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
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

I hate...
loud voices
cracked nails
bright lights

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


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...