Saturday, November 28, 2009


1. I have now saved at least 5 Airtel Service Numbers under 'Pissoff.' You do not know, you do not KNOW what pleasure there is in seeing 'Pissoff Calling' flash on your cell phone screen and then- serenely, sweetly- just let it go on ringing. Or you could cut them off. (I know that different people have their own ways of dealing with these infernal calls. In fact, the methods of 2 fellow freaks in blogosphere have caused me mild frustration before. But yeah, one should take a stand against such Consumerist Conspiracies. If you received E.V.E.R.Y. call of this kind, you would have spent at least half an hour of your life on Phone Service. The horror.)

2. My brother chanced upon a printout which said:

'Events- May Day Dance, Dog Cart Ride, Wedding and Confessions, Kill pheasants, Feeds Strawberries, Tess Slaps Alec.'

He asked me what that was about with a look of extreme curiosity. Now people who will be giving an exam with me on 7th December probably know that it's a list of incidents from a novel. ('Tess of the 'D'Urbervilles.') My brother is fresh from his Sports Day. His house won it. Hungover on the victory cake, he thought... yes- he thought it was a list of Sports' Day Events. The last item did confuse him somewhat. I would be a lot more worried right now if it didn't.

3. On the Playlist-
a) Since I've been Loving You- Led Zep.
Sahana once said, "This song is so good, it makes me want to do someone!" I don't think I can improve on that, nor do I want to. But god, the more I listen to Led Zep, the more thankful I am that they happened. Music would NOT be the same without them. I can't recall any band that's made more contributions to catchy, musically rich, and historic guitar riffs.

b) Julia- John Lennon. (He wrote it for his mother after she died.)

Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you...

Seashell eyes, windy smile...
Morning moon, touch me.

And that response has Nothing to do with the cold.

c) A Woman Left Lonely- Janis Joplin.
Janis Joplin was a woman if there ever was one. I absolutely adore her. That kind of raw, unadulterated passion is overwhelming and liberating at the same time.

4. A lot of what I'm reading is making me happy. Maybe it's just because this is 1st Sem and I can leave out what I don't like. But that aside. There are gems to unearth in the dungheap that every syllabus is thought to be.

'You shouldn't take a fellow eight years old
And make him swear to never kiss the girls.'

'Take the prettiest face, it so pretty
You can't discover if it means hope, fear,
Sorrow or joy? won't beauty go with these?'
(Both by the incomparable Mr. Browning.)

'Tithonus.' I'd forgotten just how good it is. And I'm glad the last time I'm studying it isn't for the bloody ICSE.

Even 'Tess' . Ok, it's sentimental, it's melodramatic. But I know people like that and I love them. Ultimately, 'Tess' is intense and honest, which gets me.

Then, a lot of literary criticism is Very Cool. Even if it's saying some outrageous things, it says them with flair. If you hate a novel, a good essay on it can actually give you something interesting to think about without taking away your right to hate.
Harold Bloom was one stud. M.H. Abrams was another. Someday, even I will write something that breathes life into a lost little first-year. Something lucid, witty and insanely perceptive all at once.

But first- Oh I don't know what. But I do know that my stellar essay will not be written anytime soon. In the meantime, we can all play with virtual fishes.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Not Random. Not product of boredom. Not sum wyrd shit im tryin out.

She's a nice person with no pretence,
Born with oodles of common sense.
A genuinely good girl- one of the best.
But when as a kid she travelled by train,
She yearned to yank the emergency chain.
Just like all the rest.


He was a normal man.
With a job ( he didn't hate.)
A family (he loved and was loved by.)
A hobby he was passionate about. (Painting.)
Above all, he was happy. (A fact worth noting.)

That changed the day
An astrologer told him
He would be famous after his death.

Sometimes you just know.
And then you remember the time
Some idiots claimed they knew.
How hellishly sure they were.
How that annoyed you to tears.

And then you think-
'Am I being one of them?'
And then you think-
'Of course not.'
'Yeah, I'm sure.'
'Well. I just know, y'know?'

Thursday, November 26, 2009

When I was your Age.......

When I first found out that moonlight is just reflected sunshine at night, I was heartbroken. At that age, it was Very necessary for me to take sides. And what better opportunity for partiality than choosing between 2 celestial bodies? I was a moon-fan of course.

Glow without glare.
Romance- It's just so conducive to violins, whispers and lakes turning into mirrors. No, I was not an original kid.
A hint of undefinable mystery. (Thinking logically, it's pretty obvious where the mystery comes from. Stolen light must appear dubious to our inner psychics. I'm cool with that now of course. A little bit of stylish deception never did any harm.)

Simlarly, when I learnt that the right brain controls the left side of the body. I am a leftie. Being a minority ka bachha, I was for EVERYTHING left. Ganguly. Left-over food. Even communism. I wanted nothing to do with the damn right. It felt very cool. Made up somewhat for the lack of originality.
And then.
Cruel disillusionment.
The right controls the left!

Such trauma little me had to go through. No wonder I grew up to be so mature.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

I would never be the wife of a poet. This is what Matthew Arnold chooses to write on his honeymoon at Dover Beach.

Honeymoon at a beach. Sand grains glistening on wet skin. Bright sails fluttering in the breeze. What a radiant picture of classic romance. Right? Jaast you take a look.

...the waves...
Begin, and cease, and then again begin,
With tremulous cadence slow, and bring
The eternal note of sadness in.

Ah, love, let us be true
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,

That's like saying- 'let's love each other, because hey, love doesn't exist. So let's try honey, shall we?' No wonder he didn't publish this poem until Much Later.

Then there's Coleridge. I've heard this version of his life where he married his wife just because she was pregnant.

Then he had to go and fall in love with another woman who-

a)Was Wordsworth's sister. (This just confirms my belief that W.W was at the root of all mischief. Such unperturbed self-satisfaction had to rise out of pure evil. His heart may have danced with the daffodils, but one can only wonder what else he danced with.)

b)Had the same name as his wife- Sarah!

Oh Wily Wordsworth-
What is this, some form of higher poetry?
Life imitating art maybe?
A joke for you to share
As you sit on your wooden chair*
Lay out your porcelain with flair
And sip on organic tea?

*Note: (Yes wooden. Cut off a blessed tree.)

To make matters worse, Sarah Coleridge had to go spill boiling milk on her husband's foot. Boiling milk. How bland. Some opium concoction or even hot chocolate would have been more glamorous.

And then STC goes and writes a l.o.n.g. poem about his experience, where his calls his friend Charles 'gentle-hearted' no less than thrice. But not Once does he mention his wife. Not in accusation of her klutzy behaviour. And definitely not in thankfulness for the spiritual revelation that he had, once he was done crying over the Spilt Milk.

No, poets do not make good husbands.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ten, ten-tuh-ten.

Here are 10 universal truths. By universal, of course I mean my own personal opinion.

1. No matter how much you eat, there is always room for dessert.

2. Contrary to popular belief, I am not at all a curious person. But if you start on an enticing piece of gossip, you ought to abandon that phony demure-ethical aura and Finish It!

3. Did I say gossip? Make that 'dramatic news'. Gossip is a myth.

4. Singing Christmas Carols is a near-infallible route to happiness. Especially when Christmas is far-off.

5. The Beatles DO have a song for every mood. Every.

6. During pre-exam chaap, I wish I could go back to the times when fat was cute and exams were identifying colourful shapes. And when I didn't say things like- 'By the way, Byron was bi. Hey, I just punned. Sort of.'
But at the end of the day, this life's always good.

7. A good way of saving time in Winter is to take baths on alternate days. I swear I always smell fresh. I wouldn't try this tactic otherwise.

8. If you have to get lost, get lost inside a biiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiig, soft, warm, fluffy blanket. It is like an alternate world inside there, I'm telling you.

9. Once people have crossed 5, they try very hard to reach 10. Go conformity! Go stereotypes! A toast to Round Figures! (And no pun intended here.)

10. If you have read a creepy story, do not envision its movie version in your head just before you go to sleep at night. Or do. But be prepared for the weirdest dreams in the world. I speak from experience. Possessed showers, mutant pigs in schoolbuses and serial killers all in one night aren't good for health.

P.S.- Recommended Reading: Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Short Stories by Truman Capote, poetry by Roger McGough and Carol Ann Duffy. They are keeping me alive.

P.P.S- Do people make lists because they have an innate desire for order, or because they like setting down thoughts at random? This is not one of those situations where you look indifferent and reply with 'Hmmm, profound' in a deep voice. I am genuinely intrigued.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Semi Fiction

Infinity as a concept isn't exciting, it's disturbing. Anything endless is too much for the human brain to take. But it can be exciting when seen through something eee-nawr-muss. The size reminds us that grand infinity is present, and the boundaries stop that presence from going beyond a deliciously vague silhouette.

Which is why I love My Place.
When I go to My Place, I can see the sky set against the field. So in effect, I know where the sky begins. And ends. But the field is so fucking huge, that at any given point, I can’t see both extremities at once. And that gives me a curious sense of freedom.

At this point, one says things like ‘it’s my own special discovery and I have it entirely to myself’. Unfortunately, there are a few others who know about it. They go there too, even when I’m around. But yes, in a way, I still have it to myself. All I have to do is take a few steps forward. Leave those nameless faces behind. And then just forget about them.

Easier done than thought to be. For there is no dearth of distractions.
Just stare, stare at the sky that’s never quite the same colour. One day, you’ll find it a happy shade of blue- the blue of wide-eyed innocence and baby bedsheets. On another, it’ll be a blue so rich, so luscious, it seems liquid. And then there are days it isn’t blue at all but dark grey, like secrets that can’t be revealed.

It’s not all about the sky. There’s the wild, wild grass which at times is magically trimmed, and for the most part is magically overgrown.

There’s the long line of old wall, broken by cave-ins and rusty gates. The gates are rusty, because who uses gates when there are walls to scale and trees to climb?

I can do almost anything there. Think. Zone out. Sing and dance. Pretend to be on the verge of discovering a crime or confessing love to my Person. Anything I do there feels right.

Even voyeurism. Oh yes, I spy on people, on the innermost, secretest corners of their lives. I spy through the wall. Not a hole or a crack. But scribbles. I know that 'Lily loves Luke' was written by a lonely English student, obsessed with alliterations. I know that a certain dirty knock knock joke was written by a chubby, 13 yr old boy who peeks at the Calcutta Times when his parents aren't looking. I know that 'I was here. Yes, I.' was written by my kind of person, and probably the only one I would talk to in My Place. IF we met. I haven't met any of them. But I know all of this because I read walls for a living.

It's not an easy thing to do, and My Place never gives me a hint. Because it doesn't think of itself as mine. I can tell in the way it responds. For one, it hardly does. I’ve never felt it waiting for me. Or detected a sense of fulfillment when I arrive. But that has its own charm. Something that vast couldn’t possibly be owned, not by anybody. It’s free. And I feel free when I’m there. That’s about as deep as the bond will ever get.

It works for me though. It works just fine.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Where have all the icebergs gone?

Chapped lips and snakeskin fingers.

Mosquitoes on the rise.
Shorter days (which admittedly, I like.)

But no thanda.

Winter, you were my favourite season. I stuck up for you by abusing stupid Western metaphors on frosty death and deathly frost. For WHAT? Now I know why Nature gets saddled with all sorts of sad cliches. Hmph. Go fight for yourself, I abandon your cause.

P.S- I just saw Priyanka's comment on my last blogpost and Actually laughed out loud. Not like the time I tried to be cool and said lolzz in front of my EVE teacher and got glared at.

Anyway Priyanka, 'tis merely a phase. For now, this post will have to do. Much like this miserable excuse for a winter.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Three Little Thoughts Went Out to Play

1.When my brother first started reading silently, he came to us, PATHETICALLY distressed. His reason? 'When I read silently, I can... I... I can *turns a shade paler*... hear a Voice in my head.'

2.Class 11, School trip to Kerala. Frst 48 hours of the journey spent cramped on a train. Some in critical condition for holding in their pee, just to stay away from the pocha public bathrooms.
Get off train. Get onto bus. Sit. Legs twitching to dance and hands itching to punch somebody. Camera getting tired of intellectually staged pictures and craving some genuine pretty scenery. Sit longer.
Suddenly the bus turns a bend, and Munnar hits us in all its glory. Explosions of fiery flowers on mountain slopes. A sudden chill in the air. GREEN! And MIST! AND clear sky!!
For a while we all go quiet. Even the cameras. And then Rukmini decides to say- 'Bhogobaan, tumi shotti God.'

3.In plus 2, we had a certain female in our class who I will refer to as Kamal. She was quite a character. Once, when IB was dictating Macbeth notes, Kamal was writing something Very Different in her own diary.
I suppose guilt gives off some kind of suspicious smell. Or transmits brainwaves. Because IB wasn't taken in for a moment. After throwing a couple of pointed glares in the required direction, she called Kamal upto her desk. And what happened next is proof that life Does have a sense of humour.
The diary was coloured yellow and shocking pink. And its cover just happened to scream the title- 'Hot Stuff.' IB looked at it, and merely asked- 'You're telling me you write Macbeth notes in a diary called.... Hot Stuff?' The little inflection in her voice when she came to Hot Stuff was remarkable. Like the arched eyebrow that kills all talk. The ultimate hair-flick. It glittered with triumph, sarcasm and amusement all at once.
Suddenly, EVERYBODY was laughing. It's only apt that on the last day, IB was made to present Kamal with a sash saying 'Miss Hot Stuff'.

3 random old memories. Don't know why they strike me now, or why I wanted to write about them. But what the hell, I did what I wanted and now I will go back to wondering what's there for dinner.