Tuesday, October 28, 2008

My skin has is a sworn enemy
Of furniture corners and edges.
I've seen that walls stand in my way
Or hit out hard with stony ledges.

Glasses, bowls, ALL cutlery,
When in my hand attempt to take
A giant leap like wily fish
Who slyly jump from net to lake.

My shoelaces untie themselves,
My keyboard doesn't trust my spelling.
Few have seen me drop my cellphone,
But its exterior is telling.

These happen mostly without warning,
But always when I'm around bores.
Call me clumsy, and my feet
Might run away and stamp on yours.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A frustrated post,when I'm actually happy o.0

We pay too much importance to pride. Ego, we prefer to call it. Sounds snappier.


Say I hate you. And you're making me work- you're stretching me beyond my limits, hoping I'll break. Already I'm taut, I'm quivering with pain and frustration. I want more than anything to give up. It wouldn't really make a difference. But it'll do one thing. Give you what you wanted. I couldn't let THAT happen, could I? My EGO couldn't tolerate seeing that smug, sadistic smile broaden over your repulsive face. 

So I carry on. Even though it's killing me, I carry on.

How the HELL does that make sense? Ego-- is it caring so much about myself, that I'd do anything to preserve my dignity; or is it caring so much about myself that I couldn't give a damn about what YOU think? Because it SHOULD be the second. If it's my EGO that's the driving force here, it should be about ME, not about you. If I want to give up, I'll give up goddamit! I want to enjoy the relaxation flooding back into my veins, I want to stretch out my limbs and feel free again. If you choose to gloat, great! I''ve made two people happy, instead of frustrating them both. 

So why can't I do that? Because I'm scared. Scared of appearing vulnerable to you. No matter how much I parade about, flaunting my individuality, I'm still a slave to public opinion. But would I accept that? Never. So I call my fear 'ego'. 

Such a convenient word. Two-syllables only. 

Sunday, October 12, 2008

My First Ever Story

They always said she was slightly crazy. They didn’t mean insane. Eccentric, more like.


Some said she was fearless, but they were wrong.

There was this monsoon morning; this wet, slippery monsoon morning. Her schoolbus had skidded and spun out of control. Like everyone else, she too was in a daze of panic. The jolts and thuds, were to her, screen images of some grotesque comedy. And when the bus came to a standstill, her heart thumped so loud, it hurt more than the iron bar that was weighing down upon her chest. A part of her mind was screaming out- ‘Don’t let me die! Please, please don’t let me die.’

 

But another part of her mind was at work too. It took in all the details.

How the shards of glass were glittering in the sunlight.

Slender, exquisite!

They had a faint greenish tinge, like Kryptonite from Superman…

Smatterings of blood all around.

Her blood? Some of it, definitely. Blood- the lifeline of a body. Why did it make people queasy?

 Such a brilliant shade of red! Royal, more royal than royal blue.

This part of her mind was the most alive. It made her smile. Smiling, she turned to the person who was sprawled beside her. And she asked- ‘Isn’t it all quite beautiful?’ Then she fainted.

No one realised that all the while, she was convulsed with fear.

 ***

Then there were a few who thought she was unfeeling. They were horribly wrong. In fact, they couldn’t have been more wrong if they’d tried. They probably based it on the time her grandfather was ill.

He was a very old man. Physically, he had kept himself quite well. But he hadn’t been able to save his brain. His brain was degenerating, and half the time, he was delirious. He had meant a lot to her, and it cut her to the quick.

One day, some relatives came to see him. She took them to his room. He lifted his head and stared at them vaguely. In a thin, faraway voice he said-‘I know why you have come. It’s alright, I forgive you.’ There was a tense silence. The visitors were all mirror images of each other- their faces contorted in an attempt at a sympathetic smile.

 

When like a gunshot into the night, there was a violent yelp. It was the girl. She was doubled over, her hands clutching her sides, her shoulders quaking with spasms of hysterical laughter. ‘What in GOD’S NAME is WRONG with you?’ someone hissed. ‘At a time like this…’

She stood up straight with an effort. ‘I…it’s just so…. funny!’ she spluttered. There were tears streaming down her face. Tears of mirth, everyone thought.

 

They weren’t tears of mirth. She was crying, crying out of pain for her grandfather. The laughter wasn’t a cover, oh no! That was born out an entirely different compartment in her head. It functioned individually. It was genuinely tickled by the situation.

 ***

Bloody fools, who thought she was insensitive! She was so sweet, so loving. And how I loved her! 

I suppose I understood her better than anybody else did. That’s why, when I say it’s best that I killed her, you have to trust me.

 

She was in my room. There was a power cut. I’d gone to the kitchen for a drink of water. It was dark, I couldn’t see very well; so I took a bit of time over it. When I returned, I saw that something on my table was in flames. She was watching it wide-eyed, her knuckles pressed hard against her cheeks.

At first I was only concerned with putting out the fire. I was relieved to find that it hadn’t harmed anything but a pile of papers. Papers!

Suddenly, the full significance of it sent me reeling.

My short stories. Shyly, hesitatingly, I had built them. I had torn out chunks of my heart and soul, and laid them down with fanatical care. They could never be written the same way again.

I didn’t need to ask her a thing. I knew exactly what had happened. When the lights had gone out, we had lit a candle. While I was away, she had knocked it over. Accidentally, I’m sure. But she had done nothing about it.

I could see it before my eyes. She standing transfixed by the flames, as they leapt and quivered with their unearthly beauty. Allowing helpless page after page to be charred black, writhe, and shrivel up- as though they were afflicted by some ghastly disease.

 

Her face was partly in shadow, partly illuminated by a rich, golden glow. She looked ethereal.

It hurt me to kill her when she looked like that. But it’s for the best. They called her crazy, and soon they would mean it. They would have her locked up. She would HATE that.

 

Don’t think I killed her in detached altruism. I was bubbling over with a wave of white-hot rage. It scorched me, like those flames scorched my stories. But while my hands were around her neck, I could understand that I was actually doing her a favour.

 

You see, even my brain is built up of different little boxes. I can reach into more than one box at the same time, but I never mix up their contents. She and me, we had a lot in common. Rather ironical, the whole story.

 

Speaking of story, this is jolly good material for a story, isn’t it? By destroying my writings, she gave me the chance to create a new one. Irony again! 

Life is so full of irony! Or am I just slightly crazy? I don’t mean insane. Eccentric, more like.

Friday, October 10, 2008

You Are...

A puff of smoke, a flash of light,
A shadow here, a shadow there.
A burst of love, a gleam of spite.
A silhouette, a wisp of air.

Sly and bold,
Burning cold,
A hurtful hold,
A formless mould.
Never static, never old.
A secret waiting to be told.

Crude and raw, smooth and sleek.
A tapestry, a blinding blade.
Unexpected, unafraid.
A river peak, a mountain creek.

A crystal ball,
A fatal fall,
A stony wall,
A bloody brawl.
A wild and elemental call.
A drug to start and stop it all.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Pujo Post. Damn you- Priyanka, Neeti, Rukmini and Joyeeta.

Yesterday I went out with my family to CCD. With no intention of pandal-hopping. I start showing horrifying withdrawal symptoms if I am deprived of cold coffee for too long--- y'know... those symptoms the cranks like to call tantrums, greed, obsession. But anyway, my family understands me, so off we went to CCD. And on our way home, my dad casually suggested we stop at the BJ Block pujo. 

When we arrived at BJ park, the first thing that thrust itself upon my attention was a pompous, omniscient tone echoing around the street- 'Do not push. Do not try and occupy anyone else's place in the line. If you lose your shongi, shathi, or any belongings, please contact....." 
Pessimist, I tell you! I was about to make a remark on how low-down it is to worship under the guidance of a loudspeaker.
 But then I was distracted. Crowds of people, I saw, were just bypassing the park altogether. In fact, they were walking rather PURPOSEFULLY away from it. Then I realised, that each of these people were ready to clink and clatter across three whole lanes, just to get to the entrance. THEN, they would have to travel throughout the length of the line to get to the back of it, make it longer, and add to the misery and exhaustion of another few hundreds. Oh, The Line! Longer than the last lesson of the afternoon, longer than a bad Bollywood movie, it made every molecule of my high heels cry out in protest.

But my parents wanted to see the pujo. So we joined The Line. I was suddenly struck by how smoothly it was moving. There was NO formation of the usual clusters of sequins, squeals and beads of sweat . There was was no interminable pause. As a prefect, I had to give it to the organisers; they'd managed it rather well. Of course, I'd have been able to move faster had an old man not been standing directly in front of me. But he was such a delight to watch, I couldn't complain! 
He was flying solo, that was plain to see. And he was wearing the plainest white pajama-panjabi. I could have been more poetic by saying that the sparkle and crispness of his simple attire had a dignity of its own, but it was not even so. And he had the most RANDOM look I've ever seen. His aimless, zig-zag walk; the way he blinked from behind typically dadu spectacles. Even the back of his head was random! He'd suddenly stop to watch the lights, or calculate how long we were taking. And just when I thought there would be a collision, he'd drift ahead again. 
Another thing that was highly entertaining was to grin maliciously at all those people who had just arrived and were gaping at The Line. 'Gueeess who got here bee-fooore youuu??' I warbled, in the tuneless tune that only bathroom singers can use to perfection. 

If you're wondering, yes I did reach the pandal. And I LOVED it. Tasteful and intricate, it really deserved more than the a hurried glance from a hurtling queue. But I suddenly realised that it wasn't about an elaborate critical appreciation. Even less was it about worship. If you want to pray, or meditate, you can do that anytime. But what's important about the pujos is the atmosphere. Everyone's unflinching determination to enjoy themselves. So what if half the women are ricocheting light beams? So what if boys in shorts act macho by displaying their hairy legs? So what if there are kids wailing their little lungs out and shoving candyfloss into my face? In fact, it wouldn't be pujo without all of that. 
All of a sudden, I felt very much at peace. Crushed ice, caffeine, and the overwhelming dhaker baajna. 'Ei toh jibon.'

It would be ideal to end on that didactic note. I could visalise my readers nodding their heads to it in agreement, and praising my uplifted soul. But I have to mention what followed. We bought balloons!!! After YEARS. Man, I love balloons. I made my dad carry the biggest one. And what a sight it was! 
Justice Sen of Calcutta High Court, walking merrily down the street with a gargantuous, orange globe. The other 3 were gas balloons. The whole of the car journey back home was like some weird rave party. Eyes and nostrils stinging with helium, rubbery squeaks at the slightest movements, and all vision- a shiny haze of myriad hues.  
The big balloon burst before I could play volleyball with it :( 
But funnily, I didn't feel too bad. In fact, I comforted my mother, saying I had fun protecting it while it lasted. So see, you can still praise my uplifted soul :D 
I am jaast too spiritual to be true.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

NOT 'Child's Play' -inspired

I was little when I was given
My only Barbie Doll.
Though I smiled a thank-you,
I didn't like her at all.

Her joints were stiff and squeaky,
Her eyes were pale and cold.
Her hair was almost silver,
As though she was quite old.

I played with her for a few days,
Just because I thought I should.
Washed her hair, and cut it off;
Then left her for good.

Spent my days exploring 
The far end of the lane.
Befriended a vagabond dog,
Got caught outside in the rain.

Years passed by and a few days back,
I was clearing out my room.
When in a forgotten cabinet-corner,
Shrouded by dust and gloom,

I found my abandoned Barbie Doll,
Sitting very upright,
Staring straight into my face-
It gave me quite a fright.

Her face was streaked with grime,
And her dress was stained with damp.
Still she laughed her frozen laughter,
Like a delirious princess tramp.

I winced at the colourless clumps
Of fuzz on her shaven head.
But worst of all were her eyes-
Though once they seemed completely dead,

They looked at me now as if to say:
'Well, this is what you've done.
If I couldn't make you happy,
My life certainly hasn't been fun.'

Whenever I think of throwing her out
I feel her eyes on me.
I stiffen with a pang of guilt,
Wondering what they see.

At each attempt to touch her,
I shudder and withdraw;
For the cold gleam of ice in her glare,
Never seems to thaw.

My parents think I'm sentimental
As Barbie's still here today.
Annoying for a practical girl like me,
But I guess it's safer that way.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

OMA ! KOTO BORO HOYE GECHHI !!

I think I'm actually becoming mature. I'm being able to look upon my childhood idiocies with amusement. I've just realised however,  that I don't like the word childhood. It makes me visualise a big, breathless, broad-jawed woman wagging a heavily ringed finger and saying- 'in My childhood, things were rather different; In my childhood, we never did that; in my Childhood, I had just as much fun as you but was not committing sacrilege every living hour.'


Ok. Maybe I'm not that mature after all.

But what the heck. I started this blogpost in a certain strain and I will not deviate from it. I feel like recounting my bacchabelar idiocies and having the world laugh at them, so may as well get down to it.

As a kid, I was obssessed with taking sides. My parents would dread going out for a movie with me, because it would INVARIABLY be followed by questions. 
'Wasn't the villain actually a better person than the hero?
Who did you find prettier: independent-warrior-princess or luminescent-delicate-nymph? 
Didn't the dog in the movie have a funnier expression than the cat?
Do you think the sequel will be as good as this?'

Parents have a tough job. But sometimes, so do friends. During the elections, I HAD to support a party. And I wouldn't rest till my friends supported one too. Of course, at that time I knew less about politics than I know about table manners in Greenland. 
(For one, all I know about table manners is that it's criminal to leave good food unfinished. Secondly, all I know about Greenland is that it's always white in colour on a world map.)
Atal Bihari Vajpayee was rather grandfatherly, so I became a full-fledged BJP fan. And I think my friends chose Congress, because the word has a nice ring to it.

'Idiocy' always reminds me of a particular incident. In class 8, my text books and me were vaguely aware of each other's existence, but that was it. Science was never my strongest point anyway. And in consequence, I got a 49 in Physics. Call it bad luck or good luck, my teacher wrote down a 54 in her marks register. As the very backbone of morality, I found it imperative to correct her. 
'Umm... miss. There's a slight calculation error.'
The teacher looked apologetic. She had interpreted my very palpable distress as outrage. Surely I was getting more than a measely 54!
'I... it... my marks... is 49.'
The apologetic look was now blended into one of deep sympathy. 'Poor soul', she must've been thinking. 'A little dumb, a little distracted, but rather a good person.' 
In my embarrassment, I'd even stuttered through my goodness. I should've said 'In reality, my marks amount to the singularly disappointing but definitely improvable score of 49.' That way, she would've known that my English is alright.

Then, I keep remembering the time I wanted to be a professional singer. In class 3, I actually told my class teacher so. It was quite selfish of me, wanting to impose my self-entertainment on the public. People wouldn't actually run away if I started singing, but to imagine they'd PAY for it! There's something beautifully tragic about an unrecognised genius, struggling to make both ends meet. However, recognised mediocrity struggling to make both ends meet is hardly a glamorous image. 
But on second thoughts, maybe I wasn't that idiotic, wanting to be a singer. Maybe I was just a little less disillusioned. Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could make a career out of what we enjoyed doing most? Right now, it's not singing. But what if it was? What if I wanted to be part of a bathroom-singers band, write amateur poetry and make slapstick spoofs for a living? (I wouldn't mind!) Well, let's not dream about the impossible. At 18 years of my life, I'm supposed to know exactly who I am and what I'm best at. With a LOT of help from the dear ISC board, whose foresight and open-mindedness has shaped me into who I am today. It has such a diverse array of subjects, that I had to choose from amongst  Maths, Business Studies and Home Science. It stimulates the creativity so strongly, that our school gives us FILL IN THE BLANKS from Macbeth. So that we're forced to learn up the play, just to be on the safe side.
The safe side.
Damn the safe side.