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 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.....


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
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
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?