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… 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 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.