Tuesday, June 12, 2012


Three weeks ago, my father left.
I tell people, I let them grieve. Yet, I come across a piece of news, a strain of music, a new book, or just a moment when I pause in the morning - and think I must tell him this. Then I tell myself. He's dead.
Saudade, or is it? You've got to learn not to yearn.
And you've got to learn blue is a fantasy. Blue doesn't exist. This is complete absence of colour.

Monday, November 29, 2010

One more year. And it has been tough. The highs have been plenty too, but as ever, the best part has been learning once more how to take friendships for granted, how to fall back and feel safe.
The toughest parts this year has been saying goodbyes. Didn't know I was this good at letting go, or this bad either.
For now, I will mark the end of the year by saying goodbye to this blog. A new city, a new job and some old friendships await. Maybe one or two that are changing shades -- pretty ones, too. Let's see.
Happy birthday to me. :)

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

restless. too much of this eat pray love bug going around. the frikkin' festive season sucks the life blood out of me.
and life feels like i'm painting a multi-coloured picture for blind people.

Monday, August 30, 2010

some days we think of a god. a very old god, blind and deaf, his grasp on his faculties slipping. he can't hear the pleas for mercy, he can't see how people prostate themselves, selling their souls to the altar of religion.
some days god thinks of us. he worries about what he can't see, can't hear. he scrabbles around a and picks up a handful of grace to throw it at a direction he thinks is right.
some days we feel parts of it descending on us.
some days we trample right over it.
some days there is a god.
some days there is nothing.

Friday, August 20, 2010

it is a rainy afternoon, as i sit typing, listening to noises, to voices, familiar and reassuring, thinking how grateful i should be that i inhabit this world.
this world, where affection is uncomplicated. where people give and receive without seeking meaning, where there's grace and laughter, where anger recedes, bitterness can be set aside, where people matter.
and then there's another - where everything is measured. neat yardsticks, did you read the label? did you not read the label? has this been said? has this been unsaid? where silences are hostile, an extended arm is vicious. a scrap of colour in an otherwise drab room unexpected, unwelcome. you take a step, you intrude. you retreat. you intrude even more.
but then i have this world too. where colours abound. some imagined, some shared.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

it's a dark stairwell. you hear muffled voices, a slim bar of light through one of the doors. you sit, try not to be scared. you're not too scared, somebody will let you in. but what if the dog climbs upstairs before they do let you in? every shuffle on the stairs begin to assume a bigger magnitude, you try to think if sitting on the banisters will help, but what if it gets your legs? then they let you in. they give you a lizard made with dough to play with. you sit in a corner. grateful. secure.

you get nightmares. you wake up. careful. you can see them sleeping on either side. but the nightmares can't see them. they keep chasing. you get out and go searching. then you wake up, safe and dry.

you don't know the way home. but the person who does takes you home. you clown around for strangers in a store, in a street corner, sitting next to parked cars, knowing there's someone who will take you back.

a house becomes your home, people become family - you learn how it is. how it should be. but you need to be told. they tell you, in their own way, they do. it's like a lens. you relate through them. you don't know any other way.

one person holds the keys to a lot of rooms - safety, warmth, acceptance, strength. an adult shouldn't need security blankets, right? an adult shouldn't be so needy. an adult should calculate emotions. adults need a logical life. where pieces fit in.

didi passed away last week. i don't know how to deal with it. i am not dealing with it. for now, i am running around knocking doors, begging people to take me in for a night, so i can sleep one more night without wondering if i can find my way back. the nightmares still come. but now i know better than to talk about it. what if they never let me back?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

not that the blog has been done away with. i haven't been able to gather my thoughts for some time, is all.

Monday, January 11, 2010

my dad's 80th birthday party was celebrated four months belateldly - on his insistence - only with his close friends who incidentally could have filled up a smallish village or at least a hamlet. they each had written a page or two on him and my mum made it into a book and gave it to him. there was much love, much laughter. it truly was a celebration.

later that day he told me i'd probably not be able to think of getting to that age, a lifetime and two thirds of another one away. i couldn't.

then R told me of the old man who begs on the station -- his family has turned him out. he begs on that station and doesn't go away since he gets to steal glimpses of his grandson. his life passes on uncelebrated. in a weird voyeuristic way, i could start thinking of that distant far away age and life. we fought our demons talking about our commune -- adult diapers by the bulk, shotguns and whiskey, dentures and hidden electric fences for people looking to water the walls. (maybe we should invite more of such by inscribing commit no nuisance and watch the sparks fly.)

but when i go away, i will not peek into what's left of my life. i'll walk till i can walk no more. but i won't look back. maybe this is why they left for vanaprastha. they sought a new way.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

sometimes the entire point of growing up can be summed up by the act of/ ability to buy(ing) a zinger burger and a box of hot wings by yourself, with your own money, no explanations to anyone.

Monday, December 28, 2009

after years of smoking, stopping at will (but not often because i enjoy a good smoke more than many things) and taking it up just like that, i finally realised today i am addicted. it felt awful, made my mouth dry, tasted bitter, smelt the way it does and i just could not stop and knew i would be back for the second way earlier than ever.

i have rarely watched the telly in the last two years and now there is a new secret agent series on star world and i can't stop watching even though i am sleepy and watched half an episode of boston legal.

i can't get up and shut the system off either and i just don't know what the hell this post is about.

i don't like it when i spring nasty surprises on myself.

a little later: i did some pruning on my messenger now. knee-jerk reaction i guess.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

these are happy times.

they started way back when the season brought in people, allowed emotions to be displayed, erased the tension (i was too little to understand what it was) and they stayed at home. people laughed. there were people. no sitting on the sidewalk, no falling asleep on the stairs, no doing time in the local milk booth, no fighting like little savages to ward off terror, no waiting patiently, no sitting alone in the dark wondering...

the sparkling people came and stayed and smiled and sang -- with us.

i discovered what a stellar thing people are. actual real people who look at you and smile and cry and sometimes give you candies and shiny things and pick you up and give you hugs. they smelt so good, they didn't even mind when the giggling wouldn't stop. it just seemed fair to make them laugh a bit.
and i discovered what a stellar craft clowning is. laughing people can't be angry or sad and thereby saved me from being either.

been in love with christmas since. been in love with people since. been in love with laughter since. even when it erupted as i inadvertently mooned a full funeral party by deciding to forgo bloomers in favour of snoopy underpants which simply fell off. (a little boy's brief was hastily bought to repair the situation.)

one day i'll learn not to need all of this. i will cherish you without a need. till then, if you smile at me, i'll call you a friend. if you put your arm around me, i'll give you a piece of my heart. i'll walk with you, i'll give you my dreams and i'll keep clowning till your shades are banished forever.

merry christmas people. my people.

Friday, December 18, 2009

i nibbled a piece of the sun

working like silly buggers. and yet it still is ok. 3 new books this week -- including unseen academicals and desiree insert the accents). and that i swallowed a jugful of sunshine feeling. whatever it is, i am loving it.

adeela's next exhibition comes up. and we are very near adding a consultation role to the outfit - something that would take us a step closer to providing economic viability to the SHG efforts, closer than what anyone else is prepared to take them. big work - but until and unless you are prepared to dream huge and in technicolour, there's no point being alive.

and the weather's been so nice too.

ps. i effectively charmed a third of today's problem at work right out of existence (under explicit instruction). no trace of any negative emotion. it felt tiring though. anger would have taken less time and solved more of it. we need to stop the bad press about anger.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

what's wrong with me? i am frightfully zen, doing twice the normal amount of work way ahead of deadline, feeling a non-susbstance-induced euphoric haze, excited about christmas to the extent that i youtubed bruce springsteen version of santa claus is coming to town.
and i keep smiling for no reason which makes people very nervous.
i also had a supremely good walnut cake.

there is no reason for this whatsoever.

or is it the way normal people usually feel always and i didn't know it?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

i will learn to be a tree.
i need to learn to be a tree.

Friday, December 11, 2009

unrelated lines through my head:

it's getting colder these days. perfect times to dive headlong between the covers.

new book - one. new tshirt - one. new votive - one. new personality - zero.

why do i end up being the one person who has to be sought out and confided in and taken comfort from when i neither invite nor encourage such behaviour?

i am happy i used the alarm bell in the elevator.

i am worried about a friend who quit her job in anger.

i loved the stew i had for dinner. dinner's always near-perfect in winter.

two things i can never get enough of from people - time and demonstrations of affection.

i am worried about my parents. i dreamt dad was back in the hospital.

i feel like a failure when i can't teach someone to trust, to emote and to believe.

unhappy people make me feel suffocated --- not people who are temporarily not happy, but those that never learnt to let go.

it's unfair that my little niece won't have her birthday celebrated because her mum has too much work and the kid has no concept of dates. she never gets sent to school either because people can't get up so early.

i can't sleep in a room without doors.

i am tired.

i want gooey, semi liquid chocolate cake.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

joining that alumni page on fb was a bad idea. i dreamt that there were 4 days left of puja vacations, i couldn't find my text books and second term exams were very near. on top of it, despite opting for humanities, i STILL had to sit for my physics and math tests.
while i was searching for my books, i also discovered that i have a baby sister - who has been laid lovingly by my brother in a cardboard carton on top of woollen clothes on our verendah.
my mother thinks it is my subconscious demanding for a baby and the whole maternal instinct thing kicking in and was very happy. sigh.

i also ate a piece of purple crayon, for no rational reason.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Happy birthday to mememememe!

I am sometimes surprised how happy my birthdays are turning out to be - specially in the last 31 years.
But on a serious note, except for two episodes this year, regardless of stress factors, I have been very happy.
So, annual stock taking of blessings ensue:
friends, a job I enjoy, family slightly skewed but otherwise solid, Adeela, being unanimously voted "something else" by stoners inc., some looks on some days ( oh, a woman's got to have her moments) and a general sense of being absurdly alive.
Now all I have left to do is to catch up with my age.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

i am on leave for a week starting next tuesday. that takes care of immediate problems.

the new wall i am bouncing my head against is the widely-shared inability to come out of the past, to hope for future by looking at what's been done and to stop painting every reality several shades darker.

when will people learn to dream?

and as part of a team that trying to act out its own brand of activism, it's especially frustrating. more so, when the only effective solution seems to be to catch hold of people by the scruff of their necks and order them to hope, to dream, to be angry, to be active and failing all of that, to think.

knee-jerk reactions, smart counterpoints, fudging facts and all that shit is tiring. as adults, they do owe themselves the mental exercise. it seems like a dying art. winning an argument is not the same thing as engaging with the topic being debated.

Monday, November 23, 2009

After a relatively calm stretch at work, things have fallen apart and how! The one indispensable member of my team resigned - for excellent reasons -- and i am going to be all but crippled. The Toad is creating mayhem, my tension headache hasn't left me in 3 days and as ever I have fallen back on my one and only coping mechanism -- anger.

Fucking tired and drained.

Just when I'd taken care of everything and everyone else.

I was so angry this morning that I scared myself. For a few hours nothing mattered and I had to exert almost a physical effort to bring myself out of that haze. One day I will be lost to it, I'm sure.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Adieu dreamscapes

My dreams are no longer dreams. They are but a reiteration of life. I dreamt of emailing/ calling the Toad to say I am taking day off. I dreamt of him summarily shelving my story and switching list two hours before release. I dreamt of a business contact who I couldn't quite place despite knowing his name. I dreamt of coming down with fever and staying online to deflect calls.

I woke up to a temperature and croaked to the boy that I can't talk so I am going to be online for a while. I am debating whether to send the Toad a mail so I can work from home. Now if only Shrikent does not show up for a meeting, I'll be ok.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


i had my first bookmark when my cousin went to Florence and got me a marble-printed leather one -- many, many years ago. it was saved in a round fruit cake tin, along with shiny pebbles, old nails, bicycle bells, half erasers, key rings, blue locket and other prized treasures.
now i possess many and instead of hoarding, i have developed a queer OCD about bookmarks. i knew it, but never noticed how it has become, well, weird.
there are grades and types. i sort them according to two categories - personal, pretty ones that were gifted to me and the generic store ones. the latter are saved for pop lit - chetan bhagat to alistair mclean, i don't care which one i use. they are plain utilitarian.
the personal ones have an increasingly complex hierarchy. on top is the black one with cream brocade swatch that popeye gave me. for REAL books that i finish, staying up till 5 in the morning and bolting my door against the world through the day - i use this one. from warriors of rome to the book thief, half of a yellow sun to my mary renaults or dalrymples or nerudas or rushdies or ben okris and so on, i must have this one. the second place goes to the batik santiniketani one that the morning star gave me. it's meant for literature. so classics and some contemporary classics like say amitabh ghosh -- books that demand attention in equal measures for entertainment get this bookmark.
there is a third that another friend gave me -- a bamboo one with a tiny ceramic doll on top. this is my back up. i didn't quite realise that till the other day. i had a chunk of time to kill in another city and then in the airport. so i bought the purple hibiscus. then as i sipped my milkshake and turned to the first page, i slipped my hand in my backpack and fished this bamboo bookmark out to replace the store one. THEN i started reading.
of course, then there are author-specific ones, genre-specific ones and a separate set for bengali literature.
and i have begun to notice when they are switched around.
but the silver lining is that there are books that can't be bookmarked - it would be a sacrilege if you didn't finish in one go and even if you didn't, you'd automatically remember the very place you were in. fantasy, all of them. never mind the phrase silver lining.
when you come visit me in padded cell, make sure you bring a new bookmark along with the new book, flowers, lip balm and chocolate.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Do you remember me?

A friend is part of an FB experiment about the first memory you have of people in your life. I was about to sprout my usual wisdom about people changing, the whole mothball process of holding on to memories and so on. Then it struck me, just as people changed, so did I.
I remembered my friend - in the car with everybody, unsure and facing flak - and me, half-scared and trying to avert confrontations. She is very sure of everything now. I am no longer scared to voice a difference of opinion. Mostly.
The kid in sixth grade that was pointed out as one not to ever befriend even if it meant having to sit with that Mathur boy. She taught me to look emotions in the eye. I no longer let other people pick my friends for me. And I haven't sat with a Mathur boy since.
The nagging kid with the cattiest deskmate who'd bully me into walking home with her. She was the world's favourite chatterbox. It became my mission in life to avoid her clutches or at least make her talk in a way I understood. The chatter has been replaced with conversation. But the bullying hasn't. I no longer try to make people think the way I do. And some days, I even do the 1-800-HAPPINESS act to perfection.
The coconutty-smelling, seemingly slimy Slim Jim that I specifically asked R not to bring over to my house, as he was a worm in the making and would not understand half of what we're about. Little did I know that house would see several mornings of him waking up after EVERONE else. Sometimes not waking too. Not only understanding, but unstinted support (though sometimes at gun point) is ours for asking. He doesn't smell of coconut any more (I hope) and I no longer think you stop making friends for life as an adult. I no longer hesitate to throw my dreams at friends.
The booming voice and severe hostility-inducing demeanour I was determined to tolerate for friendship's sake. The voice hasn't changed much, though the accent did at times as did my definition of people who count.
The rebel without a pause whose romantic chances with budding chemists provided as much thought for food as her bucking-the-trend ideas. She possibly does not go staking all on people any more (marriage and research does make people turn a bit odd :P). I no longer think it's possible to calculate love - you give it all and then some more. Of course, I peep in through virtual windows too to see how she is.
The funny boy with bushy eyebrows everyone loved to tease. Respectable married gent he has morphed into and then goes about growling at little scribelings who beg me not to make them speak on the phone with him. I don't go about judging people's eyebrows (I have seen enough of weirder ones in recent years) and I am no longer surprised at how people meander in and out and in through life.
And many, many, many more.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Expectations - Unmade promises that break your heart when not kept.
Associations - Unconnected dots flash a picture long forgotten.
Animosity - Slips in through cracks in conversation when you get a glimpse of the world hidden.
Abandonment - When feelings and people and terrains change.
Unrest - When all of these don't matter.

Keep walking. It's November.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

i want something very badly. it will help me keep two promises i made to myself and one promise i didn't make to someone else. i am too tired to think of anything else now.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

wake up at 4 in the morning.
sleep for a couple of hours in the afternoon.
take a up a new hobby or enroll for a class.
be productive, repsonsible and generally, with it.

now, what about a couple of kids and cake mix while we're at it?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

why is it so hard to take a decision even when you have all the pros and cons before you? and pros outweigh the cons, which are actually only three in number - ending up unemployed, homeless and starving to death. actually not the last two.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


one day. just one day i need to be myself. and zoom. i morph back three lifetimes and have double limbs, triple tongues and zero grey cells. GAAAAH.

just one day.

god, did i not tell you not to fuck with me any more?

no. calling me an idiot and blaming me for my own mistakes is not a defence good enough. at least not divine enough. straighten up your act dude.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

all's good. october is really behaving itself.
the Adeela event was a hit. we made money. we made business and the long term kind too.
and all sorts of people have been heaping praise on my work - and i can't stop wondering why. hell, i wouldn't know i existed if i weren't me.
but doing new things at work, always very entertaining and the new project looks a very doable one.
the order of the day is to get out of the black and white zone of is change good or bad and just chill and see what happens.
saw a movie called wake up sid today. didn't like it one bit. when you're preaching, you're peaching. pretty colours and music and magically easy celluloid life doesn't make it one bit palatable. why do the buggers need to exaggerate everything - good, bad, people, situations - and make it so unreal in the name of commercial success. you don;t have to cater to idiots to make money. what about dev d? see, watch, learn.
i wake up to slight nips in the air, colourful little flowers amongst the weeds in the backyard, the patchwork quilt is comforting and not an eye candy anymore and then i can lie back in bed and read some.
i got wolf hall yesterday.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

while violence may not always be a good thing, the threat of it definitely is. went through one of the worst days at work, though it was not day, it was night and that too last night. when reason failed, calmly stated threats and banging the phone down succeeded. then i went in and stood and smiled and it was such a fucking kick to see them cower and give me the paper i wanted.
i would have taken on the slimy little lizard too later on, but he actually busied himself on pretend phone calls and the nice guy took over and gave us his folder of music too. (ever since the retarded morons put in those blocks, we've lost all pretense of having standards and hoard, beg and share all bits of music, movies, e-books and likes. it's a matter of principles. then they come and delete them only to find the files back the next day.)
being mild and sunny and "hello, i am your 1-800-HAPPINESS number" works, but being angry -- it fucking well kicks ass.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

blue walls - cold and smooth. like crystal. sometimes the colour goes away. you touch it and find it giving way like water that's not wet. you cross through and see the world. you cross back when you want. it ceases to exist.

then you wake up. it's still there. the colour comes back. the laughter recedes. you can't see beyond it any more. and then they close in.

how do you know how many breaths you have left?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

what is the best way to end a friendship? closure, acrimony or drifting away with unclaimed baggage, unexpressed emotions?

the southern wonder is getting married. (even to type it with a straight face is an effort.) but it was in this context a conversation happened reaffirming boundaries of "us". i wondered.

and then the end of the day brought it back in context of someone else. for all my lip service to violence, i don't fight with people in my life*. when i do, it's because there is no option left to me and i am mentally prepared to let that particular person go. or when i have already left that emotional space.

i don't understand deep rifts. it unnerves me to see someone ignoring them or expecting them to be bridged. it makes me feel like they deliberately refuse to understand the emotions behind it. then it becomes even more pointless to keep that person around.

*except three.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

worried about Adeela's next exhibition. people haven't responded. a decline wouldn't feel this bad. we don't have money enough to advertise. we don't know people enough either. we are experimenting with social media in all its forms. popeye came up with an awesome idea of a video snippet we can use as an invite with the youtube link.

i want to be there. i don't want to be there.

have exactly 9 days to figure out where to take my begging bowl. give me a chance and a bit of your time, universe.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mary Renault and Paul Waters.
a hideous city trying very hard like a clingy ex-lover.
a bad idea to go to bed at 6:30 in the morning. it makes you cranky about the entire week to come.
remembered a line from Matthew Arnold ( i think):
"come to me in my dreams/ and then by day i shall be well again".
in what context i was thinking this, i don't know. lack of sleep makes people stupid and woozy too.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

drunk. beyond belief.

it's all the progenitor's fault.

and then his wife said she had tested the burglar alarm system of each and every car on our street at three this afternoon.

i didn't even have it straight enough to ask her why.

Friday, September 25, 2009

the puja committe budgets are running into crores. there's been flood and drought in the state.

people are paying thousands for a slim little handbag. a boy committed suicide because his construction labourer father couldn't buy him new clothes.

spend, splurge, splash it around if you have money. starve, stare, stay away if you don't.

four days of vulgar exhibitionism and they're trying to find the true spirit of pujas. it's such a fucking farce. it's such a shame. come and live it up unseeing, unfeeling, unalive deity. come. the bastards won't get richer otherwise. they're waiting. like vultures.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

the persona you're trying to reach is outside the coverage area right now.
a pity you can't leave a voice mail for your own self and ask it to call back so you can chew its bloody ass off for being so disconnected from everything.
why is it that the only emotion that i actually experienced in the last 18 hours is rage and the only colour that registered was blue, when the day has brought a lot achievement-wise.
this is unreasonable.

Monday, September 21, 2009

someone called me over when it was raining.
"hello, my daily dose of sunshine."
and then it struck me how the pattern repeats. always the daily dose. not the day. never the day.
even aquaintances tell me that. they don't leave it unsaid

Sunday, September 20, 2009

bottling it all - depression - aggression - lashing out - bottling up. and so it goes round and round. you watch from the sidelines, pick them up when they fall, stand quiet to take the blows. you can't let them spin out of control. you're just one step behind them, knowing you can't make things right. but you can stop things from being worse. so you think. some days, you lash out. some days, you internalize. before you know, it's a shadow dance. you're part of the pattern. you have your own blue bottle.

cut off your tentacles before it draws another puppet in. how could you have not thought of that before? because you were watching from the sidelines. you were standing guard.

golden slumber kiss your eyes,
smiles await you when you rise.
sleep, pretty baby, do not cry,
and i will sing you a lullaby.
care is heavy, therefore sleep,
while i o'er you watch do keep.
sleep, pretty darling,do not cry,
and i will sing you a lullaby.

what a fucking joke.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

not being able to shake off that feeling of running out of time. three-quarters of the year disappearing in a blink of eye makes it even worse.

is it age or is it the onset of SAD that i thought i'd left behind in another place, another time, with other people?

mortality used to seem like a deliberate decision. a controllable factor. a self-inflicted choice at most. it has begun to seem closer, more alien and unpredictable. i am beginning to get worried. i am not being able to get out of this space. i wondered if it is THIS that shows in my voice, when my colleague asked me why i sounded so weary and resigned. she thought someone else had picked up the phone and she said it wasn't the first time in the last few weeks.

a freind's friend has commited suicide. nobody knows why. it made me uncontrollably sad.

i am not ready for all that i am trying to be so excited about. i am sorry. not people, not events, not even the way the mid-morning sunshine has changed its angle when it comes to my room through the red curtains.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

tired. unexpectedly so. no time to be so for at least another three weeks. kernel of a demand for a holiday uppermost on my mind.

hills? beach? nowhere? short break? long vacation?

too tired to decide now.

but let me out.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

somebody was almost on the verge of dying today. his friend got a call from the hospital. she didn't know any of his family or friends. she lives in a different town. i held her hand.

somebody had died, before his friends got around together on the weekend. i heard them talk.

somebody suddenly remembered a long lost friend. i watched them change expressions trying to figure out when they had ceased being part of life.

i can't get over the blues. this feeling of running out of time -- though it has been at the back of my mind for the last three weeks. there was much unfinished business that is irrelevant now.

earlier on, we had been taking turns baiting the southern wonder and losing handsomely. suddenly it doesn't seem so funny. i want to see my best friends, i want to see the boy, i want to see didi, i want a few more peter pan days. while i can.

this is ridiculous. i'm not old nor depressed enough to feel this way. it's not fear. but this idea that there will still be much loving left to do, but the curtain call may come too soon.

the only thing: i've never been clairvoyant, ESP is new fangled car gadget to me and two of my five senses are already a bit damaged, so there's no question of a sixth one.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

ungrateful dead

my negativity towards organized religion and its rituals leave me drained with each encounter. particularly so with the circus called death rites.

i made my funeral plans today. there will be none.

live a full life, eat a good meal, have a belly laugh, reach for that tall drink. and while you love somebody, if you happen to miss me at an odd moment, it'll be an added bonus. or maybe not. i'll be dead beyond caring. but please spare my death the indignity of a public drama, if i still matter to you.

Friday, September 04, 2009

a whole day amidst rich, shiny, opulent clothes - scraps of colour, bits of jewel - unnecessary and expensive. end of the day, a mad woman stops in front of us and runs her hands on my kurta. she wanted old clothes. i promise her i'd get her some tomorrow and keep it with the chaiwallah. she turns and asks him if it's true. he says yes. saris and clothes f0r people are kept with him. he gives it to them when they remember to come back.

she told me she'd bring me something.

does anyone love her?

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Thank you

grief is the most personal of all emotions. and i don't know how to share it, except in this form. and to a great extent i don't want to either. please know i am not shutting you out when i take the conversation out of your hands.

it's enough for me that you care. you don't have to share it too.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

something inexplicable happened.
my aunt passed away on friday night, actually saturday morning - the wee hours.
i was in bhutan on a travel asignment at the time, my phone had no signals.
yet i knew.
i'd felt her in the room. i didn't see anything but i knew it was her. in my half dazed state i also was a bit irritated. she said she wanted to see all of south india after she got better, surely she needn't have come to bhutan. i checked the time and fell asleep.
i came home and when my father opened the door, i made it a point to ask him if something had happened at that particular time. it had.
he gave me an odd look, but didn't find it very strange.
i did. i do not what to think. i've always thought my disbeliefs are too strong. supernatural stays out of my way as i stay out of its. but this i don't know how to explain.

she was a busy mother, yet she felt compelled to compensate for me, what she dubbed as my young, harassed working mother's "neglect". i was forever the "neglected child", who had to be given presents, constant assurance and who could ever do no wrong. bloomers, penny frocks, rubber sandals, lunchbox, all that i needed and all that my mother always forgot to check upon -- she'd invariably notice and hand over to didi.
when i was growing up, thanks to her, exams were somewhat a festive occasion. cash, at least one set of new clothes and a tuck box with mood-enhancing food -- chocolate, wafers, crisps, dry fruits, biscuits and whatever else she could find in the store outside her hospital. even later, when i decided to move, move back again, got in a relation, got out again, needed support and at least one token of acceptance that my life was not a mess and if it was, it wasn't of my creation, she made it a point to give me that and more. all my life, she was the one person who'd plugged in the gaps. but not too quietly, unfortunately for my mother at times :D.
she was the person who also taught me how to love - life, friends, lovers and family. but that will be another story.
i am fine. so is my sister. in fact she is so steady, that she took away my guilt for not having been there. but then again, characteristically enough, she turned around and accused me of being the more loved one and hence spared the ordeal. for once, i was mature and didn't point out that it was indeed the truth and no, i wasn't taken from the dustbin and so treated special. i started crying instead. if you are reading this, i'd appreciate you not asking any questions.
but we salvaged a few things from under the hawk-eyed watch of my nieces (particularly the two-year old, we can sell her for a fortune as a ferocious watchdog) and my sister and i are wearing identical bangles that she used to wear on both hands. we find it oddly comforting.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

i am doing a fun piece of work this week and hope to do another next week, which kind of makes up for the prolonged exposure to the Toad.
i did something i'd never done - mended fences - and i'm uncertain about it.
"you expect too much from me."
now that has been a burr on my side, except i can't remember the exact context.
anyway, water under bridge, bridge under water.
the best part of having people is that you can be friends with them. so...

august needs to end fast.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

it's one fucking farce. that's what the system is.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

i had the day off. i spent the whole day lazing about and finished two books by david liss. the best find in recent months. when i got tired of looking at the pages, i looked at the rain falling against a backdrop of trees. i also managed to watch the curse of the golden flower. and then went and had dinner.


north west frontier cuisine was made for rainy days and maudlin minds.
i do not remember the last time i had kebabs so wondrous and the fish kebab was unlike what i've ever eaten anywhere.
melt in the mouth fresh fragrant pieces of pure pleasure.

makes me even more resolved to open my own place. giving people just that right food and drink that raises spirits IS a noble mission. it has much social value.

i even thought of a name for a our seaside bar ( and like all good pubs, it'll be known for its honest grub as well). i'll call it Three Dirty Wishes. one could be the filth and muck kind of dirt, the second would be really dirrrrtyyyyy and the third would depend on time - what is considered trendily dirty at the moment.

if only there were a good dry bottle of red, the night would be perfect. but even without it, life seems good.

saturdays, come back. i miss you. you complete me. help me devise a way to make my life accommodate you. i heart saturday.

a lazy, rainy saturday morning with a good book... and now i can remember why i used to be in love with saturdays. now should i jinx it by going out?

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Full stop.

there is a reason why periods are the most important punctuation mark.
no longer part of one unequal emotional exchange.
disturbing and distressing. but i have finally learnt the art of walking without looking backwards.
note to self: apply this to all other walks of life.

unrelated to this, it has been the worst week and it is hardly over. the fact that i drag myself out of my bed and retain a modicum of functionality is something i should be congratulated upon.

i take people at their face value. i believe what they tell me. but over the last few days, i have been keeping a close watch over my social exchanges. it was very draining to be on the receiving end of casual lies from most quarters. has this always been so? how come i never noticed this before?

co-worker, close friend, casual acquaintance, family -- do you think i do not get it when you slip in that one about work, money, life? and for no need.

why is it too much to ask for reciprocation of a simple courtesy? i do not lie. to you or to anybody else. not because i cannot. but because it is disgusting, disturbing, demeaning, degrading. because i choose not to. i do you the courtesy of being honest. be an adult and do me the same.

i feel sad when you don't. i don't know why. but you make me sad and take myself away bit by bit from you.

Friday, July 31, 2009

i dreamt that i had recieved a package in mail. it contained my divorce papers. except i didn't know who i had married. so in my dream i tried going through my comp and my online life to find some clue. any clue.

when i told people about it, they said that it is something that could easily happen to me. and then tried getting blow-by-blow accounts of my last three holidays to figure out if i had indeed got married without realising it. i don't think i have, but i still put it on my status message, just to be sure.

so far, nobody has stepped forth.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

i am scared. my aunt fell down and broke her hips today. she is in an advanced stage of Parkinsons disease and in all probability will not survive the surgery day after. as one of the two remaining functional adults in my extended family here, i spent the day doing the usual rounds.

the kids ( my nieces) were terrified. my sister ( her mother's the one i'm talking about and no she's not my cousin, that's not the way my family works) is trying very hard to keep it together. except she's already asked thrice if we can sell all the houses and apartments and buy a huge place so we can move in the remaining geriatrics, the kids, the mentals, the nasty relations-by-marriage and yeah, basically everyone. and really BE THERE.

i gently reminded her she WAS there and she is doing a fine job.

i spent the whole day calming down person in pain, persons in panic, persons who are distressed and personlings who made random phone calls from my mobile.

i am scared. i am not adult enough to handle this. and i am tired of being the tough cookie.

and i feel incredibly guilty for having made plans for people and a life who are far away from this. i am sorry. and i can't stop crying and i don't know why the hell i'm typing this.

i am sorry.

Friday, July 24, 2009

they still do.

otherwise i wouldn't be awake at 1 in the morning trying to figure how to talk to real people.

Monday, July 06, 2009

it's been a while since i have written for me. i tweet, i update my status messages, i key in fluff to kill some time, i key in words that i am told to. but i don't write.
words elude me now.
more so when i want them to reach out where i can't.
but silence is all i have to offer.
and it's filling in spaces, unhidden.
i think of things, of people. i have forgotten how to speak of them, how to speak to them. i try to remember how language felt. i keep forgetting.
i saw a creeper, rainsoaked, fat, glistening wildly, as if it's vulgarly celebrating life. i thought of you. then i thought about you. do you think of me, just so?
i have forgotten how to ask, i have forgotten how to tell.
when did i lose people to those small doses of words, visuals, bits of colours that flake off from their lives?
will language come back when i learn to talk again? will you talk? will you teach me how to?
i am losing language.
words elude me now.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

a bit of a gift of the magii situation.
why do i never listen to good advice?
ebare ami ki korbo?
apart from laugh maniacally and try to guess how serious or trivial the issue is.
oh boy.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

vacation hit rocky grounds.
then picked up again with back-up group stepping in. except it seems deferred gratification is the way to go. but it would be neat with this bunch. like all first times. :P
anyway since the idea of deferred gratification sits uneasy on me i bought bright red flip flops.
on top of the 100 rs denim skirt, purple balloon top, black harem pants, capris three sizes too small that i have to figure out what to exchange for.
all is good.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

happy it is only

heehee haha hyehyehye hhihihihihihi. i feel zoozoo laughters bubbling out of me.
ten days leave - sanctioned.
people - three-quarters manipulated.
waves - not so distant a dream.

on a different note, somebody brought up college in an unconnected discussion. also an alamnus, some three decades and more my senior, of my alma mater. he remembered the the gravity. i could only remember the levity.
college? sure. that place where the near blind historian held a class. the end of rollcall and the last five rows were gone. the rest of us eyeing the window casually, looking to make a move. over eager fat boy (who was it, that boy from eng lit or poly sci?) wants to go next. commotion. the old professor wailing "the poor boy has fooollayn. whai aar yoo laaphing?"

or the spluttering poly sci professor looking at us aghast and then going mental yelling for the head. purple face stuck in the head's room ranting in a loop: how could people who have attended two classes in the entire year have the gall to come and ask what their attendance percentage was. how how how.

or the near hysterical socio professor yelping "oke boshao, oke boshte bolo" when a classmate tried to deal with what had happened during a misplaced kiss, by wrapping his head around the idea of freudian slip.

or the guest lecturer. actually guest lecturers. the angry one, the one who we were not supposed to mess with on account of him having had a heart attack in the same classroom the year before, the nail varnish lady, the pretty one.


and how serious all of it and life seemed then.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

and it ACTUALLY rained. the nice kind.
huge torrential downpour, hailstorms, slamming windows, breaking glass, the poor pink tree gets a branch ripped off. it never fails to amaze how something so chaotic, frenzied, energetic could have such a calming effect.
and i hatched a fantastic plan/daydream. lessee.
i dreamt of rain.
not the pretty one, but the irritating city kind. when the clouds hold great promise and you can't take your eyes off them, yet it peters down to a small, steady dripping that turns everything murky, slimy, inconvenient. the grey overtones encompass everything and seem to be unrelenting, quite unlike the torrents.
black umbrellas. colleagues in white shirt. the metro station. the little electricity cable box. a cramped house. dull clouds and the constant dripping of rain.
sometimes waking up is as pointless as sleeping it in.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

it's been a difficult day. i had to keep at bay a red haze of anger just to be barely functional. it was one of these days. it just refuses to go away. the only thing that kept me from pulling the final punch was the thought that if i am angry at one person, maybe the person is at fault, if i am angry at fucking everybody under the bleeding sun, then it must be me.
what happened to the soft and subdued, milk and honey person i set out to be?
well fuck that.
except for how tired and drained you feel when you're angry, it's really pretty gratifying to find the world parting like red sea at the receiving end of a moses act, just to get out of your sodding way.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

i have got a psycho stalker again.
yes, hit me baby one more time. the loneliness was really killing me. but this time he just stalks my office phone, till that time when some kind soul* gives him my number. i can just see it.
i have mastered the art of changing my voice even as i pick up phones, i say that oxy hasn't come to work/ oxy is in a meeting/ oxy is out on assignment/oxy is on three days' leave with a straight face even while people around me are cracking up.
he cajoles, screams, tries to be sarcastic and then my baby gets cryptic. he left a message for me today. actually two. the first one was a rather chilling, conspiratorially whispered " i've been getting messages". the second one was "ha!" short and sweet.
so far he hasn't been abusive. not majorly. chho chweet.

* ( when you work where i do, you're not kind, but if you ARE then you're an ocxymoron. can i call someone an oxymoron without sounding like a moron? never mind. oxy and moron next to each other makes me look over my shoulders)

Sunday, April 26, 2009

confusion reigns supreme.
in every aspect of life where i thought that some sort of breakthrough has been achieved, things have slowed down frustratingly.
now adeela. i've been a bit away from all other people in my life in this, seeking to pull it off.
i needed this weekend to figure out how absent i have been from friends. some of them good ones.
this is a very crucial phase and we have almost put our friendships through endurance tests the last time we tried to be inclusive. we are all reluctant. we are all reacting, we are all resistant. yet there is no other way.
and at times i feel like asking for some sort of divine intervention. i can feel the ostrich instinct kicking in, i just want to bury my head in sand till this blows over. and everything else too.

god, stop being an asshole, is the prayer i sent up. not the most effective or positive one, on hindsight.
i went out after a long time this weekend. so long in fact, that random hot guy asking me to buy a drink gave me enough of a high to last me the night. i promptly sent out texts seeking more positive reaffirmations and came home at four. i feel satiated.
now if only some people would stop being jerks it would make my day.