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.