when I can twist my structures to accomodate your wrongs and mine. And seize the moment and wax eloquent. On how morals should be archived while I dance the night and trip the light. It isn't so difficult.

I am adept at living multiple lives. I am fifteen thousand gestures and thirty thousand words. Shouldn't be a problem to characterise and categorise. Once upon a very long time, I hung up my boots because I was bored. I just wanted to get used to myself.
Time to do the manoeuvres again.
It's like riding a cycle. You never forget. The moves or the falls.

Would you cheat me as easily as I would you?
Desperation is defeating. Nazguls of my soul. Or is that an oxymoron?

I do not like extremist fantasies or emotion at its zenith.
Do not shake my boat and do not churn the waters.
I like my bubbles. Don't burst them.
Most times, logic is the only real building block. The rest are crumbs and pretend soldiers. Hanging around to make useless conversation, unholy gaps and incoherent lulls. Logic and the discipline of reason. The surety of unsurety. Lord it's killing...

Tuesday, May 06, 2003

entrancing
You have an entrancing kiss~ the kind that leaves
your partner bedazzled and maybe even feeling
he/she is dreaming. Quite effective; the kiss
that never lessens and always blows your
partner away like the first time.


What kind of kiss are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

My ideal mate is Aragorn!
Aragorn


Who is your Ideal Lord of the Rings (male) Mate?
brought to you by Quizilla

I tuned my mandolin, plucking deseprately, trying to eke music. Turns out I didn't have to make the effort after all. It played on its own. A little old, a little rusty, forgotten tunes, unsyncopated rhythm..music nevertheless.

And thus we polish the instruments of our valour. Through time and legend. And memory and abyss. Riding into what must be.

Monday, May 05, 2003

If I stopped thinking of things as a process, I might consider thinking them beautiful...

Saturday, May 03, 2003

I don't mind
a)Falling headlong down the stairs
b)Scraping a knee
c)Glass shards in my hand

Really, I don’t…

But I hate being bored and I hate not knowing…and I hate admitting that I know what I do not wish to know…
There are always alternate realities to traverse. Multiple sliding doors. One way or another…

Friday, May 02, 2003

The cohesive forces between liquid molecules are responsible for the phenomenon known as surface tension.
The molecules at the surface do not have other like molecules on all sides of them and consequently they cohere more strongly to those directly associated with them on the surface.

I play my cards all wrong, I never know to quit when I'm ahead…but I never wanted to play the game…hence I retire, in ignominy and defeat…why do my feet feel so light?
Amma said things would be fine, Daddy said otherwise.
Between the two of them, they drew up the blueprint of my balancing act
I will take notes while you dance and I will hold the mike when you sing. I don't like the lights but my eyes get bored. Show me your world cause mine sucks. It was different and doubtless will be. But here and now is a killer game…
I am dispensable

Thursday, May 01, 2003

I could live like this forever. Under the mottled light of a cane lamp, in one corner of a 6 x 5 room. And put myself under a microscope. Broken into the tiniest elements, I exist inspite of myself...the myopia, the warts, the greed and the lust. In full view of a world that deserves far better. And 'deserve' is a word out of a mad man's realm. And mad is a tad better than sad, wistful, longing and lonely. Mad is my purdah for the week. Till it is torn away to reveal worse sins. Crouching in mock fear, forerunner of illness, precursor of doom. My panacae on a billboard at the station crossing, 'Magic hai tho mumkin hai'...
Life...the prudence of it....dealt out in careful measured bits...lest it hit all at once...
And then the deluge, the one-step-short-of-numbing pain
10. Write off bad debts

Wednesday, April 30, 2003

Make me an itinerary for life.
Endless undone lists and freaky itemization of every action under the sun.

Wake up…and remember to
1.Pay telephone bill
2.Boil potatoes
3.Iron clothes
4.Paint toe-nails
5.Call home
6.Drag feet to office doorstep and plonk onto computer like the zombie that I so feel like
7.Call – printer vendor client friend ass moron stranger does it matter
8.Buy mosquito mats
9.Pop pills

Rise and shine run and ride stop and stare ask and talk live and die

Monday, April 28, 2003

Last few days. Pity it doesn’t feel so. This is the end as I never knew it. Non-cloying, resolute and cold. Cutting the tassels and pulling the strings.

And there are people I bump into on every street. Faces I know, rhythms I perceive and bumps I criss-cross. Will I come back and what if I do, will I come back to?
Will I lose the language and slur the intonations? Will I forget that the path down here is a one-way street? Will I have to be explained every nuance and corner? And will I ever muster courage to cross the road?

A whole new world out there, but I like the limitations of this one that I’ve built. The surety of slowness and the necessity of ritual.
I don't know where to start. I've come back to where I came from. I feel like a tour guide. Walked on the edge way too often to belong. I have the funny tales and the punchlines and the spots on the map. But I don't travel this road anymore. I have run...by day and by night, in terror and comprehension, from the mountains and the seas.

A million starlit skies on the errors of my life.

Saturday, April 26, 2003

It doesn't take much. Not much at all.
Just a few lifetimes...

Friday, April 25, 2003

simple sweet time to take back with me...
The same themes. The same questions and the non-answers. I need to be programmed to shut down.

Tuesday, April 22, 2003

Would it be a crime to sit still?
To watch in single file and walk without moving?
Or vice-versa?
Somedays I want to reach the multiplex, stand still right to the top of the elevator and then run down…and walk up and run down…and on and on…
Most of my obsessions I notice, are to do with continuity and consistency.

What is the nicest way to refuse your affections?
To say that it’s an insult to smile when you say the things that you say because it doesn’t mean a thing. And that you bounce off the glass shards and the only one with the bloodstains is you. And that I have been where you are and I don’t think I can make it any easier for you. Because your vulnerability gives me the strength to be ruthless.To play God and draw the lines on your hand.

Did I do all that? Or was I done all that? Maybe I was just watching….
I can’t remember…

Monday, April 21, 2003

Today I play scavenger..borrow, steal, ask and reveal.....

Red

Look
for the carnival
of crimson
that her festival brings
the feverish delirium
washing over the human canvas
all this movement, feral cause
her maroon children

or for the
sun drenched red
that drapes
the women in her fields
their shy wisdom, bangles tinkling
mud pots like dry, bored roses
on their heads, going home
enigmas in red

and the vast blankets
of spice
stretching across her earth
the wave of the child's fan
over
red fingers of blinding taste
some of these will enter
cherry lips during dinner, a party

and then there are her moods
shifting from happy orange
to solemn plum red
across the easel of sky,
wine shot cloud
earthen dusk

her many flavoured gifts for the tongue
drunken fish
soaking up tamarind,
a man spits out addiction
freeze frame thin ruby jet
and more street texture
all these quiet stories
on the other side
of walls of sweltering red brick
Wedding,
the echo of drums
a woman's red, swirling sari
the fervour in the fabric

in the morning
she bends to recieve
the red habit
from his thumb

parting her lovely hair,
this line of pure affiliation
that later meets
cold metal,
someone’s fury,
all this movement, feral cause

her marooned children

frantic blood
the inadequate shield
of her arms, bangles tinkling


- Philip John, Class of 2002, Class apart...

Friday, April 18, 2003

Why do days that start off soaring plummet deep down into watery graves?

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Night voices. Voices that fade into honesty and delirium. Tired and spent and pulled and pinched. Low and mellow and drunk and drawn. Soft and gentle. Secrets of the night. Dwellers of ether...

I speak the truth just before I sleep. Need fear no consequences till morn dawns bright and ruthless. Dreams are forever nightmares so who cares what happens? Answers hanging in the land of the undead, questions floating sulphur and fury. Hades is my kingdom of choice...

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

This is it...
Was reading a book yesterday advocating past-life regressive therapy. A technique where the patient under hypnosis re-lives many past life experiences responsible for present-day fears. After which the latter are supposedly miraculously cured. Yeah right!

Just so strikes me that these are these are the explanations my childhood dreams were made of. A perfect grade and the world will love you. For all that is harped upon on the desirability of simplicity, my layers are complex and do not function by scalar rules. I do not believe that my being is a passive absorbent mass. I believe in its ability to mould, think, live and feel. Is as mischievious as it gets. It plays to the gallery and pretends the fool. To believe that it is capable of being run over in this manner is to deny mankind its war against the odds. Play the game, but for somebody's sake, tell me whose fooling who?

Time please...

Monday, April 14, 2003

Eros. Vs. Thanatos
A Hindu in a hurry? Oxyomoron.
Unending wheel of existence. Umpteen chances to come and go. Recurring cycles. Buses in half-life intervals. Old wars, new wars, same wars. Dizzy Brahmins on the same wheel. Like people passing my daily route. Day after day after same day.
What's the big hurry?
He is sure that I am a writer in the making. He knows that all of it is raw material. Skeletons, secrets, souls, et al.
He runs everyday. And reads like his life depended on it. And never gives anything away.
Brings light into the room. Waxes eloquent on Genghis Khan and the tenets of Hinduism. And lives a life I haven't been part of in years. But dances on the permanent periphery of my intellect.
Chapter I. All names fictitious and any resemblance to persons living or dead, purely intentional.

Sunday, April 13, 2003

Iconic relationships. I just couldn't stop laughing.
Colour separation takes times. But the lines come out sharper in the long run. To like people for what they are. For the thoughts in their head and the ways that they live. The things they say and the words they write. The curve of a lash and veins in the arm. Endless stories unfolding on the streets of my life. Pity to burn under the spotlight all by myself. And draw fragile, interconnecting lines. All that tension hampers movement. Unending orchestration. Way too much trouble. I'd rather dance by myself. And watch the other dervishes. Round and round and round...

Saturday, April 12, 2003

Everything’s just slipping through. Raw, uncut sand. Blistering heat and aching fingers. Another fight to the finish? The choices we make and the whims we satisfy.

Friday, April 11, 2003

I am an internal being seeking externality. Sometimes it feels like a precipice on the borders of my skin and I wonder if there's a multitude out there fighting the same inconsequential wars and bouncing the same rhetoric. Easier to live life in a black and white sketch, tracing the lines and erasing the redundant.

Feed yourself, move your limbs and don't answer your elders. Somebody else always knows best.

Thursday, April 10, 2003

It is a vacation morning and the sun is out bright on my face. I just didn’t want to wake up. But I did and here I am. It’s a nice ochre day. Like in ochre yellow, prussian blue and burnt sienna. Definitely not perfect, but we’ll get there.

The words are not there. They are staying still in suppressed movement and the lid is stuck.

And I truly want my vacations back. Among the trees and the forests and the monkeys and the sun. In the sweat and heat of Madras and the deer crossing the streets at IIT. Movies at OAT and walks at Marina. The salt on my tongue off raw mangoes. Aunts and uncles and the smells of the kitchen. The voices and the books and the corners and stone floors. People I love and people I don’t know. Of Brahmanism and God and endless debates on the fiscal policy.

I miss family, however archaic the term in my lexicon. I miss the ability to disregard myself.

Monday, April 07, 2003

I want with an intensity that defies want. Is a fire for the sake of the warmth. Is a set of images carefully contrived. Is a path not to be veered from. Living on a prayer. Hanging on a limb.

Sunday, April 06, 2003

That I love him does not except me from the right to love you. That he is in a chamber does not prevent me my ability to construct another. My fragmentation does not disallow your completeness.

Friday, April 04, 2003

I walked on. Long strides to his gigantic ones. Unseen road and leaves beyond reach. On and on and on in unfelt agony. What if a vein burst and the blood flowed like a tide? What if it stained the stones and made rivulets to skip over? What if it changed the colours of the world? We would still walk on in cheerless abandon. With bodies of skeletons and blood in the cracks of our feet.

He walked and I ran. And the kid passed us in a mock frenzy of survival. He skipped and ran. He could have turned cartwheels if he wanted to. All I can do is roller-skate. What skills do I possess that are my own? I have to strain the annals of my brain to recollect what little I used to be able to do. Not worth putting down.

Inconsequential being. Body, soul and mind. A chance combination and a certain end.

Wednesday, April 02, 2003

It was never meant to last. He so calm, his face like parchment, bland in its absolute receptivity and indifferent generosity. She such an atmospheric child, ignorant and wise, happy and sad, sometimes so sad. So touched by wherever he took her, so out of her skin. Wide-eyed and borderline pretty. Not so when she sulked, furrowed lines, asking everything never meant to be answered. And he knew the answers and she manufactured the questions. Perfect arrangement? Not quite.

She stopped asking. And he lost the surety of knowledge. Just another casualty on the landscape. The audience ran out and speech turned inaudible. And they lived anyway. Mute, irresolute and unhappy. Happiness a fire-fly flicker, momentary at best and illusionary at worst. And the routine that must be. Time-sheets, meetings and laundry. Newspapers, bills and today's horoscope. The price of sugar and the stupidity of governance. Re-evaluate time and de-evaluate our lives. So it is and so it goes on. The beginning of the end.

Tuesday, April 01, 2003

A screech and a scream! That's what my head feels like. Boxed in between murky light and dirty air. Nothing to gain and never any possibility. Fallen deep like green waters in a National Geographic abyss. What was I thinking?

Monday, March 31, 2003

I have told you I am not a continuous being. My words cannot be used as evidence against me.
-An Unofficial Rose, Iris Murdoch
If this isn’t worth it, then something else must be. Fallen angels and misplaced grandeur. At every corner for the taking. Broken haloes and indifferent light. Someday it will all shine in reclaimed splendour. Bide your time.
I distrust familiarity. I do not have the strength to build any more anchors. I do not like the sound of my own voice. I am obsessed with myself. I like being served cold. I love a good climax and a seething end.

Sunday, March 30, 2003

Dungeons and dragons. All night long.

It scares me. The banality of it all. The mindlessness and the absence of a frame. Spins me around in the same cycle. The world is going round and round.

How am I so disparate from the strangers around me? The ones that fight against a relentless someone fighting a pointless something. Trojan the wall trampling thousands in the process. A delicious glory in the name of a flag at half-mast.
Leads me out of my body. To disown the world. And disinherit my beginnings. To disavow loss and separate suffering. To turn my back on the battle-field. And wait till I am stabbed.

Either with or against them. Who them? Who us? Team A, Team B, Team C. In a close contest of mayhem. No middle ground, no Switzerland. Break it down till it stares you in the face. A decision must be made.

Saturday, March 29, 2003

I feel nothing. Is an anti-climax. Drained beyond belief. Fed like a fat cat and thinking like a dead one. This everyday battle is futile. Spurious even. No purity of cause. No long road. No plan.
I could sit here frozen and never miss the freedom of cutting air. I could watch my feet all night long like I never knew sleep. Never sleep and never dream.

Detached from my body and floating in amniotic fluid in the half-state between sleep and wakefulness. Life to ponder and vodka to pontificate. One slip and I will fall. Love or the idea of love?

Monday, March 24, 2003

Gawk at my pout and bend at my knee
Sing my song and speak my speech
Feed my lies and stand when I please
Songstress, temptress, enchantress...

Am I kidding or are you?

Saturday, March 22, 2003

In an alcove in the house by the corner. Woven rattan chairs and a singing garden. Right now, I feel so blessed.

There's coffee warming on the stove and sounds pitter-pattering around the house. Somebody's lit an agarbatti amd Snoopy's chasing sparrows around the clothesline. Bells jangle and my day awaits. Is this what home was meant to be?

Thursday, March 20, 2003

Artifice – clever or artful skill/ a deceptive maneuver (especially to avoid capture)
Is that a word or a world?

Lessons and words get mingled in the irony of meaning and jugglery only goes as far as the nearest eye. What is there to hide from and where will I hoard what isn’t mine to use?

My eyes hurt from too much wine…bright lights and intense refraction…
Never enter an unnatural medium without acclimatization, u will bend and break.
What is the price of decadence and how free is a free fall?

Sunday, March 16, 2003

Sitting on the steps of the night, calculating, analyzing, wondering and vacillating. Of mistakes long undone and theories unravelled.
Words sans action? Actions bereft of words? Men without women…

Nice long lingering weekend. I can see time in bars and lines. It’s like a physical graph in my head with the days as lengths…dipping and curving and never ending.

Tomorrow will shine in poster colour splendour. Tomorrow’s Holi and I don’t think I can get home. Just might up and run and travel in the middle of the night. And be there on the lawns in the morning with the water and the colours and the sprinklers and the rainbows. I am so tempted…

Friday, March 14, 2003

Everything is personal.
The way that I feel and the way that I don't.
The things that are done and the ways that are true.
The song of the sea and the rhythm of my feet.

Thursday, March 13, 2003

What is sometimes more dangerous than not being able to understand is that I refuse to understand.

Tuesday, March 04, 2003

My day is slotted into pre-defined environments. Sometimes I feel like I’m part of this large simulation and somebody will get their finger on Esc and I’ll finally know what the truth is. This is anything but. Illusion and game and machination. Conscious interludes and controlled circumstance.

I am so in control and I so don’t want to be.

Sunday, March 02, 2003

It's been a whirlwind of a weekend. No time to breathe. Emptied out all that stuff crammed into every inch of 550 sq. feet. Two years of magpie heaven. Now winter's gone and so is the hoard.

New place, new people, new routes. And it's been a lovely morning so far. Long walk, amazing breakfast and adoreable dog. What more could a gurl ask for?

And I'm wondering if this is all it takes. Small doses of novelty. A few changes in the map. That really doesn't take much effort now, does it?

Thursday, February 27, 2003

Does an ebb take its toll on the soil? Does it pull and draw claw marks? Does it take all that is worthless and leave behind all that should never be? What next? Where now? How far?

Unfeeling touch and blind sight. Never stopping, never asking, ever knowing. Of long years of habit and endless tomorrows. Maybe and maybe not.

Unconscious gestures. Two fingers clasped on the handle of my coffee mug. Traipsing feet on the floors of my night. Three speed-breakers fifteen metres apart.

What do I keep of this life?

Friday, February 21, 2003

I could talk to you about everybody else I know. And how they keep my sanity locked in their long-distance calls and rare words. And the things they hold and the words I hide.

I watched his hands hammer away at the chinks. I saw the infinite genius in his fingers, steering a solution through wood and metal. And then the glass and scotch-tape and water and gravel. And then the fish. Big sea, many fish, limited life-span. All we’re left with is a tank.

And I wanted to shrink into the ledge above the water level and dangle tiny toes above their noses. And watch the bubbles float up to the surface and burst into air. And stay there. And never have to put my head under water.

Monday, February 17, 2003

I do not debate the possibility of conflict. I just avoid it.

I have a long bus day ahead. Two people not coming in, have to take over their projects. And leave early to meet the progenitors at the station; they’re on their way to Chennai and Daddy wants pizza for dinner. So I need to drop by Smokin Joe’s on the way and then get to the station. The things people do…

Lots of administration work, paper clearance and packing. Can you think of a better way to spend a life?
I am confused and perplexed and in the eye of a maelstrom. No inclination to concentrate on the solution. Too much inertia.
My head talks in pictures. Of the day and the week and the future of mankind. It's just gone silent. I have temporarily suspended the ability to read. Is rejuvenation a myth? Don't tell me, I wouldn't understand what you're saying.
It's a drop of nothingness and a time for reckoning.



Saturday, February 15, 2003

My friend’s leaving town for good.

We sing on the road all the time. We know the complete lyrics of the worst songs ever made. We beat each other, me more than him. We are sarcastic to strangers. Only we understand our jokes.

He’s never on time.
He falls in and out of love all the time.
He hates olives and loves sweets.
He doesn’t scream amd hardly ever raises his voice.
He can’t dance.
He broke his hand a few months back.
He has the loveliest deepest singing voice.
He cries easily and believes with abandon.

My mom loves him and I’ll miss him.

I’m crying already. Tell him not to go…

Thursday, February 13, 2003

Professional bubble maker..that’s what I am.

I love those fragments of water and air. Seek to remind me that beauty however limited in its existence is still mandatory elixir. Every relationship is a bubble, an entity unto itself, fuelled by optimal winds and threatened by ceilings. Once in a while, one finds clear sky and another makes peace with its limits. I have a collection of these things. Each independent of the other. Different strokes and whorls of colour.

I have a few friends permanently orbiting my mindspace. I couldn’t do without these guys. They are completely and totally indispensable and I have no qualms admitting it to them. And what I give and get in each of these cases is varied enough for me to have to re-invent myself all the time. We orbit space together, fighting winds, loving the view, feeling the ‘unbearable lightness of being’… I know these things can only rise so far, but I haven’t seen those heights yet.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

I have dreamed thee too long,
Never seen thee or touched thee, but known thee with all of my heart,
Half a prayer, half a song,
Thou has always been with me, though we have been always apart.
- Man of La Mancha

To each his Dulcinea, to me my Quixote...
I was born into a religion that I do not have enough reasons to be part of. Likewise, the possibility of switching has never occurred to me because I do not have enough cause to. I have been conveniently classified. For once in a slot outside my own making.

Monday, February 10, 2003

The weekend just flew past…I wanted to pack and sort and list… and sit at home. But ended up out in the city through the day and night. Caught up with a few friends from out of town on Saturday and was at a Louis Banks, Sivamani thing on Sunday. The only good thing about the last mentioned was cheap booze. Complete, utter cacophony. I do not have the expertise to make any ‘purist’ claims, but this was pathetic, capital P, font size 42! Four guys all on their own trip. It was money well-spent if only for the ‘never again’ reminder. A lot of gimmickry and utter confusion. Maybe I should stick to Anu Malik.

Today’s as dead as it is irritating. Lots of work and complete lack of motivation. My head is on ‘mute’. Could be worse. Doubtless, will be...

Thursday, February 06, 2003

I turned my cupboards inside out yesterday. And came to a decided conclusion, one that has been made before but never with this veracity. I have WAY TOO MANY clothes. And this doesn’t refer to the very many times I moan that I have nothing to wear. Just in terms of pure stock and inventory management, too much to handle. Things dating back from school and college and post-grad. Stuff I hardly wear, sentimental, narrative woven stuff and a few ‘never knew what to do with’ pieces. I put them away into neat piles and finally decided to throw out around 70% of the stuff.

I HAVE to find ways to minimise existence. Things in places, no pieces jutting out and none marring the view. And I stood on the balcony, looking at the pretty lights below. Sodium vapour lamps and bright neon signs. Rooftops and strings of tiny bulbs. Bicycles and patios and plants and dogs. I will not have this view a month from now. Might as well enjoy and put it away in the head.

Subtract, minimise, give away. Scarcity by choice.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

I am done for the day and I have this sneaking suspicion that I’ve forgotten something. Nothing put off for the morrow, nothing forgotten, nothing pending, some mediocrity, but nothing knocking off the schedule too badly…..is too calm…is eerie…

Might as well get home and do other things. Like clean up the mess under camouflage. And do the monthly bills and budgets and balances and forecasts. Mundane, predictable, safe…I still have to write the Lakshadweep article for Daddy..no inspiration..time to do the pen and paper thing. I haven’t written in ages, like written with the ink flowing…except of course for IOMs and notes on the door.

A letter or two for the night? My favourite kind of penmanship. Talking without being talked back to;)…This used to be one of my regular things when I was back home. Stay awake through the night, soft lights, music, vast rug and paper strewn all over. Looking, choosing, reading, writing….go to sleep an hour away from when Amma and Daddy wake up to the light. Dream through the morning…

Vague dreams lately. In technicolour, detailed and intricate. Client letters and approvals and artworks and hair colour and chiffon and roads and sunsets and water and wind. Like life woven in when I wasn’t looking.

Tuesday, February 04, 2003

Slow poison. This life that blinks back. Intense clarity and utter confusion. On the train to Bangalore.The smoky frame of an art film. Station in the middle of nowhere. The spark of a match, a moment of shared harmony. The call of the muezzin from a green distance. Fields of tall, bright sunflowers. Endless horizon.

'Ephemeral'...I love the word. The aura that it lends impermanence. The illusion of beauty wound around illusion. The wind in the willow.
I love a lot of words. Just for the way they sound. Like the bells in the temple. And the brook outside my tent at Beas. And the pigeons outside my windows.

Chiaroscuro, phantasmagoria, inamorata, chutzpah, dilettante, silhouette, angst....

Monday, February 03, 2003

It doesn't take much to start a fight.
A few words here and some there. Missed turns, mapless routes and bad driving.
Lose your temper. Scream and scram.

And so much to get it back on track. Parking tickets. Speeding fines. Court appearances.
Endless explanations. So many opinions.

And the hugs and the smiles.

When I was taught to confront, I didn't realise the responsibility that comes with it.
Learning. Slowly.

Friday, January 31, 2003

I sit on the wall, legs dangling outward; the mutt grabbing at my toes.Vacillating between the ticks on his forehead and the future of my job. The train trundles past, echoing in the back of my forehead. Remnants of childhood security. It's quiet. No quality to it though. Not empty. Not full. Just a part of the night. I should sleep now. But way too much noise in my head. Endless un-sleep.

The rickshaw draws up at the gate. I step out to see the face. It had to be him. Stealing up silently as the curtain rises. The foreplay to performance. The face in the neon-light. Sharp and haggard. Wide generous mouth. And then come the profanities, the inanities, the meaninglessness of it all. Audience in line. And then he marches in, volume turned high. Filling up the spaces.

I climb back onto the wall. Disruption is a temporary phenomenon. The dog's around. I stare into space only to be able to see myself as part of the space. A community of double-storeyed buildings on barren avenues.

He calls out. I trudge in. And go sit on him. His arms around me, his head in the crook of my neck. Rocking. This must be what they call comfort.

Thursday, January 30, 2003

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

Tuesday, January 28, 2003

I was reading philosophy in the manner of grabbing a burger, swigging a Pepsi, munching a cookie…and out of nowhere, a tiny piece stuck. Toothpick refused to budge it, it stayed….

Not all of the Greeks, but a large proportion of them were passionate, unhappy, at war with themselves, driven along one road by the intellect and along another by the passions, with the imagination to conceive heaven and the wilful self-assertion that creates hell.

Sounds familiar?

Monday, January 27, 2003

Not a waste after all. Spent some time writing. Slept a lot. Saw a few plays.

Friends of mine staged a performance of this play called 'The Temple Elephant' originally in Malayalam. Extremely well produced and enacted. To begin with, the script is POWERFUL. Cynical and angry, bitter and spent.

It's the story of a temple elephant and his mahout, banished to obscurity and penury since the elephant started throwing the temple idols off its back. Metaphors abound and there was something extremely touching about the camraderie of poverty. The story progresses and brings in various characters in the public arena who want to use the elephant's plight for their ulterior motives. Extremely catchy translation...and very very empathetic.

All theatre is in the end but an idea. The performance and the prostitution of an idea? Who buys and to what purpose?
Is this how life's truths unfold? On an artifical stage in manipulated spots?
In artistry and sleight-of-hand lie the remnants of the tipping point.

Saturday, January 25, 2003

I have a weekend lying waste. Surprising that I do not know what to do considering that I have spent the last six months doing precisly this. Figuring out how to optimise time and minimise anxiety and depression. 'Optimise'! Sheesh, the jargon is right back in place.

I have a few new books to pick up where I left them last. Just discovered Ian McEwan a few months back and he's BRILLIANT. Not just style, but also a lot of intrigue in the stuff he writes. Quite dark, which is something I wouldn't expect upfront from a British author. But then, I guess that applies to Murdoch too, so I stand corrected. Too small a sample size and too arbitrary a conclusion.
What else have I been reading? 'Lila' all over again. And it never disappoints.

The day's been uneventful. One meeting and a few concept notes and a lot of surfing and some crosswords. Wonder what's on telly tonight? I am disoriented. I have lost my place in space and time. Somebody stole my markers.

Went for the silly Ashram tour last week. I repeat 'Silly! A fifteen minute silent walk through a lovely place and 35 mins of a VIDEO!!!
At the end of the tour, you're handed an FAQ that has questions as vague as 'Why does the Brotherhood, etc etc....wear white?'...Ans: 'Osho chose the colour'! Case closed....and of course not to mention something to the effect of 'Is the Ashram all about sex and orgies?'....Ans: 'People interested in spirituality ask about meditation, people interested in cars ask about Rolls Royces, people interested in sex......'

As a friend of mine would say 'Le Li':)

Thursday, January 23, 2003

I am moving house next month. My roomie's getting married. And I'm bored of maintenance. Like, really BORED. So moving into this paying guest accomodation near office. Huge row-house and everything else thrown in for good measure. Kitchenette, writing space, furniture and A DOG. I am so looking forward to it. The dog part that is. My parents live in this villa-like place with lawns all over and space and light and the works. And we've never had a dog, because my mum doesn't fancy taking care of one. And when I moved out of home seven years back to college and then work, I knew I definitely wouldn't be able to ever have a dog on my own. Too little space and way too little time. It's kind of an unexpected surprise right now. So in a month's time, I am going to have a pet.

I'm sure I'll hate giving up the flat. It's been my place. I hunted it down, furnished it, maintained it, cleaned it, loved it and held onto it for so long. It was so MY place. It's a beautiful looking thing by the way. Fifth floor, French windows and lovely view.

I guess it makes a lot of sense to move though, everything in life being currently so transitory. Today's a lazy day again, I hope my projects get going soon. I need enough distractions.
So much like old times, repair template, trial and error, cups of tea and intermittent phone calls....Is it deja vu; misplaced nerve ends or life coming full circle?
Is crazy to be back when I didn't even go. Welcome to an empty room and sleeping eyes.
So much to tell, so much to keep. Been away, been happy, been sad and been alive.

Anyway, it's back to work after a six month hiatus. Finally, there's somebody else to impose a little routine in my life. I have a new machine and a new desk. The view's as good as ever and I still recognise the jargon. Easing into the role, walking the walk, talking the talk.

The past few months have probably been more difficult than anything else I have ever done in my life. Long days of wakefulness and constant sleeplessness. Studied, crammed, wrote, worried. And blew away all that carefully hoarded money. Time to earn it all over again.

I travelled and I talked, and I slept and I walked. Pune, Bombay, Bangalore, Goa, Lakshadweep, Pune. What will it be next? I am bored of this city, I hope I get to move soon. Into a new life and a long road.