Friday, July 31, 2009

What would happen if my personal diary decided to take revenge on me

I have my very own trashcan man,
And he’s just right for me.
I built him out of substances
Through which you cannot see.

So all the secrets that I dump
In him stay safely stored,
From prying eyes belonging
To the curious or the bored.

I didn’t give him eyes ‘cos
That would be a little freaky.
It wouldn’t do to have those eyes
Accuse me, or turn leaky.

My trashcan man is strong, but he
Is soft enough to be cuddled.
That way I can hug him when
This world gets much too muddled.

No, he has no arms or legs.
Those get in the way
Of a hug. Besides, he sits
And hears me out all day.

He has no use for arms and legs
So why would he have hair?
Hair frizzes or turns grey with stress,
Of which he has his share.

(What with all the secret-keeping.)
But it must make him proud,
To be the one who keeps my life
Free from the faintest cloud.

But what’s that? Surely it can’t be
The letter I had burned?
And over there? It looks to me
Like Mama’s face, concerned.

I even hear the crazy words
I said about my friends
That day- just out of spite-
But then I plan to make amends!

Suddenly it’s all a blur.
Oh wait, the fog is clearing…
And a figure grows distinct.
And now, the figure’s nearing!

It’s my very own trashcanman!
But how is it that he moves?
Without the use of legs or arms,
And when I disapprove?

His face is still devoid of eyes,
So I’m sure he cannot see.
But somehow, I feel a piercing-
Almost brutal- gaze on me.

My Trashcanman, don’t hurt me!
Many, many, pleases!!
HELP ME SOMEONE!!! (At this point
The narration ceases.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

List.

1. 'An American Prayer' by the Doors has to be the most deliciously blasphemous prayer ever. Oh, to have a voice like a narcotic. But then, oh to LISTEN to a voice like a narcotic! I don't mind being the audience really. We get treats.

2. I sometimes wish I'd gone to Delhi. At least then, I'd have no one to blame but myself. Yes, I'd rather fuck things up myself than have to live by rules that are jarring to my very core. When I know I'm dependent on people who crumple up my life and stuff it into one measely little box, I just want to SCREAM out loud, tear through the suffocation. What hurts me more is that I'm forced to accept certain things about people I've lived my whole life respecting, actually admiring. I find in them traits that are downright FILTHY. But deep-rooted, and stubborn as hell. Like cancer. Ah well. Everyone has feet of clay. If only we weren't taught to blindly idolise, though.

3. When I am 20, I will get a tattoo. Celebrating 20 years of association with a BAAST fraand . We'll both get a tattoo. But where oh where? It has to be discreetly positioned, and it'll hurt less if it's not on bone or vein. Calculations must follow.

4. Shuorever bachha vs. child of a pig. You tell me. This is when the significance of Vernacular hits me right between the eyes.

5. Sometimes, people make me question my own worth. They attach tags to me that I never DREAMT of in context to myself. Or else they think I'm the very prototype I despise or sruggle against becoming. It makes life hard for me.

You see, I've always been a little image conscious. Can't quite explain why. For a long time, I've harboured a positive abhorrence for making myself look ridiculous and unattractive in public. And I find it very tough to accept not being liked. I think it's partly because I generally am liked, and I've got used to it. Also, getting along with people makes life so much more... I can't use a better word than 'fun.' I just don't relate to those who are so HUNG-UP about finding everything distasteful and lowly, and provoking others to be at their worst.

But then I know that my craving for a dream social life (which mind you, doesn't involve glitz and celeb status) isn't necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes, I've made an extra effort to compromise, or to do away with someone's preconceived notion of me. And it's led to the establishment of friendships- or at least moments- so pure, so absolutely fulfilling.

I know this for a fact, that I can feel intensely. About anything. Weather, a book, dessert, a smile, these can make me go wild with elation, and keep me in a gigantic effervescent bubble for a whole day. And when a connection with a person gives me that same heady feeling, I just KNOW that there's more to the world than the don't-carers see. MY brand of Happiness. No matter how strained or cringing the efforts for it are. A spark of pure, unadulterated happiness can make me rise beyond everything that I find murky and mundane. It's a feeling like nothing else. And that'll carry me through.

I'm starting to think that this 'list' was just an excuse for point number 2 and 5. Clever, how I didn't follow up one with the other. An intermission in passion. In which you can give me sympathetic looks, or just stare at your toes and hum a cheap tune. Considerate me.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

One Hit Wonder

He sat sprawled on one of the small, squishy sofas that were arranged with meticulous disorder about the corner of the nightclub. It was not a very expensive nightclub. The leather skins of the sofas were of a shade that is kindly called ‘shocking’ pink. Apart from the dance floor- where neon lights of all colours flashed, spun and rippled - the room was illuminated by a faint white glow that gave the pink a somewhat morbid tinge.

Looking at the crowd, one would be tempted to call the place truly constitutional. It seemed to believe strongly in the fallacy of discrimination. The man in question was not the sort that any establishment would boast of. The heavy stubble that might have been attractive on more chiselled faces, the puffy features that might have seen more chiselled days, the crumpled lurid shirt……
None of it was startling, but when noticed, gave off a vaguely repulsive aura.

He wiped his mouth with his hand and held a bottle up against the light, to ensure that its contents had been emptied. Then he stood up. And staggering, like the eternally caricatured but sometimes pitiabe drunkard that he was, he made his way to the bar.

He wondered why he had chosen to come to a disco. Sure, he loved dancing but he knew he was in no mood to dance right then. The music pounded against his head like a vengeful fist, and the psychedelic lights made him feel slightly dizzy.
He’d probably thought that a crowd would cheer him up.
Yes, that must’ve been it....
He’d always liked crowds, from his brash adolescent school days, through his smooth, charismatic stage days, upto now. New people- and lots of them- gave him a kick. Provided that he was noticed, of course. He didn’t have to be the centre of attraction, but he had to be noticed. Goddammit, he was a creature made of living flesh and blood, how could he NOT be noticed?!

It struck him that he’d never really grown out of his childhood.
Ah well. You can’t all be mature, can you?
Fresh and youthful, they’d called him. With a voice like falling snowflakes. He’d smiled at that one.

He found that he had reached the bar. The young bartender eyed him warily.
If the bugger was drunk to just the right degree, he’d stay longer, he’d pay for more. But trouble was to be avoided at all costs. A disco had been shut down only a few weeks ago. Some issue about a girl… the usual… sad case, if you came to think about it.

All of a sudden, a curious expression came over the older man’s face. Something was different. What was it? The song. They were playing some song. He knew it; the melody ran in his blood! But it sounded unfamiliar; it wasn’t how he knew it.
‘What… what song… when…’
The alcohol induced slur did nothing to help the incoherence of his phrasing.

The bartender grew a trifle anxious. ‘Pardon? You… you want to know the name of the song?’

‘I know this song, this is my song!’ (Said with a ripple of childlike laughter, that in this context was almost grotesque.)

After a moment’s awkwardness, the bartender seemed to have a minor epiphany. Smiling and more relaxed, he asked- ‘Oh, you mean this song is… was special to you? Of course, this is a remixed version... obviously.’

‘This is MY song. Why is it like this, what the hell have they done to it?’ There was now a touch of hysteria in the voice.

The bartender, disconcerted again, was silent.

‘It isn’t supposed to be like this’, the man persisted. ‘Do they even know I’m here? How, how DARE they do this to my song in front of me?’
He was on the verge of shouting. One might have thought he was pulling a prank. It seemed straight out of some cheap, hackneyed melodrama. The people nearby gave him all sorts of glances, some abhorrent, some amused, a few apprehensive. A couple of other bartenders and some other waiters hurried towards the scene of brewing chaos.

‘What’s the problem, sir? I must ask you to be calm, or you’ll upset the others.’

‘Up…upset who? I’M upset. You should be worried about ME! But no one ever has been. It’s alright, qu-quite alright. Just... just ask them not to destroy my song, please….’
The childish note, once again. Why was it so disturbing? Did a gruff voice and a midlife crisis HAVEto imply gravity?
The song had changed by now, but he hadn’t noticed. He wouldn’t, either. The old tune was stuck him his head, with no plans of leaving.

‘Sir, if you don’t just walk away calmly, we’re going to have to ask you to leave. We can’t afford to let this kind of behaviour persist in our club.’ These being the first aggressively spoken words in the conversation.

The man leaned on the counter. ‘Let me tell you a little… (after a pause)…. secret. From an older, wise---wiser man. Enjoy your life now. Don’t stand behind the counter. Get out, and fucking DANCE. Sing. Before life hits you like… like a… like a pile of shtale shit.’

He reached out and grabbed the first bartender’s sleeve.

A gleam of intense annoyance sparked in the latter’s eyes. His mouth quivered, and for a few seconds, he wondered what course of action to take. But before he came to a decision, the man had let go and was walking away.

The bartender followed the other's steps, watchful of any possible trouble. He wasn’t trembling with loathing, or anger, or anything of that sort. He’d had this sort of experience before. He just had to be cautious, as his profession demanded.
But without warning, a wave of some unidentifiable emotion swept over him. What was it, pity? He couldn’t be sure. But for a moment, that man had looked so old, so tired. Strange, what a slight stoop of the shoulders can convey. What was the issue about the song anyway?

As these thoughts hovered in the bartender’s head with the transience of his very own disco lights, the one-time singer walked towards the exit. He was unconsciously humming the tune of the only hit record he’d ever made.

The lights flashed for a moment on his bald spot. Then he was out.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Something funny happened yesterday.

After class when we’re preparing to go home, or lounge about the campus, or scout for food, 2 seniors enter the room. They put up 2 poems on the notice board. Apparently, we’re required to critically appreciate any one of them and submit it to the H.O.D by 4 pm. (Which is in about 2 hours.) And apparently, based on our critical appreciation, we get assigned tutors.

We take a look at the poems. They are positively OUTRAGEOUS.

Snippets of conversation float around the classroom-

‘Arre, how cool!’
‘What the fuck? No it’s not.’

‘This one’s longer, but it’s easier.’

‘It’s interesting that they don’t assign us tutors based on our entrance ranks’ (This from me.)

‘Achha, these poems are STRANGE. Do you think they’re nonsense verse?’

‘This is GRAMMATICALLY wrong!’ (This from me too. I wonder why I perform this uninvited self-flagellation on my blog. Call it honesty. Or catharsis. Or whatever.)’

Anyway, I write out half my critical appreciation, wanting to get over with it as soon as possible. Less than halfway through, I realize that some have not only finished but also found out that no one’s taking up the writings. So I temporarily abandon it. Good thing I did, ‘cos I discovered soon after that it was a hoax.

I maintain that my half-review was subtly snide, and the person behind the gag would have known that I’d seen through the poem. However, my formal presentation has earned it various labels. Which basically all fall under the omni-encompassing roof of chomuness. Oof, I tell you. Nothing but a petulant, martyr-like, long drawn OOOF.

But why does this make me happy instead of desperate to redeem my image? Because I have a feeling that college is going to teach me a few things- to sift out the genuine from the pseudo, for one. To be less judgemental, for another. I was talking to a few people, and they surprised me. If eyes are the window to the soul, they’re definitely not the window to the brain. And to judge people’s intelligence by their faces is downright naive. This other thing I might pick up over the next few months is to laugh or shrug off some stuff, instead of taking everything seriously. After 14 years of schooled passion and solemnity, a shake-up is required.

But speaking of school, those old days were crazy in their own way. All the Half Blood Prince talk reminds me of my Harry Potter Phase. Pottermania, as it was officially called. I used to think Rowling was a witch, writing the Harry Potter series to prepare us for a sudden, dramatic breakthrough from the world of magic. I used to think that a protruding, incongruent patch of bark on our banyan tree was the entry to wizardom. In my defense, that patch of bark was shaped like a cave.

Schooldays were singing jaali songs for Teachers’ Day. Which involved replacing ‘I asked my love to take a walk’ with ‘I asked my friend to take a walk’

Schooldays were writing sequels to sitcoms, and drawing glam cartoon versions of ourselves.

Schooldays were people willing to degrade themselves to any point, for the sake of accompanying a ‘baast fraand’ to the sickroom.

And the best part- no one was alone in her stupidity. What comfort to be sure, but I still wouldn’t go back for anything.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WHEEE

I told someone that the MOMENT I would get through to JU- IF I got through- I'd jump into the jheel and swim across it. Well thankfully, I learnt of the results in my own, safe, sweet room. That too, from a friend who nearly put you-must-go-for-St. Stephens Pills in my coffee whenever we met. So I have been spared the execution of my promise.

What to say...
I am a hypocrite. A coward. But I am happy. And loved. And with no fear of pneumo-laria. I'll live :P

P.S.- Priyanka and Reeti- I'm SO glad you'll be somewhere on campus. Don't worry, I won't stalk you.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

*Bridal Chorus*

So Sahana envisions for herself the cosiest married life possible- little suburban villa with porch and pretty curtains; a bright green square of garden where warm-furry-limpid-eyed-dog will NOT pee. Throw into this radiant scene, a coolio husband and superbabies. Now Sahana is not your average dreamer. The husband has a known face. The kids have pre-decided names. And it's not like she expects all this to grow out of nowhere. An elaborate proposal and an orgy of a wedding feature in her plan as well. When I say orgy, I mean orgy. Do caramel mountains, chocolate fountains and marshmallow confetti convince you?


Shalmi, on the other hand, is the untamed sprit. Anywhere the wind blows. A pleasant, unplanned drifting along, interrupted by sudden burts of mischief (equally unplanned.) Wind.

Which led me to wonder, what kind of a future do I see for myself? I have ABSOLUTELY no freaking idea. Sahana thinks I'll end up with a Physics Professor, erudite, but boyish, with a winning smile. Shalmi called me Meg of Little Women. I don't think she was referring to the marriage part of it, but if she was, then my future husband is a penniless loser who happens to be a 'nice man.' And he will die young. And a part of me will will turn to ashes but I will survive. I mean, REALLY. What do you guys take me for?

Personally, I'd like to see myself with an intense brooding poet, who I will salvage from the murky depths of his own tortured mind. But I know that's not happening. I don't have the guts to marry that sort.

The only definite thing I've said about my domestic future is:- if I end up with 2 sons and Rukmini ends up with 2 daughters, we'll swap a kid of one gender for one of the other. I see myself as more of a daughter's mother, and she as more of a son's. WHAT? Don't judge us, we're only 18.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Farewell? Maybe.

Ok. So I might actually have to leave town. Just thinking of it hurts me... physically. I've heard this from people- the most raw and intense thoughts are often impossible to write on. The artist needs to stand back from his object and take in the view as a third person. Only then can he catch every twitch, every sigh, every glimmer. And only then will he have the courage to set them down as they should be.


There's probably something in that theory. Right now, my fingers are hovering over the keyboard; it doesn't seem as if they belong to me. Making them type out something coherent is a drain on my energy. I mean, REALLY, do I REALLY have to leave?

Leave behind whimsical thoughts on cloudy days? Because there's hardly a monsoon in Delhi.

Leave behind cabbies who take one look at me and know that I can't speak Hindi? Cabbies who actually force me to cross the road instead of letting the meter rise over the course of a traffic jam. No WAY will I get that kind in Delhi.

Leave behind my concert DVDs, my movies, some of my books? It's all very well to say that their contents are locked up in a little box in my head, and I can sift through the treasures when I want. It's not like being able to hold them in your hand and knowing that you own them.

And blog, the blog's important too. I'm sure I won't be able to blog this regularly, unless I have a hep roommate with a wireless internet connection on a shiny laptop. Of course, I'm presuming she'll like me enough to let me use her laptop. For all I know, she could be a hardore Facebook addict- the kind that snorts thunderbolts and screams bloody murder if deprived of a minute's social networking.

As for family. These are just some of the things I'll miss about them---

Correcting my mother's grammatical faux-pas (which she claims, are an inevitable result of visiting villages for fund-raising)... groaning over her purchases of the most EMBARRASSING Hindi song compilations, for the sake of ONE lonestar in the entire album..

Discussing politics and legal issues with my dad, and feeling quite self-important.... eating the divine mutton-preparations he makes...

Discussing ideal weapons for murder with my brother.... also, influencing him to support my favourite reality show contestant... also, I JUST REALISED- if he gets a girlfriend while I'm away, I won't be there to accuse him of sacrilege and secretly go 'awww'.

As for the cats, who are very much family.... their insane sleeping postures, their moodswings and idiosyncrasies, their resemblances to celebrities ranging from Fa Hien to Big Moose... what makes it worse is that I won't be able to keep in touch with them through phone or e-mail. What if they forget me by the end 3 years? Oh fuck. That would kill me.

I'd talk about friends and this one teacher whose 'changed my life', as the cliche goes. But all that would require a whole blog. Instead, I'm going to end on a shallow but utilitarian note. Never mind if I'm dragging all my emotions down to a cheap conclusion. What if the bathroom of my hostel sucks? THE HORROR.