Monday, December 22

Rear view.

A part of me is numb. Frayed. Too overwhelmed to react. Unwilling to spend more words on an issue that demands action. I keep wondering at times if i have become too shallow, whether i secretly enjoy being cocooned in this inert opinionated world. The problem isn't hyperconditioned peddlers of violence unaware of their own evil. The problem is rooted in a world structure perpetuated by self sufficing components like me and you. Oblivious in our dark sleep, united by anger and angst. How can this unity exceed its shelf life beyond the glamour of protest? Where do we stand once the spotlight has gone?

And now, since i wrote this, the spotlight has gone. And now, i'm wondering where we stand.
We. You and me.

Thursday, December 11

wonder

As i look through albums
at an adorable one year old me
i wonder if I am the guy
he thought he'd grow up to be

Mrityu

I don't know what i want this post to be. It is as much about life and death, as it is about my uncle.
It could also be about his life. His story. The story of a man who was twenty seven since twenty seven, till the day he died. He was the sort of Modigiliani, who never painted on canvas. Just picked the brightest shades to colour our lives and left quaintly without a word, not one about the greys and blues, or the bitter nature of the tragedy that was to be his life. Or death.

I'm more surprised than alarmed at the loss of grief i've been experiencing over the last two days. And i'm still unable to absorb the experiences i've had over the past two months. I remember every bit of it, just as clearly as his singing. Every time i close my eyes, it rings in my ears. He had a very gifted voice that he ignored with his typical nonchalance. I lose my count of the numerous evenings that he lit up with his trademark renditions of Kishore. He had an innate style in almost everything that he did. The way he spoke, the way he laughed, the way he walked. Stylish. That was him. He had the heart of a king with the purse of a pauper. Yet, he had the intent to give you the world that even money can't buy (to steal a phrase) in the wealthiest of our kind. I had never seen him lose his temper or raise his voice. I thought failure as a man had set barriers on his expression, only to realise that it was his nature. Millions would have wilted under the societal pressure that comes with the kind of life he led. His family loved him but they despised his failure. It's only human. There is no blame. He lived in public adoration like a king. He never let pity on his economic failure, ever, dilute the fabric of his character until his last breath. His life is a lesson i'll continue to learn for the rest of my life. But as i sit and sift through family albums to find an appropriate picture that shall tell his story to the ones who never knew the man behind the relation, the loss quietly sinks into my heart.

In the two months he lay comatose since his stroke, he has shown me the side of life we usually ignore unless thrust upon. Whether it was weaving our way through the crowded highways of Bombay in an ambulance racing against his erratic pulse or simply spending days at end, waiting outside the ICU. The pictures are vivid in front of my eyes. Disturbing, distressing, yet in its own sure way, enlightening. Speaking to him as he lay still, only to wonder if he still heard me, seeing tears roll down his immobile face as my grandfather first saw him, to beeps, graphs and readings on his ventilator. I still feel the warmth of his breath tracing down my forearms as i rubbed his stubbled, cold cheeks on his deathbed. His body shrinking to his bones. The phone call. The rush.
The first time i saw his corpse. Sitting by his dead body, trying to believe that my favourite uncle was no more. That his smile was to be gone forever and that there would be one phone call less this birthday, one with an eager voice, yet not knowing what to say.

Unlike much that is said about it, death by itself is very silent. Looking back at yesterday, i can't feel better about spending so much time with my uncle at his funeral. It's really enlightening to the extent that life feels trivial before the greater questions that stand before us. Touch a corpse and you'd know that emotions aren't barely involved. It's a malady of evolution that we still dwell in emotions about most things in our lives. Life and death though are much simpler existential puzzles. Just a breath apart. I feel liberated by the procedure that preceded the funeral. Excuse me for sounding grim, but this post deserves bare truth for archival purposes. You'd be surprised at the amount of answers a dead body holds. As i untied the knotted limbs before placing him on the pyre with the mild drone of vedic chants, i realized for once, this body wasn't him. The spirit was gone. The man i knew was the spirit. The body was a consequence.
The body will go. It must. My uncle will be alive as long as we keep him alive. It's up to us now. Me and my family. This realization murders grief.

I sat at the crematorium till the very end. Collected the remains, went to the sea. Walked back with sand between my toes only to know one thing. One of the people who loved me the most in this world, is now, no more. It'll someday be true for everyone who loves me. Salvation lies in my ability to do the best for them while i can. It's the simple truth of life. Life is air.

Thursday, November 20

ever so much to say,
just trying to find a way.

Saturday, November 8

I toss up a sigh
close my eyes
what do i do
what do i do
you need space
and i need you.

Wednesday, October 29

It's precisely a year now. This calm, still, beautiful Diwali night. Kissed by autumn air nor crisp nor cold. Just perfect. And so, today i say it to everyone who reads this blog, like i said it to you last year this same hour.
I love you.

Happy Diwali and cheers all. Keep posting.

Thursday, October 16

The only regret i have in life
is having read too little and written too much.

Saturday, October 11

Stretch. Yourself. Your ideas. Your ideas about ideas. The invisible boundaries in your head. Your limbs. Stretch each one of them. The distance they carry you. Stretch till you can stretch no further. Stretch the extent of everything you so fondly clench. And then, when stretching becomes a limit in itself. Stretch, to break free.

Thursday, October 9

Desert Pain

Feels like resurrection. I was on the verge of committing suicide. Never before, ever, was i so hopelessly distressed in life. There is no one to blame, apart from one of the modern world's most evolved torture technique. A two and a half hour procedure that doesn't kill you, but compels you to shoot yourself in the wrong place so that you die the most painful death. Sadly, mundane citizens in India are denied that luxury. You cannot buy guns to kill yourself and the euthanasia debate is sub judice. Even if it is a dry day after you have seen Drona - a psychological thriller/ romantic tragedy about the super pansy prince of some kingdom where tombs resemble solar panels.

I wanted to kill myself because the movie didn't. And i have not been able to forget the painful experience. I wanted to kill myself because i actually saw the movie even though i wasn't chained to the seats. A movie so exclusive, that only 1300 tickets were sold across India (figures unvalidated by KPMG) apart from the cast and the crew (half of which surely walked out at the interval, like three of the 9 people who filled up our theatre)

How and why we ended up watching the movie is content edited from this post to sustain a readable length. Let's just say, under duress and with no other option, we didn't quite foresee what was coming. Our idea of bad is now unsuitably redefined.

Here's a review for the daredevils. Drona is a jack-ass. Such is the tragedy of this great script that he is also to be the designated protector of mankind by virtue of lineage. There are rotten puzzles to everything laced with the most stupid interjection of romantic moments that only the most evolved human minds could devise.
The soundtrack and the background score would put even the most menial youtube videos to shame. The only purpose it serves to the movie is preventing the viewers from falling asleep. Be it trance during medieval horse chases or Kenny G type restaurant music in sunset scenes rife with emotions, emoted better by the super hero's horse than the man himself. Whether it's insignificant characters with complicated names or sequences that are of no consequence to the movie, Drona lives up to its promise of being one of the worst movies ever made. It is frustrating to the extent that after a certain point of time, you can't even laugh at it anymore.

Drona is a futuristic film that goes without an editor. The costumes are funny to say the least, lest that be the intention and the art direction, juvenile. There are vague traces of a script in the movie. Knowledge of its existence is proof of its mediocrity. The dialogues are clumsy and the screenplay is deplorable. Unlike The Last Lear where Drona senior single handedly pulled the movie out of doom with a talismanic performance (inspite of the director's self indulgent and lousy handling of a brilliant script), Drona junior was denied an such challenge to his acting mettle. Thankfully.

The promos of Himesh's Karz and Bhandarkar's Fashion during the interval formed the highlights of my misadventure. Especially the unpretentious former. Like all great movies, Drona too has had far fetched implications.

1. The patriarch of Bollywood's first family on seeing the rushes of the film, took it upon himself to feed the clan and set off on an Unforgettable Tour to offset the economic fallout of this Forgettable Film.

2. Mrs. Bachchan's questionable quip on her linguistic affiliations could have been a clever last gasp effort to stop this disaster from screening. Raj Thackeray has clearly done them no favours by letting the movie play.

3. Aaj Tak's breaking news was that the Bachchans were not invited to Gauri Khan's birthday bash inspite of the Bachchans breaking the ice and inviting SRK for the screening of Drona. Well, i'm not surprised.

4. Foremost film schools across the globe and the Academy of Motion Pictures and Arts will archive this epic treatise on How Not to Make a Film.


I am no director. No film-maker. No actor. But i'm the audience who resents spending time and hard earned money for scum that would've fetched me five beers instead. As a kind example of my magnanimous highness, i hereby declare that i shall not sue Drona for the irrevocable emotional distress caused to me and restrict myself to the post.

Thursday, October 2

Urchin

Selling flowers on the street
bright, white bunch of lillies
yet moist with water sprayed.
Sold to his smile
i bought the flowers
But the moisture in his eyes
remained.

Again

My delinquent endeavours to find words has certainly eroded the equity of this blog. Here it lies in derelict anticipation of a post that will be written and read. It has been a while even after it has been a while. Something has gnawed into this beautiful space and I miss it as much as some of you. Probe isn’t being probe anymore. Lazy efforts have failed to revive this comatose conversation. It that hangs suspended day after day. Countless hours are unspent to reclaim a solitude that consistently fails to find space in this mental clutter. See, the sentences are getting long. I feel like a scalpel blade unused in ages, with rust gathering moisture in edges too blunt to be incisive anymore. Not cutting under the surface, nor getting under the skin. Just a mere tapestry of words, an ornamental veil covering the epidermis of the unwritten underneath. The blade will make rough cuts. Septic and ugly. It’ll take time for the rust to dry. We’ll dip it in tincture and sandpaper it back to its sheen. Scrape the edges and make it sharp. Write. Get used to it. Give it back the time it has lost, denied by age and agency.

Thursday, September 18

Brewed

It’s difficult but not impossible. People have been known to fare better in the aftermath of prolonged onslaughts which were worse. I distinctly recall a situation when I could feel the beer in my veins. They felt bitter with aftertaste of brew. I woke up in the morning wondering if I could’ve had any more beer last night to merit wakefulness in time for work. I wondered if I should have.

Hangovers are bad. Period. On the morning after, you are in no doubt that alcoholic ones more difficult to deal with than an emotional one. I don’t remember what mom looked like when I got back home at quarter to four. She never forgets to latch the door everytime I have the keys. Thankfully, at my age, mothers refrain from playing the music so late at night. They just stare. Maybe it’s psychological warfare. Or ageing. Maybe both. But that stare means one thing and only that. ‘If you don’t get your drunk ass up for work tomorrow, I’ll make the rest of your day miserable’. Sweet misery offers motivation to sleep. Dwindling senses command it. Sobriety has been a protective mask and my passport back home after countless nocturnal excursions to the city’s nightspots that seem to be getting progressively loud and mundane.

I woke up to the blazing sun at nine, feeling like I had a beer transfusion. The sun looked brighter than usual and the usually busy road looked empty. I wondered if the cars had slowed down or my senses. My tongue felt bitter. The reflux had begun. I was never going to drink again. I thought. Not on weekdays. And not 10 pints. No. My movements and words were measured like an actor on stage. There werent’t too many. Bedroom to living room to bathroom to bedroom. I did well to not break the verbal moratorium. The last thing you want to hear with a hangover on your way to work is a question.

Cut to night. Someplace dark, noisy, bombay and bling.

At nineteen, most men claim plaudits for their drinking capacity. By twenty one they realise how ridiculous it was. And meagre. At twenty three, things turn out differently. I hear a slurring voice inside me that says Enough. I remember last night. Drinking and not being drunk. High neither. Indifferent. I wondered if I ever looked like those people on the dance floor making intoxicated sense of crap music remixed. Like monkeys let loose. Men, women alike. Maybe the idea is to submerge your cerebral hemispheres and flow with the proceedings. But when the booze fails to do it, the burp is always ugly.


Okay then. The purging is over, the cleansing is complete. A beer is all I ask for, a hangover is all I get. This bitter irony of life, I’ll live forever to regret :)

Wednesday, August 6

Oh, i'm sorry i am just looking for my words. Can you help me find them?

Friday, July 4

For the sweetest thing

I'm writing this in a coffee shop between two meetings. Such has been my plight that now i have to steal time to keep some for myself. Spare me no sympathy. It's quarter to twelve here, in one of Mumbai's most bling roads. The coffee shop is fairly bereft of "crowd", barring a few.
The table in front of me is empty. The one in front of it has a couple. Fighting. The guy is trying hard to push his point of view across as the woman bears a confused expression of exasperation. She appears calmer than her counterpart. Perhaps they're breaking up. The guy is asking for answers and his voice isn't hiding the questions. He is probably being dumped. Such things happen in mismatched relationships, and then i hear the words "but wasn't it a mutual decision?"
There's something latently malignant about the term "mutual" when it comes to two people in love.
I don't quite know what. It's not the same as unanimous. I know i'm being intrusive but the guy is distractingly vociferous.
The table opposite to theirs, diagonal to mine has a younger couple. Barely teenagers at best. Mumbling sweet nothings into each others ears for as long as i've been here. The boy has traces of a moustache and is pouring love out of his eyes. Two girls in an adjoining table are bitching their guts about someone and a third guy is inspiring everyone's curiosity by writing notes as it appears. Scribbling in the midst of phone calls and gazing into the nothingness of the Mumbai monsoons.
I think he has a lot to write about. A lot waits to be written probably. He looks disturbed, racing against time as if to finish a test. There is a smirk of success as the pen grazes paper in the penultimate minutes of his solitary waiting. He hasn't written much recently, his sentences are long. There's a hint of loss as time trickles by. It's precious now. This time. It never comes easy these days.
He thinks of his beautiful girlfriend, measuring up his love against the teenager's eyes. He'd never know but he wishes his eyes looked like that when he looked at her. The 'mutual' disagreement continues in the other table. The guy is probably losing his battle to save the relationship. He's a mess and messy. The girl looks merciful, patient and loveless. I'm late for my appointment so i'll stop. Finish my coffee, pay my bill and rush.

The next time i write, it'll be about you. You know it's you. The sweetest thing.

I'm dying to write a post on Delhi. I'm killing it, it's too late. I was gonna write it today in the coffee shop, but it distracted me into a post. Apologies. And love. To everyone.

Tuesday, June 10

Never back until again.

This blog isn't having any fun. Let's swing. Tee-off into another series of wordly misadventures that have been conspicuous by their absence from this blog. I'm trying to not fall into the probish
trap saying how this blog needs to live again and wondering if the words are running dry, but we have drifted apart indeed. My blog and me.

The suspended dialogue will resume, but tell me how have you been? Each one. The Readers. The not-so readers, hoppers, trippers and the peepers. How is life?

It's a season of change with the monsoons hitting Bombay and i'm mildly tired of how Alternate Perception looks. Probably more so because it wears the same posts till they get stale, but let's try something new. Don't quite know what it is. Yet.

I'm off to Delhi tonight, leaving the wonderful monsoons back in Bombay. It's nice to be a complete stranger in a city you know very nothing about. Four days of new streets, new places and new people, spent with only the most familiar one. Sometimes it's a sin to fall in love with a city. You might know you'll have to leave it sometime, but you never know if it'll ever leave you. It's time to see Delhi with her eyes.

A vacation, finally. And the intimidating prospect of getting to know the family that predominantly consists of dominating women. Mostly.

Tuesday, June 3

A high after the hangover’s gone
Is watching you wake up to dawn.

Saturday, May 10

Panihati

It is a small hamlet by the silt clad banks of Ganga. The Ganges, if you like it. I have never been to Varanasi, but everytime Discovery beams out those wonderful documentaries laced with Kishori Amonkar’s haunting ragas, I feel a small vacuum inside me. I miss tapping into ‘the flux’. You know how everyone has a bling term.
‘The flux’ is mine. It’s the memento I carry from my dates with spirituality.

There’s more to the aesthetic appeal of dingy streets rising out of smoke and gallies guarded by cows. There’s something beyond the beauty of temple-tops clicked in sunset hues or photogenic sadhus beaming out of saffron portraits. The flux is like this flow of energy that binds the world together, like the electricity that runs the cinemascope of life. Most times we’re so caught up with the imagery that we take the reel for real. But then again there are places, people, situation and times when the flux transcends the matter and energy bares itself if you have the eyes for it. Sometimes you just see it flow past, overwhelmed by it’s magnificence. Sometimes you get to touch it. That’s where the magic begins. Alternate Perception. Seeing more than there is. More than you know exists. I’m not sure if you’re catching the drift of this post, spirituality has seldom been conducive to articulation. It dwells on experience. But let’s just say, knowledge is driven by perception. You know because you perceive. You learn because you’re taught to perceive. But how will we ever know of ‘the flux’ that only few have ever perceived and fewer still have understood? Today it stands twisted as dogmas and rituals in the whore-house of religion that this world is.

Haven’t you ever felt connected to strangers at first sight? Had drunk conversations where words were entirely superfluous? Went to places where stones where livelier than wildflowers that grew around them? Walked down lonely trails but never felt alone? How many has it been that you resonated with every word in a piece of music or literature as if it was your very own? Think about it or think it drunk.. how many times have you transcended your body, the gross nature of matter therein and felt yourself as pure energy, pure flux, suddenly in tandem with a reality that you don’t quite understand but now you know it exists. Beyond you, including you.

I don’t quite know what to make of it. I’ve tried, slogged, learnt, unlearnt. Experienced and understood. Then missed the experience. The flux connects everything – The Bhagavad Gita to The String Theory, Osho to Jim Morrison, Yang and yin to Binary Digits, Kahlil Gibran to the dope hazed Hendrix or LSD to transcendental meditation.
We are all sitting on top of this huge Pandora’s Box but we have no keys. Perhaps it’s all a bit too jumbled up. All too complicated and entangled like knotted shoelaces. Maybe when we learn to unknot them, we’ll get somewhere. But sometimes, the flux is kind.
It flows in rivers and people and places.

I don’t know why, but today I feel like writing about Panihati. 20 kms north of Calcutta, light years from Bombay. I have been there only twice and the last time was almost two and a half years back. Bombay gives you the sea, but there’s something about The River. About this huge body of water drifting past you as you sit on the footsteps of a time-locked temple. Actually twelve. Twelve identical temples is a row, quiet and red in an elevation that is typically eastern. It stands still and desolate without the clamour of Benares. It gives you the silence that only a ruined temple can command. There’s no place for religion here, no haranguing priests. Locals claim that Tagore penned his first works by the ghats of Panihati. Sometimes, God is so simple I Wonder why religion hides It.

Wednesday, April 30

Life above all else

I want to wake up at night and go to my terrace, lie back and gaze at stars. When i was young, i'd call them names and i remembered each one. Now i don't remember, neither the stars nor the names. I vaguely remember quaint conversations i'd have with them. Then i grew up to know i only had conversations with myself as they looked on. Twinkled. Peeped out of holes in the sky. On the sly. Sprinkling sparks of joy over my reclaimed solitude. City lights twinkled at a distance. It was that distance that always drew me to my terrace. I needed it. I could feel my breath on my nostrils, i could feel the air in my lungs. But for my body, i would fly deep into the night sky. From space into space. I would see planes take-off into the night sky at a distance. And i'd see planes circling the city, waiting for a signal. I always wondered if the city would look any prettier from the sky than it did from my terrace. Now things have changed. There are thrice as many planes taking-off and landing. The terrace lies derelict in wait and i'm writing ads selling Penthouse dreams drafted from my terrace memories. Sometimes life just takes you too far to get back to where you've once been. Somedays you regret it. Somedays you dont. I just miss my terrace.

Oh, on a lighter note.. much to my dismay these Penthouses are not paperback :)

Monday, April 28

I miss being here. Very much.

Saturday, March 22

belief

They haven't seen what i've seen,
they're the ones with eyes.
And you're not the vision, nor sight
the cosmos is your very eye.
So tell me, do you really see
a twisted crowbar called me?
questioning your existence
and half-counting every pence
given and un-given to me?
Or do you mock, like scriptures say,
the way I succumb to things worldly?
I shun temples to hear your voice
I shun silence and I shun the noise
Then one day,
when I’m drunk out of my way
you say nothing, just to say..
there is no dawn without promise of light
but to get there, we need the night.

Wednesday, March 19

say what?

There is something about comatose blogs. They're never the same when they come back to life.
Take this one for example. There's everything that made it work, but it's just not quite there on the blog. And i remember the parallel tracks again and how no one is parallel anymore once they stop moving. There's no rush really, no where to get to and no ticking clock. The train of thought runs out of steam and the landscapes don't change for hours at a stretch. And then you wonder if the view will ever change. If you'll get to where the rivers lie, or barren land where they run dry.. if your fingers will remain tied to the syntax that chains your wheels, or they'll break free to catch up with your thoughts before they fly too far. Nah, you won't get this. Nor will i when i read it next. Let's just say the fingers aren't chained, it's just the thoughts. They're going nowhere these days.

Wouldn't have re-posted this if it wasnt for you. Now i'm glad i did.

Friday, March 14

when you hold my gaze
in your dark magic eyes
as if it's always meant to be
i am looking for you
in them really
but your trick
is showing me to me.

Saturday, March 8

Eastern Winters

10/8/07
Beautiful October. Bright, clear, hot. I was tiring a bit from all the grey rain. Wanted the blue in the sky back soon. The adorable grandparents come down from the east for a quarter. It's usually an annual routine this time of the year. Nani can easily boast of the warmest smile there ever was on a pair of dentures. She's gorgeous. It's been almost two years since i've last gone to that city. Calcutta.

I remember hating my vacations there when i was a kid. Two months in the heat, with all friends back in good old Bombay, holidays gone waste. My verdict on Calcutta was never in doubt. A mad city with smoke, traffic, heat, sweat, wierd people and no electricity when needed most. Holiday hell. And then, gradually, the city grew on me. Every winter during graduation, i'd pack my bags after each sem and do a little 'traveller thingie' to Calcutta. Alone. It was almost a tourist affair in spite of all the family in that city.

Music, books, backpack and a tatkal ticket on Bombay Mail via Nagpur. On fortunate occasions it takes a good part of two days to get to there. I chose the foresaid train because it gives you two nights and drifts into the Calcutta winter early next dawn. It's the minumum required to drain out the Bombay blues, soak in the rustic charm of rail-road India and mentally prepare yourself for the East. Mentally.

I love everything about this eastside rail journey, especially the anonymity of being alone. Everything from the smell of coal, the changing terrain, the desolate ghost towns, to the thrill of getting off the train when it stops in the middle of nowhere, in dusk dimly lit by fire from distant huts, lighting up a smoke and wondering what if the train starts moving before i got back in? It's a time travel, this thirty-six hour affair, and i'm in no rush to get to the urban hustle at the other end. Simply travelling, to travel. The most vivid memory of most of my journeys would invariably be catching a cold while hanging out by the train door, once Kharagpur passes. It's a ritual that i've followed with crazy zest and the beauty is worst captured in words. There's something absolutely magical about winter fog, the moist smell of unweeded ponds and smoke that hangs mid-way in the air, too soggy to rise beyond the horizon, as one by one, you pass the small, sleeping mofussil towns yet to wake up to the first light of dawn. Save the lone cyclist with a lantern and a beedi. All this while i wake up to an India that beautifully exists beyond my urban coccoon. One that's blissfully oblivious to the world i come from as i sneak past their's.

This post was meant to be about my winter holiday home in Calcutta. This was meant to be about the best street food in the world, palm lined lakes, quick wit graffiti, hyper-opinionated people, zero traffic rules, coffee houses, clubs, politics, societies, communities, Communists. About so many things that are typically eastern and deep trenched in a mystique that only be Calcutta. I can't really say i understand the city, i think it's not meant to be understood. Amidst it's many gods, godmen, fests and festivals, political dirt and public activism, liberal ideas and downright cynicism is a culture that melts every diversity into a vibrant, noisy cosmos. Behind the linguistic barrier is a city that's not a city but an idea frozen in time. For those plainly intent on travelling and exploring, it gives you everything. For the two cities that define the breadth of the country, and also it's spectrum of life, Bombay is home. It always lets you be. Calcutta changes you to suit itself. It doesn't let you be. It pre and post exists while you adapt to it.

It was my favourite destination for cheap travel, distance and grandparents, in that order. Friday when i pick them up at the airport i know their days in Calcutta are running out. They're getting old and maybe age has other ideas about them living independently any longer. They were the epicentre of my idyllic eastern holidays and deep down, i don't really want them to grow any older. The beautiful Valley Park flat will be the same as ever. I doubt i'll ever go back to open the house once they're here in Bombay. It'll remain shut and hold some pretty special memories. The Calcutta chapter ends with my grandparents, and i don't know if these memories will be relegated to antiquity or will ever be redeemed. Youth and carefree, anonymous, reckless travelling.

Thursday, March 6



I'm learning to let you go,
but you're taking too long
and i'm learning too slow..


Saturday, February 23

..

Lets take some salt and some sugar. Put them in a glass. Soak them with water. Love. Some more till the glass can hold no more and stir. Which is salt and which is sugar? No one knows, no one can tell. A perfect blend where you lose yourself completely, dissolved as it were in love. And then the love goes away. You think it'll dry up and leave the salt and sugar separable from each other. But it doesnt. The sugar will always remain a bit tangy, and the salt never as much again. How then do you discover yourself when you are lost completely, when you don't know where one ends from the other, twined and tangled and merged, alloyed into jewellery that isn't ornate anymore. What then? How do you discover yourself?
Well. Let's look at it this way. You fall in love a million tim and then you fall in love forever. Sometimes it happens before the million times, sometimes a lot after. When it does, you know how every other time was an illusion well bought with ardent belief. I wonder if people do fall in love twice. I can only wonder till i do. In truth, having recently been on the other side of the fence, i have no doubt that love expands your heart.. however untrue it may be. The more the love, the larger you expand, the more you feel. Happiness and sorrow. Euphoria and pain. Sometimes i wondered if i was ever capable of feeling so much. Wondered if anyone who isn't me would ever impact me so immensely. Snatch away my individuality and help me discover myself. Now i know what worrying is. What it feels like and how crippling it can be. How i react to it. I've worried a million times before, not for someone. Not so much. Now i know which shades of green the monster can take. I always thought was inert to jealousy. Too humble for pride, but now, not so much. Now i know what fear of loss is. Why it invokes fear. Feelings lay hidden in my heart but now in it's magnified avatar, emotions aren't masked by my ego anymore. Nor by my ignorance. I like seeing myself this way. The enlarged heart now feels a gamut of emotions that otherwise passed by as insignificant meanderings of my mind. And so i discover myself. I'm not defining forevers here, i wish i could but i cant. Love doesn't stop once you start giving. It doesn't wait for the recieving bit. Maybe when it starts waiting, and it is a 'maybe' i wish is bereft of possibility, i'll discover another dimension to myself. Like i thought i had done before. Thought. Not felt.

F#

The strings that once sung words when strummed, now lie derelict in rust. My voice has drowned somewhere in this mental noise. Am i writing too little or am i writing too much? Will words help me find myself again or will i remain lost for words?

Wednesday, February 20

Myocardial Infarction

I think i love you too, even if i'm unsure if i do. You deserve much better really. See, the truth is, confusion is my best friend. It's always with me, even when i need it the least. It's just like you. Constant. The moment i think i'm sorted, i think otherwise. And then i'm sorted till i think otherwise. Which isn't too wise. But we're getting there. Me and my halves. And half of every half. A process of mulitplicity that started with every divided cell. So when i go to sleep at night, i don't know who'll wake up in the morning. And in the morning i don't know who slept last night. And there's nothing i don't like about this. I love it. It's a flux that's fluid, unchained and beyond all scopes of stagnation. Gives me the diminutive sense of being human that we all so desperately seek. To not remember nothing, just things i want to. But you are constant. Even in your change. I think it's good. You'll always remind me of myself, but let me come back to you someday. Please. Even when if i'm being a complete idiot. You see, it's only space i wanted. Don't call it distance.

What i said instead:

Te quiero muchisimo

Had written it before i fell in love. I'm still falling and falling so hard. Love is such a wonderful magnifying glass. It really enlarges every bit of you. Magnifies. Every emotion, every characteristic, every strength and every weakness as you see yourself clearly in it's light. Discover yourself a bit more and know yourself a lot better. I'm still in awe of what it can do to you. I thought i'd get used to it after half a year but i'm only growing in disbelief every passing day. Find a better word for Wow. Perhaps Whoa.. or better still, tacit silence. God was never explained in verbose and all such attempts at love are futile.

And now i want no space, no distance. How love changes it all. Forever. Irrevocably. Even if it isn't meant forever. Even if it is.

An interrupted swansong

There was a time i'd write here each day. Almost. Or well, one in two days and at worst once a week. When an oasis runs dry, travelers don't stop by anymore. A thirst once united us wanderers on the sliding dunes of mind. Our sunsets were the same, so were our sunrises. Different only in it's scattering of light. Now i sit by these arid dunes that change shape with the winds of life. Yeah, sounds like a Scorpion song but isn't quite. Like this blog. It isn't quite what it was. Anymore. There is a circle of palm trees around a hollow. Balding palm trees with drying trunks. A withering shade of brown that once was black and green. There could have been. An oasis. In the desert you can't be sure of anything. I'm holding on to my thirst. And hope. That words will flow again and thoughts would glide on them. Now everything is a strain. I'm not out of time i guess, just out of patience. Sometimes when i look back at these posts i wonder if i should have written them at all. It's like looking at a shadow and trying to trace it's meaning. Pure penumbra with soft edges that merge into darkness. Darkness unto darkness unlit by mind. I wonder if i was better off not writing than being lost for words. But i want to write. To read. Maybe i'll hold on to my thirst and hope these trickling drops that are hammered into vapour by sunrays will soon flow to the surface in greater numbers. One can always dig Artesian wells, but it's not quite the oasis. I'm sitting with my thirst and wondering if there's a water table beneath. If there ever was.

Wednesday, January 30

First Birthday

It has gone. The gift. But today feels a bit special nevertheless.
Today is Alternate Perception's first birthday and the blog is indeed a little mad at me. It feels neglected. It is screaming out for a post and i have had precious little to offer. Today, we'll talk. Just me and the blog, and you.

'Have you nothing to say?' my blog asks me these days.. and then it stops asking any further. It lends me it's silence. Silence. The most searching of all questions. Asking nothing, yet asking all. I'm devising a grand scheme to break this silence and replace it with mine. The one that lets me think. My mind hasn't been calm when i have had a chance to blog and when it has been, the chance wouldn't occur to me. A suspended conversation it has been, between the blog and me. An interruption to end soon. Anyway, the blog is expanding and i hope the coming year is brighter in terms of posts. More interesting, more intriguing ones. We'll ask the right questions and find no answers. Maybe we'll find the answers, but we'll celebrate in any case.
Today we're broke. It's month end. Maybe, month's fag fag end. Two bloggers for the lack of time and options will celebrate at a nondescript park bench in Shivaji Park. With Jagannath (who merits his own post) and his immaculate 45ml of masala chai. Maybe we'll buy a few balloons, blow a few candles, or maybe none of the above. Just wonder where we'd have been without the blog. Nostalgia is occuring most naturally to me, so i won't resist it. I'll get back to work with the hope of writing a lot more a lot sooner. To everyone who has swung by, everyone i've known here.. thanks for making it worth the ride, last year was wonderful with you guys. For the many more to come, keep the words flowing.

I promise i will. Cheers

Monday, January 14

2007

There are posts that talk of tomorrow, posts that talk of yesterday. And some that talk of today. I havent been talking at all. To you. And myself. Right now i have three things to write for pay and one thing that has something to say. The tragic truth is that they are all driven by a brief. Like most of what i have written in two months. Now i don't feel like writing them anymore.

I'll write for myself. I have spent a lot of time waiting for a time to write. The way i like to read myself. The way i like to write. Age dawns the realization that such a time will get progressively rare and i can't spend time looking for time. I'll have to create time, create space and find myself through my words again. The way i did last year. This is about 2007. The year that changed my life. And how.

Can i just say i'm smiling right now. Mildly, content. A flavour that retrospection tastes best in. I'm glad it's occuring to me now just as it will everytime i look back at last year. It started with the blog and ended with a blogger. I still don't believe it. Turning twenty two, graduation, advertising, drifting, drinking, rocking, rolling, breaking away from the comfort of routine that structured the last four years of my life and then it happens. Unexpected, beyond expectations.
I kept thinking that my surreal script would reconcile itself with reality sometime. It shows no signs of any recession. In madness or love.

Life has changed completely. Every decision making paradigm now involves thought for two. It's new to me, but it's something i'm getting used to. Can't be reckless anymore. Wonder if i'll miss it. Anonymity is slowly trickling out of this blog. Drop by drop each day. So, this blog is changing. It used to be my secret study room where i'd sit back to reflect. Threadbare and naked. Where i'd drown my noise to hear my voice. Yes, last year gave me Alternate Perception too. And windows into a lot of lives that will grow and pass by my eyes as i pass theirs. Riding on words, the parallel lives we all lead, separated by degrees. Different, but not dissimiliar. Highs, and lows, joys and sorrows. We all have them so different, yet they're same in the way they make us feel. Oblique as an illusion. Parallel, really. Sometimes these parallel lines merge. Sometimes. And then we feel together. What we felt all along but alone. The good and the bad. It stops being 'yours only' as you move from a half-life to a more complete one. One you never knew existed. Now you do.

That's what i'll carry forward into the new year and the ones to follow from the very special 2007 among other things. Age, wisdom, a blog and a girlfriend. All for life. And the word that started it all. Maybe.

Thursday, January 10

Post

Oh, this blogger runs late. By now, infamously.

Posts are due and will come pretty soon. The hibernation is unintended and the wall of silence between the blog and me must break. Damn, i'm selling too many flats writing brochures these days. Writing for pay more than writing to say. The first post this new year is particularly lame, so readers, friends and fellow hoppers, i'm all apologies again.

Will post at my earliest, a couple of posts that i have been wanting to write for a long time. a routine one on the bygone year. Retrospection delayed. One on the special one (yes yes another one). And a string of special posts to bring in our first blog birthday. Maybe, a blogger party by the end of it which as of now will have atleast two people celebrating. Or atleast the one who writes it.

Wishing you loads of love and madness, let this year bring lots of posts. And otherwise, although late, the year still is new.. Happy New Year, lets hope that this one will be better!

Thursday, January 3

a million plans i'd made for life
a million more to go
wonder why they never work out
am i living too fast
or am i planning too slow?