Friday, 8 November 2013

In the Shadow of the Lights

They lit up the town today for the annual festival. Fairy lights on branches and buildings. And just like every year, I walked in the mellow glow through the back streets. 
Tomorrow, the place will be abuzz.
Today, it's all mine to muse in.

It's so beautiful. Red, green, yellow. Primarily yellow. Like all beautiful things, it makes me very very happy, and it makes me choke up just a little. Not sad. What's that word? Wistful?

I can picture myself. A lone figure stopping in the middle of the empty road, face tilted towards those bright orbs. They don't belong to the regular scheme of things. Yet, there they are for 3 days. Every year.

It almost surprises me that the majority of the present is made up of the past.

It always comes out as an involuntary whisper. “I would not have it any other way.” Always with a smile. Always with a lump. And always awash with those beautiful, bright lights.

It feels like an answer. I wish I also knew the question.

Monday, 30 September 2013

The Tragedy of Being Human

Burn. With shame. With rage. With hopelessness.

Drown. In pity. In apathy. In fear.

Live. In years. In safety. In shackles.

Rejoice. In mediocrity. In the depths of depravity. In the failure of others.

Run. From demons. From conflicts. From yourself.

Fail. To forgive. To fight. To inspire.

Forget. To care. To believe. To strive.

Succumb. To popularity. To acceptance. To normalcy.

Know. The insignificance. The excuses. And the tragedy of being human.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

He was one of the men who believe very strongly in moments.

So he waited for 3 years for the right one.

Finally one night, over a cheap dinner, he told her.

The love-song blaring from the overhead speakers drowned out his whispered love-words.

"Pardon?", she said.

It broke his heart to walk away, but there was nothing else to do.

The moment was lost.

And so was he.

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Don't date a girl who reads

One of the very first posts I had put up was Date a girl who reads. Then, recently, I came across this piece by a magician called Charles Warnke.

Date a girl who doesn’t read. Find her in the weary squalor of a Midwestern bar. Find her in the smoke, drunken sweat, and varicolored light of an upscale nightclub. Wherever you find her, find her smiling. Make sure that it lingers when the people that are talking to her look away. Engage her with unsentimental trivialities. Use pick-up lines and laugh inwardly. Take her outside when the night overstays its welcome. Ignore the palpable weight of fatigue. Kiss her in the rain under the weak glow of a streetlamp because you’ve seen it in a film. Remark at its lack of significance. Take her to your apartment. Dispatch with making love. Fuck her.

Let the anxious contract you’ve unwittingly written evolve slowly and uncomfortably into a relationship. Find shared interests and common ground like sushi and folk music. Build an impenetrable bastion upon that ground. Make it sacred. Retreat into it every time the air gets stale or the evenings too long. Talk about nothing of significance. Do little thinking. Let the months pass unnoticed. Ask her to move in. Let her decorate. Get into fights about inconsequential things like how the fucking shower curtain needs to be closed so that it doesn’t fucking collect mold. Let a year pass unnoticed. Begin to notice.
Figure that you should probably get married because you will have wasted a lot of time otherwise. Take her to dinner on the forty-fifth floor at a restaurant far beyond your means. Make sure there is a beautiful view of the city. Sheepishly ask a waiter to bring her a glass of champagne with a modest ring in it. When she notices, propose to her with all of the enthusiasm and sincerity you can muster. Do not be overly concerned if you feel your heart leap through a pane of sheet glass. For that matter, do not be overly concerned if you cannot feel it at all. If there is applause, let it stagnate. If she cries, smile as if you’ve never been happier. If she doesn’t, smile all the same.

Let the years pass unnoticed. Get a career, not a job. Buy a house. Have two striking children. Try to raise them well. Fail frequently. Lapse into a bored indifference. Lapse into an indifferent sadness. Have a mid-life crisis. Grow old. Wonder at your lack of achievement. Feel sometimes contented, but mostly vacant and ethereal. Feel, during walks, as if you might never return or as if you might blow away on the wind. Contract a terminal illness. Die, but only after you observe that the girl who didn’t read never made your heart oscillate with any significant passion, that no one will write the story of your lives, and that she will die, too, with only a mild and tempered regret that nothing ever came of her capacity to love.

Do those things, god damnit, because nothing sucks worse than a girl who reads. Do it, I say, because a life in purgatory is better than a life in hell. Do it, because a girl who reads possesses a vocabulary that can describe that amorphous discontent of a life unfulfilled—a vocabulary that parses the innate beauty of the world and makes it an accessible necessity instead of an alien wonder. A girl who reads lays claim to a vocabulary that distinguishes between the specious and soulless rhetoric of someone who cannot love her, and the inarticulate desperation of someone who loves her too much. A vocabulary, goddamnit, that makes my vacuous sophistry a cheap trick.

Do it, because a girl who reads understands syntax. Literature has taught her that moments of tenderness come in sporadic but knowable intervals. A girl who reads knows that life is not planar; she knows, and rightly demands, that the ebb comes along with the flow of disappointment. A girl who has read up on her syntax senses the irregular pauses—the hesitation of breath—endemic to a lie. A girl who reads perceives the difference between a parenthetical moment of anger and the entrenched habits of someone whose bitter cynicism will run on, run on well past any point of reason, or purpose, run on far after she has packed a suitcase and said a reluctant goodbye and she has decided that I am an ellipsis and not a period and run on and run on. Syntax that knows the rhythm and cadence of a life well lived.

Date a girl who doesn’t read because the girl who reads knows the importance of plot. She can trace out the demarcations of a prologue and the sharp ridges of a climax. She feels them in her skin. The girl who reads will be patient with an intermission and expedite a denouement. But of all things, the girl who reads knows most the ineluctable significance of an end. She is comfortable with them. She has bid farewell to a thousand heroes with only a twinge of sadness.

Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are storytellers. You with the Joyce, you with the Nabokov, you with the Woolf. You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the cafĂ©, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so goddamned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life of which I spoke at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being told. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you. Or, perhaps, stay and save my life.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Click-a-roo IV

Not been in a mood to write lately. Here are three pictures I clicked. All by the mobile camera, so forgive the quality.

Aam Street - Mangoes, Mangoes and more Mangoes!!

Hung Colours
(by the way, what is the plural of a capsicum? Is it capsicums or capsici? )

Sandals of Mourners at an Unnamed Boy's Funeral

Taken at Calcutta, June, 2013.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Now is Thy Prophet

Then they were together so that as the hand on the watch moved, unseen now, they knew that nothing could ever happen to the one that did not happen to the other, that no other thing could happen more than this; that this was all and always this was what had been and now and whatever was to come. This, that they were not to have, they were having. They were having now and before and always and now and now and now. Oh, now, now , now , the only now, and above all now, and there is no other now but thou now and now is thy prophet. Now and forever now. Come now, now, for there is no now but now. Yes, now. Now, please now, only now, not anything else only this now, and where are you and where am I and where is the other one, and not why, not ever why, only this now; and on and always please then always now, always now, for now always one now; one only one, there is no other one but one now, one, going now, rising now, sailing now, leaving now, wheeling now, soaring now, away now, all the way now, all of all the way now; one and one is one, is one, is one, is one, is still one, is still one, is one descendingly, is one softly, is one longingly, is one kindly, is one happily, is one in goodness, is one to cherish, is one now on earth with elbows against the cut and slept-on branches of the pine tree with the smell of the pine boughs and the night to earth conclusively now, and with the morning of the day to come. Then he said, for the other was only in his head and he had said nothing, “Oh, Maria, I love thee and I thank thee for this.”

From For Whom the Bells Toll, Earnest Hemingway.

Someday I'll do justice to the professor who took my Interpretation of Literary Texts class, and do a full analysis of this, with word and sentence structures and all that.
Today, I'll just let the words wash over me with the same semi-despairing, semi-elated charm that makes me return to Hemingway over and over and over again.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Arguments of a Suicidal Mind : Me vs. Me

It feels as if I am broaching a taboo topic. After all, I was the "tough guy". The one who never needs help. The who talks other people out of (or into, depends) stupid stuff.

But I'm doing this because it feels necessary. I have been suicidal and/or depressed, on and off for the last one and a half months. I've hurt myself. I've "researched" more ways to hurt myself. A confession, if you want to put it that way. If I was writing literature, this is the point where I say "it felt good to get it off my chest". Right now, frankly, I don't care how it feels. Maybe more accurately, I've been running from myself for so long, I don't know how it feels.

(Literature does come back to me. There is this difference between the grief of youth and that of old age: youth's burden is lightened by as much of it as another shares; old age may give and give, but the sorrow remains the same.Maybe I've just grown old.

So I'll try to be as brutal as possible here. I have grown up thinking killing oneself is a abominable cowardly thing. I still believe so, and if, in case, I do end up doing it, I want mine to be seen as such too.

When I say I'm suicidal, I guess that means I want to kill myself. That would be both true and false.

Why do I want to die in the first place?
I hate myself. It's a dislike born of many years of (maybe unnecessary) self-analysis. 
I feel a burden to people around me. Terribly low self confidence. So low, it doesn't qualify as confidence any more, low or otherwise. 
I tell myself nobody cares. That I don't care either.
I kind of think I have run out of choices to take in my life. Some things have ruled out the options I had kept for myself. (That of course has been a major factor lately)
I am tempted to "start-over". A clean slate. One where I'm a bit less stupid, a bit more stronger.
And why again, do I not want to die?
Because it's the same self-analysis that tells me that at least some of that hate is misdirected.
I know I'm useful. Maybe not always. But sometimes, yes. And when I believe those who say I'm a burden, to be fair I have to believe those who say I'm not, too.
If nobody cared, then I would have been gone long back. People do care. And I do too. Maybe too much, sometimes. 
I am here because I did not know what the future held. Same applies now too.

I find telling myself that "I want to live" more often than I say "I want to die".
I want to live. I want to live so badly. I want to be happy. To be normal. To be a little less afraid. To love myself a little bit more. To have a few doubts less. To stop wanting to hurt myself. To take it one day at a time, gladly. 
I want to see what the future holds. I know I can. And no matter what happens, I still am happy with what I do have.
I am strong. I have held on for so long. I've gone through the worst. 

Now if only I could convince myself of it.

Maybe I could just live for my poems and stories.

And miles to go before I sleep, and miles to go before I sleep.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Rock 'n Rolla - Day 1

I started something new.
I started roller skating.
I am happy.
Maybe someday, I'll tell you why. For now, think of it as a freak of the mind of a freak.

Here's how day 1 went.

Buckling up

And a little bit of help....lots of tugging, and tightening and knotting.

                                               Skates?  --> Check
                                               "Gear"?  --> Check
                                               Courage? --> WAIT!


 Check out the elbow &  knee guards

Less scarier than I expected it to be! I'm standing!

OOOOKKKKAAAYYYY.....I think I might be able to do without support right now. But hang around, catch me if I fall, ok? Hey! Where are you going?


Out in the corridor...I sincerely hope everyone is sleeping.


DAY ONE: Completed successfully!!!

1. Laced up skates

2. Stood up

3. Moved

4. Took small steps

5. Took little bigger steps

6. Skated slowly in open corridor about 200m

7. Number of falls: ZERO

8. YAHOOOO!!!!!!!!!!
More to come. I'll keep you folks updated. Cheerios!

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Monsters in the Head

I got some bad news.
I let go of some dreams.
I rejudged and rearranged a whole lot of things in my life.
I lost a hero.

I've been through all this before.
The losses, the depression following the losses, the cuts and bruises, the panic.
The trying-to-copes.
It was always bad.
There was also something else.
A sense of...well...exhilaration.
Strange word to use here, I know. But it was there. Fighting the darkness, going under, coming back, fighting again.
It was almost fun, in a way.

Not anymore.
Now it's just fear and ebbing strength and more fear.
Fear of surviving.
Not the other way round.
Fear of surviving, and be left a living wreck, to look back upon all this.
Maybe it doesn't make sense.
Nothing has, for quiet some time, to be frank.
Whispering that everything will be all right.
Knowing it won't be.

I once had a talk with a friend.
About our favourite phrase “There's always a choice”.
About how quickly choices go out of the window once things go wrong.
We were too naive to draw conclusions then, but we know better now.
The choice is never whether or not you get shit. That is never an option.
The choice is only there for whether you pass the hurt on.
And whatever you choose, it's gonna hurt you either way.

Bring's me to my other favourite phrase “You shouldn't take life to seriously, you'll never get out alive anyway.”

Saturday, 16 March 2013

The Nirvana of Nothingness

I wish you could see me now.

Standing at the edge, I'm almost, funny word, peaceful.

Which way?

I've been here often over the years.

At the depths of my darkness.

The place where it doesn't hurt any more.

So tempting.

Words don't work in this place. 

Neither do hopes, dreams and shooting stars.

There's a door here.

I either walk through or walk back.

I've been here often over the years.

So tempting.

Time slows down here.

I've always walked back.

Till now.

It's only me vs. me in here.

Which way?

You flip through your life, while you take you call.

Standing at the edge.

It lists out all that hurts.

It hurts because you love it so.

I can walk through.

But I can't take with me what I love.

And I love it so.

I can walk back.

But I can't make it stop hurting.

And it hurts so.

So tempting.

Which way?

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Trying to Cope

Funny thing is I feel I have been through this before. Deja vu. Fancy word.

I had become a different person out of high school and into the world. Cynical, shy, often caustic, often faithless. And lonely, both as a reason and cause.

Then, with what I call, the elasticity of youth, I was coming back. I made plans. Still tentative, still paranoid. But I put one foot in front of the other, hoping the ice doesn't crack. And to my surprise, it seemed to be holding strong.

I told myself, half laughing, half relieved, "Too good to be true." Turns out, it was. I don't want to go into the details. Stuff collapsed. Like a pack of cards. Like a bunch of dreams. At this moment, almost all of it. Almost.

Am I fine? No.

Am I coping? Yes.

Is it going to break me? Probably.

Am I going to laugh at it maybe 10 years later? Probably.

It's one of those things that is going to be a companion for many years to come. One wishes that instead it would be over quickly. Like a thunderclap, so that I can rejoice in being alive after it's over.

Or maybe, I'm just tired.
Tired of understanding.
Tired of the pillow being the only thing I don't need to be strong around.
Tired of showing a courage I don't have.
Tired of finding out time and again that I care too much to say that I don't care.
Tired of, God forgive me, listening to people.
Tired of pep talks and inspirations.

Maybe if I had a good sleep, things would change.
Maybe if I had a good sleep that I never needed to wake up from, I wouldn't be tired anymore.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Despair night

Feverish demon fingers,
Curling, clenching, clawing.

A long drawn moan
A beast wounded, the fight is done.

Despair night, rolling down the hill
Like a consumptive cough.

The stars wink down, content,
Far above from the beast, the demon, the fog.

Lives unnumbered, have been crossed by the stars,
Have the stars too been crossed by their lives?    

Saturday, 23 February 2013


I am worse than the whole lot of them.

The current flurry of "College Confessions" on Facebook. Anonymous, spiteful, misguided, depraved. And worst, in some cases, false.

I know some of the people who are trying to prove their coolness in a twisted manner, feeling safe behind the veil of the promised anonymity, goaded on by virtual cheers and "likes".

"I stole X's iPod touch, LOL bro"

"I act drunk while dancing around girls just so that I can grope them #epicwin"

"After my roommate used the toilet I used to clean the toilet seat with his face towel :D"
And so on, so forth. There have been thousands of these in about 7 days, and it's rising.  I have actually picked some of the benign ones, the ones that were comparatively less sickening.

Sad thing is I know some of the folks being made the target in this free-for-all, even when they themselves don't know.

And I am gutless to stand up for them in front of this mob of hungry wolves who are devouring these with glee. 
I'm afraid of being taunted. 
I'm afraid of being marked.
I'm afraid of being made the next target.

I'm worse than the whole lot of them.
And I have never been more ashamed of myself in my entire life.


Sunday, 10 February 2013

The Year of the Thankful

It is perhaps inevitable that I'll do a birthday post. 20 was a milestone, and I made it as such here.

21, however, feels unplanned. I mean I had always expected to be 10 or 15 or 18 or 19 or 20. But with juvenile innocence never really thought of anything beyond that. Well, here I am, as they say.

There has been probably this one thing that stood out this year. Learning thankfulness. I am more at peace with what I have or I don't. Of course, I'm still a paranoid freak, but I'm thankful for what I have, in spite of the knowledge that some things may be taken away. I'll be ok. I know I'll be ok.

I'm thankful for the people around me.

Thankful that we are all safe, if not totally sound (specially in the head).

Thankful that none of us have sold our souls, in spite of everything.

Thankful for unexpected miracles and uncharted territories.

Thankful for a abundance of books and puppies.

Thankful for all the dreams, in spite of the nightmares.

And thankful for the fact that I still have it in me to be stupid and proud of it.

Heigh ho, another year!!!

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Do not stand at my grave and weep

Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry, 
   I am not there; I did not die.           
                                                      -- Mary Elizabeth Frye

I came across this first in a favourite light read of mine, Rosie. I love the serenity of the poem. It's sad, but it soothes too. Sometimes.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Keep Running

I seem to be rushing through my days.
Blurred moments, blurred faces, blurred ache.
Running on. Running on.
Always on.
No way to rest. No place for fatigue.
Forward. Forward. I don't want to any more.
Somebody make it stop!
Don't stop,
Don't stop. To move is to hurt, but to stop is to die.
Don't weep,
Don't weep. There will always be enough time for tears.
Keep running.
Don't panic,
Don't panic. Fear is a friend. Fear will keep you alive.
Don't fight,
Don't fight. Even when the walls close in.
Keep running.
It will pass.
The thud beats out a rhythm.
Forward. Forward.
No hurts. No tears. No regrets.
Even when it bleeds.
Even when I break apart into a thousand tiny pieces.
Even when I see the hilarious injustice of it all.
Even when the grounds falls away under my feet.
Keep running. Keep running.
Someday there will be rest.
Someday the tears will flow.
Someday there will be no fear.
Someday I can let go.
Someday. Not now.
Keep running. Keep running.

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

What They Say of Me

They say I'm brave. They do not see I'm terrified.

They say I'm impertinent. They do not see that a world inherited by the meek is not worth the trouble.

They say I laugh too much. They do not see that life is not for the grim.

They say I'm loud. They do not see that my silence has no place for them.

They say I'm smart. They do not see that it's exactly what makes me stupid.

They say I'm unsympathetic. They do not see how hollow a "I understand" sounds to someone in pain.

They say I'm wishful. They do not see that stops me from making wishes.

They say I'm childish to begin sentences with "One day in the future...". They do not see how every second feels like borrowed time.

They say I hate everyone. They do not see that includes me too.

They say I'm weird. They do not see it protects me against mundane normalcy.

They say I'm alive. They do not see that I had wanted not to be.

They say I don't believe in miracles. They do not see I'm living one. Just like each one of them.
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