Friday 11 April 2014

Checkpoint 11/4/14

Tough times ahead. Figured I’d remember what I need to remember.

Grace to remember not certain work, but certain behaviour is what is beneath me.

Humour, because one can never have enough of laughter.

Courage to smile on the days I can’t. Refer above.

Patience to wait till the next corner for life to throw a pleasant surprise. Or maybe the next. Or maybe the one after.

Wisdom to have faith. Funny, I should probably be asking for faith too.

“Pull no punches”. One of the best pieces of advice I got this month (I get a lot, being 22 and about to graduate and bookish).

To not bite may be virtuous, but to not hiss is foolish.

Again, wisdom. To realize I ask for this for myself, not for others. To realize that how I treat people is my choice, and how they treat me is theirs.

Knowledge that I am worth every bit of trouble I take (and get into, for that matter). Also, I’m terribly insignificant. That’s a tough one right there to wrap a head around.

But most importantly, to dare. Every. Single. Time. Forever.

My latest salutation. “May you have the odds in your favour and the gods on your side”.

And oh. Don’t forget to breathe.

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.
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